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Hampi, Mind Expansion and other thoughts

June 27, 2010

Greetings,

Feels like I’ve been gone an age, but that happens when you go to a place like Hampi. Everything expands. Literally.

Like all natural wonders, Everest, Grand Canyon, Oceans in general…. you get the drift; there is something about the awe experienced that transcends anything we can create. Scale, at least our sense of it, expands vastly in every dimension, especially space and time, when we look upon monuments, places or natural wonders that “boggle” the mind.

Well, my mind has taken a bit of boggling these past few days.

Stone architecture, 700 years old, still bearing, besides the exqusiteness of line, form and other sacred perfection, visible remains of a vegetable dye used to dye granite. A tad faded, but 700 years of exposure? Pitch-perfect singing granite pillars, that ring and ring and ring, classical Indian music, expressed pitch perfectly in stone. 2,000-3,000 ton slabs of amazingly carved granite, placed in perfect balance, no mortar, not gap, over another 10,000 ton slab, carved all long it’s base with detailed scenes of myth and life. Words can do it no justice.

And then Hampi’s nature. I won’t do pictures (you can check out the link from the post below), but the things you see, the other-worldly landscapes (Hampi is GIANT boulder land), a giant boulder (imagine as large as a 6 story home), delicately balanced on a glass smooth rock face, looking downhill, connected with what looks like a 6-inch piece to the base. Defies gravity. Again, no words really. But, it’s unique landscape is linked to a 2.5 Billion year old event.

And then, real history. After a crazy 2 hour, near vertical hike, sometimes in the company of 300 goats (the herder said so), jostling with us for space on a tiny mountain path, you climb a little stone wall and see a sight that “boggles”.

Stone Age colony. Real, stone age colony. The weirdest construction you can imagine. And over 2 Million years old. Give or take a few hundred thousand.

And still standing. These pygmy people, somehow cut (perfect lines, not polished), huge granite slabs and placed them in perfect squares and topped them with granite slab roofs that only machinery looks capable of raising. Again, words are weak.

And so on. Ancient cave paintings, space suit wearing aliens in said cave paintings. On and on.

I finally realized I relish places like this so much because they stretch you. Stretch your borders. Your boundaries.

Standing face to face with human activity from millions of years ago (I sat in one of the houses and suddenly started making in-coherent sounds) stretches your idea of time. Gravity defying mega-rocks perched delicately in thousands of unique formations stretch your ideas of science, physics, possibilities. Standing in sheer immensity stretches your idea of space.

Always speaking in millions of tonnes, huge etc. stretches your idea of weight, gravity, density.

And I for one, always gain a deeper understanding of how things are meant to be.  What transcends time, what is firmly trapped in it. How cycles turning have a ruthless inevitability about them. Entire peoples, civilizations vanish without a trace. And the great cycles keep turning.

To read real history, you would have to be an expert tracker, reading the subtlest of signs and walk the world. Everywhere, there are tentacles from the past, shedding light or understanding on how the wheel turned.

It definitely gave me a sense, in this tumultuous time, of how we are playing witness to the turn of the relentless wheel, usually subtle, but now in the open for all to see.

Big wheel keeps on turning, Proud Mary keeps on Burning.

Such a powerful time to be, to be, to be!

My head is full of expanded ideas!

Will ponder and return shortly.

Hope some more of you tried the first exercise. Second step coming up soonish.

Be well.

Anadianant

One Comment leave one →
  1. Darina permalink
    June 27, 2010 8:18 am

    Vivek,

    Amazing parallels again in so many ways! I can relate so well to the overall experience even if I would love to be moved & expanded by the details of the experience of Hampi as well. I just went through smth very similar, not to say the same, while I explored, enjoyed & was expanded & enchanted by Machu Picchu in Peru. Funny enough both sites have been built around the same time – Saint Vidyaranya established the seat of Vijayanagara empire in 1336 AD while The Inca Empire & Machu Picchu site were built around AD 1400.

    As I mentioned before, the Incas & the modern Kechuans use the word “Hampi” to confer blessings all the time. The sheer size, exquisiteness & beauty of the design, architecture & nature in Machu Picchu like the ones you described in Hampi are mind boggling & heart opening indeed. And not only expand one’s perception of time & space, but allow to even step out of time & see/experience the infinite & timeless… So grateful to share & resonate with what you have so wonderfully described. More soon. Looking forward to the second & more exercises & key/s. 🙂

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