…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane - Kolwan C

This is an ANL 'redub' taken from the lengthy letter produced at the time. It is being broken into dated entries here and some piccies being added.  This was a definite highlight in the two years!  Did you miss the start - go back two days.

So, gently back into routine with a 5am wakeup. 7am class, but had to allow time to get there – everything is so widely set apart, which is fine, but it requires planning. It appears that we may have some adjustments, based on Swami-ji’s opening comments. Am quite glad really as the workload was looking a tad ominous, to be honest. The afternoon class here will be 4-5 instead of 4.30-5.30 and there are a few other minor changes but don’t think anyone is bothered. The place is blissing us all out! We all came out to a fog-ridden sunrise that was quite beautiful, haunting even. Then glorious sunshine and a rosy sunset over the hills. Despite the fact that now one’s ears have adjusted and found that there are many sounds in the silence, it is one of the most peaceful settings I have ever had the joy to visit. Similar experiences came from being in the Cairngorms and the west coast of Scotland and also at Kata Juta/Uluru and other such places. Stunning.

Breakfast was idlis with really good sambar and lunch today was a spectacular cauliflower and peas dish with more of that yummy dhal and rotis… for the first time since I arrived in India, I went back for seconds!!  So much for the packed box... It will get used in the evenings though.

After lunch I had a wee stroll around some of the flatter parts of the settlement then back into the room for more study. That is going to pretty much be the norm I think. We all got a bit of fright when we were handed Ad.Mak. bhashya in total sanskrit – not a word of English in sight. We have Guru-ji’s version also, but we are studying from the sanskrit only. This is a lesser known work and is designed for more senior students who are striving through the contemplation stage of vedantic study. It assumes the presence of questions and doubts; there are those who intellectually know that Brahman is all – but unless one is living the experience of being Brahman, then it must be said that doubts/blocks are present. If they were not, then it could be said that one is realised.

Okay. Pooped again.

Having one of my less better days, mood-ways and physically. Had not expected the walking here to be quite as much of a challenge as it is turning out to be - the paths are cobbled and need to focus on balance, also many gradients and steps to be negotiated, plus distances are significantly more than they are at Sandeepany. All this lends to the beauty of the place, but for this body it is proving rather taxing - and we are only four days in. It is not just the physical effort required - the concentration on my feet is tiring and realised that my whole body is tense with keeping upright!

Advaitananda-ji was commenting on the nature of the student who may be querying the need for this text, perhaps not thinking that they have any doubts or questions on the matter of being Brahman. Indeed there are those - like myself - who rarely if ever ask questions; this can mean one of two things. Either they were attentive and receptive enough to have fully understood - or they are too lazy to think! Generally, though, it is simply that they do not recognise what is represented in doubt. He gave the clear and brilliant example of holding up his watch and asking if anyone had any doubt as to its being, indeed, a watch. Of course not.

As clear as we were about the nature of the watch, so we need to be about our true nature being Brahman.

Which means that everyone in that room (I suppose) would have to now admit to doubt. As long as one is not in the full state of understanding True Nature, there IS doubt - even if it has not formed itself into a question.

In short, we have to get honest. As long as we are not Brahman, we are in doubt.

Getting honest comes with some discomfort in as much as one is again questioning one's spiritual fortitude. Not the intellectual, interestingly (as once I might). This text is already doing what I suppose swami-ji was pointing out above and whether it is that, the physical condition, or hangover depression from the monsoon fever I don't know, but felt really fragile today. It came to me that part of this is due to the very tranquil surroundings, by which I mean, it is my inclination to sit in nature anyway and preferably in solitude. Thus, finding myself in an environment which I would choose, but with restrictions to its full enjoyment due to time-tabling, I acknowledge some frustration. The best part of the day is sitting in here with the window wide open and watching the tableau of grasses brushed by breeze, several different bird and insect species, listening to their songs - and I swear I heard the butter fly…

It was cold last night. Needed the hottlebottle.


  1. Hari OM
    Welcome to the word-blog Krishna! Hope you checked back on the first two instalments and will take up the remaining two. Several of the SUNday posts over at MY TAKE were from this stay at Kolwan. An amazing place.


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