My wife and I traveled to for a three-day trip to Pondichery. The main reason for the trip was to purchase items not available (or much lower priced due to taxes) in Tiruvannamalai – An Air Conditioner to install before the summer heat, better bikes, some more clothes and personal care items, especially more English books.
Pondy is a nice Indian city on the Indian Ocean with a French flavor (in the few blocks near the ocean) and a beautiful Ocean view. Also, the Auribindo Ashram is here, with many visitors. Many Westerners travel here. What we really noticed is that is the Westerners that were there seemed to be there more to ‘see the sights’, to buy things, and to enjoy the tropical Indian Ocean atmosphere and French flavor. In Tiruvannamalai, Westerners are there mainly for spiritual reasons, drawn in one way or another by Arunachala. We feel more connected to the Westerners we meet in Tiru.
After about two days in Pondy my wife and I both missed Arunachala. I also noticed that two days spent purchasing things was moving my attention away from the spiritual activities that are really the center of this life now.
We are back in Tiru now, and have spent some time with Arunachala. It is good to be home.