Dinesh and Bawa

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Mornings

I love Monday mornings at the Ashram especially. I have always loved monday mornings at the Ashram, but somewhere down the line the reason changed... Let me explain:

In the earlier years, a lot of us would be sharing a room, sometimes 12-16 of us would be on an Adv course to share a dorm, and there would be only 2 toilets and bathrooms. To make it in time for the early morning Yoga, which though i didn't like much, i always saw to it that i attended, i would have to get up really early and join the battle for the bathroom :)... a little later, once i had become good friends with Umesh, he would invite me to stay in his room along with 2-3 other people and we would be 4 people in a small ashram room, and again only one bathroom (+ loo) combined between all of us, so now, it was no longer a battle, just a minor skirmish every morning... :)

Except that is, for Mondays... On Mondays in the mornings, there is Rudra Pooja. I never went for Poojas. I thought that it was one of those things that Guruji had to do... you know, that stuff you have to do if you are enlightened :)... I didn't really care at all for any sort of rituals, and more importantly there was no Yoga on Monday mornings and i didn't go for Pooja and everyone else including Umesh did... When i woke up at a leisurely (for the ashram) 7 am, i would have the bathroom all to myself with no one banging the door to hurry up... and i would have a long shower, shampoo my hair 2 times and really savour being King of the Loo :)
... yup, Monday mornings at the ashram were sheer bliss :)

Now one fateful Monday morning, after i had shaved and showered, put on clean ironed clothes, i decided to take a walk to where the Pooja was happening and see if i could catch Guruji as He walked back to His Kutir... and i did... and He looks me up and says ohhhh... good morning!! how was the pooja today morning? i very proudly told Him that i never went for Pooja, it was the only day i got the bathroom to myself :)... He laughed and said, you must attend Pooja, you will love it... and walked away... my heart sank like a stone!! Pooja on Monday mornings??!! oh no!!

A week just flew by and it was Sunday night... Umesh reminded me that i had to come for Pooja the next morning (i think he was just jealous that i had so much time in the loo :)), and with a sinking feeling, i went to sleep... woke up the next morning way earlier than was the norm for Mondays, halfheartedly joined the fray at the bathroom and then went for Pooja...

A shining, smiling Guruji entered the meditation hall, the chanting started, I was sitting fairly near the stage and could smell the fragrances of the incenses and flowers, and as i closed my eyes, i went into a rapturous state i had never experienced before... it was like 10 Sudarshan Kriyas and 5 Adv courses all rolled into one... It was fantastic! I loved it!! After a completely blissful hour or 2 hours i dont know how long... everyone started singing Shiva Bhajans, and i surfaced from some unknown depth and joined in... If Guruji was shining earlier, He was resplendent now and on His face there was something indescribable, a joy, a splendour... all too soon the singing was over, and some final chanting was done and Guruji stood up and with a very very mischievous smile walked directly to me and asked me... so how was your first Pooja? I had almost no words... i blabbered something incoherent, He squeezed my hand and whispered in my ear, I told you, you will love it!... and glided away...



After that magical monday morning, i made it a point that whenever i visited Ashram, even if it was just 5 days or so, a monday would be included in the trip... And now that i live on the Ashram, i really look forward to Monday mornings (and fridays too, thats the day of the Devi Pooja but thats another story...)

Pooja means "jo Poornata se Janam leta hai woh" (That which is born out of fullness of the heart)... When you sit and thank the Divine for all the Blessings that have been bestowed on you... What a fantastic way to start the week! Like i said, i LOVE Monday mornings!!! :)  

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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

lovely!

gauri said...

Wow Bau it is too good..... not that i did not attend pooja's before but today the same thought was running through my mind that no matter whether i have slept or not attending Rudra pooja and not missing it even for a single day is a treat which we give ourselves. my first Rudra pooja experience was in Pune on Guruji's birthday which was performed by Swami Pragyapadji. The effect it had on me was very similar and zonked me quite sometime after the pooja got over. Here's to a wonderful week ahead.

Vinod Patil said...

Awesome, i love that incident. Its really beautifull Bau. Each moment with Guruji is supreme, delightful, heavenly.

Anonymous said...

Bawa, whatever strong impression you have that will be broken. It has happened to me over and over again.

I had a certain opinion about a teacher about how devoted he was to Guruji and how he leads you to Him. Guruji has completely shattered this opinion I have had for years. Not that the teacher is any less devoted now but just that my mindset about him has changed so much that I can't help laughing over how Guruji does things just to release an impression that you have held on to for a long time.

Anonymous said...

this was certainly an original one! :)

arya said...

jai gurudev!
it was nice to read as i have been wondering why guruji wants us to attend pooojas..i still dont know the exact chemistry behind poojas..
when we had navarathri pooja at keralashram ,i dropped in for a few hours..simply bcoz it was on gurujis instruction:)

Anonymous said...

Bawa, I like you soooo much but you don't even know me. And I was thinking I should really do something to impress you so that you will always remember me.

What can I do to impress you? Please tell me and I will do that.

Anonymous said...

Awessssome Awessssome ....Bau, can't thank you enough for your blog, its the first thing i open every morning at work, even before my mails :-)
thanks a ton !!!

Vikram Hazra said...

Audibau!
That post just put all of today and yesterday into perspective! Its been a lovely day here at the ashram, and I'm sure you saw the end result in satsang tonight!
JGDa

snehanshu said...

hey bawa
really good experince
i have no words
but it was great..
keep posting such experinces with Gurudev ...
jai gurudev

atmarati avirodhena said...

bawa that was beautiful :):) such imagery .. i felt transported tout de suite to ashram .. the sights..the fragrances.. the chanting.. that settles everything else down to the silence that you describe so beautifully :)

i love your blog. period.

ps- what do i do to get dinesh bhaiya to write some more

Raghavan said...

beautiful story Bawa ! I remember reading another 'pooja' story in "Sri Sri As I Know Him". Can't remember who it was, but he wasn't treated so nicely by Guruji when he missed Pooja. I've never attended pooja at the ashram but your post and that absolutely "ethereal" picture of Guruji transported me right therr - right now.

Jai Guru Dev,
Raghavan

milan said...

nice post sir. in the photo it's as though snake (camphor fire has taken a shpe of snake) is seeking bleesings from guruji (i felt)

gitanjali said...

Ah Bau,

My experience exactly, the two and only times I was fortunte to have attended Rudra Puja. That is why I say to my husband who has been resisting AOL for the last five years (thought he has met gurudev as many times as I have) that he has to experience the Rudra Puja at the ashram to get the fever.

lol
gitanjali

Pranjal said...

We were at the ashram last Friday and were looking forward to attending this puja. This was our first experience - both course and puja. Unfortunately for us, my mother couldn't make it to the ashram on Sunday night and we had to return :(...

Reading this makes me feel worse, but I'm counting on attending this puja sometime soon :). The picture you've put up looks really nice.

Monica said...

:( i went back sunday after my yes!++
but now my trips WILL include a monday.
bawa i simply loved the ashram...will put up an article related to it on my blog. but the secret is i can't blog unless you write an article on 'the secrets and methods of blogging' ;D
Please enlighten the ignorants :D
with all love,
Jai Gurudeva.

sneha mudumba said...

Hi Bawa,
First of all u have great sense of humour...it was fun to read the post..
I was there for the rudrapooja on 23rd june 2008..it was tremendous..the frangance,chantings and guruji's glowing face...made it wonderful..u and dinesh bahiyya were also there at the pooja!!!
it was beautiful...
jaigurudev!
sneha mudumba.

AKSHAY said...

Akshay , NASHIK

Really it was nice experience in Rudra Pooja !

vineet said...

bau u have narrated the thing so beautifully that,it seemed that i was there watching all this...:D

Prakirtee said...

Love this one line "He squeezed my hand and whispered in my ear, I told you, you will love it!... and glided away..."
and ya it's fun to read about how your monday mornings used to be prior to attending rudra pooja :)

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