Experiences on the Path: Guruji’s Mahasamadhi
Shri Anandi Ma encourages her students to share experiences with each other. She has asked that at least once a year we contribute something to Shakti Online. It need not be big, or flashy. It may be long, or as short as a sentence, whatever the inspiration to share requires.
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Fifty disciples were traveling with Ma and Bapuji in the Himalayas in August 1994. We had collected water from Gaumukh, the source of the Ganges River, to offer at the Shiva temple in Rameshwaram in South India to complete the pilgrimage that Guruji had done during his years of sadhana.
It was a difficult trek— more difficult than expected. Avalanches delayed our bus trip up the mountains for two days. Once we reached Gangotri, because the glaciers were melting, the hike to Gaumukh was much further than in prior years, with no discernible trail— only a mile of rocks to scramble over. The danger of melting ice and avalanche was so great that the final approach to the glacier was off-limits. Because of our delays, we’d missed our reservations at the one shelter between Gaumukh and Gangotri, so we slept in a few empty beds and on cement floors in empty buildings, with only the sickest in the group accommodated with hammocks. It was a harrowing journey in which many people fell ill, and most of us were emotionally challenged. What was making everything so difficult?
When we completed our descent from the mountains, we flew to Calcutta to visit the Kali temple and Shri Ramakrishna’s ashram. But during our first night there, Ma received the fateful call— Guruji had left his body.
Disbelief! So many had traveled all this way to receive his darshan. How could this powerful being stop living? Did this have anything to do with the challenges of our pilgrimage?
Abandoning our plans for Calcutta, we all flew to Ahmedabad and were present for Guruji’s final darshan and cremation. The energy released to us that day and evening were the answer to any questions we had. That night, Ma had a vision of Guruji being lifted away on a chariot and felt his energy stream into her body.
Every year, at the anniversary of Guruji’s mahasamadhi, the largest gatherings of his disciples take place in America and in India. Along with Guru Purnima, it is one of the two most powerful days for us to receive his blessings and the outpouring of energy from our lineage. And since Guruji chose to leave his body on Lord Krishna’s birthday, his mahasamadhi day is even more auspicious. In celebration, Ma always plans something extraordinary—one year we built a replica of the hut in which Guruji was raised, another year we created a life-sized clay murti of Guruji. We’ve had a diorama of his mother Sampathidevi receiving a message from Lord Krishna, and twice we completed the anusthan of making and offering 125,000 Shiva Lingams. We’ve chanted all night, repeated 108 Hanuman Chalisas all day, and shared special feasts.