My friendship with Garima Bhatt had begun in an unusual classroom. It had fifteen students out of which, only we two were women. We shared a common passion for spirituality and our mission was to learn Reiki, the art of healing developed by the Japanese Buddhist monk, Mikao Usui. We had joined the course that lasted a full day, to ease our tensions at work and move ahead in a path of self-discovery. Coincidently, we were both software professionals. While we tackled the nuances of the science and the complex Japanese symbols together, a friendship blossomed between us.
At the end of the day, we promised to keep our friendship alive through phone calls and social networking, which we did initially. I was going through a low phase in my personal life then and almost half a year passed without a single call between us. One day, I remembered her and called. It was then that she shared with me that she had been busy fulfilling her long cherished dream. She had mastered the technique of past life regression from Dolores Cannon, the famous American past life expert and had become a certified practitioner. Though I had heard of the term, I had only a vague idea about past life regression.
“Isn’t it interesting to know that the deeds of a past incarnation can give direction to the present life? I am experimenting on my family and friends and till now the journey has been so profound. I mean, some of the sessions have produced healing of even chronic diseases like asthma,” said Garima, and I pestered her to tell me more about it.
“In the sessions, through hypnosis, the subject or the person undergoing the past life regression, travels backwards in time and remembers past incarnations. Most often, our present diseases or fears have their origin in an unknown past. If the practitioner instructs them to go to that particular life where the fear originated, they remember forgotten traumas and re-experience the associated emotions, leading to catharsis and eventually healing. It is our conscious mind, which has forgotten the memories of our past lives. The subconscious or our higher self or soul, remembers everything. So we tap into this infinite source and hunts for that elusive knowledge which would take us towards healing,” Garima said.
“How much do you charge? I am interested to undergo this experience. It sounds like magic,” I asked, eager to embark on a mystical journey. I had many tormenting questions for which I wanted answers.
“Charge? Hey Anushka, I am just learning. I do it free of cost. Come over whenever you want,” she said.
That was how I ended up at her house today afternoon accompanied by my mother. I had done a lot of buttering and nagging to convince my mother who was a skeptic when it came to all things esoteric. When the session began, it was just like any hypnosis session, the kind I had seen in movies.
Following her instructions, I slowly drifted into a trance.
When I came out of the trance, I felt like I had just completed a marathon race. I was tired and my whole body was almost numb. But Garima was excited and asked me how I felt about the experience.
“What experience?” I asked, puzzled because I did not remember anything other than the initial instructions.
“Just as I thought, you went very deep in trance, Anushka. My dear, you visited three past lives. And trust me it was packed with action, tragedy and romance. Wait until you hear the recording. You need to wait, as I have to amplify the volume. It is too low, you are barely audible,” she said. The recording device had been her mobile phone. I listened to it a little, but had to try hard to understand what I was talking. She told me I had been under trance for almost ninety minutes!
“Okay, I will tell you in brief. But don’t fret much, I will email you the recording anyway. You can listen to the details then. Under hypnosis, your past lives that you visited were in different eras and in different places. The first one you visited was somewhere in Europe in the middle ages, the second life in ancient china and the third incarnation in eighteenth century England,” said Garima, while making me eat the banana and milk which her maid had brought.
“Ok...and,” I asked munching the banana.
“In the first life, you were a young girl who lived in a small house in a beautiful valley in Europe. You lived with your mother and sister. When I asked you to travel to a significant event in that life, you told me how you both became orphans after the death of your mother. Your sister had to become a servant to earn a living and you had become a shepherd. On moving forward in that life, you told me about a strange young man riding a horse who asked you for direction to some place. When I again guided you further, you were getting married to that man,” Garima said.
“Eh, just like that?” I asked amused at the turn of events.
“Perhaps you both had fallen in love, you didn’t explain, I didn’t ask. On your marriage day, your sister was sad because she believed that the man you were marrying was not good for you. You did not explain why she thought so, but she happened to be right. On the next day of the marriage, your husband hit you, hurled abuses and threw you out of the house accusing you to be a cheat. Again, there was no explanation because you too confessed you did not know the reason for his anger.
However, his cruelty depressed you, and you committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. Exactly at the place where you sat and dreamt about him every day,” said she and I gasped.
“Oh my god, what happened next? You guided me to another life?” I asked.
“Before I could do that, you started talking about a greeter who had come to welcome you to the other side,” she said with a smile.
“The other side? You mean there is a place we all go to once we die and I talked about that?” I asked, unable to believe what I was hearing.
“Yes, according to you, a kind old lady with a smiling face took you towards light. Then you entered a huge white place, which had many others like her. One after the other they came to console you. They hugged you and you told me that with each hug, your grief began to vanish. After that, a person who was the chief and the kindest among them, asked you to go and rest as you had still not recovered from the trauma,” Garima said.
“When I asked you to move to a time in the same space when the resting was over, you were preparing to be born again in ancient china. You grew up to become a soldier. You returned victorious after your first war, only to find that the enemy had burnt down your house killing your mother in the process. You wept then, thinking how futile your victory was. Nevertheless, you became a battle-hardened soldier who remained a bachelor throughout that life. When I guided you towards a later significant event, you were leading your battalion. Your side emerged victorious in the war but by the end of the battle, you were dead. This time the greeter to the other side was a monk but he led you to the same place that you had gone to after the first life you saw, to rest,” said she and paused to see my reaction.
“Sad… and then what happened?” I asked, disturbed by the pause.
“I asked you to flip in time and go to a time after resting. And you were being asked by the chief to get ready to be born again. This time you were being born in eighteenth century England as an only child of a wealthy man. Your aim in that life according to you was to love and to be loved,” said Garima, with a sly smile.
“Okay, so that is where the romance comes in. Tragedy, action and now some romance,” I said.
“Yes, when I asked you to move to a significant day after your birth in that life, you told me about a party. You were dancing with a very handsome young man there, whom you were addressing as ‘my lord’. He proposed marriage that day and you confessed that you both loved each other immensely. I asked you to flip in time and quickly get over the marriage-“ said Garima and I interrupted.
“Huh, why did you do that? I would have loved to see my marriage,” I said dreamily.
“Oh heroine…anyway you don’t remember anything. What difference would have my instruction made?” she asked, with a tiny shrug.
“I forgot. And then?” I asked, accepting the fact.
“When we progressed to the next day of marriage, you were blissful and full of hope. I asked you to move to another significant event in that life and sadly, you told me you were dying. You were young but you were on your deathbed. Your husband was near you while you died. He was in tears, as you were dying from typhoid fever,” she said. I shuddered because the scene she was describing was similar to a dream that continued to haunt me.
“Fever? Someone should have given me paracetemol. I was having such a good life and a fever took it away from me? God,” I said to hide my agitation and she laughed.
“Yes...but maybe that was all you wanted to learn in that life. Remember you wanted to find true love and you had found it. If you had lingered longer, there was a chance that your husband might have strayed and you may have begun to hate him. Familiarity breeds contempt as they say. So a short life full of love was definitely better,” said she.
“And then?” I asked.
“This time, the same lady had come to greet your soul. See there was a pattern in this. When you were a female, it was the old lady who came for you and in your male incarnation it was a monk. The scene was the same and they eventually asked you to go to rest. I guided you into the present and asked your subconscious mind the purpose you were shown these lives. You might have even lived a hundred incarnations. Why then did you see these three lives?”
“And what was the answer?”
“There is always a lesson to be learned from every life. The lesson from your first life is a reminder for you not to trust people blindly. It showed the extent to which you had suffered because of your blind belief in a stranger. I know you trust people blindly. Be cautious,” Garima said.
“Yes, that is a lesson that I need to learn,” I said with a sigh. A person whom I had trusted blindly had cheated me in order to climb the corporate ladder recently just because I was lame enough to trust her with my carefully researched presentation. She had presented it before our manager as her own and earned a promotion.
“In the second life, you were brave. Even after going through loss and tragedies that a soldier faced, he focused on his goals and that led him to victory. The lesson from that life is to be goal oriented and to dedicate yourself to the purpose of your life. You are strong enough to achieve anything. You have to be brave and let go of the past miseries and losses,” said Garima.
“Yes, but I wish I was as brave as the man.”
“See, you have already forgotten that you were the man. Find your inner strength, Anushka. All of us have hidden valor. We need to discover that, if we have to succeed in life. The third life you saw, tells you the importance of being happy in the moment. Happiness can be short lived, but if you fail to enjoy it when it lasts, you lose it forever. Through your session, I too have learnt three great life lessons,” said Garima.
“Thank you dear for this amazing experience,” I said, hugging her.
“The pleasure is mine. Another revelation was that your fear of heights and war has root in the first and second past lives that you saw respectively. Let us hope it will go away now. And yes...you have some another surprises hidden in the recording. That I won’t reveal,” she said with a sly smile.
The first thing I did after entering our house was to switch on the laptop and check my email. An mp3 file, which had the full session on record had arrived in my inbox. It was an hour and half in duration.
Armed with a headphone, I settled before my laptop and listened to the recording. Closing my eyes, I wandered into the world of the girl in the valley, the brave Chinese soldier and the lovely girl in Yorkshire, England. I listened to myself narrating their happiness and sorrows and many times during the narration, tears welled in my eyes. The place between the life times where sorrows vanished and the soul rested filled me with hope.
The surprises that Garima promised crept upon me unawares. Towards the end of the session, in the talk with my subconscious mind, she asked whether any of the people whom I had seen in those lives were present in my current life.
“The people that we meet in any life time are part of a larger soul group and they incarnate together. So yes, those from the past lives she had seen are definitely in her life now. They may keep changing roles that they enact. There are promises that need to be kept and some souls are bonded together for eternity,” spoke my subconscious mind. It went on to tell who these people were in my current life, leaving me stunned.
The most important questions I wanted an answer for was to know who my soul mate was. The answer amazed me. The person, who had been my husband in my incarnation as the girl in Yorkshire, was present in my current life too as my childhood friend Anand. But fighting my own insecurities, I was ignoring his passionate declarations of love.
My subconscious went on to say how the man had spent his whole life pining for me after my death in that life in eighteenth century England. The love he had for me was like an eternal spring, which never passed. I had received answer to my most pertinent question.
Throughout the eras, my soul had embarked upon several sojourns on earth, suffered myriad traumas but had remained unbroken and eternal. If I had a book, in which someone had recorded the events of the many lives that my soul had lived, it would become the story of an immortal entity.
The notification of a new email ended my reverie and I clicked it open. Lines from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, sent by Anand, appeared on my laptop screen.
“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.”
The timing of the email stunned me. I had not told him about the past life regression session. His love humbled me. I knew he would persist to woo me, until I promised him a forever. And gladly, the session had opened my eyes. He was my forever- the one with whom I had made promises to be together in life after life, in age after age, forever.
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