​Memories of Manu (Story of Atmananda)

When I look back to my time with Atmananda, I can never boast that I really understood him. Initially, he seemed to be a bundle of contradictions, absurdities and inconsistencies. But, when I started accepting it all as part of his character and stature, he started to make sense to me.

Zamisljeni MohanjiPrimarily, he displayed no insecurities. I started seeing his uncanny authenticity, uncompromising conviction, and inconceivable profundity when I started accepting him as he was. Acceptance without conditions made a drastic difference in my thinking process. He told me to focus on myself instead of focusing on him. And it was intriguing. He used to say “Form might lead to delusions. The same applies to expectations”. I was beginning to be aware of that. So, I stuck with his recommendations or teachings rather than his form or personality. Nevertheless, his actions and activities were unignorably influencing my character. Detachment from all things around me was settling in without my being aware of it. And fears as well as insecurities rapidly vanished too. Looking back, in a way, I was possibly imitating him, quite unconsciously. In this context, I would like to quote a few of his teachings. Perhaps they could be considered as silent initiations too.

While walking through a forest area, when we cautioned him of the possible attack of wild animals, He said “If this ‘dead’ body becomes useful for the survival of a fellow being, why not? Consider it a better use of the body than using it for indiscriminate consumption of the wealth of mother (earth). (Atmananda always considered his body as “dead” and spirit as life. And he used to say “My life is not the body. It is now in the body but not affected by the body or even the existence of it. Being unconditionally available is the initiation in the path of liberation. Conviction is the dhuni (fire).”

His explanation of Purushartha, the essence of human existence, was truly profound.

“Purushartha (essence of existence) or the tapestry (DNA) of human existence consists of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha,” explained Atmananda. “Dharma is the basis of existence of everything. Dharma is righteousness. Right method of existence provides guidance even to the mind-oriented people. Being natural. Being with nature. Truthful. Rightful. Righteous. Righteous living means living in tune with nature; the nature within and outside, without disturbing and destroying anything in and around us. Universe operates on Dharma. Birth is dharma. Life is dharma. Death is also dharma. Every breath is dharma. Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Space and Ether function based on Dharma. Dharma is inevitable. Dharma operates the whole universe. When we are in tune with dharma, without resistance, we have a complete, unfluctuating life. Dharma protects the dharmic.
Artha is material. Regular karmic existence needs material assistance. Materials include food, clothing and shelter. Artha is important for existence. Artha also demands maturity. Immature handling, possession and control of Artha leads to imbalance and eventual destruction of oneself and the wealth. Artha belongs to the nature. Nature alone can own nature. No being within nature can own it forever.

Kama is desire. Desire for food, shelter, clothing and every aspect of human existence, which is created by destiny is kama. Kama is the fire that keeps life going. Even desire for liberation is kama in a sense.

Moksha is dissolution which is beyond enlightenment. Moksha is total liberation.

Dharma, Artha and Kama exists in all parts of this world, amongst human and non-human beings. Moksha – the thought and sincere conviction for liberation from the karmic cycle of birth and death exists only in Bharat. This makes this land sacred.” Atmananda used to say “Do not take this land that you walk on for granted. Great sages walked this land.” (Masters like Agastya, Vishwamitra, Dattatreya, Vyasa, Valmiki, Sapta Rishis, Nava Naths, Lord Rama, Hanuman, Krishna, Parashurama, Adi Shankaracharya, Buddha, Patanjali, Varahamihira, Bharata, Charaka, Narada, and so many others). “Respect this soil. No other soil in the whole world has mothered so many great masters, traditions and religions.”

Some more events from the life of Atmananda.

Once sitting by the side of fire, I saw master staring at the fire intensely as if speaking to it. Suddenly, he uttered as if to someone unseen to our eyes, staring into the fire. “I have no more incarnations.” We heard that. We waited for further words. For a long time, he kept staring at the fire. Then we heard him speak again “My next incarnation would be sophisticated. I would hide myself behind garbs of that time. I would confuse the world with my attire. I would shake minds with my character, style, nature, methods and habits.” He spoke no further. When we asked about his next incarnation at a convenient time, he did not bother to answer. We gathered that he was talking to someone in the fire or through the fire, or that perhaps he was participating in a discussion with masters. An Avadhoota always remains unfathomable.

I heard this story from a follower of the master. One day, after lunch, we were sitting under a tree. Guruji and others were seated under other trees nearby. This follower told me about an incident in Atmananda’s life: “Our Guruji used to meditate in the neighbouring forest alone for many months, if not years. He would abstain from food and water. As you know, this forest has many wild animals – tigers, snakes, elephants, and so on. One day, our Guruji was sitting in meditation at the mouth of a cave about 900 feet above this forest, on the other side. A tigress came to the cave. Guruji was unaware. Perhaps she wanted to enter the cave. Guruji was blocking it. The tigress produced a scary spine-chilling cry. It was very near the face of Guruji. He opened his eyes and saw the tigress. He looked straight into her eyes and they understood each other. He moved away, and the tigress entered the cave. In the same cave there was a huge serpent as well. It never bothered the presence of Guruji. Neither did Guruji bother the serpent’s presence. Now that the tigress also occupied the cave, the chance for a conflict was inevitable. Yet, perhaps due to the presence of Guruji, the two beings existed peacefully in the cave. Soon enough, the tigress who was pregnant, delivered four cubs. The cave family thus started growing. While Guruji is meditating, the cubs would climb over him and play in his lap. The mother tigress would go out to fetch some food for herself and also refresh herself. So did the serpent. Guruji was almost always fasting or ate some leaves or fruit which naturally came to his doorstep. Thus, Guruji stayed with this strange family of beings for a few months and then went on with his wandering.” This gave me a clear picture about the unity of consciousness which Guruji used to mention. All beings are one in consciousness and there is no separation. All other species know it except humans. Guruji always respected all lives on earth and always ensured that his existence never interrupted or disturbed any other lives.

Atmananda often spoke to himself or beings that we cannot see. He used to stare at something and speak as if it’s a human being. Once I saw him speaking to a “fallen dry wood!” What I heard was “I have to come back. So, it is better to leave quickly to come back. Is it painful? Oh, no. Pain is only in association. I am the consciousness of an atom and this mountain. No shell can give me pain. Pain is with the shell. I am not my shell. I must give myself. I must stop being I. I have kept this body and all that is connected to this body away from the market place. Now, I must keep all of them in market place. I will give my next body for the lions (worldly people) to feed on. If that is the command. I will.”

I often wondered, who is this “I” this perfect Avadhoota is talking about? Later on, I understood, he is referring to a state of his, perhaps his human dimension that we get to see or certain aspect of his state and never the personality that we usually refer to as I.

“I am the consciousness that existed in the atom. Then I expanded to become a cell. Then I became a fish. I came in everything that walks, crawls, swims and flies. I am also the medium (elements) they thrive on. I am the non-attachment that exists inside every shell. I have taken millions of lives. I felt and experienced the pain of separation from each mind from its body identification, each time. I felt the pleasure of liberation after each body too. When each bird comes to liberate a worm, when each tiger comes to liberate an incarnation, each time when death comes to liberate an existence, I shed the garb of illusion and become complete consciousness. I am the consciousness of the eater and the eaten, yet I have no birth or death. Birth and death happen as ripples within my consciousness. I remain complete and immortal always.”

One day he said “There is no use in following me. You are wasting your time with me. Even I do not know where I am going. And I know I have nowhere to go. You are not like me. You have places to go to. So, do not waste your time with this mad wanderer.” Even though we were perplexed by these words, we understood the meaning after some time. Initially we thought that our Guru is asking us to leave. But, his later actions revealed that he wants us to think and be aware. Places to go to are our desires of material gratification. He has no desires. He has no place to go to as well as every “place” is him. We still have desires. This means, if we choose to follow him, let it be without other desires and with only one aim, liberation. A liberated being becomes everything visible and invisible. For my master, He is the final home. His journeys, if at all, are all inside the home of his consciousness. There is no outer journey through the senses and mind for him. This was a strong reminder for all of us.

Mohanji walking, from the backAt one point in time, Atmananda slowed down and started showing signs of detachment from everyone, as if preparing to leave his body. He did not leave the shade of a banyan a tree for a week, and was staring at the sky day and night without eating, drinking or sleeping. All of us decided that he will leave his body soon and that was a tough thought for us. Our anxiety grew day by day. One day, Atmananda spoke: “You fools! Why are you so anxious, upset and crying? You are upset because I may leave this “dead” body? I am ashamed that you have understood nothing by walking with me all these years. Death is inevitable for any body and not the soul. Soul never dies. I never die because I am never born. All that is born will die. This is the truth and there is no tragedy in it. When my work is over with this body, I will leave it. I am not the body and no body can hold me. You will also leave your respective bodies just like I will someday. Crying over a dead body is the silliest and stupidest thing one can ever do. When I die, do not keep my body in a pit (samadhi). Burn it and give the ash to the rivers that bathed it and nurtured it all these years. There should be no visible trace of Atmananda. I will come back again in another body to fulfill every wish of everyone who connects with me. When I come back, I will come back only for the sake of Dharma and will have no boundaries or barriers. It will have nothing to do with this body that people call Atmananda.” Atmananda made this very clear and started his wandering pattern again. We understood that he wanted to give us an important lesson in life.

M in whiteWe rarely saw any emotion in him. He always existed in his own world. One day, as we were walking past a small-town market, we heard one local leader giving a speech attended by an audience of about a hundred people. Guruji did not wait to hear the speech. He abruptly walked past them without paying any attention. Acharya Shankar, who was with us for a few months, was from that town. When we sat down after a short while, Shankar told Atmananda: “Guruji, the man whom we saw speaking to a crowd is a popular leader of my place. He is doing many things for the poor. But, he is intolerant about saints and always speaks of saints and monks as lazy, useless people. He even tries to prevent temples from giving them food or shelter. On one side, he is serving the poor, while on the other side, he is abusing the harmless monks.” Atmananda abruptly intervened, “He is serving himself and nobody else. All his moves are calculated for his advantage. When he pretends to serve the poor, he is looking for their support for his own popularity. He is keeping them poor that way. Monks have no value for him. He pretends to be secular, but when it comes to the defenseless monks who do not rally for him, they are useless for his personal agenda. Only a subtle heart will see the peace these monks are spreading on earth. By not needing anything, they are leaving a message of contentment in this world of greed and political supremacy.” Atmananda was emphatic and seemed a bit angry about what is happening in the hypocritical world around him.

Various quotes from my master Atmananda:

“Experiences die when the experiencer dissolves”

“I am not here to experience anything. I am here to prove that experience is nothing but a projection of the experiencer, just like the waking state reality is a projection of consciousness which has nothing to do with any of the three states”

“Desires maintain thoughts. Thoughts maintain mind. Liberation is a state of no thoughts and hence no mind, let alone desires”

“My existence is a reminder that you are unbound and hence you are freedom. You are free.”

“Just like fire uses materials to express itself, the Source uses matter (bodies) to express itself”

“As long as thoughts exist, you exist; Only if thoughts exist, you exist”

“Prejudices make the good look bad while love makes the bad look good. Our world is as we are and not what it is.”

Pic 16 - Mohanji and Thea, into the Light

“Acceptance is the first step towards liberation. Seed of liberation starts sprouting only from the nirvitarka samadhi state. Yet,states are not stable unless carefully nurtured”

“You are a complete incarnation like any other. You are not creating or uncreating anybody’s destiny. All are complete incarnations that came here for experiences and expressions. Their only bonding and binding factor would be emotions”

“Life is all flavors. Life must be taken in its totality. Nothing is absolutely right or absolutely wrong. Karma dwells on relative truth, experiences and expressions. Karma carves destiny from nothingness.”

“Understand you are a unique expression of the divine and you need to do nothing about it”

“Events are impermanent, and emotions are experiences for the mind. Consciousness has nothing to do with it”

“If you consider consciousness as spirit, it is beyond mind and emotions. Soul is beyond consciousness too.”

“You as consciousness are not the doer nor the experiencer. Unattached, you are witnessing both. And soul is witnessing the witness.

“What have I got to do with you? And what have you got to do with me? Minds made us. Truth will dissolve us.”

M from the back

“My only experience is that I do not exist”

“My love is absolute because I am love”

“Those who invoke and maintain emotions are enemies of liberation”

“Truth can only be found in silence”

“Connection between minds is the lowest possible connection. Awareness of unity in consciousness is one of the highest possible connections”

“Expectations maintain mind. Expectations distort truth”

“Every rejection, every denial has its positive side – Strength. If you swap your natural despair and dejection from these into your strength, you will become invincible in life”

“Friends who put prejudices into your mind should be considered as your enemies”

“Those who love you unconditionally will not judge you ever”

“Those who stay with you against all odds should never be abandoned”


“Doubts, like gossip, is deadly poison. Even a drop of it can kill faith and push the seeker backwards in evolution of awareness. Doubts reverse spiritual progress.”

“Compassion does not mean you accept negativity, pessimism and prejudices from the world around you. Compassion means their mind becomes free from it all because of their interaction with you”

“Do not be afraid of friends becoming enemies and enemies becoming friends. Both are bound by illusions of mind. Truth is that everyone is oneself.”

“Those who pretend, criticize, judge, scandalize and condemn others are usually hypocrites. They are either afraid to be authentic or are jealous of authentic people. They are even afraid or ignorant about their originality or the law of karma. Deficiency creates anger, jealousy and prejudices. Society is full of such hypocrites. They only see what they are programmed to see. Absolute truth is not accessible to them. They cling on to relative truth and form their opinions. Do not waste your time on them. They keep you prejudiced and bound with their ignorance of reality”

“No karmic being has the right to criticize, judge or condemn another. All are same in the law of karma”

“If you fear criticism, you will be a compromiser. You will not have growth and evolution. If you have no fears, you will have growth in awareness. Those with firm conviction on eternal truth will never consort hypocrisy. They will not fear enemies”

“Greed breeds crime”.

“Every bit of darkness is afraid of brightness. Even a tiny spark of light means death for darkness. Hence, darkness will try its best to avoid all kinds of light. Extreme conviction and focus are required to bring light to life and to keep it alive always.”

“Fire symbolizes heat and light. Fire symbolizes life”

M sun in the hair

I shall conclude this with a few one-word answers of Guruji.

1. What is the reason for poverty? “Inner Poverty”

2. What is the reason for ailments? “Suppression”

3. What hinders liberation? “Ignorance”

4. What causes sorrows? “Inner darkness”

5. What is success? “Contentment”

6. What is the highest human expression? “Compassion”

7. What is the sign of a true seeker? “Patience”

8. What is downfall in spiritual journey? “Desires”

9. What is being absolute? “No Mind”

10. What is the ultimate? “Nir Beeja – No Seed state”

Until some other time –

I bow down to my divine master and re-enter my silence.

M in peace

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​Divine Designs of Life (Story of Atmananda)

“I cannot believe that I am so limited! I cannot feel I have a body. Bhagawan, (Lord) What is this?”, Manu asked Atmananda. Atmananda paid no attention to his words. There are many such exclamations from his followers that he is used to; and he knows the cause of such surprises – Mind. He was never impressed with anything that minds ever produced. Why should he? Mind is all that he saw around him. Walking, talking, sleeping and dreaming minds. Heavy minds laden with concepts, prejudices, fears, memories and desires. Nothing else.

Mohanji - za Atmananda blog
Manu had experienced a trance state by simply connecting his mind to the heart centre of the ever meditating Atmananda. Manu sat a few feet away and just concentrated on the heart centre of Atmananda. At that moment, a melting, dissolving feeling enveloped his mind as his heart centre merged with that of Atmananda. He has been doing that ever since he started following Atmananda. Finally, on that day, he saw, or rather felt, in his inner eye the fathomless, unlimited vast sky of Atmananda’s heart centre. The whole universe seemed to be resting there. That glimpse pushed him into a blissful trance state and he stayed like that for a few hours.

Atmananda never guided him into this state nor did he pay any attention to it. He knew that one can only feed minds. Consciousness needs no food. His very presence was his highest teaching. To the eligible ones, he delivered the unasked just by his presence. Eligibility was in inner emptiness, unshakeable faith, lack of doubts, surrender and clear purpose of liberation. On the tree of liberation, healthy leaves seeking the ultimate remained on the tree, while the leaves that are dry, confused, prejudiced and decayed with heavy emotions, kept falling off periodically. Every breeze, let alone storm, was a reason enough for those leaves to fall off. Whenever this happened, and someone commented or asked about it, Atmananda would reply calmly, “They are not ready for liberation. It is not their time yet.”

Sun had set. Atmananda stood up and started walking. He moved a few steps towards the path that led to the river bank. Obviously, his intention was to take a dip and meditate at the nearby temple. The local temple priest always gave him and his followers some food whenever this wandering monk came that way, even though they never asked or expected anything from anybody, anytime.

On the way, they met an old woman. She was limping and walking with the help of a stick. She was rheumatic and seemed to have a frozen leg. Atmananda would always ask “Have you eaten?” to every old and sick person he met on his way. He asked the same question to this lady. She said “No. It has been 2 days.” This place was away from the city and sparsely populated. Hence, it was not a favorite place for wandering monks and helpless old people. Atmananda turned to one of his followers called Ramakrishna and said “I gave you three fruits in the afternoon to keep. Do you still have them?” This was given to Atmananda by a fruit vendor as Dakshina. Ramakrishna said “Yes Gurudeva.” Atmananda said “Give it to her.”

Ramakrishna hesitated for a moment because that was the only food that this group had at that time. Atmananda repeated without any emotions, “Give it to her.” Ramakrishna did not think again. By that time, Atmananda had already started walking ahead. Ramakrishna rushed to hand over the fruits to the old woman and then catch pace with the usually fast and agile Atmananda. In fact, all of them were quite hungry and there was no assured food source at hand. Yet, while walking with Atmananda who never ever stayed at one place for more than three days, nothing was assured. This was a test for most disciples. Atmananda never cared who dropped off and who stayed. He continued wandering.

After bathing and performing the “Sandhya Vandan” (prayer/meditation ritual during sunrise and sunset), they walked to the village temple. Lord Krishna was the principle deity there, the sweet scent of basil (Tulsi) garlands that adorned the beautiful idol of Lord Krishna greeted them. The idol shone in the light of the ghee lamps.

Atmananda always had a clear reason for taking his followers to temples – purification. It was never for his sake. Purification has multiple aspects. First the senses, then the mind. Senses have no meaning or existence without the mind. Eyes capture the bright, shining, decorated positive glory of the idol, which is nothing but the representation of an ideal. Every idol in the Sanatana Dharma path is the representation of a particular ideal or dimension of our existence, such as action, will power, abundance, wealth, love, knowledge, peace, etc. Ears are awakened through mantras, bells, drums, conch and other sounds of the temple. Nose is awakened by the fragrance of basil leaves, flowers, incense sticks, camphor, and perfumes used on the idol. Skin is awakened by the application of sacred ash, turmeric paste, sandalwood or vermillion. Tongue is awakened by the sacred water, offered fruits or other offerings. Sound of conch which supposedly is as powerful as a thousand Om, powerful enough to ward off all negative elements and awaken the human nadis. Finally, the mind is awakened through all these senses as well as the vibrations of chants and songs, which detach the mind from the outside world and keep it steady in the present. Thus, the whole body is awakened. This helps inner and outer purification. Apart from that, the offering the devotees give at the temple signifies sacrifice and surrender. Humility is the most important aspect of human existence that brings forth grace in abundance.

M in white giving Shaktipat

Humility has four aspects. The feeling of insignificance in a positive way is one aspect. If one feels lower than the lowest, it’s a clear sign of established humility. This is also why people prostrate with full body at the feet of the idol or spiritual master. Total surrender, making oneself insignificant, so that ego is brought down to the lowest possible level. Man minus ego is equal to God. Second aspect is being tolerant, nurturing high level of acceptance, without judgement of oneself and the world around us. Acceptance of oneself and the world around keeps our mind steady and calm. Resistance, judgement, prejudices, hatred and anger towards everything is the opposite of this. In that case, mind remains turbulent. Third aspect is acceptance and respect of all beings, human and non-human. Respect them as you would like to be respected or more. Fourth is no expectation. Do not expect respect, acknowledgement or anything at all while giving forth our best. This is symbolized by offering variety of stuff to the temple or idol. Idol represents an ideal and each deity is representation of different dimensions of human existence or different ideals. All these put together becomes the experience called Humility. Humility ensures grace in life.

And of course, temples are meeting places for sharing and caring as well as nurturing and expressing our innate goodness and kindness. Rejuvenation, purification and nurturing goodness are the reasons why Atmananda took people to the temples. He never encouraged prayers of requests for material and even spiritual benefits from the deities. He used to say, “Increase your inner space – you will carry more grace.” Whenever people asked Atmananda “What can we do to get the state of God?”, Atmananda always answered “By doing you only get more karma. Only though non-doing or detached existence from actions and the results of action, while in action, you can realize God. You cannot “get” God. God can only be realized. God is always there. Godhood has to be earned through emptiness. In silence, you become aware of it. Actions and expressions often take that opportunity away.

There were hardly any devotees in the temple that day. It was a village temple and away from the city crowd. An old woman and her teenage granddaughter walked around the temple in circumambulation chanting “Aum Namo Bhagawate Vaasudevaaya,” the sacred mantra of Lord Vishnu. When he saw Atmananda and his entourage, the priest had came out of the temple and handed out some flowers, sandal paste and two bananas which were offered to Lord Krishna earlier by some devotee. The priest said “Don’t go. Let me complete the rituals and close the temple. I would like to share some more food with you.” He went into the temple to complete the evening poojas (rituals). Atmananda gave one banana to the old woman with the girl, who came near him to touch his feet. He did not allow her to touch his feet. Instead, he touched the ground near her feet. She howled, “Oh no Swamiji, your touching my feet will bring me a big sin!” Atmananda smiled and said, “If I am the cause of your sin, I shall take it away too. Bless this son, mother. I am touching my mother’s feet.” This episode ended there because Atmananda is a man of few words and almost no emotions. He lived the life of a perfect Avadhoota.

Mohanji blessing, sight

Atmananda and his group of 9 at that time sat outside the temple expecting the priest to close the temple and join them. The priest lived about 100 feet from the temple. He usually carried the rice and fruits that devotees offered to Lord to his house after every daily ritual. With that his family of five people survived. They never complained of poverty nor worried about their sorrows. He came to Atmananda, brought some broad leaves from a tree which served as disposable plates, spread them on a flat stone seat near a banyan tree, and with his hand, started serving rice. He served almost half of what he had got on the leaves. The rest he kept for his family. From a smaller vessel, using a spoon created out of a leaf folded in a particular manner and pinned together with a twig of a plant, he poured some ghee on the rice. Atmananda was sitting quiet watching this. The priest looked at Atmananda apologetically and said, “This is all I have. Please accept my humble offering and bless me.” Atmananda held the hand of the priest in gratitude, which still had remnants of the rice on it, and said “Great embodiment of unconditional love, your generations will not know what is hunger.” The priest’s eyes welled up. Atmananda said, “You have hungry mouths waiting for this food. You gave half of it to us. They may sleep hungry because the food you have is insufficient for five people. I will not allow that.” He took a plantain leaf and covered the vessel that the priest held in his hands, tapped the vessel thrice and told the priest “Do not open this leaf until it is time to serve. There will be sufficient food for all.” By then the priest was already overwhelmed. He tried to prostrate at Atmananda’s feet. He did not permit that. He held him and said, “You are taking good care of the beloved Lord Krishna without any demands and expectations. You are a pure and selfless man. You never care about you and your family while sharing food with any stranger who wanders this way. Your family is also good and pious. Only goodness and blessings will come to you. You may be materially poor. But you have a rich heart. You will never be short of anything from this moment. Your next seven generations will experience the goodness of your actions.” He sent the priest off with tears of gratitude in his eyes.

He closed his eyes, chanted some mantra and touched the food left on the leaf plate by the priest. Nobody knows how that little food became sufficient food. Everybody ate rice with ghee to their hearts full and nobody realized the original quantity was not even sufficient for one person, let alone nine. Same thing happened at the house of the priest. Everybody ate sufficient food and still there was more. {And the vessel that Atmananda touched stayed with that family for five generations. Their house never had any dearth of food.} All assembled were amazed how the most unassuming Atmananda performed an act of miracle. While they witnessed it, they did not think of it as a miracle because of their terrible hunger. Later, it hit them and all of them realized that they really did not know Atmananda, nor how he operates at any time.

They left the temple premises the same evening and settled in a school veranda about an hour away from the temple. Atmananda always walked at least an hour after the evening meal even though there was no dearth of walking ever because they were walking almost the whole day, every single day. Before the break of dawn, Atmananda set out to take bath and do the morning rituals. This school was away from the river bank. So, they took bath by drawing water from the well. Atmananda did his rituals a few yards away from the well, sitting on a stone. When the neighboring village women started to come towards the well to draw water, Atmananda got up and started to walk away. His team of nine followed him.

It was still dark. They walked for an hour in dark. There was a root of a huge tree on the walk way which was not so clearly visible. Atmananda who was walking ahead of everybody, tripped on it, fell and had a bad injury on his right leg. He could not get up or walk. His followers lifted him up and carried him to the clear space, to a flat stone on which various travelers used to rest when they were tired. This stone was near to the village path way. He was bleeding. They did not know what to do. Atmananda asked them to get some leaves of a very common wild plant. They brought the leaves. Atmananda crushed those leaves and fixed the paste thus made on his injury. There was no cloth to tie it. He removed his own towel, which was his only cloth except his loin cloth, and tied it over the crushed leaves.

Because of the excruciating pain Atmananda could not walk. His followers offered to carry him, which he refused. He sat on that stone from morning till evening. Atmananda and his followers had no food. They managed to get some water from a neighboring well. There were no houses in the neighborhood and the path had only a few travelers. If they walk a few miles backwards, they will reach the school and the village where they spent the previous night. Yet, Atmananda was stubborn. He never cared about hunger, but his followers were not so. Some of them expected Atmananda to do some magic and get them some food as he did before. Nothing happened. One by one the followers started protesting among themselves, standing away from Atmananda, started talking into receptive and sympathetic ears. They said “If Gurudev could materialize food for a priest, why can’t he do that again for us?” One of them said “My sight is blurred with hunger. I cannot even see a thing.” Another mused “Is the guru testing us?” The third said “Are you sure he materialized food the other day or did we imagine it?” One remarked “No way. He did. We all ate.” Another said “I am pretty much sure he has no such powers. It is probably the temple, Lord Krishna and the priest that made it possible. If he had such powers, he would not allow us to starve. Why can’t he do that now?” “If he has power to know our minds, he should be knowing that we are hungry. Why is he not doing anything about it?” Another person said “Is he sleeping, pretending sleep to fool us, or actually meditating? One of them said “He never asked us to follow him. He will never ask us to leave also. It is entirely up to us to stay or to leave.” Another one replied “What is his plan? Is he going to sit on this rock until he is healed which may take weeks?”  That was a scary thought for everyone.

It was almost midnight. None of them had eaten anything. There was a village if they travel backwards. There was no clue about what lied in the way ahead. Some decided to go back towards the school. They took a few steps but the forest pathway was dark and scary. They feared snakes and nocturnal animals. They stopped and returned. Atmananda seemed to be sleeping unaware of all this. Manu and Ramakrishna sat on both sides of him focusing on their Guru seated in their heart center and they did not feel any hunger. The other seven people were in total confusion. Some of them tried to lie down and sleep, but the bizarre sounds of the jungle, piercing hunger and the fear of prowling animals were seriously affecting their sleep. Finally, it was a few hours to sunrise. Atmananda woke up. He asked Manu for two sticks. He used them as crutches and walked forward. His hungry, confused, sleep-deprived followers reluctantly followed him. Atmananda was not wearing anything except a loin cloth because his towel became his bandage, covering his newly acquired wound.

Luckily, after they walked forward about an hour, they found a water well, made by the king for the comfort of the travelers. They drew water, washed themselves, drank from it, some washed their clothes while taking bath, while Atmananda cleared his wound, applied more leaves and tied them with the same cloth again. There was no food in the neighborhood. It was a long starvation. After doing his morning rituals, Atmananda started walking. As always, he never told anyone where he was going and how long he will walk. He just started walking. Seven of his followers had only one thought in their minds – FOOD. Sunrise brought out colorful birds from their nests, flowers bloomed, and the forest pathway looked pretty and heavenly with various flowers and dew drops decorating them with sun rays. Only Manu and Ramakrishna could enjoy this. The others were looking for fruits, leaves, roots or even seeds that they could eat and quell their hunger. Atmananda walked on with his crutches. He never asked or cared how his followers felt. He never asked anyone to follow him in the first place. And he was an Avadhoota, very introverted and a perfect loner too.

Finally, it was noon time. All the seven people were tired. By that time, they reached a stream coming down through the forest and flowing towards the river. They washed their tired feet and faces and drank a lot of water. Atmananda sat under a tree and closed his eyes. Manu and Ramakrishna sat next to him and connected to his heart centre and dissolved themselves into it. The seven confused followers moved away from them and started taking decisions. The leader of the group and perhaps the hungriest of them all named Amara said “I am leaving. I cannot see any end to this journey. I cannot sit like Manu with empty stomach. And I am convinced that Atmananda has no divine powers. He is an ordinary wandering monk.” Another one said “I agree. He has no spiritual powers. At the temple, I am sure, it was Lord Krishna who performed that seeming miracle.” Third one said “I too cannot exist this way. He is not concerned about us. He is too much into himself. And, after all, what exactly did we learn from him so far?” Fourth said “This is true. Why are we walking with him? It is always uncertainty and no training. He is teaching nothing. And he is confusing me to the level of frustration of all kinds. I am leaving.” Another one said “I am leaving too. This uncertainty is not worth it.” Amara said “Friends, he is an ordinary man. He fell and got himself injured. He cannot heal himself. He cannot feed himself or others. He is so helpless. Can’t you see? He is an ordinary man. We are deluded.”

 

 

M walking, from the back

Finally, they all agreed that Atmananda is just an ordinary wandering monk with no extraordinary powers or knowledge and prepared themselves to leave him. They decided to go to him and bid good bye. When they approached him, they saw the three of them sitting with their eyes closed in meditation. They did not have the patience to wait until they opened their eyes. They just walked away. About half an hour after they left Atmananda, they saw a tree with some delicious fruits. They ate as much as they could and packed a few for the rest of their journey. After eating and resting for a while, Amara said “See, Atmananda does not even have luck on his side. Only after we left him, we found food. We starved the whole day and even night, looking at him and hoping that he will move. We made the right decision. We are free now and luck has favored us in the form of food.” Everyone agreed. Atmananda, Manu and Ramakrishna came back to terrestrial reality soon after the group left them. Atmananda tried to get up. Manu held his hand and helped him. Atmananda got his sticks and started walking. Ramakrishna said “Gurudeva, I shall fetch the others. They might be sleeping somewhere around. Please kindly wait for a while.” Without looking, Atmananda said without any emotion or concern, “They have left us. Let us move on.”

After walking for hardly 10 minutes, they found a small farmer residence. When they came close to it, the farmer’s wife, a young lady, came out of the house, invited them and asked them to be seated. She offered them water and freshly cooked food. They all ate well. Atmananda blessed her “Anna daata Sukhi Bhava” (May the one who served food always be happy and be in abundance). She became happy. She told Atmananda that she is pregnant and sought his blessings for a good and healthy child who will make their lineage proud. Atmananda blessed her “Tathasthu” (So be it). Even though she requested them to stay back and have the evening meal and stay the night over accepting their limited facilities, Atmananda politely refused that offer and decided to walk on. The farmer’s wife also offered some plant medicine for his wound. He politely refused that also. They started walking. The lady was at the gate with hands in position of deep reverence for Atmananda.

Before the road turned, Manu looked back to say a final goodbye to the woman. When he looked back to see if the lady was still there, he did not see the lady, the house or cattle. There was no trace of any habitats. It was only thick forest which blocked even the rays of sun. He could only see the village path behind him, as far as his eyes could go. As usual, Atmananda never looked back. He kept walking. And both Ramakrishna and Manu noticed that Atmananda was walking without sticks and there was no trace of an injury on his leg! They wondered the reason for this divine drama and concluded that it was to shake the tree and shed the dry leaves, dry of spiritual conviction. Atmananda always said “Conviction is essential when one chooses to walk the path of liberation. Perhaps conviction is more essential than faith. Passion and fearlessness are just by-products of it.

One leaf from the life of Atmananda ends… here.

A Siddha of Himalayas and A Farmer’s Son

A Siddha of Himalayas and A Farmer’s Son

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“When I came back to the usual waking state, I realized, what a powerful avadhoota this Mooli Baba is. I went back to him immediately.”

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.”

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Unfathomable are the powers of Siddhas. Masters walked the earth to wake the mankind from its deep inertia and bring forth their full potential.

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.

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“Something shifted in me”

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.

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” I left the body…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.”

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.

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” 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. There was nothing neither created nor destroyed. There was a thin veil between my earlier identity and now, which was now fully torn. Nothing existed anymore.”

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.

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“My son, never ridicule saints and monks. God can appear in their form…”

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?”

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“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.”

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.”

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“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”

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
M

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“…I decided to be on my way”

In Search of The Precious – 3

In Search of LIFE – 2

Even Maha Kali leaves Karma Alone...

True Dilemma of a Goddess

Once upon a time, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, lived an avadhoota. As with all avadhootas, he was also dis interested in his bodily well-being and it gave him the status of a “mad man” in a society which believes in accumulation of wealth, corresponding social status and physical well-being. To mock the superficial society, and to teach them the futility of the repeated terrestrial existence, every day, this avadhoota used to push a big round stone up the hill and with great effort, before sunset, he would bring the stone to the top of the hill. Then, he would push the stone downhill and laugh at it rolling down. This action gave him the title “MAD”. While people were in a hurry to categorize him as a “Mad Man”, they did not understand the method in his “madness”. He was teaching the ignorant society a precious lesson about life. The stone represented human life. People work hard from birth till death to accumulate wealth and “secure” their life; and death takes it all away. At death, everyone leaves empty handed. All that they accumulate from birth till death, including wealth, status, rewards, qualification, emotions and relationships, gets annihilated and left behind. Nobody carries anything when they depart. The stone was a symbolic representation of life itself. The grave effort of building it up is lost in a second, when death happens. Everything gets undone, with physical death. The avadhoota spent his whole life doing the same thing and giving the same message to people. Unfortunately, as always, people only saw the obvious – the action, and not the precious message within.

The avadhoota had no house of his own and he lived in the village burial ground. Dogs and foxes appeared every night to devour unburnt flesh from dead bodies. They never bothered him. Like aghoris, he cooked his meal in the funeral fire or with the fire from the funeral (in India, dead bodies are customarily burnt, not buried). And after eating, he would sleep on the burial ground. He also did not have any work that earned him his daily bread, and yet, by “working hard” everyday by pushing the stone up the neighboring hill and then dropping it, he demonstrated the need to be active, for a larger purpose. He found his food through begging. If nobody gave him anything, without complaints, he would sleep with an empty stomach. Having food or lack of it never bothered him. A true renunciate indeed!!!

Kali Dances with the Souls of the Burial Ground...

The story goes like this. Goddess Kali and her entourage (which consists of fearsome Demons, Ghosts and Vampires) used to visit this burial ground on specific nights, such as Fridays or Tuesdays, to dance in the funeral fire along with the souls of the departed. This dance also signifies victory of death over life, i.e. the temporariness of human existence. So, when Kali and her dancing troop came to the burial ground, they saw a “human” sleeping there. Goddess cannot dance in front of humans. Human beings are of gross and  inferior existence, according to them. And, till then, no human being has survived seeing such fearsome spirits and Kali. People who have seen them have died out of fear. So, they decided to frighten the sleeping avadhoota. They made all sorts of sounds to wake him up. He did not even open his eyes. He was not enjoying the normal sleep, he was in samadhi state. Finally, he opened his eyes and got up. He sat there, watching the efforts of Kali and her team of ghosts, trying to put fear into him and drive him away. He watched their show like a movie and sometimes clapped his hands. Kali and her team got tired of this. Finally, Kali came to him and said. “Oh Man, I am pleased with you. No ordinary human can see us, witness our dance, and still be sane. You are no ordinary human. I am pleased with you. I want to give you a boon.” The avadhoota smiled and said “Thank You for your kindness. You and your team really entertained me. I am really happy. I do not need another boon. I am fine. If you are finished with your dance, please leave the place and let me sleep a bit more, before the day break. I have heavy work to do when the sun rises.” (Pushing the stone uphill and watching it roll down at sunset). But the mighty Kali insisted: “I have decided to give you this boon. You should tell me what you wish for.” After a lot of persuasion, he asked Kali: ” When will I die?” Kali gave him the exact date, place and time of his death. He said: “I want to live one more year.” Kali explained: “When a human takes birth, his longevity of life is pre-determined. He comes with the full karmic agenda. Nobody can tamper with it, including me. So, I cannot give you this boon.” He laughed, then thought for a while and said “OK. Then subtract a year from my life – give me one year less.” Kali said “I cannot tamper with your karmic life. Nobody can. Your destiny is well defined. Everything happens accordingly. The time, space, and the faculties are chosen and the experience is inevitable. You cannot cut it short and leave early. You have to move with time and complete everything that you came here for, before you exit.” The Avadhoota laughed aloud and teased Kali: “This means you do not have much power as you pretend to have. I do not need anything else. You may go.” Kali explained “Even the God Almighty does not interfere with the karmic agenda, created by existence. Existence creates karma, using the faculties. Unit souls that represent existence, aid it. So, units creates karma individually and collectively as they come together. The unit experiences singularly and collectively. Karma gets lead by itself. Bodies and minds happen based on Karma. The underlying factor is karma. Nobody interferes with Karma. It is the Dharma of Gods to allow Karma to happen…. I cannot leave without giving you a boon because I have offered you one. I am Goddess Kali and I have to keep my word.” Again the Avadhoota teased Kali: “Can’t you give me just one day of life more?” She said “NO”. “One day less”. Again she said “NO”. He laughed at her helplessness. The avadhoota humbled the Goddess. Finally,out of sympathy and not out of requirement, he pointed to his swollen left leg. He was suffering from a disease called “Elephantiasis”. His left leg was swollen and heavy. He told Kali “Did you see my left leg, swollen and heavy?” She said “Yes”. “OK, Shift it to my right leg and relieve my left leg. It has taken pain for long. Now, let the other share it.” Kali shifted his disease to his right leg, blessed him and disappeared with her entourage.

Remember, he did not ask Kali to remove his disease. He was not resisting anything that life gave him. He was just ridiculing the pomposity and resistance attached to our everyday existence. We become proud and egoistic with the feeling that we are doing everything and it is us, who move the world. The world is moving. Our powers are quite limited. Moreover, the avadhoota himself had the power to change anything, including his disease, if he wanted to. But, a real Siddha will never use any of His siddhis for self satisfaction or selfish needs. He uses it only for dire necessities and sometimes as an eye opener, to install or re-install faith in people. The detached life of an avadhoota is a true message to man-kind that is running after fleeting glories and paltry pleasures.

Burial Ground is a great place of complete justice. The rich and poor, the prince and pauper, all are alike in the burial ground. The eventual residue of the very rich and very poor is the same – a handful of ash!!! We apply ash on our forehead, as a reminder to others that eventually, we will become nothing but ASH.  This is meant to annihilate our ego, by reminding us of the eternal truth of perishability and unity.

Fire does not discriminate. It burns everything alike and still does not get contaminated. It stays clean. Water purifies, but gets contaminated. Air purifies and takes on the negativity. Earth also purifies, but gets contaminated. Fire purifies, burns everything into ashes, but, stays pure always.

Greed is Blinding

Who Will Share My Karma???

Karan was born poor. His parents were poor. They lived in a small town in the suburbs of the city. They could not provide him good education or even food and clothes. As soon as he completed his 12th class, his paternal uncle took him to the city. He stayed with his benevolent uncle, found a job and started earning even while he was a teenager. He was good at work and was quite loyal. He even skipped his lunch and worked to complete his tasks. His employer liked him, a silent performer, and thus he grew in his career, quite rapidly. A few years later, when he became well established in his work and was earning a good salary, his parents found him a native girl, and got him married. He was very happy with his marriage. His wife was a quiet and loving woman, who took care of his household chores without any complaints. They were a good match. Everyone loved them.

Years went by and they were blessed with three children, two boys and a girl. Meanwhile, he got an opportunity to go abroad and get into a job, which paid him many times more salary than his current job. He and his family settled down and again, he grew in his career, as well financially, rapidly. He became very rich. Meanwhile his father expired. He looked after his mother well. He invested in land, buildings and owned many establishments along with his best friends as partners and became one of the richest men in his home town. A smooth life of glory. He was happy and people were happy with him.

When he was 55 years old, he decided to return back and enjoy the fruits of his toil. He came back and started living in his home town. He had left his home town many years ago and he felt a bit alienated. But, money attracted people to him. He made many friends. Slowly, sycophants started spoiling his mind. He started getting into arguments with his partners and slowly took over most of the companies to himself. He used various methods to achieve this end. He became a completely different man.

The peer pressures of his home town made him a ruthless businessman. He took over all the distributed shares, by force, through threats or, in some occasions,  by paying off. Thus, he strengthened his position in the town. He stood for the local elections and also gained political clout. He became invincible. Along with politics, he entered into many corruption practices, bribery and “handling” of people who opposed them. Thus, a once clean employee became a totally corrupt  and dictatorial employer. People feared him, more than respected him. It was a path of “no return”. He kept walking unconsciously and in a way, helplessly.

One day, while he was leaving his office, late at night, he was beaten up by some people. He did have his driver and body guards. It was like an ambush, just outside his office, which was totally unexpected. They stabbed him in his stomach, broke his collar bone and ran away. He was immediately hospitalized. He had lost a lot of blood and was in intensive care for almost a week. Slowly he recovered and his state frightened and shocked his family and friends. One thing was clear – some people were affected by him so much that they want him dead. There was a big threat to his life.

When he was out of the hospital, when he could travel on his own, his brother-in-law took him to an old saint. His aim was to calm his agitated and shaken up mind. The saint looked at him and said: “You came empty handed. You will leave empty handed. What have you conquered?” Karan said: “I was a poor man. I became rich with my own hard work. Everything is hard-earned. I had to secure what I earned for my family and children.” The saint smiled. “Did the place, time and environment happen to you, or you created it?” Karan said “It happened to me. I used it.” Saint replied: “Good. Good understanding. What about your corresponding actions, which harmed many?” Karan said“I had to do whatever I did. The message had to be delivered loud and clear.” Saint: “What about the affected?” Karan was silent. There was no answer. The saint said: “They also decided to give their message loud and clear. That is what you are suffering from now.” The saint then said: “One more question. You are responsible for all your actions, even if the guidance was from others. Right?” Karan said “Yes”. Saint: “Just tell me, who will share your fruits of action, you may call it SINS?” Karan was shaken again. “Do you think your wife or children will share any of your sins? If you are doing everything for them, they should also share your sins, right? Will they?” Karan started crying. The saint consoled him: “Remember my son, Mind means dissatisfaction. Wisdom gives satisfaction. Depend on your wisdom. Mind means Greed. It always remains dissatisfied. It wants more. It wants more money, more power, more positions, status, food, wine, women, control….so on and so forth. If you get carried away, you will hurt others and you will harm yourself. Nobody can suffer your fruits of action on your behalf, except in a larger collective way. So, please share with others and sharing will bring you happiness. Hoarding will give you more anxiety. Go home in deep peace.” The Saint blessed him.

He came home and contemplated on the words of the Saint. He realized that nobody can share his burden and nobody will. He has to run his own life. He was born alone and will die alone. All that he accumulated cannot be taken with him. He cried for a long time. He distributed a lot of his wealth to poor people of his town. He started free schools for the education of poor children. Irrespective of caste and creed, he provided meals to anyone who came to his estate, any time of the day. He relieved himself from politics, distributed his business to his children, and plunged himself into charity.

Life gives rude shocks to make us understand certain inevitable truths. Those who understand will evolve. Those who resist, will perish further. This is the nature of life.

Believe it or Not...We Write Our Own Destiny!!!...

Love YOU Always

M

The Avadhoota Awareness

Perfection in Renunciation

Q: What is an Avadhoota? What is the avadhoota awareness?

A: A man who always exists in super conscious state and is a perfect and complete renunciate can be called an avadhoota. He has no interest in any worldly emotions, achievements, name, fame or  possessions. He usually possesses all the siddhis (spiritual powers) that happen automatically with spiritual evolution, but, does not express them unless extreme necessity happens. He usually has no transactions or give and take with the world and exists on earth only to guide people to liberation. The world of an avadhoota is perfect because He usually exists in His inner world, basking in the glory of supreme consciousness. An avadhoota never gives lectures nor writes books. His life itself is His teaching. The consciousness level of an Avadhoota can be compared only to that of the supreme almighty. We cannot fathom it or explain it. If I may borrow the lines of Adi Shankaraacharya, we could possibly get a glimpse of the awareness level of an Avadhoota. Mind you, the following lines are not expressions based on intellectual understanding from the mind of an Avadhoota, but His living reality.

Great Master Shankaraachaarya

Mano budhya ahankara chithaa ninaham,
Na cha srothra jihwe na cha graana nethrer,
Na cha vyoma bhoomir  na thejo na vayu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

Neither am I the mind, nor intelligence ,
Nor ego, nor thought,
Nor am I  ears  or the tongue  or the nose or the eyes,
Nor am I earth or sky or air or the light,
But I am Shiva, the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva.

Na cha praana samgno na vai pancha vaayur,

Na vaa saptha dhathur na va pancha kosa,
Na vaak
pani padam  na chopa stha payu,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

Neither am I the  movement due to life,
Nor am I the five airs, nor am I the seven  elements,
Nor am I the five internal organs,
Nor am I voice or hands or feet or other organs,
But I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Na me dwesha raghou na me lobha mohou,

Madho naiva  me naiva matsarya bhava,
Na dharmo na cha artha
na kamo na moksha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

I never do  have  enmity  or  friendship,
Neither do I have vigour nor feeling of competition,
Neither do I have assets, or money or  passion or  salvation,
But I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Na punyam na paapam na soukhyam na dukham,

Na manthro na theertham na veda na yagna,
Aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhoktha,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

Never do I have  good deeds or sins or pleasure or sorrow,
Neither do I have holy chants or holy water or holy books or fire sacrifice,
I am neither food or the consumer who consumes food,
As I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Na mruthyur na sankha na me jathi bhedha,

Pitha naiva me naiva  matha na janma,
Na bhandhur na mithram gurur naiva sishya,
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

I do not have death or doubts  or distinction of caste,
I do not have either father or mother or even birth,
And I do not have relations  or friends or teacher or students,
As I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

Aham nirvi kalpi nirakara roopi,

Vibhuthwascha  sarvathra sarvendriyanaam,
Na cha sangatham naiva mukthir na meya
Chidananada Roopa Shivoham, Shivoham

I am one without doubts , I am without form,
Due to knowledge I do not have any relation with my organs,
And I am always redeemed,
And I am Shiva the all pervading happiness,
Yes, I am definitely Shiva

One Soul - We are SHIVA - Shivoham

If we can digest this properly and live it fully, we attain the awareness level of an avadhoota. We attain Shiva. This is the essence of all Upanishads and all scriptures. Deepest and humblest Pranaams to the Great teacher Shankaraacharya for this garland of precious jewels.

Q: Ashtanga Yoga

A: Yama – Niyama – Asana – Praanaayama – Pratyahaara – Dhaarana – Dhyaana – Samadhi.

  • Yama = Ahimsa (moral codes or non violence in thought, words and action), Satya(truth), Asteya(non-covetousness, theft or entering into debts), Aparigraha (non possessiveness, absence of avarice), Brahmacharya (Appropriate use of vital essence. Celibate when single – faithful when married, Divine conduct, Continence), Kshama (Patience, responsive and not reactionary, always in the present.), Dhriti (Steadfastness, completion of all tasks to possible perfection, overcoming non-perseverance, fear or indecision.) Daya (Compassion, Natural expression of love, kindness and compassion towards all beings. Never harm or injure any being) Arjava (Honesty, straight-forwardness, renounce deception, dishonesty or wrong doing of any kind). Mitahara (Control in consumption. No emotional consumption. Never eat too much or too little. Average appetite. Never consume any dead organisms or organisms without any praana – like fish, seafood, meat or eggs.) Shaucha (Cleanliness of body and mind)
  • Niyama = Saucha (Clean body and mind ) Santosha(Happiness), Tapas (discipline & thereby mental control), Svadhyaya (which means becoming close to oneself, through meditation and self-exploration) Isvarapranidhana is to lay all your actions at the feet of God).
  • Asana = Postural Perfection, while mind kept steady over Self.
  • Praanayaama – Perfection through breath. Touching the subtler plane of our existence. Concentration through breath control. Health through proper breathing.
  • Pratyaahaara – Sense control. Detaching senses from sense objects through consistent practice. This does not amount to suppression of desires.
  • Dhaarana – Concentration on the sub straatum – the seat of  desires and observing them like a witness. Desires reduces systematically and awareness increases gradually.
  • Dhyaana – Meditation. Awareness on the self or what ever is the object of meditation.
  • Samaadhi – One with the self and from there to the supreme self or one with the object of meditation. Existing in one consciousness level. One awareness level. Unity. Oneness.

Q: Ashta Siddhi
A: They are:

  1. Anima (capability of making the body minute)
  2. Mahima (increasing body size),
  3. Laghima (ability to become light),
  4. Garima (power to make the body heavy),
  5. Ishitva (possess divine powers – lordship),
  6. Vashitwam (power to attract others ),
  7. Prapti (power to secure anything),
  8. Prakamya (ablity to become invisible).

Siddhis are automatic, as we evolve. Preserving them as sacred keeps our potential intact. Mis -using them degenerates our spirituality. The equation is simple. If Moksha is the purpose of our existence, we have to go beyond the temptations of siddhis and stay steadfast in the path of liberation. Siddhis could pull a saadhak down to the quagmire of karma.

Q: Nava Nidhi
A:  Nava Nidhi means nine types of wealth. They are:

  1. Parakaaya Pravesha – Ability to enter another body – even a dead body.
  2. Haadi Vidya – Siddha has no hunger nor thirst. This vidya helps detach from the requirement of food and water.
  3. Kaadi Vidya – No seasonal changes affect the man. Seasons cannot touch him. This also means winter and summer cannot affect the Siddha. He does not feel heat or cold.
  4. Vaayu Gaman Siddhi – Siddha becomes lighter than air which facilitates His air-travel. He travels from one place to another in a few seconds.
  5. Madaalasa Vidya – Siddha increases or decreases the size of His body using this knowledge. Hanumanji has famously done this many times.
  6. Kanakadhaara Siddhi – Siddha acquires unlimited wealth through this siddhi – if he chooses to. Avadhootas are hardly bothered about money and wealth. They live in a perfect world of supreme consciousness.
  7. Praakya Sadhana – Directing souls to wombs – even to the extent of motherhood to barren women.
  8. Soorya Vigyan – Through the power of rays, transformation of materials are achieved. Sun rays are used to nullify and re create materials or transform them to the form they choose. Surya vigyan is an ancient technique used by siddhas.
  9. Mrita Sanjeevani Vidya – Rejuvenating the dead. Dead can be brought to life using this siddhi.

A Great Siddha - A perfect Bhakta

Siddhas are not bothered about these powers. They have no necessity to prove to anyone. They exist in bliss state always. Siddhis are based on eligibility. It happens when the seeker is ready. But, siddhis are also double edged swords. They can prevent spiritual growth and essentially  moksha(Salvation). Do not get stuck with siddhis or even the thought of siddhis. Let it come and go, if needed be. Stay always close to your soul and the Brahman.

Understand that the potential of every being is the same, irrespective of whether he is rich or poor. The awakening of it makes the difference. None are empty. None are high or low. All possess the same quality of soul. All souls are children of the supreme soul. All belong to the Supreme Father. Everyone’s ultimate aim is to reach Him. Every body has a duration. Every form, name and identity will dissolve and disappear sooner or later. No one is immune to changes. All are one. ONE SOUL. All are SHIVA. Shivoham!!!

God Bless All

Love
M