Vakra tund maha kaay
Koti Surya sama prabha
Nirvughnam kurmei deva
Sarva karyeshu sarvada
Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo maheshvara
Gurur sakshat parambrahma,
Tasmei Shree Guruvey namah
Tvamev mata chapita tvamev,
Tvamev bandhu chasakha tvamev,
Tvamev vidya chadravinam tvamev...
Tvamev sarvam mamdeva deva
I met with a near-fatal car accident in November 2004 while driving a Maruti 800 on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The car collided with a pickup truck coming from the wrong side. The impact was such that the front of the car was smashed. The passengers and I were unconscious. A series of coincidences followed, that in retrospect, clearly show that divine help was at hand.
I was on the driving wheel and took the full brunt of the accident. I was barely breathing as the steering wheel had hit me on the throat. A senior from my college happened to be passing by and took me out of the car; the emergency services of a nearby hospital were called and within minutes I was at the hospital, still unconscious and barely able to breathe. The on-duty and inexperienced intern performed an immediate tracheostomy to get air into my lungs. I was put on a ventilator for nearly a fortnight, during which my heart seized a few times and I had to be brought back. Neuro experts told my parents that it would be a miracle if I would be able to wear a shirt by myself.
I was only 19 years old.
I was shifted to another clinic in Pune, where a bone surgery was done on my legs. Next, I was airlifted to the Delhi hospital, where my ENT surgeon and endoscopist, was practising. My physio and therapist became my best friends. My health improved every day. In all the three years of therapy—when I had to relearn how to walk, read, write, and eat (my right wrist was paralyzed, my eye sight was affected, both legs fractured; there was minimal injury to the brain)—I cried only twice. But my crying would be followed by a big improvement in health.
From year 2007 though, I went on a downward spiral. The tissue in my wind pipe started building up and I had difficulty breathing even with a pipe inserted in my throat to take air to the lungs. My ever-reliable doctor was clueless.
Guruji heals me
At this point of time, we were guided to Guruji at Empire Estate. With a suitcase full of my reports, we left home a bit early on that memorable Saturday evening so as to reach Guruji's place before 7 pm. We thought it must be crowded there. To our surprise not a single person was at the venue. The whole colony at Empire Estate was hardly astir. We took off our shoes, went up the stairs where the red carpet was laid and waited outside. A soft fragrance engulfed us. The brown wooden door opened at exactly 7 pm. We were told to keep aside the medical reports.
Guruji was sitting on the side board next to the kitchen wearing a black shirt. I was asked to sit outside while Papa and Mummy stayed in the hall. I had no idea what was happening inside, and got a bit bored as I couldn't understand Punjabi at all. My parents came out after a while with others who had had prasad
and washed their hands. They told me to join the queue going in. Finally, I sat down for langar
, with Guruji sitting across the room. Since my eyesight had been damaged, I don't remember what He wore or whether He was looking at me (though I am pretty sure he must have looked into me). I came out having eaten spices after almost two years.
On our way back, Papa told us that he had been asked to come again, alone, to Guruji with a copper vessel. The next day he came back from the Mandir and told us that Guruji had touched the lota
and given it back. I had to keep it overnight with water in it, drink from it first thing in the morning and bathe with what was left. I had to do this for exactly forty days, in accordance with Guruji's instructions.
A week later when I went in to my doctor to get my tube changed, he told us that now there was no tissue build-up around the wind pipe. I found I could breathe more easily! We were elated.
We kept on going to Guruji regularly though I never came to know what happened inside that hall. I began sitting at the shoe stand, looking to build relationships with the devotees. I guess that was my biggest mistake, because if I would have longed to meet Guruji, I could have had a chance to touch His feet.
On the forty-first day after He blessed me with the lota, Guruji left His body. I still remember the last day when I last saw Him. I had decided to touch His feet. He was wearing socks, and I heard Him say: "Yei, Dr. Sanjay ka patient hai.
" (Here is Dr Sanjay's patient.) After the darshan
, my Papa's hands smelt of Guruji's fragrance till we reached the gate at Empire Estate. We left for home very happy, without realising that that was to be our last physical darshan of Guruji.
I connect with Guruji
I got connected with Guruji after He left His body. My parents went less frequently to the Bade Mandir after his mahasamadhi
, though I went regularly every Monday or Friday. Simultaneously, I began to study to be a company secretary.
I flunked a few times, but reached the intermediate stage, where a full semester was about corporate law. The exams that were taken on paper were a big obstacle, because my handwriting was really slow. I would go for my law tuitions and then head directly in the evening to the Mandir with a friend. But even with the added handicap of a slow handwriting, I grabbed a distinction in two out of three subjects related to law in that semester.
At the law institute one day, it was announced that the next class would be about derivatives (contract law and associated subjects). I was very keen on that subject. However, circumstances arose such that either I could go to the class or to another place where my parents wanted me to be. I couldn't decide, and in the morning I stood in front of Guruji's swaroop
and told Him frankly: "Aap padhaoge derivatives, main aaj class mein nahin jaunga." (You will have to teach me derivatives; I am not going to the class.)
As it turned out, the class never happened. When I inquired about it through a friend, he told me that there was a short circuit inside the classroom and the class had to be called off before the derivatives lecture could begin. Such is Guruji's power.
After a few years, when I took an interest in a Chartered Financial Analyst course, I realized that Guruji had made me learn from the best teachers in the world about that topic because I had asked him to. I learnt anew that Guruji alone could do everything; nothing was in our hands.
Back on my legs
In year 2007, when I began my company secretary course, I developed an avascular necrosis in my leg—a part of my bone was deprived of blood flow due to a broken bone or dislocated joint. That meant the bone was partly dead and developing tiny breaks. Resultantly, one of my legs began to shorten.
A year after the problem surfaced, we were able to go to a Delhi hospital where doctors were finalizing a list of patients for an international workshop on the surgery used to treat avascular necrosis.
I was to be put on a waiting list and operated by the doctor in charge at the hospital. I got admitted the next day. It was the inaugural day of the 2008 Olympics and in the hospital bed I was excited about the opening ceremony for the Games. To my bed came a group of 10 doctors from India, Korea, and Australia who checked, probed, clicked photos, saw diagnostic images and talked to my parents. They informed us that I had been scheduled to be operated upon by a senior doctor from Australia.
My operation went on for six hard hours, the surgeon reported, as all my muscles had stiffened. Every other patient in the same floor who had been admitted for that workshop was in some pain. I didn't feel any pain even after the anesthesia wore off; my only source of discomfort was a drip in my back.
By year 2011, I had a job, but a situation similar to the one in 2007 arose and my breathing was compromised. This time the airway was swelling from inside. I didn't have any tracheostomy so it was more dangerous. I had to go through a procedure and, due to a complication, had to be put on a ventilator for a night. My parents endured the trauma of seeing their son back in the state he was in after his accident. I got well though, and at my parent's insistence, left my job.
By that time I had, thanks to Guruji's grace, done a diploma in styling and taken a certificate in fashion designing from the country I always wanted to go to for my post-graduation. I managed to open a retail outlet near our home and started designing garments. I launched my private label in 2013, when I again took up many related courses. A year later, I got married to Divya. My daughter came to us in 2016, and we named her Nivika, suggesting creativity and freshness. I launched a uniforms brand as well.
I had once heard at the Bade Mandir that Guruji's instructions for everybody is to keep walking. One should not stop because if you do, there is no chance of completing the journey. Everyone is born with a task in hand, and that is to keep walking.
He Only decides...
As a part of my devotional routine, I read Guruji's granth
, Light of Divinity, daily. Once I couldn't read the satsangs
for many days in a row. As it so happened, I met with an accident while going to office. I had forgotten an article and had to ask my driver to take a U-turn to return home. A rider came at high speed from the wrong side and hit my vehicle. We stopped, and my driver got out to see what had happened. A crowd gathered and there were traffic policemen at the crossing. Everyone carried the rider to the pavement, while I managed to phone my father and ask him what to do. I was nervous about the rider's well-being as well as my own.
A person came out of the crowd and hugged me. He said: "Kid, take him to hospital. Don't go for any police procedures." It was divine counsel. I took the motorcyclist in my car and dropped him off at a hospital. The police didn't intervene.
I left the hospital as I had got very late for work. Due to the collision, the car's AC had stopped working. At the office, I couldn't concentrate on my work as the rider was now extorting my driver to get the bike repaired. Apparently, my driver and the rider used the same bike-servicing garage. In the evening, I told my driver to stop taking calls from the rider, who was getting verbally offensive.
In the evening, I had to go for a satsang in Gurgaon. It was a hot day and the car AC wasn't working. But as I crossed the same area near my home where the morning mishap had taken place, the AC came back to life. It was so effective that I had to it turn off.
I was still a bit disturbed that night and sat down with Guruji's granth. I picked it up exactly where I had left off—at a point where there is a similar incident involving Shri Sumeet Jethra. After the reading, I was able to sleep peacefully. In the morning, the AC didn't work again, so I had to send the car for service. It seems it had worked briefly just so I could attend the satsang.
Pyare Guruji, hamare pyare Guruji,
Aap hi ho hamare karta dharta,
Aap hi to sukh karta,
Aap hiho paalan karta
My dear beloved Guruji
You are our sole refuge
You alone bear our burden and our work
You alone give us happiness
Neeraj Jain, a devotee