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 |

Deep Reverence, Acceptance & Silence

By Ruchika Gandhi

Kumbh Mela 2019!!

Little did I know about this auspicious event earlier! Heard its reference, when I had a chance to visit Badrinath in 2018, one of the most special pilgrimages I have ever done so far. The year 2018 had been the toughest phase of my life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually too. I went through multiple health issues with extreme pain all over my body, no energy and no strength, along with deep depression. All this went on for many, many months. With so many health issues, I didn’t want to spoil the pilgrimage for others. So I was doubtful about making the trip to Badrinath. Hence I asked my sister to check if it was advisable to travel with this health condition up the hills and back last year. Mohanji answered to the call – “Let her come.” I just surrendered to the command completely and left for the pilgrimage. I felt that He knows what is best for me. That trip had been just overwhelming for me at all levels. No words can describe what it means to me and how it has changed me. I have got a new lease of life. It’s the same body but with new life. Master’s grace flows unconditionally, and this life is now for a higher purpose – to serve my beloved Master and His creation selflessly.

Visiting Kumbh had been a wish sitting inside me somewhere. Although I was not aware of its significance, I only knew that this was something big and special. My family left for Benaras (a divine abode) on Jan 11th 2019. My family had been to this holy city earlier but I missed the chance then. I heard about the city’s tales and impressions from my sister and mother and realised that I had missed something great owing to my health conditions. I never thought that Kumbh would happen so soon, that too in this lifetime itself. It was made possible only through Mohanji’s grace. Bags were packed and we were ready to board the flight at 8:00am. As soon as we landed and packed ourselves into a private taxi, we got to meet an amazing driver who narrated the significance of Kashi, Sarnath, Bhairav and Sankat Mochan (Hindu temples). While driving, he started to chant some mantras and I could resonate with those chants, although I did not know the literal meaning. I felt some connection with those strange mantras. The kind driver offered to take us to all the temples and try to cover as much as possible in one day. He didn’t care for anything, either food or his old age, but was totally committed. The first spot we visited was the Statue of the Standing Buddha in Sarnath in a beautiful garden.

Soon, we moved out of the garden and stood near a nariyal paani (coconut water) cart. I was busy looking at the small stalls all around while everyone else had their nariyal pani. Once they were done, I was offered one. While I was drinking, I noticed an old lady in tattered clothes along with her potli (a small pouch) near us. When I offered a tender coconut to her, I was told that she had been offered it already. When I asked the old woman if she would like to have some sugarcane juice, she spontaneously agreed with a smile. She took out the glass from her potli, filled it with what the vendor gave her and drank it gradually. We moved ahead and started walking. But I felt something inside and I turned to offer my pranaams to her. From a distance, she smiled and did pranaams too. In my heart I felt she was Mother Divine (Tara Maa) who had come in this form to bless us. It was a touching moment for me!

From there, we moved on to Sarnath temple, known as Lord Buddha’s abode (Vishnu Avatar), a sacred place where Lord Buddha’s ashes are kept. My sister Pooja asked the priest to bless the entire Gandhi family & Keta Shah family with those ashes. The priest humbly agreed and ashes were touched on our heads with some mantras. What a blessing it was! It was not part of our itinerary at all.

After a little break at the hotel, and lunch at 5:00pm, we moved on to have darshan of Lord Shiva at Kashi Vishwanath temple. The city was bustling with people everywhere as millions were visiting the place for the Kumbh. There were long queues to the main temple, but our driver made us stop in between, at a shop where we left our shoes and bags and we were advised to take care of our purses etc. Two people escorted us to the inside of the temple and we had a quick darshan amidst the crowd. In a split second, we were in and out of the temple. I felt I didn’t have proper darshan although I poured jal (water) on the Shivalinga. As we were moving out, we got to bow down peacefully at other deities of Ma Annapurna and Lord Hanuman. By the end of it, we were all tired physically as it was a long day. We had left Delhi at 6:30am and finally reached the hotel by 11:00pm. The driver was kind enough to take us to a place for a simple meal.

We decided to leave early the next day to avoid the crowd and long queues. Feeding animals, such as dogs, cows and birds is something that I love to do. At the back of my mind, this thought always lingers and I keep looking for an opportunity to feed them. I was thinking whether this would be possible during this trip.

The hotel arranged for two autos for Bhairav Nath temple the next morning (Jan 12th) and in 15 minutes we reached the temple. As we moved closer to the temple to buy a basket of flowers and oil, deep peace and calmness dawned on me. The Mohanji Gayatri and Om Sairam were playing continuously in my mind. I stepped into the temple and had a beautiful darshan. I felt something familiar stirring within, looking at the big eyes of Lord Bhairav Nath and other deities inside the temple. As we came out to return the empty basket, I noticed 3-4 dogs were wandering near the sweet shop. I think my Master heard my inner voice. But this time, it was unique as not only I but my sisters (including Keta Shah) also joined me in feeding the dogs. I felt so happy. I know it is all His doing; we are just mere instruments through whom the seva happens. This journey had one thing common from beginning to end – feeding dogs. It was a delight to find them and serve them with milk.

The next stop was at the Sankat Mochan (Hanumanji) temple. It is said that Hanumanji was seen on a tree here by a gardener. The beautiful idol inside the temple emerged on its own, not created by human beings. While we were in an auto rickshaw, my sister mentioned that Lahiri Mahasaya had lived in Benaras and we were hoping for a chance to visit the Master’s holy place that day. Miracle! Suddenly on the way, we found a big sign board with the name Lahiri Mahasaya Lane. It was a narrow lane; we were not sure how to locate the house. We just kept walking down the narrow lane. A Hanumanji temple was seen while we were searching for the house. I prayed deeply within for a clue to guide us to our beloved Master’s home when we came upon a man cleaning the surroundings. When we asked him about Lahiri Mahasaya’s home, he promptly replied that it was close by and offered to take us. God had sent us a guide! The great Master’s house remains locked throughout the year and it’s only opened on the auspicious Guru Purnima day. We bowed down in front of the door in deep reverence and gratefulness. We meditated there for a while and chanted. Our hearts were filled with utter joy and bliss.

Then our autos moved towards Sankat Mochan temple. We had a beautiful darshan of Hanumanji there. I prostrated on behalf of our beloved Deva Mohanji first and thanked Hanumanji for making us visit the temple. I prayed silently from within. A silent monkey was seen on top of the roof all alone, I went closer and offered a banana. He happily came down to take it. After the darshan, we fed more monkeys there in the temple premises. The whole environment was serene and blissful. Right opposite the Sankat Mochan temple, there was a Ram, Sita & Laxman temple where devotees were chanting. We joined in too.

Finally our drive to Allahabad began the next day (Jan 13th). Priti Rupee joined us at the hotel and we had to pick up Madhusudan from the airport. We all moved together in two different cars. The journey was tedious as it took us 5-6 hours to reach the city. The whole road was choked to the brim and the driver smartly drove through narrow lanes and inside the villages to reach the main road. The main road was jam packed too with big trucks, with no breathing space. The driver continued on and after few hours we reached a clear road with no congestion.

We finally arrived at the Kumbh! We were dropped off at the site where the structure was set up. It was so huge. Sitting inside the car, moving my head from left to right, I could feel the vastness of the set up and had a panaromic view of the whole architecture around it. My sister and mother mentioned that it was a barren land earlier and now it was a whole bustling city. Private vehicles were not allowed to go inside the Kumbh area, so we were dropped off at a point with our bags. I took my mom and aunty (Keta Shah’s mother) in a battery rickshaw, while all other members walked. Finally on locating the right spot, I got down and walked ahead to find Parmarth Niketan camp.

We had imagined a temporary set up with basic tents and amenities. But when we arrived, we were surprised to see the separate temporary quarters set up with all the basic facilities in place. Everyone settled in gradually into their rooms. Winter was at its peak there. I was eagerly looking forward to meeting our beloved Father Mohanji the next day. I woke up early (4:30am), completed Mai- Tri Healing chanting and meditated. I had a bath and breakfast and waited for instructions.

Finally we got to meet Mohanji! To be in the physical presence of a Master of His stature is a big blessing. He shared the holiness and significance of the Kumbh and said that without the blessings of our ancestors and Gods, and Guru’s grace, it won’t be possible for us to be there. He stressed a lot on ancestors’ blessings and their role. As Mohanji spoke to us, I felt each word entering into my being one by one, as if my soul had received something it had desired for many lifetimes.

I felt a deep peace and calmness all over again. Next morning (Jan 14th), we all got ready to visit the Hanumanji temple. The boat ride to the other side of the shore was amazing and soothing. I enjoyed feeding the birds on the way. The temple was crowded, but we still managed to have a beautiful darshan (here Hanumanji can be seen lying down in a resting position).

I got a chance to spend some moments with Dr. Wasir and got to hear about his Kailash pilgrimage experience. “Have no expectations while going there and no expectations after coming back” were his words. “You will experience a state of inner silence, no thoughts.” These words were powerful enough for anyone to realise the importance of this pilgrimage. Be in a state of total surrender and let the Master take charge of you.

I knew that my menses would start any time soon, which meant no dip in the holy sangam of the three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswati. I surrendered completely at Mohanji’s lotus feet. The day for the dip arrived and I was down with my periods. Due to the extreme cold, I would wake up early and before sleeping I used to pray to enable me to wake up during the Brahma Muhurat (3-6am). I didn’t want to lose this precious time and space for chanting and meditation. Early hours were peaceful for both these things and I enjoyed doing it.

We all followed Mohanji for Shahi Snan day, attended the homa before the snan (dip) wherein Swami Chidanandji also joined us. The group chanting of Maha Mrityunja Mantra at the holy homa was sacred and divine. We took the blessings of the Lords and moved ahead for the holy snan in the boats.

Pilgrims participated in river cleaning before boarding the boats, a beautiful way to thank our beloved rivers for flowing seamlessly. The beauty of the scared rivers was felt strongly as millions took dips on the first day itself. From a distance, Keta Shah and I were watching Mohanji entering the sangam (where the 3 sacred rivers meet), bowing to them, to the sun and finally dipping into the rivers with a big smile. Wow! What a blessing to be a part of this divine sight. One by one, the other pilgrims also took dips.

Beautiful Abhishekam was done by all, by pouring the sacred river water on Mohanji and Mohanji did the same for each pilgrim. A sight to behold!! While all this was happening, I could feel the presence of a beautiful energy and of divine beings and ancestors, as if blessings were being showered upon all of us. Tears flowed and I wanted to just sink into this moment forever. As I closed my eyes, I felt as if it was Lord Shiva’s Abhishekam taking place.

It was touching to take a special dip in the boat itself (Mohanji’s drenched dhoti was rinsed on me and Keta Shah). It was a magical moment, totally out of the blue! A special blessing on us! I poured a little water on myself – in my name, that of my ancestors, Masters & Sai Deva. Words fall short to express the gratitude for such a blissful moment.

With cold waves and very little sun, it was a sight to see everyone drenched in their wet clothes, shivering but happy and filled with gratitude, peace and bliss. We all headed back to the ashram immediately after the snan.

Afternoon was well spent under the sun, remembering those moments and waiting for the next meeting with Mohanji. I was joined by Reena Di in the afternoon and we decided to do food seva. Without any hassles, food was arranged from outside the camp, through local vendors. We fed a cow and a few people with bread, pakoras and poori, choley. Tranquility and deep joy was felt, as the seva was happening through us. No wish was left unfulfilled on this holy land. All thoughts were heard and our Master was taking care of everything.

On Shahi Snan day, Mohanji had sprained His back. So we were asked to attend the Ganga aarati and satsang. After a satvic dinner, I was still hopeful of some news about Mohanji and for His darshan. Opportunity opened again and Mohanji gave us darshan despite being in deep pain (Mohanji explained that He took over the karma of someone who met with a severe car accident, and had responded to a child’s prayer). Mohanji is omnipresent, working for many in different dimensions. This is our beloved Master, filled with unconditional grace, love, peace and humility. Physical pain will not deter Him from answering any seeker’s prayers, meetings or spending time with true seekers. Mohanji operates from higher energy levels; He doesn’t need a physical body to talk to us. Connecting to His consciousness will open the gates to higher realms and eventual dissolution.

We could spend hours with Mohanji, but He was in deep pain. At the back of my mind, I had a wish somewhere to be able to serve my Master by pressing His feet. I had a chance to do this earlier in Badrinath. As the group settled into Mohanji‘s room and I got to sit next to His feet, I started massaging Mohanji’s feet and legs. I felt as if I was melting in His unconditional love, purity and vastness. It was another wish heard and fulfilled J. Out of pure love and purity in my heart, this was a little wish I had, for which my Master blessed me unconditionally and allowed it to happen during the satsang.

In my heart I know, to serve the Master is to serve creation in any form, in any capacity. Surrender fully at the Master’s lotus feet. He will take care of everything. You just keep walking, and leave the rest in the Master’s hand. It feels like I am truly living now and having a meaningful existence with complete acceptance and reverence! Gratitude at your lotus feet Mohanji…. Lots of love and only love.

It is not just about meditations…. It is not just about satsangs…. It is just about being in the moment and accepting and experiencing the way life happens. Thinking of the Master night and day and surrendering with utter devotion, love, faith and patience has become a way of life now.

Deep Love & Gratitude to Mohanji!

Thank you Madhu, Preeti Di & Rajesh for being around and taking care of everyone…

Mohanji shahi snan 2019 Prayagraj

||JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

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A Journey of Faith

By Subhasree, London

1st of January 2019. The beginning of a New Year. An unexpected opportunity to meet Mohanji at His home in Palakkad! (Especially after having a blissful meeting on 30th December evening with Mohanji along with my father, husband, son and sister-in-law.)

It was a miracle in itself. Mohanji was supposed to have left for Bangalore the previous day. I was leaving for London on the 1st morning too. Starting the New Year with meeting Mohanji and taking His blessings was a faraway dream, though it was a sweet desire of a devotee’s heart! As always, Mohanji heard. He stayed back on the 31st in Palakkad for some reason. I thus had the blessed opportunity to meet Him for a short while in the morning before He left for Bangalore and I left for London.

The brief meeting was very powerful indeed, along with His New Year message; He gave us some very powerful insights. He gave me clarity with His crystal clear instructions for a project that I was working on. I was in a blissful state. While Mohanji was talking with His gaze straight into my eyes, 1000 watts of energy transfer was taking place and I had totally lost the sense of my being-ness. It may have been just a few minutes, but that was enough to clear blockages from a life time for sure! In that blissful state, I had no more wishes, no more desires. I felt complete. With that satisfaction and utmost joy in heart, while I was about to leave, Mohanji asked me when was I leaving? I mentioned to Him I would be leaving in couple of hours through Mumbai with a 15 hours break there. Spontaneously Mohanji told me, “Why don’t you go to Nithyananda Ashram?” Super silly me, I asked Him, “Which ashram?” He said, “Ganeshpuri.” What? I was shocked. How could I go to Ganeshpuri in the evening? How would that be possible? Was it even practical? Though these thoughts had rushed into my mind, I did not utter any words to Him at that time. He also gave me suggestions about two other things to be done, which were related to the project that we had discussed before. So again, my logical mind agreed to these two tasks, but going to Ganeshpuri sounded an impossible idea.  Anyway, I did pranaam to Mohanji, received a hug from Him and bidding farewell, returned home.

While I was feeling blissful by meeting Mohanji, I also had a bit of sadness in me that my husband Harish could not come with me to Mohanji’s house to meet Him as he had gone to the airport to drop my father. I was then telling to myself, he is doing his duty, I am sure Mohanji knows. Little did I know at that point, a miracle was waiting to grace Harish! When Harish returned home from the airport, he had a mysterious smile on his face. He slowly showed me a photo on his phone. Looking at that, I was speechless, my mouth wide open! It was a picture of Harish with Mohanji! When? Where? I was speechless with excitement. The sadness that I had, melted immediately and gratitude flowed from my heart for this grace from Mohanji. Harish explained that while he was returning from the airport, on the highway, at a tollgate, his car driver spotted Mohanji standing outside His car on the other side of the road (going on the opposite direction, towards Bangalore). So, Harish asked the driver to stop the car and rushed to the other side of the road and met Mohanji. Well, now this was no less than a miracle! Spotting Mohanji standing on a highway lane that too on the opposite direction! How often do such coincidences happen? Why was Mohanji standing outside His car on a highway? Rajesh Kamath, who was travelling with Mohanji, posted a message on a WhatsApp group explaining so well, what had happened. I must share it here.

Rajesh wrote,
“A routine stop at a toll booth… As we pay and leave, we hear a bang! Looks like the bad boys behind hit our car. I come out but can’t locate the damage or find out the cause of the sound. I check with the toll booth attendant to find out what happened. He explains patiently in Greek, Latin and Malayalam. All I understand is the word bundy (which means car in Malayalam) repeated many times. Yes. I know it’s the tale of two bundies. But what happened? He responds in Creole, Taiwanese and Malayalam. I give up. Walk to our driver to request for help with an offline Google translate. Right then, Mohanji Himself steps out. The attendant explains that the bad boys were trying to avoid paying the toll and hit us in the rush. They sideswiped the fender on the left which was protruding slightly. Mohanji takes them to task in rapid-fire Malayalam. I rapidly interpret bits and pieces correlating intermittent English words and hand actions – can’t see bundy / speedbump? what’s the hurry? drunk? extended party? They sheepishly apologize and accept their mistake. Mohanji’s New Year message comes to mind. Everything starts with acceptance. But we all know that karma and bundy damage need to be paid in full. It’s the law. Mohanji asks me to take pictures of the number plate and the bad boys, and tells them to pull over to the shoulder to discuss further. They comply.

 

Unexpectedly, Harish Thottungal (Subhasree’s husband) makes a sudden entry! More Malayalam fire power. We move to the shoulder of the road. Turns out the bad boys know a thing or two about the bundy. No major damage. Fender is popped back in. Mohanji lets the bad boys go. They are taken in by Him, ask His name and request a selfie. Harish thanks Him for the unexpected grace, greets, hugs and takes a selfie. As I get back in the car, I wonder why this happened. Besides the crash course for me in Malayalam. Harish’s desire to see Mohanji? A spiritual push for the bad boys honouring a contract from some past life? Reducing karmic effects for the car passengers by transferring impact to the poor unsuspecting bundy? A seemingly casual incident that may have far reaching effects in the lives of those involved in this drama and also maybe someone in a hitherto unknown remote corner of the universe. We will never know. What we should know in this year and beyond is that He is much more than the eyes can see, the heart can feel and the mind can know. Never take Him or anything related to Him lightly!”

Hearing about the incident Harish narrated and reading what Rajesh wrote, I was in total awe! What a start to the New Year! Such grace! Eyes seeing it, heart feeling it. In this excitement, hidden was even more exciting events for the rest of the day. Take a coffee break (vegan) if you want, before starting to read on the remaining part of the exciting story of the day! Okay, so here you go!

After sometime, while on my way to the airport, I thought of Mohanji’s words, “Go to Ganeshpuri.” At that point, I realised, Mohanji would never say anything without a purpose. He will not give instructions if it can’t be done. So that’s it…the moment I heard this inner voice, I checked the temple timing on their website. It said 9:30pm, Shej aarati! My flight was supposed to land in Mumbai at 4 pm. I had to meet an ailing aunty for some time. I figured out that even if I meet my aunty and start around 6 pm, I would reach Ganeshpuri before aarati time. I also had to do the other two tasks that Mohanji had advised! Well, I surrendered to Mohanji and said, “Okay, I am ready…take me where you want me to go.”

Practically, it wasn’t as simple as saying, okay I am ready. I had two suitcases and a nine-year-old child with me. Taking a cab from the airport, doing the trip up to Ganeshpuri with the luggage and the child was not a very simple and easy plan. However, regardless of what the logical mind says, the moment surrender happens, Guru takes care! That’s always true!

When I checked in my luggage and asked if I needed to take it out in Mumbai, the person said that we would only get the luggage in London! A spontaneous, “WOW” came out! So now, I didn’t have to pull my luggage with me around in Mumbai or to Ganeshpuri, just the cabin bag. One problem was taken care of.
I was going to stay at a friend’s house for the night. Her dad had recently passed away, so not meeting her or not going to their house was not an option at all. However, going to their house around midnight made me a little apprehensive as I didn’t want to disturb them. But when I told my friend, Hemangi, about Mohanji’s advice to go to Ganeshpuri and invited her to join me too, she agreed immediately. I must mention here, my friend has some physical issues and she is not very mobile. For her to follow me to Ganeshpuri and returning so late wasn’t a very normal and easy thing. I was actually pleasantly surprised when she agreed to come! Well for me, another worry was taken of! Second problem sorted!

While waiting to board the flight, I had a chat with Preethi (Madhu’s wife) and I told her about this idea of going to Ganeshpuri. She and Madhu immediately agreed that they would join me too! In fact not just join me; they would actually take me, my son and my friend, to Ganeshpuri in their car! That meant I didn’t have to worry about booking a cab or worry about safety about going to a faraway place in the night and returning back! “Wow Mohanji,” I said in my head. Third problem sorted!

I relaxed before boarding the flight. Guess what, the flight was delayed by an hour! Ah, not a pleasant thing to happen! With 9:30 pm as the deadline to reach Ganeshpuri and meeting my aunty before that, amidst the Mumbai traffic, the travel was not going to be easy. Every minute was important. But what could I do. I realised, maybe it was a test for my conviction! Am I going to stick to the plan or drop it? No, I wasn’t going to give up. I knew if Mohanji wanted me to go, He would make sure I reach there. I held on to this thought for the rest of the evening.

So, I arrived at Mumbai airport 1 hour late, yet managed to reach my aunty’s place and spent some quality time with her. Hemangi, my friend also reached there and soon, as decided, we were on our way to Preethi’s home to proceed on our journey to Ganeshpuri.
Then came more hurdles and tests; test of conviction, test of patience and test of faith! Evening time in Mumbai has traffic at its peak. A 15 minutes journey took us 1 hour 15 minutes! Much later than we had planned, we reached Preethi & Madhu, who were waiting for us in their car, right on the road! It was 7:30pm already. We had exactly 2 hours to reach the temple before it closed! Usually Ganeshpuri is a 2 hour drive from there, in normal traffic conditions. All were hopeful that we just might make it! Preethi was constantly praying to Mohanji, “Please keep the traffic clear.” Madhu had taken on a different avatar! His transformation into a rash driver in the depressing traffic condition was giving us goose bumps sometimes and sometimes the excitement of a roller coaster ride! Madhu had some magic wings on! He was literally flying the car! Suddenly Mohanji called Madhu to discuss something. When Madhu informed Him about our journey to Ganeshpuri, all He said was “Enjoy.” We all laughed out loud! What does He mean! Preethi screamed, “Mohanji you have to clear the traffic for us, please!” Madhu apologised for his rash driving. Sambhav, my 9 yr old son on the back seat, was quietly enjoying the bumpy ride! I was laughing inside – “You told me to go. I know You will make me reach there!”
As if the delay due to the heavy traffic was not enough, we even missed the exit to Ganeshpuri! Thankfully, before it was too late, Madhu realised it and at that exact time, noticed a small pass to be able to take a U-turn and zoom, he sped up again! Amidst all the excitement, we certainly had an amazing satsang talking all about Mohanji’s leelas. The two tasks that He had given me were also done during this time. While I was confident that Mohanji would make us reach there on time, I was still wondering, why did Mohanji ask me to go to Ganeshpuri? There must be a purpose behind His command. I had this question because my personal desire of any pilgrimage ends with meeting Mohanji. Meeting Him gives me the fulfilment of visiting any temple or place of pilgrimage. I don’t even desire or pray for going to places! Hence, I knew this was a command for a different purpose! What was it?
While I was sharing this with Preethi, she said that for her birthday that was coming in few days, she had a desire to go to Shirdi and Ganeshpuri. However, they had planned to go to Shirdi (and in fact they were supposed to leave the next morning) but didn’t have any plans of going to Ganeshpuri! Therefore, this sudden plan and that too Madhu agreeing for it instantly amidst his huge pile of tasks, was overwhelming for her. She was all teary while mentioning this and I thought “Ah, now I understand Mohanji…so this was your idea…to ensure that Preethi’s desire of visiting Ganeshpuri before her birthday was fulfilled!”
My friend Hemangi, who was with us, said that she had a wish to visit Ganeshpuri after her dad’s demise, as her dad used to regularly go to Ganeshpuri! But, with her health condition, it was impossible for her to plan a trip to Ganeshpuri! Ah, there you go! This was yet another purpose. I thought again, Mohanji’s leela was getting clearer to me.

That wasn’t all though. A friend from UK, Nelly-Anne, who was recently in India for a holiday and had a desire to visit both Shirdi and Ganeshpuri, had only managed to visit Shirdi. When she saw my message of going to Ganeshpuri, she immediately said, “Mohanji is fulfilling my wish of visiting Ganeshpuri through you. If possible, please can you bring a small idol of Bhagawan Nithyananda for me?” The purpose of Mohanji’s command was getting clearer.

The excitement was building up. We were counting minutes and seconds! Through the turns and bends of narrow roads leading to Ganeshpuri, over the potholes and bumpy roads, we were all sitting with tight lips, praying hard to Mohanji! I surrendered to Mohanji, “You told me to go, so You will make me reach there.” My faith was intact.

It’s worth mentioning that all this time, though it’s been 11 hours since Sambhav and I had started our journey from Palakkad in the morning, the 9 year old was amazingly calm! No restlessness, no stress, no uneasiness, no hunger, no call of nature….he wasn’t bothered nor did he bother any of us. This unexceptionally matured and calm behaviour from him was noteworthy! I realised, M magic was at work for sure!

Finally, the drama ended. Madhu parked the car in front of the temple gate. It was 9:26pm! We all jumped out of the car, rushed to the temple. Madhu helped my friend who had trouble walking. We all reached inside the temple, just about 2 minutes before curtains close. When we reached, the priest was putting the woollen cap and wrapping Bhagawan Nithyananda’s idol with a shawl. It was the usual wintery night ritual.
The moment my eyes fell on Bhagawan Nithyananda’s face, I froze.

nityananda1

Jan 2018 was when this new idol of Bhagawan was consecrated and I was one among the blessed ones to be there, sitting in this same hall, participating in the consecration events. That was my first ever meeting of Bhagawan Nithyanada (well in this life time!) Stepping into that hall, seeing Bhagawan’s face, memory of that day flashed back, my head bowed with immense gratitude to the Guru Mandala for having given me such a blessed opportunity, once again. While I touched my forehead at the marble Paduka of Bhagawan, I had no words to pray, all that was coming from my heart was, “Thank You Mohanji. Thank You Bhagawan for this darshan, for this grace.” I was too stunned to even pray for anything else or think of anything else!

 

When I got up after my pranaam, I noticed a very tearful Preethi. I realised how overwhelming it was for her as her desire was fulfilled! I said again, “Thank You Mohanji for taking care of everyone!” And in what a way! Hemangi was speechless too! Sambhav was curious, though quiet.

The curtains then closed! The priest explained, it was Ekadashi that day and hence no Shej Arati. They have to close the curtains exactly at 9:30pm, strict rules! Well, we felt complete and satisfied even with the 2 minutes of powerful darshan from Bhagawan.

Suddenly I noticed a man wearing a white dhoti and kurta, with long curly hair, but short and thin in stature, coming towards us with a pot of purified water ‘teertham.’ He gave some to all of us and asked Sambhav to open his mouth and directly poured some teertham into his mouth. Then I noticed he was also drinking some the same way. My attention then turned the other way towards Sambhav who was asking me, “Is this all Mum, for which we travelled?” I said to him, “Even if it’s for two minutes, it’s very powerful and we are blessed to have had these 2 minutes of darshan.” At that moment, Hemangi asked me, where did the man who gave us the water go? I looked behind. Preethi, Madhu and I looked at each other. May be he rushed out quickly. That quick! Hmm…we were all thinking the same. Madhu then said, he had noticed this man earlier, sitting at the back near the curtains. He said he felt as if this man was keeping the curtains open for us. A divine guide, for sure! We realised who came there! No grace mark for this guess…

We slowly came out of the temple, still in awe of this journey that finally, we made it and we got the darshan of Bhagawan. I felt blessed for keeping my faith intact … As we were stepping out, Madhu gave us a message from Sulakhe Maharaj (the head priest of Shirdi temple, whom he was going to meet the next day), that even 2 drops of nectar from Bhagawan is as powerful as a pot of nectar! That meant a lot! 2 minutes of darshan from Bhagawan is no less than a two hour darshan!

We then went around the temple and finally came near the pool of a natural hot water spring. Few people were inside the pool. We just satisfied ourselves by taking a few mugs of water to wash our face, head and feet. There comes Sambhav, with a crazy idea. “Mum, I want to go inside the pool.” “What?” I was stunned. No towel, no spare clothes, cold night, how is he thinking of going inside the pool! But, he insisted and came up with a cool idea, that he could just remove his shirt and jeans and go into the pool with his underpants on and when he came out, wear the shirt and jeans back on! Well, the child, who at home, needs to dry off immediately with a towel was telling me he doesn’t need one! Sambhav also has a very sensitive nose and gets bothered easily with smells. He noticed the sulphur smell in the water and saying it smelt like sewage, but didn’t let that bother him or stop him from going into the pool. So I finally let him go inside and he really seemed to enjoy quite a few minutes there. A much-deserved reward for such amazingly good behaviour all this time!

We then started to get back towards the car and at that time I enquired with Madhu whether there was any shop from where I could buy a small idol of Bhagawan for Nelly-Anne. Ganeshpuri that night around 10 pm was already sleeping. Dark, quiet and all the shops were closed. Well, maybe it’s not meant to be, I thought. Suddenly, I noticed a small shop at the end of the street had a light on. So we went there and to our pleasant surprise, the shop was open and I could buy an idol for Nelly-Anne. Mohanji made sure that even this desire of a devotee from thousands of miles away got fulfilled. We got into the car and started our return journey back to Mumbai. Everyone was very content with such a fulfilling ending to our exciting journey.

Before we realised, we reached our destination much sooner and much smoother than it was during the onward journey. I realised, this is the ultimate truth – till we find our Guru, our journey in the gross life is so treacherous, full of hurdles, anxious, difficult etc…but after we find our Guru, our final journey is smooth, easy, pleasant and effortless!

I thank Preethi and Madhu from the bottom of my heart for coming out on a busy evening to take us to Ganeshpuri, just with my one chat…. It’s their love for Mohanji, understanding that every word Mohanji utters is a command not to be doubted, analysed or missed! Indeed, this was a lesson to learn and an example to follow. I thank my friend Hemangi for being so patient and supportive and having no objection, or resistance and welcoming us to her house so late. Her support in my endeavour of completing my Guru’s command was indeed commendable.

Above all, my heartfelt gratitude to Mohanji for every single thing behind this journey, giving my husband and I the abundance of His love on New Year’s morning, giving me such a pious purpose for visiting Ganeshpuri and getting the darshan of Bhagawan before the end of New Year’s Day. This blessing and grace for me personally was beyond my imagination. His grace of fulfilling the desires of many more, Preethi, Hemangi, Nelly-Anne and maybe other beings who travelled with us that evening whom we may not have recognised with our physical eyes.

sambhav_pool

I thanked Mohanji with a text message and sent Him the photo of Sambhav inside the pool. Honestly, I had no idea at that point in time, the value of being inside that pool until Mohanji texted back, “This is the place where Bhagawan used to take a dip.” I understood one more purpose behind this journey, Sambhav getting unseen, incomprehensible grace and blessings by being in this pious siddha dham of Ganeshpuri!
My head bows to my Guru, who gives us purpose to make our life more meaningful while being in eternal joy and bliss.

Thank you Mohanji for your eternal Love!
Jai Mohanji.

Subhasree

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||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.

— Mohanji Editorial Team

 

Machu Picchu – The Call from Universe

By Ruby Nair, USA

Machu Picchu, unlike Kailash, wasn’t a calling at first sight, but instead, it took over me by surprise and became a feeling which went deep inside that I must go there for whatever reason.  There was a lack of enthusiasm, and at times I wondered why I was even embarking on this journey. But I was going with the gut feeling that I needed to go there, and I must go despite all the apprehensions. Later on, I find out that many on this journey felt the same. It was a test I suppose.

One thing stood out to me was that in retrospect this trip was already a call from the universe which was put into motion last year.  Mohanji came to Virginia, the USA in 2017 and I briefly met him with the Peru organizer (Hugo).  Hugo mentioned “come to Peru, you will love it,” and my response was “Oh, they are planning the trip during school time so it will be impossible for me to come”.  All this happened within an earshot of Mohanji.

This year 2018, when the dates came out, I was surprised to see it aligned perfectly with the kids’ school time off, so there was a possibility for me to take the journey.  However, the cost factor after undertaking two Kailash pilgrimages was too much, so I again put off the idea.  As the months got closer and closer to the departure date, I spoke to a number of people and they all questioned me about going to Machu Picchu.  There was some mysterious force that just constantly nudging me to apply for the trip.  The cost was the number one factor for me, however, in the end, the funds came through somehow by the grace of the universe.

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Machu Picchu was unlike Kailash in so many ways. Kailash is enigmatic, quiet, huge and masculine in nature.  Machu Picchu was more of a gentle beautiful feminine energy, however dynamic in every way.  The beauty and the strength of the place are palpable if you are subtle enough to feel it, and in the presence of Mohanji, it was enhanced even more.  There was a time in my journey where I was sick all night due to having loose motions. The discomfort and pain left me to cry and worry all night. I felt as though I came all the way to Peru and now, I will not be able to complete the journey. However, as always with Mohanji everything is possible! Next morning with two hours of sleep, I managed to get up with the help of oral hydration and medicine was ready to leave.  I saw Mohanji and he looked at me as if he already knew what was happening.  He said not to worry he is taking care.  I knew what he meant because in a regular situation it would have been impossible for me to even move or even leave the bed.  However, here I was walking, talking, eating, and laughing, it was a miracle on every level.  Later in our conversation, Mohanji said that when certain memories or karma leave the system, the trillions of cells in our bodies let go and it must go through the body and come out.  I realized later that this was cleansing on a very deep level since I had received Mai-Tri healing from Devi the night before.

With two hours of sleep, I managed the climb to Machu Picchu and then walked down to the city of Machu Picchu all by foot without even using the bathroom facilities.  It was all due to his grace and love since I chanted Mohanji Gayatri Mantra all day to keep me safe.

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There were times during the journey where everyone was absorbed in having fun, laughing, giggling. It was unlike any trip I had taken with him. I only realized after coming back home that Mohanji had told one of the participants that it was his tactic to keep us relaxed so he can work on us quietly (distracting us).  His ways are so unique and subtle just like a box of chocolates, we never know what we are going to get.  For these reasons we embark on these journeys to spend quality time with him and shed the weight of many lifetimes. These moments are to be truly cherished! It’s always a mystery why we have the thought of such travels, but whatever the cause of the desire to do these things we should submit to it. 

Machu Picchu was a very relaxed journey and it felt like a dream where everyone was engrossed in Mohanji’s love and he was available for us.  Machu Picchu holds a special place in my heart from the people, food, tour guides, natural beauty and above all time spent with Father. 

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Upon returning, I spoke to another pilgrim and was informed that each person was handpicked by Guru Mandala and we were tested a lot before the trip.  In this confusion, some or most didn’t feel the desire to even embark on the journey as I mentioned earlier.  It feels surreal to look back at the time when I was contemplating on all the hesitations about going.  I am happy and forever grateful that I listened to my inner self and went.  Every step in the path of liberation is a test of faith and we may not even be aware of it.

Also, since returning, I have felt a tremendous shift in my energy which can only be felt and can’t be pinned down. The dynamic powerful motherly energy of Machu Picchu along with the blessing of father and grace of Guru Mandala it was an unexpected and blissful journey of a lifetime for me. 

Ruby Nair

|| 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.

— Mohanji Editorial Team

 

Abundance Is The Answer

  • By a few devotees who travelled with Mohanji to Arunachala
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Mohanji with His Mother and Father at Arunachala

Many devotees have received the blessed opportunity to travel with Mohanji on various pilgrimages. During such pilgrimages they get to witness and experience the divine dimensions of Mohanji. Such experiences are transformational for the devotees who are travelling with Mohanji. When these experiences are told with sincerity and honesty, anyone who reads those testimonials with utmost reverence also gets the benefit of the same experience.  Mohanji has also clarified this for the benefit and awareness of all.

“Honest testimonials serve the tradition because all true Masters and their lives are nothing but representations of the tradition of liberation. When you write honestly what you experienced, if it is true experiences expressed truthfully, it becomes service to the tradition. Hiding it thinking about how people will take you for telling it – is ego complex or ignorance; and it amounts to lost opportunities to serve the tradition as well as lost opportunity to express one’s gratitude for the tradition. Lying or telling partial truth or telling imaginary things means illusion, confusion and hypocrisy. So, true testimonials should be delivered truthfully without adulteration. It should always be truth, not opinions”. – Mohanji

We are glad to present you this testimonial which has been told with such honesty and simplicity, by a devotee who was blessed to be with Mohanji on a pilgrimage to the ‘Thiruvanmalai’ Temple, famously known as ‘Arunachala’.

Narration by the devotee as below:

This is to express our experiences of a few days with Mohanji at Arunachala. Even though I am typing, I am not writing this alone – a few of us are writing together. So no names are used. We have Mohanji’s permission to do that.

October 2018. Arunachala. Most of us had arrived before Mohanji came with His parents. We eagerly waited to see Him. While waiting, I remembered the words of one of those who were with us quoting an old saint who showed a picture of Mohanji to his disciples and said “Do you want to know how a modern Avadhoota looks like? Here it is!” Mohanji is indeed an Avadhoota, an accomplished Master. Even though He has nothing to do on earth, He is ‘playing’ His existence. Avadhootas are perfect mirrors and embodiment of detachment. They need nothing from earth and give everything they can to the earth. Their very presence itself is their message – message in detachment, perfect dharmic existence and existence in a dissolved state, the state of Shiva. They have no pattern and they have no do’s and don’ts. They lead a life of perfect innocence – the state of being Shiva (Bholenath). This was in my mind when I waited for Him. I was curious to see how He operates in life.

The car arrived. Mohanji came out smiling and enthusiastic as ever. No tiredness of the journey and no fatigue. I have never seen Him tired, ever. His presence is soothing and powerful. Instead of coming straight away into our waiting arms, He opened the backdoor of His car and helped His mother to alight from the car with utmost care. His father came out from the other side of the car. Mohanji personally helped His mother to walk, as she obviously had difficulty in walking. Caring for His parents was more important for Mohanji at that time than greeting His devotees. He smiled at all of us and acknowledged our presence while walking with His mother. After He seated His mother comfortably, He turned to us and hugged or shook hands with each one of us. I learned an important lesson. Parents first, before everything else. Subtle teaching. Well understood. Tradition says, “Mother – Father – Guru – God.” This is the line of priority in the tradition of liberation!

The presence of the parents of Mohanji was the highlight of this trip. First of all, Mohanji’s humility and commitment along with respect towards His parents. Secondly, their seamless mingling without any trace of ego, with a group of strangers who assembled there only because of their son. They became part of us and we felt like their children. Their love and graceful demeanour cannot be explained in words. We expressed our gratitude to them for bringing such an illustrious son to the earth, who is transforming lives of thousands in the most modest and quiet way. They humbly smiled and expressed extreme humility. Just humility. Mohanji is living and teaching humility. Zero ego. Grateful. This makes Him our friend rather than a Guru.

I feel very sad and almost inappropriate when people force Him to be a Guru on a high pedestal when He loves to be a close friend, a loving son to His parents and a child like father to His daughter Mila. Above all the forms that His devotees see Him as, He is a dependable friend who has no hypocrisy and pretensions. His love is sincere and unconditional. He would do anything for everyone alike without discrimination. He gives anything and everything truthfully and honestly as per what our needs are.

The rest is the story of how we experienced Arunachala with the parents of Mohanji rather than Mohanji. Everyone would be eager to talk about their precious time with Mohanji. I see this as a rare opportunity that we got, to spend time with the parents of Mohanji.

We went to the Samadhi temple of a saint from many centuries ago where Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi spent many years of his youth in blissful union with himself. Mohanji loves this space. It is one of His personal favourites.

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Mohanji at the Samadhi Temple

Here also Mohanji was taking care of His mother. We were all ready to help her, but, Mohanji said it is His duty and responsibility to take care of His ageing mother, who brought Him into this world.

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Mohanji was invited into the temple and He did aarati to the Shivalinga and the Samadhi of the saint. The temple trustees honoured Mohanji with a garland, shawl and a book. Mohanji also ensured we all gave dakshina (money) to the temple with reverence. While coming out, I heard Mohanji speaking to Preeti Duggal quietly, “The priest is wearing torn clothes. Please get him good clothes.” (I gathered that Preeti was handling Mohanji’s money). Something, which none of us noticed, He saw and acted on upon. He also ensured that oil for the lamp and some other materials used in the temple were promptly delivered. I learned an important lesson – keen observation with utmost benevolence with the all-important question – what else can I do here? He even gave food with His own hands to a stray dog wandering in the temple premises. Another lesson – No beings are less important.

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I do not want to elaborate. I shall speed up. We visited the resting place of Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi. Mohanji was helping His mother (Amma). We were walking behind them. As soon as they came into the Samadhi hall, someone brought a chair and helped Amma to sit down! We do not know who it was. Amma could witness the aarati and pooja without any hindrance. After the aarati, one man (stranger) came and helped Amma to do circumambulation of the Samadhi of Maharishi. Mohanji and His father went around the Samadhi thrice while Amma did one circumambulation and sat in a chair. Mohanji sat leaning against a wall, eyes fixed on the wall on the opposite side. I was curious to see what He was doing. I went near Him. Without looking at me, He said,

“Sit down. Sit with your back leaning against the wall. Fix your eyes looking ahead on the wall opposite to you. Above the heads of the people walking, look at the wall on the other side above 8 feet. Keep your eyes steady. All the people will be walking below your gaze. People are just moving. You are not identifying anyone. Keep your eyes steady. The movement is our everyday life. If you do not get attached to those movements, forms and their corresponding characteristics such as male or female, black or white, fat or slim, you will start tasting stillness. That stillness is your true nature. That stillness is Ramana. When movements do not attract your attention anymore, you are progressing in the path of liberation.”

I sat like He said for some time and I realised my thoughts were becoming insignificant and I was feeling more and more freedom.

“When noises of the mind (thoughts) drop, the associated attachments also get dropped. Noises maintain the mind. Noises are the oxygen to habitual attachments and corresponding ownership. Lack of it is detachment.”

Mohanji explained sometime later.

Later, Mohanji asked us to go for prasadam (consecrated food) and we all received some. We brought some for Amma also. Mohanji did not move from His place. We gave Him a bit of prasadam, which He received with gratitude. Then, we walked towards the bookstore and Mohanji literally bought almost everything that was available in English and His mother tongue. I don’t know why He bought all that. He does not read anything, as far as I know.

We did circumambulation of the great mountain Arunachala. Mohanji told us an experience He had, which goes something like this. It happened during one of His previous visits to Arunachala.

“I was in my hotel room here in Arunachala. Suddenly, I saw myself travelling without the body towards the great Arunachala Hills. It was involuntary. Something was taking me there. Something like a magnet was pulling me there. I walked and reached the foot of the mountain. There, I saw a very dark-skinned saintly figure who wore only an orange dhoti and nothing on his upper body. He beckoned me with his hand and said, “Come here.” I walked towards him. He started climbing up and I followed him. We must have climbed about two hundred steps, when we reached a small opening (something like the mouth of a cave) and he stopped. He said, “Go in.” I walked in. He was behind me now. I walked a few steps and stopped as it was getting darker inside. He said, “Keep walking.” I walked. The entrance became narrow and I started fearing that this could be a path of no returns. He kept telling me, “keep walking,” and this assured me that my guide was right behind me. I walked on through that narrow dark way into the mountain. It had barely space for my size to move. Whenever I stopped, I heard his voice asking me to keep moving. After walking about hundred steps more, I started experiencing a kind of brightness slowly happening in the path. This means I started seeing where I was going. It was a relief for me. There is light at the end of the tunnel! I thought that I had crossed the mountain through a secret internal tunnel and reached the other side. The brightness slowly increased, dazed by it, I kept walking and I could feel that my guide was right behind me. The brightness increased steadily, and it eventually became a blinding, golden brightness. Everything was golden. I entered that space completely filled with golden light. Another world. For a moment I thought – Have I transcended into the Sathya Yuga, the Golden Age? I cannot explain in words what I saw. I stood there in awe and watched a vast expanse of space like the inside of a huge cave. There were many platforms/seats (smooth rock platforms that served as seats) scattered over the space, each apart from the other with a reasonable distance. On each such platform a saint with flowing beard and hair, lean and in golden colour sat in deep meditation. Nobody moved. Everything was still. The whole space was still. Peaceful. Tranquil. Still. I looked up for the source of light. The light did not have a source like the sun. It was a natural light from within, not above. The space was self-lit. Golden light. Then I realised that the colour of the meditating saints was not perhaps golden, but the golden light that filled that space made everything looked golden. Is this the Golden Age? Suddenly I got a feeling – this is Siddha loka, the world of Siddhas. This is a world that few get to see. This is a world that is possible to visit only by special invitation. And this is timeless space. Time does not exist here. If I had come with my physical body, I would not have returned back in the same time as some centuries would have lapsed between the entry and exit. While having this realisation, my guide told me, “come with me” and asked me to follow him. He took me through the same way he had brought me and guided me to the world outside. The sun was shining bright. The midday sun felt just like a candle light to me compared to the golden light that I had experienced inside the mountain! I understood – This is the real Arunachala. This is the womb of Arunachala. We are only seeing the shell outside which hides the Siddha Loka, not knowing what is inside. I also felt that Ramana Maharishi had come out from there for the sake of taking people into the stillness of the core of the mountain. I felt that he came out of this world and returned back into this world. I also felt that the Arunachala Shiva (Shivalinga of the temple) – the fire of awareness – is an extension of this world or has its roots in this golden world. When we worship the Shivalinga, we are connecting to this world.”

 Mohanji also mentioned that He did not go the next day with the group for the darshan (prayer) of Shiva because He could not collect Himself for a long time after this experience. And when He later reached Bangalore, a saint called Him out of nowhere and said “You did not meet Arunachala Shiva. He is waiting for you.” Mohanji immediately made another trip to Arunachala to fulfill that call. When He reached there, a priest, as if Lord Himself had arranged, received Mohanji and His team. The priest ushered Him in and He had a great darshan of the Lord, right from the door of the sanctum.

The whole narration took me to a different level of awareness. I felt grateful. I felt at home or being in the right place.

We were at the temple of Arunachala Shiva. Mohanji’s parents were sitting. Suddenly I saw a saint with matted hair coming and prostrating at Mohanji’s feet. Mohanji exclaimed at this as He did not see him coming and when he stood up, Mohanji hugged him. Later I came to know that he is called Madurai Siddhar who lives in Arunachala. What I understood is that Madurai Siddhar considers Mohanji as a great Siddha and has great respect for Him. This is why he prostrated at His feet. We know Mohanji is totally unassuming. So, nothing is displayed as usual. But to our surprise, as if sent by the Siddha world inside the mountain, he took hold of Amma’s hands and escorted her and all of us for darshan. We had super quick darshan despite long queues. And along with the priest who joined us, he accompanied us until the whole worship of both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati was completed. He continued to be with us and escorted us around.

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Something was going on between Mohanji and him, some silent communication, which I could not understand. I could only see mutual respect. Mohanji invited him to come for lunch and dinner, and almost everyday until Mohanji was there, he came as well. He was treating Mohanji’s parents with utmost respect and he told us that they are a “blessed couple to have brought a ‘reluctant’ great Siddha to earth.”

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Mohanji does not eat much. He was more interested in feeding everyone. Seeing this he said “He is the eternal producer and enjoyer. Mohanji is in fact eating everything in everybody’s plate. We are only eating the leftover from Mohanji.” Madurai Siddhar was with us on most of our tour and he also helped Amma walk the entire parikrama path at Yogi Ram Surat Kumar ashram, which is equal to five parikramas of the Arunachala mountain. So, in effect, supported by Siddhar, Mohanji’s mother performed five parikramas! Mohanji was indeed fulfilling a son’s duty in the most effective way.

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One day, while Mohanji’s parents were having breakfast and Mohanji was attending to them at the restaurant, a young monk in a turban walked in and wanted Mohanji’s audience. We were walking out after the breakfast when this happened. Mohanji was also supposed to leave the restaurant. He stayed back and offered food to the visiting monk and sat with him at another table. He does not leave anyone empty-handed. This monk who came without an appointment was later brought to His accommodation and Mohanji answered all his questions. He was apparently sent to Mohanji by his own Guru who lives somewhere in the state of Andhra Pradesh. When this monk expressed his wish to visit Aruncahala, his Guru told him about a few things which needed to be done there and finally said “Mohanji is visiting Arunachala at this time. Do not miss this rare chance of getting His blessings. Such Masters rarely come to earth.” Mohanji blessed him and also patiently answered all his questions after offering him food. The most interesting part was that Mohanji has never seen or heard about his Guru in this life!

Mohanji also took His parents by car around the mountain and completed the parikrama that way also as both parents cannot walk. We were not with Him then. While doing that, we came to know that He also visited the Sai temple in the girivalam path and offered His prayers at Baba’s feet. The temple priests did not recognise Him as He was in jeans and T-shirt, to deliberately avoid attention. When someone told them that “He is Mohanji,” they honoured Him.

While doing girivalam, circumambulation in the car with His parents, I was told that Mohanji was distributing fruits to wandering monks and some animals. I also came to know about an incident during this trip. Mohanji saw an old couple walking while they were travelling in the car. The old man was blind. The old woman was leading the old man. Both of them were lean and almost bones and skin. Mohanji asked to stop the car, took some money out and asked the driver to give it to them. He went to the other side of the road and gave the money that Mohanji had offered to the old man. The old man asked, “Who gave this?” The car driver said “Mohanji.” The old man said, “Tell Him that He, His family and all those He loves and who love Him will always have the blessings of myself – Vedanta Maharishi.”

I had goosebumps listening to this story. In Arunachala, we cannot underestimate anybody. There could be great Masters walking that soil as unassuming ordinary people. Anybody could be somebody. Another big lesson – Do not take anybody for granted. Of course, I do not have the eyes of Mohanji to recognise Masters and seekers. But, I decided that I will not deny anyone anything within my capacity in Arunachala.

We could not have asked for a better trip to Arunachala. Let me sum up my memories.

  1. Being with the parents of Mohanji, spending quality time and enjoying the hospitality at Yogi Ramsurat Kumar ashram in the company of the great saint Devaki Amma, who Mohanji respects a lot was also unforgettable. Mohanji told us that coming to this ashram is like homecoming for Him.

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2. Meeting the lady Avadhoota who keeps wandering around the Arunachala mountain, and who comes to Yogi Ramsurat Kumar ashram each time Mohanji comes there. She never accepts anything from Mohanji. Their invisible mutual respect was palpable.

3. Spending time at Ramana ashram and learning a great technique from Mohanji. Having great darshans at the Shiva and Devi temple.

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4. Mohanji’s time with various animals. He attends to them with equal or even more enthusiasm as He attends to people. A monkey coming to meet Mohanji at the temple premises and holding His dhoti and did not want to let Him go was a great memory. It taught me the great lesson that despite the form or species, divine beings can appear in any form to meet a Master.

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5. Mohanji has no differentiation between any species, or even people, their hierarchies, positions in society or any other social criterion. He loved a Siddhar and also a common person alike and always ensured all people have eaten well.

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6. Mohanji also took His parents to an old age home run by a young man called Ramana. I understood that apart from food and medical assistance, a lot of materials were delivered by Mohanji’s organisation (Ammucare) there. Mohanji kept His promise to serve the old and abandoned people at Arunachala. The follow-up after Mohanji’s visit was remarkable. This also means totally walking the talk and going the extra mile. We must mean every action and expression and take it to its completion.

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7. Great lesson learned indeed. There is not an inch of hypocrisy anywhere. There is only a desire to add more value in every being’s life that comes across Mohanji. Mohanji’s parents serving the old people with good food, with love, was also a message to all of us – another dimension in helping the helpless. Young or old, live to serve selflessly.

8. Meeting the great Master Mookkuppodi Siddhar at close quarters was icing on the cake. Totally unexpected and utmost grace. One thing was absolutely clear, getting special treatment, warm reception and getting blessings at all the places we visited were just because we are Mohanji’s people. This was a great message for all of us that the platform that Mohanji has created in this world is for all of us and it is our individual responsibility to keep it, maintain it, and enhance it many fold for the benefit of all of us and those beyond us.

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This was the first trip to Arunachala for the parents of Mohanji. They had never visited Arunachala in their life before. What a trip they had! And their son who the whole world craves for, took time off from everything and brought them there Himself!

By the time our journey was coming to an end, I received the answer to the question that my mind was wondering when we began the journey, “How does Mohanji operate in life?” The answer from what we witnessed was – Whatever Mohanji does, He does it hundred percent, with complete attention. His total presence in every sense.

Every moment with Mohanji is a blessing in disguise and a true miracle. We need  thousand eyes and not even a blink to witness the divine play in its fullness. His unassuming life is a huge mask that He deliberately keeps to avoid ‘flies and insects’ of life. He deliberately plays the fool or plays dumb to get away from unworthy or egoistic people. If we really want to get the best out of Him for our own highest benefit, we must make Him our top most priority, extremely essential ingredient. We must never let Him slip off from our lives nor should we slip off from His life, come what may.

This is all for now.

Affectionately.

Foot Note:

Mookupodi Siddhar, one of the Siddhas who walked the streets of Tiruvannamalai.
Yesterday on 8th December, 2018 he attained Maha Samadhi.

Exactly two months back, Mohanji and all the pilgrims who were on the Arunachala trip in October 2018, had the blessed opportunity to have darshan of this great siddha. This is completely the blessing of Siddha Loka and our prampara gurus. This grace of having His darsan in this lifetime is a great thing.

Usually everyone could have his darshan from a distance but nobody was allowed to go near him. However, it was indeed Gurumandala’s grace that Barbara was allowed to go closer and took some amazing pictures of the Siddha. The advent of such a powerful Siddha on the earth will remain preserved with these memorable photographs.

We leave you with some of these memories!

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||

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 Editorial Team

 

Arunachala with Shiva – The Completion

By Ananthanarayanan Sankaran, Australia

An opportunity to set the foot on the holy hills of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu is not possible unless there’s Guru’s and Divine grace. I, along with 20+ others had the opportunity to bathe in the ocean of grace and compassion from Brahmarishi Mohanji at this very holy place and the experience has been truly profound.

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It is believed that, by seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain liberation.

Arunachala a.k.a. Annamalai is no ordinary mountain. The hill is Lord Shiva Himself (unlike other places such as Mt. Kailash which are abodes of Lord Shiva) in the form of Agni (fire element). As per “Arunachala Mahatmyam,” the supreme knowledge (Self-knowledge), the import of Vedanta, which cannot be attained without great difficulty, can easily be attained by anyone who sees the form of this hill from wherever it is visible or who even thinks of it by mind from afar. Hence, when the programme was announced, I couldn’t resist the urge to visit this holy place again. You may want to read my previous blog on my journey to Arunachala with Mohanji. (Arunachala with Shiva).

I had a packed agenda (pilgrimage + personal commitments) for the visit and prayed to Mohanji that everything should go well. Having attended various retreats and pilgrimages with Mohanji in the past, I knew what I had to do, which is to expect nothing and be prepared to flow.

It was a long and tiring flight with little sleep but after a short 5 hours break, I was rearing to go. I soon realised that His energy had already kicked in and that I had nothing to worry about. The journey to Arunachala was peaceful and I was immediately on the tasks I had to complete.

Just before I landed in India, there was an alert from the Meteorological Department that severe weather was predicted for the 6th, 7th and 8th (the days we were supposed to be in Arunachala). Everyone in my family started forwarding those messages to me. However, I was very clear… Mohanji was coming and He will take care. When we have Lord Shiva making Himself available amidst us, what on earth could come our way?

I was greeted by grey clouds and occasional drizzle to rare heavy showers en route to Tiruvannamalai. Upon arriving at the venue, things started falling into place and I was laughing within as I began to witness the grace of Mohanji at every stage. Our dearest Amma (Snehajyoti) came to receive our beloved Mohanji and waited patiently for her Son to arrive.

Mohanji arrived with His parents by the 6th evening. To see Him holding the hands of His Mother and walking was truly a sight to behold. Later someone asked Him “There are people at your disposal to look after your parents, why would you have to do it by yourself?” (accompanying His parents and making them comfortable). He said, “There is no other reason except Putra Dharma (duty of a son).” This is a message for every one of us to ensure we fulfil our duties within our capacity and don’t skip one for another. He walks the talk of fulfilment and completion.

Mohanji wasted no time and made His agenda clear for the trip. A visit to the shrine of a Siddha who had lived a few hundred years ago, a visit to an old age home, Girivalam (circumambulating Arunachala Hills) and an open satsang for the 8th of October, were on His priority list.

During dinner on the 6th of October, a couple of people from the UK arrived, immediately identified Mohanji and sought His blessings. One gentleman lovingly said, “Three times I tried attending your retreat in the UK and never succeeded as it gets full almost immediately. It’s a blessing to meet you here in the holy place of Arunachala.” Mohanji invited them for the satsang on the 7th of October. Though it was for in-house participants, it became clear that the connection and devotion of these men moved Him, prompting this invitation.

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We were in for a surprise the next morning as the gentlemen from the UK requested that we wash the holy feet of Mohanji (paada pooja). We were already on a packed agenda and any delays would mean we have to either postpone or cancel a portion of the schedule. But what could stop a true seeker when he surrenders everything and places a request in front of the Guru? Soon, we all witnessed something truly special, the feet of Mohanji being washed with warm water and milk, with His aarti and other chants being recited by the participants. Tears of joy rolled from everyone’s eyes and we could begin to feel divinity at play. Later Mohanji explained the importance of washing Guru’s feet and that He normally doesn’t entertain it unless people understood the real meaning behind it.

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A visit to the Siddha’s samadhi followed by a visit to the main temple (Annamalayar temple) took place and everyone settled into silence instantly. Ramana Maharishi had meditated at the Siddha’s samadhi during his early years and the energy surge could be truly felt in this temple.

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Since the morning (on the 7th of October) Mohanji was keen to meet Madhurai Swamigal, who accompanied us on Girivalam in December 2017. Not knowing his contact details, we tried reaching him through some local contacts and didn’t make much progress. However, when we arrived at the main temple, we quickly spotted him. He informed us that he had been trying to reach us for the past 3 days (after seeing our posters around the town), but had very little luck. I knew this was Mohanji’s leela, for He was the one who brought him (Swamigal) to the temple and made it appear as a mere coincidence.

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We had wonderful darshan at the sanctum and as a divine signal; it rained as soon as we walked out. There were monkeys around the temple complex. One particular monkey held Mohanji’s dhoti and had food from His hands. The monkey wouldn’t let go of the dhoti until he’d eaten all the biscuits from Mohanji’s hands. Later Mohanji informed everyone around Him that this year’s visit to Arunachala was all about completion. First was Madhurai Swamigal’s meeting, followed by an up-close darshan, rains and Hanuman (monkey) accepting food from Mohanji’s hands.

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We had plans to visit Ramanashram and Virupaksha Caves on the 8th morning. However, upon arriving at Ramanashram, Mohanji advised us to spend as much time as possible in the shrine. It was the morning aarti time when we reached there and I couldn’t control my tears upon setting foot in the ashram. Not to be seen as a cry baby, I walked out of the temple and stood quietly connecting to Ramana Maharishi. Soon, I encountered a person who started talking to me. Something in me said I need to seek his blessings, which I did. He spoke with authority and quoted the Avatar ‘Parasurama’ a couple of times during our brief talk.

After taking prasad, I settled down on the gents’ row and observed silence. The person whom I met at the gate walked inside the shrine and I offered my prayers once again. He gave me a coconut, blessed me and walked away. Mohanji, until then meditating, suddenly turned to my side and said, “Oh coconut… make it into pieces and distribute it to everyone. I would like to have some as well.” I immediately knew that the coconut was for Him and I was a mere instrument blessed to receive it on His behalf. When I walked out of the ashram after a good 45 – 60 mins of being in silence, I encountered that person once again and this time he gave me a banana and a rose flower. I felt compelled to offer him a dakshina. He wouldn’t accept it and said, “Why are you giving money to me, what will I do with it. Come out with me and give it to the person I show you,” which I gladly did.

As it started becoming very hot, we had to shelve the idea of visiting Virupaksha Caves and instead chose Seshadri Swamigal Ashram which was a few yards away from Ramanashram. There was a little disappointment among some participants for not going to the Caves but I completely believed that it happened for a reason which soon became clear.

A little later, we had an amazing darshan of Mookupodi Siddhar, a very powerful Master in town. Later, during my conversations with an auto driver, he told me that there are 7 Siddhas walking the streets of Tiruvannamalai and Mookupodi Siddhar is one among them. Nobody is allowed to touch or go near him but can have darshan from a distance. With Mohanji’s grace, Barbara took some amazing pictures of the Siddha and in fact, she was invited by the person who regulated people around the Siddha to come up close and take some more pictures.

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Later in the evening, we visited Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram where we were lovingly welcomed by Devaki Amma, Yogi Ji’s disciple who looks after the ashram. She spoke at length about Yogi Ji, who was a powerful Avadoota, whose energy you could instantly feel upon meditating on him or on the chant that continuously goes on in the ashram. Amma told us that by going once around the ashram, we get the same benefit as one would get upon doing 5 Girivalam (circumambulation around Arunachala hills).

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An interesting and an unexpected thing happened here at the ashram. As there wasn’t enough space for everyone in the car, I volunteered to accompany Snehajyoti Amma to the ashram and we went there by an auto. At the entrance of the temple, I found a lady with matted hair, torn clothes and fully consumed within. I could recall Mohanji telling me about a lady Avadoota whom they met in 2017 and how she accepted an offering from everyone else but Him. Something told me that she must be the same Avadoota. I immediately went near her, prostrated at her feet and offered a dakshina which she accepted.

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Later, while returning, I could see her walking at a distance. Raksh and I literally ran towards her as I wanted Raksh to receive her blessings. While she wouldn’t accept dakshina, she did spit on the ground and I quickly remembered someone recalling an experience that when this Avadoota spat on someone last time, the person had a huge release. I offered her a dakshina again but she politely told me, “Enakku edhuvum venam” (I need nothing). I prostrated once again at her feet and proceeded to take an auto to complete few other things around the town.

I was supposed to go to the resort to look after the preparations for the evening satsang but something in me pointed me to do another job which was pending. I asked the auto driver to go to a particular location and as destiny would have its way, he had to refuel. While the auto stopped at the fuel station, I could immediately see the saint whom I met during the 2017 Girivalam (Arunachala with Shiva – part 1). He was the one who told me that, “Land for ashram will happen,” and later on was confirmed by Mohanji about how the Divine takes various forms to convey a message.

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I immediately asked Raksh to come behind me as I went up to him and started having a conversion. After a few inquiries, he remembered me asked me the exact same question that he had asked me during my previous encounter with him 🙂

He held my hands and applied pressure on my wrists (I was literally but unintentionally making a scene of sorts in the middle of the road by crying) to stop my tears. Raksh invited him to the satsang, but he didn’t give a clear response. I knew he wouldn’t come and when she asked him again, he said, “You don’t need two Suns under one roof. I hope you understand” – YES. We fully understood his message on the stature of our own beloved Para Brahma and tearfully bid adieu to him. He told me where I could find him as I prostrated at his feet and continued my journey.

Deep inside, I was thanking Mohanji a lot for giving me experience after experience and honestly, I never expected any of them. It also became very clear to me that it is only HIS compassion that gives me such divine experiences in my life. Otherwise, who could fathom meeting such Siddhas, an Avadoota and saints – all in one day 🙂

It rained heavily in the evening before the commencement of the public satsang. However, it didn’t deter the 75 odd people who turned up to witness it. The satsang was very intense and I could see how people instantly connected with Mohanji and swam in His Consciousness. By the time I hit the bed it was already early morning and I knew I had a couple of hours before Girivalam.

With Mohanji’s grace all the participants completed the Girivalam, a 15 km walk around Arunachala Hills, stopping at various points to have darshan and connect to Him. As Rajesh Kamath hadn’t had a chance to visit the Siddha’s Temple (a place we visited on our first day), we all had an opportunity to visit the shrine once again and spent few quiet moments there.

I was planning to pack my things to leave and was suddenly reminded of one more job to be completed. Rajesh and I went to the old age home we had visited the previous day and I was surprised to see Mohanji arriving almost at the same time as us.

He called the two of us and said, “There is an Avadoota sitting on the road. I didn’t stop my vehicle as I knew the crowd would swarm. Quickly take some food, offer it to him and come.”

We immediately got some food from the old age home and went to the place where the Avadoota was sitting. He made the two of us sit on the road as he was busy having a conversation with a labourer. The labourer was supplying cold drinks to the roadside shops and poverty was quite visible. The Avadoota engaged in a conversation with this person and commanded him to get him water from the roadside shop which the person did with utmost bhav. The Avadoota then went on to pour the water on the road and asked him to go get more water again and this time, he made the labourer stretch his feet and poured water on it. When the labourer asked him, “Ayya, naan kelambatuma” (May I take a leave), he said give me 1000 rupees and go. The labourer took all his earnings from the day he had in his pocket, offered it to the Avadoota and left the place after taking blessings.

Now it was our turn 🙂 Rajesh offered food to the Avadoota and also gave him Mohanji’s card. The Avadoota kept the card in front of him, took the food in his hand and threw almost 80% of it in all directions.

With the remaining food, he hand-fed it to the labourer (before he left) and Mani who was with us. 

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He then took Mohanji’s card, tore it into pieces while giving A-grade abuses. Rajesh didn’t have a clue (language barrier) and Mani and I were looking at each other wondering what was happening. The Avadoota then asked us to pay him and leave. While I emptied my wallet and gave everything, Rajesh felt he should give him one rupee. The Avadoota looked at the one rupee coin, rubbed it awhile saying a few things before throwing it away. We both prostrated to him in the middle of the road and he said, “I am a big actor, you are all becoming bigger actors than me,” and left the place laughing, leaving behind all the money.

Returning to the room, I went straight to Mohanji and shared with Him what I had witnessed. He asked me more than once if the Avadoota abused Him and tore His card and when I said yes, Mohanji said, “That’s very good. I am happy.” Being someone who doesn’t ask why, I silently left the room and was sharing this experience with one other participant. She asked me, “Did you ask Mohanji why the Avadoota tore the card?” I said, “No. I don’t ask any questions to Mohanji.” She said, “Sometimes, it is important to ask such questions as not very often do we get such experiences and understand our lessons from it.” Later on she asked the question to Mohanji to which He said, “When the Avadhoota tore my card, it was a blessing. Tearing a card is similar to breaking barriers on various dimensions. This coupled with the A-grade abuses he hurled on me is a sign of his blessing and that’s how Avadhootas operate.” He further narrated “I shall explain. What the avadhoota abused was the negative energies that might have come from others into our path/life blocking us or trying to disturb me (us), this could be jealousy, envy or any other kind of negative energies or even possibly some parasite entities in some cases. When he tore my card (which I was hoping he would do), he cleansed me from all kinds of negative energies that may have joined (collected unknowingly by us) with us from various places and people as well as removed the possible blockages in our further journey. These parasite energies are like smaller fishes getting attached to a huge whale and feeds on them or a parasite creeper clinging on to a good tree and feeds on it. When we meet many people, when many people connect to us from various locations, physically or non physically, we will have to handle many types of energies and frequencies. Some residue of it may stay with us for sometime. Avadhootas like him cleanses us and our path ahead in one shot as river Ganga cleanses us deeply with every dip. Shirdi Sai Baba and Bhagawan Nithyananda used to scream, shout at and abuse people in the same way. They were not abusing the person, but the poisonous energies that they might have ignorantly/unknowingly collected and carried. They were doing deep cleansing out of deep compassion. This is why I was happy with what he did. His abuses was towards the energies around us, not us. Tearing the card was like removal of “evil eyes”, “black magic” or similar negative energies that regular jealousies and envies might have contributed. Card/picture represents the person. Tearing means annihilation/removal. When our path is clear, journey ahead becomes smooth and pleasurable. When accumulated weight is removed, it helps our flight. If we approach the methods of such avadhootas with ego and doubts, we will not understand and experience their unfathomable compassion. ” 

Looking back, what an amazing trip it had been. It’s sheer grace and love Mohanji has towards each and every one of us which allowed us to have such divine experiences, all in a matter of few days. Things that are learnt or understood over years are delivered in a matter of moments and I am eternally grateful to Mohanji for accepting me under His wings and teaching me the much-needed lessons for my existence.

I have learnt a few key lessons during this pilgrimage:

  1. I had the choice to avoid going to the old age home citing some reason or postponing it. Had I done it, I would have missed a wonderful opportunity. It reminds me of Mohanji’s quote, “Never postpone anything. Postponing it could mean denial of a valuable experience that would never happen again.” In fact, every single moment during the retreat, I kept hearing Mohanji’s words, “This trip is all about completion,” in my ears and I pushed away tamas, allowing grace to take over the situation and COMPLETE everything that had to be completed.
  2. An Avadoota will strip you naked. We should be willing to be stripped for it removes layers and layers of accumulated baggage. This is what I realised with the Avadoota who made me sit on the roadside, and I was witnessing his totally irrelevant conversations with people.
  3. Never think, just BE when you come across such Masters. Sitting on the road, crying, holding their hands or feet, being spat at, just doesn’t matter. If I had been cautious of the surroundings, had I  become even a little aware that people were watching me as I stood in front of these giants, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to witness the grandeur of all the Avadootas and saints on the streets of Tiruvannamalai.
  4. Always sharpen your ears when someone speaks about a Guru. It doesn’t matter which Guru it is as they are all one and the same. More than reading through books, when I hear someone speak about a Guru, I close my eyes and play the scene in my mind and to me that’s a sadhana. It was such a divine experience to hear Devaki Amma speak about the leelas (plays) of Yogi Ramsuratkumar.

I would like to complete this testimonial with a verse from “Guru Gita”

Dhyaana-Muulam Gurur-Muurtih
Puujaa-Muulam Gurur-Padam |
Mantra-Muulam Gurur-Vaakyam
Moksha-Muulam Guruur-Krpaa ||

Meaning:
1: The root of meditation is the form of the Guru,
2: The root of worship is the feet of the Guru,
3: The root of mantra is the word of the Guru,
4: The root of liberation is the grace of the Guru.

I surrender everything at the holy feet of my beloved Guru Brahmarishi Mohanji and pray that I remain eternally at His feet as dust.

— Ananth

Foot Note:

Mookupodi Siddhar, one of the Siddhas who walked the streets of Tiruvannamalai.
Yesterday on 8th December, 2018 he attained Maha Samadhi.

Exactly two months back, Mohanji and all the pilgrims who were on the Arunachala trip in October 2018, had the blessed opportunity to have darshan of this great siddha. This is completely the blessing of Siddha Loka and our prampara gurus. This grace of having His darsan in this lifetime is a great thing.

Usually everyone could have his darshan from a distance but nobody was allowed to go near him. However, it was indeed Gurumandala’s grace that Barbara was allowed to go closer and took some amazing pictures of the Siddha. The advent of such a powerful Siddha on the earth will remain preserved with these memorable photographs.

We leave you with some of these memories!

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||

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Mohanji – The Vishwamitra (The friend of the Universe)

By Lata Ganesh, Virginia, USA

The Grace received through one’s Guru is difficult to describe in words. I am totally overwhelmed and overawed by the benevolence and magnanimity of the blessings bestowed on me by my beloved Guru Mohanji, by allowing me to experience the presence of the Supreme Goddess herself.  Let me begin this narrative with complete surrender at His lotus feet.

The Autobiography of an Avadhoota, the fascinating life story of Guruji Avadhoota Nadananda gave me an introduction to the Mookambika Temple in Kollur.  But I had never thought that I will be visiting the temple and walking the same grounds that Guruji had been.  But my Guru had other plans for me!  He wanted to grace me with this divine blessing out of pure compassion.

A few months ago, during a conversation, Mohanji told me to visit Mookambika and offer prayers to Bhagavathi (the Mother Goddess).  What was strange was that, when He mentioned this to me, Mohanji said, “Oh, I was about to mention another temple, but Mookambika just came out of my mouth.”  I thought this extremely strange.  No words ever ‘slip out’ of Mohanji’s mouth! Since Guru’s command has to be fulfilled, I was very certain that I would visit Mookambika soon.

In the following months I was approved for the Mohanji Acharya Level 1 training and the first training was going to be held in Bangalore at the end of October.  My request to be part of that training was approved and with the hope of fulfilling Mohanji’s instructions, I planned a visit to India in October so that I could visit the Mookambika temple as well as attend the training. However, there was a hurdle to pass through. I had just taken some time off from work to attend Mohanji’s retreat in Virginia in August, and was a bit concerned whether my office would consider giving me leave again in October.  But lo and behold, my colleagues surprisingly agreed to my travel and were happy to fill in for me during my absence!

Now, I was wondering how I was going to travel all by myself to Kollur which I believed to be a remote place.  I casually mentioned my travel plans to my mother who was quite thrilled and wanted to join me. She had been wanting to go to the temple for many years but had not told any of her children of her wish.  This gave me an opportunity to fulfil my mother’s wish as well.

On October 25th, after a comfortable flight, I landed in Chennai from Washington DC. I spent the day with my family and was off to Bangalore the following morning.  As soon as I landed in Bangalore, our angel escorts in the form of moths and butterflies, guided my way to Mohanji’s Ashram.  The Ashram located in a quiet cul-de-sac beneath the umbrella of a huge Audumbar tree shelters our beloved Mohanji.

 

The Audumbar tree (Ficus racemose) is not planted manually but grows on its own mainly through birds which eat the fruits. The Audumbar is associated with Lord Dattatreya who is always portrayed as sitting under its shelter.
I was blessed with the opportunity of partaking lunch (prasadam) with Mohanji, Acchan and Amma. After lunch, Mohanji left the Ashram for the Acharya training which was taking place at a venue on the other side of the city. Taking Mohanji’s blessings I proceeded to Devi Amma’s house.

Most of you may have heard of Devi Amma, a loving saint and Mohanji’s spiritual mother. Devi Amma, the daughter of the revered Sage Agastya and his wife Mother Lopamudra has come back to this earthly plane, as a realized being, to speak the Truth and lead humanity on the right path.  I had made an intention of meeting Devi Amma this time while in Bangalore and Preeti Duggal had kindly arranged a meeting for a small group of us. However, on the day of the meeting, none of the other people who planned to attend could make it to Amma’s house.  I ended up being alone on a long drive to Whitefield where Amma lives.  Even though I was late by over an hour from the agreed meeting time, Amma was so kind and had waited patiently for me.  I was totally blown away by her simplicity and childlike innocence. She seemed like a beautiful fragrant celestial flower, so fragile yet so powerful!  We talked for a long time in our mother tongue, Tamil, and listened together to the audio recording of Siddhar Potri (a hymn offering praise to powerful Siddhas) that I had on my phone.

When I mentioned to Devi Amma about the upcoming first Mohanji Acharya training, she told me that she would specifically seek the blessings of the Guru Mandala, her Guru and spiritual parents Agastya Muni and Lopamudra Ma.

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During our conversation, I lovingly asked Devi Amma to speak about Mohanji.

Devi Amma said,

“Mohanji is a very great Siddha who has been sent to this world by the Divine Masters of the Guru Mandala. He is an extremely compassionate being.  His role in this avatar is to spread unconditional love on this earth and beyond.  He is not only a Jagatmitra (friend of the world) but Mohanji is a Vishwamitra (friend of the universe). I am clarifying here that He is not Vishwamitra, the sage of yore, but Vishwa-mitra, Friend of the Universe.  Being an incarnation of compassion, Mohanji can only offer unconditional love, under all circumstances.  That is why in spite of the many negativities and obstacles that come His way, He still offers love.  That is the purity of His nature.”

This is an important message to mankind, revealing the inter-galactic dimension of Mohanji, and comes directly from the Divine Masters conveyed through one of their purest and truest representatives.

We clearly see in the picture above, how Devi Amma is immersed in the love emanating from Mohanji’s heart center – Two divine beings melting in pure love and bliss.

After spending a couple of hours with Devi Amma, I took a cab to the venue of the training, which was at the other end of the city.  And oh boy, did I experience the legendary Bangalore traffic!  Stranded on the streets of Whitefield for over an hour for a cab and then the drive to Banashankari was quite an adventure.  Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a very powerful Master, used to visit his Ashram in Whitefield often when he was in his body.  I had the blessing of spending some time, waiting for a cab, soaked in bliss of being in the energy cradle of Sai Baba, Mohanji and Devi Amma that nothing bothered me.  When I finally arrived at about 10.00 pm at the Subramanian residence where the Acharya training was to take place, all the participants had already gone to bed.

I have no words to describe the hospitality, generosity and love of the Subramanian family.  I felt totally at home when I entered Skanda Vilas and was welcomed by Radha, Sathya and their mom.  I am very grateful to have met this loving family. I thoroughly enjoyed the spiritual discussions with Mr. Subramanian and am deeply grateful to him for including me in his daily morning ritual of feeding the cows and calves at a nearby goshala (cowshed).  The experience of staying at their house where the vel and mayil (lance and peacock – the symbols of my Lord Muruga) reside was simply a divine blessing.

The Acharya training which started early next day was very intense.  As promised, Devi Amma had indeed prayed for us and she received a message after having sought the blessings of the Guru Mandala.  Preeti Duggal had received a call from Devi Amma early that morning to convey that the Guru Mandala was going to be present at the training session and that all the participants had the blessings of the Masters.  And true to their promise, the Masters did make their presence felt and the entire training session was filled with intense divine energies, much more intense than witnessed before in front of and through Mohanji.  It shook us all up!

During the stay in Bangalore, I had mentioned to fellow participants about my upcoming trip to Mookambika and Devadas then shared with me his own experiences when he had visited Mookambika several years ago, before Mohanji had entered his life. He had seen Prashobji (Guruji Nadananda’s spiritual brother) at the temple, who had prophesied about Devadas meeting Mohanji in the future.  Devadas was very excited about my visit to Mookambika.  He had told me that he will share the phone number of the temple priest who could help with any rituals at the temple.

On Monday night, at the end of the training, I took Mohanji’s blessings before heading out of Bangalore.  Mohanji blessed me and said, “Do a prostration at Mookambika temple on my behalf.”

I joined the ride back to Chennai along with our loving Mohanji Chennai family members. With Kishore’s impressive driving skills and Rekha’s non-stop conversation to keep Kishore awake all night long, we reached Chennai in the early hours on Tuesday. Having reached home at about 4.00 am, I was ready to take the flight to Mangalore with my mother in a few hours, filled with excitement and energy.

As I boarded the flight to Mangalore from Chennai at 11 am, I realized that I did not have the telephone number of the temple priest as for some reason, neither Devadas nor Rajesh were able to provide it to me.  However, I was quite confident that Mohanji would take care of that! I was thinking, may be, I won’t need the contact as the temple would not be so crowded during the weekdays. But as the flight landed in Mangalore at 1.30 pm and before the plane doors opened, I got a call.  It was from Devadas.  He called to give me the phone number of the temple priest.

I fell in love with Mangalore right from the moment of landing.  The small airport was so clean and the air was filled with the fragrance of sandal wood or some herb.  We were welcomed by a pleasant and polite man, Bibin, who was driving us to Kollur. Bibin and my mother enjoyed a lively conversation in Malayalam all the way to the hotel.  It was a warm welcome.  My mother and I felt so relaxed and at peace, driving past the lovely green landscape and many bridges over strips of water bodies, the Brahminy Kites with white heads and striking chestnut brown shining bodies, soaring high in the skies over our heads. It felt like we were being enveloped with love and gentleness in the embrace of the Mother Divine. My mother said that as kids, they would run along with the Brahminy Kites soaring over their heads and would ask for wishes to be fulfilled, as they believed these Kites to be Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu.  True to that belief, there were hundreds of these birds flying over the skies on the long stretch from the airport to Udupi and beyond.  Udupi is the site of a famed temple of Sri Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.  Garuda was certainly guarding the Master.

After a comfortable three and a half hour ride from the airport, we reached the small town of Kollur.  The highly revered shrine of Sri Devi Mookambika at Kollur is one of the oldest temples of Adi Parashakti, the primordial feminine energy. Nestled among the thick forests of the Western Ghats and the tranquility of the Kodachadri Hills, and on the banks of the Souparnika river, with a gold-plated crest and copper roof stands the majestic temple of the most benevolent and gracious Mother.

Legends of this ancient temple go back to date it as being over 1200 years old and it is believed that Devi Mookambika transformed herself into a Jyotir linga after destroying a demon named Mookasura who was disturbing the penance of Sage Kola.  Answering the intense prayers of Kola Maharishi, for the upliftment of righteousness and welfare of humanity, the supreme energies of the trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their consorts Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati, have empowered the Jyotir linga (the linga of Grace light) with their divine presence.  The Svayambhulinga (a linga which manifested itself) manifested when Parameshwara (Lord Shiva) drew a Srichakra with his toe.

The chronicles of history teach us that the supreme Master of this yuga, Sri Adi Shankaracharya sat in meditation here, during his travel through this region.  The supreme Goddess appeared in Shankaracharya’s vision in the most beautiful and magnanimous form.  The idol of the Divine Mother was sculpted according to Shankaracharya’s vision and the magnificent Devi stands there today in brilliance, behind the Jyotir linga, bestowing blessings to millions of people who have visited her since then.

The idol of Devi Mookambika is visible in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, but the Jyotir linga is kept covered and is revealed only during the time of offering the archana (offering or kumkum or flowers) or abhishekam (ritualistic bathing of the linga with water, milk and other liquids).  Devi Mookambika has merged with this linga, incorporating both Shiva and Shakti and fulfills all the desires of her devotees.  A golden line (Svarna Rekha) has formed in this linga making a wider left side, where reside the energies of the Goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati, and a narrower right side where the energies of Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Parameshvara reside.

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The hotel Mahalakshmi Residency is at the foot of the Mookambika temple and it was close to 5.00 pm when Bibin dropped us there and told us that he would meet us back the next morning at 8.30 am.  After quickly freshening up and having some coffee and snacks, my mother and I were eager to get to the temple.  I called Dr. K.N. Narasimha Adiga, the chief priest or tantric at the Mookambika temple who has deep respects and reverence for Mohanji. The present head of the Adiga clan, who has served the Mookambika temple for several generations, Narasimha Adiga is a charming scholar whose quiet demeanor radiated remarkable devotion and dignity. At the mention of Mohanji’s name, he welcomed us to his home and assigned one of his priests to accompany us to the temple and help us conduct all the desired rituals. After offering some fruits and dakshina to the priest, we proceeded to the temple.

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As the evening rituals at the temple were yet to begin, the crowd had not started to gather.  We entered the inner chamber (antaraalayam) adjoining the sanctum sanctorum (garbhagudi) where the deity is installed and were guided to stand in a spot on a platform from where we could easily see the Goddess and also watch all the rituals.  The energy inside the inner temple was supreme and intense.   Goddess Mookambika is the most exuberant expression of the Supreme Shakti. Words are insufficient to describe the effulgence of the Devi, such is her magnificence and brilliance. Standing there, right in front of her, I felt the deepest sense of gratitude and surrender. The thought that She had brought me from so far to grant me her darshan made me weep in gratitude.  The only way I could compose myself was to start chanting the Mohanji mantra.  As I started chanting the mantra intensely, it stabilized me, and I was able to connect with the Goddess. And I began talking to her, pouring out all my own thoughts, desires, fears, seeking for family and friends and whatever was there in me.  As this mental dialogue was going on, I realized that we had been inside the sanctum sanctorum for over an hour!  It was as though Mohanji had literally led me here to make me experience this oneness with the Divine.  This is how the grace of the Guru operates.  And it was awareness that brought me to this realization. It was as if time had stopped and so had everything else – there was only the blissful chanting of the Mohanji Guru mantra in my heart and the brightness of the Mother in front and all around.

There were hundreds of people passing into the hall for Devi’s darshan and exiting the sanctorum.  My mother and I continued to stand there, in front of the deity.  The young priest sent to us by the Adiga came to take our sankalpa (special prayer) for the rituals to be done for the Goddess.  As the rituals for the Devi idol started and the priests removed the covering that was over the Jyotir linga and performed the archana and abhisekam, we were completely soaked in bliss and gratitude and  Devi blessed us with a beautiful darshan of the Jyotir linga and lovingly allowing us to witness those highly sacred ritual offerings to the linga, where all the divine energies reside.

As the pooja rituals of the evening were coming to an end, we proceeded closer to the idol and did one pradhakshina (circumambulation of a sacred place) of the sanctum sanctorum and left the inner chamber.  There are two doors to the inner chamber building where Devi resides; the main entrance facing the deity has two large doors separated by a small platform and the exit door to go out of the inner chamber is on the right side of the inner chamber building.  The normal procedure is for devotees to enter the main temple building passing the two entry doors, walking in facing the Goddess and then to go around the main temple and exit out of the door on the right.  Having completed one pradhakshina, my mother and I came out of the right-side exit door to the outer courtyard and then came back through the front double door to re-enter the inner chamber.  I had mentioned before that the main entry to the inner chamber has two front doors and there is a gap of about 2 feet between them.  There is a platform covering the gap.  This area is not very well-lit.

As I was passing the first entry door, my attention was diverted on an elderly lady sitting on the platform in between the first and the second door leading directly to the inner chamber of the Goddess.  I glanced at the lady who seemed to be in a meditative state, her eyes half closed.  As I passed by her, something was drawing me towards her.  Even though I had entered the inner chamber and was getting ready for another pradhakshina after the viewing the Devi, my mind was with the elderly lady.  All of a sudden, the priests and the temple authorities asked the people who had gathered in the inner chamber to exit immediately as they were getting ready for the deeparadhana (grand showing of lamp to the deity). No one other than the priests are usually allowed to remain inside the inner chambers while they prepare the Goddess for this grand deeparadhana ritual.  The doors to the inner chamber were about to be shut.  There was a bit of a confusion among the crowd inside.  As the temple guides were directing the crowd to exit the temple through the side door on the right, my thoughts went to the elderly lady and I was desperately hoping to see her again.  I was worried that she might have already left the platform where she had been sitting!

As my mother and I were getting closer to the side exit, the young priest sent to us by the Adiga suddenly appeared out of nowhere and guided us to move towards the front entrance of the temple.  This was very odd because, the exit was only through the side door.  But here, we were the only two people being asked to exit the inner chamber through the entrance door.  As we came out of the entry door, I saw the lady again, and this time very clearly.  As they ushered us out of the main temple, I was able to go and sit on the platform very close to the lady.  There was a metal railing dividing the lady and me and both of us were sitting on the platform alongside the wall of the inner chamber.  This meant that all of us were outside the inner chamber, and except for the elderly lady and the temple priests, there was no one within the boundaries of the inner chamber.  Strangely, the priests did not ask the lady to move out of her position, i.e. she was within the inner boundary. Even stranger was her attire.  She wore a silk dhoti deep red in color with a zari border, that was tied to her waist and falling to her ankles. The upper part of her body was covered with a half-saree, with an off-white colored shawl draped over her head.  This was  a most unusual attire and not a single person in the entire crowd was dressed in anything resembling that. The women from Kerala do wear dhoti/mundu, but they don’t cover their heads, nor do they wear a silk dhoti as a mundu, only a cotton dhoti is worn. She seemed to be of about 70-80 years old, but her face was shining bright and she had a large round deep red kumkum on her forehead.

As I sat close to her, with the railing separating the two of us, she came very close to my face and looked directly into my eyes.  It was the most beautiful and glowing face filled with love. She asked me, in Malayalam, “Child, you did recognize me, didn’t’ you?” I was totally numb for a second.  Deep within me, I DID RECOGNIZE HER! SHE WAS NONE OTHER THAN THE MOTHER DIVINE, GODDESS MOOKAMBIKA. I was spellbound.  I replied, “I did recognize you, Mother.”

Meanwhile, my mother, who was sitting on the other side had told me that we should chant the Lalitha Sahasranama till they opened the doors and allowed us back inside. But I could not focus on the chanting at all.  I was so conscious of the energy emanating from this lady – on the one had she looked like a beautiful divine being and on the other hand she was behaving like an Avadhoota too, a bit unstable.  Nobody seemed to be making eye contact with her, although she was making some gestures at certain people.   Since my focus was more on her and not on the chanting, I looked at her again. She lovingly smiled at me and ran her finger on my face as though talking to a child.  She asked me what my name was and took out a small banana from under her shawl and gave it to me.   I accepted it reverently and asked her if I might offer her dakshina.  As I took some cash and placed it in her hand, she took her hand and put it on my head in a gesture of blessing.  She then told me to go stand right in front of the line and to rush inside as soon as I heard the temple bell ring, signaling the start of the deeparadhana.  Most of her communications were by hand gestures.  Except for the first sentence of asking me whether I recognized her and then asking my name, she was making several gestures, looking at some people in irritation etc.

Meanwhile, the people gathered around the temple were getting restless and were ready to charge inside the inner chamber for the deeparadhana.  My mother and I and a couple were standing at a spot the lady had gestured us to.  As the temple bell rang, everyone rushed inside.  We followed the crowd and the lady asked us to walk behind her and took us to a spot, once again on the raised platform, with a fantastic view of the Goddess.  The deeparadhana was an elaborate ritual and extremely beautiful.  The radiance of the Goddess was brilliant and overpowering.  As I kept my eyes focused on the beautiful idol in front of us, and as the lighted oil lamps were being waved by the priests, Devi’s face from the dark inner sanctum sanctorum was becoming visible.  Even though the priests were some steps away from the idol, there certainly was some motion inside the sanctorum.  Devi was alive.  A jasmine flower garland which was going across Devi’s neck and attached to the Vel (lance) to her right side moved and fell on her chest.  It was an extraordinary moment. There was a tiny bird, moth or a butterfly flying inside the inner chamber. The elderly lady who was standing below would every now and then glance back at me to make sure that we were getting a full and beautiful view of the entire proceedings.

As the evening rituals were coming to an end, the lady gestured us to come down from the platform and guided us to stand directly in front of the Goddess as the final aarati was being conducted.  We got an up-close darshan of the Devi and filled our hearts with her image and energy.

As we were doing the final pradhakshina to come out of the inner chamber, the lady returned to me and said that she would see us next morning.

Within the inner chamber was also a small shrine dedicated to Adi Shankaracharya, called the Shankara Simhasana.  This was the spot where the five hooded Nagaraja, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva in the form of Veerabhadra Swamy were also installed.

Almost 4-5 hours had passed thus in the temple.  We came out after the deeparadhana and were waiting outside as the priests were getting ready to bring Devi outside for a procession in the outer aisle outside the limit of the flag post (dwajasthamba). Several hundred people had gathered and were waiting around for the final darshan of the Devi.  I looked for the elderly lady in the crowd but could not find her anymore. Another thing that I observed was that though there were hundreds of people that evening at the temple, the lady had not spoken to a single person other than me, and a brief conversation with my mother which was kind of garbled and non-coherent!

After joining in the three outer pradakshinas walking behind Devi’s idol being carried in a palanquin by the priests, the evening rituals ended.  We proceeded to get some prasadam (consecrated food).  There is a huge hall in the temple complex where every day hundreds of devotees are served prasadam as lunch and dinner for free.

On the way back to our hotel, we visited the house of Narasimha Adiga and collected the prasadam of kumkum (vermilion) and flowers which had been offered to Devi Mookambika during the evening rituals.

As the day ended, all I had left in my heart was unlimited love and gratitude to my dear Guru Mohanji, without whose Grace, this experience could not have been possible.  The deep connection with which I held on to my Guru was the one and only way I could have had this divine darshan.

I was also very happy that my mother who had wanted to visit this temple for several years and was now fulfilled with the darshan. Both of us slept so peacefully that night, like a baby in its mother’s warm and loving embrace.

We woke up at sunrise the next morning and were ready once again to visit the temple.  Bibin, the driver had told us that he would pick us up at 8.30, so we did not have much time.

Once again we got to walk right into the inner chamber as it was not too crowded.  As we entered I saw the elderly lady again.  This time she was right in front near the garbha griha. As soon as we walked in, she turned around and nodded with a sense of recognition.  She was appearing a bit serious today, no smile at all. She just looked deeply and directly. With her standing there, the temple guides did not ask us to move out at all.  Normally, the temple staff usher people out of the main chamber allowing them a maximum of two to three seconds.  But we stood right in front of Devi, soaking in her energy and admiring her timeless beauty for several minutes.  The rest of the people were being asked to leave after taking darshan just for a few seconds.  Standing in front of the idol, I recalled Mohanji’s words to me to offer a namaskaram (full body prostration) on His behalf.  I prostrated in front of the deity. And as the elderly lady was standing close by, I also touched her feet.  The priest then brought out the saree that had been on the idol overnight as they change the clothing during the morning ritual.  The elderly lady gestured to us to come forward and touch the saree as it had only just been removed from the Goddess’s idol.  Another unexpected and special blessing!

After that, the lady told me to keep doing pradakshina.  She conveyed this message with gestures and not words.  She herself started going around the main temple and I followed her.  We did several rounds thus.  While doing the rounds, she came and gave me some grains wrapped in a paper. At that point I asked her if I could take a photo of hers.  She suddenly seemed irritated.  She said, “You cannot take a picture inside this chamber.  I will come out.”  We remained in the inner chambers for about 15-20 minutes more.  Once again we got to watch the full aarati, this time much closer and just in front of the idol of the Goddess.  She was resplendent.  Goddess Mookambika in the temple is worshipped as Sri Saraswati in the morning, Sri Lakshmi at noon and Sri Durga in the evening.

As it was nearly time for us to leave the town, after the mahaarati, my mother and I came out of the inner chambers and were doing a couple of rounds in the outer chamber.  I could no longer spot the elderly lady, who I do believe to be Goddess Mookambika herself, who graced me by taking a human form again.  Unfortunately, I could not take a picture of her!

We came out of the temple, fed a cow and calf and some baby monkeys that were in the courtyard outside.  We then started walking back to the hotel so that we could pack our bags and check out. I was flooded with the memories of the life of our beloved Guruji Avadhoota Nadanandaji.  I remembered that he had walked these grounds several times and with his Guru Maa Taramayee.  I was desperately wishing that Maa Taramayee would come and bless us.  As these thoughts were flooding my mind, a dog passed by and I gave it some biscuits.  I was still holding a few biscuits in my hand to offer some more to the dog, when I saw a lady approaching me – (I get goosebumps as I write this now) – a frail beggar woman with a half-tied saree above her ankles, the sleeve of her blouse falling off her shoulders – I walked up to her and handed her the biscuits which she accepted in her hands and then asked for some money.  I gave some cash to this mother and bowed down to her!

What more could I have asked for?  The compassionate Mother left me completely full of bliss and blessings.

It was now time to take leave.

On our way out, we stopped by at the Shankaracharya Ashrama and the Bhagawan Nityananda Ashrama.

There was a cave temple and a Shiva linga which was worshipped by Adi Shankara.  The priest mentioned to us that it was a doorway to Kailash.  I am left wondering if Adi Shankara astrally left from there for Kailash and if Mother Parvati appeared to him through that doorway, walking behind him!

We then visited the Ashram of Bhagawan Nityananda located a few minutes from the Mookambika temple. As we entered, a young swamiji was conducting an aarati to the idol of Bhagawan.  The ashram was very peaceful and there was no one there except for the swami who was very friendly. Though there were a number of unique photos of Bhagawan Nityananda, what caught my eye was a particular framed photo of Lord Dattatreya on a chair and the Datta Gurus, with a flower garland.  I sought permission from the swamiji to take a picture of that framed photo. He granted this promptly and even raised up the flower garland from the frame so that I could get a good picture. Strangely, though the temple was poorly lit, the picture (shown below), is filled with light, as though Bhagawan has merged into Lord Dattatreya. The other picture of Bhagawan protected by Nagaraja, I thought was very powerful.

A visit to Kollur is not complete without wetting our feet at the holy Souparnika river. I was very keen on visiting the area and also to see the river and the forest behind, since this was where our Guruji Avadhoota Nadanandaji had spent his Gurukula days with Maa Taramayee. We walked to the shallow river where Maa Taramayee used to bathe Guruji by rubbing his body with the stones of the river bed. The dense forest on the other side of the river where Maa Taramayee and the boys had lived does not appear like any ordinary woods at all – one can see slippery walls of stone that have to be crossed over first to get into the forest. I wondered how they lived there or walked across in and out to the river and the temple. It is very hard to imagine living in those forests with Mother Earth to sleep on and the vast sky as the roof. But with the Guru by the side and a surrendered mind, it is of course completely possible. They were no ordinary beings either.

We left Kollur soon after and visited the Udipi Sri Krishna Temple on the way back to the airport.

Though it has been two weeks since I got back to my home in the USA, my experience at the Mookambika Temple has captured my mind completely.  As I began writing this blog, I was quite disappointed that I did not have the photograph of the Mother (who came in the form of the elderly lady) to share with everyone.  I thought that I could perhaps draw a sketch of her.  Someone suggested that I get a painting done by a professional artist.  However, I feel that none of these could ever capture the feelings and the unlimited love that I had experienced at the temple on the evening of October 30, 2018.  That moment when the mother looked at me and had asked, “My child, did you not recognize me?” and my eyes locked with hers, it was a moment of deep stillness – the fullness of emptiness! If at all there was anything existing, it was only PURE LOVE.  That is the lesson I take from this experience.  That is what I believe Mohanji wanted me to experience and learn. The ability to feel that equanimity and wonder at all times would be such a wonderful thing! No photo, no painting or sketch can possibly explain that moment.  That moment of experience I surrender to my Guru Mohanji.  It is only His Grace which made that possible.  And I am ever so much in gratitude for that.  I am happy to share with you the photos of the two gifts that I received from the Mother.

The introduction to Goddess Mookambika began back in April 2016 when Mohanji handed me a copy of the original Autobiography of Avadhoota Nadananda, The Pyre of the Destined.  Mohanji held my hand every step of the way, as we edited the original version of the book and published the now well-known Autobiography of an Avadhoota, so that Mohanji Foundation could take the story of this amazing saint to all over the world. The fascinating life and spiritual journey of this great Avadhoota gave me insight into the divine world of the Masters of Gyanganj, where the Supreme Mother Goddess, the dispeller of ignorance and compassionate giver par excellence, takes the spiritual seeker along the journey.

The instruction from Mohanji to visit Mookambika that came to me in July 2018, as I have mentioned at the beginning of this story, was also part of the divine play! As I mentioned earlier, words don’t merely fall out accidentally.  The Master Mohanji, true to His role of a Supreme Guru – the one who has the power to dispel (ru) darkness (gu) – gave me this experiential knowledge.  Even remarkable is the fact that this knowledge should come after the level 1 of the Acharya training, as I, like the others who attended, was being purified at subtle levels to embark on this important journey in our lives.  To receive this blessing from the Goddess is a boon and I share this blessing with all my fellow Acharya Trainees, and wish that the journey we have embarked upon with Mohanji, bears fruit for humanity. We are also deeply grateful for the blessings bestowed upon us by the Guru Mandala, the Masters of the Tradition.

Although my stay in India during this trip was barely for ten days, a lot had been experienced and learned.  I conclude this blog with the deep understanding from the revelations that came from Devi Amma about Mohanji, His mission and His incarnation.  The Lord of my heart, Lord Muruga, son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati is the Lord of the Pleiades and he is deeply connected to the earthly plane.  He lived on our planet at one time, as is shown by the several temples of worship dedicated to him in Southern India. Lord Muruga is believed to have incarnated again, taking the form of Mahavatar Babaji as a disciple in the ashram of the great Siddha Bhoganathar, belonging to the ancient tradition of Nava Nath Sadhus (ascetics) who trace their tradition to Lord Shiva (Adhi Nath).  The Siddha Kriya Yoga tradition was taught by Bhogar Maharshi and was then carried further by his disciple, Kriya Babaji also known as Mahavatar Babaji.  It is believed that it is Lord Muruga’s will to reveal himself as the friend of the universe to help humanity evolve from the gross consciousness to that of subtle consciousness, which is pure light.  Devi Amma’s words to me that Mohanji is a great Siddha who has taken the incarnation as Vishvamitra (friend of the universe) is a great revelation and has supreme significance.

 

Offered at the lotus feet of my Guru, Mohanji.

Om Sri Bhagwan Sri Brahmarishi, Mohanji Namah Om

Om SA RA VA NA BHA VAAYA,  Babaji Namah Om

I thank my spiritual sister Geetha, for her constructive comments and help with editing this blog.

Jai Mohanji.

Lata Ganesh, Virginia, USA.

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||

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