On my round-the-world trip, I left Australia on a Russian passenger ship from Sydney to the Panama Canal.
I went into the chess room on the ship; I used to play chess a lot. I saw this man playing chess by himself. And I said, “Can I play?” He said, “Yes, please sit down.” He was from England and he was going back to England on this boat. He told me that he had a Master in Thailand for 6 or 7 years and his Master told him to return to England because he could not teach him anymore. You can imagine that during my trip I had spoken to many people about meditation, I had tried meditation, but nothing ever really clicked.
When this man spoke to me, I asked him, “What’s the purpose of meditation?” He said, “To know who you are, to realise your true self, to realise God,” and for some reason, this time it made total sense, total sense. We played chess—one game—and I thanked him. It was about 1:00 in the morning on the ship. I went up to this very small deck; it was deck F.
The only thing I knew about meditation was that you sit cross-legged. That’s really all I knew. At that point I started to sit down on the deck, but before I was able to sit down the whole outer world disappeared. This next part is sort of unexplainable because it’s too big to explain with words, but I can say it’s like God the Supreme Guru came and embraced me with this huge hug, like the mother embracing a small child. It is like the mother who’s been looking for the child for thousands of years suddenly finds the child and embraces the child at that moment. I started to cry overwhelmingly with gratitude. It lasted for about an hour I think, this other world. I asked the Supreme to protect me because if He didn’t protect me, I would just go back to ignorance. This is where it’s very complicated, but not complicated really. I didn’t know what this was, what was happening really. It was so big and sweet and real.
In the gratitude book, the very first thing on page 7 says a gratitude-heart experience is beyond compare. That’s what I received from Guru, or from the Supreme, or from both. At that time, it was just an unbelievable gratitude-heart experience of the love that the Supreme has for me and for all of us.
With my gratitude-heart-tears and smiles,
My Lord I greet.
My Lord gives me His All, the moment I clasp His Feet.
Sri Chinmoy 1