Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One Step, One Japji, 100 000 Lifetimes

Mataji and I were on our way to Anandpur when our driver asked if we would like to make a short stop at Goindwal. We did not even know that it was on our route, and weren’t prepared for that experience, but how does one say no to Guru Amar Das?

And so we stopped at Goindwal. And from the moment I stepped into the square, I was overwhelmed by tears. Just like that, without a warning, without so much as a prelude. I have never felt anything so wholly and completely, it always takes a while for an emotion to process through my body before the tears begin. Yet I was taken over absolutely by the intensity of that place.

It took me a while to understand what my tears were expressing. At this spot. Guru Amar Das said that he who recites Japji on each of the 84 steps leading to the Bauli (well) shall clear his chakra of life and death. That’s 8.4 million lifetimes, cleared.

100 000 lifetimes with each Japji, with each step.

And in that aura of freedom and nirvana that encompasses Goindwal, my tears were tears of pain, of unhappiness, of longing; it was my soul crying because it was apart from my Creator.

As I walked down towards the Bauli, each step became harder and harder. I felt a burden on my shoulders, weighing me down, holding me back, pushing me to the ground. I didn’t want to go on, I couldn’t go on. I stopped, I cried, I sneezed, I rubbed my eyes, I clung onto the railing, I leaned my forehead to the wall. And yet I felt the tantalizing sense of peace that waited at the bottom, and it lured me on.

100 000 lifetimes with each Japji, with each step.

And when I reached the first step, right at the bottom, I heard nothing, I heard shanti, I heard OM, I heard joy, I heard a chorus of angels.


They all existed side by side in that space.

I did not have the strength to start the journey of 8.4 million lifetimes that day. I didn’t stand on the first step, recite Japji, dip in the Bauli, move up to the second step, and start all over again until the 84th step.

It was my weakness, my fear, my doubt, my insanity, my apprehension. I do not know how I walked away. But then nothing that was a part of that experience was planned or predictable or understandable.

Now that I have an inkling of what the weight of 100 000 lifetimes feels like, Japji, The Song of My Soul, will never be the same again.
I still have to wait another day to take that first step from the Bauli.
Tav Prasaad, By Thy Grace, let me live to take that first step.
With love,
Hari Kiren


Surabhi said...

When I first read this piece, it touched me in a way that I can't explain. Even now, after having read it many, many times, it still touches me.

I pray that we shall all live to take those steps, Tav Prasaad.

Thank you for this.

singhu said...


Either i could explain the vibration while reading your post benji.

May Satguru bless us the courage and chardikala jeevan. Infact, i am going to india soon nd i have noted down in my diary to take those steps with his Grace only. Thank you so much for sharing!...