Friday, August 28, 2009
Interview with Mr. Badhuru: The Induction Ritual
Mr. Karma: Can you explain us the ritual?
Mr. Badhuru: I was in a place where nobody understood English, only a few could speak some words here and there. And of course I had no access to anyone who could, completely isolated from the main community. I was at the Sick Bay. And I had no reason to be there.
Before the ritual I was blind folded.
Mr. Karma: How are you summoned?
Mr. Badhuru: We are just called and made to sit on the "Red" stool. Ex-communicato or something. Which meant nobody could talk to me. I was given a blank paper with only a heading that said "Drop Guilt".
Mr. Karma: What does this paper signify? Where you blinded folded then?
Mr. Badhuru: No, this was before they blind folded me. The purpose of the paper, like the headind said was to 'drop your guilt'. In other words we jot down everything that we had done in the past that is remorseful, confess everything onto the paper. Cleanse your self of all the dark deeds buried in the past.
Mr. Karma: Okay, please go on.
Mr. Badhuru: Then after that I was blind folded and four people came and told me to 'trust them'. I had to follow their guidance and navigate myself blindfolded to where they were taking me. I followed their directions, down some steps, climbing, turning with only their voices as an indication.
I was eventually told to stop and made me enter a room which was dead quiet. I was told to sit. The moment I sat on a chair they provided, a voice in front of me loudly shouted "What the fuck are you doing here?". There were a few people in the room, this much I knew. Blind folded I had to answer questions coming from left right and center.
Mr. Karma: What questions were you asked?
Mr. Badhuru: Many questions regarding my past. At one point I was asked whether I want to go in life like the way I was, blind. When I said no and that I don't want to be blind, they took my my blind folds off. In the center was a senior person while on both sides there were two on each of his sides sitting. It was a small room, and I was seated in front of these five strangers. They kept asking many questions, they were referring to the 'Drop Guilt' paper I had given earlier. They drilled me and made me tell every dark thing about my life.
Mr. Karma: Okay. Go on.
Mr. Badhuru: Then I was again blindfolded and taken out the same way, I had to again follow the voices to make my way to where they took me. I understood that this was to build blind trust, part of the ritual.
I was taken to somewhere it was dead quiet, strangely in was in the open. Then suddenly another voice started speaking very loudly. The voice said "You have been living your life like a blind person, not seeing how destructive your actions have been."
"You are here because your life has reached a dead end and you are nothing".
He told me that my blindfold will be removed but not to open my eyes yet. I was told to extend my hand. The voice was saying "Extent your hand palm upwards". My blind fold was removed and put into my extended hand. I was told that all the guilt I had been carrying is in my hand now, the voice told me to imagine all the bad deeds and pain, and told me to channel all those thoughts into the blindfolds now squashed in my hand.
Mr Karma: How did you feel then?
Mr. Badhuru: The the voice asked me "Do you want to let go of all that pain?". I said "Yes". Because I really could imagine all the pain and regret are the squashed piece of cloth in my hand. He told me to throw the blindfold in my hand to the count of three, i was told to throw all the darkness as hard I can. I had not opened my eyes yet during all this. Then suddenly when I thought I was alone with only this voice, there came a roar of people counting "3, 2, 1, Throw it!!".
I threw what was in my hand imagining it was all the pain I have been through and all the pain I have caused. And opened my eyes.
To my surprise there were about 100 people forming a ring around me and smiling warmly. Then I saw the senior person who had been giving me all these instructions also there. Now in front of me there was a table with a candle lit. The ominous feel had gone.
I was asked "What do you see when you look at the candle?". I knew this was another symbolic question. So I looked at the burning candle. And I could only see one thing, the candle was like my life, slowly burning out and I knew I had to stop that.
I said "This candle is like my life". Then the questioner asked me, "Do you want to let your life burn away like that, slowly fading to nothing?". I said "No". He said "Then blow it out". So simply I just blew the candle out and the whole crowd making a ring around the ritual erupted with shouting and applauding. The ritual was done.
Mr. Karma: Did you feel any difference?
Mr. Badhuru: I actually felt replenished, reborn and definitely lighter because I got the opportunity to throw away my guilt that's been buried very deep in the past. During the whole ritual I felt alone, scared, angry at times been addressed like an outcast but once I took the blindfold away and see the ring of people waiting for me to finish the ritual, to welcome me into their family as a new person, with new meaning, it felt really good.
Mr. Karma: Then what happened?
Mr. Badhuru: They all sang the song "You ain't heavy, you're my brother" and one person took me to every single person around me and introduced me. Each one hugged me and said "Welcome to the family".
Account of Mr. Badhuru on the Induction Ritual in Persatuan Pengasih, Malaysia. A therapeutic community for drug addicts.