In these days of intense technology that allows global communication, coupled with the Western dream to have ‘the good life’ that has been exported into every culture we touch, it’s rare to meet Americans who choose to live outside of that norm. We are so bombarded with information its hard to imagine that we really DO have a choice.
I recently met a couple, Ganganath and Tara Leela, who made a dramatic decision 14 years ago to give up their jobs on Wall Street and in high tech and go rogue. They started exploring spirituality and living on the edge. Seven years ago they moved to India, and since have traveled the exotic country collecting stories of saints. They live happily hand-to-mouth giving talks about their experiences all over the world. The testament to FAITH, they move about on the grace of their path, and receive donations to keep their work going. Miracles seem to unfold before them and follow them – from plane tickets to places to stay.
They are currently in Los Angeles, conducting their free seminars on the ecstatic Siddhas of India – both living, and in those who have taken Mahasamadhi – the ultimate death into enlightenment.
Ganganath and Tara Leela are currently offering a free seminar called “Secrets of the Siddhas – Health, Longevity and Enlightenment” that summarizes the amazing experiences they have had during the past seven years in India. It includes photos and video of many sacred places they visited and beautiful saints they met, including their trip to the 2010 Kumbha Mela in Haridwar, India. In addition to the seminar, they will also offer a series of workshops, in which they will teach powerful ancient techniques for spiritual development from the ancient Indian spiritual tradition.
This middle aged couple gave me pause to consider the choices we make every day and the things we take for granted. Having spent 4 months traveling in India in 1982, I know the hardships first hand. I could not live their lifestyle, but I question how much longer I want to be in the grind of Los Angeles, maintaining the Western lifestyle of supporting a home in Southern California and all the attendant expenses and life choices. As a writer, storyteller, and communications professional, my work can be done from anywhere. But this is where I have my roots, and so much of life seems to flow to me here in urban Los Angeles.
So here is their story in their own words.
From their website: http://www.universalfellowshipoflight.com
Ganganath and Tara Leela are international spiritual teachers who teach the Universal Path of Truth and Love. For over forty years, they have studied many wisdom traditions including Vedanta, Advaita, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Yoga and Zen.
Ganganath and Tara Leela have been teaching meditation and self-discovery for over thirty years. They have taught meditation to thousands of people around the world and have started Dharma centers in America, Europe and Asia. They are not gurus who are looking for followers, but rather serve as “spiritual friends” who share profound spiritual knowledge that enables each person to become aware of the unlimited luminous being that they truly are.
Ironically, they can do all the staging of their travels remotely from India – using – you guessed it – SOCIAL MEDIA on the World Wide Web. So these days you can step out of the main stream and “Into The Wild” and still stay to connected to all that is happening in cyberspace in real time. What would these Siddhas think about this ‘virtual world’ we’ve created for the global mind meld?
Into The Wild: Into the Wild addresses the issues of how to be accepted into society, and how finding yourself sometimes conflicts with being an active member in society. Most critics agree that Chris McCandless left to find some sort of enlightenment.   He also tries to find his way in the wild with as little material possessions because “it made the journey more enjoyable.”    His taking risks to extremes was eventually his hubris which led to his downfall.