" My Journey from Ignorance to surrender to Enlightenment "
“ I am Ivan Bavcevic from Croatia ”
My journey in this body as “ IVAN BAVCEVIC ” started on 12th June 1978, in the city of “ Split ” in Croatia .. which was then a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
These past thirty three years were a wonderful journey to be split into two parts:
The first part is from ignorance to surrender to GOD and the second part is from surrender to self-realization.
The first part is signified by meeting Jesus Christ and later part with Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, India, and thereby immersing myself in his universal teachings and becoming an active part of HIS MISSION ON EARTH.
The second part is signified by going beyond the attachment to form and simply allowing the universal consciousness to take over this life, this mind and this body.
“ invisible hand ”
If I look back into my early child-hood, to the moments I can remember, I can see some “ invisible hand ” leading this life.
I did not grow up in a religious or spiritual family, especially since Yugoslavia was a communist country and religion was legally made tough, as it was considered opium for the masses.
However, my beloved parents always knew there was something greater than us. They did not call it “ GOD ”, but they knew there was some energy .. some being .. some consciousness pervading everything and they told my sister and me that we could choose whatever form we want to believe in, when we grow up. Even though they never went to church or did prayers, they brought us up always to speak truth, to love and to respect others .. to tolerate the differences in opinions and to forgive others.
I am really grateful to my good past for such wonderful parents and a wonderful childhood.
“ you are GOD ”
My father .. a non-religious man .. would tell me at least twice a week : “ Son, remember that you are GOD and always live your life like one. ”
He was telling me the biggest of all truths from the early childhood and at that time I didn’t realize it. I was not comfortable thinking that “ I am GOD ”. I thought that he should not put me up to “ stars ” in such a way !
So, when I look at my childhood .. from the parents and grandparents I got, from birth to kindergarten, from elementary school to high school, and all the good things that happened .. the invisible hand that was arranging everything is the hand of my Highest Being , the everlasting part of me. What was beautiful is how the events of life were perfectly arranged.
“ Baba ”
I remember that I spent a significant part of the first ten years of my early childhood with my grandparents.
In Croatian language, the word for grandmother is “ Baba ”. I used to call that name at least twenty times a day : “ Baba ! I am hungry ! ” .. “ Baba ! Where are you ? ” .. “ Baba ! Can I have some ice-cream ” .. “ Baba ! Let’s go out ” .. “ Baba ! Let’s watch TV ” etc.
In a way, I was calling the name of my future spiritual teacher, “ Sri Sathya Sai Baba ”, from the early days of my life without even knowing it !
The first time I saw Sai Baba’s image was in the year 1985 on TV in Yugoslavia, when they showed a documentary on a holy man from India who can materialize powder for long time from a metal pot.
At home we were all amazed by what he can do and at that moment I wished that I could see him doing that in person. I never ever thought that He Himself would make that wish come true and that I would go to India more than fifteen years later. It is true, that a Guru never lets any sincere yearning, any innocent and honest wish of a Soul go unnoticed and unfulfilled.
“ from ignorance to surrender ”
I no longer worried and didn’t ask why something happened to me. Actually, it is me who has brought that event to myself in the first place. All is perfect, just as it should be. That was the first step on my path from ignorance to surrender. I would always simply thank GOD and be grateful for everything that happened, as it was surely the perfect thing for me.
This reminds me when I enrolled into a private American university in Croatia. University education is free in Croatia, but if you go to a private institution you have to pay a lot of money.
My entire family gathered money and I was able to enroll in the first year. However, for the second year we had no money. My parents asked me whether I was worried that we cannot afford to pay for my university and I said that I was not worried at all. I said : “ I didn’t put myself in this university at the first place. God put me there and He will pay for it. ”
A month later I received an unexpected scholarship and was able to continue my studies !
If I look back to thirteen years ago .. to the year 1999 .. when My Teacher Sathya Sai Baba was present in my life without my conscious knowledge .. I can see that I was quite a frightened person, often nervous and getting upset, often moody and lonely, and feeling that “ something big ” was missing. That “ something big ” walked in my life at the end of the year 1999 and turned out to be bigger than I could ever think of.
“ Sathya Sai ”
A month after, I graduated management from the University in the year 2002 I was hired to work as an executive for “ Her Imperial Royal Highness Archduchess of Austria ” and I came to the place where we were opening our new office. There was practically nobody .. and neither furniture nor equipment. I opened a cup-board and on the door I saw Sathya Sai Baba’s photo in yellow dress ! Nobody knew how that photo came there.
Since I associated Sai Baba’s form as representing Absolute Consciousness, it was a way for GOD to tell me who was responsible for getting me this beautiful job.
“ leaving the dream job ”
In the year 2006, I decided to leave the dream job and secured salary and .. with God’s help .. open my own business that will be set up on human values and Dharmic management and that I would do consulting for companies on how to run better business.
When you have to earn your bread every month, which is not guaranteed, you better surrender to God.
I told my Swami :
“ This year 2006 is finishing and I sense it is the end of a big part of my life. I am ready to be part of Your Mission on Earth and to let go of my petty worldly habits and thinking. I am ready to enter the year 2007 in a new spirit of dedication and commitment to You. ”
Not too many days passed after my words to Sathya Sai when I received an e-mail from Dr. Reddy, Director of Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation, telling me that Swami has graciously approved me to be a member of the newly formed “ International Youth Council ” comprising of nine members and to be Youth Coordinator for thirteen countries of South Europe for the “ International Sathya Sai Organization ”.
You can only imagine the joy, the tears, the complete happiness with this news ! I thought I was dreaming. And I knew it was not just an honor, but an enormous responsibility. When you “ work ” for the master then you are extra careful in everything you think, say and do. And every day is a new challenge !
I used to ask myself why, of all the people, I was given these beautiful opportunities and tasks.. why Sai Baba, of all the young people in Europe,selected me alone for the important role.
“ at Puttaparthi ”
I immediately became a member of his organization in Croatia and within six months I was given a position in the local Sai Baba center. Within eighteen months, I was the president of that center .. within two years I was regional education coordinator .. within six years I became in charge of young adult activities for thirteen European countries.
And within seven years, I gave a fifteen minutes speech in front of Sai Baba and 30,000 people in his mandir in Prashanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi !
All of this happened without ever personally talking to Sathya Sai Baba in physical form. I did not need his personal attention, confirmation or approval to become active. I did not wait for someone to ask me to do something. It happened because of my firm decision that my spiritual progress and spiritual mission was of highest priority among all the things in my life.
“ beyond surrender / attachment ”
For me to go beyond surrender and beyond the attachment to the form I needed to be provocative, often radical, open minded, searching for the truth, dedicated to my life’s mission, going beyond dogma and structured beliefs and, above all, believing that I am no different from Jesus, Buddha or Sathya Sai Baba. However, I was happy to have a Living Master .. a living Avatar, with me on the planet Earth to guide me and to push me to reach my potential.
I was also happy that this master put me in positions of influence in which I could make an impact on thousands of people that I met throughout the world.
“ spiritual leadership courses ”
To spread this understanding, I started conducting seminars and workshops on personal spiritual leadership to hundreds of people that were under my area of responsibility. Those leadership courses were unlike anything that they encountered before.
The Courses were pushing them to admit, understand, accept and practically live their own God-hood, their own Avatar-hood, and their own power of creation. It was something against all mental concepts and belief systems that existed in their lives until then. But it was working.
Then in the summer of 2010 .. something happened that changed the course of my life and pushed me into the role of the Teacher.
I was working as a project manager for a hotel resort in Bulgaria for one of my clients when one morning I received a phone call from tax authorities in Croatia telling me curtly that if I did not come to their office the next day to sign some documents, I would have big financial problems. I explained “ I am 1500 kilometers away and there is no way I can come ” and ended the call with pain in my stomach.
First, I was nervous and didn’t know what to do and then I started reasoning the situation.
I remembered that worrying will never solve anything .. so I felt at ease and stopped worrying.I relaxed on the sofa .. happy that one problem is solved, worry is gone ! Then I wondered if there was anyone in Croatia who could help me and realized that nobody has the power to sign documents in my name. Then I asked whether there was anyone in the whole universe who could help me and realized that there is .. the one who created the universe, the one who knows everything .. can do anything to help me. So, I asked Him to help me.
I said : “ My dear, I am not able to solve this problem .. so I will not worry about it .. because worry does not help. If you can do something, please do it. I am very grateful for whatever the outcome. This is no longer my problem, I surrender to you. ”
The next day, the same government person called me telling not to worry and that they will postpone my case until I come back home ! It was all beyond anyone’s belief ! Such things do not just happen like that !
“ I become Light and Happy ”
In the evening, I went to a cliff above the sea and had an amazing experience. I stood at the rocks looking at the sea and asked my self .. “ Why I always have to control everything ? Why, I cannot let GOD take care of things just like he takes care of the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and the trees and plants on the Earth. ”
Then, I closed my eyes, opened my hands with palms up and felt a huge power from Heavens coming down on me. I heard myself saying :
“ I allow God, the Ocean of Life, to lead me. I allow you to bring me everything I need and to take me everywhere I need to go. I simply, consciously and fully allow. ”
After feeling the power running through my body I continued saying :
“ I am letting go of all the emotions, mental concepts, control, people, relationships, traumas and pains that prevent me from fully living my mission on Earth. I do not need this any more. I am letting go of my attachment to them. ”
I felt a huge burden falling of my body ! I became light and happy with a big blissful smile on my face ! I saw light everywhere around !
Then I lifted my hands and started taking the emotions from my stomach, my head and other parts of the body and giving them back to the Source of Creation, saying :
“ I am handing this over to you. I surrender all of this to you. I can’t deal with this any more. But you can and you know how, so please take it all away. I do not need this any more. I surrender it to you. ”
The joy and lightness and transformation of my being was instant and long lasting ! My family did not recognize me when I came back home. That was the end of the “ PROCESS ” for me, but the beginning of my new “ work ”.
“ my mission on this planet ”
That day was the realization of my mission on this planet. Out of this process came “ ALO Method ( Allow, Let Go, Hand Over ) ”, which became the base of my public work and my spiritual teachings to the world.
Only three months passed until I started holding regular public seminars and workshops to lead the people through a thirty minute guided energy meditation in which they go through “ ALO Method ” to heal themselves from emotional and mental blocks which prevent them from living their full potential.
The results have been phenomenal .. and within a very short time, hundreds of people went through the method and transformed their lives, healed themselves from illnesses, resolved financial problems, got jobs, found husbands and wives, and many more wonderful things !
We wondered why this was helping people already after just one session, unlike ‘ psychotherapy ’ where they would attend sessions for many years. The answer lies in the fact that emotions cannot be resolved by reason.
You can mentally understand the root of a problem and know that it should not bother you. But emotions are chemical reactions in the body to our thoughts and, unless released immediately, they stay in the body until cleansed and let go.
Emotions are like ELEMENT WATER and water needs to flow to be pure and fresh. When water stands still it, becomes rotten and bad. The same happens to emotions, when they are blocked and hidden they become rotten and make people sick.
In this meditation, people allow the highest intelligence to guide them, they let go of emotions and they hand them over to the Source.
In the year 2011, at the age of thirty three, after only four months of doing this new public work and conducting weekend-long seminars on how to live your life as a God, Sathya Sai Baba found a way to tell me that “ ALO Method ” is the reason I came to Earth and that I am the method itself. He instructed me to dedicate my life to do that throughout the world.
Not long after Sathya Sai left his physical body I did as suggested and left my worldly business career to focus on spiritual upliftment of humanity.
“ Patriji and Pyramid Valley ”
Through personal visions, through other living masters that are my close friends and through the personal encounters with Brahmarshi Patriji I was shown the level of consciousness that was living through this body and was guided to accept my own self realization as not something that will happen, but something that happened.
Even though I knew, since February 2011, that something was different, I did not realize it until July, 2011 when I met Patriji in Pyramid Valley International, Bengaluru, India, when he greeted me as his own and shown a great respect and interest for this being.
The time he took to spend with my friend “ JosipTasi ” and I, was unexpected .. but even more unexpected was his request that I give a talk after him in the pyramid itself. Those were beautiful days !
Just several minutes after sitting in meditation in the pyramid for the first time in my life, I felt my astral body separating from the physical body. Just days later, I had visions of the pyramid that we would build in Croatia and images of the future that would come as a result of my personal divine Mission on Earth.
After coming back from India, my whole concept of the self changed. I felt like I needed to get to know all the people from the beginning again. I needed to make new relationships with my family, partner, friends and others met as if I just them for the first time ...
In my presence, people would come in a state of pure bliss and peace and would feel as if in heaven ! I could no longer refer to GOD or Swami in the third person. I was all of that ! You can only imagine how strange was that in a western society and in Christian culture !
By the end of 2011, Josip and I were guided ..in our meditations .. to open “ Center of Consciousness ” in Croatia, together with our friends and fellow masters Petar Petrovski, Sanja Tapuskovic and Zorica Pantovic.
But more than that, we were guided to offer all the services of the Center free of charge and based on donations from people ! Our minds thought we were crazy, but our hearts knew that all was perfect.
The day after we decided to work without charging, a lady that we helped before with our method came and offered us a beautiful space in the center of our capital city to be the headquarters of our center, all free of charge !
It is amazing how universe works everything out, once you dedicate your life fully. You just need to listen to your heart and not worry about “ how ”.
Within the Center we opened “ School of Awareness and Spiritual Mastery ”, which started with twenty one adult students of all ages and now already has over sixty registered students in three cities in a nine months course !
The craving for spiritual wisdom and awareness is so big in the WEST that it looks like people are a dry sponge desperately waiting for water ! AWARENESS is the water that quenches their thirst.
We travel extensively every week throughout Croatia, former Yugoslav countries and other European countries, conducting seminars and workshops that increase awareness and remove suffering from people’s lives.
“ Great experience in Great Pyramid ”
Even though, I felt the enormous power of the Maitreya Buddha Pyramid in the Pyramid Valley International, near Bengaluru, I could not imagine what it would be like to meditate in the currently biggest discovered pyramid in the world, the Great Pyramid in Giza. By real blessings, we were invited to join Patriji on his Egyptian Trip in September 2011 when I was joined by three other masters and friends from Croatia Petrovski and Sanja Petrovski ... JosipTasi, Petar.
The “ pyramid experience ” in Giza is worth all the trouble ! The early morning meditation in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid with the hypnotizing beautiful music of Patriji’s Flute is something that every person on the planet should experience !
I had a very powerful and calm meditation experience, but I did not fully notice the effects of the pyramid until that evening. I felt my body in horrible condition and I was bed-ridden and I had six hours of continuous darshan ! I was feeling that my body was burning and that all the karma was falling off. The next day, I could hardly get up from the bed due to the detoxification and cleansing process that was happening in the mind and the body.
This experience gave us even more motivation and energy to build the first large Meditation Pyramid in Europe in Croatia on five hectares of land that we purchased two years previously in the valley of the Town of Plaski at the foot of Kapela Mountain. The complex would be named “ Peace Valley ” and the pyramid itself would be named “ Sathya .. Truth Pyramid ”.
“ Patriji’s visit to Croatia ”
In Egypt, we agreed with Patriji and Saikumar Reddy that they would visit Croatia in the spring of 2012 on their first ever trip to the European continent. It was both an honor and pleasure to arrange for their arrival and organize extensive programs all over Croatia.
We encountered many organizational challenges in advance, but in general, everything went extremely smooth. The beautiful thing was the interest that the Croatian people in different cities showed for meditation and Patriji’s universal messages of vegetarianism, anapanasati meditation and pyramid power.
We were grateful that the Croatian-Indian Friendship Society, lead by their president Mr. Nedeljko Stefanic and vice-president Mrs. Dunja Pavlicek, joined us in organizing the Zagreb part of the trip, which was the most demanding due to a large number of audience that would be present during the public meeting.
They generously supported the whole project financially and logistically and secured the most wonderful conference hall in one of the best 5-star hotels in Zagreb that could accommodate 550 guests !
For us .. at the Center of Consciousness .. it was a true blessing to have an Enlightened Master talk, eat and sleep in our space and provide us with the extra energy and push to continue our mission in Croatia.
The entire country benefited from this Tour because wherever his eyes fell it would mean a change for the better for that town or village or nature.
All the people that encountered Patriji felt overwhelming bliss and peace and demanded that he come back again.
Bringing Patriji to Croatia is one of the greatest successes of our Center in the very first year of work ! May your life be blessed and full of bliss !
IVAN BAVCEVIC, Croatia
www.centarsvitesti.com ; www.ivanbavcevic.com