In May 2010, Dada J P Vaswani had a fateful fall in Panama, USA. He suffered multiple fractures on his right shoulder and hip and had to undergo three major surgeries. In the interim, he also suffered a mild paralytic stroke. His condition was critical. At the time, he was 91 years old.
Within months of his fall, in October 2010, Dada came back to India. Here, Dada continued to make steady progress with the help of physiotherapy. With patience and perseverance, he used to undergo three gruelling physiotherapy sessions in a day.
In December 2010, he even participated in the Ratha Yatra commemorating his guru Sadhu Vaswani’s 131st birthday celebrations. And a few days later conducted a Sadhana Camp!
Revealing the secret of how he manages to endure the physical pain, Dada said, “We humans, on finding any aberrations in our physical selves, focus and do our best to correct it and make ourselves healthy again. Whether it is a backache, or a cough and cold or even simple acne, we will spend ages worrying about it and try all methods to eradicate it.
But, never for a moment do we ever consider the filth and damage to our souls. We never think about its cleansing or repairing. We never strain towards the growth and perfection of our souls; it is this pristine soul alone which can take us safely to the other shore. The easiest and the best method to sustain its health and perfection is through repetition of the Name of the Lord. Any Divine Name should be latched on to, and repeated constantly throughout the day—whether while going in the bus, train or car, while taking a break from work, just before meals, even while performing one’s ablutions. Any time is a good time to remember Him, as long as we do so, ensuring our optimum spiritual health.”
Dada spent the whole of March 2011 in Mumbai, finishing 77 recordings for a television series! Then in April he undertook a yatra to Hyderabad, after which he proceeded to Coimbatore. Here, he underwent ayurvedic oil treatments in the care of specialists to augment a further rise in his energy levels and facilitate mobility. From Coimbatore, he continued his yatra to Bengaluru, to return to Pune only in May.
Someone asked Dada how one can thank one’s guru for all the blessings. Dada smiled his trademark smile and replied, “One can never thank the Guru. It is impossible to do so. Any devotee attempting to do so will truly be foolhardy. Even obeying the Guru and following his teachings are for our benefit. Any devotee serving the Guru accrues even more of a debt to the Guru. When the Guru permits us to serve him, he does us a further favour, making us more indebted to him. How can we ever hope to repay him? Hence we can just gratefully accept his grace and mercy and whole-heartedly just surrender to him.” Just like Dada has surrendered to his Guru.
When in Hyderabad, Dada spent every evening in Satsang at home, which was enthusiastically attended by huge crowds. In one of his satsangs, which was on ‘Manush janam ko kadar karo’ [appreciate and value this human birth], Dada said, “One should learn to appreciate each day as a beautiful gift from God, just as this human life is an invaluable one. We should not fritter it away on the unimportant and non-essential. We should value each and every moment of this human existence, making every bit of it count.” In June 2011, Dada visited Lonavala despite feeling under the weather. His health took a turn for the worse, and he was rushed back to Pune. He was given immediate treatment, to which he responded favourably.
In one of his internal conversations while recuperating, Dada narrated an anecdote from the early days of his life. When Dada was six years old, an inspector of schools visited the institution in which Dada studied. When he came to Dada’s class, the inspector asked, “Where is God?” This question confused and baffled the children. A thought occurred to Dada and he put up his hand to answer. He put forward a counter question, “Sir, could you please tell me where God is not?” The inspector was awed by Dada’s answer and complimented him.
“God is everywhere, in every nook and cranny. Once we realise this, we are transformed and approach everyone and everything differently,” said Dada after recounting his story. Dada has made millions feel the presence of the Divine, even during times of unstable health, transferring our focus from the worry and tension to thoughts of the Sublime.
More than a year later, Dada is not only back on his feet, but is stronger than ever continuing his work of spreading the message of the Lord, guiding millions of believers on the spiritual path.
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