Spiritual Musings (Part 2) :Know Yourself before Knowing the God


To Read Spiritual Musings Part 1: Click HERE


After my mystical experience in NewZealand, for some period, I remained in an elevated state of mind. I tried to retain and remember the special feeling of the Divine Joy I had experienced. However, forgetful as the human mind is, its memory started fading away from my mind. Gradually, it assumed the form of just a pleasant dream. My depressive state started lifting its ugly head again. The taste of Heavenly Nectar, which I had by chance savoured, seemed to have been totally lost. My family and friends tried convincing me to try medication, meditation, observing conventional religious practices or visiting some so-called saints but all in vain...

Since my childhood, the concept of following a 'Guru' or a Spiritual Master had never appealed to me. The very thought of doing so, brought up such images in my mind, which were simply not acceptable.  I believed that my life would become stereotyped and dull, devoid of all colours, in the search of a God, who, I did not even know. For such a God, such an unknown entity, I was not ready to give up the more luring pleasures and even pains of life which I had known so well...

I think, this is not only my story, this is probably the story of all human beings, who are in fact afraid of leaving the 'comfort zone' (which ironically is the 'discomfort zone') of this life. They might be surrounded by infinite problems, yet, they are so much attached to living the life in the set pattern that they are scared of even changing their lifestyle, leave alone the question of following Spiritual Mentors in quest of inner peace...

Well, this was my state of mind! I was depressed, far from being happy, yet, not ready to listen to any sermons or to pick up Self-help books with which the modern bookstores are stuffed with today. As luck would have it, I was invited by a close friend of mine to meet her 'Guru', who, she and her family had been following for quite a long time. Out of sheer politeness, I could not say 'no' and went to their place with my husband and my son. When we were summoned in to his presence, my first misconception about a Spiritual Master was shattered. I always used to associate a’ certain’ kind of appearance, mannerism with all the ‘godmen’.The  person in front of us was no different from all of us...he was dressed plainly, he talked and laughed like us, was extremely simple...to cut it short, did not evoke any sense of aversion as I had fearfully expected. Reluctantly, I had to admit to myself that his presence put everyone in the room at ease. There was a strange positivity in the room. His disarming simplicity was indeed magnetic...

But, he was a 'Guru', and my logical mind prompted me to ask him some questions related to God (to test his knowledge!) I thrust the most hackneyed query at him as to how he would define God. The answer he gave, humbled me....Smiling, he said, "Leave thinking about God...why do you want to know Him? First know yourself. You have not seen God...who knows He even exists or not...but for sure you have seen yourself and yet you don’t know who you are! First arouse the curiosity about knowing yourself and later on, maybe, you can bring up the question of God!" Although I had realized the irrelevance of my first question that I had asked just for the sake of showing my ‘knowledge’, yet my ego would not give up that easily. I changed the topic entirely and tried to bring up the issues of my personal sorrows and losses. "My father led a pious life, not hurting anyone...but today, in his old age, he has become totally invalid and bed-ridden. Why is he suffering so much? What did he do to deserve so much pain? You are supposed to be having divine powers...can you heal him?"These were my further arrows shot at him. Looking at me with his characteristic honesty, he said, "Don't expect that I will give you a magical potion for healing your father, because this is definitely not what I, or anyone can or should attempt to do. For this, you must rely upon the treatments that medical Science can provide. Your father, like you, me and all the living beings has come in the form of a body. One, who is born, must perish one day, no matter when and how. You have to accept this truth. I cannot change your father's physical suffering, but I can definitely teach you how to live in an acceptance mode and how to face the sorrows of this mortal world with fortitude". This is what he said. There was no promise of any magic touch to heal my ailing father, there was no sweet assurance that a deteriorating body will be restored to health  by surpassing the limits of the possible medical care...there was not even a promise that he would introduce God to me. Despite all this, there was an unmistakable certitude that this 'Guru', would definitely help me to know my own 'Self’, would certainly not mislead me and would not push me into the mire of superstitions. The straightforwardness of his approach, the sincerity of his answers, his asceticism, and his outstanding courage not to make any false promises...were out of this world...which for sure, were more than extraordinary , despite his ordinary appearance...

Something inside me told me intuitively, that he was going to be my Spiritual Guide ... (to be continued)

In the next chapter I am going to share my first lessons in Spirituality and how my life started changing for the better.(Please refer to the previous part of my story if you want to read my experiences in continuity)