Even as we continued to experience Guruji's blessings and felt Him near us, we felt stuck in a confined schedule with no room for a getaway and were desperately in need of a break. We didn't know it but Guruji had already planned a dream trip for us.
Our family friends visited us in Chandigarh in January 2012 from Los Angeles; around April-May, we began thinking of visiting them back in the US. We applied for a US visa for our family and got an appointment date with great difficulty because of the ongoing summer vacations. On top of that my father's office schedule was very tight. With His grace, we were able to reach New Delhi on June 5 for our interview at the embassy the following day. And still with His grace, we were able to find a last-minute cab on the morning of the 6th, when the cab we had booked didn't show up.
We stepped into the cab and found that a shabad
was being played. I had heard it even as a child, as far back as 1997 in Chandigarh in His presence: "Mere Satgura, main tujh bin awar na koi
."(I am no one without You.) We were immediately reassured that all was well. I was joyous, telling my brother "job done!" The next shabad that played was "Sewa thodi mangan bahuta
", telling us that our services to God were minimal but our expectations huge. "Gur jaisa naahin koi dev
" followed, reassuring us that the guru was the supreme spiritual authority.
Armed with His successive reassurances, we reached the US embassy. Visa approval was a hurdle. My elder brother, for one, had completed his studies, had a professional practice and was unmarried. Unmarried graduates are not very welcome when it comes to Visas. I too was studying in college. Before us, we could see the many dejected faces of those who had been rejected despite the genuineness of their claims and the weight of their files with supporting documentation. The rejection rate was as high as 70 per cent, adding to my brother's anxiety. But I knew there was "no need to fear, when Guruji was near".
When our turn came, a new counter opened up and we-my father, mother, brother and I-were asked to go there. The issuing officer asked very few details of my father and wanted to know just the basic details of what the rest of us were pursuing. He did not even ask for salary particulars, leave alone asking for documents to support any of our statements. We sensed Guruji was sitting there, because of the manner in which the queries were put. For example, the officer first asked my father who were his children and then my mother. When my father said they were the same, we all had a good laugh! We got our ten-year visa.
We began planning our trip, but despite my numerous attempts, it failed to come to fruition. We were also anxious for my grandparents who would be left behind alone in Chandigarh. I was so put off that I vowed not to join in the plans furthermore.
The following December, while my exams were going on, we managed to book our tickets for the 24th. This time we hadn't planned for it at all. The Chief Planner had already planned everything! We got our tickets at unbelievably good prices during the peak X-Mas season, that too on my dream aircraft-the A380.
On the night we had to leave for Delhi, we attended a satsang held at very short notice. Two days back I had been saying to Guruji that we would miss our sangat in Chandigarh when we went abroad. He was listening to me! That day due to bad weather our flight was delayed and only 33 of the more than 400passengers of two flights were able to board a re-routed flight from Delhi to China. We were among them, all thanks to Guruji.
The flight turned out to be more than memorable. When I was settling down on my seat, my brother spotted Guruji's wallpaper in one of our co-passenger's mobile phone. For the next four hours we were doing satsangs and didn't realize when we had reached China.
The plane was late on arrival at China so our connecting flight was missed. We were granted a one-day visa and hotel stay at no extra cost. We could now enjoy the city of Guangzhou on X-Mas for the whole day-all thanks to our benevolent Guruji. By the end of Christmas day, we had celebrated it thrice: aboard the A380 aircraft, at Guangzhou, and in Los Angeles.
The US trip was also marvellous. We attended satsang in Los Angeles on Lohri night and were talking to sangat in San Francisco regularly. While travelling in San Francisco, we took a detour to join our tour bus at a particular place and seemed to have lost our way. Time was ticking by and even the cops could not give us directions. My father began getting worried, when my mom prayed to Guruji for help.
In answer to her prayer, a lady came up to us and asked us what the matter was. She told us the way to reach our destination. Before we could thank her, she had vanished into thin air. We returned India on January 17. We faced no problems throughout our trip and, in fact, got more out of it than possible. My grandparents too faced no issues at home in Chandigarh. Who could have planned all this but Guruji.
I would repeat: "Guruji nu mann ke manno, naa ki mang ke manno
." (Trust Guruji first; don't wait for your wish to be granted and then place your faith in him.) Jai Guruji!
Sukraat Chopra, a devotee based in Chandigarh