An Ocean of Grace in Scotland

By Michael Draper, UK

In a testimonial published in November 2023, I described the divine grace expressed and transmitted by Mohanji and Devi on my first physical experience with them and how that grace continued on my first visit to MCB (Mohanji Centre of Benevolence) Scotland during the inauguration and Prana Pratishtha of Lord Ganesh idol, Shirdi Sai Baba idol and Lord Dattatreya idol.

At the divine inauguration, the Mohanji Acharyas and volunteers at MCB Scotland were very kind, attentive and eager to serve. As an example of their openness and alignment with Mohanji’s consciousness, I would like to share their role in another act of supreme grace.

I wanted to purchase a set of Padukas for my shrine at home and approached the volunteers who were serving at the stall, where various items, including Padukas, could be purchased. I might have simply been sold a set on display, and that was my expectation, but in the discussion, the volunteers had an inspiration. 

There was a set of Padukas that had been acquired by the team for sale but had happened to find their way onto the altar in the Shirdi Sai Baba temple and had been worshipped as part of the Shirdi Sai Baba temple inauguration. Enquiries would be made of the officiating priest, Shri Sulakhe Maharaj (former chief priest of Shirdi), as to whether these could be transferred to me. I was taken aback but extremely grateful for the generosity of spirit that was being demonstrated in going the extra mile (and then some) in this unexpected turn of events.

Grace flowed.

Following an exploratory discussion, Maharaj approved and agreed to transfer the Padukas to me after the final completion of all ceremonies. I was informed that I should attend and meet Maharaj in the temple accordingly.

This was and is an incredible honour and certainly unexpected. It is an expression of how, at the right time, divine grace delivers more than actually sought or even considered possible, but only if the agents acting in delivery and expression of that grace are open to play a role in transmitting the flow.

I attended as instructed, and Maharaj gave a big smile (we can all picture that) and a hug by way of welcome. He then moved to hand over the Padukas with reverence. He positioned me in front of the now-living Shirdi Sai Baba idol and instructed me to wait. He then reached for a Shirdi Sai temple shawl, placed it around my shoulders and then handed the Padukas to me in the presence of and view of Baba.

By ‘chance’ Selma and Peter witnessed this, and Dirk also appeared in the temple. Peter had his mobile phone with him and took a picture to record the event. I was awestruck.

I have no conscious memory or understanding of why I was eligible to receive this grace and honour. Prior to meeting Mohanji, my connection with Sai Baba in the form of Shirdi Sai was through my experiences with Sathya Sai Baba. Many years ago, I was unexpectedly given a small photograph of Shirdi Sai Baba in Prashanti Nilayam. 

I was told by the individual handing it over that I had a connection with Shirdi Sai. I was very happy to receive the photo but was perplexed by what the connection could be. I placed the photo in my passport for ‘safe-keeping’, but it subsequently disappeared. I don’t normally lose items and certainly not pictures of avatars. Why I chose my passport as a fitting place to keep the photo is loaded with meaning. The seed of my connection to Shirdi Sai had been planted in my waking consciousness, ready to grow at the right time.

What do the divine feet of Mohanji and Sai Baba represent?

When Sathya Sai Baba declared his avatarhood, he walked out of his family home to the garden of a devotee and sat upon a large rocky outcrop or boulder. His close devotees soon gathered around him, and Sathya Sai Baba led them in the beautifully poignant bhajan of

Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam Dusthara Bhava Saagara Tharanam.”

[Oh, mind! Meditate on the Feet of the Guru. This can take you across the difficult ocean of existence, birth after birth.”]

A photographer recorded the event, and when the photograph was developed, the small rock formation in front of the young Sathya Sai emerging from the larger boulder had taken on the form of a Shirdi Sai Baba idol. The supreme consciousness of the Masters is one, even though the forms may differ.

Worshipping the feet of the Guru is considered one among the 9 forms of Bhakti or devotion: the Navavidha Bhakti MargaHowever, a close former student devotee of Sathya Sai Baba has disclosed from an intimate conversation with his students that:

“Swami said that people often thought Padasevanam only meant service to the Guru’s feet. This was the reason why everyone felt it was the easiest route to God because all one had to do was to get the opportunity to press and massage his feet. But that was not the actual meaning. Swami said that Padasevanam means walking in the footsteps of a Guru. To walk the path that the Guru walks is true service to his feet.”

To walk the path that is walked and shown by the Guru – that is the invitation and the truest expression of service to the feet of the Master. In the book Mast: the Ecstatic given by Mohanji, a probing, exploratory conversation takes place between Maharishi Shantananda and his prospective follower, Vamadeva, whose heartfelt desire is to be accepted into the Master’s Gurukul (a residential school where students live as part of the Master’s family):

Maharishi: The path is right here within you; why not walk?

Vamadeva: I am param buddhu. I don’t know the way, respected Master

Maharishi: Final destination?

Vamadeva: My Self, the Supreme Self, respected Master

Maharishi: Where shall you walk from? (Read: Where will you start? When can you start?)   

 Vamadeva: At your lotus feet. (Read: Right here! Right now!)

There is evident genuine camaraderie, friendship, and humour at MCB Scotland in a very welcoming and divine environment. When walking past Mohanji en route to the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Mohanji quipped, ‘Nice T-shirt’, to which I replied, ‘Yes, it is’. 3 words each but with profound meaning in the space between them. My Mum would probably roll her exasperated eyes at the depth of emotional expression in my acknowledgement.

As a ‘newcomer’, it was more than heart-warming to be acknowledged. Inclusivity was also the foundation of the closing events following the Shirdi Sai Baba temple inauguration through two satsangs with Mohanji.

At one closing satsang, a number of individuals spoke about their experiences, being encouraged by Mohanji to do so. The sharing of experiences benefits both the experiencer and those listening on a number of levels. Mohanji is also keen that those reluctant to speak, go beyond their comfort zone as this helps to dissolve restricting and limiting ideas and leads to further expansion. 

Mohanji and Vijay made sure that everybody was acknowledged and valued. Blessed miniature statutes of Shirdi Sai Baba were presented on a personal basis, with the opportunity to express love and gratitude to Mohanji when receiving the grace of Baba from Mohanji’s hands. Everyone agreed that the food consumed during the divine inauguration event (on all levels) was awesome.  

Mohanji gave his concluding satsang in the Datta garden in the presence of Lord Dattatreya. There are no ‘accidents’, and nothing happens by chance. We were all meant to be here at this time for the inaugural event. Mohanji asked us not to bring mental interference into play with ‘why?’ Let the grace and experience flow without obstruction. 

Mohanji then gave everyone gathered the opportunity to seek their own clarification to personal questions. In responding to some of those questions, Mohanji explained that the establishment of MCB Scotland and other centres was to provide connected portals or spaces for the expansion and expression of consciousness in a divinely inspired environment which could also inform and inspire personal practice wherever we happened to be. I asked how best to maintain personal evolutionary practice. Faith, connection and consistency, Mohanji responded.

There was just enough time for a group photo. A genius was operating a drone with a camera that took a wonderful ariel picture of those gathered. That picture has since been published.

On returning home, another miracle occurred. At Dirks’s request, I opened up my first-ever WhatsApp account. I could not say no to Dirk. Dirk kindly sent some articles about his experiences with Mohanji and a beautiful picture of himself and Mohanii on a train, which I subsequently printed and framed; a family photo that I placed on the shelf sitting next to me.

MCB Scotland then announced their Rise and Revive retreat in September 2023. To be continued…

Offered at the lotus feet of Mohanji and the Masters of the Tradition with gratitude, love and blessings.

Samastha Lokah Sukinho Bhavantu: May all worlds and all beings in those worlds be happy and free.

Sai Ram! Jai Mohanji!


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 3rd December 2023


The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Mohanji, Mohanji Foundation, it’s members, employees or any other individual or entity associated with Mohanji or Mohanji Foundation. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

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