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Synara Seeram a charismatic young woman devoted to her Sadguru expresses her thoughts about Pujya Appaji's last visit in March /April 2023 and how much a person can gain from a Sadguru if one gets His divine inspiration. She is a certified Datta Kriya Yoga Teacher, and has taught prison inmates as well, believing fully that with Sadguru's Grace, anyone can be transformed.

Jai Guru Datta! Happy 81st Birthday Dearest Appaji!!!!!!

śrī bhūyuta śrī hari cihnitābhyāṁ

agastya rekhādibhirancitābhyām |

nigūḍha bījākṣara mudritābhyāṁ

namo namaḥ sadguru pādukābhyām ||

Meaning: I salute those sacred Sadguru Padukas on which are depicted signs representing

Lord Vishnu along with Śrī Devi (Goddess of Wealth), Bhūdevi (Goddess of Earth), Agastya Rishi and other marks and also other seed letters of divine nature.

Sri Balaswamiji’s Arrival

It was a strange time for me in my life. I was experiencing so many things. Newness with work, personal life changes, and post Covid stress. I was done with my two therapists…i was done with many things and many people and was doing my own thing, my own sadhana, my own rules etc. Maybe this is my way of being “too own way. I wanted more from this life.” Covid really put a spin on life.

I hadn’t seen Appaji nor Pujya Sri Balaswamiji in real life for over two years. Most of us hadn’t.

I remember standing there near the DYC gate..looking on to witness Sri Balaswamiji make his way down to the Ashram entrance. He was carded to arrive before Appaji. The arrivals are always very emotional for everyone. It is always a moment that stands out for most people.

I always make it a habit to have Darshan of Appaji at least once in the Datta Temple. Appaji of course being the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya, the first ever GURU of this earth, has many meanings. For me, getting to see the past, present and future in one moment, is more than fulfilling.

So there I was, waiting with everyone.

For new people it was probably mentally chaotic. Often people simply did not know what to do with themselves. I saw people chanting, singing, dancing; some kept shifting their standing position to sort out where they thought they could make the best eye contact or get into the Ashram the quickest.

ME…my mind was sort of quiet.… I’m not sure if it was the numbness of life that had me calm or stillness from the years of reliving this ‘arrival first Darshan’ experience over and over.

Lord knows, I hadn’t done nearly enough personal sadhana in all these Covid years. I hadn’t watched 90% of the livestreams…..and giving of alms….. well let’s just say, I’ve been breaking even for so long, “charity” for the past few years came in the form of prayers and often as Manasa puja.

Balaswamiji was on the home stretch by the time I started refocusing my thoughts…always refocusng to living in the moment is something we strive for perfecting. This time I didn’t pull my cell phone out to take photos. I had learned a long time ago that the mental notes that I make will benefit me in lifetimes to come. Let my eyes rejoice and my soul feast on seeing BalaSwamiji arrive at the ashram…

As I said before, sometimes you lose focus and that happens to all of us.

So in all the chaos of the arrival of Balaswamiji, people were jumping, crying , clapping, laughing and somehow I lost sight of the car he was in. Where was it? Where is Balaswamiji?

You would think watching a car drive along a straight roadway would be easy right? Focus …focus….block the noise…”om namo hanumate namaha…Shivaya rudraya namaha…” silently I started chanted and there he was…My eyes found him!

Ignoring the tears that were welling in my eyes, and a thumping heart I heard no noise, I was just looking on, absorbing the moment and connecting to Him.

With one graceful motion, he was out of the car and already humbly overlooking our shortfalls. Yes Shortfalls…devotees become so exhilarated at times in front of Guru and I can understand when sometimes we end up pushing each other or stepping too close to not give room. It’s as if your senses go through a sort of frenzy. You may start breathing deeply, your heart starts quickening, you start sweating and suddenly you find yourself in paparazzi style, walking along with his every stride.

Balaswamiji stopped and spoke to many people on arriving; some whom I believed and felt in my heart, really needed the attention more than most people there. We all needed some attention. We all needed that love and physical attention that we hadn't had for so long. For some it would be 20 - 30 years of following the Guru/ Datta tradition and etching an additional memory, for others, this visit was like the few drops of rain, gently falling on your face, washing you with the newness.

I grew up in a time where the elders and those before me in the ashram would teach and train through simple social gatherings. We would learn that one wears simple garments in front of the guru, simple hairstyles, and simple jewellery. One must instead focus on cleanliness. Cleanliness of mind being first on the list; you should not push your way to the front and be 'frontish'!

Of course everyone comes with hopes and desires, but all that you ever wanted gets fulfilled on looking at your SadGuru. Take my word for it, he knows your purpose and exactly what you need and want. He knows exactly what your life goals but most important he knows what he must do to help you.

On seeing Balaswamiji in DYC main hall, I did not know if to cry or if to laugh or just stand there and allow my feelings to devour me, should the numbness be allowed to wash over me again. What was this feeling? It was a calming…it was peaceful…like a sigh of relief after getting home from a hard day’s work. It’s like waking up knowing that no matter what kind of day you have, you are always going to be loved and cared for. IT was like, He is my Guru and I feel at home, no need to panic.

I had no want for anything physical as there is no physical object that I wasn’t capable of acquiring or task that needed fulfilling with some effort; no stress that the many speeches couldn’t ease. No hundreds of questions running through my head about my past…..

For many years, my mind would run crazy with questions but I guess with constant practice i started blocking the monkey mind with mantra.

Momentary disruptions sometimes we can’t help but never did I dwell on them for too long to build any sort of attachment or feeling towards them.

Is this growth? Is this maturity and a sign of development? Maybe we shouldn’t put a label on it just yet as growth has no levels in some things. You may one day feel you “reach” then only to realize, “you ain’t reach nowhere”.

Silently observing Sri BalaSwamiji’s every move…silently looking on…his smile and eyes. Inside maybe I wanted to cry many times in those endearing moments but I didn’t…I couldn’t…the couple years of absence of events and separation had me still.

What I yearned for from my Guru was way more…I wanted my thirst for spiritual knowledge to be quenched. I wanted to drink deeply from that amrit that my soul desperately needed and reincarnated for.

Hearing his voice live and rejoicing in His presence was like washing away covid….. washing away mask wearing and vaccination…. washing away financial loss and loss of loved ones.

Appaji would arrive soon in a few days…huge programs were carded to take place.

What should I take away from this first encounter with Balaswamiji?

No matter what the situation, maintain your composure. Do not be disturbed in any way by what is happening outside of the body, you can only control how you respond and react when triggered by something. You're responsible for your own actions. If you cannot help a situation, pray to God that eventually, better soon, the answers will come.

Also, growth takes time, should not be rushed but instead utilize the tools presented for your own knowledge. As Appaji says, what God has to gift you with, will always be for free.

Appaji ‘s invaluable eperience

Appaji was in fact different during this visit. There was and always will remain a deep mysticism surrounding Appaji. You never know how he is going to be or what he is going to say. You never know if a simple answer carries deeper meaning. But what I do know and have learned over the years is - Guru makes no mistakes. You , in your limited worldly capacity may think or want to doubt his words, but I realize that everyone hears and interprets according to his/her own mental state.

There was this one time in Mysore that I was fortunate to have a private audience with Appaji. It was just Appaji and I alone with one volunteer.

I kept hearing his voice but he was not moving his lips. I felt that, the private audience was so unnecessary because I knew better. Our Guru/ Disciple relationship was beyond the constraints of the physical world. Nevertheless I took the opportunity to touch Guru Padukas and take darshan of Raja RAjeshwari Mata and Lord Dattatreya Murti.

At the end of the very short meeting, I asked Appaji, “Any instructions?...”

Without moving his lips, i heard His voice say, ‘I will guide…”

I looked at him, almost in disbelief that this was actually happening and He just lifted his hand and gestured for me to come take his blessing. I kept looking at him. The volunteer in the room was talking to Him about something else and I was there also having a mental discussion with him. He did not care for the volunteer to hear his private answers to me. It was with that experience, Appaji’s greatness and ability to show us even more, became real to me. With just a little personal sadhana and focus, in my limited mental capacity as a simple human, with little knowledge about the world, I was able to receive His messages. It’s like Appaji said once, 'I can make a donkey sing bhajans.' So too, He can communicate without moving his lips and you’ll hear Him as loud as he wishes.

Taking someone to His world

Here in Trinidad for Maha Rudra Yaga, I felt as though, so much effort by Appaji was being given. Daily Homas, Pujas, chanting of Vedas-- It was total immersion of the senses into divine bliss. At times I felt like Appaji was physically present and giving so much physical affection to devotees here but then I will join a queue and maybe some other place…and it's as if He is in two different places at the same time. The soul, especially great souls can do this.

During this 2023 visit he said something that stuck with me. Appaji said that He was taking souls across to His world. It made me realize how much I didn’t know.

Yet again my association with Appaji had proven that 20-30 odd years is still a drop in the bucket in my learning…there is so much more to find out. Where are the answers? In the Mahabharata? In Datta Darshanam? Guru Samhita? In the Pranic energy around us? IT is everywhere! My research started broadening to include nonreligious authors. Appaji is no ordinary being. He is beyond technology, beyond emotion. His abilities have made him a Sage. He is clearly not just a normal human being.

When I was younger I remember He used to do a lot of materializing. He was able to bring together elements, gases, energy to form pendants, jewels and gold. Someone capable of creating at the physical level is no ordinary being. It is beyond this world and the simple mindedness of humans therefore taking someone to his world, is not something new to him.

Do you believe that someone in their childhood was capable of bring elements together to create sweets for his friends , is unknowing to the truth about each and every one of us? You think He doesn’t know who gives, what your prayers are or what our future holds and what you ate for breakfast on your 10th birthday?

Do you think He can change your future? If He can materilise objects out of thin air then He can definitely manipulate energy to create a particular atmosphere,or change Your mind-set ! That to me was the purpose of the Yagam. To manipulate and create the atmosphere for change and to feed our minds, transform us with His divine energy.

When He breathes and exhales energized pranic energy, we all around him receive that type of elixir. Lucky are those who were able to stand within 2 feet from him and share in that divine energy that He constantly exudes. What does this elixir do? Help with our everyday life events and spiritual aspirations. It helps our subconscious mind to be in tune with the elements around so that we too can mend and repair, heal and rejuvenate…cause positive change to our environment, and most of all, to ourselves!

Such is the working of a Saint. Do you think he needs to be here? Maybe not but He chose to be here to guide us, His family from past lives, His children and good souls.

When Appaji says keep in the company of the pious, this could be the reason; to learn about life following His teachings, and receive that special energy. By association with the wise, one also becomes wise. There is much to learn from those who are more skilled and learned. Do you still believe the line up of scholars, pundits and musicians who came here was by guess? They chanted, sang, played ragas all by guess? Nothing is by guess. Appaji makes no mistakes. We are all instruments at His Lotus Feet!

Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji Sadguru bhyo namaha!

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