Hello Everyone! MIRACLE OF SHAMBHAVI. My name is Naitik Bhadauriya, AIR 120 in NDA 142 course. I was recommended from 22 SSB Bhopal on 26 March 2019 for Army. I know many of you must be curious as to what’s or who’s Shambhavi, but just hang on for some more time it will come out something totally different. So the journey began on 10 Sept 2017 when I went to give my first NDA written examination i.e. NDA 2 2017. I was not very enthusiastic about NDA at that time and also I was ill-prepared ‘because my half yearly examinations were going on; so naturally I didn’t clear the examination. On another hand one of my batch mates in school and a good friend of mine cleared not only the written part but SSB as well and got AIR 38 in the same NDA course! I was really inspired seeing him making it to NDA while still studying in school and felt that I can do that too.
So I prepared for NDA 1 2018 and fortunately cleared the written part and believe me past 10 years solved papers, NCERT Math, Exemplar of class 11 and 12 and regular newspaper reading is enough to clear the written part of NDA. I got Bangalore as my SSB centre and I started my preparations at once. Just like most of the aspirants I did the big mistake of just working on the tests such as TAT, WAT, SRT, Lecturette etc and not on my actual personality. Instead of enhancing the Officer Like Qualities(OLQs), I was just beautifying my outcomes of various tests that are conducted in SSB; little did I know then that no matter how beautiful answers you write in SSB it has ways to get to the core of your personality and asses you on that basis. Obviously as a result I was conference out from 24 SSB Bangalore on 2 Sept 2018. I was shattered, all those long hours devoted to TAT, WAT, and Lecturette etc. just gone to waste. I still remember the pain I felt when my chest no was not announced in the conference hall. After some time I calmed myself down and analyzed thoroughly as to why I failed. Then after deeply studying the whole testing method and my performance I realized that I prepared the wrong way. All that the board looks for is 15 OLQs and if I have to get recommended I must develop those in me, and not just work on tests (though working on that is also necessary). Simple! Isn’t it?
I had my NDA 2 2018 on 9 Sept 2018 and I had barely a week to prepare. Thanks to my subject combination in class 12 i.e. Humanities with Math I easily cleared the written part and got Bhopal as my SSB centre. This time my approach was crystal clear which was to work on my personality and develop the OLQs. Hey wait, I didn’t tell you about Shambhavi, I guess this is the right time to tell. So in November 2017 I attended a programme called “Inner Engineering” organized by Isha Foundation. In that programme we were taught a very simple, yet powerful ancient mediation called “Shambhavi Mahamudra” (I bet u didn’t know it will turn out this) in a week’s time. This was a life changing experience for me; I had never experienced something so intense within me. As I started practicing Shambhavi regularly I could feel the balance and equanimity rising with me. But amidst the board examination and NDA preparation it got lost somewhere.
After I got the SSB call from SSC BHOPAL I decided that I’ll resume Shambhavi in my life and I started practicing it regularly. It created the necessary balance within myself within 3-4 months after which developing OLQs was not a big thing for me. It completed rewired me in few months. What I did was that I identified certain core OLQs on which other OLQs are directly or indirectly dependent. They were Reasoning Ability, Power of Expression, Social Adaptability, Sense of Responsibility, Confidence and Liveliness. These 6 OLQs covered almost all the other OLQs required. For e.g., how can u influence the group or take initiative if u don’t have confidence; how can you cooperate if u can’t socially adapt to various people and how can you have effective intelligence or organizing ability if you can’t reason out things. After that I figured out ways as to how can I develop each of the 6 OLQs. I solved many reasoning questions, OIRs and brain teasers to enhance Reasoning Ability. In my college I interacted with all kinds of people (whether I liked them or not), worked with them, participated in all kinds of events and hosted and organized programmes to develop other core OLQs. Also I made a deep self analysis of myself for the interview and kept myself updated with the current affairs. I also started reading about the armed forces and the recent happenings there.
This time I just gave one week to prepare for all the tests and before leaving for SSB I observed myself and somewhere I knew I will make it this time. My SSB began on 22nd March 2018 and it went so smoothly that I can’t tell you (quick tip: never ever take OIR lightly, it’s quite important.) Though the GD during the screening process was a total mess but still 4 of the repeaters including me got screened in and I got chest number 1! The rest four days went very smoothly, I was very balanced and stable within myself (Hail Shambhavi!) as a result I aced in all the tests. All the psychology tests went pretty well and in the interview the officer asked about me and my choices in life, though I messed up once or twice but overall it went well. I loved doing the GTO tasks, I cooperated well with everyone and spoke where it was necessary, kept quiet when I should have and very calmly I went through all the tests (quick tip: always observe the structures before giving the solutions, take 10-15 seconds and observe them thoroughly). I was asked very mundane questions in the conference and was asked to leave. I can’t describe my happiness when my chest number was called in the conference hall; at that moment everything seemed still and quiet, my dream finally came true. My parents and mausi cried last time when I didn’t get recommended and they cried this time also when I told them I got recommended. (I didn’t cry in either one) Then our medicals were conducted and I was considered fit for all the three wings of the armed forces.
I generally don’t recommend something but still I would recommend each one of you reading this article to bring Shambhavi Mahamudra in your life. You may think that these things are too outdated but believe me this is the greatest service that you will do to yourself. It will be a life changing experience for you and that’s my guarantee. Especially the defense aspirants must bring this in their lives because this will create the necessary ambience within you that’s required to develop the OLQs. Secondly don’t just keep beautifying your TAT, WAT and other tests; yes they are necessary but they are not the deciding factors rather develop the OLQs within yourself, put yourself in difficult situations, work with people you don’t like and observe how you act and accordingly amend yourself; that’s the right approach for clearing SSB.
I have my reporting in NDA on 24th June 2019, so I’ll be leaving pretty soon. Best of luck to all the defense aspirants and believe me clearing SSB is not rocket science, it’s very much possible for each one of you if only you approach it the right way. JAI HIND!