Thus goes a famous shlok of Gita encompassing within its deep meaning the timely appearance of great souls, Avataars and Yug Purushs in different ages on this earth. Ages sure have differed but not the aim of these enlightened beings who by their benign presence make a herculean attempt to propel mankind to higher states of mental and spiritual evolution, by making them break free of their dogmas and false beliefs and by reintroducing them to the real science of life which is as ancient as it seems to be new every time it is rediscovered.
On 21st April 1935 in a remote village of Rajasthan divinity descended to the mortal planes in a surprisingly inconspicuous manner – an element which would later mark all his achievements. His every success would be beyond belief, yet it never robbed him of his simplicity, easy ways and frankness. Years later disciples, followers and those who knew him would wonder how he remained so unassuming and unpretentious in spite of the laurels and fame bestowed upon him.
Struggle was his constant companion on the path of life, yet no problem or obstacle could match his resilience and perseverance, as he took on the challenges of life, rising from poverty to gain the best education, a job as a lecturer and then as a professor in university, by the dint of sheer courage and hard efforts.
Such worldly success he no doubt viewed as indispensable, however he never made it the sole purpose of his life. Even as the household was celebrating his marriage at just eleven, to Ma Bhagwati Devi, who later was to be his most helpful companion and a loving mother to millions of Sadhaks, he announced his decision to leave home to explore the Himalayas for the lost sciences of ancient India.
Love and filial duty sure had a place in his heart, yet these never infatuated him or diluted his strong resolution, and ultimately he had his way. Many decades later, the Himalayas continue to echo his footsteps, his divine rendition of Vedic verses and his clarion calls as he challenged Pseudo-gurus and Sanyasis. His inquisitive spirit led him to hundred of Masters many of whom proved to be foxes in sheep-skin. Yet he did discover precious pearls, from whom he gleamed wonderful pieces of divine knowledge, which could transform the miseries and sorrows of mankind into joy of total fulfillment.
Even though bestowed with amazing powers these Yogis felt content to repose peacefully in the seclusion of mountains and jungles. But to him this was a waste of divine talent and he worked hard to gain from them all that they had. His honesty and sincerity easily won their hearts and they felt delighted to impart to him the secrets of Sadhanas, Mantras, astrology, Surya Vigyan, Paarad Vigyan and many more sciences.
They gave him much, yet it is an inviolable rule of Guru-Shishya Parampara that knowledge cannot be had free. In return Guru Dakshina is a must – in the form of service to the Guru, money or knowledge. Serve he did many masters, yet he always declared that he had limited time and he did not want to spend many years mastering just one single Mantra or Sadhana. He wished for total success and he got it. Also these Yogis had no use for money, hence what he gave them to them is a much a secret as his true identity which continues to baffle even to closest of his disciples till today.
However one of these very savants once exclaimed, “What could I have given him? To the world it seems, and he makes it seem so, that I gave him Dikshas and Sadhanas, but I know the truth. He has very Kindly bestowed upon me spiritual success which I might never have achieved even after thousands of years of Sadhanas. I know who he is, for he very kindly revealed it to me, but I cannot tell……… Time shall do it and then the men and women of this world shall realise who had been with them and what they missed.”
Mystery continues to shroud his divine persona. He never spent years at a stretch in the Himalayas, rather he returned home from time to time to complete his education and fulfil his duties towards the family. How he alternated these roles, struck a balance between them and succeeded in both is really amazing.
Having achieved the highest level of success in the spiritual world when he finally returned to his family for good, millions came into contact with him and benefited a lot by consulting him as a Spiritual Guru, astrologer par excellence, Vedic scholar, expert of Karm Kaand and a Bestower of fruitful blessings. However none could claim to fully know him, even though he willfully introduced himself as Paramhans Swami Nikhileshwaraanand – the most revered of Masters of the divine land of Siddhashram who had appeared in simple human form to bring about a spiritual transformation in the social circles, not just in India but all over the world.
But this introduction deepens the mystery rather than clarify it, and so do the introductory books about his life as Nikhileshwaraanand penned by his ascetic disciples who themselves are renowned for their divine powers. The mind boggles on reading about his spiritual achievements. And I believe that so depressed we are today, so much inferiority complex has been built into us by the so called modern education that it is hard to believe that all this can be true, for it seems more a description out of pages of some fantasy like Superman and one wonders if all this is mere hype.
Could be, for these are just printed words. But one is forced to withdraw one’s scepticism when one meets the common men and women who have accepted him as a Guru and also when one is thrown by destiny into his benign presence and made to experience amazing things. Guru? Seems a familiar, oft-repeated title, which one feels like rejecting with disdain having read and heard of the infamous exploits of so many pseudo-spiritualists.
Yet ask these disciples and Sadhaks and before they could speak their eyes, their facial expressions tell all. The tears which well up with the mere utterance of the word Guru reflect genuine love, adoration and regard. “He is a father to us,” says a disciple bringing to the mind the ageless incantation imprinted on every Indian mind-
Tvamev Maataa Cha Pitaa Tvamev……
“He is the best friend, my saviour, my diety,” sobs another in a deluge of emotions.
IS? But he is no more there! Hasn’t he left his mortal frame? For the world which views everything through the glasses of gross materialism he sure has, but how can you explain the hundreds of letters from Sadhaks and disciples pouring in every day thanking Gurudev for making a timely appearance (in physical) and saving them from danger and even death?
Thousands continue to rush to Sadhana camps which go on uninterrupted by virtue of his blessings. His words, spoken years back, suddenly flash back to the mind. “If people find it difficult to come to me, I shall go to them. I have very less time and much to achieve.”
Thus was initiated a chain of Sadhana camps all over India and even abroad to which thousands were drawn by his magnetic persona to take a dip in the holy ocean of Sadhanas. And when he felt that even Sadhanas and Mantra chanting were proving too much for the weak willed, frustrated people of the world, he started doling out his own divine energy in form of Diksha which incinerated their problems, ailments, worries and brought them wealth, success, prosperity and even spiritual upliftment.
“Devotion for the deity is important, but I don’t want my disciples to beg even before the gods. I want them to be masters of Tantra and capable of demanding and getting what they want from the gods and goddesses and even other human beings. But know it that once I am your Guru I won’t allow misuse of these powers, you simply won’t be able to. I don’t want to prepare Padampaads,” he said not once but on many occasions.
Preparing Sadhaks and disciples who could ring in a new phase of spiritual enlightenment was his aim and he started this mission by first reintroducing India to the ancient science of astrology, which had lost its foothold due to the wave of false education and propaganda of Mughals and the British. He authored no less than 120 books on astrology, a record of sorts, which brought this complex science to the reading table of the common man in a simple form. His uncannily on the mark predictions made him world famous and revived belief of millions in this predictive science. Had fame and recognition been his aim he could have continued to bask in the glory of his success as an astrologer. But no, his work was done, people once had faith in astrology and quietly he withdrew from the limelight and Presidentship of World Astrology Conference in spite of vehement protests of admirers.
Next he aimed at regenerating a similar faith in the masses for the sciences of Mantra, Tantra and Sadhanas, which had become much maligned over the ages due to the greed of corrupt priests and pseudo-Tantriks. When he set about this task people feared and despised the word Tantra which had unfortunately become linked to vile practices like money spinning and satiation of carnal desires at the expense of the gullible and ignorant common folk.
“Tantra,” he said, “is the beauty of life. It is harmonising with nature, it is seeking the aid of spiritual, divine forces to make life prosperous, pure and better. It has nothing to do with the wrong beliefs attributed to it.”
This message he propagated through the illustrious Hindi monthly Narayan Mantra Sadhana Vigyan which not just dispelled fear and doubt regarding these sciences through the publication of veritable extracts from Shastras, Vedas and Upanishads, but also through Sadhana experiences of his disciples who had gained amazingly much with their help. Simultaneously was launched the Siddhashram Sadhak Parivaar whose aim is to carry the torch of true Sadhana knowledge to each and every corner of not just India but the whole world through the medium of Sadhana camps graced and managed by Gurudev, and which today has branches all over India and in major cities globally.
Yet this path to success was not paved with just roses. Criticism, verbal attacks, denigrating campaigns and vile plots however never daunted him and accepting all challenges he had roared, “This torch lit by me cannot be extinguished. It shall continue to light new lamps and to illuminate millions of lives lost in darkness of ignorance, poverty and problems. Those who are against this mission are either ignorant or have their own axes to grind or have selfish interests in leaving the people unenlightened. I accept their challenge, for in Rajasthan they say- Maai Edaa Poot Jan, Dushman Hoi Hajaar i.e. O mother bear a son who has a thousand foes at least and who could attain to fame by fighting and defeating them.
“I want my disciples too to be fearless. I want them to have problems and enemies galore, for I have equipped them with the divine powers of Nikhileshwaraanand and they must now have the guts to face all adversities and emerge victorious. I want to show the world that with Mantras, Sadhanas and spiritual powers even the worst of adversities can be overcome.”
Almost 20 years after he started on this mission, today Indian subcontinent is redolent with the fragrance of his success. Parched, desert like lives have been transformed into green heavens. His books on spiritualism, Sadhanas and other ancient Indian sciences (again no less than 150) are proving to be guiding beacons for millions. His voice recorded in cassettes continues to soothe disturbed lives.
“I have nothing against modern science,” he once said, “but their knowledge is limited. Spiritualism is much deeper ad greater than any science and the scientists have yet to realise this. Till they do I want this ancient knowledge to be preserved, and here science alone can help. I want the shloks, Mantras and Sadhanas which I speak or perform to be recorded and saved for the future generations, otherwise all this will be lost forever. You may not realise it but the later generations on listening to my cassettes and reading my words shall wonder who it was who assimilated so much knowledge in such a short life span.”
How true are proving his words! His recorded and printed words continue to draw thousands of new Sadhaks to the folds of the Parivaar, whose only aim is propagation of true knowledge and not fanatic belief in some set dogmas. All his life he laboured day and night to fulfill his dream of making every man and woman self dependent in the use of Mantras and Sadhanas so that they could be freed from the clutches of corrupt priests and capable of solving their problems themselves with the blessings of the Guru.
“I am right behind every Sadhak, who bestows faith in me, on the path of life. Whenever you face a problem and feel worried you just look over your back and you shall find me there guiding your footsteps.”
No wonder millions continue to experience his strength and his presence. A devout cry, feeblest of prayers, or even just a desperate call “Gurudev” and he is there to help. He continues moulding misshapen lives into perfect shape and guiding lost souls. And know it for sure that this feeling germinates not by listening to or reading about experiences of others but by own personal feelings – the gentle, elating tingle in the spine when he is subtly around or the gust of Ashtgandh fragrance broadcasting his presence or the sudden tears not just of sweet remembrance but of elation and joy which spring out without rhyme or reason. It’s love! Love with one who knows the art of turning a desert into an oasis and one who can remotely control the affairs big and small of millions even from the portals of Siddhashram. And it’s this love that bonds one to the man of this Age, who worked selflessly to make us humans truly independent. And we know that he continues his work of making us realise the true essence of the words Aham Brahmaasmi !
It’s this very goal that keeps us moving onwards and each moment we feel the blessings, love and kindness of one whom we have known as Gurudev Dr. Narayan Dutt Shrimali, showering in our lives from the unending source of divinity Paramhans Swami Nikhileshwaraanand.
Buddha when leaving his mortal frame had said to his disciples – ” Apa Deepo Bhavah – be a self enlightened lamp.” Gurudev had once addressed his loved children during the last days of his Avataar as a family man, “but I don’t want you to be mere lamps so I say – Apa Suryo Bhavah – be a sun unto yourself!”
The word “Shishya” means to come near. It also means closeness, proximity and nearness. Therefore, a disciple. in the true sense of the word, is one who comes closest to the Guru, touches the live chords of the heart of Guru and finds a place therein and becomes one with him, all with a feeling of total dedication.
Virogopnishad lays down six qualities for a disciple in order to achieve perfection in this direction. A person or Sadhak attains perfection to the extent he is able to accumulate these qualities within himself.
The six qualities mentioned in the Virogopnishad are as follows :-
To remain in contact with the Guru and to identify himself with him is the duty of a disciple.
Therefore, whatever the orders of the Guru, it should not only be the duty, but the religion of the disciple to follow them. There should be no questions, no doubts or hesitations in obeying them.
To obey the order of the Guru to the best of his ability and in the shortest possible time, has been considered the foremost duty of the disciple.
According to Virogopnishad, the disciple who is able to assimilate the above qualities, is the real disciple. Therefore, before expecting anything from the Guru, one should introspect within, if he is a disciple in the true sense and fulfils the criterion laid down as above. If you fall short of the criterion how can you expect the Guru to fulfil your desires.
The relations between the Guru and disciple are as delicate as a sheet of glass. A slight stroke causes a crack in it. Similarly, a slight difference with the Guru causes a strain in the relations, which turns into a wide gap. Therefore, the disciple should be constantly on the watch out , whether he is fulfilling all the criterion and should analyse this aspect from time to time. He should ask himself whether he has assimilated all the qualities necessary for a disciple and whether he has been able to become a perfect disciple. By such an analysis the heart becomes clear of all doubts and the chances of differences with the Guru are eliminated.
The relations between the Guru and the disciple are not business like. There is no question of give and take between them. No feeling of remuneration for services done should be entertained by the disciple. There is no balance to measure or explain this exchange. The disciple has to remain as such and continue to march ahead on his path consistently.
In clear words, the disciple has to remain like a child. His mental outlook should be one of dissatisfaction with sensual pleasures and evil social customs, on the same time maintaining concern and respect for the society in general. A disciple attains perfection by remaining disinterested in the outer world, by marching ahead on the path of duty, as directed by the Guru, and wishing for the general welfare of mankind. Such a disciple is always polite and without vanity and considers himself a nullity before the Guru.
The most difficult Sadhana and devotion for a disciple is dedication in the feet of Guru and to assimilate the greatness of the Guru into himself. For achieving this goal, a disciple should continue to make great efforts. To be a real disciple, a man or woman has to subdue one’s ego, remain polite and face the world, remain in the feet of Guru and maintain a balance between himself and his family. Such a disciple is always prepared to sacrifice his social status, financial position and even his life to achieve the blessings of the Guru and thus to attain perfection. Complete dedication and surrender of one’s ego is the first step on the road to spiritual progress and this Shakti Sadhana (Sadhana of the Divine Energy) is possible only with the blessings of the Guru. Only with the above efforts, the disciple attains the qualities of the Guru and becomes a Guru himself. Others may address him as a Guru but he remains a disciple before his own Guru. These criterion, if maintained, bring him face to face with divinity. Only then, is he able to serve the mankind better and set an example for others to become good disciples.