Please read part four here.

Someone was planning my trip perfectly well without my knowledge. I was supposed to be in Delhi instead of Mumbai. I just was not aware of it, that’s all. I called my dear friend Shubs, who lived in Pune, and told her that I was coming to India!!! After so many years! She was super excited, just like me. She immediately said she would come to Delhi to receive me; we would have fun in Delhi for a few days and then will have to Pune.

I knew the Sri Badrika Ashram was somewhere close to Delhi, but I wasn’t sure if it was closed due to Covid-19. I think it was closed in October. I said to Swami Ji in my prayers, “You are breaking all the odds and hurdles so I can be in India this month; in that case, I am sure I will see you soon.”

The day I booked my flight, I received an email from Ashram about their upcoming events. The ashram is open, and Om Swami Ji is giving his discourses; one was starting on 19th November. I was arriving in Delhi on 16th. Oh! What a coincidence! I had to grab this opportunity, but sadly I could book only three nights at Ashram on an online reservation. I talked with Shubs, and she immediately agreed to visit Ashram. On November 2nd, along with my airline tickets, I booked a three-day stay in Ashram. I was so happy but a little confused as I thought I wasn’t ready to meet HIM yet. What about my perfection, meditation, knowledge of Vedanta, etc.? I can’t do this in 15 days!

Shubs booked our car through Sanju Bhaiya Ji and got our domestic flight from Delhi to Chandigarh, and one night at Delhi airport was booked as I was arriving there late at night.

Before I knew it, I was at Delhi airport. I rushed to the hotel to meet my darling Shubs; we talked almost all night. Early morning, we were ready to catch our flight at 6 am to Chandigarh. I was pleased to see Chandigarh airport; it was so clean and friendly. People at the airport were kind. Sanju Bhaiya Ji called us to ensure we found our driver, and we were off to the Ashram.

Shubs and I continued our conversation as we talked about it. I also found out that our great driver Ji had a chance to drive Om Swami Ji in the same car once. I was overjoyed. My Swami Ji sat in this car? Did he touch this car? I felt so blessed sitting in the exact vehicle where my Swami Ji’s feet touched. I was asking me all bout Om Swami Ji. Where was this devotion towards Om Swami Ji coming from? Why am I so eager to know more and more about him? And when did he become “My” Swami Ji?

I used to visit Dallas temple at Diwali time because they would give free firecrackers to kids, and then we would go and eat yummy Indian dinner.  At home, I have a small area where I keep my Gods, but I never did puja with all my heart or even a bhajan. I never believed that God exists in murti (statue), remember?

Somehow, I knew I was supposed to be in Ashram; I had to meet him. Shubs asked me, “Are we going to meet him in person”? I had no answer as I didn’t receive the confirmation for a private meeting (I filled out the meeting form after I booked our room). Either way, it was fine by me; I was just happy to be there.

We had no idea it was around 4 hours of an adventurous car ride to the Ashram. I was thinking more of an hour to two, max! I started enjoying the surrounding nature and didn’t feel any discomfort on the ride. On the other hand, Shubs didn’t enjoy it much and decided to close her eyes and sleep. I had a prolonged internet due to the gorgeous mountains of the Himalayas. Plus, my T-Mobile chose not to be very friendly in that area.

Magic of Himachal Pradesh- “Ting”! I heard my phone; I received an email from Ashram approving my personal meeting with Swami Ji. No way!! I couldn’t believe my own eyes what I was reading. I wanted to jump up and down with joy, but the car ride was not very safe then, so I rejected my thought. Shubs was fast asleep, so that I couldn’t tell her either. So, I did what a sane person would (Not) do. I woke her up and told her the news. No mindfulness. That’s me! Classic Sona!

Shubs has solid patience towards me; she didn’t get annoyed or show her discomfort; she asked, “Am I going to meet him too?”. Darn it! I didn’t think about wanting to see him in person. Talk about compassion! Why don’t I have any compassion and consideration for other people? Why didn’t I think about this before? But with all my confidence, I said, “Of Course, you are coming with me; we both will meet HIM.” She was happy to hear that, and so was I.

Please click here for part six.