To be technical, my spiritual life began in November 1995 when I was introduced to the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I grew up in the organization and learned about the unity of all faiths to the One God and how we are all divine in nature. However, in early part of 2017, I lost a good friend of mine through a misunderstanding of a third person involved in that spiritual community which hurt me very deeply and left me vulnerable. To date, it remains the single most grievous moment in my life.
One of the members named Vijay had helped me through some tough moments and shared similar experiences. One fine day in June 2017, he let me borrow three books: 1. Vivekachudami by Adi Sankara 2. The Yoga of Bhagavad Gita by Paramahamsa Yogananda and 3. The Maharshi and His Message by Paul Brunton. Long story short, I fell head over heels in love with Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and began to read Ramana literature and “take a deep dive” into Advaita Vedanta. Everything intellectually seemed to connect so easily. I would tell others that my REAL spiritual life began at that point.
In the year 2018, I heard about the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston through Vijay who attended whenever he was able to. It was there that I met the resident minister, Swami Tyagananda, who delivered many a great and spiritually uplifting lecture the likes I have never heard before. Such profound insight and keen ability to simplify Vedantic concepts into cogent ways for me to understand helped me to advance with greater spiritual maturity. Swamiji and I have been very close ever since. He became one of the most spiritually influential people that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and has elevated my interest in Vedanta exponentially. I believe that all the ills we face as a human race can find their end in the teachings of Vedanta.
Through my attendance at the Vedanta Society in Boston, it became organic for me to accept Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother Sara Devi as incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, respectively, and love them as Sai Baba and Ramana equally. Whenever I travel anywhere, I make it a point to see if there are any Vedanta Societies to visit, as an aside. Since the pandemic, I have also joined the Chinmaya Mission organization for their various scriptural classes on Sunday mornings and afternoons delivered by the highly dynamic and knowledgeable, Dr. Shashi Dwarakanth. Shashi aunty has further kindled my enthusiasm for Vedanta as well as fostering my devotion to Bhagavan Sri Krishna through her Srimad Bhagavatham class. All in all, I wanted to create this sturdy, robust, impregnable spiritual ecosystem wherever I go as not to be swayed by the wiles of material life. I want to lead by my own example.
There are not enough words in the English language to describe how much Vedanta has impacted my life. It obliterated the concept that I am simply a human being with name and form and that the world and God are separate from me. The antiquated idea has been with us for countless births! It has challenged me to rise and meet the spiritual challenges before me with gusto and unbridled enthusiasm. I genuinely feel that I am on my own path, no longer desiring to socially be active all the time but to be in contemplation of The Self whether at work, going for a stroll in a park or having dinner amongst a group of complete strangers in a restaurant. All is me…. there is not an atom apart from me….I am the creator of the world….all Gods & Goddesses exist in me are some of the Vedantic statements I use coupled with Ramana’s “Who Am I?” teaching. My goal in this human birth is to “attain” Self-Realization by the eradication of my individual ego, nothing else, for I know that everything else in the human life of Krishan will be taken care of itself by the power of The Self.