When Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale used to reside in Mumbai He initially taught seekers a number of skills such as typing, video-filming, photography etc. Given further are spiritual experiences of how Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale has been nurturing the seekers directly and indirectly.
1. Orienting seekers to undertake spiritual practice
as per Gurukrupayoga (Path of Guru’s Grace) is greatness at the
subtle level of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale’s mission as an incarnation !
In 1996 we heard about Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale through Mrs. Madhuwanti’s (my wife) maternal uncle Mr. Patki (who used to attend the satsangs conducted by Sanatan Sanskruti Sanstha at Panvel) and developed an inner urge to meet Him. Hence we went to Panvel not only to be able to attend satsang but also to be able to meet Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale. Considering my liabilities (I was married since two years, while still studying, and had a daughter by name Vaidehi), I needed to have a job and money in hand. I had a firm conviction that even in such circumstances deciding to go to Panvel due to an intense inner urge, was itself an immense grace and inspiration of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale. Though externally it would appear as if we took the decision, this was entirely due to His grace upon us. Several seekers have had such spiritual experiences and are still getting them. Sacrificing their worldly life and their treading on the spiritual path of selflessness is but His grace which several seekers have got and are still getting. Seekers sacrificing their worldly life and stepping towards their spiritual life, devoid of any expectations, is the grace bestowed by Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale upon seekers yearning for salvation and Moksha (Final Liberation) for several births. Orienting the seekers onto the path of spiritual practice as per Gurukrupayoga is greatness, at the subtle level, of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale’s mission as an incarnation.
2. Spiritual practice performed in childhood and youth
I would try to recite the Gayatri mantra every day since my thread ceremony around the age of 8 and did it for 20-21 years.
3. Kuladevata (Family Deity) giving me a vision in the form of light within
just a few days of chanting Her Name and after this spiritual experience, faith
in Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale getting strengthened despite not having met Him
Later in 1993 as advised in the satsang I began to chant the Name of the Kuladevata. Within 8 to 10 days I got a vision of the Kuladevata in the form of light. After this spiritual experience I felt something different and became happy. I was unaware that it was a spiritual experience of the vision of the Kuladevata. 6 to 8 months later this spiritual experience was published in the Holy text ‘Spiritual experiences of seekers published by the Sanatan Sanstha’ after which my spiritual practice acquired depth and despite not having met Paratpar Guru (Dr) Athavale directly, I developed intense faith in Him. I realised that by imparting seekers with spiritual experiences and enhancing their faith through it, and giving right direction to their spiritual practice is the grace of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale at the spiritual level.
4. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale teaching through actions
4A. By dressing in a simple white kurta and pyjama and accompanying me upto the elevator to see me off, Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale destroying the rigid image of Saints in my mind : This incidence is from the year 1996 when it had been just two months since I had commenced spiritual practice. I had still not seen Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale till then. Image of a Saint I had in my mind was of those in the Varkari sect or the ones adorning a beard, with matted hair and wearing saffron attire. A workshop was organized based on new Holy texts published by the Sanstha at Dadar in Mumbai. At that time a person wearing a white kurta and pyjama walked past me and sat on the dais. Other seekers were giving information on the Holy text. After sometime I inquired with Gadkarikaka (currently known as H.H. Ramesh Gadkari), Has Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale arrived yet ? Where is He ? He replied ‘He is seated on the stage’. Since He did not match the image of a Saint in my mind I confirmed with H.H. Gadkarikaka again ‘Is that Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale ? Is He a Saint ?’ That day He eliminated the illusion about a Saint and a renunciant fom my mind just with one action. Actually this was His grace showered upon me. Instead of teaching me verbally about what Saints are like or are not like, He taught me through his own behaviour and gave a direction to my thinking and intellect. This has happened in the life of several seekers. That evening after the programme concluded I went to the sevakendra. When leaving He accompanied me to the elevator to see me off. It was at that juncture that I experienced how loving and simple Saints are !
4B. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale summoning me to eat a meal along with Him, after getting a thought that I should eat the leftovers from His plate, He placing the bowl with gulab jamun from His plate onto mine and post this awakening of spiritual emotion realising that the Guru understands everything in the mind of a seeker : A year later in 1997 when I had been to Mumbai for some work related to pension income of my mother-in-law, I got an opportunity to visit the sevakendra. I had visited the sevakendra without giving any prior intimation. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale invited me to have lunch. All other seekers were seated outside on the floor for lunch, but He asked me to sit besides Him on the table. I was so shy that I did not know what to do, but I complied. I had thought in my mind to carry His plate after lunch and eat His leftovers. He perceived it and as I was finishing my lunch He placed the bowl with gulabjamun from His plate onto mine saying ‘A bhandara (Festival of serving food as a spiritual ritual) was held in my Guru’s ashram recently. These gulab jamuns made from khava (coagulated milk) is a prasad (Holy sacrament) sent from there for you’. I felt gratitude and realised that Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale knows every thought in the mind of a seeker. In the Holy text ‘The Disciple’ published by the Sanstha later, Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale has written that a Guru makes His disciple aware that He knows every thought that occurs in his mind through several incidents’.
That day by giving me the prasad from His plate and by making me aware that He knows every thought that comes to my mind, He enhanced my spiritual emotion for Him. Understanding this facet of the mission of the Guru Incarnate at the subtle level itself means understanding the unexpressed teachings of Shri Guru.
4C. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale standing with a napkin in His hands behind a seeker washing his hands : After lunch what He taught us through action is beyond any description. I was gargling after washing my hands in the washbasin and then I saw Him walking briskly past me. I thought He must be in a hurry. When I turned back after cleaning my mouth in relaxed manner, I saw him standing behind me with a napkin in His hands. I felt very shy. This incident had such a deep impact on my mind that I pledged that till the time I am able to render seva in the manner Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale did today, I will not call myself a seeker. Hence no matter how much seva Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale gets done from me I am aware that I am still falling short of it.
-Sadguru (Dr.) Charudatta Pingle (May 2017)
Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat