Beyond Knowledge: A Personal Trip to India

by | Feb 4, 2017 | Ray of Light Yoga | 0 comments

My lovely hubby took a friend and I who was also heading off overseas to the airport. She was heading off to Sweeden time she’d taken away from her family for the first time in many years to spend time with her family back there. And for me I’m embarking on a two week trip studying the teacher I’ve been inspired by for the past four years, Dr NC. I pondered the similarities of our journeys as we headed off to opposite sides of the globe.. seeking… peace and connection in our own ways.

I arrived in Chennai at 2am I booked a good hotel the day before I flew, one that i’ve been to before. It’s always important for me to take the anxiety out of traveling alone and when heading to India to make the first couple of days as comfortable as possible, a few days rest and relaxation before immersing myself in the Beyond Knowledge a course on Vedanta and Yoga philosophy. These philosophies are call Darsanas a Sanskrit word that can be translated to “to see” meaning to see the totality and to see that we are apart of that. It’s said it is best not to translate these divine words as they have such special meanings on there own and that English can limit and pigeon hole words that you could probably write a whole book on. They can also mean different things in different context….

Today I met up with some lovely women I’ve been studying with the last few years. One a good friend and two others whom I don’t know well. What I love about the Yoga community (Sangha) is that so often that’s an instantaneous connection. You can drop the small talk and just feel at home in each others space… We spent the day feeding our senses lunch out, shopping for the latest Indian fashions that wouldn’t stand out too much whilst here and gifts for our loved ones.

The course began on the Monday we started to delve deeply into Yoga & Vedanta.

There are six darsanas in the Veda’s if we can practice anyone of these they lead us to the goal. We must totally master all the knowledge and go beyond it… aw lots to do.

There’s something special that happens during these lecture’s with our teacher Dr NC his understanding and ease in guiding us through these teachings is captivating.

During our days at Dr NC’s place it was the anniversary of his father’s passing. We are invited to be part of the puja. Offerings of the days meals are pictured here. Photographs of those no longer with us are next to the deity pictures in the puja room that most Hindu’s have in their homes. This day touched me deeply. To see ourselves as the totality to honor those who bought us into the world, to acknowledge all of these experiences and relationships, to know I am an accumulation of all of these things…. to see the microcosm as a reflection of the macrocosm. To see the totality in all of my actions. To reflect on who is acting. And as Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita you are entitled to act but not to the fruits of your action.

We visited the Swami of the light’s place. It was an emotional experience. We went with the group last year when Swami was very unwell, he passed a just a few days after we left. We raised money for them to continue their amazing work feeding Chennai’s most vulnerable.There’s something magical about his eyes. So kind. This amazing work done with complete faith “Shraddha” . Yoga in action.

We went out for a 7 course Ayurvedic meal.
It started with juices and raw foods and then to cooked foods and sweet. The food is served in a specific order to compliment digestion. The foods that take longest to digest are served first. We all noticed that we were full after meal but how quickly the digestive fire recovered. The sign of a nice light meal.

There’s nothing better than in your spare time going for a walk around the streets you see such wonderful sites and have beautiful interactions with people for me this is what I love about traveling in India. I captured a few of my favorite moments.

A man making flower garlands for as temple offerings.

A man selling coconuts to a girl on her way to school

Chatting to this lovely women outside a book shop. We don’t speak the same language but somehow we really connected.

A man sitting at the road side stocking the fire that heats his iron.

At the end of our course we were presented with certificates… love a ceremony !! We presented our divine hosts Mr & Mrs NC with garlands and gifts.

Feeling so blessed to have received these ancient teaching…. Now to spend time reflecting and integrating all I have learn.. it may take a few life times .

Perhaps you would be interested in joining me January 2016 for a 14 night tour of Southern India. You will experience lectures from my teacher, temple, sacred rituals, a mountain trek at dawn, a train ride and to finish some relaxation at an eco resort on the back waters of Kerala. You will experience so much more that is beyond words that cannot be predicted. Just email me for more details

Hari Om

Rachel x