Born from FIRE

Mohanji Fire

Be one with the elements when you are in your body and you will remain in equanimity with the nature.

Atmananda Chaithanya was taking bath in a river with disciples. Standing completely naked facing the river, he was washing his few terrestrial possessions – a loin cloth and a towel like cloth. He had nothing beyond that apart from a vessel and a small cloth bag. He usually tied the cloth around his waist. One of his five disciples who was next to him said to him, “Maharaj, others are watching you.” Atmananda turned around, looked and laughed, “To see what?” and as if to himself, muttered “Foolish people. Senses drag their mind and total slaves of senses. What can they see? Nothing.” Unaffected, he washed his clothes, tied the wet clothes around his waist and climbed up to the river bank. He sat down on a stone, away from people facing the rising sun and meditated, totally absorbed and oblivious of the movements around him. Time went by. Atmamanda continued to meditate. The rock started to get hot.

Atmananda was still absorbed in his state of Samadhi. His disciples stood around him until the external heat became unbearable and the fire of hunger started heating them from inside. Finally, one of the disciples named Panduranga gently came close to Atmananda and whispered in his right ear, “Deva, the rock is burning hot. It may affect your body. Please get up”. Slowly Atmananda opened his eyes and looked at his disciples struggling to stand barefooted next to him because of the heated up rocks upon which they were standing.

“If you are born from fire, no sun can burn you. I am born from fire”

“If you are born from fire, no sun can burn you. I am born from fire”

He smiled, “If you are born from fire, no sun can burn you. I am born from fire”. Then he stood up, and started walking. A few steps later, he turned to Panduranga and said, “Be FIRE. That is the secret. Nothing can ever burn you. Nothing in life can dampen you. This is the unquenchable fire of the spirit. This is the fire of our tradition. The white fire.” Panduranga could not clearly understand. He humbly requested his Gurudeva to explain it further. Atmananda did not explain, but casually said, “Your body is made out of elements. Be one with the elements when you are in your body and you will remain in equanimity with the nature. Be one with all elements and they cannot hurt you. Only when you alienate yourself from the very elements that you are made of, your body suffers. Imbalance in elements causes diseases. Beware.”

Atmananda was a wandering monk and the 5 disciples always moved with him. Many others came and joined his group and left him after some time. He never cared about who came and who left. When people came, he shared “food” with them. That was his only sign of approval of anyone’s company. No other approval or disapproval. He just flowed and others flowed with him in absolute faith and surrender.

Atmananda was a wandering monk and the 5 disciples always moved with him.

Atmananda was a wandering monk and the 5 disciples always moved with him.

Once, while wandering, Atmananda was sitting at a village park. The park was in front of a row of shops and one among them was a sweet shop. Panduranga loved sweets and his eyes constantly wandered towards the decorated stalls displaying colorful sweets. Atmananda was sitting with his back towards the shops. Yet, he said, “When the eyes have focused with the mind on an object, the man is lost to temptations.” None, including Panduranga knew the depth or purpose of this statement and nor did Atmananda explain it in detail. And spontaneously, he took out some coins from his cloth sack and asked his disciple Aruna to fetch him some sweets from that shop. Aruna was surprised. In his experience, he has never seen Gurudeva using money, especially for the sake of a sensory pleasure. Yet, he always never asked his Guru “WHY”, so he immediately got up and left for the shop while the others sat around the Guru.

Aruna reached the shop and asked the shopkeeper to pack some sweets that he thought will suit his Gurudeva. The elderly shopkeeper was a very pious Brahmin. He saw the attire of his customer and presumed that Aruna is a wandering monk. While packing the sweets, he asked a few details about him and Aruna explained about himself and his Gurudeva in a few sentences, sufficient for the shopkeeper to get an idea. The shopkeeper handed over the sweets, which were more in quantity than the value of the money that Aruna had in hand. After receiving the packet, Aruna tried to give the shopkeeper the money, which was refused by the latter. He said, “Please allow me this opportunity to surrender my humble offerings at the feet of a great soul, your Gurudeva.” He called his teenaged granddaughter and asked her to handle the shop and set forth to meet the Guru along with Aruna. When Aruna and the shop keeper came near the shade of the tree where Atmananda and his disciples were sitting, as soon as he saw Atmananda, a strange kind of recognition dawned in him and the shopkeeper prostrated at the feet of Atmananda in complete humility. He said, “Deva, my life is complete today. You are Lord Dattatreya Himself. I am ready to leave my life at your feet this moment”. Atmananda blessed him and said, “Rama, (His disciples were surprised that their Guru knew the name of this shopkeeper), two steps above and two steps below. One step in the center. This is all you have. When you leave the five steps, you will become me. Nine steps above and eight steps below. One step in the middle. When you complete the 18 steps, then you will become my father. I and my father are one.” Rama started crying like a baby. This is exactly what his Guru had taught him when he was a child. Atmananda’s disciples did not fully understand the meaning. Yet, they kept quiet. Atmananda hugged the sobbing Rama. Aruna and others had never seen their Guru involving so much with anyone. They were surprised and wanted to know their past connection. Yet, they were afraid to ask Atmananda.
The show ended abruptly. Rama left. Aruna handed over the packet and the money that he could not spend to Atmananda and Atmananda immediately opened the parcel and started distributing the sweets to everyone except Panduranga. Panduranga was the one who craved for the sweets and he was the only one who got nothing! Panduranga craved in his mind at least for a crumb. Atmananda ignored him totally and did not even look at him. Atmananda and the four others completed the whole box. When Aruna tried to hand over one piece to Panduranga, Atmananda turned and said, “Yours for yourself.” (This statement was karmically perfect.) One of the disciples whom Atmananda called Kali had tremendous suppressed anger even like a volcano inside him. Atmananda kept him close to himself without permitting any eruption! He never liked sweets. Even he was given more and more. Only the one who wanted the most got nothing.

None of the disciples understood the strange behavior pattern of Atmananda. But, since devotion towards their Gurudeva was absolute, they were never concerned about it. Yet, mind always wanted answers.

Panduranga had joined Atmananda’s group when they visited a temple in the middle part of India.

Panduranga had joined Atmananda’s group when they visited a temple in the middle part of India.


Panduranga had joined Atmananda’s group when they visited a temple in the middle part of India. When Panduranga met him for the first time ever, Atmananda looked at him and called his name. He said, “I have eight years and you have eight years. Come with me and go before me.” Panduranga, as if hypnotized by Atmananda, left what he was doing at the temple and followed Atmananda without even a spare cloth in his hand. His faith took root and grew into a giant banyan tree in moments. It became unshakeable in no time.

As they walked out of the temple, a businessman came, prostrated at the feet of Atmananda and offered him two clothes, one for below the waist and one for above, a few coins and some fruit. He blessed the businessman, gave the clothes to Panduranga, kept the coins in his bag and distributed the fruits among his disciples.

They travelled together just below eight years before they reached this place. They travelled through many parts of India. Atmananda taught them nothing specific. Yet, the disciples picked up many jewels of wisdom from the way he lived his life which transformed them day by day. Simplicity was his style and total unpredictability of the master kept them grounded in the present. This also helped them to stay fluid and flexible.

Atmananda was always on the move...

Atmananda was always on the move…

Three days was the maximum Atmananda stayed at any place. At this place, near the river, Atmananda stayed for almost four days. Each day morning, the elderly shopkeeper brought fresh sweets and some food to Atmananda. And Atmananda distributed the sweets to everyone except Panduranga. Food he shared equally with everyone. And there was always sufficient to appease the hunger of all. They ate only one time a day, as true Yogis did.

Regarding the distribution of sweets, this is not the first or second time such a distribution has happened. In the whole eight years they were together, Atmananda never gave a bit of sweets to the desiring disciple Panduranga. And it was not many times that they received sweets too, except sometimes from temples as offering, which everyone got, including Panduranga. But, his craving was for sweets of the sweet shop, the colorful ones. Panduranga was disappointed to his worst extent by the seeming discrimination of Atmananda.

On the third day, Atmananda sent Aruna to the shop again early in the afternoon, with the same coins that he had given earlier to him. Aruna hesitated to accept the coins as he knew that the shopkeeper Rama would not accept them. Moreover, he has been delivering sweets and food to Atmananda and the group every morning without any cost. Yet, beloved Gurudeva’s words cannot be and should not be questioned. There has to be a higher purpose, behind his every words and actions. Aruna walked towards the shop. The shop was open and the elderly shopkeeper was missing. He called out, “Anyone inside?” The granddaughter of the shopkeeper came out. Aruna asked for her grandfather. She told him that all her relatives including him have gone for a wedding in the village. She also said that most of the sweets have been sold at the wedding to fulfill a commitment order from the bride’s family. The shop had very little sweets left. For a moment, Aruna admired the devotion of the elderly businessman whom Atmananda called Rama in offering fresh sweets to Atmananda that very morning despite his commitment to provide sweets for the wedding which was his business. He also wondered despite getting the regular quota of sweets in the morning and consuming them as before, why did Gurudeva send him back to the shop to buy more, and that too by paying money? Anyway, some questions need no answers. All you need is absolute faith beyond questions. And in the tradition, the question “WHY” itself signifies disconnection from one’s Guru and fall from the golden tradition of total nullification. “WHY” always happens out of mind, intellect and ego and never out of devotion.

Aruna asked the girl at the shop to pack whatever was available, paid the money and left with the packet. The girl had no problem in accepting money. She looked at him just as another customer. This was around 5PM, almost time for Atmananda and his disciples to go for their bath and evening meditations. When Aruna brought the box of sweets and handed it to Atmananda, he immediately transferred the full box of sweets to Panduranga and said, “It is all yours. No more desires unfulfilled”. Receiving this precious gift from his Gurudeva, Panduranga cried like a baby. He fell at the feet of Atmananda and begged his pardon for nurturing thoughts of hatred against his beloved guru. He apologized over and over again for considering him as partial and cruel. Atmananda smiled and said, “Have your sweets. It is all yours.” Panduranga ate a lot, and when he wanted to give some to others, most of them denied saying “you deserve the whole”. Panduranga was deeply satisfied. It was a feast for him. He could not eat it all. He ate almost half of the packet and saved the rest for another time!

If you flow with time, time is your friend. If you do not, time is your foe.

If you flow with time, time is your friend. If you do not, time is your foe.

After the evening prayers, Atmananda called Panduranga and said, “If you flow with time, time is your friend. If you do not, time is your foe. Have you kept time? Now release time. Time cannot not be held by man. Only immortality can hold time. Remain Blessed. Be Immortal”. He asked Panduranga not to sleep that night and meditate facing the north.
At the time of subtlety, the time of Brahma (Brahma Muhurtha), when they woke up, they saw Panduranga still meditating in lotus posture. When they tried to wake him, he fell backwards. His body had frozen. His soul had left!

The elderly businessman Rama Shastri arranged for a proper funeral of Panduranga on the fourth day. At the funeral Atmananda said to Rama, “His only desire on earth was sweets. He had transcended all other desires. If this last desire was also fulfilled, he would have left his abode (body) much earlier. He had to serve me for 8 years and hence I kept him in his abode. Now, he has to leave ahead of me. His last wish is fulfilled and has attained immortality”. It was only then his disciples understood the reason behind this whole drama.

Even though slightly perturbed with the dynamism of these events, when they were securing materials for the cremation of Panduranga, Aruna asked Rama, the elderly businessman, what Atmananda meant by “two steps above and two steps below. One step in the center. This is all you have. When you leave the five steps, you will come to me. Nine steps above and eight steps below. One step in the middle. When you complete the 18 steps, then you will become my father. I and my father are one”.

Rama replied, “I do not know if I have the eligibility to explain this code which the Maha Guru, great saint who walks with you told me. He is Supreme Datta himself. He is verily Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva themselves. I shall explain according to my understanding. Pardon me if I fall short. Our physical body is controlled by the 5. Five praanaas, five koshas (sheaths), five senses, five elements, five chakras of color apart from the higher colorless ones so on and so forth. He told me that I am staying at the fire, the middle. The step in the middle is the space of fire. I have to burn my ego and samskaaras as well as all identities and go higher. I have to nullify everything. I have reached half way. I am lucky. With the blessing of our Maha Guru, I would effortlessly cross over the air and space also and would attain fulfillment in this life and merge with him.”

Progressing into the path of complete dissolution...

Progressing into the path of complete dissolution…


“He also reminded me that in my path of complete dissolution, I have to travel 9 more steps. We are operating from the outside nature and our own inherent nature. Nature stays in various aspects. Every organ has its own nature. Nature of the eyes is different from that of ears. Likewise, every organ has its own unique nature. Every feeling has its own nature and flavor. Mind has its own nature. Each person has a different mindset. Likewise, intellect, ego, emotions, feelings, pain, happiness, have their own nature. Collectively each man has one unique nature. All of us base ourselves on this multiple nature as well as one nature. This is where we are progressing from – into the path of pathless. In our tradition, 18 signifies completion. Beginning from the first birth until the last body we ever take on earth, the total completion of various aspects of various lifetimes attains its ultimate completion when soul merges with the supreme Parabrahma. 18 also signifies our inclinations, various aspects of vasanas. We have to cross over even the minutest of Vasanas to attain Brahma. 18 is also 8+1 = 9. It also signifies Nine avatars of Maha Vishnu and then comes Kalki, Kalki being a state and phenomenon, it signifies the dissolution with the 10th. Ten = 1+0 which means one, unity or back to the original form. Thus, I may take another 9 births or with the grace of our beloved Bhagawan who has come as Guru to us, much lesser births. I am not worried. As long as I have His grace, I am ready to take another million births too.” Aruna admired the wisdom and understanding of this elderly businessman. He had truly recognized Atmananda.
Exactly 8 months after this, Atmananda also left his body and thus fulfilled his initial words to Panduranga.

Aghora Babaji – Rama Shastri’s story

Aruna and Kali were deeply interested to know about the shop keeper Rama Shastri’s Guru. While preparing for the cremation of Panduranga, Rama Shastri narrated. “Our Guru Maharaj Atmananda knows him. It is HIMSELF. Nobody knew his name. He was called Aghora Baba by the villagers because he was mostly naked and sometimes wore bizarre clothes on him. He used to carry a skull in his hand and people were afraid of him. He had many spiritual powers.

He was not exactly my guru, as I was just a small boy of 5 or 6 years when he was walking on this land. I believe he left his physical body, some say he just disappeared along with his disciples, when I was 13 or 14 years old. One day he and his group just disappeared from this place. Nobody has seen them ever again. Physically our Gurudeva Atmananda is much younger to me. So, there is no way that he has seen Aghora Babaji.

“If Babaji commands that the sun shall not rise again, the sun will obey. He is an avatar. Do not fear him. Worship him. He is our protector”.

“If Babaji commands that the sun shall not rise again, the sun will obey. He is an avatar. Do not fear him. Worship him. He is our protector”.


Babaji was my grandfather’s and also my father’s Guru. I was afraid of him and always avoided him whenever he was close by. He lived in this burial ground; people say that he brewed and drank alcohol, smoked and also slept with many women. There used to be almost 25 people with him all the time and many were women of various ages. His eyes always used to be blood red, and looked as if under the spell of alcohol. I even heard that he did many bizarre rituals in the night, where he performed fire ceremonies stark naked in the funeral fire. People say that they have seen him dancing in the fire too. He had a small thatched hut right here where he slept” He pointed at a space at the burial ground.
My mother’s younger brother – my uncle – hated him. I have heard him telling my mother, “He is creating prostitutes here in our village. He sleeps with many women and all men and women do naked rituals in the night with him. He drinks alcohol and uses other intoxicants too. He is immoral. He should not be worshipped. Do you want our young Rama to follow these bizarre habits? You should make your husband and your father-in-law understand. He is not a good guru to be with.” And hearing all these, my mother used to get terribly worried.
When I started recognizing Babaji, he was already perhaps in his 60s. He wore dreadlocks, a scar on his chest, unkempt hair and beard. I have often seen food particles stuck on his beard. Fierce eyes, a bit athletic in structure of his body and reasonably muscular – was his physical form. There used to be many women with him, and most of them wore saffron. And the men who walked with him also looked doped and almost always wore nothing except a shawl around them. This was a strange group. The way to my teacher’s house (gurukul) passed near this land – the burial ground of our village. I had to go via this way every day. No choice. I and my friends used to shiver in fear whenever we heard some sounds from here. We used to have bad dreams about Babaji coming and killing all of us and eating our flesh. Later I realized that even my mother used to have such dreams, which I came to know when I overheard her explaining it to my father. My father laughed and said, “If Babaji commands that the sun shall not rise again, the sun will obey. He is an avatar. Do not fear him. Worship him. He is our protector”.

His blood shot eyes made us shiver...

His blood shot eyes made us shiver…

“One day, I was perhaps 10 or 12 years of age, I and my friends were walking by the burial ground, we landed up right in front of Babaji. His bloodshot eyes made us shiver. One of my friends even relieved urine in his cloth. We tried to sneak past him. He said, “STOP”. We shivered and stopped. He was alone. He called me near him. With trembling knees, I went close to him. He gently took my hand with a lot of love and kindness and instead of the stench of unkempt body that I had expected considering his looks, it was the fragrance of celestial flowers that oozed out of him. His eyes penetrated me with compassion. I lost all my fears. He held my hand and told me the same words our Gurudev told me – which you heard. Exactly the same words! “Rama, two steps above and two steps below. One step in the center. This is all you have. When you leave the five steps, you will become me. Nine steps above and eight steps below. One step in the middle. When you complete the 18 steps, then you will become my father. I and my father are one.” Even though I did not fully comprehend the meaning of these words, it stuck firmly in my memory. He made that possible.

Now, I truly pity my uncle and others who criticized him and despised him publicly and privately. They missed the chance of many lifetimes. They were too absorbed in the superficial incompatibilities, pretentious morality and non-comformities based on their mental notions. They were in the cages of their own mind. Self-created cages of numerous conditioning. Babaji’s aim was perhaps to shatter these conditionings. Total ignorance made them miss it in this lifetime. When will they get another chance? I clearly understood from my father that if we cannot develop the eyes to see beyond the superficial obvious, we miss the opportunity. Especially with Lord Dattatreya, the supreme Parabrahma.

The journey from being mankind to the state of a kind man is not difficult. Awareness is the key.

The journey from being mankind to the state of a kind man is not difficult. Awareness is the key.

Aghora Baba and Gurudeva are one and the same. He came back in this form to bless me and my family again and I got the good fortune of serving food to Him. Before my grandfather died, he had said, “Babaji will never leave your hand. He will watch over you through time. You will meet him again before you leave your body too.” I knew at the bottom of my heart it is true. I experienced the same fragrance when Gurudeva touched me. It is all one. All are verily Datta. Babaji came to destroy our concepts and mind and take us to higher awareness and now Gurudeva is doing the same. I understood that the bizarre lifestyle was to protect him as well as those who followed him. I even feel that the women and men who lived with him naked in the burial ground were not humans. They could be celestial beings. I believe this was Lord Datta and His followers enjoying a terrestrial existence, just like our Gurudev. The fragrance that emanated from his body was unmistakable and totally celestial. Jai Gurudeva Datta. I hope some day, I will have inner eyes to see the glory of my Lord and all the small doubts of my silly mind will vanish for good. It is never easy to understand a Datta Guru, unless they choose to reveal their true stature. In that way, I have not been lucky to see beyond the physical dimension. Unfortunately, our eyes can only see the superficial substance. But, I am satisfied with this confirmation that Babaji has appeared again to touch me and love me. My life is fulfilled. One more thing which you may already know. There were no sweets in our shop yesterday. We had taken everything for the marriage. What you bought had appeared miraculously which my granddaughter does not know. What she gave you happened there just because of the will of our Gurudeva. It was a miracle for sure. That way, what Panduranga consumed before his death were no ordinary sweets. They were celestial sweets. Such is the love of our tradition which provides for us to the minutest detail. All we need are eyes to see and a non-judgmental mind at all times”.

When he said that Rama Shastri had tears in his eyes. Glory be to Lord Datta and His many avatars.

Soul is one. Manifestations are many. When soul manifests in many, normal eyes will see it as many. This is the illusion that binds us and makes us suffer. This is the ignorance that stands as a tall wall between us and the supreme brahma. One soul manifests through all beings because each body helps a different experience.

Take care of the sick, the old, the abused and the abandoned of all species. This will elevate your awareness. Let there be no gender and species differentiation in your mind. Lack of differentiation means Freedom!

Soul is one. Manifestations are many.

Soul is one. Manifestations are many.


Love Unlimited to All of You
M

Sai and “I” – Shirdi Sai Baba

Sai and “I”
There is nothing apart from Sai. I cannot be separate from Sai. You cannot be separate from Sai either. Sai is pure consciousness. Sai cannot be contained in a form, any form.
I must write this from the angle of an ordinary humble devotee of Bhagawan Shree Shirdi Sai Baba. Baba is an avatar. We mere mortals cannot ever understand the consciousness of such a powerful entity. He is beyond time and space. He gives experience to every true devotee of his, day and night, if the devotee is open to receive it. Most of the time, a miracle is prevented only by lack of faith. Baba is available for any devotee around the clock. But, mostly, people call him only when they need something. This is a sad misuse or under utilization of a great avatar. Inner purity is all you need for materializing miracles. Inner emptiness is all it takes for filling the essence of Sai, the Sai consciousness, into our vessel of existence.
Sai is pure consciousness and cannot be contained in any form, any form. Omniscent, omnipotent and omnipresent.

Sai is pure consciousness and cannot be contained in any one form. Omniscient,  omnipotent and omnipresent.

It was towards the end of 2004 when I had left my job in Iraq and was back in India literally cooling my heels which were quite worn out due to extreme situations that I had faced from almost 1998. I was invited for an interview on the subject of Spirituality and Management. This is way before the meditations came to me and I became known as Mohanji. Those days, I was more recognized in the field of management. The video was shot at a beach in India. And the filming began from the door step of a Sai Temple, close to the beach. That time, even though I had heard the name Sai Baba, I did not quite know anything about Baba, who He was, or where He was or even where Shirdi is. It is my habit to bow down and pay respects to the idols or pictures of any spiritual masters irrespective of religious barriers. That way, I bowed down and touched the feet of the big idol of Baba before I started the interview.
That was the turning point of my life. Soon after the filming, I visited Mumbai. When I visited a book shop, I found myself asking for a Sai Satcharitha. I did not know why I asked for this book. It was not a conscious, pre-planned purchase. Two weeks after I bought the story of Sai, I reached Shirdi. This was indeed His grace, His call.
My first step into the Samadhi Mandir is still like a dream. When we arrived, the night arathi was about to begin. This was in 2004 and the crowd was far less than now. I was not aware of the rituals of Shirdi nor had I heard the Sai Arathi until then. The bells were ringing and I was told the temple will close for public after the night poojas. I ran and reached the samadhi mandir. The arathi had begun. I sat down, looking at the captivating, beautiful statue of Sai.
"Sai, all these people came for your blessings. Please bless everyone!"

“Sai, all these people came for your blessings. Please bless everyone!”

It was like a home coming! I felt totally at home, as if I was there always or at least many times in the past. My body started to have a mild tremor. Goose bumps erupted all over. I felt wave after wave of soothing, mild energy flowing over me and into me. I slipped into a trance. Thoughts vanished. Mind became blank. Just one thought appeared in my mind as a prayer. In my mind I said “Baba, all these people have come for your blessing. Please bless everyone”. I could not ask for anything else.
Almost a month later, I came back to Mumbai. A group of people decided to set up a logistic company in Dubai and they asked me to join in as its CEO. The meeting was set in Mumbai. I was living with my parents in India at that time and had not taken up any job after I left the job in Iraq. I had some savings. But, since Ammucare charity activities gained momentum during my stay in India, my entire savings drained rapidly. I was determined to continue with the charity activities, even if I had to work hard more. Almost all that I ever earned, was spent on charity. Fortunately, since I did not have much expenses of my own, since personal requirements were less, it was easier.
I did not have sufficient money to take the flight and arrange a stay in Mumbai. One of the investing partners knew about this and arranged that. I arrived to Mumbai and they received me at the airport. The friend who arranged my travel and stay had arrived from Bahrain. He had changed his foreign currency and was carrying the Indian rupees in a packet. It was inconvenient for him to carry it in hand. So, he asked me if he could put that in my cabin bag. I handed over my bag to him, which contained my passport, a cheque for Rs.100,000/- which I owed to a property dealer, plus my clothes and the Sai Satcharitha. He kept his money on top of everything and we went to a suitable location to sit down and have the preliminary discussion.
We arrived at a hotel, almost 30 minutes away from the airport. We sat in the lounge and had our preliminary discussion. Since I had to meet other people, I left early. My friend who carried my bag promised to deliver the bag, later in the evening because we were staying at the same place. He left with my bag. He told me, he hired a taxi from the road, kept the bag in the boot, reached the destination, forgot the bag in the car and reached his room. He did not remember the face of the taxi driver as he was sitting in the back seat, nor did he notice the number of the car. He called me and told about this incident. It was a bizarre situation. A real test. My passport and everything else lost. It will take some time before we could make another travel document. In the night, we met for dinner. All were perturbed as my travel to Dubai depended on my passport and my passport is lost. Our plan reached a spontaneous snag. But, the place where we sat and discussed, there was a statue of Sai Baba and I felt that he is looking at me and smiling in a meaningful way. It could be a sign that I should not take up this employment? That was indeed the reason which came out true as one of the partners spoiled the broth and the group eventually got scattered. Anyways, that is besides the point.
After dinner, I thought of calling a friend who is a psychic, not because of the lost bag, but one of the group members wanted to talk to him. He asked me “You seem to be perturbed a bit. What is the problem?” I said “Yeah. I lost my bag”. “Is there a picture book of Bhagawan Sai in it?” He asked. I said “Yes. I have Sai Satcharitha in it”. He said “Don’t worry. Sai will bring it back to you”. I thought, ‘Where will I find the taxi in a colossal concrete quagmire like Mumbai? The taxi driver does not know me, nor do we know the taxi driver. How can we file a complaint with the police station without any details?’
Finally, at midnight, all of us decided to go back to the hotel where we sat and discussed first, when we arrived from the airport. My friend had taken the cab  from outside that hotel. But, then again, the cab did not belong to the hotel. As expected, the receptionist was blank when we asked if anyone had delivered a bag there. We came out, quite dejected. As we came to the gate, the watchman of the hotel asked “Sir, is there no room?” I said “We did not come here for the room. We lost our bag. We came in search of it”. He asked “what is the color and make of your bag?” I explained the details. He replied “Sir, please see if this is your bag!” He produced my bag from his cabin! We opened and looked inside hoping that we have lost nothing. Everything was intact! And on top of everything was the Sai Satcharitha! In fact the Sai Satcharitha was kept at the very bottom of the bag. Who put it on top, above the money? Baba’s grace is indeed above all material wealth. Quite symbolic indeed. This was Baba’s way of conveying who the wire puller was! He had orchestrated the show. Imagine, if the car driver had not checked the boot of his car! Imagine if he had not delivered the bag at this hotel itself! There are many hotels on both sides of the road. How did he bring the bag to this hotel itself! So many probabilities and questions. Once again, Baba proved his presence in my life in the most emphatic way.
Baba's grace is indeed above all material wealth. He orchestrates the show. He is the wirepuller of all events.

Baba’s grace is indeed above all material wealth. He orchestrates the show. He is the wire puller of all events.

Evolution happens in body, mind, intellect and even spiritual stature of an individual each moment. Each one has the potential to transform overnight. So, when we say we know this person or that person, be careful. The person with the level of awareness that you thought you knew would have transformed into a totally different individual overnight. Hence, we must consider each person as totally different each day. This would also take care of most of our agonies related to expectations. This is the truth of existence.
I have been in corporate world for too long and too much. I have worked from a sales executive to the General Manager, Country Manager and CEO in corporate business for close to 24 years in the Middle East. I always had a problem in dealing with treacherous individuals, those who lie, cheat and make everyone’s life miserable. I always believed in truthfulness and straight-forwardness. Many times, I entered into traps of treachery and somehow got out of it without many wounds. This also is true with relationships. Falling in is easy, falling out is painful. The snares of terrestrial relationships have always been difficult for me to handle – being connected to the truthful relationships with the higher. This is also why I could easily see through the core of pseudo spiritualists and could run away from them as fast as I could. I would like to attribute all the effective escapes to the grace of Sai Baba. He has been looking after the formation years of my life and even now. Formation years are times of extreme vulnerability. When you cross over, since visibility is much better, the vulnerability is much lesser, even though the possibility cannot be completely discounted. Often, I found it better to play dumb and totally ignorant in egoistic groups where the pseudo intellectual discussions had no aim and value except pampering someone’s ego. Here, the hand of a higher master becomes very helpful. And Baba is always available to help and guide any sincere devotee. But, who goes to him for the highest?! Most go to Him seeking terrestrial favors! This is the tragedy of human existence. We do not know what we need and what to seek. We do not know what we are and where we are going! We cannot understand a true master from a pseudo master. We worship the priest instead of the God. We think that material richness can make us happy. With material richness, many become spiritually weak. They become mere watchmen of their own wealth and shun even God, developing insecurities of losing the matter! Matter has validity and specific longevity; ignorance makes us crave for permanence. Contamination of existence is nothing else. Great masters of high repute were ridiculed time and again. Those with pomposity and higher visibility were respected. Money became the criterion for respect even in the terrestrial spiritual world. People respect those who spoke well and not those who existed in silence. Again, the higher the noise, the better the acceptance. All masters who existed in silence found it difficult to “speak”. The same was with Baba. Hence Baba was also ridiculed by many during his physical times.
I always wonder about the state of people who steal others’ wealth and possessions and live without any qualms. I have also seen many people who refused to re-pay or pay back their debts, suffering huge losses in life. Many such matters of human existence including cheating, stealing, hoarding, killing, harming helpless beings, victimization – including production of meat, affected me and compelled me from detaching myself from these aspects of the world. What can a super subtle man who only knew to love do in a gross world of in-sensitiveness and deceit? But, as if to test and transform, I was put back into the commercial world, either due to lack of money or due to compulsion from friends which I could not deny. Many times I declared myself as a misfit in the commercial world even though the organizations that I managed achieved good success. I felt that my vulnerability – being in subtlety was increasing day by day.
Many times in between, I left employment and went through situations of no money, no shelter and no food. All these strengthened my faith in God. I never complained. I found the deeper purpose of heating the iron into melting point and also beating it when most vulnerable. A powerful spiritual sword was taking shape. Will of steel probably needed tough hammering indeed to become! During those times of test, even relatives stay away and criticize  So, indirectly, it helped me to shed all expectations from everyone. It also helped me to stand on my own feet especially during crisis and also it removed the fears of having to walk alone. The will was perhaps more from the side of God than this puny, highly perishable individual, I suppose. 🙂 I realized that the capacity for people to see the truth is limited to their senses and predominantly mind. The highest is probably the intellect – the analyzing capacity. These faculties could only deliver relative truths and not real truth. I wanted nothing except the real truth. And I was willing to give anything for that. Nothing else satisfied me. Hence, when I started conducting meditation programs, I used to dedicate them to Baba and use His name as the source. People who could not understand my reason behind this action blamed me of trying to become another “Baba” or claiming that I am Him. Then, in one of the communions, Baba asked me to stop the dedication and use my own name. A saint also said, during the same time “You will be known in your own name.” I attribute this message also to Bhagawan. I would like to believe that He orchestrated everything so that nothing remains mine and I can enjoy my emptiness to the fullest.
It was through Baba that I also came into the roots of the Datta tradition. I also understood the relevance of my gothra when I became aware of the Datta path. This body is born in Bharadwaja Gothra. The same gothra (clan) of almost all the Datta Avatars. I again felt the hands of Baba for putting this soul in this Gothra. Bhagawan Datta, Shiva, Babaji, and Shirdi Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba are all one. I cannot see any difference in them. In fact I cannot see any difference in anyone.
Mohanji (1)
I shall conclude this with one more incident which provoked a real shift in my consciousness. I was working as the General Manager of a Logistic Company in Dubai in 2006. I had to attend a conference in Mumbai. Since I had to fly to Mumbai, I decided to also visit Shirdi – quickly before the conference and come back to Mumbai in time for the conference. While waiting for the flight, I thought of calling a friend of mine in India who has psychic abilities. It was late at night. When he picked up my call he smiled and said “Another trip! Eternal journey continues.” I also laughed at the truth in his joke. He asked “This time to see the God?” I said “yes, going to Shirdi as well”. He said “expect a big and life changing miracle. This conference is organized by Him to get you there to give you something precious. He knows that you have no money in your pocket, O man of charity!, with this conference, your company will pay.” I laughed at his good-hearted tease.
When such a thought is put in your mind, that would dominate our thought process. This happened to me too. I started looking for miracles. I had hired a cab to take me from Mumbai airport to Shirdi and bring me back. When I reached Shirdi, after the darshan at Samadhi Mandir, I always like to sit and meditate at Dwarakamai. I love Dwarakamai. It feels like old times always even though I would not want to think about me in another body and my connection with Baba while in that body, if at all. Baba always warns “The urge to know the past in order to re-inforce the present is a clear sign of insecurity. No true devotee should have that. If the past has to be revealed, it will be”. I also wanted to offer some quality materials to the Dhuni of Baba inside Dwarakamai. I requested the taxi driver to get me some good material for the fire place, and waited outside Dwarakamai. When he brought the materials, we went inside. The entry and exit were demarcated and guards watched both the doors. Once entered, one has to keep moving. Crowd was huge. I decided that I will not be able to sit inside and meditate in this trip, which made me a bit sad. We offered the materials to the fire and started to come out. The driver of cab was behind me. As I moved closer to the door, an old man came through the exit entrance with a child, grabbed my hand over my biceps and commanded “Sar idhar rakho” (Put your head here) and pointed at a small pillar. Baba used to sit leaning against that pillar when he used to live in Dwarakamai. I spontaneously obeyed. I was already in a thoughtless state. I knelt down and touched my head on the pillar and got up. There were many people behind me, in the queue. I was worried that the guards will shove us out. But, none seemed to notice the incident. Even the cab driver went past me. Then I got up. The old man patted on my back and said “Abhi Jao” (Go now). I obeyed without thinking. I came out and was a bit disturbed because I could not sit and meditate in Dwarakamai. Nevertheless, we started on our return journey to Mumbai and I called my psychic friend. As soon as he got my call, he asked “So, Bhagawan came and met you! Isn’t it a BIG Miracle?”. You could imagine my situation. “Oh my God. In that confusion, I forgot about the miracle and also did not think it would be Baba himself. He also had a child with him and then I realized that it was Ammu, my daughter whom I lost in 2000 in a tragic road accident. I did not look at the child at all. So many people and confusions and the setting was well made by Baba to avoid all my distractions and thoughts! I told my friend “Oh, I should not touch His feet”. He said “Oh you did. When you touched your head on the pillar at His command, you have touched the feet of the tradition. Good enough. Go on now. Life will never be the same again.”
Further to this, I have had many experiences and many of my followers also had many experiences, which I would presume that they themselves would narrate and share with you, if they liked to do so. I cannot and should not do that on their behalf.  I would like to conclude this humble narration with my most humble prostrations at the Lotus feet of the Great Avatar Sai Baba. I can write a book about Him. I have done three blogs about Him and no words can ever explain Him.
I would also like to thank Swami Govindananda of Himalayas who gave me a picture of Baba from his altar and said “Mohan, Sai Baba lives in your third eye”.  And to Bala Sai who delivered Baba’s message to me to return back to India and His promise that He will live with me! I consider this as a priceless message and confirmation. Sai temple will come up in Datta Tapovan if He so wills. The late Sri Balachandran, while coming back after Darsan at Shirdi and while entering his car, a man came and delivered a heavy packet and said “This is for the Sai temple that will be built. Sai sent this for you”. He turned to offer some money to the messenger of Baba, he had already vanished. He opened the packet and saw that they were marble feet of Baba. We were getting ready to build a Sai temple at Ammucare village site in Kerala. Due to financial deficiency, it did not happen. Now, most probably, the feet of Baba will decorate Datta Tapovan. http://www.dattatapovan.com
My humble prostrations at the feet of the grand Datta Tradition and the glorious gothra of Sage Bharadwaja to which I am lucky to belong.
My only prayer to Baba is “Bless All, Baba, for all are seeking your grace, knowingly or unknowingly.”
Aum Sai Ram
M
There is no existence apart from Sai. Sai Protect All the beings who walk on Earth. AUM SAI RAM.

There is no existence apart from Sai. Sai Protect All the beings who walk on Earth. AUM SAI RAM.

A Siddha of Himalayas and A Farmer’s Son

A Siddha of Himalayas and A Farmer’s Son

Mohanji - A Siddha from Himalayas blog

“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”

Encounter With An Ageless Saint of Himalayas – Part 3

You Gave This Life. You Gave This Breath! This Life Belongs to YOU. I do Not Exist. Only You Exist, My Supreme Lord…

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.

The Only Path Possible – is the Path Ahead of us…

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.

Elements are Essential for Earthly Existence, Yet, Elevation in Awareness Creates a Shift in Needs.

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

Tradition Merges all Oceans of the Universe into Perfect Harmony and Unity in Existence…

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.

Tradition Brought Systems for Liberation. Systems often bound ignorant humans…

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.

May Every Action be Flowers offered at the feet of Gurus representing the tradition. May our Lives be complete…..

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 7 PM. 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.

Cow represents the selflessness of Motherhood. We respect all beings that serves us. We express gratitude towards every being…

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.)

“I come from the place where Great Oceans Merge. I came empty handed. I will return empty handed. All I have, I give you”…

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!

Lord Dattatreya – The Adi Guru – Tradition Eternally Flows…

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.”

Lord Krishna created Nine Narayanas from His own Infinite State, Lord Dattatreya evolved it, The whole universe nurtured it… The tradition is all encompassing…

“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.

Tradition Never Leaves the Hand of the True Seeker. Gurus transcend Oceans of Existence to be with a True Seeker… This is the promise of the tradition where eligibility is the only factor…

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”.

Feminine is Divine and Fluid. Feminine is the Power behind Creation and Sustenance. Where ever Feminine is respected Harmony Existed...

Feminine is Divine and Fluid. Feminine is the Power behind Creation and Sustenance. Where ever Feminine is Respected, Harmony Prevailed…

“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.

All the Great Masters of the Great Universe are of One Consciousness. They work in Perfect harmony at their chosen location, without attachments, in liberated state in its totality and perfection….

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.

In the path of Non-Conformity, Expectations are cut at the root. Images are often destroyed to stay firm in the path of fluidity and liberation…

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.

Remain Blessed.

I Love You Always

M

No Words are Wasted. No Actions are Wasted. Everything bears fruits at some point in time. The Tradition takes care of it…

Encounter with an Ageless Saint of Himalayas – Part 2

The Inevitable Journey to Himalayas

Himalayas - The Abode of everything precious. Destination to many. Life to a lot.

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.

The hot blessing in the cold Himalayas!!! The warm and loving GIFT of GOD... Tapt Kund

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?”

Love Eternally Flows as Guru Tattwa. We need EYES to see its eternal splendor...

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! 🙂

The Whole World is rushing for something. Most do not know where they are going and what they are looking for...

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.”

When mind is conquered, All fears disappear...

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”

The Land of Gods. The cradle of Spirituality...HIMALAYAS

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!!!”

At times, situations strangle us and leave us helpless. Our souls continue to seek liberation...

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.

We dearly Love Our Pets....sometimes a bit too much that we want to eat them!!! How Selfish We ARE!!!

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.

Mother Sheds her tears through time and space... Her tears still flow...

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…

Re-inventing ourselves is always good, as changes are inevitable. Often, we have to re-invent ourselves to make ourselves heard too!!!

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.

Hunger of her children drives any mother to her very limits...

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.

Tolerance and co-existence makes life worthwhile. Love transcends everything...

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.

For Every Mother, her child is the most precious. Not only for humans. It is the same for all beings. Before killing the child of any being - humans, animals or birds, please remember the unforgivable agony of its loving mother...

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.

Mother and Child - An Unconditional Relationship, past comparisons...

In the Mad World of Pretensions, Who reckons the tears of Helplessness of a poor boy? If we cannot see the tears of our fellow beings, how can we ever see the invisible God???

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!!!

Life Eternally Flows. Who has understood it in its completeness? Who has understood its 360 degree dimensions?

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

M

There is nothing to "gain". Empty handed we came, empty handed we leave. We cannot "own" anything. All the competition of this world is a product of ignorance. Total Ignorance!!

Encounter With An Ageless Saint of Himalayas – Part 1

An Ultimate Destination for Many… A Great Shrine.

This is a true story. Both the travelers who experienced this, have left their bodies now. This happened on August 23rd,1970. Two brahmins (priestly class in India) in their early 50s from the banks of river Nila in Kerala, went for a pilgrimage to Himalayas. After visiting many shrines, they reached Badrinath. When they arrived, it was afternoon and the temple was closed after the mid day poojas. They were quite tired after the long journey. They were hungry too. The high altitude, less oxygen, lack of food and general fatigue related to long journey made them feel quite sick. Since there was at least four hours for the temple to open, a guard, recognizing them to be of priestly class, guided the weary travelers to the house of the chief priest of Badrinath temple, which was quite nearby. When they arrived at the priest’s house, he had already completed his lunch and was about to have his afternoon siesta. Still, he welcomed them and asked them where they had come from. They explained about their journey in brief and told the priest that they intend to stay in Badrinath for a week. The priest asked them if he can be of any assistance to them. They said that they are fine and, should they need any assistance, they would certainly contact him. They got up to depart allowing the priest to take some rest. They were feeling reluctant to tell the priest that they were both hungry and tired.

As they reached the door of the priest’s house, he called them back and said “There is an old saint, who belongs to your home town living nearby. Would you be interested to meet him?” Since there was nothing else to do, and no restaurants were open for them to find a basic meal, they decided to spend the time with the saint until the temple opens for worship. They said “yes” and the priest requested one of the guards to take them to the saint. The guard took them to the banks of river Alakananda.  Badrinath is nearly 12,000 feet above sea level in the mighty Himalayas. It is usually very cold and mostly covered by thick white blanket of snow during winter. The visitors were shivering despite their winter protection. It was as if what ever protection they had, was insufficient to protect them from the freezing weather.

Enchanting Mountains and the River of Life. Man’s Journey and Destination.

As they crossed the bridge across Alakananda, the guard looked down at the flowing river and said “There he is!!”. They saw a lean old man, just in his loin cloth, bathing in the river. They could not believe what they saw. It was impossible to bathe in the river in that temperature. The water was surely freezing cold, considering the atmospheric temperature. They reached the other side of the river and waited. The saint completed his bath and ablutions and came to where they were standing. It did not appear that he was affected by the cold breeze or the weather conditions at all. He was walking over stones in the water, as if walking on a bed of roses, bare footed!! As he approached them, the guard told him in Hindi, that that they were sent by the priest of the temple to meet him and that they are from the same place as he was. (Saints usually have nothing to do with their poorvashram or their abode before embracing sannyas or renunciation)The saint smiled and beckoned them to come near him. He wore only a loin cloth, which was totally drenched in icy water. He had a stick in his hand and a kamandalu (a small pot that saints use) which was filled with water from the river. He looked at them. His eyes were sharp and penetrating. He looked very old; at least about 100 years! White flowing hair and white beard. Yet, his eyes were shining and young. The guard took their leave. The saint started walking and asked them to follow him. They reached a small hut. The saint entered, asked them to enter and be seated. They sat on the floor. But, surprisingly, the floor was warm! The saint looked at them again, and said “Are you thirsty?” They both said “Yes”. He gave them a few drops of water from his pot and asked them to drink. They thought that this is some kind of initiation or purification. But, as soon as they drank those few drops of water, they felt something shifting in them. They no more felt cold and thirsty. Then he asked “Are you hungry too?” They said they are hungry as they had no food for many hours. He smiled and again gave them a few drops of water each. They drank it. Suddenly, they felt their stomach was full with food. This surprised them to no limits. Even though a saint  whom they had previously met,taught them a manthra to conquer thirst and hunger, it has not been very effective for these seekers.

Mind races after changes and speed in spirituality. True Spirituality stays eluded.

They both said “Bhagawan, you have effectively conquered the need for consumption of food and water. Now, you have demonstrated your siddhis to us too. Tell me, who are you? You belong to the same place where we have come from, but,what is the purpose of our meeting? Why did we meet? We are both so curious to know about you.”

The saint laughed. He said “I believe you have been chanting certain manthras to control the urge for food. What happened?” Why could you not control your mind through your practices?

They knew that he can see everything and nothing can be hidden from him. They said “Yes, We have been chanting “Kanta Koope, Kshud, Pipasi, Nivrithi”, focusing on our vishuddha chakra. But, mind was wandering and we could not gain much progress. The saint laughed again. He said “If you walk up the Himalayas step by step, your body will certainly get accustomed to the changing oxygen levels and the weather situation at each level. Why are all of you trying to speed up in your powered vehicles, when every matter needs its time to settle down into your system? Everything needs duration and space to give the maximum benefit! Everything needs time. Unfortunately, all are in mad rush, chasing, searching for something which they do not even know! How can you achieve spiritual progress? Patience, flexibility, adaptability, acceptance, determination, dedication to one single path of your choice, and consistency to follow it against all odds, are extremely necessary for success in spiritual pursuit. Most people change their guru, rather than changing their mind set.” He started laughing at his own joke.

They understood that he was referring to their impatience in spiritual journey. They have been meeting many saints and sages trying to speed up their spiritual sadhana, while totally ignoring the key aspect which was their capacity and eligibility for higher stuff! They have not been concentrating on developing this important aspect, instead, were following their shifting mind, to touch the feet of many saints, expecting quicker elevation without any hard work, along with or without the removal of their internal trash of lifetimes!!! Since their capacity and eligibility did not grow with the same pace of their travel, they could not gain much progress. Most manthras or sadhanas (spiritual practices) that they picked up at various points, did not give them much progress either. They had met many saints in the past. But, this old saint truly fascinated them.

True Spirituality is obvious to the inner eye, but invisible to the mind always…

They asked ” Swami, how can we progress further?”

Swami said “Drop what you know. You are carrying heavy burden of indigested knowledge and age old samskaaras.”

“Swami, what can we drop?

Swami said “Everything. All that you really need will be yours anyway. You “need” nothing. All that you think that you have, you actually do not have. It will all wither away sooner or later. All that you give away, you will always have. Spirituality never ends with one incarnation of the soul. It continues through time and space, as long as it should. You are covering yourself more than necessary. Shed your coverings. Do not hide yourself. And do not hide your real face. Be bold to be yourself. You will experience reality. When clothes become an addiction, we become unnatural.

They paused to digest the hidden meaning behind the saint’s answer and asked: “Swami, who will protect us from this cold and tamasic ignorance?”

Swami asked “Existence. Are you feeling cold now?”  They realized that they were not feeling any physical cold. Swami continued: “Who is protecting you from cold now? The same existence will protect you from tamas and ignorance too. You are definitely not the doer.”

More luggage is more discomfort. Less Luggage makes the transit easier…

They contemplated on those words for a while and still feeling terribly insecure about future,said “Swami, We feel afraid to shed anything at all.”

Swami laughed aloud and said; “If you are afraid, go home. You are just infants. You need protection. Spirituality is not your cup of tea. You need more maturity to earn spirituality. Fear has no meaning here. Fear cannot exist here.” Swami paused for a while and continued “You are hiding your fears within your clothing. Escapism is the opposite of spirituality. The two cannot co exist.”

Swami looked at one of the two, straight into his eyes, and said: “Family is becoming thinner and thinner. No offsprings. Conducted many poojas and rituals to earn a child. Everything in vain. “Kaala Sarpa Dosha” (severe curse of snake gods)!!! (Traditionally, brahmins have worshiped snake gods along with many other deities. Almost every family used to have a temple for snakes in their yard. With the formation of nuclear families, as people became “irreligious”, or grossly ignorant of reasons behind the patterns of worship, worships abruptly stopped. The negative effects of this lack of connectivity started appearing in families in the form of unnatural deaths, lack of children, lack of marriage and many relationship issues. Family deities were part of every family at one time. They were invoked and installed by ancestors of that family, to protect them, their families, property and riches, with the promise that they would be honored and respected by them and their family members at all times. These deities were handed down through generations. For understanding’s sake, they can be compared to invited guests. They did not appear by themselves, they were brought by the ancestors for protection and grace.  When the further generations stopped honoring them and taking care of them, it was like dishonoring your invited guests and even insulting them, by removing their bed and space. This is still affecting many families.)

Snakes represented wisdom and protection.

He asked: “But Swami, what is the reason for “sarpa dosha” or the curse of the snakes?”

Swami said: “Ingratitude, my son. Snakes on earth are of two types. Earthly snakes which are gross and predominantly tamasic, and divine entities in the form of snakes, which they took for agility and isolation’s sake. You will never mess with a snake, right?. That is why they chose that form. Well, mankind has been closely associated with the higher entities, who exist in the form of snakes. We have co existed with them for a long time. We used to respect them and worship them. They have their own realm, sphere of existence or loka. They have come here out of compassion for us, the ignorant ones. They contributed a lot of understanding and awareness to the mankind.They brought us to higher awareness and showed us the dimensions of the supreme father in three aspects, such as “Srishti” or creation, “Stithi” or preservation and “Samhara” or dissolution. They introduced us to the power and force behind these three aspects of our existence. They introduced us to the trinity. They showed us the path of higher spirituality. They also protected us, as they protect and support the Lords that they introduced to us. We gave them a special place in our garden, close to the nature which they always loved, with the promise that we will not disturb their peace and they will bless us with a good life. Later, our next generations went back on our promises and destroyed the noble snakes and their abodes. We cheated them and killed them. We destroyed their abodes and built our houses on them.We started to suffer their pain and agony in our lives, in our families. The golden rule that whenever we hurt someone through thoughts, words or action, in fact we are hurting ourselves. We do get hurt more with the violence that we did unleash for that, deeply within our consciousness and life. This is called “sarpa dosha”.  We have systematically abused and destroyed all beings who showed us the true path and quite sadly, have consistently glorified those who are just glitter to our eyes!!!. Higher Snakes represent the protection and presence of divinity on earth. Lord Vishnu rests on Anantha the serpent. Shiva has snakes as his garland. When the ocean of milk was churned for “amruth”, the celestial nectar, Vasuki, the snake was used instead of a rope. No celestial rope could have equaled Vasuki’s strength!. Snake represents both the kundalini shakti that lies dormant in every human as three and a half coils, as well as the movement of the sun and moon nadis up towards the crown chakra. They represent flexibility and ascension. Snakes have an important role in our spirituality. They brought us the highest wisdom and performed the duty of protectors.  The usual signs of sarpa dosha are childlessness or lesser children, divorce of no marriage and problems in marital relationship.We need to respect them. Continued ingratitude will pull us down further.”

We peacefully co-existed once. Fear springs out of treachery and ingratitude too.

One of the brahmins asked “Swamiji, you belong to the same place that we have come from. Do you have any relatives there?

Swami thought for a while and said “No relatives. But, I used to have some friends. Perhaps you know them.” Swami narrated the names of a few people and their family names. Their families were known to the visitors. When they scratched their heads to decide who the people whom swami mentioned were, they realized that these people have left their bodies a few centuries ago and their fourth or fifth generation were currently alive in the families that Swamiji had mentioned. They were shocked to realize that Swami is at least 400 years old!

They told the saint “Swamiji, these people who were your friends are no more now. Their fourth or fifth generation is our contemporary”. Swami thought for a while and said “Well, I am an old man. Sometime, I forget the speed with which time moves. I am glad their families still exist”. He mentioned it so casually, as if his longevity is no big deal at all!!.The visitors could not believe all this and continued to stare at the swami while mixed emotions swayed their mind.

Swami asked “You are brahmins, isn’t it time for your “Sandhya Vandan?” (Evening Worship that Brahmins perform)

They looked at each other. They have not been following the brahminic rituals sincerely. They were sure that the swami was referring to their insincerity in adherence to the dharma of their inheritance. Swami said “Being born in a brahmin family is equal to marrying dharma by choice, beyond one’s individual karma. You, as brahmins have inherited the satwic dharma of serving the society, imparting knowledge and elevating the consciousness of the society. By shedding your own path, by not following your own path, which path will you follow?  “Swadharma” or one’s own dharma is very important for everyone. Dharma is as important as karma. Never forget that. Brahminism should be nurtured through purity of thought, word and action as well as selflessness and non-violence in all aspects. By being born in a brahmin family or sporting a sacred thread will not make you a true “brahmin”. Live as one, to its fullest.”

There was deep silence. The saint said. “Go now. Take bath and worship Lord Badrinath. Come back tomorrow and we shall talk again”. They reluctantly got up and left the saint. Their mind was filled with utter dismay and amazement. They did not feel any cold, hunger or thirst and felt completely rejuvenated. They did not feel any tiredness or fatigue anymore.

Who was this amazing saint? Where did he come from? Many questions welled in their mind. They decided to come back to know more…

Love You, My Beloveds

M

What else can we say, more than what has been said already? Many mouths through time spoke the same eternal truth always…