By a Mohanji follower
When I began writing this testimonial, I thought I must begin at the point when I learnt about the retreat in Shirdi with Mohanji and the kriya initiation. Then I thought – no, this tale had actually started a few months earlier. Well, over a year before, actually, when I’d come across a blog in which I had read about Mohanji for the first time and seen his pictures. No, in truth, it began years ago if I had to link up the moments neatly. And then I realized I might have to write a booklet of sorts to narrate the entire story from the start, even though it consisted mainly of very simple moments.
A prayer answered
So, after extensive debates with myself, which involved some unnecessary name-calling on both sides, I’ve decided to begin from a point in mid-2021, when I started to read seriously about Mohanji, listen to his talks and read his books.
Every single thing I read or heard resonated very deeply with me, and I started to feel an intense devotion towards Mohanji. An instinctive belief took root that I had finally found my Guru.
I prayed for a chance to meet Mohanji in person. In June 2021, I received training in Consciousness Kriya, and from that point, I was also eagerly waiting to be initiated into Kriya by Mohanji. Empowered 1.0 helped deepen the faith that Mohanji was my Guru, and my wish to meet the Master increased greatly.
The powerful saint of Shirdi
I had always believed in Sai Baba, but until I came across Mohanji’s talks on the internet, I had not known much about his life. But Mohanji’s powerful talks on Sai Baba encouraged me to purchase the Sai Satcharitra. By the end of the first reading, I felt that the entire book was a very powerful, spiritually cleansing mantra.
I did the parayan of the sacred book a few times, and each time, I would feel that something had changed for the better within me by the end of the reading. Also, if I had done the parayan for any particular reason, my wish would be fulfilled, or if I was facing any emotional/mental turmoil, I would receive insights that would soothe and calm me down. I encouraged some of my loved ones to read the Sai Satcharitra, and they too benefited tremendously and developed a deep faith in Sai Baba.
There is a temple near my home, and many deities are worshipped there. One of them is Sai Baba. Over the past 3-4 months, every time I visited the temple, I would tell Baba – “Please call me to Shirdi” or “Please let me come to Shirdi.” At the same time, I was also praying for an opportunity to meet Mohanji and seek his blessings.
When I first heard that Mohanji would be coming to India, I was thrilled beyond measure and decided that I would travel to whichever part of India he was visiting. And then I received the next message that he was going to be in Shirdi. It felt as though the universe had opened up a big bag of blessings and poured them over me.
A surprising sight
I was still grinning widely at the message about Mohanji’s visit to Shirdi when my mother called me. For many years now, she has followed the practice of giving freshly cooked rice to crows in the noon before we have our lunch. Usually, my father offers food to the crows. But he was busy that noon, so my mother asked me to do the needful. My mind was full of Shirdi and Mohanji as I carried the rice and emptied it in the designated spot. Two crows came and sat a little far away and began cawing. Then a raven flew up and perched near the rice. Immediately, another raven joined the first one and then a third one came flying.
I was taken aback because it is very rare to spot even one raven in the area. In fact, in the ten years or so that we have been living in the house, I’d seen ravens just once or twice before, and at the most, I’d seen two together. And this noon, three of them had appeared all of a sudden. I was startled for a minute. Then, for some reason, I found myself smiling and assuring the birds, “Yes, I’m going to Shirdi.” If anyone had seen me at that point, I have no doubt I would have been made to undergo a serious psychiatric evaluation.
Anyway, the first item on my to-do list was to apply for leave from the office. I remembered that a colleague had applied for leave on 17th December, the scheduled date of Kriya initiation. My heart sank for a moment since it meant that I would probably not be granted leave as we were short-staffed at that point. Then I vaguely remembered that she had posted something about that leave in our group chat just 2-3 days ago. I quickly checked the chat and saw that she had postponed her leave to the 20th from the 17th; another blessing.
A request for grace
But there was one more issue. As per my menstrual cycle, I was to get my periods on the 18th or a day earlier. It’s part of my personal code that I do not visit temples/chant mantras/touch any spiritual objects if my periods are going on. The idea of visiting Shirdi and not being able to take Sai Baba’s darshan was unbearable. I became so anxious that I started doing a parayan of the Satcharitra with a request to Sai Baba that I should be able to take his darshan.
But then, on the second day of the parayan, I happened to watch a video in which Mohanji was talking about Sai Baba, and he’d said that we shouldn’t ask Baba for anything and should just surrender to his will. I felt guilty after hearing that, so I mentally asked Sai Baba to forget that I had asked him for anything before doing the parayan. I completed the remaining days of the parayan without having any prayer in mind.
I think it was probably after I had completed the parayan or was close to doing so that I saw a dream one night. It was a long, convoluted one, but one moment of the dream was crystal clear, and I still recall it vividly. I saw Baba’s luminous form sitting on the stone, and he told me something to the effect that, “You were angry because you were kept away from saints such as Swami Samarth of Akkalkot. But I’m with you now.”
The dream moved me intensely because until I’d met Mohanji, I’d expressed my anger towards the divine many times over the years over a feeling that my prayers for a Guru were being ignored. But I’ve understood now that prayers for spiritual growth don’t go unheard. The dream also alleviated my anxieties related to the trip.
Was it really -? It was. But was it?
On the morning of 17th December, I left home at about six in the morning and waited outside for the hired cab to arrive. Then I learnt that the driver had parked in the wrong place. After giving him the directions, I stared impatiently at the turn in the road from which the cab would be arriving. It was dark, and in the dim illumination of the street lights, I saw an elderly man dressed in an orange/saffron kurta and white dhoti with a bag slung on a shoulder walking on that road. He was quite far from me, and there wasn’t sufficient light, so I couldn’t see his face. As I watched him, I idly remembered the experiences of Sai Baba devotees that I had read about and heard in the previous months and how Baba often appears in the guise of an old man.
The thought had just popped up in my head when the old man glanced in my direction, and while continuing to walk, he raised his right hand as if in a friendly greeting. It surprised me, and I turned quickly because I was sure his wave had been meant for someone behind me. A middle-aged couple walked on the road behind me, but they seemed engrossed in a conversation. I turned again swiftly. The old man was still walking, he was still looking in my direction, and his hand was still raised. Totally confused, I stared at him blankly until a wall hid him from view.
The cab arrived, and the astonishment over the incident with the old man was forgotten briefly. Later, when I thought about it again, I felt a doubt that I had probably hyped up the entire thing in my mind. Maybe the old man had really just waved at someone further down on the road behind me. But in my heart, there has been no space for any doubt. It remains peacefully convinced that the unbelievable happened…
Again, my mind is holding up a huge placard with doubt as I type this, but my heart is waving it off with a peaceful smile. I surrender both at Mohanji’s feet.
Stranded and confused
I was to get down at a particular spot in Thane, where I was to meet with four wonderful souls and travel together to Shirdi in a different vehicle. All of us were eagerly waiting to meet Mohanji for the first time.
I reached the designated spot by 6:45 am but learnt that the cab that was to take us to Shirdi had taken another route and stopped at a different place. Since I was completely unfamiliar with the area, it was difficult for me to understand the directions given by the driver of the other cab, and somehow, the location sent on the phone too wasn’t working properly.
To give you an idea of my situation, I was standing on a narrow service road, close to the foot of a major flyover, and vehicles were speeding past. There was no one around whom I could ask for directions, and to get a rickshaw, I would either have had to walk to a signal that was about 15 minutes away with my heavy bag. Or I would have had to walk for a while in the other direction, cross the road and wait for a rickshaw and just pray that the driver would be familiar with the area and would know the new meeting spot. The sky was just lightening, and there wasn’t anyone around whom I could ask for guidance.
Unexpected help arrives
Just then, a rickshaw stopped in front of me, and the driver got down. He asked me where I wanted to go with a lot of kindness. I was hugely relieved and got him to speak to the cab driver. The auto driver told me he knew precisely where the place was and said it was about 6-7 kilometers away. He said he had been heading in the opposite direction but had spotted me standing on the service road with a lost look and had taken a U-turn (and also broken a traffic rule, I think) to reach me just to guide me about the route I needed to take.
I asked him if he could take me to the right spot. He refused apologetically because he would have had to travel on the wrong way down a major road to do that. He told me to walk to the nearest signal, gave me clear instructions about what I needed to tell the driver of whichever auto I would find, and told me about some landmarks too. I thanked him sincerely, but I was still feeling quite confused as I picked up my bag and started to walk to the signal.
But the auto driver suddenly changed his mind and asked me to stop. He said he would drop me at the location but would charge a higher-than-usual amount. I was so grateful that I almost told him that I would pay him double of that!
A silent guardian
The driver of the cab that had brought me to Thane had not stirred while all this was going on. He had told me that he had recently moved to Mumbai from Bangalore and was very unfamiliar with the city, which is why I hadn’t thought of asking for his help. And I’d assumed he had continued to wait there because he was talking on the phone or was probably resting. But as soon as I got into the rickshaw, he drove off, and I realized only then that he’d stayed back just to ensure my safety because of the isolated nature of the spot where I was standing.
It felt as though kindness was pouring on me from all sides. The auto driver dropped me at the right place without needing to check with the other driver again or asking anyone for directions. Before he left, I told him gratefully that Baba had sent him to help me, and I truly believe that.
Eventually, after a pleasant journey, we reached Shirdi in the afternoon, and after a short rest, arrived at the venue for Kriya initiation.
To be continued ……
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||
Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 27th January 2022
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