Please click here for part twenty-seven.
Guruji walked into the temple just before 7 am, looking all glorious. His Divine presence makes everything blissful and calm. I could drop my body at his lotus feet if HE desires, no questions asked. For me, there is nothing before, after, or beyond Him. Guruji offered His pranam to Sri Hari and started performing the aarti; the thought struck me, ‘this could be my last aarti in the temple,’ and my tears started rushing down. This is the last time; I will watch my Divine performing aarti to the Divine. My favorite site. I knew he did listen to my plea, and I had complete faith in him. It was an actual test of my devotion and love, so I was nervous and, of course, like a shaking student, wasn’t sure if I would pass.
After the aarti, Guruji sat on his asana and started his discourse. HE was very cheerful and happy, celebrating Rama’s birthday. It was the most auspicious day for all of us. HE narrated wonderful stories about Sri Rama’s birth; I was in my deep bhava (emotions), listening to his every word. I felt like no one was around me in the temple; it was just me, Bhagwan Sri Hari Ji, and my Guruji. It was the most blissful moment.
Many of us had a question: Did Mata Rani feel the same way when Guruji was born, just as Mata Kaushalya felt when Sri Rama was born? I was collecting all the love I could at that time. I forgot about the crying, heartache, and complaints. I was soaked in his presence like Gopi with Krishna or Namdeva with Vitthal.
Then, HE popped up the discussion of the birthday present for Sri Rama, and from nowhere, he said, today, everyone will get a gift from Sri Rama, a chance to come inside the garbh grah and pay respect to Bhagwan Sri Hari Ji. Take as much time as you need…. He said we could ask Bhagwan Sri Hari Ji for anything…. anything in the world, and HE would give it to us. That’s Lord Sri Rama’s present to all the devotee’s on his birthday.
Guruji gave us his word, saying your wish will be fulfilled today. Guruji’s word! My Divines word! What else can one ask for? All we have to do is, surrender one thing to Bhagwan’s feet. His announcement left me speechless flabbergasted, and awed. Everyone was cheering happily. The Divine opened the door for every devotee at the Ashram today! My Divine not only listened to my begging but fulfilled the wish too. I said to myself, “Sona, did you hear that?”. Suddenly, everything became calm and quiet around me. I was in awe! I didn’t hold my tears back this time. My love, my Bhagwan, listened to my plea; HE felt every devotee’s pain. My sweet Guruji didn’t let my and everyone’s trust, devotion, and love down. Today, for the first time, every devotee had a chance to bow down to Bhagwan Sri Hari’s lotus feet and Gurujis lotus feet inside the garbh grah. There was no one in between, standing ahead or shadowing us. There was no bullying around. There was love and only love. There were tears everywhere; they were happy tears, humble tears, and overjoyed tears. Guruji was guarding the garbh grah himself, ensuring every person gets enough time to be with Bhagwan Sri Hari Ji.
As my turn came, I bowed to Guruji first and offered my complete surrender and love at his lotus feet. I put my right foot inside garbh grah. I walked inside; I was so close to Bhagwan Sri Hari Ji; HE was standing right in front of me. It was just HIM and me. The outside world did not exist. I looked at HIM; HIS gentle eyes were full of kindness and forgiveness. HIS luminous and radiant glow and that most adorable smile just melted me. HE was looking larger than life. HE was standing tall, protecting everyone.
First, I bowed to Lord Garuda; my Sri Hari rides on his back. I prayed to request him to be careful and gentle with his rides. Bhagwan Sri Hari, my Divine Ma, should get the utmost comfort ride, Lord Garuda agreed and smiled back at me.
Now, I am looking at my Divine ma; I had no word; I was in the same position when I met Guruji the first time at my meeting. This time, HE wasn’t there with a box of tissue, so I had to collect myself together faster. Before asking him for a gift, I surrendered my ‘Ego’ at his lotus feet. I knew this was a brutal surrender. But I promised myself I would try my best and not allow my ego to come before my devotion to the Divine (to the Divine’s universe). This is precisely what I wanted to surrender at Bhagwan Sri Hari Ji’s feet. This same ego saddened me a while ago, but Bhagwan Ji and Guruji were on a test with my devotion and demanded to prove my love and care.
At the time of initiation, I surrendered to Guruji, who helped me break my ego at my previous visit. Still, some leftover ego swayed around, questioning me, so I submitted it to Bhagwan Ji’s feet. I must be pure and ready to meet my Divine mother soon.
Everyone, including Guruji, danced and sang that morning. I was watching Guruji happily waving his hand and singing. His smile was so cute; every time this song would come, HE would get so excited, and his eyes would twinkle like an innocent child. We would jump up and down in the glory of Sri Rama.
भए प्रगट कृपाला दीनदयाला, कौसल्या हितकारी
(bhaye pragat kripala deen dayala kosalya hitkari)
It went on for more than an hour, and I thought HE must be thirsty now. HE did aarti in the morning, then did 30–40 minutes of discourse talking, and now close to two hours, HE is standing with no rest and not even a sip of water. I had no water bottle with me. Everyone was gathered in the front, dancing and singing, deep in the bhava of bliss and happiness. I couldn’t reach him directly, even after many efforts to get into the crowd. I noticed one of the residents was in front of me; I asked her if she could help me get a water bottle or tell the right person to arrange it. (Thinking she might know how to), but she said, “No, he is not thirsty. He doesn’t need water.” I was helpless.
I didn’t know what to do. Loud music didn’t allow me to convey my message to any other Swamiji close by. Mata Rani was sitting on the side, but no one would let me go to her either. I tried to find bottled water but had no luck. I just hoped someone close to him would offer him some water. Someone should notice it besides me. I could feel him; HE was thirsty. HE needs water; HE needs water; HE needs water. HE needs a sip of water.
I was torn because I wanted to give him water and couldn’t. These were not happy tears; they were helpless tears. It was all my fault, I asked for this miracle, and now my Guruji can’t have water. I was heartbroken and in excruciating pain. On the one hand, I wished every devotee to have a personal close time with Bhagwan Sri Hari Ji, and now, on the other hand, I wanted Guruji to get water and rest.
Guruji taught me another major lesson today. When you ask, HE always listens, and our cry for help never goes unheard. But there is always a consequence you need to be ready for.
So, I promised myself never to ask or challenge anything, for my benefit, to my Divine. Accept everything around me “as is.” Our devotional hug or a kiss on the lotus feet reaches him so that I will offer him love and more love with all my heart. The consequence will be love back to me and the universe.
Guruji will walk on the fire for you, wipe your tears, and take your burden, suffering, and pain with a smile, loving you unconditionally. But then, what are you ready to offer to our Divine?