A day or two before beginning Sadhana, I was down emotionally and was weeping. (When you walk the path of Sadhana, know that such phases may come, sometimes more than often but there is one more truth, they eventually pass. Just hang on for some more time.) Then on 6th or 7th day of Sadhana, I again had a bout of crying during evening part of Sadhana. But as I said, it eventually passed. In one of the days, while doing yajna, I felt Devi Kali performing the yajna. This was after months of my experience of oneness with her.
Drinking water is supplied at our home once in 2 days. I often play some stuti or recite one while filling water in kitchen. That day, I felt spontaneous outflow of last line of Shiva-Sahasranama, which has 4 names –
महेश्वरो महादेवः परब्रह्म सदाशिवः
Who is the Great lord Maheshwar, lord of lords Mahadeva, the formless Parabrahma and the 5-faced Sadashiva.
I just felt a joyous outflow and was reciting this one line repeatedly in varying ways, in varying tones. I sang somewhat like in this way (a 51-second audio in my voice). I was experiencing somewhat silence mind afterwards and we were about to go out.
There’s an Uncle at my father’s office. Once in 3-4 months, he collects money from employees (one is free to give as they wish) and visits a Kushta-Ashram (Leprosy shelter home) at the outskirts of our city for distributing commodities such as spices, edible oil, soaps etc. A 2-3 years ago, we also joined him and so a group of 7-8 people including 4 members of our family visit that Kushta Ashram. Now by sheer coincidence, a visit was planned on the last day of Navaratri. So, I got to witness charity on last day, isn’t it grace? It could have been a week before or a week later but look at the precision of timing by divine!
The Witness unveiled :
We were on our way to the Ashram which is probably around 20 kms away, so it’s a long journey. I was sitting in the backseat. I don’t know when and out of where, a firm voice appeared and said, “Who are you?” It started growing in intensity, it became more firm and clear, “Just think, who are you? Where are you? No verbal answers, just think who are you?”. I was speechless. All other thoughts disappeared in front of that voice and there was just one question, “Who are you?”. And then it changed the question, “Now tell me, who is the speaker and who is the listener, who is asking and who is answering?” “Who is asking and who is answering”- I contemplated on it, I tried to see it, feel it, perceive it. I can’t say I thought about it because thinking is different, something else was happening. And even that questioning voice disappeared.
In those moments of concentration, something happened. I felt something, I realized something – I experienced the Observer/Witness- दृष्टा that day so clearly. And as soon as I became aware of the observer, I became the observer, I was the observer, I am the observer, ever blissful observer of the form of consciousness. There were no thoughts, just an awareness of the present moment. But there was a completeness, a silence and a stillness. I discovered an aspect that has always been there. I understood true meaning of witness that day.
The Vision :
I was doing manasic yajna in the evening. I was trying to maintain my concentration and focus as much as I could. Then there was a vision. For few moments, Sadashiva was performing the yajna. Devi, dressed in red saree, came and sat on his left and then the yajna continued. Devi was offering with her left hand and Shiva with his right hand. That’s the most I can tell.
After this sadhana, my bond with Devi/inner voice strengthened more and more in the upcoming months. She helped me in evolving mentally, emotionally and in consciousness. Sometimes, she whispers something and then it turns out to be true. Divine is no longer a faraway concept. There’s hardly anything I can add here. I have just transformed and the beautiful part is I no longer feel the need to prove myself.
Post Sadhana Experience :
In the week that followed, my ability to sit took a leap. Over the week, I stretched the time I sat in morning from 90 minutes to 100 minutes and one day to around 3 hours. It was extremely painful, specially the knees would start giving up after 90 minutes. But my inner voice gave me a term, “Point of no return, sit for 5 more minutes, etc”. And in a day or two I happened to read an article in newspaper by Late Milkha Singh, The Flying Sikh, in which he mentioned this topic. Point of no return is a very painful stage. If you stop there, all your efforts go in vain but if you persist, you reach the next level.
It was not possible to meditate so I would chant Lalita Sahasranama to keep my mind busy. My primary focus was on improving my ability to sit cross-legged. It feels as if breaking down deeply. And after sitting for around 2 hours, the next great problem is to open your legs and get up. When you do it for first time, it’s really a great problem. But that painful week was worth it. Now if my mind is still and I try to sit for long stretch, the intensity of pain is not that much, it’s easier to sit now.
P.s.: In a comment on the previous post, a beautiful soul asked if my previous post meant I hadn’t used Sadhana app yet. Yes, it doesn’t seem to work on my device. One of the lessons I have learned from life is don’t think about what you lack, it doesn’t help. Whatever you have, just make the best out of it. Similarly, on the path of Sadhana, give your best and leave the rest to divine.
I offer this to divine in you.