Monday, 1 October 2007

Prakash Diwash or Enlightenment Day

Maharajji’s Enlightenment

On 3rd October 2007, the festival called Prakash Diwash or Enlightenment Festival will be celebrated at Sacha Dham. It is held every year to commemorate the spiritual enlightenment of our beloved Master Shri Hans Raj Maharajji which took place on 3rd October 1955. Surprisingly, he had arrived at the great Guru Sacha Baba’s ashram in Allahabad only the evening before.

How did he arrive there? At that time, Maharajji was working as an accountant in the Indian civil service in Allahabad. Unfortunately he developed a chronic form of dysentery which was exhausting and which resisted different treatments prescribed by doctors. This discouraged Maharajji so much that he did not know what to do to return to health. Then, a fellow office worker, Swami Navalji, suggested he go and see Sacha Baba, a very great saint living in Allahabad, who would heal him. At that time, Maharajji had already moved away from religion, although as a child and a young man he had ardently desired to realize the Divinity, so great was his aspiration. It must be said that from a very young age he would often see Great Beings in his visions and dreams. But with time, this aspiration had progressively disappeared. He no longer believed in religion and saints.

However, having followed medical treatment in vain, he accepted his colleague’s offer, for after all, one never knows where the solution to a problem might come from. He therefore went to Sacha ashram in Arail, Allahabad, where he was received very kindly by the Master, Sacha Baba. The latter gave him a room with all he needed for his stay at the ashram and recommended that he go and participate in a session of devotional songs which was going on. The following morning, Maharajji decided to meditate at dawn. It was during this meditation that an extraordinary mutation took place in his consciousness and his whole being, causing him to reach divine realization. He had come for his physical body to be healed, but he had received healing for his whole being! He had attained Self-realization. This was a marvellous event which became the turning point in his life and which, later on, would have profound effects on thousands of men throughout the world.

With time, Maharajji became progressively attached to Sacha Baba and he had only one aim : to help his Master awaken the consciousness and hearts of men to Wisdom, Love, Peace and the Beauty of God. In order to achieve this, he left his job as an accountant and abandoned everything in order to Serve God and his Master.

Serving God
For several decades, Maharajji travelled throughout India to share his Master’s teachings with all those who he could reach. He completely forgot himself in this task. Little by little, disciples gathered around him and in 1974, Sacha Baba asked him to create his own ashram in Rishikesh, at the foot of the Himalayas : Sacha Dham or “The place of Ultimate Truth” (or “Holy Place”). Thus Sacha Dham was born, where Maharajji settled. Since then, he has always lived in Rishikesh and up until the time of Sacha Baba’s mahasamadhi (his leaving this world) in 1983, Maharajji, who has always nourished deep love for his Master, went to see him regularly. He has always said that he works in the name of God and that of Sacha Baba, and whatever he does, he attributes it to his Master, taking no personal merit, even when he works what men call miracles.

For those who have spent even a few days with Maharajji, the life of this great saint is an immense sacrifice made out of love for all men. His example, while evoking in each of us the greatest respect and the deepest veneration, remains a model from which we should draw inspiration for the good of all beings. Indeed, all beings are in fact ourselves, in spite our consciousness which has been muddled by ignorance, thus leading us believe that we are different and distinct from others.

Intense Moments of Spiritual Communion
The Prakash Diwash Festival is an opportunity to remind disciples that the aim of life is to achieve this divine realization, for with time, one lets oneself go and forgets one’s highest aspirations. Moreover, during this same festival where a puja (a highly significant religious ceremony) is celebrated, Maharajji gives special impetus to his disciples’ spiritual development by granting them certain specific energies which are usually grouped together under the term “blessings”, but all blessings do not have the same aim and the same impact. On Prakash Diwash day, enlightenment is given special importance! Many of his disciples come together at Sacha Dham to benefit from these unique moments of spiritual communion and deepen their ties with the Master. For those who are far away, it is always possible to share these moments with Maharajji and the assembly of his disciples by connecting inwardly with them, for we are taught that time and space do not really exist.

Special Blessings
So on this special day, without neglecting his task of directing humanity towards a higher spiritual state, Maharajji devotes great attention to pouring blessings upon his disciples wherever they are in the world. It is true that Maharajji blesses his disciples all year long, but this day is a special one, and so special energy is transmitted. On this day, the channel between the Master and his disciples widens, and disciples who focus on Maharajji, opening their hearts even more to receive his blessings, will receive particular grace according to the efforts they have made in the past year to connect with the holy river (the Master), who purifies them like the holy Ganges purifies dirty water which flows into it.

Indeed, Maharajji has often said that the more one loves a true Master, the more easily one is purified, for the love one shows to him opens a canal through which the Master can work to take away negative things which keep us away from God, while transmitting positive energy to allow the divine spirit of God in us to manifest. Indeed, the Guru is God’s representative who He sends to guide disciples seeking more and more light. And since the aim of all disciples is to achieve union with God, it is the Guru who plays the role of intermediary between them and God. God has therefore given great power (the power of Shiva) to the Guru to cut away whatever is negative from the disciple’s personality and heart. He has also been endowed with the necessary shakti or spiritual power to make the disciple grow little by little into a great spiritual tree. This enlightened person will finally be able to communicate freely with the Divinity and in turn cooperate with God to help others return to the divine state which all men have to reach one day.

What is therefore important, is what happens in one’s heart throughout the year, and not just on Enlightenment Day. Knowing that it is the Guru who leads us from darkness to light, it is necessary to constantly focus our hearts on Maharajji throughout the year, while carrying out the specific sadhana he has recommended. Then we are sure that whatever particular blessing the Guru has to bestow on us, we will be able to receive all of it.

Kind Attention to Humanity
Disciples, of course, show deep gratitude to Maharajji for devoting his life to humanity and his pupils. Maharajji in turn, asks his disciples to pray for humanity, so that all may turn to God, and that hardship and even lives may be spared from disasters in the coming months and years. He also wants his disciples, through their prayers, to help humanity so that all their needs may be fulfilled. The Sacha lineage has seen to it that this can become reality; that progressively all hearts will turn towards God, and that the basic material necessities of all men will be met.

May Maharajji’s peace, love and light descend on us all !

Maharajji Mahaprabhu Ki Jay !

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