By Suma Varughese
From being a top executive in the Middle East with a wife and daughter, Mohanji’s life turned around 360 degrees when he lost everything, and found a second life as a spiritual teacher and guide, says Suma Varughese
I first met Mohanji in 2012, when he spoke at the Mumbai Life Positive Expo. I was disarmed by his friendly, approachable demeanour, and deep warmth. Tall, well-built and good looking, he has a charismatic personality. And yet there was no mistaking his spiritual power. I recall a meditation he conducted at our Life Positive Soul Space, which took most of us to stillness. His answers to questions too were penetrating and perceptive. A few days later, I joined a small group of his disciples for Guru Purnima. The love and personal warmth with which he enveloped his people was palpable. I came in for a hug too, and still recall the love that it transmitted.
Mohanji’s story, like almost any guru’s, is a fascinating example of the many ways Spirit draws its chosen ones on to the path. A successful senior management executive in the shipping trade, with a wife and a four-year-old daughter, Ammu, life was going smoothly on track, when the rug was pulled from under his feet. It began with the death of his daughter Ammu in a tragic road accident on August 23rd, 2000. Thereafter, his life unravelled. He and his wife separated in 2003, he lost most of his investments and his belongings in India in 2004, and eventually his job as well. He had touched the bottom of the barrel – a place where grace resides!
Sure enough, he began to get guidance from many realized masters both in the body and beyond, including Shirdi Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba and Mahavtar Babaji. He retreated to the Himalayas until his inner shift was completed. Thereafter, Mohanji continued to work for a living, but his spiritual work also began. He was inspired to produce two powerful meditations which he offered to the world free of charge. Slowly, satsangs and talks happened. His social organisation, Ammucare Charitable Trust, offers food, clothing, shelter and medicine for those in need. Presently living in Dharamsala, Mohanji is now married to Biba, a Serbian, and the couple has a daughter, Mila, who will be four this year. In many ways, life has come around full circle for Mohanji. Excerpts from the interview:
What would you say is the mission that you have been entrusted with on Planet Earth?
I believe that anybody who is guiding anybody can have only one mission – liberation. All the masters who ever walked on earth or guided humankind, have only focussed on liberation from terrestrial existence. This is a process. That is why there are numerous paths and techniques. Every path, every technique, and every exponent has value to some seeker out there. The opposite of liberation is bondage. Irrespective of whether we are bound by a positive habit or negative, it is still bondage. Bondage has multiple levels, such as physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Man needs to get out of all bondage to liberate himself from the compulsive birth-death cycle.
There appear to be many masters coming up around now who are linked to Mahavtar Babaji – like yourself, Sri M, and Dadashreeji. Why do you think Mahavtar Babji is so pivotal to these times?
I believe that Babaji is guiding millions, directly or indirectly – not just a few who are communicating with people. I came across an elusive saint who communicates with Babaji. He said that Babaji wears a body only when it is absolutely necessary, and that too its density depends on the consciousness of the person in question. Otherwise,
he operates only in his subtle form. I would not freely use the name of Babaji as I consider it as far too sacred than we can ever imagine. But I do believe that Babaji is moving a large mission on earth which is to raise the collective
consciousness of the human mass, and shift their basic operating root. I also feel that when we say Babaji, we are talking about a state in consciousness. A totally liberated existence. Just like we experience states of tranquillity or samadhi when the mind becomes totally still, we achieve Babaji consciousness when we shift gears to a higher frequency. Babaji represents the no-nonsensical, straight path to highest awareness. It is not the privilege of some to access such a consciousness. All have the same potential. The subtler your operating level, the more connected you are to that consciousness.
What do you think has been your special contribution to spirituality?
I would like to believe that if I am of any value to some people, my life is well “used” by Existence. I try my best to not be stuck to any frames so that I can experience freedom every moment. If this can be understood by the people who look at me, I believe that is the only message that can be effectively given at all. Walking the path of pathlessness needs alert attention at all times. Acceptance of reality as it is and being fluid and flexible at all times is very essential. Changing realities should never affect our journey. We should glide on in life like water on the leaf of the lotus – unaffected and unattached.
Looking back, what was your early childhood like? Was there ever an indication that you would become a spiritual teacher?
I would modestly refrain from creating a halo around myself. One point I remember from my childhood is that when my class teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be alone. Naturally the teacher was not happy. She considered me “retarded”. She informed my mother who complained to her father, my grandfather, who was a great personality. He casually remarked, “One day, you will be proud of him.” My mother had mentioned in an earlier interview that I was smiling when I was born. The mental restlessness that I felt later in life was probably because I was not satisfied with relative truths, and was craving for the ultimate truth.
Do you think that your birth in a Malayali Namboothiri family has helped you in your evolution?
My father was a medical doctor, and I never had a regular Namboothiri type of childhood. None of my relatives have any serious spiritual inclination as far as I can remember. Some also considered caste to be utter nonsense. I believe that life creates a Brahmin and not birth. When the heart overflows with love, when we need nothing from the world, when we prefer to serve than to possess, when one’s whole life is established in the bliss of beingness or the purpose of service, a true Brahmin is born. I believe that birth in the caste cannot ensure it. It takes efforts to nullify one’s selfishness, greed, and jealousy.
You went through a personal tempest after the death of your daughter, when your whole life fell apart. What would you say is the role of suffering in evolution?
There is a saying that a compelling sorrow enhances awareness and detachment. This is not the same in everybody’s case, though. Detachment does not mean renunciation. It is not escapism. It is intense objectivity. It is a state of emptiness and fearlessness that nothing matters and we suddenly stare into the eyes of stark reality. This happened with me. Extreme objectivity took place. Nothing mattered. Life on earth was not the same anymore. Thus started the spiritual awakening too. The world is not always kind to you. When society constantly hurts us and judges us unfavourably, we learn to detach and find peace within. When those whom you love most leave you or betray you, you are forced to find your independence.
How can the seeker use suffering for personal evolution?
Through clear objectivity. First and foremost is acceptance. Never entertain self-pity or other’s sympathy. Both will paralyse you. Always be objective. Face it head on. Introspect – contemplate – meditate. Look at the essence of the seeming reality. Thus, transform oneself.
Every event, word or thought creates an impression. Impressions trigger emotions. Emotions trigger karma. Mind uses the root impression to create a tsunami. We should be well aware of this.
Thus, we need to restrict the entry of impressions. These impressions create our realities. In order to re-create our life, or re-invent ourselves, we need to control or restrict the data entry, the input. A personal tragedy often forces us to look within. It can release us from various binding concepts of happiness, sorrow, power and life. Nothing matters anymore. Life takes a different turn. Its meaning and purpose changes too. If we can effectively stay away from our concepts, we achieve much freedom and happiness within. Happiness without reason! We will stop judging, criticizing, condemning or ridiculing self and others. Concepts always stop us from being spontaneous and natural.
You emphasize looking after birds and animals as part of selfless seva.
Indeed. This world equally belongs to every being. The intellectual supremacy of humankind has created a stark division between human species and all other species. Humankind has experienced suppression and torture through wars and dictators. All other species are experiencing it every day. I believe that there is no better action than sharing food with the hungry beyond the species barrier. Sharing makes you rich inside. Humankind must re-emphasise co-existence. Every species likes to live and be free. We chain them and kill them. Each abattoir is an Auschwitz. The goodness in humankind needs to be expressed through caring and loving every species unconditionally. Consistently sharing food with the hungry and poor will make a rich society. And it wipes out many blockages in the karmic cycle. It releases stress and helps cure depression.
You also emphasize the power of gratitude.
Man minus ego is equal to God. Gratitude is the opposite of ego. Just like humility, gratitude helps elevation or awareness. Gratitude spontaneously happens within us with awareness. Gratitude should begin with oneself. Be grateful that we are living; we have a body, a mind and intellect. We have awareness, knowledge. We are able to experience happiness, sorrows, good and bad. Then, gratitude towards our parents who helped us stand on our own two feet, the teachers who guided us, the life that taught us the most valuable lessons. Be grateful that the sun shines and we are able to experience it, as also the rain, the breeze and everything on earth. Be grateful for the trees and plants which breathe in what we breathe out and thus help us live. There are numerous invisible allies. The ants, the bees, the flowers and fruits of trees and plants. Gratitude enhances our life. It helps liberation. Be grateful. Feel gratitude and let it show. The constant flow of gratitude is a sign of operating in higher frequency. Such a person will have no room in mind for jealousy, hatred, anger or fear.
You regularly organise pilgrimmages to Mount Kailash. What is its significance?
Mount Kailash is a power center. It represents stillness, beingness. Kailash represents our soul, the unbound, uncontaminated and ever-free Shiva within us. It represents the ultimate state of liberation aspired by every being. There are certain points in the world where energy gets conglomerated. Like a powerful magnet, it attracts aspirants as well as beings of higher frequency. When you enter an oxygen room, every cell becomes fresh; likewise, Kailash represents the stillness of mind and universality of being. It is the original Shiva Linga. A still mind is a state in samadhi which reflects the true universe. In absolute stillness of the mind pure consciousness is reflected. Apart from the Kailash in Tibet, there are four more similar places in Himachal Pradesh.
What is enlightenment? Would you call yourself enlightened?
Enlightenment is a state in awareness. We can call this our original state. Mind, which is supposed to help us experience the world, starts controlling us. When awareness grows beyond the mind, and mind becomes insignificant, we become universal. I would not call myself enlightened or not enlightened. I do not create frames. Frames bind. Hence, I take care to be like water – fluid and flowing through given situations. Situations, time, space, awareness and the actors are provided. All we have to do is be objective and flow through it, without stopping to analyse whether it is good or bad. Just flow. One criterion that I use for myself and I recommend for others is to avoid violence in thought, word, and action. This will keep you free.
Those who are eligible for the New Age will survive. The rest will perish. Eligibility is selflessness, unconditional love and emptiness of the mind.
What is the state of being enlightened? How does life happen for you?
The state of being enlightened is being free. Freedom is in the potential to have everything – but needing nothing. Freedom is staying unbound to people, society, places, situations, habits as well as materials. You can be everything, you can use anything, but you are not bound by it. This is freedom. The state of the soul is the state of being enlightened. Never bound and always free.
Life is a continuous flow for me. Unstoppable and often irrelevant. Time, place, people, situations and events do not bother me. I do not consider myself as significant or insignificant. I do not consider myself as enlightened or a guru. I avoid all kinds of frames and titles to maintain my freedom. I believe there is nothing to prove on earth. Those who have “eyes” to see will “see”. I talk to those who come to me. I never call nor promise. I give what I have without fees and expectations. We announce programmes, but never canvass. I keep flowing in life, as a river.
What awaits us in the future?
The roots are shifting. The emotional root which is creating emotional chaos, breeding more and more concepts, is coming to an end. The intellectual root is beginning. This will stabilise the available species including the human, much. The sixth root is the spiritual root, the basis of consciousness of great masters. The shift between roots could see much destruction.
I envisage a world beyond gadgets. Today, gadgets own our time. Through gadgets commerce controls us. Gadgets have “minimalised” human existence. This establishes the emotional root. This will change. The generation that is dependent on satellites will change. Satellites will become unavailable and all corresponding gadgets will cease to exist. Man will become free once again. Man will recognise man once again. Brotherhood based on respect and kindness will begin.
The New Age or Golden Age is about equanimity. No barriers or divisions. Togetherness, love, compassion and kindness beyond species, time, space, and colour barriers. Those who are eligible for it will survive. The rest will perish. Eligibility is selflessness, unconditional love and emptiness of the mind. It is understood that the 10-year period between 2012 and 2022 is crucial for this shift. Awakening is happening across the globe. We can look forward to a world based on dharma, ahimsa and peace.
How should we prepare ourselves for its challenges?
Unconditional love is the key. Give, share and nurture. Do not judge, criticise, condemn oneself or others. Cultivate the attitude of giving and sharing; gratitude towards everything around you. Unselfishness. Love unconditionally. See yourself in everyone. Operate with your focus on the spine more. The rest will follow.
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