Written by Hein Adamson (South Africa)
On Hallowed Ground
I stood on hallowed ground. I was one of hundreds if not thousands of pilgrims that day; all of us queuing to visit the Samadhi of Sai Baba. This place, the town of Shirdi in the Indian state of Maharashtra, has been sanctified by the presence of the great saint who lived here for more than 70 years. As an ignorant person, I am hardly qualified to venture an opinion on any Master, but if love is any indication of the stature of a Master, then He must have been a very powerful. In this place, I feel so much love, such a mighty presence that I almost drown in it.
It was Thursday the 9th. Thursday is Baba’s favoured day and 9 is the number of the Dattatreya Tradition, the number which represents the changeless. This was no coincidence, it was Baba’s doing. They say no one comes to Shirdi unless Baba calls and no one leaves until Baba lets you go.
Why did I come here? I came here to work in a Vegan restaurant, the first of its kind in Shirdi. I believe strongly in the necessity of cruelty-free food and at the same time I am building a career for myself as part of a dharmic business. That is the long answer. The short answer is that I came here by Mohanji’s grace.
The Humble Master
To my joy, Mohanji arrived in Shirdi a few days later and shortly after that another Master named Avadhoot Nadananda arrived as well. I had heard a few stories about Nadanandaji and was excited to meet him. He is the pontiff of the subtle realm of Shamballa, in the same lineage as Sai Baba who had been the pontiff of Shamballa in his own time. He is also the current leader of Vidya path. I expected a stern, intense man and when I met him I did indeed find him to be intense, but gently so, lovingly so.
I have seen Mohanji play many parts, this time I saw Mohanji the disciple. In Nadanandaji’s presence he positioned himself simply and humbly. He prostrated at Nadanandaji’s feet, deferred to him, spoke little and treated him with utmost reverence, but not for a moment did Mohanji handle himself meekly or shyly. Here was a regal humility. There was power and nobility in his humility.
Never let Mohanji’s humility fool you, never take him for granted. Master’s the world over are recognizing him and urging us all to hold on to him for dear life. They are giving him titles to help us recognize what he is (not that Mohanji himself cares in the least for titles).
My Father Wears 3 Faces
Mohanji’s presence is an island of solace in the tempest tossed ocean of life. So, I found myself thrice blessed; by the presence of Mohanji, of Nadanandaji and of Sai Baba who is so palpable in this place. They had come for the inauguration of 2 restaurants; the vegan restaurant and a sattvic restaurant; both of which are owned and run by the same team and are in the same hotel. The chief priest of the Shirdi temple, Sulakhe Maharaj, also joined us on the day of inauguration. This took the form of a few short rituals after which Mohanji and Nadanandaji both gave a short talk.
As with many things which happen in life; it’s very easy to take these kinds of occurrences for granted. Shirdi is after all just a place and Mohanji just a man the same goes for Nadanandaji. All that really happened was that some people got together and performed a ritual and talked. But if we stop for a moment to look at the subtler side of things, we might see the coming together of giants of consciousness, heroes of the spiritual world. Sai Baba and Mohanji and Nadanandaji all have different names and forms and in my mind the image of each is distinct, but what I feel is so different. When I put aside the image, I see only one: One enormous, bright powerhouse of energy, radiating love and grace like the sun. Behind what we call Mohanji is something vast and beautiful, well beyond our capacity to understand, but not beyond our capacity to feel.
For me, questions of deserving aren’t even worth contemplating. The presence of a Master like Mohanji in my life, the experiences he has delivered and the events that surround him and which we witness, are gifts of Grace; Pure And Simple. Love; Pure And Simple.