Let me pen down what happened before time and meditation obliterate it from my emotional memory. Even now, it seems like a long time ago. But it was just yesterday when Dr Ankita had to get back to her room after she gave a CST session to Bawa. Since there was no one else around, the task came to me as we were getting late for Thor’s Osteopathy session. When I was kick-starting my bike near Vyas Kutir, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful weather and nature at its serene best. We crossed the rustic Sree kovil cottage and the glorious Maharaja Kutir and passed Panchakarma. As we were driving past the Panchakarma gate, Ankita said in a panicked voice that a bee was biting her. And in a more panicky voice, she shouted that bees were biting her. So I crossed the pipeline road and stopped the bike. Ankita got down and I noticed she was being attacked by swarm of bees. I parked the bike next to the road and tried to shoo the bees away. That made me their next target.
There we were, for the next 15 minutes trying to hit ourselves all over the body desperately trying to fend off the hundreds of bees that seemed to take a penchant to us. They were biting us everywhere, around the eyes, on the lips, the neck, on the scalp, the hands, the feet, the back; all body parts not covered by tight clothing. One even bit the tip of my nostrils, making my upcoming Advance Course in Rishikesh easier:-) What I was doing on the road must have looked like a tribal dance: shaking my head, running all around, stomping my feet, hitting myself all over. I was amazed even at that time at how they were able to get at my hair; the bees seemed to be exceptionally adept at that. One got into my right ear. Dhap! I hit my ear and pulled it out. The adrenaline rush would have been too much, that was probably why I was not feeling the individual bites. It was like my whole body, including my scalp, was on fire. Dozens of people were gathering on the road but could hardly do anything. Buses went past on the road, and I could see the weird looks in their eyes. If they couldn’t see the tiny bees, they would have thought we were a bunch of lunatics. One sweet boy wearing a helmet removed his jacket and threw it at me. I rushed to Ankita and waved it frantically around her. None of our juvenile machinations deterred the angry swarm. It seemed this macabre dance was going on endlessly. One part of my mind was wondering if this ordeal was ever going to end. I was thinking of Gurudev, and mentally chanting the Om Namah Shivaya even as I continued defending myself. The boy on the bike told me to get on, drove me a distance and brought me back. That just left me with the bees that were stuck in my hair and in my clothes. Meanwhile, Hiten came in the ashram van, and with amazing presence of mind, put a white sheet on Ankita, threw her into the van and rushed her to the emergency clinic. Some thoughtful person started a fire with dry twigs in front of Swami Brahmatej’s house and made me stand in the fumes so that more bees don’t get attracted. Someone came and poured a bucket of water on me. Hiten came back for me and took me to the clinic. I removed my t-shirt and 4-5 people got busy removing the stings from my body, maybe a similar thing was happening to Ankita inside the clinic. Chandu from our gaushala then got black soil with gomutra and a little gobar and applied it the over the bee stings, which were immediately relieved. It was extremely soothing and turned out to be a lifesaver. Our indigenous Indian remedies are so easy to source, fast healing and so effective. This is not to discount the role of Dr Sangeeta who was there on time, to quickly administer an anti-histamine to avoid allergies and hydro-cortizone to stop any swellings because of the bee-sting poison, which I later found out is called ‘api-toxin’. Bawa gave me a CST (Cranio Sacral System) session. Thor, one of the best Osteopaths I know, gave a session to Ankita and it was like ‘sanjeevani’, just bringing her back to life, since her whole system had gone into shutdown.
My mom and dad, Arvind, Srividya and other friends and ashramites also came to visit us at the clinic and the whole atmosphere was so light and filled with laughter. Selfies were taken, jokes were cracked and the atmosphere of joy pervaded the whole place. This was a chance to implement what Gurudev says, ‘Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional’. Though there was tremendous amount of pain, smiles were abundant, suffering, non-existent. What a blessing it is to have good company (people who are in knowledge and who are meditators) around, having a Sat-sang around us!
Over 70+ bees stung me, Ankita was attacked by more than a 100. I guess women are a lot stronger. A host of people came to visit, conducted prayers and sent blessings too. Srividya got food, Arjun got food and movies :-), Shiv and Sakshi got coconut water (for the loosies I had, it is better than any saline or ORS). The reactions when the news got around that the two of us were stung by bees were varied.
- What were these two doing together and in which bushes?
- Why did they disturb a bee hive, because bees don’t attack without being provoked?
- If they had just lied down low with their heads covered with their hands, the bees would have gone away.
- How interesting it would have been if they each had a Chinese mosquito-squatting racket?!
- Bees die when they sting; the bees must have been Japanese to do a Kamikaze attack like that.
- Now their blood is precious, it can be used as bee anti-venom.
- Ankita’s neck is full of poison, she is like Shiva now 🙂
- Bee-sting is full of protein, it’s the best post workout supplement.
- Bhaiya, you are so sweet like honey, no wonder the bees were awestruck.
- Bawa’s brother in law told his daughter, see this is what happens when you don’t bathe everyday 🙂
- There’s so much to learn from a bee. A bee, in its sattvic or rajasic mode, gives the light of knowledge (wax) and the sweetness of love (honey). In its tamasic mode, it stings and hurts others and gets itself killed. To bee or not to bee, that is the question!
Gurudev says any event brings forth emotions and knowledge. If you get stuck with the emotions, knowledge won’t dawn. If you look for the knowledge, emotions won’t trouble you. The knowledge I got from this incident was to remind me to say no to abcdefg…
A – Ask questions: Why did this happen? Why to me? Why did I have to go at all at that time? … Questions are related to sadness and only lead to anger, regret, guilt and more sadness.
B – Blame oneself or blame others. Ankita felt it happened to me because of her. I felt, it would not have happened if I had not stopped the bike and zoomed away somewhere … Blame puts us back spiritually. It doesn’t let us see the invisible hand of karma, or the cause of all causes, Shiva.
C – Complain. Complaints pull our energy down from a state of gratitude towards sadness.
D – Demand. One cannot demand that people help us. One cannot demand that people respect us or treat us well. When we are grateful to whatever comes to us, more is given. When we serve more, we deserve more.
E – Excuse: Giving excuses or making up stories for not doing something disempowers us. Excuses make us weak. Our explanations and defenses are our biggest weaknesses.
F – Fume: Anger is one of the gates to hell (along with greed and fear). Anger is a sting that can poison a whole relationship for a long time.
G – Gloat: Like extra salt in food, ego and arrogance can make a relationship unpalatable.
With Gurudev’s grace, we were able to stay in the knowledge and come out unshaken and stronger than before. My commitment to making life a celebration grows and I pray, that in doing that, He makes us busier than a (satwik) bee.