Kumbh Mela experience
Written by Dhritiman Biswas
Pilgrimage with Mohanji is like walking with the Master of this creation. Some exquisite karma from past lives have given me this privilege to walk in the shadow of my Baba during Kumbh – a time when this Earth’s most enlightened beings come together for the benefit and uplifting of mankind. I had the rare privilege to take a dip in Kumbh with Mohanji twice in as many years (in Allahabad in 2013 and now at Nashik in 2015). I have come across many people who tend to equate the cleanliness of the water in the river to the cleansing of the soul. They often fail to see that the cleansing of the soul is beyond visual plane. And if done in presence of a Master, the effects can hardly be written down for analysis. Lifetimes of karma are washed off in a single dip!
After the dip in Kumbh, as I walked back to our transport with Mohanji, I felt a surreal sense overwhelmed me. It felt as if we had been transported back centuries, when Guru would lead His Shishyas back to the ashram after the morning bath – not just with a clean body, but with a clean soul from which baggage has been taken off.
On the way to Shirdi, we ‘lost’ our way. Our Innova passed through a walking procession of Naga sadhus. Sitting near the window, as we passed them slowly due to congestion in the road from cows heading the other way, I saw the ‘rudra’ look in their eyes. Most of them looked at us, so angrily that at one point I thought that they might even attack us.
After we had crossed them, we decided to have some breakfast. During breakfast we realized that we were on the wrong road and turned back. We crossed the Naga sadhus again. As we left them behind, Mohanji casually asked us, “So did you get their darshan (glance)?” Us mere mortals in the car, did not fathom what He was trying to say. When we asked for the clarification, Mohanji informed us that within that group there were very high beings, who preferred to remain anonymous but gave us their ‘darshan’. Such is the leela!!! The unwarranted detour was for this cause.
After this adventure, it took us some time to reach Shirdi. It was late evening – around 7.30pm. The bus and the second Innova was a good 15 mins behind us in the lead Innova, in which Mohanji was travelling. We stopped in front of Gate no 2 of Shirdi temple to assemble, so that we all could get passes for next day’s Kakad aarti. As my co-passengers were stretching their legs after alighting, Mohanji and I were still in the Innova. Suddenly, Mohanji asked Rajesh Kamath to give money to someone and touch His feet. I snapped my head up to look at the physical form of Sai Baba in front of our Innova. As the four people on ground rushed forward to touch Baba’s feet, Mohanji asked the driver to drive straight ahead to the hotel. My jaws were open, my hands were folded in prayer. I was still in awe. I could not even ask Mohanji’s permission to get down and touch Sai Baba’s feet. My mind was blank. As the Innova passed Sai Baba, Mohanji and Sai Baba looked into each other’s eyes and gently nodded. So much was said in that single nod, yet no word came out of either one’s mouth. In a flash of a second, I came face to face with Sai Baba. For the first time in this life, I looked into Sai Baba’s eyes. Oh what a gaze it had! Such intensity and yet love! Like a robot I also bowed to Sai Baba and he nodded back at me. Hey Bhagwan! Hey Bhagwan! How can words describe this darshan of Sri Guru Datta Himself?
We reached hotel and even while I was still in my daze, Mohanji asked me to accompany Him to visit Shirdi temple. This was my first visit to Shirdi temple. I always had a secret wish, that I should visit Shirdi with my Baba – Mohanji. Even this little wish was fulfilled. I have heard that Shirdi is always teeming with people for Baba’s darshan. One can imagine the state, during Kumbh when extra millions were visiting. To my utter surprise but not completely unexpected when one is with Mohanji, we entered the main line (Mohanji specifically said that everyone is same in front of Baba and no one is a VIP), had darshan and came out in about 9 mins or so. This included an opportunity to prostrate fully on the ground in front of Sai Baba’s murti (which is unthinkable as hundreds of people walk there every minute). My first visit to Shirdi has begun….and how!
Early next day, after Kakad aarti, we drove to meet Sulake Maharaj, the head priest of Shirdi temple.
He was disappointed that Mohanji was there for a brief visit and was not staying for lunch. He requested Mohanji to kindly get up from the long sofa he was sitting on and guided him to sit on the main chair in the center of the room. After sitting Mohanji there, Maharaj smiled and said, now the correct person is sitting on the main chair! It was such a joy to see Sulakhe Maharaj gush all over Mohanji. He wrapped around Mohanji, Sai Baba’s dress with which Sai Baba’s murti was wrapped in the Shirdi temple. Mohanji gave me the privilege and the honour to hold this dress as we travelled to Shani Signapur. Throughout the journey, the divine perfume from the dress kept me in a state of bliss!
As the pilgrimage came to a close, I should have known that those effects could continue for days. However, I had not expected that actually I could immediately fall sick with high fever. As the fever came in ebbs, I realised that this was cleansing occurring at its best. The fever finally left me after 2-3 days. The funny part was, I did not even feel weak.
Now I wait eagerly to get my Guru’s permission to go to the next Kumbh Mela!