Raam Daas Puri

A semi-fictional story about my experiences at Summer Solstice, 2008

"It hasn't rained here in weeks," lamented the driver, "too hot and dusty!"

I hadn't expected anything less - this was summer in New Mexico after all.

We were on the shuttle from the airport. The driver was less interested in driving, more in conversation. Mostly about how much he loved his 6th or 7th daughter from his 3rd or 4th wife. He was a sweet guy but when it comes to drivers, I prefer mine to be safe first; then they can be sweet, talky and impatient.

We stopped at the gas station to get water. I noticed another driver of a parked van listening to music full-blast through his earphones (still the sound made it to me). Boy, I thought, drivers sure are plenty safe here in this land of enchantment.

I was the first out of the store. And I noticed an old woman bent over and moving ever slowing behind the parked van. To my horror I realized the driver was backing up (still listening to music) and hadn't noticed the lady. I shouted out but neither the old lady nor the driver (surprise, surprise) paid me any attention. Without further thought I lurched forward and just managed to push the lady out of harm's way - but couldn't do the same for my own body - the van brushed my left hip. I fell besides the old lady with a cry. The van backed away and went merrily on it's away without a care in the world.

I quickly asked the lady if she was OK - she was. She saw me grimace and quickly put her hand on my left hip and closed her eyes. I might have imagined it but I felt a lot of heat coming from her hand - healing heat. I felt the pain dissipating and within a minute, my hip was almost perfect.

She opened her eyes and once again, I might have imagined it (New Mexico Sun can do wonders for budding spiritualists) but I saw a bluish light in her eyes. She said something in her native American Indian language and got up with surprising agility and left me staring after her as she disappeared behind the store.

Our driver meanwhile came to me and asked what I was doing on the ground. I mumbled something - he helped me up (told you he was sweet) and I repeated the lady's mutterings to him. He looked at me curiously and asked me where I had heard it, but he didn't wait for an explanation (told you he was impatient) and said, "May your deepest wish be granted"

"Uh ..." I said blankly (I am quite good saying "Uh" blankly).

"That's the translation," he explained, "Say, lemme show you the cutest picture of my 6th or 7th daughter from my 3th or 4th wife...."

We reached a long dusty upwards road with "Dangerous curves" warning signs all over the place. The driver decided this was the perfect time to make up for all the time lost in the store and hit the gas. He also decided one of his hands was enough for the wheel - with the other he pointed out various land marks to us. Perhaps he envisioned himself a dangerous guide rather than just a mere dangerous driver.

He also explained about the mountain we were climbing, "Our people used to meet here every century as a Nation. Then bad things happened and we stopped. But in our legend, a group of spiritual people wearing white clothes were going to show up and start meeting here regularly - for spiritual well-being of the planet, you know. When such people arrived, our elders gave them this land. And here you are," he laughed loudly, "wearing white!"

Despite our driver, we arrived safely at top of the 7,000 feet mountain and a pretty angel of lady came and greeted us with "Welcome home!"

The air felt was different at home - "permeated with divinity" as someone put it. I walked around seeing the people milling around - laughing and enthusiastic for the coming days. Whenever anyone found out it was my first time here, they said a few words of wisdom and advice. The advice I took to heart was "if there is only one daily program you can attend while you are here, make it Sadhana - the early morning meditation".

Determined, I slipped into my sleeping bag at 9pm, but my body and my mind, perhaps due excitement and tiredness, refused to comply. I lay for minutes; many minutes, many long minutes ... hours trying every relaxing exercise I knew, but to no avail - at about midnight I decided I wasn't going to make it for the first morning Sadhana after all - I promptly fell asleep.

At exactly 2:30am I heard someone playing music really loud. I groggily got up and peered through my tent window wondering who would be doing this. I saw a rather majestic looking man, with a long beard and beautiful turban singing. There were others around him surrounding my tent (doesn't anybody take their sleep seriously any more?). The man sang with clear and powerful voice, Rise up Rise up sweet family dear a time of the lord and remembering love is here love love is all you will say if you are awake and rise up right away Lord will bless in so many ways if you will rise up right now and sing this praise

The singers moved away and my mind shouted, "Go back to sleep, you can't function on 2 hours of sleep!" My body creaked and complained noisily. But my heart sang loud and clear "RISE UP!"

I listened to my heart and jumped out my sleeping bag. And I am glad I did - the air and the full moon created a breathtakingly beautiful scene. After a quick refreshing shower, I headed to the meditation shelter. There were already hundreds of people there.

The Sadhana started and the time passed wonderfully. I felt nourished and filled. The Sadhana music kept filling me more and more until I felt I would burst, and burst I did when a mourn-full voice sang, ik ardas bhat keerat kee guru raam daas rakho saraniae

Guru Raam Daas, only one prayer I ask of thee keep me in your sanctuary

My heart spilled over - I covered my head with my shawl and freely wept.
Every time the voice sang "Guru Raam Daas" I felt waves of beauty arise out of my depths. It was too much for me and the only way to express this was to cry with joy.

My mind, for once, just stood aside quite befuddled; not knowing how to handle this situation. My heart seized this opportunity and washed me with it's nectar. In a rare instance, I felt that I deserved this love, this joy, this bliss. I realized it was my birthright to receive this love - I had just denied that to myself for a long time.

After the songs ended, I needed solitude. I knew as soon as I started talking, my mind would take control again and would dilute this feeling of depth and wonder - I headed towards the sunrise into the meadows. I sang the Guru's words and experienced an awe of the Guru's word - how can it be so deep, so perfect, so beautiful, so intimate?

The rising sun made the clouds gloriously golden and fresh. I found a nice shady spot and lay on it. As I did so, I felt a slight pain in my left hip and remembered the previous day's events. The magical lady had granted me a wish - I closed my eyes and vibrated, "My deep wish is to see you, Guru Raam Daas!"
Almost immediately, I shot out of my body. I was lunging forward at the perhaps the speed of light. Quite surprisingly it didn't feel strange to be out of my body and moving so fast. I felt free and exhilarated in anticipation of the adventure awaiting me.

In the distance, far far distance - perhaps billions of light years away - I saw a golden star shimmering with light and life. I knew this was my destination. I shouted the Guru's words with glee and added my own gibberish and nonsense. The star grew bigger and bigger; and more and more beautiful. My shouting soon stopped in complete awe of the beauty and love emitting out of this heavenly star. I gaped at it - how could such beauty even exist? I wept and sobbed; and like a mad man, kept muttering, "love love love". I knew if someone had asked me to sacrifice my very own self in exchange for a place on this star, I would have gladly done it.

To my disappointment, I slowed as I got closer and soon came to a complete halt. By now, the star filled the see-able Universe. It seemed infinite in all directions. Cool blissful waves of love emitting from it washed through me. I lunged towards it - hoping to touch it even though I knew it was still billions of light years away; yet I couldn't resist the magnetic pull and kept trying.

Finally I gave up and just hovered there waiting for something to happen.

After what appeared to an eon, it dawned on me that perhaps my journey was over. With that thought, I began moving backwards. I shouted out, "No!" and with all my might and concentration vibrated, "Guru Raam Daas!" I immediately halted.

A zooming bright pure white light - perhaps the size of our Sun, detached itself from the illuminating star and moved towards me. Hope buoyed me up again.

Its brightness too vast and penetrating to look directly into, I shielded my eyes as the light came close. I bowed and murmured, "Guru Raam Daas..." because only the Guru could be so beautiful and powerful at the same time. The light laughed mirthfully, "Sorry dude, no Guru! But the Guru's Garbage man ... at your disposal!".

Astonished I looked up. The light shone from a man dressed in all white. Emitting lightening-like brilliance, he shimmered beauty and wonder. If this is how the Guru's servant appeared, I wondered how the Guru would look. After staring at him in wonder for a considerable amount of time, I pointed to the star and asked, "Raam Daas puri?" He looked a bit puzzled. I asked again (or rather I thought because all communication here occurred via thoughts only), "Is that the home of Guru Raam Daas?"

The man laughed heartily. "No, my young friend, that is Guru Raam Daas!"

But of course! Now it made perfect sense. I had expected Guru Raam Daas to be a person, but the pictures I had seen of him were only his earthly form. I witnessed the presence of Guru Raam Daas in the true form! I gaped and gawked. Infinite beauty beyond words the finite mind could conjure filtered through the shambles of my senses flooding me with what can only be called love. Helplessly I repeated over and over "WahGuru WahGuru WahGuru WahGuru WahGuru WahGuru WahGuru..."

The man in white pointed downwards. To my surprise, I saw my body lying in the Sun absorbing rays of light emanating from the Guru. I marveled seeing other millions of beings surrounded and protected by the Guru’s miraculous love and brilliant energy. I bowed prostrating myself before the Guru and the Guru's wondrous ways.

I could have contently stayed there for an eternity but we both knew my time was up. I reluctantly turned to go, but the man in white grinned, and said with a twinkle in his eyes, "Watch this, young traveler ... Ek Ong Kaar!"

The Universe flickered.

Glad that it wasn't over yet, I exclaimed, "Wow! What was that?"

Mirthfully the man in white declared, "Ek!"

I watched as everything - stars, galaxies and space - completely vanished. I blinked and rubbed my eyes to be sure, but nothing at all could be seen. "This is before anything was created; only the Formless One - WaheGuru - existed," I heard the man in white say. Although everything had disappeared, incredible sensations and feelings of pure joy, clear awareness and unexplainable beauty washed through me. The only word that comes remotely close to describing that feeling was love - true, intoxicating, cleansing, beautiful, pure Love. It became clear to me the Formless One is love!

The Man in white uttered, "Ong Kaar."

From the Formless One, an energy tsunami sound wave explosion "Ong" occurred; surging forth the living visible vibration as rippling light and sound - bringing into being all the stars and the galaxies. "This is how it started," the man in white explained.

I wanted to see more - I reverently whispered "Sat!"

A multi-dimensional screen suddenly sprang up and surrounded us. The screen showed images of Earths history going backwards. We saw the Iron Wall falling; then we saw how it had been built. We observed the British leaving India and next their conquering it. This process sped up until we were seeing millenniums passing within micro-seconds. We saw the dinosaurs disappearing and then appearing on Earth. We went back even further until Earth did not exist; further back we saw the "Ong" contracting back into the Formless One and nothing, except the Formless One, existing. The screen blanked out at this point.

The man in white exclaimed brightly, "You ain't seen nothing yet, Sonny!"

Suddenly, the screen erupted again. This time reeling backwards at lightening speed. I could see many great civilizations being built and destroyed in a blink. Then I would see an "Ong" contracting back into the Formless One. The incredibly swift rate at which this occurred made me feel queasy in my astral tummy as we witnessed millions of "Ong"s contracting back into the Formless One in a single millisecond; the velocity ever-quickening. The man in white asked, "Enough?"

I nodded.

But someone didn't think so - the screen erupted again and this time we went into the future. We saw destruction of everything except the Formless One and then "Ong" being emitted again and the creative cycle restarting. This time, thankfully, the screen flickered out after showing just a few incidences which had made it clearly obvious that these cycles occur endlessly, both in the future and past.

The man in white said, "What is common in all this?" Without waiting for an answer, he replied, "Sat. All else comes and goes; but Formless One doesn't go any-where ... any-time."

Completely blown away, I realized the immateriality of my tiny life to be nothing but an invisible speck on the one of an infinite number of life spectrums. To say that I felt insignificant would be the understatement of the last million Ong cycles.

"Naam!" I ventured. We went back to the Formless One state. This time the Ong sound wave exploded out in slow motion. We could see the vibrations of kaar forming infinite little balls comprised of light photons (for a lack of better word). Each light photon itself had several material outer layers of pure physical sound energy covering inner layers of less and less physical; and more and more subtle spiritual energy. At its very core, the immaterial substance of the "material" matter of the Formless blended into One. (I know, I know, it's kind of hard to explain, but using form-full words to explain form-less stuff is tough).

The man in white chuckled deeply, his eyes twinkling like miniature Universes igniting and diminishing as he explained, "This Naam - the "WaheGuru" we say is only the outer part of Naam - with meditation, we go deeper; deeper leaving the "am" of self until we reach the "am" of Formless One. The true purpose of reciting naam is to reach the Formless One!"

"Karta" I whispered. The giant multi-dimensional-screen reappeared. This time it had a simple picture of a single white cell of a Monarch butterfly.

The cell had just being fertilized and it was lying there all small and helpless - suddenly the screen went into a finer, detailed mode. It showed the Formless One, via Naam, actively managing this cell!! I really thought I couldn't possibly go into a deeper awe, but there I was. The great, infinite, powerful-beyond-imagination Formless One was managing a small white cell just as an Empress would manage a great empire!! All microscopic activities within the white cell were being directed by the Formless One; tiny and unique life forms were being created and destroyed to accomplish the given task.

I, of course, had heard that the real doer of everything is WaheGuru, but to see WaheGuru being the real do-er at even the minutest level stunted me into dumb silence. It is not everyday that you realize you have been wrong about everything in your life - I had believed it was I who was in control; it was I who did everything. But in reality, I was nothing, did nothing and could do nothing. I felt small and was overwhelmed so much with helplessness that I started muttering gibberish.

The man in white came close to me and held me in his arms. I felt calm again. The feeling of helplessness slowly lifted and instead I felt completely free. Joyfully free. There was nothing to worry about! There was nothing expected of me! Huge burdens of guilt and unrealistic expectations left me. I felt like a child in a mother's lap. Feeling so free, so beautiful, so alive and so unconditionally loved, tears of gratitude welled up making it impossible not to weep. How could I possibly be loved so much?

"One more,' the man in white said, "Purakh!".

Like when you wear those laser-detecting glasses and suddenly you see lasers all over the place, I saw the formless One permeating everything. There was absolutely no place, no matter how tiny, where WaheGuru was not. I looked at myself and realized that I too was completely permeated with the Formless One. In fact, there was no space left for me to exist!

I looked up in wonder at the man in white and he smiled, "Yes, it is you!" There! Within moments of being completely wrong about everything, I was proven wrong again. Indeed, I was everything! I had done everything and I and the formless One were One - there was no other. There never had been another and there never will be another. The duality had been an illusion - I did not exist - only the Formless One did!

For a few glorious moments, an incredible power drew me in and engulfed me. I lost all feeling of being separated. Whatever I experienced as outside myself seemed actually to be coming from within. No difference existed between me and that which I felt. I melted into love. Love came from my very core. I no longer existed as anything but love. The same Formless One being that I experienced outside, I experienced 'being' from within.

"Our real self is formless," the man in white murmured softly, "but you can't have everybody walking around feeling like this!" He smacked me softly on the head and I became separated again; but I now knew the Truth. Actually I re-knew. I had known this all along but had forgotten. And this time I would not forget, I promised the Guru.

The man in white smiled. I smiled back and laughed. He strongly hugged me and whispering, "Enough of sight-seeing - now go SERVE!" he gave me a gigantic push that sent me hurtling back to my body.

Within moments, I slammed back to my body - the first thing I felt was raindrops on my face - sweet, fresh, earthly raindrops. Just as I slowly got up; relishing the breath flowing in and out of my body; I heard the man in white bellow, "And don't forget to see God in all!"

I got up drunk with joy and eagerly looked around and forward to ... the rest of my human experience.

To be continued....

-By: Daljit Singh - [email protected]

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