From Suha’s series ‘Beware: Slippery…. Sacred Ground’: “I understand the thrill I experience when I get off the plane, that feeling of mystery that surrounds the visitor and sets her heart pounding, as when coming near a sacred space.”

Banian trees

During my previous trips, I had never chanced to be welcomed to India in this unusual, mysterious way: early in the morning, when my taxi was on the expressway from Mumbai to Pune, the disc of the sun, suddenly splitting the horizon while rising in front of my eyes, appeared to me as the sun of awakening to consciousness: the vibrations in the air, different from those at home, were already perceptible!

As the taxi journey went on, India gave me an unexpected, unimaginable present: it removed her veil and allowed me to see her. It showed me, and made me feel, the vacuum of her bottomless abyss. The depths of her bowels opened up in front of me, making me feel for an instant on the edge of a precipice, a gulf that made me dizzy.

With eyes closed in shock, I felt something pulsate inside of me, in the total darkness by which I had entered: a presence I had never sensed before, which, still and silent, was watching the perpetuation of the eternal game of life and its mysteries.

Maybe this is why, ever since the beginning, I have loved everything about India: its sublime and sordid expressions along with its inconsistencies, contradictions, absurdities and paradoxes, as well as its people. Maybe this present was the reward for my love story of more than thirty years.

Now I understand the thrill I experience (and I am not the only one) when I get off the plane, that feeling of mystery that surrounds the visitor and sets her heart pounding, as when coming near a sacred space.

India is demanding: if you allow it to do so, it absorbs you in its vacuum, and it takes you up entirely, without limits, making you forget everything else.

After all, there is some truth in the feeling, widespread among Indians, and previously regarded as conceited by me, that when one comes to India from the West one must forget everything and surrender to something entirely unknown. But what one finds is unique: nowhere else does one feel so near a door wide-open on the divine.

Now I know that I come to India to “lose myself and find myself again.” The vibrations in the atmosphere are high: they lead me gently, but firmly, into myself, and make me feel “at home” and “supported in my soul” by that very vacuum with which I feel perfectly attuned.

For years and years – during my long stays here – at first I felt the surprise and wonder of the colours, smells, fragrances, sounds, of a life that was different from the one I knew, both in my master’s garden and outside. For years I played with the spices, the jewels, the precious stones, the fabrics and the Tibetan bowls. Then I discovered the silence of meditation and of the wordless language with which Indians like to play.

While inhaling the air the great spiritual wealth left on this earth by all the enlightened ones of the past and present, I felt I saw, in this vacuum, the source that makes them blossom: a nothingness full of everything, that in India is accessible anywhere, to anyone who may feel it.

I perceive this invisible mystery in the streets, in the eyes of the people who are unaware of experiencing it, in the frenzied chaos of the city. I have discovered that this timeless fascination exists as a permanent, real underground current that gives life also to its countless noisy, encroaching, multi-coloured, inexplicable manifestations.

In each of its small parts, this earth is a sacred space. Like the banyan, the tree that expresses its deep mystery and, not coincidentally, is India’s national symbol: its thin suspended roots stem from the branches, come down, grow in mid-air, crack the ground and close the circle, becoming other firmly-rooted trunks. By spreading out around the surface of the original tree, they create an “extended” family of many banyans, in perfect accordance with the Indian tradition of a joint family and, above all, with the course of the timeless game of life with its never-ending expansion.

From Suha’s series ‘Beware: Slippery…. Sacred Ground’

First published in Osho Times – translated from Italian by Marta Innocenti

Amrita SuhaSuha is a regular contributor

More articles and poems by this author in Osho News


Share