It was Aug 2011. I was in Art of Living Bangalore Ashram to do the Advanced Meditation Program with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji. The program was wonderful making me feel so serene & deep like never before. I was floating above the ground happy and fully in love with the Divine. The night before I had to leave the Ashram was filled with tears of sadness at having to go away so soon from this beautiful place.
During those few days, I met Sri Sri many times. At every glimpse of Sri Sri, time took a back seat, heart beat increased & mind was filled with immense joy. I never felt like asking any question to him. But there was a void inside. Amid such huge crowd He seemed so far away from me. I wondered does He even know me; am I of any significance to Him?
On the last day of my stay at Ashram, I was busy packing my bags. It was around 12 noon, Suddenly I got a call from one of my ashram friends that Gurudev would be coming in a few minutes to Vishalakshi Mantap to personally meet participants of another program. (Vishalakshi Mantap, the beautifully crafted mediation centre, is the focal point of the Art of Living Bangalore Ashram where all the spiritual enthusiasts come together to attend various yoga and meditation programs).
My program was over & I had already met Sri Sri. So I hesitated to go, but my friend insisted that I should come and luckily I obliged!.
As I sat in one corner of Vishalakshi Mantap with bated breath, I started to wonder, ‘Do I really need to be here’? In no time, one of the participants came & gave a beautifully garlanded red rose to me to give it to Sri Sri. I could never give a flower to Gurudev in all these years. Many times I would take a flower to give HIM & then keep it in my bag. It is said that one should not meet his/her Guru empty handed, but I couldn’t find anything good enough to offer to HIM.
But that moment was different. I felt acknowledged and tears of gratitude came up. Finally, Gurudev made a grand entry, taking off his dark glasses in full style & making the whole crowd go crazy. He started giving darshan to every participant one by one. Finally my turn came. I offered the flower to HIM. He took it, smiled at me & then asked ‘Happy?’ I nodded without saying anything. Then came, “What is your name?” My voice almost choked, somehow I managed to reply. He kept smiling & blessed me a couple of more times with the flower.
This was the first time I had spoken to my Master. Words cannot express how happy I was. Those few words from HIM meant the entire world to me. I was on top of the world. As He walked away every one of my problems washed away completely.
After Darshan, Gurudev took a meditation for all of us. In the entire Advanced Meditation Program that I had just completed, I did not have such a blissful meditation as this one. There was nothing left inside me. I was totally hollow and empty. Since then, never have I felt myself away from Gurudev. He is inside Me as ME..
Jai Guru Dev!
Sohini Chakraborty, Kolkata