The Boat Ride to No Return

The Boat Ride to No Return

Maharishi Was Right – when he said: ‘it is possible to become enlightened in a single lifetime by whilst raising a family and pursuing a career!’

I learned Transcendental Meditation in 1968, which was invaluable in giving me ideas to make my lessons interesting and also inspirations for poems. About 11 years later in 1979 I learned Maharishi’s TM Sidhi programme. Both were brilliant and made life very pleasant for me.

However, probably the most momentous thing happened to me on 20th February 2001 but the peculiar thing about it was that I didn’t know what it meant until recently.

On my first day in Allahabad, our guide took us on a boat trip to the sangam or confluence of the Ganges, Yumana and the invisible Saraswati rivers. These also have a correspondence with the three main nerve centres of our body. The third is usually called the kundalini.

Soon after our little boats set sail, I found myself laughing and crying at the same time. At that time I was completely unaware that something equally unusual and mysterious going on in my pocket .

A little later, I was back in the foyer of my hotel writing a diary, which would one day be published by Amazon Kindle, called ‘A Trip Beyond Imagination’.

My room-mate Graham had just arrived after a long car ride and was keen to have a shower, freshen up and put on some different clothes. We shook hands and started chatting, Without looking, I reached into my pocket and gave him what I thought was the key.

He blinked in amazement – it was certainly a very thick robust looking key-ring but it was twisted beyond recognition and there was no key on it.

Even, Alistair, our knowledgeable guide couldn’t explain it. It was a mystery that remained quietly sleeping in the background until a few weeks ago.

On the following day, I had my first experience of the Goddess Durga, in the Hanuman Temple in Allahabad.

As soon as I saw her I loved her. I don’t have a conscious knowledge of Sanskrit but somehow I must have a good contact with the source at the deepest level. Hymns of praise poured forth from my lips from the outset, although I didn’t know what I was saying. A friend told me afterwards that a couple of priests were astounded that a westerner knew such deeply esoteric hymns of praise.

I also prostrated myself before her many times. It was as though something deep inside knew exactly how I should behave – I was like some kind of doll or puppet in the hands of a hidden controller.

Strangely enough, I didn’t even hear of Durga until afterwards. My link with her has not only continued but grown stronger with the passing of time.

In a talk given in 1990, Maharishi said she is the organising power in the cosmos. She occupies the junction point between the unchanging Absolute and the ever changing relative creation. Thus she is both unmanifest and manifest.

Her eight arms indicate that she is present everywhere in each of the eight points of the compass. Her hands symbolise her actions: In her top two hands she holds the conch that initiates creation; and the discus that maintains its immaculate precision.

The next two represent the flame of every form of life in the universe, whilst the points of the trishula represent the three spheres of creation, maintenance and dissolution.

The drum represents all the different time functions from the smallest cycle of time to the very longest- whilst the opposite hand is raised to take away fears and give blessings .

Finally he sword shows that she is in control of all diversity, whilst the mace is her symbol of sovereignty.

Her vehicle is the king of the jungle, who represents all our animal traits tamed to perfection. Once they are tamed, we can become one of her vehicles.

Recently, she told me that the two incidents on the boat pointed to the same conclusion. She said laughing and crying at the same time showed that I had unified the two most extreme emotions in relative existence; and the exfoliated key-ring was a sign that I had broken free from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The key freed from the key-ring, showed that from that instant I was now a free man.

However, it was the day Durga came to me that made all the difference. Maharishi calls Cosmic Consciousness the full development of the mind. He said whilst one can prefer one devata to another, it is usually on the level of the self – in other words – this kind of preference is based on the needs of individual.

He went on to say that true devotion is not possible until one achieves Cosmic Consciousness because then all of one’s thoughts and desires are centred upon pleasing the object of your love rather that what she or she could do for you.

My first sight of an image of Durga was immediately electrifying and life-changing. It is rather like falling in love as a peak experience, which always deepens and never fades.

The question arises: “how can an image have such a profound effect upon an individual?” The science of Yoga tells us that the human body is a miniature replica of the cosmos and is part of a two way interdependence- which can become total. What we each experience is our own level of wakefulness! Our spiritual practises are our path to full wakefulness.

In addition, it is possible for skilled pundits to infuse something of the life and feeling into an image of a particular devata by performing the correct ceremony. It seems that I was sufficiently awake for my inner microcospic Durga to become one with an exterior representation of her as an image or even the cosmic queen herself..

I know this sounds very Indian but she has had many names down through the ages: Isis to ancient Egyptians, Athene to the ancient Greeks and the Virgin Mary of Revelations.

The next step on the road is the path to God Consciousness, in which our emotions become purified. This is happens on the level of feeling. Feelings happens on an inner level. The laws and codes of our culture have often strayed from what is actually right so it is important to have a guide.

Durga is my link with the inner world. Right from the outset she told me that I thought I was one of those people who make things happen; but in actual fact I just respond to changes that affect my personal life – so no more telephone calls that interfere and alter what should be happening!.

I don’t know about you, but I always thought that Cosmic Consciousness was supposed to be something momentous – a milestone when one has great powers!. That is certainly what one reads and it also looks that way to an eye witness.

What doesn’t come across is that one becomes a kind of servant or apprentice. In my case I am a physical instrument or tool for the goddess. I can’t of my own volition cure an illness, though it often looks as though I can.

It is the Goddess who chooses who is to be healed. I am just the three dimensional instrument, with which she carries it out the operation. She uses no medicine just Sanskrit mantras and touch. Since it is my mouth and my hands she uses, it seems to all intents and purposes that I am the one in control.

This is an illusion! Whilst I seem to be fluent in Sanskrit I don’t actually understand a word of what I am saying. Also I have little or no medical knowledge – especially on the level from where she works. The great thing about it is that it is successful. You will read about several such cures and a lot more unusual things in ‘A Trip Beyond Imagination.’

In actual fact it was down to Durga that the ebook was published at all. We live in a very objectified world. The things that Durga can do just don’t normally happen – especially in England! Last year she sent me an internal message to have the book published. I honestly thought that nobody would believe it so I would have to take the self-publishing route.

Obviously this was not the kind of agenda she had in mind- she made the Kindle publishing page appear on my computer screen, in much the same way as she put me I touch with a Duga Puja book for Beginners, when I first got back from India.

Maharishi’s guru used to say: ‘I feel sorry for anybody without an ishta devata – they are just like orphans. For years I never knew what he meant. However, now I have one, I know exactly what he meant. She is kind and loving and quickly puts me right when I have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.. Now that I am old she even sends me intuitions of what route I should take in the car, where a parking space will be available.

She recently told me that the kind of experiences I am having will soon become routine.

~ Anthony David Butcher