My Experiences



The Initial Encounter

I remember it was a hot summer’s afternoon, and I had made plans to go out with my friends. That’s when Mama and Papa came and told me that we were going to Sunita Aunty’s place to meet Swamiji. Being the typical teenager I made a face and said that I would not come and they could go ahead. But my parents persuaded me and I reluctantly gave in. So it was thus that I found myself in a car speeding towards Dubai that hot sunny afternoon with the company of my parents and a glum dejected look on my face. Little was I to know that it would be the afternoon that would change my life, my thoughts, my perceptions and my beliefs so much. I still remember in the car that I envisioned this Swami to be a typical swami that we see in our much-exaggerated Hindi movies who would be very strict and rigid. But little did I know what a surprise was in store for me.

When I entered the room I could not see Swamiji directly but did see all the devotees waiting their turn. I remember when we walked into the room I saw Swamiji and a multitude of emotions and feelings swept over me. There was surprise, curiosity, awe but most of all there was a prevailing sense of peace. It was as if a warm lamp was lit in a damp dark place. I sat down with mama and papa with bated breath. This was definitely not the Swamiji I had pictured. His magnetism had my eyes riveted on his every word and action. And then Swamiji spoke to me and he asked me what about my glasses and then asked mama how many pairs I had broken till then. I was stumped and at that moment my jaw could have dropped to the floor. I answered that I had broken my glasses a couple of days back and this was a new pair. Then Swamiji asked me if I wanted a new watch and for a moment I was speechless. The fact was that I had tried on three of my watches before coming and all of them were broken. Then Swamiji asked me about 50 Dhs that Mama had given me. I answered nervously that I had spent the money with my friends when we had gone out. The fact that mama and papa didn’t know about this added to my nervousness and despite myself I found that I was perspiring a bit. All this time I couldn’t imagine how on earth did Swamiji know these things? I was dumbfounded and my mind was reeling with questions. Then Swamiji asked me if I want to go to the U.S. and I said I would and he said it would be arranged. I just couldn’t believe it, I mean this was my first time and I felt as if Swamiji knew me all my life and everything about me. Any one can say one’s son will be rich and successful and be a doctor etc. But it is the small intricate details of our daily lives that we overlook and it is these details that tend to convince a person and in my case when Swamiji told me that I always keep my glasses somewhere before sleeping and every morning when I couldn’t find them I always blame mama I was almost bowled over. After telling me this and other details Swamiji then proceeded to tell me that he told me all these things so that I believe and have faith. I must confess that until that point I never believed in God and my mother was worried about my attitude and what my parents tried to do for 5 odd years or so Swamiji accomplished in a matter o minutes. Because when we left my faith was absolute. Faith is such a thing that it is either there or it isn’t. It’s either absolute faith or no faith. There are no percentages in which faith can be expressed and when I left I felt as if I had jumped on the other side of that fence.

From that point on my parents noticed changes in me. I had become more spiritual and always tried to attend all of Swamiji’s poojas and gatherings. I even went with my parents to the temple on Fridays which my mother would have deemed improbable some time back. Slowly but surely I was swept from a wayward aimless path to the right one with Swamiji watching over me and guiding me.

Swamiji’s Miracles

I remember the first time I witnessed a miracle and that was when Papa was in between jobs. Mama was worried and we had gone to Swamiji that day at one of the gatherings. Swamiji then told Mama that not to worry and Papa would get a new job soon. Lo and behold in a matter of days Papa had a new job and a new contract in his hands.


The GMAT Story

This was during the days when I had to appear for my GMAT exam and as I had a little time for preparation and I was worried as my skills with mathematics was very poor. Swamiji sensed this and asked me what about my GMAT exam and he said what score do you want. I said a score above 650 would be great. The day I went for the exam I was really nervous and the fact that my Mathematics teacher offered me the encouraging advice that I was not good in Mathematics and would probably fail but could always take the test again (Somehow I have never been able to get along with a single mathematics teacher of mine, it’s a hate-hate relationship with the teacher hating me and me resenting him even more). Well the English Literature part of the test was easy and now it was the turn of the Mathematics section. At that point I realized I would prefer being in a dentist’s chair having a root canal operation done rather than be in this chair. I took Swamiji’s name and plunged forth. Till today I do not know how I gave that part of the section. It was as if my hands were on autopilot and I was just ticking the answers. I never even worked out any sum in detail I just clicked away at the answers. Well I got through the test and just prayed I had done well enough to be eligible to get admission in the University in the U.S. where I had applied. When the results were out I had scored 700 out of 800 and the score was in the top 3% of all students internationally appearing for the GMAT exam and I was so wild with joy that I literally jumped and did the tango with mama. I knew that it was Swamiji who was guiding my hand during the test and it was with his blessings that I had done so well.

Visa Power- Go Get It…

The next miracle was my visa interview; yes that dreaded thing that is the bane and fear of all students. The final hurdle that one must leap across in order to make it to the path of his dreams. I remember that morning before the visa interview I had called Swamiji and taken his blessings and Swamiji said that everything was arranged. With bated breath I walked into the consulate. I had the bittersweet taste of fear mixed with anticipation and didn’t know what to expect. Despite all the coaching on how to answer the questions, the documents neatly filed and arranged it just does not inspire enough confidence as there is always this unquantifiable factor of human emotion, I mean (what if the consul officer had a really bad argument with his spouse and was in a bad mood and decided not to grant anyone a visa today thereby venting out his frustration on us poor helpless souls who like the orphan Oliver goes up and asks for another helping…). With all these feelings running through me I heard my number called out and taking Swamiji’s name I braced myself and stepped towards the den of the monster (consul officer). This was it the moment of truth. After inspecting my documents the consul officer asked me which university was I planning to attend? I said the University of Bridgeport and that was it…the consul officer rejected me and said that he had lived in Bridgeport and it was not a place for international students as the crime rate was really high. I was numb and felt as if I was sinking in quicksand. But never losing faith I kept the effort up and got my visa for Oklahoma City University with the help of Swamiji’s blessings. The highlight was when I got my visa the consulate actually called me three times to inform re-confirm, and me needless to say was in seventh heaven. Thus with the grace of Swamiji I overcame this hurdle and got my visa.

Moving Troubles

The next miracle occurred recently when I was shifting my apartment. I was in between my exams and had 2 days to move out of my previous apartment. The bulk of the work had been done with the furniture and major stuff moved out. But there was still quite a lot left. Having a mistaken stroke of genius I decided to move all of it at one time in my T.V. cardboard box instead of making separate trips. Since the distance between my new apartment and the old one was only two blocks I figured I could drag the box to my new apartment. I organized the stuff and packed it neatly in the box (my mom would have been proud) and leaving an empty apartment behind started dragging the box on the sidewalk. Things were going pretty good and the plan seemed to be working…till the cardboard box split and tore from beneath! I had all my stuff over the sidewalk, my clothes, basketball, tennis racket, books and CD’s and the mess was awful and there I stood in the centre of it all. For a second I couldn’t believe my eyes. The passers by in the cars gaped at me like I was some clown in a circus act caught in a comical situation (which is not too far from the truth). One option was to go back home and get a couple of suitcases to put my stuff in but I couldn’t leave my stuff on the sidewalk (people would surely help themselves to my stuff in my absence). Thus I was caught in this dilemma and I closed my eyes pondering what to do next and I took Swamiji’s name and asked him to help me out of this mess. The next thing I know is I hear a voice in front of me and I open my eyes and look down to see this really short Vietnamese man looking at me with an amused expression. He told me to collect my stuff and put it in his car and he would drop me to my new apartment. He helped me move my stuff and gave me his name and number and it turned out that he stayed two houses away from me. Now the funny thing is after that day I haven’t seen him around that house or even his car parked in front of it. It’s like he just disappeared. And another interesting fact was there was no one about when this happened, I waited for 10 minutes thinking what to do and suddenly this gentleman turns up out of the blue. So Swamiji helped me out with my shifting as well. At this time Swamiji had predicted to me earlier on that I would be moving into a new apartment and I would really like it. I had been having room mate problems at that time as well. So Swamiji arranged an apartment for me as well.

Hanuman Jayanthi in Chennai

This was the most recent miracle and one that will stay fresh in my memory for all time. Christmas holidays had just started and I had spoken to Mom and Dad over the phone and they were telling me about their trip to Chennai and that they had met Swamiji in early December. My whole family was there grandparents, mom and dad, aunty and uncle and cousin and I was the only one left out. I complained to Mom over the phone telling her it wasn’t fair and that I wanted to see Swamiji also. I had been missing Swamiji a lot and really wanted to see him. Lo and behold after a weeks time I got off from work and I asked mom and dad if I could come down for a short trip. In half an hour my ticket was on the way and my vacation was finalized. On reaching Dubai I told Mom that I wanted to meet Swamiji and Indian Airlines arranged a free ticket for me. I went to Chennai and was at Swamiji’s Ashram for two days. Those two days were pure bliss. Swamiji said that he had arranged for me to come there, as he knew I wanted to see him and that things were a bit down and he had kept me there for two days and everything would be ok. I was delighted and had a great time and the procession was an out of the world experience for me as well as the puja. I had a very nice darshan of Swamiji and cannot describe the multitude of feelings and emotions that were inside me. I would like to express my thanks to Praveen uncle and Sunita aunty, Gopi uncle, Natesh uncle, Jayaraj uncle, Sonu and Gayatri aunty, Kanak and Krishnakumar uncle who took care of me and if I’ve left someone out then you know who you are and gratitude is in my thoughts. The trip to Swamiji’s ashram was miraculous for me. If anyone had asked me a week earlier as to where would I be then this would be the last answer and the least probable one as well.

These are my experiences; there have been many small ones as well. I know that this may be a bit lengthy but I have wanted to share the experiences, miracles, feelings and emotions that I have undergone with everyone else out there. I have seen myself change over the period of time since I have known Swamiji. Before there was always this apprehension about the future and what it holds but now there is no fear because I know that Swamiji is there and watching over us and guiding us on the path of life.

I Believe.

Jai Shri Ram


P.S. I’m looking forward to meet Swamiji now in America…!!!

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