This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine. The original article was written by Dr. Bhagyanathanji, Personal Secretary of Sri Swamiji.
Guru’s Grace Ushers in Welcome Change!
The sweet remembrance of the spiritual Master (Guru), the opportunity to live in his shadow and to live according to his dictate is the only one that is soothing to mind and body at all times and under all circumstances. Great souls who perceived everything as God and even those who have enjoyed direct vision of the Lord pray only for that God to come as their Guru. A Guru cannot be searched for; yet he is, out of compassion, attainable by sincere prayer alone.
The remembrance of that Guru is the best medicine. It [remembrance] can be done at all times. It does only good. There is no parallel to this. If there is a way (out) for even those who feel that they know nothing, feel useless, feel that their lives are ever in darkness and face only sorrows in their lives, it is the memory of the Guru. Remembrance of Guru (Guru smaranam) is sweet (Madhura smaranam). Can there be joy other than the sweet remembrance of Guru and remembrance of the Divine Name that he advocates?
It is the remembrance of the Guru that lights up the barren future and brings in happy times. It can be declared with certainty that those who have attained a Guru in their lives are highly fortunate.
Remembrance of the Guru gives a new meaning to life. It is the Guru’s holy feet that – while ignoring questions that have no answers – changes one’s objective and also helps in its attainment.
The infinite God, out of compassion, comes taking the form of the Guru. The incomprehensible Lord adorns himself with comprehensible characteristics, and comes as the Guru. Guru’s grace may work in any manner. It is not subject to reason, prejudice, likes and dislikes, or time. The only question is ‘do you want grace’. If you do you will certainly get it. Giving milk is not merely the nature of the cow but also its pleasure; likewise, grace is the Sadguru’s nature. When a jiva finds relief from sorrow, that also has in it an experience of joy.
There is nothing called insoluble sorrow in the world. Sri Swamiji would say that if there is a sorrow there will certainly be a solution to it. Nevertheless, the result depends on where we search for the solution. A lamp that gives light becomes a disturbance for sleep at night. The sun that is soothing in winter gives unbearable heat in summer. Though travelling is enjoyable, nonstop travel is tiring. Food may be tasty but it cannot be eaten beyond a certain amount. Though the vast blue sky, the deep ocean and the high mountain are enjoyable, the same cannot be enjoyed when they are struck by nature’s fury. Also, relatives are not only a source of joy but also a cause of sorrow. Actions of a married couple affect each other. Thus, nothing gives everlasting happiness. In the world, a person or thing which is the source of delight also becomes the source of sorrow. This is, in fact, the play of life.
There is a devotee at Sivakasi who has deep affection for Sri Swamiji. He worships Guru Maharaj with great devotion and chants the Divine Name. A woman works in his home. For quite some time she was worried over her daughter. On enquiry she said tearfully that her daughter, who was working in a hospital along with her husband, did not enjoy a happy married life.
This satsang devotee was always aware of the power of Guru’s grace. When he asked what was worrying her, the woman shared her sorrow. Characteristic of a mother with deep concern and worry, she spoke of her mental agony. Her daughter’s husband came home drunk and beat the wife black and blue. He harassed her in all ways and did not seem to mend his ways though many years had passed; and she did not know a way out. Once, when this man beat his wife, her mother-in-law (the man’s mother) was severely injured and they feared that she would lose her eyesight. Fortunately, her vision was restored with the help of an ophthalmologist. She lamented, “What if my daughter or someone else was seriously injured?” Was she not justified in her fear?
A complaint had been lodged with the police but even that did not offer any solution. The woman with profuse tears said that helpless as she was, she had asked her daughter to divorce him. She also added that a sympathetic doctor had offered to help them in this, provided the daughter lived away from her husband for a month. Though this seemed to be the ultimate and necessary step to be taken, the woman’s mind and heart did not accept it. It was learnt that the drunkard husband also did not favor a divorce. Yet he did not give up his habit of drinking. The daughter was also not able to take a positive decision in this respect. It was under this circumstance that this woman had confided in our satsang devotee.
Feeling sad on hearing everything from the woman, our satsang devotee spoke to her about the glory of Guru Maharaj and the Divine Name. He told her that prayer along with Nama chanting will certainly earn the grace of the Guru, and asked her to chant Nama with faith, assuring that it brings solution to all kinds of sorrows. Therefore, every day the woman did Mahamantra kirtan in front of Sri Swamiji’s picture and offered heartfelt prayer.
It is only circumstances that bring about a change in man. That woman also, with all her heart, anticipated a change in circumstance that would bring about a transformation in her son-in-law.
She prayed only for this.
Only a week had passed. Her son-in-law went to his native town on some work. While there, he was bitten by a dog. No relative came forward to help him get medical aid or help him in any other manner. Fear gripped him. He began to understand the reality of the world. He at once rushed back to Sivakasi and told his wife all that had happened. She, at once, took him to a doctor and had him treated for dog bite. She also attended on him during this period. Very soon he was cured of his bodily ailment. During this period he recalled the way he had ill-treated his wife and his own mother and felt immensely sorry for his behavior. He also realized that in time of need it was his wife who had stood by him. His mind too stood cured. He gave up drinking and began to take good care of the family.
This may sound like a simple matter to us. But that woman did not feel so. Only one who undergoes suffering in worldly life realizes value of relief attained!
Prayer offered to the Lord brings about a solution through a change in circumstances. That woman wholeheartedly believed that her prayer was being heard by Guru Maharaj.
Did she not chant the Divine Name and pray? Does not Guru Maharaj say that chanting the Divine Name brings about a change in the cosmos? Prayer offered along with Divine Name chanting brought about a change in the cosmos and created a favorable atmosphere.
Do we not know that it is Guru’s grace that creates a momentary situation and through it, a positive change of mind, and brings about a favorable atmosphere and involvement of all in the remembrance of God?
Original Tamil article by Dr.Bhagyanathan,
Madhuramurali June 2016 issue