Table of Contents
From childhood I was inclined towards Spirituality even though I didn’t know the real meaning of it. Inside me I always had faith that God will always take care of me.
I was raised in a Hindu family, following rituals and the daily worship of God. I started fasting from the age of 11 and I liked God, especially Lord Ram (a Supreme Deity) as I felt close to Him. When I was 12 years old I started learning the Shrī Ram stotra (Holy verses) in Sanskrit language and reading spiritual Holy texts; I had a liking for Saints and I started chanting the Name of ‘Shri Ram’ when I was 12 years old.
In my family, my younger brother always had some health issues and had many problems in life. During my teen years, my family kept facing many difficulties, for example: cracks developing in the house, losing bicycles, my brother disappearing for several days and my mother having health issues.
Generally, through my prayers to God I was asking for a good life and academic success. In 1997 my brother went through major brain surgery, which affected his vision. Doctors said that we were fortunate to have him alive. This was a turning point for me. I used to ask God questions, such as ‘Why is this is happening to us?’ My parents were shattered both emotionally and financially. This disturbed me to the point that I used to pray to God to let me die instead of my brother, to let me suffer, but spare him. I was also very hurt seeing my younger brother having to deal with poor vision, and needing help in everything. I used to worry about his future. Seeing my parents’ grief was hard on me. When I was 18 years old (in 1996), I started working full time to support my studies (Bachelor’s degree of Electronics Engineering). Daily, I used to wake up at 6 am in the morning and would go to bed after midnight (sometimes 2-3 am in the morning).
2. Questions in my mind
Following my brother’s surgery, I started thinking that there is definitely something going on that we do not know about. There were many questions in my mind. Some questions I remember were, ‘Why is my younger brother the only one who has a problem and not me or my older brother?’ ‘Why do people have different religions, beliefs, faith and paths?’ ‘Does success occur only due to our efforts?’ ‘Is everything in our hands?’ ‘Can anyone stop death?’
I started reading a spiritual text given to me by my uncle but couldn’t continue as my family was asking me to stay focused on my studies and were not too keen on me reading such books. They were afraid that I would go far away from worldly life if I continued reading this book. I recited one stotra every day, continued with my chanting, and kept ensuring that my life style was mostly sāttvik during this time. But I used to often have dreams of many snakes troubling me, though never harming me. (Later I came to know from SSRF that this was a sign of problems with ancestral spirits).
3. Life style changed in the USA
I married in 1999 and came to the USA with my husband. My life changed completely and I started using make-up, wearing different types of clothing (wearing black etc.), and I started taking interest in beauty and different hair styles. I had difficulty adjusting to the environment and was nostalgic about my native country.
One positive thing was that now I had enough time to read spiritual texts from the library.
In 2002 I was graced with a son. A friend of one SSRF seeker visited us and she introduced us to the SSRF website. I started reading this website every now and then whenever I had time, or out of curiosity if I had a question about something. I continued my previous chanting, stotras and daily worship of God in USA during this time and was looking for a job. I also wanted to continue my studies at the University to attain a Master’s degree.
In the period from 2004-2006, I joined a Master’s program in California, and again started working full time. Due to my hectic schedule, a small child, job, chores and health problems I started developing high levels of stress. My daily recitation of stotras almost stopped (I was even forgetting the words of it). Daily worship of God stopped as well. It became hard to chant during the day, which was much easier back in my home country.
During this time, I fell ill with a small cough that lasted for weeks and when I took medication for it, I experienced side effects. One of the medicines was making me drowsy and the other one was keeping me awake. These side effects lasted for a few weeks but the resulting impact lasted longer. The medication had a detrimental effect on my mind too. I was unable to understand what was happening to me. I started feeling insecure and having increasing feelings of inferiority. Also, my grades at the University started dropping. And even though I was doing whatever I could to make things better, nothing was working out well for me. Fights with my husband increased a lot. I started experiencing some subtle-entity in the house and became fearful. I didn’t realize at all that I had such a weak mind. I was not able to understand what reality was and what was just a dream. My husband and friends did not understand what was wrong with me. At times I felt that someone was following me at work, in school and even in the house. (Editor’s note: One can feel like this due to one’s sixth sense noticing a subtle-entity around one.)
4. Unexplained events
1. A couple of times my husband and I forgot the house keys, thus causing us trouble. Once I left the key in the car so I was locked out.
2. One day, I came home unexpectedly and saw that the apartment door was wide open. I thought that maybe my husband was working from home but when I entered the house there was no one inside.
3. During that time, I used to feel a great deal of anger towards my husband and son.
4. I visited the hospital emergency room many times but there was nothing wrong with me either medically or psychologically.
5. One night I was fast asleep and then I felt that someone was going out of the apartment so I suddenly got up. I saw that my son (2 years old at that time) and my husband were fast asleep in a different room but the main door to the apartment was unlocked.
6. When I was alone in the house, weird things used to happen. I would also feel something quite like Déjà vu and that I was re-living some event or the other.
7. One day our TV was on and the scene that was being telecast on it was exactly what was happening with me at that very moment. I used to be surprised, wondering ‘How could this happen?’
Due to these and other similar experiences, I felt like I was losing my mind because I could not understand why all this was happening. I was fearful and started losing the ability to make a decision even for very small things. For example: ‘What do I wear if I have to go out?’ I used to take 15-20 minutes to decide what goes well with a shirt or would just keep checking various combinations of clothes. Once while walking in a shopping mall, I felt so drained of energy that it was difficult to take even one more step and I wanted to sleep right there.
In 2006 I left my job and took a break from studies as I could not bear all that was happening to me.
During this time, the SSRF website helped me. I used to visit different spiritual sites to find solutions or out of curiosity to my questions such as, ‘Do ghosts really exist?’, ‘What was I experiencing?’ Often I used to land on the SSRF site page where His Holiness Dr Athavale’s photo was and I would unknowingly be talking angrily to His photo.
5. Starting spiritual practice
During this short break from work and pursuing my Master’s program in 2007, I felt some relief. I was able to resume my daily ritualistic worship, chanting and get a new job. In 2008 we bought a new house and moved to a different area. Within a year, I conceived and soon after I again came in contact with one more seeker of SSRF. My spiritual practice started in 2009 while I was pregnant for the second time.
From SSRF, I learned about the chant for removal of ancestral problems and negative energies, about ghosts, Déjà vu etc. In the beginning, while chanting the Shrī Gurudev Datta chant I had a hard time concentrating but later concentration started happening naturally. In the beginning of July 2009 I started attending the SSRF public Company of the Truth (satsang) for North America every Friday. I asked questions through the SSRF login facility and my study of the website started in a real sense. Many of the questions I had during the satsang were answered without me asking. (Editor’s note: This is how the Teaching Principle of God works.)
Many questions from my childhood were also answered, and I started understanding the concept of destiny. I realized why I was seeing snakes in my dreams and why only my brother had to go through surgery. When I started practising Spirituality and implementing what I learned in satsangs, many spiritual experiences helped me in increasing my faith and showing me that this was a true path to God. I started feeling that this was what I was looking for, for many years. I was very grateful to know about spiritual healing remedies, company of the Truth, service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā), spiritual cleansing of the house. Also, this helped a great deal to reduce the fights between my husband and me. I started making efforts to become sattvik, to eat sattvik food, wear sattvik clothes (e.g., I stopped wearing black) and started tying my hair in a sattvik manner. My husband also started attending satsangs and started spiritual practice.
6. Visit to His Holiness Pande Maharaj
In 2010, I visited a highly evolved Saint (H.H. Pande Maharaj) with my 2 children and my husband. He asked me why I was unhappy and my tears started flowing. I started crying for no reason. I didn’t want to look at Him. Later I came to know (because a seeker with evolved 6th sense told me) that my eyes were affected by negative energy; consequently, I understood why I couldn’t look at the Saint. I also learned that sins are dissolved if one cries with remorse before a Saint. He called me to sit near Him and I was blessed with a hug. I felt His immense love for me. I felt warmth and a lot of positive energy. I felt that I found the most secure place in the whole world that I had always been looking for. I guess spiritual healing happened on me due to His presence. (Editor’s note: H.H. Pande Maharaj is a Saint at 86% spiritual level and indeed spiritual healing happens in His presence automatically.)
H.H. Pande Maharaj looked at my one year old daughter and eight year old son and said to me that the children are born from the higher region of heaven (Uccharswarga lok) which is one of the regions of afterlife. I was surprised but also felt immense gratitude that these little children are already seekers of God from higher regions of the Universe and that they have come to our family for their spiritual progress.
I was told to work on my personality defects of anger and stubbornness. I started the personality defect removal aspect of spiritual practice. It took almost one year for my anger to reduce and I slowly started feeling better about myself. I started feeling that this aspect of spiritual practice on the SSRF Path of Guru’s grace is helping to reduce my personality defects in a real sense.
It was difficult for me to accept the negative energy distress I had and the many obstacles I faced in performing my service unto the Absolute Truth. I often used to feel I am not capable of doing any service unto the Absolute Truth, but always co-seekers helped me and encouraged me to do spiritual healing before I started. After spiritual healing and chanting these negative thoughts would vanish completely.
My dreams of snakes stopped within the first few years of spiritual practice as well as my restlessness, which manifest as rapid movement of my legs. My mind became calmer and going to bed late at night stopped gradually.
7. First visit to SSRF Spiritual Research Centre in 2012
In this visit the biggest learning for me was how God knows each and every thought in our mind. One of the questions which I had asked in my mind to God was answered without asking it to anyone. I learned what gratitude is in a real sense when I witnessed seekers of God doing activities in each and every aspect of their life with the sole aim of realizing God. I experienced positive energy in the entire SSRF Spiritual Research Centre. I also realized that it is only my feeling that I am separate from God. I made a firm resolve that I want to surrender and sacrifice everything to God (Actually, nothing is mine. It always belonged to Him). It is due to my ego that I always thought that what is in my mind is unknown to others but now I realized that God knows all.
After this first visit, within six months I came again to SSRF Spiritual Research Centre for the SSRF Spiritual Workshop in December of 2012. This visit was unexpected but was very Blissful and my personality defect removal and ego removal process occurred in a much deeper manner. I realized my deep rooted personality defects after this Workshop. I learned what true spiritual introversion was, how to accept mistakes and how to correct them. I also came to understand that undergoing destiny calmly is part of spiritual practice, and further how my thinking was very stubborn at times and how my personality defects caused unhappiness throughout my life.
I cannot find words to express gratitude to God and to SSRF for clarifying my doubts and for guiding me towards God. I am continuing with my efforts in spiritual practice and taking small steps towards God.
– Mrs. V.D., USA