Friday, August 03, 2007

Forward on the path

3:00 p.m. Darshan ended. I have never seen such a crowd lining her path from the hall, through the lobby, to the elevators. The looks on the faces of the people after Amma went by were priceless. At the same time, in the hall, there was and still is a crowd around the bookstore tables. One of the items not brought was bhajan books, which I found out the first night when I was asked where they could get a copy after they saw my bhajan books. Last night they projected the words to ‘Where Can I Go’ in Portugese on the big screens (to applause)

One other difference Santiago and Rio is the food. I ate more wheat in Santiago than in the rest of the tour put together – it was really the only choice outside of the hotel breakfast since there was only a snack shop set up in Santiago. Here I could get wonderful soup and salad reminiscent of the ashram . There a few people from the kitchen staff here, using a small portion of an enormous kitchen here in the hotel, preparing food.

7:00 p.m. A local photographer just told me that somehow they managed to get the whole crowd into the hall for the atma puja – when I came in there was s a good sized group outside. I am in a corner of the hall near the back of the stage, with a view of not much besides all the volunteers (I counted about 75, I assume they are all going to help) who will be helping with the atma puja water. I can feel the expectant tension in the air.

Now, silence throughout the hall, as the puja is performed and Amma blesses the water.

Distribution of the water – the background music has started up, and the normal hubbub has returned (I think that is the first time I have ever written that word !). A Brazilian man just came up to me, saying he recognized me as my neighbor in the flats in Amritapuri last December when I was sick with fever and cellulitis, and asked how I was doing. Sweet.

Quiet again as Amma starts her talk. About half way through the talk, the puja water is fully distributed, and the crowd of volunteers is either seated or gone, and I can see Amma again. It is striking me – For over two months my life has been the tour, and after tonight I will move forward on the paths She has set in front of me. I thought I was sensing the crowd’s excitement, perhaps it is mine. I had hoped to get direction, but She has given me that and much more.

I am speechless.
3 Aug 2007, Rio, Brazil

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