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How Appaji made a Heroic Entry in My Life

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

Experience of Melissa Jadoonanan

Jaya Guru Datta.

Coded end-to-end encryption.

Words not necessary, thought, gaze, touch, smile -the language of Datta Guru.

Everything encoded, beginning to end.

Knowing fully well that all is Datta and there is neither beginning nor end.

Hari Om Tat Sat.

This communiqué is in response to several Datta devotees request, who had heard of this experience, and urged that I narrate it. This story is meant to focus on Guru on his the love and compassion for his devotees and to illustrate that He is captain of this ship. That even before I knew words like “Datta Stava” and “Guru Tattva” Guru was guiding. Only by His Grace have “I” have been afforded the opportunity to tell a story, not so different from any other story where Spirit is Triumphant! Pranams to my teacher who is an embodiment of that Spirit of love, faith and compassion. Sadguru Deva Datta!

It was final year of LL.B, a lot rested on the results thereof and while I am not endevouring to gain the sensitivities of my readers, I will recount the facts as they were. I was terribly ill. Sinusitis, rhinitis, antibiotics on repeat for the same infliction, and thence infection. Anyway, it was bad. I decided for quicker effect of the medications that morning of exam, I would crush up the antibiotic in my coffee together with some pain killers, least I would be able to keep my eyes open and write the exam, compliments my little concoction. The symptoms did not present easily treatable, as I had imagined.

After the third page of my script, when the words on the paper told me I was responding to a constitutional law paper and not the access /custody situational family exam paper in front of me, I realized something was amiss. I tore the pages out, walked to the bathroom, washed my face, I must have slapped myself as well, as people were looking and asking about my cheeks, and why were they welted, hours after the exam.

On my return home, when I walked into a warm kitchen, I cautioned my mom, that I had failed with flying colours and that I was sorry, as I had wasted everyone’s time and money, and that I had let her down.

My mom, beaming in the kitchen, looked up without even giving any thought to my plight, replied , “You always say that, and then you pass." The pit swallowed me whole. I made my way upstairs where I would lay in bed content to lie in the grave of expectation and disappointment I had dug for myself, with my own two hands.

Months before that reckoning, I visited London to research what the next move would be after LL.B.

I returned to Trinidad with all the information on all the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) providers, Inns of Courts and what was required. Impossible really was the thought the principal of Hobourne College left me with. Impossible to think that an external student could attain not just the mark to get into the top Bar Vocational Course provider, but to even be considered for selection, was fanciful!

Anyway I had no choice. So I did the groundwork, sent in for my student membership to Lincoln’s Inn, filled out BPP application for entry complete with a non-refundable cheque in the amount of 8200 pounds sterling.

All I had to do was get upper seconds. Crickets! Was the only sound in my head.

It was the year 2000, and sometime in August month before final year results, the Dattatreya Yoga Centre had announced that its Pontiff, His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Saccidananda was coming to Trinidad for a healing concert of music and mediation. Against my wishes I ended up there. I was beset with roasting fever and inflicted with not so healing thoughts. I wanted to go home. I was uncomfortable, aching, disoriented. To my mind ,that was oscillating between all lokas of hellish existence, the sounds were not melodious. Medicine after all doesn’t taste good! I am reminded of a cough syrup advertisement; Buckley’s –taste awful-but it works!

The music had stopped, so had my aches and fever, not even a trace and I was hungry, ravenous almost. I would never forget the aroma of the BBQ potatoes that filled the air at the Ashram that night. The taste still lingers deliciously in my mind.

Then the announcements came, His Holiness was giving out coins. I ended up going to receive what was intended for my friend, (or was it?) as she was shell shocked and extremely shy to grace the hundreds of people to collect the coin from His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Sachidananda Swamiji!

More than human

I made my way down the isle, mortified, as I knew He knew, my less than divine thoughts during His concert. I sheepishly extended my hand. Swamiji with glistening eyes, looked at me like a parent staring at a truant child, with all the love and support and guidance his eyes could convey. Yet, in afterthought, dressed in His flowing orange coloured saree, He seemed larger than life to me, definitely much more than human, and then pressed the coin deeply into my right hand. It felt like he was downloading codes to me, clearing paths, or like ascended masters, he had found a lost sheep.

I tried to give it to my friend, but she insisted that it was mine. I got home that night, fully recovered and imbibed with energy that made me feel invincible! No one was home for me to tell the story to, so I dropped the coin on my bed side table, and went about with life. That is, until results came out. That’s when I stopped breathing.

I had passed. But I had not attained upper seconds. That double-edged sword I could not explain to my family.

I went into an inner silent retreat. That’s incorrect!

Silent retreat doesn’t feel as if one had imprisoned oneself in a hostage situation-where the hostage and negotiator were one and the same. For about two days, I wrestled with myself-planning, scheming, devising, plotting, thinking, “where was I going to get 8200 sterling pounds to repay my brother-in-law”, whom without reservation had agreed to loan me the money. My brother in law supported me as Big Brothers often do.

“NOWHERE”! I lamented out loud.

I look back now on those events immediately preceeding Swamiji’s Concert and I realize that Appaji was giving to me strength to weather that storm, clarity of thought to map a process, and surgical precision to execute the procedure. I was 22 years old, what did I know about the Bar Council of England and Wales? –NOTHING! Further what did I know about approaching the bench.-NOTHING! Looking back now, it is clear that Appaji made me a lawyer before, before I was called by any Bar Council, England and Wales or Trinidad and Tobago.

I had 9 days before orientation and therefore 9 days before I could not get any refund of 8200 pounds sterling----9 days to turn and twist and bend the universe to my will, to steer the reality of a seeming failure, to something else, or at least try. In hindsight, I was being asked to align my willpower with the vision i had had of my future! A lesson in faith was my opportunity!

Faith, devotion and renunciation of doership, the KEY!

Of course I didn’t see it as that back then, but somehow, with His Grace, I set out on a journey, resolute to not accept anything less that the vision I held for myself and faith to employ my best efforts to alter a situation. As is, I was not getting into BPP Law School, or any other, that I cared to attend.

When delving into beatitudes such as faith, devotion goes hand-in-hand. Also a thing or two has to be said about one’s approach. One must renounce all Doership of action, attachment to outcome; joy; sorrow; _all have to be kept at bay so as to not disturb one’s equipoise or intention or focus.

Again, conscientiously I was not aware of any of the logistics at that point in time.

But what I can only assumed happened was a merging of self to a higher intention or power.

When I say, “I”, none of the doing was “I”. It was done on my behalf with "me" acting on my own behalf, to argue my case as a new lawyer to those experienced law Authorities abroad!

On one hand, i was quite confused, and yet on the other hand, i knew deep inside of me that Appaji had taken charge of me and my present and future! My Sadguru Sri Appaji then became my intention, my thoughts, my pen and the words i wrote as I set off the application to the Bar Council on its way to travel and reach the eyes of people I did not know. I realised after the fact, that He had given me the strength, the calm intelligence and the law skills needed to try, despite all odds to achieve my goal! Appaji had done it so casually, with the power that He transferred as He had pressed that coin into my palm. After all, this was mere child's play to the Master of the Universe!

" Jaya Guru Datta Sri Guru Datta" ---This mantra I played on repeat in my head at speeds I didn’t know I was capable of, or even why I was saying it so fast in my head. In silence, I quarantined myself from the rest of existence. My family grew worried, as I also stopped eating, talking and interacting with them.

At the last moment of my calculation, when I predicted that a phone call should have been forthcoming, I urged my school friend to disconnect from the Internet, (the ole days of dial up). Seconds later, the phone rang.

It was the Bar Council of England and Wales on the other end, asking to speak to Melissa Jadoonanan. Once I confirmed I was the intended recipient of the call, the news that greeted me was, “Melissa, the Bar Council of England and Wales has decided to exercise their discretion in your favour!

I paused. I was going to Law School. I was going to the Best Law School in England and Wales. An external student from Trinidad who had not earned the required entry marks was deemed fit by the Bar Council of England and Wales to undertake the study of the Bar Exams. silence I remained still. Still with overflowing tears of gratitude, of relief first and then of gratitude, to my beloved Sadguru Sri Appaji! HE had done it all!

This was my first experience with Appaji, and was definitely, not the last.

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