This happened just before I moved to Virakth Ashram. I had been to Chennai, Tamilnadu, India for a brief period. After which I was returning to Rishikesh. My friends suggested me to travel to Omkareshwar en-route. I, though already had a ticket to Delhi, changed my plans to return to Delhi directly, as was suggested. After some short hiccups in the travel, which I encountered, because I travelled in a Reservation compartment with an unreserved ticket (will write in my next blog, about the travel without any of these hiccups which I made for about two months, without any ticket, and money).
I alighted in Omkareshwar Road railway station, which is around 15 – 20 kilometers from Omkareshwar, Madhyapradesh. This omkareshwar is a very sacred place form many a reason – 1. This is the place of one of the 12 jyothirlingas (sacred shivalinga shrines across india) named Amaleshwaram (some though like to call it mamaleshwaram, breaking the compound word in inappropriate place in Omkaramamaleshwaram). 2. This is the place where Bhagavan Shankaracharya met his Guru Bhagavan Govindapada.
I had some books which I had bought in chennai, and some semi valuable stuff to be given to an ashram. The train brought me to the station early in the night, around 10.30 – 11 oclock. And there is no conveyance after that from the station to the temple area. I was sitting in the station open area, thinking about the long night which I need to put up, lest someone steal my books which is not worth anything for them or the other baggage. A sadhu in white robe came to me and sat next to me, and started saying that once the last train crosses, around 11.30-12 we can sleep peacefully. I got soe tea for me and my companion, deciding to buy hime a ticket to omkareshwar too, come next morning. After the last train left the station, the old man got his plastic bedding out, and laid it on the platform, and asked me to do the same. I told him that I didn’t have a plastic sheet like him, and sice my dress is white it will get dirty if is used one. The old man without thinking (J will understand later) took out a new white dress and threw it on the ground and mad a bedding for me. I told him, though my bedding is ready I cannot sleep, for I had to take care of my articles. He said something like, we are not in some foreign land of thieves.. and took another yellow cloth, on which ‘Om Namashhivaya’ was written and bound all the luggages. And now I had no excuse. So, without any argument lied down and had a very nice sleep until was disturbed at yearly dawn by the bus fellow, shouting that the first bus was ready. I woke up my old friend and told him the news, for which he replied there are many busses, and said he will do the morning duties (natural call) and left the place. From where I sat I could see him going to the tap, and lo, he just disappeared in front of my eyes. I thought my mind is playing some games with me, and started scanning the whole place, not many people are there to miss this old man. After waiting for a long time I realized the old man will not return, and the lord had himself played this CRUEL game upon me. Cruel because, though he was lying just next to me, didn’t give any hint whatsoever.
Went ahead to Omkareshwar and had the darshan of the cave of Bhagavan Bhashyakara and did a circumambulation of the hill once.
Circumambulation (pradakshina) is a very beautiful ritual, in the Sanathana Dharma. We worship the God in nature and not nature as God. In the same way, we circumambulate, all the five elements. The idea is, like the helium atom which revolves around the nuclei ultimately looses its strength and falls in the nuclei, the jiva which revolves around the God in the nature, ultimately losses his individual identity and merges in the Self/God.
Earth – in the pradakshina of the mountain, like Raunachala, Omkareshwara, Brindavan Govardhanagiri etc.
Water – In the pradakshina of the rivers like, Ganda, Narmada, Kaveri etc.
Fire – During the scriptural karmas around the homa kunda etc.
Air & Ether – though these cannot be achieved like the other elements, one does it by revolving standing in the same place.