By Rayka Manoharan

My daughters are my pride and joy. The night my eldest daughter was born, fireworks filled the sky because it was New Year’s Eve. I knew she was a blessing from the ECK.

Being a first-time mum, I had countless struggles. The greatest challenge of motherhood was putting her to sleep at night. She would fall asleep at around midnight, wake up again at 3:00 a.m., and then stay awake until 5:00 a.m. before she dozed off again. That continued for a year and a half. Still, nothing gave me greater joy than caring for her.

She grew up to be a bubbly little toddler. She was slightly behind the growth milestone chart, but that really didn’t bother me, as I knew every child is different. Nevertheless, some of my closest family members recommended that I seek professional help as early as possible, as they noticed her speech was delayed and she didn’t make eye contact.

When I sought a professional opinion, the doctor diagnosed her with mild autism. I was devastated to the core. When I conceived her, I resigned from a full-time job, became a vegan, stopped drinking caffeinated drinks, listened to only uplifting music, did yoga, and hiked—all to give this child the best. Despite all this, I blamed myself and felt extremely lost.

I had all these questions in my head. I felt anger and frustration, and I read pages and pages of online articles on what causes autism and how to cure it. I learned that there is no cure, only intervention. I sought help from every corner of the country.

Being an ECKist, I also used all the spiritual tools I have. I sang the HU, wrote an initiate report almost every day, and finally surrendered the situation to the ECK, knowing everything happens for the highest good.

One day I recollected a moment, years ago, when I was visiting an education center and helping children with special needs. I heard a speech from a child with Down syndrome and her mother. I was so touched and overwhelmed with love. Inwardly I said to God, I want to mother a special-needs child. It’s a great task, but give it to me. I had forgotten my inner request!

From that moment of remembrance, I stopped blaming anyone for my situation, including myself. I completely surrendered my daughter and her diagnosis to the Sugmad, the ECK, and the Mahanta. I continued using all the treasured spiritual tools the ECK teachings have given me.

I became more open about my daughter’s diagnosis with teachers, friends, and family members, and they gradually accepted her. Some even offered their support.

Today, I’m so proud of my daughter. She amazes me and everyone she meets and is a walking fountain of love. She has a very upbeat attitude, is a good artist, has a golden voice, loves to sing and tell stories, and is incredibly lovable. Whenever I am feeling down, her hug is the greatest cure. The teachers say she lights up the classroom and the room feels boring when she is absent.  She brings radiance wherever she is. I would never have it any different.

Many times my daughter has told me of her inner journeys with the Mahanta, and I have this very strong confidence that she will be OK.

The ECK brought this change in perspective the very instant I needed it most. With the continuous practice of the Spiritual Exercises of ECK, I’m constantly guided to ways, resources, and methods to raise my child. I’m continuously doing my best as her mother in this lifetime, and the ECK teachings and HU are the best gifts I could give her. She is definitely a blessing from God.

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Would you like to recognize the blessings in your life? Try this spiritual exercise to begin recognizing your gifts!