"This moment is the moment of entry; the feeling of Peace. All that there is to do is going into the sensation of the emotion - no verbal expression - touching the energy and let go, aware of the present moment."
These are some of the words on a brief information sheet in the meditation room at Devamrita Swami's simple home nestled amongst quiet village life in the lush Kerala country-side.
I got on the road again earlier this week after getting my test results back showing a mild reoccurance of Feb's Hep A attack. Nothing to do, nothing to worry about - in time the body clears it from the system. Rejoining my two travel companions who went on ahead we are now daily visiting a young (38) unpretentious Indian Swami whom I heard of through Jan from Aham Ashram in Tiruvannamalai.
STOP PRESS : as I am writing a big musical procession is going past receiving one Swami to town who is here to give some sort of healing camp. I saw the poster before - his Guru is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who used to be involved with TM Maharishi and then branched out on his own in the early 80's and now has a substantial world wide following of his own. His 'lead product' is the 'Sudharshan Kriya' which is a daily vigourous breathing practice to energise the system and purify toxins. I learned it some years ago in NZ and quite liked it although I did not become a dedicated practitioner.
I should mention that I am staying in the town of Kalady which is celebrated as the birth place of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, a very important figure in Indian religious history who re-established the Advaitic Vedic Sanatana Dharma (one of the main streams of Indian religion/culture) in this land around 800 a.d. after centuries of Buddhist dominance.
We are staying temporarily in a rest house 5 mins walk from the Shankaracharya temple where the meditation vibration is palpable. TM Maharishi's own Guru, Bramananda Saraswati, was a descendant in the teaching line of Shankaracharya being somwhat akin to one of four Indian 'Popes' entrusted to keep the Vedic Advaita teaching tradition and social order alive (All is One; Unity in Diversity).
Anyway, back to Swami Devamrita Satsang. He is in the middle of nowhere so getting to him involves an hour or so on local buses which is an adventure in itself and quite pleasant once in the countryside. I don't quite know the Swami's full story but I gather that he had a more or less spontaneous Liberation Cataclysm sometime in his 20's at the holy mountain of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai. After 7 subsequent years of seclusion and adjustment people started coming to him and the Teacher function naturally arose.
As expressed in the opening paragraph the main thing is the Silence which is the transformative catalyst, especially in the Presence of an Awakened One. There is also an opportunity to ask questions to help remove any confusions and thereby facilitating the process. That's basically it. No paraphernalia. No bells and whistles. No complicated philosophies. No strings attached. The house is simple and uncluttered, like the teaching, and Swami himself is light, easy going, spontaneous and uncomplicated.
I find it quite refreshing after the Amma experience where there is a general expectation of long years/lifetimes of purification through 'selfless' service (Seva) and deification of the Guru. I am more naturally inclined to the simplicity of the Silent herenow approach.
I asked Swami about this difference in emphasis and he responded that it depends upon the needs of the individual. For some the path of Seva and Devotion is more suitable and for others a more meditative path is the best. No doubt everyone needs a bit of this and that both but it seems to be a question of emphasis and horses for courses.
Although many of her devotees feel an inner personal guidance from Amma there is no doubt that Amma is directly working more on a level of the masses to uplift and ease the suffering of a large cross section of humanity.
When people asked Ramana Maharishi why he wasn't out and about helping the world he generally replied along the lines that the world we perceive is a very subjective one and instead of trying to change the appearance of 'out there' one should focus more on cleansing our own windows of perception through an inward process of self-inquiry and then see how it looks after inner transformation has occured. He also stated that the invisible vibrations of a Liberated One do more to uplift and sustain humanity than anything else.
That is not to say that Amma is not also spontaneously emanating uplifting vibrations but just that the outward expression of her inner state is on a different level and it's all good in the grand mysterious scheme of things.
It is all open but I think I will stay here visiting Swami for some time longer. I may not go to the North but either go back to Australia in July as originally planned (Visa's, flights, budget etc.) or renew my Visa in the nearer locale of Sri Lanka and keep going through to early next year. Time will tell..............
By the way, it's pretty rainy and thundery here in Kerala, but at least that keeps the temperature down. I recently heard that temperatures have been hitting 45'C back at the Mountain so I am happy to be under the protection of cloud cover. Makes drying your clothes a bit more difficult though and good job I have a good rain poncho from a very wet Koh Samui in Thailand late last year.
Hari Aum Tat Sat