Last Days with the Guru

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The Universal Law says that when you are ready the Guru will appear, to instruct you to remember what you know, but have forgotten.

The Guru Principle

“Guru is pure effulgent spirit, the dispeller of darkness, the epitome of what each individual aspires to be. His domain is the spirit and it is to guide us into this realm he appears. Once the link with the Guru is established, time cannot change it nor death eradicate it. It is a permanent union. Guru stays with you life after life.”– Swami Satyanand Saraswati
 
From this vantage point when I look back on my life, I can clearly see the play of Consciousness. Each soul is continually working towards a higher stage of evolution, which would normally entail the redeeming of past debts or karma (system of Divine Justice). So it becomes apparent that we come to this world and into our karmic circle with a preplanned script. Everyone in the circle has an integral role in the drama, yet only a minute fragment of humanity is conscious of it. Most of us plunge headlong in, and are usually dissatisfied with the outcome.
 
When some of us go through the trials and traumas of life as a ‘witness’ with not much egoic data to disrupt the play, then Consciousness supports us through life’s intricate patterns leading us from fragmentation to wholeness. If we press the re-play button of our lives, we will see the inter-connectedness of our life’s events and how we are always supported in the choices we make.

Guru Consciousness

Guru Consciousness exists in all of us and is known as the ‘inner Guru’. This inner Guru is the witness of all that we do in life; silently guiding us on the path to knowledge of the higher Self. Invariably, we are distracted and pay no heed to the guidance. Since it is the purest and subtlest element within us and beyond our comprehension, we unconsciously seek or come across someone who is a replica of our inner Guru.
 
Having a teacher to guide us in any field is invaluable, more so in spirituality. As spirituality is subtle and intangible in nature, we need a Guru who can bring to our awareness the universal spiritual principle. My unconscious search for such a friend, philosopher and guide ended when I was lead to my Guru. In him I found all that represents purity, peace, love and wisdom; under whose guidance the rough edges in my personality dissolved, in due course, to also reflect these inherent qualities within me.
 
The relationship with my Guru followed the traditional pattern wherein the transmission of teaching from Guru to shishya (disciple) takes place through silence. In this relationship there is not much verbal dialogue – subtle advanced knowledge is conveyed and received through silence. However, in order for this to happen the body, mind and intellect have to go through the process of purification. The purification or growth occurs when faced with situations. Much pain and anguish is felt because catharsis is required, and such situations will keep surfacing till one awakens from the dream world one has created and accepts Reality as is, without complaint or blame. The role of a Guru is to shatter the illusions one is living under so that the Reality becomes available to us. His motives are selfless. He has the special ability to be part of everything and yet remain outside as a witness.
 
In 2006, my Guru started to move in and out of hospital because he was diabetic. Never for a moment did his demeanour give an indication of any stress or urgency; the weekly meditations at his home continued. It was sometime in the month of July or August that Guruji would stay in his bedroom while we would meditate in the hall. We would go meet him one by one before or after the meditation. In September, I had a dream that I narrated to Guruji, hearing which he smiled. In the dream, I saw him get up and stand on his feet (he was by now using a wheel-chair) and walk into his room. He came back with a whole lot of medicinal strips in his hand and giving them to me said, “I am done with these.”
 
Since I was living in the vicinity, I had been in contact with Guruji for the past 10 years. Although there was not much interaction with him at a personal level, the relationship developed at a very subtle level where intuitively I could sense a message or an instruction. With this a new understanding and another way of looking at situations dawned, with the result that issues that would crop up every now and then would suddenly drop. I realized that the same issue or situation will keep cropping up till such time I began to understand that it was inviting me to look at a part of my own self, which I had to work upon. As soon as I stopped reacting to the stimuli, it would automatically drop.
 
My spiritual journey had taken a particular direction – the process of integration was still going on. When it became apparent that he had a limited time on this earth, the feeling of incompleteness, fragmentation and abandonment in mid-stream began to surface.
 
During this period when he was immobile, a group of four young men from the meditation group – Uday, Ramesh, Nitin and Raju – began keeping him company every evening, either getting some knowledge or playing cards with him. On one such day the group fell short of a person. Since I lived in the neighbourhood, I was asked to join the group. With this invitation, life fell into a pattern. As there were no visitors in the early part of the morning, I could keep Guruji company from 10.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. or so.
 
Going through the brief notes I made after each of my visits, I noticed a peculiar pattern. Guruji would simply listen while I would talk and read out my notes, to clear some doubts I had on Brahma Vidya. It was a one-sided dialogue on my part and I would interpret the answer by Guruji’s glance, nod or a monosyllabic ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
 
Here is an account of my visits to Guruji and the exchange of dialogue, verbal or non-verbal, which somehow led to the completion of my spiritual journey.

 

Time with Guruji 

“We had stopped meeting for Tuesday meditation, as Guruji was not comfortable enough to sit, with the result that we were clueless as to how he was feeling. There was a desire among the group to know about his welfare. “What did he say? How was he?” However, I was in touch with Uday over the phone and constantly made aware of Guruji’s overall health and spirit.”

Ten Days with Guruji
(10.30 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Monday 11th September 2006

Uday calls me from Guruji’s residence to say that they are short of a person for the session of cards with Guruji. I go there and we have fun playing Saat Patti. I was playing after a long time and we were happy to see Guruji in an interactive frame of mind.
 
That night I had a dream that the meditation group had got together; Guruji was sitting on his sofa and I was sitting at his feet. When I narrated the dream to Uday, he said I should tell Guruji about the dream when I visit him next morning. It would make him feel good.

Tuesday 12th

I enter Guruji’s room with the greeting of “Good morning… Guruji!” He is lying on his back. I sit on the right side of the bed and gently and soothingly send energy to his legs and feet and take my cue from him when to speak and when to keep quiet. In due course, I start talking to him about The Eight Spiritual Breaths, the book I am working on, and read out the ‘Preface’ for his approval.
 
I then recalled my dream of last night and happily narrate it to him:
 
“Guruji, guess what? I had a dream in the early hours of the morning! I dreamt we have come for meditation; you are sitting on your sofa chair and I am sitting at your feet. You suddenly get up and walk to your room, come back, give me some packets of pills and tell me, ‘I have finished with them’.” In a happy mood, I tell him that everything is going to be fine. He just smiles.
 
“Guruji, why are you not healing yourself?” I ask. He says: “A time comes when one has to stop doing and be in a state of ‘being’.” He is silent and it’s wonderful to just be present in his energy field that is broken now and then with spurts of conversation.
 
Touching his feet, I leave at 12 o’clock.

Wednesday 13th

Guruji is awake and lying on his right side. I sit down on the bed and gently start sending energy to his legs and feet. After some time, he turns on his back. While talking to him, I go back to the time when meditation started at my home. I say, “Guruji, I remember the first day when you came to my house. I felt that God, in the form of my Guru, had stepped in. There was a sense of elation and a boost to my ego. I felt highly privileged and special. Shibani (my elder daughter) was in awe and felt that our lives were going to change. Guruji, there are no words to express the gratitude and love that my children and I feel for you.

“These ten years with you have given a new and meaningful direction to my life, and have paved the road ahead for my children Shibani, Nikki and Gautam. Guruji, thank you for your patience, love and guidance. Even though I tend to slip now and then into non-awareness, I have, on the whole, learned to live consciously.” Holding his hand in both my hands, I say, “Guruji, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” He has a beautiful and gentle smile on his face when I leave him.

 

Thursday 14th 

It is Nikki’s birthday. She comes along with me to get Guruji’s blessings. As we enter the bedroom, we see Guruji sitting on the side of the bed, with his feet on the floor, and massaging his knees, looking a little pensive but attentive to what we are saying. Nikki leaves after taking his blessings and giving him a loving hug and a kiss. I stay on, gently massaging his arms and knees. He seems more ‘there’ than ‘here’.
 
He is in a contemplative mood. To keep him attentive, I start telling him about my life in Mussoorie. I make him laugh when I tell him stories about the ghosts of Mussoorie and the prank one particular ghost played by waking me up every night at 2 a.m. I also tell him about the time a young, good looking, blue-eyed Swami stopped by for overnight shelter. We made him sleep in my room without any warning of the nightly visitor. We keenly watched him next morning for any sign that would convey his discomfort, but he did not display any.
 
Whenever I break the silence, Guruji listens with a smile on his face and offers a comment if necessary.

Friday 15th 

Guruji is lying on his back with a smile on his face as I walk in at 11 a.m. His first words as I enter are, “You are late by ten minutes.” I say, “Guruji, I thought I would give you time to settle.” I realise my error and henceforth see to it that I am dot on time. I sit down by his side gently pressing his legs and alternatively rubbing his hands, while carrying on a conversation. I say, “Guruji, when I look back, I find that most of the time I have spent waiting. Waiting to get married; then waiting for the children to grow up; then for their education to finish and become self-supporting. Then waiting for them to get married and settle down. Guruji, does this waiting ever end? How long will this go on?” He listens attentively but his response is short, “You are thinking as a Mother.”
 
I then narrate an incident, which happened a few years ago, that I thought I had forgotten. I say, “Guruji, it is said that forgetfulness is a sign of good memory. How is that?” Then we have a dialogue on ‘memory’. Guruji says, “Nothing is forgotten. A memory, no matter how old, whether deep-rooted or a surface impression, can get triggered at any time.” We also touch on the subject of past lives.

Monday 18th

On Monday, I took my Mental Physics (Brahma Vidya) course book along. We have a discussion about the ‘Negations and Denials’ in the book. I tell him, “Guruji, the Negations in the meditation affirmations do not make sense to me. I think I will do without them in the book that I am working on.” He says, “No! Understand and raise your consciousness while reciting them and you will know why they should be there. They are the signposts that help an aspirant to know the state of his evolution.” I answer, “Ok, Guruji. I will read them aloud consciously and with awareness.” He says, “I know them.” I tell him, “Guruji, I would still like to read them aloud to you for my better understanding. You just relax and listen.”
 
Denial: Death is not a law of life – man is not subject to decay, sickness or old age – there is no old age – there is no decay – there is no death – there is no death. I am not subject to decay and old age – now I am free – free – free for ever more…
 
Needless to say, by the time I am finished studying and reciting them with Guruji, my understanding of the negations and denials is enhanced and my consciousness moves to another level. I later tell him: “Guruji, maybe I can explain the necessity of them in the book.” To this he replies, “No, it has to be realized.”
 
I leave with a greater understanding and a wider perspective.

Tuesday 19th 

I go with my third book Kundalini Awakening. I sit on the side of his bed and start a dialogue on Consciousness. My question is, “Guruji, how does telepathy work?” His answer is, “Unless you are not at the same vibratory frequency, it does not work.”
 
My next question: “Guruji, in the course of meditation, once the individual consciousness merges with the Guru Consciousness – is that a permanent state or a one-time happening?”
 
His answer, “It is a one-time happening. In order to achieve that state again, you have to raise your level of consciousness.” He is pleased that I am no longer talking about Kundalini and am more focused on talking about consciousness. “Live consciously and in awareness,” he says.
 
After some silence, I read an anecdote about a monk, which makes him smile. A smile is my reward and I feel my mission is fulfilled.

Wednesday 20th 

When I enter I find Guruji lying on his back. I sit by his side and start pressing his legs with a gentle pressure. Sensing his contemplative mood, I also close my eyes and start silently reciting my usual mantra (sacred chant) when we are quiet:
“The Creator is within me, looking at Guruji through my eyes; The Creator is within me listening to the sounds of Guruji through my ears; The Creator is within me thinking the thoughts of Guruji through my mind; The Creator is within me healing Guruji through my hands; The Creator is within me expressing through me, whatever the Creator is I am. I am that which It is…”
 
I take Guruji’s left hand and gently start running my hand over it. A most beautiful expression appears on his face, which is now glowing. I cannot contain my joy and tell him how radiant, happy and beautiful he looks. He says a wonderful thing and I feel blessed to be there to hear it. With that beautiful smile, he says, “My Consciousness is serving you.” I understand he is in a state of total identification with the Cosmic Consciousness, where there is no he, she, it, you and me. All is One.
 
Then I tell him about the experience of a few aspirants from the previous day’s meditation. I tell him that the collective consciousness of the group has moved to a level where there is gold dust. “Razia and a few others felt that you were breathing through them. Guruji, it just shows that you are breathing to the rhythm of the cosmos and as we identify with you, we associate that rhythm with you.” Then I read him a quote from the book:
 
I sought Thee in the timeless halls of space
I sought Thee in the spaceless halls of time
But found that time and space do not exist.
I wondered ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Who art Thou?’
And then I found Thee. Thou in me and I in Thee.
‘Twas then I knew that I do not exist.
For I am nothing; yet am everything
For evermore… and so we cannot die.

– Goslin, Robert
 
By the time I finish reciting, he has gone back into silence. The sudden ringing of my mobile phone comes as a shock and I run out with it lest Guruji gets disturbed. It is Meena. I have a few words with her and come back to the room. I find Guruji sitting with his head reclining forward in contemplation, and gently massaging his knees. I sit down by his side and start running my hand gently over his back, shoulders and arms. Feeling that he has lost weight around the shoulders, I say, “Guruji, you must eat properly, you are losing weight.” He says, “I don’t feel like eating. Every day I have to take 54 pills and also two injections before food.
 
“I get up and leave at 11.50 a.m. There is some hesitation to leave him in that contemplative mood. However, when I get up to leave, he tells me to call up tomorrow before coming as he will be going for some medical test. I give him a hug, kiss him on the forehead, and leave.

Thursday 21st 

I call Uday at 9 a.m. to check as to what time Guruji is going for his test. He says the test was done and they are on their way back. He says he will call me back later. I get his call around 9.45 a.m. saying that the Doppler test was done and the report would come only the next day. Guruji has gone in for his bath and I can come at my usual time.I go at 10.45 a.m. and find him sleeping on his side. Very quietly, I take the chair and sit at the foot of the bed facing him and slip into meditation. When I leave at the appointed time, he is still sleeping peacefully. I tell Anand (his Man Friday) that I am going.I come down and call Uday. I tell him that someone should look in on Guruji every half hour or so, and gently bring him back from the silence that he drifts into.When I call Uday in the evening to check on Guruji, he tells me that Ramesh, Nitin, Raju and he met at the usual hour to be with Guruji. They were with him and when it was time for his dinner, they all left.

Friday 22nd

According to Anand, Guruji got up at about 2.30 a.m. to go to the toilet and then came and slept. When he got up, it was usually his habit to sit on his chair in a meditation posture. But this morning, he had laid down straight on his back, his hands folded on his chest. This is how he was found in the morning when someone went with a cup of tea.Sometime in the early hours of the morning, Guruji had consciously connected with the Universal Intelligence.

– Santosh Sachdeva

 

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