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Living from the Ground of Being
Letter of Gratitude from the Himalayas
by Robin Chaurasiya

“Thank you. Thank you for your kind, gentle, and beautiful voice. For sharing your insights and wisdom is such simple and profound ways. For dedicating your time and life to help so many seekers.”

My Dearest Gangaji,

I hope this message finds you, as well as your family, friends and loved ones healthy, happy, safe, and sound. I have no idea the state of the world, as I've been living in silence and solitude for 18 months in a small mud hut at 4k meters in the Himalayas, without any toilet, electricity, or running water. (I will have to walk 2km to get network in order to send this!) I know you don't normally read emails, but I'm sending this anyway in hopes that it'll reach you. I'm not looking for a response, just wanted to thank you.

My name is Robin, I'm an Indian American living in Mumbai since 2010, when I started Kranti, an NGO that empowers girls from Mumbai's red light areas to become agents of social change. We work with 25 girls and women, ages 15-25, who are survivors of trafficking and daughters of sex workers. Along with therapy, yoga and meditation being a big part of our lives, we also use theater and travel as tools for both social and inner change.

Several Krantikaris are now studying in the US snd Europe as well as India's top universities and boarding schools, pursing degrees ranging from psychology and sociology to Yoga and Buddhism. All the Krantikaris who have taken jobs work with animals, orphans, prisoners, sex workers, or special needs children. (No, I didn't force them!!)

The reason I'm writing is because, in short, your books have been one of my only companions and an absolute lifesaver on this mountain. In 2019 I was diagnosed with burnout and was forced to take time away from Kranti. (The video below shows the beauty, joy, and successes of our work quite well, but no video can capture the days I've spent negotiating with traffickers, or the nights spent in jail being beaten by the police, or the week when a Kranti girl ran away and the police called me to look at every dead body of a teenage girl that turned up in Mumbai.)

Leaving the girls was of course the biggest heartbreak of my life, especially having lived with them for a decade. But I knew deep inside that this was, as we say in Hindi, God's beckoning or calling.

Just one week after I went offline, I had a glimpse of...call it awakening, union, samadhi. And I naively thought that what I had been seeking for so long, was around the corner. But it never returned, and I've spent more than a year now banging my head against the (stone) wall, crying more tears than all the snow and monsoons combined, and analyzing all potential options for suicide.

Sometimes I spend the morning screaming on my knees, and by evening, I'm lifted into total ecstasy. Some days I wake saying, "I'll wait for You until my last breath," and by nighttime I'm giving God new ultimatums and suicide deadlines. In short, I've gone absolutely crazy!

Sometimes the only bright part of the day has been reading your books or listening to your podcasts which I have on my phone. And I wanted to write and tell you that they have been absolutely life saving, often in the darkest of times. They've helped me tremendously, albeit temporarily, to look beyond my "story" of being incapable, unworthy, etc.

Thank you. Thank you for your kind, gentle, and beautiful voice. For sharing your insights and wisdom is such simple and profound ways. For dedicating your time and life to help so many seekers. Your work in prisons truly touched my heart...I've spent time in jail as an activist both in the US and India, for my work on LGBTQIA rights and sex workers' rights.

Your childhood and life "story" also resonated deeply, as I grew up with immigrant parents, thankfully sober, but both suffering from severe mental health issues and extreme domestic violence. Needless to say, it's been quite a journey, not just in the mountains, but over years of therapy, to move from anger and resentment to forgiveness and gratitude.

Thank you for being such an instrumental part of that journey. I just wanted you to know how far your books, podcasts, and teachings are reaching without you realizing it. I know they're not "yours," but thank you for being the instrument.

I just wanted to write and give you an idea of just how many people your work is reaching, in the craziest, smallest corners of the world. But, lastly, a personal request. If you have the time, I'd truly appreciate it if you'd take a few minutes to pray for me. I know the "story" is already written, and there is nothing "I" can do about it, but the knowing never makes the longing any easier.

Thank you once again. May God's grace, love and blessings not just be with you always, but may you feel yourself swimming and living in it every single moment of every single day.

With endless love and gratitude,

Robin

Here is Robin with a little more information about Kranti.

 

“This is your resting place, your watering hole. Find what supports you, what includes you, and drink it in. Be nourished. Be enlivened. And when you feel thirsty again, drink some more.” —Gangaji

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