The true meaning of life
by Kapila Castoldi
Ann Arbor, United States
In the summer of 1980 I came to the United States for research. My Italian university was looking for a collaboration with American universities. I fell in love right away with this young, vibrant country and so a month turned into a year, and eventually I took a leave of absence to stay here for a few years. Although not totally easy, these years were very exciting, as I ended up working at a major laboratory outside Chicago, with the crème of the physicists from around the world.
Gradually, though, I began to realise that something was missing. All the ingredients were there, as I was learning a lot, I was advancing in my career, etc., but true happiness was not to be found. This had happened to a lesser degree when I was growing up. Finding myself uneasy, I had left the church when I was about twelve. As I grew up, I began to be pulled by books on world religions, but then my studies took me away from all this. As I became a physicist, I gradually turned into an atheist. So the matter was set aside for a number of years and totally forgotten.
During the occasional crises in the early US years, I rediscovered part of my old self: I started painting again. Yet, this did not seem to be enough to fill the void that was periodically surfacing in me. So I decided that I needed to try something new, perhaps meet new people. Among the minicourses offered by the university I found interesting a class on ceramic painting, but also one on meditation. This last one was free, so I decided to try it.
I did not know anything about meditation, but I figured I would meet some old Indian teacher with long beard, long hair, wearing a long robe… Well, it turns out that the class was taught by a young, funny, joking American, dressed in white, with short hair, no beard. A bit shocking! Somehow, though, I started practising the techniques that he was teaching, and this felt good. I started reading Guru’s books and I liked them very much. Also, I found the music very soothing…
The ‘bomb’ exploded a year later, when I first visited New York. As I was passing by Guru at the old Progress- Promise, I was caught by his eyes: they were so deep. I was used to judging people by the depth of their eyes, but I never saw such a depth before – I felt like diving in there. I also felt a sense of familiarity, as if I knew him already. At the same time it was as if I had gone through X-rays – I felt he knew everything about me. All this happened in the course of a few seconds. This was the beginning of a long journey during which I began to know Guru more and more as a spiritual Father who brought me gradually back to the true meaning of life.
Sri Chinmoy's students describe their inner and outer experiences.
Praying for God’s Grace to DescendSweta Pradhan Kathmandu, Nepal
An intense, concentrated FireToshala Elliott Auckland, New Zealand
I see infinitely more than I sayAgraha Levine Seattle, United States
Spiritual moments with my grandmotherPatanga Cordeiro São Paulo, Brazil
Why run 3100 miles?Smarana Puntigam Vienna, Austria
The Swimming RelayToshala Elliott Auckland, New Zealand
Connecting the dotsLunthita Duthely Hialeah, United States
Now you are in the boatKaushalya Casey Toronto, Canada
The day I saw my Guru's Third EyeVidura Groulx Montreal, Canada
The first time we met our GuruKaivalya, Devashishu and Sahadeva Torpy London, England
A Divine Phone CallJogyata Dallas Auckland, New Zealand
Running for PeaceJogyata Dallas Auckland, New Zealand
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students