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Goa, India, a spiritual earth mecca: tales of a Goan sadhu

excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas




Many people consider Goa to be a mecca for hedonism, licentiousness, and distraction, and therefore devoid of any religious or spiritual significance whatsoever. And, to be sure, all of the aforementioned profane practices exist in great quantity in that small Indian state that is perhaps visited by more westerners than the rest of India combined.

            However, I consider Goa holy. As holy as anywhere else. For how could a place brimming with thick forests, rolling green hills, endless magnificent beaches, friendly people, marvelous sunsets, and wholesome food be other than holy? In my mind Goa is a temple of the earth, not to mention a unique commingling of Christian practices hybridized with Indian devotion.

            But, as I said, most people view it as otherwise.

            A Latin fellow I met during our time there had been living in India for the past seven years, and had wandered as a barefoot pilgrim from holy site to holy site, living along the Ganges for much of his stay, and moving in the presence of a spiritual master for some of that time. This Latin man, who had renounced his earlier life for the higher calling, spoke with great contempt for Goa, claiming that it was an unholy place full of stupid people.

Unfortunately for him, as I know only too well, his ‘spiritual’ life and rarified contemplations had placed him outside of the flesh and the earth, and had prevented him from recognizing his own body as an inner sanctuary within this great temple of the earth called Goa. From his rarified vantage point he could see only the stupid and superfluous human activities, instead of feeling the glory of the sacred earth.

            For in Goa the true sadhu does not come with begging bowl in hand, mantra on his lips, nor scorn for worldly ways on his mind. No, the true earth sadhu arrives in Goa with an awe and rapture for the beauty of this spectacle of matter. The true Goan sadhu lies beneath the warm and limitless sun, walks upon the endless, unforgettable shore, and bathes not at the holy ghats of the Ganges, but in the tropical, saline blood of the welcoming Indian Ocean.

            The true, flesh and blood Goan sadhu fills his belly not with austere alms, but with a generous plate of sumptuous kingfish, washed down with a tall, cold, and bubbly Goan beer. Then he walks out into the star-riddled night, before wandering back to his hut and making love to his mate.

            For it is in Goa that a person does not find God in the lofty reaches of the empyrean spirit, but instead in the dark and delicious, divine incarnation of the flesh.

            This Latin fellow is an interesting example of one who has yet to build the bridge between spirit and flesh. Although in his earlier days he had lived a sensual life, had been a successful musician, and a father, he eventually turned away from it all in the pursuit of his higher calling. However, there was still a great deal of wild sensuality within him, which he repressed to his own detriment. For if he had accepted this essential Dionysian aspect of his being, as well as his eastern mysticism, he would have spanned the gap that divides Heaven and Earth, and would have become an amalgamation of St. Francis of Assisi, and Casanova. A rare, wholly combination indeed.

            Nevertheless, he and I, being two imperfect blokes, enjoyed each other’s company during our brief time together.

After all, I had now fully accepted my substance, and so had unified the subtle, eternal consciousness, with gross, immortal matter. And when that is done in a place like Goa, there is nothing left to do but do nothing.

To remain in a place like Goa, where no effort is required to maintain life’s inherent needs, is to arrive in the realm of effortlessness. And since every day is like every other day, time slows down and eventually disappears altogether, as each new day blends seamlessly in with the last, and only the eternal, flowing now remains.


excerpted from:


visionary art, acrylic painting, Lilith, Sophia Goddess, author Jack Haas India



OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer

















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