I was not a firm believer then simply because I could
not accept that an individual could possess such supernal powers. Religious
beliefs and convictions had little place in my life and whatever I knew
of spiritual matters was gathered during my childhood days. As a matter
of fact, I have never seen my father visiting any temple, and my mother
never spent much time in prayers. Believers though they are, they both
felt that spending much time in prayers was not necessary. My religious
convictions, obviously, was moulded by their influence on me during and
after the childhood days. Nevertheless, I used to spend atleast 15 minutes
in the evenings to offer my prayers.
Two Time Unlucky
In 1993, I went to His residence along with my colleague Mr. M. Rajaguru and another friend Mr. K. S. Srinivasan. We could not meet Him as He was out of station. As suggested by my friends we sat there in the puja room and prayed for a few minutes before we left the place. Later I felt that the unsuccessful attempt had an underlying message. I am sure I went there casually just to satisfy my curiosity. There are several instances of people waiting for the whole day and not able to meet Him. There is a case of a person meeting Swamiji after several attempts for four years! One has to go with total faith and devotion, and not casually to find answers to mundane problems.
It was in 1993 that I made the first attempt to meet our beloved Sri Vikraman Swamiji. Before meeting him I had heard about Him from my colleague Mr. Peetambaren. Infact Mr. Peetambaren was instrumental in helping, motivating many of us to meet Swamiji. After a few months, I made one more attempt along with my friend Mr. Rajaguru. I reached the place early in the morning thinking that the earlier we occupy a seat in the waiting room, the better the chance of meeting Him. But that was not to be.
The First Darshan
That eventful day in 1994, I was waiting in the hall with my friend eagerly awaiting His call. On the way to Swamiji’s residence, we dropped in at Mr. Peetambaren’s house. He was unable to accompany us that day as he was preoccupied. However, he had just sort of briefed me that I should not reply in the negative when Swamiji asks anything because I may not remember those events or references at that particular moment.
I was taken aback the way He started calling people inside. About twenty odd people were first called in by their birth stars, their own names, the place they lived, the vehicle they had come driving there and so on. Although I had known about this from my friends earlier, I was really excited and my anxiety kept on growing. I was not called in the first round. My friend then asked me to pray sincerely. Already about 20 people were inside the room and it would have taken a couple of hours before the next batch of people could be called in. Another half hour passed and I could see some people coming out from the puja room. Then all of a sudden, my friend was called in. Though I wanted to go in along with him I was asked to wait for my turn. Swamiji started talking to my friend and asked who had accompanied him? When he mentioned about me I was also called in.
Face to Face
On entering the room I found that it could accommodate not more than 20 people and I had barely any place to sit inside. I just managed to stand in one corner of the room. Inside I saw Him asking questions to devotees one by one. After a while He turned to me and asked:
"Who is Usha?"
"My friend Peetambaren’s wife", I replied.
"Where did you drop in on the way?", Swamiji asked.
"At the residence of Peetambaren", I said.
"Peetambaren must have told you a lot of things about me and cautioned you to remain silent or say you do not remember incase you do not know the answer to my questions?"
I was totally baffled. How did He know what my friend had told me a few minutes before we reached the place. Later I came to understand this is the way He convinces people about the existence of a supernal power that is all-knowing.
Ray – Ban Glass and Other Objects
Many more questions ensued but I do not remember the chronology of the questions. However, I still remember faintly some of the questions he had asked me. He asked me about my job about which I was quite concerned. Then there were several questions relating to objects of significance in my residence. I am yet to know the meaning behind such questions. Here are few samples:
"Where is your passport?"
"Where is your new shirt?"
Where is your goggles?" (Incidentally, He was referring to a 25 years old "Ray-Ban" gifted by my father which I still use)
He asked me about my wrist watch and several other objects. I did not, however, ask Him the meaning behind asking such questions.
I have heard others saying that he reinforces the belief
one possesses and makes him or her to realise that God is omnipresent,
omniscient and omnipotent. Pray sincerely and He will be with us like a
A Damaged Sole and a Salvaged Soul
The very same day Swamiji asked me what was wrong with
my shoe. The shoe, being a new one presented by my friend I replied curtly
and confidently that there was no problem with it. Swamiji asked my friend
Mr. Rajguru to check the shoe after the session was over. The first thing
Mr. Rajguru did after coming out of the puja room was to check what was
wrong with the shoe. To our utter surprise we found out that the sole of
the shoe was damaged. I had no regret for a damaged sole because this incident
probably salvaged a soul that otherwise would have led a sheer materialistic
life. The incident reinforced whatever little faith I had because it was
no magic or hocus-pocus. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.
One evening I went to a shop for buying T-shirts with my friend. After the purchase, we made a plan for the next day to meet Swamiji. As scheduled we both went to meet Him. He asked me why we were in the market the previous evening. He asked me how many shirts I had bought and why so many were bought? It was again a matter of great puzzle to me. He has a vision of 360 degrees cutting across all dimensions!
Goes Hunger, Comes Faith
It was with great excitement that I discussed my experience with my good neighbour and friend Mr. Vasudevan, a successful entrepreneur. He is a God fearing man who is a believer in numerology and astrology. After listening to my experience he wanted to meet Him and the following day I dropped him at Swamiji’s place. He took a token and waited for his turn to be called in. I had to come back home because of other preoccupation.
The same evening I went to his house to inquire about his experience and was worried to find that he had not reached home. I reassured them that this happens at times, and immediately took his son and headed to Swamiji’s place. It was about 9’O clock in the night, and when we reached Swamiji’s place we found him coming out. He was hungry and very disappointed and kept telling me that he did not believe in what all He had asked. I just told him not to discuss anything on the way home. We went home and had dinner.
After dinner we sat together to do some reassessment of
all that happened to him that day. Amazingly, the questions Swamiji had
asked him were all relevant and true and had something to do with my friend.
Interestingly, all that He had asked were true and started falling in place
when his wife started explaining the connections. I do not remember all
the questions He asked. Mr. Vasudevan being a regular visitor to Sabrimala
in Kerala, was also going through the rituals that are associated in visiting
Sabrimala (A Pilgrimage Centre). Swamiji asked him if he had an operation,
to which he had curtly replied in the negative swearing by the name of
God. Little did he realise then that Swamiji was referring to a very minor
operation he had in the recent past. This operation he had mentioned to
us several times before it actually took place. Swamiji also mentioned
the name of the person who had helped him during the start up of his business.
He never could recollect the person by such a name whereas the he was identified
by his wife. The disappointment he carried home began to fade and soon
he realised that he had made the mistake of telling the wrong things at
the right time. My friend wanted to meet Him again the very next day to
apologize. That was possible only the next Saturday and he could not wait
that long. So he wrote a letter confessing his mistake and apologising,
and posted it too.
The Second Encounter
As planned, his wife and 15 year old son along with my family went to Swamiji’s place the following Saturday. It was the first visit for my wife and my friend’s wife. He called us in by referring to the car we had travelled there. That itself was a puzzle for our family members. Even before Mr. Vasudevan could complete his sentence Swamiji told him that He had received the letter. Swamiji accepted his apologies and went on telling several things to him and his family. He mentioned about a new gold chain he had bought for his wife. Mr. Vasudevan was very keen to know about his son’s education and had wanted him to pursue medicine. However, Swamiji told him that his son would pursue engineering and not medicine which has come true.
The Second Photo
Swamiji gave one of His photograph to my friend and told him that they would get one more photograph when they reach home. On reaching home they found one more photograph in their bag. It was kept by my daughter without their knowledge.
Diplomacy – His Hallmark
He asked my wife about her mother. Swamiji has His diplomatic
way of asking delicate questions. My wife not realising the meaning and
being unaware of her well being replied that she was fine to which He remarked
that she would be alright. Little did we realise then that something was
wrong with her. Later we came to know that she had collapsed while working
at home as her diabetics had worsened. But as told by Swamiji she recovered.
There were several such questions which I don’t remember and probably will
be too voluminous for narration here.
The Third Visit
Soon after the second visit, my mother-in-law wanted to
visit Swamiji desperately. She is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and Lord
Hanuman. When she visited Swamiji, He spoke to her at length and she was
satisfied that she had received the solace she badly wanted.
He had told me that I would land a job in the U.S.A. In June, 1998, after his visit to the U.S.A, we were just listening to his bhajans. It suddenly occurred to me that He never called me by name even after several meetings. Almost instantaneously, He asked me, "Mishra, what are you thinking now?"
I remember a similar experience to a devotee on the eve of the 1998 Hanumath Jayanthi Celebrations. He had received a job offer from a software firm in the U.S.A. as told by Swamiji months back. When Swamiji had told him about it he was not very sure of his chances. It was a thrilling experience for him because when the overseas call came for an interview on the phone, he answered all questions looking at Swamiji’s photograph. The US firm was so impressed with him that he was offered a better job than what he had asked for! It was quite an eye opener for me because I found out that he had total faith in Swamiji and did everything in accordance with his faith.
I have tried to understand my experiences objectively but failed to do so because such experiences are beyond our comprehension. It is my conviction that Swamiji is an embodiment of qualities and powers that we associate with God. I surrender to Him with all humility and I will continue to seek His blessings for all the good work that want I do in my life. It is my wish that the whole humanity benefits from His teachings and this could be made possible when people who had the opportunity to interact with Him spread His message through every possible medium.
Pranav Mishra, Madras - India
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