“Don’t put your enlightenment outside of you-not in India, in the past, in the future, in gurus or experts. Honor the revelations that come from your own direct living experience.” – Lorin Roche
The Guru: A shriveled-looking man with a cane in his hand, stare as blank as a gun’s barrel and with the equal possibility of inflicting death. He promised good karma in exchange for a kilo of fire wood, fire wood to be used in the cremation of the deceased, the many deceased who desire to be put into the mother of all rivers as their final resting place, the Ganga.
I smiled with my eyes and not my mouth. Then I heard her call my name seductively and provocatively, I couldn’t help but follow gingerly and uncertainly. I chuckled nervously while saying that this experience might change my life forever, subconsciously expressing what my soul desired seriously. She drifted from my vision so graciously and with every reemergence set me wild with transient ecstasy. How did she? Why would she? What did she want from me? Calling me into her womb, a womb so cold, it burned! I dive, I dip and I wash. Has my karma has been cleansed now? What part of my karma did I truly not want? I don’t know, but I do know that I felt better after being with her, walking beside her, around her, in her. Her streams flow fresh from the mysterious Himalayas, innocent and silky on the surface, but like any body of water within her lie the darkest of secrets and fates.
With burning eyes and tears welling within, I did not understand whether it was joy or the resurfacing of buried fears causing the shivers down my spine. Perhaps understanding is not what I now must learn, maybe acceptance is something that I should discern. The emotional storm was finally over but the meteorological one approached from ahead. Palms pressed against each other, thumbs to my chest, breath long and subtle, sunset orange, pink and red. Gratitude -oh, how I wish there were a greater word for it- flows over my chest, the smell of familiar scents and some that are new and rare. Softly, the wind kisses my sweating brow, then it drizzles and rains.
With a feeling of renewal I observe my infatuation with the journey I am on, I sense a sadness arise at my realization of the inevitable arrival at a terminus. I may arrive without a grand finale, and not even a round of applause. I may think “this can’t be the end, can it?”, and I hope I remember to tell myself to congratulate and clap for myself and be content with it. For only I would have witnessed and experienced it fully, only I can and will appreciate it as much as I do, and will.
I am celebrating my life alone, no gora, no guru and with the Ganga out of sight. You can watch.