When a seeker of enlightenment meets a guru, it is a turning point in his or her life. Why?
Because many of us look for a guru, a sort of spiritual advisor who could help us evolve our life to our ultimate goal - liberation. And, it is said that when a seeker’s yearning for God or enlightenment is intense enough, a guru appears to lead, guide and smoothen his journey. The guru usually leads step-by-step, protecting the disciple from the many hurdles, tests and trials they must endure in order to emerge triumphant. Our relationship with the Guru is one of the most important and powerful equations that we are likely to have in the world.
A few years ago I came in contact with Mohanji, though I don’t really know if it was my seeking and aspiration that called forth his grace or whether his grace ignited my passionate quest. And since then it has been a most amazing journey. So when my phone buzzed early one crisp October morning with the announcement of the retreat to Shirdi with Mohanji from 2nd-11th December 2016, I was filled with joy.
A “Being with Mohanji” retreat where I would be with the Master at a spiritual power centre in the presence of Sai and Avadhoota Nadanandaji was a blessing, the mere thought of which was overwhelming.
Mohanji has recently been conferred the title of Brahmarishi by Guru Avadhoota Nadanandaji along with the transference of spiritual powers on the direct guidance from the Guru Mandala. Sai Baba, Mohanji and Nadanandaji may have different names and forms, and to many, the image of each Guru is distinct. However, when I got the message, all I could see is the one loving form of the tradition, radiating love and grace. And the chance to be in silence, enter my inner space and concentrate on eliminating my inner ‘devils’ in the presence of three great Masters. A chance that I could not miss.
Whenever we visit places of power, we imbibe the energy of the place and it effects a transformation in us. Visiting a holy place in the presence of a realised Master is even more valuable and effective since it ensures that the flow of grace goes deeper, towards cleansing the subtle body and activating the various energy centres in the body. This retreat brings together the power that exists in the soil of Shirdi, and the grace and love of three Gurus.
Sai Baba, Guru Avadhoota Nadanandaji and Mohanji embody an immense energy that reflects in their relationship with their devotees, delivering knowledge and guidance with directness and simplicity. They do not care for personal comfort, and serve everyone with love and compassion and without reservation. Roughly a year ago, Mohanji had walked along the streets of Shirdi with Avadhoota Nadanandaji. During this Retreat, we retrace the hallowed footsteps of Sai Baba along with Mohanji, connect to the teachings of Sai Baba and gain an understanding on how He led His life.
The very presence of a Master annihilates karma from our lives. Negativity and antipathetic thoughts automatically dissolve in the presence of the Master right from the causal layer – the source of all effects. That is the grace of the Guru. At Shirdi, Mohanji will work on diluting and burning accumulated karmic baggage, elevating and raising frequency of the participants. These constitutional changes are extremely potent and intense. The wisdom and clarity, which can only come from the consciousness of a true Master, go a long way towards helping us maintain a peaceful, stable and happy internal space, regardless of which circumstances and environment we might find ourselves in, long after the retreat is over. This combined with the blessings and grace of Mohanji and Avadhoota Nadanandaji and the power that is vested in Shirdi make for an unforgettable experience. The week-long retreat also has a yoga schedule that is structured to work on all the Pancha Tattwas, to activate and balance the seven energy centres (chakras) in the body.
The highlights of the retreat are:
- Purify the earth (bhoomi) element through diet
- Cleanse the water (jala) element through water therapy and yoga
- Cleanse and activate the air (vayu) element through pranayama (yogic breathing)
- Cleanse the ether (akasha) element through pilgrimages, meditation and satsang with Mohanji
- Use the fire (agni) element to burn all negativities and hindrances to evolution through a havan, a fire ceremony and Shaktipat
My earliest memories of visiting Shirdi was with my parents and brother. My mother was a staunch devotee and I only went along to humour her. This was the pattern that I had followed for a long while - humouring my mother on trips to Shirdi and Baba’s temple every Thursday. There were so many miracles that I experienced even though I put them down to coincidence. I would find mishri (rock sugar) in my cupboard. I would go for difficult meetings and be given prasad (consecrated offering) from Shirdi that a colleague had brought. My mother giving me udi (consecrated ash) and a chaddar (blanket offered to Sai Baba) when my daughter had TB and developed an allergy to the medicine. My mother said Sai took care of her. I said the doctor did. And then I saw the photo in the doctor’s office. All this yet I was still a little bit of a sceptic.
In the time that my life has been graced by Mohanji, I have come to realise that my belief was based on striking deals - if I did this I would get that. My faith today is unflinching and the clouds of doubt that hung over me have lessened, opening up possibilities for their complete elimination from my personality.
“The clear signs of spiritual progress are fearlessness and silence inside,” says Mohanji.
There is little fear because of the quiet assurance I have that Mohanji is with me, guiding me and never letting go of my hand. And the silence inside me is steadily growing. Today, Shirdi is as important to me as it is to my mother, and Sai Baba and Mohanji are an integral part of my family’s life. It is with great humility that I say thanks to Mohanji and his family for providing this wonderful opportunity for spiritual transformation to earnest spiritual seekers all over the world – an invitation to be with one’s Self with three Masters in the holy city of Shirdi.
Author: Raji Menon Prakash