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Day 1 – Cauvery Diaries: Of Motorcycles and a Mystic

Field Stories
03 September, 2019
9:52 AM

Today, Sadhguru will flag off a 2-week ride across Cauvery Basin. He and a band of motorcyclists are at the origins of Mother Cauvery. They leave Bhagamandala for Talacauvery with a slew of events lined up. Follow the live blog!

Day 1 – Cauvery Diaries: Of Motorcycles and a Mystic

The big day has arrived! Today, Sadhguru will flag off a 2-week ride across Cauvery Basin. He and a band of motorcyclists are at the origins of Mother Cauvery. They leave Bhagamandala for Talacauvery with a slew of events lined up. Keep an eye on this live blog and follow them on their journey! 

Sep 1 - 2 Days To Go || Sep 2 - 1 Day To Go || Sep 3 - Day 1 || Sep 4 - Day 2 || Sep 5 - Day 3 || Sep 6 - Day 4 || Sep 7 - Day 5 || Sep 8 -Day 6 || Sep 9 - Day 7 || Sep 10 - Day 8 || Sep 11 - Day 9 || Sep 12 - Day 10 || Sep 13 - Day 11 || Sep 14 - Day 12 ||  Sep 15 - Day 13 || Sep 16 - Day 14 || Sep 17 - Day 15

Sadhguru's Recap of Day 1 - CauveryDiaries: Of Motorcycles and a Mystic

Nagarhole - The Tail End of Today

As a last lap for today, this is Sadhguru making his way to Nagarhole, to settle for the night, for a new day tomorrow.

4:00pm - At Madikeri, Sadhguru was joined on the stage by: Nanda Cariappa, Air Marshal; MP; Ashwini Nachappa, athlete and film actress; K.G. Bopaiah, Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly; Rakshit Shetty, actor and film producer; and actor Diganth.



Air Marshal Nanda Cariappa spoke of the significance of the mountain range that gives birth to Cauvery, “The Western Ghats and the Cauvery are, to my mind, the portal to India's prosperity. If we continue to disregard the importance of the Western Ghats, the future is bleak.”

Shobha Karandlaje observed how Cauvery Calling would end up benefiting both states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, “This year the water from Cauvery river is supplied to Bangalore just once in a week. This is because even Karnataka is facing a water shortage. So Sadhguru has started a movement in order to promote groundwater recharge and increase the water levels in Cauvery. This is going to be advantageous to both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.”

Ashwini appealed to the audience, “It is every individual's responsibility to ensure that the future of the rivers is carried on for generations. It is important that we commit ourselves to Cauvery Calling today.”

K.G. Bopaiah looked at the practical aspects of the project, “You can't plant a tree today and look for fruits tomorrow. This is a long process and we support this endeavor to grow 242 crore trees. This should happen not only in Kodagu district but also across the entire stretch of land from where Cauvery begins till the last strip of land where she joins the sea.”

Rakshit Shetty put in perspective the magnitude of Cauvery Calling, “Planting 242 crore trees is not going to be a small feat. But with Sadhguru's leadership, it is definitely possible. There have been so many movements in the past, but I don't think that there can be another movement that would stand as tall as this one.”

Diganth inspired everyone with his powerful words, “In times of crisis, either you lead or follow the leader. I believe in following the leader. I pledge my life to Sadhguru. I will be with you for all your campaigns. Little drops make a mighty ocean, they say. I wish to play my part and add at least a few drops to the movement.”

Sadhguru at last spoke, “Cauvery doesn't care what language people speak. She wants to go to the ocean. We must let her go.” He added about Cauvery Calling, “This is not another tree planting program. This is very different. This is an economic plan with an ecological impact. That’s what is important about it. Because if it does not have an economic dimension to it, it will not succeed. In this country it will not succeed, because the population pressure is so heavy. It has to economically lucrative for the people who engage in this.”

5:00pm - After the talk, Sadhguru went for a press meet.


6:00pm - With no time to dilly-dally, it was time to hit the roads again. Sadhguru headed out for Nagarhole with a gang of motorcyclists in tow. With a darkening sky, wet roads and rain as their constant companion, the riders raced to reach by dusk.


Sadhguru was greeted this morning with a “Happy Birthday” chorus.

Birthday wishes for Sadhguru poured in on Twitter from cinema stars, sportspersons, politicians and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi! Through the genuine love and devotion of people “HappyBirthdaySadhguru” trended organically today in India.

Wishes poured in on Twitter from cinema stars, sportspersons, politicians and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi! And so Sadhguru’s birthday was trending today in India.


Sadhguru tells us what he wants for his birthday

3:45pm - Sadhguru is seated in the audience before his talk.


3:30pm - Madikeri event with Sadhguru has started! The first public event of the campaign at Crystal Hall has drawn an eager crowd. Watch the live webstream here.

2:00pm - Excited groups encounter Sadhguru on the way to Madikeri - some had tracked his movements and were waiting to see him. At last the convoy reached for a delightful Karnataka lunch at Madikeri. The menu: vegetable pulao with gourmet beans, small pumpkin, Coorg beans cooled in spicy tomato gravy, cauliflower-Coorg beans curry, with a dash of Tamil Nadu touch - appalam and semya payasam.


1:00pm - Sadhguru leads the motorcyclists on the way to Madikeri from Talacauvery





Tamil People Show Their Intensity

Meanwhile, Tamil people are displaying the intensity they are known for. Today has been declared a day-long Nadi Abhiyan. The blue Cauvery Calling placards have popped up across towns and cities of the state. Pictures below are from: Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Villupuram, Kanchipuram, Mettur, Mannargudi, Erode, Puducherry, Tiruvannamalai, Coimbatore and Chennai.






When people from all across the globe are cheering for a cause, how can a friend miss out on supporting his old pal? Somender Singh, Sadhguru's friend from Mysore witnessed the beginning of the historic Cauvery Calling campaign in Talacauvery. With excitement in his voice he shares his emotions: "I am very happy that I am here at the right moment.”


Surender had called their other friends to join him, but it turns out they were all sleeping and did not want to come! He was inspired by Sadhguru: “We have not planted even a single seed, but see what an initiative he is taking up.” He knew he could easily meet Sadhguru when he came to Mysore, but he wanted to be at the starting point of his friend's humongous effort. So he took a car and drove himself from Mysore to Talacauvery, a 4.5 hour drive. Sadhguru was pleasantly surprised to see him there!

Long ago, Sadhguru used to spend a lot of time in his garage tweaking the motorcycles, and they used to race in Chamundi hills.

When Cauvery Makes an Overseas Call...

Even those from other continents, far away from India, are contributing to Cauvery Calling. With support flowing in from all directions, Cauvery will definitely going flow again!

“Cauvery Calling wouldn't let me sleep last night! I have a Google platform for my movement - it's called the Love, Joy and Liberation Movement. I will also be using this platform to raise awareness on the tree planting for Cauvery.” - Zanele, Johannesburg, South Africa

The donations for the Cauvery calling keeps pouring in as we realise that Cauvery has not only touched people in India, but has also gone out to grab the hearts of the people across continents, in a death grip.

Meanwhile in Dubai, Karuna brought to life the concept ‘Celebrating Your Way’, where friends and well-wishers donate to a cause of your choice rather than giving you presents. On the occasion of her birthday, she received donations for 2000 trees! The best birthday gift ever!

Today is Kailpodh Festival

Today is the Kailpodh Festival, one of the most significant events for the farmers of Karnataka. A volunteer got into a curious conversation with one of the farmers and came across a beautiful fact about this day. The farmers wash all their equipment and worship them. They cook traditional food and the whole family celebrates the day together. “The highlight of this conversation was when I asked him if there is there any particular deity they worship on this day. He said, ‘No, we just worship river Cauvery.”

Lore & Legends – Talacauvery


Yesterday was Ganesh Chaturthi. Did you know that Ganesh has a connection to the birth of Cauvery? The story goes like this:

One day, when the sage Agastya was meditating, a crow toppled his kamandalu (container of sacred water) and it started flowing out as Cauvery River. The crow disappeared and in its place Ganesh appeared, who had played this prank on the sage.

This place was Talacauvery – the origin of Cauvery River. It is an important pilgrimage site and home to the temple for Kaveriamma (Goddess Cauvery) which is built in the distinct Kerala architectural style.

Interestingly, it is said that Cauvery flowed out and washed over the women of the area (in Coorg) with such force that the pleats of their saris were swept from front to back.So this is the story behind the distinctive Coorg sari draping style.


11:45am - Kannada media storms Sadhguru at Talacauvery


11:05am - The conversation starts with Abhishek wishing Sadhguru “Happy birthday” in the clear and sonorous voice of a reporter!


Sadhguru accepts arecanut flowers and breathes in their scent. The spring and well in the background is the Talacauvery - origin of this mighty river.


10:25am - There is a Kannada conversation coming up with Abhishek of Digvijaya TV. But first Sadhguru, who is soaking wet, goes to change. Then as he waits for the crew to set up for the talk, it is difficult to manage the crowd who surrounds him.

10:15am - Sadhguru arrives at Talacauavery

The temple priests come down to receive him. He takes his shoes off and slowly walks up to the temple.



On the way, a local lady walks up to him and passes on the greeting from her brother-in-law, who is Sadhguru’s friend from Mysore. She touched Sadhguru’s feet, and as Sadhguru gently pulled her back up, he said, "I have been enquiring about him, please give my blessings to him.”

9:45am - Doughty riders are ploughing through the pouring rain, swerving on slick roads to reach Talacauvery!

8:39 am - The roar of Sadhguru's bike can be heard as he leaves for the origin of Mother Cauvery, on the day when life bestowed upon us the birth of a live Guru of the highest order.


Aesthetics apply even to muddy shoes

Volunteers arrange all the footwear in order, a standard maintained at all Isha events, even in the middle of a forest.


A new day begins with yoga

4:45am – Despite the late night, some volunteers are seen doing Surya Namaskar before the sun comes up.

5:15am - All possible places where a yoga mat can be spread have been occupied. Volunteers and some participants are immersed in yoga.

7:00am – Guru Pooja and guided Shambhavi Mahamudra practices for the participants.


Good morning! Let’s get caught up on last night’s events after the Mystic arrived at the campsite in Bhagamandala.

7:00pm - A loud chatter settles into a soft murmur, as the participants feel Sadhguru’s presence. "Just the thought of him staying just 50 meters away from us is overwhelming," one of them shared.

7:30pm - As dinner was laid out, many were delighted to see crispy Ragi dosas (ragi, or finger millet, is termed as the world's best millet and is a preferred grain of this region), along with delicious tomato chutney and rice. All from a kitchen set up in the wilderness. Wild indeed!

8:00pm - As the participants sat down, another big surprise unfolded for them. A motorcyclist turned into a Mystic as Sadhguru approached the dining area in what traditionally think of as a Guru’s attire. Looking fresh in a yellow kurta, white turban and “Rally for Rivers” shawl, he walked through the muddy slush to dine with everyone. There was confusion and joy all at once... some stood up nervously with hands folded having forgotten their food. Those who had finished eating ran towards the dining area, heedless of the slippery slush. Amazingly, none of them fell!

In the meantime in the adjacent shack, a flower mala was being sewn quickly for him (no clue how a few fresh jasmine and rose flowers snuck into this remote camp). A volunteer who got to make this mala shared, "The satsang was going to start in a few minutes. We were novice mala makers. Yet, even though a fine and delicate mala design was planned, we somehow could finish it in time!"

8:15pm - Srinidhi appeared adorably nervous at first. She stammered, paused and hesitated before the Mystic, but she asked the questions she had in her heart as well as her father's who had come with her for this evening.


"Why is Cauvery Calling needed when rivers are full?” was one of her father's questions (as right now monsoon rains ensure full flow of our rivers). Sadhguru pointed out that people have short-term memory. We are not able to look back a few months ago when the rivers dried up in the summer time. Citing the facts, he reminded us that if just two more monsoons fail, millions of people will die in this region. We must take the action now before it is too late.

Water Clock - Bhagamandala 

Even in a rich ecological zone like Bhagamandala, the water levels have dropped.
As of 30 June 2019, it received only 567 mm of rainfall so far this year.
The waterfalls of Kodagu have lost their attraction this year due to less rainfall.
Special prayers for rain clouds like “Parjanya Japa” were held at the Bhagandeshwara temple. 

Srinidhi who hails from a village near Mangalore later shared that this conversation was the most fortunate time in her life - not counting the three hit movies that Sadhguru blessed her with if she plants 1 crore trees! “I will plant 2 crore trees if that happens,” the actress exclaimed. For her, the most important aspect of Cauvery Calling was that farmers lives will be saved.

The highlight of the evening was when her skeptical father was convinced, held up the Cauvery Calling placard and urged all to support the campaign. He expressed that he was fortunate to meet Sadhguru because of her daughter.

10:30pm - Excited participants don't seem to want to sleep and hung around chattering. Meanwhile many volunteers were seen scraping the buckets for leftovers as they had skipped dinner.

11:30pm - The place is still buzzing.

12:00am - Still many are up to enjoy the midnight chill of the wilderness. Volunteers are preparing for the next day.

12:30am – Only now people have slowly started to settle as 150 people fall into a wakeful slumber.

1 Comment
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shriprada aithal
04 September, 2019
This live updates are really great! I was able to feel it. Anna/Akkas, thank you so much for this

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