From school to Eiffel Tower: a young girl grows up with Guruji

Aarti Garg, July 2007 हिंदी
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Gurur sakshat Parm Brahma, tasmay Shri Guruve Namah

The Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and the Lord of the Lords
The Guru is the living God, I prostate myself before the Guru

My faith in God's kindness and His love for mankind had always been shaky till I met Him in flesh and blood in the form of Guruji.

Explaining Guruji's grace in words is a Herculean task. Just as prayers have the potential of seeking anything from God, similarly the satsang of Guruji provides pleasure beyond explainable limits and blesses both the speaker and the listener.

I have heard that God gives us rewards and punishments according to our karmas, but I have seen Guruji burning our ill deeds in the heat of His divine fire to bestow on us a better and more comfortable life than what we would have had if we had not come to His holy feet. Thus it's my pleasure to take this opportunity to share my experiences. However, if I start listing down all the incidents that have happened with me, the list would be never-ending. I shall just recount a few of them.

When I got my first chance to have Guruji's darshan, I was a school-going kid in Class XI. Though born in Punjab, but settled in Noida (a city close to Delhi) over the last decade, I had started my schooling in Noida. This took me far away from Punjabi (regional language spoken in Punjab) and even a simple sentence of Punjabi was hard for me to understand. Under these circumstances, the most striking thing, when we first came to Guruji, was the fact that even though the shabads being played in the sangat were all in Punjabi (and believe me, I didn't get the hang of even a single word), somehow, something special about the place never let me feel lost. Guruji Himself speaks in Punjabi, thus I could not understand anything, be it shabads or Guruji's words. Even then, my answer to any query on my first experience invariably reflects how great I felt after that visit. This was followed by many fascinating experience, which helped ground and firm up my belief in Guruji.

My Master's Voice: When He delivered a speech through me

On an annual day function of my school, I was one of the participants and was supposed to deliver a speech. I had been doing such activities regularly, but this time we had special preparations on, as the chief guest was a senior official. We had tough rounds of practice and in fact the final round was witnessed by our school principal along with staff. On D Day, I was tasked with delivering the opening speech, followed by two more schoolmates of mine. The moment I began my speech, I could feel a unique energy that enabled me to deliver the speech with great punch. My concluding lines had the complete gathering putting their hands together. I was deluged with compliments as soon as I came off the stage. Every teacher and student, with surprise on their faces, told me that it seemed as if I had transformed while delivering the speech. An even bigger compliment came when the chief guest's address was found to be revolving around my speech. In fact, he reiterated my concluding words as his own conclusion. Everyone found it surprising, but I knew it was Guruji who had done it all.

Moreover, Guruji was with me in school a number of times, for often I could smell His rosy fragrance many times.

Helping me through Class XII

When I moved to 12th class, the academic pressure mounted. One day while giving prasad Guruji asked me about the academic stream I had selected. I told Him I was a commerce student, and He started asking me questions about Economics. He asked me what credit control is all about. Though I knew the answer, I went blank in front of Guruji and could not answer. Guruji concluded the conversation by advising me to be serious about studies.

Though at that moment I was unable to fathom what had happened, during subsequent months I realized what Guruji had done. Guruji's words of caution had me taking special care of the related subject, i.e., Economics. This insured that I was fairly well prepared to face what happened later. For the entire second half of the session, we had to study that subject on our own since our economics teacher had left the school. But Guruji's forewarning helped me avoid last-minute blues that left my batch mates distraught and I scored 97 per cent in Economics.

As my board exams were approaching, my visits to Guruji became less frequent (partly due to Guruji's instructions that I study). It was on 13 January (the day is celebrated in North India as a festival known as 'Lohri') that I accompanied my parents and brother to Guruji's place to seek His blessings for my board exams. This visit was expected to be the last before the completion of the exams. Guruji distributed prasad that day and was giving toffees when it was my turn. Though Guruji's instructions in general are that the prasad is to be finished at Guruji's place only, the toffees are an exception. So I had a part of the prasad there and kept a part for consumption at a later date.

When I went to bow to Guruji for taking His leave, He wasn't distributing His photographs and neither was any packet of the same kept close to Him. But when I was about to get up, He took out a photograph and gave it to me. I was delighted to have the same, as Guruji's photograph is a prized possession. What Guruji had done that night started unfolding immediately on our way back.

As I was holding the photograph, I suddenly realized it was exuding His fragrance. His fragrance came off the photograph even as my board exams began. I used to carry the photograph with me to the exams as well. After the last exam, the moment I returned home, the fragrance disappeared, as though Guruji had blessed the photograph especially to take care of exams.

When we reached back home that night I counted the number of toffees left.

I found that I had a total of 12 toffees left, which made it a couple of toffees for each of the six papers. With prasad as toffees and Guruji's photograph and fragrance with me through all the papers, I ended up scoring very good marks and gaining admission in one of the top colleges of Delhi University.

Love: An ice-cream and the best birthday ever

Guruji along with a few devotees decided to go to a hotel in Gurgaon and asked me to join in. I gladly took this opportunity and very shortly, we were on our way. After driving for 20 minutes, we were at Bristol Hotel and I was the one hogging Guruji's special attention, as I was the youngest of the lot and also the only member of my family present. Guruji walked briskly round the terrace of the hotel, settled down and ordered cold drinks for all the sangat. We all had a great time, since the cold drinks were accompanied by snacks and followed by ice-cream. On our way back, while everyone was getting into their respective vehicles, Guruji specially enquired about my whereabouts and saw to it that I was comfortably placed with someone for a drop back at His place. When we reached Guruji's place, Guruji asked how the experience was. I was delighted to acknowledge that it was absolutely wonderful. Guruji also asked me whether or not I had ice-cream. Since I had a sore throat, I had avoided eating ice-cream. When I told this to Guruji, He said I should have had the ice-cream since it would have cured my throat. But though I hadn't eaten the ice-cream I found that those simple words of Guruji had cured my throat. Since then I have never had severe throat trouble, which otherwise was a normal phenomenon for me at least once a year.

Guruji's admirable care and affection was again evident on a very special day. We were enjoying shabads and waiting for Guruji to start distributing prasad. On Guruji's instructions, prasad was brought and kept right next to Him. As we all waited for Guruji's signal asking us to come forward and take prasad, Guruji decided to start from the side where I was sitting. In fact, it so happened that I was the first to have it on that day. As I went ahead and took it, Guruji sprung a very well-kept surprise. He conveyed to me in Punjabi that I should enjoy myself as this was my birthday. No one in the sangat knew about my birthday and none in my family had communicated it to Guruji. That was my best birthday ever.

Guruji doing the impossible

After completing my graduation from Delhi University, for a short spell I wasn't studying. Then Guruji instructed me to join an MBA course (through correspondence) from Symboisis, a premier management institute. I filled in the form and was through with the formalities just in time to get admission in that session. When it came to the examination, I had filled in a centre of South Delhi as my first preference, since it was closer to our residence. But somehow, when I got my admit card, I found that the examination centre allocated was across Delhi. My father tried to get the centre changed, but it all went in vain as even the headquarters of the college in Pune clearly communicated that a centre once allocated cannot be changed under any circumstances.

Due to exams on successive days, it was highly impractical to travel a one-way distance of about 45 km daily. So I had to plan a stay at my grandparents' place, which was just about 10-15 km from the designated centre. The problem was that with me living with my grandparents at Noida it was impossible for me to have Guruji's darshan. I somehow managed the first exam, but even before the second exam, I was so upset and frustrated, that I started thinking of skipping the remaining exams. I cried as I wished and waited for Guruji's grace to pull me out of this situation. But what happened next was beyond my imagination.

As all students were quietly writing the exam, one of the faculty members of the centre turned up and enquired if anyone wanted to switch to an alternate centre out of a list which included the one I had desperately tried for. I pounced on the opportunity and he took down my name and asked me to take a confirmation before leaving. After the exam I went to him and he told me that their centre was facing a space crunch due to which this decision was taken and he confirmed the change of my centre. I took the remaining examinations at the centre I wanted, and also had the opportunity of visiting Guruji during my examination days. Who except Guruji could have forced such a dramatic turn of events?

Understanding Guruji's powers is much beyond our comprehension. They confound logic.

Once while the sangat had assembled at Guruji's place, an earthquake occurred. Everyone remained seated with Guruji at His seat, but as it persisted for more than about 8-10 seconds, there was a sense of unrest. Sensing this, an initially unmoved Guruji, who was sitting with His legs folded on His chair, put His lotus feet down on the earth. Immediately, the reverberations ceased.

If on this occasion, we saw how the weight of Guruji's leg had stabilized the earth, on yet another occasion we witnessed something quite different.

Guruji had gone to the Bade Mandir with some devotees including me. At the main entrance gate, construction was going on and there was a patch of wet cement. Someone had placed a wooden plank to facilitate the sangat's movement. All of us used it to cross over. But, Guruji decided to simply walk through the patch. To everyone's amazement, there were absolutely no marks left on the wet cement. Just after this incident, we checked the degree to which the cement was set and found that even a finger touch was leaving a mark!

Another life-altering miracle: marriage in 15 days

Once in Guruji's sharan, all your troubles and worries are taken care of by Guruji. Since our knowledge is limited to experiences we carry forward from the past and the situation we face in present, our understanding of our needs is very limited. On the contrary, Guruji knows your future needs as well and in fact provides provisions for their fulfillment.

Guruji had decided the year of my marriage and in fact had communicated the same to my mother about six years in advance. But the wedding took place at an unimaginable pace.

In the beginning of April, Guruji suddenly asked my dad if some marriage proposals were under consideration. Dad told Guruji that though our relative had mentioned a proposal, not much heed had been paid to it since they had not seriously started thinking about my marriage. Guruji asked dad to go ahead and consider it further and with more seriousness. Dad thus reverted to the family. The groom-to-be was posted in Sweden and was expected in India on 16 April for a month's annual vacation. It was decided that both the families would meet on 17 April. On 17 April, when we met for the very first time, in a span of couple of hours, the mood turned festive. All the arrangement were done then and there and we had our ring ceremony immediately - on our very first meeting. Within a couple of days, the marriage date was also decided: the 30th of the same month. All the arrangements were made on a war footing and I got married on 30 April. Though Guruji was physically not present at the marriage, Guruji's grace was evident in every bit of whatever happened that night. Everyone present there could not stop appreciating the decoration, ambience, food; each and every aspect distinctly reflected Guruji's grace.

Meeting Guruji at the Eiffel Tower

After scripting my marriage in a miraculous fashion, Guruji was soon required to script another wonderful miracle. My husband had to return to Sweden, as he was on a four-week leave. He had his return ticket already booked for the middle of May, as he had to join office. But arranging for my passport and visa in 15 days was impossible. An application was made as soon as possible, but the Swedish Embassy told us that that all visa applications are sent to Sweden for approval and only then can they grant a visa. So Sushil, my husband, had to leave alone as postponing his program was not possible. In Sweden, he also visited the Embassy to get the case expedited. However, even after all this, nearly a month passed by. It was in the first week of June that we felt I might get the visa in a week. We got an air ticket booked (for 16th night) and the countdown started. It went to the wire. On June 16, our visit to the Embassy looked like going in vain. They regretted the visa was not available. I was disappointed, since it meant a delay of at least a week. I communicated this to dad, but decided to give it another shot. Miraculously the situation changed and the officer handed over the visa to us in the next couple of hours. Delighted by this, I called up dad to break the news. He was surprisingly not surprised.

Dad later told me Guruji had already told him about my visa sanction 15-20 minutes prior to my call. It was only after this that I could realize the reason behind the sudden change in the entire scenario. Without Guruji's intervention, getting the visa on that day was impossible.

As all my experiences prove, Guruji is an endless source of love and possesses ultimate powers. He is not bound by physical barriers, neither is His vision restricted to the present. He can seamlessly see the past, present and future and transverse any distance to attend to His disciple's call. When in Sweden, we (me and my husband) planned a visit to Paris over a weekend. When we were at the Eiffel Tower (first floor), I was overjoyed as I smelt Guruji's strong fragrance. During my very next telecon with dad, I was told that Guruji was asking about me the other day. Dad told me the exact date and time of this conversation with Guruji. A bit of calculation revealed that at the time Guruji had asked dad my whereabouts, I had smelled His fragrance at the first floor of the Eiffel Tower.

An account of my experiences with Guruji is akin to a dumb man trying to explain the taste of a sweet. No words can articulate who He is and what He means to me. I would just request Guruji to hold our hand always, as He has done through these golden years of our association with Him.

It is said the paras is a precious gem that converts iron to gold on mere contact, but Guruji can convert a useless stone into a diamond. Only total faith and devotion are required. Full surrender to Guruji ensures full protection from Him in each and every moment of our life and even beyond!

Aarti Garg, daughter of R P Singla

July 2007