It was kind of curiosity and longing to have a Guru in life. My wife also wanted us to have Guru and then probably I will leave my drinking habit which was going from occasional to regular.

Inclination towards this path had ignited with books and you tube videos. I started visiting few places from Bir baba (about 130 yrs old saint) close to my home town in North to Coimbatore (Isha Centre). Then read the book “The Ancient Science of Mantras” written by handsome looking monk🙇‍♂️, followed by net browsing for this place and visit to the next destination planned, called Sri Badrika ashram. In vacations we were on the way, following google landed on other side of Giri river. So drove back and asking direction reached by road.

It was not an event day so, we were the only outsiders who came and Ashram residents (near the dining hall) were little curious. Informed them first timers and just wanted to visit. Had food there, Prabhu ji 🙏served and then had Darshan of Sri Hari. Came to know Swamiji is in solitude and meet on event days only. We were told that next upcoming events bookings were full including the event for the New year so try for next. Left ashram as we had to reach back home, long drive.

The longing to visit again and to meet Swamiji was growing, saw many videos on tube; then wife sent a mail to ashram to see if we can be accommodated for the next event and due some cancellation or whatever we got the booking for the new year event. So, 28th Dec ‘18 we were at the ashram event first time ever minus our kids.

For group meeting we and one other family with two kids went in. I was last in and as soon as inside I prostrated ( don’t know why). There was a young, very handsome looking monk🙇‍♂️ , may not be more then in late twenties glowing like ember. In addition to that shinning face the glow was in a same posture as the monk sitting, like all around. He was too bright, never ever seen some body like that {So photos we use to see since child hood, where all great saints shown with a white halo behind were actually true}. There was one thing to see Him🙇‍♂️ in videos but it was very different in person.

My wife asked that we want to get initiated , He 🙇‍♂️told “time lagaygaa, not saying no but it will take time”. Other family had similar question and we all came out in couple of minutes.

That glow was not normal, it was no brainer then, He is not an ordinary saint🙇‍♂️. Before coming out my wife bowed down near the padukone. She came out asked me why you always in hurry, there was so much energy at Padukone. She always been very receptive of these energies.

Meet many in ashram who were in que for initiation, some trying for few years, some not for so long, I remember a young guy, who became the most sorted person that evening, he was told yes to initiation very first time. Some use to say (jokingly) get initiated as soon as possible once early bird offer goes then it will be very difficult. It was obvious that when such a great source of nectar is there bees will swarm.

Felt good in ashram, was observing all the resident and surroundings, mountain, river side, the ashram, Orange robe sanyasis and disciples like Prabhu ji and a tall / quite one in white, she use to sit on one side with straight still posture, very still🙇‍♂️ . Could make out they are at a very high meditation level (I mean they have put many many hours into it).  Also food in ashram was/is so yummy (tandoor aloo parantha no oil, my favorite).

Looking as Shri Hari had asked my wife to confirm if this is an female god idol or not ( I though it’s a Devi vigrah). She told it’s not as no shingar (dress / ornaments) done so must be Vishnu, still for my sake she enquired and clarified the doubt. I don’t know if any one ever had similar doubt, me the dumbest🤦‍♂️.

Then on 30th Dec we decided to leave next day, a day earlier. In morning discourse Swami ji told about evening program and mentioned for those who will be still there. He 🙇‍♂️ knew few of us have made our mind to leave.

Then visits to ashram began, once my wife visited on Shivratri , coming alone she was dropped by cousin on the other side of Giri river, after crossing it she was picked up by Suvi ji on bike, he told Swamiji 🙇‍♂️has asked him to do so. Her visits were very blissful, in one of the visits she also saw Shri Hari moves his hand with lotus at times during bajans/aartis. Don’t know, I didn’t see it myself but never argues with my wife😊. A devotee with a query was told that another devotee would help her and it turned out she is the one.

Ashram has that soothing chanting of Vishu and Lalita sahasranama by Swami Vidyananda Om ji🙇‍♂️ . Then melodious bajan by Sadhvi Vrinda Om ji🙇‍♂️ after her sessions, it is so good to be there. 

When initiations opened for those who have meet Him before and one year passed, we filled up the form immediately and were called. I don’t remember when was the last time I felt so happy on receiving an email.

We arrived on Ekadashi day (Feb’20) and at the reception while booking and I was handing over email confirmation (which we needed to carry for initiation ), the very kind lady at  the counter said she has to be first and took first my wife’s form.

We had arrived in late afternoon and evening after discourse our name was on board for it.  So the moment came in quicker than expected, Both of us nervous , excited , scared everything you can think off,  she went in first. While waiting for my turn and shivering (it was cold) an ashram resident asked waiting for the initiation, on nodding  she gave me a flower and said offer it inside to Swamiji, she saw the nervousness in me and tried to ease down. My wife came out smiling before I could ask, my name was called.

It’s not easy for a person like me go to in front of Him 🙇‍♂️alone. (My limited mind always runs in wrong direction). I was a  reprimanded  a little for some thing in most gentle way as any one could ever imagine, so using word reprimand is actually wrong and got initiated😎 .  

After this,  all I have to do now is surrender and follow the instruction as and when given. Learning very slowly step by step.

We all know He🙇‍♂️ is a no ordinary saint and we are so lucky to have him among us and hope it remains like that , at time I feel scared , Hardest things for Him here.

As most of us know, nobody goes to the ashram at his/her wish, it’s a call by our Shri Hari we answer and I am so lucky go with my wife. Keep availing the offers  early bird etc and so on😊.

I remember Him 🙇‍♂️ saying (it may not be exactly) “  I don’t want to say this thing but you all have no idea where you all sitting and what these eyes have seen” looking us at all and me. I remember it very often as this is so true for me. So very true.

I think when it has to happen it will just happen, to all those in waiting, wishing all the best.

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Rahul Om

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