This place could easily turn into a safari destination point. I put my feelers out there hoping to attract a crew to go hiking with. Initially it was going to be Dominique, Dina Sharina, one of our outstanding female leaders from Germany, and myself to trek a longer route today and only in the wilderness. By dispatch time, 9:00 am, a dozen willing and eager people came forward for the time together and time for mantra meditation on foot. News got out that leeches found under leaves and on grass are in abundance. It didn't seem to intimidate anyone - a sign of leadership, I'd say.
As I've said before to have a real adventure it takes getting lost to accomplish that. Dominique, who's a well-intentioned guide, himself became a little bewildered when paths turned into overgrowth. Being the person he is, he was as cool as a cucumber about it and consulted with some women in sarees who, out of habit and need, were in the forest collecting firewood with machetes in their hands.
A second time of losing grip on directions forced intuition (or supersoul) to help us gain our bearings. We took to uneven ground over volcanic rock. In some instances thorny branches grabbed the ends of our flowing devotional attire. We crossed one of those creeks balancing ourselves on tottering rocks; not bad for a bunch of people mostly in their sixties. Finally we connected with a road of pavement which led us to an extraordinary vista. From there a coincidence (if you want to believe such) happened - our pick-up van showed up, terminating the trek, much to all of our troupers' dismay. Just under two hours was not sufficient for the adventuresome.
There is no bonding like this that takes place when people in moderate number, move together through thickets and clearings on a wild trail.
We merged with our larger group, fellow devotees, when finally in the night over a veggie barbecue enterprise, we offered ghee lamps to the image of Damodara (baby Krishna) and listened to a dramatical reading from the script 'Gita: Concise' which I compiled paraphrasing Krishna's rich words. This was the last of readings by Praghosa and I to our group of peers at Mahabaleshwar. In front of the Heritage Building at the resort our challenge at reading was getting our scripts to behave considering the winds were high, tossing the pages of the script.
One of the many instructive lines was the script indeed contained a message about wind. As I turned a page the word popped out. In regards to the mind Krishna says, "Be like a flame in a windless place where it does not waver."
May the Source be with you!