"Kalyaan kar diya"

Shalu Dewan, February 2012
Our introduction to Guruji came through my father's air force course mate, Wing Commander Arya, who had invited him to Guruji's satsang in Jal Vayu Towers, Gurgaon. The satsang was at the Towers' community centre on a Sunday. My father, who has always been spiritually inclined, was interested and he went. (He had humorously suggested that he would come if tea and snacks would be served. They were!) Guruji wasn't there in person; there was only a chair atop which His photograph was kept. My father asked his host about it. In answer, he was given a testament of the devotee's faith: Guruji is always present in His chair and with His devotees in divine form.

My father became very keen to meet Guruji, and as it was we needed help. My Didi, elder sister, suffers from cerebral palsy since an infant. In 2003, things worsened after she fell from her bed while asleep at night; it became difficult for her to walk. An year later, when my father asked his friend that we be taken to Empire Estate, we had Guruji's darshan.

I still remember that day. It was October of 2004, the time of the navratras. The hall at Empire Estate was steeped in peaceful holiness with shabads being played in the background. We sat for some time but wanted to return without partaking of the langar, due to our navratra fast. As we were about to leave, a devotee came up and asked us to have langar-he said it was prasad. Whenever I think of that day, I never fail to thank this kind devotee. It was Guruji who had sent him to us. We failed to realize it then, but Guruji had blessed us, as events would show.

Around that time, we had visited my father's native place in Haryana for an annual ancestral pooja. On our way back, quite close to Delhi, we stopped for lunch at a dhaba. Before starting out, my father adjusted the luggage in the car boot and locked it shut. Didi screamed in pain. Papa had closed the boot with her fingers in between!

I immediately asked for ice from the dhabawala, put it in polythene and applied it to her fingers. We rushed Didi to the Base Hospital in the Delhi cantonment area. One of my mother's cousins was serving at the hospital as a doctor with the rank of Major. She immediately took Didi for an X-ray. The radio image did not reveal any injury, not even a hairline fracture of the fingers. We could not believe our ears. On way to the hospital, I had noticed that none of Didi's fingers had swelled up-indication that there was no fracture-but we did not get the hint: My Didi had been blessed too!

We continued visiting Guruji even as Didi began to walk ever so slowly. She had to drag her feet, found it difficult to climb a single step and was in constant pain. One morning, in January of 2007, my mother had Guruji's darshan. She saw Guruji in the form of a lady, sitting with the sangat. Mummy went forward with Didi to touch Her feet. The lady grabbed hold of Didi's hair from the left and shook her vigorously. The sangat sitting around the lady said: "Kalyaan kar diya. (She has been blessed.)"

That morning when Didi woke up, she told my mother, "I can't walk; I don't know how to."

An ordeal had begun for her. Didi took half an hour to cover the five-second distance from her bed to the bathroom. She was in severe and constant pain and would scream when we made her sit on the toilet seat. It was excruciating for her to bend the knees. She got severe spasms, which left her sweating and screaming in pain. My parents took turns sitting beside her night and day. She couldn't sleep and was full of pain for four long months.

My father had been taking her to many neurophysicians, but it was of no help. During one of these visits, I accompanied Didi to the Army's Research & Referral hospital in Delhi Cantonment. After a series of tests including an MRI, the neurophysician could not arrive at any conclusion. My father insisted that some treatment be given, and the doctor referred Didi to the institute's paediatric neurophysician. This doctor ordered some X-rays and upon further examination merely prescribed calcium supplements. Didi made a remarkable recovery within the next ten days.

My eyes fill with tears even now when I think of her miraculous recovery. We had visited the Bade Mandir on a Monday, just once before Didi got bedridden. Papa had to literally carry her up and down the steps of the Mandir. The next time we visited Bade Mandir it was after Guruji's mahasamadhi on May 31, 2007. That day, Didi not only climbed all the steps unaided but also knelt in front of Guruji without any sign of the disability that appeared incurable a few weeks ago. She had recovered her posture and mobility. It was then that we understood: Guruji had blessed my sister in my mother's dream.

Shalu Dewan, daughter of Wing Commander (retd.) SC Dewan

February 2012