Table of Contents
- 1. Short biography
- 2. Salient spiritual features
- 3. How her spiritual growth occured
- 4. Personality defect removal and inculcating Divine qualities
- 5. Ego removal
- 6. Spiritual emotion towards H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj
- 7. Message to seekers
1. Short biography
Her Holiness Lola Vezilić was born in April 1953. She is a graduate in economics and for most of her working career she organised professional congresses. Between 1991 and 1999, she lived and worked in Malaysia and Singapore. During her stay there, she got an opportunity to meet people of different cultures and learn about various types of spiritual paths and practices. At that time she was mostly drawn to spiritual healing techniques and was practicing some of them.
Since childhood, her biggest yearning and desire was to help others to be happy and remove their worries. In many life situations, she was trying to comfort her family and friends with the same intention. Even though she had her own concerns, she was able to put them aside at the time and take genuine interest in others’ situations and problems.
In the year 2000, she started spiritual practice as advised by SSRF.
In the year 2006 she was at a spiritual level of 50%, and after that within just 2 years her spiritual level increased to 60%.
In January 2012, she reached Sainthood (70% spiritual level). At the time of publishing this article (September 2014), Her spiritual level is 75%.
2. Salient spiritual features
Some salient spiritual features of H.H. Lola Vezilić are:
- Constant communion with the God Principle
- Intense spiritual emotion for H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj
- She constantly experiences and imparts Bliss (Ānand)
- Spiritual love without expectations for everyone
- Forgetting self and thinking about others
3. How her spiritual growth occured
We spoke to H.H. Lola Vezilić to learn about Her spiritual journey and to understand the efforts She took for rapid spiritual growth.
We asked H.H. Lola Vezilić (spiritual level 75%) to tell us about her experience of chanting.
H.H. Lola: “I was very fond of chanting and developed a liking for it very fast due to realizing its benefits. The benefits were that my mind was much calmer and I gained more clarity. I was very fond of sitting and chanting for some hours during the day. Over time, I started to experience Bliss while chanting. Now even thinking about chanting brings Bliss. I am not so much aware of the words, but of that Bliss that is generated when I think of chanting.
“Whenever I went through some low phase, or I felt like spiritual practice is not going well or there were some worldly problems, then I felt that if I sit and chant for a while my mind would become calmer and then I would be able to find some new solutions and would be able to resolve the problem. During chanting there would be some prayers offered too and that would calm the mind so solutions would then be seen very clearly and applied.
“Also chanting gave an experience of God. After a few years I started to experience God’s presence through chanting. I felt His presence in the form of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj. While chanting, I would experience His presence. And slowly I realized that my aim of doing spiritual practice was actually to experience God’s presence. Experiencing God’s presence, gives very beautiful experiences, though beautiful is very inadequate a word to explain that feeling. It is about forgetting the self and becoming aware of God’s presence, vastness, Bliss, Peace, and so much more than mere words can describe.”
3.2 Being in the Company of Truth (Satsangs)
H.H. Lola: “Our first satsangs consisted of just reading SSRF’s Holy texts and trying to understand something from them. Very limited understanding would transpire due to the limitations of our mind and intellect. But we all felt that there was something very important and very beautiful behind these words that we would be able to realize and experience after studying for some time. That kept us going and kept us wanting to be in satsang.
“Satsang could be either with seekers or it could be the satsang of Holy books or further still the satsang of Saints or Gurus, which is the highest form of satsang. In those satsangs, in one way or another, the presence of God is experienced. This always gives enthusiasm, much joy and also some understanding of the concepts or principles of spiritual practice. Of course, the satsang of Saints and the Guru is the highest form of satsang and it always brings the highest form of happiness, joy and knowledge.
“The more Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) there is during the satsang, the better we feel. I feel that satsang with Saints and the Guru has the highest form of Chaitanya and Chaitanya gives us enthusiasm for spiritual practice and desire to continue. It also gives us the Bliss and joy of life and spiritual practice.”
3.3 Service unto the Absolute Truth (Satseva) of looking after seekers’ spiritual practice
Long before reaching Sainthood, H.H. Lola guided seekers in their individual spiritual practice. We asked her to tell us about this.
H.H. Lola: “I was very fortunate to get very beautiful sevas (service to the Absolute Truth). One was to take care of seekers and of their spiritual practice. When taking care of seekers I felt that God entrusted me with His children to take care of, and at one point I felt like I have so many children and it is so nice. In reality I only have one daughter but then having to take care of all these seekers made me feel very rich and I felt that God has given me His children to take care of.
“At first I looked at this as my responsibility or duty and was very strict with myself when it came to seekers. I felt that seekers need to be given the best and that they should be treated with the utmost care and love. Later on it became so natural and I would feel that now God Himself is taking care of seekers, so there is no big deal about it. It just flowed naturally. It is not love as we feel in worldly life. It’s a different kind of love. It’s very deep. His love and His care is just generated and is just flowing. So the seva was done even without thinking what should be done or how it should be done because God Himself gives the thoughts about what should be done and then automatically gets it done.”
3.4 Experiencing Divine love when visiting her place
Due to taking guidance from H.H. Lola, many seekers frequently visit her place. They all experience a different feeling while spending time there. We asked H.H. Lola the reason for this experience.
H.H. Lola: “Lots of joy is experienced in the company of seekers. If for some reason seekers don’t visit I start to feel restless. I feel closer to seekers than to any family member. This closeness and love for seekers is felt from within and it could be best described as ‘I belong to seekers and spiritual practice’.
“God has graced me with this precious gift of love for others and desire to do something small to make seekers feel comfortable, accepted, loved and peaceful. Naturally thoughts of what can be done for others just flow from within and some simple actions happen. Cooking something they like, enquiring about seekers wellbeing, about their family members, sharing their happiness and sorrows, listening to problems, suggesting solutions for spiritual practice and life, laughing with them, etc. like mothers do.
“Sometimes I feel happy for the fact that seekers are there, just seeing them or just thinking about them. I feel closeness with small children due to their simplicity, openness and honesty; sometimes we play together or speak about things of their interest. When seeing others’ happiness, that fills me with immense joy and Bliss and at that time I forget myself and feel as if I ‘live for others’. I am very grateful to God for giving me so much of His love to share with others.”
3.5 Spiritual healing
The other satseva H.H. Lola performed was spiritual healing on seekers.
“I was delighted to do this seva. Due to H.H. Dr. Athavale’s immense spiritual love for seekers He has graced me with the opportunity to perform spiritual healing for them. For a long time prior to that I had felt that seekers with severe distress are going through so much suffering and how nice it would be if someone could perform spiritual healing and help reduce their distress.
“Through this satseva I always felt that my time is utilised very meaningfully for the purpose of helping to ease suffering, remove obstacles and encourage seekers to endure and fight distress. I experienced that I am not doing anything as per the prayer that His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj inspired: ‘Let there be no me in this spiritual healing, only You remain. You only sit, breathe, chant, pray and perform spiritual healing on Your seekers.’
“Through spiritual healing seva I learnt even more that no matter how I feel at the time it was not important. It is seekers in distress who are the most important. So during this satseva, due to the grace of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj, I was able to forget about myself and concentrate fully on seekers by trying to understand how they feel during distress and what spiritual healing will help them the most. Sometimes for hours there wouldn’t be any sign of a seeker’s distress reducing. At such times, only due to His grace was I able to persevere and have faith that eventually the seeker would start to feel better. The joy that was experienced when even a small sign of betterment would appear can’t be compared with even the highest form of worldly happiness. At those moments I would feel overpowered with the spiritual emotion of gratitude. When thinking about this seva now the gratitude is that H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj and H.H. Dr. Athavale were moving mountains and I was only holding a tiny stick to support it.”
Several seekers’ experiences of spiritual healing in the presence of H.H. Lola before Her Sainthood was announced:
• “Whenever She performs spiritual healing, it’s all white, and I feel a lot of Divine love. She is bathed in Divine light.”
• “For the last few months, I’ve been feeling a Deity doing spiritual healing through Her. Sometimes it would feel like H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj performing spiritual healing through Her. I had strong thoughts that She is a Saint.”
• “During spiritual healing with Her, I felt it’s almost like She’s not there, and She is neither male nor female.”
• “Many times in the spiritual healing sessions I would feel the presence of Baba (H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj). I would feel Her existence is not there, there is just Baba. Whenever we got a glimpse of Her, She was translucent, almost transparent.”
3.6 Satseva of conducting satsangs
Many seekers benefit immensely from attending the satsangs that H.H. Lola conducts. Their spiritual growth happens at a rapid rate, too. In 2013, the spiritual level of many seekers across the world increased by an average of 5% due to guidance and Divine consciousness received from Her satsangs. We asked Her how She goes about this satseva.
H.H. Lola: “For several years, satsang conducting has been a main satseva for me and nowadays it is happening daily. Over the years of conducting satsang, my approach to it has changed. In the beginning the focus was more on the self, with thoughts of what to tell, not to miss some points etc. At that time there was also fear of public speaking. By practicing satsang conducting, slowly the fear I had reduced and the focus shifted to seekers who were attending satsang. More thought was given to others and desire for seekers to make progress grew.
“Now, after the prayer at the beginning of the satsang, my whole attention goes to seekers and there are no thoughts about self. God gives clear thoughts and a very fine feeling of what is required for each seeker. During the Satsang I feel closeness with seekers and gratitude and unity with the God principle in all of them. I am also learning from whatever is told to seekers.
“The main aim in satsang conducting seva is that seekers feel welcome, understood and appreciated so that everyone looks forward to coming for satsang. Due to God’s grace each satsang is different and one feels fresh and never gets bored, due to Divine consciousness that is felt in the atmosphere. Sometimes, lots of patience and encouragement and explanations need to be given repetitively until each seeker grasps the perspectives given. After the satsang every one feels charged with Divine consciousness and joy. I am grateful to God for keeping me in continuous contact with seekers through this seva. I am so blessed to witness how seekers are transformed for the better over time. The amount of joy that I feel when this happens is much more than any kind of personal happiness.”
4. Personality defect removal and inculcating Divine qualities
We asked H.H. Lola to tell us how she went about removing personality defects during Her spiritual journey.
H.H. Lola: “When this process of internal purification or personality defect removal was introduced, I was very happy. The happiness was due to the fact that all of my life I have been trying to remove my defects because I was aware of them. After trying successfully for a while, my concentration would reduce and my defects would reappear and I would need to start the process of removing them again. This process repeated itself many times and then I realized that there is no way you can reduce your defects on your own at the psychological level. So then I didn’t know what to do.
“At that time, the personality defect removal process was introduced and due to this I felt from within that this process will permanently remove some or many defects. This is why I felt very happy and joyful and started to do autosuggestions and write mistakes. Even now, I somehow feel that whatever happened in the course of that process of personality defect removal was surrendered at God’s feet. He helped replace defects with qualities.”
We asked her whether She still gets reactions nowadays.
H.H. Lola: “Now reactions rarely happen. When they happen, somehow the level of surrender is greater. Somehow the surrender is deeper and any friction or excessive thoughts just get removed very fast. Some understanding of what is correct comes in a very short time. I was not aware of this before you asked the question. I am not aware of most of these things but when you ask the questions I keep on thinking and describing how it is now.”
We then asked her about developing Divine qualities through spiritual practice.
H.H. Lola: “When defects reduce, qualities naturally increase and these processes happen simultaneously. With time I realized that the process of imbibing qualities is actually the process of returning back to our original or natural state. God is full of qualities and this was our natural state. Due to developing many defects over time we went far away from God or from that natural state. The qualities that I am very grateful for are the quality of feeling gratitude, the quality of being able to surrender and the quality of feeling Blissful. These are all God’s qualities.”
5. Ego removal
We also asked her to tell us something about reducing our ego.
H.H. Lola: “This feeling that we are different from God is actually taking us away from God and to come closer to God we need to have more of a feeling that God and I are the same rather than feeling we are different. I don’t know how this process actually happens. I am very ignorant about it. I can only share what efforts were there. Many prayers were there and many times I would imagine that I am as small as a dot in front of God. This always gives me a feeling of much gratitude and a feeling of being very humble in front of God Who is the Almighty, all knower, and all powerful and I am in front of Him like one dot. That immediately brings a feeling of lower ego. Sometimes I would imagine how I would walk towards God and along the way become smaller and smaller until I again become like a dot. Then I prayed and observed how I felt, how I responded and how I behaved.
“We are fortunate that we have been given so many examples of ego manifestations (in the prepared list of ego manifestations) so that at any point of time we can know that certain kinds of thoughts we get are ego manifestations. In that sense it is very easy to recognize ego thoughts and then surrender them, pray and also give auto-suggestions so the ego gets removed.
“Since ego is very subtle, we cannot do much about it. What we can do is do what Saints and spiritually evolved people tell us to do. If we follow that and we have desire, then God reduces our ego. We cannot reduce our ego by any means. If we have desire that God reduces our ego and we open up to Him and let Him do it, this process becomes very Blissful. God immediately creates situations to show us our ego because we need to know or accept we have some ego, and the moment we accept and pray to Him and the moment we surrender that ego to God we will remove that ego either at once or gradually. Ego is the biggest obstacle in our spiritual practice because the ego gives that feeling that we are separate or different from God.
“The less the ego, the more the experience of God, and the less the ego the more Prīti or love towards all of God’s creation.”
6. Spiritual emotion towards H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj
Since the beginning of spiritual practice, H.H. Lola Vezilić had different ways of connecting to God or remaining in communion with Him. The one from Whom she always derives the most inspiration and connection is H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj (Baba) who is not in the body since 1995. (H.H. Lola started spiritual practice in 2000.) This is very unusual, so we asked her to tell us about it.
H.H. Lola: “Even to this day I don’t know how it really happened, but what I can say is that I feel that H.H. Baba inspired that connection and created that bond. During a very difficult time in my spiritual practice when I was depressed, didn’t know how to carry on, when things didn’t look so bright, somehow that connection grew stronger and stronger at that time and often I felt relieved just by looking at and chanting in front of His photo. When we crave from within, feel helpless, I feel the more difficult the situation we are faced with, the more our urge to get help from God is. Due to this, I simply felt that He knows my every thought even more than I know about myself. Whatever is called ‘me’, He knows. I just surrendered to Him. In the beginning I talked to Him in words, and later it became a conversation without words. He is looking, He knows the thoughts and He will solve whatever the problem is. This is the most beautiful relationship in life.”
7. Message to seekers
At the end of our conversation we asked her whether she has any message for seekers.
H.H. Lola: “I just want to say to seekers or those who will become seekers that there is a whole world that we are unaware of before we start spiritual practice. Once we start spiritual practice, then we slowly realize that our life has some very deep and wonderful meaning and that all events that are happening to us are created by God.
“By living life we can become better, we can move closer to God, we can experience Bliss and Peace, we can love others and we can love everything that God has created. To be able to do that, all we have to do is follow the guidance which is very simple in the beginning like chanting, prayers, attending satsangs, and doing a little bit of satseva. Gradually, by doing spiritual practice we can become very happy and Blissful. We can also help others to become the same.”