Todke Baba - A Spiritual Journey to Shivapuri5th October 2015
In 2015 I was called to visit this beautiful area in the Shivapuri National Park and to see Todke Baba who resides here. This is a summary of my experience.
Do you have a question for Baba?
I reluctantly reply “no” while thinking about my tendency to want to know and plan everything in advance. Why do I need to know? Can’t I just feel it in my heart. And maybe by feeling it in my heart I already know.
Some people bring out the worst parts of ourselves and yet others bring out the best. I feel like I’m in a “choose your own adventure” novel popular when I was a child. Maybe our paths are already set and our choices are just like in the novels and we go around in circles until eventually we figure out which path is right for us and feeds our soul. Maybe those people that bring out the worst in us are just the catalyst for getting us out of our comfort zone so we can get moving again and not remain stagnant.
Maybe Pink Floyd got it right with “we’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year. Running over the same old ground, have we found the same old fears……” Maybe we are just swimming around until we find what we are looking for. Return to famous words by Bono “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. Maybe what we are really searching for is that essence of ourselves that is the core of our being. Divine love and playfulness. And just maybe those people that that bring out the best part of ourself are just reflecting back to us divine love and playfulness.
Rewind back to why I am here. As has been the frequent case for the last couple of months I was called to visit this place. A sacred Shiva place where holy water comes from the ground and ends up feeding Pashupatinath and then the Ganges at Varanassi in India. A place where holy men live in the forest near the peak of the mountain (or foothill by Nepal standards).
I’m feeling quite despondent as I start. I have left a bunch of work I need to complete for the day, I can feel my feet blistering in my boots. It occurs to me to think of why I have been called here on this day. Shiva’s sacred day (Monday). Then I feel well maybe it’s not about the journey being easy. Maybe all things that are of great worth come with some hardship or struggle. So I continue.
On the way up my foot issues ease somewhat and I discover something incredible. As I rest the palm of my hand against the trees I can feel the life pulsing through them. Wow. The heartbeat of Gaia.
I have always had a connection with the earth. But it was only after my first trip to Nepal in 2013 that I really started to realize this in a tangible way.
I am blessed at the Shiva Lingum, sprinkled with the holy water at the Bagdehwar and have offered some apples to the Sadhu’s that reside here.
So here I am now in the middle of the forest sitting with Torke Baba a Sadhu originally from Delhi that has been living as an ascetic in this forest for some 23 years and drinking tea when the question comes up. “Do you have a question for Baba?”