0500 hrs 01 Jan 2021
I woke up to see the faint green WhatsApp msg glowing. Generally I avoid seeing any messages in my mobile so early and that too on getting out of bed. But the day was new year, a new beginning, I took a harder look without my reading glasses to see who it was. Faintly I could read “ Shamata Ma “. I jumped and caught hold of my glasses to read her beautiful new year message for me and my family. Memories came rushing back and soaked me up with love and bliss and I decided to pen down this blog.
28 Oct 2017
My first visit to Swamijis abode. The journey from Chandigarh airport to ashram was meticulously planned with a printout of road map as well the directions shown in the web site. The cab driver was also booked as per recommendation in the ashram website. As we pulled out from airport, I started to chat up with the driver about the journey ahead. Suddenly he asked Sir ji are you in Army, the reason was obvious ,as I had communicated earlier with my designation (a common one with Army and Navy). I replied, No not in army but in Navy. He announced that he was an ex retired Indian Army personnel. All of a sudden we were Brothers in arms and till date Shri Manoj ji only helps me in reaching ashram every time.
Half way through, after a good breakfast halt, I asked how long will it take us to reach. Manoj ji said he will ensure that we reach much before evening Aarti when Swamiji will be present and he will drop us at the door step of ashram. We were very much excited and eagerly waiting to reach there. But then the little adventure part of me triggered and I prodded him that there is some other route through crossing a river. He immediately jumped up saying, would you like to take the route. I will drop you there and arrange a porter to carry your luggage to ashram. It’s just few furlongs of walking distance through the mountain and river.
He dropped us to other side of the Ashram. The porter took our luggage and we walked down the mountain slope to see the meandering slivery Giri Ganga river flowing, the murmuring sound resounding trough the valleys. I took a deep breath to relish the ethereal beauty of Giri river so gently flowing between the mountains. I came back to senses when the porter was halfway through the river and shouting to us to follow. The river was icy cold and I started wading , with my little girl of year and half, perched up on my shoulders watching with fascination the river beneath.
By the time we reached ashram I was panting for my breath. The luggage was dropped in the dormitory and we were told the rooms (River view) might get ready by evening as they were in the process of completion and getting ready. We were standing outside the temple and figuring out the area and the people around when suddenly one elderly lady in ochre robe appeared and asked “beta did u get room” and she hugged my wife and child. I told her we will get it soon, she then said “if you don’t get come to my room you can take rest there”. There, the first wave of kindness rippled through me the way Shamata Ma spoke and all our tiredness with if and buts vaporized. We saw her talking to every one around with so much love and kindness that the place looked very much extra ordinary. I was trying to absorb the hustle bustle of the place with so many people doing different types of seva and getting the place ready for evening Aarti. There were some village ladies standing nearby and asked me have you met Swamiji I said No. They replied in Pahari accented hindi
“ If you see once you will not like to go away from this place such is our Swamiji”
Yes, till date the feeling remains same every single time, I leave ashram to come back to the complex world.
Shri Badrika ashram is epitome of “ Temple of Kindness”. Every one who visits ashram goes back with a kinder heart, filling blissed and of course charged up to face the complex and real world. That’s the MAGIC of Bhagwan Sri Hari and Swamiji.
Few words comes to my mind while writing the blog :
The stream of Kindness
flowing through the hearts
Sometimes gushing, Sometimes gentle
Meandering through myriad curves
leaving you drenched, soaked up
but feeling up warm inside.
A few pictures take during crossing the beautiful Giri river