1. Starting spiritual practice after meeting His Holiness Dr Athavale
In 2011, I was going through some difficult situations in my life. From within, I felt drawn to travel to India to visit an Ashram. When I searched for ‘Ashrams in India’ on the Internet, the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram, Goa, India was on the first page of the search results. I corresponded with SSRF seekers and arranged for a visit to the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram.
When I arrived at the Ashram, I felt very peaceful from within and I was inspired to learn more about spiritual practice. The seekers took me on a tour around the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram. At the end of the tour, I was expecting that I would be leaving, but to my surprise seekers told me that His Holiness Dr Athavale wanted me to join a satsang that was planned with some other seekers who were visiting the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram from outside India.
During the satsang, His Holiness Dr Athavale spoke to us about what efforts we can make to progress spiritually. What really astonished me was that I had three questions in mind about Spirituality, and even though I did not ask them verbally, His Holiness Dr Athavale answered each of these questions precisely. I was in awe wondering how He knew what questions I had in mind. When He saw the surprised look on my face, He looked at me with a lot of love. I felt that He knew exactly what I was thinking.
After the satsang, I expressed to seekers that I would like to stay longer in the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram to learn more about spiritual practice. I was grateful when they told me that I could stay. During this time, I learned so much that I ended up staying for 6 months. Since then, I have continued my spiritual practice under the guidance of SSRF, and I have had many such experiences that have developed my faith in God.
Editor’s note : The Guru Principle is aware of the spiritual potential of each seeker. Since His Holiness Dr Athavale is a higher level Saint, the Guru Principle works through Him to a large extent. This is why His Holiness Dr Athavale was able to understand the spiritual potential of Gerlinde and called her for the satsang even before meeting her.
Similarly, His Holiness Dr Athavale agreed when Gerlinde asked to stay at the ashram longer because of her spiritual potential. For a seeker to be able to stay for 6 months in the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram, sincere desire and a base of spiritual practice from past births is needed.
The Guru Principle is omniscient and knows what is required for each seeker. Due to this, the Guru Principle answered Gerlinde’s questions through His Holiness Dr Athavale without her having to ask them. Many seekers have had the same experience while in satsang with His Holiness Dr Athavale.