A journey of self-exploration, discovery and self-development
Somewhere Among the Stars: Reflections of a Mystic (BluOne Ink) by Adi Varuni was released last year, but was formally launched at the JLF 2023 recently.
Following is an excerpt (Page 51-56) from the book:
Early next morning, Krishna escorted Ahana to Anandi Ma’s kutir.
Her kutir was a small stone cottage behind a garden. There was a young girl waiting for them at the door. She smiled at them and led them inside Anandi Ma’s living room. It was a small and bare room with only a table and a couple of chairs, a cot and a wooden shelf with a few books. A large electric lamp was placed in a corner of the room beside which there was a small curtained doorway leading in to Ma’s private room. Krishna and Ahana came in quietly.
“I’ll inform Ma!” the young girl announced and went into the inner room through the curtained doorway.
As soon as Anandi Ma came in, Ahana recognized her. “You came to me!” she blurted out.
Anandi Ma was wearing a white sari with a shawl draped around her shoulders, exactly as she was in Ahana’s subtle vision.
“My dear Ahana,” Anandi Ma greeted Ahana warmly, “You’ve come!”
Ahana stepped forward, bowed low and touched Anandi Ma’s feet. Anandi Ma blessed her by placing her palms on Ahana’s head. “Om Tat Sat!” Anandi Ma said softly. “I have been waiting for you, Ahana,” said Anandi Ma.
“It all happened so smoothly,” Ahana said to Anandi Ma. “My parents agreed readily, which I wasn’t at all expecting.”
Anandi Ma smiled. “Because the time was right, my child.” Ahana looked at Krishna briefly. Krishna stood still, a light, amused smile playing upon his lips.
“Krishna didn’t tell me anything about you or about coming here,” Ahana said.
“He usually doesn’t.” Anandi Ma smiled at Krishna. “He has this habit of keeping things to himself.”
“Ma, may I ask you something?” Ahana asked.
“Please go ahead, Ahana.” Anandi Ma replied immediately.
“Why did you call me here to be with Krishna?”
“Ahana, my child,” Anandi Ma explained, “There is always a purpose but often hidden from the outer mind. When you dive within, you begin to understand things.” Anandi Ma smiled at Ahana. She smiled back.
“And I know you and Krishna will help me dive within,” Ahana said.
“Consider this your home, Ahana,” Anandi Ma said. “Find yourself a place where you can meditate. No one will disturb you. May the Lord’s grace be with you!”
“Yes, Ma,” Ahana said, bowing. “Please bless me!”
Anandi Ma placed both her palms on Ahana’s head and said — “Narayan, Narayan!”
As soon as Anandi Ma placed her palms on my head and blessed me, I felt a current run up my spine and, in the blink of an eye, everything and everyone disappeared. All I could hear was the Lord’s name — Narayan, Narayan — repeating in my consciousness, and resonating through the space around me. There was, in fact, no difference between what I was experiencing as ‘my consciousness’ and the ‘space’ around me, it seemed the two had fused. Then I saw Krishna standing before me, his eyes shining in the dark, his face glowing with an unearthly light. I knew it was Krishna and yet he was not the same person — he looked older, graver, somewhat more distant. And then Krishna’s vision faded and Anandi Ma was smiling at me, with so much love and compassion in her eyes. Still intoning “Narayan, Narayan,” I saw her heading back to her inner room.
“I saw you in a vision just now,” Ahana told Krishna as they walked back from Anandi Ma’s room. “You looked so different, older, more reserved, somehow. And your skin was glowing!”
“There will be many subtle visions, Ahana,” Krishna said quietly, “and many inner experiences and realizations. You must keep all that to yourself. When the time comes, the understanding will also come.”
“I understand, Krishna,” Ahana said.
“These experiences and realizations come with psychic energy, and you must learn to conserve that within yourself. Speech, most of all, dissipates psychic energy.”
Ahana nodded quietly. She understood the need for silence and conservation of energy immediately. She had already experienced how speech always tended to dissipate the inner state — now she understood that even inner experiences and realization must not be shared. But she still had a question. “So, all the understanding that comes must be kept to oneself? Won’t that be selfish?” she asked Krishna.
Krishna smiled back at her. “The understanding that comes will still be mental for quite some time. You have to wait till all that mental understanding deepens and ripens into something spiritual.”
“When a flower blooms, the fragrance spreads on its own. It is the nature of the fragrance to spread, the flower doesn’t have to do anything.”
From that day I withdrew into myself, keeping only the inner contact with Krishna. Anandi Ma would sometimes call me and give me some work to do. We would hardly talk or discuss anything. The quality of my meditations began to change — the poise above my head grew more stable, the detachment from thoughts more permanent, the mind grew more concentrated in itself. Before long, I could see mental activities happening outside of me, as if in someone else’s head, and my need to engage in them quickly diminished till I lost all interest in the mind’s activities or processes. Soon, it no longer mattered what thought or image would cross the space of my mind, spiritual or worldly, of yoga or bhoga, none mattered, they were just movements of the mind, like so many other things in motion in the universe around me, neither relevant nor even interesting. I felt myself increasingly an observer, a witness, what the yogis call the sakshi.
Then one day, while I was sitting quietly in the ashram garden, Krishna came to me and told me to close my eyes. I closed my eyes.
“Bring yourself above the head,” he said, “let all thoughts go.” In a few minutes I was poised above the head, and the mind was quiet.
“Feel the space around you,” Krishna said softly. “You will sense a silence deeper than any you have experienced.”
As if, in some occult way, triggered by his very words, I began to sense a deep and vast silence around me, extending everywhere, into everything I was aware of.
“This is Brahman’s silence. It is this silence that bears the universes, all existences, all consciousnesses,” Krishna continued. “Seek refuge in this silence. You will soon find this same silence inside your head, between your thoughts, inside your body, between your breaths, in every object you see and touch. All speech, all sound, all thoughts, feelings, sensations, arise in this silence and dissolve back into it. This silence is all there is.”
I could feel the silence enveloping me like a fog and entering me through the skin. It was physical in its density. I could feel it as a pressure above my head, on my chest and against my eyelids. My breathing slowed so much that I could no longer feel my own breath. And then, with a long, conscious exhalation, I let go of all control. Suddenly, nothing mattered anymore.