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A Life of Gratitude

Rajeevbhai Gandhi, secretary of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (USA), describes how Pujya Gurudevshri’s grace and teachings have revolutionised his beliefs and led him to a life of peace and bliss

Life before and after meeting a Sadguru is as different as the difference between night and day, between darkness and light, between living a life filled with complaints and a life filled with gratitude. Here is a short glimpse of the immense showering of Pujya Gurudevshri’s grace.

The Past

Before I met Him, my life seemed to be going on fine. Most of the time, I was getting what I wanted. I never felt the need to pursue religion and had no concept of a Sadguru in life. While most of my relatives and friends knew me as an easy-going, calm person, the reality was far from this, especially for my near ones, my wife, Heena and son, Rohan. If someone asked them to describe me during those days, they would paint a picture of a person who had frequent outbursts of anger when things did not go his way. Somewhere, it seemed like there were two different personalities in me. There were times when even I was disgusted with what I was doing. In 1993 when I moved to Austin, I met Ajitbhai Ravani and started attending swadhyay, once a week and then 3 times a week. Though attending swadhyay filled my head with so-called knowledge, my heart was empty of understanding and love that my family needed.

The ‘Ever Since’ Moment of My Life

However, God had a different plan for me. Life’s greatest providential gift was about to be showered on me. In January, 2000 I met Bapaji for the first time. It seemed like a casual first meeting. However, now I realise there was something different about it. It seemed He had already picked me. Around the same time, I also met Pujya Bhabhishri Veenaben Ravani in Austin. Looking back, the time I met Bapaji, became an ‘ever since’ moment of my life. Ever since that time, life has not been the same. He changed my life and over the years, showed me the true meaning of a spiritual life and its integration into our day-to-day activities. His invisible hands have been holding me through what now has become a beautiful magical journey.

In 2005, when Bapaji came to Austin, He stayed at our place. This was our first experience of seeing Him so closely. He was so much like us, yet so different. Bapaji had planned a pratishtha at Ajitbhai’s place. Never had I seen a pratishtha so closely. As bhakti started, tears began flowing. Never before did I experience tears in bhakti. But that morning, it was different. Moments later, I was told that I was to be a part of the pratishtha rituals. Not knowing what to do, I stood there. Bapaji took Param Krupalu Dev’s Chitrapat and placed It in my hands. Tears continued flowing as these magical divine moments unfolded right in front of me. Never had I experienced such deep emotions of such an electrifying event. Later, after the pratishtha, Bapaji told me, “Don’t let this human birth be wasted.” While I did not completely understand the depth of His words then, today they have added significant meaning in my life. The desire to have a pratishtha at our home kept growing stronger in me. But I wanted this divine moment to be a family event. Having imposed my will on my family in the past, I did not want to impose my wish for this. As a result, I kept silent, not sharing my wish with anyone. But how can things remain unknown to Him?

In November, 2008 there was an elevating pratishtha at Kiritbhai Daftary’s place, at Waco. After the pratishtha, during the planning of His next Austin trip, Bapaji said there would be a pratishtha at our place during His next visit. I was ecstatic. Moments later, before I could share the wonderful news with Heena, she mentioned how she wished we could have a similar pratishtha at our place. With deep gratitude, all I could say was that Bapaji had heard my prayers. On the beautiful morning of July 7, 2010 Bapaji blessed us with a pratishtha at our place. Another beautiful divine moment that He bestowed on us.

In June, 2014 I was a witness to the immense showering of His grace on so many mumukshus who were badly injured during the floor collapse at the Houston pratishtha celebration, before the Gurupurnima Shibir. I was in the same room when the floor collapsed. Many mumukshus were injured, many suffered broken bones, cuts and other injuries. Looking at the collapsed structure, while the worst could have happened, it was a miracle and blessing that there were no fatalities. However, the more important miracle was that there was so much calmness in the midst of what had just happened. Even the emergency crew were surprised by everyone’s calmness. His Divine presence, energy and His invisible hand was touching each one of us. While physically falling from the first to the ground floor, spiritually, we were all being elevated. Words cannot do justice to describe the experience. It was purely satsang in action, reinforcing the grace of our Sadguru. In His presence, the disaster turned into an elevating spiritual event, further enhancing our reason to celebrate the Gurupurnima Shibir in Houston. In the midst of wheelchairs, casts and bandages, everyone celebrated the occasion of Gurupurnima with even more enthusiasm.

The Master’s Chiselling

Since the first time I met Him, the Master Sculptor had silently started chiselling, working on me and softening me, breaking my concepts of what religion is. His two blissful words ‘glad acceptance’ started becoming the core of my life and my sadhana. This change started healing old wounds and bringing our family together. I changed from being an angry person to someone in love with the Divine, immensely grateful for the life bestowed upon me, and the opportunity to serve Him and make a difference.

As Bapaji says, just focus on self-purity and love for self and others, the rest will fall in place. This simple sadhana became the essence of my life. There are times when I still fail, when I miss out being in ‘glad acceptance’, but now, the U-turn happens quickly, the blame game stops, and through introspection, there is a renewed energy to do better next time.

Seva

Bapaji has also graced my life with seva. He bestowed upon me the seva of Secretary of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (USA). He made me a part of the Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care team in USA. Through seva activities, I came across many wonderful sevaks who have inspired me with their love and dedication towards Bapaji, the Mission and compassion towards all living beings. Seva brought in new energy to make a difference and share the blessings that He has showered on me.

I am still a long way away from reaching the goal that He has dreamt for me. There was a time when I did not know the meaning of ‘Samyak Darshan’. After listening to satsangs, there came a time that I understood the meaning, but felt that it was too lofty a goal for me in this lifetime. And magically, He has brought me today, where I can dream and work towards this goal.

No words can express my gratitude for the immense grace, compassion, and blessings that He has bestowed on me. He has changed my beliefs about how to look at and approach life. Life has become a beautiful adventure, unfolding right in front of me. My future chapters are still being written, but I have faith that they will be beautiful, because He is writing my chapters. All I must do is follow, connect, serve, and reach the state that He has dreamt for me.

Bowing in immense and eternal gratitude to my Sadguru.

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#SadguruWhispers Only when you let go of the old, the new will find space to emerge.