How long was it to reach at last Kannyakumari, the south end of India!
Once there, it was such a satisfaction to realize we had already cycled 2800 kms since we arrived in India, by the Pakistan border. Hundreds of mind pictures resurfaced in a second, those three months of beaches, fishermen villages as well as impossible cities, maze of beach roads but hysteria on highways too, smiles of children and older ones, amazing encounters…
Then we have hardly just enough time to join as soon as possible the Nepal border.
Here are some photos of Kerela
Now see you in Nepal!!!
Why not? A different experience...
We heard about the ashram of Amma, one of the only guru women in India, a young mystique, who had already hug, listened to, and given advices to thirty millions of people through the world.
Embodiment of love and compassion with no condition, always involved in charity and humanitarian activities, she moves crowds across the planet. We were quite curious to see her ashram.
From Allepey, we took a boat and stopped at her monastery, located on a small peninsula between the Arabia sea and the lagoons of Kerala, just next to the village where Amma was born. While we expected a peaceful place, we caught sight of incredibly huge buildings in the distance, one of them has sixteen floor! Someone explains us that Amma (whom we missed from one day) wanted her ashram to be as the world is: overcrowded and overpopulated. In fact, once there, the place is still very quiet, and the atmosphere is very pleasant. It has become a place of spiritual researches, teaching, learning and sharing where some thousands of residents, Indians or foreigners, leave in community. Some of them had come for spending the day and stayed fifteen, twenty years or more and even built a family. Each one involves himself in the community by offering one or two hours of his time everyday. And it seems to work: temple, meditation and other spiritual practices, massage and yoga centers, library, Internet and video room, printing works, ayurvedic hospital and shops (Indian traditional natural medicine), ecology and recycling center, swimming-pool, kitchen, canteen, laundry service, all managed by the volunteers. Apart from those two hours of “selfless service/work”, and free from a life only based on material development, the residents can do other activities as spiritual, artistic, intellectual, charitable, social, humanitarian ones, and so on.
We stayed three days and were warmly welcome. The ashram is very well organized to receive visitors and each member welcome us with a smile, never hesitate to offers his help or answer to our questions.
Beyond their spiritual researches and the ideals of love and godliness, we really appreciated the solidarity, and the ideas of sharing and selfless work, which seem to work beyond any hierarchy, just by the simple will of each one. Each one can go to the office of the community and register where there is a need.
What is also surprising is that we didn’t meet neither austere and penitent people, nor irrational visionaries who have ran away from Western countries. Apart from some monks and nuns who live there, the residents are not ascetics who have completely turned away from the material world, but still they try to leave more simply and more in harmony with nature. Reducing their consumption needs, -at least simply by the fact of sharing some places or goods, eating few or no meat, avoid surplus and waste-, thus they can blossom in other activities.
Without being (still ?) touched by any revelation, we left Amma’s ashram rich from a new experience, which inevitably makes us think about.
PS: If you want more informationhttp://www.amritapuri.org/