The REAL reason we are going to India.
The REAL reason we are going to India.
People travel for many different reasons.
I once was getting a Thai massage in Chiang Mai, when the woman in the bed next to mine started talking to me.
She told me that she had come to Thailand to get a hip operation and that she was elated at how well it had gone, and how caring the people had been.
She said that she gets a daily massage, eats good food, and rests in a tropical paradise where everyone treats her like royalty.
It was the first time I had met a person traveling under the category of “Medical Tourism.”
People travel far and wide to dine in Michelin-starred restaurants, as I have also done.
In my early twenties, before I opened my restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel, I flew to Italy and France with my first husband, and together we dined in two and three Michelin-starred restaurants every night for two weeks.
Years later, when Jules and I got married, I again traveled to France, mostly to dine in Michelin restaurants with at least one star.
Jules’ secretary, who was Haitian and spoke good French, called and made all the bookings for us, since the Internet and ‘Open Table’ were only in their diapers at that time.
People travel for sacred music festivals, to raft a river, to climb a mountain, to learn a language, to visit special museums or hotels, to take a cruise or just out of curiosity, just to see the landscape or how people live in other parts of the world.
Sometimes I am not fully aware of why we go places.
Take Singapore, for instance.
We are going there after our trip to India, on our way back to New Zealand.
The choice to go there was not a deliberate one.
Our flight to New Zealand connected in Singapore, so we decided to extend our stay, to enjoy Singapore for an extra nine days, since we have not been there in years.
But I am fully aware of WHY I am going to India.
It might sound like the heartfelt wishes of a naive kid, but I will share it with you anyway……
We have been to India twice before, but my reason for this trip is far beyond tasting the street food of Mumbai, or seeing other parts of the country that we have not seen before.
Jules is probably going to India because he is an adventurous soul who loves to have adventures with me, but I am going to India and in particular to the Himalayas…….to look for and hopefully to meet Babaji, the “Deathless Master.”
We have no exact plans, only a notion that we want to meet the deathless Master Babaji…. That is, if we can find him and if he deems us worthy of revealing himself to us.
Thus with this goal in mind, we plan to visit Kashmir, Ladakh, and Amritsar in the Far North, and then move on to Rishikesh to see some of the ashrams there, and then make our way down the country to visit the Ajanta Buddhist Caves and the Ellora caves in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state.
We plan to visit the holy city of Varanasi, and then on to Puri and Konark and Goa before at last we depart from Mumbai.
Allow me to add that I KNOW that flying to India and spending all this money in search of the Deathless Master Babaji, is as hard and possibly as futile a task as going to look for the illusive Yeti.
I would like to say a few words of explanation about my search, for those of you who have not heard about Babaji.
Human beings are not weak and mortal creatures, born but to suffer decay, limitations, old age and death.
Human beings are actually powerful spiritual Beings who never die, but only go on to reincarnate again and again until they become fully awakened to their true spiritual nature and finally experience full enlightenment, which allows them to become conscious creators of their own realities.
But even while human beings are completely ignorant of their unlimited Divine and godly nature, they are not without powers.
Each one of us is endowed with dozens of supernatural powers that we can tap into, consciously or subconsciously.
While only advanced masters are able to levitate, manifest things directly from the Universal, dematerialize themselves and re-materialize their bodies in different places, walk on water, move mountains, part the sea, manifest and play with radiant light, heal the sick and raise the dead, many other powers are fully available to all human beings to tap into and use.
We all can have access to the inner Third Eye and have psychic powers, the ability to dream, imagine and WILL things into reality, and the ability to rejuvenate and heal our bodies.
Science has fully confirmed that our bodies, at any given moment, are never older than ten years old.
Every cell in our bodies is constantly being renewed, and so we have a whole new body every ten years.
(Read the New York Times article titled: “Your Body is younger than you think!”
The body you have today was not meant to last for only about a hundred years, it was meant to last for thousands of years, with the capacity to constantly evolve and to fully renew itself.
You have the divine capacity to become more and more full of light, until you are able to walk on air and be absorbed into the Infinite by choice.
I think this spiritual truth is worth repeating:
The body was NOT designed at its highest code, to last only a hundred years or so, it was designed to last for thousands of years if not abused and depleted by the low vibrational thoughts that we all hold and by the low and finite ideas that we keep in our powerful minds.
In fact, the body can go on living for eternity, and you have the choice to drop it or to leave it behind ONLY when you choose to do so.
You might be wondering, why is all this not manifested in your reality, right now?
Well….There are many reasons for that.
For one, there is your utter lack of belief that this is even true.
You do not see yourself as one with God, created exactly in God’s own image and likeness, and endowed with all the powers and possibilities that God has.
Albeit, your powers are not as strong since you have not yet learnt how to direct your attention to create ONLY what is for your best and highest good.
You do not believe that you are unlimited, but that you ARE your body, and that you cease to exist when you no longer manifest a body.
You believe that bodies are finite and subject to random sickness and failure, which can strike at any moment.
You do not TRAIN yourself to become immortal, a spiritual warrior who is able to EMBODY the Infinite.
In his books, Carlos Castaneda talks about his teacher, the shaman sorcerer Don Juan, who told him that a person MUST become a strong Spiritual warrior in order to face the unknown.
A spiritual warrior is not war-like.
They are actually exceptionally loving and peaceful people.
A spiritual warrior is a master who is no longer at the mercy of her whims, desires and emotions, but is able to stay centered in the truth.
The reason that I paint spiritual warriors wearing elaborate and beautiful armor that often show beautiful scenes of birds, flowers and landscapes, is because a really effective armor is not one which protects you from arrows or insults, but one that helps you to merge with the universe and become spiritually absorbed into the field of light.
Spiritual warriors are depicted holding swords, because they symbolize the ability to slice between the eternal spiritual truth, and the meaningless nonsense of the world’s dreams and illusions.
Don Juan used the word “Tonal” when talking about the need to develop our own personal powers to become powerful warriors.
He was talking about the need to develop emotional strength, a sharp and not fuzzy mental attitude, and a strong, agile and capable body.
Buddhism teaches those sincere students who want to become masters, to do exactly the same things.
In order to develop our “Tonal,” we need to learn to control our weaknesses, push ourselves in order to stretch beyond our perceived limits, and stretch beyond our ideas of pain and pleasure.
You move beyond the normal notion of pain when you learn how to fast, to walk long distances, to sit without movement and meditate for hours and to stay sharply focused.
A spiritual warrior must overcome all addictions, even the “good” addictions to comfort, family and to our own sense of self, including our past self-images.
What that means is that we must not be attached to our own identity and self importance.
We must learn to be humble and unimportant.
We must be willing to let go of our attachments to our past accomplishments and preferences, in order to truly evolve into becoming one with the Universal.
For those of you who are not familiar with Babaji, the Enlightened Deathless master, allow me to give you a little background.
Paramahansa Yogananda is a beloved yogi and spiritual teacher who wrote the fabulous book, “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
In this autobiography, Yogananda wrote about the enlightened deathless master Babaji, who was the Guru of his own guru, Lahiri Mahashai, in the lineage of the spiritual masters practicing Kriya Yoga.
Babaji is reputed to live in the high Himalayas, and it is said that he is an immortal who has never known death.
He has no known address, and he does not show himself often.
Babaji has no need for a human body, which is just an outer manifestation of the energy, emotions, ideas and beliefs that each individual holds at any given time.
He can come and go into the infinite field of existence, without the need of death and reincarnation.
The northern Himalayan rugged cliffs near Badrinarayan are still blessed by the living presence of Babaji, the guru of Lahiri Mahasaya.
The secluded master has retained his physical form for centuries, perhaps for millennia.
The deathless Babaji is a living AVATAR.
Krishna, Rama, Buddha, and Patanjali were among the ancient Indian avatars.
Agastya is another South Indian avatar from the State of Tamil Nadu.
He worked many miracles during the centuries preceding and following the Christian era, and is credited with retaining his physical form even to this day.
Babaji generally speaks in Hindi, but he converses easily in any language.
He has adopted the simple name of Babaji (revered father).
“Whenever anyone utters with reverence the name of Babaji,” Lahiri Mahasaya said, “that devotee attracts an instant spiritual blessing.”
The deathless guru bears no marks of age on his body.
He appears to be no more than a youth of twenty-five.
Fair-skinned, of medium build and height, Babaji’s beautiful, strong body radiates a perceptible glow.
His eyes are dark, calm, and tender; his long, lustrous hair is copper-colored.
“The peerless master moves with his group from place to place in the mountains.
His small band contains two highly advanced American disciples.
After Babaji has been in one locality for some time, he says: ‘DERA DANDA UTHAO.’ (‘Let us lift our camp and staff.’)
He carries with him a symbolic DANDA (bamboo staff).
His words are the signal for moving with his group instantaneously to another place. He does not always employ this method of astral travel; sometimes he goes on foot from peak to peak.”
“Babaji can be seen or recognized by others ONLY when HE so desires.
He is known to have appeared in many slightly different forms to various devotees-sometimes without beard and moustache, and sometimes with them.
As his undecaying body requires no food, the master seldom eats.
As a social courtesy to visiting disciples, he occasionally accepts fruits, or rice cooked in milk and clarified butter.
An avatar lives in the omnipresent Spirit; for him there is no distance.
Only one reason can motivate Babaji to maintain his physical form from century to century, the desire to furnish humanity with a concrete example of our OWN POSSIBILITIES.
Because people never got a glimpse of real Divinity in the flesh, they remain ignorant and oppressed by the heavy delusion that they cannot transcend their own mortality.”
Yogananda also wrote:
“During my visit at Ranbajpur with Ram Gopal, “The Sleepless Saint,” he related the wondrous story of his first meeting with Babaji:
“I sometimes left my isolated cave to sit at Lahiri Mahasaya’s feet in Benares.
One midnight as I was silently meditating in a group of his disciples, the master made a surprising request. “Ram Gopal,” he said, “go at once to the Dasasamedh bathing GHAT.”
I soon reached the secluded spot.
The night was bright with moonlight and the glittering stars.
After I had sat in patient silence for awhile, my attention was drawn to a huge stone slab near my feet.
It rose gradually, revealing an underground cave.
As the stone remained balanced in some unknown manner, the draped form of a young and surpassingly lovely woman was levitated from the cave high into the air. Surrounded by a soft halo, she slowly descended in front of me and stood motionless, steeped in an inner state of ecstasy.
She finally stirred, and spoke gently. “‘I am Mataji, the sister of Babaji.
I have asked him and also Lahiri Mahasaya to come to my cave tonight to discuss a matter of great importance.’
“A nebulous light was rapidly floating over the Ganges; the strange luminescence was reflected in the opaque waters.
It approached nearer and nearer until, with a blinding flash, it appeared by the side of Mataji and condensed itself instantly into the human form of Lahiri Mahasaya.
He bowed humbly at the feet of the woman saint.
“Before I had recovered from my bewilderment, I was further wonderstruck to behold a circling mass of mystical light traveling in the sky.
Descending swiftly, the flaming whirlpool neared our group and materialized itself into the body of a beautiful youth who, I understood at once, was Babaji.
He looked like Lahiri Mahasaya, the only difference being that Babaji appeared much younger, and had long, bright hair.
“Lahiri Mahasaya, Mataji, and myself knelt at the guru’s feet.
An ethereal sensation of beatific glory thrilled every fiber of my being as I touched his divine flesh.”
‘Blessed sister,’ Babaji said, ‘I am intending to shed my form and plunge into the Infinite Current.’
“I have already glimpsed your plan, beloved master,” said Mataji.
I wanted to discuss it with you tonight.
Why should you leave your body?’
The glorious woman looked at him beseechingly.
“What is the difference if I wear a visible or invisible wave around the ocean of my Spirit?'” Babaji answered.
Mataji replied with a quaint flash of wit: “Deathless guru, if it makes no difference, then please do not ever relinquish your form.”
“Be it so,” Babaji said solemnly. “I will never leave my physical body.
It will always remain visible to at least a small number of people on this earth.
The Lord has spoken His own wish through your lips.”
Now…. Will Jules and I be among the small number of people who will glimpse the beloved deathless master Babaji?……
Please…please….please…. Be it so…
Only time will tell…..
We promise to have a wonderful time during the two month journey.
When I mentioned to a friend in India who is the author of the book, “Songs Of The Mist,” that the REAL reason that I am coming to India is to meet Babaji, this is what he wrote back to me:
…”Now I do believe in synchronicity and as you said in your email that you intend to visit the Himalaya with a view to see the deathless Master Babaji, I would like to quote from the last page of my book:
“For many centuries, it is believed that in the Himalayas, behind the snow capped mountain peaks, deep in the forests, wanders an immortal soul who is known to guide people who are looking for him.
Start your journey, perhaps, you will find him as well!!!”
“…The Monk Character in my book is based on Mahavtaar Babaji, who is supposed to be the living Lord Shiva, and to hear you say that you are seeking Him, makes me feel wonderful.
So I guess you should ‘Start your journey, and perhaps, you will find him’.”
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya”
Wishing you all a wonderful week,
I read the reason why you are going to India. But I feel like you want to get the puriest Tali along the journey. I recalled that you had a few Talis with you when you started Shikoku Pilgrims. I believe you had get rid one or two Talis along the way.
I think you will find deathless Master Babaji someday.
Thank you dear Wendy for your hopeful words and for the reminder that I must become lighter by shedding off some of my ego and identity-self, before I will be able to see with higher eyes…..
Take care and hugs,
There cannot be a better reason to visit India or any other place than to meet the Divine. But we must keep it in mind that each journey is meaningful and the distant calls are but the echoes of our own hearts.
Mahavtar Babaji… ah… the name itself is powerful. For me it is a mantra, same as Jesus or Shiva. I would like to share my association with Babaji.
It was winter of 2013 when I first came to know about Babaji. I read Yogananda’s autobiography and wanted to know more and more about Babaji. I googled Him and came to know about Haidakhan Babaji (lived in the Himalayan Village named Haidakhan from years 1970 to 1984). The place Haidakhan is just 7-8 hours from my home and so I became a frequent visitor to the Ashram there. There is an organisation called “The Haidakhandi Samaj” that maintains the place. The people at Haidakhan believe (to the limits of orthodoxy and superstition) that Haidakhan Babaji was a manifestation of Mahavtar Babaji. I also believed in what I was told. But after a couple of years, I DISAGREE with that belief due to following reasons:
1. Haidakhan Babaji was not ‘deathless.’ He left his body like any other normal person (in Februaury 1984) and was buried as per Hindu rites. Stories are woven around him which are no more than imaginations or feeble attempts to ‘prove’ that Haidakhan Babaji was the Babaji of Yogananda’s book.
2. The rituals and superstitions prevailing and the Ashrams of Haidakhan (there is another Haidakhan Babaji Ashram at Ranikhet District of Himalayas) made me to question the identity of Haidakhan Babaji. On certain festivals, the ritual and idol-worshiping is carried for hours and hours. That is religious but certainly NOT spiritual. And Mahavtar Babaji for me is all about spirituality.
I still visit the Ashrams as their locations are quite beautiful. Also the morning and evening collective prayers at Ranikhet Ashram are overwhelmingly powerful. I respect Haidakhan Babaji for what he was but NOT as another manifestation of Mahavtar Babaji. Also, I am very clear in my mind about the beliefs that prevail at these places. And there are MANY other such Ashrams in India who make such claims about Babaji! So please be very cautious!
You may want to read the book “How I met with Babaji” by Marshall Govindan. It is a very thin book and I found it quite simple, direct and honest. Many other books on Babaji are just fluff.
Other authoritative source where Babaji’s name is mentioned is Neale Donald Walsch’s trilogy “Conversations with God (CWG).” There was a synchronicity how I came to pick the trilogy. In December 2013, I was having a conversation about Babaji with my friends (three of us, to be precise). After the talk, two of us visited a small bookshop. My other friend lifted the Book 3 of CWG trilogy and randomly opened a page. The first thing his eyes caught was the name “Mahavtar Babaji.” He immediately showed the page to me. It was Page no. 95.
I have also “felt” the presence of Babaji or the essence of His existence in some of my night dreams. (I’ll share those experiences some other time.)
I wish you good-luck and hope that you find Babaji. Be aware of false claims! If you need any help while you are here in India, feel free to message me.
Thank you SO much for your wise and level-headed advice.
Yes, I am aware of many false claims and I do intend to be wise about my search.
Thank you also for your offer of help if we need it.
Perhaps this time we can arrange to meet?
I am not sure how your work and life schedules looks these days, but if we could arrange to meet, it will be awesome.
Love and smiles,
That would be great!!! I’ll try my best to catch you at Rishikesh.
(I am sending my contact number on your mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Also, the time of your reply is intriguing: 11:11. 🙂