Thursday, October 3, 2013

Arunachala Yatra (Part 1-Agni)

When last in the fiery embrace of Arunachala, I made a hasty departure seeking the temperate waters of Ganga and the Devi's touch. They were that liquid pulse of life which after being burnt dry, and feeling dissolution imminent, would provide a cool relief. But return I would, and in doing so, not just surrender into Mahadeva, but take it up in fullness where even each tattva would be in accord with that. Live and die, in that moment, each moment. And like Brahma and Vishnu, seek the beginning and end of that effulgent linga, and in so doing, seek the beggining and end of the very being which animates and is the substratum of existence. Then failing to find either, to marvel in the breath and depth of reality. It is in the marvel, not the knowing, that one finds the bliss of incomparable freedom. But that may be rather abstract to some, so what can be practically agreed upon, is that i went back to sit and to walk.

It was the full moon of Savan, and I was burning up. The cottage where i stayed was on the pradakshina route, and on this sacred day one could see from morning through night the whole road lined with seemingly unending people. And though I walked that mandala before, on this day it was not possible, and yet walk i did, in most pure form...and that assurance was a grace which touched me. A fever burned through me which harkened back to our arrival at this holy hill. Tiruvanamalai is a medium sized city in the state of Tamil Nadu, and looming over it is the hill/linga named Arunachala. It is Shiva. It is Mahakaal. The surroundings are undoubtedly a pure and complete mandala. When the unmanifest perfection meets the manifest form, then we say this is a mudra or a Mahamudra. But words like Mahamudra, mandala, Arunachala, and Shiva were just running through a mind consumed with fever, but in there true expression found resonance outside of any lable. Indeed, one must find that which is imperveous to any discriptor, whose truth touches something uncontained in any language or paradim born into.
The fever harkened back because its roots were with our first pradakshina, and the wounds to the feet which became infected thereafter. But it was two weeks later on an excersion to Pondicherri where a pain consumed, which was mutiplied by the fact that i'd one more pradakshina to complete the upasana and sankalp previously stated. Each day of pradakshina offered a unique blessing, and it was was this in mind and in dedication to the liberation and benefit of all that we'd decided to complete the yatra thusly. So with one more day remaining, it was wholly discouraging to come to the realization that i was physically incappable of finishing this kriya. I had blustered with a courage that said it would be done no matter, but then it was understood that at this point, i could not even walk. Upon this reflection and sincere heart regret, Arunachala/Shiva appeared in great clarity putting my heart at ease. The communication was clear and the transmission precise...it said, "Don't worry, I'll walk for you.". And while it may seem like a statement of metaphysical truth like "I always walk, so therefore i'll walk for you" etc., what was communicated was far more individuated and particualr. It was not some "aspect" or inherent element (although it may be as well), but rather, the unmoving linga and awareness "himself" which came and said, "I'll leave my seat for you, enter this stream, and walk." So touching. This is the heart of the one who drank the poison, so humble and noble in compassion. So in this yatra, i walked everyday of the week, except tuesday, except the pormina, except the sacred Savan Poornima, but Shiva walked for me, and I walked for all.