More About the Blog..

Some things in life can only be experienced. They cannot be described or told in words. As is a saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, but those thousand words still cannot describe a picture completely. So it is quite evident that words have their own limitations. And what I have tried to describe here cannot be described even in pictures or videos. That can only be felt and experienced. But still, I am making this little valiant attempt of describing it for the sake of inspiring my dear ones, who are on the brink of it, but still haven’t experienced it.

So, you must be wondering, what is that such unique thing to experience??
Well.., that unique thing is.. Divine Love!! It is the Grace flowing through in your life; it is the unconditional Love of the Divine, which is beyond words to be described!!

This blog, as the name suggests, is about how H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar chose me? How I got connected to Him? How the life transformed after meeting Him and became so beautiful? How the gratitude blossomed and enriched my life? It also gives a little insight into the relationship of a disciple and a Master (those who don’t have one so far).

I have always lived the moments that I have spent with my Gurudev, to the fullest. I have had a lot of experiences with Him, which were as thrilling as any Hollywood flick, and yet so fulfilling. One day, I came across a book, “Sri Sri as I know him”, which has experiences of different people who have met Him or have been with Him. It inspired me a lot. Earlier I used to think, that experiences of a devotee with a Master should not be shared with anyone, but after reading it, I thought, that if mine can also inspire others the way it has done in this book, then there is no harm in sharing and as I also had a few to share, so I decided to write this blog.

Here, I have listed most of my experiences, but not all. There have been some very subtle experiences, of which some are still happening, and those are too personal to be shared.

A lot of effort and time, worth months, has been put in to write this blog, to make you feel and experience it as nearly as possible. I know, some people may find it very irrational and crazy, but as I said, it is a matter of experience.
Hope, you would enjoy reading it, and also draw some inspiration from it.

Thank you to all those who have been a part of this wonderful journey and to those also who are going to become a part of it after reading it..!!

Your comments would be much appreciated, please leave some.. J


Vinay Bansal

At a Glance..

“ ..There was something that was attracting me towards Him, even through a TV. Those dark beautiful eyes.. full of love and compassion, that never fading and penetrating smile on His face, those reflections of divine aura with which He was carrying Himself was all there that was attracting me to Him. I felt like “ki kuch toh hai”.. ”

“ ..The bhajans were playing on and gradually, the whole environment was getting filled with an air of joy, bhakti and celebrations. People were dancing, singing and swaying in ecstasy. It was all very strange for us what we were witnessing there. Slowly and slowly, I was also getting infected by that joy. I also wanted to stand up and dance but something inside was stopping me, some hesitation.. ”

“ ..During the Kriya, I had some very unique experiences, which I had never experienced before in my life even after practicing different yogic exercies for so many years. And when I opened my eyes after its completion, it felt like something got lifted off from me. I was totally blank, empty and it seemed like world had come to a standstill.. ”

“ ..There was something in that loving gaze of His that penetrated deep into the layers of my existence and it seemed like something sparked off inside. I became totally blank and didn’t know what to do? I was just standing there as if there was no one else around, except me and Him. I didn’t feel the buzz that was there around Him. It felt like time had stopped for a few moments.. ”

“ ..I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my Master, and with my eyes closed and the environment vibrating with devotional music, I reached the threshold of bhaav and broke down. I cried.., I cried like never before, since the time I had grown up.. ”

“ ..पास आकर भी तुम्हारे, ये इतनी दूरी क्यों है?
दिल मे रहते हो तुम.., फ़िर मिलने मे इतनी मजबूरी क्यों है?
क्या अब सब कुछ बोल कर ही कहना होगा तुमसे मुझे,
मेरे मौन की गूँज, इतनी जरूरी क्यों है…?? ”

“ .. after a while, as we were sitting there waiting, we saw a girl walking towards us. She was coming smilingly towards us and, though a bit confused I also smiled back, wondering who she was.. ”

“ ..The pain in my heart was visible on my face too. I was expecting that He say me something to relieve me, but the chaos surrounding Him was too much. In between, when He looked at me, He gave a concerned look, but couldn’t talk. Then, after some time, after meeting all, while He was going back.. ”

“ ..with the eyes still closed, I felt light beaming into my eyes. As I was on the road, so I instantly opened my eyes, fearing that someone could ram a car into me. What I saw was two Sumos and they stopped near us…!! I just couldn’t believe what had just happened..”

“ ..The happiness that we feel, when we get to hear from the person, whom we love so much, also loves us, is beyond words to be explained.. ”

“ ..when He opened His eyes after that, I could see the love sparkling in His eyes had multiplied a thousand folds. Those were gleaming with Divine Love and the best word if I could use for that would be ‘Khudai-Noor’. He had that Khudai-Noor in those beautiful eyes of His and His every expression; every movement of body was so much full of it as it seemed He was still there on some different plane than us.. ”

“ I was silently praying Him that “Take me along as well”. I was so desperate that i was thinking that if this time you take me to Hisar, then I would believe that you really listen to me.. ”

“ ..If you are willing to walk into my arms,
If you are willing to live in my heart,
You will find the one you have waited forever….
You will meet yourself in my arms…

I Promise

“ .. then He moved forward a step, Varun was sitting, Guruji blessed him, and then suddenly looked back and said, “Mujhe bhi kal raat ek baje tak neend nahi aayi” (“I also could not sleep till 1 AM last night”). Both, I and Varun were shocked to hear that and were staring at each other’s face, not knowing whether to cry or laugh, wondering that He knew it all, as by no way anyone could have told Him when we left. Nobody was even there to see that we had left at 1 AM.. ”

“ .. Just imagine, cars speeding at 100-120 kmph amid that heavy and chaotic Delhi traffic, trying to overtake each other without caring either for their own safety or others and still come out clean is simply extraordinarily amazing. If somebody could take an aerial view of it, then only one could see what actually happens. Even a Michael Schumacher will find it difficult to drive in that chaos.. ”

“ .. he was also looking at me but the distance was a bit too much. The bhaav, the longing of that 20 meters separation was gaining control over me and finally tears started trickling down my cheeks. I tried to hide them, as I didn’t want to show those to Him to gain sympathy. But you know, He knows it anyway.. He can feel it whether you are 20 meter away or 2000 km away, it does not matter. He can sense the desperation in the air. So during the meeting, He stood up.. ”

“ .. he loves you no matter how you are, whether you are poor or rich, ugly or beautiful, sinful or like an angel.., in Art of Living or not, of any religion, of any caste, of any colour, of any sex, of any nationality, of any species..(am talking about animals too..) it just does not matter.. ”

PS: This blog is like a story told, so preferably read it from Top to Bottom..

How the Seed Sprouted..

As far as my memory goes back, I could recall that it was since my childhood days, that I had been inclined towards God and spirituality. My mother introduced Krishna as my companion, as my friend, as my brother and I had that kind of attitude towards him always. I used to feel somehow that he was with me, though not so intensely. Even today, when I leave home on to some journey, my mother says to Krishna, "Kanha, saath jaana.." [Krishna, go along]. So, such is our relationship with Krishna.
Meeting or being God was some kind of fantasy for me. My childish mind used to think that it was some kind of position and I could acquire it by studying hard. I used to ask my mother that whether the voice in the bhajans tape that was being played was of Krishna himself?
Then, circumstances changed, and as I grew up, being the only child, having only a mother, I started feeling very lonely in this world. There was a period in my life, which seemed like passing through the hell. Though through all this period, I had with me the intense love, caring and blessings of my mother, but I had to go through those tough times and there was no other option, with the expectations soaring high and the resources shrinking.
This led to my inclination towards spirituality getting stronger. I read a lot of text, followed some practices learning from here and there, and was just in search for that real bliss, which was lying underneath those words. But as my journey continued, I could experience that spiritual strength for only short durations, and could never actually be with that completely.
It was actually in the year 2003, in my 12th standard, that my search became more intense. Many years passed after that, and my journey went on and on.. struggling, exploring and seeking someone who would come to me and soothe this very soul of mine with that divine love, but no one appeared thus far.
It was this time as I could remember when I had finished my degree, and was sitting at home, waiting for a joining call from my employer. I used to listen to talks by different spiritual personalities on TV, and while scanning through the television, I came across to a person, whom I saw always smiling. I just stopped there and started listening to Him, and those words of His were immensely soothing to my heart. While watching Him on TV, when the camera rolled around, I could see the people sitting there, listening to Him with a very gentle smile and a joyful aura on their face and that too on almost everybody’s face. I wondered, why all of them were smiling, as there was no laughter show going on? Are they all paid audience, for smiling? Listening and wondering over all these thoughts, I suddenly realised that I was also smiling.., but why???, I didn’t know..!!
That was really wonderful for me. There was something that was attracting me towards Him, even through a TV. Those dark beautiful eyes.. full of love and compassion, that never fading and penetrating smile on His face, those reflections of divine aura with which He was carrying Himself was all there that was attracting me to Him. I felt like “ki kuch toh hai” [something is there for sure]. And what lies ahead is my journey of experiencing and exploring that “kuch” [something].
Although you must have understood by now who He was, but still to make it clear, He was none other than H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar.
Then, after few days, I got my call from the employer, and went to Mysore, for my first job, if I could say like that. When I entered there in the Mysore campus, my eyes lit up and what I saw was just majestic and out of the thoughts. I fell in love with that place instantly. But beneath that beauty was lying a very intense and stern training for us. And as the days progressed, it became more and more intense and the stress levels started to shoot up. Then, on the Sanskar channel, there was a show of Sri Sri Ravishankar at 7.30 AM daily and it became a sort of my routine waking up listening to Him, when my TV alarm used to wake me up at 7.30 AM. Even though for 15 min, I used to listen Him very intensely, and those 15 min used to pass like nothing, and that increased that longing in my heart for Him. During the end of the show, people used to share their experiences about Sudarshan Kriya, and I used to wonder what is it so wonderful about it and all I wanted was to experience it. We had a little bunch of people there, ‘spiritually inclined’, and we discussed about it. We made plans also sometimes, but that didn’t work out, and that longing for meeting Him and experiencing Sudarshan Kriya was increasing day by day.
I met a few people there, who either had experienced it, like Sucharu Aggrawal, Rahul Anand, ‘Life CoachChaya Mam, or wanted to experience it, like one of my friends, Vinit Aggrawal. I discussed about it as where can I go and learn it and they pointed to the Art of Living International Ashram in Bangalore.

My First Visit to the Ashram..

Finally, one day, my friend, Vinit, and few of his friends decided to visit the Bangalore Ashram and learn Sudarshan Kriya. So, we all started around 12 PM from Mysore and headed towards the Art of Living Ashram. Though we planned to reach well before 6 PM, but owing to our little knowledge of route and transportation system, we managed to reach there by 8 PM only. It was all dark, and raining also. We just went there and sneaked into the satsang hall, Vishalakshi Mandap. It was all jam-packed and we got seats only at the back side. We sat there, and started to look around with curious eyes, as what was really going on?? Sri Sri had not arrived by then. The bhajans were playing on and gradually, the whole environment was getting filled with an air of joy, bhakti and celebrations. People were dancing, singing and swaying in ecstasy. It was all very strange for us what we were witnessing there. Slowly and slowly, I was also getting infected by that joy. I also wanted to stand up and dance but something inside was stopping me, some hesitation. So, I just kept sitting there and was witnessing it all.
After some time, Sri Sri came, walking so graciously, greeting everyone and smiling all the way through and it seemed the celebrations and joy reached at its pinnacle. After some time, all settled down. There was one more Maharaj Ji sitting by His side. On that day, Sri Sri didn’t speak much, but there was a little discourse by Maharaj Ji. Sri Sri was sitting there silently, and I was in some sort of disbelief as if He was really there in flesh and blood.
At the end, Sri Sri called for people having B’ Days and anniversaries. Some people stood and went up to Him. He embraced them all very lovingly and blessed them. That time, I also felt like going close to Him and meeting Him but just could not. I thought that would I be allowed to go near Him or not, as I was altogether a new person there? Then, finally He departed, and we also came out.
It was around 11 PM. We went to housing section, and expressed our desire to stay in the Ashram for a day. Initially the person there agreed, but when he came to know, that none of us had done any course, he refused. We told him that we had come there for this very purpose, but he said that the policies didn’t allow our stay here. We were all very disappointed. We inquired about the options available, and then left the ashram, somewhat dejected. We somehow managed to reach the bus stand, and then left from there to Mysore overnight.
So this is how I saw Sri Sri for the first time physically, but was not that fulfilling, may be because something really wonderful was waiting for me..
After that, time passed, and finally my training in Mysore lasting 10 months got over and I was posted to Chandigarh.
I came to Chandigarh. Sucharu had already come to Chandigarh a few months earlier. One day I met her and she introduced me to the people associated with AOL [Art of Living] there. This was basically a group of AOL people who used to practice meditation in the office.
Here I met few very nice people. Bhanuja Sharma, Ankit Grover, Amamdeep Singh, Aditi Vashishth
Then these people further pushed me to do the course and I came to know that a YES+ course was going to happen soon in Chandigarh. And as the course neared, Ankit pushed me to do the course, and after overcoming a few obstacles from my mind, I registered for the course.

My Tryst with Destiny, My First Course..

Finally, the day came, Feb 20, 2010 and I reached at the course venue. The course teacher was Aakash Sharma, but he had not come that day. Pratibha Ji were taking the course along with another teacher. On the first day itself, I got to experience the Sudarshan Kriya for which I had been waiting for so long. I was very excited about it, as what it would be like experiencing it? Finally, I sat for doing it, closed my eyes and started following the instructions given to me.
Perhaps I didn’t realize that my life had started to take a new dimension there. I followed their each and every instruction very carefully. During the Kriya, I had some very unique experiences, which I had never experienced before in my life even after practicing different yogic exercises for so many years. And when I opened my eyes after its completion, it felt like something got lifted off from me. I was totally blank, empty and it seemed like world had come to a standstill. That was a divine and wonderful experience. The teacher told me that I should do it for at least 40 days regularly, and I thought, “40 days regularly??” I doubted if I would be able to do it, as I was also keen on continuing with my previous practices. But look now, it has been more than 600 days and I haven’t missed it even once! Isn’t the grace flowing through?
The teacher Aakash Bhaiya, came on the second day, after the first half of the course and propelled a new energy into the environment. It was all fun and a process of total transformation. On the final day of the course, he introduced to us ‘Jai Gurudev’, the two words that we use to greet when we meet a fellow AOLite, and its meaning which means “Victory of bigger mind over the smaller one”. But my mind didn’t accept it as I had taken a Guru Mantra from someone else earlier. I doubted as can I say Him ‘Guruji’?? Then, during the course I came to know more about Sri Sri, a few ‘Guru stories’ and also saw a video, ‘Love Moves the World’…
Don’t know, the world moved or not, but that video definitely moved something inside me… deep inside my heart and soul. In that video, I saw Sri Sri giving a very loving embrace to a crying person who seemed very ordinary like us and I wondered “Is He so readily available??” That video touched my soul and filled up my heart upto the throat. I asked Aakash Bhaiya, “Bhaiya, kya mai bhi ‘Guruji’ se gale mil sakta hu??” [Can I also hug ‘Guruji’ the same way?] and he replied, “Haan, mil sakte ho, tum agar bologe to vo mana nahi karenge” [Yessss, you can, you just need to make a wish to Him, and He won’t decline]. And I thought, “Oh.. Wonderful”. Then I came to know that Yes+ had planned a trip to Rishikesh the following week where Sri Sri had had come for some days. Though I knew it earlier also, but after the course I decided that no matter what, I am going to Rishikesh to meet Him.

So, finally the course got over, but it was a life transforming experience. I was feeling full of joy, enthusiasm and peace. I was feeling like.. "Why I missed it for 23 long years of my life?? Why I missed it for so long?? Had I done it earlier, don't know where would I have been..!!" The attitude and outlook towards life had undergone a profound transformation after doing the course.
I also made two very good friends there, Ashima Garg and Shweta Bhaskar.

My First Dip in the Divine Love..

Finally, the day came, when I was going to go to meet the phenomenon known as Sri Sri Ravishankar in person. During the course, I had come very close to Him, and had set up a heartily connection with Him. Now, I knew, He is not far away from me and I could share even the darkest corners of my life with Him. Before leaving for Rishikesh, I had written a very honest letter, mentioning the most serious concerns and dilemmas of my life. I wanted to handover all to Him then J
So, I boarded the arranged bus with my office AOL group having Bhanuja, Sushant, Ankit, Amamdeep, Laveen and Ema with me. Ashima and Shweta were also there in the bus. We started at night, and it was a very long and tiring journey and I even thought once, is it worth going so far? But finally, we reached in the morning and then reached the ashram where He was staying. It was along the banks of the Holy Ganges. There was a lot of buzz and excitement in the air around that place. I came to know, that there is still some time for Him to come out. So we all office group went to Ganges and took a cool dip. It was refreshing. Suddenly the buzz amplified and we came out, put on our clothes and rushed to His Kutir. We were told to stand in a line in the ashram, but I didn’t like that. So I along with Bhanuja hid there in some corner and waited for Him to come out.
After a few minutes, He came out, in those characteristic flowing white robes and that loving smile on His face carrying a divine aura and followed by a group of people behind Him. He was walking at a brisk pace. As He came near me, some 2-3 meter away, I joined my hands and bowed Him to say “Pranaam”. He looked straight into my eyes, and acknowledged it…. and that was it.., I was bowled over!!!
There was something in that loving gaze of His that penetrated deep into the layers of my existence and it seemed like something sparked off inside. I became totally blank and didn’t know what to do? I was just standing there as if there was no one else around, except me and Him. I didn’t feel the buzz that was there around Him. It felt like time had stopped for a few moments.
Before meeting Him, I used to think how to find a Guru, a true Guru, an Enlightened Master among this crowd of saints that is visible these days? Some learned person once told me that to find a true Master, first become a true seeker. And now, I realise, that it is not us who can choose a Master, but it is the Master who chooses His disciples and now I feel that, that was the moment when He chose me.
As I recollected myself after a few moments, I found that He had moved a few yards by then, and I looked at myself and found that I had not handed over the letter to Him that I had written with so much anticipation. I said to Bhanuja, “Bhanuja, maine letter to diya hi nahi” [Bhanuja, I couldn’t hand over the letter] and she replied, “Areey jao, jaldi de ke aao” [Go, and quickly hand Him over]. So I ran through the crowd and handed Him the letter, and while walking, to my huge satisfaction, He looked at the envelope in an inquiry mode. 
For the information of my dear friends, who have not been able to meet Him, I tell you, He reads each and every letter of yours and responds in His own unique way.
I was very excited and happy, but thought that still I have not been able to get a “Jaadu ki Jhappi”[Hug] from Him. So I tried to rush through the crowd again, but this time, couldn’t get a chance. He had entered the ‘Darshan Line’ and I couldn’t sneak in. Then I skipped the whole line, and went to the end of it. The line ended at the entrance of a Hall where an Advance Course was going on. So after giving darshan to all, He entered the hall, and I was standing at a side near the entrance, thinking that He’ll not come now. But suddenly, much to my amazement, He came out and walked towards my side and stood there for a while, enquiring something, I didn’t know what. Then realizing my chance and gathering my courage, I said, “Guruji, mujhe aapse gale milna hai” [Guruji, I want to hug you] and He lovingly embraced me!! I was in a sort of disbelief and became crowd conscious. So even though He gave me a loving hug, I could not feel the magic. But nevertheless I was very happy.
After coming back, I had written a few words describing this incidence..
दिल में झांका तो एक लौ दिखाई दी।
आँखें खुली तो मुस्कुराहट छायी थी।
वो कहते हैं खुदा की तस्वीर नही होती,
पर हमें तो उनमे रब की झलक दिखाई दी।
शायद कमी रह गयी है कहीं हममे,
वरना वहां तो बस खुदा और उसकी खुदाई थी

This sums up perhaps what I felt.

After that, He went into the meditation hall and we had a short meditation with Him.
Afterwards, we just wandered in and around for few hours in Rishikesh. Then we came to know, that He would meet the Chandigarh Yes+ team. We got excited, but there was some time for it, so I and Ankit decided to go for another dip in the Ganges. We went into the Ganges and there were some other people around also. As I took the first dip and got up, I found that I had lost my specs in the Ganges. Now, in that uneven bottom, padded with rocks and that speedily flowing water, it was almost impossible to find it back. I told this to Ankit and he also started searching for it. There were some local ‘Coin Picking’ boys, expert in searching underneath water. When asked, they also started searching, but after 10-15 min of searching, what we had in our hands was Nothing. I eventually lost hope that I’ll get it back, but I was calm as I always carry another specs with me. So I was not too disturbed, but definitely concerned.

During the Yes+ course, Aakash Bhaiya had told us a story about ‘Jai Gurudev’, which you can get from me on demand J. So I thought, let us also try the same. So I just closed my eyes, remembered Him and said “Jai Gurudev”. Then opened my eyes and put my hand in the Ganges. When I waived it once, something like a slim stick stuck in my hands, and I took it out, and to my utter astonishment, it was my specs. When I told this to Ankit, he was more amazed than me, and we were like over the moon.
Then, after a few minutes, still in the excitement, we went back and lined up for the Yes+ meet with Sri Sri. When we got in to meet Him, we just threw our footwears outside and rushed in. We met Him very closely and were all very happy. When we came out, Ankit could not find his footwear. We looked around all the possible places where it might have been, but couldn’t find it. Many footwears were spread all over. Then, I started telling the same story to Ankit which Aakash Bhaiya had told me, and which had led me getting my specs back. I was telling that to him and was not even completed with it, that suddenly we saw the footwears under our eyes just in front of us and exclaimed, “Ye rahe..” [Here they are..].
We were just too amazed at what was happening with us? Were these just coincidences or something really was happening? Now it is only a matter of experience and no amount of explanation can satisfy the mind. But this was really an amazing experience…

And by this time, Sri Sri had turned into Gurudev for me.

This was not due to these little miraculous incidents that had happened, but this was because I felt the inner connection with Him, which however was always there. I felt that He was there with me listening to me all the time. As far as miracles are concerned, the relationship of a Master and Devotee is beyond it. The way Divine Love emanates and gratitude flows in His physical presence is in fact the biggest miracle you can ever experience. For me, He is an incarnation of Love, compassion and profound knowledge and that all with the innocence of a beautiful child. You can’t but just Love Him. You are not left with any choice. Your mind gets blank in His presence, free of desires and thoughts and often the joy within erupts and tears of gratitude starts rolling down effortlessly.
Such is the phenomenon known as Sri Sri Ravishankar.

To pay a tribute to My Master, I have written these few lines..
इस्तेकबाल होता है जब उनसे, तो जैसे प्यासे हलक मे नीर उतरता है॥
बदल जाती है जिन्दगी, जैसे सूर्यकिरण से गुलज़ार खिलता है॥
उलझी रह जाती है नज़रें और दिल दीदार को तरसता है॥
मुस्कुराते हैं जब मेरे गुरुदेव, तो जैसे खुदा का नूर बरसता है…॥

Guruji during meeting with our YES+ group in Rishikesh.
As a matter of fact, let me tell you, that as soon as I reached back home from Rishikesh the next day, my specs got disintegrated on its own, as it had served me for quite long. Perhaps, if I could say like this, that its lifetime was over even there, and it swept away into the Holy Ganges on its own, but owing to my prayers, He extended it for a day J
One more thing I realised that day, that although He listens to us always, but we should not make it a daily business to deal with our small-small discomforts, as He has a lot more other important things in the world to look into.

Then later on all of us went to Rishikesh City for an evening walk. There, we got a bit late and we realized that we were getting late for the evening satsang. Unable to get any public transport, we hired a car and drove straight to the satsang hall, as if our flight was just to take off. We rushed in, and could manage to get a place only at the end of it. The atmosphere was jubilant and filled with a devotional air. It was a large hall and being at back, I could see just a figure of Guruji. We were just lost in the divine music and were dancing and singing. Suddenly I came to know that satsang was over and Guruji had left the hall from the front door. I tried to rush out but all the doors were closed and I couldn’t get even a glimpse of His from the windows. So after some time, as the doors opened, I rushed out to His kutir but He was already inside. The gates were closed and only those with an appointment were allowed inside. There were some 50 people waiting outside to sneak in, but it was all in vain. Our whole group had to head back to Chandigarh on that night itself and the time for it was nearing in. I waited anxiously outside for some 20 minutes and had called Ankit also by that time. After a while, the calls to go back had started falling into my years, but I was missing touching His feet, although I had met Him, hugged Him.

Then, when I thought that I might have to leave, I just closed my eyes, touched my heart and prayed Him, “Guruji, I just want to touch your feet before leaving..”. And as soon as I opened my eyes, within moments the doors opened and to my utter disbelief, Gurudev appeared from nowhere. By that time, most people had left. I was standing on the ground and He was standing just 4-5 steps above the ground. There was no one between me and Him, and I just bowed my head and touched it to His lotus feet. Then He said to me and Ankit, “Haan, tum logon se to mai mil chukka hoon na..” [I have already met with you na..]. We just nodded happily without saying anything and feeling, “Oh.., He remembers us”. We went back so happily and finally left for Chandigarh unwillingly, as the following day was ‘Holi’ celebrations with Gurudev.

But, what I realised on that day was that whenever we call Him with devotion or ‘bhaav’ in our heart, He listens to it, no matter where we are. I felt that as soon as I started praying, He had left His seat to meet us. Such is His Love… Unconditional and Undiluted..!!!

Born Again..

So after having done the YES+ course, meeting Guruji and few other wonderful things that happened to me, I was feeling like some wings had been attached to my life. I was feeling as if I found something, some out of the world stuff. Life had literally taken off. But still, it had to reach the crest..!!

So, after a few days, it happened for me to attend a DSN course by Anand Rajendran Ji, one of the most revered teachers for it and also associated with Guruji very closely for a long time. Initially, I had some reservations about it, like what it would be, but after a little pushing by my friends, I registered for it. Now this was something different. Something very confusing and demanding at the start, but as it progressed session by session, I found myself being taken to an altogether different level. Despite getting very-very drained physically, the emotional and spiritual energy levels were touching their pinnalce.The whole course was an exhilarating experience for me, which shook me all over inside and removed a lot of my inhibitions.

It was May 2, 2010, last day of the course. Anandji took us through a process, told a lot of ‘Guru Stories’ and asked us to sit with our eyes closed. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my Master, and with my eyes closed and the environment vibrating with devotional music, I reached the threshold of bhaav and broke down. I cried.., I cried like never before, since the time I had grown up. I cried like a baby for some 20 min with tears of gratitude flowing down. There were some other participants too who had simlar experiences and when I recollected myself after it, I was Born Again..!!
Born in the sense, that it seemed like, there was some hollowness, some emptiness inside. I felt like rejuvenated and fresh. It felt like all my worries and tensions were taken away. I could feel a new source of strength within me. And I marked this day as my second B’ day..!!

It happens that when we surrender ourselves to the divinity, the grace of the Master flows. The heart opens up and Love pours in. This experience enriched my life and took the words to the level of realization.

Paas Aakar Bhi Tumhare..

On the last day of the DSN, I had decided that I would be going to Ashram to attend the last four days of Live Ashtavakra Geeta by Gurudev along with an Advance Course with Him, no matter what. So finally, when the time came, I reached Bangalore. Bhanuja was also there with me and a lot of other people from Panchkula had also gone to Ashram for the same. From there, I headed to Mysore, alone. There, I roamed around, reliving and remembering the moments of my lifetime in our Mysore Campus and met a few old mates. I came back to Bangalore after spending one night there. In Bangalore, Manoj Parashar, one of my long time friends also joined me. I had motivated him to come there in the Ashram. He came from Pune. So I stayed overnight at his friend’s room. We headed towards the Ashram early morning. It was Monday and along with it a very special day for me, June 14, 2010, My Birthday. With all the anticipation around, I along with Manoj, was heading towards the Ashram, getting congratulatory messages all the way through, which had started at night itself. We were getting late and as soon as we landed in the Ashram, we rushed towards Yagyashala, where Guruji were doing Rudra pooja, a weekly pooja ceremony dedicated to Lord Shiva, done every Monday. That first glimpse of His was enough to take me into a sort of disbelief, that, “Oh.. I am here, so near to Him and attending a Live Rudra Pooja”. I was feeling a little restless absorbing the moments. After the Pooja, when Guruji came out, I was able to capture some lovely pics of His.
Guruji doing Rudra Pooja in Ashram 

Guruji being hugged by Indrani (Guruji’s Pet) after the Rudra Pooja.
After a while I found Bhanuja also there, who had come with me and reunited in Ashram. We all three, I, Manoj and Bhanuja went for Breakfast. It was really delicious. While returning back, I saw some crowd gathered around there in front of Guruji’s Kutir. I didn’t know where and for what it was there. So I asked Bhanuja for what were they gathered there? Bhanuja told me that Guruji might be coming out. Then I thought, if it is like that, then I am not going anywhere.

So, we all three stood there, anticipating and waiting for Him to come out. It had been quite a while that we were standing there, so Bhanuja suggested me that we take the room first from Housing, put our luggage there and then come back, but I refused. I had decided that I was not going to move anywhere without meeting Guruji. It had been more than one hour and we were all standing. We were looking at people having appointments with Him going inside with flowers in their hands. I also wanted to give one to Him, but couldn’t take a chance of leaving the place to buy one. So I plucked one from nearby smartly, escaping people’s sight. But, that flower also couldn’t wait for too long and finally perished. But I was very keen, so I plucked one more in the same manner. It had been around 2 – 2.5 hours since we were waiting there. Perhaps that was a test of our patience. Manoj was not really keen to stand there, and was questioning how only few people were allowed to go inside? As I can remember, I said something like, “Ye log to khud ja rhe hain andar, Guruji ko phool dene, par Guruji khud hame dene aayenge” [These people themselves are going inside to gift Him flowers, but He Himself will come out to gift us].

Then all of sudden, Guruji came out, sitting in a golf cart. I rushed to His side and exclaimed, “Guruji, aaj mera B’ day hai..” [Guruji, it’s my B’ day today], while presenting Him that flower. Guruji asked me again very innocently, “Kya” [What], I said, “Guruji, mera B’ Day hai..” [It’s my B’ Day Guruji].

At that moment, it felt like, He was listening only to me, in centre of that chaos, and time seemed to freeze for a few moments. He took the flower from me, looked into my eyes and in return gave me a beautiful Red Rose. As He passed by, I was still unable to absorb the moments and was jumping and shouting in ecstatic joy. I shouted towards Manoj, “Dekha mai keh rha tha na..” [See, I was saying this na] waving that flower towards him and Bhanuja, seeing all this, was smiling and being very happy for me.

It was not just a flower for me. It meant a lot more to me. I quickly arranged for a temporary box for it.

Flower given by Guruji (Pic clicked after a long time)

Later in the day, we all three along with some other Chandigarh pals celebrated my B’ Day. It was an awesome day. I didn’t miss any chance to see Guruji. Later in the evening, it was Ashtavakra Geeta Session and hundreds of people had turned for it.

Guruji going to His kutir to sleep late at night.

After a couple of days, my Advance course also started. While in the ashram, my longing for Him was growing day by day, as I was not able to meet Him and talk to Him closely. It was the time, when my mind was wavering with a few Questions that I wanted to ask Him. I wanted to talk to Him, but that was not happening. Moreover, the silence in the Advance Course had begun and my chances of talking to Him went further down.

That longing kept on increasing, and one evening in the Ashtavakra Session, some words of poetry whispered from my heart. Though I was in silence, but I wanted to break that to say those to Him. But perhaps, He didn’t want that, so I wrote them down on the paper and handed to the person authorized to read it all. To my utter disgust, He didn’t read those out and I felt further disappointed.
Here are those heartfelt words, perhaps my best ever in its class:

पास आकर भी तुम्हारे, ये इतनी दूरी क्यों है?
दिल मे रहते हो तुम.., फ़िर मिलने मे इतनी मजबूरी क्यों है?
क्या अब सब कुछ बोल कर ही कहना होगा तुमसे मुझे,
मेरे मौन की गूँज, इतनी जरूरी क्यों है…??

Eventually, that longing and gratitude was so powerful that I broke down in one of the Ashtavakra sessions.
The course somehow got completed; it was the second last day of my trip. We came to know, that Guruji would be coming soon to give darshan to all. We all aligned up ourselves. There were some thousand people sitting there. All were waiting for a glimpse of His very anxiously. Finally, He came and started meeting each of us. I was getting very restless. As He was approaching towards me, my heart was beating faster and faster and when He finally came to me, I bowed, kissed His lotus feet and with overwhelemed heart, all I could say was, “Guruji, gale se laga lo” [Guruji, give me a hugg] and He embraced me lovingly, tapping my cheek. Finally, He left after meeting all amid seemingly chaotic scenes.

With Him, there is play even in conflicts, there is peace even in chaos, there is fun even in knowledge, there are celebrations even in silence and there is a profound silence even in celebrations. Such is the magic in His physical presence.

Now, my last day of the trip came. Advance Course session was going on, but I was standing outside His Kutir with flowers in my hands. I thought, sitting in Advance course would mean I would not get His last day darshan. Aditi, my office friend, came there and asked me why was I standing there and not attending the session? I simply overlooked her suggestions. Finally, she assured me, that I go back and in case He comes, she would inform me. So I started walking back with my head down, thinking that He appears just once to me, and to my astonishment, when I looked up, His car was coming in front of me, but alas, the filmed glasses were covered, and I could not see Him, but He must have seen me for sure!

I went back to the course session and was made to sit into meditation, but my mind was roaming somewhere else. I was waiting for a call from Aditi. During the meditation, I was praying that He comes just once and as soon as I opened my eyes after meditation, I saw there was a seat set on the stage, and it could have been for none other than Him. I was feeling overawed by His Love and the way He was listening to me. After some time, He came there, and made us sit into meditation for a while.

After that, when He was moving out, I said to myself and also prayed Him that “This is the last chance here and let me ask what I wanted to ask you”. So when His car moved out, I ran to it, and recollecting my whole strength, asked Him what was there in my mind for so long. He looked into my eyes and replied in His own manner, that only He knew best and moved ahead. Although confused with His answer, I was relieved of having asked Him what I wanted to.

Finally, it was time to leave. I didn’t want to leave that place, as it seemed very painful like a daughter leaving her parents’ home. I had fallen in love there and had not explored that enough also during my stay. So I went for a quick walk over it with Aditi and came back.
When I finally came out of Ashram, I realized that, “Oh.. I am still living in this very world..!!!”

That Unknown Messenger..

So after coming from Ashram, life took its own pace. It had been some time that I was away from Guruji, although only physically. Being away from Him creates some sort of restlessness in me and I just keep looking for the chances to see Him.

So, I came to know, that Guruji would be coming to Delhi for a day. He often comes to Delhi on short unofficial trips and many people don’t even know about it. But my search engine remains always on J.
So, I went to Delhi and after some searching, I finally went where He was expected to come. It was someone’s home near Hotel ITC Maurya. There were a few others also from Chandigarh there.. Aditi, Rohan Makhija, Varun Bali, Manish Sharma and few others.

We were waiting for His arrival and after some time He came but we could meet Him only for a short while. He left for some meeting after some time. We inquired, when would He come back and came to know that He’d come by 4 or 5 PM. It was just 12 PM at that time, so some of us decided to go to market and come back after lunch. We came back by 4 PM there. Then we came to know, that He may come there only by evening, some 8 PM or so, but we were determined that we’d not go without seeing Him once more. So we were waiting, as His whereabouts were not known. Nobody else was there except four of us from Chandigarh; Varun, Manish, I and one more guy. We were sitting under open sky alongside road and the weather was sending us warnings, but unfazed by all this, we were just sitting there, talking, playing, sleeping or calling Him in meditation.

Then after a while, as we were sitting there waiting, we saw a girl walking towards us. She was coming smilingly towards us and, though a bit confused I also smiled back, wondering who she was? She introduced herself as Divya, and told us that she had got separated from her group but also told us where Guruji were!! She told us that He would be having a meeting with Delhi volunteers at some nearby auditorium very soon.

Much to our relief and happiness, she was like a messenger for us sent by Him, as otherwise, we would have waited there for another 4-5 hours alongside road, in bad weather, without any assistance from anyone. But our Master didn’t want us to be that way, so by His divine will, that Girl came and took us to the auditorium.
While we were going, on foot, as expected it started raining heavily. We had just one umbrella and we were getting drenched. The venue was some 1 KM away. But by His grace, a car stopped near us, and took Divya and me along to the venue.

Now, there was another problem, we didn’t have any passes to enter inside, which were freely distributed to the Delhi AOL people earlier. But we were too determined to get inside after having reached the venue, as we knew; He can’t go away without meeting us. So, after all the exhaustive efforts to get inside failed, we decided to look for an alternative. One of us decided to search for an alternative entry and amidst heavy rains; Manish went to search. He came back after discovering a secret entry point and whatever happened after that was no less than a Bollywood filmy scene.

We all decided to follow him. First I went along him to inspect the entry route and after reaching there, I found it okay. So I stood there and sent Manish to bring the other two guys. They also came there escaping from all eyes. The secret route was inside a site under construction, which was part of the auditorium. It was all dark there, with building material and loose wiring spread all around. Using our mobile torch and sniffing anyone’s presence around, we sneaked into the building on our toes like burglars. We came inside and were trying to be very normal and natural as if nothing had happened, but inside us, there was like a storm of excitement of having achieved something great, and was very hard to suppress.

But now, there was another problem. Though, we were inside the building, but not inside the main auditorium. And for that also, we needed that pass. But we were pretty sure to get inside this time also, though didn’t know how?? J. After sometime, Guruji came inside, from another gate, and we were among the first people to greet Him and were really happy. Although we had sneaked in, but there were some more people standing outside, who couldn’t achieve the feat like ours :P. So, instead of going into the auditorium, He first went to meet those people standing outside and took them in. I was really moved by His Love and concern for all.

Guruji entering the auditorium building.

Then we finally sneaked inside the auditorium also after all the push and pain along with Guruji and had a wonderful time with Him.

Guruji inside the auditorium.

It was such an adventure to experience. These are His own ways, so unique, so adventurous, so funny and yet so full of learning. That day, we realized, that He is taking care of each of us, and reaches us by His own unique natural looking ways. These experiences teach a lot, and makes the faith stronger, which otherwise would not have been possible to understand.
Such is His love J.

Je Tu Na Fadda Baah…

Aur aakhir-kaar fadd hi lii... [And at last He took hold..].

Yes, that’s how it happened..
In fact, during all this period mentioned above, even before meeting Guruji in Rishikesh, something had started happening in my life, the first day I joined my first course. It was a process of transformation, a process of realization with some profound experiences. It was a process of transforming the tendency to Giving from Wanting, to approaching Unconditional from Conditionality, of Rising in Love from Falling in..!!

My connection with Gurudev has been of one on one, without any intermediates. He is like a personalized trainer for each of His disciples, creating situations in life for each of them and makes them go through those in the most natural of manners possible, without even making them realise it. It is when that disciple goes through such situations, knowledge blossoms in him. And it is a continuous process.

So, I think, that was one such time for me. During that period, I was going through a great emotional transformation. I was experiencing some very profound emotions, which often used to put me in a lot of emotional pain and longing, but at the same time, were opening up my heart also and purifying it too. So it was a very delicate time and during one such period, I was in a lot of pain and all I wanted was to see Him, as there seemed no other way of getting relieved from it.

So, I came to know that Guruji would be there in Noida for a day and I decided to go there. I went there with a lot of anticipation this time.
I reached there. It was Oct 30, 2010. Guruji was inside someone’s house and some 100-200 people were there waiting outside. I was waiting very anxiously. After a while He came out and the whole crowd just enveloped Him. He was looking at all of us one by one.

The pain in my heart was visible on my face too. I was expecting that He say me something to relieve me, but the chaos surrounding Him was too much. In between, when He looked at me, He gave a concerned look, but couldn’t talk. Then, after some time, after meeting all, while He was going back, I was very near to Him, with just one or two persons in between, and was reaching out to Him by my hand. A lot of pushing and all was going around and suddenly some of us felt like falling down. Suddenly I felt, that someone had held my finger to keep me from falling down, and when I saw who that was..??
It was none other than my beloved Gurudev...!!!
I was feeling absolutely elated having known it.

For a person reading it, it may be very normal thing to happen, but for me, it was a silent message given by Him, that “Ghabrao mat, girne nahi dunga..” [Don’t worry, I’ll not let you fall down my dear..]. It sent down a lot of relief in my aching heart. It conveyed that message, that no matter what the situation in life was, He was there to take care and hold the things together.

What He does is all very spontaneous and it looks very natural, very innocent and you even start doubting, “Did He really do that??”, but I tell you, that is how a Master works, He knows it all, but still maintains that wonderful non-doer ship and innocence about it. The one who is connected can only feel it, for others, it’s just another coincidence.
But when so many coincidences start happening in life, then better we put aside our brain, and start thinking with heart. It’s then only, that we can feel the grace flowing through into our lives.

Then after a while, He turned to me, and asked, “Tu kya karta hai..” [What do you do?] and I stumbled and couldn’t say anything except my profession L, “Guruji, Infosys Chandigarh me job karta hu..” [Guruji, I do a job in Infosys Chandigarh]. I thought, “How silly am I, as couldn’t say anything else?”. But thats how it is, the mind doesn’t work in His presence and more than all this, it was the experience when He spoke to me that mattered. It seemed like there were only He and I present among that crazy crowd around and all else was seeming void. It felt like time had slowed down for both of us but was running a bit quickly for others.
Truly.., it was magnificent; something can’t be explained in words..!! J