Good evening everyone!
Today I would like to talk about books written by my mother, Santosh Sachdeva. Her books are the reason I got into publishing, without any intent of establishing it as a long-term business, but initially just to publish her work.
When we siblings were perhaps in our mid-twenties, we saw that our mother would go to attend some kind of classes in the neighbourhood. After she returned home, she would be immersed in drawing. Although we didn’t know what was going on with her, we didn’t bother her and gave her time to be alone. We didn’t even care to see what she was drawing. At that age, we were all involved with our own lives, and I just started work running our advertising agency. After about 2–3 years of this, we saw the intensity of the spiritual journey that had gripped her. We were introduced to her Guru, and he started coming to our home every week to conduct his group meditation.
The uniqueness of my mother’s journey only struck me later. I did not know much about the subject of Kundalini, and neither did she. She was an “ordinary housewife” who started going to work to make a living and support her children after her husband’s death. But she had these visions. She would just sit with her eyes closed, and she would start seeing movies and fantastic visions. She could see the energy moving in her body, and then the whole world of chakras and what each chakra represents, visions of past lives, visions of different planes of existence. It was really a journey of wonderment. And she could not make much sense of it. But then she did tell me that after these visual experiences in her meditation journey, she would visit bookstores seeking answers. Suddenly, a book would just fall out, or she would hear a ringing in her ears as she approached a particular book, and she would take that book and open it just at the right page, and that page would describe her experience.
Many Masters had written about the subject of Kundalini and Chakras, but none of the books she found presented Kundalini and Chakras in visions as she saw. When she started showing her journal drawings to people familiar with the subject, half of them felt it should be kept secret and the other half felt it must be shared with the world so that others going through similar experiences don’t think they are alone. This presented my mother with a conflict. Some people said, “Don’t show it to everyone because this is secret knowledge,” or “Your experiences will stop, people will think you’re crazy.” Others said the polaric opposite, “You must share this; it will be a big help for others who think they are going crazy because they have similar experiences and don’t know what they represent,” or “So many people have inner experiences and what you have done is provided a visual map.”
My mother was not an artist, she just started drawing. The energy just produced these drawings through her. So although there is a rawness in the drawings, they also have an ethereal and otherworldly quality. We published this work as a trilogy, which is basically her full journal split into three parts, with 80% drawings and 20% text. Anyone who is remotely interested in energy flow, the Kundalini and Chakras, and the journey of spiritual unfoldment through the path of Shakti will find this work very insightful.
I requested my friend Rohit to help me edit the second part of the journal. He told me that his energy was awakened just by looking at the drawings, and then he realised that transmission had happened. He took my mother as his Guru, and was my mother’s first disciple. He expressed to me that the drawings were important as energy transmitters, doing the work they are supposed to be doing without involving the mind, and triggering the Shakti within. At that time I was young, and all of this didn’t really make sense to me. It gave me encouragement to know that people were discovering a roadmap of something resonating within them when they looked at these drawings, and they started visiting my mother. Some became her disciples; some became students of the breaths that she learned that resulted in this spiritual trigger. All of this was a beautiful journey in publishing, and it kept going until it slowly replaced the advertising agency.
After these first three books, she wrote a couple of books containing questions and answers on Kundalini and Chakras. Then, there was one book on Who Am I?, which was also Ramana Maharishi’s famous self inquiry method. My mother had asked the questions: Who Am I? Where Have I Come From? Where Am I Going? And she received answers, which she wrote about in the book, Who Am I?
Based on her inner journey and insights into the working of the energy flow and Chakras, she modified the original course that she had learnt, and called it The Eight Spiritual Breaths. The original course in the US was called Mental Physics, and in India it was called Brahma Vidya–The Knowledge of Creation. It was taught by many teachers, including my mother’s Guru. She integrated her understanding of the energy work behind the breaths into this course, and started teaching this course to her students as the The Eight Spiritual Breaths.
I would recommend these books on Kundalini purely because they are a visual delight. They may not be as interesting for someone who is devoted to the path of Advaita, but they show different aspects of the spiritual journey, and that one can gain insights through any of the paths of Bhakti, Shakti, Jnana, and Kundalini Yoga.
I am so grateful to have been in this environment where I could see my mother holding meditation classes in her home, seeing the people come, seeing her interact with them and seeing them interact with her, hearing the questions they asked. I absorbed so much of all that as part of my conditioning; although it was not my direct experience, I gained so much by being exposed to all of those experiences. When I am asked questions on these aspects of energy and the subtle body, the answers come spontaneously without having to think about them. And that is Grace.
I am very fortunate that I had a mother like that. I am very fortunate that I did not have to search for a Guru. The first Advaita teacher I met became my Guru. So I didn’t have to go through the process of doubting and questioning. I am very fortunate to have met Eckhart Tolle early in my journey, and I am very fortunate to have met so many Masters and Yogis, so many spiritually gifted people around the world. And I truly truly appreciate all that the Source has given me on a platter.
When the first of my mother’s books was ready, we took it to a very evolved Yogi sage called Gagan Giri Maharaj (he has since passed). He had attained the highest of the highest. When he saw my mother’s drawings, he burst out laughing. He was speaking Marathi, exclaiming aspects of the drawings to our editor, and running his fingers over each drawing. Then he said (in translation), “This is a Maha Durlabh yoga, an extremely difficult yoga, which she (pointing to my mother) had attained.” He said that this did not come from this birth, but from many past births. He blessed the book, and it was beautiful to have visited him, because once again I was meeting someone I would not have normally met. His blessings have stayed with my mother on her journey, and with the books and all the people she has impacted through these books, and those who are drawn to this path.
Those are my thoughts on my mother’s books.