| Meeting with Swamiji Shivananda |

First meeting with Swamiji Sri Shivananda (Part 1) – shared by Sai Keshav

It was almost two years back when a very close brother of mine from the Sai Family shared about a Swamiji called Sri Shivananda from Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. He described how he was granted the experience of touching Swami’s form physically and conversing with Swami. I listened to him with great interest and later forgot about it with time.

Fast forward two years, one morning Swami told me – Pack your bag and book your tickets to Kangra. Suddenly I even had forgotten the word Kangra and I was confused where Swami was planning to take me suddenly. Swami then said – first pack, search for tickets then I will tell you everything. It was a different experience as I am packing my bag but do not know what experience i was heading to. I shared the details with my mother to which she said – Oh! I will also join you. I went and said the same to Swami and he said – You are going to experience me as Sri Shivananda, I will then initiate you into something deeper.

I immediately remembered about the brother who told me about this two years back and called him for directions and ticket booking. Surprisingly everything was done in a span of 1 hour! I looked up for Sri Shivananda online and sent him a one word msg saying “Sairam” without any details, to which his reply was ” You are coming, Very happy “. His response did not surprise me because Swami himself said you will experience ME as Him.

After a long journey in the beautiful hills of Himachal Pradesh, we reached our destination and I was welcomed by Swami Shivananda himself. With folded hands he said Sairam. Dressed in very normal clothes while I was expecting a Swamiji attire (since all the pics I saw online had pics of him in a robe). A normal person may not even recognize that he is an enlightened being. But the radiance on his face says it all. Are you “Sri Shivananda” I asked, to which he replied Yes, you have come to the right place and laughed. He then took us to Swami’s Mandir, the moment I entered I saw Swami on the throne and he said “Welcome to my house“. I joked to Swami saying Please stop being so formal with me now and Swami gave a wide smile. Swami then said “I will guide everything through him. There is no duality between me and him. He and I are one.”

What followed the next two days of my stay at Kangra .. coming soon….