Monday, July 06, 2015
Here is Andrew Harvey's invitation to go on pilgrimage with him to South India in November. As so often, Andrew forgot to include information about how to sign up and other pertinent details. You can look these up on www.Andrewharvey.net I envy anyone able to go on this trip.
It would be wonderful, and a real grace, if you could join me on pilgrimage to South India and its most potent and empowering sacred places in November.
I was born in South India, and educated in its beautiful Nilgiri Hills, where my mother still lives, between the ages of six and nine, after which I went to England: when I returned to India at twenty-five I went straight back to South India where, in Pondicherry, living in a hut by the sea, I first met the life-changing philosophy and mystical presence of Sri Aurobindo and had my own first mystical experiences, which determined the course of my life.
I have returned almost every year since, most excitingly when I was 42 to meet the great Christian mystic Father Bede Griffiths, whose great personal radiance and authority initiated me into the living depths of esoteric Christianity. South India and its glorious ancient spiritual traditions are, then, the radiant ground of my life and search, and a constant inner and outer fountain of the deepest inspiration.
The pilgrimage that I would love to take you on is designed to introduce you to the six main facets of the diamond that is "mystical" South India: the non-dual advaita tradition, as exemplified by Ramana Maharshi, in Tiruvanamalai: the Saivite tradition, dedicated to Shiva the Dancer, as represented in the holiest and most powerful of temples, that of Chidambaram: the Tantric tradition, vibrant in the gold stone temples of my favorite place on earth, Mahabalipuram: the evolutionary vision of the Plato of evolution, Aurobindo, and his consort the Mother, who lived and worked in Pondicherry: the all-embracing Christic knowledge of Bede Griffiths that lives on in his ashram in Shantivanam: the glorious Chola bronze sculptures that perfectly express the marriage of heaven and earth, soul and body, that is at the heart of South India's spiritual legacy, and can be most vividly experienced in the great museum of Tanjore, whose catalogue (still on sale!). I helped edit and prepare in my mid-twenties.
As well as teaching extensively on all of these facets, and opening up the secret glowing relationships between them, I will be offering many wonderful practices that South India and its non-dual Saivite and Tantric traditions have revealed to me in the hope and prayer that they will be for you as powerful as they have been for me and as helpful in birthing your own divine human. I believe that South India is the most thrilling and potent cauldron of evolutionary transformation on the earth and that anyone who travels there with humility, openness of mind and heart, and devotion to the Divine, will be given exactly the grace he or she needs to travel deeper and further on the path of radiant embodiment.
The ten or so days we spend together in the vast holy Mandala that is South India will, I can promise you, be a source of undying inspiration for your search and life. Please let me share directly with you everything Shiva's Dancing -Ground has taught me. On the pilgrimage I will be working with, and helped by, my great old friend Narinder Kumar, the kindest of men and a passionate devotee of Shiva, whose peaceful and humble yogic presence will be a teaching in itself.
With all my heart, I hope to see you in November in my sacred home.