That is how my journey of faith started with him which was based not on any book or saying but on my own realization. In the Eternal Diary-1 I came across a poem written by Sri Swami Ji on the praises and directions given to his dear disciple. I was very much impressed by that poem and read it many times and tried to grasp its meaning, gist with my limited intelligence. From then when ever I got confused or faltered on the spiritual path Swami Ji guided me with tenderness as if handling a very delicate flower. If I became miserable due to my inability to progress, he would console me. E.g. when a friend of mine told me about her spiritual status, I got depressed and was miserable. Next day in the morning he told me clearly that ‘you have to work hard to awaken your powers, which you are not doing.’ Oh God! It set me instantly at peace with myself and the teaching went very deep.
Till then I had not met Swami Ji face to face. The desire to meet him, talk to him was too strong to resist. There were days when I used to console my self by his occasional glimpses and gifts which he showered on me abundantly in the form of teachings. Honestly I knew deep from inside that I did not deserve so much, it was his generosity that he showered me with his grace so frequently. My desire to meet him was like swinging in a pendulum sometimes too strong and some times weak.
By his grace he blessed me once during Navratri when I brought a poor child for learning yoga to the ashram. I had not thought much about it and did it just on an impulse. But my experience to this day is stark clear in my mind. Oh! What greatness!
By grace of God I had an opportunity to meet him in Rajnandgaon ashram. Though I knew that he was a power house of energy by my communications with him on the inner plane, yet it was a unique experience. The little gallery was full of thick vibrations of his very presence. There was such a huge crowd of people continuously assailing him! When with great difficulty I was able to reach his persona, I asked him two questions. One was ‘man (mind) bahut bhatakta(wanders) hai, kya karoon?’ he instantly answered even in the big crowd “you have to manage that only.” The other question he chose not to reply. During his pravachan though I was quite far off but I could feel constant flow of energy. My whole being was washed, bathed in that energy. Greedily I hung over to each and every word he uttered and tried to absorb as much as possible. He showed us a c.d. of Swami Sivananda. I was a little surprised because at that time I did not know about the greatness of Swami Sivananda.
After the pravachan he was surrounded by lot of devotees, coolly he jumped like a small child and came out. Although I should have been satisfied, yet I became restless and wanted to ask him about my Sadhna. It came as a surprise to me also later. When I managed to reach in front of him, I asked ‘I have the good fortune to see you on the inner plane many times, I want to ask you whether I am doing the right sadhna?’ he replied without a second’s hesitation or delay “yes you are doing alright.” Surprisingly (even to myself) this reply did not satisfy me much. Because I knew internally the monkey jumping of my mind, my restlessness, my defects, mistakes.
And I was annoyed with him later because so many things kept on crowding my immature mind, which I wanted to discuss with him. This opportunity left me wondering about his supernatural powers whether he had a computer which flashed the answers so clearly and so quickly. This brooding went on and on. This experience deepened my faith on him.
In the meanwhile he kept on helping me with my sadhna in his own subtle way. But now I was desperate to talk to him, ask him various questions and doubts which assailed me day and night. Then I had a chance of going to Rikhia prior to Shatchandi Yajna in 2005, November. I do not have words to describe his grace on that single meeting. All the obstacles were removed miraculously which kept on cropping on the way to Rikhia. Firstly our flight was delayed by 5 hours; we missed the train from Ranchi to Deoghar. Out of blue a T.T. helped us secure a night train in the V.I.P. quota. I was deeply relaxed and energetic in spite of all the problems! We reached Deoghar late and the time of appointment was missed. I had full faith that he will not disappoint me after I have come so far.
My faith proved right. At that time preparations of Yajna were going on in full swing and he was extremely busy, but he took out 35 minutes for me and my husband all alone! Very patiently he answered all my questions, my husband’s queries; going in between to guide the preparations. I was jerking continuously due to the energy he was emitting; which my body was unable to tolerate.
When we said that we had taken a lot of his precious time during such a busy day, then only he got up. Both of us were completely bowled over by the magnetic force of his personality, along with kindness, gentleness, so rare these days!
This meeting left me fully satisfied. He filled my cup to the brim; overflowed it with his generosity which is as natural to him as smell is to a flower. Though I could not have Darshan of Sri Swami Ji, but there was no vasna(desire) left in my being on that account. One answer which highly pleased my husband, I am quoting. He clearly told me that “my first duty was to serve my husband and take care of household. If time permitted how ever little; should be utilized in sadhna.” He specified that “many new aspirants in their zeal to do more and more sadhna, neglect their household duties which is not desirable.”
He assured me that I was on the right path. He said “you are in this line. We are with you.” Oh God! Words cannot describe my gratitude; my relief at his assurance! Though I knew that he was with me since so long; but I wanted to hear it from him. And gracefully he fulfilled my desire without asking!
Though I wrote each and every word he uttered, but I must admit that the meeting is as fresh in my mind as it happened only yesterday.
He came to Bhilai on 3rd july 2006. It was a great day for all of us. We were all blessed by his benign presence. I noted down his pravachan to some extent. As he was in Bhilai for only 3 hours, we were left looking forward to going to Rajnandgaon. I managed to attend his yoga classes in the morning. I was deeply impressed by his style of taking classes. Swami Ji gave a lot of stress on the practice of Pawan mukta aasnas-1, which are supposed to be very easy and simple. He said that if these simple aasanas are done on alternate days along with tadasnasans and Surya namaskar one can remain healthy throughout one’s life. He told about the effectiveness of these aasanas on the memory as well. This has been proved by various scientists all over the world.
I thought that it meant we need not bother about those difficult poses and Asanas! I felt deeply relieved by it because due to Rheumatoid Arthritis; I am unable to do many of them. Bhajans from Siddh Prarthna were also very good. The mind became totally focused right in the beginning. The most important was his punctuality. He used to there in the pandal 10 minutes before the class. We wondered even after attaining such higher level, he was teaching all of us by his practice rather than preaching!
One day when he was leaving, I jumped the fencing and asked him about the Pranayamas for generating heat in the body. I feel very cold after recovering from rheumatoid arthritis. Instantly he said “garmi wale to bahut Pranayam hain-kapal bhati, bhastrika.” I asked how many times should I do kapal bhati? He had started moving towards the exit but answered, “Do it only 10 times, if you will do more, a heart attack will come.” It took me a few days to assimilate this teaching fully. As I was practicing kapal bhati 80 to 90 times in one round. By his grace we could sit in the front almost daily with the sannyasins in Rajnandgaon.
One day a friend of mine sent a query to him. She was a little skeptical, whether it will reach him or not? I told her that I was 100% confident that the slip would definitely reach him. My faith proved right. The moment he read it; he looked straight at us and gave us one of his biggest and sweetest smile. we folded our hands in pranam which he acknowledged by a nod. Oh god! We were amazed he knew that we were sitting right there! The number of people attending satsang was around 10,000.
Each moment spent in his presence on Guru Purnima was enjoyable. Though I was a little uncomfortable during Havan, because I did not remember Sivananda Gayatri by heart. The experience and energy was too good to describe! Bhajans in the evening were also extremely enjoyable.
Those memories still linger in my mind, are safe in the fixed deposit of my heart; which I keep on looking at. By his child like innocence and humor he instantly wins the heart of one and all who comes in his contact. In spite of being powerful, he is able to guise his power under a perfect garb of simplicity. Like a light house guides many ships and boats in the sea; he is guiding all aspirants however small they may be. He is my role model. I also want to help as many people as possible in whatever little way, in leading a happier and healthier life.