By Ananthanarayanan Sankaran, Australia
Not many get the chance to visit Arunachala. The call has to come from within, just like a call to visit Kailash or any other powerhouse. When I was planning to visit India in Dec 2017, my only wish was that I get to meet Mohanji and spend few hours with Him if it is possible. I was in touch with the M – Family who asked me if I could make it to Sriperumbudur, abode of Shri. Ganeshanandagiri Baba. As the dates coincided with my departure date, I was disappointed to give it a skip. I was then told that Mohanji might visit Arunachala and if all goes well, I could join. I initially thought Mohanji was on a private visit and that accompanying Him might not be possible, but later to my joy, I was told that Gurulight was organizing “Arunachala with Mohanji” program from Dec 24th until 27th.
My joy knew no bounds at the thought of being in Arunachala with Shiva Himself, my dream slowly coming to life. I knew it was not going to be easy for me given I would land it India a day prior (Dec 23rd) in Bangalore and then travel to Arunachala by road within 1 day of arrival.
Here is a brief personal account of my journey to Arunachala and witnessing the Grace called Mohanji that’s ever flowing.
Thiruvannamalai a.k.a. Arunachala is considered as the “Kailash of the South”. Here, Lord Shiva takes the form of Fire and hence the Shivalingam at Arunachaleswara temple is called as the “Agni Lingam”.
Shri. Ramana Maharishi, in his book Arunachala Mahatmyam says, ” By merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation.”
Before traveling to Arunachala: At “Divyarasa”
I got in touch with Madhu who was coordinating the journey from Chennai to know the team’s whereabouts so that I could join them while they were near Arunachala. However, Mohanji had other plans. I called up Madhu around 11 am on Dec 24th only to be told that they had just started from Chennai and might take a while before they arrive. Since I knew the local language (Tamil), I was asked to go to the Hotel and ensure if things were in order before the rest of the family arrive.
I arrived at the Hotel venue around noon, warmly welcomed by front staff and a beautiful white dove, sitting gracefully at the front-desk as if waiting for Mohanji to arrive. Hotel staff were already getting the rooms ready and I jumped into the act, checking the rooms, facilities available, room allocations and the hall where a Satsang was planned in the evening.
It was not just the dove that was waiting, but 4 beautiful dogs were also waiting for their Master. The sight of them roaming around the entrance clearly suggested the connection between Mohanji and nature, a true AVADHOOTA who is one with nature at all times.
Judith was the first one to arrive at the venue as she had reached Arunachala a couple of days ago and had spent some time in the lap of Arunachala high up in the mountain. She then introduced me to Mani who is native of Thiruvannamalai and takes care of a cave at the top of the hill.
Without any description, Judith introduced me to Mani. As soon as I went near Mani, I started breathing heavily, words didn’t come out of my mouth as I had a strong energy pull towards him. We hardly spoke any words but connected well. Judith then told me about Mani’s guru, an avadhoota himself residing up the mountain and that Mani, getting to know about Mohanji through Judith, had come to seek His blessings.
Mohanji, along with 20 other people reached Arunachala and true to His nature, wasted no time. After a brief refreshment, we headed straight to “Divyarasa,” a residential commune in the lap of Arunachala with selfless service, love and acceptance as its spiritual core principles.
It was truly a special moment to witness Mohanji spending time with the children and planting trees on the divine land where our beloved Guruji Avadhoota Nadanandaji had performed Bhoomi Pooja.
While chatting with Mohanji at Divyarasa, He conveyed His decision of not travelling in 2019 and that it was high time we focus on Ashrams. We were casually talking about various countries and options for Ashrams. I would like to highlight that Mohanji was scheduled to visit Australia after completing the Peru trip (in April 2018).
While we were discussing about Ashrams, I didn’t say a word but I was looking at Mohanji’s eyes and He casually said, “Don’t look at me like this. I am not coming to Australia, I heard there are lots of snakes there.” I smiled and told Him, “That’s Ok Father. I will come wherever You are.” He simply smiled and nodded His head. The conversation then went on to other subjects. As you would have realized, Mohanji didn’t visit Australia due to various reasons and I was blessed to spend blissful 10 days with Mohanji in Peru, a blog on it will soon make its way with His blessings.
This is yet another reminder that a Master’s word should never be taken lightly or ever be discarded. He might be joking with you, but every word He utters is a word of consciousness which should be grabbed with attention.
The Journey – Arunachala Inner Kora Parikrama:
People who have visited Arunachala would be familiar with “Girivalam” a.k.a. circumambulation around the Arunachala Hills. It’s a well-laid path of 14 km where thousands of people take this pilgrimage during a full-moon day (Pournami). However, very few would know about the Inner Kora of Arunachala, a path via the forest that takes you closer to the Arunachala Hills from where we could spot Ganesha’s face, Shiva and His family on the mountains surrounding the Arunachala Hills.
Forest officials have stopped giving permission for people to enter this path citing earlier problems including people burning down a portion of the forest. When Shiva Himself is visiting the land, there were no such permission denials.
We started our parikrama accompanied by Madhurai Swamigal who had just come to Arunachala from a distant location. The first meeting between Mohanji and the Swamigal at the Arunachaleswara temple main complex was truly special. We could see HUMILITY and GRATITUDE overflowing when Mohanji touched Swamigal’s feet and Swamigal doing the same to Mohanji. Later, Mohanji during one of the casual conversations told me the significance of Him touching Swamigal’s feet. He said,
“This should be our nature, being HUMBLE. Did you recall how Swamigal addressed himself as “Pichaikaaran” (beggar)? Remaining humble is a clear sign that you are on the right path. This conveys that there is no EGO attached. “
We must have crossed 2 streets and I was trying to keep up to the speed of Mohanji and Swamigal who were leading from the front. I noticed a person on the opposite side raising his hands above his head and offering his pranaams to Mohanji. I also saw that Mohanji raised His hands and blessed him while continuing His walk. As a casual observer, you would completely ignore this person as he was wearing a cloth that was fully stained by mud and his physical appearance would make you not go near him.
The very minute Mohanji raised His hands to bless this individual, I saw Rajesh Kamath running to meet this person and I followed Rajesh. The moment we went near him, I had shocks all over my body. The energy around this person was giving me goosebumps. He smelt of alcohol, his clothes were soiled, all clear signs of “don’t go near him” for the normal eye, but a SAGE/SADHU/AVADHOOTA for the eyes that could see.
Rajesh offered him some dhakshina (offering) and he bowed down to collect the amount saying, “Oh twenty Rupees, that’s a big dhakshina for me.” I had carried some biscuit packets with me and immediately took a pack and offered it to him. He looked at me and said (in English), “Life’s a play, enjoy it. All your wishes will be fulfilled.” He followed this by saying “Land, wand sab kuch ho jayega” (Land will happen). The moment he told me this, I could recollect the conversation we had with Mohanji the previous day (at Dhivyarasa) about Ashrams and securing land for the same.
We ran again to join the group and entered the forest during the dawn of the day. Swamigal, followed by Mohanji were leading from the front and it was very difficult for the rest of the group to keep up to their speed. As we were walking through the forest, the group found it difficult to stay on track as it had thorny bushes, water streams and occasional mud surfaces. Some of the participants really struggled and I stayed at the end to ensure no one was left behind.
We reached a pool that was in a dissolute state and next to it was a cave. The Swamigal accompanying us shared some insights about this cave where a sadhu had been observing penance for a long time before the forest officials forcefully brought him out of the cave. There were lots of monkeys surrounding this cave. As a couple of us started to go inside the cave, the monkeys became aggressive and made lots of noise. Mohanji immediately stopped us from entering and said these monkeys were guarding the cave and we shouldn’t bother them.
As we continued our parikrama around the Arunachala Hills, chants such as Om Namah Shivaya! and “Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala Shiva, Aruna Shiva Om!” kept us going in a terrain that tested everyone’s perseverance. During this walk, we could witness Grace ever flowing as support came from various quarters to the people who were struggling to walk through the forest. We had darshans of Ganesha and Nandi on the Hills and our Arunachala (Mohanji) ensured everybody was safe.
We reached a point where we could get a clear darshan of the Arunachala Hills. Mohanji advised everyone to sit and meditate. He added,
“In Arunachala, your only wish should be to attain the state of “Nir Vichara Samadhi.” In Arunachala, Shiva takes the form of Fire and He burns everything to ashes.”
Without giving any insights, we shared the picture of Mohanji meditating facing the Arunachala Hills and the following is an experience shared by Subhasree Thottungal:
“Just by looking at Mohanji in this picture brought in so much calmness and peace. I zoomed in, and looking at a close up view of Mohanji’s face showed complete silence! Para Brahma Swaroop (vision of Para Brahma) became crystal clear. The silence and peace brought a light within me and I slowly started to disappear. I felt myself merging into Para Brahma, in His space, in that moment. Words will not do justice to explain the state that this pic took me to. Few moments of gazing at this pic took me to being with Mohanji at Arunachala. Thank you Mohanji for being with us always and keeping us with You always. Koti Pranam.”
Mohanji was in an expanded state during the parikrama and we were blessed with a mini-Satsang at the same spot. Mohanji went on to explain about various Siddhas living inside the Arunachala Hills in Sukshma form and every word uttered by Mohanji made everyone go deeper within themselves and experience the STILLNESS of mind.
Realisation after Arunachala Parikrama:
Upon returning to the hotel after the parikrama, I was told that Mohanji had slipped a couple of times and was having some uneasiness. I went to Mohanji’s room and started pressing His feet. I inquired about the injury and He casually said,
“It is my job. I had to take this so that others complete their parikrama.”
I wasn’t surprised when a couple of pilgrims told me that they were very certain they couldn’t have completed the parikrama if not for Mohanji. One of the participants had a troubled knee and I knew Mohanji carried every one of us. A true Master never lets His disciples down, EVER. He takes on everything for the ones who have full faith in Him.
I was also sharing with Him about the meeting of the Sadhu earlier in the morning and Mohanji gave the following explanation:
“He (the Sadhu) is from the Hills. He doesn’t live here, he was sent by Arunachala Himself. There are 3 forms through which we get signs/messages or answers to our burning questions:
1) A thought (or) a casual conversation will give clarity to your question
2) When higher beings (or) consciousness wants to contact us, they speak through someone (i.e.) they takeover someone for a brief time to convey the message. It happened today through the Sadhu we met this morning. This is because, they wouldn’t want to take a physical form to convey a message as they will have to live with its limitations (physical body).
3) Taking a physical body (birth). This is when an Avtar is born for a larger cause.”
Mohanji went on to tell me that,
“I am sure that the Ashrams will happen. Not one but many.”
Few months since this meeting , there has already been great progress! The Ashram in Canada has been inaugurated by Mohanji in August 2018 and idols of Lord Dattatreya, Shirdi Sai Baba and Lord Ganesha have been consecrated with regular rituals taking place. One more Ashram in Serbia has already come to possession. Another Ashram land has been registered in Serbia; an Ashram land in Slovenia is being finalized and an Ashram land in Shirdi has already been registered! In less than a year, we can see what Mohanji uttered that time has been coming in full force!
I couldn’t stay with Mohanji at Arunachala beyond two days as I had to return to Bangalore for some personal work. But as it would always happen with Mohanji, not once did I feel the fatigue, hunger or tiredness. I would have slept for no more than 2-3 hours but the energy levels were always high.
The trip did leave an everlasting impact on me. I had been to Thiruvannamalai a couple of time earlier, but never once had felt such a strong connection and there’s a deep desire to visit the holy land with Mohanji once again with His Grace.
Slowly, I have come to a realisation that every pilgrimage with Mohanji is like moving from one grade to another. He gives you exactly the amount that you could digest and when you have finished, He himself calls you and gives you the next amount. I can only recollect Shirdi Sai Baba’s verses
“However distant my people may be, I draw them to me just as we pull a bird to us with a string tied to its foot.”
Likewise, our beloved Father, Parabrahma Swaroopa Mohanji pulls you near Him, blesses you and gives you exactly what you could handle/understand. While my laundry list of wishes to Him never goes down, my inner-self is fully aware that He alone exists and that I seek nothing except to be at His feet and at the lap of the Guru Mandala.
Thank you, Mohanji, for all these wonderful experiences you have given us in these divine journeys. Deep inside me, I know nothing except You. You alone exist in me. I surrender everything at Your Holy Feet.
||JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI||
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