Wednesday, July 3, 2013

96.mkadk's journey towards Allah


96. MKADK’s Journey towards Allah

Part Two

Collection of Blog at:

Collection of chants at: mkadk.afnta


                                                              Author: MKADK                                    

Price: Free

                                                                           Dedicated To


                                                  Who Sustained Me In This Effort

                                                            And To


                                  Who Told Me Many Secrets And Helped Me      


                        “On a dark night…………without light or guide, save that which burned                                                                          in my heart”

                                                                                        St. John of the Cross

Quotations are allowed

Email address;

List of Books that helped my quest

  • .A search in secret Egypt by Paul Brunton
  • .A search in secret India by Paul Brunton
  • .Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
  • .In Quest of God by Swami Ramdas
  • .Iqbal's poetry
  • Kashaf ul-mahjoob by Data Gunj Bakhash
  • .Living with kundalini by Gopi Krishna
  • .Pilgrim of stars by Dilip kumar roy and Indra Devi
  • .Shahab Nama by Shahab
  • The autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux. Translated by John Beevers
  • .The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by Swami Nikhilananda
  • .The Hunger of the Soul by Nancy Mayorga
  • .The life of Teresa of Jesus by Teresa of Avila. Translated by Allison Peers
  • .The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. Translated by Salvatore Sciurba
  • .The varieties of religious experience by William James
  • The dark night of the soul, by St John of the cross. Translated by Allison Peers




dictionary of foreign terms

  • Ashram; hermitage
  • Durvesh. A Muslim mystic or fakir
  • Fakir; a Muslim ascetic mystic. beggar
  • Fana; disintegration. passing away ( in God, in teacher, in holy prophet )
  • Kundalini. serpent power. When awakened it rises progressively from base of spine to the head
  • Mantra. a holy word or phrase, to be repeated
  • Marakba: contemplation. meditation
  • Maya. cosmic illusion
  • Mujahida: a form of Jihad or holy war, but the purpose is God-realization by spiritual means
  • Murshad. A spiritual guide in Islamic mysticism. Also called Pir
  • Namaz; Islamic prayer. one of the five pillars of Islam
  • Qalandar. A high-grade Muslim mystic
  • Puja. ceremonial worship
  • Pujari. priest that performs Puja
  • Sadhana: spirtual practices in order to reach God
  • Sadhu. a monk or a holy person
  • Samadhi. superonscious state, trance-like state
  • Shariat. Islamic religious laws and traditions
  • Sri. a title of respect
  • Swami. monk. they have taken vows of chastity, obedience and poverty
  • Tareekat. Islamic mysticism
  • Tasauwuf. Islamic mysticism
  • Tawakkul; trust in God. A central pillar of Islamic mysticism
  • Yoga: union. a path(s) to reach God in Hindu mysticism
  • Yogi. a practitioner of Yoga
  • Zikar; repetition of a name ( usually God's) or a phrase

List of contents

53.Foreword………………………………………………………………………………… page 6

71. Love for God. Part 3

72. What else should I do

                                                        53.                 Foreword

A year has passed since I wrote the introduction to part one. It was published both in English and Urdu. Except relatives and friends nobody read it. More copies might have sold if I had followed the normal publishing process, but my desire for anonymity and no price on the book, free like air and water, severely restricted its distribution ( both books are free for anybody to read or copy at the internet ). Despite that I am going to auto publish part two. I have started part three also, first three installments have been written. Also I recorded my 10 poems, as chants, in my own voice, and put it on YouTube. Hardly anybody listened to them. I sometimes ask myself, that why do I do it, when nobody cares. It cannot be a desire for fame, because my name is hidden in anonymity. Two answers come to my mind; I do it for myself and I do it for God. It is as if this is my mission in life. If that is really the case and not self delusion, then It will make me immeasurably happy, that God chose this humble mote as His instrument.

               Nothing very important has happened in the last one year. I did not have a spiritual experience. I did not cross any mile stone. However I had some progress; one on 23rd July 2012, and one on 6th May 2013. This has increased the bliss and the focus of thoughts (on God)

               I want to convey one message. If one has love for God in him, one can travel this path without the following three requirements. I have done it.

               1.  A guide ( murshad or guru)

               2. Quitting the world

               3. Belief in some religion and follow its tenets

Out of these three, leaving the world is the most important, as I have explained in blog 95. The need of a guide is self-explanatory. Following the tenets, strictly, is mandatory in Islamic and probably other types of mysticism.  One advantage is that great mystics  of that religion come to one’s help, as exemplified, by Shahab and Swami Ramdas (65-66 and 82-85 ).  They were helped by prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him ) and Sri Ram, respectively. One does not have to fulfill all three conditions, but at least one has to be done, as exemplified, by Nancy Mayorga and so many others ( she was married, had children,  ran a business, was not a Hindu, but she had a guru of Ramakrishna center ). Maharishi Ramana did not have a guru or adhere to any particular religion, at least initially, but he did quit the world.

               As for as I know, I am the only one who did not fulfill any of the three requirements. I respect all religions but believe in none. I had no guide and I did not quit the world. I just had love for God. That proved to be sufficient, at least for travelling. So take heart from my example . May be my role is to be an example to others that it is possible. Whether I will succeed in God-realization, only time will tell. I am an old man, not much time is left. It took a mighty saint like St Teresa of Avila 27 years. My remorse at starting late is lamented in my poem ‘one sided conversation with God’ (blog 54)

               This is an opportunity to thank others. First I want to thank Data Gunj Bakhash for allowing me the access to a hidden truth. Without the help I would have wandered forever in the valleys of reason and logic. Did he help me on his own or somebody told him to do so?

               Next I want to thank the great mystic, for throwing light on many issues. He is the greatest mystic ( in Islam ) of our time. Mr. Shevani’s prayer to God proves it (blog 67 ). He had asked to meet the greatest Qalander (Qalanders are in Islam only) of present time, and he was conducted to the great mystic. Thanks are due for exalted Shah sahib. I have asked him questions (through others ) and he has been kind to answer them. I also asked him to pray for me, which he did.

I also want to thank the great yogi who always wore dark glasses. I asked for his prayer. I am sure, in my heart, that his prayer helped me. One day the yogi said (about me ) that he will never get any powers, but he wanted connection with Bhagwan, which he has gotten.

I also want to thank the Qalander who got injured in Data Sahib’s urs. He said, to tell me, that God does not hold back what is one’s due. In other words, one’s efforts are rewarded.

I hold the late Mufti sahib in high esteem. He lived in poverty, and died relatively young. When he visited Kaaba (the holiest site in Islam) he could not find in himself the courage to enter the ‘house of God’ for one or two weeks. He asked God “make me Yours”. He held this mote in affection. May God have mercy on his soul.

Sickness has robbed my Hindu friend of his daily smadhis, but it has not affected his constant remembrance of God.

I take this occasion to thank my brother IQ for his help in publication of part one of Urdu edition. Only his diligent effort made it possible. I also want to thank Mr. Khurshid Ali Zaidi for translating part of book one, free, despite his heavy official duties.

Journey continues. Thirteen and half years have passed since the first day of meditation


 July 3, 2013

54. One sided conversation with God

Oh God, dear God

Please stop, please stop

And listen to me

Please listen to me

I spent my life away from You

I spent my youth and adulthood away from You

I am ashamed, I am sorry

But what is the use

What is done cannot be undone

Time does not come back

Oh God I am ashamed, I am sorry

I was caught in the web of life

My heart was full of desires

I followed them with every breath

Like the shadow follows the body

All living things avoid pain and seek pleasure

I was no different

I followed the supreme law

Where was the time for You

Even if I remembered You

It was more of a ritual, a habit

Thoughts never left the world

Now that old age has come

Drama of life is going to be over

Now I think of You

I want to say something, oh God

Don’t be angry

Don’t consider me insolent

I want to tell You my side

I am a product of nature and nurture

I got my nature from my parents

Half the genes from my mother

And half from my father

I was nurtured at where I was born

And where I grew up

Neither in nature nor in nurture

I had any say

Nobody asked me my wishes

Where do you want to be born

Where do you want to be raised

Who should be your parents

Oh God whatever I am

Circumstances made me so

You made me so

Everything originates from You

This is not an excuse for my shortcomings

Decisions were mine, responsibility is mine

This is not a complaint
This is not an indictment of you

I know I am a tiny part

Of a huge system

Whose laws were set by You
At the beginning of time

And can never be changed

You fixed the speed of light

You made air essential to life

You made atoms small and large

You decreed the electron's charge

These are just pathos

These are just pathos

For lost time

The time I wasted

For things that could have been

I could have been closer to You

This thought is like a dagger in my heart

Oh God

Whatever life is left
Please draw mkadk closer to You
Please draw mkadk nearer to You

Oh god, dear God

Oh God, dear God


I have put it on You Tube

----go to You
----Then type mkadk or mkadk.afnta  

55. Separation from You

Separation from You
is the cause of my pain
You are silent and hidden
and somewhere far
I have no peace, my soul is at war

Kindle the candle of Thy light

And watch the drama of sheer delight

Mad with joy, ready for death

Mkadk arrives

In the candle he dives

He dives in the flame

Your flame, Your flame

Again and again

Again and again

He loses his wings

And falls in the fire

As he falls in the flame

He utters Your name

Blazing heat burns his body

Your majesty it shows

Like embers it glows

Melting snow sets in motion

Journey of the drop towards ocean

As it merges with the ocean

It becomes ocean

Oh God, this is my great desire

To burn in Your love

And become fire
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56. Iqbals’ praise of God

Iqbal was a great poet. He was a mystic and lover of God. Here are some of his verses. The originals are in Urdu. I have attempted to translate them, and changed them a little where I could not find a proper word. They have lost much in my inadequate translation.

1.  There are no boundaries or limits to Your power

If You so desire

Desert sand will blossom in flower.

2. Who nourishes the tiny seed in the darkness of land

Oceans and rivers change into clouds by whose hand

Who brings the wind and the rain

Who tells the seasons to change

Who fills the golden sheaths with the pearls of wheat

Who created the earth’s soil

Who ordered the sun to boil

3. His gleam is seen in sun and lightning

In gold, mercury and showers

Wilderness belongs to Him

Tumbleweed belongs to Him

Thorns belong to him

And so do flowers


you tube address :
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57. Touch of my Master

Oh my Master have mercy on me

Oh my God

Oh my Allah

Oh my Bhagwan

Oh my Rubb

Oh my Yahweh

oh my Ahura Mazda

All are but your names

However called, You are the same

My soul loves You, love it must

Have mercy on this speck of dust

Oh my God have mercy on me

When the sun will lose its light

When the stars are no longer bright

When nothing is left, everything dies

Your glory will ever shine

Because You are Devine
You were there before time

You will be there after time

You have no decline

Oh God, please send to mkadk

A ray of Your light

A note of Thy bell

Let it dwell

In every cell

Thy music, Thy light

Will fill mkadk with delight

Not being able to contain

He will burst into flame

In the emptiness of space

His ashes will sing the rhyme

Sing, till the end of time

What words will one find

“All praises are worthy only of Him

He sustains the universe with His mind”

To feel Your fire

is mkadk’s ultimate desire

Oh my God, oh my God

Oh my Lord, oh my Lord


Will be on You tube shortly can also see the videos by
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58. There might dawn a day

There might dawn a day

When my Master

My Maker

My Creator

My God

My Allah

My Khuda

MY Parmatma

My Permeshwar

My Bhagwan

My Rubb

My Yahweh
My Ahura Mazda

Will look down from His height

And discern the mote’s plight

It is possible

Reflection of His light Devine

Will make the mote

Scintillate with brilliant shine

A thought, Just this thought

Will break the mote’s heart

That He is the owner of myriad worlds

You, a mere particle of dust

Who are you, what is your worth

Yet He listened to your contention

Thought you worthy of His attention

Is your place worth mention

There are suns as many as hundred billion

There are planets as many as several trillion

Dust particles, as many as zillions of zillion

There is one Maker

And one Creator

Imagine His height

Think of your nadir

isn’t it a symbol of His mercy

isn’t it a symbol of His grace

That He listened to you

Light of God touched your face

The thought of His mercy will shatter

The entity of mkadk will scatter

And break into atoms his matter

Oh people of this world, what bliss

Is there a reward greater than this


You tube address
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----Then type mkadk or mkadk.afnta

59. God please come close

Oh God

Dear God

Don’t go away, please stay

Without You, oh God

I lose my way

And go astray

Oh God, dear God

Have mercy on me

Don’t leave me by myself

Don’t leave me alone

Please God, please stay

Oh God, dear God

Please stay, please stay

Oh God for God sake please stay

Stay near, stay close

Don’t go far

Don’t go away

Make me Thy dwelling

Make me Thy abode

Stay in me, live in me

For an instant, or a lifetime

As you please

Before staying, dear God

Make me worthy of Thy stay

Change me with Thy grace

Let mkadk feel Your touch

on his unworthy face


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60. The Door

I knocked and knocked at Your door

I howled and rolled on the floor

I scratched the door, I rang the bell

Misery of my heart I wanted to tell

Mkadk stood there with bleeding hands, bleeding feet

Locked door, silent house, was there to greet

Nobody opened the door to the beggar’s cant

Nobody asked, who are you, what you want

If door had been opened by the mighty God

If I had only met the most noble Lord

I would have said ‘ oh Sire’

Grant me my two desire

Please talk to me once a while

Please move me forward once a while

God’s reply

God said, oh mortal, what you sought

Don’t you know you have already got

You want Me to speak and draw you near Me

Be silent, be still, stop thoughts, you will hear Me

I have guided you

I have helped you

I have talked to you

I have walked with you

You complain of no progress to show

You have made progress you don’t know

Don’t you think of God for a longer time

Can’t you focus on Lord for a longer time

Don’t you sometimes feel the light

Aren’t your sessions filled with delight

Progress is difficult to assess, try as one might

Ant climbing the hill does not know her height

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61. The riddle

Mkadk has not been able to solve this riddle

When You have so much, why You give so little

I have asked so little, for so long

Oh Lord, I don’t know what is wrong

Worldly gains are not what I want

Spiritual progress is the beggar’s cant

As a wise man from East once remarked

It is like getting from ocean dew drops

Few drops from a bountiful God

Ever generous or a miserly Lord

God replies

Does not matter when you want

But are you ready for the grant

Just length does not count

Only intent does not count

Everybody’s intent and effort are noted

In the end both are voted

Everybody gets his just reward

Something, if he has worked hard

This path has a guiding creed

Trained according to capacity and need

What you want, why are you doing this

Do you want fame, miracles or bliss

Or, on the other hand

Love of God bubbles from you, you cannot help yourself

Songs for Lord, erupt from you, you cannot help yourself

Mkadk again

Wise words did not soothe his rebellious heart

Years of pain and anguish had made him distraught

What he wanted was certitude

What he got were platitude

Not a word of acknowledgement during all those years

Not one spiritual occurrence to allay his fears

He said, how can I be sure

That this is God’s talk

And not my own thought

Tell me something

Show me something

Which reason cannot explain

Science cannot maintain

But others can also ascertain

Issues between mkadk and God

As of now remain unresolved

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62.Data Gunj Bakhash . part one

I have chosen Data Sahib (a title of respect: that is how he is known) because not only he is one of the greatest saints of all times, but also because his effects are still felt everyday by dozens, if not hundreds, of people every day, although he died close to a thousand years ago. Furthermore, he wrote an autobiography, an invaluable asset in judging a mystic, because mystics do not lie or exaggerate. Their opinions may be wrong and biased, but their facts are not.                                                     data Sahib was ordered to go to Lahore (now in Pakistan, but at that time undivided India) by his murshad Abu-ul Fazal Muhammad bin Hassan Khatli in 11th century. He obeyed the orders and arrived through Afghanistan. He died in Lahore approximately 30 years later and is buried there. Modern Lahore is a big city of 6-7 million people. Everyday hundreds if not thousands of persons visit his shrine. Every Thursday several fold more people visit. Some students live and study there. Free food is distributed every day. It is claimed that perhaps this is the only place in the world where a hungry person can find food at any time of day or night. How is it made possible? Because one of the many inhabitants of Lahore, or a visitor from some other town, will be standing on a foot path and distributing food. He may have vowed at some occasion that if his murad (desire ) gets fulfilled he will feed certain number of people at Data sahib’s shrine. It follows that lot of murads must get fulfilled to feed hundreds. Sikh golden temple at Amritsar has the world’s largest eatery, where free food is distributed at fixed times.

Now after this brief introduction, back to Data Sahib. Like the other Muslim mystics of his time he had undergone many years of training from his teacher. He had travelled far and wide and learnt mysticism and Islam from many teachers. He wore a Gudri (like a robe), a traditional garb of Sufis made of rough cloth with repair patches, and carried a staff, a prayer rug and a Lota ( a utensil with a spout). Usually he had nothing else on his journeys. He wrote ten books, only one Kushaf ul mahjoob has survived. Originally written in Persian, the Urdu and English versions are widely available). This close to 600 pages book is a treatise on Islamic mysticism, the mystics of that period, and the way things were in 11th century. This mote has benefitted from this book.

For you to know Data Sahib, let me quote some excerpts from the book:

“ My murshad wore the same Gudri for 51 years . It had irregular patches “He was completely isolated for 60 years in mountain caves. Nobody knew him. Usually he lived on a hill called Lagam. He lived a pious life. I never met a man with more imposing bearing than him.

One day my murshad and I were travelling from Bait-ul-jin to Damascus. It was raining. I had trouble walking in mud. I looked at my murshad . His clothes and shoes were dry. When I asked him , he said “From the time I adopted twakal…( complete surrender to the will of God )………………… God has saved me from mud.”

My murashd could read one’s thoughts. One time while pouring water over his hands, my thoughts wandered over a philosophic riddle. My murshad read my thoughts and told me his answer. On another occasion, just before his death, while his head was resting over my thigh, I started thinking about a fellow disciple with hurt feelings. He looked up and said” son, I will tell you something which will strengthen your heart; consider all events, good or bad, originating from God, so don’t be sad or critical about other’s actions”. He did not say anything else and died

One time I had some problem which I could not solve so I went to a mystic in Toos. He was alone in a mosque. He stated narrating my problem to a pillar, before I had a chance to tell him the problem. I said , Sir, who you are talking to. He said God told me to talk to this pillar. Then he gave me the answer.

There are 17 such supernatural episodes narrated in the book, 5 of them were witnessed directly by Data Sahib. He does not mention any of his own.

His most famous incident was the following:

Once I had a great problem. I went to Ba-Yazid Bistami’s shrine for enlightenment ( this shrine still exists in Bistam, Iran). I did chilla (an austere religious exercise) for 3 month. I did not find a solution. I thought of going to Khurassan. In that area, one night I had to stay in a monastery. A group of sufis were staying there. I was clad in a rough Gudri. I had a staff, a lota and nothing else. The group looked at me with disdain. Nobody recognized me. they were talking between themselves and said that I was not one of them. I was forced to stay since there was nowhere else to go. They gave me a roofless verandah. They were themselves at a higher level. They gave me one dry, fungus infested roti (flat bread ). I smelled the aroma of delicious food that they were eating. They were making loud derogatory remarks about me. Then they started eating cantaloupes. As an interesting pastime they started throwing the rinds on my head. I was saying to myself “oh God , if I were not wearing the garb of your lovers, I would have gone away from these people” . As their treatment grew worse, my inner joy proportionally increased. So much so, that the burden of this incident, solved my riddle; the riddle for which I had originally gone to Ba-Yazid Bistami’s shrine.

I have with my own eyes witnessed a durvesh ( a Muslim monk) walking the hills of Azerbaijan ( an independent country now ) , moaning and crying and reciting the following Arabic verses at a fast speed:

“I swear by Allah that not a day has passed when you were not in my thoughts. I have not talked anything except You in any company. I have thought of You in joy and sorrow. My every breath is filled with Your love. When I was thirsty, I always drank from the cup in such a way that I imagined You in the cup. If I could come to you I would have come crawling on my head and face.”

Reading these verses rapidly had a profound effect on him. He sat down resting his back on a boulder and soon died. May God have grace on him

63. Data Gunj Bakhash. Part two

Why was he called Data. It means giver. Giving and providing help to needy was in his nature. That was why people gave him this nickname. He himself writes:

“One time in the country of Iraq, I started enjoying in making and spending money, extravagantly. I got in lot of debt. Whosoever needed money, would come to me, and I would incur great troubles in helping them. A sage wrote to me “ be careful, lest in too much activity you forget God. Keep your mind away from the world. God is responsible for humanity………….” After that letter I became free.

However, it appears, that he resumed his activity of helping others, after death. So, for 10 centuries the title has stuck. Needy come to his tomb for help. Some for money, others for job or a child, or a husband for a daughter. The stories of his help are numerous. Some ask him to be their spiritual guide. Spiritual seekers have done extremely severe chillas (an austere spiritual practice) at his shrine for centuries. The list includes mighty saints and mystics. The great mystic Khawja Moin-ud-din Chishti performed 40 day chilla at his tomb. He and Data sahib are the two most famous Muslim saints of Indian subcontinent. His shrine is in Ajmair, India, and is frequented by hundreds of thousand pilgrims each year. He wrote the following verse which most literate Pakistanis know by heart

“A distributor of treasures, a bestower of bounties to the world, a symbol of God’s light

A complete mentor to the novices and a guide to the accomplished “

A tree is recognized by its fruits. Data Sahib’s greatness should be judged by its effects. The free food, the residential students, fulfillment of people’s murads, continuation of spiritual mentoring, and finally a person who will plead your case to God Himself.

I can testify with complete truthfulness that Data sahib’s spirit still helps people. it has been doing so for close to a thousand years. What a grand perspective the spirit must be having. Having watched the rise and fall of dynasties and empires; the Slave kings, the Khiljies, the Tughlaqs, the Lodhies, the Mogul emperors, the British Empire, the Sikh rule, and finally the present day Pakistan and India.

Here are two examples of my statement:

Probably 40 years ago, a person I know, told me this incident of his life. He was a young man and did not have a clear path to his future. He had been having skirmishes with his mother because he wanted her to buy him a truck, but she refused. Depressed and desolate, one night he went to Data sahib’s shrine. He wept and prayed at the shrine. Finally he fell asleep, at the railing surrounding his grave. Some voice said to him in his sleep,” go to Baba Lal Shah” he woke up. He had never heard of Baba Lal Shah. In the morning, he ordered a cup of tea at a roadside restaurant and started reading the newspaper. His eyes caught news. The President, Ayub Khan, had gone to Murree ( a hill resort ) and visited a fakir, called Baba Lal Shah.

This person took a train, a bus,a cab, and arrived in Baba Lal Shah ‘s place after walking for a mile or so. Two bearded scholarly looking man also walked with him. On the way, they started arguing with each other over the merits and demerits of Ali ( Holy prophet’s Muhammad’s son in law ). In the inn he also met a destitute man who had been there for some days, and was not getting permission to leave. His son had been missing. Next day, the recluse, appeared from a roofless pit. He walked with the help of his arms, being paralyzed in legs. He was apparently naked. He sat down, absorbed in himself. Visitors sat in a circle at a safe distance (he had a stick with which he would sometime beat certain people mercilessly) . He started talking at random. This person understood only that part of his talk which related to him. First he angrily scolded those two bearded passengers. “You bearded scoundrels, what do you know of greatness of Ali”, he shouted at them. Then he said ,” so you have been sent by the Lahore person. Now you weep at the railing. Before that you were harassing your mother. Ok, you, worldly person, I give you alms”

The person whose son was missing was told that his son was safe and will come home next day ( as I remember ). This person gave him money for bus fare, otherwise he would have been forced to travel on foot. Maybe, he was not being granted permission to leave, because he had no fare money.

As he was sitting by the window of the bus, a mendicant arrived.” So now you have two seals”, the beggar said. Meaning the seal of Data Sahib and of Baba Lal Shah.

In later life, that person became quite rich. People also respected him

To be continued:

64. Data Gunj Bakhash. Part 3

Please read the previous blog for continuity. Here is a second example:

In 1918, there was an epidemic of plague in Lahore. Three sons of a rich titled man of Lahore named Rai Bhahadar Saran Das fell victim to the disease. Three top physicians of Lahore, Col Bhola Nath, Col Amir Chand, Col Sutherland (principal of King Edward medical college) treated them but of no avail. Rai Bhahadar was disconsolate. He narrates ” One night while everybody was asleep, I saw a white bearded person wearing a shining dress, with a staff in one hand and a rosary in other, reciting something at the foot of my son, Gopal Das’s, bed. At seeing a stranger I became worried and asked “who are you”. He did not reply and kept on reciting. Then he went to my other son Roop Ram’s bed and did the same. Then that venerable person came to me and said,” I am your neighbor Gunj Bakhash. I could not stand your sorrow and anguish. So I came to pray. Now don’t worry. Merciful God will cure them”. All three sons recovered. (See footnote)

People come to Data sahib for various reasons. Here is an example of help in spiritual quest; told to me by a person who saw the whole story first hand.

A person, citizen of England, Christian by faith, had been wandering in various countries for 25 years in search of truth. He had spent years in Middle East (including Jerusalem) India, Burma and others. He had practiced mysticism and watched religious practices of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs. At Ajmer, at the shrine of Moin-ud-din Chishti (also called Khoja Pir, see “Quest of God by Papa Ramdas) he was directed to go to Lahore where he was going to get his guidance. At Data Sahib’s shrine, one day, he met a guide who told him where to go. In the hot desert of Sindh, in the roasting heat of summer, he did his training under a Qalandar (a high grade Muslim mystic) and came back to Lahore. He told this to the person who told me this story “I got my path here” referring to Data Sahib’s shrine.

Here is an example of getting permission; narrated in a book written by Shahab’s close friend and associate Mumtaz Mufti (see footnote):

Then he said “today I am going to Lahore” There was some bantering between the two friends. They arrived in Lahore in the evening. Two rooms were reserved for them in the rest-house for 3 days. Shahab started preparations. He bathed, changed into new clothes, and put on a prayer cap. Then he said that he was going to Durbar. (The popular name given to Data sahib’s shrine). Mufti also wanted to come along, but Shahab refused. Mufti thought that he must have come for praying to Data Sahib for being posted to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as ambassador. Shahab stayed in Durbar, while Mufti wandered restlessly outside. In the morning Shahab knocked at the door. There was great peace on his face. At Mufti’s questioning Shahab admitted that permission has been granted

Here are two examples of paying tribute.

There is an annual three day anniversary celebration at the shrine, called urs. Hundreds of thousands of visitors, especially mystics, come to the urs from all over the country. On last urs, 2-3 months ago, a Yogi arrived. He was only wearing a loin cloth. It was quite cold in Lahore. He was also wearing dark goggles. The Yogi did not talk to anybody. The person who told me about the Yogi happen to visit him. This person addressed the Yogi with great respect and asked him where he was from. The Yogi eventually replied that he had come from Hindustan (another name for India) and had come to give Salaam to Data sahib. Salaam is a Muslim greeting, so that person thought that this Yogi was a Muslim. The Yogi surmised his thoughts, and said salaam or purnam (Hindu greeting) is the same. His religion was unknown. That person visited him many times in the ensuing days. The Yogi became friendly. One time he asked that why did the Yogi wear dark glasses all the time. The Yogi replied that his eyes had great Shakti .  An exalted mystic friend of this person confirmed that the Yogi’s eyes could burn (the exalted mystic told it to that person without that person asking or describing anything about that Yogi!). So people from other countries and other faiths come to the shrine.

Finally a different kind of homage.

A Qalandar one night, on urs, visited the shrine. He was shouting Allah, Allah at the top of his lungs. The whole shrine felt the vibrations. People were stunned into silence. The Qalandar started thrashing wildly. Several persons tried to restrain him. In this melee the Qalandar got injured. He left the Durbar, bleeding and still shouting Allah Allah. A person recognized him next day and asked about the previous night. The Qalandar smiled and said “our homage is different” . It is with blood.


Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhash by Akmal Awaisi Pirzada

Alakh nugri by Mumtaz Mufti

65. Shahab . Part 1.

The readers must by now be acquainted with Shahab. I have mentioned him in blog 9, 32 and 64. His book (Shahab nama) was my first introduction to mysticism. His book was the catalyst for this mote.                                                                                                                                                                                           I have mentioned his dream in which he saw the holy prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) in a dream (blog 9). His next good fortune occurred with the following incident which he himself narrates:

One day I was touring a far flung area. I went for Friday prayers to a dilapidated mosque in a small village . The Imam was saying laughable and incredulous things. But one thing struck my heart. He said that sometimes very exalted companions of the Prophet will come to Bibi Fatimah, Prophet’s favorite daughter, for her intercession on their behalf. The Prophet loved and respected her so much that he won’t turn her down. After the prayer was finished I stayed in the mosque and said more prayers. Then I prayed to God with utmost sincerity that I don’t know if the story about Bibi Fatimah is correct or not. Oh Allah , I beg You to allow the spirit of Fatimah to ask her exalted father to grant my request. The request is that I want to go on the path of quest of God. I do not have the capability to follow the standard paths. I should be set on Awaisia path, if that path is a reality and not a fiction. Several weeks passed. I did not mention my prayer to anybody. I myself forgot about it. Then one day I received a strange letter from Germany from my sister-in-law. Here is a verbatim excerpt:

“ the other night I had the good fortune to see Fatimah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in my dream. She talked to me most graciously and said ‘ tell your brother-in-law Qudrat Ullah Shahab, that I have submitted his request to my exalted father who has very kindly accepted it”

After receiving that letter I became mad with intoxication and delight. I stayed put in a room for 3 days. Waves of ecstasy would run through my body ,whenever I would think that my name was mentioned between such an exalted father and his exalted daughter

After that I started seeing many mystics and saints in my dreams. I neither recognized them, nor could I understand their language. My heart did not melt to them. One night I saw a  very lovely and handsome saint who was circling Kaaba with an intoxicating abandon. My heart prostrated at his feet. He also came to me, smiling and said “ my name is Quttab ud din Bakhtiar Kaki. you are not our type, but you have been accepted by the authority, to which we all submit”

He made me sit in a place near Hateem. He put a cup between us which contained some edible thing in it. Suddenly he said ‘you want this life or that life’ Even in dream my cowardice woke up. I thought that this question meant an invitation to immediate death . I was being asked to choose between this world or the world after death. I wanted to stay alive. I replied ‘ exalted Sir, a little bit of both’. The moment I uttered those words a black dog like animal came from my left side, and put his mouth in the cup

Witnessing this Mr. Quttab smiled and said ‘ Alas! this free gift  was not for you. Your base self is dominant. You will have to undergo purification processes.

To be continued

66. Shahab. Part 2

Please read blog 65 for continuity.

Nothing happened after that dream for about 3 months. Those 3 months were terrible. I thought I lost all my gains. I was in great anguish. Then on June 9, 1938, I received my first letter from ‘Ninety’. I consider that one of the few most important days of my life. The envelope was stamped 9.30 am, Jammu city. I received it the same day at 12.30 pm. Same day delivery was impossible in city postal system. It was a hand written, 13 page letter in difficult English. One half of the letter consisted of an analysis of my past life and character, and the second half had orders, exercises, and my future plan. The letter had some intimate details which nobody except me (and God) knew, and some even I did not fully know. The letter was signed ‘ninety years old Fakir’

Who was Ninety? I don’t know. I have never met him or seen him. Once I asked him, who are you? Where do you live? What is your spiritual rank? The reply came: You will never find. As for rank, everybody is a traveler on this path…………………………….

I received written instructions from him for almost next 25 years. The instructions would come as letters, which I would sometime find under my pillow, in a shelf, or sometime they would materialize out of thin air, in the room, or outside walking. I had the orders to destroy them as soon as possible. One time I thought of saving a little piece as a holy relic. As soon as I thought of it, a letter came. It stated that in a few minutes lights will go off, and my hands will be tied with live snakes for half an hour. I was terrified. I asked for forgiveness, and said I won’t do it in future. Within minutes reply came. It said “ Ha Ha . So you are afraid of just two snakes. Have you ever thought of countless worms which will be in your grave, etc………….”

Islam’s holiest place is Kaaba. It is also called Bait ullah or house of God. It is situated in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Shahab did not seem to be much affected by his first visit to kaaba. In contrast, he was full of fervor as he started towards Medina, the second holiest city in Islam, where the holy Prophet is buried in Masjid-a- nubwi. He was walking on foot in hot desert sand. He threw away his shoes, as a sign of devotion. Burning heat sent waves of heat from soles to head. Before he could get his first glimpse of the dome of the mosque, he thought, his eyes should be purified from the filth of this world. What better purifying substance than the sand of Prophet’s city . So he put a little bit of sand in his eyes. Soon his eyes were red and he could hardly see. He started bumping into people. In front of the mosque he was thrown on the pile of pilgrim’s shoes. The guardian of shoes took pity on him and seated him on his mat. When asked by the guardian what was wrong with his eyes, he told the story of putting sand. Tears came in the guardian’s eyes. He helped him a lot. Gave food, shelter in his own house, took him to a doctor, bought him medicine, and a bus ticket . But most of all, authorized him to spend several hours at night inside the mosque ( which was prohibited ). Shahab writes, that he got the opportunity to sweep inside the railing of Prophet’s tomb, that holy place on earth, with his eyelashes

There was a supernatural incident in the same mosque on some other visit narrated by his friend Mumtaz mufti (see foot note) but I won’t mention it here because it is not narrated by Shahab himself.

                 Shahab once spent a night, alone, in Masjid-a-aqsa , the third holiest site in Islam, located in Jerusalem. He states:

When I was all by myself the holiness and history of the place, swallowed me. I felt as if I was a dirty dog, which by mistake, had landed in a palace made of precious glass. My teeth started chattering and I started violently shivering. I had convulsions and I fell in a time tunnel in which thousands of years of asleep history woke up. On scintillating highways, like milky way, I saw the processions of great holy prophets. Streams of light emerged from the dust of their feet. Prophets like Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and then the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)………………………………………………………………………..I saw great wonders of My God…………………..

Finally, an incident few days (?) before his death:

                One day when he returned at 11:30 from his morning walk, his face was red and eyes were shining, as if he was drunk, and trying to prevent himself from reeling. He was sort of giggling with joy. One hand was closed in a fist , while the other was on his heart. Seeing his state his sister Mehmooda became perturbed……………………………………. . He said he got a prize that day. His sister said that was nothing new, “All your life you have been getting prizes”. He said, this was the biggest, most precious, and the last gift. I prayed for it for years. Begged for it. And today I got it unasked. He told:

I did not feel well. One time I thought of going back , but persisted. I reached the houses of naval headquarters. I rested by a wall, and watched children playing a game. I closed my eyes. I heard a tiny voice saying’ Baba,Baba (old man)’ I opened my eyes. A little boy was standing with worried look on his face. Then he said “do you want flour or money”(what you would say to a common beggar). I caressed his head with love and said “both” he ran to his home. He came back and said “mother says there is no flour, but have money” he put a shining coin in my hand.

Why did shahab think that coin so important? I leave it to your own interpretation


 Note. Lubbaik by Mumtaz Mufti

67. Mr. ShevanI . part 1.

Mr Shevani was a rich millionaire or billionaire of Gujranwala, Pakistan, who died few months ago. He was not a particularly religious person. He was a kind hearted man who liked to help others; particularly he spent money to help poor women get married.

He would some time pray to Allah for a very strange wish. He prayed to meet the greatest Qalander( high grade Muslim mystic ) of this period.

One day a bearded well dressed man came to his house. The man said that he has received orders through some channels to take him to a recluse mystic in FATA ( federally administered tribal area). That man did not know why. This area is very dangerous. There is a continuous war between Pakistan Army and Taliban controlled local population. It is somewhat lawless area. The man asked Mr Shevani that what was his relationship with Data Darbar. Mr shevani said that he was not a devotee of Data Sahib and did not have any particular relationship. He had often visited the shrine because he greatly respected Data Sahib, but many a time he would often not even go inside, but say prayers or distribute food to the needy, outside. This man then asked Mr Shevani that what could be his reason to meet the recluse Qalandar. Mr Shevani then told him of his prayer. The man and Mr Shevani agreed that God must have answered his prayer. This man had met the great Qalander once before, and had firsthand knowledge of his great spirituality.

Now Mr Shevani was face to face with reality. He had also wanted ( and might have told God in His prayer that he wanted to spend rest of his life with the Qalander ) to give up the world and stay with this Qalander ( if he would allow him). This was the moment of truth. Should he give up this world of his children and grandchildren. The world of tasty foods to eat, soft bed to sleep, house to protect from heat and cold, servants to obey his wishes, money to buy whatever he wanted or go to a world of cold, poverty , fasts and hardship. He knew he will have to live in a cave, sleep on hay or grass covered floor, and eat very little food. He will have to face harsh approaching winter. The people surrounding him would be speaking different language ( although they could also speak Urdu ) and would have different customs.

Mr shevani was not deterred. He asked for 3 days to wrap his affairs

When Mr Shevani and the guide arrived at the Mystic’s place he was not there. He had left one day earlier to an unknown place. But by his spiritual knowledge he knew that they were coming . He had left instructions with his two disciples, that the guide should stay the night. He left some Poultice for the guide’s feet which had multiple sores from walking bare feet. He also said that the guide will be bringing dry food for everybody ( which guide had done on his own ). As for Mr Shevani, he said, that he was free to stay in a cave or go back.

Mr Shevani showed great courage and elected to stay, despite the absence of the great Qalander, who may not return for months

He spent the winter in a cave. He was not used to hardship, having spent all his life in luxury. He became gravely ill. A messenger was sent to Lahore to get medicines for him. He survived.

He started building a road and a mosque in that area.

Due to fasting, he was reduced to a skelton. The guide once visited him. They prayed together in his cave

The great Qalander told him several times, that if he wanted, he was allowed to go back to his home. Mr Shevani always replied that if that was an order, he would obey, otherwise he would stay at his Murshad’s feet.

Mr Shevani stayed steadfast. He never wavered and went back. Approximately eleven months after his arrival he died. He took his last breath, with his head resting at the thigh of the great Qalander.
To be continued

68. Mr. Shevani . part 2

Continued from Blog 67

Mr. shevani’s two sons had arrived at the cave few hours before their father’s death.

Great Qalander instructed the sons to take their father’s body, after he dies, to their hometown to be buried, near water, like a canal, and to build a tomb over the grave. He ordered two of his disciples to go and stay at the grave for 40 days. They were to recite holy verses from Quran and pray. The guide was to supervise everything and bring flowers from Data Sahib’s tomb at Lahore, every Thursday, and spread over Mr. Shevani’s grave. Mr. Shevani, dying, but still alive, was listening.

The final prayer over the dead body called Namaz-a-janaza ( as per Islamic custom) was attended by all present and led by the great Qalander. The first row was kept vacant by Qalander’s orders. He also instructed that the first two rows , at the second Namaz-a-janaza, at Mr. Shevani’s home town should be kept vacant. Why the rows were to be kept vacant? Were there some invisible participants?

The two disciples stayed at the grave, as instructed. One went back, but the other was ordered to stay more. Some of the villagers did not like the presence of the disciple and the building of a tomb. They belonged to fundamentalist sects of Islam, like Wahabis, which don’t like people visiting the graves for favors (Their contention is, that one should ask directly from God, who is everywhere, and listens to everybody). They asked the disciple to leave, he refused. Then they beat him up. He still did not leave. Next, they broke his leg (he is now permanently lame) on one occasion and his arm at another occasion. The disciple said that he won’t go even if they kill him because he was staying at the the order of his murshed’. All this strife brought fame and attention to the grave and Mr. Shevani’s life history. Soon the disciple was called back. Apparently the disciple was undergoing a test of his own. He passed the test of obedience and steadfastness.

How stars are born? How spiritual sites are created? This story illustrates it. Nobody would have known Mr. Shevani’s grave. If more and more people visit the grave and if their prayers and wishes are answered, the tomb will gather fame. A shrine will be built. Holy people will visit it. A holy person may permanently stay there and increase the spirituality of the shrine.

Such shrines, and holy sites are distributed all over the world. Cities like Mecca, Medina, The Vatican, Jerusalem, Puri, Banaras, Ajmer, Amritsar,Rangoon,etc, have holy sites. Millions of people visit them each year. What is the purpose of these sites? One purpose is to keep the followers faithful to their religion. And there are other obvious purposes, which I do not want to go into. But a less known reason is ( which this mote discovered on his own), that these sites are the transmitting towers of broadcasting stations, to God or His assistants. Prayers over these sites have a good chance of being heard. At some level these billions of wishes are sorted out. Most must be rejected. But if the prayer has intrinsic merit, it may be granted . If the prayer is unique, it may be granted ( like Mr. Shevani’s unparalleled prayer ). In human body, the electrical impulses travel to the brain, through special cable like structures called nerves. Impulses can travel through muscles and bones, but they travel much better through nerves. Same is true of these spiritual sites. They are like nerves. Holy Sites, like Kaaba, Jerusalem Holy Temple (or its remnants), Banaras, have seen and heard from pilgrims and holy people, even mighty prophets, for thousands of years. There is tremendous accumulated spirituality at these places.

Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to six children in June 1981 at Medjugorje, Bosnia. Before that appearance it was a small village. Now more than 30 million persons have visited it. This is another way of creating spiritual sites. Minds you, people must be getting something in return, for their visit, otherwise they will stop coming . Those shrines where no spiritual entity lives any more ( because there are no visitors ) are according to Aldus Huxley, Dead shrines.

69. Love for God . part 1

Love for God is very strange

I do not know how You look like

I have never seen You

I have never talked to You

I have never touched You

Yet I love You!

You have never returned my love

I do not know where You live

I do not know how to reach You

If I try to reach You

You do not encourage it

Throw hurdles in my path

Yet mkadk loves You!

Because he feels You

70. Love for God. Part 2

Mkadk does not know how it starts

Who plants it in mind’s hive?

But soon it becomes essential

Like air is to all life

One is caught in a tornado

Separation charges this dynamo

Joy and pain rise to a crescendo

Finally union tames this inferno

Union with God is the aim

Every seeker continues his endeavor

Though none falters or waver

Lucky few are granted this favor

71. Love for God. Part 3

Love for You is strange

Time does not diminish it

It feeds on Your thought

Your silence does not finish it

It grows with time

It has no decline

Human love needs sharing

We share our joys and sorrows

We share our hopes and dreams

We share our todays and tomorrows

There is no sharing with God

He does not talk back

One’s soul may be on fire

One’s body may be on rack

One may cry out! Help me

Lord, I am going to crack

Who cares if one dies?

Eternal silence is Your reply

Life and death are meaningless to Divinity

You are God! You live in infinity

Mind does not know of cells it consist

You probably don’t know if we exist

Mkadk will keep loving You oh God

My silent, invisible, untouchable, indifferent Lord

72. What else should I do

My God, please tell me

What else should I do?

I have done my best

But failed some crucial test

I have shed tears every day

I have begged You every day

I have prayed to You every day

I try to reach You every day

I collected and offered wild flowers

Covered with dew and rain

I wrote and sang songs

Of Your glory and my pain

I have repeated Your name millions of time

I have thought about You zillions of time

I loved You with an obsession

I yearned for You with burning passion

I debased myself so low

Nothing further was left to go

Like Mogul king Babur I also thought

As a last resort

I should offer to God

The most valuable thing I got

I laid my life at Your feet

Master and mote were going to meet

Your silence was an utter defeat

Your indifference punctured my conceit

I failed to get Your attention

My sacrifice was not worth mention

Dear God give a clue

What else should mkadk do

73. The path

There is no call from the Creator

There is no reply from the Maker

Door to God is locked

Ray from Him is blocked

No guide to show the way

No place to rest and stay

Your Majesty did not appoint a mentor

Your house remained forbidden to enter

Path was as dark as it could be

Riddled with difficulties as it should be

Alas, never got lost

In Your pious thought

Never had the ‘out of body feel’

Never on You did my mind seal

In the eyes of my mind

Your vision did not shine

Emptiness lingered over the begging hand

It remained dry like desert sand

Instead of joy, progress and hope

There was despair and pain to cope

In this journey what is hard to endure           

Your silence, and lack of progress, for sure

If that is Your will oh Lord

Mkadk will make it his bidding, oh God

74. St Teresa of Avila . Part one

St Teresa of Avila was one of the greatest saints of all times. She left an account of her life in her own handwriting; therefore, we do not have to worry about the veracity of her account. However, some of her statements are so fantastic that one has to consider the possibility that during those deep trances she might be imagining things. She herself has not entirely ruled out that possibility.

She was the author of multiple books. Her books were in Spanish language, but now they have been translated in many languages. She was born approximately in 1515 and died in 1582. She entered, as Novice nun in the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation, Avila, in 1536.

She became seriously ill when she was young. The illness lasted for about 3 years. About 2 years before she became ill, she saw a nun who was afflicted with a very severe illness. She had sores on her stomach and could not tolerate food. She soon died. All the nuns were afraid of it but not St Teresa. She writes: “I begged God that He would send me any illness He pleased if only He would make her as patient as she. Her Majesty heard my prayer"

Be careful of what you pray, lest it may be granted!

Initially she had severe pains from head to foot, which gave her no rest. Then she had convulsions. She herself describes:

My tongue was bitten to pieces………I could not take water. As a result of the torments I had suffered during these days, I was all doubled up like a ball, and no more able to move arm, foot, hand or head than if I had been dead…………I could move, I think, only one finger of my right hand…….They used to move me in a sheet.

My extreme weakness cannot be described. I was very glad when sharp and constant pains went away, although I could hardly endure the cold fits of quartan ague which were very severe. I remained in this condition for more than eight months, and my paralysis, though it kept improving, continued for nearly three years. When I began to get about on my hand and knees, I praised God. All this I bore with great resignation, and, except at the beginning, with great joy; for none of it could compare with the pain and torments which I had suffered at first.

Life of a mystic, before he or she reaches perfection, is very hard. She was attracted to both the world and the God. She writes “when I was in the midst of worldly pleasures, I was distressed by the remembrance of what I owed to God; when I was with God; I grew restless because of worldly affections. More than 18 of the 28 years, since I started prayer, have been spent in this battle.” Sometimes she would receive favors. God was very merciful to her to give her the gift of tears. Once, as she entered oratory, her eyes fell on an image of Christ, sorely wounded. She was deeply moved to see Him like that. She writes “I felt as if my heart was breaking, and I threw myself down beside Him, shedding flood of tears………………”

“When picturing Christ, wounded, I used unexpectedly to experience a consciousness of the presence of God”. She felt, He was within her and she was wholly engulfed in Him. It is called mystical theology. Her memory , would almost completely be lost, understanding would be present, but would not reason

In 1555-6, she thought that she was hearing inner voices, and seeing visions. She had her first imaginary vision of Christ in 1558. She had several visions of Jesus, Holy Mary, St Joseph (her patron saint), angels; all with the eyes and ears of mind. She never saw them with worldly eyes.

She considered herself very lucky to have received these favors in the amount of time she had spent. She states that His Majesty has given her these experiences in 27 years (from the time she started practicing prayer), which others might have needed 37 or 47 years (“Although ill as I have walked and often as I have stumbled on this road”)

In the next installment, she describes the four degrees of prayer

75. St Teresa of Avila. Part 2

St Teresa compares the soul of the seeker (or traveler) to a garden. God has already selected the person. He has uprooted the weeds and planted nice plants in that soil. Now, if properly watered, the plants will produce fragrant flowers. There are 4 ways the garden can be watered:

1. By taking the water from a well, and carrying it to the garden, a labor intensive method

2. By water-wheel and buckets, when the water is drawn by a windlass; a less laborious way

3. By a stream or a brook. This is very efficient and less laborious than the first two

4. By heavy rain, when God waters it Himself, when the water is needed. No effort of the gardener is needed

First Way.The Saint describes the first way in great detail, because almost every one passes through this stage. It is the most difficult, and lasts for a long time. Many a times, one loses all hope. One crosses this period only by God’s help, and not by his/her efforts. Patience and perseverance are a must. It is important to remember that God is fair and just, one’s efforts are always rewarded

I could spend several pages on this stage. Briefly, the person goes to a solitary place and thinks of some image. She used to picture Christ tied to the column, but, dozens of other images can be chosen. She would reflect upon the pains He bore. Why did He choose to bear them? With what love and fortitude He bore them?............She would weep (that is what she calls watering the garden )

If one cannot weep, then there is no water in the well. Don’t be disheartened. God meant it to be like that. Aridity is good in its own right. At least try to develop tenderness and feeling of devotion at the thought of Christ. Think, that He never deserved to be there. He did it for us

She states “ consider it the greatest of favors to work in the garden of so great an Emperor”

At the same time self knowledge should not be neglected.

“Once you desire to be alone and commune with God, and abandon the pastimes of this world, the chief part of your job is done.”

Focus your thoughts, don’t allow them to wander. This is very very difficult

Once one becomes proficient, the memory and understanding are partially suspended during the deep parts of meditation.

Second Way. Here the gardener draws more water with less labor. It is also called Prayer of Quiet. The Saint tries to explain it, as best as she can, but words cannot describe the feelings of such states which can only be experienced. She uses the words, such as contentment, consolation, joy, and favors (by God) to describe the feelings of the recipient. Let me pinpoint as much as I can:

Will is partially lost (or sometimes she uses the term “kept occupied or captive” by the God)

Understanding is present, and helps the will enjoy the pleasures

Memory is present, and helps the will enjoy the pleasures

Tears of joy flow

Very little labor is required, so prayer even if continues for a long time, is not wearisome

Soul does not know what to do. Does not want to know or ask. She is content and happy.

Sometimes the pleasures and consolations are taken away. This is to teach one humility

As the soul has never gone beyond this state, it thinks there is no more to wish, and wants to stay there forever. Many, many reach this state, few pass beyond it. This prayer is a spark of true love which God has enkindled. It is a great gift. God has chosen him/her.

Her words “the flowers have now reached a point at which they are almost ready to bloom”

She did not understand Latin, but in this state she could understand the meaning of the words she was reciting as if they were in Spanish language.

The Saint states that when one starts the prayer (of first degree or way), it is most important, to detach oneself from all kinds of pleasures. This is the same teaching which this mote has found in mystic practices of all religions; Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. Conquer one self

To be continued

76. St Teresa of Avila. Part three

Third way. The saint does not dwell much on this stage. To summarize:

This is a state of partial union (with God)

This is a very lofty stage. The pleasures and joys of this stage are far sublime than those of the second stage. It is at least of two types.

The faculties are in a state of sleep, they are neither wholly lost, nor can understand how they work

Sensations are absent, or almost absent

Union is incomplete

Will is gone

Understanding is partly gone

Memory is present

Imagination is present but cannot concentrate

Another type may be so different from the Prayer of the Quiet, in which the soul does not want to move, that it may be active in works of charity and at the same time in contemplative life

Fourth Way. This last water is characterized by complete union (with God). This is the highest state, in mysticism, that can be achieved by a human being while alive. Perhaps it is the same as nirbi kalpa Samadhi of Hinduism. There are no feelings, except happiness.

Sensations are absent

Power (to move) is gone

Understanding is gone

Union is complete

Will is gone

Imagination is gone

Memory is lost

Rejoicing is present. Joy is ineffable

Person finds him/herself bathed in tears

When we say, sensations are gone, we mean, the soul cannot see or hear or speak (If she sees or hears, she does not know what she is seeing or hearing). If the soul can communicate in any form, her rejoicing, then it is not union

This stage, at least initially, often comes after prolonged meditation. It often comes without warning, when the person least expects it. It is very brief, at the most half an hour.

St Teresa was very curious as to what the soul experienced during this stage. She could not describe it. As she was going to write this chapter ( she had just undergone this stage) , God spoke to her “ it dies to itself wholly, daughter, in order that it may fix itself more and more upon Me; it is no longer itself that lives, but I………………………..

St Teresa became certain that God is physically present in the room, and a very learned man confirmed it.

What are the benefits to the soul? They are many; contentment, joy, bursting with love for God, helping others, piety,etc. but here is one which is special;”…………………… begins to benefit its neighbors, and they become aware of this benefit because the flowers have now so powerful a fragrance as to make them desire to approach them. They realize that the soul has virtues….

Rapture. This is a form of union or something higher than union. It is also called, ecstasy, flight of the spirit or transport. How is it different from union?

A tremendous power descends upon one. One is helpless against this strong, swift impulse. No resistance is possible, whereas in union, one could resist the union. It is as if a little sparrow was being carried away by a mighty eagle. As if one was being ground to powder. The Lord raises the soul up till it is right out of itself. The soul seems no longer to animate the body. The soul, then, seems to be, not in itself at all, but on the house-top, or the roof, of its own house, and raised above all created things; “she thought it was far above even its own very highest part.”

The soul goes through various feelings, which are so different from each other. For instance there is great happiness, but at the same time there is great weariness and detachment. At times soul feels great loneliness. She is away from God. She is searching for God. She asks herself “where is thy God” There is death-like yearning for God. This suffering also brings greatest happiness, so much so that she would like to spend the rest of her life in this suffering and joy. “Pain is excessive, the pulses almost cease, bones are all disjointed, and the hands are stiff. Until the next day I have pains in my wrists and the entire body” the Lord told her that her soul was being purified by this distress like gold in a crucible.

One feels cold (away from body heat)

The Lord’s mighty power makes one humble

Initially it produces great fear

At the end of a deep rapture, the body is incapable of movement, sometimes for hours. The faculties may remain absorbed for a day or two, or even for three days, as if they were in a state of stupor.

It is more beneficial. The soul has no desire to seek or possess any free will. She wants nothing except the will of God; the soul wants to be neither her own master nor anybody else’s. Worldly matters are of little concern.

“Once when we were together in choir, and I was on my knees and about to communicate, my body was raised from the ground. It caused me the greatest distress. It seemed to me the most extraordinary thing, and I thought there would be a great deal of talk about it, so I ordered the nuns not to speak of it. On other occasions, when I felt that the Lord was going to enrapture me, I have lain on the ground and the sisters have come and held me down. I begged the lord not to grant me any favors which had visible and exterior signs. He was pleased to accept my desire, and since then I have not received such favors.

My soul, now, when not occupied, finds itself continually in this death-like yearning for God. They make me afraid. But once in the state, I want to stay in the state, forever.”

The soul is in such a torment, that it does not want solitude (like it used to), the only companionship it seeks is with one to whom it can voice its complaint

In this state of ecstasy occur true revelations, great favors and visions.

To be continued

77. St Teresa of Avila. Part four

I will now describe the locutions, visions, and legacy of St Teresa. There are dozens and dozens of locutions and visions; I had to choose very few (maybe 10% of the visions)

Locutions. She describes how the locutions (talks) from God, differ from one’s own thoughts. Though the locutions from God are perfectly clear, they are not heard with bodily ears. She heard them very often. Since she had considerable experience, she could not be deceived by locutions from evil spirits or her own mind talking to her. Here are the differences:

1. Words are clear, not indistinct

2. the locution cannot be shut off. No resistance is possible. One is forced to hear it whether one likes it or not.

3. Aftereffects are pleasant.

4. All the predictions come true. Not one of them, so far, had been untrue. Some of the events were foretold two or three years in advance

5. “One is listening and not speaking. For while I am speaking, my understanding is composing what I am saying, whereas if I am spoken to, I am doing nothing but listen. In one case the words are indistinct and can be shut off (like one is in half sleep), while in the other case a distinct voice is talking”.

6. All of the locution is remembered. God makes sure that everything is understood and not forgotten. Words are deeply imprinted in memory and impossible to forget.

Visions. First, the Lord was pleased to reveal to her only His hands, the beauty of which was indescribable. This was her first vision of Jesus Christ with the eyes of her mind. She never had any vision of Jesus with worldly eyes

A few days later she saw the Divine face

The Lord later granted her the favor of seeing Him wholly, on many occasions.

He showed Himself to her in various forms: in His resurrection body, His wounds, as He was on the Cross, in the Garden, and sometimes He would be carrying the Cross. She was very desirous of seeing the color of His eyes, or His height, but could never do so, the image would disappear altogether.

Once He took the rosary from her hand, and on the cross of the rosary four large stones of incomparable beauty appeared. On the cross were also portrayed the five wounds. He told her that henceforth it would always look like that to her, and so it did. Nobody else could see them.

On more than one occasion, a devilish, most hideous figure, would appear while she was praying. As she narrated “I asked for holy water. Two nuns, who next came, noticed, a very bad smell, like brimstone. They won’t lie for anything” .It proves that it was not St Teresa’s imagination.

Once she had a vision of hell. This happened in the briefest space of time. She described what she saw in great detail (readers will have to read it themselves from her book). The agony of her soul, oppression, suffocation and an affliction so deeply felt, and accompanied by such hopeless and distressing misery, that she was unable to describe it fully. Later in life, all the tribulations and pains which life threw at her were light, compared to a single moment of such suffering which she had to undergo during that vision. She states “this vision was one of the most signal favors which the Lord has bestowed upon me”

A Rector was being sorely persecuted and was in great distress. One day at the elevation of the Host she saw Christ on the Cross. He spoke certain words to her, which He told her to repeat to Rector for his comfort. He also told her of future events which were going to come. She told all that to the Rector. It gave Rector great comfort, and gave him great courage to face the persecutions, that, as Jesus told, were yet to come. Everything happened as He had told her.

Now we come to the sublimest vision. Which she saw four times.

“my spirit became so completely transported, that it seemed to have completely departed the body……………..

I saw the most sacred Humanity in far greater glory than I had ever seen before. I saw a most clear and wonderful representation of it in the bosom of the Father………………………………………………….

I seemed to see myself in the presence of the Godhead”

Once when she was in prayer, she saw, for a very brief time …with perfect clarity, how all things are seen in God

“ let us say that the Godhead is like a very clear diamond, much larger than the whole world, or a mirror…………………………………………………………………….Let us suppose, furthermore, that all we do is seen in this diamond, which is of such a kind that it contains everything within itself………………………” It was a terrifying experience.

To be continued

78. St Teresa of Avila. Part five

Miracles. Here are two examples. Once she was earnestly begging Jesus to restore vision to a totally blind man. The Lord appeared and talked to her. Then He said that He would always grant her anything she asked, because she won’t ask Him anything which did not tend to His glory. The vision was restored within a week.

A man was gravely ill. His sufferings, for two months, were intolerable, and he was in such torture that he would lacerate his own body. She was moved to such pity for him that she begged earnestly to Jesus to cure him. On the very next day he was free from that pain

Fray Peter of Alcantarta. St Teresa does not have enough words to praise this holy man. He did severe penances for forty seven years. He slept only for an hour and a half each night for forty years. What sleep he took was sitting down. He could not lie down in his cell which was only four and a half feet long. He never wore a hood or shoes. His only dress was a habit of sackcloth. It was a very common thing for him to take food only once in three days. Sometimes he would go without food for a week. Once he spent three years in a house of his Order, and could not have recognized a single friar, because he never raised his eyes. Since his death she had more discussions with him than when he was alive. He advised her on many subjects. She beheld him in great bliss. He always appeared as a glorified body. He told her that the penances he had done been a happy thing for him, since they had won him such a great reward.

Some thoughts. She has written so many pearls of wisdom that it is difficult to choose. Here are some of her thoughts which have not been mentioned before in these blog:

“When one is stricken with love for God, it is a great comfort to find another stricken by it too. The two will be of mutual help”. Sri Ramakrishna used to express the same feeling by saying, that one hemp smoker likes the company of another hemp smoker.

“If there is a single thing to which a man clings, it is a sign that he sets some value on it; and if he sets some value upon it, it will naturally distress him to give it up, and so everything will be imperfection and loss (also mentioned in blog 37)”

“We shall get along all right if we walk in righteousness and hold fast to virtue, but it will mean advancing at the pace of hen and will never lead us to spiritual freedom. This procedure is good for married people……………………………………………………I would not like it in any other state, nor will anyone persuade me to think it is a good one” So much so for shariat which Shahab advocated ( see blog 32, other paths )

This mote got a very good advice on this point: I could not advance beyond a certain point during my meditation. I tried to force the progress by whatever means I could employ. Recently I came at this warning by the saint;" when I say that people should not try to rise unless raised by God...............In the mystical theology........the understanding loses its power first because God suspends it................we must not do is to presume or think that we can suspend it ourselves; nor must we allow it to cease working: if we do, we shall remain stupid and cold and shall attain nothing whatsoever..........."

There are some thoughts of St Teresa in blog 37. They pertain to ups and downs in spiritual journey, and the joy the travelers derive from suffering.

Legacy. Her legacy is her books (specially ‘Life’, which is her autobiography) and the Houses of St Joseph, which she founded. Her autobiography has been translated in many languages. For over four centuries, millions of persons have benefitted from it, including this mote. If a book can be a guide to a seeker, this book can fulfill this role, because it gives practical steps, especially if he is a Christian, Furthermore, her love for God, pours over every sentence, and inspires the reader, especially if he suffers from the same malady. Just read these lines in the last chapter of the book:

“As I am now out of the world, and my companions are few and saintly, I look down upon the world as from above and care very little of what people say………………………………………….

He has given me a life which is a kind of sleep: when I see things, I nearly always seem to be dreaming them. I myself find no great propensity to either joy or sorrow……………………….”

“To die Lord or to suffer! I ask nothing else of Thee for myself but this” It comforts me to hear a clock strike,……………………I seem to be getting nearer to the vision of God”.

She lived for almost seventeen more years after she completed the book. We have no way of knowing what she experienced during those years. What further heights did she attain?

She established the first House of St Joseph at Avila in 1562-3. There was such a great opposition to it, that it took two years. Jesus Christ appeared to her repeatedly and told her, that how much this house meant to Him, Holy Mary, and St Joseph. At critical junctures Fray Peter of Alcantara helped her when he was alive and even when he was dead. This house was for twelve secluded Carmelite nuns who were going to live in extreme poverty, and no visible means of support. The city opposed it, and church officials opposed it. She was so wearied and tired that, one time, she agreed to the proposal of accepting an endowment. The same night Lord told her that she was not to accept an endowment. Fray Peter also appeared the same night and told her the same thing. Steady revenue causes great problems, she was told in no uncertain terms.
Now there are thousands of similar houses, both for men and women, throughout the world.

She was the originator of Carmelite Reform. In 1970, she was declared Doctor of the Church, the first woman to be so honored

This mote considers her, along with Data Gunj Bakhash and Sri Ramakrishna, among the greatest mystics of all times

79. Sri Yogananda . Part 1

Readers must be familiar with this great Yogi, because blog 10, 11 and 12 were about him. Readers should read those blog again because I do not want to repeat things already said. However, a brief introduction, at this point, is warranted because the previous blog were in a different context.

He was born in Bengal, India, in 1893. He was a preselected person. He had been selected by Maha-avatar Babaji, at an unknown time, to go to the West and introduce to the public over there the ancient science of Kriya Yoga. ( Avatar is a human incarnation of God, Maha-avatar is even higher than that, because maha mean big. I will say more about Babaji at some other point. Babaji selected Sri Yukteshwar to be his guru to prepare him for this mission in the West. Sri Yukteshwar was a disciple of Sri Lahiri Mahsaya who in turn was a direct disciple of Babaji.).

Kriya Yoga had been lost for generations. Babaji reintroduced it to the general public through Lahiri Mahasaya and others. This time it was made available, not only to the renunciants, but also to qualified persons who lived in the world and could be married and be of either sex. The reason why Lahiri Mahasaya was selected was precisely because he was a householder and thus an example of God-realization by a householder. The message was that if you earnestly desire God, you can do so while still doing your worldly duties. Therefore God was made available to several hundreds or thousands fold wider public.

I tried but could not practice Kriya Yoga, therefore I am not a fit person to comment about this technique. However, it has been claimed, that if followed properly, one reaches God in a short time.

                           After completing his discipleship with his guru, he started a school for boys in 1917, where they were trained in normal subjects as well in Yoga. He was quite happy with the school, when one day, during meditation, he had a vision of Americans and was told to go to America and spread Kriya Yoga . Few hours after the vision he took a train to meet his Master. He arrived in America in 1920, and died there in 1952. He arrived in America without a single friend, but he left hundreds or thousands of friends and disciples at the time of his death.

Before he started on his journey, like any other normal person, he had cold feet because of the enormity of the task. He became anxious. Would he not get lost in the materialism of the West?

One early morning he started praying to God to hear from Him regarding this mission. He vowed that he would continue praying, till death, unless he gets Divine assurance that he won’t be lost in the utilitarianism of America . Several hours passed. His moaning and sobs continued. His head was reeling. He thought his brain would burst. Finally there was a knock at the door. A young man, whom he recognized as Babaji, was standing. Babaji said that the Divine Father had heard his prayers. Babaji had been sent to reassure him that his mission had the Divine sanction, and that he will be protected. This was Yogananda’s first and only face to face meeting with Babaji.

Kriya Yoga is being taught in Western World, to this day, in its pure form, through the Self-realization Fellowship program based in California, USA. You can belong to any religion and keep your religion.

Therese Neumann. Sri Yogananda had heard about Therese and was keen to see her. An opportunity presented in 1935. Therese, born in 1898, was from Germany. She was famous because she had not eaten or taken any liquids for twelve years, except a consecrated wafer, paper-thin, and the size of a small coin, each day. She was also famous for the fact, that every Friday, Stigmata, sacred wounds of Jesus, would appear on her corresponding body parts, and she would be experiencing the Passion of Christ.

Therese became blind and paralyzed, when she was twenty, because of an accident. She miraculously regained her sight through prayers to St Therese of Lisieux ( see blog 13-14) in 1923. She stopped eating and drinking in 1923, and the stigmata started appearing in 1926

To be continued

80. Sri Yogananda. Part 2

Therese only knew ordinary German, but during the trance, she would utter phrases in ancient Aramaic, and at appropriate times she would speak in Greek or Hebrew languages

Sri Yogananda and his American companions met her and he was struck by her simplicity and holiness. She was a picture of health with rosy cheeks. She confirmed with her own lips that she does not eat or drink (except the wafer). She also told that she was a helpless onlooker as she watches the ‘Passion of Christ’ from Thursday midnight to Friday afternoon. Her wounds bleed at that time.

They were given permission to watch the saint during the trance. Just before entering the room, Yogananda put himself in communion with her brain, so that he could see what she was seeing. As he entered the chamber he was awestruck at the terrifying spectacle. Therese was lying in bed covered with white sheet. There was a continuous one inch stream of blood coming out of the lower eyelids of her eyes. Blood was also coming out of her chest wound. Cloth around her forehead was covered with blood from the stigmata of the crown of thorns.

I could see she was watching Jesus carrying the heavy timbers of the cross. At one point Jesus fell and Therese lifted her head in consternation.

Their party only stayed for few minutes, as other people were waiting in line

I have abbreviated this episode considerably. There is much more detail in the book (the autobiography of a Yogi) along with her picture with Sri Yogananda and Mr. Wright.

What was the purpose of the life of Therese Neumann? According to Sri Yogananda:

That whatever happened to Jesus Christ during ‘The Passion’ was not a fiction but a reality. Sudden appearance of stigmata, with flowing blood, proved it. Yogananda being in tune with her brain watched it himself. Her life verified and authenticated it. It reassured His followers. It also told that Jesus was still present.

Giri Bala. This woman saint from India had not eaten or taken liquids for over fifty six years. One time a Ruler investigated this fact by keeping her isolated in a room in his palace for two months. Sri Yogananda had heard of her and was keen to see her. One day he and his companions reached her in her village in their car. They met her brother on the way, and he stated that he had not seen her sister eat or drink for five decades.

They arrived at her ancestral home. A short figure appeared through the open doors. The lady was approaching seventy and was in excellent health. Her face showed benevolence, and Self-Realization. . She allowed her pictures to being taken She agreed to tell them and the swarm of villagers who had collected to see these foreign visitors and an automobile, as if they were from another planet, her life story. Yogananda was worried that she might refuse because mystics often shun publicity

She said she was twelve when she joined her husband. She had the problem of overeating. Her mother-in-law shamed her relentlessly. One day she was so distraught by the constant taunting that she said that from now onwards she was not going to eat!

She prayed to God incessantly, and begged Him to send a Guru who will teach her to live without food. She fell in a spell like state. She went to the river to take her bath. As she came out of the river, still in wet clothes, in broad daylight, her master materialized before her. He said that her prayer was heard by the God, and He was deeply touched by its extraordinary nature, and he was the Guru she had asked for. From now onwards she will get her nourishment through astral light. The Guru cast around them a protective aura so that nobody could disturb them. Then he taught her secret and sacred mantra and techniques which she had to perform daily for the rest of her life.

She never felt hungry, and had no excretions. She slept very little and meditated at night. She did her household duties during the day. Unlike Therese Neumann she practiced a secret Yoga technique.

    What was the purpose of her life? She herself answered it. That it was to prove that man was Spirit and to demonstrate that with Divine attachment he can gradually learn to live without food. This mote thinks that it was to show the majesty and glory of God. To show that He is outside the laws. He can do whatever He wants to. He can make impossible, possible. Also He sees everything and hears everything, because He saw and heard this twelve year old little girl in an anonymous village in rural India.

Yogananda asked her that why she doesn’t tell others this technique that would solve the world hunger. She said that she was strictly prohibited to tell it to others. That would be against God’s plan.

Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar.

This is the most amazing, unprecedented story in all of the spiritual or religious literature. I cannot say enough about its uniqueness. Nobody has come back in this world, after his death, and told some of his experiences of other world(s), in great detail, or any detail. Nobody has ever come back, except as a spirit. Period.

Readers must, by now, be familiar with Sri Yukteswar, the guru of Sri yogananda. About three months after his death, he reappeared in a Bombay hotel room where Sri Yogananda was staying. It happened in afternoon while he was sitting and meditating in bed. The whole room was transformed with light and splendor. Sri Yogananda was filled with ecstasy as he saw Sri Yukteswar. He tightly embraced his master, Sri Yukteswar

“ My son” the master said, tenderly

He told that his present flesh and blood body was an exact replica of the body buried in the sands of Puri. He was resurrected in another planet Hiranyaloka (Illumined Astral Planet ). The inhabitants of that planet were highly developed spiritually, but still they had some impurities that required further purification. Sri Yukteswar was assigned, by God, to help them in the purification process.

To be continued

81. Sri Yogananda. Part 3

All inhabitants of this planet had already achieved nirbikalpa samadhi ( the highest form of samadhi) in the world, before entry to this planet. They had passed through other planets where nearly everybody goes after death. They may have done redemptive work on other planets to qualify for entry in Hiranyaloka. There was another group of inhabitants who had come from a still higher (spiritually ) place called ‘ causal world’. They were near perfect beings.

Human soul is successively encased in three bodies; the causal body, the astral body, and the gross physical body. The causal body is the idea, the astral body is the mind, the seat of mental and emotional faculties, and the physical body we know well; arms, legs, heart; etc. A causal body remains in the realm of ideas. The inhabitants of Hiranyaloka possessed the astral and causal body. No physical body.

Sri Yukteshwar work involved with those astral beings who were preparing to enter the causal world.

               There were many astral planets, teeming with inhabitants. Astral being travelled at speeds faster than light. Astral world was much more beautiful and pure. All astral being still had feelings. Their life span was longer than on earth, while advanced astral beings lived, on average, from five hundred to a thousand years. They ate astral food. Advanced beings, such as those on Hiranyaloka, ate very little. Inhabitants of causal world did not eat at all.

Inhabitants of astral worlds, could be reborn on this earth, or in a superior world like Hiranyaloka, depending on their karma.

Causal beings, encased only in causal body, can materialize anything in sheer thought. They have immense powers. However they cannot merge with the Infinite Sea, because they have a body. Presence of a body means unfulfilled desire. Once they get rid of the remaining desires, the tiny human soul emerges, free at last, and becomes one with the sea of Spirit.

A man is in his physical body. In a dream he is in his astral body. In the dream, like astral beings, he can create any thing by sheer thought. If he enters into deep dreamless state, he transfers his I-ness to the causal body. He wakes up refreshed.

Visualizing is done through astral body. Deep meditation or introspection expresses a taste of the causal world

Those causal being who come back to Hiranyaloka are still imperfect. They desire the astral delights, so they are reborn in an inferior world.

Sri Yukteshwar stayed in that Bombay room for 2 hours. He indicated that he could travel even to the causal world.

Jesus Christ was free of the three encasement of the soul even before he was born.

Some thoughts. This mote has been struck by some excerpts:

1. ‘Spiritual advancement is solely measured by the depth of his bliss during meditation.’ Other mystics have not said so. Some ( like St John of Cross ) have even warned not to aim for bliss, because it may become a distraction, from the real aim of complete surrender to God, and be happy in whatever state He keeps you, even if it is aridity.

2. ‘Union with God is possible through self-effort, …………..and not on the arbitrary will of a Cosmic Dictator’ . These are the words of Lahiri Mahasaya. This is , according to this poor mote’s understanding, contrary to what all other great mystics have said. Everybody has said that God-realization is not in man’s hands. Ultimately it is God’s decision ( see blog 26). Nobody knows how He decides. God’s grace is not in our control

3. Meditation by Kriya Yoga gives such bliss that one likes to do more of it. More of spiritual bliss leads to less of evil passions. Base side of human nature gradually comes under one’s control. In simple words one becomes good. Therefore, Lahiri Mahasaya said, that without such a course, mere moral teachings are ineffective. This Mote testifies to the truth of his statement from personal experience ( see blog 43). Although I did not practice Kriya yoga but meditation through the path of love for God, my character was partially purified. The reason I am bringing this quotation at this blog, is because this is similar to what Shahab said about Islamic mysticism ( see blog 32); that one becomes a better person after following the mystical practices, , because he starts following the shiriat (or following the tenets of Islam ). Mystical practices are just enticing toys ( of dazzling lights and sounds ) to bring the seekers towards the real religion of shiriat. This is a critical difference between Lahiri Mahasaya and Shahab. Although, both attest to the beneficial effects of meditation, Shahab does not find any need to pursue the mystical practices, whereas in Hindu mysticism meditation is never to be abandoned, because it is the means to union with God. To Shahab, ideal person lives in the world, fully. He fulfils his duties as husband, father, citizen, with integrity, while following the five tenets of Islam. Meditation has no role. Union with God is absolutely impossible, and therefore, not desired.

82. Swami Ramdas. Part 1

If one wants to find someone who gave up, in one stroke, everything, to realize God, Swami Ramdas is a prime example. Like Lord Buddha, he left his wife, daughter, job, and home; and became a penniless traveler in India. In 1920, when he was 36 year old, love for God awakened in him. The yearning for Ram ( he calls God by the name of Ram, an ancient human incarnation of God, as chronicled in Hindu holy book, Ramayana). He struggled for about 2 years, a time of terrible stress and restlessness. He would meditate and utter His name at night, and that would give him peace. One day a voice came from Deep Void; “Despair not! Trust Me and you shall be free”. He started repeating Ram, Ram, Ram in the streets. Sleep decreased to 1-2 hours. Food was reduced too to milk and plantain ( a kind of large banana ). He continued his worldly duties.

One day, during this period, his father came to him, and initiated him to repeat the ancient Hindu mantram called - Ram mantram, all the time. The mantra was “Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram”. He thought of renouncing the world.

His inner voice ( he refers to it , for the rest of his life, as Ram talking to him and telling him what to do ) told him to open three books, which were his constant companion those days, at random. The first book, called ‘ Light of Asia’, about the life of Lord Buddha, had the following passage;

“For now the hour has come when I should quit…………………………………………………………”

Next he opened ‘New Testament’ and came across this quotation:

“And everyone who has forsaken houses or brethren or sisters, or father or mother or wife or children or lands for my name’s sake……………………………………………………………………………..”

Next book was Bhagavad Gita:

“Abandoning all duties come to me for shelter ……………………………..”

Next day he got two clothes, one to cover upper and the other the lower body, dyed in ochre (the garb of the renunciant).

On 27th December 1922, he wrote a farewell letter to his wife. He changed his name, from Vittal Rao to Ramdas (das means servant, Ramdas means servant of Ram) and boarded the first train, that came, at 5 am. He had with him 25 rupees and few books. When he reached the next railway junction, he got down. He did not know what next to do. He wandered around aimlessly till the evening. He approached a little hut at the roadside and asked the housewife for food. She gave him food, and reluctantly accepted some money.

He went to the railway station. He had no destination in mind. At midnight a bell rang, announcing the coming of a train. Another passenger asked him his intentions. He had none. He trusted Ram for having a plan. The other person promised to take him to a nearby town where he was heading and accepted money for the ticket. He took the train with the friend, uttering the mantram all the time. He rested for night on the verandah of a house. He walked to the town. The beautiful river Kaveri was flowing

               Here he was led into the secret of Ram’s plan for him; it was to take him on a pilgrimage to sacred shrines and holy rivers of India.

He discarded his white clothes and entrusted them to the river. He wore the ochre called clothes of a renunciant. He discarded the old life and took the new life.

He also took three vows:

1. He will live the rest of his life for Ram, in meditation and in service

2. He will live in chastity. He will consider all the women as mothers.

3. He will only eat the food he begs or is offered to him

From now onwards he did not know from where his next meal will come.

He came to a nearby dharmashala ( a resting place for pilgrims ) and sat on the ground with 2 other sadhus ( monks )for alms from the people passing by. The two sadhus were singing Rambhajans ( devotional songs to Ram ). After several hours of singing they found only 9 pies ( 64 pies made a rupee ). They were disappointed at the small amount for whole day’s work, not even enough for food. They said “ oh Ram is singing your glories for whole day worth only 9 pies ? ”

Ramdas then told them, that they should not be disappointed. There singing for Lord was priceless. He also reminded them that Ram does not desert those who depend on Him. He gave them one rupee.

The two sadhus became tearful. They asked Ram His pardon for doubting Him. Ram’s way of providing for the needs of the two sadhus was through His servant Ramdas

When Ramdas checked his begging lota (water vessel) he found 2 pies in it. He was overjoyed at his first alms. He thanked Ram and bought two small plantains with that money.

To be continued

83. Swami Ramdas. Part two

With his new life, the new clothes, the three vows, his restlessness ceased. A peace came upon him, as if Ram Himself had put His hands on his head. He got three gifts: emancipation from sorrow, pain and anxiety; never to return (at another place he lists freedom from fear, also). He became carefree; a child of Ram.

From the start of his journey till the end, about one year later, guides appeared to him all the time, and took him from one place to another and took care of his needs. He called all of them by the same name; sadhu-Ram ( monks sent by Ram ).

A sadhu sitting next to him asked him where he was going. Ramdas could not give an answer. The sadhu offered to take him to a famous temple. He had by this time 9 rupees left. He gave them to sadhu-Ram. The money was changed to smaller coins, and distributed to all the sadhus begging by the steps of temples. Now he was free of money.

After visiting that temple the guide left him; his duty over. He took the train to another famous temple. He was without a guide. He could not gain admission to the temple because he did not have the admission fee. He wandered in the ruins surrounding the temple. Noon came. Sitting on a stone he started reading Gita. A man came and sat next to him. Have you eaten anything? He asked. Ramdas replied that he had not, but there was nothing to worry because Ram will provide. What kind of food you take? He enquired. Plantains, Ramdas replied ( because he had few or no teeth ). The man brought a dozen plantains.

Next morning he went to the station. He had no guide. He saw a train standing. As he was going to enter the platform a railway official prohibited him on entering because he did not possess a ticket. Maybe it was the wrong train. Ram knew best.

Ramdas meditated till midday. A train came. Ramdas boarded the train. No official stopped him this time. On the train he met a sadhu-Ram who offered to take him to a certain town. Two educated young men, sitting across, talked between themselves , in English ( feeling sure that the uneducated looking Ramdas won’t be knowing English ), that how Ramdas was a fraud sadhu wearing the robe of a renunciant to eke out a living amongst the gullible villagers. Ramdas assured them, in English, that they were right. The two, were ashamed and repentant. They offered money for Ramdas’s food to sadhu-Ram (Ramdas had not eaten anything for the whole day )

               Sadhu-Ram took him to to see a famous saint; Maharshi Ramana . This is the same saint who was the mentor of Paul Brunton. This mote will write about Paul Brunton and Maharshi in future. Brunton’s books had a great impact on this mote. Maharshi lived in a thatched shed. There was great peace upon his face, a passionless look of tenderness in his eyes. He spread an aura of peace and joy in the hearts of people surrounding him. Ramdas asked the saint for his blessing for this humble slave.

The saint looked into his eyes for few minutes, and shook his head indicating that he had been blessed. A thrill of great joy ran through the body of Ramdas. His whole body shook like a leaf in the wind.

Now Ramdas wanted to meditate on Ram and sing Ram-bajhans in solitude. He chose a small cave and stayed for almost a month. He was filled with pure joy and bliss. He became mad, Ram mad. He would go to a nearby village every day and beg. When his lota would get a little more than half full he would return. He would boil his rice in the same lota by lighting a fire with few twigs.

One day he saw a man standing near the entrance to the cave. He thought that was Ram. He ran to him and clasped him in an embrace. “Ram! You have come “ he exclaimed. The poor man was frightened to no end, but then felt reassured that this was a harmless mad man since he was toothless. He saw Ram in everything

One day Ram’s command to move came. He went to the station and caught the first train. On the train a sadhu-Ram took over and took him to a temple on a hill. They climbed over 700 steps and walked three miles. By the time they reached the temple it was close to midnight. Cold was intense. They joined some sadhus sitting by a fire. They had to abandon the fire as the temple was closing. They spent a miserable night, shivering and sleepless.

Sadhu-Ram was grumbling about the cold and lack of sleep. Ramdas said, that it was all for the best, because now they had more time for singing the glories of Ram

84. Swami Ramdas. Part three

One day they arrived at the temple of Jagannath( human incarnation of God Vishnu ) in Puri ( see blog 5 ). There was a great crowd of pilgrims at the entrance, pushing and shoving each other. Entrance was impossible. Ramdas said “ Oh Ram , how can your poor slave have Your darshan ( a term used for seeing a great person or an idol of some deity ). Sri Jagannath murti (statue ) was inside the temple.

Suddenly a tall stout Brahmin, standing at the entrance, came to Ramdas, took him by the arm, and using all his strength, forced his way through the crowd, and took him inside. Soon he was standing by the big idol of Lord Jagannath. He was shown the temple. All this time Ramdas was filled with ecstasy, tears flowing down his face. At the end Ramdas asked the Brahmin priest, that why, he, a poor nobody, was chosen by him. He replied, that only Lord Jagannath knows the answer. When he saw Ramdas a sudden desire impelled him to take Ramdas inside.

In Kalighat (near Calcutta ), there was a big image of goddess Kali in black stone, with big red tongue hanging out of her mouth. Tears flowing, Ramdas asked the Mother of the Universe to have mercy on Her humble slave.

They had to spend a night in intense cold. As it was close to the river, there were lot of mosquitoes.

Sleep was impossible. Sadhu-Ram said that in Tirupati there was only cold which was relatively bearable, but here one has to contend with the stings of mosquitoes also.

Ramdas said that the Ram should be praised even more to make arrangements for them to stay awake and to perform Ram-bhajans. By meditation Ramdas stayed in a state of unawareness of his body the whole night.

Next he wanted to see the room where Sri Ramakrishna lived and performed his austerities ( see blog 19-24 ). As soon as he wished it, a young monk appeared and asked them whether they wanted to visit the places where the great saint lived few years ago. Ramdas replied that Ram brought his humble slave over here for that very reason. As he entered the room, he felt the electric like air in the room. ( this mote’s Hindu friend felt the same way when he visited that room ). He went into great ecstasy. Waves of bliss ran through his body. He lost his body and started rolling on the floor. He was still rolling half an hour later.

On Ram’s command he spent 8 days in a cave, in solitude. He would sing loudly Ram-mantram. Birds, squirrels, goats, and bullocks would listen.

One day he was having discussions with a friend about a religious movement. That friend supported it while Ramdas opposed it. The friend became abusive and left. Next day he came, very anxious and agitated. He was unable to speak!. His throat had choked up. He asked Ramdas for forgiveness. Ramdas said that it had nothing to do with him, and God never punishes.

Suddenly, he took hold of Ramdas’s hand and put it on his throat.

Strangely, his throat cleared, and in a few minutes he was as good as new.

In the Himalayan tomb of Badrinath, he could not get entrance into the temple due to the crowd of pilgrims at the door. There was a smaller side door reserved for the sick. The gatekeeper told Ramdas that he could go inside if he pretended he was sick. Ramdas said, that he would not lie. The gatekeeper then changed his mind and took him inside.

He was directed to visit Ajmer, where there is the tomb of famous Muslim saint, Moin-ud-din Chishti (see blog 63 ). As he descended from the train at night, he landed up in sleeping in a corner of the railway compound. When his nose touched the bare ground, he could smell urine. He slept in that ground, praising Ram, for showing him his worth. All for his own good

Next day as he was walking in the city, a tall and stout Muslim approached him and signed him to follow. Ramdas obediently followed . He took him to the tomb of the great saint. The Muslim friend asked him to kneel and enlist himself as a chela ( disciple ) of Muhammad ( peace be upon him ). Ramdas did as he was told . He also told the friend that he had always been a chela of Muhammad (peace be upon him )

To be continued

85. Swami Ramdas. Part Four

Ram’s protection. Here are two incidents (out of dozens) of the protection afforded to Ramdas by Ram. He was staying in a small deserted temple in a Jungle for one and a half months. He would spend whole night, sitting or resting on a mat, singing Ram-bhajans or meditating. There were a number of wild creatures in the jungle surrounding the open door of the temple: 20 to 30 wild pigs, and long black serpents. He would freely walk through the so called ferocious pigs at night, none molested him. In the morning when he would shake the mat of his seat, there would be a number of scorpions beneath

                 Once Ramdas climbed to the top of a hill. He was standing on the brow of a huge precipice; the bottom of the hill was several hundred feet. Walking over this vertical cliff was an act of madness, but it attracted Ramdas. He was walking with both hands holding dry grass. Suddenly the dried grass in his left hand came off and his left foot slipped. Now he was dangling, by the side of the precipice. But he was unruffled, repeating the name of Ram. With great effort he pulled himself up, by Ram’s help. That night his mind kept on going over that incident, again and again, and the miraculous power of Ram’s protection.

Miraculous events. There are many strange incidents narrated in his trilogy of books. He could heal patients by laying his hands on them and praying to Ram for their recovery. Many would recover, but in one incident the recovery was temporary. One time people saw him, from a distance, on a hill with two devotees and a little later in a nearby village. Once a woman saw the vision of a monk seated at the bedside of his deathly sick husband. The husband (a friend of Ramdas ) recovered. The woman, who had never seen Ramdas, gave a clear description of Ramdas, and instantly recognized him as the same monk who was sitting by her husband’s bedside that night.

Ramdas himself said on his world tour, in response to a question, that he has often seen that a very depressed person, becomes peaceful after he spends some time in his company.

I have omitted dozens of fascinating events, but I cannot ignore the following incident. It touched me at the core:

In a village, Ram ordered him to go door to door for foodstuff. Ramdas had stopped doing this type of begging for some time, because he did not cook. If somebody would gave him food, he would eat, otherwise stay hungry. But this was Ram’s command. After 2-3 hours of begging he got some wheat flour, dal (lentil ) and one anna ( 16 annas make one rupee ). A merchant standing on a balcony called him and said, that if he wanted food, he could come at 12 o’clock and have food served to him. Ramdas accepted. It was about 10 am. He was sitting on a verandah of a house, waiting, when he saw an old man begging for alms in hot sun. He called him and gave the proceeds of his begging. The man fell on the feet of Ramdas, and said:

“At last God has shown Himself to me. I have been praying for years to see God. Is this a dream? I have been begging whole day and got only half an anna. I have a sickly wife and two children. They were going to starve”

Vision of Jesus. Ramdas was in a cave in Himalayas. He had been fasting (except water) for 5 days, thinking incessantly of God. There was no light in the cave. Suddenly, one night, the cave was filled with a strange light. Ramdas opened his eyes, and found a shining person sitting before him. Something in him at once told him that this was the great prophet Jesus Christ. He was dressed in a long chocolate colored robe. Locks of hair were falling on his shoulders. His face showed utmost sweetness and serenity, glowing with divine radiance. Most prominent were his eyes which glowed like stars. Ramdas was transfixed and went into ecstasies. There was another man with Him. Christ spoke a few words, but Ramdas could not understand him. This vision lasted for maybe few seconds. Ramdas was lost in ecstasy for the whole night

Vision of Krishna/Ram/God. After his blessing from Maharshi Ramana, he returned to his cave. Suddenly he witnessed Ram, as Lord Krishna, dancing and dancing with His flute. Ramdas was seeing him with open eyes. But Ramdas was not satisfied. He knew the vision would soon end and he will revert to darkness. So he begged “Lord it is all very well but it won’t do”. He begged for the ‘great vision’ the ‘vision of visions’, which stays forever, never leaving.

And it came one morning apocalyptically: the entire landscape changed. All was Ram, nothing but Ram, wherever Ramdas looked! The trees, the shrubs, the ants, the cows, the cats, the dogs, the inanimate things. Ramdas danced with joy, like a boy who has been given a lovely present. He embraced a tree because it was Ram. He caught a man (I have written earlier) who became scared.

               The bliss and joy became permanent, like a torrent of water rushing downhill and changing to a level stream.

A comment. Ramdas is a sweet saint, a humble saint, a lovable saint. He is a not a mighty saint like St. Augustine. He has given the most candid and detailed account of his struggles, his methods, and his conclusions, much more than any other modern saint. He wrote many books and started an ashram which is still working.

He did not achieve God-realization by secret yoga techniques, not by concentrating on spiritual eye, not by breathing exercises (pranayama), not by following a guide (guru), not by adherence to the tenets of any religion. Then how did he get it?

In this humble mote’s opinion, it is by complete surrender to God. This is the last step one must take to achieve God-realization. The closest phrase in Islamic mysticism which describes it is called Twakkal  on God.

86. Dilip Kumar Roy

Dilip Kumar Roy, was a lover of music. Music was his life. He was highly educated for his time, graduated with first class honors in mathematics and studied in Cambridge University, England, in 1919. He became friendly with famous men like philosopher Bertrand Russell, novelist Romain Rolland, leader Mahatma Gandhi and revolutionary Subhash Chandra Bose. But he was restless, some other world was calling him. A different world. God was calling him.

He chose Sri Aurobindo his Guru, and entered his ashram in 1928 and stayed there till his Guru’s death in 1950, or longer. He remained a singer, poet, and musician. He started an ashram of his own and wrote over sixty books. He also became a mystic, as the following episodes prove it:

His aunts and grandmother wanted him to marry, while he was tempted and repelled, simultaneously. He had taken a vow in front of the picture of Sri Ramakrishna to stay celibate. His greatest wish was to meet Lord Krishna, face to face. The matchmakers invited a girl of exquisite beauty and culture for afternoon tea, and asked Dilip to sing before the audience. Dilip loved to sing and show his talent.

He was torn in dilemma. Finally he prayed in front of a picture of Sri Ramakrishna, with tears rolling down his cheeks, to help him.

Suddenly he heard a distinct voice inside him, saying; “ Leave at once. Do not be here in the afternoon”

He took a taxi and went to a friend. He remained, forever, celibate

Once he was taken , by his grandfather, to Swami Brahmananda( Sri Ramakrishna used to call him his spiritual son ). The Swamiji asked him to sing some song about the Mother. Dilip was overjoyed. As he sang, the Swamiji became oblivious to time and space and went into smadhi. When the song ended, among other things, Swamiji said, “ do you know when he was singing, I saw an aura of protection around him……..Thakur’s( Sri Ramakrishna ) aura…………..and I know what I am speaking about.”

               The second time he saw Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Madame Mira Richard ) together, in 1928, they blessed him and put their palms on his head, he had an ineffable descent of bliss and peace. He was one with the sky, the trees, the sands. He sat on the beach, stunned. He felt a beloved Presence. He just sat there in ecstatic half-trance, in silent happiness.

               On January 31, 1969, in his midnight of despair, he received his greatest boon, the vision of Lord Krishna’a lotus feet.

               On May 5, 1972, he had an experience of annihilation of I-ness, ahatma. It is called Shunyam in Hindu mysticism. It is considered a major experience.

On February 28, 1954, as he started meditating, a profound peace coursed down his body, in waves, from the crown of his head to the base of his spine. He had this experience before, but it used to last no more than 24 hours, this time it lasted for more than a month. As if it was being fed by a secret source.

               His greatest desire was to see Krishna’s Feet ( which he did in 1969 ). He had, in October 1951, no hope, that his wish will be granted, because the sun of his life, his Guru, had died nine months ago. Now there was nobody to rescue him. He was in deep despair. He did not have a spiritual experience of his own. He wanted a sign from God, that He was there, listening to him.

He said, if You are a redeemer of the derelict, don’t let me peter out in frustration after more than 20 years of yoga; away from my home, my friends, my relations and everything that men cherish.

               He had a piece of art in the form of Figures of Lord Krishna and Mira in his prayer room. It had a three pronged plug. The figures would light up when the plug was inserted in the socket on the wall. Every night before going to bed, Dilip would diligently remove the plug.

               As he was praying, he heard a clear voice saying, “ go and see, He has lit the bulb”

He at once went to the prayer room. Lord’s figure was alive with light! The plug was back in the wall.

After a while doubts start assailing him again. What if he had not taken out the plug in the first place ?

He carefully let the figures stay luminous by keeping the plug in the socket and started praying again for Lord to show him the miracle again by removing the plug.

A voice said; “ doubting still; go, the plug has been taken out.”

He went to the prayer room. The plug was out. The figures were in darkness!

               In April 1943 he was party to a wonderful event. He was visiting his friend Sri Krishnaprem in Mirtola, India. In the evening he was singing to his three friends a deeply spiritual song, written by him, with deep emotion. The song is “ Krishna: the evergreen”. As he reached the last line, he forgot himself, and tears started flowing down his cheeks.

When the song ended, a deep silence ensued. Some eyes were teary.

One of them said, “ You know Ma was standing, listening, at the door”

They were horrified, because Ma ( guru of Krishnaparem ) was deathly sick and bedridden

They rushed to her room. She was sitting in her bed, oblivious, in smadhi.

When she came out of smadhi, she asked them. Did you see Him?

“ See who?”

“ Krishna was here. First he came for a second in my room……and stepped across the threshold……I could not follow Him that way…….till I reached the verandah……..and saw Him standing beside You (Dilip), listening…….Yes, Baba …..I did see Him, with open eyes….as I often do…….You didn’t see?”

“No, Ma, but I did feel…….”

But she went on…… “And He was standing…..beside you…… person……looking so… tenderly… you……And I….I appealed to Him: “ O Thakur, give him the blessed boon of vision…so he may see You….You Yourself have come down to hear his song….blessed blessed boy”

I bowed down, kissed her feet and wept.

Krishnaparem said later, that he also had felt His presence vividly

87. Indra Devi . Part one

Indra Devi was seven years old, when she picked up the fallen walking stick of a fakir ( a Muslim mystic ), and handed it back to him in Ziarat ( Baluchistan, Pakistan ). The fakir said that this was not their first meeting and it won’t be the last, and that he will come to her in her hour of need.

She was fifteen years old when she was bitten by a dog and developed rabies (a universally fatal disease at that time) and hydrophobia (fear of water). As she was near death, her brother happened to meet the same fakir, who came to her bedside at once, and cured her. His name was Rajib Sain, and Indra saw him later, a few times, in her inner vision.

In May 1935, at 3 am, a female voice woke her up from sleep and told her to get up and leave the house at once. Voice came repeatedly. She left the bed and ran outside, and told some relatives to do the same also. An earthquake came and house collapsed. Thirty people from that house died.

Soon she realized that she was different. She had a deep aversion to sex. In 1945, when her son was five years old, things began to happen rapidly. She realized that she could read other person’s thoughts, unconsciously. But she could not read any one’s thoughts, deliberately. Twice she saw a skeleton, instead of her face, in the mirror. Then a voice stated telling her; “Why have you come? Have you come for this?..........”

She had a vision of Jesus Christ:………………………………………..A few men with heavy clumsy clothes………..there was someone bent double, dragging on his back a roughly hewn tree shaped like a cross. It was too heavy for him……………….She pushed her way through the crowd, and drawing near the person, dragging, cried out: “Oh Lord, why do you allow them to do this to you?” she went down on her knees and wept. He who looked so frail and weary looked up at her, and she saw that His eyes were not sad………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….”

Her friend told her that she was psychic

She met her guru, Dilip Kumar Roy ( see blog 86) in 1946. When she first saw him an electric current shot up from the base of her spine to her neck. He refused to take her as his disciple and advised her to come and visit Sri Aurobindo’s (guru of Dilip) ashram and take him as her guru. She had no idea of an ashram, and dreaded ashram life. She was a rich, modern, , vivacious, cultured, educated woman who loved to dance.

In February 1949, when her second son was one year old, she finally went to visit Pondicherry and had the darshan( seeing a holy person or place ) of Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Her whole body went cool and numb.

Dada ( elder brother, Dilip Kumar Roy ) told her that she was ‘called’, but she had to choose to be chosen. She decided that she should go back to her home and see if the ‘call’ was real.

She went back to her family and was very happy to see everybody, but next day she felt desolate.

Next day she sat down for meditation, for the first time in her life. An electric current rose from the base of her spine to her head. Peace like a block of ice descended on her. Her body became numb. There was no thought, no prayer, and no ecstasy. Next he felt somebody shaking her. Five and a half hour had passed. She soon became God-intoxicated. That state lasted for three months. She would also have period of intense sadness and despair.

One day, as she was meditating, an electric current shot up from the base of her spine and went up to her head. Her head opened, as it seemed to her, and she found herself floating in the air. She could see her body seated on the floor (compare with St Teressa of Avilla, blog 76). There was no thought, just peace and bliss. This was savikalpa smadhi

She started feeling the presence of God around her all the time.

She had the most amazing experience of black magic in August 1949. A sadhu (monk) of extremely beautiful features came to her and asked her to be her associate. He said that, jointly, they could achieve great things. Indra refused. He threatened her. His voice, blood -shot eyes would come in her vision. She became dangerously sick. It turned out that the magician, through her maid, was poisoning her. Dilip Kumar Roy and Sri Aurobindo were contacted. Sri Aurobindo wrote back that she should immediately come to his and Mother’s ashram for protection, and that she was in mortal danger and would otherwise die. She left her house on a stretcher. The magician did not leave her even in the ashram. He tried to choke her. She found bruises and fingerprints on her throat. The magician appeared in her bathroom in the form of Dada. She cried out loudly for her guru. Immediately the spell was broken and she saw that the form was of the magician. He shoved her into the bathtub.

Next day she was told during meditation that the magician’s hold on her will cease by the next full moon.

Within a month the magician had a paralytic stroke and died in great agony.

To be continued

88. Indra Devi. Part 2

She entered Sri Aurobindo and Mother’s ashram in 1949, at the age of 29. She had multiple smadhi experiences. Generally, they were two types:

1. She would feel being drawn inwards. She would feel complete absorption, but consciousness was not completely lost. She would experience ecstasy or yearning. Sometimes she felt viraha (pangs of separation). She would, occasionally, dance in rapture. Such state is called bhava smadhi

2. She would experience an electric current, starting from the base of spine and shooting upwards to the crown of head. Then she would feel like head opening up, and setting her free, floating in the space. There would be peace, waves of ecstasy, thoughtlessness, and freedom from time and space. Yet she would remain conscious of her personality, her I-ness. Such state is called savikalpa smadhi.

3. Three times she was blessed with the experience of nirvikalpa smadhi ( the highest form of smadhi ) It started with waves traversing from the base of spine to the head, feeling of opening of the head, and floating in space. But, additionally, she completely lost her identity. I-ness was gone. There was nobody to experience. No God, no devotee. She had lost all consciousness to become consciousness. There was just bliss and one vast Reality……………………………………………………………………………..

Miracles. She displayed many psychic feats. She could, at times, see events hundreds of mile away and predict future happenings. However she once showed this powerful miracle:

Her guru sang a song which put her in deep smadhi. As soon as she came out of smadhi, she asked the others whether she should get some prasad (consecrated candy). None was available. She walked down the steps and got some sandy earth. She took it in her folded hands and went into smadhi. It turned into granulated prasad. It was distributed to the three persons encircling her. Then she folded her empty hands and went again into smadhi. When she opened her hands there was some more prasad. Dilip put the remaining prasad in an envelope. He also stored the sandy soil, which was originally been given to Indra, in a separate envelope. They went for dinner. After dinner, Indra, told Dilip that the soil has also partially turned into prasad. Dilip rushed to his room. Envelope was opened. Part of the mud was still mud, the rest had turned into prasad.

Mirabai. Mirabai is one of the most famous saints of India. Her songs of love and yearning for Lord Krishna have been sung by devotees for the last five centuries. Her spirit started communicating with Indra. Indra became a ward of Saint Mira. Mira sang her songs in original Hindi of that time to Indra, who would then dictate them to Dilip, who would then sing them back to Indra. She eventually dictated more than eight hundred of such songs. The songs were in a language that Indra did not even know!( her folks spoke Punjabi and Urdu, although Urdu is similar to Hindi ).

Some thoughts. 1.: “If one has read all the scriptures in the world………………….learned all the postures, killed all desires, learned to sit still for hours…………..yet his bigotry is intact……………………he feels other religions, other prophets, other modes of worship are wrong and only his way is right, then one may be anything but he is not a yogi.”

2. Her love for her Beloved is the reality of her life. It is like air to her. Whether or where she shall arrive is not very important because all she needs is to love Him and seek Him. There is no urge to become anything at journey’s end.

Her prayer is to give herself completely to Him. It is not her aim to help or better the world. Everything which comes from God is a blessing: joy or pain, love or rejection. “Only reveal to me Your will and the way to do it. Let me become what You want me to become. Good or bad, whatever I am, belongs to You………that You draw me closer to You is all I ask. to become Yours is my job. The rest is Your business”

3. “ No doubt at a certain stage of evolution Light will be able to descend in matter and succeed in transforming the physical. But when will that happen Indra does not know. Anyway, this is His outlook and He will solve the problem in His own time. The great prophets and seers may talk about it because of their compassion for suffering humanity, but Indra is neither a missionary nor a saint. She is His child.

89. Paul Brunton. Part one

Paul Brunton went to India in search of Yogis and Fakirs, in early nineteen thirties.

He had heard that in remote areas of India and Tibet, there exist very very few men who had trained there mental and physical faculties to an extraordinary degree and possessed occult powers. He was determined to find these supermen, if they still existed. The thought of finding spirituality, or divine light was not his main aim, although he considered that too. It is not clear from his book, which he published in 1934, whether he believed in God before he went to India. He writes in the first chapter of his book (‘a search in secret India’) that not too long ago he thought God a hallucination of human mind.

This book is one of the most delightful books to read. It is full of suspense and adventure. The author writes beautiful prose, each word fits nicely like a jewel. It is a story which reminds one of explorers like Magellan, and Columbus. The destination hidden and uncertain.

Brunton landed in Bombay and met a real magician, who had thirty disembodied entities at his command. The magician demonstrated his powers by showing him examples which defied any logical explanation.

His first encounter with a genuine Fakir was with, a hundred or so, years old woman (Hazrat Babajan ), who was famous in that area. She was sick and bedridden. She gazed in Brunton’s eyes and said that he has been called to India. At that time he did not believe it, because he had come to India at his own free will, but at the end of his journey he was not so sure. One other person, subsequently, said the same thing.

He met his first Yogi, Brama, who was still in training. He practiced Yoga of body control. He could stop his heart for few seconds. He could go in trance like condition and stop his breathing. He claimed that his master was four hundred year old. His master was several hundred miles away, but he could communicate with him. His master told Brama that in previous life Brunton was one of them, but now he had come in white skin, and to tell him that soon he will meet a master. Light will come to him after that, and that was certain. He will not go from India empty-handed.

Brunton learnt of a yogi who lived alone in a cottage in strict seclusion. He spent his days in deep trance like condition. He had come to that place eight years ago from nowhere. He squatted in yoga posture, in a piece of wasteland which was close to a field where now his cottage had been built, in the suburbs of busy Madras city. He talked to no one. He did not change his posture. He had no overhead coverage. So he sat there under burning sun and pouring Monsoon rains, clad only in a loincloth. He would sometime go for begging food. One time street boys started beating and persecuting him regularly, but he would never say a word, and undergo the maltreatment patiently. Once police came to know they stopped it. Eventually his fame spread and somebody built this cottage for him. He was a disciple of a famous Fakir, Marakayar, who had since died. He had come to that wasteland at the orders of his master, who had described this place to him, and told him to practice yoga over there till he became perfect.

Brunton saw the man sitting, unmoving, like a statue, on a dais, in a yoga posture. What struck him most was that for two hours that Brunton watched him, he did not blink! His eyes were open, staring straight ahead. Finally he showed signs of awareness of his surroundings. Brunton introduced himself and posed questions. The mystic gave this answer:

Seek your own self, and you shall know the Truth which is hidden therein

                       This mote is struck by the fact, that two other mystics, Sudhei Babu and Maharishee Ramana whom Brunton later met, said exactly the same thing. All three talked of self and not God! Is God and self the same?

There was another swami sitting, he told Brunton to meet his master who could answer all his questions. The swami also said that it was his master’s power which had drawn him to India!

Next day, unexpectedly, he met the spiritual head of South India, His Holiness Shri Shankara Acharya. He told His Holiness that he wanted to meet a high caliber Yogi, who could give some sort of proof of his attainment. His Holiness replied; that he knew of two such men . One of them was a recluse, but the other was the same master that the swami had mentioned.

That night he suddenly woke up around three. The atmosphere seemed to be charged. The room was totally dark. Suddenly he became aware of a bright object at the foot of the bed. He saw the face and form of His Holiness Shri Shankara!

Lips smiled and seem to say “Be humble and then you shall find what you seek!”

To be continued.

90. Paul Brunton. Part two

Next day the swami took Paul Brunton to the hill of Arunachala where the Maharishee lived. The Maharishee had come to that hill about thirty years ago, as a young man of seventeen, and never left that place even for a day. A mysterious force pulled him from his home. He left family, studies, and arrived at Arunachala without money. He sat in meditation, naked, near the temple, and talked to no one for three years. He was persuaded by the priests to wear a loin cloth. After sometime he moved to a cave in the hill and pursued his trance like state for several years. He would go to the village and beg for food. His fame spread. He now lived in a shed (hall). He talked extremely little and sat and slept on a divan in a corner of the hall. Visitors came everyday and sat in semicircles on the red-tiled floor at a respectable distance from the Maharishee.

Brunton saw a man seated in a rigid posture on the divan, completely immobile, gazing outside. After one hour, Brunton was convinced that the Maharishee was in a trance. After one hour of sitting in the hall, Brunton became aware that a deep peace had come upon his soul. All the questions he had prepared in his mind to ask from Maharishee were gone. He did not feel any need for questions.

Brunton had two interviews with the Maharishee. He asked the Maharishee whether he could help him to experience enlightenment, or if his search for Truth was a mere delusion?

After some preliminaries, the Maharishee replied “there is only one thing to be done……look into your own self……..”

He further added “Through deep reflection on the nature of one’s self, and through constant meditation, light can be found.”

Brunton asked that what was the average time required for such a quest.

Maharishee replied that there was no average. It depended on the maturity of the seeker’s mind, gunpowder lighted at once whereas much time was needed to light coal.

That night, in the hall, Brunton fell in half-sleep and had a vivid dream:

‘He had become a boy of five, and was holding the hand of Maharishee, who had become a tall towering figure. They climbed the hill of Arunachala………………………………….Maharishee looked at him and he at Maharishee………………he felt a change occurring in him………………………..all his previous fears, desires changed into nothingness……an indescribable peace fell upon him………………………………….

Maharishee bade him look down. To his astonishment he found the Western hemisphere sprawled far below, with millions of people………………

Maharishee’s distinct voice comes in his ears: ‘ when you go back , you shall have this peace which you now feel…………………..but you shall have to forget your self…………….and turn it over to THAT’

He woke up. He met Maharishee’s eyes. Maharishee was fixedly looking into his eyes.

On his second interview he learnt some more pearls of wisdom:

‘Maharishee said that every person was ever wanting happiness. …………………………Therefore man’s true nature was happiness…………………….his unconscious search for happiness was the search for his true self. The true self was imperishable; therefore when he finds it, he finds everlasting happiness.

When a man finds his true self, something else arises from the depth of his being, which takes possession of him. That something is eternal, divine, and infinite.

Happiness and true self were identical.’

He also became fully convinced that a mysterious power arose from the Maharishee which imparted peace and tranquility upon others

Brunton resumed his travels of India. In Benares, one of the holiest cities of Hinduism, he heard of an astrologer who was very good in his craft. Since Brunton did not believe in astrology, he was intrigued, and decided to give it a test. He went to the astrologer’s house with a friend. He was startled by the death-like countenance, incredibly lean body, and unearthly slow movements of Sudhei Babu, the astrologer. They discussed some subjects. Sudhei Babu invited him for more talk, next day.

Sudhei Babu told him that he was in possession of some parts of a thousands of year old book called Brahma Chinta, written by the sage Bhrigu. It taught a different form of yoga than any other. In this yoga, the spirit of Bhrigu guides the practitioner. One does not need any teacher; one’s own soul becomes his teacher. The purpose of this yoga was to go into a ‘Holy Trance ‘. In that condition, man becomes free from his surroundings. He discovers the soul as a real living thing within himself; its bliss, peace and power overwhelms him. When one enters into the sacred trance, a kind of vacuum is created in the mind; God…………………………the soul, the higher power, fills this vacuum. There is intense happiness. One feels a great love for the whole of creation.

“Once, during the sacred trance, I saw Jesus.”

Sudhei Babu taught Brunton this secret yoga over the next several days

To be continued

91. Paul Brunton. Part Three

One day, while motoring, he saw a holy man and his disciple by the road. The holy man was meditating. He was dressed in a loin cloth only. Something in the man’s face attracted Brunton. He offered them a ride to the nearby village. The yogi’s name was Chandi Das, and according to the disciple, was gifted with exceptional powers. They had been wandering, village to village, now for two years.

At night, he interviewed the yogi. During the interview the conversation turned to time. The yogi asked Brunton if he was sure there was such a thing as time. Brunton implied, that there was present, past, and future, therefore, there was time, because, otherwise, past and future should be here at this time, but that was not our experience. The yogi countered that such was Brunton’s experience, not necessarily true. Puzzled, Brunton asked Chandi Das whether he could see future. The yogi replied “if I wished……yes.”

Then he uttered this sentence, which this mote has thought about for years.

Only in part. The lives of men do not move so smoothly that every detail is ordained for them.”

In the discussion about fate versus free will, this sentence carries great significance, because this pronouncement was uttered by somebody who knew what he was talking about.

The yogi told him many things about his future. Some of them had already come true by the time the book was written while others still waited the verdict of time ( see footnote )

One of the things, the yogi said, was that to achieve his goal; he must turn his car back to Bombay. He also said that he will get his wish before the next full moon. A sage awaited him, with whom he was tied by ancient ties. (These predictions came true).

Brunton followed the advice. After great mental conflict and ill health, he decided to cancel his berth in the ship, sailing next week to England, and returned to Maharishee in Arunachala.

Brunton asked Maharishee to become his master. Maharishee refused, and said, “You must find the master within you, within your own spiritual self.” He spent several weeks with Maharishee. Sometimes Maharishee would visit his hut. One day he told Brunton, “The same force which drew you to this place from Bombay, drew me to it from Madura (his hometown )”.

Brunton would get ineffable tranquility by sitting for a while in the neighborhood of Maharishee. Maharishee was not a yogi in the orthodox sense, he had never studied any system of yoga, and he had never practiced under a teacher.

One night, while sitting in the hall, Brunton got his first smadhi. It lasted for about two hours. He lost all consciousness of his surroundings. He felt rapture. He found himself outside the rim of world consciousness. Earth disappeared. He found himself in the midst of blazing light………………………..

Brunton has described his experience in six pages of his book.

His friend, sitting next to him, told, “the Maharishee watched you closely all the time………” Brunton lost his power of speech for fifteen minutes.

Maharishee returned to his divan and looked intently at Brunton. Their eyes met. Their eyes were locked, across the room, for the next forty minutes. They did not exchange a word. His eyes, as always, had a strange luster.

Brunton reminded himself that never had he met any man with such remarkable eyes. In so for human eyes could mirror divine power, it was a fact that the sage’s did that.

Brunton was happy to achieve certitude. He was also happy that he did not sacrifice his rational way of thinking to blind credulity (also called faith or belief in religion)

What was the purpose of Maharishee’s life, which many Westerners would consider a waste?

This mote thinks his life served three purposes:

1. According to Brunton, people like Maharishee, ensure the continuity down history of a divine message from regions not easily accessible to us all. They make us believe in God

2. They tell us of a method to reach God, or one’s own self. They tell us what self was and what were its characteristics, and why should one try to reach it. Why is such quest the noblest of all quests?

3. Maharishee, in his own invisible way, applied balm to the wounds of tortured souls, everyday. He imparted peace and tranquility upon them. Even his close disciple , Ramiah, had this power, as experienced by Brunton himself, in his hour of distress.

Remember in blog 89, Brunton stated, that not too long ago, he thought of God as a delusion. Let me quote from his book, “ a hermit in the Himalayas” published in 1937:

‘ I think the final news which I bring…………………….that of God’s reality. The highest power is no mere article of belief to me, but a verity…..authentic, undeniable and supreme………..’

‘ His language is nothing else than this stillness………….we must learn His language……………..’

‘ be still, and know that I am God’

To be continued
Note. Chandi Das said that Brunton would not again meet a saint in Bengal, who Brunton was planning to meet, that he would leave India by the next solstice, that he would become very sick as he left India, and that he would visit India three times in his life.

92. Paul Brunton. Part Four

There are two spiritually noteworthy episodes during his travels in Egypt (‘a search in secret Egypt’). One is an account of the night he spent in the Great Pyramid and the other is his meeting with an Adept.

Night in Great Pyramid. Brunton spent a night in King’s chamber. The place was pitch dark and there was oppressive death like silence. Brunton was a psychic. He soon felt implacably hostile forces surrounding him. At first he could not see them, but could only feel them with absolute certainty. The atmosphere became uncanny and frightening. With intense concentration of mind he became able to see them. At first there were shadows flitting in shadowless room. Soon they took form. Malevolent faces took form quite close to his face. A dark apparition advanced, looked at him sinisterly, and raised its hands menacingly.

After some time the climax came. Monstrous elemental fiendish creations surrounded him and filled him with unimaginable revulsion. In a few minutes he suffered such torment that he could not forget it for the rest of his life

Atmosphere suddenly changed to peace and benevolence. He was soon aware of two tall beings clad in white robes and sandals. They appeared to be high priests of some ancient Egyptian order. One of them said, in a voice “why dost thou come to this place, seeking to evoke the secret powers? Are mortal ways not enough for you? ”

“They are not”

The priest warned him of the dangers, but Brunton was adamant

“He who gains touch with us loses kin with the world. Are you prepared to walk alone?”

“I do not know” Brunton replied

“So be it. Thou hast chosen. There is no recall………” And he left.

The other priest made him lie flat on the stone sarcophagus. He did something. Brunton felt an ascending paralysis, which started from his feet and rose to his brain. He was conscious but completely paralyzed. He felt like being going out of a hole and passing out in space.

He was free.

He had changed into a mental being. He felt blissfully free, in this fourth dimension.

Somebody turned him from a horizontal to a standing position. He was both standing and floating simultaneously.

He gazed down upon the deserted body of flesh and bone, which was lying prone and motionless on the stone block.

He noted an umbilical cord like faint silvery string connecting him, the new him, to the motionless body on the stone.

A distinct idea formed in his mind;

“……… I have proven that I am a soul. I do not need convincing anymore. I can exist apart from my body.”

The priest appeared at his side and said prayers “O AMEN, O AMEN……………….”

Then he said “thou hast learnt a great lesson. Man whose soul was born out of Undying, can never really die…………”

The priest told him some other things and also took him to a secret chamber.

The reader can read the details in Brunton’s book.

He regained consciousness. He had fever for three months.

Meeting with an adept. Brunton was doing studies in the Valley of the Tombs of Kings. One morning, he climbed up the Theban hills with his donkey. On the summit he saw a man sitting on a low boulder. When the man looked at him, Brunton was so impressed by the stranger’s eyes that he became speechless. He became aware that he was in the presence of an utterly unusual man. The eyes were large and beautiful, perfect circles of luminous color, and the whites were so pronounced as to give supernatural depth to the jet-black pupils. They were penetrating and hypnotic. Brunton felt that they read his soul and then ruled it.

Suddenly Brunton saw a radiant spoked wheel of light revolve before him ……… high speed. With its working there was a receding of his physical moorings………

“Sir, I feel sure that you will understand a peculiar experience which I have just had whilst standing near to you”

“I do”

Brunton said something else.

The stranger said “I deliberately wanted you to have this experience. I willed that it should silently carry to you a certain message; and it has”.

“You mean----?”

“That now you recognize the Order to which I belong”

The Adept told him that this was not a chance meeting, but a higher power had first ordained and then arranged it.

The Adept told him about himself and the ways of fellow Adepts. They preferred to work in secrecy. They could communicate with each other at will and at any distance. They could temporarily take over the body of a willing person-------usually a disciple.

They hold the spiritual welfare of mankind at heart, and battle against the dark forces at their own level. They are not permitted to destroy evil forces or evil men by Nature’s laws. Their powers were restricted to protection of persons and institutions which were under their shield.

The purpose of this meeting was, for Brunton to warn mankind, through his writing, that with digging of these ancient tombs, evil spirits which were captive in these tombs for thousands of years, were being released. The people buried in some of these tombs dealt in black magic. These malevolent forces were going to harm humanity, and if the digging was not stopped, mankind will have to pay a price. However, there were good sages too. Pharoah Akhnaton , who preached one God, 3500 years ago, was one such.( see footnote)

In their next meeting the Adept gave this astonishing statement, that some of the Adepts of ancient Egypt were still alive!

Their bodies were buried in secret tombs. Their bodies were intact. To all intents and purposes, they were dead , with no respiration or heart beat. Their tremendous spirituality protected their bodies from insects and decay. But they were not dead but entranced. Their spirits roamed freely in the world. They communicated with each other and alive Adepts

There was one Adept who was in his tomb since 260 B.C., another more than 3000 B.C., and still another for 10,000 years. They were all working very actively in secret for the spiritual welfare of mankind.

As I am writing these lines, a strange thought comes to me, that maybe Data Gunj Bakhash ( blog 62-4 ) is an Adept just like those described above. His intense interest for welfare of humanity and active help to needy for a thousand years, resembles those of Adepts who are dead but not really dead.

Who knows such sublime secrets, certainly, not this unworthy mote.

Note. Some times after Brunton’s death his son had a dream. In the dream Brunton said that over here his teacher was Amenhotep. His son, after some search, found out that Amenhotep was the original name of Akhnaton (in ‘ Paul Brunton, a personal view by Kenneth Hurst )

93. Mysticism. part one

I feel that I should tell what I have so for learnt about mysticism, in the final blog of this book, after travelling on this toad for thirteen and a half years. It has to be an interim report, subject to revision. I have not crossed any important landmarks, as outlined by other accomplished seekers, and I have not travelled long enough. Great Qalander told my brother that he came in that area fifty-fifty-five years ago. But still I have made some gains, which entitles me to say something. I will write more about my struggle in Foreword. Here I want to talk not about myself but about the subject matter.

I have arrived at some conclusions;

1. Nobody travels on the road to God-realization (or spirituality, or mysticism, or Sufism or tareekat, or real Yoga for God-union) without God’s prior approval. In other words everybody is pre-selected. In blog 8, my categorization was wrong. Still there are 2 groups, so the grouping in blog 8 is correct. But the grouping should be based on age; those who are pious in youth and even childhood, and those who come later in life.

Jesus Christ said “many are called, few are chosen

Who is called? Those who have a receiver in their soul. Just as a radio or a television set has a receiver which catches the waves in the atmosphere, some people have a receiver but vast majority does not.

The call comes many times in such person’s life, but it bears fruit only when the soul is ready, otherwise, person just ignores it... It may bear fruit in childhood, or in middle age or even in old age. Therefore the classification should be:

1) People with very powerful receiver. Born yogis and fakirs, such as almost all the mystics that I have written in my two books with the possible exception of Mr. Shevani.

2) People with ordinary receiver. These people often turn to this path in their fifties or there about, when passions cool off.

3) People with no receiver. Rest of humanity

I have written in great detail about this early process, and subsequent stages in blog, 8, 25, 33-38, therefore there is no need of repeating it.

2. Those who are content with their life will not go on this path. This includes the ordinary religious, devoutly religious, secular humanist, and ordinary worldly people. Only people who are discontent and unhappy with their inner life turn to mysticism. Those who have hunger in their soul, restlessness in their heart, void in their being, look and search for something more.

Take the example of devoutly religious. One may think that since they follow religious tenets so much they would have great love for God, and thus more prone to mysticism, sine mysticism aims at closeness to God. Religious tenets are nothing but duties to God and fellow human beings

You will be farthest from truth. Often the devoutly religious are so extreme in their views and so narrow minded that it borders upon fanaticism. First they are completely sure that their religion is the best, so what is the need to go to second best. Secondly, they are completely certain that the instructions given in their religion are comprehensive, why to add something more such as meditation, which is anyway a Hindu concept. Thirdly, they have heard that the practice of mysticism requires isolation from society, chastity, etc, which are often forbidden not only in their religion, but are against common sense. If every body starts sitting isolated in caves and houses, how can the society function? Who will earn the living? How will procreation proceed ?

As for others, they don’t particularly care about God. As my two friends ( one religious and the other atheist ) remarked “ I am not particularly keen to meet God any earlier than I have to” and the religious one added “ I don’t want to think of Him now, I will be with Him, after death, for whole of eternity”

3. What is the purpose of mysticism? In the opinion of this mote there are several purposes:

A). To prove that there is a God. Read blog 92 again, Paul Brunton who initially was a disbeliever became a believer. People who watch these mystics closely, get convinced that there is God. They sometimes see supernatural events from them. Furthermore, these sages never tell a lie, therefore if these sages say that there is God, and they have personally seen or felt God, then there must be God. Sri Ramakrishna used to tell a story of a little boy who had never seen his father, but loved him dearly. When asked why does he love his father when he had never even seen him. The little boy replied “ but my mother has seen him“

b) To have direct access to God or His representatives, for those who want it. The fire of God brought originally by prophets becomes dim after passage of time. Rituals replace the message. Innovation, a requirement for any system to remain efficient over time and to address new problem which did not even exist when the system was initially built ( telephone, radio, cars, airplanes, etc; to name a few ), is prohibited.This system allows direct access to the Source, the God. These sages bring the fire again and again to humanity, though not on such a large scale as prophets.

Great Qalander said as much to my brother “ such people are present in all religions, in all areas, and in all times”

These mystics do not bring any new knowledge. They do not bring new guidelines or formulas. There message is the same: Be good to others, love God with all your power, conquer your desires, know your Self

c) These mystics spread the message, they have personally learnt, by daily talk to the visitors, through books, through disciples

d) They have a healing power emanating from their body, which spreads peace and tranquility around them ( Brunton noted it from Maharishee ). In old times, when medicines were not readily available, these sages taught spiritual practices for common maladies such as headache, backache, scorpion bite, snake bite, etc.

e) The great adepts have all proclaimed, that once one has realized Self, it becomes an infallible guide to one’s problems. When Brother Lawrence was entrusted to buy wine for the monastery, he was not fearful at all. He told God (Self ) “it is Your problem”

To be continued

94. Mysticism. Part two

4. Mysticism is different from religion. In this mote’s opinion mysticism (spirituality) is far superior to religion. However it is limited to very very few. Why is it practiced only by very few is because it is extremely difficult to practice, it is a very long process (often lifelong), there is no worldly reward at the end, it is very difficult to practice without a competent teacher and teachers are rare, and one has to have a spiritual receiver to begin with. Therefore one need not worry that if everybody starts meditating how the world will function. I am simply amazed that how Mr. Shahab considered it inferior to shariat . The bliss of God’s touch on one’s face is ineffable. Words cannot describe it. One touch is greater than thousand ritualistic prostrations. All great saints, like St Teresa of Avilla, and Sri Ramakrishna have said the same thing.

One critical difference between religion and spirituality is that religion is a collective formula, whereas mysticism is an individual effort. Religion provides a set of laws, a code of conduct, for a group of persons ( may be in millions or billions ). It tells them how to lead their life and how to build their society based on those set of laws. Mysticism does no such thing. Its aim is only God; to reach God, to be near God, to realize God. Mystics neither care for themselves or society, although their heart does melt at the suffering of others. Indra Devi said it beautifully, I quote from blog 88:

“Her love for her Beloved is the reality of her life. It is like air to her. Whether or where she shall arrive is not very important because all she needs is to love Him and seek Him. There is no urge to become anything at journey’s end. Her prayer is to give herself completely to Him. It is not her aim to help or better the world. Everything which comes from God is a blessing: joy or pain, love or rejection. “Only reveal to me Your will and the way to do it……………………………………………………………………….good or bad, whatever I am, belongs to You………………………………………that You draw me closer to You is all I ask”

Mystics indulge in their practices not for any material benefit, but because an inner force compels them to do it. They are helpless against this superior force. They do it for God. Most of the times they derive joy from them ( although dry periods come frequently )

5. Does religion make a person spiritual. I don’t know the definite answer, but I have the following observation to make

a) There is no evidence that, at least since Renaissance, societies based on religion, have been superior to secular societies.

b) There is no evidence that the set of laws pronounced by various religions are better than the secular laws. In fact there are glaring deficiencies in religious laws. There is no mention of Universal Human Rights  ( freedom of thought, freedom of expression,freedom of assembly, and others ) , the Rights of animals, etc. Slavery was not abolished, outright. 

c) I had previously outlined three standard paths ( see blog 26 ). Since then I have learnt of a fourth path; the path of religion. Deeply religious persons may too have a receiver in them. Devotional practices then lead to love of God, which may make them a mystic. Therefore, religious tenets should not be criticized. They serve a good and noble purpose. They attempt to kindle love for God, and be nice to other human beings.

What is missing in religious practices performed by billions ? There is no one to one session with God. For power of God to work, one has to let it work. One has to invite it, give it time, and stop worldly thoughts. This mote had the opportunity to watch a very religious couple for some months. They performed their five daily prayers, and even an optional 6th prayer (namaz ). But they performed their namaz in public (often children running around, TV going) and hurriedly (because of the pressure of worldly activities). I once advised them to perform their prayers in private, that way they will get more benefit. Their reply was that namaz was an obligation. They had to do it as efficiently as possible. And yes, they were bothered by wandering of thoughts, but it could not be helped. That couple did not change their habit.

To be continued

95. Mysticism. Part three

Please read blog 93 and 94 for continuity

 d). Those persons who have a moral compass in them, do not need an external prop of religion to tell them how to be good, they know it intrinsically. In a survey of least corrupt countries in the world, Scandinavian countries were on the top. Another survey found Scandinavian countries to be the least religious; almost 20% did not even believe in God.

e)  One to one session with God gives bliss, and bliss helps in becoming good. I quote from blog 83:

“. Meditation by Kriya Yoga gives such bliss that one likes to do more of it. More of spiritual bliss leads to less of evil passions. Base side of human nature gradually comes under one’s control. In simple words one becomes good. Therefore, Lahiri Mahasaya said, that without such a course, mere moral teachings are ineffective”.

Bliss is lacking in ritualistic practices because there is no intimate talk with God

The two great advantages of spiritual meditation are bliss and guidance

6. How does the process work? I do not know enough. Here are some preliminary conclusions. There are four main factors; God’s light, receiver in the seeker, intervening space between the light (or vibrations) and the receiver, and the exposure time. Let me explain:

a) God’s light. This mysterious force works on a person, through the receiver. We do not know enough. Is it everywhere, all the time, like radio waves? Does it vary in intensity, in other words some persons receive more than others? Some have said that it is ubiquitous, but it is absorbed only when there is a receiver. Whereas others have said that one has to come in God’s notice. There are perhaps millions of inhabited planets with many having intelligent life. Therefore God cannot possibly be aware of one, personally. One has this difficult task of attracting God’s attention. For instance this mote, at the time of writing these words, has approximately 25 thousand billion red blood cells (RBC) circulating. Each is performing the vital role of carrying oxygen. Each one lives 120 days. Therefore each day many billion RBC are born and an equal amount die. Am I aware of any one of them? Perhaps similar situation exists between man and God.

b) Receiver. As I have already mentioned people may or may not have a receiver, and the receiver may be strong or ordinary. Receiver can be made more sensitive. For instance, fasting, tears, devotion, prayers,yearning for God, chanting, can make the receiver more sensitive. With prolonged, years of practice, receiver becomes more sensitive.

c). There should be nothing to obstruct the light. Wandering thoughts are the greatest obstruction. They don’t let one focus on God. Worries, anger, jealousy, fear, temptations of sex, wealth, and power, ruin the meditation. They act like clouds obstructing sunlight. They are one of the main challenges to a seeker. For the light of God to reflect in the clear water of a cup with muddy water, the mud has to settle. Thoughts are constantly churning the water and don’t allow the mud to settle.

d) Exposure time. After the strength of receptor, this is the most important factor determining success. Strength of receptor is not in one’s control, but the exposure time is in one’s control. What is meant by exposure time? It is the total time spent in meditation (or one to one session with God); the hours each day, the days in a year, the years in one’s life.

It is my unshakable conviction that those who quit the world ( tiag ) for sake of God and only God, never fail in this path. That is why all great mystics forsake the world, at least, for some time. That is why they went to caves and jungles for meditation. That is why they tried not to marry, so that they would’t have the distraction of family. All this to have more time for meditation. They tried to think of God at night. In order to sleep less, they ate less.

That explains the reason why householders, such as myself, take such a long time for meager success.

That also explains why Swami Ram Das achieved such heights in mere one year ( blog 82-5) and Mr Shevani( blog 67,68) in eleven months ( despite the fact that Mr Shevani was in his fifties or sixties ).

               In these blog I have mentioned many mystics. Here is a list. Many of them, came back to the world, after God-realization, to help humanity.

Narendra (swami Vaveka Nanda), St Threse of Lisieux, Brother Lawrence, Sri Ramakrishna, St John of Cross, Unknown Russian traveler (blog 52 ), Great Qalander (blog 53), Data Gunj Bakhash, Abu-ul-Fazzal Muhammad bin Hassan Khatli, Shahab, Shevani, St Teresa of Avilla, Fray Peter of Alcantara, Therese Neuman, Swami Ramdas, Dilip Kumar Roy, Indra Devi, Sri Aurobindo, Rajab Sain, Mirabai,Krishnaparem, Paul Brunton, Maharishee Ramana, Chandi Das, Sudhei Babu, Ramiah, Yogi from India who always wore dark glasses (blog 64 ), Seeker from England who had been travelling for 25 years ( blog 64) , Qalander who got injured ( blog 64 ), Sri Yogananda,Sri Yukteshwar, Lahiri Mahasaya, Daya Mata,Giri Bala, Nancy Mayorga.

All of them, except, Shahab, and Nancy Mayorga, to pursue the path of God-realization, quit the world.

               I do not mean to imply that to realize God, quitting the world is obligatory. It is not. But if one does not quit the world, two things are going to happen; it will take much longer to realize God, and one may not realize God at all, because there was not enough time left in one’s life. One thing is also certain to happen, one will make some progress and have some gains (like this mote ). God will not let that person go empty handed. I quote from my own poem, blog 61 (the riddle);

               “Everybody gets his just reward

               Something, if he has worked hard”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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