On February 2, 2010 I completed one year of Samarpan Meditation – one year in which life has become structured, simple and peaceful. As I look back on the past year I realize that a lot has changed in my life though life around me continues in the same fashion. In the last one year I have had a lot of experiences, the key ones I would like to share with you.
My first trip to Dandi was on 23rd April, 2009 – this trip had been postponed twice earlier for one reason or another. This time too, our friend Ramnath Kamath was to come, but the night before departure he cancelled his trip due to some urgent personal commitments. My friend, Deepak and I decided to go along with Raju based on the directions e-mailed by Ramnath. Ramnath had told us that those who are destined to reach Dandi will definitely reach, and those who are not will under no circumstances reach the Ashram. We left at around seven in the morning and on our way to Dandi, at the second toll there was a serpentine queue when Raju decided to take the vehicle off the road and onto the mud track. Thereafter we progressed to a point where we had to get back on the road. As Raju tried to get on the road a truck obstructed him and he had to go straight as a result of which the rear suspension got stuck on the tar road as half the vehicle was on the mud track and the other half on the tar road. Ramnath’s words flashed across my mind, and I thought maybe we are not destined to reach Dandi. Unfounded fears though, maybe Swamiji was just testing us, my friend and I got off from the car, looked at how it was stuck and asked Raju to reverse and take it on the mud track and then back on to the road. After this incident we reached Dandi at around 11.30am and after registration went to the meditation chamber where PP Swamiji’s statue is kept. My first experience while meditating came here, it was like I was ensconced in a cocoon and the feeling I got was of being in a very comfortable nebulous embrace. When I opened my eyes about 45 minutes later, there were just a handful of people in the chamber as opposed to an almost full chamber when we entered. My friends had gone for the Prasad, where I found them. After eating the Prasad we left again for Mumbai, and I had the feeling that I should keep coming back. The feeling of peacefulness is so all pervading that one does not feel like leaving, but I guess life has to go on and one’s family responsibilities faced!
In July we went for the Guru Purnima celebrations at Pushkar from the 6th to the 8th. We had booked flight tickets from Mumbai to Jaipur for the 6th and return on the 8th well in advance to get the cheap rates. We were again travelling with Ramnath and a couple of his friends, the trip from Jaipur to Ajmer, where we were blessed with the ‘darshan’ at Ajmer Sharif Dargah. From there we left for Pushkar by taxi, and reached our hotel where our bookings were made by the Trust. As this was my first experience of staying in collectivity – we were eleven people in a room with two bathrooms, I woke up at 2.00 am to complete the mornings formalities before anyone else woke up and then relaxed. As the morning program was to start at 5am, I thought it prudent to be ready well in time so as not to miss anything. On the second day we were to take Diksha, as this was our first Guru Purnima, the experience I got while taking diksha is something which needs to be experienced to be believed. While performing the “aarti” and when the poojari was instructing us to inhale the positive energy and exhale the negative energy, the aroma which I got while inhaling in the 50 degree centigrade heat was such that I did not want to stop inhaling at all! But after a point you can’t inhale any more and I exhaled the negative energy to be enveloped by a nice feeling of well being. Throughout the three days at Pushkar, one could get the aroma of either roses or sandalwood during PP Swamiji’s and dear Guruma’s pravachans. On the second day we sat without any semblance of discomfort for more than eight hours in 50 degree heat and at the end of the day, there was no feeling of tiredness either. Ramnath and his friend Ananth had booked an airconditioned room in a hotel and convinced us to also shift to the hotel as there was no point going for meditation with PP Swamiji on the third day without being refreshed. As there was logic in the argument we too shifted to the hotel. The last day was very eventful! The seniors in the group (by experience and long connectivity with Samarpan panth) had decided that we should skip the post lunch session from 2pm to 5pm as we had to go to Jaipur to catch the 8.30pm flight to Mumbai. This made sense as it is an almost 4 hour drive to Jaipur from Pushkar. We had called the taxi at 2.30pm to our hotel, imagine our discomfiture when the taxi did not arrive even at 3.30pm. We were continually calling the driver and he kept telling us he is reaching in five minutes, by 4.30 pm were in a panic and Ramnath and I decided to walk down to the main road to check if we could get another taxi. As we reached the main road, we saw a taxi rounding the corner and stopped it, this taxi turned out to be ours – it was a Chevrolet Tavera and we quickly took him to the hotel and loaded our bags into the vehicle. Ananth had to get his wife’s musical instruments from the registration counter at the mela ground. When we reached the mela ground, we saw that PP Swamiji had concluded the program at 4.30pm and people were already leaving the ground. Ananth got his wife’s musical instruments and by the time we hit the road it was just past 5pm, leaving us about 3 hours to reach the airport. On the way out of Pushkar, on the Ajmer bypass, there was construction work going on which held up the traffic for over fifteen minutes, we had to request our driver to plead with the contractor to let us go as we had a flight to catch. As we passed this first delay, we noticed our driver continuously talking on the phone and driving at a leisurely pace, there was no way we could reach the airport at that speed. Once we reached the expressway to Jaipur, I jokingly asked him whether I should drive as he seemed to be very busy talking on the phone! To my surprise he readily agreed, and gave me the drivers seat. With the AC in the car on, it was like driving a truck, I did not come below an average of 100km per hour and we exited the expressway and got onto the road to the airport at 7.30pm. As we approached the airport around 7.45pm, the driver decided we needed to fill diesel, our blood pressure was high by that time, we told him not to waste time and take us to the airport straight. Which he did, we reached just before eight, unloaded our bags and ran to check in when the security stopped us and told us that we had to go to the new terminal which was five km away! You should have seen the way Ramnath, Ananth and I ran to try and stop the taxi from getting away. We caught him in the nick of time brought him back to the airport, reloaded the bags and set off for the new terminal castigating the driver for bringing us to the wrong terminal. We had not gone a kilometer when the taxi completely ran out of diesel, it was now past 8pm and were in a near state of panic but were all the time consoling ourselves that PP Swamiji was testing us and we would not miss our flight. As we got out of our vehicle, I saw a Qualis slowing down on the other side of the road, Ramnath and I ran towards the vehicle and requested the driver to drop us to the airport. The driver said this was a company vehicle and we should ask his boss. We pleaded with his boss who readily agreed (Jai Baba Swami), we transferred all our luggage and reached the new terminal at 8.30pm (flight departure time) and were rushing for check in when the security told us to relax as the light to Mumbai was just landing and we had ample of time to check in! We offered him money for the trip but he refused, saying it was nice that he could help! You can imagine the relief on our faces and then we mentally apologized to PP Swamiji and also thanked him for not letting us miss our flight!
The next day while meditating at home, I got a very strong aroma of roses, the aroma was all pervading even after my meditation was over. I called my younger daughter Vallari and my mother and asked them if they could get any aroma – both of them confirmed that they could smell roses. I told them dear Swamiji was present with us and to fold hands in obeisance.
Sometime in September last, I went to the Mukteshwar temple in Juhu with a friend after meditation. As we came onto the floor which had statue’s of different saints, I got a very nice feeling, we paid our obeisance to Shri Gajanan Maharaj, then Shri Akkalkot Maharaj and as I came in front on Swami Nityanand, my entire body from head to toe went ice cold and I just sat on the ground with my eyes closed for fifteen minutes.
I had gone to Bangalore with a colleague to do Guru Karya for a week as PP Swamiji was to hold a Maha Shibir there. I stayed in the Malleswaram Acharya’s (Ravikiran Shirali) house and enjoyed my stint doing Guru Karya, we went to schools, offices and houses and were quite enthusiastic about the karya. In fact, we were told that only after our visit did the local people start joining in doing the karya and Guru Karya gathered momentum and some force. On the last day, I was to stay at Shridhar Mani’s house as the airport was close from his house. That morning, he told me to come for meditation in his meditation chamber – this chamber is locked and only used for meditation. The chamber has a very pure air about it and the ambience is completely conducive to meditation, talking inside is a strict no. After meditation, he told me to stand against the wall and walk towards PP Swamiji’s photo inch by inch with my palms facing outwards and eyes closed. As I neared the photo, my entire body started going cold from head to toe and as I write this I experience the same feeling. The entire body went ice cold and it is an experience I truly cherish.
We had also gone to Anand for the Maha Shibir, there too I experienced waves of cooling every minute or so - internal cooling like my insides were awash with menthol. In Bangalore, for the Maha Shibir, I once again experienced the cool waves during PP Swamiji’s discourse. After the discourse we went to the ISKCON temple close by. There too the cool menthol like internal vibrations made me feel like sitting in the temple for meditation.
Sometime in December, I was looking at purchasing a property in Virar. The deal was almost finalized and I had given a cheque for 10% of the value as token. While meditating I asked Swamiji for guidance as the investment amount was large and I did not want to get stuck in legal complications after buying the property. The next day morning after meditation at the center, I started getting tremendous negative feelings about the property and decided to cancel the deal. I called the property owner and asked him not to encash the cheque. As this was a Sunday, it was possible to take back the cheque. A few days later I came to know through a friend that the property was mortgaged to a bank and against which recovery proceedings had already commenced. I am sure I was guided by Swamiji in taking the right decision.
There was a traffic incident in January this year, while going for meditation to CIFE Andheri west from my office in the east. There was heavy traffic, and a motorcycle overtook me from the left and came in my way and I hooted hard at him – the traffic must have been moving at about 20km per hour and I must have touched his exhaust. The man parked his motorcycle with his colleague standing near the motor cycle. He came to the car and raised his hand to hit me stating that why should he not hit me as I had hit his motorcycle, completely forgetting that he had come from behind and in front of me in a very rash manner. In earlier times, my blood would have been racing and I would have been spoiling for a fight, but this time nothing of the kind happened, I just very coolly told him that there was a lot of traffic and such things happen while apologizing to him. After ranting and raving for about two minutes, he just turned around and walked away. As I was going for meditation, I thought to myself this looked like a test of my balance which I seem to have passed.
My entire life style has changed in the last one year, liquor has stopped, watching TV has stopped, leaving me with more time for physical and spiritual activity. A morning run, meditation and evening group meditation. Day begins at 4.30-5.00 am and ends at 9.30-10am. There is a lot of internal peace and tranquility. Jai Baba Swami.