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Dr. Razam (4)
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Bio: ORRYELLE travels to other dimensions and brings back aspects of them to the physical plane.
Photos: orry's photo libraries
FINAL PUJAS ( 26th Sep, 2005 )
MANSIR-DEVI MANDIR YATRA ( 26th Sep, 2005 )
BACK TO HARDWAR - 23rd at the Smashan ( 19th Sep, 2005 )
RISHIKESH REDUX - Venus Flytraps and Mars Monikers ( 19th Sep, 2005 )
MONKEY-MANDIRS and SHIVA-STATUES ( 18th Sep, 2005 )
Rishikesh ( 22nd Aug, 2005 )
Dharamsala part II (inc July nu moon) ( 22nd Aug, 2005 )
SOLSTICE ( 12th Jul, 2005 )
Parzival:The Fool's Journey on Glastonbury Tor ( 12th Jul, 2005 )
ITALY TRAVEL JOURNAL ( 27th Jun, 2005 )
Lost in the labyrinth - Karma and Dog-Ma ( 13th May, 2005 )
Varinassi: Death, Drugs and Eastern Classical Music ( 13th May, 2005 )
Hell Journey ( 13th May, 2005 )
Holi- Peacock Colours and Witch Burning ( 3rd May, 2005 )
Escape from Paradise ( 3rd May, 2005 )
EquinoXuliuqE ( 3rd May, 2005 )
Paradise in Off-Season ( 3rd May, 2005 )
INDIA TRAVELS Part III inc MARCH NEW MOON RITUAL REPORT ( 27th Apr, 2005 )
INDIA TRAVEL REPORT Part II - SHIVARATRI ( 27th Apr, 2005 )
India Travel Report Part I ( 27th Apr, 2005 )
Back to the train-station and again I sat -though
cooler and calmer now- waiting amidst a barrage of
stares and questions. When the train finally came
there was something wrong with most of the doors so I
had to push my way through a throng at one of the few
available entrances at the last minute. Finally I got
on board with someone I'd just met still trying to
pass me their phone number through the barred windows
with entreaties to visit them in some obscure town
'next time' when I said I was leaving India in two
I sighed as the train left the station, stashing my
luggage under my chosen seat/bed and beginning to
relax onto it. My relief lasted all of a few minutes
before someone came and informed me that was their
seat, waving their numbered ticket at me.
Begrudgingly I relocated, but not without asking him
to point out where the seat no. on my ticket was. He
didn't seem to know and I couldn't find it, so climbed
into any unclaimed upper bunk. As I was doing so the
fat ticket inspector bustled past, so I tried to ask
him. He glanced at the back of my ticket and said it
was general class so could I please move down to the
'No,' I insisted, 'It's a sleeper ticket. I asked
the person who sold it to me at the station three
times to make sure!' (determined not to end up in one
of those mobile sardinecan carriages again like on the
way to Varinassi).
He ignored me and bustled on, so I reclined in the
bunk. A few minutes later someone else came and said
where I was was their seat. I asked them to please
show me where my seat number was on my ticket so I
would stop being moved around. They didn't know. I was
getting quite openly aggravated by now, and the man
wanting his seat was reacting in kind. Other people
were listening and some of them looked at my ticket
too, but no one seemed to know where the seat no. was.
I got fed up and went down to the ticket man at the
other end of the carriage. He tried to fob me off
again but I had had enough by then and followed him
around insisting that he look at my ticket. He seemed
surprised that on eventual begrudging perusal it
actually was indeed a sleeper class ticket. 'Where's
the seat number then?' I demanded, simmering by now.
It had been a trying day already.
'It's sleeper class but its unreserved and
nonconfirmed, so you don't have one.'
Oh great. What's the point of a sleeper class ticket
if you don't have a sleeper reserved? 'So where am I
supposed to sit?!'
He didn't know so tried carrying on his business
again. Too much! All the unexpressed frustration from
the last few days' trials and pressures at the end of
my extended sickness and the persistent sticky heat
all bubbled up inside me and finally I cracked and
exploded. I ranted and raved that the ticket system
made no sense and didn't work and even went so far in
my frenzy as, ' India is a stupid fucking country and
I'm glad I'm leaving!!'
After my enrage outburst everything went quiet for a
while as I climbed up into another (top) bunk and
curled up there. I expected I would be asked to move
again when more people got on at the next stop, then
noticed the number plaque was smeared and almost
illegible, so I might be safe there for a while.
Feeling sheepish about my spoiled-tourist public
outburst and muttering abashed apologies under my
breath I eventually drifted into a strange half-sleep.
Considering my karmic journeys already that day, I
wondered half-heartedly what repercussions such
statements about India might hold...
I was not disturbed further and the train took twice
as long as scheduled to get to Delhi, which was
actually better because it arrived at dawn rather than
I bundled all my things off, making sure I had
everything despite being only half-awake, and lugged
it all up the stairs, over the bridge, down the
stairs, through the station and out to the taxi-ranks.
Swamped as usual by taxidrivers, I selected one at
random and put my things in the back of his cab, only
then noticing that the wad of fresh bills I had taken
out of the bank just the night before -my final
withdrawal in case I found any special treasures to
buy in Delhi to take home- was gone. Having changed
from pants into skirt to sleep better on the train
trip, the money had foolishly been in an insecure
pocket which must have angled funny while I was
carrying things, or possibly been picked. A hundred
dollars Australian gone, leaving me to arrive home
almost penniless (I'd been living only on the money I
made at the Bath Magickal Fair since returning to
Immediately reminded of the previous night's
tantrum, I asked the taxi-driver to please wait a
while (not saying why, the last thing I needed was all
the taxi drivers trying to help me find it!) and
frantically retraced my footsteps, scouring the
gutters and drains nearby then back into the station.
By the time I was on the way back out to the taxi rank
(all the while hoping the taxi driver wouldn't drive
off with my luggage in the meantime) the rubbish had
been swept into piles, still I scoured them in vain.
Eventually I gave up and hoped someone who would get
a lot of good use from the money had found it, told
the taxi-driver what had happened and that I would
have to get some cash from my friend to pay him when
he dropped me off. Luckily he was sympathetic (even
bought me a chai on the way out) and okay with that
and we headed off to Yamunagiri baba's Durga mandir in
Old Delhi as the new day began to blister. I sat in
the back feeling stunned, stupid and very weary.
After all that it was very good to see Yamunagiri
Baba and babble my misadventures at him, even though
I'm not sure how much of the overexpressed rapidfire
English he actually got. He was just bemused and paid
the taxi-driver (I had made a considerably larger
donation to his temple on my previous visit to Delhi
for the construction of an Ardhanarishvara statue the
work had stalled on due to lack of funds).
Picture of Yamunagiribaba in the entrance-way of the
Delhi Hanuman (statue) Mandir:
Hanging out with him was different without smoking.
Again there was the interminable waiting to do
anything while he rolled joint after joint, and the
endless parade of workers and disciples who would
enter his room to babble in Hindi with him and smoke,
which all seemed even more tedious when not also
stoned. But I enjoyed the bits of conversation we had
in between, and did yoga the rest of the time. One of
his servants got very excited by some of my asanas and
touched my feet.
I remembered to ask Yamumagiri Baba about the statue
of the grinning black goat-man I had seen in a strange
rickety backstreet temple of Rishikesh, and been
intrigued by (Baphomet associations etc.) The priest
there who had next to no English (unusual for that
tourist town) had told me it was 'Yama-hari'. I had
not asked anyone else about this yet, feeling to ask
Yamunagiri Baba. Sure enough it was related to his
name, but in a more intricate and interesting way than
I had imagined. I had thought it might be something to
do with the Yamuna river that my friend had stood in
for three years during his teens. It turns out
Yama-hari is Yama, the God of Death, often represented
as a black goat. Yamuna is Yama's sister, also usually
depicted as a (female) black goat, and the other
sibling is Sani, the Saturnian dark God of Saturday I
had recently discovered to be so prevalent in my Vedic
So the Yamuna is the river of death? I enquired,
amazed that my friend might be the Vedic equivalent of
some kind of Underworld ferry-man. Yamunagiri baba
nodded and laughed, toking deep, telling me that puja
to that river offered great protection against
physical disease and poisons. So was that how he
managed to maintain such a staggering intake of
tobacco and charis without falling over?!
No wonder I had resonated with Yamunagiri Baba so
much- he was named after the river which was named
after the Hindu equivalent of the Great Black She-goat
of the Woods, aka the Hindu equivalent of Shub
Niggurath? Wyrd. He had loved the collage of She of
the Thousand Young from the
hermetically-sealed-section of the second s p o o l of
( http://www.crossroads.wild.net.au/silkmilk2.htm )
although he had asked upon considerable inspection if
they were flower petals in the fold? I had been
delighted with his attention to detail as most people
hadn't noticed those, until I realized he was actually
referring to the labia they were collaged in with,
having never seen a vagina before!
My earlier feeling about initiating him to the Order
of ChAOS (as the first Indian in-it-I-ate) was
confirmed. He was excited about the idea of joining a
global magickal group, and we decided to perform the
ritual that night.
In the meantime I went to finish my painting at the
Hanuman statue-temple. I only had two days left and I
wasn't about to leave India without completing it, so
that was my priority before any further Delhi
sight-seeing or anything.
Picture of the back of the Hanuman statue (with tail)
from roof section:
I knew how long it could take to get things done at
the Hanuman mandir so got stuck right into it despite
feeling tired after the train-ride.
The problem was that the rickety bamboo ladder I had
used to climb up to the archway last time and begin
the painting was nowhere to be found -there was only
an even ricketier one with a missing step and very
thin bamboo side-poles which didn't seem like they
would hold me. So I did as much as I could without
the ladder, standing on ledges at the edge of the
steps to reach up and finish the bottom part of the
picture, albeit having to twist uncomfortably to reach
from the ledge beneath.
Then I knew I was going to have to fix the ladder
myself to get it finished that day, but I couldn't
find any straight large nails anywhere or anyone that
could give me a straight answer in English as to where
they might be stashed. I was determined and
eventually located but one, and with Yamunagiri's help
lashed the other side of the makeshift replacement
rung on with rope. He convinced me that the bamboo was
stronger than it looked and I cautiously climbed up
step by step. It creaked and bent but did not crack or
split, so there I was up this precarious thing
painting cobra-trunks on elephants.
Animated .gif of me painting in the temple at
Despite my discomfort I soon lost myself in the
work, and was flooded with an unexpected pleasure in
the process. This, I suddenly realized, was where it
I had experienced a recent tendency toward
introversion and ascetism, with all the yoga turning
me inwards despite my outer travels and constant
explorations of new environments. Due to this I had
begun to embrace the idea of further withdrawal, as
suggested in the Kundalini Yoga book I was reading
-wondering if it was time to really retreat and
discover some kind of further spiritual
awakening via intensive renunciation of the outer
world and even of all other activities besides yoga
and meditation. In all this I had somehow forgotten
Art for a while, and now it flooded back with sweeping
passion. Yes, passion! That inner burning that so
many spiritual puritans and ascetics deny or view as
some kind of vice to be transcended. In relation to
*Kundalini* yoga or sahdana this makes little sense to
me, since Kundalini Herself seems to be the creative
fire. Yes, control of it, focused application of it,
but not denial of or aversion to it! Passion that can
create art, music, sex, writing, dance...
Art (in all its media and manifestations) I
remembered (not that I had fully forgotten, but now I
was being *experientially* reminded) is the prime
means of bringing spirit into the World of form, of
channeling the divine into manifestation for the
expression of the self and the appreciation of others.
It is almost as important to me as breathing! Sure,
withdrawal for a time is effective and often even
necessary to replenish the spirit, to take the energy
higher, further, deeper within; but ultimately if
you're not going to eventually express this bliss back
into the World you may as well already be
disincarnate! Art IS spirit on the physical plane.
I was quite happy with the way the painting turned
out in the end, although I probably could have done
something twice as good in half the time if I hadn't
selected such a damn difficult place to access!
Crappy photo (too high- no zoom) of finished
Afterwards Yamunagiri Baba and I returned to the
Durga temple and proceeded with his ChAOrder
initiation. It proved quite difficult translating some
of the concepts, as he was only used to the Hindu ways
of performing puja/worship (I had to call it that
before he could understand what I even meant by
'ritual'). We changed the Tiamaat chant on the
spiral-dancing to Seshnag (the seven-hooded serpent
over Vishnu's crown). The elemental blessings went
fine, although I had to keep reiterating for him to
close his eyes. Not being familiar with the idea of
astral temples (why bother, with so many beautiful
physical ones around in India!) or guided
visualizations, he kept starting to get up when I'd
say something like, 'then you enter the temple...'
I opted to just describe Baphomet when we reached
Hir, rather than try to call hir
'Ardhanarishvara-An-Yama-Yamuna' or something...
Eventually we got through it. He'd had a 'beautiful
dream' of a woman and a glowing child during the
Picture of Yamunagiri-Baba between two cobras in the
Hanuman Mandir at:
-wyrd how those two streaks of light (gold and silver
like the ida and pingala kundalini serpents) turned up
in the photo from each cobra-hand (sometimes cheap
cameras take good pictures!)
The rest of that night was sheer hell! Because it
was incredibly hot and sticky I slept outside, on a
thin mattress in an open-air section of the temple.
It was still fucking hot and sticky there, but even
worse were the mosquitoes. Despite burning cowpats
nearby and a coil right next to me, they were
thronging around me in ravenous hordes, their bites
much more painful than Australian ones.
On top of all that a digestive discomfort I had felt
early that morning had now become outright painful,
burbling and cramping. Oh please, not %$#*$@
*now*!! Despite drinking the local tap-water
everywhere I went (refusing to buy any more plastic
bottles after the first couple on arrival, there being
very few bins anywhere) and not having had any
immunisation shots for the journey (I'd no money left
for that anyway after purchasing the airticket),
eating from dubious street-stalls on occasion, etc., I
had been incredibly fortunate (ie blessed by the
Gods?) the whole trip; I couldn't believe that now on
this my very last night in India I seemed to have
contracted (appropriate term) the dreaded
'Delhi-belly' or something. It is almost impossible to
not relate spirit and matter in India, so of course I
was ruminating on the previous night's outburst and
its karmic repercussions as I squirmed in pain which
alternated between belly burbles, mosquito hordes and
general sticky ickiness, all aggravating each other.
Well it was all confirming one thing with startling
definitiveness -it was time to go!!
I sat up and did deep abdominal breathing, then the
yogamudra asana, breathing intestinally onto
under-folded fists. I kept cycling through everything
I thought might help, and eventually the pain receded
somewhat. I went and dumped another bucket of cold
water (third one that night) over my head to cool off
and soothe the bites, and as the mosquitoes were
finally beginning to dissipate with the approach of
dawn, I finally began to drift into almost-sleep...
At that cusp a starkly bright light blinked on
directly above my head, and bells began to peal. Time
for morning aariti -the temple began to bustle into
I managed to ignore it all for maybe another hour or
two in some kind of semi-conscious coma before people
insisted I rise, since I was in the middle of the
I did yoga and puja to Ganesha for that night's
imminent journey, and somehow managed to pull myself
into a semi-functional mode of semi-awakeness for my
final day in India.
After much waiting, 'after some time' we eventually
got off to the Hanuman Mandir only to find it's Baba,
whom I had wanted to assure saw my finished painting,
had now gone back to sleep.
Pictures of the Hanuman (statue) Mandir at
So we sat around in the big tent set up on the edge
of the main road with water and fruit for sweaty Shiva
Mela pilgrims arriving from Haridwar to stop on for a
rest along their long walk. A strange continuity for
me seeing them with their tinsel-twined water-carriers
and orange shirts, now striding through the Delhi
smog. The train had been the easy way down after all!
I got bored waiting around there drifting in and out
of sleep as everyone smoked and chatted in Hindi, so I
went off to see the Lotus Temple.
Picture of the Lotus Temple exterior at:
I had gone to see it on the previous Delhi stop, but
it had been closed due to it being Monday and seeing
the strange outer structure (although a bit too akin
to the Sydney Opera House for my liking!) I had
remained curious to visit the interior. Hearing it was
a 'multi-faith temple' I'd had all sorts of visions of
how the various religious icons et all might be
combined within, imagining perhaps different petals of
the lotus structure housing different cultural
shrines. I was especially curious because I had been
thinking about creating some kind or multi-religious
temple back in Australia.
How disappointing it was then, to walk in to the
grand Lotus Temple and find... nothing.
Well, many rows of pew-like wooden benches before a
microphone dias, and that was it.
Okay, so that's the *other* way of making a
multi-faith temple- instead of trying to accomodate
everyone's iconography together somehow, you go for
minimalism and thereby offend no one?
The structure itself was certainly impressive from
the inside, with the nine petal (all one room)
segments of the ceiling all converging into a
beautiful central stained glass mandala.
The acoustics were also awesome, with a stifled
cough on the other side of the huge dome echoing
everywhere. I was tempted to let out a huge OM, but
respectfully maintained silence as requested upon
entry. I wandered past rows and rows of benches, some
occupied by people either looking about bewildered or
in meditation, finding my way to the centre. I wanted
to meditate right under the apex of the lotus dome to
get the full effect of the architecture.
There was a gap between rows of seats at that point
so I sat on the floor, folding my legs up into
As soon as I had got comfortable closed my eyes and
begun to drop into trance, one of the temple
attendants bustled over whispering, 'Excuse me,
sir...' I knew she was going to ask me not to sit on
the floor, and just ignored her. Again, 'Excuse me,'
and she tapped me lightly on the shoulder. As I had
been doing some pranayamas and such in the taxi on the
way there, I had sunk deep into meditation pretty much
immediately, which must have been quite obvious as I
easily ignored her.
To the credit of the Bahai Faith who built the place,
she did not persist but walked off. Insistence that I
sit on a chair would be like telling the Christians
there they have to sit on the floor, which is a part
of Hindu religious tradition. Beside that, I was
sitting in Lotus posture! Strange if that was not
permitted in the Lotus Temple.
I left feeling a bit disappointed but also inspired
-to create my own multi-cultural temple in a
completely different way, the everything rather than
nothing approach. I don't know how (financially etc.)
or when this will be possible, but it lurks as some
kind of backburner longterm project idea...
Back to the Hanuman Mandir and finally its Baba saw
my painting. He liked it a lot and we had some photos
taken together below it. Here's one of them:
Then because I am a fool I went off to the Delhi
antiques and jewellery market Kapalnath had told me
about. With the last of my money after the loss I
bought a few cheap pretties, then suddenly found out
(luckily I'd had the sense to enquire!) that the taxi-
fare to the airport was more than I expected and I now
only had *just* enough left.
Returning a final time to the Hanuman Mandir, I
spent a last few hours with Yamunagiri, the Hanumandir
Baba and his court. As the time for departure to the
airport drew close, Baba asked Yamunagiri and his
friend to go get some food from a nearby market. I
told him I had to leave really soon, he said he'd be
only 15 minutes. That was the first time I'd heard him
be more specific than 'after some time...'
Nevertheless, 15 minutes passed and he had not
returned, so I began to say my farewells. When I gave
my thanks to Baba he unexpectedly produced 500 rupees
to pay for my painting work. Normally I wouldn't have
accepted it, because I had done it as a gift and I was
about to go back to Australia where it would become a
mere $15 or so, whereas in India I could eat for a
week on that. However with my loss then frittering my
last few dollars away, I realized that $15 could be
vital to get from the airport to a friend's house when
I arrived in Australia if no-one met me at the
airport. It did feel good to have my art appreciated
in this way also, and I knew Baba had plenty of money,
so I accepted with thanks and said goodbye.
Then I made my way through the temple, dallying as
much as I could in the hope that Yamunagiri baba would
turn up just in time to say farewell. This delay was a
good thing as I felt like I was saying goodbye and
thanks to India's Gods and Goddesses (not that they
were about to desert me, but I was leaving their
homeland) as I offered my final mantras before each of
their statues. With wonderful timing, evening aariti
had just begun and bells were pealing.
As I said farewell to the last two statues, that of
Shiva and Parvati, I was struck by the emotiveness of
their expressions. I'd never noticed to that extent
before, but it almost looked like they were about to
cry, their faces were so full of tenderness. Goodbye
Shiva. Goodbye Parvati.
Scanning the street outside, there was still no sign
of Yamunagiri Baba. I knew by now how much longer than
anticipated anything can take in India, so although I
had left some leeway I felt like I could wait no
longer. I had also become acutely aware of how India
was perhaps not quite ready to release me.
I hailed an auto-rickshaw (even this took quite some
time as the first few that stopped tried to overcharge
me -after all anyone going to the airport must be
loaded, right?) and bundled all my luggage into the
back. As I got in, still scouring the street
hopefully, two children came up to me: 'Where are you
'To the airport... to Australia.'
'Bye! Make sure you come back. Have a good trip...
They kept waving and running alongside the taxi for a
while as we pulled back out into the seething traffic.
I waved back, laughing. I had never seen them before,
but they were seeing me off with all the exuberence
and natural open-ness and warmth of not only children,
but of most adult Indians. This very directness had
annoyed be immensely at times when I had felt my
privacy invaded (especially in the last few days) but
now it was just beautiful. Perhaps it was really my
own failure to be able to be so open so readily which
The last few days had been mostly horrendous, and
I'd felt like I just wanted to get the fuck out of
India. But now as we zoomed through the hot night air
towards the airport, I felt tears welling in my eyes.
Farewell Mother India. Thank you.
_ 6 AhauOb AHACANNACK'AKNAN
8 OdbO 7 Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule
9 THE MUTATION PARLOUR:
After a cool-down in the river, a too-short rest and
some meditation back at the Swami's, I was asked to
accompany Arvid to the market-place to help him
collect and carry a long list of specific materials
required for a puja the three of us were to perform
that night -it being Monday the day most sacred to
Shiva. I trailed along with Arvid through the crowds,
feeling mostly useless as only he knew where to get
what anyway, until we bundled it all back to the
Then we trekked out to a beautiful Kali shrine out of
town a little. What a beautiful shanti place to sit
at dusk: high on a rock ledge by Durga, Shiva, Hanuman
and other statues with a forest-clad cliff opposite
(one tree growing from its side at a fully horizontal
angle), sipping chai while the priest with very thin
dreadlocks down past his waist sat in silence over his
Sanskrit scriptures (I was told he had not spoken for
The much larger and all-pervading tongue-lolling
black figure of Kali was on Her own on a seperate
ledge on the far side of a narrow waterfall. There
were little rock steps going over and up but we were
motioned not to go up there but worship Her from this
On our other side was a stunning fiery orange
sunset, which we now climbed down and towards on our
descent back to the road.
From there it was up to an out-of-town Shiva temple,
the last on our progression. Up past a small village
with thatched huts, and the temple was nestled in the
trees at the top of a hill. A large rectangular modern
building, though apparently the temple was hundreds of
years old- I guess its outer shell had been rebuilt a
few times. Despite its outer regularity, the vibe
inside the temple was wonderful. A very peaceful yet
charged atmosphere, with flowers strewn everywhere,
and several people carefully placing them in mandalic
patterns over the central large stone lingam and its
We waited around for quite a while for the aariti to
begin, with a few dozen dreaded babas and others all
sitting around on mats outside passing chillums around
-'Bom Shiva!'. Interesting for a while to sit in this
energy field though not indulging -to be involved in a
spiritual tradition that had ganja-smoking as one of
its core practises in many places now I was no longer
smoking. I meditated for a while, then just sat
because I felt tired, still a little sick, and then
just got bored with it.
When the puja finally happened I still felt
strangely detached. The clamour of bells awakened me
for a while, then just seemed to be clanging on for
ever. The following chants all seemed really alien
now, with only old 'Om Namah Shivaya' being
recognizable that I could join in with. I remembered
how when I had first arrived in India I hadn't cared
about not knowing what was going on or how to
participate sometimes, it was just bliss to feel the
energy of so many people collectively worshipping. I
wondered if I needed to be stoned to feel fully
engaged with this kind of aariti, or if I was just a
bit over it all at the moment with my ongoing
head-cold and accompanying fatigue?
This sense of disconnection continued as we headed
back down the hill afterwards, and I expressed this
feeling to my new friends, just because it surprised
me and I was trying to understand it. They didn't seem
to get or care what I was on/off about. Then I
noticed my treasured two-faced Rudraksha bead (for
Ardhanarishvara, Shiva & Shakti in one body) had
fallen out of the mouths of my serpent-staff.
Apparently Shiva had reclaimed it at His temple?
There seemed little point in searching around in the
dark so we continued to the road. There we walked
along for quite some time since it was too late for
taxis this far out late at night, I ahead alone and
disgruntled. Arvid got a motorbike to pull over but
gave the ride to his swami, then caught up to walk
with me. We began to talk, and eventually a connection
ensued. In the hour or so it took to get back, we
progressed from surface banter to the things we were
really interested in, their commonalities being yoga
He too had experimented with Kechari, though without
a guru for this had not dared cut, showed me the other
method of 'milking' the tongue -daily progressive
stretching with thumb and forefinger. Over-riding the
usual taboos involved with sexuality, we even talked
about vajroli and seminal retention. He was fascinated
that I was a 'real' Vama Marg (left-hand path tantra
which includes sexuality) practitioner being able to
have partners in the West whereas the repressive
socio-sexual climate in modern India had restricted
him thus far to theory and solo practises.
Then because I began to trust him and realized he
had similar interests, we talked of Shava Sadana
-meditation seated upon corpses, and eventually when
he asked me why I had gone to the Smashan that night
we met, I revealed my hope to get a Kapal bowl. He
wasn't shocked just intrigued, and we talked about
going to Varinassi together on my next trip to do such
things, since as I had suspected it was very difficult
in most other places.
Back at the temple we ate then the Swami lay down to
rest, deferring the Shiva puja til the next morning. I
was invited to stay there, said I wasn't tired (I had
revived with the walk and conversation) so Arvid asked
me to come and do some practises with him. He had a
special place set up where the two channels of the
river converged behind the temple, and sitting on this
delta with the waters rushing together into one was a
powerful place indeed for japa and meditation.
But then I opted to go back to the hotel to sleep,
still not well enough to deal with hard concrete and
I returned there much-rested about midday the next
day and was surprised and quite honoured that they had
not performed the puja yet but had waited for me.
It was interesting to be involved in a deep puja with
just two others so at the end of my journey, touching
a new aspect of Hindu worship, and a very intricate
one. Most of the various ingredients Arvid and I had
collected from the market were poured into three
silver dishes -a special kind of scented wood sacred
to Shiva, some magickal bark, herbs, spices, seeds...
We decorated the edges of the fire-pit with
flower-petal mandalas and dhoop sticks, these were lit
and in the thick smoke we began. The swami recited
long Sanskrit prayers to many Gods and Goddesses, with
each adoration or entreaty ending with, 'Svaha!'
(something like 'so mote it be') and each of us
throwing another pinch of the mixtures in our dishes
into the fire on cue. Rich scents wafted up from it
all, and the energy grew progressively.
After about an hour this ceremony was concluded with
a final offering of dried fruits, nuts and other
special treats into the fire and unto the Gods. The
whole thing was considerably decadent for India, being
the consumption by fire of about 500 rupees worth of
specialty goods offered to the deities entreated. I
did feel somewhat transformed by the process, but
whether it was equivalent of a week's-worth of meals I
wasn't sure; certainly a powerful final ceremonial
experience in India though, and a feeling that I had
sufficiently thanked the Gods of India for their
Then I said my thanks and fond farewells to their
incarnate agents at the temple also and I was off
(pausing on the bridge over the Ganges to say goodbye
and release the wrist-thread binding me to the
Ganga-devi back into Her flow below) to gather my
things at the hotel and lug them all (I had been
gaining luggage weight lately acquiring various ritual
tools and tidbits knowing I was going back to
Australia soon) to the train station.
SO YOU THINK YOU'RE LEAVING?...
It was very hot there and the usual trainstation
camping-ground scene was difficult- people and luggage
sprawled everywhere, crowds of wayfarers waiting for
late trains with nothing to do but stand around
staring at the odd stray foreigner like myself and
asking them twenty (at least) questions. Seated on
my mound of luggage, I tried reading (a book on
Kundalini Yoga by Shivananda I had found in Hardwar
that had some good practical exercises and advice but
was philosophically sanctimonious and puritanical) and
ignoring the crowds, even when several would stand
around me in a ring just staring or trying to talk to
me (I *really* wasn't in the mood).
The book said progressive cuts under the tongue for
kechari could be prevented from healing before the next
one was made with immediate application of salt and...;
'No I'm not married' (over trying to explain the self-
marriage concept); ...applications of salt and and tumeric
powder... ;'What?'...'yes, English is what Australians
speak, it's just your accent I am having difficulty
with. Perhaps if you weren't chewing that great wad of
Pan also?...'; One should retreat from the world, find
the right place where no one will disturb your
practises. Hmm, sounds like a good idea right now;
'Australia'; 'Orryelle' (unspoken addition: I'm not
going to bother pretending I care what your name is.
I'll probably forget it immediately and never see you
again anyway); beware of building ashrams. Too many
gurus lose their own spiritual path in the lap of
comfort and teaching others what they have forgotten
with all but their mind; 'no I'm not interested in
cricket'; withdraw from the outer senses, refine
the...; 'What?'; 'You want to know the difference
between people in Australia and people in India?
...well, people in Australia wouldn't stand around
staring and trying to talk to someone when they are
obviously trying to read.' I had become rather
blatant by this stage, but even then they just laughed
haha Australian humour and carried on. Yet it is all
done with such innocence -most Indians seem to just
have a totally different sense of personal space
because they are so used to living in such close
conditions- that one cannot get too pissed off with
them, (at least not externally).
After an hour and a half or so of enduring this in
the heat I discovered that the train was going to be
at least another four hours late -how annoying since I
had left only just about enough time in Delhi to do
what I wanted to do there before my flight back to
Australia. This was just the first in a sequence of
final events that seemed to indicate strongly that
India didn't seem to want to let me go quite yet...
Since this new 4-hours-late timing for the train was
expressed to be definite now I figured it would
probably be safe to retreat for at least three hours
to a less oppressive environment.
I had my things rickshawed back to the hotel whose
manager graciously allowed me to stash them there for
another few hours without additional charge, and
headed for the Ganges. Perhaps I needed to say
goodbye to the Ganga properly before I could leave
Certainly I needed a dip after sweating at the
station for what had seemed such an interminable
period. I plunged into the cold waters and was much
refreshed, thanking Mata Ganga Devi profusely. As I
emerged onto the steps I lifted up my pants from my
bag (I had changed to silver silk skirt for the swim)
and my address book fell straight into the flowing
waters. Loose pages, important scraps of paper and
even my bank keycard immediately seperated and all
began to rush downriver at great speed. At even
greater speed and with considerable alarm I swooped
them all out, fortunately managing to retrieve
everything just in time!
I laughed with relief at the bemused onlookers,
realizing that if that had gone, I would have been
truly fucked, moneyless and contactless and would have
had to stay in India til I sorted it out...
Feeling much better after the dip, I wandered off
amidst some trees on the edge of town. I realized this
was my last real chance to connect with the land of
India outside of the densely-urban environment of
Delhi, so relished the opportunity the late train had
provided to feel this.
The dusk sky was a vibrant pinky-orange through the
trees, the air was cooling, and I wasn't even bothered
by all the splats of human poo I had to step over
along the narrow path through the long grass. I walked
into the middle of a field. Ah, peace at last! Just me
and the sunset and the grass and the trees and...
'Hello!! Hello SIR!! Hello...!!!'
An over-exuberant skinny mustachioed fellow was
bounding up to near where I was. He began pointing out
the path he was walking on, expressing in some English
some Hindi but mostly exasperated gestures that the
path was over there and that I had wandered off it.
'Yes, I know. But it's covered with shit and I don't
wear shoes, and I don't want to be on the path right
now. I want to be over here' And I sat down.
He kept gibbering about the path insistently, I
patiently said again that I know but had deliberately
left it. He continued, I ignored him as I sat, hoping
he would go away soon; he bounded over to where I was
and crouched right in front of me, gabbling on
incessantly, mostly in Hindi.
'Hindi nae' I said, but he didn't seem to get that
either. 'I just want to sit here by myself at the
moment please. I just want to be alone.'
He just kept babbling and bubbling on. I wasn't sure
if he had very poor comprehension of English and also
general vibes, whether he was a bit loopy, or both.
'Hindi nae' I interjected into his stream several
times, but he wouldn't stop, although he did try some
more gesture-orientated communications such as rapid
pedalling motions indicating he was a rickshaw driver.
Yes of course I wanted a rickshaw thats why I was
sitting in the middle of a field not flagging one from
the side of the road. 'Chello' (common Hindi word
for, 'go away') I tried, first politely then as he
persisted less politely until it was pretty much 'Fuck
off!' in Hindi: 'CHELLO!' Still he sat there rattling
on until I cracked and stormed to my feet, my own
language now only strong enough to express how over
this I was: 'Fuck OFF! Just fuck off and leave me
alone!!' and I went and sat in another field.
Finally he left. Relieved, I sat and began to breathe
deeply, alone at last...
After 13 deep breaths through each chakra
progressively in a linked chain up my spine, I felt at
peace again, and thoroughly rejuvenated. I did some
more pranayamas and then placed my palms flat upon the
earth. I could feel Her pulsing so slowly but
definitively beneath me, and I felt a great warmth
through my being now.
'Thank you,' I said, 'Thank you Mother India. And
Before I had even began to rise, the strange skinny
man reappeared, with the ineffable timing of madmen
who have no common sense but strange cosmic senses,
and charged towards me through the greenery. He threw
himself at my feet as I stood to go and latched onto
them. 'Baba,' he wailed, 'I am sorry baba. I am
Since I had mellowed out considerably after the
meditation, I touched his head in the traditional
manner and said I was sorry too, that I had shouted at
Sorry, he said again and remained attached to my
ankles. He began to kiss my feet and clutch my shins.
This was a bit much but I blessed him with various
mantras. Still he continued to touch my feet, bobbed
up for a moment and pointed to his forehead, said,
Yes, I'd kind of gathered that by now. Then he was
back down again holding my ankles. I began to get
annoyed again but blessed him again and said softly,
'Chello. Chello now...' and tried to move away. But he
held fast and I had to raise my voice again, 'Chello!'
and he clung and I had to actually physically shake
him off. I quickly walked off, leaving him still there
As I approached the road I suddenly began to laugh
almost hysterically, realizing how ridiculous the
whole situation was. After dropping my address-book
and keycard in the Ganges, I had just finished saying
goodbye to India and as if on cue this crazy man had
come and tried to hold onto me. The only other time
I'd had my feet touched in the traditional Baba (holy
man) acknowledgement was just before leaving last
time, to go to the UK, and now just before departure
it had happened again -as if a certain amount of time
was required to become that reinstated energetically
in the psycho-spiritual mindfield of the place.
I heard someone call out and looked up from my
reverie to see the skinny nutter had now gone and
gotten his rickshaw and was pedalling along beside me,
beckoning me into the back seat.
Chuckling softly I shook my head -I was only going
just up the road and felt like walking.
He continued to ride alongside beckoning me,
navigating thickening traffic he began to turn down
into a main street and I quickly continued along
another way, thinking I had lost him. But five minutes
later he was back, had re-routed and was following me
again. Finally I got in, acknowledging his sheer
persistence. Maybe if I gave him 15 rupees for a ride
around the corner he would leave me alone...
No such luck! I had him take me to a restaurant,
there being still an hour or so before the train, but
he wouldn't take my money yet, wanting to wait while I
ate and then take me somewhere else.
The hotel where my things were was about 200 metres
one way and the train station about 200 metres the
other. I asked the restaurant owner to tell the
rickshaw looney in Hindi that I no longer required his
services, gave him 20r and he finally fucked off.
Relieved though also amused, I ate my spicey food in
peace, feeling the chilli clearing out the last
vestiges of head-cold from my sinuses.
2 days to go -what a 2 days...
(to be Concluded)... ....