I loved it. I waited for the rainy season because it always helped…there would come a moment when I would feel that I was dying, because I was tired and I could not see the other shore, and the waves were high and the current was strong…and there was no way to go back, because now the other shore was as far away. Perhaps I was in the middle; it was the same either way. I would feel so completely tired and the water would take me down with such a force that there would come a time when I would see, “Now there is no possibility of living any more.” And that was the moment when I would suddenly see myself above the water and my body in the water. When it happened the first time, it was a very frightening experience. I thought I must have died. I had heard that when you die, the soul goes out of the body: “So I have gone out of the body and I am dead.” But I could see the body was still trying to reach the other shore, so I followed the body.
That was the first time I became aware of a connection between your essential being and the body. It is connected just below the navel – two inches below the navel – by something like a silver cord, a silver rope. It is not material, but it shines like silver. Each time I reached the other shore, the moment I reached the other shore my being would enter into the body. The first time it was frightening; then it became a great entertainment.
When I told my parents, they said, “Someday you are going to die in that river. This is enough of a sign. Stop going into the river when it is flooded.”
But I said, “I am enjoying it so much…the freedom, no force of gravitation, and seeing one’s own body completely away.”
Then I moved to the university and there it happened once. I have talked about it. Just behind the university campus there was a hillock with three trees. I used to love those trees because it was impossible to sit silently in the hostels. So I used to go and climb up a tree. The middle tree was very comfortable to sit in – the way its branches were – and I would sit there for hours in silence.
One day – I don’t know what happened – when I opened my eyes I saw my body lying down on the ground. It was the same experience that had happened in the river many times, so there was no fear.
But in the river, it used to happen automatically that when the body reached the shore, my being would enter into the body. I had no idea how to enter the body; it had always happened of its own accord. So I was stuck. I had no idea. I could see the cord joining me to the body, but how to enter the body, from where to enter? I had never learned any technique from anybody. I simply waited. There was nothing to do.
A woman who used to bring milk to sell to the hostel students came by, and she saw my body lying down. She was puzzled. She just touched my head to see whether I was alive or dead, and the moment she touched my head I entered into my body with such a quick force that I still can not get the idea of how it happens.
But one thing became certain: if a man’s being is out, a woman’s touch to the body will help him to come into the body. And vice versa: if a woman’s body is away from her being, then a man’s touch – and particularly on the forehead where the third eye is…. It was just by accident that she touched me on my head to see whether I was alive or dead, to see what had happened. She had no idea that I was sitting in the tree seeing everything that she was doing. When I opened my eyes she was shocked.
She said, “What are you doing here?”
I said, “I was going to ask you what you are doing here touching my head.”
She said, “I was thinking perhaps some accident had happened or something. You looked almost dead.”