Darshans at iii, January 24 -28, 2011

During a week which included two snowstorms, ice, rain, mud, and finally, nearly spring-like temperatures, Sadhguru offered Darshan each evening from January 24-28, 2011 at iii. Volunteers transformed the dining pavilion into a lovely hall, kept warm against the biting cold with a portable heating system. Visitors drove in for the evenings from as far away as Chicago and Michigan. One thing that was so heart-warming was that even though there was such short notice, so many people rearranged their schedules in order to be at the center and to participate in the Darshans.

Each Darshan was transmitted via a live webcast around the world. Afterwards, dinner was served in an adjacent tent where the atmosphere was festive with good food, and a shared excitement over having Sadhguru in residence at iii for so many days. Many meditators made use of the opportunity to bring friends and family for an impressive first glimpse at the work of Isha in the U.S. and the Master who makes it happen.

One participant shares:

“At times, tears of gratitude streamed down my face, gratitude that Sadhguru had returned yet again to spend time with us. When the drumming started at the end of the evening there was such a feeling of happiness in me that I couldn’t help but dance. Up at the dais there were a few small children who presented Sadhguru with a garland. Before long they were dancing too, and Sadhguru was full of mirth as he enjoyed their innocent expression of joy.”

Sadhguru Races in Los Angeles

Sadhguru’s love of driving is no secret. So, meditator and champion racer, Chris Rado, set up a full day of racing for Sadhguru and Sadhguru took up the challenge. In this week’s Spot, Sadhguru writes:

“I got to drive the fastest machine ever in my life — a Toyota Scion that has been peppered to kick up over 1000 bhps and touch 210 mph or 350 kms per hour with champion driver Christian Rado…A bomb of a machine. Hmm, if I had the time I could get into an official race on an American track…”

My Conversations with the Mystic

After car race driving, Sadhguru and Chris Rado headed to the recording studio for a live webcast of the next “My Conversations with the Mystic”.

One volunteer shares her experience:

“Sadhguru had just finished racing with Christian when they both arrived on the set. Just a few of us were there to receive them and I was thrilled to see this special event live and behind the scenes. One thing that struck me was the childlike energy in Sadhguru as he spoke about driving a machine that had so much power. Ever since I did Inner Engineering, I often see this childlike excitement in myself. And when the conversation switched to ‘going out of control with control’ – I realized I didn’t want to always play it safe. I want to live to my highest potential, to take more risks, and with the key ingredient of balance.”

Kayantha Sthanam Cremation Service

Isha Foundation inaugurated its operations at ‘Kayantha Sthanam’, a crematorium in Coimbatore. In addition to offering cremation services, Isha Foundation will revive certain ancient traditions and rituals pertaining to the journey beyond. Now-a-days, such rituals have become more a means of commerce, which is disturbing to the family of the deceased. At the ‘Kayantha Sthanam’ these rituals are conducted in the spirit of a service rather than as a commercial venture. The processes will be performed with sensitivity and awareness, which will also ease the hearts of the family of the deceased. A process of this nature, Kala Bhairava Karma is already available at the Isha Yoga Center for those who wish to make use of it.

One resident shares her experience of the inauguration:

I didn’t know what to expect on my way to the crematorium. I was quietly surprised to find what seemed like a miniature park beckoning a stroll on its neatly bricked pathways. I strode with curious excitement towards the only building that lay ahead – deceptive in its simplicity.

Two enormous black furnaces gravely stood within. I couldn’t help but be struck with the austere way their womblike openings, one with ashes in it, patiently waited for the final stroke. I remained with the blackness of the furnaces and the ashes within rather than joining the hushed chattering as each nut and bolt was inspected.

The Minister of Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry officially opened the crematorium, after which a quiet stream of guests entered, this time for an official tour. One of the Swamis, our tour guide, spoke only in Tamil though I could make a few conjectures thanks to his vivid gestures and tidbits in English. In the background, Nirvana Shatakam chanting filled the twilight air, courtesy of our Samskriti children.

Evidently, each furnace had a black stretcher upon which a corpse will be manually rolled in, to be set ablaze using bio-gas as fuel. I recall Swami pointing at a purifier that would purify black smoke into a non-polluting white smoke. Frankly speaking, I was too absorbed within myself to learn much about the cremation process. Soon enough, the chanting of ‘Chidananda roopa, Shivoham, Shivoham…’ drew close. The children were coming in for a tour; ours was over. I turned to leave.

Just a small pile of ashes this body would be. I keep on missing the point as I continue to live. Nevertheless, if this is how this body will part, I trust that all my joys and sorrows, my laughter and tears will dance with the white smoke above, hopefully on a gloriously sunny day.

On the way out, a smiling brahmacharini handed out black sesame prasadams to each one of us. I smiled into her eyes, stood still for a moment, and walked out into the night.

– Ruth

Isha Moon

Each month, residents of the Isha Yoga Center gather for laughs at Isha Moon. The purpose of Isha Moon is to review the events of the past month and announce upcoming activities. This is done through a barrage of comedy sketches, where residents joke about the follies of the past month and set themselves up for the adventures of upcoming tasks. In this month’s Isha Moon, residents took part in a comedy sketch of “Kaun Banega Crorepati” – an imitation of a popular Hindi show.