Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International
Two minute meditations

From Dusk to the Dawn of a New Life

by Padmini Persaud

Memories of My First Meeting with Swamiji and His Impact in My Life

I was about eight years old when we met and my life was changed forever! Beginning of story: It was a long time ago in a densely populated village in a far away country in the Caribbean; the day was sunny with sweet breezes blowing softly in from the sea. Unfortunately, rather than enjoying this gloriousness I spent yet another day in deep sorrow, missing my Papa and praying that God should take my life, so that I can be with Papa in Heaven. But it seemed that God had other plans for he answered my prayer by ushering into my life a great human being who helped save my life in many ways.

I saw him sitting in a chair with feet folded, a handsome smiling face of great depth and with eyes soft and twinkling. So this is Usharbudh? I said to myself, hiding by my Mother’s side peeping through the space between her dress and the other lady’s. As my tiny body stood there below all the whispered conversations about the great man, I saw he lowered his head, looked me straight in the eyes and stretched out his hand to beckon me towards him. All I remembered to this day was how I moved in a daze towards Dr. Usharbudh Arya; he touched my hand or my head and I felt a sense of surrender while my Mom asked this great man to help me. I was not getting better with the medicines doctors prescribed and she did not know what else to do for me and she begged him to help me.

I cannot explain what changed, but I knew for sure that my life was never the same. It was as if the lights burned with thousand watt bulbs, because I felt that the darkness in my life had begun to burn away; layer by layer in slow motion, leaving in its place a hunger for life. That night as I sat with members of my mandir at a yagna to celebrate Dr. Arya’s visit, I found myself drawn more and more into the sphere around him, to listen to him speak, to look at him and to follow as he directed us into meditation. That night I learned about yoga and meditation, the new foundation upon which I built my life. Henceforth, I found myself seeking to understand many things such as: to understand the various religions, about spirituality and the difference between the two, similarities and differences between religions, what it was like to live in New York City, to work on Wall Street, to become a devout person wearing a saffron robe and to have lots of material wealth.

I attended any gathering that hosted Dr. Arya and also attended gatherings that hosted men in the saffron robes when Dr. Arya was not in the country. But I could not find solace in their words of wisdom because the conversations lacked something that I received between the lines when I listened to Dr. Arya. In the meantime I started to attend annual Arya Samaj camps around the country that taught those who were interested and especially young people, about the Vedas, the scriptures, yoga, meditation and everything that had had to do with our development. We were told that both boys and girls should go as far as they want to go in life; that we have certain roles to carry out in the different stages in our lives, but that as individuals, as Virs and Viranganas we are responsible for developing ourselves as far as we aspire and that we should become fearless. I can still remember Dr. Arya’s voice as he softly guided us into meditation early in the mornings and at dusk. Those were moments indelibly printed in my heart.  They were special to me that I begun falling into a life of meditation and subsequently a vegetarian life. I lived for the annual camps and for the times when I would see “my Guru” again and a chance to listen to him. Eventually, I was nicknamed “Usharbudh” because of the new life I was living. I changed forever from asking God to be dead to asking God for a life of longevity because I was full of hope. I continued to meditate and worked hard towards advancing myself in all segments of my life, doing yoga exercises, reading voraciously and visualizing my life to the minutest details of what I wanted to achieve.  

It has been many, many years since that day of my miracle, the day I met my beloved Swamiji, but I still can feel his presence and remember the wattage of electricity that lighted that room. His calmness and gentle voice and spirit still continue to draw me into a good life and to continue my practice of meditation.

Through my meditation/visualization and hard work I was successful in achieving the goals I had listed. So now I am building a new list of goals and I am hopeful that with using the same methods I did earlier I will achieve the new goals. I thank God for sending Swamiji to help me along my pathways.

Swamiji’s teachings still rest with many people who were touched by his light like I was touched. I have heard from many people and I also concurred, that of all the men whom came to that little country to spread spiritual teachings, that Swamiji made the greatest impact and that he is still loved in that little country by the sea.

Thank! You Swamiji for you enriched my life with your presence. When you renounced in order to prepare for becoming a Swami, I was lost because I could not reach you to receive “things between the lines.” I wish you peace this day my dear Swamiji.

Your child




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