By Shyama Jeyaseelan, UK
Preparations are on for the 4th Mohanji Acharya training in Serbia in October. I am very blessed to be attending this training again. The excitement of being able to see Mohanji in a few days time is growing day by day. Messages on the phone about the details of travelling, booking accommodations and transport in Serbia are taking place. Emails are being exchanged. As all this is happening, I’m reminded often of the many joyous moments that I had experienced during the Mohanji Acharya training in Canada, that I attended in June 2019. It was a privilege to attend the programme, to be a part of a very special group and spend so much time in the presence of Mohanji during that week.
There were many times when we were not even sure if the training in Canada was going to happen. Dates were changed a few times too and I was beginning to think that I would not be able to make it due to work and home commitments. But Mohanji’s grace was at play and a wonderful group of people met in Ontario, Canada for the 3rd Mohanji Acharya training. It was a small group. 15 excited people looking forward to the training were joined by 5 already trained Acharyas.
Every day brought so many beautiful moments. Words are not enough to express the joy and love we all received from Mohanji. Sitting at his feet, soaking in his energy, and learning from the Master himself, it was more than a dream come true. And the Mohanji Canada team were simply wonderful. They welcomed us like family, worked so hard to take care of us all, and gave us so much love. My heartfelt gratitude and love go to the whole team for all their hard work.
As Mohanji says, “Most relationships are conditional, based on expectations, if you do this for me, I’ll do this for you. It is sometimes transactional. But in a spiritual family, it is never transactional. It is never conditional and there are no expectations. Love is unconditional. When you are in such a family, you know you are at home.”
Despite the many uncertainties of where to have the training, the final decision of the venue made all our hearts sing with joy! We were in the most beautiful place, surrounded by nature. There was a lovely pond, acres of woods, unusual birds and friendly chipmunks who were a joy to watch. However, having a Shirdi Sai Baba temple at the venue, along with statues of a beautiful Lord Dattatreya and other deities, filled the entire premises with so much energy.
Each day left us with memories to cherish. One such memory is taking a special photo with Mohanji. One day, Mohanji came into the training room, wearing a beautiful red vest top and a colourful bandana. He looked so cute and during the discussions in the morning, I was thinking it would be so lovely to have a picture with Mohanji in this attire. Usually camera shy, I tend to hide away when pictures are being taken and I was surprised at myself as this thought persisted during the course of the morning.
As we broke up for lunch, Mohanji, as usual, spent a few minutes speaking with those who wanted a few moments with him, before going in. As I hovered near him, Mohanji finished speaking with the last person and turned towards me with a smile. Unsure if I was troubling him with my request, I hesitantly said, “Mohanji, you look so beautiful, can we have a picture with you please?” Without any hesitation, he promptly said, “Of course, does everyone want one?” It was a unanimous, “Yes please!”
Mohanji patiently stood near the doorway while each person took a picture with him. Taken by George, the pictures were stunning. The vibrant red of the vest, the bandana, and the cool shades made Mohanji look so amazing. But most of all, the words on the vest, ‘Lifeguard’ was just perfect! The loving Guru, the Eternal Charioteer, the Guardian of our life and soul, was fulfilling yet another loving wish. Thank you dearest Mohanji, for this precious picture that we are all blessed to have.
Laughter the best medicine
During the training, we were all asked to do a short presentation. Although much better at it now, the thought of public speaking leaves me a nervous wreck. As it got closer to my turn, I could literally feel myself turn to jelly. Most people were wonderful at presenting and it was inspiring to watch them speak with so much confidence.
Jaya, who spoke at the end, is a beautiful person. She has an amazing capacity to remember all that Mohanji was saying. If during the group discussions I had a doubt, I knew she will have the answer. Her turn was at the end, and as with the others, we expected Mohanji to ask for feedback from the group.
After a few moments of silence, Mohanji started laughing. He was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face and he was rocking from side to side. I really thought he might fall off the chair. It was hilarious to watch him and we were all laughing not knowing why, but because his laughter was so infectious. In between the laughter, he managed to tell us what he was visualising and of course, that made us laugh harder. Mohanji, in the end, said she’s like a cuddly teddy bear with an AK-47, verbally firing away at the audience with her superb knowledge.
After feeling so tense, which I know was very unnecessary, it was a great way to finish the day. All the tension melted away and I was left feeling so grateful to Jaya who made Mohanji laugh so much. Jaya later said she felt deep gratitude for the grace and blessing to have been the cause for making Yogi Nath Shiva laugh! I have never seen him laugh like this in the years I’ve known him and am so grateful for this joyful memory. As you can imagine, I’ve got a huge grin on my face while writing this.
One day, during the mid-morning break, Mohanji stayed back in the training room, talking casually, while a few people sat around him, near his feet. A couple of the ladies started to massage his feet and I know what a blessing it is to have such an opportunity. It happened so naturally and it was beautiful to see the joy in their faces. Wishing I could join them, I just sat and listened to the conversation flowing around me. Being an introvert is a nuisance at times, especially when one wants to be physically near and interact with the Master. But he knows each one’s inner-most thoughts and blesses us in the most unexpected ways.
On Thursday mornings, abhishekam (ritual bathing) to the Shirdi Sai Baba statue is done in the temple. On the first Thursday of the training, we all had the privilege of watching Mohanji bathe, dry, apply perfume and decorate the statue. Mohanji’s focus, love, and reverence while performing the rituals were amazing to witness. The energy created was so powerful and it enabled us all to feel Baba’s presence very much. We were also fortunate to take part in this abhishekam.
The day before Mohanji was leaving Canada, on Thursday, abhishekam was being done again. I was watching the Canada team do the rituals, their love for Baba mirroring Mohanji. Suddenly Sanjay beckoned me forward. Giving me some perfume oil in the hand, he asked me to apply it to Baba’s feet.
I was overjoyed! Sitting at the lotus feet of Baba and applying perfume to the feet that felt so much alive, I felt as if Mohanji was fulfilling my desire to massage his feet. As I realised this, my heart simply melted. Tears of joy and gratitude formed. It was also a reminder to me that Mohanji’s physical form represents the Tradition which encompasses all Masters of the Datta Tradition. At that point, Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai, and Mohanji, all became one. I was at the feet of the Tradition, being showered with love and blessings. My most humble and loving gratitude to the Masters of this beautiful Tradition.
Kailash to Canada
A couple of days after the training had started, when talking with one of the Canada team members, I realised that Mohanji was leaving Canada two days after the training finished. We had all made arrangements to leave on the last day of the training or the next day. I had made plans to be picked up on the last day too.
The morning after this conversation, I was thinking to myself that I would love to stay the extra night to spend more time with Mohanji. I was reluctant to ask anyone as we had to vacate the house as planned and I did not want to trouble anyone from the Canada team, they were already doing so much for us.
At lunchtime, I was walking towards the lunch hall, speaking to my husband back in England. Suddenly, I realised Mohanji was feeding or watching the chipmunks on the bird feeding stand and George was taking photos. Not wanting to intrude, I stepped aside and put my phone away to be silent.
As Mohanji turned to go inside, he spotted me lurking near the bushes and said, “Ah Shyama, come inside.” A little startled at this unexpected request, I thought perhaps Mohanji wanted to ask me something about the UK team and followed him inside.
Mohanji was about to have his lunch, and so sweetly, asked me to join him. I don’t know why, but I was so surprised that George had to literally push me into one of the chairs to make me sit down. And the first thing he said to me was, “When are you leaving for London?” The in-dweller of our hearts, the one who knows all our thoughts and desires, gave me the opportunity to tell him my plans and also ask if I could stay an extra night. And ever so graciously Mohanji said, “Welcome, welcome any time,” leaving me feeling totally accepted and loved.
Staying that extra night and day with Mohanji and the Canada team fulfilled another desire, something that I had not consciously wished for, but think of, almost every day. It has taught me with no room for doubts that our thoughts, whether positive or negative, make a huge impact on our lives. Mohanji says, “What you talk to yourself is your destiny. What you talk inside are commands to the inner universe which the outer universe reciprocates. Watch your thoughts.”
During my Kailash pilgrimage in 2016, after the dip, I had watched a couple do pradakshina (circumambulation) to Mohanji on the banks of Mansarovar. Their love and devotion to Mohanji were palpable and I had thought how very blessed they were. The prayer below is one of my favourites and whenever I say it, I would remember this incident.
On the last day of Mohanji’s visit to Canada, after the morning aarati, while he was standing before Baba, we all did pradakshina (circumambulation) to Mohanji. What a wonderful blessing it was to do pradakshina to the Guru who is the focal point of my life; the centre, source, and essence of my life.
This was something beyond a desire or a wish. I don’t know what penance I had done in the past to deserve such a divine blessing. We were all emotional, knowing Mohanji was leaving in a few hours. Our hearts were overflowing with love, devotion, and gratitude. As we prostrated, Mohanji’s feet were being washed with our tears. Every time I think of that moment, my heart expands with love for this precious gift.
“When the mind is with the Master, you are with the Master. When your body is with the Master, there’s no guarantee you are with the Master. Your mind is elsewhere, that’s where you are. It’s not that you’re not visiting Shirdi or you are not in Shirdi, it doesn’t matter. If your mind is in Shirdi, you are in Shirdi. If your mind is with the Master, you are with the Master.” Mohanji
My Acharya training was something which was beyond what I had imagined. Many more incidents, all filled with grace, reminds me that when we surrender with love, humility, and gratitude, grace flows. I recently read this quote, “Life is a series of thousands of miracles. Notice them.” With Mohanji in my life, this is so very true. Big and small miracles remind me that He is with me and within me, every moment.
May I always remain thankful, grateful, and blessed at his lotus feet.
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||
Compiled, Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 3rd October 2019
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