Sri Lanka was once joined with India and was integrated millions of years ago. The impact of sudden earthquakes disconnected the two parts and now it is an independent island.
Even today there are many similarities, unanimity and cohesion as far as language, food and culture is concerned. The people are warm, cordial, humble and helpful. They consider India as the Mother country and Sri Lanka as the son. This is also because their main religion is Buddhism. Lord Buddha was born in India and it was King Ashoka who took Buddhism to Sri Lanka in his determinations and pursuance of penance after the Kalinga war. They are still connected and welcome us generously. However, this is modern history.
During ancient times some millions of years ago, it is said that Lord Shiva asked his second son Kartikeya, to do spiritual progression by doing Sudarshan Kriya in the thick jungles of least inhabited Lanka. At that time the south of Sri Lanka was full of fierce animals and thick vegetation. To provide complete uninterrupted silence and quietude, that place was ideal for a serious yogi. So Kartikeya came from North India and did ‘tapas’ or hard spiritual practices in the southern area called Katargama. The original name was ‘Kartikgrama’, which means the village of Kartik. There was a river flowing by which is today’s Manik Ganga thus adding serenity around and the place was completely cut off from the villages.
Kartikeya did meditation under the cool shade of the canopy of old trees and fasted many days to enhance his divine powers. When his attempts were successful, he completed his days of vow, broke his silence and offered all the fruits of his deeds to God.
Less than two thousand years ago, Mahavatar Babaji was also asked to go to the same place to do spiritual progress by God when he was a teenager, read- The manifestation of our soul-I to know more about this place. Like Shri Kartikeya, Mahavatar Babaji also donated all the rewards back in the lap of God and only asked that the rewards of his ‘tapas’ should be for other aspiring spiritual aspirants. Hence, my sole aim of going again to Sri Lanka was to benefit from that place where these two spiritual giants had meditated under tough geographical and climatic conditions. There are many other unknown seers, yogis, saints, and philosphers who must have made that place holier by their own pious deeds. They have made it easier for today’s yogis if they have forbearance and tolerance to go there and sit calmly to absorb all the prevailing dynamic spiritual wavelengths and vibrations embedded in the atmosphere.
Before I left for Sri Lanka, Mahavatar Babaji explained to me that there are three levels of ‘tapasya’ or progression that a yogi can pursue and attain. They are- tapasya, ghor tapasya and finally mahaghor tapasya. They are increasing degrees of hardships and forbearance that a ascending yogi undergoes to attain the highest levels of God realizations. Mahavatar Babaji did ‘mahaghor tapasya’ or highest level of hardships and endurance undertaken to achieve the ultimate spiritual realizations in Katargama in Sri Lanka. So by now this must be evident to you that my sole purpose of going to Sri Lanka was to enhance my own spiritual progress by availing the divine atmosphere still permeating it.
Nonetheless, we stopped in various places to do sightseeing before we could reach Katargama. Colombo was one such place. We visited Ganga Ramaiyya temple and adjoining Seema Malaka temple on a lake. A few pictures are uploaded for all to see and appreciate their grace, benignity and beauty.
Ganga Ramaiyya temple, Colombo
Ganga Ramaiyya temple is a palace converted into a temple. It also has a museum, a Buddhist school and a library. Many priceless gifts are donated by many devotees in this today’s Vihara, museum and library. In spite of seeing countless expensive and rare artifacts in the museum, a deep sense of detachment prevailed over me. After all what is it that is in the Soul of a realized Buddha that we find all these things worth relinquishing? Why do we pursue Him? Maybe for Peace? Ultimately, we find the value of any object worthless if compared to the priceless and most sought after love- Love for God. Isn’t craving for God far superior than any of worldly things? Why did the seers and sages advise detachment and contentment? What is it that I will take with me once I am done here? I was just ruminating…….Buddham sharanam gachami…. I take the refuge of Lord Buddha was resounding in the atmosphere of the Vihara or ex- palace and musuem of today in Colombo.
Amidst the hustle bustle of the city, a tranquil lake takes you by complete surprise. Seema Malaka temple is built on Beira lake and has an old Bo Tree. It is surrounded by many fine trees and water birds perching on them or in the quiet waters. We visited it at sunset time and the environment was very calming. Modern high rise buildings blend well with the Oriental and traditional ones.
The city at night around Berai Lake, reminded me of an oil painting!
To be continued…..