Sunday, March 9, 2008

Some old rose petals for his birthday

I met Ramakrishna on an important turning point in my life. From blind faith to blind conviction.
From Siddhayoga to Advaita. From Gurumai Chidvilasanda to Ramesh Balsekar. In fact, I would safely assume that Ramakrishna facilitated the Guruhop.

Those days and nights were very sweet, almost diabetic. Bhajans and satsangs and deep blue clouds in meditation sessions. Chanting Guru Om in the early mornings with Gurumayi in the ashram at Ganeshpuri. Listening to Shree Ram, Jay Ram, Jay Jay Rama in the dining hall, drinking tea from the orange tea cups. And then the elaborate Darshan, with Gurumayi looking like a royal princess in one of those hats she wears with such grace.

'It is all Grace', she said, then added, 'but self - effort is needed too.'

'How can that be?', I wrote on a chit and passed it to her, 'If all is grace, where is the scope for self effort?'

'If it is all his will, then where is mine?'

The question followed me around as I browsed in a book shop in Poona and the Gospel of Shree Ramakrishna sat upon my lap. It is by far the thickest, heaviest, two volumes of hard bound that I ever bought. And of all the books that I have loved, I have cherished the Gospel the most. It has rose petals stored since over twelve years, in those special pages.

Including the page where he answered my question. 'The wise man knows that he is the Chariot and that the lord is the charioteer.'

Now that I knew what the wise man would say, it wasn't long before I found him. I thank you, Ramakrishna, on your birthday, for coming to me as Ramesh.

Although Ramesh does not sing and dance like this, and says he cant smell flowers, he does let me touch his feet, for as long as I need.

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