Hi folks, here goes my Guru Story! It was the December of 2009. Having been associated with the Art of Living for just about 4 odd years, I was very keen to do an advance course in the presence of Pujya Gurudev at Rishikesh.
Those associated with AOL would know how beautiful and serene the environs of Rishikesh are and what fun it is to partake in an advance course there…Guruji’s presence simply makes it the perfect setting for a spiritual sojourn!
I booked myself for the last of the 4 batches for the Rishikesh course which was to happen in February 2010!
With the excitement comparable to that of a child eagerly waiting to meet his mother after a long stint at boarding school, I reached Rishikesh a day prior to when the course was scheduled to start. Partly because it was quasi mandatory to register for the course a day prior and make the stay arrangements etc, but largely because I was keen and hopeful to meet Pujya Gurudev somehow and seek his blessings at least in a darshan line. (Given that there are thousands of devotees thronging to meet HIM at any point in time)
Guruji was to be busy in meetings in the city that day I was informed, hence I hadn’t got the opportunity to meet HIM. Also, by the time I completed all the registration formalities necessary for the course, finished satsang and dinner, it was around 10pm. I rushed to Gurudev’s kutir with the hope to seek his blessings and get a glimpse. I was aware that it was quite late in the evening but I was very keen to meet him as I had not seen HIM during the entire day.
As soon as I reached the kutir, I asked one of the volunteers if Guruji was still meeting devotees. Like he had informed the 25-30 other devotees waiting for darshan, I too was informed that Gurudev was busy meeting visitors with prior appointments only and given that it was already past 10 pm chances of Gurudev meeting devotees in a darshan line were bleak and that I should meet HIM at the course the next day. I tried reasoning with him that I had come all the way from Mumbai and was a teacher and if he could please permit me inside the kutir at least – but, he persisted and I was denied permission.
While the volunteer was doing his rightful duty, my heart sank. I could not believe that I would end up returning to my room that night without having sought Gurudev’s blessings during the entire day. Dejected and heartbroken, I dragged myself onto the promenade by the banks of the Ganges, from where I could catch a glimpse of Gurudev sitting on the 2nd floor balcony meeting visitors. Before I could realize, my mind started conversing with HIS, asking questions like, “what would it take me to see you tonight”.. “Do I need to know some influential teacher who could sneak me inside the kutir”… “Why do I need to go through multiple layers of people to meet you, my master”… With tears rolling down my cheeks, I just kept looking at HIM, from that distance, hoping for a miracle to make me meet HIM.
With no possibility of a meeting in sight after a 45 minute wait by about 11 pm, I dialed my mother from my cell phone to update her and get some consolation and started walking towards my room. Just as I was crossing the kutir, miraculously, the volunteer opened the gate and asked me to come in as he had received and instruction from Gurudev that he should let all those waiting for darshan to come in.
I could not believe my luck. With a spring in my step, I ran inside the kutir and settled myself in one corner of the huge balcony on the ground floor, where Guruji was coming to meet us. There were just 5 of us to meet HIM; a family of 4 and me!
As soon as he entered the room, he looked at me and smiled and my day was made. Little did I know that it was to be the most remarkable day of my ENTIRE Life!
As soon as the family of 4 had been met with, Guruji looked straight into my eyes and with a look that I feel meant, “I know what you have been up to!” called me towards him. Sheepishly, I made the 5 step walk on my knees itself and there I was, in front of Guruji. (Little did I know that the next 5 minutes would change my life)
With HIS voice full of concern, he asked me, “Tera naam kya hai?” (What is your name?). I said “Ameya Guruji”. “Tu kya karta hai?” (What do you do?) He continued. “Part 1 teacher hun Guruji, HSBC mein job karta hun aur jahan log bulaye wahan satsang karta hun.’ (I am a Part 1 teacher, I work in HSBC bank and I go for satsangs wherever I am called) I responded.
He smiled. “Guruji, aapse milne ke liye itne logon se permission kyun leni padti hai? Mujhe aapka direct access chahiye” (Guruji, why do we need to take so many permissions to meet you? I want direct access to you!) I blurted. He smiled and with all his love said, “Haan, haan, tumhe hamara access haina. Tum kabhi bhi aao..Tumhe koi nah rokega, main tumhe apne saath tour pe le jaunga, tum Jaina se secretariat mein baat kar lena“. (Yes, yes you have my access. Come whenever you want, no one will stop you. I will take you on tour with me, talk to Jaina in the secretariat) And he gave me a nice tight hug!!!
By now, my joy had no bounds, I was over the moon!!! While I had gone to the kutir to merely catch HIS glimpse, here I was, in HIS arms, with HIS commitment that I had his total access and also that I would be accompanying him on a tour!!! Thus, yet again proving that while we may have our own plans in life, the Divine has a master plan for all of us, which is a billion times better that all our plans!
While this may come across more of a Guru story than a miracle (although it is nothing short of a miracle for me), I have shared it here with a single simple intent; and that is to share and underline the fact that, HE is available for all of us in equal measure; He makes no distinction in what social strata we come from or what is our stature in the society! Whether we are rich or poor, young or old or wise or foolish. He seeks absolutely nothing from us to shower HIS unconditional love and blessings on everyone all the time.
In my opinion, all that we need to have is Faith, devotion and complete surrender!! Remember, this could be your story tomorrow!
P.S: True to HIS word, He took me with HIM on a 35 day world tour in July/August 2010 and I do get to see him more often 🙂