I became a disciple in 1975. I heard that Carlos Santana was going to be playing a concert at this Unitarian church; I was very excited because I knew he meditated. I went over a couple of hours early and I was sitting in the front row, but nothing was happening.
So I asked the person at the church when the meditation was going to be. He said, “Don’t worry, it’s definitely happening. But first we have a few children who will do piano and violin recitations.” And for the next hour and a half, I was sitting in the front row watching the children play their music.
Anyway, they finally showed up and there was a tremendous meditation. It was not an electric concert; it was a meditation with acoustic music. I had a really powerful inner experience. I felt that I was floating. I was having a kind of out-of-body experience. I had never experienced anything of that kind, and I was extremely enchanted by the experience.
So at the end of it, he mentioned that they meditated on a special photograph that they had on stage at the time. It was the Transcendental photograph. I saw a book called The Inner Promise, which had a very, very beautiful picture of Guru on the back. I so wanted to buy that book, but I didn’t have enough money. So I bought a Transcendental photograph for four or five dollars. Then I took it back to my dorm room and started staring at it every morning. Early in the morning, I’d put it on my pillow and try to meditate, although I didn’t know much about meditation.
So that photograph became my most prized possession. I kept it on an envelope taped to the wall. I had a few dreams about Guru, some very powerful dreams. I started to enquire about becoming a disciple, but I had never met any disciples or been to a Centre or anything. I found out that I needed to give my biography, so I applied to become a disciple by mail. I sent a letter to New York.
And so I waited. I was just waiting. Every day I was checking the mail. Several weeks went by and I had no idea what would be going on in New York. I finally received a tiny little card in a tiny envelope and I opened it up and it said “To my child. I accept you as a true disciple of mine.” There was a picture of Guru holding a flower. Someone had typed those words in pink typewriter ink, and Guru had signed it at the bottom.
I couldn’t believe it. I was very, very thrilled.
My Master-Lord, my Master-Lord, my Master-Lord!
Your choice was my soul.
Your Heart is my choice
To save my life from its bondage-voice.
Sri Chinmoy 1