Flight was late. I reached Delhi from London on 25th of July. Heavy traffic. It took literally ages to reach Gurgaon. I had to attend a short program before leaving for the airport again. I quickly brushed and washed up. Since there was no time for any food, I “gobbled” a special South Indian coffee made by Phaneendar’s mother and went for the program. I quickly completed the program and rushed to the airport to catch the flight to Bangalore. This was an unannounced trip. I and a companion. Only two of us. We are going to see Avadhoota Nadananda. He had beckoned me to come and meet him as soon as I come back to India. He was resting after his most important trip to Mookambika, Kollur; the place that made and moulded Avadhoota Nadananda.
It started raining. Bangalore choked. Traffic blocked. It took us literally 5 hours to reach his abode. The previous morning, his leg slipped while getting out of his car resulting in a slipped disc. Hence, we kept coaxing him over the phone to have his meal and take rest. But he wouldn’t listen. He wanted to wait. The love of a Guru, mother, father, friend, companion, protector – all in one. The divine fragrance of true love! The master was waiting! The master always waits patiently!
A kind of guilt for making him wait dawned in me. As soon as it came, it disappeared. “What have I got to do with it? Neither me nor Guruji are responsible for the rain and traffic blocks. We are just witnesses of the divine play. Just witnesses!”
Finally, we arrived at the doorstep of the abode of Avadhoota Nadananda. There was not even a drop of time to waste. I was more concerned of Guruji refraining from food because of the delay the rain caused us. I went upstairs, guided by Sri. Mohan Gaaru. As soon as Avadhoota Nadananda saw me, deep and genuine happiness dawned on his face. I prostrated at his feet. I held his feet in eternal reverence. His feet are the feet of the Divine Mother and the eternal Guru Mandala. He said “Get up, Mohanji”. I got up and he got up too, even though his face was grimacing in excruciating pain due to the slipped disc. He repeated with overwhelming happiness, “Mohanji has come back to me.” He held my hands, hugged me, and kept repeating, “You have come back to me! Welcome back. I am going to give you everything that I have. If I did not do that, all that I have would have gone wasted. You are the most eligible one to receive from me.”
Every word he spoke hit me deep in my heart. I felt that he was already changing my software to receive the absolute in its complete grandeur. This was also in reply to an earlier mail from me to him, seeking his opinion on my intention to withdraw from public life for a while and court silence and practice. He had not replied. And these words that he spoke made me understand that the question that I asked was totally invalid and the Guru Mandala has already decided my future. All I have to do is to just flow. I have nothing to claim as my own including the things that we see and experience such as the body, mind and intellect. I am an empty bottle. He said “All the masters who you met have gone one by one. Soon I will go too. But I will not go before I give you everything. I will keep all my promises and fulfill the expectations of the Guru Mandala.”
I asked him “Guruji, why am I meeting these masters including you, at their last stage of walk on earth?” He replied “Nobody has left you. Nor will I leave you. They are meeting you, to take their work forward, which you are performing selflessly. You are guiding people the way we all want. All those whom you met, left with peace and satisfaction that the work that they had started will continue through you and you will never have a personal agenda. Purity and innocence are the strengths. The world may not understand this. We do. The Guru Mandala does. And we are with you, behind you and will never abandon you or let you suffer.” He added, “You are meeting them during their last stages because you are here to merge and continue traditions. And the masters never owned anything anyway.” This gave me clarity.
The faces of Vittal Babaji, Baba Ganeshananda Giri, and Vasudevan Swami, flashed through my mind. Now, here was Avadhoota Nadananda explaining the tapestry of my existence. Everything makes sense in a way, but when I imagine the weight of the responsibility, I wondered, can this perishable flesh see it through? If yes, how long? Guruji added “The sign of a true disciple is the lack of WHY in their mind. Never ask WHY or HOW. You shall be given everything and more you need for carrying out the journey to a wonderful completion. I shall keep my promises. I shall be with you every step, even if I do not have a body. The Guru mandala will be with you. Divine Mother will be with you. Our supreme guru Lord Dattatreya will be with you.” Thundering assurances! I never asked WHY ever. I only accepted with a bowed head the will of the supreme always.
Suddenly he asked me how my journey was and if I was tired after my overnight travel from London, this trip, without any rest, the tedium of road trip, so on and so forth. I was overwhelmed by the sight and touch of Guruji, I had no pain, fatigue or jet lag. There was no time for jet lag. I have come home. He walked with us to the door, sat us down and he himself started feeding us. His love was overflowing. It was palpable and every bit was a shower of blessing. A torrential rain of blessings was flowing down on me and my companion right from the palpable portals of the Guru Mandala through the hands of Avadhoota Nadananda.
After the food, we briefly talked about the proposed ceremony to be held on October 10th. He asked me to invite people close to me because this would be one of the most auspicious functions for me and also the last function that he intended to perform in this lifetime. He talked with firmness, determination and extreme conviction. He said “This title is not my decision. This title is not your expectation either. This has been ordered by the order of Guru Mandala. I am delivering it to you on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami. This is not an ordinary day, ordinary title or ordinary function. You will never be the same again. I will step down. You will climb up.” I felt a bit sad “Guruji, I understand, appreciate and honor the decision of Guru Mandala. I am not even asking if I am eligible because I have learned to accept what comes my way with utmost humility and surrender. But, why should you step down? And where am I climbing to?”
Guruji explained, again in a very serious and no-nonsense tone – soaked with love. “I have been crying to find someone eligible to hand over. I have been waiting for the permission to withdraw from public life. Guru Mandala told me “You can get off the saddle”. I asked again, “What next?” They just said “You are free to step down now.” They relieved me from all my responsibilities. I have to step down. Since a few decades, I have been walking this tedious path literally with blood in my mouth and 5th stage cancer which I had taken over from a woman who was dying. Now I am 76. This body is tired. I cannot move on like this anymore. I need to withdraw from public life, go back to myself and merge with the supreme consciousness. I shall be in isolation.
It was late at night. We decided to sleep. I literally had a long day. After a weekend retreat in London, I had hopped into the first possible flight to Delhi via Dubai and, after a function at Gurgaon, had come off to Bangalore. I had no sleep whatsoever. But, I was not tired either. Anyways, we decided to call it a day.
Dawn of 26th July. After I brushed washed and prayed, I walked to Guruji’s room. Guruji had decided to make a special dish for me. Sister Sujata told me that Guruji has been preparing for my arrival since days and was showing so much excitement, as would a mother or father would show when their son comes home after a long absence. Guruji himself went out and bought vegetables to cook dishes for me and insisted on serving me. Affection without barriers! Totally sincere and unconditional, overflowing love of a true master.
He said “I am not your guru.” I was perplexed. I did not understand what he meant. “I sign off your mails as “brotherly”. Why? I do not want to have any barrier between us, not even that of a guru and disciple. I am like your elder brother. I come to you. You need not come to me. You need not take any effort anymore. You have already come to me, come back to me. Now it is my turn. I come towards you running, just like my guru came running to me and took over my life and destiny. Just be available. Just be there.” So many things are happening already inside. I decided to just surrender and keep quiet. He asked “You have some barrier with me, haven’t you?” I said “No Guruji. I have respect. Only respect for you.” He said “Love. Love is enough. I feel you are my younger brother, even though you call me as Guruji. Let us not have any barrier”.
“Do you know who came and accepted the dakshina that I had handed over to you at Shirdi?” I said “I understand Guruji, he comes from Guru Mandala. He is my gateway to the ultimate reality.” Guruji said “He is the one who took me there. He is the one who guided me. He is eternal.” (I am not permitted to reveal the name here even though Guruji said the name in front of all those who were listening. If Guruji permits, I shall mention the name at a future date.”)
He asked “Are you not going to write a blog?” I said “No Guruji. Let me keep this sacred meeting and discussions away from the eyes of skeptical minds. There have been some complaints about the last blog that, what I wrote is not true.” Guruji said “I approved your blog. In that case, we are collaborating with each other to mislead the people? HA HA HA.” He laughed aloud and continued. “Whenever truth is conveyed, the insecure and guilty people will say that we are scaring them. This is good. Truth must be told. You need not worry. The Guru Mandala is talking through you. Every word, every matter we convey. You have my approval. Go on, write it.” Even though it was on his instruction that I started writing, I developed some doubts again. “How much can I disclose?” He said “As much as the world needs to know. There is nothing to hide. Those who manipulate the minds of people will call the absolute truth as untruth and will sell their own version of partial truth. Let us not care about it.”
I never went after powers or titles. I never tried to display anything out of natural. What comes to us is meant for us. Never ask why and why not. Both are absurd.
He said “The function of 10th is very important. It will be life-changing for you and for me. Your family members should join us.” He personally invited my family members on phone one by one. He was coughing and was visibly looking weak and tired. But he was as enthusiastic as a teenager. He said “I do not touch money. I do not use money. When people give money, I use it for serving the needy. I do not have a bank account. But, you are different. You have a family and you have their responsibility. You must live like a regular householder. You have to lead a different lifestyle than me. Do not imitate a master. Accept his teachings wholeheartedly.”
He told a story “One master was walking with 4 disciples. They became thirsty. There was no water. Suddenly they saw an alcohol shop. The master went in and drank four bottles of palm liquor and walked out. Seeing this, the disciples also did the same. Nothing happened to the master. The disciples became drunk. They walked further. They felt hungry. A few yards ahead, they saw a metal melting unit. The red-hot melted metal was oozing out of the opening. The master took it in his hands and swallowed it. Nothing happened to him. The disciples were unable to do that. The moral is, the master could possibly perform the unbelievable. Looking at that, the disciple should not attempt such feats. They should become masters before they attempt such things. Sister Sujata also mentioned that even though Guruji is going for treatment, in X ray and Scans, no ailments are visible while he is suffering from 5th stage cancer. This is intriguing the doctors. Guruji said, “when our 7 chakras are activated and we operate in superconscious realms, body is equal to sookshma (subtle). When cosmic energy is fully activated in our system, any kind of artificial energies such as medicines or machines will never work or get nullified. Medical science will not understand that.”
Guruji explained the things to do about the service that Manav Seva Samiti and Ammucare are doing together at various locations. He reiterated on two major things – BEING PRACTICAL and BEING RELEVANT.( Activities relevant to each location, people and their needs) He mentioned that charity should not be for name-sake. We should never have superiority complex. We should deliver what is relevant. We should not delay. We should perform before time because our promises affect somebody positively or negatively. When promises are not kept, it affects relationships. And we should focus more on empowering than feeding so much to create dependency. We should hold their hands as long as needed and allow them to be free. Humility is the right attitude of a karma yogi. He urged all to perform more activities and never allow the system to slow down because of individual ennui. He asked me to keep an eye when he goes on silence and help as much as I can. He was happy with the current team leaders and members. He said activity should always be relevant to the location and situation. There is no point in providing soap where there is no water. Give water first – then soap.
He sounded mentally prepared to withdraw and also told that his original plan of the title ceremony in December had to be brought to October because of his deteriorating health conditions. And he reiterated that it is a big occasion. He said “I do not speak anything. It is Guru Mandala speaking through me. Those who connect to this body called Nadananda will suffer with delusion. Those who connect to the universe beneath the form will reach the highest. Those who need nothing will get everything. Those who need everything can never be satisfied by anybody”. “Everything is in an atom. The potential for the whole universe is stored in an atom. And atom is all that we are.”
The day vanished as a carnival. Old friend Lakshmi and Natesh Mahadevan spiced up the day with their presence. It is difficult to write here everything that Guruji said to me. He also mentioned about a few rituals during the ceremony as well as transfer of spiritual energy. Anyways, he would remember more than me because he knows better.
I opened the curtain of my room at Hotel Jivanta, a fresh new hotel in Shirdi. Probably I am the first guest in that room. I am here for the inauguration of Madhuban Restaurant as well as Ahimsa Vegan Restaurant. Dawn is breaking. I am late to rise. I was late to go to bed as well because we arrived quite late and checked in late. That is definitely not an excuse to wake up late. In fact, no excuses are allowed in our path. Whatever the time to bed is, rising and shining should match up with the eternal SUN. The phone was beeping. I opened the Pandora’s Box. Opening the phone in the morning is not a good idea. Time vanishes in front of sundry messages from across the world. Suddenly I remembered the words of Sai Baba, “I am single. I have no family of my own. I have no relatives or so called friends. I have no wife or children. I have no possessions, money or houses. I have nothing to guard from thieves. Yet, Maya tests me and lures me time and again.” So, what about those who have everything that is mentioned above? Being a truly spiritual householder is not a small matter, especially if you have something to do in the world around you. Most people may not understand this truth and demand more and more from you.
In a short while, after my morning chores, I was ready for the external world. A beep materialised from my phone. A boy from the West wrote, “Mohanji, you said every Vishwamitra will have to face their quota of Menakas in life before perpetual attainment. Please explain”. I decided to answer that before I walked across to the neighbouring room where Avadhoota Nadananda was staying. I replied “One has to exhaust all his karmic entanglements before he becomes full and complete. Menaka represents the lures of terrestrial existence and not necessarily a female. Everything must come and go. Everything must happen. Whatever has to happen in one lifetime will happen at its appointed time. This is the play of duality of a terrestrial existence. There is no good and bad in this. Rise and fall are part of life. There is no pride in rising or disappointment in falling. Watch both with clarity and equanimity. Watch the show by being the projector. Every Vishwamitra will have his set of Menakas to go through, the associated happiness as well as sorrows.”
Most of the things of life cannot be avoided. When you choose only to give love under all circumstances, we will have to face and tackle multiple phases and faces of dualities of existence, all the mirages of life. The struggle between what you love to do and what you have to do. In the spiritual journey, it is nothing but what you have to do ignoring completely what you love to do which has zero value as it is always from the choreographed mind. With these morning thoughts in my mind, eager to see Avadhoota Nadananda – a saint without any pretensions, I walked towards his door.
People had already assembled on the floor around him. He was sitting with his back towards the window. When I entered, people moved aside to accommodate my entry. Guruji – as everyone affectionately calls him – beckoned me “Welcome Mohanji”. He is humble, simple, straight and extremely, palpably loving. His love is unmistakable. I kneeled down to him in respect and got up to hug him. Hugging him is merging into him. His energy is motherly. Strict and severe when needed and totally loving and selfless otherwise. He has zero tolerance towards someone who betrays his guru or tradition. He reacts with the intensity of Mother Durga towards those who cheat, steal, betray or do things unethical in life. He is simple and an epitome of pure love towards those who are suffering and helpless in the world. He loves his disciples like a mother. He sings and dances even though he suffers from 5th stage lung cancer. Nobody will even doubt that his body is in so much pain even though his mind has no suffering. The whole life is a sacrifice for him, often towards the undeserving. He never displays his state of body or his consciousness but never lets a good visitor go empty handed from his grace. But, if one tries to be over smart and try to outsmart him or lie to him, that person will lose even whatever he has. His energy matches a teenager. He takes rest only a few hours every day and keeps working for the welfare of the poor and helpless. He protects his disciples. He says “Even if I leave this body, I shall be on earth and will work as I do now, without change for the next 300 years. I will be as tangible as I am now”.
Scriptures say that if one betrays his own guru or disowns him, they will have to take numerous births starting from the lowliest of wombs before he gets back to a human birth. In other words, he has to repeat the cycle of evolution completely through about 845,0000 wombs, before he takes another human birth. Lord Vishnu tells Sage Narada “If someone abuses me or my name, I pardon them. If someone abuses his guru or his name, even if the Guru pardons him, I will not”. We can see this aspect in display in Avadhoota Nadananda. One person approached him for initiation. He asked him whether he has obtained initiation from anyone else. He said that he has received initiation from four different masters before he came to him. Avadhoota Nadananda became furious. He asked him to leave his presence immediately. He said, “One who cannot respect his own guru has no place in my world”.
In this context, a bit of flashback…
It was the beginning of March 2016. I was about to embark on my tour of the western countries and South Africa. A hectic schedule was awaiting me. And before the tour there were other programs in India as well. Guruji asked me to come for the inauguration of Ugadi at Kurnool. His call is a command. Myself and a close associate went to Kurnool for a day. While a few of us were sitting down with Guruji and chatting various things, a dog came there. Guruji displayed deep affection towards the dog. He “introduced” the dog to me as well. I patted him and he seemed very happy in our company. Guruji said “Mohanji, his name is Sudhir in this life. In his last life, he was Sudhirananda. He had taken vow of renunciation. But, he failed in his loyalty to his practices and his loyalty to his guru and became a dog in this life. He met me again and I will redeem his human form in his next life.” It may sound like a fairy tale. But, I have seen many such incidents of the state of Yoga Brashta (fallen from grace) in my short existence in the spiritual realms of this incarnation. The key reason for that is the betrayal of one’s guru. A guru need not be a guru who initiated us to any path or practice. It could be even one person or personality who we consider as our guru even in the mind. Once we consider anyone as our guru, even once, we should pay respects and honour his name and form. If we fail to do so, due to whatever reason, we may slip down in the path of evolution of consciousness. It is through various births in various wombs that we have attained a human birth. And it takes various human birth to evolve into the state of “animal – human” to “human – human”. It usually takes many further births to become “god – human”. Hence, we must never judge, criticise, scandalise or betray anybody let alone one’s own Guru, even if the guru is good, bad or ugly. (The book Bhagawatham explains this in detail) Take your time to accept someone as your guru. Take lot of time. Once accepted, keep the devotion steady and stable. This was the fundamental lesson Sudhir, the dog is giving to the world every day, by just being present in this world as an example of fall from grace.
Interestingly, when Guruji was introducing the dog to me, even though many people were around us nobody saw this event or took pictures of it. This I came to know when I was looking for pictures of this incident. Nobody remembers it. I spoke to Guruji and he said everyone cannot see certain levels of subtleties. This incident was real and this meeting had a deeper subtle meaning and hence no one else saw this. He also mentioned that everything is atom oriented. It is possible to increase and decrease density as well as change form at will when one changes his operating level from the mental to spiritual substratum.
I stated this here so that the reader could understand the consciousness of an avadhoota, who never tolerates injustice towards others even though many might have committed injustice towards him. We very well know that many have committed injustice to him through his brilliant autobiography.
Avadhoota Nadananda briefed about the service projects that he is doing along with Ammucare and he said that he is pleased and happy to be associated with Ammucare. This brightened the face of Sakshi who was listening to our conversation along with others. She has been leading Ammucare since the last 4 years and in 2016 Ammucare has started contributing within its capacity towards some of the projects of Guruji. Every organisation has its limitations. The requirement always remains larger than the means. This is the case of more or less every legitimate charity organisations.
Guruji’s autobiographical works will be published internationally in the name of Autobiography of an Avadhoota. An agreement was signed between myself, on behalf of Mohanji Foundation,Rameshji on behalf of Ashraya Trust, verified and approved by Avadhoota Nadananda himself. This book will soon be released globally in print, digital and audio version through Mohanji Foundations globally. I believe that a taste of true spirituality should reach the hands of every seeker of truth. This book is an honest and straightforward account of an incredible and often impossible journey a man of determination undertook against all odds and attained what was probably unimaginable in one lifetime. This is a no-nonsense book. I believe this book has the power and ability to awaken the truth in every reader just like the Autobiography of a Yogi did in the world from 1950s onwards. This would be a modern day classic.
Before we embarked on the Shirdi trip while speaking to Guruji, he told me “Mohanji, you and I alone should walk the streets of Shirdi. Can you give me some time for that?” I said “Guruji, your wish is my command. Do consider it as done.” Hence, soon after breakfast, me and Guruji started walking towards the temple of Sai Baba, Dwarakamai and the Samadhi Mandir. He said “We shall not go into the Samadhi Mandir. Those who must meet us will meet us here in the streets.” We walked seemingly aimlessly, but, I presume Guruji had a particular purpose in taking me alone through the sacred streets of Shirdi. While walking together, he said “Mohanji, see how many thousands of people are eating their food in Sai Baba’s name today. How many shops, restaurants, hospitals and schools get their sustenance in Sai Baba’s name! While Sai Baba was in His body, he hardly had any food to eat. Hardly anybody offered him food or shelter, except perhaps a handful of people. You and I have the same situation today. Today, we may not have sufficient, but tomorrow, so many will thrive in our name. The likes of us receive discrimination and betrayal while living and glorification after death.” Spot On! Guruji uttered a naked truth, perhaps to wake me up to a reality not to expect much understanding from contemporaries while the posterity may understand my existence far better.
I moved into contemplation mode. I was digesting this truth. Like a flash, the people who misunderstood me and left me came to the canvass of my mind. At that moment, some words were transferred into me “Those who left do not deserve you nor do you have anything to give them. Bless them and leave them. Those who stay are for you to give more to. Give them more.” Was it Sai Baba talking or Guruji? How does it matter? Truth is the relevance of message. It was relevant. We were walking past Dwarakamai in silence. Suddenly Guruji spoke “Mohanji, do not worry. I shall never leave your hand. I shall be with you through time. Just continue to do your best irrespective of what the world thinks of you. We shall protect you always. This is a promise!”
Maybe he brought me to the sacred land of Shirdi to deliver this promise from Divine Mother and Gyan Ganj that he represents as its 48th Peethathipathi (pontiff). These words filled my heart. A promise that no forces in the world can break and change! This is also a clear sign of deep connectivity and integration into the tradition of Avadhootas. A clear sign of beingness and being part of the tradition. Tradition invariably comes forth to deliver. There is no need to chase anything in the path of spirituality. He continued “I have decided to confer the title of Brahmarishi to You Mohanji on the most auspicious day of Datta Jayanti. I shall make all arrangements. Be there on the previous day.” I met Avadhoota Nadananda on the previous day of Datta Jayanti in 2015. One year is elapsing. So many things happened within this one year. A title that comes without asking for it, is meant to be. Whatever is given is real. Whatever comes to us is earned, probably through lifetimes. This thought filled my heart with gratefulness. Suddenly another thought happened in the canvas of mind. “I am an ordinary man. I am not learned in rituals, scriptures or philosophies. Am I eligible for a title as grand as this? And that too from the pontiff of Gyan Ganj?” Suddenly without asking, the answer came from Guruji, “You are Brahmarishi. We shall make it official on Datta Jayanti”.
It is impossible to meddle with anyone’s natural karma without your hands getting burned at least to some degree. Not many masters involve in the karma of others. They witness impartially and allow them to complete it naturally, irrespective of suffering or pleasure for their minds. Guruji has interfered quite willingly in serious karmas of people time and again and took it all on his own body. His body has multiple ailments, but, I was told that the medical reports showed NO ailments. He himself told me that he is suffering from fifth stage lung cancer and is vomiting blood every night. But, you will never feel him as a cancer patient as he jokes, chides, sings and dances with us at the age of 75. He makes life a complete joke and rightfully so. Every person who is a healer must remember this. There is NO healing without their karma coming in the way. True masters out of sheer compassion may take it on themselves. We have seen that in the stories of masters such as Sai Baba and many others. Guruji is no exception. This is nothing but overflowing kindness. But the disciples, let alone society may not even understand the size of their work. Many people who have been immensely benefitted often ungratefully shift camps at the drop of a hat. Guruji explained to me how people who he loved and gave everything possible just walked away without any kind of remorse or guilt and even scandalised him, spreading hatred towards him amongst others with paltry reasons.” One day I’m God to them and another day I’m the devil. It doesn’t take much time for insecure people to change their mind because their vonnection is conditional.” I told him that I have experienced the same time and again in my life too. We still keep giving.
When he was talking about betrayals by closest people who were loved dearly and were given all what we could, he had tears in his eyes. I asked him, “Guruji, should we feel this way? Should we feel at all, when people betray our trust and even leave us for that matter?” He said “Remember, we have taken a human body. Hence feel as a human would.” Every experience should be felt to the core but we should have nothing to do with it. That means, feel, experience and move on without a stain of the past. When we came out of the satsang with Guruji, one companion asked “Mohanji, you know these things. I have heard you talk about levels of attachment and detachment. Why did you pose this question to Guruji? Were you testing him?”. I said “Never. I respect him. I never test any master, let alone a master of Guruji’s stature. Remember, whenever I go in front of a master, I am a total disciple. Empty to the core. I have no stature of my own except as a disciple or a seeker of truth. When I deliver satsangs, I assume a different stature, that of a teacher or a guide. We must never go to any teacher with a filled up cup. We should go with a totally empty cup and zero ego. We should forget about what we know or what we are and surrender completely and absorb their gifts like a sponge with humility and gratefulness.”
While walking in Shirdi with Avadhoota Nadananda, he talked about the attitude of service. Most people who help in charity do it as a favour. We should become both the giver and the receiver. We should hold no ego while delivering and instead, should feel grateful that we were useful in this incarnation for this world in some way.
We sat in the verandah inside the Shirdi complex. He said “There is no need to stand in queue, push and pull and have darshan of Baba. Those who we have to meet will come to meet us.” We sat for a short while. He expressed his deep satisfaction about the association between his organisation and Ammucare. He said that before he met me, he was doing this work practically alone and now he feels good to have the association of myself and Ammucare. I felt happy that he is happy with us.
Suddenly, he got up and said “Come Mohanji. Let us walk. Are you tired or fed up of this old man?” I said “Guruji, this is my privilege and honour. I shall never be tired of you. I am grateful for what you are delivering to me during this personal journey. I may not even understand what you have delivered inside me or how you have changed my software. But, one thing is sure. This is an extraordinary journey. You and I. This is no coincidence and also, I believe there is a very deep meaning to this communion, which I am sure I will recognise or understand in the years to come. It feels like a fairy tale. Our meeting, the subsequent association as well as the events that lead us to the streets of Shirdi where we are walking together as one Consciousness.” Guruji said “I will never leave your hand. Our relationship is lifetimes old. I will always protect you and empower you to do more in the world. Your selflessness attracts me. You will never have any problems in life. We shall make sure of that. Those who have left you or betrayed your trust should not be worried about. They lost you. Do not think about those who have gone. They could not understand you. You lost nothing. They lost you forever. Those who see only our terrestrial side will completely miss the consciousness and the tradition that we represent. Understand that they did not possess the eligibility to walk the Golden Path of Lord Datta to the ultimate end. You are not responsible for that. Relax and do more for the world. I shall be with you all through. This is a promise.”
We stopped at the temples of Lords Shiva, Shani and Ganesha inside the Shirdi temple complex. We saw one lean man with matted hair standing looking at the entrance of the Lord Shani temple. Guruji said “Here he is. He is the one who was waiting for us.” He took out a Rs100/- currency which was wrapped up in his cloth around his waist and asked me “Give it to him”. I took the money and walked towards him and when I reached, he turned and looked at me. He looked like a wandering saint with matted hair and sparkling eyes. Looked like a Nath Sadhu. I gave him the money. He received it and bowed down to me. We walked on. Soon we left the temple.
While walking back, Guruji again said “Did you see how many thousands of people are having their daily bread in the name of Sai Baba today. While in his body, he wandered if not begged for food. Same is the situation for all of us. While in the body, people do not recognise us. After leaving, they will come to our shrine.” I said “Guruji, most people who come here are coming to beg for something and not to thank Sai Baba for taking birth on this soil and guiding millions. If he begged for food during his time, most of these people are begging for something from him 100 years after he left the body.” He nodded and laughed at the irony of life. He said “Sai Baba was the 37th pontiff of Gyan Ganj. I am the 48th. Now I am not well. It is time for me to remove this mantle. I am waiting for orders. The power of this incarnation will remain and multiply for 300 years after leaving the physical form. Same with Sai Baba. Same with me.” I was reminded of the statement of Ganeshananda Giri, “I wanted to leave my body in Shirdi. But Sai Baba said “Go to Chennai and leave your body there. You will “LIVE” there”. Hence I am going to South soon.” He told this when we met him in Shirdi in December 2015. Such saints who walk on earth do not have any personal agenda. They are just obeying orders of the divine.
The function that we came for, the inauguration of Madhuban Restaurant in Shirdi along with the Ahimsa Vegan Restaurant, was successfully completed with Guruji guiding the whole program tagged along by Sulakhe Maharaj and myself. He blessed the venture and all of us. This is the short summary of a memorable trip to Shirdi in the month of June 2016.
Aum Sai Ram
P.S. The above text is read and approved by Avadhoota Nadananda himself before publication. He said “Everything is perfect. Change NOTHING.”
Mohanji probes further. What is the reality of the human condition? Is it possible to determine spiritual stature? What is the connection between the Guru Principle and the evolution of consciousness? A timeless tradition revisited through contemporary controversy. Mohanji leads us beyond mind, ego, and time-space limitations, beyond scandals which contaminate the inner space, to a clearer understanding of the grand merger of all paths into divine unity.
Stature of a saint
We create our realities. Whatever we fear will appear in our lives. Whatever we love can also be ours, if the intensity is right. Yet, what we fear has a better chance of manifesting in our lives because mind nurtures the negative more than the positive. This only pertains to human beings because our acceptance level of reality and life is much lesser than the beings of other species. So, if we have experienced certain realities in our life which did not lead us to a happy state, it is because of such trapped fears and insecurities or stored negative emotions. We should not blame others for our predicament, if we understand how the law of karma works. Moreover, most people cannot change or evolve into the higher in one lifetime. Metamorphosis is a process. It takes lifetimes of trials and errors to finally catch the ultimate truth from a quagmire of relative truths.
Look at the total population of the world. Let us take 7 Billion people and try to classify them for understanding’s sake. Please understand that this classification is generic and there could be exceptions and mixtures. We look at people in terms of their orientation, such as physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and beyond everything. There could be physical, physical-emotional, emotional-intellectual etc. Hence, please consider this generic dissection only as a guideline to understand a point.
At least 35% of the people of the world are “physical” oriented. They indulge in physical, sensory gratification and lead a life of momentary pleasures.
Another 30% live in the emotional plane. They are more inclined to emotional gratification, gossip, sleaze, anxieties, fears so on and so forth. They live with their mind, totally controlled by the mind. These are the people who are hooked to soap operas which churn out nothing but emotions and related suffering. These people always make room for gossips and emotional negativity. They always react to life and call themselves victims of circumstances. They are more prone to psychological disorders.
About 20% of the total population lives in the intellectual plane. Their gratification is through their intellect. They do not have much to do with physical or emotional gratification. The so-called intellectuals such as thinkers, planners, strategists, scientists and all other intellectuals fit into this category. They consume knowledge, as well many other intellectual methods of self-gratification. They usually feel much superior than the other categories, ignorant of the fact that the concepts that they are consuming are binding them eternally. Many of them are self-centered and even cut off from the society. Many of them do not care for other beings pain or suffering. Many churn out theories using their brain which pushes development, but not always real progress. Most creations adds material comforts at the cost of alienation from the nature which directly affect every aspects of immunity that protects physical and psychological existence on earth. Many of the medicines and gadgets that man made have harmed man-kind. Many creations of man has destroyed the earth. Many of them are non-productive too. They just live in their own cloisters.
About 10% can be considered as spiritual. They are exploring spirituality and this interests them a lot. But, they are still only exploring. Many become escapists in the name of spirituality. Many fall into depression mode and either withdraw or repeat the same thing over and over again, without much benefit to themselves or others. Many do not know what they are looking for and of course, where to find it. Many fall into traps of rituals, predatory religions and cults.
The remaining 5% actually attain the highest, beyond the duality of existence. The rest fall either backwards or forwards. All the physical, emotional as well as intellectual members are also exploring the unknown through spirituality. But, they have limitations. In the case of the physical, it would be transactional worships for the sake of some benefit from God, with complete non-understanding. Most of the “physical” people queue up in front of temples and at the doorsteps of astrologers to pacify their insecurities. Emotion oriented people will either have blind faith rooted in devotion or follow others blindly. Emotion clarified is devotion, which can take one to the ultimate merger. Very few attain the capacity for total surrender and acceptance of everything that happens in their life with total willingness, endurance and non-resistance as the gift of God. This level is achieved through higher awareness, which is achieved by constant contemplation on the energy that runs our system which is also called – GOD. The power of all the great saints have been this surrender and acceptance with no doubts about themselves, their path, their guru and their destination. This is not easy to come to. The intellectual path is even more difficult because those on that path need reasoning for everything, which slows them down tremendously. They would face duality much more than anybody. Doubts and analysis plague them often. Acceptance would be lesser in them. They try to understand the workings of the subtle through their gross intellect. This is as tedious as making a camel cross through the eye of a needle. The spiritual types have actually crossed over many barriers such as the physical, emotional and intellectual walls. And they are determined to cross over to the realms of the subtle. But, they also could be controlled by their egos and sense of achievement, just like their cousins of other categories. Ego lurks in every state. It appears and disappears without calling. Ego is a permanent ingredient of human existence. Thus, out of the 10% spiritually inclined, 5% actually attain the highest. Thus is the case of the spiritual journey. It is not easy. All paths are good. All paths run parallel to the same destination. So, there is no need to worry whether a path is right or wrong or whether a guru is good or bad. All that liberates you time and again is good for you. All that liberates you from each level and leaves you liberated is good for you. Anything that binds you is bad for you, irrespective of whether it is a person, a place, a situation or an action. You are born free and should die free. Terrestrial existence is temporary. You cannot be bound here. Body is borrowed from the earth for the sake of experiencing earth just like you hire a rent-a-car when you go to a new city to travel through the city and do your errands. In our case, the soul has borrowed this body for this journey on earth. Karma is the agenda for the journey. Senses, mind, ego and intellect are the operating tools or navigation guides. Body must be given back when the job is over. So, living a liberated existence here and now is very important. Wasting time on the bed-time stories of other people has no value in our journey. All have such stories. There is darkness in every corridor. There is good and bad in everyone. Only those who have never sinned have the eligibility to throw stones. And those who have never sinned will never throw stones either, because they know very well that throwing stones at anything or anybody will pull them down for sure and one karmic being has no right to judge another.
I read that Amma herself responded to the criticisms against herself and her organization. She said three things in a very polite and matter-of-fact language:
Many children come to me with many expectations, large expectations. When these are not fulfilled, they turn around and criticize or scandalize. Children should not become angry like this. Anger is definitely a weakness. It is negative and can pull a person to the depths of negativity. Patience is strength. Children should exercise patience and not negative emotions.
Amma is an open book. Our ashram is also an open book. Any financial transaction happening here is recorded and filed with the government. Anyone who has a doubt can verify it anytime.
I never call people or ask people for favors. I have never asked anyone to come to me and serve me. All have come voluntarily. In the same way, all have the freedom to leave too. Why do you complain?
This shows the stature of Amma. Absolutely calm amidst a storm! This shows the stature of the individual. Totally unaffected and unperturbed! This also means that she is innocent. If there was any speck of pollution, anxiety or fear, it would have been visible. She is not a politician to mask all crimes with expertise and still go to people and ask for electing them to power again, as if nothing ever happened. The calm declares her purity.
Again, it would be a grave mistake to assess the stature of a saint by the yardsticks of his or her disciples. Usually, very few disciples could rise up to the stature of their master to receive the mantle from him or her. They will all be operating in different levels of consciousness. So, never measure the stature of a guru by looking at his disciples. Guru has accomplished the highest. Disciples are with the guru because they are aspiring to reach the state of their guru, if not the stature. So, they cannot be considered the same. State can be bought with money. Stature has to be earned. Stature is a state that cannot be bought. It takes a lot of efforts to become totally detached. When a person is totally detached, whether he drinks alcohol or smokes (like Shankar Maharaj, Shirdi Sai Baba), sleeps with women or visits brothels, it does not make any difference in their still state of mind. Stillness can never be disturbed by an activity once the saint attains it. Common man cannot understand the freedom that stillness of the mind or the mind-less state provides. They judge based on expressions and they fail to touch the real because of their mental blocks. Not being able to touch the real while existing is one of the real tragedies of a terrestrial existence.
Sometimes the saint observes silence amidst the storm of scandals. This is not because of his inability to speak out. This is because he is not pressured to speak. He is objective. He speaks only when he has to. He will not counter anyone’s emotions because he has nothing to do with it. Mind is still. Often, it so happens that the saint foresee the calamity and also use it to shake the tree of their own set up. This could help them shed many a dry leaves which does not help the tree. This will also help shed the tamas (inertia) among their disciples and swing them into positive action. So, silence could be because of foresight and a positive purpose. A scandal always works as a positive filter. It filters away the feeble, unsure or fickle and retains those who are truly connected. Hence a scandal is a good idea as a filter.
True Saints are soft targets in the gross world. They are usually defenseless. Many of those who have money, power, position and contacts gets away with anything. But, there are those to whom money flows because of their sheer stature and subtlety. They will never use their position, power, money or connections to save themselves. They will never manipulate minds. They are selfless. They are immortal while in the body and keeps the body only out of compassion towards their followers. The gross world which cannot see the subtlety of a saint always pumps bullets of scandals into their defenseless lives. The saint loses nothing. He was never bothered about his body anyway. He would just leave the body behind and expand into the ever present super expanded consciousness well beyond the body. The loss is for the world. Every generation has had many soft targets like this through the history of mankind.
The established religions, priests and preachers with acquired knowledge always become terribly insecure about a true saint who is connected to the source. They manipulate minds against the true saint. The saint does nothing to protect himself. He is completely surrendered to the will of the universe, a dharmic existence, almost like a being in the wild. From birth, until death, they are surrendered to the will of the nature. They cannot manipulate, accumulate, store or be greedy. They consume only what is essential for them. Even if there is excess or abundance of anything, it is distributed evenly for the needy. They only know how to give. They give all that they have. It adds up insecurities in the minds of the established priests and religious heads who sow fear to harvest people. Fear conquers minds much more easily than love. It is a very effective tool.They use the people to secure their own future, ensure power and maintain supremacy. A true saint has nothing to do with these. They are crucified, as they are innocent, soft targets. And since sex scandal gets maximum media attention as well as audience, that is the best ammunition against an unarmed saint. If you study the history of most of the scandals, you will see the thread of this phenomenon deeply embedded in every incident.
If expectations are not fulfilled, it leads to anger. Anger leads to need for justification. Justification demands need for companionship or isolation. In order to avoid guilt, people make themselves believe or convince themselves that what they thought, spoke and did was the right thing and they deserve attention from others. They become heavily insecure with their own proposition. Some people (usually of the same feathers) will buy their story and sympathize with them and give them company. Some will avoid them. These are all aspects of the play or maya or relative truth. Truth will always shine forth even if the cloud of doubts obscure the truth temporarily. Be aware of it and stay clear. No true guru who is connected to the source needs anyone or any kind of support. They are in the market place out of compassion for human kind as well as other beings. They are walking reminders for you as to who you really are. They represent the state which is your destination. You need them to be a road sign or a reminder to reach their stature. Be reasonable with yourself. By scandalizing a guru, you are destroying your own chance for the highest. This is because you are destroying the guru principle (guru tattwa) which you carry within yourself. You are free to be with any guru and you are also free to be away from them too. However, let your detachment from the guru arise because of your accomplishment in terms of higher state, not because you have differences in opinions, which is essentially a mind factor. If you want to know the stature of your guru, you need to go beyond your mind. From separation to oneness
It is important to respect every individual at every time, even if the person is harmful to society. If a person is harmful, use the law of the land to deal with it and save the society. We should never judge or condemn another. This will affect us more than the other. When poison for the arrow is manufactured in your house, remember, your house has more poison than what the tip of the arrow carries to others. Your inner space should remain pure. Using that state of purity, observe the contributions delivered by the saint to the world. In the case of Amma, how many people has she touched in this lifetime! How many have been given hope and solace by Amma! How many has been healed! How many people attained fulfillment! How many charity activities! How many acts of kindness! How many beautiful instances of guidance and teachings! This is what we should cherish. This is what we should nurture. We should look at the value of a saint who lives in the society with people in primarily two aspects – A. The clarity in her teachings. B. The charity that she does. In short – THE RELEVANCE! The physical and spiritual relevance. Let us never ignore that.
A request to all those who talk ill about amma or to all the people who talk badly about saints in general, please check how their life has added value to the world! How many people have been benefited! It is easy to live and die in one’s own cubicle of personal agendas, selfish pleasures, ownership, possessiveness, concepts, fears, personal family-ship, happiness and sorrows. When you decide to live your freedom, there is bound to be opposition. Those who cannot walk the path or those who cannot understand the path will certainly create road blocks. Do we have to budge? Do we have to change tracks? Live your own truth and discard the borrowed relative truths. Your experience and your truth has much more value in your life than other’s opinions. If you clearly understand that, it would be a great favor that you would be doing to yourself. In the path of dissolution, in the very end, when the disciple merges with the consciousness of the Guru, every relationship ends. There is no duality to maintain a relationship. There will be no Guru or disciple. But, cutting the relationship before total dissolution, would be a terrible mistake as well as a tragedy for the seeker even though it never affects any guru. In the beginning of the journey, a disciple will only see the superficial differences. It takes a lot of time and effort to see the unity of consciousness. There should be patience, perseverance, conviction and commitment. Otherwise, disciples will get stuck with the superficial. The problem with the superficial is that it only provides comparisons, infatuations and eventual disassociation if not depression. The agony of separation is usually terrible in the beginning. But, as the disciple comes closer and closer to the Guru’s consciousness, beyond the façade of superficial expressions and image, the pain slowly gets converted into bliss. Finally, when the merger of consciousness happens, there is only bliss, oneness. There is no separation, nor the related confusion. So, in the end, even the image, words and expressions will dissolve when you become the Guru’s consciousness. This is what we call totality or complete liberation. Here by the word Guru, I mean one who is connected to the source not one who is imparting acquired knowledge. Be aware of that.
In the beginning of the journey, there are only differences. The mind only recognizes the differences, the comparisons, and the superficial. When the disciple gradually approaches the unity of consciousness, the mind is forced to dissolve. Mind must dissolve to experience unity of consciousness. A struggle happens – often a bitter struggle, a war. Mind brings forth everything that could create alienation. This is a very confusing time. Mind asks you to run away and save yourself. Mind objects to the idea of the merger of consciousness and counters it with your deep-rooted or deep-set fears such as death, destruction, wrong paths, wrong gurus, fears of the unknown, so on and so forth. The real war is between the truth and illusion or between the soul and the mind. Mind likes to keep its comfort zones. Mind likes to keep its identities. Soul wants liberation from the illusory existence. Illusions capture us more than the soul. Soul exists in a liberated state always, which we will only know when we touch or feel the soul. Illusions keep us blinded from the truth. Guru represents the truth. The fears, doubts and illusions that the mind carries immerses the consciousness of the Guru in delusion, by projecting the superficial aspects such as the form and habits of the guru. This is why we discuss more about the superficial aspects of a Guru rather than his or her teachings and guidance. We are looking at the disparities or differences much more than the unity in consciousness. We are more connected to the terrestrial aspects of a living guru, including his wealth, sexuality, attire, mannerisms, etc, rather than the projection of the supreme consciousness or his connection to the source that actually made him Guru material. Masters who are connected to the source, shines. Nobody cloud can permanently take away the glory of the sun!
Why are we so bound by time and differences? It is because we are identifying and operating in time zones and not absoluteness. The body has a duration and that duration is measured in time. Having a body keeps us hooked to time. Hence it is essential to search for and understand the timeless in us. The timeless is our real state. That which is absolute in us is what we are, and not the body which is bound by time. The search begins in the mind and ends in the mind-less state. The very material that we use our mind to explore can only be understood when the mind is absent. This is something which every seeker should understand. Mind is the barrier between man and the absolute. Mind includes ego and intellect too. When we merge with the absolute there is no need for the mind because there is nothing apart from you. You have nothing more to “know” or “understand”. You are that! Tat Twam Asi. So, who is afraid of the singular TRUTH? Who is afraid of truth at all? Your mind. You are not your mind. Be aware of that. Appreciate their love and care
Why do we need the proximity of great saints at all? Why do we crave for it? The reason is that they represent the peace that has been eluding our lives since lifetimes. They represent our original state. They represent what we could be or what we are already, which our mind has hidden from us for so long. If the mind gets connected to a guru either due to infatuation or helplessness, the relationship cannot mature into unity of consciousness. When you are unable to cross the first mile of your road home, how will you ever reach your bed to rest upon? The proximity of the guru should reflect as your inner stillness, peace, strength, resolution, so on and so forth. Usually, a true guru will reflect your own state. Their reflection of anger mirrors your pent up anger; their overflowing love reflects your bottled up or unfulfilled love. They could even reflect your sexuality, hunger and all other personality traits. When the guru operates in unity consciousness, he or she becomes what appears before them, because they have already dissolved their mind and just honestly reflect what you are to yourself! This understanding would help a seeker when they approach a guru, provided they stop measuring their guru using their mind, including ego and intellect. The proximity of great saints is a constant warning, a constant reflection, constant removal of personality traits and also constant burning and churning of blocking negativities that distract one in the path of God. Many people prefer a guru who is not in his/her body because they cannot handle the personality of the living guru or they get terribly disillusioned by the living guru’s personality traits. The dead master is easier because what is in your mind about him is your reality. What he was or what he could have possibly done if alive does not matter anymore. The teachings, often expressed through others and not directly by the master himself, and their personal interpretation can easily provide a comfort zone for the confused seeker. They cannot think of changes within themselves. They would rather change the guru! A living guru eats, drinks, sleeps like any other man. A living guru may wake you up, even rudely, from your pretensions and fears. If this is a problem, I would suggest staying away from a living guru. True gurus are honesty incarnates. They only want the best for their disciples. Often, the disciples are not ready for the best. What you already are, you do not know. Mind has kept you disillusioned. When the mask of mind is removed, you will know what you already are, and the difference between what you ‘thought’ about yourself and what you actually are! Huge difference! Huge awakening! Here, the master is a road sign. He or she just guides as per your path. He never intrudes, yet will slap your hand when you are indulging in anything that prevents your progress in the path, whether your mind likes it or not. Comparing a true master who has dissolved his mind, to that of a seeker operating 100% from his mind is an absolutely wasted exercise.
Hence, spirituality needs acceptance and spontaneity. It needs understanding. In summary, live and let live. If crimes are committed by someone, or by a group, inform the legal authorities. Always exercise restraint and approach everything with caution and not reaction. Respond spontaneously and do not react violently.
All that any saint or master who is connected to the source does is accept support (including monetary) from those who can afford, and then pass it on to cater for those who cannot afford. They are creating a balance in society. They are diluting the imbalance between the rich and the poor. They lead by example. When such a saint’s living time becomes more valuable and they are provided with comforts to maintain them, this is only natural. When their horizon increases and more are benefited by their presence, they will have to do more to make themselves available to the world, irrespective of whether it is a fast car or a private jet. Everything depends on the value they add to the society. It applies to every human being and not only a saint. A CEO of a conglomerate will have to use sophisticated gadgets to run his empire. If a person who runs a small unit envies him and suggests that he should be simpler, it is absolute ignorance. Likewise, money and wealth comes to a saint as per the relevance of the saint to the world. However, they use it to give back more to the world. They hardly use anything for themselves because their terrestrial needs are minimal.This enhances their compassion and makes it more effective. We must appreciate their love and care and not be jealous of their facilities. As per requirements, facilities will happen. It is absolutely right to be a contemporary and use all the contemporary gadgets especially if the mission involves the public or the world. If the saint is sitting in the quiets of a cave or mountain, none of these matters anyway. The contemporary saint may not be even demanding it from anyone. It comes to them, as I had stated earlier. They are the people who could have anything, but needs nothing. They will never be understood in two dimensional class divides such as have’s and have not’s. This is the simple truth of existence.
Amma, from what I have understood, singularly supported almost 30,000 students post tsunami in Japan. She is said to have contributed more than what the UN or anyone did post tsunami in Indonesia. She built 100 crore worth of houses for Tsunami victims in India, which no organization, politician, spiritual leader, political party or government did. She is definitely using her wealth for good causes. Which politician who is hoarding public funds have we heard of doing anything close to what amma has done for the world? Do they share even a tea with a poor person? What are you complaining about? What right does anyone have to complain about Amma? What are you worried about? What are you afraid of? Her sheer stature is attracting people to her. No amount of envy can change that.
Finally, “The good that a man does is interred with his bones. The evil survives his death.” (William Shakespeare Julius Caesar ACT 3 Scene 2) All the good things a man does are easily forgotten. Only the wrongs are spoken about! This is true through time since the history of mankind. We are eternal gossip mongers, one way or the other. This is why we are more interested in Jesus’ sex life than his glorious teachings. This is why we are more interested in the private lives of all the public figures. This is why sleaze sells. We have always been like this. We bury 1000 good things that a man did for the world along with his body and talk about a few follies or acts of frailty through time. I was told that one channel alone used 384 hours to telecast the news when Shankaracharya of Kanchi was arrested. The same channel aired the news of his acquittal for 3 minutes! This is just an example of how negativity sells. Sleaze has it’s evergreen market. Buying into gossips, ignoring our experience is an absolutely useless exercise. Cherish the acts of glory and discard the acts of negativity. If a person is harmful to society, pass him or her on to the hands of law with evidence. There need be no emotions about it. Those who ate salt must drink water. There should not be any compromise. Character assassination is the sign of the weak and is a cowardly act. If there is disagreement, it should be discussed face to face and dissolved in good time, because our inner space should always remain clean and uncontaminated as we walk towards the path of total liberation. It is easy to contaminate the inner space, and difficult to clean it. Beware.
Infinite Love, Unconditionally
Fuelled by the current controversy surrounding Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), Mohanji offers his perspective on this and other episodes of history, urging us to look deeper, beyond the money, sex and power games, beyond the physical, emotional and intellectual illusions of the mind, and to cultivate an awareness of the wisdom behind timeless spiritual traditions such as the Teacher / Guru Essence. This two-part powerful and insightful blog not only serves as yet another wake up call, reminding us that ALL living beings are interconnected and interdependent – but also sheds further light on our paths to liberation, and the attainment of unity consciousness.
Who is afraid of the TRUTH?
We believe that practices take us to perfection. Not always. We have practiced life and living many times over, yet we still remain imperfect! We believe that performing sadhana (spiritual practices) helps us reach God. Doing-ness is bound by time. We believe that reading and acquiring knowledge takes us to perfection. Intellect is bound by time too. Retention has a duration. Memory has limitation. All that we learn from outside may not even become our reality, as we chew much more than we can digest. Anything in us which is bound by time cannot take us to the timeless. Only the timeless within us can merge our consciousness to the timeless. That timeless is the true you. That is your true nature. So, as we start our journey on the path of spirituality, such questions will keep cropping up. Am I on the right path? Am I that or is this the truth? Whatever limits you, including food, clothing, sex, shelter, space, time, relationships, concepts, fears, phobias, terrestrial love, hatred, possessiveness, so on and so forth, is not representing your true nature. Causeless love is definitely an expression of your true nature. Causeless is the real you. Causes are just expressions. Causes are bound by time. Measurable time is expression bound. Measurable expressions are time bound. Thus interconnected they are!
We live in a world of extreme variety. There is a constant tug-of-war between the truth and the untruth, the real and unreal, illusion and reality, the good and the bad, between good and the evil. We watch it played out every day on television channels and in our own minds, when we try to digest the scandalizing truths vomited out by the media, and mostly modified to suit their audience, or whoever pays their bills. The common man is always confused. He is always kept confused. This state in society is needed for the media to stay in business.
What has led me to write all this, are the hours of discussions about a recently released book on Mata Amritananda Mayi Devi which has created quite a storm. I have not read the book, nor have I touched a copy of it. However, since many people have asked me whether I agree or disagree, I have decided to make my position on this very clear.
I look at life objectively, without any emotions. Whenever there is emptiness outside of us, it is just a reflection of the emptiness within us. Inner void and outer void are inter-connected. Yet, to change the outer void, we need to change the inner void. Inner strength is always reflected in our outwardly expressions. This being the case, I look at the history of mankind with amusement. There has always been a struggle between the binding, controlling, law-making side of humans and the liberated, unbound and selfless “truth-sayers”. Time and again, whenever someone spoke the truth, they were scandalized, even crucified, and later philosophies and religions were formed based on their teachings after they were shamelessly assassinated. In short, a true saint was not recognized during his time. It always took the future generations to honor a saint. I can quote many examples. John the Baptist, Jesus, Socrates, even our own Shirdi Sai Baba, Bhagawan Nityananda to name a few. During their time, none of them were truly honored or respected. John the Baptist was beheaded. Jesus was crucified. Socrates was given poison and killed. Shirdi Sai Baba was taken to court for a paltry matter. When Radhakrishna Mayi became pregnant, people accused Baba of being the child’s father. Bhagawan Nityananda was asked by local officials to reveal the source of his income based on complaints by people!(the very people who had been tremendously benefited from him). When the officials threatened to arrest him, Bade Baba (Bhagawan Nithyananda) took them to a pond and told them it was there that he got his money from. When the officials decided that they were being fooled, Bhagawan jumped into the pool and came out with a pot of gold coins, saying his finances came from here. When the officials recognized the stature of Baba, they left. The point is that contemporaries never recognized the stature of any living saint and it always took the next few generations to honor a past saint. Generation after generation, the same habits continue. We scandalize, arrest or kill a saint or anyone who lives and speaks the real truth. There is only one absolute truth – that we are indeed one with God. In other words – Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahma). Those who cannot see beyond relative truth, who identify themselves with limited identities such as their body, mind or intellect and who are proud of their terrestrial stature, have never agreed with any liberated person, living beyond man-made rules.
No generation ever appreciated a living Guru. They only idolized the dead. When we scandalize anyone, someone who does good to society, the world, to people, birds or animals, be aware that we are just following the same old repeated history of intolerance. We are no different from those who crucified Jesus, poisoned Socrates or Osho. We are no different from those who burned people at the stake in Europe. The same people who orchestrated the inquisition, ethnic cleansing, and all the wars and worries of the world. We are the same. We have been seriously concerned more about the private life and specifically the sex life of a public figure, than his message/contribution to the world. We never appreciated the contributions of great people while they were alive, however we did glorify and idolize politicians, who cheated, stole and danced with borrowed feathers (money and talent). The names of streets carry the name of politicians who perhaps even swindled money and manipulated people. No saints are honored even in their own home town. Adi Shankara got no support from the local people of his community to cremate his own mother. Today, we respect him as the master (saint) of the era. The great Sant Jnaneshwar and his brothers and sister were made to starve by the then society. His parents were asked to commit suicide by the people of their time, as repentance for shedding renunciation. All the great masters have endured deep humiliation from their own society. Look into the history, you will know. We have nothing to be proud of. If we can correct ourselves now; well and good. Otherwise, history will repeat itself. It is repeating itself over and over again.
Character assassination is usually a byproduct of jealousy. There is also jealousy in the spiritual circles. The phenomenon of one-upmanship and its associated power struggles are happening in all aspects of the society. The spiritual world, despite the isolation and self-oriented lifestyle, is not immune to the egos of existence. Instead of unification, many so-called spiritual gurus are keener on building walls and dividing people between groups. All spiritual teachers are relevant because they cater to someone in society. We cannot under-estimate any nor can we question their relevance. But, what example should they set to the sundry seekers of the world if it is not peace, harmony and oneness beyond even species barrier? The key aspect of any spiritual path is self-actualization. There are many paths one can choose to achieve that, as per his or her inherent constitution. Who can question that? One is free to choose his or her guru, even though the scriptures declare that the one who appears to you is the right one for you, just like our school classes where the teacher that appeared in one class helped us cross over to the next. The power wars within the spiritual circle, the silly egos and disagreements among spiritual gurus, the extended disagreements of their disciples or in short, a lack of unity is destroying the very fabric of the age old, time-tested principles of sanatana dharma or the basic ground rules of our very existence. Name, fame, money and power are getting to people’s heads. Under the masks of spirituality, crimes are committed. Religions are waging wars even at the cost of destruction of lives. Unless the purpose becomes solely the elevation of the awareness of the masses, unless efforts become unified, unless unity consciousness happens among spiritual gurus, there is no protection, hope or continuity. If all the spiritual teachers stay separated, the whole path of sanatana dharma will decay. Unity for the preservation of the age old tradition of tolerance is important, more than ever, at this juncture of time. Character assassination always has a strategy and profit motive behind it. There is a definite vested interest behind character assassination. If you looked into the minds of the so-called moral police, you would see dark desires lurking behind their seemingly benevolent expressions. There is an agenda being played out. It never affects a real saint. Jesus made his point through the cross that he is beyond the cross and because his conviction shook the conscience and consciousness of generations, Christianity was born. People are waking up to Osho more than ever before, many years after his death. Even people of the time never spared Shirdi Sai Baba when they blamed Baba for Radhakrishna Mayi’s pregnancy! Today, Shirdi Baba temples are in every corner of the world. Character assassination has been attempted towards almost every contemporary saint by the then generation and there is someone’s vested interest in it. Who is afraid here -other saints, other religions, businessmen, regular followers who come with expectations or the politicians of the country? Someone is affected for sure by the overwhelming presence of the saint. Someone is benefited by the character assassination of a popular saint. Truth always wins eventually, even though the history that the world gets to see is not always the absolute truth. It is usually choreographed or the opinion of someone who witnessed it or assessed it. This may not be the absolute truth. It is usually a version of the absolute truth. People usually never get to know the absolute truth. Everyone is fed versions or opinions, under the pretext of truth, by the manipulators of the world, or by those who run the world – the politicians, media moguls, other religious heads so on and so forth.
Truth is given on a platter in the form or an enlightened master and society chooses to crucify him just because the truth became blasphemy to conditioned ears accustomed only to the relative truths! With the body thus destroyed, the consciousness that survived starts to perform without hindrance and this becomes an eye opener to many! Oh My God! We missed a chance! The good man has died. Let us make a religion out of him! This is how masters are missed and religions are made.
Commerce rules the world today. Everything sells. Even spirituality is sold in packets as courses. This is not what we want to discuss here. This is not our cup of tea. This commercial network also is a marriage between businessmen, spiritual persons and politicians. This is a completely different story. I do not even want to comment about it because there is nothing spiritual in it except the name or flavor. Control, power, money and possessions are the norm here. This is totally a terrestrial matter. We can talk about it some other time, if it is worth the breath.
Remember, once again, no saints or avatars were accepted during their time. Almost all are all posthumous celebrities. Jesus was a man of flesh and blood at one time. He ate food and slept. Krishna and Radha were two human beings who existed 5000 years ago. They also ate food, drank water, used toilet and slept. Shirdi Sai Baba, Akkalkot Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Vivekananda, Buddha were all saints who lived in flesh and blood at some point in time. We remember them and revere them with respect today. This is because they added value to our life. We value their time when they add value to our life. We do not consider the time they spent on themselves, even for meditation. It does not matter to us. Value for us is when value is delivered to the world by any saint or philosopher. But, a word of caution here – all that glitters is not gold. There are many fakes in the world. Usually the ones who possess only acquired knowledge but resemble past masters in form, name or title. We can ignore them. They are not connected to the source. True saints are only those who have crossed over and are connected to the source. We are only talking about these here.
Those who are connected to the source lead a completely different life style. Many will be unpredictable to the core. This is because dharma is their guiding factor, not karma. Vyasa impregnated Amba and Ambalika because the dynasty was coming to an end. He also impregnated the maid, the mother of Vidura. Vidura is a son of Vyasa. If it happened today, there would be hours of debates on our channels supporting and criticizing Ved Vyasa. Vyasa, Vasishta, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Ramana Maharshi, Baba and all else knew exactly what they were supposed to do on earth. They never wasted even a moment of their existence on paltry, self-entertaining matters. They did everything for a higher purpose. Relative truth vs. absolute truth
The war is between relative truth and absolute truth. Relative truth is based on faculties of perception and faculties of action that come within a frame called the body. Absolute truth is related to the energy that runs the machine called the body and its associated infrastructure. Relative truths are based on approved methods and patterns. Approved realities and perceptions are those that can also be categorized as morality. Morality is a word that people use when they need to shield themselves. Morality is relative in our society. It changes with generations, time and space. It changes with religions and interpretations too. So, morality is a flexible piece of equipment. Usually, it is used for taking advantage over another by one person or a group of people. Morality is a sensitive tool. It can wreak havoc.
Avadhootas such as John the Baptist, Bhagawan Nithyananda or Sai Baba never cared about this pretentious morality and always reveled in the absolute truth. They went on with their work irrespective of what others thought about them or not. This is a clear sign of a liberated saint. They have no opinion about others nor do they care about others’ opinions. All are karmic beings. There has to be ups and downs in all. This is the variety of existence.
Let us look at the relative truth that propels our life forward. (Well, forward, backward or status quo is debatable). Look at the flip side of the relative truth that we enjoy each day. A politician, a rock star, a film star or a rich man womanizes or abuses drugs, hoards money or accumulates wealth; the whole system comes to their rescue. Even if they are arrested and imprisoned for crimes like stealing public money, they get special preferences in the prisons of the world. Their wealth will buy prestige for them. They get re-elected to power and positions. There are even terrorists and dictators who have massacred people, and yet are honored. (Eg: Polpot of Cambodia who killed more than 2 million children, women and men, died of old age. Even in the last interview with media, he said “I did it for the country” and the world pardoned him!) Men who make ammunitions and weapons that destroy lives are well accepted in society and even considered as protectors or harmless, while someone who tries to do good without consideration for profits or benefits is crucified! Drugs are experimented on humans, prisoners, victims from every species in the name of science and progress.
Human greed has destroyed more than half the forests of the world. Most of the spaces thus made are used for factory farming and human housing. When natural habitats were removed, many species perished. Many species are on the verge of extinction. 7 Billion People are consuming 21 billion birds and animals each year. Half the grain cultivation of the world is used to feed animals for slaughter. 12 pounds of grain can produce one pound of flesh! If 12 pounds of grain were given to one family, that family could survive for a week. One pound of meat is not sufficient for one man for a day! One acre of land can produce 40000 pounds of potatoes, 50,000 pounds of tomatoes and only 250 pounds of meat. What a gross wastage of our resources and environment! Genetically modified food is destroying human species. Naturality is lost. Holocaust is happening every minute. Millions of living beings are slaughtered for food each day across the world. An average factory in a developed nation kills more than 100 cows in an hour! Remember, almost all living beings have an awareness level of a 2 year old human child. They feel love and fear. They feel the pain of separation. They have the ability to love unconditionally. They care for their offspring. Man imprisons them, tortures them and kills them for selfish pleasures. Superiority of race, if there is anything of that sort at all, should be expressed in our ability to express unconditional love and compassion beyond time barriers. It is our ability to express kindness that makes us human. It is our refinement in thoughts, words and action; and not greed and selfishness that truly qualifies us as human! If we can protect and care for other lives, we are worthy of being considered as humans. Otherwise, we are worse than animals, with intelligence but no sensitivity, compassion, kindness or wisdom, let alone awakening. History said “never again” when millions of Jews were slaughtered by Hitler’s militia. Yet, history has seen the same type of crime and gross injustice repeated in Cambodia under Pol Pot when he systematically assassinated men, women and children, during the Nanking Massacre by Japanese military where they made camp fires and burned children alive in front of their mothers in it; and with the killing of countless men and women in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and so many other countries. We still kill thousands of beings, each moment. Is Killing a being of another species considered natural, while killing humans is called murder? Pregnant cows are slaughtered and the calves in their wombs are put inside incinerators. (See my blog on cruelty against animals). This is not punishable by the laws of any country in the world. Where is our sense of justice? Where is justice? When we accept such blatant acts of cruelty, what can we cry for? Crime breeds crime. Insensitivity creates revolution in society. Sexual suppression leads to sexual anarchy. Suppression of anything leads to eventual anarchy. The human mind craves for whatever is denied. This is the nature of the human mind. Every human being walking on earth must focus their attention on things that matter to themselves and the generations to come. They should be concerned about the state of the world today. They should be aware of the destruction that has taken place already and the decay happening each moment. They should know that the world is dying each moment; it is becoming more and more uninhabitable. We are cutting the very branches of the trees that are housing us. In the last 100 years, mankind has destroyed and devastated the earth than ever before since mankind began. Especially in the past 50 years, that is our very time, man kind has consumed the resources of earth much more than ever in the history of mankind. We are on a destruction spree. Totally indiscriminate. Unfortunately, the development in technology is increasing the potential for destruction. Earth has deteriorated to the maximum in the last 100 years. We must be aware of this. We must do something about it. Money
Money is a big deal. This is one of the key issues in the book, as I understand it, against Amma. How does money happen? What attracts money? The answer is simple. Stature attracts wealth. When the person moves from basic gross existence to the subtler aspects of himself, more and grosser get attracted to him or her. The symbol of Ananta Sayana in the Hindu system is a clear sign of this point. Ananta is infinity, the snake which coils as a bed for Maha Vishnu, the preserver of everything to rest upon. Maha Vishnu lies in Yoga Nidra, which is a state of Samadhi, when your consciousness is spread all over the universe and has merged with the universal consciousness, in other words, when you have become the source. In this state, there is no individuality; there is only universality and hence everything that is part of the universe is also part of you. You are the universe. No individual karma. There is only dharma, truthful and unselfish duty in the performance aspect. Lakshmi, the wife of Maha Vishnu sits at His feet. Lakshmi represents wealth and prosperity. In a nutshell, when a person embraces the subtle, wealth is at his feet, or at his disposal. There is purity and legitimacy in this wealth. When a gross person chases gross wealth, it eludes him and often he gets it contaminated. People even sell their souls to earn wealth and suffers through lifetimes. Subtlety of existence is the key for wealth. Subtlety attracts material benefits spontaneously. And by that time, the person who has already embraced the subtle may even have nothing to do with physical wealth. (I believe Amma is in this state. She has nothing to do with wealth. Wealth happens to her spontaneously). They are already in the absolute bliss state of sat (the essence of creation or the essence of the supreme), coming into contact with “chit” (the unit or our substratum which feels and experiences the alienation from the “sat”). The “ananda” or bliss takes place when chit merges with sat, and there is absolute bliss of unity in consciousness. In this state, money or wealth have no value. They come to you spontaneously, because of the simple fact that subtlety always attracts the gross or even wealth.
So, when people talk about Amma hoarding wealth, my opinion is that Amma does not need wealth. She has sufficient wealth inside of her. Real wealth is that which is not visible to human eyes. The wealth of Spiritual bliss! This wealth cannot be conquered. It has got to be earned through the constant shedding of all the identifications that keep blocking the spiritual progress of an individual. Whether Amma has hoarded physical wealth or not, she is obviously truly rich inside. This energy, this wealth, is visible to all, all of the time. She is never tired. And, this inner richness was visible in her calm and composed reply to the scandal to the public. No remorse, no complaints, only love! Emotions and sex
Spurious food leads to contamination of the body and deterioration of health. Spurious emotions will lead to contamination of the mind. The more we acquire such information, store it and energize it, the more it seriously affects our consciousness.
Ignorant people lead a contaminated existence without any knowledge of the levels of contamination they are carrying. Most of what we carry in our minds today is unwanted and insignificant material or trash of the world.
Organs of perception can only see the superficial. They cannot see the third dimension of the individual. And simplicity happens with subtlety. Subtlety brings simplicity. Nothing that the world can ever offer matters to a liberated saint. Then life becomes simple, without the conflicts produced by the mind.
Several political party members and religious leaders have been speaking on television about this matter. Listening to their verbal diarrhea, my thought has been “Those who have not “sinned”, may throw stones at her”. Who has the right to point a finger at Amma? Honestly, I feel that if rape has happened in the ashram, it is important that the victim should immediately bring this to the attention of law makers, police or at least Amma. Forced sex is not acceptable. We have no right though to condemn consensual sex between two adults who indulge in it with full awareness and desire. There is a thick line between the two. One is exploitation, molestation etc while the other is gratification. Every being walking, crawling or flying on earth is bound by food and sex. Nobody can deny that. Food to sustain the body because body is made from elements, and food being a supplement which nourishes the body. Likewise, sexuality sustains the species. No beings on earth other than human beings use food and sex as recreation. Hence, all the rules and regulations pertaining to these two integral aspects of human existence apply only to human beings. If someone who operates in society came to me and said “I have overcome my need for food and I have no sexuality”, I would immediately think – “either he is sick or he is lying”. In spirituality, when chit merges with sat and the person attains states of Samadhi, sexuality and the need for food dissolve. This is a state of bliss. We should not compare that with the mundane existence of an average human being, an ordinary sexual being. Hence, lack of sexuality is something I never buy, when people boast about their detachment. Often, these are the very people who scandalize other people, because what they could not achieve is sour for them in every way and jealousy haunts them. I do not believe that amma is bound by any of the above two. Hours of sitting at one place without food definitely signifies an altered state of consciousness. Who can achieve such feat without no mind state? I cannot buy the idea that amma is a sexual being. She has a human body. In case if she is, then, it is none of our business. She has the right for privacy just like any of us. She has the freedom and eligibility as an Indian citizen to lead her life, within the boundaries of the laws of India.
Again, I insist that forced sex, rape and molestation should be reported to authorities as and when it happens and not 15 years later through a book. This is a big disfavor to fellow saints or sadhus, because if it is true, within 15 years, so many more could have been affected. In this context, please also remember that sexual frustration leads to aggression. Many people who embrace the life of renunciation have arrived there out of tragedies or insecurities and not because of a genuine desire to merge with God. God consciousness is not a choice. It is a state. It has to happen through nullification. It cannot be forced. God realization is a happening. Suppression, oppression or masking of inherent traits never help actualization, on the contrary, it takes one away from the track completely. Even if we are in a market place, or if we are a non-renunciate as per the regular norms, God consciousness can happen at anytime for sure. It does not matter whether you are a family person, whether you are having sex or not. So, when sexuality is suppressed due to the pressure of the robe or renunciation, aggression can happen. Whatever is suppressed will erupt sooner or later. Hence, either obtain gratification at the right time, in the right way, or increase awareness to surpass bodily needs by withdrawing the senses from objects of sensuality. This is easier when a person chooses no contact with any being of its kind. Perfect renunciation! When a saint is constantly inter-acting with the sundry people of society who carry various emotions, fears, desires and perceptions as well as sexuality, it is very likely that control of the senses can become a big problem. Hence I suggest that consensual sex should be fine because it is a choice that the person makes. Non-consensual is definitely unacceptable and should be condemned. Once again, I fail to see why an event is not conveyed as and when it happens. Why does one have to wait all these years, as is the case for the author of the book, to come out with such revelations, 15 years after abandoning Amma’s ashram? There could be a conspiracy. There could be vested interests. This is my reading.
I personally feel that each being that walks on earth deserves to have privacy. It does not matter whether he is a bird, animal or a human being. It does not matter whether he or she is a saint, businessman, celebrity, public figure or a person among 1000s of others. Everyone has a personal constitution, character, needs and desires, apart from the generic ones such as food, sleep, toilet, and sex. I believe that we should allow this privacy to all individuals. Why are we haunting celebrities? Why can’t we accept their teachings instead of their bedroom stories? Bedroom stories never elevate anyone’s consciousness. They only tickle or rather contaminate one’s inner space. The teachings though could be quite elevating and purgatorial. Please have a conscious thought about this. Do not get carried away with scandals or others’ opinions. Just ensure you remain objective at all times. And keep asking the question – “Do we have the right or criticize another at all?”. Certainly, raise your voice against injustice and violence; but, only with first hand confirmation, not because of others words or opinions. We may have tremendous regrets about it in the future.
Recently, some people who came to see me asked my opinion about the life of Jesus. Questions asked included “Did he survive the cross? Did he live the rest of his life in India? Did he have a child with Mary Magdalene?” My answer was straight and simple. “I do not know and I do not care. Jesus’s public life ended with the cross. As far as the world is concerned, there ended his physical relevance. If he lived beyond the crucifixion, it has no value for us, as his public life ended with the cross. His teachings survived through his followers. This is the relevance that he left behind. We need to be concerned only about that. Seekers should concentrate only on the teachings of the guru for their personal growth.We have got Jesus’s teachings through the mouth or interpretation of his disciples, those who walked with him. Nobody told any further stories of his life after his crucifixion or about his further life. We should stick to the relevance of a saint. I look at life in terms of effective years and non-effective years. Effective years are those when the saint was contributing to the world with what he had, the non-effective years (as far as the world is concerned), are the ones which the saint spent for himself. So, if we stick to this method, we shall remain reasonably clear and also pure inside always.” Furthermore, why would I care if Jesus had sex with Mary? How does that help our spiritual growth? I would like to think of it in this way. First of all, it is no big deal as it would have been consensual sex. Secondly, if it happened, it would have been for the sake of fulfillment as unfulfilled desires become fuel for another life. Hence, it would be better to complete and exit from this life. So, before we judge another, we should look within. Thirdly, does this information help us today in anyway? Is it elevating our consciousness at all? Or are we just trying to find excuses for our own fickle desires or character deficiencies? Hence, I would urge the reader to marry the teachings and not the guru. Use the teachings for one’s own higher evolution and not to choose for intellectual comparisons and eventual judgment.
If Lord Krishna was living today, he would have created more scandals than Bhagawad Gitas. 🙂 His relationship with Radha alone is enough. Apparently Radha was already married when Krishna used to visit Barsana, which was a few kilometers away from Vrindavan, under the pretext of grazing cows, to see Radha. Barsana was her husband’s house. Today, we worship Radha and Krishna. We celebrate their romance. His legitimate wives such as Rukmini and Satyabhama are not worshipped as much as Radha. When we can accept this, why then are we so fascinated about a holy mother’s private life? I am confident that a saint of Amma’s stature is well beyond all the needs of the body. It is obvious. But, society loves scandals, especially sex scandals. Why are sex scandals so important and how do they sell so much? Because of generations of sex starvation and pseudo morality. In a sex starved world controlled by pseudo morality, the best tool for character assassination is a sex scandal. The media loves it because sleaze gets maximum viewership. The very rich and the very poor are immune to it. They do what they like and let the winds of morality blow wherever with their money or lack of it. Lack of money gives freedom as there is nothing to lose, just as having money also gives freedom because you can buy almost anything with it including respect in the society. Actually speaking, it is a waste of time. As I said earlier, aggression which becomes oppression for some, should be controlled by the law. Otherwise, we should definitely respect the privacy of every person. The more suppressed we are, the more aggressive we become within. This will take us further away from a peaceful existence.
Infinite Love, Unconditionally
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.
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.
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. 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.
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!
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.”
“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.
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”.
“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.
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!
We live in a relative world. Various people, various perceptions, trying to find unity in diversity. Thoughts clash, words aggravate, actions violate, and this saga goes on since mankind began. Disagreements are rooted in non-understanding. Non-understanding is based on level of perceivable frequencies and this is individualistic. There are numerous frequencies available in the universe. Numerous waves of vibrations. Numerous flavors. Our human constitution is also varied and individualistic, just like the numerous gadgets that we made. Each one has its capacity and compatibility to frequencies. Lack of compatibility of frequencies creates divisions. It creates affinity in the level of “birds of the same feather” types. But, all frequencies are available always for all kinds of species. All other species except humans almost always conform to certain specific frequency of existence and they continue that way. They do not aspire for the higher, unless it becomes inevitable, someone brings them to it or comes into contact with those frequencies and gets attached to them.
Human beings possess the capacity to raise themselves up to the higher frequencies, which elevates their vision, perception and understanding levels. This is especially possible when the energy and frequency around one is conducive or reasonably uncontaminated. The subtler the external energy, the easier it is for the internal subtlety to grow. This is why people leave for mountains and quiet places to pursue their spirituality. A powerful master’s presence can give a similar effect. When the mind goes silent in the presence of an awakened master, the students can effortlessly raise their capacity for higher frequency. How higher one can go is based on each one’s constitution, inner emptiness and karma. The key detrimental factor for a disciple’s capacity for elevation is the stored negativity in their inner space. Usually the master allows this freedom of choice to the disciple because “the eyes to see” is a personal choice. Even if a master bestows it to a disciple to accent his progress, maintaining them against all odds is the disciple’s responsibility. Lower frequency is very easy to achieve because it does not need skill and basic faculties provided with each existence can certainly and effortlessly connect to the lower frequencies. The higher and subtler you go, to maintain those frequencies, it needs tenacity, determination and constant and vigilant observation. All differences that one experiences in the terrestrial plane are of the lower frequency. If one experiences unity in diversity at all times and does not ever ask the question “WHY” at all, is always experiencing the higher frequency. Between the lowest and the highest, there are numerous frequencies. It is also very difficult to make it finite – such as this is the absolute lowest and this is the absolute highest.
Crossing the frequency barriers
As we raise ourselves to the higher frequencies, our levels of operation also change. Our perception changes. Our outlook and requirements change too. This is a clear sign of where we stand at each point in time. Some people shed their need for meat in their food spontaneously. This is because, even unconsciously, their operating vibratory level does not match or approve the violence behind the murder of another being for food. Thus, people alienate themselves from alcohol and even people who are married to lower frequencies. We can see this in the lives of many people. The moment they unconsciously upgrade their vibratory level, they shift gears in life. They may even lose certain friendships and behave differently than before, which usually surprises some.
Unconsciously, we disclose our frequency in everyday life. If we observe keenly, we can see. A person who does not care about the pain and agony of others, is essentially operating in lower frequency. When a person or society becomes insensitive, we can understand that the frequency of the whole area is lower. Then again, some souls may choose such a location for their incarnation to help show light to some at least in the total darkness. These are elevated souls, used to higher frequencies and not too bound by personal agendas.
Emotions are usually rooted on lower frequencies. Ego is the same. Intellect is rooted or equipped by slightly higher frequency than mind or ego. This is why when we use the intellect we usually have no regrets. When intellect is used to manipulate other minds, the frequency is lower in essence. This means you are using a good tool with capacity for higher for the lower, personal agenda. When a person displays selflessness at all times, he’s connected to the higher. Selfishness is lower. Consuming intoxicants is lower. An animal product, which has a history of violence, is necessarily lower and it keeps the consumer in lower frequency too. Tamas or inertia has very low frequency. Rajas is slightly better and Sattwa is the best to have in human periphery.
Terrestrial beings have frequency barriers. The key barriers are their own senses and mind. Then the ego and intellect. Frequency barriers can be crossed when one moves more and more towards the soul. Soul has no frequency barrier. Frequency barrier is also almost always related to elements such as body, senses, mind, intellect or space and time. The upgrading from the ordinary squarely depends on your ability for connectivity with your own essence, yourself. There are mechanics and guides available, as you know. But, the connectivity and capacity is individualistic. A master can deliver “eyes to see”. But a disciple cannot use it unless he raises up his awareness to that level to adapt to the new software. A new software is useless unless it is put into a compatible gadget.
Violence in thoughts, words and actions always make the atmosphere lesser and lesser compatible for elevation. All negative emotions have systematically contaminated the atmosphere. A thought, word or action never dies, because with every thought, word and action energy is released. Energy carries these vibrations to the world outside. A negative thought might seem very innocent. But, that determines the destiny of the man. Violence in thought could trigger violence in words and actions eventually. This could also get transferred from one mind to many minds. This could create events. This could launch wars, anarchy and deaths. Hence, violence in thoughts is equally or more important than the words and actions. This should be closely observed, as this is individualistic. Increasing the frequency is the remedy. Increased frequency leads to higher awareness. You will be able to see from above and help a situation objectively.
Existence in unconsciousness is also related to tamas and lower frequency. This means routine habits, unconscious behavior, mind not in the present. Compulsive behaviour patterns, eating habits, so on and so forth. We eat flesh or other animals unconscious about the torture and trauma they went through before they became meat. No animal wants to die. Nobody dies with pleasure so that you can eat them. Are we aware of this at all? Again, the profits and associated greed of an industry keeps the consumers unaware of the realities. Nobody is visiting a dairy farm or an abattoir. Even if they visit, they will only show what is good for eyes.
I was deeply shaken by the three following stories from the recent past.
Delivering on the way to the slaughterhouse
A pregnant dairy cow was being transported to the slaughterhouse. She delivered on the way. The truck driver discarded the calf and left it on the road, and drove off with the cow. The picture showed the mother cow yearning for the calf and looking out through the barriers of the truck for her child and the child lying on the road. The mother cow was taken to the slaughterhouse and slaughtered. The police fortunately took the calf and it survived. In human terms, can we call it sanity? Every mother and every child enjoy the same frequency of unconditionality. Mother and child relationship is one of the most subtle and most powerful of relationships. Subtlety is power. The dairy farm had promised so many “heads of beef” to the meat producer and they never cared for the emotions of the cow or the calf. The truck driver is bound by duty and hence he could not care either. A new mother is slaughtered because the meat industry had committed supplies. So, the whole circle of profits and unconscious insensitivity destroys the fabric of subtlety. This is one of the tragedies of human existence.
A Mother’s Love
A CCTV footage in a British abattoir. A bunch of sheep was herded into the abattoir where they stun these beings. As they were brought in, I saw one sheep and her baby. The baby was glued to the udder of its mother, drinking her milk. The man at the abattoir started stunning the beings and first he stunned the mother while the child was still drinking the mother’s milk. As the mother fell down unconscious, the child is running around in fear and confusion. Then, he caught the child and stunned her as well. And slit their throats. What else can we say? The killer at the abattoir is insensitive. He is doing his job. He does not care if it is a baby and her mother he is killing. He has been paid to do a job and he has been given timelines for completion because consumers are waiting for their product. The product need not have feelings. The consumer never understands that their product was alive and had aspirations for life. It is just meat on their plate. They eat a bit and throw away the rest. Life wasted totally! The consumers are not aware of the tragedy that happened to a mother and her child. Unknowingly, they eat their flesh and thus participate in this karma of cruelty. Unconsciously, their demand or need for flesh created this cruelty after all.
Click this link to watch the above video. Viewer discretion is advised.
Calves = trash to the dairy industry
The video shows a cow delivering a calf. The cow is tied to a wood enclosure so that it cannot turn its head much. The calf hits the floor and struggles to get up. Finally, it gets up. The mother cranes her neck to see her baby. The calf inches towards the udder of the cow. The mother is eager to give the baby her milk. Before the calf’s mouth touched the breast of the cow, a tall heavy man in boots comes in, picks up the calf, and threw it aside. The calf fell down. The cow, in obvious distress cried helplessly. The calf was not allowed even a drop of milk. It could not taste his mother’s milk. Then, the man lifted the calf and put it in a wheeled carriage and took it away. Tears flowed from his mother’s eyes as she cried and cried for her baby whom she will never see. The next scene showed many such calves in another enclosure. They all looked bewildered and frightened. They were all looking at the camera. Then, a man stunned one of the calves using a machine and lifted it up with a string. He hangs upside down, while he slit its throat, and cut one of his hooves while he is alive using a sharp knife to keep the count of the babies he slaughtered that day. One by one, he thus killed all the babies!
These videos and pictures wrenched my heart. I felt deep pain and agony. I felt suffocated and helpless. I have posted them on my facebook page. I kept wondering if this planet is worth living. We make hue and cry of some celebrity sex scandal. Millions of letters in print fly for that. But, actually who cares if one makes love with another? They are not harming or killing anyone. The atrocities and insensitivity over beings of other species is totally un-ignorable. The letters and prints should fly for that. The beautiful presentation of smiling cows and meat/dairy industry effectively masks the agony behind it. People who buy the products cannot understand the pain of death. This is like a beautiful advertisement inviting people to hell. Only when we take time to explore will we understand that what is shown outside is not the reality at all.
We are what we eat
The same with game hunting. Most of the species on the Earth are almost extinct. Many have gone forever, thanks to the brilliance of humans!I saw people who support game hunting posting comments such as they are animal lovers and are doing this crime to prevent overpopulation of those animals they kill! This is absolute nonsense. Humans just cannot understand the law of nature. If you take a look at the Earth that we live in, you will understand. The Earth is filled with waste that humans created. If we had awareness, we would never do that. Coming back to game hunting, well before human existence, the Earth has maintained the balance on its own. The Earth has perfect symmetry and balance. Animals never kill for pleasure or fun. Animals only do things for a purpose and it is man who has destroyed the ecological balance. When we kill tigers and lions, the deer population grows. When we kill deer, lions and tigers starve… so on and so forth. And the deer as well as the lion know their interdependence. A deer is never afraid of a well fed lion. A satisfied lion never bothers a deer even if it sleeps next to him. And the law of nature is symmetrical. No animal mates for pleasure. Their life is always purpose-bound. They eat for sustaining their body and procreate to sustain the species. Simple. Then, how can we say that we kill so that we preserve the ecological balance? Do we have the kind of macro vision like that of Mother Nature? Hence, these kinds of claims should be immediately discarded and the hunters should be taken to task. Superstition also kills many animals. Aphrodisiac made from the horn of rhinos made them extinct. If animal organs were good substitute for human organs, today, no animal would exist on the Earth.
Our animal farming itself is the reason for poverty on the Earth. We are conditioned for meat. So, we breed animals. Almost 18 pounds of grain that a cow consumes can produce one pound of meat. 18 pounds can sustain one family for at least two weeks. One pound of meat can appease the hunger of one time? We use one third of the agricultural land of the world for animal feeds. And this imbalance of production has now accented the global warming too. Catastrophes are to a great extent instigated by the insensitivity of man. Our food supply chain is immoral, unethical and insensitive. We are what we eat. We must pay the price too. Our diseases, our calamities, our agonies are all derived out of the agony that we deliver to other sentient beings. We are violating the purity, the space, the Earth and the whole constitution of existence. We are being violent within and outside. We are.
There is nothing called humane killing. Any killing is violence. It destroys life, the will for existence, and any captive killing amounts to murder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”