MAHAMUNI BABAJI - The Divine Himalayan Yogi,
Guru of Lahiri Mahasay (The Polestar of Kriya)
MAHAMUNI BABAJI and NOT Mahavatar Babaji.
In the Sanatan Dharma ("The Eternal Religion") of the Vedic Culture of the Hindu people, there is the concept of an AVATAR. An Avatar is an incarnation of the Lord. The very concept of Avatar is propagated ONLY by the devotional Hindu people of the Vedic Culture.
It has to be mentioned here that in the same Vedic Culture there is a VEDANTA SYSTEM which does not believe in Avatar except the supreme Self (Paramatma or Brahma).
According to the famous Dasavatar Stotra ("Adoration of the Ten Avatars"), mentioned the ten AVATARS. The following are the ten Avatars of Kesava (Krisna or Visnu).
- Min (Fish),
- Kachhap (Tortoise),
- Sukar (Swine),
- Narahari - Nrisingha (Half-man and half-lion),
- Bamana (Little man),
- Bhrigpati (Parasuram),
- Raghupati (Rama),
- Haladhara (Balaram),
- Buddha (Lord Buddha), and
The special characteristic of the incarnation of the Lord is that whenever He incarnates, He comes with his consort. For example - Visnu with his consort Laxmi, Rama with his consort Sita, Buddha with his consort Yasodhara.
The big question is - where is the consort of Babaji if he is an Avatar? In the absence of his consort, it proves clearly beyond doubt that Babaji is NOT an Avatar regardless of what the unreasonable devotional people (who do not use reason and do not know how to hold the balance) like Yogananda says. Therefore, Babaji can be said that He is "a great silent sage" (MAHAMUNI).
MAHAMUNI BABAJI, The Divine Himalayan Yogi is an enigma to many people. By discussing the following ten points we will have a clear image of his character.
- He does not use any name.
- He does not have a normal human body.
- There is no photo.
- He is not an Avatar.
- He made Injunction (prohibits) against starting an organization.
- He reveals many spiritual disciplines.
- He maintains strict Order of Guru-Param-Para (Master and Disciple Relationship).
- Qualifications for Kriya are according to Babaji.
- He observes very strict rules.
- He considers Guru’s responsibility is paramount.
1. He does not use any name
Babaji is not his real name. Nobody knows his real name. He does not use a name for himself. His principal disciple of Kriya, Yogiraj Sri Sri Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasay (popularly known as Lahiri Mahasay) used to call him “Babaji.” Since then he has been known as Babaji (although Babaji is a general term or title for any renunciate – particularly in the Vaisnab Discipline).
Since he does not use any name – people address him by many names; some of them are – Babaji, Trambak Baba, Siva Baba, Maheswar Baba, Pahari Baba, Munindra Baba, Govinda Bhagavan, Gopichand Baba, etc.
He loves to remain aloof from society, yet serves the entire world. Also he serves the higher spiritual beings on other planets as well. His influence is enormous in the field of spirituality. In the midst of his wandering lifestyle serving the spiritual beings of the world and the interplanetary systems, he loves to make visits and stays often for a while in two places in the Himalayas. Thus he is called the Divine Himalayan Yogi. These two places are:
- Vaisnabi Sakti Pith – Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas and
- Badrinath Dham, or Badrinarayan, in the Himalayas.
The reason for his consideration to choose these two places is simple.
He is the spirit of Lord Krisna, the incarnation of Lord Visnu (as per an entry of Lahiri Mahasay’s diary: Buddha Baba ohi Kisun, “The old Father! He is Krisna”), and these two places in the Himalayas are famous because of the Lord Visnu:
Vaisnabi Mata, the consort of Lord Visnu, is the presiding deity at Dunagiri Hill Temple or the Vaisnabi Sakti Pith.
Badrinath or Badrinarayan is another name of Lord Visnu, naturally the Divine Himalayan Yogi loves to visit this place.
Because of his love for these two places and occasional visits and temporary stays, a group of his direct disciples began to live in the past around these areas in some caves and it became a sort of meditation center for them.
For example – his principal disciple, Yogiraj Sri Sri Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasay, in his past life as a renunciate Swami meditated at Dunagiri Hill. Among the other direct disciples of Kumayun area, Haidakhan Baba, Sombari Baba, and Nimkaroli Baba also received their training from here. Swami Satyeswarananda Vidyaratna Babaji was told that he too was a renunciate in his past life and meditated at this Sakti Pith.
At Badrinarayan, his direct disciples – Paramhansa Brahmananda, Santi Mai
and his beloved sister, Mataji resided in the past.
2. He does not have a normal human body
During the twelve-year period Swami Satyeswarananda Vidyaratna Babaji (popularly known as Baba) was living at Dunagiri Hill, many times the Divine Himalayan Yogi visited him; the happenings of one such visit was as follows:
One evening, Baba was sitting outside, gazing at the Bharat Court Hill, when Babaji arrived from the forest side. Baba received him with Pranam (bowing). Then both went into the holy hut (the temple of Silence), where Baba arranged the cave for Babaji. Babaji entered the cave. The next morning, Baba prepared suji (with semolina, sugar and milk) and offered it to Babaji. His body is beyond the rules of nature and, as such, does not need food; yet Baba offered it as he learned to do so from Mataji. Babaji accepted it kindly.
The following evening, Babaji proposed to move.
Mahamuni Babaji (MB): I would like to take you somewhere now. Narayan, you will accompany me.
Baba (B): Now this body understands why you call it Narayana before.
MB: You will see some scenes of Narayana (Baba’s previous life) there.
B: It would be very interesting.
MB: Well, let us go!
Babaji came out of the hut; Baba locked the hut and left a message for Gobinda Singha to look after the hut.
Babaji created a balloon out of the sky using a yogic Process.
MB: Close your eyes, and concentrate between the eyebrows.
Baba closed his eyes and concentrated between the eyebrows. Babaji took Baba in his arms, and Baba had the feeling as if his body levitated from the ground, and they were moving forward in the sky while his legs hung limply. After some time, they landed from clairportation (Atibahik), airborne system.
B: Babaji! It seems that we are in Bengal. Is it not so?
MB: Yes, we are. Look, here is a hermitage where you lived with an old swami.
B: It seems we are clairported about thirteen hundred miles. What is the name of this place, Babaji?
MB: It is Sanyasgar (place of Sanyasi, or Swami, or renunciates).
MB: It is Sanyasgar (place of Sanyasi, or Swami, or renunciates).
B: Where does the old swami live?
MB: Let us go see him.
We entered a room, where the bulky old swami (about seventy-five years old) was sitting, and his young student was attending him.
MB: Do you recognize this young student?
Mahamuni Babaji touched the top of Baba’s head, and Baba remembered his previous life. The young student, Narayana, was from Baba’s previous life.
B: This is the life of this body. Is it not?
MB: Yes, this is your previous life. Look at this old swami. He will leave his body.
B: What is the name of this swami?
MB: He does not use any name.
B: By what name do people or his disciples call him?
MB: Gobinda Bhagavan, Maheswar Baba (Maheswarananda), Sadhu Baba, Babaji, etc.
Kaya-Kalpa: Changing the body through a Yogic Process
B: How will the old swami leave the body?
MB: He will perform Kaya-Kalpa.
B: What is Kaya-Kalpa?
MB: It is changing the body through a yogic Process. Watch him.
The old swami informed his young student, Narayana, that he was going to leave the body.
Narayana prayed for one word (promise) that the old swami would give him a darsan (meeting) when Narayana would leave his body.
The old swami promised and asked for some relevant articles (Naibidya) for ritual worship.
The old swami exhaled loudly and a kind of white, threadlike material began coming out of his mouth. He caught it by his hand and drew it out. He cut it into three pieces. After pausing to perform ritual worship (Homa or Jajna), he held one piece in his hand, chanted some hymns and Mantras, and dropped it in the Fire (of the Homa or Jajna).
Then he took the second piece of the threadlike breath, chanted hymns and Mantras and placed it into the Fire.
Finally, he took the third piece and followed the same routine, but this time he did not put it in the Fire but simply carried it near the Fire and ate it.
After a while, the old swami’s belly began to swell. It got bigger and bigger until it burst.
A bright, young body, radiant in character, came out from the belly of the old swami. The bright, radiant young body took the dead body of the old swami and threw it into the Fire of the ceremony (Homa), and left the place.
It was very surprising for Baba to see that the body, which came out from the old swami’s belly, and Babaji’s body, which was standing beside Baba, looked identical.
It became clear that the old swami was Babaji, and that the body, which he changed through the yogic Process Kaya-Kalpa, was his present body: young, bright and radiant. As it was made through a yogic Process, it remained free from the laws of nature.
B: Babaji! The old, changed body of the swami was identical with yours. Would you kindly comment on this?
Babaji looked into Baba’s eyes and smiled gently.
B: It means you were in Bengal. Would you kindly tell me where that old swami’s body was born?
Babaji remained silent. He refused to comment.
The place is called Sanyasgar, but also Gobinda Nagar, possibly for the old swami, as he was called Gobinda Bhagavan. There is a Gobinda temple there. It may have been built in his memory. At present there is a hermitage near Gobinda Nagar at Sanyasgar.
Once Babaji wanted to leave the body but at the request of his sister, Mataji, he agreed to keep it for indefinite period of time.
3. There is no photo
As he does not use a name, similarly, he does not give his photo to anyone.
Once Gangadhar Babu, a disciple of Lahiri Mahasay, at the request of some disciples at Benares without the permission of Lahiri Mahasay took a group photo. At his surprise Gangadhar Babu saw that everything was fine, all looked good except that Lahiri Mahasay’s place was blank. Gangadhar Babu immediately headed to his Gurudev’s house. The moment he arrived Lahiri Mahasay said, “What happens Gangadhar Babu! Your modern science fails?” Gangadhar Babu said, “Yes Baba. However, you have to be kind enough to give me your permission to take one photograph of you.”
Lahiri Mahasay said, “OK.” Then he closed his eyes, remembered his Guru Babaji, who in turn permitted Lahiri Mahasay. Because of this incident of remembrance, in fact Babaji Himself occupied at that moment Lahiri Mahasay and that is why Lahiri Mahasay has a resemblance to Babaji.
Thus the rest of the world received the spiritual-vibrational body of Babaji in and through Lahiri Mahasay’s body. This is the reason, once Lahiri Mahasay said to a woman devotee who had Lahiri Mahasay’s photo in her hand, “If you believe, it [photo] is Bhagavan [Lord] and if you don’t then it is mere a photo.”
What is publicized as Babaji’s photo is drawn either by an American artist or Sanandalal Ghosh (younger brother of Yogananda) from the description given by Yogananda who never met Babaji directly in person.
It should also be mentioned here that those who met Babaji and gave a description of Babaji, among them, Lahiri Mahasay, Sriyukteswar and Swami Satyeswarananda Maharaj; Yogananda’s description did not match at all with theirs.
Yogananda never met Mahamuni Babaji, the Divine Himalayan Yogi; there is no factual evidence.
The rational Bengali disciples used the Bengali script of Om as shown below
as a representative image of Babaji.
Mahamuni Babaji: OM
Explanatory Note: The physical body is the product of the inner Sound OM (Aum, Amen), which represents Babaji. The Kriya followers in Bengal, India used the Bengali script for OM, which contains Vibrations of Babaji.
The Spot represents the Star of Consciousness between the eyebrows and the aperture (Brahmarandhra) at the Head.
The semicircle represents the ethereal state of vibrations between the eyebrows and the Cervical Center.
The upper curve represents the subtle state of vibrations extending from the Cervical Center to the Lumbar Center
The lower curve of the script represents the gross (physical) state of vibrations extending from the Lumbar Center to the Coccygeal Center.
In fact, the entire Universe is in the Spinal Cord. That is why the body is called the Temple of the Lord.
4. He is not an Avatar
Let it be made clear here - Swami Sriyukteswar, disciple of Lahiri Mahasay was not an avatar, neither was Lahiri Mahasay; so not is Babaji.
Babaji is the spirit of Lord Krisna (as per an entry in Lahiri Mahasay’s diary) and because of the spirit of Lord Krisna – he loves these two places: Vaisnabi Devi Pith (Dunagiri Hill) and Visnu Pith (Badrinarayan) as indicated before.
5. He made injunction (prohibits) against starting an organization
The Divine Himalayan Yogi, Babaji and his principal Kriya disciple, Lahiri Mahasay issued injunctions NOT TO DEVELOP ORGANIZATIONS around the Kriya teaching.
Lahiri Mahasay first permitted his chief disciple, Yogacharya Sri Panchanan Bhattacharya, around 1885 to initiate others into Kriya. He was in Calcutta and he also had properties at Deoghar in the state of Bihar (currently Jharkhand). As a result, many people of both states – Bengal and Bihar – received Kriya from him.
Subsequently, when Lahiri Mahasay made the commentaries on the scriptures he asked his dear disciple, Sri Panchanan Bhattacharya to start an institution (pratisthan, not an organization or sangha) not to teach Kriya but to publish his interpretations of the 26 books.
Bhattacharya Mahasay selected the name of the institution “Aryya Mission Institution” considering Lahiri Mahasay’s interpretation of the physical body is the Aryyavarta (field of the Aryyas or Aryans).
The following two quotes and documents will throw light on the subject.
“Only when one receives Kriya from the mouth of a permitted teacher [since the Kriya initiation is a matter of Guruvaktragamya – learning from the living lips of a Guru], one receives actual Kriya initiation [diksha], otherwise, one simply receives Kriya information [and not Kriya initiation] from the unpermitted person or representative of some organization [which are prohibited by Mahamuni Babaji and Lahiri Mahasay.]” - Mahamuni Babaji, p. 540, The Original Kriya by Swami Satyeswarananda Vidyaratna Babaji
“The great Master [Lahiri Mahasay] lived his sublime life in partial seclusion, and steadfastly refused to permit his followers to build any organization around his teachings.” Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda, 1979 paperback edition, p. 339
6. He reveals many spiritual disciplines
He has been serving the world for a long time through many people and by revealing so many disciplines, as follows:
- Jnan Yoga: Through Dakshina Murti
- Hatha Yoga: Through Maha Buddha Baba
- Raja Yoga: Through Sankara in the eighth century
- Raja Yoga: Through Kabir in the fifteenth century
- Kriya Yoga: Through Yogiraj Sri Sri Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasay
- Tantra Yoga: Through Brahmani
- Nada or Sabda Yoga: Through Burua Baba
- Bhakti Yoga: Through Paramhansa Brahmananda
- Mansa Yoga: Through Hairakhan Baba
- Mantra Yoga: Through Nim Karoli Baba
- Pasupat Yoga: Through Sombari (Somari) Baba
- Purna Yoga (Purna Kriya Yoga): Through Swami Satyeswarananda Vidyaratna Babaji.
Lahiri Mahasay, Disciple of Babaji
Lahiri Mahasay was Mahamuni Babaji's principal disciple in Kriya and is regarded as the Polestar of Kriya. Lahiri Mahasay was initiated into Kriya (based on Pranayam) at Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas (about 8,000’ altitude) by Babaji in 1861. He received the first step of Kriya on the day he was initiated which included:
- Talabya Kriya (Khecharimudra)
- Navi Kriya
- Yonimudra (not Jyotimudra)
Later, within the first two to three weeks, he received higher Kriya as his Khechari was successful and those were:
- Higher Omkar Kriyas
(It should be mentioned that successful Talabya Kriya or Khecharimudra was a very strict PRECONDITION before the other Kriyas could be introduced. The simple reason is that without successful Khechari, practicing the higher Kriyas of the next step cannot be effective – rather it would be fatal).
7. He maintains strict decorum of Master and Disciple of relationship: Guru-Param-Para
After a few days Lahiri Mahasay saw some people were living in the bushes nearby. He drew the attention of Babaji to the fact. Then Babaji said, “You can initiate them; I advised them to wait there.” Lahiri Mahasay requested Babaji to initiate them himself.
At this Babaji said, “You have business [Connection] with them,” meaning that they were Lahiri Mahasay’s disciples of previous life and it is he who has to discharge his responsibility and help them. As Babaji is doing the same for him since Lahiri Mahasay was his disciple in a former life. Babaji has nothing to do or interfere (Guru-param-para chain of command) with one whom he does not have any relationship as Master and disciple.
8. Qualifications for Kriya are according to Babaji.
(Initiation into Kriya in the Himalayas, Chapter 23, Babaji and His Legacy, 4th edition, 2002)
It is interesting to note, Babaji on his own asked Lahiri Mahasay to give Kriya to those who were initiated by him in his previous incarnations, because that would help Lahiri Baba to complete his journey. Lahiri Mahasay prayed to Divine Mahamuni Babaji to permit him to give Kriya to “whomever would approach him.” “Will you kindly permit me to give Kriya to all who come to me?” he asked.
Babaji replied, “It is the thing of the hill men,” meaning that Kriya is only for yogis who have renounced the world. The great yogi continued, “Do you think that householders can do it? You can give Kriya to the men who are fit for it and who are honest and not liars, but it is difficult to find fit persons.”
But Babaji sounded reluctant to permit Lahiri Mahasay to give Kriya to whoever would approach Lahiri Baba. At this, Lahiri Mahasay began to weep. His heart was filled with pure Love, and he burned with a desire to help the suffering people. He again beseeched the kind permission of his divine Gurudev.
Mahamuni Babaji kept silent for a long time. Perhaps, he was thinking that by random Kriya initiation Lahiri Baba may create new karmic bondage for himself. After all, Babaji’s interest was to help Lahiri Baba to complete his eternal Realization. Breaking his long time silence, Babaji said very slowly and gently, “You can give Kriya to others if the person gives you everything he has with him: his body, mind, soul and all his property, including his wife.”
Babaji's Preconditions to qualify for Kriya:
- Person must be honest and not a liar.
- Person must not smoke and drink.
- Person must offer everything to his Guru including his wife.
Apparently Babaji was making it hard for Lahiri Mahasay. Putting out some conditions, Babaji wanted to restrict Lahiri Mahasay’s compassionate character to the strict spirit of tough Righteousness.
Lahiri Mahasay exclaimed, “Why are you speaking thus? Nobody will do it! And what would I do with another’s wife who is offered to me?”
The Divine Yogi again observed silence for a long time. Then breaking his silence, he said, “Do as you please. You can give Kriya if the person is honest and not a liar.”
The Divine Himalayan Yogi also said, “When you give Kriya to others, you may be pleased to take five rupees from them as the sign of their physical purification of the five states of Prana.” Mahamuni Babaji used to collect this money from Lahiri Mahasay either personally or by sending a Swami named Mahabir to him. He used to feed some yogis here and there so as to play with them in a divine way. There is also an alternative arrangement, i.e., this money can be used for serving the renunciate yogis and swamis. The idea is that if one serves some yogis and swamis with this money, he is, in effect, serving Mahamuni Babaji.
Reluctantly giving permission to Lahiri Mahasay, Mahamuni Babaji, on the one hand, maintained the tough Righteous spirit of Truth; on the other hand, he respected the natural flow of the individual self, that is, freedom of Lahiri Mahasay. Babaji put the onus of responsibilities on Lahiri Mahasay.
What Mahamuni Babaji meant when he had spoken earlier is that a person desirous of having Kriya shall have to offer his wife to his Guru, with all of his possessions. As we shall see, this offering has deeper significance in the light of Realization. Take, for example, one’s material possessions. Generally, they can create obstacles to Realization because they can give the owner a false sense of importance. Many possessions can play into the hands of a strong ego, and the more egocentric one becomes, the more difficult it is to enter into the realms of Realization of the ultimate Self.
In short, acquisitiveness tends to pull one away from the True Self. For this reason, Mahamuni Babaji suggested that the person should offer whatever he has to Lahiri Mahasay, i.e., to the spiritual guide.
The word “offer” means donation. On donated things, the donor loses the right of possession and ownership. Once the offering is made, the person or the disciple has no more right to use that wealth as his own. The Guru or the spiritual guide may or may not take possession of all the wealth that the disciple honestly offered to him. In its simplest terms, the ownership is handed over to the guide, on the plane of Truth. In reality, the disciple is now penniless. He has no more material properties.
On the other hand, there is nothing that can create obstacles to his spiritual growth. A true Guru or guide, however, may ask the disciple to look after these properties as before, only this time, not as his own, but as a caretaker on behalf of the Guru. As a result, the disciple’s responsibility towards his former possessions may very well change. Whereas, in the past he may have abused them or let them fritter away, now he must show greater care for them than ever. They are now his Gurudev’s.
The disciple’s attitude toward his wife will also undergo significant change. The man of strong ego is very much attached to his wife. His perception is that, to a large extent, his wife is his life. Such a typically earthbound man is more attached to sensual love than divine Love. By sincerely offering his wife to his Guru, the disciple learns how to escape sensual limitations and the allure of its attachment. This is how it works: When the disciple offers his wife to his divine Guru, he relinquishes any rights over her. His wife now becomes the relative of his Guru. It is up to the Guru to define his relationship to her. Most often the relationship is father to daughter.
Thus, if the Guru is regarded as father by the disciple, which usually is the case, then his wife, now treated as a daughter by the Guru, becomes like his sister. The Guru, of course, has nothing to do physically with the offered wife of the disciple. He generally advises her to be initiated into Kriya to help herself and her husband. They live together as before on a practical plane, but the nature of their relation as husband and wife transforms into brother and sister and friend so that they can help one another grow towards eternal Realization through the practice of scientific Kriyas, far beyond the sensual love and attachments that had trapped them, to divine Love and absolute Freedom.
This is the deeper spiritual significance which was referred to earlier: by offering all that one has on the material plane, without reservation, one ends up possessing beatitude.
Lahiri Mahasay touched the holy Feet of his divine Gurudev with deepest love and respect, which is the tradition in India of showing respect to a yogi or swami. This practice is also common among sons and daughters and young relatives with respect to their parents and elders. The secret way of spiritual success is through absolute surrender. By practicing Kriya, by being kind to oneself, by offering one’s body, mind and soul to the Guru, is where Liberation lies, and with it, deep spirituality.
After spending a full blissful month with Babaji, Lahiri Mahasay’s transfer order came for him to report to the plains. It was very painful for him to leave his divine Gurudev, but it had to be done. When the day came for Lahiri Mahasay to leave Ranikhet, he cried like a baby in anticipation of the inevitable separation from his beloved Gurudev.
After all, who wants to be separated from his or her own love, especially when that love is unconditional, unceasing, pure and divine in nature? He fell at the feet of Babaji in tears. It was the hard rule of predestination that had to be fulfilled regardless of personal feelings. The Lord is the Lawgiver. It is His Law of Providence.
9. He observes very strict rules.
Babaji Extremely Tough and Strict to Practice Rules
After a month when Lahiri Mahasay was leaving Dunagiri Hill, he asked him the following question.
Lahiri Mahasay asked, “When can I see your Sri Charan ( ‘Holy Feet’) again?” In this case, the traditional manner of asking to see “the holy Feet,” which represent the whole body, is used, rather than, “When can I see you again?”
The great Yogi replied, “Whenever you desire to see me, you will see me.”
Lahiri Mahasay again touched the holy Feet of his divine Gurudev and then slowly left Dunagiri Hill.
As long as it was possible to look back, he looked back and saw his divine Gurudev Mahamuni Babaji. The Himalayan Yogi stood as unmoving as the eternally High Himalayas. After a while, he could not see Him, as the dense forest obstructed his view. The manifested scene came to an end.
Temporarily grief-stricken, yet strangely consoled, Lahiri Mahasay came down to Dwarahat and returned to his solitary tent. Even though Lahiri Mahasay came to Ranikhet in connection with his employment, he obtained eternal Life blessed with eternal Peace in the Himalayas.
Example - How Strict Babaji is:
Violating Babaji’s Rules just once, Lahiri Mahasay lost forever a special privilege given to him.
Lahiri Mahasay brought the Kriya-Ganga, “Ganges of Kriya,” down from the Himalayas to the plain just as King Bhagirath brought the Ganges from the Himalayas to the plain. Shortly thereafter, when he was traveling from Ranikhet to the plain, he stopped one night at Muradabad town in Uttar Pradesh where he was the guest of a Maitra family from Bengal. There some young people were discussing among themselves the fact that real yogis were rarely found anymore.
Lahiri Mahasay overheard their discussion and told them, “Why do you doubt? There are still many real yogis in this world.”
One young man said, “Where are they? We do not find any! Can you show us one?”
Lahiri Baba replied, “Yes, I can show you that real yogis are still with us.”
The young man said, “Well, if you can show us, then we will believe.”
“Let me go to one room alone,” Lahiri Mahasay said. “Give me two blankets on which to sit, one for me and the other for the yogi.”
The young men arranged these things immediately, checking the room first, and then they closed and locked the door, leaving Lahiri Baba alone in the room. Lahiri Mahasay plunged into meditation and prayed to Babaji for his kind darsan (meeting). After a while, Mahamuni Babaji appeared in the room and started to talk to him. Lahiri Baba bowed and touched his feet and requested that he sit on the blanket meant for him.
Babaji, however, was prepared to leave immediately. He said, “I have come simply because I had given you my word that whenever you desired, you will see me. But what is this? You desire to show some young men a yogi so that they can believe that real yogis still move in the world. Do you know that I had to come a great distance where I was deeply involved in service? I had to leave those works suddenly and come to you.”
Hearing this, Lahiri Mahasay was filled with remorse. He begged forgiveness from Mahamuni Babaji and yet, still prayed that he would be kind enough to give darsan to the anxious young men in the next room. Babaji granted his prayer. Lahiri Baba then knocked on the door from the inside, and the young men let themselves in. They saw with utter surprise that another yogi was sitting on the blanket. Some of them came forward to touch him and test whether he really had a physical body.
The young men then proposed to feed the yogi, as is the custom of devotees when the yogi has kindly granted them darsan. Their ulterior motive was to see whether this strange yogi could eat food. They prepared something which is called suji or hallua. It is prepared with semolina, milk and sugar. They offered this first to Mahamuni Babaji, then to Lahiri Mahasay, and then they all ate together. Thereafter, Lahiri Mahasay asked them to leave the room, saying, “Now you will please go outside.” The young men left reluctantly.
After a period of silence, the great Himalayan Yogi spoke, “You have misused the offering of my blessing in order to make them believe. There is nothing to believe when one sees.
(“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29)
“Henceforth, you will not see me whenever you desire, but only when I think it is necessary. Only then shall I come to you.” Having said this to Lahiri Mahasay, Babaji began withdrawing himself from manifestation and disappeared from the room. Lahiri Mahasay bowed and touched his feet before he vanished. After a while, Lahiri Mahasay opened the door. The young men honored him for his kindness in showing them a real yogi, but Lahiri Mahasay’s reaction was quite reserved.
10. He considers Guru’s responsibility is paramount.
It is the responsibility of a teacher to help his disciple in all possible ways including to fulfill the disciple’s unfinished providences (Prarabddha). Knowing that he was a Swami (Renunciate) in his former life, Lahiri Mahasay requested Babaji to make him a Swami so he could live with him, but Babaji told him to go back to household life to complete his providences.
Similarly, Mahamuni Babaji told another of his direct disciples, Swami Satyeswarananda Vidyaratna Maharaj at Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas to head to the west to fulfill his providences. Knowing that he was a Swami in a former life and lived in the cave there at Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas with other direct disciples of Babaji, Satyeswarananda Maharaj wanted to stay rest of his current life at Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas. However, at the instruction of Babaji, after due consideration, reluctantly he had to come to America.
This is Mahamuni Babaji, the Divine Himalayan Yogi, he does not give darsan so easily. Being able to see him is seeing the supreme Being. He lives in everybody in between the eyebrows; he is near for extremely very few people at the same time he is far away for many. That is the truth.
Another example: Yogananda's Life With Sriyukteswar
One day, Swami Sriyukteswar saw his dear disciple’s (Mukundalal Ghosh’s, later Paramhansa Yogananda) providence. It happened when one day, Mukunda and his best friend Manamohan (later, Swami Satyananda, disciple of Sriyukteswar) were sitting near their Gurudev and Mukunda became inattentive. Sriyukteswar noticed this and then touched Mukunda’s mind at that given moment. He found out that Mukunda was using Khechari’s effect for daydreaming and seeing American people men and women with bare bodies wearing small swimming suits, playing on the beach and in ocean water at Encinitas, California. It was a prohibited act according to Vedic culture and thus Sriyukteswar scolded Mukunda not to be interested in daydreaming or these things could happen in life. Through this event, Sriyukteswar became aware of his dear disciple’s providence to be in Encinitas.
So he prepared Yogananda from his teenage years accordingly and helped him to discharge his providence, by selecting him as his messenger to the West. He kept Satyananda near him and appointed him leader of the East.
It was Sriyukteswar who sent Yogananda to the West as his emissary, not by Babaji. Throughout his life, Yogananda longed to see Babaji but there is no factual evidence that Yogananda even once met Babaji.
"It was at Puri, in Orissa, on the Bay of Bengal, that I encountered Sri Yukteswar. He was then the head of a quiet ashrama near the seashore there, and was chiefly occupied in the spiritual training of a group of youthful disciples. He expressed keen interest in the welfare of the people of the United States and of all the Americans, and of England, too, and questioned me concerning the distant activities, particularly those in California, of his chief disciple, Paramahansa Yogananda, whom he dearly loved, and sent, in 1920, as his emissary to the West." Preface by W.Y. Evans Wentz, page vii, Autobiography of a Yogi, Eleventh edition, sixth Paperbound printing.
The document says, “One day, Mukunda was sitting near Gurudev inattentively; Gurudev scolded him for that. During that period, actually in Mukunda’s mind several pictures appeared one after another. Sometimes he was walking on the surface of plain land, sometimes on the mountain, and again sometimes he was staying by the seashore. At that time, he did not understand the significance of this mental picture. In later days, Mukunda used to say that perhaps there was an indication of the future course of actions in life in the mental picture of that day [daydreaming]. In the beginning, his work started on the plains of Dihika, West Bengal; then with the starting of Brahmacharya Vidyalaya [School], he went to Ranchi; then in the West in 1925 [actually registered in March 29, 1935] he established his headquarters of Self Realization Fellowship Church (SRFC) in Los Angeles on Mount Washington and in 1936 he received a present of a sadhanasram on the seashore at Encinitas in the state of California.” P. 84 Yogananda Sanga by Swami Satyananda, (Disciple of Sriyukteswar, a boyhood best friend and brother disciple of Yogananda).
In 1937, in a letter to his colleague Nirod (Nirad Ranjan Choudhuri, also known as Sri Nerode), since he saw through his daydreaming in the young days, Yogananda himself characterized the Encinitas branch as “Dream Hermitage, Encinitas, Calif.” His own handwritten letter reveals it at the top of the right hand corner. Page 818, Reproduced from Babaji O Tnar Parampara (Bengali version of Babaji and His Legacy ISBN 1-877854-31-X) by Swami Satyeswarananda Vidyaranta Babaji.
The purpose of the letter was to request his colleague, Nirod, who was in charge of running his main center at Mount Washington, Los Angeles at that time, to clean, rearrange things, put up new pictures, relocate current residents elsewhere, and make available as many rooms and suites as possible to rent for $500.00 per month to the devotees as permanent guests who wanted to live at the center. For this purpose, already advertisements were put in the following newspapers:
Herald of Hollywood and
Swami Yogananda’s Handwritten Letter
English version of the previous letter: