Exploring thoughts site
by Swami Shankaratilaka
Silence, peace, active spirituality, enlightenment, meeting with oneself in the fourth phase – according to the Mandukyopanishad -, these are the reasons for crossing the oceans and continents to reach this place, Rishikesh, where the Himalayas open to the occasional traveller and the frequent yogi with discreet periodicity of every one or two years.
In a valley licked by the Ganga, Munikireti welcomes after the tumultuous city of Rishikesh is kept behind to reach the formerly old people´s home and urdhvaretas that professed a severe Yoga of austere Tapasya in his sadhana of Yoga practice as the Great literary Rishi recommended in His comment to the Yoga Sutra “Without austere discipline, there will not be perfection in Yoga, there will not be enlightening Samadhi”.
Munikereti is still the back of some monks that up to now nobody risks to count, refuged entrenched in the walls of the ashramas, becoming “unique”, when some others, like us, assimilate to the shelter of an urban complex mixed altogether with laymen houses and other rooms which have nothing to do with the Rishikesh of the books, where not even motor vehicles could not to disturb the peace of the meditation of the Gurus and Shisyas.
Even when this is like this, maybe for the love for my rememberings, maybe because this place is a real tirtha of a holy enclosure, maybe because it is what it is and I live here, and I enjoy my sadhana, this Munikireti is what traps me, I love and I always miss to come back.
The Munikereti of these days is a noisy place. A problematic place for the mature sadhana that requires calm, seclusion, few visits and a lot of retreat. I understand that this life of cenobite is not understood, nor is interesting for the young seeker not educated in the necessity of the spirit and used to have “Yoga in the gym next home”. I understand that the tourist who has substituted the pilgrim and comes to Rishikesh to find the yogis and the magic place and exotic where they live, wants to live here for the benefit of his soul, even though when they do not want to follow the discipline of the Yoga. I understand that we must advice the sadhakas, those who want to learn and perfection his yoga, that they have to be discreet and take few walks outside the Ashram, where they refuge for some special days in their lives, so that they are not tempted with doing the same, and repeating the same habits as those at their homeland, that is, Madrid, Paris, Rome, London, New York or Berlin.
Munikereti is a holy area to learn, meditate, pray, do karma yoga and take refuge to the feet of a wise philosopher to ask, listen to and enquire with calm mind, strong health and no other purpose than that.
Sisters of Munikereti in coexistence are Svargashrama and Lakshman Jhula with the adjoining area as Tapovan. This environment together with the city of “Rishikesh” are the “Rishikesh” where we go and where we are.
What to say clearer than what we have already said?
Learn to come, learn to be here. respect this tradition, respect this place. Adapt to it, adopt its way of being and you will know how to see the Rishis, the Siddhas, the Gurus of yesterday and the Gurus of today with a look of certainty and a heart of true yogi.
Look for a good accommodation and eat well. Do not economize in expenses on your accommodation, healthy food and secure travel. Save in purchase and other stuff. Dress correctly and learn how to be and behave as a yogi in Rishikesh. If you are a tourist, come next to the yogis and get from them a meeting and a special experience that will be the best you will ever get from your travel.
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