129. Yogi Krishnaprem
The original name of Krishnaprem was Professor Ronald Nixon (1). He was an Englishman, a graduate of Cambridge, who taught English literature at Universities of Lucknow and Banaras. He had been a pilot in First World War.
He became a disciple of Sri Yashoda Mae, a highly advanced spiritual lady. I have mentioned her, in blog 86, when she and others were visited by Lord Krishna in Mirtola, India. Nixon converted to Hinduism, and took the name of Krishnaprem (lover of Lord Krishna). He did not believe in half-measures, so he quit the world (sanyas) in 1928. He travelled the path of God till his death in 1965. His long time friend Dilip Kumar Roy (blog 86) writes of his earlier days, when he was a lecturer. One day a rationalist professor argued against miracles, and dubbed them as mere superstitions. Nixon genially replied:
“ As you know I was a pilot in World War……..One day as I was going to steer to the right, where I saw half a dozen planes whirring and zooming, thinking they were ours___that is RAF planes. Just then some force simply caught hold of my wrist, and made me turn to the left. I was quite bewildered, the more so as the force was too incredible to doubt. Later on, as I returned to the base, I came to know that they were enemy planes…….I had a miraculous escape. I am as certain as certain can be that it was a miracle”
Dilip Kumar Roy writes, “What horrified me most was that Krishnaprem was actually begging alms in the streets and sleeping on a bare blanket on the cold heights of the Himalayas, 7500 feet above sea level”.
By virtue of his total renunciation and pure devotion Krishnaprem’s whole body was set on fire with the love of God (written By Haridas Chaudhuri)
While living at Mirtola, with his Guru, two other Britishers lived with them. They were also renunciants.
One was Haridas, an old friend from Cambridge, who gave up a highly successful medical practice, and tended to the sick villagers. The other was Madhava Ashish, a ground engineer posted to an air base in 2nd World War. After the war, he came up on one brief holiday to the Himalayas, somehow heard of Krishnaprem, walked over one day to see him, and never left.
Now after this brief introduction, let me narrate two profound experiences of Krishnaprem. He told them to Dilip. He had a wonderful vision of Lord Krishna and Radharani, in the famous Srirangam temple.
“As soon as I prostrated myself in the shrine before the Lord’s image, I lost my outer consciousness. I saw a vast ocean made of liquid light. Time had stood still till a breath of Love started a ripple in the hushed ocean of Light, when countless white lotuses appeared on the blue waves………..on each flower stood a lovely Krishna with Radha____ She smiling and He playing His magic flute……..But O Dilip what beauty, what music, and what bliss……”
He shivered as his voice trailed.
The other experience was when he visited Maharishi Ramana, the guru of Paul Brunton (blog 91). In his own words:
“In the evening, I entered the hall where the Maharishi reclines daily on his couch, to meditate at his feet. As soon as I sat down I heard a voice questioning me repeatedly: ‘Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?’ I tried hard to ignore it, but could not. So, in the end I just had to formulate an answer; ‘I am Krishna’s servant’. At once a new question came ‘Who is Krishna?’ I answered ‘Nanda’s son’. No use: The question was repeated pauselessly. I gave other answers, but it was of no use. The question persisted. I gave up. I left the hall, deeply disturbed. I came back, to meditate, but I had no peace. The voice returned.
I asked Radharani for help. She asked me what answers had I given. I told Her the answers. She revealed to me the correct answer.
Next morning, when I sat down again at his blessed feet, the Maharishi suddenly gave me a lightning glance and smiled. I knew at once that he was the author of it all and he also knew that I had guessed his part correctly.
Then, a deep peace entered me like a block of ice___an exquisite bliss.
As I meditated___I suddenly took it into my head to return the compliment and put a question to him in silence: ‘And who are you? May I humbly ask? ’. It so happened that the next moment I had to open my eyes involuntarily, when____ lo I found his couch empty!’
……….I closed my eyes once more and looked again____ and there he was, tranquil……… A momentary smile flickered on his lips as he gave me a meaningful glance and then looked away.
You understand the point of the miracle, Dilip.”
‘That he was beyond nama-rupa( name and face )’.
“That is right” he answered.
I end this narration with the following addition:
Dilip writes; “I met my dear and esteemed friend S. Duraiswami, who told me; “ After Krishnaparem had left, I visited Maharishi…….He told me that I should have met him, a bhakta (one who practices bhakti or devotion ) and jnani ( one who follows the path of knowledge ) in one, a rare combination”. Such an encomium from such an exalted person, as the Maharishi.
(1). Yogi Sri Krishnaprem by Dilip Kumar Roy