Charles Reeder


By Charles Reeder

IN the Colorado mountains I look into a cluster of pine needles. In the autumn sun they radiate clear and pure from the bough. Has it really been eleven years since we first came to Arunachala, to Bhagavan? Time itself has rotated like those needles in the sun, and we can no longer find the point where we started. And that itself is happiness, the endless turning around of small pebbles in the swift current of his grace.

It is wonderful that Bhagavan’s path of enquiry is not something that gives itself to exact description or mapmaking, for it is the stirring of the self in each of us. If we point to the way or the Self as an object, we pretend to be strangers in our own home. It is only Bhagavan who makes it clear to us - we see it so plainly in his smile — for who is he but our own Self? And it is he who tells his devotees that wherever they go in the world or beyond it, they continue to circle around him and within him who is Arunachala.

And that is not all, for time and space themselves are forever doing this pradakshina around their source. So we cannot speak in some ordinary way about Bhagavan’s centennial, for he was not one who merely appeared and disappeared in time. The centennial itself is doing pradakshina around him; the blue sky is doing it as well. He sits with the deepest absorption in the centre, blessing those who move. The pradakshina itself is but his in-breathing and out-breathing, manifesting the original pattern of being to all who can receive it.

To speak of Bhagavan’s birth and passing is to do pradakshina to our small conception of who he is, but this too is resolved in him, for he is the most infinitesimal being as well as the great one who manifests the being of all the world systems. No matter which path we may take, we ultimately find ourselves worshipping in the most fundamental sense that primal being who dwells within each of us. It was and is Bhagavan’s gift to the world to manifest this being so unmistakably and so lovingly. On this, his centennial, the human beings, the animals and the mountains, the dwellers in the six realms, whether consciously or unconsciously all join in the pradakshina of that unutterably great being.