I had many beautiful, intense spiritual experiences during my Atma Kriya Yoga practices but soon learned those were not the aim or the goal. The more important aim was to be lost in the waves of Love of guru and God within the heart.
Written by: Thasarathan
In 2009, I was celebrating my seventh New Year’s Eve in Russia. I was a final year medical student in the historical town of Crimea. Back then it was part of Ukraine, an ex-Soviet Union nation. I had moved for medical school and had arrived as a traditional Hindu boy. In those seven years, I had grown to learn the Russian ways of consuming alcohol, red meat (which Hindus usually do not consume), and the need to toast and have a party for every occasion.
New Year celebrations were no different and involved drinking vodka with continuous meals at midnight and most importantly the countdown which ends with 360 degrees panoramic view of salute fireworks. Back in Malaysia where I come from, such fireworks were banned but in Russia, anyone could purchase them.
Despite this, I always had one foot on the ground and was not out of control. This time around, I asked myself why I only experimented on bad habits but not on good ones. So instead of joining the festivities like usual, I decided not to celebrate, but to sit in mediation instead. The clock was ticking closer to midnight, I locked myself into my room, sat on the floor comfortably and started chanting japa while focusing on my third eye.
As the clock stroked midnight, the noise outside increased exponentially with cheers and fireworks. My chanting became intensified, I chanted very loudly to match the noise outside and continued to focus deeply on my third eye. Suddenly I saw a bright light at the top of my head.
When our eyes are closed, we can perceive a dark visual field. If we sit in front of a computer screen with our eyes closed, we will perceive a brighter visual field usually with a tinge of redness. Basically, we are perceiving the eyelids partially illuminated by the lights from the computer screen. However, I was with my eyes closed in a dark room. Where did the light come from? These were the thoughts of a medical student. I immediately opened my eyes to see if there were any external lights, but the room was completely dark.
I closed my eyes again and continue to chant. After a minute or two, the light on top of my head appeared again. I got extremely excited, stopped meditating, and rushed to my girlfriend’s room. I started telling her my experience ecstatically and we both sat down to meditate. That was when our journey to meditate began. So many new questions popped up as we explored to a new terrain of the mind. I started to become extremely happy every day until came a moment when I needed a guru for further guidance.
A few years later, I learned Atma Kriya Yoga which ultimately led me to my guru, Paramahamsa Vishwananda. By then, I had many beautiful, intense spiritual experiences during my Atma Kriya Yoga practices but soon learned those were not the aim or the goal. The more important aim was to be lost in the waves of Love of guru and God within the heart. This Love is not only experienced during meditation but can be tapped into throughout the day within one’s heart. This is what I try to hold on to during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is the act of going back to the arms my guru within my heart where the external world and circumstances do not have any power. My happiness comes to be based on my internal state, not the external illusions. Both the microcosm and the macrocosm, the inside and the outside are only Narayana.