A very Blessed and Happy Easter!
I write below a personal awakening story of how and when my love for “The Messiah” started.
Born and raised in India, I am a Hindu (Punjabi) but an ardent follower and believer of Sikhism. My paternal and maternal grandparents, both Punjabi immigrants from Pakistan, were Hindus who grew up following Sikhism. Till 2014 (3 years of us moving to Canada), I had no idea who Jesus Christ was. I mean of course I know the name Jesus and Christianity, but I had never visited a church or had any religious experience with this sect.
I am not religious; I write this time and again. I do not believe in religions or following a certain form of scripture or even prayers. I do the Sikh prayers and know them by heart, only because I was raised that way and because I love the poetry of “Guru Nanak”. But the same way, I listen to Sufi poetry or verses from any scripture. As long as they touch the soul and I feel connected, the way of reaching God doesn’t matter.
I believe in the spiritual masters on whose name these religions started. Be it Buddha (leading to Buddhism), Prophet Muhammad (Islam), Jesus Christ (Christianity), Guru Nanak (Sikhism), the holy book Geeta and the Vedas of Hinduism (thousands of Gods). I follow their teachings and try to read books on their life and spiritual awakenings. I will write in detail on this topic some other time.
From my childhood or as far as I can remember, I have been a lucid dreamer. I see events in my dreams which unfold few days or many years later exactly as I saw them. I fly a lot in my dreams. Up in the sky, seeing beneath – terrains, forests, oceans, cities. Sometimes diving down, touching the leaves of a tree, the ocean, the green grass. All this feels so real that even after waking up, I feel the touch and the texture of a bark, or dew drops, even the wind on my face. It is beyond real and as real as it can be. I am always alone in these dreams and its always about nature. I do not see any human form or animals in these dreams.
Before my paternal grandmother passed away, I was about 7-8 years. (I will share her story on Mother’s Day – the saint she was and how she died of tuberculosis caring for TB patients) I dreamt that she was wrapped in a red cloth and people crying around her. I never attended her funeral as we were not allowed because of her illness. Only my father and other men from the family performed her last rites. My dad did tell us lot later, that he was surprised to see her wrapped in red cloth instead of the traditional white one!
At times, I have woken up from sleep and told my husband to go to kids’ room because my son’s blanket is on the floor and he is feeling cold. Moments earlier, I was in my son’s room in my dream.
My dad travelled a lot during our childhood. There were no cell phones those days and even land lines were a rarity. So, we had no way of knowing his date of return from his trips. All we would know if the state or province he was going to. His office had details of the cities he was visiting and the only way to contact him would be through his office in case of urgency. This was in mid-70’s and early 80’s. He returned mostly in wee hours. And always before his arrival, I used to wake up and say to my mom, “I heard Papa’s footsteps, he is going to be home soon”. We always saw him few minutes later, his habit of stomping twice on the doormat followed by our doorbell.
In 2014, three years in Canada. My husband Raj, still travelling to Suriname (South America), worked on a rotation of 21 days in Suriname and 7 days home in Canada. It was a Friday night, and the next day, Raj was to return home. This night, as many times earlier. I went into one of my lucid dreaming moments. I was flying, crossing cities, oceans, the Amazon, wind on my face and a peace which I can never put to words. For the first time ever and probably the last (I hope not), I felt the presence of another human next to me. A shadow of someone flying next to me on my left side. Few moments later, the hand of this man reached my left hand and held it. I knew it was a man. For a very strange reason, I had no fear, no palpitations or anxiety feeling, nothing of that energy. I felt peaceful and calm, and my mind deprived of any thoughts…. not a single thought. I just wanted to fly holding that hand. As I got overwhelmed with peace, joy and love, my tears started to flow. I turned my head to left, to see the man. I noticed and saw that shadow in human form – the face with long hair and those eyes (I cannot say if they were blue or green). But I knew it was Jesus. That is when I woke up. It was pitch dark outside…. my right hand cold and my left hand all sweaty and damp, as if it had been held for a long time. Even after waking up, I could feel the unseen touch and hand being held. This is the first time ever I saw anyone in my dreams and that too Jesus! I meditated and prayed for few hours after this and since then, I have been doing it everyday.
When kids woke up and we drove to our neighborhood library, I wanted to pick up a book on Jesus. I wanted to know more. On one of the shelves, I saw the most beautiful picture. I found the book “The Messiah” by French author “Jacques Duquesne”. I held the book and went to look for kids, who were looking for a DVD to watch during the weekend. While browsing, my eyes fell on a movie called “Heaven is for real”, a story of a child’s experience with NDE (near death experience). How he was healed and saw “Jesus” in heaven. I picked up the movie too.
Raj arrived home after almost a month that afternoon. The kids and me were beyond happy to see him. I told him about my last night’s dream and the book and the movie, I had brought from the library. We browsed the book together and later in the evening, us and our twins sat down to watch the movie “Heaven is for real”. As the movie passes, the child is healed and back home but keeps talking about heaven and how he sat in Jesus’ lap. His father asking him questions, how Jesus looked, the child in the movie says, and at this point, I also turned to Raj, my back to the screen and said, “I don’t know, his eyes were blue or green”. Both, me, and the child said the same line at the same time, he explaining to his father in the movie and I to Raj. Hearing this I started to cry.
In the movie, the father shows pictures of Jesus to the child – does Jesus look like this? Is this the one? Every time the child said no, I said ‘no’ too. The man I saw in my dream was not like the pictures they showed. Towards the end of the movie, the father is browsing the internet and comes across a picture of Jesus, the child is playing in the background and casually glances at the picture and says, “This is Jesus”. Its a dramatic cinematographic shot as we, viewers, are looking at the back of the computer screen and the camera slowly rolling towards the front of the computer. There is a painting of Jesus (painted by an 8 yr old “Akiane Kramarik”). As the camera shows “Jesus-Prince of the Peace” face, I started to cry and said, “this is the man I saw last night in my dream”.
This experience had a huge impact on my spiritual journey. I fell in love with “Rabbouni” – as he was lovingly called by his followers. The word Rabbouni (similar to Rabbi) in Hebrew means “Teacher”. In Urdu and Punjabi – Rab and Rabba, meaning “God”. I started collecting books on Jesus Christ’s life. Getting to know his parables, healing abilities and unconditional love. There is a Mother Mary’s church on the street where I live. I had not been to churches before and never felt any connection. After this experience, one morning when the kids went to school, I walked to the church. The altar has a wooden cross and sculpture of passion of Christ. His head hung, arms stretched, legs crossed and nailed. The first time I saw this, my soul shook! I could not stop my tears rolling down my cheeks. It was literally, internally me screaming “someone get him down, remove him from the cross please, remove him from there”. And since that day, I visited the church many times. I sat down on one of the pews and meditated and always, always cried. I filled my home with his pictures and books; even my bedside table has his picture. Each morning when I wake up, the first thing I see is Jesus. His teachings of “Unconditional Love” to all human beings has become the only way I want to live my life.
“Chain of Goodness” is a symbol of holding of hands, that I experienced in my dream. It is a chain of people holding hands, supporting each other. One of these hands is of Jesus, one of Muhammed, one of Krishna, one of Guru Nanak; there is no religion, no race. All humans are equal. It is only us, the children of God, who give Him different names. Whatever we call Him, our religious paths may be different, but the home of our Eternal Lord remains the same.
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”. – Mathew 28:20