Swami Veda Bharati holds the prestigious title of Mahamandaleshwara in the Swami order of monks. He is also the Chancellor of HIHT University, Dehradun, which was established by Master Swami Rama. He has authored approximately 18 books on Indian spirituality including a 1500 page comprehensive commentary on two of the four chapters of Patanjali's Yoga-sutras. Before taking the vows of Swamihood in 1992, Swami Veda Bharati was known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya.
One member of our ashram has asked me a question about a certain experience/initiation. He asks what I was like before and what did I become after that experience? I cannot say how long it would take to give full answer to this question. So, as briefly as I can, I shall summarise the long answer.
My inner identification was always with Himalayan yogis, always an awareness that I belong to them and would one day find them or they would find me.
I recall, at the age of six, walking with my father and saying to him, "let us both go and become swamis". He hushed me up then.
It was during these years that 'knowledge' often dawned on me and my mind always attributed that dawning to the unknown yogis of the Himalayas. It is thus that I learnt, through experiencing spontaneously, the practice of relaxation and yoga-nidra, not knowing that that is what they were called.
Reading the Gita and the Upanishads was at that time almost a disappointment as my only reaction, my question, was "so, what is new in them?"
That is how the different levels of the meanings of the Vedas were revealed to me.
There was always a knowledge that as I grow, I would be teaching world wide but at the same time would be blessed by one or more Himalayan Yogi.
At age 13 and a half, I was officiating as Brahma of a Yajurveda-parayana-yajna in Ludhiana where vidvaan scholars from many parts of India had gathered. They questioned me for two days in the chambers about my knowledge of the Vedas. Then they wrote articles about me in the North Indian Hindi press.
I began to receive invitations to travel and lecture and addressed large crowds throughout North India. This pattern of life, of non-stop travelling and lecturing, began in February 1947, some months before the independence and partition of India. This has been the pattern for the last 65 years. First two and a half years, till mid-1949, I travelled with my father under his protection.
In those days of travel my daily time table was : after waking, going out in the fields (in whichever town), bathing at some canal or kuaan (water well) -- which were clean and common in those days -- sit under a tree to do pranayama and dhyana. Walk back to the residence, have a breakfast. Open my books - I used to travel with 500 books - and study. Have lunch. Take a rest. From 3-5 p.m. was open hours for anyone to come for 'darshan' and 'satsang', to ask questions and receive answers. Then go for evening walk; short evening dhyana. Return to residence. Have dinner. Give evening lecture. But some time there were even 3 sessions a day. I recall giving 49 sessions in seven days in 1950.
Back to the end of 1947. In the city of Bareli (spelled Bareilly in those days), as I was preparing to go for the regular evening walk with my father and the hosts. A small group of visitors turned up and asked to walk with us. My father readily agreed. When such beings appear, all logic, argument or resistance stops. You find yourself saying YES to anything they suggest. It is possible that my father recognized that they were higher beings.
On the return from the walk, in the middle of a dirty lane ( gali) of Bareli, the leading person - whose name is not known to me -- grabbed my head and shoved the middle finger of the right hand at my ajna chakra. Such an intense electric jolt passed into me that it was almost unbearable and I resisted but my father said not to resist, so I surrendered.
We walked back. They did not stay even for a glass of water. Where they came from, I do not know. Where they went, I do not know.
No, there was no major change in my person. It continued with the same life pattern, except that the electric current continued to be felt repeatedly at any time of the day and night and more so during meditation. In fact, thereafter, a meditation session did not begin with pranayama but with the feel of that sensation that helped one to go inside and do the pranayamas and sandhya from there.
One of the many results of such diksha is that the mantras become a fast mental vibration rather than a vocal observance. The time it takes others to recite one mantra, such an initiate 'recites' (vibrates) 20 or so mantras.
The wait for a guru continued. Expectancy. Often an experience of the presence that lectured through one. Dream of the Himalayan master. Guidance often as to the next steps in life. And so on.
It is a long story about meeting my gurudeva Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Many months before he gave me the real initiation, he gave some preparatory initiations. I told him of the Bareli episode and the vibration I felt in my ajna chakra. He smiled and said "abhee dekhte raho kyaa kyaa hotaa hai" (keep watching yet what and what more occurs). He gave another ajna chakra initiation where the current and vibratory presence of 100 times stronger. This is few months before the highest initiation. I am not at liberty to detail everything.