Excerpts from Jeevanadarsh Evam Atmaanubhuti:
Shri Paramahans Maharaj Ji was born in Ramkola village of Deoria District of Uttar Pradesh in an ordinary family. His mother’s name was Fulmani Devi and father’s name was Shri Jagrup Sharma Ji. When an eminent astrologer saw him as a child he asked, “How did you beget such remarkable child? He would either grow up as a king or an accomplished guru !” The mother was stunned. She moved chilly and salt over the head of the child as a talismanic ritual to protect the child from an effect of an evil eye.
At the age of five he was admitted in the school, but on the third day his teacher punished him mildly. The child cried out in anguish. His mother said, “Hell with the school! My son wouldn’t study henceforth.” This brought an abrupt end to his education.
All around the locality, wrestling was a mania. There were many a wrestling places (Akhada) in the village. Gradually he was recognized as an accomplished wrestler. He never was defeated in wrestling until the age of twenty-eight years. He had a great desire to wrestle with the famous wrestler of his time, Gamma.
Suddenly he received three divine directions, as if from the skies. The first one was to provide food for a sage. The second was received when he was invited to head towards an ulterior companionship; he received divine direction, “You are heading towards committing sin. You would fall in the hell.” He was stopped midway in his strides and returned. The third time he heard a divine voice from skies – “Your Guru is in this temple.” He entered a dilapidated temple but finding nobody in the darkness, he was terribly upset and returned. He was perplexed with the thought as to who was talking in his head. Who was after him? At that time he heard someone coughing inside the temple. In fact, he was his Guru. For three days he dedicated himself to his service and tending. He learnt the process of meditation in such a short time. He learnt that, whatever he had been considering as worship was not worship in true sense. As soon as realization dawned on him about the true nature of spirituality, he dedicated himself to meditation with peace and solitude. After four months, spirituality was kindled. Having learnt everything, hearing everything and understanding everything a man remains where he had began; because, spiritual process is the path of attainment. After four months of efforts, spiritual meditation was awakened, the soul was placed in the driver’s position, the Supreme Divinity started guiding, meditation was strengthened and rumination was stimulated.
I asked the Guru, “Oh lordship, why were you guided by the divine voice?” He replied, “Even I had the similar doubts. The God clarified, I have been a saint for the last seven ages. However, in the initial four lives, I have been wandering aimlessly pretending to be a saint. Nevertheless, I had restrain over me even in those days. I have been a good saint for the last three lives, the way a saint should be. Although, I have been in spiritual realm, the soul was driven by the Supreme Divinity, and I have been usually worshipping, I had two unfulfilled desires. I was intrigued to learn what joy a married life had and what kind of pleasure was derived by smoking marijuana, like other saints. Besides, I was egoistic about my physical prowess. Because of that, I had to take rebirth. Otherwise, I would have been freed from the cycle of birth and death. The God arranged for him to get married for a short while and brought me out of reverie indicating at the Guru and the true path of spirituality.” The God made me a hermit; I have not become one on my own accord. I had never imagined of becoming a hermit. I never used to visit a temple, never listened to any religious discourse; but the God compelled me to follow this path through the Divine voice.”
The villagers used to address Maharaj Ji by his name of childhood. Such and such person is sitting there. His body is weakening. His stout body has become frail. The mother used to forcibly feed him some food, which he was not able digest. When the God was teaching, he increasingly liked peaceful solitude. If somebody came and sat besides him, he would wonder when would that person leaves him alone. He neither liked to see, nor speak with anybody. Hence, the other people used to think differently about him from their point of view. Some would say, ‘He is not worshipping. He is suffering of Tuberculosis. His time is over. He could die at any moment now.” Everyone had different thing to say about him. When Maharaj Ji learnt of such rumours about him, he asked the God, “Oh God, whatever these people are telling, is it correct? Am I suffering of Tuberculosis? The God said, “Let them say what they want to say. You continue to concentrate on your meditation. Your future is auspicious.” Maharaj Ji was assured. Than he thought, ‘If the God wanted me to become a saint, he could have sent me elsewhere. At least, I didn’t have to listen to the comments and criticism of the people; but the God is not giving any instruction.”
His wrestler friends had made a garden where Maharaj Ji used to meditate. The trees in the garden were flowered. Maharaj Ji thought, ‘Well, it’s good. How lush green this garden is! Now, these trees have been flowered. Since they are flowered, they would bear fruits. I will eat those fruits and worship here peacefully and will not go anywhere.’ The moment he developed a little attraction for the garden, immediately he was inspired by a divine voice to proceed for Prayag (Allahabad). Prayag is a famous pilgrimage of India. After reaching there Maharaj Ji asked, “Oh God, now what should I do?” The Divine instruction was received, “Give up the company of these four to five persons accompanying you.” Very early in the morning before dawn Maharaj Ji left them and asked the God, “What should I do now?” The God said, “Give up the clothes that you are wearing. Leave them aside on the bank of the Ganga and walk away alongside the river.” Maharaj Ji used to say, “Oh yes, when I was slightly attracted to the garden, the god made me give up the last piece of cloth on my body and left to wander without any sustenance. If the God wants to make somebody a saint, than only could a person become a saint. If he does not guide, nobody can become a saint. Although, some efforts are needed for saintliness, but that is not saintliness.” Maharaj Ji had already cited his own example that he was wandering aimlessly through four births. Such efforts are not wasted, but the spirituality is gradually strengthened. Hence, asceticism of very stage is appreciable.
Reverend Maharaj Ji wandered nude for about five to six years. It was usual for him to remain without food for two to three days at a stretch. He was also accustomed to remain nude, even in the chilling cold climate. During the months of January-February, the cold winds seemed like sharp arrows were piercing his body. But the God had ordered, “Don’t touch a cloth.’ Without any kind of sustenance Maharaj Ji wandered on the banks of Ganga and Jamuna rivers.
Maharaj Ji used to select a bush of Bamboo a little away from some village before the Sundown. Some people would be walking to their farms, some would be cutting grass from the fields while the others would be grazing cattle. As soon as these activities were over, Maharaj Ji would enter the Bamboo bushes, clean up the place and sit down for meditation. He would spend the whole night sitting in the meditation. Sometimes he would shift his crossed legs, up and down. But his entire attention used to be on meditation. He would get lost in worship. Sometimes at two o’clock in the night if his attention were broken, he would feel severe cold, as if it would cause him to die. He would strive in vain to concentrate on meditation, but would fail. At last, Maharaj Ji would run for around 200 meters and return fast. After warming up his body he would resume meditation. As he would resume meditation with the support of external warmth, after some time he would begin experience warmth from within. This way he used to spend the night somehow in meditations.
With the first rays of daybreak, Maharaj Ji used to sleep on the sand dunes. He neither needed a bed, a piece of cloth nor any dressing. Sleeping under the open sky he would sleep in the warmth of sunrays till eleven in the morning. After awakening, he would wash in the waters of Ganga and once again resume his wandering. During the course of wandering, if he came across a hut of some saint, the saint would offer him some food to eat or some religious person would feed him. At times, somebody got dream that he had to feed that saint, whereas at other time someone would get divine inspiration to provide food for him. Maharaj Ji used to say, “Oh yes, the God used to make arrangements for his necessities of food. Obedience of the divine instruction is worship and there is nothing other than that.” This process continued. Maharaj Ji used to say, “At one point of time when my attention was broken, I found it difficult to concentrate my mind on meditation. Despite running and warming up, I have not been able to concentrate my mind upon meditation. Only I know, how I spent the night. Oh, it was just spent.”
During his wandering, Maharaj ji proceeded beyond Ayodhya. Rainy season had already set in. Maharaj ji thought, ‘If could have received the Divine instruction, I could have stayed somewhere for a period of four months.’ The God said, “The mother’s house is on this side, the father’s house is on the other side; there is a road in between and there is that Bel tree. Spend the four months under that tree.” Maharaj Ji perceived that scenario. He got up and walked where his feet could take him. He thought, ‘The God has weird sense of humour. My parents have died a long ago. And here the God is referring to his parent’s house! Maharaj Ji resumed walking, his mind lost in meditation. He had no inkling of the passerby. This is how he used to meditate while walking. At last, it was evening. When Maharaj ji thought of pausing, he saw that there were some scanty bushes around. A little away from the road were two temples – one of Durga and the other was that of Shiva. Maharaj Ji thought, perhaps the God had referred to these two temples of his parents. Alright, the omens were good. He thought, there must be a Bel tree somewhere in the vicinity. He looked around and saw the tree that he had perceived in his imagination earlier in the day. He moved closer and found it to be a Bel tree. Maharaj Ji sat down under that tree. He sat there without food for seven days. On the eighth day the villagers realized that some saint had been sitting there. Religious people gathered at the place. That place is located in Madhwapur Gonda district. The regional residents had experienced the miracle of spiritual meditation of Maharaj Ji. Some people afflicted with the epidemic of cholera were cured by the blessings of Maharaj Ji and they were saved from the death. Due to the blessings of Maharaj Ji, the fruits on the Bel tree, which used to rot earlier, were stopped from rotting. That tree is very much in existence today. Discussing such events Maharaj Ji used to say, “There is nothing like miracle. When the God has mercy upon us, even the ‘impossible’ becomes ‘possible’. The God fulfils, what a saint utters. That is the miracle.”
Walking away from there, Maharaj Ji took the road to the forests of Dehradun. He saw a road and he took to it. He thought, ‘If there is a road than there has to be a village or inhabitants living beyond. But that was a forest road. The forest turned denser and denser. He found some fresh dung of elephants. Even during high noon, the daylight turned dark. He was tired of walking. He thought of finding a place to sit down. There was a large dense tree on the side of the road. He received Divine instruction, “Sit down there.” As soon as he sat down, the Divine voice heard, “He would be able to perceive true appearance of the God. The good of the people would be achieved through you. An ashram would be erected for you here. The electric light would be connected here. (In those days, electricity was limited to the large cities.) Maharaj Ji happily sat down in meditation.
He spent four days continually in meditation. He neither drank water nor had anything to eat. On the fourth day the God said, “Remain seated here. You will get everything here; but you must be cautious. A sentry would come here carrying some milk. Don’t drink that.” In a short while, a sentry came over carrying some milk. He said, “O’ saint, please accept this milk.” Maharaj Ji was reminded of the warning of the Divine voice. He said, “I am observing fast today. Presently I will neither drink nor eat anything. If you bring something some other time, I will accept it.” How could he tell that sentry that the God had forbidden him? How could anyone understand that the God could even forbid someone? The sentry said, “O’ saint, I am a forest guard. I have been watching you that for the last four days you haven’t moved from the place. You’ve neither drunk water nor had anything to eat. O’ saint, kindly accept my humble service, otherwise how could I, a sinner, be alleviated?” The guard went on talking for quite a long time, whatever came to his mind. Maharaj Ji felt, ‘this chap neither leaves this place, nor remains quiet and does not allow me to meditate peacefully. Irritably he picked up the bowl and drank the milk. The guard bowed down to him with respect, picked up the empty bowl and walked away. He hardly had gone away fifty steps away, when Maharaj Ji heard a Divine voice, “Get up. You are unfit to stay here. You haven’t learnt to restrain your desires as yet. You won’t be able to attain anything here.” Maharaj Ji used to say, “Oh yes, I could not get enough food to fill my stomach and the God pushed me away pulling me by ears. I was pushed away from the place the way Seeta was pulled away after she crossed the line of control – Lakshman Rekha. A spiritual seeker mustn’t try to cross over the border drawn by the God. A spiritual seeker might think that what he is doing is good but, he won’t be able to get even tears to shed. Obedience of the God’s wish is worship in true sense. One can worship only under the benign guidance of the God and not otherwise. How could a spiritual seeker realize that the pressure of the Nature is rising or when his meditation is correct? It is only possible when the God himself teaches, explains or guides one by hand; can one understand the gravity of it.”
Once the nude Maharaj Ji proceeded towards Agra. After wandering on the banks of Jamuna throughout the day, he sauntered on the road as evening descended. He saw Bengal Gram scattered on the ground. It was a grain market, where all kinds of grain seeds were found strewn on the ground. Some cows and goats were eating the grains and even the birds were busy picking up the grains. Maharaj Ji too sat down. He would chew each grain of Bengal Gram while storing one-one seed in his palm. When his palm was full, he got up, walked up to the riverbank of Jamuna, ate the rest of the seeds and drank water. Well, that was what he could get to eat and that too without begging for it. He did the same thing for three days. On the fourth day, the shopkeepers were intrigued that, that man could not be a mad person. How would a mad person adhere to the correct timing? Maharaj Ji used to visit the place regularly at determined time. The way he was cleaning the gram seeds and moving about, he looked like a saintly person. One shopkeeper threw gram seed at Maharaj Ji. He had already closed the shop, but in order to examine he opened the door and strewn a handful of gram seeds on the ground. Maharaj Ji smiled and looked at him. Without a word he moved away from that spot. The shopkeeper signed at the other shopkeeper. He too opened the door of the shop and strewn some gram seeds on the ground. The third one too wanted to do the same. Maharaj Ji left all the gram seeds and went over to the riverbank.
Following Maharaj Ji, the shopkeepers too went over to the riverbank. Some brought sweets, while the others brought something or the other to eat. They requested, “Maharaj Ji, kindly allow us to have your graceful blessings. If you keep away from us in hiding, how could our good be achieved? This temple is secluded. Kindly dwell in it.” With much reverence and affection the people requested Maharaj Ji to stay there. He stayed there for a year and a half. The shopkeepers used to visit him after closing their shops. They used to bring many things like grapes, dry-fruits, bananas or apples. Maharaj Ji used to get bountiful of fruits and eatables. During the afternoon, the wives of wealthy businessmen would bring delectable varieties of food for Maharaj Ji. The women were permitted to see Maharaj Ji only for an hour during the noon. After that for the next twenty-three hours, they could not meet Maharaj Ji, but in one hour that they used to get, they would create great botheration for Maharaj Ji, by bringing him different kinds of foodstuffs.
In the presence of Maharaj Ji, the women were gradually getting audacious. One woman asked, “Don’t you feel shame sitting nude in the presence of women? At least cover yourself in a Dhoti.” They had cloth shops. They would offer Maharaj Ji the best brands of dhotis such as Paramsukh, Saccha Heera, Mercerized etc. Maharaj Ji would accept that and distribute among the saints thronging the banks of the Ganga. Once again Maharaj Ji would be found as before – nude. At last, they all decided to let Maharaj Ji live, as he desired.
Amongst them, there was a woman who was widowed at the age of twenty-one. She must have been of forty years then. Escorting three to four young girls she used to visit Maharaj Ji to have his blessings. Once she came to Maharaj Ji when he was alone. She placed a bundle of cloth before Maharaj Ji and said, “Maharaj Ji, this bundle contains large quantity of jewellery and money. I have nobody around me. It was ardent desire to devote myself to spiritual meditation, but these days it is hard to find an accomplished guru. It is my good luck that you have met me. Deposit this sum in a bank. Build an Ashram somewhere. I will cook for you. You will get food regularly and can continue to meditate as you please.”
Maharaj Ji used to say, it was quite difficult to walk in those days. He was suffering of lesion in his legs. When the minute particles of sand pierced in the lesions, pain used to shoot up like bullets penetrating the body. Maharaj Ji said, “That is why I thought, whatever she says is quite valid. The money would be deposited in the bank; she would cook for him. I shall be eat and meditate easily. She would live in one corner of the house.” Maharaj Ji told her, “Alright, I will tell you.” She picked up her bundle and went to her home.
At around 2 a.m when Maharaj Ji was seated for meditation he perceived a scenario that his Guru was coming accompanied by two pundits. He said, “Catch him, catch him! He is eloping away with a woman. He wants to degrade himself. The times are bad. Purify him. Pour holy water of the Ganga over him.” Maharaj Ji had said later, “I perceived that those pundits bathed me with holy water and made me listen to plenty of verses in Sanskrit. After that his Guru, Satsangi Maharaj picked up his stick and said, “Get lost immediately from here. Your benevolence lies in running away from here immediately.” As soon as Maharaj Ji recovered his senses, he got up and walked away. A couple of boys saw him walking away and they too accompanied him. By train they reached Haridwar. At Haridwar, he left the boys sleeping at Har-ki-Pouri and proceeded towards Hrishikesh and Dev Prayag.
After a year and a half, on his return Maharaj Ji reached to Agra. By that time the thoughts of that woman had changed drastically. Perhaps, earlier also she did not nurture any kind of ulterior thoughts. Maharaj Ji had said, “Oh yes, I too didn’t have any evil thoughts in my mind. But the God had said that I was getting degraded. We can understand a mental state today. But the God knows what is going to happen after ten years. He is aware of the result to come. The woman said, “Maharaj Ji, whether the saintly persons too tell a lie?” Maharaj Ji said, “You were about to eat me away, but the God saved me from you.”
Maharaj Ji said that according to the spiritual state of a seeker, the divine guidance becomes available. The Gita says in verse 22 of chapter 13, ‘in the initial stages the God is available very close to the seeker in the form of an observer. In the elevated state, the God begins to provide direction as a Spiritual Master. He provides spiritual fulfilment in the elevated state of spirituality, which ultimately is aimed to attain the prosperity for you. This is called the culmination of yoga. After that God becomes a consummator. The sacrificial action (Yagya), penance (Tapa), restraint (Sanyam), whatever is attained, is consummated by the Supreme Divine. That is what nurtures the soul and at last, is turned into the Supreme Divinity. This way, while dwelling within everybody he is away from all; that is why he is called the Supreme Soul. The God is the direct perception and the meditation is spiritual awakening.
Once reverend Maharaj Ji set out for Kashmir. He thought of finding an abode in some cave or cavern, where he could meditate and keep away from the effect of spurious contacts. After alighting at Jammu railway station as he was about to proceed ahead, a Punjabi man came and asked, “Maharaj Ji, do you want to go to Kashmir? Receiving affirmative reply he said, “It is severely cold there. Snowfall is regular. Even the cold affects the heartbeats. You don’t have a single piece of cloth. Just stay back for a night here. I will get you the clothes suitable for the climate there.” He placed grapes for Maharaja Ji to partake and departed to get the clothes stitched.
In those days Jammu was a small station. The stitching was being done just opposite to the railway station. Maharaj Ji began to think, ‘Oh God, you have freed me from the binding of clothes and this man says there is snowfall everywhere in Kashmir. Whether there is a place suitable for my living or not. As soon as he thought so, immediately he heard the Divine voice, “Go to Chitrakoot.” Maharaj Ji was a spiritual saint. He immediately asked, shall I enhance my spiritual studies so that my mind gets stabilized firmly or shall I proceed to the famous pilgrimage Chitrakoot?” The God replied, “If you want to retain your body, go to the place named Chitrakoot.”
He boarded a train and alighted at Karvi railway station and sat down for meditation. In those days, Maharaj Ji used to sit throughout the night in meditation and with the first rays of daybreak he would go to sleep for three to four hours. At around one in the night a deity clad in white dress arrived. She said, “Open your palms.” She placed a sparkling precious gem and said, “Close your fist. Go, now you have received a precious gem. But don’t sleep for the night.” Keeping awake was not a matter of difficulty for Maharaj Ji, but that night he was badly dozing off, as if he had not slept for the last four days. Fighting with the urge to sleep, he kept awake till four in the morning. He saw that the clock on the railway platform showed 4 O’clock. Maharaj Ji, thought, ‘what’s the problem now? It is just a matter of couple of hours. Let me straighten my back against the wall of the platform. As soon as he lowered his back on the wall, sleep overpowered him. Immediately a darkish woman clad in dirty and stinking dress appeared and said, “Open your palms.” Maharaj Ji opened his palms. The gem was placed in the palm. She abruptly picked up the gem and placed a dry fruit in his palm and said, “So you have slept! The gem is lost. Now you will remain asleep throughout the life.” I asked, “What was that Maharaj Ji?” He said, “That was a devotional gem (Bhakti Mani).” The spiritual seeker must strictly follow the Divine dictates.
Reaching Chitrakoot, Maharaj Ji asked inquisitively, “Oh God, Chitrakoot is so much far and wide. Where do I live?” He received the Divine direction, “Go to Sati Anusuiya.” Reaching Anusuiya, after wandering here and there and having climbed the hill half way he found a throne. Maharaj Ji sat on that and began to meditate. Around a century ago some enlightened sage had lived there. By evening time a voice called out from the throne, “Your seat is lower than this. Maharaj Ji climbed down the hill to some distance. Again he received a direction to proceed ahead. At one spot as he decided to halt, he was directed to move away a little from that spot and halt there. This way after changing three spots Maharaj Ji reached the spot where he was destined to stay for long. The God said, “You will have to stay here for the lifetime.”
His stay in Anusuiya began with fasting. On the fourteenth day of abstention from the food, while urinating he found a trace of blood due to heat in the atmosphere. He somewhat took pity to his body. He told the God, “You have brought amidst this dense forest. There is nothing to eat nor there is anything to drink. If this body doesn’t remain who would worship you?” That day he received an instruction, “Alright, if you want to eat, you can eat tomorrow onwards.” Maharaj Ji thought, ‘What would I eat? On the next day at around four in the evening when he got up to wander around, on the steps nearby he found uncooked gram grains. As he glanced at the gram seeds, the Divine voice said, “This is what you have to eat today.” For how long could anyone chew raw gram grains? Maharaj Ji chewed handful of gram grains and drank some water. He kept some grains in a half of a skull (khappar). Meanwhile monkeys alighted from the trees. Making noises they ate away all the grains. Since that day, all of a sudden unasked and unsolicited system was continued. Maharaj Ji had never begged for food. In a short while, his stay, which had begun with merely a half of the skull and fasting, was at last, settled well as a well-administered ashram.
Before attainment of solidity in spirituality Maharaj Ji had perceived different visions. Once he perceived that the Nature was stretched out like a large parchment. It stretched for miles together in all directions. Unspecified number of specie was seen floating in the expanse of that parchment. He saw that some were being born, while the others were being shaped in wombs. Many of them were writhing, crying and were engulfed in deep sea of anguish. Maharaj Ji found that he was also one of them. Suddenly by a stroke of luck he came out into an open ground and began walking away under the open sky. Everybody looked at him and said, “He is a lucky one. At last he has been freed from the confinement of a womb.” Even a voice called out from the sky, “Now he has been freed from the cycle of birth and death.” Maharaj Ji was pleased to hear the words of the God endorsing the voices.
In another view, Maharaj Ji saw that a mammoth dangerous male buffalo was chasing him. In order to protect from its attack, Maharaj Ji plunged into a pond. That buffalo too jumped after him. Maharaj Ji came out of the pond, but that buffalo was immersed into the waters of the pond in search of Maharaj Ji. Immediately he heard a voice from the sky, “Go away, you have been able to conquer the God of Death (Yama).”
Maharaj Ji had seen another view that he had died. He was carrying his own dead body to the cremation grounds. He prepared a pyre on the bank of the Ganga and was burning his dead body. After the dead body was burnt he collected the remaining ash and black soot from the pyre and washed them down the waters of the Ganga. When, profusely sweating Maharaj Ji looked at the waters of the Ganga, he saw his own image shining bright like gold emerged from the waters and was walking towards him. A voice said, “Bow down with reverence to him. This is your image and you will have always remain in this way.” The image came forward and was immersed within the body of Maharaj Ji. This was the attainment of an image. Maharaj Ji used to say, “Previously my body was dark and ugly. However, since that image was immersed within me a great change has come about in the facade. I was not able to see anything that was different from me. After that whenever I sat down to worship, the God would forbid me. I was getting perplexed. My meditation had stopped. I felt, as if I was missing something, for over four to six months I was in a state of derangement. As if I was lost. And when the things changed, gradually, I was bestowed with unique faculties that if I touched anyone with a stick held in my right hand, that person could be cured of any kind of illness. If a person was to be hanged the next day and if I touched him with my stick a day earlier, his punishment would be lessen. And if I placed my left hand on anybody, it would lead to his overall downfall. The God bestowed me with beneficial unique faculties of speech and admonishment.” I asked Maharaj Ji, “What is the use of all such qualities?” Maharaj Ji explained, “The saints triumph over the worldly battles with such weapons at their command. They are freed from all worries.” Due to such unique faculties, the people at large learnt that some great saint lived in the forest and they began to throng the place.
The source of the river Mandakini was also a breeding ground for the poisonous mosquitoes due to moisture in atmosphere, accumulation of water and dense forest. Most of the devotees, who used to visit Maharaj Ji, would fall victim to Malaria. The doctors were scares in those dense forests. Some people would suffer for over a month due to fever, whereas, somebody would suffer of fever for three or four days. They would entreat, “Maharaj Ji, I am suffering of fever for the last many days. Now, I am afraid that I may die.” Maharaj Ji would take pity on him and say, “Put this ash in your mouth and bow down to the holy pyre.” The moment he would bow down, Maharaj Ji would touch him with his stick and would say, “Should Babaji suffer for your sins, eh! What is the cycle of your fever?” Some would say, ‘every three days or four days’. Maharaj Ji would call him after the lapse of that period. After the lapse of the prescribed period, they came enthusiastically with milk and other foodstuffs and would report that they were free of the fever. Thousands were alleviated of their sufferings only by the blessings of Maharaj Ji. But after about four to six months, Maharaj Ji himself fell victim to fever. He continued to suffer for almost a year. Once enduring severe feverish pain, he asked the God, “When I have been freed of worshipping, when I am above all sins, why do I have to suffer so much pain?” The God said, “You are alleviating the ordained sufferings of the people by your mere touch. Who would then endure such ordained pains?” Maharaj Ji asked, “In that case I might have touched so many people. Then for how long would I have to suffer?” The God said, “You will have to endure this pain for another three months.” Maharaj Ji used to say, “Oh yes, the months of Sawan, Bhadon and Kwar (July, August and September)! So by the end of Kwar I will be cured of my fever.” In fact, he was cured of the fever and he never again had to suffer from it.
When he was suffering of fever, Maharaj Ji thought, ‘better facilities of treatment are available at Agra at a place of my devotee. Why not get myself treated there and come back?’ Seeing him in Agra many of his devotees were pleased. He sat down amidst his devotees. But at around 1 a.m, in absolute calm atmosphere of night, he had the vision of Sage Atri. He said, “How would you be able to worship when you are so much worried about your body? Come on, let’s go to the ashram.” Maharaj Ji asked, “Why have you come? If you had indicated, I would have come back.” Sage Atri replied – “I had to come since you had already arrived here.” Maharaj Ji got up immediately and returned to Anusuiya and didn’t get himself treated. If anybody brought any medicine, the God would forbid him to even touch it. This is an act of consumption. And when an urge to consume was removed, the fever was cured without any medicine.
The body of Maharaj Ji turned darker during the days, when he was suffering severely of Malaria. He had turned very weak. He used to feel very thirsty during the course of fever, but he had no strength left to fetch water repeatedly. He asked the God, “Do I not have a single pupil who can assist me to drink water during this illness?” On the third day a saint came to the ashram in his service. He used to tackle the work ranging from sweeping, washing, making drinking available and even light the holy pyre. On the third day Maharaj Ji asked, “Who are you? From where have you come? Why are you after me?” He replied, “Maharaj Ji, I am a hermit. I have been taking ablutions at Prayag in the river. For the last three nights I have been dreaming about you. As if a voice was telling me , if you want spiritual salvation, you must go to Anusuiya to offer services to Paramhansji.” Maharaj Ji said, “Just check around this forest. It could be some other saint.” He said, “No, Maharaj Ji, it was you who had appeared in my dream. Hence, don’t refuse my services.” This way, Shri Ram Lakhandas Ji received the first privilege to serve Maharaj Ji.
Gradually many ascetic pupils came to the service of Maharaj Ji. For Swami Sacchidanand Ji a message from the God was received, ‘a besmirched yogi is coming to you. Provide him proper direction.’ In the similar manner, for some other person, he envisioned that he was far superior intelligent. Maharaj Ji asked him to be with him. This way for eight to ten hermits, Maharaj Ji received the permission of the God and they received privilege to serve and be nearer to Maharaj Ji. Maharaj Ji used to say, if he had given an open admission to all the ascetic pupils, he would have around a thousand pupils. Chitrakoot is an auspicious place. Many saints thronged the place. If any student would fail, he would come rushing to Chitrakoot. Whereas some, fed up with worldly problems, would escape to Chitrakoot. Maharaj Ji would counsel them, pay them for conveyance and convince them to return. If someone would not go despite counselling, Maharaj Ji would organize to send a letter or telegram to that person’s house to call his relatives and send that person with them. He retained only those, for whom he received divine direction.
Before arrival of any visitor Maharaj Ji used to recognize his face and attitude. Once a young man arrived and said that he wanted to be accepted as a pupil of Maharaj Ji. Maharaj Ji said, “I cannot find characteristic of sainthood in your personality. Tell me the truth. Why have you renounced your home?” He said, “Maharaj Ji, a sense of renunciation is awakened within.” Maharaj Ji rebuked, “Hey, don’t give me that crap. If you praise asceticism in my presence, I won’t be fooled. Tell me, why have you left your home?” He said, “Maharaj Ji, I don’t have a lifeline in my palm. Many astrologers have predicted that I shall live only for twenty-two years. I am already twenty. Now, I am left with only two years to live. I thought of spending the rest of my life in the worship of the God.” Maharaj Ji said, “Alright, show me your palm.” He spread out his palms to Maharaj Ji and looked down at his toes with a sense of humility. Maharaj Ji hit the palm with his stick and exclaimed, “Do you want to become a hermit due to fear?” He quickly pulled his hands with a suppress cry and sat a little away. The next day in the early morning the young man told Maharaj Ji, “Look, the lifeline is created in my palm!” Maharaj Ji asked, “Now what are you going to do, Son?” He said, “Should you permit, I would return to home.” Maharaj Ji smiled, “What an ascetic!” The young man is alive till date.
The head pupil of Maharaj Ji, Swami Sacchidananad Ji was known as Brahmchari Ji in the initial days of his spiritual worship. Once Brahmachari Ji told Maharaj Ji, “Today, I dreamt that a dog was learning the Vedas.” Maharaj Ji said, “This means some saint messily dressed like a dog is arriving.” At around ten o’clock, a man, like a deranged, was seen carrying an empty tin of Dalda (a brand of vegetable ghee). Maharaj Ji said, “Look, that is the dog who is learning the Vedas.” He used to pronounce ‘Aum’ with every breath, but if he found crowd around him, he would make a sound, ‘shoo..shoo..’ Maharaj Ji said, “Call him here.” Until he was brought to Maharaj Ji, he would look here and there like a mad and make sounds ‘shoo… shoo…’ Maharaj JI asked, “Even after coming here can’t you put off your pretence. Why don’t you see where have you come?” He said, “Oh Maharaj, I’ve recognized you.” He sat down peacefully. He was known as a great saint. He told Brahmachari Ji, “Serve this Guru. You would reach the pinnacle of your meditation in three; no, in six years time.” After the completion of six years Maharaj Ji asked Brahmachari Ji to go to Dharakundi. After reaching there, he too attained the spiritual status that Maharaj Ji had attained. He became a unwavering great saint and stays there even today.
After staying at Anusuiya, popularity of Maharaj Ji spread far and wide. Great many saints frequented Anusuiya ashram. Although, Maharaj Ji was not educated, but when he spoke, the speech of all the learned sages seemed worthless. Maharaj Ji used to say, “You might say whatever is written, whereas, I say, what I perceive. How could your mind and my mind be one! I state through direct perception, whereas, you repeat what you have read on paper.” Once Dr. Ramkumar Verma, the Head of the Department, Hindi section, Prayag University and an authority on the life of Kabir came to the ashram. He had to make a night halt in that dense forest. He had no opportunity of returning. He requested Maharaj Ji that, even after studying the prevalent philosophies, he found it difficult to understand the process of spiritual pursuit. He requested Maharaj Ji to explain him the meditation.” Maharaj Ji said, “Well, people seem to know everything. The Vedant is available for penny a dozen. The people read them and the writers go on churning them out. It is a matter of wonder as to what do the people read and write? But the spiritual worship is one, which cannot be expressed in a written form. Only an enlightened sage-Guru can awaken within a competent pupil. As a matter of fact, the entire meditation system of Maharaj Ji was based on the chanting of a name with every movement of breath. Moreover, in two to four stages of the technique, answers to questions such as, upon whom to mediate and how to do – are tackled. Besides, it also depends on the unique study, Brahmavidya, which was mainly concerned with the concentration of the mind. Despite all these, the advancement or regress of spiritual pursuit is dependent on the pupil. The Guru Maharaj had this capability. Maharaj Ji used to immediately guide a spiritual seeker whether he was rightly or wrongly following the path of spiritual pursuit. An enlightened Guru, God and illusion – all these prevail everywhere. When a seeker attracts the attention, the enlightened Guru keeps his eyes on all the circumstances and this way the spiritual seeker is protected.
The time for the departure of Maharaj Ji to the heavenly abode arrived. Storm enveloped the ashram. The devotees had erected a small garden within the boundaries of the ashram. All the trees were uprooted and the branches fell. Maharaj Ji said, “This is not a storm. It is the future. It is the destiny. Now, an end is about to come. Get quick. Bake some bricks fast.” Maharaj Ji got around five hundred bricks baked. He also ordered enough sand. In order to begin construction he asked a letter to be sent to his affectionate pupil Doctor Saheb & affectionate deciple, Bhagwananand at Varanasi to send five bags of cement. In that letter he asked to write, ‘are you getting a Shish Mahal (a palace of glass) constructed for yourself? Will our house would be constructed in the heavy rains? Come soon.’ At that time Jagatanand Ashram was being constructed near Varanasi. Receiving the letter of Maharaj Ji both of them arrived with cement at Anusuiya. They asked, “Which house is to be constructed, Maharaj Ji? We have brought five bags of cement. If needed, we shall get some more.” Maharaj Ji said, “No, this is enough. But now, which house is been constructed here? But if you have brought the cement, it is fine.”
After that Maharaj Ji used to tell his devotees, “Look, I am sitting here. Although you all are looking at my body, but sons, the body does not exist. I am not here.” Since Maharaj Ji was hail and hearty, nobody gave any credence to those words. For five days, Maharaj Ji used to talk like that. A pundit arrived from the village Pathara. Maharaj Ji told him, “We both have reached an old age. Whatever auspicious work or visits to pilgrimage you want to do, complete them. No more assurance about the sustenance of this body could be given.”
Thinking that as a matter of discourse I asked, “Maharaj Ji, why should the body be relinquished? What is the problem in retaining it?” He said, “It is not possible to see great many sages and saints and deities like Rama, Krishna, Mahavir, Buddha, Nanak, Kabir in physical form today. This body is like a house. What is the use of it when the purpose is served for which it was received?” I reiterated, “Nevertheless what is the harm in retaining it, Maharaj Ji? The good of the people is achieved by it.” He said, “That is alright. But, trivial illness like cough-cold are normal for an aged person. When its purpose is served, what is the use of nurturing it? Why carry its useless burden?” I thought, again this was a part of his sermons.
On the last day, Maharaj Ji began to address the sermons from the very early morning. He was saying, “If you do not chant the name of Ram, the three kinds of sins would not leave you wherever you go. Even if you ascend to the heavens, the heat of your sins won’t leave you there. There also you would think, Indra is sitting above me and I am below him.” Throughout the day, Maharaj Ji went on giving out such sermons. At around six in the evening, repeating this verse, Maharaj Ji culminated his discourse. He knew that after him, his sermons and meditation would become a hallmark for the spiritual seekers in future.
Maharaj Ji used to smoke a little marijuana in the evening. Maharaj Ji used to say that this was the only thing he had inherited from his past birth. Otherwise, there was no benefit of its smoking. That evening Maharaj Ji said, “Well, this is the last puff, son. Henceforth, I shall never smoke marijuana.” The other smokers giving him company were sad. Maharaj Ji tried to console them, “Don’t you worry. You all will have enough to smoke.” With these words, Maharaj Ji placed down his pipe and continued to address them on matters of spiritualism.
As soon as his discourse was over, I began to sweep a hand-fan for him. I could have moved the fan three to four times and Maharaj Ji lay back. I examined the pulse of Maharaj Ji, which was quiet. But, I received some good omen at that moment. I thought, Maharaj Ji is in a state of meditation and he would get up after its completion. But he never got up after that. He was finally cremated on the fourth day. I realized, only when that great sage had departed, why did he order for the bricks and cement to be brought. So much cement, bricks and sand was used in the construction of his Samadhi.
Once I was worried about the administrative matters and restrictions of the ashram, I perceived Maharaj Ji sitting on his seat. He assured me saying, “Sitting here, I am watching everything. Why are you worried?” I was reminded what Maharaj Ji used to say, “The great sages always grace their seat in the form of subtle body. Maharaj Ji blesses them, whoever remember him with reverence, even today.
Source : http://www.yatharthgeeta.com/