In July 2011, Gurudev had announced the ‘World Cultural Festival’ to be held at Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany. The event would mark 30 years since the foundation of The Art of Living. It was going to be a mega event celebrating the rich cultural heritage of societies across the world.
As I was based in Texas, USA, my family and friends were naturally apprehensive of my plans to visit Germany only for a weekend! Despite their stiff resistance, my mind was made. I purchased the air tickets, booked a nearby hotel and was all set for the exciting journey!
Upon reaching the airport, I realized I had left all of my printed papers at home! I was going to leave the country with just my overnight bag and tickets. I wondered how will I find my hotel in Berlin or even reach the venue without any directions! In those days, even Wi-fi access was not readily available and although I had my cell phone, it was not activated for international roaming. I was in a fix. I remembered Gurudev with all of my heart and thought “This is an experience of a lifetime! There will be several people at the airport and all I have to do is ‘follow the crowd’ “. With this in mind, I boarded the plane.
My flight from Houston to Berlin was comfortable. I was expecting plane loads of people at the airport and a big team to guide us to the hotel. As soon as I got off the plane, I noticed a lady with a board “Art of Living welcomes you to the World Cultural Festival” Ah! I said to myself, why worry about directions, bus and train connections etc., there is a welcome party here!
As I approached her, she told me “I am here to receive Gurudev’s dignitaries, you will have to walk outside the airport and look for a help desk. They might be able to help you, sorry I am busy.” I was floored! I could get lost, I didn’t speak German and I had no clue how to get to the hotel.
Somehow I gathered my strength, apologized to the lady and started walking in the direction she pointed me. I may have walked just a few steps when she came running behind me and said “There has been a mistake and two cars have come to pick-up the same person. You can ride in one of these cars. They will drop you at the train station where you can board a train to reach the hotel.” At that moment, I was just blinking and trying to process the information (A dignitary car for me?!) Just then, another person named Ramakrishna asked her the directions for the same hotel as mine. She directed him to my car and once again I blinked but said nothing! (Now, I get a help too?!)
Both of us were royally dropped off at the train station. As we embarked on the platform, to our horror we realized it was just the two of us! There was absolutely no other passenger on the platform, it was almost abandoned! With no help in sight, we were struggling to fetch the train tickets from the vending machine. As we stood scratching our heads, wondering which direction train should we get into, a lady came by, gave us directions and left the platform. She did not wait for any train and we were left wondering why would she come all this way, only to help us!
We both got into our train reached the hotel. Ramkrishna & I became friends and he took great care of me throughout the festival, ensuring I was never lost. He also made sure that I safely reached the airport for my return flight home.
This was my most memorable event organized by The Art of Living. The World Cultural Festival was so breath taking, there was this beautiful rain during the festival but no one got wet! That was a miracle! I can never forget the rain that happened that day! This trip created one more amongst many other Guru stories where I have been taken care of by Gurudev in His own special ways.
I live and travel in surrender. Gurudev has always taken care of me. All it takes is “Surrender”. I am not the doer!