Sadhana, our journey on the spiritual path, is a series of unfoldings, an undying chain of transformations in which we shine the light of love and awareness onto the spaces within ourselves that need work. Just as we are within the universe, the entire universe is within us, and that means all of it, including the darkness. There are areas within ourselves which we fear to venture into. These murky, shadowy depths cause many trepidations and anxieties to swath over us subconsciously, and as we start off on the path, we realize we have fixed our entire lives on either ignoring, or staying as far away as possible, from our own mysterious, unnerving darkness. It is the way of Saints to help bring light to and transform these shrouded depths, and when looking into the story of Neem Karoli Baba and his Hanumanghar Temple, it is easy to see that the proverbial water can indeed turn into wine. Just as there are places within ourselves that we dread of visiting, about 2km from Nainital there was a very eerie, unsettling hilltop graveyard which no one dared to go. The small-pox epidemic had done its damage and many bodies were buried at this site, blanketing the area in a frightening, morose undertone. Neem Karoli Baba, being the magnetic light that he is; though, persistently sat at these frightening grounds over the course of many nights, attracting countless devotees for darshan, chalisa’s and prasad. Through Maharaj-ji’s persistence of going into this area of darkness and consistently shining an undying, loving light onto it, the spooky graveyard became purified, and the Hanumanghar Temple was miraculously constructed. It is our duty to ourselves and others, through practice, to dive into what Roshi Joan Halifax calls “The Fruitful Darkness,” for as Rainer Maria Rilke so eloquently shares, “Our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasure.” So as we outwardly explore this beautiful temple, remember not to shy away from the scary, desolate graveyard within yourself. For once you have found that, with persistence and a loving awareness, you have the ability to transform it into a magnificent temple of love, service, and divinity, just as Neem Karoli Baba did with the Hanumanghar Temple years ago.
Love and Blessings,