- Published: Wednesday, 11 April 2018 05:51
Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil
River Bungalow “down-stairs” where your editor was staying in December of last year and January of this year (2018) with his buddy MICHIEL HAAS as his neighbor
This part of the editorial is dedicated to all those women and men who are working hard, day in day out, to keep our International Headquarters in ADYAR, and the TS world-wide running, which is not an easy task.
Volunteering: It is a calling.
Had not been in Adyar for ten years, so it was about time to renew my acquaintance with that wondrous place in faraway India, a kind of oasis in the craziness of the Chennai traffic and the hustle and bustle one encounters in any growing metropolitan city nowadays. With a population of around five million people, Chennai, as capital of the state Tamil Nadu, and as is the case in many other Indian cities, is confronted with substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.
Each time when one arrives there and undertakes the, at times scary, but also breathtaking ride from the airport to Adyar, it becomes evident that you can actually smell India. Am not talking about the pollution here, but that rare mixture of spices, herbs and food in preparation. Oh, how I do love that smell, so familiar still, even after an absence of one decade.
Have always had the tendency not to idealize or to romanticize Adyar, as our International Headquarters. The home of the Masters …? Don’t get me wrong, I do understand what is meant by that phrase, and yes there is that historical and spiritual tie, but I happen to believe also that the Masters’ home can be in any place, providing thoughts are pure, the energy is elevating, and hearts are filled with compassion. Yet, when it comes to romance, I met my wife Terezinha there for the first time, on the stairs of Leadbeater Chambers, we fell in love on the banks of Adyar river, so who is talking? I owe Adyar so much.
Next to the fact that I visited many International Conventions and took part in sessions of the School of the Wisdom, I also worked for one year non-stop on the estate, from 2001 until 2002. I had the great opportunity to get the “taste” of Adyar, to know and feel what it is like to be a part of that group of volunteers, who are there, day in and day out, doing their utmost. Yes, people come and go in the Adyar workforce. Some remain there for many years; others are there just for a short time, but the essence is always the same: dedication, sacrifice, humility, the willingness to learn; being a part of the nucleus.
Working at Adyar requires courage and perseverance. It is not some vague adventure one gets engaged in. It certainly demands much from the volunteer. Coming to the International Headquarters based in Adyar, a region in a very crowded and noisy Chennai, to work and spend some time there, to work for the Cause, offers a unique chance for inner growth. But it doesn’t come easy, that is certain. The energy at Adyar is substantial. Visitors to the conventions notice this, but the impact of that energy becomes much stronger when one spends more time there.
Volunteers, workers, are vital assets for the success of any non-profit; so, also for the TS-Adyar, they are invaluable. The move to Adyar, getting accustomed to the Indian way of doing things and living in a highly spiritual environment – can be demanding and stressful in the beginning.