Got back from the docs tonight and I have a clean bill of health. He is keeping me off oil for another week, spicey for two, and a reduced dose of nutrients for a few weeks to support and detox the liver. Otherwise I am feeling fine and my health seems normal again.
Yesterday for Mahasivaratri I took a walk around the mountain with Sarah, who is moving on tommorrow, and stayed up late meditating and listening to the chanting. Didn't quite manage the all night vigil though. Earlier in the day I took my pocket knife to my hair and cut it all off - at least to about an inch long all the way around. I seem to have done a pretty good job and have been complimented on my new look, which also included cutting the somewhat bushy beard.
The hair had become totally knotted at the back - I could have kept it and it probably would have turned into one big dreadlock but I decided to sacrifice it on that Holy day instead and later on made a private ceremony of burning it which is harder than you think when it is all matted together. I'll try to hook up a picture when I get a half decent one.
So I went to Satsang yesterday with V Ganesan, who is Ramana Maharishi's grand nephew. I don't think that he'd claim to be realised but he is a very sweet man, now in his 60's, who has lots of stories to share from the experiences of many of Ramana's closest disciples. He was 14 when Ramana dropped the body and grew up in the ashram and has spent most of his life here. It was his last Satsang of the season so I just caught him in time.
Have also found another twice weekly Satsang with a Texan going by the name of Arunachala Ramana. They have a pretty nice ashram about 4km around the hill where he spends a few months of the year. He must be in his 60's also and has a great big Texan gut which he had trussed up with a pair of maroon flannel shorts pulled up past his navel with his tee shirt tucked in. Well obviously even spiritual realisation cannot help some people transcend certain limitations but aside from his dreadful fashion sense I enjoyed his Satsang and found him to be genuine enough.
Turns out that Mooji is still in town and is sharing a small Satsang tommorrow morning which I will try to attend. I think he's just been relaxing with his inner circle these last two weeks after several weeks of large public Satsangs. Also went to Werner's Satsang, the Swiss guy, this afternoon which was also good. Yes, there is plenty of Satsang happening in this town and a good proportion of it seems to be of a high quality.
Sri Shankaracharya, a legendary towering spiritual figure in Indian history, has said that Satsang (association with conscious free beings) is the best raft with which to cross the ocean of Samsara (misery). The Universal Self is One. It is the same in me as it is in you and everyone else. Any genuine realised spiritual guide is only a messanger, a channel, for That - our true inner nature of freedom, love, bliss and awareness. The presentation may be different but it is the same wine in different bottles. I enjoy asking them all questions and absorbing the good vibrations.