I suddenly got an overwhelming urge to photograph the chair In the moment before I clicked the shutter I distinctly recall hoping to capture the essence of this teacher’s presence I took a deep breath and took the picture. A few days later I went with my sister to get the pictures developed; within the same day I got them back When I came to the picture of Sri Swamiji’s chair, I stared in amazement, hardly believing my eyes. What I found in the picture was ribbons of rainbow light across the image and squarely central in the chair; and where Sri Swamiji had sat, there was a ball of white light (Swamiji) for giving this gift and message to see beyond!
Sadguru Krupa (Master’s grace) and self-effort are the two most essential factors in one’s spiritual progress. Both these factors are the function of interaction between the Sadguru and the devotee. The nature of this interaction may be gross or subtle; explicit or implicit; verbal or non-verbal, but the experience which results from such interaction is what matters in one’s journey on the spiritual path. Such experiences, gained slowly and steadily over a period of time, go a long way in a devotee’s pursuit for self-evolution and self-fulfilment. That is why it is said that, to progress in spiritual path, one has to move away from the grip of ideas and conceptualisation to the realm of experience.
The present book “Wonders of the Holy Master” documents varied experiences of North American devotees in their interaction with the Holy Sage - their Master, Parama Pujya Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, Peethadhipati of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Ashrama, Mysore. The writers who have contributed their articles for the book are both Americans as well as Indians settled in the United States. After they came into contact with Sri Swamiji at one point of time or the other, they have experienced in their life such a kind of sublimity of love, devotion and reverential fervour which was hitherto unknown to them. A country like America, where one’s life is confronted with stresses, strains and traumas of all kinds due to extremity of technoIo2ical and material involvements, the awakening of virtues of love, service to God and faith in the Higher Power in their life itself constitutes a great wonder.
An experience is the result of interaction between the experiencer and the experienced. In the context of the present book, the Source from which all the experiences have emanated is His Holiness Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, whereas the experiencers and the experiences are so many and so varied. How is it that from the Same One and Only One Source, have emanated so many and so varied experiences? In the spiritual context and parlance, it is very easy to understand. A Sadguru (Holy Master) like Pujya Sri Swamiji, stands out just as a mirror and the devotees interacting with Him see their own projected reflection in Him. Such a phenomena can take place only through a perfected Soul - which is One with infinite power. Only in the infinite can the finite get reflected, for how will a finite find its projection through another finite? In Pujya Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji’s Divine Personality, who represents pure knowledge, bliss and eternal existence, the devotees could feel their souls being touched, their minds refreshingly enlightened, resulting in memorable and wonderful life experiences.
Pujya Sri Swamiji, being a spiritual mystic of the highest order, would best know how to give differential treatment to hundreds and thousands of different people approaching him. Depending on their natural propensities and dispositions, Sri Swamiji will not force any concept or philosophy on them; He would rather accept them as they are. Through personal divine charm and conduct radiating utmost love and compassion on the one hand, and the sharpest possible intuitive ability on the other, He would provide healing experience to the disturbed and the agitated minds. His principle concern will always be advancement of human beings guiding them to take to the inner journey - the domain of abiding peace and happiness. That such a shift in their orientation and approach to life has taken place ever since they came into contact with their Holy Master - Sri Swamiji, is amply testified by their own personal writings in this book.
Just as no two human beings are alike, so are no two experiences. Experience is purely a subjective phenomenon. One will be guilty of impropriety to dishonour or devalue someone’s experience simply because it is not experienced by others. The value of experience is best felt and known to the experiencer.
Dr. Prakasha Rao and his colleagues of Datta Yoga Centre U.S.A have done a great service by compiling and documenting experiences of devotees of North America in the form of this book. We hope that the reading of this book will surely inspire the readers to look beyond themselves and long for experience which is everlasting and life transforming-leading them to experience for themselves the bliss of the Soul Divine. May Sadguru Parama Pujya Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji’s blessing be with all those who have been connected in one capacity or the other in the publication of the book.
It has been our dream and desire to collect the miraculous
the devotees of His Holiness Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji and publish them into a book. In summer 1998, Sri Swamiji finally consented and blessed the Datta Yoga Center, U.S.A. to undertake such a project to publish the experiences and release then in 1999. In Baton Rouge, He even commanded all the devotees to share their experiences. At that time He also asked some of the devotees to narrate their experiences to the gathering in Baton Rouge.
Over the years, a number of devotees of Sri Swamiji experienced an enigmatic galaxy of supernatural miracles that defy all logic, science and common sense. It is through His glance, words, touch and music; and also by appearing in dreams, He intervenes, helps and comforts the devotees. The devotee’s experiences in the book entitled “Wonders of a Holy Master” document the mysterious ways Sri Swamiji poured His nectar into the lives of these faithful followers as well as non-devotees. Nearly 80 devotees sent their experiences. Everybody’s experience is unique, special, distinctive and personal. No two people have similar experiences. Neither, Sri Swamiji’s ways of handling the troubles, addressing the needs, relieving the pain and suffering, assisting the spiritually starved as well as solving the problems of the devotees are the same. His ways are mysterious, puzzling, baffling, perplexing, and highly personal.
Nobody can describe, or comprehend how Sri Swamiji toils and suffers for the devotees. People who read this book will be blessed to know the mysterious powers of Sri Swamiji, whose mission is to help, mould, shape and change the devotees to grow spiritually.
Appreciation is accorded to the following three families for their generous donation for the publication of this book: Mrs. Prasanna Lakshmi and Dr. Mahipal Ravipati, Huntsville, Alabama, Drs. Nandini & MV. PrakasaRao, Ridgeland, Mississippi. We are very grateful to “Padma” Phyllis Turk, West Sunbury, PA and Mary Tessier, Baton Rouge, LA for undertaking major responsibility in editing the articles. We are also thankful to Kali Ray, Malibu, California, Jay and Gabriel Mazo, Cierra Vista, Aizona and Laxmi Tummala, Dallas, TX for editing select articles. We want to participate all the devotees who contributed their experiences forpublication of this book. Their ready willingness to submit their experiences on time made our job easy to meet the deadline.
We want to acknowledge the invaluable guidance and counsel of H.V. Prasad and C.S. Radhakrishna who have made this publication possible.
Finally, we want to express our deep appreciation to our Sadguru Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji for allowing us to do this minuscule service by collecting, editing and arranging these articles included in this book. We consider it our privilege to submit these articles at the Holy Feet of Sri Swamiji.
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