Turning Point

my journey to Him
Maanoj Rakhit

©Maanoj Rakhit Originally written during Aug – Oct 2002

Contact details Email: maanojrakhit@gmail.com Mobile: +91 98 69 80 90 12 Website: http://www.maanojrakhit.com

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Turning Point

INTRODUCTION1
During my last visit to Venezia, DM2 asked me about my spiritual journey, which so far, I had been hesitant to share with anyone, as they were not quite common occurrences, very deep and complex in nature, requiring substantial amount of explanation to render them meaningful to those who may be unfamiliar with such experiences. During my flight from Venice to Bombay I, nevertheless, decided to share them with my readers, and this work is the result of that decision. It was conceptualized while waiting at the Milan airport on 4 August 2002, continued through the flight to Mumbai; and then developed at Yogeeta between August and October 2002 These writings are for all those who are now at different stages of their respective journeys towards the Supreme Soul…Those who are in search of the Truth…The Truth that does not change with Time… For all those whose quest for the eternal Truth has begun but not ended! This work comes to you in good faith! However, it is possible that you may not want it; in that case, I would request you to let me know. If you have any observation that can bring about an
1

2009-12-15 This introduction was written over seven years ago and I decided to leave it as it is. I did not want to make any change because it had been written in a certain frame of mind which is no more part of me. I have changed a lot in these seven years. This introduction was then written to describe what made me come about recording those events that had occurred during one phase of my life, a phase that I have now left long behind. My current day writings will have no resemblance to that phase of my life. Those footnotes, which carry a date stamp like this one, have been inserted now; other footnotes were part of the original work
2

DM born in Italy, retired professor, linguist, agnostic

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improvement into this work, it will be highly appreciated. Feedback in any form will be helpful. If you find this work helpful to you in any way and if you feel it can possibly be helpful to any of your friends in some way, then please feel free to share it with them. Initially, I had started translating BhagavadGita in simple English, presenting only the essence of it. However, soon I was debating if to continue or not. On the New Year’s Day, I received a mail: “Please continue sending the Gita teachings”. It was signed as “Members of Ramakrishna Mission Calcutta Students’ Home”. After that I did not stop. For past few months, FY3 had been asking me to bring structure into my work, hinting that they would someday take the shape of a book. He emphasized that appearance is as important as are the contents, and therefore, he suggested several formatting improvements and the need for a list of contents with page references, both of which are reflected in this work. He also took the pains to spot typographical errors, lack of uniformity in presentation, etc. Upon receiving my work on BhagavadGita Chapter 9, RS4 wrote to me a brief letter: “Someday may be you will think of publishing your works. I am sure that there are a few hundred or may be thousands parched persons … who would benefit by reading your material. Wish you well. May the Lord be with you and guide you.” After this, I decided to start work afresh to give it a very new shape, beginning with Chapter 1 all over again. DM and FY remained constant source of support. SDK, UG, MMM, GKK, and SKM also offered encouragement in their own ways. Behind all these, remained the inspiration of God, who works in a silent way, unnoticed by anyone!
3 4

FY born in Hong Kong, Buddhist monk, computer programmer RS born in Israel, senior government administrator

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I would not know if it would ever be published, and if the work would prove to be worthy of it; and therefore, I would leave it to God to show me the way at an appropriate time. It is with His inspiration that this work has commenced, and it would continue as long as He wishes. Let this work be for all those who seek Him. Let there be no desire, within me, for any material gains from this work. Let there be no attachment, in me, towards this work, due to which I may feel bad if anyone denounces this work, or due to which I may feel elated if anyone praises this work. If there be any desire within me let it be for my final dissolution within Him. This work, if it is of any literary value, let it be an offering to Him. This work, if it is of any spiritual value, let it be an offering to Him. Let this work be my Yagya5, an offering to Him.

5

Yagya means: a religious sacrifice. Sacrifice means: making an offering to God. Through dictionary meanings, we can derive that: Work done in form of Yagya means: Work done as if it were an offering to the God.

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INTRODUCTION __________________________________ 3 DARKNESS TO LIGHT _____________________________ 10
IN QUEST OF TRUTH __________________________________ 11
About Hinduism ______________________________________ 12 Central theme ________________________________________ 13 Seeking beyond the limitations of intellect _________________ 14 No blind faith please! __________________________________ 15 My background _______________________________________ 17

PAST JOURNEY __________________________________ 22
TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE _____________________________ 22
Purification of the soul _________________________________ 23 My life’s goal spoke for itself ____________________________ 25 Personification of the Supreme Soul ______________________ 27 Mysteriously led to the Chants ___________________________ 28 Oneness with the Unknown _____________________________ 28 Never known such serenity _____________________________ 31 Shock from the Monk __________________________________ 33 Return was inevitable __________________________________ 34 Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ______________________________ 35 Mind flooded with the name of God ______________________ 37 In love with the Divine Mother ___________________________ 38 Money lost its attraction _______________________________ 39 Take my responsibilities away ___________________________ 39 Take control of my life _________________________________ 40 Mechanisms of cosmic management ______________________ 40 Difference between Him and Her faded away _______________ 41 Supreme Soul in Its male and female aspects _______________ 41

VEIL OF MAYA __________________________________ 43
THROWN BACK INTO THE OCEAN OF MATERIAL WORLD ___________ 43
Hide and seek with the veil of Maya ______________________ 44 Divine Mother asked – Where are you looking for Me? _______ 45 Separation from Her was very painful _____________________ 47 God realization was it __________________________________ 48 Return to India with the dream of Sannyaas ________________ 49

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Pain at seeing people whiling away their lives_______________ 51 Pain at seeing people oblivious of their true state ___________ 52 All people became His reflection _________________________ 52 Key to the events of my prior birth(s) _____________________ 53 Key to the end of my present birth _______________________ 54 Lessons about money __________________________________ 55 Treasure of knowledge of the ancients ____________________ 57 Tapes that had gone out of circulation ____________________ 58 Journey from Bhakti (devotion) to Gyaan (knowledge) _______ 58 Tapes were gift of God! ________________________________ 59 Back to full awareness of material world ___________________ 59 Being in it and yet not being in it _________________________ 61 Return from Samaadhi _________________________________ 61 In search of a name ____________________________________ 62 Why Nirvikalp Samaadhi? _______________________________ 62 What is Nirvikalp Samaadhi? ____________________________ 63 Was it Nirvikalp Samaadhi? _____________________________ 65 What is Bhaav Samaadhi? _______________________________ 67 Was it Bhaav Samaadhi? ________________________________ 67 How was I led to these experiences? ______________________ 68 The Yogi who lost his way and drifted away ________________ 70 Bird in the cage _______________________________________ 71 Who was the Guru guiding through the process? ____________ 71 Supreme Soul was the Guru _____________________________ 73 Is God with Form or without Form? _______________________ 74 Was that an Aura?_____________________________________ 75 Was that white Light? __________________________________ 76

PRESENT JOURNEY ______________________________ 78
WHAT WAS HIS PURPOSE? _____________________________ 78
Like a lightening hit the answer __________________________ 79 Started work on BhagavadGita ___________________________ 81 Moksh is the only thing I know ___________________________ 81 You can do it – When you recognize your true Goal __________ 82

EPILOGUE______________________________________ 83
THE LESSON OF THE LIFE TIME ____________________________ 85

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OTHER WORKS__________________________________ 87
Ordering Process ______________________________________ 87

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वक्रतण्ड महाकाय सयकोटि समप्रभ। ु ू य ननर्वयघ्नं करु में दे व शुभकायेषु सवयदा।। ु या कन्दे न्दतषारहारधवऱा या शभ्रवस्त्रावता, ु ु ु ु ृ या वीणावरदण्डमण्ण्डतकरा या श्वेतऩद्मासना। या ब्रह्माच्युतशंकरप्रभनतभभर् दे वैस्सदावण्न्दता, ृ सा माम ् ऩातु सरस्वती भगवती ननश्शेषजाड्याऩहा।।

या दे वी सवयभूतेषु शक्तिरूऩेण संण्स्थता। नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः।। कायेन वाचा मनसेण्न्िऐवा बुध्यात्मना वा प्रकृते स्वभावात। करोभम यद् यद् सकऱं ऩरस्मै नारायणायेनत समऩययाभम।।

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DARKNESS TO LIGHT
We need an open mind and heart plus a dedicated soul

Om! Asato Maa SadGamaya, Tamaso Maa Jyotir gamaya6 Mrityor Maa Amrtam gamaya, Om! Shaantih, Shaantih, Shaantih7 Meaning8: O Lord! Please lead me from the unreal to the real. Lead me from darkness to light. Lead me from death to immortality. May there be peace, peace, and perfect peace. As I understood its meaning9 O God! Please lead me from this transitory world to the permanent bliss. Please lead me from my spiritual ignorance to the spiritual knowledge. Please lead me

6 7 8 9

Letter ‘a’ in Gamaya is pronounced as ‘u’ in But BrihadAranyak Upanishad, First Adhyaay 3 Brahmana 28 Mantr Translation Dr. Nandakumara, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, UK
rd th

Different people may understand unreal and real in different ways. I understand it in the following way: Please think of a beautiful flower. It is the reality of today. Days later, it will decay. Then, that will be the reality of that day. Today’s reality is a beautiful flower. Another day’s reality is a decayed material. The reality of today does not remain the reality of tomorrow. Such reality is transitory reality. Permanent reality is that which is real today, real tomorrow, real day after, and real forever! We are after that reality, not after a momentary reality. Happiness of today may not remain the happiness of tomorrow, and therefore, it is transitory happiness. In our delusion, some seek the true happiness in the union between man and woman, some seek it in wealth and power, others seek it in fame and praise, and so the list is unending; but they all are transitory in nature. Permanent happiness is found by a soul only in union with the Supreme Soul.

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from the cycle of repeated birth and death to the ultimate dissolution into the Supreme Soul, where after, there would be no more a birth, nor a death. Please lead me to the permanent peace!

IN QUEST OF TRUTH
My life has been an experiment in search of the Truth. Therefore, this work is for those who are now in search of the Truth. Truth can have different meanings for different people. The truth I have been after is the truth that can have no two meanings for two different people. It is the Eternal truth. Everyone will reach to the same Truth, as and when s/he reaches it. That is the Truth of God; God of every being, every animate and inanimate object; the God from whom this creation evolves and in whom this universe dissolves. I have found that truth through BhagavadGita. I shall walk you through the process that will describe how I have found that Truth. There remains the possibility that your life may also change, as never before, if you happen to absorb the eternal truth contained in BhagavadGita. That would, nevertheless, depend upon the level of your readiness. It is one of the laws of creation that nothing happens before time. Each of us would assimilate it, at a given point of time, only to the extent of the preparedness of our individual soul. The only way to raise our absorption level is to stay within the environment of its thought, gradually practice it in our life, and thus elevate our soul to the desired level.
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It is, however, necessary for me to clarify that I have no missionary objective behind these presentations on BhagavadGita. You may adopt in your life only what appeals to you from these works on BhagavadGita and, ignore anything that you do not like. Occasionally you may find me challenging those who have, for their own stake, misguided the humanity in the name of God. Quoting Romain Rolland [1866-1944], winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature [1915], in his book The life of Ramakrishna [1928], addressing his Western readers: “The first qualification for knowing, judging, and if desirable, condemning a religion or religions is to have made experiments for oneself in the fact of religious consciousness. Even those who have followed a religious vocation are not all qualified to speak on the subject; for, if they are sincere, they will recognize that the fact of religious consciousness and the profession of religion are two different things”. Religion is not, and has not been, my vocation/profession. I have made experiments for myself in the fact of religious consciousness, and I shall walk you through them.

ABOUT HINDUISM
Hinduism had never been a missionary religion, desirous of increasing the number of its followers through conversion from other religions. Therefore, there had been no stake in propagating Hinduism. Hinduism had neither been a prophetic religion, founded by a prophet, who would be the only link between man and God, whereby preventing man from direct access to God. For Hinduism, the Journey to the Supreme Soul is every man’s own quest! Everyone will reach it, but only at his or her own time.
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At heart, you could be a Hindu but you would not be required to adopt Hinduism formally, or give up your birth religion, unless you yourself want to. Coercing or tempting others to give up one’s own birth religion is inspired by gross selfishness, which is not a divine characteristic! Hinduism shares with others that it knows. It does not seek anything in return. It does not try to capitalize on the weaknesses of other religions. Hinduism encouraged open debates on individual understanding of God. It did not formulate a hypothesis on God, and made it mandatory for all to accept it. This process over thousands of years, allowed true seekers to experience God in their own respective ways, and then share with others. This helped enrich the understanding about God better amongst all. The collective knowledge, gathered by the ancients who were in close communion with the Supreme Soul and the Mother Nature, has come to be known as Hinduism. I would be trying to share my knowledge and understanding, in its original form, with those who would be ready to receive it.

CENTRAL THEME
The central theme of BhagavadGita is Moksh. Moksh, in this context, refers to the freedom from vicious10 cycle of birth and death. My spiritual journey has convinced me that there is birth after death. I shall walk you through them by the medium of this work. You can, then, be your own judge.

10

Vicious Circle (also, Vicious Cycle): a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation [Oxford Dictionary].

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The whole process of creation evolves from a very simple phenomenon at the core, following a set of few simple rules. As it progresses through the entire gamut of creation that we see now, by the process of mathematical permutation and combination, it assumes significant proportions. The base simplicity, thus, finds its expression into highly complex design that would look like a massive spider web. You might easily get lost into it, and therefore, the need for determination to stay with, an analyzing faculty of mind, faith and consistency, desire to connect missing links in light of one’s own life experiences, would be necessary. It would require an open mind, an enquiring mind, perseverance, consistency, following through the whole process from beginning until end, and an effort to correlate different pieces of information gathered through the process. The approach will not limit itself to spiritual or religious focus, but it will expand and encompass various phases of life. Life that you and I live and experience will be the base from where we will progress towards the understanding of the Supreme Soul!

SEEKING BEYOND THE LIMITATIONS OF INTELLECT
Before proceeding, I have something to ask you. Do you have an open mind to dive into the unfamiliar depth of the ocean of knowledge? Do you have the patience to travel with me, through the entire gamut of complex phenomenon that may unfold gradually, one piece of the puzzle at a time, and as you go connecting them, the global picture may start emerging? Then, a stage will come when every question will be answered, and everything will start falling into place, one by one.

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Finally, you will reach a stage where you will see no need for questioning any more, your intellect would be satiated, and it will start seeking something beyond the limitations of intellect. Do you have the patience to come along with me and reach that stage? Do you have the desire? Primarily, do you want it? Do you have the faith? However, please realize that, this will need tremendous amount of patience, as you may have to go through the entire process from beginning until end. It may not be possible, or relevant, to explain the entire creation process at one sitting, in one linear logical flow, as if it were an essay. Explanations will be spread over throughout eighteen chapters of BhagavadGita. Subjects will be explained in different manners repeatedly, through different chapters. This all would be necessary, and you will start appreciating that, as you progress, and start absorbing gradually. The life process itself is so complex that it cannot be explained in totality at one place, and you must come to appreciate that. When you are reading one set of explanation at one place of BhagavadGita, not all your questions will be answered at that one place; rather they may give rise to new questions. They will unfold before you gradually as you progress, and that is true for any kind of education.

NO BLIND FAITH PLEASE!
I would expect the readership to be mostly a collection of men and women who would not want to accept anything at the face value. They would have questions and they would need convincing. Their education system would have trained them to think independently, so they would want to evaluate what they hear from me, in the light of what they have learnt in the past.

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Many of them would have had Christian religious education in their formative years of life, which would have taught them that there is no11 rebirth at all, and Jesus is the sole12 redeemer of humanity. They will want to listen to me only if they have not found convincing answers in their own religious teachings. They would want to listen to me if they have an open mind with a scientific bent, where one does not reject anything based on preconceived notions. Instead, one examines each theory that is new to him or her, and allows it time sufficient to sink in, and combat against the preconditioning of mind, and finally comes to own conclusion after prolonged deliberations. I do not believe in anything blindly. I would not expect you to believe in anything blindly. In BhagavadGita, Shri Krishn13 did not ask Arjun to believe anything blindly. He encouraged Arjun to ask questions. He explained it to Arjun repeatedly in different ways until Arjun understood them. It is important that you too understand it well,

11

Christianity endorsed the doctrine of Rebirth until 534 years after death of Christ, and then the Council of Constantinople decreed against it, and the Church banned it. “If anyone says or thinks that human souls had a previous existence, anathema sit,” the Council declared.
12

Dr. David Frawley – I want to read a statement, from "The Coming of the Third Millennium", which was issued very recently by the Pope, in relation to the situation in Asia: “The Asia Synod will deal with the challenge for evangelization posed by the encounter with ancient religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. While expressing esteem for the elements of truth in these religions, the Church must make it clear that Christ is the one mediator between God and man and the sole Redeemer of humanity.”
13

Krishn is a male name. Krishna is a female name; it was the name of Arjun’s wife Draupadi. If you would want to pronounce it, looking at the spelling Krishn, you are likely to come relatively closer to how it is written and pronounced in Sanskrit, using its original DevNaagri script. You may, however, choose to follow the spelling Krishna, and practice its pronunciation with a wrong accent. The choice would be entirely yours!

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and absorb it fully, and therefore, I shall try to explain the concepts differently. Faith, however, is needed. I do not mean religious faith. You need not start with faith in Hinduism. Nevertheless, you must have faith in yourself. The faith in yourself must hold you well on the path of learning. The faith in your own ability to judge must remind you that you do not reject anything without trying it. It would be of no use my telling you that the eternal truth is hidden in BhagavadGita. It would also be of no use my telling you that I can help you understand that truth hidden behind the words of BhagavadGita. Who am I? Have I experienced the truth of BhagavadGita by myself? If I did, how did I do it? Did I experience it through my own life incidents? Were my body, mind, and heart subjected to any of those experiences? Is it that I read it all in other books, understood it, and now trying to bring them to you, wrapped in a new package? If I did experience anything at all with my body, mind, and heart, what was it after all? Moreover, what worth was it? Was it anything that you could rely on and expect that possibly I knew what I was talking about? Therefore, first I have to bare open that part of my life to you, which prepared me gradually, through a process that could be called an ordeal by itself. I shall need to walk you through that process, trace its origin, the path traversed, and the goal attained.

MY BACKGROUND
At birth my grandfather named me Yashodharman. I developed an enquiring mind, enquiring into what is unknown, what is mysterious, what is not the common knowledge and belief. Often I made myself a guinea pig for testing a theory, observing
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the effects, relating them to possible causes, examining the cause and effect relationship, analyzing and questioning the validity of my approach and conclusions. Normally each process would be long drawn, sometimes ranging too many years, and yet continuing on my quest. I was born in a family with long history of education and spiritual practices through several generations14. I was raised15, educated

14

Born at Bankura, West Bengal in India on 25 January 1952

Our Present is based on our Past, and crop is only as good as the Seed planted and Soil provided. Therefore, brief description of earlier generations may be considered relevant in this context despite the fact they tend to occupy space. Hope you would appreciate the need for their presence. I have gathered details regarding earlier generations, that I was not personally present to witness, from a book that my mother preserved, which was published long-time ago, by my father’s eldest cousin Vigyaan Shekhar Rakhit on the subject of our family tree … Umesh Chandr (b.1814), grandfather of my grandfather, was a very charitable and holy man. He was literate in Sanskrit and scriptures. He took early retirement from business, and then he devoted the major part (1857-1908) of his life entirely in devotion of God. Externally a family man, internally he was like a Sannyaasi (one who has renounced the worldly ties). People who knew him, perceived him as a Yogi, who was mad in love with God… Durga Charan (b.1855), father of my grandfather was a voracious reader, learned in Sanskrit and English, a frequent traveller, a writer (published 1902, 1904, 1908, and after), and an educator (Durga Charan Rakhit Girls Intermediate College in Varanasi). Practiced self-restraint from youth, he was indifferent towards material attractions of life. Last years of his life (1910-38), having retired from business, he devoted in search of the Self… Prabodh Chandr, my grandfather was a distinguished physician in his youth; but I have seen him in his advanced age when he lived a relatively low profile life. Harsh Gopal, my mother’s father was a prominent surgeon of his time, very charitable and prosperous My father was a Gold Medallist Engineer who worked in senior positions, but lived a low profile life of a very simple man. My mother is a pious and devoted woman, simple and liked by all, devoid of worldly desires, living a very simple life

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in several cities, in India, and overseas. Passing High School with distinctions and State Merit Scholarship for college education, I then qualified as a University Graduate with a rank in the University. This was followed by acquiring three professional qualifications16, in different disciplines, in India and overseas. I have been ambitious in my youth, with strong confidence in myself, and I believed that I was in control of my destiny. Life, however, wanted to teach me some valuable lessons, but gradually. As a result, I experienced the life in many of its colors and shades. Swimming against the current had become my habit, and this caused quite a bit of turbulence in my life. Despite being ambitious, curiously enough, in a peculiar way, I was detached17 towards the rewards from my professional career. Often I contributed substantially more than I received in return, but generally, I did not carry any sense of dissatisfaction because of that. Somehow, my contribution towards my work and monetary returns remained like two separate compartments, in my thoughts and emotions, without bearing an influence on each other. Most of my working career was centered on building up start-up corporations, and restructuring or reviving ailing corporations or ailing divisions of prosperous corporations, and in turn, burning

My younger brother, who has a Master’s Degree in Engineering from IIT, works in a senior position, but like my father lives a low profile simple life
15

I was raised in different States of India: Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and MahaaRaashtr. Also, I lived briefly in West Bengal, Punjab, and Haryana.
16

Qualified in Accountancy and Taxation, Corporate Laws and Administration, Computer Systems and Analysis
17

Detachment towards rewards of the work: It would have been the transitory stage of Karm Yog in my life, in a very limited way. Karm Yog refers to the path of Karm (work) without desire for results, which gradually paves the way for ultimate union with the Supreme Soul

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up all my energies. Most of it was spent in a breathless manner, without vacation, without rest, more like a Yagya (sacrifice). It was sacrifice in the sense that while contributing towards my responsibilities, my eyes were not on how adequately my employer paid me for those services. I enjoyed power by making the position valuable through my contributions, instead of acquiring valued positions, and enjoying them. By 1987, I was already listed in Who’s Who in the World18. It was not sacrifice of religious nature. Spirituality was always with me, as an integral part of my life, but not yet as a domineering force. I worked in five countries19 in varying capacities20 managing diverse disciplines21 in diverse category of organizations22 that

18

Marquis Who’s Who, Macmillan Directory Division, 3002 Glenview Road, th Wilmette, Illinois 60091 U.S.A., 8 edition 1987-1988, p.834. Now moved to 121 Chanlon Road, New Providence, NJ 07974, USA
19 20

Worked in India, the Middle East, Far East, North America

Started work in middle management position, soon rising to senior management cadres
21

Managing functions in various disciplines, a combination of few at a time: Financial, Cost, and Management Accounting; Treasury functions; Company Law Matters; Human Resources Development; Materials Management; Sales Administration; Project Management; General Management and Administration; Information Technology
22

Starting with an American multinational corporation to a small family-owned private company (in a much senior position); to an overseas family-owned large business-house; to a start-up public company; to an overseas Governmentowned business, and back to the same American Multinational I started my career with (in much senior position now). Again, to overseas start-up but a vast corporation; back to the same American Multinational-owned another company; to another private start-up company owned by several overseas corporations from different continents and saw it growing; to another overseas start-up small professional company and saw it growing.

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were engaged in a variety of activities23 and in close contact with people coming from truly diverse ethnic origin24. Looking back, the basic thrust of my life can be described in one word: Variety! In addition, the basic pattern of my life could be described by yet another word: On the move! As if there was a hurry to cover as much as possible, within as short a period as possible, gathering as much exposure as possible, offering as much contribution as possible! I came to understand why this hurry was, only after I was taken through the gamut of spiritual experiences, and some fragmented exposure to my prior birth and some definitive indications about the end of my present birth.

23

Pharmaceutical and consumer products manufacturing to laboratory chemicals manufacturing; to trading business; to agricultural pesticides manufacturing; to dairy husbandry, industrial agriculture, and horticulture; to financial products; to pharmaceuticals manufacturing; to paper pulp manufacturing and forestry operations; to pharmaceutical manufacturing; CAD/CAM software manufacturing; to accounting firm; to environmental MIS software manufacturing.
24

Worked in close contact with people from India; Bahrain; Oman, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Philippine, France, Netherlands; Indonesia, China, New Zealand; Canada, USA, Britain, Japan, Germany, Korea, and Israel

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PAST JOURNEY
Recollection of the events – Purification of the soul – Dhyaan Yog (on the path of Meditation) – Bhakti Yog (on the path of Devotion)

TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE
On 22 July 1998, I had a cardiac arrest; it was on-table with a surgeon25 present. A cardiac arrest would be fatal26 if the patient is not already in the hospital, and therefore, it was a second lease of life to me. Immediately thereafter, during next two months, I started going through intense devotional experiences. Initially they were in form of flooding of love for God, becoming very deep and intense27.

25

Dr. S. Fort at Sunnybrook Medical Center, University of Toronto, 2075 Bayview Avenue, North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4N 3M5. It was during the procedure for Cardiac Catheterization revealing severe blockages, at four different positions, in varying degrees (100%; 90% & 70%; 50%), to all three primary blood vessels to heart
26

Quoting Dr. Terrence Kavanagh from his book Take Heart [published by Key Porter Books, Canada, 1998]: “If the damage is severe, then the heart may stop beating (‘cardiac arrest’ or ‘ventricular fibrillation’), and the attack is fatal. If cardiac arrest occurs when the patient is already in hospital, then normal rhythmic beating may be restored, by applying an external electrical current to the chest wall. This procedure is known as defibrillation. Obviously, there is a great advantage to having the patient in the intensive care unit; here the heart can be monitored continuously, and if cardiac arrest occurs, defibrillation can be carried out within seconds. Unfortunately, cardiac arrest is most likely in the first few hours of the attack, when decisions are still being made to call a doctor or arrange admission to hospital.”
27

Flooding of Love for God – It would have been the transitory phase of Bhakti Yog in my life, in an intense mode. Bhakti Yog refers to the path of Bhakti (devotion) which gradually paves the way for ultimate union with the Supreme

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These spiritual experiences were spontaneous, with no conscious effort on my part, without encouragement from anyone, and seemingly, without guidance from anyone; I would come to know who the guide was only after I had traveled considerable distance.

PURIFICATION OF THE SOUL
During August-September 1998, I spent all my spare time, after work, at various temples in and around Toronto28. This had an immense effect on me. In those days I turned totally fruitarian, I would live on fruits and milk alone. I would eat at home after formally offering them to Shri Naaraayan29 (with proper Mantr30 recitation). I had done nothing like this in earlier part of my life. No one told me to do it
Soul. Living alone at my condominium located at 3607–3 Massey Square, Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4C 5L5 helped me avoid distractions
28

Vishnu Mandir (Richmond Hill), Vaishnodevi Temple (Oakville), Kali Bari (Mississauga), Ganesh Temple (Richmond Hill), Lakshmi Naaraayan Mandir (Scarborough)
29

Shri Naaraayan, personification of the Supreme Soul, personal God. If you would want to pronounce it, looking at the spelling Naaraayan, you are likely to come relatively closer to how it is written and pronounced in Sanskrit, using its original DevNaagri script. Last N in Naaraayan is supposed to be pronounced with a hard tone, but there is no English equivalent and therefore, it is hard to describe in writing as to how exactly it should be pronounced. With the knowledge of this limitation, you may want to pronounce both N in Naaraayan as is N normally pronounced in English. This difficulty arises because we have half the number of vowels and consonants in English as compared to Sanskrit. In Sanskrit alphabet, you find a different letter for conceivably each and every kind of intonation, which could be fundamentally essential, for producing any vocal sound for expression of any human language. You may, however, choose to follow spelling Narayana, and practice its pronunciation with a wrong accent. The choice would be entirely yours
30

Like Naaraayan, spelling Mantr will give you relatively closer pronunciation to how it is pronounced in Sanskrit. You may, however, choose to look at spelling Mantra and pronounce the term with a wrong accent, if you would prefer that

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now, nor did I read it anywhere that I should do it so. It was spontaneous, and I would not know the source of this desire, at that point of time31. I was not thinking of a vacation, and I would not know what inspired JL, my colleague, to speak in a company meeting out of town, that I had been overburdened with work and I was justifiably entitled to some vacation. SM, CTO, promptly offered me two weeks leave from my work (he was aware that I was truly overburdened, but I had never made an issue of it). I was aware that Vishnu Mandir was organizing a Yagya for a fortnight, and I was earlier planning to attend it after work every night for the devotional discourses. Then, I would have missed the main event of Yagya32 that was to begin every morning and continue through the day. Now that quite unexpectedly, two weeks leave was presented to me on the platter, and the period coincided well with the schedule of Yagya, I had the benefit of participating in the Yagya without failing33. I would spend hours sitting in front of Shri Naaraayan, or staring at Shri Krishn, and tears would be flooding through my eyes
31

I collected a copy of the Satya-Naaraayan Pooja procedure and mantr from a priest of Vishnu Mandir and followed it religiously, and I bought all material required for Pooja from a shop at Gerrard St. East Market (this market is popularly known as Little India), which specialized in collection of entire range of products required for any kind of worship and ritual by Hindus
32

If you would want to pronounce it, looking at the spelling Yagya, you are likely to come relatively closer to how it is written and pronounced in Sanskrit, using its original Dev-Naagri script. Letter A in Yagya is pronounced as U in But. G in Yagya is pronounced with a nasal sound. You may, however, choose to follow spelling Yajna, and practice its pronunciation with a wrong accent. The choice would be entirely yours. Yajna means Worship, devotion, prayer, and praise; act of worship or devotion, offering, oblation, sacrifice (the former meanings prevailing in Ved, the latter in post-Vedic literature) M. MonierWilliams, A Sanskrit English Dictionary, 1899, 2002, p. 839. In our context, the post-Vedic meaning is relevant
33

As if the hand of destiny was guiding through the events, unseen by me

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continuously. I remember once my eyes caught the face of a young mother who was looking at me with amazement. The amazement showed on her face as she saw me in silent tears, flooding unabated, in the public place with so many people around. I was quite oblivious of my surroundings! At times when no one would be there, I would sit in front of the Havan Kund34 and participate in Yagya, me alone, very involved. It was no ritual for me, emotions would be flowing from within my heart, and they would be pouring themselves into the fire of the Havan Kund. It was the period of my AatmShuddhi, purification of Soul. In the fire of my repentance, I would be burning my Karm (past deeds). Through the tears of my repentance, I would be washing away my Karm.

MY LIFE’S GOAL SPOKE FOR ITSELF
During September-October 1998, I attended three Jaagaran35, which had far-reaching effect on me, and I have vivid memory of them. Dr. Doobay of Vishnu Mandir had invited Chanchal from Bombay. His invocation of Divine Mother was extraordinary. From time to time, he would say: Ask Mother today what you want and it would be granted. I remained hesitant, what do I ask. My vision was blurred with tears. Finally, I did ask for a place at the feet of my Aaraadhya Naaraayan, and to take away everything else, in its place!
34

Havan Kund: Where oblations are offered in the fire; oblations of ghee, the purified butter.
35

Jaagaran: Whole night hymn of praise spoken to the Divine Mother and Her invocation - Vishnu Mandir, Lakshmi Naaraayan Mandir, Vaishnodevi Temple (before this I did not know about Jaagaran, these appeared to be very popular among our Punjabi community).

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In time, my prayer was heard. I got what I sought, and lost what I offered in its place, but that was too small a price to pay. Nevertheless, I felt a deep sense of loss, once a while, for what I had lost. Whenever I experienced this, on those occasions, it did not occur to me that those losses could have had any connection with my spontaneous offerings to the Divine Mother Durga, on that night of first Jaagaran. Suddenly now it occurs to me that ‘yes’ they were interconnected. Voluntarily, in exercise of my freewill, an inner urge had surfaced on my mind from the depth of my heart, that night, and it was I who made the offerings. Those offerings were meant to be a sacrifice, though in those days, I never understood the meaning of sacrifice in a spiritual sense. The word sacrifice had always meant to me in a worldly sense, as is generally understood by people, making sacrifices for their loved-ones. Therefore, I made the offering quite spontaneously, not realizing then that, in effect, I was making a sacrifice of spiritual nature. It is only now, that I sit down to write these lines36, it occurs to me from nowhere (I was not thinking of this consciously), that the offering I made that night was a sacrifice to God. It is dawn as I look out of the window, and I hear birds chirping, and simultaneously dawns the realization on me37 that I had made, that night, a sacrifice on my own volition, and therefore, I have no reason, whatsoever, to be sad about it. I have lost what I had offered, and I have got what I wanted, and that is a good deal.

36 37

Yogeeta, 24 September 2002 My feelings were poetical at this moment of realization

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PERSONIFICATION OF THE SUPREME SOUL
God has created billions of humans. He can, at His will, create Himself in form of a human38. He can, when pleased, reveal Himself in the form in which His loving devotee wishes to recognize Him! Naaraayan means the goal of the individual soul. He is the representation of the Supreme Soul, in human form. He is the Personal God; Supreme Soul is the Impersonal God. Now I can perceive the two, the personal and impersonal God, as the same. In those days, I could not perceive Him as the Supreme Soul. He was Naaraayan to me, very much the Naaraayan, the living God, the ‘One’ reality, bigger than life, bigger than the Universe. At that time, I could not associate myself with any abstract concept, like the Supreme Spirit. I needed someone whom I could visualize, I could talk to; I could pour my emotions before Him; I could cry to Him if I needed, someone I could love with all my existence! There was much more in store for me to experience. He knew better than I did, that my perceptions were incomplete until I experienced them for myself. A lot of journey was slated for me, which was yet to reveal itself. For me, I was happy and satisfied with what little I knew and what little I understood, until now.

38

Those who scoff at this idea are trying to convey that God has no ability to assume a human form for Himself though He might have the ability to create billions of humans! Such belief is the product of their gross ignorance of God’s abilities

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MYSTERIOUSLY LED TO THE CHANTS
After a few months, spiritual experiences started taking mysterious turn, as I moved into a new condominium39 on 25 January 1999, the day I completed 47 years of my life. I was mysteriously led to getting the Chants of India40. I had no inclination, in my remotest dreams, to get any CD for that matter; I was taken to it at the pretext of something else, and no one seemingly associated with the process. As I started hearing its demonstration at Future Shop, I felt as if I knew these Sanskrit chants verbatim and with their meanings. Curiously, though, I had been out of touch with my Sanskrit education for a considerably long period. As the demo progressed, I reached those Vedic verses whose meanings I did not readily know, and yet amazingly they too seemed to be so very familiar to me, as if I used to hear them in my distant past very frequently. As I look back, I had actually never heard some of them in my present life!

ONENESS WITH THE UNKNOWN
As we dive deep into the spiritual domain, the aspirant often knows not what would come next. During February 1999, every evening I would return from work and sit down with the Chants of India, and recitations would go on for a little more than one hour. It would be dusk; I would leave my mind flow freely with the chants, as they would begin.

39

It was registered in my name on 25 January 1999, and I came to live there, on the same day. It was located at 402–725 Don Mills Road, North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3C 1S6
40

Chants of India, Ravi Shankar, Angel, 1997

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After the second track ‘Nityam dhyaayanti Yoginah’41, I would be lost into the unknown, the absolute blankness. As I would return to consciousness of my surroundings, I would hear the last chant in recitation ‘Sarve Shaam’42. This would happen every evening, without exception, about the same locations in the course of the recitations. This would happen every evening, by itself, without any conscious effort on my part. Evenings after evenings, for few weeks in row, the experience would be repeated, and I would not understand what it was all about. I would have no recollection of where my mind had been during that one hour. I would have no recollection of any dream, any thought, any feeling, anything at all that I can give a name to. The only word I can think of, by which I could probably describe it well, was “Total Blank”. Period! I would not know if I even existed during that one hour!

41

Omkaaram Bindusamyuktam nityam dhyaayanti Yoginah Kaamadam Mokshadam chaiva, Omkaaraaya namo Namah

Meaning: The sacred letter ‘Om’ is associated with the sacred dot – the Bindu. This ‘Om’ is the bestower of all wishes and is indeed capable of leading one to freedom from worldly bondage and is meditated upon by Yogis - translation by Dr. Nandakumara of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, UK
42

Sarveshaam svastir bhavtu, Sarveshaam shaantir bhavtu Sarveshaam purnam bhavtu, Sarveshaam mangalam bhavtu Sarve bhavantu sukhinah, Sarve santu niraamayaah Sarve bhadraani pashyantu, Ma kashchit duhkhbhaag bhavet

Meaning: May good befall all, may there be peace for all, may all be fit for perfection, and may all experience that which is auspicious. May all be happy, may all be healthy; may all experience what is good and let no one suffer translation by Dr. Nandakumara

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It would feel as if that one-hour was totally lost somewhere, but where I would have no clue, whatsoever. I would be sitting erect, without support, for whole one hour, with my head and neck remaining straight. I did not find any change in my posture, when I returned to the consciousness of my surroundings43. There was a typical consistency in the pattern. All that was happening about at the same place, about at the same time, about in the same manner: my going into absolute blankness, return to conscious world about the same location during the recitations, absolutely no change in the body posture before and after the event. I was being transported, possibly to another world of consciousness, of which I had no recollection.

43

I started suspecting that probably I was sleeping during that one hour of recitation. Later I started analyzing the situation. It occurred to me, if I were sleeping for an hour, I could not be sitting erect, without support, for whole one hour, with my head and neck remaining straight. I asked myself, as to why I did not find any change in my posture, when I returned to the consciousness of my surroundings I compared it with my numerous experiences of long travel in bus or train where often I would go into sleep, and invariably after a while, I would get up with jerk in neck, as my head would drop down during sleep, but it did not happen because the bus or train would stop with an unexpected jerk. It happened because, I simply could not keep my head straight while sleeping in a sitting position, and it had happened for many years The feeling after regaining consciousness of my surroundings was extraordinarily different. That kind of serenity and bliss I would have never known, in my present life, ever before. Whereas, waking up after a nap in the bus or train had always left me with a peculiarly dried throat and a discomforted feeling There was yet another reason for discounting my original suspicion about sleep. My sleeps were invariably filled with some kind of dream, but I would have no recollection of anything like a dream, after regaining consciousness of my surroundings, after that one hour, I spent every evening

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NEVER KNOWN SUCH SERENITY
The feeling after regaining consciousness of my surroundings, after that one-hour of total blankness - Oneness with the Unknown, was extraordinarily different. That kind of serenity and bliss I had never known, in my present life, ever before, until then. I would have no recollection of anything like a dream, after regaining consciousness of my surroundings, after that one hour, I spent every evening; at the same time, I could not be unconscious, for that period, or else my body would not remain, for one hour, in that posture. It would be very blank, absolute blankness, but could not be a medical blackout with such systematic repetition evening after evening. I felt perhaps the fittest, mentally and physically, during the daytime that followed every evening, during those few weeks. After my return to the consciousness of my surroundings, I would be in a different world altogether until next morning, when I would get ready for work. At work, the sense of peace would be so deep that I would not want to think of vacation at all. We look forward to vacation in order to run away from the monotony or stress of the work environment. Curiously, now at work, every day gave me the mental comfort of a vacation, as I was very free from stress, during those few weeks! I felt as if I was enjoying each day’s work immensely in those days, as if I wanted to remain in that environment all my life. This kind of feeling, I had only once, through my entire working career of so many years, and that was only during those few weeks. I was able to perform my work very efficiently in those few weeks, a work that needed high degree of concentration and application with deep analytical bent of mind. My job was to
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unearth invisible flaws and hidden weaknesses that are not easily spotted, in computer programs of technical nature. My mind goes back to those days bringing the memories of my weekends, the kind that I had never experienced before or after those few weeks. Saturday and Sunday, I used to have two days off from work. I was living alone and I would not turn the television on for time pass, I simply did not need to. Solitude is very congenial to spiritual journey, and living alone did help. I would get up early morning extraordinarily fresh, something that was a rarity in my life pattern. After daily routines and bath, I would sit down with a book or a music that had only sounds of Nature as music. The day would pass in absolute calm and serenity. I would not feel the need for filling up the hours of the day. There would be no sense of emptiness in my whole being. There would be no lethargy in my physical and mental system. There would be no sense of wanting or emptiness during the time of two whole days at my disposal to spend. There would be no sense of wanting in my surroundings and in my life. That was the February of 1999 and 1st week of March! During this period, I would always be part of my surroundings, my work, people, and yet I would be out of it all. I would be wholly involved with my work at my work place, with people I would be in contact with, and yet detached from all of it and all of them. That kind of detachment was not the product of mind or learning or training. That kind of detachment was not the product of a hurt or deep loss in life. That detachment was unique. I have experienced detachment in life of other kinds, but never of that type. It was so natural, so self-evolved, so un-engineered. It was

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so very different. I have not been able to attain it again, thereafter. The basic attribute that I can remember now of those few weeks of my life is the wanting of nothing. Nothing that I was lacking, nothing that caused a void in my life, nothing that gave me a sense of emptiness44! I have not known of a better feel of contended life ever before or ever after those few weeks!

SHOCK FROM THE MONK
I have had no earlier exposure to any documentation on spiritual experiences of other people with which I could correlate my own experiences. Besides, it was so very different from the life I had lived so far, and more importantly, it was all so sudden that I was baffled! I was naturally curious about the recent developments in my life. One of my colleagues, PC45, used to go to a Buddhist Center46 regularly. One day I went with her. Towards the end of the

44

Three and half years have passed since then. As I now sit down to write these details, my mind is taken to BhagavadGita chapter 2 Shlok 55 and 58: Shri Krishn said: “O Arjun! When a person gives up all his desires fully well, and lives content within him, in such a state he is called Sthit’Pragya (T pronounced as in French, G with nasal sound. Both A are pronounced as U in But). As tortoise withdraws his limbs, in that manner, when this person withdraws all his senses from all sense-objects, then his Buddhi is resolute”.
45

Born in Malaysia, of Chinese origin, an Engineer from Queen’s University in Canada, and a Graduate in Computer Programming; I do not know of her present whereabouts as I have lost touch with her.
46

I have lost the address of that Center as my Casio Organizer, in which I used to keep all details, became dysfunctional soon after my return to India, in May 2000. Since I do not remember the exact name I cannot locate/identify the address using the Web either.

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session, I narrated briefly my recent experiences to the Monk47 and asked him what it was all about. He told me that it was very bad. In next birth, I will be born as one of the creatures in one of the lowest of the species (obviously not human) in this world. He also mentioned that his Guru had written so in his book. This explanation was very dispiriting, and I lost the desire to make any further enquiries into the subject, though I did not buy his theory. PC noticed that I was visibly disturbed, and she only said later: Total blankness is a deep subject! This made some sense to me, and I kept it in my mind for future reference but I did not get to probe into it until recently that, I started documenting my experiences. Developments that took place thereafter, in quick succession, left me out of breath to get into any probing of what was all happening. All I knew that I was totally overwhelmed by all that were going around me, and I was so completely enveloped into the process that I had simply lost track of many other things that seemed to be quite unimportant, at that point of time!

RETURN WAS INEVITABLE
This process of daily retreats to the total blankness - Oneness with the Unknown - went on for about a month or so, and then on Saturday 13 March 1999, something happened that totally removed me out of that state. Quoting Romain Rolland from The Life of Ramakrishna [1928] page 42 “Then Ramakrishna intoned the Canticle of the Divine Mother. Come to Me! Either through Love (Bhakti), through Knowledge (Gyaan) or through Action (Karm), for all lead to God. I will lead you through this world, the Ocean of action. And if you
47

He was white born, taken to Buddhism, and had risen to the level of Head of that Center; PC respected him very deeply.

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wish it, I will give you the knowledge of the Absolute as well. You cannot escape from Me. Even those who have realized the Absolute in Samaadhi return to Me at My will.” Therefore, my return was inevitable. For, many more experiences of different type were yet to come. After those experiences, a predestined task was to be completed. Thus, I was led to another state of spiritual experience.

GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA48
Around this time, I felt an innate desire for reading spiritual material. For long, I had been out of touch with spiritual material. The last memory of significant study of spiritual material goes back to my very early age, between eight and nine, when I completed reading the epic Raamaayan, which I think ran into more than thousand pages49, from beginning till end, with a fervent desire. Using the computer system of the Toronto Public Library, I placed hold on all relevant titles that I could spot and that held
48

Shri RaamKrishn (1836–1886) never adopted himself the anglicized spelling Ramakrishna for his name. If he had himself done it so, we would have certainly respected his personal wish, and followed that spelling everywhere. Since it was not by his personal choice, but imposed by others, we can reexamine it. He was born in undivided Bengal, and Bengalis called him RaamKrishno. If you would want to pronounce it, looking at the spelling RaamKrishn, you are likely to come closer to how it is written and pronounced in Sanskrit, using its original DevNaagri script. You may, however, choose to look at the spelling Ramakrishna, and practice pronouncing it with the wrong accent. The choice would be entirely yours. I would, nevertheless, want to remind you that it is not necessary that a wrong practice, howsoever popular, must be followed, simply because others have done it. Someday, I only hope that Ramakrishna Mission will find the desire strong enough to restore its true name RaamKrishn Mission. However, I suspect that, for doing this, they might need yet another Naren of present generation!
49

My grandmother also had the epic MahaaBhaarat but somehow I did not develop any interest in it then. BhagavadGita is part of MahaaBhaarat.

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my interest. Every week thereafter, I started getting a bunch of books. I kept skimming through the pages, but none held my interest except one on Taantrik Buddhism50. What I was looking for was nowhere there. Finally arrived the last one The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna recorded by M51 and translated by Swami Nikhilananda. This book (the unabridged edition) gripped me totally, and transported me to a new horizon. As I read the book, I felt as if I knew everything contained in it. As if all the conversations were recorded in that book in my presence or, for me, over a century ago. It was an amazing feeling. Curiously enough, in my present life, until then, I had never known of the existence of this book52. As I completed reading it, I felt as if every word had sunk within me without requiring a second reading. I could think, feel, and

50

I do not remember author’s name, he was an American, white, held a PhD, and happened to be an amateur snowboarder; if that description can help identify the author.
51

Quoting Aldous Huxley in his Foreword to The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna: “Never have the casual and unstudied utterances of a great religious teacher been set down with so minute fidelity” Mahendr Nath Gupta (1858-1932) was the Principal of VidyaaSaagar High School at Shyam bazar, Calcutta. He recorded the conversations for his own reference, which took place in his presence, everyday in his dairy, as it is, without editing. Throughout these records, he has kept himself in the background, quite inconspicuous, without projecting his own personality, or without inducing his own thoughts, keeping the records in their original form. Later he published the records of his dairy, in its original form and content, under the pseudo-name ‘M’, between 1897 and 1932, in five volumes.
52

The due date for return arrived, and no extensions were permissible as there was a queue of people, who had also put up a request for it. I did not have the patience to wait for my turn at the end of the queue, and therefore I went to Vedanta Society of Toronto [Ramakrishna Mission], and bought a copy of it

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live by it for almost two years thereafter, until I was gradually exposed to BhagavadGita.

MIND FLOODED WITH THE NAME OF GOD
During the time to come, I remained in a state of a different kind of consciousness. There were two kinds of consciousness present most of the time. At work, with one kind of consciousness, I would be working on the physical plane where my mind would be focused at the work in totality without a distraction, and functioning as always and as sharply as before. At work53, with the other kind of consciousness, my mind would be continuously flooding with the name the God54. This would not be a conscious act, because I would not be thinking about it in the manner I would be thinking about the work, and yet the name of God would be flooding through my mind from where, I would not know. At home55, I would be lying down in the bed or on the carpeted floor, while my mind would be flooding with the name of Divine Mother. The body and its muscles all over would be mildly tightening, in a peculiar manner, as if gripping me with a great feeling and experience, that now I am at loss of words to describe. I remember I would not want to get out of that experience. The process would continue for hours, or for most of the day. Blissfully, I would remain in the thoughts of Divine Mother56.
53

Location of work: Suite 918–555 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3B1
54 55

I think now, it would be during April-July 1999 but I could not be very sure

Same location of home: 402–725 Don Mill Rd, North York, Canada – this was during April-July 1999
56

Divine Mother is the personification of the Supreme Soul in Its female aspect

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IN LOVE WITH THE DIVINE MOTHER
From about June-July 1999, things started changing and I tended to become very emotional in a deep devotional sense57. I would often cry like a lost child, from the very depth of my heart for the Divine Mother; tears would flood through my eyes. The feeling of love for God was so intense that nothing else around me would matter. At North York District Library in Canada, I found an audiocassette belonging to the forgotten yesteryears. It was in Bengali, titled as Kaalo Meyer Paayer Talaay, sung by Mrinal Kaanti Gosh. Its appeal to me was stupendous! I would go into a state as if I was talking to the Divine Mother, spontaneously bursting into spell of cries, in course of singing along with Mrinaal Kaanti Gosh58. Listening to him, I would feel the pang of having lost my mother, I like a small child on the road, lost in the crowd, searching for my Mother who would pick me up in Her arms, and love me. I would ask Her why She had deserted me, left me unescorted in

57

Probably, it happens with many. Quoting Romain Rolland in his book The Life of Ramakrishna [1928] at page 25 “The way of Bhakti was the way the blind instinct of Ramakrishna had unconsciously adopted from the first. But he knew nothing of its winding and lurking ambushes.”
58

I had made a copy of that cassette at my work place one evening late after work, using an old unattended dual cassette tape recorder, lying in the office of our CEO AM. I remember PC walking to my desk and asking me what was I doing, and I told her that I was copying the songs of Divine Mother. I returned the original to the library after making the copy. Sometime later, I had the desire to borrow the original again. I searched the shelves of the library thoroughly, consulted the librarian, who checked library catalogue and records, but could not trace it for me. I wonder now, if the cassette had appeared on the shelves for me, when I had got it for the first time. God’s ways are mysterious! I have the copy, which I had made, till now with me. I wrote the words of those songs in my own hand while listening to them, and those too are still with me.

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the crowd of this mad world, why do I have to be part of these sufferings! As I write these lines now, for the first time after a long time, tears rolled down my eyes. I can feel those days back, and the feeling is so beautiful! There is nothing like this, in the dryness of Knowledge, and the Oneness of total blankness. The way love can fill our heart, and wash the dirt from our mind, is something that can only be experienced, not so well said!

MONEY LOST ITS ATTRACTION
I would not want to have anything to do with money if I possibly could, in those days. I would not want to think of money; I would almost hate the thought of it. In August and September 1999, I signed two legal documents for effecting transfer of all my assets, leaving not a penny to myself, except my monthly salary for ongoing expenses59. After this, I felt so light within myself, and had a delightful feeling that finally I would no more be required carrying the burden of property. It could have been the transitory stage of Sannyaas Yog in my life, in a very limited way60.

TAKE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AWAY
Somewhere about this time, I appealed to the Divine Mother to take my worldly responsibilities away, so that I may keep undiluted attention towards my journey to ‘Her’. About the end

59

Signed the two legal documents in presence of Mr. Said Mohammedally, Barrister, Solicitor & Notary Public, Suite B27–45 Overlea Boulevard, North York, Toronto, Canada M4H 1C3
60

Sannyaas Yog refers to the path of Sannyaas (mental abandonment of worldly ties), which gradually paves the way for ultimate union with the Supreme Soul.

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of 1999, ‘She’ started removing them from me, gradually, and surgically. As ‘She’ took them away from me, ‘She’ took them upon ‘Herself’. I had not, however, realized it until now61.

TAKE CONTROL OF MY LIFE
I begged Her to take control of my life, and use it the way She would want. I would want to feel devoid of any personal desire or freewill. I would want Her to exercise my freewill on my behalf. I would not want to have any freewill to myself, by handing over my total existence to Her. I would not want any of my egos; all of it dissolved into Her, the Divine Mother. I would want to see Him as my Master, with complete surrender of my ego unto Him, the Supreme Soul. He would be my Master and I would be His servant, entirely dedicated to Him. The state of my inner feelings in those days is not very easy to describe.

MECHANISMS OF COSMIC MANAGEMENT
In those days, I could be very oblivious of worldly needs, and live entirely in Her realm62. During this period, some intricate details of cosmic functioning opened up in my mind, during meditations. Of one of them, I have the vivid memory, as if it were happening just before my eyes, as a continuous process. I remained in Her realm, in a state of bliss. This experience was, however, very different. It was not like the one I had earlier in February 1999.

61 62

Yogeeta, 25 September 2002

The Divine Mother, Bhav’Taarini, One who frees us from the bondages of the mortal world, and whom Shri RaamKrishn worshipped

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIM AND HER FADED AWAY
I would be in love with Him, He being everything to me, the very basis of my existence. This feeling was something that enveloped my whole being into a kind of bliss that is difficult to express in words. In this state, the difference between He and She, the Supreme Soul in Its male and female aspects, would not matter. However, as far I recollect now, most of my emotional overtures would be directed towards the Divine Mother, as Her child. Now that I am out of that mental makeup, I have only recollections of those relationships that were like mother and child, and/or master and servant. I did not see any difference then between Him and Her. Sometimes I would take fancy in experiencing the company in one form, and sometimes in another form.

SUPREME SOUL IN ITS MALE AND FEMALE ASPECTS
With time, I was to learn that Naaraayan is the revelation of the male aspect, and Divine Mother Bhav’Taarini the revelation of the female aspect. This creation has originated from the Supreme Soul, and this creation requires blending of the male and female aspects. To give shape to this creation the Supreme Soul Itself assumes male and female aspects. Now I can perceive these, but earlier I could not. For perception to me, is nothing but experiencing it. He knew my limitation and He led me to the understanding of it. For me now, He is the only Truth that is permanent. Life has taught me that every other truth, at best, is transitory!

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I have also learnt that the names do not matter. Loving God does. Those who do not love God sincerely enough, but say that they do; only such people fight over the names! Such people try to establish that they alone are right. Where does the right and wrong matter, when we are in His realm? When we are in love with Him or Her, all those distinctions of name, religion, cult, and faith, all that disappear, only remains one reality that is He! Forgetting Him, we fight; remembering Him, we unite!

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VEIL OF MAYA
Alternatively, lifted and then dropped – Key to the end of my present birth – Key to the events of my earlier births – Gyaan Yog: On the path of Knowledge – Nirvikalp Samaadhi? – Bhaav Samaadhi? – Yogi who lost his way, and drifted away – Who was the guru guiding through the process? – The Supreme Soul is the Guru

THROWN BACK INTO THE OCEAN OF MATERIAL WORLD
Living in His realm may have been bliss, but the time for honeymoon was over. Now was the time to face the harsh realities of the world once again. From these realizations were to emerge another source of knowledge that would benefit many. The return, however, would not be so easy. There would be instances that would want to drag me back to the material world, quite forcibly against my will. I would want to resist, and I would be able to do so but only for some length of time. Then some kind of external force would mysteriously create yet another new situation, and it would want to drag me out, again. The inner struggle would be intense, and invariably I would lose, every time a bit by bit. The process started shortly before Christmas of 1999 and continued through after my return to India. I was being brought back to the gradual awareness of the material world. This transition was very painful, as I did not want to return. The process had left me confused as to why was I being dragged back to those worldly realizations, which I had once left far behind and had no inclination to return to.

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Return from the realm of love and beauty to the world of crude realities was not easy. It would create many waves on the mental plane. The disturbances at emotional level would be quite unsettling.

HIDE AND SEEK WITH THE VEIL OF MAYA
The Divine Mother would lift the veil occasionally, and I would be able to see through clearly. I would know why it was all happening to me. I would have no regrets. I would understand Her fully and Her ways as well. I would see that whatever is happening is part of a much larger script being enacted at the stage of this world, and myself as only one small part of that script, only an actor enacting my own role in it. Then the veil would be dropped before my eyes again, and I would react to each situation as a person, who sees only that much, as much is visible. My thoughts, actions, emotions would be guided by my ego, where I would be employing my free will the way I would choose. Again, the veil would be lifted temporarily, and I would see the futility of my thoughts and actions. I would see clearly that I was being part of a larger game plan, simply an instrument. At that time, however, I would not understand that the game was 'not' drawn at Her whim and fancy. Its seed remained buried in the actions of my present and my past, and the direction towards which my future was now taking shape to. There would be a constant tug-of-war between two opposing forces: one that would be driven by my ego, which would want control over my free will; and the other: my surrender of ego to Her, where I had appealed Her to take control of my life in Her own hands.

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The hide and seek would continue thus, alternately repeating the process, with intervals, when the veil would be lifted, and then dropped again. I spoke to my friend HD about it as he was driving me to the Pearson International Airport at Toronto, but I am not sure if I was able to convey to Him properly what I wanted to say, because he made no response. For, such things can only sound like riddles without self-experience. With self-experience, they may appear as clear as an image in a mirror. Life is like a puzzle, with only few pieces of the puzzle given to us at a time. Putting together few pieces alone, we never get the full picture!

DIVINE MOTHER ASKED – WHERE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ME?
I have been visiting the temples quite frequently, now for about one and half year, and I had come to know the routes very well. I remember one specific incidence that I was driving to Oakville from North York, and through the drive, my mind was flooded with the thought Ma…Ma…Ma…it was the thought of my Divine Mother. My eyes were glued on the highway and the signs of passing exits, but my mind was flooded with emotions for Mother. I was driving quite mechanically, more like a machine, on that fast flow of traffic where I would be on a moderate speed of 110-120 as compared to most others who were passing by quickly ahead of me. I was in two kinds of consciousness then, with one managing the traffic, with the other oblivious of the surroundings diving into the love of my Mother. I believed that my eyes were glued at the overhead signs of passing exits, and I was constantly looking for Bronte Exit63. It
63

Or it was Hwy 25 exit, I do not remember well now, though the name Bronte has stuck in my head

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probably arrived and passed by while I remained oblivious of it in thoughts of the Mother, and at some point of time, I came to realize that I was driving on an unfamiliar road, probably heading towards Hamilton or Niagara Falls (I think now the overhead signs said so). I had to return and with difficulty, I found my way back to Oakville Vaishnodevi temple64. Something very similar happened after sometime when I was heading towards yet another well-known destination Vedanta Society of Toronto (Ramakrishna Mission)65. My mind was flooded with the name of Divine Mother; I lost the way to Ramakrishna Mission. With a long detour, I arrived there finally. I had scheduled an appointment with SP66. I narrated both the incidences to him, and enquired why does it happen like that? I think this second incidence was sometimes in March or April 2000, because I visited him to speak about my desire to visit Kamarpukur, the birthplace of Shri RaamKrishn, for saadhna (spiritual discipline). As I left Ramakrishna Mission, on my way back the same question resurfaced my thoughts. Why is it that I lost my way to Vaishnodevi Temple and to Ramakrishna Mission, though I had driven on those routes so many times, and I knew the routes by heart; and it happened only on those few occasions when my mind would be flooded with the name of my Divine Mother67?

64 65 66

Vaishnodevi Temple 3259 Hwy 25 Oakville ON L6J 4Z3 Canada Ramakrishna Mission 120 Emmett Avenue Toronto ON M6M 2E6 Canada

On 17 October 2002, I sent a copy of this work to SP. I informed him that I had mentioned his name on this page.
67

Rationalist would want to argue that my mind was not actively present while I was watching the road signs, and therefore, I missed the appropriate exit. However, I would not buy that, because it only describes the process, the mechanism as to how it could have happened, but not something that lay at the root of it, something more fundamental. Probably Divine Mother was trying to tell me something that I was not yet able to hear! (continued to next page)

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As I continued driving back home (from Ramakrishna Mission), suddenly from nowhere the answer stormed my mental plane: “Where are you looking for ‘Me’ – at Vaishnodevi temple, or at Ramakrishna Mission, or at Kamarpukur? Why, I am here right in your heart, in your mind, in your whole being! You go all the way there, in search of Me. What for? Just look for Me within yourself, and you will find Me right there, with you!” After that, I did not need to go out looking for Her, elsewhere. Nevertheless, I did retain the desire to visit Kamarpukur, other places of pilgrimage in India, and Mother Teresa’s in Calcutta. I could, however, visit Kamarpukur only as late as in September 2001, and after arriving there, I came to the same realization! I returned immediately, and the desire to visit other places was extinguished.

SEPARATION FROM HER WAS VERY PAINFUL
I have one vivid memory of my bursting into loud cry, holding on to the wooden panel of living room wall of my condominium at North York, begging Her for company of such people only with whom I could talk about God through the day and night. It was within one or two weeks before my departure from Toronto in May 2000. I remember about continuation of this condition even after my return to India in May 2000. Many a poems that I had written

Let me agree with the rationalistic approach and assume for a moment that my mind was so very absent that, I missed the exit signs (ignoring for the moment that I distinctly remember that my eyes were glued to them and were searching for the specific one). Then I have one question: With such kind of absence of mind, how did I drive on such high-speed roads, for such long distances, without a single violation of traffic rules, and without causing a single accident in the process? There was something more to it, which I could not see!

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those days in being separated from the Divine Mother are in my dairy68. I still have another vivid memory of my singing to Her begging Her to take me away from here into Her own world, asking Her how long will it take more, and then bursting into spell of cry, standing at the bedroom window of my New Bombay house where I lived alone, sometime about June-August 2000.

GOD REALIZATION WAS IT
As I begin recounting these memories, different incidences keep surfacing on my mental plane. BG and his wife GG had come to look at my Taurus Station Wagon having learnt from HD that I was selling it before my departure from Canada. While BG was test-driving it, GG said69 ‘Bhaisaheb (Brother)! Would you speak to BG about God? That is all he seeks in his life, and HD Bhaisaheb said that you have realized God!’ I do not know what had made HD say so to them, but few days later when I went to HD’s house to leave my briefcase containing my testimonials and documents (just in case, I ever returned to Canada, I might need them), HD’s wife TD said in a manner that touched me70: Bhaisaheb! It is our good fortune that you have come to our home. HD was saying that he sat before you, and

68 69

Late July 2000 at Yogeeta, early August 2000 at Shiv Palm Beach

It was about the end of April or beginning of May 2000. At that time they were living at 58 Davis brook Blvd, Scarborough ON M1T 2J1. Now they have moved. They did not have any email address, when we met last in May 2000. I could not mail them a copy of this work, seeking their permission to my making references to what they had said to me.
70

It was first week of May 2000 at 90 Beckenridge Dr, Markham ON L3S 3B1, Canada.

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you were speaking to him about God, and he felt only if he could stay like that, listening to you like that, for all the while71. Around that time FY72 returned from Hong Kong, and seeing my email that I was leaving Canada for good (we had been out of touch for quite some time; during the days of my upheavals I had lost touch with all my friends), came rushing to see me73. We spoke for long and then went for lunch at an Indian restaurant. Later, I do not remember well exactly when and in what context, he said something like this, referring to our talks on that morning: I saw light in your eyes74! As I could not have seen myself, I would not know what all was happening to me around those days, except that I remember now that I was madly in love with Him, call Him God, Divine Mother, or anything else.

RETURN TO INDIA WITH THE DREAM OF SANNYAAS
On 7 May 2000 when I left Canada, I had hidden close to my chest the desire to become a Sannyaasi, one who renounces the world, and with that renounces the family name and ties. Therefore, I gave up all that I had including a good well paid permanent job and returned to India with minimum necessary clothes and personal belongings. I had also decided on my new
71

HD and I came to know each other in February 1998. We became friends after my cardiac arrest. Our friendship was dissolved sometimes around JuneJuly 2000. On 17 October 2002, I sent a copy of this work to HD. I informed him the specific page numbers on which I had mentioned him. I sent the mail to his last known email address, but it returned promptly, undelivered with a comment: invalid recipient. Possibly, he has changed his email address.
72

FY is a Buddhist Monk, and my classmate at The Institute for Computer Studies, 155 Gordon Baker Road, Suite 402, North York, Toronto, Ontario M2H 3N5 Canada
73 74

It was during first week of May 2000 at 402-725 Don Mill Rd condominium

On 17 October 2002, I sent a copy of this work to FY. I informed him the specific page numbers on which I had mentioned him.

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name ‘Samarpit Uske Charno May’ meaning ‘surrendered the self at His feet’. I had hoped to travel on foot through the length and breadth of India. I began changing my lifestyle. I lived in solitude, slept on floor, washed my clothes with my hands. I cooked food myself, offered them to God and then ate it as His blessing. I had no money of my own. My mother gave me sufficient money for my expenses, but initially I tried to spend as little as possible. I wanted to prepare myself before I could leave home for destinations unknown. He, my invisible Master, had other plans for me. He had His unique ways to convey that as well. He knew better that He Himself had given me the tenacity not to give up once I have had a resolve in my mind. Simplest way was to put up as many obstructions as possible until finally I got the message. From June/July I started getting sicknesses one after the other until I felt thoroughly dispirited and wanted to go back to Canada75. I booked my flight, postponed it twice, and finally gave up the idea, as I had no physical fitness to start life all over again in Canada without money. I had become very weak and it had become very clear to me that I did not have the physical fitness to travel anywhere in India, leave aside being on foot! My immune system had been very incapable of a single exposure to outside food and water, so where was the question of travel out of Bombay? Anyhow, finally I got the message that I was not slated to become a Sannyaasi! By now my detachment towards worldly life had considerably diluted. I had other attachments that had come in my way, and I had realized that I had prior birth

75

Finally, I was admitted to the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit at Harish Hospital, Nerul, New Bombay on 24 August 2000

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commitments to fulfill yet. This was all happening around the end of 2000.

PAIN AT SEEING PEOPLE WHILING AWAY THEIR LIVES
After my return to India, I would watch at my dismay the Indian youth, busy acquiring a Western life-style, and would wonder why did I come back here; to see what, this rat race, the rush for materialistic gains; to acquire a Western clothing on an Eastern soul? I would see people who were at their advanced age, now freed from most of their obligations towards life, whose children had grown up and now capable of supporting themselves. I would see these elderly people having adequate resources to live on their last years of life, but not focused entirely on their journey towards God. I found them occupied with their attachments towards family, friends, television, and so on. I would feel pain at my heart for them, noticing them whiling away their last days of life, not investing it for attaining Him and Him alone. I would find them religious, but not entirely devoted to Him alone. I would tell them in anguish, why are you wasting these precious remaining years of life, when you have no familial obligations left, why do you not seek Him and Him alone. I would want to tell them that you are fortunate to have reached this stage in life, but you are not using it properly for what you can, now. I would see that what they are busy with, would not lead them to Him, it will lead them to more of attachments and nothing else. It was the time in their life to grow over those attachments, try to free themselves from those shackles. At times, my anguish for them would be so intense that I would literally shout at them in pain, scold them for losing out this opportunity to seek Him. I would not care that they were elderly people, and I ought to be speaking to them with respect.

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I gradually started realizing that the time has not come yet for me to speak to them. For, I did not possess the knack to speak to them properly. My love for Him could be intense, but that does not give me right to speak to others through my anguish over their lifestyle. He had, obviously, not given me the command to speak for Him, yet76!

PAIN AT SEEING PEOPLE OBLIVIOUS OF THEIR TRUE STATE
I was at pain seeing that people do not realize that they all are travelers, and this world is just another station. That: they have made this station as their true home, having lost the knowledge of their true origin and ultimate destination. I was at pain seeing them under mistaken belief, that it is they, who create what is around them, not realizing that they are only trying to replicate what He has already created around them. I felt helpless seeing men, intoxicated by their quest for technological advances, marching towards that which takes them farther from Him, who has created us all.

ALL PEOPLE BECAME HIS REFLECTION
As I lie down in the bed, my mind is transported to the memories of earlier days, when my mental state was such that I could not distinguish between myself, and others. What seemed natural to me seemed natural for others too! My memory flies back to those long forgotten days, when Shankar and his people were painting my house at Nerul, New Bombay. Those days I lived alone and cooked simple food for myself77. I cooked for me and for all them, and then we all sat down on the floor and ate together. They expressed very special
76

This was all happening around middle to end of the year 2000 when I alternately lived in Bombay and New Bombay
77

It was probably early June of 2000

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feelings about this as in their experience it is not done. For me the feelings were quite different. I felt it quite gratifying that God gave me the opportunity to cook food for all of them with my own hands and then eat together with them. Few such other instances of different kinds resurfaced on my mind now. My heart would be filled with compassion and love for others, disregard their faith and religion and nationality, wanting to share resources at my disposal; seeing in everyone the image of the same God whom I worshipped. That purity of heart I have lost now, having been transported back to the realm of this materialistic world; with only the memory left that living in His world was so very satisfying, where there were no distinctions. The distinction between good and bad had been obliterated. All people looked good to me, in those days. I had lost recognition of bad elements in others. Bad in others did not disturb me then. The happiness within me was of a different kind. I felt much more pure within me, because my feelings towards others had become so pure78.

KEY TO THE EVENTS OF MY PRIOR BIRTH(S)
During August and September 2000, I learnt certain fragmented details about my prior birth(s). The questions had earlier surfaced my mind repeatedly but I had no access to the answers. He only knows when the time is right for a soul to have access to certain kind of information. He only triggers the instruments that come in action and carry such knowledge to the destination.
78

Having returned to the full awareness of material world, now, I have lost that purity of thoughts and emotions. Now, black appears black, and white appears white. When bad influences my life, now, I feel disturbed. I did not understand then why He robbed me of that state. I realize now that the task I have ahead of me could not have been accomplished in that state of mind.

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Such things are not in our control, and they do not happen by our choosing. I came to know of them now only by His Grace, at a time He chose. Subsequent efforts on my part to know more of such information became futile, until He chose again to part with some more fragmented details of one of my prior births, about a year later, in July 2001. The knowledge of such kind was of significant interest to me, but yet inadequate to explain to my conviction, about the incidences of my retreat to total blankness - Oneness with the Unknown, until I had further exposure to BhagavadGita, which finally set my all doubts at rest!

KEY TO THE END OF MY PRESENT BIRTH
In August 2000, I learnt, with His Grace, something definitive about the end of my present birth, and during next month a confirmation of it. About a year later, in July 2001, I had reconfirmation of that; also some additional knowledge about that. About four years ago, in August 1996, I had learnt about it in a different light, but in a definitive way, and again two years later, in August or September 1998 I had confirmation of that, but in those days I retained it in my mind, and did not give due importance to it. Sometime in April/May 1998, I had an indication about it in yet another different way, but I had then ignored it. Much earlier, about ten twelve years ago, sometime between 1986 and 199079, I had very similar indications but those were very early days for me to have attached any significance to them.
79

The period has faded away from my memory, and I can only correlate it with the place I was living then, that is, O-9 & O-10 Nensey Complex, Western Express Highway, Borivali East, Bombay 400066

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Now looking back in this light, I realize why there had been such a rush during my present birth, to experience this world and this life, and all kind of spiritual experiences as well as the worldly experiences, and to be over with them, as if once for all80. Life’s ways are, indeed, very mysterious!

LESSONS ABOUT MONEY
For many years I held the unshakable faith that He who waters the plants, He who feeds the birds, He would take care of my needs. My faith was blind and He had protected it all along. By now, good amount of money had come to me in form of large number of stocks in one corporation in which I had once held a very senior position. I felt, by bringing money to me, Bhav’Taarini, the Divine Mother was probably trying to bind me again. My hands were restless; they would not want to retain money. I started looking for avenues to spend it away. I sent large amounts of money to charitable organizations to feed people; and to send books81 to public libraries and University libraries in Canada and USA, and to friends in India and overseas. Like this, I kept finding use for money. I compassionately extended loans to those who would give me an appealing story, without having true intention to return the money. In those days, I felt it was His82 money, me as the custodian, only to distribute it freely.

80

Living through worldly experiences, and re-living through spiritual experiences
81

Books published by Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta; The Ramakrishna Math, Chennai; Voice of India, New Delhi
82

I remember of few incidences when I said to others that it was Thaakur‘s money. Devotees called Shri RaamKrishn ParamHans Dev as Thaakur. In those days, I perceived him as an Avataar of Shri Naaraayan, as the legends say.

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Probably He had not given me the money for this, and therefore, He gradually made me realize that money at my disposal was limited. That I needed to learn that in today’s world we need to be financially independent in order to be able to do what we need to do and what we want to do. If I could not keep myself financially independent then soon my mind would be engaged in finding means for survival. If that were what He wanted then He would not have brought money to me. He would have let me struggle my way through and earn it for myself. I came to realize that He had given me the money so that I do not worry about my day-to-day needs; and focus on something that He would want me to do, instead. I, however, did not know yet what was it that He wanted me doing? Again, He had His unique ways to convey that to me. From July 2000 to August 2001, my stocks gradually lost their market value by 90 to 95 percent. Now they were worth only 5 to 7 percent of their value, as compared to the value when I got them in marketable state by end of July 2000. I would not want to remain aware of the slide in market value of my assets. There would be others, who would keep reminding me. The process stretched over a year, and that made me aware of the importance of money. It also made me conscious that these stocks were all that I had to live on for the rest of my life, if I were not going to work for my living again. After dawn of this awareness, market value of stocks started rising and over next eight months, by April 2002, they gradually regained their lost value. Shortly thereafter, they started their

It was not a matter of superstition; in such exalted states of devotion, often a devotee sees everything as an expression of the Supreme Soul. The people whom I gave money, I thought of them as not different from me; their needs were my needs. Then, where was the question of not thinking of Thaakur as an Avataar? Thaakur itself means God, in Bengali. Thaakur was my ladder to Bhav’Taarini, the Divine Mother, in this birth again!

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downward march once again, only to lose one-third of their market value before stabilizing. Through this process of ‘ups and downs’ I kind of became aware of the need to monitor and protect my limited assets, if I wanted to remain financially independent and work for what I would love to, and not for my survival. And yet I was not able to seriously think about it, and put it into action until two months after my return from Venice.

TREASURE OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE ANCIENTS
Somewhere around those days, I became aware of the vast treasure of knowledge buried from the days of ancient India, when it was known as BhaaratVarsh. I started buying books and studying a lot. I felt I did not need anything else. I would be happy if I had plenty to read and learn. I dived into certain branches of Vedic knowledge that were focused at human living and I was amazed to find the in-depth work by ancients83. Many a principles I tested on myself, favorable and unfavorable, both types, making myself a guinea pig, only to be proved of their validity. I also realized the ‘root cause’ why (not how) the knowledgebase had been lost into antiquity. Clearer picture about this ‘why’ emerged, however, only after I had adequate exposure to BhagavadGita. Somehow, they could not hold my interest for very long, probably because my destination was elsewhere!

83

It was about early 2001 at Shiv Palm Beach, Nerul, New Bombay

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TAPES THAT HAD GONE OUT OF CIRCULATION
Somewhere during this transition84, I started listening to a collection of ten audiotapes on BhagavadGita with original Shloks beautifully recited in Sanskrit, and excellent translation (in Hindi) retold exceptionally well by Harish Bhimani. This translation mirrored my experiences very well. Later, I learnt that this collection was no more available in the market as the manufacturer, Oriental Gramophone Record Company, had closed down its business. I had found that old package lying on the shelf of Rhythm House in Bombay85, bought it without any specific intention and when I started listening to the first tape, I remember having found no interest in continuing with it, and for once I had even thought of returning it! May be the time was not ripe, then. I was too deep in Bhakti Yog, and probably I needed time to come out of its spell, and be able to appreciate the deep knowledge of BhagavadGita.

JOURNEY FROM BHAKTI (DEVOTION) TO GYAAN (KNOWLEDGE)
Quoting Romain Rolland from his book The Life of Ramakrishna pages 25-26 “The way of Gyaan is that of the absolute or impersonal God. The way of Bhakti is that of the personal God – at least its pilgrims linger long on the way before finally rejoining the pilgrim of Gyaan”.

84 85

It was about early 2001 at Shiv Palm Beach, Nerul, New Bombay

While typing these lines, I called Rhythm House and I was told that they had none left to sell. I realize now that I was led to that box of audiotapes with a definite purpose, not known to me then!

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TAPES WERE GIFT OF GOD!
Months later, as I listened to other cassettes of the same package, I found myself mysteriously drawn towards them, with each Shlok unfolding before me the knowledge, which I felt as if I had known sometime in the distant past. May be this was the beginning of my transition towards Gyaan Yog86, in a limited way. At times, the answers to the questions that I had been seeking for long came back to me with a flash, as if I had already known them, but somehow I had forgotten about them87. Sometimes, they would unfold before my eyes one by one, as if they were hidden somewhere in my memory from my prior births88 (because, during present birth, I had read only few Shloks, probably ten, almost three years ago, during AugustSeptember 1998). Audiocassettes contained no explanations at all, yet the meaning of most other Shloks appeared to be so very familiar to me. This all could be beyond familiar logic to many.

BACK TO FULL AWARENESS OF MATERIAL WORLD
Gradually, I regained the memory of names of many acquaintances and places, and the memory of details regarding many events in my life, which had become very vague (almost lost) during the exalted state of my devotional madness. If I were to attempt writing in those days, all this that I am writing now, I would have drawn a big blank. First, I would not

86

Gyaan Yog refers to the path of Gyaan (knowledge of the Self and of the Supreme Soul), which gradually paves the way for ultimate union with the Supreme Soul.
87 88

It was about mid-2001 at B11/1:3 Shiv Palm Beach, Nerul It was about Sept-Oct 2001 at 20 Yogeeta, Borivali

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have had any inclination to sit down to write all these. Second, even if I had forced myself to do that, my memory would have failed me miserably at every step. I lived in a very different world in those days. Now also, I have to retrieve the information gradually, all do not come back at once. Sometimes, they come back like a lightning, tearing the darkness! There was yet another change during this process. I lost the sleep of night, and therefore, I needed to recover it during the day. I wondered if it was unhealthy, and if it was in contradiction with the demands of the Nature89. Gradually, I regained the ability to differentiate between good and bad. At one time, all people had seemed to me alike; all were good! I would then glorify those who even betrayed me. Then, in those days, the inside I was in peace! For, I saw the good in all. Now having regained the distinction between good and bad, and the recollection thereof, it has placed my life in a different light. Given the choice, I may want to go back to that earlier state. At the same time, I accept the return, as it has to be with a purpose. Nothing happens under the heavens without a purpose! Finally, through a seemingly prolonged struggle over a period of two and half years90, I was entirely brought back to the material world, by now very conscious of its needs, desires, attachments, relationships, and money. Gradually I became well equipped (physically, mentally, and emotionally) to deal with them, as everyone else would do.
89

We need the waking day to interact with the outside world. We all sleep in the night because normal business closes then. My interaction with the outside world is through this work on BhagavadGita. I do it in the cool, calm, and peace of the night.
90

This was between December 1999 to June 2002

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BEING IN IT AND YET NOT BEING IN IT
But, with one basic difference; whereby, I remained in this material world fully and yet, not in it fully; whereby, my mind and emotions sought all that every other person does, but nothing would bind me for long enough. The only permanent bond seems now, is to be with Him, the Supreme Soul, my immediate as well as ultimate goal! However, I realized that so long I have to carry this body; I shall have to bear with the needs of this body, and fulfill the desires of this body; no point denying them. I have also become aware of certain prior birth commitments or compulsions that need to be discharged or met with. By now, I had understood the purpose of my forced return, which I had questioned often before. Mysterious are the ways of destiny that we ourselves create through our own actions in the past, utilizing our freewill in a manner different than, for what, He has given it to us!

RETURN FROM SAMAADHI
Quoting Romain Rolland from his book The Life of Ramakrishna page 40 “Even the saint who comes down from Samaadhi (ecstasy) to the plane of ordinary life is forced to return to the envelope of his ‘differentiated’ ego, however attenuated, and purified. He is flung back into the world of relativity. So far as his ego is relatively real to him, so far will this world also be real; but when his ego has been purified, he sees the whole world of phenomenon as the manifold manifestation of the Absolute to the senses. Maya will then appear under its true colors, at once truth and falsehood, knowledge and ignorance (Vidya and Avidya), everything that leads to God and everything that does not lead to Him”.

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IN SEARCH OF A NAME
Whatever I had passed through, until now, those were only experiences to me, the real-life experiences but without a definitive name. I did not search for a name because, so far, there had been no need to give it a name. They were simply personal matters to me. Now that I am documenting these experiences, it becomes necessary for me to find the appropriate name to identify those experiences, the name by which others can correlate them. With that purpose in mind, now I consult other works to find the definitions. Now I look for similarities in the documented experiences of others to find a name for my own experiences. Until now, they were my own experiences, my very own, unshared with others, and I needed no name for them. Now that they come to public knowledge, they will need to be identified by a name for common reference. I begin, therefore, with the documented experiences of others that I have access to.

WHY NIRVIKALP SAMAADHI?
When my friend at Venice asked me about my spiritual experiences, the first question that surfaced on my thoughts: Do you know of Nirvikalp Samaadhi? How and why that word came to my mind, at that moment, I do not know. For, I had never thought of it seriously before91.
91

Three years ago I had read something about it in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, but the specifics had not registered on my mind, probably because, I had considered it something of a very distant object, only relevant for someone like Shri RaamKrishn Paramhans Dev, who was an Avataar in my perception. Something that I would perceive as not relevant for a common person like me, I would simply ignore. The only thing that I vaguely remembered, in relation to Nirvikalp Samaadhi, was about an experience of Swami Vivekananda, where he

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This term ‘Nirvikalp Samaadhi’ had never been of any relevance to me, with regard to my own spiritual experiences, involving retreats to total blankness - Oneness with the Unknown - during February 1999. So far, I had treated my experience of such retreats as admixture of strange and wonderful occurring. Why then, a term Nirvikalp Samaadhi that I never consciously thought about, nor associated with my own experiences, surfaced on my mental plane out of the blue, when I got somewhat ready to speak of my experiences to my friend DM92, and that happened to be my very first reaction? Whatever might have been the reason, now after my return from Venice, as I start documenting my experiences that is the first place I am prompted to look into: Nirvikalp Samaadhi!

WHAT IS NIRVIKALP SAMAADHI?
Quoting Swami Nikhilananda (1895-1973), the founder of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, USA in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna [1942] [unabridged edition] Glossary published at the page 1041 “Nirvikalp Samaadhi: The highest state of Samaadhi, in which the aspirant realizes his total oneness with Brahm93.”

felt something like missing his body, or such. The only impression I carried with that vague memory, was that it sounded too odd to me, and probably, therefore, it stuck in my head for its oddness. A year ago, I would have again read about it somewhere in Romain Rolland’s Life of Ramakrishna, but I was more impressed with his beautiful language throughout the book, and the fact that someone of his eminence was writing so highly about my Master, and even then I did not even think of relating it to my experiences.
92 93

I could not do it then, therefore, doing it now

BhagavadGita, in its original Sanskrit script, refers to Brahm, and therefore, I shall use everywhere Brahm, not Brahman

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Quoting Shri RaamKrishn (1836-1886) in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna [1942] at page 639 about a conversation between him and Pundit recorded by M. on Monday, October 20, 1884 at 12 Mallick Street, Burrabazar, Calcutta94 “Pundit: There are two kinds of Samaadhi: Savikalp and Nirvikalp. In Nirvikalp Samaadhi, the functioning of mind stops altogether. Ramakrishna: Yes. The mind completely takes the form of Reality95. The distinction between the meditator and the object of meditation does not exist.” Quoting Romain Rolland [1866-1944], winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature [1915], in his book The Life of Ramakrishna [1928] page 32 “But hardly had Ramakrishna crossed the threshold than he attained the last stage – the Nirvikalp Samaadhi – wherein subject and object alike disappeared. The Universe was extinguished. Space itself was no more. At first, the shadows of ideas floated in the obscure depths of the mind. Monotonously a feeble consciousness of the ego went on ticking. Then that stopped too. Nothing remained but existence. The soul was lost in the Self. Dualism was blotted out. Finite and Infinite space were as one. Beyond word, beyond thought, he attained Brahm.” pages 167-168 “This realization was the last stage, for beyond this temporary revelation lay the supreme realization, the absolute identity, obtained in the Nirvikalp Samaadhi (the Highest Ecstasy). But that reserved for men, who had achieved their mission in life; it was the ultimate and forbidden joy; for from it there is no return except in a few exceptional cases like that of Ramakrishna himself.” page 168 “He who is desirous of attaining identity with the Unique Reality only receives a return ticket by a miracle…Properly speaking, it is the stage of
94

On the invitation of Marwari devotees for celebrating Ann’Koot festival, where a vast quantity of cooked food is offered to the Deity and later distributed among the devotees and the poor
95

The Supreme Soul is the permanent reality. All else are transitory, not eternal reality

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illumination to which, we can all aspire and to which we have the power to attain by ourselves and to guide others to a similar attainment.”

WAS IT NIRVIKALP SAMAADHI?
I have described earlier, in great detail, about my daily retreats for few weeks, into the total blankness - Oneness with the Unknown, where I lost my consciousness of the external world, and was transported into another world of consciousness, of which I have no recollection. Wherever my consciousness would be transported to, there would be no dreams, no thoughts, no emotions, no feelings; no awareness of anything that would be worldly in nature, nothing whatsoever; and this process had evolved by itself. Was it a state, as described by Swami Nikhilananda [in the Glossary of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna], where the aspirant realizes his total Oneness with the Brahm? Was it a retreat into the Nirvikalp Samaadhi? Was it a state, as described by the Pundit to Shri RaamKrishn, where the functioning of mind stops altogether? Was it a retreat into the Nirvikalp Samaadhi? Was it a state, as described by Romain Rolland, wherein subject and object alike disappeared; the Universe was extinguished; nothing remained but existence; the soul was lost in the Self; dualism was blotted out? Was it a retreat into the Nirvikalp Samaadhi? Was it a situation, as described by Romain Rolland, where one had achieved the mission in life? Why would I beg of Her to take me away from here into Her own world? Why would I beg of Her to take control of my life, and use it the way She would want? Why would I not want to have any freewill to myself, by handing

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over my total existence to Her? Why would I not want any of my egos; all dissolved into Her, the Divine Mother? Why was this hurry, through this life, to experience the world as much as possible, as soon as possible, to re-live through the spiritual experiences in a hurried manner; and to be over with it, as if once for all? Was it a state, as described by Shri RaamKrishn to Pundit, where distinction between the meditator and the object of meditation does not exist? Was it a retreat into the Nirvikalp Samaadhi? If I were in a state of meditation, then I was the meditator, and someone else was the object of that meditation. The meditator in me had lost its identity, into the one, who was being meditated upon. Who was I meditating upon? I did not make a conscious effort for meditation. I simply sat in front of the altar (images of Gods whom I worshipped), started the recitation of the Chants, and let my mind and heart and soul flow freely with it. Then, soon I was gone. Where was I gone, I did not know? If He was the object of meditation, and I was the meditator, then He certainly engulfed me, in a way that I lost myself totally96. If He was not the object of meditation, then who or what was it? All I know that it was Naaraayan, I have been seeking all along; I simply wanted a place at His feet, nothing else mattered to me.
96

Continuously it happened every evening, about the same place, during the chants: Omkaaram Bindusamyuktam nityam dhyaayanti Yoginah, Kaamadam Mokshadam chaiva, Omkaaraaya namo Namah Meaning: The sacred letter ‘Om’ is associated with the sacred dot – the Bindu. This ‘Om’ is the bestower of all wishes, and is indeed capable of leading one to freedom from worldly bondage and is meditated upon by Yogis. Now that I look at this meaning carefully, I am struck by the amazing relevance of it!

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He used to be in my thoughts all the while. I did not know what meditation97 was all about. Now after this entire journey, that I have already walked you through, I have learnt that meditation is nothing but being in His thoughts, all the while, with all our heart, and mind and soul. God is there in the base simplicity of thought and expression all else is cosmetic!

WHAT IS BHAAV SAMAADHI?
Quoting Swami Nikhilananda in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna [1942] [unabridged edition] Glossary published at the page 1031 “Bhaav Samaadhi: Ecstasy in which the devotee retains his ego and enjoys communion with the Personal God. Bhaav: Existence; feeling; emotion; ecstasy; Samaadhi; also denotes any of the five attitudes that a dualistic worshipper assumes towards God. The first of these attitudes is that of peace; assuming the other four, the devotee regards God as the Master, Child, Friend, or Beloved.”

WAS IT BHAAV SAMAADHI?
My retreats into devotional madness, the state where I would be very much aware of my physical existence, and yet I would be wholly immersed into Her thoughts, was unlike the earlier situation of retreats into total blankness - Oneness with the Unknown. I would be working at office, or driving on the highway, but my mind would be flooding with the name of the Divine Mother. My existence would be very much in my conscious and yet it would be totally engulfed by Her. I would be very much there as
97

I had heard of that term, and had some vague impression, that it was some kind of a specialized mental activity, for which you would need a teacher, a guide, a Guru.

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me, and yet I would be within Her. She would envelope my total being, and yet I would be aware of it. Was it a state of ecstasy, as described by Swami Nikhilananda, in which the devotee retains his ego and enjoys communion with the Personal God? Was it Bhaav Samaadhi? This all was very spontaneous, without aid of a guide, or, without former practice of devotional discipline that could have led me to such situation. How or why, I did not understand then, nor did I try to. I was so much immersed in what I was passing through that I had no inclination to ask myself any questions. The experience of bliss was so immense that nothing else mattered. What, why, how, all these remained beyond the sphere of my thoughts; all that mattered was, that I was experiencing then. Now that I am searching for a name, this is what I am led to quite unconsciously. That was the first thought that occurred to me as to where to look into [Bhaav Samaadhi]. If this is not the right name, what is the right name, and how does it matter? My love for Her is still with me, which I experienced when I was writing about it yesterday. That is all that matters to me, names do not!

HOW WAS I LED TO THESE EXPERIENCES?
This all was about what had happened. Nevertheless, the questions that I had sought answers to, during the period I was gradually being dragged back to the awareness of the material world, had eluded me for quite some time. What could have led me to those experiences, one after the other in quick succession, and in such depth? What was behind all this? Who was behind all this? I had no training; I had no prior association with any religious or spiritual organization; I had no guide, Guru.
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Things of this nature cannot happen just from nowhere. There has to be the seed somewhere. There has to be a connection with something. There has to be a cause and effect relationship between the events and their root somewhere, howsoever obscure it may be! When in August 2000, for the first time, glimpses of my prior births were revealed to me, I saw some light, some explanation to my questions, but not sufficiently. The connection between my prior birth and the events of this birth did show me the root, but it did not explain to me the process. I still wanted to know ‘how’, while I had only known ‘why’? I had known what I was in my prior birth, and what led me to my present birth. I could understand the natural tendency for the return of my past birth attributes, in the form of my present birth aptitudes. I could also understand their return only after the incidence of fatal cardiac arrest in this birth, which was like a second life to me in this birth. So much for ‘why’, that I was searching answers to. Nevertheless, ‘how’ still deluded me; I wanted to know, if it was the part of natural mechanism of the cosmic management? Does this happen to anybody in my situation? Is this one of the laws of creation that it should happen in this manner98? I wanted to know the universal system that governs it all. I learnt it only after I was exposed to the BhagavadGita, but it did take me time to unravel the meanings that lay behind the shloks in BhagavadGita.

98

I do not use the words ‘in this manner’ in relation to the precise steps involved in the events of my life; I mean globally ‘in this manner’; particulars of the steps involved in each individual’s life can very well be different because no two individuals are identical in every possible manner

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THE YOGI WHO LOST HIS WAY AND DRIFTED AWAY
It was only after 1 November 200199 that I was able to connect the ‘why’ relating to my prior birth with the ‘how’ that I found in BhagavadGita: “Arjun asks: O Mahaabaaho! On the way to attaining Brahm (nearing Soul’s imminent dissolution into the Supreme Soul), a Yogi who lost his way and drifted away (having been attracted and become attached to the worldly desires), does he become shelter-less? Does he belong neither to the world, nor to the God? Does he get shattered, like a torn cloud? Does he have no refuge at all?” “ On being asked so by Arjun, Shri Bhagawaan said: O Paarth! That man perishes neither in this world, nor in the other world. O Dear! No man is ever subjected to decay, if he works for raising the Soul within him. O Kurunandan! That man attains with ease, his prior accumulation of spiritual wisdom, from his previous birth and earlier body, and with its influence, he attempts once again, with even greater determination and effort than ever before, to attain his goal. Because of continuous practice during prior births, he keeps being drawn, as if not being within his own power, towards the complete attainment of his object. With the help of perfection acquired through the course of many prior births, such Yogi, practicing with effort and dedication, becomes accomplished in this life itself; and (by neutralizing all his Karm), he attains the Supreme State.”100
99

I learnt the object of my Present Journey on 1 November 2001 which I will narrate later in this work (additional note dated 2009-12-16 not in this work, but elsewhere, in Gita Today – Rise against Adharm)
100

BhagavadGita Chapter 6 Shlok 38, 40, 43, 44, and 45

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BIRD IN THE CAGE
I would feel this body like a cage. The soul in the body, like the bird in the cage, would flutter for its freedom. But no matter, howsoever, it may try it remains trapped in the cage! I would visualize101, me riding a horse, racing with the speed of the wind, running alongside the train, trying to leave it behind, thoughts racing through my mind: I am coming, I am coming! At the end of the horizon, He is waiting for me, my eternal Father, my eternal Mother, my eternal Friend, my Origin, my End! The train running at a set speed was like the life itself, and me trying to beat it, and reach Him! Lying in the bed, in the middle of the night I would ask Him, Where did I lose You? Let me lose anything but not You, this time! A drop of tear would roll down my eyes. Pain of losing everything else would be on one side, and the pain of losing Him would be on the other side; and, I would not want to trade Him for anything. One lifetime I wasted in desire of these worldly attractions, only to learn how futile they are in comparison to the beauty of His love!

WHO WAS THE GURU GUIDING THROUGH THE PROCESS?
Who was the Guru guiding through the process Leading to Nirvikalp Samaadhi, Bhaav Samaadhi, and explaining the meanings of BhagavadGita? The entire process leading to spontaneous total blankness Oneness with the Unknown - and subsequent returns there from, were self-evolved, spontaneous, something that happened by itself. I had not been initiated, as it happens traditionally.

101

Yogeeta, 16 September 2002, little before dawn

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I had heard that every person needs a Guru for showing the way to the Supreme, and I had always perceived that such Guru would only be a living human, but I did not have any. How was my mind flooded with the name of God when I would be at work and at home? Why would I cry like a lost child for the Divine Mother? Why would I become so averse to money, and feel unburdened after giving away all I had? Why would I want to mix only with people who would want to speak of Him alone? Why would I want to give up my freewill and want only to be guided by Him? Why would I want to feel myself His servant with no ego present in me? What brought their occurrences within such a short period, changing in shades and colors one after the other or, mixing up with one another? In retrospect, it feels as if there was a hurry to live in each situation and quickly move to the next stage? Who helped me in my spontaneous return to the deep esoteric102 knowledge of BhagavadGita? I did not read or listen
102

Esoteric = Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with specialized knowledge or interest. I was lying down, when on my thoughts, surfaced the term ‘deep esoteric knowledge’. I was up, looked in the dictionary, and found it befitting; so, I added it here. The knowledge of BhagavadGita is intended for those souls who have attained a certain level in their evolution and is likely to be absorbed by only a small number of people with specialized interest. Most souls will ignore its knowledge even if it is served on a silver platter! Why go far, millions of Hindus keep BhagavadGita in their home, in the place of worship with great reverence, but how many have read it, leave aside trying to understand it? I, myself, had it at my home for many years but never looked in it, until the time came and it led me to it by itself! The interesting part is that I do not remember having ever before used in my writings or in my speech the word ‘esoteric’ or having ever before looked at its meaning in a dictionary. I may probably have read it somewhere in distant past

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to any commentaries on BhagavadGita; how was I able to understand, connect, and interpret them? Who took me through the whole process, guided me all through this journey; who led me to it all? They always remained out of my sight, and yet so very real to me: my Isht Dev Shri Siddhi Vinaayak103, my Aaraadhya Shri Naaraayan104, and Shri RaamKrishn Paramhans Dev who transported me into the devotional madness for Divine Mother!

SUPREME SOUL WAS THE GURU
It is true that we all need a Guru, who would generally be a living human, but there could be exceptions that I learned much later, from the following Shlok, which always preceded the Shlok ‘Nityam dhyaayanti Yoginah’ that led me to spontaneous Samaadhi during February 1999: GururBrahma GururVishnuh GururDeo Maheshwarah GuruSsaakshaat Param Brahm105 Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah

and assumed some meaning for that, in the given context, but I could not be sure about this. How then, did the word surface on my mind at a place appropriate? This was just an example. I have noticed many times that concepts, phrases, explanations, etc float on my mental plane, from where I do not know. It is Him, who prompts me from behind the curtain
103

Shri Siddhi Vinaayak is another name of Lord Ganesh, who is known as the God of knowledge. Ved Vyaas narrated and Shri Ganesh penned the epic MahaaBhaarat, which contains BhagavadGita
104

Shri Naaraayan is the personification of the Supreme Soul. Naaraayan means goal of every individual soul. Shri Krishn is His Avataar, who delivered the message of BhagavadGita to Arjun at KuruKshetr
105

Here again the word used, as written in original Sanskrit script, is Brahm, not Brahman (Supreme Soul, impersonal God)

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Meaning106: “The Guru is none other than Brahmaa107; He verily is Vishnu108, and He truly is the Maheshwar109. He is the Supreme Spirit110 Himself. To such a Guru I offer my salutations! The intent of the above Shlok, as I have now understood, is: When the soul attains a certain stage in its journey towards the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Soul Itself assumes the role of the Guru, and thereafter leads the soul to the desired path111!

IS GOD WITH FORM OR WITHOUT FORM?
The Supreme Soul, who guided me all through this journey, is He without Form the Supreme Spirit, or is He with Form the Naaraayan? Let us try to look at it in a different way. I have a body now, so you see me in Form. After I give up this body, you will not see me in this Form. So, in your opinion, do I have a form or, do I have no form? When I have acquired this form, it is real. When I give up this form, it will still be real. Only two different forms of the same reality! Why then would you want to waste your intellect debating on whether my ‘this form’ is real, or my ‘no form’ will be real? Why would you want to remain trapped in such petty debates? What of essence, would you gain out of that?

106

Shlok translated from Sanskrit to English by Dr. Nandakumara of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, UK for Chants of India of Ravi Shankar and George Harrison.
107 108 109

Brahmaa: Brahm, as the Creator. Vishnu: Brahm, as the Preserver.

Maheshwar: Brahm, as the annihilator, the one who triggers the dissolution of the creation process, only to pave the way for yet another new creation!
110 111

Brahm, as impersonal God, the Supreme Spirit

Shri RaamKrishn Paramhans Dev used to say: Satchidaanand is the Guru! [Sat-Chit-Aanand = Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, the Absolute, Brahm]

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Rise above the pleasures of intellectual pursuits, and come to experience the Truth as it is. Then, all questions will disappear. Only He will remain!

WAS THAT AN AURA112?
It was in August 1996 that I met SH. As I entered her office113 and sat down before her, she said that you have a spiritual aura around you. Shortly thereafter, between August and November 1996, I called PK and spoke to him on phone for enquiring something. Soon after he called back and said he wanted to meet me, if possible now114. He also said on the phone that he sensed a spiritual aura about me, and he said it again when I met him at his place same afternoon115. I filed both incidences in my mind, as rather odd occurrences, but did not attach much significance to them because I did not fully understand the implications. Looking back I realize that those were the days when I was getting back to God. In the mornings, as I would leave my house, I would be caught by the stunning beauty of the Nature and remember God’s presence all around! I still remember it vividly, and I had written about it to my mother in India116.

112

Oxford Dictionary, 1998, 2001, p.111. Aura: a supposed emanation surrounding the body of a living creature, which is allegedly visible to some…
113 114

It was at her office, situated at Kennedy in North York

I asked him, how he got my number, to which he said that it was displayed on his phone. I had not yet seen a phone with visual display.
115 116

It was at 964 Albion Road, Toronto ON M9V 1A7

It was about November/December 1996 when I was living at 915–7 Crescent Place, Etobicoke, Toronto, Canada

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I remember of the late nights waiting for TTC bus117, in the midst of snow and ice, enjoying the wait, remembering God! The wait about the middle of the night, after school since about sunrise, did not seem to me like a wait. For, I would be floating in His realm! Then were the evenings of May to August 1997, I would be walking after the day’s work118 for about a mile or so, looking towards the sky, seeing God’s images amongst the clouds!

WAS THAT WHITE LIGHT?
Recently I was at Venice for three weeks at the invitation of my friend DM. After the air journey, I was stretching myself at the terrace garden that evening119. I opened my eyes momentarily and looked at DM sitting on the chair, looking intently at my face, her eyes narrowed and focused. After a while I opened my eyes again, and found her in the same state. Later, on my enquiry she said about white light surrounding my face120.

117 118

In front of Honeywell’s at Victoria Park, North York, Toronto

The walk from Softkey’s TaxPrep, 2700 Matheson Blvd East, Mississauga ON L4W 4V9 to the first TTC bus stop, in the beautiful Canadian summer
119 120

It was 12 July 2002 at Via Felisati 4, 30171–Venezia Mestre, Italia

DM is no superstitious person. Being agnostic, she is likely to be more sceptical than any average believer. She is the retired professor of literature, a linguist, and a widely read person of sharp intellect, as I came to know her. She was born as a Catholic, later turned an agnostic, now developing keen interest in BhagavadGita. Though, my stay was brief, few of her questions and suggestions inspired me significantly, and their effect is bound to reflect in my future work. On 13 October 2002, I sent a copy of this work to DM. I informed the page numbers of this work where I had mentioned her. On 14 October 2002, she confirmed all details, without any change.

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It was probably the same night, in a dimly lit room, DM again looking at my face, with the same intensity, and narrowed focused eyes. Watching my face, she asked me: Who are you? I do not remember what I replied to her, but I do remember my asking her about looking at my face. The same was her reply that there was a white light surrounding my face. What I realize now is that some people can, at some time, either sense or see something about me that I myself cannot. I would suspect that this would happen only with such people who have the innate ability to sense or see, not121 with all people, and not with such people all the time.

121

Oxford Dictionary, 1998, 2001, p.111. Aura: a supposed emanation surrounding the body of a living creature, which is allegedly visible to some…

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PRESENT JOURNEY
Work on BhagavadGita – Moksh is the only thing I know

WHAT WAS HIS PURPOSE?
The seemingly prolonged period, during which I was gradually drawn back to the haunts of material world from the blissful realm of His domain, I had asked a question to myself over and again, as to why was I being dragged back into it? I had suspected often that there was a purpose, but I had not known with clarity what it was. I had asked myself many a time as to why I was not able to give up my body that I no more desired, as I wanted to totally submerge my ego into Him. I wanted no ego of my own, and yet He would return me back to it, after giving me the taste of its transitory dissolution in Him. I had known it very clearly that He had a use for this body, but I did not know exactly what. This not knowing, exactly what, was a bit maddening. By now, three years had passed since the fatal cardiac arrest, which was the turning point in my life. First two years had been hectic, different kinds of spiritual experiences one after the other had come by, and they had engulfed me totally. Third year brought me repeated sicknesses, and by September 2000, I had become very weak. After this started the process of dilution in my devotional fever, and with that, my exposure towards the worldly life started increasing. With that, the total erosion in the value of my assets gradually made me aware of the importance of financial resources for sustenance of life. Coupled with that, total absence

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of any definitive direction to the remaining life, started bothering me, and making me restless Now, my life minus the devotional fever became equal to emptiness! Knowing that such emptiness can be disastrous, and not knowing exactly why He had chosen to bring me back to this state, I decided to go back to my old life pattern, that I lived before my cardiac arrest. I sold my New Bombay house in August 2001, visited Kamarpukur next month, and then left India for good, returned to Toronto on 25 October 2001.

LIKE A LIGHTENING HIT THE ANSWER
Earlier, I had appealed to Him repeatedly that He takes the rein of my life into His hands122. I had appealed to Him, over and again, for the privilege of my being of service to Him, instead of me working for my own needs, and these prayers seem to have been heard now. A week later123, one night as I was listening to the last chapter 18 of BhagavadGita, at Shlok 61 suddenly I knew the answer, the work that lay ahead of me. “O Arjun! This body is like a machine. Mounted on this machine, God with the aid of His Maya124 makes it move around in accordance with the individual’s Karm125. He knows what is in the heart of each creature. He is resident in the heart of all the creatures.”

122

When I write this, in my mind there is no difference between Him and Her, I use them quite interchangeably, as God in any aspect is only God to me, my address to Him/Her is immaterial
123

It was 1 November 2001, 10 PM at 2015–25 Mabelle Avenue, Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M9A 4Y1
124 125

Om namo Naaraayanaay – Jurisdiction of Maya – here we live Om namo Naaraayanaay – Bondage of Karm – here we use our free will

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At that moment, the analogy surfaced on my mind, how God creates man and monitors him, and how man creates robot and monitors it. I visualized myself as the machine and God as the operator. Man creates robot, gives it partial intelligence to operate on its own in a limited way, retain its control in his hands, and operates it through the remote control system. God creates man, gives him substantial amount of intelligence and together with that the freewill, so he could operate on his own; nevertheless, He retains the control in His hands, knows what the man does, and gives him his rewards according to his Karm (deeds). The reward monitoring system operates on its own but not without His knowledge, nor without His access to the remote control system126. It became clear to me that I am His instrument, and gradually now He has made me ready for the task He had for me. This is when I knew the task127 as well, for the first time. Then, one morning as I woke up, I found all my desires having been extinguished, desires that had recently brought me back to Canada128. I returned to India to start the work.
126

Epilogue – Mechanisms of Cosmic Management (2002)

2009-12-11 IST 0429 at that time I had planned to complete the chapter on Mechanisms of Cosmic Management as Epilogue to this work; for reasons no more I remember now it wasn’t done; and, after passage of so many years I have lost that knowledge the vision of which I had acquired one evening during meditation at 402–725 Don Mills Road, North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3C 1S6; for, now I am a changed man; so much water has flown...and washed away all that...why that happened, see Epilogue, and you will understand...so much was documented but this one was left over...for TIME hadn’t yet come in the scheme of His designs for that part to be documented
127

2009-12-11 IST 0502 It has come as a flash and had disappeared almost immediately. The impression had remained fresh in my memory for quite some time but now with passage of time and with very substantial change in my person that impression too has become vague.

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STARTED WORK ON BHAGAVADGITA
I started working on BhagavadGita retaining the originality in my work. If God has given me the understanding in a certain manner, it ought to come out in its original form, uninfluenced by other works that may be in variation. Being in variation would not mean that they would be in contradiction. God has expressed Himself through His creation with an enormous variety. We humans have only limited understanding of God’s unlimited expression of creativity. We humans can only comprehend a limited aspect of God’s creation and portray it in our own limited way. Hence, none of us can claim that I know all of Him, and I am the only one whose portrait is right. If any of us tries to claim that, then that person would perhaps be the most ignorant one amongst us, because s/he would not have truly understood Him, at all; or else, there would be no such claim!

MOKSH IS THE ONLY THING I KNOW
Moksh is the only thing I know, and I understand. All else is secondary to me. The present work on BhagavadGita will be built upon and around the premises of Moksh. It will attempt at explaining: How the soul begins its journey – where does it live – how does it use its freewill – what choices does it have – where does it end its journey! This work will be the extract of knowledge and understanding acquired by ‘this soul’, through its journey over multiple births; its own, original, and authentic version.

128

It was Saturday 10 November 2001 at 25 Mabelle Avenue, Etobicoke, ON

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The purpose is to install a path indicator for those who are traveling, and may be looking for some indication as to which direction to go. ‘This soul’ wanted to experience this world, in its different colors and shades, before its final dissolution; and it wishes to leave the tracks for those who would be sinking or swimming through the ocean of this world, yet desirous of final freedom from it.

YOU CAN DO IT – WHEN YOU RECOGNIZE YOUR TRUE GOAL
This world is real. It is possible to remain within this world and yet to be out of it. The environment of this world will keep influencing us. Yet, it is possible to continue our journey towards the Supreme Soul. Attaining God does not wholly depend upon129 the clothes we wear; the vocation or life-style we adopt; it depends on the character of our desire for attaining Him! Om Asato Maa SadGamaya Tamaso Maa Jyotir gamaya130 Mrityor Maa Amrtam gamaya Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih!131 O God! Please lead me from this transitory world to the permanent bliss. Please lead me from my spiritual ignorance to the spiritual knowledge. Please lead me from the cycle of repeated birth and death to the ultimate dissolution into the Supreme Soul, where after, there would be no more a birth, nor a death. Please lead me to the permanent peace!

129 130 131

It helps, but it does not conclusively determine that. Letter ‘a’ in Gamaya is pronounced as ‘u’ in But. BrihadAranyak Upanishad First Adhyaay 3 Brahmana 28 Mantr
rd th

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EPILOGUE
10 Dec 2009 IST 17:122

Lot has not been said above – left to be told at some later date when the TIME arrives. Time changes and so does the environment. Perspectives change. Call of Time gets redefined. Rising to the Occasion becomes the Touchstone of Time. And that was to be reflected in my writings to come, where writings would be the vehicle to reach the people, and the Time for other Action would patiently wait for its turn. It has been more than seven years when all this was written and Moksh was the only thing on my mind. I did not, but He knew of the path He would be leading me towards, in due course of time. He also knew that my priorities would change drastically with time, so much so that I would hardly bother to remember what all I had once passed through, leave aside remembering minute details thereof (ex: addresses, dates, names, sequence of events, state of mind, etc). Not only this, He also knew that I had no inclination whatsoever to document132 those experiences. But
132

2009-12-10 For a normal person it would be very difficult to understand why I would not want to make them public. To understand that one has to first transport him (self) to that state of mind and heart in which I was then. And you know it well that it would not be possible for you to do so, on the fly. Therefore, I have to resort to logical explanation to make you understand that. In that state of mind where I sought nothing but dissolution within Him, that is, in effect, lose my existence and become one with Him; in that scenario how could I be left with any desire to place on record what all were my experiences. Think of it this way: when this mortal world itself had become redundant for me why would I want to leave any footprints behind? This entire thing is a deep subject. I have gone into depth describing it in various ways in my other work “Om namo Naaraayanaay”

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He must have seen some purpose behind making me do so133. He had His own way of planting the seed in my mind. He used DM134 as the vehicle and made her ask me of my spiritual journey, and then let it germinate while He made me wait at Milan Airport. So, finally, I did place the events on record but did not publish them for public consumption. It is only now that I understand it, and therefore, I am publishing them. Many of you may be familiar with my prior works which actually came into existence after this work, but got published much before this one. Now that you have read this one, you may have figured out how much I have changed over time. But do you have any idea how difficult was that process of change? From a state of bliss to this state of filth is not easy to come by. I was torn within. This change was unacceptable to me and I did make several attempts to avoid that, but then it kept drawing me like a powerful magnet rendering me powerless. That tug of war has been tearing me apart. It hadn’t been a brief surgical operation. It had been a thorough dissection bit by bit, limb by limb. And this was all happening inside my mind and heart. The process was long drawn over the years. Indeed, it had been very painful. When you are in a state of bliss the entire world looks to you as one. Everything feels like part of that one, the Creator. You are in love with everything around you. All are one to you. You cannot feel good towards one and bad towards another. You see the beauty in ugliness and love in hatred. You cannot feel hatred towards any and cannot perceive inequality in any form. To you all are equal – even different religions135. I would have become a
133 134

2009-12-10 Which I did not understand then but I do now

2009-12-10 He only made DM find me. For I knew her not; nor were there any common friend who could have introduced both of us; His ways are unique, so are His scheme of designs.
135

2009-12-11 IST 0557 Those who quote Shri RaamKrishn ParamHans Dev or Sri Ramana Maharshi fail to realize that such statement (if they made) was the result of a specific state of mind and heart, and it would be applicable only to

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god man136 soon if I had been allowed by Him to stay in that state for long enough. But then He wanted me to experience that this happened to be only one part of the Truth, and yet there was another form of reality. And my knowing that form of reality was probably more important to Him given the environment137 that we have today. And I had surrendered myself totally to Him so He had every right to lead me wherever He wanted to. While I was more than willing in principle I had no idea what He had in store for me. I was in bliss and I wanted to remain in bliss, and from there merge into Him losing my existence all together so that I do not have to return138 for another merry go round.

LESSON OF THE LIFE TIME
Generosity is good but being generous without evaluating possible consequences could be deadly. In Treta Yug Raja Dash’Rath gave three boons not knowing what would be asked in return when time comes to pay back. You all know what happened. In Dwaapar Yug Crown Prince Dev’Vrat made his legendary Bheeshm Pratigya without caring to evaluate what could be the outcome. You all know what all he had to endure in
those who live in that state of mind and heart. It would be foolish to apply this to people who do not even know (cannot even fathom) what kind of state of mind and heart that could be. Therefore, something stated (if it was) wasn’t meant for quoting out of context and thereby misguiding the rest of the world which today’s god men are doing for they themselves haven’t been to that state. Most of these god men possess second-hand knowledge acquired from books and other people of prominence. The concept of “Parrot Humanoids” (as I call it) applies to them and to their followers very well.
136 137

Today many of them become god men by reading books and scriptures

2009-12-10 IST 23:25 We humans are responsible for bringing it to this stage – read “Vidhata” in “Om namo Naaraayanaay” to understand the concept
138

Om namo Naaraayanaay – analogy of the amusement park

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due course of time. TIME takes account from us for every deed that we did. TIME forgives none, forgets nothing. In Kali Yug someone showed his generosity without taking into account what could be the outcome. It happened about the time of his final journey. It was the final test. He failed. This changed the course of his journey. That one act of misjudged generosity necessitated one more birth to battle out the ordeals of worldly pleasures and pains, the course of which hasn’t ended yet with one last sacrifice remaining for this Yagya.

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OTHER WORKS
Om namo Naaraayanaay (Who am I? Where have I come from? Where will I go to?) Arise Arjun: Awaken my Hindu Nation (Your Journey with me into World of Lesser known Facts) Ayodhya Shri Raam Mandir: Facts that did not reach you all (Baabri Mosque Demolition: Untold Story) Christianity in a different Light (Face behind the Mask) Gita Today (Rise against Adharm) Judaism Christianity Islam Secularism Hinduism (All Religions are NOT Equal) Do your History textbooks tell you these facts (Hindu History: Untold Chapters) Beware of this Aasuric Culture (Christianity’s True Character) Muslim India will be like This (Emerging Face of Islamic India) Christianity and Organized Crime (why Christianity also happens to be a System of Organized Crime)

ORDERING PROCESS
You can pay by Visa, MasterCard or American Express using the shopping cart provided at www.maanojrakhit.com but if you do not have a card then you can pay by: You can go to nearest branch of any bank and ask them to deposit the amount in my account. For this you have to provide them with relevant information (see below) regarding my bank account. If you offer them cash to deposit they are likely to

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charge you inter-city cash handling charges which you will need to pay extra. As of October 2009 State Bank of India charges Rs 25 per transaction whereas HDFC Bank charges Rs 110 plus taxes. However, if you offer them a local cheque it is unlikely that they will charge you anything extra but it is always better to ask and add the charges, if any; otherwise, they will deduct it from the amount you send for books and that amount will be short of the total price. You can also use Internet banking and transfer the total amount using NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer). Alternatively, you can ask your bank manager to do the same for you. Here again you have to provide relevant information (see below) regarding my bank account. Bank to bank transfer is very swift and inexpensive. Depending on the time of the day you make the transfer I may get the credit on the same or next business day. I checked State Bank of India’s website on 9 Oct 2009 and they charge only Rs 5 (five) for transfers up to Rs 100,000 (one lakh). You can also send (a) electronic money order or (b) at par cheque or bank draft or (c) cash in brown envelope (contents not visible from outside) by registered mail, and inform me. Once I have received the payment you will receive email intimation from me. As the books are shipped you receive intimation from me. From my side I shall do everything I can to make it a happy experience for you.
Bank HDFC IFS Code HDFC0001106 Beneficiary Maanoj Rakhit Maanoj Rakhit Savings A/c No. 11061000001360 SWIFT HDFCINBBXXX

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