I am again 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 Chaturmaas here. A strange coincidence brings me back to the same place after so many years. His Holiness Mahant Shivgiriji Maharaj, the chief of Juna Akhara at Trayambakeshwar, invited me to stay at Neel Parvat, the very same place where I had stayed 26 years ago. I have chosen to stay in a 'goshala' (cowshed) at the foot of Neel Parvat, a small room 8'x 8', 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.
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. This 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.
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 kuitya, 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.
On this day 43 years ago I shed all that belonged to my poorvashram: the name, the caste, the gotra, and many more things including coat and pant, to don the geru robe. 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 (final oblations) for the fulfillment 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 that 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."