"The most beautiful moments in life are moments when you are expressing your joy, not when you are seeking it."
An Isha volunteer shares her experience of the recent Chamundi Yatra, which happened from 18th to 22nd June. Apart from visiting several places of interest in and around Mysore, the participants had the rare experience of visiting Chamundi Hills, the place of Sadhguru’s Enlightenment, which culminated in a sathsang with Sadhguru:
With every program, event or activity I attend in Isha, it becomes more and more personal. The Chamundi trek was that, and much more for me. Through the whole trip, I could feel the constant care which was expressed by everyone involved in the trek – from the places chosen by Sadhguru, to the heartwarming food made especially for us.
Day One - Settling
Firstly, it was such a relief to go to Mysore from Chennai - the climate, the trees, the long winding roads without much traffic. After registration, lunch, and a small session, we embarked on the first leg of our journey: To the Zoo! I was so excited. Sadhguru has had some fond memories there. In a video played to us, he described how he’d get fish for the seals in the Mysore zoo. They’d be so happy to see him and could recognize him even if he came back a month later. After the zoo, we were taken to Gomatagiri. This place on the Mysore-Hosur road has witnessed numerous programs conducted by Sadhguru many years ago. Thinking of the place takes my breath away. There’s a small balcony at the back, where one can see the vast landscape and feel the immense winds. Never has the magnitude of the elements hit me so much. At a distance, I could see rain clouds brewing. From there, we left to the Brindavan Gardens, which was a very pleasant experience.
Day Two - Observing
The day started with us visiting the Mysore Palace. Something about the palace made me straighten up. I felt royal just walking through the corridors. Outside the palace are a few functional temples, with some people playing the Nadaswaram. I’ve never favored the nasal sounds of this instrument, but this time, it proved to be different - it was as if the three instruments were in a conversation with each other, chatting away happily.
Amongst varying degrees of Sandalwood fragrance, we made our way out and headed to climb the stone slabs of Chamundi Hills and visit the place of Sadhguru’s Enlightenment and Realization. Before leaving, we got to know that we’ll be seeing Sadhguru at this spot.
In hindsight, knowing that we would be seeing him is what got most of us through the walk up Chamundi Hills. When Sadhguru walked past, the warmth could flood the sea. He looked so big in my eyes. We were sent up to the spot in small groups to be there and imbibe the energy of that place. After that, we took off to this massive white hall, where we were greeted warmly by the volunteers of Mysore. It’s hard not to smile remembering how they greeted us. The time after, was spent hearing Sadhguru speak, people asking questions, some more of Sadhguru’s wit and lots of laughs.
Day Three - Joy
While we saw a lot on this day, the thing I remember most is the trip to Irrupu falls. Sadhguru mentioned to us that he has quite a few memories there and we made some of our own. The water was so enticing, but forceful too. The water came as heavy as a statue, but so full of life. We also visited Belur and Halebid. It was such a treat to see the delicate, delightful, sensitive work from everyday life.
Day Four - Fulfillment
We visited Nanjangud’s famous temple - Srikantheswara and then headed to B.R. Hills. The sculptures in this temple were different from those in Belur and Halebid. They were made of granite – it was hard to take my eyes off them. At B.R. Hills, we went to Swami Nirmalananda’s ashram. Sadhguru spoke of his encounters with Swami, and being there was so overwhelming. Swami Nirmalananda chose silence for over 11 years, doing his sadhana, while maintaining correspondence with hundreds of seekers all over the world. Sadhguru met him when he was 19 years old. I’d try to give a description of the place, but again, I’m at a loss for words.
Through the entire trek, the immense care we were showered with was so touching. From Sadhguru picking the places, the food made for us, the engaging banter of the bus leaders and the Mysore volunteers checking if we needed anything. I was given the opportunity to step out of my limitations, my silly games. The world may continue to be slightly mad, but being around all these people and these wonderful places, all I can do is smile back at the mad world.
- Isha Volunteer, Chennai