So, I was on search.
Not that I knew what I am searching for. I felt rather like a blind person trying to move through a wild forest. But the more I meditated, the more I did my japam (mantra repetition), the more there was a deeper need awakening inside myself; a longing for something very well known, yet long-forgotten. A deep conviction that there is something much more to life, than just what eyes can see. An urge to discover my own and the world’s true nature.
There was still something missing. All my yoga, all my meditation practice, all my mantra repetitions… All of that has brought a tremendous change in my life. Yet, the feeling was, that some secret factor is missing. Like, if I could reach with those tools only up to a certain level, and then there was some inner blockage stopping me from proceeding further in my spiritual development. The feeling was so subtle, that almost hard to notice. But it was there.
“What you seek is seeking you.” (Rumi)
And then it found me. One day, during our Friday meditation session. I was absolutely inspired when I got to know, that my yoga teacher has his spiritual master, a Guru, in India. He revealed that sometimes he is sending letters to his master, and his master replies to him. He said also that sometimes his Guru comes to him in a dream and guides him. But the most inspiring thing was to see this deep love that he had for his master.
I felt totally inspired.
Then I’ve read “Autobiography of a Yogi”.
This book has opened the eyes of my soul to so many things, so many different topics, that were unknown to me before. (If you have never read this book before, please, do so. It will be probably one of the most amazing books you will ever read in your life.) But the most beautiful was for me, how strong was this yearning to know God and to know himself within young Yogananda. How deep longing was in him to find his Guru, that he even tried to run away from home, when he was still a child! He had firm faith, that once he finds his Guru, he will find everything: all the knowledge he needs and all that his soul needs.
And then I started to ask myself: where is my Guru?
You see, in spiritual tradition of India, it is believed, that each soul has an eternal connection with its Guru. It’s not just a relationship from one lifetime. It’s a relationship of endless lifetimes. A disciple may assume many different bodies during different lives. A Guru can assume many different forms. But the relationship stays eternal. As in reality, a Guru, is in fact an outer manifestation of Divinity present in our own hearts. That’s why although a Guru can have many disciples, a relationship with each one of them will always be completely unique.
When I heard about this, it sounded like a completely new topic for me. (Perhaps it’s the same for you now.) Yet, I can hardly express how true it sounded to my heart. In one moment I knew, that it is this, what I am missing: a spiritual guide. A master. A Guru.
It is said, that when a need to know your spiritual master awakens within your heart, your Guru is already on the search for you. It’s not like Guru is limited by time or space. Guru has a constant connection to the “Divine database”, to omnipresent Divine energy, which connects us all. That’s what makes Guru a true master, from whose presence our soul can truly benefit.
So I was praying, every single day, to meet my Guru. Meanwhile, I even wrote a letter to the spiritual master of my yoga teacher to ask him for guidance and help in finding my own master. But, since the letter was going all the way to India, by ordinary post, I was prepared to wait for quite some time for the answer. But learning already from “Autobiography of a Yogi”, that some people may wait years to meet their Satguru, I was prepared to wait as long as it’s needed.
And my prayers have been heard.
One day, my yoga teacher has told me, that there is some other spiritual master, coming to our city, and that he is going to give individual blessing for everybody (called darshan). It was 3 months after I started to pray to meet my spiritual master, and about one month since I sent the letter to India. Yet, I didn’t have any expectations. I was only extremely curious to finally meet some enlightened master. I was thinking: how such master will behave? How will he talk? How will he move? How will it be visible through him, that he is actually a fully realised human being?
And the day has come. I was astonished to see so many people waiting before entrance, even before the darshan has started! There were more than 1000 people. Some came in expectation of healing. Some came hoping for their problems to be solved. And some came just to get some “spiritual experience”. There were people on all levels of consciousness. Open, sceptical, curious… Spiritual, non-spiritual… It was quite impressive to see such a big number of people present in one place to meet just one person, one master:
We were waiting for quite a long time for Paramahansa Vishwananda to come. There was some singing of bhajans (traditional Hindu devotional songs) and some talks, but everybody in the audience was still rather loud.
And then, suddenly, everything has changed.
The musicians started to sing energetically “Narayana, Narayana”, and you could see on their faces that they started to be more excited. Everybody on the audience got up on their feet. It was obvious that master is coming.
And then the Master entered the hall.
It’s very hard to express, what I felt in that moment, or, rather, how my perception has changed. It was like everything else, including thousands of people, became very unreal, almost like a mirage, and the only real person was him. It’s very hard to express with words. My heart suddenly started to beat faster, and my whole being recognized that something very special is happening.
Paramahansa Vishwananda sat in his chair, and he started to talk. There was certain sweetness and childlike innocence in him. As it was fascinating for me to meet an enlightened master for the first time in my life, I was observing him carefully. The way he talked, and the way he moved, was very soft, effortless and full of humility. When after a short talk, he invited everybody to sing a bhajan with him (one of my favourite spiritual activities, as I grown up as a musician), I felt truly uplifted, and truly connected to my heart and my own Divine nature.
Without any doubt there was something special in that man.
If you never came in contact with any fully realised spiritual master, it’s rather hard to put into words. It’s not an experience that can be comprehended by the mind. There was just something really special in Paramahamsa Vishwananda, that was definitely felt by most people present there.
The darshan lasted hours and hours. Paramahamsa Vishwananda was giving individual blessing by placing his hand on the head of everybody and looking deeply into everybody’s eyes. It was incredible to see his amazing dedication. He took his time for everybody. He was talking with people, blessing the objects they have brought with themselves (like pictures of their family members, japa malas, etc.), and giving 100% of his heart to every single person. Every while and then you could see a person moved to tears after receiving darshan.
The hours were passing. People were coming and going. Hundreds of them. Yet, during all this time, without a single break, Paramahamsa Vishwananda was sitting there, on his chair, in probably not so comfortable position, yet still looking as fresh, as he was in the beginning of the event, and smiling to every single person as if he was seeing each time somebody extremely dear to his heart.
And that was amazing.
I mean, there were really hundreds of people. The darshan lasted really long. Even I went out to eat something meanwhile and just to get fresh air. But he was there all this time, for every single person. It was more than obvious that Paramahamsa Vishwananda is a truly enlightened master, and being so, he is powered by something far higher than any of us.
And there was my turn.
The queue was getting smaller, and it was already around midnight. Still there were a lot of people waiting for the darshan of Paramahamsa Vishwananda, but as I was there with my mum, and she needed to get up early to job next day, we decided to leave the darshan a bit earlier, before it ends.
Already while standing in the queue I felt something very special. The closer we were to the place, were Paramahamsa Vishwananda was sitting and giving darshan, the faster and stronger my heart was beating. I think I never felt my heart beating so strongly in my entire life. Slowly the hair on my body also started to stand on ends, in contact with this intense energy, and even my body started to shake. I felt like any moment I am going to burst into tears. My mind was absolutely unable to comprehend what’s going on. It was the agitation of the soul itself. It was the recognition.
What happened during the darshan, when Paramahamsa Vishwananda placed his hand on my head, I am unable to put into any words. My body was shaking and tears were running down my cheeks. My heart was beating so fast, as if I am about to have a heart attack. I was so deeply touched, that I was not even able to look into Guru’s eyes. It would be simply too much for me.
There was so much love, so much warmness in my heart, that I thought that it is about to melt. In that very moment I have truly understood, how closed was my heart my whole life and how much goodness I was missing due to that.
It was a Divine moment. And it was in that moment, that I have truly understood, what God truly is.
And so, I found my Master. Or, rather my Master found me.
After receiving the darshan, the blessing from Paramahamsa Vishwananda, I just sat quietly at the back of the hall in meditation, too overwhelmed to speak, with tears running down my cheeks. There was just one thought in my mind:
I don’t know what this man has within himself, but I want the same. I just want to be close to him.
3 months later I received a letter from India, from a spiritual master of my yoga teacher, who wrote:
“You have already met your master.”
Yet another proof of omniscience of a true Guru. But I didn’t need the letter anymore. The feeling of my heart was my answer.
And so my spiritual journey with my Master, Paramahamsa Vishwananda, has started. It was like my true birthday. Yes, this is really how it feels, when you meet your spiritual master.
It was almost 10 years ago. So many things has happened since that time, that it would be enough to fill the whole book. If only there will be words to express experiences that are beyond words!
If I compare my spiritual path before meeting the Master, and after meeting the Master, it’s like before I was just walking blindly in the darkness and trying different things, without really knowing, what am I doing. But since I met him, everything started to make sense. Meeting your spiritual master is really like “coming home” for your soul. It’s like finding a treasure, that was always yours, but long-forgotten.
There is so much to say and no words to express that. But I will do my effort, again and again, to write at least about some of my experiences. Because, you never know… Maybe one day, you will also become inspired to find your Master – and find yourself.