When I first embarked on my spiritual quest, I believe that because I was first opening my eyes to what was “there” I may have had experiences around that time that I would not otherwise have had. I also believe that as my spiritual fervor cooled down and settled in over time, these events lessened or were just plain less noticeable. But there is still “something” “there” beyond the mundane, of which, when perfectly open to it, I still get a glimpse.
A couple of nights ago I tapped my tabla drum three times slowly, then began meditation. I was letting things stew in regard to my impending 33rd year. In meditation I often let my focus come to rest on one particular aspect of my sadhana (effort toward a spiritual goal). As I approach the big 33, this thought may have been a bit amplified and I did indeed come to some strong convictions regarding change, honesty and consistency within my self, etc.
It all felt very right and conclusive, so I said “Aum Vishnave Namaha” opened my eyes, partook in the prasad of dried apricot, and went to get in my bed. As I settled in, feeling calm but still very much awake and not dreaming, I suddenly heard a sound coming from right in front of my shrine to Vishnu. It was not the muffled sound coming through the wall of the neighbors making noise. It was coming from my shrine and it was three distinct, sharp sounds, like a spoon being tapped on the rim of a crystal glass. Hearing this sound, which echoed almost as though in response to the opening of my meditation, I felt like I had received some kind of verification of my new convictions.
Then today I received an e-mail from a friend inviting me to his home to receive darshan with Swami-ji Vidyadhishananda Giri (spiritual descendent of Sri Yukteswar Giri, who was Yogananda-ji’s guru) in celebration of Gurupurnima. Gurupurnima is a festival which is a time to celebrate a deceased Guru, to re-evaluate your spiritual progress in the last year, and to re-dedicate yourself to your goals toward further progress. If I had any doubts that Sri Paramahansa Yogananda were behind the confirming bell that rang at my shrine, I no longer can doubt.