Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Aniruddha Pournima (Tripurari Pournima) this year (2008) witnessed about
.... shraddhaavaan be blessed with the darshan of Sadguru Shree Aniruddha (Bapu).
Doctors, engineers, lawyers, professors, professionals and other shraddhaavaan from
several walks of life came not only from distant suburbs of the city of Mumbai but
remote towns of the state of Maharashtra, from the nooks of India and in fact from
the world over and could, saying ‘Hari om’, offer their reverence before Sadguru
Bapu. Their heart full of love, they came all the way for the one blessed moment, the
darshan of the Sadguru.
No saffron clothing, no kamandalu, no mala round the neck, no rosary in the
hand, not even a tilak on the forehead and in fact with a clear and explicit view that
‘miracles are jugglery, the tricks of magicians’, how then, is Aniruddhabapu the Sadguru
of millions of highly educated and thinking bhaktas? How come? All the special
moments of grace that these bhaktas have experienced have led them to believe that
Bapu is indeed the Paramatma. Just like every other function in the year, the Aniruddha
Pournima was a day that millions spent in an ambience of bhakti. The sight of
millions queuing up for seven or even eight hours, calm but disciplined, writing the
Ramnaam book of ‘The Aniruddha’s Universal bank of Ramnaam’ through their
wait, reciting a mantra or a stotra is bound to arouse curiosity, interest about Bapu in
the mind of any person stepping in here for the first time.
Who indeed in Sadguru Aniruddha (Bapu)? Despite the fact that there is
nothing conventionally spiritual about Him, how come the bhaktas belive that He is
the Sadguru? The volunteers of the organisation participate in the seva-activities
under the guidance of Sadguru Bapu; the zeal with which they do so and in no way
compromisng on their family responsibilities, on their occupation is truly astonishing.
How come this huge following and that too without any deliberate effort at
propagation? What does Bapu say? What exactly does He want to do? Why does He
want to do all these seva activities? These are some of the questions that crop up in
the mind of the new-comer here.
Dr. Aniruddha Dhairyadhar Joshi i.e. Shreeaniruddha (Bapu) is an M.D., a
professional medical consultant. A perfect family person, through His own conduct,
Bapu communicates that it is very much possible to achieve the highest purpose in
life without turning away from worldly life. Spirituality is not escapism. And shrugging
off responsibilities, giving up home, walking away from the family and smearing the
body with ash just cannot be the means to achieving the highest goal in life. ‘Misplaced
notions of worldly life indicate equally misplaced notions concerning the Higher
purpose’; and leading man on the path of the purushartha, this is what Bapu says
pointing to the following verse in the Shreesaisachcharit:

(Explanation: Alertness in worldly affairs facilitates the achievement of the
Highest purpose in life। Do not therefore have apathy for your worldly duties, keep
striving for the purushartha)
(Shreesaisachcharit, chapter 14/27)
It is this verse that contains the answers to questions like what does Bapu
intend to do? and what does Bapu really wish? That every human being,walking on
the path of the purushartha, attain the ‘oj’, is what Bapu wants. The attainment of
the six purushartha of dharma, artha, kama, moksha, bhakti and maryada, is indeed
the highest fulfilment of the human birth. It is in order that both the worldly life and
the achievement of the Highest Principle become sources of true joy and at one and
the same time, in other words so that every human being walks firm and consistent
on the path of the purushartha, that Bapu through His own Word, caused the Work,
‘Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj’ to come into being.
Spelling out the purpose of His work, Shreeaniruddha states in clear terms in
the Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj,
“My dear friends, I, Aniruddha, your Friend, your Mate, have just the one
mission in life - to get the entire universe to fulfill this purushartha of maryada, to
teach and establish this purushartha - that is My aim and without the fulfilment and
the establishment of the purushartha of maryada, the Ramrajya, the reign of Shreeram,
the reign of the maryadapurushottam (the ideal, the only complete and perfect being
who was the epitome of maryada) can never be ushered in.
....and that is precisely why, ‘to imbibe and cultivate the purushartha of maryada,
to nurture it and while doing so, to allow it to develop unrestrained’, is My resolve.”
Bapu connects with every shraddhavan in the role of a friend. He never calls
Himself an avataar. In the Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj, He states with His
signature and very clearly -
‘I am your Friend.’
‘I am not an avataar, not of anybody. I was always Aniruddha, I am Aniruddha
and Aniruddha I will always be.’
‘I am a warrior and I enjoy teaching the art of warfare to all those, who wish
to fight their destiny.’
The three volumes of the Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj, the
‘Satyapravesh’, the ‘Prempravaas’ and the ‘Anandasadhana’ were released and in simple
words Bapu opened for us, a means of realizing progress in its entirety, walking all
along, the path of the parameshvar. ‘Call Me what you like but it is this one role that
I wish to live. I am your Friend, a Friend who never betrays, a Friend who wants to
see you happy.’ That indeed is Bapu, that is Bapu’s stand.
In explanation to the purushartha of ‘dharma’ Bapu says, the supreme divine
principles of Truth, Love and Joy that stem from purity - their base; and whose
and only decisive norm is purity, are the true dharma. ‘It is the path of maryada that
grants the aishvarye of the parameshvar to the human dharma’ adds Shreeaniruddha
Bapu in the Shreemadpurushartha.
All the saints of India have upheld the path of bhakti that was always a part of
the ancient Indian values. An excessive and unreasonable inclination towards cessation
of worldly engagement as also a way of life essentially motivated by material, selfseeking
activity, both classify as extremist thought and are largely responsible for the
imbalance in individual human life as well as that in society. Science and spirituality are
by no means contrary or conflicting, they are complementary. It is by striking an
accord of the two, that human civilization can make progress, emphasises Bapu.
Bapu instituted the ‘Panchasheel examinations’ based on the great work
‘Shreesaisachcharit’ and in order to shed light on various aspects of bhakti, He included
in them, practicals relating to scientific principles indicating thereby, the path of the
accord between the two.
In the Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj, Shreeaniruddha talks cearly about
His five Gurus. ‘Dattaguru is My Lord and Master, Gayatrimata - My vaatsalyaguru,
Shreeram is the Doer, Shreehanumanta - My Protector and Shreesainath - the Director.’
Time and again Shreeaniruddha refers to works like the Manache shlok, the
Bheemaroopi Maharudra Stotra, the Daasabodh all by Samartha Ramdas Swami as
also the following by the great saint Shreetulsidasji viz. the Sunderkand from the
Shreeramacharitamanas, the Hanumanchalisa, the Sankatamochan Hanumaanaashtak,
indicating to us the path of bhakti of Shreehanumanta, the ideal of those on the
path of maryada. All those who were with Bapu as part of the ‘rasayatras’ to Shirdi,
Akkalkot, Dehu-Alandi, Goa (Mangesh-Shantadurga) as also of the bhaavayatra to
Pandharpur have experienced ever so many blessed moments to cherish in their
hearts for ever. The Ganesh festival is celebrated in Bapu’s own home, which then
hundreds of thousands of people visit. The procession for the immersion of the
Ganesh idol is a huge sea, a sea brimming over with bhakti.
Visiting sacred places of worship, doing different upasanas in these places has
drawn the Indian psyche since ancient times. The Gurukul at Juinagar, the
Govidyapeetham at Kothimbe near Karjat, the Atulitabaladham and the
Sadgurupunyakshetram at Nimbagaon near Dhule are all realizations of ideal sacred
places of worship that happened under Bapu’s guidance. Also under His gracious
guidance and blessings happened the installation of the dhyaanamoorti of Shreesainath
at ‘Sai Nivas’, Bandra, the home of Hemadpant, who penned the Shreesaisachcharit.
Hemadpant’s grandson and the present Pipa Appasaheb Dabholkar along with his
wife Meenavainee were the ones through whom Bapu got this beautiful deed done.
As for the Shreeaniruddhagurukshetram at Khar, Mumbai, all one can say is that it is
a sacred place of Supreme eminence, the zenith, the tiara of all sacred places that be.
What every single person coming to Bapu invariably feels, is
Shreeaniruddhabapu’s ‘pure, sheer love’, love not loaded with any motive whatsoever-
His very essential aspect. Neither does He expect nor does He accept anything from
anybody, never - leave alone the day of Gurupournima, just never. It is not even
mandatory for those attending His pravachan (discourse) to offer the namaskar to
Bapu. The discourse too is a guidance in simple words as to the attainment of
progress on the path of bhakti without turning away from worldly life.
Every Thursday Bapu, while doing the pooja of Shreedattatreya, recites along
with all present, the fourteenth chapter of the Gurucharitra. He then does the
‘Aradhanajyoti’ upasana with the bhaktas present and even participates in the gajars
sung at the time. Bapu says that bhakti is the supreme strength and so He initiated
the ‘Aradhanajyoti’ upasana that will equip the shraddhaavaan to face and successfully
tide over the difficult times lying ahead and help achieve development and progress
in his life. In order that His friends become aware, alert and prepare well in time for
the horrific era awaiting the world, Bapu penned the work ‘The Third World War’ for
them. This work does not tell the future, it is a visionary’s study of the past and of
the present that led to an assessment of the future.
This work contains multiple aspects: an evaluation of the two world wars that
occurred, a explanation to the phenomenon of war, the event of the third world war
in the context of the current international scenario, biological and chemical weaponry,
several means of warfare and many more. The Dattajayanti of 2006 saw the release
of this work in Marathi and English and now the Hindi version too is out on the
stands. Be it the scheming strategy of China or incidents in the middle-east or any
other events for that matter; reading this work through, will confirm all of these as
we have indeed experienced many of them in the recent past.
Facing the horrifying era of the third world war, calls for equipping and
strengthening the shraddhaavaan at all levels. ‘Defence is defeat. Attack is the best
form of defence’ was the core directive of the ancient Indian Balavidya and focussing
on this very principle, Shreeaniruddha revived the ancient Indian martial arts, the
Mudgalvidya and the Sooryabhedanvidya. He also established the ‘Aniruddha’s
Academy of Disaster Management’ (A.A.D.M.) that would train and prepare His
friends to face all kinds of natural and man-made disasters, save their own lives and
even that of others; in sum train in disaster management.
The above project also happens to be part of the 13-point programme that
Bapu gave to us on 3rd October 2002. These training courses that include various
rescue methods and CPCR techniques etc. are offered free of cost. To date, the
DMVs (disaster management volunteers) have made a valuable contribution towards
managing disasters. The unusual downpours of 26th July 2005, the landslide at Sakinaka,
the serial blasts in Mumbai’s local trains on 11th July 2006, the bomb blast at Ghatkopar
on 2nd December 2002 - DMVs had rushed to offer help at the site of all of these
disasters and were part of the rescue operations. They even manage crowds every
year at the time of the Ganesh festival. Similarly the DMVs manage and control
crowds at annual fairs at Mandhradevi, Jyotiba and even at Nasik at the time of the
Kumbha mela.
Under the guidance of Shreeaniruddha Bapu, several seva projects are
implemented as part of the 13 point programme. A health and hygiene campaign
has been implemented for the last five years at Kolhapur-Karanjphen. This year
(2008) about 16,300 students and villagers availed of medical examinations. Accordingly
medecines were distributed and treatment advised. Many were given spectacles. Tests
like the ECG, the sonography, X-ray, etc. and even dental check-ups and treatment
are conducted free of cost. Besides, 7634 students were examined medically and
were then given uniforms (2 sets each and so 15,268 sets), sports material, caps,
slippers, etc. all free ofcost and so that they attend school regularly. The uniforms
thus distributed are made from the fabric woven from the yarn that results from the
‘vastra project’ (charkha project) under the 13 point programme. The volunteers
themselves spin the charkha and the yarn produced is used to make uniforms for the
needy students. Till date, 4000 charkhas have yielded 1,58,700 metres of fabric
resulting in 71,376 uniform sets that were received by 35,683 needy students.
The ‘Annapoornaprasadam’ project offers to students of the rural and tribal
areas a mid-day meal. The volunteers themselves cook the food and serve it to the
children. As of today 3100 students belonging to 32 different schools avail of this
seva. The Kolhapur-Karanjphen project could offer mahaprasad (food) to 40,000
adults and children in the region. here again it was the volunteers who cooked and
served the food with love to them.
The eco-friendly Ganesh idols, another innovative project is a significant measure
towards protecting the environment. Ganesh idols are made by volunteers from the
pulp of the paper of the Ramnaam book that the shraddhaavaan bhaktas write. This
year (2008) about 3200 Ganesh idols were taken home and worshipped.
Moreover, other projects include provision of foodgrains, medicines, clothes,
material required in school, etc. to persons suffering from leprosy. These persons also
receive guidance as to possibilities of earning their livelihood. Seva is als offered in
institutions for the mentally challenged, the mental hospitals. Students residing in
remote places difficult to access are also provided with articles of everyday use, school
text books, etc.
In the year 2005-2006 the cattle numbering 400 - 500 of the famine-struck
regions in Purandar taluka of Pune district received a regular provision of a truckload
of fodder for one whole month. This seva on the part of the organization reached
the cattle at the right time averting the possibility of starvation. The volunteers then
put in their time and physical energy to help the residents of this region to successfully
face the paucity of water. Also, under the ‘Old is gold’ project of the 13 point
programme, a survey was conducted in the taluka of Purandar and essentials were
distributed free of cost among the people.
As the volunteers participate in the various seva projects, they never lose sight
of the fact that Bapu always emphasises: He says, bhakti is the essence, the core of
seva. It is devotional services that we offer. The term ‘bhakti’ stems from the root
verb ‘bhaj sevaayaam’. Thus ‘bhakti’ implies seva offered with love and affection.
Neither can bhakti be complete without seva nor can true, heartfelt seva happen
without the foundation of bhakti. Bhakti keeps us firmly grounded, it does not allow
the ego to take root, says ShreeaniruddhaBapu.
‘Preach only what you practise’ or rather ‘Practise first and only then preach it’
is what Bapu actually follows. Every single day Bapu spins the charkha, He writes the
Ramnaam book, walks for an hour as part of the exercise regime, takes up His
children’s studies, reads a chapter of the Shreesaisachcharit, two from the Gurucharitra,
he reads the Vishnusahasranaam, the entire Sunderkand of the Shreeramacharitamanas,
the ‘Ramrasayan’, recites the Dattabavani, reads a chapter from the work
‘Dattamahaatmya’ by Vasudevanandasaraswati and also the Ramaraksha.
He keeps saying, ‘If at all you wish to give me something, give Me the Ramnaam
jap, the Ramaraksha stotra jap. I will deposit it in My Dattaguru’s bank but for your
sake, not mine and put it to use when you are in real need. Give your time, give your
efforts for the seva of your needy brethern, for the upasana of the bhagavant. You
need to offer at least twenty-four minutes out of twenty-four hours in bhakti of the
bhagavanta. It is this that is ultimately going to be useful. In the horrific times of the
third world war, it is this reserve of bhakti and seva that is going to salvage you.
Bhakti is the path of the valiant not of the coward. It is a totally misplaced and
wrong notion to define for oneself ridiculous associations with bhakti like being
shabbily dressed or being foolish or uncaring about worldly affairs. Modern technology,
science, an alert yet ethical worldly and material life, being tidily and neatly dressed are
all needs of the hour and one just has to move on with time.’
In the preface to the work ‘The Third WorldWar’ Sheereaniruddha Bapu says,
‘There is no doubt that over the next twenty to twenty-five years, conflict will become
an aspect of everyday doings and in every region on earth. In the coming times, the
equation of today might not be valid tomorrow and what was valid at seven in the
morning might be flung right out of the window after its purpose is served and at
five minutes past seven. The calendar is released every once in a year because there is
a definite kind of mathematical formula and construction involved. The calendar of
the coming ‘third world war’ is however, going to be a new one everyday.’
Dwelling on India’s role in the work ‘The Third World War, Shreeaniruddhabapu
states in detail that it is indeed going to be a significant one. In explanation He says,
‘What is most important is that the task of salvaging the world on all fronts as also
that of its post-war rehabilitation will, in all probability fall to India’s lot.’
Shreeaniruddha strongly believes that no matter how big the destructive power,
it is as slight as a blade of grass, just no match for a pure, positive and constructive
power. Besides, for the purpose, He is ever willing and committed to undertake a
morally worthy and constructive task complying with the norms of the parameshvar.
In His role of a Friend, Shreeaniruddha is ever at work, ever willing to take along
with Him all the shraddhaavaan on the path of accord mentionned earlier, the path
that leads beyond any conflict whatsoever.... to usher in the new era, an era of love!
An era of the human, the humane dharma! An era of pure friendship!
He cherishes in His open eyes, the beautiful dream of the dawn, the dawn of
the new era. His relentless and infinite effort will mark the break of dawn.
The one singular focus and aim, the one life mission of the One, who will
cause the break of dawn, the sunrise and light the way is,
I shall fill this world with happiness and
abound with joy, all that be.
- Dr. Yogindrasinh Joshi