SADHANA SATSANG - A
Pilgrimage with my Guru
I was told that I set out for
my first ever Tirtha when I was just six months old. The
destination was Rishikesh where my grandfather Swami Santanand Saraswati
of Paramartha Niketan used to reside in his cottage. For the last 40 years
I was destined to visit several Tirtha sthanas which are believed
to be a celestial connecting point over the ages. The sacredness surround
those sacred lands, so are the souls of mortals whose beliefs system ring
around the concept of sacred corridor.
I have been visiting Haridwar in search
of spiritual solitude but most of my visits were marred by concocted
aura of modern spiritualism far away from the mystics of mythology or
chapters of history where Chinese Travellers Hieuen-Tsang referred to
the holy Ganga as purifier of all souls. Nevertheless, Haridwar
continued to attract me as a spiritual magnet.
October, 1999, the
celebrated Kartik month was on, when lunar influence looms large over
people, so I was also besieged with noise and chaos of materialism. I went
to my Guru Swami Dr. Vishwamitter Ji Maharaj to seek guidance and
blessings for my personal spiritual endeavour. I told my guru I wanted to
go for 2-3 days seclusion away from the maddening crowd. He asked 'Do
you need me there?' I wondered, yet I muttered 'How could I demand
this.' Then he asked me to join Sadhana Satsang and asked me
to spare only three nights. He further assured me 'I would show you
something which you have never seen in your life'. Being smeared with
bliss I took the orders and related to prepare again. Suddenly I realized
my Pilgrimage have begun!
SwamiJi had kindly assigned, a Shree Ram
Sharnam Sadhak, to escort me to Haridwar as I was new for such an
experience. In Shree Ram Sharnam any order from Guru transforms into Sewa
and I was smoothly taken to Haridwar.
Ganga was still as vibrant as I felt her
last time. The towering silhouettes of temples and ashrams and my tonga
ride to Shree Ram Sharnam was already giving me an unique feeling of self
belongingness to the spiritual corridor. As I got down and kept my luggage
on the corridor I heard the magnetic voice uttered by Swamiji --- Gautam.
Then he appeared and gave me a clear instruction that 'you are here to do
Sadhana and you will not write anything except some salient points and
take back the memory home when you will write'. I had nothing to say and
with folded hands I retreated to my allotted room. I must confess as I
remained in delinquent mind the addicted Quill driver in me provoked to
snatch some time or other to take out my pen and jot something. But all in
vain I could not write a single line in my 62 hours of Sadhana.
It was 4.00 PM. Swamiji augmented the Sadhana
which was participated by some 269 people belonging to both the sexes from
all over India. The communication started with introduction of the concept
called sadhana. he uttered that it is with God's grace and the
blessings of Param Guru one is allowed to do sadhana. This Sadhana
at one level is ordained by the God 'Sri Ram' and Ram 'Kripa' befalls when
a Sadhak does the spiritual exercise honestly and sincerely.
However, Swamiji warned against the
lukewarm attitude of Sadhana which hinders the process of spiritual
emancipation. On the one hand he reminded the 36 points of discipline to
be followed by every Sadhak as prescribed by Swami Satyanandji
Maharaj in 1936 when for the first time Sadhana was held in
Haridwar for the members of Sri Ram family of devouts.
The melodious voice shifted its gear from
varying frequency, through the initial Pravachan of Swami Dr.
VishwamitterJi Maharaj, which had already closed our windows of
materialistic world we left behind. I can tell you Swamiji created a sonic
umbrella over the small Ashram which gladdened the faces of all devouts
and they knew nothing but to fold hands with utter 'Ram Ram' otherwise
within the silence they did constant Japa for next 62 hours without a
touch of pseudo or pretentive spiritualism of counting beeds.
The Akhand Japa had already begun.
Devotees in turn clocked to the room of Akhand Jap where the next
61hrs would the devoted to the silent chanting of Ram Ram. During the day
time female devotees were allowed to do Akhand Jap in very constant
manner which were taken up by the male devotees who did jap throughout the
night. After those 61 hours I guessed the figure of Akhand Jap to
the tune of 37 lakhs apart from billions of japa those where taken place
outside. All these finally culminated into symbolic Jyoti, which
was finally taken out with melodious Ram Dhun to do an invocation
of Sri Adhistanji at the final hours of the Sadhana which would be
The pure Satvik food consisting of cooked
vegetables, milk and porridge were served during our sojourn of three days
which cost us Rupees Sixty only. The finer aspect of the foods should
become a separate discussion! However I may like to remind that food plays an
important role to develop sacred thought which finally moulds the mind for
the onward spiritual journey.
Through the varied punctuation of religious
discourse and chanting of kirtan, Ram Ram, voice got modulated,
silence befell during the mass meditation and special meditation.
Throughout the day from five O Clock in the morning to 10 O clock in the
night silence and sound echoed which elevated the state of our psyche.
Doing around 20,000 times of Ram Ram Japa created a sonic shield of
silence and sound and gave devouts an enviable atmosphere for spiritual
salvation. I recall during our course of Sadhana honking sound of vehicles
outside and television noise from nearby houses were heard but could not
have even an iota of disturbing effect. As if those sounds of noise were
being knocked down by the sonic atmosphere created by Swamiji for our
sojourn during Sadhana.
I am no physicist but acoustic frequency
make me very sensible. I recall during the course of Kirtans devouts
echoed the voice of the Guru and due to ecstacy the pitch rose from one
scale to another. Though echoed in chorus in sounded magnifecently
melodious. The swinging ocean of acoustic levels created an inner bridge
in the mortal self to have celestial linkage of cosmic order and the bliss
befell on us as sound descended within on seeing Swamiji's namaskar
Then loomed the magnanimity of silence of
zero frequency kind. the contrast of sound and silence descended together
to create the harmony of mind, body and our spiritual endeavour. the
utterance of Ram Ram could have so many acoustic vocabulary was hitherto
unknown to me!
Maun or the state of unutterence for two
hours daily after the lunch gave me another exposure of reducing the noise
of thought element within. The constant japa at this prescribed hour not
only allowed oneself for spiritual introspection but also provided the
wonderful experience minus the craving intentions of maya. As the Sadhana
went on the attachment for the worldly pleasure got distanced. This paved
the path to feel oneness with the supreme soul at the celestial corridor.
The meditation hours in the morning and
evening were under the guidance of Guru and I was able to concentrate on
the third eye. In these session I experienced a trembling; serpentine
elevating movement emitting from lower spinal cord and some silent
engrossed moments. These were some of the highlights of my spiritual
quest. Furthermore in the fifteen minutes of special meditation session I
could see the dynamics of blue light dancing with a shadow at my third
eye. Striking a conversation with Sri Ram dwelling inside was one of the
high points of experiencing dhyan which facilitated by Swami Dr. Viswamitterji
The call from within and the direction
received though silence of our inner most core was perhaps the mission of
Sadhana ! however I being a mentally disturbed mortal could not fathom the
ultimate commandments which are yet to come.
My Sadhana continued though I have a
history of spinal cord injury yet the pains, pathos and depression took
the back sit of my mind after the second night passed. I don't remember at
any of the three nights I dreamt anything which is an indicator of inner
tranquillity. The hectic schedule of everyday could not tire either the
body or the mind.
Every punctuation of the daily chores was
hemmed with ringing of bell be it waking up call or call for bed time.
Strangely enough though being a late riser I opened my eyes at 3.30 AM,
perhaps my biological watch was working well!
Today when I take a hind view I only wonder
how a gathering of two hundred odd devotees could not cause any noise or
chaos while in contrast in small families of ours we have so much of noise
At Sadhana it was out of feelings of sewa
that everything went on smoothly right from cleaning of toilet to serving
the food. I was wondering who all were managing this gigantic Sadhana
programme as I found everybody deeply engrossed in their spiritual quest
without any wrinkles on their forehead or causing any noise of their sewa
or service. The whole management was based on discipline of the highest
order which could only be possible with the blessing of senior Shree Ram Sharnam
Sadhaks like Shri Govindramji and shri Moolchandji.
While cruising through Sadhana there were
occasions of subtel thinking at the dynamic level which made us understand
the celestial measurement of Prem Bhava with the element of Kripa Bhava or
being possessed by the divine bliss. The context of offering nothing to
the god neither with flowers, fruits or any other thing is the most
striking phenomenon of Shree Ram Sharnam School of thought.
During Sadhana our mortal identity as to
who is economically sound or unsound, intellectually higher or lower never
mattered! Here I realised in Ram Darbar that our so called mortal identity
or existence has no designative meaning which distinguishes a person from
a person. The vision of oneness before our beloved Sri Ram was vividly
visible which helped all of us to shed his or her mortal inhibition and
However the most striking hour of Sadhana
was when the Jyoti was brought from Akhand jap room to the main hall which
was used for the arti of Sri Adhistanji. This final hour was full of
emotional appeal self criticism and ego-less self offering. It provided an
opportunity to cry wholeheartedly - not for any cause like pain and loss.
Actually, nobody knew why they cried and perhaps this was a psychological
state which augmented from the given atmosphere. I must confess this was
an unusual occasion of some extra terrestrial nature which brought the
final culmination of three nights sadhna.
When I came back I experienced a kind of
"Viraha" or parting from the dear ones. The regret of retreating
to the karmic world materal world was looming large on my mind as the maya
god was awaiting our return from the sacred sojourn !