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Satguru Shri Devendra Ghia (fondly called as Kaka), was born on 6th November, 1927, in the city of Mumbai, India. From early childhood, he was devoted to God and spiritual practices. He used to worship God in the form of Divine Mother and Siddhambika Mataji was his Divine Deity. The temple of Siddhambika Mataji is in the village of Juna Deesa, Gujarat, India. He used to converse with God the same way we humans talk to each other. He was always in search of his Spiritual Master and one day, Divine Mother revealed to him that his Spiritual Masters were Satguru Siddhnath Baba, who has been residing in Girnar for hundreds of years, and Maha-Avatar Babaji Maharaj - the deathless Guru. By the command of his Divine Masters, he had been assigned the work of upliftment of the diseased and distressed people. On the advice of the Divine Mother, he used to sit every Tuesday in front of the Divine Mother and pray for help for every person who came to him. With his divine intervention, their problems got solved and more and more people flocked to him for aid.
In people’s mind, divinity is always associated with miraculous deeds and in the life of Satguru Kaka, miracles were part and parcel of his interactions with his devotees. However, none of these miracles were due to any magic or secret chants. They were all simplistic and due to blessings of the Divine. Once, Kaka had given his word to a devotee that he would meet him at a particular place and time. However, when the day arrived, Kaka became ill and could not leave his house. In those days, there were no mobile phones and he could not inform the person that he would not be able to come. The devotee arrived at the designated place and was waiting for Kaka, when he saw Kaka coming to meet him on a scooter. He met Kaka and quickly told him about his problems. Kaka told him to come to his house in the evening and then dropped him where the devotee wanted to go. In the evening, when the devotee reached Kaka’s house, he learnt that Kaka had not left the house at all due to ill health. The devotee initially could not believe it, as he had met Kaka in the morning riding a scooter. When Kaka told him that he has never driven a scooter in his life, the devotee realized the truth. Kaka then told him that the Divine Mother had assumed Kaka’s form and had come to meet him, as she was fulfilling the promise that Kaka had given him. God always fulfils the words of a true devotee. Such is the connection of God and a true worshipper.
Once a lady devotee came crying to Kaka. She was in a lot of anguish and pain. Her young son was also with her. She informed Kaka that her son had developed glands in his neck. His doctor had performed a bone marrow test and that was suggestive of leukemia (blood cancer). The doctor had informed her that cancer chemotherapy needs to be started. Kaka looked at the lady and her child kindly and just told her to repeat the bone morrow examination after one week again. The lady went home and when the bone marrow test was repeated after a week, there was no cancer. By then, the neck glands had also disappeared. The doctors were also amazed at the recovery that occurred without any treatment. Now, the reader may be wondering how this occurred. This was simply due to the power of prayers and determination. With true determination and a genuine prayer, God answers. To normal human beings, the concept of God is abstract, imaginary and in our thoughts. We cannot see God everywhere nor in everyone. But for someone who is realized, God is real. God is not imaginative but truly existent. Just as a child can fuss and demand from his parents, similarly a realized soul can demand for Divine Intervention from God. However, the difference is that he is not asking for himself but is only asking for relief for others. Then, even God cannot refuse such a prayer. Most of the time, most of us pray to God for our own selves, for the benefit of family members or for our loved ones. We rarely ever pray for betterment of a stranger. Kaka has very beautifully explained the difference between praying for oneself and praying for others. He has said that praying for oneself is not called prayer but is called yachana (solicitation), and praying for others without a self-reward motive is called prarthana (prayer). Most of us do not know how to pray and even if we pray for others, we do not know what to pray – should we ask for relief from his grief, should we ask that all his problems be solved or should we ask for his long life ? Sometimes, we may pray for a wrong solution, such as we may pray that a person gets a long life but what about good health, and if we pray for good health, then what about materialistic security, and if we pray for materialistic security, then what about spiritual upliftment ? Kaka has beautifully described an ideal prayer. He always said, “May God bless you with his choicest and choicest of blessings. “ With this prayer, his repartee would always come – “Go relax now (Ja leher kar).”
Simplicity is an art that is inherent in each one, but layers of complicated behavior have become ingrained in us. The process of spiritual upliftment begins with unlearning all the wrong things that we have learnt in our life. True simplicity and humility can never be hidden, and Divine Touch can never be forgotten. Humans have learnt good manners, but when someone treads on our ego, all the good manners are forgotten, and bad-mannered behavior emerges. On Tuesdays, when people used to come to him with their problems, Kaka would offer certain solutions and then ask them to follow a few instructions. When their problems used to get solved, Kaka used to say “Thank You” to them. People would get amazed and ask why he was saying “Thank You”, when they were the ones who had to offer their gratitude. Kaka used to humbly say that their problems got solved because they followed his instructions and because they did that, he was thankful to them. He always used to say that clarity of mind leads to purity of heart, and then what is in the heart, is also on the lips and in the mind. There is no curtain. That is what we have to learn, rather unlearn. We need to unlearn the image that we have of ourselves and learn to identity our true self. There should not be any hidden layer. Only then, can we be truly humble and pure.
Teachings of Kaka are in his hymns and the broadness of his thoughts is in the variety. Religion is nothing but a path towards God. Different religions have evolved over different times and in different places based on the need of that era. However, the basic concept in each religion remains the same. Each religion talks of a universal God, who is eternal and infinite. Lot of people, belonging to a lot of different religions, used to come to meet Kaka. Be it a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jain, a Buddhist, a Parsi, a Christian, Kaka used to welcome all with an open heart. He always used to emphasize the power of prayer and used to tell people to pray to any form of God in which they believed, or even the formless God. He never believed in rigidity in the name of religion and always told people to continue with the religious practices that they were doing. God can be worshipped in any form. What is required is that worship is from a true heartfelt love within. There is no role of outward rituals, if they do not connect you with God; there is no role of learning scriptures by heart if they cannot make you realize God and there is no role of worldly knowledge, if they do not give you inner understanding. With true inner awakening, the shackles of outward rigidity break away and with true understanding, the dilemmas of decisions and the ego of a superior self vanish away. Very few spiritual teachers allow their disciple to practice their own religious beliefs, but Kaka was one of them. In fact, there have been so many instances where he had received visions and blessings of various pirs and fakirs. Once, Kaka was travelling by a local train in Mumbai and he met a fakir. The fakir asked him to accompany him and took him to the jungles of Mumbai. He asked Kaka to wait there and then disappeared. After some time, he re-appeared with 2 tigers and asked Kaka whether he was scared. Kaka replied that, “You are with me. Why should I be scared ?” The fakir was very pleased with him and blessed him and told him that whenever he wants to meet him, he should come to this jungle and call out to him. A few days later, Kaka remembered him and went to the jungles and started searching for him. A man came up to him and asked him what he was looking for. Kaka described the fakir to him, and the man said, “Oh! That holy man is no longer alive. His dargah (tomb) is here.” Saying this he took Kaka to the holy tomb. In that place, Kaka saw the painting of the fakir and immediately recognized him. He realized that the fakir had blessed him and was omnipresent. Even in today’s date, thousands of people still frequent the holy tomb and are blessed as ever.
Time is our treasure that God has given us. Every individual has a limited time span allotted between birth and death. No individual knows how long he or she will live. Optimum utilization of time is the best karma that one can do. But, most people while away and waste their time. Not only do they waste their time but also waste other people’s time. Teachings of Kaka make us realize that time is precious and just as our time is important, so is the other person’s time. Punctuality and consideration of other person’s time is a virtue that is appreciable. No work is lowly and hard work is never wasted. Cribbing about one’s vocation, one’s position or comparison with others, cannot bring perfection. Perfection can only occur when you accept what you are doing and then do it to the best of your ability. Kaka always used to say, “Leave no stone unturned.” Even though miracles were routine for him, he never allowed anyone to lean towards laziness. There is no substitute for hard work. What we are today is the fruit of our previous hard work, and what we are doing today, will carve the road towards our future. As we grow older, we seem to get caught in the webs of our thoughts, opinions and emotions. We often form opinions of others based on our interactions or based on other people’s opinion about them. We then become judgmental that so and so person will always behave like this. Kaka used to teach that every individual is a new person every time. Do not form fixed opinions about any person. Today, a person may be a sinner, but tomorrow, the same person may be a saint. Never have a fixed opinion. In fact, when you do not form a fixed opinion about people, then one can forgive and forget their behavior and sins. Till then, it is just a mind-fulfilling thought and the forgiveness is not from the heart. This simple and easy way of letting go of baggage aids the seeker in letting go of a lot of knots that they bind in the journey of life. What most people become as they age, is cynical, and the true sadhana of life is to become free from bondages of thoughts, free from bondages of emotions and free from bondages of illusions. This is the first step towards moksha or salvation.
Charity in life, one aspires to do. But what is really charity, very few know. Most people do charity for the feel-good factor and still feel proud in the garb of humility. Helping others makes one feel good. But, who is really being helped needs to be realized, whether the person doing charity is being helped or the person who accepted the donations is being helped ? Who was luckier, the person giving charity or the person who received charity ? Kaka used to say that charity should be done in such a way that if your right hand is giving, even your left hand should not know who is giving, who is receiving and what has been given. Charity is never for show, charity is never for name or fame and charity is never to prove to others or our own self how good we are! Kaka has helped an immense number of people in this world, but except for a few instances where there were witnesses, most of the incidents remain unknown and untold. Help may be in the form of spiritual aid, grace or even relief from problems, but no one can really judge the magnitude of aid. God is all the time giving but he never says he is doing charity. “Surrenderness” is something we all fear. How can we just let go of ourselves and obey someone completely ? “Surrenderness” comes with faith and faith comes with inner belief. Whenever someone came to Kaka with a problem, Kaka used to tell them, “Leave everything to me and just relax.” Despite these reassuring words, if someone would still worry, Kaka used to say that, “In one sword sheath, only one sword can remain and if I am worrying about your problem, why are you worrying ?” Saying this, he would not only abolish the tension in a person but also take away his problems. This way, he automatically assured that faith developed. It is ultimately faith that can move mountains and with this faith, Kaka would mix his prayers. Faith and divine prayer are the heady cocktail towards ensuring divine intervention. Thus, the question that most people have about faith or their own logic would be taken care of in a simple and easy way by Kaka. Where scriptures used to fail, just the healing words, “I am taking care, you relax !” would create a faith in a person with an inner conviction that he is being taken care of and that led to complete “surrenderness.”
Integrity of a person can be judged by his speech. The importance of the spoken words is what the Vedas are all about. The reliability of a person is based on whether he can stick to his words. If a person cannot stick to his own words, then there is no question of relying on the written words. Kaka always used to say that one should be very careful of what one says. He said, “Do not make a commitment even verbally if you cannot stick to it. So, be very careful of what you say !” Most people do not understand the value of words. Just as any action that takes place in our thoughts or through our deeds are registered as our karma, so are the words registered as our karma. Even if we think, no one else knows and so what if I break my promise, no one will know, that is not true. God knows ! There is nothing hidden from him and if we are clear in our speech, our actions, our commitments, then that is the first step of our sadhana.
Kaka has written about 9,800 hymns that cater to various aspects of life. These hymns are on devotion, karma, right understanding, true living, introspection, worship and self-realization. These hymns are written in direct communication with God. A poet thinks and writes the words to write a poem, but a man of God surrenders and lets the Divine flow through his words and thus, these hymns are not thoughts but are the Divine Voice. Lot of times, Kaka used to say hymns impromptu, based on an individual who approached him and his mind-set or his situation. So many times, it used to occur that people who used to meet him had lot of questions in their mind. Kaka would sing hymns that would either be related to their current thought or would give them answers to their questions, even without anything being disclosed. They would always wonder, how Kaka knew ! Even till today, when devotees are in trouble or confused and they look for answers, they take the hymn book and open any page and read the hymn and they find answers to their questions. Thus, these hymns are no less than a granth (scripture) relevant in today’s times, not restricted by any religion, without rigidity and only reflective of our inner state and a blessing to overcome all odds and achieve and self-realize our true destination and goal in life.

Publications
He has written about 10,000 hymns which cover various aspects of spirituality, such as devotion, inner knowledge, truth, meditation, right action and right living. Most of the Bhajans are in Gujarati, but there is also a treasure trove of Bhajans in English, Hindi and Marathi languages.
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