The way to surmount obstacles-I

At dusk on 1st Nov’08, it was time to remember God for me. I offered two incense sticks on my behalf and joined my hands with closed eye-lids and stood in front of Mahavatar Babaji’s photo that day. My heart welled up and I was infused with strong feelings of thanksgiving and gratitude towards Him for his limitless love and compassion flowing towards me as always. He has done for me that no human can ever imagine and no words suffice.

A silent selfless prayer emerged from within me when I expressed my wish to Him that from now I want to help others, who like me in the recent past, are facing insurmountable,  exhausting difficulties in their lives currently. In a quick reply He said briefly, “ Write the next post on this topic.”

To let you know dear child, I have from the very outset been very attracted to the photo and image of Divine Babaji. His aura, his personage and presence has been very, very mystical and equally magnetic for me. I was amazinglyly fascinated by his personality, his life and his mission on the earth, not to forget to mention his extra-ordinary, out of this world divine powers when I first read the all time classic, “Autobiography of  a Yogi” in 2002 and many times thereafter. His distinguished and imposing stature had an indelible sketch which got engraved in my mind from the very start. His blissful figure would re-surface time and time again and his remembrance was always very soul- soothing.

Here I stood- my heart melting down in reverence and gratefulness when in a very soft gentle tone He said sweetly to me, “Remember me and my name in any form you like. Do naam jaap. Back in your past you called out to God and chanted His Name so intensely and poignantly that God heard your cry and I gave you sakshat  or direct Darshan. I appear to those who remember and pray to God sincerely for guiding their way and are in need of spiritual assistance and remedy.”

Next I questioned him that why is it that when I look into his gazing eyes I get transfixed? Peace and tranquillity enveloped me at this point when in a grave mystic voice he explained “You have known me earlier too in the distant past in your previous lives. Your faith in me is unshakeable and trust complete. You will always recognize me in every form and figure I take because you see me as Spirit and  not a body.”

Mandira, there I stood  enchanted and enamoured when I felt His divine rays of pearly hue reach me and I was encircled by them in my shoulders, neck and arms like a very light stole. My mind became super-sensory towards divine perceptions and I began to gather the showery gentle white and silver rays of Light and  rare jewels of divine words that were arriving towards me from Him. He then slightly touched my mind with His, and a long buried, unread page from the library of my memory was re-opened.  A flash of serendipitous  events raced my mind and I recollected this particular date- 10th Nov, which incidently falls today. It holds a special meaning for me  because it is the date of my marriage and also because of some other significant reason besides that. According to the Hindu calendar, I got married on Tulsi Vivah Diwas, an auspicious day when Goddess Mahalaxmi in the form of Tulsi wedded Lord Vishnu. And today after 30 years, 10th Nov again falls on Tulsi Vivah Diwas. But  to  tell you more on the importance of 10th Nov in my life, please wait. I will come back to that.

A bizarre turn of events. Stormy patch of life with no end to groaning troubles. No rescue in sight.

Dear readers, a quick glimpse of my personal life account of  my past  needs to be reviewed and  re-visited as this throws light on the gigantic spiritual figure- Immortal Babaji. It will also reveal as to when and how I met Him, the crucial situations in which we met and its life-altering significance in my life. This blog on my searching and finding God, our dialogue and the consequent serious thinking as after-thoughts would have never happenend had it not been for Babaji.. So lets stroll down the slitty alley of my past when…listen to this…

Those were immensely difficult years. My family had made a recent move to Mumbai in 2001 due to familial and professional reasons. As a result of shifting base, my family had to disjoint. Shortly after moving cities, the three of us found ourselves in three different locations spread across two sub-continents. Ties with extended family were strained, there was a split in the family and no signs of improvement could be seen on the horizon. I found myself alone in a new city without any faintest idea as to what was in store for me. Anyway…

To keep myself occupied I picked up a teaching job in a prestigious school- a profession I love, and am reputedly good at. Inexplicably I was at the receiving end of fierce competition and jealousy. I frequently found myself at the wrong place at the wrong time and would receive the ire of the management for no fault of mine. Colleagues who were aware of my sincerity and commitment refused to stand by me. I was distraught. This was a profession I loved and was good at but time and again I would find myself into sticky situations that were not my creation. The children I taught  were my only source of happiness during my tenure. My failing health made my situation worse. So much so that I was eventually asked to quit. Life had never meted out such a blow before. I had never been asked to leave a job. The kids loved me, I was good at my work, yet I was asked to go. Needless to say, I was disheartened and shaken up.

My health continued to deteriorate day by day for almost 4 years during which I underwent a minor and an extra major surgery. As it is to begin with, I had a fragile constitution and have frequently battled illnesses and complications of various intensities since I got married.  But dealing with illness at mid-life is very different from dealing with it when you are younger and stronger. A third abdominal surgery in one life time is not at all easy to tackle and deal with.  For those four  plus something years it was almost like, in the absence of a family, illness was my only faithful companion. I had a constant mysterious lingering shooting pain in the stomach that couldn’t be diagnosed or treated for a few years. My sinusitis and varieties of chronic allergies flared up with a vengeance. I suffered so many coughs, colds, throat, eye and ear infections that a stage came where I didn’t need to visit a doctor- I knew which medicine treated which illness! There were other health problems too but I suppose I can do without getting into their descriptions. In spite of all these nagging health issues, I was determined and maintained my grit to go about my daily life as usual. I would do house hold chores for a brief time, then rest and then again get back to do another stint at the chores in easy instalments!  Even when I was working at the school, I would carry on the day on sheer will power of  mind. I learnt to live with the unending pain and uneasiness. I desperately wanted to beat odds and I was firmly determined  to make it in life.  Though I  never complained but….

Financial worries plagued me. Our shifting to Mumbai hadn’t been in the best financial conditions- in fact it was at a time where my family’s needs were increasing and incomes were grossly inadequate. At that point in time, the Indian economy was in a sad condition that we were grateful we had a job. I continuously worried about my future and that of my family. I worried about my daughter’s education and marriage. I worried about the physical and mental health of my husband living far away. I worried about resolving many lingering family issues. I worried about my health. To make things still worse, I was surrounded by a set of pernicious people about whom I was unaware. They targeted me surreptitiously which made my life impossible. It was only that much I could take. I was in a flurried state, bewildered, helpless and I touched the abysmal low. But I was not prepared to get crushed under my own load when…

It was in these trying times that I wept and I wept. I had no-one to go to and there was no-one to know what was happening inside my life. I behaved as if nothing had happened and everything was alright outwardly. I was bereft and very lonely. It was at that time that I  took a very conscious decision of turning my mind towards God. I thought to myself, “The situation is already so bad that it can’t get any worse. God is my only saviour. No human being is able to help me.” So I took refuge in God residing in my heart with full trust for shelter and protection. I cried to Him for  much needed help and my salvation. I called out to Him day in and day out incessantly. I prayed fervently so that my heart would dissolve and I could forgive those whom I had really loved and received only their indifference, mistrust and sometimes  ill-will in return by a few others I knew. I wanted to carry my own karmic burden but was incapacitated. I could not do it alone. I urgently needed a helping hand from God. So, I began practising naam jap or spiritual chanting. This I could do while I was engaged in routine activities as well. The results were quick for me to see. I began to forgive those people and buried my past  as I understood it is my doing alone and no-one else’s.

I joined Yogananda Satsang Society [YSS]started by Sri Paramhansa Yogananda, learnt the meditation techniques taught there and  practiced meditation every single day- even if that meant I only sat silently in a corner. I read all the spiritual books I could lay my hands on. I embarked on a new spiritual journey with my whole heart, soul and mind. I travelled  extensively to spiritual places, sometimes alone and went on pilgrimages on a limping foot, agony in my stomach and a broken heart! But I made it everywhere. I undertook long journeys in dirty trains to Pondicherry and looked for solace and answers to my reflections in solitude. I walked up the mountains and sacred hills in Tiruvanannamalai and  Badrinath. I walked in sweltering heat and scorching sun, I stood in long, serpentine queues in temples and samadhis, stayed in ashrams maintaining silence in quietude and reflecting on sombre, perplexing topics that intrigued me…My heart would bleed when I remembered the Lord and on some lonely nights, I used to call Him out with a pitched fever and a soft whisper in my heart- “Krishna, Krishna, my Krishna, Krishna… Where are you Krishna?  Krishna, Krishna, Krishna… Listen to me Krishna,  Talk to me, my Krishna, where are you? Krishna, Krishna, Krishna”…In my sleep also this chanting was going on.

I wrote a spiritual diary in which I noted down my learnt lessons of life, divine visions,  realisations, prophecies and saw God’s Glory in them. I did this without a day’s break for more than 3 years. When I was too sick to do anything, I would lay down in bed quietly for hours and prayed emotionally and fervently for God to listen to me. I endured everything.  I perceived all that was happening to me  not as a punishment  but as penance. I realized that one finds God through tapas and not by misunderstood outside rituals and ceremonies and flashy devotion. God had to be searched inside, within myself…..I thought to myself.

My health matters could no longer be ignored. I wanted to bounce back with same zeal, determination and exceptional energy. So I exercised 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening even if it meant 11o’clock at night with my aching dead body. I never skipped any energization exercises sessions at home during that period. I read YSS home lessons pertaining to my life stage and circumstances. I did everything that was possible for me to do under the sky,

I did not want people to write me off and the undying spirit in me never allowed me to give up and….

I knew even then that God listens, I knew that God will hear my voice one day, it was just  a matter of time. I knew that it was only God who had all the answers and solutions to my overwhelming troubles.

Then on one memorable night…

To be continued…

21 Responses to The way to surmount obstacles-I

  1. mandira says:

    happy anniversary amma! i wanted to wish u here too!

    i know this hasnt been an easy post to write… its like re-living your past….i think this was when live was at its lowest for us. but look how far we have come,ma! back then we would never have imagined a few yrs later the pain would have gone, the memories faded and life would have taken on such beautiful colours.. i donno what others learnt during those years, but u, dad n i learnt a LOT…n honestly, as hard as the learning has been, i wouldnt trade it for anything else.

    love you lots!

  2. atul says:

    In the Epic Mahabaratha, Draupadi would wait for Krishna to come and would make Kheer for Him.
    Krishna protected her always and everywhere.

    His Blessings are always with you.

  3. spiritinlife says:

    Do you recall one more episode in Draupadi’s life when Sri Krishna came to her rescue? When rishi Durvasa and his disciples visited Pandavas in the forest when they were in exile, there was only one grain of rice left in her vessel to feed all. Though kings, they had no food to serve the guests. Krishna saved Draupadi from the rishi’s curse, when the Lord of the Universe ate that one grain of rice and the rishi and his disciples’ hunger was satisfied.

    Whoever has faith in Krishna, will never be let down. The mantra- Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare, Hey nath narayan Vasudeva has immense power, so chant this to please Krishna and get his blessings in your life.

  4. spiritinlife says:

    Mandira, you have developed a very good attitude towards adversity. They are sent to us to become as hard as rocks so that the waves of the rough tide do not break us. On the contrary we can put up with everything. Keep smiling in all times. Ma

  5. my eyes have filled up and i have tears rolling down my face, right here, as i sit in office and read your narration…

    these are not tears of sympathy for the endless troubles you went through, but of knowing today, as i read this, that you have come a long way…you and your family…

    to be writing this blog, spreading so much light, guiding to self-awareness, or invoking the urge towards self awareness….u really are blessed.

    and these tears are of hope. in your upliftment i see rays of hope for me, to know that adversities are only making me stronger.

    i wish for my mother’s happiness and peace…something i have not seen in her eyes ever since i’ve come to senses…
    she has suffered a bad marriage, and i have suffered a father, who thru his behaviour, unintentionally has made me who i am – self-dependant, confident and courageous.

    and now to have reached your blog 🙂
    all answers to questions that initially people scoffed at!! 🙂

  6. spiritinlife says:

    @craftyshines-If people scoff at you that means you are right, that your aspirations and dreams can and will be fulfilled!:D Right? You are on the right path and are sane, rest of them are lost!!
    The whole idea of starting this blog is that there are many people like me who are, or will in future pass thru similar tests. It is a source of inspiration, of hope for others so that they do not discontinue their march towards salvation and renunciation of materialism in mind.
    Adversities are opportunities to know our true potential and worth. They help us polish our souls so smile at them. You will overcome everything now and in future. You will become a source of happiness, joy and courage for others!! So keep smiling and always be cheerful. I pray for your mother’s happiness and peace of mind. Lots of love to you and mom.

  7. Ramakrishnan says:

    Though you had suffered and put under distress, you were fortunate to be blessed with BABAJI. Will you please guide me to realise and visualise BABAJI. I am 60 years old and living in Pondicherry. I’m very much interested in spiritual life. please contact me in my email address. Thanks a lot.

  8. Shahid says:

    Wow, I can really use this now. Very soothing words and very wise perspective when going through a lean phase in life:
    — ” I perceived all that was happening to me not as a punishment but as penance. I realized that one finds God through tapas and not by misunderstood outside rituals and ceremonies and flashy devotion. God had to be searched inside, within myself…..”

    Thank you soooooo much ❤

  9. Asim says:

    This truly is “Spirit in life”…each moment…

  10. Shahid says:

    Dear Sarika mom you wrote:
    “So I exercised 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening even if it meant 11o’clock at night with my aching dead body. I never skipped any energization exercises sessions at home during that period. I read YSS home lessons pertaining to my life stage and circumstances. I did everything that was possible for me to do under the sky,”

    My comment: Amazing, what nerves of steel mom. What dedication and never say die attitude. YOU have set a superb example for all of us to follow. Aap Jhansi ki rani say kum nahi hoo. ❤

  11. Midhun Pk says:

    ohm namo bhagavde vasudevaya..

    it was really inspiring post ma.

    it was not so pleasant read about the past experiences you have undergone, really felt hard with those situations,

    but fortunately, i have read the post “Why is it mandatory to have a Divine Guru?-II” before this post,

    and i suddenly recalled the paragraph which says,

    ” there will be no harm coming in your way. this is a test and a pre- condition that a serious seeker has to undergo anyway to establish firm faith in the unseen divine guru and a definite method of discarding his or her ego ”

    ma, you have started nama japa that time, as result ma you understood that it was because of self doing and no one else, with refering to the both above paragraphs, it was a perfect move you have made…with the grace of god and gurus….

    “kundhi once told i always want sorrow and sad, then i can be with my lord always..”

    now ma, those past gave you the door way to lord ma,those past prepared you for this mission i believe… not for you only, with writing this experience and the post, which make me/us to understand the fact or things in the life may happen anytime, or happened…it is inspiring..

    god is great, krishna, bhaktha valsalan , with his blessing all sorrows will get ended….

    may god, krishna, guruvayurappan bless and help whoever suffer in this world for whatever reason.. he will guide them to prosperity , devotion..may god give power to everyone to go through the bad situations due to their bad karmas…

    this post ,is an inspiring one, very much…thanks ma, and glad that the past has gone !..

    with remembrance of god and gurus,

    Midhun pk

    • spiritinlife says:

      My dearest child Midhun, looking at your fervour and passion in reading all the posts so fast and repeatedly, I see so many comments in the column.Thanks for it.I read all of them and I perceive so much love and devotion that you have cultivated as you are moving on. To this comment I wish to respond because it is vital.
      The point is that all of us undergo hardships, misfortunes and bad times. It is very important to understand that we must not run away from our problems and we must address them sophisticatedly with inner strength, faith and hope. We have no idea how important it is for all humans to face adversities and counter forces. It is only when and after we face them that we become quieter, purer and more humble. We must cultivate the right attitude during such times because we along with this, cultivate fortitude, tolerance, patience and a lot of devotion towards the Divine and the Divine Masters. I will be wrong to say that it is a cakewalk; no, life can be very harsh for some and very trying for many. But remember God has also given us the intellect, wisdom, patience and faith, so we must practice them in times of crises. There is no other way for a human soul to evolve and rise in Spirit unless we face opposition from many quarters.In such trials we get an opportunity to redeem ourselves by doing penance which is the best purifying action for humans. Hence, we must not complain and see God and His will at every step on each day.
      May God bless you
      Ma.

  12. Shilpa says:

    Babaji: “Remember me and my name in any form you like. Do naam jaap. I appear to those who remember and pray to God sincerely for guiding their way and are in need of spiritual assistance and remedy.”

    God had to be searched inside, within myself.

    Whoever has faith in Krishna, will never be let down. The mantra- Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare, Hey nath narayan Vasudeva has immense power, so chant this to please Krishna and get his blessings in your life.

  13. pandey2 says:

    Ma,
    Read this post again…this post is very inspiring andgives so much strength to fight back. Never lose hope and be determined to find God and one day you will be there…

    -Have undying spirit towards self realization and never give up..

    -Know that God listens, he do hear your voice and respond.. it is just matter of time when you will also able to hear God.

    Love this sweet Mantra “Sri Krishna Govind Hare Murare, Hey nath narayan Vasudeva! “…My mother used to chant it quite often when I was young kid. It reminds that memory in me..and may be one day it will remind me “who am I”

    Many Pranams to you and Babaji.

    Paripurna

  14. midhunpk210 says:

    This is a post of hope , Devotion, Determination..Thank you so much for this beutiful post, ma.

    ” Life can be very harsh for some and very trying for many. But remember God has also given us the intellect, wisdom, patience and faith, so we must practice them in times of crises. There is no other way for a human soul to evolve and rise in Spirit unless we face opposition from many quarters. In such trials we get an opportunity to redeem ourselves by doing penance which is the best purifying action for humans. ”

    – I perceived all that was happening to me not as a punishment but as penance

    – I realized that one finds God through tapas and not by misunderstood outside rituals and ceremonies and flashy devotion.

    – I knew that God will hear my voice one day, it was just a matter of time

    Its the time for Joy & peace.

  15. Sathyaram says:

    “I read all the spiritual books I could lay my hands on.
    I travelled extensively to spiritual places, sometimes alone and went on pilgrimages on a limping foot, agony in my stomach and a broken heart! But I made it everywhere. I undertook long journeys in dirty trains to Pondicherry and looked for solace and answers to my reflections in solitude. I walked up the mountains and sacred hills in Tiruvanannamalai and Badrinath.”

    Did not know about these. _/\_

  16. Shahid says:

    “Remember me and my name in any form you like. Do naam jaap. Back in your past you called out to God and chanted His Name so intensely and poignantly that God heard your cry and I gave you sakshat or direct Darshan. I appear to those who remember and pray to God sincerely for guiding their way and are in need of spiritual assistance and remedy.”

    Thank you dear mom once again for bringing this holy blog infused with vibrant, divine energies into the world now. Gratitude to the divine , to you and all the masters ❤

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