From East to West
These two weeks, we have been in too many places to even attempt to describe. On the way to Bhopal, took a three-hour stopover at Vijayawada to inspect the four different land options that the Andhra Pradesh government has offered for the making of the Isha Leadership Academy and the Law School that are in the pipeline. The Andhra Pradesh minister of Human Resources and all the concerned officials were most gracious and forthcoming. The alacrity with which the Andhra Pradesh administration functions is a lesson and an inspiration for all administrations. In all these years of being in public engagements, I have never seen anything like this. Unfortunately, some sections of the media and certain vested interest groups have taken a negative stand towards the project that will be of great value for the state. It is distressing to see that the Chief Minister’s vision and industry to build a great new city and a prosperous state is not shared by many who are busy scoring political points.
The Madhya Pradesh administration has also been an eye opener. The simplicity and dedication of the Chief Minister and his team is admirable. The humility of this political leader is something that all leaders need to emulate. Also made a brief sojourn to the banks of the Narmada River. It is truly touching to see all the local people revere Narmada as a living Mother Goddess. Water, not being seen as a commodity, but as divine fluid that makes our life.
As a prelude to the upcoming Kumbh Mela in Ujjain, spoke at the inaugural event. CM’s vision is of turning the Kumbh into an event of sharing and enhancing knowledge of both the temporal and esoteric sort. The powerful situation of the Kumbh Mela must be experienced by all; Isha will be partnering with the Madhya Pradesh administration to facilitate both South Indian and overseas people to make it to the great event that happens only once in 12 years. I will make it a point to bring the science of Kumbh and also the legend, that makes it what it has always been and is, to date. Ujjain is the abode of Maha Kala; this is of great significance to spiritual seekers.
After a day of a few significant meetings in Mumbai, here in USA. First two days in iii, where the Adi Yogi temple is nearing completion. Though a few glitches, we should be sticking to the September 23rd consecration schedule. The consecration will be the most important event in terms of mystical work in the USA as of now. Though we have done a few consecrations here, this will be It.
In the last five days, been in four different cities. Conversation evening at Rice University with David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine was very well-attended in Houston, Texas. David Eagleman has done some path-breaking research in neuroscience. A brilliant and delightful human being. Not dulled by doctorates, retains childlike wonder and enthusiasm that is not common. Having found a good lively match, I forgot to delve into mysticism and just went about with a light-hearted, gossipy banter that an audience of 2,500 seemed to very much enjoy.
Since then, in two days been in Palm Beach, an interesting golf game with Doug Spooner, a descendent of the famous spoonerism proponent of England. I had an intimate exposure to spoonerisms during my childhood, through my granduncle who was sort of a master of the English language. Also, a delightful evening with Ethel Kennedy, wife of the late Robert Kennedy. This gusty, effervescent lady, all of 87 years of age, is an example of how age will not take away one’s liveliness if dedicated to a cause.
In Tampa after a five-year break, just for a few hours for a public talk, on an afternoon of rising temperatures.
Here I am in a tiny Piper Malibu, a grasshopper of a plane, buzzing through a clear sky towards the West Coast on an 11-hour marathon flight. This tiny, fragile looking machine seems determined to show its mettle in flying coast to coast, undeterred by 50-knot headwind and all. So much for human fragility, human ingenuity allows us to slip through the very laws of nature that are supposed to limit us. Onto the West Coast, in aviation lingo, West is Best.
Nepal has taken an intimate place in our heart in the last 12 years. It is truly heartbreaking, this present calamity. The loss of lives is calamitous. Hope the people of Nepal, being known for their courage and resilience, will recover and prosper. Bhaktapur, which is a unique heritage city, being damaged by this quake is truly irreplaceable. Hope international agencies will take up the restoration of this marvelous manifestation of Nepali aesthetic and ingenuity. It is wonderful to see that the Prime Minister has responded to the Nepali need with alacrity, and so has the Chinese establishment. My deepest condolences and blessings for Nepal and its people.