Why India can be so addictive ?
I miss India. I miss this dirty country full of hassle, stressing for your mind and your body. How comes? I was feeling so good to be back in a healthy environment when I arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Everything is just so easy in south-east Asia. Food is good and I don’t have to worry about germs, my eyes even in the big cities are no more crying because of the pollution. Roads are well paved and I don’t need 2 days to do 100km, people are very nice and smiling and they don’t put distance between you and them like Indian do. So, why am I missing such a place like India?
Well, by talking to some other tourists in SE Asia it seems that I belong to this category of people saying: “- I can’t say that I like India but somehow, I feel going back there one day”. There are some people who like India like crazy and feel staying there their whole life. I’m definitely not like that but I start to understand them a bit better.
What’s in India that I haven’t found yet anywhere else?
India in on the path of many foreigners on their personal quest which is usually related to spirituality. Even if you are not in India looking for spirituality stuff, there is one direct consequence for you which is the kind of travelers you’ll meet. For me, since I’m in countries where the contact with the population are not as easy as it was in Europe and Central Asia or where there are just more tourists, it’s an important point because I’m spending more and more time with foreigners.
Experiences, positive or negative depends of the people I’m meeting and in India, I was sharing many interest with these people looking for spirituality. So far, I haven’t met any people like this in SE Asia and I miss this good feeling of being with people with who you can share so much and being understood.
I understand better now why foreigners stick together: The Indians generally keep a distance between you and them and they are not sharing the same interests. Spirituality is a business they try to sell to tourist but few of them are actually practicing Yoga or meditation. And as I heard from an Indian yoga teacher, people’s mind in India is stuck to tradition and the cults of their many gods are bringing them far from the origin, this huge universal loving power.
That’s actually the same with catholic religion showing as important secondary character like Marie or all the saints. Religions have been made to bring people money closer to the church or the temple. People go to church to pray and pay one saint (a statue) supposedly efficient to cure or solve one kind of problem (like the Hindus with their gods), they prey Marie for big issue but at the end, their mind don’t see any further than this character or a statue.
In your spiritual path, there is definitely no reason to leave a religion related to christianity to go back to another religion which is still corrupting for your mind and create a distance between you and God. That was actually the message of Jesus, proclaiming the end of religion. If you are a bit curious about this, I invite you to read this book The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus.
So if Indian people are not easily accessible and if, when it’s about spiritually, they are in the same scheme that westerners coming to India usually want to escape; it’s more interesting for the foreigner to stick together and exchange about their common interest for something different.
That’s another reason for coming to India to practice what you can actually also practice and learn at home : You are surrounded by this huge community of people sharing the same interest as you for yoga, meditation, energetic healing… you can practice with others, learn from them, do yoga on the hotel roof or give yourself Reiki and no one is staring at you 😉
Furthermore, everything is way far more accessible and cheap than in any other country. You can be initiate to Reiki healing for 30$ when you’ll pay something like 150$ in your country, you can spend a month in a retired place, practicing meditation all the day and it’s based on donation. Furthermore, it’s cheap to leave in India, easily less than 10$ a day which is interesting if you have to stay , let’s say, 3 or 4 months do a Yoga teaching course.
Another thing important for me is to stick with a vegetarian diet. In India, I get use to not specially look for vegetarian food because anyway, you can find it everywhere. Since I’m in SE Asia, it’s getting very complicated because they put meat in everything and it’s getting really annoying when you are hungry and have to spend hours looking for something vegetarian, to finally not find it and feed yourself with fruits or a blend meal because they just don’t know how to make something tasty without meat sauce and lot’s of spices. So, I really miss India for the convenience of being vegetarian…
Now, I think that you can understand better why India got something attracting me back even if the country got so many inconvenient. That the first country that I kind of like (I still can’t say that I like it) for something not related to the locals but the foreigners I met there.
To finish with a little advice, if you are planning to go to India, one of the places you should definitely spend some time in is Rishikesh, a little town in the north of New-Delhi. Don’t plan anything before going there, because like many foreigner, you might get stuck for months, your curiosity getting trap by all the knowledge you can find there. It might even change your life 😉