Siddha Heartbeat takes pride in posting KP's account of her recent visit to India. She travelled from South Africa to be with Agathiyar during his recent Jayanthi and Guru Puja Vizha.
We arrived in Coimbatore as the sun was hurriedly bidding farewell. Leaving the airport, we headed towards the lush, green, inviting Nilgiri Hills. We chose to stay at a place close to the ashram to accommodate frequent back and forth trips. The place was nestled in the serene, tranquil greens in the Nilgiris. Once again, I foolishly thought choosing that place of stay was our choice. I still smile in surrender when my mind goes there.
It was a fairly long drive from the airport. Passing through Coimbatore we had to leave the flatter main roads behind and begin the climb into the meandering hills. There were curves and bends, narrow roads, speeding cars, buses and trucks. The ascending drive was much longer thanI anticipated. I scanned the area eagerly hoping to spot the resort so I could relax at the thought of arriving at our destination. That was not fruitful. While we were aware that the resort was in the Nilgiri’s, we were unaware of how deep into the forest it was located. The curves and bends began to create discomfort. The cars, trucks and buses hurtling downwards (as we ascended) began to feel like dodging bullets. The steep gradient with sharp vertical drops on either side became a little intimidating. I anxiously pondered, “Where is this place, where are you taking us?” (directing the question to Agathiyar). Ah! And there it was… a board, which answered the question, “The Lungs of the World”, it read. That made sense. The entire area boasted it’s wealth of high rise trees, dense greenery and spectacular landscape. Perhaps my lungs did need a breath or two of fresh air, perhaps I did need the gentle, soothing, calming energy of the great outdoors. I did have a crazy, stressful year with almost no opportunity for relaxation. Perhaps it was the prescription I needed.
We arrived at the resort some time after nightfall. We were still a little dizzy from the upward, meandered drive as we disembarked from the car but there was relief. The resort was deep in the forest around trees, rivers and many forest dwellers. We concluded the check-in formalities and made our way to our cottage through the beautiful forest. We were greeted and welcomed warmly by a troop of excited monkeys. They had kind and friendly eyes and appeared to be overjoyed at having guests in their home. Huge trees stood proudly and towered over the little resort buildings. Jackfruit trees showed off their plentiful fruits. Other trees filled the air with their sweet and calming fragrance. Plants, flowers, foliage, shrubs and singing insects appeared to enjoy a healthy and well-adjusted existence in and around the resort. The place was beautiful but I silently wondered if it was perhaps too strong a prescription. Nevertheless, we were already there and it was by then too late to question my “doctor”.
The following morning we eagerly made our way to the Kallar ashram for the morning prayer. We looked forward to going home; to prostrating before our father and the 18 siddhas, to beholding the new buildings and reconnecting with swami (Thavayogi Thangarasan Adigal), Mataji and soul mates. The morning prayer involved many offerings. It began outside before a fire and proceeded to the meditation hall where Agathiyar stood in all his magnificence. There were many priests and they performed numerous offerings. Loyal devotees filled the room, all wanting a glimpse or a good photo of their beloved. There was mantra chanting, singing and musical accompaniments. The collective divine consciousness in the room was notably uplifting. The enthralling sounds from the nadaswaram vibrated through every atom in the room. It felt exhilarating; a privileged to be there and to experience. There was much happening at the time but I wondered if it was possible to quieten the mind and step into his space. A space where nobody else existed, no activity, no sounds. Gently closing the eyes, perhaps a little focus and concentration. For just a few brief moments, if silence could pervade? An experience to be understood only by oneself and a significant other. A few brief moments, alone with the great one… I snatched the opportunity…priceless.
The following day began with a slow start. Some things were accomplished that morning after which I decided to use my prevailing lethargy to treat my lungs to some fresh, fragrant Niligiri air and feast my eyes on the breath taking panoramic view around us. I had come to India with a litany of questions and was inquisitively seeking answers, guidance, reasons and knowledge. Needless to say, I characteristically, was not going to leave without achieving that goal. I reclined into a chair on the balcony, two floors above, and as was prescribed began to allow the “treatment” to take it’s course. I gazed at the vast beauty framed before me. The trees close by stood content and lush and the ones in the distance spectacularly decked the rolling hills for as far as the eyes could see. I gently closed my eyes, as they grew heavy. It was not long before I found myself slowly drifting towards relaxation. Except for the chattering of insects and birds, there was stillness and tranquility. I began to feel re-oxygenated, almost intravenously. I allowed layers of stress around my cells to dissolve and melt away. A feeling of sleepy, dreamy, lightness followed. I tapped into that space and gently permitted my thoughts to roam wherever it chose; before I guided myself into meditation.
I opened my eyes after some time, and was attracted to a dark, heavy hanging cloud floating above the hill in the distance. My thoughts were still being processed at breakneck speed; as I observed the dark, mysterious cloud slink away beyond the hill. When it had faded completely, the hill was embraced with a sheet of light – ness. A magnificent show indeed. I wished it would not end. However, as with all things earthly, nothing lasts forever. A playful monkey who arrived unannounced onto the Jackfruit tree a few meters from where I sat ensured that. It grabbed and broke off a piece of the dried fruit and began to merrily, relish it. It gazed at me with warm, kind eyes while it ate heartily. It allowed a few moments to be observed before it briskly leaped off onto another tree, and another, until it caught up with others. When it was out of sight, my attention was drawn back to my relaxation and my thoughts. I felt rested and surprised. “What just happened?”, I questioned. It felt like some old files were deleted, new files uploaded, and a re-boot transpired. “Did that even make sense?, I questioned further. Mysteriously I did appear to have gleaned some insights to my questions following that experience.
The evening and dinner passed as expected. We enjoyed a short night stroll and returned to the room to settle in for the night. The following day was the guru pooja, and my excitement mounted. Falling asleep was a struggle. Later that night, my daughter and I were dealt a sudden blow of illness. The hours dragged on painfully as we spiraled swiftly under it’s attack. I was extremely concerned about my daughter’s ability to cope until sunrise; which appeared to never come. The attack grew progressively ferocious and took us down with ruthless violence. My husband, fortunately, spared from it, was to manage the situation and the two of us.
The rolling hills in the Nilgiri’s
The break of dawn saw the hotel staff and management rallying around to get us medical attention. Our driver (Balu) arrived promptly to rush us to the hospital. We dragged ourselves into the car and began the arduous journey downwards, around what appeared to be the most unforgiving Nilgiri bends. My thoughts ran rampant and my concern for my daughter intensified. We reached the hospital around 10am. There was paperwork, which the compassionate Balu kindly took care of. There was a consultation with an elderly, wise doctor. There were prescriptions. We were promptly warded and hooked onto dreaded drips. Admittedly, it was the most effective course of action.
But what of the guru pooja?
The intravenous impact of the drip produced swift results and as I regained strength I began to fixate on the guru pooja. I focused on the flow of the drip and prayed it would end so we could still get to the ashram, although we were advised by the doctor to spend the night in the hospital. The time strolled on, 11am, 12am, 1pm, 2pm…the drip dripped on, drip by drip by drip. I grew impatient. I manipulated the drip myself and increased the speed of the flow. It did not achieve much as it was approaching 3pm and most of the day had already passed. By that time we were feeling significantly better. When we did arrive at the ashram later that day, the pooja was nearing it’s end. Although I had not been at the pooja I knew the whole time we were not alone. Understandably he had to be at the pooja as well. He once revealed to me in a nadi reading that he is always in front of me, hence I could be anywhere and he would be there too.
The weekend passed and we moved on from the resort in the Nilgiri’s.
However, worthy of mention; the welcoming party at the resort in the Nilgiri’s, at the time of our arrival were not just the warm, friendly monkeys. My husband informed me some days after we arrived back home that a green snake, approximately half a meter long strolled along with us as we made our way to our cottage, before it headed off into the greens. Thankfully, unbelievably, my daughter and I were completely oblivious to it.
The Winds of Change
We had originally planned to spend approximately 2 weeks in Kallar post the pooja. I intended to spend a few days visiting temples and special places around Coimbatore but I was unsure where to begin. I did however know exactly where I could source that information; swami, (Thavayogi Thangarasan Adigal). I was certain that where he guided me to would be where I needed to go.
We left the hotel around 5am one morning and made our way to Konganar Siddha’s cave. A beautiful day was still awakening when we arrived at the foothills of the siddha’s abode. Balu led the way and we followed. There was a narrow track with sporadic arrows guiding the path. It was a fairly gentle climb of approximately 2km. The cave itself lied within a massive rock. It was a privilege to behold and physically experience such a place; one sanctified by severe austerity, penance, sacrifice, meditation and other spiritual disciplines. It was blissfully peaceful with amazing panoramic views. I pondered over the siddha’s generosity and kindness to allow us to visit that special place and was sure that each person fortunate enough to find him/herself at his “door” would leave with a spiritual gift and blessing unique for them.
We were making our way down when Balu decided that we should stop by at the small dwelling we had passed on our way up. We heard voices, that of people talking as we got closer. We were welcomed by three temple priests. They explained that it was an auspicious day, hence they were performing an abishekim for the siddha (Konganar) and promptly invited us to stay and participate. Except for them, we were the only others there. We were invited into the small shrine, a short distance from the great siddha and requested to sit. A young priest continued the morning abishekim and offered us the opportunity to meditate; which we gladly accepted. It was a remarkable experience. It was gratifying being there, being invited to mediate, and to receive the great siddha’s darshan. We were bidding farewell, when one of the kind souls rushed over with blessed flowers, limes and ash. In addition to that he presented us with a blessed framed photograph of all 18 siddhas. I was beyond surprised, speechless actually. I accepted it gratefully and tried to suppress my disbelief to allow my gratitude to surface. I am uncertain if it is common practice to present all visitors with such a blessing, but it is for me, always of significant value. There are many things in life we may be able to buy, but I am more grateful for the things that find or seek me. I stared at the picture and broke a smile at a thought. Agathiyar already lives with us, but perhaps he got lonely and wanted his friends to come over. No explanation was necessary. Siddhas are welcome in our home at anytime. The siddhas are now beside Agathiyar in our home, and they make a more complete picture; all together, as one.
Our journey continued to Arulmigu Subramanyaswamy Temple, Sivanmalai, Arulmigu Subramanya Swamy Temple, Chennimalai, and the Natadreeswarar Temple. Each of these temples had it’s own special appeal. We visited each of them with ease where there were no queues or hastening which enabled us to concentrate and appreciate the experience as well as our prayers.
Having completed that mission we returned to Kallar the following day, to swami’s (Thavayogi Thangarasan Adigal) and Mataji’s warm embrace. It was another beautiful day in the foothills of the magical Nilgiri’s. By that time the pooja visitors had left and the ashram had returned to it’s daily activities. Our plans had changed unexpectedly and we were going to leave Coimbatore earlier than we had originally planned. I needed to share that news with swami and appreciate the remaining time to be spent at the ashram. There was also that small matter of a nadi reading that swami had promised, before my departure.
We settled down next to swami and it was not long before our conversation travelled far into the distance. It was most enlightening. The conversation took us far and wide. To my surprise, in our conversation swami illuminated some of the questions on my list. We listened attentively as the conversation trickled sweetly from one petal to the next; when suddenly, he came to a grinding halt. “When is the next new moon day?” he enquired unexpectedly. We had no idea. We had been travelling for some days and by that time had little idea of what the day, date or time was. He explained that he wanted to perform something. I had no idea what it was but my eyes lit up and my excitement knew no bounds. He called out for Jyothi. “When is the next new moon?”, he enquired again. Jyothi was uncertain but dashed off to find out. He shared that he could only perform what was on his mind on a new moon day. My excitement plummeted to the ground with a mammoth thud. Oh well, I thought, there was at least a moment of sheer excitement at the possibility. He resumed talking, going back where he had stopped. Jyothi returned, “The next new moon is tomorrow”, he confirmed. Swami smiled with satisfaction at hearing that “WHAT?”, I shrieked within myself. “What were the chances?”, I thought in complete disbelief. Swami continued to smile warmly, blissfully, unsurprised. There were many instances during my interactions with him when I entertained the perception that Agathiyar himself was communicating; was that instance one of them? I could not contain my excitement for “tomorrow”. That was some flawless synchronicity. I held onto the knowledge and wisdom he imparted that day and was grateful for the little slice of quality time with him; uninterrupted. He confirmed that it was strangely unusual that there were no visitors or phone calls during that time which enabled us to talk. However, what about that small matter of the nadi reading I enquired of swami with much hope. “In January”, he smiled, disarmingly. Something had changed. The winds of change had blown.
“Tomorrow” arrived and the day did not disappoint. It exceeded my expectations. I have previously experienced and enjoyed “out of this world” grace from Agathiyar and the siddhas but that day brought me closer to gratitude and appreciation. There was/is no appropriate means to reciprocate. There is no equal to reciprocate. There is no better to reciprocate. The priceless treasure I left with that day is to, and will, unquestionably journey with me into my next life.
In Search of….
In the days that followed, I was carried off further by the winds of change, or was it by the hand of something greater? We had left Coimbatore. The timing appeared to be mysteriously perfect. I received a tap in the form of messages from one of Agathiyar's trusted and loyal devotees, Shanga from Malaysia. Some time ago we had spoken about the nadi reading using the thumbprint and he had then advised me to have mine done. Now that I was in India, Shanga thought he should remind me of that. I was experiencing some trepidation around it and convinced myself that it may not materialize as I did not have an appointment with a reader and I knew that would be difficult to arrange at short notice. Shanga however, was committed to make it happen. He was not dissuaded. On the contrary, he appeared to be on a mission. Within a few hours he (Shanga) unbelievably had secured an appointment with a nadi reader. I was amazed, words failed me. My anxiety grew. Shanga assured me there was nothing to be worried about. I turned to Shan aiya. He encouraged and supported me to go for it. And so I did…Shanga’s mission went into action.
We met the nadi reader late in the afternoon. He had travelled most of that day (approximately 6 hours) to meet with us to do my reading. That was inconceivable. On discovering that, I firstly could not understand why he would travel most of that day just to do a reading for an unknown person who did not have an appointment and secondly I began to feel pangs of guilt that he had to be inconvenienced in that way. Perhaps Shanga knew people in high places. Perhaps the reader knew Shanga well and it was a favour to him. That however, was the first indication that these events were possibly the hand of something greater.
We began with my prayers before pursuing the search about my life. Predictably my levels of anxiety and discomfort began to escalate. The process was lengthy. Time sped on. There was still no sign of my leaf. The reader was not discouraged; he happily continued the quest. My modest understanding of the process indicated that it was unusually long. I began to entertain thoughts that perhaps the mission was not sanctioned after all. A sense of relief went coursing through me. Perhaps it was not meant to be or the timing was not quite right. Perhaps …he was testing something…perhaps my patience. Shortly after that realization around my patience, my leaf presented itself. I had to swiftly reframe my thoughts. I had to accept that the search was approved hence the reading was meant to be and the timing was correct. That was simple enough. We were by then well into the night. It was decided that we re-convene the following morning to continue the mission.
We resumed around 11am the following day. It was acknowledged that my leaf was written by Agathiyar himself. The reading clearly stated that I had come in “search” with questions and was seeking answers. I had indeed. It promised to reveal them. It confirmed that I was privy to the information held in the leaf only at that point in time. It revealed and confirmed many truths, some I had been aware of and many I was oblivious to. Insights and knowledge around remaining questions were miraculously revealed. It was alot to process all at once.
We then arrived at the door of remedies (parikaram). First and foremost I was requested in the reading to worship the palm leaf in a special prayer. He positioned the “palm leaf” as my guru but I was more engrossed on the one who had written the leaf. I was asked to do a guru poojai with 5 specified items (and many little items such as grains etc), as 5 separate offerings. The reader diligently read on. My attention was held back by something else he had already mentioned. He stopped unexpectedly, and exclaimed, “ It says you must do it now”. It takes a few seconds before I catch up to that. I requested that he repeat what he had said. “It says you must do the guru poojai now”. My brain shifted gears, I was soon in reverse. I was wondering if we were in real time or …which time zone exactly? “Now!”, as in this moment. “What does that mean?” I whispered softly desperately attempting to conceal my ignorance. “It is written here, it says you must do this pooja and make this offering now, today”. That’s what I thought I heard him say. I had heard correctly. That was the second indication that there may have been the hand of something greater. By that time I was having ridiculous thoughts of bumping into something while in reverse. The nadi reader then threw me another challenge. “It says you must go to Agasthiyampalli, light a ghee lamp there and simply meditate in front of him, don’t pray, no thoughts, just sit with him and mediate.” I tried to get my mind around that, when he added, “It says you must go now, today, after the guru pooja.” I was discovering a new level of speechless. I had no words to articulate a question or questions. How could these requests realistically be achieved, now or today, I wondered. I had come face to face with an ancient documented reading that was informing me to perform certain activities, at that particular time (in the present). A reading that was unquestionably confident that I would rendezvous at that place at that specific time. That was the third indication…. . The reading also stipulated four other temple visits where specific offerings had to be made. Those temples were 6-10 hours away from where we were located.
In addition to the prescribed remedies mentioned in the reading, I had to receive a certain something from the jeeva nadi/nadi reader; which miraculously, swami (Thavayogi) had given to me a few days earlier. Could that explain why a reading with him did not take place or was not deemed necessary? From that two more pressing questions emerged, “Was swami talking with me when he said he would give me something on the new moon day and was it actually him who gave it to me the following day? That was the fourth indication …. .
The reading was done; but there was no relief. I felt more overwhelmed and clouded than before. Unpacking my long reading had ushered in the sunset. The cheerful nadi reader kindly showed us (my husband and I) into an adjoining prayer room to allow us to offer our thanks for being blessed with a reading. As I neared the entrance to the room I felt magnetically pulled in. It was a beautiful prayer room. It felt calming, embracing, and blissful; like a little piece of heaven. I surrendered to it’s invite. The entire front wall of the room graced two magnificient (almost life size), pictures. One of serene Lord Shiva and another of our dear father Agathiyar. A shelf like structure in front of the pictures, approximately a meter off the ground proudly held up Lord Ganesha, mother shakti and a granite representation of Agathiyar. They were adorned with beautiful fresh flowers and the senses did not miss the mild fragrance of incense. I realized I had made myself comfortable on the ground at the feet of Lord Shiva.
Our prayers were done…and the winds of change had blown, again. I was now firmly on a different trajectory.
The nadi reader returned; at which point a serious discussion around the poojas, temple visits, driving plan etc. followed. It was already a little after 5pm. The discussion grew more serious. I began to see possibilities. The pooja that had to happen “now” required numerous items, which had to be purchased. “But wait, wait”, halted the nadi reader suddenly, and swiftly left the room. He returned promptly with a source of reference to confirm if such a pooja could be performed at that time. He bent over the book in his hands. My mind began another race. “Yes”, be exclaimed loudly, “the time between this and that time tonight is very auspicious, we must go ahead”. That was the fifth indication….. (the auspicious time). The numerous items required for the pooja had to be purchased almost immediately to ensure the pooja was performed within the auspicious time. It was too late in the evening to drive out the distance to a bigger prayer shop to facilitate a card payment. Time was of essence hence the purchases had to be made from small traders close by, where cash was required. The demonitisation in India at the time had left us cash strapped with little room to maneuver. We were getting by through card payments. The reading had been settled but the pooja and the numerous items required had to be purchased without delay. We considered various possibilities. It was indeed a conundrum. Unpredictably, the nadi reader stated that he would go out and make all the purchases. He added that he knew what was required and where to get them and he would return in time to begin the pooja that evening. He declared that he too had difficulties withdrawing money but he would find a way to do it. He asked us not to be concerned around the money issue. To describe my reaction as astounded remains an understatement. It was beyond disbelief. I fleetingly wondered how much acute mental stimulation my head could accommodate. It was unacceptable to us. We could not inconvenience him further to such an extent. We tried to talk him away from it, unsuccessfully. He had decided. He insisted on going ahead and reminded us that time was running out.
A Defining Event
We returned to our hotel, freshened up for the prayer and hurried back to the Shiva/Agathiyar haven. The nadi reader arrived shortly afterwards clutching onto many bags of pooja purchases. He indicated that there were a few obstacles but he had surmounted them to get back in time. He put down the bags and caught his breath. Turning to me he declared, “You are very blessed, Agathiyar wants you to have this pooja tonight and so this pooja will take place tonight. All the obstacles were removed for you to have this pooja tonight”. That was the sixth indication…or was it a confirmation? A huge lump took hold of my throat and tears welled my eyes. The only appropriate response I could manage was a whisper of, “I know, I know and I am very grateful”. The auspicious time beckoned. He invited me to help him prepare and set out the pooja items. That for me was another privileged. With Lord Shiva and Agathiyar looking on, we began our prayers to Lord Ganesha and then proceeded to mother shakti. He (the nadi reader) gave me a mantra to concentrate on as I stood before Agathiyar ready to fulfill his request. He then led me through an abishekim that included an ancient bundle of nadi leaves in his possession, Agathiya’s rudrakash, paatharatchai (wooden sandles), kamandalam (water vessel), and his vaasi kol (wooden staff) (all his personal possessions). It was the most liberating, uplifting experience to hold each one. I was guided through gently cleansing each of them, adding a sweet fragrance, adorning them with sandal paste and other special items to enhance the beauty of each item. Agathiyar had requested that to be performed at that place, at that time, immediately after sharing what he had written in my leaf. That was far greater than if I chose to make the offering voluntarily. I could think of nothing more rewarding. The circumstances around how it all came to be required appreciation. Was it a defining event for the two of us? Were we connecting or reconnecting? How long did he wait since he had written my leaf until that time (that day), when I could serve him, again? Was he drawing me closer? Was he stoking my memories and emotions? Was it possible that the revelations from my reading and the several head spins had over activated my imagination? I was guided through various mantras, prayers and special readings as I pledged, accepted and committed to my “palm leaf” and presented my offering of the 5 trays. As I immersed myself into what I was being guided through I willingly lost myself in further surrender to the one I belong to; to the one I belong with. The pooja was a prerequisite to the other parikarams. In view of that it had to take place first and at that time to allow me to complete the remaining ones the following day. The pooja went on for approximately 3 hours although it felt like a 10-minute dream. The nadi reader was thoroughly pleased and satisfied that he and we had successfully fulfilled Agathiyar’s first request. Agasthiyampalli was next. It was by that time, around 12am, 31 December 2016. The kind nadi reader walked with us to our car and remarked, “You ended the year with this pooja, tomorrow (1st Jan) you begin the new year with a pooja at Agastiyampalli”. That was undeniably a profound observation. A new beginning was on the horizon.
We left the hotel for Agasthiyampalli around 4am, after approximately 2 hours of restless sleep. The long silent drive gave us (my husband and I) much opportunity to think, process and put much into perspective. I had heard much about Agathiyar at Agasthiyampalli and my excitement grew as we drew closer. At the entrance of the temple we were greeted by a strikingly, beautiful yellow butterfly (the yellow butterfly and I share some personal history, from Kalyana Theertham). I acknowledged the butterfly with a smile and a silent prayer. Other than three temple priests, there were no people around. We were shown to Agathiyar’s revered home. I was elated at being there however I had to remember not to break into conversation with him (our father) or pray or ask for anything, as was instructed in the reading. I was to just sit with him in meditation, no thoughts. I prepared, lit the ghee lamp and offered it to him before I took my place at his feet. I immersed myself in his energy and respectfully followed his instructions. When it was time to leave, I resisted the urge to communicate. I maintained a gaze as I wondered if he would know that I had been there. After a visit to the main temple we were heading towards the exit when we heard a call from behind. I turned around to find an elderly person calling out to us. He was standing outside the Agathiyar shrine. He was small in stature, very thin, a little bent over and had seen many years. He had in his hands a yellow garland. When I got close enough to him he handed me the garland and said “Here, Agathiyar gave this for you”, in Tamil. I was astonished, amazed. I accepted it graciously, thanking him profusely. I soon realized that I had gotten caught up in the moment and froze before him. “Okay, go now, go now”, he warmly motioned me towards the gate (in Tamil).
With that blessing we made our way towards the other remaining temples. The nadi reader called several times to ensure we were on track and would accomplish all the temple visits that day and before closing times. We inexplicably managed to achieve that, as well as the poojas that were specified. We returned to the hotel well after 12am, amazed at having accomplished what initially appeared as impossible.
Our days in India were nearing the end but there was just enough time for some introspection. Much had transpired in just a few weeks. I had built the trip around the guru pooja in Kallar. I was also seeking information and answers. I intended to visit some temples and special places. However, I discovered that there were other priorities that had to be fulfilled, which was part of a bigger plan, not my own. I reflected on my numerous experiences in India. I introspected around the necessity for me to experience the Nilgiri’s from within? Was the brief illness part of a plan to test or prepare me for what was to follow? My time at the ashram and with Thavayogi was precious as always but appeared more connected to my nadi reading. There were “winds of change” that carefully moved things around to accommodate the far greater plan. Shanga the loyal devotee was trusted to ensure that the reading came to fruition (It is now clear to me that he does know people in high places). That undoubtedly was the first and most important cog in the wheel, given that “the leaf” was awaiting my arrival. The nadi reader who defeated many odds to ensure the pooja took place that evening. Such extraordinary kindness and selfless commitment to helping others. Support from the nadi reader and our caring driver to ensure that all the temples were visited and the rituals completed. Since embarking on my young journey I have been fortunate and grateful for the numerous meaningful and miraculous experiences shown and given to me. Each experience appears to outdo the previous one. This trip was no different. Each time I thought it could not get better, I was shown otherwise. I was afforded the opportunity to meet and cross paths with some of the most extraordinary souls, beyond my imagination. From the doctor at the hospital, nurses, drivers, strangers, hotel manager, highly evolved souls, the homeless, friends and acquaintances. I have come to expect and enjoy these amazing experiences immensely but when I was dealt a blow through a sudden illness I had to embrace that as well. I am aware that there are many things I must suffer and endure relative to my karma. My only expectation and request of him is that he never forgets me and that he gives me strength. If he never leaves me and he gives me strength there is nothing I cannot surmount. (On a side note: he tells me I should not forget him). The nadi reading was the furthest thing from my mind when I left home for India but it became the most appreciated highpoint of my trip. I had no idea that the time was right and ripe for the reading. It signaled the end of a very long chapter and the beginning of a new one. I had gone to India with a litany of questions, did I return with the answers? Indeed, I did, beyond my expectations. The revelations from the reading brought that to a full circle.
A pleasant thought remains, “Did I go in search of myself or did the search come for me?”, regardless, the happy ending is that we found each other.