Everything that’s happened to you, is happening to you and will happen to you is part of a Celestine conspiracy. A Master Plan, if you will. And it has NO flaws.
We label events as good or bad based on expectations, assumptions and conditionings we have. If someone we know dies, we believe it is a bad, a terrible, thing to have happened. If someone is born, we believe it is a good, a great, thing to happen. But in reality, nothing’s good or bad. Almost everything is going to a plan __ and that plan is to make you, make me, make all of us, stronger, better and wiser through this journey called Life.
|The house where Ramana Maharishi was born in 1879
About nine years ago, even as I was grappling with finding inner peace, I started the practice of ‘mouna’. Of practicing silence periods. It was a struggle. The practice required me to be silent __ and not strive to work on making the environment around me silent. After almost eight weeks of intense trial and error, I completed my first 21-day cycle of observing an hour of silence each day. The next morning, I had to take an early flight to Madurai for making a day-trip to a place called Tiruchuli, that I had never heard of. I had no knowledge then of why Tiruchuli was significant historically nor did I have an inkling of the profound impact it would have on my Life. I arrived at Madurai and my cabbie drove me up to Tiruchuli in about an hour. I found Tiruchuli deserted at 8.30 AM in the morning and it looked every bit a one horse town. My meeting here was not due to start until 11 AM and so I asked the cabbie suggestions for ‘killing time’. I asked him this more out of making polite, aimless banter and not out of any serious intent. He, however, responded enthusiastically. He declared that Tiruchuli was the birthplace of Ramana Maharishi (1879~1950), the revered 20thCentury saint from South India. This came as a pleasant shock to me. I had heard of Ramana Maharishi. I did not worship or idolize him as many did. But I thought it only sensible to invest the couple of hours I had free, to kill, on me, to “look up” sites of historical importance. The cabbie took me to the house where Ramana grew up and to the ancient Siva temple where Ramana occasionally mediated in the years preceding his move to Tiruvannamalai where he eventually set up the famous Ramana Ashram. Like at any heritage site in India, worn out boards told the story of Ramana Maharishi and his connection with this place__of his birth and early years. My two hours were spent even without my realizing it. I even spent quality time practicing ‘mouna’ at Ramana’s house! As I got ready to leave for my meeting, and got into the car, a man rushed out from Ramana’s house. I recognized him as the caretaker. He thrust in my hand a badly produced pamphlet extolling the Life and times of Ramana Maharishi on one side. A quote on the other side read:
“Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.”
― Ramana Maharishi
I must have lost that pamphlet somewhere on the flight back to Chennai that day. But the learning from that message I continue to carry even now. I needed that lesson perhaps very badly that day. My Life was heading into a dark abyss then. I had leaned on to ‘mouna’ hoping to find solace. After some strife I had made its practice a habit. And here was a cosmic sign, through a “messenger” of one of the greatest seers the modern world had known, that I was on the right track! I didn’t immediately realize the import of the experience I had been through that day. I do realize it completely now. My problems have not been resolved as yet. I find my Life in the same abyss and it continues to be very, very dark. But I have no fear, no anxiety, no guilt. Because I have learned to live in acceptance. And have learned to remain silent__especially in times of extreme provocation and intense turmoil!
This makes me believe that there is a Celestine conspiracy that is working overtime__pushing us, nudging us, elbowing us, often to our chagrin, towards our destinies. This makes me believe too that when the student is ready, the teacher, always, does appear!