Guru Vaakyam

By Shyama Jeyaseelan, UK

Mohanji’s words (Guru vaakyam) brought about the most amazing journey in my life, a journey that I had thought would never happen. 

It was June 2023. Mohanji was in London, and a few of us were talking about some of the local ACT projects and also the new projects happening in Sri Lanka. One of the projects was to build toilets in a very remote village in the east of Sri Lanka where there were no toilet facilities for about 40 families. A water well had been built the year before, and they had requested this basic facility as using the fields at night brought various hazards to the villagers. Mohanji was listening to us, and after making some suggestions, the conversation moved on to other topics.

Later that day, sitting at the dining table, Mohanji suddenly turned to me and said, “You should go and inaugurate the toilets.” It took me a few seconds to connect the dots, and I stared at him in surprise, unsure how to reply. It sounded so funny, but knowing that Mohanji wouldn’t make a statement without a deeper reason, I replied, “Ok, Mohanji.”

It has been 33 years since I left Sri Lanka, and I had no thoughts or plans to go back as my childhood memories were that of the war we had experienced over many years. Now that Mohanji had asked me to go, Jay (my husband) and I started to think about it, making tentative plans for the following year when the toilet work would be completed, and our children would be home from their universities to look after my parents and our cat.

Mohanji came back to the UK in September, but we were away for a family wedding, missed the retreat, and had just a short time with Mohanji on the last day. It is always so wonderful to see him, and as we greeted Mohanji, I was kind of hoping that he would have forgotten about the Sri Lanka trip as we had not booked our flights or made definite plans yet. But the first thing he said to Jay was, “Have you taken her to Sri Lanka yet?” We replied that we were going next year and within the next couple of months organised our trip. When Mohanji met Jay in Shirdi before the Global Summit, he again asked if I had been to Sri Lanka, and we were happy Jay could say that our trip was booked.

Everything fell into place smoothly. Flights, local travel, accommodation in multiple places, and seva activities were all organised. The day before we left, Mohanji blessed us, saying, “You will feel me everywhere you go.” Those beautiful and loving words meant so much to us. I had mixed feelings about going back to my Motherland, and Mohanji’s words reminded me that we are always in his presence; there is nothing to worry about when there is faith. Wherever we go, whatever we do, his grace, energy, and protection are always with us.

A few days before leaving, I mentioned to my friend that I would really like to see a beautiful sunset in Sri Lanka. With some amazing beaches around the country, I hoped to see a sunrise or sunset during some of our stay near the sea. Within a few hours into our flight, I saw the most stunning sunrise from the plane, my wish coming true even before we arrived in Sri Lanka! The colours were incredible, and this was the first of many tangible moments where we felt Mohanji’s presence with us.


Visiting the remote village where the toilets were built was an interesting journey. We had to drive for 12km off the main road, most of it over a bumpy marshland in a rattling lorry. Two days before the visit, one of the volunteers called us to say that it had been raining for the past few days and we may not have access to the village. Luckily, the ground was dry as it had stopped raining for two days. It was Mohanji’s grace that enabled us to reach there and ‘inaugurate the toilets.’ Otherwise, this drive would not have been possible over the wet marsh.

It was the Sinhala and Tamil New Year’s Day, and we took boxes of sweets and snacks for everyone. They were so happy to see us and speak with us, so grateful for the water supply that helped them with drinking, cooking, and bathing. Living in little huts with no walls and exposed to the elements, these villagers face many challenges. One of the ACT volunteers actually lived there while the project work was happening, and another regularly visited from his hometown, travelling many hours. Their kindness and compassion towards these villagers were so inspiring to witness.

Rain or shine

As Mohanji had said to us, his presence with us was felt in many ways each day. One day, we planned to visit two sites where water wells had been built, do annadaan in a village affected by lack of water, and visit a school for potential seva. There were torrential rains when we started in the morning, and the local volunteers were worried about walking in deep mud to the sites during the heavy downpour. Jay kept reassuring them that the rains would stop as soon as we got there. 

And not once or twice, but Mohanji’s magic happened all four times! As soon as the car stopped, the rain would also stop, giving us time to walk, speak to the locals, visit potential new sites for more water wells, and discuss new projects for feeding school children. The heavy downpour would start again as soon as we got in the car! The volunteers couldn’t believe how this was happening! It was a lovely reminder that when actions are taken with pure intentions, even the elements and nature support us with Guru’s grace.


There are many ancient temples in Sri Lanka, and we wanted to visit some of these powerful pilgrimage centres. Each time we were in a temple, Mohanji would somehow show us that he was with us in a tangible way. Usually, when I see a white feather or a white butterfly, I feel that it is Mohanji who is showing me his presence. In the first few temples we visited, a beautiful white feather would float down in front of me while circumambulating the main sanctum. These were enclosed temple spaces with no birds anywhere to be seen.

This happened a few times and when we visited the next temple, no feather had appeared. We were about to leave and the thought came that I hadn’t seen a feather yet (mind at work as usual!). And exactly at that time, while I gazed at the sanctum for the last time, the priest suddenly appeared to show the aarati to the idol for a few moments, and as quickly as he’d appeared, he disappeared. It was not puja time, and that totally unexpected and immediate answer to my thought that he was always there filled my heart with immense joy.

In another temple, the priest was giving prasad after the puja, and I was expecting it to be sweet rice, as is the custom in most temples. It turned out to be rice and curry, and I felt a little disappointed that it wasn’t something sweet. As we walked to one of the smaller temples in the garden, another priest appeared, walking rapidly towards us with a pot as if he’d been looking for us. He gave us a big helping of sweet rice and then again after the puja! Even my simple wish was fulfilled so beautifully by my loving Guru.

Ram Setu

When planning our trip, visiting Ram Setu was something I had really wanted to do, but no service activities were happening in this area. So we decided that the extra day of travel could be spent on other seva activities and decided not to travel here. Just a couple of weeks before leaving, one of the UK volunteers requested a school meal project in this specific area, and there we were, one day before Ram Navami (Lord Rama’s birthday), driving from the east coast to the northwest, to visit a school and excitedly looking forward to seeing this sacred place.

The white line on the horizon is Ram Setu First Island. We walked for about 40 minutes to get there. Luckily, the sea had receded far enough for us to walk, and the navy guard also allowed us; there was no boat or tractor to take us, and he could have easily refused. It was amazing to think Lord Ram walked on this beautiful beach. There was no one around for miles! We know that the other side of this bridge in South India is a very busy pilgrim site. The unspoiled beauty of the blue sea and white sand and the peace we felt here were incredible; we were so grateful to Mohanji for this immense grace.


Most of the hotels we stayed in were comfortable and clean, but this particular place where we stayed the most days (4-5 days) was a little grim. It was dark despite the ceiling lights, the carpet smelt dubious, and the bathroom had no windows. We felt quite closed in, and as we entered the room on our first night after 15 hrs on the road, the last thing I wanted to see was a dead cockroach in the corner and another one scuttling around. 

The food was also not great, and what could have been a slightly dull stay became very special when Mohanji sent us a companion. We had made plans to meet up with a Swami whom I knew four decades ago. In his mid-70s now, his Guru was my first exposure to a Guru-disciple relationship and ashram life. I remember attending his initiation ceremony, the yagam, the white robes being dipped in saffron water before being worn as robes, and the special rituals on that Guru Purnima day.

I was really looking forward to seeing him, but it was going to be a short visit for a couple of hours. After meeting us and listening to us speak about Mohanji and all the projects that were happening, he wanted to come and stay with us for the next few days and drove 7 hours to come to this hotel. It turned out to be a lovely blessing as our meal times and evenings were spent in satsangs, talking about Mohanji’s teachings and activities and his own spiritual journey from being a very rich businessman to a monk.

Something that he said to us touched us deeply.  “I see Mohanji through you. I don’t know him, but I see him from your work and the way you are. You are representing him.” He was so kind, and I felt such gratitude to Mohanji for allowing us to be his instruments, for giving us a wonderful platform to serve, and for purifying and transforming us.


 “Detachment simply means even if you have a thing or not, you’re still fine. Imagine I need a coffee. If I have a coffee, I’ll be happy. If I don’t get a coffee also I’m happy. That’s detachment while you have the attachment. It means you’d like to have a coffee, but in the shop, they say coffee is over. No problem. You don’t suffer. You don’t have a headache, or the reactions are not in the body.” 

Almost a week into our trip, I saw this quote by Mohanji on Facebook and became aware, to my surprise, that I had not even thought of coffee since arriving. I understood that what we learn in retreats and satsangs, the sadhana that we do, all help in our transformation in so many ways.

When we returned from the trip, someone asked me what was the biggest challenge we faced, and I have to say it was food. Vegan or even vegetarian food was not always available. Bread and black tea had been my lunch or dinner quite a few times. It was an opportunity to detach from my desire for certain types of food and to realise that when our conviction is strong, any obstacle we may face can be overcome with Guru’s grace.

Mohanji Datta Tapovan, Sri Lanka

On the auspicious day of Hanuman Jayanti and Poya Day (full moon days are Buddhist religious days), along with a couple of other Mohanji family members, we visited this beautiful area in Sri Lanka, which was going to be Mohanji Datta Tapovan (MDT) space for our spiritual and seva activities. Crossing the 4th longest river in Sri Lanka over a lovely bridge, we drove up a few hundred metres to the land in Kithulgala. 

It was like walking into a rainforest; a beautiful canopy of trees welcomed us. There was a small stream running on the west border, and a number of fruit trees, including jack, mango, coconut, and jambu trees, were seen on the land.

It was a special moment to do Mohanji’s aarati and invoke Mohanji’s presence there. We spent a couple of hours looking around the land, taking pictures, and soaking in the peaceful and beautiful nature. It was a joy to listen to the birds sing and see multi-coloured butterflies flying around the bushes; Lord Datta’s presence could be easily felt. As with all other Mohanji spaces, it will have unique features of the country and location, a sublime place of rejuvenation and inner transformation.


My memories of the riots, war, refugee camp, living in the bunker, and extreme danger stopped me from even thinking of going back to Sri Lanka. Now, I have some amazing memories of a country that has stunning natural beauty, lovely beaches, beautiful temples, and kind people. 

It was such a joy to be a part of the Sri Lanka ACT team and do seva where there is so much need, something I wouldn’t have thought was possible for me. Their love and care, all the background work in organising the seva activities, and travelling with us to many of the seva sites, all made our trip extra special. 

Every step of our trip was orchestrated so beautifully by Mohanji, and I know that some boundaries have been broken and inner transformation has taken place. Mohanji said, “This trip will clear tons of karmic blocks from you,” and I am so very grateful for his guidance and insistence, which made this trip possible and for all that I have lost and gained through my loving Guru’s words, his constant companionship, grace, and protection. My humble love and deep gratitude to Mohanji for his presence in my life.


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 16th May 2024


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.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.

Mohanji Testimonials team

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts
Scroll to Top