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Thanks with Love to Baba (Swami Shankarananda Giri) By

Per H. Wibe

www.kriyabanservice.com

Personal Experiences of Per on Kriya Yoga and Meditation on the eve of building Hiranyagarbha Meditation Temple, Tapovan, Rishikesh, India.

Thanks with Love to Baba (Swami Shankarananda Giri) By Per H. Wibe www.kriyabanservice.com Personal Experiences of

The building is completed, but the dream of Sriyukteswarjee has just begun. Now that your enormous eorts to build this ashram have borne fruit, Kriya students from around the world will gather here to seek inspiration and pursue spiritual growth for centuries to come. Great eorts give great results – this is the divine law.

On this special occasion, I have been asked to write about my spiritual journey throughout the years and to share my experiences of my meetings and travels with you.

As a young boy, I searched for the Truth. I discussed Christianity with priests, arguing that mere belief was not sucient. I felt that we had to be certain through inner knowledge and experience. Since any belief inherently includes doubt, no belief can satisfy our longing for harmony. Hearing about water is not the same as drinking it ourselves.

My desire for harmony and the right school in life was not satised when I was young, although I knew that many special things were going to happen in my life. In

the meantime, I developed knowledge, useful skills and endurance in many dierent sports.

At the age of thirty, my desire for the Truth was clear and strong: I wanted to increase my level of happiness, to dissolve duality in Life.

By the time I met you in 1995; I had been pursuing spiritual growth for twenty years while raising a family and running my own company. I had changed many aspects of my lifestyle, and I used every possible moment to practice meditation, whether it was day or night. I meditated for two hours beginning at 5 a.m. I meditated again for some time in the middle of the day, as well as for one hour in the afternoon before returning home from work. When I found time in the evening, I meditated for fteen minutes, half an hour, or whatever time was available. Usually I also meditated in the late evening or during the night. This was my routine for many years. How is it possible to meditate so often in the midst of so many daily responsibilities and activities? The reply is simple: A strong desire! The desire is the most important motivation. If the meditation practice is good and stable, the desire to sustain it will grow stronger and stronger. To meet the Lord in the cave is so beautiful and nourishing that we want to do it more and more often.

Despite all my eorts to meditate, study spirituality and travel for spiritual purposes, I did not feel completely satised. I knew what was missing: Someone in the esh to conrm my understandings and experiences, and most of all, to support my desire to teach and help others to nd the spiritual path.

We rst met in Oslo in May 1995 when you gave a public talk. During the talk you said, "I want to retire after some time, and I need people to help me". I felt that you recognized my desire, and that your words were addressed directly to me in order to ensure that an eternal connection between us would be re-established.

The next day I was initiated. Two days later we met personally to discuss my horoscope. The organiser had announced that you read horoscopes according to Cosmic Astrology, which you had learned from your master Prabhujee, who in turn had learned it directly from Sri Yukteswarjee, the founder of the system. Frankly, I was not interested in astrology. I felt that much of the astrology in the market place was supercial, and I knew that astrology could not help me to attain my goal: To dissolve duality.

My desire was to improve my horoscope through meditation, not to be told about my current status and the diculties that lie ahead. I was already well aware of my current state and diculties!

The rst thing you said to me when we met alone was, "What I said during the talk was for you". The rest of our meeting revolved around my future as a teacher of Kriya.

In October 1996 I traveled from Norway to India with you for the rst time. You asked if I could accompany you, and within half an hour I decided to join you, which was not so easy given my large family and the responsibilities of running a one-man company. The purpose of our trip was to travel to Rishikesh to look for a suitable location for the future Kriya Yoga ashram. But rst we went to Bhubaneswar, where you had your base and school. I was happy to see dedicated school children practicing yoga and to meet Sudhamaa, who has contributed so much to your work throughout her lifetime.

One evening in the meditation hall in Bhubaneswar, when the others had left, I continued to meditate alone. Deeply settled, I suddenly sensed that someone else was in the room. It was as if someone were breathing around me. Noticing this, I became uncertain, and the presence of the breathing quickly disappeared.

I went immediately to your room to tell you about this experience and to ask for your opinion. Although other people were with you, you perceived the urgency in my approach, and asked if I wanted to talk with you alone. I explained what had just happened, and you said, "It is Sri Yukteswarjee. He wants you to take Kriya responsibility".

Your reply did not surprise me. After all, my desire to teach had been intensifying for more than fteen years, and by that time it was clear and strong. In addition, I had acquired a profound love and respect for Sri Yukteswarjee! The next evening I experienced the breathing again. This time it continued for a while. I got up and walked slowly around the room, trying to nd out where it was coming from. It wasall over, permeating the entire room, just as the Divine permeates Life.

Since that time, Sri Yukteswarjee has come to me again, not just in India but also in Scandinavia. This happens when I am about to take decisions related to setting aside more time to teach.

After several days in Bhubaneswar, we went by plane to Delhi and from there by taxi to Rishikesh. We arrived late at night and searched for a hotel. In the hotel room

we meditated most of the night, and you told me that our travels to search for a suitable ashram location would be mentioned in your biography in the future.

During our travels we met numerous people, including the leader of the largest ashram in Rishikesh. He knew the area well and told us about vacant plots and possible locations. After looking at dierent possibilities for two days, we returned to Delhi to stay overnight. You had a ight to Bhubaneswar the next morning, while I was to stay one more night before returning home. At night, after we had been meditating for some time, you initiated me as a teacher of Kriya Yoga.

In the morning we went to the airport by taxi, and on the way you suggested that I rent the taxi for the whole day to travel to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.

Several hours later the taxi arrived in Agra. It was so crowded there that we had to park quite far from the famous building. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a man opened the car door and exclaimed, "I am your guide in Agra today". I asked the

price and agreed to it. After guiding me for some time, he asked why I was in India.

  • I told him about Swami Shankarananda Giri from Bhubaneswar and our trip to

Rishikesh. "Really?" he said. "I am a disciple of his, too, and I even attended his 50th birthday celebration in Bhubaneswar one year ago!" Imagine - the rst person I met

in Agra was one of your disciples!

  • I conducted my rst Kriya initiations in Trondheim, Norway, in October 1997.

According to the advertisement, you were to teach the course, but due to some hindrances in India, you were not able to come. There were 18 people waiting for you that day. Instead they listened to my little speech, and to my surprise 14 of them wanted to be initiated afterward. Many of them are still practising today with good results.

In 1998 the land for the ashram was purchased. I arrived there shortly afterwards. During the rst night we meditated in your room. That night we felt a strong presence of Sriyukteswarjee – he came to us in dierent ways to bless the site of the new ashram.

You have made a tremendous, sustained eort to realise the dream of this ashram.

  • I have visited this place many times during the years, and I have seen your eorts very closely. Even before the construction could start, so many matters needed to

be settled. The building has been raised according to the dream of Sriyukteswarjee. You have been the architect, the designer of all the details, the purchaser and the supervisor of the entire construction process from start to nish. You have not been

a general sitting in the tent. On the contrary, you have been on the front lines, "risking your life", so to speak.

In addition to all your work in Rishikesh, you have travelled to many other countries to teach Kriya. Your school in Bhubaneswar has grown from a few hundred students to more than one thousand and ve hundred during this period. Furthermore, you are involved in important work to secure education for poor children in the village of Raiarkhol and the surrounding areas. The facilities and land have been donated by the family of Sudhamaa. The schools have a high level of performance and have been awarded prizes in the state of Orissa.

Many years ago you asked me to attend a Kumbha Mela. I said that I would do so if

  • I could stay close to you. "Your bed is ready, close to me in my room," you replied. It

had to be like this. My only goal for the ten years I have been travelling to India has

been to be close to you, meditate with you whenever possible, and experience you in action and everyday life. All your eorts are dedicated to helping others, to express the Divine in Life.

About one year after we met, I said that I would help you as much as possible. I never repeated my promise because my desire was so strong. Whenever I called you during those years, just to hear about the progress in Rishikesh or to oer some help, you would sometimes say, "You are calling at the right moment. I was just about to stop the work and send the workers away". Usually it was only you and I who knew about this, but sometimes some of the swamis, who have contributed a great deal to the work, were with you when I called. A short time ago, I called you late at night; it was around midnight in India. I was thinking about you and hoping that the work would be completed on time in August. I called and apologised for disturbing you so late, but added that I was thinking about you and the progress of the work. "It is not too late. We are just sitting here planning the rest of the work, who is going to do what, and so on," you replied.

  • I am telling these stories to illustrate what we already knew - that when people meet on the spiritual plane, in the Divine, physical distance has no meaning.

In 2001 I went to the Kumbha Mela in Allahabad later than the rest of the group. I had gotten the number of the Kriya Yoga camp, but I was told beforehand that it would be dicult to nd you since the area was quite large with many camps and people. I ew from Oslo to Delhi and then from Delhi to Varanasi (previously known as Benares, the city where Lahiri Mahasaya lived). From Varanasi I took a taxi to the Kumbha Mela site just outside Allahabad. After leaving the taxi, I had to walk since the area was so crowded. I asked a policeman where to go, and he pointed in one direction. After walking with my luggage a few hundred meters, a small car full of people stopped in front of me. The driver got out and asked if they could help me. I

said, "Thank you very much, but I do not think you have room for one more person with luggage." "It is no problem. We will manage," the driver said.

After driving around and searching for about 40-50 minutes, we found the camp. I expressed my gratitude, and the driver and I exchanged addresses and phone numbers, and said goodbye. We have been in contact several times since then.

  • I entered the camp and found the meditation room. You were giving a talk, and I

went in to let you know I had arrived. You expressed your happiness to see me, and

asked if it had been dicult to nd you.

"No," I replied. "With good help I was lucky to nd you quickly."

Later I was told that three others used more than two days to nd the group. I had not anticipated any trouble. To say that I was convinced I would easily nd you and the group is not correct, I did not think about it at all. I just looked forward to arriving and seeing you again.

  • I am very grateful for all your help during all these years. You love to see the

spiritual progress of your students and to help them attain mastery over their own lives. This is the aim of a master. It is his greatest joy and a sign of dignity.

  • I have made many mistakes in my life, and I still do. During the period when I rst met you, I wondered many things: How to improve, how to proceed in Life, how will

the story end? Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". This statement comes close to the experience itself, though it is very far from it.

The nal part has to be discovered from inside. If not, duality will continue.

  • I pray for improvement – for the freedom and ability to join in the work, however Life decides how this should unfold.

Yours with love,

Per

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