In 1982 Babaji initiated Hargovind and Lok Nath as yogi’s and they were to dress in langoti’s ( loincloths ). It was an exciting moment particularly for them but also for others to see as this was happening only sporadicly thru the years. In one way I took it all very serious but to see my brothers with whom I spend the days at Herakhan all of a sudden naked in loincloths often appealed to my mischievous side provoking funny remarks. One day as they were just receiving instructions of rubbing vibhuti ( sacred ashes ) on their bodies Babaji asked me if I also wanted to be a yogi like this. I answered that all these ashes would make such a mess in the shop. (where I was doing my service.) , yes you are a shop yogi He said ….
However lighthearted I may seem with all this I was also very interested. One day walking with Babaji we met Lok Nath and Babaji takes him aside and gives him a certain sadhana to do. I could not help my curious self and casually moved in closer to eavesdrop on the instructions. I figured that I would not have been there if I was not supposed to hear this. Babaji told Lok Nath to get up at midnight at a particular place a do japa for 2 hours every night. That seemed a feasible thing to do and I was wondering what “effect” this particular action would have on me.
Because of the excitement of going to do this I could not sleep really before midnight but got up and parked myself on sacred spot with my assana. It was pure magic being under the starry sky, contours of mount Kailash, sound of the river and thru japa in full communication with the Divine. Loosing track of time in that joyful state I noticed people going for their baths….a night in heaven where time flew by…..I started to pick up my own routine which started with bath, havan, aarati and morning darshan with Babaji and then on to the shop to do my work.
I had just opened 10 minutes and Babaji came in, looked around, made some comments and told me to close up and follow Him. It became a great morning where we walked thru the village, sat in Tea shops etc and spend the time up to lunch going around. Had a nap after lunch but not that long as I also shared a duty ( blessing ) with Kartar Giri of assisting Babaji in His afternoon bath.
Went to bed a bit earlier and at midnight the alarm rang and again spend lovely hours under the stars with the Divine Name running thru my head. Loosing time again reached my room at 3.00 and there was only time for a small nap left before my daily program started. 15 minutes or so after darshan Babaji entered the shop again and told me to go with Him and had another fantastic morning with Him. This went on for 4/5 days including Babaji coming to take me from the shop on His walk around here and there. These were magical days but even if filled with all that bliss and being a young enthusiastic boy after 4/5 days of having 2/3 hours of sleep in my busy day I became very tired and spaced out.
Since I had not vowed anything to anybody I decided to take a day of my new routine….which turned into 2 nights off. Those 2 days Babaji did not come to the shop to take me but i did not see the connection yet.
When I did start my night routine again Babaji did come again and involved me in His morning programs of being with Him. Two days after we left on a trip to Vrindavan. Then I started to realise a bit about the connection of the night sadhana and the extra attention I received. It was strange to realise and also to tell you that however magical this all was I never picked up this self imposed sadhana again after returning from that yatra. reflecting back on this and other sadhana’s I have undertaken thru the years I have learned something from this which may be interesting or inspiring for others and there for share this also.
As beautiful as life was in Herakhan living with Babaji it was also difficult and there were not many people who were staying there for long stretches of time. Our social relations and entanglements and addictive patterns of our lifestyles at home become very evident once you are deprived of that in Herakhan. At first everybody enjoyed very much the simplicity, relieved from the burden of home and be with the Divine in physical form. As time passes however the discomfort of hard beds, cold baths, little sleep, very simple food, hard work and repetitive daily patterns gives a whole different perspective to that simplicity. This shortened the stay of many people. There were also the “tests” where Babaji made one go thru like a heavy job, a strong sadhana, a disease, and emotional roller coaster leela’s etc which was deepening the whole experience of being in Herakhan with Babaji enormously. For some reason beyond my logical understanding this daily life suited me well, I never thought of leaving or were missing things. I must admit that running the shop made me go on trip to Haldwani or further at times were I enjoyed a different food and perhaps made something easier for me ? But even after just one or two days coming home was always great to be there again !
Doing this extra thing in the night, pushing the boundaries of the comfort zone was immediately answered by Babaji by daily visits. Also after His Samadi I have noticed that doing that extra push of seeking Divine connecting inside of us is answered in all sorts of ways with His presence also now. There is a wonderful story in the vedic scriptures where Gods and demons have to work hard together to churn the ocean with a mountain as a mixer to let the Divine nectar rise from the bottom of the ocean. Gods nor demons could do this by themselves but with forces united it did arise !
There is a lot more to say about this beautiful myth but the point here is to grind our daily patterns, habits and attachments, the good and the bad, to make that Divine nectar rise from the depts of our being.
Yes it was very inspiring and wonderful to do these things with Babaji in those days but having done such things also after I can promise you that this what I experienced then is just as valid now. We get so entangled in the maya of this world and unconsciously we hold on to it very tight and continue our suffering and separation of the Divine. Babaji lives in our heart, if we focus less on this maya we will become aware of this great blessing we have of knowing Him.
Bhole Baba ki Jai !
May you have a blessed Navaratri