- Dr. Ajay Raghav, Lucknow
Sadguru Aniruddha Bapu, our forever caring parent cannot bear to see any us devotees, in trouble. All of us continue to benefit from his selfless love and protection. As we share these experiences with others, we not only applaud his virtues but also become more steadfast in the path of devotion and righteousness. This is how my Sadguru (Aniruddha Bapu) creates wonders in our lives!
I am a physician settled in Lucknow. On 2nd January 2006, at about 7 in the morning, my colleague, a neurosurgeon, revealed to me that my 14-year-old son had a malignant tumour in his brain. Before his incident, he had already operated on my son twice. The day this diagnosis was made, we consulted another well-known Neurosurgeon in Lucknow and he also stated that even with the best possible treatment, there was a 50% risk to his life, and he did not have more than 5 years of life left.
That day, I was a dejected father who had been pushed into an abyss of darkness. I decided not to give up but fight, what seemed the inevitable. I braced myself for the hardships and decided to find out about alternate treatments for the cancer. I reached my clinic after completing my morning routine in the hospital. Numerous thoughts were creating an absolute ruckus in my mind that day. I could neither concentrate on the work nor be attentive towards anything. I just picked up a pen and started scribbling on a pad. In fact, for the first time in my life, I was asking God, “Why are all these things happening to me? Why?” While I was thus addressing the Almighty, the doctor’s words were echoing in my mind all the time. He had said that “The knowledge of even the greatest experts in the field of Oncology is still limited.” This statement made me start to believe that somewhere in this Universe, a doctor, a caretaker, whose expertise and skill eclipses all else, does exist. That moment onwards all the negative thoughts and doubts in my mind, simply vanished. A sense of fight was aroused in my mind and I vowed that come what may, I would not let my son succumb to this cancer.
How was I to put up a fight against such odds? Financially, the two surgeries my son had undergone had left a gaping hole in my pocket. Finally, I wrote down on my pad, “Means and ways, all God will provide.” Just then, I got a call from one Mr. Ghoshal. Later he visited me and kept telling me of the events which had occurred at Sai Niwas in the year 1994, an unforgettable day in the lives of all Bhaktas of Sadguru Aniruddha Bapu. At the end of his visit, he said, “Please go to Mumbai and take darshan of Bapu, all your problems will then be as good as solved.” All throughout the talk I had been thinking about my son’s fight against death. I failed to understand the connection between Mr. Ghoshal’s narration about Bapu and my fight with my son’s cancer, until much later. I told Mr. Ghoshal that if I ever went to Mumbai, I would definitely take Bapu’s darshan.
Look at the miracles that our Sadguru creates! The very God whom I was praying to just a few moments prior had approached me almost instantaneously. However, my pompous ego stood like a wall between my Sadguru and myself and I failed to understand his divine intervention.
In about 3-4 days, my son Avishrant came home from the hospital. Other than me, no one else in my family was aware about his ailment. No even his mother! The next day, a friend of mine came home to visit and started enquiring about my son’s well-being and his reports. I tried to play down the topic, but in vain. He later revealed that he had been to the hospital to collect his aunt’s report when he happened to hear about my Son’s report as well. He told me that his aunt was being treated at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and that he was going to Mumbai to visit her. He said that he would carry my son’s Biopsy, Pathology and surgery reports to show them to the doctors in Mumbai. This was another ‘Leela’ of Sadguru Aniruddha Bapu. The only person I had spoken to about my son’s diagnosis had been of so much help to me.
After sending the reports with my friend, I fixed an appointment at Lucknow’s KGMC hospital for radiation therapy for my son. Without revealing to my family members about his disease, I informed them that his treatment would require him to attend hospital very frequently. 18th January 2006, was the date for his radiation therapy. My friend returned on January 14th and immediately called for me. He informed me that the doctors in Mumbai had asked me to bring my son to Mumbai and had recommended that I get him treated in Mumbai itself. Once again, I got preoccupied with thoughts. How were we to travel to Mumbai? Treatment in Tata Memorial! Where can we stay in Mumbai? Where would I get so much of money from? I briefed my wife and son about the predicament. I told him that he had borne unimaginable pain till then and I assured him that we would fight this disease with renewed vigour. We would fight and would definitely come up trumps. I told my wife, an ardent follower of Sai Baba, about Sadguru Aniruddha Bapu and she also affirmed that Sai would always be with our child for sure.
On 15th January 2006, we visited Mr. Ghoshal’s home. It must have been 11 pm then. He once again related the events of Sai Niwas, 1994 in detail and showed us some printed material about Parampujya Aniruddha Bapu. That was the first time I set sights on the photograph of Bapu. We kept at the discussion till almost 2 am. Thereafter we acquired the addresses of Sai Nivas, Happy Home and Shree Hari Guru Gram and returned home. That night I could not get sound sleep but during whatever little sleep I got, I kept seeing Sadguru Bapu in front of my eyes. The following morning, I went to a travel agency to book railway tickets to Mumbai only to realize that no tickets were available for the next 45 days. If I were to travel by air, it would have cost me Rs. 18000 per person. That meant spending Rs. 54000 for the three of us. It was clearly an unaffordable option for me. I felt immensely disappointed. I murmured in my mind, “O my Bapu, how can you call me like this? You provide me with all the addresses; almost pull me over for treatment to Mumbai but there is no way for me to reach Mumbai. What can I do now?” As I stepped into the house with these thoughts in mind, my wife told me that a friend of mine having heard about my son’s illness had planned for air tickets for both the to and fro journey. This was Bapu’s third intervention! I urged the almighty for his help and he ensured that I had the best help possible right away. I will never ever be able to forget that phenomenal moment ever in my life.
We reached Mumbai. A city where people have paucity of time & space. All arrangements related to our place of stay, food etc., were automatically being taken care of. On 18th January 2006, we started from Jogeshwari to go to Tata Memorial Hospital. On the way, I realized that we may not get time to visit Sai Niwas once the treatment began and so we decided to visit it immediately. As soon as I entered the premises of Sai Nivas, I felt a divine calm and quiet and all my worries seemed to vanish into thin air on seeing the idol of Sai Baba. Shri Appa Dabholkar told us to meet Parampujya Suchitdada before proceeding to Tata Hospital. We reached the clinic, on the first floor of Happy Home. Dr. Shivanand Nichanaki reassured us. On entering Suchitdada’s Clinic, the sight that greeted us can only be described as purely divine. I was speechless and my eyes kept swelling with tears. Suchitdada’s words assured us further. He said,” Nothing would go wrong with this child. He would be perfectly normal and healthy. Just have unwavering faith on the One and Only, “Him”.” As soon as I heard those words, I felt comforted and I knew that nothing would go wrong with my son. We met Dr. Shivanand once again and he told us that Suchitdada’s words should be considered the Unwavering Truth.
We reached Tata Hospital at around 3:30 pm in the afternoon. My son was diagnosed with “High Risk Medullo-Blastoma.” We were asked to enrol him into the treatment protocol which had been proven successful for the past two years in the USA. It being a Thursday, we reached Shree Hari Guru Gram (the venue of Sadguru Aniruddha Bapu’s discourse) once the hospital formalities had been completed. We were eagerly waiting for Bapu’s darshan. At exactly 7:30 pm, Bapu arrived amidst the pious sound of the Conch shells and a shower of flowers by devotees. We had been standing right in the front of the queue and so he set his sight on us as soon as he neared the stage. I will never ever forget that moment in my life. His gesture of raising his eyebrows and enlarging his eyes made an immediate impression on my mind. His blessing by raising his hand reassured me a great deal and my mind was filled with such happiness which cannot be explained. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest.
On 21st January, my son’s treatment began at the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education In Cancer (ACTREC) [an affiliate of the Tata Hospital> at Navi Mumbai. P. P. Bapu took care of our lodging as well. We got a room at the Patient Hostel which saved us the enormous commute from Mumbai. Since my son was enrolled in the protocol study, the expenses for his medication were largely subsidized. In this mortally distressful situation, we constantly realized that we were being provided for emotionally, financially and physically only through Sadguru Bapu’s divine blessings. During my stay of 9 months at ACTREC, I took Bapu’s darshan every single Thursday. I enjoyed getting drenched in his words and his unmerited love. I just didn’t understand when my son was cured of the deadly cancer and when I got enrolled in Aniruddha’s “Vanarsena”! I have absolutely no doubt that “So much Love can be showered Only by Him and Him Alone…………”