A late night call from my sister, two days before the Holi
festival in the month of March 2006, summoned me to my father's bedside. He had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital in Haldwani - a town in the Kumaon foothills - after suffering an attack of hypertension or high blood pressure.
As soon as my sister had finished giving the bad news, my wife and I realized right away that Guruji had been forewarning us in His own way. Just before Shivratri
(in Feburary 2006), He had inquired about my father, who had come down from his residence in Bhimtal to be with us in Gurgaon this winter. Guruji had wanted to know if my father had left for home before Shivratri
, as indeed he had. Guruji had then sent word through another devotee and my maternal uncle Col (retd.) S K Joshi that my father and mother should come and stay with us.
The Guru's words, always prophetic, were not heeded.
So, my father could not escape the high blood pressure attack. He had it while he was travelling to Bhimtal from Haldwani, where he had attended a function of the Life Insurance Corporation of India, from which he had retired.
It was quite severe and would have been fatal had it not been for Guruji's grace. As the blood pressure had risen, father's nose had started bleeding, relieving the pressure from the arteries. But for this anything could have taken place, quite possibly a stroke that could have ended in fatality or left him paralysed.
I found a repentant dad at the ICU. He wished he had acted on Guruji's message. But, Guruji's grace saw to it that dad was back home after staying just a night in the ICU. Dad recuperated in Haldwani for a week or so and then we all returned to Gurgaon. While he was recuperating, dad had told me that he hoped Guruji would allow him to spend some time at Bade Mandir.
I was still worried about Dad's blood pressure. It was refusing to abate and hovered around the 195/95 mmHg mark even though he was taking 50mg of drugs daily.
But we needn't have worried. We were after all in Guruji's safe harbour, in His sharan
. Like a kind, protective father, Guruji set about dispelling our troubles. First, He granted dad's unsaid wish to go to the Mandir. Then, my father was asked to bring a copper tumbler, which Guruji blessed, and he was told to drink water from it.
Dad did as he was told: he went to the Mandir, he drank His blessings every day, and he also had his fill of the langar
This was contrary to doctor's advice. Dad was supposed to stick to a bland, low-salt diet. Guruji's langar
- as everyone who has had the good fortune to sup it knows - is the most spicy, chilly-packed food on earth. My father was also recommended to take bed rest. But, he became totally involved in the pre-Baisakhi
preparations going on at the Mandir.
Within three weeks of his arrival in Gurgaon, we were witness to a miracle. Days after dad had started drinking water from his magic tumbler of blessings, there was a dramatic improvement in his health. His blood pressure came down from a peak of 195/100 mmHg to a decent 150/90 mmHg and then eased to 140/85 mmHg. It has continued to fall ever since. It has now reached the 130/80 mmHg level - a reading even a young man can be proud of.
Not only have Guruji's blessings brought Dad's blood pressure down, they have poured water on the doctors' dear prescriptions, presenting science once again with the challenge and mystery of faith.
For my father, Guruji's blessings have proved to be a lifesaver. As for me and my wife, blessed with His many kindnesses and His love, it is difficult to express in words all that the heart feels. We can only wish to be at His lotus feet if He so desires. Forever, our pranams
Jitendra Pant, a devotee