FAREWELL, DEAREST T. R. GOPALAKRISHNAN (APPA)

Madhusudan Rajagopalan, India

Mohanji often says, “Life is a journey that starts with two people bringing us into the world, and ends with four people carrying us out. And in between those two points, we meet various people and undergo various experiences that make this life complete.” This frail life journey between the two and four is peppered with encounters of relationships with various flavours – family, relatives, friends, colleagues, enemies, acquaintances, and many strangers. In my time with Mohanji, I have seen relationships with almost complete strangers metamorphose into an unusually close bond. Other than them being past life soul connections, it would be hard to explain this phenomena easily.

One such personality was Mr. T. R. Gopalakrishnan, a doyen of the shipping industry, who recently succumbed to his recent ailments and passed away on 23rd June 2021 in Chennai, India. Gopalakrishnan Appa was an amazing personality whom I had the privilege of knowing closely over the last few years, thanks to Mohanji. Through this blog, we would like to honour his memory and share insights on the deep connection between Appa and Mohanji that extended over several lifetimes.

Gopalakrishnan Appa and Mohanji – a deep bond

Gopalakrishnan Appa was a highly regarded figure in the world of shipping. He was the head of Southern Shipping Corporation, one of the leading Indian shipping companies in those times, and a much-sought advisor and consultant post retirement. A qualified lawyer and an expert in international maritime law, he served as an arbitrator for legal cases and was also venerated as a model of integrity. He travelled to teach on shipping related topics and was known to breathe life into an otherwise dull subject with intelligent use of humor, anecdotes, stories and experiences.

In 2000, Mohanji was working in the shipping industry in Dubai. One day, an ex-colleague requested Mohanji to arrange a vehicle for his boss (TRG) who was arriving from India. He was out of town and wanted to ensure that things were done right. Knowing him to be a very senior official, Mohanji offered to pick TRG up from the airport. From the airport, Mohanji took TRG to the hotel room and ensured he was comfortable. The next day, TRG had to attend some meetings. Instead of arranging a taxi, Mohanji decided to personally drive him to his meetings. Over those trips, Mohanji shared the story of his daughter Ammu’s death in a tragic accident a few months ago. TRG responded with the story of the unfortunate death of his son. In no time, a strong connection was built up between them.

After completing his business meetings, TRG told Mohanji that he wanted to buy gold jewellery. Mohanji took TRG to the people he knew at the gold souk (market) where TRG bought a big gold ring. When Mohanji dropped TRG back to the hotel room, TRG unexpectedly gifted the expensive ring he had just bought to Mohanji. When Mohanji asked why, he hugged Mohanji with great affection and told him “Even my son wouldn’t have done all that you have done for me. You ensured that I felt loved and not lonely. Please keep the ring as my memory.” Mohanji refused saying, “If I need a material object to remember you, I’m not worth it.” TRG persisted. Mohanji countered, “I will take the ring only if you allow me to gift the same ring to you as my memento to you.” When he heard this, TRG decided against it since he knew that this ring was too expensive for Mohanji to buy. This episode deeply impacted TRG.

On his return to India, he sought Mohanji’s parents’ address and travelled to the neighbouring state to visit them. He told them, “Do you know what kind of a son you have? He is not greedy, not trying to conquer the world, quite unlike the typical professional in Dubai. He needs nothing. He is the epitome of purity. He is not ordinary.”

Their strong bond continued thereon. TRG treated Mohanji like his own son and regularly kept tabs on Mohanji’s well-being and career. Being from the shipping industry, he would engage with Mohanji on this subject matter. Mohanji would visit TRG and his wife in Chennai regularly and stay with them. Mohanji remembers the memorable days they spent together. He took Mohanji to Tirupati, a revered temple town in South India, that is thronged by millions of devotees. Together, they did normal “family stuff” – joked around, watched Tamil movies (7G Rainbow Colony is one of the movies that I’ve heard they watched. They also watched a Malayalam movie called Rajamanikkam, which was directed by Mohanji’s friend Anwar Rashid), ate at restaurants, had late night ice-cream outings. One day, he commented that he had recognised Mohanji as his son from a previous lifetime. Mohanji acknowledged it and over the years, with love and reverence, fulfilled the role of a dutiful son.

My first meeting with Gopalakrishnan Appa… and thereafter

I first met Gopalakrishnan Appa on 24th November 2015 when I visited his home with Mohanji, Devi and Mila. We had just returned from Tiruvannamalai to Chennai and had a short window of time before a satsang later that evening. Mohanji insisted that we should visit Appa at any cost. Oblivious of their connection, I had accompanied Mohanji to Appa’s home. We were greeted with great warmth and love. Aunty (Appa’s wife) related stories and showed pictures from Mohanji’s visits from the earlier years. Also, pictures of Mila from when she was a small baby. I gathered that Mohanji hadn’t visited them often in recent years. However, he had obviously been in regular touch with them. Similarly, they were keenly tracking developments in his life as well as his work around the world. It was amazing to see Mila warming up to Appa and Aunty, totally at ease in their home. She demanded her favourite food and enjoyed their pampering. It seemed like a visit to one’s family.

Despite his deep affection for Mohanji, I noticed that Appa remained poker faced with a strict demeanour all the time, other than the occasional wise crack, often at Aunty’s expense. At that point, I didn’t know how Mohanji and Appa were connected, but when I learnt about it later, the dynamics during that whole visit made total sense! While leaving, Mohanji casually invited TRG to the evening satsang. Normally, TRG would never budge out of his home or his routine, but on that day, he agreed immediately! At the satsang, Mohanji requested TRG to speak a few words – his way of honouring Appa by giving him due respect. Appa spoke spontaneously and humorously about Vedic texts, their interpretation and relevance to us in human life.

I was responsible for coordinating Appa’s to and fro travel which allowed me to spend more time with him. When we returned to his house, he invited me to his library, stacked with ancient Indian scriptures. I learnt that Appa was an ardent student of the Hindu scripturesand a Sanskrit aficionado. Daily, he would spend time in his library, poring over a scriptural text, reading each word and phrase a few times and contemplating on the depth and true meaning of the verses. Averse to the ritualistic or mechanical scriptural reading, he liked to parse each word, split the syllables, think through various interpretations and truly understand the life lessons from the text. He was learning advanced Sanskrit from a teacher to help understand the scriptures better. Despite being in his 80s, his zest for learning was inspiring. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, especially in the form of Lord Guruvayurappan (a famous temple of Lord Krishna in Kerala) and would quote shlokas (scriptural verses) at will to buttress his points.

Our first day after satsang meeting cemented my bond with him. I connected with him almost instantly and I believe vice-versa possibly because I accompanied Mohanji. We stayed in regular touch, whenever possible, either on the phone or in person meetings during my visits to my parents in Chennai. This pattern continued for many years after.

The Mohanji Home for Seniors

In late 2019, we acquired a piece of land in Tiruvannamalai (a sacred temple town in Tamil Nadu) to build the “Mohanji Home for Seniors” – a safe home for abandoned elderly people in the town especially sadhus (wandering monks), where they could live with respect and love for the rest of their lives. Mohanji decided to inaugurate the project on 29th January 2020, on the auspicious day of Vasant Panchami and wished that a few elders close to him preside over the function, namely, his parents, Gopalakrishnan Appa and Snehajyothi Amma (an elderly lady in Tiruvannamalai who was deeply connected to Ramana Maharishi and very fond of Mohanji).

I was tasked with ensuring Appa’s presence at the function and arranging his travel there. When I informed Appa, he was thrilled to hear about the project and keen to support it. He also mentioned a deep yearning for many years to visit Tiruvannamalai. However, he was unwilling to step out of his home or undertake the journey to Tiruvannamalai. He cited various reasons – old age, his health, aunty’s health, the need for him to be there, and so on. I persisted as best as I could, but despite several phone calls, he literally stonewalled me! When I wasn’t making progress, I explained the situation to Mohanji.

Mohanji then shed light on his relationship with Appa. As Appa had revealed their connection an earlier lifetime, Mohanji shared more details that he had been a prince in waiting while Appa was the king. Despite being very fond of his son, Appa as the king could never express his deep affection or love, due to his royal position. It continued in this life as well where he would never display it visibly and keep his expression within bounds. Further, Mohanji revealed that the Mohanji Home for Seniors would be a place of nitya annadaan (daily feeding of people). By presiding over the inauguration, Appa would get the benefits of feeding people three times a day for the times to come, that would cleanse his lineage karma and substantially lighten his baggage. Mohanji was  subtly fulfilling his duties as a son, thus completing his past bond with Appa.

Mohanji decided to call Appa directly. He gave Appa an ultimatum, “Either you agree to go to Tiruvannamalai or I will fly down to Chennai tomorrow to take you there with me.” It worked. Appa called me later and mentioned Mohanji’s conversation. While he was still not confident, he could not deny Mohanji’s intense wish! He said that he would travel with us and let Lord Srikrishna ensure his safety. We made the necessary arrangements for Appa’s travel and stay in Tiruvannamalai. Besides Appa and aunty, their close family friends also joined to spend 2 blissful days in Tiruvannamalai.

Over that trip, Appa understood the significance of the project and was deeply grateful for having been involved in it. Appa’s heart melted when he saw the homeless people who would be served by the project. He spoke beautifully at the inauguration and later told us that he now understood Mohanji’s insistence on his participation. He also visited the famous Arunachala temple and Ramana Maharishi’s samadhi as well as soaked in the energy of the powerhouse that is Tiruvannamalai, home to thousands of siddhas (perfected beings).

Appa, Acchan, Amma at the hotel room at Thiruvannamalai

Since then, he regularly stayed in touch with us to enquire about the project progress. By March 2020, our project plans were ready but the Covid-19 lockdown put them on hold. Appa however asked us to use the time to finish our planning. His corporate leadership skills came to the fore. He advised us to take advantage of firms hurting from the lockdown by negotiating with the vendors and buying materials early to save money. He also suggested to fix the project plan and timelines and assign a clear date for completion. He gave a few contacts for help with construction work in Tiruvannamalai and would enquire regularly about the progress. When work started in late 2020, we shared the project interim pictures and videos with Appa. He was thrilled and drew deep satisfaction that this project would soon house many helpless elders in Tiruvannamalai.

The last few months and the protective net of Mohanji Family

In early 2021, Appa’s health took a turn for the worse. When Mohanji found out, he gave one clear instruction, “Appa is family. Do everything that a son would do to take care of his father. No compromises. Do whatever it takes. Go to him like a son.” He also said to us “Do whatever you can, as if you are Mohanji”. I knew through conversations with Mohanji that Appa avoided favours and preferred to be independent. So I spoke to Kishore, our Mohanji family member from Chennai, who was the project lead for the Mohanji Home for Seniors, to discuss how we could help, and ensure that Appa saw it as support from family and not as a favour. Since Kishore had based himself in Tiruvannamalai to drive project progress, he couldn’t visit Appa personally at short notice. However, as it turned out, I happened to be in Chennai for a substantial part of Feb and March 2021 to attend to my father’s health.

When I heard about his failing health, I immediately visited Appa and Aunty without any prior warning. They were excited to see me and invited me for lunch. Aunty even commented “Madhu, we are so happy that you came. You have come here like a son.” I could feel that they were yearning for company and support. Appa was visibly weak, having just returned from the hospital a week before. After lunch, I conversed with Appa – the only topic being the Mohanji Home for Seniors project and its completion date. He expressed a desire to visit the project site to see how the building looked. I told him that we would arrange for it when his health improves.

Over the conversation, I could see that he was brightening up and somehow drawing energy from our discussions. When I entered, he was barely able to walk, even with the support of a walking stick. A couple of hours later, he walked confidently to see me out to the door and said “I am much better, don’t worry.” I also gifted him a copy of Mohanji’s latest book “Mast” and he promised to read it soon.

When I updated Mohanji about my visit, he ominously said that Appa may not have much time left, so we should take good care of him. As per Mohanji’s instructions, we connected Appa to Dr Harpreet Wasir, a renowned cardiac surgeon in Delhi and our close Mohanji family member, to discuss and advise Appa on his health. They spoke regularly and his health began to stabilise slightly.

A few weeks later, I went to visit Appa when I went to Chennai again. This time around, he was much better, evident from his presence in the library. I enquired about his health and he pointed to a picture of Lord Guruvayurappan and said it was all ordained as per His will. He said that he was almost feeling normal again, except when he didn’t drink enough water. I told him that he should drink water every 30-45 minutes. He then went on to explain his process of study. He said that he did not “read” the verses but analysed them in detail by consulting a Sanskrit grammar reference book, made notes to confirm his understanding before continuing. He said that he often went so deep into the book that he completely forget himself. So how could he remember to drink water? While happy to hear about his return to his normal mode, I still insisted that he should prioritise his health.

We started talking again about the Mohanji Home for Seniors. He went on to add, “I have known Mohan for 21 years. But never once have we ever discussed Tiruvannamalai. And then, I got connected to this project. You see, nothing happens without Lord Krishna’s will.” He again expressed a wish to see the completed building, and we agreed to arrange his travel when his health improves.

In late May, Kishore updated that Appa had been hospitalised again and his health had deteriorated. I spoke to Appa on the phone but was barely able to hear him due to his weak state. A few days later, Mohanji also spoke to Appa on the phone. Appa told Mohanji that he would like to spend some peaceful time in Tiruvannamalai and was also keen to meet Mohanji. He enquired about Mohanji’s return to India (from Europe) as he felt that his time was near. Mohanji again told us to do whatever possible from our side and said, “I want him to be happy. I want him to feel that we are all with him. That we care. That extreme love should be felt. Companionship”.

Since arranging travel looked bleak due to his health as well as the fresh lockdown in Tamil Nadu, Mohanji told us to arrange a big sized picture of Appa and get it blessed from him, so that the picture could be placed at the reception of the Mohanji Home for Seniors, as a mark of respect and belonging. Further, given that Mohanji was unlikely to return to India soon, Mohanji also asked to arrange a video call with Appa to fulfil Appa’s desire to meet Mohanji. This was arranged the very next day through Srinivas G, our Mohanji family member who visited Appa’s home to check on him. Later that evening, I spoke to Appa and Aunty and spent nearly 45 minutes on the phone with them. They were overjoyed that they could speak to Mohanji. Appa again spoke less about his health and more about the project. It was evident that the Mohanji Home for Seniors project was really the anchor that was giving him purpose. He told me, “When I get better, I really want to prostrate before you, Kishore and the others who are doing such noble work.” I responded that we would prostrate at his feet and would take him to see the project. But even as I said it, I knew that it may not really be possible. It felt like he had no real interest in living and was holding on just to see the site. I discussed with Kishore to share videos with Appa regularly so that he could feel the place and visually see things developing day by day.

The same day, Mohanji also gave us instructions to take Sai Babu udi (sacred ash), holy water from Ganga and Mansarovar to Appa and give to him regularly. From previous experiences, I knew that Mohanji’s instructions  to act quickly, especially in cases of elderly people like Appa must be taken seriously. A wasted day could be a lost opportunity for life. Hence, we acted with urgency and the request was immediately executed through Usha LN, our Mohanji family member in Chennai. Though she had very little Gangajal and Mansarovar jal, she happily parted with it saying, “I can get this later. Let Appa have it now. He needs it more.” While executing Mohanji’s instructions, we once again experienced the true power of a united Mohanji family – people coordinating over the phone in various cities, local people going out of their way to share time or materials without question – working on the basis of the common understanding of the noble intent and compassion behind the purpose.

The only pending thing was to get the photo blessed from Appa. We had two challenges with this – Appa and Aunty had no good usable pictures, and no shops were open during the strict lockdown to get the framing done. We used photos from our archives which we digitally edited to make them suitable. Kishore mustered all his resources to print and frame the picture in an elegant manner within a week. By now, Appa was in the hospital and unable to speak much. But he saw the picture frame taken in by the nurse and blessed it with his eyes. He liked the photo a lot and asked for two copies for his family members too.

When we updated Mohanji, he again reiterated that Appa did not have much time left and asked us to do whatever we could to support him. We stayed in touch with his caregiver at the hospital offering support at every point. We also ensured that Appa was given the gangajal and mansarovar jal with full awareness, so he could appreciate it. Being an extremely spiritual and evolved person, he would have truly understood the significance of those steps.

A couple of days later, Kishore informed that Appa was in pain as a surgical procedure did not work out as planned. He informed that Mohanji had asked our Mai Tri practitioners to offer sessions for Appa to help his situation. As our Maitri practitioners did their sessions, it revealed more dimensions of how Mohanji was fulfilling his responsibilities. Subhasree Thottungal (from the UK) wrote about what she saw during the Mai tri session (Click here to read Subhasree’s blog) – the key message being the cleansing of lineage karma and lightening Appa’s burden as he approached the end of this life.

Mohanji also gave guided us to organise poojas and ceremonies at various temples. With Mohanji’s grace, we had arranged for poojas at various powerful temples – Lord Narasimha at Ahobilam, Sai Baba at Shirdi, Lord Murugan and Sage Bhoganathar at Palani, Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu, Datta peethams at Gangapur, Pithapuram, Vallabhapuram, Banke Bihaari at Vrindavan amongst others.

On the morning of 23rd June, 2021, we finally got word that Appa was no more. Our job was not yet done. Mohanji gave further instructions to conduct annadaan in Appa’s name over the next thirteen days of the customary rituals. Annadaan for various beings has been organized – fish, birds, animals as well as people at Haridwar and Tiruvannamalai.

Conclusion

A palpable sense of sadness remains after Appa’s passing. I genuinely enjoyed his company and felt it to be mutual. I remembered feeling similarly on the passing away of Vasudevan Swami (of Ganeshpuri) and Baba Ganeshananda Giri Maharaj. One less stalwart to rely on. I will miss his company, wise cracks and erudition. However, I have absolutely no regrets or guilt, for we left no stone unturned to help and support Appa and aid his onward journey, with the clear and compassionate guidance from Mohanji. In that sense, the sentiment of fulfilment and satisfaction overrides.

As I reflect back on this whole journey and the Mohanji factor in it, the key thing that has really struck me was that there are no half-measures when Mohanji takes responsibility. Everything is done to the fullest extent possible. He truly means it when he says that he treats people like his own family. Irrespective of his own schedule, there are no compromises or short cuts in delivering on his commitments. He repeatedly told us, “Do what a son would do for his father. Do as if Mohanji is doing.” In that process, he also highlighted the value of the putra dharma (duty of a son/ child) that Mohanji values above all other duties to society and even sadhana (spiritual practices)

The second thing is about the value of acting immediately. At several points, Mohanji asked us to complete certain tasks. Following through on those instructions immediately has ensured that we fulfilled all the responsibilities a son could do for his father. A lax approach could have meant an opportunity lost forever. We often hear people crying over their lost ones feeling guilt over what they would have done. In Mohanji’s world, the only time that matters is now. When we do the best we can at each moment, we set ourselves up for completion which leads to contentment. I truly realized this with Gopalakrishnan Appa’s experience.

The third take away for me is the purity of connections that come through when Mohanji entrusts tasks. I can’t quite fathom how I connected with Appa, but in that process, as I have helped and served him, I have never felt anything to be a chore, always a sense of duty with the understanding that there may be other dimensions to this relationship beyond the plainly visible. Neither does Mohanji usually offer this information nor did I seek it. But I am sure there may have been debts that I perhaps owed Gopalakrishnan Appa from a past connection. With Mohanji, here are no accidents or coincidences!

A palpable sense of sadness remains after Appa’s passing. I genuinely enjoyed his company and felt it to be mutual. I remembered feeling similarly on the passing away of Vasudevan Swami (of Ganeshpuri) and Baba Ganeshananda Giri Maharaj. One less stalwart to rely on. I will miss his company, wise cracks and erudition. However, I have absolutely no regrets or guilt, for we left no stone unturned to help and support Appa and aid his onward journey, with the clear and compassionate guidance from Mohanji. In that sense, the sentiment of fulfilment and satisfaction overrides.

In the last 18 months of his life, Gopalakrishnan Appa’s main interest was the Mohanji Home for Seniors in Tiruvannamalai. His regal photo will grace the reception hall of the Home as reminder for times to come of his significant contribution in getting this project to life, driven by his abiding desire to see many people served and fed at the Home. Nothing could be more apt to honour his memory.

Fond farewell, Appa. Please shower your blessings on us to follow in your glorious footsteps of achievement, integrity, purpose, commitment and selfless service. May Mohanji and the other Mohanji (your favourite Lord Guruvayurappan – Mohan, the enchanter is one of Lord Krishna’s names) take good care of you in the beyond.

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 25th June 2021

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Compassion Unlimited!

By Subhasree Thottungal, UK

Being with Mohanji, one thing I have realised over time is that we never need to ask anything, we never need to tell him anything. He feels our thoughts, responds appropriately, and he even fulfils our desires too.

In this write-up, I am going to express a few such experiences which made me wonder how compassionately Mohanji fulfilled my wishes and above all how he removed my pain and probably took it on himself! It may sound difficult to believe unless you really see with your own eyes. In today’s logical world, does this really happen? I would probably have not believed if this didn’t happen to me directly. One thing for sure, with Mohanji, nothing ever is a co-incidence!

So here it goes.

Sometime back in 2018, I think Mohanji had travelled to Mookambika (Kollur in Karnataka) and there were photos of him in FB. When I had seen those photos, I had a thought at that time that may be one day I should go to Mookambika with Mohanji. That desire remained there.

In 2019, around Sep/Oct, a Kriya Intensive retreat was announced in Mookamika for December 2019. I was thrilled to hear this and thought that I would go for that. But soon, I realised the dates were such that I wouldn’t be able to make it because I was going to the Philippines for an Acharya Program for about a week and I would just be returning around this time. The visit to the Philippines was on Mohanji’s advise, and so that couldn’t be compromised. I had accepted the fact that I won’t be able to attend the Kriya intensive and will miss going to Mookambika with Mohanji.

Anyway, the days went by. My Philippines trip was completed. After that, a few days of holidays with my in-laws and parents were over too, and it was time to return to London at the beginning of Jan 2020. I knew Mohanji was in Bangalore and since my return flight to London was from Bangalore, I thought of checking with Mohanji if I could meet him. I messaged him, and he said I could come and meet him, but he is not in Bangalore. He was in isolation and at Mookambika. But he welcomed me to come and meet him there and asked me to check with Preeti didi regarding the travel details. I was speechless! Mohanji had called me to visit him in Mookambika!

I instantly understood and realised that Mohanji was fulfilling my desire of visiting Mookmbika with him, which I missed earlier because I had to go to the Philippines! My heart truly expanded with gratitude. Anyway, I travelled as Preeti didi kindly made all the necessary arrangements. Those days, I had immense pain in my feet, my Rheumatoid Arthritis pain in my feet had flared up just before the visit to the Philippines. During this whole trip, the pain was intense, and I was limping.

Anyway, I reached Mookmabika. Rajesh Kamath and another devotee who was accompanying Mohanji received me. When I met Mohanji, he noticed me limping and asked me about it. I just brushed it aside. I was too happy just seeing Mohanji.

Mohanji said, early next morning, before 5 am, we will be going to the temple and to stand in the queue to have the “Nirmalya Darshan” – the first view of Mother Goddess. Every moment with Mohanji is so special. We were ready by 4:30 am and walked barefooted to the temple and stood outside, waiting for the door to open. Mohanji was behaving just like any other ordinary visitor, waiting at the side, very humbly. A Master of his stature to wait outside the temple patiently was giving us the teaching of pure humility, no ego, no demand of comfort!

While I was standing by his side, he suddenly called me and taught me a breathing exercise. While receiving this diksha from my Guru standing in front of Mother’s temple, I even had no sense to feel good about it… mind, ego and pride had evaporated at that time, and it was only bliss. The bliss of receiving Guru’s grace!

Soon the temple door opened and we went inside. I was behind Mohanji. When we all stood at the front in the queue, Mohanji asked me to come in front of him and stand. I felt a little awkward to stand in front of Mohanji. But he made sure that I stood right in front to see Mother and the rituals clearly without any obstruction! I had a special prayer to make. (I will write about it on a later date) When the ritual was going on, I made this prayer, being fully aware that my Guru is standing behind me with his grace engulfing me totally. Suddenly as I opened my eyes, I saw a flower from Mother’s head had dropped. We believe that the flower dropping from the head of the idol is a symbol that God has accepted our prayer!

I immediately turned around, trying to look at Mohanji, and he had a smile on his face! While the ritual of this early morning was happening, Mohanji was narrating to me all the details of the ritual. Just like a father or mother would explain to their child for the first time. He ensured that I had a clear view too. After the rituals, Mohanji went to the side of the temple, and there was a special veranda where people usually sit and do prayers. This is where Adi Shankaracharya’s temple is also present. Mohanji went and sat directly opposite, facing Adi Shankaracharya’s temple. Rajesh went and sat nearby.

I was walking slowly, limping and was about to sit a little far away from Mohanji, not wanting to disturb him, as he had his eyes closed. Mohanji opened his eyes and called me to sit next to him, gesturing with his hands to the space on his left side. As I sat next to him, it was as if I had entered into a high energy zone. I thought of doing Kriya there. Mohanji then reminded me to do the breathing exercise he had taught me while standing outside, to do it just before I do any sadhana. For me, it was already a big deal that Mohanji opened his eyes, called me to sit and was now giving direction to intensify my sadhana. He was not worried about his sadhana; he was guiding me instead! A true Guru he is, truly there every moment to guide us! I did as he guided and then did Kriya.

During Kriya that time, I had a feeling of floating; my bottom couldn’t feel the cool hard stone surface any more… I was truly levitating with the power of that energy sphere that I was inside, being right next to Mohanji. This Kriya experience was probably a once in a lifetime experience. (Well every meeting, every moment I am with Mohanji, I take it as once in a lifetime moment!) I am sure my words are nowhere near doing justice to what I had experienced that time. I was not even able to feel my breath, heartbeat or any vibration in the body…. just simply floating.

When I finished Kriya, I opened my eyes, Mohanji was sitting very calmly. I wanted to capture that moment, especially the view that I had in front of my eyes, seeing Adi Shankara at one end of the veranda and Mohanji at this end, both facing each other! I took out my phone quietly and clicked a few pics. (though we are not supposed to). Mohanji told me to be careful, as the previous day, the camera of a devotee was taken away.

I was sitting and just noticing other devotees in the temple. Everyone was touching their head at the outside wall of the main temple and was writing something with their fingers. I was just thinking about what they were doing, and Mohanji said at that time, people write their wishes there on the wall. I nodded my head. Then he told me to go there and write and ask Mother to remove the pain from my feet. I was probably a bit hesitant to get up and go, and moreover, I feel when I am with Mohanji, why do I need to pray for anything for myself, he knows what is needed.

Then Mohanji insisted again, “Go and ask Mother to remove your pain and make you fit. You have a lot of work to do.” These were not mere words; this was a command for me. I got up and limped to that place and did as Mohanji had instructed. And then came back and sat next to Mohanji again. We sat there for a couple of hours almost till the aarati happens. While we were sitting, an old lady came. In the last few days of Mohanji’s regular visits and sitting at the same place, they had got to know each other, and so she comes and talks to Mohanji in their language – Malayalam.

That day when she saw me, Mohanji first introduced me to her in their language as his ‘shishya’ which means ‘disciple’. For me to hear this word directly from Mohanji, in front of Adi Shankara, inside this pious temple, was a great thing. I can be his follower, I can be his devotee, but to be my Guru’s disciple is a lifetime honour itself! Then he requested the lady to help me go and see the aarati properly right in the front again.

Mohanji was not going there, but he ensured that we were taken care of and had a proper darshan. Before going out, we did the parikrama around the temple visiting all the other small temples of other deities, and Mohanji continued to talk to me about each one. He even instructed Rajesh to get two lamps for me and showed me where to light it, where to show it and where to place those lamps! Honestly, I was a 5-year-old girl at that time, and my father was showing me around everything with so much care and compassion. I was still floating!

I stayed one more day in Mookambika and those two days watching Mohanji being in a sadhana mode; I felt it was my punya from many lifetimes! I returned back to London with the determination that I would meet Mohanji again in a few weeks for the Global Summit and Mohanji’s birthday celebration in Sri Lanka.

At the end of January, it was the inauguration of the land in Arunachala – a home for seniors. I heard from some people who met Mohanji at that time that he had terrible pain in his feet and was limping. A few weeks later, during the 3rd week of February, we all travelled to Sri Lanka. When I reached the hotel, and after some time, I got the chance to meet Mohanji in his room. And what I saw made me go numb. His left foot was very swollen, and he was in pain.

It didn’t take me a moment to realise what had happened since January first week when I was limping in front of him with swelling and pain in my left foot, and now I was walking fine, but he had swelling and pain in his left foot. I am insignificant here. What is significant is his compassion. He had transferred my pain, making me fit! His words in Mookmbika temple were ringing in my ears, “Tell Mother to make you fit. You have a lot of work to do.”

After the Global Summit, on this birthday morning, we all went to Kataragama temple. While walking around the temple, Mohanji was limping. Even though he had pain, nothing was shown on his face; he was laughing and talking with everyone. Inside the temple, on the sandy ground, he was walking barefooted and was limping. At that point, I couldn’t stop my emotion anymore. My heart was crying out. When I got the chance, I expressed to him, “Mohanji, please give back my pain to me. I can’t see you like this.” He smiled and said, “How do you know it’s only yours? You can’t bear what I can. I may have some pain in the body, but I have no suffering.”

It was the responsibility of a mother who would bear all the pain for the child but will never make it visible to the child. Mohanji doesn’t need any credit for what he does for us. His only aim is to free us from our pain and suffering without making it a big deal in front of us. He does his job quietly. On one side, I was so grateful to him to have removed my pain and making me fit, but on another side, I was sad to see him in that pain.

One evening while we were in some discussion during the global meet, Barbara called me to say Mohanji had called me. That evening Mohanji was not feeling well. When I went to his room, he was resting. When I went near to him, he opened his palm and showed me a thread that he was holding. It was a part of his janeyu (the sacred thread that he wears around his neck and chest). He said while he was laying there his hand on his chest, half of the janeyu just came in his hand, he doesn’t know how. He still has the janeyu around his chest. He gave me that sacred thread in my hand and told me to keep it.

It was no less than a miracle, that while he was sleeping, a few layers of the sacred thread came in his hand just like that! I didn’t use my mind to analyse this or to understand this. For me, it was my Guru’s blessings, his protection, in the form of the sacred thread, protection that had materialised in his hand! Without any delay, he had called me and given it to me, which meant he knew I needed protection at that time. We have no clue what dangers he protects us and saves us from, some we see, some we don’t see and some we see but don’t realise. His subtle way of working is beyond the understanding of my limited thinking.

The only thing that I know very well by now is that his compassion, his love is beyond any limit, beyond any boundary. Truly for me, Mohanji is compassion incarnate, showering his grace and love unconditionally beyond any form or relation.  My heartfelt gratitude, my hug and love from this tiny heart goes to where my Guru lives. Not too far away, but right here, at the centre of my heart. I love you Mohanji. Koti Pranams.

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

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

Disclaimer:

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

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

— Mohanji Testimonials Team

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is insight-timer.jpeg

Blissful days with Mohanji – Part 1

Mohanji1

by Ananthanarayanan Sankaran

Mohanji is veritably the Kalpavriksha or Kalpataru (the wish-fulfilling tree). His spiritual vibrations, selfless love, compassion, knowledge of the universal laws, wisdom and humility attract disciples the way bees are pulled to a garden of sweet-scented flowers. Whatever is lacking in the average man is found in fulsome measure in him. He stands apart as an extraordinary being whose very presence grants peace beyond measure. People flock around him seeking to fulfill their varied and endless desires. Through his blessings and grace, Mohanji grants his disciples everything they need as per their capacity to handle, eventually leading them towards total liberation.

In the path of Datta,  the only sadhana (practice) the seeker has to inculcate is to keep the connection going and the rest is the job of the Guru. There are plenty who wish to physically be with and serve a living Master. Plenty has also been written and said about how difficult it is to live with a Master who’s not bound by anything except Dharma.

It is only by his grace that I had an amazing opportunity to be with Mohanji and observe him from close quarters during the Arunachala (27 – 29 Jan) and Kerala (30 Jan – 9 Feb)  trips. This blog is an account of the events that unfolded in front of me in the presence of  Para Brahma Swaroopa Mohanji, and the impact they had on my awareness.

Home for seniors
Inauguration of ‘Mohanji Home for Seniors’ – a place where old people can live in peace, health, and dignity.

Before Arunachala, Mohanji had picked up an injury of sorts which made his movements a little difficult. However, he did not cancel any of the programs or cut them short because of this. “None of my appointments should be cancelled”, he told me when I went with the suggestion of either not meeting someone or making changes to the program for Arunachala. I was soon made to realise that Mohanji’s dictionary doesn’t have a word called ‘cancel’.

Two Masters
Arunachala was the time-space junction point where two Masters (Mohanji and Mooji Baba) met, perceived as coincidental or by-chance by the outside world.

What was originally conceived to be a private function for ‘Mohanji Home for Seniors’ inauguration, ended up being a huge gathering with plenty of guests and dignitaries including Mooji Baba whom Mohanji met ‘by chance’ at the hotel lobby and invited for the function. Those 2 days kept everyone on their toes as Mohanji moved like a lion despite the discomfort, providing clear instructions on what had to be done and how to go about executing it. In the end, the program was a huge success, all of it was possible only by Lord Arunachala’s and Mohanji’s grace.

After inaugurating the ‘Mohanji Home for Seniors’ in Arunachala on 29th January, we immediately left for Palakkad (a 9-hour journey by road) which could easily be called one of the most tiring road trips. The last toll between Kerala – Tamil Nadu border saw some delays. Mohanji called me personally and asked me to speak to the officer directly. I had my own doubts initially with the thought – “These check-post officers are rude most of the time and if they get upset, they ensure they give you sufficient hard time”. Then again, it was Mohanji who was asking me to go which means, he would have done all the ‘setup’ and all I need to do was to be physically present in the office.

As I entered the line for inquiring about the reason for the delay, the drivers who were already standing in the queue asked me to remain quiet and not raise my voice. Since it was Mohanji who asked me to go and speak directly, I didn’t heed their advice and went straight into the office. I explained the practical reason for my urgency and to my surprise, the officer collected all the papers from our driver, verified them and issued the receipt. When I walked out, I could see the doubt and curiosity in the faces of the people standing for a long time in the queue. This incident helped me to clearly understand that when we approach things in a practical and non-emotional way, we are bound to achieve the desired outcome as it is also coupled with Guru’s grace and support.

We reached the Palakkad home around 1:00 am and to my surprise, we were welcomed by almost 15-20 people. As soon as Mohanji sat on his chair, the others who were there to welcome him also settled down with no visible sign of leaving anytime soon. My initial reaction was, ‘Why are so many people waiting to see him so late in the night and why aren’t they leaving soon? Do they not know that he’s had a long program in Arunachala and has busy days ahead of him in Kerala?’ The question was short-lived as the very next minute, I could visualise Mohanji as Lord Krishna and the people around him were his friends from Vrindavan and Dwaraka (places where Krishna lived and ruled). The overwhelming love from the people gathered ensured Mohanji spent time with them that night although he was tired. He says “Be available, make every minute of your life purposeful. You never get a second chance.”

Kerala Group
Late-night gathering

 

Destiny brings the time, space and experiences for us – Mohanji

The next morning, I casually asked Devadas about the plans in Kerala for the next few days and he smiled. I insisted and then he laid it all out for me in 15 minutes. Hearing the plan, my first reaction was “OMG! this is insane”. However, the main concern lingering in my head was how on earth could all this work? Though I had firm faith in Mohanji and was quite ready to go with the flow, I was concerned about his health, especially the time required for his rest.

Little did I know that the people who turned up at home past midnight on 29th Jan was a prequel of what was to come during the next few days in Kerala where waves of people wanted his darshan and the 3 people near him were not sufficient to control the crowd, but more about it shortly.

After a brief 2-day stay in Palakkad, we left for Kannur, where a series of programs had been planned. As Mohanji’s discomfort due to the injury still persisted, the idea of cancelling a few appointments was floated which was immediately turned down by Mohanji. “These people have been waiting to see me, and some have taken time to come and meet me. How can I decide not to go? What kind of message am I sending to this world when I really want everyone to live for the world?”

We started our journey to Kannur the next morning. As we disembarked in Kannur from the train, we were lovingly welcomed by Mr. Anil Krishnan and advocate Madhu. On the road to Anil’s house, I was amazed by the size of the roads in Kannur. They were sufficiently broad that even 2 people walking side by side would create a traffic jam. I asked about this and Mohanji laughingly said: “People here want more garden space than road space”. This was so true as each house I came across had a huge open front-yard and it’s for no ordinary reason that Kerala is called ‘God’s own country’.

The first program in Kannur was the public satsang at Shirdi Sai Sansthan. During this satsang, I had an opportunity to meet Damodaran master – who used to teach mathematics to Mohanji during his school days back in the 80s. The mere reference to the subject made me take a few steps back from him as it’s only recently my dreams of failing in mathematics or getting tight slaps from my principal for the same reason has stopped.

The love they both (Mohanji and Damodaran master) had for each other was amazing. I felt as if it was for this meeting that the whole scene (satsang) was orchestrated. As he came near Mohanji and sought blessings from him, Mohanji immediately caught hold of his hands and sought blessings from Damodaran master. This scene taught me 2 things: 1) The best gift a disciple can give his/her guru is by living their teachings. Here, the guru (Damodaran master) was so happy and elated to see his student (Mohanji) achieve higher levels in life and 2) The student should always remind himself about the source of knowledge and remain humble. Here, the humility showed by the student (Mohanji) in seeking Damodaran master’s (guru) blessings was truly a lesson that would stay with me for a long time.

Damodaran master was visually moved to have received Shaktipat from Mohanji. He had told a few around him that, “I taught Mohan the concept of infinity and here I have my student (Mohanji) now teaching us what is real infinity (infinite consciousness)”. Mohanji said, “It is such an honour and a privilege to have given Shaktipat to Damodaran master and his blessings mean so much”.

kannur temple
Mohanji delivered a satsang and Shaktipat to everyone present at Shirdi Sai Temple – Kannur

 

Teacher
The happiest moment in the life of a teacher is when the student eventually masters the knowledge that the guru embodies.

 

teacher comment
“I taught him (Mohanji) on the concept of infinity and here I have my student (Mohanji) now teaching us what is real infinity (infinite consciousness)” – Damodaran master

Shaktipat
Mohanji giving Shaktipat to Damodaran master

 

“It was such an honour and a privilege to deliver Shaktipat to Damodaran master. I am very happy today” ~ Mohanji

That evening, Mohanji delivered Shaktipat to over 80+ people who had gathered there to meet and interact with him. It was getting late and the interactions with people continued. Does he even care about himself? Should he exert himself so much, instead can’t he go home and get some rest? He’s given Shaktipat – which is the supreme. There should technically be no questions beyond this. This thought was arising in my mind strongly. Later when I asked him this question, his response was:

I don’t have ownership. Things happen through me. You see, the pain is certainly there, but I’ve got no suffering (from the discomfort). You guys are all struggling because you happily postpone things or your own things. Ownership causes pain while surrendering it or not owning it, frees you. Will you postpone anything if you know the next minute you may not exist?”

Very true. I thought about myself and soon saw a pattern of delaying things so much that they lose value and the delay also takes away the charm of the work and output.

Up next – re-living Mohanji’s school days with his friends during Re-Union 2020.

 

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 27th February 2020

Disclaimer:

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

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

— Mohanji Testimonials Team