By Yashik Singh
If one has to ask Mohanji what he would like as a gift for his birthday or some other special occasion, Mohanji’s answer is always that he wants nothing from us. He does everything out of unconditional love, so he has no expectations of anything in return. We read that the best way to show appreciation to your Guru is to live his teachings. And I agree, this is the best way to show your appreciation to your Guru. But at times, you want to do something that is more tangible…more physical.
Guru Purnima is really the one day that means the most to me in the entire year. It is very difficult for me to describe what Mohanji means to me. He is with us each and every second. He guides me, protects me, and teaches me about the true meaning of love, devotion, consistency, and purposeful living. But this is only the tip of what Mohanji had done for me.
He gives me renewed purpose when I feel am failing at this game called life. There are no longer difficulties in my life… I now see them as expressions of Mohanji’s grace. Even when things go wrong I am comforted that if Mohanji allows it, then it is for my best. Mohanji has changed my life . I cannot tell you exactly how and in what way because no words can explain this. I have no words that can describe how much Mohanji means to me, how much he means to us all.
And this is a dilemma…. Because I want to tell Mohanji that I appreciate everything he has done for me and that I love him not only as my Guru but also as my Father, Mother, and Devata. So to show love, I wanted to offer the highest possible act I could think of using this human body. For Gurupurnima, I decided to have two tattoos done. On my right arm I tattooed Mohanji’s yantra, Mohanji’s gayatri mantra and the last line of the Guru padukam strotram (namo namha shri guru padukabhyam). One my left arm, closest to my heart, I wanted a portrait of Mohanji in ShivaBhava.
It took three days to complete the yantra and mantra on my right arm. It was physically very painful. The tattoo is over my entire right arm, and spreads over the soft inner arm and also over the very sensitive stretch marks I have. There was a lot of swelling, tenderness, and agony due to my skin being pierced hundreds of times a minute, while wiping off ink over the open wound. Although Ajay was sick he came with me for moral support. Thank you Ajay! But when he saw what was happening he left the tattoo room lol. He could not handle the needles and the blood and how tender the tattoo looked as the artist was doing his job. He sat quietly on the couch and eventually fell off to sleep. This tattoo was done over two days. One the first day the artist did the inner part of the yantra and on the second day he did the mantras and outer part of the yantra. All in all, we probably spend 15-18 hours on the tattoo.
We then started work on the portrait. If you think the first tattoo was painful, it was nothing compared to the pain of the portrait. Because of the shading that is required, the artist had to go over the same place a few times to get the intensity of the shading correct. So he coloured one area in, and then he had to go over that same area again and again. That tattoo look a few hours more that the first tattoo. This tattoo had the hallmark of Mohanji… fluidity. We started with a rough plan, but it eventually ended up being Mohanji’s face in shivabhava, on a mirror and nagaraja over him. This is very symbolic to me and I will explain its meaning in another post.
I got lots of scolding from my friends and doctors lol. Being a bad diabetic and with my current state of health, I can understand why they were upset. But amazingly, the tattoos are healing so fast. The scabs that covered the open wounds formed in day and fell off in three days. Unlike the mantras on my forearm which took the scab two weeks to form and another two weeks to fall off. Although there was lots of physical pain, this experience was so joyous to me. Every moment was an offering from my heart to Mohanji. Every moment was ecstasy. The love that flowed from my heart was all that mattered.
During the tattooing of Mohanjis portrait, I suddenly felt Mohanji’s presence and then the tattoo artist and myself simultaneously noticed something on my forearm. I touched it in an attempt to brush it off, and then I realised that it was vibuthi and chandan.
The tattoo artist stopped his work and put the tattoo machine down and asked me what that is. I casually said that these are holy powders that my Guruji materialised to say that he is happy with the tattoo. The tattoo artist went pale and said he definitely knows that nothing was on my hand and my hand was right next to him. He started to freak out a bit lol hahhaha…such is Mohanjis way lol. He looked more bit pale and then walked to the window and had a long smoke. He came back to me and started his work, trying to ignore what happened. But I did catch him glancing at my forearm now and again at the place where the vibuthi and chandan materialised hahahaha.
Mohanji, I offer this to you from the very depth of my core. The tattoo’s on this body is symbolic of my love to you, my promise of consistency to you, and my promise to be your instrument always. This is my promise that you are the purpose of the purposeful life I wish to lead. Just like how it is impossible to remove a tattoo of this size, I pray that my devotion to you will always grow and that I am made worthy of never leaving your holy feet.