by Marda Arkebauer
My first experience of Swami was at the 2009 Chandra Nadi program at the Divine Lineage Healing Center in Laytonville, CA.... where he didn't show up. Instead, he called in live from India. So, we listened to Swami’s voice over loud speakers as we looked at his picture on a big screen at the front of the tent that had been set up for this process. Because my friend and I we were new to this path we had on special colored scarves and sat in the front row. I was struggling to understand what he was saying, and I shall never ever forget when he recited the diksha (rules) for the Chandra Nadi meditation process. I understood him to say that not only would we have to give up meat during this process, but also we were to have no fork. I looked at the people around me and thought — how on earth do we eat with no fork? Of course, it has become a funny and very fond memory of this beautiful first moment with Swami Kaleshwar because he had said no pork.
My actual first physical encounter with him was just as special and again amazingly humorous. My dear friend Jean and I had started the 5 Elements process together in the fall of 2009, went to Chandra Nadi that October, and immediately signed up to go to Shiva Ratri 2010 in India. Very early in our stay we attended a special process in the Dwarkamai, which is a powerful temple on the ashram and now the place of Sri Kaleshwar’s Mahasamadhi. Afterwards we went for a bite to eat in the cafeteria where we discussed our impressions and feelings of what we had just witnessed with the Emerald Lingam in the Dwarkamai. We also wanted to see the Shiva Cave, an underground meditation room Swami created when he first started the ashram, and so we took off in that direction after lunch.
Just as we were leaving the cafeteria our friend Mutiam came running out after us and said, “Did you see Him?!” Mutiam said he had been right there in the cafeteria. Of course, we were too busy talking and missed him. DARN! She said he had left to go to the Jesus Garden at the opposite end of the ashram. We were bummed to say the least. We continued on to the Shiva Cave and had just stepped up to the walkway to wait for students who were inside the Shiva Cave to come out when Jean looked up and said, ”there he is!” She started frantically waving and smiling in awe, and I started beating on my chest/heart in the greeting of love and admiration I’d seen done by the Indians and students, (with the wrong hand no less). He was sitting in his swing by the Hanuman statue with an enormous smile on his face looking right at us. How did he get to that swing from the Jesus Garden at the opposite end of the ashram—ahead of us? Hmmm. I will never forget that huge smile and the sparkling look in his eyes as we stood there like idiots waving and me beating on my chest!
In the fall of 2010 I once again headed back to the ashram to learn all I could during Swami’s 90-Day Program, which was entirely dedicated to the study of Jesus and the experience of His energy channels. There are so many wonderful memories from that time, but the one I have from September 1, 2010 will always be most precious to me. During my stay on the ashram I would get up every morning at 4 AM to go to Abishek at the Mandir, which is the main temple on the ashram. It houses a huge statue of Swami’s master Shirdi Sai Baba. During the daily abishek the statue receives a holy bath and is then dressed in beautiful fresh cloth. I was usually the first one there and so enjoyed being there doing my mantras with just Baba. The temple was usually packed with students, but for some reason there were only a few of us there that morning. As it turned out this particular day was Krishna’s birthday and Swami came to the early morning abishek, which he usually didn’t attend. Swami sang Happy Birthday to Krishna and I just melted. It was like he was singing Happy Birthday just to me… and it was also my birthday! It seemed everywhere I went that day, Swami appeared. He attended noon Arathi (waving of a flame in front of a holy statue) with all of the students. Afterwards, he and his wife Shilpa walked through their rose garden passing me. When I went to my Power Spot in the Jesus Garden there he was talking with some Indian men. Later on he went scurrying across the slates with senior students surrounding him. At day’s end he was playing with his daughter Navya in front of their apartment as I went to my apartment right down the hall. It was pure magic to just see this man.
This was most certainly the case when I attended the 2011 Trineytra program in Laytonville with three friends from our Under the Neem Tree group in Wisconsin. A few weeks before the process I had been through some medical tests at the cancer center and it was discovered that I had a large "well defined" tumor behind my right kidney. Although I wasn't experiencing any discomfort and the tumor had been discovered quite by accident, it was advised to have it removed and a date was set. the date happened to be the week I would return from Laytonville and the Trineytra Process with Swami.
During that program I had also signed up for the group healing with Swami that was held in the Dattatreya Temple. My sweet friends had pushed me by wheelchair through the airports and I hobbled into the Temple with a cane. As I sat listening to all the ailments that so many students shared with Swami, I thought to myself, I shouldn't be here taking up his precious time. So I didn't share why I was there. All I have is a removable tumor and these people have some really really serious health issues. the energy was so high and I was thrilled beyond belief when Swami personally placed a healing lingam in my hands as I left the Temple. I participated in the Trineytra process in a total blur and remember thinking as his car was leaving the grounds—when is he going to do the process? Well, he had already done the process with all of us! I was told I chanted and participated with all the others around the fire, but my friends could see I was really out of it! the energy had totally taken me to another place.
When I returned home to Wisconsin and had the surgery, my surgeon told us in total surprise that the previously "well defined" tumor that had clearly been seen on not one but two MRIs was not there. I was flabbergasted! To top it off, not only did my surgeon at the Cancer Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin come from India, but also the anesthesiologist was actually from Swami's village in India. What are the chances of that? (Somehow I felt Baba was also at work on this one). I told the surgeon I'd had the healing with Swami Kaleshwar in Laytonville and his response was only a great big smile! What a wonderful Miracle Maker our Swami is!