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Ram Naresh Tripathi


Foreword.. 3 Preface.. 5 The Journey 7 The Quest 10 The Ascent.. 12 The Earlier Phase. 14 The Siddha Yogi 18 Yoga Vidya & Modern Science.. 21 The Power of the Mantra. 24 The Preceptor. 26 Appendix 29

Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

One looks back in history to find that belief in the allied doctrines of reincarnation and transmigration of souls is more widespread than is commonly known. Contrary to the popular view, it is not exclusive to Hinduism and its numerous offshoots that subscribe to the theory of karma. However, the concept of rebirth as a fundamental tenet of faith is integral only to creeds of Indian origin, among the worlds major religions. The definition of transmigration, as given by The Encyclopedia Americana is the belief that the soul, after the death of the body, passes into the bodies of the lower animals or other human bodies, or of plants or inanimate objects. In the teaching of the Brahmanic Hindus, among whom the doctrine can be traced further back than in any other race, it has its foundation in the belief of the connection of all living beings and of the gradual return to the common source and origin of all things - God. The Encyclopedia Britannica says: Usually found in the Asian religions and philosophies, belief in reincarnation, sometimes referred to as the transmigration of souls, metempsychosis (or, more properly, metensomatosis, the changing of bodies) or alingenesis (Greek: to have an origin again), also has been found in the religious and philosophical thought of primitive religions (eg., the Greek Orphic mystery, or salvation religion), Manichaeism, and Gnosticism, as well as such modern religious movements as theosophy. Most religious systems accept the existence of a nebulous entity, known as the spirit or soul, allied to the supreme power, surviving the death of the body. What happens before and after determines differences in metaphysics. From the sixth century BC onwards, Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato, and the movement known as Orphism affirmed faith in the doctrine of rebirth, and the souls eventual liberation from the bondage of the body. In Persia, modern Iran, of the third century AD, the prophet Manichaess teachings also hinged on this doctrine. And, long before Christianity left its imprint in Europe, there is evidence of belief in transmigration among the druids, the priests among the ancient Celts. The druids were credited with possessing magical powers. The Judaic-Christian theology represents a sharp departure from the earlier conception of the souls onward journey from one body to another. The Semitic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - share the belief in a single birth and atonement for sins on the Day of Judgment. There is a sense of finality about the fact of death. But, deviant viewpoints, related to mysticism, persist. In the Jewish ethos, the concept of transmigration occurs in the esoteric system known as the Cabbala. And, in the case of Christianity, Gnosticism, a twelfth century heresy, accepted belief in rebirth. Mystics everywhere appear to have had revelations and experiences at variance with systemized theology. Thus, if in the Greco-Roman world of the twelfth century, belief in reincarnation was an unorthodox indulgence, the Bhakti poets of India, in seeking direct communion with God, rejected all conventional differentiations of caste, creed and gender as being detrimental to their quest. So is it with the mystics of the Sufi tradition. Upto our times, anthropologists have found evidence of belief in the transmigration of souls among the supposedly primitive tribes of Africa, Asia and Australia. It is often linked to Totemism, prevalent also among the indigenous people of the two Americas. The interchangeability of bodies, between a human being and an animal after death, renders the animal chosen by the soul as its new resting place, sacred. Clearly, outside the Judaic-Christian world, faith in the concept of the souls onward journey is not an aberration. In their sweep, the Indian religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism - cover a large part of Asia, with new adherents to these creeds surfacing in the developed world particularly, as traditional systems of thought drop away. The four are bound together by their acceptance of the premise of rebirth as the foundation of their philosophy, though they differ in details. In Buddhism, it is the cumulative karma of an individual that is carried on, from one birth to another, manifesting as vijnana, the seed of consciousness, in the mothers womb. Nirvana or release from enslavement by the body, occurs when all desires and cravings are quelled, and with it, the false sense of the self. Jainism stresses extreme penance and self-denial as the means for freedom from the
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

cycle of rebirth. In Sikhism, the final goal is ascent to the Godhead through devotion to the supreme power and the performance of good deeds. In view of its syncretic tradition, Hinduism encompasses diverse philosophical systems, even admitting to an atheistic point of view, propagated by the sage, Charvaka. However, the conviction that there is a power that is supreme and which joyously brings forth all creation, only to draw it back, in a continuous replay, is dominant. The popular term used to describe this sportive play is Lila. According to this theory, the soul, present in all beings, forgets its divine origin under the deluding power of Maya or the cosmic illusion. Propelled by ignorance and desire, it travels from one body to another, over a period of time beyond human reckoning, graduating painstakingly from the lower species to the human, considered the highest because it is the only one that is so self-conscious as to be conducive to the souls release from the cycle of rebirth. This must rank as the earliest known theory of evolution. Some western thinkers, too, clearly grasped the unitive character of all creation. Lorenz Oken, in his Nature Philosophy, published in 1809, described natural science as the science of the everlasting transmutations of the Holy Ghost in the world. And, George Bernard Shaw, in the preface to Back to Methuselah, a play on evolution, observed that the earlier philosophers, from Plato to Leibnitz, had kept the human mind open for the thought of the universe as one idea behind all its physically apprehensible transformations. To return to the Hindu perspective on life, liberation occurs when the fetters of Maya are removed by means of spiritual aspiration, yogic practices and, simply, Grace. It entails the souls realization of its own effulgence, concealed by the darkness of ignorance. At the end, one question eludes a satisfactory answer: whether the whole exercise actually owes to oneself. In the case of the being that is already free of the compulsions of rebirth, return to the world after the annihilation of the body is believed to be motivated by a specific purpose. It involves consciously seeking another body, suited to the fulfillment of a preordained task. This is transmigration, in a different context, unraveling one of creations manifold mysteries.

Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

Among the legion of saints whose presence has sanctified the world, Yogiraj Devraha Babas appointed role was that of savior, friend and guide. One of the foremost spiritual teachers of this century, with followers from all walks of life, his jalsamadhi in Vrindavan on June 19, 1990 left his disciples grief- stricken. They consoled themselves with the thought that the spirit is eternal. To quote an immortal line:

The yogi who is in Samadhi is neither consumed by time nor controlled by karma. Devraha Baba was known as an ageless yogi, one who had been witness to the march of time. The term, ageless yogi, does not denote one who is forever in the same body. For, the physical frame is sure to die. It is the spirit that never dies. Lord Krishna in The Bhagwad Gita dwells on the doctrine of reincarnation in the following verse:

As a man takes off an old garment and puts on a new one, so does the soul, on leaving the old body, enter a new one? Here, however, we are concerned with the kindred doctrine of transmigration, known as parkaya pravesh, which entails the conscious transference of the self from one body to another. The siddha yogi is credited with the power to do so, and it is in this sense that Devraha Baba is ageless. For, thousands of Yogirajs followers and I believe that his soul has transmigrated to the body of Hans Das, his foremost disciple. I shall refer to this avatar as Devraha Hans Baba, or simply, Hans Baba and Baba. Yogiraj denotes the earlier incarnation. This, then, is the journey of the illumined yogi: from one body to another; from one place to another; from one manch6 to another. It unfolds the mystery of the distinct world of the yogis. Why they come; their practices; and what they do for humanity. Nobody knows where Devraha Baba started his spiritual odyssey. But we know where he has come to rest and where and how he commenced the voyage, this time, again to be with us, and how it is with the devotees. I have no doubts that Yogiraj has resumed his journey as Hans Baba, who, in the years to come, will be known once more as Devraha Baba. My book deals with his transmigration. The old body had become aged, but now, ensconced in the new one, he will be able to work better for the good of mankind. The doctrine of transmigration belongs to an esoteric system of belief. On first encountering it, surprise and skepticism are both natural. But if one were to delve into the subject, it would become more credible, as most unfamiliar phenomena do on closer acquaintance. Some among Yogi Rajs followers are not easily convinced about the miracle. To cite an example, one of the old disciples of Devraha Baba, who was an academic, came for Hans Babas darshan at the Shree Gurudev Ashram on the outskirts of Delhi in March, 1994. This was during the seers first sojourn in the capital. Initially, he was unable to accept the premise of the return. It was after a relentless struggle with the arid logic of his discipline that he surrendered to the master. Perhaps, it was my prayer to Baba to make him understand the miracle of his return that effected the change. I should say that would be the best proof, if any is needed, of Hans Babas identity! There are precedents for the transfer of power by gurus to their disciples. Ramakrishna Paramahans, before entering Samadhi, did so with Vivekananda. This is well documented in biographies of the illustrious pair. In the case of a siddha yogi like Devraha Baba, he is able to transfer his very being to another body.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

This book touches on abstruse aspects of the science of yoga. Today, there is a greater need than ever before for an enduring remedy for the ills plaguing society. The cure may well be contained in this ancient spiritual discipline. One can even remove the afflictions of daily life by assiduously following a chosen path. The methods of realization are too numerous to expound. I have only delineated a few of these. While I have drawn on my personal experiences, needless to say, the essence can never be captured in words. I was with Hans Baba at the ashram in Delhi, where his manch had been set up. Some people wanted a book in English on Baba. A comprehensive exposition of esoteric phenomena is difficult in a language not geared to it. But I have tried my best to address the need. The books on Swami Muktanand, available at the ashram, provided both inspiration and guidance. My friends and fellow devotees, C.K. Sharma and A.N. Johan must be thanked for encouraging me to write this book. I am very grateful to all those who helped me prepare the manuscript. Above all, the immense grace of Hans Baba showed me the way. For, without his blessings, nothing was possible. Dr Ram Naresh Tripathi Brahmarshi Shree Devraha Baba Ashram Bhagdevar Village, Mahuwarikala, Vindhyachal March 28, 1994

Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

The Journey
And death shall be no more. Death thou shalt die.
Successive ages have left behind the debris of mans aspirations. Only one thing endures: his dream of sovereignty. The vision of that realm which lay beyond the way to dusty death drove him in his quest for the eternal. The great seers had revelations of truth, and they knew his real nature to be divine. He was not meant to perish. Ancient treatises on yoga expound on the doctrine of immortality and the several methods to realize the Godhead, which is not separate from the self. The frailties of mortal existence belong to an inferior realm of being, a state of ignorance, induced by the sportive play of the one source of all creation. Be thou a yogi, Arjuna! Lord Krishna tells the Pandava prince on the eve of the war of Kurukshetra, when, overcome with sorrow at the prospect of killing his kinsmen, Arjuna expresses his resolve to desert the battlefield. The Bhagwad Gita, a profound sermon delivered to a heroic disciple by the Lord in his human avatar, dwells on the divine origin of all creation and the deathless nature of the soul. Lord Krishna exhorts Arjuna to fight, disinterestedly, assigning all his work to God, and heedless of the results of his labor. To do so is to be a yogi. This is yoga both in the moral and practical sense: action performed with detachment, in a spirit of surrender to the divine. Action performed with attachment binds one to the cycle of rebirth, the wheel of karma, which turns relentlessly, extracting its price. Liberation occurs when no karmic debt remains to be paid, to anyone or anything. Lord Krishnas advice to Arjuna is the key to removing the veil of Maya. And, the war of the Mahabharat symbolises the battle of life. Derivative religions such as Buddhism and Jainism, which also subscribe to the doctrine of rebirth as a fundamental tenet of faith, do not, however, positively affirm t h e existence of Brahman, the immutable Godhead. In Buddhism, karma supercedes the function of the soul, being carried on from one birth to another, becoming the vijnana or germ of consciousness in the womb of each new carrier. Nirvana is the state of complete absence of desire, which is the force that turns the wheel of karma. It is attained through negation of the notion of the self. Jainism does hold by the traditional concept of an unchanging soul. But, contrary to the Hindu view, the act of liberation is not a positive assertion of divinity. It is, rather, self-negation, effected by means of extreme penance and practice of non-violence (ahinsa). Mahavira, the twenty fourth Jain tirthankar or preceptor, starved himself to death in conformance with the ideal of not threatening any life form, entailed by the very process of existence. This indeed was the supreme irony. Sikhism agrees with Hinduism on major points, but rejects the caste system and the pantheon of Hindu gods. Both Sikhs and Hindus hold Guru Nanak, the 16th century founder of the faith, to be a divinely appointed prophet savior. There is a more esoteric doctrine which emerges when Lord Krishna tries to convince Arjuna of the souls immortality, to make him cast off remorse over the annihilation of the physical body in battle. As the Spirit of our mortal body wanders on in childhood, and youth and old age, the Spirit wanders on to a new body. And, Far beyond time he dwell s in these bodies, though these bodies have an end in their time; but he remains immeasurable, immortal. Therefore, great warrior, carry on thy fight. Lord Krishna goes on to say, more explicitly: I have been born many times, Arjuna, and many times hast thou been born. But I remember my past lives and thou hast forgotten thine. The Hindu belief is that mans descent on earth is for reasons very different from Gods and his emissaries, who come for the salvation of those who are good, for the destruction of evil in men, for the fulfillment of the kingdom of righteousness. He is bound by the cycle of karma, forced to take birth repeatedly, and prey to the messengers of Yama, so long as he lives in ignorance of his true nature. His duty is to ascend to the Godhead by removing the fetters of mortality. The siddha yogi embodies to the fullest the state of attainment. He defies all limitations of the ego and the body, to master time and space.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

One must induce willing suspension of disbelief to be able to visualize the powers of the siddha yogi. The whole of nature is within his grasp and he acts like Brahma the Creator, to remould the existing order according to the divine plan. The dualities of good and evil and related opposites do not cloud his vision. Wherever he may be, he attracts supplicants for his grace. For, he holds the promise of redemption. Ageless Master And God fulfils Himself in many ways. The impulse to ascend is the worlds shared heritage. In Back to Methuselah, the brilliant Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, drawing on the Biblical character of Methuselah, who lived 969 years, envisages a time when homo sapiens, by an irresistible effort of will the French zoologist, Lamarcks theory of creative evolution as opposed to Charles Darwins circumstantial selection, entailing the survival of the fittest would be able to extend their life span to hundreds and even thousands of years. He writes: Conceivably, however, the same power that has taken us thus far can take us further. If Man now fixes the term of his life at three score and ten years, he can fix it at three hundred or three thousand... Shaw elaborates on his argument, alluding to the German philosopher; Schopenhauers the world as Will: .... the driving force behind Evolution is a will-to-live, and to live, as Christ said long before, more abundantly. Yoga carries this surmise to its logical end in the person of the siddha yogi. In our century, Yogi Raj Devraha Baba emerges as a timeless figure, whose antecedents get lost in the remote past. Popular tradition holds him to be ageless. Some of his followers claim to have received indications of his having been a disciple of Ramanujacharya, the great south Indian saint of the 11th century AD. Still others believe that he traversed an earlier era of time. There is historical evidence of the British monarch, King George V, having had his darshan at Allahabad in 1910. A host of presidents, prime ministers, rulers, lesser politicos and savants sought his sage counsel and benediction. It is all too well documented by newspaper reports to need recounting. His vast following encompassed people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. When he relinquished the body, termed an act of samadhi, on June 19, 1990, his disciples were disconsolate. They were so accustomed to his comforting presence that they suddenly found themselves adrift. He lived in their hearts, no doubt, but they still needed t o see him and talk to him. They should have remembered the masters quiet assurance that the siddha yogi never dies. He is Eternity: he is forever more... he does not die when the body dies. Even as they were lamenting, a strange sequence of events began to unfold. Yogiraj had taken up Samadhi in the sacred town of Vrindavan, on the banks of the Yamuna. Some months later, Hans Das, a siddha mahatma, who was Yogirajs foremost disciple and a priest in the Radha-Krishna temple in the secluded Vindhyachal ashram of the guru, began to undergo a metamorphosis. He began to behave like Devraha Baba, displaying the powers and traits of the great yogi. The transmigration system in yoga has the support of such authoritative texts as the Yoga Vasishtha, Narad Bhakti Sutra and Bhagavata Puran.

The yogi, who wants his consciousness to enter the body of a disciple, should transmit his power and soul to the latters body. The prana or life force, which is present in the form of pranavayu or air, like a bee that moves from one flower to another, moves to the being of the disciple.

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In the same vein:

The disciple was not as he was before. One sees an illustration of tadakar vritti in Hans Baba, as he affirms, simply: I am no longer Hans Das. I am Devraha Baba. In this context, an incident acquires relevance. A curious and somewhat sceptical disciple asked him, If you are Devraha Baba, then where is Hans? Baba replied, Hans has flown away. The common meaning of the term, hans is swan. But, it is also used to signify the soul, as in Paramahans, or supreme soul, a title bestowed on a great saint. Just as the swan is credited with the power to sift milk from water, the Paramahans is able to differentiate the real from the unreal. The cardinal principle of the guru-shishya parampara16 is that the disciple should ascend to the state of the guru, whom he views as the embodiment of the Supreme. Hans Baba raised the question as to why Yogiraj chose him as a vehicle in preference to others. Apparently, since Hans, too, was a siddha yogi, he was already in the gurus mind. Devraha Baba accordingly prepared him for the future. The master had even told some disciples that Hans was a siddha. The metamorphosis of the temple priest, however, owed entirely to the volition of the guru. While a great deal of research has been done on the subject of reincarnation, t he doctrine of parkaya pravesh or transmigration of souls remains largely ignored. The assumption of Devraha Babas return is tantamount to throwing a gauntlet to the world of science. No mythical entity but a renowned guru with a large following, whose public appearances are well documented, his appearance as Hans Baba is extremely mystifying. The doubts are too pressing to be stilled as it is not easy to repudiate the arid legacy of urban upbringing, which is the same everywhere. And the questions that arise shake the very foundations, so carefully laid, of the mundane view of reality that governs our life. Is the claim of transmigration plausible? Or, is it a clever subterfuge? Much simpler to credit the second viewpoint, but there is no commerce here, none of the wielding of influence encountered in the echelons of power, which has brought infamy to the fraternity of contemporary gurus. The arrangements are simple; his teaching is simple; and the rudiments of the exercise are reduced to simplicity. With the Jehovical prophecies of doom, made by latter-day Adventists under different guises, nearing fruition, one must look again to the sermon on the battlefield. ... I come to this world in the ages that pass. By tradition, avatars and seers appear to control the tama sic vritti or base tendencies that periodically threaten to destroy civilization, and to restore the sattvik vritti, which is the sublime in man. Their descent heralds the advent of a new order, much less iniquitous and degenerate than the old. Hans Baba has hinted at the dawn of a satya Yuga, but not before the agents of death takes their toll.

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The Quest
I will weep and weep for you, my Soul.
There is natural curiosity about the antecedents of Hans: how he met his guru and came to be chosen as his vehicle. Little is known about him. The questions about age, place of birth, caste, family background and parents must remain unanswered. This is because the sanyas and yoga traditions hold the past to be dead. The story which Baba once narrated to me goes like this. Hans was very young, though Baba is silent about his age. His mind became unstable, and he began to search for truth, for the tantalizing entity called God. It was like a dream. He wandered about, even reaching a stage where he decided to end his life by drowning. He went down a well for that purpose. Perhaps, the place was Jhunsi, near Allahabad. At the critical moment, Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, miraculously appeared before him and advised him to seek out Devraha Baba. The great sage was possible stationed at Allahabad, on a manch on the banks of the Ganga. Hans went to him and was accepted as his disciple. Yogira j gave him the name of Hans, and sometimes lovingly called him Muraila, which means peacock. There were a few disciples who always stayed with Devraha Baba. After receiving diksha, they secretly practiced yoga under his guidance. Hans was made to stay at the ashram in Vindhyachal, a place renowned for tantrik sadhana. The ashram is hemmed in by hills, an idyllic retreat for a hermit. The area, which is located close to the sacred town of Varanasi, derives its fame from the temple of Vindhyavasini Devi and two subsidiary shrine of the goddess, Ashtabhuja and Kalikhoh. The deity who dwells on the Vindhya hills is credited with the power to fulfill the wishes of supplicants for her grace. Certainly, a great many politicians seem to have thought so, judging by their attempts at propitiating her. The late India Gandhi and her arch foe, Raj Narnia, also deceased; both sought her grace, recount local residents. While it is not clear whom she favored more, death was impartial to both, as it is to all mortals! The practice among politicians of trying to enlist divine, though usually occult, intercession in their affairs is a phenomenon peculiar to third world societies, where the ethics of self-help is interpreted among the ruling class as literally helping oneself, ones family members, friends, and numerous hangerson to the public coffers. Thus, God and his emissaries on earth are seen as instruments for such self- aggrandizement and, if needs be, accomplices whose services must be acknowledged in some way, generally, pecuniary. All partners in crime, one assumes. The temple is located 10 kilometers from the ashram along the Amravati Road. The legend of Vindhyavasini Devi is ascribed to the story of Krishna in the Mahabharat. It is briefly recounted here. Kansa, the diabolical ruler of Mathura, ritually killed the children of his sister, Devaki, and her husband, Vasudev, whom he had imprisoned on learning that the son to be born to Devaki was destined to kill him. He murdered seven babies in this fashion. When Devaki was expecting her eighth child, Kansa was especially wary. At midnight of ashtami, the frightened woman gave birth to a boy, who was none other than Krishna. He showed his divine form to Devaki and Vasudev, and directed his father to carry him across the Yamuna to the house of Nand, a cowherd. There, the father was to perpetrate a subterfuge by substituting Krishna for a baby girl, born to Yashoda, Nands wife. The gate of the jail opened by itself and the guards fell asleep. Vasudev, carrying the boy in a basket, left the prison and went to the river. A terrible storm was raging, and it was pitch dark. As the water touched the childs feet, the river became very still. Vasudev crossed over to the village of Nand and placed the child beside Yashoda, who was asleep. He picked up her daughter and brought her to Devaki. This was done so quietly that no one came to know of it. In the morning, when Kansa heard that Devaki had given birth to a girl, he was surprised. He had expected a male child to be born. He initially dismissed the idea of killing the girl, as there was no danger to him. But, he later resolved to get rid of her in the fear that she might eventually prove harmful. The distraught parents pleaded
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with him to spare the child, but he was adamant. As he picked her up and raised his sword to strike, she flew skywords, crying, Your killer has already taken birth! That girl was Yogmaya, the great goddess. She came to Vindhyachal and took up her abode there. The name, Vindhyavasini, means she who dwells on the Vindhya hills. Scores of people daily visit the shrine for her darshan. The ashram, too, is rapidly becoming a place of pilgrimage. A pile of rocks marks the spot where Devraha Baba sometimes used to sit. He used to call it the durbar, which translates to mean high court. Disciples use the English term to refer to the site. Apparently, the rishis used to gather there to deliberate on the divine plan for the cosmos, and their part in it. Devotees do parikrama of the sacred mound. The ashram radiates sanctity. After the building of the temple of Radha-Krishna, it has become a second Vrindavan. There, in the sylvan environs, as peacocks dance, both Krishna Lila and yoga Lila unfold together. Hans Das was deputed to be the priest of the temple by his guru. He did his sadhana in solitude, under Yogirajs guidance. Though Devraha Baba often visited the ashram, there were long periods of absence. Even so, he was present in his subtle form, preparing Hans for the transformation. In 1989, Yogiraj graced the Allahabad Kumbh Mela. The greatest religious gathering of Hindus, it occurs by rotation every three years at one of four sacred sites, thereby completing a 12-year cycle. These are Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. He subsequently went to Vindhyachal for a days stay and blessed Hans Das. At that time, he possibly energized the ashram and prepared his disciple, unbeknown to him. The visit to Vindhyachal was undertaken for this purpose. The Last Post of Hanss Life Hans Das had totally surrendered to the guru. On the final visit to Vindhyachal, Devraha Baba had left instructions regarding the ashram, temple and goshala. Hans was ignorant of what awaited him. When Devraha Baba relinquished the body in Vrindavan on June 19, 1990, Hans Das was overcome by sorrow. He visited Vrindavan and resolved to follow his immortal master to the abode sacred to yogis, known as Gyanganj. Yogis are believed to go to this place after they enter the state of samadhi. For common folk to try and reach there is virtually impossible. He was impelled by the vision of that light shown by the guru. He departed for the mountains and reached Gangotri, the source of the Ganga. He traversed the difficult path, hungry and forlorn. It was a most severe trial, with the forces of nature ranged against him. The weather was fearful. He decided to end his life by leaping into the river. Just then, the disembodied voice of Devraha Baba asked him to go back. He had wanted to proceed to Nandan Ban and from there, to Gyanganj. But, he was forced to return, after receiving the blessings of the master. Soon after coming back to the ashram, Hans Baba ascended the manch.

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The Ascent
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand.
The manch of Devraha Baba was considered too sacred for anyone to dare sit on it without inspiration from the master. How, then, could a temple priest do so? It came about in this way. Hans was sitting near the manch one day, meditating on his guru, when he was suddenly impelled to climb onto the stone wall behind the wooden structure. He began to wonder what had made him do so. He was immersed in thought when he was seized by an impulse to close the door of the hut upon the platform. There was no sense of himself, and he felt that he must obey the silent directive. He climbed onto the manch and closed the door of the hut. Once on the manch, he was not allowed to descend.

A place has its own importance. The immortal gurus light began to play within him, and his mind became fully attuned to Radha-Krishna bhakti. This was the state of tadakar vritti, mentioned earlier. The news of the ascent spread like wildfire. The followers of Devraha Baba began to pour into the ashram for his darshan. Who was he? The question was on everyones lips. He displayed all the signs of a siddha yogi. This is illustrated by an incident that occurred a year after Yogirajs jalsamadhi. A bhandara was being held at the ashram. The sky looked heavily overcast, and the disciples who had assembled feared that the feast would be ruined if it began to rain. They expressed their apprehension to Hans Baba. It did not rain while the bhandara was on. But, as soon as it was over, water poured down, washing away the remains of the feast and leaving the place clean. Those who witnessed the miracle were wonderstruck. There were other manifestations of power. One sign of a siddha yogi is his control over the elements. He would make the ground hot or cool just where a visitor was standing. Hans Baba was then in the early stage of the transformation. Few disciples came to the ashram. The big stone images of Radha-Krishna and Hanuman that stand near the manch were already there. Radha - Baba calls her Radhikaji - said one day: He has studied nothing. We will have to teach him. He says that there is continuous interaction between the deities and him. Hans Baba relates an interesting incident to illustrate the process of the transition. There is a pond at a short distance from the manch. The heat in summer was so intense that none could partake of the water of the pond, which also became heated. Even he was not able to quench his thirst. Devraha Baba had a pitcher, which he used for providing water, milk and other refreshments to devotees. The pitcher lay on the manch. Hans Baba was inspired to use it to draw water from the pond, which could then be cooled. Formerly, this would have been a great sacrilege. But now, it was done quite naturally. The ashram at Vindhyachal, which had become desolate after Yogirajs samadhi, came to life with Hans Babas ascent. The cows of the goshala also looked visibly better. Work on the incomplete cowshed resumed. And the ashram inmates rejoiced that they had got back their Baba. The Patanjali Tradition The use of the manch, characterized by a hut on a raised wooden platform, is part of the Patanjali system of yoga. A siddha yogi should not live either on the ground or among people. He should preferably live on the banks of rivers, as Devraha Baba used to, between the sky and the earth. Yogiraj used to say that there is a regular radiation of rajasik and tamasik waves from the bodies of ordinary people. To avoid their contact, the siddha yogi
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

is advised to live on a wooden structure at a reasonable height from the ground. Another reason for ascending the manch is that the yogi can easily see visitors from that height. It facilitates transmission of his power for the welfare of supplicants. The siddha yogis link with God is said to be omnipresent, and he implements the divine mandate for the good of mankind. One gets a sense of complete peace in Babas presence. This is because of the radiation of sattvik waves from his body. Devraha Baba used to become uncomfortable when people came too close to the munch. His discomfort owed to the tamasik and rajasik vibrations from their bodies. They were not permitted to approach the manch. Hans Baba differs somewhat in this respect. Supplicants can approach the platform, but not presume to touch the guru. He permits them to place flowers on his feet. There is an interesting explanation for Babas accessibility. Some of his disciples believe that the earlier incarnation represented the phase of Ram lila. Among the avatars of Vishnu, Ram is considered maryada purushottam. This term signifies a custodian of dignity and honor. Hence, Ram is venerated as an honorable king, who was always true to his word. Devraha Babas persona was suitably aloof and imposing. Hans Baba, however, often generates fun, though he always retains the aura of remoteness, inherent in the divine. This is the phase of Krishna lila. And, Krishna is beloved as much for his joyous sportive play with his companions and the gopis of Vrindavan as for his profound discourses.

Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

The Earlier Phase

But when I saw Thee in mine own Self, O joy! Then thou and I disported ourselves in ecstasy.
Here, I shall trace the successive phases of the transition. The earlier stage was that of samarpan or complete surrender to the master. Then came another stage: that of Radha-Krishna bhakti. At the end of his last sojourn on earth, Yogiraj was in Vrindavan, the place beloved to Lord Krishna, who is called Yogeswar or lord of the yogi. Now, Hans Baba, after ascending the manch, began the sportive play of Radha-Krishna. The followers of Yogiraj were taken by surprise, but gradually, understanding dawned. Power initially began to manifest from the Muladhar chakra, the lowest of the seven spiritual centers in the body on the ladder of ascent to God. These chakras contain subtle energies, corresponding to the spiritual attainment of the seeker as he moves upwards through successive stages. And, siddhis also manifest through the chakras. When I first visited the ashram, I was apparently not known to Hans Baba. I was extremely surprised to see him on the manch. Some of his actions stirred me. However, his assurance that he was Devraha Baba made me uncomfortable. Sadly, I was not convinced. Devotees of Yogiraj from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh had started flocking to the ashram, as news of the return began to spread. Though Baba had forbidden publicity, Amarnath Ojha, an old disciple from Bihar, had reported on the miracle for Pavan Prasad, a monthly journal that has for long been propagating the message of Devraha Baba, and which has his blessings. Baba would now have to explain to all those who were congregating at the ashram the secret of parkaya pravesh as well as why one disciple was selected in preference to others. There were so many questions to be answered. On my part, after a three-hour long discussion with Baba, I returned in a pensive mood to Allahabad. I was preoccupied with all that had transpired and the enigma of the avatar. It was my first experience regarding the transmigration. How I Reached Hans Baba I considered myself fortunate to have had frequent access to Yogiraj, who had drawn me closer to himself. My first book on him in Hindi, Devraha Gina Ganga, owed to his blessings. I was among the few whom he had blessed at the last stage in Vrindavan. He had then said: Child, you have received the grace of Saraswati. Your writing will become immortal. My mind was naturally full of memories of the departed guru, and it seemed impossible for me to accept someone else in his place. C.K. Sharma, an old disciple from Allahabad, who belonged to the inner circle of devotees, had often visited Vindhyachal to meet Hans Das. The latter had been kept in seclusion by the master. Sharma had become quite close to the priest. But, he never imagined that Hans would become the vehicle of Devraha Baba. At the time of the bhandara, Sharma had observed a change in Hans, which he could not fathom. This was because of his ignorance of the transmigration system. After the third visit, Sharma commented on the distinct change in Hans. His actions were like Devraha Babas. The baffled disciple wrote numerous letters in this regard to other devotees. On one of my visits to his home, Sharma recounted his impressions. We were glad to note the similarities, but still unaware of the truth. I felt a desire that day to go to Vindhyachal. After a few days, Sharma went to the ashram and received prasad, for me as well, from Hans Baba. Sharma was surprised as he had never mentioned me. Yet, Baba not only seemed to know me, but had even sent prasad for me. Just as with Yogiraj, this was makhana, tied in a piece of cloth called ambar. Again, I was reminded of Devraha Baba. After getting the prasad, I resolved to go to the ashram and meet Hans Baba. I chose to do so on the same day that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, was scheduled to reach Allahabad from Jhansi in the course of his symbolic journey from Kanya Kumari at the southernmost tip of the country, to Kashmir, the last post in the north. I was asked to cover the journey from Jhansi for my paper. This meant that I would not have been able to go to Vindhyachal. Owing to a sudden development, I was relieved of the assignment. The Lucknow correspondent was told to cover the event.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

Freed of my office duties, I embarked for the ashram with Sharma and a few others. That was my first visit. I was there till the evening, talking to Baba. And then, I returned to Allahabad. Just as I reached there, Joshi and his entourage were entering the town. I covered his visit and sent my dispatch to the Lucknow and Delhi offices. The synchronicity of events surprised me, especially how I had managed to reach Baba. A month later, I observed a more distinct change in him. Brahmavani issued from his lips. The lila of RadhaKrishna had begun, and a growing number of disciples were coming to the ashram. They were amazed by what they saw. Baba was playing with the forces of nature and controlling the elements. He, the one who had studied nothing, was also recording his own utpatti vani, the divinely inspired language of the illumined sage. He questioned me about himself: What am I? What do you see? Do you see your Baba? Till such time as I needed to understand his Lila in some degree, I requested him, again, to let the phenomenon be publicized through media reports for the benefit of his followers. This time, he gave his assent. He said: Child, I am now in Sahas rar! You can write as you wish. I have given here a chart of the ascent, as it occurred in successive stages, till the culmination of the process. It should be studied base upwards. Sahasrar chakra (Union with God)

Agya chakra

Vishuddha chakra

Anahat chakra

Manipur chakra

Swadhishthan chakra

Power first manifested in Mooladhar chakra

Worship of Radha-Krishna Paravani The Kundalini vidhan details a similar process of evolution. One needs the gurus grace to assimilate the miracle. But even if some disciples were not immediately able to accept the fact of the return, they witnessed the other miracle themselves: the one who had studied nothing, busily writing thousands of sutras in Sanskrit, the language of scholarship, and Awadhi and Braj Bhasha, both dialects of Hindi. He credited his writing to the inspiration of Radha- Krishna, who, he says, frolic with him and talk to him like beloved companions. Hans Babas familiarity with these languages surprised the disciples, because they had not observed it in the past. They were able to ascertain at first hand how the siddha yogi, even without having had the benefit of study, could speak and write in unfamiliar languages. One recollects the words of Jesus Christ - And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall.... speak with new tongues - as he enumerates the miracles.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

Earlier, Yogiraj had asked me whether I thought that if one was ignorant of a particular speech, one could not know it. He meant the speech known as Paravani, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari. Hans Babas Brahmavani, which is the same as Paravani, is proof of the transcendental happening. The Hans dhara, or stream of divine wisdom, originated in the ocean - the infinite expanse and then, Brahmavani began to flow. It was somewhat abstruse. Baba wrote it down, faster than anyone else could. The stream of creativity was so explosive that hundreds of copy books of his writing lay on the manch. Briefly, the revelation of the Vedas and the Vedangas is ascribed to the Paravani of the rishis. The individual attainment of the sage determines what he can obtain from the pool of divine knowledge, to give to humanity. It is in the paravastha, that is, when the consciousness of oneness arises - soham - that the Parvani flows. Soham also signifies the atma or soul as in Hans. Evidently, the name chosen by Yogiraj for his foremost disciple was imbued with meaning. The Holy Trinity: Gomaata, Ganga and Gayatri Reverence for the cow and cattle are an attitude peculiar to Hindus. It would be difficult for those alien to the Hindu way of life entirely to understand this sentiment, which appears as an irrational response to advocates of utilitarianism. Hans, the priest of the Radha-Krishna temple, was a devout worshipper of cows. He was also their protector. The master encouraged him to participate in the Goraksha Andolan in 1967. The cow holds a special place in the Hindu worldview. She is affectionately referred to as gomaata or Mother Cow since human beings partake of her milk. Worship and protection of the gentle creature is enjoined as a sacred duty, a tenet of dharma or right action. Hans Baba lays great importance on the need to worship cows and save them from the slaughterhouse. There are reasons for this apart from the purely sentimental. The esoteri c weltanschauung holds the cow to possess mystical associations. It is considered a symbol of the deities as well as the divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The planets can be propitiated by worshipping her, since it is believed that the solar system is contained in her body, as a microcosmic reflection of the larger order. Sincere devotees may even be able to attain moksha. In material terms, cattle enhance the wealth of the country by providing milk and cow dung for use as fuel and fertilizer. Thus, goseva substantially benefits society, even if the attendant symbolism may prove too baffling for the uninitiated. There is a Sanskrit saying that considers every part and aspect of the animal to be divine. Nothing related to the creature is detestable:

Brahma the Creator resides in the hind portion. Vishnu the Preserver has his abode in the neck. Rudra the Destroyer manifests in the mouth. And Goddess Lakshmi, with her eight glorious boons, is omnipresent in the cowdung. Babas directive is to build goshalas throughout India, for the protection of old and infirm cattle. There should be no slaughter for meat. This may not necessarily makes good economic sense, but the line has to be drawn somewhere between sentiment and commerce, with the balance tilted towards the former, if civilization is not to become brutalized. However, continuity in tradition should not be retrogressive. For instance, Hans Baba dismisses the caste system and other tendentious divisions, stressing on the unity of existence and the ideal of harmony. All one, is his refrain. As Yogeswar Krishna, the Lord protected and worshipped the cows at Vrindavan in his youth. Hans, the priest of the temple at Vindhyachal, also did the same. He was, therefore, the natural choice as the divine vehicle. Even now, the raising of funds for the Ocala at the ashram is an important part of the disciples work.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

The deep regard that Baba has for the divine creature is extended to the Ganga and the Gayatri mantra. A Puranic myth recounts that the river, which is Indias lifeline and the very source of the great Indo- Gangetic civilization, flows from the feet of Vishnu and the kamandal or jar of Brahma, falling to earth through the matted locks of Shiva. The more mundane account is that the river originates in the icy Himalayan peaks and flows into the Bay of Bengal, to merge with the sea. The love felt by Indians, not just Hindus, for this sacred river is reflected in Devraha Babas words:

All the places of pilgrimage are contained in the Ganga. It is an integral cultural link that binds the country together. The scriptures affirm that the acts of bathing in the river16 and providing succour to the needy show the path to Heaven. And devout Hindus would like to believe so. The four purusharthas or efforts of human life are for dharma, arth, Kama and moksha. These are said to be embodied in the Ganga, and can be successfully attained through shraddha, vishvas and samarpan. The Galati mantra is a hymn to the sun in the Rig Veda, chanted by millions of Hindus over thousands of years.

Om is the giver of life, the dispeller of miseries and the bestower of happiness. We should meditate on that creator, most adorable and incandescent. May his light illumine our minds. This mantra is considered so potent that its continuous jaap can make one an accomplished yogi and facilitate union with the divine. Hans Baba insists on respect for the Gayatri, as well as for gomaata and the Ganga, which together constitute the holy trinity, best symbolizing the Hindu ethos.

Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

The Siddha Yogi

To wipe the tear from every eye.
The characteristic feature of Hans Babas lila is that he is not sedentary. He moves from one manch to another by car, so far in the northern half of the country. He began his travels from Vindhyachal. The wooden platform at the ashram was erected for a duration of 15 years on the directive of Yogiraj. On one of my earlier visits to the ashram, Baba had indicated that he would periodically leave Vindhyachal and move throughout the country. Wherever he chooses to halt, a manch is erected, to be dismantled as soon as he departs. Within a year of this indication, Baba ascended his twentyfirst manch, at Delhi. Prior to this, he travelled through Bihar, Bengal and the border areas of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. The nineteenth manch was erected at Allahabad during the Magh Mela in the months of January-February 1994. He came to Delhi from Obra in Bihar. In this period, the trustees and disciples of Varanasis Dwarkadhish temple, the original peeth, and the bulk of Yogirajs oldest devotees, have accepted Hans Baba as the successor. Thousands of people have had his darshan. Those who had felt forsaken in the wake of Devraha Babas samadhi, have been only too happy at the emergence of Hans Baba. The Plan for the Manch at Delhi Hans Baba began to plan the manch at Delhi in Vindhyachal and Allahabad. Initially, no one could understand why he wished to go to the city. But, later, they were able to perceive the reasons. The most obvious one was that he wanted to fulfil the prayer of Trilokinath Khanna, the chief trustee of the Shree Gurudev Ashram, where Baba stayed during his sojourn on the outskirts of the city. Apparently, Khanna and his wife had gone for Yogirajs darshan at Haridwar, before his Samadhi in 1990, and had requested him to grace the ashram with his presence. The master had acceded to their prayer, but soon afterwards, surrendered the body. When the plan to go to Delhi materialized in early 1994, the organizers of the visit began to search for a suitable site for the gurus stay. Nothing seemed apt. They were at a loss as to what they should do when the prospect of the Shree Gurudev Ashram surfaced. It was built for Swami Muktanand of Ganeshpuri, who has since relinquished the physical frame. The ashram is both secluded and spacious, with fruit trees covering the sprawling grounds. Swami Muktanand had received the special grace of his guru, Avadhoot Nityanand, after the latter went into samadhi. It is believed that Muktanand attained the state of tadakar vritti. A shivling6 had been installed in the Shiva temple on the ashram premises, but the pran pratishtha was still to be performed. The Khannas prayer to the master was that he should participate in the ritual. It was to fulfill this prayer that Hans Baba, four years later, stayed at the ashram. The secret was duly revealed and the ceremony conducted. The ashram, which was in a state of slumber till then, came alive with power. Why is a Yogi among People? Many have raised this question. They feel that a yogi should be reclusive, possibly hidden in a Himalayan cave. There should be no need for him to be in the midst of worldly people. I once put this question to Devraha Baba. He replied: You are right. But, for the welfare of humanity, we appear and give guidance to people. Man is wracked by worries and pain. He receives succour from our darshan and blessings. The flow of supplicants, especially the ailing, to the ashram in Delhi was so incessant that he observed: My manch has become a hospital. So many sick people have come to me. Many were healed. The problems that drove people to seek him out were diverse, usually concerning themselves or those close to them.

The river is one; the ghats are many.

Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

All great seers are opposed to sectarianism of any kind. They acknowledge the diversity of paths leading to the supreme; one only need tread a chosen way with absolute devotion, in a spirit of love - Baba stresses this emotion most of all- and never swerving from the truth.

God is one, there is no other. This too, is the message of Islam, Christianity and other world religions that hinge on the primacy of the Godhead. But, confounded by disparities in approach, different sects are ever in conflict with each other. They fail to see the obvious: that the truth being indivisible, God is not subject to the quibbling of petty minds and the designs of divisive forces. It is His prerogative to manifest where He wills, and in whatever fashion He likes. The most remarkable change effected by Hans Baba was the spiritual awakening in a part of the citys enervated populace. A notable fact is that some Muslims took initiation from him. While they now chant the name of Rama, they continue to remain true to their faith. This is the new phase of Babas lila: to bring about an inner transformation in as many people as possible by turning their minds to the One, immanent in the multifarious concepts and their actualization. His travels, which have become ceaseless, are undertaken towards this end. The great sage, Sri Aurobindo, observed: The only change is the revolution of the integral yoga. Rather than striving just outwardly, if the world is to become a better place, this internal change in human beings must first occur. Man, as a grasping, shortsighted creature, can hardly hope to further anyones happiness, leave alone his own. Since, by the laws of karma, and, one might add, of evolution as a biological fact, all forms of life are interrelated, the ideal of Christian love must become a reality. This is the only hope of redemption for the world, which, lacerated by fears and desires, appears to be hurtling headlong towards an abyss. Gautam Buddha, who preached compassion for all creatures, once explained why one should love all beings equally. Because, in the numerous and varied life spans of each man, every other being has been dear to him. He never tires of repeating it. For, this is the first and final revelation, of seers and of the great religions: the unitive character of all creation. Its all one life, observed Coleridge. Similarly, o n e finds in Dantes Paradiso, a poignant statement of unity: Within its deep infinity I saw ingathered, and bound by love in one volume, the scattered leaves of all the universe. If more people, other than mystics, could realize this, wars might cease altogether. It is the pure, undefiled flower that finds a place at the feet of the Lord and nowhere else, said Anandamayi Ma, a great spiritual teacher of this century. The world, clearly, has never wanted for saviors and prophets. But, mans indolence and enslavement by the ego and the senses, makes him tread the path of impermanence, devoured by the transient impulses of the mind and passions of the body. However, the prayer of The Upanishads - Lead us from the unreal to the real - finds fulfillment in the descent of great sages into the world, who appear to free man from the relentless cycle of misery and joy; of hope and despair; of birth and death. Their aim is to restore him to his eternal self: Cut of your littleness, He makes you perfect, whole, and then nothing remains to be desired or achieved. A Political Interlude: Ramjanmabhumi During Hans Babas sojourn in Delhi, several politicians sought his blessings. As the capital, this city happens to be the nerve centre of the country. It is the source of corruption in high places, which, in turn, infects the whole nation. I believe that the more portentous reason for Babas stay in Delhi was to initiate a process of change among the arbiters of Indias destiny. He has already done so at other places in the north. The visits of two important rightwing leaders, who are forcefully propagating Hindu resurgence, must be mentioned. The driving force behind the resolute Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Ashok Singhal, and the BJP leader,
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

Murli Manohar Joshi, solicited his blessings for the building of the proposed temple of Lord Rama at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. It may be recalled that in 1989, Devraha Baba at Vrindavan had reportedly interceded in the dispute over the Ramjanmabhumi by directing the then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, who has since been assassinated, to allow the shilanyas o r foundation stone laying ceremony of the temple near the Babri Masjid. The revivalist Hindus tried to exploit this for their own benefit and, thereafter, the situation went out of control, culminating in genocidal killings. This completely violates Babas precept of communal harmony and national integrity. Earlier, Yogiraj had blessed the efforts to build the temple and had appreciated the work done in this regard by the saints and the VHP. But he did not wish the matter to be politicized. Unfortunately, the issue has become political and this has pained him immensely. As one who propagates the commonality of faith, he strongly condemns violence and divisiveness in the name of religion. He says: The temple should be built, but not at the cost of the nation. The masters ideal was that of Indians of all faiths getting together to build the shrine to commemorate the birth place of the sanatan purush, Shri Rama, who came to the world for the protection of dharma. This is not to suggest that Yogiraj was opposed to the existence of the mosque. He favoured unanimity on the issue of constructing the temple. Lord Rama would not have wanted divisiveness, since he was a sworn foe of the asuri vritti that divides and rules, perpetuating injustice and suffering. In Rama rajya, the kingdom of Rama, there was no place for disruptive forces. Baba wants the same harmonious conditions to prevail in society. This might appear confusing to those who identify the temple issue with the worst kind of fissures. Evidently, the lessons of history have not been learnt correctly. Vested interests have acted in a manner, calculated to magnify the issue, eschewing any compromise, acceptable to the feuding factions. Their aim is to polarize India on the basis of religion by keeping the dispute over the Rama temple alive. This is a corollary of the colonial legacy of divide and rule, the essential principle of British statecraft during the days of the Raj. To queries about whether the temple would be constructed, his reply, invariably, is: All together. He appears to have given an assurance that the Ram Mandir will be built when the time is right. These words have a divine portent. He told Singhal: Rama is one. He is everywhere. He will build the temple. One can only be a medium for that. On the VHP leader pointing out the opposition to the plan for the shrine from powers outside the country, he replied, obliquely: Child, the fall comes only after the ascent. This, however, should not be construed as encouragement for militancy. He advises placing the temple issue on the back bench and giving top priority to problems of development. In the meantime, one should wait for events to unfold, rather than precipicetating a crisis by forcing a confrontation over the contentious issue between members of the two communities. On more than one occasion, Baba has indicated that his return has been motivated by anxiety for the nation which, today, is precariously positioned between the past and the future. While displaying concern at the state of the world, he is doubtless, partial to his beloved India. He has also hinted that he will go away once his mission, ordained by the Almighty, is complete. The masters words, uttered before his relinquishing the old body at Vrindavan, are given here. India will be prosperous and trouble free. Cows will be protected. The Rama Mandir will be built at the Ramjanmabhumi with the help of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. My blessings and infinite mercy are for all. After leaving my body, I will remain in my subtle form in India and work for its welfare. The world is mine and I belong to the world. These words, rightly interpreted, intimate the dawn of a better time - and not a descent into the past and its orthodoxies - in which the selective perpetuation of Indias eclectic heritage is the key to a great future. For this, non-Hindus too must show their willingness to cooperate.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

Yoga Vidya & Modern Science

Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
To understand the state of attainment of the siddha yogi is to know that nothing is impossible for him. Devraha Baba once described such a yogi to me.

The body of a yogi should not be heavy. He should always be happy. His eyes and body should be free from desire. There should be control over the sex instinct and the nadis - the Ida and Pingala - and the Sushumna. He should be pious. These are the signs of a yogi. The supreme secret, revealed by Lord Krishna to Arjuna, in The Bhagwad Gita, was yoga. It is the eternal science, and is supposed to have been first taught to the Sun God by the Almighty. The Sun God handed it down to the coming generations of men through his son, Manu, who, in turn, instructed Ikshwaku. In this manner, the secret doctrine was passed down the ages, guarded closely by the rishis, until our times. It is an unbroken tradition, sustained by great masters. The yogi is greater than body-disciplining ascetics, greater even than the followers of the path of wisdom on the path of action; be thou, O disciple Arjuna, a yogi. This was Lord Krishnas advice to the heroic warrior, when his resolve to fight weakened on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. That epic war was an allegory for the battle of life, which constantly places moral choices before man. To act disinterestedly, with ones mind fixed on God and full of determination, is yoga in the highest metaphysical sense, as one does not incur karmic debts, which would have to be worked out in subsequent births. There is also the allied technique of yoga to overcome the limitations of time and space imposed by the body, so that the adept can indeed become master of all he surveys. The Gita explains how this can be achieved: That meditation expert becomes eternally free who, seeking the Supreme Goal, is able to withdraw from external phenomena by fixing his gaze within the mind spot of the eyebrows and by neutralizing the even currents of prana and apana within the nostrils and lungs; and to control his sensory mind and intellect; and to banish desire, fear and anger. The same technique is explained by Patanjali: Liberation can be attained by that pranayama which is accomplished by disjoining the course of inspiration and expiration. This method to control the life force frees the yogi from the sensory delusions of Maya, restoring his consciousness to the Godhead by drawing it inwards, away from the outward world of the senses, that distracts and entangles. It is the accomplished guru alone who can successfully impart this yoga vidya or science to the spiritual aspirant. The complete yoga encompasses body discipline, mental control, and meditating on Aum, to quote Patanjali. It is contained in his Ashtang yoga, a system of eight kinds of practices. Baba stresses that the true yogi must tread the eightfold path for the attainment of his goal.

The illumined being is one who masters body consciousness. The yogi who attains the sajavastha, the state of oneness with God, acquires Godlike powers. The religious lore of all cultures is replete with allusions to the miracles induced or performed by men of God. And, miracles are but
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

phenomena whose laws defy the logic of mundane reality. Those with access to other dimensions of being know that there is much more in heaven and earth than the limited faculties of man can grasp. And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear and healed him. Hagiographies of saints recount all kinds of wondrous phenomena that recreate the magic of fairy tales. Yet, this is the very stuff of popular religion as much as of esoteric philosophy. When Devraha Baba stated that his form was vast, he was everywhere, and, that his words were Bahamian, he was describing the condition of divinity. Patanjali details the siddhis that bestow the accomplished yogi with the qualities of omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. He can see everywhere while being stationary at one place. He can move through the sky; he can move through water; he can move without fear through a forest. He can reach the other worlds of the cosmos. That is, he can go anywhere he wishes. He can assume any form and age and appear in more than one place at the same time. He can also disappear. If he wants, he can become smaller than an atom, and then magnify his size beyond all reckoning. And, most intriguing of all, he need never eat or drink water, in order to survive. So the enumeration runs on. The gift of healing is possibly of greatest benefit to ordinary supplicants. Hans Babas modus operandi is somewhat different. The utterance of the words, mercy and grace, herald an inner change. He does shanty pat: transmits some of his inexhaustible store of energy to sufferers. Some get cured instantly, and others gradually. The degree of faith and resolution determine the outcome. The onus for recovery is on the supplicants, as the process of Shakti paat is meant to activate their dormant will to get better. Chronic physical and psychosomatic diseases are known to have thus been cured. Baba started blessing the sick at the Vindhyachal ashram, and is still doing so. His acts of healing are intended to provide irrefutable proof of the power of God, to whom he credits all the wonderful happenings. I do nothing. It is by His will that it happens, he says, pointing skywards. His advice to seekers is to take refuge in the Supreme for the solution of every problem. The sovereign and universal remedy is the contemplation of the One, observed another great seer. The power of the siddha yogi cannot be computed by science. The stories about the master are legion. Two incidents demonstrate the perfected yogis mastery over the phenomena of life and death through control of the life force. When Yogiraj was at his Ballia ashram in Uttar Pradesh, he would bathe in the Ganga at four every morning. On one such occasion, the family members of a pious bhajan singer, who had died, brought her body for cremation to the river bank. The master enquired of them what had happened. The mourners replied to the point, adding that she was very pious and had excelled at singing bhajans. He at once cried out: Mother! Arise and sing! Much to everyones amazement, the inert woman got up and began to sing. The immediate fulfillment of the dictate owed to the great yogis leher and jivanti drishti, which restored life to the corpse. The other incident is somewhat similar. A lady once came for Devraha Babas darshan to Vrindavan. After being in his presence for a while, she suddenly collapsed. The assembled people rushed to her side. One of them, a doctor, informed Yogiraj that she was dead. Thereupon, the guru tersely said: Child, take the dust from near the manch and put it on her forehead. She will be alright. This was done, and the body came to life. The siddha yogi, as one in perfect communion with the whole of creation, attracts also the creatures of the wild. Nothing is alien for him. The big cats, elephants, even reptiles the most menacing of the earths denizens are known to have come to Devraha Baba for darshan as well as prasad. The kingdom of St Francis of Assisi included natures hunted creatures. Birds, in particular, sought him out. Old disciples of Devraha Baba recount how he stopped the car by which he was travelling to a particular destination in the dead of night, so that a lion that had emerged from the wilderness could have his darshan. He, too, is my devotee, the master is supposed to have remarked. And, there is far more that can never be known. Devraha Baba once told me: Child, a yogi can do anything. Nothing is impossible for him. He can fly through the sky. He can run over a bed of thorns. He can sleep on the waves of a river. But if you reveal this to someone who does not know the power of the yogi, he will never believe you. So, nothing should be told to a sceptic.
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Yoga Vidya In Delhi, after witnessing numerous individuals getting relief from ailments through his intercession, I asked Hans Baba whether he possessed a remote- control mechanism to make them immediately feel better. He replied, smiling, that the button was Gods. And, added that yoga vidya was the mechanism for the cures, though he also recommends ayurvedic remedies. The ancient yogic science was used long ago for the treatment of disease, along with Ayurveda, the Hindu system of medicine, founded by Maharishi Bhardwaj. Now, the emphasis on sadhana has obscured the other applications of the vidya. While modern science has made remarkable progress in the sphere of technology, even attempting to master the forces of nature and the universe, it is at a loss when it comes to investigating the realm of human consciousness. Where the work of the scientist ends, the yogis begins. He has his own methods for the exploration of consciousness. To compare the idea yogi with the scientist would be facetious. For the former has access to the infinite pool of knowledge, whereas the latter works with imperfect tools. The yogi dwells in the state of turiya that is beyond the play of phenomenal activity. He sees all phenomena as emanating from the one supreme consciousness, with which he is united. His faculties, consequently, are not limited, and he need not enlist the aid of anything outside himself to undertake his explorations. The secrets of the universe, as of existence, are within his reach; and his knowledge is whole. The yogi has his own laboratory, which is different from the scientists: he grasps everything by the light of the supreme revelation. A major preoccupation of scientists is to reach the different worlds of the cosmos. The yogi moves about easily in these worlds. He is able to see them clearly, through the supernal grace, as distinctly as astronauts who have examined the moon from close. There is no mystery that he cannot uncover, whereas the ordinary mortal, blinded by sensory perceptions, fails even to recognize his own reality. The truth is that the outer and the inner, the mundane and the spiritual, are really one. The yogi, who dwells in the realm of the spirit, realizes this, while the scientist, as one whose domain is matter, is unable to do so unless he takes recourse to metaphysics. Ultimately, excessive emphasis on arid reasoning is a debilitating exercise. There is no reason for science and religion to spar with each other, since their common goal is the attainment of truth. They would both serve humanity better by turning willing allies.

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The Power of the Mantra

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
For the householder, the path of the Ashtang yoga would be difficult to tread as he would be unable to comply with its stringent demands. The great yoga entails celibacy and penance, among other taxing observances. The renunciant inhabits an entirely different world. Lay disciples, who have worldly duties to discharge, are advised by Baba to recite continuously the mantra given to them at the moment of initiation, and to direct their thoughts to their ishta deva or personal deity, even as they continue to lead normal worldly lives. Like an infant who must learn to walk, before he can run, the sincere aspirant, by assiduous observance of the gurus injunctions, may eventually be able to focus his mind uninterruptedly on the Nirakaar Brahma, the undifferentiated aspect of the Supreme. This is the gateway to the final realization. The process of diksha by the guru signifies that the seeker has embarked on a new, spiritual course, whose objective is the attainment of God. It is a second birth for the initiate, with the guru assuming responsibility for the disciples well being and progress. The compulsions of his former life gradually become irrelevant. Clearly, only a qualified master can undertake the onerous task of guiding the initiate through lifes pitfalls, to the final post. Hans Babas counsel to disciples is to surrender wholly to him. The master had said: Child, now that you are aboard my boat, lay down, too, this bundle of wordly preoccupations from your head. Do not disturb yourself by continuing to keep it on your head. The world is the ocean that the guru helps the disciple to cross over safely in his boat. This imagery recurs frequently in devotional Hindu literature. Bhavasagar is the term used to describe the phenomenal world: the sea of illusion. The bestowal of the guru mantra is an act of grace; since not all aspirants are deemed fit to be accepted as disciples. Since times past, the potency of sound has been known to man. The mantra is a mystical combination of words of great power, whose correct enunciation is essential to realize its effect, which could either be positive or negative. The mantra given by an exalted guru is meant to expedite the initiates evolution by inducing a radical change in consciousness. The guru mantra is the phonetic representation of the form of devotion best suited to the aspirants sanskaras or proclivities, divined by the master.

Here, Lord Krishna in the Gita is referred to as Jagadguru, or teacher of the world. Jaap of Gods name purifies the mind and body, being the spiritual practice best suited to the present age of feeble beings. The devotee is advised bodily cleanliness before beginning jaap. However, to ensure the efficacy of the mantra during recitation, achaar, vichaar, vyavachaar and sattvik ahaar are of utmost importance. It is the pure mind, free of longings and the ensuing restlessness that can most easily attain its objective. Hans Baba normally gives a mantra either of Rama or Krishna to initiates. The Rama mantra denotes rigorous discipline. The name of Rama has immense significance. The syllable, Ra, is in the Sahasrar, the lotus with a thousand petals at the top of the scalp, which is the door to the infinite. Ma is contained in the Kanth chakra, located in the throat. Ra signifies the Paramatma tatva or supreme principle, and Ma, the jiva tatva or life principle. Rama is a compound of the two, and symbolizes the link between the Paramatma tatva and the jiva tatva. The enunciation of the word is related to the anahad NAD, the cosmic sound that is heard in meditation. The body, as the microcosm, mirrors the processes of the macrocosm. Intensive recitation of the Rama mantra is thus most effective in awakening the consciousness of Tattvam asi: That thou art. When the aspirant moves from the outer to the inner world, from the finite to the infinite, the distinction between the self and God disappears. Rama, therefore, is not just the hero of the epic, Ramayan, son of King Dashrath of Ayodhya. His name contains the promise of liberation, enunciating the supreme principle, in which we realize the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
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When the yogi concentrates on the name, that is the same as Rama. Shakti Paat The transmission of energy by the guru is an act of grace. The aspirant on the path to the Supreme is obstructed by the impulses of the mind. The masters observation in this regard was that the mana being extremely unstable, only the knowledge of Brahma could help one control it.

The mind is just like a carefree elephant. The knowledge of Brahma alone can control it. Eventually, one must reach the state, in which the mind is able to dwell on the undifferentiated Absolute. Yogiraj used to recommend worship of God without form, as sadhana of a high order.

One must worship God, who is without form, without lines, without speech, without a point, unseen. When the tendencies of the mind get erased through Shakti paat, realisation shines forth spontaneously. It is a condition that is free of thought. Light can manifest only after the darkness of the mind disappears. This happens when the disciple, holding nothing back, surrenders wholly to the guru who, then, wills the transformation. The term, guru, means dispeller (ru) of darkness (gu), one who shows the light. Two incidents from the scriptures beautifully illustrate the power of devotion. The first is from the Ramayan. During his 14-year exile in the forest, Rama came across Sabari, a destitute woman, who was gathering wild berries for her lord, Rama. Tasting them to ascertain their sweetness, she would throw away those which were sour. On spying him, she gave him the fruit, which he gladly accepted in acknowledgment of the fullness of her heart, even though food that is rendered impure by having been tasted is not offered to God or ones chosen deity. She thus became blessed. The second incident occurs in Srimad Bhagwatam. Trivakra or Kubja, the hunchback woman, was carrying sandalwood paste for Kansa, Krishnas diabolical maternal uncle, who was destined to be killed by his nephew. Accosting her, Krishna asked her for the paste. Overwhelmed by the sight of the Lord, on whom she lavished her devotion, and not fearing the repercussions, she handed him the paste. He then caught her below the chin and with a jerk, pulled her up to her full height, dispelling her bodily ugliness and turning her into a beautiful woman. I once said to Devraha Baba that it was difficult to find a guru who could raise his disciples to his own level. He replied: Such disciples are also rare, who could be so elevated. Yet, for the perpetuation of his tradition, a master needs a worthy successor. Ramakrishna Paramahans chose Vivekanand to complete his mission, with the help of other disciples. The aspirant who attains his goal, in turn, pays lavish tribute to his guru. In the words of the mystic poet, Kabir: Guru and God are both before me. Whose feet should I first touch? I shall salute my guru first for disclosing to me the knowledge of God.

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The Preceptor
Seize the instant now! And the time for renewal is always in reach.
The first impression is that of an anchorite, clad in a loin cloth and seated on a high wooden platform. He appears to be oblivious of the needs of the body. The physical frame has the lustre of divinity. He remains undisturbed by the vagaries of nature. Even in extreme cold, he seems comfortable in a piece of cotton wrapping, around the midriff, while down below, visitors, warmly clad in wool, shiver. It is the same in summer, with not a trace of discomfort evident, despite the sweltering heat. He is inexhaustible in the service he renders throughout the day, occasionally retiring into the hut on the structure for brief intervals, but not to sleep. Whether he eats at all must remain a mystery, as Baba does not answer questions of a personal nature. Devraha Baba did refer to an advanced yogic technique called Khechari mudra, for eliminating the need for food and for rendering the practitioner long-lived. It entails pointing the tongue upwards... [and imbibing] the nectar flowing from the moon [the Agya chakra, located between the eyebrows]. Numerous methods for conquering hunger, disease, bodily decay and death are enumerated in yoga vidya. On occasions, Hans Babas state of equanimity appears to give way to anger. His disciples see it differently. The siddha yogi, always brimming with compassion, showers his grace even when he seems out of humor. When I first went to Allahabad for Devraha Babas darshan, he became incensed at a question. I felt remorseful. But, he later answered my query to my satisfaction and gave me his unstinting love. It is the same with Hans Baba. Since his emergence, he has been exposed to a fair amount of publicity. There is a growing conviction that he indeed is the legendary yogi of Vrindavan. Impressed by his erudition, journalists and even supplicants ask him about his field of study. Brahmavani, he replies. They ask him the source. From him, he says, indicating the earlier form. They enquire: Since when were you close to him? His response is, From there. They ask him his age. He answers, The condition of Godhead. So, on it goes. A question is raised about how peace can be ushered into the world. When people can consider everyone their own. There is a query about the cause of the prevailing unhappiness and conflict. The absence of oneness, says Hans Baba. He listens patiently to whatever anyone has to say. Unseemly debates on the controversy over his return have erupted in the wake of the publicity. This is inevitable. He tries to still all doubts by declaring: Dont see my body. Go into the inner chamber, where that supreme yogi, Devraha Baba, can be found. He gently counters the campaign launched against him by a small group of dissenters, largely businessmen, who have misappropriated the trust a t Vrindavan, by affirming the supremacy of truth. Everyone accepts the truth. Some sooner and some later. In a similar vein: The glory of knowledge is in truth. The master expounded thus on the virtue:

The yogi should always have enthusiasm, courage, and patience, experience of truth, determination and solitude. Having all these, the yogi can obtain fame and act for the welfare of humanity. It is usual for some amount of dissent to surface on the advent of a seer. In cases of extreme hostility, this takes the form of intolerance and suppression. But, here, the opposition to Baba appears to be motivated purely by
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

reasons of commerce. He views this charade of greed with complete detachment. There is never any acrimony against the rich merchants, the Seths, who have been trying in Vrindavan to project a sturdy young sadhu, initiated by Yogiraj, as the latters successor. For, is it not the deluding power of Maya that befuddles them, a divine jest that is being perpetuated? Their ignorance, too, must dissolve some day. Finally, it is the sense of transcendence that stays. Seated aloft, he sings of the infinite, exhorting supplicants to remember him in all circumstances - Think only of me -ones own true self.

Go, go, go. Go and then return. Sing only of me. Wherever you go, sing only of me. The me that is denoted is not the self-identification, born of bondage to the body, but the universal Self, found within and, consequently, without, through introspection and spiritual discipline. The teachings of great seers everywhere can be reduced to the Advaitic doctrine of the unity inherent in all creation. The soul is one, says Hans Baba frequently. All forms are manifestation of the Supreme; all gods and prophets aspects of the One. When a sage sees this great Unity and his self becomes all beings, what delusion and what sorrow can ever be near him? The vision of unity has given birth to the messianic injunction to love all beings. Imperative to this is the realization of Tattwamasi: That thou art To know the I to be the same as that is to be freed forever from the duality of existence. Man thus discovers his enduring Self, as opposed to the perishable being that he identifies with while still in the grip of Maya. It is the guru who is finally instrumental in severing the aspirants consciousness from the body. Hans Babas message is a continuum of earlier teachings; his work, the completion of Yogirajs mission. While he started his divine sport with Krishna lila, he now appears to be on the path of knowledge. The lila marg or path of devotion, also called the bhakti marg, is a matter of the heart, and the other, of the intellect. Expounding on tenets of faith and the attainment of divinity has gained precedence over the sportiveness that characterized the earlier phase. Then, there was more visible evidence of wondrous phenomena. Now, there is more of sage counsel. Devraha Baba believed that all knowledge is shastrasammat that is, contained in the scriptures.

Here, the masters reference was to the eighteen Purans, in which Maharishi Vyas highlights the two principal tenets of right conduct. The first is to help others, considered the greatest good. And the second is not to inflict pain on anyone. The greatest evil is to inflict pain consciously. By sincerely observing these injunctions, the seeker of truth can graduate into a real devotee, eventually to get freedom from all care, the goal of all religions. As the great yogi is wont to point out, old age is waiting at the threshold like a tigress, with jaws open wide. Disease attacks the body constantly, as in an assault with a heavy baton. Life is the water flowing out of a broken pitcher. And, death is inevitable. Yet, Maya holds the world in her spell. The multitude, preoccupied with the pursuit of a transient happiness, hinging on the gratification of the senses and the ego, is unable to perceive the primacy of God. At best, it may quantify its faith. The fact of mortality breaks rudely into its consciousness in the form of sorrow, disease and death.

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The ego, the sense of the limited self, is the root cause of the suffering entailed by the relentless process of dying and returning. To seize the enduring means letting go of the ephemeral. And the key to this is the effacement of the ego. Give all your miseries to me. Leave your ego to me and surrender completely to the Supreme. Doubt not, you will be freed of your worries, says Baba. This is no empty vaunt. The guru, in assuming responsibility for the initiates well being, also helps him disburse his worldly obligations. While sharing their experiences, disciples often note the numerous instances of intercession in times of crisis. On the face of it, there is no explanation for this. The cultivation of the right attitude leads to that state of equipoise in which all opposites - profit and loss, joy and sorrow, success and failure, praise and criticism - appear as one. Lord Krishna, in his discourse on yoga, advises Arjuna to acquire precisely this quality of detachment, a prerequisite for stilling the mind. The tranquil mind alone can focus on the one, or Ek, as Hans Baba puts it. Such a mind has the clarity to discriminate between the real and the unreal, forsaking eventually the ideal of relative happiness. Keep on diving into the infinite expanse. Dont get disheartened. You will definitely attain God some day. Babas advice to the spiritual aspirant to persevere, just when he is about to give up in despair, is in line with the counsel given to disciples by teachers through the ages. To overcome the gruelling test, necessitated by the evolutionary process, is to find light at the end of a dark, interminable tunnel. And, to be able to keep ones mind on the transcendent, in all circumstances, ever through the most harrowing experiences, is finally to attain the divine attributes, ... finding which, there is nothing more left to be found. The odyssey, flagged off by the initial encounter with the preceptor, may bring more in its wake than one had ever bargained for. But, in resolutely seizing the moment for change, life would have become inconceivably richer for the experience.

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Supernormal Powers Generally speaking, there are three kinds of siddhis. The first is nothing more than sleight of hand. The second is accomplished by mental power. And the third is achieved when a supernatural entity, even an evil spirit, is propitiated, which then performs the supposed miracle. These are considered trivial by those whose sole objective is the attainment of God, in whom all powers are vested. Miracle workers are motivated by the ego principle, while the illumined sage is essentially a channel for the divine power to work the wonder. Baba repeatedly says: I do nothing. It is He who does everything. Patanjali, in Yoga Sutras, ascribes the acquisition of siddhis to five causes: (1) through birth; (2) through mantras; (3) through austerities; (4) through the use of herbs; and (5) through samadhi. To consider the first, these siddhis are the fruits of spiritual efforts made in a previous lifetime. Siddhas are sometimes born with full powers. The repetition of a mantra yields results quickly; the enunciation should be very clear. Powers resulting from austerities are far better. The fourth type, derived from the use of herbs, is temporary. The fifth cause is the awakening of the Kundalini by the grace of the guru. When the Kundalini, representing the feminine energy (life force or creative power), rises upwards to meet Lord Shiva or the male principle (the immutable Godhead) in the Sahasrar, samadhi is attained. In this condition, the yogi acquires Godlike powers. The supreme consciousness is supremely free. It can neither be controlled nor be gauged by scientific instruments. It can, however, be experienced in deep meditation through the cerebral centre, the Sahasrar, by the vision of a blue dot which resembles a pearl. Although the dot is visible, it is so subtle that it cannot be touched or influenced. The vision of the blue pearl bestows the ability to see the unity inherent in all creation. It blesses one with a constant sense of being whole, happy and joyous. Nothing is higher than this. The light, supreme and soft, bestows such contentment that all needs automatically vanish. Kundalini I once asked Devraha Baba how the guru could awaken the Kundalini. He replied: Child, it can be awakened by the mere darshan of the guru. Another question was about the form of the Kundalini. He quoted a sanskrit verse in reply:

The Kundalini is wound up like a serpent, with eight coils, in the Muladhar. It lies between the Ida nadi, the Ganga, and Pingala, also called the Yamuna. In an accomplished yogi, the Kundalini is the para Shakti of the para Shiva, that is, the creative power of the supreme principle. Externally, it inspires the creation of the world; and, internally, it inspires the yogic process. By means of the awakened Kundalini, the great yoga, called the Mahayoga or Chitti yoga, automatically unfolds. Kundalini yoga is inspired and directed by Chitti, the cosmic energy that directs and sustains the mechanism of the universe. The unrealized power of the Kundalini is likened to a serpent in a dormant condition. Through guru kripa, this energy moves up the channel in the spine at the core of the complex human body. The guidance of a competent guru is essential to direct and keep the power that is awakened in control. Otherwise, psychosomatic disorders might occur if it proves too intense for the aspirants cerebra nervous system. The Kundalini has two aspects: the inner and the outer, which sustain the order of ones mind and life. It is the inner aspect that lies dormant, but when it awakens, it directs and sustains the process of Mahayoga. It controls the 12,000 nadis or subtle nerves in the body. Kundalini yoga is a self-contained and self-propelled system. When the Kundalini awakens through the gurus grace, it purifies the nervous system and makes the body
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radiant. It expels disease, cleanses the chakras, and makes itself an abode of divine peace in the heart. All the senses are refined, cleaned and strengthened. As the process culminates, the Kundalini reaches the Sahasrar, passing through the sixth (saj) chakra, and revealing a divine radiance. Sparkling in the light is the essential centre in the form of a dazzling blue dot, which the awakened Kundalini enables one to see. The blue dot is called the Bindu. By means of the Bindu, the siddha yogi is shown the subtle worlds, the deities, and all that cannot ordinarily be perceived by the senses. As this process continues, Samadhi occurs spontaneously. The jiva (being) - and the soul - is lifted above the dualities of pleasure and pain. After establishing the yogi in supreme bliss, the Kundalini becomes tranquil. As mentioned earlier, Chitti is the primordial consciousness, the source and essence of the world. It has been fully explained in Devraha Divya Darshan, the magnum opus on Devraha Baba. Kundalini yoga carries all other systems of yoga in its wake. Once it has begun, no other method of sadhana is needed. But, it is a very difficult process of realization. The guidance of an accomplished master is absolutely necessary, if the aspirant is not to succumb to the many pitfalls that lie on the way. When this stored up energy awakens as a result of intensive meditation and pranayama, an experienced teacher must channelize its ascent. A few words about the chakras and allied concepts. The spinal column contains a central passage, the Sushumna, and two nerve currents: the Ida or Ganga on the left and Pingala or Yamuna on the right. When the Kundalini is aroused, it passes up the Sushumna that, in persons not spiritually inclined, remains closed. The chakras, seen as lotuses in a state of revelation, are located within the Sushumna. The location of the lowest three - the Muladhar, Swadhisthan and Manipur - approximate to the excretory organ, the reproductive organ and the navel, respectively. The mind is said to be worldly when it dwells in this region, craving sense gratification. The location of the fourth chakra approximates to the heart. Spiritual awakening occurs when the mind dwells in the Anahat chakra. On the Kundalini reaching the Vishudh or fifth centre at the throat, the mind is freed from ignorance and preoccupied with God. The Agya or sixth centre lies at the centre of the forehead. When the Kundalini ascends to this point, the vision of God is unbroken though a trace of the ego still remains. The seventh centre, seen as a radiant lotus with a thousand petals, is on the top of the head. With the final ascent, the union of the atma with the Paramatma occurs. Siddhis manifest when the pent up divine energy in man begins to travel up the Sushumna. Samadhi The word has more than one meaning. The obvious one in the present context is the ecstatic condition of union with God. Interrelated with this is the state of inertness in yoga, which continues for many hours, even days, when the aspirant loses consciousness of the body. The third meaning refers to that condition of the self in which one is not affected by circumstances and remains in a state of equanimity. This is called sahaj samadhi. Kabir considered it beneficial for the yogi:

So did Devraha Baba, but he said it was difficult to attain:

Samadhi that entails union with God is of two types: savikalpa and nirvikalpa. In the first, the devotee still retains an element of the personal ego; and in the second, the union is complete. Finally, the term also refers to the structure that covers a saints body, which is buried and not burnt. Since his karmic debt has already been annihilated in the fire of illumination, and he need never take birth again through other bodies unless God ordains it for a special purpose, his body is interred. The Yogi and Death For the one who has taken birth, death is bound to occur.1 the ordinary mortal is usually terrified by the eventuality of death. But, a yogi or Paramahans views it with detachment, as Devraha Baba once told me. For him,
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the jivatatva contains the Paramatma tatva. So, he never grieves at death for he is always aware of the souls immortality. Some disciples once asked Yogiraj whether it was true that one could get salvation by dying in Kashi (Varanasi), which is the popular Hindu belief. Kashi is the place most sacred to Lord Shiva, the deity who grants liberation.

If Kabir leaves his body in Kashi, it is so by Rams will. The master replied that the one who leaves the body in Kashi does not get moksha. However, the jiva then takes birth in Kashi, according to his karma. The stage of moksha comes at the last, when he completes all good works, by virtue of which he has earned the right to freedom from the cycle of rebirth. Since the yogi knows neither shook (sorrow) nor mocha (attachment), death holds no fear for him. It is merely a physical process, the last of the sixteen sanskaras of a human being. The last rites performed for the deceased constitute an elaborate system of ceremony and metaphysics. Pind Daan The pind is a preparation of milk and rice, which is consecrated and symbolically fed to the departed soul by family members as part of the last rites. Hindus believe that to ensure peace to the souls of their ancestors, the sons or other male descendents, and in their absence, authorized family members, and must perform pind daan at the appointed time, in keeping with shastric injunctions. The deceased then get moksha. However, many Hindus no longer observe this system of propitiation, called shradh.

The rites which are performed with faith are called shradh. Hans Baba says that the observance of the custom definitely attains its objective of feeding the spirits of the ancestors in whichever yoni (life form) they may have taken birth. He illustrates this through a simile. Just as one converts foreign currency and gets its equivalent, so do the ancestors get their due. Divine Speech The realization of Tat twamasi - That thou art - is fundamental to Paravani.

You are in yea, you are in nay, you are in thou, you are in me. Everywhere, it is only you, you, you, you, just you. These words have been sung by our siddha saints. The sheer simplicity of the assertion of oneness confounds. The four kinds of vani or modes of divine expression are Paravani, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari. To consider the first, it is the same as Brahmavani, which could be translated to mean the speech that emanates directly from Brahma or God.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

It is internally realized, having no relation to external knowledge.

The second type of speech is related both to internal and external knowledge.

When Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, illumines ones vision, the ensuing condition gives ones access to all pools of knowledge, so that everything is within ones reach.

While Paravani is internally realized, independent of the outside world, which is governed by the senses, Pashyanti is the intermediate stage between external and internal perception. It is also known as Shamani. Its nature is dual, as denoted by the term, Dwipada (two- footed). It is related to the vision which turns both inwards and outwards, as well as to the power of learning.

The yogi who is in the second stage, is so centered in meditation that he is like the offshoot from a tree. And, because of this intimate link, he gets spontaneous insight into the riddle of existence and deep experience of ecstasy. He feels a cosmic power in his body.

A sadhak who attains the state of Pashyanti, gains access to the internal world. In order to understand this mode of expression, one must listen, know and assimilate. One must be open to assimilate the infinite knowledge, which is indivisible.

The uninitiated have no access to it. It is eternal and beyond the grasp of the senses. Paravani is also known as Ekpadi. In the beginning, the conditions of knowledge and meditation have separate manifestations. But later, as the aspirant progresses on the spiritual path, the distinction disappears.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

Madhyama has the name Ashtpadi, while Vaikhari is also known as Naupadi. In the state of Vaikhari, one can communicate with all beings and understand their modes of expression. Paravani is supreme because it enables one to gain knowledge of Trikaal, or the past, present and future.

Paravani is to the being as the root is to the tree. Its place is in the Sahasrar, the spiritual centre that has the form of a thousand-petalled lotus, located on the top of the scalp.

Just as the seed, containing the life force, is rooted in the spirit, with the seedling sprouting above the ground, so is Paravani anchored in the divine, giving birth to Mahanad, a wellspring of divine joy.

The one, who is in the state of Paravani, obtains all knowledge.

There is manifestation of power, as pure as the Ganga, in the Muladhar (at the base of the spine), which symbolizes Prithvi or earth. Through the practice of yoga, the nadi tantra, to be precise, this power is raised skywards to the Sahasrar, which symbolises akash or heaven. The attainment of Paravani is the same as the experience of samadhi (union with God). It transcends the dualities of joy and sorrow.

This state lies beyond the play of the three gunas or propensities sattva, rajas and tamas - that govern mortal existence. Only the light of spiritual knowledge remains.

There is neither black nor white, or any of the shades in between. Reactions do not swerve between the positive and the negative. There is but the power of Shiva, experienced as unimaginable ecstasy. The state of Paravani stills the internal faculties of perception. The realization - I am He, I am He - arises spontaneously from the Sahasrar.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

It may be mentioned that the Gayatri mantra has special significance for yogis. The ajapa Gayatri (the spontaneous rising of the mantra) has the power to grant salvation. It is, therefore, termed moksha dayini (bestower of moksha). Its germ is soham - the realization of oneness with God when the aspirant feels, I am He.

Soham induces self-illumination (chaitanya). The sadhak gets transformed into Hans and attains the state of supreme beatitude. Through this exposition, it may be possible to understand Hans Babas spiritual state. He has attained the four vanis, his divine sport furnishing the proof of this condition.

Goseva The Hindu scriptures say that it is mans bounden duty to protect this docile creature, which is the property of heaven. Apparently, Lord Vishnus incarnation as Rama occurred for the protection of Prithvi or Mother Earth, cows, the sages and the learned. According to a Puranic legend, the rakshasas or demons once began disrupting the ceremonial worship of the rishis. Their yagyas (sacred rites performed with fire) were being ruined. Then Prithvi changed herself into a cow and went to Lord Vishnu for help. She pleaded for protection. The Lord promised to take birth for the protection of the four divinities mentioned above. The Ramayan, Valmikis great epic, and Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidass Hindi rendition of the same, recount the saga of Rama Chandras heroism. It is commonly believed that goseva helps diminish the negative karma of a person. Devraha Baba said in this regard: Medicine is the cure for disease, while donations made in charity are the remedy for suffering. Donations made for the welfare of cows are considered supreme. Can one who does not love to donate for cows love me? One must protect cows. And forge a bond of love and devotion. Then only will there be peace. India will prosper. This is what Yogiraj said in Hindi:

The Vindhyachal Ashram The ashram at Vindhyachal is related to the guru parampara or tradition of Devraha Baba. While no recorded facts are available, a few disciples have tendered the following information, though Baba himself is reticent about his antecedents. One account concerns Yogirajs sojourn in South India, in the guise of a great master, Ahoballacharya. Who witnessed the construction of the famed Tirupati temple, located amidst seven hills? Another account attempts to trace his spiritual lineage to the 11th century South Indian saint, Ramanujacharya, who spent some time in the sacred city of knowledge, Kashi, presentday Varanasi. Subsequently, it is said, that many of his disciples made their abode of worship near Vindhyachal, 80 kilometres from Kashi. Gopalacharya, a disciple, did tapasya in a cave near the ashram, located between two existing villages, Akodhi and Baghada. When the yogi first reached the cave, it already had a tiger as an inmate. On encountering it, he enquired of the carnivore how they could both live there together. The animal, contrary to its nature, did not respond in a fearful manner. And, during the four-month (chaturmas) period, when it rains and spiritual personages do not move about lest they inadvertently harm some of the myriad little creatures that surface, man and beast peacefully cohabited the cave.
Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi

Janardanacharya, his disciple, followed his guru and sometimes did sadhana in that cave. His spiritual heir was Ahovil Prapannacharya, believed to be Devraha Baba and possibly the same as Ahoballacharya. He is supposed to have built an ashram there.

The Journey of a Yogi Brahmvetta Shree Devraha Hans Baba Trust (Regd) For further enquiries regarding Brahmvetta Shree Devraha Hans Baba and the work of goseva, please contact: 05442-242389 First Edition: July 1996 Second Edition: January 2001 Third Edition: November 2006 Published by: Brahmvetta Shree Devraha Hans Baba Trust (Regd) Bhagdevar village, P.O. Mahuwarikala, Vindhyachal Mirzapur district, U.P. Printed by: Systems Vision A-199, Okhla Industrial Area-I New Delhi 110 020

Courtesy: The Journey of a Yogi by Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi