# 4 | New Year's Eve Celebrations

Following the Master | Mauritius 2020-21

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On our way back from Port Louis, we stopped for something to eat. Standing in front of an abandoned construction site was a little metal food stand. The incredibly humble man who stood at the stall was Guruji’s father.

A few nights prior, we had asked Guruji about His father because he doesn’t spend much time with us. Guruji said it was because he was so shy. We took this opportunity to learn more about Guruji and His father.

His father made us a wonderful meal and packaged some up for us to take back to Guruji. He had been doing his worldly dharma every day for 42 years with passion and dedication. We were astounded by his profound humility. 

The rest of the day we couldn’t stop thinking about something Guruji had said about His parents - that they had made a lot of penance in previous lives just to have Him as a child in this incarnation. 

The following day was New Year’s Eve. We got up slowly. There was no rush this morning and Guruji also wanted to take His time. He asked for supplies to clean His room. While cleaning, He stopped in the corridor to compliment someone's Tulsi necklace.

‘You know,' He said, 'the mala and the tilak protect the devotee. But when they remove the mala, they become weak. That is when the outside diverts you. But Tulsi shields you. If you are a devotee, Maya attacks you even more. She will see that and try to drag you down. But she can’t, because even though it’s just wood, it’s Tulsi. She will protect you and nothing can happen.’

We had big plans for the evening including darshan, satsang, and special prayers in the temple. Devotees from all over the island came to celebrate. One devotee in particular, who comes from another part of the island and can't make it frequently to the temple, had planned for a long time to come for this event because she knew Guruji would be there. At the last minute, a big work issue came up for her husband that he couldn’t avoid, leaving him exhausted. It also happened to be his birthday. He opted to skip the visit to Rose Hill and darshan with Guruji for this reason. His wife insisted he come anyway. She told him that Guruji could probably give him some relief and help him find some energy again. Eventually, he agreed and made the trip with his wife. He was so exhausted though that he had to go take a nap in the car and had barely returned to the hall when Guruji called for him.

The man looked up at Him with wide eyes and was very touched. Guruji gave him a beautifully decorated birthday cake. The man started shaking, unable to believe it and was more than touched. His wife had to drive home, as we were told, cause his body was shaking so much he couldn’t get hold of the steering wheel. It is beautiful to see what happens when somebody chooses God over the mind - that’s the real celebration and worth a cake!

After darshan, He came back and promptly announced the Mauritius pilgrimage that will take place in March and to make sure registration opened in a week. Privately He said to us, 'This will be a trip that will change their lives forever.’

During satsang that night Guruji pointed out the temporariness of the world which is often the cause of our misery and pain. All the locals could have attended that night but only a few actually came. ‘They choose the temporary over the eternal’ He said and pointed out that He was proud of the ones who quarantined for two, some even for three weeks, just to be a few days or weeks with Him. What a little price, to go for two weeks into quarantine for the freedom we had after.

We were dancing like crazy during the festivities, hugging each other, running left and right, making chaos, and the young Mauritian matajis played the gopis, imitating Krishna playing His flute and telling the stories of His life with their hands. It’s a completely different world here. No social distancing, no restrictions, no limits to the music. It’s all love and joy and fun. 

‘It’s nice you are here though,’ Guruji said several times to different people.

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During lunch, Guruji decided to start the night’s program already at 19h, instead of 21h as we’d initially planned. That made us organize things a bit faster but Guruji was in such a good mood. He started painting the boys’ eyes and we were never quite sure if we looked like matajis or boxers or just super tired! After He finished painting our eyes, He rushed down to give darshan - in which he told again about the beauty of 2020 in which we received more darshans, then ever we will in the future, more satsangs than we'll ever be able to listen to in the years to come and that we were gifted with time to go inward.

After darshan, He came back and promptly announced the Mauritius pilgrimage that will take place in March and to make sure registration opened in a week. Privately He said to us, 'This will be a trip that will change their lives forever.’

After midnight, we went up to the rooftop, where Mauritius unfolded as being the island of the 1000 rockets. Wherever we looked, there were fireworks! It left us all both scared and full of joy. Guruji seemed more delighted than we’d ever seen Him at Shree Peetha Nilaya.

It was the most incredible way to bring in the New Year. Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on a pilgrimage to the Divine!

Jai Gurudev!

More Impressions

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