Coming Out of Silence Speech
January 4, 1971
Today, after twelve years, I am giving up silence. For this reason and in order to purify my soul, I shall relate some of the events concerning the great men who have determined my life. Before my silence, whenever I made a speech, I could talk on any subject at any time. The thought of speaking at these birthday celebrations has confused me for about two months.
“What shall I say?”, this, for me, was a very big question. I no longer had any desire to make a speech, for there was nothing left for me to make a speech about. So I decided I would talk about the purity of the character of Sri Gurudev Pranavanandji Maharaj. Before my silence, during my discourses on the Gita, I used to, from time to time, relate episodes from the inspiring life of my Sanyas Guru, Shri Shantanandji Maharajshri.
Concerning the inspiring life of my Sanyas Guru, Sri Shantanandji Maharajshri. Concerning the inspiring life of him who showed me the way to yoga, Sri Gurudev Pranavanandji Maharaj, I said nothing. I first saw him when I was nineteen years old. I was born in a Vaishnav family.
Through my mother and father I had a basic religious training and, through the strength of that alone, was attracted to live a life in pursuit of God. However, the necessary strength needed for this pursuit, I did not have. In childhood, I had a love of chanting mantras and meditating, thus, I used to serve God. Concerning God, I have never experienced the slightest doubts; I have lived convinced that God exists.
Those who suggest that God does not exist, have lost their way. Their vision is common. There is no quest for Truth. When I was meditating, I searched for Truth. However, in those days, I was a self-interested server and, from time to time, even prayed to God to give me such and such. At the age of nineteen, when I arrived in Bombay, I began to feel an intense contempt for my purposeless existence. I asked myself: “What reason is there for a life without ideals?”
I had no protection over my head except that of God. In despair, rather than lead such a pathetic life, I thought it was preferable to die. I tried to commit suicide four times without success. Although I was very determined, some event would turn up to change my resolution at the last minute. After coming to Bombay, I was more determined than ever to end my life.
I used to find great joy in worshipping the child Krishna. Being born into a Brahmin family, after the Sacred Thread Ceremony, I used to repeat my Gayatri Mantra. I was thought of as being clever and intelligent and was always in my studies, for in the acquiring of knowledge I was ahead of everybody.
I used to repeat this Sarasvati Mantra frequently. The belief that the worship of Shiva was the highest form of worship was given to me by an old gentleman. When I went to Bombay, I continued to worship Shiva. At the same time I repeated the Gayatri Mantra, the Sri Krishna Mantras, which I had learned from my family, and other mantras. In Bhuleshwar, there is a dovecot and next to it is a small Mataji Temple.
I used to go there every night at the time of the performing of the Arati. Also I used to go to the Mahadev Baug. As a Shakti worshipper, I leaned toward Lakshmi and prayed more to her but I always ended by lovingly paying my respects to Shri Narayana. The gentleman who had drawn me toward Shakti worship had frequently told me that the joy in believing God to be the Mother was not to be found in any other faith, and this seemed to me to be very true.
On the day that I decided I would definitely commit suicide, I went to the Bhuleshwar Mataji Temple. The Arati was in progress and I joined in. Before me was a vision of the Holy Mother and behind that, Chowpatty Sandhurst Bridge. Beneath the bridge, the electric trains ran swiftly and I saw my body being crushed. I must have had this vision because of my extreme thoughts of suicide and, at the time, I made a firm resolution to make the vision come true.
Suppressing the vision, I prayed to the Mother with tear-filled eyes: “Mother, why dost thou permit me to lead such a pointless life, why dost thou not swallow me into thy feet?” The Arati was over and everyone had left but I stood there crying. The priest knew me and tried to console me but my tears would not cease. At that moment, Sri Gurudev entered the Temple. He wore a towel around his waist and in his hand was a water-pot. This was our first meeting.
He took my hand and held me close to him and patted my head lovingly and said: “My son, come with me.” His kind words brought peace to me. The astonishing thing was that, although he was a total stranger, he aroused within me feelings of boundless confidence. I followed him out of the Temple and we walked along the road that goes past the dovecot and leads to the larger Temple.
We came to a shop which was closed and Sri Gurudev sat down on some planks near it and motioned me to do the same. Then, in a very serious voice, he said: “Remove from your mind the thought of ending your life; suicide is contemptible.” Until then, whatever astonishing things I had seen, heard or experienced were far outdone by this. That an unknown person could know another person’s most secret thoughts and who could clear them up in such an appropriate way, was something beyond my understanding.
In my childhood, I used to read about magic and I came in contact with people who knew about such things, but I never had the slightest belief in it. That there could be nothing with a material basis was my firm belief. Nonetheless, I continued to watch others experiment and read about them. I had the good fortune to sit at the feet of Sri Gurudev for more than a year and during this period became acquainted with the innumerable unusual powers within him.
Today, I can say that if any yogi in the world performs before me an unusual miracle, I shall not bat an eyelid, for in my Guru, who shone like the sun, I have seen far greater powers. I believe him to be an avatar of the Lord Shiva. Before parting from me, he told me innumerable times: “My son, until you complete the Yoga Cycle, don’t write my biography.” This wish of his is still respected. Were I to do so, the reader would believe that it was a story of my imagination.
I am his very beloved chief disciple. With his good blessings, I have no doubt that I will complete the Yoga Cycle. “My son, remove from your mind the thought of ending your life; suicide is contemptible.” When he said these words, I hid my astonishment and looked at him. His gentle and sparkling eyes were filled with love and he was smiling. There was no reason for me to be cunning.
Nonetheless, dismissing the truth of what he was saying, I replied: “This idea of yours is false, I have no thoughts of committing suicide.” Sri Gurudev’s eyes filled with pity and he said very quietly: “My son, you are a devotee, it does not become you to take refuge in an untruth. Tonight you were planning to commit suicide by throwing yourself under an electric train at Sandhurst Bridge.”
I was tremendously affected by this statement. As Lord Krishna defeated Kalyanag, so in the same way Sri Gurudev defeated me. I was not inferior to Kalyanag, I had been a student of science and therefore nothing could influence my mind suddenly. Rather, I gave more importance to purity and innocence than to miracles. Yet this pure innocent man seemed to be miraculous too.
To sit at the feet of such a great man was a matter of pride and I kneeled before him in complete faith and, admitting that I had lied, I repeatedly asked his forgiveness. He said: “You spoke an untruth against your nature, I have forgiven you. Tomorrow is Thursday, meet me at such and such a place between three and six in the evening.” I was asked not to reveal the name of the place.
After that, Guruji left me, and I, looking forward to the arrival of the next day, gave up all thoughts of committing suicide. I made an attempt to be with Guruji between three and six, but I left half an hour late. On the way, it occurred to me that Guruji would be giving darshan during that time and those who arrived late would be sent away disappointed. When I arrived, the doors were still open.
Guruji had, for the past four months, been telling his pupils that, on a certain day, at a certain time, a new youth would arrive and he would become his chief disciple. When I reached there, everyone was waiting expectantly. I had left home very enthusiastically and, as I wanted to worship at Guruji’s feet, I had bought a garland for a rupee. The garland had a beautiful perfume which pleased the mind, but I was not rich and paying a rupee for it was very dear.
After the events of the previous night, I felt an extreme reverence for Guruji, but the wish to be his disciple arose only later. It is not like me to accept anyone as a Guru; I am rather obstinate in this respect. I have many such innocent pupils who have, from the first meeting, believed me to be their Guru, Father or God. Since my nature is not to believe in anything without experience, I do not look upon strangers with anxiety and treat them in an unprejudiced way.
Beloved Guruji, for the most part, used to sit concentrating in one position, with about fifteen to twenty pupils around him. After two or three days, he would say one or two sentences in Hindi. Everyone waited eagerly to hear his words. He had been there for six months. On entering the solemn room, I put the garland around Guruji’s neck. He signalled with his hand that I should sit down by his side, which I did.
When I glanced around, I realized that the others were all seated on the bare floor without mats. Their dress indicated that they were fairly well off, which made me feel somewhat nervous. With a compassionate look, Guruji said: “Swami (in certain parts of India, Swami is a title of respect like Mr. or Sri), you have arrived. My son, it is very good.” His kind words made me feel proud. My nervousness vanished and the word “Swami” flattered me.
I was of rather dark complexion and I thought that it was because of this that Guruji had addressed me as Swami. Making an exhibition of my cleverness, I said that I was not a Madrasi but a Gujarati. Guruji, with a smile, answered: “No son, I did not call you Swami because I thought you were a Madrasi, but because I thought you were a sanyasi.”
I could not quite accept this and, contradicting him said: “Pardon me, but it does not seem that I shall become a sanyasi. The present alone gives an indication of that. To begin with, I have no inclination to be a sanyasi and secondly, I haven’t the purity. The world being so dear to me, I can live only within it. If, ignoring my mind filled with material desires, I become a sanyasi, I will be one in name only and not in spirit.
It is true that the life of a sanyasi is on a higher plane than that of a worldly man, but in spite of that, the ordinary life of a worldly man is more important in my eyes. The sanyasi lives a closed life. He does not toil and is dependent on others for support. Rather than live thus, I would prefer to work.”
With his eyes half closed, looking down at the floor, Guruji had sat listening and when I stopped he said: “It is true, our sanyasis here beg and ask for alms, but, beloved son, these alms are not a collection of beggings but a collection of offerings. The act of begging is not begging but the receiving of an offering, a secret gift, through which they seek to be freed from this life. Their gentle natures give a clear example of holy men.”
On that day, I could not follow the meaning of the argument, but today I can say that I understand. Ending the conversation, Guruji urged me: “If you wished so, you could stay with me.” The doors of my future flew open; I used to stay with a relative where I managed somehow to eat, although quite often it was difficult. At that time, in the Bombay restaurants, one could get a rice thali (a metal or leaf plate on which all food is placed) for two annas, which could satisfy one.
The idea that I could escape from this brought peace to my mind. Moreover, in serving this unusually powerful sanyasi, I would be able to acquire the knowledge of yoga. This thought brought great delight to my mind. In response to Guruji’s invitation, I arrived the next day with my trunk of clothes. Mother Laksmi (Goddess of Wealth), who lives in palaces, did not like being confined to my purse, so I never opened it. My clothes, however, were always clean.
The building in which only Guruji and I lived, had four floors, and was very solemn. However, all around was a beautiful garden and it was very peaceful. Experiencing all this, I felt like one coming from the dead into heaven. Guruji lived in solitude. In spite of that, he had asked me to visit him at certain times. On the first day, as the clock struck eleven, a lady entered the room saying: “Gurudev, it’s time for food, the thalis have been served.”
Guruji arose and signaled me to follow. We crossed two rooms and entered a third one. I had become keen on praising my good fortune. The chance to meet a real Saint and know his compassion comes only after many rebirths. Yesterday, I was without support and without hope. Today I am full of support and hope. Who can guess God’s ways?
On entering the dining room, I noticed that there were two stools made of gold and two stools made of silver. On one of the stools made of gold was a gold thali, some gold bowls, a golden mug and a golden cup. In the same way, on one of the silver stools, there was a silver thali, some silver bowls, a silver mug and a silver cup. I decided that the golden stool would be for Guruji and the silver one for me and rather shyly I stood to one side.
Then Guruji took me by the hand and seated me on the stool made of gold. Now my good fortune knew no bounds and whether I was living or dreaming, I could not tell. I had always been very proud of my strength, but within a minute Guruji made my pride fall. When he grasped my hand, I thought: “How can this old man of sixty have so much strength?”
I was quite determined not to sit on his stool, but, although I used all my strength, I was completely overpowered. Three days had not yet passed since my first meeting with Guruji, but in that short while, in that solemn mansion, I had had this change to sit on a golden stool. This was not the result of my bravery but Guruji’s loving wish. It is true that to sit on a golden stool or to sit on a pile of dust makes no difference to a supreme human being.
Similarly, to eat from a golden thali or to use one’s hand, as such, does not become, for them, a question of pride or sorrow. However, it is understandable that this would make a difference to a worldly man. I was a worldly man and it made a difference to me. Having seated me, Guruji then sat on the silver stool, and explained why he had changed the order: “My son, supremacy is not dependent on a golden throne but in the feet of the person.
It is also true that there was no difference between a golden stool and a pile of dust. My mental state was not such that I could understand or accept these words. Guruji took his first bite of food and I also started. How many chapatis or how much vegetable and rice I ate, I cannot remember. Today all I can remember is the golden stools, the golden thali, the golden bowls, the golden mug, and the golden cup.
I was restless but Guruji ate peacefully. What I ate, God knows and he who saw me knows. After eating, I followed Guruji to his sitting room and standing in the doorway, I bowed to him and said: “Guruji, I am going out.” He smiled with his eyes and indicated that I could go. Walking along the road, I kept seeing the dining room.
I had but one stream of thought: the golden stools, the golden thali, the golden bowls, the golden mug, and the golden cup. From time to time, I tried to dismiss the vision of the dining room and all thought of its contents. For a moment, my mind would be still and then the next moment, it resumed its old restlessness. This lasted for about four hours until I returned in the afternoon.
I went to Guruji and bowed. He lovingly placed his hand on my head and said: “Swami, such a small thing made you lose your mind, remove these thoughts. Not this house, the golden stools, the golden thali, the golden bowls, not the golden mugs are your sole right. Those who lose their heads over such things are great fools. In all of this, where do you see your good fortune?”
His words had a profound effect upon me and I immediately became calm. Just as in a clear mirror, one can see a reflection, so Guruji could see the mind clearly. I did not believe myself to be a small worm, but Kalinag, living in Jamuna. To exhort influence on my mind was extremely hard. In spite of that, Guruji, in a short while, controlled me.
At least ten or twelve of Guruji’s disciples were millionaires. However, his extreme compassion had fallen on a poor fellow like me; that was his greatness. He, who would hardly talk to anyone, would spend hours explaining to me the meaning of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Yogic books, Tantric books, the Puranas, poems and texts. He also taught me the necessary yogic acts.
Being his favorite, the entire assembly of disciples bowed to me in reverence. They regarded my pleasure as his pleasure. Seeing my behavior toward the wealthy, Guruji had once or twice advised me, when we were alone: “Swami, if you go after wealth and the wealthy, you will have to put up with all sorts of trouble. If you want to raise yourself up, then you must be pure and innocent. The temptation of money can lead you astray.
The next day I went to dine with Guruji, there were four golden stools and all the vessels were also of gold. This change of affairs was made because, the day before, Guruji had sat on a silver stool. Among the wealthy, there was no shortage of such things. That day, thanks to Guruji, I ate peacefully. In spite of living in such splendor, Guruji’s mind was unaffected. He did not consider worldly supremacy to be supremacy at all and so lack of it did not make him sad.
“He who knows the meaning of the Shastras and keeps them and lives thus, in mind, gives inspiration of the truth to others.” (Translation of a Sanskrit Shastra)
Guruji was such a teacher and I could not refrain from narrating an unforgettable incident concerning Guruji’s lack of expectation and his uninvolvement in this world. After staying in Bombay for a year and three-quarters, Guruji took leave of his pupils. The who assembly of disciples wept. The millionaires, who could acquire anything with their wealth, on that day, could not acquire the opportunity of serving Guruji. It was then they understood the feebleness of their wealth.
Guruji said: “Tomorrow night I shall leave Bombay, only one Swami will accompany me, no one else. There is no need for anyone to come to the station.” On hearing this, the entire assembly was upset but being used to obeying his wishes, they remained silent. They neither debated nor expressed disappointment. Guruji had requested two third-class tickets.
Everyone being so completely convinced of his lack of interest in worldly things did not debate this either. When he arrived in Bombay, Guruji had brought with him two towels, one pair of pants, and a water-pot. When he was ready to leave, a year and a half later, he had the same two towels, the same old pants, and the same pot. Although he had innumerable millionaire disciples, Guruji had never asked anything, nor had he accepted anything that was given him unasked.
To be totally unassociated with wealth was his nature. I am the disciple of that great man. For years, my pupils clothed me in silk. However, when a disciple brought me a terylene garment, my eyes were opened. I said to myself: “You are a disciple of a great Guru, how did you get onto the wrong track? You are a sanyasi, and in a year you will be sixty. This does not become you. Today India is poor and sad. It is not appropriate that you should have expensive clothes and expensive things.
If you believe the people to be your own people and your own family, then you should live a life similar to theirs.” Due to some unfavorable beliefs about the practice of yoga, I had to build this ashram. The observances I do are so very unusual, they cannot be done in any old place. During that time, I used to roar like a lion, cry loudly, laugh heartily, sing Ram dhun, dance, clap and bang my hands and feet hard to the ground. This routine would start around three in the morning and continue until ten the following night.
The neighbors were tormented and the uninitiated thought it was clear madness. “Could this be called a religious observance?” It was a madness, the madness of the love of God. During that time, I would frequently jump into the waters of the Narbadan, swollen by monsoon rains, and plaster my body with mud. For a time, I wandered without clothes through some village because I did not feel that I had a body.
In Vejalpur, in the house next to mine, lived the Headmaster of the English school. The poor man was greatly troubled by me and decided to change his house. He frequently muttered: “This is madness, not a religious observance.” I could well understand the state of his mind. Sometimes I felt like asking his pardon, but the thought that this would appear theatrical stopped me.
Finally, I decided to build an ashram near Oligam which is on the banks of the Narbadan. It started off well, but I was not happy there. Then the work was started here in Malav, where my only intentions have been to perform religious observances. I have kept contact with wealth; whether I am attached or unattached is known by my close disciples who serve me. For the sake of my own salvation, I have been determined to remain unattached.
To elaborate the truth of what I had to say, I went off at a tangent. Please forgive me. Guruji and I reached the station where we had been taken by a car and one driver. The coach of the train in which we sat was completely dark. At the time of leaving the house, according to Guruji’s wish, one of my guru brothers had bought and given me two tickets to Mathura.
Guruji had asked me not to carry any money in my pocket; he alone was my source of wealth, so I was not worried. Guruji’s wishes were very strictly observed by the assembly of disciples. Such loving obedience I have not seen in any other ashram. His gentle nature had an unusual strength. Although no one was afraid of him, no one would suddenly enter the room in which he was seated.
Nonetheless, those near him were afraid to talk. Not only that, in the mansion there were from time to time, when he was giving darshan, about two or three hundred people wandering around talking, but with so much caution that not a sound reached Guruji’s room. During the time that he was there, Guruji did not ask anyone his name, what he did, where he lived or who his family was.
The astonishing thing was that when he called anybody, he called them by name. Also, we often noticed that Guruji talked to Hindus in Hindi, Marathis in Marathi, Punjabis in Punjabi, Tamils in Tamil. How he learned all these languages was a question I often asked myself! Guruji was unattached, so he travelled by foot or by third class train.
I, on the other hand, his closest disciple, travel by car to go four furlongs, and take a plane to go to Bombay. Although I don’t wish to leave the room of my observances, I have to yield to the keen requests of my disciples and travel. Guruji was straight and determined, I was swerving and undetermined.
Those who are not close to me think that the company of rich men has changed me. I am as I always was: religious observance only has changed me and my life. I keep count of every minute, therefore, I cannot give a lot of time to anyone who wishes to speak for very long. Furthermore, I do not carry on much correspondence with my disciples, nor when they come to visit me do I spend much time clearing up their troubles and confusion.
For this reason, many of my disciples are fed up. At such times, I put a loving hand on their head or back and, with gentle words, explain my state to them; this gives them consolation. I have to do this because of lack of time. I digressed so that you should understand the reason for my behavior. The train started and we were on our way. I was seated near the window and, in the darkness, was trying to take in the scenery.
Guruji was sitting in concentration; for him any place in the world was a place for meditation. Like a succession of births and deaths the stations came and went until finally we arrived at Mathura and got out. There we drank and bathed in the waters of Jamuna. A gentleman invited us for food and we ate.
During the next three days, we completed our pilgrimage of Mathura, Gokul, and Vridavan. On the fifth day, we set out for Delhi on foot. I recollect that the distance from Mathura to Delhi is ninety miles. We rested for an hour at midday, and continued our journey on an empty stomach; in this way we reached Nizamuddin in three days. During that time, we received without asking, one meal.
I was young and had the necessary energy, but I had never walked thirty miles at a stretch, every day. Moreover, since I did not understand the purpose of this journey, I did not have much enthusiasm. On my feet, I had chappals which were neither new or old. On one, the strap had broken when I tripped and, since I had not a coin in my pocket, I could do nothing to have it fixed.
So I put it in my bag and continued walking barefoot. At the start of the journey, deep down in my mind, I had thought that this old man would not be able to walk very far. However, when he went on walking without stopping and we covered thirty miles on the first day, I regarded old age as praiseworthy and my youth contemptible.
I had not imagined that Guruji would walk thirty miles, the second day. However, when he again started to walk rapidly, I felt that his feet were made, not of flesh and blood, but iron. My vanity stopped me from saying: “I’m tired”, for the strength of my youth was ready to vanquish the strength of his old age.
So I ground my teeth and continued walking without a word. On the third day, Guruji walked as much as before and, when I was utterly exhausted, I sat under a tree and started to cry loudly. Guruji stopped and I said: “I cannot walk anymore.” Thus on the third day, my pride collapsed. Was Guruji not aware of my physical and mental weakness?
Oh yes, he knew them only too well, but he had wanted to bring down my pride, for he said: “If you had told me this from the beginning, I would not have walked for more than ten miles a day. You are extremely conceited, conceit is not good, be humble.”
Even in this state my temperament asserted itself and I said: “You should tell this to God, not to me. He alone made my mind a big storehouse of conceit.” Guruji pinched my cheek and sat down and began to massage my feet. His gentle touch made me feel like his child, for I was extremely tired. I would have liked to have been able to tell him to stop, but I couldn’t. Seeing his greatness and extreme kindness, I started to cry.
For how long he massaged my feet, I cannot remember but, in a short while, the aching ceased. In the whole world, I have received the most love from Guruji. My disciples love me very deeply and they make the utmost effort to obey my instructions. They had made this effort, not for one week, but for twenty-one years. My yogic observances have been successful because of this.
I have unbounded love for the residents of Malav, they believe my pleasure to be their pleasure. During my twelve years here, there have been two or three occasions when I scolded them. In spite of this, there has been no decrease in their love, nor have they broken their daily routine of paying their respects to me. Whenever I have spoken in anger, they have bowed their heads and listened to my bitter words.
At the end, if they had to speak, they would say: “Bapuji, we made a mistake, forgive us, we will not do it again.” Their loving humbleness has, at such times, calmed me in a few minutes. Guruji, after teaching me mantras, said: “Concentrate on Radha-Purushottam,” and, in accordance with his wish, I used to try to concentrate in this way, but was not successful.
Concentration depends on remembrance and remembrance depends on immediate vision. Since I always had an immediate vision of Guruji, just to remember him made me alert. Whenever my mind wavers, I think only of Guruji and that makes me calm in no time and I get the courage to ensure unfortunate situations.
After massaging my feet, Guruji massaged my body. When he thought I was all right he said: “My son, do you want to eat?” I laughed and said: “I certainly have the desire to eat. However, without your assistance, what good is this desire? In forty-eight hours, not a grain has gone into my stomach.” He patted me lovingly and, with a laugh, started to walk to the village.
Guruji’s heart was a combination of mother and father. From ancient times, it is the accepted thing that the disciple goes to a town or village and begs from house to house, on behalf of his guru. Here the order was reversed: the Guru begged from house to house for his disciple. Though I had no desire that Guruji should beg for me, I was in no condition to beg for myself.
I had never begged and did not know how. Nonetheless, had Guruji wanted to eat, I would have gladly begged on his behalf. After an hour, Guruji came back from the village bringing with him twenty-five thalis made from leaves. There must have been a group for dinner but much of the food remained uneaten. Fortunately, the dogs of the village did not like the food.
Guruji, feeling that this was received without begging, brought the half-eaten thalis along. Sitting beside me, he started to arrange the food not touched by the eater onto a separate thali. This was the same great man whose words were seized by important gentlemen and who had at his disposal a golden throne, golden vessels, and a silver swing.
Truly his nonattachment was the supreme nonattachment. In his noble vision, the popular idea of clean and unclean did not exist; he was an unshaken, unmoving Saint as related in the Gita. I felt that Guruji could eat the leftovers, because he was unattached. I wasn’t, I couldn’t eat that; my traditions were those of Vaishnav. In my family, as a youngster, I could never put a morsel of food in my pocket, and eating was done only after removing the clothes.
Being brought up thus, the conflict of not wanting to eat the remains, and yet wanting to satisfy my hunger, was natural. After arranging the food onto one thali, Guruji said: “Look son, eat your food.” On hearing such kind words, I thought: “Guruji is a great man, a solitary man. I am his chief disciple and I should follow in his footsteps, for he has enriched my soul. There is no sense in making a face for I am extremely hungry.”
Then my feeble mind gave me some further advice: “Who is going to see you here, quietly eat up your food.” I sat down and started to eat and found the food very tasty. Guruji and I ate from the same thali. Was my great good fortune because of my good deeds or those of my ancestors? No, such blessings could be neither mine nor my ancestors, it was Guruji’s loving kindness.
If courage produces compassion, then it should be called the fruit of courage. It cannot be named compassion. Today, continuously for twenty-one years, I have been in yogic practices; I do not believe it to be my courage but the supreme compassion of God and Guruji. Guruji fed me with the love of a son-crazy mother. I ate and slept soundly that night. When I awakened in the morning, I found myself alone under a tree.
Guruji was not there; he had left me and gone away. For two days I stayed under the same tree and waited for him, but in the end I was disappointed. This story is forty years old. He has never written a letter to anybody and, in spite of my being his favorite, he has never written a letter to me.
For this reason, no one knows where he is or whether he is alive. Yes, I did get a glimpse of him, once, on a mountain in Rishikesh. At that time, he looked totally different from the memory I carried of him. If I were to describe the event, it would take a great deal of time. Many disciples longed to serve Guruji. To make his food, rich ladies would travel fifty mile by car; some would make only dhal, some only rice, some only vegetables and some only chapatis.
Even in shining the utensils, there was a struggle; some would get only a spoon to shine, others a cup. In the washing of his clothes, it was the same! One leg of his pants would be washed by one lady, the other leg by another lady. Since, at a fixed time, they had to finish their services and go away, all the men and women used to come half an hour early. I was systematic and punctual; if someone was late, I gave the service he was to perform to someone else.
Guruji would scold me and say: “Son, do not disappoint anybody. Let each one do the work he is assigned. Sometimes, one may be late.” As I was the closest to Guruji, I became very conceited; I would tell off one of the rich men or women, but they never took offence. That was thanks to Guruji. One of the rich men decided to build a silver swing for Guruji, the man who had built the golden throne was also going to make a golden swing.
However, he realized that Guruji would not like such luxury, so he gave up the idea. Those were the days when things were cheap; gold was Rps. 18 per tola and silver 8 to 12 annas per tola. When the silver swing was ready, it was brought to the house and put up in the best room. Then the rich man talked to the other disciples and asked them to request Guruji to sit on the swing for a few minutes.
However, no one was prepared to do this. Finally, one of the pupils came to me and said: “Swami, you are Guruji’s favorite, he listens to you. Please request him on our behalf to sit on the swing.” Guruji often talked about my future to his inner circle of pupils and told them I was his chief disciple. Once or twice, in front of me, he said the same thing. When I heard this, I was rather surprised, for I did not have the purity.
All of his disciples, however, believed him and respected me. Once I contradicted Guruji and said: “Do you want to make this monkey drunk with praise? In this small pot, one cannot fill the ocean.” He replied: “My son, I have planted a mango seed. In time will it not become a mango tree?” At that time, I believed myself to be the seed of a fruitless tree and Guruji believed me to be the seed of a mango tree. The result was in the future; to dispute it then was pointless.
After listening to my Guru brothers, I said: “It’s all right, I will try and request Guruji.” The next day, I went to Guruji’s room where the others were also present. After greeting him, I said: “Guruji, it is everybody’s wish that you sit on the silver swing for a few minutes. Even one minute will do; your touch will make it holy.” I thought Guruji would do as I requested, since he had great compassion for me.
Whenever I was fed up with my childishness, he would embrace me and, in a few minutes, calm me down. Truly, I was fortunate. In my life, I had suffered many sorrows; since knowing Guruji, the joy I experienced was out of this world. I have never found such happiness elsewhere and I don’t think I ever could. Guruji, after listening to my request, asked me: “Why? Are you that fond of this swing?”
Being his favorite, I had become rather cheeky and would say whatever came into my mind, and in answering the question, I displayed my foolishness. “Yes, I like the swing very much. If you indicate that I should sit on it, I will.” While saying this, I had no wish whatever to sit on the swing. I couldn’t possibly have had. The words had hardly left my lips when I started to regret what I had said, but it was too late.
Guruji immediately got up and took my hand. We left the room and everyone followed. When we came to the room with the swing, I tried to remove my hand from Guruji’s hold, but I felt helpless. Since the day Guruji had seated me on the golden stool, I had had tremendous reverence for his strength, so I refrained from resisting. I looked at him with pitiful eyes which said: “Please don’t make me sit on the swing.”
In spite of that, he took both my hands and seated me on it. At the same time, he was aware of the confusion in my mind. There was a soft cloth on the swing, and on it, moving about, was an ant. Pointing to it Guruji said: “Look at this ant; it is also seated on the swing, but it does not consider that the swing is made of silver and that only a Holy Man has the right to sit there.” Guruji burst out laughing.
I got off the swing and, before anyone could say anything, he sat down and immediately everyone smiled. “All right,” he said, “what pleases the people pleases the ruler.” In my spiritual preparation, I regarded Guruji as my spiritual Father. Later, I regarded him as a Guru and now, as God. After eight months, he said to me: “I am going to try and give you training for Sanyas.” “Training for Sanyas?” I said in astonishment.
“Yes, training for Sanyas. Is that worse than suicide?” In this way, he reminded me of the past; I was embarrassed. Then I said “Guruji, I have tremendous desire for women, wealth, fame. How shall I become a true sanyasi? I have complete faith in your word, but when I consider my mental state, I get very discouraged. What could be more beautiful than your giving me training for Sanyas?
The fact that you have made me your chief disciple has been my great good fortune. But answer me one question. How can a crow become a swan?” He replied: “My son, whether you are a crow or a swan, the answer you will get when, in your soul, the spirit of the sanyas and the delight of the yogic acts is born.” This answer brought peace to my mind.
The day of my training for Sanyas was fixed. Guruji had told me that before the training I would have to fast strictly for forty-one days. I thought then that if a two or three day fast was impossible for me, how would a forty-one day fast be possible? In one day, I used to have two meals and two or three snacks. Guruji stopped the snacks.
Then he made me miss one meal, after which I was on cow’s milk alone for two month. Thus I gained strength and finally, for forty-one days, I fasted strictly. Then he gave me my training for Sanyas. Explaining to me the purpose of the fast, he said: “In your mind, are all the impurities of many births and in your body are the impurities of one mind.
The fasting and repetition of mantras purifies your soul and subdues your body and mind.” He gave me this mantra of eighteen syllables: Krishna Govind Gopijana Valabha Namoh, but did not give me any saffron robes. He said: “In the future, when your mind has risen above society, then, from some old, unattached, learned, great man, you will get these clothes.”
With the training for Sanyas, he also gave me training in Yoga. He had said: “Today, I shall teach you something about the ancient practice of Yoga and make you a Yogacharya. I give you the choicest blessings. You will be one of the incomparable Yogacharyas of the world.” For the period of forty-one days of repeating mantras, a small room in the house had been chosen.
I used to come out of the room only twice a day, to kneel before Guruji. Solitude, strict fasting, silence and the repetition of mantras and concentration were the chief features of this religious act. These disciplines seemed, to a nineteen year old boy like me, to be the hardest religious ordeal. That was natural. Nonetheless, everything was completed without mishap due to Guruji’s blessing.
Many things are regarded as coincidences, but on recalling everything concerning them, it becomes clear that they are not coincidences but fruits of a celestial design. Being born into a Vaishnav family, I had learned the Sri Krishna mantras. Sri Gurudev Pranavanandji and Sri Gurudev Shantanandji Maharaj also gave me the Sri Krishna mantras. In these three instances, Shiva and Shakti were regarded as indistinguishable from Krishna.
This I do not believe to be coincidence, but a celestial design. After talking Sanyas training from Guruji without saffron robes, I lived in society for more than eight years. Suddenly one day, my illusions concerning society were broken, and I went out to seek sanyas. I took the saffron robes and instructions from Swami Shantanandji Maharaj, thus Guruji’s predictions came true.
Guruji Shantanandji Maharaj was a lover of solitude, unattached, gentle, and a worshipper of cows. He used to tell everyone that the cow alone is the Holy Spirit. His cow worship was second to none. He left Uttar Pradesh and came to the banks of Narbada, here in Gujarat, for the purpose of yogic observances. Without a true observance of Bhakti Yoga, it is not possible to understand Sri Krishna. I will only give you an example from the present.
Acharya Rajnish was making a critique of the Holy Shastras and Avatars, accepting them when he found the slightest yogic meaning. Being an honest man, he accepted the Bhagavad Gita and with unshakeable faith gave importance to the reciting of the names of Rama and Krishna. For those who do not make appropriate investigations but only inappropriate hypotheses, the truth never appears.
Since Guruji believed in one God, he made me believe in one God, too. From childhood I had been brought up to believe in one God. In my monotheistic guru tradition, the Vishnu mantra (the twelve syllable mantra), the Shiva Mantra (Om Namah Shivaya), and the Shakti Mantra (the Gayatri Mantra) are considered to be the same. To the married, we gave the Gayatri Mantra, to the unmarried we gave the Vishnu Mantra (Om Namoh Bhagavate Vasudevaya), and to the sanyasis the Shiva Mantra.
Without correct performance, a mantra cannot be understood. By relating these few incidents about Guruji’s life, I have purified my speech; the bounds of celestial virtue are not to be measured. Now I am going to talk about my silence. In 1958, on the eighth day of the rising of the moon of Pausa, there was a big celebration for my birthday. Today, in 1970, on my birthday, the silence is twelve years old.
This silence of mine cannot be regarded as the highest type. If one must classify it, it should be put into the fourth highest type. This ordinary silence has protected me well, but I have only been able to observe it through the good graces of God and Guruji. Now I am going to talk about my already commenced activities. I am a seeker of salvation. Solitude and meditation alone are very dear to me.
In spite of that, God has pushed me into a stream of activity. When I went to Kayavarohan for the first time, I realized that this was an ultra ancient great place of worship. I heard about it, read its history, went around it and saw each and every temple. That same night, during my meditation, I got the inspiration for the rebirth of this holy place. I am not a believer in courage, but I am a great believer in God and I believed that God had willed me.
After nine or ten years, I founded the Society for the Preservation of Kayavarohan and said before all: “For the rebirth of this holy place Rps. thirty million and for its maintenance Rps. twenty million. Therefore a total of Rps. fifty million will be required.” When they heard such a large sum being mentioned, many people felt faint, but that is to be expected. I have an abiding faith in God, so if he asked me to do this, then it will be done.
This work is not mine; it is God’s. I am merely performing his service. A Holy Man once said: “I have never known anyone shamed through worshipping God. He whose mind is with Krishna, speaks the language of the Vedas.” Saints’ words are never false. If I am not a saint and if God has not willed me to start the rebirth of this Holy place, then I have just been suffering from illusions and the consequences will be disappointing.
However, full of faith, without any hope for self-gratification and only believing it to be God’s will, I am carrying out this work of rebuilding. When I had no more pride, I became a Sadhu. Today, there is nothing in my books to my credit and the debit side is also bland. “In the land of the unclothed, what need is there for a dhoti?” Although I have no pride, if any question of my pride being lost arises, I shall not let anyone else be blamed.
I alone, shall stand resolutely before the assembly. If people make me wear a crown of thorns and a garland of shoes, I shall wear them with pleasure saying: “Those who have supported me are innocent, I alone am guilty. I misled them and threw them into the pit.” Since I have such unshakable faith in God, I know this will never be so, the work will be even more beautiful than is presently expected.
God alone is going to do the work and the garland of flowers will be given to me. In no corner of my soul is there any fear that the work will not be done. I am not performing any sin so why should I be scared? After I had founded the Society for the Preservation of Kayavarohan, one after another, the big and small problems arose. In the village, there was no lover of mine, nor was anyone known to me, and so there were many discussions regarding the great Holy Shrine we wished to revive.
Only Sri Haribhai Shamalbhai Patel had faith in me. After taking my Sanyas training, I had, for about eight years, performed many small constructive deeds in the villages for the purification of my soul. Cities had no attraction for me and my eyes did not turn toward their rich dwellers. People have the desire to obtain health, wealth, fame, women, children, and other earthly substances, so they run to see well known Saints.
From the beginning, I did not let this state of affairs take place. When people behave thus, I feel it is a great insult to knowledge, Yoga and worship. Such behavior does not suit my work. Little children are very fond of me and I look at them as sons and daughters, with loving eyes. Good behavior, restraint, praying to God, service, dedication to all, repeating of mantras, observances of Shastras, the spread of these and similar things is what I like.
These acts are very meaningful in banishing all sorrows, Guruji taught me this. He also gave extreme importance to celibacy. He used to say that celibacy alone increased the value of worship and through the combination of physical and spiritual virtues one became holy. Celibacy alone makes a person supreme. That this premise was true, I was convinced of scientifically.
However, when I saw rich men travelling around in their cars, I though that, apart from celibacy, there must be other ways of becoming supreme. When I put this to Guruji, he said: “My son, you only know the superficiality of the premise, not its root. Any form of supremacy must be firm at its base. It is this firmness which gives rise to all results.” Only after many years did I understand this important statement of Guruji’s.
Sisters, brothers, remember always and never forget that an unshakeable and virtuous way of life is the essence of a living religion. No matter whether you believe in Krishna, Rama, Shiva, Holy Shakti, Allah, or God—you may believe in anything—if this worship does not produce an unshakeable virtuous way of life, then your belief is useless. Unshakeability and virtue are the foundations of religion and of the soul; the seeking of them alone is the true search.
Through them alone, one can attain religious meaning, time and salvation. The deep meaning of yoga cannot be understood by reading volumes or listening to tales. For such understanding, one must have endless concentration. I give you one example: Mr. Mashak, twenty years old, was originally from France but lived in Canada. He came to India to study Yoga. He used to meditate in Rishikesh.
There he met my disciple, Amrit Desai. At that time, Amrit Desai was on a pilgrimage in India with some of his American students. Mr. Mashak had made a list of all the yogis in India and Amrit gave him my name to add to his list and begged him to go and see me, which he did. After talking to me, he humbly asked: “Guruji, please accept me as your disciple.” I answered him saying: “My son, first go and meet all those yogis on your list.
If after that, you feel the inspiration to come to me, then come.” A few days later, he went on his journey and, after meeting all the yogis, he came back and offered himself to me saying: “Guruji, I have accepted you alone as my Guru. Please give me training in Yoga. I am a true seeker of knowledge. I left my country, my relatives, and all worldly things to come to India, only to learn Yoga.
I have made a firm resolution. Only when I become a yogi, will I return to my country. If not, I shall die in India. I have heard that great Yogis give instruction in Shaktipat which quickly puts the disciple on the road to Yoga. Guruji, please give this child instruction in Shaktipat and do not scorn him as foreign and unholy. Will an Indian Yogi give yogic instruction only to an Indian?”
Seeing his love of Yoga, I felt great love for him and gave him Shaktipat training. I had known about Shaktipat training for the last twenty years, but had never given it to anyone. It is said in the Yogic Shastras, that this training should be given only to the highest seeker of salvation, and I had thought I would only give it to a true and holy disciple. During the past year, I had heard that, in India, at least five or seven great men, had performed Shaktipat in public and I was greatly surprised.
However, I felt that this must be God’s will and I did not think about it anymore. In Shaktipat, the meditator is seated in concentration and sent off on the road of Yoga. This meditation is very enlightening and it does not take one long to be completely absorbed in it. Meditation is linked with knowledge, yoga, and worship. If there is no meditation in yoga, it cannot be called yoga.
Knowledge is understanding, worship is love, and yoga is disinterested work. The combination of all three is the true yoga. In other words, the study of the Holy Shastras, Bhakti (devotion), and the execution of good works form the foundation of yoga. They count as the first step. When the yogic meditator is on the path of knowledge, the path of worship, or the path of yoga, his mind and body are purified.
As a result, he obtains the Divine Body purified in the Flame of Yoga. This is an indication of the level of consciousness of one who has attained an unequalled Samadhi. I am a believer in salvation and have not practiced yoga for twenty-two years to obtain petty accomplishments.
Before giving Mr. Mashak instruction in Shaktipat, I taught him some asanas, some mudras (one of the eight limbs of Yoga), pranayam, pratyahar, dharana, dhyana and other things. Finally, I told him to always chant the Ram mantra and taught him how to repeat it. After learning this, he said to me: “Who is Rama, why should I repeat his name? I have no faith in it.”
He was a foreigner and, for him, the Ram mantra was new. I made an effort to explain to him that Rama is the name of God which one repeats in order to purify one’s mind. This is part of the essence of yoga. The Ram mantra arose from a sound of the infinite. Only when you hear this sound, through the study of yoga, will you understand its essence.
After this incident, Mr. Mashak went to the aforementioned pilgrimage of India. When he returned, I gave him the Shaktipat training. At that time, I also gave him the name of Shubhadarshan. He then started the study of yoga and, on the third day, he started chanting Rama, Rama, Rama, loudly. When he came to pay his respects to me, he said: “Guruji, I want to ask your forgiveness for the stupidity I have shown in not wanting to repeat the Ram mantra.
Truly this Ram mantra which has arisen from the sound of the infinite has filled me with astonishment. Now I can clearly understand that the deep essence of Yoga is not revealed by the strength of the imagination, but through the strength of study.” A year later, I asked him: “Well, my son Shubhadarshan, are you still repeating the Ram mantra?’
He laughed and replied, in Hindi: “Gurudev, each hair of the human body is full of the Ram mantra. I, on my own, from the moment of getting up, repeat the Ram mantra continuously.”
Acharya Rajnishji, two or three years ago, used to thump his chest and say: “If one can benefit from repeating chair, chair, only then, can one benefit from repeating Rama, Rama, Krishna, Krishna.” Now he has accepted the Bhagavad Gita as the true book and Krishna as the Supreme. He teaches his disciples Kriya Yoga. In a short while, they will all be chanting Rama, Rama. Then he will have to accept the importance of chanting names. It is easy to laugh and scorn and become a revolutionary when one does not understand, but to sift and study the essence and to become a philosopher is hard.
The revolutionary is given to making assumptions and is talkative. The philosopher is given to experiment (yoga) and is silent. Now I wish to say something about the village of Malav, which has, during my stay of twelve years, looked after me with love. According to my belief, the people of Malav are full of love, simple generous, loving, of service, and ready to satisfy one’s wishes.
In 1958, I came here for the festival of my birthday and I thought, then, I would like to build a hut for my yoga observance. I told the elders I wished to stay and asked if I could have a hut built in a quiet place at the edge of the village. I asked that it should have cane walls and a palm-leafed roof, but made so that mice, ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and other insects could not get into it.
I suggested a hut for the reason that, if ever I left, no one would be disappointed. If I left a solid house, everyone would be unhappy. On hearing my concern about the insects, the elders put up solid walls and a roof of tiles and I lived there. When the monsoons came, torrents of rain fell and the water seeped through the tiles.
I was sitting in meditation at the time, and the room was flooded with water. Two or three of the elders thought they should come and see my hut. I felt that someone was outside and I opened the door. I started to cry; for one thing, my meditation was interrupted, and for another, there was no place to sit and the rain was still falling.
The elders consoled me and took me immediately to the village and I became quiet. Within a few days, they patched up the roof. After that, from time to time, many alterations were made and the ugly hut became a beautiful house. I cannot paint a true picture of the service the village has done for me.
The day before the festival, I told the workers, that, in my speech, I shall relate some of the events of Pranavanandji’s life; I shall talk about my silence and about the services done by the village. Immediately they said: “There is no need to speak of our services, so do not waste time talking about them.” These were the sentiments of pure souls, not sentiments in words.
In the village today, everyone says: “Bapuji’s footsteps have made our village a very happy one. A canal came, a new school for the boys was built, necessary rooms were added to the girls’ school. The Town Hall was built, the water tank was built, a clinic was built and many other things took place.” The people of the village give me credit for all these works and that is their good nature.
Whatever has happened here is through their efforts and the compassion of God. My feet have trodden in many villages. If there had been some kind of magic in them, then everywhere, there would have been the same kind of uplift, but there was not. So their belief shows their tender love and their kind feelings toward me.
I act without dispute toward society. Why should I dispute it? Society provides all my needs without my asking. My training for Sanyas took place twenty-nine years ago. Since then I have never had a coin in my pocket. Our society has taken care to see that I have never needed one. I have regularly received one hot meal and one hot drink a day.
Though I have absolutely no need for the hot drink, my closest female disciples insist that I should have one and force me to drink it. At first, the milk, according to my suggestions, contained a lot of water, but subsequently, my beloved daughters decreased the proportion of water. Since this is unimportant and I do not wish to hurt their feelings, I have kept quiet about it.
I always shut the door of my dining room when I eat. Since I only eat a balanced diet, when there are too many dishes, I am careful. I put the food I need on one thali, and the extras on another. When the lady who prepared the meal comes to pay her respects and sees the extra food, she things I have not eaten well, and her face is sad. Then I ask: “Well, why is your face so sad today?”
She replies: “This is a habit.” So I argue: “Yesterday, I noticed no such habit. Where does it come from?” Then leaving all arguments aside, she comes out with the true reason: “Why did you eat so little?” Did you not like it? Did I not cook it well?” Then I explain to her, with love, the nature of my diet. Thus, through the Infinite Grace of God, my disciples take great care of me.
If I ate butter, the village would provide all the butter I could eat. However, fatty substances can never be digested without effort, so I do not eat butter. Truly, the love, service and dedication of this village can never be forgotten. When I told them, after the Festival of my Birthday: “I am going to live in Kayavarohan,” they were very sad. I, too, felt very sad at the thought of leaving.
Many said: “Bapuji, it will not suit you there.” I assured them I had no wish to go anywhere, but that God had willed me to tend the shrine of Kayavarohan and so I had to go. Hearing this, they were silent, and to console them, I explained that Kayavarohan was the seat of the most ancient shrine. Not only that, it was one of the most important places in Aryan culture.
I have studied this shrine from a yogic point of view. Its glory cannot be described in words. According to my understanding, the number of such shrines remaining in India today can be counted on the fingers of one hand. These great shrines, during the Aryan civilization, developed and maintained a very sacred religion and pure culture throughout the country.
In the surroundings of these great shrines are all the Holy Essences of that age. It is the Holy Essences which have inspired me to carry out this service. It was there in Kayavarohan that the great sage Vishwamitra perceived, propounded and made famous the Gayatri mantra. The great Rishis, Lagoo and Arti, also meditated there.
At that time, it was known as Maghavati; only in Bhagwan Lakulishji’s time did it become known as Kayavarohan. Bhagwan Lakulishji, who is the twenty-eighth avatar of Lord Shiva, was not only born there but also lived and worked at the Holy Shrine. I first went to Kayavarohan in the 1950’s (Samvat 2011), during the month of Magshar, and learned about its illustrious history.
On beholding Lord Brahma in the form of the Jyotirling Lord Lakulish, I was fulfilled but almost fainted, for I saw my beloved Gurudev Pranvandji. Lord Lakulish is a contemporary of Lord Krishna. Many scholars date the time of Lord Krishna as being around 5,000 years ago. Although Lord Lakulish dates back that far and my beloved Guru is of the present, their bodily outline is the same.
I had sat at my Guru’s feet for a year and a quarter and the difference in his appearance from then, to when I saw him again in Rishikesh, was the difference between earth and sky. How he appeared to me at Rishikesh was what I saw in the Jyotirling. The same dwarfish body, the same outline of face, the same eyes; I could not be mistaken.
During the evening, on the day that I had seen the Jyotirling, I sat in meditation. It was a very superior meditation, and from it, I received the inspiration to build a magnificent abode for God and a great universal institution for the scholarship of Sanskrit. It was also revealed to me during the same meditation that this particular Ling was a “Jyotirling.”
In India, in ancient times, there were said to be only twelve Jyotirlings and, to find an explanation for the thirteenth, I investigated. I turned the pages of history books and, thanks to God, solved the problem. During the Dvaparyug, the great sage Vishvamitra had made the Maghavati shrine “Kashi” (Home of Salvation). For this reason, the Ling made famous at this shrine had to be a Jyotirling.
It was into this Ling that Bhagwan Lakulish was merged, after finishing the work of his Avatarship. That is why one feels, one sees his outline at the front of the Jyotirling. I also discovered that the management of the shrines of all twelve Jyotirlings were carried out by the Assembly of Disciples of Lord Lakulish for fifteen hundred years.
The principal acharyas of that assembly used to live at Kayavarohan, teaching only suitable disciples about the Holy Shastras and rituals; establishing them in turn as acharyas. Thus only the disciples who had become acharyas stayed in the shrines with Jyotirlings and spread the religion.
It was, therefore, inconceivable to conclude that the shrine, which managed all the shrines of the twelve Jyotirlings, should not itself have a Jyotirling. One had to assume therefore, that, in Kayavarohan, there must be a hidden Jyotirling. It is this very same Brabma Jyotirling which had been found 100 years ago, buried in a field.
When the 1008th chief of the Dvarka Temple, Sri Sachidanandji, came to lay the foundation stone of the Temple of Lord Brahmeshwar, in Kayavarohan, he said: “Once I wondered why the Lings of the twelve shrines were called Jyotirlings and what was so unusual about them. On investigating, I found that only the Lings made from fallen stars are called Jyotirlings.”
On hearing this, I was filled with joy, for the Brahmeshwar Jyotirling is made from the substance of a fallen star. Moreover, the famous sculptor, Sri Prabhasaukarbhai Sompura, wished to take this Jyotirling to display it in the new Somnath Temple. From this, one also sees how great this Jyotirling is.
“In Kayavarohan, I beheld the Supreme Truth of the religion of the ages and through its inspiration alone became eager to serve it. Though the road to this final destination is stretched a thousand miles through a most barren desert, I shall succeed with God’s Grace. In this I have unshakable faith and have made all the necessary preparations for the journey. My ship will sail on the seas.”
Those who heard me speak thus and with such deep feelings, said:
“Bapuji, we have confidence that God will fulfill this work of yours.”
Be that as it may, I shall be absorbed in this service, without any wish for the fruit. Society has taken the greatest care of my body; it has given me milk instead of water, velvet seats to sit on and has done service to my feet, in innumerable places. It is only because of this service that I have survived in yogic meditation, for twenty-one years.
After my Supreme Samadhi is completed, the remainder of my life will be spent in the service of the universe. What that service will be I cannot say. I have spoken today, after twelve years of silence. I had doubts in my mind as to whether I would be able to speak for an hour and a half, but I have and with the deepest feeling. Speechmaking has been spoiled through the lack of practice.
Nonetheless, you have all listened to me with loving silence and I thank you from the depths of my heart. Now, with my blessings, I shall end my speech.
“May you all be happy, May you all be healthy. May no one ever be unhappy.”