Seeing with the eyes of faith

Lalit Mathur, February 2006 हिंदी
Om Namah Shivay Shivji Sada Sahay,
Om Namah Shivay Guruji Sada Sahay

My obeisance to the Lotus Feet of Shri Guruji.

I wish to express my deep reverence and gratitude to Guruji for all the wonders that He has wrought in our lives. We are truly blessed, for we have been taken into Guruji's fold. He is God Incarnate, a living God amongst us, an embodiment of Lord Shiva and at the same time an extremely human, approachable, understanding Supreme Power who guides you on to the right path, urging you to rise above ritualism and orthodoxy. He has given a totally different meaning to our lives, our interpretation of religion, our faith. Everything has been simplified beyond measure.

Blessed was the day when we first came into Guruji's sharan. The first time my father had been to Him, He had asked for us. He knew exactly where my husband was posted and that our daughter Aditi had a problem - the Rubella Syndrome. This was in April of 1995. I was delighted.

I had contracted German measles in my first trimester. Consequently, Aditi was born with multiple problems which resulted in visual impairment (because of congenital cataract, micro opthalmus, micro cornea, nystagmus and glaucoma). During her first two years, she underwent five eye surgeries - three for removal of the cataract, two because of glaucoma. In spite of all these interventions, her gross vision improved only slightly. All the time, the doctors at AIIMS painted a very bleak picture. Since her retina had been damaged, they felt there was little hope she would regain vision to a large extent.

Besides her gross visual anomalies, her PDA (a duct outside the heart) had not closed. That was corrected surgically in her third year. All her developmental milestones had been delayed. After a lot of physiotherapy, she started walking at three and we began sending her to school. Psychological testing had shown her IQ to be between 70 and 79. The psychologist concluded that she had to be put under the care of special educators in a slow learner's section.

Things changed dramatically after we came under Guruji's protection. Aditi was then 12 years old and still at the Special Section of Sadhu Vaswani School. After receiving Guruji's aadesh (His word or command) through my father, we promptly went to the mandir at Greater Kailash. It was a novel experience. We had never seen such a flashy, flamboyant Guru! Guruji kept asking us to come back on specific days. On our fifth visit, He asked Aditi to start doing Surya Namskar early in the mornings and have a glass of milk mixed with peanuts and misri that He had specially blessed. She was to follow the instructions for 51 days. On the 21st day, she said she could see better! We were ecstatic. You cannot imagine what joy and comfort this provided to our anguished souls.

Soon, Guruji left for Chandigarh where He remained for the next three years. Twice we went to ask Him to do something more for our daughter. He told me that He would do so after He returned to Delhi.

On the Baisakhi day in 1998, I was thrilled beyond measure. Guruji was on the phone. He asked us to come to the mandir at Sultanpur (Empire Estate is in this locality) in the evening. Thereafter, I started urging Him to do something more for Aditi.

He did - in His own fashion. Guruji first came to our home in June 1998. The very next morning we were excited no end: Aditi could overnight read fine newspaper print. She could read her Class X textbooks (with their abominable small print), which only a week ago she could not. If this is not divine intervention, what is? This 'miracle' could have been wrought only by God himself. Since then there has been no turning back. All of Aditi's biological parameters have picked up. She cleared her Classes X and XII in the 1st Division and also her first year of B.A. in Social Work. She is now into her second year.

We could not have imagined 12 years ago that she'd achieve all this. With Guruji's Divine Blessings, Aditi has come a long way. Not only has her vision (both distant and close) picked up, but her learning power has also increased tremendously. There is frequent improvement in her vision. Only two months ago when we took her for an eye test, we found she could read one more line in the eye-testing chart.

Aditi is now a confident youngster with supreme faith in Guruji. All this has meant a lot to us. From constant worry, anguish and brooding about her future, I have shed all my fears and am convinced that He will take care of her. I am now more at peace with the world and have stopped asking, "Why me? Why with my first child?" Guruji has not only changed our lives, but also given us the courage and strength to face problems more bravely. Faith in Him has led us to trust that He is looking after our affairs and that nothing can go wrong.

Cheating death - thrice

Guruji's blessings have extended to the rest of the family also. He has saved my husband's life thrice from fatal mishaps. Once in a head-on collision with an Ashok Leyland truck, which left his taxi so battered that those who saw it presumed that the passengers inside must have been killed. Moments before that accident, he had dozed off, yet came out unscathed with only a chipped tooth and a couple of stitches near his eyebrow and upper chin. Interestingly, he had offered jal and elaborate puja at a Shiva mandir in Warangal before starting on this tour - something which he normally does not do, especially on official tours. But then, don't we say Guruji is Shivji!

Then on December 13, 2001 when terrorists attacked Parliament House, my husband was the last one to get safely in - in the nick of time. Seconds after he entered the building, shots rang out and the guard who had ushered him in was shot dead. Guruji was surely looking after my husband.

The third narrow encounter was with a leopard on the Srinagar Golf Course. My husband had foolishly decided to take a walk after dark. Around a bend, he thought he saw a dog just a few feet away. Surprised, he wondered how a dog could have got inside the heavily guarded golf course. Suddenly, the animal seemed to take a keen interest in him and advanced towards him. To his horror, he realized that it was a full-grown leopard swishing its tail. He was rooted to the spot. Unbelievably, he merely shooed it away - and the leopard obeyed! Inexplicably the leopard did not follow my husband when he tried to walk away. Another sure case of Guruji's intervention!

Guruji has guarded not only his life, but his career, too. It was only because of His blessings that he got his promotion and postings. In spite of an impeccable record, the odds were against him. But for Guruji he would not have been empanelled as Secretary or got a prestigious posting in Srinagar before coming back to Delhi.

Two months ago, my son who was riding pillion on a motor bike without a helmet was knocked down by a speeding car. Anything could have happened - from a whiplash injury to the paralytic fate of Christopher Reeves or worse. Miraculously, he received no major injury. Again Guruji had come to our rescue. When my son was fit enough, he went to Guruji, who told him that He had given him a new life.

Betel leaves cure bronchial spasms

I have also not been excluded from His blessings. For 20 years I had suffered from asthmatic attacks and was often put on steroids. I was always asking Guruji to bless my children, but never mentioned my problem. Three years ago, I suddenly realized that the acute bronchial spasms had disappeared. Guruji told me that He had taken me off steroids, which is true, because I have not needed them ever since. Also for three consecutive summers, I would get low-grade fever, which persisted for six months and left me drained. The blood tests showed a high count indicative of either cancer or TB. Doctors suggested all kinds of tests. My husband mentioned the health problem to Guruji, who asked me to put betel leaves, which He had blessed, on my head every night and sleep. Within days my fever disappeared, never to recur.

Dream darshans

I can go on endlessly about Guruji's blessings on the family. He has cured both my parents of cancer. My father had gone to Him, 11 years ago (in 1995), after his cancer surgery. In his case, cancer has not recurred, while there have been several unfortunate cases in the family. My mother did not require chemotherapy after her surgery, during which she recalls she felt Guruji holding her hand throughout. During her darshan, Guruji had even given her a pink and gold sari to wear.

Guruji has often given us darshan through our dreams. A month ago, my son Ashutosh dreamt that when we were visiting Him, Guruji had asked us to come along to Bade Mandir. But when Guruji did not come, we had instead come home. Guruji rang up Ashutosh on his mobile and asked him why we had not gone to the Mandir. Then He told him that He would show him something. What followed were divine darshans. He saw a huge figure in our lawn moving away from him. Wondering who it was, he saw the jata (matted locks) and trishul (trident) of Shivji. The figure turned towards him. Shivji seemed to revolve and transformed into Hanumanji and then Ganeshji! Our son is truly blessed.

I cannot express my deep gratitude and indebtedness for what Guruji has done for us. He took on from the point where the medical world had proved that there was nothing more that they could have done for Aditi. That her vision became better thereafter cannot be interpreted as anything less than His divine intervention.

Words cannot express the greatness of Guruji. He has completely transformed our lives, empowered and rejuvenated us with His faith, made us more tolerant of people around us, taught us to accept circumstances, and given us courage and strength to face life. He gives in abundance and asks for little in return - only complete, unquestioning faith. Our lives have acquired a different meaning. He has brought lots and lots of hope and the grit and capacity to move on. He's helped us evolve into better human beings.

I truly believe that He is the Living Incarnation of the Supreme Power - call Him what you will: Shivji, Krishnaji or Guru Nanakji - all rolled into one. All these miracles in our lives could only have been the work of the Ultimate Divine Power. I beg to be allowed to remain in His sharan forever. Blessed are those devotees who selflessly serve Him. In His family, all those who come under His umbrella are treated alike. He teaches you true humility by sharing your experiences, your joys and sorrows, just as a family would do - a true microcosm within the macrocosm.

There is so much of Guruji that is still left unsaid. From His inimitable style of putting me down in my place with "Manga na kar (Don't ask)" or "Yoonhi turdi phir di hai pandita te kol (You just keep going to pundits for no rhyme or reason)" to His enigmatic divine smile or His tangible, palpable presence in the house experienced through a whiff of His fragrance. Or the Aums that suddenly appeared on His forehead in a couple of His calendars we had in the house and by hundreds on the floor, so much so that we did not know where to put our feet. When I narrated this to Him, He said: "Dekhti chal". Once the water in the copper tumbler that had been blessed by Him tasted of the amrit (divine nectar) He had given us earlier.

The best thing about Guruji is that He is so approachable. There has never been a time when we have been sick with worry that He has not turned His attention towards us and relieved us of it. It makes me conclude that there is no need to even voice one's apprehensions.

May we be allowed to remain in His care forever!

Lalit Mathur, devotee

February 2006