Ashok Kumar Hasrat, Surinam
Sri Swamiji is the giver of all things. Whatever one desires, He gives. He has all the answers for all questions. Slowly He is giving me what He thinks is best for me and I am eternally grateful to Him. He is my Jagatguru.
I met Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji for the first time in July, 1981. There was an Indian engineer Mr. Laxminarayan Gonoguntla, working in Surinam for the American Bauxite Company. His parents in India were devotees of Sri Swamiji. He formed a committee with some Surinamese and they invited Sri Swamiji to visit Surinam. He accepted the invitation and the committee proceeded with the preparations.
My mother told me that a Swami from India was coming to visit and I must go and see Him. It was a Sunday so I went to the place and waited for His arrival. When the car pulled up and He came out, I noticed that He was bare-footed and He had a beautiful smile. He went straight to the Homa Kunda and began performing the Homa. He was very young then; He was only thirty-nine years old.
He sat and performed the rituals with such concentration that everyone who was sitting there was looking at Him as if they were under some sort of a spell. Towards the end of the ritual, He passed a coconut around for us to touch to perform the Poornahuti. I wanted to meet this Swamiji so I asked Mr. Laxminarayan’s permission. He told me that later in the afternoon Sri Swamiji would be giving interviews. I came then and got a chance to meet Him.
When I sat before Him, He gave me the most beautiful smile that melted my heart. I told Him about my problems and He told me to write to Him, He even invited me to visit the Mysore Ashrama. I began writing to Him in Mysore and would receive a reply at least every three months. His assistant, Ramesh used to be the intermediary. Those letters gave me a lot of guidance in my spiritual pursuits and material life.
I began meditating and performing Japa. I found that when I sat in silence, all my heaviness would leave and I would feel as light as a feather. I got a photo of Sri Swamiji from Mr. Laxminarayan and I would communicate with Him through that picture. I was following Sri Swamiji’s advice and my life improved in all aspects. I knew then that He is a very powerful Being. I told my parents and sister, Asha, about Sri Swamiji and I discussed His teachings with them. He had gifted me with a lifetime subscription of the Bhakti Mala monthly magazine. I received it every month from India. I began performing Homas and Poojas with my parents and sister. Slowly they began to have faith in Him
In 1984, I received an invitation, by mail, from Sri Swamiji to join Him on His visit to Trinidad. I was welcomed in Trinidad by a devotee, Mr. Krishna Prasad. That stay lasted for three weeks, during which time I did the Kriya Yoga course held in Arima. I also visited Princes Town where I witnessed the Homas and Poojas done by Sri Swamiji and I listened to His divine discourses. There were many devotees in Trinidad and they all loved Sri Swamiji very much. They treated me very well also and I will always thankful to them for that. I left Trinidad feeling very blessed and inspired.
In 1986, I got another invitation to visit Trinidad again with Sri Swamiji. This time my family accompanied me as they were having some problems with black magic. During their interview with Him they told Him about their problems He promised to help them. He told us that we were very lucky to be in such an intimate setting with Him, for people in Mysore will yearn to have this association. After the Kriya Yoga program, I felt the Shakti Pat from Sri Swamiji within me and the mat that I used for the Yoga was infused with His energy. Whenever I sat on it, I felt the energy. This helped me tremendously with my spiritual progress.
When my sister, Asha, became very ill physically, she began writing letters to Sri Swamiji. Around this time, He had stopped answering letters from devotees because of the large following He had wherever He went. Nevertheless, my sister wrote her problems in a letter and mailed it to Sri Swamiji. She received answers to her problems in different ways. This strengthened her faith in Him. Her stomach problem grew worse and she began calling the ashram in India and talking to Sri Swamiji through Swami Manasa Datta. She followed the advice given by Sri Swamiji and she developed the spiritual strength to bear her Karma.
For me, meeting Sri Swamiji has changed my life totally. I stopped the vice of eating meat. I am not so restless anymore, for now I can sit for hours and read. I use my power of discrimination more wisely in making life choices. I came to understand that Moksha means freedom from the wanderings of the mind.
I always wanted to teach Kriya Yoga to the children and adults in my town, but due to circumstances beyond my control, it never materialized. I studied the twelve Kriya Yogas with Sri Swamiji, but He said that we do not have to practice all of them; only one or two. Sri Swamiji is the giver of all things. Whatever one desires, He gives. He has all the answers for all questions. Slowly He is giving me what He thinks is best for me and I am eternally grateful to Him. He is my Jagatguru.
Jaya Guru Datta