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This happened almost 10 years ago. Back then I was completely unaware of Baba's existence. I hardly knew anything about Him, His life and teachings.
I had been given a guided meditation called 'Brahma Yagya' by my Guru. I was reaping the benefits of this meditation for the first time. The meditation requires one to surrender all vices namely ' kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsalya' to the divine fire and receive prasad from the ' havan kund' which one visualizes in front of the heart.
After having surrendered all of the negative tendencies and thoughts, i was eagerly waiting for the prasad. Almost instantly I saw a figure in white. Sitting on a stone, right leg across the left knee and left hand resting on the leg. Head covered with white cloth. That was the first time I saw Him.
I bowed my head in deep reverence. He looked so real. The next day, something inside me literally pushed me to get a picture of Him. I could find the exact picture. That was when Icame to know His name SAI BABA. I put it up in my room and gazed at it every day. I loved doing that. A few days later I received 'SAI SATCHARITA' as a gift from my Guru.
I started to read it every day. I was getting to know BABA, His life and teachings. I wanted to understand His teachings and follow them. All of the stories in SATCHARITA were impactful and I knew I was absorbing them at a deeper level.
Some days later I came to know about Baba's temple in Vikasnagar and i started to visit the temple every Thursday. Somebody informed about ' Baba's bhajan sandhya' at a place near my house. I started to go there regularly. It felt great! So blissful! Whenever I looked at Baba, I felt so much love for Him.
I wanted to do ' Shashtang Namaskar' every time I saw His picture. 1 year later, I made my first trip to Shirdi. When I caught the first glimpse of Baba in the ' Samadhi Mandir', all I could do was cry! Cry, cry and cry!
There was much pushing around in the queue but I was oblivious to all commotion around me! I had EYES and EARS ONLY for Baba. Everything else just faded away. That was the beginning of a journey of surrender for me. I needed Him with me all the time. Life was nothing without Him.
I was nothing without Him. Since then i have gone to Shirdi every year. This year too, before the lockdown, i could make a trip to Shirdi. He has been guiding me since then. When I went for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in 2017, He was with me throughout the 'parikrama'. He made it possible. I cannot do without Him. I am nothing without Him. I know His grace is always with me.
And all I can ever feel for HIM is love. I have no words to thank my Guru who connected me to Baba. Baba is her Guru. Love you Baba.
-- Ruchika Sahai/Lucknow