"Exhibiting You" - Story

Seeds of a New Order

By: joyshri
Submitted: 02/09/2009

Dorothy wanted to drive into the hills. Having spent her formative years at Woodstock, Mussoorie, she longed to smell resin and listen to the soughing of breeze through tall pines. I could only think of Kasauli which is a hop, step and jump from Chandigarh. After all, what better credentials than those offered by Khushwant Singh, who still waxes eloquent over its unspoilt solitude? There was also Alacia Hotel, famous for its delectable meat pies and roasts. Ms. Smallins- God bless her departed soul!- offered a squire’s menu peppered with gossipy tales about the Maharani of Jaipur, in whose palace she spent many years. However destiny and our palates decreed otherwise.

Oz and I went for phalooda and kulfi to Sai Sweets. Vikramjit creates the best concoction in town. He is well read, affable and one of the most helpful people I have had the good fortune to meet. When we mentioned Kasauli, he suggested Aurovalley Ashram at Rishiduar. He brushed aside all arguments, made numerous phone calls and arranged our stay and transportation. After a prolonged monsoon, cobbles have emerged from under washed away bitumen and the road is like a kutcha path. Fine, powdery dust covers everything. Coughs and colds follow. But whoever said a soul’s journey towards salvation is easy?

The Ashram was started in 1985 by Swami Brahmdev, a disciple of Sri. Aurobindo and an enlightened French woman: the “Mother.” Brick by brick, Swamiji created a Utopia. Yoga means action and all actions at the Ashram are towards physical and spiritual well being. Pilgrims from 180 countries have visited this remote area which is bordered by the Ganga. Food and dairy products are from the modest, economically planned fields. As I sat amongst rows of flowering mustard, I absorbed the energy of a throbbing universe with birdsong as its music. The early morning sunlight washed away mental baggage and allowed its cosmic energy to flow through every tiny atom of my being. No TV channels or newspapers with their horrendous stories. Just a lot of people come alive from a Van Gough painting, following their tasks diligently, in comparative silence. Dorothy and I whispered too.

We met all the visitors, many of them from Colombia, the most violent place on earth. I thought India warranted that dubious distinction but our visit to Aurovalley convinced me that we are also the spiritual capital of the world. With Gurus like Brahmdev and Ramdev, and settlements like Auroville and Aurovalley, a new order is emerging. It has no boundries of caste, country, religion or politics. It advocates universal energy, well being, wisdom, equality and self sufficiency. It is the epitome of Bapu’s non-violence.

Aurovalley is an open, pulsating, place dotted with a few pristine white, buildings. Light and space dominates all. There is no clutter of kistch, personal belongings, loud-speakers, consumer goods or modern, intrusive marvels. People have passed through its gates healed and whole. Like the thousands who have found their way here, by word of mouth, across continents, through narrow lanes and directions provided by the occasional passerby, we too entered the gates and hope to visit again. The vagaries of life have often to be left behind to discover our true selves. Noticing the foreigners, greed is entering the minds of many who hope to make a quick buck. The Ashram’s very existence is in jeopardy. Can we not let all that is good and peaceful prevail? When are we going to fight for what is beneficial to all, not just a few? Each one of us needs to stand up and be counted for what is right and true.

Donate Online »