'Guru' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'the one who illumines' – although my own Guru always tells us that the One who illumines and the only real Guru is God. I call Sri Chinmoy 'Guru' in this short account, for among the many wonderful teachers I have met, he is the one who has accepted responsibility for my illumining and I am certainly the one who needs illumining – posthaste!
The concern of a spiritual Master for their disciples demonstrates an unwavering love and an undying solicitude that itself can be cause for great wonder. I recall Sri Chinmoy demonstrating this some years ago, on one of our Christmas trips to Asia, when in the early hours of the morning he began calling up his disciples in the hotel and singing their names over the telephone – a spontaneous and lovely blessing for the soul.
It was a lovely, gratuitous minute or two, to be woken from sleep – not the sleep only of body and senses but the unawakened state of the soul's long centuries in samsara – and to feel oneself summoned from both states of unmindfulness by the voice of the master was the sweetest thing. Given the quite large number of disciples, there was no certainty that Guru would call you, yet hope ran high nonetheless.
But one night I learnt that, working alphabetically through the name list of those on our trip, Sri Chinmoy had reached the J's – glancing at the same list I saw that I was one of very few 'J' candidates and concluded that my chances of a late night call were very high indeed.
My sources told me that Guru had not always been very pleased at some of the responses he had so far received – unaware that it was the Master himself who was calling, some unfortunates had probably been grumpy at the early morning call and had not exactly been in their most receptive frame of mind. On the 'J' night I prepared myself with a longer than normal evening meditation, inwardly rehearsed what I would say if the phone rang and, finally satisfied that I was in my very best consciousness drifted off into a hopeful, even expectant sleep. I was ready!
At 1:30 am the phone rang – I shot bolt upright in bed, paused briefly to summon my best consciousness, then picked up the phone on the third ring. "Good morning!" I intoned in my most divine voice, "this is Jogyata speaking."
Alas, it was a call from New Zealand! Slightly annoyed by this worldly intrusion I eventually replaced the phone and again went back to sleep. At 3:00am the phone rang again and expecting a follow-up call from New Zealand I took the phone from the side table and was about to mildly rebuke my inconsiderate caller when I paused, just in case, and switched over to a more polite "Good morning this is Jogyata speaking", adding inanely, "how may I help you?"
It was Sri Chinmoy in person! He sang my name to me, a lovely ascending meditative chant and I sat there on the bed, eyes closed, absorbing something quite indescribable, this freely given benediction, marvelling at my sublime good fortune. It was a wonderful and joyful experience, one of those golden moments when the soul is bathed in light – inside me a tiny doorway had been opened and I could feel my soul's delight, a remembering of Self and my eternal existence rekindled by this awakening grace. Then a last quiet incantation, a click and Guru was gone.
I was sure I would easily remember the clear notes and simple melody in the morning and sang the song a few times over to capture it – but in the morning when I again awoke the exact melody was gone.
Two weeks later, now in the 'S's, Sri Chinmoy called my wife Subarata – wisely she afterwards sang the song of her name into a tape recorder while the melody was clear in her mind and even today we can sing her song with fidelity to detail. But the song of Jogyata has now been lost in the mists of time.