My tryst with God

Sunita Atul Singh, November 2008
Words fail us when we try to write about Guruji. He is God in a human form. I have been religious since a young age and have been a humble devotee of Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati. Every Monday I would keep a fast and till the time I did not have the darshan of the beautiful Shiva-Parvati idol at the Chattarpur temple (in Delhi) I would not break my fast. Although my husband was not inclined similarly, he supported me and would fulfill my wish by taking me to the temple every Monday. There, standing in front of the idol, I would always ask Shivji and Ma Parvati for their darshan. It was my earnest belief that in each life I had changed forms and so had each and every person whom I considered near and dear to me. And only one relation was true-Shivji had always been and would always be my father and Ma Parvati would be my mother. I agree it does seem a bit weird, but these were in fact my deepest feelings, which nobody knew of.

But God knows and His call came in the form of my sister asking us to come and have Guruji's darshan. We were going through a very bad period and it seems my sister had asked Guruji about us, and He had asked her to bring us to Empire Estate. At first we were a bit skeptical but my husband, strangely, was very eager to go. I distinctly remember it was the 27th of December 1999. The moment my sister introduced us, Guruji smiled and said, "Love marriage". He kept repeating my name and calling me "aunty". My sister had not told us that everybody was "uncle" and "aunty" at the sangat and it seemed strange.

We were a bit apprehensive since we had thought that Guruji would be an old person and then we saw ladies pressing His feet. Everybody belonged to a certain class, and I thought to myself that we had come to the wrong place. But my husband said that since Guruji did not take anything and we had nothing to lose we should go again. We went the next day and were with Him till late in the night. We were concerned since we had left our two-year-old son at home. But my sister would not budge, saying that we could only go after taking Guruji's permission. Guruji suddenly asked us to accompany a few people to the Bade Mandir; in fact, He Himself showed us around the Mandir. My sister and brother-in-law said that we were lucky to have obtained these blessings on only our second visit. At that point it did not seem terribly important to us. The most surprising experience was that whenever we came to the Mandir and heard people narrating their experiences and problems, we felt that our problem was not an enormity. There was also a feeling of peace and security that we felt whilst at the lotus feet of our Shri Guruji Maharaj.

My attitude underwent many changes: Earlier, I had been very ritualistic, immensely superstitious and believed that God always punished us. After meeting Guruji, without His even telling me I started to believe that God was Guruji-full of love, kindness, and compassion. Whatever we were undergoing was the result of our karma, whether conscious or unconscious. The change in our attitude heralded a change in our lives. Gradually things began improving. I have to admit that there was a time when we wavered in our belief, but Guruji always pulled us back.

Guruji's blessings for my niece and father

I have two sisters and my eldest sister, living in Singapore, is Guruji's bhakt. But, my other sister, living in Jaipur, had still not been to Guruji. One day she came to us in Delhi, distraught that her eldest daughter Pooja had sprained her ankle. X-ray showed something amiss since they pointed to a growth. Doctors thought that it could be cancerous and so it had to be thoroughly investigated. That was why my sister had come to Delhi. We immediately suggested that she go to Guruji. She agreed, but told us not to reveal anything to Guruji because she didn't want Pooja to come to know. Of course, she also wanted to test whether Guruji would come to know of it. Well before leaving for the Mandir, my husband-who looked upon Pooja as his own daughter-lighted a jyot (light) in front of Guruji's photograph and asked Him to cure her.

In the evening as soon as we entered Guruji's Mandir and as I started to take Pooja's name, Guruji said: "Iska kalyan to ho chuka hai" (she has already been blessed.) Turning then to my sister, He said: "Tu to let's try karne aayi hai naa" (You have come to check me out, haven't you?) Guruji thus revealed that He had already heard my husband's prayers for Pooja and that He knew what my sister's initial feelings were about Him. Needless to say, the next day the doctor told my sister that the ankle would heal and that a shadow on the X-ray was misleading the doctors! Of course we knew that it was Guruji who had done everything.

Similarly, my father was also healed by His blessings. My parents stay in Noida, while we stay in Sarita Vihar. At six one morning we received a message from Noida: My father was not well. My husband rushed to Noida; I stayed back as the children were asleep. On reaching my father's house, he found that my father had been passing blood in his stool and also vomiting. When contacted, hospital doctors asked him to be brought in right away. My phones were out of order so I could not be contacted and my husband came to pick me up. I could gather something was amiss as soon as he came up because he just told me to hurry up. My father-in-law had died due to a ruptured peptic ulcer and all my father's symptoms too pointed towards it.

We once again lighted a jyot in front of Guruji's photograph and prayed. The moment the jyot was lighted my father's condition began improving. My husband took him to the hospital and although a stretcher was organized, my father wanted to walk. My father's stomach was washed and though it had traces of blood, the doctors couldn't find any rupture. The doctors were perplexed and even after many tests, they could not conclude how the blood had got into his stomach and intestines. When my father had fallen sick Guruji was in Jalandhar. When He came back to Delhi after about a month on Baisakhi day, He smiled and said, "Bach gaye, chief justice ko new life de di (The chief justice has been saved; I have given him a new life." I had tears in my eyes and could only mutter a "thank you".

Birthday blessings for me

My cousin brother is quite proficient in graphite drawings and has held exhibitions. When he came to meet me, on an impulse I asked him to draw Guruji's sketch. Since he had never had Guruji's darshan, I gave him a calendar that had Guruji's photo for reference. I entreated to take extra care while making the sketch. He went away after reassuring me. Many months passed and I tried to get in touch with him, but since he was a student in Delhi University and staying as a paying guest it was difficult to locate him.

A year passed. It was Guruji's birthday. Again I tried to get in touch with my cousin but could not. A week later, it was my birthday and I had gone out with my sister who was visiting us. When I reached home, my husband called me upstairs saying that there was a surprise for me. I eagerly went upstairs, expecting a gift. I was speechless when I found a huge framed sketch of Guruji. Since we were going to the Mandir in the evening, I requested my sister to ask Guruji whether He would sign on it. My sister advised me that we should take the sketch to the Mandir and keep it outside and seek Guruji's permission.

I was in a fix because the photograph had a glass frame. If Guruji agreed to sign on it, on the frame that is, then His sign would not stay for ever because it would be wiped off. I must have gone to at least a dozen shops and it was only after the shopkeepers' umpteen assurances that the ink would stay on the glass frame that I was able to pick up a pen. I also requested my cousin brother to accompany us to the Mandir. When we reached the Mandir, we kept the sketch outside in a safe place and told everybody what it was. After the langar was over and it was time for us to leave, my sister sought Guruji's permission. To my surprise, He agreed and asked for the sketch.

When my husband and cousin went outside to get it, they found that the glass had cracked in such a manner that the entire glass had come off from the sketch without leaving a mark. Guruji very lovingly signed and also wrote down His blessings. It was indeed the biggest birthday gift I could and would ever get. He had even granted me the wish that the sign be on the sketch and not on the glass frame! The blessed sketch today has a big 'Om' on it. When I told Guruji about it, He just smiled and said, "Dekh le" (see that!) Recently, a trident shape has also formed on it. We feel humbled by His grace!

The lotus feet of Guruji

One sangat day we were sitting upstairs and one of our relatives told us about how she had been blessed by Guruji's jootis, which always gave out His fragrance. (In India, the Guru's footwear is held in the same veneration as His maya-annihilating lotus feet and divine form.) We were amazed and were listening intently. Soon it was time for langar and later time to touch His feet. My husband was in front of me. As soon as I got up after bowing in front of Guruji, He gave me His jootis. Words deserted me and I just kept staring at Guruji. My husband nearly dragged me out. He then told me that unknown to me he had been praying to Guruji to bless us with His jootis and that he had also wanting that they be given to me! Always eager to bless His devotees, Guruji had granted his wish.

I still remember it was Buddha Purnima that day. On the roads, people were celebrating with the dhol, a percussion instrument. Our house was filled with Guruji's fragrance. Both my sons who were at home were also very happy.

The next sangat day our children accompanied us. When it was time to take leave, Guruji went inside His room. My younger son, who was close to six years old then, was arguing that Guruji had not given him any prasad from His own hand. My son was referring to the fact that earlier Guruji used to give prasad with His own hands but had then discontinued the practice. As soon as Guruji came out and before I could stop him, my son went to Guruji, thanked Him for the jootis and then asked for prasad. Guruji told him that now he could have prasad at home. From that day on, my husband just prays in front of Guruji's jootis and mishri is distributed to the family as prasad. The cupboard where we keep Guruji's charan padukayen is filled with His fragrance.

Grace in the courtroom

We were facing problems with a financial institution, and I had tried to tell Guruji about them, but He would brush me off, saying everything would turn out fine. I have to admit that I didn't understand how and I persisted. Guruji would scold me; however, the third time when I again committed the same folly He lovingly told me that I should not ask Him for anything. That day on, I never asked Him anything about myself, my husband, or my sons.

Meanwhile, the financial institution had filed a case against our company. I was upset, but my husband was not. He would tell me that it was our duty to try our best with the best of intentions and then leave it to Guruji. That was easier said than done because our lawyer, a friend of my husband, told us that the situation was grim. The institution had slapped a huge interest on us. It seems hilarious now but at that point of time it wasn't. My husband would be telling the lawyer that nothing wrong would happen and sure enough something or the other would so-happen that we would be given a reprieve in court. The lawyer was thus mystified.

Once when it seemed that we would lose, the judge just could not find the original documents and started scolding the lawyer of the opposite party. The documents were in the file and our lawyer and my husband could actually see the original documents being flipped through in the file, but the judge and the lawyer of the opposite party could not. The file was flipped through many a times, but neither could find any documents. A miracle was happening right in front of our lawyer's eyes. He admitted that during his entire career he had not come across such a case. Finally, with Guruji's blessing the case was dismissed. Our lawyer friend was so impressed that he came to seek Guruji's blessing.

Sunita Atul Singh, a devotee

November 2008