There was this person in Canada – and I am telling you his real-life story, which I witnessed over a period of time. When I first met him in India, he was a devout worshipper of the Gayatri mantra. He was the first one whom I saw who actually had Gayatri siddhi. Siddhi is when a mantra becomes your own and you become the mantra; the energy of the mantra works through you, lives in you, benefitting other people. He blessed and helped many people sail through difficult circumstances in life.
When I first met him, this man’s radiance was extraordinary. He had such a beautiful, effulgent face; you could look at him all day, and still feel as if you were receiving the love, warmth, divinity and grace that flowed from him. Those were the days when I did a lot of astrology – I was 15 years old then.
This sadhaka’s dedication was phenomenal. He had been chanting the Gayatri mantra, 16 rounds, every day. One round of chanting is 108 times. Every day for roughly 40 years, he never missed his chanting routine.
I’ll digress for a moment to tell you a little incident from his life. The factory where he used to work got a big order once, so they asked everybody to put in half a shift more each day. That way, two people could do 12 hours’ work each in different shifts, so the factory could have 24 hours of production. This was back in the early nineties.
He said to his boss, “Look, I am sorry, I cannot stay back, because at 3 pm I have to leave. I have to do my own thing then – it’s my personal time.”
“You have been with this company for 20 years,” his boss said. “You know how big this order is for us. And it’s not as if we’re not paying you. We will pay you double the usual amount for the overtime. All we are asking is that you extend your work day for four hours, and only for eight or nine weeks.”
He said, “Sorry, I can’t do that.”
“That’s not going to sit well with anybody. You’re the supervisor. What kind of example are you going to set?”
“I’m sorry, I need to put food on the table, but I cannot stay beyond 3 pm.”
The manager became quite upset. The matter went to the department head, and he had a meeting. He said the same thing and then it went all the way to the CEO. Because he had been working at the factory for 20 years, they couldn’t just fire him. They needed people with the technical know-how who could fulfill the order.
“I’m at my wits’ end,” the CEO said. “Why do you have to go at 3 pm? Why can’t you stay back for four hours, just for a few weeks? Tell me, what is the problem? Won’t you be happy if this company grows?”
“It’s a personal thing,” he replied. “I have to go and meet somebody.”
“You don’t exactly look like a teenager in love. Whom do you have to meet every day that you can’t miss? Can’t you meet him or her at 7 pm?”
“I must reach home by 4 pm, when I sit down and have my meeting.”
“But with whom?” the CEO asked, a bit flustered. ‘Whom do you have to meet?”
I am not adding any of my own words. This is exactly how I heard this from the man himself.
“Well, I have to meet the person who gave me this job,” he said.
“This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” the CEO said, throwing his hands in the air. “What are you talking about? I gave you this job. This is my damn company!” Then the CEO thought, perhaps there was some agent involved. This guy is a poor immigrant, so there must have been an agent who is taking a commission or some work from the employee that he is unaware of. “Oh I get it! Is there some kind of agent in between us? But, I gave you this job myself.”
“No, there’s no agent, but I can tell you whom I must meet at 4 pm every day.”
“Pray tell,” the CEO said, exasperated.
“Do you know Jesus?” this man asked.
“If you mean Jesus Christ, then of course, I know him.”
“Well, I go home to meet his father. I pray to Krishna.”
For 40 years this person had never missed his routine of Gayatri mantra chanting. Every day, he chanted 16 rounds of the mantra and two rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra, followed by reading one chapter from the Bhagavad Gita. He was a householder and worked a full-time job until he was 60 years old. This is the level of self-discipline and faith that is required if you really want to succeed on the path of mantra sadhana.
The CEO, for the record, marked on his file to never to bother this guy again: Let him do whatever he wants to do after 3 pm; let him go where he wants to go, in his own time. He worked till he retired from this company, by the way. Look at his faith. So often, we think that people who are just mediums in our lives are our everything, that without their grace we won’t live. That’s not true. They are simply the medium. ‘Ja par kripa raam ki hoi, taa par kripa kare sab koi.’ (If the Divine is in your favor, the whole world will be too.)
A very senior bureaucrat once wrote to me, saying, “The chief minister used to love me, but now the CM is against me, and I am being framed,” and so forth. He was very keen that I get his email, so I wrote him one line in return: “Did you do anything wrong?”
He replied, “No.”
I wrote back: “You don’t have anything to worry about. Drop all your fears.”
A few days later I got another email from him that read, “It’s miraculous! I don’t know how it happened, but just yesterday evening, I managed to meet the cabinet secretary and the principal secretary. Everybody is on my side, and people who were against me are now saying that I was actually doing the right thing. But I just need to be back in the good books of the chief minister, because he’s the man, after all.”
I replied, “You have missed the point completely. The chief minister is not the maker of your destiny; he is just the medium. You just focus on doing the right thing, and the right things will follow automatically.”
It’s worth remembering here that when your faith is strong, no adversity in life can shake you. Otherwise, every little incident becomes a huge episode. Each minor hurdle, every small challenge looks like a mountain to climb, which it isn’t. You have made it into a mountain, but it is nothing. Keep doing what you have to do, and you will make your own way.
In any event, when we chant a mantra such as the Gayatri mantra, we are not asking any supernatural being to help us. Instead, we are invoking our own latent energy; we are invoking the power within us. Associating it with a deity of some kind is a matter of meditation; of better focus, visualization and manifestation.
This is an excerpt from my new book The Hidden Power of Gayatri Mantra where I’ve shared various Gayatri sadhana steps and also the brief method of invocation for those who are pressed for time. Though heavily edited, it’s based on the discourses I gave in my Gayatri Sadhana camps. Before you grab your copy, please do know that this book is essentially a concise version of The Ancient Science of Mantras with an exclusive and magnified focus on the Gayatri mantra, its origin and invocation. I thought this disclaimer was important so you don’t end up with a book and say to yourself, “I already knew all this.” What?