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Rain

Written by Yashik Singh
on 7th July 2015

 

Mohanji says that he always delivers. And he did it again. His mercy has no bounds. The Ashram had not had rain in a long time. It was getting dry and because of the water restrictions, I did not water the Ashram garden more than once a week.
During the Stanger program, Mohanji asked if anyone had any questions. One lady softly said that there was no rain. Thereafter, during supper, a temple official lovingly described the effect of the drought and asked Mohanji to do a Homa for rain. At that moment I smiled. Mohanji does not have to do a Homa… Every breath is an offering to his inner sacred fire… Every bite of food he takes is an offering to that inner fire. Mohanji himself is the Homa!
The next day I saw clouds gather in the sky. I had seen that a few times over the last few months but it never rained. So I did not think much of it. But then the greatest blessing happened.
The skies parted and it rained! It rained the entire night and is still raining right now!!!! This divine amrit is pouring from the sky.
But there is something different about this rain. It’s purifying. I can feel the sigh of relief from the land. I can feel the purity flow and an immense relief from blockages happening. This is not just water. Our Mohanji has opened his jatta and from his hair, the sacred Ganga is being showered upon Durban.
Thank you Mohanji. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Yashik blog - Rain

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Gratitude on Guru Purnima

Written by Yashik Singh

Mohanji and Yashik Singh

I have been blessed to meet great saints and very spiritually inspiring people. I am grateful to each and every one of them. Among all these amazing people I have met, the experience with Mohanji has changed me completely. When I look back at my journey so far, I can pinpoint the time there was a complete 360 degree change in me (yes I said 360 degrees!) It was the day I met Mohanji.
Let me explain why I said a 360 degree change. Normally one would say a 180 degree change, i.e, moving in the opposite direction. But with Mohanji, I had a 360 degree change. And this is because of the essential nature of Mohanji. Mohanji never forces a directional change in your life. He is the epitome of complete freedom. He never imposes on your free will and happiness.
I was headed down a dangerous slope. I had read a little about philosophy and the truths of Shivoham and Ahambrahmasmi. I read about God becoming everything and everything being essentially divine. But Mohanji moved me from just reading about it to actually experiencing it. He moved me from thinking about it to actually feeling it. And this is the 360 degree change I had. Mohanji takes you deeper into the spiritual path that you are already on. He never binds you to himself… indeed a mark of a true Guru.

Merudanda ashram today changed the name into Datta Tapovan

Merudanda ashram today changed the name into Datta Tapovan

I can’t even begin to imagine where I would be without Mohanji. It may sound dramatic, but this is me baring my heart. Mohanji “experienced me” rather than “taught me” not to feel guilty about things from the past and not to dwell in the uncertain future. This is something I openly declare that saved me from myself and my mind.
Through his presence in my life, I was saved from becoming a robot spiritualist- the type whose mind is completely closed with concepts that have been nurtured over years and maybe lifetimes of conditioning. Mohanji showed me what it means to be free… free from the guilt of not being enough, free from the guilt of not doing enough, free from the fear of not being spiritual enough, free from the anxiety of not chanting enough and free from the illusion of not meditating enough.

MohanjiSo on this day, I want to express all my love to you Mohanji. I have nothing to give you. Everything I have, has been a gift from you throughout my life. So everything is yours and I’m just the caretaker. So what can I truly give you! Thinking about it now, even this love, even this bhakti, is a gift from you. You gave this to me. You grew this in me. You said “let this one be connected” out of your mercy. So I can’t even claim to give you love because it is already yours and not mine to give.
So this child comes to you empty handed, and I realise I can’t give back anything to you because you are everything. And I just smile, since this also means that I am you and can never be disconnected from you.

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South African Spiritual Retreat 2015 with Mohanji

Written by Ami Imzaia

Master in our midst. Physically with us for just 22 days in which time the doors of Heaven were thrown wide open. His physical fatigue pushed aside, Mohanji hit the ground running, as it were upon his arrival. No rest period in-between travel destinations. It was a mind-boggling schedule from one country to another before he arrived in SA; but nothing was too much for the Master.

From visits and meetings to a number of centres of need and care, like the House Group and Bona Lesedi in Johannesburg among others and the Sarva Dharma Ashram in Welbedacht, to satsangs and meditations, including the much sought after Shaktipat transference for hundreds of people, and to every request for personal meetings with him, were granted. Oh and not to mention the numerous radio and tv interviews! Mohanji made time for them all.

After a packed Johannesburg itinerary, the Love and Care from dear Milica, Oggie and Sarah in their caring home, lovingly prepared meals by Namesh, Delo, Milo and Riana, and myself, along the whirlwind week, Mohanji was safely chauffeured by our enterprising Mitesh, to the KwaZulu-Natal midlands Retreat venue – Calderwood!

RETREAT AT CALDERWOOD MANOR HALL 

It is well nigh impossible to adequately convey in words the full measure and meaning of the transcendent energies and higher feelings that saturated, not only this life-transforming retreat in the elegant surrounds of Calderwood, but all the dozens of programmes that Mohanji graced in both Johannesburg and Durban until just a few hours before his departure from South Africa on the 12th July for Dubai.  However I know you feel the absolute grandness of it all through the flowing energies of what is expressed here.

Mohanji! His divine name, his sheer Presence, his magnificent Essence enveloped and embraced us all with the same intensity of Love and Kindness …His benevolent Heart, a fast-flowing river just pouring Grace. Unassuming, to the point of being casual even, never overbearing, but forever all-empowering.

Our daily Satsangs afforded us many opportunities for the essential question and answer sessions.  They were also liberally peppered with humour and laughter.  Seeming strangers quickly became family, as barriers if at all, just simply dissolved.

By the end of day two at the Retreat, murky auras were fast clearing and shining. My brother Kishore and his family who were new to such events, began to ‘thaw’and settle in. Any thoughts of bolting at the first opportunity, had dissipated. It was a pleasure to watch. Lives were transforming before our very eyes

I was amazed at how my family soon took to the early morning water therapy, and Ivana’s yoga classes!!!! Well as for most of my part during yoga, it was enough just to watch Ivana’s effortlessly graceful and fluid movements and intricate postures. Pure poetry in motion. Ivana, what a super yoga teacher you are! Thank you for your kindness and patience!!!

Dear Yashik, Ramesh and Seema, thank you for your lovely gifts of the yoga mats and puja sets.

Calderwood has a lovely khoi pond. The fish also had Mohanji’s attention and ear. They told him about a little hardship they were having with the pond water and asked Mohanji for his help! After Mohanji’s intervention, the khoi were soon happily swimming about in their sparkling pool.

It was the first time I had participated in Mohanji’s Conscious Walking, which we did each day after lunch through the ample grounds of Calderwood. Everyone participated whole heartedly. On the second day the SABC’s Sadhana programme television crew was there and recorded snippets for their show.

We also got to celebrate Ivana’s birthday! It was quite the celebratory lunch, capped with a huge Birthday cake, complete with candles. The Merudanda family had seen to every last detail to ensure it was a truly special occasion for our Birthday Girl. Mohanji’s Presence was the divine ultimate for the occasion.

Wade and his team at Calderwood were super, warm and friendly. They made us feel very comfortable, and our stay there was like a home from home experience. They more than adequately provided for our vegan/vegetarian meal requirements. Snacks and drinks were available throughout the day. The five days flew by, and the end of the Retreat arrived all too quickly; but not before the powerful Homa Ceremony – The Fire Ceremony, presided over by Yashik and Mohanji.

Prayers of Gratitude and Love were offered from each Thankful and Grateful Heart, and afterwards, under Mohanji’s watchful guidance, our letters containing all we wished to get rid of, transmute and burn were placed in a separate fire. Yes I was very eager to Lighten Up! … lol

A huge Thank You to you, our beloved Merudanda Family for all your hard work in organising the retreat. It was beyond beautiful.

Then Mohanji was off to Merudanda!!!!! Of course I followed him there albeit somewhat later – with Milica.  Here’s a most wonderful story about Yashik’s awesome cats, his furry beautiful babies.

So Mohanji arrives home – Merudanda – and a shaven … yes shaven … snowy furball named Dattu, welcomes Mohanji in his own, unique way, with forehead to the ground at Mohanji’s feet, and then onto its haunches, lifts a tiny paw to bless our Beloved Master.

When you visit Merudanda, remember to check out Yashik’s Peace Garden, and also remember to get Mohanji’s hug! Place your palms flat on the slab, and feel Mohanji’s hug. It’s palpable!

Even a drought-stricken KwaZulu Natal was blessed with showers of rain …unheard of during the winter months in Durban. Many people had spoken to Mohanji about the debilitating dry conditions.

He listened with compassion, and the elements heard and answered his requests for respite from the drought.

All too soon it was time to say bye to Mohanji’s physical presence. It was hard for the human part of us; but indeed He is beyond his personality body. His Presence is Eternal and ever present. Our Love melts his Heart.

I will quickly attempt to relate an incident which amply speaks of Mohanji’s Omnipresent nature. In the early hours one morning while still at Calderwood, Mohanji received a frantic call from a very loving devotee in India. She was kind of upset because she said, the Master had not visited her when he went to her neighbour’s house (also Mohanji’s devotee) the night before! The lady was genuinely distressed. She asked Mohanji why he had ignored her completely even though she was standing outside her home just a few feet away, as Mohanji left the neighbour’s house. She said he did not even look her way!  She was devastated as she felt that Mohanji had just completely ignored her – totally unlike him! Mohanji listened to her on the phone and then explained that he was in South Africa, and not in India. It took him a long time to convince her of this because she insisted she saw him in the flesh at her neighbour’s house the night before! Finally she understood.

Yes, Mohanji was in India at her neighbour’s house the night before, but he had manifested himself there in His Lightbody in answer to a deep cry for help from the lady’s neighbour. He was on a mission. After his work there was done, he dematerialised His Lightbody. All that while, Mohanji was still physically and fully present with us at the Retreat in Calderwood. Love melts His Heart and He flies in an instant to the assistance of those who call to Him for help. Such is the all-embracing, compassionate Heart of Mohanji.

Our Blessed Datta Guru Mohanji, no-one upon meeting you went away empty-handed. No-one was disappointed. You so generously filled each of our empty cups. Your visit here has been such a short one, but you’ve reached through lifetimes and eons of time, to transform and heal us in accordance with Cosmic Law, on our respective paths to Liberation.

You’ve given and given of yourself abundantly and unstintingly. Thank You Thank You Thank You Mohanji. I end my sharing with something so special that my nieces Chalisa and Yagna said to me:

‘Mohanji loves everyone the same! We did not expect that. We Love Him.’

For my family and me, the timing of Mohanji’s visit to South Africa, could not have come at a more perfect time. It is not an overstatement when I say, He’s performed multiple miracles in our lives. A lineage healed. A family restored; and a Retreat that turned into My Happiness Retreat!

The shining, smiling, loving faces of all he benevolently touched and bountifully blessed bear testimony to the Power and Purity of His Eternal Datta Stature. Mohanji, we Love You!

– Ami/Mohanji SA 2015

Pictures inserted by and courtesy of Dearest Yashik, Ramesh and Seema of Merudanda.

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Miraculous Days with Mohanji – Part 3

Written by Rajesh Kamath

Puttaparthi

Before we begin, I would like to mention something out here. Our schedule was constantly changing which is the case when you are with Mohanji. You decide something and it changes spontaneously. In this journey, I learnt (through the series of hard knocks) that it makes no sense to make an elaborate plan and schedule when you are with Mohanji. Mohanji epitomizes going with the flow and journeys with him are a reflection of that guiding principle. Mohanji teaches flexibility as the best and essential navigator in the path of pathless. You figure out in hindsight that this was the most natural flow and consciousness works for the best possible situation if you allow yourself to flow without resistance.

IMG_20150101_085951

To make a long story short, I wanted to spend the New Year’s at Puttaparthi or Arunachala but wasn’t sure of whether we would reach there in time or at all. With Mohanji’s grace, we got to be in Puttaparthi on New Year’s Eve as well as celebrate the New Year there. I was very overjoyed at the granting of this desire in the most unique and grand way.  We reached Puttaparthi in the night. As mentioned earlier, we had met an official from Puttaparthi in Kuruvapuram. He had graciously offered to take care of our accommodation in the Prasanthi Nilayam ashram at Puttaparthi. On reaching the Prasanthi Nilayam ashram, we connected with him and he coordinated with the local staff to get us to our rooms. It was late and Mohanji decided not to have dinner and asked us to carry on with our dinner. He asked us to get some fruits and sweets for him if we could. We had our dinner and picked up fruits along the way. Interestingly, we chanced upon a place called Mohan’s Sweets and we decided it was the right place to pick up sweets.  When we came back, we had a small informal satsang with Mohanji where he related to us his experiences and communions with Bhagavan. Mohanji has not physically spoken to Sai Baba ever. A gist of the talk follows:

“This was probably somewhere around 2004 – 2005. I was in Dubai at that time. There was an acquaintance of mine who had been in Puttaparthi as a sevadal (volunteer) member and was thus known to Bhagavan. Later on, he left Puttaparthi and settled in his own village as per the instruction of Bhagavan. When Bhagavan came to Kodaikanal at that time, he decided to go to Kodaikanal and see Bhagavan. He had a desire to have a private interview with Bhagavan. Bhagavan would typically walk through the crowd and “randomly” choose people for private personal interviews. This person called me and told me about his desire and requested me to pray for it. I told him “You have been with Bhagavan and you are known to Him. I have never even met Bhagavan personally and have only seen him from a distance. You are more connected. So how will my prayer matter? However, he said that “I feel that your prayer is very powerful.” I told him that “I am not sure why it would matter but I would still pray for him.” I prayed to Bhagavan, “Bhagavan, if it is your will then please see this child of yours.” This man knew about my history. In 2000, I lost Ammu. In 2003, I separated from my wife. I lost almost all of my savings. I invested in a property and the builder ran away. Soon, I also lost my job. Every part of my life was cracking and falling. I was in Dubai and was looking for a job. At that time, to add to my woes, I also had a terrible skin affliction. My body was cracking open and blood was coming out. I couldn’t meet people. I couldn’t wear light colored clothes since there would be blood on it. I couldn’t even take a bath properly since my whole body would burn. So all sorts of problems! I was mostly totally isolated. At the same time, I had to work to earn a living. So I was doing piecemeal jobs as money was very scarce. This was after my tenure at my last job where I was supervising business affairs in five countries. It was a complete vacuum after I resigned from that job. It was a deep fall. No family, no money, no property, no job and a debilitating illness to top it all. So you can imagine my situation. During the times of distress, it is usual that even when you call somebody, they will avoid you and do not pick up your call. So this friend was going to see Bhagavan. He had 5-8 letters with him of various family members and friends. He also wrote one letter on my behalf mentioning my conditions without telling me. I didn’t ask him to write any letter for me. Bhagavan is omnipresent. He will know. As it turned out, Bhagavan chose him for a personal interview. I don’t consider this as a result of my prayer. He was eligible, so Bhagavan called him. Typically Bhagavan calls multiple people at the same time in the room for interviews. But in his case, he was alone when he was granted an interview. Bhagavan apparently spent 45 minutes with him. Bhagavan asked this person to only give him the letter he had written on my behalf from the bunch of letters that he carried with him. He kept the letter on his lap and started patting on it with his hand. Bhagavan told him that you have written about Mohan but I know everything about him. I have tested him enough. Anybody else in his situation would have committed suicide by now. It is not easy to endure so many problems in one lifetime. I have tested him enough. Now I will walk with him. You don’t have to bring me any letter on behalf of Mohan. I know him very well. I will walk with him. He had an interview with Bhagavan for 45 minutes. Out of that, Bhagavan spoke about me for 15 minutes. Remember that I have never met Bhagavan personally. Only telepathic communion until then and till now. Bhagavan also told this man to tell me to take a particular medicine for my skin condition. I contacted a doctor in Dubai who told me that this medicine is only available in India. It is like a steroid. I contacted a specialist doctor in Dubai who suggested a substitute. I started taking that medicine and the condition subsided. Later, I also met a homeopathic doctor saint who cleared a lot of stuff from me. Then one day, Bhagavan woke me up in the middle of the night and gave me mantra upadesh (initiation into a mantra). He gave me a mantra and told me to chant. He told me to start chanting from the next day onwards. So there have been quite a few experiences related to Bhagavan. A few months later, I also had a dream where Bhagavan was at a friend’s house. My friend told me that Bhagavan is here and I went to see Him. I saw Bhagavan lying on a hospital bed in the house and the house had many rooms and glass walls like a hospital. Then, Bhagavan was taken to another room in a wheelchair and some people were talking. Since the room was in a cordoned off area, I couldn’t enter the room. Hence, I bowed down to Him from outside. When I was about to leave, Bhagavan suddenly came out in a wheelchair. I immediately bowed down to him. He told me “I could have given you all the siddhis (powers) together at once. But you wouldn’t have been able to handle the people. So many people will come to see you. So I am giving the siddhis slowly to you.” That time I was not conducting any programs and did not have any following. I was just a physically sick seeker. This happened around that time.”

After listening to this beautiful experience our hearts were filled. We wanted Mohanji to rest a bit, so we took Mohanji’s leave and went off to sleep. In the morning, Mohanji mentioned that he had a darshan (seeing a holy saint or `image’) and communion with Bhagavan in the night. But Mohanji joked that Bhagavan came after I was done massaging Mohanji’s feet probably because he was frightened by my moustache. 

Bhagawan Sai maha samadi

The darshan at Puttaparthi is usually very coordinated and regimented. There is a complete pat down security check when you enter. The dress code for men and women is strictly followed and the sitting areas are segregated for men and women. Certain places like the inner hall are off limits and restricted only to people who qualify for VIP darshan. We had VIP protocol because of the Grace of Master and remember this was not planned or orchestrated by any of Mohanji’s team. The official sent across two people – a man and a lady – to escort the men and women in our group to the darshan hall. Since phones are not allowed in the darshan hall, we left them in the room before leaving. When we reached the darshan hall, we split to our respective men’s and women’s sections. After the security checks, we were escorted and seated in the VIP area. The darshan hall is huge with Bhagavan’s chair and samadhi (final resting place where the master’s body or ashes are kept) in the center towards one end overlooking the area where the congregation is seated. There are larger than life images of Bhagavan on the wall behind the chair and samadhi looking compassionately down at you and blessing you. We felt and soaked in the vibrations of this hallowed place that was blessed to be the abode of Bhagavan when in the flesh. You feel his presence and the showering of love and bliss in there. The students at Prasanthi Nilayam were singing beautiful bhajans (devotional songs) that touched the core of our hearts both with the melody and the bhav (feeling). Once the bhajans got over, it was time for darshans. The children at Prasanthi Nilayam and Puttaparthi were given first preference. It was very humbling to watch their pure devotion to Bhagavan. It wasn’t an empty throne or the samadhi monument for them. They were showcasing what they had bought to Bhagavan as if Bhagavan was right there in the flesh. It was nothing short of amazing. Faith and Devotion are extremely important ingredients to attain salvation from continuous lifetimes – Mohanji reminds. Finally it was time for us to get in line for the darshan. As we solemnly walked towards the chair and samadhi, we mentally bowed down and paid our respects to the Eternal Master who smiled at us and blessed us from the beautiful photographs above. Mohanji prostrated and prayed to Bhagavan and so did I. Thankfully, the volunteers allowed us extra time to do our devotions. We were then escorted to an inner prayer hall that was restricted to VIPs only. Two weeks back when I was in Prasanthi Nilayam, I tried to sneak in there and they chucked me out when they found out that I did not have VIP clearance. I then tried to meditate near the corridor outside the inner hall but they cleared me out of there as well.  This time round, I managed to visit the inner hall with Mohanji’s grace. The inner hall had a throne with beautiful portraits of Bhagavan.

Sathya Sai Baba

We prostrated and prayed to Bhagavan and were then led out. I offer umpteen salutations to Bhagavan for divinely orchestrating us to receive his blessings to start the New Year. Once we came out, I left Mohanji near the Ganesha temple and went across to find our women folk at the pre-determined meeting point (since we did not have our phones to communicate). After a while, when I couldn’t find them, I went back to Mohanji. Mohanji was already standing in the midst of a small group of people. A person joined in and introduced himself as the local president for Puttaparthi of one of the largest political parties in India. He had a discussion with Mohanji and then requested him to come to the Sai Bhajan hall which he had built in Puttaparthi. He said that it was a short distance away and he would be very obliged if Mohanji graced the place. While we were standing there, Professor Anil Kumar Kamaraju, the official English translator of Bhagavan Sathya Sai, came that way. The local president introduced Anilji to Mohanji. They hugged each other with a lot of familiarity and love even though they were meeting physically for the first time. Mohanji agreed to the local president’s request and we got into his car and left for the Sai Bhajan hall. It was a short distance away from Prasanthi Nilayam in the top floor of a building. After we reached there, we prostrated and took the blessings of Bhagavan. The local president applied vibhuti (sacred ash) and gave us prasad (consecrated offering). He requested us to be seated since he had called in other local dignitaries. Soon we were joined in by the local politicians such as the president of Puttaparthi TDP unit (TDP is the ruling party in the state of AP where Puttaparthi is located) among others. He also called the joint collector of Puttaparthi to grace the occasion. A local journalist was also called to cover this meeting in the local newspaper. The local president felicitated Mohanji, in the presence of the local dignitaries and the collector, with a beautiful picture of the Kalyan Mandapam (divine marriage) of Lord Ram. The journalist took pictures of the felicitation and also of Mohanji with the group. He was apprised of Mohanji’s details for the article. Remember again, none of these were planned by any of us. When Mohanji requested to meet Anil Kumar Kamaraju again, the local president offered to take us to his house. All of us piled into the cars and headed to Anil Kumarji’s house. Anil Kumarji received Mohanji with great respect and made him sit next to him. He enquired about Mohanji’s activities and mission. Anil Kumarji is a very gregarious and warm personality. He discussed his immense respect for Swamy Chinmayananda and did a perfect imitation of Swamy Chinmayananda’s voice. We were also introduced to Anil Kumarji’s son. Mohanji and Anilji had a brief discussion along with the local dignitaries and the joint collector. Finally, they dropped us back to Prasanthi Nilayam and took leave of Mohanji.

Anil Kumar, the official translator of Sathya Sai

Anil Kumar, the official translator of Sathya Sai

It was time for lunch. We still couldn’t connect to the rest of the group. So we decided to proceed to the North canteen for lunch. We were famished and were greeted by a long queue that moved at a snail’s pace. They had a direct entry for volunteers and children from Puttaparthi and VIPs. Mohanji does not take privileges anywhere if it were left to him. We could have had a special lunch with full protocol if he had wished to do so. But Mohanji said that he would prefer to wait in the line rather than secure a special entry into the dinner hall. This is clear proof that being normal, being natural, being non-intrusive and being ordinary without any sign of ego is being spiritual. “Nobody is special in front of food and God” – Mohanji. “The language of hunger is the same across species, lands and oceans.” – Mohanji. The pangs of hunger made me feel as if the people inside were having their last supper and hence taking their time enjoying every morsel. At the same time, hordes of volunteers and children were materializing from thin air and zipping straight through ahead of us. So we waited and waited. In between, Mohanji squeezed in and knowing my situation, got some space for me to sit down before I faint  but one of our neighbors just waltzed in. Mohanji gave him a stern glare and asked him to back off firmly. He mumbled apologetically and got up. The next instant Mohanji was back to his usual self. It goes to show that being spiritual does not mean becoming doormats. But at the same time, you are not married to any emotion too. You express yourself in the moment and move on as if nothing happened. Finally after a long long long wait, we were allowed to enter inside the dinner hall where we found something even more surprising. If you haven’t guessed it, there was an even longer line leading to the chow. But this time, the hungry hordes were more efficient and we moved quickly to the point where the manna was being served. I piled food on my plate like I just escaped a famine. We picked up our food and sat down. Mohanji mentioned in the old days if people didn’t finish their food, Bhagavan would stand over them until they finished every last morsel. That would teach them to be more discerning of their appetite next time. It was sad to observe that a lot of food was getting wasted around us in spite of signs exhorting people to the contrary. “Conscious Consumption is important for a balanced life” – Mohanji. We finished our lunch and headed back to our rooms. There we connected back to our missing flock only to find out that they had misplaced their keys. After some frantic searching through all our bags, we could not locate it and then decided to get the ashram administration to break it open. It took a while to get that sorted out. So Mohanji rested until we got them into their rooms. Later on, I found the key hiding in my bag in a remote corner. I am pretty sure that I had thoroughly checked my bag inside out. So I am not sure how it landed up in there. Me thinks it was Mohanji’s lila (divine play) to highlight my lack of awareness or absent mindedness. Hence, I have kept the key as a reminder of that flaw in my constitution.  We then headed to the ashram book store. Mohanji picked out all of the books written by Bhagavan for the Dharamshala ashram library. We also picked up CDs and DVDs of talks by Bhagavan and of devotional chanting and singing. Mohanji picked out a picture for me with Bhagavan looking sternly while pointing his finger.  When we got to the checkout counter, there was a complete mismatch of speeds with I being the rabbit and the counter volunteers being the tortoises. The lady was getting stressed out. So Mohanji edged me out, stepped in and coordinated the checkout process to her liking. We stepped out with our stash and headed to our rooms to take some much needed rest. While we were walking back to our rooms, some people approached Mohanji and asked him who he was and that they were seeing him there. Mohanji spoke to them for a while and gave them his eye cards before proceeding to the rooms. We rested for a while and headed back to Bangalore in the evening. It seemed that Bhagavan has a special love for Mohanji. We didn’t know a soul in town. At least, we didn’t know anyone well enough to get any favors done. But right from our accommodation to the VIP darshans, it was all perfectly arranged to a T through a supposedly “chance” encounter in Kuruvapuram. There are just way too many seeming “coincidences” – meeting the who’s who of Puttaparthi, getting covered in the local newspaper and finally the meeting with Anil Kumarji. It was all perfectly orchestrated by Bhagavan to make this trip to Puttaparthi special for Mohanji and for our group by extension. Many heartfelt salutations to our Master and the Eternal Master – Om Sai Mohan! In the last few days, one realization struck me. All these places we visited – Kuruvapuram, Hyderabad, Ahobilam and Puttaparthi – we experienced a few things in common. The unusually warm welcome as if they have been waiting for us all the while, there was a lot of love and reverence for Mohanji, and things happened out of the way and out of the books. Each place felt like a homecoming for all of us. There was no unfamiliarity even though we were meeting all of them for the first time. Even those whom we met for the first time displayed tremendous respect and reverence. Travelling with Mohanji opens up different dimensions in us if we have eyes to see and hearts to feel. There are no coincidences. Seeming encounters of the unexpected kind eventually turns out to be a beautifully orchestrated divine plans right in front of our eyes. When we look back, we realize it was divinity in motion irrespective of time, place and people. Those who consider this as ordinary and as coincidences have missed the bus completely.

Sri Sailam

Another small background before we begin. Before we started our trip, several masters like Devi Amma and other evolved souls connected to Mohanji had conveyed that negative energies were at work to disturb and slow down Mohanji and his mission. They had indicated that there were many astral threats to his being. They advised him to stay in isolation rather than embark on the planned journey. At that time, Mohanji had brushed those suggestions aside with due humility and reverence saying that changing his course and purpose in the face of obstacles ran counter to his guiding principles. Mohanji said that he never entertained fear and has never been afraid to walk alone. Mohanji also categorically refused to use his own energies and powers to solve issues related to his person. He said that he could not use his powers for his own protection since his path is essentially the path of unconditional love. He kept citing the example of Adi Shankaracharya who was willing to allow a tantric to behead him and offer his head in sacrifice. The tantric wanted to offer the master’s head as a sacrifice to the fire to receive a boon. It was Adi Shankaracharya’s disciple, Padmapada who took on the consciousness of Lord Narsimha and killed the tantric and saved his master. Similarly, he said it was up to us to figure out what to do about it. For Mohanji, it didn’t matter if the result meant destruction of his body since he would anyway be able to continue his mission with equal or more vigor without a body.

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All through the journey so far, even though Mohanji’s health was somewhat affected, he never slowed down ever and continued his programs as normal. Only those who were very close to him like us knew how much he suffered physically. Swamy Thyagananda confirmed that the threats were in fact real and Mohanji had to be very careful in the near future. While we were heading to Bangalore, he requested Mohanji to come down to Swamy Poornanada’s samadhi in Sri Sailam the following day to take the blessings of his Guru’s Guru. Concerned about Mohanji’s health, he was willing to travel an extra mile to meet Mohanji in Sri Sailam. So it was decided that we leave early from Bangalore the following morning and head to the Swamy Poornananda’s ashram. We barely caught a few hours of sleep and left for the ashram early in the morning. It was a long arduous journey of close to 14 hours by road to Sri Sailam and we reached the ashram late in the evening. The ashram is very close to Sri Sailam. Since it was late in the night, we headed straight to our rooms. The ashram folks ensured that we had the best rooms and were also very attentive to our needs. Mohanji and the lady who was his Telugu translator headed to Swamy Thyagananda’s room and they were cloistered in there and had satsang until late evening. Loud sounds of satsang – discussion and chanting – were almost audible from the room. I was called in intermittently to run small errands but for the most part was twiddling my thumbs in my room. I felt a bit left out since I was missing out on all the “action”. This went on for the better part of the night. Finally when they were done with their satsang, we moved back to our rooms and retired for the night. Finally we had a good sleep. In the morning, we were treated to a delicious traditional South Indian breakfast. Swamy Thyagananda mentioned to us that he saw Bhagavan Sathya Sai merge into Mohanji in the night. He saw waves coming out of Bhagavan entering into Mohanji and merging into him. He was awed by the experience. Unlike the ashram in Hyderabad, Swamy Poornananda’s ashram was quite expansive. It housed several temples and a Yagya Shala (Vedic school) inside the premises. After breakfast, we headed out on a tour of the ashram. We visited the Yagya Shala. There was a big yagya kund (sacred fire pit) in the center. The school had a few students reciting Vedic hymns very loudly which created a beautiful ambience. An elderly trustee came there, met up with Mohanji and took him and our group around the ashram. He was honoring Mohanji and telling him the story of Swamy Poornananda and showing him different places around the ashram. We visited the samadhi hall of Swamy Poornananda. The temple had a beautiful idol of Swamy Poornananda made in yellow metal. We prostrated at his feet and took his blessings. There is an adjoining temple of Swamy Poornananda’s Guru, Rakhadi Baba. Rakhadi Baba was a disciple of Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. At that point, Swamy Poornananda’s link to the Nath tradition became clear to us. Rakhadi Baba left home at a young age in search of a Guru and met Bhagavan Nityananda. Bhagavan Nityananda enquired about his abilities and asked him what he could do. Rakhadi Baba said, “I can eat. I can fight. I can fight to eat and I can eat to fight”.  Bhagavan Nityananda took him under his wing and gave him the monastic name Omkarananda. But he was locally known as Rakhadi Baba because he was always smeared in ash (rakh in Hindi) from head to toe. The temple has a photo of Rakhadi Baba and Bhagavan Nityananda. There is a dhyana mandir (meditation room) around the temple premises that has a hypnotic life size photo of Rakhadi Baba. Wherever you stand in the room, Baba’s eyes follow you as if to say, “I will never let you off my sight”. The energy in the room is palpable. I could feel strong currents of energy flowing through the top of my head. It’s interesting that I got my first darshan of Rakhadi Baba so far away from home even though I had known but never visited Rakhadi Baba’s ashram at Ganeshpuri during my many visits there. I am grateful to Mohanji and Rakhadi Baba for forgiving the lapse on my part and granting me a beautiful darshan. We were then taken to another place in the ashram which had numerous photographs of Swamy Poornananda through the different stages of his life – from his youth to his samadhi. It was like a biography in pictures. We spent a lot of time going through the different pictures, enjoying the different moments of Swamy Poornananda’s life and reading his beautiful quotes. There is a great resemblance in the language used by Swamy Poornananda and Mohanji in their articulation and their way of expression. Their style is the same. Direct, Shaivic, unadulterated, unpretentious, unmasked, head – on no-nonsense style of communication. Is this a coincidence? Now we know why fourteen years ago, Swamy Poornananda left his personal japa mala with his disciple’s disciple to be delivered to Mohanji. The masters are one consciousness. The tradition flows. The consciousness runs through the veins of generations. We then headed to the office where our host provided Mohanji and me with a book on the biography of Poornananda Swamy. While our hosts left, Mohanji waited in the office going through the pamphlets and other books. He enquired if there were any other books in English but most of the literature was in the Telugu language (apart from the biography). Mohanji sat down on a chair while I was going through books and pictures to buy. At that point, a woman showed up in the office. She kept looking at Mohanji from a distance and started crying. Mohanji raised his hand and blessed her even though it was obvious that he never met her before because this was his first visit to this place. She prostrated at his feet and kept crying. Mohanji said, “Chinta mat karo. Sab theek ho jaayega” (Don’t worry. Everything will be alright) and gave her an eye card. She went out and then returned back with her son who was disabled. She asked her son to prostrate at his feet and requested Mohanji to bless him. Mohanji blessed her son and then left the office. I headed back with Mohanji but was curious to understand the import of the events that happened there. Questions lurked in my mind. I could have picked up the English books myself, and then why did Mohanji come there with me? After all, he knew that there were no more English books in the store. Why did he still sit and wait in the chair? Why did he tell the woman not to worry? Did he know her or expect her? Did he come to the shop for her? Her pure emotion had touched a chord in my heart. So I left Mohanji in his room and quickly went back to the office and asked the lady what she saw in Mohanji and why she was crying. She said something in Telugu language which I could not understand. So I requested the person in the office to translate for me. She pointed to a photo of Poornananda Swamy and said that Swami Poornananda appeared to the lady and told her to go to Mohanji and seek his blessings. And when she came there and looked at Mohanji, instead of Mohanji, she saw Poornananda wearing his mala sitting on the chair. Only she could see this vision. I was speechless for a moment. I thanked her and scurried back to Mohanji. When I mentioned the incident to Mohanji, he was matter-of-fact and played it down as usual, like it was just another day at the office.  What’s the big deal? For most people who have been around Mohanji or any of the trips with him, these kinds of miraculous events are common place. And familiarity breeds contempt. Sometimes when I am around him, I too take these things for granted as most others. After all, these kinds of miracles are expected to occur when Mohanji is around. At my own risk, I forget that there is always a greater purpose behind the choice of making me a witness to the event. If you are with a master, you must practise alert awareness. If you miss the subtlety, you miss the message. If you are with a master, BE Literally with HIM totally and completely. And I have missed quite a few messages, I must admit.  M’s trip to the office was unnecessary apart from this event. There was a larger purpose. She was an ardent devotee of Swamy Poornananda and due to this unity of consciousness, Mohanji fulfilled her desire of seeing him and taking his blessing. Mohanji became Poornananda because there is no duality in elevated masters. Mohanji is every master or every person. This understanding makes one thing loud and clear. Devotion never goes wasted. This situation also gives a clear lesson. What seems to be may not be the true reality. Mohanji’s subtle actions could have farfetched reasons. We may not be able to see it. And he never wastes his time in explaining or dramatizing. He even downplays it often. He just glides through his life just as a river flows unassumingly. We had our lunch and rested a bit. When it was time to go, we went to Swamy Thyagananda’s room where Mohanji and Swamy Thyagananda were sitting. Swamy Thyagananda was again feeling sorry to see Mohanji go. As usual, he kept pouring praise and love for Mohanji. Swamy Thyagananda wanted to perform one ritual for him and beckoned him to come closer. He held Mohanji and started chanting mantras and stotrams. It was a beautiful experience to hear Swamy Thyagananda chant and the energy of both the masters flowed through our beings. This went on for a while and ended with Swamy Thyagananda anointing Mohanji with red sindoor on the third eye all the way up the forehead. We prostrated in front of Swamy Thyagananda and took his blessings. At one point, Swamy Thyagananda looked at me and told Mohanji, “He is a good boy”. To which Mohanji added with a smile, “Yes. But he needs to grow up and become a man”. Ouch! The master’s cane at work!  Swamy Thyagananda was very sad that Mohanji was leaving. He said that he would do a ritual for auspiciousness in Bangalore in the coming week. We said our goodbyes and walked to the car. Mohanji gave some money to each of disciples of Swamy Thyagananda as a blessing. One disciple hesitated to take the money from Mohanji and politely refused. Mohanji categorically told him, “What did you learn from your guru? All gurus are the same. Never ever obstruct grace which comes in the form of goodwill and unconditional love”. He got so scared by Mohanji’s stern countenance that he mumbled an apology and accepted the money. When we got into the car, Mohanji chuckled and said that he had been meaning to set this guy’s ego straight for a while. He said that after this shakeup he will either reform or will disregard this warning and go further south. What I realized based on this experience is that disciples can understand whether they can accept anything from another Guru based on the relationship that he/she shares with their Guru. A true Guru will not give a mantra or an initiation suggestion of any kind to any disciple of another Guru without checking with the other Guru first or consulting them. That is a general thumb rule and respect between masters who are connected with the Source. No Guru who is connected to the Source will initiate or give a mantra to the disciple of another Guru at all. At the same time, if a material gift is given as Mohanji did, it will only amount to enhancement of the disciple as well as appreciation and reverence to the other Guru. If your Guru specifically sends you to another Guru, then you can also accept from the other Guru. Swamy Thyagananda came up to the gates and said his goodbyes. He held Mohanji’s hand through the window and then waved to him as we made our way back to Bangalore. Even though we were so close to Sri Sailam, we didn’t get to visit the Mallikarjuna temple because of time constraints. So we stopped at the fork that headed to Sri Sailam and prayed to the Lord in that approximate direction. I fervently hoped that our prayers reached Lord Shiva. In any case, we had our Lord Shiva in the car so we hoped that the one in Sri Sailam would overlook the lapse on our part. It was a very long drive back to Bangalore and we reached Bangalore late in the night.

Bangalore

It was our desire to do our bit for Mohanji even though one who is established in unconditional love brooks no fear from anyone or anything because it is then the responsibility of the Divine to take care of such saints. That is what I believe Mohanji was saying when he referred to the story of Adi Shankara. Our stay in Bangalore over the next two days is a testament to how the Divine Consciousness beautifully arranges to take care of one of its own.

A brief background before we start. Devi Amma is a highly realized master in Bangalore who is very attached to Mohanji. Mohanji considers her as one of his spiritual mothers. She is considered to be Sage Agastya’s daughter in consciousness. Sage Agastya is her spiritual Guru and one of the greatest masters of the Siddha tradition. He is one of the 18 siddhas of which Mahavatar Babaji mentioned in Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi” is one. She communes with the Siddhas also and is deeply connected to Bhagavan Sathya Sai. She channels Sage Agastya and Bhagavan Sathya Sai for people who would like their questions answered or need divine intervention for their issues. Many Sathya Sai devotees visit her in Bangalore. She is a beautiful soul sans pretensions. All who visit her bask in the immeasurable love and blessings that are showered unconditionally by her. Mohanji loves her a lot and his trip to Bangalore never gets completed without spending time with Devi Amma. And it is just like a mother and son meeting.

Devi Amma from Bangalore and Mohanji, ike mother and son

Devi Amma from Bangalore and Mohanji, like a mother and son. On one occasion she called Mohanji “Jagat Mitra” which means “friend of the universe”

Before starting this trip, Mohanji had a meeting with Devi Amma. He asked Sage Agastya through Devi Amma to reconfirm if his carrying out his mission on earth was indeed as per their liking and blessing and if the way he was directing it has their approval. Amma clearly told him that Sage Agastya and the masters were very happy and pleased with his work. Sage Agastya told Devi Amma that Mohanji is our spiritual son and he need not worry about anything since it is our responsibility to protect him and his mission. Devi Amma told Mohanji “Sage Agasthya says that you are his spiritual son and I am His spiritual daughter. Hence we are connected as brother and sister. So, you can call me your elder sister.” Mohanji replied “I always considered you as my mother and please let us maintain that relationship for the rest of our lives”. Their love for each other is unfathomable. When some people tried to tell her some gossips about Mohanji, she categorically told them, “All those who talk like this are wrong. Mohanji is right. Time will prove.” There is a reason behind every event, word and thought. Masters see the truth always. They cannot be contaminated. Like another master Muraliji said a few years ago “Mohanji is pure gold. Even if the pure gold lies in mud, one rain will bring back its hidden shine. Pure gold never gets rusted.”

To move on with our story, Swamy Thyagananda called in the morning saying that he was coming down immediately to Bangalore to do the ritual for auspiciousness. The previous evening, we found out that Raman sir was in the vicinity. Raman sir is a realized master who is deeply connected to Mohanji (and vice versa). While talking to Raman sir, it was decided that he would meet Mohanji in Bangalore during his trip. In the morning, Raman sir also called up Mohanji and said that he was coming from Arunachala to meet him the same day later in the evening. As it turned out, Raman sir came in much earlier than expected by late afternoon. He was accompanied by three other people. Mohanji received him with great respect. Mohanji respects all people especially masters with deep humility. As is customary as a sign of respect, Mohanji tried to prostrate at the feet of Raman sir. Raman sir prevented that and he tried to do the same thing to Mohanji which Mohanji prevented. They played a game for a short while over who would touch whose feet.  After some time, Mohanji decided that, being much younger in age, it was his prerogative and Raman sir politely accepted. Mohanji touched his feet with great reverence and Raman sir blessed him. Then they hugged each other. Love and respect between them was evident in their interactions. All of us prostrated in front of Raman sir and took his blessings. Since they were meeting (terrestrially) after a long time, they had a long discussion which was mostly in their mother tongue Malayalam. After Raman sir and his group freshened up, all of us had lunch together. This is the first time I met Raman sir. I had heard about him through Mohanji and one of Raman Sir’s disciples. Mohanji had repeatedly told us that he was among the spiritual greats. I was amazed by the way he carried himself. Looking at him, you cannot gauge his spiritual stature. Like Mohanji, he has absolutely no pretensions or airs of a spiritual master. At one point, there was a person from Swamy Thyagananda’s group who was explaining the spiritual significance of the Maha Mryutyunjaya Mantra to Raman Sir. I was almost rolling my eyes over but Raman Sir just patiently heard him out with complete attention and with no hint of ego. It’s only when you ask him a question directly does he bring out his spiritual wisdom. He is very unassuming and will not display his spiritual stature unless explored. Sometime later, Swamy Thyagananda also came down with his group. Mohanji received him with a lot of love and soon the three masters were all seated together. All of us prostrated in front of Swamy Thyagananda and took his blessings too. They exchanged pleasantries and engaged in a general discussion. Raman sir and Mohanji decided to meet Devi Amma at her house. It was decided that the ritual for auspiciousness would be done at Devi Amma’s house in her presence and the presence of Sage Agastya. The following morning, Mohanji, Preeti didi, I along with Raman sir and his group left for Devi Amma’s house. When we reached there, Devi Amma received Mohanji with a lot of love. Mohanji first prostrated at her feet and then they hugged each other with immense love. It was more of a meeting between a mother and son rather than two masters meeting each other. It was beautiful watching the masters’ lila (divine play). Raman sir also prostrated at Amma’s feet and we also followed suit. Mohanji sat near Amma’s feet. Amma affectionately enquired of Mohanji’s family, work and travels. Mohanji informed her of our trip and some of the interesting things that happened on the trip. Soon we were joined by a Sathya Sai group that had come down to meet her. Interestingly, they were led there by an old friend of Mohanji (for those who have read Mohanji’s blog, he is referenced in the Babaji trilogy of articles “Babaji beyond definitions” as the American man who used to channel Babaji). Mohanji and he embraced each other and relived old memories. There was no formality and the atmosphere was very playful like two children meeting each other. He had a clean shaven head with a shikha (tuft of hair at the top of the head that Brahmins in India keep as a custom) and Mohanji, just like a child, kept checking with him if this “switch on the head” worked. He touched and pulled his tuft to make sure it’s real. (“True Saints are truly child-like” – Mohanji.) It was beautiful watching both of them together radiating all the love. He mentioned that Babaji had subsequently sent him to Bhagavan. He now stayed in Puttaparthi for most of the year. He also had a base in California and traveled there as well. He said that he mostly works with Sathya Sai devotees that Bhagavan sends to him. Babaji taught him eye exercises which allowed him to transmit directly by looking into people’s eyes. He said that these days he channeled Bhagavan most of the time. He mentioned that he did not have any special purpose except going with the flow and enjoying the play of consciousness. He closed his eyes, channeled the masters and told Mohanji that he could now initiate people to Kriya. Mohanji told him that he had already started with the kriya initiations. Sometime later, he got up to leave. He bowed down to Devi Amma and deeply embraced Mohanji which was so captivating as the merger of consciousness of two evolved beings in the presence of other evolved beings like Devi Amma and Raman Sir. We also parted with a hug. Mohanji says that when you hug a master, when your anahata (heart chakra) connects to the anahata of the master, instant blooming happens in the seeker. Hence, for an activation, the hug should last for a sufficient time (at least 30seconds or more). You have to merge into the aura and the vibration of the evolved being. A quick hug or a shake of hands cannot fetch you that. Afterwards, Swamy Thyagananda came down with his group. All of us settled down and he began the ritual for auspiciousness. With so many masters in the room including Sage Agastya and the Siddha masters, the room was abuzz with energy. The chanting of Vedic mantras made it even more divine. All of us just closed our eyes and floated in the pure flow of energy. The chanting went on for a while. Swamy Thyagananda performed several rites as part of the ritual. We were both participants and witness to this wonderful play of divine energy in the presence of such great realized beings. Finally when the ritual ended, it felt like a baptism. With the blessings of so many masters, we can’t even begin to think of how many lifetimes of muck must have been cleared in there. When it was time for us to leave, Devi Amma sang a small hymn in her beautiful voice and distributed prasad to everyone. We all took Devi Amma’s blessings, hugged her and left.

Mohanji with Devi Amma 1

All groups then congregated back at the Duggal residence. Swamy Thyagananda also decided to stay at the Duggal residence. We had made alternate arrangements for some people the night before keeping their comfort in mind. But today no one wanted to stay away. The lunch was first served to the masters and we finished our lunch after them. Raman sir and Mohanji stayed in one room that night and Swamy Thyagananda stayed in another room. The masters rested while we hung around like groupies. The evening saw a sea of commotion at the Duggal residence. The local meditation group was in full attendance. There was barely any sitting space. A famous 99 year old astronomer (as well as astrologer) from Bangalore, Kalyan Raman sir, also joined the evening session. As you know, Mohanji has never ever spoken about himself or his stature to anyone till date. He has always downplayed any suggestion in this regard from anyone. Other spiritual masters like Vittal Babaji, Gorkhe Guruji, Devi Amma, and the old saint who channels Gorakhnath Baba in the Kumbh Mela, etc. have given us dimensions of Mohanji which we cannot understand from our level of perception. Swamy Thyagananda started off by revealing Mohanji’s stature to us. He explained to everyone that Mohanji is an avataric birth that has incarnated for a specific divine purpose. He said that this kind of birth happens once in more than 10000 years. He also elaborated that Mohanji was not compelled to take this incarnation but decided to do so out of love and compassion for those who called him here. He will fulfill all kinds of desires of his people as he is not going to take another physical incarnation any more. (He was an accomplished Jnana Rishi in his last incarnation and dissolved into infinity at His Samadhi. Yet, He came back as a Raja Rishi in this life just to fulfill the desires of all those who have been connected to him even though there was no karma for him for an incarnation. Mohanji is equal to unconditional love.) But at the same time, Mohanji will be present on earth in the subtle form until the last soul that is connected to him is liberated. He said that Mohanji will be on earth for 1008 years and his place of samadhi (tomb) will become a great shrine of worship for thousands of people. He also mentioned that there will be a lot of temples and shrines of Mohanji around the world and lots of people will be benefitted by worshipping Mohanji. He said that he could prove his point using a life size picture of Mohanji and a lighted lamp and he promised that many miracles and healings will take place there. He challenged that he is ready to shell out money from his pocket to prove the power of Mohanji’s image. He listened to Mohanji’s Gayatri (Aum Parabrahmaaya Vidmahe, Shiva Tattwaaya Dheemahi, Tanno Mohan Prachodayaat). He said that one general Gayatri for Mohanji was not enough since he is far too powerful than that. He composed and chanted four more specific forms of Gayatri for Mohanji explaining various dimensions of Mohanji.

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The group congregated at Duggal’s residence.

The protocol for lunch was followed at dinner as well with the masters partaking of the food and blessing it before the groupies and the local attendees got a piece of the action. One by one, people took leave of the masters after taking their blessings. When everyone left, the masters retired to their rooms while the groupies spread themselves over every available inch of the Duggal’s living room space. It was like the waiting area of an Indian railway station with people horizontally spread out in different directions of space. There were extempore philosophical discussions emanating from different parts of the room. But there is only so much action that one is geared to absorb in a day and today was a day like no other. To be a witness to it was life changing. It was a mother lode of masters, actions, energy and change. Some felt it, some did not. But we all changed for sure. Since I had to wake up early to go to Varanasi with Mohanji, I decided to call it a night.

[To be continued]

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South African Retreat

Written by Mohan H Surujbally
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He is called Mohanji. I believe though, that the beauty of this Spiritual Master’s name is in the M.
The M is for Magic, Miracles and aMazing.
This is my second retreat with this incredible Master. I have been blessed twice, by some miracle to have been on these retreats. Attending them was almost impossible, but Mohanji made it possible. He says, “When Faith Grows, Grace Flows.” With grace, all things are possible.
The retreat in South Africa June / July 2015 was as magical as the previous retreat I attended for Himalayas 2014.
I was greeted by a smile that melted my heart, and a powerful voice that echoed through my soul sending me into a trance of bliss. His arms extended to embrace me and I emptied myself as much as I could to receive his love. I was in tears. I could not stop crying for minutes. I was not sad. I was just filled with so much love and joy, the tears just kept flowing.
This was not the same Mohanji I had seen last year. He has expanded his state exponentially and even being in close proximity to him, feels like you are vibrating, with heat emanating from the inside and every hair on your body standing on edge.
In 5 incredible days, 39 partipants (3 from Malaysia, 1 from Serbia and the rest from South Africa), transformed and evolved spiritually.
The end result of these 5 very cold days in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal was 39 beings who returned to a State of Love.
Each day began at 4:30am with Water Therapy and eating of almonds and a banana, which flushed out toxins from our body as well as gave us the energy we needed to proceed to our 2 hour yoga session.
Ivana Gacina from Serbia is a Yoga Goddess. Watching her do Yoga is probably as beautiful as it would have been to watch Pablo Picasso paint. Every single movement was graceful and poetic. She is a wonderful teacher, and was gentle with us all, as she guided and encouraged us through our Yoga Sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed the Pranayama (Breathing Exercises) which spring cleans every cell in your body.
This retreat works on Body, Mind, Heart and Soul until you are completely cleansed. All are very much connected, therefore a thorough cleanse on all levels are needed.
Mohanji worked extremely hard on all of us. He worked on us internally and regardless of our thoughts and emotions, some of which were negative even towards him, he unconditionally stood by our side, loving us, accepting us, healing us, supporting us. You may never know what Unconditional Love is, until you are in a presence of a Master like Mohanji.

Mohanji is a representation of Consciousness. He is a representation of Love. He is a representation of who you are. He is the mirror in which you see your real self.

Mohanji is not the person bound by the human body. Mohanji is a representation of Consciousness. He is a representation of Love. He is a representation of who you are. He is the mirror in which you see your real self.

A message that he kept repeating for 5 days, or perhaps the message that I kept hearing, is that if we think of Mohanji as the man who was born in India, who is sitting in front of us, then we do not know Mohanji at all. Mohanji is not the person bound by the human body. Mohanji is a representation of Consciousness. He is a representation of Love. He is a representation of who you are. He is the mirror in which you see your real self.
If you miss that, then you have missed everything.
Mohanji is the river that leads to the Ocean. Jump into the river! Merge with the consciousness. Go with the Flow and Flow with the Go. Liberation is effortless, but Mind gets in the way making it extremely difficult.
In 2014, after meeting Mohanji, I became Mohan from Hitesh. (Mohan was my initial birth name but was changed to Hitesh). This time around, my goal was to become Mohanji from Mohan. But, I soon realised that you cannot become Mohanji, you can only BE Mohanji. You can only be Mohanji because you are Mohanji. You cannot become what you already are.
However, in order to get to that awareness, you have to develop such incredible and extraordinary love for Mohanji that the people who put together the retreat have. They are Yashik, Ramesh, Seema, Mitesh, Milica and Tashmin (to name a few). If I could love Mohanji just 10% of the love they have for him, I will have evolved to the next level spiritually.
It was aMazing to see how everyone, by Day 5, united by Love and filled with nothing more that gratitude in their hearts.
Mohanji is present in my life. That is not a matter of believing anymore, it is a matter of knowing. It is truth. It is fact.
Words are useless in describing how I feel about Mohanji and about being in his physical presence.
I love him so much. You can feel that he loves you unconditionally, he accepts you as you are, he never gives up on you, and will never walk away from you.
He is, in my opinion, the Guru of all Gurus. The Saint of all Saints. The Master of all Masters.
I am extremely grateful to have him guiding me in my life in every moment.
If you have not seen Mohanji in South Africa yet, you have one more week. He will be in KwaZulu-Natal for a week more. Visit the Mohanji South Africa Facebook page for details.
If you unable to make it, visit his website: mohanji.org and read his blogs.
It is not about following him or becoming a discipline or changing who you are or what religion you follow. Mohanji has no interest in anything that binds you. His only agenda is Unconditional Love, Faith, Purity and Liberation.
I love you Mohanji. Thank you for everything! I am your instrument, you play the music!
Love,
Mohan H Surujbally

Retreat with Mohanji South Africa

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Ganeshpuri – Abode of Avadhootas

Written by Dhritiman Biswas

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Early last year (2014), I went to meet Sri Vasudev ji near Ganeshpuri (Maharashtra). I had already met Sri Vasudevji the previous year. We talked fondly about Mohanji. He remembered Mohanji’s visits to this Nath temple with a twinkle in his eye. Mohanji and the Avadhoota of the Nath templeHe showed me Mohanji’s eye cards and a printout of the blog on Mohanji’s universe about him! He asked me to translate the blog and smiled as I read it out loud. He also enquired about Bibaji and Mila. A dhoti was presented to him on behalf of Mohanji, at his lotus feet.

He narrated a couple of interesting incidents about Bade Baba and Gandhiji. Once Gandhiji came to pray at this same Nath temple before an agitation against the British. Bade Baba told him, “You are Paramguru. Why have you come here? You go and do your work.” When Gandhiji was in London negotiating with the British Government, Bade Baba instantly told his followers in India what had transpired (in those days, even a telegram took days to reach). Next day, the newspaper declared exactly what Bade Baba had told his followers!

Sri Vasudevji asked me to meditate inside the Nath mandir and then showed me the forms of Gods on the wall. I had the honour of drinking tea made by him for me. He also gifted me pictures of Nath Gurus, Sai Baba, Devi Mata and Bade Baba (now kept at my home altar)!!!

I went to the adjoining Brajeshwari temple with flowers and spent some time at the Datta mandir.

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The Kailash Nivas – where Bade Baba used to live

I went to Bade Baba’s main temple at Ganeshpuri. After prayers and parikrama, I bought a small murti of Bade Baba. On the way back, I saw the Kailash house – where Bade Baba used to live.

Coincidentally, I had read about Mohanji’s visit to Ganeshpuri online just a few days back, although I was not even searching for it specifically. Due to the odd hour of the day (late afternoon), there was no one at Kailash house and Bade Baba’s room was locked. I prostrated in front of his chair. I had a wish to kneel and pray before his bedroom. I saw the security guard and requested him to show me Baba’s room. He replied that he could be sacked if he opened it. But after much pleading, he opened the room for a quick prayer. I kept the recently purchased idol on the bed and quickly prayed.
Bhagawan Nithyananda - Bade BabaAfter I walked out of the room, the guard called me to a side room and offered me the juice which Baba consumes every day as prasad! I suddenly realised that Mohanji was with me – as these special privileges are accorded only when Mohanji is present! I consumed the juice knowing it was Mohanji who was drinking Bade Baba’s prasad! I was just the medium. As I walked out, all the lights came on at the Kailash house!
So I returned home with Bade Baba’s idol, blessed by the presence of Mohanji and Bade Baba himself.
Jai Gurudev! Jai Gurudev! Jai Gurudev!

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Miraculous Days with Mohanji – Part 2

Written by Rajesh Kamath

Hyderabad

Both our groups reached Swamy Thyagananda’s ashram late in the night. It was in the outskirts of Hyderabad. As soon as we entered the ashram, they received us with a lot of respect and reverence. The ashram was a quaint cozy place. There was a sacred homa kunda (fire pit) near the entrance of the ashram and a nice landscaped garden next to it. Further down, there was a dining hall to the left and the main building behind it where the temple and living quarters were. There was a beautiful ancient idol of Lord Ganapati on the way leading to the main building.

Mohanji and swami Thyagananda at the gates 1,2

Mohanji and swami Thyagananda at the gates

Swamy Thyagananda took us to the sacred homa kunda and performed a ritual offering for our group. There was a beautiful idol of the Divine Mother, in the form of Maa Durga, in front of the sacred homa kunda. Various offerings were made to the Divine Mother amidst the chanting of Vedic hymns by Swamy Thyagananda and his disciples. The place was brimming with divine energy from the fire ritual. Swamy Thyagananda honored Mohanji with a turban, shawl and garlands; and welcomed him to the ashram.

Adorning the Divine Mother

Adorning the Divine Mother

Chanting by Swamy Thyagananda

Chanting by Swamy Thyagananda

Offerings for the fire

Offerings for the fire

Offerings into the fire

Offerings into the fire

Honouring with turban and shawl

Honouring with turban and shawl

We then moved to the main building and headed to the main temple room where a beautiful image of the Divine Mother was installed along with the photo of his Guru. Swamy Thyagananda did a small puja for the Divine Mother and his Guru. All of us prostrated and took the blessings of his Guru and the Divine Mother.

Swamy Thyagananda and Mohanji at the temple

Swamy Thyagananda and Mohanji at the temple

Divine Mother and the photo of Swamy Thyagananda's Guru

Divine Mother and the photo of Swamy Thyagananda’s Guru

Swamy Thyagananda doing the puja

Swamy Thyagananda doing the puja

The red carpet was literally laid out for our group in the ashram. Even though the ashram had modest facilities, they offered us the best rooms that were available. Swamy Thyagananda offered his own room to Mohanji and he stayed outside the ashram. All the ashramites lovingly attended to our every need and ensured that no stone was left unturned in making us comfortable. They had thought about every detail, including having hot water ready for washing our hands and feet. We were treated to a sumptuous multi-course Andhra vegetarian meal. Absolutely yummy! Post the meal, we retired to our rooms. With all the travel, Mohanji was tired and decided to retire for the night.
With all the divine events that took place, we found it hard to settle down with all the surplus energy. We huddled around Thyagananda Swamy. He told us that incarnations like Mohanji happen once in thousands of years. He told us that we were very lucky to be connected to a Guru like Mohanji and that we should hang on to him with all our might. Describing the energy transfer to Mohanji in Kuruvapuram, he said that he had the experience of Mohanji becoming Adi Shesha (King of all Nagas and the resting couch for Lord Vishnu) and himself becoming the Divine Mother. He could feel the dissolution of their human forms and the merger of their respective energies into one. Most of the discussion was in Telegu with a bit of intermittent English. I tried to keep up as best as I could with the help of the lady from our group who translated important points for me. I was attending to Mohanji so I reluctantly decided to head back towards our rooms and call it a night.
In the morning, Mohanji came down to receive Swamy Thyagananda when he entered the ashram. Swamy Thyagananda hugged Mohanji deeply and showered a lot of love on him. He tenderly kept touching Mohanji and pouring his blessings. They walked together to the main temple. As he entered, Swamy Thyagananda gave a soulful call to the Divine Mother like a child crying out to his mother. It truly touched our hearts. Swamy Thyagananda then performed a puja for the Divine Mother and his Guru. Hearing the chants pouring forth from his melodious voice made it a truly blissful experience. He then garlanded Mohanji with the garlands that were offered to and wrapped around the Divine Mother.

Mohanji welcoming Swamy Thyagananda at the gates

Mohanji welcoming Swamy Thyagananda at the gates

Mohanji welcoming Swamy Thyagananda at the gates

Mohanji welcoming Swamy Thyagananda at the gates

Love of the masters

Love of the masters

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Masters bowing to the Divine Mother

Masters bowing to the Divine Mother

Swamy Thyagananda with Mohanji in deep prayer

Swamy Thyagananda with Mohanji in deep prayer

Swamy Thyagananda honouring Mohanji

Swamy Thyagananda honouring Mohanji

We then proceeded to have a delicious South Indian breakfast of dosas, idlis and some very yummy chutney. Following that, we settled down next to the two masters. Swamy Thyagananda kept pouring his love to Mohanji. He was very sad that we had to leave soon. He kept telling Mohanji to take him along since he would feel all alone once Mohanji left. Swamy Thyagananda said that there was a significant energy transfer done in Kuruvapuram last night and Mohanji would feel its effects on his body for a while but it would eventually stabilize. Swamy Thyagananda did mantra chanting for Mohanji to stabilize the energy transfer and also to shield Mohanji from its effects. Then Swamy Thyagananda gave each of us a crystal bead necklace intuitively based on our requirements.

Swamy Thyagananda chanting for Mohanji

Swamy Thyagananda chanting for Mohanji

Finally it was time for us to leave Hyderabad. Swamy Thyagananda did a small ritual with Mohanji in the sacred homa kunda. We took the blessings of the Divine Mother and headed to our car. Swamy Thyagananda was very reluctant to let Mohanji go. He told us that he would be going over to Swamy Poornananda’s ashram (his Guru’s Guru) near Sri Sailam in a few days and requested Mohanji to join him there. There were heavy hearts and many sad goodbyes and we eventually headed out for Ahobilam.

Fire ritual

Fire ritual

Taking leave of the Divine Mother

Taking leave of the Divine Mother

Ahobilam

It was a long drive to Ahobilam but the weather was really good with bright sunny skies and a cool breeze. Mohanji asked the group to wear, in turns, the garlands of the Divine Mother which had been offered to him by Swamy Thyagananda. He said that the garlands were very powerful and full of divine energy. He asked us to wear them for as long as we could. We kept doing annadana wherever we could when we took our pit stops – mostly stray dogs with a few humans.
Through this journey so far, I got into the unfortunate trap of comparing experiences. The spiritual experience of the lady in Kuruvapuram made me very jealous and insecure. I felt like I was not getting my fair share.  Another thing that I noticed was the energy beggar in me. I was actively seeking out trinkets, blessings and mantras. It was as if the trinkets like the crystal necklace, the garlands saturated with divine power, etc. and the mantras were a shortcut to spiritual growth. Same goes for the blessings from the masters. I was very happy when I received the crystal necklace from Swamy Thyagananda. I was like, “Dude, I got one too”. When we huddled around Swamy Thyagananda in the night, I knew that my job was to be around Mohanji and help him as much as I could to make his stay comfortable. That was my defined role for the trip. But I chose to stay around Swamy Thyagananda for a longer while so I could have some more blessing shekels thrown my way.
During our drive to Ahobilam, Mohanji unexpectedly gave me the dope straight up. He specifically addressed me and said that I want you to remember two things – 1. All realized masters pour out their blessings without asking. You get as much as you need and as much as you can receive. You don’t need to ask. 2. Your Guru always gives you more than your due. Don’t expect anything because you don’t know what to expect. He burst my bubble right there and addressed my insecurities. 
Moving on… We stopped at a wayside restaurant for lunch. Our waiter was a scrawny man whose dress had equal holes and cloth. When we finished and paid the bill, Mohanji asked us to tip him the rest of the money – a big tip for this remote part of the country. His toothy smile stretched from end to end and genuine happiness beamed from his face. When I mentioned this to Mohanji, he was matter of fact. But I really felt touched and grateful to witness a simple thoughtful act bringing so much joy to someone.

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Swamy Thyagananda called multiple times all along the way. He spoke mostly in Telegu which was translated by a lady within the group and sometimes in halting English. He kept saying that he was feeling very bad that Mohanji had left. He kept asking Mohanji when he would come down next to visit him. He reiterated his request to Mohanji to join him on his trip to Swamy Poornananda’s ashram near Sri Sailam. In one of the calls, Thyagananda Swamy bestowed the title “Vishwa Kalyananda Bharati” (which translates to “the savior who works for the welfare and happiness of the universe”). He said that he had been asked to do so at the behest of Sri Chakra Meru (the goddess in her form of Shri Lalita or Tripura Sundari – the highest aspect of the Divine Mother). He explained to us that Mohanji was an avatar (divine incarnation) whose mission was focused not only on earth but also in several other dimensions of the universe. It will be very difficult for people to recognize him let alone understand him.
Along the way, we were informed by one of the people from Hyderabad (who had come to Kuruvapuram) that he had arranged for VIP protocol for Mohanji for his visit in Ahobilam. He had also made arrangements for our accommodation and for a priest to accompany us for the darshans (seeing a holy saint or image). I was supposed to coordinate the accommodation and had no clue till that morning on where we were supposed to stay. But grace flowed from Mohanji and everything was arranged for us in picture perfect fashion.
Towards the evening, my mind was in a tumult and I was praying to Lord Hanuman all through the evening to help me surrender to Mohanji. We reached Ahobilam in the night. We passed by an old temple at the entrance to Ahobilam. Mohanji asked me to get down from the car and pray there. Guess what? It was a temple of Lord Hanuman. The idol was very beautiful – an ancient stone idol with golden paint on it. I felt very grateful and prostrated before Lord Hanuman. When I returned to the car and told Mohanji that it was Hanumanji’s temple, he smiled at me with twinkling eyes and said, “I know. That’s why I asked you to go”.
The police party and priest met us at the entrance and took us to our accommodation. It took us a while to settle in the hotel. In the meantime, they arranged for our food. Since we were tired from the long journey, we had our dinner and retired for the night.

The priest

The priest

In the night, my mind was still quite restless and I stepped out to the terrace adjoining the hotel room for a smoke. I took some extra bananas along with me for the monkeys. When Mohanji gets on your case, you can’t but be shaken up. Being close to the blazing volcano at such close range is not for the faint of heart. With the kind of failings that I have, you need a strong hide and an even stronger backside.  I was praying to Lord Hanuman to help me with surrender. At that moment, a monkey descended on the terrace and sat on the railing as if waiting for me. I handed him the bananas which he accepted, ate and moved on. I took it as a sign that Lord Hanuman was listening to me. With that happy thought, I went off to sleep.
A brief background of Ahobilam is in order. Ahobilam (aka Ahobalam) was blessed to be the scene for the Narasimha avatar (the fourth avatar of Lord Vishnu). Lord Vishnu took the Narasimha avatar to save his devotee, Bhakta Prahlada, from the demon Hiranyakashipu who was Prahlada’s father. The demon had secured a special boon from Lord Brahma that detailed a very complex set of criteria and circumstances that had to be met for his death. Hence, Lord Vishnu had to take a very peculiar avatar to meet those complex requirements. The place is unique in that all aspects of the avatar’s life happened within Ahobilam itself. A famous shloka (verse) that explains the name is – “aho veeryam aho shouryam aho bahu parakrame, naarsimhah param devam ahobilam ahobalam” (Oh what bravery! Oh what valor! Oh the powerful arms of the Supreme Lord Narasimha! Oh what a cave! Oh what strength”) Hence, the name refers to the powerful energy of this place as well as to the caves where the svayambhu (self-manifested) deities reside. This place is also known as Nava Narasimha Kshetram signifying the nine temples of Lord Narasimha. A visit to Ahobilam involves a visit to these nine temples which usually takes a couple of days. Legend has it that the nine planets that determine human fate worshipped these nine Lord Narasimhas. Hence, anyone who takes darshan of these nine Narasimhas is exempt from the evil effects of planetary malefactions.
The police party and the priest arrived early in the morning to escort us for the temple visits. We headed to the first of these temples and the main one – the Ahobila Narasimha Swami temple. Bhakta Prahlada had meditated here and Lord Narasimha, pleased with his devotion, had appeared in front of him. We passed through winding mountainous roads with picturesque surroundings as we drove to the main temple. Once we reached the temple, we had a splendid breakfast at the Brahmin canteen outside the temple. These canteens provide free meals to the general public. Mohanji gave money to the people serving in the canteen and they prostrated before him and took his blessings. Mohanji also donated money to the canteen for annadana. Mohanji asked us to buy a lot of biscuits to perform annadana along our journey.
We then headed for the temple. We took a small tour of the temple before entering the sanctum sanctorum. There are small temples of various Vaishnavite (worshippers of Vishnu) saints and deities all around in the temple complex with the main temple in the center. In one corner, you can see the chariot that is used for taking the Lord out on the Rath Yatra (ritual procession of the Lord). The main temple is a beautiful ancient structure replete with intricate carvings and sculptures on the stone pillars, walls and ceilings. We were told that the idol of Lord Narasimha in the main temple was installed by Lord Srinivasa Balaji (the presiding deity of Tirupati) himself. There were some obstacles to his marriage and he was asked to visit Ahobilam to take Lord Narasimha’s blessings. There is a mandapam (platform) in the temple precinct where Lord Balaji’s wedding took place. While we were taking our tour, a group of local women accosted  Mohanji, prostrated in front of him and took his blessings. An interesting fact of this temple is that there is a Shiva linga within the temple. This is supposed to have been installed by the sage Adi Shankara himself. This is a unique one of its kind feature since Shiva is generally never worshipped alongside Vishnu by Vaishnavites.

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Temple complex

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IMG_20141230_071936 aTemple complex 3

Vaishnav Saints

Vaishnav Saints

Local women

Local women

Mohanji meditating in the temle

Mohanji meditating in the temple

We headed towards the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The sanctum sanctorum was a small cave where 8-10 people can stand. Since Mohanji had VIP protocol, the police party proceeded to clear the place and make way for us to enter without any wait. Mohanji asked the police party not to stop the worshippers from praying. So the worshippers were allowed to finish their prayers and the place was gently cleared so we could enter.

Mohanji with the police party and priest

Mohanji with the police party and priest

Mohanji in the temple

Mohanji in the temple

Lord NarasimhaLord Narasimha 2

There was a man already in the sanctum sanctorum standing next to Mohanji in the left corner near a metal barrier. He offered pranams to Mohanji and asked Mohanji if it was OK for him to stand there since the police were nudging him to leave. Mohanji told him that he could stay there with him for the ritual offering. All of us felt that he had an uncanny resemblance to the Narasimha idol in front of us and he and Mohanji were respecting each other. In the sanctum sanctorum, we gave our offerings to the priest and he made a ritual offering to the deity. Then the priest blessed us and garlanded Mohanji and our group with the garlands and shawls that were on the deity. Mohanji asked the man, “Are you happy?” He said, “I am very happy”. Then he told Mohanji, “I want to speak to you”. Mohanji said, “Come with me”. After our offerings, he offered his prayers along with us and followed Mohanji outside the sanctum sanctorum. From there, we proceeded to the place where the Sudarshan Chakra was installed and then on to the Devi temple.
As we got outside the main temple, he got into a conversation with Mohanji and started telling him and our group the story of the Narasimha avatar and the different locations in Ahobilam that mapped to each part of the story. He explained that Lord Narasimha emerged from the Ugra Stambha and pointed to the stony structure at the top of a distant mountain which housed the spot. Lord Narasimha then challenged the demon Hiranyakashipu to a duel at a point which is the site of the Jwala Narasimha temple. They had a fierce duel using various weapons which finally ended in a hand-to-hand combat. In the end, Lord Narasimha defeated the demon, placed him on his thighs, ripped his entrails with his long sharp nails and drank his blood without spilling a drop. Even after killing the demon, Lord Narasimha’s anger was still raging and he roamed through the forests in a mad fury. His anger frightened the Gods and they begged Goddess Lakshmi (the wife of Vishnu) to pacify his anger. She appeared before Lord Narasimha in the forests and appeased him.

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Ugra Stambha

We felt as if Lord Narasimha was relating his story to us through this person and letting us know about the important points of Ahobilam. The interesting part was that this person’s story had a strong resemblance to the story of Lord Narasimha. He told Mohanji that he was from out of town. He had come down to Ahobilam and had been living there for quite some time. He said that he had performed austerities here and had been roaming with a restless and uneasy mind for a long while in these forests by himself until he settled down. He resembles Lord Narasimha in the temple, honors Mohanji, comes out with us, and explains the story of Lord Narasimha and the associated places. Who exactly was he? Was he a tour guide or Lord Narasimha himself? These are the miracles associated with Mohanji to any sacred place.
Finally, the person embraced Mohanji and took his leave. Mohanji gave him a packet of biscuits and some money. He said that this was not necessary but accepted it on Mohanji’s insistence. There were a row of beggars outside the temple. Mohanji asked us to distribute the biscuits to all the people there and to feed the dogs and monkeys around the temple precinct. Mohanji then asked us to get a particular oil for the temple lamps and donate it to the temple. As a result of this detour, our cab driver, who had not accompanied us, also got a chance to come down and had a great darshan of Lord Narasimha. He mentioned that Lord Narasimha was his family deity which made it all the more special.

Annadana

Annadana

Mohanji then went to the mandapam where the marriage of Lord Balaji took place and meditated there for a while. The police party was with him along with some members of our group. As he sat down to meditate, a group of monkeys descended and sat around him. Mohanji fed them biscuits. Soon he was joined again by the Lord Narasimha look alike. He came with a banana that had been offered to Lord Narasimha in the temple and told Mohanji that you deserve to have it. Mohanji took one piece, gave him one piece and the rest was distributed amongst our group. We felt like Lord Narasimha wanted Mohanji to have prasad from his temple.

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Mohanji meditating in the mandapam

Mohanji meditating in the mandapam

Feeding the monkeys

Feeding the monkeys

The person then started detailing his wish of seeing Lord Vishnu installed in the four directions of India. He mentioned that Lord Vishnu was present in Puri (East), Dwaraka (West) and Ahobilam (South). Now he wanted Ayodhya (the seat of Lord Ram in the North) to regain its past glory and its rightful place as Lord Vishnu’s place in the North. He drew an intricate picture of a throne that he wanted installed in Ayodhya for Lord Ram and explained its significance. He discussed his plans in this regard and requested for Mohanji’s assistance in this noble intention. Mohanji promised him all help in this regard and gave him the contact details of his secretary. After that, he thanked Mohanji and left.

Narasimha look-alike sharing his vision

Narasimha look-alike sharing his vision

In discussion with the priests

In discussion with the priests

We then moved on to our next temple visit. The trek to the nine temple shrines is very scenic since they are located in the Nallamalla forest range. It is a thick forest with beautiful rivulets and mountain streams flowing through it. The place is still pristine probably because it is inaccessible to modern transportation and most of the temples can only be reached after a strenuous trek. We were taken by the natural beauty of the place. However, the place also gets quite hot and the trek can be sapping.
We walked by some old mountain trails and through an old wooden bridge. We passed by some ancient ruins that were inns built in ancient times by kings of lore but were now in a state of dilapidation. A few more scenic routes and we found ourselves at the Krodaswamy (Varaha) Narasimha Swamy temple. The place was swarming with school kids who were out on an excursion and having a lot of fun. The police party got us into the temple and we had a very nice darshan with the priest conducting the ritual offerings for us.

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Krodaswamy (Varaha) Narasimha Swamy temple

Krodaswamy (Varaha) Narasimha Swamy temple

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Inns of days past

Inns of days past

At that point, we realized that a child in the group was not wearing footwear. Mohanji thought that it would not be wise for her to continue forward since the mountain trails would be painful on bare feet. So it was decided that I and Mohanji would continue ahead with the priest while the rest of the group would walk back and wait for us at the Ahobila Narasimha Swamy temple (much against the child’s wishes who wanted to continue on ). We did the grueling walk up to the Jwala Narasimha Swamy temple. It was a very beautiful and pristine route but the heat and the gradient made it tiring. At one point, the road forked with one leading to the Jwala Narasimha temple and the other going upwards to the Ugra Stambha. The priest told us that anyone who does a circumambulation of the Ugra Stambha is freed from the birth and death cycle. He said that most people don’t do the circumambulation the right way but he could tell us how to do it right to get the desired result. However when we told him we wanted to go there, he didn’t look too enthusiastic in taking us up to the Ugra Stambha. He tried to dissuade us by telling us that the walk up to the temple was strenuous, the circumambulation was treacherous and the trail was only a foot wide at some points with a steep drop on the other side. Mohanji finally decided that we skip the Ugra Stambha trek since he did not want to tax himself especially with the amount of travelling that he had done prior to this trip and his failing health. The thought of release from the birth death cycle was tempting so I told Mohanji that I was ready to skip provided he ensures that I get liberated. 

stene 1,2 Ugra StambhaAs we approached the Jwala Narasimha temple, we saw water streams trickling from the mountain rock faces. It is said that Lord Narasimha washed the blood off his hands here after killing the demon. Even today, the rocks are tinged with red. We slaked our thirst by drinking as much water as we could and also filled our bottles with it. The water was cool and pure and tasted like nectar compared to the bottled water that we had been drinking so far. We fed the monkeys and dogs along the way. We finally came to the Jwala Narasimha temple but the temple was closed since it was noon time. The priest brought the key and opened the door for Mohanji and our group. Few people who walked with us also got the darshan. The monkeys here were more aggressive but thankfully the dogs kept them at bay allowing us to enter the temple safely. The priest explained to us the salient points of the temple and the history associated with it. He also explained the significance of the different idols associated with the Narasimha avatar inside the sanctum sanctorum. Then he performed a ritual offering to the deity, blessed us and offered us prasad. Mohanji fed some dogs and monkeys in the temple. One of the monkeys came and asked to be fed in the mouth to which Mohanji obliged.

Walk to Jwala Narasimha

Walk to Jwala Narasimha

Puja at Jwala Narasimha

Puja at Jwala Narasimha

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Feeding the dogs

Feeding the dogs

We then headed back to the Ahobilam Narasimha Swamy temple. As we walked back, we explored the forest route along the way. The priest showed us some trees that were oozing sap that is used in making incense. The sun was at its peak and made for a beautiful spectacle as it shone high above in the mountain range. A cool breeze was flowing through that made the heat bearable. We took a lot of pictures along the route and the light around Mohanji made some of them look other worldly. We made a brief stop at the Malola Narasimha Swamy temple. The temple was closed since it was noon time. The priest called upon the local administration and got the temple open for Mohanji and our group. As we took the darshan, the priest performed a ritual offering to the deity, blessed us and offered us prasad.

Mohanji along the way

Mohanji along the way

Mohanji along the way

Mohanji along the way

Malola Narasimha Swamy temple

Malola Narasimha Swamy temple

We then headed back to the Ahobilam Narasimha Swamy temple. As we reunited with our group, there were a couple of people waiting for Mohanji back at the temple. One of them was a well known homeopathic doctor from Bangalore who supposedly cures even incurable lifestyle diseases like diabetes with his treatments. The other one was one of his patrons from Bangalore. These two happened to strike a conversation with the child’s mother and find out about Mohanji. They were intrigued and waited for almost two to three hours to meet Mohanji.
So the innocuous return of part of the group was not just accidental but had a specific divine purpose. I have been witness to similar synchronicities when someone is destined to meet Mohanji. They had a long, engaging conversation with Mohanji on several metaphysical points and on sadhana. I can’t elaborate much on the details of the discussion because my mind was focused on my hunger pangs and glossed over the specifics. Finally with their spiritual hunger satisfied, they took leave of Mohanji after taking his secretary’s contact details and the contact details of the people associated with Mohanji in Bangalore. We then proceeded to satisfy our terrestrial hunger in the Brahmin canteen. The food tasted divine especially after all that physical work. I packed a lot of extra food testing the tensile strength of my digestive system. Mohanji donated money for annadana in this canteen as well. Our group then left for the hotel.

The doctor and his patient

The doctor and his patient

Donation at the Brahmin Canteen

Donation at the Brahmin Canteen

Mohanji wasn’t feeling good and suggested that he would rest at the hotel. He asked us to continue and visit as many of the remaining Narasimha temples as we could and return back by early evening. The priest then took us to the Yogananda Narasimha Swamy and the Chatravata Narasimha Swamy temples. We also went across to a temple that had idols of all the nine Narasimha temples in a single place along with the significant planet for each idol. Since the priest accompanied us, he helped us in getting beautiful darshans and arranging for the ritual offerings and pujas (worship) to the deity. After the darshans, we returned to the hotel but we were a bit late in coming back. Mohanji was not feeling well and we realized that we forgot to arrange for his dinner. We quickly scrambled to get his dinner. After we had dinner, we offered the surplus food to the monkeys on the terrace. Then, the police party came in the room to take Mohanji’s blessings. The priest also came down to take leave of Mohanji. Mohanji asked us to tip them well for their sincere and diligent services. After they left, we retired for the night. In the morning, we had our breakfast and headed for Puttaparthi
[To be continued]

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