Written by Rajesh Kamath
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]