I was just so transported by the atmosphere
This is one of the stories in our Story-Gems project, a collection of our experiences with our Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Project homepage »
Pulak was introduced to Sri Chinmoy through Sarama, who gave yoga and meditation classes near where Pulak lived.
So the thing about Sarama is, she didn't just bring people to Guru if she didn't feel they were quite ready. With me, she realised that I needed a little work before I would be ready. I was a little maybe – I don't know what you would say – bohemian or so.
She said I had to stop smoking to see Guru. So I think I was working at the Bronx Zoo and I just said, OK, well, I'm going to quit smoking today. And I was able to do it like in just one day. And it was an interesting process. Every time I felt I needed a cigarette, I just sort of like said, well, no, you don't need it.
I managed to clean up my act enough for Sarama to get me invited to April 13th Celebrations. The Celebrations that year was held at the Victoria Congregational Church right on 148th Street and 87th Avenue.
I remember when I was walking through the hall, I saw that Mahavishnu (John McLaughlin) was a disciple. While I was in Europe, I had become an admirer of his music. At Celebrations, he played acoustic guitar very beautifully. All the performances were so soulful and heartfelt. I'd never experienced anything like that before.
The first time I saw Guru, he was meditating to open the function on April the 13th, and then during the function he would sit there watching everything. Guru would be sitting there, in such a majestic way, watching.
Guru was just magnificent. Just seeing him, I mean, seeing him in person — I'm sure many have felt this — you see Guru in person and it's just like you're ready to do anything he asks you to do. In 1972 he was only 41 years old—a young person, a very beautiful presence.
Guru played the harmonium and sang. Then, I think it was one of the first performances of Tanima's group. The whole function, the whole feeling—I was just so transported by the atmosphere. Afterwards, there was a meal downstairs.
So, I went down and then Sarama introduced me to Guru. I forget what she actually said to Guru. Guru was kind of was looking above my head. He wasn't looking right at me, he was looking a little above my head. I don't know what he saw there, but he was concentrating there. Then he asked me what I did. I said, “I just do a lot of temporary jobs.” He looked at me for a moment and said, “Very good.” Then he walked off.
Well, that was my first personal encounter with Guru. The next day I got the message that Guru had accepted me and that I was in the Connecticut Centre.
The outer teacher shows us the way
To reach the destination.
The inner teacher carries us
Smilingly and proudly
To the destination itself.
Sri Chinmoy 1
- 1. Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 10, Agni Press, 1998
Sri Chinmoy's students describe their inner and outer experiences.
No Fear, Only the Heart’s ConcernJogyata Dallas Auckland, New Zealand
How my spiritual search led me to Sri ChinmoyVidura Groulx Montreal, Canada
Learning to follow my intuitionSaranyu Pearson Geelong, Australia
Spiritual FriendsPreetidutta Thorpe Auckland, New Zealand
Why run 3100 miles?Smarana Puntigam Vienna, Austria
In the Right Place, At the Right TimeEshana Gadjanski Novi Sad, Serbia
Listen to the inner voiceVidura Groulx Montreal, Canada
The Random DogToshala Elliott Auckland, New Zealand
The Swimming RelayToshala Elliott Auckland, New Zealand
Your life's responsibilities compel you to develop inner strengthPradhan Balter Chicago, United States
Just go with it and jump!Gabriele Settimi San Diego, United States
The Peace Run visits OxfordTejvan Pettinger Oxford, United Kingdom
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students