A Spiritual Tree Takes Roots

His powers he bestowed on hundred saints.
Their homes, their temples became.
His philosophy took roots in hamlets and towns
where countless are still served in his name.

As Gurudev’s spiritual family grew, he came up with the novel idea of opening sthans in the homes of his disciples.

In 1973, he started seva by opening a sthan at Malhotra ji’s home at Shadipur in Delhi. A year later, seva was relocated to Gurudev’s home at Shivpuri in Gurgaon. The move was preceded by a specific incident that Mataji narrated. It so happened that during that year, two women from Rohtak came to Gurudev’s Shivpuri home and asked for him by name. They told him they had come to meet the man who performed miracles on Thursdays. Gurudev responded that he was the man they were looking for, but he wasn’t a miracle worker. They left, only to return a few days later, requesting his assistance. He then asked them to return to the sthan on the first Thursday after forty days.

When they arrived after forty days, one of the women asked Gurudev for help in breaking a curse her guru had placed on her. She went on to tell him that when her guru came to visit her family, she was four months pregnant. Her husband asked her to present a token of gratitude to the guru because he attributed the pregnancy to the guru’s grace. When she asked the guru what he needed, he replied that he had no worldly desires, but she could give him the bus fare to his next stop. For some inexplicable reason, she refused to part with the money. Enraged, he cursed her and declared, “You will always be the way you are”. She miscarried soon after.

The curse was highly effective. She became pregnant every year, only to miscarry in the fourth month. The year she came to Gurudev, she was pregnant again and asked for his protection to ensure the survival of her unborn child. As she sat narrating her story, the spirit of this woman’s guru entered the sthan and set a portion of it on fire. After Gurudev extinguished the flames, the spirit warned him not to break the curse. Gurudev told the spirit that he could not refuse the lady as she had come to the sthan of her own will. This spirit then asked Gurudev to send the woman to his ashram to seek forgiveness. Gurudev relayed this message but cautioned her not to accept anything from anyone when she went there. However, she accepted a taweez at the ashram; soon after, the child in her womb died.

A siddh guru’s word
is worth its weight in gold!

Following this incident, Gurudev began seva at Shivpuri. Initially, people would come every day of the week to seek assistance. As the crowds grew, Gurudev decided that the first Thursday of each month following a night of no moon (amavasya) would be dedicated entirely to seva. Bada Guruvar is the name given to this day. On Bada Guruvar, seva is performed simultaneously at many sthans worldwide. These sthans have adapted to meet the needs of those they serve. At some sthans, seva is performed on Saturday, while Sunday is the seva day at a few others.

Propelled by the multiplication of sthans, Gurudev’s spiritual enterprise took roots in hamlets, towns, and cities across India and the globe. Home-based sthans have allowed seva to occur without incurring additional infrastructure costs. Accepting money or offerings in exchange for assistance is prohibited at any sthan established by the mahaguru or his disciples.

Gurudev began his still-expanding spiritual enterprise by appointing some of his disciples as gurus and bestowing his powers on them. Many others became disciples of his disciples. He built a multilevel spiritual structure but never revealed the exact relationship he had in mind. He advanced from a new guru to a mahaguru through diligence, practice, and guidance from Buddhe Baba. Eventually, a single tree grew into an orchard of many trees, each capable of self-sufficiency.