An interesting event happened…. I lost my wallet the day before night and came to know that I lost it by yesterday morning. My credit cards and all other IDs were in that. I immediately called up Mohanji and informed Him. He said, not to worry, he’d do what He has to do!!!! (As always!!!!!!!!) That was enough for me.
I didn’t cancel any of the credit cards or go to the police. I just reported to the security office in my community. When I look back now, I was very cool and without any tensions about it. I trusted Him.
By evening, when I was sitting with Mohanji, I received a call from the hotel where we conducted the retreat saying my wallet is found and that a guy called Jojo has it. (I had the business card of the lady in Radisson hotel and hence the call went to her!!) Our contact in the hotel gave me Jojo’s number. I called him…..
An angel in the form of a Philipino man, he was! I met him near my place and he handed the wallet over to me!!!!!!!!
Just before I received the call from the hotel, dear Monja suggested that I should speak to Mohanji about my wallet! I said I would and the next moment the phone rang!!
I learned two lessons:
(1) I should not be absent minded and
(2) Only believing in Him is not enough, one has to trust him completely and only then grace would flow… Complete surrender…
This story has begun much before any idea of organising POP in Hungary.
After the 1st Veda chanting by Veda Union in Novi Sad in July this year which I was recording and documenting, I shared the photos and videos to all participants interested, especially organisers. Then one lady, Spomenka from Sai organisation invited me to be a guest in another one, much bigger, longer and more intense one, a weekend programme in Piliscsaba, Hungary. Though this invitation was a fulfilment of my then wish which I had not told anyone, I was indecisive because of my work commitments and finances. So I said if circumstances allowed it, I would love to go!
Later, for my birthday I was gifted some money which was enough for this trip. I was listening to my inner voice whether to go or not and eventually I registered.
Suddenly I got to know that Mohanji was going to come approximately at the same time – about that weekend. Oh, I thought, I would have to cancel something if it clashes, I must see Mohanji, do not test me now, of course he is my priority. Then it turned out that Mohanji will come the weekend after this event. Great – I’ll prepare as best I can. What else could I do?
Professional Veda chanting is a powerful cleansing tool and unifies one with the universal energy, one consciousness. I craved to attend this as an active participant, raise my vibration as well and prepare for Mohanji’s arrival so that I can be a totally empty pot to receive as much his compassionate energy as I can. He gives all he has, if you can receive it. However the event like this with more than 150 participants is not meant only for personal benefit. It creates powerful high vibrations which echo hundreds of kilometres around that place. We dedicated these vibrations to all those suffering as refugees, especially in Hungary these months.
Then the schedule arrived and I saw that the programme was going to finish at 13h. So we could perhaps organise a Power of Purity meditation there! I would already be in Hungary, if it has to happen, let it happen, give me a sign I thought.
On Sunday I was going to perform Power of Purity meditation in Novi Sad. As we had just moved to another venue there was a new CD player which was also a USB player. It took me some time to adapt to searching tunes through USB as it is different from searching it on a PC. It constantly got stuck on POP meditation in Hungarian and it kept starting several times all over again. Our Hungarian friend Anika, who rarely comes to meditations but she came exactly that Sunday, heard this beginning of Hungarian version of POP. She immediately mentioned her sister and a few contacts she could make. We discussed together how it would be lovely if we could have POP in Hungary ’’if things open and everything settles in their place.“ It was a trigger for me to continue to work on it.
Also, nothing would have developed if there wasn’t our Eva. It would be impossible to communicate.
She is constantly translating and spreading the message in Hungarian through Mohanji Hungary FB page . She also recorded ’’360 Degrees’’ Meditation in Hungarian which can be downloaded from the website. Furthermore, she recorded the introduction into POP in Hungarian so I could just play the CD in order that Hungarian speakers understand the meaning, purpose of POP as well as the initial breathing and shaktipat.
We almost arranged one in a Yoga studio in Budapest, but it didn’t happen. I thought if it wasn’t the time, ok, if it was, ok again, let it be whatever was meant to be. I talked to the friend from Sai oganisation and within an hour she arranged the venue.
The circumstances wanted the 1st meditation in Hungary to be performed in Piliscsaba, at the same venue after a full purifying weekend consisting of four hours of Veda chanting, four more hours of Sathya Sai Paduka Puja, bhajans, and the next day Shirdi Sai’s birthday celebration.The whole room was pulsating from high energy and bliss.
Attendants were from Hungary and Germany. Mohanji’s grace was flowing intensely. Afterwards, though we met for the first time and spoke different languages (as I can’t speak Hungarian) participants’ eyes were shining, their hearts were melting, overflowing with love released from the core of their beings during the meditation and they approached me to hug me in gratitude. I distributed eye-cards, POP CDs and CDs with sacred mantras sung by Mohanji himself.
This was just breaking the ice and all the way I was reminded of who is exactly the one who pulls the strings. Ours is to put intention and efforts along with devotion, love and commitment, and then we can see and enjoy what this love we radiate will bring about. We need to maintain this flow of love in our hearts, then whatever is best for us comes without our even asking. It is often not up to our expectations. It is often much beyond our imagination.
Written by Neha and Nilesh Parekh
A Homa is a sacred fire ceremony which is performed for various religious reasons such as celebrating a marriage, a new home, or holy days. The purpose of the homa is to offer our gratitude to the Divine and receive their blessings. Canada was graced when Mohanji accepted our request to perform a Homa ceremony in Toronto during His visit in August 2015. Mohanji does not perform such Homas frequently as it is very taxing for his body. The last one he performed was during the retreat at Haridwar in November 2014.
This Homa was performed by Mohanji Himself.
He had explained the nature of Homas to us previously and how the sacred fire could expand beyond our imagination. Thus, the search for a venue where the facilities would meet such requirements was in full swing. It was very hard to find such a location in the given span of time due to the wedding season and religious holy month of Shravan. When our last hope did not work out, I gave up, surrendered the thought at Mohanji’s Lotus Feet and said “May what you wish happen, we have tried everything but in vain”. Suddenly, within a couple of hours I received a suggestion from a devotee to try the Vaishnodevi temple in a suburb of Toronto. Without wasting a moment, Nilesh and I drove to the temple and took a look at the hall designed especially for Homas. It was just perfect. How Mohanji works is amazing. The minute I dropped down with full surrender………He took over. The amazing thing too was that, even though it was a busy month, we were able to reserve for the desired day and time. Thank You Mohanji for this
The Homa room was beautifully designed, surrounded by glass doors, bathed in sunlight and with Mother Nature all around. Under Mohanji’s guidance the preparations were taken care of soon after the booking was complete. The response from devotees for participating in the Homa was positive. In two weeks, all was set up and ready to go. For the Homa we were to prepare packets as offerings to the sacred fire for each participant. In all there were about 28 participants, however Mohanji asked us to prepare 60 packets. Though we were surprised, we followed Mohanji’s Instructions. Ultimately, all packets were 100% used How accurate of Guruji. He is always right!
On Sunday the 16th of August, the Homa started with Mohanji giving a description of the ceremony. He explained in detail that the purpose of the Homa we were about to experience was to ward off negativities collected by us from four sources.
Negativities form Lineage – related to our ancestors
Negativities from our past births
Negativities from society
Negativities acquired by self
This was something totally new and unheard of for us. We only had a general awareness of the Homas that priests perform in the normal course of a wedding or when worshipping a particular Deity. We were blank slates and could not fathom what we were about to witness. Each participant was given a packet containing dry coconut, incense sticks, camphor tablets and rose water.
The Homa started with praying, chanting and inviting each Deity to attend the Homa and bless us all by their presence.
As soon as Mohanji lit the fire, we noticed a white flame in it. That white flame was the fire element offered by Mohanji himself.
Soon Mohanji started chanting the Ganesh Mantra followed by each Deity’s Mantra. Shiva and Shakti were present all the time. Shiva’s Trishula was apparent at all times. How Graceful is Mohanji and how graceful are the Deities that we were able to feel their presence and high energy instantly. Each one of us was very fortunate and blessed to see how one form of God (Mohanji) invites, and how other forms of God (Shiva, Vishnu and other forms) leave their abode and descend on earth to bless us.
People offered the Homa Samagri in the Fire with great devotion and love.
There were amazing vibrations all around. Some couldn’t stop crying, some were experiencing pure bliss and some were teleported to a different plane altogether. Mohanji, with HIS firm and strong stature stayed in front of the fire with great Intensity at all times. He was in a different state.
I noticed it was as though HE were in constant communion with all the Deities present in the Homa. His sight was mesmerizing, so intense and so solid! He was physically sitting there, but communicating with all the unknown Divines with a glance. All the devotees were experiencing this very unusual Homa with utmost grace showering constantly, unlike a regular Homa which is quite methodological. During this Homa we experienced that each one was a part of this divine ceremony.
After obtaining the Deities’ blessing, Mohanji instructed everyone to hold their coconut with two hands close to the heart chakra, and start transferring all the negativities accumulated and acquired from the four sources. All were asked to do this with great devotion and faith, and to let go of it all.
The more we let go, the more negativity would be burned said Mohanji. It was now all in the devotees’ hands to fully surrender at Mohanji’s lotus feet, and let go of all the negativities. One by one each person came and offered their coconut into the fire. To our amazement, soon after the first coconut was offered, everyone felt that the air in the room started to change. It was getting heavier and claustrophobic. After a few more offerings the room was totally and distinctly black.
The bright room of a few hours ago had now been turned into black fog. The smoke was becoming denser with each offering, and though the ventilation was excellent and the exhaust huge, the room looked totally black. All were moving here and there to deal with the sudden gusts of black smoke, however Mohanji did not move.
He sat there firmly, warding off all that was offered into the fire. He was constantly churning and burning the negativities. His eyes were ablaze, intense. With each offering, the Fire God was getting brighter and brighter, and louder and louder, such that it was becoming difficult for us to even sit by it and offer coconuts. Mohanji however was there all the time, and as he said later on, “if He had not been sitting there all the while, then the negativities would have escaped and none would be unburdened”. Such is the grace and compassion of a Master who goes to any extent of pain for his devotee (Baba we love you). Only Mohanji knows how much was moved. Mountains of negativities were released by the devotees, tons of emotions were let go. One can see from the images the negativities in the form of faces and shapes, being burned to ashes.
All saw the change in the room and felt the lightness within. They were all smiles. All felt as light as could be. Mohanji, the mover of negativity, changed so many lives in Toronto. All felt the change in their own acceptance and forgiving power. At the end, Mohanji confirmed that the Fire God had reached all the corners of the Yagyan Kund and burned everything offered, an indication that all the offerings had been accepted and negativities burned.
Why do we collect negativity in any form (greed, envy, jealousy, lust etc.)? As Mohanji answers, it is “because we don’t want to let go of it”. We love to pamper it and let it grow within us, so much so, that it swallows our being and makes us into a person we are not. We are born pure and purity is our being. All these accumulated layers are a big hindrance to our spiritual growth and through these, we affect the community. Mohanji with His love for all beings and non- beings, tries to spread love and peace with harmony. Mohanji moves negativities with a glance, and that has been proved by many. All you need is faith in positive change and compassion for all to make this world a better place to live in. The grace with which Mohanji operates is unimaginable. With our limited minds, we would never be able to judge the compassion with which Mohanji works for the betterment of each person’s spiritual growth, emotional balance or mental peace. Mohanji is a Sadguru who does so much without being asked, and never makes claims about how much He gives us. It is not a simple task to move the negativities we cling so tightly to. Only the grace of a great Master like Mohanji can ward off such blockages and relieve us from our baggage of burdened emotions, setting us free to breathe love. We are love and we feel love. Love is in the air.
To add to this divine experience we were blessed by the presence of Shirdi Sai Baba who appeared through a Sai devotee. After the Homa people were basking in the tranquility of lightness and calmness. The subsequent appearance of Sai Baba further shifted them to a world of pure happiness. The whole bodily structure of the Sai Devotee started to change. He must have been in his 50s, but his body started changing to that of an 80 year old Sai. All his physical expressions were now those of Sai Baba. It took a while for this reality to sink in amongst the people. Seeing Sai, tears of joy and gratitude started to flow. One can never know what divine leela was being orchestrated! Some were still in shock and could not believe their eyes. Was it really Sai? Was it the same Sai that we’d always wished to see in the physical form? Were we even eligible enough to receive this grace?
All the while I was observing that Mohanji was smiling, a smile that I shall never forget, an indication of the ever flowing grace materialized by Mohanji for his devotees’ elevation to the highest. This is Mohanji! All his thoughts, words and actions, his whole existence, is just for his devotees. ‘Thank you’ would be too small a word to express our gratitude to Mohanji for enabling us to have the divine presence of Sai Baba.
Mohanji then sat near Sai and offered him water and fruit which Sai lovingly ate. Sai then gave Shaktipath to Mohanji. Sai told Mohanji that he was very pleased with Mohanji’s work and the Homa that he’d done in Canada, which helped devotees to get rid of negativities. He kept his arm on Mohanji’s chest and shoulder as if he was protecting Mohanji from the negativities that Mohanji had removed from all of us through the Homa. It was such a blissful feeling to see this communion between two divine entities who are one but have descended on this earth just for the love and call of their devotees. What transpired between these two forms of God is beyond our imagination. One can only feel and dive into that moment of their presence.
Everybody received Sai’s grace and blessings based on their eligibility. A devotee received Shaktipath and she went into a trance. Another devotee was blessed with a flower. I fed Sai some fruit and in turn He fed me too and then He blessed me by saying ” MY DEAREST, YOU HAVE FED ME TODAY WITH LOVE, YOU WILL NEVER HAVE DEARTH OF FOOD OR CLOTHING IN YOUR HOME, HAPPINESS WILL BE EVER BESTOWED UPON YOUR HOME . EVER BE SO KIND AND LOVE ALL. YOU ARE CLOSE TO MY HEART AND SERVE YOUR MASTER EVER WITH PURE FAITH AND DEVOTION.” OMG!! JUST THE SAME LINES AS SAI SAT CHARITRA… Mohanji and Sai blessing us all the while was just a glimpse of the shower of Grace that is raining constantly upon us. It is us that need to be available at all times. We move around with so many umbrellas of judgements, concepts and analysis, refusing to bathe in this divine shower of grace and love. Openness and total acceptance is the only way to receive this Divine Grace.
Mohanji we bow down to your lotus feet. Peace be to all.
Love you always,
Neha & Nilesh
The unwavering consciousness of a realized Master is the veritable engine that effects the spiritual transformation of the people who come into contact with him thus taking them towards the ultimate goal of liberation. This consciousness, unruffled stillness like still water or perfect mirror, reflects the true nature of the seeker who comes in contact with the Guru. Some are frightened to see their own true form and run away. They are usually blinded by the material world. They are not aware of how bound they are. Some accept it and decide to walk towards the ultimate goal of personal liberation. The connection of the individual to this consciousness depends on his or her degree of awareness, faith and surrender. Bhaav (devotion or attitude of gratitude with reverence) is the essential ingredient which is a gift of the Master’s grace made eligible through the perseverance and persistence of the individual. The Master provides several methods that help in deepening the connection – His words (written or spoken), spiritual methods and techniques, energy transfer and, in some cases, spiritual experiences. However, a realized Master’s operating level is not restricted to the physical planes. The work that the Master does in other subtle dimensions is far more transformative and yet not always perceptible and tangible to the individual. It is the pure grace of the Master that flows out of his deep compassion and love to provide and use all available avenues to uplift the individual and move him closer to liberation.
“There are various stages in stillness. Momentary, Partial, Occasional, Induced, Non-induced, Perpetual, Situational so on and so forth to Total or Eternal. Each state has its own level of mastery. Each stage has its value. And the highest is ‘forever still’ where there is no return to non-stillness. Anything else can have a return back possibility. There can be a fallback. This is where you need the presence of an “internally still master”, irrespective of what he is externally. And beware. It is not so easy to handle such a master. He is as powerful as the complete consciousness can be.” – Mohanji
Mohanji’s blogs and books (such as the Power of Purity) are a testament to the power of Truth in the form of the written word. They have attracted spiritual seekers from across the world who have felt the depth and lucidity, that can only come from the Source, delivered in a direct and incisive manner. The words are imbued with His vibrations and hence work in subtle ways to inspire and guide spiritual seekers to seek the highest goal of mankind – liberation – and address their deepest doubts and fears. Mohanji has also provided several methods and techniques free of charge such as the meditations (Power of Purity, 360°), Consciousness Kriya, Conscious Walking, Shaktipat, etc. These techniques were received by Him in deep communion in an elevated state of consciousness. Hence, these techniques are divinely empowered to connect deeper with His Consciousness and can be incorporated into one’s spiritual practices to take one further in his or her spiritual goals.
As Mohanji always says, “I always do my job. You do yours”. The Master’s words and techniques are an extension of the same Guru principle. A master delivers only with the purpose of elevating or cleansing the receiver. His intentions are always pure. As Mohanji always says, marry the methods and do not judge or criticise the giver. Everything that is thus delivered has power. The power must be respected.
Too often, people tend to accumulate techniques like they gather material possessions. When the mind refuses to persevere long enough to bear fruit to the use of a technique, the individual either berates the technique or tries to find another that is “more” potent according to his limited mind ignoring the suggestions of the guru with unlimited mind. Thus the individual gets entangled in a mind trap in the search for the “next best” technique or in a lot of cases the “next best” Guru. This can also sometimes lead to perceived superiority of knowing (albeit superficially) a plethora of tools and techniques resulting in mental indigestion and the accompanying malady of knowledge diarrhea – ready to poop undigested knowledge at unsuspecting seekers at the first chance. 🙂
“If you cannot recognise the eyes, you cannot recognise the consciousness. Eyes are the gateway to the consciousness.” – Mohanji
As Paramahansa Yogananda had said so beautifully in one of his Cosmic Chants, “If I find not, I will not blame Thy Sea. I will find fault with my diving”. It also reminds me of a story of Lahiri Mahasaya from the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. One of his disciples tells the Master that he thinks he is ready for the second initiation into Kriya. He complains to the Master as to why he is not granting that request. Soon another disciple, Brinda the postman, enters into the ashram. Lahiri Mahasaya asks Brinda whether he would like to be initiated into the second level of Kriya. Brinda falls at the Master’s feet and tells him not to burden him any further. The bliss introduced by performing the first level of Kriya had incapacitated him completely to the point where he was incapable of performing his regular duties. He told the Master that he had actually come over to seek the Guru’s help to get a release from his job so he could spend more time on the initiation he had already received. He did not want any more initiations for now. The Master tells the complaining disciple, “See! Brinda is already swimming in the Ocean of Spirit”. The complaining disciple accepts that there must have been shortcomings and inconsistencies in his practices rather than any faults in the techniques.
As in the Lahiri Mahasaya story, the intent of the article is to showcase the effectiveness and efficacy of every technique or medium provided by the Master through the light of experiences of fellow seekers. My endeavour in this post and the subsequent ones to follow, is to share and present the experiences of individuals from different cultures spread across different geographies to demonstrate universal nature of these experiences without a cultural or geographical bias. These are stories and experiences that have been shared over personal meetings and conversations both in person, over the phone and virtual (Whatsapp, FB, etc).
I would like to start the first part of this post with the Shiva Kavacham stotram. Why start this post with the Shiva Kavacham stotram – one may ask? It is not one of the well known techniques like the Power of Purity or 360°. It is a lesser known technique – a new kid on the block. Hence, it is a good first choice since we can bring it to people’s notice. Secondly, it is exclusive and the condition for exclusivity is the fundamental tenet of the Guru principle – Bhaav (devotion). Putting both together, there is a certain aspirational quality about exclusivity that makes people strive harder in their spiritual practices. 🙂
A brief overview and background on the Shiva Kavacham Stotram. The Shiva Kavacham stotram recited by Mohanji is a very powerful experience to every listener. Mohanji has repeatedly said that there is nothing beyond it. It is for merging with the formless brightness aspect of Shiva; the manifested and unmanifested united.
Mohanji has set the basic criteria as bhaav (attitude of gratitude) and surrender and deep devotion towards Lord Shiva, Lord Dattatreya and His numerous Avatars, or Hanumanji, Sai Baba or Mohanji for sharing this unique gift to people. Hence, maintaining the sanctity of the Kavacham is of paramount importance. This behooves the recipients to ensure that they use this gift with the sacredness and reverence that it deserves and that they exercise deep discrimination in sharing it with only those people who would value and respect it. Mohanji insists that it must be kept and used with utmost reverence and sacredness.
The person who has received it can share it with someone as long as the following conditions are met – 1) the person requesting it must have deep bhaav (devotion and connection) to Mohanji, Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, Sai Baba, Lord Datta, etc. 2) the person requesting it must be properly informed to treat the gift with respect and reverence
The Kavacham must be listened to, consciously like meditation, with 100% concentration and a lot of bhaav. It cannot be treated as background music. For those conducting POP sessions, Mohanji has allowed it to be played after our meditations as a continuation of gratitude, where all participants should maintain silence and deep reverence.
Without further ado, we move on to the experiences that people have had with the Kavacham emphasising the sacredness of the Kavacham. We hope that people derive the importance of the Shiva Kavacham from these experiences and use it in a proper manner to derive supreme benefit from this sacred gift.
Biba Mohan from Serbia shared this beautiful experience from the UK Retreat in July 2015: “I will never forget a lovely little wooden hut called ‘Gidney hut’ in the Gilwell Park near London in which our Retreat group recently experienced a true explosion of energy and Grace – Shiva Kavacham after Shaktipat (energy transfer), followed by Sai aarati (ritual worship) while in Mohanji’s expanded presence created the ground for a take off into a most blissful inner state. Body as if turned into a stone statue, mind in perfect stillness, consciousness expanded, as if pulled upward I suddenly got immersed into the purest vibrant Love – no words can describe the magnificence of such a state. For a second the eyes of Shirdi Baba appeared in my inner vision and then tears, warm tears of eternal gratitude was all that moved over my otherwise frozen body… While Shirdi aarati was on I made a feeble attempt to get back into the body and get up to join Mohanji, but the body would not move, not even one finger. And deep inside I did not want to leave this blissful state, for nothing that one can experience in the physical world can ever come close to it. It was more than an hour or so later that I could slowly come out – strong sensations in the heart chakra (energy center) followed, tears of gratitude that soon turned into loud sobbing (for no reason known to mind), continuous shivers, and waves of great awe and gratitude… The golden colors on this image will always warm my heart – the Grace of Sai and Mohanji that transcends all the boundaries of human existence.. Deepest pranaams (salutations) into eternity, Biba”
Yohan from the UK relates his profound experience of the Siva Kavacham during the same UK Retreat – “After the Power of Purity Meditation in the Gidney Cabin, the Siva Kavacham was played in Mohanji’s presence. I could see the energy of Shiva flowing through Mohanji but nothing could have prepared me for what followed. My entire physical and energy bodies were filled with pure golden yellow light. I could feel the billions of cells in the body starting to separate and each one being cleansed by this light. Each cell was releasing accumulated “stuff” and memories of pain. I saw many many souls of my ancestral lineage and from previous lives appearing, acknowledging, clearing and healing our previous relationships. Mohanji appeared in his light form (comparable to the old negative film rolls with the outline of his face and hair filled with immense golden light). Pure love enveloped my entire being and I was being bathed in the arms of the Creator – the pure consciousness that sustains entire universes. I wanted to merge and to be in the absolute void of stillness but circumstances and time meant this was not possible yet. My sincere gratitude to Mohanji for creating and holding this space of immense energy and for the cleansing on all levels”.
Swami Mohan Bhaktananda (known as Yashik Singh in an earlier life :-)) from Durban, South Africa related the following experience with the Kavacham –
“The first time I heard the Kavacham was at the retreat held in South Africa a few months ago. Mohanji asked us to put the Kavacham on and asked us to keep our eyes closed and listen to it. I did not expect much more than to enjoy his voice singing, which I love. I closed my eyes and the Kavacham started. I noticed immediately that my breathing changed. It became deeper and fuller. I started drowning in the energy of the mantras. It not only has the power of Shiva’s protection mantras, but more importantly, it has the amazing energy of Mohanji in it. My spine began to burn and my body temperature increased. I started to sweat. I felt an intense heat in my tummy area. Although these were happening, it was as if I was just watching it happen to myself. I experienced it but at the same time did not experience it. Slowly the trees and chirping birds disappeared. The walls and glass windows of the room disappeared. The entire room vanished into a blissful void. The other devotees seemed to merge into the void. Even I did not exist and merged into this void.
All that was left was Mohanji. I always have had faith in Mohanji. From the first time I spoke to him, I knew he was Shiva. As he blessed me and as he grew my love, I realised he was Parabrahma. But for the first time, Mohanji blessed me with touching his true nature. It was only a taste. Just a drop of what he is… but enough to change and break concepts I had of him. Words cannot describe what I felt Mohanji to be. Because it was a state of beingness and not a state where logic prevailed. No words have been created to describe what is at the first level past Mohanji’s physical body. I can’t even describe it as bliss or auspicious. Because these too are words that describe a state. Seeing Mohanji during the Kavacham, showed me (or rather experienced me) that he is beyond states, even beyond the dynamic Prakrithi or the static Purusha states. If I am forced to use words, then he is the ‘causeless cause’. He is the cause of every single thing that happens. The cause of the planets moving, the cause of gravity, the cause of sunshine, the cause of devotion, the cause of energy flow, the case of love, the cause of bhakti, the cause of Gods with form, and He is the cause of the formless everlasting blissfully Parabramha itself. He was here before the formless God was born… because formless is still a form. He is the cause of formlessness.
The physical feeling during this time was just bliss. Tears rolled down my cheeks and again I was just watching this all happen. From my experience the Kavacham not only brings protection, which is a powerful strong impenetrable ring of fire, but brings peace, stillness and a consciousness beyond the body.”
Jay from Dubai, UAE shared his experience with the Siva Kavacham –
“The most intensive of all was the Shiva Kavacham Stotram. This stotram is very, very strong. It has deep meanings. It exemplifies the intriguing and unfathomable sides of Shiva. In fact, it takes us through all the fascinating faces of Shiva. What became more powerful for all of us, even for those who didn’t understand a word, was the way the stotram was recited by Mohanji. The briskness and crispness of the recitation, along with the power of his voice, as well as the stress on each word made it extremely energizing. We were spellbound whenever we heard the stotram. Each time I heard it I could not resist my tears though I wasn’t crying. My hands automatically went to the folding posture and I felt as if I was merging into Shiva. The sense of fearlessness it gave was incomprehensible.”
Palak Mehta from Pune, India shared her experience with the Shiva Kavacham – “Huge blocks get removed when I listen to the Shiva Kavacham. I just get completely stable. Sometimes I can’t meditate but Shiva Kavacham changes the energy of the whole environment. A lot of times when I need to concentrate, I can focus easily after listening to it. Shiva Kavacham is our true nature. Shiva Kavacham in Mohanji’s voice is alive. It takes you beyond the mind. Mohanji’s voice is the vibration of the universe itself. It fills you up with the same vibrations by removing all the clutter and taking you back to your original state – pure light. This makes me realise how vulnerable we are to this tool called the mind. Once it is silent, everything is perfect.”
One of the devotees, Anita mentioned that she was hearing the Shiva Kavacham after taking a bath. She could feel all the glass panes on the windows in the room shaking and vibrating. This happened for as long as the Kavacham was played and it subsided thereafter. The volume was moderate and it was obviously not because of the volume that the window panes vibrated.
Mohanji had recited and recorded the Shiva Kavacham stotram in a studio in Kerala in between trips to the passport office in a hurry. There was no way he could concentrate because of busy schedules, incoming calls and a press interview. Yet he did it within the limited time, in one go. One of his followers, Mr. Srijith, had facilitated the arrangements to do the recording. Unfortunately, he did not manage to get a copy. He requested a local devotee of Mohanji in Palakkad for a copy. He promptly transferred it to the phone of Srijith. On a later day, when he was travelling with his family in his car, his wife requested him to play it in the car via Bluetooth. Realizing the sacredness of the Kavacham, and remembering Mohanji’s instructions, he initially declined saying that it was not supposed to be played casually in the car. However his wife and family insisted and he finally gave in and proceeded to play it on his mobile phone. To his surprise, after completion of the chant, the mobile phone went dead. He tried various methods but it refused to start. Once he reached home, he went to a service center to get it repaired. They tried their best with it for several days but they could neither repair it nor diagnose what was wrong with it. They finally gave up and said nothing could be done with it. Not taking their word, he went to two other service centers to get a second opinion and third opinion, but the same drama played out. They just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. After being repeatedly told that the mobile was as good as dead, he finally gave up on it and handed it to his two year old daughter to play with it. His daughter is deeply connected with Mohanji. While she was playing with it, his daughter starting gesturing to him and pointing at the screen of the mobile phone saying “BABA… BABA”. He was deeply shocked to see that the mobile phone had started all of a sudden and there was a picture of Mohanji on the screen. The child was calling Mohanji as “BABA” even though they tried to coax her to call him Mohanji. He told the local devotee, who had given him the copy, that he had received a precious gift but had not treated it as such. Hence, this entire episode was a reminder for him to treat it with the respect that it deserved.
Bhavan, also from Kerala, got a copy of the Shiva Kavacham from one of the local Mohanji devotees. On receiving it, he decided to play it on his mobile phone to check it out. But after a while, the sound coming from the earphone stopped by itself. He tried to figure what was wrong and eventually came to the conclusion that the earphone was damaged. He was a bit surprised by the occurrence since the earphones were working perfectly fine a while back. He later went and purchased another set of earphones from the shop. He then proceeded to play the Kavacham again and the same thing happened all over again. He couldn’t believe it that two sets of earphones that were perfectly working could get damaged. He called up the local devotee and related the sequence of events to him. The local devotee chided him for treating the Kavacham so casually and asked him to, henceforth, treat it as a powerful technique that needs to be treated with reverence. Bhavan took this message to heart.
I would like to share two experiences that I had with the Shiva Kavacham. When I received the Kavacham, I instantly felt the powerful effects of the Shiva Kavacham as I listened to it with deep concentration in the presence of Mohanji. Later on, then I had a misguided brainwave that if one hearing of the Shiva Kavacham was so powerful, I could significantly amplify its effects by letting it play all night while I was sleeping. Mohanji has specifically told to listen to it only two or three times a day. When I did this for the second night in a row, I woke up in the middle of the night and observed that the ceiling was covered with a white mist. In the center of the ceiling, I saw a bald head with two huge eyes staring back at me. Under normal circumstances, that would have scared the beejeezus out of me. I have always been scared of ghosts and the bodyless entities. 😦 I was surprised that this sight just made me curious and I was not scared at all. Then the thought of Mohanji immediately occurred to me. At the thought of Mohanji in reverence, as if on cue, the vision instantly disappeared and the ceiling returned back to looking normal. Subsequently, I related this experience to Mohanji. Mohanji told me that the entity was a Shiva Gana (the army of Shiva who got attracted with the constant rendition of mantra of Shiva). Mohanji reproached me for treating the Shiva Kavacham stotram so casually. He said that this inadvertent act of playing it continuously for so long created a powerful energy field that attracted the Shiva ganas to the energy of Shiva. Since Shiva is the sum total of all the energies in the universe, the Shiva ganas come in all varieties – benign as well as evil. It was Mohanji’s protection that prevented any unintended consequences. Just by a sincere thought, Mohanji appears to protect. I did not even chant his mantras to invoke His protection. Also, Mohanji had categorically mentioned that the Shiva Kavacham stotram should not be heard more than 2-3 times in a day and that too with deep concentration and reverence. The energies generated via this practice could be so high that our normal constitution may not be able to handle it and could possibly result in serious imbalances.
This was not enough of a lesson for me and I finally learnt it only after I had another misguided experience. 🙂 While I was travelling, I decided to take some time off to do my Consciousness Kriya practice. I went into the room and locked the door so that I would not be disturbed. My fertile mind cooked up another brainwave of increasing the efficacy of Consciousness Kriya by listening to the Kavacham while doing it. Some time into the practice, the door started opening with a loud creaking sound and stopped. I was surprised since I knew I had locked the door but decided against opening my eyes thinking that the latch may have been loose. As if in response, the door started creaking again even louder. I immediately opened my eyes but could not see anything amiss. After I finished my Kriya practice, I checked the latch and saw that there was no issue with it. I recollected that I had in fact properly closed the door since I had checked it before starting the practice. When I related this experience to Mohanji, Mohanji told me, “I came there to kick your butt”. This time, Mohanji firmly told me not to treat the Kavacham casually and to cease all experimentations immediately. Mohanji considers Consciousness Kriya as extremely sacred and he insists not to mix anything with Kriya.This time round, I got the message loud and clear.
In closing, I hope that the experiences will inculcate a sense of gratitude in the readers for any gifts that are received through the grace of a Master, induce them to treat the gifts with utmost respect and reverence and drive them to actively use the gifts consciously, consistently, persistently, and with complete awareness to further their spiritual growth.
|| Om Shri Krishnaaya Mohanaaya Namah ||
Update: Those who are interested in listening to the Siva Kavacham can find it here on iTunes.
The Hindu religion recognizes the influence and significance of our ancestors and other dear departed ones in our lives. According to the Vedas (the ancient scriptures of Hinduism), the spiritual soul transmigrates from one species to the next, evolving up through the 8,400,000 forms of life until he attains a human body. The human form of life has a special significance, for only in the human form is the soul’s consciousness developed enough to understand that the body is just a cage, and that there’s a way to free oneself from that cage to liberate oneself from the birth and death cycle. We owe our very existence to our ancestors and, consequently, we owe them an unredeemable debt of gratitude for offering us the most precious gift of all – a human life. On the other hand, our departed relations enrich our lives through all the experiences – good and bad – that offer us the means to relieve us of our karmic contracts and debts. Hence, the Hindu religion considers it the obligation of every individual to offer their gratitude to their ancestors and departed ones by performing the shraadh ceremony (a rite performed to bring salvation to departed souls) as per scriptural injunctions on their death anniversary day. Usually a person performs this ritual with reverence only for their immediate departed.
The river Ganga is considered the most blessed of all and endowed with immense purification powers. Hence, Hindus visit the ghats (bathing platforms) of this holy river since ages to perform the shraadh ceremony to honor their parents, ancestors and other dear departed ones. This is considered to help the soul of the departed family member to be free from the pains of lower astral realms and clear their way to evolution to higher astral realms. The shraadh ceremony is done with the Sun as the witness and the river Ganga as the vehicle for offering the oblations to the departed. The departed are offered holy water, milk, flowers, sandalwood paste, etc. and the pind. The pind constitutes a round ball made of mixture of wheat and rice flour with some sesame seeds that are mixed along with some milk and honey.
Mohanji had been doing Ammu’s annual shraadh ceremony for the last 11 years but had stopped it when he was guided by elders that 11 years was sufficient enough. Recently after Mohanji came back from Canada, a saint told him that he should continue the shraadh ceremony for Ammu for as long as his health would permit it. Respecting the words of the saint, which Mohanji always does, he decided to honor her beautiful soul by doing a shraadh ceremony in Rishikesh by the river Ganga this year. September 5th was Ammu’s death anniversary this year (2015) according to the Hindu calendar and so was Krishna Janmashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna). Interestingly, the day Ammu passed away (August 23rd 2000) also happened to be Krishna Janmashtami according to the Hindu calendar.
There is strong connection between Ammu and Lord Krishna. Swami Govindanandaji of Sivananda ashram once told Mohanji that he was sad that he couldn’t meet Ammu when she was in her body. He said that he was sure she was an amsha (part) of the consciousness of Krishna. There is an anecdote that I have read where Ammu mentioned to her grandmother that she could see and play with Lord Krishna when she was barely four years old. When her grandmother couldn’t see Lord Krishna and dismissed it as a childish fantasy, Ammu told her grandmother that her prayers are not strong enough.
There is only one direct train from Dharamshala (actually Pathankot which is closest prominent railway station to Dharamshala) to Rishikesh. Due to Mohanji’s travel schedule and the saint’s guidance coming in late last month, the decision to do the shraadh ceremony for Ammu was taken at the last minute. Consequently given the holiday season, there were no tickets available in the general category. The alternative was to drive down from Dharamshala to Rishikesh, which is a long arduous drive. The venerable Mamu (“May his grace always be upon us!” as Mohanji lovingly says :-)) who handles Mohanji’s office decided to apply for the tickets in the Tatkal category – a last minute option that typically has a very low probability chance given the high demand for tickets. Getting a confirmed reservation in the Tatkal category in peak season is akin to winning a Lotto since it is easier to please the Lord than the railway authorities and their justly feared website which is flakier than snow. As usual, the Divine always takes care of Mohanji in every way. So we weren’t too surprised when we got confirmed train reservations for both the legs of travel. Of course, all thanks to Mamu’s grace, as Mohanji would say.
We packed light and left for Pathankot in the evening. The venerable Mamu chose to drive us down to Pathankot in his sedan. This was a happy change over Mohanji’s driver Sher Singh (aka Mooch – the Moustache) and the ashram SUV. The way Sher Singh drives makes you feel that he drove an army tank in his past life where the concept of braking was alien. We winded over the gentle hills of Dharamshala and made our way through some real bad roads that would have been the pride of an offroading circuit. The sedan got tossed and bounced all through the ride. We were like James Bond’s martini – shaken but not stirred! 🙂 Finally, the road Gods also shined on us and we found the last stretch with the entirety of its surface intact. What a blessing!
We reached the station well before time thanks to Mohanji’s principle of leaving a huge buffer to ensure that he is never rushed. We stopped at a restaurant outside the station and had a quick tea and snack. The train arrived almost on time and we quickly got into our compartment and then onto our seats. The venerable Mamu gave his pranaams (salutations) to Mohanji and left onwards to Jammu where he lives. We settled into our seats as the train left the station hurtling on its way to Rishikesh. Mohanji and I had gotten the lower berth thanks to Mamu’s efforts. For people not in the know, the berths of an Indian train are like the tiers of a bunk bed. My neighbors were a couple and their infant child. The husband asked me if I could let his wife have the lower berth since it would be uncomfortable for her to take care of the infant on the upper berth. I agreed to his request. His aged mother was Mohanji’s neighbor. Even though Mohanji was not asked, Mohanji immediately asked if his mother wanted the lower berth as well. She said that she would be grateful if he allowed it. The curvature of the roof of the train constricts the height in the upper berth. This is not an issue for someone my size. But for Mohanji, it would have been very uncomfortable since he could barely manage to fit into it. However, Mohanji immediately agreed. Hardly surprising given his life mantra of “putting others before self”!
Mohanji got into a discussion with our neighbors. The couple was from Pennsylvania and they were currently on vacation in Jammu that was their hometown. They were headed to Haridwar that is a bordering town close to Rishikesh. From a spiritual standpoint, its stature rivals Rishikesh. The husband was a practising doctor in Pennsylvania with a specialization in infectious diseases. He asked about Mohanji and his mission. Mohanji explained the different aspects of Mohanji Foundation and Ammucare. They were visibly impressed by the honorary nature of the activities of the Foundation and its geographical spread across the world. Mohanji also spoke about his recent worldwide trips particularly his specific visits to the US this year and last. After this engaging discussion, we had our packed dinner that Devadasji’s wife had lovingly prepared for Mohanji.
Mohanji decided to allow the family to rest, got onto the upper berth and tried his best to fit into it. Considering that he was recuperating from all the hectic back-to-back travel, it was sad to watch him go through all the discomfort. It was quite uncomfortable and he chose to lie down and work for a while. After a while, he decided to call it a night. Since I was carrying my brand new laptop, I chose to keep our luggage with me rather than risk it getting stolen. Hence, I also tried my best to fit into the berth with our luggage. To add to my woes, my berth was right next to the door of the compartment. So I had to be careful not to knock out any unsuspecting passenger entering the door with a kick or get my legs whacked by the swinging door. So the rest of the night was devoted to trying out creative positions to fit my body into what was left of the berth after our luggage. I had a fitful sleep. After an arduous journey, we reached Rishikesh.
We got out of the station in search of a rickshaw to take us to the hotel. We hired a auto rickshaw who charged us almost 3 times the going rate. I know that Mohanji does not like to haggle with poor people so I just accepted his proposition. Mohanji asked me to check with an old couple at the rickshaw stand who were also looking for a rickshaw, to see if their destination was on our way and if they would like us to drop them there (for free). I had noticed this couple trying to get a rickshaw. They were looking for a share-a-ride rickshaw to reduce costs and were being refused by most of the rickshaw drivers. I took no further notice of them in my hurry to get us into a rickshaw and on to the hotel. Their destination was a little further down from ours. So they happily agreed. Mohanji personally helped them with their luggage and helped the old woman into the vehicle. Mohanji enquired about their purpose for being in Rishikesh. They said that were planning to stay there for an extended amount of time. Mohanji also asked them the location of our hotel since the driver did not know the exact location. The old man mentioned that it was a short distance before their destination. As we passed our hotel, Mohanji told the rickshaw driver to continue on and first drop the old couple to their destination. They thanked us and went on their way. Mohanji asked me to pay the rickshaw driver 10 rupees more since we had taken two more passengers (for free) and changed the earlier deal. Two lessons that Mohanji was trying to teach me 1) Always be fair even if the other person is not 2) Always be alert and ready to help people. Don’t get too caught in your own world and, thus, miss a chance to offer a helping hand.
We walked our way back to the hotel. The room was nice and clean. The sweet spot was that it had a beautiful panoramic view of the river Ganga. We settled in, did our morning ablutions and charged our phones. Since one is not supposed to have food before the shraadh ceremony, we just had tea. Swami Govindanandji of Sivananda ashram had arranged for the priest and made all the other arrangements. We were requested to be at the Sivananda ghat in a couple of hours. Mohanji mentioned that he wanted to buy dhotis as dakshina (offering or payment for services of a priest) for the priests conducting the ceremony. Mohanji is very well conversant with Rishikesh having spent a lot of time doing his spiritual practices here. He told me that the best place to get good quality dhotis at a good price in Rishikesh is the Gita Prakashan Vastra Vibhag on the other side of Ram Jhula (swing) – one of the two suspension bridges over the river Ganga that connects the two banks, the other being Laxman Jhula (named after Lord Ram’s brother Laxman).
Mohanji and I started walking by the road adjoining the banks of the river Ganga towards Ram Jhula. Mohanji was walking at a very brisk pace and I was trying my best to get ahead of him and take some pictures.
His pace was so fast that I captured some nice pictures of the back of his head, a part of his dhoti, half his face, half of the side profile, etc. By the time I ran ahead, turned and clicked, he was right in the face of the camera or past it. 🙂 Once in a while, he would stop and ask me to give some money to a mendicant or beggar. That made it even harder for me to keep up. I consoled myself thinking that it is not easy to capture our Shiva in a camera. I even prayed to him to let me take some nice pictures but that only made me even more adept at capturing blurs.
We finally reached the entrance of Ram Jhula. There was an old man sitting at the entrance of Ram Jhula intensely staring at Mohanji. Mohanji walked past him a few steps and stopped. As usual, I was trying to keep pace with Mohanji and almost missed this old man. Mohanji called me and asked me to go back to the old man and give him 100 rupees while he waited. I gave him the money as instructed, touched his feet and took his blessings. He said, “Khush raho, chiranjeevi raho, sukhi raho”. (May you be happy, May you be immortal, May you be prosperous). The old man then started walking towards Mohanji. Mohanji asked him, “Did you have food?” He said, ” Yes. I had food and I also got the money”. Then Mohanji asked him, “What else do you want from me?” He said,”I want to go to Neelkanth”.
Then Mohanji asked him, “Do you know where Neelkanth is?” He said,” I will cross Ram Jhula. Then I will come to know”. Then Mohanji asked him, “Fine. Since you know that, may I go?” He said, “Yes and thank you for your grace (blessing me)”. Mohanji walked past him. Mohanji asked me to go back to him and ensure that he has money to go to “Neelkanth”. I went back and asked him if he had enough money. He said, “Someone just gave me money. Wasn’t it you?” I asked him,”Do you need more?” He said, “Give me whatever you want”. I gave him 500 rupees more. I again touched his feet and took his blessings. He again said, “Khush raho, chiranjeevi raho, sukhi raho”. I asked him if I could take his photograph. He consented.
When I came back to Mohanji, he asked me if I knew who this person was. I said he looked like Hanumanji. Mohanji said,”Yes. He is Hanumanji. He came to bless us. Just watch, he will disappear soon, He will not cross the bridge. He will disappear most probably from the middle of the bridge”.
Hanumanji walked behind us for a while. Then he stopped near the middle of the bridge and sat down. When I looked for him after a while, he was gone. Absolutely no trace of him! Moreover, he looked very similar to the Hanumanji picture posted in the Ayodhya blog post titled Plight of Hanumanji in Ayodhya. Both had great resemblance. Interestingly, the venerable Mamu was telling us the same story of meeting Hanumanji in Ayodhya just the night before. He was a first person witness. He said that Hanumanji had blessed him by saying, “Khush raho” which was what Hanumanji said here as well. And Mohanji said that these days, Hanumanji usually appears to devotees as an old man.
Mohanji later explained the significance of the drama that just played out, “Neelkanth means Lord Shiva or the complete annihilation of personal identities. Neelkanth is also a state. A state of collecting and storing poisons of existence at the throat region and not allowing it to enter your system at all, while having nothing to do with it. This also has a deeper significance for the modern man. The suggestion of Hanumanji is not to allow negativity of day-to-day life to enter your system and keep it or remove it at the entry level itself (throat) and remain pure and unsullied always as a great bhakti (devotee) like him. And the other significance is that do not throw out poison because it will contaminate the society. Never throw out anger, hatred, greed and such negative emotions and if you have them, let them stay at your throat level, unexpressed. And when unused, the saturation of it will bring forth nectar of life, the Shivahood. Neelkanth means blue neck and blue color is the color of the poison. Hanumanji is part of Shiva and naturally intends to merge with Shiva. But He is committed to Lord Rama. Bridge signifies worldly existence the here and the hereafter. He said if he crosses the bridge of existence with Ram, He will “know” or merge with Shiva. The message was loud and clear. Hanumanji chose to serve Ram and is happy and contented about it. But he knows that if he crosses the bridge called Ram, (Ram Jhula) he will know Shiva. And instead of me telling Him that I am blessed by His visit, He said “Thank you for blessing me!” Humility means Hanumanji. No expectations. Humble and always in surrender to His master, but with full awareness. Also, He met Mohanji on the bridge. Bridge called the world. Bridge between the here and the hereafter. Highly symbolic. Mohanji did not stop before the bridge to address Hanumanji. He walked past him and stopped on the bridge before he asked me to give him the money. Hanumanji got up, came towards Mohanji and met him on the bridge. The entire episode makes sense when we understand the reason behind an event. Most of us, mostly are watching the show not understanding the story.
I was a little lost post this incident. What grace to have the darshan of Lord Hanuman! The tremendous grace to have his darshan didn’t sink into me. It still hasn’t fully sunken in as I write this post. As the whole drama played out, my mind was completely blank. I was just following Mohanji’s instructions without thinking. I touched the person’s feet and took his blessings out of reverence for his age, his ochre robes and because Mohanji was treating him with reverence. Not because I was touching the feet of Lord Hanuman. If only I had an inkling of what was happening and who he was! Sigh! Sob! Sob! Mohanji always says, “Those who have eyes to see will see. The rest have chosen blindness. Let them be.” I guess I am one of the blind ones. I get these experiences through the compassionate grace of Mohanji. I am not even sure if I deserve it but if Mohanji deems it, it must be. So the best thing I can do for now is to hold on to Mohanji’s feet for dear life as best as I can until the awareness sets in. And when the awareness sets in, I can hold on to them even more firmly. I pray for that blessing from Lord Hanuman.
Anyways moving on. We crossed the Ram Jhula bridge and started walking towards the Gita Prakashan Vastra Vibhag store to buy dhotis. Along the way, Mohanji asked me to feed bananas to the calves roaming out there. As soon as I walked towards the vendor, the calf and the begging saint followed me. The calf was pushing me and it hardly gave me time to complete the purchase. There was a kind of authority or decisiveness in it that is quite unusual. How did the calf understand what Mohanji told me? Of course the begging saint understood the words. The calf? And it had a commanding attitude or authority about it. Perhaps one of Mohanji’s real army? Even after feeding the calf, it followed me to where Mohanji was standing and Mohanji fed the calf with his own hands. Every being is the same to Mohanji. Absolutely no discrimination at all. Same love. Same treatment.
He also asked me to give money and food to some of the beggars and mendicants. The downside of seeing (and sometimes missing out on recognizing) a divine being is that you start earnestly looking for them in every person that vaguely looks similar. Every beggar or sadhu becomes a potential Hanuman (or another master), if you know what I mean. Even animals just in case they choose an animal form! I guess that is what Sai Baba wanted to instill in his disciples when he appeared to them in different guises as a beggar, a dog, etc. to make sure that his disciples saw him in everything. Mohanji selected a few dhotis for himself and a couple of dhotis for the priests for dakshina. We picked up the merchandise and walked back towards Ram Jhula. As Mohanji was walking at his pace, a cow almost stopped him, looked at him and as he took a few steps past her, she turned and looked at him. Mohanji stopped immediately and asked me to buy two apples. He took the apples and fed a passing cow, caressed her and stood next to her for a while. It almost felt like he was having a conversation with the cow.
We quickly crossed the Ram Jhula and headed to the Sivananda ashram. I looked around for signs of Hanumanji but he was nowhere to be seen. After crossing Ram Jhula, we walked down the road adjoining the river towards the Sivananda ghat that was the pre-decided meeting point. There is a concrete staircase that winds it way down from the entrance on the road towards the ghat. There are several spots around where people can sit and meditate in the serene presence of the river Ganga. We selected a spot facing the river and sat there in the shade. It was slowly getting hot with the sun blazing down on us. There were a few people hanging around near the ghat. A few renunciates from the Sivananda Ashram passed us by walking towards the river to take their morning dip in the river Ganga. I used the time to capture Mohanji’s photos in different moods and angles as best as I could. Thankfully, our Shiva consented this time to let me take some nice pictures.
Slowly, the people there started moving out and soon we were the only people left on the ghat.
After a long while, the priest Kukretiji and his apprentice Sharmaji showed up. Mohanji and the priest exchanged pleasantries. The priest was a nice jovial guy. He enquired about Mohanji’s current location and activities. He enquired about me and told me that there was a very famous politician in the post-Independence era with the same last name and I should look him up. He discussed with Mohanji on the expectations of the ritual and explained the proceedings to him. He asked Mohanji to take a dip in the river Ganga while he setup the place and organized materials for the ritual. I went back to my role as the ace photographer in charge of the photo shoot.
The ritual was elaborate starting with the invocation of the various deities and giving various offerings to them. Then the offerings of holy water, milk, flowers, rice, etc were made to the ancestors and to Ammu. The ritual culminated with creating the ritual offering, the pind (referred to earlier). The pind was adorned with flowers and then offered to the ancestors and to Ammu setting it afloat on the river Ganga. The offerings of milk and water were made to the Sun and the river Ganga. Finally, Mohanji was asked by the priest to take dips in the river Ganga to culminate the ritual. Mohanji offered the dhotis and money as dakshina to Kukretiji and Sharmaji and pranaamed (saluted) them. I took down their contact numbers for posterity. Mohanji thanked them and they went on their way.
There was a visible change in Mohanji’s physique after his meeting with Hanumanji. He became quite muscular as if he did a number of pushups unseen to human eyes. The photos could capture a bit of his then physique that keeps changing with situations and reasons.
All through the while, I was clicking away to glory. My camera really heated up abnormally and slowed down completely to the point where I had to anticipate and click because I could not see the frame in time. This has never happened before. The interesting thing to note is that I still managed to get some nice pictures. My guess is that Mohanji must have been in an expanded state through the ritual and his energies were affecting my camera. Mohanji later mentioned that the ritual went very well. All the deities and ancestors were very happy with the ritual. All the auspicious signs were there.
Mohanji took a change of clothes and sat down in the shade. I asked Mohanji if I could take dips in the river. He told me to go ahead and take my time. I decided to take 108 dips in the river Ganga in the name of Mohanji. I walked down the steps to where the water was touching the lower part of my chest. There was a strong undercurrent that kept sweeping me forward. There was about a meter of space on the platform where the step ended. I had to push the current and walk back after every 2 dips to prevent getting swept off the platform completely. Beyond the step, the river flowed downstream with not much to hang onto for support. Even though I can swim quite well, it would have been a bit hard to swim to the shore with this strong undercurrent. I took the dip while holding the thought of Mohanji in my mind. Slowly and steadily, I kept taking my dips. But the fear of getting swept off the platform was always there. I first took the dips with my eyes open repeating the forward and back routine. Then, I closed my eyes and took the dips but kept opening my eyes to ensure I wasn’t too close to the edge. In between, I kept losing count and recounting so I started doing extra dips to make up from where I left off.
Finally, when I crossed hundred, a thought occurred to me that this demonstrated my lack of faith in the protection of the Master. I still kept repeating my eyes open eyes closed routine. Finally, I decided to test my faith and just keep my eyes closed and do the final dips. I kept getting pushed forward and I had no idea where I was relative to the edge. As I got close to the edge, a safety chain bumped against my knees and I easily got hold of it. I held on to it and finished the last of my dips. My faith in the Master’s protection was validated. 🙂 I don’t know how many dips I finally did but it was well above 108 with all the recounting. I was feeling nice and tipsy with a sweet cool ice-mint feeling inside my skull (similar to what you have in your mouth when you chew strong ice-mint gum). I just stood there and enjoyed and savored the feeling. Finally, I decided to get out of the water, walked up the steps and went up to where Mohanji was sitting. At about that time, a family of 7-8 people just walked in. It was then that I noted that from the time the ritual started to when I got off the platform, it was only Mohanji and I (other than the priests) on the ghat. Interestingly, the Divine had arranged for the ghat to be available to us exclusively and that too on the auspicious day of Krishna Janmashtami. How cool is that?
Later in the night, Mohanji asked me how many dips I took. He said that taking the dips in the river Ganga on this auspicious day was a blessing. That’s when I realized that I had taken dips in the river on Krishna Janmashtami. Infinite prostrations to the Master who arranges for everything in perfect divine order!
I had received two malas from Mohanji during the Kailash pilgrimage last year in August. I had already lost the first mala when I was taking dips in the river Yamuna in Mathura. I noticed later that I had lost the other mala while taking dips in the river Ganga. One was taken away in the river that was the scene of the lila (divine play) of Lord Krishna and the other was taken away in the river Ganga on Lord Krishna’s birthday. Isn’t that an interesting coincidence? Looks like Lord Krishna has a thing for my malas! The stealer of hearts is also a stealer of malas. 🙂
We were supposed to meet a person who had been coordinating to meet Mohanji in Rishikesh for the last few days. He was an old devotee who has been connected with Mohanji for a long time by the name of Ashutosh. He is a manager in a bank. Last year, he wanted to meet Mohanji in Dharamshala. On a whim, he decided to come down to Dharamshala and take a chance. He stayed for two days but could not meet Mohanji. He even requested Mohanji’s team that he only wanted to see Mohanji from a distance. But even that was not possible since Mohanji was busy with some important things during that time. He had been following up with Mohanji team for a long time. When he found out that Mohanji was going to be in Rishikesh, he requested Mohanji to allow him to spend some time with him. We had invited Ashutoshji to have lunch with us at the hotel after the ritual.
We walked back to the hotel to take a quick change of clothes. Mohanji checked his messages and calls and, after some time, we headed to the hotel reception where Ashutoshji was waiting for us. We headed to the restaurant below. We hadn’t eaten anything since morning so the food tasted divine. Mohanji enquired about Ashutoshji and his family. Mohanji gave him a few incisive blunt insights in his no-nonsense direct manner especially on inability to hold on to the connection due to mind and ego issues. I could really see the resolve in Ashutoshji to get the favor of Mohanji. At one point, Mohanji remarked to me that it is not easy to “meet” Him. That made me realise how fortunate I am to be able to spend so much time in close proximity with Him. A real lesson not to take the Master’s grace and outstretched hand for granted. What can be gained so easily through the Master’s grace and compassion can be lost even faster through the ego and mind’s foolishness.
After having lunch, Mohanji wanted to go the Sivananda ashram to meet Swami Govindanandaji. Mohanji was standing outside the hotel chatting with Ashutoshji. Out of nowhere, one baba (renunciate) came up straight to Mohanji.
He was wearing a saffron dhoti with an ordinary towel wrapped around his upper body. He was speaking in a Rajasthani dialect of Hindi. He was showing a lot of reverence to Mohanji (if you see in the pic above, he has removed his slippers while talking Mohanji). Mohanji folded his hands in a respectful pranaam (hand greeting with folded palms) and asked the baba, “How are you doing? Have you eaten?” The baba said, ” I am doing fine. Yes I have had food.” Mohanji then asked the baba, “What can I do for you?”. The baba said, “Aap sab kuch kar sakte hai.” (You can do anything or everything). Hearing that, Mohanji laughed. Mohanji again asked the baba, “What can I do for you?” The baba then went to his bag and took out a book and showed it to Mohanji. It had a picture of Bhagwan Dattatreya on the cover. Mohanji smiled and looked to us and said, “Look. A picture of the Lord!”
Mohanji started turning the pages of the book and came to a page that had a picture of Balaknath (who looked very similar to Rakhadi Baba). Balaknath was a famous disciple of Lord Gorakshanath. Under the photo of Balaknath was the famous shloka of the Gita “Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha, Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya Tadatmanam Srijami Aham” – the eternal promise of the Lord to take an avatar whenever Dharma (righteousness) is under threat from evil. I felt that the baba was in some way referring to Mohanji’s past life connection to Balaknath and the verse was pointing to Mohanji’s avataric incarnation in these troubled times.
Twice the baba tried to touch Mohanji’s feet but Mohanji held his hand lovingly and firmly and would not allow it. Mohanji asked me to give the baba 500 rupees. Mohanji asked him, ” Are you happy now?” He thanked Mohanji. Mohanji again asked him if there was anything else he could do for him. Then he said that he wanted something from Mohanji. He said he wanted a white shawl or a Ramnaami chadar (shawl with the name of Lord Ram on it). Mohanji asked me to go with the baba and buy him the shawl. In the meantime, Ashutoshji volunteered to take him to the market and buy him the shawl. Mohanji agreed and asked Ashutoshji to go with the baba and buy him what he needed. In between, the baba told something to Mohanji which sounded like “I know who you are and I came to you knowing your true form. Even though you are not covered in white, I do recognize you.” I could not understand what he meant and I asked Mohanji what it meant. Mohanji suggested us to ask him directly. When Ashutoshji asked, he said in a stern voice. “Mohanji asked you to do something. Ask no further.” This was quite unusual for a monk who begs for a living. I asked and he said something else. He did not give me a clear answer. Once the plan was finalized, Mohanji asked him. “May I go?” Again he tried to touch Mohanji’s feet and Mohanji prevented it gently, but firmly. He blessed us to leave. I could not really understand the drama that was being played out there. He was very pleased with Mohanji and in a way blessed him through his eyes and words. Mohanji and I left for Sivananda ashram to meet Swami Govindananda ji while Ashutoshji left with the baba to the market to buy the shawl. I asked Ashutoshji to meet us at Swami Govindanandaji’s residence in Parvati Kutir at Sivananda ashram once he was done with the purchase.
We walked towards the Sivananda ashram. The ashram is a prominent landmark on the main road. We entered the ashram gates and headed to Parvati Kutir where Swami Govindanandaji stays. The ashram is a simple and peaceful place with many old buildings connected by roads winding their way upwards. The place provides a good warm up exercise since you have to go quite a distance uphill to reach anywhere. 🙂 On a serious note, the calm that it exudes is pristine. I mentally bowed down to the place made holy by the divine feet and presence of the great Swami Sivananda.
Swami Govindanandaji and Mohanji are deeply connected to each other. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet him once before during our Rishikesh retreat. He is a very unassuming, humble and simple personality. Mohanji has a very high regard for his spiritual stature. He heads the publications department for the Divine Life Society (Swami Sivananda’s mission). He and Mohanji go a long way back. I had read that he provided the inspiration to Mohanji to start Ammucare when Ammu passed away. In Swamiji’s words, “Do something to alleviate the suffering of the children of Mother Earth and you will find peace”. We were told when we met Swamiji the last time round that Bhagavan Sathya Sai meditated in the room next to his. He received Mohanji very cordially as one welcomes an old friend. Mohanji gave Swamiji the special dates that he had gotten from Dubai for him. I prostrated at the feet of Swamiji. They conversed mostly in Malayalam where I gathered that he was enquiring about Mohanji’s family and work. Mohanji told him about the extensive overseas trip that he concluded last month. They discussed about his future plans. While they were talking, I noticed a monkey in the window trying to get their attention.
It made different noises – like a monkey, like a bird, like a cat, etc. It even tried to flit from window to window to try to catch their attention. But they were deep in conversation and, I guess, didn’t notice. The monkey was desperately trying to catch Mohanji’s attention. I managed to get a few blurry pictures of the monkey. Finally, Mohanji noticed the monkey and asked me to take a picture. But it disappeared from sight after that. Since we had to a train to catch in an hour and a half, they concluded their discussion and we took leave of Swamiji. Before leaving, I prostrated again at the feet of Swamiji and Mohanji. We left Sivananda ashram and made our way back to the hotel. I called Ashutoshji but he was still at the market and he said that he would take around fifteen minutes. So we asked us to meet us back at the hotel. He didn’t seem too happy on the phone. Possibly, he was miffed at missing out on the opportunity to partake of the ananda of meeting Swami Govindananda on Lord Govind’s (another name of Krishna) birthday 🙂
While walking back to our room, Mohanji casually remarked, almost to himself, “In this incarnation, I will play with a lot of people. Only a few will understand me or the game I play. Many won’t. They will lose me. I will lose nothing”. When I asked what he meant, he brushed it off and did not explain any further.
Ashutoshji later joined us in the hotel room. Mohanji enquired about his experience with the baba. He asked Ashutoshji what the baba told Ashutoshji about Mohanji. Ashutoshji related his experience with the baba. He said that the baba took him to a local market and enquired in several shops but could not find the white shawl. In one shop, the baba was offered a saffron shawl but he declined saying that it was meant for sanyasis (renunciants). He was specifically looking for a white shawl. The commanding and authoritative tone in which he was talking to the shopkeeper was surprising and in a way annoying to Ashutoshji. It was not expected from a begging monk. The baba then told Ashutoshji that they would go to the main market. The baba was walking very fast and Ashutoshji was following – almost running behind him. Ashutoshji started observing his walking style. The baba had a confident gait with a walking stick held firmly in his left hand and was walking with a dynamic pace much faster than Ashutoshji. It was amazing to Ashutoshji that the baba had asked for bhiksha (the act of giving alms). Yet he was the one following the baba around and the baba was deciding everything according to his own whims without even bothering to ask Ashutoshji. Ashutoshji started getting frustrated with the baba’s attitude. He wondered, “Who is this baba who was turning the concept of bhiksha topsy turvy?” For a moment, Ashutoshji thought, “Why can’t the baba just take money from me and buy it himself? Why is he wasting my time? I wanted to be with Mohanji.” But then, a second thought came along that if Mohanji has asked me to do it, then there must be a specific reason and I must do this.
While walking with Ashutoshji, the baba enquired about the location of Mohanji’s ashram. Ashutoshji told the baba that Mohanji lives in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. Suddenly, the baba called out to an autorickshaw driver in a rough and commanding tone to stop the vehicle. He sat next to the driver and asked Ashutoshji in a very soft tone to sit on the backseat. The baba asked the driver to take them to the main market. On reaching the main market, they alighted and the baba asked Ashutosh to pay in a very authoritative way. The baba asked a local hawker for directions to the garment shops. The hawker was not responding properly. The baba scolded the hawker and asked him firmly to guide them properly. They looked through several garment shops. Finally, they reached a shop where they showed him a shawl for 2000 rupees. He said that wasn’t what he was looking for. He was talking to the shopkeeper in the same authoritative tone. Finally, he found what he was looking for – a 5 meter long pink cotton shawl for 200 rupees. He told Ashutoshji, “The Swami (Mohanji) has come from “far away”. He is a good saint. I have not asked this from anyone and I will not ask this from anyone except him. Only from Swamiji (Mohanji).” He further added, “Sawa lakh se bhi jyaada kimti hai ye daan” (this offering is worth more than the offering of a hundred and twenty five thousand rupees). Ashutoshji asked him if there was anything else he could do for him. He asked for 10 rupees to take an autorickshaw. Then he placed his hand on Ashutoshji’s head and blessed him. Ashutoshji noticed an unusually nice fragrance coming from him. He took the shawl and decided to take his leave.
Finally, Mohanji asked him, “Do you know who he was?” Ashutoshji was anyway surprised on Mohanji’s earlier line of questioning. He assumed that the baba was a siddha purush (saint) since Mohanji was treating him with utmost respect. However, he couldn’t figure out who he was. Mohanji finally asked him, “Did you see Sai Baba?” Ashutoshji was not prepared for this. He didn’t expect it to be Sai Baba of all people. Mohanji asked us to look at the photographs that I had captured. It happened so fast that I only managed to take three photographs. Mohanji asked us to look at the legs of the baba and compare it with the picture of Sai Baba. As an aside, when I sent the pictures to Sandeep Mishra, he noticed the clear face of Sai Baba from Dwarkamai on the right leg of the baba. Mohanji asked Ashutoshji if he found it out of the ordinary that a begging monk should demonstrate that kind of authority and confidence in his behavior. Then Mohanji explained that Baba’s nature is commanding and authoritative. In Mohanji’s words, a king in the guise of a clown will still act like a king. That is his basic nature.
Sai Baba had himself come down to give Ashutoshji three important lessons – 1) a dressing down to demolish his ego. Ashutosh is a manager in a bank. He might have been carrying the pride and ego attached to his position. He is a great fan of Mohanji. And he was craving for his time and togetherness. After months of waiting, he meets Mohanji. And almost immediately, he was asked to go after this Baba. The longer the Baba took to choose his stuff, the more frustrated Ashutosh became. He had to literally run the streets with Baba, not having any awareness as to who this old man is. He took him through streets, shops and made him pay for their travels, until he found what he was looking for. He did not buy anything until he found the exact thing which he was looking for. The tedious trails made Ashutosh impatient and angry. He had thought it was a simple thing. And he was eager to get back to Mohanji as he knew that Mohanji will leave the place soon to catch his train. Baba tested him, his devotion to Mohanji, his commitment, his patience and finally blessed him. Also, the long wait to meet Mohanji bore fruits in a much larger dimension where he got to travel with Baba and take His blessings. Also, Baba never allowed him to sit next to him in the vehicle. He allowed him to sit at the back. Only those with equal stature are allowed to sit next. In this context, the vehicle driver is insignificant in this story. Ashutosh was also quite annoyed and concerned with the commands and authoritative language of the Baba. He found it inappropriate to his cultured mind. Another barrier broken here. His heart brimmed with anxiety of missing Mohanji again, lapse of time, anger towards the behavior and ways of Baba and finally, after all the tests and turbulations, he got sweet nectar of divine grace.
2) Baba tells him to follow the Guru’s commands without question. That was what he meant when he sternly said, “Mohanji asked you to do something. Ask no further.” What an immense blessing in return for the resolve Ashutoshji demonstrated to pursue Mohanji at all costs.
3) The greatness of a Master can be recognised by his extreme humility and Sai Baba showed us an example of that by taking off his slippers while talking to Mohanji. (Have a look at the picture)
As for me, it was my second case of non-recognition of a Master. Two strikes in a single day! Not being able to see Hanumanji and Sai Baba. I must be truly blind. In spite of the tremendous blessings, I was at first dejected at my lack of awareness. But then I realized that they did not come to meet me. They came to see Mohanji. I was only meant to be a witness to the meeting. It was only the grace of Mohanji that allowed me to be a witness to that incident for reasons best known to him. The witness serves best when he doesn’t get involved with the incident. Hence to play the role of an unbiased observer, I am blissfully unaware of the significance or the import of the incidents and the people involved until after the fact. When I evaluate the incident later, the glory of the situation is revealed to me (mostly through the grace of Mohanji). And that is exactly how you spin a negative quality into a positive one. 🙂 Either that or I am the village idiot. Anyways, this is my story and I am sticking to the former. 🙂
One interesting aspect that I thought about, in hindsight, is that both the masters said, when asked, that they had food. It probably could be due to the fact that Mohanij always offers food to both of them before eating. So they had in a way received and “eaten” the food that was offered by him.
Anyways, moving on. It was time for us to head to the railway station. Mohanji asked me to get holy water from the river Ganga for taking back with us. I looked around and wondered if the sand from the banks may make the water murky and dirty. I was also looking for a clean spot to fill up the water. I asked a person standing on the steps and he pointed to a couple of spots around – almost as if saying that it didn’t matter; it was all good. I then picked a spot and stood at the edge of the bank and starting filling water in my bottle. He came by, stepped into the water and himself offered to fill up the bottles with water away from the shore. I thanked him profusely and headed back to our room. Before leaving the hotel, Mohanji said that he wanted to go to visit the river one last time. Ashutoshji wanted to take photos of Mohanji. So Mohanji asked him to come along and take some pictures by the shore. Ashutoshji had specially brought an SLR camera to take the pictures.
All of us then proceeded to check out and head towards the railway station. Ashutoshji wanted to accompany Mohanji to the railway station. I hired an autorickshaw to take us to the railway station. This chap wanted to charge
100 (even higher than what the exorbitant charge we paid earlier). Since Mohanji specifically asked me not to haggle too much with the autorickshaw driver, I told him that we had paid 80 on the way here. He agreed. Mohanji saw an old man and asked us to check if he wanted to be dropped off. He was more than happy to tag along. When we reached the station, Ashutoshji paid the fare for the rickshaw. Mohanji asked him to pay the autorickshaw driver 20 rupees more.
As we were walking to the train station, Mohanji told us never to bargain with poor people. He said that if someone can be made happy by 10 or 20 rupees, we should go ahead and do it. It does not mean that we should let people fleece us. But he said that it is always good to try and make people happy if we have a chance. As an example, he said that this autorickshaw driver could feel the love in people and give someone a free ride tomorrow. So we should try as much as we can to make people happy in our own way as per our means.
The train was already docked at the railway station since Rishikesh was the starting point. We boarded the train and got to our seats. Ashutoshji wanted to spend the last few moments with Mohanji before he left. Mohanji asked me when the train would arrive in Pathankot. The message I received from the venerable Mamu only mentioned the departure time. Ashutoshji offered to get that information online. Suddenly he realized that the train went up to Roorkee where he lived and was headed for after taking Mohanji’s leave. He immediately decided to take a chance and board the train even though he didn’t have a reservation. He decided to immediately buy an unreserved ticket and then discuss the situation with the ticket collector to stay in our compartment. Through an innocuous query, Mohanji gave him an opportunity to spend a few more hours with him in the train. He was more than elated. Ashutoshji rushed to the ticket office and managed to get in just minutes before the train started leaving the station.
As the train moved along, Ashutoshji requested Mohanji for permission to massage his feet. Mohanji consented. Ashutoshji started to massage Mohanji’s feet with a lot of love. Mohanji gave certain directions for Ashutoshji to follow. An interesting side note is that when the ticket collector came asking for the ticket, Ashutoshji just told him that he was headed to Roorkee. The ticket collector just nodded and did not even bother to check his ticket. He just let him in for free!!! Eventually, the train arrived at Roorkee. Ashutoshji took Mohanji’s blessings before taking his leave.
This time round, the railway gods were probably not appeased because we got the seats towards the side of the train. The lower berth towards the side of the train is made by folding two adjoining seats. The adjoining seats are never on the same level (much like the mind of a man and woman). This results in a gap near the lower back that makes sleeping on it uncomfortable. The venerable Mamu asked me to speak to the ticket collector and get Mohanji’s seat changed to a regular lower berth. When Mohanji heard my suggestion, he categorically said that “I don’t want any favors to be taken on my behalf.” Since the venerable Mamu had already warned about Mohanji’s position in this matter, I quietly slinked away and go to the ticket collector. But there were no replacement berths available. So unfortunately Mohanji had to suffer through more discomfort through the long journey back home. Mohanji never takes any favors and always gives preference to others.
As for me, the railway gods decided to give me an experience of how it feels when hell freezes over. I had both the AC vents running full blast on my body. I was planning to stay awake since the train reached Pathankot at 2:00am in the morning. But the frigid cold got through my resolve and I hid within the thin sheets that barely kept the cold air out. I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep until the alarm beeped me out of my cold storage slumber an hour before the scheduled arrival time. It was time to stand vigil and ensure that we do not miss the station. Mohanji probably knew of this and insisted that I set an alarm just in case I slept. That did come in handy since the alarm woke me up in the nick of time. Finally, after what felt like eternity, we finally landed at Pathankot.
I had informed Sher Singh aka Mooch well in advance to pick us up from the railway station. Mooch was there to welcome us and he quickly escorted us back to the ashram SUV. Mohanji gave Mooch a free pass to step on the gas and drive us back to the ashram as fast as he could. Needless to say, Mooch took to the suggestion like a fish to water. We were literally flying back on the wings of the SUV aided in flight by choicely placed potholes and Mooch’s breakneck speed. Mohanji asked me in between if I would like to have some tea. I would have loved to but didn’t want Mohanji to wait so I declined the offer. Thanks to Mooch’s flying ways, we reached the ashram quickly and not too worse for wear.
As we entered the ashram, Mohanji requested Devadasji to make some tea for him. It was already 4:30am in the morning so I decided to forego sleep. I was pleasantly surprised and infinitely grateful when Devadasji took the effort to make a piping hot cup of regular chai just for me (Mohanji has only herbal tea without milk or sugar). The Master listens in and grants our every need no matter how small. So as I sip on the tea in the cool morning and have a smoke, I bow to Mohanji in gratitude for the immeasurable grace that he showers on my undeserving self and hope that some day I prove myself worthy of his unconditional love and grace.
It was the evening of Monday the 24th of August, just 2 days before Mohanji’s departure from Toronto to India. All of us were very sad and emotional that Mohanji would be leaving us in a few days. Some expressed it, while others effectively concealed the tears of their heart. A few close devotees came over to see Mohanji and bask in his presence, and thus the evening developed into an informal instant Satsang for that evening. It was around 7.00 pm that all arrived and settled down. People kept coming. One of our close team members who serves at the Sai Baba temple and to whom Baba speaks constantly, was fasting without food on that day. Mohanji gave her something to eat and she readily accepted. How did Mohanji know that she was fasting? Mohanji was in a very different mood that evening. Upon my asking if we could do His pooja, He immediately said “Not today, today it is story time” J Leelas of the Divine.
One by one He started telling us stories about many Divine encounters from the lives of various saints and also from His own life. He talked about Bhagawan Nityananda Swami, Vittal Babaji, Sai Baba, and the Guru – disciple relationship. It was an exhaustive list. Each and every Leela had a hidden message for each devotee, without being asked. J That’s Mohanji, without asking He answers our doubts and queries.
All of us consider ourselves as true devotees. We believe that God hears our prayers. When God is within you, and He himself is running your show, how and why does he hear you from outside? Mohanji kept reminding us of the basic fundamentals which we have forgotten in our mundane existence. He reminded us about the ego that separates us from truth, and even gives us the audacity to judge and criticise our own parents and gurus using our fundamentally limited awareness. He kept repeating that the name of this incarnation is Mohanji, that it will die as Mohanji, and urged us not to think of him or connect to him as somebody else. He said “I am not Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Shiva or Sai. This incarnation is called Mohanji and will die as Mohanji. Connect to me as Mohanji with all the pluses and minuses attached to this incarnation, then we will have a long relationship. If you come to me thinking or imagining that I am someone else, then you will have disappointments when you realise this personality does not match with that of a past incarnation which you had in mind. If you connect to me as what I am now, it will stay”. He also asked “What is Baba for you? What is Shiva for you? What is Krishna? Are they the images and forms that we see outside of us? They are all reminders of who you are. You are the same. All the forms outside are reminders of your true form which is formless. Every form has a reason and purpose. This awareness is vital and important.” He cracked jokes about various situations of life to prove certain points. He reminded us, “What is the root cause of our sorrows? Expectations. Where are expectations seated at? Mind. So, when your mind is ruling you, you will always remain a slave, like a cow tied to a pole with a rope. It cannot walk beyond the diameter that the rope permits. We all are like that. We cannot walk beyond the diameter of our own mind. We are heavily handicapped. Then we deny all that is beyond. Denial or inability to accept truths binds us further. The liberated ones have no mind to bind. They are unchained. Their operating platform is freedom and unconditional love. They live in the moment. They are free from within. And when they express this freedom, the bound society fails to understand. This is why society killed masters like Jesus, Socrates, Prophet John, Osho and many such great masters. They continue to crucify and kill even as we talk.”
“What is the best gift you can give to your guru? Live his teachings. When you spread love and happiness in the name of your guru, you are walking the path of salvation. When you spread awareness, you are being more aware too. When you share what you have, you will grow beyond. Whenever you hoard, store or hide things, stagnation happens and it leads to further bindings in life. When you share more, more comes to you. Sharing is the secret. Share and grow. You have what you share. You do not have what you hoard because a material becomes meaningful only when it is useful and experienced. What you have not experienced is not yours as yet. “
“Why do we give everything for free? Because what we give is priceless. Freedom is priceless. Liberation is priceless. We are explaining paths to reach there. Kriyas are powerful only if used and practiced with patience and devotion. Everything is effective only as per our usage. When we use anything with reverence, gratitude and full awareness, it gives maximum benefit. If things are used absentmindedly, they become totally wasted.”
“If people want to support me, my work or our activities in any way, they are welcome. But they should not support it as a favor towards Mohanji or with certain expectations of reward. We are self-sufficient. We are rich inside. Outside materials are only for a certain purpose of gratification. They change forms and flavors with time. They are inconsistent. Support should not be out of compulsion either. It should be out of sheer unconditional love without ANY expectations. If there is no bhaav (attitude of gratitude), one should not give anything. I do not accept or give back things that come without bhaav. When we accept anything from anyone who gives it without bhaav, it becomes a burden. If people associate with me because they love it from the heart without expectations, I welcome them wholeheartedly. I make my home theirs too. I give everything to those who need nothing from me. I give myself.”
“If you make a promise even to a beggar or someone who you think as insignificant, or even think that you should give something to somebody, you should definitely fulfill that promise to yourself. A thought can potentially create destiny. Undelivered promises always become our destiny. Nothing is ever wasted in this universe called consciousness. ”
“Never judge anyone. You have no right. When you judge, criticise, let alone scandalise, you are falling deeper and deeper into the black hole of compulsive destiny which infinitely delays liberation and ensures a torturous existence of confusion and depression. Never walk that path. You are free to gracefully detach from the path that you do not enjoy walking. But judging and abusing anybody is seriously dangerous. Beware.”
Mohanji also told us about the importance of sharing experiences and testimonials. He said, “This will help other people understand the dimensions of an incarnation. Today, we know the phenomenon called Baba through Sai Satcharitha. The Bible consists of teachings of Jesus and events as told by his disciples. Firstly, it is important to share experiences with the contemporary so that they also may get an opportunity to connect to the consciousness that we are connected to. Secondly, it will help the future generations. Thirdly, it will also be a reminder to us when our mind brings and wears cloaks of doubts and uncertainties. This will also prevent us from deviating from the path. When the mind doubts and objects, the words will come to your rescue. Every teacher has his own flavour. The flavour is the initial attraction. Then comes the consciousness. Miracles attracted many to Baba but only a few could penetrate into his consciousness. Consciousness is our abode. The rest amounts to illusions. So, when you share an experience, you re-live it, re-establish it and also re-affirm it. This will make your path and journey more stable.”
We decided to eat dinner by 9.30 pm. The Dinner was simple and short. Devotees did not wish to spend much time on eating as they were hungrier to hear the Divine Leelas and advice disbursed by Mohanji. At close to midnight, one of the devotees noticed a Trishul (trident) then a Shiva Linga on Mohanji’s third eye, and that was it…..another saw a Snake, Vasuki snake, another saw the moon on Shiva’s head and all saw the trishul. The sign of AUM was apparent all the time. All the signs of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu started displaying on Mohanji’s third eye; all of us assembled there could see it with our own naked eyes….OMG Could we really be experiencing this Divine Leela???
We were astonished. Mohanji sensed the devotees gasping at this, His true form or Swaroop, and started smiling to make the environment in the room calm and normal. We were all ecstatic. By now all were around Him, some at His feet, some holding His hand, some watching with awe from far and away. Everything was and is in him, he was and is in everything. Some started taking pictures, but no camera can capture it unless Mohanji wills. None of the photos could catch what each one of us saw with naked eyes. It could not have been an illusion. How could everyone have the same illusion at the same time?
This was a display to quench our thirst. Some may have had doubts about Mohanji. Some may have thought of him as just a teacher or another guru. Some may not have understood him. Hence spontaneously he displayed his true form in the form of symbols of trinity and made us understand who was sitting in front of us. This was perhaps essential for our unity and unification too. “When there is clarity, there is unity”, Says Mohanji. So, he materialised this to give us clarity. He has always been unassuming and never ever pretended or tried to impress anyone. He has often been blunt or aloof from everything too.
I was sitting on a chair diagonally opposite from where Mohanji sat. Suddenly I felt glued to my chair and did not wish to get up, nor did I wish to get closer to this divine darshan. I felt totally melted. My heart was so expanded with love and gratitude for Mohanji that I felt it would burst open. I felt in my heart how much he is suffering and compromising on our behalf. A stream of salt water was felt running down my cheeks. Was this happening to me? What has God given me? GOD HIMSELF IS SITTING IN FRONT OF ME!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!! My husband Nilesh called me a few times to come close and have this divine darshan, but I could not move. Who is sitting here???? SHIVA, VISHNU OR BRAHMA???? LORD DATTA HIMSELF IT WAS! Mohanji decided to give this divine darshan to all that were sitting in the room. I know very well that he always plays down his powers. He never displays anything. And even if he does, unless eyes to see its splendour are gifted to us, we see nothing. He then said that this room will become a temple and whoever comes here will want to meditate. TEMPLE!!!! God has given so much I could not even dream of. A few days ago during one of the house visits of Mohanji, a devotee requested him eyes to see the truth. Mohanji smiled and said that at the right time, it will happen. This darshan was the deepest wish of a devotee and he fulfilled it today. Even God has to prove himself!
Mohanji was in a very expanded state and much beyond the human form. His energy was so intense that he denied a devotee’s request to give Shaktipat in this form. It would have burned all the meridians and veins.
Just like Sai Baba says in Sai Satcharitra, people ask for things that are so small and petty. When I am sitting in Dwaarkamai to give you much more, why would you ask for little. Mohanji often says if you bring a small cup I will fill it up, but why would you bring something small when I can give you much more. Later Nilesh took me to Mohanji and all I could do is fall at HIS Divine Lotus Feet and cry my heart out. Wash His Divine Feet with the love flowing through my eyes. MY LORD, MY PRABHU, MY DIVINE GOD IS SITTING IN FRONT OF ME AND TELLING ME THIS PLACE IS A TEMPLE! My heart knew no emotions but to drench my whole being in this Divine feeling. SO GIVING, SO LOVING ….FULL OF GRACE IS MY GURU GOD MOHANJI!
When God is happy, He decides to give more than we can imagine. When God loves, He drenches our being. When His grace flows, we dissolve within. Are we eligible? Do we allow it to happen in our lives? Does our ego permit an unconditional acceptance? Mohanji always says “Be empty and I will fill in. Shower love and I shall fill your heart. Give more and you will get more. Share and grow rich inside.”