Bhaav Jatra Update: From Bangalore to Tenkasi
Starting with Karma kitchen Bangalore trip was much promising and offered us bag full of surprises. We had a beautiful Awakin at Anupreet’s and Taranath’s home. A Kabir satsang hosted by Shabnam and deep conversations that we had with Susheel, Amma and Kapila at their homes. My best friend Shagun got a chance to connect with MBL group and she and her family attended Awakin. This was very moving for me. A sense of completion was felt on witnessing two worlds coming together in the space of peace and service. Our dear brother Datta also visited Bangalore and one day Shagun took us all to visit pyramid valley. Pyramid valley has a huge space for meditation created in the shape of a huge pyramid.
Bangalore to Tenkasi
As we moved ahead from Bangalore, we stopped at Navdarshanam, it is a place that was a barren land converted to organic farming forest by IITians some 20 years ago. Had a hearty chat with Nagendraji and Gopiji while taking a walk through the farm. Then we headed off to Thulir a remote village in Tamilnadu where a school for tribal kids is run. These kids come after their regular govt. school to learn more. We danced on the banana song with them and enjoyed rains in the evening. We met two volunteers who have given their heart in supporting these kids, Nikhil and Balaji. Balaji is a also an avid runner. Nikhil a budding filmmaker loves to play with kids and finds meaning in their real lives then reel life. In the evening we experimented cooking on the earthen wood fired chulha. Before reaching Coimbatore we stopped by at another organic farm owned by Ram and Rama a couple who has homeschooled two sons and live a life powered by solar.
Upon reaching Coimbatore our dearest Nisha and Ragu-the boss and Om the superman became our guardian angels and made sure we rested enough and had right food. We realized how food plays a critical role in our lives and is a key factor in our thoughts and action. Pratik got his first chance at sowing sapplings with Nisha. One night I had a dream that Ragu is painting our Bhav yatra car and writing "peace" on it. Next morning the dream came true. We bought paint and brush and got Ragu to write it and his sister wrote in German! This is the place where even cars get wiser. Hence, we decided that whatever state we go in we will get people to paint "peace" in their language.
One day we took off to Kaladi - Birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya. This place is of great spiritual significance. We dipped our feet in the river where Adi Shankara's life changed to his becoming an ascetic. Meditating in that space was blissful and insightful experience.
At Coimbatore, my co-traveller changed and Darpan came in to be with me till Pondicherry. We left with car load of love, prayers and healthy food for our way.
Our next destination was Madurai where we were welcomed by Aravind family. Aravind family has always been super loving and inspiring. Deepa in middle of 1000 things she does comes to fetch us and Vara Aunty welcomes us with warm food. If we had any notion of being busy and no time to host anyone we should train ourselves at Aravind. The secret behind Aravind Eye care running excellently are these people who hold the space with humility, love and care at the core. We spent three days soaking in this energy and rejuvenating ourselves. We were also lucky to meet Aruna mozhi who volunteers with Sevalayam. We had planned to leave in 2 days but Aruna amma will not allow us to leave so we stayed put for one more day and we witnessed universal magic unfold. I had read about a place Amar Seva Sangham (ASS) and wished to meet them, however I could not find any information about it. Aruna Amma invited us for lunch and in a conversation she said I should go to this place and it turned out to be ASS. She gave all information and also connected with Pushpalata who later hosted us at Ayikudi, Tenkasi.
We left for Tenkasi the next day and met Sankaraman and Pushpalata who run this organization known as Amar Seva Sangham. They work for treatment and re-hab for paraplegic patients in the surrounding areas. Pushpa took us to their home near seven falls at Kutralam where we had an early morning shower at the waterfalls. Then we went to meet another inspiring couple who run an Ashram called Om pranav ashram. Traude and Vishwanathan with their daughter Savitri take care of orphans, oldies, cows, rice fields and dozens of stray dogs who find shelter here. The way Traude has accepted Indian culture and Tamil language is commendable. She bathes cows, cooks and lovingly tends to all old amma’s who dote on this Austrian daughter.
Here we met a 105 year old dada and we asked him what is his biggest learning of life..his simple answer was- only the name of God stays everything else will go away so make sure you are connected with that Name.