A poem about my life before and after meeting Guha
Updated: May 22, 2021
G & ME
“To be simple requires a tremendous amount of talent and focus!”
I don’t think one ever chooses
To fall in love
It just happens when
You least expect it.
I never believed in love
For I thought it was all about power play.
You give me this,
I will give you that,
Exchange of promises
Of everlasting togetherness,
A deal worked out
That is mutually agreeable.
It does work for
Some amount of time,
For each is an
Investment of the other,
Together they face the world
And everything that is dished out.
Folks are forced to deal with
The good, the bad, and the ugly,
Sometimes kids are involved in the mix
And many a time not,
Either way it is all a grand deal
However one looks at it.
Then a few months or years go by
Everything isn’t what it’s cracked up to be,
All the rose-tinted ideas and romance
Come to a naught.
Some manage to get away but entrap themselves
In yet another merry-go-around.
Some stick it out
To make their investment work,
Some like the comfort
That the relationship offers
Some are plain lazy to do anything
And some ask is this all?
2. MY LIFE
I thought I was smart
Well ahead of the game,
Played every move in awareness
Not wishing to rock my boat
For who was I to challenge
The accepted and established dynamics?
Neither had the inclination nor the guts
What difference did any of it make?
I saw misery all around regardless of
Religion, atheism, agnosticism,
Gender or orientation issues
All were in some boat or another.
Just to make matters interesting,
I thought of giving spirituality a chance,
Maybe it offered some solutions
Or perhaps present different problems.
Regardless, it was a good way to stir things up
And see what shakes out from the bottom to the top.
That got tiring after some time
Different gurus, different garbs, different gods,
All presenting and promising exclusive paths
To salvation and everlasting bliss!
Didn’t matter to them whether they found it for themselves or not
But it sure brought them money, adulation and power.
My angst and frustration grew
I wasn’t sure who or what could assuage it,
I was well placed in life
One could say I was living the American dream,
But somehow it wasn’t good enough
As I found myself desperately seeking something.
3. U.G. KRISHNAMURTI
In the midst of all this
When I scoured the internet for enlightened masters,
I came across the name of U.G. Krishnamurti
Who stood out amongst the crowd,
I thought he was interesting but crazy
As I tried to grapple with what he said.
He seemed original but foul mouthed,
Very opinionated and rude
Made me wonder why
Anyone bothered with him at all,
It seemed like all he did
Was curse one and all.
However, what I read about him
Started bothering me a lot,
He seemed to challenge my ideas and goals
And my accepted way of functioning,
What did this man have that others did not?
What made him rage and rant like that?
Reading about him created a lot of discomfort
And put me in real funk,
For it seemed like my cherished ideas and self
Were all lumped with junk,
He exuded an undeniable and audacious confidence
That I couldn’t deny or miss.
I tried to get in touch with him
But it was in vain
Tried every which way known to me
But alas I couldn’t make it happen.
I just wanted to meet him and shake his hand
And if he allowed me, then ask him one question.
“What is it that you have
Even if you don’t want to give it a name?
Whatever that unnamed thing is
Can I also get a piece of the same?”
Then I would cringe at myself
Imagining how that conversation would go!
One day while at work
I browsed UG’s name one more time,
I found out that he had passed away
A few months earlier,
I was overcome with extreme grief
And cried like never before.
It did make me wonder
Wherefrom this sorrow springs
For someone that I had never met
And supposedly may not have even liked,
Tears poured down in torrents
And I left work to go home.
I rued over the missed opportunity
Of meeting and interacting with UG
Spent sleepless nights
Tossing, turning and crying,
Blamed the universe
For not offering me the chance.
I felt that UG was closest
To being the Buddha of our times,
Born with a silver spoon
Yet had forsaken his wealth and fortune,
He seemed to have even renounced all familial ties
In pursuit of the ultimate truth.
4. SABYASACHI GUHA
In those moments of extreme anguish and grief
A name popped up in my head
A name that had come up
In one of the many UG articles that I had read.
The name was Sabyasachi Guha
A family man and seemingly a devotee of UG.
I felt that I should contact him
Perhaps he could give me some answers,
What questions I would ask him
I did not know
But contact him I must
That much I was sure.
Then came the search that was fast and furious
I looked up his name, his bio,
Any news or article that would mention him
Or any of his friends or family members,
Something that would tell me of his whereabouts
Or what he might be up to.
I was on the internet surfing every spare minute
But couldn’t find much about him
Called up random people
Hoping they would have information,
I felt a raging fire in my belly
That would not leave me alone.
By some stroke of sheer good fortune,
I got in touch with Julie Clarke Thayer,
A longtime friend of UG.
She was able to put me in touch with Guha,
He was roaming around somewhere in India
In the lower Himalayan region.
I was ecstatic to get him on the phone
My joy knew no bounds!
Then to my extreme frustration
Not a word would come out of my mouth
For I was crying heart-wrenchingly
And I did not want him to know.
I stuttered trying to address him by name,
He said, “Call me Guha, Just Guha.”
He gently prodded to know the reason for my call.
He was also very curious how I found him
As not much was written about him
On the net or elsewhere.
5. MEETING GUHA FOR THE FIRST TIME
After a few exchanges
Of phone calls and emails,
I was able to meet Guha a few months later
The circumstances that came about
To arrange that meeting
Had their own mystical backstory.
Some family event and invitation
Landed me in New York City
And now I felt I was in the vicinity
I called Guha excitedly
We arranged to meet a couple of days later
At his home in New Jersey.
Something made me wish with all my heart,
“Couldn’t we meet sooner, perhaps today itself?”
Then I threw out a challenge to the universe ,
“If there is anything to this guy called Guha,
He will move things around and meet me today
Without my making that request aloud.”
To make the odds a little bit more difficult
I threw out a second challenge as well,
“Guha will also invite me over
And have me stay in his hometown!”
Lo and behold the universe
Accepted my challenge and fulfilled them both!
That day was June 23rd, 2008
It was a Monday
The digits add up to a multiple of 7
That has its own unique connection with Guha
We were to meet in Luna’s apartment
In midtown Manhattan.
I remember the suspenseful ticking moments,
As the elevator made its way up
My hands were clammy
And my head on overdrive
The universe was enabling and directing me
To this new door.
When I did see G (Guha became G) on that momentous day
And he clasped my hand with both of his and shook it
I felt my whole existence was being shaken
I wanted to do a little jig and felt like saying,
“Oh my god! This is finally happening!
I am shaking my hands with a legend!”
A random thought popped in my head
This is how Henry Stanley must have felt,
When he shook David Livingstone’s hand
And said “Dr. Livingstone I presume?”
Caught myself before I blurted out,
“Dr. Guha I presume?”
I found myself at a loss for words
By asking superfluous questions
And wearing a silly grin
I can’t recall much of what was said
But found myself in very high spirits!
They gave me a car tour
Of the downtown, midtown and uptown NYC
All I could see was a blur
Of lights, traffic and tall buildings
That gave me a reprieve
From asking further silly questions.
G spent the evening with me,
Then he dropped me at Julie’s for the night.
He made plans for the next day
To walk by some canal
Followed by a lunch at his place
Everything sounded like music to me!
That night I had my first dream of UG,
UG talked to me for hours on Julie’s balcony
Then at the end he said,
“You won’t remember a thing that I said the last 4 hours!”
I related the strange dream to Julie and then G
Both seemed quite happy hearing it or so it felt to me.
Next day morning we walked by the canal,
Seeing me in my Birkenstock slippers,
He urged me to get a pair of good sneakers,
He had me mesmerized as he chatted with me very casually
And tossed and skipped stones
Beautifully and elegantly across the canal.
Later, we drove to G’s place at 8,Civic Center Drive,
Where I was introduced to his family.
His wife had cooked a lovely lunch
And his daughters were very warm and friendly.
There was sumptuous food, singing and conversation
That revolved around UG.
They showed me some video clips of when UG
First came to their home and another before his passing,
Feelings and emotions seemed
To be running high all around
Or perhaps they were running within me
And I saw its reflection.
We also watched some clips from the movie Species II
In which Julie’s son had acted.
Then we sat down for lunch and I remember one thing very distinctly
Just before we took our first morsel
G asked for a sweet box
To be brought from the refrigerator.
When someone remarked that it was for dessert
He said, “Why not start our lunch with dessert?”
He handed me the sweet first and it was my favorite ‘malaai sandwich’!
In my hyped-up state, I couldn’t help feeling
That this was a grand initiation
To something sacred and personal.
While eating some of UG’s favored dishes,
G casually asked me
When I had arrived to this country
Normally I would have said the year I came
But for some inexplicable reason
I mentioned the month, date and year.
G exclaimed animatedly,
“Wow what a coincidence!
I came to US the same date, month and year too!”
I thought to myself,
“Although we arrived same day
Look at the different paths our lives took since."
After lunch it was coffee time
And I will never forget the next scene.
G was sitting in an armchair
And requested for some coffee
Someone prepared special Italian Illy coffee
And brought it to him.
He said, “Too little milk”
And someone scurried and got him some more.
Then he said, “Too little sugar”
And another fetched him some and stirred his cup.
“The coffee is too cold now” said he,
And a third went and warmed it up for him.
I watched this scene in absolute bemusement
And a thought crossed my mind,
“Is this the guy that I have come to
To learn to be free and independent
And perhaps learn the secrets
Of ‘Natural State’ or ‘Enlightenment’?”
“He needs three people to tend to him for a cup of coffee
Boy what a spoiled brat!
I shushed this thought, lest he read my mind,
After all the universe thought highly of him
And brought me to his doorstep.”
Years later I discovered the joy of making or heating up coffee for G!
I thought he was very kind
To offer a ride to the bus station couple of days later.
His friends joined the car ride to NYC
He regaled us with stories about his time with UG
And emphasized that there was nothing to get from anyone
In those moments I felt I could listen to him for the rest of my life!
Boarded the bus with my head in the clouds and my heart singing,
Kept waving my hands and saying goodbye until my last minute
I couldn’t sleep a wink on the long ride back
As thoughts of G swirled in my head
I felt maybe another chapter
Of my life had come to an end.
Little did I know then
That a new chapter had begun,
Only in hindsight and connecting the dots
Can one make that discovery.
Few days after I got back, I called G
And started crying on the phone.
I did not know the reason why
But I felt very melancholy without him.
Not knowing what to say or ask
Or explain the ache within me
I made some general small talk
And politely hung up feeling a bit embarrassed.
I started emailing G
And calling him off and on
Always getting flummoxed
When he asked me,
“What is it you want?”
And “Why are you calling me?”
No answer seemed good enough
Despite a lot of reflection and contemplation.
Anything I did was self-defeating and frustrating.
I would go to a local park bench
And lie down and shed copious tears,
Wondering why such simple questions made me weep for G.
6. UG DREAM
About six months after I first met G
Sometime towards the end of 2008,
I had a very distinct dream
That nearly knocked me out.
I can still recall it very clearly
As if I dreamt it yesterday.
The dream went like this:
I was driving a car (unenthusiastically)
Through the streets of NYC.
G was riding beside me in the passenger seat
And behind him was UG
There was a lady behind me who I couldn’t see.
I was having a rough time
Maneuvering through the city streets and traffic,
This was worsened by G
Giving non-stop instructions and directions.
I was waiting for this painful drive to end
So I could talk peacefully to UG.
I felt like telling G,
“If you know the streets so well why aren’t you driving?
That would free me up to talk to UG
Who is sitting right behind us!”
I didn’t have the guts to say it out loud
And managed to plug along in great misery.
Finally, I stopped the car at a long red light,
And eagerly turned towards UG.
Anticipating my question
UG looked at me straight in the eye and said firmly,
“The answer to all your questions
Is right next to you!”
I looked for some signpost or billboard
On my driver’s side window to my left
Finding nothing I turned to my right
My eyes falling on G
“Oh no it possibly can’t be,
It can’t be him that holds the key!”
Giving me a delighted, beaming smile,
Reading my thoughts and expressions perfectly,
G extended his right hand
In a warm and intimate handshake.
As my right hand and my universe was being shaken
I felt I was getting a formal handoff from UG to G.
I couldn’t figure out
If I should laugh hysterically or cry
Or just chalk it to a dream and move on.
Move on I did, continuing my search,
Search for that something
That would quench my thirst.
I neither found satisfaction nor answers in calling G
Or calling anyone else
In the spiritual marketplace or jamboree.
As frustration built up,
The placebos and replacements wore off
Until I felt I had reached the end of my rope.
It always seemed to me that G
Was unpredictable and did the unexpected
I would be pouring my heart and soul out ,
Crying the blues about my existential crisis,
Hoping to hear some pearls of wisdom or advice
Or get some spiritual guidance from him.
While I waited with bated breath for G’s response
He would randomly remark
About the uniqueness of my phone number, zipcode and name
That added up to multiples of seven,
As if I cared or it mattered
Leaving me irritated and puzzled.
7. SAI DREAM
Somewhere during that time
I had few dreams of Sai,
Many strange experiences and coincidences
Seemed to naturally happen,
I never harbored any desire to meet him
Or worship or deify him in any manner.
Curiosity and interest in Sai
Seeing the stirrings of a conflict
One day I asked myself should I follow Sai or G
The Sai of my imagination won out
As it was easier to deal with wishful thinking that a livewire G!
I had some interesting experiences
That hooked me for a while.
Alas! There was no lasting change.
Misery, angst, and frustrations were back with a vengeance.
As with every passing phase this too came to pass
About 6 months before Sai passed away.
Feeling desperate, sad, and lonely
I looked at a picture of Sai at my home and said,
“You say - you and I are one,
Then how come your picture
Is on your devotees’ walls and worshipped
Whilst I am steeped in so much misery.”
Suddenly I heard a voice
(Of Sai I presumed)
Very distinctly ask me,
“Do you really want a way out?”
At my unequivocal “YES” the voice said thrice,
“GO TO GUHA, GO TO GUHA, GO TO GUHA”.
I was stunned beyond belief
And rubbed my eyes and ears
Wondering if I was
Awake or asleep or dreaming
There was no mistaking what I had heard
For the words were crystal clear.
I cried out quite shrilly,
“Do you have any idea what G calls you?”
I repeated the foul expletives
That were often used by him for Sai
But there was no Sai left anymore
The baton seemed to have formally passed to G.
After that powerful hallucination
Which seemed more real than real
All my thoughts and feelings
For Sai completely disappeared.
As the saying goes all roads lead to Rome
It seemed like all my roads led to G.
I called G on the phone
Feeling a little apprehensive and unsure
Of the reception I would get,
For it had been a couple of months since I had last called him.
On hearing his cheerful voice at the other end
I wept and wept and wept inconsolably.
G would later say to me
That he distinctly remembered that day
He was walking around in Kohl’s department store
When I called out of the blue and cried.
He knew then that I had really fallen
Hook line and sinker and was a ‘goner’.
Although I never mentioned
Either UG’s or Sai’s dream to G until years later,
No stories were needed for him to feel the connection.
After that day I remained in touch with G very regularly
Regardless of the highs and lows that he triggered
For there was plenty of that around him.
In hindsight, all the highs and lows
Are our own creation,
The laser focus that G’s energy provides
Brings it all to the fore;
What we do about it is akin to
Arriving at the fork on the road.
Are you going to take the well travelled path
Of practiced love, devotion, surrender and worship
Or the one less traveled
Where you have no clue what lies ahead of the next bend?
Maybe it is not a choice you can make
It is your system that decides to take the plunge.
Years later, when I did tell G about both the UG and Sai dreams
He was thrilled about the former and completely dismissive of the latter.
I asked him why would my system generate those dreams;
He responded, “Perhaps the innate intelligence of your body,
Is guiding you to what is congenial for its equilibrium;
For the body is far more intelligent than the mind!”
8. G COMES TO MY HOMETOWN
Sometime towards the end of 2011
I accidentally came across a book
On UG called “Goner” written by Louis Brawley.
Didn’t mean to purchase it but somehow I did,
Read it cover to cover
Without putting it down.
Shed a lot of tears for a man
That had lived and died
Without making a compromise
Left behind no hope, no method, no path, no promise
Oh to be like him for just five minutes in this life
Would be a life worth living!
Out of that deep and sincere wish
Something magical happened
In March of 2012, G gave me a call and said,
“How about I come and visit you?”
Not believing my ears and my luck I said,
“That would be awesome please tell me when”?
G arrived with two of his friends
Couple of days later
He spent two days with me
He patiently answered all my questions and concerns
Some shift happened in me on that trip
Somehow he seemed to grab my steady attention.
I started calling him every day
Often times more than once or twice
Sometimes he was kind and often times not
During those not-so-nice moments
I would often wonder why
I bothered to keep calling him.
He promised nothing, denied everything,
Kept contradicting himself
Creating confusion and turmoil
Often leaving me vexed
I would tell myself, “I don’t need this”
But couldn’t resist calling him and making trips to meet him.
The attraction and fascination
Seemed to grow day by day,
G challenged my every view, idea, desire and goal
That related to spirituality, religion and all else
He placed a lot of emphasis on functional reality
And introduced practicality in every aspect of life.
He challenged me to bag it all
My gods, gurus and spiritual books and make a bonfire
Emboldened by his assurance
That nothing bad or terrible would happen
I found the guts to pitch it all in the garbage
And never turned back.
That seemed to somehow be a turning point
A discovery only in hindsight,
With no spiritual goal and aspiration to chase
Discarded the very idea of enlightenment
Or a particular state of mind to acquire
I was jittery in animated suspension.
There was a big gush of energy
That freed up within me,
This energy had intense heat and momentum
And a punch and pulse of its own
It led to a constant buzz and hum
In my system round the clock.
Strange hallucinations and visions
Started coming galore,
Seemed to come up with interesting storylines
Like those in folklore
The attraction and heat intensified all on its own
With not a moment of relief.
Found a focal point to direct that energy
To a person who was beautiful beyond belief
I had no clue if I was coming or going
Exquisite feelings randomly enveloped me
Things were happening fast and furiously
Like I had never heard of before.
One fine day on a cold wintry morning,
In January 2015 G called and said,
“I may be going to Chicago via your hometown,
Are you interested?”
Caught by surprise and not knowing what to say
I hemmed and hawed.
“Come to meet me first,
We shall see what materializes” I said.
A friend of mine urged me to go
Said a chance like this may not happen again
She was absolutely right
Because it ended up being a trip of a lifetime!
9. CHICAGO TRIP
It was Friday, January 16th 2015,
The place was the Drake Hotel Chicago
G’s room was called “The King’s Room”
How apropos was that?
A regal name and a delightful ambience
The stage was royally set.
The man himself seemed to be
Breathing fire and brimstone
He verbally attacked with words
That were sharper than the finest Swiss knife
And he seemed to threaten
The very existence of my life.
I looked around at others
No one else seemed unduly perturbed
“What the hell is happening to me?”
I muttered as I tried to keep it together
I was cornered like an animal
Wanted to lash out in self-defense.
Looking at G and I cried out aloud,
“I would like to beat you with the biggest stick I can find!”
He replied “Go for it, it’s no big loss”
He said it with such nonchalance that I was taken aback
That was my undoing for it was
The last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Hot and cold currents exploded up and down my back
I felt someone had punched my guts
My breathing pattern became weird and labored
And I shivered uncontrollably
G knew something was up
And asked me if I wanted some water.
He said I could lie down
And rest if I wanted
Wrapping myself with a shawl
I politely refused.
All the strength had left me
I just did not know what was happening.
My whole system seemed to be on hyper alert
I kept looking at G with ardor and wonder
My menstrual period that followed a schedule
Of 28 days in a clockwork and consistent fashion
Kicked in unexpectedly and off-schedule
And was to be my last one ever.
This heralded a permanent and lasting change
To my hormonal system
It wasn’t the only system
To be impacted as I would later discover
For now I was feeling brittle and thought
I would crumble without any provocation.
I was never the same after that
For a strange metamorphosis took over.
Infused with a new kind of
Energy and alertness never experienced before,
The entire focus of my attention
And existence fell on G.
There was no mental ideation or desire
To hold him in an exalted position
It was happening from some newly developed
And hitherto unknown sensation
All I knew was that G
Became the center of my universe.
Couple of days later
The morning of my return from Chicago
G and his friends were gathered in his room
He caught me by surprise when
He asked me to talk about my life
And my search until then.
I talked for over an hour uninterrupted
Sometimes with laughter and sometimes in tears
I poured out my childhood memories
Of wanting to be like Buddha,
Studies, marriage, kids, family and career
And various ups and downs.
I talked about joining a spiritual organization
That I eventually left in frustration
Various other gurus and spiritual experiences
And the eventual dejection that followed,
My stumbling across UG
That later led me to G but still found no resolution.
I burst into tears
As I talked about reading “Goner”
And how I desperately wanted to be like UG
Even if only for a few minutes.
G’s eyes glistened as he said,
“OMG! I can’t stop listening! I’m spellbound!”
As G dropped me off at the train station
He said I could call him as often as I wanted
I thought this is a nice change
After years of barely taking my calls
He then emailed me
A beautifully and anonymously written article.
Julie and G speculated that the article
May have been written by UG himself many years ago
G called me a few times on the ride back
To discuss this article and my impressions
Was he using that as an excuse
To ensure that I was okay until I reached home safely?
Perhaps it was also an attempt by G
To give me a glimpse or a hang of what he himself might be,
There wasn’t much written on him then
Anything I could glean had to come from the horse’s mouth itself.
It wasn’t something I could really ask him about
As he would only deny it and say I am not UG.
10. POST CHICAGO TRIP
Thoughts of G swirled and rotated
In my head without consciously thinking
A deep desire to be with him, talk to him, see him,
Interact with him all the time
Burned and seared
Through my existence.
Although I used to call him and meet him
And sought his company before
All that seemed like a pale shadow
Compared to what was happening now
I was consumed with the raw intensity
Of wanting to be with him.
I thought maybe this too was an experience
That would soon pass like the ones before,
Strangely it stirred up
Emotions and passions galore
They gathered more momentum and verve
Putting my system on overdrive.
Every second of my existence
Seemed to become vibrantly alive
My sleep, my rest, and my functioning
All went for a toss
But I was too high strung
To mull over that loss.
The first two weeks of February were filled
With a lot of push-pull between G and me
First he shut off the phone for two days
Triggering the first of a series
Of vivid dreams and hallucinations
That continued for the next two years.
These caused massive headaches
And severe neck and chest pains
When he eventually materialized
And said hello and I related my dreams to him
He quoted his old man (UG),
“One’s dreams are far more instructive than any scripture.”
The next day I was at a local bookstore
When G called and perturbed me
Something just unraveled within me
And I fell apart completely
I felt the floor give away under my feet
And I was spiraling downwards and out.
I could hear G say, "Are you ok?
Say something are you having cold shivers?"
I could not get a word out of my constricted throat
As I was fighting for the next breath
I felt a searing pain in my heart
And thought I would die pinned to the ground.
The bookstore assistant helped me off the floor
Walked and seated me on a sofa
Fetched me a glass of water
Asked if I was all right and needed medical help
Refusing, I just sat there chilled to the bone
No words, no coherence.
I could not put two consecutive thoughts together
That made any sense
Bereft and beleaguered
I drove home and slept early and fitfully
I decided I would shut my phone off
And never ever call G.
The “not calling G ever" business
Lasted about three days
Those were probably the worst
And the most hellish three days of my life
I would have vivid dreams when asleep
And hallucinate whilst awake.
My head, neck and chest area seemed
To compete as to which could feel more pain
I was overcome with extreme exhaustion
That finally broke my stubbornness
I called G and he erased all my aches and pains
Both the physical and the mental.
I soared to great heights right after,
Experiencing insane amounts of joy, energy and vitality
Love blossomed in my heart
G’s refrain that heart was just for pumping didn’t dampen it
I felt happy in every shade and hue of color
And in every note of music.
I was amazingly focused at work
Got a lot accomplished in a short span of time
Rest of the time was spent writing
About what was happening inside of me
It seemed as if G had made inroads
Into every cell of my being.
Exactly a month later February 17, 2015
T’was the supposedly auspicious day of Mahashivaratri
I felt nothing for the day
As all my sense of auspiciousness revolved around G.
G woke up that morning and declared, “I am in yoga-nidra
And the world is meditating on me, please don’t disturb me.”
Surprised and puzzled
I thought what the heck!
Perhaps it was a new excuse
To get the monkey off his back.
But later G confirmed
That he did say what he did.
He himself was surprised
Did not know what made him say it
I thought the dude
Was stranger than fiction
Little did I know that for me
It was a prelude to a different benediction.
That night I was extremely hot and miserable
Overheated to a whole new degree
Contracting, flexing, contorting, twitching,
Tossing, turning, burning, eyes watering,
It felt as if someone was
Chopping me in half with a giant axe.
Pain was tearing me
Lengthwise in the back
And breadthwise in the front torso
I felt I was actually delivering a whole country
As fireworks set off in my nervous system
I felt shooting pains everywhere.
I thought I was going to die
Welcomed the thought to escape this pain
Suddenly wanted to throw up
But found myself pinned down unable to move
I thought I was going to drown
In my own vomit, Oh what a way to go!
Suddenly I get a text from G that said,
“I had to wake up and
Even had to throw up for you”
Made me really wonder
How did he know
What I was going through?
The long and violent night passed
I must have eventually dozed off
Woke up feeling
Absolutely and helplessly
In love with G
Love that felt untainted and sweet!
It mattered not a bit whether G was
A man or a woman, young or old fair or ugly
For the first time I saw him clearly
As a force of nature and not an ordinary mortal
All I felt was this incredible love
And in G, I found an anchor in the stormy sea.
Later that morning I went to the grocery store
To pick up a few essentials
Feeling raw and tender
And racked with intermittent waves of painful contractions
My solar plexus area was a giant gaping wound
Although outwardly all seemed normal.
When I entered the store, I was blown away
By the myriad sensations all bombarding me at once
The fruits and vegetables were extra vibrant
And colorful and gloriously alive
I thought I had gone bananas
When the bananas talked to me!
My sensitivity was so high
It felt impossible to think and shop
The brilliant colors and assortment of aromas
Filled and clogged my senses
I watched in absolute wonderment as I was being pulverized
And ‘I’ and ‘my thinking’ were completely sidelined.
Every time I held some food item in my hand
I got a kick in my solar plexus
Quite akin to a kick from a baby
In the mother’s womb
It was the strangest conversation between things
In my external surroundings and my inside.
That morning G suggested that I take off from work
For a week and work remotely if need be
He also promised to dance for me
I thought he was being funny
But much to my surprise
He actually made true on his promise.
On Facetime he danced away
With great abandon and joy
Whilst his friend sang in the background
And Julie recorded the whole episode on her phone
It never ceases to amaze me
How effortlessly things fall into places!
The following week I resumed at work
It was absolutely torturous
For I couldn’t sit still or think productively
And I saw no point in toiling
Or having a career or doing anything
As everything felt too contrived, fake and tedious.
My mind was operating funnily
Its attention consumed by my physical being
That was thumping to a different beat.
G had to coax me gently
At times harshly too, to bring me back
To some semblance of mundane reality.
I could tell from the reactions
Of the people I was interacting with
That I was affecting them,
I found myself being and feeling
Like a teenager with raging hormones
Experiencing crazy highs and crashes.
I had so much energy and chutzpah
Spilling out of my core
One moment I would be flying like a kite
Then just like that I would curl
Into an exhausted ball
Too weak and tired to even lift my head.
How I managed to make it to my car
And drive to work and home safely
Is really a big mystery
As all aspects of my life seemed
Out of control and out of whack
G became my lifejacket to stay afloat.
By a strange quirk of fate
I stayed alone by myself for a month right after
Going to work and back
Was my only scheduled and taxing activity.
Every spare moment was spent
On my phone waiting to hear from G.
G became a lifeline
For my existence and for my sanity
Just as a newborn baby seeks nourishment
From his or her mother to stay alive and function
G became my only source of nourishment,
Warmth, strength and sustenance.
12. POST MAHASHIVARATRI
Contractions in my mid-section area
Continued over the next few weeks
With reducing intensity and pain
Followed by an introduction
Of amazing laser sharp focus
That to date still continues.
I also felt some kind of new sensor
Finding a home in my solar plexus.
It had a mind of its own
That rarely seemed to agree
With the junk in my head
And tried its best to push it all out.
If the mind chose to not cooperate
With the push and pull of the body,
If the two of them were found
Warring and at loggerheads with each other,
Exhaustion and pain kicked in quickly
Leaving me nearly dead.
I asked G when all this pain and misery
Would end and he responded
“To burn the samaskaras
And samaskara-gathering tendency is not easy
A new born baby doesn’t become a man overnight,
Things take time to adjust to the new rhythm.”
As phenomenal amounts of energy and emotions,
Mental movements and physical pain
Were running amuck ravaging my body
I asked G for a way out and he repeated the story
Of his old man when he showed G the signpost
“Love is the only way! “
Over the next few months
My life saw lots of twists and turns
More mysterious and dramatic
Than any movie or book
Vivid dreams and hallucinations
Became the mainstay.
“This is how samaskaras are expelled
From the system like toxins” G said,
Certain specific parts of my body
Came alive and sang in pain
He pointed out those areas seemed to coincide
With the glands of the endocrinal system.
I was plagued by grinding headaches
Often it felt that my head would crack or explode
Aches and burns in most parts of my body
Not an inch was spared outside and within
My fingernails and toenails split repeatedly
Due to intense heat and causing tremendous pain.
Layers of dead dry skin fell off each night
As fine ashy powder for months on end
G said, “This is the real vibhuti generated by the burning
Of the samaskaras and the release of toxins
Not the fake perfumed, grey, ashy powder
Distributed by babas on the street corners.”
I could not get over how much of these samaskaras
Could one possibly accumulate in one’s lifetime!
My life before was pretty straightforward
And humdrum with no major excitement
I was neither a pious person nor a crook
Had no special talents and pretty much lived by the book.
G said the effect of the generations of nurturing
Help shape the DNA and create samaskaras
Culture and its impositions strengthen
Creating a thick layer of second nature
Making the process of the body reaching its equilibrium
That much more challenging.
13. GRADUAL TRANSFORMATION
One cannot make a choice to step away
From the stronghold of thought
Imposed by nurture and culture
One cannot molt it away like snakeskin
The only way out is for it to burn itself off
And get snuffed out from within.
What causes this smokeless fire to start
Is a big mystery with no correct answer
I certainly have not read books or browsed sites
That can shed any light on the matter
All I can say is that things started to unravel for me
After some spark got ignited during the Chicago trip with G.
The lit flame and the huge upheaval of that evening
Roared into a raging fire on the night of Mahashivaratri
The smokeless fire that burns and singes
Everything in its path ruthlessly
It is possible that the prelude to that
Started years before, I can’t say or know.
G oft repeats his old man’s words
“Attraction is the action”
That implied that if something within you
Was genuinely attracted and resonated with him
No further action was required
Natural unfoldment followed without doing anything.
It was only much later that I realized
G only chooses and repeats those words of UG
That perhaps can lend a helping hand
Or give a hang of it to others
Words that had helped G in the past
During his own gradual unfoldment and discovery.
The burning continued bringing with it
New symptoms and pains everyday
I could feel certain areas of my body
That I didn’t even know existed
My ears would ring with tremendous pressure
My eyes in blinding pain would water.
My tongue would alternatively turn red, white or yellow
And burn when touched by food or liquids
The top layer of the skin on my palms
Peeled off completely like a thin layer of glue
Leaving me with a delicate sensitivity and excruciating pain
Unable to touch anything for days.
Glands around my neck swelled
And knotted like a series of golf balls strung together
Sometimes these lumps would move
It would create tremendous pulling
And pressure and some occasional pain
It seemed to follow some rhythm of the lunar calendar.
New Moon and Full Moon
Became days and nights to dread
I had terrible headaches and nausea
I had to take off from work and stay in bed
I became sensitive to folks around me
And often found that I preferred isolation.
Once while I was walking
On a beautiful trail in Switzerland with G
My olfactory senses were flooded
With the sweet smell of roses
There was not a rose or a rose bush
In sight or in the vicinity.
When I mentioned this, G just laughed
And said “Enjoy it while it lasts!”
I enjoyed it until I practically swooned
With the cloying intensity of this fragrance
Everything seemed to shine
With extra brilliance around G!
Despite all these ups and downs
I could show tremendous focus in critical things
I can’t claim any credit
As this was something that happened organically.
I was exhausted at various times of the day
Took frequent catnaps to rest up and then resumed work.
Whenever I got a chance
I took time off to meet G.
Reasons and excuses
Arrived by themselves to enable me
It still boggles my mind how this happened
A gift from Mother Nature is what I can conclude.
As the body seemed to transform itself in front of my eyes
Through these various happenings
The mind was a whole different story
Old ideas and patterns pummeled
Against this new evolving system
My sense of self and ego took a bashing.
This happened by constant perturbation
And energy pounding by G
To show the shallowness
Of the human mind and its many shortcomings
Although G says that he never does anything
I truly believe that he acts as a flint to the fire.
He constantly works with people’s energies
If they truly open themselves to him
Although a lot of folks crowd around him
It seems as if very few actually resonate with him
He oft said, “You can’t get wet when you jump into the water
Wearing many layers of waterproof suits”
He is a master at running the perturbation theory,
Which was always very hellish to me
He seemed to somehow withdraw energy
And I felt as if my life energy was receding
Bringing to light certain startling demons
That lay hidden beneath.
This energy withdrawal often sheds light
And dredges out one’s superficiality,
Brings into the open hidden agendas, intentions and falsity.
One could use it as an opportunity to rid oneself of it all for good
But it causes so much pain and anguish to the ego
That one rarely does what one could or should.
More often than not it results
In bitchiness and meanness towards another
It’s easier to blame, ridicule and fault someone else
Than delve and address one’s own craziness.
After pushing one to the brink of madness
G then releases his compassionate energy.
I may or may not be right
About this whole perturbation thing but that’s how it feels to me
It felt like my viscera was being ripped apart
And at times, at its worst, made me suicidal.
Pain in the body combined with anguish of the ego/mind
Creates a dangerous cocktail.
Some days, life didn’t seem worth living
Not even for one extra moment
During one of these episodes,
I almost carried it through when G called me out of the blue
And whispered three times, “Please don’t do it”
Although I never told him what I was about to do.
You can’t get rid of the mind G would say
Anything you say or do
Only strengthens it some more
There is no such thing as a thoughtless state
So might as well use your head
For what is really practical and functional for you.
Earn money, stand on your feet,
Walk with your head high,
Never imposing on anyone,
And not letting anyone impose on you
Freedom if any is only that
For there is no ultimate freedom or truth!
G oft said, “You are very lucky indeed
If your subject specific functional reality (SSFR)
Allowed you to find a reprieve and a balm for pain
By focusing on something or someone free of any agenda.”
To me, G was the ultimate balm
For the pain experienced was plenty.
I cyclically experienced highs and lows,
Highs when I was with him
And incredible lows when I wasn’t.
With a kind smile or singing a Tagore song
He would gently resuscitate me and lift my spirits
Until it soared to new heights.
I also found that the words spilled
Out of me very spontaneously
And often found their way
To a piece of paper or my computer screen
Didn’t seem like a story or a poem
Or anything of any literary value.
It was a one-sided conversation
Between G and me,
These words gave me company
When I was down and out or gloriously happy
One thing was for sure
They usually came automatically.
Not all the words that spontaneously spilt out
Were pretty or eloquent
I went through a short phase
Where there were expletives aplenty
Whilst talking to G I used every foul word
In every language I knew.
I was stunned by the fluency and the extent
Of my own colorful vocabulary
To anything G said I showed him
The middle finger much to his delight
Just as fast this phase came, it also ended quickly
But G would never let me forget.
Perhaps it was a much needed phase
For me to assert my own independence,
Or maybe in G I found an audience
That would never judge even my worst side,
Or perhaps it was a cleansing of a different kind
Where nothing was sacred or taboo.
I discovered for myself that words were just functional
Merely a means for communication
Devoid of any of the deep emotions
That we love to bestow
Whatever the subtle intentionality
It somehow was freeing.
Slowly my body seemed
To adapt to a new efficiency
Anything that wasn’t necessary
Or healthy was streamlined out
With a new kind of immunity.
If I gave into any temptation
Of unhealthy food or drink
Or indulge in any
Unnecessary strenuous activity
The body would protest quite strongly
And force me to give it up.
So it was with my mental world as well
That created a parallel universe
Of heaven and hell
Thoughts and ideas
That didn’t serve a functional purpose
Were gradually edged out.
It was replaced by a
Steadfast and natural focus on G
This happened to me effortlessly and seamlessly
For the body had the intelligence to know
What was congenial for itself
For its optimized functioning.
Through all these peaks and valleys
I discovered for and by myself
Love by any name
Is to only love oneself,
To claim love for another
Is only an exercise in self-gratification.
For mind by its very nature
Is fascist and self-serving
Only interested in considering
Itself meritorious and deserving
There is no question of outsmarting the mind
It’s way too insidious to trick itself.
Unless a stroke of luck puts
Someone like G in one’s path
One can never know
What one-sided love is all about
If you are lucky, you catch a glimpse
Of this love that is unfettered like Mother Nature.
Others’ opinions about me
Started to matter very little
As my own views lost their grip and value
This was a huge change
From the person I used to be
For I used to choose words very carefully.
I used to be sensitive to what others said about me
And would feel hurt very easily,
Now I see those as ideas
Felt or expressed at a particular point in time
With no influence whatsoever
In the daily course of life.
G opened my eyes to the fact
That life has its own rhythm and flow,
Doesn’t seem to care one whit
For what you feel, say, think, have, or know
A tsunami here or a nuclear attack there
Will decimate you in a moment ruthlessly.
Your search for something everlasting is an illusion
You only get that idea from somebody else’s delusion
Body wants to function efficiently
Handling the challenges of the moment
Its operation far more dynamic and alive
Unshackled by ideas of a particular end state or goal.
G holds nothing sacred and joyfully trashes
Anything that carries the stench of holiness
Yet I have never come across
A more pure, spotless and genuine person.
I have never seen him take advantage of anyone
And his actions are always impeccable.
He never judges anyone and his door is open to all
The choice is always yours to walk in or out.
He becomes whatever one needs him to be
A tough master or a gentle friend
He can be the wisest of the wise
And can also be the craziest and nuttiest of all.
G gently took away the regrets from my past
And the goals and worries of my future
He continually provides me with a shoulder to cry on
And laughter to ease my burden
Sings and dances for me like no other
And shows incredible and inexhaustible patience.
G gives me immense amount of time
On the phone and in person,
Offers a hand in friendship
Without expecting anything in return
I cannot imagine my life without him,
Who wouldn’t want to have a friend like G?
14. POST SCRIPT (January 16, 2018)
It has been exactly three years since
My trip to Chicago with G
These three years have been real crazy
I feel like I have been through
A washer, heated dryer, grinder and dishwasher
Every single day of this period.
Whatever this is
I will never know or understand
I just feel the aftereffects
Of the earthquake within
The quakes and tremors continue
Shaking and rattling my core each day.
Gradually I am getting used
To expect the unexpected,
I don’t plan much ahead
As anything I plan or decide
Gets laughed off anyway
Life seems to march to its own beat.
I still continue to work
Despite having no ambition or desire
I realize that it keeps me engaged
And prevents me from going stir crazy
I do take a lot of time off
When I feel unwell or for making trips to see G.
Much to my surprise
I am actually doing well in my job
Better than ever before
For this I give G complete credit
As he energizes me each day
Via Facetime, texts and in-person trips.
I happened to meet my friend yesterday
(The same one that urged me to go to Chicago)
For an evening tea and dinner
We were talking animatedly about G
The topic never seemed to exhaust itself
As it charged us continually.
Out of the blue I remarked:
Growing up when you read about
Buddha, Mahavir, Muhammad or Sri Ramakrishna
Did you ever wonder
What it would be like to meet
Any of them in person?
If you did then you are lucky
To have actually met and interacted with G.
Without a moment’s hesitation
My friend responded:
Yes I consider myself extremely lucky
To have met him indeed.
G is so easygoing and simple
Makes himself accessible directly and easily
Eats, drinks, and laughs,
Jokes around like a regular buddy
That often times it is very easy
To overlook the good fortune.
When I mentioned this conversation
To G later that night, he said:
“Rather unusual observation!
Even historical characters
Managed to have very few
My response to G was:
“That’s because it is very hard
To know how to deal with someone
Who doesn’t need anything from anyone
And therefore leaving no way to
“Control” that relationship.”
I also added,
“The bigger challenge is
To even recognize that difficulty
Most of the time and effort
Can go in just trying to manipulate and control
To have exclusivity with you.”
Initially a thought used to strike me once in a while
Could I have behaved any differently with G
Perhaps I could have been more mature, wise, and well read,
But being around G is like
Standing in the midst of a screaming, expressway traffic
Not a shred of knowledge or practice comes in handy.
All of the preexisting ideas and knowledge
Is the very thing the body seeks to unload,
In G the system finds a strong ally
To free itself from the shackles and stronghold
Of society, culture and interpersonal relationships
It seeks the simplicity of living simply!