ಜಗದ್ಗುರು ಶಂಕರಾಚಾರ್ಯ ಮಹಾಸಂಸ್ಥಾನಮ್-
When in life you don’t know where to go, how to go, what to do or even why to move ahead, that is the time when you see light. That is the hope to lead life fruitfully again.
In 2000 I never realized that I would see that beautiful form of hope who will time and again be my motivation-my best guide. We are born, we grow, we mature, we grow old and die but all this while ,we are still children of God`. Like a small child, I am still trying to grow with my mother who still takes my hand and makes me walk. On that day of 2000, I met my loving father with whom I get into trouble but stands as a reassuring pillar of strength for my adventures. That divine form is my best friend whose caring hands have wiped my tears and pushed me off the mountain so that I can fly higher. For every step that I take today, there is a debt of gratitude that will take many lives to pay back.
Wisdom and knowledge are some things that we get free and so don’t realize the value of it until we use it. I definitely belonged to that category till I met my Guru. I never knew the meaning or even the value of what I was going to receive on that day. Only knowing that there was going to be a function in my grandfather’s place, I went there to help as the eldest of the grandchildren. As a typical tomboy, I can vividly see the first meeting in my eye- taking mantrakshthe with my bare hands with a spectacular boy cut hairstyle. May be that time I was forgiven for doing it ignorantly but the next time I got my Indira Gandhi cut nearly 4 years later, I am thankful that I survived my punishment time by the grace of God!!!
Not knowing what to do, I just inched forward to watch Sri Samsthana talking to my Grandfather. To my surprise, he turned towards me and gave a quiet smile that I cherish to this day. That was the point when I fell head first into the endless love and care of Guru. A quicksand that I would never get up from, the more I struggled, the more I would be pulled in. Even today, it gives me a sense of joy to be acknowledged with that sweet smile from a distance. With that smile, I consider my attendance marked!
After that operation encounter with Sri Samsthana, everything changed. Whenever I struggle, drench him with my tears or simply lose hope, I hear his voice whispering into my ear saying, “Greater the difficulty, greater the victory” and everything is back in place. Anytime I feel the tension around me as a big burden, I just have to remember the tension that Sri Samsthana has to go through and everything vanishes into thin air after all the bigger ghost always scares the smaller ghost away!!!
When I passed 6th and was to go into 7th standard, I came to enjoy my summer holidays in my grandfather’s house and that time I also came to meet Sri Samsthana. On an unbelievable beti, overlooking a live local football match, Samsthana was teasing me that I had grown up very fast and that I was going to study more than Sri Samsthana himself. I felt very sad at that time and simply said nothing. Sensing my feelings Samsthana reassured me by saying that learning more than a person is not at all bad if it can be used for the well being of others. I was not convinced. That moment, he showed me the match that was going on and said that if the players did not learn more than the coach, then they will never improve. The only thing what they should know is when to use the new knowledge and for that they can take the experience and help of the coach. In the same way for the right utilization of knowledge, I know that I can always turn back to my loving Guide, Guru and God.
God has only two answers for all your prayers- either ‘yes’ or ‘there is a better plan for you’. My god has never given me other than these two answers but it has taken a lot of time for me to understand this point of view. When I was in 8th, I was hitting an all time low in my confidence with low marks, academic problems and all that you can name. I tumbled from a rank student to a failing student. The world seemed to collapse around me. That time I was gently lifted from this confusion and Sri Samsthana told to get my poems printed in the form of a book. To get it to the perfection standards of Sri Samsthana, I had to get my brain kicking and running. The release of the book on 16th April 2005 in the presence of Srimatha awardee Saalumara Thimmakka made hope relive in me. Due to this I was even invited to talk on English poetry in Mangalore, with senior poets from other languages . A pleasant blessing in a surprise. If I had not failed in my exams, I would have forgotten the ability to write . Now I realize that God had a better plan in mind for me.
What started out as a nightmare turned out to be a test of patience for the impatient me. I was a synonym for short temper and irritability – and as every year passes by, with every lesson taught to me gently, Sri Samsthana has cooled the fire of temper slowly. Occasionally I do lose my temper but I am able to bring it down much quicker now. The leadership and all abilities that I lost, came flying back to me. When I decided to take up arts course in my PU, Samsthana was my first support. With all blessings, I scored 2nd in the college. Unbelievably I participated more in activities and gained more. Even the worst times turn to the better and best. Sri Samsthana always makes me believe that the best is yet to come.
Sometimes sitting alone and looking back into what has happened like a matinee cinema, I wonder why I had not met Samsthana earlier in my life or what did I do to get such a wonderful person in my life. Maybe the answer does not lie in this life, but in a life many years, centuries or millenniums ago. Whatever maybe the past or future, I am lucky to have Sri Samsthana to guide me today and every time I can only see problems everywhere, I remember the golden words that “Before dawn is the darkest hour of the night.” Even in the darkest hour the sweet smile, the secure support and soft stride of Samsthana will always be there to carry me.
About the Writer:
Athmika is the daughter of Padyana Ramachandra and Shaila.
She has brought out a collection of poems in English and contributes articles and stories to various magazines.
An ardent devotee of Shree Swamiji, Athmika actively participates in all the activities of Shreemath.
May the blessings of God and Shree Guru be on her always.