The rays of Full moon while penetrate the warmth on Ashada Poornima does many wonders. Guru Poornima, the very uttering of this day fills the heart and soul with vibrations piercing directly from the Guru removing all the darkness and filling us with those rays of bright light. While meeting Guru in one’s life is the new beginning, getting initiated is a new birth again, Guru Poornima is renewing this relationship with Guru. Not sure if it is the disciple who goes to renew or Guru renews the initiated power, but here with GURUJI, it is like dragging everyone of us into his loving lap and renewing that relationship. Yes it is.
Anywhere else in Ashrams, it is generally the disciples and devotees gather to make it a grand celebration for their Guru. Here it is the other way around. We all are invited over phones and messages. We are so much enveloped in the invitation that we forget it is Guruji who is calling us but an elderly person like father or grand father inviting us for a family function. In this maya, we even tend to avert to the invitation saying we are busy. We are not allowed to miss that divine opportunity. Our accommodation, food and all other specific requirements are specially taken care by Guruji right from who should be staying where to when to travel to how to travel. This is not all, the stage decoration, the musical fusion of Carnatic, Folk and Hindustani on one dais, the classical dance performance of Mohini attam, book release and CD release; the minute by minute schedule is designed and executed to the perfection.
The uniqueness of this year Paaduka stapana is that three women of influence who does the cleaning of bathrooms, washing the vessels, cleaning the premises of ashram are chosen to perform this divine task. It is a profound lesson to all of us to learn to celebrate the divinity in each woman unmindful of the caste, creed or religion. As they begin to bring paadukaas which are established by Guruji in the Ashram as a connection to Guru Mandali amidst the shankanaad of Varsha bhaabi in the shadow of Mohi Bhayya, the musical drums picked the rhythm of the time taking all of us to the divine ecstasy. Amidst all of this, Guruji was shining brighter than the Moon of the day. If to be explained, it is like Full moon rays are penetrating through Guruji and catching that divinity, the entire atmosphere is filled with divine brightness. It is divine worshipping Divinity when Guruji walked up to the dais and offered flowers on Paadukaas. That one moment is enough to see the connection of Guru Mandali through Guruji.
Deepa Prajwalana being the one important start of the programme, was done by Nandakumar ji, Preeti ji and Raghuramaiah uncle; the premises brimmed with a special glow. The veda chanting by our pandit Murali brought in the special vibrations to the occasion. Deepa mangala Jyoti namo namah !!!
When it was time for Pada Pooja, Guruji was seated on the Aasan, it was no more physical form of Guruji seated there but the entire Guru Mandali descended there for those few moments to receive our prayers. Sometimes, we see Guruji swaying in ecstasy and on some other times, piercing the graceful rays through eye contact and on some other times, the divine utter of words conveying profound messages. The Aasan had the background of eyes of Yogini specially designed by Guruji. The mantras being chanted by Manjulakka and the rest of the process being guided by Hari akka just through her eyes, was as if the Yoginis are doing this entire programme. We heard devatas descend down to offer puja to Avadhootas. The scene looked a replica of that. All in all, it was a divinity enveloped around us.
As this was going on, Guruji’s grace is not limited to the hall of devotees and disciples gathered to grab the blessings, it spreads wide around the suffering first. True to the principle of Guruji that Seva is Saadhana, team of doctors and volunteers ensured their steths as japa maala & medicines as Prasad to be distributed, started off the medical camp in the slums around. Miracles happened here. A Woman who came breathless is treated with just one pill, A child who was finding it difficult to fight the virus got well with one tonic, an old man not knowing the reason for his sickness returned with a sigh of relief. Guru Kripa hi Kevalam !!!
The musical treat of Carnatic and Hindustani fusion began with Guruji picking up the raga and thala. Singers were amused with the perfection of Guruji in both the variations of music. At that moment, they forgot that they are performing in a programme. It was like they are competing with the world renowned musician for some time and at another moment, they felt as if their own Guru who taught music came there to correct them and perfect them. For all of us, it is Maa Saraswati dwelled herself to celebrate herself. Once again, it is all a way beyond the physical boundaries of Guruji.. the ecstasy of music caught the strings of our hearts to the rhythm of divinity. It all went many levels beyond our physical planes when Gurumeetji picked up the gazal of Dhool Tere Charanonke Sadguru, equally on the other side Gokulanji picked up Saranam Saranam Gurudeva; Thodi door saath chalo was equally paired with Krishna nee begane baaro; when Gurumeetji concluded with Aaj jaane ki zid na karo, literally tears rolled from our eyes for which Gokulanji had to conclude with Mauname nee bhasha oo mooga manasa…… slowly slipped into Hari varasanam to conclude the session…. All of us gulped this nectar in the place of breakfast not wanting to slip the sweetness by any chance.
Forcefully Guruji shifted us to the world of dance through Mohiniyattam. The enchanting and mesmerizing movements swayed us along with the artists. The feet couldn’t but follow the direction of eyes of the artists and the artists following the eyes of the Guruji. Mrs. Pooja and Mrs. Priya are just the Mohinis mesmerising with their eyes. Guruji further extended it to the rhythm of Krishna through thy hands and eyes for which after a time, artists had to surrender with namaskaram saying its not possible beyond this to reach the expression of God.
The music nectar continued to flow from Gokulanji, Gurumeet ji and Raja team. Travelling beyond the boundaries, Guruji showered the flowers upon them as if the entire deva lokam has descended in thyself. It was also a waiting moment to see the “RAYS OF GRACE” which are the gems collected from Guruji’s satsangs as a daily message in calendar form. While Preetiji from Guru Light expressed her gratitude for this divine opportunity to print this calendar, Nandakumarji in his natural style conveyed how Gurus do various things the meaning of which will be understood much later. Few quotes were read out as a part of the release of the calendar published by Guru Light. As the music festivity continued, “Gokulanandam” CD was released by Gurumeetji which was sung by Gokulanji and Anand.
As the programme was drawing to the conclusion, Guruji surprised everyone with an honour to the team who brought smiles in the lives of 40 patients who had no other option but to beg. Team MSS Kurnool took this leprosy colony seva as the highest Saadhana initiated by Guruji and for past one year, they have been committed to go on every evening with hot and nutritious meal, cleaning the wounds on every Tuesday as equivalent to the pada pooja of that Parameswara, conducting medical camp on every month first Wednesday to relieve them of their pains and conducting education support programmes for the children over here as well as at NTR nagar. The results are immense that only 4 out of 40 patients remain to be cured, 3 students from here scored 96 % in their 10th grade and doing wonderfully well in their present college studies. The honour to the students and the team that strived brought out the beaming smiles which was nothing but the reflection of living Guruji’s message in true spirit.
As a silent observer, one could feel the Naadaan (Child like innocence) and Ananda (bliss) swiftly touching the emotional nerves in us and at the same time Naadam (musical rhythm) and Ananda (bliss) playing the strings of our heart to ecstasy. Motherly love and fatherly authority were playing the hide and seek… Guru matha pitha….Guru Bandhu saka…
There was one more ray of maya playing around all of us. Guruji has been travelling around the places for the past so many years. Wherever Guruji stayed, the people around are wrapped in thy affection. Each of us feel Guruji is close to me than others and that is the speciality of every avatar looks like. This could be maya… but I personally feel this is a play of master too to ensure we are on required track for the spiritual progress. Obviously, who can claim to own GURU ? No one can dare to…
Despite distances, not to miss this taste of spirituality, people across the globe joined the live web stream and live events through social media. It is the bhaava that matters…hence, it is not important whether we are present right in front of Guru or oceans away, the presence is felt.
It was time for everyone to tune to the Guruji’s message which was read out in English as well as Telugu. The message is clear and touching that each of us should do atleast one task to light up the smiles in the faces of those deprived and depressed. Guruji as a realised soul said it again “I am that” means no less that the one who is suffering is I am suffering and serving those suffering is serving God. Not just that, once again Guruji stressed upon the point that Seva is not a hobby task to carry out in leisure time but a commitment and a resolution to do with dedication. Give… Give… Give… Do …. Do… Do… is the message.
As a living example, the busy schedule of the day is not an excuse to take a break from food distribution to the suffering and starving. The food that is enjoyed by everyone of us is the food served at Government hospitals, Railway stations, foot paths across the flyovers and our leprosy colony inmates. The film crew of “The Stranger”, the movie in making on Guruji’s life were left with no option but to capture every moment of this in the cameras. In fact, we are thankful to Praveen Menon and team for the extended celebrations on the following day with their crew in shooting the ashram, bhajans, satsang and most importantly the Bhiksha Patra, which is the most precious to all of us.
As the day was wrapping up and each of us packing up, looked around for Guruji. Known to everyone that Guruji took up the lung cancer of a devotee upon thyself, coughs day in and day out, caught with wonder that it is almost 24 hours Guruji did not cough for a second. No wonder it is at the command of Guruji.
Swiftly touching thy feet to bless us with the spiritual progress, we signed off the day wishing to come back again and again to be in this divine vicinity. May the connections with Guruji get recharged and regain the strength through our Saadhana as the connecting wire…. Hreem Om… Guru Om