Shri Anandi Ma’s Experience of Dhyanyogiji’s Mahasamadhi
In life’s journey, we all experience low and high tides of happiness and joy on one end, and pain and sorrow on the other. On the peaks of happiness one feels at the top of the world, and in the lowest ravines of pain and sorrow one feels like one is passing through an infinite black hole from which there is no escape.
The day I met Guruji and the years that followed were the Himalayan peaks of infinite bliss, peace, joy, happiness, beauty, glory, love, compassion, light—a heart-opening, a mind-boggling era.
The day I met Guruji and the years that followed were the Himalayan peaks of infinite bliss, peace, joy, happiness, beauty, glory, love, compassion, light—a heart-opening, a mind-boggling era. Being with Guruji, what else could one ask for? What could be lacking in life?
In 1980, after we took Him to India and I had to separate from Him for the first time in several years, I began to be taken downward in a human emotional way, away from those peaks. Yet I knew that in spite of this physical separation and my attachments, it was all for the greatest principle of His life—the welfare of all humankind. I had to sacrifice and spread His words and love as He wished me to do.
On that darkest night ever of Lord Krishna’s birthday, the news of Guruji’s mahasamadhi took me to that infinite black hole. Yet even in that darkness there was a small but bright ray of light, love, hope, and peace. My Guru had left me but He was still with me, leading me on.
Earlier that day we had arrived in Calcutta and were all eager to visit the Belur Muth of Shri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda and the Kali temple at Dakshineshwar. During the evening meditation I had a vision in which Guruji entered the light of the sun. There was a great feeling of uneasiness after this, which had begun even before the trip. There was a constant feeling that something is not right, some inauspicious event is to occur. But of course my mind never thought or accepted that it would occur with my beloved Guruji.
After dinner that night we all went to bed. It was around 2:30 a.m. when the phone rang and Dileepji’s brother gave us the heart-wrenching news of Guruji leaving us all. The initial interaction was that my prana was pulled out of my body, my heart was torn by some unknown hands, my senses began to withdraw.
I had lost everything. The world was empty. There was nothing but a state of void. At the same time my mind began to remind me of Guruji’s desire and my promise to continue His work. This pulled me back together. Yet I was hurt. How could I still be living? Why was I not blessed like Lord Ram’s father, who passed on once he lost his son? How could I continue to exist when my Guru was gone?
Guruji’s voice rang like loud bells within me. I had to think of the disciples first and not myself. Many were in India for the first time just waiting for the moment to quench the thirst of their eyes with His darshan. They needed to be cradled and comforted. I thus collected myself and began to prepare mentally to give that support and love which Guruji had given and taught me to give to one and all.
We called on some disciples and gave them the news and asked them to give the news to the others later on that morning, but it was very important for us to leave immediately and catch the first available flight to Ahmedabad. We asked that the group follow as soon as possible, although to get 50 or so people on a flight in an emergency would be a difficult task. We were fortunate in finding a flight that took us to Ahmedabad by 1 p.m.
Once I arrived and entered the hall in which Guruji was seated, it felt like He was just meditating. I thought to myself, Oh! He is going to open His eyes soon, bless us, and start talking. I went and held His feet and burst out crying. I was lost again, but I felt His hands patting me on my head and back the same way as He always did. I knew once again my mind was playing its role of maya, but my Guru was still here and there—everywhere—as He always was and is.
It was a very strange, paradoxical feeling. The outer news which the senses perceived was ‘Guruji is gone,’ but my inner feeling was that He was very much there. I laughed at myself. I will never lose my Guru. He has held my hand tight and firm. That grip will never be lost. He had once said, “Even Brahma cannot separate us.” I can assure you today that if you maintain that bond of a disciple with Him, this infinite truth will remain till the end of creation.
I was still dazed but tried to chant, to just gaze on Him as much as infinitely possible and try to collect in some form a physical blessing for many back home. The day continued with chanting, arati and planning for the final rites the next day.
The next morning we chanted the Thousand Names of Vishnu. As time passed, more and more disciples began to pour in. We were anxious about the group of disciples from Calcutta. It was a small miracle that they were able to get on a single flight. They had stayed up all night chanting in the Mumbai airport and arrived in Ahmedabad to have the final darshan. The hall was filled with an emotional charge of love and sadness, of faith and despair. It felt like the very walls of the hall would melt. The love of the disciples for their Guru would melt the hardest stone on earth today.
Beyond all this was Guruji—overriding all that intense emotion, His love and grace poured, poured like the wildest torrential rainstorm ever, drenching every pore of His dear ones. It felt that He was saying, ‘Arise, awake, go forward. I am with you always, as I have said over and over again. I have gone nowhere. I am everywhere. See me. Look at me with your inner eye. I am in your heart, your mind, your very being. You and I are one.’
As each disciple came and touched His feet and offered flowers, coconuts, and their hearts, I comforted them as best I could. My heart was being gnawed away, but I had to keep myself together. I had to be the strength and support for others. We all chanted the Rama Raksha Stotram and the Hanuman Chalisa—the jewels from Guruji’s ocean.
By about 3 p.m. the hall was packed with disciples. The final preparations were begun. I had already showered to participate, but now I was told that I could not perform any rites. This brought a lot of pain within me, but I felt Guruji was surely inspiring the event and as long as Dileepji could perform some of the rites I would be happy. As the chanting of the mantras began, I began to feel radiance from Guruji’s body spread to every person there. As Dileepji sprinkled Ganges water, a beautiful fragrance of roses emerged from Guruji’s body.
I pranamed to Guruji before the floor was prepared to lay His body for the ceremonial bath and the other rites. I was given a chair to sit on as others began the rites. Again I had a feeling of dejection, as I could not participate. Very soon thereafter I prayed, “Oh! Guruji! If my faith and devotion to Your feet is true in thought, word, and deed, then please give me this opportunity to join in the final rites.”
Then I heard Guruji’s voice saying, “Get up! Why are you still sitting?”
That gave me the strength and courage I needed. I began to give the ingredients, like sandalwood paste, clothing, and Ganges water. I placed the leaves of tulsi and small pieces of gold and silver in His mouth, and I applied sandalwood paste on His forehead. I covered His body with a shawl, offered a flower garland, and sang the arati. During all this I felt I was doing puja to Him just as during Guru Purnima or His birthday. This was my first experience with the death of a close relative—my closest relation, the greatest giver of pure love to me. Once again, the impossible was made possible by Guruji’s grace.
Finally, as Guruji’s body was carried outside, I was able to walk along with the procession. As is traditionally done, white and red powders, flowers, and coins were thrown freely in the air. The air was charged with the voices of hundreds shouting, “Sadaguru Deva ki Jaya! Dhyani Maharaj Shri Madhusudandasji ki Jaya!”
As Guruji’s body was laid on the funeral pyre, we rubbed some ghee on His head and feet and poured large amounts all over. We also put small logs of sandalwood—purchased by us and the group—on the pyre. The chanting continued as the fire was prepared and the final moment came, the moment of offering the fire on His right toe to return to nature the elements which His body had borrowed and utilized so well in the best and most appropriate way for the peace of humankind.
Guruji appeared in a beautiful body with a profound smile and such a state as was never seen when He was in the body itself. His body shone like gold, His eyes shone such light that even the deities present there were honoring Guruji.
We walked around Guruji’s body three times as a token of our final respects. Before we began to meditate, I looked up in the sky and saw Guruji along with some forms of deities. At the same time I saw a much larger crowd of disciples present than were actually there. The sky was extremely bright white with golden rays. Guruji appeared in a beautiful body with a profound smile and such a state as was never seen when He was in the body itself. His body shone like gold, His eyes shone such light that even the deities present there were honoring Guruji. Then a chariot came in which Guruji sat and He, along with the deities, began to pour a silver-like fluid on the people below, but all this fell only on my head and not anywhere else. I was immersed in it. I felt a very pleasing and cooling effect; at the same time I felt as if I had eaten something extremely sweet. I was immersed in a state of bliss that was unique. I felt Guruji had now spread His body through me and through His disciples. He now lived in every heart. Every moment He continued to guide me.
According to His wish, along with a few disciples, we went to the banks of the river Narmada to continue with the rites after the sixteenth day. Then we went to Gaya— the ideal place, as described in the scriptures, for rites after death— to make the final offerings.
As we were meditating in Bodhgaya, the realization place of Lord Buddha, I had a vision in which Guruji’s form appeared spreading from the earth to the sky. He split my head into two, and His form emerged from my head. “I have not gone anywhere. I am within you. You are a part of my being.”
I feel it is Guruji who works every moment of my life. As written in the Ramayana, I feel I am a puppet in my Master’s hands. His presence is felt continuously. Occasionally, I do miss Him and pray, “Oh Guruji, call me toward You. I am left here without any support. There is nothing left here for me.”