Destiny is a powerful spiritual factor that governs all our lives and is the root cause for most of our happiness and unhappiness in life. Destiny is that part of our life predetermined by the merits and demerits of our past lives. On an average, 65% of life events are predestined. Mild destiny can be overcome by moderate spiritual practice; moderate destiny by intense spiritual practice and severe destiny can be overcome only by the grace of an evolved spiritual guide (Guru).
Please refer to the article, ‘ What is destiny and wilful action?‘
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Mr. Arvind Thakkar, a postgraduate degree holder in management has held responsible posts in a well-known Indian company. He has also worked as a management consultant and delivered lectures to university students on management. Over the last 14 years, he has devoted himself in service to SSRF as part of his spiritual practice. The following is an account in his own words of a predestined incident in his life wherein he almost died but was saved by his spiritual practice.
2. An astrologer’s prediction about predestined life incident
On 30th March 1988, a friend of mine took me to a famous astrologer. I was 28 years old at the time. The astrologer surprised me by accurately narrating a number of past events in my life. Then he went on to tell me about a few events that were to take place in the future. Amongst these, he indicated a very dark period in the near future, but refused to divulge the details. He did tell me however, that I should never be in a group of three and that my life would cease before I turned 35. He explained his accurate description of my past as a scientific reading of my destiny according to the science of Astrology. I carried a nagging feeling of foreboding for a while.
3. Meeting His Holiness Dr. Athavale
Soon after marriage in March 1991, my wife Dr. Asha and I were fortunate enough to have His Holiness Dr. Athavale come into our lives. Asha who has an M.D in Psychiatry, was interested in certain techniques of Auto-hypnotherapy that H.H. Dr. Athavale was pioneering and training other doctors all over India.
4. His Holiness Dr. Athavale’s influence on our lives
He introduced us to chanting of the Name of my family deity, a concept I was not familiar with. We put it into practice immediately and were persistent with it. He also encouraged us to meet and seek the blessings of His Guru, H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj. Around the same time, H.H. Dr. Athavale started His workshops on Spiritual science in Goa, India. We started attending them regularly. We were fortunate to get an opportunity to do service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā) as part of our spiritual practice.
During this period my business flourished. Prior to this, there were times when I would barely have the means to make ends meet. However it seemed there was a dark cloud over our entire family. My two brothers and their wives, Asha and I continued to undergo a lot of personal upheavals. This included marital acrimony, bouts of depression and drinking, miscarriages, suicidal thoughts and monetary losses. Through the spiritual workshops we realised that these difficulties were due to subtle-bodies of our departed ancestors.
We persisted with our spiritual practice and attended H.H. Dr. Athavale’s workshops whenever He would come down from Mumbai to Goa. His guidance created a bond among us seekers, nourished our lives and steadied us personally. In July 1993, H.H. Dr. Athavale was to take a lecture in Goa, at Davorlim. This lecture was held in the temple of Lord Datta.
(Lord Datta is that aspect of God that among other functions in the Universe protects us against problems in life caused due to ancestors who have passed away. Please read the section on ancestor problems.)
H.H. Dr. Athavale made sure that my mother attended the lecture and made offerings to Lord Datta. Also, H.H. Dr. Athavale advised us to perform two rituals called Nārāyaṇa Nāgbali and Tripindi Shraddha, done to relieve one of ancestor problems. This ritual is also done to assist the subtle-bodies of our departed ancestors to attain further momentum in their life after death. He said it was important that the whole family, especially my parents participate in this ritual to derive complete benefit from it. The rest of the family was not very open to any spiritual advice given by SSRF. Hence we did it with their permission but without them being physically present.
On the night of 13th August 1993, I had a most unusual experience while chanting the Name of our family deity, Goddess Amba. I had a vision of Her while I was in the waking state. I felt my body disappear and that a protective sheath was forming around each part of my body, starting from the feet. Goddess Amba held my head and tears flowed uncontrollably – I did not know why. Later I learnt that the tears were one of the signs of my awakened spiritual emotion (bhāv). The next day when we reported this to H.H. Dr. Athavale, He said that it was a good experience!
(Spiritual emotion is a positive spiritual experience when one feels the presence of God and can manifest in a number of ways, one of which is cold tears.)
5. The predestined life incident
On 16th August 1993, my younger brother Sanjay’s (31 years of age at that time) car was stolen from his residence in Margao, Goa. On 23rd August 1993, I received a call informing me that the car had been located in a repair workshop at Davorlim, Goa. One by one, the three of us (Sanjay, Jaideep and I) reached the repair workshop in Davorlim. Jaideep, my youngest brother was 29 years old at that time. Within an hour of reaching the workshop, a well-organized gang armed with sticks, knives and other weapons attacked us.
This gang was operating from this spot for a long time. With the protection of some local politicians and policemen, old stolen vehicles in South Goa were re-numbered and painted anew in this workshop. The gang included some dreaded gangsters from Mumbai. They felt threatened that their network would have been exposed.
In the ensuing attack, Jaideep and I were mercilessly beaten. A large crowd stood and watched this but did not help. Sanjay had rushed to the Margao Police Station for help. While I was being attacked, something from within asked me to chant my family deity’s Name. From the moment this chant started, each blow hurt less and less. The feeling was, ‘You are beating my body; not me!’ While the body wracked with pain, the feeling I had was as if I was not the body.
When the body went limp, the gangsters lifted me and tried to break my back by repeatedly hammering it backwards forcefully on a thick pole of wood. Then presuming me to be dead, they threw me in the gutter and focused on assaulting Jaideep. Lying in the gutter, the body had no life, yet I could see what was happening around me. And all I could hear was the chanting inside.
In the meantime Sanjay returned to the scene but the police did not accompany him. He rescued me a little while later and took me to a house in the parallel lane, next to the very same temple of Lord Datta! When Sanjay went back to rescue Jaideep, he too was brutally attacked. My brothers died on the spot. I on the other hand was taken to a hospital in Margao. I was barely alive and in such a critical condition, that the Margao hospital, after preliminary tests and check up, suggested that I should be shifted to the State owned Goa Medical College hospital at Bambolim 30 kilometers away, as they could not do much. Before the ambulance reached Goa Medical College (GMC), one of the doctors (associated with SSRF) called up H.H. Dr. Athavale and informed Him of what had happened. He told her not to worry and to ask the doctors to continue with the appropriate treatment.
Another SSRF seeker doing her internship at Goa Medical College was on duty that night. When she rushed to the emergency ward to attend to me along with a team of doctors, she later recounted that nothing in her medical training prepared her for what she saw. My body was lacerated and broken beyond recognition.
In the mean time, H.H. Dr. Athavale went into a meditative state at His residence, which was then in Mumbai. He remained in meditation while the initial treatment was being given to me at Goa. (Seekers who were present with Him later told us this)
6. Miraculous healing occurs
The following are some incidents which defied the typical recovery process for injuries such as mine.
- In Margao Hospital, doctors had found a hairline fracture in the skull, but when doctors took X-rays in the Goa Medical College, it was not there.
- During general examination the GMC doctors felt the injuries were suggestive of multiple fractures, yet X-Rays of the injuries revealed normal bone structure.
- Doctors at the Medical College were surprised at my speedy recovery – normally bruises of this nature take months to heal and weeks to return to normal colour, but in my case discolouration had faded in 3 days.
- On the 4th day, I was told of the demise of my brothers and was to be taken home. I was taken to the waiting car in a wheel chair. When I reached Margao, I was able to walk up the stairs to our flat. The dean of the Goa Medical college at that time remarked that if ever he had seen a miracle, this was it – a patient with no hope of survival, with multiple fractures, walked out on the 4th day!
(The miraculous healing was also by virtue of Arvind’s spiritual practice.)
A subtle-reading of the incident done by seekers of SSRF through the medium of their highly developed sixth sense revealed that I had experienced an ‘Akal mrityu yog’ which means a possibility of death.
(In all our lives the date and time of death is predestined. This is known as final death and no one can escape this. In some of our lives, we have instances where due to our destiny, we can possibly die. This is known as ‘Akal mrityu yog’, which means a ‘possibility of death’. Depending on our spiritual practice and the blessings of a Saint we may be spared this severe destiny. In Arvind’s case he was spared from possible death due to his spiritual practice.)
It was also revealed that due to the rituals done for the benefit of our departed ancestors, their possible contribution to the distress had reduced. Hence pain during the incident for the 3 of us brothers was much reduced – if a normal person would have undergone 100% pain, in our case, it was reduced to 20%. This was the significance of the ritual (Narayan Nagbali & Tripindi Shraddha) done for them.
H.H. Kane Maharaj, a Saint from India had said to a seeker of SSRF a few days before the incident, that a great harm was to befall us, which would shake our faith in God. When the seeker had reported this to H.H. Dr. Athavale, He replied, ‘Let us see who is stronger – God or evil!’
When some seekers asked H.H. Dr. Athavale about providing security for me in the Medical College hospital, He said, ‘The One who has protected Arvind during the assault, will He not protect Arvind in the hospital too!’
Two weeks later H.H. Dr. Athavale came to visit our parents. My mother asked Him regarding my safety and well being. He replied, “Arvind will be safe.”
When H.H. Dr. Athavale next came to our home in Goa, He said that the families would suffer another death. This kept us guessing for some time. On the 18th Sept 1993, Asha’s father who was very fond of Jaideep, died of massive heart failure. He had no complaint of this nature earlier.
That year, my parents had contemplated committing suicide. But a strong force kept supporting them and preventing them from doing so.
In 1996, we shifted to our new apartment. Before we actually moved in, the family deity’s idol was enshrined in the apartment. The whole family started chanting the Deity’s Name and Lord Datta’s Name. Ever since, life has seen its usual swings; but during each swing – up or down, God’s hand has been very visible and has always steadied us.
Thirteen years after this incident, despite a dislocated shoulder, bony deformities, ankylosing spondylosis and other ailments, which are remnants of the trauma related to the incident, with His grace I can still attend to my service unto the Absolute Truth, like a normal person.
(Having the grace of a spiritually evolved person provides powerful protective sheath against severe destiny and the means to overcome it.)