As the Full Moon is about to rise, half a million people are arriving in Tiruvannamalai; they will walk around Arunachala all night, stopping at every temple. Most of them will be barefoot, in silence, and in deep communion with the Mountain and the Moon.
It is a unique gathering that takes place every single month; an auspicious time when the energy of Arunachala gets multiplied.
I usually like my space and avoid crowds and noise, but this is something that always blows my mind. I love to see all those people walking together, yet alone. I love the incessant movement that spreads thick over 14 km, while Arunachala stands still and majestic under the Full Moon. I love the energy of devotion that is just unescapable in the midst of hundreds of thousands of devotees. I love feeling home and at ease, high and connected, in touch with the stillness of my heart and the mystery of life. I love to smell the divine and sense the depth of the unknowable in so many eyes. I love all those contrasts. I love watching those old men in orange, some of them with only one leg, struggling to make it around, but obviously more contented and at peace than most human Beings. I love seeing those women dressed in a festival of colours, walking with such grace and dignity. I love looking into the crowd and see individuals, everyone so unique, everyone such an indescribable miracle, everyone such a different story. And YET consciousness is so obviously all there is, shining through all and everyone and everything.
Sometimes I walk alone, sometimes with friends, and mostly it is in silence. The walk can take just 3 hours, but it often takes double that, especially when I stop at every chai shop to gaze at the full moon and at the incredible happening all around.
We all share what we are made of.
Arunachala standing still and majestic under the rising Full Moon is an expression of that.
Pradakshina is the meditative act of walking around Arunachala. It is an act of worship. It is a meeting with God.
Tomorrow I will walk around the mountain in the midst of thousands and thousands of people.
Where else do so many Human Beings gather together in peace and meditation, walking in silence around a sacred hill, in search for Oneness, ready to give up their little “me” at the feet of something far greater and far more real?
I feel blessed. Have a beautiful day.