A Summer To Remember Forever
Written by Lata Ganesh and edited by Brinda Subramanian
Several summers have come and gone but I can honestly say that this summer has, by far, been the best summer of our lives. Did we get away from home? Yes. Were we at an amusement park? Yes. Did we take the cruise? Yes. We did it all but not exactly! It was an out- of- the- world experience. In order to give all the details, I have to go back a few years.
My husband, Ganesh and I have been connected with Mohanji since 2010 but got the boon of being in His physical presence only in February of 2013. We had planned a trip to India and were blessed to be with Mohanji on his birthday in Shirdi. We also got to travel with him and set foot at the divine land of Datta Tapovan. Though my connection with Mohanji has always been strong, this trip brought in a transformation deep within me. He embraced me into his consciousness, and I melted and molded into it. I understood the real meaning of complete surrender and faith which I carried with me and life seemed to be moving smoothly and beautifully.
We wanted more people to experience what we had experienced in the company of Mohanji and wished He would visit the US. In June we got the news that Mohanji’s visa to the US had been approved. We were all extremely excited and started planning his trip.
Finally, with a great deal of anticipation we went to receive the Master at the airport. It was an unexplainable blissful moment to see him arrive. The real story began then because the things that followed were pure divine.
Mohanji exemplifies unconditional love and His being here made everyone experience it. We could see transformation happening right then and there. People who knew nothing about Mohanji just fell immensely in love with him and did not want to leave his side. People who were strangers to us until then came in and out of our house as if we were family and the best part was that I did not mind at all!
Before we go any further I have to tell you all about a personal experience that I had with Mohanji. All of us have wishes and always want it to fulfill. I too had a wish. Just before Mohanji left India, the “Kailash with Mohanji” book was launched and I really wanted a copy of it. It came up several times in my mind to contact our dear friends, Shashank or Yamini to send me a copy through Mohanji but I was so preoccupied with planning the visit that I did not get a chance. As soon as Mohanji reached home and settled in, he opened his suitcase and said, “Lata, this is for you.” I turned around and looked at him handing the book to me. I was speechless. How could he have known! All I knew to do then was to prostrate in front of him and accept this priceless blessing.
We had planned spiritual trips not only in Virginia but also in several other states. Another wish that I had was that Mohanji’s divine feet must step on the grounds of New York. Since New York is an important nerve center of America and the potpourri of several cultures, creed, religious beliefs and color, I thought it essential for Him to bless this land. We all know that New York has gone through a lot and the presence of the Master would only sanctify it. Our BTW (Bless the World) family member, Vinod and I, had discussed about the New York trip several times but our work schedules and lack of support group there made it seem like something impossible. In spite of all our apprehensions, faith in Master prevailed and Vinod was able to put an excellent program in place not only in New York but also in New Jersey. Not only that, he was also able to organize an interview in iTV which was spontaneous and brilliant.
Everything was falling in place and miracle after miracle kept happening right in front of our eyes. After the public event in Virginia of Aug 4th, Ganesh and I had planned to drive Mohanji to New Jersey, early morning, on Aug 5th and had also arranged for a program on the evening of 5th at the Sai temple there. We had even booked accommodation in NYC. All these arrangements were done more than a month ago.
A sudden important meeting at work came up and I was in a situation where my leave was cancelled. Meanwhile, Ganesh has applied for his citizenship and got a letter stating that his interview was going to be on the afternoon of Aug 5th. I already knew that Vinod was having a tough time at his work too. We were in a bad predicament and did not know what to do. As always the Master knows it all but still plays his games. I just surrendered to him and prayed for a miracle to happen. Lo and behold I get a call from Vinod. He said, “ Lata I wanted some one -on -one time with Mohanji so was wondering if I could drive him to NJ. I will pick him up in the morning.” Even though I wanted to tell him that he said he would not be able to take anytime off 10 days ago, all I could say was “Thank you”.
Remember I had mentioned about Ganesh’s interview with USIS? Here is the rest of that story. He went for his citizenship interview at 2:45 pm, thinking he was a little early for the 3:00 pm interview but he was in for a shock when he got there. His interview was, apparently, at 1:00 pm and not 3:00. Ganesh, who is always good about things like this had misread the letter. Now he was 2 hours late and was told that the office was closed. He had to re-apply for the interview and it might take weeks. He was really mad at himself. How could he have missed it! After a few minutes he composed himself and with utmost sincerity did what he could do. He pulled out Mohanji’s eye card and connected with the Master. He then walked up to the receptionist’s desk and requested to meet with the interviewer. In about 10 mins an officer walked up to Ganesh and invited him to the office. He completed the citizenship interview. The key point was that it was after-hours and this incident cannot be anything else but the grace of the Master.
The Big Apple Embraces Mohanji
The Om Sai temple in Flushing, NY, is absolutely breathtaking. It is unique because the temple hosts a life size idol of both Shirdi Sai Baba and Satya Sai Baba. Dr. Rao takes utmost care and very loving worships here. It is believed that Satya Sai Baba resides here. Mohanji paid his respects to Baba and offered both his books, Power of Purity and Kailash with Mohanji and the CDs at the feet of Baba and gifted the same to the temple. We had two amazing events here. We had a Satsang on the first day and the Power of Purity meditation the next day followed by Shakthipat given by Mohanji to the devotees.
The highlight of this trip, though, was the most enlightening interview with Mohanji for iTV. Listen to the interview where, Ashok asks Mohanji, “Are you Shiva?” and he answers emphatically, “Yes I am Shiva…..and You are Shiva.”
In spite of having a hectic schedule we were able whisk Mohanji for some sight-seeing. He became one with the kids there. He enjoyed his ride in the open bus, graced the total emptiness of Ground Zero as well as the historic grounds of Ms. Liberty and even got a caricature done. He posed innocently for pictures and thus celebrated New York.
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Experience with Mohanji at the Sri Hanuman
Temple of North America
Hanumanji, also known as the monkey face God, has appeared to grace Mohanji and his devotees several times and you can read those experiences in the book “Kailash” or the blog (-https://mohansuniverse.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/lord-hanuman-%E2%80%93-).
So it was absolutely essential, we thought, for Mohanji to visit the new upcoming Sri Hanuman temple of North America. Ramu Arumugam and Satish Sreedharan, trustees of the temple, were more than happy to welcome Mohanji. They received Him with a lovely silk shawl and two other devotees, Badra and Padma, offered pada namaskar (prostrating and touching His feet) and chanted the Dattatreya mantras (Sanskrit verses). A beautiful silk shawl was handed to Mohanji, which, with great devotion, he draped around the statue of Shirdi Baba. Mohanji, with total devotion, conducted arti. He then led the Vishnu Sahasranamam (one thousand names of Lord Vishnu) and Hanuman Chalisa (forty verses in praise of Hanuman).
The entire temple was filled with such aura that I almost expected Hanumanji to appear in form and he did appear except in different form. A gentleman clad in black (generally worn by people taking a vow of temporary sainthood when they go to visit Lord Ayyappa of Sabari hills) walked into the temple suddenly. He looked at Mohanji, who was in deep meditation, with love and recognition and then just left. While he was there his focus was only on Mohanji. He stood there momentarily and then left. I was mesmerized by this incident that I did not even think of clicking his picture. Was he the Hanuman in human form? Who knows but who dares to say he wasn’t?
Afterwards Mohanji blessed the devotees by transferring divine energy into them (Shakthipat) using Viboothi (the divine ash).
Mohanji performing Homa at The Plains, VA
The Plains in VA is a beautiful town and home to the Green Meadow. One of Mohanji’s ardent devotee, Annette, had requested Him to conduct a homa – fire ceremony (usually done to remove negativity) in her yard. As the homa date was getting closer, we discovered that the weather reports were not favorable to have an outdoor event. In order to get a tent and make indoor arrangements we needed to follow a lot of rules and regulations. We did not have enough time for any of that and we did not have a plan B. Of course, as expected, we started getting anxious phone calls because people were going to be driving from far to be a part of this. We were panicking but the Master was, as always, quiet and composed. Another person who was not agitated was Annette. Her tremendous faith in her Master kept her calm. She decided to go on with it, come what may. She told another devotee, Viji, that she had total faith in her Master and he will take care of the weather. The Master did take care of the weather as we had a beautiful and welcoming sky over our head and there were thunderstorms in the nearby areas.
Annette’s unconditional love and trust in him paid off and the homa began and the deities arrived and graced the occasion and blessed the participants.
Several devotees from several cities joined this unique homa conducted by Mohanji to ward off negativities and past karma. Mohanji explained a technique and asked everyone to surrender their negativities and acquired patterns from the past, amidst the homa. As the stars filled the clear blue skies, the fire rose to the sky as though it was inviting the deities and angels from the heaven to come down and bless us all. The entire atmosphere was charged with supreme energy and we were sinking deep into it. Even though the heat became unbearable for us and we started to move backwards, Mohanji sat right next to it throughout.
People experienced some miraculous moments during this process. There were tears of gratitude and complete peace inside and divinity outside. People had seen their favorite deities in the fire and some saw Mohanji Himself.
Almost 50 devotees participated in the fire ritual and sought blessings and this included a dog who was very quiet, in a meditative mood throughout the event and walked away silently and in total peace.
Along with 50 odd people who were blessed to be a part of this, there was also a dog that sat through the entire ritual in deep meditation and walked away very quietly and peacefully.
The Homa ended at about 10 pm and the star studded sky looked extremely beautiful. Even the thunderstorm had bowed to divinity and given way, just like the oceans did for Lord Krishna when Vasudeva was taking the divine baby away from Kamsa (Hindu mythological story of Lord Krishna). The sublimity of the Homa continued for several days when Annette watched birds and animals unknown to her came for a visit. Even a momma wolf and her little ones came to seek blessings of the Supreme Power.
Our Dear Friend Ralph
A true devotee and a pure soul, Ralph Davis was really excited when he knew of Mohanji’s arrival and he wanted to do something special. He had arranged for a Power of Purity Meditation at the Yoga and Healing center at Fredricksburg but the Lord had other plans for him. Suddenly, a few days before the event, Ralph’s soul left his body to become one with the ultimate consciousness. While we were all a little perturbed and not sure about what to do, Mohanji stood his grounds and decided that we will go ahead as planned. So we drove for over an hour, in heavy traffic, to meet Ralph’s partner Michelle and her friends. The Power of Purity meditation was extremely powerful and the Q&A session that followed was mind blowing. Everybody wanted Mohanji to stay and not leave.
At the Yogaville Ashram
I had heard so much about the sublimity and beauty of the Yogaville Ashram that I was keen on taking Mohanji there. I had contacted the Ashramites, Sharadananda Swami and Dayananda Swami, who, after reading about Mohanji, were delighted to welcome him to the Ashram lands. They invited him to join them for lunch and requested that he conduct a Satsang and Q&A session.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, our beloved friend Balakumar and his daughter Meghna, along with our family, drove along the beautiful Virginia country side with Mohanji to the lush 800 acre Yogaville Ashram.
Yogaville is more than an ashram, Yoga Teacher training facility or a Yoga retreat. It is a vibrant spiritual community built on the precepts of Integral Yoga as taught by Sri Swami Sachidananda (Sri Gurudev); blending the power of the various branches of yoga into once complete practice. Integral yoga’s holistic and gentle approach brings benefits to many aspects of one’s life.
Mohanji was honored and warmly welcomed by Reverend Bhagvan Metro, Brother Ganesh and other ashramites. He was, very lovingly, served a delicious Satvik (vegetarian) lunch at the Sivananda Hall followed by a 90 minute tour of the entire ashram that included sacred sites such as Chidambaram (another name for Lord Shiva), Shri Gurudev’s Mahasamadhi, the Dancing Nataraja Shrine and last but not the least, the amazing LOTUS inter faith shrine. It is the first shrine ever built to house altars for every major faith and also faiths less known and those that are not known yet.
Later in the afternoon, Mohanji spoke to the ashramites and visitors about Hinduism and Guru Tatwa (Being a Guru). He, very eloquently and beautifully conveyed the essence of Hinduism, shared his innumerable experiences and answered everyone’s questions relentlessly. The leadership of the Ashram and the participants thanked Mohanji profusely for having taken the time to visit them and shower them with such Wisdom. They requested Mohanji to spend a night with them at the Ashram but due to time constrains we were unable to accommodate but left with a promise to come back next year. Mohanji donated the books “Power of Purity” and “Kailash with Mohanji” to the Ashram library.
Here are the pictures that tell you the story!
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Saying Goodbye Among Music, Laughter and Sadness…
Before we knew, the beautiful summer with all our roller-coaster rides and trips and cruise had come to an end. With whatever limited time Mohanji had, he managed to have a one on one meeting with whoever wanted to, including my 9 year old nephew. Well, right from the time we told Sid about Mohanji’s arrival he had been insisting on wanting to meet him but they live in Cincinnati and were not able to visit VA. On our way back from Yogaville, Sid happened to call Ganesh through facetime and asked to talk to Mohanji. Mohanji immediately took the phone from Ganesh and spoke to the little 9 year old boy. Sid was just ecstatic. He chatted with Mohanji happily and called Him “cool”.
Bless the World Family USA cannot express in words how fortunate they have been this summer. Many lives were transformed, unexpectedly. Several experiences were shared – some of which cannot be fathomed by the logical mind, some of which that are indescribable in words. There are many more stories which hopefully we will keep telling. For me personally, I am totally humbled by the generosity and magnanimity of the Lord to have accepted so graciously all that we had to offer. I had to join back to work on the day Mohanji was leaving. I was happy that there were others taking care of him and sending him off but at the same time that I was not there on the last day and expressed that to Him. He simply said, You have done very well, I cannot be happier, now get on with your tasks, I am with you always…
I asked for a copy of the Kailash book and Mahadev came down from Kailash, gave the book and stayed with us for a few days…. My heart is filled and so are my eyes, as I say, lots and lots of love and gratitude to you, Mohanji. Thank you very much!