As Shri Nimishananda Guruji arrived at Ashwathnarayan and Sarla’s house on the second day of Diwali for an informal satsangh, the sound of fire crackers filled the air with their loud bangs. All along the street families were lighting rockets that soared up and lit the dark sky with bursts of light and colour. Children held sparklers in their hands and shouted in glee.
From flowerpots (a kind of fire cracker) sprang joyful fountains of fire.
When Shri Nimishananda Guruji entered the house where a small group of devotees had gathered, a mantle of peace enveloped them and the sounds outside seemed to fade away. The sound of sweet bhajans sung by devotees filled the air with their melody. Pujya Guruji prostrated before the picture of the Divine Mother placed there and seated himself. After a few bhajans, Pujya Guruji beckoned to Ashwathnarayan and Sarla. When they sat down on the carpet near him, Pujya Guruji playfully asked, “Why did you invite me here today ?”
Both of them were taken aback at this unexpected question and were at a loss for words. Finally as Pujya Guruji continued to gaze at them enquiringly, Sarla said, “Pujya Guruji, this morning after my puja (worship), I sat reading the Shiradi Sai Sat Charita. Suddenly I had a strong urge to invite you to our house today. I was not at all sure whether you would agree to come. It is our great good fortune that you are gracing our house this evening, Pujya Guruji.”
Ashwathnarayan said - “Indeed it is a great blessing to have our revered Guru with us here today.”
Shri Nimishananda Guruji laughed and persisted, “That still does not answer my question. Why did you invite me here today ?”
Aswathnarayan could think of nothing else to say. Catching sight of me sitting opposite, he laughed and said, “Pujya Guruji, you must ask Vagdevi that.”
When Vagdevi smiled and shook her head, Shri Nimishananda Guruji began to speak, “In the Kali Yuga (the present dark age of materialism), the word Ashraya (refuge) has lost its meaning. When all of you think of the Guru, you visualise his physical form and yearn for his physical presence. But in fact, the Guru has no name or form. He transcends both. He is a bhavana (feeling). He is a refuge constantly protecting and sheltering you. All of us are unconsciously seeking a haven and refuge that will provide us with permanent security. That is why we seek the presence of the Guru.
Life is in a flux of constant change. This makes most people feel insecure. So they seek refuge in various distractions, which are temporary. They move from one interest to another, one pleasure to another, one group to another and one affiliation to another seeking security, happiness, prosperity (Shreyas) and abundance (Preyas). What we don’t seem to realise is that Divinity is the only permanent refuge.
When we obtain this Eternal Refuge, peace, prosperity, contentment and abundance automatically follow.