Stories from Paradise, Gobind Sadan December 25, 1992, Christmas: Sacred Time and Space | Stories from Paradise, Gobind Sadan

December 25, 1992, Christmas: Sacred Time and Space

On Christmas day, Maharaj spoke about the spiritual geography of his communities:

The places where we have communities in India are very ancient places of spiritual beings. They are not new. In America, there are many of these places of great souls. They love locations with flowers and water and trees. If you are sitting in meditation in the city, they will come to your house, but they are happier if you come to their own house. Next time we come here we will find more of these places.

Once Maharaj saw such a place in vision and proposed that we should find and purchase it as a very special spiritual retreat. He told us it was like an island between the United States and Canada, apparently belonging to neither, and that Jesus was blessing it from a large Christian cathedral nearby. We scoured maps but couldn’t find any such place until years later, when Ralph Singh was taking Maharaj to see the St. Lawrence River. It was an extraordinarily beautiful pristine peninsula jutting out into the St. Lawrence. It was just as Maharaj had seen it, and it was for sale, but the price was far beyond our means. I never saw it, and we never learned what spiritual beings were waiting for Maharaj there, but it must have been a place of great spiritual power.

We know that Gobind Sadan in Delhi was the place where the great Sufi saint Shaikh Farid (1175-1265) used to meditate, at a small pond which had since disappeared. The area was a barren land when Maharaj began to develop it, but to avail of the blessed presence of Shaikh Farid, Maharaj had a small cement bowl on a pedestal placed near where the great saint used to sit. Water used to be kept in that bowl, and those who knew its secret always dipped their fingers into it as they passed, and applied that blessed water on their foreheads. The bowl and pedestal are gone now, but we can assume that Shaikh Farid’s blessings live on in that secret holy spot near the veranda of the old library, behind the wall of the havan area.

Hundreds of years later, it seems that Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), the Tenth Sikh Guru, had tethered his horses near what is now the foreigners’ guest complex. I felt his presence so strongly when we began building some rooms near that area that I called it “Anand Lok,” “The World of Spiritual Bliss.”

According to Maharaj’s visions, thousands of years ago Gobind Sadan was a place where the great rishis had meditated. Among the boulders behind his house on the hill there was a small crude stone structure where they had worshipped. It resembled a low bench, so sometimes people ignorantly sat on it, not recognizing it as a sacred space. For many years, Maharaj sent Gyani Ji up there every Sunday to make private offerings of bananas and halwah prasad. Eventually, he had us cover it with marble, a clear signal to people that it was not a sitting place. We now, according to his hukam, make special offerings of ragra and bananas there every Sunday in honour of martyrs, especially Baba Deep Singh, who has been seen moving around in that garden.

Once I sent our head gardener to sleep in the room at the base of the water tower in that magical private garden. I innocently thought it would be helpful for him to be there at night to manage the nightly filling of the tank. The next morning he reported that he was terrified by the multitude of beings he saw in the garden. Wide-eyed, he described big ones, little ones, males and females of all sorts—so many and so frightening to him that he couldn’t bear to stay there. He fled by 2 a.m. When I described his experience to fearless old Baba Kirpal Singh, longtime caretaker of that garden, he grinned knowingly and said, “Yes—that’s Maharaj’s fauj (army).”

Maharaj had long conducted havan in his private garden, and I’m quite sure that he still does. After Maharaj left his physical body, Gurmukh Singh suggested that we hang pictures of him in the havan. I wasn’t so sure, because Maharaj had never allowed us to put pictures of him anywhere in Gobind Sadan, so I prayed to Jesus Maharaj for guidance. He said, “Not like that. Maharaj is there himself doing havan, so you should provide a chair for him—and you can put his picture in that.” Now when I pray the scheduled daily prayers (2 a.m., 8 a.m., noon, and 8 p.m.), I hold out the offerings to Maharaj in his chair for him to bless before I offer them in the havan. At noon, the offerings are sticky, so I also offer him water in which to wash his dear hands, and then a towel to dry them. I’m not a visionary, but often I feel his presence. Some people have seen him sitting there, blessing the offerings and washing his hands. Maharaj had always forbidden us to do any personal prayers in that havan. It seems to be a sacred place of extraordinary power, not so much for those who take turns sitting to read scriptures according to Maharaj’s orders, but for the whole world. In the public havan down in the central community, we feel a tremendous influx of spiritual energy and blessing. But from his own havan, Maharaj and the great deities who come seem to be transmitting blessings to the whole world.