Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The power of heart to heart connectivity

We went to Aravind Eye Hospital, Auroville and Aurbindo Ashram, met people who we didn’t know and experienced joy that was spiritual in nature as we received pure love. That is the power of heart to heart connectivity, the power of invisible bonds that ties each of us to each to each other...
Auroville (Indus Valley and the Matrimandir): After the rathas and stone carvings, we headed to Auroville- The Mother’s village, located outside of Pondicherry. There we met many brothers – Manoj, one of the creators of Tsunamika dolls and Dhruv, one of the creators of Indus Valley, Auroville’s version of Seva Café. We had a beautiful time in Auroville. The village is very peaceful, full of greenery and interesting architecture. To have Manoj as our guide was very special. If there is one word to describe Manoj, it would be serenity. His face glowed with this understanding. Soft-spoken, each word was spoken with care and depth. Being able to have a satsang with him as we walked amidst the trees is something I won’t be able to forget.
The first place that we went to was Indus Valley. Indus Valley was inspired by Seva Café. After the tsunami, the Indicorps fellows gathered in Tamil Nadu to help with reconstruction work and stayed in Auroville. During this time, the founders interacted with Anjali and Anand and the concept of Seva Café came up. The founders had a space where they were going to make a café and they decided to base it on the idea of gift economy, thus Indus Valley was born. The space they have created is beautiful. It’s an open space with many little details that make it perfect. It’s connectedness with nature is moving and of course, the food was great.
From Indus Valley, we went to see the Matrimandir, located beside the center of the Auroville. When the Mother had a vision for the city, she said it would be centered around a tree. That tree is an old banyan tree. Beside the banyan tree is a large golden egg, the Matrimandir. Representing the Golden Egg that emerged from the earth, the center dome (made from real gold) is surrounded by 12 petals. Each petal is a meditation room that has its interior in one of twelve colours, which represents a value and stage of in meditation. One progresses from one petal, one colour to the next, until reaches a level of consciousness to mediate in the dome, the white room. Lined with white carpet, the central room, housed in the golden egg, houses a crystal in the middle. The sun is directed to the crystal, through which light is dispersed throughout the whole room.
The Matrimandir has been under construction for over 40 years and will be complete in February. As it was in its final stages of construction, we could only see if from the outside. The third element in the garden is the giant urn topped with a lotus bud. When Auroville was founded in the 60’s, the Mother had two children from every country (123 total) come to the international city (Auroville) with soils from their land. One by one, each pair of children offered their soils, creating the earth of humanity. From the urn, emerged the bud of a lotus.The information center at Auroville is a super green busy and very architectural cool, so the civil and environmental engineer was thoroughly pleased. Our trip was short, but incredibly moving. I would love to go back and spend more time in Auroville.
Aravind Eye Hospital- Pondicherry: From Auroville, we checked into the Guest House at the Ashram in Pondicherry and then Jayeshmama and I headed to the Aravind Eye Hospital where Kannamma had called a meeting for their nurses to hear Jayeshmama speak. I got to serve as the translator. I loved the opportunity to hear Jayeshmama speak and the girls enjoyed the conversation also. It was chance for Jayeshmama to express his thought on Dr. V and appreciate the nurses for all that they do. The nurses of Aravind Eye Hospitals are very inspirational. The hospital trains rural girls who have passed their 12th standards as nurses.
At Aravind, they are always trying to maximize efficiency, be it of space or people. So these nurses are trained in everything that does not require a doctor, including refraction testing, etc. They are also the caregivers, the women who offer love and support to the patients. Aravind places a strong emphasis on making sure that each patient is treated with love and respect and it is these women who has the greatest responsibility in enacting this ideal.At the end of the talk, I conducted the activity that I had learned in Tirupati with the nurses. It was a perfect way to end as it embodies the idea of supporting each other and working as a collective soul force, which is what Jayeshmama spoke of.
We then had a feast literally. The staff had prepared a wonderful meal for us, which shared with Kannamma, Ravindra and Dr. V’s brother, Dr. Srinivasan, who happened to be in Pondicherry at the time. By this point, the rest of the gang also had joined us. We unfortunately did not get a chance to get a full tour of the hospital, but felt the love and spiritual strength that embodied the space. When we walked out of the hospital, Devendrabhai pointed something out that I had not taken note of: the lack of smell. The hospital had not smelt like a hospital with scents of medicines, etc even though we had gone through the patients’ area! Pondicherry is the first Aravind Hospital where there was ample space, so the campus is beautifully set up on one plot of land. posted by Heena at 2/13/2007 02:03:00 PM

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