Back from the dead – A tryst with Swami Samarth of Akkalkot

Swami Samarth (aka Akkalkot Swami) was a powerful Master who was based in Akkalkot in Maharashtra (a state from Western India). He was the third avatar of Lord Dattatreya, the Adi-Guru (the first Guru or founder) of our Tradition (the Datta tradition named after Lord Dattatreya).

Swami Samarth was a very powerful Master who made a truly miraculous and divine entry on planet Earth. The second avatar of Lord Dattatreya, Narasimha Saraswati, took samadhi (verb – a saint’s conscious exit from the body) in the fifteenth century. When Narasimha Saraswati decided that his time was up, he informed his disciples, sat on a boat filled with flowers and headed to the forest of Kardalivan which is near Sri Sailam, a very powerful pilgrimage centre of Lord Shiva. He told his disciples that the flowers would come back against the river’s flow signifying his cross-over to the other side. And so, it happened. The flowers came back against the flow letting his disciples know that he had merged with the Light.

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Narsimha Saraswati – the second avatar of Lord Dattareya

Fast forward 300 years later. A wood cutter enters Kardalivan to chop a tree. The moment the axe strikes deep into the tree, blood comes oozing out. And moments later, out comes Swami Samarth of Akkalkot, a tall saint with big ears and long hands extending beyond the knees. As the woodcutter profusely apologizes to the saint, Swami Samarth reassures him that this was meant to be the way he was to be woken up to start his mission in the world. Even though he is known mostly in Maharashtra, Swami Samarth is supposed to have travelled extensively all over India and the Himalayas as well as across the world to Tibet, Jawa, Sumatra, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Australia, etc. He was known by different names in different countries.

He finally came to Akkalkot and spent the last twenty-two years of his life there. His last years were spent under a banyan tree where he finally took samadhi. It is said that when he took samadhi, his soul split in two – one part merged with the banyan tree which is now worshipped as his Samadhi (noun – final resting place) and the other merged with Sai Baba. It is believed that the fame of Sai Baba grew far and wide right after the merger.  His famous words can be seen printed behind many taxies in Mumbai – “Bheevu nakkos, mi thujhya paatheeshi aahe” (Fear not. I am always behind you). Similar to what Mohanji says “I am always with you”. Different masters, same words.

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Swami Samarth of Akkalkot – the third avatar of Lord Dattareya

Swami Samarth had a peculiar habit of bringing people, who had been dead for a long time, back to life to get some work done. He was once walking along the river bank. He asked a person who was coming near to him, “Why are you walking here? Go home quickly. Your child is alone at home crying. I told your father to look after the child.” The man was perplexed and couldn’t understand the Swami’s words. His father had died a long time ago. In any case, he rushed back home and was baffled to see his father attending to the baby. He couldn’t believe his eyes. His father handed over the baby, blessed him and left the house. Swami Samarth was a powerful Master who created powerful disciples like Shankar Maharaj, Gajanan Maharaj, Junglee Maharaj, etc. To this day, he is known to bless his devotees with his physical presence even though he has left the body two hundred and fifty years ago.

I had been to Akkalkot the first time on a New Year day in 2013 and it was a truly blissful experience. In November 2016, I had the privilege to visit Akkalkot again with Mohanji on our road trip to Kerala from Shirdi en route from Pune. We reached Akkalkot around afternoon and took darshan at his temple where his physical body was kept after he took samadhi. However, as mentioned earlier, the banyan tree is the place which is considered his true Samadhi. A temple was later built on this place which houses the banyan tree, the place where he took samadhi, his padukas (holy footwear) as well as temples of other deities (Ganesha, Hanumanji, Dattatreya, etc).

When we reached the temple, Mohanji was at the entrance of the temple taking off his footwear. I was just a short distance away buying flowers and offerings for the temple. I noticed Mohanji smiling at someone near the temple. This set off my warning alarms – some divine being was present possibly in a physical form in the vicinity. I immediately looked in the direction where Mohanji was looking and smiling. Around ten feet away, there was an elderly lady standing at the entrance of the temple smiling back at him. She was tall and elegantly dressed in a green sari – not the cheap or gaudy kind usually worn by the village folks. The sari was elegant but something that was probably worn in older (or I would even hazard to say ancient) times. She had a prominent nose ring and her face was wrinkled. She had a plate in her hand which had the offerings for the temple. If you have not guessed by now, this elderly lady looked just like Swami Samarth dressed like a woman.

For those not in the know, there are pictures depicting Swami Samarth as the Divine Mother to symbolize his motherly aspect. I was stumped. The interaction between Mohanji and the elderly lady from the distance was what I remember distinctly even though it lasted just a few seconds because it was amazingly subtle and elegant. The lady made only three eye movements. She first blinked both her eyes while looking at Mohanji as if acknowledging his presence – “I see you have come.” She then moved her eyes to look inside the temple and then blinked both her eyes at Mohanji again. As if to say, “It is time for me to go inside. See you later.” And then she touched the entrance steps with her hands in reverence and touched it to her forehead and proceeded to enter the temple. It happened so quickly. My mind was in suspended disbelief. I was too stunned to even realize that I should be taking photographs. As Mohanji entered the temple, I quickly closed my purchase and followed him. The elderly lady was nowhere to be seen. Wow! A physical darshan (holy sighting) of Swami Samarth welcoming Mohanji to his Samadhi!

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Swami Samarth of Akkalkot in the form of Devi (Divine Mother)

We headed to the entrance of the parking lot where our car was parked. The parking lot was quite far away from the entrance. Hence, our driver had kept the car near the entrance to avoid Mohanji having to walk all the way to the parking lot. As Mohanji got in the car, the driver requested Mohanji that he would also like to quickly go for a temple visit. Mohanji agreed and we waited for him in the car. Mohanji told me to inform the security guard at the entrance that we had parked the car at the entrance and will remove it as soon as the driver comes back. Our car was parked in a no-parking space in front of the entrance. The right strategy would have been to remain unnoticed for as long as possible and buy time if and when the security guard notices and approaches us. Why would I go to the security guard and inform him that I am parked in the wrong place when he hasn’t noticed me yet? Hmmm. This is not making sense.

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Finally, I decided to just do what Mohanji says, even if it did not make sense at that time. Because I figured he knew better and it eventually would. There was also the problem of him kicking my butt if I didn’t comply quickly. He always knows better but my mind chooses to introduce its “intelligence” where it is least wanted to ensure that my butt is kicked every single time. I got out of the car, went near the security guard and informed him of our mistake. His response was bang on the money. He blew his top and started shouting at me. “You supposedly literate folks behaving like illiterate, uncouth people creating problems for others. If some bigger car or bus wants to get in, do they fly over you? Please move the car to the parking lot immediately.” I informed him that I could not drive and our driver had gone into the temple and will be back soon. Until then, we had no option but to wait there. He got irritated, continued shouting for a while and finally walked away in exasperation.  Of course, it made perfect sense to inform the security guard, right?

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He then immediately turned back and walked up to me. I was wondering what else he had in store for me. He was more peaceful this time and told me that there was a dargah (a mosque housing the samadhi of a Muslim saint usually belonging to the Sufi sect) 15-20kms away. He told me that you people should go visit the dargah and offer your prayers there. This was odd and unexpected! I got back into the car. Mohanji asked me if everything was sorted with the security guard. I affirmed and mentioned to Mohanji that the security guard asked us to go to a dargah. Mohanji asked me if the security guard would guide us there. I was taken aback by security guard’s unexpected suggestion and, hence, didn’t even bothered asking him the exact location or the directions. So, I went back to the security guard and asked him if he would take us there. He said he would join us once our driver returned. As soon as the driver returned, the security guard also joined us in the car.

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He offered his respects to Mohanji and introduced himself. He mentioned that he does the parayan (ritual reading of a scripture in a specified time) of Swami Samarth’s biography every morning and evening and only has food after he completes the reading. Today morning, he had a vision of Swami Samarth saying, “My boy is coming. Take care of him. Take him to the dargah when he comes there.” No further information was provided to him. The security guard was expecting someone to come but didn’t know who it was. That is why we were parked in the wrong place blocking the road because his job was to remove such vehicles. The security guard knew that someone would come and he was actually waiting. But he still did not recognize.  Hence, I was sent by Mohanji to “inform” him. After scolding me, he came to the realization that the Swami Samarth’s “boy” was the passenger in our car – Mohanji – and he immediately returned to pass on the message. So, yes. It did make sense to inform the security guard.

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As we drove to the dargah, the security guard started giving us more details about the dargah and its origins. Swami Samarth used to send his followers to the dargah for fulfilment of their wishes. His story started with a fakir (Muslim mendicant) walking alongside a village path begging for alms. He came across a Brahmin’s (priestly class) house and stopped there seeking alms. The lady of the house invited him inside. She was poor and did not have much to offer but gave him whatever best she could. The fakir was pleased with her devotion and selfless nature and blessed her saying, “I am very pleased with your service. Ask for whatever you want. I will give you twice of what you ask for and take back one half of it.” The lady said she did not care for material comforts. However, she had a desire to bear a child. The fakir said that, as per my diktat, I will give you two children and, after their birth, you have to return one to me.

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The lady agreed to the fakir’s condition. In due time, the fakir’s blessings worked and she bore twins. One child was dark and the other one was fair. In keeping with her promise, the lady had to return one child to the fakir. She preferred to keep the fair child and return the dark one. When she took the dark child to the fakir, he informed her that it was the fair child that belonged to him and asked her to get the fair child to the dargah. When she returned home, to her utter dismay and surprise, the fair child was dead. She immediately came to the fakir and informed him of the child’s demise. The fakir told her to bring the body of the dead child, leave it near the tombs in the dargah and return back home. She complied. The fakir sprinkled water on the boy who grew from a newborn to a teenager. The young lad walked to the tombsand merged with it. It was a miraculous story though I failed to understand the significance of the story.

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After a short drive, we reached the dargah. At the entrance, there was a section to the left which had a prominent tomb and some smaller tombs. The periphery of the main tomb had 4 iron brackets at the corners with threads tied all around the brackets. There were small sets of red bangles hanging from the threads everywhere. The dargah was to the right with an unpaved road leading to it that was wedged in between this tomb section and the dargah. The security guard asked us to first offer our prayers at the tomb at the entrance. He mentioned that the tomb belonged to a woman who was completely devoted to the fakir. The fakir was also very pleased with her service. One day she asked three boons from the fakir. The first was that people should consider her like his sister. The second was that people who come to the dargah should first visit her and offer their prayers at her tomb before they go to him. The third was that anyone who was desirous of a spouse should be granted their wish if they prayed at her tomb. The fakir granted all three boons.

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The first boon was the reason her tomb was at the entrance. The second boon was the reason we came to pray there first. The third boon was the reason red bangles were tied on the threads circling the tomb. For anyone desiring a spouse, the person had to untie one set of red bangles from the thread and take it with them. Until they find the spouse, they were then supposed to circle lighted incense sticks around the bangles and pray to them on every full moon. Once the person gets married, the couple needs to come back to the temple and tie a fresh set of red bangles to the tomb as a symbol of fulfilment of their wish. Looking at the umpteen number of red bangles tied at the tomb, it looked like the “get-a-spouse” scheme was doing exceptionally well.

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We walked around the unpaved road towards the entrance of the dargah. There were a set of steps leading to a raised concrete platform on which the dargah was situated. The dargah was freshly whitewashed and had the usual white and green shades of a typical mosque. We walked across the open space on the concrete platform leading to the entrance. As we entered the dargah, we were led to a wider room that led into the sanctum sanctorum which housed the tomb. The priest was nowhere to be seen. The security guard went outside and came back along with him. He asked the priest to offer prayers on Mohanji’s behalf. When the priest asked for more money, he told the priest clearly that what was paid was enough. He told us not to pay the priest too much since he thought the priest was getting greedy.

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Mohanji sat down near the tomb and spent some silent moments in the sanctum sanctorum. The security guard took us around the other parts of the complex and explained various details about each area. He then took us to a covered section that had a big black stone receptacle shaped like a small boat. It was about 3-4 feet long, a couple of feet wide and a couple of feet deep. The thickness was probably almost a foot. As mentioned earlier, Swami Samarth sent people to the dargah to get their wishes fulfilled and the security guard told us that this was the place where the prayers were granted. He shared the story of a Muslim royal who believed in Swami Samarth and was sent here to fulfil his desire for an heir. One made the prayer request by touching the stone receptacle. On fulfilment, one had to come back and fill up the receptacle full of ladoos (a ball shaped Indian sweetmeat) in expression of gratitude. Mohanji and the group offered our requests to the wish fulfilling stone receptacle.

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Finally, after spending some more time at the dargah, we returned back to banyan tree Samadhi temple at Akkalkot. It was past noon so it was time for lunch. Mohanji requested the security guard to join us for lunch. He politely declined. He said he has food only after the ritual reading of the book which he does at sunrise and sunset. Mohanji asked me to give him some money. Unfortunately, this was the time when the Indian central bank had implemented demonetization – cancelling all existing high value currency notes and reissuing new currency bills. ATMs were dry and money was scarce. There were long serpentine queues in front of the ATMs and daily withdrawal limits had been imposed. I told Mohanji that I would need to withdraw money to pay him and also for our lunch. The security guard guided me to the nearest ATM which already had a long line of brothers waiting in the hot sun for the moolah.

It took me a long time to get the money. While waiting, my mind started expressing its usual uncalled-for “intelligence”. I am usually skeptical when approached by people in religious places. Almost all of them are hankering after money. I was convinced that this person was also one of those “agents” who offer their services with the basic motive of fleecing people for money. I had a counterfeit fifty rupee note in my possession that was possibly palmd off to me by a sly street vendor. I thought that it would be a fitting payment for him to match his fake countenance. It is interesting how the mind loves to fall back into its patterns of perception from the past ignoring the experiences or inputs received in the present. This person came along with us leaving his assigned duties. He not only took us there but also showed us around and facilitated our entire trip there. Even though we offered lunch, he politely declined and did not even ask for any money for services rendered. The suggestion to give him money came from Mohanji who believes in energy transfer to ensure karmic closures – to respectfully offer him money for his time and effort to ensure that there were no karmic bondages. Yet, in spite of evidence to the contrary, my mind had already labeled him a charlatan.

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When I came back to the car, I couldn’t locate him anymore. Mohanji asked me to look around at the parking spot and other places. But he was nowhere to be seen. In a way, my mind was happy that I didn’t have to pay a person who it thought didn’t deserve it. We had lunch and, as planned earlier, left for Pandharpur – a very powerful temple of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi in Maharashtra. We stayed at Pandharpur for a day and had a lovely darshan there. We headed from there to Pune. Around noon, we suddenly found ourselves in a place that looked very familiar. Familiar because we were in the same square in Akkalkot where we had left the security guard. Pune is in the northwest direction from Pandharpur. Somehow, our driver ended up driving 120+km in exactly the opposite South East direction without him or us getting any wiser. I looked at the driver with a “Are you kidding me?” expression. The driver said that he drove promptly in the right direction as advised by Google and as suggested by the locals but was equally bewildered how he landed back in Akkalkot. He had no clue how driving in one direction could land him in the opposite direction. I, of course, had a clue. Mohanji had unfinished business and wasn’t leaving until it was done.

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Mohanji looked around and looking mildly surprised said, “Oh! How did we reach Akkalkkot again?” Yeah, right? Like we don’t know who got us to return. He then said, “Why don’t you look for the security guard? We couldn’t pay him yesterday. I don’t like to keep anything pending. So, it is good we are back. Let us finish it off.” I couldn’t find the security guard at the parking lot. After looking around, I finally managed to locate him. He was happy to know that we had come back. He came with me to offer his respects to Mohanji. Since it was again lunchtime, Mohanji requested him to join us for lunch. He politely declined again reiterating his sadhana of eating only after the ritual reading. Mohanji offered him money. He suggested that it was not necessary. Mohanji insisted and requested the security guard to accept it to which he agreed. He told us that there was a place serving good sattvic (pure) food. He personally got in the car to direct us there and spoke to the owner to serve Mohanji well. He then requested to take Mohanji’s leave as he had to get back to work.

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The security guard we met at Akkalkot

After a sumptuous lunch, Mohanji suggested that we go to the office to buy books in English. We went to the office and spent some time perusing the books and music CDs. We bought the English translation of Swami Samarth’s biography and some Marathi books of Swami Samarth, Shankar Maharaj, etc. After some time, Mohanji decided that it was time to leave. On the way out, I noticed a lone newspaper clipping pinned to center of the wall of the office. Normally, I am not the curious types. My apathic bent becomes even more pronounced when my stomach is full (which is most of the time as Mohanji will vouch for). I am blissfully secure in my ignorance of the world around me which explains the name, Abodhananda, given by Mohanji to me in jest. It means being blissful in one’s own unconsciousness – in reference to my absent-minded nature.

However, something compelled me to read that newspaper clipping. It was in Marathi. It was the commemoration written about the person who headed the trust that handled the banyan tree Samadhi temple complex. He had passed away eight months back in March the same year. He had given 24 years of service to the trust and worked tirelessly to help the pilgrims in every way and make their stay comfortable and memorable. I wasn’t sure if I was seeing things but the photograph of the person in the clipping was very similar to the security guard. The similarity was unmistakable. When I pointed this out to Mohanji, he said that the person did look similar to the security guard and casually mentioned that Swami Samarth had a habit of bringing people back from the dead and making them do certain things. And saying thus, he headed off to the car. This reminds me of my trip with Mohanji to Swami Poornananda’s ashram where Mohanji similarly insisted on buying books in English – a pretext for conveying a divine experience to one of Swami Poornananda’s devotees.

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The newspaper clipping with the commemoration

Facts stranger than fiction. It really makes one wonder the nature of reality as we understand it. I take the liberty to copy a paragraph from my previous blog, Miraculous days with Mohanji – Part IV, which sums up my state of disbelief when faced with these experiences.

In retrospect, it makes me wonder. I came in from a tangible world where people, places, objects and situations where what they seemed to be. The scriptures say it is all a grand illusion but it made complete sense to me. They say it is false but it looked “real” to me. Now with Mohanji, I am suddenly introduced to a world where everything is suspect. Nothing is what it seems to be. I was lamenting to a close follower of Mohanji that my world has suddenly gone topsy turvy after being with Mohanji – from the “real” to the “surreal”. 🙂There is a saying in Marathi, “Dista tasa nasta ithech jag fasta” (Everything is not what it seems, hence the world gets fooled). Trees, animals, humans – you are never sure who is lurking in front of you. It is unsettling to say the least. When you look at something, you wonder – is there a holy personage hiding in the form in front of you? Sai Baba wanted his followers to see Him in all beings. With a few episodes like this happening to me, I have suddenly started to venture down that path if not out of understanding then at least out of curiosity. 🙂

What a trip! It started with a darshan of Swami Samarth in his physical body welcoming Mohanji to Akkalkot and ended with a hair (and “dead”) raising experience. That was probably the reason the security guard politely refused food, money or support because he had no need for it. His life was dedicated for selfless service to Swami Samarth and the pilgrims that came to Akkalkot. And he was brought back to do it one more time.

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My humble prostrations to Swami Samarth from Akkalkot and to my benevolent Master, Mohanji, for the blissful divine experiences there.

| Shri Swami Samarth Jai Jai Swami Samarth |

| Jai Mohanji |

HE WHO PROTECTS…

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Since ancient times, the Guru’s unconditional love and protection came to the disciple who had complete surrender and faith. This has been proven time and again through copious examples that are spread through all mythology and religions.

Lord Shiva has narrated in the Guru Gita, “The Guru can remove the fear of aging and the dread of death. The Guru offers protection to his disciples, even if they are cursed by the sages, demons or Gods”

Below are two testimonials that show how selflessly and unconditionally Mohanji protects everyone who is connected to His consciousness. These real-life experiences also show how Mohanji works in extended dimensions through his completely thoughtless, no-mind state. Being at one place, he is able to respond to disciples across different geographies. Nothing can bind Him – time, location or situation.

Complete and perfect surrender to SATGURU, making HIM the main object of worship, obeying HIS words to the fullest, can cut out the weeds of uncertainty and help one attain supreme bliss. – Mohanji

Guru Mohanji’s protection – every moment, every time

by Subhasree Thottungal, London

For me, Mohanji, my eternal Guru, is Parabrahma, the manifestation of supreme consciousness. He appears in different roles as per the situation. He is beyond any form of address – not confined to an image or relationship.  He protects all the time as a father; loves unconditionally and compassionately as a mother; empowers by giving knowledge and shining light on the spiritual path like a true guru; listens and empathises with every feeling just like the dearest and closest of friends; and brings immense joy and gives the fulfilment of life just like a son! He is Shiva, He is Shakti, He is Vishnu. He is Parabrahma! He is all relations in one name! Being aware of His presence everywhere at every moment is the awareness of the supreme consciousness.

As my awareness of this eternal connection grew day by day, my faith, devotion and surrender kept growing manifold to the point that I now recognise the non-existence of my existence! Total merger with Guru tattva has given me freedom even from the desire of liberation! Bliss in oneness, fulfilment in non-existence. However, while the physical body is there, all karmas need to be exhausted, all worldly dharmas need to be discharged and the character needs to be tested to strengthen conviction, faith, and surrender.

I was recently confronted by a situation that made my conviction more strong, my faith more firm, and my surrender more steady. I am not sure whether it was a karma that had to be exhausted or a test that had to be cleared. But that doesn’t matter.

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The car whose front passenger side door I hit!

On a grey foggy winter morning, I was in a rush to drop my son at his school bus stop. In my haste, I rushed and banged into another car on a roundabout. This was my first accident.  There were no passengers in the other car. Even though there was a baby car seat, thankfully there was no baby in the car at the time of the accident. No one – me, my son or the other driver – was physically injured. Only the other car’s front passenger door sustained some damage.

My husband was out of town. I had my son in the car and was getting late for school. Deviji (Mohanji’s wife) was at home and I had to make breakfast on time before she goes out. My other son was still in bed and had to be woken up and gotten ready for school! In short, I was not in a good situation. 🙂 Since this incident happened right in the middle of the roundabout, I wasn’t sure how the driver of the other car would react. Myriad questions rushed through my mind in those couple of seconds – would he call the police? what would be the next process? How long would I be stuck on the road?

I looked at Mohanji’s photo in my car, called on Him silently, and immediately felt His protection.  I remembered later the shloka from Guru Gita –

Yasya Smarana maatrena, Jnaanam utpadyate svayam;

Ya eva sarva sampraapti, tasmai shri Gurave namah.

“Merely recalling my Guru, knowledge arises spontaneously. Remembering him brings all attainments automatically.”

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Mohanji in my car, watching me always!

After I felt Mohanji’s energy, I asked my son to step out of the car and walk to his bus stop. I also got out of the car. I was expected a heated up shouting but to my surprise, the other driver approached me and very calmly and quietly asked me, “Were you not looking?” This was the first indication of Mohanji’s protectionI immediately apologised and said, “Apologies. It was my mistake, but I could not really see your black car.”

He asked me to move the car to the side lane to clear out the main road for others and talk it over. This was the second indication of protection. He didn’t create a big scene in the middle of the main road and was definitely not involving the police!

Once on the side lane, he asked me details about my insurance. I informed him that all the details are with my husband who is currently out of the country. However, I did give him my contact details. While I was trying to contact my husband, he was also trying to contact his insurance. In a few minutes, he came and offered me a chance to consult with my husband if  we would like to settle this through insurance or privately and inform him later. He allowed me to leave! This was the third indication of protection – not worsening the matter and also not getting stuck on the road for long. We agreed to catch up after he gets the quote for repair.

I returned home at about the same time as I would have otherwise returned after dropping my son at his bus stop! There was no delay and I could easily tend to the rest of the tasks that I had to do in the morning. This was the fourth indication of protection– Everything went on normally, as if nothing had happened! All through this situation, I was much calmer inside, feeling the cushion of Mohanji’s protection.

After I completed all the morning chores, I sat down and thought about what happened. It could have been a major accident had there been a passenger in the front seat or a baby in the back (on the same side). I always believe that Masters don’t interfere with our karma, especially when exhaustion is a must, but they certainly reduce its intensity. In this case, that’s exactly what happened. This was probably a karma that had to happen, but my Guru’s protection reduced the impact and let me come out of it with very less damage. A potentially larger problem was reduced to a miniscule dent! The monetary damage was insignificant compared to bigger issues that could have otherwise happened. This was the most important indication of how Mohanji’s protection shielded me!’

“The front of my car had miniscule dents”

With this incident, my conviction, faith and surrender to Guru and Guru Tattva (Principle), have become more strong and it has only proven that the understanding was correct.

Being in Mohanji’s protection feels like being in the most secure and safe place like a mother’s womb. I know he is carrying me and will never ever let me fall. When he says “I am with you”, he really means it and this is just another experience that confirms it.

May everyone with the conviction and faith in Guru and Guru Tattva be blessed to realise and understand this truth and bliss of being in the eternal protection of Guru. We may leave Guru’s hand, but He will never leave ours!

Upon reading my update regarding this incident on Facebook, Preeti Duggal, who was with Mohanji at that time in India, immediately commented the below:

“On that day, Mohanji had planned to visit a place later in the morning. We were all ready by 11.30am but He did not come out. The door to His room was closed. It is unusual for Him to be late! I thought that He was resting so we didn’t disturb Him. He came out at 1 pm and said that he had slept off. It has seldom happened that something is planned and He forgets about it. After I heard about your incident, I realized why He was resting. Mohanji is omnipresent. When you remember Him with full faith and devotion, He will always be there by your side and what He promises, He always delivers. His message to all of us, “I AM WITH YOU” was proved again yesterday. Thank you Mohanji for always holding our hand and being there for us in all situations.”

Upon reading this comment from Preeti didi (sister), I realised that He was with me the moment I glanced at His photo in my car and remembered Him! For me, this was a clear indication of His expanded existence and His ability to work in multiple dimensions beyond the physical body.

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Mohanji blessing
Expansion into multiple dimensions beyond the physical body.

Mohanji, my loving gratitude for your compassion, unconditional love and protection to me and to every being in this world. Thank you for being with us every moment, every time.

Shaken but not Stirred

by Anja Jeremic, Serbia

I haven’t managed to write any of my experiences so far, but today’s event just forces me to share it with you.

A few hours ago, I experienced a traffic accident – seemingly banal. After work, I was leaving the parking lot when a car hit the door on my side. The glass from the window was shattered and scattered all over me. Tiny bits of glass everywhere.

All this happened in an instant As it usually happens! For a moment, I didn’t realize what happened. It was so fast, but then again the blow seemed to last long. I got out of the car through the other door and went into the building to remove the glass, which was all over my face, hair, and clothes.

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Saved by Mohanji from car accident AC3

The important point is that even the glass fell all over me, I did not have a single scratch. Usually, I put on the seat belt before starting to drive, but I did not have the seat belt on at the time of the accident! This was a blessing in disguise because the force of the impact threw me on another seat due to which I didn’t get hit or scratched. There was no physical pain, no hurt – as if nothing had happened! Just a shock with the accompanying shaking 🙂

I immediately realised that it was Mohanji’s love and protection that allowed me to come out unhurt! I am infinitely grateful to Mohanji and all the Masters of the Tradition for their protection and love 🙏❤️

Mohanji’s message

With heartfelt gratitude to life for teaching us many great lessons and to the Guru and Guru Mandala for their constant protection, we leave you with this powerful message from Mohanji (sent after the incident was conveyed to Him) that brings utmost clarity about these incidents and is relevant enough for everyone to remember always.

“Nothing that destiny brings can be avoided 100%. But it’s impact is substantially reduced with grace. Grace happens when faith happens. Doubts removes grace or at least blocks its flow. The incident is over. Now the residue memory of it. The aftershocks. This also need to be handled gracefully. Every compelling incident leaves a strong impact in the mind. Conscious nullification of it is extremely important. Otherwise, memories reproduces everything at a later date which we call pattern. You are not directly responsible for this accident but your residual memories are. Hence, surrender and trashing or total clean up is essential. Less analysis is better for this. More you analyse, more you remember and more you store. More you talk about it, the more you remember. Let go. Leave it. Your part in this story is over with this experience. I always do my part but I don’t remember it afterwards because I have no house inside to store anything. Be Mohanji. Do not store anything. Be free from memories. Avoid re-creation of anything in life. Incidents experienced one time need be considered like a daily newspaper. Once read it should lose its value. Keep floating through life and gather nothing. I shall do my job. I love you and am always with you. Keep flowing without residual memories of any events of life. The world loves you and the world is you.
With Love
Mohanji

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Mohanji blessing 3

|| Jai Brahmarishi Mohanji ||

Disclaimer:
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Mohanji, Mohanji Foundation, it’s members, employees or any other individual or entity associated with Mohanji or Mohanji Foundation. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.

An Unexpected Meeting and a Transforming Glance

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Mina Obradovic

By Mina Obradovic, Serbia

With Mohanji and Nath Master

Part 1

Mohanji has often been heard to say that as the Mai-Tri healers continue their healing practice they will completely merge with His consciousness over time. Their eyes will eventually become Mohanji’s eyes, and their senses will merge with His. Although I have practiced healing for a long time, I have been completely detached from that expectation and hence did not anticipate this to happen.

It so happened that I had the blessing of the opportunity to visit a very powerful temple in the company of Mohanji. This particular temple was fenced in, and access was possible only by walking via a long road. As we walked, I was often glancing up at our destination, and on one such glance, spotted in the distance an old man with a white beard standing outside the temple. He had white hair falling over his shoulders and was clad only in a small piece of white cloth. His body stood still and his chin was slightly lifted up, as he was looking towards the open sky. I had not noticed him previously.

Upon reaching the temple, I walked towards the spot where I thought the old man had been standing and was surprised to see a white dog there instead. The dog radiated energy. He stood by Mohanji for a long time. As I was standing next to them, I closely observed their vibrations and felt both emanating infinite calmness and peacefulness. I felt,“Somehow, they are so similar.” I realized that the energy radiated by Mohanji and the dog were extremely similar. When I meet Mohanji, His human characteristics are diminished as Divinity takes over. Similarly, this mysterious white dog gave no glimpse of an earthly nature. He did not run around nor display any oscillation or emotion in his behavior. Only stillness, which is the nature of a true Master, was predominant and very obvious.  After a while, when our group moved on, he started walking around too.

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Mohanji and the Nath master posing as a dog

I knew in my heart that this dog was really the old man that I had spotted. A strange force drew me towards him. Kneeling down in front of him, I gazed at him and my hands spontaneously touched his feet. This act of reverence was done discreetly to avoid the notice of the people around me. As we were having lunch at that time, I desired to feed him. So, I rushed, grabbed some food and returned to the dog. Mohanji said, “Do not feed him. He does not want to eat now.” On a conscious level, I obeyed and accepted Mohanji’s words and withdrew. However, a desire to feed him remained unfulfilled in my subsconscious.

On the way back from the temple, I had to share this experience with Mohanji. With a smile, He said, “Yes. That was a Nath Master. He was here to bless us in the form of a dog, and has left now.” I blurted out in incredulous excitement, “But he was actually, physically there! He was not transparent or only energetically present! It seemed as if he was made of flesh and blood!” Mohanji replied, “Well, this happened only because of your own transformation, which is the result of your extensive healing practice. I have told you before – the more you practice healing, the more your eyes will become like mine. That is why you were able to ‘see’ him.”

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - MIna and the Nath mater posing as a dog

I slowly started experiencing exactly that – Mohanji’s eyes instead of mine and His consciousness in everything. I wondered why others did not see this Master in his human form instead of his form as a dog. Soon enough, the answer came – there was not “me” existing. Whenever Mohanji settles in somebody to display a miracle, the person and his/her identity become unimportant. The eyes that saw him were Mohanji’s and the subtlety that helped me experience His eyes during this particular moment was the Tradition’s will to convey an important message to humanity. They reminded us that we are often not loving and kind to animals who love unconditionally, let alone humans. The message is to treat all beings with reverence, love, and kindness since the forms of those beings can be those of Mohanji or any other Master from the Tradition in disguise. We can never tell.

To me, my God is my Guru, Mohanji. However, I ask myself, does it benefit anybody if we treat only the physical form of Mohanji with reverence, love, and kindness? No being is different from Him. I could never have dreamed that the dog would be a Master. Harming such a one, a saint in another form, through thought, word or action can have serious karmic consequences, prolongment of our spiritual journey and inevitable suffering. Saints often hide behind personalities and various bodies. They often do not want to be recognized.

Sometimes they can appear normal and usual, or they may choose an unappealing, angry, egocentric or rude exterior. Sometimes they may come to us in the form of the old and the sick, as birds, cows, flowers, or even as a child in order to bless us. Sometimes they may be exactly the person that we live with, that we may be taking for granted. Do we really know our parents, wives, husbands or children? We think we know them because we live with them, but that is not a criterion for knowing any soul and its path. Again, Masters hide in many forms. If we fail the test and react with ego to a saint’s seeming expression of ego – we lose. We NEVER know whom we are interacting with. Even a single thought of anger can produce a reality of suffering.

Part 2

A few weeks later…

Our group moved on in our travels from the location of the temple, to another town. My mind kept revisiting that encounter with the Nath Master many times. During one such time, a spontaneous prayer arose within me to meet him again, although I released that thought immediately afterward and promptly forgot all about it.

Later that evening, I had gone out to dinner with friends. When it came time to leave the restaurant, I wanted to use the washroom. Therefore, I told my friends that I would be joining them downstairs in a short while and to wait in the car that was going to pick us up. When I came down, there was no one outside the restaurant except for a white dog. He lay there on the ground in a most relaxed way, with only his head and eyes moving slightly. I gently caressed his head. Sitting in front of him, I started talking to him. I do not recall what I said, but I do remember that I spoke for a few minutes! I was not joking or playing. I was sincerely sharing words with him, as I was certain he understood me perfectly. I smiled when some restaurant employees there saw me with the dog and said, “You should take him home!”

Remembering Mohanji’s constant need to feed everybody wherever He goes, I too thought, “I should give some food to this dog.” The only place where I could find some food for him however was in a fast-food restaurant, and that was some bread and butter. Although dogs sometimes eat meat, I avoid feeding animals non-vegetarian food. I put the plate with the bread in front of the dog. He sniffed at it, but would not eat. Therefore, I broke the bread into pieces, but he still refused it. I speculated that perhaps he was not hungry, or that maybe the bread was too dry.

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With my fingers, I broke the bread into even smaller pieces and mixed the butter in thoroughly. That worked, and I was very happy to see him eat it then! My friend Priti Rupee was also pleased to see him eating and took a few pictures. We had to get going, so I said a goodbye to him and left. On our way back home, a thought suddenly flashed across my mind, “That was the saint from that temple. He heard your prayer and came back again to fulfil your wish.” Deep inside, I knew it was the truth but the nature of the wavering mind is such that one is never fully sure.

Weeks passed before this incident came to my mind again. I decided to share it with Mohanji, saying that I was unsure whether it had been the saint that I had previously met in the temple.. He said with conviction, “It was him.” Hearing this confirmation from my Guru himself, I could barely hide my excitement. The Tradition had fulfilled my desire on the very same day the thought of it had occurred! I remembered that I had wanted to feed that saint when we were still in the temple, when Mohanji asked me not to do it. Just as this desire of mine, everything is heard by Tradition and nothing is forgotten by Them. Their precision and lack of hesitation channeled a message that in our path there is no space for imagination, swaying, delaying, doubting or irresponsibility. If Naths work with such a precision, a disciple of Nath must BECOME that precision.

I have heard it said many times, that Masters always hear the sincere desires of seekers. Now the truth of those words had eventually become my reality, as I was constantly experiencing fulfilment of each one of my desires. “Be good. Do good.” That is Mohanji’s teaching that is to be practised with everyone at all times. That is the highest truth that Mohanji has blessed me with, that I am still trying to learn. One day, I hope to reach the point of unconditional love towards all. Here, I would also like to express my gratitude towards Priti Rupee, for taking such lovely pictures.

Shaktipat through eyes

During our group’s stay in Mumbai, there was an informal satsang (discourse) with Mohanji. We sat casually on the floor in front of Him, while He was speaking to us about something. Suddenly, He stopped and looked directly at me – straight into my eyes.

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Mohanji looking with kindness and compassionAt first, it seemed like a normal glance. I smiled and we continued looking at each other. The gaze was longer than expected. I then realized that He was working on me – I was being healed and cleansed. It continued for a while and while my gaze was locked on Him, suddenly in my peripheral vision I could see dense smoke around us.

Heat was coming in waves, with short breaks in between, burning my chest and head. He said with a smile, “I told you – you cannot stand fire.” I smiled weakly, as much as the limitless energy permitted me to move. I was hardly able to move or look anywhere else. Looking at His eyes continuously, it seemed as if more of the black smoke was appearing around us. It grew so dark, that after a moment, I could not see His face at all. I had to blink a few times to see His eyes again. In the very same moment after I noticed the smoke, He said, “So much of weight leaving”. I smiled in response, silently expressing my gratitude. In one moment, it ended. He turned His gaze away from me and smiled. I was… speechless. A few other people that were with me, and I were in that spell for perhaps a couple of minutes later. We felt no need for words. I have no idea how long it took but it felt like an hour in His energy. The intensity of the Shaktipat must have increased. I do not know.

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Mohanji in meditation

There was the profound feeling that a deep heaviness from the past – very familiar to me, had been removed from me in those couple of seconds, by the power of my Guru. For many years of my life since childhood, I had felt it in the center of my belly as a dense ball of dark smoke, heavy and uncomfortable. It had been provoking all kinds of negativities in me – insecurity, fear, anxiety etc. I had had no control over it. It had been sitting within me – a dormant volcano, very quiet at most times and at other times, abruptly erupting sending me into a frenzied vortex of anxiety. After this release, I knew it had finally left me completely. No trace of it had remained. Even if my subconscious mind doubted the reactivation of the volcano, from the long feeling of familiarity with it, it never did. It never came back again.

Just a few seconds in Mohanji’s presence had transformed me thus. We may not be aware, yet He works on each of us, each moment, while eating, while sleeping, close or far away from us – always. He doesn’t waste even a moment in serving the world and His sincere seekers.

mohansuniverse - Mohanji - Master and disciple - I am always with youThis incident is just one of the few instances that He has actually allowed His work to be recognized so tangibly. Since meeting Mohanji, I have experienced so much transformation, and have ALWAYS received firm proof of His Grace being the cause of it. Yet, no matter how tangible the proof is, a person who does not have the “eyes” will still be unable to see. Only eyes that crave Grace will recognize Grace.

Prostrations and profound gratitude to my Guru.

Thank You, Mohanji.

In humility, and with love to all,

Mina Obradović
Disclaimer:
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Mohanji, Mohanji Foundation, it’s members, employees or any other individual or entity associated with Mohanji or Mohanji Foundation. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.
 

The waves I rode to reach my sacred bridge

deloshni-govender

By Deloshni Govender

“A guru is not a crutch; he is a bridge.”

A guru is not someone who comes to offer support, He is the golden bridge which transports you from a state of unconsciousness to sublime consciousness.

Jai Brahmarishi Mohanji!

I offer, at the lotus feet of my beloved Guru Mohanji, the experience of my very first encounter with Brahmarishi Mohanji and the Divine grace which entered my life.

Mohanji - Deloshni Govender

I have always been a “spiritual” seeker and have always been intrigued by Masters/Gurus but never had any urge to find one. I was in a very deep state of depression after I was forced to accept a job 600km away from my family owing to financial constraints. I had a lot of anger and stored emotions within me and truly felt that life owed me more than I was given.

In October 2013, my husband called to tell me that there was a “Guru” speaking at the Ganesha Chathurthi puja in Durban. I was uninterested. My husband was fortunate enough to meet the said Guru and told me that he was indeed a great man and I should meet him when he came to Gauteng. Again uninterested. The veil of negative fog surrounding me was indeed thick. My husband gave me the contact number of the person running the Guru’s programme and I called a few times with no success so I felt that this was really a sign that this was not for me.

A few weeks later, when I went home, my husband joyfully presented me with the book “The Power of Purity”. I accepted it with thoughts of it being “yet another book by yet another Guru!”. I opened the book and found the words “To Deloshni, With Love, M”. As I type this, waves of energy are pulsing through my body as I feel the sanctity of that moment. But at that time, I didn’t realise the grace which was being delivered. I was only later to understand the impact of what had happened. Mohanji had blessed my husband and GIFTED the book to him but autographed the book to ME!

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I wasn’t fortunate to meet Mohanji during his visit to SA and the book lay in my flat for a few weeks unopened due to my depression and general disinterest in life. One afternoon, out of boredom I opened the book and started reading it. The words started stirring something within me. The crystal clear clarity of the messages was astounding! I was finally beginning to understand this existence! The meditation which came with the book was even more mind blowing and took me to an inner space of deep peace. I found myself more relaxed and accepting of myself and the life I have chosen. The book became my permanent companion. I never went anywhere without it. I would even have colleagues at work approach me and request me to open any page to see what lesson we could learn that day.

A few weeks later I met Mohanji for the first time but it was not a physical meeting. I now understand that we had an astral meeting. I had a very vivid “dream”. I awoke feeling every sensation like it had actually happened. I dreamed that I was in a battle of sorts with Mohanji and His followers. I dreamed that each time Mohanji would come close to me, I would run and my “friends” would help me escape. This was the type of experience which went on all night long but at the end of the dream I found myself alone. Mohanji was also finally alone. He was dressed in white and walking towards me, towering over me. I began running backwards in fear unable to take my eyes off Him. As He advanced, I slipped and fell onto my back and shouted “Bhagawan Shree Sathya Sai Baba ki Jai!!!” (Hail to the Divine Lord Sathya Sai Baba) and then “Om Shakthi, Parashakthi” (Divine Feminine energy). Mohanji reached out to me. He was just pure light. He picked me up, embraced me and called me affectionate names while holding me. He said to me “Why are you running from me? You are an enlightened being” and he continued to console and comfort me. He then took me to a room with a table in it and we both sat at the table and like a teacher he began teaching me. Up to this day, I have no idea what he taught me that night.

mohanji-and-delo

After the dream, I was in a daze for a few days and didn’t know what to think of it all. I researched this Guru online and tried to see how best I could contact Him. I did not know that He was on Facebook but I did find His profile on Speaking Tree. I sent Him a message about my encounter and to my utter delight I received the following message a few days later, “Dear Deloshni, I forwarded your message to Him, as Mohanji does not check this profile directly. He read your message and told you He is always with you and you are protected, there is nothing to worry about. Love Biljana Vozarevic, Mohanji Foundation.” My life changed drastically within those months. I was blessed to meet Mohanji in His physical aspect in December that year and He gave me Shaktipat at Arunachala. The growth, peace and love which I have since been graced with is evident in the smile I have on my face these days.

mohanji-giving-shaktipat-to-delo

My Guru came to me as destined and at the time it was destined. As I now realise, the meeting with the Guru need not be a physical encounter. I rode many waves of despair, fatigue and anguish in life but I will ride them all over again if they take me to His feet. He appeared and provided a bridge for me between unconsciousness and sublime consciousness. I have never in my life felt this connected to the Divine despite the many rituals and japa I used to do. My Baba (Mohanji) bridged the gap and allowed me to constantly feel divine love. Even though gratitude is just a word, only my heart knows what I truly wish to express as gratitude. Love you always and over all lifetimes, Baba.

Jai Brahmarishi Mohanji Jai!!!!

Deloshni Govender

Disclaimer:

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Mohanji, Mohanji Foundation, it’s members, employees or any other individual or entity associated with Mohanji or Mohanji Foundation. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.

How Mohanji Changed My Life

Mohan's Universe - Palak Mehta.jpg

By Palak Mehta

It’s not possible to stop time. We either move with it or stagnate. There are so many lessons that can be missed out and so many subtleties that fade away if not caught, documented or remembered. That’s exactly the stage I am at right now. Time is moving me and I have no control over it. I have no control to stop, relax or express gratitude. It’s very easy to forget the truth, you know. Firstly, we don’t understand the truth or see it. Secondly, if we get to see even a glimpse of it through a God-given opportunity, how does one prevent one’s mind from polluting it? What if distractions or emotions take the better of me and I miss this golden opportunity of lifetimes to stay with the truth. If I don’t stop for a moment now, it will all fade away becoming faint first and then non-existent eventually.

That’s why this blog is more for my sake than for anyone else. I need this to hold on to the glimpse of truth which has been shown to me and not let it fade away. This is my story – some pieces have been difficult to accept, some have overwhelmed me with love, and some have highlighted my weaknesses. If I could go back to my childhood and envision a life for myself, it wouldn’t have been half as magical as it is right now. The only reason for that is MOHANJI who many know as a person or a Master but to me has been a personification of the God energy itself.

Why is life so deeply satisfying now? Why do I feel there is a purpose to life? Why am I not embarrassed anymore to be myself rather than what’s expected from a traditional Indian girl? Why am I not disempowered? Read on and you will find some crazy adventures, some really tough times and most importantly some ‘subtle showers of enormous grace’. It’s that grace that has been hugely at play. An atheist would not believe it, a dubious mind would question it. But heck, this grace is so real for me because the experiences were so tangible. I feel that even the human mind cannot deny it. It’s simply what happened. It is my experience.

Mohanji and Palak in Kathmandu Hotel.jpg

When I was in college, a seemingly “random” decision led to the most important meeting which gave meaning and purpose to my life. My friend had invited me for a meditation during a phase where life had become a rollercoaster. Uncontrollable challenges and mishaps bottled up with emotions and expectations. I had a very good childhood and my parents gave me everything I wanted, my sister had and has loved me throughout, friends have always been there by my side, my boyfriend at the time had always stood by me. Around the time I was in college, things began to get scary, to say the least. Relationships around me started turning ugly, friends couldn’t understand what I was going through, my boyfriend stopped supporting me, my family was going through their own troubles. I was a wreck! I did everything – from reiki to pranic healing to writing down my feelings and detaching, everything was a momentary relief. With each hard blow to my expectations, I kept getting disappointed, hurt and detached.

It was at that time my friend told me about Mohanji and a meditation that was going to happen. I looked at his blog but my reaction was neutral. When the date for the meditation came near, I had caught a bad flu and was extremely sick, weak and bedridden. But I had a hunch that I must go and attend this meditation. I got a nice vibe about the event – very subtle and not overpowering. Believe me, when I tell you, I suddenly got the energy to get up from my bed, walk down the staircase and go for the meditation. I was delayed by 15 minutes and told my friend Samira that I might miss the meditation. She replied and said that the organizers had just announced that they would wait for a bit more because more people were expected. Upon reaching, the first person I saw was Mohanji sitting outside the venue. He smiled at me and we exchanged a namaste (a traditional Hindu greeting with folded hands). I didn’t think much about Him after that and went straight inside. The meditation was a nice experience. We were all blessed with Shaktipat by Mohanji. We got his eye card which I kept in my wallet.

I moved on in life and forgot all about it. I never made an attempt to get in touch with Mohanji’s team. However, as time passed by and I looked back one of the days, I realised how my life had completely changed in the past 10 months. Not only did I get physical answers from Mohanji to my questions but my blockages were also removed in these months. Blockages that had been slowing me down for 4-5 years or more! Situations had completely changed. I myself was more empowered to spontaneously detach from things that didn’t serve me well. Now I had done other meditations and healing too but I knew it very strongly that attending that one meditation with someone called Mohanji changed my life.

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I just didn’t feel the need to do other techniques, or run around looking for answers. I was spontaneously losing interest in college and superficial relationships. I wanted to find out more about myself, my purpose in life, etc. My yoga teacher told me that I should search for a Guru. I actually smirked, A Guru, how, who, where? I never actively looked for anyone. More questions sprouted out, yet no one’s answer ever satisfied me. A couple of times I thought of messaging Mohanji but doubted, ‘What if He’s very religious and biased?’ Haha! It sounds funny to think about it now. 🙂 Finally, as more months passed by, I decided to message Mohanji on Facebook and ask him a question. His answer shocked me. It was a simple question but this reply cannot come from a human mind. I was certain. I was in awe and instantly in love with Him. What I felt was God. My creator. It’s the best feeling in the world.

I met Mohanji in 2009. My perception of life has completely changed since then. The tests of life continue unabated but I feel so lucky and blessed that I have His guidance to guide me at each and every stage of my personal and spiritual transformation. Mohanji always says that the level of acceptance of everyday life is a sign of spiritual transformation. He has given us the courage to accept life as it comes. A few years after my graduation, around 2012, I had a deep urge to move out of Delhi – the city I had grown up in. I was getting stagnated and saturated. I wanted fresh air. The energy in Delhi just didn’t suit me anymore. I was feeling miserable and depressed. I just had to get out and find myself again. In India, it was uncommon for girls to live independently away from their family. Most people objected to this idea while very few people close to me were supportive of my decision.

I took a decision to move to Pune. I only had enough money to survive a month or two. I had packed my bags and decided to just go along with what life would bring. Needless to say, I was quite anxious to be in a new city, with no friends, family, job or much savings. The future was uncertain. I shared my decision with Mohanji. Like a perfect mirror, He did not interfere in my journey. He asked me not to worry and ensured me that there would be a decent place to sleep and the protection and food will also come. These blessings from Him and the tradition of the white Masters pacified me quite a bit.

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Mohanji mentioned about the Pune ashram. He had never visited that ashram. Since His activities in Pune were less, it was unlikely for Him to go there as well. Since it was unutilized, He had chosen to keep it closed to avoid running expenses, etc. Nobody was staying there at that time and He offered me to stay there. It was a rent-free space where I would be practically alone that would help me settle down. This was a big blessing because I was being given a full-fledged house without any cost and, most importantly, without conditions. Mohanji never asked me for anything in return for this gift.

Now that I was on my own, I had to instantly get a job. It was a choiceless situation and I couldn’t afford any delays. I had actually lied to family and friends in Delhi that I already had a job in Pune so that they won’t panic and keep calling me all the time. I started to feel nervous and anxious about the future. Everything was uncertain. On the very first day that I landed at Pune, I went for an interview for a teacher’s position in a school. The kids were speaking Marathi and that scared me even more since I didn’t understand the language. 🙂 I looked for more job opportunities. I applied for the position of a senior fine arts teacher and had a particular salary in mind. However, when I was interviewed, they said that position was not available anymore and offered me the position for a junior fine arts teacher with a much lesser salary. I was quite bummed. I thought to myself, How am I going to survive? I was not at all confident teaching junior classes plus needed the salary of a senior teacher.

I came back home depressed and decided to call Mohanji even though I was not sure if I would get him on the phone. He himself picked up my call. I was crying. He asked me what the problem was. I explained how nervous I was and worried about my future and getting a secure job. He asked me a straight question. “What is your expectation of salary? Remember, you have no cost for stay, electricity, and water”. That was a huge shot of awareness that certain things in my life were taken care of. Suddenly He said “Go back to your employer and tell them that you are ready to join. I shall do what I can”. I did exactly that. After hanging up with him, I felt waves of peace and calmness. The Master always does His job! I decided to take it easy. Mohanji had removed the fear from me.

Later on, I found out that Mohanji was en route to Badrinath with two companions and they had to return back from Joshimath due to inclement weather. It had been all over the news. There were huge cloudbursts which caused flash floods in the river Ganga leading to landslides which destroyed the roads. Nobody knew the last time when the Ganga was so furious. Close to 50,000 people had been swept away. Mohanji was stuck in the floods in Joshimath in North India when I called Him. Can you believe it? And I was worried about such petty things.

Anyway, in a few days, I decided to follow up, as suggested by Mohanji, on the interview I had given as a junior fine arts teacher. When I went to give my final round of interview, I was shocked to be offered a job for the senior most fine arts teacher! When I went to pick up my appointment order, I was truly surprised to see the salary printed exactly the same amount that I had told Mohanji as my expected salary. I could not believe my eyes. Mohanji casually said he would do what he can. But, he did exactly what I had asked for! But not before making me aware of the grace at work and the blessings that have come my way. My heart was filled with gratitude.

Mohanji works subtly. You will not even know that He is working. He is unassuming. You cannot catch Him at work. He never promises. But He delivers if you have unshakeable faith in Him. He allows you to be with Him or leave Him. But, He maintains availability of His energy. Energetically, He is always available to each and every one who loves Him. And He indeed does His job. I know that Mohanji has been literally living out of a suitcase ever since He left his job – traveling and moving relentlessly. He gave me the stability of a place even when He Himself had never been in one place physically for months if not years. As I write this, I realise His sacrifice for my sake. Something that He does all the time for all of us but never displays and, most often, even plays down.

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I have to share another miraculous experience. After almost 2 years of working in the school, I had stopped enjoying it and decided to leave the job. I was fine with leaving it but didn’t know what I could do instead. All good paying schools had the same restrictions and I was always into alternative education. The thought of joining another regular school as a teacher was depressing! I had no clarity and discussed it with Mohanji. I was passionate about graphic designing and it was something I had just picked up over the years after Mohanji had first introduced it to me with Photoshop. Mohanji suggested that graphic designing or web designing were also good fields for me. The thought of that job was exciting for me and Mohanji blessed me. I decided to take a risk and applied for the job of preferably a web designer else a graphic designer. I won’t say I was an expert at it at all and had no professional training or experience in it. I made a small portfolio, learnt a few tricks from YouTube and started job hunting. My mantra – Mohanji is with me. That’s all that mattered. What happened next was amazing!

My friend Kirti told me that there are openings for the job of a graphic designer in an office near her. I went to apply and found out that they had openings for web designers instead. Now that sounded even more exciting! But again, I had zero experience in web design. I had heard they don’t pay much but I decided to apply anyway. During the interview, we had to design a mock website in 2 hours. Everyone in the room, except me, got 2 hours to do it. The HR person gave me one whole day to make what I wanted to make. It’s uncanny. I like to design at my own pace and being new to the field I was very slow. But the time I got helped me so much. No one else amongst all applicants got a chance like this! They not only offered me a job, but gave me a senior web designer’s position with a much higher salary than the other applicants! It was unbelievable and 100% Mohanji’s grace.

By His blessings, I always got a decent job and salary and focused on settling down in Pune. The energy at the Pune ashram was beautiful and I lived there all alone rent-free for about 3 years. I cannot thank Sainath Wutukur enough for putting this as a part of his donation for Mohanji especially at a time when I needed it the most to settle down. I really wanted that isolation and peace and a chance to be with myself. Mohanji hardly ever visited there physically yet one could immediately feel the high energy upon entering. My cleansing had begun.

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I was amazed to see how Mohanji and the tradition had protected me through this rough transition phase through their unconditional support never expecting anything in return. What the solitude in the ashram gave me for 3 years will forever ground me and is truly irreplaceable. Deep cleansing happened to me in the ashram. For the first year, I would simply sit down and cry. I had no idea where these emotions were coming from. But I would simply observe them pass me by. Everything I had taken on from other people, the heaviness, the concepts, the emotions, the blockages, so on and so forth. I would feel myself going through the removal of layer after layer with the challenge of not getting bogged down by the present tests coming my way.

Life was liberating as well as very challenging after that. In the middle, there was a phase in 2014 where things became very tough at work. I started to feel horribly stuck and sad and felt that nothing was working out for me. I have mostly been a positive person, but that was a very low phase. I couldn’t be with Mohanji, do the work I wanted to and had no friends and family around. The Kailash with Mohanji 2014 pilgrimage had been announced and I felt a deep pull to go to Kailash but didn’t have the money or any stability to go. The future was uncertain. Since I was in school, I wanted to be on my own but now I was getting worried about my decision. I was feeling so low that I didn’t know if I had the inner strength to be positive anymore.

One of those days, I happened to speak to Mohanji on the phone. In front of Him, I cannot hide my feelings. Planned or not, everything that I feel pours out. I was sad and heard His voice and started to cry (no, that’s not all I do, promise!) and told Him how sad I was in general and that I was feeling so stuck not to be able to do the things I wanted to do. I could not be with Him. I couldn’t even go to Kailash. That instant He told me in his firm voice that he’s taking me along with him. I told him that I can’t afford the trip. He said, “Don’t worry about that, no thinking is needed from your end. You are going and I am taking you. Period.”

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I was speechless. The trip was expensive. I had done nothing for Him or His mission to deserve such an opportunity. I had contributed practically nothing. And He has never asked for anything from me. Ever! His support had always been unconditional. He always wanted to make everybody happy and I thought it was such a gesture. But this costs money. Lots of money! How will I ever repay Him? Travelling with Mohanji to Kailash was the last thing I could’ve expected and wondered what I had done to deserve this. He said it again and asked me to start exercising and prepare for it.

But why did He offer to take me now for such an expensive journey for free and pay all my expenses? I’m deeply indebted to those who contributed and sponsored my trip, I wish I can do the same for someone someday. The Kailash yatra (pilgrimage) is not only a blessing for an individual but also for the ancestors and the entire family. This was purely unconditional and, till date, Mohanji hasn’t asked me ever to pay back for the trip. I didn’t know the reason behind so much grace but all I know is that from the day I met Him in 2009, I’ve just held onto Him through thick and thin. Yet this was clearly something Mohanji did out of His way. Especially when He himself hosts most of His programs for free and has the rest of the programs at just around the cost price.

Again, the reason for this I only understood later. No one goes to this sacred place unless they are called. I was meant to go. The time was right but I had no means to go. But only a true Master knows what’s needed for us and at what time. I needed Kailash at that time to shift my life and open the way forward and Mohanji obviously knew that. A true Guru is only interested to raise you in awareness. He neither cares about any ‘thank you’ nor does He expect anything in return. It’s easy to write this theoretically but to be like that all the time is a rarity. Such masters are very rare.

My Kailash yatra was filled with blessings and miracles. 2014 was the year of Dev Kumbh where one parikrama (circumambulation) equals 12, and we only went for the Outer Kora. My schedule was Kailash busy during those days. While most people in the group had been exercising for months for the pilgrimage, I hadn’t exercised for even one day or prepared for it. But I still managed to complete the Kailash yatra fit and fine! All sheer Grace! Only I know how low my stamina levels were and how unprepared I was for the yatra. Before the parikrama of Kailash began, I did a parikrama of Mohanji to take His blessings. My Guru is the way to Kailash for He himself is Kailash. All is within HIM.

Mohanji and Palak at Mansarovar

Several other miracles happened during and after the trip. But mostly, many of my life’s blockages went away after Kailash. It was almost like Kailash a new life. Had I not gone there, I would’ve still been living with all that baggage. It’s hard to even imagine that now. I was so passive and wouldn’t always be able to stand up for things or do things I felt I needed to do. I would get emotional at each stage which would disempower me. I wouldn’t consciously take the leap to let go of my fears at that time. I felt insecure because I was on my own. But all this changed after Kailash. Kailash is a powerhouse. It purifies you. To maintain the purity at all times later is our job.

The first year Mohanji went to Kailash with a group, a lot of cleansing happened to everyone after that. So I was expecting something similar in this second pilgrimage too and had a hunch that there would be a lot of tests after Kailash. But honestly, nothing had prepared me for what was to come. Some people close to Mohanji started disconnecting from Him. It starts with having expectations from a Master or putting Him in a frame and judging Him and then eventually leading to negativity. These were people close to me too who I deeply cared about. But they started accusing Mohanji and a lot of His followers, about several things.

The first time I heard of people maligning Him and accusing so many people around him for various things, I was in disbelief. I knew people who were trying to pull Him down and even loved them yet it was shocking to see how they could twist things around. Some completely denied their own experiences and started believing others’ words. The people who doubted their faith and trusted others’ words did not bother to talk to Mohanji directly even once. I was also tested but I could not properly speak up. I was frozen with disbelief. Now I realize that passivity is equal to ingratitude. The one who stays silent when adharma (unrighteousness) is being done is as complicit in the crime as the one doing it. In fact more so, since staying silent when a wrong is being done to someone is akin to stabbing them in the back.

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My experience over the years has shown that the time when the mind gets clouded, when you do not want to accept certain things is the best time to ask your GU-RU for light. That’s the best time to surrender to your Guru and he will 110% hold your hand and answer each doubt that you have. You will be amazed how silly such doubts would be. But during testing times, they seem huge. But if you approach Him with ego and accusations as many did, that’s exactly what He will project. Because He is a true mirror. He has nothing to prove. The tradition allows your free will if you’ve made up your mind to disconnect.

There were many who said that they have surrendered to the tradition and the tradition says that disconnecting is the right path. How very funny 🙂 sometimes they say that Sai Baba bought them to Mohanji and once their faith shakes they say that Sai Baba said that there is no need for an external Guru. How can you discard the living Guru in front of you because your mind fluctuates? And never bother to clarify with Him directly? What kind of surrender is this? When all this was happening, I was shocked and saddened to hear the accusations on Mohanji, on so many others and on me. Mohanji told me, “Palak, people don’t understand unconditionality. They cannot imagine a relationship without any hidden agendas.” For years, since college Mohanji had protected me and blessed me. I had numerous miracles of His grace before moving to Pune. I have felt what true love feels like – unemotional, joyful, fearless, empowered, radiating and unconditional – all of this from the time I met Mohanji. My life got meaning since the first time I asked Him my first question. How could I suddenly deny all my experiences?

My near and dear ones are very accepting and okay with my life choices now. There is a lot of love and support from them as well. But when I was tested and life was tough, none of these people were there. None of them could understand what I was going through. None of them were ready to accept my free will. Mohanji, being a true Master knew how tough it was for me karmically and supported my journey. Most of what passes for love in this world is conditional – with expectations. But I have tasted that unconditional love from Mohanji especially when I needed it most and He never expected anything from me in return nor have I repaid Him in any significant way. Right from helping me get independent, stabilizing me personally and professionally, helping me get life skills and being my father, mother, friend and guide through thin more than thick. And I am so grateful for that. I thank Him deeply for unconditionally assisting me in my journey without expectation. I can proclaim this, without a shadow of doubt, that I am today where I am because of Mohanji and I can never be grateful enough or forget that ever.

Mohanji hugging Palak at Mansarovar Lake

I end this article with the lyrics of the Krishna Das song – “Mere Gurudev” (My Guru Lord) which sums up my gratitude for Mohanji.

Mere Gurudev, charanon par sumana shraddha ke arpit hai

Tere he dena hai jo hai wahi tujhko samarpit hai

My Gurudev, I offer these flowers of my faith at your feet

Whatever I have, you have given to me, and I dedicate it all to you.

Na priti hai pratiti hai, nahi puja ki shakti hai

Mera yeh man, mera yeh tan, mera kan kan samarpit hai

I have no love, nor do I know you.

I don’t even have the strength to worship you,

But this mind of mine, this body of mine,

my every atom is dedicated to you.

Tum he ho bhaav may mere, vicharon may, pukaron may

Banaale yantra ab mujhko mere sarvatra samarpit hai

You are the only one in my heart and my thoughts.

You are the one who I call out to.

Now Make me your instrument…all I am I offer to you.

With endless love,

Palak Mehta

I am always with you

Mitesh with Mohanji in SA

By Mitesh Khatiwala

Most people who have been around Mohanji have always heard him say, “Don’t worry. I am always with you.” While comforting, most people casually interpret it as a manner of speaking. However, some of us who have had the good fortune and grace to be around Him for a while know that He means it when He says it to anyone. Recently I had the benefit of experiencing the efficacy of that statement through a couple of events in this year and last. The first was the amazing Badrinath with Mohanji pilgrimage in 2016 – part pilgrimage, part adventure, part edge seat view to nature’s fury, part … (you get the picture) and the other was an amazing occurrence during casual interactions with a colleague back home in South Africa. Without further ado, here are the events.

Badrinath with Mohanji 2016 – August 2016

Mohanji had planned the Badrinath trip in 2016 before the Kailash pilgrimage to help pilgrims acclimatize better before the grueling Inner Kora. Other people apart from the Kailash participants were also welcome to join. The timing for the Badrinath trip couldn’t have been worse since there were cloudbursts leading to landslides and floods in the area. The weather was completely unpredictable which sent the logistics haywire. The trip was full of adventure and we had to use a couple of extra days, than planned earlier, for travel due to the inclement weather. Hence, we were left with only one day to do the places surrounding Badrinath. There are primarily two clusters of important places in Badrinath – one is Charan Paduka, Neelkanth Parbat, etc up in the mountains and the other cluster (Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, etc) is on the route to Mana village (Mana is the last Indian village on the China/Tibet border). Since both are at opposite sides of Badrinath, doing both in one day is not feasible. Hence, it was decided that half the group would do Mana and the other half would do Charan Paduka. Mohanji went with the group that went to Charan Paduka. Since the climb is steep, the group that headed to Charan Paduka had to ensure that people joining the group had to be relatively fit to undertake the climb.

I couldn’t join the group to Charan Paduka as I had kept the heater on in my room the entire night and due to that was feeling very nauseous. I somehow went to the reception area of the hotel and saw Mamu and Kedar. From them, I got to know that Devi Maa is also at the hotel. I went to a roadside shop and got 2 packets of biscuits and ate them. After about 45 mins or so, I was feeling better. Mamu informed about the visit to Mana village and around to visit Vyas Gufa, Ganesh gufa, etc. Mamu arranged for a taxi to take us to Mana village. It was me, Mamu, Devi Maa, Vigneshwaran and Kedar. The trip was very leisurely. We were chitchatting all along and posing for pictures wherever we got a chance. I was busy taking pictures of the group all along the way. When we were heading towards Vyas Gufa after visiting Ganesh Gufa, we took a halt to admire the scenic beauty and were clicking pictures of the same. I noticed that the sky was amazed by its beauty. I decided to take a picture of it and took a few shots. I didn’t check my pictures closely at that time. We continued with our visit, visited all the gufas and surrounding places and then returned back.

After sometime, I was looking at the pictures taken earlier and noticed a peculiar thing in one of the pictures taken en route to Ganesh Gufa. The cloud shapes in the sky showed a clear face of Mohanji. His face high up in the clouds was as prominent as we see in a photo. When I showed it Mohanji when He returned to the hotel, He said that one of the devotees was thinking of Him very intensely and hence He came there in the form of clouds. I later showed the picture to Mamuji (Narinder Rohmetra). He said that he was worried about Mohanji considering the steep climb to Charan Paduka and was thinking of Mohanji around the same time. Our happiness knew no bounds. As always Mohanji tells us, “I am always with you wherever you go.”

Total solar eclipse – August 21st 2017

At work, most of the people I interact with on a daily basis know that I follow Mohanji. A few of them talk to me to try and understand a bit more about Him. One of my colleagues was interested to know more about Mohanji. Even though she was from a Christian background, she had always been seeking and exploring alternative spiritual philosophies especially Buddhism. She has been going through the videos on Mohanji’s YouTube Channel as well as the Mohanji.org website regularly. The topics of our discussion sometimes were around Mohanji.

Recently there was a total solar eclipse on August 21st which was visible mostly in the USA and surrounding regions. A few days before the solar eclipse, she had a few questions regarding the eclipse and I directed her to different blogs and YouTube videos of Mohanji. During the eclipse, she messaged me a live picture of the eclipse that was sent by her friend from the USA. I took a casual look at the picture but did not notice anything in particular. Our conversations on the eclipse and about Mohanji continued for some time. During this time, she happened to use that pic as her profile pic on Whatsapp. When I happened to take a closer look, I noticed Mohanji‘s face appearing next to the Sun. That was when I looked again at the picture she has sent me earlier and noticed that I could clearly see Mohanji‘s face. I wondered how I missed this seemingly obvious observation earlier.

I immediately wrote to her that if she knew that Mohanji is always with you. She was curious to know why I said that. Using an imaging application, I circled Mohanji‘s face on the picture she had sent me earlier and sent the updated picture back to her. I again told her, “See! Mohanji is always with you!” Now when she saw the picture again, she was really amazed and bewildered. Since then, her faith in Mohanji has increased manifold and so has my belief in Mohanji’s oft-quoted statement, “I am always with you”

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A Powerful Master of the Nath Tradition: Remembering Vasudevan Swami

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By Madhusudan Rajagopalan

Today (July 12) marks the first anniversary of the passing away of Vasudevan Swami, the frail and humble priest of the Nath Mandir in Vajreshwari. Vasudevan Swami was not a famous Master, at least not in the conventional sense. However, this saint was very well-known within the broader Mohanji family, as Mohanji would always talk about him lovingly as a prime, living example of bhakti (devotion). Though he was physically frail, his power came from his pure devotion and surrender. Those who had the good fortune of meeting him would attest to his stature – I do not know anyone who ever came back from a visit to his abode without rich blessings and immense internal peace.

Vasudevanji, a powerful and loving saint at the Nath mandir at Vajreshwari 1a

Sri Vasudevan Swami was a religiously devout person from a very young age. He worked in Mumbai for most of his life. He eschewed all forms of material pleasures to focus completely on his devotions to the Lord. People would chide him for his single-minded focus and would try to lure him towards, wine, women and other pleasures. They reasoned with him that he was wasting his youth since this was the time to indulge in these pleasures. However, he turned his back on them and continued with his practices and devotions in spite of their ridicule. He got connected and became a staunch devotee of Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. Interestingly, even though he lived during Bhagavan Nityananda’s lifetime and prayed deeply to Bhagavan Nityananda, Swamiji only reached Ganeshpuri after Bhagavan Nityananda’s mahasamadhi (a saint’s conscious exit from the body). The proximity of Ganeshpuri, being a few hours away from Mumbai, allowed Swamiji to come there often to pay his respects to Bhagavan Nityananda. Once, he prayed to Bhagavan Nityananda to keep him permanently in Ganeshpuri.

Through divine intervention, Bhagavan Nityananda arranged for him to be the Mahant (priest) of the powerful Nath temple in Vajreshwari (the temple town next to Ganeshpuri). He moved there in the mid-80s to live in a little room within the temple premises. This powerful Nath temple is virtually unknown even among the people who live right across the temple. Bhagavan Nityananda stayed here when he first came to this region before he finally moved and made Ganeshpuri his residence. Matsyendranath and Gorakshanath, the Nath Gurus, are believed to have done tapas (intense penance) at this spot for over 2 months to appease the Divine Mother. The Divine Mother blessed them with her darshan (holy sighting) and gave Gorakshanath the blessing to work on the Nath Rahasya (the most important work of the Nath tradition). This temple has the holy padukas of Bhagavan Nityananda (blessed by Baba Himself) as well as the padukas of Matsyendranath and Gorakshanath. Swamiji dedicated his last 30+ years to loving service of this temple.

Nath tradicija

Much has been written and shared about Vasudevan Swami, both by Mohanji Himself as well as by several other devotees who visited him over the years. Readers can check these old articles for more information:

Mohanji on Bhagavan Nityananda

The Power of Devotion

A Tribute to Sri Vasudevan

I first met Swamiji sometime in 2015, based on Mohanji’s guidance, after a visit to Bhagavan Nityananda’s Samadhi in Ganeshpuri. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to meet him many times as I live in Mumbai which is only a couple of hours away. He showered immense love and poured out blessings on us because we were Mohanji’s children. He took special care of us diligently showing us around the temple, letting us know the latest divine beings who came since we last came (to satisfy our inquisitive questioning :-)) and spending as much time with us as we wanted. He would also give his special vibhuti (sacred ash) from the incense sticks that he offered to the Masters during aarati. It had wonderful miraculous powers and had cured many people, offered protection to others and solved issues for many more. He would also offer special prayers to the Lord if you requested for them. Mohanji used to say that his prayers were commands to the Lord because of the pure selfless devotion with which they were rendered. Mohanji said that his prayers were simple, “My dear Lord, this is my request. Make it happen.” 🙂 🙂

His thought had tremendous power of manifestation. Once Mohanji was in Mumbai and suddenly said, “We need to go to Ganeshpuri. I would like to see Vasudevan Swamy.” When Mohanji met him, Vasudevan Swamy, as usual, received him with immense love. While they were chatting, he told Mohanji that some people from the Nityananda trust had gifted him with a nice shawl and some books in English the day before. He had wondered to Bhagavan Nityananda about what he was supposed to do with the books and even the shawl (since he only wore simple and almost tattered clothing). Bhagavan Nityananda told him to give it to Mohanji. He told Bhagavan, “Mohanji is always traveling around the world. How am I supposed to reach him?”. Bhagavan did not respond to his query. He said I was just thinking, in the morning, about how to reach you. Mohanji laughed and told Swamiji, “Swamiji, you were not just thinking. Your thoughts got me so restless in Mumbai that I had to come here. You literally dragged me here.” 🙂 🙂

Mohanji_VasudevanSwami

Sometime in March 2016, we had a weekend program with Mohanji in Ganeshpuri. On the last day of the program, before leaving for Mumbai, Mohanji went to meet Vasudevan Swamy in the morning. Before leaving for the Nath temple, Mohanji arranged to have some breakfast from the retreat (dosas and chutney) packed for him. Swamiji was overwhelmed when Mohanji gave him the packed breakfast. He said, “Mohanji, you got me breakfast. I don’t know what to say. You must have it with me.” Mohanji told him that this was only for him and he should have all of it by himself. Swamiji said, “I won’t feel good to eat it alone if you are here with me.” So Mohanji said, “In that case, I will leave so you can have the breakfast in peace.”

This time he came to drop us to the temple door which he seldom did. He had tears in his eyes. He told Mohanji, “I want you to know two things. 1. There is never a day that goes by when I don’t think of you 2. Always remember Bhagavan Nityananda walks with you.” This was very similar to the words of Baba Ganeshananda Giri. He had also said, “Always remember that wherever you go, I am behind you and my master, Shirdi Sai Baba, is always behind you.” When we left the temple, Mohanji told us that this meant that Vasudevan Swamy’s time was near and this was their last physical meeting. Mohanji said that Swamiji wouldn’t be around for too long and asked us to take care of him and his needs as best as we could. Accordingly, we visited him a couple of times over the next few months and provided him with some groceries and other basic needs.

Mohanji-with-Sri Vasudevan -at-nath-mandir_saint

One fine day, I received a message from Mohanji (who was then in Croatia) that Vasudevan Swami was very unwell and ready to drop his body any moment. This was on July 4th at about 3 pm. I was in a meeting at my workplace. I immediately acknowledged his message and then, somewhat stupidly, asked him if I could go the next day to see him. I guess I was trying to be intelligent and to optimize my work schedule with this situation. He asked me what would be the use of that if Vasudevan Swami was leaving his body as we were speaking! Well, I then felt what can only be described as a loving slap on the face. 🙂 That did the job of beating the tamas out of me. Tamas is anything that causes postponement. For sure, Mohanji’s sharp question brought urgency to the fore and reset priorities in my head! I rearranged my schedule immediately and headed home to leave for Ganeshpuri. I learnt that Dr. Gajanan was with Swamiji and had been trying to feed Swamiji. Swamiji was struggling to even move from his bed.

Dr. Gajanan is a reputed homoeopath and he had communicated Swamiji’s ailment to Mohanji through one of his homoeopathy students in Serbia. So though I was in Mumbai and Dr Gajanan was in Ganeshpuri (just 60km from Mumbai), the route taken by the message was Ganeshpuri – Serbia – Croatia – Mumbai; goes to show that when an important message has to be delivered, distance doesn’t matter and a way is always found! As I was on my way to Ganeshpuri, Mohanji had given me only one clear directive, “We are his relatives. Do whatever it takes to help him.” So as we headed to Ganeshpuri, we coordinated with Dr Gajanan so that we could pool together to support Swamiji in any possible manner. We were also concerned about reaching on time, given the heavy rains over the last few days. We finally reached Vajreshwari around 5.30pm.

Sri Vasudevan 2

We were shocked to see how much Swamiji had shrunk from his already frail frame. He told us about how he had taken ill a few days ago, just after he completed a bhandara (food seva for a large group) at the Nityananda Trust. Soon after that, he said he sat down and since then he had been unable to move around, unless someone helped him. He said he didn’t have much time left and was praying to Baba (Bhagavan Nityananda) to take him soon. Though he was weak, he was fully in control and very clear about his plans. He said “Bahut seva kiya hai. Ab jaane ka time hai” (I have done a lot of service. It is now time for me to go).

Meanwhile before we reached, Dr. Gajanan had arranged for Swamiji to speak to Mohanji on the phone so that Mohanji could convey his respects to Swamiji. Swamiji sent his blessings to Mohanji. As Mohanji wrote in a private group, “I spoke to him. He said he did not want to be admitted in the hospital. He wanted to leave his body in the temple at Bhagawan’s feet. He said he always thinks about me and wanted to hear my voice one last time. He said that his blessings are always with me. This was so touching”. Mohanji asked us to check if Swamiji would like dosa and chutney or any other food that he felt like eating in his current state. He also asked us to offer fruits, gangajal (sacred water from the river Ganga)  and coconut water to him.

It was almost 7pm by then and I wasn’t sure if the local stores would be open, especially given the weather conditions then. In any case, I decided to check and thankfully, I was able to get gangajal, coconut water as well as flowers for the temple shrine. When I offered the gangajal to Swamiji, he gratefully accepted it and said “Thank you. This is my medicine.” We told his attendant to give him the coconut water later, and then took his leave after a while. That’s when we realized that the rains had stopped while we were on our way so that we were able to reach on time, meet Dr Gajanan, Swamiji, coordinate with Mohanji and get Gangajal for him – another 30-40 minute delay and none of this would have been possible. As Mohanji pointed out, “Nath leela” was in play!

Sri Vasudevan 4 July 2016

Before we left, we also asked Swamiji how he would like his body to be dealt with once he left – would he want a samadhi or would he prefer to be cremated. This might be a squeamish conversation for most of us, but I had realized from my earlier experience with Swami Ganeshananda Giri that saints don’t care about their body and deal with it in a matter-of-fact way. Vasudevan Swami was very clear that he didn’t want a Samadhi; he said “Who will take care of the Samadhi? Why trouble people? Just burn the body.” Since our trip to Badrinath was coming up in a few weeks, we asked him if he would like his ashes to be consigned to the holy Ganga, which he gladly agreed to. He also asked us to do a bhandara (food seva) in Ganeshpuri. So the plan was then clear – when he decided to drop his body, he would be cremated, his ashes would be distributed between Nashik (Godavari) and Rishikesh (Ganga), and we would do a food seva on his behalf.

I decided to come back the next day (July 5th) morning to check on Swamiji. When I visited him, a local shopkeeper was at the Nath mandir talking to Swamiji. Swamiji was talking to him about me and saying that I was going to visit him. Five minutes later, I entered. When I left the previous day, I had not planned on coming back and had certainly not shared that with Swamiji. Yet he knew I was going to come. Well, for a saint who calls deities like Hanumanji and Lord Krishna just with his devotion, I suppose calling mere mortals like me should have been child’s play! This time around, I brought him food from home (idlis + chutney) as well as more Gangajal. We had collected this gangajal ourselves from the river Ganga in front of Vashishta Caves, Rishikesh. Hence, its authenticity was guaranteed. He drank the gangajal immediately and said that he would eat the idlis later. He also looked noticeably brighter. Mohanji later explained that this was a sign of the soul shining bright and his last physical glow before leaving.

While I was sitting with Swamiji, he spoke about the arrangements he had made already. He had given cheques to the trust to take care of his cremation. He was also keen to give away his possessions stored in his little cupboard. He gifted us with a few dhotis and towels – these were then distributed among fellow members of the Mohanji family as precious blessings. I also took down the details of the nearby shopkeeper so that we could coordinate for collection of his ashes whenever the final moment arrived. This was a strange setting – a day ago, we were filled with sadness that Swamiji may not be around for much longer, and also if we would even get to see him. A day later, the mode was all about practicality, action and how to deal with the eventuality of when Swamiji would actually leave. This again was a sign that the Nath tradition was at work here – all purpose, no nonsense, no emotional drama – purely focused on the present moment and on the work that needed to get done.

Sri Vasudevan 1

When I was leaving Swamiji, he said “It feels good to meet our people. Come again tomorrow”. I hadn’t planned on that, but once Swamiji said it, that became an order. I soon realized that the next day (July 6) was a holiday on occasion of Eid (the Muslim holy festival). Hence, it would be actually easier to come down without having to worry about schedules, etc. So, I went again on July 6th and took some sevaiyya kheer (milk-based dessert with semolina that is served during Eid) for him. This day, my timing was such that I reached late morning and spent a couple of hours with him. He confirmed that he was drinking Gangajal twice a day – this was considered important as a purification process before leaving the body. On the day before, another group had come to visit him and given him a rudraksha mala from Kathmandu. Swamiji had begun to wear this mala since then.

It was as if he was just going through a series of steps before the final moment. He kept talking about how it was just a matter of time now, and he was praying to Baba to take him soon. Finally around 1230pm, he asked to eat the kheer and I had the opportunity to feed him. In terms of timing, it couldn’t have been better as Bhagavan Nityananda’s noon aarti ends around 12:30, so it was as if one was offering to Baba Himself after His arati. Mohanji had remarked earlier about the perfect synchronization that is characteristic of the Nath tradition. The events of these days with Vasudevan Swami were clear evidence of how this worked.

Finally, I left the Nath Mandir that day (July 6, 2016) after taking Swamiji’s blessings, and conveying to him that we were available to help him with anything. By this time, many people in our Mohanji community had come to know about his illness so there was a stream of visitors already. Our friends Jeanetta and Deva from the Fire Mountain Retreat (in Nimboli, near Ganeshpuri) had visited him the previous day and were seeing him regularly. The local shopkeepers were doing their bit. Dr. Gajanan had agreed to take turns and visit him in the coming days as I was travelling out of Mumbai later that week. I intended to come back and meet him when I returned to Mumbai after a week.

In the next few days, things stayed more or less the same. Swamiji would eat a little bit of kanji (porridge) now and then. On his next visit, Dr Gajanan gave him some protein powder in milk to compensate for his weight loss. But Swamiji wasn’t getting any better. I last spoke to him on the 7th of July, a day after I met him. And finally I learnt via Dr Gajanan on July 12th that he had breathed his last around 11am. The gentle saint had finally passed away peacefully in his own temple, just as he had wanted.

Bowing to Nithyananda 2

While this was sad news at one level, we had been expecting it, so the immediate priority shifted to our duties – we had to procure his ashes so that we could consign them to the holy Ganga river. Since I wasn’t in Mumbai at this time, we had to coordinate with the local people. Dr Gajanan asked his contact to collect some ashes. I had asked Swamiji’s attendant to keep some ashes for us, and the local shopkeeper I had met the previous week was also going to collect some ashes for us. Mohanji had asked us to ensure that the ashes were authentic, so we had to be doubly sure that there was no mix-up of any kind. I was hopeful that with three different contact points, this was taken care of.

We also had to arrange for the bhandara (food seva) at the Nityananda Sansthan and I began that process. It so happened that July was a busy month, with the occasion of Guru Purnima (July 19) as well as Bhagavan Nityananda’s Samadhi day (Aug 8) coming up. Our initial attempts to get the dates for this bhandara threw up dead ends – Guru Purnima day booked out, day 28 (coincided with Aug 8 = Bade Baba’s Samadhi day) or day 41 (Aug 21) were unavailable too. We wanted an early date, ideally before we left for the Badrinath trip, but there were no dates in July. Anyway, we put out a prayer to make this work out, just like everything else had worked out till then, and let it be. And lo and behold, I got a call back on the same day that July 27-28 (Wed-Thu) had suddenly opened up in the calendar. This was perfect for us as it was just a few days before we had to leave and we immediately blocked those dates.

Soon, I called up our local contacts to let them know that we would pick up the ashes on those days. To my shock, the first 2 people (Dr Gajanan’s contact and Swamiji’s attendant) mentioned that they had already consigned it to the river as they couldn’t keep it beyond 10 days. Desperately, I called up the local shopkeeper to check on his quota of ashes, and my call was just in the nick of time. He said he had been wondering what to do with it and, thanks to my call, he would now keep it carefully till we arrived. I then understood why we had to ask 3 different people to collect the ashes. If this third person hadn’t collected and stored it, our promise to Swamiji may have remained unfulfilled. But then the shadow of the Nath tradition’s grace was over us and ensured that all hurdles were crossed. On the appointed date (July 27-28), the bhandara was done in a grand fashion as per Swamiji’s wishes. We distributed photos of Swamiji to all the participants in the food seva and left another set at the Nath mandir, so that future visitors would also get to know about this great saint.

Soon, we were on our way to Badrinath. During our visit, we arranged for another food seva in Badrinath in honour of Vasudevan Swami. On our way back, we stopped at Vashishta Caves in Rishikesh to pay our respects to the shrine there and to take a dip in the holy Ganga. After we finished our holy dips, Mohanji took Vasudevan Swami’s ashes and finally consigned them to the river.

Since the Badrinath yatra was followed by the Kailash yatra, we also had the opportunity to offer Swamiji’s photo to holy Mansarovar lake as well as to the sacred Kailash mountain during the Inner Kora pilgrimage. At Rishikesh, after the dips in Ganga, Mohanji said “I’ve done my job”. With the further prayers in the most sacred places on earth, this could only mean that Swamiji was now nestled in Bhagavan Nityananda’s lap in the higher worlds.

For those interested in visiting the Nath mandir in Vajreshwari, please go ahead and do this at your earliest convenience. I have visited a few times after Swamiji’s demise and the temple is well-maintained by the trust. The local caretaker (Swamiji’s attendant) is a simple soul who goes about his job with great sincerity and welcomes people very warmly. As before, this temple is not known to many people and only the genuine seekers find their way there.

I consider myself blessed that I had the opportunity to meet and serve a pure Nath saint such as Vasudevan Swami. We have so much to learn from this modern day Hanuman, and his life was an example of selfless service and devotion. If only we can adapt some of this to our own lives, we would be doing ourselves (and therefore our society) a great service. My gratitude to Brahmarishi Mohanji for providing this opportunity to me, as it is only His grace that set this up.

Mohanji and the Avadhoota of the Nath temple

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