When I was eleven years old, I went to a sleep-away camp where we sang every night around the campfire. I had a favourite song and I have never forgotten it; it meant a lot to me as a child.
Although I was unaware of it then, the possibilities it evoked in me inspired a lifelong quest for God:
My God and I walk through the fields together.
We walk and talk, like good friends should and do.
He takes my hand.
Our voices join in laughter.
My God and I, forever will we roam.
Later in life, this quest led me to spend 30 years on my spiritual journey, hoping to find a teacher who would and could guide me to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime. One day in June 2005, a friend called to tell me that a young guru from Mauritius was coming to America for the first time. Although my friend and his partner had not met the guru, they planned to spend a week with him during which he would give public darshans. My friend’s partner would be celebrating his birthday during that week and he asked if I would come and celebrate with him, his partner and the guru, at Alders Gate, a convenient five-minute walk from my home. “Yes, I’ll be there”, I spontaneously told my friend.
After agreeing to see the guru, I became curious about him and decided to look at his website. As I gazed at his picture, I felt a rush of shakti move up my spine and intuitively sensed that I would be spending a lot of time with this Swami.
On July 2, as I entered the building where I was to meet my friends and the guru, I felt a palpable air of excitement. I felt nervous, excited and somewhat tentative. I was surprised to see that my friends were not there. I sat as close to the chair, obviously prepared for Swami Vishwananda, as I could. When he came in and sat down, love radiated from him. In his presence I felt I could be safe for the rest of my life.
Swami led us in chanting for a short time and then he gave darshan. As I knelt in front of him and looked into his eyes, I started trembling with shakti rushing through my body. I experienced profound peace, stillness and a presence I had never felt before as love poured through me. I returned to my seat and went into a deep meditation. I heard the words, “This is the one you have been searching for.”
The darshan ended as Swamiji stood up, looked directly at me and said to everyone, “Find Krishna within.” Swami left. Then, to my surprise, a short time later he reappeared. He greeted everyone with love and casually spoke with people. I asked Swami a question and he answered simply and directly, “All you have to do is unlock the little door to your heart.”
My friends never showed up that day. But they gave me the greatest gift of my life, my beloved Swamiji. That first meeting with Swami Vishwananda was the beginning of walking in the fields with my guru.
Nandini – Linda Novack – USA