Blessings at the Master's lotus feet

R P Singla, July 2007 हिंदी
Charan kamal ki mauj ko, kahon kaise anuman,
Kahibe ko sobha nahin, dekha hi parman

The medieval saint Kabir refused to measure the pleasure of being at the Satguru's lotus feet, saying it can't be expressed, as nothing comparable to this pleasure exists in this world. I have felt the same in my life, too. For Guruji's blessing have changed my whole life, my perception of life and given a new direction and sense to it.

Hints of omniscience

In August of 1998, I received a call one evening from one of my friends, Wing Commander Chopra, asking me to join him at Guruji's place. After stiff resistance, as I had never believed in saints, I finally agreed, thinking I would oblige my friend.

That day we left from Noida at around 6 in the evening and reached Guruji's place in about 45 minutes. Since it was my first visit, I knew no one in the sangat, except Chopra. We sat there, among a gathering of about 15-20 people, waiting for Guruji. When Guruji came out of His room, we all went and bowed to Him. Normally at religious gatherings, as a gesture of their respect to the Almighty or for the cause of a religious outfit, this is the time funds are raised as people donate money. But, Wing Commander Chopra cautioned me that I was not supposed to offer money at Guruji's place. The only things that could be offered to Guruji were either flowers or sweets. Flowers are used to decorate the satsang hall and sweets are distributed among the sangat as prasad by Guruji (But, now even this practice is discouraged).

After Chopra had briefly introduced me, Guruji turned to me and straightaway asked: "When are you planning your next visit to Chandigarh?" It surprised me, since Chopra knew nothing of my plan and could not have told Guruji about it. Somehow Guruji knew more than what was conveyed by Chopra. Overcoming my surprise, I replied to Guruji. Guruji wanted to know where I usually stayed in Chandigarh. I told Him that I usually stayed at the home of a friend, IPS officer P.P. Singh. Guruji quickly remarked that Preet Pal Singh was His firm follower. He told me to mention to Singh that I had visited Guruji and also ask him to come to Delhi to meet Him.

The mystery surrounding Guruji and His powers grew.

As we settled down, we were offered tea - Chai Prasad. Soothing shabads were being played and they filled the environment with divine bliss. After a short while, Guruji started distributing sweets and their quantity fascinated me. Guruji used only His right hand to pick and distribute the prasad, but it was hard for everyone to hold on to it with both hands. On a physical basis, Guruji's hands may be smaller than at least a few persons' in the sangat, but even these people could not hold on to it with both hands.

After Guruji had given two or three rounds of prasad, the cumulative quantity of which would have amounted to at least half a kilogram of sweets, arrangements for serving langar were initiated on Guruji's instructions. At this point, it was hard to believe that any further food could be eaten. But after a couple of minutes, all the heaviness had gone. By the time langar was served, I was feeling hungry again. It was only during subsequent visits that I realized that all these experiences related to prasad and langar were not a one-off, but were a norm at Guruji's place.

For the last four to five years, I had followed a strict regimen. I would sleep by not later than 9.30 pm and then get up early the next morning. But, Guruji would let the sangat go back at a time He deemed appropriate. So we were there till past midnight and left for Noida at around one o'clock at night. This was nothing less than a jolt for my body clock. Yet I found that I wasn't sleepy at all even when kept awake after my usual to-bed hours, and the feeling of freshness persisted till I reached home.

Immediately on my arrival, I rang up P.P. Singh to confirm whether what Guruji had said was true. My friend took the call and was jubilant at learning that I had gone to Guruji's place in Empire Estate. It turned out that my friend was glad to know of Guruji's whereabouts since he had lost contact with Him after Guruji left Chandigarh. We concluded our conversation - at a very odd hour - on a happy note. I then replied to questions from my wife about my first visit. After a brief discussion, a very eventful day came to an end.

Next evening, I again got a call from Chopra who wanted to know whether I would join him at Guruji's place. I agreed without hesitation. In Guruji's sharan, we again enjoyed shabads, prasad, and langar. Then Guruji called me, addressing me as 'Gupta'. After a wonderful five to six hours which flew past, Guruji instructed us to leave.

Back home, I told my family about the happenings of the day, mentioning that Guruji had addressed me as "Gupta". My children thought that at least at this point Guruji had got it wrong: probably, He had forgotten my name. But, the fact was different. I took out a blood donor card of mine (from my college days) and showed it to my kids. This was the first time ever that they were apprised of the fact that I used to write 'Gupta' as my surname in college and it was only after I had set up my business that I started using 'Singla' as the surname.

Guruji had once again proven that nothing is hidden from Him. A fact not known to even my family members was spelt out by Guruji in a seemingly casual conversation. My wife and children insisted they would join me during my next visit. So we went.

An aromatic visit to Chandigarh and back

Less than a week after meeting Guruji, He told me to go to Chandigarh with my wife and meet P. P. Singh and his family. Guruji's grace made the visit very special. Guruji's body exudes a fragrance which is distinct and unique. The fragrance comes naturally off Guruji. In fact, anything that He touches and blesses - any devotee would testify to this fact - would have the same fragrance. Even the leather jootis (shoes) Guruji wears are soaked with His fragrance. And these jootis are normally worn only for a few minutes and those few minutes of contact are good enough to impart Guruji's fragrance to these jootis for ever.

During our visit to Chandigarh, throughout our journey, the same fragrance accompanied us. In Chandigarh, most of our time with the Singh family was spent talking about Guruji. And when we concluded it after a fashion and were ready to depart, a strong breeze redolent of Guruji's fragrance swept past us. And yet Guruji was 250 km away in Delhi.

Though understanding Guruji is a task beyond our reach, it is only with His grace that one develops at least a basic level of understanding. With whatever He has shown and allowed me to experience, I can assert that Guruji's fragrance is a sure indicator of Guruji's presence. Any time, anywhere, whoever calls upon Guruji for His support and protection, Guruji's response to the call is assured as well as immediate. But, the call should be from the core of your heart. Guruji's response is often marked by His presence, which is conveyed by the way His fragrance spreads all around the troubled devotee.

Similarly, some sangat members are lucky to have dreams featuring Guruji. The fact here as well is that you can never have Guruji's dream, till He wishes it to be so. In fact, Guruji's appearance in a dream is by no means a casual event and amounts to being in His actual physical presence. This is not just a belief. The statement has been proven by Guruji, that too not once but invariably always. How else would one justify what happened a couple of years ago?

Guruji had come to Neemrana, in the state of Rajasthan, to inaugurate my wheat flour mill. Guruji was accompanied by some sangat members. One of them was Mr Madan (a businessman, resident of Gurgaon) who had come with his family. As soon as his daughter Ekta saw the factory, she cried aloud that Guruji had shown her the entire set-up and the function that was to be held a good couple of months in advance!

Getting rid of stiff legs

For any devotee, serving the Guru always means great joy and satisfaction. However, with Guruji there is an added dimension.

Once Guruji gave me an opportunity to massage His legs. Guruji specifically instructed me to massage His legs from below the knee to the ankle. The overwhelming joy and pleasure I derived is hard to express in words. After that short half hour of pressing His legs, my hands were filled with Guruji's fragrance. The fragrance decreased only after repeated hand washes, but remained for more than 24 hours. And something miraculous too happened.

The lower half of my legs was very stiff. In fact, it was my daily practice to have my son stand on the lower portion of my legs, with his full body weight providing me some relief. It took me a few days to realize that this long-standing problem of some seven-eight years had been erased by Guruji in that sewa (service) of half an hour on exactly the same portion of His body. Since then, I have never had this stiffness again.

So, along with the pleasure involved, whenever Guruji gives anyone a chance of sewa, it invariably benefits the devotee.

The Maruti Miracles

Our car, a Maruti 800, used to give an average of 12 to 12.5 km/lt of petrol. On every fuel stop, I used to meticulously calculate the average. During the initial few car services, I asked the service centre guys to improve the average. After a few tries, they told me clearly that since the car was used only for city driving, any improvement was improbable. When we started coming regularly to Guruji (seven days a week), I calculated and found the average to be a good 19 km/lt. This came in as a huge surprise and I anticipated a miscalculation. So, I kept the finding to myself. On a subsequent fuel recharge, however, I was amazed to get the same mileage of 19 km/lt. Still unable to accept and explain this, I decided to wait for the next fuel stop. I was befuddled when the same figure cropped up.

Guruji commented on the fact the next time I was in His presence. Even before I could bow to Guruji, Guruji asked me in Punjabi, "Singla, what happened? Totally zapped by the figure of '19'? Now you realize how the grace of saints can work its magic on not only humans, but objects like cars as well."

And Guruji's remark was borne out more than once.

Once while I was driving, I looked at the fuel indicator and seeing that it was touching empty, turned to a petrol pump. Waiting in the queue of vehicles, I again looked at the indicator and was surprised to observe a sudden jump to the half-way mark. I decided to leave immediately, without refilling. A couple of days passed and the indicator was showing empty again after the car had run the expected miles - if we assume that the tank was half-filled on the occasion just described. A glance at the fuel indicator after taking a turn towards the petrol pump baffled me: the fuel tank was again indicating half-filled. For a miraculous two weeks, our car looked like regaining lost fuel at the mere vision of a petrol pump.

Then again on a trip to Punjab, we started out from Delhi expecting to just reach the destination with the fuel we had. But contrary to this, we visited that place and came back to Delhi without filling the car with fuel at all.

Not just the fuel efficiency, but even the space available inside our blessed car seemed to be increasing on an as-required basis. To start with, Guruji granted us the prized opportunity to bring langar to His place from where it was prepared (daily langar is prepared by sangat members who are designated this responsibility by Guruji; domestic helps or hired chefs do not prepare the langar). With Guruji's grace, all the utensils containing the packed langar were fitted in and we rolled over to Guruji's place. But with the sangat (gathering of devotees) increasing daily, the quantity of langar also increased proportionally and so did the car's capacity. Any increase in the size of the drums or the increasing number of utensils was somehow accommodated in the same car. One day Guruji's seemingly casual remark that all the langar drums had fitted in the car saw the car become almost elastic. Once, we had all the empty drums after the day's sangat and were going back to Noida. Just then Guruji instructed all the curtains of the temple to be taken off and given for dry cleaning (some 35-40 full-size curtains, each probably some 15 feet long). Since the drycleaner was located in Noida, I was asked to try and accommodate some of the curtains. With four of us and the drums, not much was expected to fit in. However, to the amazement of everyone involved, all the curtains adjusted themselves very nicely in the car!

What, except Guruji's grace, can explain something of this sort?

Blessings with burfis for my diabetic father

My father has been a sugar patient since the 1980s, and takes insulin injections twice a day. He came to Guruji and was given a burfi (a sweet) as prasad by Guruji. Usually, people come out of the sangat hall, consume the prasad and then go back in and sit down. My father also came out of the hall and asked us what he should do with the five-six pieces of burfi he had been given. I asked him to eat them all as Guruji's instructions are that whatever prasad is given is medicine if it is eaten immediately; it loses its effect if taken home or elsewhere. I requested father to polish off the burfis. He argued that the sweets would be poison for him. I told him that these are a form of Guruji's blessing and cannot have any negative impact. On my insistence, he ate the burfis and went back in. Guruji called him and gave him more burfi. Father was not willing to consume the sweets this time, since he thought he was toying with danger now. However, I insisted and he agreed, ate up the prasad and went back. But, Guruji was not done yet. He called him for the third time and again gave him burfi.

When he had eaten the prasad for the third time, father must have consumed at least half a kilogram of burfi and was sure he would fall seriously ill. He anticipated his blood sugar would rise sharply after he had had sugar equivalent to possibly his cumulative intake for the last 15 years in a span of past four hours.

We went back home and received a call from him at 5:30 in the morning the next day. He was amazed to discover that his sugar, which stood at 130 last morning, had actually dropped to 120 after all the burfi he had eaten the last night.

The incident just points out that: Anything given at Guruji's place loses its physical significance and is just prasad, which will never have a negative impact on you.

Guruji's blessings in surgeries

My father is not only a diabetic but also a heart patient. He once had some chest pain at night. He did not think much about it and used hot bottles and massages in a bid to suppress the pain. Somehow he managed to get through the night, but with the situation worsening every passing minute, he finally called me up in the early hours next morning. When I reached his place, we rushed him to Apollo Hospital, located close to Noida. Preliminary investigations indicated that the previous night dad had a massive heart attack and doctors were surprised at the laxity shown in our turning up at the hospital. However, after a complete case analysis, doctors advised a by-pass surgery. It was expected to be a complicated affair given that my dad is diabetic. It normally takes a diabetic patient more than double the time to heal than a normal patient. However, with no other options left, doctors proceeded with the surgery after taking the consent of our family. Under a short notice of just a few hours, all the arrangements for surgery - like arranging for blood etc. - were quite challenging.

But Guruji's grace was evident by the way the hospital staff responded and supported us. The surgeon was the first to set the ball rolling by offering his blood in the absence of sufficient units available. Moreover, a very complicated surgery was carried out under the expert guidance of the head of the heart surgery department, a surgeon who is available in India only for 10-12 days a month. The availability of that surgeon is hard to ensure even with prior appointments, typically 15-20 days in advance. But in our case, without any prior intimation, he was made available in a few hours.

My father's experience as he underwent the surgery was not traumatic at all. After he had gained consciousness, he enquired about the pre-operative results of the investigations, as he had no idea that he had been operated upon! Everything that happened that day had an element which cannot be defined or explained and in fact shows that smooth sailing for my dad would not have been possible without Guruji's divine intervention. Not just that, the pace of my father's post-surgical recovery was surprising even for doctors. Doctors said it was better than that of a non-diabetic patient - a fact impossible to explain if analyzed medically.

We were to witness more of Guruji's power play in hospitals. This time, it was my cousin brother, Ashok Singla. With his heart trouble dating back to over a decade, he was prescribed a third surgery and, on my advice, he came to Guruji. A resident of Chandigarh, he was in Delhi for the surgery for about a week in advance and thus could go for Guruji's darshan on three-four occasions before hospitalization. Those few hours in Guruji's sharan were good enough to bail him out of any probable trouble in surgery and help his recovery. The surgery went off without any complications and the pace of recovery was also manifold as compared with his own experiences on the previous two occasions. Evidently, Guruji's powers worked wonders for him.

'Something that cannot be explained but can only be experienced'

I would reiterate that understanding Guruji is beyond our capabilities. Similarly it is impossible to put your experiences with Guruji into words, as words that can do justice to the stature of these blessings just do not exist. Ever since I have been granted the association of Guruji, a sentence, which I have almost invariably used when telling someone of my experiences is: "What you feel and what you get as you meet Guruji is something that cannot be explained but can only be experienced."

Guruji employs various tools to hide His true nature and most of us are trapped at a superficial level of contact with Guruji, not reaping the potential benefits Guruji offers us. Guruji can give anything and everything. In fact, Guruji can give what even God would hesitate in granting you. In life, you are allowed to reap only what you have sown. But, Guruji can grant what you desire and not only what you deserve. But, that desire must be beneficial for us in the long run. Here, devotees have to admit to the fact that their vision is limited and can see only the present, but Guruji's vision can traverse through the past, present and future.

If you put your life's boat in Guruji's hand, you can rest assured of reaching the safe shore. This is where we have to develop the understanding that total surrender leads to total support.

Further, many times due to our human nature we cannot but try and ask for Guruji's blessings to get a favourable response. But the loss we do to ourselves with such an action is unimaginable. For once we are in Guruji's sharan, we are sure to receive His blessings. If you go and ask for something, Guruji will grant the same and that's it. But if you don't ask and let Guruji decide and give, the grant being selected by the Lord Himself is assuredly more than what we can conceive of.

Chana cures heart disease

The best way to get the maximum is to abide by Guruji's instructions. And it is a tried and tested fact that whenever He instructs something, all the resources to accomplish the said task are made available by Him.

There have been innumerable occasions where Guruji has demonstrated this. One of my close friends, S. S. Goel, had a severe heart attack and was immediately rushed to hospital. As I was leaving for Noida that night after the sangat, I mentioned this to Guruji. Guruji asked me to do something immediately, which required some 5¼ kgs of chana.

By the time we left, it was already around 1 at night and that too during the peak of winters. Since as per Guruji's instructions, the activity was to be carried out immediately, I started looking for a general store from where I could buy the chana. Against all odds, I was relieved to sight a shop still open, just 10 km on my way back. I went to the shop and asked that shopkeeper to pack 5¼ kgs of chana. After checking his stock, storekeeper told me that he only had 4½ kgs. Though the quantity was short of what I wanted, something is better than nothing. So I got it packed and while leaving casually asked the shopkeeper if he was always open at this time. He told me that he normally closes the shop by 10.30pm, but today he was reconciling his total stock, an activity he takes up only once in about three-four months. Though one might dismiss it as a mere coincidence, when coincidences favouring you occur too often, one stops doubting the actual source making them happen.

But, we were still short of the required quantity of chana, so we continued searching. But no shop was open. We reached home a bit disappointed and immediately went ahead to check if some chana was available at home. A container with chanas revived our hopes. When we checked the total weight, using a small weighing machine kept at my home, all of us were amazed to find that it was exactly ¾ kg, just enough to get the right quantity.

I did as Guruji had advised. Goel's condition improved dramatically and he was discharged within the next 48 hours. This is how Guruji's blessings work and He enables you to follow His instructions.

Irrespective of how casual a remark made by Guruji might appear, it carries a deep impact. Each and every word from Guruji's mouth is aimed at providing His disciple a chance to have an improved tomorrow. His tools, so effectively disguised, often leave us without a clue about what could have happened. It is rarely that Guruji makes the pros and cons clear. This reminds me of my visit to Punjab where I had gone with Guruji, who had been invited to inaugurate a hospital.

After the inauguration, Guruji decided to extend His stay in Punjab for a few more days. Guruji Himself ensures proper arrangements for the sangat's stay in such conditions. Arrangements for me along with three more sangat members were done at the newly inaugurated hospital itself, with the owner of the hospital personally taking special care of the four of us. We had a lot of fun, with rich and lavish Punjabi food for us throughout our stay there. Unforgettable hospitality by the staff as well made it a truly memorable experience. After four days of stay, with all the comfort and facilities at our disposal, we returned to Delhi. Guruji told one among the four of us that our stay at the hospital was to compensate for the coming bad time, which would have seen all four of us on hospital beds for four months!

Guruji's care for His sangat is endless and wherever and whenever you need Guruji, He is always there for you. Past years have given me many chances to experience His omnipresence and omnipotence. All that one can say is 'Thank you Guruji'.

Once in December/January, I was driving back from the sangat and the fog was so thick that the visibility was down to less than a couple of meters. It was taking its toll as the turns on the road were hardly identifiable. After driving for about 7-8 km, out of a total of 28 km, I gave up. My car was hardly rolling. Stuck in a helpless position, I prayed to Guruji and immediately a car zipped past me. I decided to follow the car, without knowing where it was heading. I blindly drove on, guided by that car. After about 40-45 minutes of the drive, in an area with lesser fog, I realized that we had reached Noida. The car finally left us at a turn about half a kilometer from my home.

Similarly once, on a hot mid-summer afternoon, I was driving on a highway when my car stopped. I was unable to identify the fault. Left stranded, I took Guruji's refuge. Out of the blue, a man on a scooter came up to me and enquired if there was any problem. He was a car mechanic and within 10-15 minutes, he had identified the problem, but said two parts need to be replaced. To get the parts, he went off and was back in the next 10 minutes and set the car on the road within a few more minutes.

Experiences with Guruji are endless. Every day we experience many big and small occurrences which clearly indicate Guruji's support to us, what to talk of those troubles which are averted without even coming near us. I would conclude with a humble request to Guruji, to keep all sangat members in His sharan, forgiving our mistakes and overlooking our flaws.

R P Singla, owns a wheat flour mill in Neemrana

July 2007