Devotees Personal Memories
Shri Maharaj Ji's grace and divinity still reflect themselves in the premies' memories of him. Who was he? What was he? What was he like? The premies' personal accounts of him can help provide the answers. Premies from those days still carry the treasure of indelible memories locked safely away in their hearts:
"I still seem to hear the sound of your footsteps.
Sometimes it moves me to smiles, sometimes to tears."
Maharaj Ji's parental affection, his charisma and the Divine Light he revealed brightened his devotees' lives: He was for many the symbol of hope, peace, support and spirituality. How many perturbed and weary souls found rest and renewed power just from coming into contact with him! Even today, they never tire of glorifying him.
Shri Rampal Sharma of Pakharput, Meerut, says, "Shri Maharaj Ji was always very pleased if a lot of people attended satsang, because he knew the edifying effect it has on a person's life. He used to say, 'When I see a large audience listening attentively, I pour out my heart to them in my satsang. Every time he gave satsang he would quote these lines from Tulsidas' Ramayana:
'A soul is very fortunate to receive a human, body, which is very rare even for the gods to get and is glorified by all scriptures. It is just right for spiritual endeavour and is the gateway to liberation.'
When anyone asked him why he quoted these lines all the time, he would reply, 'Because you haven't yet realized what it means, nor have you put it into practice. When finally you do
understand, there'll be no need for me to repeat it all the time.'
'I remember one Vaisakhi at Muradnagar. The Arya Samai had set up their stage near ours and were verbally attacking Maharaj Ji. He said, 'Look! Those Arya Samajists are my real missionaries. They publicize me even more effectively than you do! From the bottom of my heart I bless them!"
Satchitanarida Bai recalls, "I used to go selling Hansadesh. One day, I didn't manage to sell any, so I was feeling disheartened. Suddenly a gentleman came up to me and said, 'Don't feel bad, Bai Ji. I'll buy up all your magazines.' And he did. I'm sure he was Maharaj.
One of the mahatmas says, "Once at Shakti Nagar Maharaj Ji asked me, 'Are people coming to your satsang or not?' I replied, 'Master, it's not in my power to spread Knowledge. You're the one doing all, because I'm neither educated nor very experienced. I just tell people what I've seen.' Maharaj Ji said, 'Just do as I say and meditate. That will help you in the end; none of this intellectual knowledge will. Never try to build yourself up. Pride comes before a fall. Meditate, and stay safely within the fortress of agya. Guru Maharaj Ji will take care of the rest. I ventured, 'Nothing is possible without your grace.' He answered, Tm always ready to give grace, but you have to be a fit vessel to receive it. If the electric current exceeds a bulb's capacity, the bulb will fuse. So Guru's grace can work, only by the grace of the receiving soul."
Shri Ram Singh, a Delhi barber, recalls, ."I received Knowledge in 1960. Several times Maharaj Ji blessed me with the opportunity of giving him a shave. Once I thought to myself, 'How lucky I would be if I could give Maharaj Ji massage.' One morning at Shakti Nagar I got my, chance. Some close devotees were massaging Maharaj Ji. I asked one of them to let me have a chance, too. When he noticed me, Maharaj Ji sent everyone else away, saying, 'Massage me.' I massaged him very carefully and lovingly! I was meditating and my hands seemed to move of their
own accord. He said, 'When you massaged my head, I heard music. I'm really enjoying this."
Sukbir from Jalalabad, who was a local official in the Congress Party, said; "There was something wrong mentally with my son, which affected his learning abilities. I was very worried about it, so I went to Satlok Ashram to see Maharaj Ji. Luckily for me, he was sitting alone on the verandah. I told him my problem. He replied; 'Why are you worried? He'll learn okay.' This cheered me up and actually, by his grace, my son improved and soon was able to study by himself. He enrolled at Maharaj Ji's school in Muradnagar. Nowadays he has a good job." The residents of Jalalabad have assisted greatly in building the school and are always willing to do whatever service is asked of them.
Natthu Singh of Muradabad says, "In 1960, Maharaj Ji came to Muradabad for satsang. After the program the premies made their various ways home. Maharaj Ji also had to catch a train. When he reached the station he went to the Station Master's office to make enquiries. At first the, Station Master didn't take any notice of him. Then Maharaj Ji just shot a glance at him. The man immediately jumped up and prostrated. Maharaj Ji said, 'Don't let your position go to your head and make you forget your duty.'
Mulakraj from Kota, Rajasthan, has been Maharaj Ji's devotee for many years. He used to live in Delhi. "Once," he says, "I and my family were going to Hardwar by bus for Vaisakhi. As we passed through Muradnagar. I had an extraordinary vision. Wherever I looked I saw Maharaj Ji's face. He seemed to be seeing which devotees were coming from where. As I was telling my wife about it, our bus swerved to avoid a cyclist and overturned. Many passengers were injured. Suddenly I burst out laughing so people thought that maybe I'd received a head injury! After all the passengers had been evacuated, only my daughter was missing. We found her sleeping under one of the seats! Of all the passengers, only we four were unharmed. We finally arrived at Prem Nagar at 2 a.m. As we approached the ashram buildings, Shri Maharaj Ji came out of his room, asking, 'You weren't injured, were you?'
From then on, I firmly believed in this saying of St. Kabir's: 'No one can harm; him whom the Lord protects.' "
Shivcharan of Mandola, Ghaziabad, recalls, "Once I was waiting for a bus at Kashmiri Gate Terminal. I decided to do some meditation in the meantime. My mind was concentrated in the Light and as Maharaj Ji appeared I lost all body-consciousness. I have no idea how long it was before I came to and found an acquaintance shaking me, saying, 'What's up? Have you been drinking?' 'No,' I replied, 'Not that artificial stuff. I drink the real thing."
Ram Narayan, a D.C.M. employee, says, "I attended a satsang program at Baroda. Maharaj Ji said, 'I want to rest for a while. Sit outside my door.' After he had shut the door, I decided that it was a good time to go and sell a few copies of Hansadesh on the streets. I was fond of doing that. Some Baroda premies came looking for me later in a jeep, and brought me some food. Apparently Maharaj Ji had already eaten and, not finding me anywhere, had sent people out looking for me, When I returned he said sharply, 'So you want to go hungry, do you? I'll teach you!' Then he said more gently, 'Look, never go hungry, even if you have to beg. Your hunger makes me sad."
'I worked the night shift at D.C.M. One night, having just returned from Hardwar, I was exhausted. "I told my partner to watch the machine while I took a nap. I lay, down beside an old iron chest. As I was dropping off to sleep, I had the feeling that a snake was nearby. I opened my eyes and there it was, but it had Maharaj Ji's head and crown, and was saying, 'Go to sleep and don't worry I'm in the snake, too!'
Mahatma Paripurnanand recalls, "One day a group of troublemakers arrived at Shakti Nagar, shouting, 'Come outside! Where are you, 'Hans Bhagwan?' Mahatma Madhodas went and told Maharaj Ji, who said, 'Okay, send them in one by one.' At that time he looked go enchantingly lovely that those ruffians automatically calmed down. It was like putting out a fire."
Hari Bhajan Narayan Gupta, the manager of a sugar mill in Kashipur, relates, "In 1964 my wife was travelling by train from Allahabad to Kashipur with our two young daughters-in-law and their children. Some hooligans got on at Lucknow and started menacing them. My wife was very scared, so, closing her eyes, she prayed to Maharaj Ji for help. Soon the train stopped at a station and who should get on but Maharaj Ji! When my wife saw him, she was greatly relieved. He asked her for a drink of water, which she gave him together with a snack. Meanwhile, the hooligans didn't dare open their mouths. Shri Maharaj Ji said, 'I saw you so I came here.' The thugs left the train at the next station and Maharaj Ji the station after that. My wife had no idea where he went."
Saraswati Gupta of Muradabad recalls, "Whenever Shri Maharaj Ji arrived at Gaya Prashad's house, the rooms seemed to just light up. He shone like gold, and had a dazzling effect on the eyes. Whenever I think of him I start crying, wondering where that wonderful stealer of hearts has gone. Yet, whenever I call him, he hears my prayer. Three or four times he has come. He is very much present even now.
'He was always cheerful, no matter where he had to stay. He would go everywhere on foot to give satsang and the love he showed his disciples was beyond all description."
Mahatma Kabiranand says, "I received Knowledge in 1966. Six months later, in meditation, I saw Shri Maharaj Ji's Universal Form. It thrills me still whenever I recall it. After this cosmic vision I lost all interest in worldly things."
Kirpal Singh says, "Once I was sleeping on a well. Suddenly an evil spirit overpowered me. My hands, feet and tongue couldn't move and I was shaking with fear. Suddenly I saw Shri Maharaj Ji standing beside the well, saying, 'You've forgotten the Holy Name.' As I tuned my mind to the Name, the ghost became afraid and left me alone.
'I am a poor man, with a wife and three children. I have a tiny shop Which barely makes 150 rupees per month. But, by Maharaj Ji's grace, this always seems to be enough and we never run out of
money. There are rich people in my village who complain, 'Even with all my money I have trouble making ends meet, but somehow Kirpal Singh manages okay. What's his secret?' I laugh and quote, 'Misery rules the world. Meditating on the Holy Name is the only joy.' "
Bhavani Dutt, an ayurvedic physician and professor, says, "One day I reached the Shakti Nagar residence, only to find a mahatma at the gate saying that I couldn't see Maharaj Ji. So I sat down near the gate. The mahatma told me three or four times to go away but I stayed put in the hope of seeing Maharaj Ji. A little while later Shri Maharaj Ji came out of the house and reprimanded the mahatma, saying, 'I've been watching you. This poor fellow has come a long way to see me. You people strut around thinking yourselves to be great devotees. Actually you're an obstacle in my work.' Then Maharaj Ji invited me inside.
'I didn't like to ask Maharaj Ji any questions personally, but I always found that any questions or doubts that arose in my mind were always automatically answered in satsang. Before taking Knowledge I had been into mantras and tantras. I left all that after initiation, but when I went home people insisted on my using them. I found that whenever I did invoke them I got instant results. This confused me greatly, because in satsang this verse from Kabir was always quoted:
'Tantras and mantras are all false, so don't be fooled. Without knowing the Word which is the inner essence of everything, you can't cross the worldly ocean.'
Soon after, in satsang, I inwardly expressed my doubt. Maharaj Ji immediately explained that mantras may be effective in the worldly sense, but they can't give liberation."
Basant Lalji, from Haryana, formerly worked at Delhi University but for many years has been serving in the ashram. He says, "One day, sometime after I had received Knowledge, I had to visit some relatives. The next day was a Sunday and I felt anxious somehow to get back to Delhi. Even though my relatives
tried to detain me, a strong force was pulling me back. When I reached Shakti Nagar, I discovered that Maharaj Ji had just arrived in Delhi. When I went for darshan I felt an extraordinary peace. 'My anxious heart became calm. It seemed to me that Maharaj had pulled me back to Delhi to give me darshan.
His personality was truly amazing and unique. He was the living manifestation of the Holy Name - he was totally merged in it. He had no idea of day or night, date or season. One evening he asked me, 'What day is it today? What's the date? How is the weather?" I was amazed, and seeing him gave me some idea of the condition called videhi (complete transcendence of body-consciousness). Maharaj Ji was the practical proof of Knowledge. No matter who came to argue or discuss with him, his irrefutable arguments and total faith would make them bow."
Mahatma Yogeshwaranand says, "Even as a child, I was totally disinterested in the world: 'I wanted to know God. When I grew up I served in the army. After receiving Knowledge I became even less interested in worldly things and, without getting discharged from the army, became a mahatma and started spreading Knowledge: The punishment for going, AWOL was six months' jail. Even in jail I gave satsang and several prisoners received Knowledge. Shri Hans Ji Maharaj used to appear to me in jail and give me satsang."
Rajender Thapa was born in Nepal, but since the age of nine has lived and served in the ashram. He studied until 10th grade at Shri Mata Ji's school. He helped with the search and collation of this book. He says, "I had the overwhelming desire to have darshan of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj. One day, I lay down after meditating. Suddenly I saw Shri Maharaj Ji. He was giving satsang at Prem Nagar about the importance of faith. The vision was so vivid that I felt that I was actually there with him. I'd forgotten that he'd left his body many years before. At one point he said, 'Can you jump across: this river?' Nobody dared, of course. So he said, 'I'll show you how.' He leaped across the river in a single bound. Then I returned to normal consciousness. It seemed to me
that he was explaining that the heroic devotee who is faithful and diligent can clear the river of Maya."
Chandrabahadur Harnal has been serving in the ashram for more than fifteen years. He used to be in the army. He had his first encounter with Maharaj Ji while stationed temporarily at Lucknow. Here is his story: "One Sunday some friends and I were off duty and wandering around the market. As we neared Gulabi Bagh we saw some kind of religious gathering. I asked someone, a premie, what was going on. He explained, 'This is satsang and Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, whom you see on the stage, is our Guru.' I asked, 'What do you mean by 'Guru?' He explained using the example of the four Vedas, saying, each Veda represents and glorifies a technique of meditation, and those techniques Guru Maharaj Ji reveals to us.' I asked if I could have darshan and was invited to join the line. As I was approaching him, Maharaj Ji looked at me. His eyes were as brilliant as a cat's eyes in the dark. A beam of light flashed from his eyes into mine. I didn't get a chance to talk to him, and the next day was transferred to Kashmir. In Srinagar I stopped for a glass of water. As I lifted the glass I was surprised to see Shri Maharaj Ji in the water! He was wearing shining white clothes and was holding a Bhagavad Gita. Then something happened to me. I started seeing him everywhere - in stones, leaves, tables, in the river, everywhere. I walked around as if in a trance and people thought that I had gone mad. I tried telling them what was happening to me, but no one would listen or try to understand. By now one thought alone obsessed me - how to meet Maharaj Ji and take Knowledge.
A couple of days later I suddenly fell ill. Depressed, I complained mentally to Maharaj Ji, 'If you are the true Guru, why are you letting me suffer like this?' Then I fell asleep. I dreamt that Guru Maharaj Ji came to me with a small bottle of medicine. He told me to open my mouth, and put three drops on my tongue. Then he went away. When I awoke, I found I was perfectly all right again and had regained my strength. Naturally, my reverence for him increased even more and I felt even more drawn towards
him and detached from the world. By this time, people decided that I was a hopeless case and should be discharged. They sent me to the Company Commander who asked, 'Why are you carrying on like this? Why do they all say that you are mad?' I answered, 'Sir, what is a crazy man like? Do I seem crazy to you Am I neglecting my duties? God does with us as He wishes, whether the world may call us crazy or not. Luckily the Major was a religious man and had his own guru, so understood my mood. He declared, 'This man is not crazy. He is simply in love with God. Anyone who calls him mad is himself mad.' Then he told me, 'I'm transferring you to light duties at Jammu Rear Camp. You can carry on your devotions there.'
'I settled into my new routine and several days passed. One day I was on sentry duty at the gate. A man came up to me and asked me the time. I was very impressed by his gentle and polite manner. I told him, 'It's 4:15. Where are you going?' He answered that he was off to buy vegetables because his Guru Maharaj Ji had just arrived. I asked, 'Who is your guru?' He replied, Shri Hans Maharaj from Delhi.' My heart leaped in excitement as I asked, 'You mean the one with curly hair who did a program at Lucknow's Gulabi Bagh?' 'Yes, that's him.' I was so happy that I burst into tears and embraced him. He seemed like an angel sent from heaven. I got his address. I took four days's leave and went for darshan. Maharaj Ji was sitting on a chair, surrounded by devotees, who were gazing at him like Chatak birds staring at the moon. When I prostrated, he asked me where I was from and why I had come. I answered, 'I want to receive Knowledge and devote myself to you in every life to come." He smiled. His smile was so loving and meaningful that my heart was shot to pieces.
'On 18th May, 1955, the wealth of the world became mine. I felt that Light was just pouring out of me like rays from the sun. Shri Maharaj Ji initiated me personally. I saw him in the brilliant Divine Light, wearing a golden crown. This is the Light which the Bible calls 'Divine', and I saw it within myself.
'When my leave was up and I had to return to my unit, I wept bitterly. Shri Maharaj Ji said tenderly, 'There's no need to cry. You've found me. Now go back to your duties and do a lot of meditation.'
'I returned, but had no taste for worldly life. I tried to get discharged from the army and succeeded in 1967. By 1969 I had settled family affairs and came to live in the ashram, where, by his grace, I have been ever since. I humbly request brothers and sisters the world over to find this Knowledge and make their lives truly worthwhile."
Recalling another incident, Chandrabahadur says, "After receiving Knowledge I was stationed for some time in Nagaland. I gave a lot of satsang to my fellow soldiers but only two were interested. They came with me to Dehra Dun. Maharaj Ji received us on the verandah. His sons were playing nearby on the lawn. One of my companions was confused by this. He asked me later; 'How can he be the Lord? He's a family man!' I reassured him that he would understand everything once he received Knowledge. Maharaj Ji told us to eat and rest then go to Hardwar. On the way, my friend plied me with questions which revealed his doubts. When we reached Hardwar a couple of hours later, we were astounded to see Shri Maharaj Ji sitting in a chair giving satsang to ashram residents. How could he be in two places at once? We asked Mahatma Premanand who told us that Maharaj Ji had been there at least two hours. My friend had no more doubts!"
Kamla Devi, from village Bahuva in Dehra Dun district, has been serving as a teacher's assistant at Satlok Ashram's school for ten years. Here is her story:
"One night when I was ten years old, I dreamed that I was walking. through a trackless jungle. In front of me was a high mountain and the road going up it was nearly impassable. It was so narrow in places that I had to crawl on my stomach. At the end of the track I saw a hut. A saddhu was standing in front of it. Something about him made me feel joyous. I took a step forward and prostrated at his feet. He told me to stand up and I burst into
tears. He took me by the hand and gently helped me up. He asked, 'Daughter, what do you want?' I looked at him. He was wearing a yellow dhoti and scarf and held a waterpot in one hand. I said, 'Lord, I don't want anything. I only want to be with you.' So he said, 'Don't worry. The doors of the Darbar (Court or congregation of the Master) are open for you. Your wish will be fulfilled.' Then he vanished. I again started weeping and the dream broke. My mother asked me why I was crying. She asked me if I had a stomach ache. I answered, 'No.' From that time on I lost all interest in the world. I used to see him in dreams and visions, but didn't know who he was. Once he appeared to me while I was cutting grass and danced with me. I only realized who he was when I received Knowledge and came to Satlok Ashram, where I saw his photograph. I asked a premie who he was, and he told me. I exclaimed, 'He's him! He's the one whom I've been seeing all these years!' "
Mahatma Akash Bai Ji, a native of Ali village in the Himalayan district of Pauli Garhwal, has a charming story to tell which shows not only Shri Maharaj Ji's divine personality but his compassion as well. Bai Ji, now well advanced in years, has been spreading Knowledge for more than fifteen years, but at the time she was initiated, she was bringing up six sons and a daughter. She relates:
"My eldest sonlived in Delhi and invited me to stay with him. This was many years. ago. Everything was very strange and unsettling for me there. We Garhwali village women always veiled our faces and never spoke to men. But there in Delhi, women were walking around, openly and confidently and speaking to anyone!
'My son's landlady, Vidyawati, was a premie. She took me one day to satsang at Company Bagh. I had always thought that God was worshipped in temples by external rituals, but these premies and mahatmas were saying that the real worship is within. I was curious to know how that was done.
'Soon I was longing to receive Knowledge. Vidyawati also 'gave' me satsang and explained a lot of things to me, seeing that I
knew nothing about Knowledge and meditation. She also said, 'Guru Maharaj Ji is from Garhwal. He can talk to you in your own language. I had been wondering how to communicate with him, because although I could more or less understand Hindi, I couldn't speak it. Also I was painfully shy and modest, as Garhwali women are, and was totally unaccustomed to speaking to anyone.
'Maharaj Ji arrived soon afterwards in Delhi, so Vidyawati took me to Shakti Nagar for darshan. When Maharaj Ji was informed that a Garhwali lady had come and wanted Knowledge, he told a mahatma to send me in. I hesitated, overcome with embarrassment, so Mahatma Ji said again, 'Come inside, Shri Maharaj Ji wants to speak to you.' I went in the room and virtually hid behind a chair, my face averted and eyes closed. Maharaj Ji observed me, saying, 'Come here. Where are you?' I moved to within two feet of him. He was sitting on his bed with his feet on the floor. I refused to open my eyes, so he said very gently, 'Why don't you open your eyes? Look at me. See who I am!" When I did finally open my eyes, I was astounded. All I could see of him was from the knees down. The rest was nothing but light. Light filled the entire room. I closed my eyes in awe but the same brilliant Light was inside, too. Inside or out, all that was visible was this wonderful Light. For half an hour this continued. Finally Maharaj Ji assumed his human form and asked, 'Well, did you see me? Did you see who I really am?' He continued, 'Because of your good karma you've been able to see this form of mine. But you still have to know the technique of meditation.' I said, 'I won't go back to Garhwal. I've wiped all that from my mind.' And indeed, I had forgotten home and family. My only desire was to receive Knowledge and share it with others.
'Guru Maharaj Ji asked, 'Do you have anyone at home? Tell me the truth, now. Don't lie to me. If you have no family at all then stay here, but if you have, you'll have to go back. Who'll look after your husband?' I told him the situation. He replied, 'So how can you even think of staying here? Until children get married they need their mother. Moreover; if you don't go, it will bring shame
on you, your family and on me. You have a karmic connection with your family, and you have to work it out. So go home, meditate, and serve your husband.'
'I was plunged into misery. I knew that I had to go, but when would I be able to see Maharaj Ji again? Garhwal was so far away.
A few days later, I asked Vidyawati to take me once more to Shakti Nagar. There were about ten ladies waiting for darshan. Maharaj Ji called us in. I sat right at the back, gazing intently, trying to capture an image of his heavenly form to take with me. I did pranam, gazing up at him with my hands clutching his feet. His feet were radiating light. I actually saw his toenails shining like diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. He said, 'You must go. When your family responsibilities are over, come back. The door of the Darbar is open to you. This Darbar will keep on growing - it will never shrink.'
'I went home but was in such turmoil that I couldn't sleep. At 3 a.m. I sat for meditation. Just as the clock struck four, I started to feel drowsy. Suddenly Shri Maharaj Ji appeared, tall, robust and magnetic. He took me in his lap as a father would his daughter, stroked my hair and said soothingly, 'Why are you crying?' I am always with you. My name is 'Hans', and Hans.is omnipresent. I am, in everyone's heart, but come only to those who call me with love. So go home and meditate.' Now I felt totally at peace. I was ready to go home. I discharged all my responsibilities faithfully over the next eleven years and when I was free I became a mahatma, by his grace. Shri Maharaj Ji was always ready to shower his grace."
Vishnu Salmi from Delhi, says, "In 1962 I went to Muradnagar for satsang. An acquaintance and I went for a swim in the Ganges. He dared me to swim across the river. I told him that I wasn't a strong swimmer, but he said, 'Don't worry. If you run out of breath, I'll catch you.' I innocently trusted him and started swimming. By the time we'd reached the middle of the river I was gasping for breath, so he caught my hand. Very soon, however, he said, 'If you keep hanging onto me I'll drown too.' I let go of his
hand, thinking, 'What's the use of us both drowning?' and resigned myself to Guru Maharaj Ji's care. As I was going under; I found myself remembering the Holy Name, and suddenly I was imbued with a remarkable new strength. Just then, I noticed a rubber tyre floating near me. I grabbed it and reached the river bank. I lay gasping for a while on the shore, because my ears, nose and mouth were waterlogged. When I opened my eyes, there was no sign of the rubber tyre. There is no doubt that Guru Maharaj Ji gave me a new lease of life!'
Delhi premie Jai Gopal says, "One year I went to Bulandshahr for Guru Puja. After satsang Shri Maharaj Ji told everyone to quickly leave the stage area and go to their tents. We wondered why he had said this. Then a sudden and violent storm blew up, the stage tenting collapsed and rain poured down. Then we realized that Maharaj Ji had saved us from possible injury."
Another Delhi premie, Hari Kishan Jain, says, "On one occasion I visited my village: My brother's daughter-in-law became possessed by a deity from time to time and in that state she was its oracle. Whatever she said always came true. My brother invited me to ask her anything I liked. I showed her a copy of Hansadesh, asking, 'Whose photois this?' She replied; 'The living Perfect Master. He previously incarnated as Lord Krishna and he is your Guru. You were his disciple before, but you didn't reach salvation so you have again incarnated with him.' After this, my faith and reverence for Maharaj Ji increased even more."
A Haryana premie, Ganga Ram, recalls, "During a program at Karnal, Maharaj Ji called me into his room. He was staying at Ram Diwaya's house and was asking me about his host's fainily. I happened to mention that Ram Diwaya's brother, Lakshman Das, didn't have a son. He blessed Lakshman Das, whose wife bore him a son a year later. Maharaj Ji named the child 'Guru Prashad'."
Maharaj Ji held programs throughout Haryana. In1961 he gave satsang at Ramina Ramani. A premie Jagat Ram, whom other premies nicknamed 'Jagtu', recalls, 'I had received Knowledge but my movements were very much restricted by my family. However,
I firmly made up my mind to attend the Ramana Ramani Program whether my family allowed it or not. On my way to the town, I met two villagers and asked them, 'Is this where Shri Hans Ji Maharaj's satsang is being held?' They laughed derisively and said, 'Yes, he's waiting for you!' The way they spoke about such a great soul hurt me. About half an hour later I reached satsang. Shri Maharaj Ji arrived, dressed in tight-fitting pyjamas, coat and cap, and carrying a cane. The thought crossed my mind, Jagtu, your Guru is an old man!'
'After satsang Maharaj Ji called a certain mahatma onstage, reprimanded him and announced, 'Whoever has received Knowledge through this mahatma must get reinitiated.' I was taken aback, because this was the mahatma who had initiated me.
Shri Maharaj Ji got up early the next morning to go to Delhi. A rickshaw had been sent for, which was to take him to a car, waiting further down the road. Maharaj Ji didn't wait for the rickshaw, however, and started walking. I followed him. He seemed to be walking casually while I was running to catch up with him but the distance between us didn't narrow at all. The rickshaw brought up the rear. We covered at least a quarter of a mile like this, but no matter how hard I ran I could not catch up with him. Then I gave up and said to myself, Jagtu, you were thinking that Maharaj Ji is old, that's why he played this little game with Yo. It is as if he is saying; 'If you are young and I am old, then catch up with me!' Meanwhile, Maharaj Ji had reached his car and driven off to a dharmshala to give darshan. 'Huffing and puffing, I reached there later. Maharaj's face was as ruddy as a youth's. When he saw me, he smiled. I thought to myself, 'Baba, I agree! You aren't old, you're young!"
Garipat Ram from Ramana Ramani says, I was lucky enough to serve Maharaj Ji personally when he came herein 1961. The day before he left, he said, 'I'm very pleased with your service and love. Meditate and spread this Knowledge. I'm leaving in the morning." When I heard this, my heart broke and I burst into tears. I said, 'If
you leave, how can we survive?' He said, 'You have some understanding. Am I ever far from you? I am with you always.'
After his car had gone only a short distance, it got bogged down. Four or five of us ran up and freed it. Maharaj Ji stood beside the car and gave some satsang. He said, 'How many people have received my love and satsang, yet only you few followed me this far.' He blessed us and went on his way."
Ram Singh from Haryana says, "Maharaj Ji was simple, straightforward and guileless. Like Haryana's Jats (a predominant caste there) he was dauntless and not afraid to call a spade a spade. He never hesitated to say what he knew to be true.
'Once a program was held at Khekra. Some Haryana premies had come to attend it. Maharaj Ji was resting after lunch. I had the strong urge to touch his feet. I quietly entered his room. He sat up and said, 'What do you want?' I bowed to him. He said, 'Okay, okay. Now you can go.' I replied, 'No, Maharaj Ji. Please come with me. Some premies have been waiting for a long time downstairs.' He said, 'Very well. Tell them I'm coming.' So he came downstairs and gave darshan, saying, 'Just look at this. Devotees these days force me to give darshan. The Lord has to yield to their demands when he sees their love.' "
Shri Maharaj Ji also spread Knowledge in India's scenic border state of Jammu-Kashmir. He would endure all kinds of difficulties to reach his devotees and give them darshan. Jagdish Saxena, who was employed by the Public Works Department, was transferred from Delhi to Madhopur near Pathankot. Neither he nor his wife Kiran wanted to go there, because they would miss satsang and darshan. Shri Maharaj Ji consoled them, saying, "What is there to be sad about? Your going there will benefit other souls. Give satsang and you'll feel at home there. Come to Delhi from time to time and I'll go there, too." Jagdish Saxena rented a house nearby Sujanpur and Kiran started satsang there. Every prominent guru and mahatma has an ashram in this area. Kiran says, 'I publicized satsang but when word got around that I was a disciple of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, opposition arose. But, by
Maharaj Ji's grace, I patiently explained about Knowledge to them and not only did Maharaj Ji's fame spread, but several people were initiated. Then my husband was transferred to a village called Bhaddu, the road to which was very rough and practically impassable.
'Once, while we were in Delhi, we requested Maharaj Ji to come to Sujanpur and a date was fixed. The premies gave him a rousing reception. Maharaj Ji was moved by their love and gave wonderful satsang. My husband could not attend the program because of his job. Suddenly Maharaj Ji asked, 'Where is Bhaddu?' I replied, 'It's very difficult to reach because the rains have caused landslides. Even the good military-built stretch of road is blocked. After dark no vehicles go up there.' Everyone advised Maharaj Ji not to go, but he refused to listen, and said, 'You're only interested in saving your own skins. I'll go alone.' He picked up his bag and left. Mahatma Ji, Bhagatji from Delhi, a Sujanpur premie and myself followed him. He reached Madhopur and went by bus to Katuelia, where he asked a local shopkeeper how to reach Bhaddu. The man replied, 'You can't go there at night. Spend the night in the hut behind my shop and in the morning catch any vehicle going to Bhaddu.' Just then a Government jeep came by. Maharaj Ji hailed it and climbed inside. There was hardly any room but Maharaj Ji put up with the inconvenience and reached Phentar. The jeep would go no further so he started climbing up the mountainside. The love of the Bhaddu premies was pulling him up that lonely and dangerous mountain road.
'Satsang was being held at Jagdish's house. Premies were singing, 'The Lord of the universe is hungry only for love.' When Maharaj Ji heard this, he guessed that satsang was going on somewhere nearby, and followed the sound to Jagdish's house. The premies sang the last line of the song:
'Devotees beg You to come and give darshan; You are the Lord of the universe and hungry only for love.'
Then they bowed their heads. When they looked up, whom should they see but Maharaj Ji himself! Their joy knew no bounds. Their tears bathed his feet and the surrounding hills rang with their shouts of praise. In this blissful atmosphere of rejoicing and celebration, the premies danced.
Maharaj Ji spent the night there. The next morning he went for .a walk with Jagdish Saxena and his landlord. On the way back, the landlord intentionally started taking the long route. When Jagdish pointed this out, the man said humbly to Maharaj Ji, 'Master, no great soul has ever come here. But now you are here, so please come and sanctify not only the people but the very stones of our locality.' So Maharaj Ji stayed a couple of days longer and gave a lot of satsang. Meanwhile Kiran's group, who had been forced to halt overnight, arrived at Bhaddu.
The premies of Bhaddu and Sujanpur cannot sing Maharaj Ji's praises enough. When they remember him, Amrita Ram, Ratna Devi, Sardi, Pyarilal and Jagdish the schoolteacher say, "We can never forget his loving kindness. He put up with a lot of inconvenience to come and give us satsang."
Shri Ram Kishan Gupta is a Minister in the Sikkim State Government. Both, he and his wife, Asha, are premies. Mrs Gupta, who took Knowledge in 1959, recalls, "I was encouraged to take Knowledge by my Mother-in-law, who was very devoted to Shri Maharajl Ji. In 1962, during the Indo-Chinese border war the families of high officials were being evacuated from Gangtok. I was also advised to go, but I didn't want to leave my husband, and my children were very young at the time. All the same, I was scared and prayed to Maharaj Ji to protect my family. One night after meditation, he suddenly appeared to me and said, 'Don't be afraid. I love my devotees in the same way as you love and take care of your children! Then he blessed me.
I had always cherished the hope that he would one day come to Gangtok and grace my home with his presence. My wish was finally fulfilled in 1978 when Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj came to Sikkim and stayed with us. Just as he entered the house, I heard
Maharaj Ji's voice, saying, 'Well, I've granted your wish. See, I have come to your house."
Major Prithvi Singh Sambyal and his wife have tremendous love and faith for Shri Maharaj Ji. Whenever the Master visited Jaipur he would stay with them. Mrs Sambyal had a very practical demonstration of his Omnipresence.
"Shri Maharaj Ji protected me in the same way as Lord Krishna protected Draupadi. My husband, an army officer, was often away front home. I stayed in Jaipur with our young children. The army provided us with a couple of servants. One of them tried to assault me. I was petrified and immediately my mind flew towards Shri Maharaj Ji who suddenly appeared before me bathed in brilliant light. My attacker couldn't see him, however. When he found himself held back by an unknown force, he got scared and ran away. Shri Maharaj Ji consoled me and when I had calmed down, vanished."
Shri Jaydev Sharma runs 'Hans Photo Studio' in Karol Bagh, Delhi. He never tires of praising Shri Maharaj Ji. Recalling one incident, he says, 'In 1950, when I received Knowledge, my family had a photographics shop. I loved satsang so much that I went to every program I could. My relatives were very much against it. They gave me an ultimatum - either leave the shop or stop going to satsang - and gave me a week to make up my mind. I replied, 'I don't need a week. I'll tell you right now! I can leave the shop tomorrow but I can never leave satsang.'
Shri Maharaj Ji happened to be in Delhi at the time. When I went to see him, he said, 'Close the door and don't let anyone in. He then took 100 rupees from under his pillow and gave it to me. Even though I protested, he insisted and told me that it was prashad.
'On the way home, I got talking to a friend and told him my family troubles. He asked me if I had any other store in mind. I told him about a shop (the one I now have) which I liked, but the owner wanted a 3000 rupee non-refundable down payment and I didn't have that much money. He asked me how much I had in my pocket
and I told him that I had 100 rupees. He took me to the shop's owner and gave him my 100 rupees as a deposit. He supplied the rest the next day and the shop became mine.
A week later Maharaj Ji asked me if I had given my shop a name. When I replied that I hadn't given it much thought, he suggested that I call it 'Hans Photo Studio'. One month later came the day of the grand opening. I had arranged everything for the ceremony. The night before, at 11 p.m. Mr Jain and Deshraj knocked at my door and told me that Shri Maharaj Ji was in Delhi and was coming to my shop at 8 o'clock the next morning. When I asked how he had found out about the ceremony, Mr Jain said, 'As we were about to leave, Shri Maharaj Ji asked us why we were going so soon. I told him about your shop's inauguration, and he asked, 'What time should I come?' I replied, 'You name the time and we will tell Sharma right now.' He decided upon 8 a.m.'
The next day at 8 a.m. Shri Maharaj Ji arrived and sanctified my shop with his presence. I tell you truly, when the Lord wants to give, his bounty knows no bounds. Since that time, my business has continued to flourish."
Ratanlal Gat first heard about Shri Maharaj Ji from a classmate at school. When he saw him for the first time, he found Maharaj Ji to be everything he'd expected. In 1946 his family opened a business in Hyderabad and were moving there. He and his brother were to leave Delhi on the 3.30 p.m. G.D. Express. Ratanlal says, "My brother went straight to the station, but I wanted to first have darshan and go with Maharaj Ji's blessings. I went to his residence but was told that he was resting. The curtain in front of his door was drawn. I sat down outside the door quite anxiously, firmly resolved not to leave until I'd seen him, no matter what happened. Suddenly he pulled aside the curtain and carne out of the room, saying, 'How long have you been waiting here? Go, go quickly!' I prostrated, received blessings and prashad and hurried to the station. I was 20 minutes late but surprisingly the train was still at the station. Just as I climbed aboard, it started to move. No
one seemed to know the reason for the delay, and I silently thanked Maharaj Ji."
Recalling another incident, Ratanlal says, "An old lady used to bring fried chickpeas as an offering to Shri Maharaj Ji. As soon as she would take up position outside his door, he would draw aside the curtain and take her offering. He would eat a few peas and hand back the rest to her as prashad. I saw this happen many times and I used to think how lucky she was, and how much love she must have had, because Maharaj Ji was always eager to eat her chickpeas."
Yuktiram, a long-time devotee, says, "There is no describing the blessings and favours Shri Maharaj Ji showered on us. My old mother was seriously ill. My younger brother, Balwant, ran to Jai Bahadur's house to call Maharaj Ji. When he heard the news he immediately left his dinner and took a taxi to our house in Delhi's New Market. As soon as they walked in the house, Balwant said, 'Ma, look who's come!' She opened her eyes a little and murmured, "Guruji! Guru Maharaj Ji had closed them again.
'Maharaj .Ji had taken off his shoes and left them at the door. Balwant said, 'Master, please leave your shoes on.' Maharaj Ji told him to be quiet and sat down. He asked for some Ganges water. He took a cardamom from his pocket and dropped it in the water. He then placed a spoonful in my mother's mouth. He said, 'Look, this moment comes to everyone, but it is your mother's good fortune that she is remembering the Holy Name.' The following night, my mother completed her earthly existence. At the same time, satsang was going on. Maharaj Ji suddenly said, 'A premie's mother has died,' and abruptly finished the satsang. Some premies soon arrived at our house. I asked them how they knew as we had not yet informed anyone. They told us, 'Tonight at about 9 o'clock Shri Maharaj Ji told us that your mother had died."
Manohar and Suraj Prakash, both carpenters, served at Dehra Dun and Prem Nagar for many years. Suraj Prakash relates, "In 1959 I was making chairs at Prem Nagar. Suddenly I got an urgent telegram calling me home. I told Maharaj Ji that I would return
within one week. I prostrated to him and to Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj, who was 5 or 6 at the time. Little Shri Satpal Ji gave me a flower. When I arrived home I found my wife seriously ill. I put some petals from that flower in a glass of water and gave it to her to drink. She got some relief from her pain, so the next day I put the rest of the petals in water and she drank that. Within two or three days she had quite recovered."
"The main driveway at Prem Nagar was being constructed," recalls Manohar. "We filled the holes with stones, but when we tried to use the roller on them it tipped over and fell in a ditch. We all got together and tried to get it out but couldn't. Shri Maharaj Ji laughed and said, 'Guru Maharaj Ji, I'll distribute 21 rupees worth of prashad if you'll get our roller out of there!' We tried again, but still no luck. Maharaj Ji joined his hands prayerfully and said, 'I'll make it 51 rupees!' Still we couldn't dislodge it. Then he offered 101 rupees. We redoubled our efforts and extricated it. Everyone was very happy. Maharaj Ji ordered 101 rupees worth of laddus and distributed them as prashad to the ashram residents."
Manohar further relates, "We were serving at Dehra Dun. A rich premie visited Maharaj Ji and donated a large sum of money. Maharaj Ji blessed him. The doubt crossed my mind, 'Maybe Maharaj Ji prefers donations, because we are serving too, but he doesn't bless us like that.'
'That evening we were sitting with Shri Maharaj Ji. He said, Indra and Satchitananda both have died.' I asked him what he meant because they were still very much alive. He replied, 'You don't understand what I mean. Those two premies have dissolved themselves in service. They have no idea if it is day or night. When the bell rings, they eat and then go back to work, day or night. When someone has no thought for the world, isn't he dead to it? Right Now, you tell me, which of these is the better devotee, the one who serves by giving money, or the one who has dedicated everything he owns and puts his body, mind and soul into service?' I thought about it and said, 'The devotee who totally loses himself in service has to be better.' Maharaj Ji said, 'Then why did you
think that the one who gives money is better? Best of all is one who, by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, spreads Knowledge and inspires others to walk the path of devotion. I can hire skilled labourers to do what you do, but only a devotee can spread Knowledge. That is why Lord Krishna said, 'He who inspires others in devotion is dearer to Me than life itself.
Mrs Revati Saini from Pahari Dhiraj, relates, "My father was very ill, so I was looking after him. One night, Shri Maharaj Ji appeared in a dream and said, 'Your father promised to finance a garden at Prem Nagar but hasn't done anything about it.' When I told my father about my dream he had a letter written to Maharaj Ji begging forgiveness and asking for help to redeem himself.
'That evening a mahatma came to our house. My father was unconscious. Mahatma Ji sat with him. That night I had another dream. My father was telling me to quickly send for the doctor. I hurried to the clinic but it was closed. I returned in despair, and was amazed to find a doctor at my father's bedside. The doctor announced that my father would die at any moment, wept and asked if there was no hope of saving him. The doctor went into the next room, in which Maharaj Ji had often stayed. I followed him and was amazed to see that the 'doctor' was actually Maharaj Ji! I fell at his feet, crying, 'Maharaj Ji, this is no time for your tricks!' He laughed and said, "I'm not joking. When a person has to come, he comes, and When it is time for him to go, he goes.' "
Mayadevi of Mainpuri district recalls, "Once a satsang program for Shri Maharaj Ji was arranged in our district. Right then I fell ill. I was in despair, because even though the program was so close, I still wouldn't be able to attend. I lay there, crying to myself. Suddenly I heard a knock on the door and Maharaj Ji entered my room. He took hold of my wrist and declared, 'You're not sick! Your pulse feels fine. You'll have darshan, don't worry. Open your eyes. I opened them and saw the room was filled with a brilliant light, and there stood Shri Maharaj Ji in front of me. I started sobbing with emotion. Hearing this, my mother came and asked me what was wrong. I told her everything.
'Once, at Hardwar, Shri Maharaj Ji called the premies — about 250 - to the fountain, then fed them sweet rice with his own hands. The premies kept on eating and he kept on serving, but we didn't run out of food."
Mr P. Singh of Nagaland bought a copy of the Hindi edition of this book during a satsang program in December 1985 at Siliguri. He read it avidly and one line in particular - 'Maharaj Ji appears to the devotee who calls him sincerely, stuck in his mind. He meditated then fell asleep. At 4 a.m. he woke up, and as he lay there with eyes closed, he had an amazing experience. "I saw the sun rising and from it emerged Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, shining even more brightly than the Sun! Then I heard someone say, 'Get up! It's time to meditate!' I sat to meditate and burst into tears of joy, grateful to have had this glimpse of the Master."
Satyaram Yadav -from Ludhiana, Punjab, says, "I was initiated in October 1971. One night, about a month after receiving KnoWledge, I was at my post (I am in the Railway Police) near Kali, Paharli Station Signal Box. Towards the end of our shift, my companion lay down to rest. .I also lay down, remembering the Holy Name. Suddenly I saw a faint light away in the forest. It advanced gradually towards me, increasing in size and brightness as it did so. I saw a hut and a saddhu sitting in meditation. I was quite alarmed. I had never seen anyone like him. As the light reached its peak intensity, the apparition came right up to me. I jumped up in fear. The other sentry asked me what was wrong. I didn't tell him, but was trembling in fear. Our shift ended and we returned to headquarters. There, on a wall calendar, I saw a picture of that sage, and written underneath was, Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj'. So Guru Maharaj Ji makes the impossible happen.
'Once I had to return to Jalandhar to resume my duties. When I reaChed the bus stop I discovered that my watch had stopped and I was nearly an hour late. My train was due to depart at 2.45 and it was already 1.50. It seemed unlikely that I'd be able to catch the train as the buS was crawling along at a snail's pace. So I started
meditating on the Holy Name. Just then a bus coming from the other direction stopped us. Someone in it told our driver, 'Hurry up. There's an unauthorized bus ahead of you picking up your passengers!' Our bus took off at top speed and I reached the station in time to catch my train. I wondered who that man was, who'd told my driver to drive faster. Maharaj Ji can go anywhere, even the middle of the jungle, to help his devotees in distress!"
Ratan Singh of Rajlu Garhi, Haryana, says, "Maharaj Ji freed me from all worldly cares and whenever I face problems he appears to me to help and encourage me to meditate and hive patience.
'Once I was facing legal action in the village court. It seemed that the verdict would go against me and I would be ostracized, as is the custom. My daughter was getting married the following week and if I lost the case the wedding would be called off. The groom's family were very worried and begged me to settle out of court. I was in a dilemma.
'Then Maharaj Ji appeared to me and.told me not to worry. The verdict went in my favour. My pr%ecutor and his supporters were fined 500 rupees each. It so happened that his son was getting married and that wedding was 'cancelled! ,
'Maharaj Ji's voice was magnetic. On the thirteenth day after his passing away a satsang tape was being played at Prem Nagar. I was standing outside on the street. I completely forgot that this was the day of the memorial service. I headed towards the stage to catch a glimpse of him. It seemed' strange that he was speaking but was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly he appeared in front of me and said, 'Idiot! That's a satsang tape that you can hear!' "
Rammurti Devi of Pilkhuva writes, "Near my town is a village called Makimpur. In 1960 satsang was arranged there. I didn't have Knowledge but was curious to see what Maharaj Ji was like. I thought to myself, 'If he is the True Guru, he should make my husband go away for three days!' When my husband came home that evening he announced that he had to go away on business for three days, The next day I took the children and went to
Makimpur. Maharaj Ji called me inside and gave me prashad. The whole room was shining with brilliant Light!
'After satsang I had to return through the forest. It was pitch dark and I wondered how I could possibly reach home. I closed my eyes in fear and prayed to Guru Maharaj Ji, 'If you are the true Lord, please help me.' When I opened my eyes I found myself back in my town with electric lights shining all around. I reached home easily and safely."
Maharaj Ji could alter his appearance at will and often appeared in several places at once. Patram of Modinagar experienced this:
"Satsang had been arranged at Modinagar and a swing bad been decorated for Maharaj Ji. He sat on it and started swinging. When I arrived I saw a child wearing, a crown on the swing so I assumed that it was little Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj. When he got down from the swing I was amazed to see that it was actually Maharaj Ji and not a child at all!
The three-day, 'Hans Jayanti' program was held that year on 8th, 9th and 10th November. On the 9th, a grand procession was held. Maharaj Ji sent the premies on ahead and he himself followed in his car. The procession started from Old Delhi Station and went past the Red Fort and Connaught Plac., Whenever premies felt tired, Maharaj Ji would go to them and give darshan and they would feel refreshed immediately. As we passed the Red Fort I felt very tired. I remembered Maharaj Ji and there he was all of a sudden in front me! My fatigue vanished. When I looked again he wasn't there. I asked the premies around me where he'd gone. They laughed and said, 'Why, he's a long way behind us" Then, some other premies, reported having seen him up ahead. That day Maharaj Ji appeared in several places at once, just like the incident in the Ramayana when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya and appeared in multiple forms to giVe darshan-to all the citizens."
When Chalti Devi of Rohtak asked for Knowledge, Shri Maharaj Ji told her to come to satsang that evening and then she
would receive intiation the following morning. However, she fell asleep and missed satsang. When Maharaj Ji asked her the follOwing morning why she hadn't attended satsang, she told him the reason. He laughed and said, "She's telling the truth! I'll give her Knowledge!" and he himself initiated her.
Sometime later she and some friends went to a program a few kilometres outside Delhi. It was late at night when they returned. Only after they'd gone about 12 kilometres did they discover that they were on the wrong bus, and they were left standing in the middle of nowhere. Sher recalls, "What could I do? I prayed inwardly to Maharaj Ji and said, "You've gone to satsang and left us here!' At that moment a brand-new bus appeared. Its only occupants were the driver and conductor. The bus stopped and we boarded it. When we told the conductor our destination he replied, 'Don't worry. I'll drop you wherever you have to go!' I'm sure Maharaj Ji brought that bus himself, otherwise where would a bus come from so late at night in such a deserted place?
'Once at Ramlila Ground during the first, day of a satsang, program, a storm sprang up and it seemed.that the tents would be blown away, Maharaj Ji said, 'Right! Tomorrow all of you have to do a lot of meditation so that the storm won't come again, and if it does, I'll understand that you didn't meditate.' The next day the weather was fine and Maharaj Ji announced in satsang, 'MY premies meditated today! That's why there is no storm.' I thought to myself, 'But I didn't meditate!' Immediately he said, 'Some premies are thinking that they forgot, but I didn't forget!' Then he continued, 'A devotee should spend a tenth of the day in meditation and'a tenth of his income in service.' Since that day I've done as he said."
Rupdevi of Faizabad writes, "Once I had to catch a train at Mainpuri, but the platform was too high for me to clinib onto. As I stood there wondering what to do, a man dressed in white appeared and lifted me onto the platform, saying, 'Here comes your train!'
He helped me into the train. When I turned around to thank him, he'd disappeared. It was Shri Maharaj Ji who came to my aid. 'Once my daughter was gravely ill, and there seemed to be no hope of saving her. But I had strong faith in Maharaj Ji and vowed that if she recovered I'd take her for darshan. She immediately took a turn for the better and I fulfilled my vow."
Mansingh of Khol village in Haryana, recalls an incident which suggested to him that Maharaj Ji was no ordinary man. "It was 1955 and I was 12 years old. Shri Maharaj Ji visited my uncle, and as he was about to leave, a person raced up to him, crying, 'A black snake just bit me. Please save me!' Shri Maharaj Ji was holding a marigold, which he gave to him and told him to sniff. The man did so and immediately had an attack of diaorrhea, which flushed out the poison."
Shiv Govind Prashad Verma, a lawyer from Gaya, Bihar, once went to Hardwar for Vaisakhi. When he went for darshan he was informed that Maharaj Ji was taking a bath and in the meantime he should wait. Maharaj Ji had sent for a sofa for Shiv Govind to sit on, but the lawyer declined and sat on the floor, as he felt that here he was a devotee, not a lawyer. A little while later, Shri Maharaj Ji arrived and said, "What are you doing sitting on the floor? You're a lawyer!" Actually, he was pleased, as he had
Shiv Govind continues, "Whatever Maharaj Ji said was a blessing in itself and if a person was wise he'd obey. Once we went to Delhi for darshan. Maharaj Ji told us to have dinner before leaving as we wouldn't find food anywhere outside. We declined, feeling that it was improper to take food from the ashram, so we only took a tiny bit as prashad. Later when we tried to have dinner we couldn't find a single restaurant that could offer a decent meal, although we wandered the streets for hours. We ending up eating chapaties with salt and had to get through the night with that."
Babulal of Qutab Road, Delhi, says, "Since the day I first saw Maharaj Ji, in 1950 at the Garhmukteshwar Mela, I daily decorated his photo and sang Arti. One day, after so doing, I saw Maharaj Ji' step outside the photo and then I started seeing him everywhere! I saw him in my neighbours so I gave them halvah as prashad, money and new clothes. A cow came by and rummaged in my flour bin. I saw only Maharaj Ji and offered all the flour! A little while later a mahatma visited me and told me that Maharaj Ji wanted to see me.
'When I went for darshan, Maharaj Ji ,said, 'Well, you've given things away to everybody else, so at least give me something, too!' My eyes were filled with tears of love and I couldn't say anything. Then Maharaj Ji told the assembled premies, 'This is the state of absorption in the Lord - when you don't see anything else except Him.' Then he placed his hand on my head and I came back to normal.
'My wife was standing in the darshan line during one Vaisakhi, holding a small flower garland. When she saw the beautiful garlands that other premies were offering she felt ashamed and thought, 'Master, how can you accept this poor garland of mine!'
'That very moment Maharaj Ji beckoned to her and said, 'Put your garland on me!' Then I really understood that the Lord comes for the poor."
'Once I really wanted to attend the Kumbha Mela in Allahabad but my financial situation wouldn't allow it. I thought to myself, 'Let's see if Maharaj Ji graces me or not. Later, he called me and said, 'Don't worry, you'll go to the Mela. He took me with him! He sent a mahatma back to Delhi, saying, 'His son sings very nicely. Go and bring him here.' I certainly enjoyed that Mela! Maharaj Ji used to sit with us on - the kitchen floor and shell peas. How blissful it was with him!'
'During satsang at Guru Puja 1966 the lights suddenly went out and then came back on a little while later. Maharaj Ji said, 'How dark it was when the lights were off! Similarly, one day soon it'll seem very dark but then the Light will come back and shine brightly everywhere!' No one realized then that he was talking about his impending physical demise. Within a month of that program we discovered what darkness was! But the Light did return as he said, and see how Shri Mata Ji and Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj have spread this Knowledgel!"
Describing that last Guru Puja, Patram of Modinagar says, "Maharaj Ji gave satsang for hours during the day. Then he returned in the evening and spoke some more. Satsang went on all night. Several times he left the stage but he always returned soon. He would have the premies laughing and crying. Then he would cry himself and wipe his eyes with a handtowel. Then again he would go away and return. It seemed that he didn't want to leave satsang. We never saw him again. A few days later he passed away."
Kalicharan of Chanikapa village in Mainpuri recalls, "One day at Prem Nagar Shri Maharaj Ji was giving satsang to about fifteen premies. He asked us, Would you obey me implicitly and do whatever I told, you?' We answered that we would. Then he Stood up and headed towards the Ganges. He entered the water and so did we. The water parted, leaving a dry path, along which Maharaj Ji Walked. When I glanced behind I saw nothing but water all around, but where we were walking was completely
dry. Suddenly, we saw ahead a wonderful palace, unlike anything we had ever seen, or could hope to see. It had a huge hall which was decorated for satsang. It was filled with premies , waiting for Maharaj Ji. Their clothes were very strange, the likes of which I have never seen before or since. Maharaj Ji held a two-day program there, and the things we saw and the joy we felt could never be described. Then we returned to Prem Nagar, by which route I still haven't been able to figure out.
'Once I attended satsang at Muradnagar. I saw Maharaj Ji sitting on stage giving satsang. A minute later when I reached the main building - there he was too, giving darshan. I ran back and forth between the house and satsang, and, sure enough, he was in both places at once!
A premie came up to him and offered him a glass of milk. He was standing about 2-3 feet away. Maharaj Ji put out his tongue, which became so long that he was able to drink the milk from that glass which was more than two feet away!"
Lakshmi Prasad Subba was born in Nepal and educated in Darjeeling. He says that from childhood he wanted to know God. There is an expression, 'Hans has flown away,' which means that someone has died and that the soul has left its cage. He wanted to know what that 'Hans' is, which keeps everything alive.
He had a tutor who was an Arya Samaj pundit. This pundit did all the prescribed rites and rituals and chanted mantras. Lakshmi Prasad did the same, but didn't feel any peace, and his desire to know Truth increased. He asked his tutor, "What is 'Hans?' His tutor replied that if he kept on doing the traditional rituals and chanting, he'd one day see God. Lakshmi Prasad says, "It then occurred to me that this man had spent his life doing these things but had never mentioned that he'd seen God, so how would I? All he ever said was, 'Believe, believe.'
Punditji had a small library. One day I read about 'Hans Avatar' and my desire to find him became even stronger. The
pundit quoted all kinds of verses about Hans but could not help me any more than that.
'One day some Christian missionaries came to our neighbourhood, saying things like, 'Do you have peace? How can sinners like us see God?' I became interested in what they had to say. I went regularly to Church and read the Bible, but after a while it dawned on me that they too were only saying, 'Believe, believe.'
I read, 'In the beginning was the Word', and 'without the Word nothing was made that was made'. I asked the priests about it, and they replied, 'Our Lord Jesus knew all this, but people like us have to just read the Bible and believe it. This didn't satisfy me, so I started visiting other sects and groups, including the Kabir Panthists, Nirankaris, Vaishnavas, Naga Panthists, Brahma Kumaris, etc. I read Gita, Tripitaka and Koran. Not having found what I wanted, I became an atheist. I decided that God doesn't exist, or, if He does, where is He and what does He look like?
In 1971 a satsang program was to be held in Siliguri. Posters, banners and flags proclaimed 'Hans'. Mahatmas from Hardwar came and a huge program was held. I happened to be passing by when I heard a song which stopped me in my tracks.
No matter how many religions you follow,
In Kali Yuga the only real Way is 'Hans Nam'.
The word 'Hans' attracted me and I stopped to listen. Mahatma Ji was saying, 'Do you know that 'Hans'-power which keeps all beings alive? If you want to know, then come to us.' My curiosity was definitely aroused. I spent several months listening to satsang, but didn't take Knowledge. After all, maybe they also couldn't give what they claimed, or maybe they lure people then get a hold on them. So I watched and observed everything.
One night I had an amazing dream. A brilliant Light came down from the sky towards me, expanding as it approached. It
was more radiant and beautiful than I can describe, but at the same time it was cool and soothing. As it reached the ground it took the form of a divine being. I prayed, 'Lord, Hans Bhagwan, you can do anything. Please save me.' Just then the divine being re-ascended into the sky.
'Early next morning I took prashad and went to Mahatma Ji to ask for Knowledge. I told him about my dream and he replied, 'That was a dream! Now I'll show you in real life!' He then initiated me. I saw the same brilliant Light descending from the heavens. From it emerged a glorious divine person with long hair and lustrous face, wearing a black coat and white dhoti. Around him were past holy Masters - Buddha, Jesus, Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna, Rama, etc. When. I described it to Mahatma Ji he exclaimed, 'You've seen Shri Hans Ji Maharaj! He left his mortal body in 1966, but is always with us in some form or another.' Since that day, I've had deep faith in Maharaj Ji and the Holy Family."
Mahatma Rameshwaranandji went through a similar crisis of faith. "For ten years I chanted, twisted rosaries, fasted, went on pilgrimages and attended religious meetings. I was getting nowhere. One day in Kanpur, I was sitting dejectedly in a park, musing, 'For ten years I've been wasting my time. God does not exist, it seems.' As I sat with eyes closed, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj appeared to me, surrounded by glorious Light. I felt very peaceful.
''The next day on my way to a religious gathering I heard one of Maharaj Ji's mahatmas giving satsang and saying, 'God is to be realized practically!' This interested me and I started coming to satsang. But as time passed, and I didn't get Knowledge, I stopped coming. Then Maharaj Ji appeared to me in a dream and asked, 'Why have you stopped coming to satsang?' So I resumed going. When I was initiated in 1962 I saw Maharaj Ji in the Light.
'Some time later I went for darshan. Maharaj Ji was alone in the room, and he appeared to me in the same way as I'd seen that first day in the park. When he saw me he laughed and said, 'So, you've had darshan!' I fell at his feet in tears."
Jay Narayan of Shanti Nagar, Delhi, received Knowledge in 1952. He believed Knowledge to be perfect, but not Maharaj Ji. He felt that serving God was the highest thing. "But," he says, "Guru Maharaj Ji knows everything. One day he discussed that very subject during satsang. He said, 'If you serve me,' you're 'serving me, but serving God is serving me as well!' This cleared up my doubts. Later in satsang he said, 'So, you want to test me to see if I am true or not, do you? Did I test you to see if you were worthy of becoming my disciple or not? I just accepted you as you are.' He said the same thing at four different programs, but only on the fourth hearing did it sink in. I had never told anyone what I thought, so how did he know? Then I understood that he really is perfect and knows everything.
"In 1956 I was working as a clerk for a building contractor in Kardi Bagh. I was supposed to start work at 8 a.m. but because it took me more than two hours to walk to work I never started before 10 or 10.30 a.m. One day the contractor asked the head clerk, Rajendra, 'I've given you an assistant but still the work isn't getting done. Why?' Rajendra replied, 'The new clerk is a clerk in name only. He never starts work before eleven o'clock, so how will the work get done?' The contractor decided to come early the next day to see for himself, because he was satisfied with my work and suspected jealousy on Rajendra's part.
'I left home at 7.45 as usual and walked as quickly as I could. Suddenly a truck stopped beside me and the driver asked, 'Why are you in such a hurry?' I replied that I had a long way to go and had to be at work by eight o'clock, so he offered me a ride. He dropped me right outside my office at eight 'o'clock. It occurred to me only later that he hadn't asked where I was going nor had I told him.
'The contractor saw me entering the building on time and said to the senior clerk, 'You complained that he never comes to work before eleven o'clock. Well, look at the time now! If you keep on blaming others for your own ineptitude you'll have to go!' I felt bad at having put Maharaj Ji to all that trouble (for the truck driver was surely he) and since then have tried to arrive at work on time."
Mahatma Fakiranandji was nicknamed. 'Ramayani' by Shri Maharaj Ji because he knew the entire Ramayana by heart. With deep emotion he recalls these events.
"Shri Maharaj Ji, the Supreme Father, loved the Ramayana. Several times I was fortunate enough to see him at the railway station as he passed through Patna on his way to somewhere else. He would always tell me to recite something from the Ramayana, and then sit down on the platform. With my gaze fixed on his lotus feet I would sing the 'Invocation to the Guru' and verses praising devotion. I would sing with great gusto, which attracted a crowd of travellers. Often, when I looked up at him, I would notice tears trickling down his cheeks.
'Once I was at Dehra Dun just before the festival of Navratri. Shri Maharaj Ji and Shri Mata Ji were sitting on the verandah. Maharaj Ji very tenderly told me to recite something from the Ramayana in praise of devotion. I fixed the mental image of his feet in my heart, closed my eyes, and sang with deep feeling. About ten minutes later I heard him sobbing. I looked up and saw that his handkerchief was drenched with tears and that he was weeping. So was the Holy Mother. So naturally I started sobbing too. Maharaj Ji gently chided me, saying, 'Now don't you cry, too!'
'Later he said, 'I want you to recite the entire Ramayana with commentary for Navratri. You are a pundit, a Ramayani, and most importantly, a devotee. So do this with all your heart.' A few days later, at the start of the nine-day Navratri period, a room by the rear verandah was prepared. It had an altar with nine candles which burned non-stop. Shri Maharaj Ji and Shri Mata Ji
themselves attended the reading. Maharaj Ji wondered how I could complete the entire book within only nine days. I replied, ''Master, I am in your shelter. Definitely it will be done, and as per regulations.' This pleased him and he presented me with a new dhoti, shawl and scarf. I completed the reading in accordance with the prescribed regulations within nine days. Maharaj Ji was very much moved by this and blessed me lovingly."
Shri Bhole Ji Maharaj, second son of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, presents these two glimpses of the Master.
"Shri Maharaj Ji was totally and completely a divine personality. How could we ever describe his divine play?
'Once our family returned to Dehra Dun after Shri Satpal Ji's birthday celebrations at Hardwar. Some premies from Patna had asked for permission to visit our home at Dehra Dun, so they also turned up. This was during the time of the Indo-Pakistan conflict and total blackout was observed at night. Maharaj Ji told the premies to sit on the lawn and sing songs and that he would come presently.' The neighbours panicked when they heard the singing and called the police, who arrived and asked what so many people were doing there. Shri Maharaj Ji informed them that we had just returned from Hardwar and that these people were our guests and would be leaving in the morning. This satisfied the police and they left. However, their van hit a ditch and got stuck. Shri Maharaj Ji told the premies to extricate it, saying, 'See! If so many people hadn't been, here, who would have freed their van for them?'
'On another occasion, during the summer. vacation, we accompanied Shri Maharaj Ji to Alwar for satsang. As we were driving along, another car tried to race us, so Maharaj Ji told our driver to slow down and let him overtake us. 'Everything should be done steadily,' he advised, 'like the tortoise who beat the hare in the race.' A little further along the road we came across the same driver. He had run over a little boy and killed him. Maharaj Ji said, 'That child was due to die today, and if we had overtaken that driver, we would have been the ones to cause the accident.' So Maharaj Ji saved us from that tragedy."