Sacred India Tour 2010

Sacred India has no beginning and no ending. It allows us to experience the eternal song of life in all it’s multidimensional facets. It is the home of my soul, and returning here for a spiritual pilgrimage brings immense fulfilment.

Shiva Lingam at Varanasi

Shiva Lingam at Varanasi

We have wonderful guides, Niten and Santoshi who offer their great enthusiasm and years of experience to bring us a journey of a lifetime. We began our tour in Varanasi, representing conscious death, a place where people come on pilgrimage to be purged of impurities and meet death as though slipping into the embrace of a lover. In this holy place, the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, they are meeting God while bathing in the river, or being cremated in the fire, or in the continuous flow of music and chanting. I have never seen such a filthy place in all my life, and yet, in spite of this, the transmutation of poison into nectar was luminously present.

The highlight for me in Varanasi was the two hour Shiva Puja which we were privileged to have offered to us. I was completely captivated by the chanting, the presence of the glorious Shiva Lingam, and the very sensuous ritual, where-in we smeared the Lingam with precious scented oils, with ghee, with honey, with spices and ablutions of milk, cleansed and washed it, and finally offered tiers of flowers and fruits. I felt fully blessed through this experience and this quality has not diminished with the passage of time. I felt in those two hours, that we stepped through a transparent veil into another world, another century, another dimension, where devotional love is the ruler of time, mind and all the senses.

Varanasi photo gallery – you can click on each image to enlarge, or choose the ‘slideshow’ option – you can make the images fullscreen by clicking on the icon with 4 arrows.

Sarita in Khajuraho

Sarita in Khajuraho

From Varanasi we went to Khajuraho, a series of Tantra temples, representing sexuality and the invitation to allow meditation to be present in all aspects of life, including our most sensual explorations. The temples are simply exquisite, and are maintained in pristine cleanliness, with gorgeous gardens all around. It is a tremendous pleasure to explore them, taking time to be in awe of such masterful artistry. We were truly blessed to be guided by Ganga, a man who was Osho’s tour guide in Khajuraho, where Osho went numerous times. Ganga received a very powerful transmission from Osho on the subject of Khajuraho and on Tantra in general. I could really feel Osho’s presence in Ganga’s words and gestures as he lovingly shared his experiences of being with the Master and receiving his wisdom. Later, when Ganga had become a disciple of Osho and was living in the commune, Osho asked him to go back to Khajuraho and sing Osho’s song, which he has been doing ever since. He runs an esthetic, clean and loving hotel where people can relax into the nurturing ambiance of Ganga and the Khajuraho vibe. Khajuraho photo gallery

We then journeyed to Jabalpur, where Osho was a student and then a professor in the University. We stayed in an Osho ashram there, which is on the edge of a marvelous forested area with a beautiful lake. The highlight in this place was to meditate on a very big rock where Osho used to go and meditate regularly, between 1952–1960. The rock has definitely received his transmission. The whole group of us who sat there were transported into deep meditation, and then found ourselves in spontaneous, ecstatic celebration.

Receiving the ecstasy of Osho’s transmission

Receiving the ecstasy of Osho’s transmission

We went to the tree in Jabalpur where Osho experienced enlightenment at the age of 21. I believe that none of us were expecting anything in that strange theme park, decorated with huge plastic dinosaurs. And then we met the tree. And in the tree, we met a presence which was so palpable as to be truly astonishing. I have spent years at Osho’s feet, and so am able to recognize his unique fragrance and presence. I experienced that this tree is the body of Osho. Touching this tree, we are touching Osho’s body. Being embraced by this tree, we are receiving Darshan. It was an extraordinary blessing. As we were meditating there, a local television crew came and asked to interview some of us and to take photos and film us imbibing Osho’s sacred presence through the tree.

After that, still drunk on the divine, we made our way to the Narmada River with the famed marble rocks. We stayed in a hotel run by a Sannyasin named Anil. He was an angel with us, taking us to a very moving sunset Puja by the river. After a feast at his hotel, he then took us for a river cruise with the almost full moon lighting our way. To move in silence upstream and to experience the incredible beauty of this place is a darshan in itself. Everything Osho said about the marble rocks is true, it is one of the wonders of the world. We stopped our boat after about half an hour, and clambered out onto some ghostly white marble rocks which were jutting out into the river. Some people meditated, some people slept, and we were all lulled into the very heart of beauty and silence. It was utterly magical. Anil told us, if we want to come back for a longer time, he can take us on a trip to the marble rocks lasting a few days, and we can just be in the nature imbibing the beauty. He also guides people into Tantric experiences using the 64 sculptures at the Yogini temple in his village. When we visited the temple, it was amazing to feel the energy emanating from the deity inside, the only one of it’s kind in the world, a sculpture of Shiva and Paravati on their marriage day, riding on the back of a bull. Jabalpur photo gallery

Former maid in Osho's house recounts tales of him as a boy

Former maid in Osho's house recounts tales of him as a boy

With much gratefulness in our hearts for Anil, we then journeyed 5 hours by Taxi over abominable roads, to reach Osho’s birthplace. There is an Osho ashram there, run by both Japanese and Indians. It is right on the edge of Osho’s birth village, a tiny hamlet, with houses made of mud brick and cow dung. Crowds of children swarmed around us as we made our way to the house which had been Osho’s home for the first 7 years of his life, the house of his grandparents. The house is abandoned, though it has been kept from complete ruin through the efforts of the nearby ashram. What I experienced meditating in that humble room where he was born, is beyond words. Tears kept welling up in my eyes as I found myself in resonance with the immensity of his soul, born into simplicity and innocence, yet brimming over with enlightened presence. We were guided to the mud, straw and stick hut of a very old woman who was a maid servant in Osho’s grandparents house when Osho was a child there. With ever present raucous laughter, she recounted how he never worked, but simply drank milk, a real lord of the manor so to speak. At the end of our meeting, we found ourselves showering her with money and expressing our gratitude to her for looking after the well being of our master so many years before. Osho’s birthplace photo gallery

At the foot of the holy mountain

At the foot of the holy mountain

The next day, we came to Pachmari, a hill station, which has many sacred sites and breathtaking views over a vast terrain of wild forests, lakes and rivers. Here, we relaxed in a very luxurious hotel, decorated in a style reminiscent of the British Raj with wonderful vibrant gardens, and a staff ever ready to wait on us hand and foot. This is a great way to unwind and relax after the series of very intense experiences. Today, in the morning, we walked up 1200 steps to the top of a mountain with a Shiva temple on top. The temple was not very interesting, having been left incomplete, but the views as we climb up and down are phenomenal. And to top it all off, an Ayurvedic massage with a 3rd generation practitioner of this art, who is very gifted. This helped to iron out  very sore muscles from the climb up the holy mountain. Pachmari photo gallery

Stay tuned for more sacred tours, with Niten and Santoshi as guides!

Love from Sarita

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