My wife Indu and I had gone on an excursion to Chittorgarh and Udaipur. We were driving along National Highway 8 on our way back to Gurgaon, and I was at the wheel. It was 10 in the morning of 6 January 2008. I was overtaking a truck on a slight incline; suddenly, another truck loomed ahead of us. We must have been going at 90-100 kmph; the truck at a distance of 250-300 metres was coming at us at around 80-90kmph. We were staring at death in the face: I could neither increase my speed nor brake to fall behind the truck we were passing for fear of skidding. Numerous thoughts flashed through my mind: I had never imagined our lives would end so soon; the car lying shattered on the roadside; the police going through the formalities of an accident; our children and relatives crying over our untimely death.
At that time, I was not bothered about my life anymore and remembered Guruji. "I do not want to be responsible for Indu's death in this manner," I said mentally. At that moment, the approaching truck swerved to its left and went over the only sandy patch on the roadside, coming to an abrupt halt. And we safely cruised through at the same speed!
Indu was shivering with fear. All we could do was to thank Guruji with all our heart and soul for His very timely intervention. Had it not been for Him we would not have been alive today to tell the tale.
On a few occasions since 1985 I had heard of Guruji, but the opportunity to seek His blessings finally came in July 2004 through Colonel (retd.) D S Chatterjee.
By that time, I had taken premature retirement from the Army in 1997. I had quit my last job because I was being forced to work out of Hyderabad and it was not convenient for me to work on their terms. That day, I had a long conversation with Col Chatterjee, who asked me to come to Guruji's sangat and seek His blessings. Desperate as I was, I decided to give it a try - more out of inquisitiveness and curiosity but, nonetheless, with some hope.
Our first visit was without any apparent result. But we did get Guruji's fragrance at our home in Gurgaon - and have felt it since then on many later occasions.
On my third visit, I had the opportunity to sit close to Guruji. After the langar
, He wanted to know my name and the corps I had worked in. After I replied, He said that Signal Corps officers never sit idle ("kadi vele nahin rehende"
). I took that as His blessings.
An experience in superconsciousness
During one of my first few visits to the sangat
, I was sitting in a yoga
position and thinking of the awakening of the Kundalini
(spiritual energy, said to be coiled at the base of the spine). I reflected that one had to endure much pain when that energy passed through the Brahma Nadi
and also that those attempting this yoga
are often diverted in their pursuit by all sorts of supersensory experiences. All of a sudden, I felt myself bathing in nectar from head to toe! The bliss was really too beautiful to be explained in words. It was indeed an experience in superconsciousness, or the feeling of truth-consciousness-bliss (satchitananda
) as explained in the scriptures. The experience continued till langar
was announced and we had to move out. I really cannot at this stage find words to thank Guruji for His blessings.
If on this visit Guruji's blessings had led to bliss, on another earlier occasion, it had led to the lessening of persistent pain. I again happened to be sitting close to Guruji for langar
that day. After finishing, I could only get up with great difficulty, so intense was the pain along my back. The pain had been persisting for quite a few years and would return every few weeks. I saw Guruji observing me, and to my surprise the pain disappeared soon after. Rarely have I had backache since; if there has been pain, it has disappeared in a very short time.
My Daughter Gets a Permanent Visa
With Guruji's blessings my younger daughter was married in November 2005. After marriage, she had obtained a temporary visa; however, she wanted a permanent visa to enable her to work in the US. The US had laid down restrictions on the number of visas. While filling up her visa appointment form at a bank in September 2006, I felt Guruji's fragrance and immediately knew that He had blessed the undertaking.
We had been told that the visa process could take an entire day at the embassy and that very many questions are asked. Accordingly, I had bundled up a few jobs to be completed while my daughter would be at the embassy. But as Guruji would have it, I was still driving through Chanakyapuri area after dropping her there when my daughter called up to say that her visa had been sanctioned!
Family Excursion on Divine Fuel
In June of 2007, we had gone to Lansdowne with both our daughters and grandson. Tarkeshwar Mahadev
is a very old siddhapeeth
(centre of spiritual energy), located around 30 km off Lansdowne. Before the journey, the fuel tank needle was at the half-level mark, indicating there was enough fuel for a to-and-fro journey. After travelling 12 km, the needle dropped to the red indicator. On enquiry the closest petrol pump was in Kotdwar (not Lansdowne) at a distance of about 50 km. The fuel indicator had become faulty, and we had not been aware of it. And there were three ladies with a two-year-old child in the car in an unfamiliar area.
At that moment, I recalled an incident in which Guruji had travelled a long distance in a car without fuel at the height of the Punjab insurgency. All of us prayed to Guruji for His help. I also prayed to Lord Shiva and Anjaneya
(Shri Hanuman). Suddenly a black dog came in front of the car and walked ahead slowly, forcing me to slow down to a crawl. After doing so for sometime, the dog moved to one side and walked away. It is said that Lord Shiva sometimes assumes this form to indicate His presence! I thanked the Lord and Guruji and continued our journey. Though I was confident that there was no need for anxiety now, we requested petrol from a few passing vehicles, but none of them could help us. By the time we reached the temple, the needle had reached the white mark, indicating a near-empty tank! Notwithstanding that, we performed our prayers at the temple. When we came back to the parking lot, a gentleman agreed to transfer some petrol from his vehicle's tank. But, we couldn't do so. A driver then said that we should proceed to Lansdowne; he would follow us and tow us to town if we ran out of fuel. But with the blessings of Guruji we reached Lansdowne safely.
I managed to get some petrol in five bottles from a local shopkeeper (the last in his stock!). Five bottles was only 3.750 litres, barely enough to make it to Kotdwar, 40 km away along a hilly route. But with Guruji's grace we reached Kotdwar the following day and got the tank filled.
Summoned for Sweet Prasad
I had been remembering Guruji one morning in June of 2008. I suddenly remembered that there had been - unusually - no sweets in the last langar
. In the afternoon my wife, a school principal (thanks to Guruji again), called up. Her school had had its first Class XI admissions. I had just finished lunch and laid down for a siesta, when the words 'Bada Mandir' flashed through my mind. In a few minutes my mind was made up, and I left for Bada Mandir.
I paid my respects to Guruji and Ganapati for their mercies and prayed for sometime. While walking back to the car, one gentleman stopped me and offered kadah prasad
. Thankfully, I took the prasad
and started on my way home. After driving for sometime, I realized that it was Guruji who had called me to the Mandir for the prasad
because, earlier in the day, the thought of not having any sweets on the previous langar
had come to my mind!
Today, we owe our life to the profound grace of Guruji. May His blessings always shower on His devotees.
Amitabh Shastri, a devotee based in Gurgaon