In the year 2003, I went for my first Part 2 course (Advance Course) which was scheduled to happen in the Bangalore Ashram in the presence of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This was just a month after I had completed my Part 1 Course (Basic Course). Since it was my first visit to the Ashram (The Art of living International Center), I was not well aware of the course logistics relating to stay and food, but I took a leap of faith and landed there to attend the same.
After reaching there, I learned that it was supposed to be a Kannada (a traditional South Indian language) Part 2 Course, which meant that all the talks and sessions would be conducted in a language that was unfamiliar to me. Then to my relief, I was told that the course participants would be divided into two groups based on the language of instruction, Kannada and Hindi ( a common language in India, well know to many). This was done for the convenience of those who were not well versed with Kannada. I felt it was a great idea considering the diversity of language and culture prevalent in our country.
Once the course started, everything went on smoothly. The silence started on the second day and took me into a whole new world of absolute peace and bliss. But there was only one thing that was disturbing me at that time. After the course, during the Satsang sessions, Guruji would conduct the knowledge talks in Kannada. I was quite lost during those sessions as I could not grasp even a word of the language. Due to this, I had to attend the translation sessions post the Satsang at the Vishalalakshi Mantap (a beautiful structure in the Ashram built for meditation and discourse) to make sense of the knowledge talks.
But a strange thing happened after the Satsang that night. All the course participants were called for a translation of Guruji’s talk. I was a bit puzzled as I did not understand why an English talk would require a translation? With wonder in my heart, I went to the VM to clear my doubt. On a piece of paper, I wrote my question (as I was still in silence) and passed it on to the teacher.
Her reply astonished me. She said that Guruji had spoken in Kannada in that evening’s session and not English. She also confirmed this by a show of hands from the participants which evidenced the fact that the talk was really in Kannada itself. Slowly this mystery unfolded to me. Guruji had spoken in Kannada only, but I heard it in English. This was nothing less than a miracle for me. It was Sri Sri’s answer to my prayers. My loving Master took care of his disciple. Though I was in silence and could not voice my problem to anyone, HE heard it and solved it. He gave me what I needed at that time. However petty our needs may be, they are surely taken care of.
Such instances just bring you closer to the divine, closer to your very own Self. They take you into a trip inward and help you discover the magic of life; the true essence of our being.
Nikhil now serves as an Art of Living Part 1 course teacher in Hyderabad, India