The Early Years
Shri Maharaj Ji came into this world solely to uplift and redeem others. The purpose of his life was to show humanity the path of true devotion and to deliver weary souls from suffering. His own Guru's words, "You were born for the sake of millions", echoed deep within his heart. He was like a mighty tree whose shade gives blessed relief to countless creatures, or like, a holy river which cleanses the penitent and inspires them to remember God. He was a living shrine.
He dedicated his life to spreading the same sacred Knowledge which Masters since Vedic times have always taught. When the full blaze of enlightenment illumines the great souls, they become instruments of the Almighty and dedicate themselves to serving Him. They inspire others to worship Him as He is. Take the example of Christ, or Guru Nanak. After receiving Knowledge they could not help sharing it. It became their life. They were the instruments of the Divine and their only joy was glorifying Him and preaching the Way of Knowledge and devotion.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj threw himself into his work. For the first few years his activity was mostly confined to Lahore and Sindh. Like Guru Nanak before him, he revealed the True Name and Light of God to people from all walks of life. He was always on the move and if a devotee was lucky, the Master would turn up and give him darshan, because in those days he had no fixed address. If premies were asked his address they would answer, "He lives in the heart." He had no set program of preaching. He would go wherever devotees called him or remembered him with love. After 1935 he extended his activities to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Delhi has been India's capital for centuries. In the time of the Mahabharata, it was known as Hastinapura. After the establishment of the Moghul Empire its name was changed to Delhi. At present it is divided into Old and New Delhi.
Being the capital, it has always been the epitome of magnificence and grandeur. History is witness to the many wars and struggles for its throne. .
It is situated on the sacred River Yamuna. It adjoins the holy district of Vrindaban-Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna and the scene of his youthful activities. A stream of saints, mahatmas and masters has always passed, through Delhi. After Independence, Delhi gained new importance as the capital of the Indian Republic, resulting in its becoming the headquarters of many religious teachers and groups.
It also happened to become Shri Maharaj Ji's base of activities after Lahore. His first Delhi disciple was a humble Brahmin named Ho Ram, a weaver at Delhi Cloth Mills. He came across Shri Maharaj Ji outside Old Delhi Railway Station while Maharaj Ji was getting his shoes repaired. He was telling the cobbler, "Don't use nails. Sew them." The obstinate cobbler used nails anyway. Shri Maharaj Ji warned him, "Look here! Sew them! If you don't I'll kick you beyond the three worlds !" Ho Ram, who was standing nearby, was struck by this, and told the cobbler, "Sew his shoes properly. Why are you nailing them?" He inched closer to Shri Maharaj Ji and observed him carefully. His shoes repaired, Shri Maharaj Ji started on his way. Ho Ram couldn't restrain his curiosity any longer and asked, "What, magic is in your kick that it can reveal the three worlds to a person?" Shri Maharaj Ji gave him some satsang and said, "I'm staying at a local dharmshala. Come there and I'll explain it to you fully." Ho Ram's curiosity was thoroughly aroused by this time so he followed Shri Maharaj Ji back to his dharmshala. Ho Ram, a Brahmin by birth,
worshipped in the orthodox Pauranic fashion, which consists of rituals, recitations, fasting, puja, etc. Shri Maharaj Ji asked him, "Punditiji, have you seen that Light, that Cosmic Form which Krishna showed to Arjuna after giving him the eye of Knowledge? God is within you, and all beings, so why do you search for Him outside? You are like the old lady who lost her needle inside her house but, because the house was in darkness, searched for it outside under the streetlights!"
Ho Ram asked, "Can I also see God within?" Shri Maharaj Ji answered, "Why not?" and initiated him. Ho Ram plunged into meditation and was filled with ecstatic bliss. Gradually, more D.C.M. employees made Shri Maharaj Ji's acquaintance and were amazed by the things he told them. They had never in their lives seen or heard such a remarkable and saintly man, who could, moreover, impart to them a practical experience of God. They felt a spontaneous reverence for him. They had all practised the conventional forms of Hindu worship such as worshipping idols and chanting the Gayatri Mantra but once they had received Knowledge they realized what devotion really is and began to understand its deep mysteries. Orthodox worship seemed like child's play in comparison.
The first initiated disciples were mostly D.C.M. employees. They included Ho Ram, Radhakrishan, Totaram, Anurodh Singh, Bihari Lal Gupta, Hari Ram Gupta, Pandit Vishnudutt Kaushik, Dr. Shanti Saroop and Bhagat Ram Gupta, Maharaj Ji personally initiated them. His divine personality had a spellbinding effect on them. They left all their previous forms of worship and followed him around like the cowherd boys used to follow Krishna. In those days, Shri Maharaj Ji was often referred to as 'the Magician' by outsiders.
During one Vaisakhi festival at Prem Nagar, Shri Maharaj: Ji said, "Once, after touring Punjab, I Came to Nazibabad and put up at a dharmshala, which also had a temple. I secured a room and then asked the temple priest if there was anyone nearby who was
well-versed in the Gita and Ramayana. He introduced me to Shahi Balkishan, saying, 'You know the scriptures. This gentleman wishes to have a talk with you.'
'I asked him, 'Have you studied the Gita?' He handed me a 'Shankar Bhashiya' edition. I opened it at Chapter 11 and asked, 'Have you seen the Light, brighter than a thousand suns, which Arjuna saw?' He answered, 'No.' I asked, 'Then what's the use of studying the Gita?' He asked me to show him that Light, if I could. I discussed it with him a little, then took him into an empty room. I sat down beside him to initiate him, but the fear arose in his mind that I might be trying to hypnotize or bewitch him. Rich people are usually afraid like that. I knew what he was thinking so moved away and explained the techniques at a distance. I had previously told him that if the Knowledge is true, he must dedicate himself and all that he had to it. He immediately replied that he would.
'I took a long time initiating him. When he had thoroughly understood, I left. The more he listened to satsang, the more he began to love the Knowledge and developed such devotion that he was prepared to put all that he had into service. Once I asked him, 'Well, sir! What do you think of this magic?' He replied, 'Maharaj Ji, this kind of magic takes over a person totally."
Shri Maharaj Ji's presence was so magnetic that people were automatically drawn to him. Quite often he would laugh and say, "Listen, don't keep visiting me or else you'll catch the sticking disease!"
He used to stay at Delhi's Satyanarayan Gurhwalon Dharmshala near the Red Fort and would hold satsang in the surrounding locality. Sometimes he would stay in a small room at Rao Bagh, near the D.C.M. Whenever premies found out that he had arrived in Delhi, they would inform one another and after work rush to have darshan. In those days, the devotees were a chosen few and they enjoyed an intimate relationship with the Master. They were the lucky recipients of his mercy and protection, and he took care of them as a mother takes care of her
children. He once told a gathering of premies, "There are two kinds of devotees. The first is like the baby monkey which clings to its mother all the time, and the second is like a kitten, which the mother picks up with her mouth and carries each of the seven times she shifts her home. Seven times, seven chakras. Guru Maharaj Ji, by his grace and mercy, carries the kitten-devotee through all the chakras and takes him to Satyalok-the highest abode of Truth. To reach this level people turn rosaries and chant, 'Bhuah, Bhuvah, Swaha,' but unless and until your consciousness reaches that plane of Truth, you won't be released from the cycle of birth and death. When the consciousness descends to the lower levels, the individual has to migrate through the 84 million species.
'Because his mind is externally rather than internally oriented, he concerns himself with family and possessions, and this is why he can't break free from the cycle of reincarnation. Rivers flow until they reach the sea, and then they stop. Similarly, the soul will continue to reincarnate until the consciousness has reached the plane illumined by neither sun, moon nor firelight, and from where it does not return. When will this happen? When the devotee becomes as dependent as a kitten on the Master. He should not be like the fledgling crow, which thinks that it knows everything and tries to fly off on its own. Such a disciple ignores his Guru's advice and does what he likes."
Shri Maharaj Ji was so charismatic that anyone who came merely out of curiosity. became his and didn't want to leave him. His satsang touched the sincere heart. Why try to prove the Obvious? When the living embodiment of divine wisdom is right in front of you, of what use is clever wit and showing off?
The humble D.C.M: employees asked him, "Maharaj Ji, can workers like us see God? We've been told that this requires many years of penance and austerities, and that one must renounce his home and property and live in the forest."
Shri Maharaj Ji replied, "Not at all. You can meditate on God anytime and anywhere. Lord Krishna explicitly, told Arjuna,
'Constantly remember Me and fight.' There is nothing harder than fighting a war. The soldier must be on the offensive and defensive simultaneously. If Arjuna was told to meditate in such a situation, why can't you carry out your daily duties at D.C.M. and meditate? All the saints have said the same thing that one who meditates on the Lord's Holy Name at all times, while asleep or awake, sitting or standing, succeeds in all that he does.
'The problem is that you don't know what the True Name is. You can't even imagine it, because it is beyond imagination. When however, by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, you discover what it is, you'll also say that it, can be remembered all the time."
This inspired in them the faith and bold conviction that they, like the devotees of old, could carry out their worldly duties and at the same time serve God.
Shri Maharaj Ji used to swim, laugh, play and chat with these premies and share their joys and sorrows. If a premie had any kind of problem he would ask Maharai Ji's advice and, by following it, would overcome the difficulty and practise Knowledge with renewed determination. Maharaj Ji would explain the most profound spiritual mysteries in simple, everyday language to them. He didn't burden them with high philosophy and theological dogma but explained everything in the idiom which they understood. The correct blending of the spiritual and mundane leads to an excellent life. The two are not mutually opposing but rather complementary. Maharaj Ji would develop and illustrate his arguments with simple homilies and practical examples, which even the most illiterate person could understand. Many a time when someone wanted to show off his intellectual knowledge by reeling off scriptural quotations or trying to start intellectual discussions, Maharaj Ji would say, "Hey, Mr Scholar! Is God dependent on your erudition? What's the use of _your grand speeches if your audience doesn't understand what you are talking about? Saints always use very plain language so that even the simplest person can understand. Devotion is not at all dependent on learning! Yoga, rites, rituals and recitations are not necessary
for devotion. Devotion, although independent and complete in itself, cannot flourish without satsang. If education or theological studies were necessary, then what would become of the illiterate? It would mean that devotion isn't independent. If only the good looking could be devotees, then the homely would be left out. If only the highborn could be devoted, then the lowly would be deprived. High caste Hindus won't let the lower castes into temples, so if devotion means going to temples, these lower caste people are being excluded from devotion. But Lord Rama bypassed the royal, the highborn and the wealthy. He visited instead the tiny hut of the poor and humble devotee Bhilni, and ate fruit which she had already tasted. She was neither beautiful, educated nor high-caste. But the Lord, the Beloved of the devotees was drawn by her love.
'If only adults could be devoted, then how could children like Dhruva and Prahlad have seen God? If devotion meant building big temples or giving large sums in charity, then poor labourers would be left out. If only Indians could be devoted, then Americans, Russians, Africans and Chinese would be left out. In other words, devotion is not dependent on any particular country, caste, ethnic group, level of education, personal qualities, age, strength or wealth and anyone who thinks that it is doesn't know anything about devotion. Cripples, the blind, the infirm, women, men, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs all have the right to be devotees. But worldlings don't know what devotion really is and do anything they like in its name. That is why, in the present circumstances, we don't find one universal path. Hindus worship idols with flowers, fruit and water. They have their own rituals. They fast and go on pilgrimages to Badrinath. They have their sacrificial fires and chant mantras. This is what they think is devotion, but it is not. The Gita, 4:34, says that to know what real devotion is, one has to approach a realized soul, prostrate to him and serve him, then, when he is pleased, humbly and sincerely ask for Knowledge. If what worldly people are engaged in were actually true devotion, then what would be the need to find and
follow the Satguru? You can only know what devotion is when you serve the Master in every way and with whatever you have."
For several years Shri Maharaj Ji held satsang in the company housing of the D. C.M. Premies would take turns to arrange satsang in their houses, and the satsang and singing would go on all night.
One evening, satsang was held at Pundit Vishnudutt's home. Several premies had arrived. Shri Maharaj Ji sat down and said to one of the devotees, "Badri Babu, sing a rain song! Let's see if you can make it rain!" Badri Babu was trained in the ancient art of classical singing, and no sooner had he started singing, accompanied by the tabla, then clouds gathered and it started to rain. A magical atmosphere enveloped the place. Shri Maharaj Ji and the premies were intoxicated by the music. Very soon it started sprinkling. Everyone was sitting, on a rug on the verandah and they were getting drenched. At first they were overjoyed, but as they got wetter they disappeared inside one by one. This made Shri Maharaj Ji laugh. He said, "Badri, now sing a song to stop the rain!" Badri replied; "I don't know any!" Maharaj Ji said, "Very well. Cover those sacks of pulse with this rug." As soon as they had done this, the rain eased off and finally stopped altogether.
Pundit Vishnudutt, nowadays known as Mahatma Harinivrittanand, had been involved with the Arya Samaj before he received Knowledge. He first heard satsang at the home of a fellow D.C.M. employee, Radhakrishan, with whom Shri Maharaj Ji generally stayed. Still under the influence of Arya Samaj ideas about gurus, he stopped coming to see Shri Maharaj Ji. One day, as he was walking along a back street, he noticed Maharaj Ji on his way somewhere. He tried to slip away unnoticed, but Maharaj Ji spotted him and exclaimed, "Punditji, we don't see you in satsang anymore. What's the matter? What have I said to offend you. You belong to the Arya Samaj. If I have said anything wrong or anti-scriptural, please tell me."
He replied, "No, Maharaj Ji. It's nothing like that. It's just that I've been kept busy with my domestic affairs, so I couldn't come."
Maharaj Ji then said, "Come to satsang. While you have this human life you should allocate some time to satsang. And look, I'm not a heretic! By Guru Maharaj Ji's grace I have realized the Infinite One, Who has been glorified by all the Scriptures. If you don't come to satsang and realize the Holy Name, well, it's your life which is slipping past. It's no skin off my nose! So think about it The company of saints is a very rare and precious thing. Only by close association with a divine personage can anyone become a real 'Aryan'. Only human beings can realize God and, if you don't, just calling yourself an Aryan won't make you one. To be an Aryan you have to be spiritual. You have to listen to satsang, sit at the feet of saints and talk about God to others. Then you'll realize what the Truth is. Isn't this the greatest thing a person can do? Listen, if you prefer, don't think of me as a Guru. Simply think of me as a fellow human being, a brother. People should relate to each other like that."
Pundit Vishnudutt has never been able to forget these words which completely transformed his life. He still says, "Indeed, Guru Maharaj Ji made me a real Aryan and showed me the source of the Vedas and Upanishads. I could never repay him for his precious gift. Although his manner of speech was simple and artless, no one could ever refute his arguments."
To be initiated by the Guru is the first and foremost principle of the ancient Vedic tradition. However, those who trumpet about Indian tradition or Vedic tradition don't understand that all of it is based on the God-realized Master who thoroughly understands what the Vedas are all about. Just as Plato's Utopia would be incomplete without a philosopher-king, in the same way, the Vedic tradition expands from the implanting of the seed of Knowledge by the Guru in the disciple's heart. The entire Vedic teaching is based upon the imperishability of the soul. Sixteen kinds of rituals are prescribed to guide the individual along the path to liberation and to ennoble his life. Religion is the imperishable Source, the Reality which existed before the individual was born. It makes his life what it is and determines what it should be. The Guru is called
the seer of past, present and future because he knows what karmic capital has accompanied an individual into his present birth. He knows his possibilities and potentials and how, even while working out his karmas, he can become a suitable vessel for God-realization. A true Guru is one who can reveal the yogic method to facilitate this. How can someone who is himself not merged in God-consciousness, or not firmly established in Yoga, possibly guide others on the path to self-realization?
Shri Maharaj Ji used to give this illustration: "Suppose I want to learn English and have a choice between a teacher who himself knows the language and one who doesn't. Whom do you think I will choose? If your acharyas and shastris, mandaleshwars and mahamandaleshwars themselves don't know the Holy Name or have never seen the Divine Light, how can they show you. So first meditate and realize yourself and then, by God's grace, you can show others. The Almighty, through the medium of the sages, reveals this Knowledge to others. And, remember what one saint said:
'The first giver is the disciple,
Who offers his all to the Master.
The next to give is the Master,
Who gives him the priceless gift of the Holy Name.'
Of the above-mentioned sixteen rituals one is called Upnayan Sanskar, or investiture of the sacred thread, which nowadays has been reduced to a mere formality. Parents take their child to a pundit or acharya, who mutters a few, mantras and presents, the boy with the thread. Then his investiture is declared complete. The pundit takes his fee and thus earns his keep. Such priests know nothing about spirituality but plenty about making money! They don't even know what the sacred thread represents!
'The scriptures say that our carnal eyes can see the world but not God, even though He is omnipresent, and, if anyone to this day has seen God with his physical eyes, then please tell me who he is. Nobody has, my friends. For that we have a Third Eye, which also
called the Divine Eye or Eye of Knowledge. Through this, God's universal form may be perceived. Lord Krishna and Arjuna lived side by side. They were companions and Arjuna saw Krishna every day. Even so, Lord Krishna told him, 'You cannot see My unmanifest Cosmic Form with your ordinary eyes. I will open your Divine Eye, through which you may behold My Universal Form. The Gita narrates that Arjuna saw, contained within that Form, all souls and creatures. God in His boundless compassion has endowed every human being with this Divine Eye, but due to ignorance, in most people it is closed. When clouds obscure the sun it can't be seen, and likewise, because our Divine Eye is closed, we can't see the glory of God, even though He dwells within every heart. Tulsidas said,
'God is within you, but you can't see Him
So your life is meaningless.
You are like a person with cataracts.'
You need a doctor to remove eye cataracts, and similarly you need the Guru to remove your inner cataracts."
Some premies had become so intoxicated with the bliss that comes with meditating on the Holy Name that all they were interested in was seeing Maharaj Ji as much as possible, and getting as much out of service and satsang as they could.
The area where Jibbia College and Liberty Cinema now stand, was bushland at that time. Near the site of the Liberty Cinema was the hut of a blind follower of the Kabir sect, whom Shri Maharaj Ji used to visit. Premies, therefore, would go there too. Maharaj Ji said, "Look here! Don't you have anything better to do than hang around here? What do you get out of it?" Premies answered, "Maharaj Ji, your enchanting beauty fills us with rapture. Without you we are like fish out of water." To which Maharaj Ji responded, "Well, if you love me so much, leave home and live with me!" At this they fell silent.
Kabir was an enlightened saint and it is no easy matter to understand his mystical and profound hymns, However, Maharaj
Ji was able to go to the heart of Kabir's teachings because he understood the mysteries which the great saint was describing. He would say, "Just see how great is the glory of the Holy Name and the Master!" Hari Ram Gupta says that in those days one of Maharaj Ji's favourite Kabir hymns was,
'You will know when you have met the true Guru
Because he will deliver you from all doubts and uncertainties.
You will know you are truly devoted
When you long for Him alone.'
From time to time Maharaj Ji would visit the D.C.M. premies and shower his mercy upon them. They, in turn, served him with heartfelt love, in every way. Gradually they grew in Knowledge and deep spiritual mysteries were unveiled to them. Some of them acquired yogic powers and started exhibiting them. One premie named Balmukund did so much meditation that he acquired these powers. One day, at the D.C.M., a worker's hand got caught in a machine. Balmukund remembered the Holy Name then waved his hand over the injured man's hand. It healed immediately. This miracle astonished everyone. On another occasion he brought some dead mice back to life. This became the talk of the entire Company. Shri Maharaj Ji, however, was totally against such displays. When he heard of this incident he went to Radhakrishan's house and scolded the assembled premies in general and Balmukund in particular, saying, "Look here! Don't waste what you have earned from meditation like this, or else you'll fall from the Path. The path of liberation is a path of love and devotion, not yogic powers. Exhibitionists who show off their powers can never realize God. Just look at God's miracles! What a wonderful universe He has created! What right do you have to interfere in His work?"
Once, at Radhakrishan's house, the conversation turned to the topic of realizing God. Balmukund asked, "Maharaj Ji, can I see God just as clearly as I see this lantern on the table here?"
Maharaj Ji answered, "Why not? God is realized in the state of Samadhi." So Balmukund ventured, "Please send me into Samadhi and show me God." Maharaj Ji glanced at him and immediately he went into Samadhi. The next day his wife came and implored Maharaj Ji to bring him out of it Whem Balmukund regained normal consciousness, he fell on his knees, weeping. For several days he was oblivious to his surroundings. He was intoxicated with Divine rapture. It took several days before he was able to resume work.
"Shri Maharaj Ji is an enlightened soul; a divine Incarnation; the Lord." Disciples began using such titles when talking about him. The D.C.M. executives heard of it and they also came to listen. However, once during satsang Maharaj Ji lost his temper over something. Those people were confused by this, saying, "If he is a saint, why is he angry?" The actions of holy persons are in a special category. They change their moods for the sake of the devotees' progress.
Radhakrishan, at whose house Maharaj Ji generally stayed, was a young man inclined towards revolutionary ideas. At that time there were two anti-British movements. The first was open and had the support of the general public. Under the leadership of Gandhi, its ideals were truth and non-violence. The other was revolutionary and clandestine, but would surface occasionally. Radhakrishan had a connection with a group of revolutionaries known as 'Kakari Kand', who derailed trains and stole any Government money on board. Radhakrishan was arrested on suspicion and put in jail. When he returned home he told Maharaj Ji, "I missed you very much." Maharaj Ji replied, "Nowadays your mind is into other things. If you sincerely meditated on the Holy Name no one could have led you astray." Radhakrishan said, "But, Maharaj Ji, the youth of our country should sacrifice themselves for its freedom." Maharaj Ji replied, "That's no doubt true, but remember, only a man of Truth can change the times. Derailing trains won't do it. Only under Mahatma Gandhi's leadership can this country gain its independence. The youth of
India should stand united under his banner of truth and non-violence. You know how active I was in the Congress movement in Lahore! I still encourage people to struggle for freedom alongside Gandhi. How can a country, which produces men of that calibre remain enslaved?" In those days Maharaj Ji wore homespun cotton clothes and cap, as a sign of allegiance to the Movement.
News of Maharaj Ji's arrival in Delhi would send a wave joy rushing over the premies. They would leave their work and rush to be recharged by his satsang and darshan. When he left they would weep, unable to bear the thought of separation, and would count the days until he returned.
He was the embodiment of love and compassion. All he wanted was love. He was not interested in money. He would act aloof towards millionaires but take a poor yet genuine devotee under his wing and exalt him. Such a one was Hari Ram Gupta, who started at D.C.M, earning 25 rupees per month and living in a tiny house at Telivara.
"It was summer. Shri Maharaj Ji suddenly arrived on my doorstep. I was overjoyed and asked my wife to prepare lunch while I went to the market to buy vegetables. Melons were in season so I asked the shopkeeper to show me his best Lucknow melons. I sampled a slice from each one to see if they were sweet, and they certainly were. I bought some which I had sampled and some which I had not. After Shri Maharaj Ji had taken his afternoon nap, I sliced some melons and offered them to him. He tasted a couple of slices and said, 'These are not sweet at all.' I replied, 'Try these. They must be sweet.' I sliced and offered three melons like this, but he rejected them all. Then it dawned on me what had happened. I said, 'Please excuse me. I forgot that these were the melons which I had tasted at the shop and I shouldn't have offered them to you.' Shri Maharaj Ji laughed and said, '$o! You kept the sweet ones for yourself and offered me the tasteless ones! Here, try these and see for yourself.' Indeed, they were tasteless. At that point I remembered the story of Bhilni who offered Lord Rama fruit which she had already tasted beforehand
to test their sweetness, and how Lord Rama had cheerfully eaten them.
'Shri Maharaj Ji was in a happy mood. He said, 'If I were to give you 100,000 rupees, how would you use it to serve me?' I thought about it and said, 'If you would make my love great enough, then everything I had would automatically be yours.' Maharaj Ji laughed and said, 'You are very cunning! You're asking for both devotion and maya!' Then he said quite seriously; 'Look, leave your job and go into business for yourself.' This I did and by his grace I've prospered enormously."
Shri Maharai Ji was the home of the homeless, the shelter of the shelterless and the support of the forlorn and downtrodden. He retrieved many straying souls and set them on the right path.
Mahatma Sanwaldasji belonged to a good Brahmin family. He had been religiously inclined ever since childhood, but wasn't sure what religion really is, so to find out he went from one sadhu to another. Finally he reached Balaji Tripathi, whose temple priest was a relative of his. This relatiye looked after him and tutored him in the Ramayana. Sometime later he resigned and Sanwaldasji found himself in the position of head priest. Saddhus, Monks and heads of ashrams all visited the temple to pay their respects, touching his feet and offering him gifts. But in his heart of hearts
he was troubled by the thought that simple, naive devotees give saddhus money earned through sweat and toil and those sadhus in turn gave it to him. If he himself knew nothing about God, how could they know? It worried him that he was heading for damnation by deceiving innocent devotees in the name of God. His relative had renounced this illusory glory. Now he too realized that he would have to leave the world one day. So one night he got up from bed, wrapped himself in a shawl and just set out on foot for Gangotri and Yamunotri. Finally, after a long search, he came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as the Name of God and scriptures are the product of priests' and scholars' imaginations, because if God had a .name, he would certainly have found it, by now.
Just as he was standing by the river contemplating throwing himself in, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj appeared. He had been staying in a bungalow belonging to the Rajah of Tehri, and was going for his usual walk. Seeing Sanwaldasji standing there so dejectedly he asked, "Where do you live?" "Nowhere," answered Sanwaldasji. Maharaj Ji questioned further, "Do you believe in the Ramayana?" Said Sanwaldasji, "I don't believe in anything, it's all lies."
This surprised. Maharaj Ji and he asked, "Then what is the truth?" Sanwildasji replied, "I don't know." Shri Maharaj Ji came to the point. "Would you like to know?"
Sanwaldasji burst out, "How can you show, me? I've been everywhere and met the highest so-called saddhus, mahatmas, mandaleshwars and all the rest, and they're all the same. They don't know either. They say whatever they like and fool innocent people. Lie and hypocrisy is all you find!" '
Shri Maharaj Ji suggested, "It's not possible that you've met every single teacher to see if there is a genuine realized soul among them. How would you know one even if he were standing right in front of you? Haven't you heard the saying, 'You never know in what guise God will come to you? Look, every scripture says that God is Within. I'll show you, and if it is the Truth, then believe it, and if not, then don't."
Shri Mahara) Ji then initiated him and told him to meditate. What he saw within thrilled him to the core and, banished all his doubts, When he came out of meditation he went to Maharaj Ji's house and stood outside the door all night. In the morning Maharaj Ji found him there. He prostrated, to Maharaj Ji, who asked, "Well, how are you?"
Sanwaldasji answered, "Your Knowledge is so powerful that it has swept away all my doubts and confusion. When I came out of meditation and couldn't find you I was very anxious. I looked everywhere for you and finally came here." Shri Maharaj Ji made him a mahatma and sent him to spread Knowledge in Delhi. The number of premies increased day by day. They requested
Maharaj Ji to hold satsang not only in premies' homes but out in the open in parks and dharmshalas. So Maharaj Ji started giving satsang in dharmshalas, including Satyanarayan Gurhwalon Dharmshala.
Mahatma Satyanand Ji first met Shri Maharaj Ji here, and since that day has never returned home. The saying, 'Knowing You I became Yours" is most appropriate for him. He had been searching for the Truth since childhood and after 12 years of serving saddhus with whatever he had, he had washed his hands of them. His introduction to Shri Maharaj Ji came through a premie, Ram Richhpal, of Bhurhbaral, in Meerut district. One night this premie sang a song which went like this:
"The primordial secret is unlike anything else and one who knows it knows everything."
Satyanandji taunted him, saying, "Are you just mouthing words or do you understand what you are saying?" The premie said, "Indeed I do know." Then Satyanandji saw red. He said crossly, "What do you know! Saddhus and yogis living in Himalayan caves and at the holiest of holy places don't know! Heads of ashrams and temples don't know! They just sing and twist words and their disciples swallow it all, thinking that they've found a genuine knower of God. But in fact they get nothing! Like the Ramayana says, 'A deaf disciple doesn't hear what his blind guru doesn't see! If you really do understand, then explain it to me."
Ram Richhpal answered, "I don't merely understand. I know that primordial Secret. If you want to know too, then come to my place. A mahatma comes there who can explain it properly to you, any way you want, and he can show you practically, too." When he heard that, Satyanandji turned red with fury "A mahatma! I've already met thousands!" The premie replied, "Okay, you've seen thousands. Then see this one, too." Then he quoted,
'Not all seas contain pearls, and not all trees are sandalwood.'
'The seed of Knowledge and Truth is never destroyed. It is indeed true that there are thousands of impostors around, but there must be some genuine saddhus also. If Truth can be lost, what is keeping the world going?"
The next day Satyanandji went to Bhurhbaral. He sat down in front of the mahatma, who asked him, "How did you find out about me, and what do you want?" Satyanandji replied, "I don't want anything. I'm just looking." He was about to leave when Mahatma Ji called him back and handed him a copy of Hans Yog Prakash, saying, "If you know how to read, then read to me from this." Satyanandji said, "No, you read." Mahatma Ji said, "I'm uneducated, so you read and I'll explain anything which you don't understand." Satyanandji got a shock when he heard this. He thought, 'If he is uneducated, how can he explain anything to me?' However, he read aloud this passage which Mahatma Ji indicated:
'There are thousands of names for God in the world but they won't liberate you. Only a rare saint knows the Primordial Name which is remembered silently within.'
Then Mahatma Ji asked, "If the thousands of worldly names existing for God can't free you, then how can the secret Primordial Name? It must be one of those thousands. Which one is it?" Then he explained further, "Any name which can be uttered is merely a descriptive name. The secret or Primordial Name, on the other hand, already exists within everyone. It cannot be expressed in words because it is beyond language."
Then Satyanandji demanded, "Tell me what it is. How can it be remembered if it is beyond speech?" Mahatma Ji answered, "It is the real Guru-mantra, and only Guru can show you what it is." Satyanandji showed him the sacred thread which he wore and said; "I have a guru. Mahatma Ji replied, "Just believing in someone doesn't make him a guru. The true Guru is the Perfect Lord himself! You have to find him and get Knowledge. Then you'll know what the Secret Name is."
So Satyanandji said, "Very well, tell me where I can find the Guru." Mahatma Ji replied, "He is right here, in everyone's heart." Satyanandji wanted a more precise address, so he asked, "Where is the physical Guru Maharaj Ji right now?" The mahatma replied, "I don't know. Ask Richhpal."
In Richhpal's house there was a portrait of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj Richhpal informed Satyanandji that he was the Guru and added, "Someone sincerely searching for the Lord will find Him in this form. At present he is in Delhi," Satyanandji resolved not to eat another mouthful of food until he found Maharaj Ji. A few days later he reached Delhi. He went back and forth between Yamuna Bridge and Kashmiri Gate. Then he decided to try the Red Fort area. He just happened to sit down on the steps of the Satyanarayan Gurhwalon Dharmshala for a rest. Just then, some men emerged from the building and started discussing something among themselves.
One of them said, "Oh yes, he is indeed a magician! A couple of days ago I saw a fellow, prostrate full-length in, front of him and didn't get, up until he was told to."
Another said, "He's a hypnotist."
A third said, "He must slip people some kind of magic potion! Whoever goes to see him comes back singing his praises! Who knows what he teaches them! In my opinion, he has some kind of spell for bewitching people. Anyone who goes there man, woman or child just sits there gazing at him spellbound, and when they leave they walk backwards so that, they won't miss a glimpse of him. One day I got caught. I stood there for two hours, turned to stone! Certainly, God has lavished all beauty on him. I too, just stood there staring as if I'd gone mad! His smile is enough to melt stone. It was quite some time before I came to my senses. I turned tail and ran and didn't stop until I'd reached home. Anyone who gets involved with him stops going to temples and starts worshipping him instead! They start believing him to be the Lord! Quite a few Mahatmas have taken up with him, too, and they all quote those lines from Kabir about not using rosaries and chanting
mantras. I used to say my prayers every day and chant the Gayatri, but since the day I saw and heard him I've lost all interest. He's confused me so much that I'm almost an atheist. I had no intention of getting influenced by him, but what can I tell you! He says that all mantras are false! If he stays in Delhi much longer he'll turn us all into atheists!"
Satyanandji says, "When I heard that, I couldn't contain myself! I went up to one of them and asked; 'May I go inside?' He answered, 'You can go in but you won't come back out!' I asked, 'So how did you get out?' He replied, 'We're not about to be hoodwinked by him!' I went upstairs and stood by the door.
Some mahatmas, and people in white were seated on the floor in front of a string bed. I was puzzled by this - mahatmas sitting on the floor and this seat vacant! Just then a man came in and prostrated full-length in front of the cot. I thought that the Guru must indeed be a magician, who is visible to these people but not to me, because if nobody was sitting on the cot then why was that man bowing to it I also recalled that nobody stood up until he told them to. I stood by the door for a long time, taking it all in and waiting for the magician to appear.
Then I noticed a photograph beside the cot. It was the same one as 'I had seen at Bhurhbaral. Just looking at it relieved my fatigue, and I felt sure that I would find the key to certain mysteries here. Then I felt doubtful again, because, after all, this is Kali Yuga and it is as impossible to find real saints as it is for day and night to co-exist. Didn't St. Tulsidas write that in this Age saddhus, gurus sand disciples would be blind, deaf and hypocritical?
All seemed dark but I felt aware also of a ray of light, because it is also written that although this Age is full of sin and ignorance, still it is the Age when liberation can be attained without much effort at all. In Kali Yuga the power of the Holy Name really manifests itself. Isn't it written that there is no other Age to compare with it? If a person has faith and glorifies the Holy Name,
he can be liberated. But what is that Name whose power becomes most apparent during Kali Yuga?
Tulsidas wrote that the Name is the power behind the four Ages and the four Vedas, but the uniqueness of Kali Age is that, without a doubt, a person crosses the worldly ocean just by singing the glory of the Name. Tulsidas also wrote that the Name would manifest itself to bring Kali Yuga to an end. While I was contemplating all this, I became aware that Guru Maharaj Ji had entered the room. He was wrapped in a towel, having just taken a bath. He stood by the cot combing his hair and then began to get dressed. He was so beautiful, and his body was so glorious, that verses from the Ramayana (in which Manu describes the Lord) sprang to mind. His long curls as he combed them enchanted me. The sidelong glances that he directed at me robbed me of my reason. His gleaming forehead put the moon to shame. He applied the three-pronged tilak mark on it, which glistened so brightly that I was stunned, overcome by his loveliness. I thanked Providence that one such as I, in this day and age, so lacking in devotion and having done nothing in the way of penance, should be blessed with seeing the same Lord, for a glimpse of whom Manu in ages past did severe penance. Was I dreaming or had I died and gone to heaven?
Overcome, I began singing to myself,
'0 Lord, God of Gods! Your indescribable brilliance pervades the universe. You are Knowledge; you are beyond birth, death and the three forces of Maya. Quite separate from anything we could imagine, you take delight in yourself alone. Obeisance to You!
'You are unconditioned and the Source of Aum. 0 Lord of Shiva! Your Knowledge is beyond language and senses. I know that You are the Lord of the Lord of Death in his terrifying aspect, still you are very kind. Although You are beyond the three aspects of Nature, all virtues are found in You. You are beyond this mortal and ephemeral world. I bow to you!"
'I prostrated to Shri Maharaj Ji, and sat in a corner. All day long I prayed Silently, '0 Lord! Have mercy on me!"
Several devotees arrived, prostrated and sat down. They addressed him as 'Lord', 'Master', and 'Maharaj Ji'. At 7 p.m. Maharaj Ji called me over and asked from where I had come, but I couldn't utter a word. Then he gave me some satsang and initiated me. I sat in meditation the whole night. I can't describe the ecstasy I felt. I stayed with him for a couple of days and heard more satsang. Then he, told me, 'You have Knowledge now. Go home and meditate.' I replied, 'Maharaj Ji, I was lost, and now I've come home. Don't make me homeless again. I want to live with you and nowhere else.'
He simply said, 'As you wish.' "
Since that day many years ago, Satyanandji lived with Shri Maharaj Ji, regarding himself as the servants' servant in the Guru's household.
A premie from Delhi, Bicchha Ram, recalls, "Once when I was ill, Maharaj Ji sent Mahatma Satyanand to check on my .condition. Not only did he cook all my meals, but also prepared almond oil and massaged me. Shri Maharaj Ji and Mahatma Ji liked to get together and cook for the premies. Once, during a satsang program, premies had to be fed, but we had run out of plates and bowls. Someone asked Maharaj Ji what should be done. Maharaj Ji came out of his room, and said, 'I'll show you what to do!' He then placed two pourries (fried chapatties) in one hand,
heaped fried vegetables on top of them and started eating, saying, 'See what a marvellous plate God has given us! Learn to be contented and cheerful in any situation.' So the premies, cheering loudly, ate as he had shown them."
Once during satsang, Maharaj Ji said of Mahatma Ji, "On the banks of the Yamuna is a dharmshala where we used to hold satsang. Before Mahatma Satyanand had received Knowledge, he saw my picture in a premie's house in Bhurhbaral and asked, 'Who is that and where is he?' The premie answered, 'He is our Guru Maharaj Ji and he lives in the heart.' In other words, he didn't give an exact address. Satyanand went to Delhi and after a lot of wandering around he somehow or other reached our dharmshala. He heard the sound of music and singing coming from upstairs. He asked someone, 'What is going on up there?' and was told; 'Don't go up there! If you do, you won't come back down! Those people are into magic!' Satyanand didn't believe him. He went upstairs and eventually received Knowledge."
Mahatma Madhodas used to work at D.C.M., but after receiving Knowledge, he became a mahatma. He was a very simple and straightforward person. He devoted his life to spreading Knowledge in Rajasthan and continued serving until his death a couple of years ago. Once, Shri Maharaj Ji appeared to me (C.L. Tandon) in a dream, long after he had left his body, and said, "Many premies have served me well, but no one could massage my feet like Madhodas did." This was not just a dream, but a fact, because Madhodas always used to massage Maharaj Ji and he was fortunate indeed that his service so pleased the Master.
Once, at Prem Nagar, Shri Maharaj Ji called all the mahatmas together and asked each one of them how he regarded himself. ''They all gave answers like, 'I regard myself as a servant' or, 'I see Myself as a servant of servants.' When Madhodas' turn came, he replied, 'You have made me a mahatma, so I consider myself a mahatma.' Maharaj Ji laughed and said, 'See what a frank answer he gave!"
Madhodasji had a long beard. Sometimes in satsang Maharaj Ji would playfully tweak it and sing Kabir's song about saddhus: 'He grows a beard and looks like a goat!' Madhodasji never took offence. If a devotee can't tolerate everything his Guru says to him, how can he transcend mind?
Shri Maharaj Ji often held satsang on the banks of the Yamuna. He would wear a tall crown, much to the delight of the premies. This, however, evoked opposition. People would taunt him, saying, "So, you've made yourself God! You dance like Krishna amidst your milkmaids and cowherds!"
Once he held a series of satsang programs at the Yamuna Steps. Prominent religious teachers also held programs there, during which a lot of money was donated by very rich businessmen, because these programs had the backing of Chiranjilal, a wrestler who owned one of Delhi's most famous wrestling clubs. On the other hand, Maharaj Ji's satsangs were attended by the common folk.
One day after satsang, Chiranjilal visited Shri Maharaj Ji at his dharmshala near the railway station. Chiranjilal said, "You've been holding satsang but you haven't received any large donations. If you'll listen to me, I'll arrange programs for you and get rich businessmen to donate a lot of money." Maharaj Ji got really angry and said, "Do you think that I want to barter the Holy Name? Listen, the wealth of the three worlds couldn't buy it! I don't give a hoot about your donations and I spit on your money! If that's all you're interested in, go and talk to some fake guru. God prefers the
poor and the humble. He is hungry only for love, not money." Once on his way home from satsang, Shri Maharaj Ji, accompanied by some premies, came across a Mauni Baba - a Saddhu who has taken the vow of Silence. A lot of people were seated around him asking questions; which he answered by writing in the sand. Shri Maharaj Ji sat down near him and prayed, "0 God! I know You are almighty and know the innermost thoughts of all. You never make mistakes, so why did You give this Baba a tongue when it appears that he has no use for it. It would've been
better for him to have been born dumb, so that he could have kept perfect silence!" The Baba could contain neither his indignation nor his tongue. He jumped up shouting and everyone laughed. Shri Maharaj Ji said, "Mauni Babaji, silence your mind first. Mere outward silence is useless if inside your mind is ticking over Lord Krishna called such people frauds."
Shri Maharaj Ji once said in satsang, "Once I was returning from the Yamuna. At the Red Fort intersection I saw a traffic policeman waving his arms this way and that. He went off duty just as we passed by, so I asked him why he waved his arms like that. He answered, 'It's my job. I get paid to do it.' When I asked him why he had a job like that, he said, 'It's a living.' When I asked him what he did with his pay, he replied, 'I take care of myself and my kids.' The point is, whatever a person does - whether he works in an office, or has a shop - is to fill his belly. Some people in the line of duty are sent to fight in places where it snows heavily. All for the sake of the stomach."
When Shri Maharaj Ji stayed in the Satyanarayan Dharmshala, he used to go to bathe every day in the Yamuna, accompanied by premies. He knew how to swim, and enjoyed frolicking in the water with the premies. In those, days, Kishari Singh Chauhan from Ballabhgarh stayed with Maharaj Ji. He used to go to the river with him. One day, Maharaj Ji told him not to go, but he insisted and went along. He relates, "Suddenly I got caught in an undertow and was being dragged under. Some women sitting on the bank shouted, 'Hey, that boy is drowning!' My ears and mouth were full of water and I was barely conscious. Suddenly some kind of force lifted me up out of the water and put me on the bank. Premies tried hard to rescusitate me but I was unconscious. Then Shri Maharaj Ji told a premie to shout in my ear, 'Kishan! Wake up! Shri Maharaj Ji has left!' This premie did so and immediately I regained consciousness. The premies took me to the dharmshala. Maharaj Ji told me, 'Listen, I told you not to go, but you disobeyed me.'
'In those days, four of us boys lived with Maharaj Ji. He gave us the yellow robes of brahmacharins (novices). We used to love singing devotional songs. He would take us with him, on satsang tours or send us, on our own to satsang. He was our everything, the cornerstone and foundation of our lives. We used to laugh and play, talk and sing and go everywhere with him. That was our life.
Our whole existence centred on him. He gave us nicknames according to our traits and peculiarities. He called me 'Bulbulanand' (the nightingale) and referred to me as his private secretary. Bhagwandas was fat and had a sallow complexion, so he was called 'Gulgulanand'. Ram Rattan's two sons, were called 'Chatpatanand' and Phatphatanand'.
Mahatma Gopaldas lived with us in those days. Once he hit me very hard. I didn't say anything to Maharaj Ji but someone else did. I was sitting with Maharaj Ji when he suddenly said, 'Kishan, has Gopaldas arrived?' I went faint with fear and trembled like a leaf. Shri Maharaj Ji had some premies massage my hands and feet. In the meantime, Mahatma Gopaldas did arrive. Shri Maharaj Ji said, 'Look how petrified he is of you! You've got some nerve beating him!' Mahatma Gopaldas begged forgiveness and prostrated at Maharaj Ji's feet. In those days premies wouldn't stand up again until they were told to. Maharaj Ji didn't tell Gopaldas to get up, and left him lying there. He took me into another room where satsang was going on. He returned after a long time, but the Mahatma was still lying there. Maharaj Ji told him to get up and said, 'Listen, this time I'll excuse you, but be careful in future. If, even after becoming a mahatma you behave like a monster, you won't be able to stay here. Kings and Maharajahs have their courts. Prime Ministers and ministers hold conferences. Every President, Prime. Minister and Mandaleshwar holds processions. But the Court of the Master is called Saccha Darbar - the Court of Truth - because it is here that God's Name and Light are revealed, and the lowly and downtrodden are given shelter. If you persecute anyone here then there is no salvation for you in any age. Out of compassion I gave you Knowledge and made you a
mahatma so that you may share that Truth with others. I never told you to regard me as your Guru - you do that because you feel to. Listen! Without serving and obeying the Master a disciple does not get liberated. So never torment any living thing by thought, word or deed. If this boy had stayed away from satsang because he is afraid of you, it would have been a terrible sin on your part."
Shri Maharaj Ji also used to hold satsang programs at Madhodas and Chhanumal Dharmshalas. Satsang was held for a long time at Madhodas Dharmshala in New Bazaar, Delhi. A premie called Udayshankar, an excellent dancer, would perform after satsang for Shri Maharaj Ji and close premies, after everyone else had gone. Kishan says, "I wanted to perform the 'Cowherd's Dance' for Maharaj Ji. I already knew how to sing the part and I learnt the dance routine in a few days. I danced for the first time in front of Maharaj Ji at Jyoti Prasad's house in Pahari Dhiraj. Once, at Allahabad, at the house of a premie called Ramnarayan Singh, I danced the part of Radha, decked out in Mrs Singh's jewellery. Shri Maharaj Ji had several costumes made for me, and so that I could learn to dance properly, took me to Udayshankar's (who was India's foremost dancer) concerts in Kanpur. Maharaj Ji regarded music and dance as divine, as they could express the emotions as no other medium could. In fact, when anyone took Maharaj Ji's shelter, his innate talents blossomed and developed."
Premies who were close to Maharaj Ji in those days say that they saw his divinity manifest itself in various ways. Sometimes he appeared to them in all his glory and sometimes it just seemed to vanish. When premies recall those heavenly times, they laugh and cry. Only a devotee can understand the greatness of the Beloved. Fools would accuse Maharaj Ji of trying to be a 'Pope' and would oppose him strongly. Once some members of the R.s.s. Youth Wing burst in on a satsang program, ran off with some musical instruments and generally wreaked havoc. A little while later, Shri Maharaj Ji appeared onstage, premies came out of their hiding places and once again the sound of devotional songs filled the air.
Although the dharmshala's manager wanted to file a complaint against the youths, Shri Maharaj Ji refused, saying, 'They are just silly young hotheads. What do they know about the joy of devotion?"
By 1942 the Quit India Movement, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, was in full swing. One day as Shri Maharaj Ji was getting into a horse-drawn carriage outside the station, he happened to glance at a Government building which housed the Railway Accounts Department. He suddenly said, "That building will soon be in ruins!" And, sure enough, a few days later there was a riot and that building was razed to the ground.
Several times his satsang programs beside the Yamuna were disrupted. He once said, "If you won't let me speak here, there's a whole world out there. I can go anywhere. Who can stop the spreading of God's Knowledge? Wherever I go, my devotees will find me. It's the way of the world to worship the false and oppose the true. The same thing happened to Kabir, and that is why he said, If a person speaks the truth, he gets a beating, but not if he tells lies.' "
Satsang and discourses on the Bhagavad Gita were held at Channumal Dharmshala for approximately one month. All expenses incurred were met by a premie, Thakur Tej Singh, who formerly had been an avid Arya Samaj supporter, and who at first had tried to prevent his wife from attending satsang. During this series of discourses, Shri Maharaj Ji explained the mysteries of the Gita in minute detail in his simple, easy-to-understand-fashion. One of his mahatmas, Dayanandji also lectured on the Gita. How Maharaj Ji found him is a charming story. Dayanandji had studied the Gita since childhood. His grandfather had instructed him. He didn't understand the Gita's profound mysteries, so he questioned his grandfather, who replied, "If you can find a Guru like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, you will then understand the teachings of the Gita perfectly." Mahatma Ji says, "From that time I made up my mind to find a Guru. After my grandfather's death we were hard up. My studies had also been terminated so I
decided to go and search for a Guru. After a great, deal of wandering here and there, I came across the ashram of a saddhu near Saharanpur Railway Station. I told him that I was looking for a guru like Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He told me, 'You won't find a Guru by spending your life wandering around. It's the Guru who finds the devotee. You should do Service. Then you'll get results.'
So I stayed with him and served in the kitchen. I also did whatever other work had to be done. One day, as I was reading the Gita and turning things over in my mind, someone approached me and said, 'So, you read the Gita do you?' I answered, 'Yes.' Then he quoted these lines:
'The Light from a thousand suns could not produce that Light which Arjuna saw', and
'Where sun, moon and fire do not, shine, there shines that Supreme Light which is My highest Abode, having reached which, the soul does not return to the mortal world.'
Then he asked me, 'Where is that Light which is brighter than a thousand suns, that self-effulgent Light which shines where other kinds of light do not?' I answered, 'I don't know, nor do I understand any of it.' He said, 'An illiterate man can say that he hasn't read it, and an educated man can say that he doesn't know it, but if you, a mahatma, cannot explain what it means, then who can?
I replied, 'I left home to realize these things. I became a mahatma but actually I have no inner experience. Please tell me if you know of any mahatma in this whole wide world who can reveal such Knowledge to me. Did you ever meet such a person?'
He said, 'I'm always on the lookout for Mahatmas and I do find them, but such persons, don't stay in one place. They travel around for the sake of everyone. I'll give you an address where you can meet such a mahatma. At Hapur, you'll find Babu Shyamsundar Lal. Mahatmas visit him. Go there.' He wrote a letter of introduction for me, Then he took me into the empty
waiting room of the railway station and showed me the techniques for meditating on the Divine Light and Holy Name.
'When I reached Hapur I presented the letter to Babuji. When a mahatma (M. Satyanand) next came there, I pleaded with him to accept me as his disciple. Babuji showed him the letter. When he saw the Master's letter, Mahatma Ji's astonishment knew no bounds. 'Oh! Just see Maharaj Ji's grace!' he exclaimed: 'See how he goes looking for his devotees and pulls them out of the swamp of Maya! Even then, we forget how great he is.' The thing that amazed Mahatma Ji the most was that I didn't recognize Maharaj Ji. Truly it is said, 'Only if the Lord so wills, can a person recognize Him.' Said Mahatma Ji, 'Lord, how much you put up with for our sake! We think that we are searching for you, but actually it is you who goes searching for us, to pull us out of our ignorance and attachment to illusion!"
Shri Maharaj Ji knew a person's innermost thoughts. Mahatma Harinivrittanand tells of one such incident "After I received Knowledge, I attended satsang but I didn't do any service. Once, Maharaj kept me behind after satsang and told me to take some tents and planks back to the supplier. He placed the goods on my head himself. It was quite a heavy load. I slowly made my way to the tent suppliers'. From time to time I would look behind to make sure that none of my acquaintances was around. It would certainly have been very embarrassing if any of them were to see me just then! With these thoughts going through my mind I deposited the goods at the suppliers' and returned. Shri Maharaj laughed and said, 'Did you see anyone you know along the way? Wouldn't it have been embarrassing!' I was speechless, amazed that he knew what was going through my mind.
Mahatma Ji first saw Maharaj Ji in 1937 and has witnessed many wonderful lilas (the cosmic play of the Lord) since then. He says, 'The first time I saw Maharaj Ji he was sitting in the courtyard of Ram Bahadur's house, putting tilak on his forehead. I was awed by his brilliance and the thought occurred to me that the Lord Himself was seated in front of me.
'He treated people according to how they felt about him. He would see into a person's heart and mind and then give satsang accordingly.
'His satsang was very practical. Once, in order to make his point clear, he struck a match and said, 'You have to strike like this (with the Holy Name) to produce Light. The more you strike, the greater the Light you'll see.' When people accused him of projecting himself as Krishna, he would say, 'If I reveal the same Knowledge which Krishna gave to Arjuna, then am I not Krishna?' "
Hari Mohan, son of Ram Rattan, a long time disciple of Maharaj Ji, relates this incident: 'Shri Maharaj Ji liked the way I sang devotional songs. He had me sing every day in satsang. If I missed satsang he would come to my house to find out why. Once my brother and I were going to satsang with two mahatmas. In those days there were saddhus who used to kidnap children. A couple of policemen saw us and their suspicions were aroused. They stopped the mahatmas and demanded, 'Where are you going with those boys?' Even after Mahatma Ji had explained everything, the police took us all to the police station. Shri Maharaj Ji who had been walking on ahead, stopped and came back. He thundered, 'Why are you harrassing them!' The policemen took one look at him and let us go."
For several years Maharaj Ji gave satsang at the A.C.M. Workers' quarters. Jyoti Prasad and his wife Jamuna, both premies, used to go there. Shri Maharaj Ji agreed to their request to come and live with them at Pahari Dhiraj and for a few years satsang was held there. Those were wonderful years, when Shri Maharaj Ji's love and charismatic personality had the premies enraptured. Word about Maharaj Ji was spreading. New people were drawn to him, like moths to a light. Jyoti Prasad's modest home was in Amraoh Singh Lane It was there that the premies flocked to see the Master and the air rang continuously with satsang and song.
When Bhagat Ram Gupta came to see Maharaj Ji, for the first time, he arrived just as Maharaj Ji was entering the room. As
Bhagat Ram bowed and touched his feet, he felt something like an electric shock coursing throughout his body. He was astounded, and thereafter came every day for darshan. One day while Bhagat Ram was fanning him, Shri Maharaj Ji asked, "Why do you come here?" Bhagat Ram answered, "Because my soul recognizes you as divine." A little while later Shri Maharaj Ji said, "Come here and _ look inside my mouth." Bhagat Ram says, "I was awestruck. Inside Maharaj Ji's mouth I saw the entire Earth with its oceans, mountains, rivers, etc. I saw it all. After staring at this remarkable scene for a while, I was told to sit down. Maharaj Ji gave me the standard initiation. Then he told me, 'If you do service then your power of meditation will increase, but if you don't, you will find it extremely difficult to stay on this path."
Maharaj Ji was intoxicated. with the Holy Name. He never chased money. He used to say, "God will provide me with something to eat. My job is to spread .this Knowledge."
Ram Kishan, a Delhi premie, recalls, "Most of the residents of Pahari Dhiraj belonged to the Jat and Mali castes. They opposed Shri Maharaj Ji and used to heckle the premies going to satsang. One day, a mob armed with sticks marched towards Jyoti Prasad's house. Jyoti Prasad informed Maharaj Ji that local rowdies were on their way to cause trouble. Meanwhile the mob arrived and started banging on the door, shouting, 'Come outside! Today you'll get what's coming to you!' A little while later, Shri Maharaj Ji stood up, wrapped a piece of cloth around his head, took a long stick in his hand, and said, 'Open the door.' As soon as the mob saw Maharaj Ji's awesome appearance, they turned tail and ran. Several of them stumbled and were injured in their anxiety to get away. Soon after, satsang resumed. Shri Maharaj Ji instructed, 'No matter how much someone insults you, stay calm and keep meditating.'
''The next day, on my way to satsang, I stopped at a shop in that lane to buy something to take as prashad. The shopkeeper asked, 'Tell me, how many of you were there when all that trouble started?' I answered, 'About 10-15 premies.' He said, 'That's strange, because those Jats said that they saw thousands of men there and that's why they were so afraid" The entire neighbourhood was astounded by this lila of Maharaj Ji's and never bothered him again, nor did they say anything against him."
One night after satsang, Jamuna heated some milk for Maharaj Ji, but instead of sugar, she absent-mindedly put medicinal salts in it. Maharaj Ji drank some and said, "Give the rest to the premies." They spat it out immediately, saying, "What did you put in it? It's salty!" Jamuna, in all innocence, said, "I put sugar in it, of course! " So a premie said, "Taste it and see." Jamuna took a sip and realized that it was salty. She ran to the kitchen and said, "Oh no! The sugar tin was next to the salts tin. Now I've given Maharaj Ji salty milk!" She asked forgiveness. Maharaj Ji said, "Look, I eat and drink whatever devotees offer me, because I appreciate their love. However, you should be more careful about what you offer Guru Maharaj Ji. Never mind. Just don't make the same mistake again. If you are careless in small things, one day you may cause real damage. I drank my milk, but the rest of yours is spoiled. And let's see what happens to my stomach in the morning!
'The relationship between Guru and disciple is very special, and very sacred. It can take various forms, such as master and servant, deity and worshipper or devotee and Lord. If it is not maintained properly it will break. So a disciple should know how to speak in front of his Guru, how to sit and how to converse. You don't know how, yet. It is written in our scriptures that a disciple should not put on airs or laugh raucously in front of his Guru. You should never turn your back on him. You shouldn't close your eyes to meditate while sitting in front of him. If he walks by, you should stand up and acknowledge him with folded hands. You should never come into his presence half-dressed. Your faith and veneration should reveal itself in every little thing that you say or do."
When premies acted frivolously in his presence or displayed vanity, Shri Maharaj Ji would say, "Well, Well! So you're putting
on airs in front of me! Pride comes before a fall, you know. One should always behave humbly and sincerely in front of one's Guru. If he behaves arrogantly or deceitfully, even the Guru can't save him."
Once, Ho Ram went for darshan clad only in a towel. Maharaj Ji said, "Ho Ram, don't you have the sense to realize how to come before Guru Maharaj Ji? Go and get dressed." In spite of the admonition, Ho Ram remained seated, so Maharaj Ji took a stick and hit him on the hand. Ho Ram yelped in pain and ran weeping into his own room. That night after satsang Maharaj Ji heard Ho Ram moaning. He called him and said, "Well, why are you crying? Is your hand really sore? Look, I did that for your own good. Then he showed Ho Ram his own hand and said, "See, my hand is swollen too. If you hadn't been so obstinate, do you think that I would've punished you?' If I, as your Guru, don't make you understand, how will I be of any benefit to you?"
Lahore and Sindh
Shri Maharaj Ji's fame spread throughout Lahore and Sindh. The 1942 Guru Puja was celebrated there at Rai Bahadur Gaya Prasad's house. Rai Bahadur printed and distributed a four-page pamphlet and sent them to distant premies, whose addresses he got from Shri Maharaj Ji. One of the recipients was Pandit Shankar Lal from Kherpur, Sindh, who had received Knowledge while still in school.
Maharaj Ji gave satsang, and then said, "Listen to some songs now. I'll be back soon." He went into his room and sat beside a door which led on to the street. He called for the Sindhi premies, one of whom was Shankar Lal. Gurudev asked, "Do you recognize me?" Shankar Lal was silent. Then Maharaj Ji took off his crown and said with a smile, "Don't you recognize me?" Then Shankar Lal laughed. He pranamed and said, in a voice choked with emotion, "Gurudev! Maharaj Ji. When you initiated me I was a schoolboy. Now I'm a teacher! God knows I've searched for you
everywhere. Then suddenly I received this leaflet and came here hoping to see you. Oh Lord! I'm just an ignorant soul, but you shouldn't have neglected me, either." With that, he started crying. Maharaj Ji blessed him and told him to go home and do a lot of meditation. Shankar Lal actively spread Maharaj Ji's message and the Master sent several mahatmas there. A lovely ashram was built at Gambat where Hindu and Muslim premies would worship, meditate and hold satsang together. The Chief Magistrate of that town, Mohammed Pir Ali Shah, used to hold satsang in his home, also. He had a great love for Maharaj Ji, and through him 250 Muslims received Knowledge.
Whenever Maharaj Ji would visit the ashram, the premies would make a beautifully decorated swing, and Maharaj Ji would swing on it for hours. Then everyone would gather for satsang and darshan, and sing devotional songs in Sindhi.
Maharaj Ji once sent Mahatma Satyanand to Hyderabad (Sindh). He gave Mahatma Ji some premies' addresses and told him to go there and arrange satsang. However, upon reaching Hyderabad, Mahatma Ji found that only one of them, Gobind Ram, was still around. Mahatma Ji showed him an old picture of Shri Maharaj Ji and said, "This is my Gurudev. He initiated you a long time ago in the garden of your house. If you have forgotten
how to meditate, I will explain it to you thoroughly." Gobind Ram replied, "He is the Lord of my heart. He gave me Knowledge and lives in me. There's no chance of forgetting him. But where is he now? How can I see him? I always thought that he had come for the sole purpose of blessing me with Knowledge and devotion." Mahatma Ji told him to arrange satsang and Maharaj Ji would come.
Lord Vishnu told Narad, "I am restricted neither to Vaikunth nor to yogis. I am wherever my devotees glorify Me." Jesus Christ also said, "Whenever two or three are gathered together in my name, I am also there."
"Gobind Ram," says Mahatma Ji, "showed me his garden and the room where he received Knowledge. It was indeed a pleasant spot."
There were a few other premies in Hyderabad, including Basant Lal Sharma and Vasudev Sharma. The date for Maharaj Ji's program was decided, and leaflets were distributed all over town. At several places, the premies strung up banners which read, 'Come for the holy darshan and satsang of Satgurudev, the Incarnation of Lord Hans.'
A short time previously, a so-called mahatma, who also-called himself 'Paramhans', had been operating in Hyderabad. On the pretext of holding 'Gita-study classes', he had seduced several women and girls and was virtually running a brothel. The citizens of Hyderabad were outraged and had run him out of town. Consequently, several citizens, when they saw Maharaj banners, assumed that this was the same person. Opposition arose and a public notice was printed in the newspapers which said, 'Citizens of Hyderabad, beware! Hans is coming - make sure he doesn't fly away!'
Such a huge crowd assembled for the program that they could not all fit into the grounds. The audience listened quietly and attentively to satsang. It is impossible to describe how majestic Maharaj Ji looked on that occasion. He said, "I am extremely pleased with whomever it was who placed that notice in the newspapers. I invite him to come here and I will grant him whatever he wishes." No one stirred. Maharaj Ji delivered more satsang then stood up and said, "If I were a statue or a picture of me were placed in a temple, there isn't a person here who wouldn't bow his head or raise his hands in supplication. But I am here as a living human being, so you don't believe me, but after I leave you'll all sing my praises. No great soul was ever believed during his lifetime but now everyone glorifies them."
Kishan Singh Chauhan accompanied Maharaj Ji on one of his satsang tours of Sindh: "In Gambat there was an ashram where Maharaj Ji had often stayed, but this was to be his last tour. The
devotees had made two throne-like chairs for him. Maharaj Ji gave satsang for eight days straight. A huge procession took him from the railway station all around the town to the ashram. The days passed in satsang, darshan and song. In such a blissful atmosphere who had any idea of time! The Sindhi devotional songs were very appealing. The premies called Maharaj Ji Bhalrhe Bhagwan, which meant Bhole Bhagwan. They brought coconuts as prashad which Maharaj Ji accepted and gave out to everyone. In those days, Shri Maharaj Ji had long hair and a beard."
Knowledge also spread throughout the city of Lahore. Mahatma Daya Bai accompanied Maharaj Ji to a program there. She recalled, "During satsang he said, 'Now your store of merit has run out.' Nobody at that time, including myself, understood what he meant. A short time later, however, came the partition of India. and Pakistan. Then I realized what he had meant."
Shri Maharaj Ji was totally involved in the propagation of Knowledge. It was his life. He wasn't interested in anything else and sank everything he had into it. For him it was tapasya. He went from town to town and from village to village on foot, by bicycle or oxcart, offering the Knowledge of the Holy Name to one and all, and anyone who joined him also became involved in this work. Is there anything nobler than spreading the message of devotion? Lord Krishna himself said in the Gita: 'Those who spread Knowledge among My devotees are dearest of all to Me.' Is there any greater service to mankind than giving Knowledge of God as He is, which enriches both this life and the next?
Once, when Shri Mata Ji asked him about the difficulties and hardships of those early days, he answered, "I used to go hungry for days at a time, or make do with chickpeas. It was a matter in those days of giving satsang to one person at a time, in the local park. But I really enjoyed it because, by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, the harder and more selflessly I worked, the more blissful it was. I never got tired of it, because even the pleasures of heaven can't equal the joy of satsang."
Ram Rattan was a premie who spread Knowledge in Ballabhgarh. Kishan Singh, who came to Knowledge through him, also lived there. He tutored the children of Mr Hakki, the Officer-in-Charge of the local police station.
Once Shri Maharaj Ji, accompanied by Kanheya, arrived in Ballabhgarh and finally found Kishan's home. Kishan was teaching at the time, so was not at home. When he heard the news of Shri Maharaj Ji's arrival, he rushed home. Meanwhile, premies had also gathered there.
There were certain elements in Ballabhgarh opposed to Shri Maharaj Ji. They filed a complaint against Kishan Singh, alleging that he was aiding and abetting a Delhi politician who was selling fake Congress Party membership cards. Kishan Singh relates: "Some policemen arrived at my home and took me to the police station. The Officer-in-Charge was surprised and said, 'Chauhan Sahib, why are you here?' The constables told him the charges. I replied, 'He is my Guru Maharaj Ji, my spiritual master. He has nothing to do with politics.' The O.C. said, 'How wicked some people are, filing false charges against holy men. But I am helpless. I must do my duty. Please bring Maharaj Ji here.'
'I ran home and told Maharaj Ji the whole story. He said, 'Let's go.' He was wearing a dhoti and kurta and looked absolutely glorious. As we were walking along people just started following us and by the time we had reached the police station we had quite a crowd in tow. Shri Maharaj Ji spoke with Mr Hakki, who was a Muslim, and gave him satsang based on the Holy Koran. He concluded by saying, 'I have come here only to spread Knowledge. I go from place to place doing this.' The O.C. was extremely impressed by Maharaj Ji's satsang and his magnetic presence. He begged pardon and said, 'I'm sorry to have put you to such trouble. If you like, I'll arrest your accusers.' Maharaj Ji replied, 'Listen, my friend, I have come to free people from jail, not to put them in it I simply spread the message of salvation."
Once, after spending a couple of days in Ballabhgarh, Shri Maharaj Ji was due to go to Bharatpur, in Rajasthan. The premies went to see him off at the bus station. They waited a long time, but couldn't get him a seat on the bus. Suddenly a brand-new car pulled up. The driver got out and bowed to Maharaj Ji, who asked, "Where are you going?" "Wherever you want to go," replied the driver. "I have come here just for you." So Maharaj Ji went to Bharatpur by car. When they reached their destination, Maharaj Ji sent Kanheya to pay the driver but he had disappeared.
The Bharatpur program was held from 22nd-24th October with great fanfare and celebration. On the 22nd, a grand procession started from the railway station, in which thousands of men and women from all walks of life took part. Afterwards everyone gathered to hear satsang. The Maharajah of Bharatpur and his retinue attended satsang every day. After listening with great interest and pleasure to three days of satsang, the Maharajah received initiation from Maharaj Ji.
A lot of rumours and speculation concerning the program had been rife in Bharatpur. Some people thought that Shri Maharaj Ji was holding an anti-Congress rally or was canvassing votes for himself. One well-off man suggested that it was a fundraising program. So a lot of people had a lot of different preconceptions, which were laid to rest once Maharaj Ji appeared on stage and delivered a most appealing satsang. Here is an excerpt:
"After a soul has suffered the consequences of its karma during incarnations in various species, God graces it by sending it into a human body so that it can practise devotion and attain liberation. Hanging upside down in the mother's womb, the child prays to God; 'Lord, save me from this misery. I will remember You all my life.' However, after its birth, the individual gets involved in maya, in illusion, forgets his Heavenly Father, and, rather than meditating on God, thinks only about worldly things.
'We are occupied most of the time with worldly affairs. It doesn't matter whether a person traverses the seven oceans and the seven continents, or whether he is at the pinnacle of political success, or whether he is a master of the arts - these are all ephemeral and last only as long as the body lasts. God can't be realized through these things, and yet it is to realize God that we were given this body. Whatever we do, from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep, is simply to fill our stomachs. Animals do the same things. If a dog turns up at a feast, it can eat its fill, too. A cat gets milk and cream without having to look after a cow, without having any money and without having to do anything. All animals and birds manage to fill their bellies, and human beings spend their time doing this, too. The traffic policeman waves his arms around like a monkey all day simply for this reason. Once I asked a policeman why he did this, and he answered, 'I do it to feed myself and my family.' I asked another question: 'Do you put as much effort into remembering God?' He answered, 'No.'
'We run after pleasures. We ruin our lives through anger, lust, greed, attachment and ego. The world is composed of five elements - ether, air, water, fire and earth. Each has its characteristic properties: The property of ether is sound. The deer is captured after being lured with music. The quality of air is touch. Elephant hunters dig a deep pit and build a false bridge across it. On one side they place a facsimile female elephant. When the male elephant sees it, he rushes towards it. As soon as he steps on the weak bridge, it collapses and he falls into the pit, where he is kept without food for a few days, then chained and put to work. Thus the mighty elephant, because of the desire to touch, becomes dependent on a puny human being.
'Nobody enjoys pleasures. We think we do, but actually they enjoy us. The great saint, Bhartrihari, said, Bhogo na bhukta vaymev bhukta - 'Pleasures actually enjoy us, not vice-versa.'
'The moth is drawn to the light and burns to death. The property of water is taste. Fish can do anything in water, but when the fisherman lowers the bait the fish, fooled by its desire to taste
the bait, gets caught on the line. It doesn't even get to eat the bait. The fish forfeits its life for the sake of taste pleasures.
'The characteristic property of earth is smell. The bee is attracted by the fragrance of the lotus, and sits in the flower. When evening comes, the lotus closes up and the bee is trapped inside. In the morning when elephants come to bathe in the pond, they trample the lotuses, and the poor bee gets crushed to death, all for the sake of smell. So if we misuse our precious human life trying to satisfy all the senses, what will happen to us!
'You are so intent on indulging that you don't have time for worthy deeds. But pleasures can be enjoyed in other species, also you have to go all the way to the market to buy milk, but if you spill some, a dog will effortlessly lick it up. Eating delicacies is not the aim of human life. This life is priceless. What is there that can't be enjoyed in other species? The Holy Name of God can be experienced only in a human existence, and if you don't know it your human life is wasted. I'm talking about realizing the same Light which Guru Nanak described as 'Light Merging into Light'.
'A lot of people go around saying, Aham brahmasmi - I am God'. Just ask them, 'Sir, if you are God, show me the Light which Lord Krishna showed to Arjuna.' You'll find a lot of these 'milk drinking Majnuns' around!
'Once when Laila found out that Majnun was in town, she ordered that he be supplied with free milk. A few days later she received an enormous milk bill. She wondered how Majnun could possibly drink so much milk! She guessed that there were impostors taking advantage of the free milk. The next day she placed a dagger next to the milk jug and told the vendor to announce that Laila had a stomach ache and needed Majnun's heart. All the 'milk-drinking' Majnuns fled, but when the real Majnun arrived and heard of Laila's request, he immediately grabbed the dagger and started to rip open his chest. So people say, 'I am God', but when it comes to practical realities, they know nothing. The seed of truth is never destroyed, however, because the day it is, the world will end.
'The saint Hakikat Ray was about to be executed. When the sword fell from the Kazi's (Muslim judge) hand, Hakikat picked it up and gave it to him, saying, 'Do your duty. The real Hakikat can never be slain.' When the boy Dhruva was wandering through the jungle searching for God, he met Narad, who said, 'This is a dangerous jungle full of wild animals, and you are very young.' Dhruva wasn't put off by this How did he get such faith?
'People talk about Sat Nam, the True Name. But what is it? They don't have the time to find out. People definitely believe in Rama, but they don't do what he says.
'You spend your precious time stockpiling arms and ammunitions. Why? To kill horses and elephants? No. To destroy human beings. If you appreciated how valuable human life is, you wouldn't do that. You have forgotten your real purpose in life. You are destroying yourself and doing your best to destroy others. You should know what you are meant to be doing.
'You believe the Vedas to be divine, but did you ever think about what is written in them? You have brains, so use them! You don't taste sweetness just by saying, 'sugar, sugar'. Just by talking about meditating on the Divine Light, do you see it? If you don't know what to meditate upon, you can't meditate. You say that you meditate on God, but instead you meditate on the sky, or a tree, a fire or a statue. Is God these things? In the Gita, Lord Krishna says only a human being can reach that state from where there is no return. You can't get spiritual Knowledge after you die and go into another species. Then you'll bitterly regret it.
'You know that when Sikhs visit a gurudwara, they place the dust from the shoe racks on their foreheads, in the hope that if a meditator of the True Name is among the worshippers, then the dust from his shoes will purify them.
'India's heritage is spiritual, but just saying that, doesn't make us spiritual. You have to understand what spiritual Knowledge is. It is the Knowledge which gives liberation, which frees the spirit from the cycle of birth and death. You can provide a person with food, shelter and clothing, but you can't release him from birth and
death. Lord Krishna said that spiritual Knowledge changes a man from brute into human. I'm saying the same things as all the saints have said. I'm not starting a new religion. The Truth is the same for all human beings.
All these so-called mahatmas and holy men who tell you to meditate on some mantra or other are all crooks. If you don't think so, then take me to them or bring them here! They are all Death's ambassadors. Death has sent them to lead you astray somehow so that you won't find the True Name, your precious human life will be wasted and Death won't be denied his fodder.
A lot of people are of the opinion that we should save religion for our later years, and in the meantime accumulate degrees and occupy ourselves with worldly affairs. Ask them if they are assured of a long life. Nobody knows how long he will live, so if people don't see that Divine Light now, to experience which this body is a rarely-given opportunity, then when will they?"
The Maharajah of Bharatpur provided accommodation for Shri Maharaj Ji. All day long a stream of people of very different ideas and persuasions came and asked all kinds of questions. Maharaj Ji left an indelible impression on that place and all kinds of misconceptions about satsang were cleared up.
Kanheya was Shri Maharaj Ji's personal attendant and stayed in his room. One night after satsang, Maharaj Ji asked, "Kanheya, would you like to see a movie?" Kanheya replied, "No, Maharaj Ji. I've stopped seeing movies since I came into your shelter." Maharaj Ji said; "I'll show you a movie right here in this room. Close the door and draw the curtains." Kanheya says, "I did so. Maharaj Ji was sitting on his bed. He told me to stand in front of him and watch the wall, and on no account to look behind. I looked at that wall and the most unbelievable scenes started to appear - thousands of Krishnas and thousands of his cowherd friends, all dancing. After watching this for a while, I foolishly turned around.
Shri Maharaj Ji scolded me, 'What! You disobeyed me!" Then I turned to face the wall but it had gone blank. I begged Maharaj Ji, 'I'm sorry! Show me just once more! I promise not to turn
around!' But Maharaj Ji said, 'Not now. Maybe some other time.' Soon afterwards, we left for Delhi,"
Maharaj Ji had devotees in Masauta, Prangarh, Hapur, Mainpuri and Bulandshahr, all sizeable towns in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Masauta's Patwari - the district revenue official - Shri Pritam Singh, and the head of the village, Shri Chokhelal (who later became Mahatma Premanand) arranged a satsang program for Shri Maharaj Ji in 1962. All in all, Maharaj Ji did several programs there. To accommodate him and mahatmas, the villagers had built a small cottage. The 1962 program was especially spectacular. A troupe of Krishna Lila dancers had come from Vrindaban. Many Delhi premies had also arrived. Shri Maharaj Ji's procession went throughout the village, the premies shouting slogans about realizing the Divine Light and the Holy Name.
A lot of people in Masauta belonged to the Arya Samaj. In fact, an Arya Samaj college, a 'Gurukul', was nearby, and its senior academics came to argue scriptures with Maharaj Ji.
Satsang had already begun. The air was ringing with devotional songs. A huge crowd had gathered, not just from Masauta, but from neighbouring villages as well. Om Prakash, a Delhi teacher, was discussing Knowledge in a lucid and easy-to-understand fashion, but the crowd was restive and Arya Samaj followers were shouting slogans about Dayanand, their organization's founder. Then a mahatma started to give satsang, but the demand for Maharaj Ji himself to come on stage grew louder. When he finally did come, it seemed as if the sun had come out from behind the clouds. Everyone fell silent; and just stared at his majestic and radiant countenance.
A short while later, a few Arya Samaj youths started heckling and shouting, "All glory to Swami Dayanand!" Villagers told them to be quiet and that it was against all sense of decency to create such an uproar in satsang. They told them to listen first to what Maharaj Ji had to say and then say their piece.
Shri Maharaj Ji said, "You people have come to argue with me, but do you really know the scriptures or do you only want to cause a commotion? I also used to belong to Arya Samaj, and I've heard a lot of debates between them and orthodox Hindus, as well as with Muslims and Christians. Once in Lahore I heard a debate about idolatry. The Arya Samajist quoted,
'You are in the idol and in the flowers, so how can God garland God?'
Then his orthodox opponent countered, 'You are in the bread and in the teeth, so how can God chew God?' Everyone in the audience cheered. In the end, that debate proved inconclusive, because God is a matter of personal experience. If God could be realized by debate then there'd be no need for meditation and Samadhi, and you can't experience Samadhi without spiritual Knowledge, because God is beyond mind and intellect. How did those who said that God is both formless and with form, know this. If this can be realized through debate, then why is it written in the scriptures that God is not a matter of intellect? The soul can't be known through study or reading scriptures. That is why the sages taught that the aspirant should seek a God-realized Guru, please him through service and then receive Knowledge. When, by constant meditation his mind becomes still, the meditator reaches Samadhi; or the superconscious state. Then he experiences God as He really is.
'What did Swami Dayanandji write? 'Satyarth Prakash' - 'Truth means Light'. God is truth, consciousness and bliss. He is Light, and there is no darkness in Him. I'm simply telling you to see and meditate on God Who is Light within you and Who is called Bhargo jyoti by the Vedas. If you meditate on this Bhargo jyoti then there is no difference of opinion between you and me. If, however, you say that you meditate on that Light but really don't, then you are not practising what you preach, and, if there is any discrepancy between a person's words and actions, he can't know God.
'Tell me, am I contradicting the Vedas? I am offering you the essence of the Vedas, that which is the substance. I am not educated like you; I don't have your academic qualifications. I merely say this: 'The Vedas, scriptures and saints teach only this - to love the Name of God.'
'I'm not saying that I am God. If these devotees say it, then ask them why. I have no wish to be God.
'Once I was walking through Hardwar bazaar. A Maharashtrian gentleman called me over to talk to me. He asked, 'Are you the Lord?' I replied, 'Suppose that I'm not, and say that I am, then that won't be of any benefit to you. If I say that I am not the Lord, yet really I Am, that won't help you either.'
'He was learned in the scriptures. On another occasion, I visited him. He called all his family and relatives for darshan. His son was also a very learned and qualified religious academic, specializing in the Gita. He listened to satsang then examined me closely for the distinguishing marks of an Incarnation.
'Lord Krishna says in the Gita, 'Know the realized soul to be Me.' The Vedas and Upanishads also say that the devotee should have the same respect for his Guru as for God. If my devotees have that kind of love and faith, what's so objectionable?"
After Shri Maharaj Ji had finished satsang, the Principal of the Sikanderabad Gurukul stood up and said, "I have a question. Why do you call yourself 'Hans Avatar?"
Shri Maharaj Ji answered, "You are an academic You define the word 'avatar!" So he said, "Avtarit iti avatar" - one who can take others from mortality to immortality, just as a boat takes us from one side of a river, to another, is an avatar." Quick as a flash, one of Maharaj Ji's mahatmas jumped up and declared, "Our Guru Maharaj Ji has given us the Knowledge, which takes one across the worldly ocean to immortality. So, according to your definition, Shri Maharaj Ji is an avatar."
Then an elderly Arya Samaj mahatma stood up and said politely, "I request a minute of your time." Maharaj Ji invited him
to come closer and handed him the microphone. The mahatma said, "It's wrong to believe in Incarnations because God is omnipresent. He can't be embodied. He can't come in a human form, because if He did, He wouldn't remain omnipresent. Those whom people call Incarnations can be highly evolved souls, but not actual Incarnations. You believe that Guru is an avatar. There are a lot of gurus around today, so does that mean that they are all avatars? I'm not prepared to believe in this kind of Guruism, because the Vedas say that the real Guru is God. So God is everyone's Guru. We can't call a human being 'Guru'. I'm not saying that we should class Shri Maharaj with those others, because I've heard that although he reveals Knowledge of the Formless God, he himself has never claimed to be the Lord, as you heard him say just now. His ideas are very noble and exalted, and so I request you, most reverend Maharaj Ji, to clear up people's confusion about religion and set them on the right path."
The other Arya Samajists, after hearing one of their mahatmas thus praise Maharaj Ji, grumbled to each other, "What a difference between what he said and what he was supposed to say!"
Shri Gurudev was obviously very pleased. Then he gave satsang for quite some time and the audience listened attentively. Basing their, arguments strictly on the scriptures, both he and the mahatmas urged their listeners to experience God, Who is Truth, personally.
The Masauta program lasted three days. Mahatma Premanand, who used to live there, relates an interesting incident, "I took Shri Maharaj Ji to see my farm. Hundreds of premies accompanied him. He went to the pea field, tore off a pod and began to eat the peas. Then the premies invaded the field and stripped it bare. Because of my love for Maharaj Ji and because these premies were my guests, I didn't say anything. As the saying goes, 'These are God's birds and these are God's fields, so, birds, eat your fill.' So I thought, 'This is Maharaj Ji's field and these are his devotees; so, whatever will be, will be.' However, later on at
harvest time, the villagers were amazed to find that my fields produced the best harvest and told me, 'That's your Guru Maharaj Ji's miracle.' I replied, 'No, friends. If a person's heart is pure, then the outcome is automatically good.'
'Maharaj Ji liked to go for a stroll before satsang. During one such walk, he sat dawn on a small bridge in a field. Premies clustered around him and he gave satsang. It was evening, and just starting to get dark. A snake came out of its hole in the fields and, spreading its hood, stood behind the premies. When Shri Maharaj Ji noticed it, he said, 'Well, now how will you listen to satsang, and what will you understand of it. When you were a human being you didn't listen to me, so now what can I do for you?' The premies turned around to see whom Maharaj Ji was addressing. When they saw the snake they were afraid, but Maharaj Ji said, 'Don't be scared. He'll go away now.' They saw the snake lower its head two or three times to the ground and slither away into the field. The next day, some premies who were strolling through the field came across that snake, dead. It seemed to them that by Maharaj Ji's grace it had left that body and had possibly got another chance as a human being.
Whenever there is a solar eclipse, a religious fair (Mela) is held, at Kurukshetra in the northern state of Haryana. As one such event was drawing near, Shri Maharaj Ji was in Delhi. He asked the premies if any of them wanted to go to Kurukshetra. Some of them, who are still around today, such as Kishan Singh, Ho Ram, Hari Ram and his mother Chandro, and Yukti Ram the ghee vendor, got ready to accompany him. Ho Ram had already bought some land at Kurukshetra during a previous Mela and had built a hut. Shri Maharaj Ji had his crown packed with his luggage. Everyone went to Kurukshetra together by train. In their carriage were two Marwari merchants also bound for Kurukshetra. Maharaj Ji gave them satsang and they were so impressed that they
begged to be allowed to stay at the premies' camp, even though they had pre-booked accommodation.
At 2 a. m. Shri Maharaj Ji woke up Hari Ram and told him to come along. Hari Ram said, "Maharaj Ji, it's two o'clock in the morning. What's there to see now? Everyone's asleep." Maharaj Ji said, "Listen, just do as I say." Hari Ram says that Shri Maharaj Ji started walking and stopped some time later near a blind minstrel, whose eyes were just empty sockets. Maharaj Ji said, "Oh, just look at the mysterious play of karma! He doesn't even have eyeballs. He's useless as far as the world is concerned. Even so, by God's grace, he could still see the Divine Light. He could still remember the Holy Name. Even the most magnificent elephant can't meditate. This is the uniqueness of the human body. No matter what circumstances a human being is born into - even if he is blind, deaf, dumb or lame - he can still, by the Guru's grace, see the Inner Light and meditate on the Name, because God is beyond the senses and is meditated upon by consciousness. Everyone has consciousness, and any human being can learn the technique of meditation, if he wants to. Even if an animal wants to meditate, it can't. So understand right now what I've been saying to you over and over again in satsang: 'The soul which is extremely blessed receives a human body.' You can enjoy pleasures in any species, but you can meditate only in this human lifetime. Meditation is the only earning which you will take with you - the rest you have to leave behind."
The next day at approximately 4 p.m. Shri Maharaj Ji told Ho Ram to fetch a horse. Then, wearing his crown, he sat on the horse and set off around the fair grounds. Hari Ram asked him, "Maharaj Ji, what are you doing? What will we tell people when they ask who you are?" He replied, "Just tell them that I am the King of Satlok!" So the premies followed him, singing, 'Love the Satguru! Nectar will rain upon you!' It caused quite a stir! Everyone's attention was drawn to him, and when people saw his majestic bearing and lustrous countenance, they ran after him as if they had gone mad. Some even swooned as if in a trance. Even the
saddhus, matted locks and all, started following him. Having completed his tour of the grounds, he returned with a huge crowd in tow. Then he sat down and spoke non-stop for two hours. It was inspired satsang, and everyone, awed by his divine splendour, shouted, "Hans Bhagwan ki jai!" (All glory to the Divine Lord Hans!)
By this time he was tired. From 4-8 p.m. he had ridden around the Mela grounds on a hot summer's day with a heavy crown on his head. Then he had given hours of satsang. But no one was ready to leave. He called Hari Ram and said, "I'm tired. Tell them to go home now." Finally it started raining; and only then did people get up and leave.
The number of centres in Uttar Pradesh state, from, where Knowledge spread, slowly increased. Besides small towns like Bulandshahr, Hapur, Masauta, Khurja and Prangarh, there were active premies in cities like Etawah, Mainpuri, Allahabad, Hardoi and Aligarh and Shri Maharaj Ji was constantly on the move from one to the other for satsang. In 1944, in spite of the fact that there was only one premie in Etawah and he was poor, a huge procession was held there, followed by a very successful program.
The premie had often begged Shri Maharaj Ji to come and give darshan at Etawah. At first Maharaj Ji said, "You've already had darshan and there are no other premies in Etawah, so what would I do there?" But the premie insisted, requesting Maharaj Ji to at least come and purify his home by his presence, and at the same time edify the residents of Etawah with satsang and darshan. Finally Maharaj Ji agreed and sent a mahatma back with the premie to make all the necessary arrangements:
Leaflets were printed and distributed and news of the impending program reached a majority of people. A lot of premies from surrounding districts arrived. It was beyond the means of premie to accommodate them all, but there was definitely
a blessing resting on the community kitchen, because everyone was adequately fed and the food never ran out.
A wonderful procession was held. Some Muslim premies provided fireworks and others provided elephants. This colourful procession was indeed something extraordinary as far as the Etawah townspeople were concerned. The local religious leaders objected to Shri Maharaj Ji's carriage being drawn by sixteen horses. There had never been a procession like it in the history of Etawah! Some people suspected British involvement, while others thought that it must be some kind of new religious organization. So, Maharaj Ji became the talk of the town, and a variety of ideas about him, both right and wrong, started going around.
Some Delhi premies had come with Maharaj Ji by train in a specially reserved carriage. Maharaj Ji had brought along a bottle of honey. The premies had brought prashad such as oranges and water chestnuts, and Maharaj Ji was distributing it. The floor was littered with peels. All of a sudden the.jar of honey fell and broke. Honey started flowing everywhere. Some spilled on the sheet on which Maharaj Ji was sitting and some fell on the floor. Shri Maharaj Ji started scooping up the honey, with his fingers and licked them. He even picked up honey-coated orange peels and licked them. The premies looked on in wonder. Shri Maharaj Ji explained; "You don't know who offered this honey and with what affection. He must have gone hungry to get it for me." He went on licking his fingers for a long time
Several Arya Samajists as well as disciples of Karpatri came in opposition. Several women premies had come from Delhi and the critics tried to insinuate that Maharaj Ji had led these ladies astray.
A crowd of angry people gathered outside his door, demanding that he come outside. By chance, a premie police officer from Allahabad arrived on the scene. He had missed his train home and so had returned. Maharaj Ji said, "Is this your law and order?" He went outside and told the mob, "All your questions will be answered tonight at satsang." Then the premie policeman quietened them down and dispersed them.
That evening, Maharaj Ji told the Delhi ladies to sit on stage, and then told Om Baba, to inform the audience about them. The satsang grounds were filled to overflowing. Om Baba said, "These ladies belong to respectable homes. They have come here from Delhi to listen to satsang and so have their husbands." He called the husbands on stage one by one. They told the audience, "We have taken leave from work of our own free will to come here."
Then Om Baba issued a challenge: "Some of you have come to debate the scriptures. Why argue with Shri Maharaj Ji? The most learned among you may ask any question you like of any one of these lady disciples. If they can't answer it, Maharaj Ji will consider himself defeated, but if they can, then you will have to concede defeat. Then you'll be paraded in disgrace around Etawah for having falsely accused a great soul."
Then a couple of people stood up and said, "We feel a bit ashamed to ask, but would Maharaj Ji mind telling us why he is called 'Hans Avatar?"
Maharaj Ji took the microphone and said, "There are a lot of people in this country called 'Ram Avatar', 'Krishan Avatar', etc. Why don't you ask them why they have such names? Why are you singling me out?"
They answered, "Those are only names - the people themselves are not avatars. They don't claim to be spreading Knowledge of God, so that's why we don't object to their names. But you claim that you give the same Knowledge which Krishna gave to Arjuna, which means that people will regard you as God, and how can that be in Kali Yuga?"
Shri Maharaj Ji answered, "It is the Guru's job to give Knowledge. What else am I supposed to give? If you dislike the idea of Knowledge so much, then stay in ignorance. People who need Knowledge take it. If you don't need it, then don't take it. My only mistake was in coming here, but what else could I do? People here invited me. If I don't give Knowledge you have nothing against me, but I'm in the wrong because I give Knowledge or have I committed any other offence?"
Then two other men stood up and said, "No, we were wrong. We didn't know anything about you. Please accept our apologies, and do us the favour of giving us satsang. Moreover, please accept our humble invitation to stay here in Etawah for a few days more. We were duped."
In Hapur there lived a devoted premie, Babu Shyamsundar, who was a warehouse clerk with the Railways. Shri Maharaj Ji frequently visited Hapur and its environs, and always stayed with Shyamsundar.
Once during satsang there, Maharaj Ji said, "Progressing on the path of devotion is like target practice. During target practice a soldier is given a gun and told how to aim. He is shown the target, on which he has to concentrate and he is the concentrator. When these three - target, concentrator and concentration - are in perfect alignment, he will hit the bullseye, and if they are not, he will miss. It takes a long time, maybe months, to perfect this, yet here, if a person gets initiated in the evening, the next morning he'll say, 'My mind doesn't settle in meditation.' There are three things - satsang, service and meditation. If you are active, in all three, then your mind will settle in meditation and won't flicker here and there. There should not be the slightest shortcoming in any of these, however."
Baba Shyamsundar relates, "I was initiated by Shri Maharaj Ji personally. About ten months later, my wife, who was about to give birth, suddenly became very ill. Hours passed, but the baby still hadn't been born. I was very worried, so I started meditating. Maharaj Ji appeared to me and, shouted, 'What are you doing? The baby is already dead. Call a proper doctor to have it removed and then get your friend to treat your wife. She'll be all right in a week or so.' I jumped up and ran to my wife. Her face was turning grey and her teeth had gone yellow. I immediately sent for a doctor. She confirmed that the baby was dead, and if I had left it
even half an hour longer, my wife would have died of blood poisoning. I had a friend who was an Ayurvedic physician. He prescribed a week's course of treatment and my wife soon recovered. Then I realized that Guru Maharaj Ji knows absolutely everything and helps his devotees invisibly.
'On one occasion, Shri Maharaj Ji was staying in a cottage near the Nazibabad Lines and Ho Ram Sharma was cooking for him. One day, while Maharaj Ji was eating lunch, 14 or 15 saddhus arrived. Maharaj Ji told me to give them something to eat. I went to the kitchen to inform Ho Ram, who said, 'We are very low on flour. Please bring some more.' I was on my way out the door when Maharaj Ji said sharply, 'Where are you going? Get the food ready, then go.' I didn't think it proper to inform Maharaj Ji about the flour shortage in front of guests, so I returned to the kitchen. I told Ho Ram what had happened and he said, 'Why worry? He who said that will take care of everything.' It was all Maharaj Ji's game. We just kept on making chapatties and the flour didn't run out. All the saddhus ate their fill.
'Once my younger brother said to me, 'Ask Maharaj Ji's permission to start speculating in molasses, because now the rate is just right.' Soon afterwards, while I was massaging Maharaj Ji's feet, I took advantage of his good mood to make my request. He asked, 'What will you do with the money you make?' I replied, 'I'll be able to afford my daughters' weddings.Then he became angry all of a sudden and said, 'So, you think you're the one doing it all. 'No,' I said, 'You are.' So he said, 'Well, why are you worried?' He took a small cloth bag full of rupee notes from his pocket and threw it to me, saying, 'There! Go and arrange the weddings!' I trembled and begged his pardon. A minute later he picked up the purse and put it in his pocket. But his pocket showed no difference in size. I don't know where the bag came from or where it went.
'When I reached home I told my brother the whole story, but he went ahead with the deal anyway. As soon as he had purchased the molasses the market started showing an adverse trend and he lost 3500 rupees in two days. He was operating from Musaddilal
Raninarayan's company shop and the loss was entered against his name. I was very worried about how we could recoup the losses.
'The next day Maharaj Ji was going to Delhi. The train stalled on its way out of the station and his compartment just happened to stop right in front of my office window. He called me and said, 'So, you didn't listen to me. How much did you lose?' I told him, '3500 rupees.' He said, 'Never mind, you'll get it back, but don't do it again!' I thought to myself, 'Well, Maharaj Ji has assured me that I'll recover the money, but I wonder how?'
'Three or four days later, some merchants from Indore came to that same company to purchase molasses. They didn't get the space on the train which they needed to transport the goods and were about to cancel the deal. The owner of the firm sent them to me to get special recommendation. I told them, 'Space is, very limited, but I can get it for you by saying that a relative of mine is sending the molasses to Indore.' The receipts were issued and they got space on a goods train immediately. Shri Maharaj Ji's words came true and we recovered the loss.
'Once Shri Maharaj Ji arrived at my home at the Railway Staff Quarters. When I got home from work he took me for a walk. After walking about four or five miles we came across a mahatma's hut. He sat down on a log outside and started giving satsang. Inside the hut an old mahatma with a long beard was cooking a meal. When he heard Shri Maharaj Ji's voice he came outside and embraced his feet. Maharaj Ji accepted the meal he offered and gave me some as prashad. The mahatma also ate. When he had finished he bowed at Maharaj Ji's feet and departed from this world.
'When my son Surendra was about 3 years old, he suddenly fell ill with typhoid, and was in a coma for four days. I sent for all kinds of doctors but he didn't improve. Meanwhile, Shri Maharaj Ji arrived. I begged him, in tears, to relieve my son's distress. Shri Maharaj Ji said, 'He has to go through this himself. It is the result of previous actions. However, if you love him so much, I can make him well again but you'll be in his condition. You can look after him, but he won't be able to look after you." I requested 'Master,
please at least bring him out of this coma.' So Maharaj Ji kicked his head and ordered, 'Come out of that coma!' The boy immediately regained consciousness and to this day has never experienced such a condition again.
'Maharaj Ji once visited me at 11 p.m, and sat down on the bed. I requested him to let me prepare dinner for him. He refused and said, 'Just give me whatever you have and I'll eat it with a couple of chapatties.' I replied, 'There's nothing cooked, but I have some chili pickle.' Maharaj Ji said, 'Fine. I'll eat pickle and chapatties.' 'I cooked some chapatties and offered them to him, one by one. He liked them and asked for more. By 4 am.' he had gone through 3 tins of flour and a whole jar of pickles ! I kept on serving chapatties and he said, 'They're delicious!' Finally, at daybreak, I asked, 'Lord, how long will this lila go on?' So he said, 'Now I'm full. Well, I certainly did eat a lot today!'
'Once Shri Maharaj Ji went to Nazibabad and stayed there two weeks. Even so, the premies refused to let him go. When he got into his car to leave, the premies lay down in front of it. So he stayed on another week. Finally, when he realized that there was no way that the premies were going to let him go, he went into his hut and simply vanished into thin air! The premies looked everywhere but he was nowhere to be found. He returned to Nazibabad a month later. When we asked him where he had gone, he replied, 'I had an urgent piece of work but you people wouldn't let me go, so what else could I do? I had to go. Don't be so persistent in future.'
'Once my cow got lost and I couldn't find her anywhere. I prayed inwardly to Maharaj Ji for help. That same moment I saw her standing outside the door. Some time later I saw Maharaj Ji at Bulandshahr. As soon as I touched his feet, he said, 'Why do you bother me so? Am I supposed to go looking for lost cows, too?'
'I invited Maharaj Ji to my eldest daughter's wedding. He came and stayed at the local temple accommodation. The day after the wedding my friend Ramchandra's son injured himself at play. Ramchandra, who is an Ayurvedic doctor, felt his pulse and said,. 'He's stopped breathing. I don't know what to do.'
'I ran to Maharaj Ji's room with some water and touched his feet with it. He was resting but he sat up and said, 'What's the
matter?' I told him about the boy and he told me to hurry back. I gave the boy the holy water (charnamrit) and he took a deep breath. My friend was amazed and asked, 'What kind of medicine did you give him?' I told him not to tell anyone.
'After receiving Knowledge I used to go to satsang with my friend Bhikaram Sharma. His brother started coming along too, but he considered us all crazy because every day we would bow to Maharaj Ji as we arrived and as we left. However, he started doing as everyone else did. Just, as he approached him, Shri Maharaj Ji withdrew his feet, saying, 'If people who touch my feet are crazy, why are you doing it?' He told Bhikaram's brother to stand to one side, and after everyone had left he told him to stay the night. He took him into his hut and said, 'You don't know anything about great souls.' He sat him down and threw a sheet over him.
'Bhikaram's brother said, "What did I see! A celestial plane came and Maharaj Ji told me to sit in it with him. We reached Vaikunth, the heaven of Lord Vishnu. I prostrated myself to Lord Vishnu. Shri Maharaj Ji explained, 'See what is happening all around. On the one hand, people are suffering, and on the other enjoying, while servants of the Lord are enjoying the bliss of service.'
'Lord Vishnu said, 'It is by his grace that you have been able to come here. If he wishes, you may stay.' Shri Maharaj Ji was not willing to do that. I begged Lord Vishnu to let me stay. He gave me a small box containing some powder which He had sanctified and said, 'Whenever you want to see me, dab some of this on your forehead and you'll come here. But on one condition - that you always obey him.' He indicated Shri Maharaj Ji. I tucked the box in the waist folds of my dhoti. Our plane arrived and we returned to earth.
Shri Maharaj Ji removed the cloth and I was wondering if it had really happened or not. Then I saw that the little box was where I had put it.'
Bhikaram's brother stayed on with Maharaj Ji and lost all interest in worldly things. He had no intention of going home. We tried several times to take him home, but he was unwilling to go, so we finally had to request Maharaj Ji to make him leave. Maharaj Ji ordered him to go but he wouldn't listen. Maharaj Ji repeated his order three times and finally said, 'Leave this instant!' and virtually pushed him out the door. On his way home he noticed that Lord Vishnu's little powder-box had disappeared. He burst into tears and cried, 'I was a king but now I'm a pauper! All because I disobeyed Maharaj Ji.
'The next day he told us the whole story. He added, 'Now, whenever I think of going to see Maharaj Ji, my feet feel leaden and everything goes black."
'That evening I visited Maharaj Ji and begged him to bestow the same grace on me as he'd shown to Bhikaram's brother. Shri Maharaj Ji answered, 'He was a king and now he's a pauper. Do you want that to happen to you?' I answered, 'No.'
Once Shri Maharaj Ji went to Dalupur in Mainpuri district and stayed at the home of Pundit Surya Narayan. A lot of premies were present and satsang went on day and night for a week. Food for everyone was prepared in eight homes, and the cooking fires burned non-stop. Leaflets had been printed and distributed everywhere. The atmosphere was beyond words. Neither Shri Maharaj Ji nor the premies had any idea of day or night. The premies totally dissolved themselves in satsang, service and darshan. Drowned in an ocean of heavenly love, they played together. They built a swing and he played on it for three days and nights continuously, as the premies took turns in pushing it. The premies were transported by love and enraptured by Maharaj Ji's enchanting beauty. No one was any longer aware of himself. A premie sang a hymn by the poet-saint Surdas.
"Nothing is greater than love.
It is the reason why Krishna refused Duryodhan's rich food
And ate humble greens at Vidhurani's home.
Lord Rama praised the taste of the fruit
Which Bhilni had already sampled.
Under Love's spell Krishna forgot his majesty.
And became Arjuna's charioteer.
Transported by Love the milkmaids of Vrindaban danced.
And made Krishna dance, too.
Surdas says, 'I am totally unfit to praise You."
Then Shri Maharaj Ji gave satsang and said, "Surdas sang in that song that God can be realized only through Love. God is Himself Love. This Love is within everyone, but some people misuse it in sense-pleasures, others misdirect it towards a woman, a son, or money. This kind of love turns out to be the greatest misery, because it is selfish. When a person's selfish desire is fulfilled, that's the end of his love, too. Worldly love is merely attachment and infatuation. Love for God is true love. There are four kinds of devotees, too. First is the person who calls upon God when in trouble. Draupadi remembered the Lord in her distress and He saved her.
'The second kind of love is motivated. This kind of person devotes himself to God with some selfish motive in mind, such as winning the lottery. Such a devotee believes that God is omnipotent, and calls on Him to do this or that for him.
'The third type is the seeker, who loves God in order to know Him. The fourth is the devotee with Knowledge, who, even after knowing God, serves and meditates desirelessly. In the Gita the Lord says, 'The realized devotee is my very soul, and is better than all the others.' This is because he harbours no motives of any kind and is free from fear or any worldly sorrow. He realizes that the purpose of his life is to remember God.
'God follows His devotees around like a cow her newborn calf. He always protects them. So, loving God takes the devotee across the worldly Ocean. Loving maya, on the other hand, brings suffering and bondage to the wheel of birth and death.
'When Lord Krishna was still a young cowherd, he killed many demons as mere sport, to protect his devotees! He also showed his four-faceted form and his cosmic form to Arjuna. How? Only he knows. The Lord is willing to do anything for His devotees. People read Gita, Ramayana and the works of saints, but they don't practise the teachings written there.
'What a wonderful world God has made, but people want only the world. They don't want God. Everyone wants to own the world but no one has ever-succeeded. Take the example of Delhi. How many people have been slaughtered, how much blood has been shed throughout its history! How many conquerors have mounted the throne, declaring, 'Delhi is Mine! They've all been gobbled up by death, and Delhi still looks as fresh and alluring as a bride. In other words, there is nothing to be gained by pursuing maya. It is only a shadow - you can never hold on to it. The human body is bestowed upon a soul so that it can realize God. God is realized by the person who knows His true Name and meditates upon it. Then lasting peace and happiness are also his."
One of the Mainpuri premies, Anuruddh Singh, received Knowledge in 1938. Shri Maharaj Ji told him to give satsang and initiation to worthy aspirants. However, he went astray and started doing as he saw fit. He came to a satsang program at Dalupur and went for darshan. He prostrated to Shri Maharaji Ji but was not given permission to stand up. Maharaj Ji left him lying there for two days, despite appeals by premies. Anuruddh Singh had mislead Simple, sincere premies and had virtually set himself up as a guru. So Shri Maharaj Ji said to him, "You are a guru, so why do you need to lie at my feet? Aren't you enlightened?" Then Anuruddh Singh repented and said prayerfully; "I am merely your disciple." Maharaj Ji replied, "If you still regard me as your Guru, You had better obey my order, which is, not to give satsang or
initiation from now on. If you obey me, it'll be all the better for you, but if you go your own way again, you'll go straight back into the 84 million species."
Mahavir Singh, another Mainpuri premie, recalls, "Once Shri Maharaj Ji invited a Krishna Lila troupe from Vrindaban to perform in Suipuri village. He himself danced the part of Krishna, wearing a crown and the golden pitambari outfit, eating butter and sweets as Krishna did and playing the flute most delightfully. It was an indescribable scene.
'On another occasion, Shri Maharaj Ji, accompanied by Shri Mata Ji, arrived at Mainpuri. Bachchanlal, a premie, greeted them with an elephant and arranged a big program at Khapari village. Maharaj Ji visited Mainpuri several times. Once he walked through the fields with a premie farmer and gave him satsang as he was ploughing. It is really true what the Ramayana says: The Lord incarnates for the sake of the devotees."
In March, 1983, Bachchanlal fell ill. Shri Maharaj Ji appeared to him and said, "Go to Hardwar for Vaisakhi." The next day he sent for Mahatma Girjanand from the ashram and told him; "Shri Hans Ji Maharaj has told me to go to Vaisakhi. Tell me, how can I possibly go? I'm at death's door." Mahatma Ji replied, "Shri Maharaj Ji's words can never be untrue. You'll definitely go. Keep on taking this medicine." He gradually improved in health and had recovered by the time of the Vaisakhi program.
On 6th August, Bachchanlal was breathing his last. He told the premies, "Shri Maharaj Ji is calling me. He's telling me we'll go to Hardwar." With that he departed with his beloved Master for his eternal abode.
Hardoi was the birthplace of the famous devotee Prahlad. The pious citizens of the city were blessed with the arrival of another great Master Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, in December 1951 when he arrived for a satsang program there. Like a monsoon river in flood, a surging crowd of people turned up to welcome him at the railway
station, showering him with flowers to express their love. Then they all proceeded to the house where the official reception had been arranged. The next day, 9th December, a huge procession was held, whose participants included premies and mahatmas from Delhi, Lucknow, Gonda, Hardwar and Mainpuri. At the head of the procession, two youths proudly held aloft a banner which read 'Satnam-Satsang Association, Hardoi'. Next came a premie band, singing devotional songs, on a gaily-decorated float. Next came a horse-drawn carriage carrying mahatmas giving satsang. Then came another group of premie musicians, including Mahatma Shantanand, who sang in his sweet voice.
Then came another group of mahatmas. Then followed yet another premie band from Delhi and Hardwar. Then came Shri Satgurudev in a splendid carriage, surrounded by premies. Groups of devotees standing along the route tried to persuade the premies leading Maharaj Ji's carriage to stop so that they could have darshan. Not even satisfied with that, they produced beautifully decorated votive trays and started singing Arti.
The procession reached Ramayana House at 6 p.m., where satsang was held. The hall was packed and there wasn't enough room for everyone. Satsang was also held on 10th and 1lth from 1-4 p.m. and from 7-11 p.m. The programs were the talk of the town for a long time afterwards. Aspirants were initiated on the 12th and on the 13th the devotees bid a tearful farewell to Maharaj Ji.
After obtaining permission from the Superintendent, Shri Maharaj Ji visited Hardoi Jail and gave the following satsang to the inmates:
"You are here because of your misdeeds. In the same way, the whole world is a jail and we are here because of our past misdeeds. If you had done nothing wrong, would you be here? Some of you are thieves; some are bandits, some are murderers. There are also staff here - those who come only for the salary. People come here for other reasons, too. Occasionally members of the aristocracy come here just to look around. 'Then there is myself; who has come
neither to look around, nor because of any crime, nor for salary. I have no selfish motive in coming here. I am here only for your sake, to offer you some thoughts which will benefit you spiritually. Saints come into this prison of a world simply to deliver souls from the chains of birth and death.
''Some of you have committed crimes unintentionally, others intentionally, and others by force. That's why you are in jail. Now, the question is, how will you get out of this misery? By meditating on God, Whose power can release us from suffering. So everyone should meditate. Here in this jail you are also made to do some kind of work or other. Saints tell us to work with our hands and meditate on God's Name in our heart. Lord Krishna said, in Gita 8:5, 'If a person dies in meditation, he attains Me.'
'Bad actions yield bad results and good actions can yield only good'. Whatever is done, is done, however, and you have to give some thought to the future. If, even now, you start remembering God, your future will be brighter.
'Lord Rama declared that if the pleasures of the world, heaven and liberation were placed on one pan of a scale, and the joys of satsang alone were placed on another, the latter would outweigh the former. How much importance is given to satsang!
'The 84 million species of life is like a jail and all souls are imprisoned in it, revolving on the wheel of transmigration. It's only by the grace of God that a human body is bestowed on a soul. What could be worse than having this chance and not meditating? Lord Krishna was born in jail, but at the time of his birth a strange sleep overcame the guards and he was carried off safely to Vrindaban.
'Meditation on God will cleanse you of the sins of your crimes. No father wants bad for his children. Similarly, God is very kind and merciful and has compassion for everyone. He never wishes us ill. But our actions drag us into rebirth in low species such as scorpions, pigs and porcupines. Because of your deeds you have been separated from your near and dear ones, and have to suffer in jail. Everyone in this world has come to suffer or enjoy the
results of their previous actions, and only the person who meditates on God will be freed from this jail. Otherwise, there is no way.
'The sage Valmiki was once a notorious bandit called Ratnakar. He used to rob and kill travellers. One day a saddhu passed that way. Ratnakar stopped him and said, 'Give me whatever you have, otherwise I will kill you.' The saddhu asked, 'Why do you do such despicable things? You should do good. You didn't get this precious human body just to cut others' throats.' The bandit said, 'I've been doing this for years now. It's how I. support my family.' The saddhu asked, 'Will those whom you support like this share the consequences of your sinful actions? Would they be willing to go to jail with you?'
'Ratnakar answered, 'Why not? They're getting the benefits, so why shouldn't they be willing to take the risks also? The saddhu said, 'Well, why don't you go and ask them?' Ratnakar tied him to a tree in the densest part of the forest and raced home. He asked his parents; 'I support you by robbing and killing, Are you prepared to share the consequences with me?'
'They replied, 'We raised you in the hope that you would look after us in our old age but it would have been better had we died, rather than to have to eat food earned in such a vile way.What you do is wicked.' His wife, sons and daughters-in-law all declared their unwillingness to share the consequences of his actions.
'Ratnakar was confused and shaken. Disillusioned, he realized that they saw him only as a source of income. He went to the forest, untied the saint and threw himself at his feet, saying, 'Lord, now you are my only refuge. Please tell me what is best for me. I have well and truly understood that no one belongs to anyone else in this world, and that everyone is motivated by selfishness.' That Mahatma revealed to him the Holy Name which is within everyone. This Name is beyond vowels and consonants. It can't be written or spoken.
'If you were to know this Name and meditate on it, then your life would take a turn for the better. You take very lightly this life
which God has given you for remembering His Name. You have misused it. St Kabir said, 'O mind, think carefully before burdening yourself with too heavy a load (of karma), or you will break your neck.' You have overburdened yourself with sin, and you will have to suffer the consequences. If you apply yourself to devotion you'll be saved from further misery. A mistake committed in the morning and rectified by evening is not a mistake any more Then you can sleep peacefully at night. Also you are freed from a vicious circle. If you let this chance slip through your fingers, you will regret it.
'If you are hungry, eat up!
No shops are available in the next life.
If you are thirsty, drink up!
You won't get water, either.
Kabir says, Listen, brothers!
Your life is in Death's hands.'
'If you incarnate in a sub-human species, shops won't be available to you. You won't be able to get a drink of water and nobody will bother to offer you one. Even if you are near a well with a rope and bucket, you won't be able to draw water and drink it. Oxen are yoked and forced to work, thirsty or not. They can't relieve their sufferings. So fix your mind on God as soon as you can. No one knows when he will die. Stock up on devotion while you can. Devotion requires neither yoga, yagya, reading and recitation of scriptures, fasting nor pilgrimages:
'Guru is essential for learning how to remember God properly. You have to commune with Him all the time. Only Guru can reveal the secret. So you have to find the true Guru. Now I'll tell you the story of a woman, who, even though enslaved, meditated on God. In old Iran, men and women were bought and sold like cattle. They were treated like prisoners and made to work like beasts. Rabia was a poor orphan girl who was truly devoted to God. A wicked man lured her with promises of employment and sold her to a rich man, who made her do whatever
he wanted. Because she was a slave, she had to tolerate it. Her one wish was to be free and be able to meditate in peace, but it seemed hopeless, because the penalty for escaping was death. Even though she was aware of this, one night, she managed to escape, but in the dark she fell into a ditch and broke her hand. She thought, 'It's not God's will that I escape,' so she returned and confessed to her master, 'I escaped, but fell and broke my hand. Now I know that I have acted against my Lord's will.' The rich man forgave her and she returned to her work.
'She worked even more conscientiously than before. When her master had no further need of her at the end of the day she would retire to her hut to meditate. One night her master happened to come out of his room. He noticed that Rabia's hut was enveloped by a blazing light. He approached it and when he looked inside he was dumbstruck. Rabia was sitting in meditation and the light emanating from her body illuminated the entire hut. The rich man fell at her feet and said, 'I didn't know that you are such a great soul. I mistreated you and made you work for me. I beg you to forgive me. I am ready to serve you in any way in order to atone for my sin and to repay my debt to you.'
Rabia replied, 'You are not to blame. It is all my Lord's will. I don't want you to serve me. If you want to please me, give me my freedom so that I can live alone and meditate.' The rich man freed her and she settled in a hut on the outskirts of town. There are many such stories:
'If you meditate you'll be freed from all misery. But if you persist in your arrogance and continue to do the same things, well, you are suffering now and will continue to suffer. It is said, 'humility floats and pride drowns.'
'Once I was taking a bath in the River Ravi in Lahore. I saw some men tying rocks to a child's corpse. When I asked them why the rocks were necessary, they explained that the weight of the rocks would make the body sink. Then it occurred to me, that if a person has the rock of pride tied around his neck he won't be able to cross the ocean of mortality.
'The world is elusive and slippery. You should never think that it is yours. Even though we all know that we have to leave it someday, still people get involved with their job, their business, their office, their Ministry and their families and get pricked by the thorns accordingly. This world is like dry brushwood: when it catches fire it all gets consumed. In the same way, everything here is consumed by Time. Evil character is not bought in the marketplace. It forms by association. A person grows like the company, he keeps. In Bijnore district there was a bandit called Mukalla who used to rob the rich. When the police pursued him, he would scatter money and escape on horseback while the policemen stopped to pick up the notes. But he would use his loot to help the poor. Finally he was caught and sentenced to hang. This was during the British regime and their practice was to grant a last request to the condemned. Mukalla's request was to meet his mother. She was summoned and as she embraced him he bit off her nose! When asked why, at Death's door, he had added this injustice to his list of crimes, he explained, 'When I was young I once stole an inkwell from school. My mother kept it. I soon got into the habit of stealing some small thing or other every day, and from that I ended up as a notorious bandit. If she had reprimanded me or punished me that first time I wouldn't be standing on the gallows now. I bit her nose as a warning to other parents, to not let their children do as I did.'
'People start gambling or drinking as a joke, or because their friends do it, and gradually turn into real drunkards or inveterate gamblers.
'Iron normally sinks in water, but when combined with wood in the form of a ship it carries thousands of people across water. It crosses the water itself and carries others across. Water doesn't have any price, but when it is mixed with milk it is sold at the same price as the milk. Due to association, the little bits of bamboo mixed in rock sugar acquire the same value as the candy. A person imbibes good traits from good company and bad traits from bad.
Because of unwholesome company, the number of people taking to crime is increasing.
'Only in the human body can you determine your future, so if you want to improve yourself, now you can. If a murderer can turn into an enlightened saint, you can also change for the better. There must be quite a few murderers among you. Meditate on God and associate with the holy and you can also change. Don't brood over the past. It is like the example of the oil stain on the cloth. Instead of wondering how it got there and why, you should think about how to remove it. You've done wrong but now think about how to change. First of all, try to speak civilly and kindly to each other. Don't say anything hurtful or nasty.
'Disagreeable behaviour hurts only the doer. It is said that once Lord Buddha was staying near a town. His fame was already spreading far and wide. One man who couldn't tolerate this went to Lord Buddha and hurled abuse at him. Buddha sat silently and took it all. This only incensed the abuser further. When he finally ran out of steam, he quietened down, and Buddha told him, 'I don't want anything from you. When people visit me they offer fruit and sweets: keep: as much as I want and give the rest back. You are offering me insults, which I choose not to accept. You may take them back.' Then that man felt very ashamed of himself and became Buddha's disciple.
If you understand the value of satsang you will profit from it. Time is passing and it is up to you how it passes.
Once a prostitute and her daughter lived in a house at a crossroads. A funeral procession was passing by. The woman said, "Go and find out if the dead man has gone to heaven or hell.' The girl followed the corpse for a while and returned to her mother, saying, 'He has gone to hell.' Some time later another funeral passed by. The prostitute sent :her daughter to find out this person's fate as well. She followed the corpse then returned and said, 'Mother, he has gone to heaven.'
'A hermit had been standing nearby listening to all this. Finally he said to the woman, 'Mother, I have been practising
austerities for a long time but I haven't been able to achieve what you have. Yours is such a despicable profession, so how did you get the power to know if someone has gone to heaven or not?'
The prostitute replied, 'When the first funeral passed, I sent my daughter to follow it. The pall bearers were discussing the dead man, saying, 'He gave a lot of people a hard time A real sinner. It's good that he's dead. He deserves, to go to hell. From this we could guess that he had gone to hell because he had led a wicked life. Then the second funeral came along and my daughter followed it also. The mourners were saying, 'He was an angel. He always took pity on the poor and his speech was like nectar. He was the embodiment of piety.' We figured that he had gone to heaven, because he had done good all his life.'
'If you do good, people will judge you well, but if you do wrong, people will remember you with disgust. If you want to be your own best friend, then do good, meditate on God and stop doing evil. A horseman holds the reins. If he sees a ditch or a tree approaching, he pulls the reins in the opposite direction. If he doesn't use the reins he'll have an accident.
'So, we are human beings. This body is meant for action. Action automatically goes on, but it happens through the agency of the mind, so we need to steer the mind away from doing wrong. The reins for doing this is the gift of the Master. The True Name of God is the reins. It is within everyone. If you want to know it, this mahatma is here. He can give you Knowledge of the Holy Name and Divine Light, but it's not something which is given immediately to all and sundry. Only a sincere aspirant is entitled to it.
'The Ramayana says that even a few moments in the company of saints saves a person from thousands of sins. I have been giving satsang for an hour, but it probably seems like only a few minutes to you. You must have felt some peace here, because you have listened very carefully. Learn to be this peaceful all the time. Know the Holy Name and remember it. The Ramayana says that no matter whether you remember the Name lovingly, carelessly,
lazily or angrily, you'll be surrounded by the greatest of good fortune and blessings.
'You people haven't yet understood the value of your human life, so you've wasted it in worldly pursuits. You've robbed and stolen and killed to get some of the world's pleasures for yourselves, but what were the consequences? Locked in jail, unable to go anywhere. Those, for whose sakes you committed crimes, are outside breathing freely, while you are here, putting up with all kinds of hardships. What's the use? But, as you sow, so shall you reap. I came here to tell you how to spare yourselves further suffering. If you reflect upon the truths which I have told you and act accordingly, you'll be released from suffering. Otherwise you'll never be free."
Mrs Chand Devi of Hathras, in her affectionate description of the Master, says, 'How can someone like me possibly describe the greatness of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj? His glory is infinite. He incarnated for the devotees' sake alone. How beautiful he was! His enchanting face just stole one's heart away. His long curly hair, wide forehead glowing with the Inner Light, and his large eyes were exquisite. He used to appear in different aspects - sometimes as a youth, sometimes, old, sometimes very fair-complexioned. Light radiated from every pore in his body. He was the very embodiment of Knowledge, an ocean of Compassion, and Love itself. If a poor premie couldn't afford to send his children to school, Shri Maharaj Ji would bear the expenses right up to college graduation. If a devotee's house was destroyed, Maharaj Ji would give him money to build a new one. If a premie was too poor to arrange for his daughter's wedding, Maharaj Ji would take care of the whole thing. He always relieved devotees of their sufferings.
'Once I was with him at Gaya Prasad's house, when a premie arrived by taxi from Bahadurgarh with his son, who was about to die. He placed the child at Maharaj' Ji's feet and the boy recovered."
Shyamsundar Lal's daughter visited him at Hapur with her only son. The child suddenly fell ill and died. Shyamsundar Lal
threw himself weeping at Maharaj Ji's feet, begging him to give the child back his life. At first, Maharaj Ji tried to dissuade him, saying, 'What do I know about these matters?' But Shyamsundar Lal kept on pleading, "Master, you can do anything. You are the ocean of compassion, so please have mercy on me." Finally, Shri Maharaj Ji said, "Very well, let's go." When he reached the house he said, "Everyone must stay outside. Only the child and myself should be in the room." The premies started following him inside, curious to see what he would do. Be turned around and shook his finger at them, saying, "No one come inside. That's agya!" A little while later he emerged from the room, smiling. The child was alive again. Maharaj Ji told Shyamsundar Lal, "Don't tell anyone about this. I'm strictly ordering you."
Nitthan Singh is a premie from Pringarh, near Masauta. He fell seriously ill and the doctors declared that there was no hope. Shri Maharaj Ji and about 30 premies were travelling by train at this time. Suddenly the train stopped near Masauta, for no apparent reason. Shri Maharaj Ji alighted from the train and went to Prangarh. The dying premie was breathing his last. Shri Maharaj Ji restored him to life and then resumed his journey.
Kunwar Prahlad Singh, the Rajah of Ustra (Bulandshahr) met Shri Maharaj Ji at the Gahrmukteshwar Mela. He listened to satsang and was so impressed that he fell at Maharaj Ji's feet and asked for Knowledge. Shri Maharaj Ji initiated him. The Rajah brought his mother, Rani Balbir Kaur, to a satsang program at Bhurhbaral and invited Maharaj Ji to Ustia. Master and devotees were served dinner, but the premies didn't eat: When the Rajah asked why, Maharaj Ji said, "They are annoyed. Your mother will have to beg their pardon. Then they'll eat." Rani Balbir did so. Maharaj Ji smiled. He had staged this little scenario to show the premies the love and humility of the queen, who had no arrogance or vanity at all, and because of whose devotion Maharaj Ji had visited the palace.
Five or six boys sang at Maharaj Ji's programs at Ustra. He used to act like a child with them. One night, after dinner, he called
them and asked, "If I hid myself in this room, could you find me?"'
"Of course", they replied. "There's only one room." So Maharaj Ji said, "Stand outside the door and come in when I call you." Soon he called out, "Okay, come and find me!' They looked everywhere - under the bed, in the closets, in corners - but they couldn't find him. Finally they admitted defeat and called out, "Maharaj Ji, we give up. Please come here." Maharaj Ji materialised, smiling, and said, "I told you that you wouldn't be able to find me!" He was very playful and would become like a child among children.
Chanda, from Masauta, says, "Shri Maharaj Ji's grace had no limits. A person could travel to the ends of the earth and it would reach him there, too.
'Maharaj Ji often visited Ustra. The premies would dance and sing all night - no one ever felt tired or hungry. Rani Balbir Kaur used to cook lunch herself and feed Maharaj Ji and the premies with great love. Everyone was amazed that the food never ran out: Rani Balbir herself used to say, 'I don't know where it all comes from. We always have double the amount of flour we actually ground, and twice the ghee which we actually made.' It just keeps on increasing of its own accord!"
Chanda's daughter Nirmala, who was then only three Years old, displayed an incredible communion with Maharaj Ji. She would say things like "On such-and-such a day Maharaj Ji will go to Masauta, then on such-and-such a day will go to Prangarh and then come here," and she was always correct. She loved Maharaj Ji so much that she would bathe in the water which he'd used for his bath. She had already been initiated and would never meditate for less than two hours at a time. She would merge with the Light within.
Whenever the premies wanted to request Maharaj Ji to play with them, they would send Nirmala to ask him. Once she said, "Master, the premies have decorated a swing for you. Please come!" At first he refused, but she insisted so finally he yielded. The members of the Rajah's family took turns to push the swing
while the ladies sang special songs. Shri Maharaj on the swing sparkled and shone so brightly that it was hard to look at him.
"Once a procession was held in Masauta. At that time Nirmala was dying of pneumonia. She sent her uncle to call Maharaj Ji to give her last darshan. When he got the news, Maharaj Ji jumped down from his horse, breaking an expensive pearl garland in the process. He told a premie to pick up the pearls and meanwhile reached Nirmala, who by that time was deep in meditation. He sat down beside her and waved his hand above her head to bring her back to waking consciousness. He then asked her, 'Do you know who I am?' She replied, 'Yes. You are the Lord.' He then sent for some holy water which, he gave her then she died and went to the Lord's eternal abode."