A Visit to Siddhashram
Day and night might be divisions for those who dwell on the lower octaves of a mundane existence, but for a Guru whose spiritual vibrance touches the highest level of enlightenment every second remains devoted to the spiritual upliftment of the disciple as he steers their lives through the labyrinthine lanes of Sadhanas and Dikshas to the envious heights of Total Awakenment. This beautiful heart-warming truth dawned on me when suddenly severed from the gross world by virtue of a very auspicious Diksha, I was transported to the land of the Ancient Savants and Yogi’s i.e. Siddhashram. And with it also came the amazing realisation that Dr. Narayan Dutt Shrimali, the simple looking Guru whom I had known for so many years is in fact a great and highly revered Yogi of Siddhashram where he is famous by the sacred name Paramhans Swami Nikhileshwaranand.
It was one of those strange days when for no particular reason the nature appears to be in her full glory, the heart joyfully throbs with a unique exuberance and beautiful thoughts assuming verbal form, all of a sudden spurt forth from the lips even before one is aware what one is speaking.
“Gurudev! Please tell me something about Siddhashram. How can one get there?”
Much, much later I had stumbled across the truth that the thought had in fact been planted in my mind by the Benevolent Master. In fact all along he had been subtly preparing me for the divine excursion and when the right moment suddenly (for me of course!) manifested he promptly set my mind working to ask the right question. And thus was initiated a chain of events which seemingly in the twinkling of an eye culminated in the Supreme Boon.
For several golden minutes I kept hanging on to the divine words that poured out of the Master’s lips as he introduced me to the Celestial Land. And then abruptly he stopped speaking!
In the next few seconds it all happened in a flash. I remember raising my eyes and looking at the Master’s face and the mysterious smile that quivered on his lips. Very slowly he raised his right hand and as his fingers approached my forehead I heard the wondrous spell ring clearly in my ears –
“And this, my son, is the Siddhashram I was telling you about.”
The words confused me but I had no time to reflect on them as his thumb contacted the spot over my Third Eye. The next moment everything swam before my eyes and for what seemed like eternity I seemed suspended in a state of subconsciousness. It looked as if one world was fading out and another fading in.
When I fully returned to my senses I found myself enveloped in twilight. It was an altogether different place and as I adjusted my vision to the scene around, I was left bewildered by the natural beauty of the place. Beautiful, handsome Yogis, Yoginis, Sadhaks and Sadhikas went along with their tasks unbothered by the presence of a stranger in their midst. Being new to the place, for perhaps a few seconds I felt uncomfortable but a wonderful feeling of love and cordiality hung in the air that in no time permeated my senses and made me feel as if I had always been a part of this landscape.
In whichever direction my eyes ventured they were greeted with the most pleasant natural vistas. Besides the silvery moonlight that seemed to pour out of nowhere in particular, the tall trees of Deodar and the endless carpet of flower shrubs in full blossom, what left me the most enthralled was the singular, sweet bouquet of Ashtgandh.
As I stood taking in the beauty a sudden urge pushed me in a particular direction and giving in to it I walked on, only to come upon a huge congregation of Yogis seated before a raised dais decked with the choicest of blooms. Casual inquiry revealed that they were there to celebrate the festival of Guru Poornima.
Guru Poornima? O My God! How could I have forgotten? No wonder I had felt so powerfully drawn to Gurudev. I had even forgotten to greet him and pay special obeisance that is the first duty of a disciple on this day. And yet he had not forsaken his duty and had transported me here!
My deep reverie was suddenly broken by the chants of Jai Gurudev and looking at the stage I saw several great Yogis climbing onto the dais. Yogiraj Arvind announced them – Paramhans Vigyeshvaranand, Paramhans Bhriguram, Paramhans Trijata Aghori, Swami Achyutanand, Paramhans Swami Nikhileshwaranand and above all Paramhans Poojyapaad Swami Sachidanand!
It was for the first time that I was before such a distinguished group of highly enlightened Spiritual Savants. As they took their respective seats – with the Great Paramhans Swami Sachidanand, assuming the central seat and others occupying places on either side – Yogiraj Arvind performed the worship ritual of these Divine Gurus on behalf of the whole of Siddhashram and all races of the universe. This was followed by divine hymns of Gannpati and Sarasvati sung most melodiously by the Sadhikas. Next Yogiraj Arvind started a divine discourse and finding his elucidations beyond my mental faculties I let my eyes and mind concentrate on the central figure on the podium.
The Supreme Master Swami Sachidanand looked like an ocean of compassion and his handsome, radiant physique seemed to belittle even the majesty of the Himalayas. For several moments I let my gaze linger on his celestial form and an amazing catharsis seemed to occur deep in my soul as all earthly sorrows, pains, passions were simply wiped out to be replaced by love and compassion.
Next I riveted my gaze on my own loved Master Paramhans Swami Nikhileshwaranand. He sat there, a perfect epitome of true disciplehood, in the feet of the Supreme One. Like a coruscating drop of dew he looked ready at the slightest cue to jump and fuse in the Marvellous Ocean of Supreme Enlightenment that is his Guru.
Very soon everything seemed to blur and once again I was transported across time and space, now back to the earth. I returned to my physical self and saw amazedly that it was midnight! I had been gone for no less than twelve hours although it seemed no more than a few seconds. Gurudev sat there smiling before me as I had left him. I bowed before him and let tears of my gratitude wash his holy feet…
The next day he revealed that he had initiated me in the Manobhaaven Diksha, the first stage in the Sadhana of gaining access to Siddhashram, after the final culmination of which one can at will visit the divine land and stay there. A remarkable metamorphosis has occurred in me since and at times I feel myself spiritually drifting back to that ethereal plane. Now a subliminal armour seems to protect me from all lies, deceits, evils of this mundane world and now I well know where my final destination lies once I have dispensed with my duties on this planet. I feel short of words to express my gratefulness to Gurudev Dr. Narayan Dutt Shrimali for having blessed me with the wondrous Manobhaaven Diksha, and I have nothing but tears of gratitude to offer in his feet for his kindness!