Debi Prasad Mohanty, Orissa
This article is a chapter from the book Memories of Swami Chidananda.
In the year 1965 I was studying at London University. One day a British student approached me in the Library and said, “Hello, Mr. Mohanty! Can you show me your palm?” – “Are you a palmist?” – “Yes, I know a little bit of palmistry.” He studied my palm for some time and said, “Mr. Mohanty, your life span is very short. You may live up to 43 or 45 years and you will die of a heart attack. But if you come in contact with a great saint, He can change your life span.”
I came in contact with Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj in 1973 and soon the entire family was initiated and we became disciples of our Pujya Gurudev. One day I was climbing the stairs of Sivananda Ashram to Sri Vishwanath Temple. I did not know that Sri Gurudev was following me. In the middle of the stairs I took rest on the cement bench. Sri Gurudev asked me, “Why are you gasping? It seems your heart is weak. On your return to New Delhi, make a thorough check-up of your heart.” (In those days I was practicing as an Advocate in the Supreme Court of India.) He also asked my wife and me to bring our horoscopes on our next visit, which we did. Sri Gurudev took both the horoscopes and told us that He will show them to a good astrologer, but at the same time He Himself studied them, and in my horoscope He changed the planetary positions, by uttering “let this planet go to that position, and let that planet come to this place”, and like this He made a completely new horoscope for me.
And the most interesting incident happened on my 43rd birthday. At that time Sri Gurudev was staying in Delhi. On the previous day Sri Gurudev called me: “Debaprasad, how early can you come tomorrow? “Gurudev, I can come at 4 a.m.” Gurudev said, “No! That will be too early; you better come at 5 a.m.
The next morning at 5 a.m. Sri Gurudev was waiting for me, called me inside His room and closed the door. I was overwhelmed when I saw the arrangements. One asana was kept for me, a lamp was burning, some sandal paste and kumkum was kept there and one garland was kept at the feet of Param Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. Sri Gurudev asked me to sit on that asana, He put sandal paste and kumkum on my forehead and brought the garland from Param Gurudev’s feet and garlanded me and then did Arati to me. It was exactly as my mother used to do on my birthday.
Sri Gurudev gave me sweets and asked me to call all the visitors who were waiting for Sri Gurudev’s darshan as He was to leave for America the same evening. I did so. Sri Gurudev told them, “All of you must bless Deba Prasad as from today he has started a new life and he will not come back to this world, as this is his last birth.” He distributed sweets to all. I mentally prayed to Sri Gurudev to take some sweets. He looked at me and said, “Don’t worry – I will keep some for me.”
I do not know how long I will live, but the present life belongs to my Pujya Gurudev. He is more a mother than a father for us. I have realised that Sri Gurudev is Parabrahman Himself and appeared in human form to protect this world. But few people could recognize Him, just as Lord Krishna was known to very few people only.