1. How His Holiness Dr Athavale knew that my husband was internally a seeker
In 1996, my family was in the process of arranging my marriage. In India, it is common for families to arrange the marriages of their children. I received a marriage proposal from Rajeev Kudtarkar, who was residing in the USA. I had some reservations about the proposal for several reasons. First of all, I did not feel ready to get married. Secondly, I was not comfortable with moving to the USA away from my friends, family and co-seekers. Lastly, he came from a traditional Indian background, whereas I was following a more modern lifestyle. Some of my close friends and family were skeptical about our compatibility as well and they were encouraging me to find a different suitor.
As I was doing spiritual practice, I was aware that marriage occurs as per one’s destiny. While meeting with His Holiness Dr Athavale, I mentioned the marriage proposal to Him in passing. To my surprise, His Holiness Dr Athavale shared that this marriage would be beneficial for my spiritual practice. He explained that the suitor was internally a seeker whose spiritual practice was happening at a subconscious level. This was even though he was not externally doing any spiritual practice. His Holiness Dr Athavale also shared that the suitor would always keep me happy and that we would be able to spread Spirituality in the USA.
His words reassured me that getting married would be beneficial for my spiritual growth. I realized that the spiritual benefits of this marriage outweighed any of the worries that I had. This developed my faith that everything would turn out for the best, so I accepted the marriage proposal and moved to the USA.
Through the years of our marriage, I had many opportunities to observe Rajeev’s qualities. For example, he was always ready to help and serve others without expectations of any favours in return. This would be the case whether it was with a person we had just met or with a family member. He understood how important spiritual practice was to me and he always put my needs before his own. I have some physical ailments that sometimes make it difficult to complete basic tasks like getting dressed or making food. Rajeev was always there to support and help me in such situations. He did this all wholeheartedly without complaining.
In 2016, we started hosting spiritual workshops in our home in the USA. During this time, Rajeev went above and beyond to help us in various ways. Some examples of this include renovating the entire basement on his own with all of the amenities needed for the workshops, offering one of his houses for workshops he normally rented out to tenants without asking for any reimbursement and picking up any food or materials we needed for the workshop immediately after a full day of work.
Due to offering his body, mind and wealth completely in service to spread Spirituality, Rajeev Kudtarkar reached the 61% spiritual level in January 2017. Looking back I can see that His Holiness Dr Athavale knew Rajeev’s seekership qualities from the beginning. I am grateful to the Guru for helping me to see that Rajeev was a seeker inside and for giving us endless opportunities to serve God, which resulted in both of our spiritual progress.
Editor’s note : Highly spiritually evolved Saints can see beyond time and space because They have access to the Universal Mind and Intellect. This gives Them the ability to see what happened in a person’s past lives and their overall potential as a seeker. This is how His Holiness Dr Athavale could perceive that Rajeev Kudtarkar was a seeker and that his marriage to Shilpa Kudtarkar would be spiritually beneficial for both of them.
Even though Rajeev was not making conscious efforts to progress spiritually, his spiritual progress happened due to his seekership qualities, service, and sacrifice for God’s mission. However, in most cases, conscious and consistent efforts under guidance are required to make spiritual progress.