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The Disciple
The Disciple

The Disciple

MilindMilind

Aashram of Swami Satchidananda is located in high altitude of Himalayas. It is slightly a deserted place, away from main habitation of villagers. Not many people know about the Aashram, except people in nearby villages. It is very difficult for a newcomer to find the Aashram without losing the way or taking help of local villagers.

Swami Satchidananda or Swamiji, as he is known among his acquaintances, stays there with his two disciples – Amarnath and Satyajit. The Aashram does not have a very large premise. It has two rooms for stay, a kitchen and a prayer-cum-meditation room. Little outside the rooms are toilet and bathroom. The rooms are surrounded by a small garden in which some of the local trees and vegetables have been grown. All the work including cooking food from grains offered by local villagers, cleaning the Aashram premise and maintaining the garden is done by Swamiji along with the two disciples.

It was month of May. However, the weather was as cold as it always is in the Himalayas. Swamiji called Amarnath and asked, “Amar, when are those Delhi boys coming to stay in our Aashram?” “Swamiji, they are coming day after tomorrow. They will be five of them.” “Alright. Have all arrangements been made for their stay? And we will need to cook extra food for them. Take them also with you to ask for Bhiksha from the villagers.” (The term ‘Bhiksha’ has been explained later in the story.)

“But Swamiji, why don’t we ask them to pay fully for their stay and food rather than charging only Rs. 1000/- from each of them? They should be here for about 10 days. We can buy groceries for them instead of asking for Bhiksha,” Satyajit said. “No, Satyajit,” Swamiji said, “we are not here to provide them with lodging and boarding facility. And, the moment you charge someone a high amount, he starts commanding you. As a Guru, I am supposed to teach them a few things and I do not want a disciple to command a Guru. The amount I am charging is only the fee for my teaching which they will have to pay at the end of the course.”

Two days later, a villager took five young men to the Aashram. All of them looked in their early twenties and were apparently from affluent backgrounds, but were looking worn-out due to extensive travelling.

“Welcome to our small Aashram. I hope you didn’t have much difficulty in finding out the location,” Swamiji said. “Didn’t have difficulty? Your Aashram is not only hard to locate, but even the roads are slippery. All of us fell down on the icy road numerous times. Fortunately this villager guided us well and took us correctly, otherwise we had almost given up and were about to return back to Delhi,” one of the young men said. Another of them said, “why do very few people know about your Aashram? It was a nightmare to find this place.”

Amaranth said, “See young people, path to spirituality is not an easy one. It involves a lot of jerks and jolts. You stumble, fall down but have to get up and keep walking. You just got a flavor of it today. As about slippery roads, it is due to month of May where part of the snow melts and flows down the road. Should you come in Diwali season, you wouldn’t face this problem. Please get fresh now. Toilet and bathroom is that side.”

“Amar, before that, just see if anyone is injured and needs a first aid,” Swamiji said. Fortunately, none of them needed a first aid.

Amarnath had a relative working with a management institute in New Delhi. All these Delhi boys were doing Masters in Business Management in the same institute. Amarnath’s relative suggested if it would be a good idea to send a few interested students to Swamiji’s Aashram for ten days or so for a spiritual experience. Amaranth proposed this idea to Swamiji to which, Swamiji agreed. This is how these five boys came to Swamiji’s Aashram.

All of them got fresh. “Please introduce yourself,” Swamiji said. “I am Vishen Tiwari”; “I am Mandeep Singh”; “I am Neeraj Shukla”; “I am Atharv Goel”; “I am Kaushal Agrawal”, replies came. Satyajit brought tea for all of them. The young men felt energetic after having tea in the chilled Himalayan atmosphere. Then Swamiji asked Satyajit to walk the newcomers through the Aashram. Satyajit followed instruction of his Guru.

After seeing the Aashram inside out, Kaushal and Atharv said, “That means we all will sleep in the same room? You don’t have separate rooms for each of us?” “I wasn’t told about this. I don’t share my room even with my parents,” Kaushal said. “And this Aashram is quite small,” Atharv said, “I had visited Aashram of my father’s Guru in Haridwar about five years ago. It is spread over several acres and is way bigger than this one. It has a number of rooms to stay with separate residence blocks for males and females. It also has an air-conditioned meditation room. Not just that; it has a separate dining area with dedicated chefs cooking food every day. Compared to that, this is nothing.”

Satyajit felt offended with these remarks. He said, “listen, spirituality is our way of life; not our business unlike some others that you may have seen. And as about staying arrangement, we provide a comfortable stay to disciples who want to follow a spiritual path. We do not provide lodging and boarding facilities to tourists who look for a luxurious vacation. If you dislike the staying arrangements here, you are welcome to leave this place.”

But Swamiji calmed Satyajit down and said to Atharv and Kaushal, “see, this is a hilly area and it is very difficult to get a plain land. If we occupy a large plot of land for our Aashram, people in nearby villages will not get land to build their houses. This Aashram was founded by my Guru and he handed it over to me. Since then, I have taken care of it like my child. As about stay of female disciples, we don’t allow them to stay though they can meditate here during day-time.”

Swamiji told Atharv and Kaushal that they can leave the next morning as they did not like the place. Kaushal started arguing, “But what about the train and bus fare that we spent?” “We are not charging anything from you for your food and stay for a night. Does that clarify your concern?” Satyajit said.

Amaranth started explaining protocols at the Aashram, “first of all, you have to deposit your belongings, including your hand phones here with me which will be placed in a locker with us. You will get them back at the time you leave for your home. You have to wear clothes of ascetic as long as you are disciples of Swamiji. Every morning you have to get up at 4:30. We have a morning meditation at 5’o clock followed by Swamiji’s discourse. After that, we all clean the Aashram. Then we take showers…” “How are we supposed to complete our sleep if we have to get up at 4:30 AM?” Neeraj asked. “By sleeping early at night,” replied Amarnath. “How do you spend time here? You do not even have a TV set!” Neeraj said. “We don’t have any issue of how to spend time. Our time is spent in daily meditation, cleaning and maintaining activities and we remain in touch with the world through newspaper we get here every day.” “What if we want to upgrade our knowledge?” Vishen asked. “There are a lot of reference books in our mini-library in the other room. You can refer any book from there whenever you are free,” Amarnath said.

The next day, everyone got up at 4:30 AM and meditated at 5 AM. Atharv and Kaushal had made up their minds to go back therefore they didn’t participate in cleaning the Aashram. After breakfast, Satyajit took them down to the village and helped them board a bus to the nearest railway station where they would get a train to Delhi.

Swamiji asked the disciples including the newcomers to go to nearby villages and get Bhiksha. “What is Bhiksha?” asked Neeraj. “Bhiksha means we have to go door to door in different villages and get food grains or their flour and cook our food here.” Amaranth replied. “Do we pay money for it?” Neeraj asked. “No, we don’t,” said Amarnath. “That means this is a sort of begging. Why should we live on others’ efforts when we can be on our own?” Neeraj said.

“Neeraj, Bhiksha is not begging. Asking for Bhiksha by ascetics or sages is an ancient tradition in our culture. Even if you refer Rig-Veda, you will find a mention in it about nobility of charity. Its main purpose is to kill ego and self-pride which becomes an obstacle in the path of liberation of the soul. But let me tell you, we don’t live on others’ charity. We enlighten them on spirituality. Anyone can come here anytime they want for meditation and seek guidance of any of us. Not just that, we also clean the road from here to the nearest village so that villagers can comfortably come here whenever they want. Above all, we provide them with vegetables grown here in our Aashram for which, we don’t charge anything,” Swamiji clarified to Neeraj.

To ask for Bhiksha, the disciples had to climb down the road to go to villages. Walking on the slippery road was difficult as they had fallen on the same road on the first day while coming to Aashram. Amarnath and Satyajit helped them climb down and also climb up the road while coming back. With practice, they learned how to walk on the road without falling down.

Two days passed. Swamiji was inquiring about conduct of the three disciples from Delhi with Amarnath. “They are well-behaved, Swamiji,” Amarnath said, “but are urbanized boys and hard to mould to our way of living.” “That’s fine. We don’t want them to be our full time disciples. I just expect them that they should learn a few lessons here that will change their outlook towards life and they learn to recognize things with true substance rather than just superficially nice things. How are they in doing daily work such as cleaning, gardening, etc?”

“Swamiji, Neeraj was complaining about cleaning toilet and bathroom yesterday because he dislikes such manual work of removing dirt.” “I can understand. What did you explain him then?” “I told him that all sorts of work should be respected. Imagine if we live in conditions when nobody disinfects the washrooms that we use; how disgusting that will feel! We shouldn’t be ashamed of doing such manual work even if we are intellectuals. He didn’t like much what I was saying but seemed to be convinced with it.”

“Good you said this. Had Satyajit been in your place, he would have asked him to leave the Aashram immediately,” Swamiji started laughing. Amarnath also joined him. Suddenly Amaranth remembered something and said, “Swamiji, I am noticing one thing for past two days.” “What is that?” Swamiji asked.

“This Neeraj brings huge Bhiksha while returning Aashram in the afternoon, even more than double the Bhiksha brought by Vishen and Mandeep. Grains and flour brought by him alone would be enough to cook mid-day meal for all of us.” “Is that true? And he is the one who had protested against asking for Bhiksha on the first day; isn’t it?” Swamiji asked. “Yes Swamiji.” “Just do one thing tomorrow; ask Satyajit to follow him but after maintaining a distance from him such that he doesn’t come to know.” Swamiji said.

Bodies of all the three new disciples – Vishen, Mandeep and Neeraj - were aching due to manual work at Aashram which they were not habituated to. Basically, they were not accustomed with the cold Himalayan weather in which they had to get up early morning every day. Though they had brought warm clothes with them, the chill that early morning cold used to send right down their bones, would start each day in a difficult mode. “You have to keep yourself active to beat the cold. The more movements you make, the more heat you generate in your bodies,” Satyajit used to give them the tip. Making movements was alright, but doing tasks such as cleaning floor and washrooms with anti-bacterial solution, washing own clothes were horrid experiences due to contact with chilled water.

They got relief from cooking dinner for a day which was done by Amarnath, Satyajit and also Swamiji himself. Amarnath and Satyajit rubbed balm on their bodies so that they got a relief from body pain.

Vishen had fever at night till 102 degrees F. So Amarnath gave him medicine and asked not to get up early at 4:30 the next morning. The other two wished they too, had fever so that they could get to sleep more.

Morning meditation of the disciples would normally be under Swamiji’s supervision wherein he would give instructions. The meditation would start with Pranayama – breathing techniques - which would be guided by Amarnath and Satyajit. After some time, Swamiji would take over. “Look inside yourself; don’t look outside,” would be Swamiji’s instruction during meditation.

This meditation session would be followed by morning discourse by Swamiji. The Delhi disciples had attended this discourse for last three days and were thoroughly impressed by Swamiji’s knowledge and his lucid way of driving his points. He gave references of not only ancient Vedic scriptures and Upanishadas, but could also easily quote events occurred anywhere in the world not only in historical times, but even contemporary events. Though no villagers would attend the morning meditation due to early hours, morning discourse that usually started at 6 AM would be attended by some of the villagers. After the morning discourse, there would be cleaning and gardening session followed by baths taken by Aashram residents and cooking and having breakfast before proceeding to villages to ask for Bhiksha.

Though Vishen missed early morning meditation due to fever, he started feeling better with medicine given by Amarnath and got up before the discourse session which he did not want to miss. Satyajit even asked him why he got up early instead of taking rest and asked if he should take him to a doctor in the village, but Vishen said that he was much better and didn’t need to visit a doctor.

After everyone had breakfast, the disciples left for villages to ask for Bhiksha. Satyajit started secretly following Neeraj such that he didn’t suspect. Neeraj reached a nearby village. He was not with his other Delhi friends who went to another village. He straightly went to a house and rang bell. A young girl in her twenties opened the door. She smiled at him and made him a gesture to follow her inside, but Neeraj didn’t go inside. He handed his bags to the girl and waited at the main door. About ten minutes later, the girl came back at the main door with all the bags fully filled with food grains and handed them to Neeraj. As Neeraj thanked the girl and turned back, Satyajit hid himself behind a wall so that he couldn’t be noticed.

After Neeraj went away, Satyajit rang bell of the same house again. The same girl opened the door. From Satyajit’s clothes, she recognized that he is from Swami Satchidananda’s Aashram. “I’m sorry, I just gave Bhiksha to one of the persons from your Aashram. Could you please check at another house?” she said. “Excuse me, lady! I haven’t come here for Bhiksha. I just wanted to check if you knew that person before.” “Yes, I got introduced with him day before yesterday. He comes here every day for Bhiksha and my family respects Swami Satchidananda very much, that’s why we offer him Bhiksha in good quantity.” The girl said.

“Alright, what did he tell you about himself?” Satyajit asked. “He told me that he is a management student from Delhi and his name is Neeraj Shukla. He even got introduced with my parents and we have exchanged our hand-phone numbers. He told me that I can get a lot of opportunities in a big city like Delhi and I shouldn’t waste my life in this village.”

“Alright, young lady! Now listen to what I have to tell you. If you want to go to a bigger city to explore your life, no one can stop you from doing that, but my suggestion is don’t rely on this chap,” Satyajit said, “he is here in our Aashram to learn basics of spirituality that will enlighten him such that he gets a new perspective to looking at life. He is supposed to live a life of an ascetic where you keep your identity aside; not that of a businessman where you exchange coordinates. If he cannot properly play the role for which he came here, take it from me that he is not a dependable person. And as about offering Bhiksha, please don’t offer so much Bhiksha to any one person that will kill his ability to work instead of killing his ego.” Satyajit left from there.

By afternoon, all the disciples came back to the Aashram with Bhiksha received by them. Now, all they had to do was cook their lunch with the grains and flour collected. Just before that, Swamiji asked everyone to show the Bhiksha collected by them. When he saw the Bhiksha collected by Neeraj, he said, “Oh, this is indeed a huge quantity. How many houses did you go to, to get this?” “Not many, Swamiji, just two or three,” Neeraj replied.

“Two or three or just one?” Swamiji asked. “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand,” Neeraj said. “But I understood everything,” said Swamiji, “you’ve got this entire Bhiksha from Kaul family in the village down the descent. I know that family very well. They are very pious and generous people. But you used your influence to get more Bhiksha from them so that you don’t have to wander from house to house. Not just that, you lured their daughter with stories of attractive city life; is this true or not?” “But how did you know this, Swamiji?” Neeraj said.

“This ‘how’ is not as important as ‘what’ at present. I just want to confirm the fact first. Is this true or not?” “Yes Swamiji, this is true,” Neeraj replied. “Alright, you lose the right to get trained in my Aashram henceforth. Have your lunch now and leave for Delhi. I’m not asking you to return the Bhiksha collected because that was given by Kaul family with pious mind.” “But Swamiji, what is my offense? What wrong have I done?” Neeraj asked.

“When you live here as a disciple and wear our clothes, you are supposed to live like an ascetic for those number of days. Instead of living like an ascetic if you start influencing the donors with your materialistic identity and go to the same house every day, you are not only wearing two hats at a time, but you are treading on your hat of an ascetic with both the legs. This is not being my disciple. As about getting huge quantities in Bhiksha, we get it as generous offering of people. We should not make merry on it, but get it so much that will just be enough for us to live comfortably.”

Neeraj was sent back by bus the same afternoon. Now, only two disciples remained in the Aashram – Vishen and Mandeep apart from regular disciples Amarnath and Satyajit.

Four days of training had passed and Swamiji was talking to Satyajit about the two disciples. Satyajit was very happy with both of them. They were sincere, hard working and liked the meditation and Swamiji’s discourse very much.

“You are nice boys. Apart from meditation and discourses, also keep referring books in our library. We have many books here – not just ancient Vedas, Upanishadas, but you will also find a few books on management here. I’m sure, you will find commentary on Bhagvad Gita by my Guru very interesting. Reading them will certainly shape your approach of looking at things in life,” Swamiji told the Delhi disciples.

Eight days passed. Vishen and Mandeep were eager to go back to their homes and meet their families after rigorous training at the Aashram and at the same time, feeling sad that the affectionate company of Swamiji and the senior disciples will not be there after two days.

For so long, they had attended all meditations sincerely, except the one Vishen missed due to his ill health; attended all discourses by Swamiji, cleaned the Aashram; gardened trees and vegetable plants in the Aashram; asked for Bhiksha religiously; helped in cooking food and also gone through various holy books in the library.

In the afternoon, Mandeep came to Swamiji and said, “Swamiji, I want to understand about my previous life, purpose of my life on the earth. I want to attain salvation – Moksha. Please guide me.” Swamiji said, “Tell me, why do you want to attain Moksha? What will you do by knowing about your past life and why do you want to know the purpose of your life specifically from me? Have your parents not told you about what you should do in your life?”

“Yes they did tell me, but after coming here, I feel whatever I lived till now was not a life at all. I am brought up in an affluent background as my father is a businessman. But after living this simple life for last eight days, I feel that I was filling myself with venom of materialistic things so many years. I think I’ve found the true purpose of my life. Please make me your permanent disciple, Swamiji; I don’t want to go back home. At the most, I will go home once a year to meet my parents.”

Swamiji smiled and said, “Fine, what about your education in Management, then?” “Swamiji, what you impart here is the supreme education. I don’t want to pursue any college degree. It is just a piece of paper stating my qualification, nothing more than that. I want to live a pure life. Life in city, particularly the business world is full of competition, rivalries which is nothing but impurity.”

Swamiji said, “Your argument is full of contradiction. On one hand, you want me to guide you about purpose of your life; on the other hand, you claim to have discovered this purpose yourself, which is attaining Moksha by living simple life. Remember one thing – living with simplicity for eight to ten days is easy; it’s very difficult to practice it permanently. Simplicity is the most difficult thing to practice. Don’t think what Amarnath and Satyajit are doing is easy. They have left their houses permanently and devoted themselves fully for the cause of spirituality. You cannot match them.”

Mandeep said, “How do you say so, Swamiji; I will also do this.” “Alright, tell me. Do you have any siblings?” Swamiji asked. “Yes, I have a younger sister,” Mandeep replied. “Fine, tell me; what will you do if her wedding is fixed and is after one month?” “Obviously, I will go to my parents’ house, make all preparations for my sister’s wedding, attend all guests in the wedding; see to it that the ceremony takes place smoothly and enjoyably and bid adieu to my sister when she goes to her husband’s home.”

“That is what I was saying. Your mind is at home, with your family. Be where your mind is. Don’t remain here forcefully when you are not cut for this.” Swamiji said. “But Swamiji, all the teachings of purity, simplicity given by you…” “Wait, wait,” Swamiji said, “You don’t need to be impure when you live in the material world. You can be very well with your family, complete your education and do your job or business and still live a pure life. On the other hand, you can live a very simple life in Himalayan villages, but be utterly frustrated, constantly craving for worldly pleasures. That will make you absolutely impure. Purity is to be seen in thoughts and actions, not in conditions one lives in.”

“What did you learn in Bhagvad Gita? What has Lord Krishna said? Never give up your Karma, which is your duty. Only thing, do it with pure mind and good intention,” Swamiji continued. Mandeep seemed to be convinced with this. He said, “But Swamiji, would you at least give me a Naam (Mantra) to chant repeatedly?” Swamiji said, “See my dear, you are really a nice boy. You also spoke about purpose of your life. If you take my view, you should focus on living the material life properly and dutifully. As about giving you a Naam, since you follow Sikh religion, you worship Guru Dev. So I will suggest that you take your father’s advice on this. Purpose of this training session is reshaping your approach to life to live it with basic values for sure and you have accomplished it exceedingly well.”

Swamiji and both, Amarnath and Satyajit were impressed with sincerity and truthful conduct of Vishen and Mandeep. They also felt that they were going to miss both these boys once they left for their homes. The next day, Amarnath was chatting with Vishen and Mandeep about how their experience was about the training so far. Mandeep said he was absolutely impressed with training and teachings of Swamiji and enjoyed the meditation. He also said that he would like to come there every year, if Swamiji allowed. Amarnath smiled at this because he knew about Mandeep’s conversation with Swamiji the previous day. Vishen said that he was feeling bliss and enlightened having undergone this training. But at the same time, he said he also felt pains and grief the nearby villagers were going through.

“Do you mean they don’t have as affluent a life-style and means to live as you have in cities? Don’t worry about them, they are happier than you with this simple life,” Amarnath said. “No, Amarnathji; I mean they live simple life, but they are curious about preaching of Swamiji, as to how they can have eternal peace in life. They live their daily lives, do every day chores and earn modest money to make their livelihood. But they are looking for spiritual upgrade, which they are missing at present.” Vishen said.

Amarnath said, “I think there is a point here. Villagers cannot attend the morning meditation session due to early hours and during the day, they don’t come in large numbers to meditate because these meditations are not guided by Swamiji. We can start evening session of meditation with Swamiji’s permission so that villagers can attend it. Similarly, we can make CD’s of Swamiji’s discourses and distribute them to villagers at affordable prices. This will also help those who are not able to attend the discourses. Apart from this, did you have any remarkable experience?”

“My experience with meditation has been extremely wonderful. Whenever I meditate, I get goose-bumps on my entire body. I get a feeling as if Swamiji is talking to me affectionately and a fountain of bliss is generating within my body. I simply can’t resist that feeling and want to experience it again and again. After I go home, I always want to keep practicing this meditation,” Vishen said.

“Excelllent, Vishen. When does your college start?” Amarnath asked. “It will start after three weeks,” Vishen replied.

The last day arose, finally. Both, Mandeep and Vishen got ready and had their breakfast in the morning. They were told not to go for Bhiksha and were handed over their belongings and clothes. “Can I make a phone call to my home?” Mandeep asked. “Go ahead,” said Satyajit.

Mandeep called his parents and informed them that he was about to leave for home in some time. After the phone call, he was looking very refreshed and rejoiced. Vishen was about to change his clothes the same time but he was asked to wait by Amarnath.

Mandeep asked Swamiji, “Swamiji, now that I am leaving, can I come here every year, if you find me fit to learn from you?” Swamiji smiled and said, “you are always welcome, my boy. Keep ten days a year aside for this place. Even if I am not there tomorrow, your elder brothers – Amaranth and Satyajit will welcome you.”

Mandeep turned to Vishen and said, “What is this Vishen, you are still not ready? Come on, we have to get a bus and then go by train to Delhi. Get ready fast.” “No, Mandeep; Vishen is not coming with you. He is continuing his stay here,” Amarnath said. “Extending his stay, but why? This was to be a ten days programme,” Mandeep said.

“I have nothing to say, Mandeep; Amarnathji and Swamiji are asking me to extend my stay here and I really feel it is a great fortune that Swamiji is bestowing upon me,” Vishen said. “Not me; it’s the wish of my Guru that Vishen should continue staying here for a few more days,” Swamiji said.

“If Vishen can extend his stay, what can’t I do that?” asked Mandeep. “Alright, Mandeep; we don’t want to discriminate. You can also continue your stay here, if you wish,” Amarnath said. “But Amarnathji, I just called my parents and informed them that I am coming home,” said Mandeep. “You can call them again and inform about change in your plan,” Amarnath said.

“No, my parents would be waiting for me. I am returning after ten days. I am also eager to meet them. I think I will stick to my plan and go today itself, if you don’t feel offended,” Mandeep said.

“Not at all,” said Swamiji, “five of you came here together, but you all have different characteristics and priorities. Atharv and Kaushal never had any liking for spirituality and had come here as tourists to enjoy a vacation; that’s why they were sent back the very next day. Neeraj showed some interest in spirituality but he also showed his hollowness when he tried to mix business with it by using his influence. Two of you are really sincere, but there is a difference between you also.”

“What is the difference between us, Swamiji?” asked Mandeep. “See, you are more inclined to live a simple, truthful material life while Vishen has more spirituality inside him. Both of you asked for Bhiksha very sincerely, but it was Vishen who noticed spiritual starvation of the villagers. After both of you were given your belongings, you called your home and informed that you are coming; there’s nothing wrong with it, but Vishen has yet to make a phone call home though he also has parents and a family. Your strength is that you are a quick learner and a very sincere man who will fight for his values. Vishen’s strength is his devotion to Guru and his spiritual spontaneity. When you meditate, you experience calmness and peace of mind. When Vishen meditates, he experiences a fountain of bliss flowing inside him. This is early sign of awakening of Kundalini Shakti (cannot be translated; please refer google to know meaning) and that’s why I have asked him to stay here for another fifteen days. He will practice Kundalini here and also preach among villagers about spirituality that they are curious about.”

“Swamiji, does that mean he will not continue his studies and career further?” Mandeep asked. “Again you are mistaking. He doesn’t have to give up his duty to be spiritual. He can live his life as planned but he will be spiritual at heart,” Swamiji answered.

Mandeep got convinced with this. He touched feet of Swamiji and also Amarnath. Both, Amarnath and Satyajit hugged him affectionately and asked him to come again. Mandeep hugged Vishen and left for home.

That day onwards, Vishen’s intensive training started to take place under Swamiji’s guidance. He was not required to clean the Aashram or cook food. While going for Bhiksha, Satyajit or Amarnath would go with him and they would provide guidance to villagers about how they can attain peace or be happier in life. They also made CD’s of Swamiji’s discourses and gave them to villagers at affordable prices.

Swamiji asked Vishen to sit in a composed position. “I’m going to give you a Naam (Mantra). You will chant it regularly while meditating,” Swamiji said. “Yes, Swamiji,” Vishen said. “Alright – your Naam is – ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevay’. Do chant it regularly, understand?” Swamiji said. “Yes.” “This will help you not only awaken your Kundalini, but will lead you to the path of salvation - Moksha in your lives to come,” Swamiji said further.

During the next few days, whatever Vishen did and experienced was absolutely miraculous. Whenever he chanted the Naam while meditating, he used to get a feeling as if he was swimming in the ocean of joy and he didn’t feel like coming out of that experience. “So far, only Amarnath has been able to reach up to this level, not even Satyajit,” Swamiji secretly told Vishen.

Vishen didn’t come to know how fifteen days passed. On the last day, he touched feet of Swamiji as well as Amarnath and also Satyajit. Swamiji hugged him and said, “You are a different person now from what you were twenty five days ago when you came here first. Go and live your life blissfully. May the Great Lord bless you.”

Vishen bed adieu to all of them and left for home.

A few years have passed after this training session at Swamiji’s Aashram. All the five Delhi boys duly completed their Master’s degree in Management. Atharv, Kaushal and Neeraj have consciously kept away from spirituality. Mandeep has joined his father’s business and also settled in his life, but he visits Swamiji’s Aashram for ten days every year without fail. And Swamiji has three permanent disciples in his Aashram now – Amarnath, Satyajit and Vishen.

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Milind
Milind
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20 May, 2020
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