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Articles from Pre-1998 Issues 

My Master, Bhagawaanji

by M. K. Tiku

In the present day materialistic world of ours there has been a mushroom growth of the so-called gurus (masters). We rarely come across the real guru who can put the sadhaka (aspirant) on the path of God-realization. The spiritual seeker who comes to the feet of the genuine Master is to be considered very fortunate in today's world.

A man of real spiritual attainment is invariably on the look out for a true disciple with whom he would like to share his experiences and whose mentor he willingly becomes. In fact it is universally believed that Godmen are sent to this world with a definite purpose to guide the seekers on the path of spirituality so that they progress towards their goal and do not go astray, getting derailed into the mire of animality. With the grace of the true guru, the sadhaka overcomes all odds, finds his feet and attains spiritual knowoledge, leading him to the Divine.

I feel I have been very lucky as many others too have been like me, in coming to the feet of the Master, Jagad Guru Bhagawaan Gopinathji.

Kashmir has given birth to many saints and savants from time to time but my Master has been the most eminent saint of this century. He was undoubtedly a Jeevan Mukta and it was in view of his intense sadhana that he won the rare distinction of being called Bhagawaanji by his devotees and looked upon by them veritably as God-incarnate.

Born on 3rd July, 1898 A.D. Bhagawaanji's life on this earth was marked by a sustained and intense spiritual effort, aimed at the upliftment of the ailing mankind running after illusory shadows. Throughout his life he strove hard, in an unassuming but persuasive manner, to make man conscious of his innate divinity and to enable him to find his spiritual moorings.

All his life, Bhagawaanji remained a celibate, took delight in coming across a celibate but never asked an aspirant to renounce his wife and children if he was married.

He kept a dhooni (sacred fire) burning before him, into which he made offerings and with the ashes (bhasma) from it he cured dreaded diseases. For most of the time he remained absorbed in meditation that consisted in deep contemptation on the self. His devotees feel convinced that even after giving up his gross body, he has been helping aspirants spiritually not only in India but elsewhere in the world, too.

Bhagawaanji's fame as a Jagad Guru has spread far and wide; his spiritual influence is felt by the devout who had never seen him in his physical form and who encounter him as a living presence in their meditation. Several devotees including foreigners, have had remarkable visions in which they have heard him speak and impart spiritual instruction. That explains why there has been a steady increase in the number of his devotees ; in consequence, Ashrams consecrated to his memory have sprung up at several places in the country. At these centres, devotees in bulk are today well set on the spiritual path, who are involved in social service as well. Though Bhagawaanji never moved out of the Kashmir valley, Satsang mandals in his memory have also come up in countries abroad, like Australia and the U. S.A.

People in large numbers attend the daily arti at the ashrams. Discourses to spread Bhagawaanji's message of universal brotherhood and love are held periodically at these places of worship especially on important festivals including his Mahajayanti and the anniversary of the day on which he attained Mahasamadhi (when a mahayajnya is also performed). Monthly financial assistance to the destitutes, orphans, the poor but talented students, and the ailing people who cannot afford to purchase medicines, is being provided on a regular basis at the Ashrams dedicated to Bhagawaanji.

Having accomplished his mission on earth, when he had around him a dedicated band of spiritual adherents, both male and female, who could be trusted to spread his message of love and brotherhood, Bhagawaanji chose to give up his gross body on the 28th of May, 1968 A. D. at Chondapura, Habbakadal, Srinagar. Accordingly, we are celebrating his birth centenary year in India and abroad that is due to commence in June, 1997. May he shower his grace on mankind throughout the world!

In the end, I would like to quote a verse of the great saint Kabir, that I consider appropriate to the greatness of the Guru I adore, the remarkable Bhagawaanji enthroned in my heart:-

<verses>

The verse is translated here under:

My Guru and the Lord are both standing before me. Whose feet should I touch ? I would sacrifice my body, mind and all for my guru as it was he who put me on the path leading to the Lord.

[The author is a senior devotee of Bhagawaanji and an important functionary of the Trust (Organizer). He lives in Jammu]
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