Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master - A yogi's autobiography
How much do I want to read more? 7/10
Kind of another "Autobiography of a Yogi".
1. The Beginning
I was born on the 6th of November 1948.
Babaji (father), as I called my teacher, often said,“Keep things simple and direct. No mumbo jumbo. Live in the world like anybody else. Greatness is never advertised. Those who come close, discover it themselves. Be an example to your friends and associates of how you can live in this world happily and, at the same time, tune in to the abundant energy and glory of the infinite consciousness.”
Since the age of five and a half to about the age of ten, I suffered from terrible nightmares.
arious cures were tried, including the wearing of talismans, but to no effect. The dreams finally disappeared after my first meeting with the Master. It took me many years to understand what I was fleeing from and where I wanted to go.
“Draw your own conclusions from the story I am going to tell you but don’t be in a hurry to do so.”
“Behind the famous temple of Badrinath, the sacred Himalayan shrine, which stands 13,000 feet above sea level, there exist a few large and small caves perched on top of nearly inaccessible cliffs. Only a few extraordinary beings continue to live and meditate in the caves even during winter.
A hundred years ago, one such extraordinary yogi sat in one of the caves, absorbed in deep meditation on his inner self. while his eyes were closed, a peaceful smile lit his face as he enjoyed the inner joy of soul communion. was just nineteen.
an old man of the kind rarely seen in those parts pulled himself up on to the flat rock in front of the cave. His dirty green turban and soiled robe now almost torn to shreds, the rosary around his neck and his hennaed beard clearly indicated that he was a Muslim fakir.
There were cuts and bruises all over his arms, legs and other exposed parts of his body and blood oozed from his wounds. Cold and hungry, he was on the verge of collapsing, but as soon as his eyes fell upon the young yogi sitting in the cave, the pained expression on his face was replaced by a smile which expanded into hysteric laughter.
He then did something no Hindu would ever dream of doing to a yogi – he hugged him.
The yogi, crudely shaken out of his trance, opened his eyes and shook off the old man who was clinging to his body.
“How dare you? Keep away from me.” Anger, that powerful poison that is sometimes difficult to control even for rishis, had entered this young yogi’s heart.
“Please, Sir,” pleaded the fakir, “Give me a chance to tell you my story.” “Go away,” said the yogi, “I need to have a dip in the Alakananda and resume my meditation. Your kind of person, a meat eating barbarian, has no place here. Get lost.”
The fakir would not give up. “Please listen to me, O great yogi, I am a Sufi and am the chief disciple of a great Sufi master of the Naqshabandiya order. Just before my master passed away, six months ago, he told me, ‘Friend, you have now reached the level of spiritual attainment that I was able to take you to. I am leaving my body soon and there is no Sufi master at this point who is willing to guide you to the next and higher level. But don’t worry. There lives a young Himalayan yogi near Badri in the Himalayas. Find him and seek his help.’
The fakir bade farewell by prostrating at the yogi’s feet and with tears in his eyes, made his way to the river that flowed several feet below. With a prayer on his lips and seeking guidance from the Supreme Being, he plunged into the swirling waters and ended his life.
The young yogi, confident that he had done the right thing and having no remorse whatsoever, climbed down to a lovely spot on the banks of the river and, chanting the appropriate mantras for purification, had a dip in the extremely cold waters of the sacred river.
when he heard the familiar sweet voice of his master calling him, “Madhu!”
“What a terrible thing you have done my boy,” he said softly.
“Haven’t I always told you to think before you speak about what you are going to say, to whom, and under what circumstances? You could have had a little more patience and listened carefully to what the old man was trying to say. Is a holy man judged by his outward appearance? Like my great disciple Kabir said, would you give more importance to the scabbard than to the sword? You have hurt and pained a great devotee of the Lord. All the fruits of your many years of austerities, you have destroyed in a flash. A minute of kindness is more precious than a hundred years of intense austerities. You have to compensate for it.”
“As for the fakir,” said Babaji, “I shall take care of his spiritual needs. You have arrested your spiritual progress by your arrogant behaviour and the only way to get back on track is to go through the same or similar pain and privation that the fakir went through. We shall then guide your soul to be born in such circumstances that you go through pain similar to that suffered by the poor man. Do it now.”
"I beg you to please promise me that you will watch over me and bring me back to your blessed feet.”
“That, I promise,” said the great teacher.