|| Akhand-mandalakaaram vyaptam yena characharam
Tatpadam darshitam yena tasmay shree gurave namah ||
Guru Poonam is the exhilarating celebration of the divine presence of an enlightened Guru in our lives. Just as the full moon embellishes the night, Guru’s gracious refuge has bought meaningful luster into this worldly darkness. He removes the endemic ignorance that is prevalent and gives us the light of knowledge. Surrounded by ephemeral things, the blessing of having an unbroken lifeline must not go without being paid homage to.
This year (2018), this purest festival of mentor-protégé lineage, was celebrated for 3 days in Ashram, 26th of July to 28th of July.
From the outset, the ambience in the ashram had a seraphic overtone. Day one was scheduled to have swadhyaay and bhakti in the morning, darshan at P.P Bapuji’s birthplace (Chorvira) & visit to L.M.V school in the afternoon and cultural program in the evening.
If for seekers like us, Bhaishree’s significance on this inward journey is immeasurable, we can only imagine what importance Bhaishree’s heart would hold for P.P. Bapuji who not only showed him the path but also whose grace helped him reach great heights of spirituality. Such is the glory of an enlightened Guru and it is a privilege to worship this pure soul. So, with buses and cars occupying around 100 mumukshus, P.P. Bhaishree and brahmanisths, all left for chorvira. On reaching Bapuji’s home, P.P. Bhaishree lit a candle in front of Bapuji’s portrait and bhakti songs were sung.
Then the next stop was LMV School where 3 girls dedicated bhajan ‘Tu mane Bhagwan ek vardan aapi de’ to the Almighty, in Bhaishree’s presence and the humble Principal expressed gratitude towards Pujya Bapuji and Raj Saubhag Ashram and how their love for humanity feeds the hungry for knowledge minds and supports many vehement students.
While the afternoon was filled with reverential feelings, the evening was as devotional as cultural. The very first presentation was that of a 30 minutes film made on P.P. Bhaishree’s UK Dharmayatra (20th May to 7th June, 2018). With pictures and videos capturing candid euphoria and devotion of London mumukshus, to background music providing lyrical form to their raw emotions, each frame of the film gave a glimpse of how overjoyed mumukshus were to welcome P.P. Bhaishree, the eagerness to hear his golden-wisdom filled words and being able to spend quality time in his divine presence and connect with him so closely, be it through swadhyaay or spiritual retreats or talks or insightful games.
After the film, were beautiful solo and group dance performances, bhajan glorifying the importance of a true Guru and insightful play on Sulsa Sati and her virtues, through which mumukshus expressed their gratitude and vowed to completely and unconditionally surrender at guru’s lotus feet.
Day two, the day of Guru Poonam, began early with Guru Welcome and Guru Ashirvachan, right after aagna-bhakti. Little later that morning, like every year was special dance performance by the students of Viklang Centre, card presentation by Dubai mumukshus and reading of gratitude filled messages from mumukshus from various parts of the globe. All requesting our Sadguru to help them get rid of the darkness and fill their lives with divine light.
Later that evening was Bhakti by professionals who reflected the devotion of mumukshu’s heart through their songs and brought all gopis from tapping their feet to dancing in ecstasy with the devotion–filled heart.
Another key feature of this festivity was 9 mumukshus, over the course of 2 days, sharing their close encounters with P.P Bhaishree. Each and every story shared, illuminated the raw depth of Bhaishree’s virtues, his modesty, humbleness, perception, sagacity, his unconditional love & care, precious grace and his profound understanding. How cannot one fall in love with such pristine true self?
The next day, mumukshus had the privilege to hear Bhaishree’s swadhyaay in the morning as later that afternoon, P.P.Bhaishree and many other mumukshus departed for Amrutotsav celebration (Talk/Dance/Film/Play – Tejovalay) in Ahmedabad.
Over these three days, Bhaishree relentlessly elaborated on verse 98 of Aatmasiddhi and fervently focused on three pillars of spirituality all mumukshus must work on – Faith, Surrender and Devotion. Stronger the faith, deeper is one’s understanding; more pure your surrender, more humble you become and more devoted you will be, more virtues you shall develop. The biggest obstacle on this spiritual path is our ignorance. Thus, practice stillness, be more focused and observe peace. Actions and feelings go hand in hand. One ignites the other. Hence, re-direct your karma bhaav towards Moksh Bhaav. Do not hurry but do not be sluggish as well. Deepen your understanding and work single-mindedly towards your goal, Bhaishree says.
Bhaishree’s Ashirvachan on Guru Poonam complemented the same ardor as his swadhayas. Even then, he reminded us of our blessings and made only one entreaty – The shortest road to liberation is ‘Ashray’ and ‘Bhakti’. Be reminded of your blessings and make sure you strengthen your enthusiasm, firmness and passion for this path and uncompromisingly stay devoted to the true enlightened master.
Contemplate his compassion and unconditional universal love for each and every soul.
|| Manasa bhajore guru charanam, Dustara bhavasagara taranam ||
Do not just sing the glory of HIS divine grace but ensure that you never forget this matchless shelter that we have acquired. By all means, bow and surrender at HIS lotus feet and completely engulf yourself with HIS purity and divinity. This is the best way to celebrate not only Guru Poonam but also each and every day of this otherwise misused life. There is no cause for spiritual welfare as powerful as association with an enlightened master (Vachnamrut, letter 375). As, it is only through HIS refuge are we going to overcome birth-death cycle and its sufferings. While most vaporize in the blink of an eye, bowing at HIS lotus feet with gratitude & Faith and holding onto that with steadfast devotion is our only escape from the fear of being caught up in this worldly mess. O soul! Awaken! Make the most of what you have received.