To all seekers!
Many have described Mother India as the most profound place of spiritual awareness on this planet. Our recent trip to Tiruvannamalai, Pondicherry and Auroville, in South India, in January 2014, made us realize this is true! The great yogis of old, whose vibrations still permeate the areas mentioned, will be powerfully felt. One can experience Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s ‘continued presence’, particularly in his Mahasamadhi site (Sri Ramana Ashram), and his caves of meditation and contemplation (Virupaksha cave and Skanda Ashram). The beautifully developed ashram of Yogi Ramsuratkumar, the temple of the siddha Seshadri Swamigal, who is also called Ramana’s twin, the dusty streets which are peppered with temples of Kali, Ganesha, Shiva, Durga, and a host of others and the gigantic temple of Arunachaleshwara are just a few other places to mention.
With a short rickshaw ride, one can be in the quiet area, view the magnificent power of the Mountain Arunachala and possibly breathe some fresh air as one takes in nature.
With a quick train trip (3 hours from Chennai), one is in the French-influenced bustling city of Pondicherry now called Puducherry. While there, one can go hop a rickshaw and in 20 minutes one will be in the chartered spiritual city (declared by the country of India) of Auroville! One can go directly to the visitors’ centre for reservations (free) to visit the Matrimandir! It is often booked well in advance especially during the tourist months of winter. The Matrimandir, the soul and centre of Auroville, offers exquisite beauty and silence. Bask in the magnificence, let yourself be taken into the crystal light in the centre of the mandir, feel your Presence and The Presence! Also while in Pondicherry, one can visit Aurobindo Ashram, the place where Sri Aurobindo attained Mahasamadhi. One can read about him, the Mother, and the development of the city of peace and tolerance, Auroville. There are many places to stay which are run by Auroville but try to make reservations. The arrangements are simple and very economical. (Park Hotel, new guest house, seaside guest house or the quiet healing centre) All meals are included. Those places are located right on the beach and halfway between Pondicherry and Auroville. Reservations are highly recommended.
One can travel first to Tiruvannamalai and then go to Pondicherry or first go to Pondicherry and then travel to Tiruvannamalai. One can take a taxi or a train. We highly recommend train as it is cheaper and calmer for the rider.
Enjoy Mother India, the temples, mosques, shrines and spiritual landmarks that continue to bless, grace, and guide our spiritual and life journey! Pranams to all who follow their hearts!
Shanti, shanti, shantihi!
-Liisa ( Vasu) O’Maley and Edward Reither (USA)