A transformational journey to MCB Australia 2024

by Bijal Shah, UK

It was November 2023, and plans to go to India did not work out, nor did any other plans. I had two weeks of annual leave pending before April 2024, and despite many efforts, there was no clarity. In my mind, I asked Mohanji, please tell me what’s for my highest; please show me what I need to progress in this journey. I surrendered and waited for an answer. 

I persisted in asking the question, and the answer was eventually to go to MCB Australia in January 2024. My heart expanded, and the clarity and certainty came that this was my calling. Even though I had known about this program for a while, it was not on the radar as part of me did not want to return to Australia, having resided there between 2013-15. When clarity emerged, I remembered that apart from MCB Scotland, which is home, considering all other international MCBs, I found myself attracted to the Australian MCB the most.

Lastly, my friend Param, who lives in Australia, was connected to Mohanji but was still waiting to see him in his physical presence. She told me last year in 2023 that only if I went with her she would be able to meet Mohanji. This year, Mohanji made sure that her wish was fulfilled, too. As you can see, many reasons aligned for me to go to MCB Australia, and when the answer came, I knew I had to go, no matter what.

Upon research, the journey to MCB looked grueling, but truth be told, Mohanji made the pilgrimage easy. Multiple scheduled flights were on time. The luggage arrived safely. There was no feeling of jetlag, and my friends, Swati and Param, joined me from Perth.  Excitement was brimming. We were blessed to be loaned a car through Param’s connection for our trip duration, which was sheer grace. More on that later. The car journey to MCB was straightforward. It was almost effortless. We parked the car on MCB grounds at 2:22 pm, and to my astonishment, we later discovered that the land had been acquired on 2.2.22. The land was even more beautiful than I imagined, and I felt so grateful for my eligibility to be present there. Later that evening, our fourth companion, Ruth, joined us. 

I learnt that this MCB is the most special of lands – Dev Bhoomi (the abode of Gods). Enjoying one of the local jetty tours while on the retreat, I learned that India and Australia were originally connected. Perhaps Saints and Masters walked from India to Australia, and maybe this is why this untouched piece of land is so uplifting, transformative, and sacred. Mohanji said you don’t have to do anything here; just being present is sufficient for the energy to work on you. And if you do any form of Sadhana, the effects would be multiplied. 

My experience of the MCB was that the land’s energy was subtle yet so powerful. It was like everything occurred at fast-forward speed, but silence existed. It was a ‘Be You’ retreat, entering into deeper silence. As Maha Shivratri dawned, new participants joined, and the chatter increased, but even within the noise, I felt like I could go deeper into silence. I was writing, digesting, and contemplating Mohanji’s teachings like never before. By the time the retreat was completed, I could feel how much expansion had taken place, but expansion cannot happen without any clearing.

During the retreat, we had one afternoon to ourselves. This was because Mohanji insisted that the group activity by the Jetty be preponed due to forecasted rain in the afternoon. It was an odd show, as we usually don’t see the play like this. It felt like it was an intentional drama. We knew there must have been a higher purpose. Not pondering it too much, the four of us, Param, Ruth, Swati, and I, decided to see the famous Tingle trees on our afternoon off. As the journey proceeded, something didn’t feel right.

Everything felt difficult. We couldn’t quite get to the correct location. As part of this drama, we witnessed a big release. Our car was turning a corner, and an oncoming car was coming at speed. We narrowly missed a collision by a fraction of a second; it could have been fatal. Mohanji saved us. It made me realise that all it takes is one moment to change your life; that’s why it’s so important to be in the present moment and offer gratitude for everything. With a lot of persistence, we eventually made it to the giant tingle tree, and we especially enjoyed the energy of the tree behind it. 

As I said in an earlier testimonial, ‘It’s funny. I’ve had all these wishes of being up close and personal with a living Master, and I can barely muster the courage to say anything to him in his physical presence. Embracing his teaching of ‘Be You,’ perhaps it will happen soon.’ 

I kept telling myself I didn’t need to talk to Mohanji personally. I want to use his time effectively. I happened to have a conversation with Delo, who encouraged me to speak to Mohanji, and I happened to ask her why everyone calls Mohanji ‘Father.’ I didn’t resonate with ‘Father,’ and I could only somehow say ‘Mohanji.’ After contemplation, I realised I was suppressing what I wanted, even from Mohanji, my real father, mother, and everything. My deep-ingrained pattern with my biological father was being broken. As tears poured out profusely, I found tremendous healing and finally the ability to call Mohanji ‘Father.’ One can only speak to Father if he wishes – I am so grateful for the opportunity because he called me, and that one conversation brought me much-needed clarity and inner freedom.

Mohanji knows everything, and he humoured me when we spoke. He pretended not to know things about me and asked me questions. I know he made me talk so that I could connect the dots. Also, during the Satsangs, he highlighted the five D’s to me repeatedly. He said one must have determination and discipline and not get distracted to avoid detours to reach their final destination. I knew it off by heart as I was regurgitating it to my friends, but still, when he asked me about this during a subsequent Satsang, I happened to forget the word ‘distraction.’ My mind went blank, purposely, of course, because he highlighted ‘distractions’ to me. I knew I had to contemplate my current life and weed out my distractions.

Toward the end of my stay, Mohanji obliged the remaining participants, and we were called for a Satsang in his Chalet. Here, one of my ongoing wishes to sing a bhajan was fulfilled. It was just so amazing, and I am so grateful for the opportunity. I saw a cute, fun side to Mohanji, who kept us all laughing. Honestly, they are just precious, precious moments; I am so grateful.

The next day, Mohanji left the MCB for 24 hours, and even in his absence, he made sure that we knew that he and the Tradition were still present. We were doing the 6 pm aarati, and while this happened, Preeti Duggal noticed the presence of Lord Datta, changing to Shirdi Sai Baba, changing to Mohanji in the Dhuni. The photos are evidence of this miracle. Not knowing this was happening, I stood in front of Baba; I found my third eye vibrating strongly. I had aligned to the frequency, and I found immense healing taking place within me. I am so, so, so grateful for all the grace and healing.

Preeti proceeded to conduct an impromptu group Mai-Tri for everyone. I remember wishing for a second Group Mai-Tri in the retreat, which was also fulfilled. It was a deep and powerful group Mai-Tri. It highlighted strongly that the Masters and Tradition are with us and that we must keep walking the path; we are not alone. 

Since the third day of the retreat, there have been talks about doing some fruit tree plantation on the MCB grounds. It was a wish, but somehow, as the days progressed, it didn’t seem possible. When the retreat was completed, we thought we would get a chance to go to the local Nursery to buy some fruit trees, but despite the planning, it was just not possible. 

On the last day before we left, Neal, who is part of the MCB team, suddenly told us two fruit trees were still pending to be planted. Our joy knew no bounds. Between the four of us, Swati, Ruth, Param, and I, we planted two trees. Fulfilment of even the smallest of desires was taken care of. There is so much gratitude that words can never truly express.

It was amazing to do the daily Aartis. I absolutely loved it. Lord Dattatreya and Anagha Laxmi’s chamber directly permits sunrise viewing. It was the perfect start to the day, especially with all the birds feeding and rejoicing. Following the Aartis, there was an opportunity to do some chanting as the deities were dressed for the day. Perhaps this earnest devotion to Lord Datta in the form of Sripada Srivallabh brought forth requests to make a recording of the Siddha Mangal Stotra chanting that Swati and I carried out during our stay. Just as we took permission to leave the MCB, we carried out the recording, and as we listened back to it, we found that our one and only recording was in perfect sync, just as Lord Dattatreya willed. What grace! It felt like our bhaav and love was accepted! It was incredible! 

On the return trip, we dropped the car at Param’s friends’ house, and they opened their hearts and homes to us. They took us in, fed us, gave us a place to rest, and took us to the airport. I was blown away by the hospitality. It’s rare to see such kindness from strangers. All thanks to Mohanji for orchestrating it. This trip brought me several connections, which were so beautifully unique in their own way. My Mohanji family is growing, and I am so grateful that I have found another home. Baba at MCB Australia represents love, harmony, and stability. It has brought me all this and more; it’s been transformational.

One observation since November 2023 is that my nose had been blocked horrendously. I just couldn’t get rid of the cold. It was varying in severity, including when I was most worked up at the retreat. And now, being back in London, it’s all gone. Reflection shows that it was a sign that all the pent-up emotions and resistance were making me blocked…our body is always responding and showing us signs. As clarity and stability surfaced with the ability to let go of bindings and lay resistance to rest, my blocked nose disappeared.

To conclude, when the call to go to MCB Australia came, I knew it would be a test. Test it has been, as it’s forced me to let go of so many comfort zones. It’s forcing me to flow. It’s teaching me a new way of life. I have yet to see how life unfolds, but one thing is for sure: I trust and have faith that Mohanji and the Tradition are looking after me and helping me every step of the way. 

Jai Mohanji! Jai Sainath! Jai Shri Gurudev Datta!

Journey to the MCB, Australia


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 2nd May 2024


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