My Gurudev, Sri Siddeshwar Baba, initiated me and guided me to Bhagawan’s Lotus feet. For most of the blessings I have received in this life, he has been a direct cause. I will say that it was the subtle impressions from our past lives, the all-powerful influences that led us to the most auspicious meeting with him and which subsequently immersed us in the nectar of Sai’s love. Like a bud that flowers with the rising of the Sun, the time for the blooming of the inner Spiritual flower had come. Truly, nobody can comprehend what is hidden in the bosom of time and destiny.
It will be pertinent here to trace in brief the very interesting and eventful life of Dr. B.S. Goel who later became Sri Siddheshwar Baba. Dr. B.S. Goel was a Ph.D. in political science and employed in a senior position in NCERT. In the year 1984, my father received an offer from his office to shift to an official accommodation in a building in South Delhi very close to his office. Till this time we had been living in West Delhi in a crowded and mosquito infested area called Janakpuri. So, having consulted Dr. Goel, my father took the most important decision of his life – to sell his property and move to the official flat in South Delhi.
Now, the Spiritual journey of Dr. Goel, an agnostic on the border of being a non-believer in God, started with a strange experience. Once while doing yogasanas something suddenly moved up from the bottom of his spine to the top of his head, giving him an experience of immeasurable joy and bliss. Not able to understand that this was a Kundalini experience, he misdirected his search by trying to seek an answer in the writings of Freud and other psychologists, but to no avail. This intense search without being able to understand the source of his experiences unfortunately submerged him into depression, from which he later emerged grand and Godly with the direct intervention and blessings of Bhagawan Baba.
Let me narrate here one of the many instances recorded in his spiritual diaries, later published in his book, “Third Eye and Kundalini” recounting his journey of what he says was from “Dust to Divinity”. During this horrid period of depression, hovering between sanity and insanity, one night when he was asleep in his sixth floor apartment during the severe Delhi winter, his face covered with a thick quilt. Suddenly he realised that someone had removed the quilt from his face, was looking down at him, and commanded, “Get up, do meditation.” “Seeing” this person with an orange robe and a halo of hair as another of his weird hallucinations, not very sure, if he was awake or asleep, Dr. Goel replaced the blanket on his face and fell asleep again. For a second time, this person removed his blanket and asked him again to get up and meditate. Now, surprised and bewildered, in a state of semi shock, he wanted to verify that this was reality and not a hallucination or dream. So, he put his hand through this person and lo! It went through! “Yes, I am mad” he thought to himself. But this person replied, “No, you are not. You were my devotee in my previous incarnation as Shirdi Sai Baba; I have come again now as Sathya Sai Baba. Come to Puttaparthi.” So saying, the person walked through the wall and disappeared. And, this was on sixth floor of a high-rise building!
Bewildered, Dr. Goel sat up on his bed and started to meditate. Thereafter, on making inquiries he found out the Puttaparthi address and came to have the physical blessings and Darshan of our beloved Lord. Guruji now started organising Ram Naam Samkirtan (continuous chanting of Lord Rama’s name ) and Sai Bhajans in his house, after which he would ask everyone to do Jyothi meditation (focussed meditation on a flame). After this, Dr. Goel would give a short discourse, in which he would narrate his spiritual experiences through which he realised that Bhagawan Baba is the Poornavatar of Kali Yuga (completely endowed Incarnation in the Iron Age).
When we came to his Divine neighborhood, I was in the seventh standard. Playful as I was, I would take a stone from outside the school and kick it all the way home. Gurudev would look at this with amusement from his balcony. I do not know when the rays of grace from his heart entered me, but slowly and steadily, I was transformed. In addition, Guruji made sure that I be in His presence as long and as far as possible. We would bid him farewell and receive him after his pilgrimages to Puttaparthi and other Spiritual centers of India.
His pure and sublime love captivated our hearts. He sometimes prepared delicacies and pickles to our liking and relished our eating them in His presence. These, I now realise, were grace in the form of food and were to become instrumental in my spiritual growth. On one occasion, when my parents were travelling, he, like a loving mother put me to sleep besides him by gently patting my head. That selfless and pure love emanating from him can neither be explained nor forgotten.