Susanne Kumuda Vischer, Switzerland
keeping her eyes closed, she asked, “Do you feel it?” Pretending not to understand, I asked: “Feel what?” She: “Don’t you feel it? I am sure you feel it!” Still pretending not to understand, I asked “What do you mean?” She said “I know you feel it! The Indian man is here!”
In my present physical life I met Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji for the first time in the summer of 1983, at age forty-two. When I was about fifteen, out of the nowhere I felt very attracted to Indian philosophy. After having the possibility of affording a book on the subject I was disappointed that I could not understand it. Later, I found another book, but again I was not able to really grasp the teachings. Inherently, I had a strong yearning to visit India, although I hardly knew anything about the country. This idea did not leave me, although at that time the ways and means were not present.
When I was about twenty-eight years of age, while reading a book by a famous European writer, Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the ‘Anthroposophy’, I understood that once during the time of our birth, we will meet our master who might speak in an entirely different language and appear very strange to us. We would have to be very alert not to miss Him when He crosses our way. From that moment onwards I was waiting for my master, faithfully knowing that I will meet Him in this very life. I was also keen and attentive so that I should not to miss Him when He shows up.
Around 1978, some guests, Veronika and Peter, brought me a photo of a holy Indian master. Fascinated, I listened to their narrations about their experiences with Him. Strangely it was not at all in my mind that this person could be my longed sought master. I put the picture opposite to my bed where I also meditated. Once, looking at it, its face seemed even to be moving. During that time, I very often had visitors and people who stayed at my flat for different reasons. To avoid disrespectful comments on “that person” I put the picture on the cupboard when I knew that people were coming. However, when they left, I would take it down again. I went like this…. up…. down….up….down, until somehow it remained on the cupboard.
As time passed, meanwhile I had read the book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda and was very interested to have an opportunity to learn Kriya Yoga with an appropriated teacher. Some years later another couple, whom I previously met with Peter and Veronika, told me of a Guru who coming soon to Germany to teach Kriya Yoga. It turned out that it was the one who leaded the former Ashram of Sri Yukteswar after Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda had left for America. Being curious as to whether I will meet my master whom I was awaiting for years, I went there. Later, I met him again in Europe, but in-spite of my love and deep respect I felt for him I knew that He was not my Guru. So I waited again.
One day, a mother who regularly brought her son to me in psychotherapy was having a casual conversation during which I mentioned the words ‘Kriya Yoga’ in a certain context to her. Immediately, she reacted in an irritable manner as ‘Kriya Yoga’, in her understanding, apparently didn’t seem to fit into Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy. She was related to the Anthroposophical movement. As I didn’t want to create problems for the boy’s therapy I kept quiet.
One day the same mother remembered me on my words about ‘Kriya Yoga’ and told me that in a few months an Indian Guru was coming to Langenbruck to teach ‘Kriya Yoga’. She also mentioned His name. Later, I rushed home to search for the photo given to me by Peter and Veronika; it turned out that it was the same Guru as shown on my photo. Feeling guilty, that out of laziness I missed the utmost important person in my life and I was eagerly waiting for that course. I wanted to register for the course, but the way for me until then was paved with misunderstandings, obstacles and mishaps.
Finally, when I got there I was confused as I came to know that the Kriya Yoga class was completed the day before and that the Puja and Homa following the week long class would start soon. Though these rituals were not familiar to me, as by nature I am not a person who jumps into quick decisions, I felt so deeply touched by Sri Swamiji. Even before the Puja had finished I knew that, ‘This is the One – my Master’.
Later, Sri Swamiji was singing bhajans with us and to my astonishment I could follow Him very easily; not only with the melody, but also with the words, although I did not understand their meanings. Feeling full of joy I sang wholeheartedly. On seeing the couple who had given me the photo, I approached them to express my deep regrets for not attending the previous week’s programs. With kindness, they invited me to their house as Sri Swamiji was visiting them next.
At their home, after finally having found my Guru, I approached Sri Swamiji and informed Him of my dilemma of not being able to take the class. He said that He would be conducting another class, in Germany, the following week. He instructed that I could try there for a seat although the class was fully booked; I should ask Mr. Silvius Dornier at whose house the class was scheduled to take place. Mr. Dornier advised me that the class was already overbooked, but that I should at least come to the Sunday Homa and, who knows, perhaps I could stay for the class. I took my small tent with me in case I could stay. To my joy it turned out that after Homa the class was not even full; some people had cancelled, so I could stay!
After this encounter Sri Swamiji visited Switzerland a few times. So of course I seized the opportunity to meet Him then. In 1986, after I had already taken decision to go to the Ashrama for Navaratri, Sri Swamiji Himself invited me to come. This was my first trip to India! The tests started soon after my arrival. Things turned out to look very different from what I expected, especially with the cooperation with the small Angel group there. I felt like as though as I was being kicked out; I could not understand the world anymore. One of the devotees later told me that she would not know for what reason they treated me so badly; she could not understand it herself.
After Puja, while distributing the teertham, for a week Sri Swamiji never looked at me. Do I have such a bad karma or such bad character, that He is not looking at me? Maybe, He doesn’t want to accept me as a disciple? Many questions arouse in my head. Finally, one day while standing in the queue, I had no expectations at all of being looked at. I just felt happy at whatever He would do. To my great astonishment, with a soft heartfelt look, He asked me: “How are you?”
Later, during another of His trips to Zurich I was part of the planning committee. At the end of the program Sri Swamiji was leaving for a house visit and invited us to join Him as we were only a few. During that meeting He emphasized: “It depends all on your faith! You will have good and bad experiences. Never forget that Sri Swamiji will be with you always; in good or bad times! While saying so I noticed that He was looking mostly at me. I took it as a message for me thinking that there might be a difficult time ahead of me.
Filled with joy and excitement, I was driving home on the highway. I noticed that the driver in front of me was driving in a peculiar manner. To feel safer, I decided to overtake her. While overtaking her car, for no obvious reason, all of a sudden, she turned onto my lane. Turning my steering rapidly to the third lane I succeeded in avoiding a crash. As this happened in high speed I was swerving from side to side, but driver continued her path not realizing what was happening. As I got control of the car, immediately I realized why Sri Swamiji had so intensely looked at me during His small speech during the meeting. I knew He had saved me! With great thankfulness I drove home.
Two days later, when He was leaving for India, I went to the airport to see Him off and said to Him, “Thank you Swamiji, you have saved my life.” Closing His eyes He replied: “Yes, I know, on the highway.” There were no words for me anymore.
On another occasion, Sri Swamiji’s public functions in Switzerland ended, again with Puja and Homa. After most the attendees had gone there were still many flowers left from the decoration. The housekeeper asked me to take home as many as possible. At that time I shared practice with a medical doctor, so I took them and decorated his rooms. In my therapy room I put only one; a head of a sunflower which was facing the Puja place. In order that the flower could be helpful, especially for the patients, I put the flower next to the patients’ room.
At that time I had a young lady in treatment who was suffering from depressions and tendency to anorexia. Earlier, she had left a psychiatric clinic on her own accord and started feeling a little better. On the short way from the waiting room to the therapy room, she told me that she had fallen back; that the darkness of depression was surrounding her again. While entering my room, she immediately exclaimed: “Oh! What a beautiful flower, a very special flower!” I replied that this flower was also seen by a very special person.
At that moment the phone started ringing. Contrary to my habit during therapies, I picked up the receiver and I saw her trying to feel and absorb the energy of the flower. Noticing this, I deliberately kept the phone conversation going, giving her more time to receive Sri Swamiji’s blessings. She was very much indulged with the flower. When I hung up the receiver she looked at me and said: “I am sorry! I took all the energy from your flower, but I feel much better now!” She inquired as to where I got this most shining flower. I told her that a Master from India had blessed it.
Happy with myself about Sri Swamiji’s blessings on her, I presented her with the flower to take home. A few months later she invited me to her home to show me the still very special flower. Though dried, it had kept its bright shiny yellow color. The lady was very happy to still feel the extraordinary energy. Meanwhile, her condition had become better to a remarkable extent. Compared with others who felt Sri Swamiji’s help, she was not keen to know more about Him; neither did she want to see a picture of Him. She emphasized that she wanted to have and keep her own experience with Him.
For different reasons, this lady and I decided to have some sessions with relaxation therapy. In that kind of therapy I also apply the use of my hands. One day, while she was lying on the mat, I had just started to put my hands on her when all of a sudden I felt a strong brilliant light around us. I knew, it was Sri Swamiji showing Himself in this manner. A few seconds later, keeping her eyes closed, she asked, “Do you feel it?” Pretending not to understand, I asked: “Feel what?” She: “Don’t you feel it? I am sure you feel it!” Still pretending not to understand, I asked “What do you mean?” She said “I know you feel it! The Indian man is here!”
Some years later I was working in a hospital, in the field of psychotherapy. Amongst others I had a cancer patient under my care. He was bed-ridden by the cancer with metastases in certain bones. His wife, traumatized from the war, was very anxious and extremely worried about her husband. Whenever she found a possibility she would come to my room. She asked me whether I believe in spiritual healing and mentioned Satya Sai Baba’s name in this context, asking me whether I know Him. I denied that I knew Him, but I told her that I know some other enlightened person from the same region.
On her request I showed her a photo of Sri Swamiji with His hand in Abhaya; blessing posture. While intensely looking at it, she tried to feel His energy by moving her hands over the picture. Excitedly she exclaimed, “So wonderful! I feel a strong power arising in me, warming me up from toe to head! “Later, she asked whether she could have a photo to show to her husband. She revealed that she suffers a lot from always feeling cold. Happily she took the photo and went away. Many hours later, in the evening, I met her in the corridor. She called me from far: “I still feel warm, How wonderful!”
Whenever the staff members were not in his room, the patient put the photo on his body with the picture facing down. To his joy and the astonishment of the doctors a few days later he was able to get down from his bed, soon walking through the whole hospital. I told him that Datta Jayanti was soon to be celebrated and about Sri Swamiji’s different inexplicable methods of blessing people. I also mentioned the possibility of sponsoring at these festivals. After hearing this, He decided to sponsor for a special seva.
As I was in Switzerland, I faxed his name and birthday to Antje Fritz, asking her to register him for a certain seva at the puja counter; mentioning that he suffered with cancer. On the second day of Datta Jayanti, I remembered that more than six months ago all the phone and fax numbers had been change. Immediately I sent another fax with the correct number. To my surprise the first fax with the wrong number had arrived and Antje had already booked for the required seva.
Later, Antje told me, that collecting the prasadam after the names had been called out, she mentioned that this person was a patient of mine and suffered from cancer. Apparently Sri Swamiji looked sternly at her saying, “I know this myself; you don’t have to tell me!”
Around the early 1990s, Sri Swamiji was in London for a few days. During an interview He told me that Prasadi was continuously asking Him about my health, that He could listen to this no more and told Prasadi to stop with these queries. Not realizing that Sri Swamiji might put somebody else into play in order to convey some message to me, I wrote a letter to Prasadi to reassure him that all was okay and gave this letter to Sri Swamiji to pass on to Prasadi in India.
A few days later, Sri Swamiji mentioned that around twenty-five percent of the attendees were seriously ill. While saying so He looked straight at me. Was He also meaning me? Even this thought could not penetrate deeply into me as during all these days I felt extremely happy and full of energy.
Returning home, next morning while still lying in bed on my back with my hands on my belly, I suddenly got aware of an unusual form under my hands. After checking my friend, who was a doctor, he sent me immediately for x-rays. It was discovered that I had developed a huge myoma which already started transforming itself. After learning of the danger, sadness arouse, especially of the possibility of not having the time anymore to complete my life-task. At the same time there was still happiness. Feeling Sri Swamiji’s presence I had strong faith that however it turns out, it will be for my good.
Later, after checking my x-rays, the gynecologist whom I consulted was confused about my deep sense of happiness. For him my jovial mood and my x-rays did not match together at all. Later he performed the surgery to remove the myoma. During the whole procedure I felt like carried by Sri Swamiji and I was in a good mood. According to the gynecologist, he had not had any patient before with such an operation recovering in so quickly a time like me. The tests after surgery showed a benign tumor.
As Sri Swamiji often says: “I am with you ALWAYS!” Jaya Guru Datta