Wanted to share my experience of being at the ashram! The last 21 days have been an enriching experience for me, to spend time at the yoga center. After a year of intense activity, was longing to spend some time and reflect on my growth, iron out obstacles if any and intensify my practices.
It started with 7 days of silence where cut off from all communication, it was an intense period to look within. These 7 days, just spend time doing practices both morning and evening, spending a lot of time in temples and listening to Sadhguru s videos. Also felt blessed to be in the presence of the Master during the rare lunar eclipse.
Everytime I go through silence, I can’t believe that how much can happen to you, if you just stay in silence for a certain period of time…cutting out all the outside distractions and just focusing within.. Most of the time, we try to keep ourselves occupied with work, family, entertainment, mobiles/communication or otherwise and we tend to forget about the life within.. Being in silence cuts off all the outside distractions and brings the focus back on you.
As Sadhguru says that if you are bored when alone, then obviously you are in bad company.. So it was time for a reality check! Realised that I have a long way to go.. There were still so many limitations within me and it dawned on me on why a person who has taken charge of his inner self, is considered God or even above the Gods. So many billionaires,scientists or extraordinary people have come and gone, but an Adiyogi, Krishna or Buddha continue to live on ..etched forever in our consciousness and their work for one’s inner well being is immortal.
I have always been awed when I see Sadhguru, because if it was not for him, maybe I would never ever know that such a potential is there within all of us. I always thought that Gods had come from above; there is no way you can even come close to them and you just need to continue your striving for wealth, knowledge, pleasure or whatever, for which you may need to invoke their blessings. It still seems hard for me to think that such a possibility exists for every human being but every time I see Sadhguru, I’m reminded that it’s possible if I strive.
By the end of 7 days, my practices had become much more intense. Many limitations that I was struggling with, seemed to fade into oblivion. I felt a gradual shift within myself – realized that I need to spend more time to work on myself as I still need lot of working on! Was fortunate to have a Darshan after silence which helped to light up the fire within.
After silence, got into preparations for culmination of Shivanga Sadhana and volunteering for Mahashivaratri, the biggest celebration at Isha.
I had taken up Shivanga Sadhana for the first time.. Keeping up the meals, bath twice etc was not a major challenge for me since have been used to the schedule but it once again helped me to test myself and see how I can keep up a commitment taken. Begging was a new for me though! If a couple of years back, someone had even offered me everything in the world and asked me to go and beg, I wouldn’t have done it…it would have been the lowest ebb in my life if I had to beg for something. In fact, I never ever imagined that I would have anything to do with spirituality in my life – it still surprises me on how I got into all of this, but you never know what life has in store for you! Few times, I had even resisted taking up the Shivanga Sadhana because of the begging involved as part of the Sadhana. This time around, after silence, got ready and decided to go to Perur temple in the city and finish this task. Surprisingly it happened quite effortlessly for me, there was no hesitation or sense of shame since anyways how different am I from a beggar on the streets? When you are incomplete within, begging is inevitable…Someone begs for money or food while we beg for things that we may consider higher. It brought a certain ease and acceptance within myself that whatever I had thought was the lowest thing to do in my life, it isn’t actually and all the qualifications I had didn’t mean a thing… existentially I am still a beggar..maybe a high tech beggar!
The trek to Velliangiri mountains as part of the Shivanga Sadhana culmination was quite challenging. I decided to go barefoot and without a stick, which made it more difficult but helped me to walk with more awareness. These mountains are in such a way, that the harder you are, the harder it breaks you and in many ways melted me by the time I reached the top. The sight from Sadhguru s spot at 7th hill, is simply astonishing. The trek made me realise how fragile life is – it takes so much effort to climb to the top but one wrong step or one moment of unconsciousness and you could be back to square one. Maybe that’s what has been happening since many lifetimes..the life within still longing to find its full expression.
By now, volunteering for Mahashivaratri, the biggest celebration at Isha, was in full swing. Again it was time for intense activity after a refreshing break..
I got an opportunity to teach in the ashram at Spanda Hall for the first time – it was a group of around 250(with over 160 Chinese participants as well) who had come to attend Mahashivaratri and was a great experience to teach them Yoga Namaskar – a powerful process for one’s overall well being.
The scale of activity during Mahashivaratri is mind boggling to say the least and it still amazes me to think how such an event is pulled off. I was assigned into organizing /coordination for MahaAarthi which was happening for the first time. Just to make that 30 seconds or so of MahaAarthi happen, countless hours of planning and effort has gone in – only when you are working behind the scenes do you realize the effort which goes into organizing an event of this scale.
Sadhguru mentions that if only a human being drops one calculation – What can I get from this, then he or she can turn into a phenomenal being. Volunteering made me realize this experientially – there were some who were getting broken by the scale of activity and some who were riding high – the only difference being a matter of perspective. The moment I put my concerns aside, something else took over.
In spite of all the planning etc, at the last moment whatever we had planned for went topsy turvy! All the volunteers had put in so much effort to ensure that the Aarthi materials and sand mounds to put off the Aarthi were placed appropriately in a certain order but when Sadhguru came on the ramp, everyone rushed towards the aisle and most of the sand mounds had become flat and the chairs arrangement went all over the place, leaving us wondering what to do now to make the Maha Aarthi happen
Anyways this is what happens at Isha all the time, so we got ready to chalk out a plan B! Again, made me realize that this is how life goes…our understanding of life is quite limited. We may have many plans, but if we arent flexible and open enough to adapt to what’s at hand, every twist and turn can leave us broken. In spite of all our apprehensions, the Aarthi went smoothly and made us realize how Sadhgurus grace works.
After this I spent a few hours in quiet, just soaking in the energies and longing that this night becomes a night of awakening for me. So many nights had passed by, I didn’t want this one to go by as well. I was looking at Sadhguru and felt a strong urge that if only an iota of his consciousness permeates me, how different life could be. The incompleteness within me was haunting. The longing to drop my nonsense and break free came back in full force and recalled the last time I had felt like this was in Kailash – overwhelmed and in surrender.
I felt a gradual shift within myself after Mahashivaratri – made me realise some of the things that have been holding me back and maybe time for me to pause, make course corrections and proceed. Spent time to relook at my priorities and how to make it happen. Will have to plan my activity accordingly. Maybe this will be an inflection point for me and would venture into areas that I have previously not explored. There is a renewed sense of vigour and balance, ease within, compassion and a quiet determination to do whatever is needed to grow within myself.
Every time I think about what should I do – whether I should reach out to more people or spend more time on sadhana or volunteer or simply sit, I’m reminded about his words that puts things back in place – “The best thing you can do for your Guru is that you drop your nonsense and grow.”
Yes, if this one thing happens, everything else falls in place and this is my first and most fundamental responsibility…time to put it on fast forward!