My experience with Baba  

By Girija Sawkar

Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj Ki Jai! 
All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

The reason why I want to share my experiences of our dear Baba is to tell the whole world that He was not an ordinary human being but a very great and elevated soul who took birth on this planet in Kaliyug to deliver and liberate people like me.

As usual on one of our visits to the Ashram as we were waiting in the Darshan Hall for Baba's darshan I was thinking of various ways of asking Him if I could accompany Him to Bhubaneswar for the Nrisingha Chaturdasi festival that year in 2002.  Because on other previous occasions for reasons known only to Him. He had denied and never gave me permission to join him.

As soon as he came in the Darshan Hall and after he was seated comfortably. He took one look at me and said "Mago tum is baar hamare sath Bhubaneswar chalo."  I was dumbstruck!  How did He know what was going on in my mind at that time!? 

Anyway, I was happily making preparations for it.  There was one small problem at that time I was not having enough finances to meet all my expenses.  I wanted to go by air on the same flight as Baba but was wondering how to go about it.  I prayed earnestly to Nrsingha Bhagavan to please show me a way and fulfil my wish to go along with Baba. 

Miraculously at that time, a workshop was planned by my office and of all the places only two cities were chosen for it one in Ahmedabad and the other in Bhubaneswar!  A lot of debate was going on in my office as to which city it should first take place but it so happened that it was decided to hold it in Bhubaneswar first and the date was decided from May 25 to 27 and Narshingha Chaturdasi was on May 23! 

Again miraculously, I was chosen to make all the logistical arrangements for the workshop and I had to go 2/3 days before the workshop was to begin.  That way not only did I go alongwith with Baba but my office also paid for my air fare that too in Business Class!  Needless to say after a while I stopped being surprised at the turn of events.

I alongwith a few others reached Bhubaneswar Ashram and after we did our usual pranams to Baba he told us all to have prasad and to be ready by evening for the sankirtan.  The next day was the Nrisingha Chaturdasi festival and was celebrated with full splendour and everybody's spirits were high.  The next day as advised by Baba we all left for Puri to have darshan of Sri Jagannath.  We were group of about 35-40 people and I stayed at the Mayfair Lagoon Hotel in Puri, where Baba also always stayed. 

In the evening, we all accompanied Baba to the Jagannath Temple with all the Kirtaniyas and were blissfully chanting and dancing in the temple compound. One gentleman from the temple authority came to inform Baba that special tickets were being given for darshan of the Lords and we could also buy these tickets, so Baba informed us all to collect our respective tickets to go inside the temple. 

Due to some confusion, I did not have my ticket with me and it was with somebody else in the group.  But I was told to go inside the temple to have Darshan. As I was nearing the sanctum sanctorum, one police officer single me out and pulled my right arm very roughly and said I could not go in as I did not have the required ticket. 

In spite of my repeated pleas to release my arm, he got more aggressive and almost dislocated my arm from my shoulder.  Not caring for the agonizing pain I somehow freed myself and almost ran inside the temple.  At that moment, because of massive crowds from all sides, our group broke up and I was alone and found myself standing in front of Sri Jagannath Mahaprabhu! 

I could also see Baba was being pushed and jostled amongst the crowd and I thought that Baba was going to faint because of so much suffocation. I again prayed to Jagannath Ji to please spare Baba and see that He leaves without any mishap.  As I was wondering and trying to make my way out once again the same police officer reached me and caught hold of my same right arm twisted it and dragged me out of temple and threw me out.  By this time, I almost fainted with pain but somehow reached the car and we all came back to the hotel.

That night, Baba invited all of us to his room and all were discussing their experiences at the temple that evening.  Baba was very sympathetic and consoled us saying He also had a very rough time there. My right arm was in immense pain and I thought I had dislocated it because I could not even move it.  I did not want to create a scene and above all I did not want Baba to know because He was already harassed and very tired by the full day's activities. 

For dinner that night, Baba had arranged for Mahaprasad from the Jagannath Temple for all of us.  As we were having our dinner one of the devotees saw me and could make out that I was not well.  She urged me to tell Baba what all happened at the temple but I thought I will not trouble Him for this small matter.  Anyway, after prasad again we all went to have darshan of Baba and do our pranams to Him. The same devotee told Baba in Bengali about my mishap at the temple. 

After listening to the tale, Baba was furious - looked at me and said "Mago why didn't you tell me this at the temple itself? I would have fired that police man for doing this to you."  Very concerned about my arm Baba said "come and sit by my side. I will heal you today."  I was very scared. I have never been so near Baba and above all had never been touched by Him.  But the moment He passed His hand over my upper arm and started to heal my right shoulder arm, He healed me completely in body and mind.  I cannot describe the way I felt that day.  His touch was so soft and tender and He kept on repeating some mantra to heal me.  All the devotees sitting there were amazed at this sight and all were in absolute silence.

After about 10 minutes he called Bablu and asked for a Nimulid tablet. Again I interfered and said I had a Brufen tablet but He said that will not help. He took the Nimulid tablet in his hands and again did some mantra and gave it to me.  He told me to do pranam to Him, take the tablet and go to sleep everything would be fine in the morning.  As I went to the room I kept wondering how and where the pain disappeared. I got into bed and did a little test. I tried and lifted my right arm to see if there was any pain but to my amazement there was none.  It had been a long and tiring day and I dozed off.

As Baba predicted, the next day I was fit and fine but I was feeling very guilty.  I felt I should not have tested Him and was feeling actually scared to face Him.  Anyway, around 10:00 AM the next day morning we all assembled before him to do our pranams and leave Puri for Bhubaneswar. 

I did not have the courage to face Him and was trying to hide behind other devotees at the back.  When my turn came to do pranam I tried to do it quickly and go but he took one look at me and said "Ma did I pass in your test?"  My eyes just filled up with tears and I fell flat at his feet and begged for forgiveness.  I kept on saying that I did not deserve His blessing and that I was good for nothing. 

He gracefully again patted me on my back and said "Ma, it is good that you tested me. I do not prove myself often like this. You are blessed Ma because I have chosen to do so."

Jai Guru Jai Guru Jai Guru