Parama Pujya Swamiji’s ‘Tatparata’ Is So Inspiring!

A moving account by Atul Rao of his journey in seva    (May 2024)

Way back in 1997, on the way to Ahmedabad, from Nasik, Parama Pujya Swamiji took a three-hour halt at Trimandir on the highway, outside Surat. We 15 Bhanap-s from Surat, went to take that very first 'Darshan' of Parama Pujya Swamiji. It was my 'soubhagya' that I got a chance to receive them and accompany them from Nasik. From here, I think my 'Logistics'- seva journey started. We reached Kamrej (Surat) at noon. Surat Bhanaps brought home-cooked 'vyanjan', so it was like a ‘dabba party’. After bhojan, all of us gathered around Swamiji for interaction. The first thing Swamiji asked was “Kal jaunka?”  I just blurted out, “Tumgeli krupa anii aashirwad”. The first connection was made…

After that, in 2001, on the way to Ahmedabad, Pujya Swamiji, with retinue, took a full day’s halt at Surat at our place. We could manage four empty, furnished flats in our new building. This was my first experience in making arrangements. Next day after Prasad bhojan Swamiji and retinue left for Ahmedabad. After that we used to visit Mumbai during their visits to Santacruz, Goregaon and other places.

Before this, I had once taken Darshan of our Parama Guru Parijnanashram Swamiji III in Wadi at Mumbai in 1990, soon after my marriage. As I was born and brought up in Vadodara and had settled in Surat, Gujarat, I had had very few opportunities to visit our Math. That happened only after I got married. 

In 2002, during our visit to Shirali  Swamiji blessed  me and my wife Deepa, with 'Mantra Deeksha', after which our real journey began. This helped us immensely, for, over a period of 22 years, this has increased my understanding, maturity, the way to handle a difficult situation and many more invaluable things. 

In November 2010, I got the surprising opportunity of  a regular rapport with HH and our Math. Swamiji  had arranged,  through the SCM Gujarat Local Sabha, a kite-flying competition at Shirali for demonstration to our Srivali School students. As a last-minute entry, I was called by Dr.Kishor Nadkarni of Killa Pardi to join their team to look after some arrangement for procuring the required materials. During the programme at Shirali, I attended daily coordination meetings at the Kutir with PP Swamiji, for the briefing of the programme on the following day like - audio-visuals, kite-flying competition, museum display, food preparation and so on. I was like a sponge then, just absorbing everything. After this I attended my first Rathotsava in 2011. I watched with awe as a barefoot Swamiji accompanied the palkhi to different places everyday from Kadle Math to Mavinkatte. Hereon, our yearly visits to Shirali began.

In December of that very year, PP Swamiji visited Surat for seven days on our invitation. We could make arrangements at a friend's heritage bungalow at Dumas beach, Surat, for the retinue and other Bhanaps coming there from Baroda and Ahmedabad. Here, a Shivir was arranged under the  Guidance of PP Swamiji and Vinodmam Yannemadi, our then President, Standing Committee. From Gayatri anushthan to Devi anushthan, Paadapooja, vanabhojan, classes on different subjects, stotra-chanting, everything was conducted smoothly. Even a Samvit Sudha stall was arranged there. During Swamiji’s camp in Surat, upon their suggestion, a new Sabha called SCM South Gujarat Local Sabha was inaugurated.

How such a huge seven-day event happened without a hitch, I really do not know. I only know that it was the result of our Guru's Sankalpa and I felt, I was just a  tool. (a little like that dog, which is walking under a bullock cart, and imagining that the cart is moving because of him!)

During this event, a private trip to Shri Somnath was arranged, where PP Swamiji performed a 24- hour Anushthan and some of us got a chance to visit Shri Somnath temple, Triveni Sangam and a few other important spots.

It felt as if I was being trained by HH for Logistics seva... I am very fortunate, that whenever PP Swamiji visited any place north of Mumbai, He used to give me the 'sandhi' for seva, which always made me overjoyed. It is always a learning process, though…During HH's Ahmedabad, Shankaralok, Mt.Abu Jodhpur visits, I was fortunate to be in seva. During these trips, Swamiji used to encourage me to learn singing.

I have been in seva for most of the programmes (after 2013) at Shankaralok, Gandhinagar and Santsarovar, Mt Abu during our Swamiji's visits and offered seva - from Shiviirs at Mt.Abu, Vasishtha Dwar inaguration, till the Shodashi of Paramapujya Bade Swamiji. 

I have realized that Parama Pujya Swamiji’s ‘Tatparataa’, His total focus, alacrity and discipline comes   from  His unconditional surrender to His Guru - Parama Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji III!