With Guruji, the real treasure is hidden

Nitin Joshi, July 2007 हिंदी
If you could penetrate the worldly facade He presents, if your gaze can see beyond it to Him, then you shall be blessed with an all-encompassing shelter.

For me, this is the focus, when being with Guruji.

At Guruji's abode, there is a wall - made up of your ambitions and desires - that keeps you from getting to the real Him, to achieving His bhakti. With Guruji, your desires and ambition are put into perspective and fulfilled (though you get what is right; not necessarily what you dream of), but it's beyond this facade, the wall, that the true fruits lie unexplored. If you can scale the wall, you get to the real treasure. It's not easy though, He puts you to the test, and will "squeeze you like a lemon and shake you like a tree" [His words].

I have been blessed with tremendous past karma and sanskars (hereditary qualities) that His divine will gave me a chance to come into contact with Him. It's impossible for me to describe Guruji: thoughts overwhelm my mind. If Lord Ganesh could not describe Him, who am I?

We started going to Guruji's place with no expectation, hope, or troubles and it was His magnetic charm that got us back again and again to His doorstep.

Drop your pretensions here

I used to take breakfast for the sewaks in the mandir. Guruji was usually in paath (prayer, extending to include all types of devotional activities) at that time. My parents used to keep the Friday fast. This typically means not eating anything that's sour, not even touching it. It was a Friday, and my mother had strictly instructed me not to consume any such thing.

That day, Guruji was out early, and as I came in, He instructed another devotee, Sudama, to get me a cold drink. I was more than happy to have Guruji's delicious prasad and left contented, thanking my stars for His darshan and the unexpected prasad. But I was scolded at home. I was dejected, but brushed the episode aside.

In the evening, we went to the mandir again. Guruji was in a good mood and sat down for satsang. We were all listening intently. He made a comment about the fast people keep, remarking that such a practice was bogus. As is His wont, He never said anything directly, but the point drove home: "You are at the house of God, do what He tells you and forget the humdrum practices that pretend to reach God in silly ways."

A laddoo the size of two cricket balls

Guruji blesses some people with the Sachkhand Prasad, prasad that He produces by divine will and which is, in common understanding, referred to as a 'miracle'. I have been fortunate enough to experience many such instances: Dollar notes wrapped in gold earrings, hot halwa, misri-cased burfi, chocolate and vanilla burfi, motichur and besan laddos, Himanchali hat - the list of these items is endless.

One day in Jalandhar, Guruji had gone to a devotee's house for dinner. Langar was served and, as usual, the sangat ate before Guruji. Seeking for an extra second of His divine presence, I finished off early and sat next to Him while the others were still eating. He was sitting straight, with His wrist resting on His knee and His fist closed. Somehow I had an intuition that Guruji would give prasad to someone (nothing happens without divine will: that's probably what He wanted me to see and remember) so I was concentrating on Guruji.

As the sangat gathered around after langar, conversation started. I was looking at Guruji's fist. Just as He opened it, a ladoo as large as two cricket balls appeared in His hand - as if you had held a piece of sponge which enlarged as you opened your fist. At first, nothing seemed extraordinary and then it sank in - a ladoo had not just been produced out of thin air, it had grown in size as Guruji's fist opened up!

Past ... present ...future

My father, a fauji (army man), had been posted out of Jalandhar, so 'Operation Packing' was going on at home. There were wooden boxes, trunks, gunny bags - all of which had to be numbered - lying around the house. Everything was a mess. In the evening, Guruji visited our house. As soon as He entered, the lights went out and He immediately said: "Emergency light packed in Box No. 13."

Guruji's mannerisms and speech are such that they make us believe that He is just like us (they are a part of the faade) until the gravity of what He says sinks in. Often it takes a while for that understanding to develop. So, no one heeded His comment.

The boxes weren't even numbered. A week or so later when packing was complete and our helper was numbering the boxes with paint, it struck me. I looked at the freshly painted Box No. 13 and lo...the emergency light was staring at me. I had completely forgotten what Guruji had said until that very moment.

Guruji knows your past, present and future. Don't pretend; don't hide.

God Almighty Himself

My mother was down with fever. I and my father had put ice-packs on her all day, but to no avail. Medicines did not work either, and her fever was not coming down. Suddenly, we received a call from Guruji that He would be arriving at home with the sangat. He came in only with a couple of people, went into the room where my mother was lying down and said: "Chal, aunty, kuch nahi hoya" (Come, nothing's happened.) He fondly refers to all women as aunty. He grabbed her hand and led her to the drawing room. I was at His lotus feet, pressing them. Five minutes later, Ma's temperature was normal. But, His temperature had risen.

He takes our illnesses on Himself. Can anyone from this world do it? Our karma decides our suffering and well-being, and someone who can take my suffering can only be God Almighty Himself.

Nitin Joshi, software professional, son of Col (retd.) S K Joshi

July 2007