As Maharaj Ji prepares for the big havan, he tells us some of the benefits it will bring: We do havan to cleanse the atmosphere and appease the great Powers. We are all working to alleviate poverty. We all want to do that, but if there is a tremendous hailstorm and all the crop is destroyed, how will you root out poverty? There are diseases and infections spreading—with those, how will you eradicate poverty? Some difficulties keep cropping up.
That is the purpose of the havan—to prevent any kind of afflictions and possibilities of natural destruction, and to cleanse the atmosphere. It will improve crop production. Trees, cows, buffalos, all animals will become healthy, and they will all loudly praise the Lord.
Just as we eat food twice a day for our health and sustenance, this is the food of the great spiritual Powers. When they receive this food, they become happy, and they will give their blessings.
The next day Maharaj ji added another point about the benefits of havan: Fragrances are offered with love in the havan, and the deities sit there happily. In addition to fragrances, which are included in the samagri mixture that is offered in the fire, Maharaj said, “Fruit should also be offered.” As for the atmosphere that should prevail when havan is being done, he said, “Tapasya (renunciation) and peacefulness are the main things. There should be no speakers.”
The benefits Maharaj ascribes to doing havan are surely true, for we have often seen that natural disasters and crop diseases that devastate nearby areas do not harm Maharaj’s lands; instead, they thrive and produce abundant crops. Gurdev Singh recalls one such incident from April 1998 during wheat harvesting time. It is essential that the weather be dry during harvesting season so that the crop will not be spoiled. But Maharaj saw in vision that the climate would be bad during that harvest season, and the wheat could be ruined. Gurdev Singh and Major Gurnam Singh Brar were with him, and he reported to them that God was also giving a special blessing:
“God has given us 30 days of good weather to harvest our wheat. But according to His hukam, we must do havan with offerings of black sesame seed, halwah Prasad, and bananas and pray there four times each day and night: 2 a.m., 8 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m.” According to the hukam, the sevadars were also told to put up small flags from Shiv Sadan to Sheranwala Village and from Shiv Sadan to Garhmukhteshwar up to Bhagwantpur. These were outlying areas where Maharaj’s disciples had their farms. The distance from one flag to the next was to be such that each flag could be seen from the one before it.
This spiritual programme began and the wheat harvest went on throughout Maharaj’s huge farm. But one day, the havan prayers were missed because the person who had been deputed to pray left for a marriage, and the person deputed in his place forgot, missing the 8 p.m. prayer, the 2 a.m. prayer, and the 8 a.m. prayer. During the night, there was a terrific thunder blast, bringing thunder clouds and some rain as well. When Gurdev Singh went to the havan in the morning, he discovered that prayers had been forgotten. They immediately prayed, and after two hours, the clouds dissipated. After three hours, the harvesting combines were able to start again.
During the last week of the harvesting, when only a few areas remained to be cut, dark clouds appeared, and it looked like nighttime during the day. A report came from Amrik Singh in nearby Meerut city that it was raining very heavily there. Gurdev Singh contacted Maharaj, saying, “It is about to rain here since there is heavy rain in nearby areas.” Maharaj said,
“Have faith! God has given us 30 days, and nothing like that will happen here.” Gurdev Singh got in the jeep and started traveling to the field where the combine was working, half an hour’s drive away, to give them this message. During that half hour, strong winds came and blew away all the clouds. Maharaj ji’s crop was saved. Even though it rained hard in the surrounding areas, the farms of Maharaj’s disciples that had been marked by flags were also protected and remained dry.