I sometimes took you with me on my journeys with my travel blogposts. I haven’t blogged much the last time for I was often away on an inner pilgrimage. No, it was not a kind of daydreaming or being “lost in space”. The pilgrimage led me through “virtual reality” though not with multiplayer gaming nor with data glasses – this latest fad of virtual reality, very en vogue at the moment, keeps the people stuck in sensual planes of an insipid taste, like amplified with artificial flavour enhancers.
I was carried away by the German translation of the Sripada Srivallabha Charitamrutam which I finished 2-3 weeks ago. I told you about it before, when I came into contact with this book about the life of Sripada Srivallabha (1320-1350), the first Avatar of Lord Dattatreya in Kali Yuga, in autumn 2014.
I will tell you more about this experience later, when the book will be published in German – it was a long and profound inner journey, a most profound pilgrimage, a kind of excavation. It was like walking through some archaeological site doing diggings through deep layers of time and of unknown worlds. To begin with, I had to fuse three English translations of the Telugu publication into a text-base for the German version, and a friend is working with it on the Spanish translation.
The English texts were like a rough road with many terms and concepts I first could not decipher. A good Indian guide now living in Africa showed up and gave me keys to an understanding. I wrote heaps of footnotes now enhancing the translation. And now, towards the end, I worked out a big register of the many persons, adding short comments, a kind of Who’s Who of the book – you might get lost in the more than hundred persons you come across, not to mention the many divine beings. And to complicate the matter, some persons have several names and of course changing names in successive incarnations. For me it was like finding a diamond when I discovered the name of a then future incarnation which was not given in the book by his now well-known name (Lahiri Mahasaya) but given by his native name.
This unearthing was part of the pilgrimage though not the essence. The essence was an incredible inner touch and guidance which did not end with the translating and typing. It influences my feeling of life, my meditations, my way of thinking. Kuruvapuram, the name I mention in the title of this blogpost, is the name of the place where Sripada lived the second part of his life. I haven’t been there yet but for me it is like I know it. Is it present, is is past where I am? Is it in creative imagination? I don’t think so.
Being fascinated by a book is different from encountering a more profound reality with the help of a book. You find Kuruvapuram on the map. A friend even visited it; he had profound inner experiences there and shared his photos with me. It is a very magnetic, brilliant place in the inner, though in the outer there is not much of it visible. But the physical place is just an anchor in time and space for a sublime dimension. My pilgrimage led me there and profoundly touched me.
In the “Charitamrutam” it says that living in Kashi (Benares) or Pithikapuram (Pithapuram, the place where Sripada was born) is different from living there in the subtle, golden Kashi or Pithikapuram. It is where you are living with your heart, not with the body. The outer might even distract you from the inner, like a veil. As already the Little Prince from Saint Exupéry said, “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”
It is more than just seeing, it is being there in the be-ness. And this pilgrimage does not end with the book, also the book is just a cipher pointing to the inner place of the pilgrimage. And many might see the veils of the place hinted by the book but will never enter.
Thank you, Robert, for the photos.
View towards the island of Kuruvapuram in the Krishna River
Statue of Lord Dattatreya