The flow of discussions is increasing like the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi rivulets gaining volumes and turning into Ganga and running deep. Lets all take a dip in the Gunasankirtan Ganga. (Sai the guiding spirit- Gunasankirtan Ganga)
Aniketsinh has brought out a very basic and fundamental question- What exactly is Gunasankirtan; and he goes along to explain it from the perspective of the-
1. Speaker as well as
As a theory, we have many things which we have read, heard and tell others about Gunasankirtan. Since Pujya Samir Dada announced 3 years back that Gunasankirtan has to be the chief Bhakti Seva activity, everyone or most of us have been trying to do this. But the big question which hangs in front of the novices (in Gunasankirtan) is will this guy come to Bapu, hearing me? The moment we have this in our mind we get into a sticky wicket.
Would like to put here actual case studies what we had over last weekend. We had two back-to-back programs. First we had Trivikram Jal Pravachan at Muscat on Thursday and then we went to Sharjah on Friday to participate in the Gunasankirtan Sohala organised by Jebel Ali Kendra with the assistance of Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi Kendras. I will narrate the events in brief and then will try to capture the key points.
Trivikram Jal Pravachan
Muscat Kendra organised this in the Krishna Temple Hall which is much larger than our regular Upasana hall at the Shiva Temple and equipped with audio visual equipment. Dates for this hall are booked for full year but by Bapu’s grace we got accommodated due to a last minute cancellation. We had decided that we will invite as many people as possible for this. In a way to do gunasankirtan by way of this. We only had 3 days to organise everything but everyone teamed up. Calls, personal visits, Social media every mode was used to call people who hitherto have not been in Bapu’s fold. It was the first time Muscat Kendra did the program at such large scale. No doubt the program was success as any Bapu’s program is. About 4 to 5 times our regular Upasana number was achieved. We had organised bottles from the kendra and around 3 times our regular number was consumed. Most of the new comers were non-marathi and even we had a Sikh and a Christian family.
Sharjah Gunasankirtan Sohola
Very next day, 20 of Muscat Shraddhavans participated in Gunasankirtan Sohola organised by Jebel ALi Kendra. This too was first time when 5 Middle-east Kendras came together in one function- Jebel Ali, Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Muscat. The program which was very well organised had information on Bapu and His works, Anubhav Kathans and Satsang . The format of the program was lively and punctuated appropriately so as not to let the focus wander. Anubhav Kathans from various devotees surely made people aware how His presence in our lives creates the difference. The function also gave opportunity to interact with different people on the sidelines of the event. Listening to the Anubhavs as well as personal interactions, Sapatnekar’s reference came to the mind.
The function ended with the mahaprasad but our enthusiasm was yet to be quenched. Thus, most of the 5 kendra shraddhawans again sat back (guests having gone by now) and now in an informal atmosphere had Satsang and discussions which went on till 4 AM next morning. We also saw Saicharita Chapter 40 unfolding in front of our eyes, when 2 young Afghani men came at 2 am late hours and asked for food. Mahaprasad was over by that time and one of the devotees offered them Chiwda and Bhadang which was prepared for us. Whilst eating they kept enquiring about Parampujya Bapu and were also seen clapping their hands to the beat of Satsang which was happening. Many of us believe firmly that Bapu and Dada paid us the visit.
Unexpected one on one Gunasankritan
After coming back from Sharjah, next day I had a booking to be made and went to a travel agencies office. The Manager is a maharashtrian guy and we got introduced due to our common interest in dogs. Been meeting him since more than a year. But this time when we met he raked up the topic of Bapu and His works. Seems one of our devotees had invited him for Trivikram Jal Pravachan which he did not come. He then apprised me that he knew our Pramukhsevak very well dating back to 15 years and was invited to Upasana Kendra when it was formed 11+ years back. Sudhirsinh had got him interested and he had even gone to Happy Home many years before. He then talked about spirituality and wonder of wonders told me how due to Bapu, Sudhirsinh came out of grave problems he was facing at that time. I was really amazed to see what all leelas Bapu does. A person who is not in Bapu Parivaar is doing Bapu’s gunasankirtan to one who thinks he is a Bapu devotee.
One thing which is common in three case studies is Gunasankirtan.
As Dada has put in rightly in his last post-
प्रारब्ध आणील पुढे काय काळ
आम्ही जरी नेणू करी प्रतिपाळ
साधासुधा जीव अध्यात्म कळेना
घाबरूनी राही दूर दूर
ऐसिया माणसा कळे सांगतो मी
बापू कथा-कीर्तने दंग राही
Like Sapatnekar, people get opportunity, they get called by different media and yet how many realise the immense value of this opportunity. Some realise when they are besieged by problems and quite a few totally miss the opportunity in the life time.
Based on their destiny as earned due to their acts in previous life- they get the opportunity. He sends these opportunities through a friend, relative or even an unknown person. But the karma swantantrya makes him decide and realise the value of this opportunity. As Sachinsinh Varde quoted from Saicharita before-
जयाचे जैसे अर्जित|
नको म्हणता चालून येत|
होणारापुढे काहीही न
चालत| नेले मज खेचीत
We all have experienced- we have friends who have come to Bapu only by our one invitation and there are others (sometimes even our close relatives) whom we keep calling but they vehemently avoid even looking at Him. Like in a commentary on Saicharita, there is a reference about Damu Anna asking Sai Baba about so many people coming to Shird but not all come back again. Baba gave a beautiful reply comparing people with the Mango Blossoms- He says… not all blossoms (मोहोर) get converted to ripe mangoes. Indeed! And maybe the seed lies dormant like in Sapatnekar’s case or my travel agency friend who after a decade may come to Bapu’s fold.
And is this Gunasankirtan only for the person who hears? I feel it is more beneficial for the person who is doing gunasankirtan too. To use the metaphor which Aniketsinh has used, by doing the Gunasankirtan we are nurturing the plant of Shraddha which grows in our heart.
And many a times Gunasankirtan is not only for the uninitiated….but also for shraddhavans who are already on Bapu’s path. Knowing and defining Bapu in the realms of the human capabilities is never possible. So listen to others irrespective of the fact how many years he is with Bapu and am sure you will get some unknown facet of Him.
And thats how Saicharita unravels right before our eyes, right in our life…….