Vinay Devada

Glory to Shri Nathji Maharaj!

My trip to Jalaur with Guruji

Our Guruji is the great, saintly, Shri Narhari Nathji who has a huge Ashram by the name of Shri Amrit Nath Ashram in the Fatehpur Shekhawati in Rajasthan. Several devotees, my own family, and I have deep faith in him. After passing my eighth class, I, along with my family members and other devotees went to spend a month-long vacation with him. Our Guruji taught us many valuable lessons and we became aware of many new facts. We saw the Ashrams of many ‘sadhus’ (ascetics). The most memorable was my trip to Jalaur in Rajasthan, which is situated at a great height in the hills of that region. There was a grand fair organized for ‘sadhus’ and I had the good fortune of going there. Although I have visited many beautiful places, but this place, that many people must not even have heard the name of, is really unique! The reason why I feel so is because I got the chance of visiting it with my Guruji. I was accompanied by my Guruji, my mother, my sister, my uncle and two other ‘sadhus’ (holy men).

We set out from the Ashram of our Guruji in Rajasthan, and after a long journey of 550 kilometres we reached the foothills of Jalaur, which is 450 kilometres away from there. The height of that hill was about two kilometers and it was not possible for any vehicle to go further up to such a great height. Therefore we had to walk up the stairs to reach the top. By the time we reached there, it was evening. A few moments earlier we could see the Ashram on the hill, and I was amazed to see the tranquility, beauty and the pristine atmosphere of that area. I had never imagined that at such a great height among the hills there would be such a splendid, palatial Ashram. Its grandeur and beauty cannot be described in words. As soon as we reached my Guruji was given a grand reception, which really pleased us. Hundreds of ‘sadhus’ and saintly men from different parts of the country had gathered there. After visiting the temple, we went outside in the open with our Guruji. The landscape and the atmosphere there really impressed me and it seemed to me that I was in a different world and everything else was forgotten! The Ashram that seemed like a palace, the tall trees, the plants, the rocks, and the greatest attraction- the monkeys and the ‘langurs’- seeing all these, not only I, anybody else also, would forget all sorrows and troubles of life and would be filled with joy.

There was so much greenery all around and the surroundings were so peaceful that we could almost hear the sound of the cool breeze that was blowing. We had never heard it before except in films. We had our meal at night and decided to rest. Instead of sleeping inside the rooms, we arranged our beddings outdoors in the open air and went off to sleep. I had never slept as soundly as I did here---- that soft, pure, soothing breeze! The chirping of the birds returning to their forest, the chattering of the monkeys and ‘langurs’ echoing all through the Ashram and, of course, the company of my dear Guruji- it all seemed heavenly to me. I had never spent a night like that before and I wish that every night in my life should be such.

We woke up early in the morning and after bathing in cold water around 6 a.m. we went for a walk to the Ashram. It took us hours to tour around the huge premises of the Ashram. The Ashram appeared to be like a grand fort. Jalaur is famous in the history of our nation. It is the place where our kings fought many wars- it was like a battlefield. The strange point to ponder over is that the place that was once a battlefield is today a sacred pilgrim spot. The land where wars were fought has become a holy place. People from all over the country come here to worship. At the place that was a battlefield today there is immense peace, greenery, trees, plants, and a holy Ashram. The Ashram is, in fact, the fort of kings and is a charming, picturesque place. Monkeys and ‘langurs’ jump and play on the branches of the tall trees and chatter excitedly. We took a lot of photographs of the monkeys.

There is an incident that all tease me about. The following morning I had the keen urge to empty my bowels. The problem was that in such a vast place I could not find a single bathroom.  In the end I became restless and I began to run on the hills and then requested the driver to get me a mug filled with water. I found a spot in a corner behind a huge rock and eased myself. The driver also reached soon with the water in the mug. I asked him not to reveal this incident to anybody, but he could not control his laughter and he went and related the story to my Guruji and all other people. Ever since then, whenever I meet my Guruji, he and all others recall this incident and then break into peals of laughter.

There are many such incidents that cannot possibly be mentioned here.

The following morning we left the place and returned home. The time I spent there with so many ‘sadhus’ and the native people of Rajasthan will always be remembered by me. I really enjoyed this holiday with my Guruji and I hope that I shall have the good fortune to have many more such trips with him.

While writing about the trip I have a strong desire to return to that place, which is not possible. However, these memories will always remain with me and they will keep reminding me of those beautiful moments that I experienced there. This is undoubtedly one of the best trips I have ever had!

Vinay Devada