Little Drops Of The Ocean

Dev had a morning dream. In his dream, his grandpa visited his house and had breakfast with them. Soon after the breakfast, he bid good bye. Dev and his sister repeatedly pleaded him to stay back and tell them stories. But, grandpa seemed to be in a hurry. He told them, “Some other time, children, grandpa need to go”. And he left abruptly. Dev and his sister were crying when he was waving them good bye with a smile from his car. Later, he heard his father telling his mother, “He has moved on”. Grandpa has died. How can he die? How can he go so abruptly without more stories, hugs, kisses and cuddles? Dev cried and cried at the thought that he will never hear the loud laughter and enchanting stories of Grandpa. His sister, much smaller than him did not seem to be so affected and was immersed in waking up her dolls and preparing them for school.

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The disturbed Dev got up from his bed and walked downstairs. When the 13 year old Dev came to the breakfast table his father was busy reading the news paper. He gently uttered “good morning”. His father looked at him, hugged him with one hand, while holding the news paper with the other, and with a light kiss, whispered in his ears with overwhelming love “Good Morning. Shine Bright Dev. A beautiful day is waiting for you”. Papa is always optimistic and sunny in his disposition. When he saw that his eyes had a tear drop about to fall, he asked with curiosity. “Which of your super hero friends died last night? Did you have a bad night?” He said “No Papa. Grandpa came and left us in a hurry to die”. His father looked at Dev with curiosity. “Did grandpa die in your dream?” Dev nodded. Papa thought for a while, holding Dev in his arms. Then he said loudly – partially to his mother and partially to him and his sister “Get ready. We are going to see grandpa and grandma. We need to make sure he is OK”. Dev jumped with joy. After all, he is not dead. He was relieved that it was only a dream. Papa seemed to be in an exceptionally light and jovial mood. He was always full of enthusiasm and child-like. His mother always used to urge him to take life more seriously. He would laugh it off and always made the atmosphere light in the house with his laughter and enthusiasm. The greatest recipient of his fun loving nature was his sister, who adored him beyond comparisons.

Dev’s grandparents lived an hour and a half away from where they lived, in the suburbs of the city. On the way, they stopped at a vegan shop for a quick take away. Dev’s father was a staunch vegan and always insisted on vegan diet at home and outside. He always made it a point to explain to his children why we should not support or pay for the death of animals even indirectly. He also insisted on having no seed sprouts at home because “They are foetus of plants. Eating sprouts is equal to eating foetus”.

Mohanji vegan lifestyle

Since it was Saturday, the traffic on the road was much lesser than usual. They moved quite fast. When they pulled their car to the driveway, Grandpa was sitting in his usual chair at the portico with a news paper in hand. Dev was relieved to see him. He is alive and well! Nothing has changed. He got up when he saw the car of his son. Even though he was surprised at their unexpected arrival, he was delighted to see them at his doorstep as a morning surprise. He called his wife “Kamla, look here, we have loads of joy delivered with the morning newspaper for a change”. He laughed his usual loud laughter. It was time for hugs, kisses and cuddles. Dev’s father told him “Papa, Dev had a dream that you died. That is the reason for our quick trip to see you”. Grandpa looked at Dev. “Oh, Did I? Dev, Then who is hugging you now?”. Dev became shy as if his secret has been unceremoniously spilled by his father. Grandpa hugged him and said “I will surely die, but, not yet – some other day!” He laughed and winked at Dev. Dev had a tear in his eyes. When his mother and sister went with grandma into the house, and his father went inside to use the toilet, he hugged grandpa and said “I cannot leave you grandpa – I don’t want you to die”. Grandpa soothed his hair and said “Nobody leaves anybody my child. We have to leave this body and this role someday. We are always together. Remember, your grandpa will always live in your heart”. Grandpa sat down on his favourite easy chair and drew Dev close to him. A few years ago, Dev would be on grandpa’s lap. Now, he is a bit too big for that. He sat on the floor and rested his head on grandpa’s lap. Grandpa leaned forward and caressed his hair. They spoke for a while. While they were talking, Dev steadily drifted away and slipped off into a peaceful sleep.

Mohanji eternal soul..

He slept for a while, peaceful and dreamless with a lot of relief in his heart that his grandpa is well and he is in his arms. When he woke up, it was well past lunch time. He saw his father and grandfather seated at the first floor balcony and sharing jokes and laughing. After he had slept, someone had moved him to a bed.

He walked towards his Papa and Grandpa. Grandpa saw him and beckoned him to come near him. “Did you sleep well?” He nodded. “Did you dream that grandpa died again?”. He became shy and nodded “no”. He laughed aloud. Grandpa called grandma “Kamla, give this little big boy some delicious food” and winked at him. He walked towards the dining room, as his grandpa got back into the conversation with his father.

His father was very senior officer at the city administration board and perhaps the rare and only non-corrupt officer in the whole office. He always supported poor vendors, abandoned old and sick people, animals, and also the poor farmers.

When he returned back from lunch, grandpa told his papa, “now, leave us alone. I need to speak to this young man”. Papa smiled and left with a pat on Dev’s shoulder.

Grandpa said “Let us walk, Dev. Come with me. I shall show you the little buds and tiny leaves of the spring gardens. I shall show you how the mother birds feed their children and how the breeze distributes sunshine. Come with me.”

Dev and Grandpa started walking through the abundant paddy fields and the mild forests at the border of the village. Except a few joggers, the whole space was empty. Dev was still mildly stuck with his morning dream. He asked his grandpa “Grandpa, may I ask you a question?” He said “Sure, my child”. “Will you die like all the old people one day? Will my father and mother also die? Will I die when I am old like you? Why does everyone die? Why can’t we all just live with happiness together?” Grandpa stopped. He bent down and kissed the forehead of his grandson and said “You are waking up, my child. You have the right questions.”

Grandpa said “My boy, everything that is born must die.” They walked towards a small tree which had many nests. Grandpa showed Dev a nest which had three tiny chicks with their beaks open, waiting for their mother. Grandpa said “Look at those tiny chicks. See how fragile they are! This is their helpless times of dependency my boy. The chicks are helpless without their mother. The mother knows it and she cares for them. Soon, the mother will bring them food from somewhere.” As he was uttering these words, the mother bird came back with a beak full of food and distributed it amongst her waiting children. They gobbled up everything that they received and cried for more. The mother left to fetch more for herself and her children. Grandpa said “See, from sunrise to sunset, this is what the mother bird will do. She is fully depended on grace of the nature. She has not stored anything anywhere. Everyday is a different day for them. Everyday is totally unpredictable. When there is hot sun or heavy rains, she may not get any food at all. They accept that reality too, without complaints. Now see, the mother is wandering in search of food for her children. She may or may not get more food. You know, this is why I keep food for birds in our garden – to feed the unknown bird friends. This is the least we can do to this nice little mother, right Dev?” He smiled and patted Dev on his shoulder.
“Her children will slowly grow up and become strong. Their wings will grow larger. They will be ready to fly. Then they will leave their mother and fly away. A task well completed, their mother also will allow them to soar in the sky and find their own life in the vast horizons of this earth. One cycle is completed. The children will mature and do exactly what their mother did. Same way, life repeats itself. Every animal, every bird, every creature on earth including human beings are living this cycle.”

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Suddenly, he saw a snake crawling up the tree. Dev became terribly frightened. He hugged his grandpa. He shouted “Grandpa, help them. The snake will eat them”. Grandpa said “I shall save them, if their mother cannot. Let us see what happens.” Dev became impatient. In a short time, before the snake could reach the branch where the nest was, the mother and a few of her friends came shouting and started pecking and distracting the snake. Mother and her friends attacked together to defend the children. Soon, the snake gave up and withdrew. The birds went back to their work. Grandpa smiled “See, nature takes care of itself. It needs no human intervention or interference. If we leave them alone, they will survive on their own”.

Holding grandpa’s hand, Dev walked through the walking path of the village. few yards ahead, grandpa asked him to slow down and pointed at the direction of a forest clearing. A school of birds were shouting and flying around something. When they took a closer look, it was a bird that was dying. The birds flew around the dying bird as if they are observing a ritual or a kind of prayer. They waited and watched. Soon, the dying bird became still and lifeless. The birds came and sat around the dead bird for some time as if praying for the departed soul, and one by one they flew away. Grandpa said “Dev, you saw the children waiting to fly out a short while ago. Here you saw the soul waiting to fly out from the body of the bird alone. This is life and death, my boy. In between the definition called birth and death is the experience that we call life. The first was baby birds, where the soul was settling in and expressing itself, making them experience all aspects of life and the second was after all the experiences of life, the soul was leaving the vehicle that it used for that experience. This body is just a vehicle for experiencing life, my child. We are experiencing everything using this body. This is all. Whatever is born, will die. So, why do you worry, my child?”

Dev became confused. “But, grandpa, I do not want you to die”. Grandpa laughed “My boy, all of us will die, including you. All of us! Your grandpa had a grandpa too. He also had his grandpa. He had his as well. We had so many people in our family through centuries. They all have died. We will also die. When you will have your grandchild, you will also be like me, explaining to your grandchild what life is and what death is. Nothing in this world is ours, my child. Nothing in this world is permanently ours. We are fools, if we feel we own anything. We can own nothing. You saw how the bird died. It just died. Likewise, I will just die, leaving this body to earth. They will burn this body that you once called your grandpa. Once the body is burned, there will only be some memories of grandpa. Same with your grandma, papa, mama and everybody else. Everybody will leave at some point in time. Nobody will be here forever.”

Dev became silent. Grandpa sat down, hugged him and kissed his cheeks. “My child, I shall always live in your heart, as sweet memories. That way, I live much longer. Memories live longer than bodies. Keep me in your heart just the way I keep you in mine. We shall never part.”

Dev began to realise the truth in grandpa’s words. He said “Grandpa, will my love reach you even when you are gone?”

Grandpa said “Yes, my child. Think of me with love and I shall rejoice. Do not cry and make me sad. Do good things in life and let the living people tell good things about you. That will make me happy. That will make all our ancestors happy. They will be proud of having a great grandchild such as you in our family. Never hurt anyone. Love everyone. Do whatever good you can for everyone. Pardon those who harm you and hurt you. Do not harm, hurt or judge anybody. Give unconditionally, whatever you can share. Experience your life without hurting other beings. If you happened to hurt any being unknowingly, do not hesitate to apologize and correct your action. Nobody is perfect, everyone commits mistakes, and life has no rehearsals. Always be good and do good. This will make your lineage proud of you. Their blessings and mine will flow to you.”

 

Mohanji on the mystery of death....

Dev said “I promise you grandpa. I shall do everything possible to make this world a better place, for your sake”.

Grandpa kissed his forehead and said “Not for my sake, my boy. Let it be for the sake of nobody. Make it your outlook of life. If you count your good acts, it loses its divinity and grace. Do not count. Just do it always, naturally, without compulsion or even a thought. Through your positive action, inspire your nation. And do not be affected by abuse or criticism. Nothing should stop you from your honest expressions. Remember, all life is valuable. As you saw, the mother bird was so protective and loving towards her children. The adult birds took time to mourn the loss of their companion. Every living being has their families and feelings. Always respect it and leave them alone. Never interrupt, let alone murder any beings of earth.”

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“Do you know, Dev, those birds do not know that they are called birds and they are different from other beings. They just exist as they are born, as complete beings. We humans know that we are humans and they are birds. A dog has no reason or interest to know that he is called a dog. It is fully immersed, as those birds, in its life as a dog. All the beings of nature are immersed in their own life without disturbing one another. A tiger hunts only when it is hungry and a deer knows that. Human hunts for pleasure and waste lives indiscriminately. An animal eats only when it is hungry and fasts when it is sick. They heal themselves. The nature heals them. They all have intelligence. Humans are a different species. We are intelligent to cunning. We use our intelligence to reign over other beings. But, what is the use? We also die. Earth swallows our body too. What do we gain? We can own nothing from this earth, my boy. Hence, we must truly make human existence far superior than any other bodies of earth by displaying our supremacy in our ability to be kind and compassionate.”

Mohanji ....speciesm

On a side of the village road that they walked, there was a huge old fallen tree being sawed to pieces by a few people. Grandpa stopped walking. He held the hand of Dev and kept staring at the fallen tree, in a kind of mournful way. The wood workers paused for a moment to look at their spectators. Grandfather nodded his head to continue with their work. As they went back to their work, Dev and Grandpa started walking away from the sound of machines cutting trees into pieces. Grandpa said “The body of this old fallen tree is just like ours, Dev. I had stopped to feel if the tree was still alive inside. All young trees which had not completed its time of existence will still be alive when men cut them to pieces just like humans do with animals. When they suffer unnatural death, they suffer pain and agony. They die in pain. The trees that had their life on earth are old and are ready to move on, will leave their body for use as their ultimate sacrifice. They would have prepared themselves for the exit. Such trees are happy to exit. And they welcome other beings using their body for their purpose. We will be happy to move on if we lived a life of service and have no regrets. The tree which we saw had been a blessing to many generations. Many weary travelers as well as budding lovers has sought its shade. It has given fruits to many beings, fresh oxygen, shelter and shade to so many beings as well as seeds which eventually became similar trees. It took nothing from anybody. Nobody spent time to nurture it. It was giving and giving all the time. At the time of its death also, it was giving away its body for human use. A total selfless existence! We have lots to learn from it Dev. That tree is also a grandpa. We should treat big trees like old people, with love, gratitude and respect. They truly deserve it.

Grandpa continued “Do you know Dev, what it is to be human?” Dev looked at grandpa. Grandpa said “Being human means being compassion. Being human means inherent ability to express kindness and unconditional love. Human life is invaluable. It should never be wasted by indiscriminate selfish pleasures which disturbs and destroys nature and its beings. If we have superior ability on earth, we must use it to protect and nurture the children of mother earth. Life has its own way of survival. We should never interfere. Always live as an inspiration for compassion, my child. Life and death will come and go, you will be able to die peacefully after a life well lived without regrets.”

Mohanji what is it to be human

“Today, we are walking on this path, you and your grandpa. Soon, your father will become a grandpa and will walk the same road with your child. And someday, you will walk this earth with your grandchild. Life is a continuous flow, my child. All that came will go too. So, love everyone while you can, and be impartially kind. Never hurt even a fly. Live and let live. Live with a clear understanding that you cannot take anything from here except the memories of a life well lived with grace and love.”

Dev was not upset anymore. Something had changed in him. He felt complete. His grandpa had changed his mindset through his wise words. He had converted his insecurity to clear purpose of life. That was the biggest gift he ever received in his life. The purpose of Life! That is all it takes. That is all we need. Let it be filled with compassion, kindness and love without expectations and complaints.

Sun was setting. As they were walking towards the house of grandpa, they saw Dev’s father walking towards them, perhaps searching for them. Grandpa looked at his son and said “Finished the book entry of your mother’s complaints?” They both laughed. Grandpa told his son. “Dev is a sensitive boy. Take good care that he remains natural.” Papa nodded. He said “I did not want him to keep his fears and brood over it. That is why we made this quick trip.” Grandpa said “That was good. I could explain to Dev a bit about life and death as lessons from nature. He will get everything he needs from the nature. All he needs to do is to look and recognize the answers. Nature has all the answers.”

Grandpa addressed Papa “Madhav, as long as human compassion quotient is ignored, there will be no peace on earth. If kindness, selflessness and compassion is made the criteria of education and social status, if governments give importance to this aspect as the key aspect for everything, earth will become paradise. Otherwise, as we discussed in the morning, we are all against something each day, each moment. This is giving us worries, anxieties and suffering. We should be against nothing, let alone ourselves. Violence should never be tolerated; and should be controlled by strict laws.  So is corruption or any kind of selfishness. Deny social support for such people. Isolate them and make compassion compulsory. That is the only way life can be redeemed from its current frequency of mad competition, selfishness and bitterness.”

Mohanji on human compassion

Papa answered “Yes, Papa. This is what I am trying to establish within my jurisdiction. But, I am constantly facing obstacles. All my attempts get slapped by the selfish bureaucracy. The cancer called corruption has destroyed human sensitivity. Modern education has made men mediocre and selfish. Books are not teaching sensitivity, love and compassion. It is teaching competition and insecurity. It is not making a confident generation rooted in compassion and love. It is making an insecure generation, rooted in greed and selfishness. Looking at this makes me tired.”

“That is why you should not give up. You are young. You have a vision. Move on with it.”

“How do I handle the constant hurdles?”

Grandpa explained “Selfless service is our purpose. The purpose will handle it, my son. Intensify the purpose and conceive it in its utmost purity. Even if you fall down, or your hand gets dirty as you travel the path, if the purpose remains pure, it will take you to your destination.”

“Tall order, Papa”

“But inevitable and important, my son. Someone must lead by example, if not a few. The one who is against the tide may get crucified. But, setting example with own life has no substitution or comparison and I believe that dying for a good cause is much better than living the life of a mediocre conformist. Purpose is cleaning the system. Un-cluttering and weeding out the cancer eating away on our inherent compassion. This is all that matters.”

“On another subject, Grandpa continued; keep this house and space as it is, for the next generations. Do not sell it away after we are gone. Let them have something of the past to lean back on, when they are tired of chasing the world.” Papa agreed. Grandpa hugged Papa and said “I am proud of you my son. I am a happy father and grandfather. I can leave in peace with the firm appreciation that my children and grandchildren will only serve the world as light in the darkness and will not lead a selfish and self centred existence on earth like the majority.” Both had tears in their eyes.

Mohanji grace and love.

One month later.

Dev woke up and came down to the living room. He saw his parents getting ready to leave. Papa seemed serious and silent. He seemed busy and felt as if he was hiding something. There was no warning last night of any impending journey. He came close to his Papa and touched his hand. Madhav looked at Dev, held him close to his chest and whispered in his ears “Your grandpa has gone. He left early this morning. It was a heart attack. He died peacefully in his sleep. We have to go immediately”. Madhav’s eyes welled with salt water as he uttered these words. “Grandpa has gone!” Dev did not cry. He had witnessed birth, death and the story called life in the middle through the eyes and words of his grandpa.

Nothing STAYS here for EVER except the residue of our action on earth. And we own NOTHING.

Mohanji .......

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A Siddha of Himalayas and A Farmer’s Son

A Siddha of Himalayas and A Farmer’s Son

Mohanji - A Siddha from Himalayas blog

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

Atmananda’s Memoirs – The story of Mooli Baba

It was many years ago. During one of my journeys to the Kumaon region of Himalayas, I happened to meet an interesting saint whom the villagers called Mooli Baba. Mooli means radish. (the whitish vegetable which is used as part of the green salad in the Northern part of India.) When I met him, Mooli Baba looked close to 60 years of age. I was curious and I asked one of the villagers, as to why he is called in the name of a vegetable? He replied “We do not know where he came from and what his name is. He suddenly appeared in the village and started wandering up and down, sleeping at various odd places, ignoring rain and sun. First he was considered as a mad beggar. But then we realized that he is not begging at all. Instead, he is buying one particular vegetable – radish, from the money that he dishes out from his own rough shoulder sack. We used to wonder how he has the money. None dared to ask him. Soon, he settled down close to the jungle trail, by erecting a shelter for himself with bamboo, sticks and raw clothes. It was not sufficient to contain the constant rain. But, he seemed to be satisfied. Soon, people started recognizing his stature and began to visit him.

Since we saw him eating only the vegetable Mooli, everyone brought Mooli to him as their offering. And as remedy or cure, he always gave everyone Mooli. Once, for a patient with throat cancer, he made him open his mouth and pushed a mooli inside and pulled it out thrice. He screamed in pain, but was instantly cured. His methods were strange. One lady drank the juice of the Mooli that he gave and it cured her stomach ulcer. His Mooli cured all illnesses spontaneously. But, some days, he will never come out of his tent or meet anyone. And on those days, if anyone comes near, he will throw Mooli at them and drive them away. And if the Mooli hit them, it healed them instantaneously. He was so powerful. The strangest thing I ever heard was his pushing a mooli up the anus of an old man suffering from piles and it healed him! They say that blood poured out of him and became a pool around his feet and people were frightened that he may die. He cried aloud in fear and confusion too. Soon, he became normal and he left on his own, fully healed!”

“Mooli Baba only articulates one word – AUM which sounds like Hmm from his mouth. He never asks anyone anything and whenever he needs something, money just appears in his hands and he pays for everything with cash.”

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

I had to meet Mooli Baba. The pull was so strong that I could not imagine moving away from that village without meeting him. I spent seven days and seven nights in this remote village, repeatedly visiting the make-shift abode of Mooli Baba. There always used to be a small crowd in front of his tent. I always waited because patients have to be given preference. And as if to test my patience, he always went inside and drew the curtain of the tent, ignoring me, as soon as the last patient left the tent. Seven days later, one day, he threw a Mooli at me. I took it and walked to my accommodation. That evening, I ate only that. And something shifted in me. I fell into a deep trance which lasted for a few days. I did not leave my room; neither did I eat, sleep or use the toilet. I did not even consume water. When I came back to the usual waking state, I realized, what a powerful avadhoota this Mooli Baba is. I did not waste a minute. I went back to him immediately.

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“Something shifted in me”

Rain was pouring from the dense skies. Thunder and rain. There was none on the village path. I did not have an umbrella. I was determined to see Mooli Baba or at least be in His presence. Water was flowing knee deep through the village path and it was difficult for me to walk. I cared for nothing else. Nothing could stop me from going to the abode of Mooli Baba. I waded through the water and reached the forest clearing near the tent of Mooli Baba. The cloth shutter was drenched and swayed in the rain and wind. It was cold. I was shivering. When I came close, I saw a hole in the cloth through which I looked inside. Mooli Baba was sitting there, with his eyes raised to the heavens, totally still and motionless, while the rain poured over him through various holes of the sack roof of his hut! He was totally unaffected by the weather! I stood looking at him for some time. I also could not move. I was standing outside his tent in rain while Mooli Baba was sitting inside his tent in rain. The same rain covered both of us. I felt as if both of us are under one umbrella of the nature called rain! When this thought occurred in my mind, Mooli Baba looked at my direction. He threw one Mooli at the cloth, which hit the cloth and fell back inside his tent. With his eyes, he motioned me to enter. I entered. He uttered “Hmm”. I replied “AUM”. He looked into my eyes. I Bowed down at his feet, making sure I did not touch his feet, but I touched his feet in my mind. He again said “Hmm” as if acknowledging my intention. He hit the back of my head with a Mooli. I went into a trance again. I do not know how many days or nights I stayed like this on my knees with my head touching the ground. When I came back to my terrestrial consciousness, Mooli Baba was not there. I was alone. Me or the villagers never saw Mooli Baba ever again. All I could see when I looked around was a small pile of mooli near the entrance of the tent. And it is true that those who chose to keep those Moolis, which I distributed to the villagers a few days later, saw that they never decayed even after years. They always remained as fresh as ever. Pieces of those Mooli cured many diseases too.

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” I left the body…There was no pain or fear in this plane. There was no ego or loss. There was no duality or oneness. There was nothing. It was like a hallucination. When I returned from this plane, my vision had changed. I could see through things around me.”

The two times that I went into trance, I had different experiences. The first time, I had left my body and was roaming in a plane of existence where there were only white bubbles all around. Totally naked men and women floated like fairies in the bubbles. I could see myself as if I am looking at myself from outside. I could see myself through others too. Everything was transparent. Then I realized that white conglomerates all colors. All colors came together to create white. So, in fact, this world is multi-colored! There was no pain or fear in this plane. There was no ego or loss. There was no duality or oneness. There was nothing. It was like a hallucination. When I returned from this plane, my vision had changed. I could see through things around me. Immediately, despite the rain, I went towards Mooli Baba’s abode.
The second time, when Mooli Baba hit my head with the mooli, I became like a splash of light. Everything gross dissolved. I became light. Just light. I saw many like me, but, they were all essentially me. I could not understand if they were within me or outside of me. The light was blinding, yet soothing. The body was well beyond earth and stars. I was light and there was nothing else apart from me. I am the creator, maintainer and destroyer. I am the witness too. I am everything and I am nothing! There was nothing neither created nor destroyed. There was a thin veil between my earlier identity and now, which was now fully torn to extinction. Nothing existed anymore.
When I came back to my body, I realized that I cannot be this body. As a reminder of my shift, or as a witness to it, only a few moolis were on the floor. There was none else. And Mooli Baba disappeared forever. Did he really exist? Or, did he exist only for me? Or did I visit this village for Him? Questions which needs no answer. Questions that does not matter! The current state is the only reality!
I stayed in the same village, in the same tent curing people for three years, as my humble offering to the great saint, Mooli Baba, as my Guru Dakshina. I fulfilled his tasks as best as I could, in my own humble way. The people whom I gave mooli got relieved of their nagging afflictions. When the divine call came for me to leave the place, I took my bag and left.  As soon as I walked out of the tent, it collapsed completely and merged with the earth!. No sign of its existence! It had miraculously stayed on all these years until I decided to leave the village. I faintly realized that I and Mooli Baba were in fact one. And I did not exist.

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” I became like a splash of light. Everything gross dissolved. I became light. Just light. I saw many like me, but, they were all essentially me. I could not understand if they were within me or outside of me. The light was blinding, yet soothing. The body was well beyond earth and stars. I was light and there was nothing else apart from me. I am the creator, maintainer and destroyer. There was nothing neither created nor destroyed. There was a thin veil between my earlier identity and now, which was now fully torn. Nothing existed anymore.”

Atmananda and the farmer’s son

While I was wandering further north from Kumaon, I stopped for a meal at a small way-side hut owned by a farmer. He had a tiny farmland. He grew seasonal crops there. He took care of his wife and a son with his income. He also served refreshments to the stray wanderers who traversed through the village path in front of his house, for a reasonable cost. There were no restaurants anywhere close by that place. Thus, that afternoon, I became his guest.

He was a selfless man and always served fresh food. When I told him that I am a wandering monk and I would like to have some food, he asked me to sit on a cot which he had kept outside his hut and went inside. I heard him conveying the arrival of a customer and also that he is a monk from whom money cannot be collected, to his wife. Then I heard his wife asking him if it is fine to give me the remnants (left-over) of their lunch since it is charity. He objected to her idea and insisted that to monks and saints’ old food should never be offered. The obedient wife silently went out of the house to the nearby well to fetch water for cooking. I sat observing the last rays of the setting sun casting a golden halo over the forest. It was a clear afternoon.
As the husband and his wife were busy cooking a meal for me, I saw his teenager son entering the house. He looked at me and bowed slightly, with a ritualistic, obligatory air, without any reverence and went inside. He asked his parents what they are doing and if they are cooking their supper. They said that they are cooking a meal for me. I heard the boy objecting. “He is a wandering monk. He has no money. He will not pay. Just give him the remnants of our lunch or a banana and some water and send him off before sunset. Otherwise, he will creep in for supper, too.” And as a continuation, he told his mother “Ma, my father does not have any concern for our tomorrow. At least you should guide him not to be so extravagant”. Quickly, his father intervened in a hushed voice,  “Hush! silence my son. Not so loud. Do you want the sadness of a hungry saint to affect our family? Keep quiet. It is our dharma to feed the hungry monks. Their blessings will keep us free from illness and poverty.” As his wife was cooking, perhaps to take him away from the periphery of my audibility, he took his son to the back side of his hut. I could still hear their conversation; perhaps it was even more audible to me.

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

The farmer said “Son, have you heard the story of Adi Shankara? While wandering, once he reached a house and called out for alms. The householder was away hunting for work and daily sustenance and his wife opened the door and saw a young monk calling out for alms. She told him with deep humility, “Pardon me Maharaj, there is not even one grain in this house. How can I serve you?” Adi Shankara looked at her and said, “Kind mother, I am very hungry. There will be something in the household. Please check all vessels and bottles.” The lady of the house searched and found one gooseberry in brine in one of the bottles kept in the kitchen. She gave that to Shankaracharya and he consumed it as if it is a delicious full meal. He was happy. He blessed her with the famous Kanakadhara Stotra. And golden gooseberries started falling from the skies and rolled on the ground. It goes without saying that the family became very rich and lived happily ever after.” He continued “My son, never ridicule saints and monks. God can appear in their form. Lord Shiva has appeared to many, as monks, saints and beggars! He appeared to Adi Shankara as a cobbler, to Sage Narada as a boatman! So, never count the money that you spent for their food. God will reward you with much more. If you scandalize a saint, as the scriptures say – eternal damnation will happen to you and your succeeding generations. Never bring wrath on yourself and your family, my son. God has given us sufficient food, water, clothes, this modest shelter as well as good health. Why not we share a bit of our food with a noble, wandering saint?”

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“We may not understand the stature of a holy man nor do we understand their method and action. We accept them, we respect them. They will shower grace on us.”

There was silence. The farmer’s son thought for a while and asked his father “As you said, it is a deep sin to scandalize saints. What if they are not saints and they are just lazy people pretending to be saints to enjoy free meals where ever they go from people like us who work hard day and night in the field?” The farmer said “Everyone will enjoy the fruits of their action, my son. You will get what you deserve and they will get what they deserve. Pretensions often become costly bargains and pretenders suffer terrible damnation. Nobody can fool the world forever. This should not be our concern, but that of the just God Almighty”. He added “My dear son, scriptures say that all the 68 places of pilgrimage reside at the feet of the holy saints. And one who abuses a holy man will be cursed with spiritual blindness or be spiritually crippled without any progress in lifetimes and also will be in the hell of suffering – life after life. We may not understand the stature of a holy man nor do we understand their method and action. We accept them, we respect them. They will shower grace on us. What is material richness worth, if the inheritance is deep suffering? And liberation will be taken away from him and his kin, if saints are abused! And the cursed ones will roam in the 8.5 crore types of wombs available on earth including worms and insects and suffer agonies in each existence. Why my son, since a bit of kindness can ensure our liberation, why should rude, unkind words tilt the whole equilibrium of our whole family and the generations to come? Let us honor saints and let us be rich within which is the true richness.”

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“Everyone will enjoy the fruits of their action, my son. You will get what you deserve and they will get what they deserve. Pretensions often become costly bargains and pretenders suffer terrible damnation. Nobody can fool the world forever. This should not be our concern, but that of the just God Almighty”

Soon, they brought a hot meal outside to me and both the farmer and the son served me wholeheartedly. After the tasty meal, I prepared to leave. They requested me to stay the night over and leave in the next morning, as there were no places to stay anywhere nearby, ahead of their abode. I could not accept their further hospitality as I had to reach further north and decided to be on my way. Before I left, I gave them three moolis and I told them. “Farm these moolis in your yard before day break (brahma muhurtha) tomorrow. You will have no dearth for wealth.”
The whole family came and prostrated at my feet and I left them and walked away into the moonlit village path, towards north.
I love YOU
M

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“…I decided to be on my way”