I bow at my Master's lotus feet so that He grants me His grace to share some of the divine blessings He has bestowed on me.
Since childhood, I had comprehended God through the perspectives of the Mahabharata and the Lord Krishna serials that aired every Sunday morning. The way Lord Krishna guided the Pandavas at every step and organized leelas
for the benediction of His devotees was of great fascination. Overtime, the desire to have the Lord's darshan
grew and, unawares, I was one day called to Guruji's durbar. I realized later that my prayers had been answered.
Going to Guruji's durbar was a journey to a completely different yet wholly attractive world: full of contentment, a slow disengagement from ephemeral things and a top-of-the-world wholesomeness with all the worries disappearing somewhere. I had not got a chance to talk or listen to Guruji but was unconsciously following a voice every minute. Soon, I realized I was dancing to His tune.
Since then, life has become a blessing to cherish with Guruji, with mind, body and soul relishing each breath under His protection. Like our best friend or guardian, He takes care of the minutest of details. The only need is to realize and admit the divine force behind our lives and surrender everything faithfully.
Celebrating Holi with Lord Shiva at 1 am
On February 13, 2006, we had a chance to visit Bade Mandir. That day we saw conspicuous changes in Shivji's idol kept in the main hall. The right eye and the lower lip had increased in size, and Shivji was smiling beautifully. Since I was carrying my cell phone that day, I took some photos. They remained in my phone-only to be looked upon again during an amazing night.
A month later, it was March 20 and a Monday. We went to the Bade Mandir for sewa
and darshan. It was a beautiful day with loads of satsangs
coming our way as blessings. At around 8:00 pm, we were instructed to leave for our respective homes. I was standing near the Shivji idol outside, when we noticed a thin line of teeth between His lips not evident otherwise. We were stunned. When we were leaving, somebody told us that Guruji would be coming later in the night to Bade Mandir. We were all excited, but had to leave.
Though we left, my heart was still in the Mandir. It was night, but I was still thinking of what would be happening there. The clock struck one at home and found me awake. Acting on an unbidden thought, I took out my cell phone and opened the photograph of the Lord Shiva idol taken in February and focused on His face. Suddenly, I heard Guruji's voice saying, "Chal dekh kya hota hai
" (See what happens.) I stared at the locks of Lord Shiva, which nestle the river Ganga. Five minutes passed by, nothing happened. As I scrolled down towards the face, I was amazed to notice that half of it had turned red and a copper-ish brown patch had formed near the neck.
I was very scared! My heartbeat increased and I got up on my bed. Guruji reassured me that nothing would happen and I should keep on looking. I stayed in the same position in the dark room as per His instructions and did not even wear my spectacles. I discovered that Shivji's photograph was displaying colors. The cheeks became pink on the extreme right and the eyebrows green and pink. The serpent around Lord Shiva's neck had a blue lining representing the eyes. Gradually, colors seemed to have been sprinkled over the entire idol-as if to celebrate Holi. I received immense vibrations. The darshans continued till 3 o'clock, and my eyes had no strain though I gazed at the mobile for two hours at a stretch. When I later saw Guruji's photos in the cell phone, I was astonished to see pink gulal
in the background there too.
In the morning, I went and showed the photo to all my family members. In the same week, I took my cell phone especially to Empire Estate for the sangat
to have darshan. But as per Guruji's wish, only three people could have it; the next day my cell developed some software problem and all the memory contents were erased.
Even though we had not celebrated Holi that year, Guruji made it the most memorable one for me. I thank Guruji for such miraculous darshans.
Securing highest marks in college with Guruji's prasad
On the Lohri festival in 2006, Guruji had distributed prasad--peanuts, mishri
, cardamom-from His hands to all devotees. We relished some and brought back the rest. I kept some aside for my second-year final exams, but it was eaten anyhow.
Came the day of the first paper and as I was praying to Guruji in the morning, suddenly I heard His voice say: "Ja, prasad le le
" (Go and have prasad.) Perplexed but excited I took out a small pouch where I had stored the outer covers of the peanuts distributed by Guruji earlier, thinking that there might be some there. But it was empty. Since Guruji's instructions had to be followed, I took a small piece of peanut cover and had it. When I went downstairs afterwards, my father suddenly asked, "Have you taken the prasad?" I told him I had already finished it. He went to his room and came back holding some which he had saved earlier. I was shocked. This was the prasad Guruji was referring to. I had it throughout my papers and, with His blessings, topped in my college. Really, we just cannot judiciously analyze and comprehend Guruji's words.
Saved from a car accident
Once I drove into a nearby mall in Noida and put my car in the open parking space. It was raining heavily that day. After finishing the task, I took the car out of the parking lot through a gate that opened on to a road. I looked on both sides and assured myself that no vehicle was coming across. As I accelerated to take a right turn, the car suddenly stopped with a jarring shock. It could only be possible if somebody had quickly applied the brakes, but my foot wasn't on the brake paddle. Confused, I looked around to discover a white car crossing me in a blur from the right. I was stunned and frozen in position for five minutes. If Guruji had not stopped my car, that vehicle would have smashed into it completely. I thank Guruji for saving me that day!
Admission in post-graduate course
In my third year of graduation, I had to decide on my next career move. Though I liked studying Economics, dance had always been my passion and I was thinking of pursuing a career in dancing. In 2007, one night I had Guruji's darshans where I asked Him: "Guruji, should I pursue my career in dance or do an M.A. in Economics?" Guruji replied "M.A. kar le
" (Do M.A.) The year, I gave many entrance tests for that M.A. course but couldn't qualify in any college. Since Guruji's instructions had to be followed, I decided to drop a year. I was preparing for the second attempt but was skeptical that I would be able to get through.
One day in Empire Estate as I was sitting with closed eyes, I felt Guruji's voice saying "IGIDR Bombay.
" I was shocked! This was one of the colleges I had in mind but never thought seriously about. After that, almost every night I used to see Guruji taking me on a tour of Bombay from Marine drive to seaside chaupatties
to the markets in Bandra. I researched the institute and became very passionate about getting admission to it. When I received the admit card to the entrance test, I was amazed to see that my roll number was 13 (a number which is very lucky for me), the center for examination was Shiv Modern School and the exam was scheduled for 27th
April--the same day on which Guruji's Bhog was organized in Dugri dhaam
On examination day, amidst the pressure of clearing the paper and meeting expectations, I became nervous. As I sat down in the exam hall, I took out Guruji's photo and kept it on my table. Just before the paper started, I had darshans of 'Om' on Guruji's forehead. That relieved me. I also had brought a pen with Guruji's photo, which was kept on the table. Suddenly, the invigilator came up to me and asked me if she could use the same since she hadn't brought any with her. I said ok but was amazed that an invigilator was not carrying a pen. She signed everybody's answer sheet with the same pen, including mine and I felt as if Guruji had assured me again of His presence.
As the paper started, there were 130 questions and we had to clear the cutoff for each section individually. I was confident of clearing the two, but found the English section very difficult. I kept the pen down and told myself to forget about getting into this institute. Suddenly Guruji put a thought in my mind: I had been so passionate about getting into this institute for months and going to Bombay, how could I give up at the last moment? I rolled up my sleeves and attempted 110 questions, even though negative marking was introduced from that year.
When the result came, 112 students were selected for all over India for the interview. My name was on the 7th
position. Also, my interview was scheduled to be on 7th
July, which is Guruji's birthday. With Guruji's blessings, the panel which took my interview contained docile interviewers and I could answer every question correctly. There were many more intelligent students than me, but they got very harsh interviewers and were disappointed. Finally, Guruji got me selected in the institute's final list of 20 people.
Even before getting the admission, I had a darshan where I saw myself in Empire Estate reading Guruji's granth
. It included a satsang of a girl and narrated how Guruji got her admission in a post-graduate course in Bombay and took care of her for the two years she was there. Now I realize that Guruji had made me read my own satsang years ago. And today I repeat the same: Guruji cared for me a lot while I was away from home in Bombay. Though I was subjected to a lot of testing and made many mistakes, it was a great learning experience for me and the lessons will remain with me forever. Thank you Guruji for this divine experience!
A change in job with Guruji's Grace
I was working with a government research organization in Delhi since December 2011, but was not happy. My pay scale was very low and the quality of work way below my caliber. I desperately wanted to change my job but even after searching for four-five months I didn't get a call from anywhere. In between, several problems developed within our team and as a result I even started thinking of quitting the job. I was going through a very rough phase when one day Guruji gave me darshan: I saw myself walking up to Guruji's throne, took prasad from His hands and anxiously asked: "Guruji, mein job chor dun?" Guruji said, "Mujhe, ek baat batao, samajh badi ya time bada?
" I said "Guruji samajh
. . . nahi
Guruji time!" Guruji was silent. The message was clear. There was no need to apply my brain and take unnecessary pressure. The workings of time are more powerful than what we can comprehend and with time everything will sort itself out on its own.
Soon, I saw a job advertisement for a post in the Planning Commission. I applied and got a call for an interview. Fifteen people had come but thanks to Guruji I got the job and that too with a good package.
Though I have witnessed many ups and downs during the pursuit of this job, Guruji's support and blessings have been with me. Even though I worked very hard, I wasn't sure my one-year contract would be renewed. But since Guruji was with me, nobody could stand against me and my contract was renewed.
Guruji once gave me darshans where He said: "Khush rehna hai to daan karo, Nyaya chahiye to Bhagwan ko yaad karo.
" In reality, happiness and justice are very hard to attain in this kalyuga and Guruji has shown us the way out.
Blessed are we all! In this kalyuga, we are under the divine shelter of Lord Shiva Himself, who lifts us out of the quagmire of worldly materialism and false illusions. We are blessed with a very pampered life. We get to sit in Lord Shiva's Lotus feet, have the divine blessed langar, get to erase our sins by doing sewa in His Mandir, and Guruji's protection and guidance is available to us every second, He silently takes away our yet-to-come sufferings. Where in this kalyuga can we be bestowed with so much pure love and bliss? I believe that we are not humans anymore, we are Guruji's sangat. As narrated beautifully in the Shiv Puran by Lord Shiva Himself: "Just like the sun through its rays motivates every plant in Nature to grow equally, some flowers blossom and others don't. This is solely because of their different temperaments.
" Similarly, Guruji has taken avatar in human form to elevate us from worldly acquisitiveness and to purify our soul; how much we accomplish depends solely on ourselves.
We must take inspiration from Guruji's divine charan paduka
(shoes), as no one obeyed Guruji as readily as did His paduka. It adorned Guruji's lotus feet and accompanied Him where ever He wished, without any question. Can't we reciprocate Guruji's divine love through total surrender?
The most important lesson I have been taught? Everything is a lie, Guruji is the only truth!
Sugandha Gupta, a devotee