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A Breathtaking Visit to Sadhguru Ashram

by Ritu Gulabani

Vacations are supposed to be synonymous to rejuvenation.  But when I look back and think hard, I can’t remember even a single holiday which revived me to the extent that I was more than happy and energetic to come back to my routine. In fact, I was more tired either because I was comparing my ever busy life with those that we met during our vacations or I was so busy covering the ‘must see’ spots and clicking pictures that I didn’t realize and relax enough to absorb the real fun, nature and happiness.

So though the holidays went well; our eyes, camera, social media and even our body were treated well because of the luxury we indulged in except our mind and soul.
Last summer, when we were planning our trip to Ooty and Coorg, we found that the nearest airport for Ooty or Udagamandalam was Coimbatore. Since our flight was scheduled to land in Coimbatore in the evening, we thought of staying in Coimbatore for a night. With this my search for must do and see in Coimbatore started.  Since I am not a shoapaholic, I rejected the idea of shopping, in spite of luring cotton industry in the city. My eyes, one day, suddenly captured the  picture of Adiyogi, a must see in Coimbatore. I knew that the statue was planned by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva and was inaugurated by our honorable PM Shri Narendra Modi last Shivratri, so I decided to visit the place. I started reading about Isha Foundation and discovered that they have cottages too, where guests can stay. I got them booked through e-mail about two months prior to my visit.
June came and I was thrilled. I knew that Isha foundation was bound to give me an altogether different experience. To multiply my joy was the date we were landing, 20th June. The next day was International Yoga Day and I was sure that I would be able to see and listen Sadhguru. He had already influenced me through his speeches and videos and it was time to personally see and listen to this evolved soul.
The moment we stepped out of the airport, I felt that I was personally greeted by Sadhguru, my eyes fell on a huge International Yoga Day Board with Sadhguru and Dr. Mahesh Sharma’s picture and the program details at Isha Foundation. I was overwhelmed, as if the whole Universe was helping me to experience what I wanted to.
We booked Ola cab for Isha Foundation. Though we faced quite a few hurdles like Ola came a little late at about 6:30 pm and we were supposed to check in before 9 pm. The driver told us that we would get late if we stop for dinner, so we went without any halt. But another obstacle was waiting for us. There was some strike held by water supply workers and we were not allowed to go further so we had to google for an alternate way.  The entry to Isha foundation was through an evergreen forest area but I had no time to appreciate, I was only worried about the check-in time. I knew that these spiritual foundations were strict.  My elder one had slept and the younger one was also about to sleep. My husband started appreciating the surroundings and wondered how beautiful it must be during the day. Thankfully we reached just on time, five minutes to nine. Anil asked me to go and sign to check-in and that he will bring the kids and luggage.
I rushed with my younger one, who was already awake, towards the welcome point and my husband came after paying the taxi bill. Yet another crisis was waiting for us. The moment my husband saw me with my younger son, he enquired for the elder one, whom he was supposed to bring. I stood there holding my head with a thud when my thoughtful husband called the Ola and the volunteers at the welcome point called the main gate guards. The taxi had crossed the main gate but the Ola driver was thankfully connected. He brought back my child. It was as if I got my breath back.
Three hours, three hurdles and faith multiplied. I knew I was at one of the world’s most peaceful and beautiful place but I still could not appreciate it. I was only thanking God and Sadhguru for my son.
The polite volunteers told us that we can have dinner at the Mundrum Restaurant just outside the campus. So we kept our luggage at the welcome point and went for the dinner. The restaurant had a variety of dosas; the south Indian food was extremely economical and delicious. With this dinner and a calmer mind, I started enjoying the surroundings. After the food a south Indian from Singapore, advised us to see the statue of Adiyogi as there would be a great rush the following day.
The statue of Adiyogi was just a few minutes’ walk from the restaurant. A walk on the cool marble towards the statue pierced into me the feeling of divine presence, perfect to sit and meditate or talk with god in utter silence. But the time was short and my husband who is a keen photographer had to click pictures too, more so because photography was allowed only in this area and not in ashram area.
So for more details, one can visit http://isha.sadhguru.org or take a virtual walk around Isha Yoga https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejfVyp-HeVQ . We wrapped up fast and went back to the cottage. The cottage area was very beautiful, clean, serene and soothing with positive chanting and vibrations. The rooms and toilet were spic and span with toiletries, cupboard, dustbin, Isha foundation magazine and electric kettle. There were sachets of a variety of green teas and apple teas too. In all, the cottages were as comfortable as a hotel. 
The next day I woke up early and enthusiastically with a desire to watch and listen to the Sadhguru. Though kids were not interested much, but one of my purpose was to introduce them to the beautiful world of yoga and spirituality. We took our seats, on the huge ground, discretely arranged for males and females , amidst the foothills of pristine Velliangiri hills, with Adiyogi in the backdrop and Sadhguru and chief guests on their seats, on the stage along with the performers. I looked around with a deep breath and inhaled the aroma of wet mud and mist in the air, the sky was grayish blue and it had drizzled during the golden hour, informing the onset of monsoon. This scenic beauty and the gigantic bust sculpture of Lord Shiva took almost everyone’s breath away. It makes everyone feel that Shiva himself is standing in front of us. All of us did a different version of surya namaskar. Although we sat quite far from the stage but due to huge digital televisions and loud speakers, we didn’t miss a bit except that the desire to personally talk with sadhguru had increased.
   After the program and the dispersal, we enjoyed typical South Indian delicious prasadam and then walked down to drink some cool coconut water. We met our Singaporean friend again and he told us about the dhyanalingam, kriya and suryakunda (the kund where only males can go and meditate) and one of his female friend told me about the chandrakunda, where only females were allowed. They were in the foundation for an inner engineering course.
We clicked a few clearer pictures again, after the function.
The ashram itself had some element of divinity in its air that our mind, body and soul felt elated. The breeze under the trees didn’t make us feel the heat. Though my children weren’t very happy, as there was no TV in the room but they too enjoyed the South Indian food, Isha Foundation’s eatery and had a huge central cafeteria and shops which had cakes, coffee, shakes, ice creams, T-shirts, small models of Adiyogi, stationery, craft items, bags, chanting frames, books etc. at reasonable prices.
I took them to Omkar initiation too, it started with Sadhguru’s video but a foreigner sat at the altar for queries. Though kids did get restless in between those 45 minutes, but managed to listen and learn with attention.
We then moved for brunch at their dining hall. Another delightful experience was waiting for us. As we entered the hall and took our seats, everyone, the food servers as well as the guests, suddenly started Om chanting along with prayers, standing straight at the place where they were, teaching our children a lesson and reminding us our age old traditions. The waiting and prayers had produced divine vibes making the food taste delicious.
Later, in the evening, we did some meditation at Dhyanalingam, the shiva temple too. An architectural marvel, the temple is made of brick, lime and mud. In Sadhguru’s words, “The building itself is meditating because there is no tension in it. Concrete buildings, some of which even we have built, are held together by the tension of the steel and concrete. The gravitational power of this planet is constantly trying to pull those buildings down, but not those which are in perfect harmony with the forces of the planet. This is not architecture, it’s just spirituality.”  
“Just sitting silently for a few minutes within the sphere of Dhyanalinga is enough to make even those unaware of meditation experience a state of deep meditativeness” – Sadhguru
The Theerthakunds, Surya and Chandra Kunda dip were again rejuvenating. Although water was too cold to bear initially, but once I was out, I not only felt rejuvenated but very balanced and energetic.
The late evening darshan of Sadhguru and his small speech made our day and trip the most memorable one. 
I still wonder, how he chooses a topic to speak, which is very relevant to each and every audience. Perhaps that is the beauty of a true Guru.
 Image may contain: 4 people, including Ritu Gulabani, people standing and cloud

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0 comment

Unknown May 26, 2018 - 10:00 am

Beautiful world and we have to learn from our experiences

Unknown May 26, 2018 - 12:02 pm

Great…Really I imagined how beautiful, energetic and full of positive vibes was this trip as I also follow Sadguru.

Ritu August 14, 2018 - 10:54 pm

Thanks so much


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