May 30, 2001, Ottawa, West Block, Parliament Building: The function room was full of flower fragrances and divine grace. We had just had a special blessing from our Guru: his visit to Ottawa and his offering of a special concert in the Centre Block of Canada’s Parliament Buildings. I had been asked to be the Master of Ceremonies, so had to dress appropriately. I don’t usually wear a suit and necktie, but I did for this occasion. During the day, Guru offered a minute of silence, and then we heard the Invocation being played on the bells of the Parliament’s carillon. We were all so proud, and, needless to say, Guru was happy.
That evening, when the official ceremony was over and outside visitors had left, there must have been approximately 200 disciples remaining in the concert hall. Guru called me to stand in front of him. Why, I was not sure. Maybe because my birthday was the next day? As I stood at his feet, with 200 disciples behind me, he simply said one word to the disciples: "Sing." And then my brothers and sisters started singing his divine birthday song: Happy birthday to you... we love your soul’s rainbow-dream-promise-play. The blessings he showered me with are just beyond words. I was in tears, tears of gratitude, tears of joy. My heart was simply melting. Guru’s face was shining, his smile beaming. I smiled at the Avatar meditating on my soul. This was such an eternal moment! These minutes alone were worth every effort, every tear, every struggle of my life.
After what seemed like an eternity of blessings, as I was returning to my seat, Guru asked: "How old are you, Utsahi?"
Don’t ask me why or how, but the following answer came out of my heart: "It depends, Guru. When I am my regular old self, I am 56; but when I am in your heart, I am your seven-year-old boy."
"Always be a seven-year-old!" Guru replied.
Then he went on, imploring all of us to remain in a seven-year-old state of consciousness. I wish I had the transcript of this message. It was so sweet, so inspiring – the Avatar blessing me and telling me what to do in order to remain in a divine consciousness. To reach our journey’s goal, we simply need to be like a child, to be a seven-year-old. This was another one of the many blessings received on the occasion of my soul’s day. Over the years, I have been blessed with many moments of this nature, where time stops and nothing else matters but the moment of divine transfusion of energy.
Here is another one of these precious moments - I wrote this after returning home from Guru's house on June 10th 2005.
I have just come back from Guru’s house. He celebrated my 60th birthday tonight. I had arrived in New York last Tuesday, taking a few days off work for the occasion. I had travelled by train from Ottawa. This train ride was a dream come true for me; for many years I had dreamed of making this trip through the Adirondacks and then along the Hudson River before entering New York.
I had put on my cleanest white shirt and tried to be in my best consciousness... and there I was, a few feet away from our beloved Master. Around midnight, he called the television program we were all watching to a halt and said: "Utsahi, come!" And, as before, as I stood there in front of him, he simply said: "Sing." Guru started his meditation with his eyes closed, getting into a state of trance that is impossible to imagine, let alone describe. Even though I could hear the girls and the boys singing, "We love your soul’s rainbow-dream..." I was drawn in by Guru’s radiating face, his eyes turning upwards, his smile divine... And I tried my best to respond, to offer him my gratitude, my all, to be in harmony with him, as much as I could. After a while, his face changed; his smile transformed from a reflexive one to one that was totally divine. So again, I smiled.
And a line from Guru’s divine poem, "I Sing, I Smile" came to my heart: Because You play on the flute I have become Your flute. 1
Dearest Guru, why do you love me? This is the question I would like to ask you. Why is it that you love me the way you do, with all your heart, all your soul, with such a smile? Just the call tonight, informing me that you had received the flowers I sent you, with my little card, where I had written: "Gratitude, dearest Guru, for all your protection, your blessings during the past 60 years..." (I should have added: "...and joy." But it was too late... the flowers and card had already gone.)
After his blessings, Guru said, twice: "I am very proud of you, Utsahi." It was so nice to hear these words. And then he offered me a gift: a glass effigy of his face and a very nice shirt – blue and white. These were both awesome gifts; but even aside from the gifts, the very idea of receiving a gift from Guru’s hand is so special. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude... "
Then Guru said: "I also want to take your picture. As he was taking his camera, I was totally in bliss. The gift was in one hand, the other hand was on my heart.
And then Guru asked me to take prasad first. I left the house in bliss. I was not walking home, I was flying. So many blessings received! So much love! What a divine boost of energy!
How many times in these past years have I felt an elevated state of happiness that is beyond words? I simply cannot express them. Here is another one of these unique moments: I did not know it then, but when I offered the following poem to Guru on May 31st, 2007, it was to be the last time he celebrated my birthday at his house. After taking the time to read this poem as part of a card I had offered him, he asked me to read it to everyone present:
Between 7 and 62
Lord, I am a mere grain of sand
In your divine garden.
Why do you value
This simple grain of sand?
Lord, I am a single atom
In your eternal temple.
Why do you seem to treasure
Such a little particle?
Lord, I am the frailest rose
Of your eternal dream.
How did this flower ever bloom
Inside your cosmic vision?
Who can appreciate such mysteries?
Who deserves such an invitation?
Who can express true gratitude?
Who can simply treasure
The smile of your silent response?
And the eternal echo of endless time
You... You... You
My heart prays to remain
Eternally at your feet!
Your little sun, Utsahi
- 1. Sri Chinmoy, My Flute, New York: Agni Press, 1972, #55.