DINOO--My Sadguru, A Silent Teacher
Updated: Jun 5
As Appaji always points out your birth begins when you reconnect with Sadguru. This your true birthday .
My meeting with Swamiji was at a time when I was going through a rough time in my life. I had no expectations as to how He was going to sort out my problems. All I wanted was peace in my life. A devotee brought me to Him one day when he was visiting Trinidad. Merely listening to His words, His voice and mesmerised by His loving gaze at all His devotees, was enough to make me temporarily forget all that was troubling me. He asked all his new devotees to write to him, introduce themselves to him and tell them all about themselves and He would surely respond to each one individually. I wrote and He responded the very next day saying Swamiji will take care of everything. I never expected that He would reply, but He did in a letter the very next day! Needless to say, I was overjoyed and comforted! After that I became a regular at the DYC Carapichaima Centre. I began to cope with work and with household duties without much effort. I joined the Satsangh group and was relatively happy. The next time Swamiji came over to Trinidad I attended all His discourses. I travelled everyday to listen to His golden words of wisdom. I cannot explain the powerful feeling that came over me those days. It enveloped me. It settled in the very core of my being, leaving me with a thrill of excitement. I had made up my mind that even if I had to spend only an hour in His Presence before He left the country I was going to do so. That would mean taking a day off work. But before that happened, I needed Swamiji to know who I was. I spoke to Krishna Ramsaran asking Him to introduce me to Swamiji. Mr. Ramsaran rushed me to meet Him before he ascended the stairs to His rooms. He said ‘ Swamiji I want you to meet one of the silent workers of the Ashrama. Swamiji looked at me and touching me in the center of my forehead said ‘Silent Worker’ . I had foolishly expected firecrackers to explode. within me or an electric current to go through me BUT nothing happened. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement. I thought to myself, "O Lord He is just an ordinary person. Was it wise to take a day off to see him leave?" There was a heated debate within me. How was I to explain that powerful feeling that overcame me in the auditorium? I was certain that I had not imagined it. It was real / REAL. "Was he testing me?" I had heard such talk floating around me . But I was sure of what I felt earlier on so I decided right there and then 'Swamiji You are not going to get rid of me so fast. I know You are testing me.' Now at that time I did not know that Swamiji was himself a Silent Teacher and that he wanted to find out if it was worth taking me under his wing. He must have been disappointed in me. Anyway I have been following him for more than 25 years of my life and to this day I have had no regrets. I clearly remember an occasion when Swamiji on one of his many visits to Trinidad had gone to the kitchen to bless the food and make sure the very large crowd that had come to the ashram would be assured of a meal. The meal was curried corn that day My husband and the rest of my family had also come to see Swamiji. We just waited for the crowd to ease up and our car to be released from the jam ( the Ashram as we know it today did not exist then).
That day was a lucky day for us indeed. Swamiji was making his way back to the Datta Hall and passed right in front of us. He walked past a couple steps and then all of a sudden, He turned back and walked towards us. He beckoned my husband and picking a petal out of the garland He was wearing gave it to him. That petal materialised into a coin with Lord Datta on one side and Swamiji on the other. Immediately, my husband fell to the ground and did Sashtanga namaskar to him. My young daughter said to her father “ That is not fair. You did not even want to come to the temple and yet you received a coin from Swamiji.” Little did she realise then that Swamiji had to merely glance at you to realise the goodness in you. Of course, my husband was 'pleased as punch' for the rest of the day. In 2005 my husband had a Hemorrhagic Stroke. He had lost the use of his left hand and leg. Several people gave random advice . Ultra Sound treatment was suggested saying it could be a success if treated in time. His neuro surgeon said he would never walk whatever treatment he underwent. It was at that confusing time several Datta members came to my support . Dr Ralph Supersad, a prominent retired neuro surgeon and a long time close devotee of Swamiji told me to write to Swamiji c/o Prasadiji and tell him exactly what the doctors said about the case. I did. From then on, everything went smoothly. Two other members Gyan Ramlogan and Ramesh Pragg were also very helpful. They recommended I play the Raga Sagara ( Healing Music Live from Hyderabad, the one with Pahi pahi )by his bedside. For four years that music was like a ritual, day and night. Thankfully the therapy sessions, my husband's own determination and the Guiding, Healing Hand of Sadgurudeva Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Saccidananda Swamiji worked the miracle. He was able to walk and even work again! We praised Lord Siva ( his patron deity), Swamiji ( our Sadgurudeva ) and Lord Dattatreya in song at a Satsangh held at our home. After this we went to have an audience with Swamiji and there, strange to say, my husband asked to touch Swamiji’s beard. He looked at him and said 'Daily you touch My beard’. I did not understand His words then. Later, my husband told me that while doing his prayers he used to touch Swamiji’s beard in the picture we have of him. I am sure Swamiji found it strange for someone to want to touch His beard rather than His Feet. Protective Grace Several other instances occurred when Gurudeva blessed me silently. This happened while returning home from temple one day. I was speeding as usual ( speed limit was 80 in those days) doing about 120. All of a sudden half way down to home near Claxton Bay, I strongly felt as if Swamiji was telling me to "slow down". I immediately did, and before reaching home I met with a minor accident near Gulf City. I was not at fault this time, but I felt deep down my Sadguru had saved me from probably an untimely major accident. Another time He saved me was when I went to Mysore and asked for His permission to go to Mekadatu. He told me I could go but I was not to go down the steps to see where He was born. Once again I heeded His advice and nothing untoward happened. He protected me once again.
Yet another time when I felt His Grace was when I was on my way home from Ganesh Utsav celebrations at Carapichaima Ashram. Just after leaving St. Mary's Junction, a tanker forced me to swerve, and having misjudged the road, the car landed in a drain from where was unable to get out. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, five men appeared on this fairly deserted wet road about 8.15 pm and kindly bumped my car out of the drain and put me back on the road. I am certain my Guru 'silently' had a Hand in that event. I have seen Swamiji in the oddest of places, smiling in His usual serene way. Once when Pujya Bala Swamiji had asked us to pray for Swamiji's good health, while praying the Aditya Hrudayam for Him, I saw Swamiji standing in the sun. I was so shocked that I forgot to bow even, and this happened twice around the same time!
Today, my feelings for my Sadguru are more steady and constant. I find solace when I leave my problems at His Feet! I am sure that I have a lot to conquer in my spiritual journey ahead. But I also realise that Appaji will always be looking out for me.
Appaji, I pray that you continue to place Your guiding and healing Hand on my children and me. Forgive us our faults and bless us so that we can find peace and bliss in our lives. Over the years, Appaji has come to mean so much to me, that I automatically started to call Him Appaji/Father instead of Swamiji, without knowing when I began to do so!
Jaya Guru Datta.