Madhukar Thompson goes to morning satsang with Mooji
Thiruvannamalai, Saturday, January 17, 2009
I line up for Mooji’s satsang at 08:35; the meeting starts at 10:00. I am told to be early if I want to be seated in the first two rows. Because I believe I will visit Mooji only once, I want to make sure I can observe and participate in his satsang from close quarters.
After reaching the satsang house I sit down and make myself comfortable on my cardboard which rests on a rock. Slowly, slowly the queue behind me grows. When my place seems secured, I go for breakfast at Satya’s Café nearby. Two idlis and two vadas with sambar and coconut chutney and a large coffee. Soon I resume my ‘reserved’ place in the line again. At 9:30 we are climbing up the stairs to the rooftop of the three-storey building. We are blessed with a great view of Arunachala. No music. No talking. Silence. At 10:00 sharp, Sri Mooji walks through the jam-packed mass of people and takes his slightly elevated seat. He closes his eyes for a few minutes.
“Welcome to satsang.” He does namaste to the congregation. Before long he begins scanning/gazing the people, almost one by one. He gives a brief discourse of about five minutes before he reads out the first question. (The questions had been collected by his staff before satsang.) He beckons the author forward and asks him to sit down on the empty chair next to him. The hot seat. It is touching to witness how smoothly Mooji is operating in a heartfelt, compassionate and easily understandable fashion. Step by step he leads the student to the state of pure beingness, silence and peace. One after the other Mooji brings the next three ‘seekers’ to a similar inner tuning of the heart.
Now it’s my turn. Putting my right hand up I make myself noticed. He looks at me with a welcoming smile and somehow summons me to come forward and sit down next to him. As soon as I reach him I kneel and bow down with folded hands. I bow very slowly, consciously; my movement proceeds through my heart. I bow all the way to his feet. My hands are almost touching them. I am relaxed, feeling peaceful. I am taking time… there is simply “being”… When I kneel again, our eyes meet. I feel showered by his sweet smile and the sense of benevolence.
Finally sitting on the hot seat I greet him with, “Namaste.”
“Namaste, welcome!” he responds.
My hands still folded in namaskaram, I continue saying, “I am bathing in your brilliance, your intelligence, your love and the purity of your beingness. I want to thank you for your being here. I feel grateful to be in your presence.”
“You are welcome!” his answer falls ever so lovingly from his lips.
I know the ball is in my park now.
I say, “That is all I have to say to you.”
“Good… good! Thank you!” Mooji keeps smiling – and beginning to send me off with the namaste.
“Wait, wait! I am not finished yet!” I object. “In fact, I brought you a few gifts.”
I grab my bag (which has ‘Ramanashramam’ printed on it) that I had earlier put on the floor next to the hot seat chair.
“Then let us see them,” Mooji invites me.
I take the first item out and hand it over to him.
Unwrapping the protecting plastic bag he mutters, “Oh, what is this?”
“It is a special Christmas cake. It is called Christstollen. I brought it for you from Germany.”
“That is very kind of you,” he says and then exclaims, “Wow! You packed it very nicely.” Then he speaks about how he used to wrap things nicely as a kid. From the moment I tell him that I had already eaten the bigger part of the cake, Mooji and me and the entire satsang laugh uproariously throughout our exchange that lasts about 15 minutes.
My second gift to Mooji ‘becomes’ my cartoon book about Osho called The Path of Celebration. Actually, I had intended gifting him my other book, Satsang, the cartoon book on Papaji because Mooji is, or was, a Papaji disciple. Somehow I must have mixed up the two booklets while packing. While I was explaining to Mooji what had happened, he and the people roar with laughter. In any case, Mooji studies the cartoons for quite some time and says how much he loves humor and light-heartedness especially in the spiritual world.
My third gift to him is a giglee art print from Hawaii, depicting a Hawaiian woman welcoming a guest with a lei (orchid flower mala). I invite Mooji (a standing invitation) to come to Hawaii to give satsang.
“Yes, one day I will visit there. In fact, I must go there! The lady operating the camera over there keeps insisting. So we will see what Existence will bring about.”
In the meantime I pick up the flower garland that is lying out around the edges of Mooji’s footrest. “In order to complete this invitation ritual,” I explain, “I will need to garland you with a lei.” Holding it up, I continue speaking to the crowd which is laughing with joy: “I found this one. Knowingly or unknowingly it must have been prepared for this occasion!”
I garland Mooji. He wants to be photographed and he is – many times over.
“Now I know you will be visiting the Hawaiian Islands. I am certain about it. Why? Because we have completed the required ritual!”
After my interaction with him, Mooji continues to guide each following questioner to the unchanging, eternal beingness/awareness that is the same in all of us.
Truly, I have a magnificent satsang experience.