By Dr. Nirja Chawla May 2012 Dr Nirja Chawla gets an extensive teaching in Buddha nature from an awakened master Fact file:Ari is a modern-day Buddha, of Indian origin, now living in North America. He is one of the few enlightened mystics who has had many years of formal education in scientific thought from some of the best universities, enabling him to explore spiritual paths like yoga, tantra, aghora, tao and zen in as rational and communicable a manner as possible. Working alone upon himself through extensive self-experimentation for almost two decades, Ari’s system transited into Buddhahood or Enlightenment in 2001. His current occupational mission is to share his understanding of human spirituality with the world, and chart the mechanics of discovering Buddhahood or Nirvana within oneself. There are no pictures of the seer accompanying this article at his express request. Many moons ago, I had an encounter with the centre of a hurricane. I needed to explore professionals in a certain field, for some important work related to my daughter’s university education and career. Whoever I consulted mentioned only one name. This person, I was told, was highly sought after, and it was difficult to meet him in private. This person was ‘spiritual’, a friend’s husband informed me, and the best. Only the best would do for my child. So I found out his schedule and drove down to meet him at his place one afternoon. When I reached there, I found a group of people engaged in a scientific discussion. As I approached them, the group collectively turned around towards me. Who is Ari among them, I wondered, as they all looked equally young! As they all looked at me in silence, one of them said softly, “Yes?” To this day, I can still touch that deep dense blankness which enveloped me. Can I touch or feel Nothingness? I felt it instantly, as his bottomless eyes looked deep into mine. That person was Ari Buddha. Was it only a fraction of a minute that seemed to stretch endlessly into eternity? I have often wondered. With great difficulty, I tried to wrench my ‘lost’ mind back. The list of questions which I had prepared to grill and judge his professional expertise was irretrievable. After replying to my somewhat trivial question, he asked gently, “Anything else?” I simply shook my head mutely and left. The drive back home was in absolute silence. My daughter (who was with me throughout), didn’t reach for the car radio button, as was her wont on long drives. “Something happened to you too?” I asked her in wonderment. “Yes,” she whispered. We both had touched a very silent space, just by one look from Ari. I never regretted my daughter’s academic interaction with Ari for the next few years. There could not have been another like him. He was absolutely brilliant. I don’t think it was simply the fact that Ari had outstanding academic qualifications. Whenever in doubt about anything, look for how an unconditioned animal would behave There had to be something more to it. It was commonly known that Ari would simply go into a silent space and come up with solutions to any problem posed by his students. How did he manage this, I once asked him. “Your brain is mostly occupied with non-essential thoughts and therefore does not effectively function at its full capacity,” he said. “Besides minimal thoughts, this (his) brain has been re-wired through years spent in yoga, tantra, aghora and meditation, thus activating defunct neuronal networks and creating new shortcuts.” He continued, “Our brain can and does work faster than the fastest computer, provided we avoid entanglements with non-utilitarian thoughts and mental structures like ego.” At another time he suggested that if I could be ‘thoughtless’ in terms of mental analysis and judgement, at the very instant perception and cognition occured, all my responses would be rooted in the higher brain function called intuition which is many times faster than ordinary mental processes of conscious logical reasoning. Was it intuition that made him capable of reading a person’s future or the outcome of any meeting? “My brain processes the subtlest of signals, the slightest of pauses between spoken words, the minimal tightening of muscles in another person, and does not suppress higher brain functions with unnecessary thoughts. So, it is not difficult to predict the behaviour of unconscious people who are living under the influence of societal conditionings.” Once, in one of our early meetings, he asked for my birthday. I told him the date, not the month. Is it April, he asked, to my amazement, because I knew that, involuntarily, as if with a mind of its own, my mind had mentalised April. He had picked up my thought! On another occasion, my daughter asked him to suggest a name for the pup he had gifted us. We had already decided on the name Leo, but none had mentioned it to him. Without hesitation, he said ‘Leo’. How did he know? “It’s a deep kind of empathy, whose details even my own mind does not need to understand,” he replied. On my father’s death, amid the scores of relatives who descended on the house, I simply had no time to grieve. Next day I slipped away to the cremation ground and allowed the tears to fall next to the burning pyre of a man I loved very much. Seemingly cleansed, I went home. That night I happened to be alone and terrified by visions of ghosts laughing and screaming at my face. Petrified, I reached out to Ari mentally. Quietening down, I fell asleep. Next morning all seemed forgotten till Ari called to ask if all was well. Of course it was, since I had no recollection of the trauma of the night. Ari then went on to describe my nightmare exactly as it had happened. I knew then that somehow Ari had sensed my terror, reached out and blanked it. But he usually avoided my reference to such things and would comment only when I insisted, and that too in a way that obfuscated his mystique with apparent rationality. In addition to the five senses in ordinary human beings, which were powerfully developed in Ari, he had an amazing sixth sense and even a seventh, a knowing much beyond. I can narrate many such incidents in my life where I found that Ari had many skills, which my limited, rational and conditioned mind could not comprehend. His sense of smell, sense of sight, sense of awareness, and intuition, appeared phenomenal to me. Whenever I confronted him about such things, he would respond with that ‘fathomless look’ in his eyes, and change the topic, or just smile gently. To meet and interact with him requires loads of courage. We all have such unconscious behaviour. Every inflection of the voice, a slight turn of head, and a little flaring of the nostril indicates our inner mind. Nothing escapes him. Our inners are not pretty. Ari’s immense gentleness and compassion has given me the courage to interact with him, and walk on the spiritual path he gently yet clearly indicates, by using his own life as an example. He is like a mother, a teacher like none other. On one occasion, I got talking about the professional jealousies and manipulations at my workplace. He listened patiently through and then suddenly asked, “How old are you?” “27,” I answered. “And if a Master asks?” he said very quietly. “47,” I replied. Suddenly I saw him for what he actually was – a Master. “Be my Master, make me your disciple,” I pestered him repeatedly. Finally, he relented. Oh, I could not contain my excitement and told him to hurry; I simply could not bear this waiting. He paused, but didn’t say anything. The acceptance was strange. He informed me he would be touching me only on my head. With my back to him, he touched my head and sniffed the back of my scalp for what seemed like a long time. Having satisfied himself, he said he would ‘teach’ me. Many years later, he explained that he was using his sense of smell to trigger his intuition, as he did not rely on his mind’s judgement in taking the responsibility to teach me. Ari says that we can learn many things from animals, because we share a common evolutionary thread with them, and have many common genes. Unfortunately, we humans rely too much on the mind, having forgotten the use of our animal senses like the sense of smell. His love for animals and trees is extraordinary. Being reclusive in nature, he shuns people and crowds, preferring animals for company. So much so that for several months after meeting him, I could not recall his face despite my best efforts. It possibly has something to do with his reclusive nature. He did not desire further contact, and since his is a No-Mind, every thought, even if it is a blocking thought, becomes powerful, pointed and focussed. However, Ari loves animals, and animals seem to love him equally. Once a stray cat who visited my home often, became pregnant. I dearly wished for her to birth the kittens in my home. I could have helped her too since I was an extremely successful gynacologist. Ari bent down to the stray feline seemingly conversing with her. Straightening up he announced that Lucy, the cat, would probably not deliver in my home. Lucy delivered elsewhere. Ari considers animals to be in Tao, much more than humans. “Whenever in doubt about anything, look for how an unconditioned animal would behave.” Certainly, animals do not bother fooling themselves about their age, trees age gracefully and majestically, and none of them wears stilettos to work, and lipstick to bed. And they couldn’t be bothered whether the next tree is wearing bigger solitaire diamonds than yours. Most im
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