By UC Mathur
UC Mathur recounts his varied experiences with spiritual men and the impact of the encounters
The magical and mystical Neem Karoli BabaAs a newly married man, I had gone to my in-laws’ place in Lucknow from my workplace Delhi. The family planned a visit to a temple where Neem Karoli Baba was temporarily residing. On reaching the hut, when everyone including my wife went in, I decided to stay out. Soon enough the Baba beckoned me to come into the hut, with no reservations. I was 22 then, and to say the least, sceptical of babas.
Face to face with Baba, I noticed a person of 50 years, with sparkling eyes, and a mischievous smile looking directly into my eyes. The experience was so powerful that I almost reeled just looking at him. He then asked me to become worry-free, because the ‘worry reason’ was being removed from my life. How come he knew about it when I had not discussed it with my newly wedded wife?
The reason for my restless mind was my boss in Delhi, who had been continuously harassing me for reasons unknown to me. On return to work, to my utter surprise I found that my boss had been transferred, and believe me, my new boss soon became my guardian angel, almost a father figure. Baba’s mystique started unfolding from that time onwards.
My next meeting with Baba was up in the hills, where driving towards my destination at about 3 pm in the afternoon, I had with me five hungry passengers, including children. I was surprised to find a sadhu, waving at us to stop the car, as Baba was waiting to meet us nearby. Reluctantly, because of hunger pangs, but with anticipation of meeting Baba, we followed the sadhu inside a small thatched hut.
|The biggest of all surprises came when he was found having lunch on the same day and time, at three different places|
Baba’s smile greeted us as he said, “I have been waiting for you my children, to join me at lunch.’ The three small serving pots could not hold food for even four persons. As we sat down on mats with leaf plates placed in front of us by the sadhu, he started serving food in good measure from the pots, and to our surprise, the pots remained full after each serving. Baba urged us to have our fill, and more food kept coming to our plates, until we had enough.
However, the biggest of all surprises came when he was found having lunch on the same day and time, at three different places, Lucknow at my in-laws’ place, Unnao at my wife’s sister’s place, and at Gwalior with my aunt. Two months after the event when these three families met at my house in Lucknow, there was almost a verbal altercation, when each claimed to have fed the Baba on the very same full moon day.
Baba’s kindness to me, I felt, was unique. (On hindsight, I feel each devotee must have felt the same, such was his benevolence). He started unfolding the secrets of life either directly in person, or at times, even through metaphysical mind-waves. He initiated me into yoga, raj yoga, and kundalini yoga.
Kundalini, the small serpent-like being at the bottom of our spinal chord, can be awakened, and it can be made to reach the top of the head through the various chakras. Once it reaches the head through the rigorous process of meditation and samadhi, the person gets powers beyond comprehension like moving in a tiny body (sookshma shareer) through the world in microseconds and so on. You can be present in different places at the same time in your own physical body. You can view the past, present and future of any individual like a cinema reel. However, Baba cautioned that those who misuse these powers for their own good, lose them in no time. The powers are bestowed for doing good to humanity. There is a railway station in UP in his name.
Later, I met a holy man in Moradabad, who was popularly known as Bhaishree. He would know the answers to your five questions beforehand, as he used to write down five questions with answers, even before strangers came to see him. Believe me, he answered my questions correctly. He answered the three questions posed by my wife too correctly, having already stated in his answer sheet that try as hard as she could, my wife could not come up with more than three questions, which was true. He told me that he had not done any penance or meditation, and his powers were in fact due to his good deeds of a past life. Later, I came to know that from the time he decided to help businessmen with their speculative businesses, he started losing his powers.
I was fortunate to have met Narayan Swami, who taught me the value of ‘jap’ of the Lord’s name. He gifted me a bead string, and holding my hand,
|As the doctor was readying him for the surgery, Swamiji announced that he would go into samadhi and therefore no anaesthesia would be required|
he led me into the right way of ‘jap.’ His close devotees later informed me that I was really privileged, because Swamiji never touches any human being.
Narayan Swami visited Badrinath shrine every year in the summer (there is a temple of him near the shrine today). Once as he was walking towards Badrinath from Rishikesh, a middle-aged man clutched at his feet and cried that despite his tenth try he was unable to walk to the shrine, because of his debilitating sickness.
( There were no roads, and everyone had to trek if one wished to have darshan.)
Swami took pity on the man, went round him three times, patted him on his head, and then urged him to go up the hills. To his surprise, the man got up disease-free, and walked up happily. However, that year Swamiji could not go to Badrinath, as he became seriously ill. It is said that he had taken the man’s disease on to himself.
His devotees took Swamiji to Lucknow. Doctors diagnosed his problem and said that he needed major surgery. As the doctor was readying him for the surgery, Swamiji announced that he would go into samadhi and therefore no anaesthesia would be required. His wishes were accepted and the major eight-hour operation was conducted in his conscious state. (I know this firsthand as the surgeon was my uncle, and I was in Lucknow those days).
Post surgery too, he needed no painkillers and we could hear only muted sighs from his recovery room. He wanted only kirtan to be held in the next room in which some of my family members would join.
By his grace, I continue my journey towards deeply fulfilling spirituality and feel blessed again and again.
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