He lit a candle in the darkness of my night

A devotee, July 2007 हिंदी
Certain occurrences are beyond the realm of human understanding, and we can only embrace such experiences with the conviction that divine intervention has prevailed.

I shall be eternally grateful to Guruji, who gave me a new lease of life. With the benefit of hindsight, I understand why, although at that time the reasons were unclear to me. Misery shrouded the core of my being, as my suffering was intense. Every cell and nerve of mine was filled with agony on the physical and psychological level. Even though Guruji had entered my life as a beacon of light I was unable to see beyond my own darkness and despair.

Born and raised in Manchester, UK, I suffered from congenital asthma and eczema as well as a hole in the heart. My childhood was traumatic for my parents and very tiring and trying for me.

However, on account of strong health karma, my spirit had become indomitable as I had to endure much more than my contemporaries. I had learnt to rise above the trivialities at a tender age due to my tribulations.

My parents, on the other hand, lived with uncertainty, as the heart specialist had painted a grim picture for me. He had reservations about my life exceeding 10 years. Good fortune prevailed and I was a healthy and happy teenager enjoying all the joys that life offered.

At 22, I tied the knot and migrated to Delhi. However, as fate had it, a cloud of torment once again descended upon my life, as my asthma choked me during every changing season in Delhi. I was hospitalized each time and given steroid injections.

I felt dejected and rejected as despite my best efforts to evade and avoid asthma attacks I was still stuck with the worst kind. My most life-threatening one struck me in 1997 and that is when I resigned to it completely. I recall praying in my heart that this would be the final one, as I could no longer endure the affliction. During that ill-fated time, I had developed a nasty skin condition which enveloped my entire body. After a biopsy it was confirmed that I had skin cancer. I kept my plight to myself, as I was determined not to shock my family members. As for myself, it was earth-shattering news and I had decidedly reached the end of the road, as my strength to go on had diminished.

However, in the darkness of my night, Guruji, by divine grace lit a candle. Each time I revisit the day I glimpsed Him, I can distinctly recollect my feelings. As good fortune had it, Guruji sat alone in His room that day and my friend who had insisted on my paying Him a visit accompanied me to His domain.

His mere presence overwhelmed me. I had felt like a lost child all my life who had finally found the comfort and protection of her mother. I had been instantly taken under His wings. I had discovered true love like never before; it was pure and unconditional. I felt at home as He embraced me with His infinite love and asked me to attend His congregation every evening. Come rain or shine I would go to Guruji every evening and sit amongst hundreds of other devotees.

At that time I was undergoing immense physical pain, as my skin was oozing with pus and blood. In addition, I was psychologically distressed and this made me increasingly uncomfortable around people.

As time elapsed, Guruji bestowed upon me a blessing that began to heal me internally. I began to accept my condition and instead of resisting and fighting it with an overkill of bitterness and animosity, I made peace with it. I accepted the inevitability of my illness and since I grew to be at ease with it and with my circumstances I went with the flow without expecting to be healed, as I didn't believe that to be a possibility.

Merely being with Guruji and imbibing His energy elevated my spirits and I expected no more. I was finally at peace.

As I immersed myself more and more in His gracious presences I felt a spiritual awakening take place. I simply loved being with Him as He rendered upon me love that I never knew before. His love was supremely pure and unconditional and the kind that could not be substituted.

I gravitated towards Him very naturally and effortlessly every single evening without fail.

On the blessed day, He summoned me to the front, where He sat, and quite openly announced in Punjabi - which I must confess was Greek to me - that I have tried and tested you and squeezed you like a lemon and now I shall heal you. I must not fail to add how true His words were, as He had left no stone unturned in testing my endurance to see if I was worthy of His love.

On that blessed day, I returned home that evening with hope and joy blossoming in my heart. All those months that my skin was inflamed, I would avoid my reflection, as I was daunted by it. The mirror was a painful sight.

The turning point arrived when Guruji endowed me with His eternal blessings and advised me to muster the courage to look in the mirror. Courage is what it took as the reflection had changed by only a fraction. However, within a few weeks, I saw a new me standing in the mirror, a stranger to myself. I was completely overawed by Guruji. Without a shadow of doubt, I was convinced of His sublime healing powers and my love for Him grew ever stronger and my faith even more formidable.

Changing seasons came and went, but did not trigger off any asthma attacks. In fact, I breathed Delhi's polluted air as normally and naturally as anyone I knew without being choked by it!

Guruji gave me a new lease of life and told me that I would not have survived if He had not healed me. His words corresponded with an astrologer whom I met much earlier that year.

It is a challenge for me to give expression to the transformation that took place in my life, but the least I can say is that He healed me not only physically but He enriched me spiritually. After the longest time, I began to feel comfortable under my own skin, literally!

I could write volumes on His unfathomable healing powers and the miracles He has performed on others. But, for now, I shall endeavour to share the rich treasures of my experiences and how I evolved through them.

Guruji's tests are unending and, as nature has it, we become selfishly distant once we are granted our prayers. One particular incident demonstrates how Guruji never ceases to love His disciples. He had told me to light a candle before His photograph everyday. One day, after lighting half a box of matches, the candle had still not lit - much to my dismay. In a fit of fury, I went to the bathroom, came out - and there was a lit candle! I was startled!

That very evening as a mark of respect, I especially visited Guruji even though it was not my visiting day. As I bowed to touch His lotus feet, He whispered softly in His usual gracious voice, "So, the candle lit, did it not?"

I knew then that it was I who had distanced myself from Guruji and He, on the contrary, always remained connected.

In a word I would like to conclude by humbly experiencing my heartfelt gratitude to Him and live every moment feeling indebted to His grace.

A devotee

July 2007