Against the backdrop of India’s largest tiger preserve, Corbett National Park, the abandoned building of the ashram are being slowly reclaimed by the surrounding jungle. The atmosphere is eary and magical. Around every corner is the possibility of a hidden treasure, a poems scratched into the peeling paint left years ago by Paul McCartney or yellow glowing eyes of an elusive predator. Every surface of the ashram was built to play on the senses. The entire compound was build to enhance the experiences of the of mind altering substances. The surfaces are different textures from rounded stones, to sparkling mosaic tiles, to an inexplicable meringue like ceiling found in the lower tunnels. The most notorious of these sensory tricks is the elevation yoga
We wondered into this most unique of rooms through a nondescript little dome set back from the main road. Inside two hallways lead down into darkness. We had been told that the building were connected by underground passages but also warned that cobras like to make these dark recesses their homes.
While the White album is the most experimental of Beatles collection the influence of the maharishi mahesh and this place evident. Lennon turned Maharishi into an enduring figure through the song Sexy Saidy. The allusion to the seductive appeal of both the Maharishi and the place he had built ring through the song. As does the betrayal Lennon felt when the true corruption and deception was revealed. As any cult this one had its days of glory and its harsh end, but I for one would love skip back 40 years and wonder this ashram in its finest.
hoSexy Sadie what have you done
You made a fool of everyone
You made a fool of everyone
Sexy Sadie ooh what have you done.
The bones of the buildings remaining give an illusion of a magical past. Since this is India where the past and present exist together, you can almost feel the ghosts of a powerful energy that once existed here. On the roof of the ashram are large white half domes. Made from white tile they shine as if polished yesterday. They are hollow providing private meditation domes with amazing acoustics. When in the domes, hardly any sound escapes through the hole in the roof even when singing at the top of your voice.
From the elevated vantage point on top on an egg made for acoustic perfection sitting on roof of a four story of a building constructed by a 1960’s mind altering cult, in an indian jungle over looking the most sacred of rivers the ganges I spent my birthday. As we walked home for this day of surrealism the gods of India gave me another pressent. walking through the darkness past cows and babas along the rivers edge the full moon began to turn first orange then bood red. Slowly a shadow stole accross its smiling face until the moon was no more that a circle punched out of a black sky. On my Birthday December, 10 2011 we watched a perfect full lunar eclips. for one who believes lightly in omens this can only mean I have one hell of an interesting life ahead of me.