I first received the blessing of chandan very early one morning a long time ago. I was in my early 20’s and I was visiting Cisternino during Gurupurnima.
This moment is framed in my memory as something very alive and real. Even now while typing this message the intensity of my feeling then, has returned to me. It was the first time I realised a mature and universal side of myself, and Babaji is the most beautiful way through which I could have realised this. The power of realising something that happens in your life that comes from unconditional love and openness, results in a process of learning that will never leave the body. Bowing at Babaji’s feet I received the blessing of his first teaching: TRUTH.
I was not born in a Babaji family, but I have been friends with the son of a good member of the community, a friend with whom I have felt a deep respect. I was lucky enough to take all the time I needed to build the first real connection with the deepest part of myself, with Babaji. Nobody pushed me to be part of this; it was a natural inner calling. The impact of Babaji on me during this first chandan has never left me. It became a strong foundation for my relationship to the Babaji community. Back then I couldn’t put the thoughts in words, but I started to listen to my heart. The smell of sandal wood and incense, the fresh sensation on my forehead and the peaceful sound of the morning chanting, opened my heart in devotion towards this Being. The rest of that week became a continuous revelation of Babaji’s teachings; firstly because I got close to the devotees; secondly because I had the best time of my life where the words freedom and peace became the brushes I used to start to paint my journey of devotion. Wearing simple clothes all day, showering in the early morning, chanting the names of Babaji, attending the fire where I understood and realised things, and connecting to nature, all taught me so much about devotion. Walking barefoot and embracing all this diversity connected me with the teaching of SIMPLICITY!
So after ten years of intense relationship with the Guru, after many aartis (and some of the most beautiful prayers that I’ve personally experienced from the many religions in the world), I still feel that my connection with devotees is at the surface level ! I feel more connected with the younger generation in the Babaji community: we are very communicative and respectful with each other. For a number of years I have taken care of the Chai Shop during Gurupurnima, especially in Holland, where I currently live. I have learned that it is better to do something and apologise afterwards than ask for permission and never do anything. I see a bit of a big gap between generations and I feel that this gap sometimes creates such bad communications, just as misunderstandings can occur within people of the same family. But I think I have the neutrality to see things with less of a father and son perspective. This latter relationship can become quite disruptive despite the unconditional love that could exist between a father and his child. So here I have a question for the ‘older’ devotees: “What feelings were passing through you while sitting next to Babaji? Was it like sitting with a father? Were there similarities between your relationship with Him as father and your relationships to your own children and to the younger generation ? Are there similarities or have there been big differences, and if so, why ? ”
It is so important to respect each other with truth and simplicity and do everything possible to maintain, innovate, and create change, to build, or start again these universal teachings, within these holy ashrams. This will benefit the world, to challenge ourselves every day toward: LOVE.
Since my calling from Babaji comes through music, I now can talk about Babaji. I play bhajans and try to spread the word about his teachings. I also try to learn and go deeper in my relating with the older devotees. I maintain connections with the younger generation, with their desires and ideas, sharing my thoughts when needed and helping with my time and hands when I can. Like many who never met Babaji, or who were not born with him while he was in body, I feel at an advantage because, without this attachment to him in body and the emotional connections of such, I can be another facilitator in bringing change to our communications within the Babaji community, particularly between the younger and older devotees. I hope that my words are heard and understood enough by you, because I want you to know that you have a brother within this family. With truth, simplicity and love, I wish you well.