Enlightened Monks

Over the years I have been seeking, I have also been fortunate enough to find a few Illuminated Beings who gave me hope that Enlightenment was a state of Beauty, both bountiful and bliss-filled.  Early on I knew  I was to go in search of my soul because the each soul comes with some work to do and felt it would direct me in my pursuit of  life.  However for the most part, I only had hazy feeling, an impression, a general direction, an attraction toward a variety of things.  What I was looking for was a clear-cut vision.

There are those few souls who are born with a clear cut vision of what they came into birth to do.   I have met a few of these people who were born for Enlightenment if not born enlightened.   Most of them you have probably met or at least heard of.  So I will tell a story of someone you may not have heard of, a saintly sadhu, I would have called Guru.

We met Swami Jagadguru Ramananda Acharya in Spring of 2002.  He was a disciple of Sri Sri Sadgurudev Brahmarishi Barfani Dadaji, who was said to be 240-260 years old.   Barfani Dadaji  had close up and personal relationships with Neem Karoli Baba and with Mahavatar Babaji.     Sometime in February of 2002, Govindan got a call from members of Barfani Dham Khalsa.  The call was an inquiry as to whether Govindan would be interested to host siddhas, presently living  in the Himalayas,  at the ashram in Canada.  What?!  Yes!  The story got interesting as the person elaborated that Barfani Dadaji had concerns about the possibility of a nuclear accident due to building tension in Kashmir.  This concern began after December of 2001, when two Pakistan based militant groups perhaps headed by the ISI attacked Indian Parliament killing a number of people.

Govindan gave his consent and his message was relayed to Barfani Dadaji.  No more was heard for several months.  The end of May, he got another call from this same disciple that he and I were invited to come along on pilgrimage with Sri Dadaji to Mount Kailash.  We would leave the first of July.  I was then working for Kriya Yoga Publications in Canada as a book editor, had created a Hatha Yoga DVD, was developing a correspondence course and giving Hatha Yoga Teacher Trainings with Govindan and was then engaged to him  (many changes had occurred during the time between fall of 1999 and April of 2002).

We decided to drop everything we had planned in July and go to Indore to meet with Sri Sri Barfani Dadaji to get the straight skinny on what’s going on with the siddhas.  Perhaps too we would accompanying him on a yatra to Mount Kailash!  End of June we flew into New Delhi and were met by Mr. Vaid, the disciple who had spoken with Govindan earlier. Mr. Vaid was a very gregarious man and generous and invited us and a group of others to spend the day and evening in his lovely home.   We enjoyed a wonderful evening. The following day we flew to Indore in Madhya Pradesh, just a bit west of the center of India.

We flew into Indore and went straight to Barfani Dham Ashram and met Sri Sadgurudeva Barfani Dadaji.  He was the sweetest soul I had ever met.  He didn’t look 260 years old, more like in his 70’s.   He smiled and stared so brightly holding my gaze, that I felt he had gleaned my whole story, within those few minutes.  He said that I was a disciple of Babaji but also saw Sai Baba around me.  I was quite surprised by the Sai Baba reference.  I had only gone to his ashram once for ten days.  Perhaps that is what he saw.  He showed Govindan and I around the ashram, speaking in both Hindi and in smiles.   Through a translator, he told us that he would spend time speaking with us after we had returned from Omkareshwar.  But after lunch we must travel there to speak with his disciple Jagadguru Ramamandacharya , who was there doing tapas.  He was to  come back with us to Indore and we would discuss the Siddhas and Mount Kailash yatra.  We were so pleased and excited to be able to see Omkareshwar and the  Narmada River with all its natural lingams.  We had lunch and immediately left in a caravan with about 10 others, the Indian devotees  with whom we had traveled from New Delhi.

Omkareshwar is an island two kilometers long and one kilometer wide, in the shape of a visual representation of the  Om, about 70 kilometers from Indore.  It is situated at the prayag of the Narmada and Kaveri Rivers.   And it is known for its Jyotirlingam , a self-empowered, self illumined lingam, presented for worship in the Sri Omkareshwar Mahadeo Temple.  There are many Hindu and Jain temples in Omkareshwar, including a rare Temple of Brahma. There is a cave of the Adi Shankaracharya and the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak did parikrama there. Many Sikhs visit the island on pilgrimage. The whole area feels sacred.

We checked into a dharmshala, which was extremely unkempt.  I was used to simple but the conditions were appalling.  Neither Govindan nor any of the Indians said a word, so I kept my thoughts to myself as we dropped our bags in the room and locked the inside door. The outside door hinges were so loose that a hefty yank would open it.  I carried my valuables with me, so I set out to visit the town without concern. The village was strangely familiar, as if I had once seen it in a dream.  We ate lunch with the group, but the group energy was getting tiring. And we were growing irritated by Mr. Vaid whole felt it was his duty to  herd us  here and there.  To be to quite frank there was some growing hostility.  The group wanted to stay on the mainland and visit the Temples and bazaars and then do a parikrama of the island.  All we wanted to do was take the boat across the Narmada to the island where Ramanandacharya was doing his tapas.  Govindan and I decided to break free of the group and so tarried a bit too long in a shop.   Everyone was relieved I am sure.

We took the boat and went across the River and arrived at the spot just below at Gayatri Temple and Ashram.  The Gayatri Temple had  wonderful energy,  puja was done several times daily.   There were several lovely little rooms available for rent for sadhaks.    An adorable little girl came running toward us, as we walked up toward the Temple.  She was the daughter of the priest of the Temple.  I asked her in English if she knew where  Swami Ramanandacharya stayed.  She beamed the most beautiful smile and grabbed my hand and ran me toward his hut.  Swami was inside when we arrive. The little devi called his name and he came out immediately.  Jadguru Ramanandacharya was a beautiful man of about 40 years, but looked no more than 30.  He must be a Hathayogi, I thought, he was very strongly built, which seemed a bit unusual  for a sadhu of his attainment.  He must have heard my thought, as he looked to have frown a bit.  He seemed to know that Govindan was coming but seemed disturbed by my approach.  He picked up the little girl’s hand and kind of danced with her, twirling her around. There was so much love there between these two, I was charmed!

Swamiji was in silence and had a small chalk board on which he would write. Would you take tea? He asked turned toward Govindan.  Yes! Definitely I answered before he had a chance to decline the offer.  Swamiji smiled and nodded toward me and went into the hut. Two young men came out to have a look at us before going back in to make the tea.

The little devi helped to serve us tea.  And then for the next four hours we sat still and transfixed by Swamiji and the stories that he so easily chalked out on his little board.  In the beginning he ignored me and spoke only with Govindan.  I was amused by this pattern, but persistent in my questions and within a fairly short time he had allowed me entrance into his world and by the time we had finished our tea I felt very close to him.

He talked about his meetings with Yogi Ramaiah, Govindan’s teacher and about staying in the small Kali ashram in Grahamsville, New York and about the parade that he was in with Barfani Dadaji in New Jersey, when Barfani cleared a totally overcast sky filled with rain clouds into a day of endless sunshine.  I asked him what bestowal of the title Jagadguru meant.   He shared deeply about belonging to the Akhil Bhartiya Digambar Ani Akhara Sect and being so humbled by their bestowal of the Title Jagadguru.  There was no sense of pride, he was only trying to explain what I had asked him, in all honesty.  I was stuck in my depths by his purity and siddhis.

He shared with us about his meeting in Mount Kailash with Babaji and how Babaji had given to him a technique to give to all people… a very simple technique of chanting AUM twice a day for a particular amount of time in a particular rhythm.  He said that it was all that most people are willing to do that would be of definite benefit.  He asked us for the photo of Babaji and Mataji seated in Santopanth Tal. We promised to send it to him and also a t-shirt with the same photo screen printed on it.  We were all very happy.  He called for more tea and biscuits.

At one point he was sharing that Babaji was actually an incarnation of Hanuman. And suddenly, just as he began to tell the story of Hanuman and the connection to Babaji, monkeys in the jungle started raising hell and rushed in towards us as we were seated on the porch of his hut.  I quickly grabbed for my purse and Ramandacharya, turned to me, put his palm upward to me as to say, no fear.  And wrote on his slate, “I won’t let anything happen.”   And to my absolute surprise, the monkeys only came as far as the wall on one side of the hut and sat down… and quite in an orderly fashion as if they just wanted to hear Swamiji tell the story of  Hanuman again.  I swear this is the truth. And in addition, the little birds that were already seated there in the same way did not move one iota when the monkeys came.

Govindan and I looked at each other and at Swamiji and at the birds and monkeys and shrugged and then just sat silent to read the story…He still wasn’t  talking he was only writing the story and had us all man, woman, child and beasts mesmerized.

Then Swamiji then did another  wonderful thing and showed us his mediation cave.   The cave was dug deep into the ground and quite low on the hill. And even though there were often great monsoons on the island, the cave remained dry.  He said that even he was amazed at this.  There was a beautiful Durga Murti and  photograph in his cave that he wanted me to see.  He allowed us to meditate there.  We must have been there about an hour.  It wasn’t until we heard the Indians arrive that we were broke our meditation.  It had been a wonderful blessing to have been able to mediate in Jadguru Ramanandacharyas cave on the sacred island of  Omkareshwaram.

Mr. Vaid and his group were all seated on the porch as we climbed out of the cave. They seemed rather put out at us, for so many reasons, I am sure.  Mr. Vaid was lying on Swamiji’s hammock and turned away from Swami. The others were just talking to him about their day.  I was deeply disappointed in these people.  Not one of them showed the reverence due this youthful sadhu, who was a Divine Manifestation of  Pure Light and Force.

The group started to tell Swami about the Kailash Yatra and that he had to go back with us the following morning. Mr. Vaid passed him a note from Barfani Dadaji.   Swamiji wrote on his chalkboard that he would do whatever  his Sadguru Barfani Dadaji wanted him to do. And would travel with us back to Indore in the morning.

The group wanted a homan (purifying fire ceremony) that evening and Swamiji said that he would officiate.  He said though that we must first meditate on our deepest desire and to make it a good one, because whatever we asked for that evening would be provided. The young men had prepared a meal for all of us of rice and dahl.  It was delicious but the sweet energy of the afternoon had been disturbed by this demanding group.  Even though they had told us that they were all disciples of Ramanadacharya I sensed a lack of respect.

As I was accepting another tea, I asked one of the young men if he always stayed with Swamiji.   He said that two people had to be with him at all times. They had to care for him because he would often go into samadhi so deeply and remain there for days on end. They were told by Barfani Dadaji to stay with him, protect him and make certain that he ate and drank water.

Ramananda Acharya had come to Barfani Dadaji only after he had finished his university studies. He was a unique sadhu with an unusual dharma. I asked him if he wanted to be in the world to teach us what he had learned. He admitted that he did not care about teaching. “This body will simply do, whatever is demanded of it.  I will do whatever Barfani Dadaji or Babaji requires of me.”

The day had been amazing one. So much had happened.  I wondered what the night’s homan would bring.

To be continued-

    • madan malhotra
    • December 22nd, 2010

    i am a direct disciple of barfani dadaji, it was great that people share there experiences, i am very happt reading this article.
    it would be great if something is written about mahaavtarji.

    • December 23rd, 2011

    After Mahasamadhi of Shri Shri Loknath Brahmachari Baba HH Barfani Dadaji Maharaj is the greatest Sage in moden World.The present article is a perfect evaluation of Dadaji.

    • Vijay H Patel
    • January 15th, 2012

    Grateful to for sharing great experience I am fortunate that PP Barfani Dadaji has accepted as his disciple & Jagadguruji has been so grateful to come to my residence.

    • Rakesh Agarwal (Indore)
    • September 1st, 2012

    I am lucky enough that Bhagvan ( Pujya DADAji) excepted me as his disciple in Oct 79 at Amarkantak..Since then his blessings have always been with me..My wife, my son and daughter and my bahu, all are his blessings…i have experienced his Kripa a lot in these years and still continuing..I hope his darshan and Kripa remain with me till my last breath. Jai Shree DADAji..

  1. Jai Guru Dev !!!

    Nice article, feeling good while reading, thank you very much for posting.

  2. I started my search 2 years ago, I looked at it like a college course, 6 hours a day, 6 days a week for two years. I consider myself a christian,but not as most churchs’ believe. I know that Buddist are the true path of our souls, which Jesus knew. My question is that I have found 80% of all answers on earth and they are very very upsetting to any human mind, I would like you to recomend me to a monk for chat, who has recieved or close to enlightenment. I have (no one) to discuss such matters with, as the understanding of such matters, cannot be discussed with someone who is not searching. Can you help me ?

  3. @Rakesh Agarwal (Indore)

    My wife and I have a deep interest in meeting His Holiness Brahmarishi Barfani Dadaji. Can you suggest to us how we can meet him?

    • mukesh sharma
    • September 7th, 2013

    myself is the lucky person due to fact that dadaji himself came in my marriage with his BLESSINGS.at that time i was unknown all the facts. now whenever i think i really surprised that how lucky we all r to see the bhagwan on earth. MUKESH SHARMA

    • MOHAN CB
    • September 17th, 2013

    Dear Friends, Dadaji is at vishakapatnam, andhra predesh from sep 16 to oct 10. Do come and have Dharshan.

    Mohan cb

  4. we really need this kind of monks in this world
    they are hope for humanity

    • Lucky
    • December 20th, 2013

    thank you very much for posting it, it has invoked such beautiful memories of the time spent with Rajiv Maharaji, wish he comes back again to uplift us spiritualy. Please complete the story.

  1. No trackbacks yet.