Religion, to me, had always been a very personal relation with God. Till a few years ago, this relation was just about the vague knowledge that there was this Supreme Being. And that was good enough for me.
But a couple of years ago, I was introduced to Buddhism and I remember asking a senior leader, “Why should I chant or pray? I have a good job, a great family, people who adore me and I am engaged to the man I love” She did give me a reply, just smiled. But the answer came, a year later. I had always experimented with my life, so joining this Buddhist organization was another one of those experiments. I was not a regular member of the organization, I tried hard to attend meetings, to do my prayers, but my hectic job schedule always created problems, and I had start all over again, but I did not worry too much because my life was perfect! Well almost. Until it all came crashing down.
January 12th 2005 was like any other day. There was a nip in the air, just the way I liked the weather to be, I was traveling to my office in an auto after a seemingly innocent fight with my brother. And suddenly, I broke down, I send an SMS to all my friends and family saying I was sorry to have let them down and I switched off my cell. There I was, the girl who never shed a tear in front of her closest friends, sitting in front of the whole world and howling like my life had just ended. That seemingly innocent verbal duel with my brother had opened the floodgates to emotions I had buried deep inside. Feelings of rejection, self-pity, worthlessness….I had to force myself from jumping off the auto and killing myself. If there is a Hell, then I experienced it at that moment. My life made no sense. The small part of my rational self knew that I had to do something, so I asked the driver to take me to a psychologist. I sat there, sobbing and praying for that darkness to go away. Years of suppressed emotions, years of pretending to have the perfect world, of being strong, that mask of perfection crumbled, as the doctor told me that it would take years of weekly counseling sessions and medicine to finally be free of the demons in my mind and soul. I took it in my stride. But after 2 sessions I was not feeling anything at all, I was still in the midst of my hell. Although venting all that emotion was helping me in a way I understood only later. It was dark all round and I just couldn’t see any propose in my life. I felt no confidence in my doctor and frequently had suicidal thoughts. A fellow Buddhist asked me to try and chant, even if only for 5 minutes and even if it made no sense. I tried, but I had no strength, my mind was just not in my control, I was losing the battle, and the prospect of years of counseling did not brighten up my existence. I couldn’t think that life could get any worse, but it did.
On 14th February, the blessed day for lovers, I discovered a fact that changed everything. I got a call from a girl claiming to be my fiancé’s girl friend and I knew instinctively that she was telling the truth. She was abusing me and that is when I had my first victory. Instead of shouting back at her, all I said was please stop using such language and that I have too much culture and maturity to do the same. After putting down my cell, I collapsed, I couldn’t breath, my world had just ended. I had been in love with this man for the last 4 years. I had dreams about my future with him. To discover that he had been cheating on me these 4 years was shattering to say the least. At this point of my life, I called my friend and fellow Buddhist, not any of my family or friends but her. And she said what we always hear, Chhandita chant, it will be fine. But I couldn’t do it, my heart and soul just refused to listen. I popped 2 sleeping pills and went to sleep.
Next day my fiancé called, and I got my second victory. He said he was sorry and I said, its ok I forgive you. But I just was not ready to forgive myself. So I started chanting again, my mind was blank, my spirit had died, dark clouds surrounded me. Suddenly something happened. The tears stopped and a smile spread across my face. A weight lifted and I could see everything clearly now. I suddenly knew that I had just paid for my bad karma and now I was free. From a moment of hell, I had reached the stage of complete bliss.
People ask for actual proof. Well a girl who was diagnosed with chronic depression has not gone to the counselor and nor does she need to now. A girl, who did not share her feelings with her closest friends, is writing this and sharing her life with all of you. For me that is actual proof. And for people who say that HELL will return, I say “Bring it on mate, I am waiting”.