Day 211 | 10 August 2015 | Kaprada to Nana Pondha | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Modern technology put to good use - Mundavu, Nashik Road
  • WOH Day 211 - The lush greenery enroute is a sight for sore eyes
  • Such focus will do him a world of good -Jogvel, Vapi
  • Sri M offers prayers at a wayside shrine - Nashik Road, Vapi
  • Ashramites of Srimad Rajchandra Mission joined the padayatra enroute - Nashik Road, Vapi
  • A wayside 'residential-cum-commercial' unit - Jogvel
  • Sri M welcomed enroute to Nanapondha - Vapi
  • Students of the Prathamik School Nanapondha welcome the padayatris - Vapi
  • The students put up a grand show for the padayatris - Nanapondha
  • 10.Warm-welcome-to-Sir-at-Nanapondha,-Vapi,-Gujarat)
  • Sri M address the students and the local community of Nanapondha
  • A visit to the local copper factory - Nanapondha
  • Sri M at the Collectibles section of the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission - Dharampur
  • Going through the Mission's publications - Dharampur
  • Sri M addressing the students of the Mission school - Dharampur
  • Sri M at the impressive Community Kitchen of the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission - Dharampur
  • The Ashramites say it with flowers - Dharampur
  • Sri M being introduced before the satsang at the imposing auditorium of the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission - Dharampur
  • Sri M felicitated before the satsang - Pujya Gurudev Shri Rakeshbhai looks on - Dharampur
Walking in Valsad district, Walk of Hope covered a distance of 15 kilometers from Kaprada to Nana Pondha. They are now moving closer to industrial areas and towns, away from the forests. On their way, many inmates of Srimad Rajchandra Mission joined them and walked with them.

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They reached their halting point – Prathamik School at Nana Pondha– where they were accorded a warm welcome by the teachers plus children of the school and people from the local community. They had gathered and patiently waited in the rain for Sri M and the padayatra to arrive. A program – of dance and songs - was arranged in honour of Sri M with the participation of school children. Sri M then addressed the gathering: “I am sorry I do not know Gujarati, I will speak in Hindi. I know only ‘Khem Cho’ and ‘Maja ma’. I do not have a microphone so I will come closer and speak. Many of us are walking - I do not know if you know why we are walking. We started from Kanyakumari and are going to Kashmir. We came two days ago to your state and we have covered close to 3300 Kms from Kanyakumari. We have walked all this way, this is not a rathayatra, this is a padayatra. We still have to walk 5000 Kms.” “You must be wondering why we are walking. We are walking with the message that we are all one. You may belong to the Hindu, Muslim or Christian faith - there are also those like the Communists who do not have a faith like this - but you are a human being first and foremost. This should not be forgotten. This is a very old thing in India; it is written in the old Shastras and the Vedas and it has been the culture of India. 3000 years ago,it has been said in the Vedas: Ekam Sat, Viprah bahuda vadanti- The truth is one but the wise call it by many names. This is nothing new.” “What happens is that it is forgotten sometimes. It is forgotten because of selfishness or greed. Sometimes, someone says something to us, and incites us by saying that you are different and then we forget that we are one.When there is violence, it should be understood that the mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers who are in our home are also there in the other home, and the pain that is felt here will also be felt there.” “In India, we have a great religion, Jainism. They have a great tenet -Ahimsa Paramo Dharma - Non-violence is the greatest religion. Mahatma Gandhi walked and lived by that his whole life.He was from here, you all know. He is the Father of the nation.” “We feel that when this is forgotten, people should be reminded of it. Consider yourselves as citizens of India first, before anything else. What will happen then is that India will become strong. In a time like this, it is very important that India becomes and remains strong. If India is to be strong, all of us have to work together. This should be understood. If we all work together, a time will come again when people from all over the world will come to India to attain knowledge. There was a time in our past when it was so; we had great places of learning like Nalanda and Takshashila. Now we have to go to America to get some knowledge. What we are seeking is right here and, with this message, we have been walking.” “From here, we will go to Madhya Pradesh,followed by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and finally,we will reachJammu and Kashmir. This is our aim. We have come to share this message with you. I feel very good coming here, sharing this with children. We will have left planting the seeds of peace, harmony and oneness. You are the future of India. In ten years, or twenty years, do not forget that someone came here, he was called Sri M. Do not forget that he spoke on these matters. Go home and share this with your parents, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbours. That is all.” “Thank you. Namaskaar and Salaam.” Following this, the yatris proceeded to Shrimad Rajchandra Mission of Dharampur – the resting point for the day. They arrived to a warm greeting by the people who run the mission set in lush, green environs, and a simple lunch followed. Shrimad Rajchandra - born Raichandbhai Ravajibhai Mehta - was a prominent Jain poet, philosopher, and scholar. Best known for his teachings on Jainism and as a spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi, he summarized his interpretation of Jainism in Atma Siddhi, a Gujarati short verse poem written when he was 28 years old. Through his life, he served as a spiritual guide and mentor to many people. He was introduced to Gandhiji in Mumbai in 1891 and had various conversations through letters while Gandhiji was in South Africa. Gandhiji noted his impression of Shrimad Rajchandra in his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, calling Raichand bhai his "guide and helper" and his "refuge… in moments of spiritual crisis". Shrimad Rajchandra died on April 9, 1901 in Rajkot, Gujarat. Sri Rakesh Jhaveriji, the founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission is a Jain scholar, spiritual leader and known orator. The Mission now has 68 centers around the world. He does not consider himself a monk though he follows many of the principles of Jain monasticism and resides with his followers at the Ashram in Dharampur or with his family in Mumbai. The campus is spread out on 223 acres of land, situated on the hillock of Mohangadh in the outskirts of the town. The Mission has accommodation to house 1000 aspirants. Sri M was taken around the campus, including the notable kitchen that caters to the large number of inmates and visitors. In the evening, the padayatris assembled in a huge auditorium along with the inmates of the Mission. After the customary welcome and introduction, Sri M began his evening Satsang. “I am sorry I do not know Gujarati, I will speak in Hindi. I know only ‘Khem Cho’ and ‘Maja ma’.” “Many of us are walking but I don’t know if you know why we are walking. We started from Kanyakumari and are going to Kashmir. We reached Gujarat two days ago and we have covered close to 3300 kilometers from Kanyakumari. We have walked all this way, this is not a rathayatra; this is a pada-yatra. We still have another 5000 kilometers to go. We feel very good that the places we go to, the villages we go to already have an understanding of what we have to say. They welcome us with great warmth.” “Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī gurave namah (Which) pervades the entire unbroken form of the circle (of creation), moving and unmoving. To that beautiful and benevolent Guru through whom that state was revealed (to me), salutations. Om Sri Gurubhyo Namaha Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “Dear friends - Do you want this to be an interactive session or do you want me to speak?” (Silence) “Please say something…” (‘Interactive’ – response from a few of the inmates) “Do you want to start right away or do you want me to say a few words and then interact? It is 4.30 pm now, I think we have enough time. I will first say a few words and then we will interact.” “First of all, some of you might have read my autobiography. I am sure many have not. It is not a very well advertised book. I wrote it originally in English, titled ‘Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master, a Yogi’s autobiography’. It is also available in Gujarati and Marathi. Now, this autobiography is not my autobiography. Well, it is my autobiography but the hero is not I, the hero is my Guru, Maheshwarnath Babaji. I personally feel that if he had not come into my life at that age, I would have been the same boy I was before. He came at the age of 9, touched my head once and blessed me.” “For those who have not read the autobiography: I was 9 years old and one day, as I was playing under the jackfruit tree - believe me this is not a vision - there was someone standing at the other end, and I walked towards him because he beckoned me. In such a situation, one should run away but I walked towards him. I found in front of me a tall and bare bodied man - just like this (points towards the statue of Shrimad Rajchandra) - with just a white loin cloth standing in front of me; he had matted hair and was naturally very tall and looked more so because I was short, so I had to look up.” “The first question he asked me was in Hindi. Well, you may wonder how we understood Hindi despite being from Kerala - we are fourth generation settlers from the North of India and we came from across the border. We continue to speak Urdu at home but for three generations, they spoke Pashtu. Then, they forgot this language because they intermarried with families in Hyderabad. It is not the clear Hindi but the variety they speak in the South. But, to follow what he was saying, was not very difficult for me. He asked ‘Kuch yaad aaya’ - do you remember anything. I said, ‘kuch nahi’ - I can’t remember anything. Then, he put his hand on my head and said ‘samay hone par sab thik ho jayega’ - when the time comes, everything will be all right.” “Then he said, ‘wapas jao’ - go back. So, I went back to my house. I wanted to share this with my mother but could not. Whenever I wanted to share this with my mother, it would appear as if my throat was constricted and my tongue froze. Till I went to the Himalayas and came back after the age of 19, I had no power to talk about this particular incident.” “As I grew up, I felt I was trapped in a cage. It was a golden cage since I had all the things that young people wanted. To me, it appeared as if it was a trap - a golden cage with golden bars. There was no one to open the cage from the outside, so I opened the cage and ran out. I travelled to many places. I met Babaji at Vyas Guha near Badri. The first thing I told him when I saw him - it was the same person in flesh and blood I had seen when I was a boy - was, ‘I will not leave you, I will stay with you’. His reaction was very interesting - he always said this - he said, 'Dekha Jayega', we will see.” “So, I lived with him for sometime - going wherever he went, walking behind him. It took me some time to catch up with him; I was not accustomed to walking at that altitude. Today I am but then I was not. When he said we are going to take a shortcut, it was usually a steep climb or a steep descent, so I used to pant and puff. Some of the yogis and teachers who met him on the way used to ask, 'Oh! Babaji has a disciple now'. They asked this because they thought Babaji would never find somebody. Whatever little understanding I have today is because of those three years of living with him and learning various things.” “Most of our sessions used to be on the banks of the Ganga. These days you cannot find a quiet spot, at least in Rishikesh. On the weekends, the city crowd comes and parties there. Those days it was comparatively quiet. Many things were taught during that period and Babaji was a great teacher who taught without a frame. He just taught about something and then you realised that this is the message. Except when he taught the scriptures, which we had to learn that by-heart, if one word went wrong here or there it had to be started again. By we, I mean I. This is the result of that. Everything has a cause and effect. This is the effect and that was the cause.” “Now, I have to be the cause for the next effect. This is how things are - it is normal. The Walk is happening only because of Babaji’s wish. Once, when we were sitting on the banks of Ganga, Babaji said to me, 'One day, you will have to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir'. I said, ‘No, I am not going anywhere, I will not leave you, I will go where you will go’. Babaji said, 'You will have to go'. Babaji reminded me of that time we had a conversation where he asked me who I considered myself to be in relation to him. I said, 'Babaji, I consider myself to be your dog'. Babaji said, "Don’t shake your tail too much’. Babaji asked me, 'Did you not say that'? I said,'Yes, I did say that'. He then told me, 'Don’t shake your tail too much'. So I said 'Okay'.” “The next bombshell was, 'You will have to walk with many people'. That was too much for me. Like Maheswarnath Babaji I like to live in seclusion. I am best when nobody is around. But, this is Babaji’s wish. He said go, so here I am.” “But, I could not proceed on the yatra for so many years. I did not have the guts; I could not summon up enough courage. I did walk after that but not like this - a long marathon. Now, I am 66 years old. One day, three years ago, I said to myself that if I do not go now, it would not be possible. And, that was Babaji’s one unfulfilled command. So, I casually mentioned to a friend of mine that I am going to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. The quick reply was, 'I am coming with you'. Within a year, there were many people who said they were coming with me. So, that is how the Walk started. It took two to three years to get everything organised. I did nothing actually, it was all done by some who are here; some of them are not here; they worked very hard.” “We started like this and now we have entered Gujarat two or three days ago. We are here, we are grateful that we have been allowed to stay here - I thank you for that. We have done around 3300 kilometers, covering an average of 20 to 25 kilometers a day. People often ask me, at 66 how do you manage. 66 is the age of the body, age of the soul is several hundred years, age of the mind is like an 18 year old. Some of my young friends say that sometimes they have pain and I see them sticking close to me, they say they are close to me for energy. The fact is that this energy is nothing that you need to get from me. My understanding is that every human being’s heart, this is my experience, has a spark of the all-pervading Supreme Reality. Consider it to be with form, without form, it does not matter.” “Since the mind is clouded with so many distractions, with so many impurities, it is not able to manifest the Supreme. For me, the role as a spiritual guide has been to clear the distractions, to clean the mind, so that there is calmness and quiet. When it is so, THAT is reflected in the mind. Therefore, the Supreme all-pervading energy is the one doing all this. When it decides to withdraw from the body, the body will die. This is my understanding, my experience. To reach there, one can follow the intellectual path or one can follow the devotional path. But, my understanding is that, however intellectual you are, however sharp your mind is, without devotion, it is impossible to walk on this path.” “This is my understanding, this is my feeling - you may differ. The reason is that IT is something that cannot be found by the limited organs of perception. We have only five organs of perception; in the Shastras, they are called the "pancha indriyas". They are required to live in this world. Unfortunately, very often, we are misled by these senses. And, sometimes, they are completely wrong. I’ll give you one simple example. I hope we have some time.” “Every morning, we wake up and see the sunrise, every evening we see the sunset. This is what we see with the eyes. But, does the sun really rise? Even a high school boy will tell you that it is not so. The sun neither rises nor sets. This is how it is with senses. We live in a very imperfect world. The senses are required of course; they are required very much to live in this world. But, in the spiritual realm, they are very limited. Since the time of the ancients, the great seers, rishis, saints and sages have said that there are other organs of perception through which one can access other dimensions.” “The data that is available to us is through these five senses and since the data is incomplete at best, our intellectual structuring is incomplete. And what we are seeking is THAT which cannot be comprehended in an imperfect, intellectual understanding. An intelligent person will understand this quickly. The person who thinks he is intelligent - the one who thinks he can grasp it, he cannot really do it. The Upanishads point out that when we have understood the limitations of the speculative thought, then perhaps we can touch THAT. IT is described as Yad Manasa Na Manyute- that which the mind cannot reach.” “An ordinary villager who lives and worships in temples has understood all these truths without going through all of this. That is why there is this story: When Veda Vyasa had finished all his great works including the Brahmasutras, he was sitting in a place feeling a little sad. Narada is supposed to have come and said,’ Why don’t you write stories of the Lord?’ This is the origin of Bhagavat. We have a long storytelling tradition in this country and in other countries also. One understands much more easily through stories than through lectures.” “Today, I will give you a story from the Bhagavat and stop. You can ask any questions after this. The story goes that after the battle of Kurukshetra had been won, Krishna was going back to Dwaraka. He was saying goodbye to everybody. Can you imagine that - someone who is considered a poorna avatara - a full manifestation of divinity is saying goodbye. To his elders, he prostrated - can you image God doing pranams? – and to his equals, he hugged. He then went to Kunti and said, ‘I am going to Dwaraka, if you have any wish ask me now, I will grant you a boon’.“ “There is a beautiful dialogue here. Kunti said, ‘Look, there is no need for this drama. Don’t try to fool me. I know who you are. You started the war and you won it for us. I know you so don’t fool me anymore. It is enough’. Krishna then asked her, ‘Do you have any wish?’ She said, "Yes, I have a wish, grant it to me.’ Kunti says to Krishna, ‘Bring all the sorrows of the world on my head’.” “Even Krishna was astounded and asked why. She said, ‘It is only when we are in sorrow, do we think of the Lord. And, I know that when I call on you, you will appear so I will have your darshan. The suffering that you bring on me is not such a big thing, because I will have what is most important to me - your darshan’. Krishna said, ‘Tatha Aastu’, - so be it!” “Now, what this implies is that one who is not able to sacrifice or face sorrows is unable to move forward. How hard does one work to make money? But how hard do we work and how much energy do we put in spiritual practice? When sorrow comes,we are clearly shown where we stand. One does not have to be like Kunti who invites sorrow. At least, when sorrow comes, do not run away. One day, you will see that sorrow will become your friend, then there will be no more sorrow.” “On the lighter side, some people sit in the evening and listen to K L Saigal songs with a peg in their hand. What are they enjoying?” “So, what I am trying to say is that when you are on the spiritual path - I am sure you are - there will be difficulties and sorrows. If you read the lives of Tirthankaras, were their lives easy? It is not a rose that you can stick on the lapel of your coat when you have everything else.” “I conclude my talk here. If you have any questions to ask, please do so now. Please tell me when we have to stop. Please take the microphone. I cannot guarantee that I have the answers to your questions, I will listen to your questions and then tell you if I have the answer to your question or not.” “Let us start with the young lady there.” Q: How can I trust that there a divine Supreme Being within me? We are told in our scriptures - you are a Jain, you have a soul. How am I to know that there is a soul in this body in this modern day world? A: Right. Now, this is what people who have experienced it have stated for thousands of years. Having experienced it, they have stated it in the scriptures. When you have started the search, first you need to have a hypothesis. Even in an accurate science, like geometry, you need a hypothesis. Now, do not believe that there is a soul right away. Start this way - I hypothesise that there may be something. Why do this? Because it has been said for thousands of years, and also it has been said by beings who have been known to state the truth. Such living teachers have said so, perhaps there is something to it. That is enough. Suspend your judgment because if you have concluded that there is or there is not something, you have already made up your mind and there is no point in the search. So, hold the judgment and have a hypothesis. Let’s leave it at that - perhaps IT is there. And then, prepare to follow the teachings to figure out if you can construct your triangle. That hypothesis is called 'faith in something'. Without that, you cannot move forward. It is my understanding that if at certain times, we have love and compassion, it does not sound logical, somewhere deep down there comes a gushing forth; a feeling to do something for a person. That love is a manifestation of the divinity. That is the only proof you have in general. Third, when you look at nature, there seems to be an innate intelligence working. When you plant a seed, it grows into a plant - what greater miracle than to see such a thing. A seed becomes a plant. Where did it come from? Where was it hiding? Think along these lines and keep the hypothesis in front of you that perhaps it is there. Thank you. Q. How do you stay connected to your guru when he is not with you? A. We are on a very sensitive subject. You know for me, let me say from my point of view, till you reach maturity in the spiritual field, in the spiritual journey, you feel the need for being physically close to the teacher. Once you have grown, the teacher sets you free. I don’t think any teacher wants to bind you physically or in any other way. When I say that he sets you free, it does not mean that you immediately go back to the United States. What I mean is that you are then not so physically dependent on the teacher. When I was with Maheshwarnath Babaji, I used to wonder what I would do without him, how would I manage? When he told me to go back to the plains, I was shell-shocked. I thought that this was the end of my life. But, then I thought that it was a very good lesson. Sometimes, when you are away from the teacher, you can access and assess yourself better in isolation. You see, when there is a lot of spiritual activity going on and there is the teacher, you are naturally on a high. But when you are alone, things are different, conflicting thoughts start coming. I think that a true spiritual teacher sends you away for some time so that you can know where you stand. In my case, after a while, Babaji was in me and I was in him and there was no difference. But, that takes some time. When I was with Babaji, I was completely without any support. When he left, I had no place to go. When you are with your Guru, you have some support. I had nothing. So, I can understand what you are saying very deeply. But, gradually, you become mature and on your own, you are able to manifest the teachings. That is most important. I personally think that it is more important to live the teachings than to praise the Guru. The Guru does not want any praise from you. Q. Your Guru’s command was to do this padayatra and since you are doing it, have you come across the intention for which your Guru had told you to do this - is it a mission or for personal advantage? A. Both. I won’t say advantage; I don’t have any advantages anymore. But, you know, in this journey we have come across so many things. If, for instance, we were not on this padayatra, how would we have met, how? We have met so many people. How do we come to such places? That is one thing. You see, I have gone to Bombay, I have gone to Ahmedabad, I have gone to Pune, to Nashik. I was even planning to go to Vapi long before I started this trip. Now, because of this Walk, we are visiting such places. Spiritual work is not done in isolation -it is not done by one person - that is one thing that I see. On the way, you meet so many people you would not even have imagined meeting had you been sitting at home. We have met people who are simple, who seem to have no particular affiliation but are spiritually very advanced. We have had several such experiences. I will share one of them. When we were entering Maharashtra - you know we have an advance group that goes in front of us and scouts the area - they came across a watermelon seller. The watermelon seller was a poor man and sold the fruit out of a shed by the roadside. The advance party went upto him and told him that the padayatris are coming and asked him how many watermelons would feed 300 padayatris. He asked about the padayatra first. He said that if 300 people come, I could manage. So, finally, they asked him, how much should we pay? This man stood up straight and said if you are going to pay for this, I am going to shut my shop, I will shut my shop and go home - I consider it as my service. He was a very poor man. You see, we meet such people on the way. He greeted us with a garland. When we arrived, he did not understand what was going on, only after we spoke to him did he understand. He said, ‘I read what was written on the pamphlet, thank you for coming, I offer these watermelons as prasad’. You also meet holy men, yogis and you share with them - you may not even speak, there is a sharing without speech. I am hoping that the padayatris who have come with us will find something from this. This is apart from the social context. I think Babaji thought well about this. Many times, I noticed that even before I had a thought about something, he would think of it. He once told me if you go to a new place, I have already been there. So, go with humility because you are not doing something great. These are some of the reasons. While I think Babaji asked me to do this, I still think there might be incomprehensible reasons. Q. You had been with your Guruji for three or four years, can you share some experiences? A. Do we have time? {Yes – replied a co-ordinator} This is dearest to my heart. Have you read my autobiography, Sir? No you haven’t. I have had several experiences but what I will do is that I will tell you something that is not yet published. So, it is fresh. I am now working on the second part of the book – yesterday, I got some time here to work on the book. I can tell you something from that, little bits. New information. You must have heard that in Ganeshpuri there used to live a great saint called Nithyananda. At least you would have seen his pictures - a shining body like a rock sitting on a platform. I was nine, ten years old, may be twelve yearsat the time - this was after meeting Babaji for the first time, and before Nithyananda attained Samadhi. I had an uncle, who was one of my father’s cousins. He was a teacher and a confirmed bachelor. You know I was born in a Muslim family and, in this setup if someone is not married, it is considered strange; there is no concept of sanyasa there. So, this man never got married, he was a confirmed bachelor. It was a very strange story - when his marriage was arranged and he was going into the mandap, his sister-in-law-to-be made fun of him and threw a banana skin at him. He stopped there, saying that before marriage if they are throwing banana skins at me, what will they do afterward? In fact, I heard the word kundalini from him. I don’t know what he was into but he was into something, apart from reading Sherlock Holmes. Once he said, ' Let us go somewhere, but do not tell anyone. We can say I am taking you to our native place about 40 miles from Trivandrum'. So, we arranged an elaborate labyrinth of lies. Those days, I remember that we travelled on the train, the bus and a cart and we arrived in Ganeshpuri. I remember that there was a board that said ‘Kailash’ and we went there and were told that we couldn’t see him now, and to come back in the evening. So, we went away, had some food and came back. There was a queue of people in front of me and frankly, I was afraid. First of all, I was very small. Swami was sitting on an easy chair; he was dark, absolutely dark and shining, he was muttering something to himself - it was a shock to me. When people bowed down to him, he said ‘jao’ (go). First, my uncle went and he said the same thing, ’jao’, so he went. I went in front of him; I did not have an inkling of what was going to happen. As I went closer, suddenly he gave me a tight slap. You know I was a small boy; I actually did a somersault and fell down. I started wailing and howling; it was very painful, I started crying very loudly. They took me away. It took my uncle nearly one hour to calm me down. So, it was over and we went. Later, we went to my uncle's place so that we could say we had been there. Fortunately, there were no cell phones at that time! Many years passed, and I forgot what happened. If you read my autobiography, there is a picture of Nithyananda but nothing is written. It was because whenever I sat to write down this chapter, nothing would come into my head. Later on, I have a small place in Bandipur, it is a dense jungle and there are more elephants than people around; when I was sitting alone one day the whole thing came out. So, some years passed and I met Babaji. Eight months after I met Babaji, he said, 'The left nadi, the left nadi is called ‘ida’ nadi, you have to equalise the two and you have do a certain practice'. And, after I had done this practice for a month, I went to him. He patted me on my face, on my chest and said 'Thik hai, ab to ho gaya, saaf ho gaya'. You know, those days I thought I was very intellectual. I am not now. I said, 'Babaji, the Ida is open, what about the Pingala and Shushumna'? Partly out of curiosity and partly to show my knowledge of ‘Pingala’, I said, 'Babaji what will happen of Pingala that is not open'? You know what he said, 'That one slap from Nithyananda when you were twelve did that. Do you remember that slap'? I said, 'yes'. He said, ' Nothing has to be done, it is clean'. I will tell you one more story. You know Babaji hated his picture being taken. But, I wanted his picture to be taken. Those days I was a little new, and I had spent only a year with him. In Rishikesh, there are these small little studios. He also knew that I was an amateur artist so he had prohibited me from painting his picture. I did not feel like giving up so easily. If you go to Rishikesh, to Lakshman Jhoola, there are many photographers, I befriended one of those boys and gave him some advance and told him, 'You have to do me a favour'. On the other side of the Sivananda Ashram, there are these banks and there is a small Kutir - where Swami Sivananda of Divine Life Society used to stay - that was a spot Babaji always chose. The bridge that is there now was not there. Every evening, we would come from this ghat and sit there. I learned many things sitting there - ranging from Upanishads to simple things like gardening. Ganga aarti started in the evening and when it finished, we meditated. I told the photographer, 'Around 5.30, if you can go to the other side, come from that end and get down at this ghat, you will see me and Babaji sitting there - a tall yogi with matted hair - my Guru, he does not like to be photographed, so what you have to do is to get down and start taking photographs, do not even look at me, pretend that you do not know me, and when you come here, click a picture and go off as if nothing happened'. He agreed and the plan was fixed. By then, I knew that Babaji knew more than I knew. So I was wondering if Babaji would cancel the trip to the Ghat. But he didn’t. He said,'Chalo'- let’s go. We sat on the ghats and we started talking. He was talking about Bhagavat Gita, Chapter 15. I was waiting for the photographer, anxious. Babaji asked me, 'Sab thik ha ina?' - everything is fine? I said yes but I was anxious. I waited and waited and waited. Later, Babaji turned to me and said, 'Your photographer will not come now'. I fell at his feet and said, 'Babaji galti ho gayi, maaf karna' - I made a mistake, please forgive me Babaji. He said 'Okay'. That day he gave me a beautiful lecture on photography. He explained how when light falls on an object and is reflected into the lenses, it is picked up. He said, 'Suppose, I do not allow the light to be reflected, how would your photographer have taken the picture?' I said, 'Babaji, that is not possible'. He said, 'Is that so?' And, when I closed my eyes for a second, all I saw was a black shadow, a silhouette, there was no form, form was there but it was just a black shape. I was so furious with the photographer that, after three days, I went to Lakshman Jhoola - I did not dare to go earlier because I was scared that Babaji would know. I went to the photographer and asked him what had happened. He said, 'Don’t make me do such things again, I think your Guru is a very powerful yogi. I got into a bus and it broke down midway and I had to get down. I started walking and got into an Ambassador car; there were seven people already in it and I too squeezed in. Soon after, the axle of the car broke down and all of us had to get down, I thought that something is wrong and I took the next bus back home. I have been meaning to come and see you but I could not. He wanted to return the money but I said, ‘keep it’ and left. So, these are some of my experiences. There are many. This is all. Thank you very much! After the Satsang, the yatris attended the evening Arati, had dinner and retired for the night.


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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva.. Jai Kriya Babaji… Jai Maheshwaranath… Jai Madukaranath

  2. DR.P.Umesh chander Pal says:

    SIR, SINCE A WEEK, JOURNAL of WOH does not rach my mail.Pl resume it to


  3. DR.P.Umesh chander Pal says:


    I need the journals of His visit at Shirdi last week.with His Pictures.


    Dr.P.umesh Chander Pal

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