Its 23rd September today – a very significant day in the lives of my husband and I, for this is the day when our Guru – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev attained enlightenment. Coming from a family of seekers and disciples of Gurus, my belief in a Guru was as good as part of my DNA. But this wasn’t a Guru that I got blessed with because of my family. Desh was Sadhguru’s disciple; and he pushed me into attending the Inner Engineering workshop that was going to be conducted by the Master himself. Being a powerful Yogi, learning the Isha Kriya would be very beneficial to cure my frequent bouts of migraines. I signed up for it reluctantly, only to realise much later that this was no ordinary program and that I was going to be initiated into the world of spirituality by none other than Sadhguru himself.
I became a complete fan of Sadhguru when I attended the program back in July 2013. Being a Mystic and a Spiritual Master, Sadhguru has millions of followers across the globe. I must say that I was mighty impressed by the way he spoke and with the substance in his talks. I am smiling as I write this because it makes me realise how naïve I was at that time to think how ‘impressive’ he was. Infact during the program, I even went up to him to talk to him (a feat easily accomplished and I was later told that very few people get such an opportunity… little did I realise at that time that I was talking to such an enlightened being… lucky me!!). As I initiated my conversation with him, I happened to say that I was pushed into attending that program. He immediately latched onto that word, looked me into the eye with his mischievous piercing look and said, ‘You had to be pushed?” Oops!! Leg before wicket and badly caught, or must I say, spoke first and thought about it later. I smiled and immediately corrected myself and went on and on about the institution of marriage and blah blah blah. He kept nodding, smiling and answering my banter. That day I was truly blessed, for though I have seen Sadhguru a few times even after that, I never really got the opportunity to speak to him after that day.A Memorable Walk Down Isha Lane and Rubbing Shoulders with the Master #Sadhguru @SadhguruJV Click To Tweet
After we finished the program, I thought about Sadhguru very often, especially about the electrifying Initiation process that he took us through, which is also the acceptance of the Guru – Shishya (Master – Disciple) relationship. Ofcourse, Desh and I always had longish conversations about him. He often kept telling me about all his meetings and experiences with Sadhguru on various occasions; especially of the time when he went to Kailash with him and how he kept weeping like a child in front of him. Frankly that was something beyond comprehension for me. I used to listen to him patiently but something within me found it very hard to believe that you could cry without reason simply because you were in close proximity of an enlightened being – until the time that I went through the same experience – on that beautiful day!
On that beautiful day, after I got married, I was volunteering for the ‘In Conversation with the Mystic’ program in Mumbai, where Juhi Chawla was going to be conversing with Sadhguru. The fact that I love Juhi has nothing to do with my affirmation to volunteer. It was the Master!! I got married to a Punjabi and had to wear the chuda (the red and white wedding bangles) for and after the wedding. It was time to take the chuda off (after the compulsory 45 days) and I desperately wanted to do that only after an audience with Sadhguru, to thank him for his grace and then complete the chuda ritual. The program gave me exactly the opportunity I was looking for. I kept ushering the high profile guests into the auditorium and once we shut the doors I was inside, listening raptly to the Master as he sent us into bouts of laughter with his jokes and his profundity in simple talks as well. And then came the fateful hour when he was going to bid goodbye. It was so crowded that there was no way I could get close to him despite being a volunteer. I wasn’t the types who would push and rush towards him to be close to him, so I decided to stand far and look at him. I was super sad that I couldn’t even come face to face with him. Bad luck! Desh has always maintained that his presence is so powerful that just being with him in the same room means a lot. But would that ever be enough for me?! He was about to walk out of the main auditorium door and at that moment I was cringing for his attention; and I said in my mind, “Sadhguru you didn’t even look at me today” and guess what happened! An unexpected miracle! Oh, oxymoron eh? Aren’t all miracles unexpected? For at that moment, Sadhguru turned and directly looked at me. I was overwhelmed. I don’t have words to express the emotions of that moment. I bent my head and folded my hands in a Namaste and he smiled and walked out amidst his security. My mother was also sitting in the auditorium and I was so taken aback with the turn of events at that moment that I didn’t realise that she came and stood next to me and said aloud, ‘Archu why are you crying?” That’s when realisation dawned upon me. These are called tears of ecstasy! I believed only when I experienced it myself. Since that day Sadhguru has been my guiding light in the true sense of the word. (Read my Haiku – “Reborn“)
We visited his Ashram at the foothills of the Velliangiri Mountains in Coimbatore last year. He was in Mumbai that time but we felt his presence in every nook and corner of the ashram. The place is blissful, but well, that is an understatement. The Dhyanlingam afforded us the much needed peace and I got a severe migraine inside the dome due to the tremendous energy I felt there. It is a space that does not ascribe to any particular faith or belief system and was consecrated by Sadhguru in 1999.
The Linga Bhairavi temple was a different energy form altogether and it seemed that the Devi would come into human form and start talking to you any moment. Such splendid presence is unheard of, her face seemed so beautiful, so graceful and so divine. The Theerthakunds – the subterranean tank (pond) with a solidified mercury lingam immersed was a huge energy form on its own and when I entered the ladies pond I felt the energy resonate inside my complete being. The whole experience was beyond expression, beyond words. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so all I can say is that you got to go there to experience what I am unable to put in black and white.
After I moved to the US, a trip to the second Ashram here in the US was long overdue. So one fine day, my husband and I set out for a long drive to the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences at Isha Lane in McMinnville, Tennessee. What a lovely three hour drive it was – sunny, bright and beautiful. We went there unannounced and were received with the utmost warmth and love by the volunteers working there. A sweet young girl who was volunteering there on a full time basis took us for a tour of the campus and the abode of our beloved Master. Set on a breathtaking mountain top in the beautiful Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, the Ashram has been established as an infrastructure for raising human consciousness and fostering global harmony through individual transformation. Spread over a sprawling 1300 acres, the ashram is paradisaical. The Institute is open 365 days a year and welcomes visitors from all walks of life. At the institute is Mahima, a 39,000 square-foot free-spanning meditation hall consecrated by Sadhguru to effectively be able to serve a seeking population of millions in the Western world. I’ve never seen peace at closer quarters than what I experienced at Mahima in Tennessee and Dhyanlingam in Coimbatore. If you are a seeker, these are places you cannot afford to miss visiting. Our day ended with the wonderful dinner made by the volunteers. As we bade good bye to the Ashram, the rain-gods also showered us with their tears of ecstasy and made it a dangerously lovely drive back home. Without much ado, let me take you through a quick photo tour of the Isha Institute at Tennessee.
P.S – The high point of my life was when my eulogy was printed in Sadhguru’s book – ‘Three Truths of Well Being’. Here is a picture of that excerpt too.
P.S2 – As I write this post today, Sadhguru is in the US at the Ashram in Tennessee consecrating the Adi-Yogi shrine – a tribute to Lord Shiva – the first Yogi who walked the planet.