How Love Happens - March 2, 2010 - Rishikesh, India
It isn’t a secret that I love to love and be loved. I think Love is the most noble of the human emotions and the most complex. Why we love, how we fall in love, why is it that some of us love the idea of being in love and are willing to go through much suffering for its sake, remain mysteries to me. But, let’s just say that I am someone who appreciates love and cherishes it. I’m loyal to the blissful feeling that accompanies it and wouldn’t mind living it over and over again with the people already in my life and new ones I have yet to meet along the path.
This blog is about a person I fell in love with at a very high spiritual level.. A rare but grand occasion in my life where only a handful of people have joined me in before. All of them play an integral part in my life whether I see them on a daily basis or on occasions. From falling in love with the love of my life, to falling in love with my children from the moment they were conceived, falling in love with a role model or a friend, love just happens. It doesn’t come with an introduction or drum roll, it doesn’t give me any warnings such us, “Beware, intense feeling ahead.” It just happens, it walks in and sits in my heart very comfortably totally belonging to that spot, as if it occupied it all my life.
Sadhvi Abha Saraswati - Mataji (Dear mother)
I fell in love with Mataji’s voice before falling in love with her. She has one of those voices that simply transports you to another planet. To describe her voice wouldn’t be fair as it takes away from its heavenly blissful quality. It was during morning prayer at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in February 2007 that I heard her for the first time. She was playing the harmonium and chanting vedic mantras during 5am prayer. I could only see her back from where I sat at service, so I could not tell what she looked like but I imagined an angel!
Later that day, I went to my first vedic chanting class at the ashram and there she was, my angel just walked in and chanted and chanted and chanted and transported me into her beautiful world of mantras, their meanings, interpretations and effect on our lives. During my stay at the ashram, Mataji taught me and others yoga philosophy and she introduced me personally to the benefits and joys of the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) practice. I saw her several times during the day and grew accustomed to her and enjoyed every encounter as if it were the only one or the last one.
On my last night in Rishikesh I cried as I said goodbye to her. She was calm and composed. She hugged me and said, “You’ll be back soon. This is your home.” She described exactly how I felt. She gave me a recording of about twenty main mantras to practice “until the next time.” For a whole year I listened to nothing but the mantras in the car. I memorized them all and used them as part of my meditation practice. They helped me and many people who came across my meditation room since.
I had sent a message to Mataji as soon as I booked my ticket for this year’s visit but we never communicated further. So, I arrived in Rishikesh and saw her at Ganga Aarti the first night. I saw her back and heard her angelic voice during morning prayer the following day but still didn’t get the chance to talk to her. In the afternoon, as I was fixing to go to town to purchase a Shruti box for my chanting practice, I saw her in a car waiting for the driver to head out of the ashram as well. I yelled “Mataji” and without hesitation, she came out of the car and we both approached each other for a huge, warm, long, overdue hug… I cried and cried and cried.. I told her without uttering a word, “I miss you, I had a rough year, I need your love..” She kissed my shoulder sweetly and said, “You’re home now. Everything will be alright.”
She is right. I am home in Rishikesh right by the generous loving Ganges and in the heart of Mataji.. How can I complain anymore? To have her love remain the same even when she didn’t see me for three years. To remember my spirit as my looks have changed from the last time she saw me. What a gift.. I want to believe that I deserve this gift of love from someone I love and admire so much.
You see now why I love to love and be loved? What a feeling to come “home” to someone whether in Rishikesh or anywhere else around the world. “Home” is where LOVE is in any one of its many forms.. We are so many things to so many people. I’m a daughter, a sister, a mother, an aunt, a friend, a lover, a wife, an employee, a boss.. All are roles I play with different people under different circumstances. Deep underneath all these roles lies the real me, the only truthful me. That’s the one who loves and appreciates being loved. This is the real person who doesn’t change no matter what role she plays.
People who know me at that deep level have the power to love me and hurt me. Most of them love me but every now and then I’m tested by the appearance of someone with hidden intentions to hurt me and they succeed in doing so. Despite the pain, I think it’s worth taking a chance for love. As long as we don’t let one bad experience ruin the other beautiful sacred possibilities.