Sorry for the slow post! I was without an Internet connection for a couple of days.
On my third hot, sultry day in Mumbai, being nearly swindled at the Gateway to India, I was treated with great kindness and a beautiful welcome to Mumbai and India. I met for lunch two disciples of a teacher whose ashram I would visiting in Pune–Shakun and Manju.
Shakun was the first disciple of the spiritual teacher Ma Indira Devi (Ma = “mother”) I was able to contact after re-reading Pilgrims of the Stars, a dual autobiography of Indira Devi and her guru Sri Dilip Kumar Roy. I had read the book in the late 1970s and was moved by it, but, to my regret, never sought to find the authors at the time.
I was on a different path, on my way to becoming a monk in a different yogic order. But the memory of the book stayed with me for years, and a year and a half ago I took it down off the shelf and re-read it. It triggered a life-altering, spiritual experience, and I knew that I had to go and see Indira Devi if she was still alive.
Indira Devi (1920-1997, sadly) came from a world of immense wealth and privilege, but left it to become a disciple of Dilip Kumar Roy. Kumar Roy, a world-famous Indian singer of classical Indian music, had become a disciple of the famous spiritual teacher Sri Aurobindo. At first, Dadaji, “brother,” as Dilip Kumar Roy was called, refused to be her guru, saying that she was far more spiritually advanced than he was; but Sri Aurobindo confirmed Indira’s intuition that she was to be his disciple. The amazing experiences of their life as together can be read in Pilgrims of the Stars.
I found Shakun on the internet and she graciously told me about Ma and the Mandir (ashram) in Pune. Shakun is also an author and has written about her relationship with Ma. (Let me know if you’d like to learn more.)
Over a scrumptious Indian lunch at the Radio Club—I wish I could remember the names of the courses—Shakun and Manju told me stories about their spiritual lives, the many spiritual teachers they have met, about visiting Ma’s ashram, battling monsoons to get there, and the powerful effects of being in the presence of a true saint and enlightened teacher–all increasing my anticipation to get to Pune, city of Dadaji and Ma Indira Devi’s ashram.
Thank you, Shakunji and Manjuji!