An experience from Claudia Valdeón….
I still remember the face of my mum when I told her: “Mum, I’m going to India”, is impossible to forget the way she stared at me and said, “You are crazy if you think I’m going to allow you to go alone to that country.” And I replayed, “But mum, I’m not going alone.” And I smiled at her. Here is where my adventure began, or maybe we can go back a little bit more…
I was traveling through Europe using Workaway when I luckily landed in Bharati’s Ashram, in Sasbachwalden, after a really bad experience in another place. For me it was like a dream, amazing people, high quality food, my work was appreciated… And I established a deep connexion with Bharati, but especially with her little son, Gabriel Shiva.
I was hearing India’s call in my heart for a long time, but as a woman travelling alone, I didn’t know what to think about it, because people love to speak too much about this controversial territory, sometimes good, sometimes bad, and I was feeling not secure enough to make the big step.
So I was delighted of being close to Bharati to ask her all my India’s questions. She was more than an expert after living there many years, she really knew all the faces that India has. After more than one interrogation, she tough me the first lesson I needed to learn. “India is like a mirror, whatever you have inside, it will give you back.”
One of my last days in Sasbachwalden, Bharati asked me for a private talk. When we sit down on her place, she started, “I want to offer you something, but of course you can answer whatever you feel.” In this moment I was afraid, but she continued, “Do you want to come to India with us?”. First I tried to find the words inside my throat, but I couldn’t, and then I just said, “Yes, YES, YES, YEEEEEEEES.” We laughed together, and we spoke more about details.
After this powerful notice, the rest of the days in the Ashram went fast. When December arrived, I packed my stuff, I said goodbye to everyone with a little bit of sadness, and I went out of the seminar house to wait for my taxi. Just before leaving, Bharati came, winked at me and said “See you in India.”
After that I went home to spend Christmas holidays with my family, I bought my fly ticket, I made my visa, and before I noticed it I was arriving to Chennai Airport, South India, totally full of emotions.
Everyone speaks about the first cultural shock when you go to India, the negative impression, the dirty streets, the horn sounds… But for me everything was new and beautiful. Bharati arranged all the details of my arrival. A reliable taxi driver drove me direct to Bharati’s house in Tiruvannamalai, and when I woke up the next day, Martin received me with a magnificent breakfast with fresh homemade coconut milk.
The first days were an incredible adventure, I realised how well known Bharati was there. She showed us (Me and my Workaway partner) the most magical and hidden places of Tiruvannamalai. We were like a family, because taking care of the children didn’t mean staying with them at home, but going all together to spend the day in this wonderful city and its surroundings.
When the group of the Spiritual Journey arrived for Shivaratri festival, I felt like I was part of it. We really had an amazing time together. We learned a lot with Bharati, meeting Sadhus, visiting the Ashram of Ramalinga Swami, the holy mountain Arunachala… Without forgetting the incredible unknown temples that she showed us.
After the group has gone, time literally flew. At this moment we were having more free time, so we used to go to Ramana Maharshi’s Ashram, or to the Dreaming tree, and amazing organic restaurant that is close to Bharati’s place where you meet the most interesting people that you can imagine.
We continued our daily life, I was doing my meditation and yoga practice every day in the rooftop of Bharati’s house, where we have and amazing party for Ananda’s birthday one of our last days there. I have never tried a raw cake as good as the one that Martin prepared that day (He’s a very nice cooker).
So I started to prepare the next step of my trip, Bharati helped me with her contacts in Tiruvannamalai. All the knowledge that I gain that month was a gift which allowed me to continue traveling alone through India more secure and with more consciousness, because I learned how to move and to deal with all the faces of India.
I can’t be more grateful for the experience I lived. I have the feeling that Life was guiding me to meet Bharati and her family in the perfect moment to start this adventure together. I can say that after the month I spend with them in Tiruvannamalai I grew and I reinvent myself, and now I am more aligned with the divine force that lives within me, with the kind of person I want to be.
So maybe you are reading this article because is your time to answer India’s call. If you are not sure, if you are afraid because what others have told you… Then I have an advice to you:
Don’t allow others decide for you. Create your own experience. Close to someone who can helps you, you are not going to regret.
👉 If you are planning to visit Tiruvannamalai, and you want to stay in the magic place where I lived, here you can find more information about Bharati’s Guesthouse “Divine Light Temple”
🙏🏼. 🙏🏼. 🙏🏼
👉 If you want to stay connected to all the news, upcomings and events, Instagram is the best option, you will not be bored 🙂
👉If you want to know more about India, Satsangs, magic places… here is Bharati’s English Youtube Channel, where you can find a lot of real videos filmed during her trips. Please subscribe the channel
👉And if you are a German speaker, you are lucky, because Bharati also has a German Youtube Channel, where you can find guidance material for your personal growth.
Thank you for reading