I am writing this post in response to the question Sonaliji (wonderful mother of our lovely and talented Hemanya) asked me that how do you come to know about Swamiji and how devotion for Swamiji entered my heart. I found it impossible to answer that in few sentences, hence I am sharing this in the form of an article.
It was April 2019, and almost 1.5 years reading Vedanta but not a bit of me got transformed. I was one laughing stock who got his hands 🙌 on the highest philosophy ever propounded by any religion, the ideals of vedanta, and intellectually it all made sense to me but empirically, I was still; the same , an individual full of imperfection and selfishness. I called my dad and told him my heart’s desire.
” Dad, I really want to seek divine, I want to know him, I want to feel his presence, I want to experience divine union, this world has lost its charm for me. I want a divine guidance, I want a guru to guide me.” He laughed and he said – Maya is quite enchanting and it not so easy to get viragya, great tapas is required for that, something that I understood to be to true over time.
In April end, my dad called me and told me about a book, Om Swami as I know him, that his friend has recommended. He told the person who suggested this book is very trusted friend of him, and although he has yet not read that book but he told if she is serious about walking the spiritual path, she should read that book and get in touch with Swamiji.
Since the recommendation came from my dad, I do purchased the book in April 26 and liked it. I in fact purchased most of the books written Swamiji after that but truth be told, they were just few of the books I read over the course of that one year. I actually read more than 50 books I think in 2019. I also got initiated in Kriya Yoga by a great yogi and siddha but yet not felt any surrender towards my guru. Filled with guilt, shame and helplessness. I cried to Lord, that O’lord why I do not feel devotion towards my guru, why I do not feel connected to my guru? Why nothing has changed in me? They say, you are everywhere, so if you are, please show me the way.
Finally in 2020, I decided to take a break from my job and give my full commitment towards spiritual journey. I spoke to my husband and told I would take care of household but would like to utilize my rest of the time towards sadhana, divine contemplation and helping others. It was a divine grace alone that I found os.me blog and Swamiji opened up a community for everyone to write.
The day I became a member of this forum, I was overjoyed to receive such a warm welcome by this place. The place was full of love, warmth, kindness, compassion, truth,hope, and devotion. I got to know so many truly wonderful people that left me wondering for days that if the people who are following this master’s teaching are so wonderful, kind and compassionate, how great a master would be?
So, to answer your question Sonaliji, how devotion for Swamiji entered my heart, the credit goes to all of you, each one of you, right form the editor of the post, Medhaji, who works so sincerely towards this forum, Sadhviji Vrindaji, who works so tirelessly to spread the message of Swmaiji, SushreeDiyaji, who so courageously and truthfully shares her life’s most personal and detailed narratives with all of us so that we can also have courage to walk this path, despite our faults, all other close disciples of Swamiji in the ashram, and EACH ONE OF YOU, Yes, everyone who is reading this has an impact on my life. I was able to see the greatness of our divine master through all of you, each one of you by trying to live your life as per his teachings . and from there, the journey was easy, peasy.
I closed my eyes one day, and asked Swamiji: Swamiji, when I hear about you, I see seeds of devotion and surrender for the first time but I am yet not devoted to you truly. So, please Swamiji, please grant me your devotion, and fill my heart with surrender. Ta!Daaa! Since that day, Swamiji magically entered in my heart and my thoughts naturally flows towards him, I am amazed at my own devotion, unreal like a dream yet real . With faith and devotion, when I looked at him and started reading his teachings, I no more feel a need to read any scripture as I saw him as an essence of all the scriptures put together, He is a living Vedanta, He is an embodiment of dharma. Take any scripture and read it, any quality of divine or any ideal of self realized sage, and you would find our Swamiji effortlessly established in that divine quality. I do not know if I will ever be able to follow his teachings in their true essence. I do not even know if I will ever meet him, but I know this that I have found my Guru and I surrender to his sweet will.
So fast forward July 2021, my personal financial commitments require me to join the workforce again, and I am still a person full with impurities, and latent tendencies but in last 2 years, I found my faith and strength to live the vedanta instead of reading it and my Guru to guide me .
How do I see Swamiji and this community and what each one of you mean to me? I would like to summarize my feelings with the first mantra of purusha suktam :
ōm sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapāt,
sa bhūmiṁ viśvato vṛtvātyatiṣṭad daśāgulam.
Thousand-headed is the Purusha, thousand-eyed and thousand-legged. Enveloping the earth from all sides, He transcends it by ten fingers’ length.
Here the transcendent totality of all creation is conceived as the Cosmic Person, the Universal Consciousness animating all manifestation. The word ‘earth’ is to be understood in the sense of all creation. ‘Dasangulam’ is interpreted as ten fingers’ length, in which case it is said to refer to the distance of the heart from the navel, the former having been accepted as the seat of the Atma and the latter symbolic of the root of manifestation. The word ‘ten’ is also said to mean ‘infinity’, as numbers are only up to nine and what is above is regarded as numberless.
So I see Swamiji, as a cosmic awareness everywhere, Purusha, a divine manifestation, with each one of you as his eyes, his legs, his heads, him enveloping the earth from all sides. My salutation to that Purusha and my salutations to each one of you!
Thank you so much for accepting me as a part of you!
Thank you Swamiji for blessing me with faith to walk the path!
Glories to Divine who although formless yet manifests at the cry of bhakta.
Jai Shree Hari 🌼🌼🌼