Please click here for part eight.
We were at the temple around 6 pm. People were still walking in, a few of them were already inside and settled. Ambiance at the temple was different today. Everything was just breathtakingly beautiful. The burgundy red carpet was led out for HIM to walk on. Bhagwan Sri Hari ji looked extra happy and pleased today. We sat bit in the back but I got the seat next to the burgundy carpet. I was admiring and soaking the energy in the temple. After a few announcements, everyone became quiet and started looking outside the temple. I realized that they all were waiting for Swami ji. I curiously started looking outside too. And, few minutes later, HE came in the frame of the walkway. He was walking towards us; his pace was fast. Two other Swami ji’s were almost running behind him and keeping up with his pace, but gently keeping the respectful distance following his steps. Swami ji had ochre color robe. He was looking so radiant and handsome. My heart started pounding so fast, I could hear my heart beats. There HE was, my heart’s missing piece is walking towards us. I was searching for HIM all my life. I was sad and frustrated because I didn’t know how and where to find HIM. I was lost, oh so lost, in the process of looking for HIM. Wealth, luxury, world travel, gourmet meals, life partner, physical and emotional affection… nothing…. absolutely nothing was making me happy and complete nor it was making any sense. I kept on looking for my missing heart piece, and was rejecting everything else around me. I thought I am going to have a mental breakdown.
Now, awareness rushed along with the realization that HE is the one my heart was aching for, the one I was looking for all these years, actually all my life.
And here HE is, entering the temple with a cutest smile and a twinkle in his eyes, He swiftly changes his shoes to Paduka at the entrance of the temple. Everyone bowed to his feet as he started walking on the burgundy carpet. I bowed too, I have never bowed to any human being with so much devotion and love in my life. But this time, it felt it so natural and didn’t feel like it was doing it for the first time, it was more like, “Of course, I always pay obeisance to my Guru every time I see him, HE is my Guru”.
As he passed through me, where I was sitting with so much gratitude, love and more love, mindfully HE looked at me. Did he actually look at me and nodded his head with a smile?? I didn’t know how to react. Did he smile at me? Did he notice me? Is he saying “Ah! You made it, good”! Or, was it just my imagination? Yes, it had to be my imagination. No… it can’t be, he did see me, he did give me a welcome smile.
I told my mind to calm down. I realized that extreme strong sensation and understanding of knowing him forever rushed in when I saw me. But my stubborn brain, immediately discarded that thought. How can I know him? But my mind was calm and didn’t now argue with my brain. Oh my! I can’t stop my mind!!
He asked how everyone is doing? I was just staring in awe, I was speechless. I was overwhelmed. There, he was sitting right right there, the Divine himself! I forgot who I was. Shockingly, I had no more questions for my Divine. I was in full bliss in his presence. I don’t remember what he said but then I realized he is asking if anyone has any questions, Shubs elbowed me and my hand got raised along with many others. He looked straight in my eyes, and with a smile he said “Yes, you can ask me a question” or something along that line, who is paying attention to the words, when the Divine is In front of you!”. (Ugg! Well, it was my mistake, please do pay attention to the words when the Divine is talking to you). I was shocked! I couldn’t believe he is talking to me, looking directly at me. With a disbelief and to receive a double confirmation from him, I asked, “Me? Me? Do you want me to ask you a question?” With a cute smile he said “Yes, I want you to ask me your question”. Now my brain confirmed that he wanted me to ask a question. All of sudden, I started shaking up, I became nervous. My words couldn’t come out of my mouth. This was new to me; I am a very talkative person and its takes extreme efforts to keep me quiet. I don’t have a stage fright and can be very bold when I need to be. And now, nothing was coming out of my mouth.
I had to pull all my strength together and with a shaking and trembling voice I asked something like this, “I have read it, mindfully understand it and have an awareness that we live in the world of duality. Theoretically aware but practically lacking the oneness. I have read the story about Swami Vivekananda that his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahansa’s one touch showed him the oneness in the world. Is that the only way one can experience and see the oneness in this world or is there any other way? How can I see and experience it? I am desperate and ready to get out of duality”. Ok, so originally this was my question. Not sure what came out of my mouth that time, but fortunately, he understood what I was asking. Or maybe, he already knew what I was going to ask, so my mumbling was not a problem nor a hurdle for him. For next 20 mins, he looked at me and answered my question. I am sure he was looking around, but for me he was only looking at me. Have you noticed; in temple one always feels that Bhagwan ji is only looking at them? Tears were rushing out of my eyes for whole 20 mins and more. I was trying to hide them, but I wasn’t succeeding. I couldn’t stop it. I was overwhelmed, happy and humbled at the same time. He was so kind to me. He gave me all his attention and love at one glance and that was more than enough for me for the eternity.
After my question, there was one more, which was answered in few mins. Now, everyone was ready for aarti and there was that Gandharva Shankha Naad and today Swami ji did the aarti. It was so beautiful to watch. My heart was full with love and peace. I love the way he raises his one leg and both hands when he sings the words “Jai Jai aarti, Hari tumhari”.
Has anyone ever seen more serene and beautiful than Swami ji performing aarti to Bhagwan Sri Hari ji? The divine himself singing aarti to the Divine.
Please click here for part 10