We have been privileged to have one young American stay with us the last couple of days. He is all of 31 and looks younger. When he starts to talk however, he comes across as someone with a refreshing way of looking at the world. He and I have been having some intense discussions on philosophy and spiritualism and I find myself impressed with his knowledge, interest and commitment on these matters.
He is Jay Ponti from Los Angeles, originally from Boston, and is a friend of our son Ranjan. He is right now in India to study Kriya Yoga with an enlightened Master, close to Pune, and normally lives in an Āshram learning the subject. Jay has just completed an assignment where he was part of a team that edited an autobiography and spiritual classsic called “The Wings To Freedom: Mystic Revelations from Babaji and the Himalayan Yogis”. This book has just been presented the 2008 Founders’ Award for the American Authors Association.
Jay is a musician of some accomplishment and I understand plays a mean guitar, as explained by Ranjan. Jay very modestly agrees with Ranjan’s assessment. He has been involved in some gigs here and Ranjan who is an aficionado of sorts in the Pune music world, met him during one such jam session.
Back in Los Angeles, Jay plays professional guitar in clubs and concerts and his genre is Rock n Roll and Blues. He is however, to quote him, somehow drawn to spiritualism and found his current chosen path back in California where the Āshram that he is currently residing in has an associate community.
Given the choice, Jay says that he would like to stay as long as possible in India. He however has to return to the USA to make enough money to be able to do so. He also has to take part in the awareness campaign of Yogiraj Siddhanath for Earth Peace through self peace.
It is nice having Jay around. He brings in some freshness into our home. Freshness all the way from California! Jay says that he is very close to his family who live near Boston, Mass. He looks forward to returning to Northampton Mass, for its live music and venues. He expects to head back to the US in April, prior to which, he intends visiting the Himalayas and our holy city, Varanasi. Jay is taking the cremated remains, the ashes of his late good friend Daniel Lynn, who was the nephew of James Lynn. James was given charge of the self realization fellowship by Paramahansa Yogananda. Jay will immerse the ashes at Hrishikesh. From what I gather from Jay, Daniel was an enigmatic man always ready to serve or help anyone in need. He was a great musician, having played with legends such as Link Ray. Daniel built guitars, racing motorcycles and surf boards and was an accomplished big wave surfer and mountain climber.
We intend having Jay over as often as possible to learn other things from him. The problem is that he keeps different timings from us older people and also marches to a different drum beat!
Is there any such reverse traffic from over there in the USA? Any Indian seeking nirvana or whatever there? Jay believes that there are some ABCPIs (American Born Confused persons of Indian Origin) who too are after the same thing that Jay is. They are yet to generate enough funds to make a trip to their land of origin to find the genuine stuff!!
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