Who are you and what is happening in your life ?
Good question. I would like to start with expressing my intense gratitude to Babaji as He truly has transformed me. Thirty years back I was like any regular person in a big city, running after material things. Once I started going to the ashram, subtle changes started to happen in my life. I did not realise it then, but looking back it was also the reason that I wanted to leave the city and move closer to nature, where I could ‘discover’ myself. Those years have been a journey in self discovery. I find that circumstances in life don’t change fundamentally, in the sense that we all go through cycles of highs and lows, but what can change is how we view our circumstances. That has really changed for me, for instance when I’m passing through a difficult phase in my life, I never lose sleep mulling over it, I sleep with confidence and faith that this also will pass. Then the realisation comes that bliss is within and it’s no use to looking for happiness outside of oneself. I can say in humility but with confidence that I have reached a certain stage of equilibrium. I travel a lot and being away from home and living alone is also an opportunity. My deepest meditation periods are when I am abroad. I do several hours of meditation each day. I think I have become a more stable and serene person. Situations or other people do not affect me so much anymore as it would in the past. So Babaji had a big influence and impact on my life.
How are you translating your experience with Babaji into your daily life ?
I try to remember that I do not have to do very complicated rituals but do my best to apply the 3 guidelines that Babaji has given: Satya, Saralata, Prem or Truth, Simplicity and Love. From whatever I have learned in the last decades, I believe that even if we practiced only one of these in our daily life, with real sincerity, then that will bring us to another level of consciousness in our life. So if we are aware of this every day and try to practice that guideline consciously, it will in due course enter into our subconscious. This then leads to our becoming less judgemental: with the awareness that somebody else is behaving in a certain way because of his karmas, his past or present circumstances, and then we become simply a Drushta or Witness. I can only correct myself, and be compassionate towards others. So this can now come naturally from our subconscious. If I am unable to do anything about a situation, then at least I may give a smile or a hug, somehow touching the other from the core of my heart.
How do you experience Babaji in your daily life ?
Some years ago I decided to become an NRI, a non-resident Indian, where I have to spend at least 6 months a year abroad. That was not a happy decision at times, because I had to leave my family for long stretches of time and be alone. But Babaji has been a great support in never making me feel lonely. I feel His presence when I do my meditations. I have a feeling He is watching over what we are doing and guiding us in what we are doing. He has also clearly said that we have to do our part. We have to do our sadhana, our cleansing, but when we do, He will be with us, giving us a hand, a push, or a shoulder to lean on. At times it was almost physical that I felt His presence. I have actually never shared it with anybody, not even with my wife. And now you are sharing it with our group of devotees – and somehow for a reason..….
Babaji’s message to the world was to learn to love each other. Do you have an inspiring story or something to say about this?
What I have learned from Babaji and also from other masters, is that on this journey of loving, you actually do not teach anything to others; you just do it, hence setting an example for others. Many teachers have told us not to try to teach our children or others to be good people. Be a good person yourself. If you want your kids to love you, you have to love your parents, lead by example. This is how the virtuous cycle happens. Bringing up children is really challenging in this fast-changing world nowadays. We do not have to give them sermons on what they should or should not do; we have to live by example. This is also true of our interaction with others. Whatever we give in terms of love or compassionate help to others always comes back tenfold. Maybe not from that particular person, but I find that a good deed done in a selfless way, even 40 years back, always brings manifold blessings. A simple act of generosity, kindness or help that you give somebody goes into your Karmic account – and one day, this life or the next, it will come back to you.
I have seen it happening many times in my own life. I have a friend who started his career with me in the same company. In 1976 I went off to the Philippines and my friend was posted to Yemen. While he was there, he wrote to me that Yemen was a barren and desolate country, and even though he had a good job he was unhappy. I told him to come to the Philippines, and I suggested he do his MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, as it would be good for his career. He followed up on my suggestion, and went through the interviews and came to study at that institute, where he did very well in his exams. He started a long and successful career, and became a senior banker and then CEO of some big companies. Now his house in Delhi is my second home, and we have a very enduring friendship. When I helped him in 1977, it was simply an act of loving support, without any motive, but it earned me a lifetime of his friendship and support. Any act of Love creates a virtuous cycle and keeps enriching us spiritually. It is the nature of nature, you put a seed in the ground and it will give back manyfold.