Experiences on the Path
The Mahasamadhi Retreat: A Great Gift
I was blessed to have met Guruji in 1977 and spend amazing times in His presence. I attribute all the good I have accomplished and the many times I was saved from great harm to being with Him during those few years. My life on all levels has been empowered by my time with Guruji and shaktipat initiation. Guruji told us frequently that He was “with us always,” and I was given a beautiful demonstration of this truth over the Mahasamadhi retreat , recently held at the center in Antioch.
As the Shakti built over the days, my heart seemed to melt more and more. The example of devotion and love that Ma and Bapuji showed us was very touching and real. Their wisdom and energy also inspired me at a very deep level. I was given many blessings over what seemed like a timeless span of days during the retreat. Each day felt packed with so much variety and power that it seemed surprising to look back late in the evening.
The gifts I received were also surprising to me and my experiences profound. One of the amazing events occurred on the night I was asked to do Guru arati. The last time I was so gifted to do a public arati was on the final night of the original Vajra Pajar III retreat. It came after we watched Guruji stand on his head for ten minutes, worrying Ma; then afterwards He danced and sang the Hanuman Chalisa Samput for over an hour laughing, dancing and bouncing on the stage. To find myself in Guruji’s presence and to look once more into His eyes while I did arati to His murti was a bit overwhelming, especially since I was unsure as to the protocol after so much time. Still it was very exciting and I felt blessed that Ma would ask me. I felt even more blessed when I looked into the eyes of the murti. It felt as though I could see into the fathomless depths of the guru, and his eyes seemed to follow my every move. I could feel my heart open and most of the words to the song came back into my memory in a miraculous way. This gift continued and I was able to remember words to many of the prayers and songs that I had not sung in many years.
On the final day of the retreat, we were given the translation to the Heart of Ram prayers. I found the words intensely moving and beautiful. When we listened to Ma and Bapuji sing the mantras it felt as though a new realm opened within me. In this spiritual realm there was no time but just the expansiveness of Light. I was given a clear vision of Lord Ram pulling back His bow. The image was tied to the idea of our prayers and intentions being sent out into the world. I also had the sense of a new vision each of us will receive through the power of our spiritual practices and this latest gift from Anandi Ma and Dileepji. I know the Shri Ram Hridayam will play a significant part of this new dawning for me.
During the chanting and darshan at the end of the retreat, I was enjoying all the chants very much. I especially enjoyed the one led by Bapuji himself, something I have never heard after knowing him for over thirty years. It was a great treat for all of us. I stayed on my asan to sing while most of the people at the retreat went through the darshan line. Toward the end I went to receive darshan from Ma and offer sandalwood paste to honor all who have given me so much. I bowed to Guruji and Anandi Ma, then moved on to bow and offer sandalwood to Bapuji, Ma’s parents, not concerned that I had not received the CD of the Shri Ram Hridayam and prasad given to everyone else. I knew I would receive them at the right time.
On my way back to my seat, Ma called me back to the front. When I looked at her beautiful smiling face, I saw her holding the garland of red roses from around Guruji’s neck, the one she had just placed there earlier that morning. Tears of gratitude burst from my eyes when I realized she intended to give that tremendous honor to me, along with the forgotten CD and prasad.
Guruji always had a fragrance of roses around Him. Sometimes it happened before you even saw Him. Devotees often spoke of visitations from Guruji at special times, when they would smell the aroma of roses and know they were blessed by Hispresence. The gift of this special rose garland will be a long-standing assurance that He is always with me. Guruji used to tell us that we were “very lucky” to have met Him and to have had shaktipat initiation. That was true then, and it continues to be true for all of us on this path. When we hold the guru’s feet, whether in person or in our own hearts, we are receiving the many gifts of shaktipat, and divine love pours freely into our beings. I know that when I keep my mind and heart open, it allows guru’s grace to work more freely in my life. To have AnandiMa and Dileepji demonstrate their profound capacity for love, wisdom and devotion greatly assists our spiritual development, as well as giving us inspiration. We are truly blessed, and yes, we are still “very lucky” to have chosen this path.