Everyone was heading out of town – Weekend Getaway is what it is called. But I was not trying to getaway – I was Going There!I decided to go on a long solo ride on my Apache. Decided to pay homage to two of India greatest spiritual masters and conquer a few Forts along the way.
Day 1 & 2 – First Stop – Thiruvannamalai – Ramana’s Abode
There are scores of Ashrams and spiritual retreats in India, Most have them have become posh tourist attractions shorn of all spiritual power the Master could have bestowed on the place. But Sri Ramana Maharishi’s humble ashram in Thiruvannamalai still retains the spiritual power of the Mystic – so it seemed to me. The spartan ashram doesn’t boast of spiritual Glitz but offers a quiet place to the sincere to sit in silence and meditate.
“Peacock on the Temple top
Turtles in the pond;
Why you were born?”
– instant poem by yours truly
And for the more adventurous seeker there is a rewarding trek up to Skandagiri Ashram on the Arunachala Slopes – and beyond. Obviously I took the Beyond 🙂 May be it was a sign – good or bad I don’t know – but this is what I encountered the moment I started the climb:
It was early morning – 7 am or so- I was the first to reach the Skandagiri ashram and was told by the guard that the gates will open only at 8 am. He offered to guide me up to Sekarswami’s meditation cave further up the mountain. I gladly accepted it – because for me trekking itself is a meditational tool.
For when you climb – doesn’t all thoughts disappear except the idea of the next step ?! I was wearing my Sarawak Slippers which looked apt for this kind of spiritual trek.
My guide – Rangaswami – had served Sekar Swami for nore than 40 years till the guru left to establish an ashram elsewhere. Now he stands guard at Skandagiri ashram and acts as a guide to devotees who venture up the mountain. The hike was moderate and i was glad i had enough supply of water with me since the sun was hitting us hard through the cloudless sky.
The temple town looked very picturesque form up above. I went back to my hotel to rest my tired legs ( b’cos of the trek) and my aching back ( b’cos of the ride)..and was already planning my next adventure…
“Those who dance are thought mad by those who do not hear the music.”