M S Prasad, Rishikesh
He was dressed in full regalia and His face shown resplendent. I could not believe my eyes; I was having the darsan of my Lord. How can a simple man, as me, be given this wonderful opportunity?
I grew up as a spiritual participant in Andra Pradesh. I was on the quest for spiritual knowledge and so I met many seekers. In 1998 I started doing Audumbara Deeksha, a deeksha recognized by Datta Devotees. I wanted to do this because I wanted the grace of Sri Guru Dattatreya. At the same time, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, an incarnation of that same Guru Dattatreya, came to Andra Pradesh for His yearly tour. I followed Him around and received His darshan about twenty times.
When I began, I did not have any relationship with Sri Swamiji, but when I completed the Deeksha, I thought there must be some reason for meeting Him. I wanted to find out the reason and know more about Him so I visited Mysore for the Shivaratri Festival. I took part in the functions, observed Him while having His darshan. Everything about Him was intriguing and I could not identify who or what He was. After this visit, I began reading His life history. It was so powerful it brought about internal and external changes in my life. Yearning for His darshan, I would visit Mysore Ashrama frequently.
On one visit, my wife accompanied me to the Mysore Ashrama and Sri Swamiji called her and asked her to leave me there. Intuitively, she said it was okay with her. She left and I remained learning the workings of the institution. One day Sri Swamiji told me that He would like if I should go to the Rishikesh Ashrama to manage it and perform the priestly duties. I immediately accept and I went and did as He instructed. I am still here up to this day looking at the needs of all.
In 2001 I came to the Rishikesh Ashrama. Working and doing poojas in the Ashrama enhanced my spiritual life. I was able to work without and distraction on my chosen path. I did all the poojas as a part of my growth and I would actually see the lord in the murtis. On one full moon night, I had the darshan of Lord Dattatreya in His physical form in the temple. I had just finished doing the poojas and I was sitting in my room. I looked outside and saw a figure emerging from the temple and moving across the courtyard with such grace that it had me spellbound.
I sat and watch this majestic figure move without any semblance of caution. It seemed as though that it belonged in this place. On further inspection, I saw the full features of my venerable Lord, Dattatreya. He was dressed in full regalia and His face shown resplendent. I could not believe my eyes; I was having the darsan of my Lord. How can a simple man, as me, be given this wonderful opportunity? Some time later, my mother also got the darshan of Lord Dattatreya.
Later when I met Sri Swamiji after this, I told Him about the incident and He simply laughed without making a single remark. After a while, He casually told me that in 2001 He saved me from death and gave me a new life when He sent me to Rishikesh. Then I remember the instructions that were give to me by His Holiness when I was sent me to Rishikesh.
He said that under no condition that I was to leave the ashrama, not even to take a dip in the lap of Mother Ganga. I was not even allowed to go through the gate, I was supposed to remain within the compound walls and concentrate on the poojas and temple. I used to think that I was put into a jail, because of my karma. I never suspected that, with His grace He was taking care of me. However, respecting His command I stayed there without once encouraging myself to disobey Him. Such is His grace, saving me without me asking. How fortunate I am!
In 2007, my wife became very ill and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors said that there was nothing further that they can do for her. I telephoned the Mysore Ashrama and told Sri Swamiji of the situation and immediately He sent a Raksha for her. I tied this raksha to her wrist, and to the surprise of all the hospital staff, within twenty days; she left the hospital fully recovered. The doctors were astonished at her recovery.
Then again, in 2010 for Dassera Celebrations in Mysore she fell ill while Sri Swamiji was doing Sri Chakra Pooja in the Nada Mantapa. Dr. Phanishree rushed her to the ashram hospital and he told me that she is no more. At the same time, Sri Swamiji sent a raksha for her and she wore it. Slowly she recovered and left the hospital. Sri Swamiji saved my wife’s life twice.
How can I not be grateful to my Lord and Savior, when again in 2010, my grandson was diagnosed with jaundice? It became so critical that we thought that he would not survive. However we took him to the hospital for children in Delhi. The prognosis from the doctors was not very encouraging. The chief medical officer offered to help but the cost of treatment was oven one lakh rupees. I told him that all the money we had was just under five thousand rupees, but we would like him to treat the child.
The officer was receptive to our plight, but in the business world nothing happens without money. There were not much people that we knew who would loan us that kind of money, and at that within that short space of time. We were told that we need to deposit at least thirty thousand rupees before any treatment could start. We kept pleading with the officer but it was as though we weren’t being heard. Then he said that we should go to the accounting office to make the arrangements. He took me to the cashier and to our surprise the required amount was already credited to our account. Nobody knew what had happened.
My life is Sri Swamiji. Before I do any work, I pray to Him and He guides me to perform my best. Once Sri Swamiji told me, “Whatever your Guru allots to you to do, do it with a full heart and you will get Moksha.” I my life by these words, for He is my Path and my Goal. Jaya Guru Datta
Sri Swamiji Says:
People say that the Ganges washes away all sins. But even after taking a dip in the Ganges they do not believe that they have been purified. If there is no sincere faith, neither the Ganges nor even Lord Shiva, who holds the Ganges in His head, can purify them.