He says, “it’s a small thing!”

Over the last week, many students have gone to Pilot Baba’s camp to receive diksha from him. They have been given a mantra and a new name. They have had nice experiences. We have been pleased at their experience. One day one of the students mentioned that he teaches our Kriya Hatha Yoga 18 posture series. She had seen them in a book by Pilot Baba being sold in his camp’s bookstore. I was surprised because ours is quite a unique series of postures and questioned that surely it was not the same series. It is exactly the same series, she replied, except that there was no mention of Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum, and the Song of Sunworship was different. I mentioned this to Govindan.

 The next day Govindan stopped at Pilot Baba’s camp and went to his bookstore to see if he could find the book. And indeed prominent, in a book entitled, “Mahayog Yoga Academia” was the18 postures of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga!  Furthermore, the whole series was a verbatim reproduction of Govindan’s book, introduction, description and benefits.

I had only briefly met Pilot Baba weeks earlier.  I had looked forward to meeting with him. He often comes to NYC and there is some story of him meeting Mahavtar Babaji in the Himalayas. I had not gotten a solid impression of Pilot Baba during that day. All I could say was that I was not drawn to spend any more time getting to know him.

We had sat with him. He was busy with his people and in the preparation of the camp. I closed my eyes to get a feel of him and meditate. Within a few minutes he said to the group, “go and have some lunch!”

I did not want lunch, but as it was that everyone seemed to be getting up and leaving, I too got up to take leave of his Presence. I followed Govindan towards the big tent where food was being served but told him that I was going to leave the camp. I did not want lunch and I did not “feel it.” He told me that some Russian students wanted to interview him and that he wanted me to be part of that interview. A Russian woman rushed up to him. I told them that we did not want lunch and that we preferred to go back and sit with Baba and that perhaps later we could do an interview. The woman (an Ukranian) followed us back to where Baba was sitting and we sat back down with about five others.  Pilot Baba seemed very distracted and spoke only briefly to those seated with him. He saw that we had returned but did not ask about us or if we had questions. He shifted in his seat and said rather dismissively, “Well, I will go have lunch!” He got up and left. The Russians swarmed for the interview. That has been my only experience of Pilot Baba.

When Govindan found the copyright infringement in the book, he walked straight over to where P.B. was sitting, surrounded by a group of people.  Govindan sat next to him and discretely handed Baba two books. One was the book he had just bought, Mahayog Yoga Academia, written in 2009 and the other was his own book written first in 1991.   Pilot Baba was taken aback.

 P.B. told Govindan that he would stop selling the book immediately.  And then later said that he could perhaps continue to sell the books but give Govindan some credit or reference his book.  Govindan stepped away, looked at him and said, “Just do the right thing!”

 I saw the two books.  The text had been lifted straight from Babaji’s Kriya Hatha Yoga and retrofitted in this new book, Mahayog Yoga Academia, as the Yoga of Pilot Baba.  Only, Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum was replaced with Om Suryanarayanan Namah Aum and a traditional Song of Sunworship in place of the Tamil Song of Sunworship. The series was even laid out in the same fashion and not a word had been changed.   And funny to me that even some the little mistakes in the old drawings had been incorrectly performed in the photos.

Govindan wrote a letter to Pilot Baba that day and also wrote to the Publisher making an official complaint and offering a quite generous solution, that all books sold in the future reference that the description of the 18 postures and their benefits had been reproduced from the book “Babaji’s Kriya Hatha Yoga” with the permission of Marshall Govindan and Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas Trust, with the Trust’s postal address and telephone and email address.

The next day Govindan and Rohit went back to Pilot Baba’s camp to speak to him privately. Rohit was there to translate anything that was not clear. The interview went smoothly.  Pilot Baba said he had removed the books from the sales counter.   However, it was surprising that Pilot Baba said two other things. First, he said: “it is a small thing!” And later repeated it.   And second, after agreeing that Govindan be referenced for the reproduction of his book, he said, with a tone of arrogance, “Yes, I will give you the credit for this in my book and so you will become famous all over the world!”    Rohit immediately retorted, this book has already sold more than 150,000 copies all over the world for the past 20 years and has been translated into more than 17 languages.

There was a long pause in the conversation. Then P.B. said: “I am sorry.” That was all Govindan was waiting to hear.  He left.

It had been just  days before, when Govindan and Andrew Cohen had a 20 minute discussion with Pilot Baba.   Andrew asked him whether he would tell us about his experience of Enlightenment.  There was no reply. So Andrew asked him another question: “Is it Enlightenment or Transformation which is essential.”   Pilot Baba replied: “Enlightenment.” He added, that everything else happens automatically, according to karma.   Later he added: “all these people who write about Enlightenment and Yoga are just copying each other without having experienced it.  It was a subtle criticism of the two interviewers, but it also reflected what he had done with regards to copying Govindan’s book!

    • Moksha
    • March 4th, 2010

    No comment for P.B.

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