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  • Writer's pictureRon Brent

24. Gobind Sadan

Gobind Sadan is located in Meroli, a farming community on the outskirts of Delhi. When we arrive at the ashram,Maharaji is in the fields attending to his rose garden. Virsa Singh has a special fondness for roses.

The ashram is clean, simple, and appears to be well managed - an ideal environment for performing spiritual practices. There are several dozen disciples in view and as far as I can tell, they are predominantly Sikhs.

Everyone is going about their ashram duties and it's evident that most are deeply absorbed in their work. Service to the Guru and silent mantra repetition (jāpa) are prominent spiritual practices here, along with the chanting of sacred hymns. Upon close observation, I notice that some of the devotees are silently moving their lips as they go about their work.

Maharaji has been informed of my coming and is quite eager to meet me. As we walk toward each other I am struck by his saintly appearance. Maharaj Virsa Singh is a tall, majestic figure, with a radiant countenance.

We carry on a brief conversation in the field before settling inside for tea. He is curious about Yogi Bhajan and wants to know what he is teaching people in America.

Maharaji doesn’t speak English so Nirlep translates for us. He informs me that Yogi Bhajan told him he had been invited to teach in America and requested his blessings and guidance. Maharaji explains that he instructed Yogi Bhajan to simply teach people about the power of the Divine Name (mantra) and to follow the teachings of the Sikh Lineage. That means, devotion to the Gurus and following their teachings, accessed primarily through the poems and songs portrayed in the Guru Grānth Sāhib. Nowhere in the teachings is there an emphasis on postural yoga.

Being in Maharaji’s presence leaves no doubt as to his authenticity as a holy man. He is very simple and continuously radiates peace, love, joy and tranquility. His laugh is infectious. He’s extremely gracious and attentive to me for the entire two weeks I spend with him. I will be forever grateful for the many blessings I received during this period.

On the second day of my stay he sends two of his disciples to accompany me to a local village in order to help me buy a set of prayer beads (māla). He then proceeds to use them for his own mantra repetition over the next several days before returning them to me. Once I get them back, I can sense an extra charge in my own jāpa practice.

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