I always thought I had theophobia. But whenever I felt low, my friends suggested me to watch Sadhguru’s videos. After some months I was already meditating by myself and was fasting once a week. The results of meditation were overwhelming and I wanted to be more conscious about everything. I realized that I was breathing without learning how to breathe first.
So I decided to go to a monastery. Recently I had seen Netflix’s “Wild Wild Country” and was skeptical about Ashrams. So I did my research, read few books by Sadhguru and talked with my friend who has already been to Isha Yoga center(founded by Sadhguru), Eventually, I gathered the courage to go.
I quit my job and booked my Inner Engineering(IE is one of the basic courses offered by Isha yoga center). This program offers the live transmission of Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya, an ancient, 21-minute yoga practice brought by Sadhguru to the modern world. After this program, anyone can volunteer in the ashram. During the program volunteers and teachers were friendly and overall experience was admirable. This was a fruitful investment in my life. With steady energy all day long, a decline in hunger and much less negative thoughts, and more, all without expending conscious effort. The 21-minute practice has become part of my daily life. After IE I immediately went to Ashram. On the train, I registered for the Bhava Spandan Program(BSP is a residential program offered to those who have been initiated into Shambhavi Mahamudra), which was scheduled after 2 months.
The Ashram is amazingly picturesque, calm and composed. The night sky is very clear and I was gratified by the fresh air that came from the green Velliangiri mountains. Ashram life is definitely a holistic approach to one’s well being. The Biksha hall serves free vegetarian(pranic) food twice a day. There are non-religious “shrines” – the Dhyanalinga, the Linga Bhairavi, and the 112 ft tall Adiyogi and then, there are volunteers, who make everything happen. Most of the residents are humble and friendly. There are soothing chanting of mantras that lingers in your ears. Ashram suits everyone, be it family, couple or friends and everyone is welcome regardless of one’s religion, ethnicity, social background, age, or gender.
There are plenty of activities to take part in. One can choose from activities like flower plucking, Biksha hall, farming and temple care, etc. I loved serving food in Biksha hall. The joy that I got eating after serving food for other meditators, residents, and guests is indescribable. During my IE retreat volunteering, I wanted the participants to experience the same joy as we volunteers have experienced.
In Ashram I met my friend, who has become a permanent volunteer. He has learned to live consciously as opposed to our compulsive way of university life. He was one of my strengths to go to the Ashram. Every day my Shambhavi was getting more profound, there was almost every time a good high after finishing it. But still, I was always hearing lots of crazy unbelievable things and I had not experienced it.
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During the Shoonya program volunteering, I was sitting in a hall with the participants and there was some kind of initiation so we were asked to close our eyes. I felt some kind of energy hitting my face and I was hearing some participants screaming and crying. This was my first time and first-hand experience of the mysterious energy which now I refer to as magic. Still, I did not want to believe that I have experienced something unexplainable to me by myself.
After some days there was an event “In the lap of the master” attended by thousands of seekers. During this program, I realized that Sadhguru is really the master of some energy force that is around us like radio waves but we are unaware of it. When he made the air around us crackle with energy, tears started flowing through my eyes uncontrollably. It’s kind of weird ,when he does that.
Inspired by Gandhi, I used to take silence once a week but taking silence at Ashram was strenuous yet worthwhile. Generally, I used to meditate near Dhyanalinga and had visited Linga Bhairavi(feminine energy) only once. During my three days of silence, I had a lot of time so I went to meditate in front of Linga Bhairavi.
After some minutes I started feeling some kind of combination of motherly and feminine energy. I started shedding tears of joy and felt like I am in love. In love with something beautiful yet inadequately conceivable. After I started attending evening aarties(ritual of worship), I became afraid of leaving the ashram because I did not want to stay away from the Devi(Linga Bhairavi). My friend suggested me to buy a Devi pendant(inexpensive). It undergoes a process of consecration where it’s offered and left at the feet of Devi for a period of time. Only after wearing the pendant I was at peace.
Benefits of Yogic Practices.
Like many seekers, I always wanted to learn Yoga asanas and other yogic practices. I registered for almost all the Isha’s basic programs. The programs involve simple postures, meditations and powerful ways of transforming one’s energies. After finishing the programs, I and my friend noticed that there was some physical and mental equanimity. While meditating we realized that there was a bodiless feeling, I felt myself meditating without any physical discomfort or limitation. My energy level has gone way up while only sleeping for 4-6 hours every day. I do not understand how something so simple like yoga postures can be so profound. Like Sadhguru says going through these yogic practices is taking an internal bath, I felt cleansed from inside. Also, I realized that as I was living in a monastery and was not creating any unnecessary Karma, it added up to the tranquility. These were the happiest days of my life.
Finally, the much-awaited BSP started. The program has simple tools that fundamentally alter how we look at every small thing with the most loving attention and helps to establish a deep connection with the entire world. The program is pretty rugged. However, there was something about the atmosphere, the way the set up was, the patience of the volunteers, the songs, the dances, the chants, and hunger to experience that made me crawl through the program. Since BSP, tears of joy and gratitude have become my constant companion.
Now, I have started begging every friend and family member to attend any Isha program or start meditating. I realized that raising human consciousness can solve many problems like all sorts of hatred and depression around the globe. Yoga is a sure-shot way of doing that.
Go enjoy this mysterious and powerful space in depth!)
Sadhguru’s ashram(Isha Yoga) click here