In Africa, Indian spirituality – be it yoga, spiritual mythology, etc. – might as well be from another dimension (no pun intended). Most Africans believe India is a country where millions of gods are worshipped. Blasphemous! So one can imagine the anxiety of my family and friends when I informed them that I was jetting off to India for a consecration. Adi…who? Consecration what? I could see them shaking their heads in both distaste and disbelief. Not to mention that thereafter I was embarking on a pilgrimage to visit sacred places in southern India. They could smell defection!

To add insult to injury, leading up to the consecration, I was eating “funny things” each morning (peppercorns soaked in honey) and chanting in “weird tongues” (Sanskrit) during odd hours! I must admit that I myself would have had my share of doubt if not for the indescribably sweet experience of doing this preparatory sadhana along with my regular Shambhavi practice.

Most interesting, I think, is the change I experienced in the quality of my practices. They have deepened since consecration and I approach them with much more reverence now.

Let’s rewind the clock. In June 2016, I attended an Inner Engineering program hosted by the Master himself in Kampala, Uganda. Words cannot describe the relief I felt upon finally meeting the man I had unknowingly searched for my whole life. Tears flowed freely for the first time in what felt like years. That moment was a culmination of all the events in my life. I just couldn’t believe it. I had searched to the point of despair and finally, there I was. It was a homecoming and I imbibed it all greedily!

At that time, I had no idea that in less than a year, I would be involved in an ancient science I had never heard about, a process of turning the inanimate into life, into the divine – a process called consecration.

I also had no idea that I would be part of a celebration that would require me to stay up all night in the company of many hundreds of thousands of people. But I soon learned this was a night spiritual seekers wait all year for – Mahashivratri, the darkest night of the year. A night of dance, joy and the immense possibility to receive Adiyogi’s Grace.

For me, consecration was a powerful, if perplexing, process. But other than some trouble from a stubborn knee, I enjoyed every crazy, wonderful minute of it. Clueless as I was, I felt honored and privileged to be part of this esoteric process. I didn’t feel like the curious observer I had imagined I would be. Rather, I knew that I was actively assisting my Guru in his mystical work.

I fumbled through the chants and my joints whined some from the many hours of sitting on the floor, but I was happy and incredibly proud to be part of this “intimate” group of over 12,000 people, all gathered to carry forward with the business of consecrating an all-inclusive yogi – the Yogeshwar linga.

I had read that the most profound spiritual change usually happens at the most subtle level, so I didn’t expect anything dramatic to happen to me. The one significant”effect” that I noticed: I was literally, physically buzzing with energy and couldn’t sleep for days after. And yet I wasn’t tired! Most interesting, I think, is the change I experienced in the quality of my practices. They have deepened since consecration and I approach them with much more reverence now.

I have no doubt that this is directly connected to my experience at the Yoga Center. Not just my participation in the Yogeshwar Linga Consecration and the Mahashivratri celebration, but also just being immersed in the palpable energy generated by the thousands of meditators who came together at the foot of the Velliangiri Hills to make history.

Now in the familiar environs of my home, I think nostalgically back to those precious few days. I think of how glad I am that I embarked on this journey to be part of something incredible.

I often like to say that Sadhguru faced south, quite similar to Adiyogi, and saw many Africans ready to receive what he has to transmit. To receive the Grace he so willingly dispenses.

Thank you my Guru. I bow down to you.

I bow down to Adiyogi, the first Guru.

Pranam, Pauline

Editor’s Note: Want to know more about that “all-inclusive yogi” for whom 12,000 people came together? Read what Sadhguru has to say about the Yogeshwar Linga.