Journey to Girnar with Mohanji

Jayashree Mukund Shinde, USA

Feb 2020

Jai Gurudev Datta. Guru Mohanaya Namaha.

Surrendering at the lotus feet of Lord Datta, who is also known as “Girnar Raja” – the king of the Mountain Girnar, I am beginning my story of “Journey to Girnar with Mohanji”. 

More ancient than the Himalayas is Mount Girnar – the mountain that symbolizes “a Guru is always on top of the world”. Lord Dattatreya, the Adi Guru of Dattatreya Tradition, is believed to have meditated at the peak of this mountain for over 12,000 years. Many devotees of Lord Datta climb up Mount Girnar throughout the year to get a glimpse of the benevolent Guru, Dattatreya. It is said that to reach the peak of the mountain and to have the darshan of his (Lord Dattatreya) holy footprints, one should have a lot of determination, dedication, surrender, and utmost faith. One should follow the same path as his Guru, in the same direction, and only then can he reach the destination. Lord Dattatreya is present here protecting all his devotees.

I had travelled to India in Jan 2020 to attend a retreat with Mohanji, spend some time with my parents, and to attend a cousin’s wedding. I was going to be in India for some more time, and while I was there, I tried to spend as much time as I could, being around Mohanji. In late January 2020, the Bhumi Puja of the ‘Home for Seniors’ land was happening in Thiruvannamalai, and I was so fortunate to attend the ceremony and to be able to meet Mohanji there.

A few days after returning from Thiruvannamalai, I heard about a short trip that Mohanji was making to Mount Girnar, to the temple of Lord Datta. I had not heard about this mountain and Lord Datta’s temple before. I had no idea what it takes to go there! But as soon as I heard about it, a calling from my heart came to travel with Mohanji to Mount Girnar. A wet blanket was soon thrown over my excitement when I heard that going to Lord Datta’s temple on top of the mountain means climbing up 9999 steps and down the same too!

I shivered with the reality check. I didn’t think I could do this as I am not very fit physically. I gave up the idea. That’s when I got a message from Rajesh saying “You are coming to Girnar. Jo Dar Gaya Samjho Woh Mar Gaya.” (The one who is scared, is dead). His words were motivating enough, and I felt as if these words were coming from Mohanji! So, I decided to take the journey! On top of that, Rajesh assured me about the possibility of using the doli service, where you can be carried up rather than walk. I decided I would go to Girnar and take a doli. 

I reached Junagadh in the afternoon of February 11th. Several people from Mohanji family had already arrived there, and I was taken to the beautiful Gorakhnath Ashram overlooking Mount Girnar. After lunch, Ruchika and I went around feeding cows around the Gorakhnath Ashram Later, after Mohanji arrived, all of us gathered in his room. Mohanji was very happy to see all of us. I noticed that the swelling on Mohanji’s left foot had not reduced (which was there since the Thiruvannamalai event). Seeing all of us worrying about his foot pain, Mohanji very lovingly told us, “You are all Mai-Tri Practitioners. So why don’t you do Mai-Tri to this body? To the body only, not to Mohanji!” It’s beyond our imagination to heal Mohanji’s body, but we realized that to keep our worrying mind at rest, Mohanji was giving us this opportunity. In my heart, I was praying to Datta to relieve this physical pain from Mohanji’s foot.

Mount Girnar

We had a small satsang with Mohanji about Girnar  and the plan to climb in the night so as to reach the top by early morning for aarati at 5:30 am. Rajesh Kamath mentioned that I wanted to take a doli as it was difficult for me to climb. Mohanji immediately said, “Shinde has to climb, she will climb, it’s her sadhana”. This was a command from my Guru, and I bowed down to this and said, “Yes Baba, all your grace, your will”.  

As Mohanji reminded us all, “A visit to Girnar is not an ordinary journey. It is a surrender and commitment to the Tradition. Unless you have deep commitment and conviction, you may not be in this land. In fact, there is no better place, more powerful and more relevant than Girnar for a true spiritualist in the path of the Avadhootas (total dissolution). We aren’t talking about enlightenment or even the Path of the Siddhas here – this is much beyond human realms or thinking. Even today, the nine Naths and 84 Siddhas visit Girnar in sookshma form, chant and pray for the darshan of Lord Dattatreya who continues to guide them. Grace alone can bring an individual to this land. Grace and surrender alone will help one complete this holy pilgrimage. Jai Gurudev Datta!”

After the empowering satsang with Mohanji, we got ready to start our climb to Mount Girnar. Along with me, Ruchika, Sonia, Hemkant and his wife Shilpa were ready too. After attending the aarati at Gorakhnath temple and dinner, we started our walk around 9 pm. We took blessings from the idols of Lord Datta and Hanuman at the bottom of Girnar and started climbing from there.  

We had no idea about what the climbing path would be like, or how long it will take. We all carried a stick, a bottle of water, and chanting Lord Datta’s name, we kept on climbing. As we picked up our pace, a couple of people fell behind. As I was walking, I felt that there were Masters from above looking at us. I could feel their energy around us. 

Walking up the steep steps wasn’t easy for me. My knees hurt, and my legs felt weak to move. I had to take frequent stops to sit down and then kept on walking. At some point, all of us met up again, and we sat down at that point to meditate for a few minutes and then continued walking. As we were walking, another elderly couple joined us. As we were climbing, I spoke to them about Mohanji, Mohanji’s mission, liberation and gave a brief of his teachings, too.

At some point during our walk, we noticed that George had arrived. He was walking very fast, chanting “Jai Gurudeva Datta, Hari Om Tat-Sat” loudly. When he saw us, he hugged us and kept on walking. Seeing the energetic George walking with such speed, chanting loudly, I felt a sudden surge of energy in my own body. He reminded me of Lord Hanuman, who was empowered because of his faith and devotionHemkant started walking fast, ahead with George. The rest of us were walking at our own pace, Shilpa and I were together, walking, talking, resting. It was not so easy, and the body would give up. In those moments, I thought of Mohanji and Lord Datta and reminded myself that this is my path; this is my destination; this is the goal – to reach Datta, I have to do it. 

Surrendering each step to Lord Datta, I kept walking. Something in me started telling me, “keep walking.” Slowly, the energy started flowing and I could climb with lesser effort.

After some time, I saw that Hemkant was resting because of severe pain in his knee, and Shilpa was with him. George went ahead. I could not wait with Hemkant because the inner voice said,  “keep walking”. I kept walking, and another old couple were walking along too. We sent a balm for Hemkant that the couple had with them through some people going down, and we kept on walking ahead. 

After 3000 steps, we reached the Neminath Tirthankar temple along with the elderly couple.

Following a brief rest, I started climbing up again alone. It was pitch dark. I had no torch. The couple were still resting behind, but I kept walking even in the darkness. I could feel the pull of some divine energy which was making me walk. I didn’t know the path, but I kept on walking. When I felt tired, I would feel a sudden surge of energy as soon as I surrendered to Mohanji and Dattatreya. After a while, I heard Mohanji and his group coming behind us, Mohanji in a doli. I looked back at them, and I wanted to go towards Mohanji. Mohanji saw me and said, “Shinde don’t come back, keep walking, and go ahead”.  Now, I was walking with even more energy and joy knowing that Mohanji and the group are walking just behind me. I had no more fear, no more pain; I started climbing higher and higher. With each step, I was surrendering and climbing.  

It was dark everywhere and pin-drop silence. Not a single soul to be seen. I was just taking each step slowly and going up with complete faith. After the 5000th step, I reached Ambaji’s temple. The doors of the temple were closed, and I did not know what to do. Mohanji’s words “keep walking” were always ringing in my head. So, I got up from the temple and started climbing again. Through ups and downs, amidst the dark in the silent path, walking continuously, finally I reached the Gorakhnath temple at around 7000 steps. At this point, the only sound was the sound of the wind blowing; hard-hitting, strong and cold. I also knew there were wild animals in those mountains, which I could not see or hear. I felt the presence of some Masters above me, walking along with me.  It was not that I was walking alone. Datta Guru  Mohanji was watching over me and that was the reason for this huge surge of energy coursing through my body, making me walk.  I remembered only these two things while walking.

mohanji black tshirt

At one point, the steps go down, and then they take off to go to the ultimate, Guru Shikhar – the peak. Climbing these steep steps towards the peak, I suddenly felt there were no thoughts. There was only emptiness. I had only two thoughts in my mind, to reach Guru Shikhar and be at the Datta temple before the aarati and to keep walking. 

I was walking like a daredevil, without any fear of the solitude or darkness. Suddenly at one point, my stick slipped from my hand and went down somewhere in the dark. It can be quite a discomfort being without a stick in the darkness. I started chanting and climbing down slowly. Maybe after 50 steps or so, I saw my stick! It was stuck to something, and I had spotted it even in the dark. I picked up the stick, thanked Mohanji and Datta and started walking again with focus. At times, the fear of walking alone came to mind, but at those times, I felt the Masters watching over me and Mohanji’s presence with me, protecting me. My fear vanished with this understanding. I remembered Mohanji’s words, “keep walking” and so I kept walking.  

The final part of climbing was very steep, but I didn’t even realize how I climbed that part. Finally, I saw a flag and the top of Guru Shikhar, the top of the temple and I started climbing further. It was getting even windier at the top, and I felt that I might fall. After climbing carefully, I reached the top, and I saw George sitting just below the Datta temple. He guided me to go further up near the temple, and when I reached there, I saw Rajesh Kamath and DB. It was 4 am (Brahma Muhurtha) when I reached the Datta temple.

I walked up and touched the temple; now was the time to sit down! At that point, I had an immense surge of energy in me, and I wasn’t feeling cold or wind beat. Rajesh forced me to wear my jacket and then I sat down. It was as if Mohanji acted like my mother, making sure I was protected from the cold wind. As soon as I put on my jacket and sat, intense pain started in my stomach centre near the navel, going back to my spine, like some pull, it was very painful. I didn’t know what it was and I started crying out to Datta. Rajesh helped me lie down and to rest completely, and soon I felt better. Datta’s healing energy had taken my pain away in minutes! 

After about half an hour, Mohanji and the rest of the group arrived too. As soon as Mohanji saw me, he said, “Ah, Shinde, you are already there”. I said “Baba, all your love and grace” and I bowed down to him.  

We were waiting for the temple to open at 5:30 am for the aarati. While the slight delay was happening, Sonia and Ruchika arrived. Then after the temple opened, while we were going inside, Hemkant and Shilpa arrived too. The entire Mohanji family was inside the temple just in time for the aarati. Mohanji ensured that everyone was there together with him.

Lord Dattatreya

This was the great divine grace of Datta.  

Just before the aarati, while I was standing behind Mohanji, he said to Ananth who was there in the front, “You know this Shinde, she can talk about liberation in three minutes”. I blushed because I realized that Mohanji heard my conversation with the couple while we were walking about our Tradition, Masters, liberation etc. Mohanji reminded me once again that he is always listening to us. 

Soon aarati started. It was such a powerful and divine moment to attend the Datta aarati in the physical presence of Mohanji. I couldn’t believe myself; I was physically there receiving this grace!!! I was speechless, completely merged with the divine grace of Mohanji and Datta. Time had stopped for me at that moment. So far, it was one of the greatest moments of my life.

After aarati, we went around the Lord Dattatreya’s idol inside the temple, had a good darshan and came out.

After the 7-8 hours long sadhana of climbing up, the descent was joyful. Yes, Mohanji ensured that the descent was joyful. Sonia, Ruchika and I started climbing down together, talking laughing, eating, our legs were flying with joy! Such satisfaction, such contentment!

We had many interesting incidents during our walk down, like meeting some strange people. We went to Gorakhnath temple, heard the inspiring story of the priest there who had left his banker job to serve in the temple. We then reached the Ambaji temple where we had darshan of the divine Mother and finally decided to sit down for some time to take rest. We were feeling as if we were flying, and we felt so light. We laughed at small things. On our way down, we met an old man looking like a yogi. He told us so many stories of Mount Girnar. We kept walking down, enjoying our journey together. After a while, we saw some monkeys and gave them watermelon. Then, from nowhere, a person started walking with us even after we said we didn’t need any help; he just wanted to accompany us. In between an old mother wanted some food for her children and we bought some food for her. Finally, in the mix of laughing, sitting, and walking, we reached the bottom of Mount Girnar and arrived at the Gorakhnath ashram. We offered food and some money to the person who had been walking with us all this time. 

The next day, before leaving Girnar, we met Mohanji to express our gratitude and take his blessings. Again, Mohanji said to me, “Why do you need a doli, when you have this body?” He explained to me what a beautiful gift we have as this body and its importance. I was in deep gratitude, and tears rolled down my cheeks. Everything that happened the day before was only by the grace of my Datta, Guru Mohanji. 

After returning from Girnar, I felt Mohanji was Lord Datta and daily did the Swami Samarth Datta aarati. However, Mohanji fulfilled every desire of mine within a few days.  Mahesh Bhalero sang a new Girnar Datta aarati to Mohanji. I was overjoyed and now I do the Mohanji datta aarati every day.

On my return to Bangalore, I also visited Devi Amma to give her Ganga water from Varanasi and some tamil books and spoke about the Girnar trip with Mohanji. Devi Amma said, “You have shed many lifetimes karmic baggage by climbing Girnar with Mohanji.” Then I understood what Mohanji had meant when he said, “It’s your sadhana.” It meant shedding karmic baggage.

Visiting Girnar had not been on my bucket list. Not even a thought had been there, at least not in my conscious mind. But it all just happened with the grace of Datta and the miracle of my Guru Mohanji. Even today, when I look back, I get goose bumps. How did it happen? 

The truth is that the journey to Girnar happens only with complete faith and devotion, the grace of Dattatreya, and Datta Guru Mohanji, who carries you ahead.

This yatra (pilgrimage) to Girnar with Mohanji will remain close to my heart forever. 

At the lotus feet of GURUDEVADATTA MOHANJI!

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 7th January 2021

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

Girnar with Mohanji, a journey of bliss!

By Hemkant Laxman Pagdhare

Mohanji and a small group of 12 people had the ultimate opportunity to visit Girnar in the state of Gujarat, which is considered as one of the most ancient ‘Datta Kshetras’ in India.

The very appearance of the mountain symbolizes that ‘A Guru is always on top of the world.’ Lord Dattatreya is considered as the ADI GURU or THE SUPREME POWER and he meditated here for over 12,000 years. Lord Dattatreya’s lotus feet are on the Gurushikhar peak which is more ancient than the Himalayas. Another great symbolism of Girnar is that ‘To reach and have the darshan of Lord Dattatreya’s holy footprints, one should have a lot of determination, dedication, surrender and utmost faith. One should follow the same path as his Guru in the same direction, and only then can we reach our goal. Lord Dattatreya is present here and he is protecting all his devotees.

In Mohanji’s words, “A visit to Girnar is not an ordinary journey. It is surrender and commitment to the Tradition. Unless you have deep commitment and conviction, you may not be on this land. Many people may visit not fully knowing why as in some instances; Lord Dattatreya could be their family deity, etc. However, for people who are consciously going, it reaffirms their deep conviction to the path of Avadhoota. In fact, there is no better place more powerful and more relevant than Girnar for a true spiritualist on the path of Avadhoota (total dissolution). We aren’t talking about enlightenment or even the path of Siddha here – this is much beyond human realms or thinking. In fact, even today, the nine Naths and 84 Siddhas visit Girnar in sookshma form, chant and pray for the darshan of Lord Dattatreya who continues to guide them along. Only grace alone can bring an individual to this land, and grace and surrender alone will help one complete this holy pilgrimage.” 

Visiting Lord Dattatreya with our own Datta Master is never complete without a share of his leelas.

Since October 2017 when I had done my 1st pilgrimage to Girnar; it was my wish to be with Mohanji in Girnar. With Mohanji’s grace, my wife Shilpa and I could join Mohanji on the Girnar pilgrimage last month, on 11th February 2020. This was my fourth and Shilpa’s second visit to Girnar.

Girnar, also known as Girinagar (city-on-the-hill) or Revatak Parvata, is a group of mountains in the Junagadh district of Gujarat, India. It is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Jains, who gather here during the Girnar Parikrama festival. Mount Girnar is older than the Himalayas and the Jain temples upon it are amongst the most ancient in the country; it is the Nirvan bhumi of the 22nd Tirthankara, Lord Neminatha (a Jain saint).

It is advisable to start the journey at dawn generally, or evening on full moon days as it takes hours to complete the pilgrimage. Climbing the 10,000 steps is no easy task and takes a fit person about 4 to 5 hours to complete the yatra. One has to reach Junagadh first from where autos are available to reach Bhavnath Taleti, the starting point of the Girnar yatra.

Guru Gorakhnath Ashram
Guru Gorakhnath Ashram

The plan was to start the ascent by late evening. We reached the ashram in the early morning on the 11th. Ananth welcomed us at the Guru Gorakhnath ashram also known as Triloknath ashram and escorted us to our room. This is one of the best ashrams here which is well kept. The ashram provides good quality meals. One can easily enjoy the magnanimous and serene view of Mount Girnar from the ashram. Evening aarati at 7 pm is mesmerising and soothing.

Ananth informed us that Mohanji would arrive in the afternoon. The rooms were quite spacious, neat and clean. We rested and waited for the rest of the group members to arrive. By 10 am, we met the other group members and then left the ashram. We visited the holy Damodar Kund. Many devotees prefer to bathe in the Kund or immerse the cremation ashes (asthi-visarjana) here; as it is believed that the departed souls would get moksha by doing so.

Muchkund Cave

After dipping our feet in the holy Kund, we went to the nearby Damodar Hari temple and Muchukund cave. The Muchukund cave has a temple of Lord Krishna and a Shiv Linga believed to be established either by Lord Krishna himself or by King Muchkundh, the ancestor of Lord Rama. This is also the place where demon Kalayavan, who was chasing Lord Krishna, was killed by Muchukunda’s gaze.

bhavnath-mahadev temple
bhavnath-mahadev temple

Later on, we went to Bhavnath Mahadev temple. The Shiva Ling here is said to have emerged by its divine intention. Reportedly, when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were travelling over the Girnar Hills, their divine garment fell over the present Mrigi Kund, making this place an auspicious site for Lord Shiva worshippers. After coming back to the ashram, Ananth called us to meet Mr. Joshi, a professor at a local college and an enthusiastic historian cum writer. He gave us some crucial information about Mount Girnar.

By this time, we were all eagerly waiting for Mohanji to arrive. Mohanji’s flight had got delayed and he arrived late in the afternoon. Everyone gathered in his room to see him. Despite the tedious journey from Bangalore to Junagadh, Mohanji looked so fresh and happy to see us all. We noticed that Mohanji’s left foot was swollen. Due to his busy schedule, he could hardly rest or take care of his left foot. Sonia di and Ruchika immediately started massaging his feet. Sonia di gave Mai-Tri to Mohanji’s swollen foot with Mohanji’s energy.

Mr. Joshi also joined us. Mohanji asked Mr. Joshi to sit on the chair next to him saying that we are all bhaktas of Lord Dattatreya and we are all equal in his eyes. Mohanji’s practice of insignificance was quite heart melting. Mr. Joshi gifted some books to Mohanji, written by him on Girnar. Mohanji honoured the books by touching his forehead to them and readily accepted them. Mohanji said, “The importance of Girnar and the Datta Tradition is not well known to the outside world; hence the books must be translated into English.” 

We all had a great satsang. Mohanji mainly spoke about the importance of alignment and rituals, and said that no ritual is a waste; they all have a deeper significance. After two blissful hours, we returned to our respective rooms to prepare for the Gurushikhar pilgrimage. We had to climb 9999 steps to reach there.

Since Shilpa wanted to walk comfortably at her own pace, we took Mohanji’s permission and blessings to start early. Kamath da, DB, Ananth, Naresh, George, Christopher along with Mohanji were supposed to start the trek after Christopher’s arrival.

Five of us, Soniya di, Ruchika, Jaya di, Shilpa and myself started the ascent by 9 pm. We prostrated at the first step and began our pilgrimage to Gurushikhar to have darshan of Lord Dattatreya’s padukas.

Generally, the temple closes after aarati at 7 pm and reopens by 5:30 am after aarati. So ideally, to reach Gurushikhar before aarati was what we were aiming at. The temple remains open for 24 hours during full moon days.

We bought some orange candies to keep our mouth wet while climbing. It helps as drinking a lot of water is not practical. We had limited water stock to reduce the load while climbing and there was no chance to get drinking water till the next morning.

I was chanting the mantra given by Mohanji, “Aum Hreem Dram Shri Gurudev Datta.” The silence of the Gir forest was quite pleasant. I was also guided by Mohanji in the mind to be with the group at least till the Neminath temple (which is at about 3500 steps). I also told Shilpa about this message.

Shilpa and Jaya di were walking steadily while Sonia di and Ruchika were some steps behind us. So I told Shilpa and Jaya di to go ahead and keep moving at a steady pace and started walking with Sonia di and Ruchika.

“The destination is important but the journey is important as well!” Mohanji reminded me in the mind.

After about 1000 steps, we came across the first rest-house. There were cement benches to sit and relax. We sat there and meditated for some time. It was a wonderful experience. I told Shilpa that Mohanji telepathically conveyed that they have left the ashram. We resumed our ascent with renewed energy. I checked the time; it was 11:09 pm.

After climbing some steps, we met an elderly couple from Maharashtra. We introduced ourselves and started walking together. They were relieved to meet us, as they were advised to walk in a group in the Gir jungle which is a home to Asiatic lions, leopards and many wild animals. There has been no incidence of attacks till date. But as a precaution, local people guide us not to wait in the dark or go off the steps. If one has to rest, one must rest under a streetlight during the night journey. There were streetlights along our way but in between two lights there were dark patches as well. We used a torch whenever required. Two days back it was full moon, but for us the moonlight was obstructed by the Ambaji Peak.

After about an hour or so, we saw George nearing us singing Jay Gurudev Datta loudly. He hugged all of us and left singing Jay Gurudev Datta loudly. His speed was amazing. Aunty noticed that George was bare footed and exclaimed, “Look, he is climbing bare footed. His faith is stronger than ours!”

Somehow something changed inside me. It was truly inspiring to see George float on the mountain like this. Even I started climbing at a slightly faster pace, despite instructing others to walk at a steady pace! Unfortunately, everything happened so suddenly and unconsciously that I did not even notice that our group was left behind.

Climbing at a faster pace, I injured my left knee. A big lesson was learnt. I was guided by Mohanji well in advance to be with the group till the Neminath temple, but my mind was not aware enough to follow it. My left knee was hurting. I stopped and waited for the rest of the group. It read ‘2500 steps completed’ at that place. I waited for almost 20 minutes till Shilpa and Jaya di came. I informed them about my mistake and we all resumed our journey. Jaya di was getting ‘Keep walking’ messages telepathically, so she retained her pace and went ahead and joined the Maharashtrian couple.

Kamath da and DB joined us after some time. It seems transformation by being on this holy mountain had already started in them. They seemed to be deeply inspired by the Naga Sadhus around the area and were wandering topless. They informed us that they left the ashram by 11:10 pm. This time was a close match with the message that I had received telepathically during our meditation, a few hours back.

Kamath da and DB left us soon. Our speed had slowed down considerably. Sonia di and Ruchika joined us. Sonia di did Mai-Tri to my knees. Ruchika gave some ‘blessed oil’ which Shilpa used to massage my knees with. I felt better. She also offered pain killer tablets which I denied politely. We kept climbing slowly and steadily.

As we were nearing the Neminath temple which is at a height of about 3800 steps, the pain got worse. To reach Gurushikhar Datta temple, we have to cross two peaks; one is Ambaji and the other is Gorakhnath. Gurushikhar temple was on the third peak.

I told Shilpa to go ahead and join the rest of the group, while I wait at the Ambaji temple, but she encouraged me to keep walking. Seeing my condition, Sonia di insisted that I have pain killers which I did hesitantly. I wanted to avoid them but Shilpa also advised me to have them.

Later, we saw Mohanji nearing us. Ananth was walking along with him. Mohanji blessed us and went ahead. When we reached the Neminath temple, we were delighted to see the whole group relaxing around Mohanji.

In Shilpa’s words, “It felt as if Lord Krishna was playing his flute on the banks of the river Yamuna, and all the enchanted Gopis had flocked around him. While all the Gopis were spellbound by the melodious music, our Chittachor Mohana was working on their causal layers, stripping them of their unwanted karmas. While all the Gopis were deeply assured that they were the Lord’s closest and most beloved, our Dharmastapak Mohana was truly interested in uplifting the whole society by transforming and empowering them. It was all Mohanji’s leela.”

We had a wonderful satsang for about 15 to 20 minutes. Mohanji mainly talked about walking the path with clarity and conviction. We resumed our climb. After some time, “Come to Gurushikhar,” Mohanji conveyed telepathically. So I decided to climb till the Gurushikhar Datta temple and changed my plan of staying back at the Ambaji temple.

We reached the Ambaji temple located at about 5000 steps. We prostrated from the outside and resumed our journey. The Ambaji temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peetha.

The Shakti Peethas are significant shrines and pilgrimage destinations dedicated to Devi Sati. The story goes like this: After Devi Sati’s self-immolation, Lord Shiva picked up the remains of Sati’s body and performed the Tandava, the celestial dance of destruction, across all creation. The other Gods requested Lord Vishnu to intervene and stop this destruction, for which Lord Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra, which cut through Devi Sati’s corpse. Various parts of the body fell at several spots all through the Indian subcontinent and formed sites which are known as Shakti Peethas today. It is said that the stomach of Devi Sati had fallen here at Girnar. There is an idol of Devi Sati in the form of Devi Chandrabhaga here.

It was 3:30 am and we were still somewhere between the Ambaji and Gorakhnath Peaks. ‘It was mission impossible to reach the Gurushikhar temple by 5:30 am with knee pain and a slow speed,’ this thought was noticed.

We kept chanting and walking. Strong cold winds were blowing at Gorakhnath Peak. It is the tallest amongst the three Peaks at about 7000 steps and the tallest peak in Gujarat too. We prayed at Gorakhnath ji’s Samadhi and started descending the Peak.

When we had descended the whole Peak, there was a gate at a junction point where on the left side, the steps led up to the Gurushikhar Datta temple while on the right side, the steps descended further to Kamandalu Kund. I requested Shilpa to move ahead, so that at least she can have this rarest opportunity of attending the aarati at Gurushikhar with Mohanji.

Junction point to Gurushikhar & Kamandalu
Junction point to Gurushikhar & Kamandalu

Shilpa and Ruchika went ahead of us and Sonia di and I kept walking after them. By now, the steps were getting very steep. We were at about 200 to 250 steps from the summit when I took a long deep breath, closed my eyes and meditated while standing. I saw Mohanji with his head wrapped with a thin red angavastra (cloth).

Just after the above vision, when I resumed the climb, I heard some noise. When I turned around, I saw the priest of the Datta temple climbing with a milk pot in his hand which was making the sound. His head was wrapped in a similar red cloth, exactly as per the above vision.

I had no strength by now to climb faster. It was 5:27 am and about 150 steps yet to climb. 5:30 am is the aarati time. It seems that there was no chance to be part of the aarati now. But Mohanji had some other plans.

As I neared the temple, I could see many people sitting along the steps waiting for the temple to open. The Maharashtrian couple was also sitting there. I returned the pain balm they had given me and thanked them.

Finally, with Mohanji’s grace, we reached the temple. Everyone from our group (except George) were waiting just outside the temple door grill along the steps in a queue. We had arrived late, probably after 5:40 am but aarati had not even started!

Lord Datta’s temple is a very small structure on the narrow Gurushikhar peak. It has a sanctum with Lord Datta’s murti and paduka at the centre. Lord Dattatreya is an incarnation of the Divine Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He is revered as the Adi-Guru. He meditated at this lonely peak of Girnar for nearly 12,000 years. His footprints are preserved here in this temple. It can host about 15 to 20 people but no one is allowed to stay long inside; so everyone must keep moving after darshan.

The aarati started and Mohanji along with some of our group members were able to witness it from the outside. Cold wind was blowing and everyone was fully covered in warm clothes except for Mohanji who was standing there in a dhoti and a thin white shawl. But he was standing there totally detached, completely unaware of his bodily discomfort, be it left foot swelling or extreme weather conditions.

Although I was the last one in the queue, standing on the steps; I was able to see lord Dattatreya’s idol and the priest who was performing the aarati. It was a great blessing to be with Mohanji at the Gurushikhar temple during aarati.

Mohanji was the first one to enter the temple after the aarati and I was the last one in our group. When Mohanji was coming out of the temple, Shilpa and I were entering exactly at the same time! This gave us the rarest opportunity to prostrate at Mohanji’s feet at the Gurushikhar temple; a wish to be with Datta Swarupa Mohana Sai at Gurushikhar was fulfilled!

“Welcome”, he said. “How are you?” Mohanji enquired. “Despite the physical discomforts, Mohanji you chose to be with us. Thank you so much for everything you do,” I thanked Mohanji with gratitude.

After darshan, everyone left as there was no space to sit and meditate outside the temple complex. I wanted to walk slowly. I asked Shilpa to go ahead and be with the group, but she chose to walk with me.

We slowly descended to the Kamandalu Kund ashram. It is said that Lord Dattatreya travelled from place to place for meditation. When he came to Mount Girnar, there was no drinking water. He threw his calabash (water container) with full force. The rocks cracked from this force and out flowed Mother Ganga. She was pleased and told Lord Dattatreya that her flow will continue for the welfare of devotees. After that, Lord Dattatreya kindled the Holy Fire (Akhand Dhuni) which keeps on burning here since then.

Akand Dhuni at Kamandalu Kund Ashram
Akand Dhuni at Kamandalu Kund Ashram

We had Mahaprasad at the Kamandalu Kund ashram. Then we sat near the Akhand Dhuni and meditated for some time. Every Monday, the Mahants (priests) of the ashram clean the dhuni. Then they arrange wood in the dhuni. Later, when they chant the Shri Guru Dattatreya mantras, the holy fire kindles without any external means like a match box, fuel etc. The sacred ash from the Akhand Dhuni is given as prasad to devotees. This ash is believed to be very sacred, curing many ailments.

We left Kamandalu Kund ashram. The second phase of our test began.

“Climb using both your legs,” was the message conveyed telepathically by Mohanji. As my left knee was hurt, naturally the load of my body was taken by the right knee, thereby overloading it. But I didn’t realize this, till I received this message. This had made my right knee suffer and now both knees were hurting. Because of the above message, I consciously started using both the legs and thus equally distributing my weight on both legs.

At around 10 am, we reached the Gorakhnath peak. The wind velocity was so high there that I had to sit and climb one step at a time or I felt that I would be blown away!

Guru gorakshnath ji
Guru Gorakhnath Temple

Guru Gorakhnath is considered a Maha-Yogi who did not emphasise on any specific metaphysical theory or a particular Truth. He emphasized that the search for the Truth and a spiritual life are valuable and normal goals of every man. Guru Gorakhnath championed yoga, spiritual discipline and an ethical life of self-determination as a means to reaching samadhi and one’s spiritual truths.

Dhuni at Guru gorakshnath ji
Dhuni at Guru gorakshnath ji

No samadhi of Guru Gorakhnath has ever been found. The caves where he meditated are Gorakh Gufa in Nepal, Goraksh Tilla in Pakistan and Gorakhnath temple at Girnar where Guru Gorakhnath’s dhuni still exists and are worshipped. Guru Gorakhnath is considered to be ever existent by Nath Yogis.

We prayed to Guru Gorakhnath. While standing on the highest peak of Gujarat, my knee-pain had also reached its peak! We started our descent. After every two steps, I had to sit and rest. At last, I started descending by crawling down the steps for some time, slowly. One hour had passed and we did not even cover 100 steps!

I sent a WhatsApp message to Sonia di to get Mai-Tri done to my knees, whenever possible; as network was not available there. Thoughts of hiring a doli (modified chair to carry a person) for myself had started whirling in my mind by now. We somehow reached the Ambaji temple and enquired about a doli with a shopkeeper. He said, “You will get it near the Neminath temple.”

Meanwhile at around noon, Shilpa advised me to wrap her dupatta (shawl) around my knee for support. This idea worked. We slowly started descending towards the Neminath temple. Between the Ambaji and Neminath temples, we rested near the Gomukhi Ganga temple. A family of 10 to 12 local people also sat nearby us. We had some chitchat with them. They told us that after the Lord Dattatreya paduka darshan descent, they had plans to visit the Jamal Shah Datar Darga on the nearby Datar mountain which is some 5000 steps! We were fascinated by their stamina and spirit.

Gomukhi kund
Gomukhi kund

When they came to know about my knee pain, one of the people from the group offered to massage my knees with oil that he had. I thanked him and refused politely.

On our way down, just some 500 steps before the Neminath temple, there is a small Dattatreya temple. We could see the Lord’s idol from the outside. It was very lively. I instantly started connecting mentally. The Mahant of the temple saw us and came outside. When we asked about a doli, he gave us the detailed information and finally concluded, “If you can walk, then walk. Maximum that will happen is you will arrive late by a few hours.”

While talking to the Mahant, I was able to see Lord Dattatreya’s beautiful idol behind him. I instantly remembered Mohanji’s guidance to Jaya di given the previous night, “Use a doli only if you cannot walk.” The same message was delivered again via the Mahant. We thanked and told him that Lord Datta had guided me through him.

Finally, after contemplating on this incidence; I decided to climb down on my own, no matter what time I reach the ashram. I told Shilpa about it and asked her to go ahead but she denied again. When we reached the Neminath temple, it was already 1:30 pm. There are some 16 Jain temples here which form a sort of a fort on the ledge at the top of the cliff. The Neminath temple is the largest temple amongst these temples.

This was the only place in our journey where ablution facility was available. We took permission and freshened up. Later, we sat in front of a radiant black Neminath idol for some time and left after a mini meditation. I was feeling very energetic. I connected to Mohanji and updated him that we were at the Neminath temple. Mohanji acknowledged and replied in the mind, “Eat well!”

Mohanji, you have been taking care of even small aspects of our existence like a mother. How can we thank you enough for your presence in our lives …

Upon receipt of above telepathic message, I realized that we had not had lunch till then. So we bought a few packs of chiwda, wafers, biscuits, water bottle etc. There was a big banyan tree nearby with some arrangement made of flat rocks around. We sat under the tree and had our refreshments.

On our way down, a doliwala noticed the way I was walking and voluntarily offered his doli service at a very reasonable price. But we politely refused.

After some descent, I noticed that despite it being sunny there was some sort of shade on us. I looked up at the sky and found that there was a dark cloud which was surrounded by many white clouds; they were blocking the sun for us! What a blessing! What grace!

We fed biscuits to squirrels on our way down. Our speed was extremely slow but we were enjoying the bliss of being on the sacred mountain. Chanting was happening too.

When about 2000 steps of descent were remaining, all of a sudden, we were accompanied by a troop of about 40 to 50 monkeys along with their cute babies. It was late in the afternoon. Our way was deserted except for us and the monkeys. The overall situation was exciting as well as challenging as the monkeys were very friendly and coming near us. They started climbing down with us. A monkey made a hissing noise very close to me from the back and I naturally turned to my right suddenly. I was just about to slip but with Mohanji’s grace, I was protected from the fall.

Mohanji with monkeys
Mohanji feeding the monkeys

Shilpa came to me and we both started walking together, hand in hand. After a few steps, our path was blocked by two monkeys sitting opposite to each other with their tails on the path. This reminded me of the incidence when Hanumanji had sat on Arjuna’s way and blocked his way with his tail. Some baby monkeys were playing on the path too.

We tried making some noise using our sticks without any success. I had no clue how to cross them but we kept moving. As we got near, one of the playful infants tried to hold my stick which I lifted high, a little rapidly. But the infant was determined to hold the stick and so it jumped again unsuccessfully. This made its mother also jump and our way was cleared unexpectedly!

Mohanji

After about 500 to 600 steps with the monkeys, I felt a sudden urge to deliver MPM (Mohanji Protection Method) to the monkeys. I did it. After that, all the monkeys disappeared. Later on, I noticed that the monkeys were moving with us on our left side by jumping along the trees nearby. None came near us after that!

The whole monkey episode had made our journey colourful as well as fast. We descended some 1000 steps without exhaustion. Now we could see our ashram from the top.

We had some lemonade at a nearby shop. The shopkeeper was an old man who knew Girnar’s history which he happily shared with us. He said, just 250 steps are remaining now.

As we came to the end of our yatra, near a Dattatreya temple, a Sadhu welcomed us saying, ‘Jai Girnari!’ We similarly greeted him.

We prostrated at the first step of Girnar and expressed our sincere gratitude to Lord Girnari for this sacred yatra. We finally returned to our ashram after almost 24 hours at around 9 pm!

On reaching the ashram, we wished to see Mohanji but he was resting. The rest of the group members welcomed us. Sonia di and Ruchika had already left. They left the blessed oil for me. Though everyone was exhausted, Ananth massaged my legs. I was reluctant initially but he was persistent, so I had no choice left; as such resistance is ego, I just allowed the mind to move on. As Ananth was massaging my leg, I felt as if he was massaging Mohanji’s leg. I was experiencing Ananth’s deep devotion towards Mohanji.

Next morning, everyone was ready for their return journey except us and Jaya di. Our bus was in the evening. We all went to see Mohanji. I told Mohanji that I got approval to proceed with Mai-Tri sadhana and took his blessings. We had satsang with Mohanji for about 30 minutes.

While seeing off Mohanji, whilst he was seated in the car, he looked at me and smiling mischievously said, “Hemkant, eat well.” This was the same message that he had conveyed to me telepathically at the Neminath temple, the day before! This incident must have impacted Shilpa with mechanism of telepathic messages being sent & received; as she was with me and had witnessed them.

Later that day, Jaya di, Shilpa and myself were sitting together and were sharing our experiences about how we met Mohanji, our transformations after we met him, etc.

Ananth, who had managed the whole Girnar Yatra, called and requested me to meet the Ashram Admin and resolve some issues that had happened. When I went into the Admin’s room, he exploded with his grievances. There was a caretaker with him too. I tried my best to pacify them. After sometime, when he cooled down, he explained that stuff like used bottles, tissue papers, etc. were scattered in few of our rooms which were supposed to be thrown in the dustbin. But most importantly, he was disturbed as a room key was missing.

So, I went upstairs to each room allotted to us with the caretaker, tidied the room as best as I could and searched the room for the missing key. Finally, we found it. The caretaker informed me that, this being an ashram and not a guesthouse, the rooms needed to be left neat and clean. I apologised again and assured him that we will surely take care of it in the future.

During all these happenings, I was calm and kept responding constantly without any internal distraction. Later, I noticed that this made the caretaker also calm. This is a big lesson I have experienced that when we are connected to Mohanji, no storms of life can shake our mind, as the connection brings peace within as well as around us.

We offer our deepest gratitude and humble pranaams at the holy feet of Mohanji, Guru Mandala and Lord Datta – for continuing to guide us in the path of the Ultimate, the path of Dissolution.

Words fall short to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mohanji!

Mohanji1

 

|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||

Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 20th March 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