I stepped out of the hole that they had made in the door wall of my cave. There was my father and my brothers standing to welcome me. I greeted my father and when I touched his feet, he pulled me into his arms for a long embrace. Thousands of people were standing around, singing and cheering. In order to get through the crowd, my brothers lifted me up on their shoulders. In this way they carried me to a stage which they had prepared for this day, where everybody could come to meet me and welcome me back to this world.
The experience of coming out of the cave was like being reborn. I obviously don’t remember my own birth – nobody does, but now I can imagine pretty well how it is to be reborn. I already mentioned that I was shocked. I was shocked by all the noise after complete silence in the cave. I was shocked by the sunlight shining in my face after near darkness for such a long time. Most of all however I was shocked by the thousands of people welcoming me, hugging me and cheering for me after having been in complete isolation, fully alone for more than three years. They all tried to touch me, they all wanted to talk to me and get my blessing.
All my disciples were there and many more people from all over the world. For them I was the guru who I had been before, even greater, after my long retreat. People were crying, they came and hugged me, bowed in front of me and touched my feet to get blessings. Once, I noticed that I felt ticklish on my toe and was wondering for a second why it was wet before I looked down and saw that one man had bowed in front of me and not only licked my toe but put it fully in his mouth! What all these people did was in the hope that I now had gained some Siddhis, like magical powers, which would help their lives. They thought I could predict the future now or help them with some kind of miracle.
The whole day’s program was arranged and happened without any miracle though. We went to the main temple of the town. Going there meant however to pass through the streets of Vrindavan, passing through more and more crowds of people and it resembled a procession, a big celebration. I was welcomed everywhere and with each step.
After this visit to the temple, which took several hours, we came back to the Ashram. For the evening there was the plan for a big gathering of spiritual people. There were spiritual personalities from all over India and we had a kind of a conference in which everybody could hold a speech. During these speeches they honoured me with the title Yogi Raj, the king of Yogis.
To be honest with you, I realized all of this and it may have been a big honour but the whole day long I was watching what was going on as if through a cloud. I was there but I was also still sitting in my cave. It was all simply too much. Three or four times during the day I felt a very strong urge to go and sit in the cave. I just took some time, sat there and was just by myself again to find rest and some peace.
It was however also an overwhelming feeling of love, joy and happiness to meet my whole family and old friends again, to hug them again and be close to them again. Not only I looked different. I had not had a mirror with me in the cave and so I saw myself again after more than three years. My hair and beard had grown wildly. But they, too, had changed. We all had aged and you could see it, most of all on Yashendu, my youngest brother. He had been a boy of 17 years when I entered the cave. Now he was a man. He was big, strong and adult, lifting me up to save me from the crowd.
Even in the late evening the Ashram was still full with people. There were so many guests from far away who stayed and they found their place to sleep. I, on my part, went back into my cave for the night. There, I could find sleep peacefully after a long day full of impressions and emotions.