By Ananthanarayanan Sankaran, Australia
An opportunity to set the foot on the holy hills of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu is not possible unless there’s Guru’s and Divine grace. I, along with 20+ others had the opportunity to bathe in the ocean of grace and compassion from Brahmarishi Mohanji at this very holy place and the experience has been truly profound.
It is believed that, by seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain liberation.
Arunachala a.k.a. Annamalai is no ordinary mountain. The hill is Lord Shiva Himself (unlike other places such as Mt. Kailash which are abodes of Lord Shiva) in the form of Agni (fire element). As per “Arunachala Mahatmyam,” the supreme knowledge (Self-knowledge), the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar. Hence, when the programme was announced, I couldn’t resist the urge to visit this holy place again. You may want to read my previous blog on my journey to Arunachala with Mohanji. (Arunachala with Shiva).
I had a packed agenda (pilgrimage + personal commitments) for the visit and prayed to Mohanji that everything should go well. Having attended various retreats and pilgrimages with Mohanji in the past, I knew what I had to do, which is to expect nothing and be prepared to flow.
It was a long and tiring flight with little sleep but after a short 5 hours break, I was rearing to go. I soon realised that His energy had already kicked in and that I had nothing to worry about. The journey to Arunachala was peaceful and I was immediately on the tasks I had to complete.
Just before I landed in India, there was an alert from the Meteorological Department that severe weather was predicted for the 6th, 7th and 8th (the days we were supposed to be in Arunachala). Everyone in my family started forwarding those messages to me. However, I was very clear… Mohanji was coming and He will take care. When we have Lord Shiva making Himself available amidst us, what on earth could come our way?
I was greeted by grey clouds and occasional drizzle to rare heavy showers en route to Tiruvannamalai. Upon arriving at the venue, things started falling into place and I was laughing within as I began to witness the grace of Mohanji at every stage. Our dearest Amma (Snehajyoti) came to receive our beloved Mohanji and waited patiently for her Son to arrive.
Mohanji arrived with His parents by the 6th evening. To see Him holding the hands of His Mother and walking was truly a sight to behold. Later someone asked Him “There are people at your disposal to look after your parents, why would you have to do it by yourself?” (accompanying His parents and making them comfortable). He said, “There is no other reason except Putra Dharma (duty of a son).” This is a message for every one of us to ensure we fulfil our duties within our capacity and don’t skip one for another. He walks the talk of fulfilment and completion.
Mohanji wasted no time and made His agenda clear for the trip. A visit to the shrine of a Siddha who had lived a few hundred years ago, a visit to an old age home, Girivalam (circumambulating Arunachala Hills) and an open satsang for the 8th of October, were on His priority list.
During dinner on the 6th of October, a couple of people from the UK arrived, immediately identified Mohanji and sought His blessings. One gentleman lovingly said, “Three times I tried attending your retreat in the UK and never succeeded as it gets full almost immediately. It’s a blessing to meet you here in the holy place of Arunachala.” Mohanji invited them for the satsang on the 7th of October. Though it was for in-house participants, it became clear that the connection and devotion of these men moved Him, prompting this invitation.
We were in for a surprise the next morning as the gentlemen from the UK requested that we wash the holy feet of Mohanji (paada pooja). We were already on a packed agenda and any delays would mean we have to either postpone or cancel a portion of the schedule. But what could stop a true seeker when he surrenders everything and places a request in front of the Guru? Soon, we all witnessed something truly special, the feet of Mohanji being washed with warm water and milk, with His aarti and other chants being recited by the participants. Tears of joy rolled from everyone’s eyes and we could begin to feel divinity at play. Later Mohanji explained the importance of washing Guru’s feet and that He normally doesn’t entertain it unless people understood the real meaning behind it.
A visit to the Siddha’s samadhi followed by a visit to the main temple (Annamalayar temple) took place and everyone settled into silence instantly. Ramana Maharishi had meditated at the Siddha’s samadhi during his early years and the energy surge could be truly felt in this temple.
Since the morning (on the 7th of October) Mohanji was keen to meet Madhurai Swamigal, who accompanied us on Girivalam in December 2017. Not knowing his contact details, we tried reaching him through some local contacts and didn’t make much progress. However, when we arrived at the main temple, we quickly spotted him. He informed us that he had been trying to reach us for the past 3 days (after seeing our posters around the town), but had very little luck. I knew this was Mohanji’s leela, for He was the one who brought him (Swamigal) to the temple and made it appear as a mere coincidence.
We had wonderful darshan at the sanctum and as a divine signal; it rained as soon as we walked out. There were monkeys around the temple complex. One particular monkey held Mohanji’s dhoti and had food from His hands. The monkey wouldn’t let go of the dhoti until he’d eaten all the biscuits from Mohanji’s hands. Later Mohanji informed everyone around Him that this year’s visit to Arunachala was all about completion. First was Madhurai Swamigal’s meeting, followed by an up-close darshan, rains and Hanuman (monkey) accepting food from Mohanji’s hands.
We had plans to visit Ramanashram and Virupaksha Caves on the 8th morning. However, upon arriving at Ramanashram, Mohanji advised us to spend as much time as possible in the shrine. It was the morning aarti time when we reached there and I couldn’t control my tears upon setting foot in the ashram. Not to be seen as a cry baby, I walked out of the temple and stood quietly connecting to Ramana Maharishi. Soon, I encountered a person who started talking to me. Something in me said I need to seek his blessings, which I did. He spoke with authority and quoted the Avatar ‘Parasurama’ a couple of times during our brief talk.
After taking prasad, I settled down on the gents’ row and observed silence. The person whom I met at the gate walked inside the shrine and I offered my prayers once again. He gave me a coconut, blessed me and walked away. Mohanji, until then meditating, suddenly turned to my side and said, “Oh coconut… make it into pieces and distribute it to everyone. I would like to have some as well.” I immediately knew that the coconut was for Him and I was a mere instrument blessed to receive it on His behalf. When I walked out of the ashram after a good 45 – 60 mins of being in silence, I encountered that person once again and this time he gave me a banana and a rose flower. I felt compelled to offer him a dakshina. He wouldn’t accept it and said, “Why are you giving money to me, what will I do with it. Come out with me and give it to the person I show you,” which I gladly did.
As it started becoming very hot, we had to shelve the idea of visiting Virupaksha Caves and instead chose Seshadri Swamigal Ashram which was a few yards away from Ramanashram. There was a little disappointment among some participants for not going to the Caves but I completely believed that it happened for a reason which soon became clear.
A little later, we had an amazing darshan of Mookupodi Siddhar, a very powerful Master in town. Later, during my conversations with an auto driver, he told me that there are 7 Siddhas walking the streets of Tiruvannamalai and Mookupodi Siddhar is one among them. Nobody is allowed to touch or go near him but can have darshan from a distance. With Mohanji’s grace, Barbara took some amazing pictures of the Siddha and in fact, she was invited by the person who regulated people around the Siddha to come up close and take some more pictures.
Later in the evening, we visited Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram where we were lovingly welcomed by Devaki Amma, Yogi Ji’s disciple who looks after the ashram. She spoke at length about Yogi Ji, who was a powerful Avadoota, whose energy you could instantly feel upon meditating on him or on the chant that continuously goes on in the ashram. Amma told us that by going once around the ashram, we get the same benefit as one would get upon doing 5 Girivalam (circumambulation around Arunachala hills).
An interesting and an unexpected thing happened here at the ashram. As there wasn’t enough space for everyone in the car, I volunteered to accompany Snehajyoti Amma to the ashram and we went there by an auto. At the entrance of the temple, I found a lady with matted hair, torn clothes and fully consumed within. I could recall Mohanji telling me about a lady Avadoota whom they met in 2017 and how she accepted an offering from everyone else but Him. Something told me that she must be the same Avadoota. I immediately went near her, prostrated at her feet and offered a dakshina which she accepted.
Later, while returning, I could see her walking at a distance. Raksh and I literally ran towards her as I wanted Raksh to receive her blessings. While she wouldn’t accept dakshina, she did spit on the ground and I quickly remembered someone recalling an experience that when this Avadoota spat on someone last time, the person had a huge release. I offered her a dakshina again but she politely told me, “Enakku edhuvum venam” (I need nothing). I prostrated once again at her feet and proceeded to take an auto to complete few other things around the town.
I was supposed to go to the resort to look after the preparations for the evening satsang but something in me pointed me to do another job which was pending. I asked the auto driver to go to a particular location and as destiny would have its way, he had to refuel. While the auto stopped at the fuel station, I could immediately see the saint whom I met during the 2017 Girivalam (Arunachala with Shiva – part 1). He was the one who told me that, “Land for ashram will happen,” and later on was confirmed by Mohanji about how the Divine takes various forms to convey a message.
I immediately asked Raksh to come behind me as I went up to him and started having a conversion. After a few inquiries, he remembered me asked me the exact same question that he had asked me during my previous encounter with him 🙂
He held my hands and applied pressure on my wrists (I was literally but unintentionally making a scene of sorts in the middle of the road by crying) to stop my tears. Raksh invited him to the satsang, but he didn’t give a clear response. I knew he wouldn’t come and when she asked him again, he said, “You don’t need two Suns under one roof. I hope you understand” – YES. We fully understood his message on the stature of our own beloved Para Brahma and tearfully bid adieu to him. He told me where I could find him as I prostrated at his feet and continued my journey.
Deep inside, I was thanking Mohanji a lot for giving me experience after experience and honestly, I never expected any of them. It also became very clear to me that it is only HIS compassion that gives me such divine experiences in my life. Otherwise, who could fathom meeting such Siddhas, an Avadoota and saints – all in one day 🙂
It rained heavily in the evening before the commencement of the public satsang. However, it didn’t deter the 75 odd people who turned up to witness it. The satsang was very intense and I could see how people instantly connected with Mohanji and swam in His Consciousness. By the time I hit the bed it was already early morning and I knew I had a couple of hours before Girivalam.
With Mohanji’s grace all the participants completed the Girivalam, a 15 km walk around Arunachala Hills, stopping at various points to have darshan and connect to Him. As Rajesh Kamath hadn’t had a chance to visit the Siddha’s Temple (a place we visited on our first day), we all had an opportunity to visit the shrine once again and spent few quiet moments there.
I was planning to pack my things to leave and was suddenly reminded of one more job to be completed. Rajesh and I went to the old age home we had visited the previous day and I was surprised to see Mohanji arriving almost at the same time as us.
He called the two of us and said, “There is an Avadoota sitting on the road. I didn’t stop my vehicle as I knew the crowd would swarm. Quickly take some food, offer it to him and come.”
We immediately got some food from the old age home and went to the place where the Avadoota was sitting. He made the two of us sit on the road as he was busy having a conversation with a labourer. The labourer was supplying cold drinks to the roadside shops and poverty was quite visible. The Avadoota engaged in a conversation with this person and commanded him to get him water from the roadside shop which the person did with utmost bhav. The Avadoota then went on to pour the water on the road and asked him to go get more water again and this time, he made the labourer stretch his feet and poured water on it. When the labourer asked him, “Ayya, naan kelambatuma” (May I take a leave), he said give me 1000 rupees and go. The labourer took all his earnings from the day he had in his pocket, offered it to the Avadoota and left the place after taking blessings.
Now it was our turn 🙂 Rajesh offered food to the Avadoota and also gave him Mohanji’s card. The Avadoota kept the card in front of him, took the food in his hand and threw almost 80% of it in all directions.
With the remaining food, he hand-fed it to the labourer (before he left) and Mani who was with us.
He then took Mohanji’s card, tore it into pieces while giving A-grade abuses. Rajesh didn’t have a clue (language barrier) and Mani and I were looking at each other wondering what was happening. The Avadoota then asked us to pay him and leave. While I emptied my wallet and gave everything, Rajesh felt he should give him one rupee. The Avadoota looked at the one rupee coin, rubbed it awhile saying a few things before throwing it away. We both prostrated to him in the middle of the road and he said, “I am a big actor, you are all becoming bigger actors than me,” and left the place laughing, leaving behind all the money.
Returning to the room, I went straight to Mohanji and shared with Him what I had witnessed. He asked me more than once if the Avadoota abused Him and tore His card and when I said yes, Mohanji said, “That’s very good. I am happy.” Being someone who doesn’t ask why, I silently left the room and was sharing this experience with one other participant. She asked me, “Did you ask Mohanji why the Avadoota tore the card?” I said, “No. I don’t ask any questions to Mohanji.” She said, “Sometimes, it is important to ask such questions as not very often do we get such experiences and understand our lessons from it.” Later on she asked the question to Mohanji to which He said, “When the Avadhoota tore my card, it was a blessing. Tearing a card is similar to breaking barriers on various dimensions. This coupled with the A-grade abuses he hurled on me is a sign of his blessing and that’s how Avadhootas operate.” He further narrated “I shall explain. What the avadhoota abused was the negative energies that might have come from others into our path/life blocking us or trying to disturb me (us), this could be jealousy, envy or any other kind of negative energies or even possibly some parasite entities in some cases. When he tore my card (which I was hoping he would do), he cleansed me from all kinds of negative energies that may have joined (collected unknowingly by us) with us from various places and people as well as removed the possible blockages in our further journey. These parasite energies are like smaller fishes getting attached to a huge whale and feeds on them or a parasite creeper clinging on to a good tree and feeds on it. When we meet many people, when many people connect to us from various locations, physically or non physically, we will have to handle many types of energies and frequencies. Some residue of it may stay with us for sometime. Avadhootas like him cleanses us and our path ahead in one shot as river Ganga cleanses us deeply with every dip. Shirdi Sai Baba and Bhagawan Nithyananda used to scream, shout at and abuse people in the same way. They were not abusing the person, but the poisonous energies that they might have ignorantly/unknowingly collected and carried. They were doing deep cleansing out of deep compassion. This is why I was happy with what he did. His abuses was towards the energies around us, not us. Tearing the card was like removal of “evil eyes”, “black magic” or similar negative energies that regular jealousies and envies might have contributed. Card/picture represents the person. Tearing means annihilation/removal. When our path is clear, journey ahead becomes smooth and pleasurable. When accumulated weight is removed, it helps our flight. If we approach the methods of such avadhootas with ego and doubts, we will not understand and experience their unfathomable compassion. ”
Looking back, what an amazing trip it had been. It’s sheer grace and love Mohanji has towards each and every one of us which allowed us to have such divine experiences, all in a matter of few days. Things that are learnt or understood over years are delivered in a matter of moments and I am eternally grateful to Mohanji for accepting me under His wings and teaching me the much-needed lessons for my existence.
I have learnt a few key lessons during this pilgrimage:
- I had the choice to avoid going to the old age home citing some reason or postponing it. Had I done it, I would have missed a wonderful opportunity. It reminds me of Mohanji’s quote, “Never postpone anything. Postponing it could mean denial of a valuable experience that would never happen again.” In fact, every single moment during the retreat, I kept hearing Mohanji’s words, “This trip is all about completion,” in my ears and I pushed away tamas, allowing grace to take over the situation and COMPLETE everything that had to be completed.
- An Avadoota will strip you naked. We should be willing to be stripped for it removes layers and layers of accumulated baggage. This is what I realised with the Avadoota who made me sit on the roadside, and I was witnessing his totally irrelevant conversations with people.
- Never think, just BE when you come across such Masters. Sitting on the road, crying, holding their hands or feet, being spat at, just doesn’t matter. If I had been cautious of the surroundings, had I become even a little aware that people were watching me as I stood in front of these giants, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to witness the grandeur of all the Avadootas and saints on the streets of Tiruvannamalai.
- Always sharpen your ears when someone speaks about a Guru. It doesn’t matter which Guru it is as they are all one and the same. More than reading through books, when I hear someone speak about a Guru, I close my eyes and play the scene in my mind and to me that’s a sadhana. It was such a divine experience to hear Devaki Amma speak about the leelas (plays) of Yogi Ramsuratkumar.
I would like to complete this testimonial with a verse from “Guru Gita”
Puujaa-Muulam Gurur-Padam |
Moksha-Muulam Guruur-Krpaa ||
1: The root of meditation is the form of the Guru,
2: The root of worship is the feet of the Guru,
3: The root of mantra is the word of the Guru,
4: The root of liberation is the grace of the Guru.
I surrender everything at the holy feet of my beloved Guru Brahmarishi Mohanji and pray that I remain eternally at His feet as dust.
Mookupodi Siddhar, one of the Siddhas who walked the streets of Tiruvannamalai.
Yesterday on 8th December, 2018 he attained Maha Samadhi.
Exactly two months back, Mohanji and all the pilgrims who were on the Arunachala trip in October 2018, had the blessed opportunity to have darshan of this great siddha. This is completely the blessing of Siddha Loka and our prampara gurus. This grace of having His darsan in this lifetime is a great thing.
Usually everyone could have his darshan from a distance but nobody was allowed to go near him. However, it was indeed Gurumandala’s grace that Barbara was allowed to go closer and took some amazing pictures of the Siddha. The advent of such a powerful Siddha on the earth will remain preserved with these memorable photographs.
We leave you with some of these memories!
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||
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