There has been a mass exodus of Westerners from the Ashram over the last couple of days. Now only Nix, myself and a dedicated Spanish girl are representing. Conversely the number of resident Saddhus here has swelled as of late and I am enjoying interacting with them very much. Some of them are real characters, and it reminds me of something Amma said about there being a Saint in every town and village in India. This is a very authentic Ashram and I have to say a big thanks to Viktor for pointing us in the right direction.
We had a long talk with Swami Chandrananda this morning. She clarified some points for us in simple terms which Nix and I both appreciated. Here are the bullet points ;) The key is to simplify your life, don’t burden yourself with complications. And remember God at all times in all situations. How to do this? By prayer – here and now. Nothing special is needed to do this, so don’t delay or waste time. Sincere effortless effort is required. Effortless because you are not actually doing anything since God is working through you. Effort because you have the choice to do sadhana or not. God is beyond name and form – He is pure lifeforce or consciousness. Labelling the lifeforce is only a linguistic pointer to help us remember and realize. She likened God to electricity and people as different electrical appliances – all the appliances serve different functions but are run by the same electricity. We cannot see the electricity but we know it is there. People’s functions on this planet vary greatly, it is not for us to try to change this or work out why this is. It is for us to accept them all, as God is in all. She gave an example of a mango tree and a neem tree. We don’t question why a mango tree gives sweet fruit, and a neem tree gives bitter fruit, we simply accept this as it is. And so it should be for people, don’t question why they are the way they are, don’t compare them, don’t criticize them, just accept them and remember they are fulfilling their purpose according to the lifeforce within them. So, simple life + sincere prayer + sadhana = fast track to God ;)
We also spoke to Swami Muktananda, the head of the Ashram, the other day. He laughed a lot and talked about the need to live a positive life and adopt a grateful perspective. He suggested we read autobiographies of Saints to inspire us when we are back in South Africa. He’s definitely inspired me, and further strengthened my resolution to stay connected with India.
Time to get back to my Ram Nam practice. Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram!