The Kumbha Mela Trip with Mohanji was definitely the most intense and most fulfilling trip of my life!
So much happened during those few days – the intensity of the blessings that were poured on us, one after another, was beyond my wildest imagination!
When we just started the trip, Mohanji told me that he received a telepathic message from Shirdi Sai that day. He said:” I AM TRAVELLING WITH YOU.” I was so deeply touched. And that, indeed, was experienced throughout the trip – we witnessed various signs of Baba’s presence at almost every step – from minor ones to mighty blessings that normally could never be experienced. It was great fun!
The way our accommodation was arranged in the last minute was itself a miracle. It was completely guided by intuition and aided by Dr. Pradeep Ullal’s connection with Swami Nardanand from Siddha Ashram. Even though this humble Swami never met Mohanji before, he told him he would be honored to host us at his modest/improvised Kumbha Mela ashram set up.
I was mentally prepared for discomfort and ‘tapas’ – cold weather, tents, basic food, if any, poor toilet facilities, etc. And yet, I knew it was worth it!
50 million people at one place is no joke (gosh, five times the population of my country, that too all gathered at one place – beyond imagination!)
The first miracle we witnessed was at the very instance of arriving to the Train Station in Delhi. We stayed with Mohanji’s cousins Shaju and Bindu. Shaju accompanied us in the taxi to the Train Station that morning. It was around 5am and we were definitely not pleased to see the taxi car’s engine shutting down each time the car would slow down or stop. As the traffic intensified, the engine malfunction was more evident and more frequent. We were wondering whether we’ll even make it to the Train Station! Exactly in the moment that thought came, Mohanji noticed Shirdi Baba’s small photo near drivers’s stirring wheel. He smiled and told me: “Oh yeah, we’ll make it. Baba is taking care of it.” Sure enough, we reached the Train Station right on time, but poor Shaju had a lot of trouble on the way back since the car also ran out of fuel. 🙂
Second blessing happened as soon as we arrived to Haridwar – Vanamali Mataji (who considers Mohanji as her spiritual son -her beautiful ashram in natural surroundings is in Rishikesh, next to Haridwar) and her main disciple, Swami Mohanji, managed to reach the Train Station to welcome us.
What a surprise that was! We heard that not even rickshaw will be able to move through the crowd and thus never expected to see them. They immediately took us to a restaurant for a lovely lunch – we were all bubbling with joy! It was so beautiful to bask in the glow of Amma’s eyes and enjoy her presence – what an auspicious way of starting our Kumbha Mela experience!
The next blessing awaited us on the way to Siddha Ashram – we were wondering whether we’ll manage to find a rickshaw, and sure enough, soon one arrived – as we were entering, a small photo of Shirdi Baba glued was smiling at us from inside the rickshaw :-). I felt very excited and knew the whole trip will be a great adventure!
We soon arrived to Siddha Ashram and went straight into the tent of Swami Nardanand who gave us a warm welcome.
He said that we arrived just on time as he was about to leave in order to take the group of Yoga practitioners from France whom he hosted for Kumbha Mela to see someone extraordinary. He said: “Today, if we are blessed, we’ll have a chance to meet in person a REAL AVADHOOTA. There are not many real ones out there. He is a fully realized being, a complete renunciate. He has no name, but some have named him “Langhoti Baba” because he always wears only that small cloth (Langhoti) to cover the intimate parts. He lives on a tree and mainly stays away from people.” Mohanji and I were overwhelmed – we arrived right on dot! Sai Ram!
We just dropped the luggage and started to walk. Mohanji was mainly walking next to Swamiji and they were talking in Hindi. After 30 min. or so of a lovely walk in nature on the banks of river Ganges, we finally reached our destination and beheld, right before our eyes, a beautiful tree with the most peculiar accommodation unit improvised among its branches. I was really excited!
Unfortunately, the great Avadhoota was not there – one local man who was waiting for him as well said that he must be taking a bath in Ganges and will hopefully come sometime soon. We all sat around the tree and meditated. The place was really magical. We prayed sincerely that he graces us with his darshan.
However, after almost two hours of waiting, sensing that the group enthusiasm is slowly waning, Swami Nardanand at one point said: “It looks like the Avadhoota does not wish to see us. We should slowly get going.”
Disappointment was visible on everyone’s face. Mohanji got up and started walking with Swamiji. I was somehow reluctant to go because I was so sure that I would see the Avadhoota that day.
I was putting my sport shoes on, cleaning the dust from my trousers, observing the tree for a few seconds longer, and then, by the time I looked up, Mohanji and Swamiji were gone. I walked towards the Ganges and looked in both directions, but could not see them. I had a strong intuition that I simply MUST find them! After looking intently for some more time, I suddenly caught a glimpse of Swamiji’s orange robe in the distance, in the direction opposite from where we came. That very instant I JUST RAN over the stones and bushes, as if I ran for my life, and soon reached Mohanji and one more man by the name of Krishna, who were trying to keep pace with Swamiji.
Another 10 minutes or so of brisk walk through bushes, and suddenly we saw a group of five people sitting under a tree. It was the Avadhoota, right there in front of us!!! What a great blessing! A strong energy field around him ‘hit’ me immediately and I kind of lost my breath. His eyes were mainly half closed and he instantly reminded me of Lahiri Mahasaya’s (the great Kriya Yoga Master) expression. Avadhoota was very slim and youngish, with braided hair and nothing aside from ‘langhoti’ on his body.
I sat next to Mohanji right away and bowed to the Avadhoota, deeply touched. I could hear him reacting to my bowing with a brief audible smile. I was so deeply touched that I could not think of anything nor convey anything telepathically –all I know is that my heart was beating SO HARD, as if about to jump out of the chest any moment. I knew from the past experiences what that meant – presence of a very high Master.
It was a great honor to be in his energy field – I knew that only those who are eligible can have this experience, and felt so indescribably grateful. The feeling I once had during astral encounter with Mahavatar Babaji kept coming to me again and again – I had no doubt that this Avadhoota was experiencing the consciousness of Mahavatar Babaji.
Even though I felt like keeping my eyes closed, after some time, I focused my attention on the Avadhoota. There was something so sweet and humble about his posture – he exuded the cuteness and majesty of a cat when it sits confidently and then wraps its tail around the body. 🙂 His skin had a beautiful glow and his purity touched my heart.
Our friend Krishna was the first one who spoke – he said in Hindi: “We are sorry if we are disturbing you”. The young Avadhoota smiled some more and spoke very little, in Hindi – later on Mohanji translated to me the wisdom pearls that he uttered – he was mainly referring to the being level and going beyond all the physical needs, beyond sadhana, notions of chakras, Kundalini, etc. (since I have not realized the meaning of those words through my own spiritual experiences, I will leave that part to Mohanji to convey to you, if possible).
Mohanji spoke to Avadhoota several times and each time he turned his gaze towards us I felt shivers/current in my spine – the very glance of his eyes was a Shaktipat. The experience was overwhelming.
At one point Swami Nardanand left to try to fetch his French guests. In the end, he managed to bring only a few of them, that too at the time when the Avadhoota was already fetching his stick, getting ready to leave. Out of politeness, he sat for another minute or so as the new people were arriving, but I could feel that his powerful vibrations were now completely withdrawn.
In the commotion that ensued while the new visitors were getting seated, Swami Nardanand said briefly that it is OK to take a photo. I was feeling too shy to even reach out to the photo camera in my bag – it was just so inappropriate to even think about doing that without the Avadhoota’s permission. Mohanji then prompted me by saying: “It’s OK, go ahead.” As I was taking the camera, I prayed to this amazing Master to bless us with an image of his which will serve as an INSPIRATION to all spiritual seekers who will get to know about him.
Since I was sitting to the right side of him, I was expecting to take a photo of his profile only. However, at the VERY SECOND when my camera clicked, he turned towards me, placed his hands in a prayer position and looked up. Tears came into my eyes when I beheld the priceless gift that he gave us – I knew it in my heart that he recognized the purity of our intention and thus gave us this one more final blessing.
It is my honor to be in a position to share this photo with you – the expression in his eyes indeed speaks more than anything he could have ever conveyed to us through words:
A second after this click, Avadhoota got up, and with a help of his walking stick, disappeared fast inside the bushes. I was speechless.
I took a photo of another sadhu with a very long braided hair who was happy to pose for the photo, but the expression in his eyes was nowhere close to that of our Avadhoota.
While walking back to the ashram we beheld the breathtaking sunset over the holy river Ganges
– with Shivaratri day and so many other experiences still ahead of us, I was looking forwared to taking a purifying dip in a river enriched by the vibrations of so many Great Masters like this Avadhoota over centuries.
As we walked back to the Siddha Ashram camp, Mohanji told me that Shirdi Baba too was like this Avadhoota when he was young. He was found sitting under a Neem tree, immersed in bliss – nobody knew who he was, what his name was, and how he lived without food or shelter.
I was glad that the young Avadhoota from Maharashtra grew into a giant of Shirdi Baba and became a beacon of Light and unconditional guidance to so many people till date.
I wonder what will the future of our young Avadhoota by the Ganges river bring… Of one thing I’m sure – in which ever way the Universe guides him to serve, we are incredibly blessed by the very presence of such a being on Earth.
(to be continued…)