As a medical student, science as I knew it, was Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Rest, including the sciences of Vedas, were mythology or speculative at best – good for entertainment, and daydreaming but far from anything tangible, proven or ‘real’.
So when I would hear lectures of Yogi Ashwini or would listen to people discussing their experiences of yog – manifestation of thought, sudden change in weather, inexplicable recovery from ailments, interaction with natural and divine forces –my mind would be full of questions. Is it possible? Is it real?
My parents have been practicing under Yogi ji for close to a decade now, and thanks to them, I too have been exposed to this subject, as I would often accompany them for sessions and trips. But then for me to take this up as a ‘science’ I needed more than the testimony of my parents or experiences narrated by others. This summer, it happened.
I was travelling with Yogi ji when he had to perform a routine havan. As if sensing the skeptic in me, he asked me to stand right beside him as he started with the mantra uchharan. I could see the fire dancing in sync with the chants, there was a definite fragrance in the atmosphere, and suddenly everything else seemed to have turned quiet and calm.
In that moment of almost magical serenity, my gaze met Yogi jis, and he pointed towards the sky, indicating for me to look there. As I looked up, there it was clear as a painting, the face of Yogi ji with his eyes closed. The face then turned into a yellow circle and then once again it reappeared, clear features and eyes open wide.
I rubbed my eyes and pinched my arm, to check if I was dreaming. But the vision was still there, crystal clear. I have no idea when the havan completed or when Yogi ji got up or for how long I stood there gazing.
Yogi ji’s voice brought me back. He was smiling mysteriously as he asked, ‘aren’t you feeling cold?’ That’s when I noticed that I was only wearing a thin t-shirt, and temperature outside was close to 8 degrees! There was so much heat inside my body at the time that I could barely feel the chilly winds that were blowing.
As it is said – “You don’t know it, unless you experience it.”Since then, the medical student in me that questioned everything has learnt that some things cannot be explained by science…as we know it.