The “Soonya” state of Mind at Ganges

1 April 2014.  I was at theof River Ganges, at Rishikesh, Vaan Prastha Ghat.

People from various philosophies visit this place.  Rush of believers flood for Ganga Snaan (a dip in the Holy Ganges). After my Yoga class in the morning from 6.30 to 8.00am, I had my breakfast and came down to the ghat for a dip.

Nice, clean water.   Chilling, cold, freshly diluted ice. The current was strong.  It was difficult to stand even on the bank as you feel that you would drown with the strong flow. Heavy iron chains are provided at this bank so that one can hold the chain tight and take a dip in the river.  Still you are afraid that you will drown.

Normally, I dip myself 3 or 5 times in the Ganges.  But I recollected an interesting experience my niece Nirmala (Naru) narrated.  She went for her bath at Rishikesh, Geeta Bhavan #1 ghat.  Close to her was a lady from Eastern Europe taking her dips too.  As is her habit, Naru started talking to the European lady in English.  The lady replied in Hindi and told Naru ‘Dubki poora lena.  Shir aur shir ke hairs bhi bhigana”  (Take the dip properly, your head and hair should go in too). Naru was surprised with her reply in Hindi and said: “Kaan meh problem.” (I have a problem in my ears).  The lady said ‘haan kaan meh paani jata.’ (Yes, the water does go in the ears.)

After 5 dips Naru stopped.  The lady said, “Nahin Nahin, gyarah dubki lena.’  (No-no, you should dip yourself 11 times). When Naru said it was enough for her, the lady insisted, “nahin, nahin 11 lena.  Mai count karegi .”  (no-no, 11 times. I will count.) She forced Naru to continue and started counting dips “six raam raam, “seven raam raam” and continued till 11 dips were completed.

Today, I was afraid that I had come alone. I double checked to see that I am  safe.  I held the chain with as strong a grip as possible.  I had my first dip, second and third.  Normally I feel satisfied, rather I feel tired and complete at 3 dips. But then I recollected the instance Naru had narrated. I took 11 dips!

I do not know whether there is any logic behind this count of 11, but the last 5-6 dips gave me a thrill and pleasure which I have never experienced before. I didn’t know if there was anything surviving or existing in this universe. It was absolute “Soonya” (zero) state of mind.  Nothing but energy flowed in.

It is amazing how devoted foreigners are to learn, understand our traditions and implement them.  Some of them study our traditions and philosophy deep enough, that they are qualified to teach us our own traditions and learning from our scriptures.

Thereafter every time I was in for river bath, after The Float, I took 11 dips and enjoyed getting  in “Soonya” state of mind.

Author: Badri Baldawa

Edited: Meeta Kabra

This entry was posted in Adventure travel, Biography, Contentment and Happiness, Fun, Meditation Vipassana, Morals, Saints, Traditions and tagged , , , by badri. Bookmark the permalink.

About badri

As I approached 68 (2013), my son, Anand insisted that I had proven enough in my 45-year long career and it was time I took life a little easier; enjoy traveling (that I love) and social life. Yet, I somehow wanted to contribute positively and was exploring my options. My son-in-law, Navin suggested that I should write and share my experiences, “being a self-made man, you should tell the next generation how you overcame various obstacles to reach this position, in both, business and social circles.” He pointed out that while I was sharing my experiences with family and friends, as they approached me, a blog had the potential to take your voice to many, many more. He also insisted that I start mentoring youngsters who were new in their businesses. I was convinced. I offered my services pro bono, as part of a Guidance Program. Also, I started writing on this blog, bringing out figments from my memory as experiences that might be of value to the readers here. My daughter Meeta is sweet enough to spare her time to edit what I write. As a youngster, I thought one meal a day, one set of school uniform a year, a public place to study, lack of finance and basic shelter would keep me from achieving my dreams. To compensate, I started giving 110% of what was normally expected. Yes, 110% even in bad deeds! This worked. The very limitations started inspiring me in different phases of my life – meritorious results in studies; strength to shoulder family responsibilities; satisfied employers; establishing a successful business of my own; and in my adventure trips and other travel plans. Having done what I wanted to, I agreed it was time for me to expose myself! I felt, through this blog, I could and should share my expereinces. Hopefully, readers would find some bits useful and if not, they’d enjoy reading. Look forward to interact with you. Happy Reading, Badri Baldawa

7 thoughts on “The “Soonya” state of Mind at Ganges

  1. Thanks for sharing. You have a wealth of information and lot of things for which I am passionate about. Your blogs are very helpful. I look forward to the Ganga visit and the 11dips for sure. . Thanks a lot.

  2. Wow!!
    Dear Badriji , you write so beautifully!! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us which makes us to meet new horizons, adds up new dimensions in all ways of life !!!
    Keep it up!!

  3. Thank you for your comments and tips. Hope one has to take deep breadth before taking dip and after!! I am sure tips would help everyone.

    I am attaching links of some of my earlier blogs, in case these interests you.
    1. First Lessons in firnance:
    2. How Lies Boomrang:
    4. Ethics start with the first interview
    5 A Mother’s Selflessness
    6 Joint Family Concept
    7 My Unexpected Well Wishers
    8 My Philosophy of Studying
    9 Protest Unfair Customs
    10 The Puff
    11 Affordable Traditions
    14 Soonya State of Mind at Ganges
    15 Ganges – The Positive Energy
    16 Define Contentment
    18 Mother’s Ring Speaks
    19 Don’t Mix Business with Social Pressure

  4. Dear Bhaisaheb,
    Thank you for forwarding the link and giving us the opportunity to learn. Your blog is interesting and hope you start writing frequently. ( I had the privilege to read it first time )
    I will try this when ever I get a chance to take a dip next time.
    Is soonya state of mind due to rhythmic breathing because you need to take long breaths when you take such dips as we experience during yoga ?
    Best Regards
    Rajesh Sadani

  5. It is all a question of feed back you get from your body that you involve yourself.
    Very good experience and very nice of you to have shared One should always hanker after logic intution and feeling matter God Bless

  6. Dear Badrijee.
    Very nice experience is shared with us. Keeping this in mind next time onwards I will also take 11 dip in Maa Ganga to get “SOONYA” state of mind experience.
    Waiting for another “BLOG”.

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