The Awakening of Mira
Paula Marvelly: When did you arrive in India?
It must have been early September '68. I stopped for three months in Afghanistan, in Kabul. In the countryside there was a Sufi master and for me it was the first time I had met a saint. Of course he didn't speak English but his presence just gave me a taste. But somehow there were still a lot of intellectual questions, so that was not enough. So I went to Delhi and I didn't know where to go because I didn't want to have any addresses of known gurus. I really had the conviction that I would just meet the one I needed. I went to the Himalayas and then to Ganga where I started to meditate for three months.
PM. You met a guru called Chandra Swami?
Yes. I was in Sapt Sarovar, which is upstream from Hardwar. I was wandering around one afternoon trying to find a good place to meditate. I crossed a little arm of the Ganga to go to an island and there I saw a wonderful being of light, k e was beautiful — the picture of a yogi. He was quite naked and had a long black beard. So I came to Chandra Swami and sat and then he spoke to me in English! I was amazed - it was very good English. He was very learned. I asked him if I could visit him every afternoon and at some point I asked him if he could initiate me. But after a month or so I felt that I still needed more answers to my questions - and they were burning questions.
PM. What were the questions?
My first worry when I started to meditate was that many people give different ways of meditation and I wanted the short cut. And some say it's through devotion, some say it's through jnana or knowledge. Although I was at th beginning of the search, I wanted the top, you know. So, what to do? I thought at that time that cosmic consciousness was the reality so I was searching for that At some point, I left everyone because I wanted to be by myself and really see. So I went to live in a nearby cave.
PM. And then you were down to your last rupee...
Yes, I went to a cafe and this man came and he said, 'Do you need some help, my dear child?' And I said, 'No thank you!' I was really determined not to listen to anybody. So he said, 'Well, if you need any help, I am there in the morning at five o'clock at the bank of the Ganga.' I thanked him and I didn't look much at his face. I wanted that everybody just leave me alone. He left and the next day I did my usual thing of washing my robe and myself and meditating on the bank of the Ganga.
But in the night, his face came and said, 'Maybe it's me that you search,' and that was enough to bring me there at five, of course! It was the same face. So, when I came, he laughed very loudly and I felt it was a very warm welcome. I sat in front of him and the Ganga was flowing by. He asked me simply, 'What do you want?' It was just direct like this and I said, 'Cosmic consciousness and if you know more, the 'more' as well!' I realized that if I could know more, I wanted that 'more' because I knew that the mind with its limits thinks it is always the top. He said, 'What do you do for that?' and I said, 'I meditate.' 'Show me!' So I showed him how I did it and after a while, I just opened my eyes and I looked at the Ganga, at the sky, and very slowly I remember — it's still alive — and I uttered, 'It's so simple.' I just fell down and simultaneously I recognized my master. Then he said, 'Now you go.1' 'Mais nonl I was totally in love! I said, 'I sought you for so long and now I have to stay. And he said, 'No, no, you go and when you need me I will come.' So I had to leave.
I went but I was not in my so-called normal state. I was in total ecstasy. I left for the forest from the cave. And I remember there was a smell I could not define, which was such an extraordinary smell. I was kissing the trees. The next day, I didn't see him and I didn't know his name. He didn't know my name and I realized that the only known thing between us was that place. There was a little tree with shade and I was absolutely determined to wait for him till I died it it was necessary. So I just stayed there at that spot.
And it looks like eight months passed and one evening, meditating in front of the Ganga, I looked behind me and saw this man coming again. He came to me for 10 days, every day at four o'clock in the afternoon. He gave me food, answered my questions. I was living outside and then, one morning, he woke me up at five and said, ‘Today you can walk with me all day.’ And we went, we chatted and from that day I could be with him all day. So that was just stopping everything. It was perfect.
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