“Ji” is a honorific suffix used like the Japanese use “san”. So Ramu the gardener is really Ramuji, because he feeds us all and is the best dang hand-model-slashie-farmer ever. And Guru is really Guruji because he is The Man.
Living here at the Ashram, and in such close contact with Guruji, has been a real treat. Anything I say will be an understatement: It’s akin to living with Saint Francis etc. to the Catholics. He is a living Saint, highly revered across the world, a very educated and wise and spiritual man, and he’s like… right there… eating breakfast beside Marc. The life that we are living this month is one that few people in the world have the chance to experience (whether from East or West). Continue reading
There is no way for me to describe, to someone who has never been here, what it is like to sit at evening Puja with these people. It’s joyful, loud, hilarious, precious.
Sometimes the feeling of the music and the devotion bubbles up out of one of the attendees in an exuberant “Jai Ho!”, or they are moved to get up and dance. I watched Ramuji dance to a particularly upbeat and happy song in the flickering firelight from the offering fires on Thursday night and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Continue reading
I’m sitting on the verandah of the Ashram “house” (which Marc calls “The Palace”). It’s a white marble and red sandstone three-storey house in one corner of the Ashram, where Guruji and Shree live year-round and some of the volunteers stay when visiting. Kate and I are working on the cookbook for the Yoga and Wellness retreat being planned here for next year.
Kate is head-down on Guruji’s laptop working in her special software to layout the pages. I’m filtering through the hundreds of photos we took yesterday to find a few that encapsulate Ashram life and squeeze 18 hours of vibrant, colourful, hilarious, life-changing awe into one or two frames. Continue reading