Dr. Rajiv Karnik
It was the evening of the 8th of October 2005. I was thrusting a lot of my belongings in a bag as I was preparing to go to the Cleveland Clinic, America for a training course of 2 months duration. Meanwhile, my wife, Mrs. Priya, came along with a photograph of her deity (Yes, I was considering HIM as only her deity then) and said to me, “Rajeev, I know that you do not believe, but please keep this photograph in your bag for my sake.” At the time, I was not aware that the hands of Param Poojya Bapu, in the photograph, which was raised to give blessings, will hold back the ‘gigantic Tsunami’ approaching my life! During those years, I used to travel abroad at least 5 to 6 times a year. But it was only during this visit that my wife thought of giving me this photograph and this was not a mere coincidence.
In the third week of November, there was a sudden shot of pain in my back (ribs). I thought that it was probably because of the snowfall, cold breeze, and my demanding daily schedule. Since I was returning to India within 5 days, I did not bother to get it investigated in the US, totally unaware of the fact that ‘Blood Cancer’, an extremely dangerous disease, was taking control over my body. While I was returning to India, the platelet count in my body had drastically dropped down to a mere 10000 (In normal individuals, this count ranges between 1.5 lakhs to 4.5 lakhs. However, if it drops below 20000, then the condition becomes near fatal). Today, I am sure that my wife had requested Bapu himself to be on guard and take care of my health through the photograph which she had given me. In such a condition, had I consumed alcohol in the flight, it would have caused hemorrhage [bleeding] in my stomach and my life would have ended during the return journey. But even today, I am surprised when I think of how I was kept away from consuming the unsuitable drink and was able to complete my journey from US to London and onwards to Mumbai in a most severe and critical of health conditions.
After returning to India, my first day passed in recovering from jet-lag and the second day was spent in meeting my patients who had been waiting to see me for nearly 2 months. On the third day, on the basis of my blood test report, I was diagnosed to be suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (Blood Cancer). I managed to spend one day under the observation of Dr. Ramamurthy at Bombay hospital. However, my health deteriorated further. My wife, Dr. Mrs. Priya was crying when she informed Dr. Shivanandsinh Nichnaki about my condition. At around 1.30 am, Dr. Shivanandsinh called Priya rather unexpectedly and said that “Param Poojya Bapu has given a message that he is standing behind you, and has asked you to initiate the treatment by the concerned cancer specialist (Oncologist). After listening to this encouragement and assurance, Priya became psychologically strengthened and remained so until the end of our ordeal; i.e. she was supporting me till I returned back home in June.
Another unusual incident occurred the same night. After midnight, the watchman who was sitting outside the I.C.C.U., saw a couple leaving my room after a casual visit. None of my relatives had visited me at that time. Priya was certain that her Deities themselves had paid a visit. This was because I had heard that many of my patients who were also Bapu Bhaktas and had undergone heart operations also had similar experiences. The Next day, i.e. on the 26th November, my health deteriorated further as they were shifting me to Tata hospital and by the time I reached the hospital, my lungs were filled with water. While I was gasping for breath, I gathered the courage to request them to begin the treatment for ‘Pulmanary oedema’ even before the R.M.O. could visit. This cleared my lungs and prevented me from being put on Ventilator for respiratory support. If I had to undergo ventilation, then it would have been impossible to me revive. On the 27th of November, I realized the situation after seeing the condition of my neighboring patients in the I.C.U. On witnessing their sufferings as they were living on the ultimate edge of their life, I could imagine my future and it seemed to be extremely disheartening.
Both my lungs were infected with Pneumonia and my body was deficient in the white blood cells required to fight this infection as they were replaced by the cancerous [myeloblast] cells. According to the doctors, this was a condition of 100% fatality. I began searching for possibilities of a shortcut which would liberate me from undergoing this distressing and painful journey. I was well aware of the ingredients which were used to temporarily stop the beating of the heart during a heart surgery. I began searching for one of these powerful ingredients with which I could stop the beating of my own heart. After I realized that this was not possible, I became extremely depressed and was lying motionless. But my wife was firm in her resolve and was constantly supporting me and asking me to have patience. Soon another incident occurred which changed the course of my life. On the night of the 28th of November, I had a dream in which Param Poojya Bapu appeared to be sweeping some area using a large broom (Just like the broom used by the Janitors of municipality). Then HE consoled me by raising his reassuring hand. The place which he was cleaning, appeared to be my lungs. I woke up all of a sudden and said to Priya, “Your Bapu has cleaned my lungs and now I have found hope that I can make it out safely.
The next day, Param Poojya Suchitdada sent across a cassette of Vishnusahastranaam (The thousand names of Lord Vishnu) which was blessed by his own hands. I began listening to it. Dada said, “To prevent the rays of Duttaguru’s blessings from getting reversed, one essentially has to be receptive.” Since my Ram Naam bank savings were showing zero balance, he provided me with the unsecured loan of Vishnusahastranaam and I began to have a practical experience of the compassionate shield.
Param Poojya Suchitdada said, “The Trishanku (Uncertainty – Neither in heaven nor on earth) will end on Thursday morning.” On Wednesday, 30th November, Param Poojya Mrs. Nandai herself visited Tata hospital to bless two patients and I was one of them. Nandai said to me, “I have come along with Aniruddha’s message. You are going to fight and win this battle. A Fighter always wins.” The very next day, i.e. on the 1st of December, the physiotherapist of Tata hospital came and started my lung exercises. As was ordained, my Trishanku began to end. An unusual strength ruled my mind after the Sadguru’s assurance and a ray of hope became visible. Later, I continued to perform the breathing exercises for the rest of the day. Surprisingly my lung functioning improved within one day and I was shifted from the I.C.C.U. to a private B.M.T. unit.
After my first chemotherapy, I was advised for a bone-marrow transplant. When we enquired about the expenses for conducting it in America, the cost worked out to a Rs.2 crore, provided the Bone marrow donor is my sibling but if the donor would have been an American then the cost would increase to Rs.5 crore and to top it all 30% of all such patients did not survive. Priya said to Param Poojya Suchit Dada that it was impossible for us to arrange for such a huge amount. He calmly replied, “Do not worry at all.
We will perform all the necessary treatment in the Tata hospital itself.” My future health progress in Tata hospital was extremely amazing. Once, the chief Oncologist Dr. Purvish Parikh said to me, “Someone up there is helping you. Otherwise, your survival was very difficult.”
Although I recovered well from this life-threatening disease, usually this recovery is temporary. I was aware that this disease does not relapse only in the extremely rarest of cases. Otherwise, relapse was inevitable. As mentioned in medical books, the usual lifespan after this disease is up to 3 years. Since I was aware of all these things, I was uncertain and anxious. During this period, Priya introduced me to Param Poojya Suchitdada. At that time, in the clinic, Dada said to me, “Rajeev, Remember one thing, even if a poisonous snake is ready with its hood raised above, only Duttaguru will decide whether the snake will bite or leave without biting.” Later, on the eve of Ganesh Utsav, Param Poojya Bapu said to me, “Rajeev, now keep all the books aside. Many exceptional things have happened in relation to us and bookish knowledge cannot be applicable to them.” And true to this, the crucial period has passed and it is more than five years since the episode. During this period, I was able to provide for the marriage and immigration to a foreign nation of my eldest daughter and also secure the admission of my younger daughter in a medical college.
An incident which occurred in 2003 was a ‘notice in advance’ to this astonishing experience. During the ‘Jagannath Utsav’ held in 2003, my wife had an opportunity to impart seva in ‘Savitridham’. But she had expressed her disappointment as Param Poojya Bapu was not going to visit this dham (sacred dwelling). However, who had imagined that her savings of good deeds earned in Savitridham, would help her in 2005 to save her ‘Satyavaan’ from the clutches of Yamraaj (God of death) and Param Poojya Bapu had predesigned this plan to get this done? In the earlier part of this narration, I had written, “My wife’s Deity, her Bapu”. But I never held any disrespect for Param Poojya Bapu in my mind. On the contrary, I respected his work. I used to consider him as a “Yugpravartak” (The originator of a new era). Lokmanya Tilak had brought into effect, a complete transformation to break the series of slavery through his articles and speeches. In a similar manner, Bapu, through his effective personality, speech and thoughts are bringing today’s largely misguided young generation on the right path. I had seen that his organization was doing the great work of upliftment of the despaired farmers and the students from the rural sectors. But the idea of Sadguru was not acceptable to me. In addition to this, the second thought which came to my mind was that ‘How could a co-student, who studied with me in Ruia college and was a contemporary while completing M.D., suddenly become a Sadguru? In this way, after entering into a new life, I started sensing numerous experiences from a different outlook. Here, there are some remarkable experiences of heart patients who came in my contact due to my profession. Sometimes, I have seen in some Bapu bhakta’s who had come to me for an angiography after a heart attack, that the blood clot which was responsible for their heart attack had migrated from the coronary artery into one of its smaller sub-branches and had settled there. In some cases, I have observed that the blood clot had dissolved completely. I have also seen that a patient, whose heart’s ability to contract had reduced to 15%, reverted to normal within a few weeks. All these incidents are possible scientifically. However, when you get to see them happen in a specific set of people, who are holding a significant savings of good deeds, then you cannot perceive anything other than Gods grace and Sadguru’s ‘protective armor’ as its rationale.
This is why, after performing ‘Aanhik’ in the morning and while chanting Sadguru Shri Aniruddha’s 9 Vachan’s (Sadguru’s nine promises), I remember all my experiences and sincerely utter, “All my fears and the burden of troubles has minimized. Sadguru is my protector on the Devayanpanth, Sadguru gives me the wealth of bliss and drives my Yogakshema (To gather and preserve all that is essential for life). In my life, the impossible has become possible and the Ravana (evil asura king as referred in the Ramayana) has been executed.