By Rita Nandy, interviewed by Margie (Maitreyi) Wilsman
“Each time Swami Nirmalananda came into the meditation room, I could feel her presence physically from the tingling along my back,” says Rita Nandy. Thus, she describes her experience of her first Shaktipat Retreat. Rita was born in India, into a family who had a Kulguru — a Sadguru. Rita understands the value of a true Guru. She could tell that she was in the presence of an advanced yogi, a living siddha (master).
Rita heard about the retreat in her Svaroopa® yoga class, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where she now lives. She concluded that these opportunities don’t arise often. So she decided to “invest in the Self.”
Rita is most grateful for receiving the Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation mantra from Swamiji. Rita explains, “Enlivened mantra had been transmitted through my family for generations. Unfortunately, in my generation, there was no living practitioner left to transmit that mantra to us youngsters. In the Shaktipat Retreat, we received the mantra that has the potential to make one grow spiritually, almost at an evolutionary scale. This mantra has been enlivened by Swamiji’s lineage for many, many generations.” While now this mantra is widely known, Rita recognizes that it is rare indeed to have it transmitted to you through a living siddha. This enlivened mantra is filled with Guru’s Grace.
Rita has been engaged in deep yogic practices, including japa and chanting, since 1996. So she is already familiar with basic kriyas (spontaneous, involuntary movements), that develop over time. As the retreat progressed so did Rita’s kriyas. They moved up her back, stopped at her heart, and then moved over to the side. They are still with her. She feels there are some blockages at her heart that need to be removed. The kriyas return when Rita is chanting the Shri Rudram, an ancient Vedic hymn, meditating and practicing japa with Om Namah Shivaaya. Rita could tell Swamiji was someone special despite the difference in their backgrounds, Swami being American, not Indian. Rita has met many Swamis, has attended two Kumba Melas and has undertaken many pilgrimages including to Kailasa in Tibet. Rita feels privileged to finally have Sadguru Swami Nirmalananda as her Guru. Rita believes that she had to move to North America to find the genuine article in Swamiji.