By Soma Seal, India
Since meeting Mohanji in 2014, in my journey on the spiritual path, karma yoga – the path of service has been my purpose. I have found my joy and peace volunteering for Ammucare. After being given the responsibility as the president of Ammucare since 2018, I feel Guru Mandala has bestowed me with a golden opportunity to serve the helpless and purify myself. In this role, I get to see the flow of divine grace in every single seva activity done by Ammucare through each volunteer as an instrument.
However, there are situations when I feel certain activities are just impossible to do because of hurdles, lack of funds, lack of manpower, resources etc. Then I see the grace flowing, and everything gets done smoothly. It is in such situations I realise the invisible supreme power behind Ammucare. That supreme invisible powerhouse is Mohanji.
Every single project is a story of Mohanji’s grace, miracle and a solid example about what conviction, consistency and faith can do!
Let me narrate one recent story. This is about feeding the sadhus (wandering monks) in the three holy cities of North India in September 2020. In 17 days, Ammucare fed more than 43,000 sadhus and needy people in these three cities – Varanasi, Haridwar & Rishikesh.
As per the Hindu calendar, there is a particular period of 15 days, which is extremely auspicious to pay homage to our ancestors. This is called ‘Pitru Paksh’. Along with many rituals that Hindus do in this period, feeding sadhus is one way of praying for peace for the souls of their ancestors or loved ones who have left their mortal body.
Just before this period was about to start, I saw a video by one of the Mohanji Acharyas regarding the importance of feeding sadhus during Pitru Paksh (homage to the ancestors). Since then, I had this strong urge to do some seva during Pitru Paksh. Soon after, I received a message from Mohanji.
He said that Ammucare must feed the wandering monks in Varanasi, Haridwar and Rishikesh who are not getting enough food as the ashrams are closed now. He also mentioned that feeding the sadhus would help not only by bringing peace to the souls of ancestors but would also help everyone to release a lot of their karmic baggage. Mohanji also specified that we must feed good quality food, ensuring their health and safety. There should be no compromise on the quality of the food that we serve to the sadhus.
Hearing Mohanji’s message, I realised it was a command from the Tradition. Watching the video, my urge, and the message from Mohanji – all put together was a divine command that I must plunge into this seva. One more of Mohanji’s leelas (divine plays) was about to begin.
Mission – feeding as many sadhus (monks) as possible.
I was excited. I had full faith that when Mohanji commands, he will also ensure that it will happen. I started the background work on this project. As we were progressing, there were many hurdles, many doubts unfolding – new cities with no volunteers, no local support and above all lack of funds! We were focusing on good quality food for hundreds of sadhus. I had a rough estimation done. I thought we would need at least Rs. 2 Lakhs (Rs. 2,00,000) for this. While we announced this project to raise funds, I was wondering how to collect this amount. The date was approaching fast, and we had to start quickly. One morning, after the announcement posters were circulated, I was feeling very low, almost felt like crying. I suddenly felt so nervous and weak that this project would not happen. I cried to Mohanji – “Mohanji, please help.” I could feel his assurance.
Within a few hours of this episode, Mohanji Acharya and ACT UK volunteer Subhasree called me. She said that seeing the poster for this project earlier that day, she had reached out to some people in London and one kind donor had donated 1000 GBP (that’s almost Rs.1 Lakh) immediately! I had goosebumps all over. That’s nearly 50% of the budget I was targeting! I had tears in my eyes; I didn’t have enough words to thank Mohanji. He had responded to my prayers in the morning and how! As always, no delay! Soon, yet another donor donated, and I had the estimated funds before I even realised what was happening!
This was only the beginning. My dear friends, sit back comfortably and listen to this story of miracles that followed on!
With enough funds in hand, we were ready to start. My second hurdle of no volunteers & no contacts in the cities were getting addressed. Somehow, we started getting connected to the right people at each location. Our breakthrough was our first connection to Kashi Gayatri Ashram in Varanasi. Our volunteers Savitri and Krishnamurtyji played a key role in getting this connection. Within a week, we were able to establish other connections as well.
Exactly as per Mohanji’s advice, we started the Annadaan (feeding) program in Varanasi on 1 Sept. Initially the food was to be delivered from a restaurant at a higher cost which worried me. This was sorted out, and the food was cooked at this ashram by the ashramites. We ensured that the food served was of the best quality. The fresh food was then picked up our volunteer and distributed.
All along, the entire process was being carefully monitored by our volunteers.
When an activity is not merely an activity but a command of Guru Mandala with the grace of Guru, the scale in which it happens become miraculous and magnificent. This is what I witnessed here too. Even though our initial plan was to distribute food to 100 sadhus in Varanasi, the first day itself, a few Naga sadhus who rarely come out accepted our food packets. That in itself was confirmation of the presence and blessings of the Masters.
Not just intention, but our perseverance is very important when we do seva activities of this scale as we are constantly tested in the form of some roadblocks. This project was no different. On the fourth day, we ran into a roadblock. The Kashi Gayatri ashram people informed us that they would not be able to continue as the police were not allowing the distribution of food anymore. We didn’t give up. We started exploring other options and soon found two other connections in Varanasi. A student from Banaras Hindu University, with a passion for serving others, came forward to help us. He connected us to Kabir Mutt (Mutt – living place in the name of Kabir who is a great saint of the Fifteenth Century.)
We really consider it our great fortune that we could serve all three meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner to all the residents of the Mutt. Every day, 160 people were served food, and on 17th, we were able to serve 600 people.
Not just this, yet another miracle happened when we found the third location in Varanasi. Mohanji Acharya and ACT USA volunteer Lata Ganesh connected us to her sister, and another noble soul, Guruprasad, who also loves to serve. He took charge of getting the food cooked at his place and distributed the food in Khemeswwar Ghat, Chowki Ghat, Kedar Ghat and the famous Dasaswamedha Ghat. Every day, more than 200 people were served lunch.
Though we had problems initially, Mohanji actually opened new connections by bringing like-minded people to us. In fact, we now have an Ammucare volunteer in Varanasi permanently!
These are true miracles of Masters. By the way, don’t be surprised to hear this – there were miracles after miracles, with police finally giving us permission to continue the cooking and food distribution at Kashi Gayatri ashram and that service was reinstated.
It is unbelievable, where we thought initially of serving just a few hundred sadhus, in the 17 days in Varanasi, 4770 people were served food.
Now, coming to the second holy city, Haridwar. There, we got connected to Sri Gautami Nityannadan Trust, and annadaan started on 1 Sept serving hot food all three times of the day. With each passing day, we saw the crowds swelling. The sadhus enquired from the volunteers about our organisation which was offering food to them daily and blessed everyone abundantly. The food was first offered to Mother Ganga. Every day more than 800 sadhus and needy people were served breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, on the final day, food was continuously served from 8 am to 4 pm, to sadhus and children. Almost 1200 people were served hot food on that day.
Not just offering food to the holy river Mother Ganga, but every evening, Ganga aarati was also done, sponsored by Mohanji Foundation team, which brought a completely magical atmosphere, the divine essence to everyone who was there at the time.
Finally, in these 17 days of Pitru Paksh, we served food to 16000 sadhus, children and needy people at Haridwar. Additionally, we provided food and grocery items for a month to 32 families.
Now, coming to the third city, Rishikesh. The incidents in Rishikesh reminded me of the divine plan of Mohanji to serve only satvic (pure) food to the sadhus. Our initial plan in Rishikesh was to get the food cooked at a local restaurant. For some reason, this plan didn’t work out, which made me quite stressed and flustered. I made quite a few frantic calls here and there, but nothing worked. Next morning, I was talking to Bharat Bhai on something completely different, I just happened to mention about Rishikesh to him, and he connected us to Swami Narayan Ashram at Rishikesh. This is an ashram where young Brahmin boys from needy families from different states of India are brought with the consent of their parents, and nurtured here and taught the Vedas to carry out the traditional Vedic rituals for the good of mankind. This ashram is on the banks of the River Ganges. When I saw the beautiful video of the food being packed into boxes and a gate leading to the banks of Mother Ganges, I was totally mesmerised.
Soon, we arranged with this ashram to prepare and distribute fresh food. I then remembered Mohanji’s instructions! He wanted us to serve only freshly cooked satvic food! One more miracle of Mohanji! He ensured that we got connected to the right people, at the right place and ensured that the food was cooked and served fresh.
Sukhbeer, our local connection and another volunteer Henry from the UK helped us with food distribution in Rishikesh.
While food seva was progressing in these three cities, I received yet another message from Mohanji. His advice was that we should do annadaan in other holy places as well. He mentioned Thiruvannamalai, Gokarn, Puri, Rameswaram, and Badrinath etc.
Keeping the intention of serving food in these cities in the future, we thought we could at least start immediately in Thiruvannamalai, and soon we were able to serve more than 7500 people! Not just that, we could give out a month’s groceries to 200 sadhus at Tarapeeth.
We could take up these additional locations as by now; we had a steady flow of funds! (Remember how I cried on the first day)
I was wondering if we could arrange Rs. 2 Lakhs (Rs. 2,00,000), by now we had a surplus of Rs 12 Lakhs (Rs 12,00,000), six times more than my expectations. Although we had aimed to feed a few hundred, in reality, in the 17 days of Pitru Paksh, we had served food to 43000 people in all these locations.
Now let me bring another angle to this whole miraculous story.
As I had mentioned earlier, for Hindus, this time is very auspicious. However, not many people get the opportunity to be able to do such rituals and feed monks and pray for their ancestors. As we were continuing this seva, many people across Mohanji’s global family and outside too, took this as a golden opportunity for them and started sending us requests for special pujas to be performed for their ancestors on the Amavasya day (New Moon day), which is the final day of Pitru Paksh, along with the annadaan. To be able to perform the rituals and annadaan for peace and solace of their ancestors, brought so much joy and peace to all those people who had requested us. This gave me additional satisfaction in being able to serve so many people from all over the world.
Mohanji’s command to me that day through the message had brought transformation in many people; not just feeding 43000 people but bringing moksha (liberation) to many ancestors, bringing satisfaction and peace to so many people. It was indeed a golden opportunity for Ammucare, its volunteers, and to me personally, a truly fulfilling experience. A miracle of my Guru Mohanji that will remain as bright as thousand Suns forever!
Thank you Mohanji, my eternal Father, for giving me this opportunity in the first place and holding our hands every moment, facilitating every single step and accomplishing everything so beautifully.
I wish everyone who reads this true experience that I have narrated with complete honesty, is able to understand that the true miracle of a Master is not about materials, but in transformation!
That’s what I witness every moment in my life, walking with Mohanji.
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||
Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 15th October 2020
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