Rajasthan – Of Arid Lands and Full Hearts
Jun 25, 2022, Jaipur, Rajasthan
June 1st - Day 72
Our eyes pop. Centuries old impregnable forts (and fortresses), the stately “Ships of the Desert,” the bold, vibrant costumes, the distinct folk music, the splendour of royal palaces of a bygone era and of course, the beatific smile and warmth of the people – it’s almost too heady to wrap our heads around. We are in India’s largest piece of real estate – Rajasthan – and it’s every bit as regal as it sounds.
When we enter Jaipur, the capital city, there are miles-long queues of people braving the heat waiting to catch a glimpse of their Guru. As in Gujarat, Rajasthan too is in a celebratory mood. People are singing the soil anthem, doing the jig, creating colorful ‘rangolis’ – anything to give outlet to the feverish nervous energy running through the crowd.
“My name is Ram Singh Chauhan and I’m a Guinness World Record holder in moustache,” announces Ram Singh Chauhan. His moustache is wrapped up in a bright yellow muslin-like cloth which is draped at least three times around his neck. It’s one of the most delightful sights we’ve seen. 😊 When he says “Guinness Record holder in moustache,” we assume he means “the longest moustache” (and we’re quite glad it’s under wraps). “I support Sadhguru Maharaj’s call to Save Soil and Save the Planet,” he tells us and adds, “I would like to say that soil is like our Mother. In the world, whatever living thing you see, including man, for all, Soil is the Mother. Saving Soil is our duty.” He concludes with a robust “Jai Hind, Jai Bharat.”
An elderly lady in a blood red sari catches our eye and we ask her how excited she is to be here. “I’ve been waiting for hours to see him. We’re all waiting very eagerly for Sadhguru,” she says smiling in the savage sun. She’s holding a huge ‘Save Soil’ placard. Is she a resident of Jaipur? “I’ve come from Jodhpur to see him,” she says smiling as if it’s a hop and a skip away (the two cities are 350 km apart, FYI). The public event in Jaipur is a sell-out.
“It’s our privilege our Guru is coming here to Udaipur,” says one of the ladies who has been waiting on the street for hours. We are in Rajasthan’s City of Lakes (City of Lakes in India’s most arid region!) “In Udaipur, we’ve made presentations (on the Save Soil Movement) in several schools and many students have written letters,” she adds excitedly. “We are very, very happy and grateful that Sadhguru is coming to our city…for the first time.”
When Sadhguru enters Udaipur, he’s instantly mobbed on the streets, showers of flowers (it seems like tons of petals in a riot of colors!) and roaring crowds welcome him. Age seems to be no bar—from young children to men and women well into their 70—as everyone is swept up in the moment, overcome by emotion. In the City Palace, the Prince of Mewar Shri. Lakshyaraj Singh gives Sadhguru a royal welcome. Foot-tapping folk music and the graceful folk dancers prove an irresistible invitation for Sadhguru who joins the singers and dancers to shake a leg adorned in the traditional Rajasthani ‘pagari’.
No matter how many times you see it, you can never get used to it—the electrifying air of energy and devotion that Sadhguru’s presence evokes. Even if for just those few moments, everyone simply drops their sense of self—inevitably, involuntarily—and allows the Guru’s Grace to wash over them.