What happened during Covid-19 Vrindavan Quarantine?
What happened during Covid-19 Vrindavan Quarantine?
Life was amazing. Even when PM Modi announced around 20 March 2020 that India will voluntarily go under one day of self-imposed lockdown, we were not really bothered. It didn’t even make sense what one day of lockdown would change… But it was on glorious evening of 23 March 2020 when Guruji announced to everybody that lockdown won’t be one only day – but two weeks instead – when slight panic started to awake in people. For me personally, Guruji’s suspiciously high level of excitement about this lockdown was way more disturbing than any other existential problem. I could feel it in my bones – that he will have fun of his life during this lockdown. And for us it meant only one thing – annihilation of our egos and any comfort zone that was left in us. In that moment I realised that we will go out of this quarantine as changed people. I just couldn’t imagine how much…
Sweet ‘n Sour
The same evening of 23 March Guruji asked ashram management team to make food reserves for months to come… Very soon rickshaws were parking in front of the ashram with hundreds of kilos or rice, dal, chickpeas, different kinds of flour, potato, onion and many other things. Nobody really knew what is going to happen, while at that time we had more than 50 people stuck in the ashram. We needed to get ready to live on rice and dal for indefinite amount of time. Even though in the end we somehow ended up having 5-star level food every single day. Don’t ask me how. I don’t understand.
Thank you, Onion
Slight off-topic. I remember when few years ago somebody asked Guruji why is he always recommending to people to consume onion in this or another form, for more or less any medical issue. His answer was brilliant. He said:
“This is between me and onion.”
PS. If you live in the country where coronavirus is still present, you might like to apply Guruji’s suggestion to keep fresh onion (cut in half) in every room in the house, as it helps to kill all viruses and bacterias. He also gave recipe for onion soup that we can eat 2-3 times per week. For that please write to me personally.
Savage mode: ON
As people were not allowed to go out, animals were also the ones paying the price for that. Vast majority of animals in Vrindavan live exclusively from what people give them – or what they steal from people. Hence, we have found ourselves in an open war with Vrindavan monkeys. Fu…ing crazy monkeys.
Since indoor kitchen was too small for number of people we needed to feed every day, we were forced to cook outside, which made our ashram perfect target for monkeys. They started to bite people, throw stones at the ashram windows and sometimes even throwing whole bricks from the roof. Anything just to get some food. They even formed gangs and were bribing the ashram dogs to not attack them while they were approaching. And then we would wonder in confusion why dogs are just laying down all the time during monkey attacks.
It was the time to hit back. We organised daily monkey-watch around the ashram. We were equipped with slings and bamboo sticks. In a matter of days we became so skilled that they stopped coming to the ashram. I guess they learned how to think twice before doing anything stupid.
Even the education and disciplinary system called for ancient methods. As Guruji was slowly getting “bored”, we desperately needed to find a way to entertain him. Otherwise he would find a way to entertain himself and I think nobody would like that. So idea was born that every day we play quiz with questions form Vaishnavism, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharat etc. Plan was sometimes successful – sometimes not so much. Picture depicting the situation in which we were is self-explanatory, I believe. (Juicy details are and will stay known only to those that were in the ashram at those times…)
All external parameters were set. Ashram was fully closed. Nobody was allowed in or out. We were totally locked within the “four walls”. Nobody knew what is happening inside or outside. It was kind of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” type of situation.
Unexpected change of hearts…
Guruji withdrawn himself. He became much more silent and meditative. It was the time when he started tradition of daily online japam and satsang which is happening until today. As outer walls of ashram closed; as Guruji became more introverted – it naturally pushed us to look more within. Guruji himself was talking about it during almost every satsang of his… It was the time when nature itself forced us to look within.
And this was the time when series of churning of the oceans started. Fifty-something of them. Everybody had its own ocean to churn and all of them had something in common. Poison was the first thing that emerged from each one of us.
We started to very much dislike what was happening to us, as we all felt like we are losing control. Inner demons naturally took over as we were caught off-guard.
It was soon after that Guruji unexpectedly left Vrindavan. He said it was the time to go back to Germany. We didn’t know it then, but annihilation phase was about to start.
Transformation of a lifetime
It has started almost three months ago, and only now I have collected myself enough to speak anything about it. Well, these three months were rather needed for me to scratch at least the surface of essence that Guruji wanted to teach me through these series of events. Only now I was able to look deeply and closely enough in order to dissect the lessons from experience itself. Because ultimately, we get certain experiences only to learn something from them. Otherwise they are useless. And for somebody like Guruji – whose only aim is to free us from clutches of this material word as soon as possible – he will do everything to make our process of liberation faster.
For what he did this time, regardless of how painful it was, I can say only one thing: hats off to you, Guruji. As you are about to read some of the lessons that he taught me, please bear in mind one thing – he orchestrated just one single situation that resulted with all of these lessons. And as the time is passing by, I am getting to know more of them, almost every single day.
Oh, and yes, I got tattoos on the way. Accidentally.
3. Social conditioning
5. Feeling of self-worth
6. Communication matters
9. Placing boundaries where they belong
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”- Buddha
Journey never stops
Guruji always inspires us to share our stories from spiritual path. Everybody’s story is unique – everybody’s path towards God is unique. But each and every one of them is beautiful. Even Guruji said recently that journey is the best part of the story, regardless of how painful it is. Goal is always the same. But journey is what makes us different. Journey is the way how God is bringing us closer to Him. So don’t be shy to share it…