Majority of the people live their life without understanding the essence of it. Some live for future. Some keep on correcting the mistakes in past. But both of them miss the moment. They forget or fail to understand that the only moment they have is now.
This book is not a novel or a short story. This is a dialogue between an average person and an enlightened master.
Do not expect anything, just read totally.
Dedicated to 3
Bella Meraki 4
The Journey Begins 6
Meeting With Swami 9
The Sorrow Of Kalyani 13
The Authentic Self 17
The Mocking Brother 20
The Inevitable Thoughts 23
The Generous Kid 26
The Wound In My Heart 28
The Guru Within You 32
The Journey Continues 35
I want to thank . . . 37
Do you want to know who I am? 38
Connect with me 39
The Journey Begins
“Once in a year, you need to visit a place you have never been before!” said my grandma.
“That is why I come here every year. I know you will take me to a new place every time.” I replied.
I always spend my vacation in Kannur with my family. Here my grandparents live. It was a small growing town in 1990’s. Now it has grown into a big town. Still my grandparents live in the same old fashion.
My grandma Saraswathi is 72 now but looks thirty years younger. I have no idea how she maintains herself. The glow in her eyes and face is so charming. I have seen her marriage photo when she was 16. No wonder she had more than twenty suitors when she was young. But she chose my grandpa to be her beloved.
My Grandpa Rajashekhar married my grandma when she was 16. My dad was born the next year. I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Deepa. I was Born in 1990, raised in one of the metro-city of India – Bangalore. My dad Manish is a Software developer and my mom Amala a homemaker. I grew up in very safe environment. My mom was always there to put me in my limits. I never crossed those limits. I was an obedient child or appeared so. My parents fulfilled almost my all wishes when I was a child, a teen and even now. This is something very sweet of my parents. If they find that something is ‘good’ for me according to their terms then definitely they will do it for me.
Now I am working as a graphic designer for a private company. Dad, Mom, My younger brother Dev and I come every year to Kerala to visit my paternal and maternal grandparents. I am attached to my paternal grandparents as I have spent more time with them. The lessons I learned from here has become the solid foundation of my life values. I would never stop visiting them.
“So where are you taking me today?” I asked grandma
“You just arrived today. You need to take rest. Tomorrow we will go!” Replied Grandma
“Grandma, just tell me where we are going?”
“Well, it is a surprise. Have I ever disappointed you?”
“Grandma, you have never disappointed me. But I am so curious. Please tell me, Please…”
“You are turning 26 now and still you are behaving like a child”
“What can I say; I am your grandchild after all”
My grandma glanced at me and smiled. She has never gone wrong. But I was so curious to know where I will be going tomorrow.
“So how is your life in Bangalore?”
“What can I say Grandma, it is too busy and hectic. I get only Sunday to rest and relax. But I love what I do.” I closed my laptop as I said.
“Well if you love what you do, then that is all that matters!”
“Sometimes it is true!”
“I don’t know, Sometime I feel I am missing something”
“May be your soul mate is that ‘something’!” Grandma laughed
“Don’t drag the topic into love and marriage. I want to make my career” I said firmly and sat on the bed.
“I am just playing with you”
“Love, soul mate and marriage- these are my least topic of interests”
“I fell in love with your Grandpa when I was 15”
“I know the story Grandma. You fell in love and next year you got married. The very next year you had a baby. Now time has changed. Woman of this age gives importance to career. We need to stand on our own feet. We need to follow our dreams.” I said over enthusiastically and smiled.
“What about Arjun?”
My smile vanished. There was a sad silence. No matter how much I try to forget some memories keep haunting me. Arjun was my schoolmate. I fell in love with him, but he fell for my best friend Priya. I couldn’t tolerate their dating and other things. So I abandoned my best friend and first love at the same time. It took nearly a year to get over the whole thing from my head. Even now somewhere in my heart the wound persists.
“What about Arjun? He is still with Priya. They are all settled and will be marrying 3 years later.” I said.
“They make good couple. Are you sure he is no more in your heart”
“Grandma, it is a school love story. I have grown up. I have moved on. Don’t you see?” I kept myself busy in reading whatsapp messages.
“I am happy when you smile from your heart. Now, you smile vaguely, just for namesake.”
“What doesn’t kill you makes you strong. I am busy with my career that’s why I can’t find a match for me.” I didn’t give eye contact.
“When time is right, you will find your soul mate” She sat on bed and looked at me.
“Grandma, let me sleep now. It is been a long day”
I covered myself with blanket. Grandma kissed me in forehead. She understood my feelings. I am closer to her than my mom.
I have heard that an artist is the child who survived. I am an artist and the child inside me is still alive. I am quite happy with my present life. Everything is good except that I was not lucky enough to get my soul mate. When will my time be right to find him? Or should I really find him?
I started thinking about the long lost soul mate, tomorrow’s programme and I closed my eyes and went into the world of dreams.
Meeting With Swami
I got up early as I had to do some final touch up for my last project. This is one thing I hate. I never want to bring office work to home. But duty calls and I have to respond.
“You are not ready Deepa?” asked my grandma
“Give me 10 minutes. I am almost done.” I replied
“Take bath and wear Salwar. Don’t wear jeans”
The moment I am here, I become a typical South Indian woman who is obedient to parents and elders. I am not supposed to question the age old customs and traditions. I have to strictly follow. Even the dress code has to be followed without objection. I was not a rebellious person and neither do I wanna be one. Though I was raised in the modern Indian culture, I still follow the customs and traditions to my heart.
My mom says that Salwar is a beautiful dress for woman. Duppatta or the long scarf is an extra designed clothing. It covers her body and protects it from the evil eyes of men. I laugh every time I hear this from mom. I know that not all eyes are evil.
I wore the salwar which my grandma has bought for me. Light yellow color top with full length brown pants and of course the designer duppatta which I have to carry in my shoulders and around the neck. Not bad. I looked in the mirror and smiled.
“Don’t forget to put bindhi!” exclaimed my grandma
How could I forget that? This is a default round or square or designed decoration in forehead for every Hindu girl.
“I am ready. Let us go!”
We went in car to a very old Shiva temple. I never forget to visit this temple because it kind of our family tradition to go here for every special occasion, function and festival. In order to start something new, we do need blessings from Almighty. I am in love with Lord Krishna but my Grandma is Lord Shiva devotee.
After the temple visit my grandma took me to a small house near the temple. Though it was small in size, it was beautiful. The house had traditional Kerala ochre colored roofs and verandah and was decorated by beautiful small garden. Somehow the small place was enchanting.
“Namaste Amma, Namaste!” greeted Ananda
“Namaste Ananda” Grandma greeted
Ananda is a well built gentleman in his late 20’s. He has thick black short hair with black eyes and a clean shaved face. He was wearing a white Kurtha and free size pant. He looked at me and smiled.
“Namaste” I greeted
“Namaste, I guess that you are Deepa, Saraswathi Amma’s granddaughter?” asked Ananda
“Saraswathi Amma has told about you. I know everyone in your family though I have not personally met them. Please come in.”
Ananda took us inside the house. The hall was 90% empty. No wall or floor decorations. There was an altar to the very end of hall; it was decorated with earthen lamps and agarbathies. To my surprise there was no idol in the altar. It was empty. In front of altar a big mat lied on the floor.
An elderly gentleman in his mid 50’s came from the other room. He had long grey beard which reached up to his chest. His hair reached up to his shoulders. He wore ochre colored robes. He welcomed us with smile.
“Namaste Swami” greeted grandma.
“Namaste” He greeted
I wondered why grandma took me here. She had taken me to different temples and other relative’s house or sometimes museums. This was the first time she took me to a Swami. Where ever you go in India you will definitely find one Swami – a Hindu seer. I have seen them roaming, begging and sometimes meditating in temple. I never gave much attention to these people. My dad says that out of 100 Swami’s 98 of them are frauds. He was also interested in mysticism initially. But a fraud Swami took a huge amount of money from his friend and never returned. After that incident he lost faith in the Man God dramas.
I looked at Swami in front of me. His face was charming and was magnetic.
“Namaste Swami” I greeted him absent mindedly.
He looked at me. The look was so piercing. I felt that he was looking deep inside my soul. I felt nervous and scared.
“You are absent here. Your words are dead. You are thinking about all Swami’s you have met in your life. All the stories are building up in your mind. Stop judging me. Be present here”
I did not know how he read my mind. His eyes were fixed on me. I couldn’t move. Somehow I felt paralyzed. I didn’t know what to say. I stared at him.
“Do you know what the meaning of Namaste is?” asked Swami
“It is a kind of greeting. Just like ‘good morning’ in English, We say Namaste”
“I asked you the meaning of Namaste!” asked Swami
I have said Namaste whenever I greeted any of my relative’s, elders or parents. But I never enquired the meaning of it. It was a default greeting for me. My parents taught me to do that when I was a kid.
My face was blank. I felt like a child with no answer.
“You don’t have to be scared. I am not going to eat you.” Said Swami
Swami sat on the mat and motioned with his hand to us to be seated. Nothing was in my mind. I was totally blank.
“We are not just body. Are we? Something beyond our tangible world is there in our body and around us. You can call it soul or divine presence or light or even God. Namaste simply means the divine presence in me bows to the divine presence in you. When we say Namaste our hands are joined in front of our chest and our finger points to the person we are greeting. It is a symbolic gesture. From my heart I honor the divine presence in your body.”
Swami didn’t blink his eyes when he was explaining this.
“And most importantly when you greet it with your full heart, it has its own beauty. Anyone can know the meaning but it takes effort in doing with your full presence. Now try to greet me again, but this time, do it with your full presence” Swami further explained.
I nodded. For the first time in my life I understood the meaning of a significant word which I had been using all the time. I joined my hands to my heart and I bowed to Swami. My eyes closed automatically
“Namaste” I greeted
I felt a connection between me and Swami. An invisible flow of energy was there. I felt a relief. My mind was relaxed.
“Namaste” Swami bowed and greeted
Such simple gesture has a deep meaning. I wondered how less I knew about the things around me. I have high qualifications education wise but I have very little understanding about my religion, my traditions and my culture. I have been a blind believer. May be this is the reason my grandma brought me here.
Who is this Swami? I have been visiting Kerala every year but my grandma never took me here. How he came into picture? What am I doing here? Thoughts flooded me within few seconds.
Swami closed his eyes. His presence was magnetic. I didn’t want to leave the place but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I looked Grandma for some time. Her eyes were fixed on Swami and then she closed her eyes. Even Ananda closed his eyes.
Is this some kind of meditation? I had attended mandatory meditation classes organized by my office and I hated it. I kept on looking Ananda, Grandma and Swami. I was lost. I was the only person with opened eyes. I finally closed my eyes. But the thoughts kept coming. I was not fixed with one thought. My thoughts changed within seconds and I lost track of time. I didn’t know how long I have been in that posture.
The Sorrow Of Kalyani
“Om Nama Shivaya: Om Nama Shivaya: Om Nama Shivaya:” I heard a voice of woman.
I opened my eyes and I saw a woman in her late 30’s bowing down to Swami. Her eyes were swollen and tired. I felt as if she had so much of burden in her life. She was weak and she had tears in her eyes.
“Swami, I do not know what to do with my life. I am living my life for others. But no one really cares about me. I get up every day early in the morning. I do the household work, feed my baby, take care of my mother in law, and take care of my husband throughout day and night. I am happy when they are happy. But no one thanks me. I am not complaining but what makes me feel bad is that they keep finding fault with me and harass me with words and in worst case beats me too. No matter how much I try they want to make me sad. I feel as though they are happier when I am sad. I do not want to live like this. Help me Swami, Give me a mantra so that I can overcome all these.” Said the woman in tears
Swami listened to her. He looked at the woman for some time.
“Is that all Kalyani?” Swami asked.
“Yes Swami. I did everything you told me to do but misery never leaves me. My little child keeps falling sick. My husband is an alcoholic. My mother in law finds fault in everything in I do and keeps beating me and harassing me. Please Swami, give me a mantra which I can use and change the situation.” Explained Kalyani
“Kalyani, Is that all?” Swami asked again
“Yes Swami. I am fed up with all these people around me who finds fault with me. They are not going to accept me as me. They want me to do more work. I am not more than a servant to them. I am just living for my young boy.” Said Kalyani
“Is that all?” Swami asked again
“I am happy to see my boy grow. His laugh, his playfulness makes me forget the misery I bear. But when he falls sick I can’t bear that. Then I lose all hope to live. I don’t know what I want in my life. But when my little boy is happy, I am happy.” Kalyani sighed with relief.
For a long time she was silent as though she was in the world of deep thoughts. Her eyes were fixed on Swami’s foot. I didn’t know what Swami did to her. First I saw a woman who was weak and tired of living. Now I see a woman who is fresh and ready to live again. There was peace in her eyes and it radiated all over her face. She was changed. She was transformed. She uttered no more words. She bowed to Swami and touched his feet.
Ananda took the sweet box placed near the altar and gave it to Swami. Swami gave her one sweet to her. She thanked Swami. She left peacefully.
I got confused. What did actually happen in front of me? A woman in tears changed to a woman in happiness. How? And it happened so fast? I remembered my emotional breakdowns. The moment my crush chose my best friend as his girl friend, the moment when I was rejected by my dream company, the moment my dream project was discarded by my manager… these moments were very painful to me. It took several weeks for me to get over that.
My life was not faced with many hardships. I had everything I wanted. A nice family, a decent job, still I always felt that something missing and I couldn’t find what it was. It is like tasting ‘Sambar’, you know everything is there but something is missing. And it really needs an experienced chef to know that. And I am not that chef.
Whatever just happened in front of me made my mind tremble. I had lot of questions and I wanted answers so badly. I was afraid to look stupid by my question. But I am in the age to be stupid and crazy.
“Swami, what did you do with her?” I asked Swami
“Did you see that I was doing something? Ask the right question and I will give you the answer” Swami counter questioned me.
“No Swami, I didn’t see with my eyes. But I felt it. A change happened. A sad woman turned to be a happy so quickly. My life is busy and stressed. Sometimes I have my ups and downs in the mood. I just want to know how I can turn my unhappiness into happiness.”
“Deepa, the very question you asked me indicates that you are not truly happy with your life. Everybody wants to be something more. MORE, isn’t it?. And in that competition to be better and best you make yourself sad. You make your life stressed, tensed and lifeless. First, you set conditions to be happy, and then you try to chase them. When you fail to meet those conditions you are unhappy. You feel frustrated. Then you go to the so called life experts or guides or gurus and seek their advice. They give such suggestions that again you start the race to meet your conditions to be happy. This is what you do every day and night. The rat race! So I say to you – drop your conditions to be happy.”
“But that lady had so many problems. I am amazed to see that she changed within seconds Swami.”
“Kalyani, who came just now, is not relevant to you. She is again just another woman who is in an illusion that she has lot of problems. Ask the right questions Deepa”
Her problems are her illusions? What do you mean by right questions? Does it mean that questions which are relevant to me, to my growth, to my life. The inner chattering in my mind continued.
“Swami, whenever I am sad I become silent. I don’t talk much and just sit my room and spent my time thinking on how I could have changed my situations by different reactions. But I know that I can’t change what has happened so try to move on by forgetting the incident. It goes in the bottom of my heart, somewhere deep. It takes weeks for me to get over it.”
“Well this is one type of reaction. This is a passive reaction which is harming you. What Kalyani did is just the opposite. She is simple. She was very sad that she cried with her full heart, with her full body. Every cell in her body was crying and removing the pain. There is a limit for everything. You cannot keep on crying for years. You will get tired and weak. You will become silent as though you are in a deep sleep and then when you wake up, you are fresh. After her long silence, her body rejuvenated automatically. She found hope. She saw the clear sky. She is ready to live again. She got cured. But you are more sophisticated, cultured, modernized and polished. You belong to the world of intellectuals. You are afraid to use your emotions. When you are sad, you don’t cry. You are afraid on what you neighbors might think about you if you cry. So you hide everything behind your fake smile. You use your fake smile everyday that you have forgotten your own smile.”
“But Swami, I can’t cry and show my negativity on others. They will feel bad. I don’t want to hurt them. I can hurt myself but not others. I am not violent” I justified my emotions
“I am not telling you to follow your natural instincts and do whatever you want with other living beings. When I say living beings, it includes YOU too. When you are angry, sad or depressed, don’t hold it, just release it. But don’t release it in front of others. You can go to your room, close the door, switch on the music system, turn up the volume, and then you can cry loud, beat the pillow, shout, howl, and jump and do whatsoever drama you want to do. But do it with your full heart. Then you will get tired eventually, you will become silent, sometimes you may fall asleep and when you wake up you will be fresh. You will have your positivity in and around you. Right, Deepa?”
“Remember, a wise person moves through his unhappiness alone and whenever he is happy he shares it with everyone. The fool does the opposite. So it is up to you now.”
What Swami said made sense to me. My emotional problems had damaged me. I did not want to hurt anyone with my words so I remained silent and swallowed my so called sorrows. But it had done more harm to me. I did not want troubles so I took a neutral stand. My life became tasteless whenever I took a neutral stand. Too bad that no one gave me this advice. No worries, I finally got this advice. Why should I share my negativity to others? I should share my happiness.
The Authentic Self
My parents raised me in a very safe environment. I have always been trained how to ‘behave’ in front of everyone. I often find difficulty in asking questions. I am afraid of what others might think about me. So I usually avoid questions. I am conscious about what image I have in front of others. So I have not been true to my feelings and emotions. I always wear a smile mask even when I was sad.
I kept moving my fingers.
Swami looked at me. He might have noticed that I have a restless mind.
“Swami, I am afraid of asking questions to you. I am afraid that what grandma, Ananda and you will think about me. Even though I have so many questions I am afraid to ask any.” I told Swami.
“No one is going to eat you, kill you or harm you by your questions. You can ask anything. Whatever you say from your heart let it be so. Do not be afraid.”
“But I am afraid”
“When you are afraid, you become calculative. You have something to ask and you keep on polishing the question and finally you ask altogether a different question. You are afraid of what others might think about you. But I tell you that others are afraid of what you might think about them. Be authentic to yourself. Whatever arises from your heart, have the courage to ask. In the beginning everything is difficult; eventually everything falls in its own place.”
“Sometimes my questions hurts people, provokes them, then I feel bad. There have been many situations in my life, where I regretted asking some questions to others. They will understand me only from their level of understanding and it difficult to know their expectations.”
“Let it be. You have not practiced asking questions from your heart, you just make goody questions or opinions to please others.”
“That is correct. But how can I give an opinion which is negative, something which will make them feel bad?”
“It doesn’t matter if it is positive or negative. What matters is you say things from your heart without fabricating it. Initially people might find it harsh but what matters is that you are true to yourself.”
“That doesn’t go well in the modern world. You need to have connections and you need to maintain the connections. And it is maintained only through positive feedbacks”
“Then you will keep on compromising yourself for the sake of world”
“What should I do now? I want to be true to myself yet I do not want to hurt others!”
“You will find the answer eventually”
“How should I start practicing it?” I asked Swami
“Well, you can begin with your parents, siblings, dear ones, grandparents. Say truth. Whenever you ask, ask questions which arises from your heart. When somebody asks question to you, say answers from your heart. Do not copy your role models. Do not imitate.”
“Aren’t role models good enough to guide us?”
“Role models guide you, but unfortunately you copy them. You imitate their deeds which are very cheap. Remember, you are born original, do not die as a copy.”
Those words struck my heart. I do not want to die as a copy. I have told so many lies to please others and I kept on thinking that I am doing good to them. I have completely forgotten myself; I was being untrue to myself.
“Swami, I think you are a good person. I like your advices and I will follow them”
“You are making the same mistake. You should not follow my advices just because I have said so. You should not listen to anyone just because they are higher or elder to you. You should not follow scriptures, holy books, or anything unless and until you understand them from your own experience. Open your hands to receive but do not lose your values. Listen, Experiment, imbibe and then include it in your life if it proves right to you!” Swami said.
I thanked Swami.
I was amazed. I am a blind believer and follower. I have been taught to be like that. When elders gives you an advice, follow it; Follow your scriptures, customs, traditions; that’s what they said. By blindly following it, I have lost the essence of everything. I follow the rituals not knowing why it is done. I prayed from Holy Scriptures not understanding the meaning of it. I was following everything and maintaining the body but I totally forgot to understand the spirit of it. How ignorant I am?
But I am happy that I met someone like Swami.
The Mocking Brother
An elderly gentleman near about forties entered the house. He was wearing formal shirt and pants. He had a light mustache and was wearing thick spectacles. He was calm and quiet in the beginning. He was smiling at Swami. But that was not out of courtesy or respect, it was pure mockery.
“So Swami, How are you. I see that your followers are increasing day by day. From where are you finding them?” The gentleman asked sarcastically.
“I am not finding them, they find me” Swami replied.
“I love your sense of humor, you are good at this”
“What else can I do?”
“Exactly, just talking something, explaining something and keep on repeating the same in different ways and people think you are so wise. I know your tricks”
“Everyone lives by tricks and dies by tricks.”
“Ha, another quote. Do nothing and just sit here and do meditation. People will come and feed you.”
“I don’t sit in meditation. I am in meditation”
“People like you are no good to the society. You waste your time and you waste other people’s time. Why can’t you work and earn a living like me.”
“Different people have different choices”
“You are my own brother. I don’t want you to sit idle and waste your time.”
“I am not wasting anyone’s time.”
“Swami, you do not know what people says about you outside. They mock at you, they mock at me. You are no yogi or guru, you are my brother. You used to be a librarian. Now you left that job and do nothing.”
“I left it 5 years ago. I got so bored with that.” Swami laughed
“Swami, earning without doing anything is not good. Have some respect for yourself.”
“I don’t think anyone has respected me more than I respect myself.”
“Everything is a joke for you.”
“Life is a joke.”
“You won’t understand now, time will come when you will understand that I doing all this for your good.”
“Only time can tell everything” Swami laughed.
The elderly gentleman walked away. Swami was laughing. Ananda smiled.
“Why is he mocking you all the time?” I asked Swami.
“Deepa, everybody thinks that whatever they believe and they say is right. They try to enforce their ‘rights’ on you. They say everything they do is for our benefit; only in the end do we realize that they were wrong.”
“My dad keeps telling me do certain things, my mom, grandma, and everyone dear to me guide me.”
“No, everyone tells their opinion and they make you believe that it is truth. It is like when you are lost in a road trip, you will ask for way from local people, a person you meet on the road. He will give you guidelines based on your destination. Sometimes he may be right sometimes utterly wrong. It is you who have to choose the path. There are 1000’s of guides around you. But you can only know the truth in the end.”
“So you are telling me that I need to experiment everything before I follow it.” I asked
“Yes. No truth is true unless you experience it for yourself.”
“Swami, wouldn’t it be nice if there is someone is there to guide us?”
“A guide is good, but you want to be dependent on your guide. Now that will make you a cripple. You will go to him for each and everything. Remember, the best guide is always within you.”
“Yes. There may be some situation in your life where you don’t know what to choose. At that time listen to your body, mind and soul, they will guide you. An unknown energy beyond the beyond will come to guide you only if your question is genuine.”
This has happened to me. Whenever there was a critical moment, my instincts told me what to do. It was as if someone from the beyond was guiding me. So there is something beyond the beyond.
“Your brother kept on mocking at you. How could you be so cool even after that?”
“I understand him. He says many things. Whatever he says is true according to him and whatever I say is true according to me. He tries to demotivate me and prove that I am wrong, so that he can ensure that what he says is right. By blowing out others candle your candle is not going to shine brighter. Nothing matters to me now. If I have recognition or not I am happy. I am happy the way I am.”
“Swami, you are so great.”
“I am as great as you are. Only difference is that I know that I am great and you are also great. But you think that only I am great.”
“I am just an ordinary person. I don’t have much wisdom like yours!”
“There lies the difference. You have eyes and you have shut it, then you call yourself blind. Open your eyes; then again it is a choice.”
“How do I open my eyes?”
“You will eventually find it out!” Swami laughed.
I did not know what to do. But I started liking this man more and more.
The Inevitable Thoughts
“It is been a long day, Ananda you have not offered them drink or food. Is this a way to treat our guest?” Swami looked at Ananda
“Swami, we are no guests to you. You are an elder brother to me. You are our family” My grandma said.
“But still we will have a glass of lemonade then.” Swami smiled.
Ananda came with 4 glasses of lemonade. I drank it slowly. I was thirsty but I drank it slowly. The sweet taste made me energized.
“Who would like to hear a story?” Swami asked.
The sweet old memories flashed in my mind. My grandma used to say stories of Rama & Sita when I was a kid. She often told me the mythological tales. The tales of Krishna, Arjuna, Shiva, Vishnu and many others. I used to hear them eagerly and slept beautifully.
“I want to hear!” I replied.
“Deepa listen carefully, Swami’s stories are quiet tricky!” Ananda added
“I love Swami’s stories. Please tell” Grandma said
“Ok, this is an ancient story. A man got lost in the forest. It was night and he climbed a tree and sat on a strong branch. That tree was ‘Kalpavriksha’ – a wish fulfilling tree. He was quite comfortable in his position. But he was very hungry. He wished there was delicious food in front of him. Suddenly delicious food appeared in front of him out of nowhere. He had it without thinking. Then he wished there was a bed for him to sleep. Suddenly a bed appeared under the tree. He climbed down and lied on the bed. It was so soft and warm. He wished there was a blanket. A blanket covered him out of nowhere. When all his wishes were fulfilled he started thinking. How did food, bed, blanket came to him? It was not there before. Suddenly he thought that it was given by ghost. He saw the ghost in mind and soon the ghost appeared in front of him. He thought that ghost will kill him. Soon the ghost killed him” Swami paused and looked at us.
“How was the story?” Swami asked Ananda.
“Good!” Ananda replied.
“What is the moral of the story Deepa?” Swami asked me.
“Whatever you wish it will become true?”
“Yes. Whatever you wish it will become true!” Swami said.
“But I have wished so many things, not all came true. The man in the story just thought about it and it became a reality”
“Deepa, everything depends on the intensity of the thought and also the environment in which you are living. The man in the story was under a wish fulfilling tree. A strong presence is there. Then his intensity of thoughts was also 100%. And so everything happened in a blink of a second.”
“Ok, the thoughts matter!”
“Yes indeed it matters. That is why people keep on saying that have positive thoughts. Thoughts can make you happy or miserable. The choice is yours. But people want to be miserable. They will have negative thoughts always.”
“But if we have positive thoughts always won’t we become over confident and destroy ourselves?” I asked Swami.
“Everything has a control. If you drive a car very fast you will lose control in certain situations, it can cause harm to you and others. If you drive your car very slow then it is boring and you are unnecessarily wasting your time and other’s time. Drive your car in a normal speed, then you will have total control of the car. You become the master of car. Same way you must know how to control your thoughts.”
“You are saying that I can create a life of misery or happiness by my thoughts.”
“Well you are a quick learner!”
“Swami, You have shared me so many things today. Today, tomorrow and day after tomorrow also I will be following these but eventually it dries up. I will not be motivated or inspired. How do I keep your messages alive forever?”
“It is like taking bath every day in the morning. If you have to get fresh take bath daily. If you have to keep my messages alive then you have to refresh your mind daily in morning with my messages.” Swami laughed.
“But my mind is out of my control. Sometimes I am happy for no reason. Sometimes I am sad for nothing. My mood swings. How do I refresh such kind of mind” I asked.
“Then learn how to control it.”
“How do I do that? Teach me please.”
“You don’t have to do any tedious process; a simple thing can change your whole life.”
I looked at Swami. He smiled.
“When you get up in the morning; thank God. Thank God for giving you such a wonderful life. Thank God for the wonderful family he has given to you. Thank God for many other things. Get out from the bed in deep gratitude. And then do your daily routines. When you go back to sleep at night; Forgive and thank yourself and others. Thank God for all the good things and forgive yourself and others for the bad things that happened in the day. This will refresh your mind”
“What is so important about doing this in morning and night Swami?”
“Simple, whatever thoughts you have in the end moment of night will affect your next morning and whatever thoughts you have in the beginning of your day will affect your entire day. Think wisely. Then again it is your choice!”
“Then again it is my choice” I smiled.
The message echoed in my ears. ‘Then again it is my choice.’
The Generous Kid
A 5 year old girl came running to Swami. She gave him a sweet.
“Swami, this is for you. Eat before my mom comes!” The girl said
“Sure, I will.” Swami shared the sweet equally among us and ate it. As soon as we ate the sweet, the girl’s mother came running. She was very fat and her face was tensed.
“Swami, you are being a bad example to the kid. You just sit here and do nothing. My girl says that when she grows up she wants to become like you. Sit and do nothing, food will come to you from your idiot disciples.” The mother said with anger.
“She is a kid. Respect her! It is her wish what she wants to be in the future.” Swami said.
“You and your philosophy will reach nowhere. No one has attained anything by philosophy.” Mother added.
“Don’t you shame to come here and listen to his nonsense?” She looked at us.
My face was blank.
“Come here, when your dad comes I will tell about all your mischief’s. Let him give you nicely.” Mother warned the kid. She took her kid and left the house.
“She is an amazing kid!” Swami said. Ananda smiled.
“What did you learn from this Ananda?” Swami asked Ananda.
“Swami, we need to ignore bad comments and people.” Ananda replied.
“Ananda, we need to ignore bad comments, not bad people. They have no idea about what they are doing. Have compassion on them. When you ignore them, you will lead them to more ignorance. They will eventually come to know the truth one day.” Swami sighed
“Who is that kid?” I asked Swami.
“Oh, she is our neighbor. Nisha and her mother. Nisha is a good girl. A free spirit!” Swami said.
“She is very generous and caring.”
“That is the beauty of her Deepa. Her parents are misers. But she is a gem. She shares her happiness.” Swami said
“I can see that!”
“Appreciate the good things in a person, help him to nurture more. Ignore the bad qualities in a person, he will figure a way out from it only if we help him a little.” Swami said.
What a marvelous person! He keeps on adding colors to life. Everything has something to tell you only if your eyes are open and ears can hear them.
The Wound In My Heart
“Swami, I have something to say. I have a wound in my heart. It has not yet been healed. It hurts me every time I think of it.” I fell into silence.
Swami looked at me for some time.
“I fell in love with a boy when I was in school. I never had the courage to tell him and finally when I had to guts to open my heart, I learned that he was in love with my best friend. I couldn’t accept this. Soon I stopped talking to my best friend and my first love. It took time for me to digest the fact. But I have not fully got over it. It hurts me even now.” Tears rolled from my eyes.
“I loved him so much. But I was too late.” I cried.
“I can’t believe that I am still crying for him. You may take this silly. It is been more than 10 years, still I am crying like a stupid. After that incident I started disliking both of them. Sometimes I cry, sometime I get angry.” I sighed.
“Well, that is my love story. It got killed even before it bloomed. I have not been able to love anyone after that. I am afraid of losing again.” I looked at Swami. I waited for Swami’s response
“Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. You love him now also in a different way. You have a beautiful heart Deepa. Remember one thing a loving heart never demands love back. What matters is that, you are loving.” Swami said.
“When you love someone and that someone loves you back, isn’t it more beautiful?” I asked
“There is a verse in Bhagavatgeetha. ‘Karmaneyvadhikarastheye Maphaleshukadhanchana’. It means do your duty but never expect for any results. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. You are doing something with full heart. That is what matters. You love someone with your full heart, do not expect for his love or rejection. You just love. That is all. There is no problem and after all a loving heart is beautiful” Swami replied
“Then why I am sad? Why do I cry every time when I think of him?” I shouted at Swami.
Swami smiled. Grandma laid her hands on my shoulder. I felt bad that I shouted at Swami. He did not do anything wrong. I couldn’t control my anger.
“I am sorry Swami. Excuse me for my behavior. But I don’t understand why I am sad. My love was crushed before it was told. I keep feeling sad when I think of this.” I said.
“Listen, the reason why you are sad is that you have set conditions to be happy. You love a person and you want him to love back. This is not love. This is like business. I give you something and I demand a return. Think about how your mom loves you. She never asks anything in return. She loves you and she is happy. You have set conditions for your happiness that is why you are sad. When you set conditions to be happy, it won’t be fulfilled always. Then you feel sad. Just love for the sake of love. Never demand love. If you expect something, then you will be in misery. You have suffered for this more than 10 years. And you missed the present. He is not only the man in the world. There are plenty, but if you keep a condition that only he can make you happy… My child, you are unnecessarily asking for misery.” Swami said.
I stayed quiet for some time. I did not know what to say. For me love was a mutual thing. You give then you get. And love happens just like that. It is not in your control. I fell in love with him even though there were a million other boys. I can’t change that. May be there is a point in what he says.
“You fall in true love only once Swami” I said
“There is nothing like true love or false love, there is only love. It is just that when your love did not work out, you shut yourself completely from the world. Even if some guy knocks at your door, you won’t open. Fault is yours. Love should be like a flowing river, expecting nothing, just enjoying the flow, no matter what the destination is, and just enjoying the journey.” Swami smiled.
I sighed. Loving for no reason, loving without any expectations is new to me. How can someone love without any reason? I thought.
“Let me ask you something. Why is this guy so special to you? What made you fall for him? Swami asked.
“I don’t know the reason why I fell for him. I don’t remember. But he is very charming. He cares and helps everyone. I like the way he talks, tell jokes. He is handsome” He came to my mind when I spoke about him.
“Well, if he was not charming and handsome, was arrogant and rude, and pathetic in talking… Will you still love him?”
I have never thought about this. He is one of the finest people I ever met in my life. I couldn’t imagine him in that way. But when Swami insisted I thought about him in that way.
“If he was having a rude character and bad looks, maybe I would not have fallen for him.” I couldn’t believe what I said.
“Now you got the answer. You were unnecessarily making yourself live in misery. When light could have entered your heart, you closed your heart completely. In fact your have not really loved that person. Love happens when you love for no reason.” Swami smiled.
“How can you love someone for no reason?”
“That is the beauty of love. You do not expect anything in return. You share happiness and love, just for the joy of it. Remember one thing, the day you love for no reason is the day you become matured. Whatever is happening in the world in the name of love is hocus pocus. If love happens because of a reason then the same love will disappear for another reason.” Swami said
“Is love that fragile Swami?”
“You tell me from your experience!” Swami insisted.
“It is very fragile! Still he is handsome” I smiled.
“He is handsome not because of his looks. He is handsome because you love him. He may be the ugliest person to a man who hates him. Haven’t you noticed when you love someone his or her beauty increase? Their speech, actions and whatever they do you won’t find a fault in them. But if you hate a person no matter what good he does, you will always find a fault!”
I thought about them. Before their relation began, both were dear to me, I loved their presence around me. But the moment I knew that they were in love with each other, I started disliking them, I started finding fault with their actions, way of talking and their very presence infuriated me.
“You are right Swami” I sighed.
“Now what should I do?” I asked Swami.
“Well, it is up to you. This is your life.” Swami laughed
“I will call them today. I will ask for their forgiveness. I have been very cruel to them and me.” I promised Swami.
Swami gave a smile as usual. Grandma patted my shoulder.
One may think that I am mad. But love is mad. If I would not have told this to anyone, I would have been carrying the pain throughout my life. I am happy that I finally opened my heart. Today is my best day; I have learned so many things today than any other day in my life. My heart became light, tensions were gone, my body and mind relaxed after a long time.
The Guru Within You
“Swami, you have been sharing so many lessons to me. You know much about me now. But I have a question. Who are you Swami?” I asked Swami with a confused expression in my face.
Swami laughed uproariously. I have never seen such a full laughter. It shocked me first, and then I smiled. I had to smile.
“Tell me your opinion, who am I?” Swami counter questioned me.
“Well, people address you as Swami. Swami means master. You wear ochre colored robes. So I assume that you are a master or a Hindu saint. People come to get advice from you. You give them good advices. You shared so many good lessons with me. You are simple. There is something magnetic about you. Your presence makes me feel calm and happy. My grandma took me here, so you are important to her also. This is all I know about you.” I looked at Swami.
“I must say that you have good observation skills. Ananda, who do you think I am?” Swami looked at Ananda.
“Swami, you are my Swami. I met you a year ago. You are a man with your own opinion on everything. You gave me many wonderful advices, lessons which helped me to grow well. I am grateful to you for this. Just like a guide you showed me the way to a better life. You helped me know about myself in a deeper way. But there is something so mysterious and charming about you Swami. You are like a magnet, a light. And because of this, so many people are interested to meet you. In your presence I feel so calm and peaceful.” Ananda smiled.
“Now it is your turn!” Swami looked at Grandma
“Swami, I met you 3 months back in temple with my husband. You were having a dialogue with my husband on life and death. I have never seen or heard a person talking about things in a deep way. Then I started attending your discourses in temple. I gradually became a devotee. I have applied so many lessons you shared with me. It has been always great for me. So I brought my granddaughter to you, I thought it will also help her to have deep understanding of herself and many things.” My grandma looked at me and smiled. I was happy. She was right after all.
“Interesting.” Swami looked at us and smiled.
“Swami, tell me about you. Your name, who were you before you became Swami. How you became a Swami? How can you respond so spontaneously?” I became more curious.
“It seems that you want to know about my biography. But you must know that it doesn’t matter who I was in the past. Only ‘NOW’ matters. You have only ‘NOW’.” Swami smiled.
“I insist Swami. Please tell more about yourself.” I begged Swami.
“Hmmm, I was born in this same house 54 years ago. My parents named me Swaminath. Everyone calls me Swami. It is my nick name. I was an eccentric child. Not like the other kids who want to play and learn. I was a kid who explored the world. Enjoyed the nature and it is creation. I loved reading books. I was silent and almost alone all time reading books. My parents were afraid of my odd behavior, but I didn’t make much trouble for them, so they didn’t bothered much. I graduated and my mother insisted that I should work. As I loved books, I became a librarian of a library where very few people came. This gave me more time to read. My mother tried to get me married but I managed to escape. I was alone and silent. Then I met my master on the way back to my home. He asked me one simple question which changed my life. He asked me when will I stop reading and start living fully. This simple question was a blow in my head. My way of living, thinking, exploring and everything changed in an instant. I used to live so absent mindedly. But after that moment everything was new to me. Every sunrise, sunset, even drinking a cup of tea became beautiful for me. I started sharing my happiness to everyone. But not all were receptive. Those who were welcoming my happiness they are with me, and those who shut the door are also with me but their face turned away from me.” Swami smiled.
“You give beautiful lessons Swami and that too so spontaneously. How do you do that?” I asked Swami.
“When you are true to yourself, you become spontaneous. I don’t hide anything or manipulate it. Whatever comes from my heart I say it. If you like it you will accept it else you will condemn it. It is that simple.” Swami said.
“So you are a Guru!” I said curiously.
“I am no one’s Guru. The Guru is always within yourself guiding you always. You can call it inner voice or light or guide or whatever you want. But you are too busy to listen. You miss your own treasure and starts collecting fake gems. Then you cry over your fake gems. You are only responsible for your fate.”
“Swami, I have to work, do a lot of things. How can I listen to my inner voice when I am so busy?”
“You need to be patient. Meditation is a good technique for those who are so busy. But if you are super busy, then focus on your work fully. If you are doing a task, give your 100% for it. Do not think of other tasks you need to complete a bit later. When you are eating, just eat; totally immerse yourself in this activity. See the texture of food; feel the taste, the taste differs when you chew it every time. Have you ever noticed it? Be in the moment. Then you will be able to hear the inner voice.” Swami said.
“Swami, I keep forgetting things. It is difficult to control my mind.”
“You do not have to control anything. Just be in the moment. It will be difficult initially but you will master it eventually. Be alert. Be true to yourself. This is my experience. This is my message. You do not need any Guru, the guru is within you.” Swami smiled.
I thanked Swami. I did not know what else to say. This man has changed my view points, my beliefs, my understanding. I never imagined that a day with a wise man would change my life. He has touched my soul. He has shown me the way. Then again it is my choice whether to follow or not.
The Journey Continues
After a week stay with my grandparents I came back to Bangalore. I resumed to my daily work. I applied Swami’s wonderful message in daily life. It was difficult in the beginning and still it is. It is quite impossible to control your mind chattering. No matter how much I tried, living in the moment was quite challenging. Slowly I am learning the technique. It did affect my productivity in a good way. I became calm and at the same time loving too.
My colleagues wanted to spend more time with me. They too noticed that there is some change in me and they liked it.
Swami has no phone number or email id. So I wrote him letters. I often convey my messages to Swami via grandma. I decided that I will visit him every time I go my Grandma’s house.
What I learned after meeting Swami is that you don’t have to do big things to have a great life. When you do something with all your heart and good intentions the small life turns magical. There is beauty in small and simple things. Like a great saying ‘A thousand mile journey begins with a single step’, my journey of beautiful life has started and continues…
There is no end to my stories. It continues…
The end is actually a new beginning!
I want to thank . . .
My readers: – Thank you for choosing my book and reading it. If you liked it, thank you once again, I will be writing more. If you disliked it, I am sorry I am not the type of author you are looking for.
My friends: – Thank you for the happy and sad moments. You people add more colors to my life and you are there when I need you.
My parents: – Thank you for the love and care. Thank for motivating me always to work ;)
My husband: – You have been always very supportive and loving. You encouraged me to follow my passions. I am happy to be with you in the journey of life.
My God: – No words can express my gratitude to you. Then again, thank you dear God for everything.
Do you want to know who I am?
My name is Bella Meraki. Belli, Bella, Bells, Saima, Shona, Ikku are my other names which my dear and near one uses. I was born and brought up in Kerala, India. I am a budding author and ‘To be simple’ is my debut book. Whatever I write in this book is based on my experience and understanding. I love drawing, doodling, reading, writing and graphic designing. I love fine arts and digital arts. So I wanted to pursue my career in graphic designing. But like the majority of Indians I did my MBA as my parents told and worked for 3 years in corporate and academic institutions. Meanwhile, I also did a course in graphic designing and I am currently working as a graphic designer from home. I am married and I am now residing in Rajasthan, India. This 29th June, I will celebrate my 27th Birthday.
Connect with me
Please share your thoughts on my book. You can connect with me