"Do you want one more son?"

Poonam Sethi, July 2007 हिंदी
I still remember when I was blessed with a chance to have Guruji's darshan: it was the last week of June 1998. We had waited quite a while to have Guruji's darshan ever since we had heard of Him from my husband's maternal uncle. But, my husband was posted in Srinagar and we could not go. The chance came once again when his posting got over in June 1998.

My husband's uncle had had a wonderful experience with Guruji that he had related to us. Uncle had been advised to go for bypass surgery by several cardiologists, when he fortunately met Guruji. Guruji, in his usual simple way, asked uncle to tell him about his problems while uncle pressed Guruji's lotus feet. By the time, uncle had related his problems, Guruji told him that he did not need to go for the surgery as Guruji had completed the bypass. Several tests and investigations by the same cardiologists who had advised surgery verified that the condition and working of uncle's heart had improved beyond what could have happened through surgery.

As for us, we had been childless for about seven years. We were worried about this issue and had practically given up. But, when we heard of people' satsangs, of the miracles that had occurred due to Guruji's blessings, we renewed our hopes: we had a chance, if Guruji wished.

We reached the Empire Estate residence of Guruji quite late in the evening and had His darshan. We also ate the mandatory langar. Guruji asked us to introduce ourselves and then invited us to His birthday celebrations on 7 July at The Ranch, a farmhouse near Empire Estate on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road. I attended the birthday celebrations and was amazed at the number of people who were there. Each one had an experience to narrate about what Guruji had given them. Hoping to one day become the recipients of Guruji's generosity, we started visiting Guruji regularly. We wanted to tell Guruji about our problem, but were restrained from doing so by other members of the sangat, who told us to bide our time till Guruji Himself mentioned the problem.

One day, Guruji asked me the purpose of our coming to Him and I told Him about our being childless. He said that I will have children, and also fixed the days on which we could come to the sangat. I was pleased no bounds by Guruji's words but had doubts, too: Does He know enough about our problem? Does He know about all the treatments we have undergone and which have not worked? I wondered whether Guruji knew doctors had pointed out that I had defective tubes and my husband a low sperm count. They had suggested expensive IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) that too with little chances of success. But, we continued to visit Him on the days He had fixed for us. Things started to improve on other fronts in our lives: my job became permanent and my husband's employer gave him a chance to do an Executive MBA.

However, on the medical front, there was no cheer: doctors were still not giving us any hope; they maintained we needed to go for the IVF after we had tried out the relatively simple and less expensive IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination).

It was May of 2000. My husband had been informed of his selection for the MBA course and would be away from the family for one year. It meant that no treatment could be taken. We took what doctors had specified as a last shot at the IUI and were dissatisfied. We visited Guruji and I informed Him of my husband's selection. He smiled and said: "Phir toh Kalyan ho gaya" (Then you have been blessed.) I was miserable. What sort of kalyan was this? My husband would be away for another year, no treatment would be possible and I would be childless for at least another two years. But Guruji saw and knew what we could not even think of...

Yes! The pregnancy test I took a few days later revealed that I was carrying. This was something that was beyond our combined belief. Both of us were repeatedly kissing Guruji's photograph, with tears rolling down our eyes with gratitude towards the One who had changed our destiny. We visited Guruji that evening. I eagerly went towards Him to convey the news. Guruji smiled and signalled at me not to speak. "I know," He said. "Yes," I thought, "only He knew."

I went through my pregnancy with ease in spite of my husband's absence and gave birth to a boy. I was eager to take the infant to Guruji, to get him blessed by The One with whose blessings we had got him. The tradition of not taking the baby out for 40 days stopped me from doing so.

Finally, at end of 40 days, we took the baby to Guruji. Guruji smiled and asked me: "Do you want one more son?" I did not answer. After that on every visit, Guruji repeated the same question. I took it as a joke and did not answer. I thought: "Who would go through that medical process, once again, that too with such a small child to look after?"

One day, during our visit, Guruji repeated the same question. Somehow, I uttered, "As you please." Within a week, I found I was pregnant again, this time without any treatment, any medicines, any medical procedure and with the same defective tubes. It could only be Guruji's blessings and nothing else. I gave birth to another boy.

Today, both of them are growing up. Naughty boys, always up to some mischief or the other. Not big enough to understand the fact that it is only because of Guruji that they have come into this world.

Medically, we were undeserving parents. But then, there is somebody, the only One who can fulfil the desires of human beings, change destinies and never fail to enthuse devotees with positive hope. Thank you, Guruji, for letting us into your sangat and changing our lives as nobody else could have.

Poonam Sethi, lecturer in Hindu college

July 2007