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Experiences on the Path

15 July 2012 2 Comments Print article Print article

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 His presence. 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 Anandi Ma 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.

Shanta Gabriel

August 2011

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2 Comments »

  • Satya said:

    Wether we are a brand new disciple or a seasoned devotee, i love the sense of timelessness i feel from reading this. Guru’s grace and tattwa cannot be limited by anything but our own hearts.

  • Barbara Elerick said:

    My deepest pranams to Shri Dhanyogiji, Shri Anandi Ma and Shri Dileepji !

    Infinite gratitude and appreciation of their eternal blessings are filling my heart as I am about to share my life’s most profound spiritual experience, which forever changed my comprehension and vision of the world and myself in it.

    It began in 1976 when I had decided to learn to meditate in order to be able to better cope with the enormous daily stress related to my job. As it was, I was not interested in finding a guru, just wanted to learn to meditate.

    I had been attending a meditation center in Dallas, TX for three months when someone told me that a wise guru from India would be visiting our center to meet people interested in spirituality. Although not interested in meeting a guru at the time, I followed a friend’s advice to go see him. Looking back, I am amazed, and aware of my total ignorance of the role of a guru, shakti, or any of the cultural elements of Indian spiritual teachings at that time in my life.

    So, I did meet Dhyanyogiji on a Saturday morning in a private audience. I remember seeing a very kind old gentleman with a long white beard sitting on a chair. I was impressed by his sweet smile and kind twinkling eyes. He spoke kindly to me in English, asked a few questions about what I was doing for a living, children, marital status etc. Throughout the conversation I wondered what all this was about . Something told me there was a meaning to it but any real comprehension eluded me.After about fifteen minutes of conversation the attendant reappeared and led me out of the room, handing me a gift from the guru. It was a book he had written on the power of
    mantra. His picture was on the title page. Later I attempted to read the text but I was unable to comprehend it. Soon the whole event was forgotten and as the years went by I finally did commit to another teacher of Kundalini Yoga and even visited him in his ashram in India. In the meantime I had moved several times to different locations and even to another city. Every time I packed up my belongings to move I always came upon Dhyanyogi’s book on the power of mantra and I made sure it came along to my new location. Somehow I never ever wanted to let go of it, even though a veil hung between it and my comprehension of its message.

    After thirty two years of yoga and meditation practice on that particular path I had chosen, that phase of my life came to a painful end for me. The emerging revelations about that particular organization made it impossible for me to continue.I really missed the group chanting, etc. and when Maha Shivaratri came around two years ago, I decided to just chant by myself. It was a very beautiful and profound experience for me even though I was not chanting in the company of other devotees. That night I had a dream: I saw myself in an ashram somewhere in India. There were many friendly people there, particularly a lovely lady in a beautiful sari. She encouraged me to go meet a guru who was sitting in a garden surrounded by beautiful bushes/trees and plants. I asked her where I was and what all this was about. She just smiled encouragingly. I felt I needed to take something to the guru and decided on some sweets. When my turn for darshan came, I did not know who the guru was but the experience was sweet and pleasant.That very same night the dream repeated itself and in greater detail. When I woke up I felt I had had a beautiful experience but could not make any sense of it. The sensation of peace and inner harmony lasted for weeks.

    At this year’s Maha Shivaratri again I chanted with all my heart. As I got up from chanting, I walked to the next room past my book shelf. Suddenly something made me stop and reach impulsively for a book. It turned out to be Shri Dhyanyogiji’s book on the power of mantra he had given me exactly thirty-senven years ago. I read a little bit in it; this time I understood the meaning of the text. Then I closed the book and looked at his photograph on the title page. As I looked, suddenly the picture became alive and a ray of bright light emerged from each of his eyes and connected with mine. My vision changed and I felt a current of energy pulsing through the upper part of my brain. Suddenly I understood that the guru in my dream at Maha Shivaratri had been none other than the wise old man I had briefly met thirty-seven years ago in Dallas and who had given me the book.

    This revelation totally overwhelmed me. I rushed to the computer and searched his name. As I read the amazing information about him as a great Saint from India who had already left his body seventeen years ago, all I could do was breathe deeply and and repeat :” Oh my God, oh my God! “Later, when viewing a video on U-Tube showing Dhyanyogi’s ashram in Gujurat I recognized in detail the ashram I had seen in my dream two years earlier. Never had I seen any pictures of it nor even known of its existence before I had the dream of being there.

    With an internet search I found that there was a Shri Djanyoga Meditation Center within a four hour’s drive from where I live and I contacted them. I was told that his successor Shri Anandi Ma and Shri Dileepji were coming to the Center within two weeks! I immediately made plans to go meet them. I was told that they had come only every two or three years in the past.

    Coicidence? Hardly! What can I say? Meeting them in person and telling them my story was the continuation of Shri Dhjanjogyji’s divine love and blessings. The following day I experienced the fulfillment of being initiated into the lineage.

    Barbara Elerick 2012

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