CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH GOD!!!
or LIFE THREATENING EXPERIENCE!!!
or LIFE THREATENING EXPERIENCE!!!
or Power of Prayer! Relation of God, Guru-Disciple!
It was a beautiful morning of June 24, 1992; Linda Dessaint, one of my favorite Yoga students walked in my office. As we were chatting about her plan to visit Ananda Ashram (Yoga Center in upstate New York) for July 4th weekend, I started leaning over to the left side. In order to prevent myself from falling down, I moved my left hand to rest on the table I was standing next to, but my hand started sliding as if it had no strength to support my body weight. I felt like my left side was just melting. Fortunately, my chair was just waiting to receive me and I just slumped into it. I knew then and there that something was happening beyond my control. I knew I had a blank look as if staring into nowhere. Linda had quizzical concerned look on and wondered whether I was okay! I remembered replying to her that I didn't know, but it was possible that it could be a reaction to overworking late nights for last couple of weeks, as I was trying to finish the book by my 'self - imposed' deadline. (Book was the English translation of Pujya Morari Bapu's Katha on 'Patanjali YOGA Sutra' from Gujarati.) After a few moments Linda asked me again, "Sudhir, are sure that you are Okay? Should I call for help? I had realized at that point that my condition is beyond my control. I have definitely suffered a stroke. My left side was paralyzed. I nodded in agreement feeling helpless. She rushed outside the office to get hold off Sol Asmar (my peer) who had just passed by my office. He rushed to my office a kind of bewildered! "My God! He is having an heart attack!! I said mentally, "No no no! It's a stroke, not an heart attack! I know the difference." May be I was choked to say anything as I was thinking of my Guruji who had suffered a stroke and is still paralyzed with his right side for some seven years. "My Guruji is paralyzed on right side and me on left side. Boy! God really knows how to balance! The rescue squad responded practically in a flash (And I am very thankful to Bruce Randall and Greg Gillette for the timely and prompt response.) (Working for OSARAM Sylvania, Hillsboro NH)
They lowered me to the floor on the stretcher. Greg asked me to squeeze his fingers, raise my leg and bend my knee; but there was no response on my left side. That confirmed my suspicion that my left side was paralyzed. I was speechless emotionally at first then physically in the Ambulance. I knew that I was fully conscious throughout the whole ordeal. I gestured to give me something to write so that I can give answer to their inquiries and I did. "I thought off and asked to have someone get in touch with my wife." I was told that she had been contacted and someone will bring her to the hospital. "I wanted to see Rajiv, my first son, right away and I asked them to inform him." (Even today (10/26/92) I get choked thinking about that.) Next thing I knew that I was being taken to hospital. I was having severe pain in my right side of neck as if it was like a tight rope in spasm. I was massaging. Greg asked, "does it hurt you there?' I nodded. "Well, I am not a good masseur but I can try." I did feel better! "Sudhir, just relax! Everything will be fine. (I felt as if it was my own echo, as I considered myself an apostle of "RELAX"! This is the central theme of my message to all my Yoga students.) "Sudhir, we are taking the back road as the main highway has traffic jam...We will be there in no time..... Here we are approaching the emergency entrance ..... They will take good care of you! "
The doctor checked for my responses on my left side but to no avail. Then I was taken for CT SCAN test. I wear rosary made up of RUDRAKSH beads and I had been chanting along the way. My mind is trained to begin chanting especially under adverse circumstances. I was told that I looked a kind of scared as I was taken through the emergency entrance. I started chanting my favorite Hanumaan Chalishaa (Forty stanza prayer to Lord Hanumaan. It started coming in a kind of scattered instead of in proper sequence. I jumped to one of my favorite stanza, "Sadhu Sant ke Turn Rakhavare, Asur Nikandan Ram Duare (you are the protector of Saints & monks and with your blessings all the evil forces are destroyed.). I thought of Pujya Shri Moran Bapu (Contemporary Saint from India). Once someone suggested to him to entertain a possibility of having a police protection, as he makes political remark at times. He responded that it would mean he does not have faith in God. If Lord Hanuman is there to protect saints and good people why should he be concerned about his protection. Ashth Siddhi Nav Nidhi ke data. (You are the bestow-er of eight kinds of power and nine kinds of wealth .....)
Then the one way conversation with GOD followed:
"God, what's happening! I am neither a saint nor a monk I know that. You are supposed to protect them. But you know that I am doing a lot of good work in your service. Won't you take care of me, now that I am down! I am not looking for any powers though you are known to bestow them. I see my dreams shattering in front of my eyes if I don't get better. Who is going to carry on the work I am doing. If you think I am not doing your work the way you want me to then why didn't you steer me in the right direction? Why didn't you correct my wisdom? If you think my work is finished and it is someone Else's turn, it is acceptable to me. Well, if I don't get better, then it is your LOSS. I know I have been serving you in the manner I think is best. If you didn't like it then you ought to have corrected my wisdom. Lord, at least do not take my speech away as I do not want to stop singing your glory. That is my life. I just put you on the top of the mountain last night (Front cover of my book.) and I am laying on the ground today helplessly. Won't you pick me up?"
Next thing I knew, there was a tremendous surge of energy, starting with intense white glow of light in the head. In a flash of a moment, it gushed down the spinal cord like a bolt of lightning and went to the left side of the body. I felt the life coming back to left side. I picked up my left forearm, and clasped my fingers, in utter amazement, cracking my knuckles to make sure that I wasn't dreaming. I lifted my left leg. I slid my knee up but could not control lowering it.. It just dropped. Well, it had not been restored completely! I was brought out in the waiting area where I would meet my folks. First person I saw walking was my wife and next one along with her was my x-secretary and friend Ginny. Then Laura Alves, my secretary, Cheryl & Don. The first person I had expected to meet from my workplace was Ginny! My speech was also restored. When I saw Don Meuse, my Foreman, I jokingly said, "what are you doing here? I am all right! Go back to work and make some money for me!!" Doctor walked in and asked me to make a decision whether I wanted to stay in that hospital or move to Manchester hospital, which was near my house. I asked whether I can go home. He said that he would have to run some tests to see whether I have recovered enough. He asked me to stand up and close my eyes after bringing my feet together. I started leaning and falling leftward and took support of my stretcher-bed. Then doctor said, "Sorry, not yet." As I insisted to go home, he said he would come back to check on me in half an hour. My thinking was if anything would happen to me, let it happen in my Home temple, but not in the hospital. I prayed God, whatever you did before, do it again! As we were chatting, the surge of energy started coming again. So I asked everyone standing around to pay attention to the heart monitor - Oscilloscope and notice any changes taking place. The surge would not last more than probably ten seconds. The energy began in the head, like explosion of light, as if thousands of Suns shining together.... going down through spine zapping the left side and ended in quivering the left leg. Ginny reported that the Heart Beat Rate (HBR) rose from 50 to 71 and abruptly drop to 50 again, every time I said that it was over. This phenomena repeated four to five times. I mentioned to Cheryl that this may be the experience of Kundalini awakening, (Cheryl has been my regular Yoga student and has had discussions on this subject matter.) I realized then that the surge in energy was really fixing my left side, especially the uncontrolled lowering of the knee. I verified that before the arrival of the doctor. When I mentioned that if I did not recover, the book I had been working so hard to complete would be my gift to the world. I saw Laura (my secretary) emotionally choking and welling up with tears. The doctor arrived again for a retest "And this time," He said, "You convinced me to allow you to send home!" Well, I was released!
The next day, we decided for me to fly to Maryland to be under the care of my concerned Drs. Bhasker and Rita Jhaveri (my brother-in-law & his wife). They work for Shanti Medical Center in Leonardstown, Md., which has been fully equipped with modern facilities. They took all the necessary tests, including another CT SCAN of my brain as well as of my neck, sonograms of carotid arteries which supplies blood to the face and brain, also for the heart and kidney, put me on 24-hour heart monitor, and number of blood tests, and EEG (Electroencephalogram) test for brain. These tests revealed that there is a spur on the sixth vertebra, which would explain the tingling I have been experiencing for quite sometimes, a slightly higher red blood cell count, which would be a cause for a concern for me being a vegetarian and higher cholesterol level of 225. Most important of all, the news was that there was no damage caused to the brain, and all the major organs of the body were in good healthy condition.
A few calls were received in Maryland from concerned friends. Vipinbhai and Nirmalben really touched my heart when they said, "Sudhirbhai, please take care of your health... we need you... if something happens to you who is going to take care of SATSANG (The Indian community organization)... we love the activities of SATSANG... you have to get better for us..."These raised two major concerns, one about my well-being that it was not just for me or my family anymore but also for friends and community at large, and second was that I have yet to inspire enough community friends to be selfless for the cause of SATSANG.
In order to respond to the first need, I must reduce my weight at least by 17 pounds, which I half halfheartedly had been struggling for a few years mainly through increased level of exercises. I am determined to pursue an all out efforts especially of dieting along with specific neck and abdominal exercises. The big incentive came from Rita, my challenging doctor, to have a bet to reduce four pounds in one month. When I went back to Maryland again after one month for further follow up tests, I was exhilarated to find losing seven pounds! Boy that made me feel good. Who wouldn't by beating your doctor! My plan has been attached herewith for your benefit. Dear ones, I must tell you one thing: please get rid of that excess weight. It cannot help you. It can only hurt you silently. While waiting in the doctor's office I came across one article in Readers' Digest on THIN THIGHS. Eighty percent of the weight reduction comes from proper diet and other twenty from exercise. To me I proved it.
New blood test found the red blood cell count within limits. I passed the Treadmill Stress test with flying colors!
More on weight reduction: I was so excited with my program that I decided to continue and I earned the gift of shedding another eight pounds. I have decided to go for another 6 to 10 pounds. When I went to Germany I gained 4 pounds back in only 4 days. Another point of interest is that I have gone up to practically 80 to 100% of my normal amount of food I used to take. I came up with two conclusions, one that amount of water plays very important role. It took me two weeks .to get rid of those four pounds and I seem to maintain the weight even though I have increased the food intake. In Germany I did not take enough water that may be the cause of the gain. Two month later I went to Japan for a week. I ate a lot more than normal but kept up with plenty of water. As a result, in my opinion, I did not gain any weight. Isn't this very interesting?
The trauma continued for at least another month: After one week of initial testing I returned home and decided to resume normal life against the will and orders of my concerned doctors. The only restriction I honored was to avoid driving and to some dietary restrictions. A week later I had planned to go on vacation including going to listen to Bapu (Saint from India) for four days and then travel to Chicago and then fly back & forth to Detroit on the same day. I stuck to my original plan. My family is also very courageous to honor my wishes. The thinking I had was that if I stayed home I would have plenty of time to think negatively about the possibility of another attack and it was possible to be victim of self-fulfilling prophecy. At times I had lot of apprehensions. "Am I too naive, stupid or really courageous!" For first 10 days or so, I would get tremendous quivering and a kind of jolts in my left leg especially in the morning. A few times I felt very weak with strange painful sensations all over the body. Almost every time I got strange feeling as if I was going to fall over, my left side would turn very cold. One thought I kept entertaining was that nothing was going to happen to me. God has taken over my health and I have surrendered to his wishes. I had set an alarm to sound off every eleven minutes to remind me to check my thoughts. I had to maintain positive thoughts and make sure that my mind was on the right thinking track and also engage in chanting.
I had finished the book and had just enough copies printed for the kathaa.
I talked to Guruji about this incident. He advised me to keep my mind very strong whenever I do not feel right, He advised me to lay down at that time and enjoy, but do not be afraid. "You have been blessed. God has been pleased with you." He confirmed that since I was conscious during the whole ordeal, it was the awakening of the serpent power, Kundalini.
ROLE OF ASTROLOGY IN LIFE:
When Arunbhai Desai, an astrologer friend heard about my condition, he asked me for my birth chart. I am always eager for an astrological analysis of important event such as this mishap. He came up with, amazingly analysis enough for skeptics, practically same physiological causes as discovered by my doctors, including some of the symptoms, I have been suffering for some times. He asserted that according to my astrological aspects, I should be crippled or incapacitated at this time.
Only God's or Guru's grace can save me! He warned me to really take care of my health and not to ignore any symptoms. He saw danger. If I get another attack, I would be permanently retired!! And there is the strong possibility till May 1993. I resolved to continue my strong sense of TOTAL SURRENDER to God. If God spared me this time, he will take care of my well-being but I must not deter from my work and must not allow myself for any kind of sympathy or self-pity. That does not mean to disregard any precautions I have been taking to reduce my weight and practice of Yoga, Meditation and Aerobic conditioning. Symptoms such as left hand fingers tingling and twisting, left leg falling to sleep or an occasional quivering in my left leg still persist till today, 11/17/92, but the frequency has diminished greatly. I went on to my business trips to Germany and to Japan just to keep life normal. I am keeping up with my very hectic social/community activities for the same reasons. Astrologers are usually very good and accurate for the past events. So I decided to check the significant event of early 70's. "Arunbhai asked me whether I had any heart attack? I said, 'NO'. Did your Guru had one? 'Yes, he did!!!' Well that was my heart attack not his! ! ! !" My Guru suffered from heart attack on March 6th, his birthday, year may be 1974. And I was informed from two separate sources the possibility of that interpretation at that time. Vilma Devine (We called her Grandma) called me after the attack, that she met Guruji and asked him that how come he suffered an Heart Attack as he is YOGI? Guruji replied that He took away someone's heart Attack as he has lots of work to do in future. Then I asked Babubhai Gandhi, great Astrologer friend, the same evening, whether he was available to go to see Guruji the next day. Babubhai said that Guruji took away my heart attack!
I mustered my courage to ask Guruji on Jan 18, 1993, some 19 years later, whether that was true. I could not face to see the expression on his face. His eyes were filled with tears. I put my head in his lap and I cried like a baby! He patted my back. I turned my face up and asked him, "Why do you have to do that and suffer on account of me!" He got Raman Maharshi's book and opened the page for me to read. (He found that page in no time!) That page talked about the oneness of Guru and God and the reason for blessing the devotee in time of crisis.
To the best of my recollection, that chapter emphasized:
1. Before one accepts someone as Guru, make sure to check out.
2. But once you accept someone as your Guru, regardless of the Character or behavior of Guru, you stick with him.
3. It is God, NOT Guru, who decides to descend his grace or mercy to save one and he acts through Guru. (This reminds me off this incident. One time after the Morning Meditation, he asked if anybody had any question. He looked at me in anticipation. After I asked the question, he picked the book on "Silent Explosion" by Acharya Rajneesh. He opened the page and handed that book to an American follower, George Bailan, to read. To my utter amazement the chapter on that page started with exactly the same question verbatim.)
I interpret this experience as a blessing of God, as the lightening originated in the head first and then traveled to the left side. If the surge of energy had started from the Muladhar, the first psychic center, and traveled upward then I would say that it would be awakening of Kundalini as a result of Yoga practice. This is not the field of my expertise, and probably God wants me to get some experience! Whatever the case may be "It is thine not mine, WILL that shall prevail and I shall willingly and happily welcome it." One of my YOGA students revealed the similar experience he had but had kept in secrecy as he did not know how it would be received by others. Within a week after my experience, I heard on TV CNN Headline News that there some 8000 reported cases in United States had the similar experience of WHITE GLOW in their head but no available explanation. People hesitate to discuss these kinds of experiences in open as it seems strange. Accomplished Yogi or Guru can explain and guide them. The very purpose of writing this article is to bring it out in open. I would like to hear from you, if you have had similar experiences.
Some important dates:
1. I met Guruji in summer of 1972 in New York City Studio. Vilma Devine took me there and introduce me to Guruji. Guruji asked me to come to Ananda Ashram on next Sat. He said that he would have something interesting to show me, I being an engineer. I went there and he demonstrated a Japanese Toy car powered by Solar panel on the roof. Then he talked about how YOGIs in India used their palms to gather the solar energy and energize their systems such that they did not need to eat. I was attracted by Guruji.
2. He took away my Heart Attack on March 6th 1974.
3. I asked for Initiation by him as my Guru and accept me as his disciple on July 7th, 1977.
4. June 24th, 1992: Hanumaanji blessed me with White Light and averted my crisis.
5. Jan 18th, 1993, Guruji confirmed that his Heart attack of 1974 was my attack, he took away. So he knew that I am destined to do something of importance and also he was My Guru before I requested him to initiate me.
I waited 22 years to publicize this as it coincides with our Anand Ashram's 50th Anniversary. Hopefully this would inspire the readers that there is a Divine Force, we call it God! There is a purpose (Mission) in our life and the importance or roll of Guru in our life!
May GOD BLESS US! Revised June 24, 2014
SUDHIR PARIKH, 169 Daniel Plummer, GOFFSTOWN, NH 03045 603-623-1930.
firstname.lastname@example.org, sudhirparikh.blogspot.com, youtube.com/nirusudhir
Guruji: Dr. Ramamurti S. Mishra, later known as Brahmananda Sarsvati- Baba Bhagvandas
Founder and Guru of www.anandaashram.org Yoga Society of NY.
I have come across many Guru like Personalities in my life and I believe that whenever my Guruji wants me to learn something different or more, they come in my life and Guruji works through them. I consider Swami Vivekananda - Shree Ramkirshna Paramhansa as my first Spiritual Guru. Then Parmahansa Yogananda-Yukteswarji, Lahiri Mahashaya, Babaji. Mahatma Gandhi. Swami Shivananda. Living Gurus I met in this life: Besides Guruji, Pujya Shree Morari Bapu, Bhagvan Sri Satya Saibaba, Swami Chinmayananda, Grand Master Choa Kok Sui - MahaGuruji Mailingji, Dr. Nagendraji & RaghuRamji of www.svyasa.org, Last but NOT least Baba Ramdev.