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I to we to Sai… April 6, 2009

Posted by tharinid in Ceiling on desires, Divine Inspiration.

This is the idea behind the pilgrimage that Sai centers across Chicagoland and nearby regions are going to undertake the in the last week of June. Getting sanction for a group to come on a pilgrimage to Parthi is a very huge privilege and the opportunity of a lifetime to get within physical closeness of Swami. When I received these mails from the Center, I read very cursorily (not understanding the beautiful significance of it), and passed it off, because there was no way we would be able to go. 2 India trips in a gap of 6 months, meant a big bite into the pocket, and with R’s hectic work schedules, and the concern for the care of the kids, all combined, made me regard it as a very distant prospect for us.

That is all until I got a personal mail from one of the officers of my local Center with the same information of this pilgrimage I had earlier dismissed. He had addressed this mail specifically to me, asking me to attend the presentation this weekend. It troubled me, because I would have to offer yet another excuse of Winkie’s Sunday school engagement. Thinking I would send that mail later with my regrets, I moved onto a chore in the kitchen. And R who sat down with his coffee in front of the laptop, saw the mail and convinced me to go. He said he would drop me beforehand to the Center, take the boys to the temple for school, and then pick me up on the way back. He said it had come in my name, and I must not ignore it, for the sign it was.

And so, with some hesitation (since I was going to the Center after a whole year) and also a lot of excitement, to learn more about what this pilgrimage meant, I went. And just 5 minutes into the presentation, my eyes were welling up with tears and overflowing. For at that moment, I realised what a big blessing was being offered to the members of all these centers…to go as a group, stay there for a whole week dedicated to Swami, and be charged in that vibrant spiritual atmosphere. The person making the presentation had just returned from a monthlong stay at Parthi, and it was his request that Swami had granted, to give darshan to all the members here. Being there, in that surcharged atmosphere just brought the reality of seeing Him that much closer to me, and the desire to be part of the pilgrimage took fire and began to burn inside me. And only moments before, I had been of the mindset of…what was the need to see Him, when I was in constant dialogue with Him, anyways???

Its amazing how the very considerations of practicality which I used as reasons to justify not going on the pilgrimage, began to wither away, and every situation seemed to have a solution in my mind. Everything seemed possible, in the face of this once in a lifetime opportunity. But the fact that nothing is permanent asserts itself even here. The minute I got home, the world began to come into me once more, and the road blocks were up again. Money, time, kids, family, money…on and on it comes back in this loop. *sigh*. Its been a long time since I took something as such a huge blow. The last date for registration is April 15, and I will continue to torture myself until then, I am sure.

One of the nicest things that evolved during the presentation was the subject of unity and inclusiveness, to include even the non-pilgrims to involve themselves in the preparation for this trip. Volunteer services were requested for different areas to help ready the rest of the group even if they themselves were not going. One opportunity includes some proofreading, editing, designing work which I think I will volunteer for. It will afford me some form of contribution and help me lick my wounds. Another wonderful cropped up, to include non-pilgrims in the sadhana effort aspect as well.

Talk of sadhana reminded of one of the most important things in Swami’s 9 point code of conduct….ceiling on desires. It was something I talked about a long time ago and then conveniently forgot all about. Perhaps disappointments  in life are good after all….they seem to have the energy to effect the climate of change. As for the change itself, time, and sadhana with Grace, will tell. For now, I have picked up the first desire I want to slowly, but surely, get rid of from where it is deeply entrenched, the desire to raise my voice, yell and talk in harsh tones. It simply has to go. So I offer it to Swami, on a little chit of paper, written proof of my sincere resolve, and hope that I will be able to kick it.

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1. Anamika - April 24, 2009

So, what did you decide?

Despite being of a rather “unspiritual” nature (or perhaps because of that) I really admire your commitment and belief, and also the fact that you and R are so in tune on this crucial aspect. That too is a divine blessing.

2. Tharini - May 4, 2009

Ana…truly sorry for such a delayed response to your comment. I don’t know if I can say that ‘I’ decided. Rather, I find that the decision just came to be, to not take measures to go at this point, leaving behind my family. And what’s more, immense peace came with that decision.

3. sheela - June 2, 2009

Dearest Tharini, I second Anamika in that you and R are so in tune with the spiritual quest and are able to reinforce it in your kids. In that sense, I think an additional test and challenge thrown my way is D’s approach to life – i.e., living a good life has nothing to do with belief in god/divine/higher-power/spirituality. The challenge is for me to stay the course and through my example impart some sense of what i consider essential spirituality to my kids.

And, am glad to note that by volunteering “here” at the center, you are already “there”. Back in 1990, a few friends from our hostel took the trip to Parthi, and were fortunate enough to be in Baba’s presence… I have no words to describe the experience. But, from what I gather, He is in your home, in your heart already, thus making it unnecessary for you to travel far and wide to bask in his presence.

4. tharinid - June 2, 2009

Dear Sheela…I can understand the challenges in companionship with a person whose thoughts are not completely aligned with ours. Though I am sure that you sense D’s ‘spirituality’ in other forms, which is what would have made you fall in love with him. :)

It is very true. Pilgrimage is not just a physical journey, but an emotional and mental one in every respect. Still….we all need the physical recharge that comes from physical proximity to the center of peace. I am not disappointed in the least. I know my time will come. In the meantime, I have been blessed with the unique opportunity of working on a software (PSP) that I love, in a project to create something worthy for the form that I worship. The past 2 weeks have been an intense pilgrimage in this regard.

5. sheela - June 2, 2009

Dear Tharini, always good to see your prompt response and your thoughts on appreciating everything you get to do… btw, is psp paint shop pro or playstation related software that you are working on

I know life would be too boring if i am always surrounded by people who agree with everything i think – it probably will get to my head and make me less open and less introspective, so i thank god everyday for giving me the perspective i need to affirm and strengthen my faith and beliefs – to be good and to do good, one does not have to turn to god, and in that sense i admire D’s philosophy…

i guess there is no end to philosophical discussions, so, i better quit now

6. tharinid - June 3, 2009

I meant Photoshop. :D

7. A momentous journey of 10 days… « Jiva to Atma - June 8, 2009

[...] had made my peace with not going on the pilgrimage this time. I was really okay with it. And I also wanted to help out in any way possible. So when the [...]

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