It was the year 1999; I was 19 years old. Since childhood, I had a habit of reading books unsure though how this habit inculcated in me but if my near ones needed to locate me, they knew that either I could sit in the ‘British Council library’ or ‘American Center library’ or few bookstores that I regularly visit.
One such day in May 1999, I visited the ‘Landmark’ bookstore at South Extension, Delhi. I was ‘searching’ for something, though unsure what I was ‘searching’ for.
The ‘Landmark Book store’ was multi-storied and you could find me explored all the floors. The people in the ‘Landmark book-store’ knew me by my face as I was a regular customer. I kept on taking out books from shelves, looked at the cover, back cover, book contents and used to keep the book back to the shelf.
I remember the day as this was the day that changed my life’s direction. Considering I was not getting the right book, I felt disappointed and was about the leave the store.
At that point, the watchman told me that “You have not seen the books at the basement and you may find what you may search for” I looked at him hopelessly though considering me being the 19 years old who had all the time in the world especially because of the few interests only, agreed and moved to the basement.
Again the process started, I looked at most of the books, the cover, back cover, book contents and it disappointed me. I was about to leave the basement, though my eyesight looked at the book titled ‘Be Oceanic’ on the second shelf. I bend myself and picked the book.
I liked the book-cover, back-cover, table-of-contents and read a few more pages before I keep this book back to the shelf. This was a habit to ‘pick the book’ and ‘keep it back’ though this book was an exception. I randomly opened a few pages of the book and started reading.
“It was shocked as I felt that an author was talking to me, he knew me for long, already scanned me from inside and was telling me the ‘ugly truths’ about me.”
I continued reading. I couldn’t wait to read this book, I went into the corner, moved the stool kept near me, sit and continued reading. Considering it was a basement and few people were near me, no one had an objection of me reading the book at the bookstore.
It was only 30 pages book though this book changed my life. I felt so happy after I read the book and realised that I got it what I was ‘searching’ for. I purchased five more books and two magazines of the same author and left the store.
After this day and further next 10 years, I didn’t read any fiction, non-fiction, self-help book except this author.
My visits to the ‘British-Council and American Center Library’, ‘Bookstores’ stopped. My near ones found my new location, it was my house terrace either they found me reading the books or listening to the podcasts of the same author.
“I was the wandering generality and got into the meaningful specific.”
I remember so vividly that I used to park the car for hours at the parking and was listening to this author’s audio-books. I was always curious and author who came into my life was much bigger than any encyclopedia.
The reason I kept on calling him an ‘author’ so far in this story is that I was selfishly looking for the information across the world and he was providing me with the beautiful stories and ‘Mulla Nasruddin (the character he created)’ jokes till one day.
One day after 10 years of reading and listening. I was at my terrace, and as usual, was reading his book. While reading the books or listening to the audio, I used to feel that he’s conversing with me.
On that day he said, “Master is a Mirror, Enough of Questioning and Doubts. It’s time to surrender”. “This was the day I bowed him as my ‘Master’ as he accepted me as his student,’
“You don’t look out for the Master, Master looks out for you”
When I look back, I kept on reading and listening to him for 10 years. I don’t think it was a coincidence that I picked the book in the Year 1999. He was grinding on me, making me ready for a bigger purpose.
Every word I read, Every word I listened made me strong, made me move into the FREEDOM, made me cherish FREEDOM.
I shared my views with my late grandfather. I persuaded him to visit with me into my master’s meditation camps. I attended the three-day weekend meditation camp and felt that me being so naïve was unnecessarily feeling great after only reading his books.
“I tasted the actual water at the Meditation camp”
I felt three realisations in the camp,
One, I could feel my master, his presence was there in the camp. ‘I felt that he sipped a cup of tea with me’. My Master is moved out of his body long back though he’s further strong and his presence could be felt from cosmos.
Second, I saw the ‘happy people’ who were singing, dancing, meditating and cherishing the lovely moments. All of them were beyond stress, fear, anger, sadness, disgust and misery.
I took ‘Sanyaas’. This is ‘neo-sanyaas’ which doesn’t mean you will leave your family, friends and the material events. You need to balance your life both from ‘Material’ and ‘Spiritual’ aspects. It’s like practising the ‘mindfulness at the marketplace’.
Third, after initiating as ‘Sanyasi’, I realized I am added to the bigger purpose to fulfill my master’s dream, which became my purpose–‘To Help People Live a Happy And Purposeful Life’
After this every weekend, you could find me in the ‘Meditation Camps’. I could feel as a person transformed from my old beliefs, thoughts and my urge to ‘help and live my purpose’ became further strong.
Now I wanted to reach to people and to help them to the extension that I can,
- I started volunteering as a ‘Meditation Teacher’ at NGOs in Delhi and Bangalore
- I wrote a book on Mindfulness title ‘Floating Happiness–Unlock the Secrets of Joy of Living’
- I started giving the ‘Keynote Speeches’, ‘Workshops’, ‘Guided Meditation sessions’ on Mindfulness, Authoring a Book in Schools, Colleges and to the Corporate Professional
As I look back at my life and see it today, I can see that How it turns my Journey from the ‘Wandering Generality’ to the ‘Meaningful Specific’