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THE Experience...

Concrete is not cool. You understand that when you get a shock of green. A shock. That’s what you will get first when you travel to Anaikkatti, unprepared. Green is cool. The Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is like the centre of a forested valley on the Nilgiri moutains. Anywhere you turn, there’s a peak.

There is always a lingering feeling that a giant, invisible hand manicures the woods inside the campus. But they are so naturally tranquil that, as you begin to drink in the scenery, you automatically dive into yourself. The boundary between that external greenery and your internal self are somehow blurred. The sounds of Rudram-Chamaka chanting that you hear in the distance only heighten the blur.

Doubts, questions that you never knew you had, never knew you could even think up, creep in to your mind. Doubts only Vedanta could answer. Correct that - only a Teacher of Vedanta can answer. Strike even that out - only a Guru who has spent his entire lifetime enlightening people through Vedanta can answer. He is 80 years old this year. And still clocks more than 10000 air miles (or more).

As you leave the campus, you feel that you never want to leave. You might have felt the same when you leave other destinations. But you know for sure that this time it is completely different and has a lot more seriousness to it. You suddenly feel that Anaikkatti has become the center of your universe. The sounds of Rudram-Chamakam have faded in to Vishnu Sahasranama...


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अगजानन पद्मार्कम् गजाननम् अहर्निशम्।
अनेकदन्तम् भक्तानाम् एकदन्तम् उपास्महे॥
agajānana padmārkam gajānanam aharniśam|
anekadantam bhaktānām ekadantam upāsmahe|| What a beautiful verse to behold and listen! I heard it first when this verse was suggested as an invocation for our magazine Yuva Bharati by my brother a couple of years ago. (Yup! I promptly posted it on facebook - even social networks have been permeated by spirituality :-D)

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ānana means face. Gajānana is the Lord who has the face of an elephant or gaja. On seeing the face of Gajānana, the face of Agaja, daughter of the king among mountains (aga), Himavan or Parvata, one who is called Himavati or Parvati, lightens up. This is so natural and open, like how a padma o…