The way I view the world and what I am today is a result of the sum total of my experiences and my observations. I figure that the first non introductory post in this blog should be of an event that made a deep impact on me – my first meeting with my Guru.
This was back in 1992 when petrol was cheap and the net was something you could catch fishes with. My Guru Ma Indira Devi (we affectionately called her Ma or mother) was staying with a disciple in Bombay. My mother and sister were already followers of Ma and I found it absolutely ridiculous that my mother and sister were sub-servant to the will of another. While I was no atheist, the only spiritual activity in my life was the ten “Om Namah Shivays” I did, as mechanically as one brushes ones teeth every morning (just to ensure that I don't tick off the powers that be.)
Ma had already stayed in Bombay for a month and she was expected to go back to Pune within a week. My mother and sister had nagged me all month long to come and have a darshan of Ma and I had refused. They then used the oldest trick in the book that most men have no defense against - emotional blackmail - the you don't care for me card. Checkmate! I knew all my excuses were useless against their play but I wasn't ready to concede without negotiating a few terms. I agreed to come and meet Ma if they would agree to the following terms: -
a. They would not introduce me to anyone (I am extremely anti-social btw)
b. They would not force me to bow to Ma
c. I would wear my Guns 'N' Roses t-shirt which had an inverted cross with four skulls on its edges (each representing a band member)
So I packed my ego, my emotional baggage and went to visit Ma. I happened to visit at the time of the evening bhajan session. The bhajans went on for over an hour and all that time I was sitting in the back of the room looking down hoping that no one in my social circle would see me there and that I could get home in time for head bangers ball on MTV.
At the end of the bhajan session, my mother and sister got up to pranam Ma and since I didn't know anyone there, I followed them. Ma looked at me and said “Son, have they forced you to come.” I don't know what happened to me but I felt like bowing and I touched Ma's feet.
When I got home that night, I felt a change in me. I was feeling more energetic and happy and it was not the kind of temporary happiness one feels when one gets a new toy. I thought that maybe there is something to this and to this person and something that I should investigate some more. I wanted to visit Ma again and see what this was all about and yet I was too embarrassed to let my mother and sister know that I wanted to come again.
The next day at the time my mother and sister were leaving to visit Ma, I quietly got ready (no evil t-shirt this time) and sat in the car without saying a word. Ma actually smiled at me and asked me if I had been forced to come that day. After the bhajan session got over, Ma gave prasad to another girl and then made a gesture in my direction. I had no idea what was happening and some people actually had to tell me that Ma was giving me the prasad. I like to think that it was at that time that Ma accepted me, the way I am with all my baggage.
I like to think that Ma's Bombay visit was all about fetching her wayward children to get them back into the fold.
Ma has a Mandir in Pune and they have just launched a website.
Please have a look at the Mandir's offical site http://www.harikrishnamandirindiraniloy.com.
On another note, I have just picked up a Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 camera. Check back in sometime for my thoughts on it after I have had time to play with the beauty.