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Sahaj Sandesh No: 2009.22 – Tuesday, 10 November 2009
1. Rev. Master's visit to Siliguri (West Bengal) and Gangtok (Sikkim)
November 2 - 6, 2009
Master visited Siliguri and Gangtok in the first week of November, starting his journey from Calcutta on 2nd morning. It was his first visit to the state of Sikkim and hence special in a way. His enthusiasm and eagerness to visit these places was evident and trickled down to those who were traveling with him. An inner joy was felt by all present with him.
He flew to Bagdogra and arrived at the hotel in Siliguri by 2nd afternoon. All the necessary arrangements were made by the local abhyasis. Satsangh was conducted by Master in the evening in a hall reserved for meditation, at the hotel premise itself. Master did not rest the entire day, busy with meeting the local abhyasis and attending to administrative matters of the center.
Satsangh was scheduled to be held at 7.00 a.m. that morning, but Master was already in the meditation hall by 6.20 a.m. He patiently waited for the abhyasis to come in before he started conducting meditation. It showed that he was ready to shower his blessings and grace as soon as possible. As abhyasis, we should strive to do our duty of being present for meditation at least half an hour before the start time, as has been instructed to us so many times.
As Master was leaving for Gangtok, later that morning, he paused to thank the hotel staff for their cooperation and help. It was a small but touching example of his down-to-earth nature, which is a virtue for all of us to learn and imbibe.
Master arrived at the resort in Gangtok by afternoon, where he and the abhyasis traveling with him, were to stay for the next 3 days. He was warmly received by the abhyasis in Gangtok, who in turn were also eagerly and enthusiastically waiting for his arrival. It was a pleasure to see the meeting of Master and the Sikkim abhyasis, which embarked the beginning of this special trip. Master sat out in the sun for some time after lunch and chatted with the abhyasis present. An abhyasi went to fetch an umbrella for Master, when Master clarified that he actually wants to sit in the sun as prescribed by the doctor. Then he added ‘The sun is my son’. Amidst the laughter that followed, a feeling of awe, love and reverence amongst abhyasis was clearly palpable.
He interacted with the local abhyasis, inquiring about the languages of Sikkim, several aspects of Gangtok, where Satsangh is held every week etc. His infectious laughter and witty remarks infused a lot of energy in all those who were present. In reply to a question about why some abhyasis leave Sahaj Marg, he replied, “People will come and go, but once they are here it is my responsibility to see where they go [In Hindi: Aana unka kaam hai, par woh yahaan aane ke baad, kaahan jaate hain yeh dekhna hamari zimmedaari hai].”
Master then asked what time would be convenient for the Gangtok abhyasis for meditation in the evening. In this context, he mentioned ‘I am ready for a sitting even now’. Once more, he displayed that his work had already begun long before his arrival in Gangtok. In between his conversations, he also mentioned that everything has a place, purpose and role to play in nature. Nothing exists without a reason.
It was decided that Satsangh would be held at 5.00 pm. that day. Master worked on His computer all through that afternoon too.
The arrangements made by the Gangtok abhyasis were not only very good, but also revealed the love and care with which they had organised everything. The resort was beautifully located and gave a nice view of the hills around. The weather was friendly with pleasant days and cold evenings and the resort was spacious and well-spread. Just outside Master’s room, there was a big courtyard, where meditation was held each morning and evening. By the end of the first day, the environment seemed akin to that of an ashram, with peace, positivity and serenity settling in. Several of the hotel staff, including the driver of Master’s car, also became abhyasis by the end of the trip. It was amazing to see the results of Master’s work taking place so soon in front of our eyes.
Master walked to the restaurant for dinner that night and was accompanied by delighted abhyasis who also ate their meals alongside Master. There was a sentiment of festivity and cheerfulness. After dinner, on the dining table, Master related several anecdotes of his trips with his Master, Babuji Maharaj. There was a lot of learning in between the jovial stories that Master shared. His eyes shined brightly and radiated love whenever He spoke of Babuji Maharaj, which melted the hearts of all around. He walked back to his room after touring the hotel little bit. He observed the Buddhist theme of the hotel, the paintings and other artifacts, visited the hotel library and then wished everybody a good night’s sleep.
After the morning Satsangh on the second day, abhyasis had settled in and felt at home. Master visited the restaurant again for breakfast, where he sat in an open area under the morning sun. Several abhyasis got the opportunity to click photographs with Him and everyone was all smiles! Prefects were instructed to give individual sittings to the local abhyasis during the day. There was a cultural event organised on that day, where some abhyasis sang bhajans, and students danced on different styles of Sikkimese dance forms. Dinner was hosted by the Gangtok abhyasis on that day. Master, although he was not in the best of health, sat in the courtyard for dinner, with everybody. A bonfire was lit in the middle, where Master was sitting, surrounded by abhyasis. He thanked the Sikkim abhyasis for the dinner for all and said ‘I pray that as you have provided food for the body, you will receive food for the soul’. He spoke for nearly half an hour relating few mythological stories and how they apply to our lives.
‘Remove hatred from your heart’ was another message that Master conveyed. No one should keep any hatred in their heart for anybody, as it blocks spiritual progress and hampers growth.
He also explained that as human beings it’s our duty to help those who are below us to help them to reach to our or higher levels. He cited an example of an elevator, whose duty is assist those who want to reach the higher floors from lower floors. If it were to travel only upwards, its purpose is not fulfilled. In the same way, we all should be able to reach out to those who need to be helped to reach higher levels. It’s not a favor we would do, but it’s a basic human duty to be fulfilled by all. Lastly he added that Buddha had said that he cannot leave or stop his work until the last soul has attained liberation.
Master visited the home of an abhyasi brother on 5th for Satsangh, followed by lunch for all. Master stopped on the way to visit a few local stores. He looked at the local cultural artifacts, purchased a few books for the CREST library, and took a stroll in the sun in the main market area.
On arriving at the abhyasi’s house, Master asked the Gangtok abhyasis to be seated in the front, followed by the rest. Before starting mediation, Master spoke for a few minutes to the abhyasis. He said that external protection is not important. It is threat that we have from our inner selves that is more dangerous. He took the assassination of Indira Gandhi as an example where her own security guards turned out to be her killers. We need to save ourselves first from our inner emotions of greed, jealousy and anger. Sahaj Marg helps people to eliminate these threats and progress spiritually.
After Satsangh, Master had lunch in the open, under a tent-like structure. He had a view of the mountains and the city below, and the abhyasis sat with their lunch around Him. Master ensured that the abhyasis are fed first, before he began his meal! After lunch, he spoke for a few minutes and again stressed on the need for human integration. People should get rid of all prejudices and egos, and open their hearts to all brothers and sisters, including non-abhyasis. He narrated a story of a devotee of Hanuman and how he attained his guru’s darshan. Hanuman once had disguised himself as an aged, poor man and was walking slowly on the road, when the devotee recognized him. The devotee fell at Hanuman’s feet and begged for his darshan. Hanuman, in the guise of the old man, said that he was just a poor old fellow. But the devotee refused to leave, holding on to the man’s feet. At last, Hanuman revealed his true self to the loving devotee. Master said, this was the sign of a true bhakt [devotee]. A true bhakt is the one who comes in first and is the last to go.
He thanked everyone for their hospitality and then returned to the hotel by afternoon. Evening satsangh was followed by a speech given by Master. He spoke about the need for change and to let go of our pre-conceived notions. He stated that the change has to happen ‘Here and Now!’ This moment is our opportunity. Past and future don’t matter! Everything that is, has been there and will continue to be. We should seize the given opportunity - Now!
Master said he hoped that the next time he visited Gangtok, the abhyasis would speak to him about the changes they have felt in their lives and would share their experiences.
Master left for Siliguri on 6th November. On the way to Bagdogra airport, Master stopped at the land where the ashram is going to be built. He conducted a sitting there and then gave prasad to all present, personally.
He returned to Calcutta by 5.00 p.m. in the evening and went to Br. Ajay Bhatter’s house to spend a day there before his next trip.
Words cannot do justice to the wonder that this trip was.
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