The Royal Mendicant: V


14th July 1989

I am at Trayambakeshwar, the jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, after 26 years. It was here in 1963 that the chapter of my life which led me to Munger and the propagation of yoga was first revealed to me. It was here too that I made a sankalpa or promise to return and seek further enlightenment renouncing all I achieve or accomplish for the propagation of yoga.

This morning I went to have darshan of Lord Mrityunjaya and sought his permission to spend two months of Chaturmas here. A strange coincidence brings me back after 50 many years to the same place, His Holiness Mahant Shivgiriji Maharaj, the chief of Juna Akhara at Trayambakeshwar, invited me to stay at Neel Parbat, the very same place where I had stayed 26 years ago, I have chosen to stay in a 'goshala' at the foot of Neel Parbat, a small room 8'x8', representing everything ancient in structure, purity and simplicity.

I am alone. What shall I do here? All around me rise the Brahmagiri hills from where the Godavari descends and flows on to the eastern sea. While I meditate under the gular tree outside my kutiya and await his next command, I am inspired and intoxicated by the wondrous beauty of these shiva-lingam-shaped mountains on all sides.

18th July

Guru Poornima vrat begins today. At midnight I was bathing in the light when a cyclonic storm started and the command was clear:

'Perfect the unbroken awareness of your guru mantra with every breath and beat of the heart. That is your mission now.'

So here begins the new chapter of my life. And just as I gave my whole self to the accomplishment of His previous command, I shall also plunge deep into all that is required of me to perfect my new mission. The past is dead and gone. Human as I am, I may travel back into the past and circumstances may compel me to accept associations with those with whom I had interacted before. That too is His will. But my personal endeavour will be to break away from the past and fulfil the mission given to me by Lord Mrityunjaya.

3rd September 1989

A question which has been haunting my mind from time to time is answered today. Where do I fulfil my next mission? Many places were offered to me, a beautiful cave at Gangotri on the banks of the Ganga, a kutiya at Kedarnath and many others, but I had reserved my decision until the direction was made clear to me. I woke up at midnight as usual. The sky was quiet; the translucent rays of Ashtami were shining through the small window of my kutiya, and I found that I was once again enveloped by a strange light. The command was clear:

'Go to my burial ground, the smashan bhoomi'

That very morning while I was boiling my tea, Swami Satyasangananda arrived all the way from Munger and the first instruction I gave her was to find the place for me. I gave her a glimpse of what I had seen and described its setting and surrounding topography. She left barely three hours after her arrival, in search of the place of my description.

12th September 1989

On this day 43 years ago I shed all that belonged to my poorvashrain, the name, the caste, the gotra and many more things including coat and pant, to don the geru robes. It was on this day, at Rishikesh by the banks of the Ganga, that my guru Swami Sivanandaji gave me Paramahamsa diksha of the Dasnama Sannyasa Order.

Swami Gyanprakash arrived by mid-afternoon to inform me that barely two days after her departure Swami Satsangi had located the exact setting in Lord Shiva's smashan bhoomi, for my further mission. That evening I performed Poornahuti for the fulfilment of my prayers and the revelation of a divine place and a clear cut path, just as BSY and Ganga Darshan had been revealed to me 25 years ago in the same place by the same Lord Mrityunjaya.

I now wish to make it clear to all of you associated with me in the past that I am dead and will continue to live in the smashan bhoomi of my Ishta devata until he has some other command for me. Prior to my final settling I will pay a visit to Kamakhya and worship Her in Her physical form which I had promised on Vijaya Dashami last year.

The hamsa has flown away
Soaring high with its wings spread
Across the infinite sky.
It is searching for its ultimate abode
Since many yugas.

Knowledge it has received in abundance
From the gyanis of the world,
Grace and blessings of the divine, too.
Still, today it is restlessly flapping
Its wings in search.
Looking down at its own creation
Of the three worlds
Etched across the horizon,
Yes, it is flying high.
And flying ceaselessly in search,
Witnessing the world down below as leela
Alone, all alone, in the infinite sky
My soul is flying to unite with its beloved.

Om Namo Narayanaya

It is now befitting to express my heartfelt gratitude to those who have in their own way extended their help and co-operation during my teerthatan in the past year. First and foremost I would like to thank:

  • His Holiness Swami Chidanandji Maharaj of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh for his valuable support, guidance and inspiration.
  • Mahant Shivgiriji of Juna Akhara, Trayambakeshwar for his hospitality during my chaaturmaas at Neel Parbat, Trayambakeshwar.
  • My guru bahen Mata Sivananda-Krishnananda who came all the way from Brindavan to meet me at Bombay as she telepathically knew that I was now entering a new phase of sannyasa.
  • His Holiness Rawalji of Badrinath and his wonderful team for their hospitality, friendship and warmth during my visits to Uttarkhand.
  • Mahant Omkaranandaji Maharaj of Sri Akhandananda Ashram, Brindavan for his overwhelming kindness.
  • Staff and in-charge of Udaseen Ashram, Amarkantak.
  • Padmavati, alias Wendy from USA, who unknowingly became the catalyst in arranging my meeting with Mahant Godavari of Juna Akhara at Kumbh Mela.
  • And of course, Mahant Godavariji himself, at whose dhuna I had the good fortune to spend many hours during the Kumbh Mela. It was he who acted as a trigger and it was at his dhuna on 6th March that a breakthrough took place in my psyche. Swami Atmananda who flew all the way from Singapore to meet me and who was the one person amongst my early batch of sannyasins who not only fully understood and appreciated my new mission, but also pledged to renounce her accomplishments and follow the path of Paramahamsa. Sri Kedarnath Goenka, who has been my best friend and well-wisher throughout the years and even now. No words are enough to express my gratitude to him.
  • The Bhaskars in Delhi and in Katni who unfailingly gave their help in every way possible. Mr and Mrs Hira from Bombay and also their associates, Mr Tiwari from Varanasi, Ravi Maachar from Aurangabad and Boney Kapoor, Bombay, who extended their help whenever required. Sri Ajay Lakhanpal, Minoo Mody, Hani Umrolia and Ashok Mody from Bombay. Mr Sengar and Mrs Swaraj Mani Agarwal from Jamalpur.
  • My good friend, Mr Rajgarhia, from Delhi. Sri Kiran Shankar from Nepal whom I met by coincidence.
  • Swami Yagyavalkyananda (Dr B. C. Adhwaryoo) of Gujrat whom I have known since Rishikesh.
  • Sri Lal and Shetty who drove my car.
  • Sri Lilamoy Mukherjee, also the Mukhia of Rikhia and Girdhari Panda who extended their support in spotting the place for me.
  • And last but not least I must express that were it not for the able leadership of Swami Niranjan who took over BSY and managed it better than ever before, my path would not have been passed clear. My thanks to him.
  • Other than that, my heart goes out to the soul-stirring verses of Ramacharitmanas which have inspired and encouraged me at all times.

Navaratri 30th September 1989.

Om Namo Narayanaya
O Lord Mrityunjaya!

I have worshipped you
As Kaal Bhairava with one tattwa,
As Kaamakshi with five tattwas,
As Vishnu with flowers, fruits, water and milk.

In many forms, in many ways
And in many places
I have worshipped whatever form
You have revealed to me as your own image.

And now, at your burial ground
I will worship you with every breath.

This I promise.