This part is written by T.P.R
“Is there any significance in a dream or is it a mere phenomenon?” was the question I addressed to Sri Bhagavan in writing, in my earlier days. In those times, the subjects of ‘Guru and sishya,‘ of ‘initiation and diksha‘ were the foremost topics of general discussion. Does Sri Bhagavan give diksha to us and if not, why not? In earlier days, the presence of Sri Bhagavan was sought above all by people who desired liberation. Our ambitious aspirations saw no bounds in the grace of his presence. My intense feeling was, that whether there was significance or not in all these dikshas and initiations, if Sri Bhagavan was to do it, it would be a blessing for me in any case. His pithy utterances then were very cryptic and yet have ever been pregnant with meaning, and power. “Who is the Guru? Who is the sishya? Who is to give and to whom? What is there to give? You think the ‘Self ‘ to be the body and take yet another body for the ‘Guru’ and demand of the one to bless the other. Is the ‘Guru’ regarding the body as the ‘Self ‘? There is neither Guru nor disciple other than the ‘Self ‘. Guru is Self.”
Though convinced by his presence and utterances, there yet remained a lurking sense of something missing and unfulfilled. It was at that time that I had an extraordinary experience which left a deep impression on my whole being. It was neither in dream, nor in waking state, when this happened. I was perfectly alive to it, and aware of the permeation which was consuming and overpowering me. I described the following immediately in my notebook and later went to the Ashram.
Reaching Sri Bhagavan’s presence before dusk I left my notebook with him for his perusal. This was the record: “18th November 1936, 3:00 a.m.”
It was an apparent dream. I was in a huge quadrangle of some college buildings. I was studying and suddenly I saw Sri Bhagavan had come down, youthful and vigorous in appearance, and had the impression that he was going to manifest himself and speak. Oh, it was a wonderful sight. Thousands of people gathered round at a distance, encircling Bhagavan and perched on all walls, upper floors and any available space around. I saw Dandapani sitting at a distance, echoing Sri Bhagavan’s speech which was in turn echoed by another. It had never occurred to me that this would happen or that Sri Bhagavan would ever come here and I who was at a distance could not stand the separation. I darted forward to Sri Bhagavan and embraced him with so firm a grip, the like of which I have not the strength to do or achieve in physical consciousness. And Sri Bhagavan embraced me. In each others’ embrace, we left the place. At once I found him in my house. I first saw my mother, more robust than she ever was in life, welcoming Sri Bhagavan; my father calm and unperturbed as he always was in physical life, and my sister the same. Sri Bhagavan had a cold bath, myself pouring pots and pots of water over him. Then in a few moments he went up and down our house, throwing us all in confusion, but I alone followed him without a second thought. My mother would by this time appear to be losing her confidence and faith. In the midst of this embarrassment, and in her presence, Sri Bhagavan appeared to put me to the test as it were, and asked me, pointing to my sacred thread and other things: ‘What is all this! Now I say, throw, throw them away and I shall give you this?’ He was holding in his hands a bunch of darba (kusa grass) and I did not perceive how it came into his hands. At first I hesitated for a moment to discard my sacred thread for ‘kusa grass’ but a moment’s reflection made me surrender to his will and with all vehemence I tore off the sacred thread and flung it on the ground, to the dismay of my mother and perplexity of my father. Immediately Sri Bhagavan gave me two handfuls of kusa grass in horseshoe shape, and the moment I touched and received them a great serenity pervaded my entire being.(I experienced the descent of a dynamic force into my being, flowing as it were from and through the sahasrara, permeating downwards and downwards slowly to the heart-centre, and upon reaching the same, I felt apprehensive that my physical frame could not stand this permeation and impact any more, without jeopardy.)
With courage and determination I looked up at Sri Bhagavan to ask him what all this was about? There was no answer, but I saw Sri Bhagavan’s form change into the shape of Sri Rama or Hanuman and tell me something that I could not catch. So I asked, ‘Who are you?’ and the reply was ‘I am Sri Rama, Sri Rama’, whereupon this vision disappeared and I saw Sri Bhagavan in its place. My mother began to cry aloud having lost her balance of mind by this time, and said: ‘I will die, I will die, thinking I fell a prey to Sri Bhagavan’s lures.’ The mention of death caused irrepressible laughter in me and Sri Bhagavan said at once: ‘Yes, die; you should die.’ When Sri Bhagavan said so, I turned round to my mother and with ferocity cried out, ‘Yes, die, die.’ She was rolling on the ground when Sri Bhagavan asked me, ‘What is the earliest train to Bombay and the cheapest route?’ He said he had to go there, and to one or two more places, and then go on a tour to the north. I was thinking how best to take Sri Bhagavan and go with him, when I felt completely awake and began to reflect on the event. Is there any significance or is it merely a phenomenon of dream?”
The following morning, as usual, I entered the Hall. Sri Bhagavan’s welcome nod and penetrating look overwhelmed me, and even as I was half doing my obeisance he turned to the shelf beside him, took out the notebook and handed it to me. Immediately he began, “Don’t you know what Madhavan did? One day he was massaging my limbs. Leaving him to his job I reclined, closing my eyes. After some time I felt some variation in the friction, so I opened my eyes and saw him with head bent down clutching my feet in his hands. I asked, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Nothing, nothing’, he replied, resuming his task. He took it as diksha by the feet.” Immediately I said that I had had an unusual experience by Sri Bhagavan’s touch, which stirred my being, though in a dreamy condition, and asked if initiation or diksha could be had this way, and whether these experiences were real and effective, regardless of the swapna state? Sri Bhagavan slowly spoke with short intervals of silent gaze: “Jagrat and swapna are states that come and go. If these states are real, they must be unchanging, permanent.
“Our real nature is constant being. It never changes. Be it upadesa or diksha the efficacy of the guru’s influence or God’s grace is not conditioned by the different states. The influence is an experience being itself. Guru, God and Self are one and the same. So long as the Guru, God or the Self are deemed external, all upadesa, initiation and several dikshas mentioned have a relative meaning and significance. But ‘Guru’ is external and internal, and is the very ‘Self ‘. Such influence is efficacious whether the experience is in the jagrat, or swapna state.”