I would have never expected it to have such a deep impact on my life. And yet, when I think back to my early childhood I remember listening to stories of Jesus, being so impressed by how this man lived his life, feeling a deep love for Him, and above all being so angry with 'them' for treating him so badly and finally nailing Him on a cross. So, often I thought to myself, 'Well, If I had been around I would have defended Him; I would have believed in Him.' Or, 'if only He were here now and I could spend time with Him, or meet Him, I would surely recognise Him.'
Time passed and I grew up… Then, after many years of having Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as my guiding light I finally made it to Auroville about nine years ago. Within two days of arriving there I met some old friends who had just come from Sai Baba's ashram. They told me about Him, His miracles, the Vibhuti, about His being an incarnation of God down here to help us get on with it. I saw the pictures they showed me one of them is so clearly fixed in my mind that I can still see it when I close my eyes. And after all that, I said, 'Oh well, another guru who does things. I'd better get on with my work.'
Then, a few months ago a friend of mine, here at Findhorn, handed me a book with Baba's picture on the front and said, 'This man is amazing. He walked into my life a few weeks ago, and I don't know! It's all amazing, and I was told by Baba to give you to read.' Somewhere it clicked. The picture I was shown nine years before emerged from my memory as clearly as ever, and the next day I had finished the book. Then, as if by a miracle many more books about Baba came my way; I met Baba devotees; I dreamed about Baba....
Four months later I was on my way to India admittedly with lots of doubts and fears. But I was encouraged by Baba, who says over and over again. ‘If you are not sure about what, or who, I am, come and check it out for yourself, and then make up your mind.'
Prasanthi Nilayam was amazing. As soon as I walked through the gates I was 'home', feeling the crystal clear energy of the place, refreshing to my being, and spreading peace all over me. I stayed only twelve days and in that time I felt reborn, transformed.
Soon after seeing Baba for the first time I realised I had to rid my mind of all its fears and arguments. And so I did. And the next morning I realised I was so full of untruth, and muck, and stuff it was as if someone had opened a window into my being. Suddenly there was the sun shining into me, showing me the junk!
That morning in the darshan line I knew I didn't want all this junk. I wanted to be free, and I didn’t know how to get rid of it. What to do? My mind was going at top speed, doing overtime. I needed help. A few days later, after many mind battles and insights, I ended up in the front row of the darshan line. And I knew very clearly that I could ask for Padanamaskar. As Baba passed by, I tried to get His attention by looking up, politely waiting for Him to stop, but I again realised that this is not how the universe works. Didn't God say, 'Take one step towards me and I will take ten towards you'? So I have to do it, I have to take the first step! Baba had stopped in front of me, but my mind refused to remember the word in Sanskrit! Why didn't He look at me? At this point He began to move away, and all I could get out of my mouth, in a small voice, was 'Baba, feet please?'
He stopped again, and again looked at people behind me, but not at me. Why? Screamed my mind. Almost giving up, I looked down. There was His left foot right in front of me! As I bent over, the foot moved towards me and His right foot joined the left. And I? I melted, all disappeared. Bliss! I realised it was all over when the people around me were getting up. I walked to my room about three inches above the ground, and spent the rest of the day blissed out....
My soul was re-aligned that day. I saw the world differently, and still do. I understand now, deep in my heart, what it means to surrender and receive grace. Life has never been the same since. I react to things differently. And what's more. I like it a lot better. I still feel slightly strange about the new me. What I do now is that I want to devote my life to God. In a new way. And that I need help, and a lot more grace. But I feel it will all be there at the right time. I know it. It's there every day. And somehow it's confirmed in the way Baba smiles in the picture that now hangs on my wall.