I saw Nageshji (the man whose house I eat at) prying open coconuts before I went inside for breakfast today, and I asked him what he was doing... he said, “Well I'm just getting the coconuts ready to be used for food!” Right next to him I saw a rope that was lying on the ground and I asked him, what's that for? He said it was for bringing up water from the well... so I asked, where is your well? He showed me – it was just in his yard – but it's so covered up with trees and greenery that I couldn't see it from where we were. He took me over to the well and that was an interesting experience for me. It was the first time I saw a real well, from which people actually bring up water to drink (it's the water I drink too! At their house. Naturally, it's filtered before it reaches us for drinking). I then had a thought – and I asked him – “How do you find places to dig a well? I don't see spots where you tried and failed...” and he responded, “Ah, I'll show you.” So he went over, grabbed a coconut, and put it in his palm like a football (with the points facing away from and towards him, rather than side to side) at waist-level. It looked like this: _<>_ ... imagine the underscores to be his hand. Then he walked closer to the well, and as he moved right up to the well, the coconut literally stood up in his palm!!! It looked like this: _∂_ … it was ridiculous! He said, here, you try it! So I did, and sure enough, the coconut stood up in my palm too!!!!! It literally stood up. I don't know how to explain this phenomenon except that it was the most fascinating feeling, in my palm, having a coconut move of its own volition, standing up.
The man across the street called out to us, saying, hey, come over to my house and tell me if I have places to dig a well too! So we went over there, coconut in hand, and Nageshji gave me the coconut, saying, “Here, you do it.” And I did!! I walked around the yard, and as I was walking around, we found a good 3 or 4 spots where the house owner could easily dig a well. There were some spots where the coconut almost fell back over on itself because it stood up so much! I was literally in awe. Here's the interesting part about this second adventure (going over to this man’s house): I was wondering why he called us over when he could have easily done it himself; but then he said, “Well, I can't do it!” And that's when Nageshji told me something else – he said, “Not everyone can do this. It's something that only a few people can do. You have something known as the ‘jala-rekha’ [literally, ‘water-line’] on your hand. Hence, you can do it. This man here does not have it, so he cannot do it.” Then Nageshji gave the coconut to the man and he tried, but it didn't happen!! Literally, he went to the same spots Nageshji and I went to but the coconut didn't stand up in his hand. I was so intrigued. As it turns out, I have the jala-rekha... I thought, wow, I have a special power! I asked Nageshji which line on my palm the jala-rekha was, but he said he couldn't tell me which line it was. Instead, he said, “I knew you could do it just by looking at your face!”
This is just one of the many things I'm learning here about myself and about life (and the many things we miss while living in the concrete jungles of America!)... I’m still somewhat in shock about this coconut thing. If I hadn't had the direct experience of it, I wouldn't have believed it. But I literally got the experience of it on the spot! What impressed me most was that Nageshji said it so matter-of-factly, as if it was just some normal thing (and to him, it is!). He said this is the only way he knows how to find a spot to dig a well, it's just something he's always been doing, and this is something they've been doing since times immemorial. Logically, there must have been some way they found spots to dig their wells! Think about how in touch with nature these people are!!! I'm still in awe about this. They are so in touch with the natural forces around them... imagine how much more there is to know about life! Slowly, I am learning to become in tune with nature as they are, and I think this might be the biggest fruit of my adventures here in Sringeri. I know I have lots left to learn, but these small incidents are certainly encouraging landmarks along the way!