Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students and friends
Kaivalya, Devashishu and Sahadeva Torpy • London, England

The first time we met our Guru


Five or six years ago I was running in London in front of Kensington Gardens. A car came so close to me that I got frightened and jumped onto the sidewalk. A man came out of the car and said, “We are your disciples.”

Then the whole family came out. It was Kaivalya, Bhavani and their two boys. I did not recognise them, even though they had already come to New York. Now I know the family so well.

Sri Chinmoy 1

Devashishu: The first time that I actually met Guru was in 1978. I was nine years old. It was a complete surprise because we were driving through London with our family, and with our grandmother as well. We were driving to see an art gallery.

Kaivalya:  My wife, Bhavani, had been in New York and had seen Guru, but the rest of the family had not seen him in person yet.

We were driving in London on a Sunday afternoon, and suddenly Bhavani said, “There's Guru!” I was driving and I said, “Guru’s in New York! It can't be Guru!” But I looked in the mirror and I saw Guru.  So, I turned the car around and we jumped out and ran towards Guru.

Sahadeva: My father had to do a U-turn in the street, a very busy street. He pulled over, we all jumped out and we saw Guru about 20 metres away. We all approached Guru, my mother first and then us.

Guru was travelling to India. He used to visit London when, in those days, Air India flights would stop in London on their way from New York to India.

Sri Chinmoy, about to leave on a foreign trip, mid-1970s

Devashishu: He had some takeaway food, some food he had bought from a restaurant in his hands and he was trying to cross this big road.

We started running towards Guru when we got out of the vehicle. Guru was a little bit worried because he saw these people running at him. He was a little bit concerned.  But my mother explained to Guru, "We are your disciples. We've been studying in your London Centre." My mother had been to New York one time already.

Sahadeva: Then he looked at us - Mum says he was a little confused at first - but then he saw me and my brother Devashishu, two little boys, and he had a big smile on his face.

Devashishu: The funniest thing was that my grandmother was with us and she had no idea what was going on. She also got to meet Guru, but she really had no idea who Guru was. So she was kind of there, but she didn't really know what was happening.

I was nine years old. My brother Sahadeva was seven. It's quite a faint memory now. But what I do remember very clearly, I remember Guru talking to my parents and saying a few very nice words to my parents. Then he meditated with us on the street, right in this big, busy street. He just meditated on us there in the street. He put his hands, one hand on my head and one hand on my brother's head and he just meditated in silence.

I do remember the joy I felt. It was an incredible experience. Me and my brother, we were both just filled with so much joy. There was this tremendous feeling of love coming from Guru. For me it was a feeling of finding someone who I knew. I felt like I knew this person very well, somebody who's very familiar, and also finding someone that I didn't realize I had been looking for, someone I was desperately looking for.

Sahadeva: It was a beautiful, very short meeting, and Guru blessed me and Devashishu on the head in the middle of the street with all these people walking past. We had so much joy. Guru was flying the next day off to India. Me and Devashishu remember that occasion - there was so much joy. Our hearts were bursting with joy.

Kaivalya: Bhavani said to Guru, “Can we tell everybody in London Centre that you are here?”  

Guru said, “Oh no, I am going back to New York tomorrow morning early. So, I would rather you did not do that.”

That evening we went to London Centre for meditation, and we couldn't say anything about Guru being in London. My wife found it very difficult. The next morning, she phoned the hotel in London where Guru was staying. She found out that Guru had left the hotel and so then immediately she told everybody in the Centre.

That was the first time I saw Guru.

Devashishu: I remember we went to this art gallery afterwards. Me and my brother, we were just, as we say in English, walking on air. We were so happy and so full of something new and beautiful that we just didn't feel like we were walking on the ground. For hours, for days, we were left with this wonderful feeling from meeting Guru.

God surprised me
By coming into my life
Quite unexpectedly.
I am surprising God
By staying inside His Heart-Garden

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