Experiences in a Solitude (Maun) Room on April 3, 1971,
by Baba Ramdas (Richard Alpert)
( after 7 days alone March 28 to April 4, 1971) …. http://www.myspace.com/ramdass
The history of the Spiritual Search contains numerous examples of Sadhaks retreating to deep jungle glade or high mountain cave for periods of intense tapasya, deep meditation, and direct communion with the Gods. This retreat is not a permanent withdrawal from life’s marketplace. Rather it is a step on the Path – necessary for the purification that is required to lead a life according to the dharma.
Today, as in the past, the need for such moments of seclusion for the sadhak are the same, but the opportunities are fewer to be free of human companionship, or even contact, for any length of time. Thus the vision of Sri Mota Maharaj in creating the Maun Mandir Sadhna is one which is both rooted deeply in tradition, and also perfectly timely. To fulfill both of these criteria is the highest manifestation of karma yoga.
Upon entering the mandir and after settling down a bit, I began to feel the intense vibrations which permeated the room. These vibrations, the effects of the years of tapasya carried out in the closed space were felt throughout my body and facilitated my inner work immensely.
Late in the first day while repeating my mantra I suddenly lost body consciousness and entered a loka in which I was seated facing a siddhu. He looked at me intensely then lowered his head and breathed three deep breaths. Each breath he breathed seemed to explode within my body, filling it with the indescribable blissful energy of the Divine Sakti. Then slowly I returned to this plane of consciousness with mixed feelings of humility, joy, and the craving for more.
But no further visitations occurred until the sixth day when my guru visited me for an indescribably sweet conversation and Lila Rasa during which he fed me with his own hand. Such a blessing.
The remainder of my seven day stay in the mandir has been taken up with much reflection over recent events and fantasy. As I deepened my meditation these reflections and fantasies appeared more obviously to be the demons of attachment (desire and aversion) with which I must yet do battle. They were quite unrelenting, often pursuing me into my dreams at night.
My readings (about 1 1/2 hours a day) included the Bhagavad Gita Commentaries of Jnaneshwar, the Aparokshanubhuti, the Siva-Mahinanah Stotram, as well as the three slim volumes translated by Nilkanth, as well as the Astavakra Sutra, all of which kept me on the track.
Even the service of meals and tea with the Hari Om! Tea for you, my Lord helped to remind me that we are (talking) our own true divinity – the Atman – the OM within.
Thank-you Hari Om Ashram. Your service, like Hanuman’s love with purity and love. Shanti
Ram Das (Richard Alpert)