1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus and Maharishi Vedic Pandits at the Brahmasthan

This is the one-year anniversary of the start of my trip to India. A year ago today, I boarded a very long non-stop flight from Chicago to New Delhi. After clearing customs I went to an airport bank to change some money. It took a while, but a driver who had been sent to pick me up waited to take me to a Holiday Inn, where I finally crashed. The next morning another driver took me to the airport for a flight to Jabalpur. My sister and brother-in-law where there to welcome me when I arrived, which was very nice. We then traveled to the holy Narmada River, to fulfill the prime purpose of my long journey.

As it turned out, November 14, 2016 was a very significant day in three major religious traditions at this celebratory time of year. We hired a boatman, and after some special prayers, I spread Sali’s ashes on this peaceful celestial river as he rowed the boat towards and around a small temple at the foot of the Gwari Ghat. This took place during the late afternoon on a Monday, a moon day, but the largest full moon in 70 years, the supermoon! It was highly significant, worthy of Sali’s spiritual merit she had earned offering a lifetime of one-pointed devoted service to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Movement. Some of his ashes had been spread at this holy place as well.

See more details in last year’s post I wrote 3 weeks after returning home: An early attempt at some kind of closure with a poem on Sali’s passing and auspicious times. You can read the many inspiring tributes that were given at the October 5th memorial service, about her brilliant mind, kind heart, and good nature.

It was evening by the time we arrived at the Bijouri Campus in the Brahmasthan of India. During my 3-week stay there I would meet many wonderful meditators and sidhas from different countries around the world who came for the Maharishi India Courses, to meditate and enjoy the recitations of the Maharishi Vedic Pandits. It was a very healing atmosphere to settle into. Just what I needed, thanks to my family.

Traditional Indian Greeting

To start our course, we were each given a special welcome by the Maharishi Vedic Pandits and garlanded with flowers. Here is a photo of me, taken last year, November 16, 2016, after that warm reception.

Kenny at the Brahmasthan Nov 16, 2016

I purposefully stood in front of a large beautiful painting of Guru Dev, Maharishi’s master. I had purchased a print of this latest painting of Guru Dev the previous summer, having seen it featured at Art Fifty Two in Fairfield during a reception for the artist and her work. I had taken a photo of Frances Knight at the gallery standing in front of the original painting. You can also see part of a large Holy Tradition painting on the back wall behind her, one of many she had painted in the past.

Visiting the Maharishi Vedic Pandit Campus

On one of our trips we were taken to the geographical center of India known as the Brahmasthan. We shared a short group meditation and took photographs. And once a week we were driven to the Maharishi Vedic Pandit campus to hear 1,500 pandits recite Atirudrabhishek, an ancient Vedic performance to create world peace.

Sitting there with my eyes closed listening to the powerful Vedic recitation, I started to feel a deeply relaxing peacefulness growing inside my body. Soon, much to my surprise, I started to smile, then chuckle! I felt an inner happiness welling up within me that was totally unexpected. This bliss was a welcome contrast, a relief from the grief I was carrying around with me, mourning the loss of my sweetheart. This profound experience was worth the long tiring trip over there!

Group photo at pandit campus Nov 25, 2016

We put on traditional Indian clothing for these special occasions and posed for a group photo before boarding the buses back to our campus. I am standing in the upper second-to-last row on the far left. The course participants came from England, Ireland, USA, Canada, several European and Asian countries, Israel, Australia, and many from Iran. We were a diverse and harmonious group.

Now that I finally transferred all of my photos from my iPad onto my computer, I could post some of them related to this story. Who knows, maybe other photos will spark new stories.

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8 Responses to “1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus and Maharishi Vedic Pandits at the Brahmasthan”

  1. Margot Suettmann Says:

    This is like one of the beautiful epics of Indian spiritual wisdom. You can hear it again and again and never get tired of it. You, Kenny, and Sali are starring in it. Blessing both of you with all my heart and wishing that the bliss will always surpass any grief or mourning!!! Love and JGD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ken Chawkin Says:

      Thank you, Margot, for your great appreciation. It was a good experience to reflect on the year that has passed and how special Sali was to all of us, still is, to me. It’s good to remember and honor those we love who have gone before us. And to recall the great gift that Maharishi had given us, which my family has been developing and nurturing—His Vedic Pandits and the Brahmasthan project. JGD

      Like

  2. For Us—a tanka honoring Sali and what we shared | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] A Jyotishi, Indian astrologer, who came to town with ancient palm leaves, told us of our past lives together. He said we shared a deep bond of friendship and spirituality, this was a karmic repayment, I was now going to fulfill the promises I had made to her in ancient Vedic times, and that she should be with me at all times—her life depended on it. Many adverse situations would spring up over time to test that bond, but I was there for her, right up to the end, and beyond. […]

    Like

  3. Frances Knight shows paintings of Vedic Masters and Vedic Dieties at ArtFiftyTwo in Fairfield Iowa | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] I mention Frances’s painting in this entry, dated November 12, 2017: 1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus…. […]

    Like

  4. Celebrating the Glorious Life of Sally M Peden | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Added November 12, 2017: 1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus…. […]

    Like

  5. An early attempt at some kind of closure with a poem on Sali’s passing and auspicious times | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Celebrating the Glorious Life of Sally M Peden; Final entries leading up to and after Sali’s passing; and this new poem, Haiku for Her. Added, June 30, 2017, 9 months after Sali’s passing: For Us—a tanka honoring Sali and what we shared. Added Sept 1, 2017: ‘In Our Loving Eyes’ a poem by @kenchawkin remembering a special love with Sally Peden. Added October 1, 2017, A tanka remembering Sali and her gift to me on the one-year anniversary of her passing. Added October 15, 2017, Still Sali Haiku—the persistence of love over grief. Added November 12, 2017: 1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus…. […]

    Like

  6. A tanka remembering Sali and her gift to me on the one-year anniversary of her passing | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] This new post, added November 12, 2017, is relevant: 1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus…. […]

    Like

  7. ‘In Our Loving Eyes’ a poem by @kenchawkin remembering a special love with Sally Peden | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] This new post, added November 12, 2017, is relevant: 1st anniversary of my India trip to spread Sali’s ashes on the Narmada River, visit Bijouri campus…. […]

    Like

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