If the willing aren’t willing, who will do it?

It was at the ashram in Quebec in summer 1995, I first read from torn and fragile books,  The Voice of Babaji, Mysticism Unlocked and Masterkey of All Ills.   After reading these books one afternoon, I feel asleep and had a vivid dream: I was walking on a tightrope, high above the ground…. I was afraid of such a height and felt fear in my gut.  Then I heard a male voice say, “I give this to you, because your heart is a deep as a well.”    I recalled the dream quite clearly upon waking.  I did not understand the dream at the time…  however, did immediately feel that these shakti-filled books needed to be made ready for a second edition.

These two books offered me an amazingly personal human portrait of a Yoga Master and great Saint with whom I had felt a deep affinity  and yet knew so little about.   These books felt rare and the teachings contained within them were as commanding as the parables or Beatitudes found in the Bible.  Govindan had only two of the original three books. I asked if I could make a copy of the books. Because he knew Yogi Ramaiah did not want them circulated, he refused.  Finally, after a year of persistence begging, sometime in 1996, he gave me a copy of both books.   I began working with the books daily.   I was sleeping little at that time, and in the late night hours, I found that I began to transfer the books into my computer, correcting misspellings and grammar and removing the repetitive paragraphs. The original books had been printed quite hastily in order to be published on the specific dates and last minute changes had been made while the manuscript was literally on the press, being printed. There was a lot of love that went into the editing because the more I worked with the book, the more it became an important part of my daily Yogic practice. The teachings were sublime and illuminating and they contained an energy that stimulated great creativity.  I began to write poetry and prose each night that helped me work through a lot of personal obstacles in my life and on my spiritual path.

In Winter of 1998, I went to Chennai specifically to meet S.A.A.Ramaiah at his San Thome Ashram in Chennai, India.  I knew there were some copies of the original books still available, although yellowed and fragile. Even though a few of them had reached the hands of Kriya Yoga students, they had been intentional kept inaccessible for the past 50 years.  I wanted to buy the books and discuss them with him.  I went to visit him with a family friend, Murari, a Brahmin, whose family was originally from the San Thome area.  We were shown into Yogiar’s room.   He came in and sat on a cot.   Murari sat at the back of the room with his back against the wall.  I sat in front of Yogiar.  I had a very cordial conversation with Yogi Ramaiah for about 45 minutes.   We talked mostly about the similarities and differences of the Kundalini Yoga I was practicing and Kriya Yoga.  He knew Yogi Bhajan and respected him very much.  We spoke of many things including Babaji and Babaji Kriya Yoga Order of Teachers (Acharyas) too, which Marshall Govindan had  just begun.  We showed no disapproval of the Order, only saying that all teachers should have a way of making a living that has nothing to do with the work of the Order.

Then Yogiar said he wanted me to promise him something.  I said, “promise you what?”

He said, “no, promise me first, then I will tell you.”

I hesitated and looked  straight into his eyes and finally said “alright, I promise.”

“You must never teach breath retention again,” he said.  (Breath retention is very important element in many of the Kundalini pranayama and Kriyas that I taught).  I realized that I had just promised him that I would stop teaching Kundalini Yoga.

I then said, “I have given this promise to you, but now I have a request of you.    I would like to buy the books I have …. “Before I could even finish the sentence, Yogiar  said, “oh, those books, no they are not for sale!”   He placed is index finger in front of his lips.     The conversation about the books ended before it could begin.    I was not able to discuss the strong pull I had to help him reprint them because the conversation about them was over.  I then mentioned another book about anatomy and he told me I would have to go to Yuma Arizona and buy it there for $108. I asked if it could be mailed to me?  He said no.

Then he invited me to attend a Kriya Hatha Yoga teacher training that he was giving that summer, in Kanadukathan, at his Holisitic Yoga Hospital.    He said I would have to come for two months over summer.  He went to his locker and handed me a flyer about the training.  He mentioned that the previous summer a group of Russians had come for the training, but none of them spoke English so he told them to go home!   He told me to invite other people to come to the training.  As I left the San Thome Ashram, I said silently to myself. “Okay Babaji, if you want these books reprinted you must give me a sign and bring me the 3rd book!

Within a month of returning back home, I received two internal prompts.  I received a message “If the willing are not willing, who will do it?” and a copy of the third book, The Death of Death from a teacher of Kriya Yoga in California, who had gotten it from another old student of Yogi Ramaiah.  I remember taking a big breath and saying well, tell me how and when Babaji.

A family which does not know where is comes from, can never know where it is going.  The Voice of Babaji has provided me with an understanding of where this system of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga came from.  The books offer profound teachings and unique mantras and the shakti of direct insight, from a Higher Inspiration. They gave me confidence that the foundation of this system of Yogic techniques was firmly established in devotion to the truths of cosmic harmony, balance and cooperation and based on in kindness and compassion and the beauty of purifying and perfecting oneself.  They emphasize the importance of an integral system of Yoga wrapped up in the bow of devotion to the Self.   This Yoga system was to lead us on a path towards individual realization but also toward group evolution.  And most importantly, “there is no society, club, institution, association, general body or governing body to go and join. You are to rule yourself in and out, absolutely.  Babaji proclaims.  You and yourself alone are the general body.   The true ‘I’ in ‘I,’ in you is the governing body, governing director and directing governor.”  “Cultivate that awareness. Be always in your own company and enjoy it.”

More lessons reveal:

“Remember and realize that you are master of yourself and your own servant.    Grow up full, whole and not in sections (cross or vertical or horizontal) and then join others who have grown up and become whole and full by themselves.”

And again, “You will deal with each other in terms of equality and not as a superior or subordinate, teacher or pupil, preceptor or follower.   No disputation, personification or idolization.    Each one catch one, i.e. let each one train himself or herself up.”

When we had finished all the editing and reprinted the books in 2003, Govindan and I went to speak with Yogi Ramaiah in Kanadukathan, India.  We drove the two plus hours from Trichy with the intention of my discussing the books with him.   However, when we walked into the classroom where Yogiar was seated, all thoughts of the books vanished from my mind.   Neither of us thought of the book again until we were almost back at Trichy (Tiruchi).   We began searching for the family of  V.T.Neelakantan.   We sent Yogiar copies of the book with a letter of intent, before we distributed  the first copy.

There was a great deal of resistance from Yogiar, who wanted us to stop publishing the book.  He claimed copyright to the book written by V.T. Neelakantan.  The family of the author and copyright holder, V.T.Neelakantan said they did not want to be involved in the fray.  To this day we do not understand why Yogiar did not reprint the books except that there had been a complete break between himself and V.T. Neelakantan.  According to his family, V. T. Neelakantan continued to his dying day in 1982, to be totally devoted to Babaji and continued his constant japa of  Babaji’s mantra. These books are as relevant and invaluable to students of Kriya Yoga today as they were in 1950-60’s, when they were briefly available in Chennai.  They belong to no one person, if they belong to anyone, it is to the people of India.   Yogi Ramaiah stated in a deposition in March 2006, that the teachings in these books were Holy and equated them with the Bible.

It took me about eight years, but with the complete dedication and backing of Marshall Govindan to this project and the support of Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas Trust, the three books were edited, collected in the one beautiful volume, The Voice of Babaji, and published.    Satyananda, an Acharya in Germany formatted the book beautifully and precisely as Babaji dictated in the original books.  And now the book has also finally been translated in the Tamil language as Babaji requested.   The Voice of Babaji is put back where it rightly belongs—in easy access to devotees of Mahavatar Babaji and students of Kriya Yoga.   The process of getting the book back in publication was a painful experience that cost us much stress, conflict and even legal battles.  At times the animosity was so intense we felt it in waking and dream states.  However, in the end, it was as if Babaji waved his Hand and things were settled without too much ado.  It was mysterious and awe inspiring.  Surprisingly support came at the last minute from Sweden, Sri Lanka and India.  Everyone involved was touched. We received a teaching and learned a lesson.  Our day in court has humbled me as to the greatness of cosmic law and balance.  The book The Voice of Babaji was to remain in print and Kriya Yoga Publications was given rights to publish.  Royalties of the book have been used for free initiation seminars in India and for the on-going research of the works of the Siddha Tradition and soon through a newly formed V.T.N. Foundation will begin to sponsor higher education for needy young people in Tamil Nadu.  I want to give great thanks and appreciation to one of the sons of V.T.Neelakantan, Suryanarayanan whose dedication to his father’s memory and devotion to Babaji carried us through some really tough times, towards this end.

We have to hold tight to those things we truly believe in, even when all those around us are telling us we are wrong.  If we just try to walk lightly on the earth, but stay willing, when it comes to us to fight the good fight, we will.

    • Gayatri
    • November 25th, 2009

    Dear Ma Durga,

    Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum

    I had no idea how much battle went through to publish this book “The Voice of Babaji”, aside from the seemingly insurmountable circumstances of V.T. Neelakantan when Babaji was dictating the contents of the book to him and he would write them down word for word; the process of printing the books for the first time and the love, devotion and surrender he had for Babaji. And now, after almost 50 years, you were able to reprint this book through Babaji’s help and inspiration. This is one of my favorite books because we get to have a “little knowing or glimpse” how Babaji relates and treats his beloved disciples from his own words and the words of the dedicated disciples. Thank you for overcoming the hurdles and making the second printing happen which benefits all of those who read, who are reading and would be reading this very important and enlightening book. I consider the “Autobiography of a Yogi” a classic book. “The Voice of Babaji” is so much more than a classic book. It is the very words of The Master himself, and if one would have devotion with all his/her heart while reading this book, the experience itself is as if The Master is right there, talking in front of you. There can be no other title appropriate for this book, but “The Voice of Babaji”.

    May you have more inspiration and strength to keep on writing and editing books for Babaji and the Siddhas.

    Om Shanti Aum

    Om Babaji,

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