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My Last Day in Ganeshpuri

Photo - View from Brahmapuri located high on a hill in Ganeshpuri, and visited toward the beginning of March. The temples visible behind me are each Ganesh Temples. Mount Mandagni can be seen behind me. (It’s a fairly steep and rocky climb so I did ask a strong and sturdy friend to accompany me. And, as it turned out, I did need and was thankful for that support!)

That last day, on the recent March 12th, was quite full, as one can imagine…I was leaving midafternoon for the airport and wanted to do a number of things; such as visit the places I frequented and see certain folks to bid a final adieu (or, a “see you later” as I do plan a return in the not-too-distant future!..)

Also, clearing out the flat where I stayed and final packing was naturally taking place.

Once this clearing out and packing had been accomplished to my satisfaction, I took off for Ganeshpuri town. Firstly, I headed to the Bhagavan Nityananda Samadhi Shrine, stopping by the office there to register for a puja that morning in thanks for my oh-so-sacred and wonderful time in Ganeshpuri these last five months.

After participating in the puja, a powerful experience known as the Paduka Abhishek, I had made arrangements to offer a cup of chai and a biscuit to the villagers in thanks. Before I knew it, a line formed at Umesh’s chai station. I don’t know how the word got out so speedily! It was impressive. 😄

One of the places I visited, albeit for just a few minutes due to time constraints, was Bangalorewala, a building which houses a room on the second floor where Bhagavan Nityananda took Mahasamadhi. I had grown to really enjoy doing spiritual practice there. It’s a powerful place and, admittedly, relatively more comfortable as it does offer cushions for sitting. I had come to appreciate this little luxury!..

But, most importantly, it is a powerful place.

Something wonderful had been happening for me in Bangalorewala during the last few weeks. There were a number of crows in the vicinity and on more than one occasion, they had flown into this sacred space and payed me a visit. A couple of the times, this visit had been extended to almost a half an hour! Once it had just been the two of us there the entire time and this magnificent creature flew in and cawed its chant almost without interruption, while sitting on a high window ledge up front. It was quite magical…

This time when just the two of us were present took place not long after the departure of one of my older brothers from this world; needless to say a very sad occurrence. After experiencing the crow’s darshan, I was walking outside toward my next destination when I ran into a friend. I told her about this amazing experience, and she immediately responded with telling me that the crow represents, in India, the ancestors. She said to me point blank, “Annie, that was your brother.”

And I felt this to be true. It resonated deeply. I felt he was trying to tell me that all is well and that he felt my love. And he was sending his.

I had also come to equate the crow with Bhagavan Nityananda. Crows had been part of his birth story, as well as elsewhere.

So, here I was on my last day sitting in Bangalorewala. I told myself not to expect any crow visitations as I only had a few minutes. I made peace with this as best I could and got up to leave. As I approached the front of the room where the puja is located, suddenly a crow entered to my right through the open window and swooped across directly in front of me, to exit out the other side…a flash of inky-black wings…a dramatic, brief and gorgeous visitation…

And though brief, it said so much. It was appropriate to the amount of time I had and said the necessary completely. It said , “I see you. I know you are leaving. And I send you blessings. It was a moment filled with love, with grace.

And all I could say was, “Thank you,” and again, “Thank you.”

Much more could be described about that last day in Ganeshpuri. Suffice it to say that I feel Ganeshpuri is installed inside of me and I take Ganeshpuri with me wherever I go.

The blessings of this oh-so-sacred place endure forever.

Annie Kiyonaga

March 15, 2024

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