He blessed us like a father would

Devinder Chawla, April 2008
Om Namah Shivay Guruji Sada Sahay

Tere kavan kavan gun keh keh gaanva
Tu Sahib guni nidhaan
Tumri mahima baran na saakon
Tu Thakur unch Bhagwana

We came to Guruji in April 2005. A friend had told us about Him as early as 2002 but, as they say, one can come to Guruji only when He wills it.

We were living in Bombay in 2005 and would come to Delhi very often as this was home for us. We were reminded about Guruji by a lady disciple whom we met at a party. She talked to us about Guruji and was sure "this must be your bulava and you must go to Empire Estate."

We did so, but did not stay for langar the first day. We returned the second day as if pulled by a magnet. We were fortunate that Guruji spoke to us. He asked us who had sent us to Him and wanted us to come again the next day (a Sunday). We told Him that we had to fly back to Mumbai that day and He said: "Ticket cancel karaa .... blessing nahin lainee (Cancel the tickets .... don't you want the blessings)?" He also asked us to get a copper tumbler. He blessed the tumbler for my wife and we went back to Bombay the next morning. We were one of those fortunate ones who were blessed by Guruji even before we knew of the true depth and value of His blessings. We were then a very normal family with no major problems; Guruji blessed us and took away our problems even before we became aware of them.

After April 2005, I always tried to keep my meetings in Delhi on a Thursday or Friday such that I could have Guruji's darshan. When I came back the first time in early May 2005 and stayed back after langar, Guruji looked at me and said: "Tu phir aa gayaa mudke (You have come back again)." And when I told Him that I had a meeting in Delhi and had hence came for His darshan, He remarked: "Bus dekhda chal hun tu (You just wait and watch now)." We kept coming back as often as possible. There was a pull. Whenever we came to Empire Estate for darshan, we felt very satisfied and blissful-as if we had been lifted to a different world.

Guruji sent us a message to come to Bada Mandir on July 7 for His birthday celebrations. It was a very special experience and one felt very blessed after that visit. Guruji used to call us "Bombay wale", and His usual blessing to us while taking aagya used to be "jaao aish karo (Enjoy your life)." We never realized the depth of those blessings then, but now know the reason for our very comfortable and happy three-year stay in Bombay.

We had the first experience of Guruji's raksha kawach (literally, security shield) in July 2005. Bombay faced the worst ever water-logging on July 26-27. The entire city faced several problems, but we were absolutely unaffected. While most of our friends faced some or the other problem, we were blessed and guarded. Our daughter reached home safe from school while children of our friends in the same school had to spend the night in the school bus. Several of my colleagues reached home the next day afternoon, but I was able to reach home the same evening just an hour or so late. The colony in which we lived was one of the very few that did not face power or water problems. Even our staff were able to report for work regularly. We went about life normally in a week when the entire city struggled to return to normalcy.

That Guruji was antaryaami (omniscient) and nothing was hidden from Him became clear to us very early on. During one of my initial visits, while asking me to listen to a lady's satsang, He said: "Sai bhagat, tu vee sun. (You, devotee of Sai Baba, listen carefully)." I had never mentioned to anybody in the sangat that I had been to Shirdi a few times and had faith in Shirdi Sai Baba, but He knew.

Once, my wife had to go through a minor surgical procedure. We had not even mentioned it to Guruji, but when I came for His darshan the next time from Bombay, He said: "Ho gayee teri wife theek (Is your wife okay now)?"

Living in Bombay, we used to always be on the look out for opportunities to come to Delhi and have His darshan. And He blessed us like a father would. I remember we got His fragrance in the aircraft itself as we landed in Delhi. Like greedy kids we used to try and sit as close to His sinhasan (throne) as possible. When we returned from the sangat, we would still have His fragrance on our clothes for some time and, ignorant as we were, we felt that it was due to our sitting close to Him. Once even before Guruji came out from His room, I was sent to the first floor and did not get a chance to stay back after langar. That day the fragrance stayed on my clothes till the next morning - a clear sign that it was His blessing and not due to just sitting next to Him.

Sometime around August 2006, Guruji stopped calling us "Bombay wale." My company was considering asking me to move to either Singapore or UK. Things got finalized and my work permit from UK arrived. On our next visit, my wife mentioned this to Guruji. "Tu ki karna hai London jaake," He said, "Tu aithe aaja Delhi, mere kol. (What will you do in London? You come to Delhi, to me." We were a bit disappointed but were very clear that we had to abide by His wish. Very soon I had a job offer for Delhi and came to Delhi next for Guruji's darshan. He saw me from a distance and said, "Mil gayee tainu naukri Delhi di, hun tu aaja. (You have got a job in Delhi, now you settle here)." Thereafter, things just fell in place one after the other as if He was running our life. Our daughter got admission at Welham Girls' School, Dehradun, with His blessings. We cut off our links with Bombay on April 13, 2007, and went straight to Bade Mandir on landing.

After moving to Delhi, we came for His darshans more regularly, but rarely got a chance to stay back after langar. Going back from Empire Estate in our car one evening, we were talking and wished that He would allow us to stay back after langar. He did, and when we thanked Him, He said: "Mein car vich he sun layaa si. (I was listening to the conversation in the car)."

We have always felt very blessed to have had a chance to be at His lotus feet. We also feel that our problems were all taken care of by Guruji; He pre-empted them. We continue to be under His suraksha kawach even after His mahasamadhi. Once while returning from Dehradun, our car was hit by a truck near Ghaziabad. We could hear metal being torn, and our car shook badly. We were completely safe; there was not even a scratch on us. Even the car was good enough to be driven back. But whosoever saw the car was amazed that we came out completely unhurt.

Our driver, who used to take us to Empire Estate, was very disappointed that he did not get a chance to have Guruji's darshan. After Guruji's mahasamadhi, he asked for Guruji's photograph. His wife was expecting their second child. As their first child was born through a caesarean section they were concerned, and the doctors had indicated a high probability of the need for surgery this time, too.

His wife started praying to Guruji regularly. One day in the evening while lighting the agarbatti, she thought to herself: "Guruji meine to aapko dekha bhi nahin.(I have not even had your darshan)" Early next morning, Guruji gave her darshan, blessed her and told her that she would give birth to a son and that too through a normal delivery. Within a month, the couple was blessed with a son - of course, through a normal delivery.

We always feel His presence around us and feel guided and taken care of by Him.

Garib nivaaj gusaiyan mera, mathe chatar dhare
Aisi laal tujh bin, tujh bin kaun kare

Devinder Chawla, devotee

April 2008