It was a time when I worked for a company in Trivandrum. Something happened in that company which almost ended my life. It was after that incident and hospital treatment that I left the job and returned to Bangalore.
Anyway, I was single then and used to stay alone in the company guest house.
Almost every evening after work, I would go to the Padmanabhaswamy temple in the city, and spend at least an hour there. This became so blissful that I was actually addicted to this practice.
In my Krishna meditation sessions, I have the habit of imagining myself to be Arjuna either sitting at the feet of Krishna and listening to His words, or going for a walk with Him in the forest, asking Him questions about life, and receiving answers from Him.
One day during the meditation, I had a strong urge to go to the Guruvayurappan temple which is about 7 hours from Trivandrum by train.
It is a temple that I had first visited when I was a teenager and had gone along with my father on a pilgrimage to Sabarimala and other temples in Kerala.
I then fixed a day and took a good friend along with me who is also a committed devotee of Krishna.
The moment we arrived at Guruvayur, I started feeling as if I was in a different plane of consciousness.
We took a room at a simple hotel near the station, had a shower, and started walking towards the temple which is about a kilometre away.
I told my friend that I was going to ‘switch off my conscious mind’, and that although we were together, she could communicate with me only after we returned from the temple because I would be in a state of trance.
We entered the temple. The sounds of the bells, the smell of camphor, the beautifully and gracefully dressed ladies who looked like Divine mothers, all men and women with chandan or sandalwood paste on their foreheads, and so on, transported me deeper and deeper into my trance like state.
As we entered the main building and neared the Garbhagriha, I had to take off my shirt as per the requirement for all male devotees in the temple.
We went into the sanctum sanctorum, had an amazing Darshan. I actually felt I was standing before Krishna just as Arjuna would have felt before Him. Those Divine moments simply flew at jet speed and we had to move on because of the crowd of devotees in the queue we were in.
We came out to the open space outside, sat on the floor in a corner, and we both entered into meditation. The feeling we had was so great that we were oblivious to all the sounds around. I, in my usual style, visualised myself as Arjuna walking beside Krishna. In that day’s meditation, I had one of the most important life-changing discussions with Krishna, which, I must say, led to various developments that have culminated into the life I lead today.
SBG 9:29 I am the same to all living beings. There is no one I am partial to. However, those who worship Me with love and devotion, are in Me and I too am in them.
My simple suggestion to everyone, both men and women – When you mentally commune with Krishna, simply become Arjuna. It means, have the kind of love and reverence for Krishna that Arjuna had. Try to build a teacher-student relationship with Krishna.
Krishna is certainly the most Supreme Teacher. The SBG has such a systematic analysis of the Self, the mind, action, social responsibility, etc., studying which in depth, can make a seeker highly knowledgeable, absolutely powerful, victorious, and totally invincible before all kinds of negative forces, just the way Arjuna was.
Remember, the ultimate goal is attaining Self-Realisation, which means realising that the Self is Brahman or Krishna Himself. In order to attain this, we need knowledge – “There is nothing more purifying than knowledge” -SBG 4:38
Revering Krishna as one’s Supreme Teacher can keep a check on a devotee so that he or she is not tempted to ask Him for out-of-turn favours, and later on get upset with Him if things do not go the way they want!
The reason I also treat Him as my best friend is because by doing so, I can discuss with Him all my ideas, without feeling silly or crazy. In my meditation sessions, I have very deep conversations with Him. I usually visualise us sitting before each other in my office.
I feel that the greatest prayer as such in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita is Shloka 2:07 in which Arjuna asks Krishna to teach Him what would be good for him, as compared to prayers in organised religions in which people ask their personal God for bread and other material benefits.
SBG 2:07 With my mind in a state of confusion regarding my duty and the feeling of helplessness because of weakness, I ask You to tell me what is good for me. I am Your disciple and I have surrendered my soul to You. Please teach me.
Whenever I am trying hard to find a solution to some problem that I face, I sit in meditation, imagine myself at the feet of Krishna, and chant SBG 2:07 at least nine times. I usually get an answer in some form or the other, either in a few hours that follow, or sometimes in a matter of a few days.
Jai Shri Krishna.