Scooter Accident


A bit more than two weeks ago I had a scooter accident. I was driving faster than need be on Girivalam Road, and a boy turned his bike right in front of me. I had no time to turn or brake and just hit his bike, and my scooter went down.

The boy just rode his bike away. I knew I was hurt, laying on the ground next to the scooter. Fortunately Rajan, my rickshaw driver, helper and friend was just behind me carrying a friend from the USA, Jim. The sadhus, people and priests at the temple where the accident was helped lift me to a sitting position on a bench beside the road, and tried to give me a drink of water.

I knew that at minimum I had separated the right shoulder. I did so to the other one about ten years ago, so knew something of what was happening. Rajan got me home, then took me a few hours later to an orthopedic doctor (with an xray machine in his office). The xray confirmed no breaks. With such injuries about the most they do is to try to immobilize the shoulder, so they gave me a sling and some pain medication.

This was my first experience with this kind of medical care here. The doctor’s care cost Rs 60, the xray Rs 140. the sling and medications were about Rs 400.

All is healing fine. The biggest problems turned out to be deep bone bruises on my chest. Due to these I have not been able to sleep more than about three hours each night,  in stretches of about an hour at the most. I have mostly had to sleep sitting up, since any position laying down brought much pain. The days were OK to get through. Each night so far has been different and difficult.

Last night though I had better sleep, and maybe 90 minutes of it was laying down in bed. So feeling much better today.

And today, finally at the new house, the BSNL phone people delivered the internet modem, so again we have good internet and wifi at the house. I had very poor connectivity here before, so had to go to town to post or do much.

What has been the best during the last two weeks or so is going up on the roof late in the day with friends, sitting  with Arunachala, reading a bit of Ribhu (from The Song of Ribhu) and listening to recordings of Satsang of Nome. Sri Ganesan joined us for this.He loves Nome, and will stay at SAT for a while during his upcoming trip to the USA.

The teaching that Nome gives on Self-inquiry is the deepest and clearest I have heard.  And since I have come to Tiruvannamalai I have made it a point to listen to other teachers. Certainly there are some wonderful teachers here, like Ganesan and Mooji. Inquiry, though, is primarily what Sri Ramana taught, and I really think that no one teaches this better than Nome.

The body is healing. Maybe now sleep will be OK. Soon I can again start walking to and around Arunachala again. And posting like I was.

And no more will I go fast on the scooter. Before I start driving again we will  do another sadhu feeding. I know again just how much grace of Arunachala that is recieved, and a sadhu feeding is some small  way to give back to Arunachala.


6 Responses to “Scooter Accident”

  1. reetgurth Says:

    hi richard,
    i got to know about ur blog thru ‘arunachalagrace’ blog. im very impressed with both of your blogs. It gave better view of arunachala. Im more yearning to visit the place after reading your blog. Im very impressed with your decision to settle here after your retirement. How about your children and other commitments back in US? sorry to ask this bluntly but im prety much encouraged by your bold decision…


    • richardclarke Says:

      Hi reet,

      Our four children are a ll grown. There are two grandchildren as well, and my 90 year old mother lives with the oldest daughter. Their attitudes range from they are glad we are doing what is important to us, pleased at the ‘cool’ choice we made, and are glad that we are happy, to anger that we have deserted them. Sometimes these two attitudes are held by the same person at the same time. They are old enough to have their own lives, and like many US kids, do not really want much ‘interference’ by parents.

      We are old enough to want to live our own lives now and do what is most important to us. The spiritual focus is the key for us.

      We talk to everyone weekly, and visit once per year. We have had dome here to visit us. Those who visit end up appreciating the life we have here, and finding India more interesting than they had imagined.

      None of the children share the spiritual focus, at least they do not now. Their lives are long, and the interests later in life are different from those of someone in the 20s or 30s.

      We are very happy here. This is the best choice we could have made. We appreciate the grace of Arunachala for all we have been given, and that we are here.

      Om Arunachala,

  2. smohan2403 Says:

    Pranams Sri Clarke
    Wonderful to learn of the background why you decided to come to Tiruvannamalai.
    May you enjoy every bit of your stay here.
    Warm regards God Bless

  3. smohan2403 Says:

    Pranams Sri Clarke,
    I have been an avid reader of your posts through the courtesy of the Advaitins Group. Sorry to hear of your accident. Glad, by Bhagavan’s Grace, all is fine.
    Wondered how come you have come to Tiruvannamalai. What inspired you to come here?
    Warm regards and God Bless
    S. Mohan

    • richardclarke Says:

      Dear S. Mohan,
      I first came to Tiruvannamalai with my spiritual teacher, Nome, five years ago. With Nome I have been learning about and practicing the teachings of Sri Ramana Mahasshi and advaita vedanta since 1990. When I came, I would do as usual, meditate from aboujt 5 AM to daybreak. Here I would do this on the roof of the place I was staying. The sense of peace I felt while meditating with Arunachala was very much like what I felt meditating with Nome. After three days I came downstairs and told Carol, my wife, “We could live here.” She thought I was crazy, and probably she was right. I came here alone the next year to see how it was without her. Wherever we are together, we have a good time and I am happy. I wanted to make sure what I experienced was due to Arunachala, not the usual experience with her. My experience of Arunachala was the same. I was approaching retirement age and had not a loy of money, though I would be eligible for US social security. This is not enough to live on the in US, but is fine for living here.

      So I found that I wanted to retire and live with Arunachala.

      Coming to live with Arunachala has been the best choice we have made. ractice is supported in so many ways here.

      Om Arunachala,

  4. drpvssnraju Says:

    Dear Richard Clarke,
    I have gone through your post “Scooter accident”.

    In our country there is no traffic descipline and even if we go slow we

    must be aware all the time.Hope you will recover soon.If bone pain is a

    problem and is interfering with your sleep,as a physician i suggest you

    to take Tramadol (AFD) intravenous and it is not a sedative and is less

    than five rupees.Hope you will recover soon by the grace of Arunachala.

    I like your photos of Arunachala very much.

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