My first encounter with Paramahamsa Vishwananda
I was given a small picture of Him and from that day I automatically found myself speaking to Gurudev about every little thing as He had this loving and compassionate eyes and smile in the picture.
During my first stay in Vrindavan, I remember meeting Swamini Vishwamohini. Hearing all praises about Gurudev made me restless to meet Him.
One day before Gurudev’s arrival we were all cleaning His apartment where He was staying. I remember how we were paying attention to each and every details so that He could feel comfortable. I was in awe to see how much all of the people around me would not leave any single spot unclean and there was such a joy while they were all doing it.
Then it was the day of His arrival. We were all singing and waiting for Him. The car flashed from a distance and He came to Jiva Institute where everybody struggle to be in the front. I went back and started to cry my heart out. All I remember is that He looked at me as soon as He was there, and His eyes were shining so brightly.
I was soon lost in my tears and when suddenly I opened my eyes I noticed that He was standing next to me and they were welcoming Him. He looked at me and said “oh you came.”
After His meal, He decided to speak to a few of us even though He was tired by the trip. When His conversation with us was over, I asked Him if I can be His devotee. He didn’t answer. When He was leaving, the others were bowing down. I was so perplexed that He didn’t answer, I forgot to bow down. Then He said, “you too, bow down” and He was waiting to bless me. For me it was a clear cut answer that He accepted me.
The following day He allowed me to speak to Him. The first thing He told me was “I answered your question which you asked yesterday in your first dream you had with me”.
I was happy, but shocked and trembling as I didn’t mention about any of my dreams to Him and I tried to remember my first dream with Him. And actually in that dream He was wearing orange robe, I was sitting together with Adbhoota Das and Tejo Mayi like disciples sitting with their Guru in a Gurukul and Gurudev was giving some instructions to me.
Eternally grateful to Gurudev for what He has given me.
My Guru is my life
I know Guruji since I was very small. At that time, Guruji was easily accessible and we had the chance to speak to Him often as He was staying just next to my house.
I was somehow a mischievous child and teenager. When I turned 18, I was still the same and I started believing that I could make my own decisions. I used to bunk school so many times to go to the beaches nearby or even by the rivers around the area we live. No doubt, Guruji knew everything even though i never told him about those secret plans. I did not stop and continued with regular school bunking and thought that nothing could really stop me. That was a perfect life for me.
My level of confidence and ego was growing upon knowing that nobody really knew about my secrets and I was free to do what I wanted to. So we planned our next adventure with my school friends to go to Albion beach in Mauritius the next day. Upon reaching home on the same day, I saw Guruji who was pouring water on the Shiva Lingam of our Sri Ranganath Mandir.
So I went to Him to pay my respect and seek His Blessing. We then started talking about so many random things. While talking, Guruji just said; “Man! (short for Manish) I don’t want you to go out with your friends tomorrow. Either you go to school or you stay at home. But I don’t want you to go with your friends.”
I somehow knew that he was aware of everything I was still taken aback because He took me by surprise and I didn’t know how to react.
I replied: “Yeah ok!” He looked at me and asked “are you sure?”
“Yeah, yeah” I replied walking away from Him.
The next day I got up and got dressed to go to school and, obviously, I went with my friends to the beach as we had planned the day before. Guruji’s talk were still fresh on my mind but the temptation was too strong. So we finally went to the beach and we had a nice and fun day.
On the way back home, I saw Guruji standing on the road doing nothing. That was the first and last time when I saw Guruji standing on the road in front of our Sri Ranganath Mandir. I had no other choice than to walk past him to get in the house.
He said; “Hey Man! How was your day?”
“Fine” I replied.
“Did u go to school? Or u went with your friends?” He asked.
“I went to school of course!. You told me not to go with my friends yesterday”. I replied “You sure?” Guruji asked again.
“Yeah”, I replied.
I also lied to Him by saying that I have a headache and went inside the house. I did not feel bad about lying to Him but didn’t have the courage to admit that I had lied to Him. I finally went to bed. That night He appeared in my dreams and each time He did, He gave me big slap. I did actually wake up a few times from those slaps.
The next day I got up only to feel my cheeks sore and stinging every time I touched them. I remembered the dream and was in a shocked state and was felt bad about the whole situation.
I went to see Guruji and upon seeing me he said, “Hey Man! Come here”.
He was all smiling and He asked me to help him with a ring that He couldn’t remove from His finger. I noticed His fingers were swollen and I asked, “Frèro (bro) what happened to your fingers?” He looked at me with a smile on His face and replied; “Someone lied to me and I gave Him a few slaps”.
I was completely shocked and understood the whole situation. I told Him the whole truth (which he obviously knew already), and asked for forgiveness. He explained that He was doing everything for my own benefit and that my parents would not feel happy if they found out I was bunking school. I was also kind of risking my life by going to all of these places as I was still not that grown up.
That was the last time I bunked school and it made me realise that one should never hide anything from the Guru because the Guru is truly omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. I am ever grateful to Guruji for guiding me and for all the Love and Blessings He has showered upon me throughout my life. He is my Guru, my bro, my love and my everything.
I took it very seriously and I just followed His instructions with full faith. When I came back to Mauritius I gave my resignation letter and at the same time I knew I had to go back to Shree Peetha Nilaya for Navratri. It was His call. But I didn’t know how I would manage financially.
It was scary but I trusted Him.
I already bought my ticket with my 2 months’ salary and also sold some valuable things to have more money but it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t cancel my trip. I had to go. I stressed a lot as all methods I could think of were unavailable.
I loved controlling, planning, and being in safety but I had no solutions.
I prayed to Guruji asking Him what I should do. I also had some bad thoughts in my mind. I was so desperate and angry that I told Guruji (in my mind): “What should I do now? I did everything You asked me to, so should I sell my body to come to You now?” Well of course I wouldn’t do such a thing. So I gave up. I stopped controlling. I stopped thinking and planning.
At that moment I surrendered to Him. I just told Him, do what You want and how You want because I am helpless and powerless. Only You can save me. Some minutes later, my mom came to me, telling me that she strangely found and envelope with 105 euros in it. And that amount would complete my stay in Shree Peetha Nilaya. She was more than a 100% sure that there was no envelope with euros in our house. I was so shocked. It was my first big experience. I was so grateful and also felt so stupid. And at that time, He showed me that if I listen to Him and if I surrender to Him, He will take care of everything, every single thing.
Since then, I let Him take control over my life and of myself. He decides for me and I just obey.
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