[O blessed Lord, you alone are my refuge]
I came to the magical and divine Shivpuri of Guruji in year 2009. Family friends residing in Gurgaon-where we shifted to in April 2011 at Jal Vayu Towers in Sector 56-had told us about Him, but it took us a while to start accepting Him for what He was. The delay was because of our ignorance. I come from a very religious family. Though His old devotees said that He was God and though slowly, beautifully and sacredly faith in Guruji came to dwell in our entire family, the belief that Guruji is the supreme God took some time coming. Not because we had any doubts about His omnipresence and omnipotence, but because we couldn't believe that we would ever be lucky enough to have God Himself-the creator of all the worlds, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesha-as our Guru. Today, we can only laugh at our shortsightedness.
The reality is that Guruji's blessings are endless. We are able to draw in only a river from the ocean of His blessings, to realize and understand just a pond-ful and narrate but a water drop. We are quenched by that single drop! Imagine what we would feel if we completely surrender to His agya (the divine order as expressed in His command) and submerge in the current of His blessings. This should be the goal of our lives; it is my goal.
Hepatitis cannot mar my exam; my Guruji is God
I was doing my Bachelor in Technology in Computer Science and Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal. During the first trimester of the second year, I contracted Hepatitis A due to bad weather and unfavorable food. It appeared as a fever and, despite consultations with many doctors, couldn't be diagnosed for a week. My health was deteriorating and I flew down to Delhi, being admitted at Medanta-The Medicity in Gurgaon a day after arrival. The scale of hepatitis was around 4.0 and doctors advised at least a month of bed rest, medicines, restricted diet and boiled water.
I was in a predicament. My mid-semester exams were to begin in ten days and the head of my department, a strict disciplinarian, was a stickler for the rules. In fact, a friend who had chicken pox was unable to appear for one of her five papers in time, even though she boasted of a more than 70 percent attendance record. She produced valid medical proofs, but the head did not give her any leeway.
We had begun coming to Guruji by that time. My mother told me to just let it go and leave it to Guruji when it wasn't in my hands. It was difficult to surrender. Studies were my only forte in life.
I went to college after taking Guruji's agya after a good 45 days. My attendance was at around 40 percent and could go up to 65 percent by semester-end if I continued making it to my classes. My peers' response was really frightening. I went into depression because of lack of encouragement and the pressure. I called up my mom just before entering the head's office to show him the medical certificate and she said: "Beta, bolo Jai Guruji. (Son, say Jai Guruji)" I remembered Him and entered.
What happened next was miraculous. The super-strict guy listened to my problem, didn't hesitate for a single second to sign on a letter permitting me to appear for all my exams, enquired about my well being and gave me tips to get home-cooked food in the hostel. He even gave me suggestions on how to deal with my attendance problem with individual professors! I was simply incredulous. When I had gone into the office, my heart was pounding with fear; when I come out, it was jumping with joy. It was at that instant that I accepted Guruji as my God.
Needless to say, Guruji cured my hepatitis in no time. Doctors feared that if I ate food from the mess so soon after the disease's advent, it would relapse and take another long month to treat. But I had my Guruji now. After four days, I was back home. All the teachers had allowed me leave even though I was short on attendance. I went to Guruji's Bade Mandir three times for those ten days and twice for sewa (service). Lo, I could return to college in prime health after 10 days.
Guruji scotches bully's revenge plan
There are peer problems in college. I got entangled in one. I didn't wish to but the situation got the better of me. I was friendly with a girl in my class, whose boyfriend was a college bully, a political figure to boot and not too fond of me either. He constantly warned the girl to stay away from me, as he thought we had feelings towards one another. I disregarded his threats. We were friends and I couldn't let go of a friend because of some bully. My approach wasn't practical; it was the first time I had encountered such a problem.
One night at around 11.30 pm, he entered my room with three guys. I was doing project work with one of my friends, Sunil. They pushed him out and bolted the room from the inside. Clearly they intended to beat the hell out of me. I had a good physique and strength, but had never been in a fight before. My heart began pounding hard; I couldn't think of anything to do. I just clutched Guruji's locket around my neck and said "Aapke sahare, Guruji." (I take refuge in you, Guruji).
As a preliminary to what they planned to dish up, they began using abusive language. Right then, someone came at the door. It was a common friend, Firoz. Evidently, Sunil, had rushed up to his room as it was the nearest. I don't remember much of what was said in the next five minutes, that's not even important. They had me captive in my room for a good five minutes, and they could have done whatever they had wanted. Yet, they didn't even touch me once and moved out! It was nothing less than a miracle.
This is an example of how He takes care of you once you surrender completely to Him. And, unasked for, He does more. He foresees your future and protects you from dangers.
The moment had passed and I had come out without any trouble but it wasn't over. I knew the bullies would be raging with frustration-fuelled anger and it would be a matter of time before they made another attempt. I couldn't complain to the disciplinary committee as I had no evidence, just a few friends who were witnesses. I was in a fix but before I could even ask Him, Guruji came to my aid.
The bully posted the entire incident on Facebook as a status update to make fun of me in public. He mentioned his intention of beating me up. When I got to know, I instantly took a printout of that update with his profile details and saved a soft copy on my laptop. I then complained to the Dean of Students Affairs. The Dean, to my surprise, was an old teacher who liked me. He had been promoted to the post a week earlier. He took the matter seriously, noted my complaint, undertook all the paperwork, got on the complaint instantly and had the three guys summoned in no time. He engaged with the president of the Student Council in the matter.
Within the next two hours, it was the biggest news on the campus. Many friends came out as witnesses. Because of the immense pressure and fear, the bullies accepted everything in a written statement they gave to the Dean. Who else but the master of the universe has the capacity of moulding things so quickly and correctly in such a short time? He is our Guruji.
Ma called me the next day. I hadn't told anyone in my family of the incident. She asked me directly, "Kya hua, beta, tu theek to hai na? (Are you fine, my son?)" Later she told me of a symbolically prophetic dream she had at night after reading the holy book of Guruji. She saw that I had found a round, white ball-like object which I bounced on the floor. It turned out to be a snake's egg, and I had killed it unknowingly. In a dream within a dream, my mother saw me sleeping and dreaming that the mother snake had come to take revenge. I woke up from my dream to find it hissing and ready to attack me. Just then Guruji came and tightly wrapped up the snake in polythene paper. It shook, writhed and tried to hurt me, but Guruji bound it so firmly that it was unable to harm me. That is how He saved me. My mother woke up instantly after the dream. When I look back at the event, I realise that I had made the unintentional mistake of getting in between two people's private relationship. Guruji had still saved me!
Through my mind's temple, a guided tour of Bade Mandir
By the next semester, I had grown so fond of Guruji and Bade Mandir that it was the one thing I missed most during my stay in college. Since I studied in South India, I stayed away from home for a good three to four months. I used to read the book of satsangs, talk to Guruji's photograph but the hunger to visit Bade Mandir and the samadhi sthal grew stronger day by day. I had never seen Guruji in physical form. The Bade Mandir was the context in which I placed Him in my mind's temple. One night when I was feeling sad, I read a few satsangs from the holy book. Perchance they would hold the answer and relieve my distress? Well, that wasn't the case that night. I started crying and held Guruji's photo tightly in my hand. I drifted into sleep soon after.
In my dream, I saw myself standing at the front gate of Bade Mandir. I was wearing a white shirt which I had purchased from Warangal in the mid-semester and was yet to take home. I saw Guruji coming from behind me. He wasn't walking, He was floating. He was wearing a beautiful white chola, the very sight of which granted peace of mind or even moksha. He took my hand in His. Somehow, I didn't seem surprised at all in the dream. He took me to the samadhi, the main hall, the kutiya (hut), kitchen, garden, to every single place in the temple, describing each place in His own words. After about an hour, He said that it was time to return. We came back to the main gate where I bowed down at His lotus feet. When I got up and looked at Him, He smiled pleasantly and drifted away, dissolving within the air. There was so much light there, like he had lit up a thousand suns. But it was soothing and relaxing. It was the closest I ever connected with Guruji, my God.
Guruji is supreme. We can't do anything in return for what He does for us. The least we can do, as I have understood, is to love Him unconditionally, stay happy always, stay in His agya forever, serve mankind, do sewa and keep ourselves clean from inside.
Initially, I always used to make up a list of things to ask of Guruji before coming to the Bade Mandir, but couldn't ask for anything. Then I realised that by asking for something from Him, we are lessening the domain of happiness and blessings He has in store for us. So always remember: Maango nahi, maano (Don't ask; accept).
May all of you remain in His lotus feet forever because, as all devotees know, Charna di mauj badi. Jai Guruji! Jai Jai Jai Guruji!