By Yogi Baba Prem Yogacharya, Veda Visharada
Mahavatar Babaji is probably the most widely known teacher in the United States. This is largely due to Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a yogi, which is probably the first reference to Babaji in this part of the world. This has resulted in many people associating Babaji with kriya yoga, as many Hindu teachers of the kriya tradition have traveled to the west. The reality is that kriya yoga is only one of many lineages that Babaji oversees. He oversees a variety of lineages and teachers.
As with many things in my life, meeting Babaji was not how I thought it would be. But in all reality, I never desired to meet Babaji. Apparently Babaji had other plans.
It was back around 1989, I was preparing for a lecture with a small meditation group in New Jersey. The lecture was at a local psychic’s house. It was with a small group of approximately 10 people. As usual, I would request a quite room to meditate in prior to lecturing. Meditation would allow me to focus my mind, tune in to the students attending, and ask for guidance from the cosmos. While in meditation, preparing for my lecture, I suddenly felt a very strong presence enter in the room. I cannot understand state how strong the presence was. I actually opened my eyes to see who was there, but the room was empty. I was not sure what to think, so I remained neutral and continued my meditation. Then suddenly standing in front of me was Babaji. His presence was powerful, but subtle and smooth. It seemed as if he was physically there, as if a physical form had manifested in the room, though my eyes remained closed in meditation. It seemed like a minutes passed as he stood there, in reality, it was only a few seconds. After a few more seconds, he told me, “humble yourself and serve humanity.” He touched me at the third-eye, and I saw a blinding white light go through my midbrain to the brain stem and down the spine to the tail bone. Then he was gone. I was not sure what had happened, or what to do with this experience. I stepped out of the room, lectured and returned home.
Over the upcoming weeks and months, Babaji would appear during meditation. I must confess; he was not one to give lengthy dissertations. Frequently, he would not say anything. Likewise, I would say nothing. We spent a great deal of time in silence, sometimes just looking at one another. This process would continue for many years, as I attempted to “humble myself and serve humanity.” After four years of this process occurring, I realized that Babaji was my Guru. While this realization was a quick process by some Indian standards, but compared with many westerners--I literally took an eternity to realize this. Once this realization occurred, Babaji accepted me as his student. He taught me some postures, mantras and gave me a simple mantra to call him when I needed too. There would be periods when I would not see him, and at other times it seemed that he already knew what my questions would be and would have left an answer in the ethers, for when I finally would ask. Babaji has guided my study, sent me to study with other teachers, told me things that would happen in the future (and they all have been correct), and provided important guidance in my growth and personal transformation. Most importantly, Babaji has always shown me patience, understanding, love and a deep personal sense of caring. My key to success has been largely in my ability to surrender to the process.
The lesson from all of this is that we all have potential to embrace divinity. The greatest challenge often is our self.
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