A day before Ganesha Chauth during September 2012, my students bought me a small idol of Lord Ganesha. They had meant to gift it to me for Teacher's Day, but it came to me a bit late. The next day, the results of a competitive exam I had been desperately trying to succeed in since a longtime were to be declared. My colleagues felt Lord Ganesha's idol signified that I would qualify with flying colors. But I did not-and it was Ganesha Chauth, too. I was dejected to the point that I decided to pack the Ganesha idol and have no truck with it again. But I have always loved worshipping Lord Ganesha and after crying buckets, I decided to worship Him. I was in my hostel and had nothing to offer him save sugar, milk, ghee and some white rice. I did whatever I could and worshipped Ganesha and the crystal Shivling
which I always keep on my study table. I was praying and challenging Him: If you really exist, show that you care for me.
The next day a former student met me. Since I had always liked her, I shared what had happened. I found myself looking at her oval-pendant, which was etched with a photograph. She then started talking of Guruji. I was skeptical and advised her not to "believe in Babas and Gurujis." But she shared some of her experiences and requested me to visit Bade Mandir, just once. She was willing to take me there. Her faith moved me. I decided to go. These events happened to me the day after worshipping Ganesha's idol.
Reaching the Mandir was a challenge. I was with a friend in a car driving around aimlessly at 7:30 in the evening, for we had lost our way, from North Delhi to Mehrauli-twice. I suggested we stop at the INA Metro Station and take the metro to Chhatarpur. Little had I known I was wrong again! We did get in the Metro, but the train took us only till the Qutab Minar station. We thought of waiting for another train to go to Chhatarpur, but I backed my intuition again. I told my friend, let us move out of Qutab station and take a ride to Bade Mandir. The moment we came out, the shuttle bus for Guruji's mandir was waiting! It left immediately after all of us had settled down. I was sitting next to a middle-aged woman who gave me a photograph of Guruji. I still feel blessed to have it because not everybody gets to have His glimpse so quickly! After telling her how I had found the bus and that I was to meet Guruji for the first time, she replied, "Guruji ki app par badi kripa hain, unhone hi appko bulaya hain. (Guruji's grace is with you. He alone has called you.)"
Not everybody gets His photograph because they are priceless and are not found in the market. It was destiny and not any logical sequence of events that was bringing me closer to Him. The outcome: the divine darshan
of the biggest Shiv pratima
(a large idol of Lord Shiva on lotus petals) I've seen and Guruji-not in person, but present everywhere as a divine fragrance. Bade Mandir is the only temple I've known which runs without a priest and where people of all religions are loved and respected as humans. One can see the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, the physically disabled and even non-Indians.
For the last two days I had back pain but I could sit on the floor at the Bade Mandir, gazing pain free at Guruji. Remembering all the difficulties I've been through I cried during the satsang
and felt heavenly better in some time. We then had langar prasad
-His blessings. On my way back to North Delhi (at one of the metro station), I met the lady who had sat next to me in the bus. Everything ended the same way it had started, just like life.
We only see things in relation to instant results and outcomes, but fail to see how Guruji delays a few things because He wants the best to happen. We don't see the larger picture.
Shradha Mathur, a devotee