Let us read about the spiritual journey of Sanatan’s Saint H.H. (Mrs.) Nandini Mangalwedhekar, performing varied sevas and experiencing the constant presence of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale with her, as narrated by Her.
A liking for religious activities due to a spiritual atmosphere at home ‘My mother had immense faith in God because of which even I developed a liking for religious activities. A lot of rituals such as observance of purity and seclusion, ritualistic worship (puja) and prayers occurred at our house, but at that time I was unsure about exactly which Deity or swami to worship.
2 Coming in contact with Sanatan Sanstha
2A. One day when my husband opened his shop,
suddenly a picture of Saint Bhaktaraj Maharaj with the
caption ‘fight injustice’ fell near him, and after reading it,he
thought that the mission of the Sanstha must be good and that he should participate in it
My husband had immense hatred for injustice. We owned a shop which he and I ran together. In the year 1994, once when he opened the shop, suddenly a photograph of Saint Bhaktaraj Maharaj came flying and fell close to him. We do not know from where this photograph came, but it had the caption which read, ‘Fight injustice’. This made him feel that the mission of this organisation must be good and that he should join it.
2B. I commenced chanting the Name of the Family Deity after
reading an article wriiten by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale published in a daily.
In 1995 I happened to read the box ‘How to chant’ written by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale in the Dainik Samachar newspaper. It had information about chanting of the Name of The Family Diety Ever since My husband and I began chanting the Name of our Family Deity.
3. Sojourn of spiritual practice
3A. Different sevas done till today
3A 1. Being informed about Sanatan Sanstha, after attending their satsang and thereafter performing any available seva : Allopathic physician Dr. Nandini Samant was conducting weekly satsang at Solapur. We began attending it since the year 1996 where we learnt about Sanatan Sanstha and received guidance about performing spiritual practice. This is how we both commenced our spiritual practice . Thereafter we began to perform any available seva.
3A 2. Performing seva of prasar in Bhagyanagar for a fortnight, in adverse circumstances: In 1997 my husband and I went to Bhagyanagar for seva for a fortnight. Another seeker Mandar was accompanying us. As most people speak Telugu, we were telling people about Spirituality in Hindi and English in easy and casual language. We were staying in an old mud room there. It was half fallen on one side with a heap of mud on the other side. We would feel afraid while going to bed. I would allow my husband to sleep on the bed and I would spread out a mat and sleep on the floor. My husband did not eat rice so I would give him my share of chapatis and I would eat his rice share. This is how we spent a fortnight but with the prasar seva we experienced a lot of bliss.
3A 3. Conducting satsang with encouragement from my husband and despite Telugu language attendees at the satsang not understanding the subject, they still liked it : Initially my husband would conduct satsang. Then he encouraged me to do it. Even I started conducting the satsang. I conducted satsang at the Maruti temple in Solapur, in some hotels and in the State bank housing colony. Some Telugu speaking people too would attend satsang. Though they would not comprehend much they would still like it.
3A 4. Cooking for seekers who came home for satsang : Formerly the living room of our house was huge, because of which satsang’s were conducted here. That time Some seekers would reach home late at night after the satsang, so I would cook meals for them at our place.
3B. Initially Performing devotion unto our Family Deity
Venkateshwar, later rituals of purity and seclusion decreased and
faith in chanting increased and closeness towards Sanatan Sanstha also increased!
My mother-in-law was a great devotee of Shri Bhavani devi. Once she travelled to Tuljapur prostrating on the ground all along the way. We were devoted unto our Family Deity Venkateshwar and recited the Venkatesh Stotra for 8 days from 12 am to 4 am, then drank a glass of milk and remained fasting the rest of the day. Thereafter my seclusion and purity rituals decreased, faith in chanting increased and I began to attribute more importance to chanting. Gradually closeness with Sanatan Sanstha grew.
3C. My sons too commenced spiritual practice and had the
spiritual experience of the constant presence of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale
Two of my children also got attached to Sanatan Sanstha along with me. In 2005 my son Rajesh was to visit Ramnathi ashram in Goa. Thinking that the ashram was at Ponda near Kolhapur he went there, and then learnt from the seekers that it is at Ponda in Goa state. He thought he would reach Ramnathi ashram by 1 pm the next day. He was yearning to meet Gurudev. That very night he had a dream in which he saw Paratpar Gurudev showing him the way to the ashram. When he actually visited the place, he realised that it is exactly the same as he had seen in the dream. During his visit with Paratpar Gurudev, he noticed that Paratpar Gurudev’s appearance was full of Radiance, the same way as he had seen in his dream. This vision had helped him to increase his faith in Gurudev. He is a contractor by profession and before he starts any project, he worships H.H. Gurudev. Often, He is able to experience His presence with him.
3D. I had several spiritual experiences associated with Paratpar Gurudev.
Whenever I feel like eating something sweet, Paratpar Gurudev send me sweets.
4. Meeting Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale for the first time
I met Paratpar Gurudev for the first time in the Miraj ashram in 2002.
5. Death of my husband and
two children and being able to get out of the
bereavement after consolation by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale
5A. My ill husband breathing his last in hospital after
hearing the full audio cassette of guidance by Paratpar Gurudev
My terminally ill husband had to be hospitalised. He requested me to play Paratpar Gurudev’s guidance audio cassettes and breathed his last only after hearing both cassettes ‘Sadhana’ Part 1 and 2, till the end.
5B. My husband made lots of preparations at home for the
arrival of Paratpar Gurudev, but his death occured before that.
My husband made several preparations to welcome Paratpar Gurudev home. As Paratapar Gurudev had explained the importance of yellow colour he had purchased yellow bedsheets and other things for the home. But unfortunately, before Paratpar Gurudev visited us he passed away.
5C. As I wept bitterly at the loss of my husband
and two children, Paratpar Gurudev visited me
at my home and after his consolation I got out of the grief
My two children expired soon after the death of my husband. I could not endure this hurt and was in deep sorrow, sobbing bitterly. In 2004 Paratpar Gurudev visited me at my home. My son had carpeted the floor with flowers. Some people felt that Paratpar Gurudev was entering the house holding the hand of my husband. I was in grief, sobbing bitterly. He said, “How long will you weep like this? The one who has to leave will go. Now you have to get out of this bereavement. I have opened the door for you. You have to attend the satsang.” I attended that satsang and gradually got out of my bereavement.