This unusual article by Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh was originally published in Bhavan’s Journal in May of 1959
It would be easy to dismiss the question by saying: “Yes, after a prolonged period of intense austerities and meditation, while I was living in Swargashram, and when I had the darshan of a number of maharshis and their blessings, the Lord appeared before me in the form of Sri Krishna.”
But that would not be the whole truth, nor a sufficient answer to a question relating to God, who is infinite, unlimited and beyond the reach of the speech and mind.
Cosmic Consciousness is not an accident or chance. It is the summit, accessible by a thorny path that has steps, slippery steps. I have ascended them step by step, the hard way; but at every step I have experienced God coming into my life and lifting me easily to the next step.
My father was fond of ceremonial worship (puja) in which he was very regular. To my child-mind, the image he worshipped was God; and I delighted in helping father in the worship, by bringing him flowers and other articles of worship. The deep inner satisfaction that he and I derived from such worship implanted in my heart the deep conviction that God is in such images devoutly worshipped by His devotees. Thus did God come into my life first and placed my foot on the first rung of the ladder.
As an adult, I was fond of gymnastics and vigorous exercises. I learnt fencing from a teacher who belonged to a low caste; he was a harijan. I could go to him only for a few days before I was made to understand that it was unbecoming of a caste Brahman to play the student to an untouchable. I thought deeply over the matter...
Read the rest of this article at the Atma Jyoti Blog.