November 17, 2004
Today Beth, Nutan, Anita and I traveled together for the first time, by car
and driver, departing about 10am. We went to Ganeshpuri, a small village
hours away from Bombay, and final dwelling place of two well known Indian
gurus, Swami Muktananda and Swami Nityananda.
It was so good to go out into the country, after all this time in a city
that never sleeps. We saw miles of open land, small mountains cows, blue
sky and birds. We pulled over and took some beautiful landscape pictures. We
saw beautiful women in colorful saris, carrying some kind of grass bundles
on their heads. Watching them took me back in time.
We visited Nityananda’s ashram and temples. I gave an offering and received
blessed water, which at first I put on my head and body, but after a
scolding from devotees attending, I drank the blessed water. I put my feet
in the hot baths (I was too hot to go in).
We ate freshly made whole wheat chipati, dahl, and rice in the ashram cafe
and spent time in the ashram bookstore, looking at music, pictures and
smelling fragrant oils. I felt like the four of us were sisters today. We
sat in a temple and talked about life and death and the meanings of life
and living fulfilling lives. Each one of us had a different point of view
and we talked openly about our values, fears and dreams, and spirituality.
It was good to be together in Ganeshpuri, and have no place to have to go
It was very hot and dusty. There was an old beauty to everything we saw.
Nityananda's living quarters, the rooms where he sat with devotees and a
courtyard. I wondered what it would have been like to have visited there in
the 50's and 60's, to sit with Nityananda. I imagined him walking around his
quarters. I imagined my Guru, Avatar Adi Da Samraj here, as he was in the
late 60's, to see Swami Muktanada.
At one point, Beth and I were wandering around, enjoying Nityananda's living
quarters. Nutan and Anita had gone wandering. Soon, a very small Indian
woman approached us, and asked if we knew Gerry. I thought she was asking if
my name was Gerry. Then I realized she must have been referring to a
longtime devotee of my Guru Avatar Adi Da, whose devotees sometimes visit
Ganeshpuri, and perform pujas in a temple there to honor Him.
I inquired “Do you mean Gerry Sheinfeld?” and she enthusiastically replied
yes. This small Indian woman knew my Guru Adi Da and she said she had
participated in pujas done by His devotees here in Ganeshpuri. I felt it was
auspicious to run into her because I was having trouble finding the temple
and durga where Adi Da’s devotees perform the puja that takes place every
year. This small, friendly Indian woman showed me to the place I sought, and
quickly departed, saying she must get back to her souvenir shop. I have
forgotten her name, but have her photo. I gave her a picture of Avatara Adi
Da, as she had an older book cover photo. She was happy to receive it, and
placed it in a special spot in her shop. I was grateful to her for finding
taking me to the durga.
We entered the small temple of the durga, and rang a bell that hang from the
ceiling. I offered a flower, and then we sat before the durga and looked at
it's beauty. It was a somewhat busy place, so we didn't stay long.
Later, Anita inquired at the office about staying at the ashram sometime,
perhaps even teaching there, as she teaches at a University.
Our car ride home was long and relaxing. I sort of slept, while Anita, Nutan
and Beth visited. We arrived back to our flat in the evening. Nutan and
Anita insisted on sending the driver to find us groceries for dinner and
breakfast. The driver came back with eggs, toast, butter and sugar for black
tea. We ate eggs and read some newspaper pages that we had found in Anita’s
And here we are at the cyber shop, writing home to friends and family. The
next days bring much to do. We are almost near the time to go home, and I am
ready. I miss my family. I've had a great time. I've met wonderful people at
Creative Handicrafts, and stayed once again with Deepak's family. Everyone
has been so gracious and helpful.
Namaste Om Sri Adi Da