Written by Aparna Nazre
I am an ardent devotee of Mohanji and would always follow his Facebook posts closely. These posts increased my yearning to be with Mohanji and experience firsthand his energy and aura. Kumbh Mela gave me one such opportunity. My only problem was that it lasted for almost 7 days, and it was impossible for me to leave my 6-year-old son and come. But I had this earnest intention and left everything to Mohanji.
I wanted to visit Kumbh basically for a lot of reasons. First and foremost was to be with Mohanji. The dip in the holy river guided by Mohanji, visit to Shirdi, visit to the Dhandakavan and the biggest desire was to meet the holy saint Vasudevanji in Ganeshpuri – all this along with Mohanji. What more do we want? Somehow things started falling in place and I saw my Kumbh dream coming true, but for a short while, as my partner from Bangalore – Nirmala wanted to come back just after visit to Shirdi. That is just after 3 days, and I too agreed, thinking if it’s Mohanji’s grace for a short duration so be it. But Mohanji knows all and fulfills everyone’s desire – this just got reiterated during the trip. I was longing to stay for the entire trip and made my sincere wishes and surrendered to Mohanji to decide my course.
So Nirmala from Bangalore and I left for Mumbai and reached Madhu’s place around 1.30 PM. As soon as I entered the apartment complex, I suddenly remembered a dream where I had visited this exact apartment complex in my dream some time before. It was quite a shocker to me. I always remembered this dream, though we forget many of them all the time. It probably did have its own significance.
Here I would like to quote some of the most important experiences – though all of the experiences were amazing by themselves.
One of the first and best experiences were – Dip in the holy river Godavari.
This was my first Kumbh Mela and the first dip, so waiting for this had built up in me, and I anticipated a huge crowd and drama, considering all the news we read about millions of people coming in for the dip, too crowded, be careful, no place etc. On the first day, all of us reached the spot at around 3.30 AM. I was dumbstruck looking at the huge crowd so early in the morning at the ghats. But surprisingly, the ghat side where we entered was relatively free and there was just enough space for a crowd of our 30 participants. Mohanji quickly got into the river. I hurriedly scurried behind him along with others. I had never taken a dip full head down into any river, and it was a frightening event for me. I gathered some courage, held my nose and tried to dip full head down. Water gushed into my ears. I didn’t know how to hold my breath and I panicked and came back up, without submerging even a half of my face in water. I tried several times with the same effect. My mind started calling me a loser. By the time Mohanji had already taken many dips. Since I was standing right next to him, I gathered courage and asked him to hold my hand for the dip. He instantly and firmly held my hand, and I started taking the dip, and his strong hands held my head and pushed me into the water completely. And this happened not once but thrice.
Lo and behold – all my fear of water now gone, I was feeling blessed as Mohanji himself helped me take the holy and the sacred dip that I was yearning for. I learnt a lesson – Hold your Guru’s hands with firm faith and he will take you across your wildest fears and the ocean of this existence. Thanks to Mohanji for this wonderful experience. We were all already in a bliss state and so enthralled that we were done so fast and already heading back to the hotel. This couldn’t have been possible without the presence of our ever loving Guru Mohanji. People already started talking about the next Shahi Snan on Sep 18th. Since mine was a short trip, I was terribly going to miss this unique experience with Mohanji. I wanted to be a part of the next Shahi snan very much. But I left it to God and Mohanji again.
Next day we visited Shani Singanapura and the entire group along with Mohanji was taken to a raised platform opposite to the Swayambu form of Shani God. We all sat for the Pooja. I was very happy that this Pooja would be done for all of us here. By then, the priest of the temple informed us the Pooja preparations would take a long time, and hence could be done only the next day. Oh…and my heart broke as I would be leaving for Bangalore the next day, and would not be able to participate in the Pooja. By then my fellow travellers gave me some valuable advice, that I should not miss this opportunity and I should not worry about what others would think, since it was my journey and I should make things possible for the best results. I was still thinking about it, but was not sure about how people back home would react. Finally I called up home, and they reluctantly agreed to it and said they would take care of my son and not to worry about him. At the same time, my fellow partner from Bangalore Nirmala was not used to travelling alone, and if I stayed back, she had to travel back alone. I knew she would not like it in the least, and I didn’t have the heart to leave her alone. Finally when we were all travelling back from Shani Singanapur to Shirdi, Mamuji started telling amazing stories about Mohanji and his leelas. I was so awestruck again, and my urge to stay back for the entire trip, only got stronger. I silently made a prayer to Mohanji to guide me in the right direction. Other travellers in the TT started asking me whether I had made up my mind and if I had spoken to Nirmala. Nirmala happened to overhear this conversation and immediately turned back to enquire about it. Madhu did all the talking for me and though initially she was not at all happy that I was ‘ditching’ her, she agreed. My joy knew no bounds. Finally here I was – going to stay back for the entire trip as I had wished, but also getting the bonus of having the grace of doing the Pooja. The last seal for my staying back was postponing my flight tickets, which I was not sure how to do. Went back to the hotel and found my phone not working at all. Thankfully the reception guy of the hotel, so kindly told me that I could book the tickets using his system and take printouts too. There I sat for an hour, cancelled my Tuesday ticket. Next task was to book another ticket for Friday. I had already lost some money. Surprisingly while I was browsing for flight timings and prices, there was just one slot (which was of my choice too) that had half the price as other timing tickets for the day. It was unbelievable as booking the ticket just 2 days before the flight, would cost much more than what was offered. Another grace from Mohanji and an indication too, that I was doing the right thing and I finally booked my tickets. Came back to room relieved for the same and thanking Mohanji with all my heart.
Another lesson learnt – have firm faith and intention – anything is possible.
Next day we left to Shani Singanapur from Shirdi, after the darshan in Shirdi. All the while, I had the opportunity to travel with Mohanji in the car, and it was a blessing in itself to be in close proximity to my beloved and powerful Master. His sheer presence was enough to elevate my spirits. All the while, I was also very scared to talk to him, lest I speak some nonsense. So most of the time I kept things to myself except from some casual talk here and there.
The same day we reached our next destination, a beautiful ashram. It is a very charged place and I was spell bound by its the energy. As soon as we got down from the car, there was this unique and beautiful fragrance that greeted us. It was a divine fragrance for sure. I instantly knew there was much more in store for us. In the ashram again, Mohanji had to teach me a lesson. I was standing next to him and then Vignaji from UK came and fell at Mohanji’s feet. Mohanji immediately said, “ I love you Vigna. I make fun of people who I love a lot. What have I got to do with serious people? I leave them to themselves.” I immediately knew this was directed towards me, as I was relatively silent and aloof the whole day while travelling with him and didn’t make use of the opportunity given to me to its best. This episode also reminds me of how Shirdi Sai Baba used to give messages to his devotees near and dear to him, directly or indirectly through various means. My Baba loves me a lot and I know he is trying to help me elevate spiritually by all means. I graciously accepted the advice and thanked him again for another lesson.
Final day of the retreat was the much awaited Shahi Snan, this time with more happiness than anxiety. The final dip was even more magical. While travelling to the Godavari river, we all chanted the Mohanji Gayathri Mantra until we reached the Ghats. The devotion was only getting stronger and stronger as the time was passing. We reached the Ghats to find it almost empty and a huge space left for our entire group. The river was flowing this time and hence the water was very clean. All of us along with Mohanji immediately leapt into the arms of the Goddess Godavari like eager children wanting to play in the lap of their mother. This time it was even more divine experience as we took as many dips as we wished for and Mohanji also gave us the opportunity to do ‘Abhishek’ to him.
He was Lord Shiva himself for us and the divine experience and bliss is just indescribable at this holy chance. This time we also had the opportunity to take many more pictures at the ghats, and to our surprise most of the pictures had orbs or purple blue rays over many of us. The divine beings themselves had come to greet Sadguru Mohanji. What more does any one want in life? The grace of the Guru and his presence are enough to rid us of our karma and take us onto a blissful journey. All of us left the Ghats to our hotel as if in a trance. The whole event was SO BLISSFUL.
My another wish for the Shahi Snan on Friday was fulfilled by Mohanji. (Not surprising eh? He fulfills everyone’s wishes all the time. I guess we are just not aware of it.) My joy was only getting multiplied by the day. Tons of gratitude to our Beloved Father.
And last but not the least was the most memorable visit to Vasudevanji. My one last wish was to visit the holy saint Vasudevan in Ganeshpuri. And since my flight was at 3.30 PM, Mamuji said that I might have to cancel the Ganeshpuri visit, as I would miss the flight otherwise. I was sincerely praying that I would get the opportunity to meet Vasudevanji. And not surprisingly, I had enough time to visit this saint along with Mohanji. The visit was so amazing.
Vasudevanji was an epitome of humility and a normal person can just pass him as another human being. I was just not feeling like coming out of the house, by which time, Rajesh and Mamuji started calling me saying I needed to hurry or I would miss my flight as it was already very late. After taking the blessings of my Guru and Vasudevanji, I hurried towards the cab to get my luggage. At that moment, I got a call from an unknown number, which I didn’t intend to pick, since I was terribly late, but somehow picked it to know, that my flight was delayed to 4.20 PM. Phew!!! What a timing… Now I had enough time to reach airport on time. What grace and unconditional love Mohanji is!!! Sheer joy and I was almost ready to jump of happiness. I bid goodbye to Mamuji and Rajesh and the entire group with a heavy heart. I was indeed able to make it to the airport on time. Miracle after miracle is what I saw in this trip.
In conclusion, what I learnt from the entire trip was – have the best intentions and surrender to Lord – Things will definitely turn out well.
My sincere gratitude to the entire team and fellow travelers.
KOTI KOTI PRANAMS TO YOGIRAJ MOHANJI _/\_