Guru has several characteristics like kindness, offering grace, compassionate etc. Along with these characteristics, He is the only one who leads a seeker holding his finger on the spiritual path to attain self-realisation. No seeker can ever repay such a debt of the Guru relieving him/her from this materialstic entanglement (Bhavsagar). He can only pay a gratitude remembering the moments of experiencing His unconditional love and the incidents moulding him. Many got the opportunity to live under H.H. Dr. Athavale’s shelter giving grace while doing spiritual practice prescribed by Sanatan Sanstha. Every time these seekers experienced the divinity in Him. I get overwhelmed and chocked with gratitude while remembering His association with Sanatan’s first Saint, experiencing His Divine qualities through that association, His love for seekers and Saints, His grace helping aaji(grandmother) after Her attaining the sainthood and at the time She was bedridden. Offering the incidents given ahead at His Lotus feet for showering His grace upon all of us through the medium of Sadguru Aaji !
1. H.H. Doctor sowing the seed of love (prembhav) !
In the year 1990 Vimal Phadke Aaji used to attend the workshops held by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale. At that time seekers would address Him as ‘Doctor’. The class would be on every Sunday from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. All would bring their own tiffin. During the lunch break, He also would join seekers and eat. Despite conducting the class, being the head, He never showed any difference. During this period only He sow the seeds of normalcy, prembhav(spiritual love) among seekers through His own behaviour. Therefore the the time from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. would pass so fast and all seekers would wait eagerly for the next Sunday.
2. Loving Gurumauli thinking of others !
A. Phadke Aaji would visit H.H. Doctor in between. H.H. Doctor would have lunch along with her then. At that time also He would always see whatever she required in her plate and ask the seeker serving food to serve that dish to aaji. There is no limit to Divine love !
B. Aaji was staying at the seva centre when she had her eyes operated. Once when aaji returned from the bathroom in the morning, H.H. Doctor was folding her bedsheet.
3. Registering the importance of chanting easily
Phadke aaji would get many spiritual experiences (Anubhutis) and when she would narrate them to H.H. Doctor, he would say, ‘This happened because of the ‘Chant’. Thus He would impress the imporatnce of chanting on our minds so easily.
4. H.H. Doctor making us see the Divine
qualities namely perfection and omnipotence !
Phadke aaji being a good astrologer H.H. Doctor had asked her to prepare a horoscope of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj. Generally aaji would take about 8 days to prepare a horoscope; but she was struggling to complete this hosrscope for 2 months. She would approach H.H. Doctor with the horoscope, and every time He would suggest some changes in it. This happened several times. From this we learnt that He expected the Horoscope of His Guru to be absolutely perfect and He made aaji do it. Although H.H. Doctor was not an astrologer, yet He would suggest the changes. From this we can realise His omnipotence.
5. Teaching seekers through every incident
I lost my father in 1993. H.H. Doctor had paid a condolence visit at aaji’s place. 4-5 seekers had accompanied Him. Aaji talked about her husband for 2 minutes and she told H.H. Doctor, ‘I would resume seva of giving spiritual lectures after 13 days’. Hearing this immediately H.H. Doctor asked us what had we learnt from aaji then. Some said she has acceped the death of her husband very easily, there is no sign of death here, the atmosphere is good. H.H. Doctor said, Aaji looked at the incident as a spectator and she has lived Spirituality. Hence, we all present there could learn it.
6. H.H. Doctor expressing His joy verbally when aaji was declared Saint
On 13th December 2002 H.H. Doctor came home to declare aaji being the first Saint of Sanatan. All were very happy. It was quite a memorable day for all of us. He had brought gifts and prasad for aaji. Aaji said, ‘I am very happy’. H.H. Doctor said, ‘Aaji, you are the first Saint of Sanatan, then how much happy I aught to be.’Naturally the small plant which gurumauli had sown, had turned into a huge tree and this was the first flower (a jewel – Saint) appearing on it; then how happy we should be !
7. H.H. Doctor accepting the namaskar from H.H.
Aaji by lifting His foot up, so that she would not have to bend !
On 7th July 2003 Aaji and I had paid a visit to Miraj ashram. Aaji was very tired due to her travelling. After sometime H.H. Doctor came into the room to see her. Aaji got up from her chair and was about to bend to pay her obeisance to H.H. Doctor, immediately He raised His foot up and said, no need to bend, I am only raising my foot up to make it easy for you.’ Hence aaji could pay obeisance very easily. Would we find Guru of this calibre anywhere ?
8. H.H accepting her Namsakar when Aaji
was unable to do so because of paralytic attack.
Due to paralitic attack aaji could not do namaskar hence trying to join both the hands (unable to do so) and H.H. Doctor joining both Her hands together in namaskar position and acknowledging it as her namaskar – Since her paralitic attack on 11th July 2003, she would be sleeping in bed all the time. She could not move her one hand. 14th July had happened to be Gurupournima. She was feeling very sad for Her inability to do namaskar to H.H. Doctor when He would come to meet Her. Therefore She was practising since that morning to join both Her hands. She could not even realise H.H. Doctor entering Her room and coming near Her. Seeing Her efforts to join hands, He asked me about it and learnt what she was keen about. He joined both Her hands together and told Her that He had received Her namaskar. How much love between the Guru and His disciple. I feel tremendous gratitude even today when I remember this incident.
9. Taking care of a sick person
One day H.H. Aaji was restless for she had been lying in the same position in Her bed, hence I was trying to lift Her up a little. At that moment H.H. Doctor came into the room and helped me change Her position to Her satisfaction by repeatedly asking Her about feeling comfortable.
The next day H.H. Aaji developed breathing problem, hence I informed H.H. Doctor about it. Immediately He came and checked Her with His stethoscope. I felt very grateful then. She had to be hospitalised as Her distress increased. Even there H.H. Doctor visited Her twice. He would always take care of Her after Her return from the hospital.
10. Disregarding seekers’ distress giving
priority to pay off the give-take acccount of seekers
Disregarding seekers’ distress giving priority to pay off the give-take acccount of seekers and impressing the importance of Spirituality through that -When in Miraj ashram, seekers would come to help lifting H.H. Aaji. Giving ahead is the dialogue between H.H. Aaji and H.H. Doctor in that regard.
H.H. Aaji : Seekers have to suffer the trouble of lifting me.
H.H. Doctor : Do you want to finish or keep going the give-take account ?
H.H. Aaji : I want to finish it.
H.H. Doctor : Then ok. Remember seekers are rendering seva thereby.
11. H.H. Doctor fulfilling every desire of a seeker in the form of a Guru !
We were leaving Miraj ashram to go back home by car. There were 2 cars in the ashram then. One of them was H.H. Doctor’s and the other was a luxury car. H.H. Aaji’s Doctor had suggested the luxury car for Aaji, as she was used to lying in bed; but Aaji said She would travel by H.H. Doctor’s car. So H.H. Doctor said let Aaji traval by whichever car she liked. Finally we returned to Panvel by H.H. Doctor’s car only. I could not hold my rolling tears seeing this love between the Guru and the disciple.
12. Giving Divine conciousness by helping though various mediums
After our return to Panvel, H.H. Aaji would suffer spiritual distress. At that time H.H. Doctor was helping us at various levels. He would suggest some spiritual remedises, sending prasad for Her providing Divine conciousnee through such acts. It is beyond my capacity to pay gratitude for this.
13. Realising H.H. Doctor’s grace
An unaquainted optholmologist coming to our residence to check H.H. Aaji’s eyes, ear specialist not charging any fees for paying a home visit to check Aaji’s ears and Realising H.H. Doctor’s grace then – One day, an eye of H.H. Aaji was watering. When H.H. Doctor was informed about it, He said that optholmologist comes home to check eyes and and an unacquainted optholmologist really paid a visit to H.H. Aaji, when I called her, checked Her eyes prescribed medicine but did not charge for her services. Once when H.H. Aaji had an earache. An ear specilaist came prescribed medicine but did not charge any fees. All this was possible only due to H.H. Doctor’s grace.
14. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale relieving from
birth and death going beyond place and time !
In 2006 H.H. Doctor told H.H. Aaji, “Now you must go beyond place and time’. He made H.H. Aaji put in efforts also in that regard.
A. H.H. Aaji would remember Her relatives very much. When they would call she would make me talk to them and give Her message.
B. Whenever breakfast or food was served to her she would accept everything without fuss.
C.She was not aware of the mornings or evenings.
D.Earlier she would inquire about some seekers; but later it had reduced.
E. She was least bothered about day or night.
F. She would talk very little to seekers coming to meet Her.
G. She would ask me to wait for a while when I would go to see Her. Later She would only smile.
H. Looking at her she appeared thoughtless.
All these efforts before Her departure from this world were possible only because of H.H. Doctor’s grace and H.H. Aaji turned into a reasilsed soul. Gratitude beyond words to H.H. Doctor !’
– Mrs. Manisha Gadgil, Devad, Panvel.