By Achala, Argentina
Since a very young age I knew that the primary purpose of life is to be happy. So I went out and tried to find that happiness in friends and family, in material things, by going places and taking part in activities. That search lead me to live in many different places with my family and after several years away from home we came back to live in our hometown of Cordoba, Argentina.
Finally we ended up living in Villa Carlos Paz. One of the first things I did there was to try to find a place to practice yoga, because in the past I had thoroughly enjoyed attending Hatha Yoga classes. A dear friend of mine introduced me to her yoga teacher who happened to be the coordinator of the Sri Premananda Centre in Carlos Paz.
I began following this coordinator’s yoga classes and shortly afterwards he told me about a disciple of Swamiji’s who was coming from India to give a meditation course called Prema Dhyanam. He invited me to come and I still remember a few words from the invitation brochure, which were something like: ‘With the Guru’s grace you can attain enlightenment in this lifetime’. I thought this was a bit too much for me as I am a very worldly person….but thank God! I decided to participate in course.
This weekend course changed my entire life. Among many other important things, I realized that the search for happiness is an inner journey and that with the Guru’s grace and guidance it can be an easy and joyful path, that whatever we find outside of ourselves is a reflection of what is within us and that we may not always be able to control outer things but we can always change our feelings and thoughts about them.
That is how I met Swami Premananda; I found him in the depth of my heart. I felt him and embraced him as my spiritual master in September of 2011. I was reborn.
Since then I began attending all the Sri Premananda Centre activities, such as poojas, satsangs, meditations and singing bhajans with all our hearts (currently my favourite!). I discovered devotion and my love of God.
Each day I feel Swami’s divine presence more and more. I feel it everywhere, at the centre, at home, in my yoga classes, in my life!
I used to be Laura; now I’m Achala, which is the spiritual name Swami gave me. Thanks to his divine grace my head is learning to rest a little bit more in my heart and I am becoming more myself.
Jai Prema Shanti!