Pilgrimage to Palani on Mohanji’s Birthday

Palani in South India is one of the most powerful temples of Lord Murugan (the second son of Lord Shiva and commander-in-chief of the deities). Legend has it that Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati were given the fruit of wisdom by Sage Narada (the sage of the deities) at their home in Mount Kailash to be given to one of their children, Lord Ganesha (the elder son of Lord Shiva) and Lord Murugan. Sage Narada suggested to give it to the one who was the first to circumambulate the universe. Lord Murugan took off on his mount, the peacock, while the wise Lord Ganesha chose to circumambulate his parents (Shiva and Shakti) and claimed that he had circled the universe as one’s parents constitute the universe. Lord Shiva accepted Lord Ganesha’s premise and gifted him the fruit of wisdom. Lord Murugan was furious at Lord Ganesha’s strategy considering it duplicitous, renounced the world, vowed never to return to his parents, and chose to reside at a hillock in South India. Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati came to the hillock and tried to placate their son who refused to return with them. They reminded Lord Murugan that he himself was the source of all knowledge and wisdom. Hence, the name of the hillock, Palani (Pazham Nee – you are the fruit)

Mohanji’s family has a pass from Palani for two people to attend the last shayan puja (ritualistically putting the Lord to sleep) in the night. This puja is special because it is unavailable to the general public and allows one closest access to the deity right inside the sanctum sanctorum. The usual view is through the door which adjoins a hall that then leads to the sanctum. Since the opportunity was available, Mohanji suggested that two people could go and participate in this pooja. Immediately I decided to go, and after a conversation with Madhu, he jumped on the opportunity too, especially since he was in Chennai that week. The fact that he spoke Tamil also made travel easier. He enquired with our local contact and we learnt that external participation in this puja had been discontinued due to COVID… Further, there was news that many Indian states were clamping down interstate access to reduce the spread of COVID which increased the risk of getting stuck in that state until the travel restrictions were eased.

Normally, I don’t care much about these issues but this time I was apprehensive especially because it was just a general darshan (holy sighting of the deity) and not the special one as Mohanji had mentioned. When I discussed my concerns with Madhu and Shaju, they both gave a “why worry when there is Mohanji” answer. Hence, throwing caution to the winds, we decided to continue as instructed. Madhu also pointed out a nice synchronicity to our planned trip to Palani, We had the blessings of visiting Kataragama on Mohanji’s birthday 2020. Kataragama was the location of Sage Boganathar’s gurukul (residential school) where Mahavatar Babaji and Mohanji studied together (as revealed by a saint from Chennai and confirmed by Devi Amma later). It was here that Sage Boganathar taught Mahavatar Babaji the science of kriya yoga. There is a strong Mahavatar Babaji connection to Palani as will be revealed later. Hence, the Babaji (and Siddha tradition) connection to this year’s trip on Mohanji’s birthday was too obvious to ignore. Palani is the location of Sage Boganathar’s jeeva (live) samadhi (his final resting place).

Sage Boganathar is considered to be the second most important Siddha Master after Sage Agastya who is considered the head of the Siddha Tradition. The Siddha Tradition (siddha means perfected one) finds its roots in ancient South India and is considered to be as ancient as the creation of the four Yugas (ages). Sage Agastya was one of the Sapta Rishis – the seven illustrious sages who were handed over Supreme Knowledge by Lord Shiva Himself to spread through the Universe. Sage Agastya is considered equivalent to the Prajapatis – the creators who were mind born sons of Lord Brahma, the Supreme Creator – who carried on the task of creation through the multitude of universes. Like Mohanji, Boganathar was also a well-heeled traveler (in the days without passports, visas and immigration control) who had traveled the world especially the Far East and the Middle East having visited Tibet, China, Mecca, Medina etc. It is said that he was known in the Far East as Lao Tzu and his disciple Bodhidharma took the ancient art of kalari (traditional Indian martial arts) and founded the Shaolin temple.

Palani is also considered the home of siddha medicine (an extensive medical science and practice that combines divinity and herbs) which is said to have come from Lord Murugan himself through Sage Agastya and his disciples such as Sage Boganathar. In consultation with the eighteen foremost Siddhas among the Siddha Tradition, Sage Boganathar created an idol of Lord Murugan using the nava pashaana (the nine deadly poisons made from 4000 rare herbs). He is said to have used Mahavatar Babaji as the likeness to create the idol since Mahavatar Babaji was an incarnation of Lord Murugan Himself. This is the Mahavatar Babaji connection to Palani mentioned earlier. This unique idol has the property that water or liquids that are poured on it have powerful rejuvenative powers and are believed to cure all human diseases. In other words, the nine poisons in combination work to impart the most therapeutic and life giving essences to the liquids poured on it. It is said that Sage Boganathar made nine such idols that will be revealed in due time. Sage Boganathar lived for more than three hundred years and is believed to have made his own samadhi here. With this history, imagine the good fortune of getting the blessings of merely visiting such a place. In our case, we were given the blessings to be there by our Guru (Mohanji) Himself. Seems very silly now in retrospect to have had any apprehensions at all. A reminder to just follow the Guru’s instructions without question rather than use the mind (the source of much folly) and mess up the divine order (pun intended).

We arrived in Coimbatore separately (Madhu from Chennai, me from Bangalore) at 7 a.m. and took a taxi from the airport to Palani. The two closest airports to Palani are Coimbatore and Madurai. We didn’t have a specific plan and chose to play it by the ear. We booked a room at the temple accommodation, dropped off our baggage, took a quick shower and headed out. We had been asked by our local contact to reach the temple by 10:30 a.m. and check the ground scenario. We decided to first have a morning darshan and then purchase a pass for the privilege to pull the Lord’s chariot when He is taken around the temple in the evening to see all his devotees who are waiting in earnest to see the Lord up close and personal. We planned to attend the last puja after the chariot pulling. This allowed enough time to allow divine intervention to sprout some connections for us to attend the elusive, exclusive late night puja.

The temple complex is atop a small hill and it took us 30min to climb the 500 odd steps as we paid our obeisance at the several small temples of Lord Ganesha in His different aspects. The many shrines of Lord Ganesha denote the affectionate elder brother running around his younger sibling Lord Murugan to take him back to their abode at Mount Kailash. Many of the shrines have Lord Murugan sitting on Lord Ganesha’s lap symbolizing their eternal love for each other. There is another disciple of Sage Agastya called Pulippani who is said to ride on a tiger. His ashram and shrine are on top of a hillock and the steps leading to his shrine are close to the entrance of the walkway to the main shrine.

There are also temples of various siddha Masters including Sage Edumbar the protector of the hills. It is said that Sage Edumbar carries the two hillocks of Palani on either ends of a huge rod. There is a background story with Sage Edumbar and Lord Murugan. After Sage Agastya left, the powerful Sage Edumbar encountered the young Lord Murugan and tried to forcefully remove him. With a short kick, the young Lord fatally disposed off the powerful Sage. Sage Agastya entreated the young Lord on his disciple’s behalf and thus pleased, the young Lord revived Sage Edumbar. He further ordained that while he would reside at the top of the hillock, Sage Edumbar would have his place in the middle and the first puja (ritual worship) would be given to Sage Edumbar.

As we walked to the top, shouts of “Murugan arohara” could be heard from the pilgrims climbing the mountain (arohara is a shortened form of “ara haro hara” – Oh Murugan, Lord Almighty, please remove our sufferings and grant us salvation). We encountered several dogs, monkeys and beggars and realized that we had, in our haste, forgotten rule number one of Mohanji travel – carrying biscuits and bananas to serve our two and four-legged friends. Since there were no shops on the hill, nothing could be done so we pressed on with the climb. When we reached the top, we headed to the main temple of Lord Murugan. The normal view was from a barricade that was set up further ten to fifteen feet away from the door that opened into the hall that led to the sanctum. Further, the devotees could only be there for a few seconds before the security pushed them away to make way for the ones behind.

A person opened the barricade and took us right up to the door that allowed us the most amazing darshan of Lord Murugan in his child form. Lord Murugan like Mahavatar Babaji is depicted as a young boy and maintains that form always. There are seven different forms that Lord Murugan is adorned for each of the intervals in the day (cosmic form, hermit, hunter, child, king, saint and so on). The person also did a private puja for us at the shrine and allowed us ample time to stay there and view the Lord in peace, away from the hustle and bustle, and pushing and shoving. Fully satisfied, we left for the Boganathar samadhi. The samadhi temple is beautiful with large life-size paintings of Sage Boganathar and Mother Bhuvaneshwari (who Sage Boganathar meditated upon) at the entrance of the temple on either side. Atop the entrance is a life-size statue of Sage Boganathar sitting deep in meditation. The energy was amazing and one can feel the great Master’s presence all around, even outside the temple.

We entered the temple and walked around the circular path leading to the samadhi that is situated on the other side of the entrance. The wall along the path on either side is painted with murals that tell the stories of Sage Boganathar, Lord Murugan and the Palani temple. A few times, we tried to sit on the walkway and meditate but were flushed out by the priests. Madhu being the inquisitive one tried to ask the presiding priest about the various aspects of the samadhi mentioned on the walls. Since the priest was busy attending to the devotees, he excused himself from Madhu’s rapid-fire round. We paid our respects at the samadhi and headed out. We sat outside the temple but were soon flushed out from there since they were cleaning the place and were performing the noon puja (ritual) which was done by the priests and is not available to the public.

As planned earlier, we went to purchase our pass and passed our time at the office reception area, attending to pending email/messages and tasks. After a while, Madhu suggested that we head back to the temple complex since he wanted to do kriya at the Sage Boganathar’s samadhi. We returned to the Sage Boganathar’s samadhi temple and chose our respective spots to meditate. I could feel the presence of Sage Boganathar and had the intuition that Mahavatar Babaji (the likeness for the idol of Lord Murugan) in the main Murugan shrine worshipped his Guru Sage Boganathar who in turn worshipped Lord Murugan. Kind of like a mutual admiration society. A little while later, I ceased my meditation and looked around for Madhu. I found him seated with the presiding priest of the Sage Boganathar samadhi just outside the temple towards the right and approached them.

Madhu told me that when the priest saw Madhu outside the temple he asked Madhu to sit with him and get clarifications to Madhu’s earlier queries that he was unable to address inside the temple, due to the milling crowds. Since he spoke only Tamil, Madhu did most of the talking (and translating). The priest told us that most people come to the main Lord Murugan shrine, just pass through the Sage Boganathar samadhi and go away. He heard the priests driving us out several times during our futile attempts to sit in the samadhi temple. He also noticed that we went inside a couple of times for extra darshan and Madhu had asked him to explain the structure of the samadhi since flowers were blocking the view. Hence, he felt that we were serious seekers and keen to learn. Hence, he called out to Madhu when we came back to the temple.

The priest informed us that this was Boganathar’s jeeva (live) samadhi and Boganathar was, in fact, meditating under the structure in nirvikalpa samadhi (one with the supreme consciousness), delivering blessings and benedictions to the world. Some people were performing abhishekams to the temple wall next to us with rose water. When I looked at the priest quizzically, he dismissed it with disdain, probably hinting it as a charlatan way of some of the temple priests to make money off gullible devotees. We spoke to him about Mohanji and gave him Mohanji’s picture card. He stared at it for a long time and spoke about Mohanji with a lot of familiarity. We informed him that it was Mohanji’s birthday and asked him to pray for Mohanji on this auspicious occasion. He affirmed that he would do the needful.

Out of the blue, a question popped in my mind at that moment, “Does this place have a secret location and a secret sadhana?” It surely wasn’t something that arose from a logical enquiry. I asked Madhu to check with the priest. The priest was silent for a while, then got up and asked us to follow. A few metres away there was a small alcove where some priests were hanging around earlier. It was a nondescript place that was small and empty except for a few wooden box-like structures and had a couple of cast iron doors, one facing the entrance and the other to the right. The left side of the place was the wall of the Sage Boganathar samadhi temple. Earlier, the priests were sitting on the box-like structures and working with some of the devotees there. It looked ordinary and there was nothing to attribute any special importance to that place.

The priest told us that the door to the right led to Mother Bhuvaneshwari and the door in front led to Lord Shiva. In ancient times, Sage Boganathar would be seated at the center of this place and would meditate upon both deities. He told us, “Your Guru loves you deeply and unconditionally. Hence, he sent you here to allow you to experience this unique place (not just Palani but the place where he had taken us). The two Gurus (Mohanji and Sage Boganathar) have worked together to deliver you this experience and they have used me as a conduit to present it.” The priest made us sit there, took out a small red silky pouch from his waist which had a plastic ziploc bag with wet sandalwood paste that was applied on the Murugan idol (the statue made of the nine poisons) in the main shrine. This sandalwood is called rakkal chandanam and is given as a rare prasadam (consecrated offering) in the morning for devotees to eat.

A story about Lord Murugan and Sage Agastya reveals the significance of the sandalwood applied on the Lord. When Lord Murugan reached the hillock at Palani, he was roaming around and playing with the animals there such as snakes, peacocks, and so on. His activities disturbed Sage Agastya who was residing on the hill with his disciples that included Sage Edumbar. In his impatience, the sage failed to recognize the young Lord. The sage requested the young Lord to stop the disturbance and go elsewhere. The young Lord retorted, “Old man, if you are getting disturbed, it is you who should leave.” The sage was enraged by the gall of the child to speak to him so disrespectfully. He chanted mantras to finish off the child.

But the child remained unmoved and unaffected, continuing to play and laugh at the sage. This puzzled the sage since no mere mortal or sage could have withstood the deadly incantation. The child gave the sage a piece of dried sandalwood paste from his forehead and asked the sage to taste it. Though skeptical, Sage Agastya put the piece in his mouth and was immediately thrown off balance into space with no knowledge of where he was or how to get back. He immediately realized that the child was none other than the son of his Master, Lord Shiva. He apologized, was brought back to the hillock at Palani and became a disciple of Lord Murugan.

I suddenly remembered that an old man had come to us during our visit to the main shrine and given both of us a sizable ball of sandalwood paste. When I tried to apply it to my forehead, he shook his head and asked me to consume it. Sheer grace from Mohanji to receive this powerful offering and doubly so now from this priest at the Sage Boganathar samadhi. The priest took out a very small quantity the size of a peppercorn and gave it to each of us. He said it was very powerful and a great aid to meditation. The usual quantity dispensed was the size of a mustard seed but since we were meditating there, he gave us a larger quantity. He asked us to place the sandalwood under the tongue and meditate there. He said he would return later, to continue our discussions.

I couldn’t meditate for a long time as my mind was furiously trying to make sense of all that was happening. I opened my eyes and saw the priest sitting in front of me with his back towards me. Madhu was to my right doing his kriya practice. I closed my eyes again trying to meditate. My mind was not agitated but neither was it in a mood to be silent or go within. Later when I checked with Madhu, he had the same experience that he couldn’t concentrate and his mind was in overdrive. After a while, Madhu came around and then our conversation with the priest continued. He enquired about our immediate families. Madhu informed him of his parents, wife and kids. Madhu mentioned that I was a bachelor. His eyes lit up and he said, “Excellent.” He mentioned that he was a bachelor as well and had dedicated his life to Sage Boganathar and the Siddha Tradition. He said that bachelorhood was a great blessing from one’s Master to allow one to lead a life without the pull of terrestrial obligations. He elaborated on the power of the wet sandalwood paste (that he had given us) and suggested a sadhana related to the same. I asked him if he had seen Boganathar. He responded with a cryptic “He is in me.”

He then asked us to go back to our temple room, rest for some time and return to the Sage Boganathar samadhi temple at 6 p.m. It was around 2 p.m. He told us to take the afternoon lunch prasadam from the temple. He took us to the place where they were giving the lunch prasadam, went inside and brought three packets of food. The food was packed in a banana leaf that was neatly packed in a newspaper and was piping hot. He then told us to meet him back at 6 p.m. and took our leave. We wondered why he had given us three packets when it was just the two of us. We decided to offer it to one of the pilgrims in the temple complex.

As if on cue, a middle aged person came to us and asked us for the location where he could collect the lunch prasadam. We pointed him to the location and also offered him the extra packet which he gladly accepted. The divine grace of Mohanji to allow us to perform annadaan (food donation) before consuming our food. The lunch prasadam was a simple but tasty lemon rice with some pickle. We polished it off in no time and started our journey to the bottom. There is a cable car system as well that allows people to go back and forth and avoid the steps completely. However, we chose to walk down the steps and soon reached the bottom. Before we returned to our temple accommodation, we went to the bus station and checked on the bus timings to plan our onward journey (me to Palakkad, Madhu to Madurai and then to Chennai).

On our way from the temple accommodation to the entrance of the steps leading to the shrine, I noticed a place where they were tonsuring people who offered their hair as an offering to the Lord. Madhu mentioned that this is supposedly a standard practice in many temples in the South. There were many shining pates around which meant that many used the service. Some of the pates were anointed with sandalwood to cool them down. Before I met Mohanji, I had visited an ashram deep in the Himalayas a couple of times where the Master (when in the flesh) would require his followers and visitors to shave their heads before entering the ashram. Anyone who refused was denied entry. It was a symbolic offering of the ego before one enters.

Since then, I had done this on several occasions when I felt an inner calling. I felt the same in Palani as well but was unsure. The bald pates floating around me were egging me to go for it. I finally prayed internally to lead me if it was necessary for this trip. Before we entered our room, we stopped outside the temple accommodation to get some tender coconut water. When I looked up, I saw an image advertising the tonsure service. I took it as a cue for me to go forth and lose the hair. The barber did not take much time to give me a shining face and head. Through the process, I visualized surrendering to Mohanji all the resistance and ego within me and requested him to accept my symbolic surrender. I headed from there to our room. A quick shower and a short rest later, we were headed back to the temple complex.

We stopped by for a coffee when an old lady came by asking for money. We offered her food instead which she gladly accepted. She had coffee and a takeout meal and blessed us profusely. She was a gentle nudge from Mohanji to take biscuits and bananas with us before climbing the steps. We did the needful and distributed them all along the way to the top to all the dogs, monkeys, beggars as well as the street vendors. As we reached the temple complex, we headed straight to the Sage Boganathar samadhi temple. We waited outside the temple entrance and were joined soon by the presiding priest. He asked us to join him inside and take another darshan since he wanted to explain the different aspects of the samadhi. We of course relished the idea of going in there again and knowing more.

The stone altar at the bottom houses Sage Boganathar’s samadhi. Above the altar is a three dimensional Sri Chakram (a geometric representation of the primoridal Divine Mother) also known as Mahameru. Above the Sri Chakra is a throne that was created by Sage Boganathar himself that is crowned by the Maragatha (emerald) Shiva Lingam (a representation of the Supreme Unmanifested Consciousness or Divine Masculine). To the left of the Shiva Lingam are Lord Dandapani (Lord Murugan in his ascetic form holding a staff) and Lord Subramanya (Lord Murugan in his beatific form). Above the Lingam is Mother Bhuvaneshwari, the primordial source of all Creation. In addition to the exalted energy of the great Sage, the priest mentioned that the samadhi is extremely powerful due to the presence of all these powerful deities. Except for the stone altar and the deities on either side of the Lingam, most of the altar is covered with heaping flowers. He lifted the flowers a bit to allow us to see the underlying idols. It is said that under the temple, there is a secret cave route between Boganathar’s samadhi and Lord Murugan’s shrine.

The priest did a special ritual for us at the samadhi. He gave us flowers from the altar, kumkum (a sacred red dyed powder used for the Divine Mother), vibhuti (sacred ash) and other consecrated offerings. He also returned the picture card of Mohanji that we had given him for blessing at Sage Boganathar’s samadhi. He had done an abhishekam (ritual bathing) on the picture card with vibhuti (sacred ash), kept it on the samadhi and prayed for Mohanji. When done, we went back to our special place, meditated there for some time, took his leave and headed for the chariot procession ceremony that was due soon.

We took the opportunity to circumambulate the temple. Soon the golden chariot with the idol of Lord Murugan was brought out to allow him to see all his devotees around the temple complex and vice versa. The golden chariot is very ornate and bedecked with lights and has flags at the six corners of the hexagonal altar. The idol of the Lord is decorated with flowers, ornaments and decorative and embroidered clothes. It is truly a wonderful and beautiful sight. People await their turns to pull the chariot at each of the marked places around the temple complex. The system is well orchestrated and the people were well behaved without any pushing or shoving. When it was our turn, I found it hard to believe that we were pulling the chariot of Lord Muruga in Palani – a truly rare and amazing opportunity. All thanks to the grace of Mohanji who had orchestrated this trip so beautifully. With each step of the chariot pulling, I expressed my deepest heartfelt gratitude.

We decided to head back to the sage Boganathar temple one last time since Madhu wanted to do one last round of kriya there. As he sat down for kriya, I just sat facing the entrance of the samadhi temple. Soon all the priests gathered outside the temple and one of them climbed on top of the temple entrance to worship the Sage Boganathar statue there. He bathed it with rose water and cleaned the statue and wiped it. He then anointed Sage Boganathar’s with sandalwood, turmeric and kumkum. He then bedecked the statue with garlands and also placed several flowers around his matted hair. Sage Boganathar looked beautiful and alive, sitting deep in meditation showering blessings on the the devotees admiring his resplendent form. Finally, they waved incense sticks and lamps to complete the ritual.

From there, we moved back to the main shrine. Towards the exit from the Sage Boganathar samadhi temple, there is a open temple which has shrines of the eighteen Siddhas. Sage Agastya, Sage Boganathar, Sage Gorakhnath and Sage Macchindranath (the foremost Masters of the Nath Tradition), Sage Patanjali (who devised the ancient system of traditional yoga), Sage Dhanvantari (who evolved the ancient systems of medicine), Valmiki (the composer of the epic, the Ramayana) and so on. Madhu prayed deeply to Patanjali for the success of the Himalayan School of Traditional Yoga. I found an incense stick at a Shiva temple outside the main shrine. Using the incense stick, we did an aarati to Mohanji for his birthday, outside the main shrine. It was a fitting finale to close our pilgrimage.

A weekend in Skanda Vale and Mohanji’s presence without presence

By Arun Vathavooran, UK

I feel a deep connection with Skanda Vale (a spiritual centre and monastery located in Wales) and Mohanji. I don’t see many differences between them and see both as my right and left eyes, or my mother and father. I have been a regular devotee/pilgrim of Skanda Vale for the past 18 years and have had the blessed opportunity to see Guru Subramanium while he was in his body. 

I met Mohanji for the first time (in this life) in 2015 in Skanda Vale but realised my connection with him in 2016 when I had the blessed opportunity to participate in the Kailash yatra with Mohanji. In those early days, I had a burning question in my mind, “Am I running from one Master to another?” I had an intuitive feeling that both were definitely connected and that I was not running away from one to the other. As days went by, I slowly realised my deep connection with Mohanji as well, and the question disappeared from the conscious mind. Initiations came one after the other. I was busy with my sadhana and serving the world. I also continued to frequent Skanda Vale regularly as usual with my family. 

On one occasion, Mohanji had mentioned to me in a conversation, “Skanda Vale is your home”. I had asked him for more clarity, and he explained that my primary connection with the source (Lord and Guru Mandala) is through Skanda Vale. He said that is the case for me, and it will remain that way. I was happy that Mohanji had confirmed my deep connection to Skanda Vale. 

The Skanda Vale ashram has temples for Lord Murugan, the Divine Mother and Lord Vishnu. My connection to Skanda Vale originally started as a devotee of Lord Murugan, but slowly I realised my connection with the Divine Mother as well. However, I wasn’t that connected to Lord Sri Ranganatha (Lord Vishnu) at the start. This is possible because I come from a very orthodox Saivite background and had always worshipped Lord Shiva, the Divine Mother, Lord Ganesh and my beloved Lord Murugan. I remember going to a Maha Vishnu temple time to time as a kid, but the worship of Lord Vishnu was never a part of our daily life. 

However, since my connection to Mohanji, many concepts in my mind have started to fall apart one by one, and I have begun to connect to Lord Sri Ranganatha as well. Further, I started enjoying doing meditation in the beautiful Ranganatha temple as well. It has become a favourite place for mediation and Kriya when I stay at Skanda Vale. This beautiful temple has become the commonplace that I visualise when Mohanji says “Visualise a calm and serene place” in meditations. 

Mohanji visited Skanda Vale in 2018 and presided over the prana prathishta (ritualistic installation of idols) ceremony of Lord Dattatreya and Nagaraja (Cobra). Needless to say, doing Kriya in front of Lord Datta has become one of my favourite activities while at Skanda Vale since the installation. I have also started to connect to Nagaraja and worship this deity for two reasons.

The first reason is that Mohanji installed it, so I looked at Nagaraja as Mohanji. The second reason being, I have understood from the feedback from a Mai-Tri session that a Naga Devata is always protecting my family and me as a guardian. Whenever I go to Skanda Vale, I go and offer fruit to Nagaraja and use it as an opportunity to express my gratitude to the Naga Devatas.

I have come to understand that the Nagaraja in Skanda Vale has various significance. Worshipped as a deity, the Swamis chant the Naga Gayatri during the puja. His presence gives protection, preventing any negativity from entering the area.

Om Sarparajaya Vidmahe

Padma Hastaya Dhimahi

Tanno Vasuki Prachodayat 

The founder of Skanda Vale, Guru Subramanium, had received the authority from Lord Murugan to establish Sanathana Dharma in the west. He received this authority from a temple in the Sri Lankan town of Badulla where the snakes guard the sanctum of the temple. Guru Subramanium describes his experience in his autobiography entitled “Living with God” as follows (vol 2, chapter 8, pp110), 

“As I sat there, I asked the Lord (Murugan) whether he would come and be with me. He appeared and simply said that he would. He then appeared again, but this time accompanied by a three-headed cobra, and the cobra began asking me questions.” – Guru Subramanium

The way I understood this was that the three-headed cobra which accompanied Lord Murugan in Guru Subramanium’s experience was an integral part of Lord Murugan, and the Nagaraja idol in Skanda Vale represents this aspect of the Lord. However, I always worshipped Nagaraja as a combination of the Naga Devata and my beloved Guru Mohanji.

Recently, I have had a beautiful experience that somehow became the revelation to the question I had mentioned at the beginning of the blog, which was deeply buried in my subconscious mind. I went to Skanda Vale with my family and had messaged Mohanji about my trip. He replied immediately saying “Go ahead, please give my love to all there, I shall be there too, spend enough time with Datta. You will feel me there. Blessings.”

Nagaraja in Skanda Vale

On the first day, I got up early in the morning as usual to practice Kriya. I had a shower and went to the shrine of Lord Datta at exactly 4:30 AM. As I walked towards the Datta shrine, I had to pass Nagaraja to enter the temple where the Datta shrine is located. As usual, I stopped in front of Nagaraja with the intention of saying a quick prayer of gratitude. As I stopped, even before I closed my eyes, I felt a jerk in my lower back and felt a sharp movement from the root of my spine to the upper back. I instantly recognised that this is Mother Kundalini playing and closed my eyes to say my prayer. As I closed my eyes, I felt that Mohanji was saying inside me, “If your Kundalini responds spontaneously, you should pay close attention to the place”. I stayed there for a few minutes worshipping and expressing my gratitude to my beloved Guru and the Naga Devatas and walked into the temple to practise Kriya.

My Mohanji Acharya sister Moushumi also joined me, and we practised Kriya there in front of Lord Datta. Shortly after starting Kriya, I clearly heard someone open the door of the temple and walking towards me, but I didn’t want to open my eyes during Kriya, so I ignored the sound of the steps that came close. It was an amazing Kriya experience with a lot of energy. At the end of the Kriya, Moushumi asked me, “Did you hear the sound of the door opening and a person walking nearby?” I agreed. She further said she had opened her eyes to check, but to her surprise, no one was there. Mohanji’s promise the previous day came to my mind immediately, “I shall be there too; you will feel me there.” Mohanji always fulfils his promises. 

Lord Dattatreya in Skanda Vale

I then went to the puja in the Murugan and Shakti temples with this beautiful energy and feeling the presence of Mohanji with me, followed by my breakfast.

At 9:30 AM, I went to the Sri Ranganatha temple for the puja with my family. This puja includes a prayer for Nagaraja as well. When we assembled in front of Nagaraja, Swami started the puja. I noticed that he recited a mantra for Mahavatar Babaji during the Nagaraja puja and paid more attention.

Om Skanda Avatharaya Vidmahe

Shiva Tatvaya Dhimahi

Tanno Babaji Prachodayat 

Listening to this beautiful prayer brought goosebumps, and I felt that the answer to my long-standing question about the connection between Skanda Vale and Mohanji had been revealed to me. (Mohanji’s deep connection to Babaji can be read in the following blogs). 

Mohanji’s words about Babaji flashed in my mind immediately, “Boganathar was well aware who his disciple was when Babaji approached him in Kadirgamam as a little boy. Later, Boganathar used his disciple (Babaji) as a model for making the Navapashana vigraham (idol) of Lord Murugan in Palani, a temple in South India. It was indeed Lord Murugan who took an avatar as Mahavatar Babaji.” The circle closed within my mind with this revelation, but Mohanji wanted to make it unequivocally clear in my mind, so he had arranged other events. 

On completion of the puja, we as a family received blessings from the Lord, had prasad (sacred offerings from puja) and walked to the children’s play area so that my kids could play. On my way, I bumped into one of the monks at Skanda Vale. I immediately told him that I had felt Babaji’s presence at the Nagaraja shrine. He responded instantly saying, “I think you are right, the way I understood this is that Babaji is a very powerful Master beyond forms, but he can take any form to reach out to us. He took the form of the three-headed Nag when the Lord gave authority to Guruji to establish Skanda Vale.” This was a reconfirmation for me of what I felt. I understood from these words that the integral part of Lord Murugan that accompanied the Lord in Badulla when he gave the authority to Guru Subramanium was indeed Mahavatar Babaji himself. 

Mohanji had arranged further confirmation as well. We then went to the Maha Abishekam and puja to Lord Shanmuga in the Murugan temple and had lunch at the temple as usual. I happened to speak to one of the senior Swamis of Skanda Vale at lunch. After discussing various topics briefly, our conversation went to Babaji. I shared that I had felt Babaji’s presence in the Nagaraja shrine. He simply responded, “Babaji and Lord Murugan are not different; they are essentially the same”. This was the final confirmation to the question that was deeply buried in my subconscious mind; the connection between Skandavale and Mohanji. 

Mahavatar Babaji is an incarnation of Lord Murugan. Babaji was also present (in the form of the three-headed cobra) while the Lord gave Guru Subramanium the authority to establish Skanda Vale. Mohanji is deeply connected to Babaji. My love and devotion to Lord Murugan and then to Mohanji when I met him is a perfectly normal progression in my spiritual journey. I felt immense gratitude to Mohanji for clarifying every aspect of my question, as soon as I became eligible to understand his revelations. 

Pranams at your holy feet, my beloved Guru Mohanji. 

Moushumi Patankar, UK

I went to Skanda Vale recently. I knew that Arun and his family would also arrive the following day. When he arrived, the first thing he told me was that the next morning (on Saturday) he was going to do Kriya in front of Lord Datta and invited me to join him. Well, that’s always my favourite place to do Kriya. I told him, “Yes”, but couldn’t do Kriya on Saturday at that time. Till the afternoon, I was super busy with some work or the other. By 3:30 PM, I finished my work, freshened up, and started Kriya around 3:50 PM at my favourite spot. During the Kriya, I heard the door of the Vishnu Temple banging very loudly, but I didn’t open my eyes. I continued with my Kriya and soon forgot about this door banging incident. Later that night, I got a WhatsApp message from someone, “Do Kriya in front of Datta with Arun.” I knew that I had missed doing Kriya with Arun that morning, and somehow Mohanji was telling me through someone about this. Well, we decided to do the Kriya early the next (Sunday) morning.

Lord Dattatreya in Skanda Vale

Early (Sunday) morning, we started free flow Kriya (without an alarm). It was pitch dark, no light, nothing. Just Datta in front of us (that’s what I thought)! As soon as we started Kriya, I again heard the sound of the door opening and closing, then the sound of footsteps. I was a little scared and told myself; perhaps it’s the wind (I remember closing the door tightly). I heard footsteps behind me, and I opened my eyes. I was looking at Datta and felt soothing energy and a voice saying, “Who else will be here?” I closed my eyes and started Kriya, and in a few seconds, the sound of the footsteps vanished. At one specific time, I heard a small bird tweeting, and that was the exact time to move on to the next step of the Kriya. After some time, I heard the sound of fish swimming, jumping in the water (there is a small pond with fish in it), and again, it was exactly the time for the next step in the Kriya. It was beautiful how nature was also assisting us in our spiritual practice.

When Kriya finished, I asked Arun about the footsteps, the sounds of the bird and the fish. He had the same experience too. While talking he mentioned that he did Kriya with me on Saturday afternoon as well and experienced the same incident of the door banging loudly. We both did Kriya at the same time, at the same place, and had the same experience!

Later that day, I was talking to someone from Skanda Vale, and I mentioned this experience. I already knew the answer, and this person confirmed my thoughts, “Who else? It’s Mohanji! He is always here, every moment!”

May Skanda Vale, Datta, and Mohanji always be with me!

Divine blessings

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 17th September 2020

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.

— Mohanji Testimonials Team

No Pain, No Gain 

mohanji

By Sathya Shivakumar

 

July 12, 2017 was “Sankatahara chaturthi”, a special day for Lord Ganesha. I had prepared steamed modaks as an offering for the God that day. My son, who had returned from school, asked for some fried modaks as well. It is an elaborate process to prepare them and as the next day was his birthday, I did not want to disappoint him and made that as well.

buddha temple
A view from the Buddha temple in Galle…the rock in the ocean appears like an elephant

My son and I have our birthdays exactly a week apart. A few days preceding my birthday, I started experiencing burning sensations in my body. It started with the feet and then slowly felt them in my palms also. One fine morning, I was drawing a simple rangoli at the pooja room entrance. I usually draw a floral pattern but I was surprised to see that I had drawn feet that day. In India, we have the practice of decorating the floor with the pattern of Krishna’s feet on Janmashtami day but that was still a month away. Why had I drawn the feet, I wondered.

On my birthday,  my sister made a surprise visit to Bangalore. We went on our usual weekend drive to see the progress of our new house that was under construction. On the way back, we exited from a different gate than we usually do. I noticed a board and as it was in Kannada (the local language), I asked my husband, Shiva, to read out what was on it. He said, “Sri Chaitanya Paduka Mandira.”

I connected it to Brahma Chaitanya Maharaj but wanted to find out what it actually was, so I asked Shiva to take us there.  When we got there, Shiva and Radha stayed back in the car as I stepped out. I saw a few dogs and told Shiva, “One of those dogs is staring at me. Don’t want to get bitten on my birthday! ” He said, “Nothing will happen. It is all in your mind! Just go.”

As I entered the temple, I  saw that the main door was closed. So I walked up to the ‘sthala vriksham’ and offered my humble prostrations and birthday prayer. I knew the main tree in a temple’s premises houses the consciousness of divinity but did not at that point in time know that it was an Audumbar (fig) tree. The watchman told us that it would open in an hour’s time but that seemed like a long wait for the others. So I left with the desire to come to the temple another day.

Chaitanya Paduka Mandir
Sri Sadguru Chaitanya Paduka Mandir, Bangalore

A couple of days later when we went back to supervise the construction, I asked Shiva to take me to the temple again as it is just a few minutes from our new house. We went inside this time and had the place to ourselves as there was no one in there at the time. It was such a unique shrine. We quietly walked up to the second floor that houses the padukas of several masters along with their pictures. I did not recognize some of them. My husband patiently read out the nameplate in Kannada and I bowed to each one. I felt some energy going up my body and prayed that I should be healed soon as the lingering sensation in my legs continued to bother me.

I had initially consulted a general physician for the burning sensation and he diagnosed it as a Vitamin B12 deficiency. But the supplements were not helping much. While my haemogram results showed improvement, the burning now seemed as if it had reached the head. Some days,  instead of heat, I felt that my head was feeling like ice.

I wanted to explore other solutions to my problem and started yoga classes regularly. When I explained what I was going through physically, the senior yoga teacher could not comprehend the problem. She told the lady next to her, “These days people get strange problems!” She was kind and empathetic but could not understand my situation. Therefore, while I continued the yoga sessions, I did not wait to explain the other sensations such as numbness, pricking, etc. that I was going through.

I, myself, was surprised by the strange sensations that I was experiencing. It was because, it was not all pain, all the time. Occasionally, I had blissful raindrop sensations. It was as though something was constantly trickling in my head. Every morning, even as I stepped down from the bed, I would experience a pull going from my foot to the top of my head. I would have mild pain during yoga or while in the pooja room but would start increasing through the day. I had to learn to word all that I was experiencing to explain to the doctor. The symptoms brought all guesses ranging from diabetes to thyroid issues and these were eliminated with tests.

Even as I was physically undergoing some struggles, I also had beautiful dreams. Some of them felt so real. The dreams augured something beautiful would unfold. Whenever my fears reached their peak, signs of assurance kept flowing in and calmed me down. I always meditated on two lines of a Tamil verse “Anju Mugam thondrin Aarumugam thondrum” which means “When you fear, the six-faced Lord appears!” There is another explanation to this verse that my father told me – “When the five-faced Lord Shiva appears, Lord Skanda appears.” (Anju also means five in Tamil)

In October, my music teacher organized a programme at her house during the Navarathri festival. Throughout the programme, I felt heavy pressure on my eyes and made up my mind to consult a neurologist. After returning home, I called my father and sought his advice. He asked me not to worry and that he would do an “Anga-pradakshinam” at Tiruchendur to help me tide over the crisis. I thanked him and also mentioned to him that I would consult a neurologist as well.

The neurologist diagnosed it to be a nutritional deficiency. Although the heating and cooling sensations could not be explained, he gave me some medicines to subside the pain. I did not discuss the problem with anyone except Shiva and my parents. I felt that it was a wasted effort. If a senior yoga teacher and a neurologist could not understand it, I was pretty sure that my sharing this with others would only invite more flippant responses than solutions. With the help of guru google, I had narrowed it down to one of two things – If it is bad, it is some neuro problem and if it is good, it is related to the Kundalini experience.

Shiva cheered me and said, “If your thinking is positive, only good things will happen. Maybe your chakras are opening!” I felt as though he was brushing aside my problem. Although he was being his usual self, he did not really understand what I was physically going through. It had gone to the extent that when he entered the house he would lift his headphones and ask, “Hot or cold?” If I said, “Cold”, he interpreted this as being in a good mood and would talk. Otherwise, he would place them back on and take his calls.  It made me realize that when there is an internal problem one is going through, which is not visible to the naked eye, however understanding people are, none can perceive the actual problem or the intensity of it. No matter how empathetic or compassionate they are, they can only help to an extent. Beyond that one has to journey alone to find the answers.

Speaking of journeys, we went to Chennai that year to celebrate the last three days of Navarathri with my parents. On the way, we reminisced about our fabulous and memorable trip to Kathirgamam (Kataragama) which has a fascinating back story and I went into a reverie…

About 65 km from Chennai, there is a place called Tirukallil which has the ancient Sivanandeswarar temple where one of the first and foremost Saivite saints Tirugnanasambandar sang in praise of the Lord and as such it holds a special place in Tamil history. The main priest of this temple, Arumugam gurukkal was 107 years old. He had great love for the temple and the deity was his life. As the gurukkal had got on with age, he had requested my father to assist him with performing abishekams on special days. He was a great inspiration to me because I used to be amazed by his love for God. He would come all the way to attend social functions in Chennai so he could mobilize funds for the sustenance of the temple’s festivals.

The visit in July 2016, was extra special because it was the “Pre-Kailash Pradosham” as my father used to call it. My father was booked to go on the Kailash parikrama with Mohanji. I did not know who Mohanji was at the time. All that we knew was my dad had met a Master and was keenly looking forward to his upcoming trip. Chennaiites rarely have a stock of winter clothing because of the climate. So I bought some jackets and travel items that would be needed for such a trip. On that day, the abishekam was splendid. I really opened out in the serene atmosphere that surrounds the temple and with no inhibitions whatsoever, sang with gay abandon, assured that the Lord was enjoying my rendition.

After a really fulfilling visit, I headed back to Bangalore the next day. I was on the way home from the railway station when my dad called me and said with equanimity – “I am not eligible for parikrama according to the new Chinese rules. I am not doing Kailash this time. It was a reminder to me that God has his own plans.

My father had given me the book “Muruga, the embodiment of beauty and valour!” In the book, it is mentioned that Kathirgamam (in present-day Sri Lanka) is referred to as the “Dakshina Kailash” or the Kailash of the south. Kathirgamam is in the same longitude as Kailash and a pilgrimage there is equivalent to a pilgrimage to Kailash. Almost a year later, on one of our weekend visits to Chennai for the panguni uthiram celebrations at home, the topic of a trip to Kathirgamam came up, and Shiva said that it would be his birthday treat to my father. As things turned out in the course of that discussion, we ended up with an unplanned and spontaneous booking to go to Kathirgamam as a family!!  It was a big group with my parents, mother-in-law, children and two nieces!!

The trip was filled with fascinating and myriad experiences. We landed in Colombo and immediately left for Galle, where we stayed overnight. Galle is a beautiful beach town. We spent time walking around the scenic town with natural rocks, gardens and Buddhist shrines overlooking the beach. After a good night’s rest, we left for Kathirgamam the next morning. It was a long but scenic journey by road and we took in all the experiences we had along the way, soaking in the stories of Murugan’s exploits that my father shared with us in his inimitable way.

Kathir means Light. Kamam means Love. The etymology also says that Kamam came from “gramam” meaning village and the place was called Kathirgamam by the Lankans to indicate that it was “The village where Lord Muruga was standing as Light”.

Unlike in India where one gets to see the deity in the sanctum sanctorum of the temples, in Sri Lankan tradition (in our experience, this is in Murugan Shrines only), the temple sanctum is covered by curtains that act as a “veil” to the deity inside. The prayers are offered inside where only the main priests are allowed and for the general public, the aaratis are performed to the pictures of the God, on the curtain – considered equally powerful.  It is the same in Kathirgamam as well. We can observe the image of Lord Muruga on the beautiful curtains. During the “mangala aarati”, the rhythm of the temple bells eas so powerful that it transported us to a different plane. One can really feel the energy in the air. The two snake-like bronze images also captured our attention. Being in the presence of Kathirgamam Murugan on our wedding anniversary was such a blessing and not something that can happen because of human planning.

The next day I had wanted to have a second darshan. However, Shiva had booked for the “Yala Safari” for the kids and wanted me to go with him and the kids.

Murugan with Vel
Murugan showing the way with his Vel as the leading light

I had read that Lord Muruga appeared in mysterious ways to the pilgrims who had taken the forest route in the past when it was still a dense jungle, and travel to Kathirgamam was possible only through the forests which were dotted by wild animals. The safari was interesting and the kids had a great time. We saw peacocks, pigs, deer, elephants, and even a leopard but what I deeply connected to was the strutting rooster (Seval in Tamil) that passed in front of our jeep and then disappeared into the bushes to our right, just as our safari was coming to a close. What are the chances that you will see a rooster in a forest safari?

rooster
Rooster (Seval)

“How cute was that Seval?” I asked my husband..as I broke out of my reverie!! The radio in the car was playing and just then, I heard the sound of a rooster crowing on the radio!!

Was I imagining all this? I wasn’t. It was actually the rooster crowing sound as part of a song that followed after. We were on the outskirts of Chennai and as I shook my head in disbelief, we saw a big billboard that read “Tamil Kadavul Murugan – Coming soon ‘STARTING OCT-2ND’. We rarely watch TV programs but a serial on Murugan seemed interesting.

Murugan tamil
Tamil Kadavul Murugan (Tamilian God Murugan)

My thoughts shifted again to the physical sensations and pain and just then, I saw another sign – in bright bold letters on an auto that read

Message

This message hit home deeply. Was all my pain going to result in some gain? What life-transforming outcome was I being led to through this serious examination of my physical and mental faculties?

On one of the days during the visit, I went to my uncle’s house. As we were talking, the sensations were back. When he asked me “How are you feeling?”, I replied “I am okay!” despite the discomfort. The sensations were overwhelming but my face did not reveal it as I had by now made up my mind that there are certain things in life that we have to face individually.

Soon as we returned home, I left for the Mylapore Kapaleeswar temple with my father. This temple premises also has a shrine for Murugan. The few minutes that I sat in the inner premises of the Murugan Shrine, I did not experience any pain or discomfort!! No sensations whatsoever!! I was feeling normal. But that did not last long. Once I left the shrine, things were the same again. We returned to Bangalore and I continued my routine and some assuring signs were constantly coming through.

Around this time, there was a Shirdi Baba temple inauguration at Sriperambudur by Mohanji which my parents and sister went for. This was also the time, we were asking my parents to move to Bangalore along with Radha and they had finally decided to make the move. When my mother met Mohanji at the temple, she sought his blessings and said “Mohanji, we are moving to Bangalore shortly”.  He responded enthusiastically “I am also coming there!”

Parents
My parents with Mohanji

I still did not know who Mohanji was but as my father was connected to him, out of curiosity, I had started reading the Atmananda blogs online. After my parents moved to Bangalore, I got the opportunity to visit him at the Boulevard Retreat for the first time in March, 2018.

When I went to his house and got the opportunity to speak to him, I said to him:

“I connect to you through the Atmananda blogs, but I haven’t taken your permission.”

His answer was succinct.

“It is like Prana (vital breath). Do you take permission to take Prana?”

The second time I got to meet him was on my father’s birthday in April that year. My father told me “I have prayed for you at Tiruchendur. We don’t have to trouble Mohanji about it!” I didn’t bring up the topic as discussed with him but at one point when there was a pause in the discussions, my mother prodded me from the back to share it with Mohanji.

Mohanji looked in my direction and asked “What?”

I started, “I experience rain drop sensation.”

He told me something that I had been waiting to hear for a long time.

“It is a good thing!”

The word, “good” brought so much mental relief.

“It is Ma Kundalini. Welcome her. Accept her!”, he continued and then added “You know Ida Pingala? (he knew that I knew all that!) It is like Alakananda and Bagirathi coming together.”

I replied, “The heating is too much!”

“Do Suryanamaskar and vertical breathing. Reduce your medicines!”

I knelt to take his blessings. He placed his thumb on my forehead and blessed me. (Now I know that I received Shaktipat but didn’t then).

With folded hands and connecting to my family deity, I received it. On our return, my anxious mother asked me if I felt something. I said, “Nothing!”

However, the next morning as I woke up and got out from the bed I felt the difference!! That strange pull that had been my unseen companion for the previous 10 months was gone! Every step I took, I felt the difference.  I conveyed this to my doctor that very day! I started to reduce the dosage and the heating also considerably reduced, and I finally stopped medicines completely in October. Life has flown by and now I only have “filtered” sensations once in a while.

 

With the blessings of Mohanji, I have been able to take up the Acharya training too which is another fascinating story for next time, on how Grace carries us forward!

Today, on my birthday when I think of why I drew the feet that day when I started having the sensations, I am sure I know the answer….

Guru banda, Sadguru banda |

Dattatreya Avadhoota banda ||

Lalitha sahitha Gurunatha banda ||

The Guru has come, the Sathguru has come |

The Dattatreya Avadhoota has come ||

along with Lalitha Devi (Goddess of Kundalini) ||

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

Compiled, Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 25th July 2019

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.

— Mohanji Testimonials Team

The truth beyond revelations

Mohanji as Mohanji

Subhasree Thottungal, UK
May 2019

As I was sitting in our ‘Mohanji room’ and looking at the altar, I thought, I should bring home a Datta idol. Sometime later, I saw photos of Mohanji’s home in Bangalore and saw Mahavatar Babaji’s idol in those photos. I had seen this before too. However, this time suddenly I asked myself, why have I never felt inclined to have Babaji’s idol in my altar? Well, with time, I just forgot about this thought.

VTM_8_BlrAshram_hall
Altar in Bangalore Ashram

Just a few months back, in August, just two days before Mohanji’s visit to London, I had a really amazing, unbelievable experience regarding Mahavtar Babaji. I had written this story and published it in Mohanji’s chronicles “Stone to crystal”

The story was about the expansion beyond my body that I had experienced after reading Mohanji’s written blogs on Mahavatar Babaji.

Anyway, a few days later, suddenly during an informal discussion, I was asked,

“For a complete stranger, what age Mohanji would look like?”

Immediately His image flashed as if He was standing in front of me. This was happening instantly.  I spontaneously said 40, or even may be between 35 to 40. Then something just made me write ‘Mohanji is ageless.’

Yes, that’s how Mohanji appeared to me, He is ageless! At this point, I had no comparison of Him with anyone else.

Ageless Mohanji
The Ageless Mohanji (a pic from Rome!)

The next morning, I received a photo of a majestic rainbow in Singapore. Unlike my regular gross mind, I could see little beyond and understood that I was not just being shown a beautiful rainbow…I was being reminded of Dattatreya!

Majestic Rainbow
Majestic rainbow in Singapore – a joy of nature in the presence of Mohanji

As the day progressed, in a miraculous way, I came across a blog that showed me the connection between Mohanji & Hanuman. During this again the reminder of my spontaneous response to a conversation regarding Mohanji as ‘ageless’ flooded my memory.

That night I had knee pain which was getting unbearable. The pain was so bad that I woke up and couldn’t sleep again. This was about 3 am. I kept praying to Mohanji, keeping my own hand on my knee for healing, feeling Mohanji’s energy flowing through.

After some time, I felt better but my sleep had gone. So I took my phone to read something. While I was browsing on my phone, a blog by  ‘Vanamali’ on Mahavatar Babaji flashed up. I wondered, is this author ‘Vanamali’, the ‘Vanamali Mataji’ that I know as Mohanji’s spiritual mother? I opened the blog. It was indeed her. I started reading. She was describing a place called Katargama (also known as Kathirgamam) in Sri Lanka, as the Kailash of the South. She had explained about Lord Murugan’s incarnation in that place. Before I realised, it was time to go to the office. I left the blog reading incomplete and continued with my day’s activities. Later on in the evening, I picked up the story from where I had left off. This reading brought me the awareness of something majestic, that I had so far not realised.

In the blog, Vanamali Mataji explained that Kataragama is the place where Lord Murugan (son of Shiva) had moved to from Kailash. Lord Murugan then incarnated as Mahavatar Babaji, in a small village in South India. At the age of 15, as a young boy, Babaji had travelled to Kataragama in Sri Lanka! That’s where he met his Guru, Siddhar Bhoganathar. At the age of 16, Babaji was blessed by his Guru Bhoganathar with ‘Kaya Kalpa’ – to remain a youth forever. While I was reading this part, suddenly ‘Ageless – Mohanji is ageless’ flashed in my memory. It felt as if an electric current went through me.

Mahavatar Babaji
The ageless Mahavatar Babaji

I continued my reading. The blog explained about Babaji’s journey back from Sri Lanka to India. In South India, Babaji met Guru Agastya, who accepted him as his disciple and taught him Kriya yoga, and the importance of breath. At this point of the story, I was reminded of how Devi Amma of Bangalore, a highly evolved spiritual master, disciple and spiritual daughter of Agastya Rishi, considers Mohanji as her spiritual brother. She says he is none other than Agastya Rishi’s son! Also, the fact that Mohanji imparts the teaching of Kriya, giving importance to the breath, struck a chord, while I was reading about Babaji!

Even though I was reading about Babaji, the image that I had all through this time was of Mohanji.

The story continued. Babaji was in the Himalayas, meditating in the cave. Suddenly a vision flashed to me. I saw Mohanji meditating in this cave! Every word that was mentioning Babaji, the only vision I had in front of my eyes was of Mohanji.

m5
Mohanji in meditative state

Slowly I realised, whom I see in the very ordinary form of Mohanji is much beyond that.

Surely, He is none other than Babaji himself.

Surely, He is none other than Murugan himself!

I was seeing a smile in my own face, a smile of joy. As if I have found a treasure, I suddenly realised, ah, this is why Mohanji loves going to Skanda Vale!

Skanda Vale is a sacred place where Guru Subramaniam has built a temple for Skanda, also called Murugan. He believed and so does everyone else, that Skanda lives there!

I always thought Mohanji goes to Skanda Vale because of the Guru Parampara, Datta tradition, His love for the Skanda Vale community.

Let me tell you a couple of flash-back stories on Skanda Vale here.

In September 2017, I was blessed to accompany Mohanji to Skanda Vale when He was there for a few days enriching the Skanda Vale community with His valuable presence. During that time, Mohanji had told me that Skanda Vale is very special to Him and to give His time there is a very high priority for Him. At that time, I just attributed His statement to His humility and His duty to the Datta Tradition. Again in August 2018, Mohanji went to Skanda Vale, for a purpose even more powerful – to do the consecration ceremony of the Datta idol!

abhishek1
Mohanji doing consecration of Lord Dattatreya at Skanda Vale, UK, August 2018

While I was completely merged in the divinity of Mohanji’s actions in Skanda Vale, I was surely far away from understanding why was He doing all these things!

Coming back, I now realised that reading Vanamali Mataji’s blog was not just any ordinary blog reading. This was a great revelation to me. I understood that Mohanji goes to Skanda Vale, the place where Skanda lives. Because He himself is none other than Skanda (Murugan)!

I then remembered, just sometime back, it was an auspicious day for Skanda and my friend Radha sent me a short video clip of her father, Subramaniam uncle doing aarati to Skanda with a special deepam. This was not any ordinary aarati ritual, it was indeed a very powerful one. Subramaniam uncle is not just an ardent devotee of Murugan, he is a devoted disciple of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and loves Mohanji immensely. To receive the video clip of this ritual to Skanda was not ordinary. I had felt the divinity that time to receive the clip, but I only understand now, why was I allowed by the divine to view this!

Kartika Puja
Special Kartika puja (for Skanda) at Subramaniam uncle’s home

Whether we think of Hanuman or Dattatreya or Murugan or Mahavatar Babaji – all are an ansha (part) of Shiva, and ultimately Shiva himself!

That’s the revelation of this incarnation that I know as Mohanji.

In just one day, I had the visions or realisation of Lord Datta, Lord Hanuman and now Murugan and Mahavatar Babaji. Ah, a truth beyond my imagination was unfolding.

A naïve question that had appeared in my mind a few days back about the connection with Mahavatar Babaji was being answered by the divine in such a beautiful way revealing the utmost truth about Mohanji to me. This revelation was happening to me through my own realisation, not by someone telling me! I was surely more than overwhelmed. I was totally awestruck.

In this state, I couldn’t stop myself from expressing this experience to Mohanji and begging Him to confirm this. However, as usual, Mohanji was far from being emotional. He gave me a straight clear answer,

 “I am Mohanji. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

mohanji ageless
“I am Mohanji. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

I felt so silly to have asked Him this question.

Did I need to? No.

Does the answer matter? No.

The revelation to me was my own realisation. That was my TRUTH. Period.

My story doesn’t finish here.

Mohanji didn’t answer me. But the divine had other plans. 🙂

Next morning, I received Preethi Gopalarathnam’s WhatsApp message. She had forwarded me a message conversation between Mohanji and her, the previous day. Her message to Mohanji was about her urge for visiting Kataragama in Sri Lanka!

mohanji skanda
An unbelievable similarity between the photo of young Mohanji and young Murugan in a calendar!

As I rubbed my eyes, I was reading the message repeatedly. Am I really reading it correctly? The day before when I discovered about Kataragama and the follow-up on the unfolding truth of Murugan, Mahavatar Babaji, and Mohanji, she was at the same time, thousands of miles away, feeling the same pull too! This couldn’t be just mere coincidence. I realised through this, Mohanji has answered my previous night’s question!

This is now so clear, as clear as a crystal, to me.

All through the day, my whole body was shivering but the heart was full of joy. I don’t know what enlightenment means or feels, but I certainly felt enlightened that day.

Like the little girl who receives a very expensive toy beyond her dreams, I had something that I never could even dare to think of! In my naïve mind, simple Mohanji was enough. This truth indeed was a huge realisation for me.

I started writing about this experience. Usually, when I feel the urge to express my thoughts, I just write it quickly and share. I strongly feel that Mohanji doesn’t delay in giving me experiences, so I must not delay in expressing and sharing it, as every experience that I receive, is not just for me. Someone somewhere will benefit from it too.

But, this blog has taken many days, weeks, even months!

In the meantime, ‘Guru Leela’ happened. Mohanji Acharya training happened. Kumbh Mela happened. All three out of the world, beyond this lifetime experiences, happened. But I still hadn’t completed this blog!

Finally, Mohanji’s birthday approached. I thought it’s high time now for me to publish the blog. I must publish the blog at least for Mohanji’s birthday. However, that still didn’t happen.

A few days later, after Mohanji’s birthday, I received a mail from Lisa, sharing the experience of her visit to Skanda Vale on Mohanji’s birthday. When I read her story, I froze. I was dumbstruck after I read what she experienced at the Skanda Temple in Skanda Vale, on Mohanji’s birthday. Following is an excerpt from her blog which is published in Mohanji Chronicles blog site.

“Suddenly, as I looked at Muruga, I felt as if I was not there in my body, and felt Mahavatar Babaji’s presence.”

Lord Muruga, Mahavatar Babaji, and Mohanji – all as one! Here is one more devotee realising this truth and conveying her experience completely independent of the realisation that I had.

Mohanji with peacock

I realised that the Divine was bringing clarity to me about the truth of Mohanji’s incarnation – the one form beyond all forms! Whether I realise Him as  Mahavatar Babaji or Lord Muruga or Lord Dattatreya, ‘Being Shiva’ is His eternal truth. With this revelation, Mohanji taught me once again why I need not run behind any form, any incarnation.

Mohanji is the door for me, Mohanji is the path for me and Mohanji is the destination for me. In this life, my Lord Jagannath brought Mohanji to me and then he merged into Mohanji.

Before that, I had no knowledge of anyone else. After that, I have no knowledge of anyone else.

Everyone is just one and the only one for me – Mohanji! Simple and straight, ‘ageless’.

That is why I can see Him in every other Master or God and  I can see all Masters and Gods in Him. For me, everything is ‘Sarvam Mohan Mayam’ – all manifestations as one and only ‘Mohanji.’.

I would like to end my story with sharing some special moments of my gratitude for my Gurudev, my Mohanji. I remain at His lotus feet as the eternal slave.

An expression of my devotion…

Mohanji Feet.jpg

Jai Mohanji

 

Compiled, Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 9th May 2019

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