Lifting up the world
On two occasions I had the privilege of being lifted by our dearest Guru. On both occasions, I felt it should be the other way around: rather than Guru honouring us, we should honour him for all he has done for us and for humanity. But instead, whenever Guru had a chance, he would lift people up and offer them a medal, as well!
Started in 1988, this unique award program was offered by Guru as a way of recognizing individuals from all walks of life who, by excelling in their respective fields of endeavour, have inspired and uplifted humanity. Before Guru passed behind the curtain of eternity, he had so honoured more than 8,000 individuals in a spirit of oneness and appreciation for their diverse achievements. Among the many world luminaries he honored in this way were Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, and Desmond Tutu.
Here is my first experience of being lifted: July 21, 2001, New York, Aspiration Ground:
Guru offered to lift whoever would like to be lifted. This was my perfect opportunity! I had waited for a long time for such an occasion. Dressed in my best whites, I was already in ecstasy at the thought of another spiritual dream coming true! When my turn came, I climbed up the steps of the apparatus, trying to remain in my highest consciousness. Once up there, I wanted to fold my hands, but was instructed to hold on tight to the bar. Disciples sang the “Lifting Up the World„ song. Then there was silence. The world stopped for a moment while Guru meditated. And then there was an incredible push. I had the feeling of not simply being lifted, but of being projected into the air. I experienced an explosion of light! This feeling is hard to explain because of the limits of the mind. But the heart – limitless – can appreciate... and cry.
The only experience I ever had that resembled this one had happened in a dream, years before: I was trapped inside a huge dome-like building, with no windows or doors. On top, I could see a one-metre-round opening – the only way the light could come in and the only way I could get out of this dome. I wondered how I would ever get out, since this opening was approximately ten meters above me – so far beyond my reach! And then all of a sudden, I felt this incredible push from underneath and I began to fly, like a bird. I then flew out through the opening at the top of the dome. I was so ecstatic that I literally shouted: WOW... And this sound woke me up.
This was one of the most awesome dreams I had ever had. Months later, I shared it with another disciple, who suggested that maybe it was Guru lifting me up. Now everything became clear. This dream, years before, had been a premonition of the lift, of Guru’s role in my life, of the way that he worked on my consciousness and lifted up the world, one by one... in the process, projecting my soul beyond the limitations of the body, into a celestial universe. The impossible had come true! Gratitude, Guru, gratitude for the many times you lifted my heart and soul.
The second lifting experience, equally beautiful, happened on April 27, 2004. We were on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The day had started with an incredible experience: Jean Chrétien, former Prime Minister of Canada, met with Guru. Some of us had the privilege of being invited to this meeting.
We had heard that when Guru came to Canada, he would like to lift Jean Chrétien, but he was not totally convinced that it could happen. Plus, so many other people in his entourage were opposed to the idea. Security was involved. An ex-Prime Minister cannot be lifted just like that!
We happened to be witnesses to a conversation between Mr. Chrétien and Guru. At first, there was resistance from Mr. Chrétien. Then, gradually, things changed. Like us: resistance first! And then, he agreed to be lifted, but his entourage resisted, bringing in all kinds of arguments. Again, Guru continued to offer, with a smile... no insistence, but calm persistence! And then, there was a miraculous occurrence: Mr. Chrétien agreed to be lifted, against his first advisor’s wishes. What an experience this was – and how privileged we were to witness all this! We saw how Guru operates with resistance: no pressure, just offering an opportunity. And even with all kinds of objections from many sources, Guru’s determination, his serenity and his vision of the possibility make things happen.
Then we moved to Phase Two: the lifting of other dignitaries. The lifting apparatus, fully decorated, was transferred into a large room, where many prominent individuals (senators, members of Parliament, ambassadors, etc.) were waiting. Guru had asked me to be the Master of Ceremonies. Everything went really well. Guru lifted these big-shot black-suit people one after the other. Being so close to Guru, I could see how difficult this was and what kind of physical effort was needed to lift all these people. Lifting forty people one after the other was not a joke. In my little heart, I was relieved when the official lifting was over, and Guru could take a break. But I was wrong: as usual, Guru was not yet finished.
When we thought everything was over, he invited Pratyaya and her mother to be lifted. Guru so kindly wanted to honour our Canadian Centre Leader and her mother, who has been so supportive over the years. And then, Guru called for the two brothers, meaning Vidura and his brother.
Finally, surprise! He asked to lift the Master of Ceremonies! What a treat, what a joy! Again, an ecstatic moment of total bliss! And I felt that the miracle of it all was that, while he was lifting individuals, he was also lifting up the world. This remains a mystery to my little mind.
After the event was over, one disciple who had never had the opportunity to be lifted asked me what it felt like. I could not express what I had experienced in words, nor could I explain the transformation that had taken place inwardly in this split second. So I wrote a poem to Guru, and shared it with him later.
Upon reflecting on these experiences, after some time I realized that each of us has the capacity to lift up the world in our own way, through our daily words and deeds. We can proclaim Guru’s message and try to make him known in our communities; we can be kind to our fellow humans even when we do not have to be; we can be generous when it is easier to be selfish... There are countless opportunities to participate in the “Lifting Up the World„ program that our Guru has initiated!