For me, Mysore does not bring an emotional or sentimental response within me, but I have a very deep bonding with that place simply because I spent a large part of my period of growing up there. I am not looking at it emotionally or sentimentally as people would normally look at their place of birth and growth. It is just that the level of involvement I had with the land, with the trees, with the mountain, and with everything around – though lots of things have changed in the last 30 years, I can still see so many things that I walked upon and how deeply I looked at them, and the billion questions that I asked at billion different places in Mysore. It forms a very different kind of bond which is not emotional or sentimental, but a very different kind of bond which brought me to a certain level of quest within myself.For me, Mysore means a billion questions and at the same time, an incredible answer too.
Whatever I say about it will sound stupid and insane. I thought I was in that condition for about 10–15 minutes, but when I came back to my so-called normal condition, it was 7:30 pm – four and half hours had passed. The sun had set. My eyes were open, I was fully conscious, but time just flipped. And now for the first time in my adult life, I had tears flowing. I was somebody who was so ashamed of tears that from the age of eight, I had never allowed a single drop of tear to come out of my eyes; I lived like that. But now, suddenly tears were flowing to a point where my shirt became wet.I have always been peaceful and happy, that has never been an issue. When everything works the way you want it, what is the problem? But right now, every cell in my body was bursting with a new indescribable level of ecstasy. I had no word for this, I did not know what to say, I did not know what was happening with me. When I asked myself, “What could be happening with me?” the only thing that my trained, logical mind could say was “Maybe you are going off your rocker.” When I shared what was happening with the closest of my friends, they only asked, “Did you drink something? Did you take some drug?” This is all they could ask me. I knew there was no point talking about it, because I could not relate it to anybody around me. Something phenomenal was happening within me.So, I had nothing to relate to, all I knew was that I had hit upon a goldmine, a nameless goldmine within myself which I did not want to lose even for a moment. I knew what was happening was utterly crazy, but I did not want to miss it for a moment because something so tremendous was happening within me.I knew I had to do something, but I did not know what. All I knew was the blissfulness that was simply bursting within me; and I knew it could happen in every human being. Every human being has the same inner ingredient but it was not happening to them. So I thought the best thing to do was to somehow rub-off this experience on them. So I started looking for ways to do that.I thought all my friends would just flock to it and I would make them ecstatic. I went about telling them, ‘I want to teach you something, why don’t you come?’ But nobody came. Everybody just avoided me. In this one year I had acquired the reputation of being a dangerous man, who had dropped his successful business and was sitting quietly. My own business, which I had built from scratch and I did not owe a rupee to anybody, but still people said, ‘He is dangerous – he has dropped his business.’ Nobody wanted to come. I could not believe it.
After much coaxing and coercing I got seven people. They were no Sapta Rishis [first disciples of Shiva]. They did not come with that level of preparation or intensity or anything. Some came out of curiosity and some came out of politeness. They did not want to say ‘No’ to me – that is how they came.
It started off as a four-day, two-hour program. By the second day, it went into five, six hours. Third day, the same thing happened. On the fourth day, they said, ‘This is very good. Let’s extend it by two days.’ Then it became a six-day program…
Since then, there has been no looking back.