Varanasi is the most popular pilgrimage point in the universe for Hindus. And they come here by the thousands to pray, to worship, to wade in the water of the sacred Ganges River, and to die. I found myself walking around Varanasi wondering how in the world would I ever describe my experience in this most bizarre place. I kept saying over and over, as if in a trance, “this can’t be for real”. Then it came to me walking by the ghats on the banks of the Ganges and through the alleys and streets of this very old Indian city, I felt like I was having a psychedelic experience. (Yes, I was around in the 60’s and 70’s!) Being in Varanasi is a physical, metaphysical, and supernatural trip.
Truth is One. Paths are Many.
~ Swami Satchidananda
These words are carved into the gates of the LOTUS shrine in Yogaville, Virginia. As a matter of fact, they are found throughout the ashram ~ on doorways, plaques, and t-shirts. This is one of the central teachings of this spiritual community.
The Truth being referred to here is that we are all spiritual beings embued with true divine nature and that we all have a divine calling back to the same source ~ God. Swami Satchidananda says we are all traveling to the same mountaintop. However, the paths to the top are many. (more…)