I Meet My Guru
I Meet My Guru for the First Time
I was born in a village in West Bengal. I came from a very big joint family of 57 members, most of whom were engaged in agriculture. My family was not rich. For this reason, I had to leave my village at the age of eighteen years to look for work to augment the family income. I came to a small town called Midnapore, where I got a job as a teacher in a municipal primary school. I worked in the daytime and at night I studied for my graduation. I was in my final year of college.
One day in 1967 I met two monks who had come to the college to give a lecture on concentration. I attended their lecture. Afterwards I asked many questions to one of the monks. As I asked these questions, the monk told me that an intelligent boy must accept anything if it could be proven. He said to me, "Why don't you learn and practice regularly what I have talked about and get the results yourself. If it is bad, then you can tell everyone that the process is not correct or beneficial. And if you have benefited from this meditation, then you can tell people that everybody should learn it!" I felt that what this monk said was both meaningful and logical.
I took the address of the nearby Ananda Marga center from him and tried to get more information and answers to my many questions. Several months passed. During that time, I often went to the Ananda Marga center. Some time later when I went to the center, I saw that more monks had come and everybody seemed to be very busy. When I questioned one of the monks, he told me that Baba was coming the following day for DMC! I was thrilled to hear this. I felt that I must meet Baba. I got all the details of the time of His arrival.
Then, one of the monks told me, "You are not initiated. If you are not initiated, you cannot see Baba!" I became very upset. I decided that it would be better for me to take initiation, so that at least I would be permitted to see Baba. However, all the monks were very busy. They did not have time to initiate me. Finally, one monk agreed to initiate me, but he said it would have to be after 11:00 p.m. That very night I met him at the appointed time and took initiation.
The next day at about noontime Baba's car arrived. I waited to receive Him, along with many other people. In the evening there was general darshan. There I saw Baba for the first time. I could only see Him from a distance. I had so many questions regarding spirituality. Amazingly, whatever He talked about, it was as if he talked only for me, and to me. With every sentence, He answered more and more of my questions! After His discourse, I thought to myself, how was it possible? There were thousands of people listening to Baba. How could He have talked only for me?
Even then, more questions emerged in my mind. Out of curiosity, I attended the next morning's discourse. Again the same thing happened. It was as if He spoke to me - and to me alone! In the evening there was a special function. I asked one monk about it. The monks of Ananda Marga are called dadas. He replied, "Tonight is DMC!" I did not understand what this meant. Dada understood that I was seeing Baba for the first time, and had not yet attended a DMC function. He said, "Tonight Baba will give a special mudra." I thought to myself, let me see what this is. At the DMC function, many people came. After some time the place became full.
That evening I sat close to the dais where Baba sat. The Margiis around me sang devotional songs. After some time, Baba came. It was really a very blissful and devotional experience. I cannot explain what I felt that night. It seemed as though Baba was very close to me, like my own relative. I felt as though He gave me a new life.
When He spoke, I could not remember even a word of His discourse. I only looked at Him, drawn by an invisible power. At the end of His discourse, Baba gave His Varabhaya Mudra. The force was so intense that almost everyone started to cry and shout. At that moment, I saw a strong light coming from Baba's hand to me, and I collapsed in samadhi. Samadhi is a state of intense bliss in which the unit mind is absorbed in the Cosmic Mind.
When I returned to a normal state, I saw that nearly everyone had left the place. Only a few people were still sitting around me. They asked me if I was all right and whether I needed anything. I told them everything was fine, and that I was all right. Then, slowly, I went back to my room. I felt everything was light and that my body had no existence. I felt that I had lost something, but what it was I could not understand. I do not remember how I passed that night.
That night changed my life. After that evening, after that experience during DMC, I could neither do my work properly nor could I study properly. The Bengali word "udas" describes my condition during that time. It means that you see everything, but you do not recognize anything, you cannot understand anything.
One day I really felt something stir deep in my heart. I cried continously. I could not understand why I was crying, or for whom I was crying. I stayed alone that day. In the evening I went to the Ananda Marga center and met Dada Vijayanandaji. Dada asked me if anything had happened, or if there was any problem. He just talked with me and listened to me patiently. He seemed to understand my situation - perhaps more than I did. Dada called a Margii and gave some money to him. Then, he gave me a letter. He told the Margii to take me to the railway station and to buy a ticket to Varanasi for me. Dada simply told me, "You just go to Varanasi. There is a dada there. Just give this letter to him. You will be happy there."
In this way I left everything behind me. I left the school where I worked, and I left the college where I studied. I boarded the train and then came to Varanasi, where I met a monk at the training center. Dada called a young trainee and gave him some instructions regarding me. There were many young boys in the center. I asked a Bengali-speaking boy what this place was. The boy explained that this was a training center for monks and then asked, "Didn't you come here to be a monk?" I had never imagined that I would be a dada! I thought to myself, all these amazing things are happening in my life. Perhaps, it is His wish.
I began the training schedule along with all the other boys. It was a very tight routine. One day a monk came to the training center, and the very next day he took me with him to Ranchi. Baba was there. He arranged for me to meet Baba, for personal contact.
On entering His room, I did sastaunga pranama. Then, Baba told me to come close to Him. This was the first time I saw Baba very closely. Baba said, "Life means to see ahead, not behind. So don't worry, I am always with you." He then told me so many things about my life. He told me so lovingly, so affectionately, with so much tenderness, that I was unable to speak. I could only cry. He told me, "I was waiting for you!" Never in my life had I experienced such fulfilling love - it was immense, intense love. It was the love of God! I felt that, unlike anyone else, Baba was the Lord of Tenderness - Komaleshvara. Just a brief loving gaze would cause my eyes to fill with tears. Then, He placed His hand on the top of my head. I fell in samadhi. I do not know how long I remained in that blissful state.
Some time later, I heard Baba softly calling me three or four times, saying, "All right, get up. You can go now. I am always with you." Finally, I opened my eyes. I did sastaunga pranama and left. From that moment onwards, I started my life under His divine love and care.