Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ethereal Reminiscences II - The Second Homecoming

Continuing on a previous post, there was a second ethereal experience for me. Let me try to concisely recapitulate the turn of events, that manifested towards a particular encounter. Somehow lacking a sound sleep or after simply losing the motive push to get up from bed at 8:00 in the morning, I was in a deep state of slumber.

There was also a feeling within this slumber, which could have along the very lines of death. Add to that, the mind's utter ineffectiveness, as if held by a sudden uncontainable force, I was made to delve into a strange form of communication. Later someone explained this as an intuitive message, made possible via one's spiritual eye (point between the eyebrows). Not able to decipher anything, neither about the source nor the communicator, till late afternoon. What could only be deduced, was that it was an impending death with a sudden painful bereavement within my family. Someone very close. No visuals or anything but someway certain! And at the same time, I was certain that this was never a dream, it was a real precise communication, intended for a specific person. And the thoughts of portending mortality supposed to occur in my family, filled all accompanying thoughts with merciless anxiety.

              That morning there I got a call from my Mom, who told me that there were urgent official orders from the Central Government for my Dad. He had to take one of the earliest flights to Delhi. And eventually reach one of the remote-most villages in Uttar Pradesh (UP). It was to oversee the running elections to go peacefully. There had been some shooting earlier and the earlier observers had been injured by bullets. Of course, remote villages in UP or anywhere in India don't have airstrips. It had to be a composite air-road-air-road journey, with a hundred or more miles to cover by road. After listening to these accounts, I was mentally shaking with fear. Dad had to take two flights and two cars to reach that particular village. What if my premonitions came true! Somehow I was sure of a death, but lacked any idea on the subject. Unable to tell any of this to Mom and with prayers to Divine, I boarded a train back home. It was a planned trip and the tickets were made a few weeks ago. Comically enough, the accompaniment was Chetan Bhagat's new book then 'The 3 mistakes of my life' to help cover these six or seven anxious hours, with some senseless comedy. After going through a few pages, the realization dawned upon me, that it was perhaps Bhagat's fourth mistake to have written that book in the first place! Bravely with scyllas of sarcasm and  with a dispassionate reading, almost three-fourths of the book were over. This was when my Mom called again, sobbing. I got to know that my maternal grandfather had passed away! So it was he, who was the soul behind the communication. Contrary to a relative scenario of losing one's parent, I felt an immediate sigh of relief with my father being safe from harms way. Along the sadness that my mother had lost hers. All I could do was to console her, with my heart and soul. She mentioned that she would be leaving with my aunt at around 7 pm, which was roughly coincide with the time of reaching home. I wanted to go with her, to help unfold the mystery. The rest of the journey helped give a thought to subtle (astral) forces, of which we become aware only when, we are not aware of ourselves (A tiny bubble of laughter I, Am become the Sea of Mirth Itself). Pretty concocted is the human being. Composed of the same elements as Earth or Stardust, how can (s)he be so misplaced to assert with ample confidence that the Earth & the Stars are just gases, without consciousness!

       And the last page of Bhagat's fourth mistake was flipped with truly high dispassion for materialism. After reaching home, and having some food (devoid of any spices as per Hindu customs) and we embarked on a greater journey, back to the quiet place, where my grandfather, mom, dad and even I was born; the ancestral home where, grandfather gave away his physical being. We covered six more hours by road and it was well past midnight, when we reached the place. 

         Paying my respects to elders present there and all of us went to pay respects to our late grandfather's physical body. He was lying on his usually unadorned bed, and I noticed a perfectly straight spine, and remarkable freedom on his face. Blood circulation had stopped, which added additional lightness to his already very fair skin he had. Some cotton balls were plugged in his nose and ears. Then while I was exiting through the other door, suddenly some force field (astral field perhaps) enveloped me. And it was felt, whenever I entered my grandfather's room again. Trying two or three times and it did seem certain, that an(many) unseen forces had been encompassing and enveloping that very room. It was a strange feeling, and there were doubts about these forces sharing the same origin, as to the forces which led the original communication. I can't help feeling that the room was surrounded by angels, who blessed everyone :)

 My maternal grandfather had been a spiritual person throughout his life, keeping himself engaged in his spiritual search through Kriya-Yoga (& meditation) for extended times during his daily prayers. During old times, when we were kids, I can remember him doing Bhramari pranyam with long AUMs (pronounced OM), audible from the prayer room. My recollection comes with only a small picture of Paramahansa Yogananda & Maa Kali on the altar. Later I came to know from my mother, that he had received his teachings from an elevated disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, better known publicly by the name of Hariharananda Giri. In case you may not know, Paramhansa Yogananda is known to be an avatar of divine love and the most loved author for many as well as for me personally. He was assigned the responsibility to spread Kriya-Yoga in the West, by Babaji (below is a photo of the revered father by late Sananda Lal Ghosh, disciple & younger brother of  Paramhansa Yogananda).
The most famous of Yoganandaji's works is Autobiography of a Yogi, which records a Man's eternal quest, played by this young devotee. The second prolific author with the same love is perhaps Swami Kriyananda, and I can recommend one of his books from my heart, for people who have loved the Autobiography. Kriyananda authored "The New Path". My mother had mentioned a few times that Hariharananda ji used to visit our ancestral home many times. He loved to have only masala tea, prepared by mom with his directions. And I still get a feeling that my grandfather was much more spiritually (a devotee in complete secret) elevated, than we could possibly imagine during his lifetime. My mother was told that he did not have any karma left on the physical plane by the Brahmin doing the puja, since there was no mark left (An old Hindu custom where a mark is left on sand decides the next incarnation/form for a deceased one, personally I am not the right person to comment on it). However, the fact he did consciously convey his death to his grandchild before it actually occurred, does give a strong enough reason to believe that he knew his time of leaving the physical body. A devotee in complete secret, who did bless his grandchildren with directions (including my maternal cousins & we together constitute one closely knit family), for our own spiritual searches, given respective spiritual inclinations: divine love for the devotee, divine wisdom for the discerning and right action for the karma yogi. Many miracles followed the event in the family, some decipherable other not so, close to our hearts.

         This experience had established an alternate reality, with a much greater scheme of things, beyond the usual mortality of life & death and perhaps a vast array of thoughts and hidden inside man's real ambition. Never knowing he loved me so deeply, I am glad that he did in the same way Master does.
Here is a picture of both my paternal (left) and maternal grandfathers (right).

PS: Some additions after six long years, when understanding is relatively deeper & finally taking Kriya Dikhsa. 

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