I tried to recreate the images I saw that night, during meditation…but, since I’m not a Photoshop expert, this is the closest I could come up with! (Also, I have blurred the images of that figure because I intend to use the exact same image of that man, which, by the way, I did see in one of my friend’s home but couldn’t find it online or in any of the stores.) The faint image in the background is that of lord Hanuman, which I consciously created in my mind, to concentrate upon, during meditation. The glowing white image of a seated man is the one that formed on its own. In contrast to my mental image of lord Hanuman, this other image was distinctively clear and life-like!
As mentioned in my previous post, I was given a certain book by my friends Lambu and Chhotu. It was an autobiography of a spiritual Guru who asserted that ‘Naam – Jap’ (repetition/chanting of the divine name) is a very effective spiritual practice that can also be used for meditation. Since, there was a particularly important event lined up for me the next day and I was feeling a bit edgy about that, I decided to give ‘Naam-Jap’ a try while I tried meditating that night. Furthermore, another line from that book had caught my fancy that a person can master a certain yogic posture if they can sit in that position for three hours straight. So, while I was spicing up my meditation practice with ‘Naam-Jap’, I decided to give the mastery of lotus posture a try too 😉 (Unfortunately I chose a rather tough posture for beginners).
Now, it’s a common experience that when you concentrate upon something or someone your mind automatically creates a mental image of that thing or person. I don’t know about others, but, even with my reasonably vivid imagination, my mental imagery always remains kind of dark, fuzzy or blurry – like a faint, colorful shadow of an actual photograph. It doesn’t have the clarity of the real thing or like that of images we see in a dream.
That night, as I silently chanted “jai-Hanuman-jai-jai-Hanuman”, my mind automatically created a mental image of lord Hanuman, which was actually a helpful thing because it prevented my mind from thinking about anything else. My mind got occupied in observing that image and preventing it from dissolution.
So, that night I was fully geared up for meditation 🙂 – I was sitting in a lotus posture (with an intention of mastering that pose); I had the nature music playing in the background (to cut off other sounds); I was chanting the name of Hanuman (doing ‘Naam-Jap’), and I was concentrating on the mental picture of lord Hanuman (so that my mind was kept occupied). I was pretty sure that I could kill 3 hours doing all this. 😉
However, within half an hour, I had already changed the position of my legs 2-3 times. So, as I reversed the side of the audio cassette, a grim realization began to sink in – “despite my unusually high hopes, I would not be able to sit any longer!”
Nevertheless, I decided to give it one last try, persevering for as long as I could …
Another 5-10 minutes would have passed when I noticed the appearance of a glowing white dot overlaid on the on the lower left corner of my mental image of lord Hanuman. In contrast to my mental image this white dot was very clear – like a miniature light bulb shining through a dark, dense fog, only brighter and clearer.
Subsequently, the white dot started enlarging and attained the size of a rice grain.
Then, while I was still dwelling upon that white dot, it began to elongate further until it assumed a human shape. That figure was now occupying the space in the center of my forehead, and also overlapping a major portion of my mental picture of Hanuman. This made the contrast between the two images all the more conspicuous.
Suddenly a thought came into my mind – “Am I dreaming?”
I immediately opened my eyes, blinked them for a while, and looked around. I was feeling stifled by the pain in my legs and it wasn’t exactly easy to fall asleep with that kind of feeling. Still I couldn’t find any other logical explanation for what I just saw, except that I must have dozed off for a few minutes and must have seen a dream, in between.
I took a few deep breaths and closed my eyes again, created the mental picture of lord Hanuman, and started chanting his name. This time, within 2-3 minutes, the white dot reappeared and started enlarging again. No way was I sleeping! This time I was damn sure that it was happening for real, albeit within my brain and being seen through my closed eyes (weird as it sounds…).
Nevertheless, I decided to go with the flow and observe what was happening…
The white dot kept elongating and enlarging until it assumed the shape of a man. That man had a fair and glowing complexion (with a very faint tinge of yellow) but had Indian facial features and was lightly bearded. His eyes were half-shut and were looking slightly downwards to his left. He would have been around 40-50 years of age, with a balding head and some hairs on the sides of his head. He was draped in a white cloth falling across his left shoulder, covering part of his left chest and stomach, along with his legs, and extending down to his knees. But the thing on which he was sitting seemed invisible. His right leg was folded on his left thigh, while his left leg was extending downwards. His right hand was resting on his right knee while the left one rested on his right ankle. Also, as far as, I remember, he was not wearing any ornaments or a sacred Tilak on his forehead (However, since this incident happened a long time ago, I may not be very accurate with some details).
As I was busy observing that man, trying to recall if I had seen him before, his image started enlarging again, but this time towards his face – much like the pan and zoom effect you see in videos or slide shows. The focus was gradually shifting and enlarging towards his face while his lower body was being cut off from the view. Eventually only his face was visible (and probably a little of his neck and chest). His face was now overlapping my mental image of Lord Hanuman completely and I’m not sure I felt very good about that man overshadowing lord Hanuman!
Then, he suddenly raised his eyes and looked straight into mine. My heart almost skipped a beat! Until now I was considering him just an image but now it was, as if, I just saw a statue blink its eyes! His gaze was fixed and neutral. He was intently looking at me but in a non threatening manner. He wasn’t staring at me but still his gaze was deeper than normal. I seemed mesmerized and couldn’t move my eyes away from his. I don’t know how long I stared in his eyes but, obviously, in a while, I became conscious of this fact, grew uncomfortable and forced myself to open my eyes.
Being too engrossed in recouping consciousness of the recent experience, I had forgotten about the pain in my knees. But now, even though, I felt super excited by the events, I also felt a storm brewing within my mind. My mind was clouded with lots of questions, arguments, and counter-arguments – “I was definitely not dreaming so…was I hallucinating”? “Did I see just see a spirit or a ghost?” “Can you even see spirits with closed eyes”? “Had I ever seen that man before”? “Was he someone who I had previously seen but forgotten”? There were too many questions but not a single logical answer!
I closed my eyes again to see if those events would happen again. I waited for another 2-3 minutes but this time the white dot or that man didn’t appear in my vision. I felt so disappointed! I regretted opening my eyes but I had already made that stupidity, not once but twice. But then, since I was already having a hard time coming to terms, even with what little I had seen, I consoled myself with the thought that whatever I saw was sufficient enough.
Not even in my wildest dreams had I ever expected to see such a thing when I began meditating that night! However, that was not the only unusual event to happen that night, or for that matter, over the next couple of days…
Since those events cannot be squished in a few words and this post is already getting too long, I would continue my story in the next post…may be on the same day when all of this actually happened (i.e. on the 25th of August, 2000)…
But there’s something else, before I finish…
66 years back, on the 15th of August 1947, India was liberated from the British rule. It was also the same day that the man, who I saw during meditation, received initiation from his own Guru and took his first real step towards liberation from the cycle of life and death. I remembered about this fact while I was sitting in meditation and I thought that today would be the perfect day to thank him for bestowing his grace upon me.
Om Namah Shivay