By Dr Urvashi Tandon
Nestled in the Himalayas, in the region of Tehri Garhwal in Uttarakhand, lives Ma Gyaan Suveera. The middle-aged but youthful guru teaches lessons in spirituality – from Vedic mantras to tantric tools – using everyday English, even slang, and urban examples to explain complex philosophical concepts.
She lives on the hillside along the Ganges in a hermitage close to Rishikesh, surrounded by the bounty of nature, and conducts workshops from time to time to help city-folk like me understand our ancient philosophies better.
I was fortunate to attend one such amazing workshop this April and, I have to admit, I was star-struck by her zeal, energy and pizzazz.
The three-day workshop was about the Mokshapata, devised by ancient seers as a divination board that can predict a soul’s journey through this life and others. It can guide an individual through predilections and difficult dilemmas, as well as give guidance for day-to-day life.
I was amazed to learn that this board-and-dice method of prediction was designed after an intense study of numerology, laws of karma, chakras and Vedic philosophy.
The theory of karma stares you in the face as you cruise along the board. Every good deed takes you up a ladder to a higher plane of spirituality, while every wrong step – from violence to greed – brings you down to a lower plane. It also depicts very clearly the alternating patterns or the co-existence of the “good” and the “bad” as you cruise along – ultimately, both are essential parts of human existence.
The evolution of the soul unfolds on the board telling you about the ups and downs, and offers you a chance to be aware of what lies ahead, thus enabling you to deal with a given situation better. The trick is to develop an intuitive connect with the board and put forth your queries as you go along.
With over 30 persons in the workshop organised by Healing with Feeling, it was interesting to see how the board answered various questions and personal scenarios – from searching for a life partner to helping someone make a business or career decision.
I also met some wonderful souls during this journey, and got a chance to take a dip in the holy Ganges. I gained a renewed respect for our ancient sages and seers, and I now have this intense desire to study the scriptures as I find the teachings fascinating.
Well, apparently, the British found the game fascinating too. Having discovered it in India during the Raj, they took it back with them to England and converted it to an indoor board game called Snakes & Ladders. I feel so proud to belong to a land that is a storehouse of ancient wisdom.
Dr Urvashi Tandon is a medical officer and anaesthesiologist who worked in the Indian Navy. Photography by Manisha Sharma
First published in eShe magazine’s May 2018 issue