After chatting with Balan for a while, we headed back to our room and cleared out quickly. Since SRM Old Age Home is right off the highway, we sort of hit the ground running. That's what i like about towns. It doesn't take forever to get out of them.
I can't really recall saying goodbye to Arunachala. I am not too good at them (goodbyes) and, anyway, He's there in the cave of the heart. That was anyway the whole idea of this trip: to say Hello to the representative of the Self, seated hidden in the Heart.
I was soon telling Gopa that the guru to whom i turn to for ideas on how to live life is Shirdi Sai Baba. His Shri Sai Satcharita is a mine of info in that respect. Got it from my FiL on 18.NOV.1992, but i got around to reading it only in July 2006!
With the (almost) daily parayana, some of the fundas from it have been seared into my system:
- On Gratitude:
| The Lord is the sole Doer and Inspirer. He is also most merciful. Neither I am God nor Lord. I am His obedient servant and remember Him often. He, who casts aside his egoism, thanks Him and he, who trusts Him entirely, will have his shackles removed and will obtain liberation.
- Package Tour/Trip to Tirupati-Tirumala:
| Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away, but receive them well and treat them, with due respect. Shri Hari (God) will be certainly pleased, if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and your verandah to strangers for sitting and resting.
- Specialists at Work:
| The worker should be paid, his dues promptly and liberally.
- Killing Hissing and Dissing:
| You need not go far or anywhere in search of Me. Barring your name and form, there exists in you, as well as in all beings, a sense of Being or Consciousness of Existence. That is Myself. Knowing this, you see Me inside yourself, as well as in all beings. If you practise this, you will realize all-pervasiveness, and thus attain oneness with Me."
| "He who carps and cavils at others, pierces Me in the heart and injures Me, but he that suffers and endures, pleases Me most."
- Kakabali: (from Sai Baba the Master)
| At kakabali time take plenty of cooked rice outside the house and leave it there. Do not shout or call for any creature nor drive any away. Whatever the creature that comes to eat, let not that disturb your mind. You get thus the merit of feeding lakhs of guests!
On the way, saw this ten-armed Durga:
In The Gospel, we read:
The Master and Vijay GoswamiFurther on, saw the guardian deities of a village:
Regaining partial consciousness, the Master said: "Why is my spiritual feeling kindled at the sight of Rakhal? The more you advance toward God, the less you will see of His glories and grandeur. The aspirant at first has a vision of the Goddess with ten arms;* there is a great display of power in that image. The next vision is that of the Deity with two arms; there are no longer ten arms holding various weapons and missiles. Then the aspirant has a vision of Gopala, in which there is no trace of power. It is the form of a tender child. Beyond that there are other visions also. The aspirant then sees only Light."
You can see many more of these startling figures on the highway to Coimbatore over Salem / Erode.
Soon we had to bid adieu to the leafy arbors and, thankfully, the potholed roads"
Once on the national highway, we really let it rip. I was driving a bit slow on the way to TVM due to my vertiginous migraine, but all that slow driving till then really put a burr under my @ss and we were soon speeding away at 100+ kmph; might not be much to you, but it is to me ;-)
A Tavera was showing off overtaking us, but once we got into the hilly sections near Hosur, the Innova really showed what separates the men from the boys. It soon was way ahead. If i remember right, the only vehicles that overtook us after were two other Innovas.
Due to the brunch, we were feeling a bit grubby and thankfully, there was a restau (Kamat Upachar) attached to a Reliance gas station. It was quite close to the Dhabba Express that we stopped at on the way to TVM.
Very weirdly, we ran into Shyam and Swarna out there. They were on their way back from Chennai. I was wondering whether theirs was one of the Innovas that overtook us, but they were traveling in their Camry.
I polished off some idlis and set dosa while Gopa had a go at some puris, if i remember right.
We filled up on the diesel, INR 1,000 @ ~41, a solid saving on the BLR rate of more than INR 48. The lone ranger of an attendant owed us 10 pips on that transaction. Thinking some more and taking a risk with the quality, i topped up the tank. The attendant overshot the 600 by 30 pips and demanded the same. I laughed and beat it.
Right after that, we saw the traffic on the other side being diverted into our lane. The bed of the trailer had broken and one had to wonder how the dudes would get out of that mess. We can't get our head around this, while the Solar System, the Milky Way, the Local Group, and other superstructures are merrily working their way around the Universe. The best part to all that is Sri Ramana's observation:
It's not the Universe that is vast, but the human mind!
Around this time, i broached the topic of being a witness to phenomena with Gopa (more in Being a Witness). Since the subconscious is unrelenting in spewing Its thoughts and, since we can't tell our @ss from our elbow, we take them to be ours (a false I-dentification) and end up with concomitant pain or pleasure. What if we were just a witness and act diligently but w/o attachment? Since the I is eliminated at the outset itself, one can fulfill all those fundas of teamwork easily:
- Great things can be done if it doesn't matter who gets the credit,
- There's no I in teamwork [but there's a me ;-)], etc.
At Electronics City, we took the Elevated Tollway and it was really smooth sailing till CSB; i can still hear the musical clipping. Highly recommended for INR 20 (one way).
We stopped off at Adarsh Esplanade, where the niece of Gopa stays. He was catching the 11:45 train from their place.
It was a lovely place but, as Steinbeck writes in Travels with Charley, once in a while the trip is over before it actually gets over. That happened to me out there and i had to haul myself the last few kilometers to get back to my house.