In the safe hands of an Avadhoota

Whatever I write below, has been personally read and approved by Avadhoota Nadananda.

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 Phaneedhar’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.

Mohanji and Nadananda unconditional love

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!”

Mohanji (243)

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.

Mohanji and Avadhoota Nadananda

Mohanji

 

Mohanji and Avadhoota Nadananda 2..

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.

 

Mohanji serving Bhiksha 1

Mohanji serving Bhiksha to Nadanandaji

Mohanji serving Bhiksha 2

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.

Nadanandaji feeding Mohanji like the Divine Mother.jpg

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.

Mohanji and Avadhoota Nadananda 5

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 super conscious 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.”

Mohanji and Nadananda 4

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.

A long light day, evaporated into bliss supreme.

Sri Mohanji.jpg

With only love and gratitude, I go to bed.

Mohanji

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A Day in Shirdi with an Avadhoota

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.

Shri Mohanji

In a short while, after my morning chores, I was ready for the external world. A beep materialised from my phone. A boy from west “Mohanji, you said every Viswamitra 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.

Avadhoota Nadananda

Beloved Guruji- Avadhoota Nadananda

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”.

Mohanji and Avadhoota Nadananda Swamiji

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. 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”.

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Mohanji (128)

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 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.

Yogabrashta

There could be various states of Yoga Brastha ( fallen from grace)

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.

Shirdi Again…

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 straight forward 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.

Mohanji (120)

After signing the agreement to publish Guruji’s books

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.

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Mohanji and Avadhoota Nadananda walking in the streets of Shirdi

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!”

Mohanji and Nadananda 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 Brahma Rishi 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”.

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Guruji, like a loving mother..

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.”

Mohanji and Nadananda

Nadananda’s palpable love

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.

Avadhoota Nadananda Eyes

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.”

Mohanji

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 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 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.

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The function that we came for, the inauguration of Madhuban Restaurant in Shirdi along with Ahimsa Vegan, 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.

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Aum Sai Ram

Mohanji

P.S. The above text is read and approved by Avadhoota Nadananda himself before publication. He said “Everything is perfect. Change NOTHING.”

Encounter with an Ageless Saint of Himalayas – Part 2

The Inevitable Journey to Himalayas

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

When the two visitors left the old saint, they were in complete awe. They did not speak to each other for a long time. They were lost in their own thoughts. The saint subtly invoked in them an inspiration to follow their own dharma, stick to one path to attain spiritual progress, and he performed, in front of them, great siddhis without any pretension, pomp or splendor. It was obvious that there was no effort from his side to impress them, nor did he expect anything from them. All the attractions from the material world which they could possibly offer, were of no interest to this semi-naked saint. Is he a Saint of the Navnath tradition? Well, it really did not matter which path he followed. It only mattered where he has reached!!! And he has indeed reached “HOME” or was very close to it. 🙂

They managed to find a place to stay, took bath in the “tapt kund” or the spring of warm water, and attended the evening prayers. Everything happened in a semi-conscious state. Their mind was elsewhere. They felt as if they have found the teacher they have been searching for, since life times. Many thoughts cropped up in their minds. They mused… Will he accept them as his disciples? Are they eligible? And what about their family back home? It is not easy to detach. Mind wants to, but responsibilities compel one to stay put. Everyone cannot be a “siddharth” to abandon his family, eh? 🙂 Is abandonment perhaps better than emotional divorce and pretentious co-existence, just to avoid a separation due to whatever reasons?. Not at all. Well, In many cases, usually mind is wandering elsewhere while body is right here! Plastic friendships. Plastic relationships! For those people, everything happens mechanically at home. No love. No feelings. Just fulfilling their duties. Just co-existence based on some fear, or just “tamas” or inertia! This is bad indeed, while abandoning one’s duty or responsibility is not a good idea either. Life is not easy; isn’t it? 🙂 Everyone has a bit of escapism in them. Everyone wants to run away from something. But, situations compel them to stay back. Some break free. Escapism amounts to only postponement and it is never a completion of anything. It is never ever recommended in spiritual path. It is extremely important to watch every thought, word and action, because each moment we are carving our own destiny. Relationships are certainly quite a binding force, in the aspect of liberation, as abandonment or escapism is not a solution. Entering into a relationship is very easy, while fulfilling them is not.

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

Somehow, the visitors slept for a few hours. Overwhelming thoughts were bothering them. Despite the serious cold atmosphere, and strange environment, they felt they were still very energetic and not hungry or thirsty. What a magic! They did not know when they finally fell asleep. At around 4AM, they heard sounds from outside the door of their small room, sounds of people walking and chanting. So, they too got up, brushed their teeth in icy cold water – which was not quite enjoyable 🙂 , took a dip in tapt kund (warm spring) again and felt much better. Then they went to the temple for the early morning worship.

After the worship, as the day broke, they could not resist themselves and started walking towards the direction of the saint’s abode. When they arrived, he was chanting some manthras and performing “homa” or fire ceremony. They waited till he completed. After the rituals, the saint invited them to sit around the fire, to ease the cold and purify themselves in the proximity of fire. They bowed down to the fire place, took some sacred ash from it and reverentially applied it on their forehead.They were keen to hear the saint’s journey from the south of India to the icy cold Badrinath and pick up the pearls of his wisdom.

To break the ice of silence and initiate a conversation, they asked: “Swamiji, during winter, when Badrinath is usually covered in ice, do you still stay here, or do you go down to the lower regions of Himalayas?”

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

Swamiji laughed, “What have I got to do with the elements? Why will they bother me? I go nowhere. I am an old man. I stay here. How can any ice dampen my fire?” He pointed at the fire in front of them. They understood the hidden meaning. The fire that he meant was the fire of spirituality. Ice for him is distraction from his path. No distractions can conquer his single pointed, dedicated spiritual life indeed, because the single force that creates all distractions, THE MIND, does not exist in him!!! He is always in a “No Mind State”. So, Maya or delusion cannot exist either. He is in total control of himself and the external elements. It was obvious that distractions have no room in his life. They thought “How many people are chasing rainbows still. When they get closer, there is only water vapor!!!. They fall in the trap of mirages through generations! And here is a saint, who has nothing to do with illusions, distractions, delusions, rainbows…. and sits here in his old body like a rock or pillar in the path of spirituality, laughing at those who chase images and words and get themselves totally lost when both images and words decay and perish!!! What a world of pomposity; And wasted lives!!! How many lifetimes have we chased rainbows and stayed ignorant of our own folly!!! God only knows! 🙂

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

They asked “Swamiji, how did you reach here?”

Swamiji laughed again, briefly, and said “How does it matter to you? Everyone has a story, like you yourself have. And no two stories are alike. All stories are insignificant as every life is inimitable, distinct, unique and lives keep flowing through time into eternity. The past of this body has no value for me nor you, just like your past. If you can carry something from me now, this moment, do so. I am here to give. And, this moment is your only reality”.

They did not know how to carry on, or what to carry, as they did not know their capacities or their requirements. They mused “What a situation! A saint who is capable of giving us everything we would ever need is asking what we would want from him and we do not know what we want! If Lord Badrinath Himself comes in front of us and offers a boon, what will we request? This is the naked truth of our existence. We do not know what we need!!!” Finally, they said: “Bless us, Swamiji, so that we do not fall into the traps of spiritual path”.

Swamiji said ” Tathasthu!” (So Be It) and continued: “Abandon dependency on siddhis (spiritual powers), as if they do not exist at all; As you may gain them, when you progress spiritually. Respect siddhis and live without any attachment towards them. Then you will stay liberated. Siddhis often bind a person and prevent his spiritual elevation. The lure of siddhis can also instigate, in your mind, the presence of the six most powerful and extremely dangerous enemies of human existence, and especially so in the path of spirituality. Those are: kama (Desire, Lust), krodha (Anger), lobha (Greed), moha (Delusion, Attachment), mada (egoistic pride) and matsarya (jealousy/envy). They are like invisible cancer that usually binds and destroys human beings from within themselves. Always beware of these enemies. Always stay rooted in the TRUTH and non-violence in all aspects of your life, with supreme FAITH.”

When mind is conquered, All fears disappear...

They met Swamiji many times during their stay in Badrinath. They conversed a lot during those days. They collected fragments of Swamiji’s story, which he uttered randomly. He did not narrate his story, ever, but, alluded to many incidents of his past, as examples to prove some point during their conversation. This was good enough to get a general idea about his life and journey. The biggest surprise was that Swamiji was born in 1600!!! He was almost 370 years old!!! What follows is the story….

“GO TO THE NORTH. DO NOT LOOK BACK”

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

February 23rd 1600, on the banks of the elegant river Nila in the southern part of India, in a small house, around midnight, a baby boy was born. He was called Raman. His parents were poor brahmins. He became their only child. Raman’s father was a priest in a nearby temple. It was a small temple and his income was mostly nothing more than a meal a day or a few coins, which the worshippers gave away in abandon. Mostly, he had to satisfy himself and his family with very little food and no money. He had a house, one mango tree and two coconut trees in his small property. They managed their life with that, as Raman grew up. Raman had never been exposed to any luxuries, which the neighborhood feudal lords of their own community enjoyed. Raman’s mother used to visit the rich families during celebrations or festivals, as it was more or less customary, and they used to give her food and clothing.

Being a true and satwic Brahmin, Raman’s father would get up at 3AM every morning and, after a dip in the nearby river, go to the temple in wet clothes to preserve sanctity of the temple and its deity. The temple was not far away from his house. A narrow lane brought him to the temple. On one such morning, while he was climbing the stone steps from the river, he felt a slight pain in his chest. He ignored it and continued towards the temple. Before he could enter the temple, he collapsed and breathed his last, due to a massive heart attack. Since it was too early in the morning, there were none around to support him or take him to the local physician.

That day’s sun rose in the village with the news of the death of the noble priest. Raman was three years and a few months old when his father died. He knew that something terribly wrong has happened in his house, but did not quite understand the depth of the tragedy. He saw his father “sleeping” on the floor, watched by many. He could not understand why his father was sleeping during day time, which he has never seen before. He also could not understand why all of them were watching his father, as he slept. For him, it meant nothing, because his father sleeps every night, just like he does, and nobody was quite concerned about it so far.

It was quite different for his mother. The sole bread winner of their household has left forever! She did not know what to do next. Raman saw that his mother was crying. She looked inconsolable. He slowly went and touched her hand. She hugged him and cried more. She kept repeating: “Your father has gone forever. He has left us alone!!!”

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

Little did Raman know that this was the beginning of a life grossly uncertain and insensitively tragic for both of them. His father looked peaceful in his sleep. They had kept his body on the verandah of their house. Some priests came and took the body of his father away from home, put it on some wood that they cut from the mango tree, bathed Raman, made him do some ritual and finally burnt his father’s body in the fire. Raman watched all this without knowing anything in particular. He was quite disturbed when he saw his father’s body being burnt. He could not understand why his father, who was only sleeping, was being burnt!!! A deep sorrow welled inside him and he burst out crying, even though he was too young to digest the depth of the matter. Many uncles and aunts who came during funeral tried to console him and his mother, and expressed a lot of love before they left for their own homes. They invited him and his mother to come to their places, after the usual mourning time was over.

Soon after the death of his father, he and his mother started experiencing poverty. There was no food at home. Being a brahmin (priestly caste) woman, it was difficult for Raman’s mother to find a job, as social conditions allowed her to work only in houses of people of her community. It was not easy. At that time, caste system was severely controlling and quite obscene in India. Brahmin women were not allowed to be seen in public, let alone work outside their homes. Likewise, those of the other castes, especially those who consume meat and fish, were not allowed to come near brahmins, who chanted manthras and performed poojas or systematic worship of the deities, in their own homes as well as temples. The sacred fire was kept alive in their houses through generations.

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

The initial reason for this system of un-touch-ability between castes was, that flesh of animals are dead organisms or dead bodies without any prana. Temples have deities or idols that are installed with sacred rituals that ensured live praana exists in them, and its power had to be maintained. The prescribed methods of worship and manthras were made to maintain and enhance the power of the deities. Dead organisms were contradictory to manthras and hence against this purpose. That is why they kept themselves away from all the people who consumed flesh and fish. It goes without saying that some people were not even allowed to enter into temples, because of the same reason. Rigid systems were made to ensure sanctity and power of deities in temples, and priests who were well educated in the proper worship pattern were chosen to perform daily worships, which usually started during Brahma Muhurtha or the time between 3AM and 6AM. Brahma Muhurtha is considered as the heavenly time. Priests were also expected to maintain purity. Later, systems were abused and un-touch-ability became caste based and discriminatory.

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

Raman’s mother did not know what to do. Being born a brahmin became a curse for her. Those of other castes did not have any problem to get a job, in the paddy fields or as household maids at the houses of Feudal Lords. She did not know how to lead the rest of her life and bring up a small child. She visited their relatives who lived in their neighborhood. None really showed any concern and any sincere intention to help, except allowing them to join in for a meal, if the time was appropriate. After a few visits, she stopped doing that; as it did not do them any good, and it amounted to more humiliation. Especially, she was worried about Raman and how he would feel.  It was obvious that none were sincere enough to help them. All their offers for help during the funeral were false and it became clear to her that they actually never meant it.

She still maintained some hope and tried to contact her own and her husband’s relatives who lived near and far through a paddy field worker (like a farmer) who lived in their neighborhood. This man was loyal, but, being born in a different caste, he had his limitations. He was not even allowed to look at her or talk to her face to face. As was customary, she always hid behind the door or wall while conversing with him. He was quite sincere and always carried her notes and letters to her relatives and also got her replies from them. None really wanted to help. Everyone gave one excuse or another, for not being in a position to help her and her son. A few sympathetically sent her some food or old clothes. This was surely a one time assistance. But, life had to go on…

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

The paddy field worker always brought Raman a fruit or a sweet whenever he came to their house. Even though it was not allowed to eat the food prepared or touched by a person of another caste, Raman and his mother did not care, because they were hungry and helpless. His sincerity and love was unconditional and unmistakable, and they were deeply touched by that.

A few weeks after her husband’s death, a distant aunt came to visit them. She was kind of a wandering monk who did not stay at one place for long. She was reasonably respected by the society. She was far away when Raman’s father died, and when she heard the news, she decided to visit them at once. She was saddened at the plight of this family. And she was deeply disappointed that all their other relatives kept a blind eye on them, and avoided them. She promptly took initiative, discussed with a nearby rich family and got Raman’s mother a job in their house, as a domestic help or, in other words, a house maid. Raman’s mother started working there immediately since the rich family was from her own community and it was thus acceptable.

Raman also accompanied his mother to her workplace, as she could not leave the small boy alone in their own house. There were many people in the house, and many children too. They were good and kind people. Raman and his mother were treated well by all. They got sufficient food at all times, and none bothered or interfered in their freedom. When his mother involved herself in the household chores such as cooking food, washing or cleaning, Raman played with other children of the house. They even shared their goodies with him. So, Raman and his mother finally found peace and happiness and it was a big relief for them, from the serious uncertainties that they faced after Raman’s father’s death.

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

One day, the lady of the house announced to all the maids and servants that her daughter’s marriage is finalized and they must prepare themselves for the big event. She distributed new clothes to all of them, as a token of happiness associated with the big event and asked them to wear it on the day of the event. All were happy and quite chirpy. Raman also got new clothes. He was thrilled. He came running to his mother to show his new proud possessions to her. She hugged him and shed tears of joy. Little did she know that this event would be a turning point in both her and her son’s life.

As the date of the event neared, guests started flowing in. Workload increased tremendously. One day, as Raman’s mother was cleaning the rooms on the first floor of the huge building, the mother of the bride asked her to come inside her bedroom and have a look at the gold and precious stone jewelery that they had bought for the occasion. This was the first time Raman’s mother was seeing such splendor of richness. Mother of the bride gave a necklace studded with diamonds in her hand to see. She marveled at its beauty and splendor, looked at it, appreciated it and gave it back to her. Not even once did she feel that she too should have some ornaments like that. Raman’s mother was a pious and level headed lady. She knew where she stood in the society. She never craved for earthly richness. Soon, she went away to complete her work.

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

Soon after lunch, she heard a big commotion in the house. People were running up and down. Someone told her, “The necklace is stolen!!!”. She had touched and felt it. So she knew that it was quite an expensive one. They searched the entire house. They called the police and they questioned everybody, especially the domestic helps and servants. They even took some of them to the police station and beat them up to get the truth. They took Raman’s mother too, as the mother of the bride told the police that Raman’s mother has seen and held the ornament. She tried her best to convince everyone that she has not taken it. They checked her thoroughly. They checked her house. She was threatened, abused and humiliated to bring out the truth as to where she has hidden the stolen material. She cried and cried. She begged to them to believe her words.  The necklace was not found. Finally, all were frustrated and gave up. But, they never stopped suspecting her. One day before the marriage, she and Raman were asked to leave the house. She lost her job! She could not believe her fate! Raman could not understand what was going on, but, understood that his mother is in terrible distress. His innocent mind thought that she was crying because she had no gold jewelery on her. He tried to console her as best as he could, telling her that when he grows up, he will work hard and buy lots of gold for her. This made her cry more. It was not gold that she was after, it was just two meals a day for Raman. That is all what she wanted in life. She never cared for herself. How can she tell this to Raman? How could she make this small child understand? She refused to sadden the young child’s heart and pretended happiness.

After the marriage, the elders of the community who supported the feudal lords decided to punish Raman’s mother for stealing the jewelry, as they firmly believed that she still has it. They issued an order “Nobody should give her a job, food or any other support. Nobody should give her medicines or clothing. No physician should treat her. She is completely excommunicated from the society”. The day she was thus excommunicated by the society, Raman’s mother wanted to commit suicide. All hopes had vanished. But, she could not think of killing the then 6 year old Raman. She decided to survive and keep him alive. An excommunicated woman will not be assisted anybody in the village, or else they will also get excommunicated. If someone is seen helping her, that person also will be excommunicated. Fearing the order of the powerful Feudal lords, none dared to even offer them a glass of water, let alone allow her to work in their farms or houses. Day by day, she started becoming weak. She and Raman survived on whatever was available in their own little property. They had no money and no support. Nobody even looked at them. This was more torture than imprisonment for them.

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

The neighborhood farmer who used to help them also could not help them any further because of the excommunication order. He felt too helpless and angry. But, he had his own family and he was afraid that his bold actions could adversely affect his own wife and children. Everyone stayed away from them. Steadily, Raman’s mother fell sick. Since no physician would treat her, she could not gather any medicine. Still she tried to collect fallen seeds and fruits from their yard and make at least one small meal for Raman everyday. Raman also helped her as best as he could. In a few days, her health deteriorated further and she became more and more weak. She could not even stand on her own legs. She crawled from one room to the other. Raman was too small to lift her. Yet, he tried his best to help his ailing mother. Raman’s mother knew that she will not live for long.

One night, she called Raman to her side. Raman saw tears running down her cheeks. She hugged him and said: “My son, I will leave you soon. I am sorry. I cannot stay in this body any longer. I am going to where your father has gone. But, I cannot take you now. I have always taken you where ever I went. Now, I must go alone. I will die soon. When I die, you alone will not be able to burn my body, as you and our relatives did, when your father died. You are too small. You have no money and nobody will help you. If you could, drag my body till the edge of the yard, (which was about 20 feet away from their door), push my body into the pit there and throw some soil on it. If you cannot do that, just leave my body here, take this stick and this cloth sack and walk towards north.” 

“GO TO THE NORTH. DO NOT LOOK BACK.“. Those were the last words of that poor, innocent and pious lady. She closed her eyes. Raman hugged her and put her head on his lap. He rested his head on her face. An hour or two went like that. He started feeling that her face was slowly becoming cold. Her breath was stopping. He poured some water into her mouth. She drank a little and the rest spilled out of her mouth. She looked at his face one last time, as if blessing him, and she passed away.

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

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

Raman sat next to her body, hugging his mother till the day break. He did not know what to do. Suddenly he had become an orphan. There was nobody in his life anymore. He got up and sat on the veranda looking outside. Birds were chirping in the yard outside. Grazing animals looked at him. Did they comprehend his sorrow? He hoped and wished that someone would look at him. Nobody looked at him or even at his house. He cried and cried. Nobody cared. He went back inside. He saw his mother’s body again. Again, a wave of sorrow overwhelmed him. He hugged her and cried. Finally, he decided to do what his mother asked him to do. With great difficulty, he dragged the body of his mother, which was very stiff and dry by then, to the edge of the door. Somehow, he dragged it out of the door and into the sand outside. He was sobbing and crying too. When he was trying to drag the body of his mother through the sand, the farmer who used to help them in the past, saw this. He could not believe what he saw. He was shocked to see this small boy dragging the body of his dead mother through the yard. He was terribly agonized when he suddenly realized that the pious woman, his neighbor, whom he always respected, has passed away!!. The agony tore through his heart along with a deep guilt of not being able to help them, when they needed it the most. Now it is too late.  He told himself: “Let the lords excommunicate me or kill me. I just don’t care. I must help this poor child”. He came running and helped Raman to move the body of his mother to the pit that she had mentioned. He brought a pick axe and covered her body with soil and wet mud. Both him and Raman sat there looking at the grave yard for a while. Soon, Raman got up, went inside their house, took the stick and the cloth sack that his mother had entrusted him with. He opened the cloth sack. He cried again, when he saw that his mother had packed some raw rice, a few coins and a few loin clothes for her son, despite their deep poverty!!! This was her only savings!!!. Finally, Raman wiped his tears and came out. The farmer was waiting outside. He said: “Come with me. I will look after you. I will take you home”. Raman thanked him and told him what his mother had asked him to do. The farmer listened to Raman’s words with tears in his eyes. He knew that he cannot change Raman’s mind. He loved his mother so much. He will not do anything contrary to her wish or command. As Raman took two steps towards the border of their yard, one messenger came running to him and asked: “”Where is your mother? Her Lordship wants her back in her household. They finally found the missing necklace. It had fallen between two large beds and when they took the beds out for cleaning, they found the necklace. The Lords have removed her ban and excommunication. She is now welcomed back to their household. You are welcome too.” Raman stared at him and gently smiled. He pointed towards the grave yard of his mother and without any emotions, said: “There she is. She cannot come back to their house anymore. She has gone forever.”

Raman looked one last time at their small house. He bowed down at the grave of his mother and walked towards “North”. He never ever looked back. That small boy Raman was the 370 year old saint sitting in front of the visitors to Badrinath!!!

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

God willing, I shall narrate his journey in the next part of this trilogy.

Love and respect all beings. Every being feels, just like we do. Sensitiveness is a real virtue. Have plenty of it. Have plenty of Love within. Let LOVE overflow yourself all the time. Love all and Serve all – your life will become total and complete! Remain Blessed!

Love You Always

M

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

Encounter With An Ageless Saint of Himalayas – Part 1

An Ultimate Destination for Many… A Great Shrine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Swami, what can we drop?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snakes represented wisdom and protection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love You, My Beloveds

M

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

The Eternal Wings of a Grand Tradition

I Bow and Surrender Everything to the Light of Wisdom eternally Flown to us by the tradition of Great Masters of the Grand Universe... Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu...Aum Shanti....

Today, on the 23rd of February, I surrender this blog, my humble contribution, as flowers offered at the feet of our grand tradition and all the Great Masters, Great Guides, Selfless entities, who walked ahead of us, lead us and are still leading us, with deep gratitude and surrender. The tradition has no beginning nor end. It flows eternally. There is no room for ownership or ego. All are part of the grand design. All are integral. All are significant. All are insignificant too. All exist and do not exist. The grand tradition flows eternally. This is where we belong; this is our real family. There are no boundaries. Tradition has no gender barrier, no caste, color, creed, country, culture, custom barrier too. One father and various aspects and expressions of that one father. Ignorance alienates us, while understanding and awareness gather us. Man minus ego is GOD. I bow down to all the children of this rich tradition of supreme un-conditionality. I bow down to this rich tradition built and cemented with FAITH and SUPREME LOVE.

This Soul and Body, time and space, are all Gifts of the Tradition. What can I offer you, my tradition, which is not yours already!!!

We belong to a grand tradition of selflessness. We are its offsprings as well as its torch bearers. But, we live in a world of make-believe and pretensions. We pretend to be happy and we pretend to be what we are not. We pretend our karmic inevitability and helplessness as liberated existence, all the while resisting everything internally!!! We even express our non-understanding of the true meaning of liberation through strange behaviors such as smoking, drugs, drinking, variety of indulgences, wild and destructive habits and actions, restlessness and many other things. All these are helplessly binding us to earth.  Some pretend till death. Some pretend for a short span of time. Everyone pretends. In our times, people are looking for quick remedies, instant Nirvana. Is it possible? In such a world, the methods of Atmananda  Chaithanya and many others saints of our grand tradition will not make sense. We would rather hold on to our phobias, fears, anxieties and ego, and walk the familiar path of certainty which we are used to, rather than tread the ever uncertain path of pathlessness. This is our attitude. Only a very few see the light. Most choose darkness, because in the darkness, we can hide. We can hide our true nature in the cloak of darkness. They relish their coward nature and even justify it to feel safe and sane. They chant “Light means sorrow, my children. Darkness is bliss”!!! Are we some of those cowards refusing to face ourselves? Think well. If I have not offended you enough, please read on… A story about practical education by a surreal saint. Practical education for an unlikely student!

Time is unstoppable. Life is transitory. The gush of the river reminds us of the eternal flow of the transitory time...

The story of Manav and Atmananda

Manav sat on the steps leading towards Ganga and stared at the water flowing in a hurry. It was just like time. The moment you think of the present, it has already become the past. The moment you look elsewhere, gallons of water have rushed past!!! This is Life! What a mad rush!!! When will this restless rush end? Where will it end? Where is all this water going to? Where is the time going to? Time has no problem. It has always been like this. Only those who chose to watch it, became tired. Time is never tired!!! Everything goes through time. The people, the seasons, the events…. everything. Just like the big log that rolls up and down over the waves of the river, quite helplessly, uncontrollably and unconsciously, life flows through time. Then, just like the log, people vanish. Then new people come. Then they also vanish. Thus, time and river have lots of similarities. What are we holding back? What can we hold back? Manav looked up at the sky in helplessness, as if seeking a divine communion. Where is the answer? Who can give the answer? That moment was decisive in his mind. He decided to leave everything and walk to the north. NORTH! North of India are the Himalayas. Ganga flows from the Himalayas. So, Manav is already in the North. He stood up and walked further up north. Somehow, in his mind, NORTH means some kind of surety. Some kind of refuge, which he does not yet know. Anyway, what more can anyone lose, than his life? Manav believed that he is not afraid of death and darkness. He considered himself quite brave, in terrestrial terms of bravery. So, he walked into the darkness of uncertainty, and embarked on his search for the unknown, and walked further towards North.

Every Communion is Important. Every Meeting has Meaning. Terrestrial Bravery is situational!

Tough terrains of existence. Tough times. Unknown paths. Unknown destination. Unknown people. Everything strange. All are strangers. Amongst the strangers, he found familiarities. Familiar strangers. One man asked him. “Swami hey Kya?” (Are you a Saint?) Manav replied “Nahi. Saadhak houn”. (No. I am a Seeker). The stranger asked “Mila Nahi Abhi tak?” (Did you not find it so far?) Manav stared at his eyes without answering. How can he tell him that “getting it” was not his primary search. Knowing what to search for, was his primary search! He took his backpack and walked further. The stranger shouted from behind. “Atmananda ko zaroor milna. Milega tumko, jo tum ddhoont rahe hey”. (Definitely meet Atmananda. You will get what you are searching for.) He did not look back and kept walking. ATMANANDA. The name stuck in his mind.  Where will he find him? Or, did he meant “find happiness (ananda) in your own atma (soul) and you will find what you are looking for”? The long and winding path of uncertainty lay ahead of him. The question was whether to walk it up or stay where he was! Walking ahead means facing uncontrollable uncertainties. Staying back could mean eternal stagnation. Manav thought “This is exactly what people call Between Devil and Deep Sea”. Death is sure in any case!!! Manav feared stagnation more than uncertainties. He decided to walk further. This was a great decision of his life.

The third day from there, he met Atmananda at Rudra Prayag. A local temple priest guided Manav to Atmananda.  To Manav’s great surprise, Atmananda resembled the stranger who told him to meet Atmananda. He was confused. Was it the same person who came to guide him a couple of days earlier? Nothing made sense. He became more confused.

Atmananda was sitting in the middle of a couple of dozen people, was cracking jokes and laughing aloud. Even though Atmananda looked at him, he did not show any recognition. He carried on with his jokes. Everyone was laughing. What sort of a saint is this? Just cracking jokes and laughing? For a moment he thought. ” Was I searching for laughter? Maybe I was!!”. Laughter is indeed an expression of happiness. All people are searching for Happiness and they never find it, except the fleeting or momentary ones!! “Ah! I still do not know what I am looking for!” After a while of contemplation, Manav approached Atmananda who continued to ignore him. He seemed to be busy, involved in applying sacred ash on his forehead and various parts of his body, after stepping out of the dip in the river. He was illegibly mumbling some mantra.  Manav waited and when Atmananda left with his disciples, Manav followed him. It was only on the third day that he actually got to talk to Atmananda.

When Faith Nullifies the suffering of pains, Man takes another step towards liberation...

The first thing that Atmananda said after looking at Manav was “Jad hey” (This is dead). “Jeevan kithar hey”? (Where is life?”.) Manav did not know the answer. Atmananda did not wait. He kept walking. Manav followed as if mesmerized. Finally, the whole entourage reached a city. Manav hated cities. He was fine with the relative isolation that great mountains provided. He wondered why Atmananda loved the city so much, that he walked all the way downhill, over days and weeks, to reach this place of filth and greed! As if reading his thoughts, Atmananda turned and said to no one in particular ” I exist in the mountains, yet my feet are on the ground. My body does not signify my “size”. What I see is what you cannot see.” Was this a statement or a warning? Manav struggled to figure out the meaning behind these seemingly pregnant statements. Atmananda kept walking….

Manav wanted to return back to the Mountains. The Himalayas! What Peace! What Tranquility! He felt as if part of himself was still staying back in the mountains. Attachment!!! One part of his mind wanted to leave Atmananda and go back. The other part kept saying that Manav had finally found his Guru. But, Atmananda did not seem to be of Guru material at all. He was just wandering all the time and was never teaching anything significant to anyone. This was such an irony for Manav. No one around him seem to be bothered. None seemed to care about the uncertainty and hardships. Everyone seemed to just enjoy his company and wander aimlessly! Is this spirituality? Manav became even more confused than before.

Atmananda looked at him and said “Whom can you wake up?” Atmananda himself answered. “Only those who are actually sleeping and not the ones who are pretending to be asleep. What ever you do, those who pretend to sleep will not wake up. Many in the Himalayas are pretenders. I am collecting pearls in the market place!”. This was a revelation for Manav. He thought he understood the real purpose behind Atmananda’s visit to the city, but was never sure. It was very difficult to put him into any frames! He is here, perhaps to “wake up” the ignorant sleepers to ultimate realities or truths. This made some sense. This was probably his mission. A noble mission indeed. But, in this drama, what was Manav’s role? Again, deep uncertainties conquered his mind.

Love is the Food of Life. Nothing Can substitute this food. Our world is starving - for LOVE..

Atmananda again read his mind. He looked intently at Manav’s eyes and in a stern voice, like a command, he said “Go begging. Do not return back for one week. Bring whatever you can save after spending for your basic needs”. Manav was completely shaken with this suggestion. Many disturbing thoughts flocked into his mind. Manav thought “Go Begging? Why? Do Atmananda or his disciples need the money or food that I may gather through begging?” Atmananda did not look at him, nor read his mind nor answer that question. He just repeated “Go begging from tomorrow.”. He would not explain any further. The whole night, Manav did not sleep. Many conflicting emotions ran through his mind. He had not witnessed Atmananda asking anyone in his entourage to resort to begging. So why Manav? Did Atmananda hate him, and want to teach him a lesson?

Manav hailed from a good family, a reasonably rich one. He had no dearth of food or facilities ever in his childhood or youth. He was now 23 years of age. He never had to beg for food. While wandering, whenever he felt a need for money, he did odd jobs and earned some money. He was good in finance. He worked and earned his daily bread, whenever needed. The rest of the time, he traveled to holy places or to the Himalayas. He thought and thought. He could not bring himself to beg from anyone. And he also felt that he would not look like a beggar at all and that people may humiliate him. Other beggars may look at him as competition too and may ridicule him too. This would mean great embarrassment for Manav. He didn’t want anything to do with it. He could not make up his mind until morning. At 3 am, Atmananda woke up and saw Manav sitting under a street lamp. He walked towards Manav and said ” You did not sleep? Good. When you look tired and unshaven, you could fetch more money”. And he started laughing aloud. It sounded like a cruel joke. Manav became angry and upset. By then, he was resonably convinced that Atmananda’s intention was to make some money using him. Atmananda is no saint!. He is a businessman who knows his trade! Manav felt that he should leave Atmananda and leave immediately. Ignoring Manav’s emotions, Atmananda handed over a broken bowl into his hand and commanded “OK, Leave Now.” “Come back after a week”, and without waiting for any response or reaction from Manav, Atmananda walked towards the river to take a bath. Manav stood there, undecided and utterly confused. Finally, before day break, he made up his mind. He decided to go begging!

Mind Poses Conflicts. Conflicts create Stress. Ego Reins. Liberation Slips Past...

As the day broke, people started rushing up and down every street of the city. Manav started his journey in the street with his begging bowl. He had left his backpack with one of the disciples of Atmananda, who accepted it in a matter-of-fact way and expressed no compassion whatsoever at Manav’s predicament. Manav thought that even this man was as insensitive as Atmananda!

Partially out of anger and resentment against Atmananda and partially out of determination and ego, Manav took nothing with him except the broken bowl that Atmananda gave him. When he extended his bowl towards the pedestrians, some people gave him some coins. Some shooed him away. One man ridiculed him “Look at you, a healthy boy and begging!; why can’t you do some job and earn a living? You lazy bum, it is easier to beg than work eh?” Even though he begged till noon time, he could not gather sufficient money for his breakfast or lunch. Nobody seemed to be bothered, let alone compassionate! He felt a deep urge to throw the bowl away and do something more meaningful and dignified; to fetch some money and buy at least a basic meal. Atmananda will not know. He could return back after 8 days, with some money that he earned through work too. After all, it is only the money that Atmananda is after!!! But, something stopped him. It could possibly be a revenge attitude towards Atmananda or a strange satisfaction at this self-inflicted pain. There had to be some unknown reason for Atmananda to instruct him to beg. He did not know the reason. But, slowly, as the day grew, his hunger also grew and strangely, so did his determination. All day, he had survived only by drinking water from the street water taps. By evening, he got sufficient money to afford some bread. He ate that bread and drank more water. At night fall, he slept under a banyan tree in front of a temple. It was cold and windy. He had carried no blankets or any other protection against the cold. The wind was blowing and he could not sleep. He shivered. His teeth chattered. He also started developing many fears. Every sound made him shiver more. He had led himself to believe that he always braved darkness and death. Both these fears surfaced now.  And he had to face his own fears, quite alone. He felt that he could be attacked by some unknown creature, a ghost perhaps, and even be killed, if he happened to close his eyes. The darkness and shadows of everything around seemed alive, potent and heavily threatening! He realized that deep within, all the seeds of all possible fears had been existing and lying dormant, waiting to germinate in the right environment. He spent the second sleepless night in fear and confusion. Atmananda had warned him not to go back to him before the completion of 8 days. Somehow, Manav decided to fight it out. He was more worried about Atmananda ridiculing him and making fun of him in front of the others. His ego did not permit him to stop begging or go back to Atmananda. Strange are the ways of ego indeed, even at the toughest of times!

Who Knows Who comes to you with a Begging Bowl? It could be GOD too...

At day break, he walked towards the nearby river, he brushed his teeth using some tender leaves of a mango tree  crushed into a paste, which he made himself, using a stone. He used his finger to apply it on his teeth. Then he removed all his clothes except his loin cloth and kept it on the bank of the river. Many others were also taking a bath in the river. He did not want to drench his clothes as yet, as he had no spare clothes with him. Even though the water was ice cold, the bathing rejuvenated him tremendously. He took many dips in the river and felt more and more refreshed and cheerful. After a while, when he got back to the shore, he was shocked to find that all his clothes had disappeared! Everything had been stolen. There was nothing left there, except his broken begging bowl!. It was such a big embarrassment for Manav. How could he go anywhere like this? He only had his loin cloth to cover himself. What could he do now?. “Oh God, why am I being tested like this?” Hunger was creeping in. He walked in his drenched underwear and with his broken bowl towards the main streets of the city. People looked at him through various eyes; such as contempt, pity or compassion. Many thought that he was mad. Some gave him some money, even without asking. Quite surprisingly, in his new costume and without much effort, he was able to collect sufficient money to buy himself a decent breakfast. When he approached any restaurant, they would not allow him to enter. He asked for some bread and curry and paid them the exact change they demanded. Every penny was precious for him. He started taking money seriously and started feeling the value of every bit of it. He even started respecting it. He even thought that he realized the reason why people considered and worshipped money as Goddess Lakshmi!

What is Life without Kindness? What is Life without Compassion? We are all just visitors here...

The waiter of the restaurant delivered the bread and curry into his broken bowl, as they did not want to give any of their utensils to a “mad beggar”!. This was further humiliation for him. Quietly swallowing his pride and humiliation, he sat under a nearby banyan tree and started to eat. As he was about to put the first morsel in his mouth, he saw a small girl sleeping next to her mother under the banyan tree looking at him from under a blanket, which was covering both her and her mother. She smiled at him. A cute little smile. She looked as if she was hungry. Her mother was still sleeping. He smiled back and extended his hand to offer her the bread which he was about to eat. She got out of the blanket and crawled towards him, smiled again and opened her mouth expecting him to feed her. Not being very familiar with children, he showed her the bowl of curry, expecting her to join in his meal. She smiled again, innocently. Manav knew that she was too young to be technically qualified to eat her own meal. He took charge of the situation, dipped a piece of bread in the curry and put it in her mouth. She had very limited teeth, yet, she chewed well and swallowed it. Thus, he fed her most of the bread and curry. She ate quite a lot! She was really hungry, but Manav observed that she did not cry or wake up her sleeping mother, even though she was starving!. She was probably used to the hunger!!! What a lesson to learn about hunger management, that too from a small toddler!!! She smiled at him, as if in gratitude, and went back to her mother who was still sleeping. Manav found himself left with only a very little remnant of his own meal!. But, somehow, he felt deeply satisfied with this whole event. He looked again at the small girl. She was already cuddling under the blanket of her mother and was probably going back to her sleep. Manav was lost in thought for a few minutes. This lady could be a single mother, living in the street. Maybe she was a prostitute. The child might never know her father. For a brief moment in time, Manav felt that he fulfilled the role of a father to a hungry child! A deep satisfaction welled in his heart. He felt ecstatic with joy, despite his seeming tragic situation. He started understanding his mission. Manav got up and walked towards another busy street.

For the poor and hungry, FOOD IS GOD! There is nothing more noble and holy than giving food to the hungry...

In the new street, he encountered many beggars who shouted at him and threatened to beat him if he entered their territory. He experienced the competitive behavior of the commercial world there. He silently walked away to another street. This time, he did not feel any ego or humiliation.

He again started feeling his hunger. He saw a small restaurant at the corner. Even though he did not have sufficient money, Manav approached the restaurant, expecting some compassion, and asked for a banana, which was displayed outside. He thought “any food will do, even if it is remnants from a used plate”. His pride was steadily evaporating. The restaurant keeper shouted at him, showed him a stick and threatened to beat him, if he did not go away. They did not want anything to do with a naked mad man in their premises. He slowly moved to another restaurant nearby. They also did not give him anything. When he approached a table where some of their customers were having their food, the restaurant owner threw hot water at him and drove him away. Thus, hungry and drenched and also a bit burnt, he sat under a tree, with his begging bowl kept in front of him. Suddenly sadness, isolation and hunger overpowered him. He cried. He cried bitterly. Many passers by, who saw him crying, put coins in his bowl. Slowly, his sadness subsided, and he also found sufficient money for a couple of meals.

He had a good lunch. Again, the restaurant owner did not allow him to enter his restaurant. He packed the food and gave it to him outside. This time, he had over-eaten a bit. He did not eat anything in the night. Again, fears gripped him. Still he could sleep for a few hours. There was nothing to protect. He had nothing on him except his loin cloth and his begging bowl. He did not even have a blanket to cover himself. He hid behind a wall in front of a shop and sheltered himself from the cold, howling wind and spent the night there.

Thus, he spent his 8 eventful days. He begged, managed to save some money after his expenses, and returned to Atmananda after 8 days. When he reached the place where he had left Atmananda, he could not find him or any of his disciples. They had already left the place. Nobody knew where he was and because of  Manav’s condition, nobody would even talk to him, let alone guide him. He was naked, shabby and quite unpresentable, in social terms. Using his intuition, he walked towards the north. Two days later, on the 10th day, he found Atmananda. He approached him and gave him the coins he had saved from his begging trip. As he had expected, Atmananda did not display any compassion, kindness or even a smile or signs of recognition. Atmananda took the money and without saying or asking anything, immediately distributed it amongst the people who were around him!. Manav felt like crying. Every penny of that was quite precious to him, because it represented the great pain and humiliation he had endured. Atmananda did not even say a word of consolation or even respect his hard earned money! Manav even thought of committing suicide. He was reaching his nerves’ ends.

Tradition Sometimes Seem to be Cruel, only out of Kindness and Compassion for the seeker...

Atmananda looked at Manav and said “Take a bath, you stink”. This was the limit! A frustrated Manav immediately left Atmananda, collected his baggage from the keeper and went to the river to take bath. On the shore, he sat and wept uncontrollably. He felt useless and like a complete waste. He felt stupid and lost. After shedding all his tears and after a good bath, he felt slightly better. After getting into some clean clothes, Manav started feeling even better. He had made up his mind to leave Atmananda and pursue spirituality on his own. He could not accept nor did he like the style in which Atmananda operated. He considered it as quite insensitive, sadistic and cruel.

When he came back to tell Atmananda about his decision, the saint said. “So, you are now ready to be with me. Good. You have come to terms with all your fears. You have conquered your fears of being alone, being naked, having to beg, and having to ask strangers. You have already conquered your ego to a great extent. Now, you are fit to be in my path. The path of pathlessness. The path of simplicity. The path of purity and lack of expectation. You are welcome to travel with me.” Saying this Atmananda started walking.

In the lap of a Grand Tradition...Life Eternally Flows....

Manav found that he no longer had any anger in him. No feeling of humiliation. In the 10 days of living the life of a beggar, he had faced many harsh realities, which had smoothed all the sharp edges of his character. He had many experiences which helped him to see life from different angles. It helped him in his detachment towards life. He started respecting everything, every being. He started seeing value in everything. He started respecting food, clothes. He started seeing the difference in awareness of people. He started feeling the value of kindness and compassion. He started feeling and understanding the relevance of LOVE in the existence. So many changes in 10 days. He understood why so many people were following Atmananda. He understood the way in which he was imparting knowledge. Practical training and complete annihilation of ego. Thus Manav found his path of liberation. He knew that he would never be the same again.

Love YOU

M

Every Thought, Every Word and Every Action is offered as Sacred Water of Mother Ganga at the feet of the Great Tradition of Supreme Masters...

The Path of Pathlessness

The Divine Journey of Life

The Whole Existence is a Prayer for the Entire Universe.

An Existence in Complete Surrender to Supreme Consciousness…

A baby is born. A beautiful Baby. Everyone is happy. Joyous atmosphere in the house. It overflows into the neighborhood. Visitors come to see the newborn. They congratulate its parents, bring them gifts. A new journey of a soul in a new body began there!!!

A small body was carefully created inside the womb of the mother. All organs were assembled properly. Nerves, muscles and veins were attached properly. The Spine was created first and then the other organs. Brain, heart, lungs and intestines were put in their proper place. The parents who took all the credit for the beautiful baby, had nothing to do with any of these. Divinity made everything. Divinity put everything in its place to accomplish a pre-determined journey and make sure it can withstand the wear and tear of the total journey till its karmic end. The product was also packaged well and everyone agreed that it is indeed attractive!!! What a brilliant craftsmanship!!! Everything in proper order!!! This is human life. Extremely perishable, but brilliantly beautiful.

The Beautiful Mind of the Creator and Perfection in Creation…

Each entity has its own beauty. Even a tiny ANT is specific. All are “hand-made”, with extreme care. There are no two products alike!!! Every package comes with a specific duration or, in commercial terms, Shelf-Life. Birth and Death are simultaneously decided. There are no surprises, no accidents. Karma is the contract, the shopping list. Body, mind and intellect must exist together as long as the specified Karma is accomplished. When karma is finished, the body is terminated. There is no tragedy attached to it. There is no belongingness to earth. There is nothing to cry for. There is nothing we can own. We are just like tourists here.

The child’s parents had nothing to do with the child’s karma, or the shopping list. They had no clue. They never decided their child. Assuming ownership, they started taking decisions on the life of the child after it was born. They refused to accept that they have no role to play in the child’s life, except to provide an environment for it to grow and express itself. That is it! Nothing more. They could not control its thought pattern or the usual minor illnesses that it contracted from time to time from the earth. They had no clue about its natural tastes and inclinations. They did not know anything about the child, even what it will become when he/she grows up. They did not even know if their pretty child will behave in the standards of an angel or a devil upon growing up.  They tried their best to cram the child with various kinds of conditionings – social, family, community, religious, etc, etc. Child accepted some, discarded some. Sometimes it rebelled. Sometimes it surrendered. Thus, the child expressed its own conditionings that it brought forward from past lives and fine tuned them with some of the newly acquired ones. Parents foolishly attributed its qualities and characteristics to themselves and their ancestors. 🙂  Nobody knew the real truth, the third dimension of the entity at hand!!!

Every soul that walks the earth must pay a rent. Same way, when we rent any space, we must pay for it. We are renting the space on earth, quite temporarily, to exhaust our karmas. We must pay for the space that we use. This is the debt that we owe to the Mother Earth!!! We walk on the earth as if we own it. We do not. Nobody does. We are only temporary custodians. We will pass on and someone else will walk over the same space on earth. While living, we must pay the debt in order to exit smoothly. If we do not pay our house rent, the landlord will get us arrested. Likewise, until we pay the rent that we owe to the Mother Earth, we will keep coming back. Earth will arrest you and bring you back. Debt usually breeds more debt, sometimes with compound interest. So, each visit will cost us more.

The only way to pay our debts towards the Mother Earth is to serve its children selflessly. Social service or self-less action of any kind, will relieve you from the accumulating dues. We must remember this always. This is why some religions insist on regular, compulsory social service and paying a portion of their subjects’ income for the welfare of the poor. Compassion and sincere expressions of kindness will help clear the dues for sure. Talking and sharing opinions will not help. This is also for sure. Hands that help unconditionally are much holier than the lips that pray.

God needs nothing from you. God is self-sufficient. Do not try to bribe God either. He needs none of your rituals too. You have formed the rituals only for yourself. This was your effort in identifying the God aspect within yourself. All the rituals and spiritual practices including Yoga, Pranayam and meditation are your attempt to reach God. He is not outside of you. God is within you. If your spiritual practices cannot take you inside yourself, discard them. They are only another burden for you. And remember the golden rule of travel – less the baggage, more is the comfort in your journey.

 

Ripples in the sand are as impermanent as time

 The Precious Time

Destiny is equal to the original shopping list, the agenda for existence. Time is precious. Time is specified. Agenda is specified. Where is the time to rest and procrastinate? Karma is exhausted in three states – the waking, dream and deep sleep state. Where the waking state cannot reach, the dream does. Deep sleep state reminds man of his real home, beyond his currently acquired identities.

Every pain and pleasure is part of the shopping list. The list that we have carefully or absentmindedly prepared during our past lives. God never interfered, just as your soul never interferes in your current life. It just provides the fuel. It is neutral and unconditional. Your soul and God are one. Both are unconditional. Body is like a rented house, rented for a period. Mind and Intellect are its operating tools, such as electricity and water. Time is precious. Postponement is a waste of time. Escapism is also a waste of time. Equanimity in pain and pleasure will ensure a smooth sailing. Acceptance and Adaptability are the key. Non-resistance is the method, because the shopping list is yours. You made it. You own it. You enjoy it. It is your life.

The Food of the Mind

The food of the mind are the sense objects. Mind’s sensors or sensory buds are our actual five senses. Minus the sense objects, the mind dissolves. Without food, the food sheath or the body cannot exist. Without procreation, earthly species cannot exist. Likewise, when the senses are in control, when sense objects do not lure us anymore, the mind dissolves. A mindless state is also a karma-less state. Mind is the operating tool of Karma. Our existence shifts to the dharmic mode, when mind dissolves and karmas vanish. We exist purely for the sake of Dharma. Duty towards existence.

 

 

The Secret to Liberation

Liberation is a state. By liberation we mean the end to the birth-death cycle. Liberation is a process. Entanglement is easy. It needs no deliberation. It happens by itself. Staying liberated requires extreme awareness, caution and equanimity over pain and pleasure, which includes physical and mental diseases. Liberation is the path of pathlessness. Anything regular binds us as the mind easily feeds on it. Any ritual is a binding. Any habit is a binding. Any relationship, with the associated expectations, is also a binding. Living it staying detached or unattached is the key. This means perfect witness-hood in all three states – waking, dream and deep sleep state. Detachment is not aversion. It is also not under-performance or escapism. It is a perfect action with 100% application without attachment to the results of the action. The essential agenda points for liberation are as follows:

A. Accept your life as it is, because you created it. Act out your karma, without resistance. What ever you are experiencing now, was your choice, consciously or un-consciously, probably the same way you are handling your life now. 🙂 That means, a life of partial consciousness and partial unconsciousness. Luckily, all our vital functions are handled by our active sub-conscious mind, otherwise, we will forget to breathe or pump our heart; or will create a heart-attack out of stress due to these matters!!!! 🙂

Karma is happening, whether you like it or not. Each situation, event and experience of your life is formed out of it. Every thought, word and action, along with the glue of emotion, created your life, and is continuously creating further lives, right now, while you are at it. You have only your present to handle your karma. You can only do something now – tomorrow never exists in the now, and past is history and non-existent in the present. So, karma will happen whether you like it or not, the way it will happen in your present life, as per your individual experience level. It is up to you to accept it gracefully as a child of your own, or resist it and suffer the pains of resistance. Resistance also leads to further involvement, postponement and maybe an intensified experience too. So, might as well act it out now, in its intended intensity, without resisting. Who knows what is in store for you tomorrow, and who cares?

B. The Immediate Dharma. Along with your karma, which is the purpose of your existence, is the dharma, which are your inherent duties. They are often inter-linked and difficult to segregate. Dharma of a mother is to take care of the children that are born through her. The first is the dharma towards own family members, such as a husband towards his wife and the wife towards her husband. Likewise, father, mother, husband, wife, children, brother, sister, grandparents, so on and so forth. One should handle one’s dharma with utmost care and application. When each operates with kindness and compassion, we see happy families and happy families make happy society. For this, we should completely discard pretension and our expressions should become sincere and honest. When we do something, it should be with 100% application, devotion and sincerity. Dharma liberates man. Performing dharma to the best of one’s capacity certainly liberates the man and makes his life worthwhile. Regrets will vanish and guilt will not bind his feet like chains tied to the earth. Performing dharma in the unit level is essential for liberation.

C. Dharma towards the society. This is the third and final. When we also take care of the social needs within the best of our ability, we become completely liberated. This means, taking care of the poor and the needy, birds and animals, and the old and sick. Protecting the environment around our house, our street, the way we can. We are only temporary custodians of our property. We will leave it all here and go. We will carry nothing abroad, when we die. So, handle them carefully and return it to the landlord in good condition, so that your dues are in control. You will have to pay for all your indiscriminate thoughts, words and action. Remember this well.

When we are comfortable with our own existence and when we operate comfortably in all the three capacities, such as individual karma, individual dharma and the social dharma, without expectations or emotions of ownership, we will stay liberated while living.

Operating Levels

The simplest operating levels are purity and faith. Purity in thoughts, words and actions. This also means self-less-ness in thoughts, words and actions. Faith in oneself and existence, and non-resistance, irrespective of our existing realities. This will make your mind like a shining mirror, without any dust or finger prints. The more shining the mirror is, the better is the image. No image stays in a mirror permenantly. It vanishes when the object departs. Mirror remains objective always. Mirror never follows the object, nor does it capture and store an image, even if the image in front is celestial. It stays neutral all the time. Likewise, if our mind stays completely unattached to any sense object, it stays liberated all the time. Senses will not be bound to any sense object either. They will enjoy and detach, continuously and consistently. Images will come and go, people and situations will come and go. We will be firmly rooted in our own existence and liberation.

All are individuals, sometimes operating on a collective level. This is situational. People come together for a purpose and depart when the project is completed. Emotions based on relationships make it painful to part. They also chain the feet of the being to the realms of earth and similar situations eternally. We keep coming back. Emotions are anti-liberation. We should feel, because we have the faculties to feel. We should act dutifully, but, we should never be “emotional” in a way that leads to procrastination and eventual depression.

Liberation is Bliss. Liberation is Unity, Spontaneity and Unconditionality…

Be aware of a fundamental truth. When a soul assumes a body, it operates within the characteristics of the body that it has assumed. When a soul operates in a lion’s body, it operates or behaves as a lion, fully. Every entity in the whole universe expresses such characteristics. A man is a man. An angel is an angel. None comparable to another. Within the commonness, there is diversity. There is unity as well as diversity. So, when an entity expresses itself in a human body, it expresses the general nature of humans including decay and death. It will express all the strengths and weaknesses of humans. None can be immune to the basic nature attached to a particular specie. When an entity, using the assumed body, evolves beyond the needs of the assumed body, it liberates itself. Still, it is a continuous process of constant vigilant attention, rooting firmly in one’s soul.

The mind-intellect-body will always lure the consciousness. When a man shifts from mind, intellect and body to his consciousness, depending on his levels of consistency, liberation happens. So, each entity has a common behavioral pattern of its own. Its  needs or requirements are also the same. A cow needs grass. It does not need meat. A tiger needs meat to survive. Grass will not suit its need. An angel operates in a plane in which it is supposed to operate. Its powers of operation are purpose-bound. Everyone’s operating levels are purpose bound. So, let us shed the idea that some humans of higher evolution are immune to the nature of humans. There could be a degree of variation. Basic nature of species cannot be changed. If nature need to be changed, the body and species should be changed too. When a tiger takes birth as a man, it will look and feel like a man, even though it may behave like a tiger at times. Yet, all the attached strengths and weaknesses attached to humans will be definitely displayed. Assuming any body will also mean assuming its nature and characteristics. Every body is bound by the usual processes of Mother Nature, such as wear and tear and eventual annihilation.

The Path is So Simple – If You Follow These Footsteps…

A Few Roadsigns on the Path of Pathlessness

  • There are no do’s or don’ts. Just live a selfless life, without resisting, judging or criticizing oneself and others.
  • There are no binding expectations, including expectation for a specific result for one’s word or action.
  • Always operate rooted in the spine. Do not sway with fleeting emotions.
  • Complete Non-Violence – in thought, word, action, food, as well as in all your other expressions.
  • Respect and perform the individual karma as well as dharma (duty) towards own family and dharma towards the society, with perfect equanimity and zero expectation.
  • Purity in thought, word and action. This also means perfect self-less-ness and equanimity in pleasure and pain. Serve selflessly. No discrimination at all, on any basis.
  • Divinity is Simplicity. Lead a simple life full of love and benevolence. Always feed the hungry with what you have. Always protect the helpless, old and abandoned with what you have. See the spark of God in every being.
  • Do not flaunt anything, be it your wealth, possessions, power, money, achievements, relations, relationships, contacts, or even spiritual powers (siddhis). Lead a simple and unassuming life. Remain grounded and simple in outlook and existence. Be benevolent to all and care for all. There is nothing to prove on earth. All that we earn here needs to be spent (left behind) here too.
  • Do not worry about what you do not have. Rejoice at what you have. Never compare yourself with another.
  • Avoid anything that binds you, irrespective of whether the habit is positive or negative. If you cannot live without something, it is definitely a binding for you. This could be even a bed tea or a particular person. It could even be your Guru. It could be an alcohol addiction or even meditation.
  • Live in the present. Act in the present. Keep time. Do not waste even a moment, because, time in existence is specified, measured and un-extendable. Do what ever your current tasks are – right now – never postpone or procrastinate.
  • Understand all individuals as karmic beings. Everyone lives their karma. Each pattern is unique. Respect it.
  • Never censor your thoughts. You are what you are. Accept yourself with all your strengths, weaknesses or “imperfections” that you think you have. In absolute sense, there are no imperfections.
  • Observe. Be a witness to your own thoughts, words and actions at all times. You will stay liberated from all of it. Objective observation is liberating. Involvement is binding. Remember this always.
  • Every being on earth has a definite purpose. No creation is by accident. Respect every being, animate and inanimate. Never disturb or destroy. Live and let live.
  • Emotions, guilt and regrets are ropes that bind us to earth. Have nothing to do with it.
  • Love is the most beautiful of all feelings. Express it unconditionally.
  • Do everything with full application, sincerity and objective commitment. Never do anything absent mindedly or half-heartedly. Avoid all such actions. You will always be true to yourself and life will be regret free, ego free and fulfilling.
  • In our path, Gurus are just roadsigns. Gurus are perfectly unconditional. They never bind a seeker to themselves. They never interfere in your experience or your journey. They never criticize, judge or censor. They are objective and truthful. Gurus never display their powers to attract and control. Gurus never demand anything from any seeker. Gurus lead a liberated existence and they lead the seeker to liberation as well.

Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu…

Wish You a Liberated Existence.

Love All – Serve All

M

Babaji – Beyond Definitions – Part 1

Dear Friends,

This is my humble attempt to express in words a phenomenon which is truly indescribable. Mahavatar Babaji is not a man or just a Guru. He is a phenomenon.

Babaji Exists Beyond Sheaths. He wears them only to fulfill a specific Dharma

Even the name Babaji, which is commonly used in India to address many spiritual Masters, cannot ever explain or convey the phenomenon that we call “Babaji”. Since we have to depend on a name to make others understand whom we are talking about, we shall use the name Babaji.

Babaji is beyond any intellectual understanding. He is beyond words and thoughts. He is beyond all kinds of spiritual theories and experiences. Any form or picture that is attributed to His image falls short of His stature. He represents the formless. But, He assumes the form that is in your mind, when ever he chooses to convey a message, just to let you know who is talking!!! A formless Master can choose any form, as long as it is necessary. Human mind, addicted to form, cannot be satisfied, until a convincing form is attached to a message. Otherwise, even if the message is truly relevant to the receiver, it is discarded as data or message born out of a suspicious origin. In order to satisfy this need, Babaji has appeared in forms understandable to the receiver, while in fact He remains formless. I realized this truth, in the most practical way.

This write up is about my experiences/impressions of Babaji. Even though I had questioned my eligibility to write about such a Maha Avatar (Great Incarnation), I thought that my experiences might help at least a few seekers in the path of spirituality.

There are many in this world who have had direct experiences from this inter-galactic Master. Each one’s experience could be unique and different. This is quite natural, because each one has different levels of evolution, eligibility and different levels of understanding. Hence, comparisons have no value. Please keep that in mind, as you proceed further.

An Image of the Formless. Babaji - the Phenomenon

The Mystery called Babaji

My First Introduction to Babaji – In This Life

Most people came to know about this powerful, omni-present Master through the great, outstanding and living literary accomplishment by Paramahamsa Yogananda  called “The Autobiography of a Yogi.” This was the case with me too. My first introduction to Babaji, in this life, was through this great book by Yogananda. I read the book many years ago, that is, in mid 1990s. I read about various Masters and was fascinated about them. Nothing more.

In 2000, my only daughter Ammu passed away, which brought immense sorrow into the life of all my family members including myself. That was the year that I visited Himalayas, for the first time. Haridwar, Rishikesh, Tapovan… – dips in the Holy Ganga were indeed purifying. Meditating in Vasishta Cave, meeting and talking to real saints and sadhus, who wanted nothing from me, was quite refreshing, especially for a man like me, who has always been dwelling in the commercial world of hard competition and severely conditioned relationships. People do not meet people without profits attached!!! The unconditional love of Himalayas was quite refreshing and promising. It created a new hope in me. A new purpose. It triggered my spirituality. It pushed me into a completely different path, which I was quite unaware of, till that time. The path of subtlety and power. The path of truth. The path of SHIVA.

Himalayas

Himalayas enchanted me so much. I could never resist the temptation of visiting Himalayas every year hence forth, which I continue till date. I still do so on Ammu’s death anniversary, every year.

In 2000, I met Mata Devi Vanamali, the Divine Mother, who is compassion incarnate, a great devotee of Lord Krishna. She adopted me as her spiritual son. She lives in Tapovan, near Rishikesh, on the banks of river Ganga. She told me “A son does not need permission to visit his parent’s house. This ashram is the same for you. You need no permission to come here. This is your home too.” Thus, I found my “home” in Himalayas.

Myself and Mata Devi Vanamali

Even though each trip brought me many new revelations, I was not consciously searching for Babaji. This thought was not even existing in my mind.

In 2002, I visited Badrinath temple along with Mataji, which is almost 16000 Feet high up in Himalayas. Oxygen is less in such heights and I was experiencing breathlessness. It was very cold too.

Babaji’s abode is supposed to be near Badrinath Temple. I was not aware of that. Now I realize that Babaji is everywhere and He does not stay just near Badri. However, an interesting encounter with an unknown saint happened there and I consider that to be an encounter with Babaji, even though I am not sure. Does it matter? Well, it happened as follows…

Badrinath Temple in Himalayas.

On the night we arrived, when I looked up in the sky, above the temple, I saw a round bright object in the sky. It looked like a Flying Saucer – a UFO. In a way, one is to expect many strange or indefinable things in Himalayas. So, I took it for granted that aliens could be visiting great Masters in Himalayas. I have heard that some of the great Masters meditating in Himalayas are not from earth. So, sighting an UFO was quite a possibility, as far as I was concerned.

In the morning, I realized that there is a mountain behind the temple, which is invisible in the night, and there is a small hut on top of this mountain. I could not see any roads going up to this hut. I asked Mataji and she said that an old saint lives there. I could not fathom the possibility of an old saint meditating so high up in the mountains, in such cold conditions. I wanted to meet him, but primarily due to my health conditions, and because I could not find any way to climb up there, I discarded the wish as an impossibility. We stayed there a couple of days and, on the third day, we decided to leave Badri.

Mataji told us that we will leave after the morning prayers in the temple. That day, the temple was packed with people. Mataji was allowed to sit right in front of the sanctum sanctorum, and I got into the fourth or fifth line behind her. From where I sat, I could easily see what was going on inside the temple. The prayers and rituals had started and everyone present was chanting mantras. There was high energy and great elevation. Suddenly, an old and frail man came to the door and walked through the crowd straight to the door of the sanctum sanctorum where Mataji was sitting. Everyone gave way. Mataji moved to one side and he sat down beside her. When I saw him, I felt great hidden power inside the old frail body. He was very thin, almost like a skeleton. I sat observing this man and the ritual. When the prayer ended, everyone got up to leave. The old saint walked past me, looked into my eyes and he suddenly caught my right hand in a strong grip. I can still feel his grip, whenever I remember this incident. He held my palm for a few seconds, amidst the crowd that was pushing and pulling us, and suddenly left it and walked out. He disappeared immediately and we could not find him anywhere. I could not understand this saint nor could I understand why he caught my palm in a strong grip like that, stared deep into my eyes, and disappeared so quickly. Everything was so mysterious.

When I came out, Mataji was waiting outside. She said “This trip is so blessed because I could sit next to this Great Yogi.” I told her what he did to me. She exclaimed “You are very lucky. He is a great Yogi, who stays away from human contact.” I asked her “Who is he?” She said “You had wanted to meet this saint who lives on top of the mountain behind the temple. That was him. Since you could not go there, He came down to see you. Such Masters always fulfill the sincere wishes of seekers.” That was such an overwhelming experience for me! It was a kind of a deep revelation. Gratitude filled my heart, like never before. Was that Babaji? Who knows? I never saw Him again.

The Babaji Boy

In 2004, I faced yet another crisis in life. I had to relocate from Oman and underwent many material losses and associated agonies. I also lost my job and was reasonably insecure about everything, except spirituality. That was the time, when I came to know and meet a man who was in constant communion with Babaji. Since I do not have the permission to disclose the name of this person nor his whereabouts, I just call him Babaji boy.

I first spoke to him, when he was visiting India and was at a friend’s place. When my friend told me that Babaji boy was in his place, I felt a deep urge to talk to him. I was in Dubai at that time, and my friend’s house is in India. When I told about my wish to my friend, he said “Oh, you are wasting your time, Mohanji. He does not even look at anyone, let alone speak. He is always in meditation, night and day.” That did not put me off. I still insisted and my friend finally took the initiative. I called at a particular time when Babaji boy was close to a convenient phone and my friend took my call. I could hear him telling something to Babaji Boy about me. I heard him say “Mohanji is calling from Dubai. He is a great soul. You must speak to him”, and gave the phone to Babaji Boy. I heard his voice for the first time. Even before I could say “hello”, he said ” Om Sai Ram…Om Sai Ram…Om Sai Ram…” three times and disconnected the phone. Suddenly, I felt something entering my head – it was like a bullet piercing my brain. Excruciating pain. Severe head ache followed. I could not even see anything clearly. Somehow, I managed to reach home and decided to sleep. I could not do anything else.

We need the tangible to understand the intangible. Duality leads to the inevitable Unity

August 15th. It was one week after he ‘spoke’ to me. I was going to India. I knew that I will be meeting Babaji Boy and was reasonably excited about it. I bought some high quality “dried date fruits” and as soon as I landed in India, I tried to meet him. It was not easy. I met my friend who was hosting him and he dampened my spirits when he said “Mohanji, it is not easy to meet him. He lives in a house, which is about an hour away by car from here. He always meditates and communes with Babaji. He never speaks to anyone. Does not even look at people. Does not eat much food. Maintains silence and does not come out of his room, unless essential.” I still insisted on seeing him. Finally, he surrendered to my persistence and soon, I was on my way to his abode. So many thoughts were going through my excited mind. I was like a child on the way to Disneyland.

When I reached his house, I was expecting a maid or house keeper to open the door. Before I could ring the bell, Babaji boy himself came and opened the door. My jaw dropped. I did not know what to say!!! I just stood there, looking at him. He broke the silence “Mohanji….Welcome”. I tried to explain who I am and why I am there. He cut my attempt quite abruptly and said “Babaji told me that you are coming. I was waiting for you. I have to give you something. Come with me.” My heart started beating faster. I walked with him into the living room of the house. I had the dried dates with me. I handed that over to him. I said “This is for you and Babaji”. He took it without any expressions. I thought he did not understand. I took it back from him, unwrapped it, and gave it back to him and said “These are special dates, for you and Babaji”. He said abruptly “I understood” which was a hint that he was not interested in formalities. He gestured me to take the seat opposite to him. He sat down too.

He said “Listen to me carefully. Yesterday night Babaji told me that you will be coming. He told me about you in detail. I know everything. I know the problem that you are facing with your meditation. Babaji says that “You should split your mind into two and go in between. You will reach your destination.” Babaji asked me to teach you a mudra (a sign or a particular way to join fingers to achieve a desired energy flow), which will empower you further.” He taught me and patiently perfected this mudra.He made me do it many times, until he was satisfied. Then, suddenly, he said “Let’s meditate together.” This was indeed unexpected. My friends were waiting outside and I had promised to be with my parents before sunset. Moreover, my friend, the host of Babaji boy, had told me that, once he starts to meditate, he will come out of it only after a few days. What will I do? I tried to meditate for about 30 minutes. I saw that Babaji boy had gone deep into meditation. I prostrated at his feet and left for home. That was a wonderful day for me. I was excited beyond limits. Babaji knows me and has indeed given me a precious, life changing mudra through his disciple!!!. I felt that this was indeed a great leap in my spiritual life.

The unexplainable shift

An Awareness Shift

The next day, there was a public function in my neighborhood. This was a function intended to honor people who excelled in charity service or selfless service. I was also honored at that function by a celebrity, for charity acts/ initiatives conducted through Ammucare, the organisation that I founded in 2003. However, my interest was not the award. My interest was that Babaji boy may be there at the function. This was another opportunity to spend some time in his energy field. As soon as I reached the venue, I went indoors, searching for him. I found him sitting with his eyes closed in a room at the far end of the stage. There was nobody else in the room. I sat next to him. When he felt my presence, he opened his eyes, looked at me briefly and closed the eyes again. He did not show any kind of recognition. I sat there and mentally conveyed my apologies for leaving him without proper good byes. I tried to convey telepathically, the following message “I am so sorry. I had to leave early yesterday, without telling you. I did not want to disturb you, because you were deep in meditation.” A few seconds later, he suddenly opened his eyes and said “It is okay. No formalities”. He got my telepathic message and responded verbally!!! This was truly amazing. My connectivity with him was clear to me and it is working!!!. Suddenly, a strong vibration, like a storm started within my body. As I was sitting there, I realized that I cannot move. I was feeling paralyzed. Energy started forming like bubbles inside my stomach region, rising like bubbles of soda water inside a glass. I felt a lot of bubble-like energy forming, moving and bursting inside my head. It was not scary though. While all of this was happening, my conscious mind and active senses were also recognizing my state and the program that is happening outside this room. A subtle awareness was there that my name will be called anytime to come to the podium for the honoring. The awareness that I cannot move my body as well as the awareness that something drastic is happening within me consumed me completely. I was highly expanded and was witnessing the happenings inside my body as well as the speeches and proceedings of the function outside. I do not know how long I sat there. I was hoping that Babaji boy will rescue me, and help me reach the podium the moment when my name will be called. He did not do anything. He looked as if he was in a trance state too. I was definitely in a trance state. Suddenly, a saint who was sitting on the stage, rushed into the room where we were sitting, without saying anything to both of us; he  gently brushed his hand over my head and quickly went back. Within seconds, I became normal. At the same time, my name was announced and I managed to walk to the stage while they were describing the activities of Ammucare for the poor and helpless. I went on stage, received the honor and was about to go back when the chief guest asked me to say a few words. I could not. I was in a different state. I just expressed my sincere thanks and gratitude for the honor with limited words and mostly through body language and quickly came back to the room where Babaji boy was still sitting. He was in the same state and did not even acknowledge my presence or my movements in the room.

The Parting and the Priceless Gift

I could not spend much time with Babaji boy afterwards. Soon enough, I came to know that he will be leaving that place soon. One evening, I was sitting, chatting with my parents, when a phone call came. I was surprised to hear the voice of Babaji Boy. He was abrupt, as usual: “I am leaving tonight. I would like to meet you. Can I come over for dinner at your place?” I was so pleased with this proposition! I immediately invited him. He arrived by car. As soon as he entered the house, he asked me to take him to the room where my parents have kept the altar and the lamp burning. There are many pictures and idols there. He stood silent in prayer for a few minutes. He called me and showed me his picture of Babaji. I know that for him, this picture was like a link or connection to Babaji. He would never even show this picture to anyone – he considers it so sacred and personal. He always carries this picture with him. He said “Babaji asked me to give this picture to you.” Oh, what a surprize that was! I knew that this picture is priceless. It was as if Babaji Boy was giving his own life to me. I was deeply honored and humbled by the love of Babaji. Without any emotions, he handed over the picture to me and said “Take care of this. Babaji will speak to you.” I could not believe all that happened in such a short span of time. I wondered about my eligibility for this love and grace. What have I done to achieve all this? Only Babaji knows. Anyway, I was indebted and overwhelmed. Babaji boy had his dinner with us and he left the same night. I never met or communicated with him ever again. I felt as if Babaji boy was sent by Babaji himself to guide me to His path, and left after accomplishing this task. He accepted nothing from me in return, except perhaps the dinner, which certainly has no value compared to the blessings that he showered on me. He subtly taught me many things. He changed my constitution, without articulating it. Thus I encountered another selfless soul. My path was getting clearer. I was beginning to understand my tradition and the purpose of my existence. The picture that Babaji Boy gave me is still with me, on my altar – a priceless possession…

The story will continue…..

Love You, M

At the right time, through the right instrument, the triggering happens - that re-awakens the boons from all our past sadhana - nothing ever goes wasted...