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More Pilgrim Letters - Omkareshwar, Arunachala, Anandashram and more.

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  • swamitarakananda
    Dear friends- Many of you have enjoyed Brahmachari Matriprasad s Pilgrim Letters at http:// www.atmajyoti.org/indiapilgrim.asp . Due to a recent trip to India,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 22, 2005
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      Dear friends-

      Many of you have enjoyed Brahmachari Matriprasad's Pilgrim Letters at
      www.atmajyoti.org/indiapilgrim.asp . Due to a recent trip to India,
      and recoverring from
      India's gift of malaria, it has been a while since new ones were
      posted. Finally today
      another set was posted, complete with photographs, of his adventures
      Omkareshwar, and
      various holy places in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, including Ramanashram
      in Tiruvannamalai,
      Swami Ramdas's Anandashram in Khananghad, Sri Rangam and Rameshwaram.
      This new
      page is at http://www.atmajyoti.org/pl_pilgrim_letters_3.asp

      Below is a sample:

      Dear Swamijis,
      Namaste. Let me think what else I can tell you about our favorite
      subject: India. I know–the
      Narmada. I do not think I've described that yet.

      The Ganga and the Narmada are somewhat different. Being an adopted
      son of the Ganga, I
      can speak with some experience! The Ganga never looked to me like
      real water. Even
      downstream in Varanasi and Calcutta where it is so shamefully dirty,
      it just doesn't look
      like water. One time while going by boat to Dakshineshwar, I kept
      thinking that there was
      an oil spill on the water or something, as it looked like something
      was glistening on top of
      the water, but I kept putting my hand in the water and finding it
      clear. I realized I was
      literally seeing light shining off the water.

      It is absolutely sinful, though, that the Indian people and
      government haven't put some
      kind of restrictions on dumping filth into the body of the Devi. In
      Gangotri there are signs
      by the Ganga in Hindi and English that say, "The Ganga is the
      heart of India. To throw
      trash in or defecate on her banks is a great sin. Did you come to
      this holy place to create
      merit or sin?" Only in India. But what hypocrisy when you see
      what happens further down. I
      was reading a couple of days ago that someone was complaining to Ma
      how dirty the river
      was in Varanasi, and She agreed, but then said, "The nature of
      the Ganga is to purify and
      anything that is immersed in her is absorbed by her purity." You
      can see that, as it is still

      Up further, from Haridwar up to the source is a different story,
      though. In Rishikesh, the
      Ganga really doesn't appear like water. I always thought it
      looked like it was made of a
      combination of green silk and light. Even the way it flows, and the
      patterns it forms as you
      look across it are just not what water does. I always felt that after
      bathing in it, I was not
      just purified, but actually subtly transformed.

      The Narmada is different. From experience I truly, truly believe in
      the idea of the holy
      rivers of India literally coming from a Divine source. The Narmada
      (from my limited
      perception) looks and behaves like regular water, but with an
      incredible vibration. It feels
      like it is a physical embodiment of sadhana shakti, and I really
      believe that it comes from
      God specifically for sadhus and their sadhana. At Omkareshwar it is
      very clear and green,
      and cool but not as cold as the Ganga. It has a similar, intense
      auric field like the Ganga.
      One day I walked far upstream on the mainland bank (it's all
      forested, hilly wilderness for
      as far as you can see) and sat on a flat rock that was out in the
      water, so that the river was
      flowing all around me. The purifying flow of the aura was almost
      overpowering it was so
      incredible. It is no accident that thousands of years of sadhus have
      done tapasya on its

      Besides bathing and doing my laundry in it in the morning, in the
      afternoon right before
      my meditation period, I go down and take a brisk swim. The afternoons
      are actually
      comfortably hot, and this is incredibly refreshing, plus it washes
      out any post-lunch
      tamoguna1 in the body and mind and really gets me ready for
      meditation. I swim about a
      third of the way out and tread water against the current for
      exercise. I find that if I stand
      neck-deep in the water, facing the current and repeat "Om Namah
      Shivaya," amazing
      things happen. It is definitely in some way connected with the Shiva
      aspect of God and
      really comes alive if you tune in to that.

      Living in Omkareshwar, where there is some kind of Shiva shrine every
      three hundred feet
      or so, and doing Shiva puja every morning in our Shiva mandir, I am
      coming to intuitively
      understand a little more about... (to read more, go to:
      pl_pilgrim_letters_3.asp )

      I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have.

      Swami Tarakananda
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