|Ananda Mayee Ma|
Monday, June 13, 2011
26) Of Big Babas and Grand Cinemas.
These stories, that have been available on Blogspot for 10 years for free, will now only be available on Amazon at the address above. They are contained in “Vagabon Freak”, the 1st volume of a trilogy titled “The 7 Lives of the Punk Poofy Cats”. I have been the archetypal starving artist in his garret, painting, drawing and writing, writing, writing as if I were some waif crying out in the wilderness. Now I need you, dear reader, to hear my cries and go to Amazon and buy a copy of my book and keep me alive. There you will find my complete tale, from beginning to end, in one place, for you to hold in your hot little hands. When you read it straight through, I assure you, it will blow your mind.
Below are introductory paragraphs and some pictures that I still retain to illustrate this story, hopefully to give you a come-on to get my book. Thanks for giving me a go, TZ.
It took an inexorably long year for his old mentor Compassion to show his wizened face upon India’s sun-stroked shores and in the meantime Arthur led the itinerant’s life, wandering along as many arcane byways as he could discover, mulching down into the landscape in crusty “Ali Baba meets Kim” fashion till he was golden brown and glittering, like a jewel in the dust.
Playing at being Siddartha, emulating a favorite movie of the time, he visited many sacred sites, hoping the charisma of the geni locii would rub off on him. He was not too far off being the classic mendicant as he had very little money, his clothes were ragged and he often slept by the side of the road. One of his first sacred sites to visit was Bodh Gaya, the place where Gautama Budha achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree. Arthur caught crowded trains and several dilapidated buses, then had to walk the last few kilometers, arriving at a small monastery near the Grand Tree covered in dust and quite famished.
He knocked on the door, praying they’d take him in, give him succor and encourage him to meditate his way to Nirvana. A crotchety old monk answered after several more knocks, looked Arthur up and down with a sneer on his face and listened impatiently to his plea. He soon grumbled that there was no room for an itinerant such as Arthur and sent him packing.
Arthur was crestfallen, to be rejected from Bodh Gaya was the pits, he could fall no lower. He would read in books how famous, rich people showed up at the same spot, flying into an airfield nearby or driving up in brand-new four-wheel drives, and were treated as honored guests with nothing but superlatives to recount about the place, birds singing in the Bodhi Tree. But not so for Arthur, he was too grungy, a true wandering mendicant with nowhere to lay his head. Such would his life always be, and he got to the point where it never bothered him, he was at peace, even in the gutter.
For no matter what outlandish locale he found himself in, he zealously performed yoga, meditated on his inner-light and studied esoteric texts. He relentlessly searched out reputable Babas to ponder on the nature of existence via their Lila, “existential game-playing”, and to get his inspirational batteries charged in their charismatic presence. Homo-sex was non-existent but still nagging from his subconscious, and while yoga, trekking, drawing, music and dance joyfully soaked up his energies he longed to get over his hang-ups by experiencing Nirvana under the guidance of a supreme guru.
During his many interludes in Shangri-la he imbibed philosophical lectures on all the Indian sacred texts from wise old Swamis like Chidananda and Krishnananda at the Sivananda Jungle University, concentrating on Vedanta philosophy with its Void full of creative, blissful consciousness as the basis of all existence. Swami Sivanada, the founder of the Divine Light Society, was a most illustrious dude, fabled to have been illuminated by the Master Yogi of yogis, Mahadev Babaji, who was reputed to be hundreds of years old and to live on sunlight and water high in the glacial Himalayas near Mount Kailash.
Sivananda entered his final Samadhi in 1963 after a life dedicated to providing free medicine and education to all comers, and all of Sivanada’s disciples became powerful Babas in their own right, establishing centers of Divine Light throughout the world, including Arthur’s own mentor, Compassion. He tried to absorb wisdom from them all when they called in at home-base in Shangri-la to give pep-talks to the restless, celibate Brahmachari students, the cynical Swamis and voracious Westerners.
Yet throughout this endless seminar on the Blissful Void and the wiles of Samsara he yearned for sensual gratification and meatier myths to sink his turbulent mind into. He would then sneak off into the city of Delhi to the Odeon Cinema in Connaught Circle to ogle mystic movie treatises like “Vanishing Point”, about a misfit car-driver chased into infinity, and “The Last Valley”, some shining knights seeking Utopia against the dark forces of ignorance in Medieval Europe.
The celluloid equivalent of his whole Indian odyssey was the Bollywood schlock-buster, “Hare Krishna Hare Ram”, about Indian gangsters infiltrating the dope-addled hippie scene, the music-soundtrack of which followed Arthur to all the far-flung corners of India, from Kanyakumari to Kathmandhu, “Dum adha dummm, mitya gaya gam, bolo subha sham, hare Krishna hare Ram…” (Smoke, smoke, say it morning and evening, Hare Krishna, hare Ram.)
(If your curiosity is piqued please go to the WEB address above and buy the book to read further.)