Devi in 7 cities
An Isha volunteer shares her experience of taking Devi to 7 cities in the USA and India. Air-sickness in the chopper with Sadhguru, dosas and Sounds of Isha in Toronto, a visit to Kalighat Temple in Kolkata – it’s all part of the adventure as she accompanies Sadhguru, taking Devi to homes across the world!
B ack home! After an adventurous tour taking Devi across the USA and into Canada, it’s time to leave this land of opportunities, where nothing is impossible.
When I was here earlier in the year, there were so many requests from families wanting Devi in their homes and for Sadhguru to visit and do a consecration. With his very hectic schedule, it was looking like we would only be able to visit one city, however the determination and persistence of those wanting Devi was overwhelming, with constant mails and calls, “Please, please make this happen…”
One of the meditators, a doctor with a pilot’s licence wanted this so much that he proposed to fly Sadhguru privately to do the consecrations. Then it dawned on us, “Why have him flown when he can fly himself!” Obviously Sadhguru could only agree to this. So that’s how it all started.
4 cities in a day, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville, then back to the ashram at Tennessee. Even that seemed like quite a challenge, all in a day in a chopper. The day before the consecrations, the weather conditions were poor with storms and heavy winds. It almost looked like this would not happen.
We started the first consecration in Chicago. With over 70 guests, it was a huge affair. The hostess said she had not put in so much effort even for her wedding. They had made a huge Devi image with flowers which was to be a backdrop for the yantra. Over 20 volunteers were helping with the decorations till the early hours. The following morning was just magical. The local Sounds of Isha team set the tone with the enchanting Mahim Muladhare, and thereafter Devi’s Grace was just pouring out and somehow things just happened so smoothly.
The first leg of the journey in the helicopter was quite turbulent and my stomach was making somersaults (I should mention, not because of Sadhguru’s flying skills but because of the weather – as a pilot he was extremely steady). I had to ensure the contents of my stomach remained inside as Sadhguru was sitting right in front of me and was not the best target. I remembered a pressure point on the wrist for nausea and I was secretly pressing on this. At some point Sadhguru turned around to ask if I was ok. I don’t think he has known me to be so quiet. Not wanting to come across as wimpy, I simply smiled, ‘I’m fine.’
The rest of the day was a breeze. It was difficult to keep to times and Sadhguru would have happily stayed on at all these homes if I hadn’t kept showing him my watch. Every home had decorated their place so beautifully with so much care and attention to welcome Devi and Sadhguru. For many, this will be one of the most memorable days of their lives.
We finished the last home at midnight, with a 2-hour flight still ahead. Somehow something had carried me through the day. However the moment we entered the chopper, I rested my head on the seat and I was out, fast asleep. I woke up just in time to see Sadhguru fly over the ashram. In my half dreamy state, the ‘red’ dome of Mahima looked like a UFO. Sadhguru was fully awake, no signs of tiredness. How does he do it?? A whole day of consecrations, flying a helicopter, and in between this, taking calls from India… he just doesn’t stop! Our next consecrations were at Detroit, on 11.11.11. Happens to be Devi’s number also! Again the whole day was just so magnificent! Devi was just radiant in all the homes!
In between the consecrations programmes in New Jersey, Sadhguru had various engagements in New York. His schedule is just crazeeeee! He packs so much into a day. What would take an average person weeks to do, for him it is achievable in a few hours. He just goes on back-to-back meetings, interviews, programs, consecrations, and not only the work in the US, he is getting calls from the India ashram late into the night, piles of papers to look at, whilst the rest of us sleep, he is still working. The doctor in me just wants him to have a break now and again but I don’t think he can!
The programs in both New Jersey and Toronto had gone really well. Seeing how the participants received Sadhguru was so touching. Many were just stunned at the end of the program. People from all backgrounds, all nations and all ages, some of them obviously never had bowed down to anyone, suddenly they are just bowing down fully in front of Sadhguru, tears in their eyes. Clearly they were overwhelmed and moved by their experience of him and what he has just given them. The volunteers who had been working for months to make this happen were thrilled to see that their efforts had come to fruition.
We had not scheduled yantras in Toronto but again the families were pleading, and when would Sadhguru again visit Toronto? Knowing how his schedule was, I didn’t even want to ask but somewhere I also wanted Devi to come to Toronto and a few days before, when I mentioned it, without hesitation his response ‘Lets do it!’
Hats off to the India team for arranging everything at the last minute, the yantras were held in Chennai for a week waiting for paperwork which meant they only reached the day before! Devi certainly teased us but of course made her Grand entrance on the day. At the final home consecration, the hostess insisted on Sadhguru eating there before his flight back to India. Sounds of Isha were playing their melodious music in the kitchen as the hostess was tossing dosas and jumping over them to serve Sadhguru. In between all this I had a cooking lesson. A few guests were dancing to the songs. What a wonderful memory of Toronto.
I still had engagements in San Francisco, 4 abhishekhams in a day, just before catching my flight back to India and onto Kolkata for more consecrations. The night of the consecrations we had some free time, my hosts took me to the Kalighat Temple (where Kolkata derives its name) known to be one of the Shakti Peethams where Shakti’s right toe rests. Quite a powerful space! The deity there is kept alive with regular animal sacrifices. It seemed like we had gone back in time a few hundred years. There was a mistiness in the air, fire burning, children running around almost naked, and vermillion and bangle vendors lining the path.
In this temple, Kali has three eyes, painted bright orange. She has a huge golden tongue sticking out and holds a scythe in her left hand. She is offered garlands of red hibiscus and saris. Above her there are silver chattars (umbrellas), married couples and others offer these if their wishes are fulfilled. On the outer parikrama there were brass bells offered the same way. Outside there was a very old tree, a wishing tree where people were tying stones with sutras and making their wishes. Reminded me of the mangalya bala sutra around the trishul. Oh I’ve been away too long.
With this my trip comes to a close and there is an excitement to go back home and be back in the temple with Devi. I am told to have a day or two of rest before being back in the temple. With 2 weddings the next morning, Shivaratri and the yantra ceremony in the night with over 70 families coming from all over the world to receive their yantras here, why would I want to take a break!
Devi has certainly touched so many all over. Already people in Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and Texas are asking what they can do to have a Devi temple.
It has been such a huge privilege to be a part of this, seeing how people are responding to Devi, how she is affecting their lives. Already I’ve had several calls and mails:
‘Maa since Devi has come, the place is peaceful, there is so much harmony.’
‘Maa, I feel like she is here looking after us all, like a mother, showering us with her love and compassion’,
‘The anxiety that consumed me for so many years has completely gone, I feel a sense of calmness and peace.’
One of the homes we recently visited, the lady has had chronic lung disease and has suffered with recurrent respiratory symptoms for several years. She called to tell me the day after the consecration, she was feeling so high, her chest was so much better, she hadn’t felt like this in a long time.
In my many years as a Doctor, I never had this much fulfilment and joy. Not that what I was doing back then was not significant. Whilst I could write a prescription and make small changes to physical symptoms, diagnose diseases, listen to the depressed and give out pills, this is beyond what I could have imagined. From white coat to red sari, life is certainly far more colourful than ever.
Devi is magic! It’s not only the physical, on so many levels she is working for those who seek her! Every day has been like a celebration for me. Devi is so alive in everything. Knowing the impact Devi can have, my wish is that we can take her all over the world and allow her Grace to work its magic!
- Isha Volunteer