India . . January 2015

P1040246I have been in India now for two weeks and have not yet found the time and place to write to you, I will make a small effort now and have more time in February when I arrive in Jaipur.

Currently I am in a study program in Tiruvanamailai with James Swart, also known as Ramji, an inspired teacher of  Vedanta teacher.  This 6 hour a day study session  will continue until the end of January.  Daily we listen  as he presents the text and elaborates on the subtle meanings within the ancient scripture.  The scripture we are studying this time is called the Panchadasi. by Vidyaranya Swami.  It is ‘ Inquiry into Existence”  – ‘The Essence of Vedanta‘   it is, in Ram’s words, a prakarana text, an analysis and discussion of certain famous Upanishad mantras.  Its fifteen chapters are divided into three sections, one on discrimination, one on illumination and one on bliss.  “ Panchadasi is a very sophisticated work that analyzes the meaning of words so that wrong thinking about the nature of reality can be exposed and corrected.  When one’s thinking coincides with the nature of reality, suffering ceases”

More on that later . . . once I have digested this and have a way of sharing it with you that will be meaningful and useful for you!

In the little free time we have,  I have been walking the rural roads, taking pictures.  Every morning starts with hatha yoga on the roof of the building I stay in,  just Adi and I up there in the early morning light greeting the rising sun.  It is a brightly beautiful orange light seen through the misty warmth of Tamil Nadu skies.

On our one day off so far I visited the Ramana Maharishi Ashram for early morning puja and vedic chanting then walked to the caves on the hillside where this gentle saint lived for many years actualizing his self realization.  I also visited the main Tiruvanamailai temple which is over 900 years old.  It was a holiday which brought in busloads of people from Kerala and other neighboring places, all dressed in finery making this journey to show their devotion.

I am enjoying the simplicity of life here, hand washing my clothes daily, visiting with people from all over the world, our Satsang has about 100 people in it.  I feel blessed to have been drawn to undertake this journey.   I will write again soon when there is more free time.

Warm Wishes to All