Flight was late. I reached Delhi from London on 25th of July. Heavy traffic. It took literally ages to reach Gurgaon. I had to attend a short program before leaving for the airport again. I quickly brushed and washed up. Since there was no time for any food, I “gobbled” a special South Indian coffee made by Phaneedhar’s mother and went for the program. I quickly completed the program and rushed to the airport to catch the flight to Bangalore. This was an unannounced trip. I and a companion. Only two of us. We are going to see Avadhoota Nadananda. He had beckoned me to come and meet him as soon as I come back to India. He was resting after his most important trip to Mookambika, Kollur; the place that made and moulded Avadhoota Nadananda.
It started raining. Bangalore choked. Traffic blocked. It took us literally 5 hours to reach his abode. The previous morning, his leg slipped while getting out of his car resulting in a slipped disc. Hence, we kept coaxing him over the phone to have his meal and take rest. But he wouldn’t listen. He wanted to wait. The love of a Guru, mother, father, friend, companion, protector – all in one. The divine fragrance of true love! The master was waiting! The master always waits patiently!
A kind of guilt for making him wait dawned in me. As soon as it came, it disappeared. “What have I got to do with it? Neither me nor Guruji are responsible for the rain and traffic blocks. We are just witnesses of the divine play. Just witnesses!”
Finally, we arrived at the doorstep of the abode of Avadhoota Nadananda. There was not even a drop of time to waste. I was more concerned of Guruji refraining from food because of the delay the rain caused us. I went upstairs, guided by Sri. Mohan Gaaru. As soon as Avadhoota Nadananda saw me, deep and genuine happiness dawned on his face. I prostrated at his feet. I held his feet in eternal reverence. His feet are the feet of the Divine Mother and the eternal Guru Mandala. He said “Get up, Mohanji”. I got up and he got up too, even though his face was grimacing in excruciating pain due to the slipped disc. He repeated with overwhelming happiness, “Mohanji has come back to me.” He held my hands, hugged me, and kept repeating, “You have come back to me! Welcome back. I am going to give you everything that I have. If I did not do that, all that I have would have gone wasted. You are the most eligible one to receive from me.” Every word he spoke hit me deep in my heart. I felt that he was already changing my software to receive the absolute in its complete grandeur. This was also in reply to an earlier mail from me to him, seeking his opinion on my intention to withdraw from public life for a while and court silence and practice. He had not replied. And these words that he spoke made me understand that the question that I asked was totally invalid and the Guru Mandala has already decided my future. All I have to do is to just flow. I have nothing to claim as my own including the things that we see and experience such as the body, mind and intellect. I am an empty bottle. He said “All the masters who you met have gone one by one. Soon I will go too. But I will not go before I give you everything. I will keep all my promises and fulfill the expectations of the Guru Mandala.” I asked him “Guruji, why am I meeting these masters including you, at their last stage of walk on earth?” He replied “Nobody has left you. Nor will I leave you. They are meeting you, to take their work forward, which you are performing selflessly. You are guiding people the way we all want. All those whom you met, left with peace and satisfaction that the work that they had started will continue through you and you will never have a personal agenda. Purity and innocence are the strengths. The world may not understand this. We do. The Guru Mandala does. And we are with you, behind you and will never abandon you or let you suffer.” He added, “You are meeting them during their last stages because you are here to merge and continue traditions. And the masters never owned anything anyway.” This gave me clarity. The faces of Vittal Babaji, Baba Ganeshananda Giri, and Vasudevan Swami, flashed through my mind. Now, here was Avadhoota Nadananda explaining the tapestry of my existence. Everything makes sense in a way, but when I imagine the weight of the responsibility, I wondered, can this perishable flesh see it through? If yes, how long? Guruji added “The sign of a true disciple is the lack of WHY in their mind. Never ask WHY or HOW. You shall be given everything and more you need for carrying out the journey to a wonderful completion. I shall keep my promises. I shall be with you every step, even if I do not have a body. The Guru mandala will be with you. Divine Mother will be with you. Our supreme guru Lord Dattatreya will be with you.” Thundering assurances! I never asked WHY ever. I only accepted with a bowed head the will of the supreme always.
Suddenly he asked me how my journey was and if I was tired after my overnight travel from London, this trip, without any rest, the tedium of road trip, so on and so forth. I was overwhelmed by the sight and touch of Guruji, I had no pain, fatigue or jet lag. There was no time for jet lag. I have come home. He walked with us to the door, sat us down and he himself started feeding us. His love was overflowing. It was palpable and every bit was a shower of blessing. A torrential rain of blessings was flowing down on me and my companion right from the palpable portals of the Guru Mandala through the hands of Avadhoota Nadananda.
After the food, we briefly talked about the proposed ceremony to be held on October 10th. He asked me to invite people close to me because this would be one of the most auspicious functions for me and also the last function that he intended to perform in this lifetime. He talked with firmness, determination and extreme conviction. He said “This title is not my decision. This title is not your expectation either. This has been ordered by the order of Guru Mandala. I am delivering it to you on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami. This is not an ordinary day, ordinary title or ordinary function. You will never be the same again. I will step down. You will climb up.” I felt a bit sad “Guruji, I understand, appreciate and honor the decision of Guru Mandala. I am not even asking if I am eligible because I have learned to accept what comes my way with utmost humility and surrender. But, why should you step down? And where am I climbing to?”
Guruji explained, again in a very serious and no-nonsense tone – soaked with love. “I have been crying to find someone eligible to hand over. I have been waiting for the permission to withdraw from public life. Guru Mandala told me “You can get off the saddle”. I asked again, “What next?” They just said “You are free to step down now.” They relieved me from all my responsibilities. I have to step down. Since a few decades, I have been walking this tedious path literally with blood in my mouth and 5th stage cancer which I had taken over from a woman who was dying. Now I am 76. This body is tired. I cannot move on like this anymore. I need to withdraw from public life, go back to myself and merge with the supreme consciousness. I shall be in isolation.
It was late at night. We decided to sleep. I literally had a long day. After a weekend retreat in London, I had hopped into the first possible flight to Delhi via Dubai and, after a function at Gurgaon, had come off to Bangalore. I had no sleep whatsoever. But, I was not tired either. Anyways, we decided to call it a day.
Dawn of 26th July. After I brushed washed and prayed, I walked to Guruji’s room. Guruji had decided to make a special dish for me. Sister Sujata told me that Guruji has been preparing for my arrival since days and was showing so much excitement, as would a mother or father would show when their son comes home after a long absence. Guruji himself went out and bought vegetables to cook dishes for me and insisted on serving me. Affection without barriers! Totally sincere and unconditional, overflowing love of a true master. He said “I am not your guru.” I was perplexed. I did not understand what he meant. “I sign off your mails as “brotherly”. Why? I do not want to have any barrier between us, not even that of a guru and disciple. I am like your elder brother. I come to you. You need not come to me. You need not take any effort anymore. You have already come to me, come back to me. Now it is my turn. I come towards you running, just like my guru came running to me and took over my life and destiny. Just be available. Just be there.” So many things are happening already inside. I decided to just surrender and keep quiet. He asked “You have some barrier with me, haven’t you?” I said “No Guruji. I have respect. Only respect for you.” He said “Love. Love is enough. I feel you are my younger brother, even though you call me as Guruji. Let us not have any barrier”.
“Do you know who came and accepted the dakshina that I had handed over to you at Shirdi?” I said “I understand Guruji, he comes from Guru Mandala. He is my gateway to the ultimate reality.” Guruji said “He is the one who took me there. He is the one who guided me. He is eternal.” (I am not permitted to reveal the name here even though Guruji said the name in front of all those who were listening. If Guruji permits, I shall mention the name at a future date.”)
He asked “Are you not going to write a blog?” I said “No Guruji. Let me keep this sacred meeting and discussions away from the eyes of skeptical minds. There have been some complaints about the last blog that, what I wrote is not true.” Guruji said “I approved your blog. In that case, we are collaborating with each other to mislead the people? HA HA HA.” He laughed aloud and continued. “Whenever truth is conveyed, the insecure and guilty people will say that we are scaring them. This is good. Truth must be told. You need not worry. The Guru Mandala is talking through you. Every word, every matter we convey. You have my approval. Go on, write it.” Even though it was on his instruction that I started writing, I developed some doubts again. “How much can I disclose?” He said “As much as the world needs to know. There is nothing to hide. Those who manipulate the minds of people will call the absolute truth as untruth and will sell their own version of partial truth. Let us not care about it.”
I never went after powers or titles. I never tried to display anything out of natural. What comes to us is meant for us. Never ask why and why not. Both are absurd.
He said “The function of 10th is very important. It will be life changing for you and for me. Your family members should join us.” He personally invited my family members on phone one by one. He was coughing and was visibly looking weak and tired. But he was as enthusiastic as a teenager. He said “I do not touch money. I do not use money. When people give money, I use it for serving the needy. I do not have a bank account. But, you are different. You have a family and you have their responsibility. You must live like a regular householder. You have to lead a different lifestyle than me. Do not imitate a master. Accept his teachings wholeheartedly.” He told a story “One master was walking with 4 disciples. They became thirsty. There was no water. Suddenly they saw an alcohol shop. The master went in and drank four bottles of palm liquor and walked out. Seeing this, the disciples also did the same. Nothing happened to the master. The disciples became drunk. They walked further. They felt hungry. A few yards ahead, they saw a metal melting unit. The red hot melted metal was oozing out of the opening. The master took it in his hands and swallowed it. Nothing happened to him. The disciples were unable to do that. The moral is, the master could possibly perform the unbelievable. Looking at that, the disciple should not attempt such feats. They should become masters before they attempt such things. Sister Sujata also mentioned that even though Guruji is going for treatment, in X ray and Scans, no ailments are visible while he is suffering from 5th stage cancer. This is intriguing the doctors. Guruji said “when our 7 chakras are activated and we operate in super conscious realms, body is equal to sookshma (subtle). When cosmic energy is fully activated in our system, any kind of artificial energies such as medicines or machines will never work or get nullified. Medical science will not understand that.”
Guruji explained the things to do about the service that Manav Seva Samiti and Ammucare are doing together at various locations. He reiterated on two major things – BEING PRACTICAL and BEING RELEVANT.( Activities relevant to each location, people and their needs) He mentioned that charity should not be for name-sake. We should never have superiority complex. We should deliver what is relevant. We should not delay. We should perform before time because our promises affect somebody positively or negatively. When promises are not kept, it affects relationships. And we should focus more on empowering than feeding so much to create dependency. We should hold their hands as long as needed and allow them to be free. Humility is the right attitude of a karma yogi. He urged all to perform more activities and never allow the system to slow down because of individual ennui. He asked me to keep an eye when he goes on silence and help as much as I can. He was happy with the current team leaders and members. He said activity should always be relevant to the location and situation. There is no point in providing soap where there is no water. Give water first – then soap.
He sounded mentally prepared to withdraw and also told that his original plan of the title ceremony in December had to be brought to October because of his deteriorating health conditions. And he reiterated that it is a big occasion. He said “I do not speak anything. It is Guru Mandala speaking through me. Those who connect to this body called Nadananda will suffer with delusion. Those who connect to the universe beneath the form will reach the highest. Those who need nothing will get everything. Those who need everything can never be satisfied by anybody”. “Everything is in an atom. The potential for the whole universe is stored in an atom. And atom is all that we are.”
The day vanished as a carnival. Old friend Lakshmi and Natesh Mahadevan spiced up the day with their presence. It is difficult to write here everything that Guruji said to me. He also mentioned about a few rituals during the ceremony as well as transfer of spiritual energy. Anyways, he would remember more than me because he knows better.
A long light day, evaporated into bliss supreme.
With only love and gratitude, I go to bed.