You often feel guilty about a lot of things. You wish you could have done better. Worldly responsibilities overwhelm you.
But one day, I will be ready.
It’s happening already, a wave of transformation, a wave of calm and peace within. This change begins to happen in the company of great souls, even when we don’t seek or ask. Swamiji did that – He transformed me, He made me a better version of myself.
Even after coming home, I haven’t gone back to my old ways.
I owe everything to Him.
– long-time bhakta, first-time ashram visitor
The dead of winter is cold, stark, dreary. Nature is in hibernation, and the world slows down. Over at Sri Badrika Ashram, however, winter took on a different hue this time. The biting cold seemed to recede, the oppressive silence lightened, and the bodily shivers ceased as the doors to Bhagvan’s Abode were flung open for devotees who had never set foot on this sacred land.
Suddenly, it didn’t seem like winter anymore. For spring had arrived in the shape of their loving sentiments, the melodious kirtans at the temple and the eternally Divine darshan of Swamiji every evening. Devotees who had listened to Swamiji’s online discourses, read His books and blog posts and used His apps, flocked to the ashram, eager to see Him for the first time.
I wanted to thank Swamiji in person for what He has brought to my life. My coming here was a pure act of gratitude.
The mind is a mad machine, churning with thoughts. And I lead a crazy life. But being in the ashram taught me the ability to stay detached in many circumstances. My negative thoughts and even my anticipation of negative thoughts are now falling away naturally as I keep practising detachment.
In most moments, I stay calm. Whatever it is, I’ll handle it.
And this has been possible only because of the five beautiful days I spent at the ashram in Swamiji’s presence. – devotee, first-time visitor
As visitors attended the morning meditation sessions by Sadhvi Vrinda Om and book-reading sessions at the library, participated in the afternoon kirtans and took walks down to the ever-gentle, ever-present River Giri Ganga, they found unanticipated change beginning to bloom within. All worldly problems and ties seemed to fall away as, for a few blissful days, the only true relationship loomed large in their lives and hearts – the relationship with Sri Hari, the eternal bond with the Divine.
Bhagvan saw, Bhagvan heard, and Bhagvan rose in all His magnificent glory to blanket His devotees with an incredible cocoon of Grace and Love.
This was therapy. This was catharsis. This was acceptance.
I felt someone talking to me within. I listened to that voice, and I learnt to accept myself the way I was. Which means that I no longer judge anyone for who they are. My grudges, unpleasant feelings – they have all disappeared. Everyone has their own story to tell.
– a first time visitor
And the only story we have permission to tell is ours.
This is Bhagvan’s greatest gift in any lifetime – self-acceptance. Because by accepting ourselves, we accept the world.
By accepting the world, we learn to see Him in everyone and everything.
By seeing Him everywhere, we feel Him in our hearts.
When we feel Him in our Hearts, we experience Him as the only real thing to ever exist – the one true God, the only One.
Sri. Hari. Swamiji.
The eternal reality.
The new beginning.
This winter, Bhagavan took into His fold the ones who came seeking Him.
And in the instant they found Him, winter became spring.