In a secluded place in Hrishikesh, quite some years ago, a man named Shivendra used to worship Lord Shiva. He liked to wonder in the forests sometimes and he used to also meditate there. One evening, while walking in deep thoughts, he lost his way in a thick forest.
As it became dark in the evening and the forest was dense, he was unable to find his way back. He became nervous and worried. With an intense prayer in his heart, he began to call Lord Shiva. After about half an hour or so, in that quiet and peaceful environment, he heard some footsteps, after which he saw a sannyasi, an ascetic in ochre clothes standing next to him smiling gently. He was carrying a bowl and was holding a staff and wearing wooden sandals. The sannyasi was very fair and tall and his body emitted golden glow. Furthermore, his face beamed extraordinary peace and serenity and he had a sort of magnetic enchantment inducing towards him.
Presuming him to be a realised mahayogi, he knelt down humbly at his feet. The sannyasi glanced at him with a questioning gesture. Shivendra understood this and spoke, “Maharaj, I have lost my way. Since the past three hours, I am searching my way. Can you please show me the path?”
Hearing this, the sannyasi began to laugh loudly scaring Shivendra profusely.
“My son, which path have you lost? I only know one path and that path leads man to progress. Do you want that path of life?”
Shivendra nodded his head in affirmation. The sannyasi made Shivendra sit beside him on a huge rock. For three to four hours, he had a fruitful conversation with Shivendra. During that period, his mind and body were at complete rest and he became very attentive. He perceived and understood what was the underlying existing cause behind this entire universe. He was given the sacred knowledge of liberation. The ‘beej’ (seed) of the ‘sansara’ (sensory world) is Brahma (Atman) he was told. The sannyasi also explained to Shivendra the difference between a good and an evil man, a friend and a foe and how to discriminate between the two.
They spent a considerable time in mutual company and he was a recipient of a great treasure of knowledge and Shivendra got profound joy and satisfaction in it. With a lot of love, the sannyasi said, “My dear son, whatever I have told you never forget it. Whenever a good man comes to you show him the path of brotherhood and mankind. Give love to all. Instil their lives with peace, faith, happiness and progress and make their lives abundant. The more people you reach out, the better it will be.”
He further added, “Do not discriminate between people on the basis of country, religion, caste or creed. Follow only the religion of brotherhood of mankind.” After saying this he again repeated, “Will you lose your way now?” Lovingly he patted his back and before he asked for his leave, Shivendra asked his name. He replied, “Kandhari.”Mahavatar Babaji, the Himalayan Yogi is an immortal soul. He has many names given by people with love and reverence like Babaji, Mahavatar Babaji, Mahamune Babaji, Kandhari and many more. (I have written posts dedicated to him titled, ‘The Light of the world, Sri Mahavatar Babaji-I’ & II.Read that post to know more about his Divine form and Divine’s work carried out by him even today.)
So what do we gather from the real life incident of an ascetic who lived at the foothills of Himalayas and had the great fortune of the blessed company of the Mahasiddha , paramyogi Mahavatar Babaji? This incident can also be viewed as an allegory as we find so many cryptic meanings in this incident when we draw parallels. What are the shrouded realisations? Can you stop and think for a moment, please?….
Now not only was Shivendra lost, we too are lost in the world’s maze of illusion or Maya. The dark and dense forest here can be compared to Maya. We also have to revoke and retract our steps and find our way back home. If you are a pathfinder, you will need a guide and a path illuminator in the form of a Divine Guru. The Guru asks us to retrace our steps from the materialistic and illusory world to the Divine world and teaches us to be good by serving God through human beings. Mahavatar Babaji hates it if we waste our precious time in frivolous, trifling and wasteful activities. Instead, he advocates us to utilize each and every moment in activities and pursuits which will help us grow in Spirit.
And how can all this be attained?
We can start by first taking a firm resolution and setting our goal to achieve the Divine Abode. Once our aim is laid down and set firm, the next thing the aspirant has to do is to perform suitable actions in synchronization to them. If a student has the ambition to top the class, he brings his whole mind and attention to perform only those actions which will fulfil his ambition. He does not perform contrary actions obviously. So we too should perform only those actions by which we will surely progress and move upwards.
God has given us intellect and discrimination power to sift. With intellect, we must discriminate what is good and what is not good for us. Which actions will help me to push me up on the hill of ascent? Ask yourself… and think.. What is good for me on long term basis? Perform only those actions. Sometimes it so happens that we choose to do actions which are beneficial for us on short term basis. But the impact after some years is miserable. For example, acquiring the habit of spending more than your means is a wrong action for sometime we may enjoy being spendthrift, but the impending results will be difficult to bear. Such actions are called “Preyas” (Pleasant ones) On the contrary if you decide to save your money wisely you may feel the pinch today. But after a few years, there will be peace of mind and relief. Such actions are called “Shreyas.” (Beneficial Ones)
The same thing goes for man. He comes in the world, gets entangled in the jungle of sensory world and loses his way. Initially there is enjoyment but the later stage is of untold misery, sickness, suffering and unhappiness. But a wise man comes to the world and finds out first the path to God by disciplining his senses and mind through self-control, discarding ego and contemplation on God, devotion, service, charity, kindness, good behaviour and many such virtuous acts. Such a person is a Yogi. And once he realises God, there is no entrapment. His soul is free and he is a happy man for the rest of the life.
(To be continued)