Day-4, Tiruchendur

Reached a bit late in the evening. Even before I start on the experience at Tiruchendur, I will have to go back a bit and talk about my experiences on a lot of occassions before.

My tryst with spirituality started a long time back. Shall we use the word rationality instead of spirituality, because the word has been abused enough and carries an undercurrent of old fashioned moral advice to it. I prefer to use the word rationality because my exposure to human anatomy and yoga has helped me combine learnings from both fields and rationalize a lot of observations over a period of time. I first remember practising meditation when I was 12 years old. This was in Bharathi Vidya Bhavan, Erode. Erode is a small town in Tamilnadu, situated near Coimbatore. We were given a mantra and asked to visualise it for a period of 15 minutes. It did not serve the purpose that they had set before them, but my journey had begun.

My next tryst was on a rainy day in Madras (I am a Madrasi at heart, balls to the rest). I was chatting with my colleague from Dental college. He was fasting for the yearly ritual to Sabarimala. We had a small altercation and I started abusing him. I hurled expletives which I feel are totally uncharacteristic of civilized individuals. I left in a huff on my father’s motorcycle. It was raining heavily and I wanted to reach home quickly. The bike stopped midway and wouldn’t respond to my attempts at getting it going. I started feeling guilty for the way I had behaved with my colleague and made a silent prayer to beg for forgiveness. I cranked the kicker and the motorcycle started in an instant. This changed my outlook towards rationality to a huge extent. Rationality has it’s own limitations, I guess.

Fast forward to my preparation for an entrance examination and I tried to employ meditation as a tool to improve my concentration. Interestingly, I had some strange experiences that bordered on irrationality and psychic. I sought the advice of friends I knew who had been practising meditation in a different sense. They had a Guru who guided them in their experiences. I came to understand that I had company in my experiences. I sought the help of the one they called Guru and sought to be initiated in meditation.

Meditation is subject to travesties of so many different styles and practitioners that I have to think twice about engaging on conversation about it. It is a gift which is bestowed upon some. I have very little idea about the reasons behind it. The only thing that I would say is that I am happy for having the opportunity to engage on this journey.This brought me in touch with ‘Annachi’. Annachi is a familiar term in Tirunelveli, which is applicable to middle aged and elderly males. It is a sign of respect and comfortability with the person addressed in such a manner. Annachi’s realname is ‘Thangasamy’, which translates to GoldenGod (Thangam meaning gold and samy meaning God). He is an ordinary agriculturist who teaches or rather imparts knowledge through a combination of physical and mental discipline. As Swami Vivekananda once said,focus is everything. To reach a level of cognizance in any field, focus is required. To focus, one needs discipline. The rest will follow.

My Guru, Annachi had a Guru of his own and there is a Temple in Tiruchendur which is dedicated to his ‘Samadhi’. In Tamil, the word ‘Samam’ means equal and ‘Adhi’ means cosmos. It represents a non-dualistic state of mind. I would not take it any further beyond what I understand. It is to this temple that I was making the journey. Annachi was waiting for me near our temple and I went to the ‘Garbagriha’ and sat down to meditate.

After sometime of pure bliss, I ventured out and proceeded to the place another structure was under construction. I had a conversation with Annachi. As usual I finished the conversation with more questions than answers. Too little was spoken and yet so much was shared. We meditated again and slept for the night. We got up pretty early and I left to join my parents in Tuticorin.

The beauty of it all is that it is so difficult to explain and that my understanding of meditation has by itself changed so many times in the last few years. My behaviour has changed so much that I am mistaken on a lot of occasions for inconsistency. I cannot answer because my point is not to make a point. My point is to understand and that requires a lot of patience. I am trying to cultivate that and hence I try not to point fingers at others. Change starts from within.

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