The first time I saw Sri Chinmoy was at the Philadelphia Peace Concert in 1996, at the old hockey arena, called the Spectrum. I think I was wearing my favorite, somewhat ratty old red shirt and jeans, and I sat on one of the folding chairs relatively close to the stage. I remember hyperventilating; I was responding to his extraordinary presence. He had an unmistakable aura of white light over his head, and also the entire building was flooded with his consciousness. I was speechless, immobile, dumbfounded. I kept my eyes closed because his spiritual height was unbelievable, I couldn’t process it with my rational mind. Also it was more comfortable for me to keep my eyes shut, I found the light was impossible to absorb.
Then, suddenly, a voice inside of me said, “Look! Look! Open your eyes! Open your eyes!” It was the end of the concert, the closing meditation. The Master was standing in the middle of the stage, with his hands folded in prayer, meditating in a sublime and exalted trance. For the first time in my life I felt the Grace of God as an actual palpable reality. That moment, that first moment meditating with the Master, in his highest consciousness and perceiving who and what he was, was the most significant moment of my life.
Maybe six months later, I traveled up to New York to see him at a public “seeker’s meditation”. I remember not knowing what to expect, and wondering if I would have the same experience as I had in Philadelphia. This meditation was held at his outdoor tennis court slash meditation space, called “Aspiration-Ground.” I just remember he entered the tennis grounds wearing a track suit, and walked round and round the length of the court, a serious aspect, his brow furrowed.
A smile spread over my face, I was grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t even control it! I folded my hands spontaneously, and just gaped in amazement and wonder at this man. His entire body radiated a deep blue light, sea-blue or sky-blue. It was just blue light, radiant blue light. Even when I closed my eyes and meditated, I could see the blue light entering through my eyelids, seeping into my body and mind.
Spiritual Masters, great God-realised Gurus, make you aware of your own divinity. They make you feel that God-consciousness is something achievable! Sri Chinmoy made me feel this blue light was not a mental hallucination; it was my own forgotten property: the light of Infinity, the light of spirituality.
One older disciple told me later he saw my face, the fact I was in ecstasy and rapture, and he knew I was destined for this path.
Previously, maybe three months before, my Centre leader got permission for me to attend a disciple function with the Master. It was a celebration of the anniversary of his Jharna-Kala paintings. “Jharna-Kala” means “Fountain-Art” and his artwork is certainly an inspired flow. My most vivid memory of that evening is Sri Chinmoy returning from the hallway into the main function room. He walked past me, and I saw the expression on his face. It was an expression of the utmost confidence and satisfaction. It was like he was completely fulfilled in his life, he didn’t want for anything or need anything- he was happy with his inner reality. Also, as a seeker, I was trying to fathom him, trying to understand him, but he was inscrutable. I knew then that this person wasn’t someone who was going to explain himself to me, but rather I would have to mold my consciousness and life in his own way, or let him mold me in his own way, before I could ever begin to comprehend him. He would not meet me on my terms, the terms of logic, ego, reason and mental arithmetic. That was not his way. I was not yet a disciple, but I knew that in order to become one, I would have to learn his game, and see the world through his eyes. Was I ready to do that?
I did make that decision soon after- to become his student, his disciple. As I progress on the path, I see my own life with Sri Chinmoy as an ever evolving mystery. There was no beginning. There is no end.