Written by Viji Sagar, USA
It was a cold and dreary winter afternoon with a constant drizzle. It was cold and wet, a perfect day to stay indoor cuddled up with a nice book. One could feel the chillness penetrating all the way to the bones. None of this would stop me from driving an hour to bring home Mohanji’s padukas. I have been eagerly waiting for them a few weeks now, and I couldn’t wait any longer.
Once the padukas were home, they were received with full honor and arti was performed before being placed on the altar. It was late when we came home so I had planned to do pada pooja the next day when I came back from work. Being the first day of the work week, I got extremely busy. The same thing repeated the next day and the day after. A couple of days slipped by without doing the pada puja, so I convinced myself that I would do the puja on Thursday which was an auspicious day anyway.
Thursday rolled around and I went through the usual routine of work and the long drive home completely forgetting about my commitment to do pada puja. Around 7pm, I was lazing around on the couch watching TV, when there was this urge for me to get up, because I had to do something, but just didn’t know what it was. I tried to ignore it and focused on the show I was watching but that urge intensified to the point that I could not enjoy the show any more. At the same time, I also noticed that my little dog was sitting in front of me just staring at me as if he wanted to say something. When I got up to get him a treat, he just walked to the altar and sat next to it wagging his tail, as if to remind me to do the pada puja.
I quickly got the stuff together for the puja and realized I did not have fresh flowers. How could I do pada puja without fresh flowers for my beloved Mohanji’s padukas? So once again, Lady Tamas took over. I told myself that I would buy fresh flowers and do the puja on Friday morning. In the meantime, I decided to chant the Sai mantra and played the Sai Sahasranaama on YouTube from my phone. I left my phone in the next room and settled down on the floor to chant Sai mantra. As I sat down to chant, I looked at Sai Baba’s pic and thought to myself, Baba is senior anyway, I will chant for Him on Thursday and tomorrow I will do the pada puja. It is absolutely ridiculous, the games the mind plays on you when you engage it.
I started the chanting and after just nine chants of the Sai mantra, miraculously the music switched over to Mohanji Gayatri mantra. I was shocked and confused. How could this happen? The Sai mantra was playing on YouTube and the Mohanji Gayatri was on iTunes? The phone was in the other room so I could not have done it by mistake and there was no one else in the house. I dared not question or analyze further at this point. 🙂 I picked up some viboothi, and placing it on the padukas instead of flowers, I completed the pada puja by chanting the Gayatri. I proceeded to perform aarati and after bowing to Sai Baba and Mohanji and apologizing for my ignorance. The phone automatically switched back to Sai Sahasranaama, as if to tell me apology accepted 🙂
There were multiple lessons for me in this episode. 1. There is no hierarchy in the Guru parampara. It is one unified force that works together for our evolution and ultimately liberation. 2. Material things (flowers, incense etc.) are not a requirement to show our love and reverence to our guru. It is all for our personal satisfaction. 3. When needed, Gurus communicate to us through multiple mediums, be it a dog or a phone. 4. MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you make a commitment to your guru, He ALWAYS shows up with open arms to receive your offering of love. Remember to keep your end of the commitment.
Many Mohanji family members were Sai Baba devotees first, before they met Mohanji. In my case it was reversed. Mohanji was my guru first before I became aware of Sai Baba. Through this experience sharing, I hope to help those who question the stature of Mohanji, or still see a distinction between Sai Baba and Mohanji, to realize that HE and HIS Father are ONE.
Jai Shri Guru Deva Datta!!! Jai Shri Sai!!! Jai Shri Mohanji!!!
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