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Living with the Saint

Living with the Saint

Few days have passed since we finished the pilgrimage through the land of saints – Maharashtra. Many saints have lived there, indeed. In 10 days we have been travelling through Maharashtra, and 4 cities where we stayed over-night, we visited at least 25 samadhis (holy places where saints leave their body). And I think that we didn’t even scratch the surface.

For saints we never say they die, because as Guruji explained, they just leave their body (with particle of the soul in it to preserve it), but their consciousness is ever-present. Many times they do it consciously. This phenomenon is called “jeeva samadhi”.

As we had pretty hectic time with schedule constantly changing, and we were visiting only “dead saints”, one devotee asked if we can go and visit some living saint.

The moment question was asked, answer presented itself: “We are following the footsteps of a living saint as we walk through Maharashtra!”

Maya is very powerful
Header above is very dear to Guruji and he is saying it frequently. Why? Because it is true. Maya (illusion) is very powerful.

After years of living around Guruji and witnessing to hundreds of miracles he performed, it is so easy to mistake him for a normal human being. It is no wonder, because he said that Gurus and God-realised beings must behave more human than humans. Otherwise it would be too easy to notice them.

On this very pilgrimage, one day during the dinner Guruji was talking about the same topic again and he mentioned that Lord Dattatreya had visited us today. He said:

“He was there with his cow and four dogs. Who noticed him? Nobody.”

If we don’t have eyes to see – if we don’t have grace to see the Lord, we will not see Him. Even the scriptures say that Lord will be hidden in Kali Yuga (time in which we live now). He is always coming in disguise and in a form we would never expect.
Time of the test
Apart from disguising himself, another thing Lord must take care of is to behave like he doesn’t know anything. Otherwise it would be too easy to suspect that he is not normal human being.

Guruji said once that hardest part in his role is to act like he doesn’t know anything – that he is surprised when something happens. Even though he is omnipresent and omniscient, he must act like he doesn’t know anything. And he is so good at it!

On the eight day of the pilgrimage I started to have strong toothache. At some point, pain was so unbearable that even painkiller wouldn’t help. Sometimes 4-5 pills of heavy painkiller every day were necessary in order to survive the day. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep. I just prayed that I won’t need to go to Indian dentist, because that could end up real bad. I won’t go into details on Indian bacterias, cleanliness standard and other things. If you have ever been to India, I leave it up to your imagination.

Even though I was always close to Guruji and doing my photo seva, my mood was down. I couldn’t open my jaw to eat normally – and I enjoy to eat! If you would see me eating you would know how person who enjoys good food looks like. But not this time.

When some intense situation like that happens, usually I would ask Guruji for help. But this time it was different. I remembered Guruji saying one powerful thing:

“If you ask God for something, it means you don’t believe Him enough. You don’t believe that He is taking care and knows what’s best for you.”
– Paramahamsa Vishwananda

It was obvious that Guruji was testing me, so I decided to test my faith in him as well.
When miracles become life-style
Four days have passed (we stayed with Guruji few days after the pilgrimage) – pain was not decreasing. It actually seemed like it’s getting worse. It was just a day before we needed to leave for Vrindavan.

Unexpectedly we were invited to devotee’s house where Guruji was staying after the pilgrimage. We were having nice, chill out time. After the prayers and lunch, Guruji was talking to new people that came to visit him. I just took second painkiller, when I remembered that one of Guruji’s close devotees told me he took his toothpaste in the previous hotel.

I asked him if I can have it to apply to my tooth. He gave it to me and I applied a bit to the tooth. If you wonder why he took cheap hotel toothpaste and why I wanted it, you should note that whatever Guru uses (especially food/liquid like) it becomes prasadam – holy. It normally has healing properties, but more importantly, just having something your Guru used is a great privilege and blessing.

Shortly after we left to visit some private saints museum and some other places. I started to count that in 5 hours I will need to take another painkiller.

During more private time Guruji had with people at the museum, I went to buy something to drink. At the same time I was thinking that it would be cool to get some more medicines for my tooth. Firstly I passed next to ATM, that somehow caught my attention. Then I entered the pharmacy which from the outside looked like a normal shop.

Immediately upon entering, young guy on the other side of the counter recognised my Tulsi mala and wanted to show me some video. It looked little bit strange, as he was talking to customer at the same time, but he was very persistent. So I waited.

He takes his smartphone and shows me kirtan performed by one of Guruji’s devotees. At that moment I realised something fishy is going on. After very short conversation, being little bit shocked and confused I just leave in my search for juice as Guruji could be ready to leave any moment.

As I brought the juice back, I realised I have more time to go and get more painkillers just in case. Then it made sense why ATM caught my attention. I needed to go to exactly this ATM so I can buy painkillers at exactly this pharmacy where the young guy was working, which I entered by mistake. Many coincidences in one sentence, huh?

I run there, get the medicine and invite the guy to go and meet Guruji – Guru of his star from the kirtan he showed me. He literally jumps across the counter, leaves the pharmacy open and goes to meet Guruji.

Guruji was already in the car, but it turned out that he was waiting for young pharmacist to meet him. After their short conversation, we left.

It was already 4.5 hours since my last painkiller and I was just waiting for pain to come back. Painkiller was so strong this time that I didn’t feel any pain, but I felt that jaw is completely numb and I couldn’t move it properly.

Five hours passed, I started to feel my jaw. Some impulses were coming from the tooth as well. But pain was not there. It must be better pill this time, I thought.

Six hours passed – no pain. Seven, eight, nine hours passed – no pain. Getting ready for sleep – no pain. Waking up in the morning – no pain.

Up until today, I don’t know which of the two events technically healed my tooth – applying prasadam toothpaste or incident with young pharmacist who wouldn’t meet Guruji if I wouldn’t be in pain. Whichever it is, logically it doesn’t make sense at all. But miracles like that are life-style with Guruji. In the end, it was just his Grace. He was with me the whole time, but as the famous saying states:

“The teacher is always silent during a test.”

Power of service
As the topic of saints marked the entire journey, based on the experiences of hundred devotees we came to single conclusion – we are living with the greatest saint of all.

Importance of service to the Guru is being mentioned since time immemorial. However, power of the service to the Guru can be only experienced.

On the way to the airport when the majority of the group needed to leave, one very close devotee of Guruji (Tim) shared incredible story of his friend.

His friend was owner of a restaurant in US. When Guruji was coming to US he stayed at Tim’s place. Tim invited his friend to come to his place and cook for Guruji during his visit, as well as to attend the Darshan.

As friend was worried about the restaurant and finances, Tim said that he will cover all the costs, but he should come. So his friend decided to come. During first days he attended the Darshan, but he was cooking for Guruji and his devotees every day during the entire stay.

After few days Guruji left US and friend came back to his city. Few weeks after Tim receives a call from friend’s wife and she tells him that she doesn’t know what happened, but her husband is changed man. She could barely recognise him as a personality. She shared everything that has happened to him. Immediately after the conversation Tim speaks to Guruji to share wonderful change in his friend’s life.

Tim starts saying to Guruji: “Guruji, your Darshan changed the life of my friend…”

Guruji stops him there and says:

“It is not the Darshan that changed him. He was serving me.”
– Paramahamsa Vishwananda

Such is the power to the service of the Guru.
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