Sole light amid darkening times, Mahapurush of our age

Jagdish C Pande, July 2007 हिंदी
Even if she wrote life-long with the wish-fulfilling tree as her pen, with her ink made of Mount Sumer washed in the waters of the ocean, and the entire Earth her paper, even then, O Shiva!, Goddess Saraswati would not be able to write down your praises.

Indeed, the Guru-virtue cannot be expressed and Guruji is Lord Shiva Himself. Therefore, it is impossible to give an account of His virtues. Yet whoever has had Guruji's darshan has for whatever little time seen the curtain behind which His easily-pleased nature is hidden part. That such a person can then elaborate on it is not a matter of amazement.

I came to know of Guruji through my dear relative Col (retd.) Joshi and earnestly desired to be blessed through His darshan. But, since I was entangled during this time in my family responsibilities, I was unable to visit Delhi. I wrote to Col (retd.) Joshi to tell Guruji that:

'Ibn adim ki koi dua kare
Mere dard ke koi dava kare'

Hardly had my words reached Guruji that I was fortunate enough to have His darshan and be graced - on my first visit to Him - with the presence of His lotus feet on my hands. It seemed to me then that Guruji was saying:

Mam darshan fal param anupa
Jev pavn nij sahaj sarupa

(Supremely unique is the fruit of my darshan:
Beings glimpse the simple, unchanging form of their self)

This is the touchstone of mahapurushs: in their presence even common folk can immerse themselves in the rain of bliss that practitioners of severe austerities are denied after lifetimes of penance.

Guruji can see into our hearts and, it is my belief, He gives us what we ask for without our telling Him. There is a caveat: our wishes are granted only if they are beneficial to us. The saints have proclaimed that God's name is like the wish-fulfilling tree, but there is a distinction between Guruji and the wish-fulfilling tree (kalpvriksha). The kalpvriksha gives the pleader whatever one wants, Guruji gives what is beneficial.

That Guruji took birth in Punjab is also significant. In ancient times, Punjab was known as the Saraswat Pradesh. Maharishi Vyas - who elaborated the Vedas, condensed the 18 Puranas (considered to be mythological tales) wrote the Mahabharata and the Brahma Sutras - and saints of great stature have blessed the soil of the region by their holy presence. This great and ancient tradition of the knowledge of the Absolute was, in this Kal Yuga, given a renaissance-like push by Shri Guru Nanak Devji and Shri Chand, who both took birth in the Punjab and lifted the great mass of oppressed humanity. Guruji is doing the same now - that is my belief.

There are many revered preachers in the world. But just knowledge and that too delivered through impressive words does not help humanity. One cannot banish darkness through mere mention of light - and it is irrelevant whether the words glorify the sun or the humble lamp. What is required is one inside whom light burns and who can - through a feat of sympathetic spiritual combustion - kindle our inner lamp. Guruji is such a one. Through the light of His being, He not only cautions His devotees of the pitfalls on the way, He makes their journey obstacle-free.

Mahatma Tuslidas says mahapurushs like Guruji are even higher than God. He writes:

Ram Sindhu Dhan Sajjan Dheera
Chandan Taru, hari sant sameera

(God is the ocean; mahapurushs are like the clouds;
God is the sandal tree; mahapurushs are like the breeze)

Just as clouds give rain to quench our thirst and the breeze carries the coolness of the sandalwood tree, so too only through mahapurushs can we connect with God. Even Shri Rama tells saint Narada that the Shrutis (the revealed scriptures) are unable to recount the virtues of mahapurushs.

Most respected Guruji's native home is the Sach Khand. What is this Sach Khand and where is it? Only he comes to know who is touched by Guruji's grace. 'Atisay kipa jahi par hoi; Paon dey ahi maan soi / Sant visuddh mile prabhu tahi, Charitra Ram kripa kar join'. And it has been said that God resides in the Sach Khand.

The Compassionate Lord sends His mahapurush on a mission of mercy. The mahapurushs come among us and through their grace they take a person on a five-stage journey through: 1) the Dharm Khand; 2) Gyan Khand; 3) Saram Khand; and 4) Karam Khand; to 5) God's own mansion in the Sach Khand. Finally, here is journey's end. Man is liberated of suffering and becomes a pillar of, a part of God's empire of bliss.

Most respected Guruji first removes the problems in His devotees' lives and takes them on the path of karma yoga. This is the first stage of the journey - the Dharam Khand. The devotee, made physically and mentally healthy, is able to contemplate normal and supranormal subjects. He begins to realize the truth about the world and the transitoriness of his own life. At this stage, he has reached the Gyan khand.

Ceaseless contemplation leads to the realization of God's greatness and his own state. He is filled with shame as he sees his ego. He thinks he is wasting the human life that God had bestowed on him so that he could attain to Him. When this urge to unite with God becomes intense, man reaches the Saram Khand. The high point of this journey occurs when he feels God's grace, which erases all his doubts and he enjoys bliss. This is the Karam Khand.

Man is sponged with bliss through God's grace and the doors of the Sach Khand open for him. No one can undertake this journey by himself. Even if one is equal to Shiva, he cannot cross the ocean of life. Even if one is the repertory of wisdom, like Brahma, or is a yogi like Lord Shiva even then for God/self-realization he has to go to a Guru or mahapurush. And the Guru's glance of grace instantaneously leads him to his cherished goal.

Guruji is the Mahapurush of this age and I pay obeisance to the lotus feet of Guruji.

To Thy Lotus Feet
O Lord! O Shiva! I sing the glory of thy Lotus Feet

Thou art our refuge; thy Lotus Feet bind our minds to thee
They cut through the worldly snare of maya
And gift your devotees their cherished goals
Like the wish-fulfilling tree;

O Lord! O Shiva! I sing the glory of thy Lotus Feet

Shiva, Brahma, all the gods of heaven bow to thy Lotus Feet
O most beloved Guru, whoever seeks their protection finds refuge
Thy Lotus Feet, most adored Lord, crush all obstacles
And ship us through the ocean of life

O Lord! O Shiva! I sing the glory of thy Lotus Feet

Jagdish C Pande, former teacher in Birla school, Nainital

July 2007