The day I finished my Art of living Part 1, I knew I had found my way. I chose to be in the company of Sadhaks. They were characterized by the following attributes – Vegetarian, Teetotalers, ever ready to help people. I was fortunate to meet many Sadhaks, every other day.
During my Sahaj Samadhi course, I was blessed with the Divine Presence of Bhanu Didi. She made me drink the Nectar of Divinity. She was iconic in her devotion, surrender & service to Gurudev. Her melodious rendering of many Bhajans would instantly take me inward. She continues to remain an Inspiration for me.
My introduction to Akshay Jain, who later became VP of Sumeru Software, would give me a chance to exchange news and views in Delhi IsthyleJ. He hailed from Muzaffarnagar, township close to Delhi. Our connect was brotherly. Soon after, I would be sharing the roof with him and a few AoL Sadhaks in Majestic, Bangalore.
In this new chapter of my life, the first page opens and I see a smiling Narendra Lamba ji. With his pleasant disposition, he would win many hearts and establish himself as became Administrator of Bangalore Ashram and Trustee of VVMVP.
I recall Arvind Raghvendran, a very organized and methodical flat mate. He was a Software professional and presently Teacher of Yes 2, Silence Program for Teenagers.
We started growing together. Honestly, there was no dull moment, from there on.
Those of us who were from North India, we were oriented to South Indian Culture by Arvind. For example, not to wear shoes inside the home. Since I was the youngest in Art of Living, I often got bulliedJ This opened a window within me, to gain knowledge from everyone!
Our Leisure Hours were spent purposefully. We would be organizing courses or assisting; engrossed in knowledge or celebrating. Satsangs were a regular feature. Shravan (Listening) and Mannan (Reflection) became an integral part of our lives.
I recall we shared a very candid conversation space. It was a very safe place to exchange feedback and make people realise their mistakes. Along with constructive criticism, we supported each other to cultivate good habits. All these were done, sportingly. I realize we had built a pillar of ‘Swadhyaya’ (Awareness on Self) in our lives. Like, the Game of Cricket has extras, people who are brought in when you are tired; we doubled up for each other. If one of us would feel low, others would uplift him. The truth in Gurudev’s sutra: KALIYUGEH, SANGEH SHAKTI, we experienced first-hand. Sangha was a Powerhouse of Satva for all of us.
Let me recount the opportunities we had of meeting senior people. Bhanu Didi’s house was nearby. We would grab the opportunity to attend Devi puja, hosted by Bhanu Didi. Customary, when Gurudev was in Bangalore, on Fridays.
All of us were Young and there were many Pranks we played! Secretly gathering information on Gurudev’s Flights and stealthily appearing at the Airport, chasing Gurudev’s car, was lot of fun!
None to beat the Monday morning bike rides to Bangalore Ashram for Rudra Pujas. Angavastram and Dhoti, the traditional South Indian outfit for pujas, would fly in all directions. Comical Scene.
I looked forward to Long Kriya on Sundays, followed by a Sumptuous breakfast and Seva of organising courses. Satsang used to be our favourite pastime. Spiritual Appetite and Physical appetite were both taken care. Prasadam served at the end of Satsang was nourishing.
Regularly, we were eating outside. Whenever someone invited us for food, it would bring a Smile. The norm in our Sangha – If any one of us were invited, others naturally followed, like an Entourage. Similar to Buy One, Get One Free, Invite One, All Come FreeJ.!!
Seva was also Fun and Fulfilling. We would brainstorm, on innovative ways of reaching out to people. Like a bouquet of flowers has a Magical Fragrance, the Positive Group Energy permeated all our thoughts, feelings and actions. Sadhana, Seva or Satsang were infinitely more enjoyable with a Sangha.
It really helped me to Emerge stronger on the Path. I grew significantly by becoming one pointed. I steered clear of any Concepts related to the path. A Little over a year, I shifted to Bangalore Ashram. Pages turn to yet another memorable chapter of my Life.