My first conference since I got here, last Saturday there wasn’t one because of the amount of new students needing to register with Sharath.
Conference is the only time you really appreciate just how many students there are currently in Mysore studying predominantly with Sharath, but also with Saraswathi as I am. Considering that according to the sign at the entrance “chanting” is compulsory for all students you rarely see as many as 25% of the total who attend conference at chanting. Just to get in to conference you have to show your Shala pass to Prakash who guards the door.
The room is beyond rammed full by the time Sharath arrives at 9:30, there are people standing at the back and out in the Lobby, luckily my house mate and I had gone early and actually got pretty much front row positions. Sharath is often very quietly spoken and I have to admit I don’t catch everything he has to say. He starts off by talking about the Bhagavad Gita and some of the other texts, he says we should go home and read them rather than chatting at the coconut stand!
Having spent three months here last time I notice the same kinds of questions always come up in the Q&A, new people asking the same questions.
Towards the end Shambav, Sharath’s son comes in, someone asks how old he is? “7” says Sharath, “8” says Shambav, he will be 8 later in the year, Sharath says “you can’t be 8 unless you sit in Padmasana ” Shambav jumps off his dad’s lap and sits in lotus, eyes closed as half the audience get their cameras out. Sharath corrects him “straight back”. Are we witnessing the new apprentice in action I wonder.
The next generation
A much better description of the conference was posted today by Julie Alagde-Carretas here.