AUTHOR : NEEMA GHILDIYAL
“Divine Grace…You can name the book ‘Divine Grace!”… Swamiji Ajay Jain had suggested this title, at my behest, for the hagiography that I was attempting to write on Him. Once the soft beauty of these words had nestled within me, I deliberated on the thought that was surfacing repeatedly in my mind. Had Swamiji voiced these words with a specific purpose in mind! Over the years, a strong belief had rooted itself deeply within me, that every word said by Swamiji is of great significance, relevance and the underlying meaning of His suggestions, His opinions…cannot be, and should never be overlooked! Why, Divine Grace? His divine vision had undoubtedly visualized something in particular that had prompted Him to suggest this name for the book! Swamiji was certainly seeing something that could neither be perceived nor discerned by me!
What exactly is Divine Grace? Would I be able to justify these words in this book? Would it be possible for me to define them in their true perspective? Would I succeed in encapsulating them in the true sense of their meaning? Words, like winged birds take a completely different flight, meaning and connotation when analyzed and interpreted by each one of us. They fly, they soar, they perch, they nest…taking the flight we will them to take! I could not but pause and think that while endeavoring to construe these simple yet subtle words, I could be limiting them, restricting them, encompassing and confining them within specific boundaries set by me. Wouldn’t I be clipping the wings of these mystical words mid-flight, denying them their rightful freedom to fly high soar and… cutting short in mid-air the flight of fantasy these words could take… and unknowingly deprive the readers from analysing and defining them in a manner, personal…and with which they could relate! Wouldn’t I be stifling their voice as the impact of these soundless, yet speaking words could be profound and deep, varying vastly, depending on the intensity of meaning they hold for each one of us? For instance… Divine Grace could be experienced when we set out on a pilgrimage to a sacred temple, church, mosque, synagogue or ‘Gurudwara’ and feel the presence of God. We could be closest to divinity when we serve people in myriad ways, selflessly…cook food for them, serve them, clean utensils and take care of personal belongings of pilgrims within the premises of places of worship or otherwise… Would my portrayal be in tandem with the mindset of other people? It was a thought… perplexing, daunting and challenging!
And then like a bolt from the blue, a thought rose in my mind that allayed all my doubts and put my mind to rest! I set my mind in flashback mode and relived the underlying nuances, the tone, inflection and mood of Swamiji’s voice when He had christened the book…’Divine Grace’. After replaying and listening quietly to the supernal sound given to these words by Swamiji, I started deliberating on their essence with a completely new frame of mind. These words now acquired a surreal quality, a heavenly hue, and an ethereal elegance with which I could relate visually!
I could vividly conjure a blissful vision of God, in all His glory and splendour…very well acquainted with me…who knew me personally…accepted me the way I was…with my foibles and fallacies…and was willing to descend on Earth to bless me in a never before manner…unprecedented and unexpected! I have always believed that God on taking into account the past karma of every individual enacts the role of The Good Shepherd by shepherding him to His Chosen Representative on Earth…who will help him discover the Truth and…in my case it was my good fortune and karma of some lifetime that He showered His blessings…Divine Grace…on me by holding my hand and leading me to the doorstep of Poojya Swamiji Ajay Jain’s Holy Darbar…and transformed my life forever from that soul elevating and transcendental moment when Swamiji had placed His hand on my head…And now Swamiji was doing the same in a similar measure by providing me with the rarest of rare opportunities to chronicle His Teachings for posterity! I could have never forgiven myself had I had failed to read between the lines of the story of my life and not be filled with awe at divinity’s beautifully timed planning, and blessing…
The blissful years that I have spent under Swamiji’s spiritual umbrella have enriched me…matured me to such an extent that I can answer this question with conviction and humility that Divine Grace is experiencedby us, as devotees of Swamiji,when we sit at the Lotus Feet of our Gurudev and receive True Knowledge from Him…when He acquaints us with the magic of meditation…when unexpectedly, He gives us the biggest compliment of our life by saying that we are receptive as His disciples and are being colored in the same colors of spirituality as Him…when He acknowledges that we have accepted Him in totality and have surrendered to Him completely and wholly…simultaneously discouraging us from developing blind faith of any kind…when His face lights up with divine love and joy on seeing us…when His eyes twinkle with mirth at as He narrates a lesson-learning anecdote…when His voice gurgles with laughter as He gently corrects us, forgives our mistakes…and smiles fondly at us, recognizing the genuine effort being made by us to imbibe and implement His teachings…and through His Teachings learn andaccept that there is a power…supreme and phenomenal…an energy…invisible yet palpable with which or whom you can establish a direct contact. You can give it a form, if you so deem…that listens to you when you pray to Him…while you talk to Him and…unbelievably He responds to you…when you are steadfast in your belief that…all that He does, whatever He does, is, and has to be for your good…when you feel His subtle presence within you…when you disconnect yourself from your body…its suffering…as it becomes secondary…as you have finally realised that you are not the body but the soul…and the only thing that you should focus on…is the cleansing and upliftment of your soul…when you accept pain and pleasure with a sense of objectivity…when comprehension dawns that this world of falsehood, lies and deception…which we take for ‘Real’ is illusionary and nothing but The Untruth…when He decides to personally take upon Himself the onus of sprinkling nectar on a few charmed, favoured ones, in a particular lifetime, thereby awakening them from the deep slumber in which they had willingly fallen…and make them aware that they are living the destined lifetime in which they have to enact their last and final role and merge with their Creator…as they have cleared all debts that they owed to their creditors…when their karmic account finally is as clean as a slate…and it is time for them to attain freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Divine Grace…I understand today that these simple words have a subtle, yet profound deep meaning. They do not announce and proclaim loudly…but quietly, hint at the spiritual treasure that could be discovered by you once Divine Grace is showered on you. They conceal a treasure chest of priceless valuables which cannot be bought…and the concealed, layered gifts are so valuable, so precious that no wealth, no money can acquire them…which cannot be felt or touched by you physically as they are not material elements…but can only be perceived and felt by you when Divinity decides to reward you in a way that you had no inkling of…and allows them to touch your inner being…when you feel that your soul has been touched by someone you are unable to see… when you smile for no reason…when you are joyful and at peace…when you walk with a spring in your gait…when you are affected spiritually…when you are radiant as the divinity within you glows and sparkles…as the soul within you which is in an eternal state of bliss…makes you feel blissful and blessed, every moment of your living day.
Who is Swamiji? If I say that I am capable and competent enough to answer this question honestly, then, it would not be the Real me, but my ego alone…inflated and conceited, with a sense of false bravado…that could boasting triumphantly…of knowing Swamiji in all His colours…in all His moods and pronounce confidently that it can explain, elucidate and elaborate on His glory! The only thing that I can say with firm conviction is that if it were not for God’s mercy and blessings, I might never have experienced Divine Grace and that these words take an entirely new connotation when we direct and train our thoughts on Swamiji!
At times one wonders about the myriad roles that Swamiji has played in our lives…and wants to understand as to who Swamji is! He is our Gurudev, undoubtedly…preparing us for our spiritual journey! But is he a magician too, inexplicably, fulfilling a plethora of desires that benefit us in the long run? Is he a preacher too…leading us by example, setting before us an ideal idol to emulate…as He practices what He preaches? Is he a teacher too…teaching us the fundamental values of a principled, noble life? Is he a healer too…healing every wound and treating every ailment of ours? It is impossible to categorize and compartmentalize Swamiji’s mystique!
Every interaction, meeting, discourse or dialogue with Swamiji reveals new, unknown facets and fascinating characteristics of Swamiji in the most mysterious manner! And just when we feel that Swamiji has made us accomplish or acquire the ultimate…and there is nothing more left to conquer beyond that point, He amazes us by raising the bar and making us scale the next dizzying height of achievement, with alacrity and elan.
The kaleidoscope of devotees who bow their head in gratitude with respect and reverence before Swamiji is profound interesting and impressive. The professional background of His devotees is as varied as chalk and cheese…oranges and apples…from ambitious students to dedicated teachers, from leading politicians to bureaucrats, from established businessmen to budding entrepreneurs, from skilled scientists to software engineers, from specialized doctors to biotechnologists, from senior bankers to Bollywood aspirants and efficient house-wives…who irrespective of their diverse fields are united by their respect and deep affection for Swamiji.
Am I right in saying that Swamiji is an enigma? His outer, physical being suffers silently with polio, thyroid, diabetes, blood pressure, respiratory issues…but in stark contrast, His mind and soul, free of ache and agony, work tirelessly for the welfare of His devotees in the most unpredictable manner, incessantly without a minute’s break!He is willing to do anything for us! His love, concern and munificence for us transcends all possible barriers to the extent that He is always ready to inflict our pain upon Himself and take diseases borne by us and our tears of suffering upon Himself! Does He experience pain? If He does so, He does not let us feel for a second that He experiences pain on our behalf. He smiles, genuinely through His physical pain, living the words said by Him that the soulis in an eternal state of happiness. No sacrifice made by Him for us can be termed good enough or big enoughby Him,as He does not look upon our problems as a burden, as a problem…but smilingly, volunteers to take our woes upon Himself, as our problems become His problems! What have we done to deserve a Guru like Him is something that I fail to comprehend to this day! I fall short of words to clearly define Swamiji as by doing so, I would be enclosing Him within man made lines and limits…and that is something that I am incapable of doing…as His ‘kripa’…Grace is ‘aprampaar’…limitless.
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