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Impressions from a Different World

Back from a deep and soul-stirring time in India at the group living of the WTT the last 3 weeks. Though I returned already last Friday night, it still takes time to digest all the many deep impressions and also the “change of levels” between very different worlds. It’s hard to describe to “outsiders” experiences from inward and outward processes and events. Just some short extracts from the “Impressions” I wrote for the people who had participated in the meeting, to give you some taste of the ambience:
Early morning the sounds of the nearby temple – wooden trombones, cymbals singing of mantrams – mingled with the counterpoint of barking dogs – created the unique familiar melody of morning awakening….

From the visit of the Simhachalam temple: The bus stopped at the place where nearby a huge banyan tree is spreading its branches and roots over a little sanctuary at the end of the stairway coming up from the valley. Then the stairs lead us through rows of colourful shops with all kinds of devotional articles, along rows of beggars, to the entrance of the temple. We were admitted through the great main entrance and went through the yard into the inner temple. There the atmosphere was filled with the vibrations of age-old recitations of mantrams and of rituals. We approached the innermost of the temple, where a lingam is worshiped, symbol of the creative power of God….

First the road lead us through the immense city of Hyderabad, along mosques, colourful ad-posters of all kind and busy life in the streets, then through a landscape with strangely formed rocks, standing and lying in unlikely positions, like remnants of ancient cities of giants. Then we came through an area with hills and macchia-like shrubs. We had lunch at a little shrine on the wayside where monkeys tried to snap bananas and other food. Finally we saw Sri Sailam lying on a hill, but had to go nearly for one more hour down into the valley and around a dam of the river Krishna.

… After breakfast we mounted an old bus, which slowly climbed up the road for a place about 5 km away. We were told not to take any food or cameras etc. with us so as not to attract stealing monkeys – though this time none showed up. We descended a stair for about 300 meters to a most sublime and picturesque place: There was a shrine with a statue of Adi Sankara, who is said to have meditated here and anchored a great spiritual energy at the place. In earlier times also Lord Maitreya had meditated at this place. A little waterfall came out of a rock wall of about 70-100 m height, protecting the place. At the side of the paved place, directly near the water, there was a huge, old banyan tree with several stems and many air roots hanging down. … From time to time pilgrims came to have a look or Sadhus to take a bath at the waterfall. … The sounds of the mantrams reverberated in the air, uplifting all, purifying the inner. In an exhilarated mood we afterwards mounted up the stairs to the bus bringing us back to the pilgrims’ centre…

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