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

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menophystical [men-oh-fist-ickle]; the condition of disarray

You came expecting a bit of soppy, a bit of huggy, a bit of the old menosukhi, perhaps? Well there kinda is some of that in this little pot-pourri of a post. However, it also reflects, by the nature of its mish-mash, that the focus is a bit dislodged. 

Then again, not really.  

It's just that there's a bit going on.  Inside. Mostly pertaining to this being the day exactly one year past when I spoke with Acharya-ji for the final time at Sandeepany before taking up adjustment to uncloistered life once more. His last words ring in my heart and the warmth of his hug will forever embolden me, for contained within both of these things was compassion, trust, encouragement ...and of course that Love with the capital 'ell'. This week, too, I watched the vids put up on Chinmaya Channel of the inauguration of the 16th batch and the Ganesha puja; seeing some familiar faces of what became family to me.

There is a level of nostalgia of course, but more than anything I am enheartened and there is a sense of refreshment - particularly seeing all those eager faces embarking upon the newness of ashram life and wondering "did I look that innocent?!!"

I don't think one can, when the hair is grey and the body clearly not lithe and limber.  Almost certainly, though, there would have been evidence of some transformation written upon the increased lines and the lie of the brow.

It was often spoken, but truly it is only in hindsight that it can be fully understood.

What? That it was to be the time of our lives.

That the privilege of being awarded a place (entry here is by a far different measure than your average university) cannot be overestimated. That the challenges therein are beyond any to be found without. That the rigours will sort the chiff from the chaff. That to complete the course with an endorsement of one's teacher is a joy indescribable...

There is no way that the profundity of such an experience can truly be relayed - particularly in a blog post! - but it was felt necessary to mark the occasion as the dust from globe-trotting has settled and a firm pattern of daily living is again developing; as the homage to all that learning grows over at Aatmaavrajanam blog.  Yes it has afforded me the status held by priests and ministers, lama-s and rabbi-s... but it is not status or title which is sought.  First one lives it. Then one points to the path.  It is done in gratitude to the teachers and their teachers.

Passing on the Love with the capital 'ell'.

Such Love manifests in many places and in a variety of ways. In a recent trip to the Dunoon Castle House museum there was a display about the Grammar School and some of its alumni.  One caught my eye and demanded some investigation.

The card below gave lots of clues, but it did not jog any memories of hearing of this hero.

Of course there is good ol' Wiki which you can look up yourselves. 
There are some entries on ancestry research sites and also Search Scotland, which is essentially from Wiki anyway.

What was interesting was that Rev Caskie wrote his autobiography with the title of THE TARTAN PIMPERNEL. It is available on Amazon!

The thumbnail history is this: born on the island of Islay, educated in Dunoon, took the cloth in Edinburgh and was serving in Paris at outbreak of WW2... during evacuation felt the call to stay on 'pays de la guerre' and was a major force in the network which helped transport British and other nationals out of France to safety.  He was caught and charged twice by the Germans, ending up as POW. After war remained as minister in Paris for some time. The book was written as a fundraiser to renew the church building there.  He did serve some time as minister over at Wemyss Bay then retired to Edinburgh. He is buried on Islay.  

For a very different take on story telling, though, something made me search on the tubular thingo.  Now for reasons known only to the ether-pixies the uplink to the two-part song a Mr Gordon Whyte placed there will not permit me to bring you this musical tribute. I do, however, wholeheartedly recommend you search for his videos under the titles of Donald Caskie (Part 1).wmv and Donald Caskie (Part 2).wmv as I was very impressed.

...........Okay, that is two courses of 'mash' out of the way.  What's for dessert?

I GOT A PARCEL IN THE POST!!! Can you make out that stamp? Yup.  Other side of the pond.

Curious?  Come back tomorrow then!


  1. What an interesting historical account..you write of things that are foreign to me...I feel I'm learning from you.


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