Concerned people from around the world have been writing anxiously to find out how Gobind Sadan is faring in the time of corona virus. Little do they know that we are very happy and healthy here in paradise. Our lives go on as usual, with round-the-clock routines of prayer, worship, and langar that have continued for decades.
This is one of our best seasons, and thanks to ample rainfall this year the flowers are blooming extravagantly. A great variety of birds—nearly 70 different varieties identified so far– are singing heartily. The mustard harvest in several fields has yielded a large quantity of mustard seeds that will be sent to the market to be pressed into oil for our divas. Our godowns are full of our own wheat and rice, and ample stocks of dals. Our cows and buffalos keep giving us milk. Our organic vegetable gardens continue to provide home-grown things that are good for us. In our organic orchard, the lemon, guava, jamun, kinoo, mausami, and bel trees are covered with flowers and fruits, under Mangal’s loving care.
One of the tree varieties—a large yellow citrus fruit with a thick peelable skin and very sour lemon-like fruit—is bearing heavily, as usual. But in previous years, many of the fruits fell to the ground unused, for the fruit is so sour that few people want to eat it, even in achaar. Thanks to the advice of a naturopathic doctor who treats Gobind Sadan sevadars for free, Dr. Sudhir Rana, we have discovered a wonderful use for those fruits: We are now making them into a delicious mixture that is so high in Vitamin C that it must be helping to build our immunity, and improves our digestion as well. Dr. Rana told us that in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh where he grew up, the village people peel those fruits, chop the insides, and mix them with gur (raw sugar—of which we have an abundant supply from our farms), powdered black salt, and powdered red pepper. He says this mixture purifies the blood and increases hemoglobin, and when people eat it regularly, their faces glow. People here love it and are eager to eat it.
Gobind Sadan’s environment is naturally healing for mind, body, and soul. The hundreds of neem trees are always purifying the air, as are the havans that go on night and day. Continual recitation of Nam and Jaap Sahib detoxify our hearts and keep us close to the One who is doing everything. Maharaj’s presence and His teachings are ever with us.
Delhi and Indian governments have taken very strong measures to control the spread of Covid-19, and every time we make a mobile call we first get a message advising us of precautions to take. Most of us already spend most of our time here rather than traveling outward. Our free school for poor children is temporarily closed, as are all schools and universities in Delhi, but our children are still getting the tutoring they need. Jesus is surrounded by beautiful flowers, and personal prayers at Jesus’ Place now take place from within that natural boundary, for the sake of social distance. In this sub-tropical climate, most of our activities occur in fresh open-air spaces rather than in closed rooms. And with the daily sounds of Gurbani, Hanuman Chalissa, Chandi di War, the Lord’s Prayer, Sh’ma Israel, Artas, Holy Qur’an, Dhan Dhan Baba Siri Chand Sahib and more echoing throughout the campus, we are constantly reminded of and strengthened by reminders of the presence of the Merciful One who is always with us. What better place could there be to ride out the storm of the virus?
Susanna Mattsson of Sweden, who is here now, writes,
“Rushing through the airport just in time to catch the last plane to India before the visa suspension I had only one thought in my mind: ‘Please Maharaj, take me home.’ Home meaning Gobind Sadan, the residence of my heart and soul. Little did I know, happily making it through the Indian customs as one of few foreigners this early morning, that in just a few hours my flight back to Sweden would be cancelled. And then the next one. And the next… As country after country closed its borders, I finally found myself ‘stuck’ in India with no idea of when to be able to return. And when I finally realized this, all I felt was huge relief.
So can ‘stuck’ really be the word then? Wouldn’t we need a more appropriate verb for getting to stay on in Paradise? While the whole world is going crazy outside, spinning on fear and scaremongering, life at Gobind Sadan goes on as it always does. Without worry, without panic, without change. Oh yes, we wash our hands, we take supplements to boost our immune system, we take care of each other. But most of all. We keep on reciting Nam. We keep on praying. We keep on meditating. We keep on working. We keep on loving all of God’s creation.
For it is not fear that is going to help us. It is never fear. It is always and only love. So with the world outside going into a panic, what better place to spend these days of worldwide weariness? I am not at all ‘stuck’ in India. I am helped, cherished, loved, protected. I am home. I wish you could all be here with me.”
For those of you who cannot be here physically, please do remember that Maharaj Ji is always with you wherever you are, and that our world has weathered much more deadly pandemics over the centuries. Please do recite the Nam that Maharaj JI so kindly shared with us as an eternal gift for everyone from Guru Nanak, obey government advisories, and stay in your true Home, inside.