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Invited by the Divine

Atmarpit Shivaniji, offering seva as a Swadhyaykar, a member of the Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch training team and recipient of the Shrimad Rajchandra Youthwing Seva Award in 2010, reminisces how blessed she is to be trained by the Sadguru Himself

In my youth, I was best described with words like party lover, superstitious, and low in confidence. Would such a person be capable of walking on the divine path? Once Gurudev asked how I became inclined towards spirituality. I began to mumble something but He stopped me saying, “You have been Called!” It is His call, only His grace and love that someone whose interests lay everywhere except in the direction of spirituality is now treading the spiritual path.

In this birth I first met Him when I was in school. For me He was only my mother’s Gurudev whose blessings were to be sought before exams and that’s about all. It was in 1998, that I felt the wish to meet Him for myself. I was blessed to meet Him on January 20 and my heart declared that He was the one I would follow forever. He has been shaping my life through beautiful teachings ever since and is tirelessly moulding me to realise the dream He has seen for me.

He Invites me into the World of Devotion

One may think it would be difficult to leave the world of parties, friends and frolic and enter the world of devotion. But with my Sadguru, the epitome of devotion, right in front of me, it was easy and effortless. During that time, Gurudev would come to the Mission’s Bombay Market centre every morning for ajnabhakti. I was completely moved watching Him look at Param Krupalu Dev, watching drops of tears roll down His eyes, His smile, His deep stillness. It filled me so much that I did not want anything else in this whole wide world. Each night I would go to bed waiting for the crack of dawn so I could go to the centre and behold the sight of Him immersed in bhakti. I had always seen Param Krupalu Dev’s chitrapat in my house since childhood, but it was only after meeting Gurudev that Param Krupalu Dev became a living presence in my life.

While the heart began responding to bhakti, the pravachans began weaving magic in my life as I started to question my thinking and belief patterns. I realised that worldly life is synonymous with dependency. It is like holding a begging bowl of desires in front of one who also has his own bowl of desires. I decided that I wanted to spend my life for and with someone who is free from desires. The one who is truly happy irrespective of the external circumstances. And that was Gurudev! I wished to become an Atmarpit. This was still a fantasy, a dream for me. Gurudev had even told my parents, “She needs to work on herself if she wants to tread this path.” His ways are truly ingenious. This statement not only brought a realisation of my current state but also gave me the hope for future that I do have the capacity to walk this path. I began working on myself.

He Invites me into the World of His Atmarpits

Gurudev has helped me immensely to develop emotional stability, an essential requisite for an Atmarpit. I lacked this quality then and He emphasised, time and again, that only a happy and stable person can be spiritual. He had once asked me if I would want Him to worry about me when I was not in His physical presence or would I want Him to be rest assured that I would always be stable and connected no matter where He was and where I was? Of course, I would want the latter and this question was the key that helped me mould myself and change my thinking. I became a more stable, joyous and happy person.

Gurudev patiently watched over me and one day, He surprised me by saying that by the grace of Param Krupalu Dev I had cleared His tests and could be a part of His Atmarpit family! My joy knew no bounds! The Divine Himself was accepting me into His family. On September 26, 2006 He took me in His eternal refuge by giving me Atmarpit Diksha.

Just as a mother gives her daughter the most precious advice at the time of her marriage, my Divine mother, my Gurudev, met me a few days before my diksha and gently explained that I may face many fluctuations on this path, however, there was nothing to worry about. I only had to have a pure heart and confess everything to Him as I would tell a friend and pray to Him to rid the dirtiness. And I should ask Him to shower a little extra grace on me so that I could get rid of my flaws! He guided me to be clear that in my relationship with Him, my ego and delusion would not be pampered. Later, He lovingly blessed me with an autograph stating – “Hope you reach great spiritual heights, Prabhu Krupa, 26.9.06.”

He Invites me to the World of Spiritual Growth

In the year 2007, I was blessed to be selected for the USA dharmayatra. The whole trip was planned and when I applied for my visa, it was rejected. But to my surprise, a brooding Shivani had changed. How? Only because of His pravachan on Patrank – 217. He had explained that, “Whatever is happening, let it happen. Don’t get upset; don’t lack the zeal to act; don’t ask for favours from God and don’t be confused. Only then will the Divine be pleased.” These were the words I had been chanting the whole day and only because of this, there was no brooding or complaint! In the Sarvarpit Group meeting the next day, He said, “You have used the pravachan properly. You used it to remain stable in this situation. This is now your mantra. Whenever the old tape of brooding comes, replace it with this mantra and get into the mode of glad acceptance.” This mantra always comes to my rescue when I find it difficult to let go of any circumstance. The moments in Gurudev’s pravachans are my lifeline!

My comfort zone was always remaining behind the curtains. Once Gurudev told me, “I am investing in you from now on,” and gifted me the seva of conducting sessions. I was a kind of a person who was even scared of speaking in front of 4 people. His words – “I am investing in you” instantly wiped away my fear and thus began the journey of my transformation through this seva. He gave me a chance of emptying myself and be like a flute in His hands. He taught me a big lesson through this – when He gives you an ajna, just follow it immediately, as He not only gives you the ajna but also the strength to fulfil it.

Gurudev’s training is par excellence. Through the Ashram registration seva, He inculcated in me the qualities of perfection, planning and much more. He did this not only by words but through example. He would actually teach how to give comfort to each mumukshu arriving at the Ashram, how to maintain a diary with all the deadlines written for the year etc. In fact, during mega shibirs He would accommodate around 14 people in His room so that more and more mumukshus could be accommodated. He is a perfect Master. He showed how to remain firm in the culture laid down as it is going to remain for years together and at the same time, taught me never to lose sensitivity in communicating with mumukshus.

He works tirelessly on me. On 26th September 2016, He showered His love in the form of blessing me with higher vows and responsibilities. It is shaping my life wonderfully by sharpening my spiritual goal each day.

He once told me to dream big. He said that earlier you wanted to live the way you liked, but now you have got God in life, you can become like Him. By His grace, I want to dissolve in Him completely in this birth.

I thank Gurudev for calling me in His world!

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1 Comment

  1. Kinjal Damani July 30, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    Wow..what an experience sharing ! is extremely inspiring. Shivani ji, you truly are a product of HIS Grace.

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