Dear readers, I presume that you have appreciated anecdotes and pictures of my yatra which was undertaken so far, but this post does not have any discussion and photos of Kailash Mansarovar as the topic that I have picked up this time demands a different approach altogether. The post is lengthy and voluminous and has been divided in two parts. Those of you who have just arrived please read the previous post- How to increase the level of your consciousness-III for the definition of Super Consciousness.
I hope you liked reading the previous articles and they must have given you new insights and intuition as much as they have given me. I would like to inform you that the journey that I have undertaken along with Shri Mahavatar Babaji and you on this blog is becoming very, very interesting at this juncture. There is a tinge of thrill, immense exhilaration and joy as I get exposure to new mystic revelations with each passing day as we proceed to higher and higher steps of our ascent. At this intersection, I am eager to share with you a very fascinating episode that took place with me freshly on a trip to Delhi. This post is unique and very different in presentation in the sense that we also have a story teller in the end of this episode. The storyteller is a Banyan Tree and the protagonist is one grand Master, a Himalayan Yogi.
The article has become lengthy as I had to weave my many present and past spiritual experiences and knit them together, churn and then conclude the eternal knowledge that is underlying and flowing silently in these experiences. This and the latter posts can be summarized into one theme – that of Super Consciousness and you can break this post into many parts and treat each event, story or experience as a whole. The topic is complex but can be made simple by breaking it into many small simple concepts and once when everything is understood and absorbed, the main concept can be understood in entirety. There will be three parts on Super Consciousness and the complete picture will come alive after all three are presented to you in a row.
So we begin with a very simple story which will lead us to a grave and pensive knowledge in the end. The post is narrative in nature and my attention has been on its crux and gravity of the spiritual precept instead of my writing skills and lucidity. So kindly handle this post as is expected. Like before, every post is being revised by me even after it is published and as usual, I add some lines, words here and there to make it better and clearer for the convenience of every reader. So please read this post more than a few times. Hope you will be gratified and richer at the end of it just as I have become by composing it.
The Banyan tree is also called the spiritual tree, the Boddhi tree and is held sacred in India. It can live for hundreds of years and sometimes a thousand and above in rare cases. The tree is sacred because of the energy and power it emits. It has very saatvik, pure energy emanating out of it and therefore it is an ideal place to contemplate and meditate. The air it throws out is very pure and full of oxygen and the vibrations given are holy in nature. Out of so many Banyan trees some are unique and outstanding because of their special nature. You will soon discover what makes one Banyan Tree different from other, one sadhu or yogi different from another, how to derive optimum advantage from the great Masters, how to make very quick spiritual progress by utilizing their spiritual knowledge that they bestow on us and much, much more…..
I was in Delhi for a week a few days back and I took some time off and visited Sri Aurobindo Ashram for meditation; and this time also for one interesting assignment. Since the past many weeks, I was looking for a real picture of a Banyan tree for the blog in case I ever needed it for future posts. I was not successful in my search in Mumbai. So I thought I will go the Ashram in Delhi and take a nice picture of a Banyan Tree. I took my camera and eventually managed to find the right type of tree in that area and I took a few good pictures. However, what I never dreamt in my life was that I would be so blessed to receive such rare and worthy insights in the occult and spiritual world and that too from a Banyan Tree!! By occult I mean the unseen forces in nature and not tamasic or dark forces. However, before I tell you more about it, let’s talk about the other associated aspect of this post- the Himalayan Yogis.
The Himalayan Mountains are longest in range and height in the world. Not only are they longest, but they also have some rare species of flora and fauna which are about to be extinct now. In addition to this, what we do not know is that since the past ten thousand years or so, the Himalayas in India, Tibet and Nepal are the abode and haven of the sages, practicing yogis and sadhus or ascetics. Since the rest of the world is cut off from the cold and freezing Himalayas, it makes a perfect haven for the rishis and sages to do their tapas, spiritual practices of Yoga, to compose hymns and to write holy books and scriptures. The mountains are dotted with so many caves hidden from the sight of the people. The mystics in Tibet have specialized in occult, meditation and chanting. The caves are secreted for a good reason. Impurities of the people defile them and their intrusion is an obstruction in their attempts. The worldly thoughts of the people distract their mind from meditating upon God. They wish to remain pure like the incorruptible water of sacred river Ganga. The real yogis get happiness from the peace that they get from meditation and quietude of the mountains. They want to have a continuous link and communion with the Higher Consciousness. The Vedas, the Puranas, The Mahabharata, Sandhya Bhashya and so many other holy texts have originated and were written by the sages in the valleys, caves and abodes of these magnificent mountains. And many more noteworthy scriptures apart from what have been just mentioned above have also been composed in these mountains.
Although the Himalayan sages do not have much physical contact with the external world, but they certainly radiate and transmit celestial vibrations and wave lengths of Super Consciousness in the environment far and wide. The spiritual and godly vibrations emitting from the minds of the realized yogis since time unknown make the Himalayas sacred and pious and hence they have acquired a special place amongst all the mountains. The whole atmosphere, the smell in the air and the trees have something very special about them. There are yogis who have achieved many great siddhis or supernatural powers many of them have become ageless, immortal and radiate rays of illumination reaching out several kilometers. Some of them are practicing and living yoga since the past few hundred years thereby purifying the whole region. They have been helping humanity in a silent way by spreading divine vibrations and also by diffusing rays of holy and spiritual thoughts thus making the Himalayas sacred and holy. So many times the answers and solutions that we receive in distress and genuine needs are not ours. They have been answered by them!! They know and understand that it is not possible for us to give up our modern life style and do not expect us to undergo hardships of tapasya to know the truth. But nevertheless, they help us at whatever level and stage we are by mentally transmitting thought waves in the atmosphere. Hence we find solutions, our confusion gets cleared and there is clarity of thought. Such holy souls are very selfless in nature and are always helping mankind and this is their service to God.
Mahavatar Babaji is one such outstanding holy incarnation. He is meditating and living with a group of a few trusted and very advanced yogis in the secret caves of Himalayas living for just one purpose- to help mankind and the human race as a whole to evolve in Spirit. And also to make this planet more peaceful, worth living and to avoid any conflict between two or more nations. He is a living example for the world to see the full potential and possibilities of human development in Spirit. He is a Maha Purush because he has crossed all the limitations of maya or prakriti and has achieved immortality. He answers to so many people’s doubts, questions and curiosities without their even being aware of it. He helps innumerable aspirants on their journey of self realization and shows them their future path in direct and oblique ways.
How do the yogis achieve the highest levels of Consciousness?
Each man possesses a mental body of his own. It is the energy of the kind of thoughts that dwell and are nurtured in the mind. His intellectual property, his process of thinking and the kind of thoughts nurtured are all included in the mental body. Each thought that we send out, each thought that we receive and the cumulative power of it all makes a man what he is and it this thought power to which we are attracted in some people or repelled depending on the quality of thought.
Every thought has its own vibration and wave length. The nearer it is to Super Consciousness, the higher its power. The lower the thought, the denser the wave. The higher the consciousness of the person, the subtler the thought. Our thought waves float in the ether like sound waves. One’s mind is able to catch the wavelength of a similar thought. We should be careful in mixing with people, spiritual aspirants should try to mingle with strong, healthy and positive minds.
There are three types of power that a man possesses in his consciousness.
Ichcha Shakti or the power of one’s desire
Sankalp Shakti or thought power and
Kriya Shakti the power to do actions.
First comes the Ichcha Shakti. It is the power bestowed upon humans to initiate an act. Without this power, the force to initiate and start an action does not come into play. The stronger the desire or ichcha shakti, the more possibility for the actions to manifest. Desires should be positive and constructive in nature. It should be used to promote only positive developments in oneself. They should be cultivated and enhanced by practice of concentration and positive affirmations. One must be cautious not to put this ability to a distorted goal. It should not be used for incorrect, detrimental or unsound goals. For example Bhishma Pitamaha in Mahabharat story had the boon of dying at will. If he had used this boon before the Kurukshetra war, there would have been no war in all probabilities. Duryodhana would not have fought this war because he was depending on Bhishma Pitamaha to kill Arjun, the infallible archer. As no one could kill Bhishma Pitamaha and he was a great warrior, Duryodhana’s plan was to kill Arjuna through Bhishma Pitamaha. So Ichcha Shakti should not be used for mischievous, detrimental as well as vicious acts.
Sankalp Shakti -. This word is also used for determination many a times. Sankalp here means the rise of a thought, the power of thoughts. Every thought that is born is like a wave in an ocean, and has its magnetic power. It draws to itself positive or negative circumstances. The more positive our thoughts, the more power we possess and vice versa. Attention should be paid by us every time we think and to our quality of thoughts. We should discard the evil, bad and weak thoughts. In their place cultivate and nurture positive, constructive, creative, powerful and healthy thoughts.
King Drupad of Panchal vowed to kill the man who was once his best friend, Drona out of enmity and hatred. Hence he wished for a son who would one day grow up and kill his enemy. He performed a putrayeshti yagya to beget a son for this purpose. Such detrimental thoughts should always be destroyed immediately.
Kriya Shakti– Kriya means to do, shakti means power- the power and force to perform actions. Some people have more energy and force to work than others. The reason for this is that both the body and mind of such people are robust and healthy and they are in tune with nature’s powers. Such people not only perform better than others but they also produce better results in shorter duration because of their kriya shakti.
All the three shaktis are divine powers only but its uses are different. We need to become aware of these three latent powers in us. These shaktis push us to move up in great strides on the spiritual path and we are transformed quickly. We need all these shaktis as we progress our way up. They should be cultivated and increased by the practice of concentration and meditation.
The yogis know about these hidden powers and they practice austerity, contemplation, read scriptures, do service or seva, give up all the vices to purify their being. No wonder their consciousness is cleaner, purer and superior than the masses.
If one wishes to raise his consciousness, then first he must want it, he must have a desire. It should not be a fickle desire like the flame of a lamp on a stormy night but instead it must be a steady, unflickering flame. This is Ichcha Shakti.
Once the desire or ichcha is ignited, the seeker must make his desire firm, discuss with the guru and the peer and then do a pratigya or make a pledge . Once the sankalp or determination has been done, then we must act on it.
Kriya Shakti- Act with all your interest, cheerfulness and never ending interest. Take proper diet, and nutrition, sufficient sleep to stay healthy and to promote good health in order to be more productive and efficient to do the worldly duties and spiritual practices regularly. Exercise regularly and meditate fervently. Endure disturbance created by negative forces and make them your stepping stones.
Now the story about the Banyan tree…..
In the morning before I left for the ashram, I meditated at home as usual. To my surprise, Sri Aurobindoji surfaced in my mind and informed me that there are 5 main verses in Bhagwad Geeta. Out of these one is verse 1 of Chapter 15
Urdhva mulam adhah shakhamashwatham prahuravyayam I
Chandasi yasya parnani yastam veda sa vedavit II
I was thankful to him after I got the summary of a great scripture from a maharishi. I was looking forward to go to the Ashram in the morning and spending a few hours there.
I asked a few people if there is a Banyan tree in the complex and all they said was though there are a few, but they do not know the exact location. They tried to help me in looking for the spiritual tree but in vain. After my initial failed attempts and spending about one hour on it, I fell back upon my intuition and I walked back to the place where I remembered I once saw a Banyan tree many years ago. I reached a coppice and at last found a big Banyan tree hidden amongst the other commonly found trees. I was absolutely euphoric the moment I saw this tree and in a state of triumph, I dumped my bag and woollens on the dusty ground and got my camera readied.
Looking at it, I got a feeling that no one must have spotted and cared for this special tree as there were other striking beautiful trees. I saw the tree carefully. It was huge, its canopy was large, the trunk was fairly wide but strangely the roots that were coming out of the tree were exceptionally thick. So old, strong and firm were the roots that there were tertiary roots coming out of the primary roots. I was a bit perplexed as I couldn’t assess the age of the tree because the roots seemed too old while the rest of the body looked much younger in comparison.
As I was taking the photos, the commentary of Geeta Chapter 15 verses 1, 2 and 3 ran through my mind and I recalled its meaning. This is what I thought-
The world consists of mostly unaware men. They come in this world, first they get attached to the fleeting world, they spread the roots of entanglement far and wide and then they get lost in the web of ‘maya’. They create a sansara, a world of their own, full of attachment without ever knowing the creator of this universe.
While the gyani or yogi on the other hand, enters the world, looks for the seed, the creator of the universe, Purushshottam, the Divine Father by reading the scriptures, vedas, goes to a guru solves the puzzle called sansara and then creates a divine world for himself without getting caught in the decaying and fleeting world…..
No wonder the worldly man is compared to an inverted banyan tree in the first verse!
I went home after I took these pictures and at night when everything fell silent after I lay in my bed, the Banyan Tree of the Ashram appeared before me quite unexpectedly and thus spoke to me. The conversation that took place between us is very mesmerizing and left me spellbound for the next few days.
Banyan Tree: “Today you came to me and you have worshipped me; I am very pleased with you. I have been standing quietly for so many years and nobody glances at me. Everyone is attracted to the external beauty of other trees and gets swayed by them. You have come all the way from so far to look at me and take my photos! I am very happy to be on your blog because it belongs to Shri Mahavatar Babaji. The area of the ashram which has the samadhi ashes and meditation hall has divine light. Can you see that?”
Me: “Yes, now I can. I see two big circles of light. One is on top of the relic and the other on top of the meditation hall.”
Me: “How old are you?”
Banyan Tree: “A few hundred years. Three hundred and twenty one to be exact.”
Me: “But you don’t look that old. You have a slighter trunk. How come?”
Banyan Tree: “Because I don’t have ichha to be so big. I had the desire to be only spiritual and holy. Trees have prana or life force inside them. Look at me in the middle, can you see the silver light inside me?”
Me: “Yes, I do.”
Banyan Tree: “That’s my prana or energy which I give to others. There is energy also in the leaves and other parts of the tree but maximum life force is in the centre of the tree in my trunk. Look again.”
Me: “I am seeing it.”
Banyan Tree: “Trees have two main things -Spirit and life force –Atma and prana respectively. Each tree has its own Spirit and it has vital life force called prana. If the tree has a desire or ichcha shakti to help others selflessly and to be holy in nature, then it grows very big in size. Most Banyan trees have either of these desires while a few have both the desires, hence the difference in nature of each tree.”
“Recall the gigantic Peepal Tree that you saw in Murugan temple in Katargama in Sri Lanka. It has both- Ichha Shakti and Sankalpa Shakti. So it is very, very big and is also spiritual and holy. And my child, that tree can hear also! Therefore, whoever comes to worship it, say their prayers there, they have wishes fulfilled. Those who come to quietly meditate under it, gain a lot of power to overcome their hurdles on the spiritual path and consequently make quick and hasty progress.”
Me: “No wonder, Hindus and Buddhists alike come in large numbers to worship this gigantic tree!”
Banyan Tree: “Not all Banyan or Peepal Trees are powerful and very pious. Just a few have a great desire to grow big in size and to be holy too like the one you saw on your pilgrimage in Sri Lanka.”
A spark was felt in my brain at this moment and I recalled this particular momentous event of mine. In Nov 2003, I attended a spiritual retreat of Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) in Ranchi. At 4.00 am, I had a very vivid vision. I saw a very huge Banyan tree which was shining and was made of gold. It had a very vast canopy and it covered a massive ground. There were innumerable thick roots falling from its branches and they touched and penetrated in the ground. The roots were so strong and firm that they looked like sturdy pillars on which the tree rested. The tree had very bright radiating golden rays of Light spreading outwardly in all directions. Shri Mahavatar Babaji was sitting under this tree and his body was made of golden light and it glowed very brilliantly. His head and back had a huge halo and I saw its rays of Golden Light reaching everywhere. His body was made up of stellar golden rays and He was sitting in a Lotus posture in a samadhi!!
*(19.08.17. I am reading this blog post again to refresh it. This year our Foundation named Nav Jeevan Jyoti Foundation NJJF, has been formed. Our logo is inspired by this vision of mine)
Though such moments are very short in duration, but they always leave an indelible mark. At that time I had no idea what was the significance of this experience and the future course of my spiritual path was shrouded in mystery. But on that night when the Banyan Tree reminded me of this specific incident, I saw a correlation.
One more example was cited by the Banyan tree to me and that was this- In the late sixties, Auroville township was being developed by The Mother of Pondicherry. A very big banyan tree was about to be cut as the land was being cleared. It pleaded to The Mother in a subtle state before its fate had to be decided. That night the Mother saw this tree in a dream who pleaded not to be cut as it was his desire to continue living near the meditation hall which was about to be constructed soon. The Mother responded to his appeal and the following day, instructions were given to the concerned person and the wish of the tree was fulfilled. I have been to this site and seen the meditation hall and the extraordinary, beautiful, huge banyan tree and I also had the privilege to sit under it for some time in Dec, 2002. A great amount of energy and vitality was received by me by just sitting under its massive canopy.
(Banyan tree in Auroville. Courtesy-Google images)
The Banyan Tree still continued filling me with abundant knowledge by telling me more.
Banyan Tree: “Each tree has prana according to his icchha Shakti. The more icchha Shakti, the more prana it will have. The prana is stored in its leaves. As it grows bigger and bigger, it will have more and more leaves to store prana. These trees have abundant prana to give to others. So have icchha Shakti and grow in Atma and not in material. Unless somebody possesses icchha Shakti, they cannot grow in Atma. Have icchha Shakti to grow in Atman and not desires to grow in material and worldly things. If you grow in Spirit you have power. Add power to your family, nation and planet like Babaji. Babaji is like a massive Banyan Tree. He possesses ancient wisdom, eternal values and esoteric knowledge. He is Boddhi Sattva, one who has enlightenment of Truth, knower of eternal Truth. Follow Babaji and his teachings. Serve God the way he is serving God since time immemorial. This is the best service you can do to humanity and to God.”
He continued to bless me further by revealing to me, “Some extra ordinary Banyan Trees emit Super Conscious rays, they are old, very old unlike seasonal flowers. Most saints of today are like seasonal flowers but Mahavatar Babaji is like the Banyan Tree. The Banyan Trees and Babaji are both alike. They give us a new lease of life, vitality for health, spiritual progress and hasty evolution but silently. He likes to hide from public and do selfless service for God eternally.”
I was incredibly touched to have been chosen by this holy tree for spiritual enlightenment on an auspicious day like that one. I was elated and overwhelmed by this phase of enlightenment bestowed by the Banyan Tree and the following few days were full of fulfillment and tranquility.