Gentle Reader, it is crucial for you to know that I had never been to an ashram before in my life. Neither did I think I would actually ever see one.
What did I think an Ashram was?
I was certain that an Ashram was a place created by a few people who are pursuing a particular goal.
That goal could be anything. Learning Compassion, like in Dalai Lama’s monastery or liberating your sexuality, like in Osho’s Ashram.
I believed that as long as I do not hinder my natural progress, I wouldn’t need external help.
It is only when you frustrate a particular part of you that you require a Doctor. Only then will you seek help, especially the kind that requires you to be in that location for a long time.
I want you to understand this clearly, the world, this planet, this thing we call Earth is itself an Ashram! But if within this Ashram you require another specific kind of Ashram then you need help, and that is exactly what you come for in an Ashram.
So when I actually found myself in Sadhguru’s Ashram I let out a deep laugh!
Because I was thoroughly unaware of what help exactly am I looking for.
Gentle Reader, I am a very lucky person. I have no problems. Partly because I have little to no needs and partly because I like difficulties better than comfort.
Despite owning a bed I sleep on the floor. Despite having enough money to buy any drink in the world, I prefer drinking free water, in fact, I refuse to pay for water.
That is why I have no problems. No desires, no stresses, no frown lines, only satisfaction with myself for living well wherever I may be.
So it was hilarious for me to find myself in the Ashram. When people asked me what I was doing there, I simply replied, “Sadhguru said that he requires more hands to start the river project. As a citizen of this planet, I have come to dedicate my life’s energy to what is food security for me and my progeny. He said three years, I have three years. And my hope is to learn as many things about the cosmos as he promises to teach me.”
This is the truth. It still is. I simply heard his call and evaluated if this call was for me. It fit my agenda perfectly well. I was sick of listening to nonsense everywhere. I was surrounded by fools on all sides. My day included conversations about someone’s food, the weather, and sex. So you can imagine how restless I had become.
I started to work at age 14. I did the most popular jobs at the time. I was in hope of elevating my life’s experience but despite the money, I was surrounded by the same old shit. Food, sex, weather, gossip, the colour of someone’s nail polish, the judgment of one idiot about another, so on and so forth.
None of the above were impressive to me because I had had it all. I had enough food, enough sex, and enough travel. I also had plenty of money that I was literally giving away because I had no use for it. This money was incapable of buying anything I wanted.
And yes, I am saying this extremely clearly now, eating what is mass produced and served in buckets is for pigs! I am not impressed with these stars that people have named Michelin or these brands that people say define them. If food and clothes define you, it is a very lowly existence that you are calling your own.
I didn’t want a life where all the excitement is about what I will process into shit or who I will have a baby with and what I thought of others.
I could see the stars all too well to go back to the muck. So I was sure that hanging around Sadhguru would be exciting because he will always have something for me to learn.
And I knew that he also didn’t like this pettiness that people have grown to enjoy. So I was content that he existed and I was mesmerized by what he had created. The Ashram was right out of my dreams!
Open areas surrounded by sweet-smelling plants and trees. Plenty of space for each soul to float and enough cleanliness for me to feel good.
On top of that, Sadhguru also makes sure that none of his waste is disposed unethically and he provided water for free!
The food was a ritual, not a compulsion. I was served top-notch food that would sufficiently satisfy my taste buds and my nutrition.
There were temples that allowed for total immersion and they were carefully accessed so as to not make a circus out of the divine.
I was impressed. Very impressed, with him and myself. Him because of what he is capable of and myself because I chose him! Even Miha was impressed by how developed the entire location was. And it was beautiful, very very very beautiful.
I wanted to live there. To be a part of something well-made is everyone’s dream.
So with joy in my heart and hope in my mind, I started to look at the various activities that took place there.
They had games played by volunteers every evening, prayers every morning, workshops every weekend, so on and so forth.
It was really like a Utopia, the kind everyone would like.
The people also seemed to be calmer than most I have seen. Very few frictions occurred and most people chose to be by themselves.
The one thing missing was an open transmission of thoughts among the people who lived there.
There was no way one could let another know what they were feeling. As soon as you did that, people around you would ask you to meditate.
People were not very clever there. Extremely simple people who had lost everything in life had honestly come to Sadhguru to fix what could be mended.
But their own intelligence hadn’t yet flowered.
The few I got a chance to meet explained to me that they were like regular individuals before they arrived there.
Students, bankers, labourers, executives, etc. had all tried to cope with life and then gave in.
They found themselves totally lost and the only one that made sense had created a place for them to live, so they came.
But they weren’t enlightened. Far from it.
So I understood that an Ashram is where you come to if you want some time to gather yourself back.
It is harmless, it is cozy, it is stressfree and Sadhguru promised to teach us a few secrets to life. So it made sense for all of us to be there.
For the next 2 weeks, I walked barefoot on the Ashram grounds and I ate with gratitude everything they served me. I was disciplined with my practice and helped out wherever I could.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
However, the River Project was treated as a mystery. No one and I mean no one answered one question about the project I had come for.
This gave rise to many suspicions.
Understand that very recently many people in India had been caught doing activities quite unholy in Ashrams.
I was afraid that I was in a similar situation.