Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Teenage years
- 3. Anorexic tendencies
- 4. Attention seeking
- 5. Hiding the anorexic problem and having a shopping addiction
- 6. Getting to know SSRF
- 7. Starting spiritual practice
- 8. Visiting the SSRF Spiritual Research Centre in Goa
- 9. Becoming aware of a negative entity within me
- 10. Current state (2014)
When I was about 5 years old, I used to lie in bed and wonder why I was born, why my parents are the way they are and why I was not born into a different family. I would wonder what I was before I was conceived and what my future would look like. However, I would not find any answer to these thoughts.
Actually, I never believed in God or followed any religion. In my mind I had a bad image about God. Children in kindergarten or school told me, that God was an old man with a long white beard sitting in the sky and ruling over creation. I simply did not want to believe that. On TV I saw how many people kill each other in wars and fights due to having different religious beliefs. I thought that God must be very cruel, as so many people fight each other due to Him and kill and torture each other. But I had a strong feeling, that there was something beyond my understanding – some kind of force which created our world. Through nature, animals and plants I felt connected with this kind of force. When the environment was not treated properly or when people would torture animals or other living creatures, I felt sad.
2. Teenage years
In 2008, when I was about 12 years old, my parents had marital problems. My father was also suffering from a mental illness, which was sometimes very difficult to deal with and to understand. At that time, my mom tried to protect us as much as possible and tried in many ways to keep the family together. However, all of us did not feel well and the family seemed a little split up. I would avoid going back home directly after school, and would rather meet with friends and come home in the evenings. I felt uncomfortable at home and also from within, like separated from my true self.
At the age of 13, I used to compare myself with other girls and felt bad about myself. Thoughts about being ugly and too fat arose in my mind. So I started dieting and after 1–2 months my friends and family mentioned how my figure looks better and appreciated my weight loss. I lost about 2–3 kilograms in weight, but I did not stop dieting, even though I was at a normal weight. I wanted to be more beautiful and be appreciated by people. To motivate myself to continue to lose weight, I would look at fashion magazines and search the Internet on how to lose weight. I tried to reduce the quantity of food I ate and counted the calories of the food I ate on a daily basis. Somehow it got more extreme and I was not able to stop with dieting, even though I was quite thin at that time already. I developed anorexia.
3. Anorexic tendencies
Due to anorexia, each day I forced myself to eat less than the day before and soon I reduced the quantity of food to about 200–300 calories a day. My vital energy, as well as my mental energy reduced, but my mind would get bombarded with many different thoughts about looks, getting thinner, as well as lots of anger and hate thoughts towards myself and others. I lived in my own world and my perception of things was totally skewed. As I was underweight due to anorexia, my friends and family told me that I look sick and not healthy anymore and advised me to stop dieting and losing weight. I used to get angry and thought that they were only envious of me, as I was able to lose that much weight by working so hard and forcing myself to eat less and they would simply fail in doing the same. (Editor’s note: Such thoughts of the need to be extremely slim and lose weight at all costs, are usually induced by negative energies. The remedy for this is to do spiritual practice in accordance with 6 basic principles of Spirituality).
I started criticizing others whenever they would have meals and felt disgusted by looking at any foodstuff. Due to the family issues, we rarely had meals together as a family and whenever that was the case, and because of anorexia, I would eat very little to show my parents how little I am eating and how disciplined I was. I wanted to have total control over my diet. My mom got worried about anorexia I had developed and tried to convince me to go into treatment, however I got emotional and angry and shouted at her, that I can eat whatever I want to eat and it is my body and I can treat it the way I want. I hated my body and wanted to harm myself as much as possible.
At that time, I started getting suicidal thoughts and had the impression that I am a very bad daughter to my parents, as I cause so many problems for them. Somehow I wanted to escape from my life.
4. Attention seeking
I was seeking attention with my skinny anorexic figure and thought that others would praise me because I was able to be thin. So I started wearing revealing clothes, like short skirts and tight shirts. But at the same time I felt ashamed of my body and perceived myself as being way too fat. Soon I also started going out and drank alcohol at the age of 13–14. My parents did not know anything about this, as I told them that I am sleeping at a friend’s place. My behaviour was very different compared to my usual state. I was talking differently also.
It was during this period, that my mom took me to hospital, as I suffered from illnesses like a bloated stomach and could not go to the toilet for many days. I also felt very cold, was shivering and my body was paining. The doctors advised me to go for a therapy to get cured from anorexia. They made me aware of the bad state I was in. However, I really did not want to undergo any therapy and so I promised to eat more and to take support from my mom. My mom then forced me to eat and once I sat at the table and started sobbing very badly, I felt horrible eating the quantity of food she served me.
After a while I put on weight again, but I felt very guilty about it. My eating habits were still not normal and I was still counting my daily calories and weighed myself at least once a day, as I had immense fear of putting on weight and becoming fat. However, my friends and family did not make any comments anymore about me being too skinny.
5. Hiding the anorexic problem and having a shopping addiction
At the age of 14–15 my parents divorced, as the family situation only got worse. My father’s mental illness also increased and I did not see him for about one year. Again I would get many negative thoughts about myself and I also blamed myself for their separation and wanted to punish myself, so I again started to eat less. My appetite also reduced. This time I would eat even less than before. The quantity of food reduced to about only an apple a day and my weight reduced to 36 kilograms, which was about 15 kilograms less than I used to weigh before. As I felt guilty about having food, I would hide in my room to eat and whenever my mom came to see me, I would hide the piece of fruit behind my back. I thought that I do not deserve to eat anything at all and I should suffer.
My interests for fashion increased and I compared myself with runway models, I also wanted to be skinny and wanted my bones to be visible. There was also an increase in my habit of shopping for clothes. At one period of time, I used to shop 2–3 times a week. My mom would give me money to buy food but instead I spent all the money on purchasing new garments. (Editor’s note: Uncontrollable shopping tendencies are also usually induced by negative energies.)
6. Getting to know SSRF
My health suffered quite a lot and I was feeling so weak, so much so that I could sometimes barely walk. I started to get skin rashes, dry skin and blue lips. My mom was concerned about my health and contacted my father. He used to take me to different doctors due to these health issues. When he saw me after a long time, he was very shocked and wanted to help me to get out of this state. We had conversations about what happened in the last few years and also about life and its reason and I felt very good talking to him. Somehow he also got me to eat again, but I was not able to eat much or put on weight. After a few weeks, he told me that he got introduced to an organisation, which was SSRF. He mentioned how it helped him for the better, but I was sceptical about it. Many times I asked him if SSRF was related to God, but my father would calm me down by saying that it has nothing to do with God, just with life itself and how to find your true self again.
That time my father was doing the service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā) of translating articles from English into German. But as German was not his mother tongue, he used to ask me for help in translating some sentences. I felt so happy and joyful while translating the articles of the SSRF website. So I asked him, if I could translate some more articles. At that time I became aware that SSRF was definitely related to God, but this God was different from the kind I used to hear about when I was a little kid. This God was beautiful and not cruel at all, He was in nature and Mother Earth.
7. Starting spiritual practice
Soon my father introduced me to seekers from SSRF and I as well started doing the service unto the Absolute Truth of translating and correcting articles from English into German. Also I started chanting the name of God and attended the company of the Truth (satsang).
One night, I was feeling very sick and I woke up my father to inform him about my state. I was crying and lying on the floor, as I had immense body pain. I asked him to call an ambulance, as I was unable to bear the pain. However, he remained totally calm and told me to lie down again and he would take care. He brought me a glass of water, waved an SSRF incense stick around me, burned some camphor and put pictures of different principles of God (Deities) on my whole body. I fell asleep and after only 3 hours I felt very fresh and light. The entire body pain vanished. I could not explain this incident to myself and was convinced that only a higher force like God could have saved me from this pain. Since then my faith in God increased and there was an intense feeling of gratitude towards Him. I did not want to stop praying to Him, chanting His name and doing service unto the Absolute Truth. The curiosity to experience God increased.
I also started eating normally and thoughts about my body and fashion decreased dramatically. Soon I gave away lots of my clothing, as most of my clothes were black and thus tāmasik in nature. Seekers also advised me not to wear revealing clothes and to tie my hair and after implementing their suggestions, I felt safer when walking on the streets. Men did not look at me as often any more or make any comments. The introversion in my thoughts also increased.
8. Visiting the SSRF Spiritual Research Centre in Goa
In 2012, at the age of 16, after 7–8 months of spiritual practice, I got the opportunity to visit the SSRF Spiritual Research Centre in Goa, India. At that time God gave me the following experience: When the plane was about to land in India, I started crying and I did not know why. I was crying for about 30 minutes. In the sky I saw all Deities and principles of God welcoming me and above all of them a huge form of Shrīkrushṇa (a Universal Superior Deity) appeared to me and welcomed me. He said: “Welcome back home Lara, now everything will change for the better, no need to worry, you are safe now”. I felt that I was back home. I saw the city of Mumbai from above and was shocked. I was crying even more and asked God, where was I all these years? What has happened? How did Mumbai change to such a big city? Then I saw myself some 1000 years back doing spiritual practice in India. But somehow I must have committed many sins, that is why my spiritual level must have dropped and I was born again to continue my spiritual practice. (That is the feeling God gave me.)
My stays in the SSRF Spiritual Research Centre gave me lots of inspiration and motivation to continue my spiritual practice. Many times I would experience the importance of spiritual practice and how only spiritual practice and a connection to God could give me Bliss and take me out of suffering. Sometimes I still would get suicidal thoughts and would fall into depression. At such times, I would earnestly pray to God and would feel his presence beside me. Through these situations, I felt that God was my best friend, as well as my mother and my father. I felt like I was a small child, who was helpless without God.
9. Becoming aware of a negative entity within me
During my second stay in the SSRF Spiritual Research Centre, the negative energy in me, a subtle sorcerer (māntrik), started to manifest violently and I was able to now see how he must have influenced my life and behaviour, as I would get intense sexual thoughts, thoughts to undress myself and thoughts to untie my hair during these manifestations, which were the same thoughts I used to get a few years back. The subtle sorcerer in me also got me to hurt myself by banging my head against floors and walls, or by trying to strangle myself. However, I felt that the presence of God was much more at these times and He would always get me safely out of these states. After these manifestations I mostly felt much better and lighter and as if the subtle sorcerer in me had lost some energy and strength due to the spiritual purity of the SSRF Spiritual Research Centre. Seekers helped me a lot and performed spiritual treatment on me.
At SSRF as spiritual treatment, I was advised to sit down and chant for 5–6 hours daily as a spiritual healing remedy and I also got the opportunity to do the service to the Absolute Truth of creating images for the SSRF website, which helped me immensely to overcome thoughts, as it would occupy my mind and give me a feeling of Bliss and connection with God.
I also used to take autosuggestions prescribed by seekers from SSRF to become aware of the thoughts given to me by the subtle sorcerer. Since its aim was to obstruct my spiritual practice and spiritual treatment, it was very beneficial for me to be able to differentiate his thoughts from mine as this diminished his control over me when I dismissed his thoughts.
10. Current state (2014)
By God’s grace, I feel that the negative energy distress in me has reduced. Spiritual practice and spiritual treatment really work. I get less negative thoughts about myself and am able to enjoy each moment more. There is a feeling that God is with me all the time, even though I am not able to always feel it. My eating habits have also changed for the better and I now feel like nurturing my body, which God gave me, with good and healthy food instead of harming myself.
Sometimes I still feel too fat (even though I am not overweight in reality), but then I talk to seekers about it and they help me to come out of this state of mind. In addition, God made me realize that even when I was skinny and thought I looked more pretty like that, it still did not make me happy at all. Somehow the illusionary comfort I would get from losing weight and having lots of fashionable clothes was nothing compared to the Bliss I would derive from doing spiritual practice. Sometimes during satsang or while rendering satseva, God gives me the experience of losing my body-awareness and I am unable to either explain or understand this experience properly, but in this state I feel very beautiful. I feel beautiful because God is within me and I feel that in His presence everything is beautiful.
I offer millions of gratitude to God, for bringing me to this Path and for freeing me from suffering and eliminating the distress. Due to God’s grace alone I was able to come out of this anorexic state quite fast, and am now able to perform regular spiritual practice and experience Bliss.
– Ms. Lara Müller, Vienna, Austria, EU (alias name to protect the privacy of the seeker)