K: You already had the understanding that the Time concept was there in front of you or…
G: When I moved to my farm and the second samadhi started, this understanding of Matter, Time and Void was there. But I had no idea how to put them in words. So after the first parikarma, I went back and it just poured out. It was not even planned that I was going to write a commentary. It just started and the disciples started to take dictations and the book was done in 21 days.
K: So in fact it was not a text that stimulated you, your own thoughts were rather superimposed on a text which you were reading everyday.
G: I was reading every day, but a different understanding came.
K: And when you get to the chapter where Krishna is revealing his form…
G: He simply said, “I am Time”. And actually there is no commentary which is highlighting this thing that Krishna himself is telling about himself. And that thing stuck in my mind and the whole commentary came out as Time himself is speaking through Krishna’s lips. Because later in the Mahabharat Arjun says please repeat, that I forgot in the heat of the battle. Krishna says – I cannot repeat it; I was in a yogic state at that time, I cannot repeat it again. It looked like Time had spoken through his body.
K: Because Time actually speaks through any avatar; everyone is an expression?
G: Only one time, with Krishna as an avatar. And we find in Ramajaptyrit that Time itself came to see him. To tell him that ‘now your time is up’. Otherwise there is no reference of Time coming.
K: There are no references in the Puranic texts at all?
G: Not much. In the Bhagavat Purana, the sage Maitreya explains that Time is the unmanifested, impersonal aspect of the Supreme. In Time, matter combines into natural material.
K: Guruji, why do you think that the Puranas – not as if it’s escaping them – but why do you think they are not stressing the importance of such a phenomenon? Maybe that the consciousnesses of people were not ready to actually understand what it is that they are trying to say? But this time, no matter how much we criticize society for pollution, and profiteering, still I would insist that there is a much better understanding of these things. Especially about Time, Space and Matter.
“Maitreya says: This cosmic manifestation is separated from the Supreme Lord as material energy by means of kala, which is the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Lord—Srimad Bhagavatam, 3.10.13”
K: But then, again, when Krishna says, “But why do you need this knowledge Arjuna?” when he describes all of his extensive manifestations. Why do you need such extensive knowledge…
G: But he missed this absolutely. I think it was given to posterity; so that maybe someone in the future may be able to understand it or see the depth of this thing. A lot of records have been brought forward of what he has taught.
K: Yes his mission was different, Arjuna was not an academic, not a scholar. His mission was to fight and that’s why he was prepared in the way of a warrior.
G: And he was already aware of the other side of life because he was the son of Indra and he was, for maybe 1 year or six months, living with Indra in heaven. So they were aware that life continues after death but this knowledge of Time and the Void is something that has never been recorded before. To my surprise,
K: Guruji, how do you perceive this chapter, when the Time reveals its true form.
G: Time is everywhere, his mouth is everywhere; he is continuously eating us, licking us and devouring us, while at the same time producing us also. It is actually an extraordinarily overwhelming understanding. People are not aware, so they just don’t know. But once you become aware, you are always aware of this.
No one can escape Time.
Until and unless Time allows it.
Void is mentioned in Yogic texts and the Buddha also mentions it. But the consciousness of the Void is not mentioned anywhere and it is a big surprise to me.
Initially when I discussed these things, people just looked at me in awe, without an understanding of this though. Yet they were mesmerized by the concept or maybe by me, talking about such matters. Now people are taking it more seriously than in the last 20 or 30 years.
Understanding is developing but it takes time.
And the birth of Matter came: and I was able to say that ‘Out of Time and Void, conscious Matter took birth.’ It was a fantastic revelation in understanding.
K: Would you say that only the divine, universal mind, and Absolute itself could have produced such a description as it is given in this chapter of Gita? The number of Divine limbs, eyes, mouths…and many parts …
G: I think that ancients were somewhat limited by the language of their time. So when we say, ‘he is everywhere; his arms are everywhere’ it could be because when you’re stretching out your arm, we say that something’s within reach, it is because it is within the reach of your arm. Space was measured by the ability to reach an object with a stretch of an arm.
K: Nevertheless it is absolutely astonishing, the picture of the Universal Being, which is drawn here.
G: Fantastic, yes.
And again, ‘You have mouths everywhere. Your arms are everywhere”, Time is everywhere. That was the lack of the expressive terms with this phenomenon.
How could Arjun express everything he saw? He was overwhelmed, afraid. Even though he was a superb warrior among many.
K: And the process of Time consuming everything is on. Devouring, crushing, killing, the process is never stopping, it goes on.
G: It continues. That is why we say we are living in Mrytya Loca. But at the same time it is just a process of transformation.
K: So that chapter could not possibly be produced by any limited human consciousness?
G: Impossible; no.
K: Was it written by Time itself?
G: It was a book on Yoga, so I’m sure some extraordinary yogi, Yogeshwar himself, described those things. No one else could even perceive Time. Time is mentioned, fleetingly, here and there. Vyas ji is mentioning it, Athur Veda also, some short bits and pieces… Except for these fragments there is no discussion on time.
K: So it went through quite an amazing sequence. First, by the order of the teachers of the lineage, one is supposed to read the Gita. Then, the thought process starts and the experience comes and it’s superimposed on the knowledge absorbed…
G: It takes years- it took me years just to become aware of what I was reading. Even though we may continue to read Gita automatically, and eventually awareness comes, it still takes years of reading.
Or maybe the visit from Babaji was actually a trigger. I’m sure this understanding came because of his grace.
K: Immortality is a concept of being-one-with-Time…
G: Only Time can allow you this. As I’ve said in Gorakh Bodh, you need to continuously create a Future for yourself; without the help of the Time, it’s not possible.
CANVAS OF THE TIME AND MAIN PROPERTY OF THE EARTH
G: … When you are reading such texts (about Bhagavad Gita) and practicing yoga at the same time – the mind is developing, a different type of perspective develops, you begin to read between the lines, and begin to understand the meaning of what is being said. And that’s how the process of the development of the consciousness starts.
To be able to create your own future is the main objective. Even if you develop your physical body to the highest standard, without a future the body will not survive. Here Time plays the most important role.
K: And here comes the million dollar question. How do you create your own future?
G: Only by understanding past, present and future – the three aspects of time – you may start to understand time and maybe create your own also. And maybe – this is my personal point of view – we time life in a linear format?
We take birth, we live a life and we die, moving through the past, present and future… But time may be having so many different angles and trajectories that we are not even aware of. So when you will start to be aware of different movements of time and angles of time, then this ability to create a future may start.
K: You once mentioned that after a yogi reaches a certain level, with the help of some senior masters, he will be able to travel to and from certain compartments of time.
G: It is possible, and I will say that help from seniors is always needed.
K: But again, and just a speculation, but the Mahavatar, such as Babaji, who understood the sequence of time, rules of flotation in Time – what kind of future can he actually create for himself? Knowing the future? Is there a conflict between knowing and creating a different path?
G: The main thing is that Time is like a canvas. You can express your own theme on an empty canvas. But still we cannot say what Babaji may be feeling or how he is acting…
K: Is Time rewritable? …
G: I think that if your mind is powerful, then you can bring about some changes in the general fabric of time, or write and rewrite certain episodes at the same time. If you are able to move in the future and the past, I’m sure you’re in a different modus operandi…That’s why Shiva Sutras state that a siddha is absolutely without bondage. He’s not bonded even by time or the future. He is able to write and rewrite fate.
About the help of the immortal Masters: it doesn’t matter how much you know- they will still ignore you if you do not possess a key “ingredient “.
Only when they see that yes, he is developing the stamina for withstanding a new mode of existence – then they can say, yes, let’s give him a little push. Their criteria or achievement is very different.
K: Would you say that whatever is happening now, the pandemics and transformation times for us all – obviously humanity wrote it on its own canvas some time ago?
This overall course of development was sketched long before. But don’t you think that it allows for many different variants of possible development. Of the future for humanity?
G: Different scenarios are given, always
In fact, we don’t know how far this pandemic will go. But previous pandemics were far more fatal than what we are going through now. The problems with the ozone layer, pollution – it was never impacted to the level it is impacted now. So I think the human mind is evolving. Every religion, every so-called man of God, every prophet, every astrologer, every person with some intuition is predicting bad things about the future of society and humanity.
Their prophecy is the End of days, doomsday, apocalypse, judgement day. I think that we should get over this. Why not predict positive things and give people some light? We need to evolve. Otherwise we will keep moving in circles. Every religion describes doomsday and the apocalypse.
K: With fear as the main tool for manipulating.
G: Fear is the key which opens every safe, vault and purse.
Fear is much more powerful than happiness and joy. You are promised to be joyful and happy…Only after you are dead. See, that’s the catch here. Who knows what will be happening after death!? ‘My son you will enjoy heaven, after your death.’ … ‘ok’
There’s no way to check.
Here, on the Royal Smashan, thanks to Babaji’s satsang, I have come across hundreds of different ghosts and spirits who are trying to possess new bodies. Not a single one of them is discussing heaven or hell.
K: What are they talking about then? What do they describe?
G: They need a place to ‘hang on’ on earth. A place to hook up somewhere, where they could say, ‘I am here.’ On earth. Not somewhere else.
This starts a different thought. Earth is very important.
K: Is it the same for all types of spirits? Or only for a certain group of spirits? Lower; higher in the astral hierarchy?
G: For all spirits. There is some mystical power of the Earth which we are dimly becoming aware of. That power, divine, great, essence of Time is in the core that earth is carrying. And it attracts every god and every spirit to this planet. So we are trying to discover the nature of this phenomena, this secret inside of earth.
K: Drilling will not help.
G: No. It’s a different type of consciousness that keeps attracting all conscious entities here, from demons to gods.
K: However, Guruji, there is an idea of liberation – from death and life, the idea that one is not re-birthing any longer, moving into Vayu Sharir or maybe other, higher spheres? What to do with the concept of “liberation”? If one is still attracted to earth? Still earthbound?
G: we are earth bound because vayu is a part of our constitution.
Why Vayu is so important? Just remove oxygen or vayu in its entirety for 5 seconds from the atmosphere, what will remain? There will be fire, no water, no life,. Vayu is a key element. And it is a property of earth.
K: However you are saying that prana is coming from a different dimension?
G: Prana is absolute. Vayu is the main carrier of prana… They are always together. Vayu and prana. Like time and void.
K: Prana is present in every living being only because of the properties of earth, vayu?
G: Only because of the properties of the earth. So this may be the real power of earth – that the prana can come here and play. We will need to think more on this. Just imagine: absence of oxygen on Earth for 10 seconds will annihilate creation here. Fire, water, everything will just crumble and perish. The yogis were smart when they were saying vayu. “Vayu is carrying the body, nothing else.”
WHO IS AWAKENING WHOM
K: The working title of the book is ‘Awakener’ and as we advance into more stories, to say that the guru is an awakener is the right thing, but in a way it is a bit two dimensional. What you have spoken about throughout the years is an awakening of the subconsciousness. But, are we actually awakening the spirit as well? Or does the spirit never sleep?
G: It never sleeps. Only when your subconscious has been awakened and it becomes pure consciousness only then will the Spirit take some interest in you. Until then it will just come and go.
K: So it is not an entity; well, you had also mentioned Narayan for…
G: Subconscious brain.
K: But the Spirit is awake, it never sleeps.
G: It is the giver of life and the stealer of life.
K: So, it is not in our power to awaken it or to put it to sleep
G: I answered that when the zoom conference was on.
It’s so ancient: millions and billions of years old, something. And it is almost an impossible task to create some interest in such an ancient being. It would look at you and be like, “Yes, now I will talk with someone.” And it may be possible only after your consciousness is pure. When there is no ‘sub’ thing in your brain or your mind. Then only, they may take some interest.
K: Why don’t we feel the presence of this ancient being in our being?
G: Well, it is a surprise for me to hear. We are alive; that itself is the evidence. You must feel life. They are the giver of life.
K: In that regard
G: Maybe they are also searching for millions and billions of years for a true friend to pass the eternity. So it’s up to us to reach that level where they are able to converse with us or to start a friendship. Nature of the Spirit is nowhere described – not in any of the religions. But I always said, the spirits are the most ancient things. Beginning-less and endless. Such a being, so ancient and so new at the same time…
You have to be at a certain level to create some interest in them: “ok, let’s talk, let’s converse’ and this talk and conversation might lead to an eternal friendship. Together, forever.
K: Are we talking about Atman at any point?
G: Atman and physical body are synonymous in a sense.
We are discussing both: Spirit and Atman, both are That.
You can call it Atman, you can call it Dehi, you can call it Jiva …
A great example: Devi Parvati did tapas for thousands and thousands of years. She would remain in samadhi and finally Shiva noticed her and they united, together forever. So here, take Devi Parvati as a symbol of your conscious mind or your subconscious mind, put them together and the Jiva, which is in permanent Samadhi, without care, when it awakens – it will take interest. Until then, no realization…
… Think Jiva and Shiva, so maybe we can make a parallel here. And I think that it takes quite a lot of courage; you have to be extremely brave, to face such an ancient being, your Spirit – who lives inside you. Even facing Babaji, one can almost soil his clothes; the Master’s appearance can create such an effect…
Your own Atman, beginning-less and endless – what it will think of you when it will look at you for the first time? But it is a great thing to actually face your own Atman.
K: How many people have this chance?
G: It happens very rarely. And that’s the joke. Everybody has an Atman inside them; Jiva. Everybody had a conscious mind and subconscious. Everybody has all the tools, it’s their decision what to do and what not to do with it. In that sense this is real democracy. We are all equal. Equal opportunity, equal tools. No difference.
Wow, I said good things today.
SATVAGUNA – FINAL STAGE?
All humans are in Raja Guna as long as they continue to occupy their physical bodies. But what happens when the body is no more? Does physical death automatically guarantee a transfer to a “sattvic” state. What is Sattvic then?
When the consciousness has gone beyond the limits of the physical body Sattvic state . In samadhi, even while alive, a yogi moves beyond Raja Guna. Then he has a glimpse of what Sattva Guna can be. And then the mind starts to change.
Some ghosts continue to suffer even in the air bodies due to the karmic impacts that they received and produced when they were alive.
The kleshas and samskaras will follow everyone into the astral world. A history of individual exposures to the world will follow the soul, unerasable, unchangeable, moulded in the past. People call it past experiences. But these are just the results of exposure to the world .
However, the sattvic state is possible only outside of the physical boundaries. Or in samadhi, when a un-dead body of a yogin acts as inert sperm, buried in the giant ova of the earth.
When She will take over, new transformation will take place, and the yogin will be reborn in the likeness of his true Parents. Then he will face his true father, the Creator; this meeting could take place only after probable transformation.
And yet, there was no certain guarantee that the jivatma and the mind of the departed would automatically transfer into astate of Sattva in the astral world.There is more work
All humans have already overcome the tama guna – simply by taking birth, transformed from a sperm to a living being, and established in the world. And very few, advanced enough to understand the mechanism of creation of the body, the essence of it, are ready move to the next phase, Sattva guna.
By becoming inert in the state of Samadhi, yogi is uniting with the Mother Earth – and then transformation begins.
All souls – the consciousness, which left the dead body – attach themselves to the element of the air – and become a Vayu Shari. In this form they will continue to practice (if they had previous yogic experience) to develop the level of their consciousness. These sould will discover mysteries of creation, secrets of the universe, essence of life and death; they will learn the nature of the divinity, identity of the gods, will understand the concepts behind heaven and hell.
But to establish themselves in Sattva guna, they will have to take birth again, to come to the earthly plane, to go through raja guna – to finally reach the level of evolution when they can make themselves inert and unite with the earth.
Then the final transformation will happen and then Mother will introduce them to the Father. The soul has to graduate, to undergo transformative evolution of the mind.
K: So what kind of state the souls are in when they already left the physical body and exist in the form of Vayu Shari.
G: There are two elements there, vayu and akash – and the consciousness dwells in them, in-between the transformative states. After it underwent the death of the physical body and before it took birth in the form again.
If you are intelligent enough and have been working for the progress, you will get immense wisdom and knowledge in the state of Vayu Sharir. And you may choose to always remain with the Mother, without undergoing future transformations into embodied state. (I think we have also discussed this.) So that decision will be yours, if you have reached a certain level.
K: Could only those individuals , who obtained the higher wisdom make the decision to come back again, to be born in the human body – to be born in the sattvic state?
G: Of course. Not exactly a sattvic state but in an evolved state. But if you ask me personally, I would love to remain with the Mother. Within a physical body of five elementals.
A true devotee actually deserves liberation, because he wants to remain as a devotee forever. I think it is better to remain with the Mother because Mother takes care of you.
K: There is no such thing as a pure sattvic state then.
G: Not in my opinion.
K: Everything is of a mixed nature.
G: Yes, or you can say that as long as the blood is flowing through the body, there can be no sattvic state. So when you have gone beyond the blood – then maybe.
K: Is it just because the blood is a karmic carrier?
G: Blood is a part of a transformative master plan of development Raja Guna – and that is why blood is called Raj; blood is a condition of existence in the state of Raja Guna. Blood is actually representing Raj.
So maybe only the trees are pure and sattvic. There’s no blood in there, they are connected with the Mother. That’s why in the land of Braj every tree is considered a saint; it is believed that the holy ascetics are doing their tapas in the forms of the trees. I am beginning to believe in that.
K: What is the blood of the Mother Earth then?
G: Maybe all the water is Her blood.
WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD…
K: You mention from time to time the community work, all the improvements of the area you’ve done over the years.
G: We have spent a lot of money on it. Money, efforts…Money, which we never had, but it was somehow arranged and done.
K: How did it start?
G: It started from the part of the Parikrama road, around Radhakund town – it was extremely dirty. There was no government support. So after one meeting with the local administration one of my disciples approached me, asking to volunteer – because things were bad…
The 9km stretch of the Parikarma marg and the Radhakund town needed to be cleaned. I said, ok it’s a very good thing.
I had been cursing authorities for some time, ‘why nobody cleans’ – and here was our chance.
We hired more than 15 sweepers, and told them ‘You will do giraji seva, will serve Govardhan Hill” – and that I was paying them myself.
They started the work and they did an extraordinarily good job – they have been sweeping this part of parikrama for 9 years continuously, together with Radhakund town – and it became very clean by the standard of pilgrimage cities.
We cleaned everything: there were big mountains of garbage – they were removed; the smashan of Radhakund was cleaned.
Every street, every drain was cleaned weekly. Then I said to the sweepers, “I will give you a uniforms.”
We bought jeans, red jackets, red caps and heeled boots for the sweepers and said, “now you are in style, so work in style.” It went well – for 9 years, and then the government finally allocated some funds – and we stopped…
The state started to build roads and improve the grounds around the Hill – and finally our efforts were not needed anymore.
Meantime, the new plantation was on my mind. One day somebody put fire to the forest behind our campus. We went there – and it was a heartbreaking scene. Many birds flew away from the fire, but some of them dove back into the flames because their nests with chicks and eggs were there. That was really upsetting.
The forest was burning, some people did it; and we will not know whether it was careless or deliberate.
I began to correspond with the forest department, and it went on for some years. Then, with the intervention of the human resources ministry of India, they agreed to permit me to plant trees and to clean the area.
On the second of October, 2004 we started this work – and we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. It was full of a dense forest of cactus and thorny bushes, two big JVC machines for 700 hours were used – and the land was cleared and plowed more than a 150 times.
Then the pits for the trees were dug and we planted many trees. There was no water, but I was arranging a tanker.
Our first party of the trees died, because the soil was bad. But we did it again and filled the holes with fertilizer, as there was enough cow dung – and the second attempt was successful – threes began to grow. Then another proposal came from the government: to take care of the water spots all around the parikrama, at the entire length of 21kms. Because we had already done so much work they handed over this to us..
We took care of the water supply tubes, had to maintain them and pay the electricity bill; we built several water tanks from where people could drink.
I made basins for thousands of other animals – and they are still working.
Because of those maintained tubes and pipes we got enough water to irrigate our own plantation. And it’s successful – we planted 150 different types of trees; out of that 45 to 50,000 of those trees are jojoba berry, which is very tasty – for monkeys and anyone who wants to take it.
And cadam trees, and different varieties of the trees and shrubs; thousands of bougainvillea…
We planted trees in Govardhan Mathura road, in Goverdhan Barsana road, in the poorest area of Govardhan; so many trees..
Now, when I climb on the roof and look at the surrounding area, I feel very good – because it was good work. Govardhan Maharaj is responsible for that.
In the meantime, there was a big relocation of the police force to Govardhan: the police station was made bigger, many new policemen were appointed, but none of the local people were renting our rooms for them.
So the police captain visited me asking if I could help, because they were suffering, living in temporary housing and unsuitable conditions. Last thing you want is to have a pissed off unhappy police in the town…
Some Russian friends were here, and donated – and we built a big dormitory for policemen, with a water treatment plant- so they could have drinking water. The completion of this work gave great satisfaction, a good feeling.
A stone plaque with my name and Siddha Siddhanta Yoga Academy title was installed.
K: How big were the barracks for the police officers
G: 60 officers are able to sleep and live in it. We made 10-20 toilets for them also. And a water filtration system for drinking water.
We also gave water supply to a local hospital.. And provided water to many places in need – different goshalas, different people who were cut off from the permanent water supply … It was good to do some community work. It always feels good.
When a big flood came and the Manasi Ganga was overflowing,the temple went down. The houses were underwater for more than 20-40 kmsr.
Local people appealed to me, saying ‘you are doing great work, thank you for deciding to drain the water.’ Which I had not yet- but then you cannot back out from such a mission and the work began.
We drained all the water, which also gave great satisfaction.
When I saw all those humble people, who have nothing , with all their houses and possessions underwater in distress – and then, when the drainage was completed, I saw the happiness on their faces – it was a great prize.
To see that happiness on their faces when the water was drained out. It happened almost miraculously, within only a month we were able to drain great quantities of water. After all previous floods the government was able to complete the drainage only in 6 months. We were able to do it in less than a month.
K: How much labour did you hire?
G: We put big water pumps and we gave them out on a contract basis. It was a pretty expensive enterprise. Big pumps were working non stop – and other farms were going under water because of the lifted water, so we had to put more water pumps there, to lift the water from there to drain to another location. It was a huge problem, but it worked out and I’m very happy that I was given this chance to do it. Russian friends helped a lot in that.
An irrigation system was put along the Hill for some time and it was functioning well; it was broken and fixed – it is still operating. We are taking care of about 1.5 kms of Govardhan hill. From here to the Radhakund parikrama, the small parikrama, all of the trees you see by the roadside were planted by us. 150,000 trees. It’s very green now.
It was an enormous amount of work, but it just happened. We were full of energy and the funds came.
K: How many sweepers did you hire the first time when you started to clear the Siddha Siddhanta Academy campus – and they refused to come?
G: Many. Maybe 30-35. I mean it’s a big area.
K: And how much alcohol did you give them to drink?
G: One pouch; half a litre every day. It was the local liquor in plastic pouches. We were distributing half a litre – only then would they go inside the area, which served as a local shitting grounds, public toilet, for years – only then they agreed to start.
K: And how long did it take them to clean up the campus?
G: It took about 3-4 months.
In those days I was using astonishingly strong curses. Several malas of curses every day. Now it is impossible to imagine what we went through back then. But it was good work, because somehow we managed to succeed, to survive – with the grace of Babaji and Giraji. Otherwise it was mission impossible.
K: Guruji how big is the area of the campus, acre wise?
G: 9 acres.
K: And the plantation?
G: The plantation in between parikrama is about 100 acres.
K: And this adjacent area which is yours, behind the fence…where the pond and the two cottages are?
G: That is about 25 acres, and then there is the private land on the other side, about 70-80 acres, till Cusum Sarowar…
K: And what was the story with the Chunmun Bandariya?
G: Oh, she gave me the inspiration to plant jamun trees…
somebody brought some jamun. I rarely eat fruits, except for the fruits of my karmas. I was offering them to Chunmun Bandariya and she was eating with such relish that an idea came into my mind, ‘why not plant these trees for other monkeys.’ Because she inspired me by eating jamuns with such enjoyment.
So we started to plant 11,000 jamun trees and put up a big sign, ‘courtesy of Chunmun Bandariya, a gift to other monkey folks, 11,000 jamun trees’. The board holding is there, and a small storyline of her; she is a celebrity here.
K: Yes. And I hope it will inspire other humans to do good things.
G: Maybe in the future. Most humans are focused on the mission of how to collect funds from the government, how to bring their earnings home. How they can manage the books and take from others…
Our plantation started by chance. We were already corresponding with the forest department about this plot of land – in the meantime someone sent me $21,000 from America to buy a car.
And coincidentally the forest department replied: ‘permission granted’ – and the land was for me to manage.
So I told that person who had sent money that I was going to plant trees instead, I don’t go anywhere, so I don’t need a car. And with that funding the work on the plantation had started.
More funds came – and it continued.
There is still a large number of workers, so we have to pay them monthly salaries. To maintain, to clean, to irrigate the area. Yes. It’s expensive work.
K: How big is the staff that you are keeping there for the plantation?
G: Well, I’m paying almost 200,000 rupees every month…. It is a lot to manage but it feels good.
And that’s the point. We do things in life just to feel good. That is the essence of our inspiration
K: I think it’s the motto.
G: My god, this is big community work. Now I realize.
K: You mention it, but it’s usually very casually…And when the journalists come, they never get the facts straight.
G: Public memory is very short. Now the new generation will think that this area has always been like this. Only the older people who have seen the jungle of cactus, will know the difference between now and then. And I think this is good this way. There is a line in a very famous Bollywood song: “Tomorrow others will come; they will speak better than me, there will be listeners who will be better than me. Why will somebody remember me?
Society is too busy already, why will they waste time on remembering? This is good philosophy.
But I live by different rules.
THE SNAKE CHARMER’S MANTRAS
By 1995 the area, with all landscaping and clearing, was still full of snakes; various Nagas, who lived there for centuries, were ultimately convinced that their land became infested with humans. The reptiles were different in types and great in numbers.
One evening, the workers saw a strange looking snake on the verandah of the chattri– and he went to investigate. First thing he saw was a cut off tiger’s tail, which was lying on the stone floor… and then it moved. He had never seen a snake with such skin patterns; the serpent was almost inert, and it was decided to call the local snake charmer, whom he befriended some time ago.
Bhimnath belonged to the Sapera community, who emerged out of the kalbeliya tribe of Rajasthan; the very word “kalbeliya” referred to one who catches kal, (black) things, snakes. The villagers often called the Sapera the Jogis (a term which commonly defined a holy man rather than a practitioner of yoga) for their ability to tame the revered snakes, thought to be divine incarnations, the Naga, offsprings of Vasuki, who is curled around Mahadev’s neck.
The Sapera consider Kanif Nath, or Kanhoba, their Guru by the sapera – they do not practice yoga. However, in some neighboring states they are still called the Sapera Naths. Yogis or not, these people are still carrying parts and bits of ancient knowledge- and some of the things he heard from Bhimnath were straight out of the great Matsiendranath’s teachings; but he realized it much later…
Kanif nath, as the story goes, once attended a big feast, arranged by another immortal yogi, Gorakhnath; they were in competition with each other. Goraksha said, “Whatever you desire to eat, will be served.” Kaneethanath demanded snakes and scorpions – just out of spite, to demonstrate his powers. Gorakhnath was quite repelled by this attitude, “All your descendants will be snake charmers. Over the centuries, the Sapera lives evolved around snakes, medicines and healing. Snake charming was not a mere occupation for them but a way of life.
Some of them still lived as nomads, some settled down; there were 8 or 9 villages around Govardhan and their inhabitants made a living playing at the weddings as well as removing poisonous reptiles from houses, when called by the villagers.
…Bhimnath arrived, but the snake already escaped. When he heard about its tiger-like skin pattern, he was as surprised as they were and eager to get the guest for his collection.
He was usually catching snakes in the rainy season and travelled all over the country to get new species. When the snake is brought home a special Pooja is performed in which the catcher vows to release the reptile somewhere by the Ganges or in Rishikesh on an appointed date, usually in a year. The contract is never breached – because of the ancient laws and undesirable consequences …
The snakes are often treated like guests, fed and kept warm; in summer they are sprayed with water to keep them cool.
In winter snakes were taken to bed with their temporary masters – to keep them warm.
…The next morning Bhimnath came with his younger brother – and went to work right away: they threw salt in all directions, while saying some mantra, then Bhimnath began to play his special flute, been pungi, putting it very close to the ground. That is how a flute’s sound traveled – along the ground, creating a vibration, which attracts the snakes.
Theirs was a very ancient art. Centuries, thousands of years old. To play a beem pungi the Sapera use a special type of breath, mastered after a long training, and preserved as a tradition of the tribe. It is called a Nakosanse, (uninterrupted breath) – while inhaling for the fresh sip of air, a musician continues to play, uninterruptedly, for hours and hours without a break. The flow of the breath lasts, and such pranayama seems to be nothing less than a yogic skill, which could come only from the Nath yogis…
…They played no longer than 10 minutes – and suddenly a serpent appeared, moving so fast that it was impossible to see it’s movement – as if a wave, a lightning came alive.
It was not a “tiger tail”, but some type of cobra, with moustaches, as they determined later. Thin, bristle-like, snake’s green-grayish mustaches” were stranding vertically like antennas; The Saperas believed that the cobras were growing such moustaches after 250 years.
And after 500 years some of them could fly – not by the power of wings which they do not possess, but, perhaps on the fuel of their concentrated venom and mental force. If such a flying snake would pass over someone’s head – the person will become paralyzed. After 1000 years, according to the snake charmers, the snakes could shift their shapes, taking any form at will – of a human, animal or inanimate object…
Bhimnath had many stories, but to hear the fairy tales was different from watching him at work…
…The snake moved with a great speed, but Bhimnath reacted swiftly and caught it, taking hold of it’s long furiously wiggling body; at this moment the serpent bit him on the thumb. Ignoring the wound, he put a snake in a cloth bag, tying it tightly – and then turned yellow and started to shake.
Nobody knew what to do, he and Devahuti were wondering which hospital to call, what doctor to seek – but Bhimhath confidently said, “Calm down, I will remove the poison. I know the vidya.” He asked Devahuti to cut his thumb, to draw forth blood.
She did – to no avail. Then she made a deeper incision, maybe half a centimeter deeper, and a few drops of blood came out.
Bhimnath put something which looked as a piece of hard black resin on the wound.
They learned later that it was a toadstone, naturally formed antidote, found in the heads of the bullfrogs. Some of the snake catchers carried a nagmani – a “stone” from the snake’s head – a substance, believed to be even more effective.
He asked for some neem leaves, and they were brought immediately. He spoke words of his mantra and moved the neem leaf downwards his hand, extracting the poison.
Then the neem leaves were tied into a knot and put away. The poison was gone, somehow extracted, absorbed by the leaves. He asked for some ghee, maybe 50 or 100 grams, and drank it, to subside the heat of the poison.
It was a moment of realization: all philosophical statements and slogans will disappear in the face of the mortal danger. If he would’ve told the snake catcher, “you are not the body, you are an immortal spirit”, Bhimnath would have been dead. Such knowledge was useless and impractical in the matters of life and death. But his art, his vidya, the knowledge, passed from the generations of his ancestors, saved himself.
He also realized the meaning of the Sanskrit sutra from Vishnu Puranas, “Sa Vidya, ya vimuktaye..” – “the Vidya, the knowledge, is what liberates”.
Most of the time it’s meaning was perceived as the knowledge, which liberates from life and birth, but it was actually speaking of the liberation from the problem which one is facing. Such knowledge was granting freedom from the problems. The great liberation would come, if at all, at the later stages… The ancients were highly practical people.
When Bhimnath visited next time, he politely inquired if he could learn this vidya, the art of a poison removal. “Can you teach it to me?”
The snake catcher said that he would have to ask his guru, who was living somewhere in Orissa or Bengali. He sent a message via grapevine – and after some time his guru replied: “Yes, you can teach this yogi, as he is already living in Smashan and does not belong to the society”. The sapera never teaches their art outside of their community, it is a closed tribe, protective of it’s customs and members. In fact, they do not extradite their criminals to the police either, conducting their own courts and administering justice by the council of the elders…
Bhimhath chose a day of initiation himself. He performed a certain ritual in one of the rooms of the cenotaph – and taught him two mantras in the grass-root level, ancient Hindi. He was told to keep repeating the mantras for a certain number of times, and that at exactly midnight he will have some sort of experience, “a confirmation”.
He did it, as he was told, at his room, and at exactly midnight he had a vision of two very dark-skinned tribal women; one of them was stout, almost fat; another – very thin.
Bhimnath came the next day to inquire about the results – and, upon hearing about the vision, was very satisfied, stating that everything went well.
He came back in two days, wearing a red turban, dressed for a special occasion and carrying different supplies for a ceremony. He also had a basket with a very dangerous type of cobra with him.
Snake charmer insisted that a pujari, Mahatmaji, must be bitten by this snake – and that the newly obtained powers of venom removal should be tested, “Otherwise how would you know that you have really learned it?! He was very confident in his skill, but wanted confirmation that the skill was passed correctly. The cobra was looking very dangerous.
He said, “I believe, truly, that I possess the knowledge now. Relax.” And everyone around breathed out and relaxed a bit, especially pujaru; some had thought that experiment was unavoidable.
Bhimnath left, visibly disappointed, but in about 2 or 3 weeks he was passing in front of smashan’s gate on a bicycle and the guards called him – they spotted Raktavanchi, a special type of cobra.
The snake charmers believe that these reptiles are descendants of Takshaka, a snake king, who bit Parikshit, a ruler of Kuru clan from the vedic times…
In Japanese and Chinese mythology Takashaka was known as one of the eight Dragon Kings – and these were the only snakes who could fly, most venomous among all Nagas. Maybe that is how the legends of the flying snakes originated…
…When Bhimnath caught the descendant of the naga king, he made it bite his finger – and came running into the house with cobra in one hand, “Now, when it has bitten me, you have to remove the poison. Go ahead!”
He saw such a type of cobra for the first time: with a red hood, a red tail and the middle of its body yellowish-golden it was wiggling angrily.
He was nervous but tried the mantra and a technique, and it worked. The poison was extracted and Bhimnath drank 50 or100 grams of ghee, calming down the bodily heat… He was greatly satisfied with the result.
One day the workers reported that Ghandiji the bull was bitten. Or at least he had all the symptoms: the bull was unable to get up and stopped eating. The bull was tied in the old pagoda-like structure, which later became a Shiva temple – and this spot was favored by the snakes. Because of his huge body weight, the effect of the poison was progressing much slower, but the animal was obviously unwell.
He tried the mantra … and a huge bull got up almost immediately and soon began to eat again; sick bulls and cows usually refuse the food – that is how the villagers know if they are ill.
Several years later, when a forest department allocated an adjacent plot of the land for the Siddha Siddhartha Academy tree plantation, the removal of the cactus and general land clearing started. Disturbed by a machinery and people, flocks of different types of snakes, cobras and the “horse chasers”, the serpents which move faster than a horse, entered the premises and started to take shelter in the various places, including a puja room, a storage in one of the cenotaphs.
They needed to get some items from the room, but there were simply too many deadly reptiles inside. The snake charmers were called to the rescue once again; only they were bold enough to do such a job. Two or three men showed up and as soon as one of them stepped inside, he was bitten on the foot – in spite of the loud noise they were making as a warning.
The guy was bitten by Padam Nag, a small and extremely deadly type of cobra; after a bite the victim usually got only 6 minutes to live. He tried the mantra and a toadstone on the wound – and it worked again.
For years he was wearing a ring with a black stone-like resin, a toadstone, given by this friend.
It came handy trice – the wounds were cut to draw some blood, the toadstone applied on the cut to stop the venom from spreading and the mantra was read…This healing doesn’t work without the mantra, they go together.
And so, he has used the given vidya successfully and it was a useful knowledge; the price he paid for it was not too high. Bhimnath agreed to teach him on the condition that he will be given a dakshina. When asked what kind of dakshina, he requested a portable tv and a battery – because there was no electricity in the village. The mantra definitely was worth it.
The Saperas have great, grassroots level wisdom. Many times he watched Bhimnath working: with one mantra the cobra would remain frozen right there, only it’s black eyes would be watching the snake charmer attentively.
He taught him some of the mystical, secretive things; an invocation of the power of the guru of that lineage, Kanifa Nath himself and other Masters… Because Bhimnath thought of him to be as good as a snake charmer, just without handling the snakes.
It was good to have the Sapera as friends. They were generally good people. Whenever Bhimnath visited, he would always start with a greeting sentence, “Dekho, Guruji! Guru pat kisi ka kabja nahi, aur Guru kisi ek ka nahi…” And then he will move to whatever business he had come for…
This phrase carried a great wisdom, “See, Guruji, nobody can possess the Guru and Guru doesn’t belong to only one being.”
Years later, when he was working on the comments to “Gorakhboth”, a famous dialog between immortal yogis, he realized that Bhimnath was repeating the worlds of a great Teacher Matsiendranath.
He spoke, perhaps without even knowing it, about the Spirit, which was a Guru of the Mind and did not belong to anyone and was not bound to any body…
Or maybe the Sapera always knew this truth.
Around 2004 we invited school children, three schools, as a celebration for the completion of the plantation. It was a big occasion. The children were coming and Denis and I were standing behind this broken building – and I suddenly saw a small skull there, a child’s skull. I thought that the children would be disturbed so I motioned to Denis, he immediately understood my gesture and hid it.
The children missed it by 2 minutes.
…It was a very bad land and we were under the impression that it belonged to the forest department. It was a burial land, for the Hindu children. When children die, they are buried, not cremated- because they are considered paramahansa.
But this was then, long time ago. The wall was broken, and the land was very uneven; full of cactus …some hills were 2-3 meters high, so it was too uneven.
When Shivalingam was installed, my dog suddenly died – and we just crossed the broken wall and buried him there.
Then, in 2004, the land came to me, the forest department allowed us to use it; so we were under the impression this was all the forest land. So, we were levelling it with a bulldozer and a dog’s body came out. Maybe after 2 and a half of three years, and it was absolutely intact- as if he was simply asleep. No rigor mortis, no dehydration, nothing; and the cloth he was wrapped in was absolutely in the same condition. No change of any kind; big crowd of the villagers and workers gathered; looking at this corpse they were saying that he might be a saint in a dogs’ body, he completed his tapas… something like that. So we buried him again. And planted trees.
K: How many remains were discovered there?
G: We were bulldozing it for levelling and after dogs’ body a few skeletons came out. But there may be more under the soil. It was used as a cemetery for 4 centuries. But then we put out a boundary and it stopped. Since 2004 nothing else was discovered.
From an occult point of view… It’s a most potent area for the Aghora’s practices.
As these are pure spirits, paramhansas.
K: But Aghoris do not work with children’s spirits ?
G: Actually, these burial sites are used to invoke Tara. That is what I read in Tantras. Especially for the invocation of Smanshan Tara. They do the rituals on the graves; or the bodies and the skulls are used. It sounds very gore and horrible, but this is how it is. For the invocation of Smashan Tara there is no better place than children’s cemetery.
K: The spirits of the disciples of your guru also came here; how did that happen?
G: When I was declared the guru (when my guru was alive I was not aware of this thing), suddenly after he departed, all these spirits came into contact. It is the guru’s duty to take care of his disciple, even after he is gone. So more than 16,000 spirits were following me. I felt their presence, and they were driving me to find a place. We went everywhere, and finally this place was found, which can be the best place for a spiritual development. Since then they are there. That’s why I don’t like to take in too many disciples, because you have to be continuously responsible for their well-being…
So the place looks empty but it is not empty at all.
And Shiva puja is always the same. You see, whether there are 100 people or one person attending it, the procedure remains the same. No change. Except on Shiva Ratri (more milk).
But the spirits are always there. Attending it regularly.