About the book relating the experiences of Devotees of Swami Vishwananda

Mauritius

One time we were invited by Swamiji to visit his ashram in Mauritius. We saw and experienced many wonderful and enlightening things there. One day we visited the house he had grown up in and saw the bedroom he had occupied as a child. There were several rumours spreading around that his mother had used a vacuum cleaner to cope with the outpour of vibhuti, which would come out from even the walls. There were literally hundreds of statues pouring out vibhuti in every colour and several pictures crying oil.

In the ashram there was a bedside lamp which was designed in the shape of the holy family – Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. It had been in the ashram for a long time and no one had taken any real notice of it. However one day, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus started to cry oil. It didn’t really cause much of a stir around the ashram, as there were already several statues crying oil and this was just another of them. A plate was placed underneath the statue to collect the oil and to prevent it from flowing onto the desk. When the oil ceased to flow a few days later, I asked Swamiji what had happened. He said that someone had touched it carelessly. Swami made a little prayer. Next day the lamp started crying oil again.

On another occasion we set up a new altar on the ground floor of the ashram and the next morning we found that almost every statue and every picture were shedding vibhuti or oil. There was so much oil coming out of a life-size picture of Shirdi Sai Baba that it flowed out of the frame and spilled out all over the altar. I was standing in amazement before the altar which we had so innocently set up the previous day when Swamiji came up to me just looked at the new tablecloth which had begun to soak in the oil and started complaining. I said to him, “Swamiji, you’re not serious?!” All he said was, “Yes…yes, it’s all God’s grace.” He changed the tablecloth and the next day the Shirdi Baba picture was covered in vibhuti but was definitely better for the cloth! However there was a Shirdi Baba statue which was crying amrit (nectar), so much so that we had to keep placing larger plates underneath until finally the statues were sitting in bowls which were larger than the statues themselves. 

Naamdev – Germany

 

 

In Sedona, Arizona USA, on his December 2006 tour, Swami Vishwananda provided an opportunity for me to ask a question I had wanted to ask him since I had met him almost a year earlier. I wanted to ask him what the source is of the shakti, or energy I feel frequently in the crown or head area. Often shakti energy also skims, like electricity, over portions, or over the entire surface of my skin. Throughout my life I have learned to trust this energy as an indicator of truth in whatever is occurring at the time that seems to manifest the energy.

 My understanding is that the shakti is divine or life energy. In addition, with my background of Christianity and my life-long love for the master Christ Jesus, I have felt that the shakti energy is the Comforter that Jesus promised he would send. At the Last Supper when Jesus was telling his disciples that he was to be crucified and would rise again and then leave them, he said:

If you love me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit], whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeded from the Father, he shall testify of me. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send unto you. The Holy Bible, King James Version, John 14:15, 26; 15:26; 16:7.

Time revealed that I did not have to initiate the question I longed to ask Swami, because the omniscient, all-knowing Swami Vishwananda introduced the topic himself. During the tour, along with Swami, a small group of us visited one of the world-famous vortices, Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona. There in the serene, cathedral-like beauty carved out a long time ago by Mother Nature from red rocks and high, green, desert hills, Swami led us in devotional chants and songs. It was one of the most powerful and sacred times I have been blessed to have with Swami Vishwananda, and in one of the most splendid and beautiful places in nature on this planet.

On a subsequent day, Swami was speaking to me of the magnificence of Mother Nature in Sedona. He said as if in awe or amazement, “On the road to Cathedral Rock I felt the hair on my arms stand up.” And he emphasized, “On the road.” I thought, how humble — from someone who inside is in samadhi and in communication with God all the time. I took the opportunity he so obviously was providing me to ask my question: “Swami, when I feel the shakti energy like you just described you felt on the road to Cathedral Rock, I think it is Divine energy and also the Comforter that master Jesus promised to send. Is that right? Swami replied, “Yes, it is Divine Life Energy, prana, and the Comforter Jesus promised to send.” I was comforted.

Utpalavati – Jean Morgan-Peterson – USA

 

 

A big lesson

Once, I accompanied Swamiji on his entire Switzerland tour; I drove from one end to the other of the tour. There was a Satsang one evening and I wanted to give him a nice postcard. I’m always very excited when I have the chance to talk to him. A lot of people formed a queue after the Satsang and one by one they had a talk with him. I waited till the end of the line and went to him with a red face which was a result of my excitement. I wanted to give him the card but the only thing he said was: “The German people can come in Germany to me”. I was shocked and deeply hurt. A normal human reaction would have been to get angry. I was not angry at all.  I did not realize at the time that the emotion of hurt is actually anger turned inside toward oneself. I felt sad and there were tears in my eyes. I had the feeling that my heart was going to die. I started to meditate in order to try to understand why Swami had treated me like this.  I finally calmed down and slowly opened my eyes to see what he was doing.

I received the next shock.  A man from Germany was talking to him and they seemed to be having a lot of fun. That was too much for me. I closed my eyes again to meditate. It is impossible to describe how many emotions came up for me, but still I felt a lot of love for Swamiji and the only wish I had was to understand what he wanted to show me with this game. At the point of deep meditation and of self analyzing because of what had happened, I heard Swamiji laughing very loudly. Withoout thinking I looked up at him and saw him with his outstretched arm towards me. He gave me a sign to come to him. He asked me then, “What do you have in your hand?” I gave him the card that I had wanted to give him earlier. He accepted the card and smiled at me with a smile which I will never forget.  At that moment, I realized that all this was a big test for me.

Paari – Germany

Spiritual guidance

Once, in France I asked Swamiji: “Why do some people eat meat?” Swami told me: “It does not matter what they eat but what they have in their heart. You don’t need to be vegetarian, it is more important what you have in your heart: your love, your devotion.

Swami Vishwananda gives us spiritual guidance. He told us “Find the trinity inside you.” At that time I saw the world in a dualistic way as this is wrong and that is right in the darmic way. Swami told me that things in life are not right or wrong, but that what you do always has its consequences. For some people it will be good and for other people it will be bad.

That was an important lesson I learnt from him: St. Senoch or St Pantaleimon, had as much faith and devotion towards Jesus and Mother Mary as a Hindu saint praying to Rama or Krishna. Both have unconditional love and total devotion.

One time I did not prepare for my exam.  I contacted Swami and said to him: “I am having difficulty with the upcoming exam.” Swami said, “Don’t worry I will help.” I took the exam and the result was very good.

When I began my degree, I said to him: “I need a two one.” He prayed to Mother Mary and then said to me: “Don’t worry you will get it.” I told him that I wanted to become a barrister. This was five years before I started the Barrister course (BVC course) and he said: “You will be able to be a barrister.”

Keep on trying

We were in India on holiday with our family. Our father asked if we wanted to go to Mauritius.  We decided that if we could get tickets to Mauritius during the time we wanted to go then we would go. If there were no tickets available then we would go to north India instead. Luckily, there were three seats available, so we went to Mauritius.

We drove a rental car to the ashram of Swami Vishwananda in Quatre-Bornes, and as we did not have the address of the ashram we could not find the place. Suddenly, I saw a friend that knew Swami and I asked him for the address.  He gave us directions and I asked this friend to come with us.
As we arrived at the ashram, Swami was outside watering the Tulsi plant.  He told us that for the past three days he was thinking of us and wanted to meet us.  It was through his grace that we arrived at the ashram.

We wanted to stay longer in Maruritius but we had gone to India with tickets that were valid for only forty days and that time was complete.  We tried to get the tickets extended but we failed. Swami said we would succeed in extending the tickets. We met some high officials from Air Mauritius but they said it was not possible, so we called Swami to tell him we were having difficulties.  He answered “keep on trying”.  We went to the office near closing time for one more time and this time the Air Mauritius staff did it free of charge and we could even choose the time of departure.

Nirmal – UK

A precious diamond

In the summer of 2007 I went to Swami Vishwananda’s spiritual center in Germany for a longer period of time than ever before. Back then, I was still going to school and I wished to spend half of my summer holidays with Swamiji. It was just half a year ago that we had met for the very first time, and yet it felt as if we knew each other for ages. My heart told me that he was my Guru. I never doubted this for a second. But during this summer I became aware of the relevance of the Guru. It became clear to me that having a Guru does not only mean to call someone Guruji and to bow down to his feet, but that there is a person who loves you unconditionally and who does everything to help you to realize your true self. But this also means that first of all our ego needs to be controlled, and this can be at times excruciatingly painful.

Once that summer, I had just come out of the chapel and Swami was sitting on a white chair in the hallway. He said: “Come and sit with me.” Next to him there was an empty seat. But I sat down on the floor. After a short moment of silence he said to me: “Don´t be worried, everything will be fine, OK?” I answered: “OK.” But mentally I was wondering what was going to happen with me. After another moment of silence he turned around to call another boy of about my age. The other boy came and sat down on the empty chair. A short talk about superficial subjects developed between the boy and Swamiji. I tried to participate but they ignored me.

After they finished their conversation Swamiji waved to the boy to follow him into the chapel. I did not know whether to stay where I was or to leave. After about three minutes I decided to leave. I had just gotten up when the other boy came out of the chapel and showed me his right hand with a big smile on his face. On his ring finger there was the biggest and shiniest diamond I have ever seen. I smiled back. But inwardly I felt sad and hurt. “Why does Swamiji not materialize a ring for me?“ Such were my thoughts. Later I realized that he had foreseen this inner conflict in me by saying that everything will be fine. Today, I know that it was my hurt ego which had caused me pain and sadness. And I know that the gift of his teaching that I had received from him was worth much more than any diamond. This is what we need to move closer to God.

I remember the speech Swami gave at the darshan in Friedrichshafen, when I met him for the first time. He said that the most beautiful and precious treasures and jewels of the ocean always are at the deepest spots and that humans do everything to get to them. We have also to dive deep into the ocean of our heart to get to the most precious jewel there is- Love.

Dyutidharananda – Germany

Swami likes to play. He has this capacity to enthuse you with something that you found insignificant before. He creates role-plays and throws himself into them for the pleasure of living and playing. Afterwards, everyone learns a personal lesson from the event. That is what is happening on this earth: We are here to learn how to live and love from every possible and imaginable situation.

Swami is very indulgent and has amazing patience. One evening, he invited a man to his apartment in Mauritius. This man had aggressively thrown endless catechist sentences and canonical rules at us. I was enraged to hear this fanatic. When would he stop? I was ostentatiously looking at my watch. Swami, unlike me, kept smiling and had taken his notepad out to take notes! Through this event, I was vaccinated against any dogmatism and had received a lesson in patience.

Fanatics exist in every religion. God is one, man creates the differences. Every religion can lead to God. It is a boat on the ocean of our lives. In one life we are Christian, once Muslim, once Hindu, another time Jewish, another time Sufi another Muslim, and then we are born again to become Hindu, Jewish and Sufi thus the soul learns to practice different religions without becoming dogmatic.

Swami plays in everyday communication. He doesn’t show even a thousandth of his knowledge. Many times I have realised how I automatically judge people whom I hardly even know. Swami never judges, he just loves.

With him, we often don’t know what to think during everyday communication. He can say a banality with a very serious face, as if it were an important revelation or give you an important message in a very casual way. He knows our prejudices and everyone’s fixed ideas.

Because I am afraid to make a mistake, say something wrong and be laughed at, I once spoke without thinking and supported Swami’s viewpoint in a conversation, instead of offering my own opinion. Two sentences later, Swami went in the opposite direction, and I found myself entangled in my remark, facing my own hypocrisy.

A guru is someone who removes ignorance and makes you self-realise. Swami does it while having fun. Life is not sad with him. Yes, we laugh a lot!

Once, Pierre got lost while driving Swami. Swami burst into laughter in the back of the car as Pierre drove around the same roundabout for the third time. By the time Pierre found the right way, rain was pouring downand all the restaurants were closed apart from a diabolical pizzeria, decorated with plastic ghosts and witches as if it was Halloween. What a delicious pizza!

Swami likes to sing bhajans, and God’s name in whatever form it takes. He knows every tone, half tone, quarter tone… He tells me about my bhajan singing, “Pritala, you are always half a beat too late!”

Ironing

Swami had just received a magnificent robe made of orange silk. It was shining like no other in his wardrobe. He decided to take it with him to the retreat and Easter darshan of Lörrach, in April 2006 in Germany. On Easter Monday, about 150 people were present for darshan. Swami gave me the robe to iron. In the corridor, I set up the ironing board and plugged the iron in, while Swami was preparing himself for the ceremony. I was ironing and some people were still walking through the corridor. Swami opened the door and called me,

–  “Pritala, come here. Have you finished?” He asked.

–  “Not yet, but I have finished the trouser, It is hanging over there. If you want me to, I can give it to you”, I replied. I went towards the trouser but Swami shouted,

–  “Pritallllaaaaaa!!!! It’s burning! Look! Ahhhhh!!!”

I ran towards the iron that I had forgotten on the beautiful orange robe, but it was too late, the robe was burnt. The mark of the iron was very visible, like a dark red trace on the orange material. I went into Swami’s bedroom to take a better look, but there was nothing to do, it was very noticeable. I was in dismay.

– “I am sorry…” I said.

– “It’s spoilt, I can’t wear it anymore now”, said Swami, raising his arms.

– “It’s the back of the robe, so when you are sitting, perhaps the people will not see it”, I suggested.

– “But when I walk, they will see the mark of an iron on my back!” He said.

– “Do you have another robe?” I asked.

– “No, I only have that one, and the others are dirty”, he said.

– “We could cut it above the burn”, I said hopefully.

– “You will sew it by hand now? And one cannot wear a robe like that. It’s not proper”, he said.

– “I am really sorry, what do we do?” I asked.

– “Finish ironing the top of the robe”, he said.

Feeling miserable, I ironed the top. In my mind I went over how it had all happened. I had just destroyed his robe. The first thing my mind usually does is to blame others: Why did he call me while I was ironing? He should have seen that I was busy and that he shouldn’t bother me! My second thought is generally blaming myself: I should have been more careful, and put the iron to the side. This was immediately followed by a way to stop me from feeling guilty: I did what he asked me to do, he told me to come and I obeyed. I obeyed so it’s his fault if I left the iron on the robe! The third thought was a bit better: No, I should have moved the iron. Even if he called me, it’s not a reason to forget. I should have finished what I was doing and then seen what he wanted.

I then brought the ironed robe to Swami’s bedroom. Brother Jyotirananda arrived.

– “You know what? He burnt my robe”, said Swami.

– “What? Your brand new robe?” Brother Jyotirananda asked.

– “Yes, look there”, said Swami pointing to it.

I held the robe up in front of the window to show the damage.

– “Where? I don’t see anything,” said Brother Jyotirananda.

He walked closer to the robe while I looked closely as well and turned the robe in all directions.

– “Where do you see it’s burnt? I can’t see anything”, said Brother Jyotirananda.

– “Yes, it was burnt, in the back. There was the mark of the iron, all red”, said Swami.

– “There is nothing, not even a little trace”, replied Brother Jyotirananda.

There was no longer any trace of the mark on the robe. I couldn’t believe it. I was both relieved and perplexed. I looked at Swami who asked me:

– “How did you do that?”

– “What do you mean how I did that? You just repaired it and ask me how I did it? I burnt it and you repaired it. Thank you anyway, I feel much better”, I said.

– “OK. Leave me alone now, I have to get dressed”, he said.

We left the room and I hurried to prepare myself for the ceremony that was going to start in ten minutes. Hot stuff, this ironing story!

Pritalananda – France

I was in Mauritius in the summer of 1999 and Swami had allowed me to be in his presence while he was meditating at night. During the space of three nights different deities would visit him in his room.

On the first night the compassionate Mother, Ma Durga appeared in Swami’s room. She showered love and blessing on me before leaving. I felt so honoured and elevated with energy after this that I was not able to sleep. I was so restless I kept asking Swami different questions about her. Eventually he told me to go to sleep as he was very tired.

On the second night another form of Shakti (feminine energy) came into the room while Swami was in deep meditation and left, giving us Her blessings.

On the third night again Swami was in meditation and another form of Shakti appeared. By now I was growing slightly anxious over the last few nights in fear that the Divine Maha Kali Ma would pay us a visit! I had heard stories where people had said that they had been shouted at by the Divine Mother and did not wish to be one of them!

So on this third night The Divine Mother form that appeared asked me “What do you want”? Although I was unaware which form of Shakti was talking to me, I remember that I was in complete awe of Her and Her energy. Again She asked firmly, “What do you want from me”? I did not know what to ask of Her, so I looked at Swami for guidance. However, he was still in deep meditation. She asked for a third and fourth time, “What do you want”? She was starting to lose her patience with me! I tried to search my mind for something to say, however I couldn’t come up with anything to ask her! My mind went completely blank.

As the Divine Mother was beginning to lose her patience with me, I started to consider that this form of Shakti might indeed be the Divine Kali Ma. Again I looked at Swami to ask for help; but he was still in deep meditation. At this point I considered the option of escaping out of the room. The only plausible way I could see out of the room was the window; however the bars on the windows restricted my escape! I tried to re-examine my escape plan again, however the altar in the room was completely covered in vibhuti and kumkum. I knew that if I messed this up, in trying to escape, Swami would be angry with me! Therefore I decided it would be in my best interest to stay where I was.

I sat quietly and the Divine Mother asked for a final time “What do you want”? Finally an idea entered my mind. I thought to myself, if I call this Divine Shakti by Ma Amba, she would appear in the form of Ma Amba. I foolishly replied, “Just your blessings Ma Amba, just all your blessings”. A stern voice replied, “I am not Amba Ma I am Kali Ma”! Acknowledging what an unwise thing I had just done, I quickly asked Ma Kali to explain Her different forms to me, which she did. Ma Kali explained that there are nine different forms of Shakti and showed all nine forms to me. She then explained that She must leave and told me that in order for Her to leave, I must cut a lemon into two parts, which I did and She left.

After about fifteen minutes Swami came out of Samadhi meditation. He looked at me and asked me why I wasn’t sleeping. I explained to Swami that Ma Kali had appeared and he smiled at me and asked one simple question. He said, “How did she sound”? I replied, “What? What do you mean”? He asked again, how did Her voice sound”? I replied, “It was very nice but compared to Ma Durga she was scary”! Swami gently smiled and went back into samadhi. At that very moment Ma Kali reappeared in the room and said in an angry tone, “Am I scary Ravi? This will be your last day on earth!”

Understandably, I panicked and again tried to escape via the barred windows but as before I was going nowhere! I quickly asked for Ma Kali’s forgiveness and she forgave me straight away. She explained that I was Her child and she would never hurt me. She continued to explain different aspects and significance of her Kali form and then left.

Swami came out of samadhi and smiled at me and asked again what had happened. As before I explained to him what had happened and he laughed. Swami then told me to go to sleep as he had asked me to accompany him to Port Louis the next day. Swami went back into samadhi for the third time. I tried to sleep but was not able to as the whole experience had filled me with so much energy.  All of a sudden Ma Kali appeared in the room for a third time. I thought to myself, what have I done wrong now!?  I tried to escape but I was again trapped in the room by my guru, the altar, the bars on the windows and the Divine Mother. I turned to the Divine Ma Kali who said, “Ravi, I would   like to test you, tomorrow I will appear three times in front of you at the temple. You will need to recognise me at least once; otherwise it will be your last day on earth”!  Saying this, She left once again.

I was afraid and did not know how I was going to recognise Ma Kali. I knew Swami would have the answer so I waited patiently for him to come out of samadhi. After an hour or so, Swami came out of samadhi and asked me why I was still sitting up looking at him. I told him what had happened and again he found it very funny. I asked him for his guidance as to how I would be able to recognise the Divine Ma Kali. However Swami said, “I am tired now. I think I am going to get some sleep.” Shocked at his calm reaction I turned to him and said, “How can you sleep at a time like this! It might be my last day on earth tomorrow! No more Ravi! You would miss me!” Swami just laughed and eventually said “The solution is very simple bro, all you need to do is touch the feet of every woman that enters the temple tomorrow and accept her as Ma Kali.” I asked him, “Do I need to touch Tina’s feet?” (Swami’s sister & my cousin sister) knowing that she would make fun of me for doing so. Swami replied smiling “No you don’t have to touch Tina’s feet, just touch the feet of married women bro.”

Then Swami went to sleep, however I could not as I kept thinking about what would happen if I failed Ma Kali’s given test. Before I knew it, it was 6 am. I got out of bed and went to have a shower and open the temple doors so that all the devotees could come and take the Lord’s blessings.

I sat on the temple steps and waited. As every woman would come and go I would walk up to them and touch their feet. I think they all thought I was a bit strange! My aunt came and asked me to come in for breakfast but I refused since I did not want to miss a single woman who came to the temple, as it might have been Ma Kali. My mother also came to see Swami that morning and I touched her feet, which she found to be extremely strange!

At midday Swami came to me and asked if I was ready to travel to Port Louis with him so I said, “No bro, how can I? I have to stay here and greet all the women; otherwise I may not be able to accompany you anywhere ever again”! Swami laughed and called me into his room. There the Divine Mother appeared. I was afraid that I had already failed the test that She had set me. She said in a calm voice “I have watched you all day my son, you have passed the test.” She went on to say, “Ravi, I visited you now four times in one day. You are very lucky, there are many souls that dedicate their lives to me and I have not appeared in front of them.” The Divine mother allowed me to have Her blessings and told me that as I had passed her test, She would grant me a boon of my choice.  I did not know what to ask for at the time, as my mind had frozen. I thought to ask the Divine Mother for liberation. However I realised that I have been blessed with a great guru who would lead me to liberation. I therefore asked the Divine Mother to appear whenever I needed Her guidance. The Divine mother chanted a mantra and then said, “So it shall be.” Before She left She told me that I should remember She is present in all women and I must make sure that I treat all women with respect.

I then set out with Swami for Port Louis. While I was there I bought a picture of Ma Kali, which I asked Swami to bless. On our return Swami put the picture on his altar, two minutes after doing so the picture was covered in kumkum. Swami called me into his room and explained that Ma Kali would always be with me and from time to time She would come and visit me.

The Divine Mother visits again

Just as Swami had said, the Divine Mother did visit me again, this time in London. I was working in a phone shop and an afro-Caribbean woman walked into the shop. She was dancing with a big wooden stick in her hand. As she was drawing a lot of attention to herself my manager was afraid and wanted to call the police. I told her that I would try to deal with the woman without police involvement. Before I spoke to the woman I closed my eyes and asked for my guru’s grace, to enable me to deal with this situation. I asked the woman how she was. She replied directly “I want something from you, give me anything from the store”. I said “I can’t give you something, but I can buy something for you.” She replied while dancing and jumping “You don’t need to buy me anything, just give me something”. I tried to concentrate on my guru’s inner voice again and asked him how I could deal with this situation. I could hear my guru advising me, to not worry and to continue talking to her. The woman asked a couple of times “Don’t you know who I am? Tell me who I am!” I thought hard in my mind and thought that this woman could be Ma Kali. The woman opened her arms as this thought entered my mind and said, “You recognized me son,” and She hugged me. After doing this she danced happily out of the shop with her stick in her hand. Swami said to me afterwards, when he visited London that the Divine Mother would visit me again.

Ravi – UK

Tag Cloud