Ellouin is a traditional festival of Altai people’s folk games conducted in picturesque places of the Altai mountains near the settlement of Ongudai. Ellouin is the most important cultural event in Altai Republic and is yearly visited by more than 10,000 people.
Folk arts and crafts were widely presented at this festival. In the valley, surrounded by the mountains, there gathered about 20,000 people. The concert ground was the setting for Altai music. In yurts there were organised performances based in folklore. There were also many unusual crafts. In such a multiform seething stream we set our tents with Sahaja Yoga stalls, comfortably enjoying what was happening in the shade of the trees.
There gathered about 60 Sahaja yogis which created the atmosphere of a little Sahaja camp.
There was work for everybody. Several mehendi painters sitting under a shelter were working for several hours on end painting people’s hands, not even raising their heads, and giving Self-realisation to everyone as there always was a queue . Other Sahaja yogis told people about Sahaja Yoga. Our brother Vladimir was actively giving Self-realisation using his own approach. First he arranged a rope between the trees and then started going on it to and back with brilliant skill, thus constantly attracting people. Many of the latter tried to do the same thing but, as we all know, to keep equilibrium one should gain inner balance. That is why the queue of people willing to get balance did not end, either.
All this was taking place to the accompaniment of bhajans. Two music groups settled down in two tents. Both the groups were constantly creating a dense circle of viewers around them. Kawwalis were of special interest, gathering audiences of 50-70 people. Some people were leaving, having got their Self-realisation, but immediately others came up.
Altai people are simple and sincere and they take Self-realisation very easily as they worship Mother-Earth, River and Mountains. That is why Sahaja Yoga is also close to them. We saw an old woman (about 90 years old) getting her Self-realisation and then she sat and listened to bhajans for a very long time.
We also got an opportunity to perform one bhajan, “Guruoke Guru”, and an Indian dance on the main stage before a large audience.
In such a way, in a very interesting and intensive manner, two days passed. And of course, we had an opportunity, though not for a long time, to enjoy Altai nature, as after the Festival we returned to our Sahaja camp which we set on the bank of a rapid river in a secluded wonderful place. There were huge boundless fragrant meadows painted with multicoloured grasses. In the distance there were herds of cows and horses and around us there were mountains. What else does a Sahaja yogi need after an intensive day? To sit at a swift river in meditation, to lie on soft and tender grass looking into the high Altai sky, to sit in the company of the closest and dearest people – his brothers and sisters – at a fire drinking hot tea prepared from meadow herbs.
The trip turned out to be very fruitful as about 1500 people got their Self-realisation during the two days.
With love from the Novosibirsk Sahaja family
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