Manu Peter Seglias, USA: “He was in my past lives, He is now and He will always be. He is there even when I do not know. He is more than a Guru; He is a part of me.”
Manu Peter Seglias, Florida, USA
This gave me firm conviction that He is my Guru, He was in my past lives, He is now and He will always be. He is there even when I do not know. He is more than a Guru; He is a part of me.
I am originally from Switzerland and now reside in Florida USA. My first physical meeting with Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji was in the spring of 1983. I was born into a Christian home and began asking my parents about things like reincarnation and God. They used to refer me to the priest in the church. I never got an answer that made sense to me. The main message I got from the church is that seventy five percent of the world is doomed to hell because they are not Christians. This made no sense to me. I saw only dogmas and rules in the church and this turned me off. I became an atheist. I began living my life on the edge, taking chances and enjoying life.
I loved snow skiing and would ski on some extreme dangerous terrains, where one fall could kill you. I became tired of this thrill and a friend introduced me to Meditation. I calmed down a lot when I started meditating. Once in my meditation I heard a voice in my head saying, “You come to Ashrama!” I had no idea what this was and dismissed it. Then came spring of 1983 and my friend told me that a Guru named Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, was coming from India to conduct a Kriya Yoga Course and I should do this course for it will help with my meditation.
The course was to be held in Langenbruck, Switzerland. I went there as a nervous, doubtful and sarcastic individual but I when I finished the weeklong course I left as a different person. At the end of the course, the Guru called the participants up for a private interview. When I went to Him all He said to me was, “You come to Ashrama!” I was blown away. This was the big bang of my spiritual life; I remembered those words I heard in my meditation. I knew I had a connection with this Guru and strange enough I felt like I had found true love. I returned to Lucerne and while walking on the street to my house, people were looking at me, I had nothing strange about me for them to look at, but they were attracted to the energy I had within me, the energy of my Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji.
Sri Swamiji was continuing His tour in Switzerland, Germany and France. I became so excited about Him I did the tour with Him. On one occasion, I asked Him if I could come to the Ashrama in fall. He said yes, you could come. Things began to work themselves out for me to leave Switzerland. My sister’s boyfriend came from New Zealand and he was in the same field of work as I was, so he replaced me at my job and he took over the payments on my apartment. I left Switzerland for a six-month trip with Sri Swamiji in the Ashrama.
When I got to the Mysore in late 1983, the Ashrama was not very crowded then. There was only one foreigner, a German lady who became my guide and friend. I had some good quiet times to reflect on my life and changes that were taking place within me on a subtle level, which I cannot rationally express. I took part in the Shivaratri Function in early 1984; at that time I met an American girl, Susheela, who later became my wife. I accompanied Swamiji when He toured within India. At times, I had no money and miraculously everything was provided. In the Ashrama, Gayatri taught me how to sing bhajans and I translated some bhajans into English and when I went back to Switzerland, another devotee helped me to print the Bhajana Mala books one and two. While at the ashram He gave me the name Manu. I left the Ashrama after my six-month stay and as I sat on the train for Delhi, I felt like I was coming out of a bubble of loving energy into a chaotic atmosphere. I dreaded going back to my life in Switzerland.
When I got back to Switzerland, I got a job in Zurich selling private lessons for a school. This was good for me for the school was closed four weeks for summer and two weeks for winter. This gave me the opportunity to visit Sri Swamiji during these times. I used to go to Him wherever He was. I ended up in India, USA, UK and Trinidad. In those days there were not many devotees around Him as there is today, so that was a bonus on my spiritual journey with Him. Just being in His presence taught me lessons. I had the honor to arrange His visit to Yellowstone National Park, and be His chauffeur.
With Sri Swamiji on a trip in Trinidad and had the good fortune of riding in His car. I was sitting in the back seat and He was in the front seat admonishing the driver on his driving. I asked Sri Swamiji, “Do you intervene in your devotee’s life when they are driving?” He replied, “Yes, I remember that accident you had in California.” I was blown away for I did have an accident in California about ten years back, I was driving on a mountain road, fell asleep and the car veered to the left and hit a tree, if it had veered to the right it would have fallen down a two hundred feet cliff. I did not even know Him then. This gave me firm conviction that He is my Guru, He was in my past lives, He is now and He will always be. He is there even when I do not know. He is more than a Guru; He is a part of me.
In the mid eighties Sri Swamiji visited Mr. Kesarinath in Bay City, Texas. I accompanied Him on a visit to an amusement park. On the way back I was riding in a station wagon with Gautam, Kesarinath young son. We were following Sri Swamiji’s car. While driving the station wagon overheated and the radiator blew. We stopped to get it repaired. The radiator shop was out of the part needed to repair it. Sri Swamiji told us to search for the part, and He would visit a nearby animal park. We could not find the part. Sri Swamiji returned and told me to drive the car. I got in a little scared, of course, but I drove for one hundred miles to Bay City and the car never overheated. When we reached, Sri Swamiji told us to take the car to a repair shop the next day. The following morning I took the car to a nearby shop and when I got there, the car overheated. My mind was trying to find a logical answer to what had happened yesterday and today. I could not find one.
In August 1986, Sri Swamiji was in Pennsylvania conducting a Kriya Yoga Course. I attended, along with my girl friend Susheela. On a Thursday Sri Swamiji called both of us and in an impromptu ceremony, He married us. The people who attended were the devotees sitting there for the Kriya Yoga Course. Swami Manasa Datta performed our wedding song; then he was known as Uncle Radha. I still have our wedding song on tape to this day. It was a fantastic wedding. We did another ceremony in India in 1987 for Shivaratri. Moreover, to make it legal, we got married a third time in the USA. I am happy to say that by His grace we are still married and living in the USA.
My last trip to Mysore Ashrama was for Datta Jayanti in 2005. He showered His grace on me in an unseen and unspeakable way. This was the trip where the cord of wanting always to be in His physical presence, was cut. I cannot explain what happened but I have not been back to India since for I feel Him present in my heart and do not have to need to travel to India to see Him. I do,, however, get His darshan when He visits the USA.
The day I met Sri Swamiji my atheistic attitude began to change. During my trips spent with Him, I got the answers to my questions by listening and observing Him and the people around Him. I embraced the concept of Reincarnation because nothing else made sense. Because of Sri Swamiji, I have made that reconnection to Jesus Christ and I appreciate His teachings much more. I can walk into any church and experience God.
Our lives are a learning path from birth to death. I was put on the path by Sri Swamiji and given the tools of His teachings to walk the path successfully. I use the tool of discrimination to make the better choice and not the seemingly good choice in life. If Sri Swamiji did not wake me up from the ignorant sleep of my life, I would have destroyed myself. He has blessed me with a peaceful disposition within and the secret weapon to protect it. I use the secret weapon to ward of fear, adverse situations and obstacles. That secret weapon is the Datta Mantra. Jaya Guru Datta
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