My conservative, middle-class upbringing suffered a severe jolt when, at the age of 8 years, my mother left us suddenly to pursue another life. I don’t even remember calling her “Ma” and my feelings for her were driven by anger and resentment that she had opted out of raising a family and, instead, had moved on with her life and loftier ambitions. It was painful for me when anybody asked where my mother was and equally heartrending to hear my friends’ anecdotes about their own mothers’ gestures of love because all of it was a lie for me.
At one point, I told my father that I would speak to her and ask her to come back to us, and when it didn’t work, I started hating her even more. But my father, who had endured so much told me, “Don’t hate her like that. It’s okay, whatever has happened, let it be.” That’s when I learnt the lesson of generosity and it touched my heart. Through all of this, I was extremely fortunate to have the strong, loving presence of my grandmother. She taught me all about life, values and much more. Despite her fragile health, it seemed that her purpose in life was to be a mother to me. And that made a lot of difference!
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Growing up, my childhood circumstances had quite an adverse impact on my personality. However, in my senior years at school, I decided to turn a new page, drop the old baggage and make new friends, some of whom I can now count as lifelong pals. When I turned 18, a few of them took up Heartfulness meditation, and I also felt the pull to join in after observing positive changes in them. I can say Heartfulness ‘happened’ to me and my life changed forever from the very first session when I experienced transmission for the first time! Although my practice wasn’t regular to begin with, I still felt the love starting to pour in.
The effect was such that it was as though I had a personality makeover – from a short-tempered, frustrated person, to someone very positive and calm. I started looking at things in a new way. All of my angst just vanished and it was as if now, everything was worth it. Every decision, every action, every moment became heartful. I can’t believe it has already been 5 years. It felt surreal when I actually started listening to my heart. By practicing Heartfulness, I learnt to be natural, truthful, positive, grateful, accepting difficulties, and each day brought a new learning, discovering the hidden wealth of the heart.
Also Read: The Compassion Revolution
I also reached out to my mother again, this time with compassion and under much happier consequences. We settled our differences and forgave each other to give us a fresh start. But sadly, this new-found bond was broken when we got the tragic news that my mother had met with an accident and had died on the spot. When I saw her for the last time, I didn’t cry, instead I prayed fervently for her soul. Heartfulness has taught me to be strong and accept her loss. At that point in my life, it played a major role in helping me gain inner strength, and look at life with a whole new perspective.
When I look back, I think it was supposed to happen as per everyone’s own destiny. But now, as the global Guide of Heartfulness, Daaji says, “We need to work upon the mind to design our destiny. And for this, we need a meditative practice.” I am glad I found one. Everything began to settle down when I started feeling the presence of the divine, which was always there in my heart, I realized. I always used to complain “Why me?”. But now I am thankful and say “Thank God, it was me!”.