About the book relating the experiences of Devotees of Swami Vishwananda

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The Divine Mother’s challenge

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

Shirdi Sai Baba

On Swami Vishwananda’s twenty first birthday on the thirteenth of June, we went to Mauritius, the island in Africa where Swami was born and grew up. There, Swamiji materialized a golden Narashimha murti. One morning he called us into his room, “Look what appeared on the wall! He exclaimed. “It is like a shadow.” I told him, “It is Shirdi Sai Baba sitting and blessing with his hand!” Months later, Swami was in our house in Nairobi and called us one morning into his  room, “Look what appeared on the wall!” He said. I told him, “Again, it is Shirdi Sai Baba sitting and blessing with his hand, like a shadow.”

Later, we sold our house in order to move into a bigger one. The new people of the house painted this wall white.  One week later they called us and said, “You know this wall with the form of this holy man. We painted it several times in one week and finally it had completely gone, but today it has come back again the same as before.” “Well, you can believe what you want”, I told them. “But I would suggest you leave it as it is; if Sri Shirdi Sai Baba wants to stay in your home let it be, it is a blessing for all of you.

In our new house, Swami came to visit and we had a Shirdi Sai Baba puja. Swami needed kumkum, but I only had red kumkum. He told me: “I don’t want this one; I need a good one, a yellow kumkum.” “But I don’t know where to get another kumkum of that sort in Nairobi,” I replied. If you need it, you can materialize it.” He did not say anything; he just went up to his room.  After a while he came down with a handful of yellow kumkum. The wall of his room was filled with this very yellow kumkum!

Kajal and Sanjit – Nairobi – Kenya

Back to the path of Christ with Swami Vishwananda

I met Swami Vishwananda in Mauritius in 1997. At that time I was repelled by the idea of following a guru because I had read some unfavourable experiences of people writing about such matters. When I tried to picture myself as the follower of a guru, I disliked the picture very much.

Swami Vishwananda taught me many things, among them, he showed me what it really means to follow a master, a true guru. At the time I was completely opposed to the word guru because I thought that it had a negative aspect and that society interprets the guru experience in a fanatical way. I thought that in our western society the guru was linked with danger, suspicion, manipulation and brainwashing. Thus I was very sceptical and I viewed Swami Vishwananda in a highly critical way. But in a most loving way, he guided me step-by-step until I realised a different understanding of a guru.

Swami Vishwananda lived at my home for some time and it was then that I opened my heart and began to appreciate the guru. He helped me develop a greater openness towards all religions. He clearly delineated for me that religion is based on love, tolerance, and the spirit of Christ. Since I have known Swamiji, my capacity to love and to forgive has expanded. I learned to forgive myself which, in turn, allows me to forgive others. I will always be grateful for Swami’s teaching and loving guidance. Swami Vishwananda has the greatest capacity to love I have witnessed in my life. He does not preach anything – HE IS! He is love, just love. His look, his way of acting, his presence, everything is continually reflecting love.

For ages I had been trying to find a remedy that would make it possible for my wife to walk again. He taught me to develop patience. He asked me to create a more positive attitude by watching my thoughts, words and actions. Swami said that by doing that, my long-cultivated negative thoughts and actions would not darken my life or the life of my closest relatives anymore. And he was right!

Swami helped me physically. Some years ago I had to have surgical treatment for an inguinal hernia, being fixed with plaques. During a recent doctor’s appointment I was told that I needed another operation. Swami Vishwananda told me to wait for three months before going ahead with the operation. Three months later I went to have an echography [test]. The doctor’s report indicated there was no need for a further operation. In addition, the doctor told me that there were no traces of the old treatment and not a trace of the plaques!

Thank you Swami. Thank you for helping me develop more tolerance and humility every day. Thank you, most of all, for showing me how to appreciate the silence where God can be found.

Paritosha – Pierre Bretaudeau – France

If you want to read also daily wisdom from Swami Vishwananda: http://www.vishwananda-wisdom.blogspot.com
http://www.vishwanandateachings.blogspot.com and http://www.vishwanandalove.blogspot.com

A wealth of health through Swami Vishwananda

If you think that saints are depictions of people on stained glass windows, distant and quaintly irrelevant in the furious pace of the twenty-first century, then you have not met Swami Vishwananda. Since it is not every day you meet a saint, I was somewhat apprehensive about meeting him. I need not have worried.
At our meeting I found Swami Vishwananda to be warm, open and caring. I thought saints were supposed to be geriatrics but Swami is surprisingly young. We chatted briefly about a certain health condition of mine. After words of advice and wisdom he manifested a pendant with Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) on it. He advised me that wearing the pendant would give me a wealth of health. How he did manifest it, I don’t know. He seemed to pluck it out of the air because he sure did not have it up his short-sleeved shirt. I walked away from speaking with Swami Vishwananda feeling joyful and loved. Later at one of his darshans I met him again after standing in line for over an hour. Even though he had ministered to dozens of people before me, he still greeted me as warmly as if I had been the first person in line. Recognising me and his manifested pendant I wore, he spoke briefly and tenderly to me.
If I never see Swami again, at least I can die knowing that I met with someone exceedingly rare—a flesh-and-blood saint! I believe Swamiji’s greatest gift is his unconditional love. And for his Love that he gives freely and to everyone, I am eternally grateful!
W. – South Africa
for infos about the center of Swami Vishwananda: http://www.centerspringen.org/
for infos about Babaji: http://www.virtual-babaji-vishwananda.blogspot.com and http://www.swamivishwananda.com
for infos about healing:http://www.vishwanandahealing.blogspot.com/

CHAPTER ONE

Who is Swami Vishwananda?

“There is not a single moment where I am not aware of my mission on earth.”

Swami Vishwananda

An extraordinary being

Jyotirananda – Fabian Leuzinger – Switzerland

I know Swami Vishwananda as a very close friend. I met him in India at an ashram in March 1998. I was standing in a busy square, waiting for some people, when a young Indian man approached me. He asked me if I were Swiss and I answered, “Yes”. His question initiated a conversation that lasted the entire afternoon while we sat together by the side of a busy street in India. From the first moment I met Swami Vishwananda, I felt very close to him.

Two days later Swami left to return to his home in Mauritius. Before leaving he asked me to promise to visit him at his home. However it was in London, England that I saw him next. Shortly after that meeting I travelled to Mauritius to visit, and we continued to develop the very close friendship I had felt the moment we first met in India.

Most spiritual Masters oftentimes interact with others in a very human way while obscuring their realised divinity or spiritual advancement. I am grateful that Swami Vishwananda became my friend in just that way. I know that despite Swami’s obvious spiritual attainment, in his heart he is an ordinary person. He acts normal when he is engaged in everyday activities, or spending time with friends or travelling. He dresses in the current clothing trends such as jeans, T-shirt and tennis shoes. He is a responsible person, and as the eldest son of his family he takes care of family obligations.

The past nine years during which I have known Swami Vishwananda have been spiritually very intense for him. Within this relatively short period of time, he has accelerated his own and others’ spiritual experiences and personal development. That same spiritual advancement would have taken an ordinary person several lifetimes to accomplish. Even though Swami has been actively engaged in spiritual work since a very young age, he said that his real work would not begin until he became twenty-seven years old in 2005.

Swami Vishwananda is definitely one of those rare persons who actually know and are fully conscious of their true self and their Divinity. He can connect with that Greater Reality at will. When the greater connection is made, Swami is no longer that ordinary person we see in everyday life. His facial expression and his eyes change as he becomes a radiant being expressing unconditional love. I have witnessed Swami’s transformation on a daily basis. Most of the time he behaves as a normal person who does not make a fuss about his true Divine self. Those who view him superficially do not recognize the greatness of his soul.

Swami’s so-called miracles are an everyday occurrence and I have witnessed them on numerous occasions. The phenomena and miracles occurring around him are not what impress me most about him. Rather, I continually have a high regard for his ability to assist people in coming for themselves to the awareness that God is the only reality and to inspire them to lead lives permeated by spirit. I admire the fact that while Swami is doing all these great things, he somehow manages to stay firmly grounded in physical reality.

Swami has access to great knowledge and stays connected continually to the spiritual world, but he doesn’t talk about it very often. I used to bug him to say more by asking many questions. Swami patiently explains to people, over and over, that he doesn’t want us to focus on phenomena but on the Most Important Source of all the phenomena in life and the Love for Him—God! He advises people that instead of knowing mere theory, it would be more beneficial for them to develop love and cultivate yearning for God in their hearts. He counsels people: “If you fill your heart with love for God and can attune yourself to the Divine, you will acquire true knowledge that is not found in books and theory”.

Whenever a sick person comes to see Swami for healing, he always tells them that he will pray for them. When a spontaneous healing occurs, he always points out that it is God’s work. I have never heard him say that he healed anyone. According to him, there is no one who can call himself/herself a healer. I have heard him say of healers that they are only tools in the hands of the Divine.

If there is something that Swami wants to accomplish, he is very determined and will do whatever it takes. He loves to be in the company of others and to laugh a lot. In his free time, he visits pilgrimage sites and paints icons of saints. He is very creative, whether it is through painting or making music, the latter of which means a great deal to him. Any music that is devotionally sung to God, he will like. He has a beautiful voice and enjoys singing together with others. Studying the lives of saints is one of his greatest passions.

Swami Vishwananda is someone who loves God with all his heart and soul in a very pure and childlike way. This approach to loving God creates for him a very personal and natural relationship with the Divine, and thereby he resonates with people in a way that their lives may be transformed. Swami’s goal in life is to touch the hearts of people who are spiritually and magnetically drawn to him in such a way that they are motivated to adopt a spiritual life centred on God.

As a guru, even when Swami is being childlike and spontaneous, he radiates a natural aura of authority. He can be strict, but he always tempers it with a kind and caring authority which holds the truth that he knows what is best for his disciples. When one of the brahmacharis does something of which he disapproves, he points this out to him or her. However, instead of condemning that person, he looks for a seed of readiness to learn from one’s mistake and move on attitude, and then he nurtures and waters that. Swami says, “When you have fallen, it is better to get up again and thereby grow stronger from a painful experience or mistake. Choose not to have painful memories come back again and again and to be tormented by them to the extent of creating physical illness.” He is very tolerant toward others. He never tries to convince anyone of his own opinion and he doesn’t moralize. When people ask for his advice he clearly tells them what they have to do to balance the situation. He then leaves the person’s free will intact through counselling them to make their own choices in the end. Swami does occasionally get troubled himself, but he moves quickly through and past it.

Once Swami and I went together to Rodrigues, a small island off the coast of Mauritius where we stayed at a small guesthouse. The son of the family who lived in the main house was 20 years old, which happened to be the same age as Swami at the time. The son began mocking Swami, making fun of him as a spiritual person who performed miracles, etc. Swami graciously tried a few times to talk to the son in a reasonable way, but met with no success. Soon Swami quietly removed himself from the uncomfortable situation. At that time I was astounded to see that instead of getting hurt or angry, he actually had compassion for the young man. Swami allows people to choose whether they relate to him as guru, brother, friend or just a ordinary person. Even though Swami Vishwananda is my guru, he will always be my good friend at the same time!

* * *

Sri Swami Vishwananda

Swami Vishwananda is born on June 13, 1978 into a Hindu family in Mauritius. From early childhood on he is drawn to spirituality and lives in the conscious presence of God. From the age of two he would accompany his grandmother to the nearby Hindu temple where they performed their daily worship. Later he would visit churches and mosques because he felt drawn to the presence of the Divine in these sacred places. As a young boy he naturally began to meditate. He enjoyed spending his time singing devotional songs, performing spiritual worship, and inspired his childhood friends to participate in his natural worship of the Lord.

At the age of fourteen he experienced for the first time the state of samadhi, a deep meditative state of absorption in the Divine. Remaining firmly grounded in the everyday reality of life, he began to completely follow his vocation as a spiritual teacher after finishing his school years.

His spiritual greatness started to become known and accepted; People came from across the globe to seek his advice and blessings. Due to his unmistakable realisation of Oneness with the Divine he started to attract the first sincere spiritual seekers.

By 2005 at the request of his guru Mahavatar Kriya Babaji, Swami Vishwananda founded a formal ashram in Germany and instituted the Bhakti Marga order. Bhakti stands for ‘love and devotion’; Marga means ‘path’. Thus, Bhakti Marga is the path of love and devotion to the Lord. It is one of the many spiritual paths leading to the goal of self-realisation.

Swami Vishwananda has also founded ashrams and centres in Mauritius, South Africa, Germany, England, the United States and Switzerland. He travels to numerous countries around the world to spread his simple and profound message of love, patience and unity.

Swami Vishwananda’s teachings offer much precious counsel and many methods which enable one to find the inner happiness deep inside, to develop ways to face life’s day-to-day difficulties. He inspires and helps people open their hearts to the unconditional Divine Love that exists within everyone and to awaken them to their fundamental Oneness with the Divine.

With love and patience he tells us how we can improve the way we live, think, love; and he teaches us how we can find eternal happiness within the Self. He encourages us to love, believe, and accept ourselves as we are and to be of service to humanity.

He has an open-minded attitude towards different ways of expressing spirituality and love for God. With natural ease he connects elements from the Christian tradition with Hindu spirituality. He encourages us to deepen our own individual path to God and to keep up any personal religion or beliefs.

Swami Vishwananda embraces all religions and cultures. He teaches us to go beyond the concept of religion and to find the underlying unity, the unconditional universal Divine Love inside. He respects and venerates all great masters, saints and sages from all religious and cultural backgrounds. Swami Vishwananda asks us to love everyone in the same way and to see everybody as a part of God’s creation. Through bhakti or devotion we can realise this underlying connection within ourselves.

In ‘Blossoming of the heart’, relatives, friends, devotees and disciples from different countries and different cultural backgrounds share their very personal experiences with Swami Vishwananda. These different stories give us glimpses of his warm-hearted personality, his very practical, straightforward and down-to-earth way of relating to people. Through their stories, we experience the love and warmth he radiates unconditionally that touches the heart in a deep way. We are enchanted by his simplicity, kindness and humility.

Jai Gurudev

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