It was October 14, 2017 and I was at Delhi Airport. There’s something about the airport bookstores that I love and I found myself in the “Spiritual “section of one of them. The first book that caught my attention was “Om Swami as we know him” and next to it “If Truth Be Told-A Monk’s Memoir”. The name Om Swami was new to me. I started going through the pages and saw Swami’s picture and felt I should read this. But few minutes later, I put both the books back, thinking to myself that I am not going to be fooled and there are a lot of Spiritual frauds out there. But I was back at the shelf again later. Something kept pulling me back. I went back and forth for around 15 minutes. I walked past the shelf determined not to look at the books and few minutes later I was browsing through them. I ended up buying both the books and finished them before I reached my destination. Then I came across the videos and then there was no turning back.
I started doing things that my family and friends found very unlike me. Two pictures of Swami became part of my Pooja room. I used to scoff at anyone who put a living person’s photo along with Gods. I have constant dialogue going on with God all the time in my mind. Being from Kerala, it’s always “Guruvayoorappan”. At some point, Swami and Guruvayoorappan merged and became one. My prayers, my dialogues, began to be with Swami.
The strangest thing was I did not know anyone else who knew about Swami. I did not have anyone to talk about Swami, share stories or miracles with. Everything that happened, happened in my mind through his books and talks. I never doubted my feelings about Swami. Then I decided to visit the Ashram, something I have never done before. Coimbatore to Himachal Pradesh is a long distance and I did not know anyone in the ashram. But I decided it’s time to meet Swami. I reached Ashram on June 1st, 2019 which also happens to be my Birthday. After a midnight flight and the long drive from Chandigarh, I reached Ashram at noon and was given a room with 3 others.
Instead of being grateful, I was thoroughly disappointed and decided that I couldn’t stay there. I did not like the idea of sharing the room though I knew this would happen. After a delicious lunch at the dining hall, I called up my family and very pompously informed them that this was a mistake and it’s not my kind of thing and I am taking a flight back the very next day. I searched and there were no seats available and again I informed my family that I will be leaving the Ashram the next day morning and will check into a good hotel at Chandigarh and spend the next two days there and will take my designated flight back. I was sternly reprimanded by my daughter and was asked to stay at the Ashram since it’s safer.
Then I was at the temple by 4pm, totally moved by Sri Hari and listening to the clear and articulate recital of Lalitha Sahasranamam by Vidya Swami. I was sitting right in front of Swami’s seat and at around 6pm, this buzzing started among the crowd. I still remember the precise moment when I turned and Swami entered the Temple. I fell in love. My eyes overflowed with tears brought out by the purest and the simplest love I felt. Everything around me changed. I met amazing people there, loved the food, I enjoyed the company of my room mates, two Aunties who were from Ludhiana who forced me to eat the snacks all the time and I envied the newly-wed girl who still had mehandi and bangles on her hands. I thought how blessed is this couple who are starting their life at Swami’s feet! I felt overwhelmed by gratitude when Shamta Maaji sought me out and shared her story with me and took the brochure of my NGO ( I run an NGO for Children with Cancer. www.arohonline.org) from me saying this will be blessed by Swami. When I was not in Swami’s presence, I still felt it there. And whenever I was in his presence, I cried. I couldn’t stop it. On the third day, I left the Ashram with a heavy heart. But I made new friends, I heard amazing stories and I enjoyed talking to the child-like Raghu Swami in Tamil. Driver Sanju Bhaiyya became a friend and he stopped the car at his house and introduced me to his lovely wife on the way to the airport.
I met Swami once again at the Banglore Astrology Camp in January 2020. The new friends I made there found it absolutely amusing and amazing how I would start crying once Swami entered the hall.
My life changed forever since that day at the airport. I can’t describe the countless blessings I am receiving every day. Why me? Why am I so lucky that I am alive when Swami is here? Why did He even think that I am good enough to be in His presence? I don’t know. But I am eternally grateful and I am striving to be a better person every day. He is my best friend. He is my Swami.