Countless blessings, unending grace

Gauri Singla, July 2007 हिंदी
Even if I am granted a million tongues to talk about Guruji's grace, they won't be sufficient as His blessings are endless. Endless too are incidents marked by His love and care towards His devotees. Since the day I got His darshan, I am still learning from and about Guruji. Even today, when one hears of Guruji's blessings falling on someone, the experience is so distinct and unique that you find that every day at His place is a new day, and everyone is just a child, a learner in front of Him.

A new beginning

It was August of 1998. My husband came back early from office and told me that he was joining one of his friends, Wing Commander Chopra, to go to Guruji's place. He was then a firm non-believer in saints and mahapurushs, and thus this decision came in as a surprise. He left that day from our residence in Noida at around 6 in the evening and returned well past midnight. I was desperate to know how it all went off. So as soon as he settled down after coming home, I threw a volley of questions at him.

How exactly does Guruji operate - does He deliver sermons (or pravachans)? Is He an astrologer who predicts your future? Is He one who prescribes stones and mantras to pacify disturbances in your life? Does He look like the typical ascetic, who sports a long beard, orange clothes, and matted hair? And what did you do in the five hours spent there?

My husband's answers were unexpected. He said: a) Guruji hardly talks, and when He has to talk to someone, He summons the person Himself; b) Guruji does not preach or sermonize; c) Shabads (Punjabi devotional music; these songs are based on the Guru Granth Sahib and are spiritual and mystical poetry of the highest order) are played in the hall where Guruji sits, and these make the environment soothing and relieve you of all tensions; d) Guruji distributes a lot of prasad, usually in the form of sweets, to each person, and langar (a meal people sit together to eat) is served to each and every person; e) No matter what the time is, no one feels sleepy there; f) Guruji looks very young, is clean shaven, and His dress is like that of the king of Gods; and g) Time just flies at His place.

We dozed off and knowing my husband's nature, I considered his visit a passing affair. He wouldn't even remember what would have happened the next evening, I thought.

Imagine my surprise the next evening when my husband called up from office to convey that he was leaving for Guruji's place and will be coming late.

When he returned as late as the previous night, I was desperate to talk to him. When he finally came back, I asked him a simple question: what pulled you back to that place? He had an even simpler answer: "What I got there is not something which can be explained, it is something which can only be experienced."

Intrigued, our entire family decided to visit Guruji next evening.

How the Guru's door opened: our first encounter

On my husband's third visit, I along with the children accompanied him. We were 20-30 metres from Guruji's place and could smell a very strong fragrance. When we entered the hall where Guruji sat, the fragrance was all around us. The first thing that came to my mind was: "This gentleman has put on so much perfume that the entire hall is filled with fragrance: he is probably a very hi-fi, stylish Guruji."

Even after the description I had already heard from my husband, Guruji's first darshan was nothing short of stunning and very different from my initial presumptions.

But, our share of unimaginable things was just about to go up. As soon as I got up after bowing to Guruji, He straight away said in Punjabi, "Finally, you have come, a disciple of Gurgaon's saint." This was just a mild indicator of how He knew me inside out at my very first visit to His place. For apart from our family, no one knew of the saint we had been frequenting.

Drinking from the cup of faith

At Guruji's place, tea is the first and sometimes even the last refreshment served. I have been allergic to tea leaves since childhood. My mouth would fill with ulcers if I ever consumed tea leaves in any form. However, as soon as we settled down in the sangat, a person came around offering tea.

I was in a fix as I was hesitant to drink it for obvious reasons and at the same time was not willing to say no to the prasad being served.

Suddenly I realized that the person serving tea had offered it to a lady sitting in front of me, and then moved on to the one behind me. He skipped me, which gave me instant relief as now I was neither required to say no to prasad, nor was I pushed to consuming tea. This instant relief was countered by a second thought: I had been deprived of prasad and thus the blessings at this holy place. All this was happening within me, but the world outside was moving as if I was speaking it all, loud and clear. Immediately, the person serving tea turned back and offered it to me. This had me zapped, since that person seemed to be responding to my internal conversation. Anyhow, the moment I came over the shock, I realized, he was waiting for me to pick a glass. I immediately picked a glass and amidst resistance from other family members drank a glass of tea - no mean feat for someone who had never had tea since early childhood. It was followed up by two or three more glasses in the span of the next few hours which we spent at Guruji's place that day.

We left Guruji's place at around 1:00 am. Next morning, I expected to have great pain with my mouth full of ulcers, but on the contrary, my mouth was fresh as never before, with nary a trace of the ulcers. Everyone was amazed.

Till date, I can only drink tea without any ill effects at only one place in the world: at Guruji's temple. But, I can drink it anywhere in the world if Guruji's physical presence is around me! If I drink tea at home or another place, I end up with a sore mouth. This demonstrated the tremendous protective power of Guruji, turning a mere consumable to a healing prasad, which has the power of throwing diseases and troubles away. Anything served at His place, in His blissful presence, can only serve as a tool for showering blessings and can never have a negative impact on you.

After my initiation into the world of blissful tea drinkers, all of us in the family were in for another surprise. A fragrance (which I thought was that of the perfume which Guruji uses) began spreading in our living room. We were fascinated to get that fragrance in our home. Unable to comprehend anything, we enjoyed smelling it for the short while it lasted. It was only during subsequent visits that we realized that the fragrance comes naturally off Guruji and if it is present in His physical absence, then it is a sure indicator of His metaphysical presence.

But this was just the beginning and further events unfolded Guruji's sharan in a more pronounced manner. Every day has been miraculous. I will try and share a fraction of my experiences with you, constrained as I am by my limited memory.

Guruji: A power above all others

There are good times and bad times in life. Happy times find you surrounded by people, be it family, friends and relatives but in the hour of grief, Guruji is the only one who stands by your side and bails you out. Many people can be willing to support you, but all of them are helpless when the forces acting against you are beyond their control. But Guruji's unconditional support is there to protect you against all odds. You have to bear the consequences of your karmas and no one can escape the justice of nature. But in the divine refuge of Guruji, I have seen Nature in a helpless position, since any punishment before reaching a follower of Guruji is either completely erased or lessened to a very high degree. This comes at the expense of Guruji, who bears the brunt of the suffering designated for that person.

His tools to relieve you of trouble and suffering are varied, which is evident from the spectrum of experiences I have had.

Once I had a severe headache while sitting in the sangat. Its intensity was such that I was not able to eat or drink anything. Nothing was sinking in. Then suddenly I was summoned by Guruji. As I approached Guruji, He told me that He was having a severe headache and asked me to press His forehead for about a few minutes. After that, Guruji asked me to stop and I returned to the place where I was sitting. I suddenly realized that my headache had disappeared and there was not even a trace of the terrible pain I was carrying. I realized what the reason behind Guruji's headache was. Guruji is far beyond this cycle of karma and, thus, of suffering. So, by asking me to serve Him, He had relieved me of the headache.

Once I had a terrible fever, which lingered for some time. Even after a lot of check-ups and medication, the fever was just not subsiding. For about a week, it ran unchecked. With strong medicines, it took two weeks to come under control. But the situation was not to last for long, as by the evening of the same day, the fever again caught up with me. From then on, my fever developed a strange pattern. It used to be fairly normal during daytime, but with the onset of the evening my body temperature would rise. This continued for the next four weeks. Unable to reach a diagnosis, the doctors were helpless. All tests and prescriptions failed to yield any result.

Then one day Guruji asked my husband why I had been absent for such a long time from the sangat. When the reason was communicated to Guruji, Guruji asked my husband to use five green chilies in a manner He prescribed. And that was it. The next day my fever, my companion for over a month, disappeared and I gradually regained my health.

Thanks to Guruji, I survived another bout of fever. Along with my family I had planned a visit to Guruji's Bade Mandir though I was running a mild fever. But as we proceeded and reached the Mandir, my condition deteriorated and the fever took an aggressive form. I was hardly able to get up from the bed. Although Guruji's presence is evident in every part of the Mandir, Guruji's visits to the Mandir in those days were a rare phenomenon, as some construction work was going on in the Mandir. Rather unexpectedly, Guruji came to the Mandir that day, much to the pleasure of everyone present there. Without asking about anything, Guruji told my husband and one more sangat member to prepare fresh limewater and give it to me, clearly stating that this will help cure the fever. Once again, Guruji's blessings worked wonders. The fever disappeared as if it was never there. Guruji knew of my state without anyone telling Him and provided instant relief. No one else can extend such selfless support and care at all times.

Just by His word

The means Guruji uses to bestow His blessings are sometimes meant just for our consolation. For it has been seen that these are not required since it's Guruji's power that makes it all happen. Physical tools, used by Guruji at times, are a mere means to let devotees feel they are getting Guruji's attention.

Once an insect bite on one of the fingers of my foot led to terrible pain and the finger swelled up viciously. Even though I used an ointment as suggested by a doctor from day one itself, it was of no help. The doctor then suggested an immediate minor surgery to avoid any further aggravation. But the same day, without my husband telling Him, Guruji Himself enquired about the insect bite. And that was enough.

After Guruji had spoken of my problem, the bite grew less painful and the spot showed a marked improvement. Within the next few days, it disappeared. Such are the powers, which Guruji possesses.

Even more surprisingly, He cured me of diabetes. It was detected way back in 1999-2000. Diabetes is conventionally a disease which can be suppressed but not cured. However, in my case, Guruji just shooed it away. In a few months, without medicines or treatment, purely with Guruji's grace, I was cured. Neither had we nor had Guruji mentioned the problem.

Guruji's words, though they are said very casually, have a deep impact. They are in fact an order binding for the entire cosmos. And here is what happens when His command is taken lightly:

When we started coming regularly, Guruji called my husband and told him to come only thrice a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We followed His instructions, but in a bid to compensate for the days lost, we started leaving home earlier. One day we reached at 6:00 pm as against the scheduled time of 8:00 pm for the satsang. Guruji then instructed us to reach only at 8:00 pm. And it so started happening that irrespective of the time we left home at, we used to reach Guruji's place only at 8 pm. Once we had left home at 5:30 pm, but found the 25-km distance to Guruji made agonizingly slow due to a spate of traffic jams. Finally, we reached at 8 pm. But, we covered the same distance in half an hour when we were delayed at home and could depart only at 7:30 pm.

Langar showers blessings

Our nature occasionally puts us into situations which later make us look very silly.

Once I was on a fast, which required me abstain from wheat products. My diet for that day comprised solely of fruits. In the evening when we went to attend Guruji's sangat, everything was going perfectly till langar was served. In the langar, chapattis (made of crushed wheat grains) are served and I avoided them that day. I decided not to go for langar at all and expected none to notice this. About 200 people had gathered that day and langar was carried out in six rounds. But this did not deter Guruji. He Himself noticed that I did not have langar. So after observing me for the first five rounds, He specifically instructed me to go and have langar in the last round. But not daring to go against the prescribed diet during the fast, I went to the first floor (the sangat was then conducted on the ground floor and the langar was served on the first floor) and decided to sit there, in a corner, and then go back to the sangat hall. I had, thus, committed two blunders: 1) I did not understand the meaning and importance of Guruji's words, due to which I failed to obey instructions; and 2) I tried to deceive Guruji, not realizing that the omniscient eye is not hindered by the physical barriers of walls or of distance.

But as soon as I came back to the sangat hall, Guruji gave me a hard stare and immediately asked someone to bring sweets for distribution among the sangat. He started distributing the prasad, and when it was my turn, He gave me more than twice than what He gave to others, as though compensating for the langar that I had skipped. Back home, when I ran through the whole sequence of events in my mind, I realized my mistake. The message from Guruji was loud and clear: don't skip the langar. I only later realized that prasad is Guruji's tool to shower His blessings; it is immaterial of its physical form and any given opportunity should be grabbed with both hands, as these blessings are too precious to miss.

Guruji comes between a truck and our car

I and my husband were on our way to the sangat from Noida. But we got stuck at a particular red light for quite some time. It turned green and then was red for the third time running. We were still, however, only within sniffing distance of clearing it. So as soon as the light turned green, in a desperate bid to clear it, my husband accelerated. There was a high-body truck right in front of our car, which also accelerated initially, but then came to a halt (probably due to a cyclist falling right in front). This left my husband with no reaction time; he could sense a definite collision. Suddenly, I saw Guruji right in front of the car and screamed "Guruji".

All this happened so suddenly that it took us a few moments to regain our senses. When we finally moved out of the car after a while, we observed that the car had moved underneath the truck body, but absolutely no damage had been done due to the high body of the truck and the car's bumper was just inches away from the truck tyre. At this point I realized why Guruji had appeared in front of the car. We would not have escaped the accident without Guruji's intervention.

Even more surprising was what happened when my husband was sharing this experience with one of the sangat members. He had barely narrated how I saw Guruji in front of our car, when the lady he was sharing our experience with suddenly enquired if our car was a blue Maruti 800. My husband admitted to these facts. The lady devotee then clarified that she had seen the entire incident in her dream. She added that she clearly saw Guruji coming right in between the car and that truck to avoid the accident. It was hair-raising to hear her account.

No one can escape His eye

The time spent in Guruji's sharan is the best. Even though a few minutes with Him are enough to rejuvenate our souls, I and in fact almost every sangat member tries to hide himself / herself when it comes to the post-langar session, as no one is willing to leave His presence. It also seems that facing Guruji exposes you to the risk of being asked to leave by Guruji. But the fact is that Guruji is much beyond these physical barriers and hiding from Him is impossible.

Once Guruji summoned me and asked me to fetch a person. Since I did not know this man, He told me that he was fat and sitting right behind a pillar (an area not visible from Guruji's seat). On my way, I was wondering how it is possible to identify a single person with just these two clues. But I found only a single fat person sitting in that whole area and I conveyed Guruji's call to that person. This just indicated how clearly Guruji was able to see through that wall, to its other side.

Not just this, when in the mood to do so, Guruji can clearly spell out what had happened in the past, what is happening around the globe at present and how the future would be.

When my kids, a daughter and a son, were still in school, Guruji once mentioned casually that both the kids will get a job in Siemens. At that point of time, it was hard to believe this. But finally after six years, the same came true, when both children started their respective careers with Siemens. Similarly, it was sometime in year 2000 that Guruji told me that my daughter's marriage will take place in year 2005. And that's how it actually turned out to be: she got married on 30 April 2005.

Experiences in Shiva's Heaven

Guruji's Bade Mandir is a very special place. In spite of being located at the edges of the capital city,so pure is the place that you just tend to forget worldly troubles. For me, it is the only place, where irrespective of Guruji's physical presence, I can have tea any time and any number of times. But this probably is indicative of just a minutest fraction of the power of that place. If one believes only what he/she has experienced, I have to believe in the existence of a supreme power at this place.

Once I was granted an opportunity to visit the Mandir along with my family. Typically, whenever we visit the Mandir, every member of the family moves around freely irrespective of what other members are doing. So shortly after reaching the Mandir in the forenoon hours, I went to one of the rooms of Guruji, just to check if some dusting or cleaning was required there. The room has a very beautiful statue of Lord Shiva, which shows Him sitting with folded legs, showering blessings on His followers. Perfectly crafted, we have been watching the statue since the day we started coming to the Mandir.

But that day the darshan of the statue sent a chill down my spine. The statue depicts Lord Shiva up front but I was shocked to witness that the face had turned about 60 degrees to the right! I gathered everyone in the Mandir, and everyone saw this. Even more surprising was witnessing the statue regain original form gradually over the day. By evening, it had reverted almost to its usual front facing posture. Truly, a hard to forget incident.

Then Holi (festival of colours) for year 2006 had something special in store. In the morning, when we reached the Mandir, everyone took up some chore or the other and I along with our neighbor, Sangeeta, started cleaning Lord Shiva's brass idol kept in the main hall. The polish for this metal, known as Brasso, is applied to the idol. It is then rubbed with a clean cloth twice to remove the Brasso and then to give the job a final finish. After applying Brasso, I started removing the Brasso, and Sangeeta took charge of the final cleaning.

Starting from the top, we were moving from the face to the feet. When I was through with the upper half, the idol was absolutely clean and just needed a final finish. Sangeeta had hardly started the task, when she pointed out that there was some colour between the snakes wrapped around the neck of Lord Shiva. Since I had just cleared the section in question, I turned to check this with a sense of disbelief. A streak of colour left me speechless for a while, since it was hard to believe something so awesome and spectacular right in front of them. Then gathering myself, I called everyone else in the Mandir to have darshan of this miracle. The colours, which acquired various shades during the day, were seen by everyone who visited the Mandir on that day.

All these incidents reflect Guruji's powers. But He is much beyond these mysterious miracles which come to light. His powers are beyond what we can think, and also much beyond our tolerance limits. With my hands folded in prayer, I would just like to thank Guruji for all that He has given me and request His continued grace on all sangat members.

Gauri Singla, wife of R P Singla

July 2007