Naahak Milan (Less-Agenda Gathering)
Posted by Kishan Laddha on Aug 9, 2018
The cultivated space attracts many visitors, volunteers or guests coming to Sabarmati Ashram and primarily through countless spontaneous trips with Jayesh Bhai, either to a small village, a pilgrimage or just a Maitri gathering in Sughad. There is a magic in spontaneity, trusting the universe and not selecting who is coming and who is not, every soul who crosses your path is the right one with a message for you in the right time. After several experiments in Gandhi Ashram, from time to time we long for such agenda less gatherings to see what universe has to bring this time and thus we all decided to do a Nahak Milan.
Holding an intention to bring together friends of space, we sent out this invitation to few friends for a three day gathering at Maitri Space (Sughad campus, Ahmedabad) on 27th- 28th-29th July 2018 : invitation read : Beloved All, At some point we all have met here in the ashram, in one context or the another, a friendship which was nurtured here in the warmth of Gandhian spirit. so a spontaneous thought arose to do a 'Nahak Milan' ( a meeting with out any fixed agenda but in the spirit of maitri and heart's bonding).
This coming together is rooted in cultivating three broad intentions:
And what unfolded was many beautiful moments of joy and togetherness. It's hard to say what outcome this will bring but imprints of these joyful moments were deeply imprinted in our hearts and collectively felt.
Post retreat, one of the participant shared- Whenever I meet our friends I feels like meeting someone whom I know since long long yrs. May be beyond this physical age. I am really touched to see how we all are meeting, sharing our wisdom, clarifying each other’s curtains in this beautiful journey. Kabir’s song “Aananda Mangal Gaawo Moree Sajanee, Bhayo Prabhat Beet Gayee Rajanee…” is coming to my mind, how beautiful this journey is with lots of learning and understanding how to become “shunya” (zero) while aspiring to be “Purna” (full).
For our Nahak Milan what I felt is, though it was named as Nahak (agenda less) , it was definitely Mother Nature’s wish that we all come together and churn out. A deep gratitude towards each of you for being part of this sangh.
Another friend shared, What started out as a "Na-hakk Milan"meaning an agenda-less get together of kindred spirits, subtly shifted to a "Hakk-no Milan" meaning a gathering where everyone felt seen, included and pampered.
From having "gotas/ pakoras" on day one, to awesome dinner with the beautiful folks at Sita Raam ashram and finally a wonderful spread at Vrindavan on day 3. It reminded me of how loved and pampered I felt at my mama's (maternal uncle) home every summer holiday.
During the retreat we also visited Sitaram Ashram where Sitaram Baba stays for last 10 years. He has not stepped out for 10 years from the ashram. He says that whatever he needs comes to him simply by praying and patiently waiting. As a policy, no exchange of money happens in ashram. They grow their own food, and share what is available. Any pilgrim who is passing by the ashram is offered a meal and space to rest.
Baba is in silence from sunrise to sunset, works in the fields, takes care of the cows and cooks. He subsists on a glass of milk mixed with jaggery twice a day since 10 years. When asked does he feel weak, he says I can fast for three days and still get more work done than a well fed young man.
His devotion and spirit of serving while working moved us all. One of us asked him- How do we go close to God? He responded-
Work hard to purify your inner self. "Ishwar navro baitho che" God is just waiting for receptive, empty and pure vessels to pour himself into. Purify and sit patiently, and Grace will descend in time.
It was amazing how so much of what all of us thought we would do (one of the plan was to watch a movie) shifted into what no one imagined (sitting around in circles to play games and share stories). But thru all the happenings all of us felt a deep thread of Maitri being wound thru us all by an invisible force.
I am so full of love, that all I can do is go out and share the love, like a fountain bursting with water.
Filled with love, we all disbursed as fountain drops in our respective places cultivating ourselves to nurture the space/s within and outside.
Here are some of the moments on camera captured beautifully.