I met Srimathi Rakhi Chaturvedi and her family at Kallar Ashram last December. She has written a beautiful piece on how she came to the Siddhas.
I shall give way to her now.
It was in the year 2007, I came across one of the most revered book of Bhagwan Shri Ramana Maharshi “Who am I”. The book rekindles the fire of spiritual seeking in the hearts of spiritual seekers - it did in mine too… but apart from that it created in my heart an intense desire to visit the holy land of Arunachala. The desire was intense. The more I read about the holy place the more the craving. It was much later did I realized that craving was created by the lord and the time is also chosen by lord for us to step in his sacred aura.
I used to think “Oh lord! Will I ever be able to visit you? As firstly I was not married that time, second have never been to South India moreover being North Indians none in my family had even heard about the name of the holy place till then….. Were some thoughts which were popping up in my mind. But I was sure of his darshan realizing little that date is decided by lord himself.
I have been blessed with wonderful parents. Both my parents have never questioned my spiritual seeking. The level of trust my father had on me was incredible. My father was a wonderful person extremely generous and ever smiling. He had never disallowed me to attend any spiritual camps or workshops in my city or in other cities too. His faith on my decisions was indeed incredible. Sometimes I wonder whether I will be able to have same level of trust on my daughter the way my father had on me...only time will tell…
My father who was a heart patient suddenly started facing lots of health challenges more so in the year 2008-09. I made sure not to go out of town for official or personal reasons at any cost…we have gone through very tough times ….in hospitals and at home too… I was alone with my mother and we have to take all the required decisions needed to be taken as per doctor’s advice. The decisions all the time involved life and death….sometimes it broke me…
Avdhoot Baba Shivanand has told us to pray to the holy siddhas, call them with your pure heart and they will help (he has not told the names of siddhas or potri). I was doing all the sadhanas asked by him with total sincerity and most of them includes healing prayers for father's health. Sometimes we have seen magical improvements and sometime not at all. In the meantime my father wanted me to get married (I was already working in a firm for quite some years). I could not even think of getting married, leaving my parents when they were facing so many challenges regarding health. I prayed to the siddhas may my horoscope not match with anybody. And the siddhas looked into my request.
From 2007 my father's hospitalizations become frequent. His heart’s pumping rate was reducing and that used to cause him pain in back or sometimes shoulders. Though all of us could sense the grace of siddhas but sometimes the pain was so much that we could not sleep for nights. With the grace of siddhas he was in the hands of the best doctors in town, best hospital, a car and a driver was almost always available at my disposal in office which I could always use in case of emergencies. We have been blessed with extraordinary neighbors and friends to take care but the mental stress and pain was intense. I was feeling the pain my father was going through and I was helpless. Enough … I questioned the siddhas, "Are you really there?"
By that time I have only heard the word “siddhas” and certain information which got registered in the mind while reading about Arunachala. I do not know all the names of siddhas nor ever had heard about the nadi. I was sitting in my office cabin all alone and seeking help from the siddhas in my mind if they really exist ….. And the seeking was from every cell of my body… suddenly when I opened my mailbox a video of Shivanand ji popped up and it explained about the existence of nadi. And how our past present and future is recorded. It was the first time heard about such sacred science and about the compassion of siddhas for humanity.
Though Shivanand ji in his various courses which I had attended had never mentioned about the nadi ….. he had always explained about past life karma and its strong hold on us many times before. But now I wanted to know the reason for the challenges we were going through…. I immediately searched the net… assuming that I may have to go in to some other town for the nadi….but luckily I got one reader in the town (vadodara) and that too not very far from my office. I called and got the appointment for the very next day.
The first thing I asked Mr. M.R.Kausikan the reader, that such a sacred treasure you are having and you have not advertised in the papers at all and there are no billboards or signs as well …
"But today you are here madam because you are suppose to be here today by Agasthya's grace … we do not need any advertisement", was his reply and I was amazed. It was June 27th 2009.
After going through the nadi readings I realized we are responsible for all we go through in life… and we all learn and grow from those experiences. Second and when guru or siddhas enter our lives our troubles and challenges do not go away. We have to bear life challenges relative to our karma… but our sufferings reduce drastically …. we face challenges in the shadow of compassionate siddhas who take care of us like we do to our infants and toddlers.
Something happened after the reading the challenges were there but no more suffering. Instead of feeling victim of the situation, I was in control or rather Mahamuni had taken me in his lap.
My father passed away in September 2009 and first thing he did from heaven was to arrange my trip to “ARUNACHALA”. We can go there only with the blessings of our parents and forefathers.
I was asked to visit certain temples down south for atonements of past deeds by Agasthya Rishi through the nadi. The trip was planned for March 2010 with my mother, sister and her kids.
THE HOLY GIRIVILAM - March 2010. Finally the magnetic lord has called us to shower his grace on us. I was thrilled to the core and felt a deep bliss. We (myself and sister) decided to do the girivalam in the early morning instead of night as we were new to the place and do not know anything about the route. We first went in front of the temple prayed from outside as the temple was closed by lighting some camphor and began our journey. As soon as we started, one “Bhairav” in the form of dog accompanied us .. as we were walking for the first time and a bit nervous. But we were feeling amused at the beautiful “Bhairav” who walked almost half the path with us. And then disappeared maybe into the inner path of the hill. Later I came to know that Bhairavs protect first time walkers and many have shared similar experiences. He enjoyed some biscuits and milk we served him on the way.
We visited all the lingams and all the important places known to us then… on the route (which requires a separate article of its own). We completed the girivalam, walking barefoot, in almost 4 hours. Went to the temple and thanked the lord for calling us.
Shivanand ji in one course told our group of girls to focus on getting married as it is essential for spiritual growth. I prayed to Arunachala that if getting married is essential than bless me with a partner who understands my desire to visit you many times in life. For I knew that once the calling comes….you cannot wait. My wish was granted I got married within less than a year to a wonderful soul who like my father had put an immense faith and trust in my seeking and is equally enjoying the callings which we now receive collectively from beautiful abodes of lord.