By Lai Siong Chai, UK
Open to receiving Grace – My journey to the Festival of Consciousness in Serbia.
On my return to the UK from Serbia, when driving me to the airport, Monika reminded me, “You have to be open to receive.” I was contemplating on what she said, if I open up to others, equally, I will be open to receive whatever comes to me, including grace. And I realized my whole journey to Serbia was indeed filled with Mohanji’s grace.
Three retreats happened in the Balkans, but my worries about the pandemic stopped me from even thinking of travelling abroad. When I saw the first Facebook post of the Festival of Consciousness, I was amazed! This was something I had thought in my mind after attending the International Yoga Festival 2019 in the UK. “We need our own festival (Mohanji’s festival).” Now it had manifested! And I heard some of the UK families would be there.
I started to check flights to Belgrade from the airport near me, but most of the fares were too expensive for me. I was upset and continued checking; time was short because many things needed to be prepared before flying in the time of a pandemic. Booking a PCR Covid test within 48 hours of travel, Covid antigen test before departure and a PCR Covid test on Day-2 after return, passenger locator form, etc…. Many new rules and much more money was needed in order to travel! After a week’s time, I still couldn’t find affordable airfares!
I was giving up, and before going to sleep, I “talked” to Mohanji. I will have a last try first thing when I wake up, and if I am not meant to be there, I surrender all to him. The next morning, to my surprise, I found a reasonably priced flight and also a cheaper car park near the airport. The next thing was to book my PCR test. None of the pharmacies and clinics near me had appointment slots. In the end, I booked at a place that takes 1.5 hours to drive. I was flying on Friday morning at 6 am; my test appointment was on Wednesday 5 pm.
Although I left early, I was in heavy traffic for 3 hours and arrived 1 hour late for the appointment, and they were already shut. I was tired and worried after 3+ hours of driving and having missed my test. The lady who runs the clinic suggested I come back the next morning, but there was no guarantee that I will get the test results in time for my flight. Surprisingly, I received the Covid test result in only 6 hours. Here I come, Serbia!
I booked an apartment for four nights and found a cheaper way to travel by bus to the city centre from Belgrade airport on my own. I did not realise Arun was kindly helping me by asking around to book a place for me. I always avoid others’ offers for help, always thinking of not giving trouble to others regardless of any situation. I quietly arranged my own stay and transport without disturbing others. The only two things in my mind were, I wanted to be a volunteer at the Festival. If not, there was no point going there. And I wanted to see my soul Father, Mohanji.
“My dear Mohanji, can I come to you as your child? Why do I need others’ permission to meet my Father if I am your child?” I was talking in my mind with some sadness, not sure how to be close to Mohanji physically, feeling guilty for not doing enough to be granted to meet Mohanji. I packed and got ready.
On Friday evening, I arrived safely at Belgrade airport. On the bus to the city centre, I managed to WhatsApp Arun to inform him of my arrival, and he said Mohanji was in Preethi’s rented apartment and could I quickly come. I dropped my bag, collected my apartment keys straight away and called a taxi without delay. But I just missed Mohanji by 2 minutes when I arrived there.
I was not disappointed because I met many people in the apartment. Preethi, Bhavani and others were busy preparing food for the Festival, and I still had no clue what was the agenda for the next day. The warmth and welcome in the apartment from everyone made me feel at home immediately. Meeting each other after so long in this crazy time was more than a dream come true.
I arrived at the venue at 6 am, registered as a volunteer at the last minute by divine plan and grace. It reminded me how strongly one has to believe in faith. I was volunteering at the food counters together with our UK family team. How amazingly all was arranged! Food counters were so busy, and I was longing to see my Father, Mohanji. When Mohanji arrived and walked towards the food counters, I could not wait and ran towards him for the long-awaited hug, “I love you.” The physical big hug and words brought a complete feeling. Experiencing the familiar fragrance and smile, I was fulfilled.
At mid-day, while meditation was happening, the food counter volunteers had some time to relax and rest. I was walking around and trying to explore other sections of the Festival. The first stop was at the Mai-Tri section; the energy of the area was so powerful. I started feeling energy flowing in my spine and the whole body. I wondered if they needed more volunteers and was asked if I could do Mai-Tri when someone came. Being there at the right time, I started to do Mai-Tri to one person, then another one. In the end, I did 4 Mai-Tri sessions.
On the way back to the food counter, while passing by the centre hall, the meditation was still on, and I had a feeling to sit down. I rested my eyes and felt the energy movement in my body after continuous Mai-Tri sessions. I could feel the energy flowing around my whole body. After some time, I went into a trance, I was in stillness, but I could hear the different sounds outside of me very clearly – the meditation and talking sounds, different movements of the surroundings, and the wind blowing softly touching my shirt and skin. Suddenly, the familiar fragrance of Mohanji blew closely, just as if he was standing right in front of me. I was soaked into the fragrance, enjoying his presence without presence.
Suddenly, I felt Mohanji putting his thumb to the centre of my eyebrows, the energy of his thumb like an electromagnetic shock, strong and energetic, pushing my whole body backwards and straightening my spine. My spine was still like a mast, feeling the thunderous energy running into my body through the spine from my third eye. After what seemed like a long time, I slowly came back to my body. I was not sure how long it had been. The meditation came to an end and I followed the instructions of rubbing my palms and brought the energy of my palms to my eyes.
When I gently opened my eyes, everything in front of me was strangely changed, but I couldn’t describe the changes. Everything appeared fresh and new. I felt as if I had come into a whole new place, a new world. Even the Festival of Consciousness was amazingly happening in this crazy time, which I would never believe if I were not there physically. To me, I was visiting a paradise and attending the event of the Divine.
After the Festival, Aleksandra invited me to come to the Waterfront apartment. I had no clue that she is Mohanji’s private assistant and staying with him now. She was welcoming me. I was also asking Arun about their plans, whether we could visit Mohanji. Knowing that the Acharya Board had a meeting with Mohanji in the early morning, I could only hope and wait. Geetha from our UK family called in the morning and invited me to their apartment for breakfast. When I arrived, she said she has an appointment with Mohanji, and I went along too.
Mohanji’s apartment was filled with everyone. I stayed as late as I could, and the next morning, I just walked in as if I was invited again. I had a chance to have a personal session with Mohanji. He asked, “Will you be here?” I replied, “Yes. I will be leaving only the day after.” “You stay and join dancing. I will see you and talk to you when I come back from Croatia.” But my flight would be leaving before he came back. Preethi and Preeti from India mentioned they would be staying until 4th August, and I could join them.
Should I postpone my flight and stay? After Mohanji came back from his appointment in the evening, he again said to me, stay and learn dancing. As many had told me, whatever Mohanji says is a command. Amazingly, when I checked the difference in flight fares, it was only £7! Well, how can I not stay? The only thing that bothered me was the car park extension. I spoke with the car park agent; they said I would be charged £25 per day on my return. I tried to talk to the car park office to negotiate a cheaper rate and tried to extend it online. But nothing worked. Hoping I would be able to settle for a cheaper rate when I got home, I changed my flight date.
Being with Mohanji family members from other countries, soaking in the grace of meeting Mohanji and the Serbian family, was so joyful. Jelena also arranged an outing on a cruise ride in Belgrade. It ended as a cruise party, which happened really amazingly. Vegan dinner for the night was fine dining, the final touch! I was overjoyed. The next day, I had a feeling that I accidentally threw away the parking ticket while having dinner in Belgrade. I tried to find the ticket, but it could not be seen at all, so I left it and decided to settle it when I reached the airport in the UK.
The next morning, I packed my luggage and dropped the keys for check out. On the way to Preethi’s, I agreed with Aleksandra to stop by at 8 am and help to pack as they were also checking out at 10 am on the same day. My aim was to bid goodbye to Mohanji. Mohanji and a small group will travel to Croatia at 9 am. Aleksandra, Devi and Mila will travel back to Novi Sad separately. When I arrived, they were panicking because the whole apartment was still in a mess without cleaning and packing not being completed. I helped with what was in front of me. I hoped more people would come for help. But no others turned up. In the end, everything was done just on time when the owner came.
While transferring all the luggage to the car, Aleksandra asked me whether I would come with her to Novi Sad. I was surprised and replied, “Could we actually go together? Why not?” She then doesn’t need to be alone on the journey. She said she would be very happy if I could. I was more than happy with what had been arranged this way by Mohanji. I informed Preethi of the arrangements and travelled to Novi Sad.
When we arrived in Devi’s parent’s residence, Devi’s Mum welcomed us with the lovely local coffee, which I fell in love with right away. We have one whole day till the next evening before Mohanji and the team would come back from Croatia. We had a chance to visit the city centre for some food and necessities shopping. I felt so grateful just to be able to be here. When Mohanji and the team came back, I did not have the urge to go near him all the time. I was fulfilled even if I could serve the people that serve Mohanji directly. I did not ask for more. I was so happy.
I was spontaneously fitted into the cleaning part and wherever I needed to serve. It just flowed with no plan. Everyone was very busy with their work; if I could make them a cup of coffee or tea, I would be happy. That’s how I felt. Seeing the new member of the Mohanji family, Lucky the dog, suddenly becoming so active, I realised I was extremely hyperactive in the house too and became talkative. I had also joined HSTD (Himalayan School of Traditional Dance) foundation course daily which gave me another wonderful experience of Barathanatyam. I had no sign of tiredness. It was not me in the norm, and I realised Mohanji’s energy had brought this change in me!
One morning, I was called to join the group in the morning talk with Mohanji, and it turned into an impromptu satsang. As Mohanji answered the questions of others, I could see the brightness around Mohanji. Since I was not wearing my glasses that morning, I thought it must be the reflection from the sunlight through the window. I blinked my eyes just to see clearly. After blinking a few times, the light turned brighter and brighter. I was struggling to keep my eyes open to look at him directly.
I squinted my eyes as Mohanji continued talking. I asked him a question, and as he turned his head to me, the opposite side of the light became brighter and thicker. Likewise, when he turned his head and answered Chris, the same thing happened. When his head went back to the centre, the brightness was like shining sun rays from his head and body. It was like naked eyes looking directly at the midday sun, something even brighter than the sun. I couldn’t come back from the light that blinded my eyes for some time. I felt my body really warm the whole day.
I was on a high throughout the day, just floating around. All that I could see was the brightness around me. This incident showed me the subtle ways in which Mohanji operates and I felt privileged to have had a glimpse of this radiant person, shining like a million suns. Is Mohanji the physical body that we see or is he the pure light of consciousness that we sometimes catch a glimpse of? Something to ponder about.
Moving on, while preparing for my return to the UK, I again did not want to disturb others to take me to the airport. I was quietly thinking of asking Milica to book a taxi. While on the boat ride with our Serbian family, Biljana was checking if someone could drop me at Belgrade airport and Monika, the Serbian president, happily offered the ride. The warmth of the soul family really touched my heart. Everything was smoothly arranged as we arrived 3 hours before the flight.
On a connecting flight in the Netherlands, I was going through the documents checkpoint before the departure gate. All the documents, including the antigen Covid test result, Day 2 return Covid test booking and locator form, must be shown at the checkpoint counter. As all the documents were on email, I need to connect to the airport Wi-Fi to present the documents. But to my surprise, my phone couldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi. I also tried to use my UK phone line. The officer offered his own hotspot connection. None of them worked. It was time for boarding, but I couldn’t present my documents. The lady who was supposed to help did not come and check at all. In the end, I heard my name being called, and they said it was too late to board. I was upset and angry about why this had to happen.
It seemed Mohanji had other plans for me, and I took the only late flight. When I arrived at Birmingham airport at midnight, I contacted the car park attendant. (Two days before leaving, I had arranged an online meditation in Mandarin, and when I opened my laptop to prepare the poster, the parking ticket was strangely slotted in the laptop! I kept it safe this time, so I can call the car park attendant to arrange transport to the car park.) There was only one guy working, he came to the airport with the bus, and I was the only one on the bus to the car park. He checked the car park system. My information was not registered at all. He just issued me a checkout ticket without asking anything so the car can exit from the gate. It was a miracle! I did not have to pay anything for parking.
Then I went to the car, thinking that I needed to go to the petrol station at midnight. When I turned the engine on, the petrol light showed there was a full tank, how can it happen? Because I drove from my house to the airport, only a quarter of the petrol should be left!
Straight away, I thought of what Dr Izabela had told me about the same experience she had had, and I was doubly surprised by Mohanji grace.
I received a bigger grace after missing the connecting flight and waiting for 4 hours in the Netherlands airport. I was supposed to pay the £150 parking fee shown in the car park system when I was in Novi Sad before I went to the airport. Now I didn’t have to pay anything! I took a picture of the dashboard. I have no words to thank Mohanji enough. I can only prostrate at Mohanji’s lotus feet and merge into his consciousness.
When I was in Serbia, I totally forgot about my thoughts before I came to ask about staying with Mohanji to be close to him. He not only fulfilled all my heartfelt thoughts but his grace was with me for the whole journey. I am home with my Father, Mohanji, the one who is brighter than a thousand suns.
Om Shata Sahasra Suryaaya Vidmahe
Tanno Mohan: Prachodayaat
I understand the essence of Mohanji as the brightness more than a hundred thousand suns together.
I recognise this brightness as highly auspicious.
May this being called Mohanji enlighten me.
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||
Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 12th August 2021
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