A Siddha of Himalayas and A Farmer’s Son
Atmananda’s Memoirs – The story of Mooli Baba
It was many years ago. During one of my journeys to the Kumaon region of Himalayas, I happened to meet an interesting saint whom the villagers called Mooli Baba. Mooli means radish. (the whitish vegetable which is used as part of the green salad in the Northern part of India.) When I met him, Mooli Baba looked close to 60 years of age. I was curious and I asked one of the villagers, as to why he is called in the name of a vegetable? He replied “We do not know where he came from and what his name is. He suddenly appeared in the village and started wandering up and down, sleeping at various odd places, ignoring rain and sun. First he was considered as a mad beggar. But then we realized that he is not begging at all. Instead, he is buying one particular vegetable – radish, from the money that he dishes out from his own rough shoulder sack. We used to wonder how he has the money. None dared to ask him. Soon, he settled down close to the jungle trail, by erecting a shelter for himself with bamboo, sticks and raw clothes. It was not sufficient to contain the constant rain. But, he seemed to be satisfied. Soon, people started recognizing his stature and began to visit him.
Since we saw him eating only the vegetable Mooli, everyone brought Mooli to him as their offering. And as remedy or cure, he always gave everyone Mooli. Once, for a patient with throat cancer, he made him open his mouth and pushed a mooli inside and pulled it out thrice. He screamed in pain, but was instantly cured. His methods were strange. One lady drank the juice of the Mooli that he gave and it cured her stomach ulcer. His Mooli cured all illnesses spontaneously. But, some days, he will never come out of his tent or meet anyone. And on those days, if anyone comes near, he will throw Mooli at them and drive them away. And if the Mooli hit them, it healed them instantaneously. He was so powerful. The strangest thing I ever heard was his pushing a mooli up the anus of an old man suffering from piles and it healed him! They say that blood poured out of him and became a pool around his feet and people were frightened that he may die. He cried aloud in fear and confusion too. Soon, he became normal and he left on his own, fully healed!”
“Mooli Baba only articulates one word – AUM which sounds like Hmm from his mouth. He never asks anyone anything and whenever he needs something, money just appears in his hands and he pays for everything with cash.”
I had to meet Mooli Baba. The pull was so strong that I could not imagine moving away from that village without meeting him. I spent seven days and seven nights in this remote village, repeatedly visiting the make-shift abode of Mooli Baba. There always used to be a small crowd in front of his tent. I always waited because patients have to be given preference. And as if to test my patience, he always went inside and drew the curtain of the tent, ignoring me, as soon as the last patient left the tent. Seven days later, one day, he threw a Mooli at me. I took it and walked to my accommodation. That evening, I ate only that. And something shifted in me. I fell into a deep trance which lasted for a few days. I did not leave my room; neither did I eat, sleep or use the toilet. I did not even consume water. When I came back to the usual waking state, I realized, what a powerful avadhoota this Mooli Baba is. I did not waste a minute. I went back to him immediately.
Rain was pouring from the dense skies. Thunder and rain. There was none on the village path. I did not have an umbrella. I was determined to see Mooli Baba or at least be in His presence. Water was flowing knee deep through the village path and it was difficult for me to walk. I cared for nothing else. Nothing could stop me from going to the abode of Mooli Baba. I waded through the water and reached the forest clearing near the tent of Mooli Baba. The cloth shutter was drenched and swayed in the rain and wind. It was cold. I was shivering. When I came close, I saw a hole in the cloth through which I looked inside. Mooli Baba was sitting there, with his eyes raised to the heavens, totally still and motionless, while the rain poured over him through various holes of the sack roof of his hut! He was totally unaffected by the weather! I stood looking at him for some time. I also could not move. I was standing outside his tent in rain while Mooli Baba was sitting inside his tent in rain. The same rain covered both of us. I felt as if both of us are under one umbrella of the nature called rain! When this thought occurred in my mind, Mooli Baba looked at my direction. He threw one Mooli at the cloth, which hit the cloth and fell back inside his tent. With his eyes, he motioned me to enter. I entered. He uttered “Hmm”. I replied “AUM”. He looked into my eyes. I Bowed down at his feet, making sure I did not touch his feet, but I touched his feet in my mind. He again said “Hmm” as if acknowledging my intention. He hit the back of my head with a Mooli. I went into a trance again. I do not know how many days or nights I stayed like this on my knees with my head touching the ground. When I came back to my terrestrial consciousness, Mooli Baba was not there. I was alone. Me or the villagers never saw Mooli Baba ever again. All I could see when I looked around was a small pile of mooli near the entrance of the tent. And it is true that those who chose to keep those Moolis, which I distributed to the villagers a few days later, saw that they never decayed even after years. They always remained as fresh as ever. Pieces of those Mooli cured many diseases too.
The two times that I went into trance, I had different experiences. The first time, I had left my body and was roaming in a plane of existence where there were only white bubbles all around. Totally naked men and women floated like fairies in the bubbles. I could see myself as if I am looking at myself from outside. I could see myself through others too. Everything was transparent. Then I realized that white conglomerates all colors. All colors came together to create white. So, in fact, this world is multi-colored! There was no pain or fear in this plane. There was no ego or loss. There was no duality or oneness. There was nothing. It was like a hallucination. When I returned from this plane, my vision had changed. I could see through things around me. Immediately, despite the rain, I went towards Mooli Baba’s abode.
The second time, when Mooli Baba hit my head with the mooli, I became like a splash of light. Everything gross dissolved. I became light. Just light. I saw many like me, but, they were all essentially me. I could not understand if they were within me or outside of me. The light was blinding, yet soothing. The body was well beyond earth and stars. I was light and there was nothing else apart from me. I am the creator, maintainer and destroyer. I am the witness too. I am everything and I am nothing! There was nothing neither created nor destroyed. There was a thin veil between my earlier identity and now, which was now fully torn to extinction. Nothing existed anymore.
When I came back to my body, I realized that I cannot be this body. As a reminder of my shift, or as a witness to it, only a few moolis were on the floor. There was none else. And Mooli Baba disappeared forever. Did he really exist? Or, did he exist only for me? Or did I visit this village for Him? Questions which needs no answer. Questions that does not matter! The current state is the only reality!
I stayed in the same village, in the same tent curing people for three years, as my humble offering to the great saint, Mooli Baba, as my Guru Dakshina. I fulfilled his tasks as best as I could, in my own humble way. The people whom I gave mooli got relieved of their nagging afflictions. When the divine call came for me to leave the place, I took my bag and left. As soon as I walked out of the tent, it collapsed completely and merged with the earth!. No sign of its existence! It had miraculously stayed on all these years until I decided to leave the village. I faintly realized that I and Mooli Baba were in fact one. And I did not exist.
Atmananda and the farmer’s son
While I was wandering further north from Kumaon, I stopped for a meal at a small way-side hut owned by a farmer. He had a tiny farmland. He grew seasonal crops there. He took care of his wife and a son with his income. He also served refreshments to the stray wanderers who traversed through the village path in front of his house, for a reasonable cost. There were no restaurants anywhere close by that place. Thus, that afternoon, I became his guest.
He was a selfless man and always served fresh food. When I told him that I am a wandering monk and I would like to have some food, he asked me to sit on a cot which he had kept outside his hut and went inside. I heard him conveying the arrival of a customer and also that he is a monk from whom money cannot be collected, to his wife. Then I heard his wife asking him if it is fine to give me the remnants (left-over) of their lunch since it is charity. He objected to her idea and insisted that to monks and saints’ old food should never be offered. The obedient wife silently went out of the house to the nearby well to fetch water for cooking. I sat observing the last rays of the setting sun casting a golden halo over the forest. It was a clear afternoon.
As the husband and his wife were busy cooking a meal for me, I saw his teenager son entering the house. He looked at me and bowed slightly, with a ritualistic, obligatory air, without any reverence and went inside. He asked his parents what they are doing and if they are cooking their supper. They said that they are cooking a meal for me. I heard the boy objecting. “He is a wandering monk. He has no money. He will not pay. Just give him the remnants of our lunch or a banana and some water and send him off before sunset. Otherwise, he will creep in for supper, too.” And as a continuation, he told his mother “Ma, my father does not have any concern for our tomorrow. At least you should guide him not to be so extravagant”. Quickly, his father intervened in a hushed voice, “Hush! silence my son. Not so loud. Do you want the sadness of a hungry saint to affect our family? Keep quiet. It is our dharma to feed the hungry monks. Their blessings will keep us free from illness and poverty.” As his wife was cooking, perhaps to take him away from the periphery of my audibility, he took his son to the back side of his hut. I could still hear their conversation; perhaps it was even more audible to me.
The farmer said “Son, have you heard the story of Adi Shankara? While wandering, once he reached a house and called out for alms. The householder was away hunting for work and daily sustenance and his wife opened the door and saw a young monk calling out for alms. She told him with deep humility, “Pardon me Maharaj, there is not even one grain in this house. How can I serve you?” Adi Shankara looked at her and said, “Kind mother, I am very hungry. There will be something in the household. Please check all vessels and bottles.” The lady of the house searched and found one gooseberry in brine in one of the bottles kept in the kitchen. She gave that to Shankaracharya and he consumed it as if it is a delicious full meal. He was happy. He blessed her with the famous Kanakadhara Stotra. And golden gooseberries started falling from the skies and rolled on the ground. It goes without saying that the family became very rich and lived happily ever after.” He continued “My son, never ridicule saints and monks. God can appear in their form. Lord Shiva has appeared to many, as monks, saints and beggars! He appeared to Adi Shankara as a cobbler, to Sage Narada as a boatman! So, never count the money that you spent for their food. God will reward you with much more. If you scandalize a saint, as the scriptures say – eternal damnation will happen to you and your succeeding generations. Never bring wrath on yourself and your family, my son. God has given us sufficient food, water, clothes, this modest shelter as well as good health. Why not we share a bit of our food with a noble, wandering saint?”
There was silence. The farmer’s son thought for a while and asked his father “As you said, it is a deep sin to scandalize saints. What if they are not saints and they are just lazy people pretending to be saints to enjoy free meals where ever they go from people like us who work hard day and night in the field?” The farmer said “Everyone will enjoy the fruits of their action, my son. You will get what you deserve and they will get what they deserve. Pretensions often become costly bargains and pretenders suffer terrible damnation. Nobody can fool the world forever. This should not be our concern, but that of the just God Almighty”. He added “My dear son, scriptures say that all the 68 places of pilgrimage reside at the feet of the holy saints. And one who abuses a holy man will be cursed with spiritual blindness or be spiritually crippled without any progress in lifetimes and also will be in the hell of suffering – life after life. We may not understand the stature of a holy man nor do we understand their method and action. We accept them, we respect them. They will shower grace on us. What is material richness worth, if the inheritance is deep suffering? And liberation will be taken away from him and his kin, if saints are abused! And the cursed ones will roam in the 8.5 crore types of wombs available on earth including worms and insects and suffer agonies in each existence. Why my son, since a bit of kindness can ensure our liberation, why should rude, unkind words tilt the whole equilibrium of our whole family and the generations to come? Let us honor saints and let us be rich within which is the true richness.”
Soon, they brought a hot meal outside to me and both the farmer and the son served me wholeheartedly. After the tasty meal, I prepared to leave. They requested me to stay the night over and leave in the next morning, as there were no places to stay anywhere nearby, ahead of their abode. I could not accept their further hospitality as I had to reach further north and decided to be on my way. Before I left, I gave them three moolis and I told them. “Farm these moolis in your yard before day break (brahma muhurtha) tomorrow. You will have no dearth for wealth.”
The whole family came and prostrated at my feet and I left them and walked away into the moonlit village path, towards north.
I love YOU
Excerpts from a few chat conversations with Antonino Moreti (Italy). The full version could possibly appear in some Italian magazine, if it is worth it. Anyways, this could be interesting reading for some. The tone of the discussion is friendly, casual, leisurely and certainly non-provocative. Just to introduce A.Moreti, he is a spiritual enthusiast and a theatre artist. He liked my blogs because of “its straightforwardness, clarity and honesty and above all it makes sense.” And he thought it would be “interesting” to explore the man behind those words and ideas. And we communicated briefly, a few times because of time constraints. So, what follows is only about a fourth of what we have been discussing over chat. Enjoy…
A.M: Looking into your eyes, this question wells up in my mind. Are You SHIVA?
M: Yes. I am SHIVA.
A.M: And the other beings of the universe? Who are they?
M: All are SHIVA. All are units of SHIVA. All are drops of the same ocean.
A.M: Are you sure?
M: Yes. I am sure. I am witnessing Shiva every moment. All are Shiva.
A.M. Who or what is SHIVA?
M: Shiva is beyond any definitions at all. Attempting to define Shiva would be an adventure. A real Mission Impossible. Shiva can only be experienced and not intellectually understood. A bucket cannot contain the water of the ocean.
Shiva has two distinct identities in human understanding which blurs at times. Shiva as the Supreme Parabrahma and Shiva as a finite entity who is married to Goddess Parvathy and has children. Shiva as the house holder represents human existence, a god with wife and children, yet supremely, spiritually powerful. He is a householder and a master at the same time. Master of masters – Supreme master and Saint of all saints – Supreme Saint. He floats with time and is timeless too.
On the other hand, Shiva as the Supreme Parabrahma is formless and beyond time and space. He is the indivisible unity. This Shiva has no beginning or end. He is Parabrahma. Shiva Linga represents that Shiva. It is multi dimensional or all-dimensional. We also worship Shiva as a finite entity who is easy to get annoyed and angry (Kshipra Kopi) and also easy to please.(Kshipra Prasadi)
Here, I am talking about Shiva as Parabrahma, just the way Lord Krishna represents the Supreme in Bhagawad Gita. All identifications of such elevated consciousness are only with the Supreme formless which is beyond all dimensions. Another aspect of Shiva is Dakshinamoorthy, the knowledge incarnate. Shiva came as a “chandala”, a man of “low caste” in Indian caste system. (In reality, it is the individual combination of Gunas and the level of awareness that determines the stature of an individual, as proved here by the appearance of Shiva to Adi Shankara – and birth in a particular caste does not guarantee awareness. Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Bhagawan Nithyananda and Shirdi Baba were not from priestly caste.). He came with four dogs to give wisdom to Adi Shankara (four dogs represent four vedas) (Dogs represent protection. Vedas are meant to protect Dharma. Protection aspect of Vedas are represented by Dogs – Eg: Dogs accompany Lord Dattatreya, the preserver of Dharma. And Lord Dattatreya is unity of Trinity. The principle of vedas accompany Him in the form of dogs. Dogs are also faithful, loyal and always alert) , Shiva as hunter (Vettakkorumakan), Hanumanji is also considered as an (amsha) essence of Shiva…So on and so forth…
A.M. In Hindu tradition – I consider Hinduism as a path, a tradition and not a religion because there are 330 Million Gods in the tradition and there are many castes and sub-castes within the tradition – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva have equal importance. So, why only Shiva? Pardon me if this question is stupid.
M: No. The question is relevant. You are right. Hinduism is not a religion, it is a path, a tradition. There are 330 Million Gods, because 1/3 of you is God element. The soul element is the God element. Only if you worship the soul element within you, will you merge with the supreme soul, Parabrahman. Only if you recognize the soul element or God element in every being, will you be able to witness the all-pervading God who dwells in all beings. As long as we see differences, we are in ignorance. When you look around, if you only see God, you are complete. You are one with God. The path to Parabrahma is our soul. There are 330million people in the world (a centuries old rough estimate which says “33 crores”. It also implies 33% God element in every being-roughly 1/3rd.) and each person is essentially a part of God, irresepective of whether one knows it or not. So, we have 330 million Gods. If we have 7 billion population on earth today, that means we have 7 Billion Gods too. Still 33% remains constant. Plus all other beings of the universe. All are God. Everything is God. There is nothing apart from God.
This also means that one can follow and accept any God, only if it suits one’s inherent constitution. Each individual’s constitution is unique. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent three aspects of the Supreme Parabrahma. That means, creation, maintenance and dissolution. They have equal importance. They all are same. All manifestations are formed out of the Supreme un-manifested. Just some variety in subtlety, but essentially the same. Supreme Un-manifested is raw energy. So, each one of the trinity are equal and equally powerful. My mention about SHIVA is SHIVA as Parabrahma, not an entity with the limited role of dissolution. In that context, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are one and the same. There is no trinity. There is only unity. There is only Parabrahma. Behind all manifestations is one energy. That is Parabrahma. The real source. All forms represent the formless. All forms have materialized from and will dissolve back into the formless.
A.M. What is consciousness?
M: Shiva is consciousness. Consciousness is Shiva.
A.M. So, what are we?
M: Consciousness. Shiva.
A.M. Is there any degree variation?
M: There are no degree variations. Consciousness is full and complete. But, there is degree variation in awareness. Some experience fully, some partially, some randomly and some do not experience at all. Those who constantly experience, will exist in bliss and silence, and those who seldom experience will keep talking theories, book knowledge or someone’s words.
A.M. Mohanji, I know that you have not accumulated wealth in this life and that you prefer to spend it in support of the poor and helpless. Is there anything worth nurturing in this life, apart from Spirituality?
M: Nothing is worth nurturing in this life apart from awareness. Even spirituality is not worth nurturing. Spirituality is a state, which is natural and is also an ingredient of our existence. If spirituality becomes repetitive and ritualistic, it loses its purpose. Spirituality usually intensifies and dilutes as per the circumstance and necessity. Spirituality happens to all, sooner or later, because it is related to spirit, the same energy that runs our life! So, whether we nurture it or not, it will happen.
Usually, people access spirituality only when helplessness is at its peak. When there is nowhere else to go, we turn to God. This is human nature. There is nothing worth nurturing external to us. We will have to leave everything behind when we leave, including wealth and relationships.
AWARENESSS is the only aspect within us that is worth nurturing. Awareness that we nurture grows with us, through lifetimes. It is worth nurturing. Awareness is our connectivity into consciousness, ability to ‘plug in’ at will. Just like we grow from class to class, year by year, we grow in awareness through life times. As awareness grows, higher consciousness becomes accessable. It has always been available, but, until we have the faculty to access the higher consciousness, we cannot enjoy it. Awareness is the path that helps us reach higher realms of consciousness. In order to cross the mighty ocean of duality and reach the realm of non-dual consciousness, we need the help of higher awareness. It is worth investing in. It is the only thing worth investing in and it is purely an internal matter. Nothing external, even your external Guru, can only direct you to your internal Guru. Guru helps to remove your ignorance or Maya, by showing the light of wisdom. But, it is your increased awareness that makes you realize who you actually are!
A.M. What practice helps develop higher awareness?
M: Witnesshood. (Sakshi Bhav) Being in NOW.
A.M. What is real wealth?
M: That which can be carried with you when you die. That wealth is awareness. Only awareness. This is why meditation is important. Contemplation on truth is important. Right understanding is important. Death cannot remove awareness from you. Awareness travels with the soul along with other samskaaras and unfulfilled desires, when it sheds the body. Death snatches everything else away from an existence. So, the only thing that is worth striving for, is awareness. Awareness happens from within. Money and wealth is always existing outside of you. It is certainly good for terrestrial existence. You can take only what is within you, at the time of death. That means, only what is close to the soul can be taken by the soul. Body and everything outside of the body must be left behind. We must be aware of this truth always.
A.M: How do we know that awareness is growing in us?
M: Usual expression of higher awareness is decreased dependancy on everything outside of you. We will automatically distance ourselves from greed, selfishness, anger, dissatisfaction with what we have and craving for what we do not have, perpetual sadness, jealousy, competition with one another, comparisons, inertia and accumulation oriented-ness etc; and we spontaneously shift to selflessness, kindness, compassion, Unconditional Love…. Self-sufficiency and happiness with or without a thing, anything, is a clear sign of increased awareness. Having everything and not needing anything is real richness. Real richness is a state of mind. That is when nothing outward attracts us anymore. Of course, even while awareness increases, samskaaras, still in-built in our nature, continue to express forth. But our dependency level will change. We start to lead a liberated existence. In such an existence, a particular ritual, meditation, manthra, chanting or anything that usually makes us feel happy or comfortable will not be a necessity anymore. We will not be bound by anything. No habits bind us. We stay liberated from within. Such a person can walk any path, do anything – but nothing will touch him nor will he become dependent on it. If these aspects of higher awareness are practiced consciously, awareness will grow automatically. So, reversal also works! That is, when we consciously practice the visible terrestrial signs of higher awareness, it will eventually lead to higher awareness.
A.M. Mohanji, I like your style, your clarity and if I may, straight to the point approach. Tell me, how do we gain that clarity?
M: Simple. Be me. Be my consciousness. Simply – BE.
A.M. What is knowledge?
M: Just an intellectual requirement.
A.M. Does knowledge exist?
M: Apart from you? NO. Apart from you? YES.
A.M. I do not understand.
M: You are knowledge incarnate. Everything is within you. So, knowledge does not exist apart from you. You are knowledge incarnate, yet your intellect fails to recognise that and seeks knowledge outside of you, using your senses. This is highly limited. Too much of limitations. One has lots of food at home; good quality food. Yet, he prefers to go out and eat from the street. The beautiful ocean within us goes unrecognized and the small pool outside is appreciated. It takes lots of awareness to recognize what lies within you, instead we try to find happiness outside of us. So, in the context of intellect, Yes, knowledge is outside of you. So, while the very truth is “NO” as all knowledge is within you; while in terms of Maya, it is – “YES”.
A.M. Understood. So, what exists outside of us?
A.M. Then why is this illusion? Why is this drama?
M: Just multiple expressions of Maya. Maya at work! Multiple expressions of Duality. Relativity at work.
A.M. I agree. When everything boils down, when all waves subside, the still ocean remains.
M: Absolutely. And the ocean itself is Maya, if you are witnessing the ocean from outside. If you recognize that you are the ocean yourself, then, it would be just a realization – Aham Brahmasmi! There is no “me” . There is nothing apart from me. :) There is nothing to “know”.
A.M. Ah! WOW! You said it so simply. That is a profound truth indeed!.
M: This is the same truth that all the saints and yogis have told us ever since time began. This information is nothing new.
A.M. Mohanji, it is a week since we communicated. I have been assimiliating what you discussed with me so far.
M: And did you finally realize that it is all a bunch of crap?
A.M. :o On the contrary, I feel this would be useful for the generations to come.
M: :o Do not worry about generations to come. We have no real control on the future. There will be others to guide the generations to come. We have only NOW to consider. Is it useful NOW? Yes? Then it is worth it.
A.M. My cousin Liz says she is in love with you. She wants to marry you.
M: HA HA. What a joke! Anyways, I am happily married indeed, in the terrestrial terms! But sure, Liz is certainly welcome to marry my consciousness. That is the real me. It is worth it as it is permanent. As a human being, I do not “exist”. And this body is temporary, fragile and highly perishable. All are welcome to marry my consciousness. 16008 women married Krishna’s consciousness and attained liberation. Consciousness is eternal. Through my consciousness, I can have many “wives”, beyond gender, space and time. Moreover, terrestrial marriage is usually a deep entanglement, and often it leads to jealousy and kind of ownership, unless higher awareness and lack of expectation is developed from deep within. Marriage should never be based on boredom, escapism, expectation and infatuation, in terrestrial terms. Marriage should always be purpose-bound; two people coming together for a larger purpose in existence which leads to perfect fulfillment of joint karmic agenda. And I believe Liz is at least 40 years older than me – so it is important for her to marry my consciousness before it is too late?
A.M. HA HA…. What is marriage for you?
A.M. Completion of?
M: Journey. Completion in Life. Completion of a Karmic life, objectively speaking.
A.M. Mohanji, what is your religion?
M: Religion of Love. All other religions are just barriers, walls. I only believe in Unconditional Love beyond all human barriers.
A.M. Mohanji, how do you handle three or more distinctly different planes of existence equally? A. Professional B. Spiritual C. Charity D. Family E. Socio-commercial and never mix them ever? Where do you get so much energy from? Don’t you get tired?
M: This is simple. We are everything. We are a father, husband, son, boss, servant, social being, commercial being etc etc. When you operate, be extremely objective. Do not blur between tasks. And do not procrastinate. JUST DO IT. Work should be considered as sacred – as worship. If we know what we are doing, and if our mind is firm on our activity of the moment without oscillation, time is aplenty. Procrastination saps a lot of time from our lives and leaves us tired and inefficient. People think a lot and avoid all actions and later complain that life is not treating them well or is worthless! I fail to understand them. Lastly, I have never been afraid to walk alone. I do not understand the meaning of the word FEAR! Fear paralyzes us and marries or binds us with forceful inaction. I believe in truthful action where fear has no existence. When you love what you do, when your life is purposeful, there will not be any tiredness, or boredom. Tedium is a by-product of having to do what you do not enjoy doing. I enjoy what I do. I do not get tired. My path is clear and life is purpose-bound. I am a passionate man.
A.M. Important Question: What is Shaktipat?
M: Important Answer: Read my past blogs.
A.M. Seriously, Mohanji, I would like a precise answer from you. I have read what you have said earlier. I want to give something more precise to the world. You could do that through me?
M: Whatever I ever gave is precise. Shaktipat is the infusion of a higher energy into the often static lower energy planes in existence. The higher energy activates everything dormant. It brightens up the cells and rejuvenates the existence. It removes blockages and also changes or upgrades the frequency of the receiver.
A.M. What about Pranapath and Shivapath?
M: Theory is the same. Intensity is different and effect is different. How does a stone become a deity? When the prana or the power of the deity is infused into the stone in a ritualistic manner, the stone becomes God. Likewise, we are stones of existence or at least stone-like, often insensitive and unresponsive. Please do not take me wrong – no arguements please. Just understand the context, the example, in its light. I am not calling men – stones. So, when matter gets life, it becomes an entity. Likewise, through Shaktipat, we rejuvenate and re-vitalise the life force which elevates the receivers. It takes them to higher dimensions. It changes their inner software. There are different manthras and methods for installing different deities, right? Likewise, there are differences in the energy levels and capacities of each. Each person gets only what he/she can handle. What happens when a 20 watt bulb gets a 1000 watt infusion? Just for argument’s sake, what happens when a normal human womb receives the soul of an Avatar?(It is highly unlikely) The womb will not be able to hold that soul for long. The womb will burst. Of course, an avatar always chooses the right mother to deliver it; the entity who is powerful enough to bring forth an avatar. I am describing this only for understanding’s sake. Natural frequency of an individual is never violated when Shaktipat is delivered. This is why outstanding results are recorded from around the world.
All of us have our set of blockages as we have our levels of awareness. Shaktipat shifts the level of consciousness in an individual, burning the karmas that are blocking the way and removing blockages in multiple levels such as Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, so on and so forth. Who will be benefited the most from Shaktipat? Those who are open and receptive. Receptivity makes all the difference. Some people come with a closed mind and complain that they felt nothing. Such people blame me as ineffective and will never accept that they were not open to receiving the Shaktipat. Human nature!
A.M. We in Europe are a bit addicted to Lineage. Does lineage of a Guru matter?
M: In the family of a legend, can you expect a similar prodigy in each generation? Most of our past Great Masters just happened or appeared from nowhere. They shone bright just because of their stature. A Guru might be of high calibre. It does not mean that any of his disciple are of his calibre. Likewise, look at the whole Datta tradition, individuals became prominant because of their stature. So, stature is more important. Spiritual Stature. Pedigree cannot guarantee stature. It can only guarantee status. Often people mistake status for stature. Status may get us name, position and fame. But, stature has got to be acquired through lifetimes of spiritual practice. Who cared about the lineage of Adi Shankara, Vyasa, Vasishta, Shirdi Sai Baba? Everyone respected their stature. So, stature has much more value than status, pedigree or lineage. Lineage only tells about the path, and perhaps guarantees status; but can never guarantee stature.
A.M. Mohanji, A funny question - Are you real? I often feel that you are not real, that you do no exist.
M: It is not a funny question. It is a good question. No. I am also an illusion. I do not exist.
A.M. How can I gain clarity?
M: Shift in consciousness brings forth the corresponding clarity.
A.M. How can there be differences? How can there be high and low?
M: There are no highs and lows in the absolute sense. There are only variations in vision and awareness. Physical manifestations or representations are only expressions of relativity. How can there be high without a low? How can relativity be expressed without duality?
A.M. Relativity confuses….
M: HA HA.. Answer lies within the question itself. Go beyond relativity – confusion ends there.
A.M. How long will you work in the highly competitive commercial world or among the pretensions and the heavy gross?
M: As long as this heart beats, I will work, but perhaps not in the highly competitive commercial world of profits and pretensions. I am proving a point here. We can operate in contradicting worlds with equal ease and effortlessness, if we have the will to. We can remain pure in all worlds if you choose to. Escapism is not a solution. Be at home where ever we are. Environment does not matter. Our deepest determination and will matters. And spirituality is not only for saints. It is accessible to all, it is inherent in all. Renunciation is a state of mind. You need not go to Himalayas for that.
A.M. Mohanji, we cannot have enough of you.
M: I thought the world is fed up of me. Mohanji is not a person. It is a continuation. It is a constitution or a constellation. It is consciousness. It will always exist, even after this body goes back to where it came from.
A.M. How are you today Mohanji? You were not well, last week
M: Consciousness is the same. Body keeps floating up and down.
A.M. Mohanji, what do you see in people, when you address large gathering? Their body, soul or karma?
M: I see SHIVA. All are Shiva. All are expressions of myself, just acting out individual karmas. No differences between one and the other.
A.M. Between man and woman too?
M: What has gender got to do with it? All are same. What is the gender of the soul? What is the gender of Parabrahma, the supreme soul?
A.M. Then why does Hindu religion have Gods and Goddesses? Why does Shiva have a wife? Why do you have a wife too?
M: HA HA A. Everything are reflections of Parabrahma. All are one. B. Duality is the prime expression of relativity. So, there is two. “One” represents unity. There is nothing apart from one. Two represents relativity – You and Me. When you and me unite, we become one – Unity. Shiva is the energy aspect while Parvati is the material aspect. Expressions become complete when they unite. But, essentially, man is an extension or woman and vice versa. Shiva is also Ardha Nariswara (Man and woman in one) I have married because this completes this soul’s journey too. Womanhood is sacred. Woman is mother. This is why we worship woman.
A.M. Your answers amaze me. So, all Gods and Goddesses are one?
M: Essentially one. All Gurus are one too. All knowledge is one. You are Unity. When you work through the body that you have rented for the time being, you feel divided from the Father. When you return the body to earth, you unite back again with your Father. We have attributed tasks and purposes to Gods and Goddesses. They represent that task. We have created deities based on certain systems, worship methods and certain mathematical calculations. If there are changes in that, there will be changes in deities too. There are Mulamanthras for each deity – the root manthra. The root sustains the deity. The root manthra maintains its attributed strength. There is nothing apart from ONE. What ever is apart from ONE is Illusion, Maya.
A.M. Did you ever fear that people may not understand you?
M: No. I never had any insecurity and will never have. I do not keep any agenda.
A.M. What is FEAR for you?
M: Illusion. Fear does not exist.
A.M. Do you have any fears?
A.M. Even the loss of the near and dear ones?
M: I have already experienced the loss of near and dear ones in this life. I know how it feels.
A.M. What actually is terrestrial life?
M: Terrestrial life is only about various experiences.
A.M. When you look at the world, what do you see?
M: A Divine Comedy or Errors. HA HA
A.M. Life is comedy or errors for you?
M: Yes. It is a grand joke. I laugh at the seriousness of people. All are grumpy and serious. People are tired and wrinkled. HA HA People are afraid to laugh – as if their teeth will fall off. HA HA With all that seriousness, they will die and go. What do they gain? I always laugh at life. There is nothing to be serious about here. It is indeed a comedy of errors. There is only this moment at our disposal. We do not even know our morrows. Then why worry at all?
A.M. Why errors?
M: Errors due to wrong identifications. Such as people think I am Mohan. I am Mohan for this world. I am not just Mohan. When I die, this body will be called Mohan’s body. People think they are their mind or intellect. Even that is not true. A philosopher said “I think therefore I am”. So, what about him when he does not think – such as, in deep sleep state? Just look around. You can see wrong identifications all over. People believe they are something else and behave accordingly. HA HA
A.M. Last question. What is your real name? Why do you use Para Brahma as your FB name?
M: HA HA. My official name is P.K.Mohan. P – family name and K – name of my Grand father. It is still my official name. Mohanji is the name that is used in the spiritual circle. This was initiated by a saint. And he started calling me Mohanji first and everyone followed afterwards. Mohan is the name and “Ji” is a respectful way of addressing. I do not call myself Mohanji. HA HA.
Moreover, I always sign off as “M” because the alphabet “M” usually has no value by itself. It needs something more, some more alphabets to gain meaning. So, I am just an alphabet, meaningless by itself, transitory, temporary and momentary. I keep myself as insignificant as I can. I have used the name Para Brahma in my Face Book page because, that is the mirror that I am showing to the world. Parabrahma is unity. Two words Para and Brahma cannot exist as duality. They must merge into one. It exists as an illusion. It must merge and is always merged as an entity. Secondly, it is a reminder as to who you are and where you belong to. You are Parabrahma and you belong there. Parabrahma is the Father, from whom all dualities have originated. So, this might tell you that we all are one and there is no duality amongst us and what ever we see as duality is just a grand illusion. So, the concept is the same as applying sacred ash on our forhead. Ash is where we came from and ash is where we will return to. We are just a handful of ash in reality. The ash on the forehead is a reminder. It teaches humility. Likewise, I used that name to remind who you are and what you think you are now. Two words represent duality, truth and illusion. I exist beyond all these.
Till We Meet Again….
A Dream to Ponder
David woke up from a beautiful, profound dream. It was, in a way, both elevating and disturbing. He saw himself as a boy, along with his grandfather who is no more, strolling down on the banks of a river. It was evening. Sun was turning red. Birds were flying home after a full day of outing. There was a gentle, cool breeze. The village was very familiar. He has been there before. Grandfather was holding David’s hand and he seemed a bit extra cautious about David’s security. As they walked through the walkway running parallel to the river, they witnessed and experienced many beautiful sights and sounds. What caught David’s attention and his waking memory was a prayer that came floating from one of the small huts, apparently from the throat of some children. It went somewhat like this…
“Different spaces, different times
Oh Lord, thou carried me like a faithful boatman.
Safe and Secure, Safe and Secure…
Through the time and seasons alike
“Different faces, different tunes
Oh Lord, thou protected me like a mother bird, her children.
Safe and Secure, Safe and Secure
Through summer, winter, spring and rain.”
A feeling of powerful protection enveloped David. It gave a strong feeling of re-assurance. Grandfather’s hands and the lovely prayer accompanied and re-inforced his feeling of well-being. David called his grand father ‘BABA’. He was deeply connected with his grandfather, to an extent that they knew every subtle vibrations of each other, let alone profound emotions. As they walked on, he asked his beloved grandfather:
“Baba, where are we going?”
Baba smiled and said: “I want to introduce you to my friends. We went to school together, we played in the same team, and grew up together, just like you, Mark and Alf.”
David smiled, “Baba, I cannot imagine you as a young man, let alone a boy”.
Baba laughed aloud. “I was not born old. I was not this old always”.
Baba was a tall man with slightly drooping shoulders, one side of his shoulder bent slightly to the front and to one side. He was of extraordinary character. He was always in command of every situation. He was never seen emotional. Always jovial, calm and collected. He always used his intellect and quite knew what he was doing. David has never seen him idle, even at his old age.
Their journey ended at a graveyard in front of a church near the river. David was surprised.
“Where are your friends? Will they come here? Are we meeting them here?” This was indeed an uncommon place for any friendly get-together.
Baba said “No. They are already here”.
Baba took David to a stone which read “William Smith”. Baba said “Will has been my classmate and my best friend. He was the best man at my wedding too. An unshakable strong man, a brave heart. He had worked hard in foreign lands, made his money and returned home after his retirement. We met after a long time. He was a fire-brand in his youth, daring and charming. When he came back after all those years, he looked tired and withdrawn, a bit too distracted. He seemed more interested in isolation and hid himself from the society, as much as he could. I tried to bring him back to some old personal memories to revive his old vigor. But he showed no interest at all. He had three children. They all fought with him at his old age over property and money. They even abused him and never agreed with what ever he told or asked them, or wanted them to do. Finally, he died broken hearted, alone. Will was once a strong man, everybody’s hero. I could not see him so heart-broken and deserted. This is what old age does for some. David, if we are not careful enough to nurture relationships while we can, later on, life could bring isolation and alienation. That can even be called “living in hell”, with no love, warmth and togetherness, exactly the things that one craves for, when one is weak and unprotected.
David said: “Baba, are all your friends dead?”
Baba smiled and said “Not all. Some are still alive. But, they are old, you see. Most cannot move on their own. They need help. They are heavily dependent on others. Old age often makes people invalid and handicapped.”
David felt quite relieved that his grandfather can move on his own and is relatively healthy to that standard. Yet, David experienced a strange kind of uneasiness creeping up his throat. He felt that he would get depressed by meeting all these old friends of his grandfather in the graveyard. Yet, he knew that Baba had a purpose, even though it was not quite entertaining for David. He said: “Baba, let us go home. I am not feeling good.”
Baba said: “David, two more introductions and we shall go home.” Baba tried to cheer David up who was slowly settling into his gloom.
The next tomb stone read “Stephen Summer”. “He has been our pilot man.” Baba spoke as if it was a joke. David was too withdrawn by then, to enjoy any jokes. The whole situation made him extremely uneasy.
“Even when we were young, he wanted to become a pilot and fly aircrafts. He got into the army and moved into the air command segment and became a pilot. He has participated in many wars and bombed many people and places. And that was his deepest regret in his later years. Fighting a nagging cancer in his abdomen, though looked after well by his devoted wife Lisa, whenever we met for a coffee, he would say “How many people have I killed in my young days!!!. Women, Children, Men, Old and Young. I do not know their faces, thank God. But, they haunt me every night. Faceless bodies come forth and ask me “What did we do to you, to destroy our lives? We were just beginning to live, taste the sweet and sour buds of life, you wrenched us out of our beds. How will you pay us back, how will you give us back our lives?” Regrets were eating into his flesh. Steve repented day and night. He even welcomed death as a solace to his aching conscience. He refused to be treated and used the pain that his illness profusely gave as a kind of purgatorial from his sins. He thought death would finally redeem him. Helplessness tormented him. Finally, he gave up and here he stays”, Baba pointed out at the grave stone.
The last one was that of Eric. He was an actor. He was after fame and recognition. He became addicted to intoxicants and died quite young. He could not ever find a stable relationships and even though he had many children from different women, there were none to take care of him, or look after him at his death bed. He died alone, in a hospital, with a longing to see his children and experience their love, which he never nurtured when they were young. I tried my best to convince some of them to go and meet their father who was in his death bed. None showed any interest and gave me lame excuses. He never cared for his children when he was young. The children never cared for him when he was old, sick and helpless. Life is like a mirror. You reap what you sow.”
“As for me, I have been quite mediocre, compared to them all, and I did not go anywhere from this place. They all saw the world outside this village. I did not see much beyond this village. I saw only my inner world. My world has been within me. The whole world was within me. In the end, they could not hold on to their large world, but I could. I am not boasting, but just proving a point. I learned to make buildings and do some farming which made my living. More than grains, I sowed love and I nurtured it. I distributed it in this village itself, as best as I could. Your grandmother was a great soul. She never allowed any visitor to leave our house with an empty stomach. More than the food, our genuine care satisfied our visitors. We have always been quite self-sufficient, yet our neighbors always shared their happiness with us, just like we did. They cared for us, and considered us worthy of their time and space. There is no substitute for HARD WORK. There is no substitute for LOVE.”
“I have been busy and my life has been quite rich and meaningful. As a hobby, I learned astrology. I never practiced astrology for money. I just guided a few who came to me to shed some light on some of their personal confusions. Astrology is ability to read into one’s destiny using the movement pattern of planets and stars. If destiny was a variable, astrology would fail. Fortunately, it is not. Destiny is constant, pre-determined. The science of astrology is based on a definite road map called destiny, a pre-planned journey that one takes in one life time. It is a science. It is sheer mathematics. The element of free will and the element of grace can always alter that to some extent.
Thus, I lived a simple life, away from the rush of the towns and lived long enough to see my wandering friends dead and buried! How many dreams and aspirations we chewed on during our youth! How many dreams we weaved. Some were realized, and some left unfulfilled. I have no regrets. It is time for me to go too. I may not survive this summer. My time is near. Death does not frighten me, nor am I worried about my life after death.”
“I do not know any God. I have not seen God. No God has come to me and guided me, let alone come to criticize me, beat me, or judge me. I believe that for the hungry, God is food and for the cold, God is warmth. In the summer, God comes as a cool breeze and in the spring, God appears as blossoms. I believe there is no God apart from its various forms. I believe God expresses itself through us too, as kindness, compassion and Love, while Devil, if there is one, expresses itself as jealousy, hatred, anger, and revenge. I do not know any grand philosophy nor do I want to know. What is the use of knowing it, if I cannot use it? I do not want anything that I cannot use or practice.”
David then saw his grandfather, grandmother, his parents and all his cousins in an outdoor party near a beautiful river. All were singing and dancing and there was immense love and sense of belonging-ness in the air. David sang many songs and had lots of fun.
There was a lot of food and drinks on the table, and when he touched a piece of bar-be-cued meat of a suckling pig-ling, (a specialty at important gatherings) he heard the voice of his grandfather again, even though he could not see him. “Remember David, that baby pig did not die happy, for you. It was forcefully killed. It was murdered for your enjoyment. Snatched from its mother’s breast while it was drinking its mother’s milk. Its mother is still alive and missing her child. Some of its brothers and sisters are still alive. Eat with clear understanding. Eat with awareness.” David dropped the meat. He could not consume any meat anymore.
He woke up with clear memory of the entire dream and he knew that his dear departed grandfather has just conveyed a very important and life-changing message to him. He had just used the medium of a dream to convey it, because he had already left this world and there was no way he could talk to David.
This was a crucial point in David’s life as he was getting more and more involved in a particular path of education that he chose and he was getting too introverted, indifferent and insensitive towards the outside world because of it. Even though his parents never interfered, he had taken a lot of responsibilities onto himself and was already suffering the pressures, pains and weight of it. Anxiety over possibility of failures or defeats were also affecting his self-esteem. David got a clear remedy to his dilemma from his Grand Father’s message. He decided “LIFE HAS GOT TO BE SIMPLE! Why do we make it complicated? We must definitely work hard. But, we must love our work. Love for work will remove all pressures and pains. If we love what we do, old age cannot make dents in our life.” The life of Baba’s three close friends clearly made David understand the futility of mad pursuits. Everything eventually ends up in the grave. All emotions, ego, ambitions end up at the same place. A life filled with love and laughter is worth more than the millions in the bank. He decided that he should appreciate what has been given to him, rather than be always dissatisfied, focusing on what he could not achieve as yet. He stopped comparing himself with others and judging or criticizing himself. He understood that he has always been in pursuit of something or the other that he did not have, ignoring everything that he already had. He realized that failing to enjoy the available materials or relationships always lead one to permanent disillusionment and eventual depression. He also realized that constant resistance to everything also consumes a lot of energy and it makes one tired. David decided to shift his life in 180 degrees. Love is the remedy. That is all he needed to learn and remember. Love is all one needs. He woke up to a completely new life.
P.S. Sometimes, protecting angels will take you to the astral plane and deliver such experiences. Its memory stays, if it is relevant to your terrestrial life. In order to keep the memories, directions and guidelines would be well engraved in the conscious memory, if that information was expected to be used in one’s life. It would be presented as a dream, even though it is an astral experience, a total communion. This is just for your understanding. Please understand that there are millions of permutations and combinations possible in our existence. So, do not think in terms of any specific patterns. Everything is individualistic and unique. Each moment is unique and each method is unique. One’s food could be another’s poison. So, do not judge experiences, but value them. Everything has relevance in some way, to some one.
Seek NOTHING….YOU ARE THAT!!!
It was a rainy day morning in 2004. Rain-drenched trees and grass looked fresh and serene, in the shy, peeping sun. I was observing the divine glory of the nature, in silence. The communion was overwhelming. Nature was at its best. Soon, a small car pulled up and “Cathy” broke the silence and entered into my physical horizon. I had forgotten that we had a randesvouz that morning, as I was deeply absorbed in the subtlety of nature and was quite reluctant to come out of it. When the subtle silence of the nature merges with the silence within, we truly become the ocean of silence.
A few minutes later, we sat down with a hot cup of tea watching the rain. Cathy soon took out her paper and pen and off we started on a discussion which she wanted to use for her article in a magazine. Words only belong to us before they are uttered. Once uttered, they belong to the universe. So, nobody owns these ideas and corresponding words. Here we go…
C: Mohanji, an average human “seeks” something his whole life. Why?
M: Because, he does not know what exactly he is seeking. He runs after the glitters of life. He seeks externally, eternally. He does not know that what he seeks lies within himself. He does not know that there is nothing to seek. We seek something that we do not have, right? What do we lack at all? Seeking something not knowing what is sought, literally takes lifetimes away. This eternal seeking continues over generations.
Seek NOTHING! All that you seek is within you. We seek knowledge, pleasures, possessions and even enlightenment as if it is a commodity! What ever we seek, eludes us constantly. We get frustrated. We miss the whole point. We go after books, gurus, ideas, various types of spiritual practices, relationships, money, love, food, sex….. And? There you go. Nothing works. Finally, at last, wisdom arises. Then, we start to unlearn, shed our skins of accumulations, one by one. So, first we insanely accumulate and then we struggle to give up, just like we cram food into our stomachs, we over eat and then we sweat and struggle to shed weight. Many fears arise while shedding and they often wreak havoc. Finally, finally, when we become totally naked and empty, elevation in consciousness takes place. We get ready to dissolve. The path lies within us. The destination lies within us. There is nothing to seek outside. This eternal truth is difficult to comprehend and even more difficult to apply in life.
C: So, (visibly confused) what do we seek?
M: SEEK NOTHING. YOU ARE THAT. Instead of seeking, watch yourself, watch everything. Observe everything. Things are happening through us. We are not doing anything. Everything is within us. When we keenly observe ourselves with a child-like wonder, all duality will disappear. Expectations will disappear. We will start feeling the subtle power of supreme consciousness that runs through all beings like a thread joining beads and you will find the perfect symmetry of life in its large canvass.
We travel miles and miles in search of peace, while peace really lies within us. We seek external gurus, while the Guru Principle is already within us, built into our own consciousness. When seeking becomes too external, peace eludes us. Action replaces silence. We wander away from our true home and sometimes even lose our way. Then, it takes lifetimes to get back “home”. Do you understand me?
C: Well. I guess so… When will we truly reach this understanding?
M: When eligibility is right. Conscious, consistent effort is essential.
C: What could be a potential deterrent?
M: Inertia. Inertia is the cancer. It deters our determination. It wastes lives. It wastes lifetimes.
C: What is inertia?
M: Tamas or Inertia is part of us. That part of us that gently guides, suggests us to sleep, plus our innate lethargy, postponement and escapism, anger and defensiveness, are all aspects of tamas. Everything that handicaps us, is tamas. Everything that binds us is tamas. Postponement and lazy inaction is tamas. Purposelessness is Tamas. Intellectual churning, constant analysis which leads to subsequent inaction, is tamas. Tamas is our inherent enemy, one that stays with us, within us always, and only manifests during our waking hours. It induces procrastination and brings forth a series of failures - even life gets totally wasted due to its influence. Craving for tamasic food such as old food, flesh of living beings (meat), alcohol, etc. are all signs of inherent tamas. Some proudly boast that they hate vegetarian food!!. They have no idea how much they are exposing their own weak constitution this way. Tamas is our constant companion and mostly responsible for all our seeming failures of life. Beware of Tamas. Be aware of tamas.
C: What or who is the enemy of Tamas?
M: Rajas. Action. The best medicine to counter tamas is compulsive action. Action for the sake of it. Work hard. Only entertain adequate sleep. Organise yourself. Do not postpone things. Believe, decide that there will be no tomorrow and today is the only space in time that you have for yourself to fulfill and complete all that you have to do. Do everything today. Do not look or strive for too much satisfaction and absolute perfection. There should be adequate perfection, and more than that, there should be adequate attention, consistency and application. If rajas is expressed on the platform of selflessness, spiritual glory is accessible to you.
C: What is the role of Satwa?
M: Satwa is the ideal state of equanimity. Absolute objectivity is its sign. Unconditional Love, Selflessness and Compassion are its spontaneous expressions. It is difficult to stay in that plane. Just like a day has only three hours of satwic time, (approximately from 3AM to 6AM) in order to exist in that level of consciousness is a tall order for an average man, one who lives in the routine world that we see around us. An average man is predominantly tamasic, then rajasic and seldom satwic. Even one who visits temples, churches or mosques, and one who is always immersed in chanting and worship may not be in the realms of sattwa. You need keen observation to understand its subtlety. When Rajasic mode shifts to selflessness, man touches the realms of sattwa. Still he could fall back into rajas or inertia at anytime. We can see even saints wasting their lives in relative luxury and pomposity, falling prey to tamas. Tamas is indulgence, compulsive indulgence and its associated slavery.
C: Understood. I am getting the picture. Mohanji, why are YOU, so elusive?
M: Am I elusive? You are talking to me and I am answering your questions the way I can. I am indeed an introvert who enjoys isolation a lot. Tell me what will I gain in the market place? Most of the things that the society offers, especially the sensory objects, have little value for me. I have seen it all. Tasted it all, over life times. Only through accomplishing it can we overcome it. We need to taste it to overcome it. Avoidance does not amount to eradication. When we entertain the feeling of lacking something, it will stay rooted as the seed of a wish in our mind, until its total fulfillment.
C: I truly believe you, when you say you are in isolation. That is why we took so long to meet. You kept postponing.
M: HA HA. Well, I was not too sure if there was a real purpose for this meeting. Just idling or wasting time discussing sweet nothings or gossiping about other people is not really my cup of tea. What do we achieve with all that? Instead, if we could use the time to float in the silence within, that will be much more meaningful. What do I have to give you, anyway, which you do not have already? We are crazy for knowledge. What do we do with that? Do we ever convert that into wisdom and elevate ourselves? Has it delivered inner peace? Still we crave for more, more food, more emotional entanglements, and more knowledge. Still we wander in search of the “right location” to find inner peace. No location can give you inner peace. Inner peace essentially expresses itself, when mind is calmed. It will be obvious and unmistakable. Analysis and comparisons are a waste of time. Accept what you can consume. Reject what you cannot consume. It is as simple as that. None can force anything on anyone nor should they attempt to do that. This is violence. Violence of all kinds disturbs the collective inner peace. Tons of literature also will not help gain inner peace. Reading becomes another kind of escapism, equal to looking for the “right environment”. Instead, choosing to drop the baggage of compulsive habits and resorting to the silence within will help you much more. You will become self-sufficient. The ability to do this, you already have. What more can I give you? Why come to see me? See the GOD Almighty shining in the eyes of the poor and abandoned people, hungry birds and animals. Make them smile and remain contented. That will elevate you. I am telling this with due respects to you and your good intentions though. Now you cannot complain that I am rude and arrogant.
C: Aha! Thank You. A different subject - Why are miracles not happening these days, like many books have told us?
M: What is a miracle, according to you? Your very life itself is a miracle. Observe it keenly, observe yourself every moment, you will understand. How delicately and carefully has an ANT been created! How delicately and carefully a human baby is created! Cell by cell, everything at its right place!!! Look at the color combination of those flowers out there. Who is waking up those birds right on time, everyday; and who is making them sing so beautifully? Isn’t this whole universe truly wonderful? If you are “wonderfuelled”, you will be like a child and a child is its own master.
Remember, all the so called human discoveries have been just another human attempt to see the fundamentals of already created materials. The core of every mass is energy. Our scientists still cannot conglomerate energy and mold it into desired objects at will. That is the fundamental principle of creation. Are we not far away from it?
C: Actually, my question is, there are great masters now, and there have been great masters before. There has been many avatars. Still, why is poverty and inequality existing on earth?
M: Who will question human will? Who wants to? All that we enjoy is created by us. Poverty and Prosperity are our own creation. When a man entertains selfishness and poverty consciousness, he must experience poverty in real life. Even if you distribute the whole wealth of the world evenly among all the people on earth, believe me, it will go back and conglomerate into a few hands, just like before. This is the law of karma. Man creates his destiny every moment. In the absolute sense, there is only clay, the supreme consciousness; all the shapes are our creation. So, why should or how could any avatar or master interfere? If I interfere in your decisions or even suggest my opinion, will you not revolt against me? When we fall helpless and seek a helping hand, they do lift us up. They have done so in the past, they will do so in the future too. Guides are aplenty, but who has the time to follow them? And even if we get a good guide, we hardly know how to use him/her. We will still compare him with another, complain, and invariably find something lacking in him. This is human nature. Human mind can never be satisfied or contented. I have spoken a lot in the past. I have indeed cooked a lot of food for the world. Do you believe that someone has understood them, chewed them well and digested them? Likewise, many have spoken, many have guided many. People are still on crossroads.
Mind leaves us at the crossroads always. It prevents understanding. It prevents silence and elevation. It discriminates. It destroys too. Detachment, objective observation and non-interference are the ways to bring the mind in your control. Only by getting closer and closer to the warmth of your soul can you effectively get away from the iron clutches of tamas and your mind. Only when your soul effectively fills into your inner space, will you experience real contentment. Sat-Chit- Ananda. While walking that path, there is no room for cramming in knowledge, analysis and comparisons; let alone criticisms and judgments of oneself and others.
C: What if I disagree?
M: You have the full right. You must disagree. In a way, disagreement amounts to individuality. But, as we evolve further and further, we may start to agree with what we disagreed with in the past. With better understanding and spiritual maturity, things will seem different. Remember, the dates in the calendar are much closer than they appear. We are here only for a very limited time. We can neither stretch it nor reduce it.
C: Subtly, you are pulling my leg. But, getting back to the original question, these higher entities can certainly perform miracles…
M: If the Avatars and Masters wanted to wipe out life on earth, they easily could. They do possess that power. But, it would be intervention into your free will. If I encroach into your privacy, will you tolerate that? You may even kill me. Moreover, remember that all Avatars and Masters always obeyed the rules of earth, while on earth, perfectly well. They ate food, used toilets, slept, suffered from diseases and old age and died too. Obeying the rules of earth would mean all the changes in body, desires of the mind, and even diseases in their body. They went through the process of childhood, youth, old age and eventual dissolution. Why did they have to go through these sufferings? Why could not they just appear, take a human form at will, and disappear at will? They came here to demonstrate dharma to us, using their own life. The life of every saint or Avatar is a lesson by itself. Their lives itself are their biggest messages. If they chose to be different from others and kind of all powerful and almighty, we will find that as an escapism to shrink into our own shell of tamas. We are eternal escapists, aren’t we? Hence, a real saint or an avatar will do everything that you do, so that you could connect with him or her. You could resonate with them. You could identify with them. Look at the life of Krishna. How much has He influenced the lives of generations and still continues to do so, just with His very life!!! Everyone can identify with him in some way or many ways. A child, a son, a lover, a husband, a father, a friend, a warrior, a politician, a vedantin, and above all, an Avatar.
Sri Rama was also an Avatar. He was indeed powerful. Why did he need the support of the army of monkeys (vanar sena) to destroy Ravana and rescue Seetha? Does an Avatar need support? Indeed He was very powerful. If He just used his power and performed miracles, there would be no Ramayana. Even if there would have been a Ramayana, it would have been just a fantastic, but totally un-achievable story, that can be performed only by a God, something we cannot identify with, and perhaps giving fancy to many fantastic super God – like hero movies. Now, there are many valuable truths such as Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema being elucidated through the epic Ramayana. Rama behaved like an ordinary man, a son, father, husband, so on and so forth, so that all of us can identify ourselves in some aspect, if not all, with Rama and Ramayana. Seldom did He display his true potential, just like all of us. We are all infinite Ramas. When do we actually behave like one? We have immense powers and potential. When will we shed our mental blocks and display them? So, please understand that all those higher entities that graced earth, behaved like human beings and underwent the law of time.
C: It makes me wonder, are you from earth or outside earth?
M: It does not really matter. Just try to enjoy the food that I prepare. If it is not good for you, throw it away. Nobody is watching you or judging you on this one.
C: If people know that, don’t you think they will look at you with more respect?
M: People are usually skeptical. They will not believe anyway. They will look at me as a pretender and a propagandist. People like to believe more in scandals than search for the truth. They like to gossip and not evolve and liberate themselves. Ego does not permit apologies! Ego does not permit even beautiful relationships. Everything is seen through the eyes of a potential scandal, thus restricting the walking space of a liberated saint. Imagine the Guru is an alcoholic and womanizer. If his teachings are not good for you, it does not matter to you, does it? So, discard the Guru and his teachings. Now, imagine the Guru is an alcoholic and womanizer AND his teachings are good for your personal growth. It does not matter how your guru is, right? Just accept the teachings and discard the Guru. So, it does not really matter. Spirituality should never become a handicap for anyone. Spirituality means liberation from mundane bindings, even though it is definitely not a license for cheating and raping innocent devotees.
Are we not the same people who crucified Jesus? Are we not the ones who gave poison to Socrates? We even took the Great Master Shirdi Sai Baba to the court! We never accepted any saint when they were in their body. We glorify them after they were dead or killed. This is our nature. That is why our tradition insists us to respect our parents, our teachers and even our guests as God. We belong to a rich tradition of acceptance and love. Time has changed. Respect is a rarity. Today, relationships are based on usefulness and that too, mostly, commercial usefulness. There are many traps and quagmires in the path of spirituality. We certainly get what we deserve. So, it is advisable to accept life as it comes. People can express only their available consciousness which is varied and different from person to person. We cannot understand or appreciate another person’s dimension fully and completely. This is the truth of our existence. Then, how can one fully understand the consciousness of a Saint? This is why many people considered Akkalkot Maharaj and Shirdi Sai Baba as mad men. They were two of the greatest masters earth had ever seen. Datta Avatars!!!
Who craves for respect? Respect created through fear or compulsion has no longevity. Respect should happen by itself. Respect should happen from clear understanding of the stature of the Guru. Then it stays. Just like the money and fame earned through bad deeds does not last and often will not come handy when required the most, emotions have very short longevity. They die as soon as they take birth. People love scandals. Even if there are no truths behind scandals, the fertile human minds will weave their own truths. Awareness is the only medicine or remedy to cure jealousy, hatred, anger and all other evils. Awareness needs eligibility. Eligibility is attained through Viveka or the ability or wisdom to segregate truth from untruth, gossips or rumors, and staying with the truth against all odds. I have seen people coming with expectations and leaving with hatred towards me and my path. I lose nothing here. So, I do not give much importance to human emotions. They come and go. Who knows who will be with us tomorrow?
C: Seek Nothing… It bothers me. I feel as if there is nothing to live for.
M: This is because we are slaves of our mind and senses. They exist to seek everything. When you shift from your senses and your mind to intellect, you will feel the difference. When you shift from intellect and ego to your soul, you will seek nothing anymore. The seeker becomes the sought. They are one. You are that.
C: Hmm. What is Crystal Lotus?
M: The symbol of purity. Lotus remains pure and unattached even while existing in the mud. Water cannot drench it. Gods rest on the eternally pure lotus and display their presence at times. It is the symbol of subtlety and detachment. Nothing affects a lotus. It lives and dies in purity. A crystal lotus has no birth nor death. It symbolizes purity and faith.
C: What creates anger?
M: Unfulfilled Expectations. Tamas.
C: What creates hatred and jealousy?
M: Ignorance. Tamas. The common factor in all negative emotion is Tamas or inertia.
C: “B” says that you are as slippery as a fish.
M: HA HA. A fish is so supple and fluid. This is a good state to be in, especially in the spiritual path. I hope slippery does not mean escapism . Being unavailable is not a bad idea. Those who really need us will reach us, one way or the other. Being too available will also induce situations where you are taken for granted. Also, why should you be available always at all? “B” does not know me. He swayed when people talked bad things about me. He forgot his own experiences with me and chose to marry others’ words. When you disown your own experiences and choose others’ words and circulate it, your spiritual progress ends there. You slip down a lot and it takes lifetimes to climb back to your earlier spiritual stature. Gossip mongers may find pleasure while spreading it, but, will suffer a lot to come clean from that karma. It is like an acute diabetic choosing to consume an ice cream. He will enjoy it, while at it and will have to endure lots of medicines and treatment to overcome the effects of this paltry pleasure. I only pity those who have to resort to these ways. They have no idea what they are doing and what the consequences are. They are in fact doing me a great favor. Those who were on the borderline, decided to go away and those who are really connected with me, came closer. Only they will be benefited, anyhow. Now, imagine what ever they said is true, just compare their words with your own experience and determine which has more weight. Use your intellect, your discriminatory powers wisely.
Now, I may behave like a “slippery fish” because, people try to put me in frames. Frames restrict. I constantly break frames. I am walking the path of liberation. I destroy anything that binds me, owns me. I behave differently from their expectations so that they get disillusioned. This is my style of non-conformity. Those who get disillusioned, will drop off. Those who stay, will grow with me too. Those who entertain huge expectations from anyone, always suffer. This is the law of karma.
C: Will you not get tired?
M: Being tired is Tamas. When you are forced to do what you do not want to do, tamas takes over. Tiredness is a sign of tamas. I love my mission. I am here to do that. I do not get tired. Once again, abundance is a perpetual state. This is also applicable in terms of energy.
C: What about giving? Won’t you deplete yourself?
M: A well never depletes itself, even if many buckets of water is removed from it. Fresh water immediately replaces the water that the bucket removed and maintains its water-level. The well remains constant. It is not the same with the bucket. It depletes itself when water is poured out completely. So, depletion depends on your stature. If you are a well, you will never be depleted. If you are a bucket, you will be. So, now you can decide what is what.
C: Won’t individual consciousness contaminate the super consciousness?
M: HA HA! I like that. Look at the oceans! Many rivers of the continents pour much water into the oceans. Ocean remains the same. Likewise, consciousness is vast and unfathomable, a trillion times larger than the vast oceans of earth. Water can get contaminated. Consciousness can never get contaminated, just like your soul, which can never get contaminated and always stays neutral, aiding you, but not interfering in your lifestyle, what ever your lifestyle is. Individual consciousness, even when it becomes collective, cannot contaminate the vast super consciousness. Everything is nullified and dissolved in it, eventually. Bubbles exist for sometime on the water. Then, it dissolves. Likewise, individual consciousness stays afloat for sometime and merges into the super consciousness. Nothing remains for ever. Nothing has permanence, except the supreme consciousness.
C: That is interesting. What exactly is permanent?
M: The supreme consciousness, what some call the “Father”. Everything came out of it and everything goes back into it. Everything is projected out of the Father and everything is called back as well. The Father remains silent forever. The Father silently observes everything. Just like your conscience observes all your thoughts, words and actions, without interference, the Father watches the plays of life in the vast universe, objectively, unemotionally.
C: What is good? What is bad?
M: Nothing is either good or bad, in the absolute sense. All are just experiences. Just sundry experiences. So, my dear accumulation oriented man, think again, what exactly are you accumulating? Nothing actually belongs to you forever.
C: Do you operate in multiple consciousness?
M: Yes. I do. Simply speaking, in the limited consciousness associated with this body called Mohan and the higher conscious state which is well beyond this body called Mohan. All people do. But, the difference is, most do not know that they do, because they lead an unconscious existence. That is why they get surprised at certain revelations or messages that eventually come true. Even though I am trying to explain this in simple terms, this aspect has multiple facets. The distance between the limited and unlimited is sometimes huge and sometimes non-existent. We are simultaneously both. So, usually when we are angry, sad, depressed, disheartened, weak, etc, we are operating in the limited consciousness. When we tap into the higher realm and source subtle truths of existence, we are operating in the higher consciousness. I am explaining this in a tangible way only for understanding’s sake. This is a very deep subject.
We can see the expressions of our non-understanding in every segment in the form of emotions and expectations. In the education segment, especially. We fail to see the talent of our children and get immersed into molding them as another brick for the wall. We are afraid of risks and opt for safe bets. A fish is powerful and comfortable in the water. That is its natural habitat. Our education system tries hard to make it climb a tree and in the end, call it a failure! We expect a fish to climb a tree and in the bargain, we destroy the fish. Thus,we are destroying our next generation. Once their talents are crushed, they become insensitive and that is the reason for the gross insensitiveness that we see all around us. None cares. None are happy too. All complain, criticize one another and find pleasure in pointing fingers at one another rather than connecting to their own inner space, establish peace and share peace. When we give wind to the wings of our children, they soar confidently. When we trim their wings out of our fear and anxiety, they are crippled forever. We are what we make ourselves to be. We should always remember that.
Raman’s path was clear. The loss of his closest family members did create a huge vacuum within, and yet, before dying, Raman’s mother had given him a definite destination and a firm purpose in life to be fulfilled in the days ahead. He had firm faith in his mother’s words. So, he decided to walk towards north. Where is north? On his right, the sun rose and on his left, the sun set. The way in front was his path. He knew nothing else and he needed to know nothing else.
As he took his first tiny step in the path of ultimate liberation, the guiding masters took ten steps towards him. This is always the case. Once conviction, determination and dedication is absolute, Masters, God or Universe helps to complete the task. Raman had wandered the whole day and by sunset, he found the verandah of a seemingly unused building, near a village pathway, and decided to spend the night there. There was a well in the compound. He saw a bucket and understood that the well is usable. Maybe the nearby villagers were drawing water from this well. He washed his face and drank some water. He did not feel any hunger even though he had not eaten anything ever since his mother’s demise. As he sat on the verandah looking at the setting sun, an old woman appeared in front of Raman. A toothless smile brightened up her wrinkled face. She also looked like a wanderer.
She sat down next to Raman and asked: “What are you carrying in your cloth?” Raman said: “Some rice and some coins, a couple of loin cloth.” She said: “Let us cook the rice.” Raman opened his cloth sack and put the rice in her bowl. She went towards the well, washed it, put some stones together, made a make-shift oven, took some dry sticks and dried cow dung that was lying around, put them under the bowl and lit it with a match stick. Soon the rice was fully cooked. They shared it. The old woman gave Raman the major portion, which was not much, and herself ate the rest. They also shared the soup of the rice. By that time, the sun had set. It was quite dark. But, the partial moon lit up the sky. Apart from Raman and the old woman, there were no humans visible anywhere in the neighborhood. The old woman swept the veranda, which was covered with dust and dry leaves, spread on it many rags that she carried, and invited Raman to sleep with her. For a moment, Raman felt that his mother was calling him. In the darkness, the old woman’s voice felt like his mother’s. Raman lied down next to the old lady. She said: “I could not find any food to eat the whole day. You were hungry too. But, you gave me all that you had. Bless you, my son, you will never starve in your life. My words will never go wasted. I bless you.” Raman was already quite tired and drowsy. He slipped into a deep sleep; a kind of a trance. The last few sentences that he heard from the old woman went straight into his sub conscious mind, as an assurance as well as an important direction: “Never allow dust to settle on your consciousness. Be Alert. Be Aware. Inertia always lurks around the corner. It is not always easy to sweep the dust and bring back its usual shine, especially if the dust piles up. It may take life times. You may not see me ever again. But, remember, your mother is with you. She will protect you till you reach your final destination. She is guarding you now and she will guard you until you are in safe hands or the realms of the Almighty. She is postponing her further lives for your sake. She is a divine soul. She knows who you are and what is the purpose of your birth. She has decided to walk with you, till the end. You will not see her, but, will feel her presence at times. She sent me today. She will send many more, more powerful than me, to assist you in your journey. It is a divine collaboration.” These words always remained with Raman as re-assurance during days of occasional uncertainity, always afresh in his mind.
Raman partially understood the words of the old woman. But, he was so tired that he slipped into a trance state. When he woke up in the morning, the old woman had already disappeared. There were young girls playing in the open court yard and some women drawing water from the well. He got up, went near the well, and asked for some water. A plump woman looked at him questioningly, but, without questions, poured water into his hands. He washed his face and mouth. He took some leaves from a mango tree and brushed his teeth with that. When the women left with children, he bathed, washed his loin cloth and tied another one. He saw a mango at hand’s reach. He plucked it and ate it. Then, taking the loin cloth that he had kept for drying, folding it and packing it in his cloth bag, he walked towards the north again.
The Merger of Great Oceans
Raman’s total journey can be classified into three parts. The first part is, after leaving his home town, meeting a brahmin priest and staying at his house for a few years where he learnt sanskrit and manthras. The second part – meeting Atmananda and the third part – leaving Atmananda and the actual journey to Badrinath, alone.
The priest lived in a small house near a river. Raman had walked days and nights to arrive at the priest’s abode. In fact, he was guided there. Apart from one incident where one greedy merchant tried to enslave Raman to work in his shop, his journey was quite smooth, as he got assistance constantly and miraculously, whenever he needed it. This merchant gave him some food and then trapped him as a domestic help. He kept away Raman’s cloth bag that contained his loin cloths and the few coins that his mother had given him. This was the merchant’s way of making sure Raman stayed with him. But, due to the twist of events where a fight happened in his neighborhood and in the chaos, Raman ran away from this entrapment, without any belongings. Thus, destiny removed even his paltry earthly possessions from him. He walked empty handed towards north and while sleeping at a temple inn on the way, which used to be free accommodation for travelers, the middle aged temple priest saw this small lonely Brahmin boy Raman and out of pity, took him to his house. After his service hours as a priest of the temple, he used to teach Sanskrit language, Vedas, Upanishads and manthras that are used in pooja or worship, to the Brahmin children of his neighborhood. At that time, he had about 17 students. Raman joined as the 18th student.
Raman stayed with the Brahmin priest, helping him and his small family (which consisted of a pious wife and a beautiful, elegant daughter) with their household chores. He always accompanied the priest. He attended classes without fail and in a few years, Raman became quite well versed in Sanskrit, Vedas and Upanishads. He could also perform poojas (prescribed format of Ritualistic Worship), and many times, when the priest, his teacher, was unwell, he performed the poojas in the temple as well, so systematically, that all the devotees loved and respected Raman.
Everyday, Raman woke up along with the Brahmin priest at 3AM (Brahma Muhurtha) and went with him to the nearby river to take a bath and complete the morning rituals that brahmins performed. The river was wide, but quite shallow near the bank. They chanted Gayathri Manthra together and took bath in the river, along with many other Brahmins. They washed their own clothes and kept them for drying, tied to poles or pillars of the post-bath worship sheds, a few steps from the river bank. All the brahmins chanted manthras together and in the early hours of morning, it created beautiful vibrations all around. The priest and Raman would then proceed to the temple to light lamps, bathe the deity, change its costumes, decorate it and perform the regular worship, without fail everyday, irrespective of whether it was raining or cold weather. By the time they complete it, and open the doors of the temple for the arathi, the temple hall will be filled with devotees. The arathi lamp has five wicks representing five elements, five praana, five koshas, etc. and essentially, the fire element in us. The wet cloth used to hold the lamp to prevent the heat from affecting the palm, represents the water element, vital for sustaining life on earth. The peacock feather fan represents the air element. The flower represents earth. And the yak tail fan represents subtle form of ether. Thus, the five elements that constitute earthly existence are offered to the Lord. Along with that, the incense stick that represents the purity of our state, the fragrance of pure consciousness, is offered as well. Thus, we are offering every aspect of our existence to the Lord Almighty and live our life in total surrender to His will.
After the arathi, they would offer the lamp to the devotees to purify themselves with the fire that has caught the essence of the deity/divine. The priests also offered sandal wood paste to the worshipers, to apply on their third eye, to cool the heat generated through intense prayers communicated through the third eye (with eyes closed) and flowers, which represented the earth, to stay grounded, yet totally grateful. The day is started with the request to earth, to forgive us for stepping on her, or walking over her body (earth’s body. Earth as mother earth). Earth is a gift to us from God, for the fulfillment of our desires or to exhaust our vasanas of earthly nature. Flowers remind us of this beautiful gift from God, with a warning to handle it delicately, with care, as we would handle a delicate, tender flower.
Raman could not live with his own father for long as he died when Raman was quite young. Hence, he could not experience the lifestyle of temple priests. Here, living with his Guru, he learned the lifestyle of Brahmin priests and he also got to know the pure and pious way the whole family existed, totally surrendered to the tradition and Lord. He never heard them quarreling or even seemingly imposing themselves on each other. Likewise, their young daughter also always behaved elegantly and selflessly. He never saw them advising her or training her. She seemed to have picked up qualities spontaneously, as part of her prarabda. He saw that no wandering monks or beggars ever left their house without food, clothes or money. They considered everyone as guests who are representation of God and gave them whatever they had or could part with. Deep harmony, firmly rooted on spiritual conviction and faith, existed in the whole household. This gave Raman stability and well-being in his formation time. They always treated Raman as part of their own family. They never displayed any kind of discrimination. He never felt like a stranger there. He was given full freedom in the house and shared everything that they had, with him too. They were not rich in terms of wealth. But, they were very rich at heart, which is much more valuable and have more permanence.
The priest and his family always woke up at 3AM and always went to bed at 9PM. They had their dinner at 8PM. They only ate satwic food, made of vegetables grown above the ground and basked in sun. They never consumed any roots or barks of plants or trees. They had a cow and calf at home. They treated the cow and calf as family members, with utmost love and care; and always made sure the calf gets sufficient milk before they milk the cow for their purpose. Calf was always let loose and could have her mother’s milk, when ever it wanted. They never sold the cow when milk ran dry. They served the cow with the same dedication and care, with gratitude for its selfless service that they received from her. Raman learnt a very important lesson in the expression of gratitude towards all beings and take none for granted. He understood that the pleasant vibrations that each being produces when showered with love, harmonizes the whole atmosphere, especially that of homes where love prevails in abundance. The well being of all creatures on earth gets reflected in the whole earth and beyond. It removes all emotional blockages and grace flows abundantly.
After five years of stay, Raman completed his education. He decided to continue his journey. The priest and his wife told Raman to stay for a few more years. But Raman had already decided to continue his journey to the North. It was the Lord Himself, in the form of a beggar who came to their house and told Raman, as he was handing over cooked rice to him “Son, it is time to travel again. This is neither your abode nor your destination. It is time to leave this place”.
Raman told them about this incident and his vow. They did not object to his decisions any further. Raman had cultivated a mango plant in their garden. In five years, it produced a few mangoes. He washed them and brought five mangoes in a plate, put them at the feet of his guru and said “Swami, this is my guru dakshina for you. I am indebted and grateful to you and your family for all you have given me; the food, shelter, the knowledge and above all, the unconditional love towards a poor, homeless child. The mango tree will grow and thus will grow your riches. You will have no dearth in life.” Guru blessed Raman, lifted him up and hugged him. Bidding adieu to the lovely family, Raman started his journey towards north, once again. (Raman’s prediction or blessings certainly bore fruits. In the later years, the priest and his family inherited great fortunes, and the priest’s daughter got a very pious and wealthy husband too. they lived their life happily ever after. But, they never boasted or become egoistic and always lead a life of simplicity, surrender and gratitude to the deities they worshiped.The priest continued to do his work in temples and also teach children.)
Swami Atmananda Chaithanya told one of his constant companions, Swami Chidananda: “A boy who belongs to the place where the “great oceans merge ” has reached the konkan land. We must meet him.” Swami Chidananda (Manav) asked Atmananda: “How is he relevant to us? You never go in search of disciples!!!” Atmananda laughed and said: “He is relevant to the tradition. I am not just a man. I am the tradition.” Even though Chidananda had learnt not to ask questions and learn through practical lessons that life and Guru gives, which is how the tradition works, he blurted out: “Which tradition?” They were walking. Suddenly Atmananda stopped, turned, looked straight at Chidananda’s eyes for sometime. Chidananda felt that his nerves and meridians were shivering at that intense gaze. His whole body started to shiver. Sweat started to pour from all pores of his body. He saw a very strong intensity and power like that of Lord Shiva himself. He felt paralyzed and immovable. He stood frozen. He felt his third eye burning and bursting. His spine became like a hot rod!
Atmananda spoke in a calm, deep voice: “The Navnath tradition. Lord Krishna called all the higher beings before he left his physical frame and told them that the purpose and message of His avatar must continue in the whole universe. He chose nine people as its messengers. They are the Nav Nath Saints. They are Matsyendranath, Gorakhnath, Jalendarnath, Kanifnath, Gahininath, Bhartarinath, Revananath, Charpatinath and Naganath. Lord Dattatreya is the Param Guru, who started the tradition. They are the nine Narayanas. The name “Narayana” means the “destination of man”. Lord Krishna Himself Narayana, summoned the Nine Narayanas, who are projection of Himself to His presence and ordered the formation of Nath sampradaaya. Thus Krishna expanded Himself from one to many. The purpose was the continued preservation of Dharma. The realm or “karma bhoomi” is the whole universe. Each Nath Guru displayed profound wisdom and distinct and unique character and characteristic which made people wonder if they were indeed part of the Nath tradition at all. Some stressed on Yoga, some on just observing silence, some on devotion and some on knowledge, some stressed on faith and patience while some stressed on Purity, non-violence and faith at all levels. Nath Tradition is like a grid. In the seeming diversity, there is extreme unity and purposefulness. All Nath Gurus operate as one entity, one breath, even though each Guru displays a different method. There is extreme oneness and diverse expressions. Some of the saints of the tradition chose to burn themselves as candles, giving light and purity to the chaotic world. They decided to settle almost 15,000 feet high in Himalayas, in caves, hidden in ice away from human eyes. They recycle their own semen backwards through Yoga siddhi and they glow like glow worms. They are luminescent. They silently send soothing energy to the whole world. They are intense. This is their mission. When it is time to shed their bodies, they walk towards the nearby pool, withdraw their soul, cell by cell, to the top of their head, and remove themselves (their soul) from their bodies. They shed their bodies in water. They always choose samadhi in water. They only live for the world and not for themselves. Their prayer is “May the whole world along with its various beings be saved and elevated, except us”. They sacrifice their life for the world, unassumingly, expecting nothing in return; not even gratitude. Some saints of the tradition choose to be among people, in the market place, like you and me, to demonstrate the dharma of existence. Most Nath Gurus do not have any formal Gurus. They are chosen and guided by Divine, purely based on their eligibility. Thus, there are no initiations. Common man cannot understand nor appreciate this truth. They will miss the grand message too.”
“All of us are distinct and inimitable. Each Nath guru displays a different aspect of life and living. They are usually polite, but extremely rude at times, only to serve certain purposes. All are extremely powerful, and yet extremely unassuming. Only those who have eyes to see will recognize them. It is very difficult to recognize an unassuming Nath Guru. Even if one recognizes, it is very difficult to follow them. Even if one follows a Nath Guru, it is very difficult to get anything from him, unless they surrender and dissolve themselves completely. Others will just see and will never understand or be benefited. And our tradition is an open river. There are no initiations. None with selfish motives can enter this river. They will get killed and thrown into the mud. Only good souls and true believers can enter this river. A Navnath Guru will travel Seven Worlds and Seven Oceans to find and rescue a pure soul. Eligibility is the only criteria. Eligibility is achieved through Purity. Purity is achieved through Conviction, Commitment and Consistency. The tradition is created to spread the message of true love, beyond all boundaries, and preserve the ultimate dharma of existence.”
This message was literally drilled into Chidananda. He stood there in trance state for hours, completely paralyzed. When he came out of his trance, it was late at night and there was nobody around. He understood that Swamiji has gone towards Konkan land. He walked as fast as he could towards the direction of Konkan land. He walked the whole night and by morning, he found Swami Atmananda and his entourage, and joined them. Atmananda did not acknowledge or pay any attention to Chidananda, even though he saw Chidananda walking in. This was typical of Atmananda. One glance was equal to a ceremonial welcome! He never believed in formalities, even though he believed in discipline; discipline as a walking stick in the path of purity.
Three days later, Atmananda and His whole entourage reached Konkan. Atmananda and his people kept walking until they reached a huge Banyan tree. There were many men, women and children sleeping on the man-made platform under the tree. The day was breaking. Atmananda went straight to Raman, touched his third eye and said “wake up”. As if hypnotized, Raman got up. He stared at Atmananda’s eyes for a minute or two. Atmananda stood up. Raman fell at his feet, held both feet for a long time and kissed them repeatedly. He recognized the tradition more than the saint. He had not physically met Atmananda before. He found his tradition in the eyes of the saint. It was unmistakable. Truth gets reverberated in the depth of one’s consciousness. No one can miss it, when they encounter the eternal truth.
Raman travelled with Atmananda and his entourage for five years. At Varanasi, Atmananda called Raman and said: “You must leave now. You have to go up north. You have all siddhis. Never display them for fame or power. Never display them in front of skeptics or people of power for recognition or money. Do not be “visible” unnecessarily. Be visible only to those who come with Purity and Faith. Do not interfere in people’s future. Stay in their present. Guide in the present. You will become a great master and a beacon of light of our tradition. Your invisibility and invincibility will be your strength. Usual karmic beings will not recognize you. Those who recognize you will be of our tradition. They are eligible. I will be with you always.”
“Be always aware of your spine; especially the thin string that runs through the spine linking the poles of your consciousness. That is your stairway”.
“Lures of the flesh are unavoidable. But, I have given you the wisdom and awareness to see beyond. You will not be affected by the flesh, both yours and others’. Both will be well within your control. In extreme conditions, self indulgence is better than entanglement. Entanglement leads to karma. Karma pulls you down. Women are unique creations. They represent shakti, the creative dimension of Parabrahma. They are powerful, yet fluid. They are flexible and creativity becomes fulfillment, as a mother. They have multiple dimensions. They should be revered. Indulgence is not a sin. If it becomes entanglement, it binds. It prevents liberation. Emotion attached with entanglement prevents liberation. Anything that prevents liberation, is sin for the soul. Be Aware.”
Raman was 18 years old. He was at the door step of his youth. He began his ultimate journey in total renunciation. Step by step, he went higher and higher in Himalayas. Due to the grace of the tradition, nothing affected him. Nature provided him food and water. He learned through his consistent practices to stay beyond elements and its requirements. Body is made up of elements, elements that are put together for a purpose and will disintegrate when the purpose is completed. At Badrinath, he became a complete renunciate. He met many masters. Many guided him and protected him. And he stayed there ever since, invisible to human eyes, until the two travelers discovered him. He is centuries old. But, age has no value. He could live for ever, if he wants to and will leave the body, if he wants to.
This is what the travelers understood from the communion with the Great Saint who has no name, no address, and no identities, to say the least. In a world where people are competing to carve images, this saint lives as a strong reminder that “WE MUST LEAVE EVERYTHING HERE, WHEN WE FINALLY DEPART. No earthly conquests or possessions can be carried with us, to the other dimensions. A Liberated existence is truly worth it.”
When a student is eligible, the teacher appears. A teacher cannot deliver anything to a student who is not ripe and ready for knowledge. The whole universe comes together in the creation of True Spiritual Masters. The whole universe is their operating plane. There are no walls or boundaries. The great masters existing in various planes of the universe operate on one rhythm and purpose. They all are one. There are multiple forms because forms are needed to express. But, beyond all the forms is one single entity. One creator. One creation. One purpose.
The biggest and most substantial creation of our Father was relativity. Along with relativity occurred duality, time, gravity and space. Everything was ready for grand expressions to take place. Expressions took place, and are still taking place in every level, every moment. There is no negative or positive in absolute sense. All are just expressions of the grandeur of relativity.
The Father never really “created” anything further. His creations created many things further. Father arranged the creation objectively, just like our soul objectively aids the daily creation of our own personal realities. Shiva and shakti potential existed in each single creation. The shakti aspect that molded beings using consciousness as the substratum, created all that could be created. Creation continues unabated. Creation also has its duration. So, dissolution also happens simultaneously. On one side creation and on the other, dissolution. When these two aspects are established, existence also comes into play within that duration between creation and dissolution. Creation itself has its dimensions. Characteristically diverse, but essence-wise, one.
Father made the first of creations and those creations made further creations. So, even though the same consciousness was at work, awareness levels of the new creations and their further creations were of diminishing nature. Some created just dependents or slaves, just like we create walking and talking robots. They had no specific identities. They kept binding restrictions on them so that they remain bound and enslaved. They had specific breeding patterns and gestation times while higher beings multiplied at will for a specific purpose and dissolved at will when the purpose is fulfilled. The relative lower beings operated on limited awareness and more on herd instinct.
Every creation does have the inherent dimension for achieving the father’s consciousness. But, entanglements, inertia and lack of awareness prevents them from seeing beyond. When the veil of ignorance is removed, by the grace of Gurus, visibility becomes constant. Path becomes well lit. Understanding the divine will, relishing in divine stature, out of compassion, higher entities assume tangible forms in various corners of the universe, to guide those who need to be guided. On earthly plane, most have only terrestrial needs. They sway with karma. Those who are ready for elevation, will get elevated. Even to salvage one such soul, a higher being may arrive. Everyone has value. Each one is valuable.
The path of liberation is a path of non-conformity. Most saints chose to wander to stay detached. Images, like places influence people. Images have effect in the minds of people. When images change, mind experiences confusion. Mind craves for images and we try to quickly replace the lost image with something new. Often times, this is an unconscious activity, which we often regret later. Sometimes, the sudden loss of an image will seem like a b0ttom-less pit for the mind and the mind pushes for an immediate replacement. Often times, in order to fill this gap, we choose the next best possible image or simply the next available identical image, ignoring the glaring incompatibilities and counting or hoping on developing a few seeming ones. When the closeness surfaces incompatibilities more than compatibilities, disillusionment happens. People become disoriented! What to believe in? All that we believed in so far, has been lost and gone. Why was the loss felt so deeply? Because, the belief had given forth certain expectations, partially influenced by wishes and partially based on realities. Sometimes, the line between the wish and reality is so thin and invisible, that our mind fails to differentiate or recognize which is which. All this matters exist only in the conscious mind. In dream state and deep sleep state, we are reasonably immune to such afflictions.
Wish You the Highest Awareness in this life.
I Love You Always
The Inevitable Journey to Himalayas
When the two visitors left the old saint, they were in complete awe. They did not speak to each other for a long time. They were lost in their own thoughts. The saint subtly invoked in them an inspiration to follow their own dharma, stick to one path to attain spiritual progress, and he performed, in front of them, great siddhis without any pretension, pomp or splendor. It was obvious that there was no effort from his side to impress them, nor did he expect anything from them. All the attractions from the material world which they could possibly offer, were of no interest to this semi-naked saint. Is he a Saint of the Navnath tradition? Well, it really did not matter which path he followed. It only mattered where he has reached!!! And he has indeed reached “HOME” or was very close to it.
They managed to find a place to stay, took bath in the “tapt kund” or the spring of warm water, and attended the evening prayers. Everything happened in a semi-conscious state. Their mind was elsewhere. They felt as if they have found the teacher they have been searching for, since life times. Many thoughts cropped up in their minds. They mused… Will he accept them as his disciples? Are they eligible? And what about their family back home? It is not easy to detach. Mind wants to, but responsibilities compel one to stay put. Everyone cannot be a “siddharth” to abandon his family, eh? Is abandonment perhaps better than emotional divorce and pretentious co-existence, just to avoid a separation due to whatever reasons?. Not at all. Well, In many cases, usually mind is wandering elsewhere while body is right here! Plastic friendships. Plastic relationships! For those people, everything happens mechanically at home. No love. No feelings. Just fulfilling their duties. Just co-existence based on some fear, or just “tamas” or inertia! This is bad indeed, while abandoning one’s duty or responsibility is not a good idea either. Life is not easy; isn’t it? Everyone has a bit of escapism in them. Everyone wants to run away from something. But, situations compel them to stay back. Some break free. Escapism amounts to only postponement and it is never a completion of anything. It is never ever recommended in spiritual path. It is extremely important to watch every thought, word and action, because each moment we are carving our own destiny. Relationships are certainly quite a binding force, in the aspect of liberation, as abandonment or escapism is not a solution. Entering into a relationship is very easy, while fulfilling them is not.
Somehow, the visitors slept for a few hours. Overwhelming thoughts were bothering them. Despite the serious cold atmosphere, and strange environment, they felt they were still very energetic and not hungry or thirsty. What a magic! They did not know when they finally fell asleep. At around 4AM, they heard sounds from outside the door of their small room, sounds of people walking and chanting. So, they too got up, brushed their teeth in icy cold water – which was not quite enjoyable , took a dip in tapt kund (warm spring) again and felt much better. Then they went to the temple for the early morning worship.
After the worship, as the day broke, they could not resist themselves and started walking towards the direction of the saint’s abode. When they arrived, he was chanting some manthras and performing “homa” or fire ceremony. They waited till he completed. After the rituals, the saint invited them to sit around the fire, to ease the cold and purify themselves in the proximity of fire. They bowed down to the fire place, took some sacred ash from it and reverentially applied it on their forehead.They were keen to hear the saint’s journey from the south of India to the icy cold Badrinath and pick up the pearls of his wisdom.
To break the ice of silence and initiate a conversation, they asked: “Swamiji, during winter, when Badrinath is usually covered in ice, do you still stay here, or do you go down to the lower regions of Himalayas?”
Swamiji laughed, “What have I got to do with the elements? Why will they bother me? I go nowhere. I am an old man. I stay here. How can any ice dampen my fire?” He pointed at the fire in front of them. They understood the hidden meaning. The fire that he meant was the fire of spirituality. Ice for him is distraction from his path. No distractions can conquer his single pointed, dedicated spiritual life indeed, because the single force that creates all distractions, THE MIND, does not exist in him!!! He is always in a “No Mind State”. So, Maya or delusion cannot exist either. He is in total control of himself and the external elements. It was obvious that distractions have no room in his life. They thought “How many people are chasing rainbows still. When they get closer, there is only water vapor!!!. They fall in the trap of mirages through generations! And here is a saint, who has nothing to do with illusions, distractions, delusions, rainbows…. and sits here in his old body like a rock or pillar in the path of spirituality, laughing at those who chase images and words and get themselves totally lost when both images and words decay and perish!!! What a world of pomposity; And wasted lives!!! How many lifetimes have we chased rainbows and stayed ignorant of our own folly!!! God only knows!
They asked “Swamiji, how did you reach here?”
Swamiji laughed again, briefly, and said “How does it matter to you? Everyone has a story, like you yourself have. And no two stories are alike. All stories are insignificant as every life is inimitable, distinct, unique and lives keep flowing through time into eternity. The past of this body has no value for me nor you, just like your past. If you can carry something from me now, this moment, do so. I am here to give. And, this moment is your only reality”.
They did not know how to carry on, or what to carry, as they did not know their capacities or their requirements. They mused “What a situation! A saint who is capable of giving us everything we would ever need is asking what we would want from him and we do not know what we want! If Lord Badrinath Himself comes in front of us and offers a boon, what will we request? This is the naked truth of our existence. We do not know what we need!!!” Finally, they said: “Bless us, Swamiji, so that we do not fall into the traps of spiritual path”.
Swamiji said ” Tathasthu!” (So Be It) and continued: “Abandon dependency on siddhis (spiritual powers), as if they do not exist at all; As you may gain them, when you progress spiritually. Respect siddhis and live without any attachment towards them. Then you will stay liberated. Siddhis often bind a person and prevent his spiritual elevation. The lure of siddhis can also instigate, in your mind, the presence of the six most powerful and extremely dangerous enemies of human existence, and especially so in the path of spirituality. Those are: kama (Desire, Lust), krodha (Anger), lobha (Greed), moha (Delusion, Attachment), mada (egoistic pride) and matsarya (jealousy/envy). They are like invisible cancer that usually binds and destroys human beings from within themselves. Always beware of these enemies. Always stay rooted in the TRUTH and non-violence in all aspects of your life, with supreme FAITH.”
They met Swamiji many times during their stay in Badrinath. They conversed a lot during those days. They collected fragments of Swamiji’s story, which he uttered randomly. He did not narrate his story, ever, but, alluded to many incidents of his past, as examples to prove some point during their conversation. This was good enough to get a general idea about his life and journey. The biggest surprise was that Swamiji was born in 1600!!! He was almost 370 years old!!! What follows is the story….
“GO TO THE NORTH. DO NOT LOOK BACK”
February 23rd 1600, on the banks of the elegant river Nila in the southern part of India, in a small house, around midnight, a baby boy was born. He was called Raman. His parents were poor brahmins. He became their only child. Raman’s father was a priest in a nearby temple. It was a small temple and his income was mostly nothing more than a meal a day or a few coins, which the worshippers gave away in abandon. Mostly, he had to satisfy himself and his family with very little food and no money. He had a house, one mango tree and two coconut trees in his small property. They managed their life with that, as Raman grew up. Raman had never been exposed to any luxuries, which the neighborhood feudal lords of their own community enjoyed. Raman’s mother used to visit the rich families during celebrations or festivals, as it was more or less customary, and they used to give her food and clothing.
Being a true and satwic Brahmin, Raman’s father would get up at 3AM every morning and, after a dip in the nearby river, go to the temple in wet clothes to preserve sanctity of the temple and its deity. The temple was not far away from his house. A narrow lane brought him to the temple. On one such morning, while he was climbing the stone steps from the river, he felt a slight pain in his chest. He ignored it and continued towards the temple. Before he could enter the temple, he collapsed and breathed his last, due to a massive heart attack. Since it was too early in the morning, there were none around to support him or take him to the local physician.
That day’s sun rose in the village with the news of the death of the noble priest. Raman was three years and a few months old when his father died. He knew that something terribly wrong has happened in his house, but did not quite understand the depth of the tragedy. He saw his father “sleeping” on the floor, watched by many. He could not understand why his father was sleeping during day time, which he has never seen before. He also could not understand why all of them were watching his father, as he slept. For him, it meant nothing, because his father sleeps every night, just like he does, and nobody was quite concerned about it so far.
It was quite different for his mother. The sole bread winner of their household has left forever! She did not know what to do next. Raman saw that his mother was crying. She looked inconsolable. He slowly went and touched her hand. She hugged him and cried more. She kept repeating: “Your father has gone forever. He has left us alone!!!”
Little did Raman know that this was the beginning of a life grossly uncertain and insensitively tragic for both of them. His father looked peaceful in his sleep. They had kept his body on the verandah of their house. Some priests came and took the body of his father away from home, put it on some wood that they cut from the mango tree, bathed Raman, made him do some ritual and finally burnt his father’s body in the fire. Raman watched all this without knowing anything in particular. He was quite disturbed when he saw his father’s body being burnt. He could not understand why his father, who was only sleeping, was being burnt!!! A deep sorrow welled inside him and he burst out crying, even though he was too young to digest the depth of the matter. Many uncles and aunts who came during funeral tried to console him and his mother, and expressed a lot of love before they left for their own homes. They invited him and his mother to come to their places, after the usual mourning time was over.
Soon after the death of his father, he and his mother started experiencing poverty. There was no food at home. Being a brahmin (priestly caste) woman, it was difficult for Raman’s mother to find a job, as social conditions allowed her to work only in houses of people of her community. It was not easy. At that time, caste system was severely controlling and quite obscene in India. Brahmin women were not allowed to be seen in public, let alone work outside their homes. Likewise, those of the other castes, especially those who consume meat and fish, were not allowed to come near brahmins, who chanted manthras and performed poojas or systematic worship of the deities, in their own homes as well as temples. The sacred fire was kept alive in their houses through generations.
The initial reason for this system of un-touch-ability between castes was, that flesh of animals are dead organisms or dead bodies without any prana. Temples have deities or idols that are installed with sacred rituals that ensured live praana exists in them, and its power had to be maintained. The prescribed methods of worship and manthras were made to maintain and enhance the power of the deities. Dead organisms were contradictory to manthras and hence against this purpose. That is why they kept themselves away from all the people who consumed flesh and fish. It goes without saying that some people were not even allowed to enter into temples, because of the same reason. Rigid systems were made to ensure sanctity and power of deities in temples, and priests who were well educated in the proper worship pattern were chosen to perform daily worships, which usually started during Brahma Muhurtha or the time between 3AM and 6AM. Brahma Muhurtha is considered as the heavenly time. Priests were also expected to maintain purity. Later, systems were abused and un-touch-ability became caste based and discriminatory.
Raman’s mother did not know what to do. Being born a brahmin became a curse for her. Those of other castes did not have any problem to get a job, in the paddy fields or as household maids at the houses of Feudal Lords. She did not know how to lead the rest of her life and bring up a small child. She visited their relatives who lived in their neighborhood. None really showed any concern and any sincere intention to help, except allowing them to join in for a meal, if the time was appropriate. After a few visits, she stopped doing that; as it did not do them any good, and it amounted to more humiliation. Especially, she was worried about Raman and how he would feel. It was obvious that none were sincere enough to help them. All their offers for help during the funeral were false and it became clear to her that they actually never meant it.
She still maintained some hope and tried to contact her own and her husband’s relatives who lived near and far through a paddy field worker (like a farmer) who lived in their neighborhood. This man was loyal, but, being born in a different caste, he had his limitations. He was not even allowed to look at her or talk to her face to face. As was customary, she always hid behind the door or wall while conversing with him. He was quite sincere and always carried her notes and letters to her relatives and also got her replies from them. None really wanted to help. Everyone gave one excuse or another, for not being in a position to help her and her son. A few sympathetically sent her some food or old clothes. This was surely a one time assistance. But, life had to go on…
The paddy field worker always brought Raman a fruit or a sweet whenever he came to their house. Even though it was not allowed to eat the food prepared or touched by a person of another caste, Raman and his mother did not care, because they were hungry and helpless. His sincerity and love was unconditional and unmistakable, and they were deeply touched by that.
A few weeks after her husband’s death, a distant aunt came to visit them. She was kind of a wandering monk who did not stay at one place for long. She was reasonably respected by the society. She was far away when Raman’s father died, and when she heard the news, she decided to visit them at once. She was saddened at the plight of this family. And she was deeply disappointed that all their other relatives kept a blind eye on them, and avoided them. She promptly took initiative, discussed with a nearby rich family and got Raman’s mother a job in their house, as a domestic help or, in other words, a house maid. Raman’s mother started working there immediately since the rich family was from her own community and it was thus acceptable.
Raman also accompanied his mother to her workplace, as she could not leave the small boy alone in their own house. There were many people in the house, and many children too. They were good and kind people. Raman and his mother were treated well by all. They got sufficient food at all times, and none bothered or interfered in their freedom. When his mother involved herself in the household chores such as cooking food, washing or cleaning, Raman played with other children of the house. They even shared their goodies with him. So, Raman and his mother finally found peace and happiness and it was a big relief for them, from the serious uncertainties that they faced after Raman’s father’s death.
One day, the lady of the house announced to all the maids and servants that her daughter’s marriage is finalized and they must prepare themselves for the big event. She distributed new clothes to all of them, as a token of happiness associated with the big event and asked them to wear it on the day of the event. All were happy and quite chirpy. Raman also got new clothes. He was thrilled. He came running to his mother to show his new proud possessions to her. She hugged him and shed tears of joy. Little did she know that this event would be a turning point in both her and her son’s life.
As the date of the event neared, guests started flowing in. Workload increased tremendously. One day, as Raman’s mother was cleaning the rooms on the first floor of the huge building, the mother of the bride asked her to come inside her bedroom and have a look at the gold and precious stone jewelery that they had bought for the occasion. This was the first time Raman’s mother was seeing such splendor of richness. Mother of the bride gave a necklace studded with diamonds in her hand to see. She marveled at its beauty and splendor, looked at it, appreciated it and gave it back to her. Not even once did she feel that she too should have some ornaments like that. Raman’s mother was a pious and level headed lady. She knew where she stood in the society. She never craved for earthly richness. Soon, she went away to complete her work.
Soon after lunch, she heard a big commotion in the house. People were running up and down. Someone told her, “The necklace is stolen!!!”. She had touched and felt it. So she knew that it was quite an expensive one. They searched the entire house. They called the police and they questioned everybody, especially the domestic helps and servants. They even took some of them to the police station and beat them up to get the truth. They took Raman’s mother too, as the mother of the bride told the police that Raman’s mother has seen and held the ornament. She tried her best to convince everyone that she has not taken it. They checked her thoroughly. They checked her house. She was threatened, abused and humiliated to bring out the truth as to where she has hidden the stolen material. She cried and cried. She begged to them to believe her words. The necklace was not found. Finally, all were frustrated and gave up. But, they never stopped suspecting her. One day before the marriage, she and Raman were asked to leave the house. She lost her job! She could not believe her fate! Raman could not understand what was going on, but, understood that his mother is in terrible distress. His innocent mind thought that she was crying because she had no gold jewelery on her. He tried to console her as best as he could, telling her that when he grows up, he will work hard and buy lots of gold for her. This made her cry more. It was not gold that she was after, it was just two meals a day for Raman. That is all what she wanted in life. She never cared for herself. How can she tell this to Raman? How could she make this small child understand? She refused to sadden the young child’s heart and pretended happiness.
After the marriage, the elders of the community who supported the feudal lords decided to punish Raman’s mother for stealing the jewelry, as they firmly believed that she still has it. They issued an order “Nobody should give her a job, food or any other support. Nobody should give her medicines or clothing. No physician should treat her. She is completely excommunicated from the society”. The day she was thus excommunicated by the society, Raman’s mother wanted to commit suicide. All hopes had vanished. But, she could not think of killing the then 6 year old Raman. She decided to survive and keep him alive. An excommunicated woman will not be assisted anybody in the village, or else they will also get excommunicated. If someone is seen helping her, that person also will be excommunicated. Fearing the order of the powerful Feudal lords, none dared to even offer them a glass of water, let alone allow her to work in their farms or houses. Day by day, she started becoming weak. She and Raman survived on whatever was available in their own little property. They had no money and no support. Nobody even looked at them. This was more torture than imprisonment for them.
The neighborhood farmer who used to help them also could not help them any further because of the excommunication order. He felt too helpless and angry. But, he had his own family and he was afraid that his bold actions could adversely affect his own wife and children. Everyone stayed away from them. Steadily, Raman’s mother fell sick. Since no physician would treat her, she could not gather any medicine. Still she tried to collect fallen seeds and fruits from their yard and make at least one small meal for Raman everyday. Raman also helped her as best as he could. In a few days, her health deteriorated further and she became more and more weak. She could not even stand on her own legs. She crawled from one room to the other. Raman was too small to lift her. Yet, he tried his best to help his ailing mother. Raman’s mother knew that she will not live for long.
One night, she called Raman to her side. Raman saw tears running down her cheeks. She hugged him and said: “My son, I will leave you soon. I am sorry. I cannot stay in this body any longer. I am going to where your father has gone. But, I cannot take you now. I have always taken you where ever I went. Now, I must go alone. I will die soon. When I die, you alone will not be able to burn my body, as you and our relatives did, when your father died. You are too small. You have no money and nobody will help you. If you could, drag my body till the edge of the yard, (which was about 20 feet away from their door), push my body into the pit there and throw some soil on it. If you cannot do that, just leave my body here, take this stick and this cloth sack and walk towards north.”
“GO TO THE NORTH. DO NOT LOOK BACK.“. Those were the last words of that poor, innocent and pious lady. She closed her eyes. Raman hugged her and put her head on his lap. He rested his head on her face. An hour or two went like that. He started feeling that her face was slowly becoming cold. Her breath was stopping. He poured some water into her mouth. She drank a little and the rest spilled out of her mouth. She looked at his face one last time, as if blessing him, and she passed away.
Raman sat next to her body, hugging his mother till the day break. He did not know what to do. Suddenly he had become an orphan. There was nobody in his life anymore. He got up and sat on the veranda looking outside. Birds were chirping in the yard outside. Grazing animals looked at him. Did they comprehend his sorrow? He hoped and wished that someone would look at him. Nobody looked at him or even at his house. He cried and cried. Nobody cared. He went back inside. He saw his mother’s body again. Again, a wave of sorrow overwhelmed him. He hugged her and cried. Finally, he decided to do what his mother asked him to do. With great difficulty, he dragged the body of his mother, which was very stiff and dry by then, to the edge of the door. Somehow, he dragged it out of the door and into the sand outside. He was sobbing and crying too. When he was trying to drag the body of his mother through the sand, the farmer who used to help them in the past, saw this. He could not believe what he saw. He was shocked to see this small boy dragging the body of his dead mother through the yard. He was terribly agonized when he suddenly realized that the pious woman, his neighbor, whom he always respected, has passed away!!. The agony tore through his heart along with a deep guilt of not being able to help them, when they needed it the most. Now it is too late. He told himself: “Let the lords excommunicate me or kill me. I just don’t care. I must help this poor child”. He came running and helped Raman to move the body of his mother to the pit that she had mentioned. He brought a pick axe and covered her body with soil and wet mud. Both him and Raman sat there looking at the grave yard for a while. Soon, Raman got up, went inside their house, took the stick and the cloth sack that his mother had entrusted him with. He opened the cloth sack. He cried again, when he saw that his mother had packed some raw rice, a few coins and a few loin clothes for her son, despite their deep poverty!!! This was her only savings!!!. Finally, Raman wiped his tears and came out. The farmer was waiting outside. He said: “Come with me. I will look after you. I will take you home”. Raman thanked him and told him what his mother had asked him to do. The farmer listened to Raman’s words with tears in his eyes. He knew that he cannot change Raman’s mind. He loved his mother so much. He will not do anything contrary to her wish or command. As Raman took two steps towards the border of their yard, one messenger came running to him and asked: “”Where is your mother? Her Lordship wants her back in her household. They finally found the missing necklace. It had fallen between two large beds and when they took the beds out for cleaning, they found the necklace. The Lords have removed her ban and excommunication. She is now welcomed back to their household. You are welcome too.” Raman stared at him and gently smiled. He pointed towards the grave yard of his mother and without any emotions, said: “There she is. She cannot come back to their house anymore. She has gone forever.”
Raman looked one last time at their small house. He bowed down at the grave of his mother and walked towards “North”. He never ever looked back. That small boy Raman was the 370 year old saint sitting in front of the visitors to Badrinath!!!
God willing, I shall narrate his journey in the next part of this trilogy.
Love and respect all beings. Every being feels, just like we do. Sensitiveness is a real virtue. Have plenty of it. Have plenty of Love within. Let LOVE overflow yourself all the time. Love all and Serve all – your life will become total and complete! Remain Blessed!
Love You Always