SRI RAMANASHRAM, TIRUVANNAMALAI
Usually, my frequent trips to Ramanashram, Tiruvannamalai are meant for soaking in the sheer peace, tranquility and vibrations of Sri Ramana Maharshi's presence. I got the same feeling of bliss in Himalayas, when I went there for A.R.Rahman's 'Jana Gana Mana..' in 1999. Prayers, mantras, slokas and meditation are not necessary in charged places such as these. An inexplicable bliss of inner silence and stillness fills our hearts in such places. I just sit down, do nothing...stare into space...nothing matters as GOD is felt through every moment...all around and within oneself.
I sat leaning against the wall in Ramanashram (almost 2 decades ago) and stared idly at an unkempt man seated right opposite to me in the men's section. He wore a soiled veshti, his long beard and hair were matted. I would have shifted my gaze if I didn't catch him smiling at me. Puzzled, I looked around wondering if the smile was directed at me or at somebody else.
I realised that he was smiling only at me and I smiled back. He immediately got up and walked steadily towards me. I thought he was going to ask me for money or assistance.
(Conversation in tamil)
There was a wealth of wisdom in his eyes as he addressed me, "You were the one who played Veena here last night, isn't it?"
"Yes" I smiled.
He declared with a smile, "I normally don't come down here often. You are fortunate that I came in time to listen to you and that I am talking to you right now." There was an air of authority about him which was in sharp contrast to his dishevelled appearance.
"Oh"! I wondered who he could be.
He sat right in front of me. In close quarters it appeared as though he did not bathe for many days.
"Do you know Khechari Mudra?"
His question caught me unawares. I was stunned, not expecting him to ask me something like that.
"What is it? I don't know."
He opened his mouth wide to show me the khechari mudra.
He said in a commanding voice.
Embarrassed I looked around.
He urged, "You need to do it for your Veena playing. Very very important."
He got my complete attention.
My eyes widened in fascination, "Why...how?" I asked
"If you do it while playing Veena, your kundalini will lead you to a higher state of consciousness."
Forgetting my surroundings I did the khechari mudra.
He did the mudra along with me for a few seconds after ensuring I did it the correct way.
He got up abruptly and started to leave. Even I got up hastily to follow him.
I addressed him anxiously, "Where do you stay? I want to meet you again. I need to know a few things about Veena and yoga."
"I live somewhere up the hills, I don't stay in any particular place. You can't meet me. You carry on with what I told you. That's enough."
"No...please I want to see you again, just one more time." I pleaded, feeling like a kid.
Looking straight he kept walking ahead, "No child.. please go on...Keep doing what I showed you. I have to leave."
I stopped in my tracks, a feeling of sadness washing over me as I watched his retreating figure helplessly.....