Sairam, my name is Vinuri Udawatta and I am from Sri Lanka. I humbly offer my Pranams at His Lotus Feet. I can still recall the immense energy I felt, the very first time I sat down and focused solely on Swami and basked in His Divine Presence. In all honesty, as the energy washed over me I began to feel afraid.
It was as if slowly, the Divine Mother brought to light ever so subtly, things rooted deep in my heart – from the smallest to the biggest. I felt myself unraveling the mysteries of my being and I became completely vulnerable in front of Him, resulting in Him instilling a strong urge for me to change for the better. Hence with His blessings and grace, I took my first step towards my own journey of transformation!
I would like to share with everyone something incredibly important that Swami has taught me.
It is a phrase we can see plastered on every platform, being thrown around like confetti – a phrase that has lost its golden value: Self-Love.
I used to perceive ‘self-love’ as being confident in yourself, living a healthy lifestyle and so on and it was a term I never took to heart. Until one day, Swami showed me otherwise.
While trying to juggle both my personal and social lives, maintaining decent grades and being there for others, I was starting to disregard my own being. I fell into a loop of blaming myself when I did not live up to the expectations I had set for myself. I was burdening myself too much and losing myself in a spiral of self-hatred and guilt. My physical, mental and spiritual health were rapidly degrading. Then Swami entered my life and very gently explained to me that I was being way too harsh on myself. As I continued to enjoy His Divine Glory, I began to slowly but surely understand the meaning behind His words.
Unknowingly by me, He began to guide me in my day to day life. With a strong will to become better both in mind and heart, I started with the small but important actions: to love myself even when my mind told me otherwise. As days went by and His love for me showed itself in many forms, it also began to take root within me as well; I came to a realization.
It is not easy to describe in words, as they often fail to bring forth the sweetness of His Divine Workings; but to put it ever so simply - I felt a small part of the 'external' me (I) connect with the 'internal' me (He). From I to We to He.
What I experienced is a very small miracle compared to most, but it is very precious to me as Bhagawan taught me Self Love – the art of loving oneself truly, just like how He loves us, unconditionally!
I say this is very important brothers and sisters because, it is only when you truly love yourself that you are able to engage in true selfless Seva. I hope and pray that, just as Swami transformed me through this experience of ‘Self Love’, my words and my experience can be of any guidance to those who need it and may it transform you to love yourself a little more too!
Once, Swami, very mischievously told me, "I am inside each and every one of you. So how can you hate and blame yourself? You'd be hating and blaming me!"
So brothers and sisters, is it not time we start loving ourselves a little bit more?