“Do Meditation and Teach Meditation”
I am "Swati Ponnala" from Surat, Gujarat.
Our family migrated from the state of Andhra Pradesh in the Year 1958 in search of livelihood in the textile industry.
I was born on 20th June, 1989. My mother Rajeshwary Ponnala and father Ramnath Ponnala brought me up according to the values and customs of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat as my mother was very particular about Telugu tradition and my father was highly appreciative of the openness and free culture of Gujarati tradition.
" a curios child "
Since my childhood, I was curious to know about " Why do Lord Shiva and many Gods close their eyes and do Tapasya ? ". I used to think, " What happens after closing their eyes? " I was a devotee of Lord Shiva at an early age and felt really connected to him. I was curious to hear the stories of various Gods but was never interested in blindly doing poojas.
Most of my childhood was spent in understanding my family situations where women are not considered of any value. Though my grandparents never appreciated my mother and my three sisters, they never differentiated among us. Both my mother and father gave immense love to us and gave the best education and values of life to live life independently without any fear.
Since childhood, I always enjoyed creative art and always dreamt of becoming a painter and to take up a career in commerce as my father and mother strongly believed that every girl needs to be financially independent before marriage.
" spiritual journey begins "
My spiritual journey commenced in the Year 2000, when my mother predicted the earthquake in Gujarat in her dream exactly one day before and she cried whole day for what she saw in her dream while I had made fun of her. To my surprise, I saw what my mother told me a day earlier came true. I started wondering how she could fore-see things.
In another incident, I came to know about the energy of my mother. When she got hospitalized, I was the only person to take care of all the household works and suddenly saw that all the electronic gadgets in my home .. television, fan, landline telephone and washing machine·· stopped functioning for three days in the absence of my mother and all started functioning miraculously when my mother returned home after her operation. That's when I understood, that there is some mysterious power that I have been unaware, for so many years.
My real spiritual journey started when I got ill during the Board Exams in my 12th standard in the Year 2006 and some mysterious power took over me and helped me in writing all the exams though my body was completely weak.
I performed really well with an appreciable score of 85% and it was a complete miracle for me ! There I realized the power of my strong Intention and Will Power. After that incident, I became conscious of being healthy and I came to know about Yoga from my father as he regularly used to attend Baba Ramdevji's camps.
" Baba Ramdev and vegetarianism "
After my board exams, I had lots of free time during my vacation so I started listening to Baba Ramdevji's speaches and people's experiences from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day, on "Aastha Channel ".Baba Ramdevji really made me to think about becoming a vegetarian!
I started doing experiments initially for fifteen days a month. I used to take non vegetarian and keep track of how am I feeling in my body and thinking and remaining fifteen days of month I used to eat only vegetarian food and used to keep track of my feelings and thoughts again and I really found great difference in the way I feel and think. Somehow, it was difficult for me to think of leaving non vegetarian food as I was very much fond of eating it. Thus, I did experiment on the impact of food on my health till December, 2006.
It was 1st January, 2007 and the time was around 8:30 p.m. I was watching the news while eating chicken. I saw that a cow was beaten up very badly till it died in a village and the blood spilt all over its body. I could sense the pain of that dying cow and then realized that I am also the cause of death of many animals. I felt ashamed for eating animals to satisfy my hunger.
Suddenly, a voice came from my inner being .. it was very loud and clear·· "Swati, stop eating animal food ..! Enough is enough ! " For a moment, I felt that the voice might have come from somebody else, but I saw no one around me.
I instantly recognized that it was my own voice and it came from my Soul. I immediately decided to stop eating non vegetarian food forever and went to my mother and said, " From today onwards, I am not going to eat any non-vegetarian food ". My family members started laughing at me and did not believe me.
There came a time when my parents said, " Who will marry you if you are a vegetarian in our community? ", I said, "I don't worry about future and I don't care if somebody rejects me tomarry for being a vegetarian. " Though I never met " Baba Ramdevji " in person, I really thank Ramdev Baba for inspiring me to become a vegetarian and be compassionate towards animals.
" reading spiritual books "
I entered into college and started reading right spiritual books which helped me to look within. I liked reading the books by Deepak Chopra. One day, I came to know about Paramhansa Yogananda in a news and I became curious to know about his life where he came out of his body and again entered into it.
I was wondering, "How is it possible for any human being to come out of body? It is strange." I bought the book, "Autobiography of a Yogi" in the Year 2008 but found difficult to read and make sense out of it and so, I stopped reading it.
I used to think a lot about my future during my college time that, "I want to come out of the mess of all unworthy traditions of our society and I did not want to go back to this dark world again."
So, I decided to study properly and pursue MBA. I was pursuing Yoga every day since the Year 2007 and it was two years now. I felt that there is no higher truth in life than what I got from " Baba Ramdevji ''
In September, 2010, my uncle Dr. Narasaiya invited our family to a meditation session in Surat. So, we all went. I saw "Rita Madam" and other people were sharing their meditational experiences. I found it strange and weird, "How is it possible to have so many experiences just by closing eyes?"
I did not believe them thinking they might be a fraud as many people had already cheated from my father and took money in the name of God. I took the pamphlets of "PSSM" on vegetarianism and meditation and preferred to study later once my MBA entrance exams are over.
" anapanasati "
I was having free time in November, 2010. One day, I felt like reading all the brochures of "PSSM" and read about anapanasati meditation, full-moon meditation and vegetarianism. I felt connected to what was written in them. I decided to do meditation by following the instructions given there in by "Brahmarshi Patriii".
When I sat in meditation, I felt a huge flow of energy started flooding from my head and entered into my body and it was like electricity entering into my body. It was very powerful!
I started having many pains in my body after the meditation, yet, I continued. Initially, I used to do meditation for one hour and sometimes up to even three hours and continued for the whole month of December, 2010.
I realized that I was filled with lots of positive thoughts and I wanted to write whatever was coming to my mind and heart. So, I was constantly searching an online blog space. I started writing. On one day, I came to know about "Speaking Tree" in Times of India. I was excited and started writing my blogs on Speaking Tree website from 1st January, 2011 onwards as I was completely free. Thus, I wrote many blogs.
During that time, I came to know that Patriji was going to Surat to inaugurate the Pyramid at my uncle's house on 23rd March, 2011. I was so excited and started inviting many people to meditation class that was on 22nd March, 2011, at 8:30 p.m.
I went to one of my friends and neighbor to invite her for meditation class. Seeing my energy and excitement, she asked, "Would you like to see a movie on meditation ?" I immediately said, "Yes". It was "Spiritual Reality" a great animation movie.
After seeing that, I became spellbound. On that day, I came to know the scientific answer for my questions "What happens one closes the eyes?" I could not sleep the whole night and I was eager to meet Patriji in the morning. I got ready and went to my uncle's home.
" meeting Patriji .. ' Yes Boss! ' "
I saw for the first time Patriji and I was thinking, "Why this old man has a need to come to Surat and educate us like a father to stop eating non-vegetarian and do meditation ? How can somebody come to us and ask us to do meditation ? Is he doing for money ? What is the benefit for him if he is coming to us and shouting at us for eating non-vegetarian and do meditation ?"
My heart said to me, "He is doing this work selflessly and with no intention to get anything in return. There is a truth in his words and he is loving and compassionate. Just go and talk to him.
"I went to meet him. He looked into my eyes. It was very difficult for me to speak even a single word under his presence. When connected to him, a voice came from inner,
" Yes, Boss ..! "
Suddenly, I started thinking, "How can I say, ' yes boss ' to a completely strange old man whom I am meeting for the first time in my life ?"
It was strange for me as I never surrender to someone who is so new to me. In my heart, I felt that I know him for many lifetimes. He is no stranger to me.
I told Patriji that I was being a vegetarian for the previous three years and I do regularly meditation and now I would go to Hyderabad to pursue MBA. I received a message in my heart, "Do Meditation and Teach Meditation".
" a lucid dream "
After meeting Patriji, I continued doing meditation and in the last week of April, 2011, I had a very vivid dream. I saw in my dream that it was very difficult to live on Earth and I was saving all my family members. There was a condition that one must leave the Earth in order to live life on other planet and one must go to the peak of a mountain and some people will come and take that person to another planet.
I saw my own close relatives were cheating us and ready to kill us whom we trusted blindly. I was running and asking people to follow me to the top of the hill. My parents and sister "Sarita" could not survive and only I was left with my youngest sister " Rajni ". I told her to hold my hand tightly and run very fast. I realized that she also could not follow me and I was left alone on the top of the hill.
It was a purple sky and a golden color giant flying saucer came on top my head and it was asking me, "Swati, come inside". It was again and again asking me to enter it but I was thinking, "How can I go alone into it and go to another planet? I could not save any of my loved ones. How selfish I have been so far?" The saucer was waiting for me and I was feeling pain of losing my loved ones and the dream ended over there.
" joining an NGO .. in Rajasthan "
I completed my MBA in the Year 2013. I obtained a job in a famous Finance Company in Hyderabad and another one in an "NGO" in Rajasthan whose name I had never heard before. I was clear in my mind that I would go into a finance career. Suddenly, all my friends and the placement officer were shouting at me for choosing a finance company over the NGO.
According to them, NGO is best. I did not believe them. Having seen my adamant nature, they called one of my college seniors who was working in that finance company.
He called me and straightaway said the truth of that company: "Don't come here. These people are not ethical in payment. There is no good culture. You will not enjoy here and you get bored. On top of all, it is a night shift. So, better work in a company where you can work in a day time. Go to that NGO in Rajasthan."
After listening to him, I immediately said "Yes" to go to Rajasthan. I did meditation and felt that I need to go to Rajasthan and there is some work meant for me to do there. I came to Surat and met my uncle"Dr. Narasaiya". He also said, "Go to Rajasthan and spread meditation." 1 understood that there is some purpose over there.
I came to Rajasthan in June, 2013. I started connecting to the vision and purpose of the organization which gives employment to rural men and women at their home in the carpet-weaving and many related processes. I just loved the idea of giving employment to women in their own homes. Initially, it was very difficult to adjust the new culture in the company and in general.
As part of my work, I used to go to different villages to check the quality of our education centers so I used to get opportunity to talk to many women. Almost all the women said that their lives have become improved because of this company and I was touched by their stories and the impact our organization was creating in the lives of so many people. In the end, I found some great truth that this company is ethical and I can trust.
" start teaching meditation "
In the Year 2014, I started travelling to many villages and gave training in order to build entrepreneurial skills and taught them meditation at the same time.
I had a great desire that Patriji should come to Rajasthan and teach meditation. I came to know that he was to arrive in July, 2014. I was excited and started doing preparation for the class in my company.
At the end of the visit, I asked Patriji, "Am I on right track? Am I working with right people related to my life-purpose ? "
Patriji said: "Yes, you are on the right track and working with the right people. You have not been selected by your company, but you have been appointed here by God directly. You are here on a purpose. Through you, thousands of people are going to be benefitted. Don't become selfish. Just be here and work happily."
After listening to Patriji's words, my soul and mind felt peace. I stopped worrying and started working with dedication and whole heartedly. Since then, for the past three years, I am working with " Jaipur Rugs Foundation " and got an opportunity to travel to hundreds of villages in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra .. and taught meditation to each person I met.
I started doing experiments with meditation like what happens to me and my work when I don't do meditation and what happens to me and my work when I do meditation. I also observed the impact of doing meditation every day for thirty minutes and also impact of doing meditation for one hour in the morning every day.
I saw clearly that my ability to think, positively and travel to many villages increased due to the energy gained in meditation, when I was doing meditation for thirty minutes in the Year2014.
Thereafter, I thought I need more energy and increased time to one hour in the morning. I saw my ability to be in the present moment and listen to people and connect to their heart increased in Year 2015.
My ability to see people from their soul level and connect to their soul increased immensely due to meditation and thus my habit of judging people came down.
" choosing life-partner "
In the year 2016, I decided to focus on getting married to a partner who understands the importance of work in Rajasthan to live a life full of my Soul's Purpose. I was not having any hope from the outside world but only the hope was left i.e., to do meditation intensely. I focused on my intention and continued to do meditation.
Fortunately, one day, my younger sister shared the profile of "Bhargav Reddy" from Bangalore. I wonder how come somebody would agree to my crazy conditions. I just made a call to him. I started sharing about my life and work and started listening to his life details.
I was in a dilemma. So I talked to the founder of our company, " Shri Nand Kishoreji ". He said, " You may get lakhs of people with good degrees and money but they are a waste. Do you see, am I happy with money and degrees ? It is a great fortune to find a spiritual person with a motive to serve humanity. I think you should meet him soon. "
By listening to the wise advise of our founder, I made up my mind to explore more about "Bhargav". I started connecting to him. However, I wanted to consult Patriji and know whether we are connected with a common Soul Purpose. Patriji said, "Yes" to our choice!
Then, I shared with my family members and also met his family members. I am touched by his authenticity and generosity. It is very rare to find persons like "Bhargav" with such a kind heart. Today, I can see myself in him as we share so many common interests. I am grateful to "Bhargav" for accepting me as a life partner and also thank his family members for accepting me in their family!
" power of meditation "
I have no words to express my gratitude to so many innocent people who did believe me and started meditation in Rajasthan:
"Seth" uncle is 76 years old. He was suffering from joint pains. He just did meditation for fifteen days and started healing himself completely. Before, he was unable to walk without a stick but, today, he can run.
- " Archana " is a weaver from a village nearby Jaipur was suffering from headache and used to gulp medicines every day and she started doing meditation and healed herself. completely and she is taking no medicines now for last two years.
- "Pooia Khorwal "was suffering from headache and pain in eyes while studying and after doing meditation, she is completely fine.
Thus, there are many more people who did start meditation and healed themselves completely without medicines. It was an eye opener for me to see all the transformational experiences of what anapanasati meditation is capable of.
" thanks to... "
I really want to thank "Dr. Narasaiya" and "Veena" my friend for being a light to me and sharing regular meditational experiences with me. I also want to thank my parents for giving this wonderful life of freedom and teaching me meditation.
I have been transformed by the meditational experiences of DLN Shastri Sir from Delhi, Jaswinder Kaur from Delhi, Pallaviji and Krishna Sir from Noida, Shivaramappa Sir from Banagalore, Lalitaji from Bangalore, and Pradeep Vijay from Australia.
I really thank Patriji and Swarnamala Patri for living life so transparently and touching millions of souls every day.
Patriji is like a Sun who has brought so much light into every nook and corner of my life ..work-life and personal life .. and guiding me in making every important choice of my life.
I sincerely thank our founder "Nand Kishoreji" for trusting in my abilities and giving me opportunity to work with freedom and I have learnt truth of life and being able to contribute to the society through my work. I also thank Vyas Sir, Ne Jain Sir and our founder in organizing meditation classes in Jaipur.
I am very happy that I am able to live life of my choice with free-will and I am guided by my spirit and heart. The only thing I would share with all of you is that "do anapanasati meditation, read the spiritual books by Patriji and many, many books suggested by Patriji."