This is Part 2 of my 5 part travelogue on my 2018 trip to India.
After exploring the important Bapuji landmarks in Mumbai (Bombay) we hired a driver to take us to and around Kayavarohan. On the way we visited some interesting places and met some wonderful people such as Tharun whose family took care of Bapuji for six weeks when he returned to India. Even though he was quite sick, he did his sadhana each day and held darshan for his disciples.
Bapuji loved Tharun’s family and had stayed with them for a year previous to his trip to America. On our way we stopped in Surat and visited a magnificent modern temple designed by Varsha Shah, an architect who knew and loved Bapuji. It was the most beautiful and most colorful temple I have ever seen. We met Varsha in Baroda (now Vadodara) and she hosted us for an afternoon discussing the intricacies of Vastu Shastra (the scripture that defines the intricate parameters in ancient and modern temple design). She said Bapuji knew little about temple design when he built Kayavarohan, but would take direction from Dadaji in meditation and relay the information to the architect each day, and that the resulting temple was perfect in every way according to Vastu Shastra principles. Astounding! It is a remarkable place, it is true. More on the Kayavarohan temple in the next travelogue.
There is a temple on every block in India, or so it seems. Some are huge, some are tiny, all are imbued with many years of devotion. Some are gilt in gold and marble, some have dirt floors and very simple deities. One temple we visited on the bluffs overlooking the Narmada River was a very simple room with a small dome on the top, and inside was what seemed like a pile of dirt with a tapestry draped over it and two sea shell eyes. It was dark and dank yet it felt most sacred and ancient. That place is etched in my memory forever.
We stayed in Thakor”s home in Nasari, a tiny village where he and his family have lived for many generations. He now splits his time between Nasari and Indianapolis, Ohio (funny, huh?). As an architect, he is halfway through building a temple for his village. Thakor is a devout Bapuji disciple who runs a Kripalu center in Indianapolis. I smile every time I say that. We were fed and taken care of by his neighbor and family in the most excellent Indian tradition. Indians are beautiful people with rich traditions and there is a wide lovely smile that appears at “Jai Bhagwan”, accompanied by a gentle touch of the fingertips to the heart. So much kindness and hospitality.
Nasari is on the coast of the Arabian sea, but the tide only brings the sea for a few days during the full moon. The rest of the time it is dry, so fishermen have to work fast. It is very dry and flat in that part of Gujarat. Our driver, Mahesh, was with us must of the trip and his humor and friendship made for most pleasant traveling, although his driving was as scary as it was skilled.
A SPECIAL REQUEST
Muktidham was Bapuji’s home for more than four years and is our sacred place, the heart and soul center of our spiritual path in the west. It is in need of your generosity. Please consider becoming a donor by signing up on the website www.kyifamily.org and clicking on “Donations” or contacting Bob Rodini (Bhishma) at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you a mug as a token of gratitude and a reminder to you of your generosity.