We are, because He is

Bhavesh Pande, July 2007
Guru Govind dou khade Kake Lagoon Paye
Govind se Guru bade Jo Govind Dikhaye

In these lines Kabir wonders whose feet he should touch when both God and Guru are standing before him. Then the understanding dawns that without the blessings of the Guru one cannot get to Govind (God). In our case, however, there is no confusion: Guruji is God.

I first heard about Guruji when I used to visit my maternal uncle Col (retd.) S K Joshi. That was around 1996 and the cynical youth in me would not allow me to place my full faith in Guruji. It was the first week of April in 1997 when I had my first darshan of Guruji in Chandigarh. He asked me where I had come from and I told Him that I was Col Joshi's nephew and had come from Jaipur. He placed His palms on my head and said, "Kalyan ho (Blessings)". Two days later, when I returned to Delhi, I had a job offer I was looking forward to. Instant kalyan, you see. And this when I had refused chai prasad and langar in Chandigarh.

Guruji's darshan did not change me much. Some more time was to pass before I realized His omnipotence. Believe me, even this is preordained by Guruji. Meanwhile, Guruji shifted His abode to Delhi. I used to come to Delhi frequently, but for almost two and a half years I did not go for His darshan. By this time, my sister and mother had become fully devoted to Him; however, I was still my old self.

My mother and I had been looking for a match for my sister, but nothing had materialized for almost two years. Then in April 2000 a phone call came from my sister's father-in-law-to-be saying that they wanted the match to be finalized. My sister was in Delhi at that time and showed Guruji the prospective groom's photo. Guruji simply said, "Changa munda hai (he is a good boy)" and our worries disappeared in a second. The marriage was finalized for January 2001 with Guruji's blessings, and my perspective changed as events unfolded.

The marriage was to be held at the grounds of the school where my mother teaches. After discussions with the caterer, we decided where to place the tandoor and where to get all the cooking done. Just three days before marriage, the school director - herself a devotee of Guruji after hearing about Him from my mother - came and told us that Guruji had come in her dream and told her to have the cooking arrangements made at a certain place. Though I did not think much of it, my mother immediately changed the place where the cooking was to be done. The marriage went off very well and even today, after six years, people say they have never tasted a more delicious marriage dinner.

Such incidents only emphasize or rather point to Guruji's omnipresence in the smallest dimension of space and time. However, then I was still myself - cynical and un-baptized in faith.

Fifteen days after my sister's marriage, I changed. I was returning form my office on my bike. I was on the highway, and it was quite late in the night. Suddenly, a street dog collided with my front wheel. I was at such a speed that had even a pebble hit the motorcycle's wheels, I would have been off balance. A roadways bus was breathing down my neck and had I tripped over that would have been the end. But with Guruji's blessings and to the surprise of the few onlookers, I did not loose balance and survived. I felt like saying thank you God and just bowed my head in front of a temple en route to my house. Just then, the characteristic fragrance of Guruji wafted through the air.

This was the first time when all my reason (or cynicism) left me, and when I bowed my head it was to the mental image of Guruji. The transformation from a cynic to a follower was almost instantaneous.

10 minutes to a marriage

Soon I was transferred to Rewari (on the Jaipur-Delhi highway) and came for Guruji's darshan more frequently. Now my mother was worried about getting me married. One day when my mother and I were at my uncle's place, my maternal aunt's cousin was also there. In the evening we went for Guruji's darshan. After langar, when we were all sitting around Guruji, He called me and asked me to press His lotus feet. A few minutes later He asked my maternal aunt's cousin, Jaya, also. And then 10 minutes later He said, "Shadi kar lo (You both get married)." Marriages are made in heaven - I certainly do not doubt it. That's how I and my maternal uncle became brother-in-laws - a fact Guruji is not beyond rubbing in.

I have often heard in satsangs that He knows all your thoughts, but it is much more than that.

All our thoughts are His. How can you think beyond the fountainhead of all thoughts? How can you act beyond the fountainhead of all activity? How can you exist in separation with the soul of the universe? It is simple: we are, because He is.

The fact, of course, might not be known to us or might have been acknowledged or not, but we all exist due to oneness with Him. The few who are privileged to have His darshan or whom He indulges by letting them smell His fragrance or by visibly touching their lives are blessed manifold. I cherish every moment of my life when after smelling His characteristic fragrance I search for a source, only to realize the source is divine.

I feel the miracles attributed to Guruji are 'miracles' only because they are premised to be impossible. I for one have been trying to invest my faith in Guruji by believing that what I am and what I have (both thoughts are blasphemous) are Guruji's will.

Recounting my experiences of Guruji's blessings is a never-ending exercise. Since memory cannot go beyond the time of birth, I would say I have been blessed by Guruji in being born in this world, being born to my parents, having the set of friends I have, blessed in having the upbringing that I have had, blessed in picking up a disease and being cured thereafter, blessing in having met an accident and having recovered thereafter, blessed in having a wonderful sister and brother-in-law, a wonderful wife and cute daughter and truly truly blessed in having the blessings of Guruji. I bow my head to Guruji for allowing me to have His darshan in this lifetime and only wish that He will continue to bless us. I pray that He keeps our entire family at His lotus feet. Jai Guruji.

Bhavesh Pande, senior executive with Indian Oil Corporation, Jaipur

July 2007