After chaos there is bliss. After a storm there is peace. This is the way of life. Once I was in a satsang in Washington DC with about three hundred people. From behind came a tall and imposing man who started screaming, 'You are the devil!' In the name of Jesus he came to attack me. He said, 'This yoga, spirituality and Hinduism are all the works of the devil.' Everyone was frozen with fear. Nobody could get up. They were stuck to their seats with fear. As he drew close to me, I held up my hand and said, 'Wait! what is the matter?' As I said, 'Wait', he dropped to the ground and began crying. He had a change of heart and begged forgiveness.
So I remembered Maharishi Patanjali has written, 'Ahimsa pratishthayaam, tat sannidhau vairatyagah.' This proves that when nonviolence is established in one's life, all enmity and ill will disappears from the minds of those who come near him. So Maharishi's statement cannot possibly be false or wrong. This incident proves it. I got to witness this at three or four different places, where people came with such anger to harm me, and then underwent transformation. They even became teachers of The Art of Living afterwards!
What I am saying is that spirituality is not a short-term entertainment, where you read a book and feel somewhat satisfied, and then move on. It is a complete and proven knowledge. 'Jo ichcha kariho man maahi, prabhu pratap kachhu durlabh naahin' (With God’s Grace, whatever you desire is not difficult to obtain). I can say this with confidence that this is a power that works.
It works, doesn't it? How many of you have experienced this in your lives? Whatever you desire gets done, doesn't it? Extraordinary or not? Miracles happen or not? This is the thing. Otherwise, preachers give discourses, and the audience listens for a while, and then falls asleep. While listening they fall asleep, and sometimes, the speakers also speak while sleeping. I am not condemning anyone, but it has become a habit in our country to listen and to tell, without translating it into one's life.
When does it manifest in life? There are four things: Presence (Saanidhya), Closeness (Saameepya), Grace (Saarupya), Union (Saayujya). Saanidhya – Initially one sits in the presence of the master; then experiences closeness - there is no feeling of separation, that the master is someone, and I another. No! My very own. That is why there is also a shloka (Verse), 'Mannatha Shri Jagannatha' - my Lord is the Lord of the Universe, my Guru is the Universal Guru, my Soul is the universal Soul; this is the feeling. Once this feeling of intimacy and belonging awakens, Saameepya has occurred. Next is Saarupya, there is no difference between the master and I. Then comes Saayujya, Total merging, Union.
So, this Saanidhya is to take one to Saayujya.