The turning point
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The turning point

The spiritual fervour and experiences of the Master's beloved disciples gripped my soul and intensified my desire to know the Unseen.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2003 15:03 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.

After coming back from the deity's temple I was filled with the desire to associate with God the way those people back there did ... life would be so peaceful then I thought. I hated the thought of coming back to Delhi; just the thought of that mindless rush made me cringe.

I guess it was no co-incidence that I got married into a family that is steeped in spirituality. One can find both my father-in-law and my brother-in-law deep in meditation in the middle of the night ... they just get up sometime in between and start meditating! And early in the morning and in the evenings I find my mother-in-law sitting in the puja ghar for long durations with a red rosary in her hand. My elder sister-in-law too meditates and though the younger one doesn't, she is always much at peace.

One has to see them to believe it; they just go about life so smoothly, almost nothing ruffles them ... how I envied that sense of peace with the world. And there I used to be, fretting like crazy on the last day of my visit to my in-laws place ... getting back to Delhi, traffic jams, joining work, colleagues, gossip, mean remarks ... oh, just the thought of it all would deflate me. My reactions were in such contrast to that of my in-laws. Show them the plushest of houses, the swankiest of cars, pictures of their own relatives having swell of a time somewhere on the Hawaiian beach, and they would smile, appreciate, remain detached and after sometime I would see them cracking jokes, laughing and then rushing to pray and meditate ... being in thoughts of God is their only high in life.

And then there was me - tell me how this person that I once knew was now studying at Harvard, how this other person had bought a grand sports car and was driving it around New York and how someone else had bagged this great job at this great place … and I would be happy for them, genuinely happy but on the other hand I would be sad for myself, mulling over my mediocre existence ... how I hated mediocrity - I would crib to Ashi, "We are nothing but a bloody stick in the mud!" Ashi would heartily agree and we would revel wallowing in self-pity, we would revel in self-deprecation.

It was this mode of thought that I wanted to get out of because thankfully God had bestowed upon me the sense of discrimination, I could see that I was killing myself over futile thoughts and in the broader perspective, nothing mattered and nothing was of consequence, at least not the things that I mulled over. If it was something that I had to achieve, it had to be a sense of peace with what is, peace with how things are and peace with what I am.

Every morning, after having my bath, I went to the puja ghar and prayed to the Mother to give me more sense, I prayed to Her for devotion, I pleaded with Her to give me strength to surrender completely to Her Will. And while praying, I invariably got so overwhelmed that tears would start rolling down my face and my throat ached and ached unless I could breathe no more. I wanted to break down and sob fervently but I knew I couldn't do it, what would others think?

As I was going through this turmoil I stumbled upon this book titled 'God lived with them' by Swami Chetananda. The book cover had the picture of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (I call him the Master or thakurji with love). Being an intensely 'curious' follower of Swami Vivekananda, I picked up the book and started to go through it. The book talks about the life of the Master and the training and works of his sixteen most dear disciples, first and foremost being the Swami (Vivekananda) of course. Just the first few pages of that book had a huge impact upon me. I pleaded with my brother-in-law to let me have it. The book was but obviously sacred for him and so he resisted but eventually he had to give in to my repeated pleas ... I actually fell at his feet for it!

Once back to Delhi, every single spare moment that I had was devoted to reading that book. The spiritual fervour and experiences of the Master's beloved disciples gripped my soul and intensified my desire to know the Unseen. My soul craved for that something more, that something which is the Only Reality and I groped the dark alleys of my being for an answer. None came for a few months ... in fact for almost a year, and even if they did, I failed to recognise them; it is only now that I realise that God makes His presence felt every now and then, it is we who fail to feel It.

On Wednesday (October 15th) I will share with you a couple of experiences (which the sceptics will dismiss as mere co-incidences) that I had which convinced me that the Lord was just round the corner, all I needed to do was to acknowledge Him.

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Chapter 6
Chapter 5
Chapter 4
Chapter 3
Chapter 2
Chapter 1

First Published: Oct 13, 2003 15:03 IST