Everyone, at some point in life, starts asking the quintessential existential questions. Some people turn to Spirituality and some to Science for answers. In spirituality, quite a few people have the misfortune of turning to the wrong teachers and they end up getting hurt. It’s a blessing if we meet the right Master at the right time.
For me, the questions started ten years ago. I am a complete Science enthusiast and I see no conflict between Science and Spirituality. To me, Spirituality starts where Science ends. Science might catch up someday. I read voraciously to understand what spiritual answers others found out. I read through the whole list of books that usually everyone reads when they have these questions. I ended up having more questions. It was frustrating.
Then I met a lady who newly moved into our community. Within the first three minutes of our conversation, she asked me if I was interested in meeting her Guruji who will be at her house the very next day. And I said yes without any expectations. I met him at the appointed time in a closed room and I started having all these weird thoughts, “I am in this room with this stranger. What if he is not what I think? Okay, I can scream but what If this lady is in it with him? Oh..I am in trouble. But the neighbor is my friend. If I scream, someone should hear it.” This is all I could think. But Guruji asked me to come the next day also. My friend found it surprising and told me that unless he sees some potential in someone, he won’t ask that person to come back. We met the next day and Guruji straight away asked if I was still scared and I honestly told him about my thoughts and he had a good laugh over it. Then he asked me to come out with my questions and we began our conversation. It’s still going on after 7 years.
The beauty of Guruji’s teachings is not that he answered all my questions but it is the understanding I gained. That all questions need not have answers, that all questions are not always questions, sometimes acceptance is the answer, and that at some point my mind will cease to have questions. There were no deep philosophical discussions. Whenever I asked him what I should do, he always answered, eat well and sleep well. And everything is in those two actions. You eat well and sleep well if you are happy, content and peaceful.
In short, Guruji simplified life for me. I have much more clarity in my thoughts and actions now. Of all the things he taught me, one lesson I hold dear to my heart. In the first week of our interaction, one day I talked straight for an hour while Guruji patiently listened. And then he said,
“You have been talking for an hour and you used a lot of “I”. You also seem to think that you are someone good and important because of the work you do. (I run an NGO for children with Cancer). Do you think you are better than most people because of the work you do?”
And I confidently said, “Well, I don’t know if I am better than most people but I do good work. I help a lot of parents.”
Then Guruji said, “Suppose you are sitting in your office and you have this board outside ‘Help will be given to children with cancer’ and no one comes and then you walk around the street with the same board around your neck, still no one comes. Then what use is your help?”
I was dumbfounded. This is not an angle I thought about. I was speechless.
Guruji continued, “So who is more important, the one who provides help or the one who receives help?
I humbly replied. “Now I understand, Guruji.”
And he said, “So always be grateful to those people who come to you for help because you have a chance to serve them. They add value to your life. Consider yourself an instrument through which the Divine works.”
I still keep this in my mind when I meet the parents of the kids.
Most importantly, Guruji got me ready and paved the way for me to come across Swami. That’s what I believe.
I am blessed to have my Guruji and my Swami in my life. One is Guru and the other is Bhagwan. My Pranaams at their feet.