TTC at Ahobilam
In May 1990, Nina and myself, very enthusiastically and excitedly went for our Teachers Training program for thirty days in Ahobilam, a town in Andhra Pradesh, which I mentioned before.
We expected 40 to 50 participants to be there and were very eager to spend thirty days with Guruji, We were three of us who left Mumbai – Ravi Bhai, Nina and I. We were very happy that Guruji received us. When we reached, no one was there besides the 3 of us. We thought people would come the following day, but no one came.
One other person came. Finally we were just three of us with Guruji with one other volunteer, Anusuyama.
We were very dejected for some time about the fact that no one had come. But we got rejuvenated with the thought, that we would get special attention from Guruji for next thirty days!
Wow! What a feeling. Just three of us with Guruji. Eager to learn so much from him.
The first day started with him taking us for walk as usual and teaching us while we were walking with him.
The second day too went the same way and we were super excited, wow! What attention, love and care we were getting from Guruji. On the third day something happened and Guruji went into meditation in his room.
Guruji was in meditation and a group of about fifty meditators along with Raviji came to visit him – all of them waiting for his darshan. They waited for about an hour in the morning, but Guruji continued meditating.
They went and played fun club, had their lunch and patiently waited for the darshan but Guruji was still meditating. They waited till 6 in the evening and finally started to sing bhajans. The bhajan went on for couple of hours and Guruji was yet deep in meditation. Finally they did namaskar from far and left.
Guruji went into his silence. I don’t know when he opened his eyes, because he was in his room and the room was closed. We thought we would meet him the next day and find out more details about his meditation but we did not get to see him in the next day.
We waited for a day more, a day more and a day more and we simply waited… he did not come out of his room at all for the next nineteen days! We were in one room while he was in the other room. He would just send messages and instructions to us through the volunteer as to what to do.
For us it was such a different experience that Guruji was present in the next room but we are not seeing him. Well, that was the biggest learning in the teachers training program – a tremendous sense of delegation!
Not only delegation but trust and responsibility on us, to leave us on our own to self-learn. We would be just hearing the CD, reading the manuals and doing our mock session etc. on our own.
In this process Guruji was there for nineteen days, just in one room and it gave us an idea of how a person can be so happy… so, so, so happy, just sitting in one room, doing nothing. That is the time Guruji was writing one book and reminded me of what probably Gandhiji or Aurobindo may have gone through sitting for years, in one place, being happy for no reason.
Further, on the nineteenth day at 7 o’clock, it was very, very, very hot… probably near about 48 degree centigrade. We could hardly sit with the back support of the wall as the wall was so burning hot. Going through the extreme heat of Ahobilam was quite tough for all of us.
This is how it started but on the nineteenth day it suddenly rained and rained. So heavily, that the whole weather changed. It became beautiful, amazingly cool. Nina and I were so happy, so happy that we literally ran off to take a walk. We walked for about three hours. This however was after nineteen days.
When we came back again Guruji sent a word to us that ‘We must never break the group!’ He reiterated that never never break the group in a camp. Nina and I wondered ‘What group? Which group?. We were only three of us, out of three, two of us went husband and wife for a walk.
But then I realized what he meant was, it doesn’t matter what the size of group was. Once you are in a group, be with the group, be with your team, be always with the team. That was a deep learning for me and I practice this in all the camps I have conducted in the last 25 years.
I have always lived & advocated the principle of taking everybody along. To me – ‘Truth’ is to take everybody along. This episode at Ahobilam got deeply etched in me.
I rarely go on holidays just with my biological family. I generally go on a holiday or for that matter, take up any project with lots of friends-my full family.
Thank you Guruji!