As soon as you come out of the Coimbatore airport (An industrial city located in Tamil Nadu in the Southern part of India) you can hire a taxi to go to the ashram (a secluded place) located 30 kms away. Information about the ashram can be seen everywhere. As you start your one and a half hours journey, you pass through the city traffic full of luxury-cars, motorbikes, cycles and many hawkers around the street. In about 30 minutes the scene starts to change from bustling city to the rural surroundings, you are spurting through the villages and finally reach the ashram nestled at the foothills of Vellainagiri mountain. You start to experience silence from here.
Why have I come here? I had no particular reasoning to myself. A few months ago when we had hosted a national event at the Hotel I work at, many famous celebrities and Industrialists visited to speak to the college students, Sadhguru was one amongst the list of the speakers. One of my colleague coaxed me to sit through his session. “He is great orator and his lectures are worth listening to”, was her assurance. I had heard many motivational speakers and attended a few retreats to avoid run out of steam at various stages of life. I did enjoy them and the effect lasted for a few days however dissolved soon erasing the impact. I sat in Sadhguru’s session without any particular expectation. A man with a turban, long kurta and grey long flowing beard entered the stage and sang a few lines before starting his conversation. His voice was deep and magnetic. His razor sharp talk and intelligence drew me to sit through two hours long session without rolling my eyes. Every word he spoke was very logical and he gave enough reasoning why he said what he said. I was captivated. What appealed me about the session was that it was free of sentiments, full of simple humor, not dogmatic and he wasn’t emphasizing on any religion or faith. I could completely relate to him. I was now curious to know more about him. I requested the organizer to arrange a few minutes of interaction with Sadhguru. As Sadhguru says- somethings just happen, I enter the room with a couple of my team members who were excited to get clicked with Sadhguru, with folded hands I greeted him and he reciprocated by putting his hand around my shoulder. His gaze was mystic, shining moist eyes deeper than an ocean, I could not blink my eyes. There was comfort in his glance as if we had met many times before. I expressed my deep learning sitting through his lecture some moments ago. He said ‘Come over to the Ashram”. I froze. This was an invitation from the mystic himself and a sudden stream of energy entered into my body; and stayed. I could barely sleep that night and kept fidgeting around. His enigmatic personality had raised many questions, speculations in my mind, he was a different master, a master who did not teach compulsion but choice, who did not separate materialism from spiritualism during his talk. If he is materialistic and spiritualistic then why is he called a Guru? Since that day I started to read about him, watch his videos on Youtube and surf every possible information on him. More I read about him more it strengthened my belief that there was nothing wrong in calling him a Guru. He is a Guru, a living Guru of my times.
Nine months later I decided to visit the ashram for one of the Yoga courses offered by Isha Yoga centre called Inner Engineering. Was I seeking spiritualism, not so much. I was attracted to the mystic and wanted to experience the energies that he had consecrated in this place for over ten years. I was still not sure if I was nearing the transformation, blanketed with these cloudy thoughts I landed at the ashram. After a long travel of five hours one would want to refreshen by going to the room, it was not the case with me. I dropped my baggage in my room and went for a round of the ashram. I saw many Volunteers from all over the globe performing different duties. Located in the rural land the air had a natural scent of misty mountains and whiff of fresh cow dung. Children from the Isha home school shouldering each other walking past jumping and giggling around the swaying bamboo trees. People enjoying different sports in open play grounds, some making their way towards Biksha hall for meal where thousands eat every day, Many Indians and foreigner visitors registering themselves at the reception window for upcoming courses. I left my footwear in a stall and headed to the Chandrakund – A water body, 35 feet below the ground, embodying a three feet tall Linga made up of solidified mercury, energized by Sadhguru. A holy dip in it energized me to be more receptive to the energizes around. As I emerged out of it in my sarong, the body tingled due to the cold. I then headed to the main shrine called Dhyanlinga – A huge dome shaped structure sitting bewitchingly against the backdrop of dark hills. Made of only bricks and mortar the dome has a pillar at the entrance which covers the view of Linga sitting under the dome. The pillar has signs of all religions and faith which is a reminder to the entrant that this place belongs to everyone. Three high steps lead you to a corridor that has stones paintings around telling you the story of life of some saints. The effect starts from here. The steps are placed strategically high so that you press the soul of your foot every time you climb up to release the energy which prepares you for a larger experience inside the shrine. The volunteers are all around ensuring the silence is maintained. I was let inside after three minutes wait, once the signal came from the tingle of a bell. A mesmerizing 13 feet tall and round granite structure circled by seven copper rings dazzled me with its presence. The room was relatively dark with many lamps floating in the water body surrounding the Linga. Massive snake provides the base to the graceful Linga. One thing that stood out to me were the snakes structures splendidly incorporated in the architecture of ashram . Sadhguru known as Jaggi in those days played with reptiles in his childhood. Catching and bottling snakes was one of his hobbies. He was known as a snake catcher in his neighborhood. I was told by one of the ashram Volunteers that Sadhguru still lives that passion and has a few snakes in his house. With my subtly wet body and equally wet soul I sat down on the floor of the shrine. Unaware of energies around I closed my eyes to feel the suspense I had witnessed through the writings of many who had visited the shrine. Within a few minutes of closing my eyes I started to feel light, something was happening, unexplainable, I was meditating effortlessly and in no time my eyes started to water. I was not in past, nor future, I was in the moment- an inevitable moment. I am not sure how much time I spent there but when I opened my eyes I hurriedly left the hall. I was nervous and confused. I had read that when such energies are released from the body in meditative form, it is sometimes difficult to handle. I am not sure if I had encountered the suspense or re-lived it. I experienced something that needed no explanation, no more questions and speculations about why I was pulled to this place. The transformation had started to happen and I was sensing everything around me differently. I was manifested to the divine energies and my soul had opened up to devour. I walked out of the shrine benumbed, I now fathomed why people walking around the ashram did not look at each other, why there was so much stillness around. Its a place that connects you to your self, you are no more bothered about whats going around you, who is watching you, it is about you meeting you.
I spent next three days undergoing inner engineering course. This was my introduction to Isha way of life. A life that is not just about yoga or meditation or silence but inner transformation, reaching a level where you don’t question your existence but start to enjoy it, you don’t try to control your mind but enter into natural stillness.
“Once you have access to the source of creation within you, your health and well being will naturally be taken care of” Sadhguru