Welcome back all my revered readers! It has been quite some time since I posted an entry on the blog. Some of you have been in constant touch with me yet I have missed my long writing sessions because blogging is such a wonderful way of further learning for me. The last few weeks have been like a whirlwind, a lot has happened apart from making a short trip to Karnataka and Kerala on Diwali. I celebrated Diwali quietly in an ashram without any noise and loud festivities. However, before I start narrating my travel stories, first of all I would like to wish all of you friends a happy belated Diwali. This is the reason that I have wished none of you personally. Somehow, lamps and lanterns induce some kind of subconscious utterance of ‘Astoma sadgamaya….. So with these lovely thoughts let us pick up from where we left on 10th Sept’11- new light, new awakening and new learning each day. Let us throw out all the darkness in us consciously and invite cheer, joy and new light in our lives.
And as the year ends, the plan for my next year activities, travel, family commitments etc. have already been chalked out and will be executed as per the will of the Divine. Next year has more travel plans than the previous years so there could be some breaks in blogging.
In the last post of segment C – Why is it mandatory to have a divine guru?-II. I had said, “I am eternally grateful to Shri Mahavatar Babaji and all my other gurus whom I have never met on the physical plane but they have been my spiritual Guides and teachers since I have known them. Then there are many highly advanced sadhus and yogis who are alive doing their advanced sadhana, secretly in the caves or on trees of the mountains of the Himalayas. Many times, they have appeared before me in my meditations at home to further elaborate the nuances of yogic practices and have given me tips to enhance and speed up my spiritual journey. My sincere heartfelt thanks to them at this juncture of blogging. You might wonder as I did in the past, pray why do they come to me of all the people? The answer to that question is that they all want to contribute in some way in Babaji’s mission of mass human liberation and emancipation on this planet!
Then there are the Holy Spiritual Trees who do the same. I bow to them in thanks for making my blog so entrancing and adding a touch of mysticism to it apart from enriching my bank of spiritual knowledge. I once wanted to know what is occultism and why do people use it to harm others as I myself was a victim of this malpractice many times in the past. I can never forget the invaluable counsel of Shri Mahavatar in 2002 when He told me this one morning, “Occult Science is also a Yogic Science used since eternity even by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati but if the Science is used for petty personal gains, selfish goals or plain greed, then you are punished by God severely. Any force of God if misused creates a very negative impact in one’s life at some point.”
“In due course of time, the Divine Mother of Pondicherry taught me occultism or the hidden psychic powers in a human to counteract the unrelenting attacks on myself and my family. She also educated me on this Science and I am briefly sharing with you the condensed form of that knowledge here. She said, “Occult Science is all about mind power. Human mind can connect to the unrevealed Forces in nature for its healing properties, to bring about balancing the panch tatvas or five natural elements like air, space, fire, earth and water in our self. It is good because one can connect with other minds for a good righteous cause also and we can benefit from it by transference of shakti or knowledge or both from one agency to another. There are two types of Forces in Nature – constructive and destructive. If this knowledge of Forces in Nature is applied to gain something by harming someone living far away by sending out negative thoughts and will, then one day the same Force will harm you in higher magnitude sooner or later. One should use the Universal Forces only at the behest of God with a definite higher purpose otherwise all is in vain.”
The subsequent posts will be based on this topic and new light will be shed on our past heritage which has a glorious past and a large store house of ancient knowledge.
Prior to the onset of a new segment ‘D’ which has a title ‘Our lost rich heritage’ which will deal with the unknown, unseen, untapped hidden forces in ourselves, let me tell you something about my journey down South in this post to begin with.
Let me now narrate a bit about my travelogue too. The short pilgrimage that I made recently if summed up briefly was both – awesome yet a little disheartening.
For many years I was inclined to visit the caves where Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri had meditated in Kanhangad, Kerala. Finally the day came when my daughter and I packed our bags in excitement to spend three days of Diwali peacefully in a quiet and spiritual place. However, as soon as we reached there on 26th Oct’11 evening from Mumbai, we became quite unsettled as the basic amenities were sadly missing; a sense of apathy in the premises saddened me. The night was somehow managed and it was decided that we shall leave the very next day for Mangalore where we had alighted and instead a few other religious and spiritual places shall be explored and visited. I assured my daughter that the trip will not be a waste and there is definitely some divine plan for us. As we know most of the pilgrimages are either impoverished because of lack of funds or sadly the funds are misused. People do not realize that the rich heritage we have that is inherited from our spiritual fathers have inestimable value.
On 27th Oct morning, I got up happily at 7 am and as my eyes opened I got to see a beautiful morning sky as though a painter had painted his canvas freshly and with my groggy eyes I ran for my camera and took some delightful shots. It had rained the previous night and the sky in the morning had a mystic touch and tranquility about it!
We got ready after this and headed straight towards ‘Dhyan Mandir’ and entered the caves and meditated for half an hour in that dynamic place where Swami Nityananda had lived in maun or silence. One wonders why did he make so many caves with his own hands carved out of a huge rock? As I sat there meditating, it was hard for me to leave the place as I got glued to it; it was very powerful. I did not want to leave the place in such a short time. It was at this place that Swami Nityananda began telling me a lot through mental transference about the greatness of the spot where he used to meditate and about the land’s past rich heritage. Some hundreds of years ago, there used to be a temple of a Goddess, a Devi. It was a Shakti peeth, where the caves exist today hence Baba chose this place. Baba came here to meditate in these caves for more than a decade before he left for Ganeshpuri to embark on his global mission to serve humanity .
On top of this group of caves is made an open white temple of Swami Nityananda.
After visiting this temple and taking many photos of vast expanse of clean blue sky around it, we went to see another cave where Swami Nityananda hid himself and meditated in the jungles. It is just three kilometers away from the previous place and its name is Guruvanam which means the forest of the Guru. The approach to this place is very beautiful, full of thick green vegetation and the place nearby is not at all inhabited and understandably the thick woods were so, so welcome and refreshing. When did I see so much greenery? I asked myself several times at this place. I devoured all the visuals of the massive old Banyan trees standing as a guard and testimony of a quiet epoch and a witness to Swami Nityananda’s penance and silence in this forest. There were trees of varied varieties.
Guruvanam is under the control of the Trust now. I experienced that the forests make you still and quiet without any effort and make you meditate without your knowing it! My mind was still and quiet like the inner bed of an ocean and stayed connected to the Higher Forces throughout those times.
I also realized there that my mind must have been tranquil naturally like this many lives ago because of the stillness, quietude, beauty of Nature and the human race must have been a calmer lot unlike modern humanity who has long forgotten about our lost rich natural and spiritual heritage! It is so natural to remain calm in Nature.
There is a non-stop stream that is flowing from this cave even today at Guruvanam since Baba was here and is called ‘Paap Nashini Ganga’. It is because of his intense tapas that the stream has been flowing incessantly since Baba has meditated here more than sixty years back. I drank the pristine clear mineral water and found it so sweet and heavenly. As a gesture of thanks and in remembrance of Baba’s kind and compassionate grace towards humanity, while I drank this clean and cool water I decided to do more tapas and sadhana so that I could also contribute more to others in terms of my time, energy, love, understanding, knowledge. It will always be a memorable visit and I shall recall this wonderful experience whenever I wish to plunge in silence and tranquility in moments of solitude. A temple is now constructed near the cave in memory of Swami Nityananda.
A random thought- Who will really appreciate this kind of gesture given to us from God and Gurus? Should we not fill our hearts more with devotion and gratitude rather than willful desires and senseless modernity and urbanization? Should we not fill up our hearts with silence and peace than never ending desires?
When I sat in meditation in Kanhangad, Swami Nityananda directed me to go to pay my obeisance and take the Divine Mother’s blessings before I embark my new year. So in Mangalore which falls in Karnataka on 28th Oct, we made our way to Kollur in the morning where the temple of Shri Mookambika Devi is made. It used to be on a hill top they say but now a new temple is constructed at the base for convenience of all people while the ancient idol and the temple still exists on the hill top.
Kollur is around 90 kms from Mangalore. There was very little human inhabitation and more of greenery.
We saw cashew plantation, paddy fields and vast stretches of forest reserves. I asked the driver to switch off the AC so that I could breathe in more oxygen. The air was so rich and laden with oxygen that automatically the energy levels shot up steadily as we left the city behind. There was a sense of expansion and the cramped sense of feeling in an overpopulated city appeared unnatural. I don’t remember seeing such thick green woods and forests recently except in my childhood when we used to go to Rishikesh or Dehradoon in summers. During those days when we used to travel by buses or taxis, there were forests, vast fields, rivers, wildlife and long green stretches in between two cities and there was certainly far lesser level of noise pollution.
The forests have so much silence and peace that all along the three hour journey towards Kollur, I recalled each and every word that Shri Mahavatar Babaji, Maharishi Agastya and Mother Earth has told me earlier in times of my meditations. It is their concern about the rapid erosion of our planet’s biodiversity and fast vanishing forests and their negative impact on our whole race. Those of you who have been following this blog, if you can recall so many of my articles in segment C speak about their concern on how to recover our past natural heritage. Those posts ask for everyone’s contribution in restoration and revival in this endeavour!
“Babaji’s work includes helping humanity to rise above nationality, religion and individual self. He is extremely concerned about the current world issues and the worsening situation. The various cause of concerns are – the rapid erosion of the world environment, the unchecked spread of consumerism, greed and exploitation by the politicians and people in power, unhealthy environment and increasing pollution, the indifference of man towards his fellow men and other living animate and inanimate creatures as well, the rude and shocking exploitation of the natural resources and most important of all these is – the slow erosion of eternal spiritual values and principles known as Sanatan Dharma on which humanity thrives. He believes in and wishes to create an egalitarian society for man’s happiness, prosperity and well being.” (From The Light of the world Shri Mahavatar Babaji-I)
On the return journey we stopped at Udupi and visited the famous Krishna temple. This is the only temple of Bhagwan Krishna in India where Lord Krishna hides from you as there is a beautiful window in front of the idol which stops you from seeing the idol. To see the idol of the lord residing there, we have to look through a beautiful golden window. We found it quite bizarre but unique. As we glimpsed through the small holes of the window after our turn came, we were told by the caretaker that our ‘darshan ‘ is over but we were expecting something more. A devotee in the temple later narrated this story to us.
About Shri Krishna Math in Udupi-
There was a dedicated devotee of Lord Krishna in Udupi about 600 years ago who belonged to a lower caste in society. His name was Kanak Das. He belonged to the Bhakti cult. During those dark ages as per the social norms, men belonging from the lower caste system were not allowed entry in the temples but Kanak Das came to have a glimpse of his favourite Lord. The priests and other people were outraged on discovering about this. So as a punishment, Kanak Das was kept standing in the courtyard near a window in the hot sun. Standing there through a window he could get a small glimpse of Lord Krishna. He called out to his protector Krishna with devotion. They say that the idol of Lord Krishna which was facing a pond earlier seeing this ill fated event, turned its face towards Kanak Das by shifting from its original position! And since then Lord Krishna is behind a window and everyone gets to see him through the window only!
As photography was not allowed inside the premises, I can only show you the idol of Lord Krishna which I purchased from there. In this idol you can see Lord Krishna with his favourite bird peacock at his feet. As I was strolling in the sprawling compound of this old temple in Udupi, I was overwhelmed by the kind and miraculous gesture of Lord Krishna for his true devotee named Kanak Das. At this point, I also remembered how Lord Krishna, the lover of beauty and nature had picked up a mountain called ‘Govardhan’ in Vrindavan to save others from heavy rains and storm and earned the title ‘Giridhar.’
(To be continued…..)
Footnote- From the time when I came to Mumbai in 2001, I had a strong desire to grow Banyan and Peepul trees on a large ground or piece of land but it never materialized. About a year and a half back, I came across a small news in my local newspaper about one young man from Kalwa, Mumbai who has a passion for nature and who along with his group of friends rescues Banyan or Peepul trees growing on buildings. Due to my writing, I never embarked on projects like that of afforestation and tree plantation. During my break of two months from writing, I reconnected with Vikram Yende and invited him home.
It was a delight meeting him with his compatriot Mahendra who practices Ayurveda. They have marvellous ideas and concepts about reviving old, useful medicinal trees, making ‘butterfly gardens’, nurturing, planting trees etc. They recommend native trees like Banyan instead of foreign trees because native trees have fruits also which invite birds thereby increasing the number of birds in our environment and propagation of trees is facilitated naturally.
You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.