Lynne Bindu Jordan, Baton Rouge, USA
A clear vision showed Krishna rhythmically moving through nature. Krishna was playing His flute into the air creating a beautiful sound vibration. Behind Krishna walking in the very same momentum and movements was a line of humans, one after the other stretched out to infinity.
My first memory in my life is that of Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, which occurred when I was three years old, on a tricycle asking Him, “Where are you? Why was I hurled down here? When are you going to come back for me?” My memory of Him was that of great love and closeness, wanting to be with Him again, but somehow finding myself in this life with this family. Growing up in a traditional Christian church, deep spiritual truths from any religion were the most intensely compelling interest for me. Wherever there might be methods, answers and inspiration one could find me exploring those. At seventeen I began fasting, thinking if Jesus did, then we, too, must benefit. As well, that same year I met a priest who taught me much about diet and its effect on thoughts. This led me to become a vegetarian much to my mother’s concern. This was even a blessing to her since she later became well-studied in natural health matters.
While in high school, dreams began coming to me in an unusual language and words. Their memory was strongly imbedded making it easy to research. The language was Sanskrit and the words had deep spiritual meanings. Studying Sanskrit and the Yoga Sutras created within me an overwhelming interest in India. Upon finding out that India was the home of spiritual masters, it became a personal longing to meet one with whom I might study. This prayer was answered; out of the blue it seemed, upon winning three trips to New York in one year. A Swami affiliated with the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Organization in NYC, graciously instructed me in meditation and Jnana Yoga. While feeling very blessed and fortunate, there remained in my heart the unfulfilled determination to meet “the “One”, the Swami of my first memory in life, whom I knew would provide the ultimate guidance for my spiritual quests.
While on retreat in Thousand Island Park, New York, with the Ramakrishna- Vivekananda Order Swami, one morning during meditation we experienced a very loud rhythmic breathing in the center of the room. A most interesting issue with this audible breath just happened to be that there was no one sitting in that spot! Excitedly the handful of us spoke to the Swami about this unusual event. My hair stood on end and I named this very present ethereal form, “The Yogi of Yogis”. I felt so happy that, “He is close!” The Swami was surprised when during the evening meditation in which he participated, the loud rhythmic breathing occurred again. This pranayama continued for morning and evening meditation sessions, three days in a row, without any physical form visible. Each occurrence lasted approximately ten minutes with each individual in the room experiencing the same powerful Divine phenomena.
A couple of years later, in 1992, while working as a psychotherapist in the office of an Indian psychiatrist, Dr. Krishna Yallamanchili, he left a booklet on my desk. While reading through the Bhakti Mala, it surprised me to find that the message was consistently pure, loving and yogic. Happily I listened to Dr. Yallamanchili telling me about Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, a Sadguru, in the order of Dattatreya. Six months later, the doctor informed me to get ready to meet this Sadguru in Baton Rouge! I enrolled in the Kriya Yoga course and the connection became clear; both to the early childhood memory at three years old and to the audible ethereal pranayama experienced by everyone in Thousand Island Park. When I later had the chance to personally ask Sri Swamiji about these two events, before the words came out of my mouth He said simply, “It was Me”.
Having studied mostly Jnana and Raja Yoga, Sri Swamiji’s words to me that He was a Nada Yogi left me curious as to the exact meaning. Soon after meeting Him some of His longtime devotees readily and joyfully invited me to ride to Atlanta to attend a concert. My curiosity was incredibly satisfied during that concert. Every note in the compositions was physically felt inside of my body as if they were the adjustments over a lifetime by a chiropractor. The words of my physicist, my adopted grandfather, became clearer. A brilliant genius himself, the retired Colonel in the US Army used to tell me, “You must always remember this! Matter conforms to the L-field – the electromagnetic field of an organism or molecule – and an L-field is alterable by thought.” Noticeable ongoing changes continued after Sri Swamiji’s concert. I was the living experiment field observing the reality that, indeed, matter is influenced by vibration and conforms to it. The vibration of Sri Swamiji’s music can affect molecular structure. This was a tiny realization of that Truth He embodies, just as a high note can break glass.
After this first physical contact with Sri Swamiji spiritual guidance from Him immediately began happening through dreams and visions. Having heard of this before, and being a psychotherapist, dreams were already valued as helpful for therapeutic insights. The overt qualitative difference in the dreams from Sri Swamiji showed me that visions are unique, crystal clear, making vivid memorable impressions and quite readily available spiritual gifts for our growth. They were very encouraging, inspiring, educational and helpful. A simple yet very meaningful vision occurred, for example, where Sri Swamiji’s face came before me and it began to change into various faces. As this continued, I began joyfully laughing. Then the faces became scary faces, each scarier than the last. Still, my joy and laughter grew exponentially. There was a fearless peaceful remembering that it was Sri Swamiji’s faces, each like a mask and all an amazing fun play. The message was beautiful and clear that He is Love and He holds everything together on the outside and on the inside, good and bad, ugly and pretty. He is the One and only Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer. Being a psychotherapist in America, analyzing dreams, wanting to provide the best treatment possible, these visions have consistently been in unison with Christian beliefs and it has been easy to find a biblical verse that presents the very same spiritual Truth.
Through the next few years there were various difficulties associated with raising two daughters after a divorce from their father in 1987. Nonetheless, the necessary strength to maintain an emotional equilibrium and persevere on the spiritual path was a direct outcome of Sri Swamiji’s spiritual guidance, Kriya Yoga and meditation. During this period my oldest daughter got into a serious automobile accident, in a convertible in which the top was sheared off. The EMS lost her pulse at the scene while cutting her out of the vehicle. A devotee telephoned Sri Swamiji in India and told Him about the situation. His amazing comforting response was that we should not worry; she will be all right. By the time the EMS reached the hospital she had begun breathing again. Later on Sri Swamiji told me that He had given her a second life. He took care of my family with such love and continues doing so daily. Both of my children who were raised in a normal American lifestyle have been consciously and surprisingly touched by Sri Swamiji experiences.
The psychiatrist, Dr. Yallamanchili, who told me about Sri Swamiji, was going to attend one of His programs in New York, which provided an opportunity for him to take a letter to Sri Swamiji for me. When the doctor returned he told me that Sri Swamiji had taken the letter and sent me a crystal which He had materialized while they rode in an auto together. I was so excited to get this particular crystal. The doctor told me that he had given it to his wife and she had gone to Houston. Feeling disappointing, I had to wait until his wife returned. My disappointment melted when the crystal was actually brought to me on the eve of my birthday. That night I had a beautiful vision of Sri Swamiji being in Trinidad that awoke me. This then presented the perfect time to open the package as my first birthday gift that day. The crystal was my favorite necklace worn daily over the next several months until one day it vanished. Sri Swamiji having given it to me, I frantically searched everywhere. Sadly discussing this loss, a devotee readily told me these materializations are often given for a purpose and would disappear when fulfilled. Once again, it was amazing that just the right devotee came along at just the right moment! Later this would be one of many examples of Sri Appaji’s strong words, “Always like this!” Divine Grace is always occurring, flowing, the True actual Essence of this Creation.
During my first week of physically meeting Sri Swamiji, He spoke the words, “Come to India. Sri Swamiji will let you know when.” One year later Dr. Yallamanchili amazingly was able to get the hospital to pay “educational training” in India and give me two weeks’ salary while gone! Being a single mother it had seemed unlikely that a trip to India would be happening in the near future. God is Infinitely Creative! Before leaving I wrote out all my checks to pay the bills for the month, but uncharacteristically and accidentally dropped them all in the mail together. Immediately it was a major concern that my account would be lacking enough funds and decided to take out a signature loan. That night during meditation, Sri Swamiji came in my mind’s eye and took my house, car, children and money, threw them into space, saying that they were not mine. The message to release all worry and rely on the Creator was so clear. The next day as planned, a $1,500.00 loan application was approved. In faith it seemed symbolic for this money to be donated to a charitable organization. So as instructed, this was a lesson on learning to rely on ‘The One Who Cares for All of His Creatures in His Creation’. Upon returning home there was a donation card from DYCUSA in the mailbox, as well as a box of cereal! Sri Appaji has so shown the caring humor, love and joy that is immersed in the essence of this Creation.
The money was readily mailed to DYCUSA and the next week flew by. Daily there was another box of cereal in the mailbox! By payday the balance in my bank account was still several dollars with no overdraft. What a wonderful feeling knowing that He was saying not to worry for all of this is His. We just simply aren’t in charge of His Creation; but we are in charge of ourselves and our determination to awaken!
Walking into the ashram tears came to my eyes at seeing the beautiful Datta Murti at the entrance. Approaching the priest who performed the morning puja, he stated he had seen me in a vision during the previous night. It is still moving to know that God in His infinite omnipresence is capable of reaching out to all simultaneously, human by human, devotee by devotee, every hair on the head counted! Later that morning while sitting in the temple, someone tapped my shoulder about some saris, which I very much needed. There was a distinguished man sitting just behind me. I had hoped to meet the USA president of the Datta Yoga Center, Dr. Prakash Rao. Beginning to understand how Sri Swamiji shows us the workings of this universe, the idea came that perhaps this could be Dr. Rao amongst all of the thousands of people.
Introducing myself, he informed me he was indeed Dr. Rao! He stated he knew who I was already because in faith, he agreed to publish the Datta Mala for Appaji without having sufficient funds. Sri Appaji had told him not to worry; the necessary fifteen hundred dollars would be coming. The next donation that DYCUSA received was that very amount sent by me from the bank loan. These occurrences have been constant and daily which transform my heart with increasing compassion and devotion; Sri Appaji role-models this, moment by moment for Our Human Family. Sri Swamiji seems to be a living example that everything we have and everything we experience is for our benefit imbedded with the capacity, out of love, to teach us. It all belongs to Him/God/The Prince of Peace/The God of Your Understanding: even the money, the cars, the homes, the children and the related accounting duties. Our responsibility seems to be to not just survive, but learn how to survive well!
The rest of my stay in India was wonderful. Several other Americans became wonderful friends, such as, Padma from the Jesus Datta Retreat Center in Pittsburgh. It was the beginning of a blessed sisterly relationship for us. On this first trip Sri Swamiji had given me the name Bindu. After receiving my name I went to visit the Chamundi Hills. On the way a little boy shouted to me, “What is your name?” Hesitantly, my response was Lynne, but feelings of remorse began bothering me for not saying the name Sri Swamiji had given just moments earlier. As I walked further with this on my mind and heart, amazingly another young boy shouted to me the exact same words louder, “What is your name?”. Of course, I was relieved to be given another opportunity and gladly responded, “Bindu!” The patience and creativity of Sri Swamiji is infinite and continues to bring such awe!
Back at the Ashrama I sat down in the walkway to the temple and was meditating. Being unfamiliar with the protocol of things at the Ashram, a loud clapping sound by my ear brought me out of it. To my surprise Sri Swamiji was standing beside me with a large crowd behind Him. In one gracious flow He handed me a piece of candy which materialized while clapping His hand. The lesson that the principle of Guru helps us to find the God within was reinforced in a sweet, infinitely creative way!
The next year, 1995, Sri Swamiji was coming to the USA. In Baton Rouge we all were busy in preparation for His program. On the day of His arrival we went to the airport in New Orleans around 10:00 p.m. to pick Him up. We stood waiting as the passengers came off the plane. Something seemed strange as there was no Swamiji by the time at least half of the passengers had disembarked. We began to look around the rest of the corridor, which was empty and dark by this time of night. Several gates down from us, we saw Sri Appaji poking His head out from behind a room divider screen laughing at all of us. What a fun surprise! Everyone went running down the hall in the dark, so happy to see our Guru once again. During this visit to Baton Rouge, Sri Swamiji asked for a present to give to Smita Patel who helped in the bookstall. She was not in the room, but I happened to be. Out of several neatly wrapped gift boxes a devotee randomly picked up a gift. Sri Swamiji had a long stem yellow rose in His hand; He lightly tapped the box with the rose and handed it to me stating to give it to Smita. As He drove away Smita ended up standing right beside me in the crowd. I gave her the box and told her the story of how it came to her. She opened it to find numerous fresh yellow rose petals everywhere under which was a lovely watch. Such a sweet and tender gesture spoke volumes.
From Baton Rouge, Sri Swamiji was flying to Trinidad. My ticket had long been booked to go, as well. Unbeknownst to me, several of us were on the same evening flight with Sri Swamiji. Another devotee, Swami Manasa, then ‘Radhakrishna’ and I sat about five rows behind Sri Appaji. At some point during our lively spiritual discussion, my attention was drawn towards where Sri Appaji sat. On the abstract designed walls of the bulkhead were images of Hanuman facing each other on each side of the single doorway. There in front of Sri Swamiji Hanuman led the way. Little did I know at the time what this foretold for Trinidad’s future. Many years later Sri Swamiji announced the sankalpa to build the eighty-five foot Hanuman Murti in Trinidad.
This was my first trip to Trinidad and it was such a wonderful trip. After arriving, my tiredness from assisting long hours in the Baton Rouge program caught up with me and I found myself going to bed with a stuffy nose. While sleeping under a mosquito net, a sudden large blast of air going up my nostrils awoke me. There, in front of me, at the foot of my cot, stood Sri Swamiji, although His form was simultaneously transparent. The next morning while sharing that Sri Swamiji had visited us in His ethereal form while we were all fast asleep, another devotee said she also awoke and saw Him.
Later that morning, during darshan while expressing my great appreciation for feeling well again, Sri Appaji smiled and said, “Swamiji made the rounds last night!” How sweet! He was looking out for all of His children. During that trip I saw Sri Appaji giving warm caring personal support to the most humble inconspicuous of devotees, and thereafter, to a crowd of approximately three thousand. We were invited to poor simple homes where He gave freely of Himself, and to lavish big homes where the blessings remained the same. It reminded me of the story that the sun’s light doesn’t discriminate upon whom it shines. The love felt at all the homes was the same. It showed me that He loves everyone equally in all their varied circumstances.
To the crowd of thousands Sri Appaji stated, “Close your eyes; Swamiji will give you a vision of Krishna”. Dutifully my eyes closed yet my mind was saying, “How can this happen, I don’t really know so much about Krishna, but, okay, we’ll see.” In the next moment that very same mind suddenly was filled to capacity with an understanding of Krishna! A clear vision showed Krishna rhythmically moving through nature. Krishna was playing His flute into the air creating a beautiful sound vibration. Behind Krishna walking in the very same momentum and movements was a line of humans, one after the other stretched out to infinity. The waving grass was tall and flowing in exactly the same motion as Krishna. The leaves of the tree nearby were swaying to Krishna’s rhythm and movement. A gentle rain was falling onto the scenery of the trees, the grass, all the people and Krishna. The rain came softly down swaying and swirling onto the earth under the spell, the motion, the power, the rhythm of Krishna’s being. What an incredible, overwhelming beautiful teaching of how this is ever the case, that a blade of grass can’t blow in the wind without grace, and that this grace is eternally happening in each moment.
This particular Trinidad trip came to represent an ongoing kaleidoscope of one experience after another with Sadguru. While still there, a group of people were talking about a “murderer among us”. Of course, by this time my inner voice was preparing me for a highly possible encounter. Once, in the large hall where everyone awaited Sri Swamiji’s arrival, I meditated to the chanting of the priests for the Yagna. Upon opening my eyes, there sat a man with a warm countenance and with a small child. My inner voice was now telling me, “Told you”! He began to openly chat with me about accidentally killing someone in the line of duty as a police officer. He stated while in prison an acquaintance brought him a photo of Sri Appaji. As the man sincerely deeply prayed one day, a brilliant light came out of that photo and into his body. He said he was completely transformed and became overwhelmed with feelings of compassion and love for all, dedicating his life to God.
Several times through the years I have had ex-prisoners sitting in my office for therapy. This experience reminds me of the miracles that can transform the human heart. It has made me sit with an inner stillness as the individual’s story unfolds. With a quiet surrendered mind, it can help me see the loving awakening we undergo through our struggles. What love resides within the human consciousness waiting to be revealed!
For a Guru to capture the attention of His Bhakta, guide and utilize the devotee, He, also, does “miracles” on a very physical level. Such one occasion happened during an evening program at the Datta Temple and Hall of Trinity. A hand seemed to be firmly sitting on top of my head, although Sri Swamiji was sitting on the altar about fifteen feet away from me. No one else was touching me. Driving home that night singing in my car, the sound that came from my voice was distinctly different. Surprised, and in a funny way, I tried various notes that would have been more difficult for me previously. The next morning when I went to the airport to see Him off, Sri Appaji said, “Bindu, I want you to sing Bhajans at my temple.” Singing Bhajans was an unexpected request from my Sadguru, but the previous night’s experience began to make sense. Now there is a deeply felt pull to sing Datta’s Grace.
There is a beautiful stretch of land between Dallas, TX, and Shreveport, LA which one drives between the Hanuman Temple and Datta Temple. Recently, feeling completely inspired by Sri Appaji’s visit to Dallas, I made a sankalpa to sing on the drive back to Baton Rouge. After the first full hour or more of singing, a powerful momentum took over deep inside of my body that began “singing me”. This same power simultaneously seem to be singing the entirety of nature and the landscapes left and right were also resonating with Sri Appaji’s Bhajans. A strong determination came for me to drive straight to the Temple, rather than to go home, and go inside to sing. Several devotees were there and commented on having an uplifted experience when the bhajan began to “sing me”. If we all could learn we are nothing without Him, what a Divine life we could have. It is our true self and birthright. He has taught me that if one person can have “It”, “It” (meaning the Indivisible called by various names, in various languages) is available for each and every one of us. It is the Infinite Reality that not only is available, but also is unequivocally the Life-force within every particle of Creation. Jaya Guru Datta