My first Guru
by Adarini Inkei
Often I would call my Dad 'Guru' and Sri Chinmoy 'Dad'. It used to bother me that my tongue would play this type of trick. So one day, in a sweet, relaxed moment while chatting with my Guru, Sri Chinmoy, I casually asked him why this was happening to me. Guru gently replied, "It is quite normal. Your father brought you to me, so he was your first Guru".
This is why this story is mostly about how my father became Guru’s disciple, and why I will be eternally grateful to him.
Many years before this incarnation of mine, my father was having a rough time in Hungary. His father had died of poisonous water during the Second World War. At that time my father was four years old. But before that, something unusual had already happened. At the time of my father’s birth, my grandfather found a Guru and became vegetarian, which was very unusual at that time in a goulash-lovers’ country. My father maintained that diet in a fanatical manner even during his orphanage years.
Now we jump forward to when my father was 15 years of age. Being in a Communist country, the advantage was that playing sports was free. My father did judo and gymnastics as extracurricular activities. One day during recreation, my father helped a boy who had been beaten up by five bigger boys. In those days, fights among classmates were quite brutal. At the end of that one they were asking "to whom this ear belongs."
My Dad, despite having grown up without any religious background, made a deal with the Supreme: if the Supreme helped him escape from Communism, he would go and light a candle in the church every day. Then and there my father started planning his escape. Skipping a few incredible details, I will go straight to the juicy story. At that time he was 20 years old and the Hungarian Revolution had just started. The escape agent had been caught right in front of my father by the Hungarian military. Now my father was lost in the forest and started walking aimlessly, looking for a way out, when suddenly a light came straight out of his heart, guiding him out of the forest. It must have been amazing not knowing anything about spirituality, trusting basically the only thing that shone on earth at this moment of despair.
After many other quite unusual episodes, my Dad then boarded a truck with other escaping Hungarians. He was hoping for the final crossing to the other side, the 'free world'. This was when something more amazing happened – something that really shows that, when the Supreme wants you to be somewhere, He will find an instrument anywhere. The story goes something like this: The truck in which my father was hiding got pulled over by the Hungarian military and all the refugees were held at gunpoint outside the truck – except my father, who was the last one to exit the truck. He was held back with a rifle pointed at him. His first thought was, "That’s it, he’s going to shoot". But you will not believe what happened. Remember the boy that my father helped in a fight when he was 15 years old? Well, yes – it was him! He recognised my father and let him pass through the border.
On the Austrian side, all the refugees had to wait for the proper papers and a country of adoption. My father’s first choice was Sweden, but fate chose otherwise. In the office that helped all the exiled Hungarians was a man whom my father knew. He was in charge of sending people to Switzerland. So, within a very short time my father was sent to Winterthur, a Swiss city. This was another miracle, as some of the other refugees had to wait a very long time to get a country of adoption.
As promised, my father’s quest for spirituality got really intense – or rather, the Supreme’s promise to guide my father to Guru was fulfilled in October 1971. In a violent dream involving being shot at by arrows, my father ran to escape the arrows. Then, suddenly, a brick wall appeared with an image of a face on it. This was where my father took the ultimate leap of faith. He jumped into the face and woke up.
Six months later, in March of 1972 on a poster on a Geneva wall, my father recognised the same face he had seen in his dream. Recently, going through my father’s collection of photos and poems of Guru, I discovered the poster that 'found' my father on a Geneva street. The face on it was none other than Sri Chinmoy's transcendental photograph - the one his students use for meditation every day.
According to my research, in March 1972 a lecture on meditation was given by a Japanese disciple of Sri Chinmoy living in England; presumably the lecture advertised in the poster and the one my father went to. In those days, to be accepted by Guru you just had to send a letter and a photo directly to Guru’s house. Guru would respond himself with a letter. And this was how I became at the age of 7 a devoted, loving disciple of my Beloved Guru.
Guru actually came in June of the same year to Geneva and again in the summer of 1973. My father had organised a conference for Guru. All my family went to wait for Guru at the airport. We then invited Guru to our small apartment to have tea and some delicious pink cake that my mother had specially made. We had photos of Guru on the wall and to us, the kids, Guru was our uncle.
I remember Guru touching our heads, my sister, my brother and me. This was my first conscious blessing. Even though on the outer plane I had no idea what was going on, I loved my 'uncle'; he was so beautiful. We also had a lovely boat trip with Guru. I think my first surrender-moment was when we were asked to sit next to Guru for a photo. I remember being squished under Guru’s arm next to my brother. I could not even lift my head, so tightly was I held there. What a blessing I got! But back then I was probably wondering how I could escape.
That evening Guru wanted my mother to come to the conference, so Guru requested Kailash, another Swiss disciple, to babysit us. I don’t remember how we behaved and I hope Kailash has forgotten – we the little monsters! We also had a picnic in a park where I was wondering why people were sitting so far away from Guru. He was all alone under a tree, writing. He looked so beautiful.
So this is the story of how my father and I became disciples. My father passed away in September 2003. During his years as a disciple he had many incredible inner experiences that only an Avatar such as our Guru can reveal to his student. Since we joined, it has been transformation at the speed of a bullet – even though I know that many opportunities were missed that could have made us fly much faster. But our Guru will never give up. He gives and gives and gives, even when our head hits the wall. My gratitude to my Beloved Guru is measureless for Eternity.
Sri Chinmoy's students describe their inner and outer experiences.
Muhammad Ali: I was expecting a monster, but I found a lambSevananda Padilla San Juan, Puerto Rico
Meeting Sri Chinmoy for the first timeJanaka Spence Edinburgh, United Kingdom
How my spiritual search led me to Sri ChinmoyVidura Groulx Montreal, Canada
Our Guru becomes the perfect discipleDevashishu Torpy London, United Kingdom
Your life's responsibilities compel you to develop inner strengthPradhan Balter Chicago, United States
Filled with deepest joyTirtha Voelckner Munich, Germany
Spirituality means speedPatanga Cordeiro São Paulo, Brazil
In the Right Place, At the Right TimeEshana Gadjanski Novi Sad, Serbia
The Peace Run visits OxfordTejvan Pettinger Oxford, United Kingdom
So much longing, for somethingPushpa rani Piner Ottawa, Canada
'You have to be like a warrior and fight'Mahiyan Savage San Diego, United States
Learning to love songs ever morePatanga Cordeiro São Paulo, Brazil
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students