I have bitter recollections of being ensnared by the bogus online Gurus. Even within the local context, some claimed that they are basking in that divine pool of light called divinity. They assert to be the local spokesperson of God; to ask me, that’s quite a statement!

I have always wondered why are humans so different from animals. We descend from the same evolutionary DNA tree. What is it that makes the bird take its first flight without going to aviation school or makes the turtle swim and breathe underwater without drowning? As humans, we cannot take a bite of food without ‘learning’. I suppose in the desperation of hunger and thirst, all wisdom will flee and make room for instincts (survival) to take over. Then I will be an animal and the question of being separate from the animal kingdom will not arise. 

A quest, this is what I will call it. The spiritual realm always held a strange fascination for me as a kid. From my childhood, I used to faze out in the contemplation of the working mechanics of the universe. I wondered where is God in his creation; how is it possible to be in your own creation, that is to be in this universe and also outside of it; what kind of strange power does the universe yield to have the capacity to give birth to planets and the cosmos? 

To find answers to these childish questions, I tried delving into books, but we were broke. Library membership was not an option either.  Whenever I would sit to watch a documentary, dad would snap me out of my reverie, either by smashing the tv or… It is not without remorse that I feel that childhood could have been different if dad was not an alcoholic. As Swami Ji said, there is no use in delving into the past, but is it easier done than said? For me, as it is an imaginary past, maybe in an alternative universe, I faze better. 

I was tired of those Gurus that did not resonate with me. I would rather say, intellectually they would say things, but then if spirituality was everything except faith,(click here to learn spiritual health definition) I would have turned to Dawkins for empirical evidence. Not that I don’t admire science, but who am I to judge? I am insignificant and my opinion doesn’t count. 

The interpretation by Srila Prabhupada of the disrobing of Draupadi was one of those moments, where I literally felt a veil from my consciousness drop. “..only when Draupadi surrendered to Krsna by not holding back, that divinity could intervene..” (not the exact quote). If I told you would certainly not believe me, but I became one with Draupadi, I felt drawn within myself. Nothing mattered. I would have died happily at that moment. That moment was when I stopped resisting. I didn’t make my prayer to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu or to the pantheon of Gods. Make no mistake (as Sadhvi Vrinda Ji would have it), I didn’t turn into an Atheist. It was seeing all the forms of divinity converge into a blank point. There was silence, an absence of thoughts..there was absolutely nothing. That goosebump moment when you know, He/She/It has finally ‘appeared’ to answer your honest prayer. “..please guide me to my Guru, one who is The One, He has truly seen You… I beg you, I am tired of looking..no more for me..guide me to Him..”

I knew my prayer was heard at that moment. No words were spoken in my mind, there was no doubt, again there was nothing; just a prayer to the universe, without an expectation. A prayer made with utmost sincerity, a request of love and desperation.  

That day I slept like I never had, not even when dad passed away. It was blank, nothing, I felt peace. You might think that I dreamt and forgot about it. All of us know when we dream and don’t recollect. We know and struggle to remember. That day was different. Nothing. I might have died… I don’t know. 

Where is Swami Ji in all this? He was always here, he just waited patiently until I surrendered. Swami Ji appeared after that prayer almost miraculously; He was everywhere, on my youtube, in my mind and in my heart. He has been instrumental in turning me inside out. He brought forth the pool of love that was buckled up. Swami Ji, you have been doing so much for me. You educate me, you guide me, and you help me. You are everything. You know my prayer, to be at your feet. You are everything, my dear Swami Ji. If not for you, no Sadhna, no meditation would have been possible for me.

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