Being able to meaningfully spend time with our dearest Param Pujya Bhaishree has an incomparable value to it. Spiritual expeditions with him always uplift our enthusiasm and re-kindle our spirits.
The dawn of 26th June 2016, Sunday, brought a bundle of excitement and eagerness for us, since we were going to Deolali with Pujya Bhaishree. A cloudy day dawned and all of us embarked on the journey, ready to revitalize our positive energies.
Enroute to Deolali, we stopped at Dharmachakra Prabhav Tirth, 12 kms from Nashik. This three-floor temple with its glorious architecture and spiritual aura was a beautiful start to our day.
At the first level, in the centre of the temple was the Choumkhji – four idols of Lord Parshvanath. There were also replicas of holy pilgrimage shrines – magnificient sculptures of Siddhacahal, Aabu, Girnar and Samet Shikhar, ensuring that wherever we turn our eyes, we could see the Almighty.
A 12-foot high idol of Lord Mahavir was placed in the basement. Looking at the serene eyes of Vitraag Bhagwan, we could sense his equanimity and detachment, and made us forget the outside world and help come closer to our own peaceful nature. By truly being present in the moment, we felt alive, energized and filled with devotion for not only Vitraag Bhagwan, but also our Guru standing right beside us, because of whom we are more aware of the Lord’s virtues.
To the stunning view of green landscapes, our journey towards Deolali continued. On entering the premises of C. U. Shah Sanatorium, we felt welcomed by its vastness, soothing ambiance and cleanliness. These are just a few of the many extraordinary characteristics of this place. This sanatorium is not only equipped to cater to needs of its guests, but also has infused spiritual elements like the swadhaya hall and arrangements for Mahasatijis and Sadhvijis to reside.
The graced presence of learned Mahasatijis – Pritisudha MS, Madhusmita MS and 3 others, who most eagerly awaited Pujya Bhaishree’s arrival added to the divinity of the experience. The happiness of their souls and the joy in their hearts could be clearly seen in their eyes and their devotion towards Pujya Bhaishree could be heard in their voices.
We have heard Pujya Bhaishree’s words countless times; we have also believed that we have understood him and his teachings extensively and we take pride in that. However, we have never been more mistaken. We haven’t achieved a bit of what we are striving to achieve. Our Sadguru knows our state better than we can ever do. This is the truth which Gangasati explains to Paanbai in the poignant bhajan – ‘છૂટા છૂટા તીર રે અમને ’, taken as the topic for first swadhyay
Teachings of a Sadguru are not meant to be tantalizing; rather they will be plain and forthright, meant to penetrate our hearts like a purposefully targeted arrow. There is one and only one thing to know, to learn – ‘The Soul’ – the true jewel. Instead of doing what had to be rightfully done, we have meaninglessly spent time on gathering ineffectual pieces of information.
“જાગો મારા પ્યારા પ્રાણ , નયન ખોલો નામના ,
સુતા રેહશો ક્યાં સુધી, જાગો મારા પ્યારા પ્રાણ ”
The swadhyay was followed by bhajans, resonating in the room and in the chambers of our minds and hearts.
Having equal proficiency in 5 languages, Mahasatiji Pritisudha sang bhajans that she had composed herself and she was accompanied by the sweet voice of Mahasatiji Madhusmita. The divine words of her bhajans filled us all with joy, and seeing their reverence and devotion for Pujya Bhaishree, increased our bhakti-bhaav further. Every word spoken in that room reflected the importance of a guru, bitter truths of this world and the pre-requisites for learning the ultimate truth.
“સાર આ સંસાર માં ના જોયો રે , બધી રીતે તપાસતા ,
મૃગજળ પીવા કામ ના આવે , વ્યર્થ ઇંદ્રજાળ માં હું મોહ્યો રે"
After relishing lunch, we gathered for the second spiritual feast that included explanation of Letter Number 816 from the Vachanamrut and another round of Kirtan-Bhakti.
This particular letter from Vachanamrutji, addressed to Ambalalbhai after the demise of Saubhagbhai, sheds light on the 4 pre-requisites to reach the desired goal: this human birth, detachment, shelter of an enlightened master.
"કેવળ અંતર્મુખ થવાનો સત્પુરુષનો માર્ગ સર્વદુખક્ષયનો ઉપાય છે, પણ તે કોઈક જીવને સમજાય છે.
1) મહત્ પુણ્યના યોગથી
2) વિશુદ્ધ મતિથી
૩) તીવ્ર વૈરાગ્યથી
૪) સત્પુરુષના સમાગમથી
તે ઉપાય સમજવા યોગ્ય છે. તે સમજવાનો અવસર એકમાત્ર આ મનુષ્યદેહ છે. તે પણ અનિયત કાળના ભયથી ગ્રહિત છે; ત્યાં પ્રમાદ થાય છે, એ ખેદ અને આશ્ચર્ય છે."
When the compassionate words of a Guru truly reaches our core, our sense of discrimination and our ray of concentration undoubtedly becomes pretense-less and increases manifold with each waking moment.
So, each moment, we have a choice to make: either continue living an illusion of grandeur or we can be humble and persist to lead our lives with ever-increasing devotion for our Sadguru and his words of wisdom.
“કોડિયું નાનું ભલે ને હું , સદાયે રાહુ છું ઝગમગતું ,
સૂરજ પાસેથી શીખ બધાને મળે છે ,
પથદર્શક બનનારે બળવું પડે છે,
સામે આવેને ભલે જુગ નું અંધારું,
તોયે હૈયા ની હું હિમ્મત ના હારું ”