1. Experiencing intense spiritual energy from His Holiness Dr Athavale
In April 2002, just before I was about to leave the ashram in Goa, I was able to meet with His Holiness Dr Athavale. At that time, even though it was alien to the culture that I came from, I had an urge to bow down in disciple position and put my forehead to His feet. Usually His Holiness Dr Athavale does not allow seekers to stand on ceremony (i.e., observe ritualistic formalities) in relation to him. Yet on this occasion He allowed me to do so. He was standing as I bent forward to touch my forehead to His toe. As soon as I touched His feet with my forehead, I felt a ripple of energy go into my Adnya chakra and then along my spine in an undulating wave-like manner. It was very prominent and tangible. After that for the next 2-3 hours my head felt heavy. Later I learned that it was subtle positive energy that I had felt. Due to its intensity, I was not able to tolerate it and hence my head felt heavy.
2. Teaching through dreams and understanding my state of mind
I became a full-time seeker of sorts in February 2005 – though at that time, I was still working part-time, most of my daily focus and time was dedicated to spiritual practice and satseva. By August 2005, I gave up even the part-time job that I had and earnestly started the satseva for the preparation of the launch of the SSRF website. I was staying in Melbourne, Australia at that time. My basic nature was such that I had a lot of faith in my bank account. Living in Melbourne the expenses were quite a lot every month and I would see my bank balance dwindling as there was now no income. Sometimes I would get into a panic with thoughts like ‘what am I doing?’, ‘how will I survive?’, ‘my money is walking out of the door’ etc. When such thoughts would consume me, I would really wonder what was going to happen in the future and there would be considerable fear attached to these thoughts.
Then one night, I had an experience that changed my outlook towards the situation. I am not sure if I was dreaming or in a waking state but I felt a voice tell me, “See Sean in worldly life when you go to work, your worldly boss gives you a salary at the end of the month. So, if you are working for Guru or God who looks after the entire Universe (both subtle and gross), then do you not think He will take care of you?”
The thought was so strong, that it went deep inside me. From that moment, my fear about my expenses disappeared. Guru gave me an elevated viewpoint and a different level of comfort about not having any money, which I had never experienced before.
Later in Dec 2006, I came to India. Though I did not know it at that time, it was to stay in the Ashram for good. By that time, I had hardly any money in my bank account as I had stopped working full-time for almost 2 years. Even though I did not know how I was going to pay my bills in Australia there was no fear as the effect of that guidance in a semi-waking state was still strong within me. I had never mentioned any of my fears or the dream to His Holiness Dr Athavale.
A month later while I was at the Ashram I heard that His Holiness Dr Athavale spoke to some other seekers about me. He said that He had asked me, “Are you not fearful of becoming a full-timer and that there will be no savings”. Then I was supposed to have replied, “God will take care.” Actually, I had not had such a conversation with His Holiness Dr Athavale, but it did capture the essence about how I was feeling after the dream. It also confirmed to me that His Holiness Dr Athavale Himself had given me that realisation in the dream.
3. Unique analytical abilities due to access to Divine Knowledge
Whenever we have gone to His Holiness Dr Athavale to review something, He always does so in the shortest possible time and sometimes even tells us where we should rework our study/research.
One such incident was when Mr Yogesh Shinde and I were working on analysing the lighting grid in the studio and how much wiring would be required for it. In this case, I had not gone into depth in analysing the requirements. I thought a brief study was enough. Later when we showed the technical diagram of the lighting grid to His Holiness Dr Athavale, He gave it a passing glance and then He very quickly told us to check one section again.
Yogesh and I went back to the drawing board and realised that our analysis was flawed in the area His Holiness Dr Athavale had pointed out. This time we went into depth and only when we were fully satisfied did we take it back to His Holiness Dr Athavale. As soon as we entered His Holiness Dr Athavale’s room and asked Him if He would like to check it, He immediately said it was not required.
Such kinds of things have happened a number of times where His Holiness Dr Athavale is able to accurately pinpoint things at a worldly level and at a spiritual level like when someone’s spiritual practice is going or not going well. This is even though He has not seen that person for a while.