What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menoculayshunal; No Fear

On posting this image over on the instything, telling of the sunrise taken from the moving bus on the Mumbai-Kolwan (Pune) road, a follower asked, "YAM, were you ever afraid?" My response was, "...of what?"

Fear is not something that figures much in my life. At least, not fear for myself. If the question was about being on the road in India, generically speaking, there were never any worries. One learns that what appears to be chaos actually has its own pattern and logic. There were occasional heart-in-mouth moments for a cow or a donkey or a pedestrian or two... Anyway, it is to be remembered that I lived in Nigeria for a couple of years. Driving there was definitely scary. More from the perspective that drivers of trucks in the oncoming direction could not be relied upon to be awake. Let's face it. Driving anywhere in the world is hazardous. 

If the question pertained to being in India as a whole, then the answer is definitely no. Excitement and rejuvenation, yes. 

If the question came from the base of "how can you not be frightened at leaving familiar territory?" then I have to think of the questioner as themselves sitting in quite some fear at the thought. There are many who simply cannot envisage moving away from the place they have always known. Physically and metaphysically. It might be argued that if one cannot comprehend existence beyond one's immediate physical world, the idea of that physical world being altered or removed in some way will result in a condition of anxiety, of which there are many levels including fear. Fear for oneself tends to come about where there is a perceived threat to one's existence. By existence it is meant not just life itself, but how we conduct that life. Habits, routines, possessions... attachment to all these results in us running the risk of feeling their loss. Worse still, the anticipation of loss. That can be more crippling, almost, than the actual loss itself, for the mind takes us into all sorts of dark places, thinking about what might happen as a result.

Attachment and the breaking of that without our active desire to do so is the source of fear. Fear can lead to either (or both) of its concomitant states, anger and depression. When those two things are competing within us, we have another state known as grief.

There was none of this related to the move to Sandeepany and India. There has never been any of that involved in any of the decisions made to shift from one place to another. That said, it should not be thought that the decisions were lightly made or took no regard for the effect upon others. There were very dear friends (adopted family) for whom this separation caused a certain amount of pain. Live family and chosen family together did have some fret as to health and safety. This was from their attachment and expectation and not from yours truly. 

Having the ability to be quite self-detached, self-observant, it was interesting to see the adaptation to the routine of the ashram. The only issue that started to make itself felt was a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis. After about nine months of sitting properly on the floor, one day the pain kicked in on the spine (not previously affected) and Acharya-ji (Swami Advayananda) gave me permission ('instruction'!) to sit on a chair. Sadly, it also prevented the morning climb up to the mandir for chanting class. Fellow students recorded them so that there was no falling behind - and when tested, the challenge was well met. Most evenings, with the assistance of some of the younger ones, the climb was made for satsang.

There were two equally senior ladies and a handful of the younger students, both male and female, who took it upon themselves to ensure Yamini-amma was managing and did not miss out. Two of the brahmacharis in particular became like little brothers... Sandeep and Sampath made it part of their saadhana to check on my wellbeing and shared in buying me a copper-lined water jug, which remains a treasured and well-used item. Copper is known for purifying water - water was still boiled before placing in there, but in all the time there, no trouble came from water. (When away from the ashram, we were provided with bottled water.) That doesn't mean there were not moments of malady. There was a dose or two of malaria (despite precautions). Both keeping me out of class for around a week. The lads brought me notes and recordings. There was one case of food-poisoning which affected a couple of days, and once - after an outing we had all shared in - dysentery hit and a few of us were down and out for quite a few days. All these things were weathered as part of the process. At no time was there fear. 


  1. Yes, just getting on with your chosen life, hour by hour, day by day. Of course those two young helpmeets stepped forth. They would have appeared no matter where you needed them. Friends. Thank you for another lovely story from the annals.

  2. Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you expect, mirror what you desire. You ROCK! Barb

  3. Even nomads have touchstones. For some people (and cats) place is important. For others it a pet or person. Yet others can weather anything if their food is familiar, or they are comfortable in their clothes. Some people carry a spiritual or mental talisman that is their rock or safe place. We reckon we all have something that if lost would unseat our world.

  4. PS. Some things are easier to imagine losing than others. We can imagine our distress at the roof caving in, but we don't imagine losing our god-place.

    1. Hari Om
      ...and there you have it... when one is secure internally (remember that one?!) all else matters not - or at least very little. That place is the anchor of our being. It is the bit of us which bullies and tyrants seek to steal from us and replace with fear. If we are not secure, they succeed... Yxx

  5. that is well said... ad it fits to this time, where nothig is like it was yesterday...

  6. Thanks for the interesting reflections on attachments and fear. I would add that attachments bring great pleasure too.
    Have a good Monday.
    Cheers, Gail.

  7. Hi Yam - lovely photo. Interesting ... thankfully I've never really experienced total fear - I've had my moments ... but it passes I'm pleased to say. Stay safe - Hilary

  8. My Mama was quite full of fear for me.....all my life so I tried not to 1. let it get to me 2. not pass it on to Big M.
    If Mama heard of a wreck during the time I was driving home from work she'd leave a frantic message on my v.m. call me when you are home. Never mind the wreck was totally on the other side of the county no where near my route.
    Sometimes the unknown is scary but we have to trust our instincts...
    Very good post and I picture.
    Hugs Cecilia

  9. What a great post about what we fear. You seemed so at peace with your decision that fear wasn't even part of your thinking. Leaving a place you've lived for many years can be an exciting time and at the same time hold a bit of apprehension at what lies ahead. We've been contemplating leaving this area for one a bit more hospitable but won't really consider it until the pandemic is winding down.

  10. Fear and anger may have a place in certain situations, Folks here in Texas have been fearful and angry with the power outage during the recent snow storm. Lots of wasted energy. namaste, janice xx


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