With Endless Gratitude - A personal experience

The swan can separate milk from water, Photo: Raphael Schaller

This article, narrating her personal journey and her experiences studying with Radhikaji, has been written anonymously by a sincere seeker from Nepal.

I can still remember that night when all of a sudden certain questions  rose spontaneously within me. I was a child then. I don’t recall my exact age, I guess I was around five or six years old. I remember my mother fast asleep next to me, while I was lying wide awake in the middle of the night. 

These questions came rapidly one after the other: “Who am I?” “Where was I before I entered my mother’s womb?” “Where will I go after I die?” At that time the intensity of these questions scared me so much that I squeezed my eyes shut and forced myself to sleep .This was a great turning point in my life. From this moment onwards, my search for myself began.

The Quest begins

Ironically, this quest for myself led me towards many things and many places. I was there all the time but I didn’t know the right approach toward knowing the Self. I would get lost looking at the distant stars or would often get my nose buried in some books. Like some pirates hunting for treasure, I would eagerly explore the world of books hoping to find some clues there.

As I grew older, I asked my friends and some close relatives whether they have had such similar experiences or feelings. I was looked down upon as an alien speaking gibberish or the answer was always in negative. Finally, I decided not to speak about such things in my family or social circle. But this didn’t stop me from searching. Whenever I would decide not to continue the search, my soul would be in strange agony. I would feel a terrible vacuum inside me which would once again propel me towards this search.

I met with various religious people and learned about their ways. It failed to impress me. At some point in my life, I tried to follow the path of bhakti. But after several days, my bhakti would dissipate. 

During my studies in Bangladesh and my working periods in India, I continued my search while praying all the time. At last in the twenty-seventh year of my life fortunes favored me and I met Radhikaji. I knew my search was over. All along I was tirelessly looking for the path suitable for me. My search bore its fruit. I know I still have to travel a long way to reach my final destination of Self-realization but at least I have found my true path, the beginning of the road. For this, I am eternally grateful towards Radhikaji and all the masters of yore.

Beginning Sadhana

There are two practices which have helped me tremendously. 

The first one is diaphragmatic breathing. After practicing diaphragmatic breathing daily in makarasana for quite some time I found myself more relaxed, calm and a general sense of well-being prevailed. This has also helped me to sit more calmly in my meditation.

The second practice is Shavyatra or sixty-one points. In this particular practice, I had the privilege of having a glimpse of the state of yoga nidra. I found out that even though when I was in deep sleep and snoring loudly, a part of me was awake and was watching myself. Though it was not a direct experience as in waking up state, it provided validation of my faith in my path. It also motivated me to do my practice more enthusiastically.

Gratitude and Love

All along the way, Radhikaji always encouraged, helped, guided and inspired me. Without her selfless guidance, I don’t know where I would be now. Before marriage, my life was difficult. I didn’t even have the privacy to do my practice because I had to share one room with my mother, sister and two small children of our relatives. On top of that nobody understood what I was doing. I was getting scolded and became a subject of ridicule among my relatives. Times were tough for my family. We had various financial and relationship issues. During all this turmoil, I never thought of leaving this path. I was firm in my decision to follow this path no matter what. Radhikaji gave me hope throughout all these difficulties from her own experiences that she shared with me.

With her generosity and that of a fellow seeker, I have a laptop which has helped me a great deal. Radhikaji even waived off my minimum contribution towards the mentoring sessions. Her kindness and thoughtfulness has really touched me. I could go on and on about how she has helped me to transform my life. She is always there whenever I need her guidance and I am really very grateful for that.

Ugly Duckling or Beautiful Swan?

The most important phase in my life too happened with Radhikaji's guidance and blessings. At present, I am married to a wonderful man who loves, understands and supports me. Without her guidance to organize my life, I would have still been unmarried and unhappy. But because of her guidance, I am settled down happily at this moment. Moreover, I now have the privacy to do my practice in my own room.

My life has been transformed for the better. I used to feel resentment towards my family. Now I feel it is changing into a kind of compassion. I really do love my parents but sometimes I used to feel anger and all sorts of negative emotions towards them. Slowly, I have chosen to consciously embrace the positive aspects and to let go the negative ones.

All of these could not have been possible if Radhikaji would not have guided me. More than anything else my spiritual thirst is being quenched. I know deep within me that she is a true teacher of our lineage. I will do anything to follow this path that she has shown me. I truly believe that if I follow this path sincerely then one day my life will come to a full circle.

With her precious guidance and blessings, along with my perseverance, I really hope to remove all of my masks someday. Maybe then, this "ugly duckling" will finally discover one fine day that it was in fact a beautiful swan all along the way. 

I am very grateful and fortunate to have Radhikaji as my teacher in this long but wonderful journey back home.

Thank you so much for everything, Radhikaji.