Olivia Wallace is a member of the Science of Spirituality Chicago area community. In today’s post she shares how she came to her guru, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj.
by Olivia Wallace
My parents questioned God and religion. In contrast, the children in our mostly Catholic neighborhood seemed confident in their faith. In some anguish, I prayed, “Dear God, my mother doesn’t know if you exist. If you do, please show me the true religion before I have children of my own, so they won’t have this insecurity.”
In college and graduate school I found a temporary home in psychology. It seemed to offer hope of self-knowledge, but ultimately, it would prove a dead end for me. As a science, psychology depended on proof through the physical senses. Although I didn’t yet know it, I was searching for deep spiritual discovery, which would only be possible through inner experience.
Meanwhile, my brother in Vermont discovered Sant Mat, then taught by Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj of Delhi, India. My brother’s excitement made me sorry for him; I thought he was deluded. By then, a professor had labeled me “irreverent.” A crusty exterior covered the heart that had once fervently prayed for truth.
What changed my life forever occurred in 1969, in Santa Cruz. That summer in the sunset of the “flower child” era, I felt I was floating in an environment of acceptance and affirmation. Defensiveness and skepticism faded and were replaced by childlike wonder and living in the moment.
At the summer’s peak, a counter-culture wedding took place in a forest clearing in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The self-styled minister, calling for a group hug, announced that my friends were being married through the love we all had for them. A little alarmed, I wondered if I loved them enough! So from the outer edge of the big hugging ball of people, I earnestly pour my heart into loving them as much as I possibly could.
Was it this sincere effort to love, completely and purely, that fueled what happened next?
I was transported from my bodily senses and the awareness of my environment into a state of blissful ecstasy!
The experience was so real and powerful that afterward there was nothing else in the world I wanted, except to have that ecstasy again. Whatever I had cared about before was left in the dust. Love was more real now than anything I’d known. I’d been there – it existed.
God’s love when it embraces the soul is so powerful and ecstatic an experience, that all other loves pale by comparison. —Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Now there was a passion in my life: to learn how to get back to that state of love and ecstasy at will, and to have it last. How to do it, I had no clue – except a vague idea that I needed to become more virtuous.
Back at school I found no one who seemed to understand what I’d experienced. At a loss for where to seek, I soon despaired. It was the deepest despair I’ve ever known.
When my brother phoned me, I was expecting him to be as unable to understand what I was going through as everyone else. So I was surprised when I heard him, in the face of my deep unhappiness, laughing in joy! Doubtfully, I asked if his reaction had something to do with the meditation he did, and this spiritual Master he followed. When at last I read Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj’s pamphlet “Man Know Thyself!” I recognized these teachings and practices as the means to finding the answers I had searched for all my life.
So, in answer to my childhood prayer, before I had my children I was shown a practical school for developing spiritually, a path to which I could dedicate my life.
As I understand it, a search for God may take the form of a search for truth, for love, or to serve. I believe I searched for all three. The power of the (unrecognized) object of my search responded to my sincere efforts, and placed me safely on the path homeward. On this path I move forward, toward something noble, magnificent, and ever-more wonderful still coming.