Friday, June 1, 2018

Agni ~ The Purifying

The Sacred Himalayas

157 years ago, a remarkable event took place in the deeps of the Himalayas which impacted humanity in a big way.

An accountant stationed in Ranikhet took a walk in the sacred mountains one evening and lost his way. As he struggled to find his way back in the dark, to his utter astonishment he heard a distant voice calling out his name. 

Not too sure, the 33 year old accountant of the Military Engineering Department of the British Raj, began walking towards the distant voice, although it seemed to lead him deeper into the mountains.

Sri Lahiri Mahasaya

Finally he came to a small clearing near a cave, where stood on a rocky ledge, a smiling young man with copper coloured hair. “Tu aa Gaya, Lahiri!” (Lahiri you have come!) said the saintly figure to the astonished accountant. 

This young saintly figure, a rare spiritual being, would be known throughout the world as the revered Mahavataar Babaji, the deathless Master, through the spiritual classic - Autobiography of a Yogi, and the young accountant was destined to be His leading disciple, Sri Lahiri Mahashaya, the one chosen to bring back the sacred science of Kriya to the world.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi, was chosen by Babaji to reveal to mankind of His presence on Earth and His mission herein. 
Sri Yoganandaji says - “Babaji has been chosen by God to remain in His body for the duration of this particular world cycle. Ages shall come and go, still the deathless Master, beholding the drama of centuries, shall be present in this stage terrestrial.”
The experience of encountering Babaji is the rarest of the rare blessings which can take place solely through His will. Sri Paramahansaji said that since Babaji’s mission is for the ages, He may not reveal Himself to humanity of a certain age although He will ever been known to those attuned to Him. Lahiri Mahashay affirmed - “Those who take with reverence the name of Babaji, attract an instant spiritual blessing.”

One of my most cherished moments in life is a dream I had in which I met Babaji in the Himalayas. I have learnt that to even dream of any Avataar is not a random coincidence. But a few years before, I had an experience which I still find hard to believe. 

A certain saintly gentleman came to my house, accompanied by a common friend. He knew of my path and thus came to share with me some stories of his incredible experiences in the Himalayas which culminated with his brief meeting with Babaji near Mansarovar. The story was truly extraordinary, as if I was seeing a fantastic movie. And yet the narration was so sincere, that it could come by only if such experiences had truly transpired. 

In any case when we were enjoying the silence after the story, reliving that experience in our minds, when I felt inspired to share something with the little group even though it was of little consequence. 

I told them of my visit to Allahabad to the Maha Kumbha mela of 2001. Well aware that Babaji always visits the Kumbha mela incognito to share His blessings with the masses, I inwardly made a sincere prayer, pleading with Him that even though I may be unworthy to meet Him or even recognize Him, I prayed that He ensure that my eyes fall on Him atleast once, even if I do not recognize Him as Babaji. And that’s it. I went around the mela for the 4-5 days I was there and came back, not knowing if I did see Babaji. 

The Allahabad Maha Kumbha Mela

This saintly gentleman who was listening almost meditatively spontaneously replied - 
“You did see Him.” 

“I do not know that” - I replied.

“The morning you were returning from the Shahi snan (sacred bath) with your group, in the crowd a young sadhu offered you a puri as prasad, you refused it and went ahead. That was Babaji.”

Now here’s the thing, I was not inclined to believe this story as I had no immediate memory of the same; but I was unable to dismiss it fully as the scenario he described was actual - we did go back in a group after the holy bath in the early morning and I can faintly remember a young sadhu in the crowd tapping me and  offering me a puri and me ignoring it without even refusing it, as it was so sudden and he was a stranger. This is not the result of auto-suggestion, but rather a subconscious remembrance of an event that I may have consciously forgotten. In any case, since I was not sure of it, I stated emphatically that I may not have seen Babaji at all, when suddenly - Boom!

A loud sound startled our gentle conversation taking place in the mandir room of our house. One picture out of the many had fallen. It had never happened so before, it had no reason to create such a loud startling sound, as there was a thin mattress below it. Of all the photos kept on my alter, it was the photograph of Babaji that had fallen. The photo fell with a huge thud just when I was refusing the possibility of my having seen His form at the Kumbha.

I can’t say what the reader may feel reading this, but it was too much for me and I spontaneously shed tears, also suddenly feeling remorse upon recalling that day when I refused the prasad that He had offered me. The gentleman and the friend both tried to calm me, telling me that I didn’t mean to insult but was refusing to take something from someone unknown and that Babaji would not be offended. But it took me sometime to get over it. 

This gentleman was convinced, but I felt unsure, only because Babaji to me is such a revered figure, I felt it impossible that someone like me could have seen Him. 

But I know my prayers were sincere, and His love infinite.

The Ageless Master - Mahavataar Babaji

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