Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students
Sevananda Padilla • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Guru saves me from my old life

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The first time I went to the Sri Chinmoy Centre (which used to be known as the Aum Centre) in Miramar, Puerto Rico, was in June of 1968. I went continuously for about 3 months, but at that time I considered myself to be a disciple of another spiritual Master. After some time, I felt that I was being unfaithful to that Master, so I stopped coming to the Centre. A few months later, I also stopped coming to that other guru's group, to devote myself to the "hippie path".

In September 1969, one of the Puerto Rican disciples came to a festival organised by a group of my friends. She had with her a small Transcendental photograph. Somehow she managed to gather a large group of us and caught our complete attention. She spoke briefly and straight to the point. Holding Guru's picture in one hand, she said, "This is my Guru, Sri Chinmoy. He is lecturing in Japan, and he will be back to the Island (meaning Puerto Rico) in December."

The following Sunday morning, a large group of about 40 to 50 seeker-hippies invaded the Centre. When I saw Guru's picture at that time, I knew this was an old friend, someone whom I had known all my life and was finally going to meet once again.

Sri Chinmoy meditates in the Puerto Rico Sri Chinmoy Centre, early 1970's

Toward the end of December 1969, Guru visited the Island. Our first meeting with him was on a bright Sunday morning. We started to meditate with Guru. We were all blown away. He asked all of us, the new people, the seekers, to stand up one at a time and tell him our name, our age, and what we did for a living.

I was in trouble. I was in big trouble!

My western name is Jose Padilla. I’m telling myself, “My name is Jose Padilla, I am nineteen years old and I am a drug dealer.”

I was shocked when I heard that thought. I never had that thought in my mind. That’s what I did. I sold drugs. But I never thought of it, it never hit me that that’s what I did. How am I going to say that? How am I going to say that I am a drug dealer? I could not lie to him. He would know if I was lying. He knows everything. How am I going to lie?

It was getting closer to me. The sound of the mind is getting louder and louder. My turn comes and I stand up. I am swimming in sweat—completely wet from head to toe, completely wet.

Another meditation picture from the early 1970's, most likely from the Puerto Rico Sri Chinmoy Centre

Before I open my mouth to speak, Guru says, “Very happy. You have me here, you have me here, you have me here! (Guru was pointing towards his own heart - I was wearing a laminated Transcendental photograph around my neck, so that the picture actually fell over my heart chakra.) Your Guru Yogananda brought you to me. I have been calling you for a year. Your Guru Yogananda brought you to me.”

So Guru saved me. I did not have to say my name, I did not have to say my age, I did not have to say what I did for a living. He completely saved me.

Illumination

Love the Truth. 
This is human illumination.
Become the Truth. 
This is divine illumination.
You are the Truth. 
This is the supreme Illumination.

Sri Chinmoy 1

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Eye-opening anecdotes from the life of a spiritual Master, as related by Sri Chinmoy, his students and his dear friends
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