Kumbh Mela Experience
Written by Rakesh Kumar
It all started when Mamu (aka Narendra Rohmetra outside the Mohanji community) asked the group accompanying Mohanji to the Kumbh Mela to pen down their experiences during the trip. I was wondering how and where to start. Then, I remembered what Mohanji told the group during the satsang (spiritual discourse) at St Laurns hotel in Shirdi. He said, “Commander took me to Baba” (I work for the Indian Navy and Mohanji calls me Commander). Of course, it was his unique style to show his humility but I guessed that now it was now my turn to provide humor from the ‘usual’ ones viz. Mamu, Rajesh Kamath and Vignaji about whom Mohanji often quipped to keep the environment lively. Before coming to the subject matter “Commander took me to Baba”, first with all humbleness I would like to thank Mohanji for accepting me for ShahiSnaan (ritual bath) at Nasik, visit to ShaniShingnapur, Shirdi, Samadhi of Upasani Maharajin Sakori and Dandakvan Ashram in Gujarat.
First the ‘ShahiSnaan’ at Nasik with Mohanji was an amazing experience in all aspects, for which there are no words or descriptions. As they say, “The only substitute for experience is the experience itself”. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure that my idea of Kumbh crammed with thousands of devotees taking bath at the same time vanished in thin air. Imagine 7 million people congregating in a town for the Kumbh within a short period and you will get the picture. With Mohanji, we took just 45 minutes to complete all the activities at the holy Ram Ghat. With the grace of Mohanji, the Kumbh ‘ShahiSnaan’ seemed to all of us like a cake-walk.
Coming to Shirdi, when we were checking-in at St Laurns hotel at Shirdi, Nikita informed me that Mohanji was talking to Anand Joshi from Mumbai in Mohanji’s room. My wife Reena is connected with Anandji on Whatsapp and I had happened to read the wonderful content/answers sent by him for the various questions that she posed. I thought of meeting up with him. Therefore, I was roaming somewhere outside Mohanji’s room hoping to get a chance to meet Anandji. After a few minutes when they were done with their conversations, they came out and Mohanji looked at me and said, “Let’s go to Sai Samadhi Mandir”. The group was totally dispersed as they were busy with the check-in. Mohanji again said, “Let’s go to Sai Samadhi Mandir” this time looking at DB (aka Dear Brother) from Gurgaon. Earlier somebody had asked me the full form of DB and I said ‘Dear Brother’. 🙂 I was walking ahead of Mohanji. When we were passing the VIP gate, somebody said that the Mandir’s pujari was supposed to have come here to take Mohanji but he wasn’t there. Mohanji immediately looked at me and said, “Let’s go, there are no VIP’s in front of Sai Baba”. Immediately, we started walking through the general gate where devotees were lined up for taking a darshan of the holy Sai Baba. Generally, it takes many hours to get through the serpentine queues before you get a darshan (holy sight) of Baba. And these were the days of the Kumbh Mela where the crowds would have been multiplied many times over. Now this is where the readers have to believe that we were in front of Sai murthi (statue) in less than ten minutes. I call this experience a cake walk (Mohanji also does other walks such as Conscious walk and I will try and explain the relation between the two later). Seven minutes is my guess, maybe it was nine minutes (one minute for each ‘Navadha Bhakti’ – the nine forms of devotion). I really don’t know the exact timing and its reasoning as it is beyond my awareness to comprehend. Maybe I will ask Mohanji in our next meeting. The second unbelievable part for the readers is to know that we were right in front of the Sai Baba in the middle of the hall. Normally, people depart from the door behind the Baba’s murthi. We got to walk back through the central passageway getting ample time to look at the adoring image of Baba as we left the temple. At the end of the passage, Mohanji and Anandji hugged each other as if they were long lost brothers who were reunited and Sai Baba kept smiling at both of them like a benevolent father. I again submit that I am not sure of why I was made a witness to these wonderful events that are beyond my awareness and comprehension. Thereafter, we came out of the mandir and proceeded to ‘Gurusthal’ (literally “place of the Guru” – the place where Sai Baba spent most of his time when he first came to Shirdi).
Later, after the dinner, all of us were gathered in Mohanji’s room at the hotel and Mohanji remarked “Commander took me to Sai Baba”.
Here, the readers are advised to use their conscious mind to make out ‘who’ took ‘whom’. But with an unconscious mind like mine, I know that Mohanji must have visited Sai Baba at Shirdi a zillion times and, in all humility, he wanted to give the credit to me (believe me I had no role at all). People on this trip had been talking about chakras (spiritual centers in one’s body) and other advanced spiritual topics and techniques and their usefulness in connecting to one’s Guru. But I know nothing about this. All I know is that my Guru Mohanji is an epitome of humility and does walk-the-talk. This is the third walk apart from the ‘Conscious Walk’ and the cake-walk with whom Mohanji is associated with. I don’t know how many other walks are there in his bag? 🙂 But if I may guess the relationship amongst these walks — On the path of life, if we walk Consciously whilst doing walk-the-talk, then life will be a cake-walk. If I am able to walk on the previous statement then I am sure my Guruji would smile at every mile of my walk.
At Dandakvan, Guruji near the fountain in the garden told us a valuable declaration “EVEN IF IT IS UNBELIEVABLE, BELIEVE IT”. Yes, it is unbelievable that my Guru took me to Sai and I truly believe that it was him who had planned this meticulously and thereafter executed it scrupulously. JAI GURUDEV
OM SAI RAM!