During the 1970s, the early days of the Centre, if you wanted to be a disciple, Guru would interview you. You could sit down with him and have a face-to-face interview in which he would ask you questions and things. So on the first day I saw him, I was also introduced to Sevananda as one of the recent seekers. He said, “Okay, I told Guru about you, and he wants to see you tomorrow morning at 10:00.”
The next morning I came to the Centre. I was so excited, my heart felt like it was coming out of my chest. They asked me to wait in the library room and said they would call me when Guru was ready. So I sat there just feeling completely happy and thrilled. Finally Sevananda came in and said, “Guru will see you now.”
I went into the kitchen, which was very small. Guru, dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, was seated by himself at a tiny kitchen table, writing something while resting his head on his other hand. Sevananda said, “Guru, this is the boy I was telling you about.” Guru didn't look up right away—he just kept writing.
So I was standing there with my hands folded, looking at the top of Guru’s head because he was looking down, and it seemed like forever. Then, all of a sudden, Guru stopped writing and looked up at me with this incredible ear-to-ear smile. His face was just shining, and his smile almost physically knocked me back, it was so powerful.
Then he started asking me questions about what I was doing, my family, and all kinds of little things. I don't remember all the questions, because all I was experiencing at that point was this unbelievable 10,000-watt smile. Guru’s eyes were smiling, his face was smiling, and tremendous love and bliss were just pouring out of Guru into me. It was an amazing moment.
After some time, Guru finished the conversation and—still smiling—said, “Very good, very good, goodbye.” He then continued writing, and Sevananda took me into another room and told me I should wait there. I went in, sat down in a chair, and completely left this earth. Guru had filled me with such incredible power and light, I flew away. There were no thoughts, nothing—just pure bliss. And I stayed there for God knows how long.
The next day I was told that Guru had definitely accepted me as his disciple, and I was so happy. I continued coming to the Centre, and when Guru would visit we spent so much time with him. He was so full of concern, like our best friend, asking each one of us about our personal lives and our families. He would always ask about so-and-so’s brother and sister, mother and father, and how they were doing.
We would ask him questions ourselves, and Guru would spontaneously answer them. He cut jokes with us and told us stories—many of them funny—about his days at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram where he had grown up. It was an absolutely wonderful, blessed time in our lives.
In the days of joy and bliss,
My Lord Supreme,
Do grant me the boon
That I do not forget Thee.
Sri Chinmoy 1