Eleven years ago (2001), I lost my grandmother and uncle in an accident while two of my small cousins battled for their lives in intensive care. Doctors had given them less than a 5 per cent chance of survival. My sister and I lived in a joint family and were very close to the children.
Among the many who offered sympathy, Bandhu, a colleague, showed me the path to Guruji. He counselled me to go to Him and pray for my cousins' lives. Though I couldn't get back what I had lost, he said, he had seen many miracles at Guruji's durbar. He felt that Guruji would listen to my prayers.
My sister and I were desperate. We were ready to go and bow anywhere if that could help save our cousins. We took the details from Bandhu. Both of us were young and felt a little awkward about going to a guru all by ourselves. But the elders at home were tied up with the many rituals.
That very evening, we reached Guruji's durbar, which used to be held at a villa in Empire Estate, in Sultanpur, on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road in Delhi. 'Guruji' was very good looking clean-shaven gentleman sitting on a king's couch, dressed in an elegant robe. He was unlike any guru I had seen. There was an aura around Him; I was mesmerized by His presence. The entire atmosphere was charged, though the sangat sat on the carpeted floor, quietly listening to the shabads
playing in the background. We stood in a queue of devotees, the ones in the front bending to pay their respects to Guruji. We paid our obeisance at Guruji's feet, His lotus feet with a fragrance emanating from everywhere around His seat. Little did we realize that Guruji Himself was the source of the fragrance--one that no perfume on this earth can match.
Politicos Maneka Gandhi and Arun Shourie sat on either side of His seat with Shourie pressing Guruji's feet. The scene deceived me. Here was a guru of only the well-to-do, I thought, for lesser mortals such as I solace would come last, at the end of the queue.
We settled down amid the sangat. After a while, I was at peace. With the kind of emotional upheaval that we were going through at that time, this truly was a blessing.
We had gone with a lot of hope to Guruji's durbar. Considering what we had seen at other gurus' durbars, we were hoping for a personal audience with Guruji, so that we could tell Him of what we had gone through, the current state of our little cousins and take His blessings and remedies for their immediate healing. To our surprise, during the entire duration of the gathering, neither did we see Guruji speak to anyone nor did anyone approach Him with their problems. Guruji's aura was so overwhelming that one could not even make eye-to-eye contact with Him.
Soon we were having langar
. Four to a thali, each of us strangers but bound by one common faith. We were all equal in Guruji's durbar.
We went back the next day and the experience was the same. It seemed that Guruji did not speak to anyone at all but still everyone in the sangat seemed to be at peace with themselves. My sister and I were overwhelmed with emotions, fighting to hold back our tears and constantly thinking of the worst that might happen to our little cousins if Guruji did not listen to us.
A few members of the sangat came to know about our tragedy and reassured us that we need not worry about the children. Guruji had accepted us in His durbar, they asserted, and we should leave it to Him to take care of our problems. They emphasized that not everyone could attend Guruji's durbar and that we had already done so for two days running. That there was no need for anyone to speak to Him, as He knows everything about His sangat, and that He had heard our prayers. ("Tumhari ardaas lag chuki hai
", they said.)
We were so perturbed that these assurances fell on deaf ears. Bound by logic and reasoning, we looked forward to convincing evidence before investing our faith. I called up Bandhu that evening to inform him that I had not been able to speak to Guruji and that there was no improvement in the cousins' health. He repeated the words of the sangat (ardaas lag chuki hai
) and pointed out that though he had been going to the sangat for four and a half years, Guruji had not spoken to him once-yet not a single prayer had gone unanswered. He said that we did not have to worry about our cousins. You don't have to tell anything to God, he wanted us to understand, He knows everything and had already taken our little cousins under His shelter.
He asked if the children's health had deteriorated since we had come to Guruji. I realized then that although my cousins were still not out of danger, they were stable under life support and their condition had not worsened. Bandhu understood that as newcomers we may not have faith in Guruji, but emphasized that I must believe and have faith on his faith and continue to go to Guruji's durbar.
So we went to Guruji a third time too. To our amazement, Guruji called us and we were able to talk to him. He suggested a particular process of healing. We were not able to follow completely as He spoke in Punjabi, and He instructed a devotee to tell us the details. We religiously followed the remedy-to make my cousins taste the prasad
given by Guruji-daily for 30 days. Lo and behold! Both my cousins were shifted out of intensive care after 30 days and came back home. This miracle happened only because of Guruji's blessings.
We continued to visit Guruji's durbar at Empire Estate and took our cousins to thank Guruji in person. My mother and other family members also started going to Him.
One day when my mother was paying her respects, Guruji in chaste Punjabi asked her how she had come to know about Him. My mother signalled towards me (I was standing two places behind her in the queue to touch Guruji's lotus feet) and said that I was a regular at His durbar and had brought the family to Him. Guruji looked at me at that moment and I felt blessed at having received His gaze-so full of blessings. In my mother's words, we as a family have never looked back from that day on. We have achieved and received more in life than what we deserve-thanks to Guruji's blessings.
A dozen years after the accident, all is well with my cousins. The elder is married and blessed with a child. My younger cousin, who suffered severe trauma to his brain, used to find it difficult to memorize stuff and, resultantly, fell behind on his studies. I firmly believed though that when Guruji had saved his life, He would also give him a worthy life. With this thought in mind, I prayed to Guruji. The same child who was finding it difficult to manage his studies for the last few years, with Guruji's blessings, has recently cleared his Class 10 exam. There is a marked improvement in his confidence, too. Jai Guruji!
After langar: kidney stones pass out
Guruji's devotees well know that His langar is blessed and has the power to heal the worst of ailments. Guruji has healed diabetes with sweets, and tumors and ulcers with samosas
! I experienced the healing first hand.
I had been suffering from kidney stones for more than a year. I had tried all kinds of medicines but to no avail. I was unable to go to Guruji's Bade Mandir since I was in Bangalore and was not aware that Guruji's satsang
were held in that city.
Every now and then, I would think of Guruji and tell myself that I should go to Bade Mandir the next time I was in Delhi. Out of the blue, one day in office, I came across a screen saver on a colleague's laptop: it was Guruji's! My colleague told me that regular satsangs were being held in Bangalore. It appeared to me that Guruji was calling me back under His sharan
. That he knew of my health problems and professional issues. I along with my wife and child got the opportunity to attend Guruji's satsang and have His blessed langar the very next Saturday. I felt the stones leaving my body after taking the langar and have not experienced pain since then. My Guruji had again taken care of His sangat.
My wife and kid get into same school
Mahima, my wife, had been doing pretty well in her job when we decided that she should opt for a sabbatical as she was pregnant. At the same time, I was promoted to take care of an international assignment. I was required, however, to be based at my company's head office in Bangalore.
For the first time in life, both of us were going to stay away from our families and take care of the household, all by ourselves, with no support. It became unavoidable for Mahima to give up her job.
We were blessed with a son, Aaryaman. Days, months and nearly three years passed and Aaryaman began going to preparatory school. With more time at her disposal and the not-so encouraging environment on my professional front at that time, my wife wanted to pick up a job again. With Guruji's blessings, she got through in her first interview at a prestigious school. She got a placement aligned with her qualifications and with emoluments she had received three years ago. The school job also helped her strike a work-life balance, without compromising on the quality of time spent with our son.
The time came when our son was ready to take his first steps to primary school. We were faced with the predicament that every working parent faces: how is the little one going to cope up in the big wild world out there? If he got admission in my wife's school, it could save us a lot of anxiety. Unfortunately, admissions had already been taken in for his class and, being new to the job, my wife could not exert any influence. However, again with Guruji's grace, a student took a transfer and one seat became vacant, which was good enough for my son's admission. Jai Guruji!
I have lost count of the blessings that Guruji has showered on me and my family. No amount of words would ever suffice to express our gratitude towards Him for taking us in His refuge. I pray to Him that He continues to keep us in His sharan, holding our hand, and taking care of us as a loving Father. Jai Guruji!
Nitin Sharma, a devotee