By Madhuri Velegar K. October 1998 In the backwaters of southern India, a saint works with ‘light beings’ of Shambala to usher in the New Age Where`s ShambalaAbode of highly evolved spiritual beings tucked away in the untraced locales of nowhere, Shambala, also referred to as Shangri-la, Gyanganj or Siddhashram, has remained a mystery. According to Krishnananda, Shambala is located in the Gobi desert. However, many also believe that this energy center on earth is hidden away in the remote heights of the Himalayas—on a flatland to the north of Kailash Mansarovar. Only spiritually evolved sages can enter this place, it is believed. The divine beings who stay here are tall, fair and travel to other dimensions and galaxies either astrally or in spaceships, says Krishnananda. These beings live here for centuries and direct the course of human evolution through higher yogic means. Medititive answerExcerpts from an interview with Swami Krishnananda:Your book traces your journey from an ordinary family man into an awakened soul. How did it happen? When I was in my 20s, I believed nothing would change in this world. But after meeting my guru, Amara, I opened myself to a new worldview. I reveled in the sight of nature, animals, human encounters. All this created positive energy inside me. I learnt meditation and this kept me in touch with my inner self. Meditation is like going into a plane of silence or into another level of consciousness where you get all answers. How do meditation and prayer differ? While praying we always ‘ask’ for something. Meditation is concentration within oneself. We silence the system. Once the system gets cleansed, it is prepared to go through higher experiences, which would eventually transform us into higher beings. And slowly we would be linked to our source and receive direct knowledge about ourselves, this creation, birth, death… How are destiny and karma related? Can destiny be changed? We are what we are because of our past life karma. We continue to live, collect and pass this karma on a pre-ordained track, which is destiny. But with meditation you can become aware of the future and can alter or reduce the effects of whatever bad is in store for you. For instance, I once had a vision that I had met with a terrible accident and injured a young boy with my two-wheeler. Two months later, I found myself traveling by the same road and I saw this young boy crossing the road. I remembered the vision and braked just in time. New Age, popular in the West, has yet to catch on here… The western mind is open to everything that is new. You’ve probably never heard his name before. And chances are that the prefix of swami will raise your cynical hackles. Naturally. Another swami? Do we really need another messiah to guide us towards the next millennium? To find out, you start off on a bumpy scooter ride over kuccha roads, with quarries and mills on one side and eucalyptus and farmlands on the other. Finally, you reach the heart of Taponagara, a budding settlement near Chikkagubbi village, 22 km from Bangalore, a city in southern India, to meet the publicity-shy Swami Krishnananda who is working with the light beings of Shambala (land of enlightened immortals) to usher in the New Age. You can’t help but wonder at the genesis of Swami Krishnananda—an ordinary man holding a government job, who transcended the ordinary. ‘Open your horizons,’ he says now and has lived these words since he took to writing, painting and farming in the late ’70s. That was also the time he met Amara, his spiritual mentor and guide for over 20 years, and learnt the art of meditation.Krishnananda speaks softly about Taponagara and Amara. He explains that Amara had a revelation that Taponagara, then a vacant piece of land near a hillock, would one day emerge as a powerful source of energy, where sages would work and help spread world peace. He had likened this place to Shambala, the legendary city of light. Krishnananda’s relationship with Amara, who passed away in 1982, and their experiences have been described in his latest book Door-ways to Light. This book is Krishnananda’s first major work after How to Meditate, Dhyana-Yoga, New Age Principles and Universalism. ‘There is nothing like a destiny that will definitely take place-any future event can be altered by spiritual powers and meditations. An accident can be averted-even a war,’ states Krishnananda. Door-ways to Lighttalks about the existence of rishis, described as light beings in higher planes. ‘They are not just mythical characters from the Puranas (ancient Indian scriptures),’ states Krishnananda. ‘Some are here on earth and many are in higher planes. They are part of a huge network of light beings who work under cosmic intelligence. There are more than 1,44,400 rishis working on the astral plane. I am in touch with several of these light beings, including Amara, and I contact them astrally.’ Although it tends to be repetitive at times, Door-ways to Light does contain readable chapters on other planes and dimensions. As Krishnananda puts it: ‘There are people living in other dimensions and spheres; not little green men of your science fiction. They are much more intelligent, evolved, civilized, kind and advanced in all the sciences.’His encounter with Amara, who evolved to a high spiritual level, underscores Krishnananda’s belief that every mortal has the potential of being divine. He says it can be achieved by following some simple guidelines: ‘Open yourself, expand your horizons, accommodate another human being, give him or her love because love automatically expands the other person. Be alive. Make your thoughts and emotions positive and the knowledge of the future will come to you. Meditate for at least 24 minutes daily—get in touch with your inner self.’ In fact, Krishnananda believes that meditation is the best method of salvation for human beings. Meditation is also emphasized through classes held at Taponagara every Sunday. Special meditations are arranged on certain auspicious days. Classes are also held in other parts of Bangalore. For those outside Bangalore, there is provision for postal lessons. Krishnananda has also created the Manasa Foundation, which teaches people about self-transformation by meditation and positive thoughts. The foundation encourages them to live a peaceful, purposeful and creative life and helps them face the complexities of living. The Jyoti Project, begun a few months ago, is mainly for village children in and around Taponagara. Children are helped with their studies and are also taught shlokas (couplets from scriptures), songs, hygiene and general knowledge. They are encouraged to express themselves creatively through story telling, singing, drawing and painting. Referring to the New Age in his newsletter Manasa Patra, Krishnananda writes: ‘When I started meditation classes in 1988, there were not many youngsters. The old and the retired were more visible with their dried enthusiasm and faded mufflers. But now I see the classes almost full of youngsters sitting gracefully in yogic positions, full of energy. All this indicates that the New Age is dawning. The energies channeled by so many earnest light-workers and gathered by the unseen spiritual masters in the higher planes are vibrating with new life and light.’ That, effectively, is the basic philosophy of Taponagara’s swami—enlightenment and hope for the whole world.
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