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Sadguru: "Give to Hanumanji."

This article features Melissa Jadoonanan who is an ardent devotee of His Holiness. Here she ran through a sea of emotions before finding relief in the unexpected action of her compassionate Sadguru.

Guru Datta the enigma!

Pranams to our Sadguru, Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Sachidananda Swamji, who via his example has illuminated the path to liberation through Bhakti Yoga, Karma yoga and Jnana yoga. He has returned to show his devotees the path to free us from the cycles of birth and death. Follow the master and through heart-to-heart communication, our Silent Teacher reveals that He is the Cause of all causes.

Guru who is the embodiment of knowledge graces his devotees with the secret knowledge of truth, existence, and bliss through the field of experience and rigorous testing! At 80 years old, Sri Appaji travels out of India, adventurously venturing to remote places to meet with devotees and set up Temples for the benefit for the inhabitants.

Appaji’s visit to Trinidad for the Maha Rudra Yagna in April, was unique in many ways! All the Datta devotees were actively preparing for their beloved Guru in their own way. Hanuman Jayanti, Chandi Homa, Ram Navami--- all being celebrated also in one visit. A treat indeed--especially for me!

Hanuman Jayanti

On Appaji’s arrival in Trinidad on my first visit to see HIM, I was super excited and filled with exuberant joy. However, as my eyes caught sight of him, my mood changed. From the ecstatic outward joy, I felt my Heart swell in gratitude for my beloved Sadguru Sri Appaji who had brought me back to life. As I stood there rooted to the ground, with all the singing around me, all the devotees smiling and offering their revered pranams to SriAppaji as He walked past, tears streamed down my cheeks. I was suddenly aware of all the tests I had had, and that Sri Appaji had brought me out safely. All the hardships and challenges, still, here I was standing triumphantly because of my Guru’s compassion and love for me. I was who I was, standing authentically, in my self-awareness, because of the Divine Grace of my Guru.

The day was Hanuman Jayanti, the air was filled with expectant joy that would flow blissfully like Mother Ganga washing away all our present life worries and refilling it with glimpses of the Absolute to last more than a life time! Little did I know that this was going to be a Hanuman Jayanti that was a gift directly from Sri Appaji. Heart to Heart, Appaji, my Sadguru, knows all. I thought I wanted to give Appaji something. So instead of registering for pooja, I inquired whether Appaji was giving personal interviews. Unfortunately, Uncle told me no personal interviews, but he would try his best for me to see Sri Appaji.

My kids and I spent the day preparing a tray we would gift Appaji if we were lucky to see Him. Avocados, ghee, sugar, sindoor, incense, saffron, jasmine oil, sweets, were some of the items we put in the tray. The mala, we would pick up on the way to temple. A humble family offering from a family with immense gratitude, I rationalised. The truth is I wanted to gift Appaji an extravagant opulent mala with juicy orange roses, but my pocket really brought me back to reality. $1250! I could not afford that! So the mala I desired vs. the mala I had merit to acquire was justified in my monkey mind, by Appaji's gentle, compassionate reminder about spending more money than we could afford. Plus my heart was the real rose! (I was grasping at anything to feel better!)

Next to my mala was one like my dream mala, so feelings of inadequacy arose in me. Oh how I wished Appaji to know this is how much I loved him and how I wished my mala to say what this other mala was saying. It sat so elegantly in its beauty, not needing affirmations for its purpose. It was splendorous! And the constant reminder (if only in my mind) as to how meagre my offering seemed. How very humbling was the white, yellow, and pink chrysanthemum mala with one single red rose I held,

Datta Prabhu is always testing.

There were hundreds of people, Uncle had said be at the Yagna Shala for 6pm and if the opportunity presented, we were to be ready! Appaji was coming down the stairs, Uncle signalled to us with haste. We ran as quickly as we could, the tray was heavy, the crowd was thick, and the silence was deafening. Only our running footsteps and the command, ‘take off your shoes’! echoed in the Yagna Shala. We did as we were told, but alas our efforts looked futile, we had missed him. Dejected, we walked back and sat at the back. Uncle, signalled again for us to walk with Appaji while a petition was made on our behalf to Appaji.

We walked just behind Appaji, as He signalled for us to go to follow him to Hanuman temple. Inside the inner sanctum, Appaji sat inaccessible to the public. I was urged to go through by a devotee and simultaneously prohibited from going further by one volunteer. I was stuck in the middle of ‘GO!’ and ‘NO!’. I heard Uncle say, ‘She has to go through, Appaji told her to go to Hanuman’, and against the security’s command who looked at me with a prison sentence in his eyes, I slipped through the small opening in the crowd. My daughter somehow followed me with difficulty also, and presented Appaji with the tray, and I offered the mala. It is always such an awkward feeling to me, to be in the presence of Appaji. He knows all. I had no words. I suddenly had nothing to say.

On presenting the mala, Appaji said ‘Give to Hanuman’. I felt like a child who had been rejected by Santa Claus. I thought I was getting to garland Appaji to show my love. But this was not the story that was unfolding. I dutifully, but a little sadly, handed the mala to the Vedic pundit boys.

At the feet of the Chiranjeevi Lord

We made our way out of the inner sanctum and sat on the perimeter edge of the circular water fountain surrounding of 85 ft Karya Siddhi Hanuman, to enjoy and absorb all the evening had to offer. I gave to devotees from Sri Appaji’s parsad. They were thrilled to receive the various gifts of avocados, sweets, coconut etc. I felt very happy.

Then we saw Appaji being lifted via a crane to the base of Karya Siddhi Hanuman. Appaji alighted and started the rituals for abhishekam as the many lotas of water were offered to Karya Siddhi Hanuman’s feet with Appaji in a deep prayerful state. The sacred lamp was lit to offer light to Karya Siddhi Hanuman and finally incense.

Then I heard my daughter exclaim, with unrestrained glee, ‘Look mummy, isn’t that our mala’? I had to do a double take. It was indeed! Appaji had used our little humble mala to offer at the feet of Karya Siddhi Hanuman! The tears that streamed down my cheeks felt never ending, like nourishing waves of love. I wanted to gift to Appaji but instead Appaji had gifted to me. My heart was so full. I made one earnest step and Appaji responded in leaps and bounds.

Appaji took my simple mala and turned it into a priceless offering, fit for the 85ft.Chiranjeevi Lord himself!

I had wanted to say thank you to Appaji for his never-ending counsel and guidance I had received in life to conquer all many failures and disappointments, broken heart, and the many other confusions I had endured. But Appaji showed me that He was always ever present and knew my present thoughts. And like the omnipotent, omniscient Master, used my intention to offer Him thanks with a mala with all my heart, to flip the situation and grant me courage amongst difficulties, grant my wish as well as prove to me once again that Lord Datta is a sea of compassion and knowledge. My Sadguru showed me in no uncertain way that He is truly both the forms Datta and Hanuman, giving me guidance as well as protection! Appaji’s voice plays in the recesses of my mind, ‘Datta will be with you always’.

Pavana putra Hanumanji ki Jai!

Sri Sadguru Datta Swamiji Ji Ki Jai!

Melissa Jadoonanan

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