In light of the OSME challenge currently on I am writing my very first post dedicated to the Masters and teachers and my key takeaways from each finishing with my Guru beloved Swami ji
It feels somewhat odd, as I start typing, knowing this will be published and you will be reading it. Till now I was only used to reading and commenting but stepping out of my comfort zone now. Hope the post inspires you in some way.
I will briefly summarize my learning’s through my interaction with many beautiful Beings over the years but each incident actually require a full post to give the proper context and explanation.
I was first initiated into Kriya Yoga in 2009. I had traveled from Bangalore to Angul as the initiation program was supposed to be conducted there. But as luck would have it I was the only one seeking initiation and so the sanyasin Maa Gurukripa told me that I would be initiated in the main Balighai ashram. I traveled back to Balighai with her.
There in the main ashram I got my initiation into Kriya. The lovely Baba Samarpananda conducted the process and Maa Gurukripa was also present. This was my first ever exposure to the monastic life in an ashram and it set me on the path. The practice was potent and I used to do it regularly at that time. In my mind I had accepted Paramhansa Prajnanananda as my Guru. But things were to change later. What I learnt from there were the very first steps. For the very first time in my life I had experienced deep peace when Baba Samarpananda had hugged me and when Prajnanananda ji gently tapped me on the head. I was hooked to that inner state of Silence. I became a spiritual addict. And the One who showed me the way was Sri Guru Babaji (popularly known as Mahavatar Babaji).
After a few months I returned home having secured a job in my hometown. With my spiritual thirst at an all time high I found my way to RD (name changed to protect the identity) a then 80 yr old adept. I started visiting him during Sunday evenings and our rapport grew. He is widowed and lives with his adopted daughter. In course of time I revealed to him about the one I had taken as my Guru. He asked me for a picture. I carried one in my purse (it is still there with me). He looked at the picture, stared at the wall and handed the picture to me saying that he was not the one for me. So eventually my career in Kriya came to an end. RD is a householder adept, immersed in Mother Divine. He is the secret guardian (I do not know if there are others) of the Maa Kamakhya temple, keeping a strict vigil on the happenings in the temple. There have been many instances when some panda (as the priestly fraternity of Kamakhya is known) would do some forbidden kriya or carry out a non prescribed practice and RD would show up the very next morning at the temple (no astral travel, he had an arrangement with an autorickshwa for commuting), call for the particular panda and give him hell. There was once a ” death specialist” who used to cast all kinds left handed stuff for money bringing misery on people. He was on RD’s radar. One fine day when RD was in the temple premise, the fellow brushed by RD and went his way. RD told to the ones near him “He has cast a death spell on me. Just watch, he will stop and look back to see if I have dropped dead.” And that is what happened. I guess this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. RD called out to him and told him that his time was up. ” I give you 3 months, ready your funeral pyre”. RD told me that the fellow died within a one and a month and half. You guessed right, he is not someone you would choose to cross paths with especially if your vehicle is adharma. RD was the first one to initiate me into mantra japa. He has nurtured me for all these years, blessed me silently innumerable times. He is now 91 and has recently beaten Covid. But last year I chose to follow my inner calling. And my path separated. To say that RD was displeased would be putting it mildly. But my love for him will always be and till time the he retains his body I will continue to be with him looking after his needs in all manner possible.
So what have I learnt from RD?
Devotion, raw and pure devotion. There was an instance when RD was taken to some place in Rajasthan by someone who needed some work done. Maa showed up in his inner vision and told him that they would be selling Her using whatever it was he was trying to do. RD immediately spat thrice on the floor and licked it and asked Mother for forgiveness. People had played on his faith and desire to help and have exploited him. This has left him somewhat bitter. I have learnt to pray from RD. One incident will remain forever etched in my memory. RD had replied thus to someone’s question on what should one do if God showed up..”Ask for forgiveness”.
In between Aghori Baba showed up and I had a rocking time with him. He worships Mother Samshan Tara and drinks whiskey by the bottle. He had a full time circus going and I was a key player, supplying his whiskey and paan.Under his inspiration Mata ka prasad , i.e. whiskey had become my all-time favorite prasad too. For the first time in my life I had witnessed Maa getting invoked in a way that used skulls and bones. In a way I feel Aghori Baba was instrumental in setting up my link with Maa Samshaan. I have noticed this one thing about Baba, no matter how dire the circumstance, even if there was no food to eat or whiskey to drink, and he was always like a child. I learnt progressing on the path requires effort and dedication, to say the least, but the easiest thing is to go astray, it does not matter what siddhis you may possess or how far one has progressed.
I received my initiation in Yoga from Sadguru in 2011. For the very first time I had a glimpse into what a still mind is. In the sphere of the Dhayanalinga, the spiritual seed was sown and watered. The great Yogi touched me during a morning when people gathered in the Sadhana Hall there in the Coimbatore Ashram to start their day with the yoga routine for the day. The memory of the touch (it was not a physical touch though) was overwhelming and left me weeping silently. His love had destroyed me completely. A spark of Sadguru will always be in me. My love for him is immense. I continue do my Isha practices (not all of them due the lack of time) and what they are doing to me cannot be actually put into words. I can only say that the field is getting ploughed and a cleansing happens daily with the practices. So why did I part ways with Isha? Let’s say my Mother Kali told me to do so.
To restrict the length of the post I will just mention briefly here about my Father, an unlettered farmer who has attained to Oneness, is also a source of inspiration. His story will sound like a fairy tale, maybe subject for another post. He does not bless with his hands, his statements directly crush the ego, and his speech is blunt and straightforward. Nearing 80, his body has weakened a lot. For me he is the embodiment of Vedanta, all his talks and experiences are on non-duality.
I had an opportunity to participate in the Walk of Hope with Sri M in the Pathankot part of the walk. I had the opportunity to attend a retreat in Gurgaon in 2018. He gave many sneak peeks into times spent with his Guru, Babaji. It was in the last day of the retreat he invoked the Grace of Sri Guru Babaji (Mahavatar Babaji) and the presence of this eternal Master simply washed over me. He is love. He is compassion. And He is a Presence. What I have learned from Sri M is that the ego needs to be very carefully watched, at all times. More advanced a seeker, greater the need for watchfulness because the fall can be very very steep and it might end up breaking ones back.
So finally after all these meanderings and picking up bits and pieces of my spiritual roadmap Mother led me finally to my Guru. Om Swami. I have attended two events in Bangalore with Swami Ji, the meditation retreat and the Kundalini retreat. I have visited the Ashram twice and got initiated on my second visit the day after ShivRatri, just in the nick of time as from March Covid broke out. Life continues to have it’s ups and downs, it’s uncertainties and surprises. But I know that I have reached home. At the Lotus feet of my Guru Om Swami. All that is left is to keep walking the path He has shown us. I have gone through the “craze for enlightenment” phase, now nothing matters any more. Only the Master is.
I bow down to my Guru with love, with respect. My tie with Him is now a formal one. It is eternal.
I thank you for walking with me till here. Bask in the glory of the Guru. Bask in the glory of SriHari.
Gum Guruve Namaha !!!