After a seventeen hour plane ride, a bumpy ride into Ganeshpuri and loudspeakers chanting as a 5:30am alarm clock, I rose to warm smiles from Kalyani and Daniel. Finally, my three year mantra, “I am going to India, I am going to India…” bore the fruit of my wishes; and here I was!
Upon first glance, I knew that Saha Astitva was something special. Having worked on conventional, organic, and Permaculture farms, I had seen more than a handful of examples of agriculture but nothing like this before. The lush green-ery of papaya growing high above the vegetables and pulses, the sugarcane paddy carefully placed behind the tall banana trees, the sacred Tulsi and other flowering plants lining the walkways all flourished with prana that made me take deep breathes as I was guided through. A couple of structures built for meditation and spiritual practice caught my eye; one on-looking a lotus pond with Koi fish secretly dwelling beneath and another facing the powerful mountain, Mandagni, or “Mountain of the Eternal Flame”. Off in the distance were local adivasi men, smiling at us as we walked by, working hard to help the farm thrive…
The exceptional beauty of Saha Astitva, once barren land, now so full of life, was stunning. But it was not the beauty alone that amazed me; it was the sense spirituality dwelling in this sacred valley that grabbed me from the depths of my soul. The deep respect of such a valley on behalf of Kalyani, Daniel, and all those that made the farm possible has brought light to the tribal area, to the hearts of the adivasis working its land, and those fortunate enough to spend time with this special place. For myself, I look forward to what Saha Astitva can bring to my spiritual path as it graces me with opportunity to aid it in its development.