It was Navratri Pooja day and that day it was announced that, ” Today there will be no meditation, but only Sankirtan, so everyone just close your eyes and clap, sing and dance in the glory of the lord.” I became really excited as I loved dancing and singing.
At first I didn’t close my eyes because as a kid, my curiosity was overflowing to see what others would do with their hands, feet and heads. Because before this, I haven’t seen any elder people dancing around me( you know how parents and elders are! They fear expressing themselves). So as the music started beating along with dholak and manjeere, all hands went up in the air in love of the lord and with the singing getting more rhythmic,my heart just wanted to just go a little deeper and feel what all were feeling. I was just gazing from one person to another with my jaws dropping off in exhilaration. Then what happened next is what I don’t clearly remember, but what I do remember clearly is I opened my eyes maybe after a good half an hour. And my whole body was heated up. My hands were red with the warm blood flowing because of continuous clapping. I was feeling as if the atmosphere and everything around had changed today, nothing seemed boring anymore. I had a feeling of freshness. I am actually falling short of words to explain that first Sankirtan experience I had. It was like time lapse. It felt as if I was just gazing at people with same boredom surrounding me having no idea what they were doing( and sometimes my honest feeling would be that they all were doing drama) and here I am with a blank blackout experience where I had I think minimum thoughts or maybe no thoughts( I don’t remember this thought thing really) but yes this is only how I can put it in words. No, it wasn’t samadhi but it was just like the first time when your mother held you in your arms, first time you started walking, first time you spoke or maybe even more than all these above feelings.
From now onwards, masi need not bait me to go to that meditation center, which didn’t mean that she stopped making efforts but it was the change that came from inside me and the change that comes from within is a permanent one, I think. I would go to nani house on Saturday with all the preparation for going to the center the next morning with all white clothes packed in my bag. Sometimes I would even wait for the day when the next Sankirtan session will be held. My meditation also started improving, now I liked to sit with closed eyes on my own. I still remember a day when I went to a room where shri Guru Granth Sahib was kept at my nani house called Babaji’s room and sat down for meditation. I remember that afternoon, I didn’t want to open my eyes, I wanted to sit a little longer. I knew this was none of my hobbies or interests but something was changing inside. Surely, this was Lord’s grace and unconditional love but for my little innocent heart these terms were very big to use at that time and honestly I had yet not discovered what is grace, spirituality, meditation, spiritual experiences, etc. all I knew was I started enjoying this new activity just like playing and dancing.
My masi, after some time, gifted me a meditation kit which was a beautiful box with some mantra chanting booklets, chandan Tilak, a tussi mala and a diya in it. It’s box is still preserved by me with just different material inside now.
She taught me doing Japa on mala, which I inculcated as my daily habit to sit in a meditation pose, and do one round of mala on its beads before taking my dinner. Although this habit couldn’t become a permanent one, yet for an eight year old it was enough to create a long lasting impact on the little mind.
I would again like to mention that it’s nothing special about me, I was not a devta or a special child but just another imperfect human being. All I want to say is that when you take even the smallest of a step towards the truth, intentionally or unintentionally ( as I didn’t know so for me everything was happening without any personal efforts) nature pushes you up a hundred times multiplied into your efforts. Moreover my heartiest gratitude to my masi who was constantly making efforts to make me move on this path, I think it is only the meditation which gave me hope whenever life turned tough on me. She was and is still my Kickstart button. She even made a special meditation routine for 8 year old me. I have that diary and wanted to post a picture of it in this article, but couldn’t find it, if possible I will post it later on.
Here is a message for all the parents reading this, please make efforts to know the mind of your child. See from which source he or she finds happiness. Engage him or her in some type of art or spiritual practice, or anything your child likes, because at the end of the day, no matter how much branded clothes and toys they have, their best friend resides within and that’s their mind…If they are in harmony with their minds, they are going to become a happy and calm human being which I think will not onlynbe good for him/ her but also the world around him or her.
I didn’t mean to sound preachy at all, anyhow will continue…lots of love and laughter ❤💕🤗🌻