Om Ganeshaya Namah:
Om Gurubyo Namah: MAY 4TH, 2011.
Sri Bala Charanam.
On physiological transformation and the process of realizing Divine Inner Self; Siddhar Sri Balu Swamy’s mystical powers; some “electrifying” experiences and more Paintings!
Since publishing my last post in November, 2010, I have undergone many unusual experiences I’d like to share with my readers. I feel the unseen hand of Siddhar, Sri Balu Swamy guiding me although I haven’t precisely followed the instructions he gave me while conferring Mantra Upadesam in September, 2010.
These incredible events progressed in a sequence as if orchestrated by a Divine Inner force, targeted to remove all pre-conceived notions of spirituality as well as vestiges of left-over karmas and vasanas (samskaras) that were blocking my progress on the spiritual path. Most importantly, my experiences prove beyond a shadow of doubt that unless, and only when the physical body has undergone purification at both the gross and subtle level, can a person be placed on the path to Moksha or God-realisation.
The truth has always been very simple. The Mahavakyas ( Great sayings) in the Upanishads keep reiterating that “You” are “God”. Not “God-like”, but You are the Divine Force itself. There is absolutely no ego attached to this statement because the person who truly realizes this fact will be completely transformed in every way. At the level of the gross, physical form of the body as well as at the highest level of the intelligence principle acting within him, a person who is “with” and “in” God at all times attains a complete metamorphosis and obtains complete liberation whilst the body is still functioning or alive.
A lot of us are “intellectually” conscious of these profound statements in the Upanishads. However, in recent months I have been made aware , through personal experience, that unless every single cell in the body is transformed through “Divine Grace”, this shell we call the body can never become a proper vessel to house the divine, cosmic power that is the Creator or God. “You” are God. “You” become God only in this manner.
I have always maintained that my art work is a reflection of my inner progress. As if to lend credence to this claim, I received a “divine directive” to execute a series of 11 paintings, on the auspicious day of “Thai Poosam”, on January 19th, 2011. In what follows, I shall narrate the succession of events that caused the paintings to come about, the significance of the special order in which they were done, their symbolism and contribution to my inner development.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the start of this decade has also brought me to the threshold of a new chapter in my spiritual journey.
I woke up on the morning of January 19th, 2011, with a very firm conviction in my mind I had to draw a Sri Chakra. It was as though this was the main agenda for the day and nothing else was important. I checked the calendar and discovered it was an auspicious day called “Thai Poosam”. The month of “Thai” ( mid-January to mid February) marks the start of a period that is sacred to Lord Muruga, Shiva and Devi and the day governed by the star “poosam” is called “Thai Poosam”.
I hadn’t done any paintings in over a year and this “order” seemed hard to ignore. During this period, I was reciting the mantra given to me by Siddhar Balu Swamy in September, 2010. At that time, he advised me categorically to remove all other mantras from my mind and also “erase” all notions of deities with various names and forms, be it Sri Bala or Murugan or Pillayar. Although I found this difficult to achieve, I persisted in sticking with meditation, breath control and mental chanting of the mantra in the manner prescribed by Sri Balu Swamy. I recited the mantra whenever it was convenient for me. However, at the same time I was also listening to slokas and hymns in praise of various deities. In other words, I carried on with activities that my mind had been “used” to or “pre conditioned” to perform.
In the early part of January, I experienced strange physical sensations on a couple of occasions. One morning, around 6 a.m. when I was half-awake and deciding to get out of bed reluctantly, a faint tingling sensation distracted me. This was coming from the big toe of my right leg. A warm, sensation seemed to be spreading slowly up the leg and within a few seconds, this sensation intensified . I quickly “lost control” of my physical body as what seemed to be a bolt of electricity spun my body around for a few seconds. And then, it was over. This event happened once again, in the same manner, a few days later. Although I knew that this was the surge of the Kundalini Shakthi, and had experienced mild electrical impulses in my body over the past few years, I felt convinced that Sri Balu Swamy had provided me an added impetus when he gave me the “Shakthi Pat” ( Upadesam of mantra) in September, 2010.
However, I carried on my usual routine and did not analyse these physical experiences too deeply. I didn’t see or wish to accept Balu Swamy’s premise that any deity with form, yantra, symbol, etc represents only an outward manifestation of the mind, an “external” worship and distracts from the real, Divine consciousness, residing in our hearts. I seemed to be happy co existing with both forms of worship, mainly because I couldn’t get rid of all the deeply ingrained habits of “saguna” (external) devotion or “Bhakthi” margam.
I drew the Sri Chakra very quickly that day, listening to Lalitha Sahasranama, Kadgamala stotram and Lalitha Trisathi. As soon as I finished the pencil sketch, I heard a child’s voice . This was Sri Bala saying “Why have you forgotten me? You have to draw my picture too”! Without hesitation, I took out a fresh sheet of paper and drew the portrait of this divine child seated on a lotus.
A few days later, both images had been painted and I felt my task was finished. Little did I know that it had just begun!
During the month of February, I was receiving continuous inner messages to carry on with the task of drawing divine images. I started off with Lord Murugan accompanied by his consorts Valli and Deivyanai and as soon as this pencil sketch was finished, I got the command to draw a portrait of Mahaa Ganapathi with ten hands. This was followed by drawings of Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Bhuvaneshwari and Hanuman.
I felt that there was some inner urgency to get these portraits finished quickly. I completed the pencil sketches in quick succession . However, when it came to painting these sketches, it seemed there was a pre determined order in which this should be done. For example, it was not a mere coincidence that the Pillayar painting was completed on Angaraka Chaturthi in March ( Chaturthi falling on a Tuesday is auspicious). The portrait of Lord Shiva was completed on Maha Shivarathri, also in the month of March, while the drawing of Lord Murugan seemed to be timed for Panguni Uthiram ( the day he wedded the divine damsel Deivyanai).
During the period of Vasantha Navarathri in April,2011, a phase devoted to the worship of the Divine Mother, I completed the portraits of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Bhuvaneshwari. These were followed by drawings of Lord Vishnu and Hanuman.
An interesting incident occurred when I got the command to do the eleventh and final portrait. It seemed that Swami Sai Baba was asking me to do a portrait of himself. I asked him mentally “ I’ve already drawn a portrait of you. Why do you want me to do another one?” I received no response. However, when I took out a fresh sheet of paper and started to draw, I got a very clear command from Swami. “Don’t draw my image. Do a portrayal of Lord Krishna, instead”.
While the pencil sketch of Lord Krishna was finished at the end of March, the day I started to paint Swami as Lord Krishna coincided with his funeral on April, 25th, 2011.
I was completely immersed in the task of my paintings during the months of March and April, 2011. Each divine image was a labour of immense love and I sat for hours on end, completely engrossed in the act of painting. Thoughts, feelings, and physical activity seemed to merge and melt seamlessly into each canvas.
Since I was devoting a vast chunk of my time carrying out the art work, I wasn’t able to spend too much time doing the meditation suggested by the Siddhar. However, most evenings, I would find some quiet time for meditation.
Yet, it was soon obvious to me that events were proceeding according to a divine Master plan. It was during the period I was busying myself with the paintings, certain physical experiences were planned for me at well-timed intervals. One early morning in February, 2011, I had my first taste of this.
I was lying in bed, not quite fully awake when I heard a noise. It sounded like a soft thud as if someone had just got into bed beside me. I was immediately alarmed since there is no one else in the apartment except myself. However hard I tried to open my eyes, I couldn’t do so. Then I heard another sound as if this person(?) jumped off the bed and onto the wooden floor. I could hear distinct patter of footsteps on the parquet floor as if a child(?) was running up and down the passageway leading from the bedroom to the kitchen.
Once again, I tried to open my eyes, but they seemed glued shut. I was getting really concerned and a bit fearful of what was going on. Then suddenly, I felt a small hand touching my face. A thrill of excitement went down my spine and my body was shaking with anticipation. This was an unmistakable, physical sensation. I could still not open my eyes, but couldn’t care anymore. In a trembling voice, I asked “ Is this you, Bala? Are you here?”
I got no response. Yet the next instant I could feel a very small, tender hand touch my cheek, and then move upwards to stroke my hair, almost with motherly love. My joy knew no bounds. There was no fear anymore. I was enjoying the physical presence of the Divine Mother in the form of a small child.
No words were spoken, and in that moment of complete silence, my eyes brimming with tears, I said “Bala, please never let go of me”.
I felt the hand of a child clasp my right hand and hold it very lovingly. I pleaded, “ Please Bala never, ever let go of me. You must stay with me at all times”.
The next moment, to my amazement, I felt two tiny hands holding onto my right hand, as if giving me a silent assurance.
My face was streaming with tears and my voice completely choked with emotion. However, I remembered that little Bala does not like anyone to cry. Instantly, I said “ Bala, please forgive me for crying. I am so happy you came to me”.
Although I could still not open my eyes, I heard an inner voice telling me “ You will not be able to withstand the strength and force of the Divine Glow”.
A few moments later, I woke up. It was 6 a.m. in the morning. I glanced at the space next to me on the bed. I could see that the blanket was carefully turned over as if someone sleeping beside me had woken up and tossed the covers back. A tiny indent on the pillow next to me and the fact it was placed in a different angle, were all the reminders I had of this extraordinary encounter.
This episode occurred right after my paintings of Sri Chakra and Sri Bala were finished.
The Sri Chakra symbolizes the highest aspect of self-realisation, pointing to “oneness” with the Divine principle, while Sri Bala Tripurasundari represents the divine force present during the three stages of waking, sleeping and dreaming states, including the Fourth and important state of Turiya, or the condition of “Sleepless Sleep”.
I began to feel that my art work was leading me to experience in a very tangible manner, the truth expounded by the Siddhar that “God is within You”. Moreover, I was starting to realize there was a deeper significance in the order in which the paintings “happened”.
During the first half of March, I was working on the paintings of Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan and Lord Shiva. It was at this juncture that I experienced yet another intense vision.
On the first day of the Tamil month of “Panguni”( mid-March—mid April), I had another amazing encounter with a Divine being.
I was once again lying in bed in a semi conscious state. It was nearing 6 a.m. and definitely time to get up . However, all of a sudden I felt a tremor running through my body. The next moment I seemed to be pulled back into a deeper state of conscious awareness. At first, my eyes were closed. I could hear the bed creak as someone small and light “jumped” on to it. I tried opening my eyes and this time, I could open them partially. However, turning onto my left side in the bed, I felt an electric current surge through my spine. I could make out the blurred outline of a small figure lying in the bed right next to me. This child was dressed in a white frock or shroud and could not have been more than four years old. My hands seemed to be holding on to some part of this child’s(?) body . I strained my eyes really hard through what seemed like a fine veil covering it. Why, I was holding the lotus like, tender feet of this divine being in the cupped palm of my hands!!
I was completely overcome with emotion. I started singing songs on Sri Bala, I asked her repeatedly to never leave me and to remove all negative qualities from me. I said “ Please Bala make me a better person”. I seemed to be repeating this over and over again. This conversation with Bala continued for sometime as I carried on singing her songs and enjoying the physical sensation of holding on to her small, tiny feet.
Suddenly, near my left ear I could hear a sigh. I stopped talking and listened intently. I could hear very clearly and distinctly the small intake and exhalation of breath. It sounded similar to the gentle, even breathing of a sleeping child on the bed next to me. In great wonder and amazement, my hands let go of this child’s feet and soon I was clasping both her hands and praying to Bala to stay beside me forever. I said “ I don’t want anything else in the world but your presence beside me”.
The sound of breathing stopped abruptly and the vision was gone. I opened my eyes to see the bedside clock . It was 7 a.m.
The rest of that day passed by quickly. I was in a delirious state and could not focus on my paintings at all. However, one fact leaped out at me. I reflected on the symbolism of the paintings just completed.
Lord Pillayar, was the natural and auspicious start, the ruler of the Mooladhara Chakra. No doubt he had started the process of my spiritual advancement. The portrait of Lord Shiva in deep meditation that was completed on Shivarathri seemed to re confirm the Siddhar’s advice on paying attention to both the breathing technique as well as doing mantra japam, contemplating on the oneness with Lord. Finally, the image of Lord Murugan, symbolized the deepest truth that the true Guru resides only in the “cave” of your own heart.
The exhilarating vision and my repeated requests for this divine form to stay with me indicated nothing more than a continuation of the Supreme truth revealed in my paintings! Also, the sequence in which the paintings were completed seemed to be pre determined as if to lead me slowly and surely into a deeper part of myself, i.e. the realization of my own Divine nature.
Another physical experience occurred right after I had completed the image of Lord Vishnu representing the all pervading Cosmic Force.
Once again, one morning as I was in between sleeping and waking states, I felt a tremor starting in the big toe of my right leg. Having gone through this experience before, I realized another surge of the Divine Life-force was about to enter my body. Within seconds a huge bolt of electricity shot through my entire body spreading like lightning from the toes to the top of my head. I was spinning around on the bed and the bed itself seemed to be rocking from side to side. I remember chanting the name “Bala, Bala”, several times mentally, since a small element of fear started to creep in. My body seemed to be on fire and this wasn’t a pleasant physical sensation.
I tried to summon strength to hoist my body on to the pillows and sit up. However even as my head moved forward and I tried to draw in my legs and push my back against the headboard, I found my spine “melting” away. It felt as though my spinal column was an elastic band that had suddenly snapped. Then, my ears throbbed painfully and I thought my ear drums were going to burst. My entire forehead seemed to be filled with electric sparks and I could feel tension building up in the spot between my eyes. And then, when I felt my entire body was going to “burst open”, I suddenly felt “myself(?) floating out of the physical shell.
I simply couldn’t see or feel my physical frame anymore!
Next, I found myself in the middle of a huge ocean. I could “hear” the roar of the gigantic waves. It felt I was part of this ocean; in fact “I” “WAS” the ocean. I could hear the howling of the wind and at the same time had the sensation of being the wind. In other words I felt as though I was somehow mixed up with or part of these mighty elements. My ears(?) started to throb again and finally ruptured. Now, I could “hear” strange music and chantings. I distinctly caught the sound of stringed instruments, particularly, the Veena.
I’m not sure how long this continued. Finally, I got the sensation of falling down. I thought I was going to hit the wooden floor near my bed and braced myself for it. Yet, the next moment, I found myself lying on the soft mattress.
I noticed it was about 7 a.m. and this experience probably lasted an hour.
It seemed that Lord Vishnu, symbolizing all the elements and this entire Universe had given me a small glimpse of his Divine self within me!
The three glowing images of Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswathi and the ruler of the Universe, Bhuvaneshwari were completed in quick succession during a very auspicious phase. I was listening non stop to the sacred verses of Devi Mahatmyam, Lakshmi Sahasranamam, Lakshmi Narayana Hrudayam, Shyamala Dandakam and other holy chants during this entire period.
As if they were showering blessings on me, these three divine deities who represent the power of thought, action and wisdom, graced me with another incredible experience.
One morning, I had an intense dream. I found myself inside the RajaRajeshwari temple in Rochester, N.Y. Sri Haran Aiya was beside me and I was being allowed to perform puja to Devi and place flowers on her. Then, at the end, Haran Aiya got up and I could see very clearly the forms of both my guru, Shanthananda Swamigal and Balu Swamy ( Siddhar), standing right next to him or perhaps "within" him (?).
Once more, after a while, we started to do puja and this time, I seemed to be listening to Hanuman Chalisa. Aiya was still beside me. I can't remember whether he placed his hand on my head. However, I saw two bright red flashes in my AJNA chakra ( forehead--in between eyes) and then a bolt of electricity passed through me. I seemed to be floating out of my body towards the face of Devi.
I woke up, filled with some kind of strange energy. That same night/ early morning next day, another strange incident occurred.
I’ve reproduced below a letter I wrote to a website contact in Madurai, India within a few hours of this intense, physical event. I’m not sure why I wrote to this person. At the time I tapped out this letter, the electric energy was still pulsating through my body.
“In the early hours of this morning, I went through three separate and extraordinary experiences. Each time, it felt like a 1,000 volt charge was running through my body. The area of my entire forehead was throbbing. I can still feel ( as I write) the electrical impulses running from side to side in between my eyebrows. Then, I could feel an intense pressure building up inside my forehead, as if it might burst and that exploding point, I could see two bright, red flashes of light. The first time this happened, I could sense and see I'm in India, in my mother's house. I'm thinking " Hey, whats going on? I should ask Haran Aiya about this". Then, I'm travelling somewhere else and witnessing a lot of varied scenes. Some children playing, crying; people in their homes-- domestic life, in what seems to be in English- speaking countries in the world.
Then, this sensation dies down. Very soon, almost like a volcano starting up again, the same bolt of electricity starts running through my body starting from the right toe. This time, I can hear a lot of music, my ears are painful and throbbing, like they might burst any minute too. I can hear rock music, English songs, etc and I'm thinking " Why can't I see at least some deities, Lord Murugan or something. This is so totally useless ".
Third time, this same energy / Kundalini shoots through. I have absolutely no control over my physical body whatsoever. I cannot stop this process by opening my eyes because the force is too great. So, I'm telling myself (?) to just relax and go with the flow. This time, I'm up in the sky, like a satellite camera looking down on the world. I can see the coastline of Asia and then, the tectonic plates moving apart and coming together causing huge tsunami waves. I realise I'm witnessing something perhaps in Japan.
It took me a long time to get out of bed this morning. It is past 11 a.m. and I'm tapping this letter out in a frenzy, almost as if I want to keep a record of these events. I don't know why I chose to write to you. I just felt I had to.
I felt totally drained of energy, getting out of bed in the morning and had to force myself to stand up and move to the bathroom. My body was shivering until 9 a.m. I am perfectly ok right now.
While these types of experiences have occured before- Remember, I had a recent experience of hearing and feeling Bala as a young child running up and down the apt; also another time when I couldn't feel my backbone and could hear the roar of the ocean, the howling of the wind, almost as if I'm part of the Universe?
Well, this time, the only difference is I can "see" many vignettes/ scenes from around the world plus hear music more clearly. The feeling of looking down on earth was truly awesome.
I realise that the sixth chakra " Ajna" is opening and this is the seat of psychic power and intuition.”
I was working on the portrait of Hanuman and realized that this powerful Monkey God symbolizing physical and mental strength was playing some “tricks” on me. All the paintings I worked on until then were drawn on the same size of card, measuring roughly 2 feet by 2 ½ feet in dimension. However, when I started to draw the figure of Hanuman, listening to the hymn “Hanuman Chalisa”, he sent me an immediate command . He said “ Don’t listen to my sacred hymn. Instead, listen to the holy verses extolling Lord Rama”. This is exactly what I did and even as I drew Hanuman’s face, it seemed to grow bigger and bigger. His eyes seemed to glow with devotion and his smile reflected the divine bliss of his love for Lord Rama. I soon realized, I would have to make the canvas bigger to accommodate the rest of his body. So, I attached sheets of card all around until this figure could be finished to perfection.
Also, when I started to paint this image, I was initially not too sure how I would manage to do this. I felt my drawing was all wrong. I looked at the pencil sketch and was very dissatisfied with “my” portrayal. I had a “mental block” and couldn’t proceed further.
Yet, it seemed that the Lord wanted me to carry on with my task. With intense devotion and complete “surrender” to the Lord I started this painting. I told him “ You know I’m not an artist and I’m not particularly worried if this picture of you has flaws in it. All I do know for certain is that I surrender to your strength and wisdom. Please guide me”.
Lord Hanuman symbolizes the “Sushumna Nadi” or the central channel in the spinal cord through which the divine life-force (Kundalini) makes its way up to the Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the body. The Lord represents wisdom of self realization and the importance of complete surrender to attain oneness with the God residing in the heart.
I finally completed the portrait of Hanuman and stepped back to view it. What I considered as impossible to achieve had been accomplished with the Lord’s help and guidance.
Finally, I started work on the enchanting form of Lord Krishna. I enjoyed every single moment working on this particular portrait. I was listening to the sacred verses from Bhagavatham describing Krishna’s advent into the world. I reveled in the description of his beautiful form as a small child and felt I was witnessing the many miracles he performed as a cowherd.
By the time I completed the picture of Lord Krishna playing his golden flute, standing in a meadow amidst flowering shrubs and trees, I was filled with an overwhelming emotion of Love and Happiness. For a long time, I “danced” with this portrait in my hands, not feeling “silly” in the least bit. And the Lord seemed to be enjoying all this attention too! I was totally “one” with this “physical” representation of the Lord who stands as an eternal symbol of “Paramananda” or eternal bliss.
This final and eleventh portrait brought upon another intense and physical experience.
On Amavasai (new moon ), May 2nd, 2011, the day began normally. However, I was feeling a bit drained out and restless. I thought I would listen to some of Sri Bala’s songs. I selected a CD and lay down on the living room sofa. I closed my eyes and started listening to the melodious songs. A bright glow appeared in between my eyebrows and then various colors seemed to dance and melt away. As I was drifting away into a deeper state, I felt the physical sensation of a tiny spoon being pressed against my lips. Instinctively, I swallowed the contents without tasting it. This physical motion of swallowing brought me out of my meditation. I half opened my eyes, just in time to get a vision of a child dressed in a pink frock quickly vanishing out of sight.
Almost simultaneously, I got an inner message to call Siddhar, Sri Balu Swamy. Without hesitation, I picked up the phone and dialed the number of his devotee Shanmugam. Since Swami does not carry a cell phone, it is customary to reach him by contacting some of his followers. However, I got the message that the Siddhar was keeping poor health . I requested Shanmugam to give me a missed call, when the Siddhar was free since I had to talk to him. The latter promised to do so.
That evening, I was listening to the beautiful verses from Kali Sahasranama and prayed for a dear friend who had requested me to do so. I sincerely requested Kali to help all her children and provide proper guidance.
That night, around 1 a.m. the phone rang. It was Shanmugam saying that the Siddhar would talk to me and could I call back. I did so and was soon chatting to Sri Balu Swamy. I described many of my recent experiences and requested his advice. In particular I sought answers to three questions. First, “What was the reason for these physical and intense experiences. Would they stop? If so, am I proceeding on the correct path? Second, What does the process of Karma cleansing involve and finally, the astral world I seemed to visit, the scenes I saw and the music I heard, were these in the realm of “Turiya” or Fourth dimension”?
Balu Swamy replied that I was indeed on the path of spiritual advancement guided by the Divine Lord residing within me. He went on to say that the scenes I witnessed and music I heard were left over remnants from previous births and I shouldn’t worry about this. This was part of the Karma cleansing process that had already started. These incidents might stop when the physical body has been transformed or re shaped in a manner of speaking so that the body is ready to receive the Divine Grace. In other words, when the highest state is reached, You become God, there is no difference. You are in God and He is in you. In the Fourth dimension, astral travel is possible, and it is possible to see the forms of Siddhars , deities like Bala, and other Holy personalities from the past. However, I was cautioned not to attach too much importance to any of these occurrences, and also not pay too much attention to the intuitive or other siddhis (powers) caused by the opening of the Ajna Chakra.
I related to the Siddhar that these experiences seemed to be occurring during a period of my “external” worship of various deities in the form of paintings. Was there any reason for this coincidence?
Balu Swamy laughed and asked me “ You say you have drawn images of Krishna and Pillayar. How do you know what their forms really look like? The obvious answer is that our minds are influenced from an early age about the physical characteristics of either the elephant-faced God or the handsome, lover, Krishna. However, all these deities are merely symbolic representations of a deeper concept.”
I remembered with a jolt that I had written the same words in the foreword to my spiritual diary over 7 years ago. I’d written that Goddess Saraswathi teaches us the value of wisdom, Lakshmi makes us respect wealth. Kali makes us get over jealousy, envy, hatred and greed, and so on. It seemed I was going in a circle and had just returned to the starting point.
Finally, Balu Swamy said “ I’m so happy to see that you are proceeding in the correct path. Your inner Divinity will take care of you. Just keep repeating the mantra I gave you at all times”.
I couldn’t go back to sleep that night. I closed my eyes and lay on my bed, mentally chanting the mantra. At 5 a.m. I got a sudden message. “ Remove that laptop computer beside you on the bed and place it on the desk in the far corner of the room”.
I did so, without knowing the reason for this strange command. I went back to bed thinking I would get up at 6 a.m. Just as I was going to rise, I felt once more, the tell tale signal of electric current starting to flow upwards from my right toe.
What happened next caught me totally off guard. Although I had experienced energy flowing through my body many, many times, this time it was far more intense and concentrated.
I was overwhelmed by continuous waves of great power coursing through my body for almost an hour. It felt as if every organ in my body was getting scorched by the intense heat. The entire lower part of my body seemed to be twisting out of shape. I was assuming weird postures that looked like Yoga Asanas. There was tremendous heat applied to the soles of my feet as though I was walking on fire. At one point the pain was so intense, I cried out aloud. I could see the skin of my feet hanging like tough leather beneath the soles, while the feet turned 180 degrees inward. To my horror, I could see the flesh and blood inside!!
The toes of my feet seemed to contort themselves in various angles. The swift moving electric currents reached my heart area and I thought I was going to die. Huge jolts of high voltage were reshaping the muscles in the entire body including the heart. Meanwhile, there was a build up of pressure in my forehead. Electrical impulses were moving swiftly from side to side until they burst through.
Then, I started seeing various scenes, like on TV, and the pictures were crystal clear. I seemed to be in a bowling alley, then eating in a restaurant. Looking around, I spotted a sign that said I was in California. The scene changed, I was in a house; there were some children and it looked like I was still living in U.S.A. The scene changed once more and I found myself in a lovely house filled with servants waiting on me. When I say “I” was in all the scenes, this was like an onlooker. I felt I was viewing scenes from previous lives and in all of them I wasn’t born as an Indian. Instead, I was a white woman living in the U.S.
While my mind was still the digesting all these developments, there was another sharp bolt of electricity and I found my body rising completely off the bed. I was aware of floating with my body, or indeed levitating. I seemed to float effortlessly in and out of the two rooms of my small apartment. I enjoyed this sensation immensely and felt no pain even when my elbows hit sharp corners. Finally, I felt the show was coming to an end. I seemed to be swooping in to crash on the floor.
However, to my relief, I found myself on the bed.
It was 7 a.m. Once again, this episode had lasted one hour.
I remembered what the Siddhar said. “ Don’t be afraid of these out of body experiences or physically intense experiences. They are a natural process of cleansing your body so you can become fit for receiving Divine force. In fact You will become That Cosmic Force”.
During the past four months, I’ve had the splendid opportunity to revisit many of the old notions and ideas I’ve had about spirituality, religion, discovering the true nature of the self and the concept of the soul’s ultimate union with God.
My experiences lead me to state with absolute conviction that “God is not outside oneself”. “You are that Divine Force”. You “become” that sacred energy through a series of transformations that occur at the gross, body level as well as at the subtler levels of the mind and intellect.
Once the mind and intellect are linked in the realization of this great truth, a personality change is brought about. It is impossible to go back to the “old” personality. When the Karma cleansing process is finished, all attachments, fear and a wavering mind are totally banished. All the negative qualities that block spiritual growth are shattered into pieces. What is left is a brand new and “cleaner You”, housed inside a physical frame that has also been re modified to suit you. In this body, the Divine glow will be brighter compared to those who have not yet affected this transformation.
Just as a dirty mirror cannot provide a clear reflection, so too, unless the accumulated layers of dirt in the form of bad habits, negative qualities and karmas are gotten rid off, the in-dwelling divine force cannot shine through brightly. Once the concept of “You are That Divine Force” can be understood, this cognitive change brings about a personality change that leads to the acceptance of all human beings as “God” and indeed all creatures , inanimate objects, nature and this cosmos as “being in and part of God”. There is no need for external worship in the form of idols, shapes, yantras, etc. The leap from “saguna” ( with form and attributes) to “Nirguna (formless) is accomplished.
Very early on in my spiritual diary, I have written the above statements.
However,at that time this was just a theoretical knowledge gained from absorbing Swami Paramarthananda’s lectures on the Upanishads. Although I understood the Vedantic concept of Advaita at an intellectual level, the opportunity of “physically” experiencing it did not happen until the present time.
What I didn’t understand early on was the fact that a “physical” transformation is the crucial factor to ignite and bring about this final conversion. It is also essential to have the guidance of a proper Guru. In my case, I feel Sri Bala’s grace pointed me in the direction of Sri Balu Swamy. No doubt the initiation and advice he gave me sorted out many blocks and cleared the path for me. Yet, his parting words to me a few days ago were “ You don’t need anyone’s help. That divine force inside you is the Guru”.
No doubt external forms of worship, prayers, rituals, etc provide a solid foundation from which to ascend the spiritual ladder. Yet, unless this too is “given up” along with dependence on the “Guru”, the final leap to God realization can never happen.
A few days after I wrote this, I was assailed by constant reminders to do a portrait of Goddess Karumariamman. At first, I tried to ignore these suggestions but soon discovered they would not go away. So, I finished this glowing image of the Goddess accompanied by the hymns of the powerful Devi Mahatmyam.
There is no doubt these images will bless and heal. At least, that is what I sincerely pray.
Sri Bala Charanam.