the eternal goats
reclining on a river bank,
a dark saint clothed in white enjoys the flow:
a herd of approaching goats
I was there when this happened -- it was a magical, suspended-in-time kind of moment. Kaleshwara was sitting on the river bank, in Hampi, the ancient ruined temple city, lecturing about some serious & subtle spiritual points.
we had just done a deep meditation on the Mother Divine, as a group.
he was speaking softly -- I remember it was difficult to hear him over the breezes and the rushing water -- about Her nature.
I was struggling to write down what I could hear, as sometimes the wind would shift and seem to carry his already quiet tones right off in a different direction.
it was so peaceful, on those rocks, in the sun, listening to him speak.
then, suddenly, came the goats. and the goat-herd, behind. they came over their regular pathway -- only now it was blocked by one small dark saint and a whole group of Western students dressed in hippy-bright Indian clothes, sprawled around on the rocks in the shallows of the river.
there was no way the goats could pass without creating a huge disturbance.
but they tried to, anyway -- and this photo perfectly captures the resulting stalemate, between the whole herd of them, and Kaleshwara, sitting silently, a half-smile on his face, communing tenderly with their souls.
who knows WHAT really transpired between him and those goats? the moment seemed to stretch into forever: we had always been sitting on these rocks. this river had always been flowing, since Time started. Kaleshwara had always known these goats. these goats had always been standing there, in those precise spots, stock-still, intent, watching and 'listening' to Kaleshwara's unspoken words.
at some point, the spell was broken and Kaleshwara looked away, grinning, and the goats, aided by their staunch goatherd, shuffled off in a different direction, bleating and farting, as goats are wont to do, their little neck-bells jingling as they walked away.