“Antarvedi” – An experience by itself, a Journey with and “To” realize one’s Inner Self. It’s not a religious trip set to a divine land but a travel to seek the spiritual path. Antarvedi, banked on the elegantly flowing waters of River Godavari a spiritual land where the great sage Vasishta conducted meditation for years together and that peace prevails still on this land. The vibrancy of spirituality wades and waves through the strings of the heart, nerves of the mind and beats of the soul as soon as one steps onto this land. Soul stirs and immerses in the spiritual music as vision gazes at the merger of River Godavari with Bay of Bengal in ecstasy.
The unexpected trip was planned just prior to the dawn and though body was tired with five days of slogging and racing behind corporate deadlines, attending board room meetings, couldn’t say No to this proposal of my spiritual friend Srinivas along with his wife and younger daughter. Is there a deadline and tiresomeness for Soul? It’s always fresh, it’s always young, It’s always cheerful and my soul ran to grab the divine nectar.
Cozy winter morning didn’t let me to unwrap my duvet which was comforting me, but my mind throwed a Get Set Go Whistle and my 4 hour sleep was vanished in a second. The early morning mist hugged the beautiful earth like a gift wrapper and the pleasantness refreshed my morning. Fresh greens were giggling in joy as dew drops are showering on them and i chuckled to myself, What a beautiful Morning!
Colors of the season, winds of the morning enthralled and soothened my senses as we traversed through the journey criss crossing giant coconut trees that dotted the sideways of fields, plantain and paddy fields, country been creepers and of course colorful flower nurseries. My heart was already elated to see the nature, relish the home made coastal breakfast, pure vegetarian lunch in a plantain leaf, engineering marvels of Sir cotton across river Godavari, Water streams that flowed through the fields. Added to this the regular flower sellers carrying baskets of flowers on their bicycles, cattle men, and the most fascinating of all the country houses with tatched and tiled roofs. Though modernization has set in most of the villages, many kept as it is to preserve the old world charm.
The child in me made a noise to stop the car, knock someone’s door, click some pictures, sit there, relax, enjoy the old world, get nostalgic, drunk those moments and carry the rustic memories. As evening was approaching, didn’t dare to ask to stop over.
“Padavey nii rekkaloo, Naa Rekkaloo Kattukunii….Podaam Pai Paiki…..” the background song that was composed by AR Rahman from the movie saahasam swaasagaa saagipo that was playing in the stereo was apt for that moment and the car geared upto the speed to reach the destination. Conversations rolled on the recent developments that hit villages, changes that occurred in our Lives in the last 10 years, our previous trip to the same place 12 years ago, reminiscing some moments, people, food and i wondered at my vanished memory as i couldn’t recollect few incidents at all.
We were received with warmth by Guru Acharya Prasada Raju’s sister and the temple priest and we were offered accommodation to settle ourselves in the Ashram itself. Hot tea to pamper our tired spirits was served and we all hugged the beds to charge ourselves along with our Smart Phones. After a short nap, headed to meet guruji who is there at the Banks of Godavari supervising some construction work pertaining to Ashram.
A wide smile emanated from Heart as soon as i could see the vision of Guruji as that was the moment of celebration to meet a spiritual person after so many long years. My hands automatically slipped into a folded state to offer my pranams to Master. Watching sun sloping down the horizon, setting towards the west throwing its rays on to the waters of Godavari and the elegant river waters shining resplendently in orange and golden hues, sailors sailing boats towards home, happy faces of fishermen with their fresh catch to sell in the market and some golden words to listen from the spiritual Master was no doubt a Divine experience. Am i not blessed?
For a moment, my heart whispered as i sat on the banks for a while that the evening was perfectly set by cosmos without taking assistance from any choreographers, architects and Interior Designers and prepared the beautiful canvas to seek divine blessings. My soul was completely drenched and soaked in that perfect evening and didn’t crave for anything else. I was silent. My mind was silent. My Soul was silent. I lost myself in Eternal Silence.
Golden words came from Guruji “Only those impressions and perceptions which were formed during the early stages of Life are unerasable”. Listening to the turn of events that occurred in my Life, Master simply uttered only one single statement, “Best things have happened to you”. I was silent. I know very well that i was neither seeking solace nor sympathy.
After this inner silence we marched towards the Vasishta Sevashram temple which was constructed amidst river waters resembling three layers of human mind, the Sub Conscious, Conscious and Super Conscious. After doing 18 pradakshinas around the structure i joked around with my friend that this definitely leads us to attain salvation as my leg pains are showing me God! We all laughed out Loud!
Adhering to ashram’s customs, joined guruji for dinner at 6.30 PM and enjoyed the pure vegetarian meal. Post dinner conversations made Master to offer me with a title “Brahma Rakshasi’ with fond Love and warmth. Master insisted me to write, write and write on topics that can benefit youngsters. Fruits were served, blessings were poured and we all retired to bed.
Moon surfaced over the sky along with her consortium of stars to lull the romanticism in the minds of people.
Finished pujas in temple the next morning, clicked some pictures to capture memories and i laughed to myself when priest asked me to convey my wish so that he can make that as part of Sankalpa (Prayer). I smiled at him and asked him to continue with the ritual and said no specific wish. Let this Life Flow!
As it was time to bid good bye to the place and people over there, Guruji noticed me draped in a majenta color kanjeevaram saree and expressed his happiness stating that, because of Meenakshi’s arrival our Ashram is glowing today. I stood in silence, folded my hands with respect, humbled to the core and responded to guruji stating that, that was a blessing to me as i know that the place has the glow and not me. But hearing such heartwarming words from a spiritual master elated me in joy. For a moment, i thought those who never felt happy for my presence nor felt my absence are not worth to walk along with me.
Is there anything left to seek? Caring words filled with Love bloomed my consciousness and with memories that can last for life time we set our return journey to Home!