…..'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 E

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 four days.  This post a little 'supersized' in order to complete the set and on Tuesday's Me-now-views there will be a further display of piccies.  Thanks for sharing this special visit with me!!

After morning vedanta class, we had no other schedule today in celebration of Diwali. The day was cooler and a tad overcast but very pleasant nevertheless. I spent a goodly part of the morning outside for a change, hanging with my li’l bros and bird watching. Late morning I began sorting the photos already taken on the visit .

Now everyone has climbed the big hill to Ganapati Mandir for puja and dancing. I sent my camera with Sunone. Meanwhile, I have lit the 6 little deepas I brought with me, set the incense going and have a peek out the curtains every so often to see if I can glimpse some of the show of fireworks from the town. They’ve been banging and flashing for 3 hours already. Have caught sight of a couple of pretty rockets, but they are mostly ground-based crackers and things, so only really seeing sky-flash – am glad not to be too near though, with all the noise. As the show has picked up, the loud speaker broadcast singing of bhajans has dropped away. Anyway, today really has been a holiday and am feeling very relaxed.

…………….thinking, thinking…………
How is it that we even contemplate the possibility of eternity and immortality? Something must have triggered such concepts - and it is not that we have a cosmos that SEEMS ageless, because it has been established that said cosmos has a use-by date! There is a knower of the knowledge and it is that we have to connect with.

As humans we are able to note and record the births and deaths of our children and ancestors. To do that we ourselves have to be present… but at this level we also have to accept our own birth and death - - - as bodies. What is it in us that is aware of it all? As jiva we certainly cannot know our own birth and death - but atma has ensured that the memories retained in mind from previous births reveal themselves to us throughout this birth itself - albeit that we also don't recognise them as such, for they will come out in the form of desires, talents, hatreds, etc. (vasanas resulting in prarabdha). Those who have no insight regarding previous births will still say that this is the only existence there is; but ancient wisdom and experience of countless others from each successive generation has proven otherwise.

This I suppose only highlights the fact of differing rungs on the spiritual ladder and, with some, leads to elitism and secretiveness of "the Knowledge". Vedanta doesn't do that, it just sits and waits for seekers to find it. When we are ready, it is there.

From this you will see that we are going into some very deep areas with Advaita Makaranda – this is the gristly stuff I have been waiting for! Not that there haven’t been lots of contemplative moments in previous readings, but we have reached a point in the course and our understanding whereby our brains have been ‘elasticised’ and are capable of expanding even further – like one of those snakes swallowing an antelope.

Just when you think you’ve thunk your greatest thought, you’re taught to see the thought behind the thinking…

Okay, I swear the dew drops this morning were actually ice crystals. It was officially “parky” last night and even the two blankets were feeling thin. It was equally cold on morning of the 15th, but it didn’t stop a number of our more adventurous spirits from climbing the local ‘peak’, led by Samvid-ji. 

Now we are on the downward run of our three weeks. All are starting to sigh deeply and look
longingly at the hills and fields – At Diwali, some local ladies came to get clean water for food preparations. How elegantly they flowed, like the fluid they carried.

On Diwali night a few of the group went into Kolwan to visit three of the nearby temples (tiny places compared to ours of course, but holy places none-the-less). In the process they met several of the locals, as well as viewing the mud construction work of some of the children. The local custom is to create Siva-ji’s fort and all the creatures that surround it. This is quite a prosperous little place and many of the cottages wore satellite dishes. (As do many of the shanties next to Sandeepany I should tell you.)

Many of these people also keep dogs as pets. You may recall from our first visit here back in January I had snapped a very regal looking fellow with big collar and bell? I mentioned Moti the Mutt (gardener’s dog) earlier. Kalpana also found a lovely black Labrador waiting for its master outside one temple and one family had a treasured calf, no doubt with a view to milk supply in the not too distant future!

Oops, got interrupted the other day and never got back. Allowed myself an hour yesterday of birding (Sunday) but then had to closet myself as was nominated to write up the entire summary of Vakya Vrtti – took me until this arvo to complete it. In between keeping up with Ad.Mak.
Had a bit of crack-up yesterday at lunch when Samvid-ji approached and said “amma you’re looking so well, it is good to see… you should phone Acarya-ji and tell him we need to stay here!” (indicating his own desire to remain at Vibhooti). Just one problem, I said. No telephone. But I appreciated the sentiment. 

The atmosphere is redolent with a sense of
‘clinging’ which is of course totally un-vedantic. Release that attachment people! You may get a sense of the stress-freeing effect of the place from this piccie of Kraziegal and myself sitting on the verandah of Yashoda. Even though the study has been intense, it has not left its lines upon our brows. Those of us who have cameras are going crazy, snapping anything and everything for the memory box.

I have decided that will send this tomorrow (20th) from the WiFi facility down the hill – I just like the idea of it being “postmarked” from Vibhooti. What to say, I’m romantic that way. That means this will be the final entry of the ‘Kolwan diary’. 

Hope I haven’t bored the sox of yez all. It’s hard not to be excessively enthusiastic when surrounded by the awesome.
With love and blessings
From Gurudev’s Footprints,

Here ends the revisit to a wonderful experience.  On Tuesday, check out some more images from this incredibly beautiful place.  Hari Om!


  1. I have enjoyed re-reading this again, sounds a perfect place. And am looking forward to seeing the images later in the week.
    Hilary xx

  2. Hari Om
    Lady Vicki and Mum - yes it is close to perfection I would say! Drop by tomorrow also as I will be giving a guest spot to Foxy-dog from Kolwan, just to close the loop on the week of reruns. Wags, YAM-aunt xx

  3. Enjoyed the re read. And yes vibhooti is so lovely. Looking forward to my visit here in sep, and to see th finished ganapati mandir, which was under construction when we visited. Hugs

  4. Hari OM
    It's a place to remember what breathing really is!! &*>

  5. I love the bird in the photo, Yam. Is it unidentified to the world at large, or just to me?
    I also enjoy reading your comments. Lady Vicki is so pretty. One of my close friends had a miniature dachshund, short-haired, thank goodness, because she liked nothing better than to wait for a chance to raid my friend's chicken run. She could eat an entire chicken, then sleep for three days while digesting it. I'm sure Lady Vicki doesn't do such things, but dachshunds were originally bred as hunting dogs because they could get into (and, apparently, out of) burrows made by whatever the critters were that were hunted (I hope not badgers, too too fierce).
    But hunting is probably even more abhorrent to you than it is to me, which is pretty bad.
    Always wonderful to hear from you, even when I'm late getting to it. (Have been away again, which you may have read, traveling with husband and dog.)
    Luv, K

  6. Hari Om
    Hey Kay - ooops ought to have labelled - all a bit groggy with the fever... It's a Purple-rumped Sunbird, male of the species. About 6 inches from bill to tail tips and the prettiest of songs. Honey-eater hummingbird style.

    I believe Vicki eyes down the neighbours cat - but think that's as far as it gets! Do visit her over at "Think before you say yes" - it's on the blog roll over there!! YAM xx


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