Enlightenment Anniversary (w/Video)
Isha Yoga Center
Coimbatore - India
Thursday’s Darshan marked the 28th anniversary of that day on Chamundi Hill. A day that would change the course of my life.
So on that day, the young strapping man that I was - so full of myself, proud of everything that I was - suddenly cracked, fell apart, dissolved and disappeared. I desperately tried to pick up a few pieces; nothing remained. I couldn’t even keep a souvenir. And what a shame. It happened on a small little hill in Mysore. At least I should have chosen Velliangiri Mountains - a little grander setting.
When this struck me, a flood of memory rushed into me in such a way that it became so overwhelming. I remember being in a completely blissed out state, not knowing where the earth was. I couldn't put my feet down; I was all mixed up. Then I rode down Chamundi Hill and came near the office where I was conducting my construction business from. I stayed outside, I just sat on my motorcycle and looked. It was a busy evening, my business partner was handling everything himself. Usually, I would be there to handle the rush but I just looked at the whole scene and kept the engine on. I looked for about 5-10 minutes and he was repeatedly looking at me - Why was I not coming in? And I just rode on. I never entered that office again because a flood of memory had come. Suddenly, all the people that I knew in my life looked like strangers, and people I had never seen in my whole life were all right there. So many of them - I started seeing where they were, what they were doing and I started plotting how to have them in my life. But all the people who had been around me, suddenly, I had to remind myself - okay this is this, this is that. It was nothing short of madness, but what a madness…
It took another five years before I came to Coimbatore for the first time. I arrived, got down from that red-colored box of a bus that comes from Karnataka. The road from Mysore to Coimbatore - they would put you in this box and shake you for seven hours. So I sat in this late-night bus and then landed in the Coimbatore bus station around 3:40 am. I came out of the bus and it was completely strange for me. Generally, in Mysore city and even in Bangalore, it used to be that at 9:30 in the night, the town would go to sleep. And until 7:30 in the morning, you wouldn’t see one person on the street. But I landed at 3:40 am in Coimbatore city and it was busy.
So it was a strange sight for me and I kept my little suitcase just outside the bus station and sat down. I did not know where to go. I had an address but it was too early to go anywhere. So I just sat on the suitcase and - that’s it - I didn’t know what happened. I just sat there for two hours dazed. And around 5:45, I shook my head and looked around - all the auto rickshaw drivers were gathered around me, about 25 to 30 of them, and they were talking in a strange language which I can speak now, making all kinds of comments about me. I didn’t know what hit me. If you want to compare this to a cinema, I think I must have seen something like 100, 200 hours of cinema in fast-forward. It just ran through my mind, all kinds of things. And the rickshaw drivers were all giving me strange looks because for two hours, I was just sitting on the suitcase, just at the roadside.
And that was the beginning of my love affair with Coimbatore…