Whirling in Devotion
Hridayarpit Rumi Chheda, a sevak in the Sadguru Prerna Infrastructure – Landscaping team, highlights how his Murshid, Pujya Gurudevshri, is lovingly teaching him the art of dissolving in devotion
The concept of Guru never existed in the earlier phase of my life. I was like a stray dog trying to find happiness in the lanes of worldly pleasures but my compassionate Murshid Bapaji could not see me wandering. He not only gave me shelter but also started training me to be His favourite pet.
Meeting my Master, my Murshid
My life can be divided into two phases – the first phase before I met Bapaji and the next one after I met Him. In the first phase, I was on a highway, speeding my way to hell. I totally lived life with the philosophy – eat, drink and be merry. I loved smoking, drinking and partying every week. On some days I would come back home at 5.00 a.m., the time when my mother would get up for doing samayik. She would cry seeing me in a drunken state, but I was so heartless that I never bothered or felt that I was doing anything wrong. In fact I felt like I had the perfect balance as I would go to the temple almost every day and during Paryushan I would perform Jinpuja and observe fasts to keep my mother happy. By doing this I felt I was very religious. Eventually, it was my saviour, Bapaji, who with His power of love made me take a U-turn on this highway. Now at 5.00 a.m. I get up to practise meditation. Now, I look forward to going to the temple and Paryushan is my party time with God, a celebration I wait for. Bapaji changed my definition of religion – from mere rituals – it became a way of living.
From Materialistic Attraction to Mystical Love
August 22, 2009 – My love story with my beloved Bapaji in this life started during the Paryushan Parva. On this blessed day, I went for His pravachan because of my sister Jigna. I really enjoyed the bhakti and pravachan. I had been doing the samvatsari pratikraman for years but since it was done unwillingly, it had never touched me. But this year, it was different. At the end of the pratikraman, both my wife Avina and I were in tears. Little did I know that this day was going to change my life. We started attending the pravachans in Mumbai frequently. October 2009 – Avina wanted to go on a holiday during Diwali. We planned all possible destinations but nothing would work out for silly reasons. When I reflect on why it didn’t happen, I feel it was because my lovely Bapaji had better plans for us. He wanted us to be in Dharampur for the Diwali shibir. The sun had just risen over the horizon as we got closer to the Ashram. It was an amazing feeling, as if we were entering the gates of heaven. We felt like God was welcoming us. Just seeing the chitrapat of Param Krupalu Dev at the Ashram, we were spellbound. This shibir cemented our belief that this is the path for us and this is what we want to pursue in our life. April 25, 2010 – We personally met Bapaji for the first time on this day. It was barely a 2 minute meeting but He gave us everything and made us feel so close to Him. I told Him that I was disturbed by a lot of thoughts pertaining to sensual pleasures. He lovingly guided me that who doesn’t get such thoughts? But don’t fight with them. Instead increase satsang and love for the Divine. We were blessed with Mantra Diksha. Bapaji’s seemingly simple ajna of daily reading 3 different prarthnas in Gujarati helped me read Gujarati fluently and subsequently I was able to read Vachanamrutji easily. January 01, 2011 – Bapaji was meeting everyone. I didn’t have anything to offer to Him so I decided to offer my heart. When I met Him, I said, “I love You Bapaji, I offer You my heart.” He held my hand. I too held His hands, kissed them, placed my eyes on them and touched His Feet. I was speechless for the next 30 minutes. I was just lost in that moment. It was bliss!
Inculcating the Passion of Jalaluddin Rumi
January 05, 2011 – I was blessed to be a part of the inauguration of Shrimad Rajchandra Animal Medical Outreach Programme. He saw me and asked me if I was in seva and what my name was. I replied, “Deven”. Bapaji told me that I had passionate eyes. He then said that on seeing me He had asked a sevak who I was, running after Him like Rumi. From that day, I started addressing myself to Him as Rumi. Through this, He just didn’t give me a name but gave me a goal as well – to dissolve my existence like Jalaluddin Rumi did and be passionate in everything I do. April 2011 – Avina would go for all shibirs in Dharampur and I would miss them because of my work commitments. This really troubled me and made me think that if we limit our expenses then we can manage with what we have. As a result, I decided to retire. I would like to thank my parents who supported me in this decision. I could feel that His presence, love and teachings were guiding me throughout. While taking the decision to retire at the age of 32, I had various thoughts like what if in the future I would have medical problems or if there would be inflation etc. But I would counter these thoughts by questioning myself – what is the guarantee that if I keep working, I would definitely earn, I might run into losses too. March 26, 2012 – He blessed me with the Sadguru Prerna seva. Today I realise that seva is my biggest sadhana as it helps me identify my inner faults. Through seva, I am not only able catch my ego, mood fluctuations and concepts but also bring about a change in them. November 2013 – I was blessed to participate in the quiz on Patrank – 135 during the Diwali shibir. Because of the quiz, I realised that Bapaji is giving so much in one pravachan. Every time I heard it, it taught me something new. When I think back about how I answered those questions, it surprises me. I know how forgetful I am. I get nervous talking to a crowd. But His smile, blessings and thumbs up raised us to such a high level of connection that everything else just flowed. Such is Bapaji’s compassion that after the quiz, He lovingly made us realise that we won because we sought blessings at the beginning. From this I learnt that before I start anything, I should take His blessings. Then, I just have to let Him flow through me and thank Him for the magic.
Training me for Oneness with God
Bapaji was going to Palitana in March 2014. Avina and I booked our tickets as per His days in Palitana. We sent Him an email asking for His ajna to join Him for the tirthyatra. We didn’t receive any reply. When Bapaji along with other mumukshus climbed the Palitana Tirth, we started climbing with Him. At the entrance of the Nav Tuk, Atmarpit Nemiji called me and asked me whether we got ajna from Bapaji to come for the tirthyatra. When I said no, He lovingly explained that if we have asked for ajna, we need to wait for the reply. Not receiving a reply did not mean we could join Him. We got prayaschit of not coming to Dharampur for 3 months. Through this, I learnt that following ajna is the foundation pillar. Desires and ego will come to cheat me but I must be steadfast in ajna. I want to thank Bapaji for His presence, for giving me the opportunity to see a living God. The love of all the mothers of the world combined cannot match the unconditional love He has for each one of us. May I live each breath of all my lives only serving Him.