My journey from
“अपना नामं बदल दू, या तेरा नाम छुपा लूं, या छोड़ के सारी आग, मैं बैराग उठा लूं! बस एक रहे मेरा काम इश्क, मेरा नाम इश्क“
“जैसा भी हूँ अपना मुझे मुझे ये नहीं हैं बोलना काबिल तेरे मैं बन सकू मुझे द्वार ऐसा खोलना!”
Part 1 : Craving for Him and Melting in Him
I don’t know why and how but from childhood itself I had this belief that there is ONE person whom I belong to. Even as a kid, I had this strange conviction that He would manifest Himself in due course of time. Now, that’s pretty teenager-ish, isn’t it? Almost all of us have a similar imagination about our prince charming and dream girls. There were just these two differences but-
1) This “He” was never my romantic interest. Of course I loved this “He”, more than even my birth parents (I know that’s outrageous but in all humility, that has been my truth). But it wasn’t normal mortal love and a give and take relationship for me. This “He” was the very axis of my existence. “He” wasn’t my Ideal Lover. That ONE person for me has always been my Guru, my master. I have craved just for my Guru even as a little girl.
2) “He” wasn’t some image in my mind. “He” was a strong conviction etched on my soul. “He” was carved on my very being. Beyond all the conditioning and dogmas, “He” was my unadulterated truth.
As a single child, I had toys and teddies but no humans to play with. Did that bother me? As far as I can recall, not really. I always had my Guru (whom I was yet to meet) as my imaginary friend and we would play for hours and hours.
There is an anecdote that goes in my family as some ancient folklore. Once, I went to spend my summer vacation at my grandma’s place. I might have been in one of the primary classes. There was some spiritual show going on and my mother and grandma sat glued to the screen. I was busy playing with my sketchbook and colours.
Suddenly I heard the Sadhviji on the screen talk about some paper-game. I hopped out of the bed and sat with the Teen Deviyaan, my mother, grandma and Sadhviji. We were asked to draw 5-6 concentric circles. In the inner most circle, we were to write the name of the person we loved the most. And gradually move towards the outermost circle writing one name in each circle.
After a few minutes, sadhviji said, “As we move towards the outer world, we forget God. He must have secured one of the outer circles if at all He was given a place on your paper”. Here I was, my tiny eyes widened, looking at my own paper in a state of utter shock. There it was, GOD, written in a kiddish handwriting in the innermost circle. The One I loved the most was always Him, my Master.
As I grew up, the teenager Me started seeking love outside and continued to be disappointed. Later, I realised that was because no mortal can love immortally. It’s like measuring distance in Kilograms! Breakups were always painful but not as much painful as being away from Guru. I knew He was there but I didn’t know where! Nights after nights, I had cried and longed just for my Master.
As I moved into my early 20s, my desperation knew no bounds. Life was getting harder to manage because without HIM, I wasn’t prepared at all to tackle the lemons life was throwing at me.
Blunders after blunders, my life has been a continuous series of bad decisions. It’s like I had lost the only key that could unlock my heart; I knew it was there in the room; I just didn’t know where and I kept searching helplessly. Any eyeglass wearers here? Ever had to search for your specs while not wearing them? Then you know exactly what I mean. A Guru is supposed to help you find the answers of your question. What happens if Guru Himself is your only question! Who can help you in searching for the one who would guide you in all your searches!
Desperation has led me to the point of being psycho. I would lock myself in my hostel room and avoid all kinds of interaction with the outer world for weeks. My caring juniors would leave the plate of food outside my door only to take it back the next day. Days were spent in writing poems for Him. Nights were spent groaning in the pain of separation. Without Him, life became a dirge playing over the numbness of my mind.
Back then, I was inclined towards Shiva, the AadiGuru. On one such sleepless night, I remember saying to Him out of extreme pain, “If You indeed are the Truth, manifest yourself in flesh and blood. I dare you, come as a human. It’s not cool hiding in the Himalayas or Kashi or wherever You are hiding, You Coward! Come and be my Guru and take me towards You!”
On Asthami of Chaitra Navratri, He manifested Himself. People ask me did I test Him before taking Him as my Guru? No, I didn’t for I didn’t have to. He was beyond all my tests. And in love, we don’t really ‘take’ someone, do we? We become theirs.
People ask me if it was love at first sight. (My Lord is the epitome of Beauty!) It wasn’t. I have loved my Guru way before I found Him (Or, He found me!). It was not love at first sight. It was recognition at first sight. It was discovering peace at first sight. It was belongingness at first sight. It was “Finally! Where on Earth have you been this long!” at first sight.
I had found my lost key. I had found Swamiji after 24 long years of wandering and craving for Him every single moment till then. After gasping for breath for all this years, I had finally found Life.
Swamiji is no ordinary human. In the garb of a silent monk resides the supreme tornado capable enough to shatter all the mental afflictions just with His one glance. The emptier I became, the more Swamiji went from being an annihilating tornado to the pristine Mansarovar Lake of my life.
He is a living presence in my life, now. The One I have craved for is my reality, now. With Him, life doesn’t seem tough at all. I find myself laughing at the darkest tragedies that life throws on me for I know no power in the three world can even touch His shield of protection.
All I see around me is ash. Everything we desire will turn into ash. Why the clinging, then? Rich-poor, beauty-ugliness, superior-inferior every single creature is nothing but a handful of ash and some bones. Why the comparison, then? Everyone we love will end up on pyre. Why the attachment, then? This realisation alone is potent enough to free us of greed, ego, attachment and anger. This realisation is the gist of what He has taught me in these 3 years.
Before Swamiji, I loved Shiva. After He manifested, He made me live Shiva.
Did my desperation end with that? How did He turned my Self-Annihilating Bhakti into a Continuous Constructive Sadhana?
To be continued…