A friend of mine told me about a Hindu Satguru (a fully God-Conscious Saint) that was going to be in town only two miles from my house the next evening in 1995. I was not sure why at the time, but I felt I needed to meet him. I went to the program early. We chanted some Sanskrit songs while we waited for him to arrive from Mount Shasta, where he had an Ashram. The spiritual energy in the room was intense. Everybody seemed completely blissed-out.
When he arrived, we formed two single lines with an isle up the middle, leading to the front door for him to come through. He did not look like I expected at all. His hands and face looked like he was the victim of a grease fire. He had a Ben Franklin hair cut (bald on the top, with long, gray hair on the sides). The skin on his face was dark much like the rest of him, but it was completely white around the eyebrows, nose and his mouth. He had large blotches of white skin on his forearms. He had a large belly, and looked to be around sixty years old.
He had not been to the Bay Area in over one year, and his devotees loved and missed him greatly. He began to greet the ones closest to the door first. Guruji (an affectionate name for a Guru) blessed each person with some red powder and sandalwood paste. He applied it to the third eye region of their forehead with the tip of the ring finger of his right hand, while reciting a powerful mantra. He did this with three or four people before he looked down the isle and spotted me at the end.
He stopped everything abruptly, and with a very excited look on his face, he hurriedly came straight over to me. He stopped directly in front of me, and then he came even closer. When his eyes were no more than six inches away, he looked deeply into mine, and he asked my name. I could barely speak, I said, “Yona.” He exclaimed, “Yona, Yona, Yona!” In a loud and very excited tone, as he very lovingly patted my right shoulder with his left hand. Then, he removed his shoes and placed them under my chair, which was actually on the other side of the isle. He went to the center of the stage area and sat down.
Guruji was wearing sunglasses, and I thought that it was odd to see a Yogi in sunglasses. Before he even started the program, he said, “I am sorry that I look like a Hollywood Guru, I accidentally left my other prescription glasses up at Mount Shasta, and I cannot see without them, so please forgive me.” I saw how humble he was and I felt inspired by him.
He gave the most incredible talk that I had ever heard. It seemed that every word that he uttered was completely absorbed by the cells of my body. It just made sense. I have never before or since, experienced anyone speak with such grace. After the program was over, I found out that he gives interviews (readings).
I set up an interview for the next day. Guruji started by telling me that he recognized me from previous lifetimes immediately upon seeing me the night before, and that it gave him great joy to reunite with me again in this lifetime. Before I could ask him for a spiritual name, he said, “Your spiritual name is, “Sada Shiva,” it is the Ever Blissful aspect of God, and with God's help, hopefully you will attain that state of being ever blissful. It is another name for Jehovah (YHWH - Yahweh).”
During the reading, I started to weep openly. I asked him, “Guruji, why do I feel so much love for you?” He said, “Two lifetimes ago, I was one of your spiritual teachers in the Himalayan mountains. First, you had some spiritual teachers that taught you spiritual grade school, then some others high school, and finally you came to me for spiritual university, so to speak. You were only with me for about four and a half years.” “Guruji, but why do I feel such intense love for you?” “Well, I gave you everything, and asked for nothing in return, and you liked that.
Guruji asked me if I would come to his program that was to be held the next evening. I said “Yes, of course.” “Well, may God bring you there then,” he said. He always spoke with the knowledge that he is not the do-er, God is. He never took credit for anything that was good. He always gave all of the credit to God. He told me that when I come to the evening program, that God willing, I would receive the “Gayatri Mantra” (the mantra of the Earth Goddess Gaia). It is one of the most sought after mantra initiations in all of India. It has the ability to take you to your highest goal, total self-realization, the awareness that you, everything, and God are the same. He told me that he would bring the Sacred Thread (it is part of the ceremony). It is a very sacred right of passage initiation. I was honored to be able to receive it from such a venerated Being as Satguru Sant Keshavadasji. I could hardly wait for the next evening to come around.
After the program was over, I went up to him to ask if I could still have the initiation he told me about. He immediately took the sacred thread, which was comprised of twelve loops with knots on them at certain points. It was made into a necklace of sorts, which was to be worn all of the time under my clothes. Then he recited the first phase of the Gayatri Mantra Initiation into my right ear. I immediately dropped into an extremely deep meditative state. I could feel its affects to the core of my Being. All of the noise in the room seemed to fade away. The people faded away. My eyes closed by themselves as I tranquilly sank into the center of my Being. I was in this state for a few moments. Then I very slowly went back to my seat, after bowing to him in gratitude.
There must have been a strange look on my face, because everybody seemed to be staring at me. I was the only one to receive the initiation that evening. He asked me to try to come back in two evenings to his last program of his U.S. tour. I told him that I would not miss it. He said, “If by the grace of God, you can come to that program, you will receive the second and final locking-in phase of this mantra initiation.”
I had previously arranged for my first and so far, only, interview with Anandi Ma and Dileepji that same evening, which coincided with the second phase of this initiation at 10:00PM. Since his program was to start at 7:00PM, I figured that I would have time to go to both.
The program was being held in Berkeley. Guruji came in, and we all stood up. He went around and blessed everyone with some paste on the third eye area of the brow. As soon as he touched the third eye area of my forehead, I felt a delightful bliss enter my body from his hand. It traveled throughout my cells. I began to smile, as I was filled with unconditional love. He began the program. He talked an hour about how the spider is a symbolic representation of the universe. The universe is born of the spider's belly, and after it is finished creating, it draws the universe back into its belly again.
Scientists know that the universe expands and contracts, and this is one symbolic way to tell that story. I honestly was not paying too much attention to his spider story. I was too concerned that his program might run late, and then I would have to make a big decision. Do I leave his program before it is finished and risk missing the most important part of the Gayatri Initiation, or do I stay and miss my appointment with Anandi Ma? During his program, he also talked about being an honest individual, and never lying to your parents because a person is known by his or her word. Well, after hearing that, I knew what I had to do. I had to excuse myself when the time came, and go to Anandi Ma's house as I had originally planned.