In September of 2004, I got an offer to shift to a company-lease accommodation from my residence in Malviya Nagar, New Delhi. The first option given to me was Dwarka. We visited a fairly decent location and decided upon it; the lease agreement was signed and we were slated to shift to Dwarka by 1 October 2004. My administration head had to sign the lease papers for the company to take up the house for me.
However, the day I completed the documentation, we were offered an alternative-a house in Empire Estate. I was not even interested in visiting the place, as we had already taken a decision. But, on my wife's insistence, we decided to pay a visit.
It was raining heavily all the way from Malviya Nagar to Empire Estate, and I continually argued about the waste of time and effort. But when we saw the Empire Estate house, it invited instant acceptance: It was at a more convenient location and better than Dwarka in many ways. I got the existing lease agreement cancelled. We were not aware of Guruji's presence in the same colony. We shifted house on a Sunday, 3 October 2004; and as were really tired after setting up the house we didn't move out, even for a walk, that evening.
Then, I was enrolled in an MBA course at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). My classes were held Monday to Saturday from 6.30 pm to 10.00 pm. Returning from the class next Thursday evening, at about 10.30 pm, I observed a huge gathering close to my home; it seemed like a condolence meet. But I was surprised to observe the gathering for the next three days. I asked the security guards about it on Sunday. They told me that Guruji stayed at Empire Estate and held the sangat
four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday. The next Thursday, as I didn't have a class, we decided to come to Guruji.
We reached Guruji's durbar
at 7 pm and had Guruji's darshan
: He was sitting on the side-board; there were not more than 25-30 people around Him in the hall. Newcomers, we didn't even touch Guruji's feet, but went straight to sitting close to Guruji's seat. We saw Guruji's photographs, all featuring Guruji in expensive and elegant attires. We felt we were at the wrong place; He seemed like a "designer" guru with the high and mighty of society as His followers. After some time, without seeking permission from Guruji, we simply walked out. We thought that Guruji was only for Page 3 people.
Though not too convinced about the place's worth, I felt bad about this abrupt walk-out while we were putting back our shoes. I grew a bit more curious about the place, but decided not to visit it again. One fine Monday evening, Gaurav and Col. (retd.) Joshi and some people were playing cricket in our lane. I joined them. Aware these people were linked to Guruji, I enquired about Him. I was told that one just had to come to Guruji and He would take care of all your problems. We revisited Guruji's mandir that night. We enjoyed the sangat, had langar
and then went to seek Guruji's permission to leave. As we approached Him, Guruji said, "Aao gawandi
" (come, my neighbors.) Guruji then asked Col. Joshi if I was the one who had played cricket with them. He then gave us leave.
In parts offended and surprised, I came out. Offended because I don't know a word of Punjabi and thought that 'gawandi' was an abusive word. My wife corrected me and told me that it means 'neighbour'. So I had become a proud and really lucky neighbor of Guruji! I was surprised about Guruji mentioning cricket and later asked Col. Joshi whether he had told Guruji about it. Col. Joshi clarified that he hadn't; that Guruji is the Almighty and nothing need be told to Him as He is aware of everything.
This was the beginning of a new phase of my life. I realized how my coming to Empire Estate, under most unexpected circumstances, had been in accordance with Guruji's plan of blessing me as His gawandi. His blessings on me as His neighbor are still evident: In the normal course, the maximum duration of a lease is two years, but my stay here has been extended to four years.
Cancer vanishes from bladder
After that second visit, we began coming all four days of the week for the sangat. Guruji's darshan
and the sangat experience were irresistible. Some days later, my cousin brother-in-law got some bad news: cancer had been detected in his urinary bladder. He got the biopsy done at AIIMS (New Delhi), Velour, and at the Tata Memorial Hospital (Mumbai). The results were the same and confirmed the cancerous growth. He returned to AIIMS for his treatment. During his stay in Delhi, I met him and asked him to come to Guruji's place. He came to have Guruji's darshan and seek His blessings.
Guruji blessed a copper utensil and asked my cousin-in-law to drink water kept overnight in it; the rest of the water was to be added to his bathing water. My brother-in-law was admitted in AIIMS. Doctors advised the removal of the bladder and got a biopsy done to detect the extent of damage and cancerous growth beyond the bladder. But the biopsy results amazed everyone. There was no trace of cancer. And this was just seven-eight days after Guruji had blessed him. Considering the new situation, doctors concluded that due to the various treatments already taken, it was still advisable to remove the bladder. They added that the risk and complication involved were minimal, as there was no cancerous growth.
This report was given to us on Tuesday, and we reached Guruji's mandir on Thursday, the very next sangat day. Before we could apprise Guruji of the developments, Guruji right away told us that only the bladder had to be removed. That had to be done, He added, but everything else was fine.
With these altered reports, my brother-in-law went back to the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai for a second opinion. The results were the same, and the medical advice was in sync with Guruji's instructions. He was operated upon there, with the damaged bladder replaced by an artificial one. My brother-in-law, who during the worst phase of his disease was advised to minimize his liquid intake, as the bladder could not hold any, today enjoys a healthy life and is fully fit. All this was impossible without Guruji's blessings.
Extended lease at Empire Estate
Later, in May 2005, I was to be posted to Nasik for the Mahindra-Renault project. I came to Guruji wondering why I was being sent away when He had selected me as His neighbour. I was also unwilling to relocate since my wife was working in Delhi and the kids too were settled here.
But, when I mentioned my Nasik deputation to Guruji, He said, "Jaa aish kar Nasik mein
" (Go, enjoy yourself in Nasik) and also instructed my wife to continue staying in Empire Estate ("Mere kol hi reh
"). In view of Guruji's orders, I went back to my office the next morning, wrote a mail to my senior, requesting that my family be allowed to continue to stay in Empire Estate even as I took up a house in Nasik. Not too hopeful of a positive response, I waited for the reply. To my utter surprise, for the first time in the history of our organization, such a request was allowed. It would have been impossible without Guruji guiding these events and decisions.
Leaving for Nasik in September 2005, I asked Guruji when He was going to call me back. He told me that it would be by Baisakhi of 2007 (Baisakhi is on April 13). His words were a command: in March 2007, I was asked to wind up my Nasik work and was shifted back by the first week of next month. This enabled me to enjoy the Baisakhi celebrations at Bade Mandir under Guruji's sharan
. Going to Nasik, I had been a bit apprehensive of what my wife and kids might face in my absence, but here again Guruji's grace ensured there were no problems whatsoever and the time passed by nicely for them.
Guruji's blessings have been flowing freely even after His mahasamadhi
. Testimonies to this fact are the day-to-day experiences that indicate Guruji's control over the minutiae of His devotees' lives. Such is my maternal uncle's example.
My uncle, posted as the Chief Engineer close to the furnace at the Bokaro steel plant, had a complete lung collapse. The problem was compounded by his being a chain smoker. He got himself checked at Bokaro; he was immediately referred to AIIMS. At AIIMS, he was advised to see a specialist at Fortis hospital, as his condition was critical. At Fortis, he was advised to be on artificial oxygen and was sent back to Bokaro with the needed apparatus. However, his condition deteriorated and he had to be rushed back to Delhi in November 2007. Observing the increasing levels of infection, his doctor at Fortis hospital advised immediate lung removal. He warned of the complications involved and stated clearly that such an operation-never before performed in India-had an abysmal success rate of 2%-3% worldwide. The family was deeply worried.
Just before the operation, I asked my aunty to come to Guruji's place. Only Guruji could ensure uncle's safety, I told her. We came to Guruji's Chote Mandir, sat in front of Guruji's seat and prayed for His mercy and grace. While leaving the mandir, my aunty was in tears and urged us to seek a life extension for my uncle. I reassured her that she had reached the right place and her husband could suffer no wrong now. I was simultaneously praying to Guruji to bless uncle and uphold my faith.
Uncle was finally operated upon successfully. The damaged lung was removed, and the other lung was cleared of all the infection present. He was shifted to the ICU and shortly to a ward. His progress has been exceptional, and doctors are hopeful he should return home by January 2008.
Guruji's blessings have completely changed our lives and our attitude towards life as well. May Guruji keep us all under His divine grace always.
Nitesh Prasad, head of supply chain solutions for an automative major