H.H. (Dr.) Athavale is in the highest position in Spirituality, that of a Paratpar Guru. Despite that He has preserved His state of a disciple. This can be learnt through His various actions, some examples of which are given further.
1. H.H. (Dr.) Athavale behaving like
a disciple even in the presence of visiting Saints
Some years ago a Saint along with some of his disciples had come to meet H.H. (Dr.) Athavale. While going to meet the Saint, H.H. (Dr.) Athavale was carrying a box containing few objects with Divine changes and few objects attacked by negative energies. Disciples of that Saint were waiting outside till the meeting concluded. After the meeting concluded, H.H. (Dr.) Athavale left the room with the box switching off the lights and fans Himself. At that time that Saint asked Him whether His disciples do not do these tasks for him. H.H. (Dr.) Athavale responded ‘I too am a disciple from the ashram. I live here like a disciple of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj’. The Saint was astonished to hear this. When H.H. (Dr.) Athavale told this incidence to the seekers once, He commented that one enjoys perpetual bliss when one remains in the state of a disciple as a disciple is one who remains persistently in the learning mode.
2. Spiritual emotion of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale for His Guru
2 A. Innocence and spiritual emotion of gratitude
1. While watching the video compact disc of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale meeting H.H. Jiji (wife of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj alias H.H. Baba), we were able to appreciate His immense spiritual emotion for H.H. Baba. While narrating His spiritual journey to H.H. Jiji, child-like innocence and spiritual emotion was visible through His behaviour and speech.
2. In a spiritual emotion of gratitude, He always states that Sanatan Sanstha’s mission is growing in leaps and bounds due to H.H. Baba’s resolve and blessings.
2 B. Devotion and spiritual emotion
The photograph of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj kept in the temple in the room of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale appears live due to His spiritual emotion and every day Divine changes are being observed in it.
2 C. Obeying with dedication
1. When H.H. Baba told H.H. (Dr.) Athavale to render various sevas such as spread of Dharma he had to face several obstacles and opposition, yet He is obediently continuing the mission with dedication till date.
2. Despite having low cosmic energy, He is obeying His Guru and spending most of His time writing Holy texts.
2 D. Spiritual emotion of a disciple
He advises changes in photographs of H.H. Baba which will make it appear more nicer if it is being used in some pamphlets. One bhajan (devotional songs) compact disc cover showed H.H. Baba seated on a settee singing bhajans. H.H. (Dr.) Athavale asked that a pillow be displayed behind Him and bolsters on the sides of the settee. At that time, I realised how He is trying to give His Guru a comfortable posture, as if He is really present there, due to His spiritual emotion of a disciple.
3. Spiritual emotion of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale for different Saints
H.H. (Dr.) Athavale behaves with spiritual emotion in every action towards a Saint assisting the Sanatan Sanstha. He also completes spiritual remedies and series of chanting (anushthan) as advised by them regularly with the spiritual emotion of gratitude.’
– Mrs. Avni Alshi, Sanatan ashram, Ramnathi, Goa (18.9.2016)
4. The objective of Paratpar Dr. Athavale of
remaining in the state of a disciple for the sake of society
A true disciple is one who makes his Guru’s teaching his way of life completely. Since Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale made the teachings of His Guru Saint Bhaktaraj Maharaj His way of life, H.H. Baba showered His grace abundantly, and made Him fully proficient in Spirituality. There are many aspects of this. Some examples are given here. Seekers should make the teachings of the Guru their way of life, only then will they get the complete grace of the Guru.
‘Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale has taught Sanatan Sanstha’s seekers the perspectives given further through His behaviour
A. Today so-called Saints are getting ritualistic worship of Holy feet (padyapuja) done from devotees, are getting garlanded with flowers etc. There are chances of deterioration in spiritual practice by getting trapped in playing the role of a Maharaj. To prevent this from happening in Sanatan Sanstha’s seekers Paratpar Guru has placed the ideal of remaining in the spiritual emotion of a disciple before seekers.
B. As seekers constantly remain in the spiritual emotion of a disciple their ego decreases and their spiritual progress occurs fast.
C. Since H.H. Baba has renounced His body, He is active as the Guru Principle. By teaching seekers to worship H.H. Baba’s photograph on the day of Gurupournima, in a way He has taught them to worship the Guru Principle itself. Through this Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale is teaching seekers to go towards the Guru Principle instead of getting entangled in the physical form of the Guru, that is He is teaching to go from the materalised (sagun) to the non-materlaised (nirgun)’.
5. Seekership is more important than satseva
A. H.H. Baba’s teaching : Baburao Ghalasasi (a devotee of H.H. Baba) used to perform a lot of satseva in the Ashram the whole day; however, he could not chant. Therefore, H.H. Baba got very angry with him during the Ramnavami festival at Kandali and asked him to sit at a quiet place and only chant. ‘If satseva is performed while chanting, it becomes true seva, which is liked by God; else, it is just like a mundane activity’. This is why, H.H. Baba told him to chant.
B. Teaching of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale : Seekers who conduct activities and neglect their vyashti sadhana (Individual spiritual practice that benefits only the seeker performing it) cause significant harm to their own sadhana. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale too advises such seekers to perform vyashti sadhana on priority. To imprint the importance of vyashti sadhana, some seekers have to be sent home. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale also has a perspective that development of seekership is more important than merely performing activities.
6. Bhav that Guru Principle is teaching through everyone
A. H.H. Baba’s teaching : After H.H. Baba’s Guru renounced His body, many Saints such as H.H. Dnyangiri Maharaj, Purnapurushottamacharya came into His life. He had bhav (Spiritual emotion) that the Guru Principle is teaching through these Saints.
B. Teaching of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale : After H.H. Baba renounced His body, many Saints came into the life of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale. He had the same bhav as He had for H.H. Baba towards some of them, especially Gurudev (Dr.) Kateswamiji and H.H. Dadaji Vaishampayan. Even today, Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale strictly follows all instructions and performs all Anushthans (Religious performances) as advised by H.H. Dadaji Vaishampayan, despite the enormous extent of physical stress He has to undergo so as to follow them. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale learns a lot not only through Saints but also from seekers.
7. Giving all credit to the Guru
A. H.H. Baba’s teaching : When H.H. Baba used to give the Gurumantra (The mantra upon initiation) to devotees, they would get spiritual experiences.
While talking about this, H.H. Baba would say, “My Guru gave me the Gurumantra; that is what I am distributing to all. The Gurumantra which makes you mad (Mad in love with God) now is of Shri Anantanand (Guru). It is the grace of Shri Anantanand”.
B. Teaching of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale : There is a life-like picture of H.H. Baba in the temple room of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale. Since the picture looks ‘alive’, H.H. Baba’s eyes appear to move in any direction we move. Once, strange faces appeared on the walls of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale’s room. When I entered the room, He showed me these faces and said, “H.H. Baba knew in advance that we would face distress due to these strange faces; hence, He ensured that His eyes move in all directions. See how much H.H. Baba takes care of us !”
8. Never treating seekers as strangers
A. H.H. Baba’s teaching : H.H. Baba always used to say – Yogakshemam Vahamyaham (I arrange for getting what they lack and preserving what they have). He would say, “Once someone belongs to the Guru, the Guru takes care of him !” As per this quote, H.H. Baba would take care of His devotees in all respects. He would provide financial assistance to ailing devotees (for medicines) or arrange for the wedding of a devotee’s son, etc. because He never treated devotees as strangers.
B. Teaching of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale : Like H.H. Baba, Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale too takes care of seekers in all respects. The family members of Mr. Santosh Alshi (H.H. Sandeep Alshi’s brother) have severe spiritual distress. A religious ritual to eliminate this distress was planned. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale said to me, “If they are short of money to perform the ritual, let us assist them”.
No financial assistance was required since my brother had enough money. However, I was very touched to experience how much care Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale takes of each seeker.
9. Do not get emotionally attached to the Guru’s physical form
A. H.H. Baba’s teaching : H.H. Baba would say to His devotees – “I chant God’s Name.
I would like you to do the same. I would not like you to chant my name, because you will get emotionally attached to my physical form”.
B. Teaching of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale : He says to seekers, “Now, proceed towards Shrikrushna. Do not pray to me, pray to Shrikrushna !”
May all seekers always remain in a state of surrender and gratitude unto the Holy feet of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale – this is our prayer unto the Holy feet of God !
– H.H.Mr. Sandip Alshi, Sanatan ashram, Ramnathi, Goa
Individual spiritual experiences of seekers published here are according to the Principle – ‘Where there is bhav (Spiritual emotion), there is God’. It is not that every individual will have similar experiences.