Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Relaxation and Meditation at Chengalpattu

Well, it happened. The event in Chengalpattu was arranged by Sri Prabhakar Rao, whom I and Syamala met on the way to Chennai in October. It almost did not happen due to the severe depression in the Bay of Bengal. But when Mr.Prabhakara Rao understood that apart from Syamala and Varadharajan, six more from Arulzazhi Education Institution of Auroville are also participating in the even, he decided to risk it.
From the moment I got into the taxi at 6:45 am, there was a spirit of celebration and the mood was festive. It was like a picnic, with 8 people and Arvind, the 12 years old son of Dhanalakshmi. We had breakfast at one of those old, charming South Indian eateries, called Ganesh Bhavan in Achrapakkam. Syamala has been a patron of this restaurant since she came to Auroville in 1968. It has black granite tables, well lit space and the aromas of idly, chutney and sambar welcome you. It is now run by Iyer, Jr and they mean to feed you here. They plunk a plantain leaf in front of you and serve food like they do in South Indian marriages; till you say ‘no’. I enjoyed the authentic idlis, the accompaniments and South Indian coffee.
The weather was beastly with rain beating down incessantly but it added to the scenic beauty; especially as we approached Madhurantakam. It was captivatingly beautiful and you can have a sense of it from the pictures.

On arrival,  I was pleasantly surprised with the warm welcome and the gathering of more than 35 people ready for the event. The festive spirit was very much palpable. It was a pleasure to watch  the devotees of Mother in Chengalpattu do the arrangements for seating, sound etc with such enthusiasm.
The event itself was nothing less than magical best. I enjoyed it and feel immensely satisfied and fulfilled. It was a gathering of immense richness: people from all walks of life and ages, from the youngest Vijayakumar, 12 to the eldest – about 80. I am grateful for the time, attention, participation and the questions from the gathering and it is a gift for me to share this day with this gathering. What an event! 9 of us going from Auroville to ‘take Auroville outside Auroivlle’ and on a rainy Sunday, more than 40 devotees of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother congregating to participate in an ‘Adventure of consciousness’. It is indeed a great celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Tamil Nadu. I am grateful to Syamala for creating this event inside of those celebrations. I have no words to convey how my heart is full to be part of this expansion of awareness and consciousness. A memory to cherish, experience to revel in, a ‘boon to keep within’.
We briefly visited the small but extremely well organized, center of Sri Aurobindo and I experienced peace and serenity in that wonderful space!

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