Inner Engineering : Some More Experiences

As I was saying in the previous posts, there have been quite a few emotional and mental changes in me, too. Bad news for those who think my ability and capacity to cry buckets has reduced. In fact it has increased. Earlier I needed a reason – being mad at someone, too happy, too hurt, a movie, a book, a mishap somewhere in the world. Now I don’t need any reason to cry. But then, its also not like I am crying because I want to. It is happening on its own and I cannot understand it either. Over the last few days I have given up trying to understand it and am just allowing everything to happen to me.I’m more aware of my thoughts. My thoughts don’t just change tracks like before. Now I stay on one track, finish it and then move on. Also, until a few days before, I needed to listen to Sadhguru atleast once in a day to feel some connection. Now I don’t. Because I feel him, experience him, every day and every moment. He is at the back of my mind all the time, coming to the forefront as and when needed. This is again a different level of madness. I’ve never been like this with anything or anyone, fantasy or real, god or human. And for all this madness I speak of, I don’t even have a photo of him in the house. I don’t need it. And the person that I am, I can easily go from “I surrender to you, Sadhguru” to “Hey SG, wassup?” to “After all this time, you had to go n do this? And in this way? That was not a nice thing to do at all, you understand?” For me, he is a real person like any other person and yet, he is special.

I’m not a religious person, I don’t even enter the pooja room at home. Not that I do not believe in god, its just that I don’t perform all the rituals and am wary of thinking that god exists only in photos and idols. I always was spiritual (I have a post about god in my draft somewhere…which maybe some day I’ll post) but I had never been this crazy about something and someone. Yes, mad about my husband, crazy about my son, in love with all my friends and happy with the world. But then Sadhguru happened and now I do not know what to call this love I feel for him. It is different surely and yet, somehow, it feels like the most natural thing. Its just insane. Surely I have gone from being a completely rational person to someone very different. I barely recognize myself and at the same time, I’m still the same. Is that even possible? At the risk of sounding like a total whacko, I’ll share a few experiences here. And oh, it doesn’t really matter if you think I have received a hard smack on my head. It never really did matter what someone thought about me, anyway. But what I am going to write is so bizarre that I myself am not able to make sense out of it. And, like I said, I have stopped even trying to make sense out of it.

My Shambhavi practices are turning out to be a different experience each day. I have already mentioned a few in my earlier post but when a few things stopped happening, I thought that was it. But its turning out completely different. For one, I’m crying buckets and buckets.

I’ve been involved in quite a bit of volunteering work for Isha Foundation in the past few weeks – venue setup, data entry, inquiry/follow up calls about IE and so on. I had never thought I would be involved in such things. I mean, its one thing cleaning up your own home or working in an office but to do the same things as a volunteer is a completely different experience. Its not much, in fact, its all so minuscule in the grand scheme of things and compared to the work the other volunteers do/are doing and yet its affected me so much. The one person responsible for assigning me these “duties” is V. Yes, the same person who responded to my online inquiry about IE. I had never thought our association would go from a one-time conversation over the phone to something so deep. And that he would play such an important role in my life…a friend, a brother, a teacher, a mentor, a role model, all rolled into one. After volunteering, I was already grateful to him for making these opportunities available to me to serve Sadhguru. But it was during one of the Shambhavi practices that I realized just how much. I wasn’t even thinking about him in the first place and I am still in the preparatory steps of Shambhavi that tears started flowing. I was feeling so much love and gratitude for him, so indebted to this one person, its insane. I can’t explain it. The tears kept flowing for the next 30 minutes maybe. I don’t remember the last time I felt this much gratitude for any one person.

Another time, the “subject” was Fearless. He had been impossible the previous day (not even that same day but the previous day) not letting me do my work and things like that. Some thoughts came to my mind which I am not supposed to have and when doing Shambhavi, all the guilt, shame and whatnot just started playing havoc with my system. Fearless, although impossible at times, is one of the sweetest beings ever and I am not saying it because he chose me to be his mother. At least for the time being, he loves me unconditionally. Every few minutes, even if he is playing, he comes to me to play with my lips and give/take a few kisses and says such sweet things to me. When I’m crying during Shambhavi, he comes n wipes my tears too. And this day, I was thinking maybe I wasn’t loving him as much as I should. I do let him be and do the things he loves without being a dictator. But then there are also times when I have to raise my voice and scold him and lie to him. To make matters worse, this day was his first day of school. Full drama since morning – he hid his uniform, threw his school bag in another room n locked it, refused to wear anything, such drama. We somehow managed to make him wear his uniform amidst his kicking and cries. Ashwin said they’ll go buy milk while I go n buy vegetables. Ashwin went with Fearless to the pick up location and I followed at a safe distance with his school bag. When his bus came n Ashwin brought him to the bus, Fearless was so surprised and happy to see me. He came towards me all smiling and ready to hug shouting “amma” and I just held him and put him in the bus. He started crying and it broke my heart. Such lies and betrayal I had to subject that little thing to, especially when he was happily coming to me for a hug. So when doing Shambhavi, it was such a potent cocktail of guilt and shame and lies and everything else. Again, I had never felt this way before. I was fine afterward. The next time he behaved like the devil, I was back to scolding and lying to him.

A few days ago, I was crying with gratitude and love for Ashwin, just thankful for the moment we met, the whole situation surrounding it and for being my partner…for all the life situations that made me the person I was when I met him…to the person I am now, when I am with him and when I am not. All his imperfections and mine, together so perfect. When I tell him all these incidents, he comes up with such an insightful explanation (#sarcasm) each time – “You are going mad” and I feel warm in my heart instead of mad.

We had been to Mangalore in the last week of May and the day that we were returning was Buddha Poornima. We were driving through the state highway, passing through forests and lakes… I’m fascinated by the night sky and this night, the moon was oh-so-beautiful – a soft red when rising, gradually turning orange and finally a bright silver in the sky. The next day I suddenly start thinking about the moon during Shambhavi, tears begin flowing and I am grateful to be part of this universe where a perfect moon resides too. Each and every creation so perfect, so beautiful. And I too am part of it along with all the other wonderful creations. Isn’t that just amazing?

On more than one occasion though, I am just thinking of Sadhguru. Especially there is one episode that happened on 27 May, 2016. Again, V.Anna’s doing. I cannot and do not want to get into the details. Let’s just say I was this thirsty person yearning for a drop of water. Everything that could be given to a thirsty person, and more, was given to me by Sadhguru during Shambhavi that day. It was so real and profound. But the reality that unfolded afterward disappointed me. For someone who wanted a drop of water, he obliged and gave me more than that. I got what I wanted and yet I was slightly disappointed because my water was not sweet enough. I know I should not be disappointed but I could not shake the feeling for a few days after. The Shambhavi following this episode was mostly about Sadhguru. How much more kinder and compassionate can he be to me? So unconditional in his love to me, who is so flawed and damaged? I’m around him for all the selfish reasons, for the way it affects me and makes/breaks me. Whatever I do feels like nothing at all in comparison to what I am receiving from him. And yet, he stays with me…even after all the rants and complaints and boring everyday stories I share with him. I’m filled with guilt and gratitude at the same time.

Now, there is another thing I am doing along with Shambhavi. As in, not together with Shambhavi but at a different time in the day. This is the 6:20 sadhana. Everyday at from 6:20 – 6:30 in the evening, I chant “Brahmananda swaroopa” for 7 minutes followed by 3 minutes of silence. This sadhana is something that is given by Sadhguru and one is supposed to do it everyday. Sometimes I miss this but on most days I do this. And it is just crazy what is happening in my life. I do not know if it is because of this or it is just life unfolding as it should. But whatever it is, I know it is Sadhguru’s grace.

It had been a few days since I started with the 6:20 sadhana. During this, I usually visualize Sadhguru. I’m playing the audio of this chant in the background and I mostly see him in his usual get-up: Some kurta over mundu, a beautiful shawl and a long thin garland around his neck, a turban around his head, sitting on the wooden bench with one leg folded at the perineum, the other leg on the floor. The visualizations are slightly different each day. At first I used to be somewhere at the back, and there is a huge crowd ahead of me. I am barely able to see him. But I am enjoying myself. Two-three days later, I realized, “Hey, I am the one who is thinking all this. Why do I want to be at the back, right?” So zoom, I am at the front row. And then I was no longer thinking. I clearly know that Sadhguru was asking me why I wasn’t closing my eyes like everybody else. I said, “If that were the case, I would have stayed at the back. I came to the front so I could see you as much as I can.” He smiles and I am happy.

Similar thing happens the next day too. This time. fixing those intense eyes on me, he is asking why I am just staring straight into his eyes and smiling. “How else am I supposed to look at you? I’m not scared of you, I love you.” He is amused.

Then one day, I again get thinking. When I am doing the visualization, why should I even go till the ashram? Why can’t Sadhguru be in my home, with me? Makes sense, right? And just like that, he comes in the door. There are 2-3 other people behind him. See, I don’t realize where my thinking stops and something else takes over. I know there is a clinical term for such a “symptom”. But hey, I’m as normal as can be. Seeing Sadhguru in my home I am so elated, I go, “Wow, you are here, omg, you are really here!!” And he looks around and says, “Can we sit and then talk? This sofa, here?” Whoa… It did not even occur to me to offer him a seat. And the tears start rolling. Its a very emotional moment. Was it my happiness that he came? Was it my embarrassment that I did not offer him a seat? I am a nobody, not even a drop in the ocean, and yet he came to my home and he himself asked to sit and talk… I was so humbled. I am crying again just thinking about this moment. And try as I might, I am not able to repeat this visualization.

But wait, that is not the end of it. The very next day, I’m chatting on whatsapp with V.Anna. I don’t even remember what it was about. And suddenly, out of the blue, he asks me if I could host the IE teachers at our place. I had no idea there was such a thing like hosting the teachers. He has not been to our place. At this juncture, he and I had not become friends yet, and he asks this question…the very next day that Sadhguru visits my home. Immediately, automatically, tears start flowing and keep flowing for the next 10 minutes or so. It really felt like Sadhguru was saying, “I won’t be able to come personally but how about I send you my reps?” Somehow it did not work out for us to host the teachers and it may not be possible in the near future too. V.Anna asked me this same question 2 more times and all 3 times (including the first) I had to decline with a heavy heart. And then one day, for a completely different reason, an Isha teacher did visit my place. Just like that, so totally unplanned, or rather, planned 30 mins before arrival. The teacher (D.anna) came for a completely different reason and stayed for all of 5 minutes. But even that filled me with such emotions and gratitude, I can’t explain. Sadhguru or his rep – same thing. It was much later in the night that it hit me – I offered him a seat (of course!) and juice – which he declined, but it did not occur to me to offer him water instead. How stupid can someone get? I was banging my head over it for the next 2 days. Looking back at the whole episode, it really amazes me… How he plays things n in so totally amazing ways. Direct yet subtle, straight yet twisted, delayed yet immediate and its oh so beautiful. He offered me the opportunity thrice (if you don’t know it yet, I give all things 3 chances before something is a success or I abandon it completely). When it did not work out, he gave me a fourth chance. Just when I had given up all hope about this, it happened for real. How wonderful is that!!!

Then last month, I was messaging a few people about IE; people who I thought would be open to the idea of taking up a practice like this. I wanted to tell my close friend about it but did not know how to. I mean, we never discuss all this god/spirituality. I do not know who she prays to, if she even prays or not, and it does not matter to me. Meditation n all is even more far away. So I let it be and did not tell her even though I wanted to, badly. A few days after this, I pinged her on a completely different matter and she shared her health issue with me. Again, out of the blue. “Anything to get back to my normal self”, she said. I told her to check out if IE is available in her locality and to do it immediately if it was available. She was open to the idea. I hope she does take it up and gets back to the pink of health.

Another friend/brother of mine, B, is a brahmachari with the Ramakrishna Mission. He took this step some 7-8 years ago I think. From then to now, we are barely in touch. In the last 7 years we have met once, spoken maybe 2 times over the phone, and chatted via whatsapp/SMS 2-3 times. I am also added in the mutt group where they share teachings of their guru and of course Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. Since B sends the updates there, I know he is fine. But ever since I saw Swami P at IE (Swami P was our IE teacher), I was reminded of B. The two are completely different people in completely different environments and yet I had this yearning to contact B and ask how he was. When B first took to Brahmacharya, all of us in the group were shocked. Even though I respected B’s decision about his life, I was also supporting the other friends in the group who tried talking him out of this thing. I just could not understand why someone like him would want to be a celibate. So seeing Swami P probably brought forth my guilt or whatever for doing that and just wanted to talk to him, just ask him how he was and life in general, and tell him that he was doing great work. But I never got around to doing that. A long time ago, I was told not to ask about a swami’s past (here specifically I’m referring to Kashi mutt swamiji). Although B is not really a swami in that sense, I still used to feel I’d only be bringing his past forth by keeping in contact with him, after all I’m still someone from his past. I should instead let him get on with his work and sadhana. So I never really got around to messaging him. Then one night I read this post by Sadhguru and decided that I would just msg and ask after him the next day. To heck with all the rules about past-present-whatever. Imagine my surprise when the next morning I got a msg from him wishing me a happy birthday!!! I was so pleasantly surprised and all I could think was Sadhguru, even though Sadhguru is not in the picture here. B knew I shared the date with his own sister’s birthday but he missed my birth month by 5 whole months!! Can you imagine that? Here I was thinking how to msg him and he msgs me instead. Isn’t that amazing? {Update: 25 Jun: As early as last week, I was chatting with a friend and suddenly he said, “I’m resigning and going somewhere else”. He was joking about something else but I instantly assumed that he was going to be a brahmachari too. And tried stopping him. It seems like I behaved exactly as I did ages ago with B. Apparently I still haven’t gotten over this thing. And here I thought I had changed. Trust SG to show me exactly where I haven’t.)

A few other little things, similar things happened too over the next day. This has happened to me before. I would be thinking about someone who I haven’t met in a decade and days later I coincidentally meet them, or some such thing. But these episodes happened years apart. But now it was happening back-to-back. Its crazy. My first brush with spirituality was like this too. I start thinking about this and tears start flowing just like that.

The other day we are driving and “Kaisi hai yeh ruth” from Dil Chahta Hai starts playing on the radio. And just like that I’m filled with immense love for the whole universe. The pothole that has been there since forever, the street light that I never noticed was there because it has never been working, the guy who crossed the road during the green signal, the badly parked car, the old man who stopped mid-stride and poked his little finger into his ears and shook it vigorously, the lady riding pillion wearing a saree and with legs on either side of the seat… It was like I was in love again. The feeling stayed for a few minutes and I’m back to what is called “normal”.

These days I seem to be going from dancing and laughing mad to tears in an eye-wink. And the situations are so strange. For example, I’m at the sink scrubbing a ladle, and tears flow. I’m not thinking anything at all and there it is. I’m in the shower with soap in my hands and there it is. I glance at myself in the mirror, and there it is, again. Its really is crazy.

The other day I hear a nice song on the radio and I search and play the same song on YouTube. Turns out its a song from Dilwale, “Gerua”. I haven’t watched the movie and don’t plan to either because I don’t watch SRK movies on principle. Its another matter that these days we watch movies, and TV, so rarely, I’ve no idea which movies and which actors are in the industry. Anyway, back to the song. Its a nice song, a romantic song and automatically one person comes to mind (*eye roll*)…ah, full senti and romantic ;). And then, just like that, I’m thinking of Sadhguru too and there is nothing romantic about it. Its a totally different kind of love. Is it possible to feel two very different things for two very different people at the same time and for the same song? I had no idea but it did. And of course, there is the accompanying tears. I played the same song a few more times, but the experience never repeats.

As recently as Sunday, Jun 5, we bought a kitten home. I hate cats but kittens are ok; I like dogs more. Ashwin and Abhay had wanted a cat so badly and from so long that I finally gave them permission to get one last month. They finally bought one home last week. All of 4 days the cat has been home and my Shambhavi stars this kitten. I am crying just thinking about a kitten I have known for a mere 4 days. What’s wrong with me?

During the IE that happened in May 2016, I was volunteering in the kitchen when D.Anna comes over for a quick meeting, followed by “Brahmananda swaroopa”. Within seconds, I’m in tears. Then, we were allowed to sit through a guided meditation in the afternoon. And again, my clothes are soaking wet with tears. Later in the day, he asks me to sit down and help A.Anna with the prasad distribution. Its such a great honor to be doing this in my first IE volunteering. I sit there and halfway through, I glance at Sadhguru’s portrait for a millisecond and whoa… Tears again. Thankfully, this time, I am able to control it.

I already mentioned about my experience during my first satsang in my last post. The second satsang in May, nothing happened. The third one in June was again crazy. This time too, the tears started during the chanting. If I thought it would last only for a few minutes, I was so wrong. It kept flowing till the end of the satsang, which ended an hour and a half later. I just could not control it.

It is not just tears, though. There has also been an incident where both Sadhguru and I were laughing like crazy. He played a prank on me and all through 6:20, I was laughing like a madwoman telling Sadhguru just how shrewdly he made me realize a facet of myself which I had not realized and never would have, had he not played the prank. He too found it so funny, he was bouncing and laughing as usual. He also threw his head back and clapped his hands – this he does rarely. We both really did have a hearty laugh that day.

It all sounds so bizarre, I know. I’m not able to understand it either. But at the same time, it is also so very beautiful. I know some of those who read this will probably be intimidated with all this. Others will probably judge my mental state. Its all right. The intention of the post is not to get myself psycho-analyzed for free, nor is it to scare/discourage anyone planning to take up IE or any other spiritual path. Everything beautiful should be shared and I just felt like sharing this. I am aware that every minute I am getting madder than the minute past. And its also true that I am enjoying every moment of this madness.

Ending this post with this beautiful song… I don’t know why this song feels just right for this post or my emotions right now.