Happy Deepawali !
One day, unplanned it seemed, Babaji decided to make a small yatra. A handful of Indian and about 10/20 western devotees needed to quickly grab some things and we departed and went up stream from Herakhan. The mood was very leisurely and relaxed. While passing Siddeshwar, somebody had an instant camera and Babaji held a little photoshoot with some people. He called me also. I was looking at Him on the moment of the picture but He twisted my head towards the camera and here is my souvenir of that moment.
There seemed nothing particular going on, Father and His kids going on a walk about. The plan also seemed to change a few times while trekking around in the beautiful foothills of the Kumoun. After most of the day going around here and there we stopped on an open spot in the woods on a mildly sloping hill. Apart from nature there was a small kutir at the edge of the open space and the forest. We were going to camp there for the night. While the cook was preparing something for Babaji we all sat around Him singing and chatting with our Father.
At a certain point Babaji went to the kutir about 20/30 meters away to eat some of these preparations and the people had something right there were they sat. I hopped along with Babaji but waited outside the door while He ate inside the kutir with the cook and somebody else. When He came out I had a lotha ready to offer some water for Him to wash His hands. He washed them but then took me by the arm and lead me into the woods. I had no torch and we only had a little bit of light from the moon, while walking away from the people and the kutir. Then he stopped faced me and motioned me to sit down. It was all very exciting but was very busy wondering what it was about or what I could do or serve. In this sparse light He kept looking deeply into my eyes, saying nothing from very close by. It was very beautiful but I was unable to just relax I remember, thinking I had to serve and do something for Him. Nobody saw us or knew where we were while we were sitting there in the woods. In complete silence He was looking at me like lovers do, I probably did not look like that with my wondering mind unable to relax fully in that moment. After what seemed several hours but was probably only 10 minutes, He got up grabbed my arm and we walked back to where the others were sitting. We sang a few bhajans together and went of to sleep. I could hardly sleep, still trying to figure out what happened, what all this fantastic moment was all about. The next day we strolled back in the same relaxed mode to Herakhan.
Now 35 years later I can still see His eyes glowing and piercing me with love in the dark. Having Babaji looking from so close without words or actions….10 minutes was eternity. I still remember my dis ease and I have wondered often thru the years, did I miss something or was it just a wonderful moment in time. Well I guess I surely missed just being open and relaxed while fully enjoying that fantastic moment there and then. In those years there must have been many things that I missed while looking at Him, standing standing by His side, while staring into confusing mental thoughts in my mind. After a couple of months living in Herakhan my sitting position changed from sitting in front of Babaji to standing next to Him. I was also observing the people often and noticed that it is a human condition of getting stuck in our mind. Many people were stuck somewhere in the realms of their mind. In particular the western mind as I observed that Indians suffer this condition less. With awareness and the holy names we can train our mind and have a more interesting process happening.
I felt that the calling of Oh Shaar Shaab Dahan Shri Kashi Vishwannath Patar he hain ( Pay attention, be careful The Lord of the Universe is coming ) was all about this. To be attentive in here and now. Here and now is GOD. The present moment is truly the only thing we have. The past is gone and has not much sense in dwelling over things again and again, About the future is also not useful to be worried. It will arise in the present moment so better to be there to the best of our abilities. Our mind who usually only represents our ego is keeping us generally away from the glorious here and now. This is just as valid with all the here and now’s. Not only when Babaji is staring at you like in this story. The Divine is constantly looking at each on of us from all directions, always present in the here and now. Great Babaji stories of the past can perhaps be inspiring for some and hoping that Babaji will soon come to fix our and the world problems may give strength to some people to carry on under the burden of daily life. What really counts however is the recognising seeing the Divine, here and now, everywhere and always. That is quite a process as we tend to hold on to………..other stuff. There is a practice in India called “neti neti” which means not this not that. One discards point by point all the stuff which pops up in our mind which is not useful. After many years of fine tuning simplicity takes a firm hold and bring peace and clarity……and easier to enjoy the present moment.
Bhole Baba ki Jai !
Wishing everybody a wonderful festival of LIGHT !
Happy Deepawali !