From 1989 I had the opportunity to participate in workshops conducted by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale in Mumbai. At that time, even though I was successful in worldly life, my mental state was not good. In such a perilious mental and spiritual state, Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale took me under His protection. Keeping me at His feet, He bestowed many spiritual experiences in my personal life. This Parees (Philosopher’s stone) in the form of ‘Gurumouli’ transformed my life completely and fulfilled the purpose of my life. To express my gratitude, I offer these flowers unto the Holy feet of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale, who is a form of Shri Vishnu.
1. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale guiding seekers appropriately to liberate them from the cycles of birth and death !
In February 1992, my mother had paralysis. At that time in Mumbai, planning of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj’s first Gurupournima celebration was in progress. During the Gurupournima, I was not getting time to do satseva due to office work, chores at home and mother’s illness. Seekers attending His workshops were participating in satseva. When I asked Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale about my mother, He said, “She will live for one week. You give priority to serving your mother”. My mother was bedridden for three and half months and she passed away in April. When I again asked Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale about this in a workshop, He said, “You and your sister were required to serve your mother more; therefore, H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj increased her life span”. I expressed gratitude upon realising that, ‘Only a Guru can do anything to liberate seekers from the cycles of birth and death’.
I could comprehend all this only due to Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale. Later, me and my sister’s spiritual level increased only due to His grace and we were liberated from the cycles of birth and death.
2. Preventing the seeker from getting stuck in the physical realm and getting satseva of the nirguntattva (meaning, satseva of propagating Spirituality) done from him
From the table here, Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale taught us in the workshop that, instead of the physical darshan of the Guru, propagating Spirituality, meaning nirgun seva of the Guru is more important.
|Importance of serving a saint||%|
|1. Saint-seva (nirgun)||100|
|2. Company of a Saint||30|
2A. After the opportunity of being in the company of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj, getting tempted to remain in His company like the other devotees and participate in bhajans, bhandara and bhraman : After the 1992 Gurupournima celebration of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj (H.H. Baba) in Mumbai, I often had the fortune of being in His company.
I always felt tempted to remain in His company and participate in bhajans (Devotional songs), bhandaras (Serving food) and bhraman (Travel) with Him like the other devotees. However, from time-to-time Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale guided me on what is more conducive for my spiritual progress.
As per one’s natural tendency, one feels like doing things which gives happiness easily and makes the mind feel good. Since I did not have complete faith in serving the Principle, propagating Spirituality, etc., my mind would get doubts. Every now and then I would feel that I should also travel with H.H. Baba like the others did.
2B. H.H. Baba said 4-5 times about Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale – ‘Dr. Athavale has realised His realself’. I learnt from H.H. Baba’s bhajans and started chanting God’s Name, performing spiritual practice, implementing the Principles of H.H. Baba and participating in His mission as told by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale : During that time, in November 1992, H.H. Baba came to Mumbai to attend Mr. Karande’s wedding. H.H. Baba said 4-5 times about Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale that He has realised His real self. Then I remembered the lines from His bhajan, “The one who has merged with his real self, how can he be different from the Principle ?”
I learned from this and started chanting, performing spiritual practice, implementing the Principles of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj and participating in His mission as told by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale. I kept receiving Anand (Bliss) from all this. Then only I started getting the spiritual experience of H.H. Baba’s bhajan lines – ‘God, who is the ultimate saviour of the miserable and helpless people, is always in the company of His devotees’.
2C. H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj affirming the appropriateness of the seeker giving preference to propagating Spirituality instead of participating in bhajans and bhandaras, and realising that Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale has put him on the right path : Whenever H.H. Baba would come to Mumbai, I would get the opportunity to be in His company and serve Him. My car would also be useful. When H.H. Baba’s devotee Mr. Anjani Kumar (Income tax Commissioner of Pune at that time) would come, H.H. Baba would ask me to be with him.
Likewise, when His devotee from Visakhapatanam, Mr. Prabhatkumar and his colleagues would come, I would get the opportunity to be with them and serve.
H.H. Baba and His 40-50 devotees from various places all over the country would go to Visakhapatanam. Many times, H.H. Baba and Mr. Prabhatkumar insisted that I also accompany them. They also volunteered to buy plane tickets for me and my wife. At one such time, I was conducting satsangs in Mumbai and looking after propagation of Spirituality in a District. Hence, I was not able to go. When I would ask Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale what to do, He used to say – “You can decide what is appropriate”. As a result, I would give preference to the propagation of Spirituality instead of attending to bhajans and bhandaras. I would ignore the misunderstanding some people had about my choice.
Finally, one day H.H. Baba said to me, “You are appropriately performing the satseva of propagating Spirituality as expected by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale”. By instilling the importance of ‘samashti seva’ on my mind, He prevented me from getting stuck in anything else.
2D. Getting up at midnight with the sound of fire-crackers and seeing a light, having darshan of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj’s picture in that light and joyfully writing a letter to Him : On the midnight of 31.12.1992, I woke up with the sound of firecrackers. At that time, I saw a light and had the darshan of H.H. Baba’s picture in it on the eve of the English New Year. I felt very happy, and with overwhelming happiness, I wrote a letter to H.H. Baba – ‘I don’t feel upset like I used to earlier when I am not with You; because, I am receiving Anand while participating in Your mission and I feel that You are always with me’.
2E. Receiving a letter with a blessing from H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj and then determining to serve the Sadguru, meaning propagating Spirituality : On 16.1.1993, I received a letter with a blessing from H.H. Baba, in which He said, ‘Remembering the Guru is a sign of happiness’. To obtain this happiness, I decided to remember the Sadguru, and so as to remember the Sadguru, I decided to serve Him, meaning, doing what He liked most (propagating Spirituality). I was certain that, ‘Whatever Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale says and inspires me to do, that is bound to be good for my spiritual progress’. Then I decided to keep my temptations and intellect aside and do as per His guidance only.
With increasing age, I suffer from tremendous memory loss. After reading this article written by H.H. Shivaji Vatkar, I could remember a little about how I used to behave in the past.
This gave me some direction on what to write something about myself. Taking inspiration from H.H. Shivaji Vatkar, if seekers can send their experiences, other seekers will learn from it.
I am sure that H.H. Shivaji Vatkar will progress spiritually quickly. Not only this, others too will progress because of Him.
– Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale