THE SAAKSHAATKAAR EXPERIENCE IN KAKAJI'S OWN WORDS

The third day of February 1952 was a momentous day in my life. By total obedience, trust, love, and sincerity towards the master, I left my huge and lucrative business. The selfless service rendered in the interest of Shri Nandaji's election campaign for a period of two months, brought me his special blessings and grace.

First, he initiated me by giving me special almonds, which were offered to Harikrishna Maharaj in the morning mahapooja (morning ritual prayer to God and His devotees). For three days, with single-pointed devotion, I was to continuously chant SwamiNarayan while remembering Shastriji Maharaj - incidents from his life, his teachings, and his blessings. Total internal purification ended on the second day by the observance of silence, introspection, and pradakshina (circling clockwise God's image or the memorial shrine) of Akshar Deri the entire day. Five injunctions were to be carried out three times a day. Deep prayers were to be offered for one hour straight.

The last day was the day of fasting. Before 5 o'clock, Yogiji Maharaj told me to circle around the Akshar Deri 200 times (called parikrama), and conduct mahapooja. The shaktipat (transmission of divine energy from guru to disciple) had already begun. At 5:30, after bowing down to Yogiji Maharaj's lotus feet, he embraced me and an overflowing love illuminated the center of my heart. I felt a rise in my blood pressure, and heaviness on my brain. My subconscious was fully awakened, and at 7:00, Yogiji Maharaj placed his hands on my head and requested Maharaj to give me the ultimate experience of the divine nature of Guru Shastriji Maharaj, and the Highest Being Sahajanand Swami with His Eternal Abode, Gunatitanand Swami. In front of the image of Ghanshyam Maharaj, enlightenment naturally came.

Immense rays, as if coming from innumerable suns, engulfed me, and suddenly, my spirit was separated from my physical body. A huge roar or sound was observed - observers told me later that I cried loudly with the roaring sound of a lion for three minutes, and then everything became quiet. I was lifted higher and higher, at a speed beyond all mathematical figures. The first experience was a separation from my physical and mental coverings. The only cognizance my pure self had was of the images of Guru Yogiji Maharaj and Guru Shastriji Maharaj.

Any idea or thought was instantaneously fulfilled. There was a vision of the entire universe with all of its objects and subtle elements. This phenomena or illumination was felt but cannot be explained. There were numerous other planes and categories of evolutionary stages which were also shown by Guru Yogiji Maharaj.

The second experience was transcendence of my spirit from the bonds of mahasunya (deep void or emptiness). It is described in the Shrimad Bhagavat[27] that jivan-muktas (liberated souls that have renounced the world) or illuminated souls travel in a cosmic body on this lighted path through the complete darkness of mahasunya. Scriptures describe only a divine entity or avatar (incarnation) that has fully conquered passions and purified the inner self and has equivalence with Eternal Brahma (Aksharbrahma or Gunatitanand Swami) can pass the mahasunya. Thus, it can only be transcended by the pure grace of a divine master of the eternal abode of Akshardham. The highest emancipated jivan-muktas reside in this eternal abode.

On my entry into the atmosphere, which was beyond all planes, my spirit assumed a new divine form. This divine consciousness can only be experienced. It was most enjoyable, delightful, peaceful - far more than any other mystical experience. The third step was realization of eternal bliss and the all-pervading presence of the divine master. God was seen in him, and Shastriji Maharaj was also seen in him - all were seen in Yogiji Maharaj.

After this period of 72 hours of samaadhi, I remained as brahmaroopa, totally different and separate from all psychophysical aspects, yet living in this world. The distinguishing quality that became so natural was spiritual equality in good and bad, right and wrong, love and hatred. All thoughts, all actions, all movements now originate from him and I enjoy suhradabhaava (heartfelt oneness with fellow devotees). Supernatural powers always remain in our service but they can be used according to God's will for creating confidence and faith in truth seekers.

The final evolution and spiritual status of the soul was completed here. It was not just nirvana or moksha or liberation, but the beginning of gnyaan-samaadhi - imbibing of divine qualities. Though working in an ordinary manner, I could always remain in permanent communion with the master, the Divine Supreme Being. His presence is always felt inwardly and also outwardly as human beings with whom I share their joys and sorrows, with love and friendliness, without any sort of expectations. My humanly desires, egoistic tendencies, all sorts of ambitions and expectations have completely disappeared. The sense of male and female has dropped out. The entire vision changed into divinity - I could see Lord Swaminarayan in my heart, in this life, and in this world. All objects and forms were seen as brahmasvaroopa (totally pure and liberated or associated with divinity).

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