Raaman's SACRED Path
Little Raaman entered this plane of existence on Thursday, the 10th of July. That Thursday is also the most auspicious day of the week and that one can consider himself extremely lucky and fortunate being born on this day, I should only learn about 40 years later when I started living in the Ashram of Sai Baba, who is being worshiped on this auspicious day of the week. Another pointer what this life time might be about occurred to me after an exhausting (but we won!) soccer game, where I sat on the side of the field and suddenly something in me formed itself into: "What is that in me, which is not playing soccer, winning or losing, or doing anything else, and was the same when I was 9 years old, and will be the same, when I am 25,50 or 90 years old? Of course, this enthusiastic teenage soccer player had not the faintest idea that this question will established itself as his life quest..talking to him since, revealing itself more and more, and guiding me to make me find out about itself. Unraveling it's true identity as it calls me to surrender my games of winning and losing on the game field of life. And to free myself and everybody whom I meet on my path from the chains and limitations we have placed ourselves into.
My upbringing happened in Harsewinkel, a little town in North Rhine Westphalia in Germany. My parents have been a bit older already, and so I was called a "Nachkoemmling", somebody who arrives a bit late (... Some people might want to comment that I haven't changed much in that regard at all)
My parents came from Silesia, having to leave everything known and what they had owned behind, because their homeland property and belongings was given as war reparation to the polish people. And so in their mid-forties they had to start life completely anew in an unwelcoming place where people disliked them very much. My mother could not adjust to this change and went into a deep depression, escaping from life into psychological medication and mainly living only in memories of her childhood past. My father was a self employed butcher, who had lost his business, and was dreaming of having a son (after 3 daughters) with whom he could start a new business. He was overjoyed when little Raaman arrived, because it was absolutely clear to him, that he was rearing a future butcher. Which I actually grew into, but more like a very skilled butcher for people's ego pain and dramas.
(Short remark here in case you got scared: My students and I are pure vegetarian, and in some prolonged periods of my life I was living only on light and prana for several month at a time)
As I grew up, it became very obvious that I was far too intelligent and creative to spend my life as a butcher. My mother and sisters were happy about this, but my father was extremely disappointed and somehow disowned and despised me for going my own way. So after College I absolved an internship to becoming a sales manager for high class delicacies. By serving and observing the life styles of our wealthy and often famous customers, I gained the most valuable insight for my whole life: That status and material wealth has no relation to happiness and is mostly just an antidote to it. After several not so glorious attempts to settle as a Supermarket manager (extremely long working hours with a small pay) I later stepped up the career ladder in Sales Marketing for the Mars group. It was an unusually highly paid job, and so I indulged in the fast-paced lifestyle of the rich young yuppie and all the sensuous temptations that come with it.
Little anecdote on the side: Mars is also the producer of the well known chocolate-coconut bar "Bounty", which beside their "M&M's" and "Milky Way" was my all time favorite snack at that time.
My company car’s trunk was always filled with Mars products to be given away as free samples. And yes, my personal diet consisted mostly of company-fresh juicy Bounty's; one for breakfast, two for lunch, several in the afternoon... After living on this sugar rush for about 8 months, I started to feel very fatigued and depressed. Explaining my problem to our longtime family doctor, he analyzed samples of my hair, and then came up and confronted me with his roaring deep voice: "Raaman, there are hardly any detectable vitamins and minerals in your body. What does your current diet consist of?" Guessing that something was wrong, like a little boy being found out grabbing too deep in mum's cookie jar, I shyly answered: "Bounty, M&M's, but also sometimes fried chicken and french fries". He immediately took action in revitalizing my run down system with some Vitamin & Mineral injections and provided me with literature about healthy food. I stayed with the company for a another 7 years, and just when I was ready for another step in my career in my late twenties I had a very unusual dream. The message in that dream shook up my entire life at that time.
In the morning after I collected the facts about the dream, I remembered strongly the somehow Indian man with a big afro look who was dressed in a glowing orange robe. Without further explanation He told me that I have to quit my job in two weeks, which meant on the 30th of March 89' (the normal time of starting or quitting jobs as a quarter of a year finishes).
In my personal and professional life I would not even have vaguely considered that possibility. As a very well-grounded and rationally thinking German sales manager, I of course did not even consider that this vision could have any further impact on me. I thought “I can shake off the effects of this crazy dream immediately”, trying to discard it as the residues of an overworked brain looking for a holiday.
Little did I know at that time, that the man with this unusual appearance is Sathya Sai Baba. An avatar whose appearance in one’s dream is a special Divine blessing, and that he somehow collaborates with the higher selves of His chosen people. Later I learned that His will always manifests, and that He had chosen me for His mission, because He has been my Satguru already for many previous lifetimes.
The feeling of having to take time off from my work remained so strong in me that I negotiated a deal with my company to take a one year sabbatical.
But the illusion did not give up on me so easily. After quitting the job with Mars, I was visited by an independent head hunter offering me a $250 000 job with the Coca Cola company. They were desperately looking for sales managers for the Ex DDR, which was thirsty for the real Coke, the drink of the west, the epitome of freedom. I am sure, very few of you have ever tasted DDR Cola... then you would really know why.. This eager head hunter ensured me, that this was the most amazing job offer he ever made to anybody... I could just lean back in my office chair, watching the Coke trucks rolling into this coke craving country, having no earlier sales margins to beat and reap all the extra bonuses and reputations that came with this opportunity. And I knew, he was right... The job of a lifetime offered right at my feet... But at that time, something already had grown in my understanding, that I did not quit one promising career in this crazy business world in order to jump into the next. So, refusing this job offer was a Goodbye note and final letting go to a world which I never stepped back into again.
Following many more mysterious and mystical dreams and circumstances that would fill a whole book by itself I finally met up with my first spiritual teacher, "Doc" Lindwall, a former Chiropractic doctor who through visions and guidance had developed the "Lindwall Releasing technique". He had been eager to find a way of healing his clients permanently, not just for some weeks at a time, when they would have to return to his flourishing practice to get another fix for their out of place bones. By using kinesiology he detected the underlying causes of emotional tensions that kept his clients muscles and bones to be torn out of place. By giving statements to them, starting with "I release", he could ease and eventually fully relax their structures and report a full recovery. The number of old clients diminished rapidly, but many new ones came and eventually he felt drawn to share this amazing way of healing with the whole world. He and his wife Ruth also used kinesiology to receive guidance from what they called "Spirit most High", and gave their life fully over to being guided by this in every aspect of their life.
I was very intrigued by this unusual and unknown way of living, and I followed eagerly every invitation extended from the "Lindwalls", to learn from them. I became their driver on their European Workshop tours and lived with them in their homes in America. I experienced firsthand how they use the"Releasing technique" on themselves, friends, family and numerous clients, for every problem occurring in life. I then understood, that every obstacle in life is in reality only an old wound in us, appearing to be seen in order to be healed.
I soon became very successful in conducting private "Releasing" sessions and Workshops, first in Europe and then internationally. At that time I chose to live in the beauty of the Hawai'ian Islands.
(HA breath of God as in ALO-HA, WA - water, I'I - right here. Hawai'i; the breath of God taking place on the water right here.) In those times I often asked myself how a German small-town boy could make it to living on the most beautiful island in the world (Maui). I could never have dreamed of it, sure there is a higher power doing this.
Huna and their teachers, the Kahunas, opened many more doors to a deeper human understanding and healing in me, and I could see how their Ho'opono'pono and the Releasing technique shared the underlying magic of "forgiving each other". I deeply loved my life as a globe trotting healer, relying only on my inner voice, coming in touch with so many people from all walks of life. Crisscrossing Mother Earth several times a year, I felt like a cosmic fire angel providing healing to the people answering their desperate prayers for relief of emotional wounds and suffering.
I was very settled in this life, when in 99' Sai Baba again appeared in a very clear dream and invited me to his Ashram in India. I assumed, it might be a short visit not lasting more than 2-3 month at the most, and refused the 3 years visa offered to me by the Indian embassy in Bonn. Also strangely enough several good offers poured in to sell my 3 camper vans. They had been my "Rolling Homes" in Europe, Scandinavia and the US, and had served me very well as a place of solitude and relaxation after straining hours of giving healing to my clients. Following my guidance, I packed everything up, sold all my belongings, not really knowing why and where this might lead me
There was only one last seat available on a "Emirates" flight from Frankfurt to Bombay. Expecting to spend many hours in an overstuffed plane, I wasn't very happy to take it, but again my guidance insured me, that all will be fine and that I am up for a lucky surprise. And so it was: Emirates going for their third consecutive "Airline of the Year" award in order to fully satisfy their customers had provided an extra plane which was only occupied with 12 passengers and an equal number of cabin hosts. The Airbus' kitchen was fully stuffed with sumptuous meals and drinks for over 300 passengers. The main time of the flight was of course spent in devouring the luxurious meals provided for the 1st class passengers and exchanging jokes and laughter with the cabin Crew. If this was Sai Baba's first miracle, I definitely was ready to meet him now.
Everybody expects to be met with a big cultural shock by visiting Asia and especially India. And so it was for me in the beginning, but I was also so intrigued with Baba's tremendous outpouring of love and the fast transformation it provides for the serious seeker, that I could not just leave from Prashanti Nilayam, the "Abode of Higher Peace". Using the Releasing technique on all the patterns and karma which Baba's presence brought to the surface for transformation, and being 24/7 connected to Baba's "Innernet", I experienced the fastest purification I could ever dream of. Like the most wonderful mother Baba took care of everything for me. He not only provided me with an amazing apartment custom tailored to my needs, but also taught me how to prepare the most tasty salads, stir-fries and rice dishes from the fresh greens and veggies sold daily on the local market. There is still no need for a fridge in my house, as I love so much to buy everything fresh.
Time was flying by so fast. Suddenly I realized that I was up to extending my 6 month visa, and then I extended another year, another and another. I already had lived for 4 years in Prashanti Nilayam, and counted now as a "permanent" in the Abode of Higher Peace. I had become accustomed to living in this small Indian village called Puttaparthi where there's "Lights off" at 9 pm in the Ashram and every restaurant. Being aware, that mine like every foreigners social life serves as the main entertainment for the ever so curious and gossipy Riksha drivers, who know more about yourself and your habits and friends than you ever know about yourself. Besides of being constantly under the watchful eyes of the Inner and outer Baba which is pretty tough for somebody who was used to fill every minute of his life with all kinds of excitement. Travelling the globe, working very successfully in 35 countries with my Healing work, constantly surfing the highest waves of human life.
Was I really ready to trade all this for getting up at 3.45 every morning to be in time for the darshan line at 4am, having to meet the vengeful requirements (as a white, tall, confident man being the favourite target of all their suppressed revenge from the British oppression) of the strict sevadals to sit cross-legged, straight, disciplined and silent till 6.30 on my pillow? Which would be removed if a sevadal judged your toilet break taking too long (more than 4 min) or too often (when suffering from cramping bouts of Diarrhoea) which is of course pretty hard to explain if sign language is the only means of common communication. To suffer through the "Puttaparthi Shuffle" every morning in order to receive the tiniest blink, a small acknowledgement or maybe even a little smile from Swami in direction of your group. Just enough attention to stir up the next aspect of ones hidden unconscious layer of inner fears, pains and denials that Swami wants to transform out of you, so that his love and guidance can replace your inner turmoil and uselessness of ordinary life's existence.
I was fully in awe observing the speed and depths of my own transformation, bathing 24/7 in Baba's love and support, becoming so used to being on the receiving end of a life constantly filled with miracles, I could never have dared to dream about. But of course, my tricky nagging ego would not succumb that easily to love, inner joy and peace. It was triggering me with all kinds of fun memories and accomplishments of my former life in the western world which I felt, I could never really enjoy again, if I would stay too long away from it all. So, it all mounted up to one day having a serious debate with my "Inner Baba", in which I asked him for how much longer he has in mind of keeping me in his fold. I somehow was prepared for an answer of maybe another year or 2 or the most of three…
But of course for Sai Baba who's sense of time is settled in infinity he shocked me with nothing less than: "What about spending this whole life time close to me? Become my messenger, live under my guidance and supervision. Keep on accepting my grace so you can live a meaningful life filled with service and compassion towards all my children who are lost on their path and reminding those who have forgotten me. I serve you, and you serve me…that's our eternal agreement." It took me some time considering and integrating all the pro's and con's of his divine invitation. By that time I had learned and understood, that whatever Baba suggests, it's for one's own good, even if you don't understand it at that point. This also made me aware, of how much I was already accustomed to living a life of surrendering to the overflowing sweetness of His unconditional love, or: "living like an ant in the sugar pot." The more my resistance lessened to the idea of spending my whole life with Baba, the more the struggle in my head diminished, and it could sink and merge with my heart. When I gave it eventually a conscious and loud "YES", it felt like exploding into a huge golden rainbow of joy and laughter inside of my heart. Even though it felt like the transformation and challenges became even more intense after this commitment, I never regretted my choice even for one second.
What else could be the reason for my existence than to receive Sai Baba's love and pass it on to those who ask for it?