Since the time I remember I have been interested in seeking the ultimate truth—Divinity. At home during vacations from my boarding school I would lock my self in the pooja room. I would try to meditate, do tratak or recite Hanuman Chalisa for 100 times with the hope that I would have a darshan of my dear Hanumanji.
The quest continued in my teens. When my friends were reading funny books and staring at nude pictures of Bo Derek, I was reading Vivekanda and doing my Dhyana. My friends and my seniors called me Babaji which means a saint but what they meant was a fool. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the epithet.
It all took a break when I went to NDA and AFA. Then I got busy with my flying as a helicopter pilot in the Air Force. I got married, raised my son and dived deep into the thores of grihastha ashram—indulging in the pleasures of the senses. I became a bhogi, an aetheist and lost touch with my true self. It was only after I was thrown out of flying that I got back to spirituality. It all started with the reading of the column The Speaking Tree in the Times of India. I mentioned it to one of my seniors Wg Cdr Vinodan. He gave me his compilation of The Speaking Tree. Then he gave me the book Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain and it awakened my sleeping soul. The rest of the story is in my book My Comeback Trail.
Wg Cdr Vinodan was a follower of the Sahaj Marg. Once, his Guru was coming over and he wanted me to be initiated into the meditation practice of Sahaj Marg. Very arrogantly I had told him, “Sir, I don’t need any Guru. I get my gyan everyday at 7:30 pm at the bar.” How I wish I had listened to his wise counsel that day.
Back home after losing everything—my job, my family, my finances and almost my sanity, I was almost on the verge of calling quits when a noble soul appeared in my life and handed me the book Sadhana by Swami Shivanand. I read the book a few times and started practicing the meditation prescribed in the book. I also reread Autobiography of a Yogi by Swami Yogananda. I wanted to learn Kriya Yog. I went to his ashram in Ranchi and was told to do the postal course for one year before being qualified to learn Kriya Yog. I followed the postal course for a while.
Meanwhile, I had one Kamlesh Kumar following me on Facebook, liking and commenting on almost all my posts. One day I checked his profile and found that he was from my school, Sainik School Tilaiya. He looked so young that I thought he must be few years junior. One day we got talking only to realise that he was a Captain in the Indian Navy and one year senior to me. We were friends in school. I apologised for my ignorance and asked him the secret of his youth. He attributed it to the meditation techniques of Sahaj Marg. He introduced me to Manoj Tiwari, an instructor from my town.
I had met Manoj at a book club meeting earlier. He also looked quite young for his age. He also played Saxophone—something on my to do list. I rang up Manoj and was promptly invited. Sitting on the carpet he asked me to close my eyes and meditate. After twenty minutes he asked me what I did. I told him that I meditated on the image of a fire and tried to keep the flames steady. He said what I was doing was concentration and not meditation. Then he drew this beautiful diagram. Please enjoy the diagram and wait for the next post.