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There are these lines by Hypnotherapist Dr Bruce Goldberg, "If you don't believe in Karma or reincarnation, don't worry. Probably you will in your next life."

india Updated: Nov 15, 2003 19:02 IST

This is not a fictional account. I might have to change the names of people that I make a mention of just in case they desire it to be so. Rest all is true but there is obviously no way that I can prove that to you. The only motive behind writing this is to share with anyone (who is just as inclined towards) the little discoveries that I make in my attempt to see that which is not tangible but more real than what is. I really do look forward to hearing from whosoever wishes to write back to me about one's own feelings on the 'subject'. The link for writing back is given right below my own account. I hope to write to you every Wednesday and Saturday.

Just as I said the last time, this column is completely devoted to replies. So here it is:

Well stumbled on your article and read it in one go. Great work. But I have a question. I do not believe in God. Call me an atheist. I am a very happy, successful and practical person. I believe we all are complex chemical machines who will run out of juice one day and die. No rebirths, no soul, nothing. I believe if I do not hurt someone, nothing will harm me. I have and will help anyone as long as it is within my means, irrespective of whether I know them or not and I seldom get angry. Is my approach to life wrong? No, I am not depressed or sad. Just curious!

- Ravi, New York, USA (October 25, 2003)

There are these beautiful lines by Hypnotherapist Dr Bruce Goldberg, "If you don't believe in Karma or reincarnation, don't worry. Probably you will in your next life."

But this is not to say that your approach is wrong. If I were to answer you from a believer's point of view, I would say that God doesn't need to be recognised; He is obviously not a megalomaniac king! So it really doesn't matter to Him as long as we are all happy and content with what we have, with what we are. I am sure He doesn't mind ambition, what He minds are the negative emotions like anxiety, fear, doubt, jealousy that somehow get attached to that emotion. If you can work towards materialistic prosperity without getting flustered and disbalancing other people's life, that is fine by God. Spirituality, as I see it, is much about living out our lives with a sense of peace and equanimity.

He is fine as long as we are good, solid human beings who are in harmony with our fellow beings, as long as we are using our intelligence and discrimination to live a centred, peaceful existence.

If you are at peace and in touch with your inner self, there is nothing that you need to worry about. For all other dimensions, just as they say: All in it's own good time!

Sorry to say Ms Bist but have you ever wondered, why is it that only a very very few people experience all the miracles and dreams from your aunts and presence of the evil spirits around you? I am in no way trying to undermine what you have described because I personally like everyone else don't know if I want to believe in this other dimension of life though I think I know it exists... but I would certainly try to make one point...that it is just your belief...and your insecurities which make you experience the way you want to... to put it this way it's all the power of your mind, which can take you miles away if you just think of it...transfer power in form of it's all in your head.

However I would like to remind you of the responsibility you have towards the society as a journalist as you must realise the power of the words... therefore by suggesting things like a visit to tantrik helped you is going to put a lot of people into pit of superstition from which with a great deal of difficulty people have risen from... Think your articles should be more neutral rather than suggesting a definitive direction. Hope no offence is taken.

- A, London, UK (November 9, 2003)

No offence taken at all; after all you only have the interest of your fellow beings at heart when you remind me of my responsibilities as a journalist. As a matter of fact, it is great that you have pointed this thing out for it indeed has made me stop and think. Thanks.

Your mail indicates that readers are more likely to concentrate on the fact that I went to a 'tantrik' instead of the more important fact, which too I have mentioned that the tantrik and his clan (Jaunsaris) derived all their 'powers' from their 'absolute faith' in the 'deity', and in other words the Cosmic Energy. I feel that it is rather strange that people would internalise only the tantrik bit and not the strength that lies in faith, which I emphasise upon repeatedly. Friends, what do you say to that, have you been so selective in your observations?

Maybe I should have used the phrase 'medium' or 'Man of God' instead of the title 'Tantrik', right? Because that is what he actually is; when he meditates before doling out the solution, he calls upon the 'deity' to guide him; he just serves as a medium. He lives an austere and obscure existence, unlike the 'commercial tantriks'. I had mentioned these facts about him in the column and that is exactly why, while describing his location in one of my previous replies, I pointed out the fact that I place my faith in the Cosmic energy and it would be on the sole discretion of whoever concerned to place his/her faith in a 'person'. But yes, I would definitely be more careful with my choice of words the next time.

And as for your first observation that it is all in my head and have I ever wondered as to why does it happen only to a very, very few people around me, I would like to say that the time had come for me to explore the 'other dimension' of life and I had sent out that sub-conscious thought to the Cosmos; the Cosmos responded to my silent plea as it does to everybody else's and hence all the experiences.

Since the dual path is an easier way of understanding God, I had to experience the negative in order to call out and recognise the positive. Advaitism (non-dualism) is considered to be a 'superior' philosophy but for laypersons like me, it is an extremely complex and abstract concept. Thus, I carved out a structure of reality, which contained experiences that were easier for me to understand. In that way, I sure did create my reality, just the way we all do.

As far as those few other people are concerned, I am sure the same applies to them. If I knew all about the interplay of karma and destiny, then I would be near enlightenment my friend … I sure am trying to get there!

Don't mind my saying that but I feel that you need to sort things out in your mind; too much confusion there. Just read your own lines carefully and chew on them: "I personally like everyone else don't know if I want to believe in this other dimension of life though I think I know it exists" - it's a nice exercise to scrutinise oneself honestly, it hurts like hell but it's worth a try, the gains are invaluable.

You would only believe it once you experience it. It's like unless you drink tea yourself, there is no way I can tell you how it tastes; I can just persuade you to try it out.

Hello Megha:
When love is strong and runs deep, it pulsates with an energy that cannot be stopped, not even by death's grip. When two souls are connected and one departs from this world, the separation may seem final, but in truth the relationship transcends time. Love, like a river, flows eternal, and it embraces all those who swim in its streams.
No one has seen God. I lost my mother in 1990 which left me devastated. But whenever I walk into a temple or mediate and sit to pray...I only see her and feel her. But yet in these last thirteen years she has appeared in my dreams only two times and there is not a night when I don't wish and pray that she should come in my dreams. But some people tell me that we should not disturb the ones who have passed on and let them rest in peace, but tell me Megha is it wrong if I see my mother in God...all the time? Am I disturbing her? Should I stop this? It has nothing to do with attachment but the fact that I am able to give a live face to God. I seek your expert advise and guidance. Thank you much.

- Anoop K Sharma, California, USA (November 10, 2003)

No Anoop, you are definitely not disturbing your mother by seeing her in God. As long as your meditation/contemplation gives you peace, it all is fine, never mind in which form do you relate to God, or what helps you to go inward. Honest assessment of oneself, striving to evolve as a human being and inner peace are the important factors here, not how you do it.

I don't know much about the spirit world but people who claim to know tell me that one should not call upon the spirit to visit them as it disturbs the spirit. It is like telling one's mother when she is there in flesh and blood to climb up six floors everyday to give you your morning cup of tea because it makes you happy to see her and have tea made by her first thing in the morning. No matter how she would love to do it for you, it is going to be very strenuous for her. Just as it taxes the energy of a person who is there on the physical plane to climb up a given number of stairs everyday, so does it tax the energy of a spirit to visit someone just because that person wants it to be so.

If your mother so desires, she will come and visit you whenever, please let it be her wish. Respect her comfort zone, which I am sure you do. In this book called the 'Laws of the Spirit World', which is a true account of these two brothers who died together in an accident and continued to visit their parents for a long time, they mention the fact that nothing pains the departed soul more than their loved ones grieving for them. It makes their journey ahead difficult. So please send her way happy thoughts; nothing will make her happier. She would go forward more peacefully.

I quote a few lines from Paramahansa Yogananda's 'Autobiography of a Yogi', my constant refuge. I hope these words would heal your heart to some extent:

The angelic appearance of Master Mahasaya fairly dazzled me. With silky white beard and large lustrous eyes, he seemed an incarnation of purity. His upraised chin and folded hands apprised me that my first visit had disturbed him in the midst of his devotions.

His simple words of greeting produced the most violent effect my nature had so far experienced. The bitter separation of my mother's death I had thought the measure of all anguish. Now an agony at separation from my Divine Mother was an indescribable torture of the spirit. I fell moaning to the floor.

"Little sir, quiet yourself!" The saint was sympathetically distressed.

Abandoned in some oceanic desolation, I clutched his feet as the sole raft of my rescue.

"Holy sir, thy intercession! Ask Divine Mother if I find any favor in Her sight!"

… "I will make your plea to the Beloved." The master's capitulation came with a slow, compassionate smile.

Descending the long stairway, I was overwhelmed by memories. This house at 50 Amherst Street, now the residence of Master Mahasaya, had once been my family home, scene of my mother's death. Here my human heart had broken for the vanished mother; and here today my spirit had been as though crucified by absence of the Divine Mother. Hallowed walls, silent witness of my grievous hurts and final healing!

… Seeking the seclusion of my small attic, I remained in meditation until ten o'clock. The darkness of the warm Indian night was suddenly lit with a wondrous vision.

Haloed in splendor, the Divine Mother stood before me. Her face, tenderly smiling, was beauty itself.

"Always have I loved thee! Ever shall I love thee!"

Master Mahasaya possessed control over the floodgates of my soul: again I plunged prostrate at his feet. But this time my tears welled from a bliss, and not a pain, past bearing.

"Think you that your devotion did not touch the Infinite Mercy? The Motherhood of God, that you have worshiped in forms both human and divine, could never fail to answer your forsaken cry."

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Previous Chapters

The lessons in thedreams
Whenthe dead approach
The indulgent Mother!
Please mark me absent
The devil sits inside
The power in words
One of those dreams
The miracle, God and I
The compassionate One
The turning point
Smile at God
They live with God
I visit a Tantric
That sinister presence
A brush with the spirit world
On my way Home

First Published: Nov 15, 2003 18:52 IST