A guru has found me lately. It began with a friend adding me to a Whatsapp group titled Sri M. I had no idea who this was but I was happy to receive daily nuggets of wisdom such as:
What is ‘Sthita Pragna‘? One who maintains equilibrium, mental equilibrium, under all circumstances. You cannot surprise a yogi. You cannot make him angry. You cannot disturb the tranquility of his mind. No event can do that. That kind of balanced tranquility of mind is the result of the practice of yoga. Such a yogi is called the ‘Sthita Pragna‘, one whose consciousness has become ‘sthita‘, which means steady, quiet and tranquil.
Then, one day, I received a package in the post with no recipient or sender address. It was a bunch of four books by Sri M. I was like, “Whaaaat?” But anyway, since I am now used to the funny mystical ways of the Universe, I simply sat down to read them with gratitude and acceptance. And I was impressed and inspired by what Sri M had to say.
A few days later, hubby asked, “Did you receive any package from Sri M?” I said yes, indeed I had, and it was all very strange because I’d just recently become curious about this guy. It turned out those books were meant for hubby since he was working on something, and he was due to meet Sri M the next day. “Oh, I will go along with you!” I exclaimed. So off we went.
IIC in Delhi was as usual filled to the brim with politicians and academics. We had tea; I couldn’t get my eyes off the man. Squeezing myself into a silent moment between all the work talk, I blurted: “I often face a dilemma of balance; on one hand, we are asked to accept our situation and go with the flow. On the other hand, we are also told to be proactive about change when things aren’t going well. Which path should one take in difficult situations?”
Shifting in his seat, Sri M instantly said, “Whenever you have to choose between acceptance versus proactive change, choose proactive change. And keep trying and trying and trying. If you still don’t succeed in getting to where you want, you can perhaps accept your situation. But even then I’d say, be proactive and keep trying. That situation is given to you for a reason.”
His words sealed the deal for me; I had wondered for days if I should have just accepted an unhappy professional situation or been proactive and moved towards change fraught with risk. Now I am clear. There’s no going back.
As we said goodbye, he asked if I would come to his Bangalore ashram to meet him. With a hand on my heart, I said, “I am connected to you anyway, sir.” He nodded as if he knew exactly what I meant.
And so, yet again, I was not surprised when my Whatsapp group pinged me this message a day after I had written this post about how I love to nap:
Sleep is not samadhi. Please understand. Sushupti is a different word and samadhi is a different word, turiya is a different word. They are different states. Nobody has attained samadhi through sushupti. One of the greatest obstacles to meditation is sleep. And without overcoming the desire to sleep, nobody can attain the high goal of turiya — it’s not possible. Sleep is the nearest to any kind of altered state of consciousness that a human being can experience; therefore the mind tends to go to it. But if you are a sadhaka, you have to fight it. There is no other way. And fight it till sleep becomes your slave. Not you become a slave to sleep.
As my new guru advised, I now don’t go back to sleep once I get up at 4.30 or 5.30 (depending on the kids’ school schedule). I start writing instead. Sometimes, I meditate (mental note: make it daily). I still nap in the afternoon, though. Sri M hasn’t sent any note on that yet.
This is kalyug, meri jaan. Gurus find you on smartphone apps.