When you knock hard at God's door

Sukhi Harrison, July 2007 हिंदी
Most respected Guruji Maharaj, with my head bowed at your lotus feet and with heartfelt gratitude and love I humbly ask Your Reverence to guide me in expressing my experiences. I know that each day, each second, each breath I take is a blessing from Thee. Where then can I begin to write down my experiences of your divine blessings? For about your love and with it I can write down thousands of granths. I humbly put pen to paper to share my experiences with your chosen few who have luckily reached your doorstep to receive the Divine Light.

His reverence Guruji Maharaj is the whole Universe and the whole Universe is inside Him. There is nothing in the Universe other than His Divine Self. He is present everywhere. The Universe is just an expanding bubble ready to burst before Him, but will never burst while we have Him in our lives.

Dear Lord, how could you do this to me?

Even after years of wedlock, my husband David and I had not been blessed with a child. We were most distressed and had been to gynaecologists and taken fertility treatment. February of 1991 found me contemplating adopting a child from India. I decided to go to the Gurdwara Sahib Guru Nanak Durbar at 78, Serpentine Avenue, Dublin, and speak to the Lord.

On arriving at the Gurdwara Sahib, I bowed in front of the Lord, as I began conversing with Him. I told Him that He was my Father, I was His child and this was my problem. And I begged Him to bless me with a child for my husband, if not for me as He had been adopted and it would be so nice for Him to have someone of His own to love. My prayers sent heavenward, I confidently left the Gurdwara.

A month later I realized I was pregnant. I rang up my consultant, Dr Lenehan, and my general practitioner and told them I was pregnant. They cautiously suggested that I take a pregnancy test, as in cases like mine a few people had phantom pregnancies. I said I was 100% sure, and with that I thanked Babaji Guru Nanak Sahib for His blessings.

Nine months later I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl. There was joy everywhere.

As months progressed, I realized something was gravely wrong with my child. I have taken paramedic training and I noted that my baby made no eye contact. I sensed she couldn't hear, smile, laugh or do normal things that babies of her age usually did. At times I told myself to stop behaving like I was at work and to stop looking for milestones in the baby's growth. I heard myself saying: "You are a mother, this is your child, stop looking for trouble - you are not at a hospital on intensive care duty." But, my soul was so disturbed that I brought her for a medical check-up. The neonatologist, following emergency procedure, straight away sent us to a neurosurgeon, the best in the country, and our difficult journey started.

CT scans, brain scans, ECGs etc. etc. were done. Finally, our child Sheena was diagnosed as having cerebral palsy. We were told she would never sit, never walk, and with time her face would become distorted. She would be physically and mentally disabled.

My husband David was very distressed. My soul was shattered, I was distraught, I shouted: "Dear Lord, how could you do this to me? How could you? You are not my Father, my Lord." David would put his hand on my mouth and say: "You don't talk about the Lord in such a fashion." He assured me as best as he could that Sheena would be ok.

I picked Sheena up in my arms and came home. I was like a crazy woman who had had a nervous breakdown. Tears were pouring down my face. I was shouting abuse at the Lord and eventually asked David to go to Babaji's room and take the Holy Granth out of the room. I was shouting: "There is no God in this world." David answered back and said "Sukhi, if you wish to throw God out of your life then it is your choice. Please don't ask me to commit this grave sin - I still have faith in Him." In that case, I told him, I was going to the Gurdwara, and would be back later.

I picked Sheena up and my sister Amy drove us to the Gurdwara. I put Sheena on the floor before Babaji Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj and started acting like a crazy child.

I complained to the Good God: "You said you were my father, you will love me, protect me and care for me - is this what You call caring? You blessed me with the most beautiful child and you took away the most essential part of her mechanism, her brain. How could You do this?" I was weeping bitterly. The priest thought I was going mad. I then said: "Dear God! O Akal Purakh! I have loved You all my life. If You really exist You have to give me a sign that You hear me; if You don't, I will never love You again. You will become non-existent for me. I will love this child, care for her, and do the best for her, but never love You again."

I had just said so when Sheena suddenly lifted her hand and slapped me on the face. Up to this point, Sheena's arms were so spastic that they were always stuck close to her chest. I had to give her physiotherapy three times daily to stretch her arms, as she was not able to do so herself.

I was excited: I knew God spoke to me.

I fell flat at His lotus feet, asked for His forgiveness, and asked the priest to take out a Baakh, the gospel word from the Guru Granth Sahib. The gospel's message was that with time everything would be okay. So I picked Sheena up, thanked the Lord and went home. I began to pray to Guru Nanak Devji, the Akal Purakh (the Transcendent Being), to ask Him to heal Sheena such that she may be able to crawl from her bedroom to ours and to be able to point at her mouth and tummy if she was hungry, or to point at any area which pained her. These were my wishes, as I felt she was mentally retarded and may be God would give us these blessings. David prayed to the Lord for help and to ensure that Sheena would be fine. He had strong faith throughout the ordeal.

We could not believe what was happening: Sheena was walking

My sister, a pediatrician, came over from England to explain to David the seriousness of our daughter's problems. She said that Sheena would have physical disabilities and her face would distort with time. She asked David to come to terms with the situation. He was greatly upset, but throughout all this felt that everything would be all right with God's help. However, he was very depressed with what he was being told. It was at this point that my actual journey, my spiritual journey with the Lord began here.

I took the gospel's word to heart and said I must offer prayer at the holy hour, the Amrit Vela. I used to secretly and quietly get up at around 2 in the morning, crawl on the floor on my hands and knees, slip into the bathroom, wash my face, my hands and feet and then pray to the Lord. I'd say that I came to Him with a clean soul, as if I bathed the noise would wake my husband and he would be cross and then my prayers would fail. I would then go to His room, pray and come back, and get into bed before he awoke. This went on for 18 months. During this period, Sheena continued with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and other therapies. At one point of time, we even began thinking of the necessity of having wheelchairs and installing lifts in our home.

One evening, I was offering Rehras Sahib Paath to Babaji and my sister Amarjit was attending to Sheena downstairs. Suddenly, I heard Amarjit shouting: "Sukhi, Sheena has started walking." I didn't comprehend what she was saying and was annoyed with her and said to myself, she shouldn't disturb me while I was doing my paath. On completing it, I went downstairs - to see Sheena, before my eyes, running from one chair to another.

A miracle had happened, one that was scientifically impossible. She was glowing with a big smile. David came home from work, and all three of us fell to the ground. We could not believe what was happening. She was walking - we asked her to do it again, and again. We cried with joy, God had answered our prayers. We went to the temple and thanked God for His blessings.

I had salvaged a permanent legacy of inspiration to seek God's help for my child.

From that day on I lit a jyot (light) in Babaji's room, and prayed that Babaji would give me darshan (a vision of Himself) through this jyot. This was a Light of my Love for Him.

"My daughter has called me in Ireland. I must go there"

Life went by. Then in March 1995 my mother fell ill. She was bleeding profusely, and the doctors said she had a growth in her uterus and needed a hysterectomy. As I was a paramedic, my mother requested that I come to India to help her. I hadn't told her of the gravity of Sheena's illness. Also, just at that time David had lost his job. Yet we decided that Sheena and I should go to India.

One piece of the jigsaw in Sheena's growth remained unsolved. She was progressing, but she would not speak despite receiving speech therapy and would not eat regular food. As a result, she was on a special diet. So I had to make sure that during my stay in India, I would have enough of this food for her. This meant taking extra luggage for our trip.

We arrived at the airport with excess luggage, well over our allowance. The steward behind the check-in counter began to create trouble and was insisting we pay excess baggage charges. This was an additional cost we couldn't afford - I became very upset. My soul wept and I said: "Dear Lord, do something, there my mom is ill, here my child is ill; there is no money, what do I do?"

Apparently - at this time Guruji, whom I did not know of then - told the sangat in Chandigarh: "Beti (my daughter) has called me in Ireland. I must go there."

Meanwhile, at the airport, the check-in steward suddenly turned to me and said that I could go: it was okay. He also assured me that there will be no additional charges for the excess luggage. I thanked the Akal Purakh for His blessings and thought no more of it.

About this time, my younger sister had prayed that I visit Guruji Maharaj. My mother too had had her hysterectomy and there was an unusual happening related to it. As my mother lay in the hospital, she recalls sensing a strong fragrance in the room prior to the operation. In the operating theatre, the mass present in my mother's uterus became a white ball on removal and she was fine. There was no sign of cancer. We thought nothing of it at that time, but now, on recollection, we realize we didn't recognize or receive Him, by this I mean - receive Him in our soul.

On seeing Guruji, Sheena speaks first words: "Wahe Guru"

One evening after my mother's operation, I was sitting at my brother's home in Sector 35 in Chandigarh and I heard some people talking about Guruji. Among them was my sister-in-law's brother Gikki, who was a devotee of Guruji. I felt a sudden urge within me, like a calling. I asked if I could go and visit Guruji. My family was surprised, as I never went to pundits, pujaris, saints and holy men. I followed the teachings of Guru Nanak, and He said that one should not go to such places. My family said: "Sukhi, we never asked you, as we knew you don't believe in these things."

That evening, I went, very curious, to Guruji. As I got out of the car, Guruji told the sangat: "Beti aayi hai (My daughter has come). Remember the girl I told you about."

I entered Guruji's durbar (temple) and bowed at His lotus feet. He gave me divine prasad (communion) and asked me to sit down. He got up and sat down beside me and began to tell me all about my ailments, the operations that I had gone through previously, my home back in Ireland and how it was decorated, the contents of each room, the toys, cutlery, dinner sets in extremely fine detail. I was shocked. Still Guruji said: "Here she is; black and white, everything must add up in her life. 1+1=2. 1+1 can never be 3. I have to show and prove a lot to her." A woman sitting beside me turned around and said: "Guruji told us you knocked so hard at God's door that you got your daughter healed. She has a new life. You have Guruji to thank for this."

I was shocked, and confused, as this was a secret between the Lord and me. How did Guruji know this? I gazed at Him. At first I queried this happening, and then I broke out in a flood of tears. As no soul or even a divine person knew the secret between God and me - that I woke up at the holy hour to offer prayers for the health of my daughter - I asked Guruji mentally: "Who are you? Are you who I think you are?" A blinding light enveloped my body and the entire room. I fell at His lotus feet and cried, "Are you who I think you are?" over and over again. And then I said: "O Omnipresent Master, I thank Thee for healing my child."

He smiled so beautifully. Suddenly, the joy of God-communion was revealed in His wonderful smile. His eyes were half open to denote a nominal interest in the outer world, and half closed in inner absorption on His own state. Then I excused myself and sat right at the back of the congregation to observe what was happening.

I asked people around me to narrate their experiences and talk about their Guru. From what I observed and what my maternal grandfather and the holy books had told me, what the Guru Granth Sahib had taught me was being verbally communicated. I said that as per my observation, Guruji is very much like Guru Nanak. As I said this, Guruji called me forward and said, "Sukhi, you will never forget this coming Baisakhi." To me, Baisakhi only meant the harvest season.

I could smell a great fragrance of roses and lavender around Guruji. People asked me to smell Guruji's lotus feet and hands - they were oozing with the fragrance of roses. I touched His lotus feet and my hands were full of His fragrance. This left me confused. Guruji turned around to me and said, "Beti, this is amrit (nectar)."

At the same time He was healing people around me and I could see this happening - and every time He healed a person, He would smile. At the end of the night, I bowed my head at His lotus feet. And as I lifted my head and gazed soulfully in His eyes, two rays of light hit me - they were full of stars. I realized who He was. As a child I always thought the Lord would come to me as rays of light, and would reach me through His eyes and they would be full of stars.

As I was leaving for home, Guruji asked me to bring Sheena to visit Him the next day. I said it would be difficult as she would not eat. I was also afraid that people would stare at her, but said I would do as instructed.

The next day I brought Sheena to Guruji. As we approached the divine entrance to Guruji's Mandir at Sector 33, Sheena left my hand and ran towards Guruji. She bowed at His lotus feet and said: "Wahe Guru." My child spoke for the first time. Tears choked me up. Then Guruji asked me to take Sheena to have langar. I took her to the langar hall and put a very tiny piece of chapatti in her mouth, which she was unable to consume. When we returned to Guruji, He asked: "Did she eat anything?" I said she hadn't. He said: "You put a small piece in her mouth!" From that day, my daughter has never looked back. The last piece of the jigsaw was put in place at the Lord's doorstep.

An unimaginable Baisakhi harvest: Guru Nanakji and Shivji

Everyday from then on, in the early hours of the morning, Guruji would go to the Sukhna lake (in Chandigarh) for a walk. As He set foot out of His car, all around as far away as you could see, peacocks would sing at the top of their voices. Guruji would be walking beside the lake and as He moved, His lotus feet would not touch the ground.

On the morning of Baisakhi, Guruji took me and a few others in His car as Guru Sawari. Suddenly, the surroundings changed. Guruji said: "Sukhi, look who has come! Sukhi, look who has come!" I looked ahead through the windscreen. There was Guru Nanak Devji and Shivji. I looked again, and shook myself to make sure Guruji had not put a spell on me. I know what I saw with Guruji that day.

I thank Guru Nanak Devji for giving me darshan and, most of all, my child's new life. I never dreamt that my wish of having the darshan of Babaji through my Jyot of Love would be a reality in this birth.

Ecstatic with joy and love, I wanted to tell everyone about Guruji, and have been doing so ever since. And I hope those who read this will understand and ask themselves: "Who is this? Who is Guruji?" He is God Almighty - He has come to save us.

That evening there was a Baisakhi function, and Guruji asked a few congregation members about my whereabouts. I was at home. I could not find the strength in my soul to face Him after realizing who He was. Eventually I was called, and when I arrived I was bestowed with so much love. I wanted to search into the soul of our Dear Lord, God.

The day after Baisakhi Guruji said to me, "Ask for a blessing for yourself." I answered: "What else could I wish for? You have given me everything. I have been so weak to recognize You." Eventually I surrendered and asked Him to heal my sister Amarjit, who was suffering from severe arthritis. Amarjit was finding it very difficult to work because of the pain, and was taking medication and receiving gold injections on her wrists.

Guruji told me to bring her photograph. He predicted that she would ring me up and that I must tell her to throw away all her medicines. He said she is fine. Sure enough, the sequence of events revealed that my sister was cured sitting in Ireland, healed by Guruji in India. She came the following year to see Guruji and thanked Him for the healing.

Another incident took place. Guruji told me my husband would ring me the next day. I should tell him that the fridge at our home in Ireland had broken down and the food was rotting. David called me, and when I told him what Guruji had said about the fridge, he joked and said he was at home and everything was fine. On returning to Ireland, I found that the freezer in the basement of the house was indeed broken and all the food had rotted.

The song of the peacock

The time approached when I had to return home to Ireland - I was to be separated from my Guru. He told me He would communicate with me by telepathy. I was sad, as I didn't understand what He meant. In due course I was to realize that He did communicate with me by telepathy. I wasn't allowed to communicate verbally with him. When I questioned Him, He would answer.

On the day of my departure from Chandigarh, we went for our usual walk at 2 in the morning. Not a single peacock sang, as we walked by the lake in dead silence. At the end of the walk I looked at Guruji and asked in my heart: "What about my answer?" A single peacock suddenly sang. Guruji smiled at me. In ignorance, I departed for Dublin.

I missed Guruji gravely. Next morning, back in Dublin, I went to offer prayers. And there it was: my answer: a peacock perched on the windowsill, singing. I broke down in tears, and now, whenever Guruji is around, there is often a peacock singing. Or on some auspicious occasions, we find peacock feathers.

Guruji in Dublin: dark denim jeans and a light blue T-shirt

Another remarkable incident occurred on my return to Ireland. It relates to my husband who doubted Guruji and eventually came to visit Him. His experience is narrated below in his own words.

"Autumn of 1995: I had joined a company to start a sales division selling a new development in IT equipment. As the technology was new and relatively expensive, I knew it would be slow to build sales revenues, but should succeed.

On this particular day, I had visited a prospective client company in the centre of Dublin, and presented the product. The customer was interested in purchasing, but would not commit to the sale at that time.

As I left the customer I drove over a bridge, and was very surprised to see Guruji walking on the pavement, wearing dark denim jeans and a light blue T shirt. I was so surprised - I quickly turned the car and went back to greet Him. He was not to be found, He had disappeared.

I went home and told Sukhi what had happened - that Guruji had visited Dublin. This also made me feel confident that this sale would be successful.

Some weeks later, the sale was duly completed. It was the first sale for the company."

Several months afterwards, David fell ill. He was taken to the hospital with chest pain and a suspected heart condition. The initial ECG revealed that there had been cardiac activity suggesting a heart attack. I had worked previously in intensive care and was very worried by the developments. I called upon Guruji to help David and I, and gave David a blessed pendant of Guruji. They kept David in for further tests, and as he lay in the accident and emergency unit, he smelled the fragrance of roses, became drowsy and fell asleep.

During this time, I rang up Guruji. When I dialled the number, Guruji answered Himself. He said: "My dear child, I have already been with David. Do not worry, everything is ok."

I returned to David's bedside. He woke up later, felt better and said that the pain had gone. He told me of the fragrance and said he thought Guruji had come to him.

They ran further tests on him, and could find no sign of a medical or heart problem. The ECG had returned to normal and he was discharged. He was later requested to undergo a stress test/exercise ECG, which he passed with a clean bill of health, and the medical team said he had the heart of a man many years his junior.

I was overwhelmed. I was still learning about the Lord. We humans are so weak and frail that we shatter so quickly. Every word that comes out of the Lord's mouth is like gold dust and should not be taken lightly, as it is the gospel truth.

My Father's presence

On one auspicious occasion, everybody in Guruji's sangat received a silver coin with Baba Nanak's picture on one side and Guruji's charan on the other. While this happened in India, at the same time I received one in Ireland.

At times when I prayed, I received prasad (misri) from His photograph, and some times flowers (red roses). On one particular occasion, my sister Amarjit sat in Guruji's room, looked at His photograph and challenged Guruji. "Why Sukhi? Why not me?" Suddenly, His eyes moved in the photograph. She was so surprised that she became hysterical and rushed down to me weeping profusely, saying how sorry she was to have challenged Guruji.

Then once we found ourselves driving late at night. We had to travel a long distance by car and our petrol tank was almost empty. We feared we would run out of petrol within half an hour of starting our journey. When we reached the petrol station after an hour's drive, we found it was closed. We had no option but to keep driving. An hour later we reached home without filling any petrol. We had driven for over two hours and reached our destination on a near-empty fuel tank, with the help of Guruji.

I also learned through Guruji how Guru Nanak and Lord Shiva were related. I had learned how on Shivratri, Guru Nanak Devji used to go to a Lord Shiva temple, sit at a hill and listen to Shivji.

My life has changed in search for the true love of God. He has helped me through my most difficult times. He has given me divine life, strength, protection, inspiration, the will to carry on living and to search for His divine spirit. I strive to be a good human, so I may stay close to His lotus feet. I pray with my heart and soul that He keep me close to His lotus feet, and pray for His long life so that He may continue to heal and cleanse others' souls. He is our saviour; He is helping us with our karma.

Every moment of my life is filled with new experiences of Guruji. I could go on writing and sharing experiences with everybody. I pray that all of you search your souls to see and recognize Guruji in your lives and happenings. How blessed we all are under His umbrella! I ask His reverence for forgiveness for my shortcomings during my narration of my experiences and pray for His love and promise to share my experiences with one and all and spread His word. Dear Lord, keep me near your sangat and near your lotus feet.

Sukhi Harrison, devotee based in Dublin, Ireland

July 2007