Many of you may be aware that over the last couple of months Mohanji’s hair underwent a natural formation of two mighty dreadlocks (were visible from the back). During his recent stay in the US he went to a hair stylist who specializes in unlocking dreadlocks and this man was amazed – he said he never saw anything like it and that there is no way those two dreadlocks can be untangled!
In spiritual terms, twisted, matted ropes of hair (called dreadlocks) are known as a symbol of renunciation and spiritual stature, an expression of disregard for profane vanity.
Lord Shiva and his followers were described in the scriptures as wearing “Jataa”, meaning “twisted locks of hair”. According to the ‘Hymn of the longhaired sage’ in the ancient Vedas, long jatas express a “spiritual significance which implies the wearer has special relations with spirits, is an immortal between two worlds and the master over fire.”
In modern times, many people grow their dreadlocks out of fashion or cultural expression, using various methods and styles. However, in Mohanji’s case they formed naturally, certainly due to his Shivic energy – knowing Mohanji, I wouldn’t be surprised if more leelas occur in relation to the two dreadlocks now that they are cut off. We’ll certainly preserve them as a memento of his unique leelas…
The mere presence of an enlightened soul has the power to transform you inside and out. One glance and you will be unrecognizable to yourself and those around you.
Then of course, there are His words, all the highest teachings and wisdom of the universe distilled into something that we can digest and assimilate. I have heard that in the old times the Master would not give verbal teachings, His disciples would have to watch and learn silently.
This past month with Mohanji has flown by in what feels like a day or two. When I look back it seems like a blur, but, with moments that stand out clear and bright like islands or stars. Mohanji works on and for us unceasingly and continuously, but these are the moments where it is clear and you realize: “After this, I will not be the same”.
Mohanji carried a calm and perfect silence with Him wherever He went, and yet He is the most intensely active and busy being I have ever seen. At the same time, not one second is wasted, not one movement is frivolous or without purpose, every action and word is streamlined, lean and precise, like an arrow flying straight at its target. Along with this there is total spontaneity, nothing is preplanned and nothing is contrived, everything is natural and everything flows.
I saw Him go many nights with only two or three hours of sleep, but His focus and clarity was undiminished. I saw Him go from one type of company to a completely different type of company, changing fluidly and almost imperceptibly to suit the need and environment. I saw in Him displays of such humility that I could not but be aware of my own arrogance and assumption. I saw the transformation in those around Him. I saw people living an entire life, including death and rebirth, in one moment, at Mohanji’s touch and presence. I saw those who see in Mohanji a man, and those who see God.
I did not see something unattainable. I did not see a complicated being.
Cape Town was the first city we visited. It was here that I started getting an idea about the speed and pace at which Mohanji works, never stopping even for a moment. On the first morning after His arrival, some birds came to our room balcony, and only left after accepting a few bread crumbs from Mohanji. He said that we can never know what form His people will come in.
Two gulls stood on the roof of a car and it took me moment to realize that it was the same car we used to fetch Mohanji from the airport; the other cars were left un-birded.
A few conversations occurred, in which questions that had not been voiced were answered, a confirmation that to Mohanji, we are open books, that He sees and He knows. Vulnerable and naked, one should go fearlessly to the Master, it is well worth it.
Yashik Singh performed a ritual to Ganesha and a fire ceremony, which were beautiful and powerful, I felt very blessed and grateful to be there. Mohanji said that doing it with heart is what makes the difference between mechanical and spiritual ritual. Going into the Temple the next day, there was no mistaking the potency and energy of the place; I thought that this might be what one of Shankaracharya’s four temples in India feels like, a sacred gift to South Africa.
Later we lit the dhuni. I could not believe that I could be a part of something like this! The fire represents purity and awareness and is associated with the Mohanji’s tradition. When I was in Shirdi with Him I got zapped by Baba’s dhuni, enough to convince me that this is no regular fire, but is a different kind of force, and mighty at that. This is why lighting the fire in Durban was very overwhelming. We saw Naga Devas in the fire; Mohanji was very pleased by this auspicious sign. Yashik and I had a few minutes alone in which we chanted Mohanji’s gayatri and made offerings to the fire. I will be ever grateful for that moment with my brother. Afterwards I could feel a lot of energy in my body and spine and mind was calm and peaceful, and I felt like a child, empty of knowledge, all that was left was surrender.
On two other occasions we went to the Sathya Sai Temple in Durban. Peace pervaded the entire property, and the moortis and pictures in the shrine room were covered in sacred ash and turmeric. Devan and the guys who live there and run the place glowed in their devotion to Sathya Sai Baba, whom they affectionately call Swami and were warm and welcoming, and really made us all feel at home. Mohanji said with a childlike smile that it was a homecoming for Him; He showed such grace and humility here. Baba and Mohanji are one, but all we saw was gratitude and joy that Baba had invited and brought Him here. At one point, Baba’s ashen foot prints materialized around the chair where Mohanji was sitting, as if Baba had walked around Him, later when we were eating lunch I asked Mohanji whether He saw Baba walking. He looked at me and smiled and said: “No, I am an ignorant man”.
While we were there I got the distinct impression, that for many of the people who attend the regular bhajans and prayers there, it is the only place of solace that they know and have access to, that without that temple, there would be that much more grief and loneliness, a big part of my purpose and Mohanji’s mission became clearer to me then.
The next thing that stands out for me is the three day retreat in Johannesburg. Being in a position to watch the changes that everyone went through by having such close and intimate time with Mohanji was a privilege. Some of my friends were there as well, and it brought joy to know that they were drinking up every drop, and really opening themselves up to the experience. It seemed like a gradual transformation, but I knew not be fooled, that Mohanji always works at warp speed, that years, if not life times, of baggage and hindrances had been annihilated by His energy and grace. On the last day of the retreat I conducted a short interview with the folks who attended, asking them about their experiences, how they felt and what had changed for them. I asked one lady: “What is next for you”? She answered: “Today”.
Next was meditation and satsang at Lam Rim Tibetan Buddhist centre. Here is one of the most beautiful shrines I’ve ever seen, with a huge moorti of Buddha. Buddha’s consciousness and teachings were some of the first to penetrate my mind and wake me up a bit. I love Him and I love Mohanji, it was a beautiful coming together of two sacred threads in this life!
Then we went to Haenerstburg in the province of Limpopo. We stayed in the home of a beautiful lady named Jax Rudman. This lady takes care of abandoned and abused horses. I saw here again Mohanji’s connection with animals shining through; a clear message that love is truly universal. After one of the meditations we were taking photos, and as I was pointing the camera at Mohanji, He started to glow very brightly and unmistakably, we are fortunate to have actually “captured” this beautiful moment.
That brings me to the end of this story. Many people have narrated miraculous experiences with Mohanji, but Mohanji’s example says as plain as a day that “Spirituality is simplicity” and that there is nothing that is not a miracle, it is all happening here and now, so, don’t blink or you’ll miss.
With the formative years being spent in Kolkata, Durga Puja has always been a much awaited festival.
During Mohanji’s recent visit to Muscat, our home and various meetings and interactions, I would always ask if he, astrally, ever visited us at home, it used to elicit a smile and a confirmation.
11th October 2013, was astami. I received the most welcome gift from the most sought after visitor. I was watering the plants in the enclosed corridor outside my kitchen, when, at a particular spot, I got a strong whiff of ‘Kapur’. I must confess that I have the most insensitive sense of smell in our house. I called Navin, who continued being in the balcony, thinking that it may have infused from the neighbor’s. When I described the spot, which is enclosed, he too came and confirmed the smell of ‘Kapur’.
We later shared our experience with the formative years being spent in Kolkata, Durga Puja has always been a much awaited festival.
It was a most reassuring feeling.
Hence, I dedicate this astami of Durga Puja to Mohanji. We are indeed blessed by his omnipresent presence amongst us. Please continue visiting your family. Bina Shrivastava – Muscat.
So much of unexpected is guaranteed when one spends time with Mohanji. It is surprises like this that fill our hearts with sweetness and joy, and we just can’t get enough of it :-). I would like to share with you a beautiful blessing & miracle that happened during out recent trip to Durban:
Tashmin and her family requested Mohanji to bless the land on which they intend to build their new home. A dozen of us went there, parked the cars next to the road and witnessed a sweet little ceremony which included lighting of the fire on camphor placed in a small little clay pot to purify the land using the element of fire. As the camphor was lit Mohanji gave specific guidance how to build the house to maximize the harmony and how not to disturb the flow of energy by maintaining the natural hill formation on the ground. As we stood and conversations ensued, the fire just kept burning. It was then that we noticed something totally mind-blowing about this fire – not only does it continue to burn but the little pot, strangely enough, became filled with water to the brim! Nobody knows where the water came from (not to mention the logic-defying fact that fire usually doesn’t burn ON water!) – all of us were puzzled and our heads turned towards Mohanji – he gave us his naughty smile and said the balancing of the elements is now complete. Tash and her family were filled with gratitude – it was their purity and devotion that made them earn this beautiful blessing from Mohanji.