9 Months in Preparation for 7 Days
Reviving a river is not a simple task, but the Rally for Rivers volunteers (also known as Nadi Veeras) have stepped up to the mammoth challenge of rejuvenating Waghadi river. Unfortunately known as the “farmer suicide capital” of India, the Yavatamal region where this river used to flow has seen enormous pain. As the Nadi Veeras execute a carefully planned project from the Ghatanji village where they have established a base of operations, they constantly strive to bring wellbeing to the villagers. And what could possibly be more effective at bringing wellbeing than the Inner Engineering program?
In a previous blogpost, Inner Engineering teacher Tejas shared his perspective on conducting this program. Here, we look at the same event through the eyes of the volunteers who stepped in to make it all happen.
“This Should Not Be A 7-Day but At Least A 20-Day Yoga Program”
Rinki: One day, I went to Karmana to collect the program fee from one thai (term of respect for an elder women) who was interested in registering for the program. She warmly welcomed me into her house and we chatted for almost 15 minutes, since she was so curious to know how I had decided to become a Nadi Veera, my daily routine, diet and so many other things. While I was chatting with her, she was just staring and smiling at me. She explained to me her health issues and how that is the reason why she wanted to do Inner Engineering.
During one of the classes, she came to me and told me that she was getting a headache. I told her to just follow what the teacher said. She agreed and went back into the class.
After the program, I visited her to find out how she felt and how her practice was going. She was so elated to share how joyful she was feeling. She just poured out all her feelings to me.
In her own words, ‘If I had not married and not had children, I would have also been volunteering like you! I was telling my husband that it feels so good and peaceful in the class. This should not be a 7-day program but at least a 20-day Yoga program!’
An Intense Effort to Reach Out
Dakshyani: When the program was announced, we only had five days to inform people, so we visited villages day and night, throwing ourselves totally into it. This was the only way we could take Sadhguru to every person in the village and offer this possibility to all the villagers.
And those 5 days were something! We forgot what was sleep, we forgot when to come back from our respective villages, we forgot when was brunch, when was dinner, when to stop reaching out to people, sometimes we didn't feel our own body.
Republic day gathering, Self Help Group meetings, village common areas… we left no space where villagers could think or talk about anything else with us. If they talked about something else, we again brought them back to Yoga.
Women Lead the Way
I was taking care of registration for women in the program. Though women do most activities in their farmland, we were so far unable to involve many women in our regular project activities. So we somehow wanted to involve them. For the first time I saw my purpose in Yavatmal.
When I started approaching women for Inner Engineering, they gave a hundred reasons why they cannot make it for 7 days. They start their daily activities at 5 AM, go to their farm, come back to cook, clean their home again, go back to their farm, come back at 6 PM, cook again, sleep for 4 hours… that's their daily routine. They are so engaged and doing it intensely, coming for 7 days was a huge task. Even if some women agreed, their husbands would sometimes object saying, "If my wife goes to attend this program, who will cook for me?"
I talked to girls who were daughters of the Self Help Group women. One girl was doing B.Ed and used to cycle from her village to Ghatanji in the morning, park her cycle in Ghatanji, catch a bus to Yavatmal and attend college daily. She constantly told me how she wanted to attend but her tight schedule would take a toll on her body. One of our Nadi Veeras was on good terms with her brother. I knew if she gets a little support from her brother, she would make it. One day I got a call from her, "Didi when are you coming to our village, me and my sister want to attend". A little support from her brother took her straight to the class every morning.
Many funny instances also took place while we approached the men for Inner Engineering. Some simply said, "Let my wife do it, if she does it, half of my problems will be solved!" Another husband said, “If by my wife's registration, other women in the village get motivated, let my wife do it first.” Like this, me and Rinki managed to enroll 20 women from 12 villages. After 7 days, hearing their intense and heartfelt sharings about Sadhguru, about the program and Shambhavi Mahamudra, I couldn't stop my tears. We are so far from ashram but Sadhguru’s presence is so strong with us!
The Big Impact of a Small Gesture
Krishnachaitanya: Volunteering for Inner Engineering just brought back focus in me and the place was filled with highly positive vibes. Just greeting people with Namaskaram was a wonderful process. Anyone walking in with a frown on their face, suddenly seeing us in Namaskaram, would slow down and bow down with reverence. A few of them used to just come near us and gaze at us for a few seconds, joyfully doing Namaskaram to us.”
Bringing Everyone Together
Sumant: One of the participants shared that this is the first time it has happened in Ghatanji that people from all walks of life – farmers, businessmen, labourers, teachers – all came together and attended a program.
I feel privileged to be part of the team here. It's hard to find so many committed people working for the same thing. All the Nadi Veeras gave themselves fully for this class.
Getting the Registrations done
Harsh: Though this was the first-ever class in Ghatanji, some people were already aware of Sadhguru. And since we had been active in the villages over the last 8 months, the way we approached people with folded hands and the sense of offering, people started looking up to us.
Some people had even asked us what we were actually doing, as they had never seen such joyful faces coming and going into the villages on a daily basis, even when we were getting nothing out of it. So we used to tell them about our daily yoga practice and Sadhguru’s words. Like this, over the 8 months, more people started getting thirsty for the class. Many times we were asked in different villages when our Yoga program is going to be conducted.
But just 4 days before the program was to begin, we had only 8 registrations. After spending two days in many villages, we were able to get only 15-20 registrations. The last two days of the registration, all the Nadi Veeras were just on, giving their 100%. On the final day, we had 95 participants registered. Just a day before the class we were sitting in a shop till 10 PM. There we did 20 registrations in one shot. They registered their whole family. And like that we get 109 participants registered for the class!
The First Program in Ghatanji That Happened on Time!
Because nothing happens on time here, the people have also become like that. Till now the city had not witnessed any program like this in which they have to be there before time. So some of the participants found it quite difficult. One more thought they had was that if they miss a session it's okay, but here if you miss a session then you are not allowed inside the class, for which we faced lots of resistance, as we could not let them enter.
On the Initiation Day
The food eaten in this region is very spicy and negative pranic stuff. When we served natural food to the participants, the next day a lot of people shared that they had relief from constipation after a long time! They said that it felt like such a big relief to get your bowels empty without any medicine!
The Transformation is Real
We have seen many changes in the villagers just after the class completion. Over the last 8 months we have been interacting with them, and I can say their life has turned around 180 degrees. People are coming out of their addictions, becoming silent within, families are happy with their children doing sadhana, not disturbing them during their sadhana.
When we ask about their experiences, they share like they have hit the goldmine. People are ready to support us in every possible way. People who were not able to attend the first class are eagerly waiting for the next class.
On a personal level, I can sense Sadhguru's words as a live example here, that raising human consciousness is the only solution.
Stories of Transformation
Mahadev Shirgure: We recently met a farmer who did the Inner Engineering program. When we asked about his experience of the program, he had tears in eyes and he was so thankful, he said he relates to all aspects of the class in his day-to-day life. Now there is so much response from the people there, they themselves come forward to support us in all possible ways. They are even doing Shambhavi together every day in one hall.
One lady from Choramba, who is a farmer and runs a diary business also, was sharing that before doing the class, she used to be so irritated and stressed because of so much work, she felt like leaving everything and going somewhere else. She said that after practicing Shambhavi, she is feeling so joyful and doing all the work willingly. Whoever comes to her diary, she is telling them about the class and her experience. Almost all villagers who did Inner Engineering said that the next time there is a program, they would definitely encourage their family members and friends to do the program.
9 Months for 7 Days
Most of us had been in Ghatanji and Yavatmal for nine months. In these nine months, though we were busy preparing various things on the ground for the project to take off, I feel that the Inner Engineering program is one of the most valuable things that was offered to the villagers. Maybe these 9 months was a preparation period for these 7 days!”
Editor’s Note: Help your friends and loved ones through these challenging times! Offer the gift of Inner Engineering Online to at least two people you know.