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Pujya Dr. Vishwa Mitter Ji Maharaj

SADHANA SATSANG - A Pilgrimage with my Guru

Dr. Gautam Chatterjee

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 discussed later.

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 gesture.

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 Maharaja.

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 and commotion!

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 mind set.

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 !


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