From Rishikesh to Varanassi, visiting Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermons at the famous deer park.
|The Stupa marking the place||Lunch in the park|
In the evening we went for a boat ride on the Ganges, on the way seeing the sights and on the way back singing Kiirtan and doing meditation in the rowing boat; very nice!
This time we got out at the cremation ground and were shown around by one of the priests. I think it's good that these things are right in public and not hidden. Death is one of the few things we are sure to meet one day... better to get used to the idea it's part of the cycle. It is a bit confronting to see bodies burned on wood fire but the local people seem to be used to it. Naturally for those who lost someone it remains painful, attachments are deep, that is also part of human life.
|Kevalakrsna in action on the train||Our hospital in Ananda Nagar: sprained
ankle at a footbal match...
In Ananda Nagar we had a bit of a disappointment, the Sadhana Shiviir (meditation intensive) had been cancelled due to a transfer... We, and also other overseas margiis had been looking forward to join this event preceding the main program. Dada Shubacetananda from NY, helped me to kind of get together something to replace it. We more or less succeeded aver a bumpy start. We visited several Tantra pithas, places where meditation comes easier, and had collective chanting, meditation and inspiring stories mornings and evenings. (most of the time...) Also some classes actually happened.
One day we went to visit Makanji. He is a simple man, little education but his mind is in tune with the Supreme. For him it's almost as difficult not to go into deep meditation as for us to try to get there... After he told many stories about the time he got initiated by Baba (our Guru) we asked him if he could describe his feelings when doing Dhyana (deep meditation) he said that this will be very difficult... he tried anyway and got lost in this ocean of concious in the process... When he came back to normal state he was glowing and and inspired us about Sadhana.
Yes, education, standing, or any other external things have nothing to do with being able to realise oneself, rather someone with simple and one-pointed mind can reach easier!
Sadhana on the rocks overlooking the river. This place is also a Tantra Piita. The place is 'vibrated' because a yogi has been doing meditation for many years in this spot till getting realisation. Even many years after the difference can be felt when you sit there to meditate. As many Yogies have visited the area of Ananda Nagar there are many such places.
|Garden of the Prout building where we stayed||Prabhat samgiit dance|
One of the yearly events is the visit and guided tour of Uma Niivas, the Womans manged Master Unit about 5 Km away. They have childrens homes, schools, college and many other activities. This day the children prepare a cultural program and delicious meal.
|Our Didi sharing some of her songs||More dance|
Didi Ananda Ragamaya who was going to join us for the rest of the tour played some of her songs. We we fortunate as we got many more songs during the rest of the trip! One little girl has also prepared her dance but has no chance at the program. I am not sure if it was because lack of time or that she was too young, in any case she gave a master preformance!
So many more events and happenings during the time in Ananda Nagar, I could fill two more news letters with the photos... but I won't:-) The next one is from Bodhgaya the place where Gautam Buddha got realisation.
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