Yesterday, two unexpected,  joyous and seemingly unrelated events slipped into my day . They may not have happened if the world was still ‘normal.’ The night before, I had a virtual conversation with a friend in the UK, who is in total isolation. Normally, our regular form of communication is clicking the ‘like’ button on each other’s Facebook posts or pressing the heart shaped icon on Instagram, on each other’s pretty posts.

When my friend asked if I was still writing, I replied I was stuck, but that I’d been writing poems since we last met, three years ago on a retreat in Broken Hill, Australia.

‘I can see you writing poems,’ She said as she stood up from her desk. ‘I’ve got this amazing book with poems in it, which I think you’ll like. Hope it’s still on my bookshelf.’

She brought back a paper -back book with a red cover and moved it close to the screen for me to read.

‘It’s called ‘The Radiance Sutras.’ And it’s written by Lorin Roche. Let me read you one of the poems.’

By the next morning, I’d forgotten which poem she read out, but the poem had resonated deeply. It spoke of the connection between the human body and Mother Nature: That, it is all one and the same, no separation. It had the timbre of  the poems, ‘given’ to me by the ancestral women of my bloodline, who were the Beloveds of the Great Mother and Her consort, Lord Shiva. Eight years ago, these women had shared their stories, sung like poems, in my meditations and visions. I soon became their scribe and by the time they’d told me their stories, I’d written a document with about 15,000 words. In the last three years, a slightly better, edited version of the original manuscript has been loitering in the bottom drawer of my desk.

I’ve been stuck with the writing, because I ‘ve been looking for  validation. I’ve been hungering for certainty:That these stories, and poems and meditation techniques weren’t something I was ‘making up in my mind.’ For after all, that was where the stories were coming from. I needed proof of the exisitence of the original sacred texts where the profound wisdom that the Spirit of my ancestors called ‘The Way of Love’ was coming from.

As I ate breakfast, I searched for the book my friend had recommended the night before, on Kindle. I opened the sample chapter, didn’t want to buy unless it was going to be useful. This is what I read in the forward by Shiv Rea

‘In your hands, you hold a treasure. The Radiance Sutras, the life-work of beloved writer and teacher Lorin Roche, is a contemporary interpretation of the timeless, universal meditations of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. The 112 contemplative meditations known as both yuktis and dharanas unfold as a sacred exchange between the divine masculine as Shiva, or Bhairava, and the divine feminine as Shakti, or Bhairavi.’
‘The Radiance Sutras’
By Lorin Roche

I bought the book, of course. Oh, and by the way, one of the main character in my ancestors’ story calls herself Bhairavi. She lived in a time before patriarchy arrived and changed the world order.

Before clearing the breakfast dishes, I texted  my friend in the UK, with expressions of profuse gratitude. I’d finally found the sacred text I’d been searching for. I paid obeisance to Mother Earth. If She hadn’t put us all in lockdown, I probably never would have spoken with my friend in the UK.

As I spent the rest of the day reading the book, I was in a swoon of gratitude, joy and relief. Excitement vibrated through my body, singing out as a one-line mantra, ‘YES!’ when I read again and again, that dance is considered a pivotal gateway to experiencing, and being illumined by the Wisdom of this sacred text. The relief came because I can finally lay the foundation of my bloodline women’s story, at the feet of at least one sacred Indian text, the ‘Vijnana Bhairava Tantra.’ Now that this text has come along to help out, I’m sure other texts will arrive. A portal has opened, cajoling me to write better. All this while, I have craved for a chance to steep the words of the story I need to write, in a cruicible containing sacred texts that come from my country of birth. I’ve been fearful of cultural appropriation because so far, I had only found stories and sacred texts with links to matrilineal stories that come from other ancient cultures.

But now, I can return to my writing, re-write large chunks of the manuscript, and put back poems and stories my bloodline women whispered in pre- dawn writing sessions 8 years ago. Perhaps, I can keep this poem, and enhance it, because it feels pertinent in 2020.

No matter what happens out there,
There is a Light within.
Unaffected by all acts of fear.
You are that Light.
So, forgive yourself
And forgive others.
Release fear and
Reclaim yourself!
Bindu Narula ©

Later in the evening, while cooking dinner, I was dreaming up how I could possibly add Dance back into my life, and learn more about the sacred text, and the history of Indian classical dance. Those wish- fulfilling grandmothers of mine must have been listening in. Just as I was about to head off to bed, I got a message from Madhu Nataraj, who happens to be part of my bloodline too, announcing that The Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography (NIKC) was launching its Foundation 1 Year skill Diploma in Kathak online!

I texted back.

‘I wish I could do this diploma one day! Am I too old? Not enough experience?’

Madhu replied.

‘Why don’t you do it?’

‘Really?  That would be  a dream come true!’

I went to bed,  head buzzing, unable to contain the blessings of synchronicity. Too much effervesence, meant I barely slept!  The universe has not only found a way to guide me back to writing, but I’ve been given a chance to fulfil a bucket list item that has felt impossible. For decades, I’ve wanted to pick up where I left off as a child, who learnt Kathak from my beloved aunts, Guru Maya Rao, Guru Chitra Venugopal and my dearest mother, Uma Rao. In recent times, when the NIKC introduced the one year diploma course, it still felt elusive because living in India for the 12 months’ duration of the course isn’t possible for me. But now, I can bring  Kathak, my favourite Indian classical dance – form, back into my life, sitting, or rather dancing, 8 thousand kilometres away from my teachers. Oh, the joy of this! If the world was still ‘normal,’ this course probably would not have gone online.

From the ashes of the old ‘normal,’ there is an emergence of new beginnings. New openings that seemed impossible even two days ago. It’s not to say that I’ve not been affected by fear, which seems more rampant than the corona virus in the collective consciousness. And every day, my heart weeps with those who have lost their loved ones, jobs and more. However,  just for now, I’m filled with gratitude for the mystery and awe of these ever-changing, ever-swirling times.

My wish is that we all sail through, on the wings of Grace, remembering what my ancestors whispered.

There is a Light within.
Unaffected by all acts of fear.
You are that Light.

If this resonates with you, I would love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment or share via your favourite social media.


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