It is a bright sunny day, with a gentle breeze and birds chirping in joy. Celebrating in anticipation of the arrival of the Master.
It was a busy morning preparing for HIS arrival. Thanks to technology, Lady Google gave us tips on “how to welcome a guru”J.
The preparations started a week before his arrival, making a list checking it twice, planning the menu, getting his room ready… we were like giddy teenagers, planning the coolest party in town. The day had finally arrived.
Mohanji was welcomed by his youngest devotee in the US, a little girl named Tanishka who has a very strong connection with Mohanji and was very happy to see him and give him the picture she drew for him. This was the first time she had seen Mohanji in physical form and there was an instant connection.
When Mohanji arrived home, he was welcomed with honors (Poorna Kumbha and aarti).
Once home. Mohanji put everybody at ease with his relaxed style. All the excitement that was building up over the weeks quickly dissipated and I felt like my big brother was home for vacation. No excitement, no butterflies in my stomach, no anxiety or nervousness. Just a feeling of security.
A little voice in my head kept saying “all is well!! all is well!!”
Power of Purity Meditation
An Auspicious Beginning- At Sai Baba Temple
Mohanji conducted his first satsang in the US at the Shirdi Baba Mandir in Dulles, Virginia. Coincidentally he happened to be the first guest at the temple which was just inaugurated a month before.
Mohanji had an evening of rest and he was ready to work. His day started off with a TV interview with Ganesh. Random people at the TV station were drawn to him and wanted to talk to him. One of them Mr. Surinder Singh was really impressed with Mohanji . The taping was done in one take with no interruptions or retakes. Without much preparation, the interview flowed with easy, one question leading to another.
You can watch this video on YouTube:
Interview with Mohanji by Ganesh Venkatachalam on the USA television GTV 13
Mohanji felt like he was home. He was in love with this temple and the organizers made sure he was welcomed with full honors and felt at home. Being a Thursday, there was a steady stream of devotees who came to the temple for darshan and stayed on for the satsang. Although people were a little hesitant to ask questions, once they heard Mohanji’s answers to their questions, people let their guard down and soon the questions were flowing. Before long, it was time for Aarti and Mohanji had to end the session. I could actually hear the sigh of disappointment from the crowd. They did not want the program to end. As has been the case with all of Mohanji’s session one never gets enough of him. Mohanji conducted the Aarti for Baba with such devotion and love. I had the privilege of taking pictures of him doing the Aarti, and looking through the lens waiting for the right moment to take a picture, I could actually experience his love and devotion for Baba in his facial expressions. Lucky Me!!!
It was an auspicious beginning to a very successful and gratifying tour in the US.
I felt so overwhelmed with mixed feelings that day. Like a kindergartener going to school the first day holding her Papa’s hand, feeling safe that he is there, yet a little scared and confused, proud of her dad, clueless as to what’s going to happen next, and Boy! Does a child’s life change after that first day in kindergarten… So did mine!!! Thank you Baba!!
Gearing up for Guru Poornima – Food Seva
Guru Poornima celebrations started early in the US. On the 19th of July, we kicked off the events with a Food Seva Activity. We visited Embry Rucker Community Shelter in Reston Virginia USA , a shelter for homeless people and families, for food seva with Mohanji and all the devotees who contributed towards this noble cause. As we entered the shelter the management greeted Mohanji and all of us with a very warm welcome. The seva bhaav in all the volunteers of the shelter and us was amazing. All of us got together in their huge kitchen and started preparing for the food seva. After the food seva Mohanji and we all met the Senior management of the shelter to talk about the future plans, how ACT can help the shelter in their activities and projects, about the future goals and vision and how we can achieve that together.
This facility provides transitional housing for approximately 15 families and also serves the larger community providing hot meals. ACT Foundation USA had been working with this group in the past and it would only be appropriate to take the Masters to this shelter.
Although I have had some amazingly miraculous experiences with Mohanji, my mind always tried to convince me that I was imagining stuff. I guess Mohanji knew that too and he started to hit me up with one miracle after another till I put my hands up in truce J. I was about to have a taste of Mohanji’s leela.
We had cooked food for about 40 people. I had planned the menu to be an easy breezy spaghetti with tomato sauce, salad and dinner rolls and cookies for dessert. This does not need any cooking skills, just an assembly of store bought products. In typical Mohanji style, night before he informed us that we should cook Indian food…..like samosa. That was my first test. He put a wrench in my perfectly planned assembly line of food. Where was I going to get 50 samosas before 11am? I put my thinking cap on and quickly made arrangements for Indian food. We had vegetable rice. Chole. Vegetable cutlets, salad, and fruit salad. All proud of ourselves. We loaded up the van with the food and happily drove off to the center to deliver the food.
His games did not end there. He was ready to play……
We set all the food out and were ready to serve… Lunch time arrived and there was nobody around. I asked the director and he informed me that a new policy was in effect and that they had sent out messages to their regular patrons that they do not serve lunch in this location anymore and that he expects approximately 15 people. I was devastated… we jumped through hoops to get the Indian food for 40 people and now there was no one to eat it.
I swallowed my pride and humbly walked over to Mohanji and updated him on the situation and suggested that we should eat and leave and the rest of the food will be served at night. He told me “don’t eat the food, after everybody eats we will eat what is left over”. “Yeah Right!!!!” I thought to myself as we started to lay out the food and Mohanji sat there in the kitchen watching over us.
Slowly the first person came, then the next and the next and the next… before we knew we were all so busy serving folks over two windows. The management team at the shelter was amazed at the turn out. Within less than an hour we had served all the food we had taken. After everybody was done eating, the ACT team sat down to eat only to find that all the food had been served and the only food left was a tray of salad. In a few hours, Mohanji taught us lessons in humility, faith, surrender… I believe that was the day my internal clock was reset. My life has never been the same since…
Thank you Baba for all the blessings in my life and I am blessed indeed!!!
Guru Poornima Celebrations
Guru Poornima celebrations went on throughout the weekend, starting with Food Seva on Friday to Pada Puja on Monday.
Sunday, the day before Guru Poornima day, was a very busy day for Mohanji. It started off with Guru Pooja and chanting at Lata and Ganesh’s house at 10am. The group chanted xxxxxx stotras.
Mohanji led the Datta Gayatri chanting followed by the group. The whole house was reverberating with high energy from the chanting.
Mohanji was served an authentic Kerala meal prepared by Lata. After lunch Mohanji went for a very short afternoon siesta, followed by Satsang at the Rajdhani Mandir. Here, Mohanji spoke about the Importance of Guru in one’s life and the significance of Guru Poornima. Mohanji was seated in front of the Shirdi Baba statue while he gave his speech. It felt like Baba was watching over HIM as he was speaking and answering questions. From there he moved on to the Shirdi Sai Mandir again for a brief Satsang and Q & A session. Since they had a taste of Mohanji earlier in the week, seekers came prepared with questions for Mohanji and made good use of his time. Again, when Mohanji closed the session, people felt that they had not had enough of Mohanji. They wanted more, understandably so. This has been the trend wherever Mohanji goes.
It was a long day for the Master, but he was not ready to call it quits. He replied to emails and a little past midnight, got ready to record his Guru Poornima message. I wish I had 1/10th of his energy and life would be golden. Karan was recording and I was the light girl… as Mohanji delivered his message in one single take with no rehearsals.
You can watch this Mohanji’s Guru Poornima message given on 22nd July:
On Monday, Guru Poornima day, a pada puja was arranged for Mohanji at our home. The pada puja was followed by chanting of Mohanji Gayatri and short Satsang. This was the first time I could experience the various changes in Mohanji’s energy and form. Today was a day for Devi Bhav. I could feel the caring love of a Mother in HIM. I was not sure if it was real or if it was my imagination. Seeing the pictures later, confirmed my gut feeling. It was indeed Mother.
Many a time I have heard people jokingly say Mohanji was messing with them. I could not relate to it till this happened to me.
Mohanji had casually mentioned to us that he enjoys Jalebi. That was all I wanted to hear since I LOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEE Jalebis myself. Taking advantage of this, I ordered Jalebi for Guru Poornima day celebrations, mainly for Mohanji but with the ulterior motive that I can chow down a few myself. With all the activities going on that day, I could not eat any. When I woke up the next morning while I was still laying in bed, I started to crave jalebis. So I quickly brushed my teeth and went down to get a jalebi. To my disappointment I couldn’t find any. I know that there was whole box packed away but couldn’t find it for the life of me. I called all my friends who were helping me clean up. All hands pointed to the refrigerator. I searched high and low, in the fridge, the pantry, the dishwasher, the trash bin …(Yeah I was desperate) bending down, squatting, laying on the floor, twisting like a pretzel…..anything I could do to get my hands on one little jalebi… I was like a junkie looking for drugs. Finally I gave up and casually asked Mohanji what did you do to the jalebi… He gave me a broad smile and said, “ you don’t need jalebi now… I know you have been searching all morning”. I assumed it was a casual, offhand comment and moved on.
After lunch, the thought occurred to me again that it would be nice to have a one itsy bitsy piece of jalebi to satisfy my craving. I resigned to the fact that we don’t have any. As I opened the pantry, to put away something, a box of jalebi was sitting SMACK in front of me. I had my head in that pantry about 10 times the same morning looking for other stuff and I swear that box of jalebi was never there. I KNOW that for a fact.
My heart skipped a beat… With the door half closed I leaned over and looked at him, without showing him the box of jalebi … and again he gave me the same broad smile and said “you can have one now”.
To some, the jalebi incident may seem trivial but to me it took care of any bit of skepticism I had and sealed my faith in him. Any little doubts that I may have had were out the window. HE knows how to get to a person, with me it was with Jalebi.
Hmm!!!! My earlier lesson was a little packet of mayo in December and now Jalebi. I see a pattern here… something to think about…
Mohanji in Pitsburgh Sai Temple
After a long spell of really hot summer days, today we finally had a day of really nice weather. The sun was out, the air was crisp, with a gentle breeze….a perfect day for a long scenic drive. We loaded up the car and left for Pittsburgh around noon. During the first half of the trip Mohanji was immersed in silence, perhaps contemplating his grandmother’s life and death. After the lunch in a small town, we proceed on our trip. During the second half of the trip Mohanji was chatty. He shared little nuggets of wisdom through anecdotes and references to the Mahabharat. There are many facets of Mohanji, the guide, the father, the spiritual master, the business coach, the life coach….you name it and you will find that in him. Today it was very interesting to see a very chill side of Mohanji. We realized his mind is as wide open as his heart. His views on some subjects that are generally considered as controversial by society are very simple, straightforward and logical. Today we understood the true meaning of unconditional love. Nothing is unacceptable, and there are no judgments passed. He loves you just the way you are. Here’s what we got out of this informal satsang in the car.
If you can live with your decision, then be at peace with yourself. Don’t worry about what other people say or think about you. Because in the scheme of things others’ opinion of you does not really matter. Mohanji’s teachings align with the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff. How empowering is that? Life can be beautiful if we allow it to flow.
We reached the sai mandir at 7:30pm. Mohanji was received with full honors as per tradition. Initially there was a small gathering of devotees. But, as it has been the case in every place he has been to, the crowd gathers and people gravitate toward him. At the end of the satsang there were approximately 150 people who were listening to him with undivided attention. Today was a lucky day for the devotees at the mandir. Mohanji decided to give Shaktipat which was very well received. The youngest recipient was a little baby that was just a few weeks old. It was very interesting to watch people who were hesitant to take his card from us before the satsang started, were coming back to us to get multiple cards so other family members could have them as well. Mohanji was honored by the Malyala family with a shawl and was served a full meal that was offered to Baba.