Retreat..... "Words are often meaningless and they can't express the true feelings". These were Mohanji's words at one of the Satsangs. Retreat is a very shallow word for those four and a half days spent in Andeveljia, and I can't find the right words for the experiences I had.
Deep cleansing, detox, healthy living, relaxation for the mind, aligning of the body-mind-intellect trio, Yoga, breathing techniques, Satsangs, conscious walking, gap-breathing, Mantras, or, in totality, an absolute awareness building in the subtle level. This is how I would like to explain the whole program in a nutshell!
The most discussed subjects were Mind and Ego. Mohanji always says, Man - Ego = God, and he emphasized it even more, showing us the intricate and complicated structure of the human mind through many stories from the Hindu Mythology. For many, the explanations would have seemed like being taken through a road which was like the central market, with both sides of the roads filled with various toys, beautiful flowers and plants. You might stop anywhere and take a break. You would be mesmerized by the beauty of the place and the comfort it offered. You might stay longer till the time you realized that those were not real. They were illusions. They were mirages. The longer you stayed, the more you would want them. They are filled with emotions: both negative and positive. Fear based and love based. If you got stuck in fear based emotions, you would have stayed longer and got sucked into the illusions even further. It would have taken you further deep inside like a whirlwind. We all were in awe of the simplicity of Mohanji's explanations and how easily He came up with answers for our questions and doubts!
If we are able to anchor ourselves in love-based emotions while we take a break, we may be able to come out of this illusion sooner. As Mohanji explained, emotions are like weeds. They grow endlessly. If we energise emotions, they will grow faster. It can even influence our destiny. Among the weeds, there is a strong sandalwood tree. That is our intellect. If we train ourselves to use the intellect more often, we give rest to our restless mind and start taking the right steps to reach our goals in the market place called the world! But, beware of the parasites that creep up the sandalwood tree: they can be collectively termed as Ego. The feeling of "I, Me, Myself" that creeps in.... If we energise them, they grow and finally kill the sandalwood tree.
"Be Here Now", Mohanji said in three simple words. This is meditation, this is being spiritual. Be present. Be fully aware of your consciousness. Most of us could understand what he meant. The reason was simple: we were witnessing someone who was practicing it! Mohanji himself. I remember one of my mates telling me "I saw the angry face of Mohanji today, which I had never seen before. He had that Shaivic vigor and the fire in him!"
Yes, we all saw that face when some indiscipline prevailed in the crowd for a while. But the very next minute he would be back to his ever-smiling, ever-loving peaceful state. Even his expression of anger is based in love. He was so spontaneous that we could never imagine being that natural in this world of illusion! The beauty was that he wasn't keeping his anger against anyone, nor was he judging anyone for a mistake that they made at that moment in time. He showed that life is fun when we can be as flexible as he is!! And, most importantly, He was ever present within us all the time!
The masters show us the way. They teach us the way. It is up to us to choose. Are we choosing the path? The right path showed by them? Mohanji shows us the path of pathlessness where the basis is Unconditional Love. We need to move ahead selflessly. We have a Master who literally shows us how to walk this path. He is an epitome of selfless and unconditional love. He is like a child. He is like us. He is living like an ordinary man, but He is by no means an ordinary man!! Now, it is up to us to decide. We are on planet earth and we are travelling. We may have to take breaks in between, beside the beautiful road. That is our Karma. We need to exhaust our Karmas. When we do that, remember that we have to come back to the path and continue the journey to reach the destination. We forget that we have a destination and we get involved in the illusion. As per our choices we decide how long we will stay in this illusion. If we stay longer, we create more Karmas, which will take more time to exhaust. Since the journey is long and hard, just by thinking it is hard, we get tired. To simplify this, Mohanji introduced the conscious walks. This taught us how to walk the path.... One step at a time... Being conscious... Being aware... Being in the present.... Not thinking about the destination and worrying about it.... Aligning ourselves to our central meridian: our spine...
Being with the Master, we learned the importance of flexibility. When you are full of love, spontaneous and selfless, you automatically become flexible. We felt that Mohanji was much more flexible than any of us even though his schedule was much more tedious than ours! When we were sleeping, he was meeting many of us one-to-one! The one-to-one meetings with Mohanji changed many! Being subtle, at the same time, being in a physical form is a very difficult proposition. Hence, to understand such a personality is also a tough ask. No one could really see him in totality. We saw what we wanted to see in him. Some saw the flexibility part of Him, others saw Unconditional Love and a few of us could see the fire of his anger too! As He always says, "I am what you make of me"! And He "does his job" all the time tirelessly, by imparting knowledge and transmitting energy!!
During the journey, do we have any control? Can we change the environment? Do we have any control over others? No. Can we even change the way our heart beats, or our internal organ function? No. The only thing we can control is our own breath: The Prana that goes into our system. The gap breathing helped us in understanding how we breathe. Mohanji taught us the importance of time, by observing that small little gap between breaths. We could ask the mind to stay put while doing this exercise and concentrate on ourselves. Moreover, we also did a breathing exercise before and after yoga. This was an improvised Pranayama, designed by Mohanji, who received it telepathically from higher consciousness. We all were totally filled with an abundance of positive energy each time we did it. Those who have been initiated to Kriya know how important breathing is. It can change you and lead you to total liberation.
Our body is like a temple which is the abode for our soul. It is our duty to look after our body as well. We clean the exterior by taking bath. How about our inside? Yoga did that for us each morning. There were many parts of the body that we didn't know about. There were many aspects of our organs that we took for granted. Yoga made us aware of all those. Though they were just hour and a half sessions, they taught us a great deal. In life, we aspire to balance. If we become out of balance, we fall prey to many negativities. Yoga teaches balance. Many of us were struggling to do some of the Asanas, but we all loved the experience. As Biba said whenever we had a difficult Asana: "Breathe Through The Pain".... This is applicable in life too... During painful moments in life, just accept the situation, breathe through the pain and we can definitely come out with ease!!
Time was short. Four full days and one half day were all that we had. Mohanji had to intensify the program. From the second day onwards, we all could feel the energy becoming stronger and many of us could not take it. None complained however. We needed it from the Master. I had a headache on the penultimate day. But thanks to the love of my friends from Serbia, I recovered fast. The most intensive of all was the Shiva Kavacha Mantra. This Mantra is very, very strong. It has deep meanings. It exemplifies the intriguing and unfathomable sides of Shiva. In fact, it takes us through all the fascinating faces of Shiva. What became more powerful for all of us, even for those who didn't understand a word, was the the way the Mantra was recited by Mohanji. The briskness and crispness of the recitation, along with the power of his voice, as well as the stress on each word made it extremely energizing. We were spellbound whenever we heard the Mantra. Each time I could not resist my tears, though I wasn't crying. My hands automatically went to the folding posture and I felt as if I was merging into Shiva. The sense of fearlessness it gave was incomprehensible.
I bow to you Maha Deva! I surrender to you, Maha Shiva!!
At the end, when we left the resort, we all had our hearts filled with emotions...."Clarified Emotions".... or in simple words, devotion. Devotion to the Master. Along with devotion, we all had immense gratitude too. This gratitude will not end in the magical two words of "Thank You".... As I mentioned Mohanji's words in the beginning, words are shallow! Many have had their lives totally changed within these four and a half days! A devotee felt that it was like a big voice saying, "Wake Up"!!! Most of us had that inner transformation that shook the sheer existence of our being in this world and redirected us to the right path! The path of pathlessness where we need to flow like a river. In Mohanji’s own words, "The concepts bind us. Move out of concepts and liberate." Mohanji himself is the best example for this: a married man with a child and people expected a serious man, having worldly chains holding him to the ground. But we saw a liberated man, living life in a simple way, becoming a father, brother, friend or a master to many!
Namaste, Mohanji, our beloved Guru! You are taking all of us with you on this beautiful journey called Life!
As they say, "anything money can buy is cheap". What we received during the retreat was priceless! So, the gratitude that we all have for the Master and the organizers is immense and will last for a lifetime!
Before ending this note, I have to express my gratitude to all the fellow participants in the retreat. You all loved me and treated me like a king! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! Many of you proved time and again that love doesn't have any language: You communicated love even though you didn't know English. As Mohanji says, gratitude is the biggest asset that you can possess. I truly, deeply and honestly am grateful to all of you!! Love always!
Author: Jay Vasu