Sunday 1 November 2009


Exactly a week after Teacher's stupendous performance in the Veena Festival, I made up my mind to visit her. I wondered how I would get to the point of knowing whether she experienced certain things as a yogi in her advanced stages of nada yoga. Knowing her, she would only speak through her veena and her music. I even wondered if she was aware of her status as an advanced yogi! She only knew to breathe, drink and live veena/music.
I was tense and worried about whether she would understand the purpose of my visit. I thought I would plunge headlong into the issue of 'yogic experiences' after our initial small talk. The last thing I expected was for Teacher herself to volunteer the much needed information, and that too, most innocently! I was excited to say the least!
After enquiring about her health and other general issues, I asked her if she liked going to the US (she went to Cleveland last year and had also received an award). She was more excited to relate about her experience during her flight to the US. She told me that something extraordinary had happened in the flight. While all the passengers were fast asleep, Teacher alone was awake, feeling extremely thirsty. Teacher was unable to wake up her escort who was fast asleep and she was also not aware of the bell to summon the stewardess. I felt moved to tears when Teacher told me that she almost fainted due to thirst. Her parched throat felt so dry that she could not even whisper a word! Suddenly Teacher could hear her veena playing loudly in the aircraft. She said the loud volume could have easily woken up all the sleeping passengers. Teacher was utterly surprised that nobody woke up to the sound of the loud veena that was being played as inflight music! Her veena continued even after everybody woke up and Teacher was finally able to quench her thirst. Teacher asked all the other musicians who were travelling with her if they could listen to her veena. Despite straining their ears, none of them could hear the sound of veena and Teacher was totally puzzled.
Looking awestruck, Teacher told me that till date she was trying to figure out how none of them could listen to her veena that was being played at a high volume on board the flight.
As she was narrating the incident, I realised that Teacher heard the "Anahatha Nada" (unmanifested sound).Yogis of high order and in advanced stages of 'sadhana' acquire the power to detect sounds of bells, veena, conch, mridangam, ocean waves and thunders in the cosmos that is within and outside oneself. Teacher, though not consciously practising the veena for the sake of attaining meditative powers, has gained yogic experiences in her journey of nada yoga. She was able to invoke the veena from within her being, the unstruck sound became audible only for her ears. At this juncture, I was also reminded of the advice of a Reiki healer whom I had known. He had asked me to meditate during flights where the air prana (life-force energy of air) is visible to the naked eye. Meditation is most effective and yields faster results when performed on high altitudes, like hill tops, mountains and on board aircrafts. This healer even related to me an incident about a flight journey where his co-passenger had a cardiac arrest and had passed away during the flight. The healer told me that he was able to witness the light as it went out of the body of the dying passenger. The healer claims that even for a trained eye, a similar sight would have been nearly impossible had it occurred on a ground level.
Precisely the reason why Teacher could listen to the unmanifested sound so loudly and clearly in high altitude!