India – Veda's Remembrances


“We Were So Happy”
(Remembrances of India – Past to Present)

We were so happy, the rain stopped for us. The searing heat stayed away. Nothing but blue skies and white, fleeting clouds. Arunachala greeted us greenly speaking presence with immovable silence… We were so happy.

We were so happy, early on, Jean in satsang with Stuart explaining, complaining, all choked up, about the mildew and mold and noise in Indian rooms. Why was she here? Two days later, in the same satsang chair, fullness in her eyes, fullness in her face, fullness all around, fullness smiling and speaking happiness in India – in Tiru – here at Arunachala…

We were so happy, the pretty woman we met on the way to the airport in Boston; was it she that was now sitting across the table from me at Tiru’s famous Usha’s Restaurant? A doubt actually brought a shadow to my mind. Was this the same woman? Could it be? I didn’t say a word. I studied her face intently. Not a trace of guile! So open! So clear! So honest! So direct! So present! Hindus might exclaim, “A Devi !”, but she was one of us. And we were so happy….

We were so happy, satsang on top of satsang! Presence within Presence. Satsang with Stuart with the holy mountain recording our “puppet show” along with Keith, imprinting our words with silence. Satsang on rooftops in town, glancing from teaching to Teacher, glimpses of Arunachala there, too, showing Its always-new face of silence. Protecting, yes, but insisting….making us happy.

We were so happy, Mukti and I, it’s 4AM, not sleeping, the effects of what we once called Shakti. Stuart’s beloved Presence. Why lie in bed, eyes open, energy coursing? Up and out. Still dark thru Tiru’s lanes to Ramana’s front gate. Sitting in Ramana’s darshan hall. Early morning in Mother India’s embrace. Ever so delicious! What is there to do? What place is there to go to? Have you ever felt it would be almost sacrilegious to move the body?

We were so happy in Ramana’s home. Did you know it is so close to the mountain that you can’t see the mountain from the ashram except from one magical spot? But, in meditation, Arunachala is felt as a child, eyes closed, pressed to its mother’s bosom, feels, without seeing, the embrace.

We were so happy there. Jean climbed the mountain. Laura climbed it barefoot. John and Susanne were drawn to it daily- climbing, circumambulating, sitting. Veda snapped his ankle bone and an ace bandage brought him to its lower slopes to satsang with Stuart. We were so happy there that passers-by were drawn to our circle.

We were so happy there. Arunachala from the deck outside of Stuart’s room. Sitting with Suzanne, feet up on the rail, looking at the mountain. It moves toward us. Always moving, advancing slowly toward us. Getting larger, blocking everything else out. Never quite arriving. It could do this forever. Breathing its message. I’m happy sitting there.