Causeless Grace Boundless Love
My journey to the refuge of Swamiji’s lotus feet started when I was distressed and confused to the most due to my spiritual, professional and personal questions in June-July 2015.
Although, born and brought up in brahmin family, my home environment was not that religious or spiritual. But some way, somewhere a spiritual quench was there which somehow has grown to the greatest extent in recent few years after particularly the sudden death of my father in 2007. I was greatly attached to my father. I lost him when I was just a fresh engineering graduate. All my hopes and enthusiasm towards the life just broke down like hell. I lost my biggest support in life which had shaken my soul. A very basic question which was pricking me from inside was about the purpose of life. If sudden deaths are the end of life, then what is the use of this whole struggle of years and years.
Anyway, life went on with usual terms and routines and I kept myself busy in my career. But my mind was still loaded with the luggage of my questions about the core realities of life. This luggage of questions was getting heavier and heavier with each passing day. Having said that, during all these years, I changed jobs, cities, countries, places and people to calm down my mind, but not much respite. In fact, I was unknown to my own mind. What I was looking in surroundings was not at all there. How can it be?
Knowingly or unknowingly one of the corner of my mind was turning towards God. But the syllabus of God’s institute was almost endless and I was just a toddler. Where to start, what to learn and what to follow. Oh! I needed a teacher. But who, where and when? Again questions with no answers at all. I started reading Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures thinking I could find some way out to calm down my restless mind. In fact, I was no less than a brooder now. The energy, the wisdom by which we all are blessed by God was now being wasted on retrospecting past events. How it happened, why it happened, why with me etc.. I was almost tired and fed up with all this struggle of mind. Constant brooding affected my concentration level which I acutely needed for my upcoming competitive exams of my career.
Then came July 2015, I was just searching something related to spirituality on YouTube. Here I saw Swamiji for the first time talking about life in a clear and straight forward way. At that time I hardly even knew his name. I listened to that video for five minutes, it was convincing, then I listened to the entire video ( probably it was ‘Bhaj Govindam’). Every word seemed to me quite convincing and understandable. I turned to another video, and to another and so on…Neither I am exaggerating nor manipulating anything, but the reality is, I could not hold my temptations to see all the videos whatever were available at that time. I hardly needed to listen anything and anyone else after listening to those videos. Till this time, during those 4-5 days I used to type ‘Om Swami’ on YouTube and start listening to him. I hardly knew the hidden and unknown kind of attraction or connection I started to feel for Swamiji whom I had seen only on YouTube.
Then I got to know about Swamiji’s memoir. With no delay, I ordered it and again with no delay, I read it in 2-3 days. Now my mind was constantly pricking me again, this time not with questions, but with a command and order to meet Swamiji. But how, where and when? Again questions. I was having this perception in my mind that I would never be able to meet him. But my mind is after all my mind. Can never be at rest… day and night it tortured me, twisted me and finally turned me to take a step forward to meet Swamiji.
I checked the events section on the website and emailed them. But no reply, after 4-5 days I got their response. First my spot was fixed in Nov28- Dec 02 slot. But, fortunately due to one cancellation I got a seat in October 24-28 Hindi Meditation camp. But still it was complete two months to wait. In the mean time, I finished ‘The Wellness Sense’ and read Swamiji’s memoir once again. To my surprise, I really do not know why, but I cried so many times while reading few of the pages this time. It did not happen on my first reading. I hardly knew the reason for my tears. Then finally came the day of 24 Oct, 2015. That historic day, Ah! That was the day when I saw Swamiji for the first time with my own eyes.
On 24th Oct, after eight hours of journey, I reached Ashram at about 4.15 pm in a shared taxi from Solan with a couple from Hyderabad. Both were quite nice to me. On the way, I was not at all interested in any kind of sojourns or refreshments. I was just thinking about Swamiji only. After reaching, I just chucked my bag in one of the rooms allotted by administration and rushed to temple. I hardly even bothered about what kind of bedding I was getting and where would I sleep at night. These things were immaterial for me.
Fortunately, I got the seat in front row at temple. It was about 4.45 pm. My heart was beating at almost double pace and suddenly all stood up to welcome Swamji. All turned their faces towards the back door, but I did not. In fact, I was almost blank at that time. I closed my eyes for few moments, and here was Swamiji in front of my eyes. Vidya Swamiji was also there now. For another few moments, no analysis, no speculations, no ifs-buts, nothing at all. After a few seconds, I recollected my senses, two things I am recalling to mention here. First, my nose smelt a divine fragrance at that moment (may be it can seem manipulations to some people, but I honestly told what I felt). Second, Swamiji was far more beautiful, divine and lovely than what he looks to be on YouTube (it’s completely my opinion). In fact, YouTube is a via media only to listen his discourses, so how can YouTube have this much power to inscribe the complete divinity and radiance of an enlightened soul.
Then ever vibrant, ever dynamic and ever smiling Swamiji started his discourse. I was listening as well as looking at him, completely lost in that milieu. In the meantime, after the discourse, I met Swamiji’s mother who was also there to attend the camp. First I was a bit hesitant, but when I greeted her, she met me with a loving smile on her beautiful face like I was her own daughter. She is the personification of rectitude and gentleness. While she was talking, I forgot rest of the world and was feeling like keep on listening to her… on and on. But Ohh! That was not possible. Again I consoled my mind.
The next day, I was scheduled for a personal meeting with Swamiji. I attended the morning session of meditation. Swamiji’s way of explanation was quite pragmatic, impeccable and lucid enough that my mind just started taking a fancy to him. Simultaneously, my mind was keeping the record of every observation, every analysis. Some of my perceptions really proved wrong, but some proved really accurate like for Swamiji’s mother and dear Raghu Swamiji. Hence, I came to one conclusion, that ‘percepted mind is not always the restricted mind, sometimes it’s the guided mind also in anticipation’.
I met Parmanand Swamiji, Shamta Maa and Vidya Swamiji. Shamta Maa, about whom I hardly knew anything beforehand, was completely successful instilling a motherly love for her in my heart. Hats off to her! Raghu Swamiji, as I earlier had thought is as innocent and as lovely as a child. No scripture, no book can define the word devotion, but Raghu Swamiji has defined it practically in front of my eyes. I met and saw some volunteers working all the time, I was meticulously observing that hustle-bustle. Everyone was deeply immersed in the service. I started to feel little bit small in front of them, but my mind was still retrospective, still adamant to my own belief system, my pacification process was far away yet. My eyes and brain was observing something else and my rusted mind was directing me something else. Oh! What a predicament!
Then there was the time to meet Swamiji in person. I was waiting outside the meeting room. And my mind was again busy in calculations, where to start, what to say, how to ask Swamiji. Suddenly Parmanand Swamiji called me to go in. I was bit nervous, but I went in. I looked at Swamiji’s magnificent face, he was fierce with tranquillity, his countenance was radiant. Somehow after mustering my senses, I talked to him. Within one or two minutes he made me understand the rudimentary cause of my problems. I was still looking at his beautiful and insightful face. For few minutes, I felt like I am in some different world. It was beyond five minutes. I was called out by Parmanand Swamiji. Now my mind was out of calculations and observations. I just flowed in to exalted state for some time.
On the evening of second last day of retreat, I attended Swamiji’s divine kirtan. I already had heard and read a lot about that kirtan. I had a belief in my mind that it would be some form of singing devotional songs of lord’s glories. But true beliefs come after experience and belief that precedes experience is not that important. Now after experiencing it, it’s my strongest belief that actually that was a divine kirtan, pacified the hardened most like me. All were singing and rejoicing in ‘Bhaav’. Implicitly, my mind started to pacify in that devotional environment. I felt, tears were rolling down my cheeks as if someone was directly hitting at my soul. Reason of tears was still unknown to me.
Real pacification started when I came back home. After about a week, I started feeling bit cranky, reason was unknown, but yes, something was changing inside me. After few more days, I realized that I was feeling the absence of Swamiji. Swamiji’s face radiating divine brilliance was coming to my mind again and again. That magnetic personality, charismatic aura and ceaseless flow of wisdom was somehow pacifying my soul. He touched me with that strong power of soul that could melt even the most hardened. I started to see the things with different attitude. Changes were really small at the minuscule level but showing tremendously big results. Things were same, people were same, system was same, I was same even , but mind started transforming now.
All the way, the direction of mind turned inward. Retrospection was almost far away now, but introspection was on the way. I started to flow in the ‘Bhaavs’ that came just due to the causeless grace of Swamiji. Somehow, my soul identified that age old relation with the divine. Now I have started understanding what compassion is, what gratitude is, what probity is, what surrender is and what divine love is. My paradoxical questions regarding this topsy-turvy world have left with almost no relevance now. People, places, events and things which earlier used to disturb me a lot were almost far away from the vicinity of my mind. Diverging thoughts were now converging towards introspection. Level of insecurity, was now turning towards security of the refuge of Swamiji.
Swamiji’s penetrating intellect had hit my negative emotions, my tumultuous pride and my false ego. And this was done by him with great amount of love, support and inscrutability. Today, every time, day and night, everywhere I just thank him for pouring his love and mercies on a non-existent person like me. Swamiji’s beautiful and divine face, reverberating sound of his laughter and teachings of his transcendental insight are few of my memorabilia now, till the time I again sit near his lotus feet.
If I have to recapitulate, I would say:
“For me he is the cosmic power, the totality of universe, a glorious harmony of the pairs of opposite”. In his presence, my spiritual yearnings have been almost fulfilled. To me, he is the embodiment of truths of scriptures. Thank you so much Swami ji for the mercies you’ve poured on me.
This post was originally published on Swamiji’s fan club website which no longer exists, to know more about that, refer to my intro part of the archives series here.
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