Written by Brintha
On the morning of Friday 31st July 2015, Guru Purnima, Mohanji visited our house with his wife Biba. He arrived around 10:30 am and after a heartfelt welcome with the Poornakumbam (a brass pot holding a coconut, mango leaves and Ganga water, an honour reserved only for the highest of masters and yogis), made his way inside, amongst the sounds of faithful chants and bhajans in praise of Lord Shiva. He had a beautiful smile on his face, as he sat down on his chair beside the altar.
Mohanji gave his blessing for the Guru Purnima Pooja to be carried out by Pundit Gowri Shankar, a visiting priest from India. Poojas were carried out for Lord Ganesh, Sathya Sai Baba and Shirdi Sai Baba before an abhishekam was prepared to worship the divine padhukas (sacred, traditional footwear made of five different metals) of the Lord and the lotus feet of our dear Mohanji. As the eleven dravyams (oil, ghee, a mixed fruit-pulp, milk, yoghurt, honey, fruit juice, coconut water, sandalwood paste, holy ash and the Poornakumbam water) were offered to the padhukas and pancha dravyams (water, milk, items in respect to the mother cow, sandalwood paste and Ganga water) to the feet of Mohanji, Panditji started to chant the Sri Rudram, and the rest of the congregation immediately followed. Soon the house was humming with the loud chanting of deep and powerful mantras.
Doing the abhishekam for Mohanji’s feet (ritualistic washing and bathing with each item of the pancha dravyams) was an experience of pure bliss for both me and my husband. In the same way a mother lovingly allows her children to play with her hair, her bangles, Mohanji happily allowed us to perform Pooja to his feet in whatever way we wanted, in whatever way may have pleased us! For the entire duration I was doing the rituals, I felt only the peace and comfort of his aura which were present in the subtle energy of his Presence … I was not merely conducting a Pooja for the sacred feet of my Guru; in that moment, really I was washing and bathing the feet of my loving Swami. More than anything, as I sat there at Mohanji’s feet completely unaware of life beyond the present moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and unconditional love enter and take hold inside my being. All my sins were being washed away, and in turn, all I was left with was the purity and peace inside my heart. I looked up at Mohanji only a few times during the Pooja, but each time his smiling eyes connected with mine, I felt like I was looking into the eyes of a father … I saw only love, a deep compassion which sought to take over my troubles and raise me to my brightest, glowing potential.
After the Pooja we wiped and dried Mohanji’s feet, gently and carefully, before decorating them with chandan (sandalwood) and kumkum (red turmeric powder) and performing the Aarthi to Shirdi Sai, Sathya Sai and Mohanji himself. He gave Shaktipat to a few devotees who had come, staying to have Mahaprasad (sanctified food) afterwards, in which we were fortunate to serve lunch to Him and Bibaji. Mohanji thoroughly enjoyed the South Indian meal, expressing his happiness with the Pooja before leaving to prepare for the Havan scheduled that evening at Oxhey Wood School.
The Havan took place around 5:00 pm, outside the hall, on the grass where the energy from the rituals could dissipate immediately into Mother Earth and the atmosphere. After Mohanji completed his worldwide Skype call for Guru Purnima both He and Bibaji presided over the Havan, facing the setting sun. Sitting outside where we could feel the breeze of the wind and the presence of the nature surrounding us, the meaning of the mantras we chanted took on a new meaning – we were saying the prayers for the welfare of the world, and experiencing the oneness surrounding us helped us realise this. Numerous mantras were chanted with various offerings to the sacred flame, in reverence to Lord Ganesh, Dakshina Moorthi and Goddess Lakshmi, and as those present became engaged in the chanting, the power of the mantras manifested in deep and powerful vibrations that affected all the devotees present, both physically and in live-stream. The energy was very intense. Mohanji praised and gave his blessings to Panditji for carrying out the rituals with such involvement and ‘bhav’ (emotion and feeling), and as the ceremony closed with the Poornahuti (final offering), devotees were invited inside the hall to conduct the Shirdi Arathi with their families. Mohanji presided over Veda Chanting carried out by the devotees, before concluding the day with his satsang.
When we later reviewed the photos taken of the Guru Purnima ceremony on Mohanji’s Facebook page, we were able to see something special on the havan photos – in the flames rising from the Havankund, a very prominent ‘AUM’ was seen. Upon sharing the amazing news with Mohanji, he said “I have done my job properly,” and laughed. He said “At your house, and the Havan, the vibrations were very good. It is very important to perform these rituals and yagnas, and to preserve them. And when you do these rituals with ‘bhav’ and involvement, then it is useful. When there is no ‘bhav’, there is no need to chant [because if it becomes mechanical and routine, then there is little benefit.]”
Mohanji, we feel very privileged and thank you for giving us the opportunity to attend this wonderful Guru Purnima programme … for visiting our house, for blessing us with your presence, your love and your wisdom, but also for allowing us the pleasure of partaking in such amazing vibrations and reminding us of the purity and oneness that lies in our hearts. We are very grateful for being able to be part of such a powerful occasion – and for having you in our lives.