Mahans who are capable of seeing God and speaking to Him can also lead us to God, if we so desire. This is the truth.
Only Mahans can bestow Jnana, Bhakti and Vairagya on us.
No one else can! It is neither available anywhere outside nor can we earn it on our own.
But despite this fact, what do we seek of a Mahan on learning about his presence?
“Can this Mahan bless me with good things in life? Can he set right sufferings that I have to undergo? Or else, can he give me some atonement for setting them right? Can he show any miracles? Can he predict the future incidents in my life?”
These are the expectations of a vast majority of people. As soon as people learn about the presence of a Sadhu or a Mahatma they desire to know only these things.
If we happen to be with a Mahan all through the day and watch those who come to his presence, we will find them seeking hi s blessings only for marriage, child, good employment, promotion to a higher office, getting back lost articles, re-uniting separated couples and so on.
But Mahans never feel tired of listening to them and showering their blessings on everyone. They, in their immense compassion, say there is nothing wrong in approaching them with such kinds of prayers.
What do we seek of God when we visit a temple? Do we pray to God saying, “Oh, Lord! I desire to earn Jnana, Bhakti, Vairagya”?
Those who visit temples commonly promise to offer something to the Lord or the temple if they are blessed with a child. People pray, “I have a court case and if the verdict is in my favor I will offer a vada maala for you.” Is there anyone who prays, “If I earn Jnana, Bhakti, Vairagya, I will offer you a vada maala”?
But the Lord accepts even such bhaktas. Whether he is an aarthi or arthaarthi (one who approaches God to alleviate his troubles or to earn comforts) the Lord accepts him. Whatever be his reason for approaching the Lord, the Lord accepts him! Why? Because he chose to approach God instead of undertaking some other means to have his desires fulfilled!
God says, “Who else will he approach when in need? Be he an aarthi or an arthaarthi, he has come to my sannidhi (presence). Therefore, he is fortunate.”
In the same way people approach a Mahan and speak of innumerable sufferings. People may feel fatigued by speaking of their various and innumerable problems but Mahans never feel tired of listening to them! Their state is totally different. Their mind is always soaring high up in bliss. But they behave like they are of this world. They move with such ease with ordinary people that after a time we may even see no difference between us and them.
There was one such Guru. That Guru had a devotee who never felt bogged down by the trials and tribulations of life: when faced with any problem, small or big, he would rush to his Guru.
“Swami, I have a boil on my hand. I consulted the doctor and he suspects cancer. He has advised biopsy. I feel perturbed.”
At once, the Guru would speak encouraging words, “I will pray to God. You will be fine.” The next day the result of the biopsy would show negative and he would be very happy.
Another time, he would rush to his Guru and plead, “Swami, please bless me that I get the promotion (at work).”
The Guru would assure him, “Son, I will pray to God.” And, the devotee would get hi s promotion.
Whenever he was faced with a problem or desired something in life he would run to his Guru. A word to his Guru and the Guru would set right and fulfill the desire of his dear disciple. Even when faced with a problem the devotee would never feel despondent. He would tell his friends, “I am never bothered about any problem. I have my Guru!” This was the fact. His Guru always protected him from all problems and fulfilled all his desires.
One day, he prayed to his Guru, “Oh, Guru Maharaj, I desire to have a child. Please bless me.”
Due to the blessings of his Guru he was blessed with a child. When the child grew up he wished his son would go abroad for his higher studies. With the blessings of his Guru, this son went abroad and pursued his studies. After completing his studies he secured a job there and continued to live in that country. More than ten years passed.
One day the devotee received some distressing news about his son. He had become severely addicted to drinking and smoking, and his character had completely changed. He was always drunk. Due to heavy consumption of alcohol and smoking, his health had been thoroughly spoilt.
This news created a deep fear in the devotee, but he immediately thought of his Guru who had always solved all his problems. The devotee asked hi s son to return home, and took him to his Guru. He said, “Swami, I had sent him abroad for pursuing his studies. He has been away from the family for almost two decades. He has fallen into bad company and taken to all kinds of vices. You must set him right. I pray this of you.”
This devotee had deep faith in his Guru. However, this time, contrary to his expectation, his son did not transform for the better. He remained the same. The devotee went once again to his Guru and said, “Swami, I do not know if you have offered sincere prayers to the Lord. Please pray more intensely. Pray exclusively for my son’s welfare. He must change for the better.”
The Guru simply said, “I will, my son!”
But the son did not change the least bit.
The devotee wondered. Would his son change for the better after six months? Or would he be fine after a year? But days, months and a year passed. And the son remained the same.
The devotee rushed back to the Guru. He lamented, “Swami, how many problems have I had in life. You removed them all in a moment. I have always enjoyed great blessings from you. Even this son was born only through your blessings. I prayed to you that he should go abroad to pursue his studies. You blessed him and he was admitted into a good university. It was all due to your blessings.
But today I am drowned in a great sorrow, Swami. My son is in this state and you do not seem to help me. I have been repeatedly praying to you and you do not seem to bless me. He is the same. He has not changed a wee bit!”
The Guru said, “Let us look into this matter later. But can you do something for me now? I had sowed a mango seed this morning. But I think if we decided to construct a building there it will create a problem. So please remove that mango seed from there.”
The devotee dug the earth where his Guru had pointed, and removed the mango seed.
Two days passed and the devotee returned to the Guru. The Guru said to him, “Son, a small mango plant has grown close the place where I had sowed the other mango seed. It is only ten days old. If it grows big its roots might affect the compound wall. Please go and uproot that plant.”
The devotee did as told. Very easily he uprooted the tender plant that was only a few days old and brought it to the Guru.
The Guru turned to look in another direction and pointing to another tree said, “Do you think it is good to have that tree over there?”
The devotee said, “No. How old is that plant?”
The Guru said, “It is a year old. Go and remove it.”
The devotee went over and tried to uproot the one year old tree. He found it very difficult and tiring. He sweated. Tired, he sat down and drank water. With lots of difficulties and long hours of work he managed to uproot that tree.
No sooner had he done this than the Guru pointed to a huge mango tree far away and said, “Do you see that mango tree? I don’t think we should have such trees around our ashram. Remove it.”
The devotee said to the Guru, “Swami! How can this tree be removed? I have to get a batch of workers and instruments and try to fell that tree. It is not easy.”
At once the Guru pointed out to him, “This is the explanation to your question.”
The devotee felt bewildered. He asked, “I don’t understand, Swami!”
The Guru explained, “A mango seed that had just been sown could be removed easily. A tender mango plant of ten days could be uprooted very easily with your bare hands. To uproot a one-year-old tree, though, you had to take great deal of effort. But to remove the twenty-year-old mango tree you feel you have to bring lots of helpers and sharp instruments.
Similarly, a bad habit cannot be given up all at once. It is not easy. If you have entered into a bad habit only for a few days it can be stopped easily. It you have been at it for a year you will have to take some pain to give it up. A bad habit practiced for ten or twenty years however, is like this huge mango tree. Don’t you see how difficult it is to remove this huge mango tree? In the same way, your son has entered into this habit and has been at it for so long.
The mind is a slave of habit! That is verily the nature of the mind. Whatever you follow repeatedly the mind gets used to that. It expects you to do it. In fact, the mind has time sense!”