A reflection of the Universal Family in our Local Community

Posted by Sureshbhai (Edited by Kishan Laddha) on May 29, 2014

Recently, Sureshbhai from ESI and a few other volunteers hosted a three day gathering for folks from across the villages of India. A few reflections from the retreat are below.

"Guna Darshnam, Guna Nivedanam and Guna Grahanam" (Observing the Good qualities, Arpiring for them and eventually Embracing them as ours) -  Vinoba Bhave

Everyone certainly has the element of truth within, shared Raju bhai, a businessman, in the opening circle of a retreat comprising a very diverse gathering of 32 beautiful souls. There were Sarvodaya leaders amongst the group – Trikam dada (83 yrs), a veteran doctor who took bow to follow Gandhian practices in 1951, Shankar dada (79 yrs) who wrote "Gramayan- comprising learning of lord Rama's stay in 214 villages during his 14 years of vanvas that built foundation of Raam Rajya", there were students (17 - 22years), professors, businessman and engineers.

On the very first visit of ESI Sughad,Tejpal termed it as Nalanda (ancient university), prof Rajendra shared, every time he visits Sughad he feels as if he is in heaven. Shailesh, working at secretariat of govt of Gujarat shared that when some appliance has malfunction it's taken to workshop in the same manner when he needs to rework with his value system, Sughad provides the inner repair. The impact of Maitri space was visible even before the retreat started in stillness when everyone meditated in presence of Mukesh bhai previous night.

Professor Rajendra a unique practitioner of Giftivism, never take any paid ride, would without hesitation ask for a lift from strangers on road and will reach his destination. He is practicing this since last 15 years, during the journey he built strong bonds with umpteen numbers of people. Raju bhai, a successful businessman, was part of the retreat because once he offered a ride to prof Rajendra.
Towards the end of the first day itself, it was beautiful to witness how the hierarchies amongst teachers and students was dissolved. At Seva cafe, the curiousity was at its peak when everyone heard three very young volunteers sharing why they love serving. Bewildered and dozed with love, everyone had a rested night and joined early morning chanting the next day. It was wonderful to witness that everyone from youngest (16yrs) to eldest (83 yrs) was part of early morning prayers and chanting.

On listening to Jayesh bhai's selfless service journey and Sureshbhai's practices, prof Rajendra applauded the spirit of Maitri. Next few hours were spent in service in many ways – cooking food at Kabir ashram, cutting nails and washing hands of children in nearby village, gardening in Sughad and doing internal service through meditation. In the afternoon everyone had a chance to have deep conversation with elders about how they feel Gandhi is relevant in today's time. Shankar dada, shared everyone sitting together and talking about Gandhi itself is and indication that Gandhi is allive. Trikam dada (83 yrs) shared that he is grateful for having an opportunity to live, interact and share values of Gandhi with people of three generations. Ashish shared that Gandhi is nothing but symbol of eternal truth and values, and these will remain relevant irrespective of time. Later in the evening during silent dinner, everyone expressed their gratitude towards the universe. Overwhelmed with gratitude, Tejpal (an architect and designer) arranged and offered ice creams to everyone without letting anyone know.

Observing Trikam dada mopping the floor where everyone would gather after morning prayers at 5 : 30 AM, Aruna, a young ladder of loving community, was deeply moved. Listening to heartfelt experiences from elders, Geeta decided that she shall spend more time with her grand parents. Amit Maheshwari, an MBA and professional was inspired by the beautiful creations made by Aruna and Geeta echoing Jayesh bhai's saying- "beauty is God's handwriting".

Stories of service from across the world – be it Pancho, karma kitchen, gratitude walk, Nimo's empty hand music, Yuka Shan's peace prayers in addition to skype call with Lavanya from US, inspired elders and youngers equally. After three steps and a bow, a walk to express gratitude towards the universe, almost everyone had tears of compassion in their eyes. The glimmer to further truth, love and compassion was evident when everyone held hands and prayed – "Maitree Bhav nu pavitra jharno mujh haiya mu baha kare" - May the fountain of love flows ever and forever in my heart !


Posted by Sureshbhai (Edited by Kishan Laddha) on May 29, 2014 | permalink

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