I picked up the bad habit of smoking during my university days. While I enjoyed it for a few years, later it became a troublesome and sticky habit that was taking a toll on my body and mind. I used to cough severely during and after Sudarshan Kriya. I tried all means to quit, but failed every time.
One day, I watched a video of Gurudev where he mentioned two important points: first, a bad habit is something that you regret doing, and if you don’t do it, you feel unhappy; and secondly, one can quit smoking by pledging not to smoke for some interval of time initially. These two thoughts were planted in my head, and I decided to at least not smoke on Thursdays, as it is Guruwar. I was successful, but I couldn’t quit, and the first thing I used to do on Friday mornings was to smoke. After 12 years of smoking, I felt tired of this habit and was losing myself to it.
It was my 30th birthday, and I turned up at the Bangalore Ashram without much planning. Coincidentally, Gurudev happened to be there. We did Satsang, and as usual, he asked if it was anyone’s birthday, and I raised my hand. He looked at me, gave me a shawl and a flower, and I said to him, “Gurudev, the only thing I want is to quit smoking. I’ve tried for years, but I surrender to you now as I cannot quit.” Gurudev smiled and said, “Don’t feel guilty; you will be fine.”
After this, I traveled to the UK, and in the next month, I smoked heavily. One day, I went for a follow-up Kriya (this was after a long gap), and the teacher randomly read a knowledge point from a book that read, “A bad habit is something that if you do, you regret, but if you don’t, you feel unhappy.” I never picked up a cigarette again in my life after more than a decade of smoking. Not only did I quit smoking, but I did it in the most effortless way due to the grace and blessings from Gurudev. It was the best birthday gift ever! Regards,