I was abroad when a friend, who I met by strange chance, talked about Guruji. I was sceptical, wondering how a rational person could have been so taken in. When I returned to India, I came to know that a cousin had cancer. And immediately Guruji was in my mind. I asked my mother if my cousins would like to visit-and discovered that my cousin's family had already been going to Him. However, I did not go to Him. Clearly, a part of me was resisting.
Then I had health problems and my cousin asked me to come. When I went, and this was twelve years ago, I felt strange. Everyone just sat, listened to shabads
, had tea and langar
. There was no discourse, no preaching. I could not attune myself to the environment and did not repeat the visit.
However, the call came and I began going to Chhotta Mandir. As my visits continued, I realized why I could not connect with Him initially. That was because Guruji can see through you, through the face you show your family, the masks you show others and the real person you are within. You are an open book to Him, and He knows you at a level you haven't been in touch with. In His presence, you have to face up to your many masks, and that requires willingness, introspection, acceptance and courage.
I quickly saw that unspoken questions were answered by the shabads. And then another mode of communication opened up. It was a Thursday afternoon; I was snoozing and dreamt of Guruji. I saw His face and the white clothes He was wearing. He said: "Papa nu lai ke ain.
" That is, bring your father over. That was it.
When I woke up, I wasn't sure if I had seen a real vision or something that was an outcome of an overactive imagination. I wasn't even sure that it was Guruji, as He had a plain white cloth around His shoulders-rather different from His usual embroidered dress. (Years later, I saw a photo of Guruji that was similar to His dream visitation's.) I conferred with my mother, and we suggested to our father that we visit Chhotta Mandir. We did not tell him the reason for the visit; however, he agreed immediately although the Mandir was two-hour drive away.
Why had Guruji called my father? On a pilgrimage to Badrinath, sometime later, the reason became clear. My father suddenly lost consciousness. We couldn't revive him until I said: "Guruji". My father opened his eyes.
Guruji is truly our saviour. On yet another occasion, we were driving back from Agra at night. I braked hard to avoid a stationary vehicle, but it was too late. We crashed into the Bolero. It was a solid impact, thanks to the fact that the Bolero had no warning lights on, and the front of our care bore the brunt of the impact. There was no damage beyond Guruji's photograph on the front of the dashboard. All the passengers were absolutely fine. The windscreen did not have a scratch. And we managed to find a towing service in the middle of nowhere and returned home safe. Guruji's presence in the form of the photograph was divine protection made manifest.
But his samadhi
came as a bolt from the blue. I was bereft. However, His fragrance assured me of His presence. And then I got a tell-tale mark on my arm. I thought it was a rash but it took the shape of the divine syllable-Om.
A few years ago, our family found itself in a very tough phase. My parents were really ill, and I had to shuttle between India and abroad. I wasn't well myself at that time. I was stressed out and had to attend an interview with a manager, who was supposed to be really strict. The circumstances did not bode well for my job. But when I met him, the manager was very considerate, and my interview turned into a simple and short chat. I was very relieved. As I left the interview venue to catch a bus, I saw Guruji's big photo, kept at the hall in the Bade Mandir now, on the advertisement panel of the bus stop. I thought to myself: "Guruji"! His smile said to me: Why are you worried when I am here? Then the photo vanished and an advertisement appeared. Soon, thanks to His grace, we all came through our illnesses and returned to normalcy.
I had a second big dream of Guruji. He was sitting with roses around His feet, there were a lot of relatives around, even those who didn't know Guruji. He was talking to us and called out to my cousins, who have never met Him, by name. When my uncle passed away, I found the dream prefigured a part of the rites. We had a paath
where we kept reciting Om Namah Shivay and offered roses to Shivji for 24 hours. Another Aunt of mine presented us with a beautiful picture of Guruji.
Most recently, my father had to go for scheduled tests at a hospital; he suddenly lost consciousness while there. The doctor revived him, but He lost consciousness again. His pulse was falling and His blood pressure was not good. I prayed to Guruji and put His photo on my father's forehead. Soon the doctor figured out that my father's blood pressure had dropped terribly and gave him a drip. Thanks to Guruji, we returned home that evening shaken but grateful and blessed.
In year 2014, it was Guruji's birthday, when I had another beautiful indication of His presence. I was making breakfast of parathas
and doing jaap
at the same time. When I took the paratha off the stove, it bore a full impression of Shivji sitting in the middle. I was blessed.
I won't say this journey has been easy. Guruji tests you inside out, and being human, we tend to fail more often than succeed. Yet each of us has their own journey and their own experiences. I just hope and pray that He forgives us and keeps us in His sharan
always. Jai Guruji!