Dec 10-14th shall remain an evergreen memory in my life. These 4 days of my life were spent in the environs of one of the most refreshing places I’ve been to so far, and in company of souls that in my view, are far more advanced than the many “realized” swamis who we see flaunting around in their air conditioned convoys. “Navadarshanam” is a place that I have personally come to associate with everything that denotes respecting our humanity, our nature, and above all our inherent spirituality.
Located about 40 Kms from Bangalore, at the border of Tamil Nadu, just outside of Anekal taluk, in the Gangenahally hamlet of Gummalapuram village, is Navadarshanam. Spread across nearly 200 acres of land in the Thally forest area, this community has set in motion a revolution, to revive Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj. Literally meaning – “self-rule” in the truly spiritual sense of the word, its basic tenets can be seen interwoven inextricably with the fabric of Navadarshanam’s existence. This has been proved by the fact, that to this day, all the food being cooked by the community at Navadarshanam, is being produced in their premises, in an organic manner. Plastic is not used in its premises, and no chemical products (not even soaps, detergents and utensil cleaners, let alone chemical fertilizers!) are employed. There is no power being drawn from the state grid. The power being used is being generated entirely by natural means of wind power, solar energy, bio gas and through plant extracts. The products that are grown in its premises are all processed in an organic manner, completely devoid of harmful chemicals, and stored in an eco-sensitive way, using natural preservative techniques. The houses constructed in its premises were built using compressed mud blocks and designed so as to allow maximum light and air to circulate without having need for appliances such as electric fans.
As mentioned earlier, it embodies Gandhiji’s idea of Swaraj, by which, it encourages man to understand and differentiate between his needs and wants. Once man is capable of bifurcating these two categories, he masters over his wants, subduing them, instead of succumbing to their tyranny. In the true, spiritual sense, this is “self-rule”. Gandhi’s vision was to enable the vast population of India to have this spiritual “self-rule” which far exceeds the political independence/self-rule we obtained. Unfortunately, we as citizens were far too concerned with the nitty-gritty of our mundane existence to pay heed to his ideas, and politics was far too self-absorbed to appreciate this concept. Gandhi’s “Hind swaraj”, which shocked Nehru’s vision and nepotism for industrialization, soon went into oblivion. However, a group of people, in quest for alternative living styles that imbibes spirituality and interlaces it with environmentally sensitive practices, while at the same time, maintaining a high quality of Life, rediscovered the ideologies of Swaraj, and out of their sweat, and blood have today constructed a giant edifice – Navadarshanam, that holds aloft – for all mankind to see and understand, how man can still rectify his reckless treatment of Mother Earth, and learn to live in harmony with her. These group of people, under the leadership of the eminent Sri. Ananthuji have veritably made a remarkable achievement. The 150 acres of land, that basks now in lush greenery was once a barren land, devoid of vegetation. One shall never believe its past horror, if they were to see the green cover that now has spread itself far and wide around their premises.
So what took me to Navadarshanam? Well, call it destiny, or sheer luck. I had the opportunity to attend an amazing workshop that discusses the confluence of “Science & Spirituality” based on the advances in Quantum Mechanics, specifically the duality of Light. It is in itself, a subject that deserves a lengthy and separate post, but nevertheless, this workshop provided me the opportunity to be a part of this community, that has left an indelible mark in my heart.
Swami Vivekananda says, “Perfect sincerity, holiness, gigantic intellect, and an all-conquering will. Let only a handful of men work with these, and the whole world will be revolutionized.” The people living at Navadarshanam, and those responsible for its founding, are but living examples for the above statement. Navadarshanam’s products are available to be bought at all outlets of “Namdhaari’s fresh” in Bangalore. For more details about the organization, visit www.navadarshanam.org.
Being away from civilization as I knew it, devoid of all forms of advanced communication system, and finally finding some time for myself, amidst all the maddening rush, I was finally able to resolve a lot of questions that had been plaguing my mind. There was a sense of security, calmness and awakening that one can experience in its environs. It was as much a spiritual experience as going on a pilgrimage. I shall have more to share in the coming days… for now.. i just sign off, with a sense of peace, remembering the golden days spent in an organization that is forging a new vision for the upcoming generation, if only we can see!