Beginning of life in solitude
This does not mean that I dislike school subjects. I had a special liking for school studies. However, because I had confidence in my intellectual capacity, I did not worry too much about my studies. I worked very hard at the examination time, so that I got good results. Mostly I used to be one of the first three top students. The teachers treated me nicely for that reason.
In those days, I had formed a habit of getting up in the small hours of the night and praying. Hence, as a rule, I slept alone on the terrace for which the Superintendent had granted me the permission. I would get up at about one o’clock at night and pray to God regularly. I knew of no particular method of meditation. I mostly tended to stop the breathing process because I believed that that led to the state of ‘Samadhi’. Like Ramakrishna, I had also started meditating after discarding all clothes. But how can one reach the state of ‘Samadhi’ so easily? It needs extraordinary practice. Nevertheless, I did find joy even in that state of mine.
I did not have any idea of the methodology of prayer either. All I knew was that God was the Mother of the World and I was Her child. God was present everywhere, but it had become extremely hard to realize God for want of purity and love. To attain the state of purity and love and reach God, One must pray from the depth of heart. One must open up his heart before him. I felt overwhelmed while I engaged myself in prayer. Sometimes I would be so overwhelmed with emotion that I would start rolling on the terrace or in the Chowpatty sands. Moreover, sometimes, remembering my blunders, would rub my head on the ground in remorse. Hours would pass like this in prayers. That experience of feeling love grew more intense day by day. Then I started feeling the presence of Mother in every leaf and every tree. I felt Mother was embracing me in the form of the waves of the Chowpatty sea. I felt only the presence of Mother in the sands on the shore, in flowers, in wings of butterflies, in the melodious tunes of birds. I experienced only Mother’s love. I had got into the habit of bowing to a woman on the road, thinking her to be Mother’s manifestation.