by Sheynapurna Peace
I sit above the river Ganges. The setting sun reflects pink and orange on the water as pilgrims walk back from the Mela (carnival) alongside the river. Dozens of birds circle low over the water and around me are people meditating, journaling or simply being – watching the Ganga River.
Earlier today (Feb 15) our group went by large rowboat to the Sangham, the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganga rivers and perhaps also the mythical or deep underground Saraswati river. The river is so shallow in some spots that our boatman had to jump out at one point and walk to pull the boat over the shallows. After almost 2 hours on the cool of the river, seeing seemingly miles of tents and hearing over the loudspeakers various chanting from the hidden multitudes, we arrived at the confluence, the Sangham. There is a submerged platform there and many gather at this sacred spot to receive blessings from the Brahmin priest and immerse themselves. Three members of our group, Nandini, Ernesto and Barbara took blessings and entered the river. Another member of the group did a puja there for a family member. We all blessed ourselves by dropping water on our heads or dipping malas into the water.
The current runs toward our serene and lovely “home” – The Himalayan Institute. Really excellent accommodations, food, company. It took only about 30 minutes for our return trip and, over afternoon chai, Swamiji debriefed us asking “How do you feel?”. I came to realize I’d been so externally fixated that I wasn’t paying attention to the complete stillness inside. Something happened there and perhaps one day I will understand what that is.
After almost 2 weeks in India, I understand that significant changes, inner shifts, are taking place. Ganeshpuri altered me, hopefully forever. The priests explained that only people invited by Nityananda come to Ganeshpuri. I accepted His invitation. Nityananda showed Himself to me and blessed me and taught me how to pray. Brahmin priests blessed me and asked me to return. I meditated today on the bindi (small dot) on Nityananda’s forehead and delved into that tantalizing opening of sushumna nadi (the spinal energy channel). I sit, this moment, in Nityananda’s heart, my heart, overlooking the Ganga. I am in India.