Ashram visit, June 26, 2001

crowd with Sai BabaIt was a long flight. I have arrived at Brindavan, staying near the ashram. Road works have commenced to build the bridge over the railway gates at Whitefield. The taxi driver took the wrong turn and took me to the new hospital instead; he did not listen properly to me. I said “Take me to Whitefield”, all the taxi drivers were yelling at me “Baba is in Puttaparthi!” “Baba is in Puttaparthi!” “Baba – Puttaparthi!” They want to take my trolley and push, they want to take over my life and tell me where to go, etc., etc.

We passed the new Super Specialty Hospital … it is BIG, I cannot emphasise just how large it is. Photographs just cannot capture a place this size. I checked the government card for the taxi and paid the taxi driver the set price in rupees. He saw my Australian money and was suggesting that I pay him in Australian notes.

There is a neat, clean, dual road nearly all the way to Brindavan. The darshan hall has had a nice fitting out with a new roof; there is a footpath now, alongside the wall outside. The same watchmen are there. Last night there was a maroon and orange clad Tibetan monk at the ashram gate (it was closed) making head movements, hand movements and singing. I was on the other side of the road and I asked a seva dal whom I knew from way back what he was on about… I was told he is singing bhajans, and chanting Tibetan Buddhist mantras to Swami and making Tibetan prayer hand gestures – and he did it every night. They said he was OK. He was loud; I could hear him from the other side of the road.

Remember that interesting cretin, the street dog? I was pondering over them while I was waiting for my dinner. They all seem to have changed a bit and the Heinz 57 type of breed seems to be less bony and piteous and mutated somewhat to a leaner, cleaner looking dog.

This is Brindavan, I think to myself as I sit in the little ‘restaurant’ on the side of the road. There is red dust everywhere, blaring truck horns, double overtaking, bus, bus, bus, auto rickshaws everywhere and little boys cleaning tables with big black soulful eyes and shy smiles.

I walked over to the Ganesha idol in the Sai Ramesh Hall yesterday and felt the shakti (energy) rising in my hands as I approached the shrine. Right close up to the front there is an interesting picture of Swami waving, it catches your eye as you get closer.

I took a long walk from Kadugodi – Laxmi colony down the road to get the electrical shop to change my power supply plug. There are Internet Cafes everywhere in Brindavan/Kadugodi; the rate is Rs25 per hour. Brigade Road cafes charge Rs30 (approx $1) per hour, so that is OK. The weather is bearable; I accidentally ate some brinjal at lunch which had me consuming water at a great rate shortly thereafter. Bothered by two mosquitoes last night.

I will complete some chores for a couple of days in Bangalore, and then travel to Prashanthi.


crowd with Sai Baba



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