Meditation Becomes Mainstream In Chennai
Sadhguruvudan Isha Yoga (Dec 18-19, 2019)
Chennai Volunteers plunged into action as a program of this scale needed months of preparation to pull off. From inviting family and friends to door-to-door invitations, flash mobs and street plays - no stone was left unturned. December 18th couldn’t come any sooner as Chennai eagerly awaited Sadhguru’s arrival.
Just days before the program, rain played havoc and putting the venue together became a big challenge because the whole place was covered with sludge. None of this could hamper the spirits of the volunteers though. Plywood was placed on top of the ground to cover the entire venue – a colossal task which was accomplished in a matter of few days.
The parking area allotted to the participants was supposedly a place where film shooting sets used to be built, hence the entire place wasfilled with nails. The volunteers feared that the nails could puncture the participants’ vehicles and so they spent a whole day removing them with magnets.
On the day of the program, participants started pouring in as early as 2-3 hours before the start of the program. Even the rush of participants towards the start of the session was handled well by the volunteers who didn’t fail to reach out to each of them with a smile.
As Sadhguru’s session commenced, joyful laughter resounded all across the hall along with his wisdom being shared in the simplest of words. Sadhguru later shared that this was the first time in many years that he was teaching a class in Tamil. A participant had also shared how moved she was that Sadhguru was sharing his wisdom to them in his simple yet endearing Tamil.
At the end of one such session, Sadhguru requested the participants to help the volunteers stack the chairs. In the last session, the participants themselves started volunteering to put the chairs aside. The longing to make use of what Sadhguru was offering to everyone was palpable.
On the second day they were guided into the powerful initiation process by Sadhguru. The joy on their faces was clearly evident. Kalaripayattu performances by Isha Samskriti captivated everyone and Isha’s many initiatives were applauded with a roar. Sadhguru also spoke about the “Kavalan app” launched by the Police Department and addressed the need for such apps. After the completion of the program, nobody could resist dancing to the beats of Sounds of Isha’s Alai-Alai!
Inner Engineering Completion with Sadhguru in English (Dec 21-22, 2019)
The English program commenced just a day after the Tamil program ended. Many volunteers had not left the venue for more than a week but still showed up to set up the venue for the English program.
Volunteers were taking care of different activities like decoration, dining, hall setup, registrations, hygiene and cleanliness. Everyone was fired up and worked round the clock to make sure the preparations were perfect. As participants came to the program after completing the online modules, one could see excited faces from the very first day. Not just participants but even volunteers arrived from different states and countries. People had come from over 80 countries around the world to take part in the program. The live translation was available in Telugu, Kannada, Russian and Chinese.
Motivated and deeply touched by the evident commitment and blissful faces of the volunteers, a few participants from the Tamil program which happened a day ago also joined in to volunteer for this program.
What struck most of the volunteers was the transformation of the participants from session to session. Most of the volunteers had gone through the 7-day Inner Engineering program and were overwhelmed to watch the transformation in people within a span of few hours.
The parking team was one of the teams which was away from the main venue but still on with activities starting as early as 4 AM to late nights. As a volunteer shared, they were also the most privileged to have gotten a glimpse of Sadhguru even before the start of the program. Sadhguru’s Namaskaram to all of them before he left for the program moved them immensely. They were the last to arrive to the volunteers’ meet as well, but were easily the most enthusiastic amongst the volunteers. The Tamil Nadu traffic police also expressed a deep appreciation for the well organized event and were touched to have received acknowledgement for their efforts as well. The decoration team stayed up after the event was completed to clear up the day’s decoration and just slept for a few hours before they began the decorations for the next day.
All this was made possible only because of the relentless commitment and devotion of the volunteers who were longing to share the inner transformation they have experienced with more people. A grand total of 16,000 people were initiated into Shambhavi Mahamudra in these four days.
Sadhguru later mused about the program:
Sadhguru: “This week we have been in Chennai and around 16,000 people were initiated into Shambhavi Mahamudra. Well, we have done these kind of numbers before, but what I noticed is the level of preparation and involvement with which people are coming for the programs has gone through a marked change…During the Shambhavi initiation, towards the end, they were all sitting there with eyes closed, as I walked down the ramp to the back of the hall. If they had seen me they would have reacted. But out of these 8,000 people in the hall, not a single person opened their eyes and looked.
“See, the biggest problem with most human beings is that they do not know how to disengage with whatever they are doing. If they start thinking about something, they can't stop; if they start emoting about something, they cannot stop; if they start doing something outside, they cannot stop; if they start eating, they cannot stop. Whatever they are doing, they cannot stop. If they are not doing something, at least they must be witnessing.So, to not even witness the world, to simply withdraw, is a significant step for a human being. No matter what is happening around you, you can close your eyes, and that is the end of the world for you – at least for some time.”
The Participants shared their experience of the program:
“I had everything I want in life, but this is the only thing I missed. Only after attending this program am I able to realize that there are so many things to life. Every single person here is showering us with love.”
“It’s been 16 years since I retired. I am returning as a young boy now.”
“I was literally in tears. The tears were flowing uncontrollably. When we practiced the Shambhavi Mahamudra second time, there were tears of joy.”
“During last year’s Mahashivratri, singer Karthik had performed on stage and Kajal and other actors had been present there, and they were dancing so joyously. I thought that they were doing all this for the sake of publicity, but after coming here I myself danced with abandon, and there are no words to explain it.”
“More than everything, instead of calling this as a Sadhguru program, it’s all the volunteers who made it happen. It starts from welcoming till toilet cleaning, serving, setting up the hall and everything in between. We all felt so deeply cared for.”
Volunteers shared their experiences as well:
“I feel that my practices have become more intense after volunteering. It is a privilege to be part of what Sadhguru is trying to create in the world. I will surely volunteer again.”
“Being around Sadhguru, you don’t even realize that you are tired or anything. You just throw yourself into activity with abandon. Also looking at the other volunteers is so inspiring and always pushes me to give more of myself.”
Editor’s Note: To find an Inner Engineering Program near you, click here.