I believe we learn different things from different people and from nature too, and thus there are so many teachers we come across in a lifetime, truly grateful to each one who showed up at the right time to show me the way forward. But the greatest of all the Gurus is the one, who sets you on the path of self-discovery, guides you to listen to your inner voice, and brings out the kind and compassionate side in you. I want to share about Pujya Shri Pratap Singh Thakur, whom we call “Baba”.
I first met Baba, on his 60th birthday. I was around 10 years old then. I remember he was seated on a nicely decorated stage, people had lined up and everyone was taking his darshan, just next to me in the queue was my younger brother, who was around 6 years old, he innocently, gave Baba a handshake and wished him, “Happy Birthday”. In my mind the immediate thought was, Baba is a powerful saint, we should bow down and give respect, I was like many other human beings, GOD-FEARING. But Baba’s reaction touched my heart, he smiled and kissed my brother on his forehead. In Baba’s association over these years, I have turned from a God Fearing person to a God Loving person. I used to think of God as some distant person, judging you and punishing you for your mistakes, but now I know, god resides in the heart of every creature, and he is the nearest relation you could ever have.
When I first went for a baithak (personal meeting with him), with my family, we did our namaskar, took vibuthi, and sat in the same room. When my cousin, bowed down, after thinking for a while, Baba said, “abhi jo exam diya he, usmein tum top karoge”. Yes my cousin was good with his studies, but topping exams is not something even he had imagined, I remember him giving that doubtful smile. It also created doubt in my mind. But my cousin had given a GK exam conducted by UN, and he stood first in that. I clearly remember this incident, because, this incident laid the foundation of my faith in Baba. I realized he could foresee the future.
Recently my cousin introduced me to a youtube channel called VivekaVani and there is a video called “The Mind of God, by Pravarajika Divyanandaprna ji; in that video, she talked about Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, he wanted to explain to his disciples the state of Samadhi or how the awareness shifts as kundalini rises. She said, he could explain till anahata and vishuddhi chakra. But when it came to Ajna chakra, he plunged in such a state that his voice broke and he could not explain anything further. She went on to say, that the state of Brahman cannot be explained in words it can only be experienced. The reason I mentioned this video is that this kind of explains how Baba has this dual nature. When he is a normal human, he is very innocent, childlike,ever-smiling, cracking jokes, loves to visit new places, enjoys eating ice cream, etc But once he goes into dhyana,(for him it is as easy as closing his eyes), he is whole new person, a form that instantly commands respect. His voice becomes different, his posture gets solid, in fact, he can sit like that for as long as he wants. One can understand the difference.
There are many small and big miracles that we have witnessed over these years, and we cannot fathom the depth of his personality. From effortlessly reading our mind, predicting the future, understanding the problems of others even if he is meeting them for the first time, etc has happened a lot of times. His photo itself gives me guidance, protection, clarity, reassurance, etc. I keep the photo in front of me, and talk to him, about a certain situation and ask him for help. Help comes maybe in the form of a phone call, message, or an idea in my mind, but help comes.
The biggest miracle of having a Guru though is how he puts you on the path of self-inquiry and self-improvement, where he, makes you understand yourself better and ensures that you recognize and rectify your mistakes. He makes you a kinder person. He becomes a witness as well as a co-traveler on your journey. A significant change I see in myself is, if I pick up the sword,(read argue 😃), it is mostly to defend my case and not to attack another. At night I pray too,” the person hurt me, no doubt, I am feeling bad, but they have hurt within and thus they do this to others, I wish them healing”, the girl who loved movies on revenge, because justice should always prevail(that still holds), now feels, I wish them healing,sadbudhi, may they realize their mistakes, repentance is the best punishment(in most cases). I am in no way a saint, but he is making me a better human for sure!
One unforgettable experience happened in the year 2015. There was a small puja at my aunt’s place, Baba and his devotees were invited, he closed his eyes and was speaking to all of us. It is always a pleasure to listen to the gems he pours in that elevated state. He narrated a story (which I don’t quite remember), he said something like “Arey Abdul…”, I only remember those two words, I don’t know what happened to me, I started crying uncontrollably(I was sitting in the last row, and not many would have noticed). My mind started saying, he was my guru in past births too, he has found me again! All that I had read theoretically in spiritual books, I experienced in those few moments(no I have no idea, who I was in past birth, but the guru- shishya connection is from many janmas was the realization). I calmed down after the session and was basking in the glory of this newfound joy. When we were all standing outside, Baba specifically came near me and placed his hand on my head, as if to validate all that I felt that day.
There are so many beautiful qualities about baba, that truly make him special. Once when many families went to hanuman mandir,waki dargah, etc with baba, while having lunch, baba was the first to appreciate the food, also when he realized all those who were serving food, would be hungry too, he said,” maa aap log bhi kha lijiye,bhook lag gayi hogi.”It is not only because of his divine powers that people are drawn towards him, he is a great human being too. Caring,ever-smiling, pure, always spreading positivity and love! How can I describe his aura! I’m at a loss for words.
Once in his trance like state,baba had said,”maalik ke paas tho ek hi chaadar he,jisme sabko wo jagah deta he,sajjan bhi uske bande he,durjan bhi usi ke bande he,”.Only a true guru can accept each person unconditionally, only he can protect the good, and set the wrongdoers on the right path. This love, this kindness, this patience, only a divine being can possess. And just like one energy is God, but we worship him in different forms; the Guru Tatwa is one, only the human forms they take are different. I have immense respect for Swamiji and all the (genuine) Gurus, who have attained the highest, still, they walk on this earth just for the welfare of mankind. We can never thank them enough!
May Guru’s grace always be on you and your loved ones. May he light your path. Thanks a lot for reading!