Seven years ago, I went to the Sri Premananda Centre in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina. I was feeling depressed because I couldn’t find a deeper meaning to my life at that time and one of my friends had said, “Come! I will take you to a very special place that will be good for you!”
The first time I went to the Sri Premananda Centre in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, I attended the Centre’s regular Sunday programme and from this day onwards I really felt the necessity to come back and participate in all the activities. In the beginning, I didn’t believe in Swamiji that much. I wasn’t practising meditation either. However, in each activity that I took part in at the Centre, I felt more light and more strength, which helped to support my daily life.
The understanding and maturity of the Coordinators gave me a lot of motivation and courage to get in touch with the Centre and become more and more involved with their activities. It was the love and tolerance of the coordinators that helped me to open up to a new way in which I could search for the meaning of life and to find Swami Premananda.
When I first started to attend the Centre’s programmes, I thought, “These people are a little crazy singing bhajans so loudly! But now I am also one of those crazy people and as Murali (Centre coordinator) said, “It’s good to be crazy – crazy for God!”
I often went to participate in the Centre activities because I felt that they were an injection of strength and light that helped me to continue with my daily life. I did however have some doubts about the spiritual Master so I decided to write to him and explain what was in my mind. Swamiji replied saying, “Don’t worry. You will receive a reply to your doubts and questions at the correct moment.” Three years passed and I went through many difficult tests and trials and in those difficult moments I decided to cling on to the pure love of Swamiji as that was what the most real part of myself was urging me to do, even though my mind continued to tell me something else!
I decided to travel to India to visit Swamiji, my “Divine love”. From the instant that I made that decision, I could feel that Swamiji’s blessings were with me. I had some doubts about how I would travel as I didn’t really have enough money, I would be travelling alone, I couldn’t speak any English and I had never been on a plane before! But I said to myself, “I WILL!”
Some days before I was due to travel to India, the Ashram informed me that I would be able to see Swamiji the day after I arrived! What a wonder – to see him immediately after I arrived. As I travelled I felt his presence in the form of love very strongly and maybe that was his blessing. When my plane finally landed and I first set foot in India at Chennai airport I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I had been there before, even though I had never been to India before.
That day that I first met Swamiji was the most important day of my life. When I was in his presence, I could not stop laughing and he smiled charmingly and asked me, “Are you happy?” and both of us just laughed. I always felt his blessings during my stay in the Ashram but there were also some difficult moments where I did not even want to hear about spiritual practices. Today, I realize that all this is due to the tricky ways of the mind. This period was like being inside a washing machine for me! As our dear Guruji says, we need to control our minds’ and listen only to the voice of our souls. His Divine silence will bring us to the correct path. One day whilst I was walking in the Ashram, the reply that Swamiji had given in his letter to me came to mind: Your doubts and questions will be answered at the correct time. I felt that those days had finally arrived and in that moment, I felt that the Master always knows about us and our only duty is to surrender and to have trust in him.
My daily practice now is to try to surrender, even though at times this is a difficult test. Swamiji always shows me through experience, the true beauty of this surrender.
Two years passed since I came to the Ashram and now I am back here again for four months as I felt that it was the correct time to take a recharge in my spiritual training and to surrender in the measure of my possibilities to my dear Master, Swami Premananda.
I am really thankful to be one of the participants in the Centre activities in Villa Carlos Paz – it is a wonderful possibility that our beloved Guru gives to us.
Jai Prema Shanti!