My dearest Devotees of Pujya Bhole Babaji:
Bhole Baba ki Jai!
Mahamuniraj Maharaj ki Jai!
My Pranams to all of you.
I am from India and more particularly from Mumbai. I have been in the Babaji fold from the age of 16, or from 1972 onwards. He has blessed me by turning my life around 360 degrees and then told me so too, in case I didn’t follow!
June 2017, I embarked on a motorcycle trip around the world. I did this to see and experience the world for myself, rather than rely on external sources, etc. It was an elevating trip and taught me very many fundamental things I didn’t know. The first being that: its very difficult to do this on a motorcycle!
It was always my desire to visit Babaji’s ashrams and on this trip, I decided to do so, as much I could. I needed help. Babaji had installed Maha Muniraj ji as the next head of the Samaj, who installed Shri Alok Bannerjee, who himself met Babaji. So, when I asked Shri Alok Bannerjee, he immediately asked the Samaj to help me with details and Sanjiv Sarna promptly sent out emails. My dear friend: Raghuvir Boll (who I know from when he started his first trip to Babaji), from Koh-Samui helped me to connect with many people and make a route-plan. Once on the road, on my motorcycle; as I gathered dust, one ashram helped me to get to the next and the highway was soon filled with Babaji’s devotees, accompanying me in thought and action. It was amazing.
I wish to share my experiences of my trip to the Ashrams. It is difficult to remember all the names of people and places, so please excuse me, if I am incorrect. It is not intentional.
I had a plan: I would ring the bell, tell my story to the devotees and then sing a bhajan. I did this at every Ashram that I went to.
In the summer of Russia, I was a guest of Puran at Omsk. I stayed with him for over a week. He took me to Okunevo, about 300 kms away from the city, where Babaji’s Ashram is. The highway was dotted with strawberry fields. We were accompanied by two other devotees, Nanda and Uma. The village is a small collection of houses and the main street is the only street. We stayed in Puran’s house opposite the Ashram. After washing up, we immediately went to the Ashram and met everyone. This Ashram is alive and filled with the space of Babaji’s atmosphere. It’s a beautiful temple and i met lots of devotees who were living there and some who had come to meet me. It was tremendous. Other religious faiths have now opened their temples in the village as well and the village itself is now a spiritual retreat as everyone thinks there is something mystical there and all are searching. All of you must be knowing about the story of how the Ashram came to be, because of the Karmyoga of Rajani-ji so I won’t repeat.
There is a beautiful River: Tara, behind the Ashram and I was reminded of Gautami Ganga. The similarities were amazing. After the evening Arti I spoke to the devotees about my experiences with Babaji. Some were aware that He got me married in the Ashram and some know that He made me change my career at a young age. A lot know about my father: Mahatmaji : Shammi Kapoor. So, I spoke about my experiences about Babaji’s coming back, since that is what He told me. I will reproduce that at the end since it’s the same thing I told at all Ashrams. The atmosphere was as electric as in Haidakhan and I was very careful I do not make any mistake, so that Babaji would not catch me and scold me!
I sang a bhajan: ‘Jai Gauri Shankar, jai bhole nath’. This was taught to me by Babaji, one day, when I must have been a little down with a cold at Haidakhan, when I was young. It still comforts me.
Then, I went for a walk all around the village and met lots of people.
The next morning, we went for a tour to the Devi Lake and it was as beautiful as Russia could get. Evening arti and then more talk and then sleep. The next morning, Puran told me that I have received a letter, from an old woman who travels around and she sent it for Aditya: that’s me! The letter was delivered by someone else and therefore no knowledge of the source, besides that she was a very old woman and a wanderer. On a small piece of paper, in Old Russian (Puran translated), it was written that Omsk will become the biggest center of Faith and Spirituality, so all must help. This is the simplest meaning that I could make out! Indeed, it was quite a shock and made me think a lot about the way Babaji would connect when He wants to. We left the next day with some fond memories and firm friends in a common bond of Spirituality.
Upon return to Omsk, Puran told me that some devotees also want to meet me and he organized an office where we all could meet. So, we did and a dozen turned up. It was an interesting meet, so many Russians. A healthy question and answer session followed and only the waning daylight made us stop. Some had brought tea and coffee and some had brought home-made jalebis! I was overwhelmed with the Russian Bhandara.
After this, I went to the Zaluchnoe Ashram, near Moscow. Uma Haidiakhandi helped me here. Its an extremely cute Ashram. Still in the progress of being made, but functional. Some devotees met me here and I stayed in their house that night. As I walked about the Ashram, I enquired about whether there is a Babaji Kutiya. Yes, there is and that was the most completed infrastructure. His room is ready! We went inside and sat about the small room of Babaji. I put my head on the bed, as I used to when Babaji was there and I used to visit the Kutiya. As I put my cheek to the bed, I felt the warmth of someone who must have just got up! I told this to all and everyone did the same and felt the same. Babaji was with us in Zaluchnoe. It was a moment of Grace!
Poland was a lovely experience with the two Ashrams that I went to. The first: in Makolno, was on a very steep climb. I found it after a lot of riding around. Google maps retired for the day and there were not too many people on the road to ask. Its just off the main road and is a gravel climb. So, I rode on my bike and reached the Ashram doors. As I was riding up, I saw a large painted Om on a wall and that told me I have reached. Finding a plain surface, I parked and went to the metal doors of a compound that I think housed the Ashram structure. It was locked. I had made calls to confirm an appointment, but couldn’t reach on time, or maybe I didn’t follow the instructions. Anyway, there was no bell to ring, so I banged my knuckles on the door and kept shouting Jaykara’s in case there was someone was in. No one. So, I sat on the ground and sang bhajans and started my Satsangh. I realized, it wasn’t my job to get into the Ashram, as long as I reached it. By the way, if someone saw me, I could get into trouble. A Biker, in full gear, sitting on the road, outside an Ashram and talking to himself!
The Lanckorona Ashram, owned and run by Radha and Parmanad, is lovely and looks over the village. Its fashioned like a retreat and I stayed a few nights here. We did Havan. A social group from England came over to stay and it was a nice exchange of ideas. They run the property like a B&B, with a special area for Babaji and its activities, which really is an extremely sensible approach. Parmanand and Radha and their daughter Jadwiga made me feel so comfortable and welcome, I almost felt like staying back a month or so!
In Europe, I went to Rieferath. This is of course a fully functional Ashram, with two big buildings. I met Saraswatiji, who had started this Ashram, under Babaji’s watchful eye. When I had first started meeting Babaji and visited Haidakhan, I would meet the first influx of Western Devotees. As I was the youngest, Babaji would make me meet everyone and help them in daily tasks, especially when we all went on a small pilgrimage. This now helped as most remembered me, in some way or the other. There were a lot of devotees in Rieferath and I am told that most of the houses in the village now belong to devotees of Babaji or just spiritual people. A retreat perhaps. It was great meeting Saraswatiji, a most Gracious Lady and devotee, who put her time in Spiritual Karmayog. For Bhandara, they made pizza for me and I had ice-cream too!
I was planning to go to Holland, but a thunderstorm stopped me; so, I went South to German-Neila. Again, I knew her from my youth and since she and my mother have the same name: Neila, my family and she had become very friendly. My parents had also visited her at her house. Her house and Ashram is indeed a deeply spiritual place where one can experiment with the Self. I had some extremely personal experiences here and that bore the signature of Babaji. She took care of me and my tiredness vanished. It was lovely meeting her and her friends. Crossing the Lake Constance, I rode into Switzerland. Rainy weather stopped me from going to Schweibenalp and I rode into Italy.
When I was young, I met Gauradeviji. On several occasions Babaji would put us together to debate on spirituality. I wanted to become a monk like her and so many others, who had dedicated themselves to Babaji. It was not to happen. Gauradevi saw my transition from one personality to the other. Her last few letters to me were about the ‘Movie of Life’. What she meant is that ‘go with the flow, its all a movie!’ I owe a lot to her interpretation of Babaji and Spirituality. I was very keen to see her as I was so close. I was aware that she was home-bound and would not be remembering anything. She had gone through a lot of medical procedures, which had taken a toll on her revival. I connected with my Italian network of Olga and Shivani and I got an appointment through her nurses to visit her. I spent the day in Milan at a hotel near her house, so that going to her place was convenient to me.
When I went to her house, she was lying on a diwan and looking at the television in front of her. Two nurses stood next to her. I was aware that she will not remember anything and this was reconfirmed by the nurses. They were wondering what my mission was. She looked in the pink of health and very well cared for. She was dressed in a pair of comfortable slacks and a T shirt. Very different from the austere saree that she wore with Babaji. So, I sat on the diwan at her feet, in the way of the television. The last time that I met her was probably at Babaji’s Samadhi, or maybe just once more. Never again. So, I started telling her about myself from that time to now. About myself. My family, children. I told her about Babaji’s coming back as I was telling the other Ashrams. I clapped my hands and sang a bhajan, for I knew that wherever she resides, Gauradevi was always in an Ashram and this was it! I spent 45 minutes in a non-stop monologue. The nurses now sat next to me and asked for translations, when they realized that this was something amazing to understand. I did wherever I could. They started crying when I told them about the lady they are taking care of and her spiritual essence. I left for Cisternino, in the South of Italy, extremely happy and blessed.
Olga and her Most Magnificent husband Fabio were my hosts in the South of Italy and I spent two weeks with them in their lovely trullo in the middle of the most beautiful Itria Valley. Wonderful hosts, Olga is a much-acclaimed Tarot Card Reader and spiritualist. She helped me a lot in life a few years ago and networked a lot for my Italian ride-section. Babaji’s Ashram here is extremely beautiful and well spread. It was the day of Ganesh Chaturthi and there was a pooja in the Ashram. All were present. Some devotees, I had met earlier and some were new to me. All met me very well. It was wonderful to meet my friend Shivani. She has been taught to do the Havan text-book style and does it extremely well. Additionally, Shivani has taken very good care of Maha Muniraj ji. I keep meeting her at Manda Ashram, in India.
This Ashram is luxuriously spread and is a true spiritual delight. Staying with Olga and Fabio, I often visited the Ashram. On the first day itself, I told everyone about Babaji’s coming and sang a bhajan. I rang bells all the time. Ofcourse, the most exciting moment was to meet Dearest Janki-Raniji, the creator of the Cisternino Ashram. Looking as young as ever, she still remembered me and it was a most joyous moment to meet her. She wanted to hear about my experiences with Babaji and I told her all in Olga’s house. Janki-Raniji was having an exhibition of Babaji’s pictures, taken by her. It was a lovely walk down memory lane. But, I soon had to get back on the road and sadly I left Itria.
I rode upto Perugia and met my old friend Fulvio. When Babaji was building the Nine Temples, across the river, we both often painted the roof side by side. It was an ecstatic moment. He stays in Spiritual wilderness in a deep farmland area in a Chalet of his own, which is designed from his own Spiritual Thought. An artist, he has his paintings all over. A few devotees soon joined us and we sang bhajans till late at night and did Satsang. It was once again, Haidakhan by the river in the summertime, when Babaji used to do spend evenings there.
Asti, in the north of Italy is another Ashram, that I went to. Vasanti welcomed me here and in a moment, I was at Haidakhan. The Ashram is well landscaped and amidst hazelnut trees. It’s a very well-developed Ashram and I spent two nights here. Devotees came by to meet and we had Satsangh and lovely Prasad. Vasanti and Francesco Fabiano took me on a tour of Asti and we visited the Shrine of Don Bosco.
My next Ashram was with my American hosts Shashi and Bipin Agarwal from Denver, Colorado, USA. I have been there earlier and was welcomed once again by Ram Loti, who has been taking care of the Ashram for quite some time. I must mention, that this Ashram was made with the Karmayoga of my maternal aunt: Sheiladevi, Babaji’s devotee. Shashi is an extremely well-known Yoga Teacher and she took me to the Ashram. A few devotees joined us and we spent quiet times together. Early morning, we did Havan, in a most unusual style. Ramloti brought out a small Havan Kund, lit a small cotton diya and started to pour all ingredients inside by thought and mantra. So, nothing else was put in the Havan. No firewood, no samagri, etc. it was energy conservation at its best. I think it was a great act of internalizing the process. I stayed with Bipin and Shashi over the Diwali festival and Shashi applied the new year tikka to my motorcycle!
My next Ashram was in Bali-Indonesia in the house of Premchand Piero and his lovely wife, Enung. He has a fully functional Havan Kund, designed in Balinese style and performs Havans most regularly. Owning an Italian Restaurant, which has a lovely picture of Babaji, Premchand is very dedicated to spirituality and his lovely wife and children are a result of this Karmayoga. His restaurant has lovely food as well.
My last Ashram was Nagnath Mahadev Ashram, that’s my parents’ house, in Mumbai-India, which was so named by Babaji.
Satsangh: Babaji used to often say that the highest form of worship was Satsangh, since it involved in the communication of Truth to other people. Even Gods stopped to listen.
The first time I went to Haidakhan upon the invite of Babaji, was in 1976, winter. In a few days of my reaching there, He took me to Sati Kund and told me the entire story of my life. He initiated me into spiritual practices, which would unfold as I matured. (Most are still unfolding!) I was of course stunned. I was just 19 years or so and he predicted about my marriage and so many other personal things. All have come true. As everyone knows, I got married in the Ashram in Haidakhan, eight years later. At that time, he had pointed to the hill, where the Cave/Gufa was and said I will get married here. In course of time the nine-temples were built there. This was a shocking introduction to Babaji. It unnerved me and I was ready to run away. On the same day, after Sati Kund, he took me to the Gautami Ganga and asked me to drink the water along with him. He crouched and drank like an animal, from his mouth. I went a bit downstream and followed in the same style. Very scaring. Then he made me sit in front of him and he looked deeply at me. So I thought, let me ask him a few questions and I did. I asked Babaji, when will he come back. He said, in 50 years. So, I calculated from 1969, which was when he appeared for the second time. When I thought this, at this very point, he looked away, as if the discussion was over. This is amazing, because here He was alive and how could I ask him about His coming back, when he yet was alive and in front of me! And I ask him such a profound question, a young unschooled boy, not yet a follower. If I spoke like this to my father, he would probably slap me.
In the same trip with Babaji in Haidakhan, after the evening bath, he used to often call me into his Kutiya and give me prasad to eat. At one such meeting he asked me to look outside his window and said the Dalai Lama has come and if I wanted to meet him. I thought he was joking, because the window overlooked the river from the hilltop and there was no one there, unless he was flying or levitating. I got scared and said I didn’t want to meet and went away as soon as I got the prasad.
On my next trip, once when I was shirking away from Karmayoga and in the chai-shop, he came and caught me by the neck and took me to the temple area and scolded me. He told me to do Karmayoga. Then immediately, once again he asked me if I can see the helicopter above. It’s the Dalai Lama. Do I want to meet him? This was my second trip, I was wiser, so I let it pass and I said I will do Karmayoga and ran away.
On the same trip, as I started believing in Babaji, once I saw him start to come up the stairs after the evening bath. I was at the top of the stairs, so I decided to wait for him and sat down looking at him walking up. He walked so slowly, testing my patience surely. I waited. When he came very near, I got up in respect and he asked me what I was doing there. I said I was waiting for him. That was the truth. He looked lovingly into my eyes and said, ‘at least there is somebody waiting for me’.
Time flowed on and His predictions stood the test of time and all have come true, some yet unfolding. Fifty years from 1969 is 2019.
As the time approached, things started to fall in place and I decided to join the dots.
A few years ago, when I became a biker and decided to take my wife, Priti on a bike ride, I decided to ride to Dharmshala to meet H.H. The Dalai Lama. I got an appointment and we met him. This was in 2013. My wife knew why we were meeting him. We had a mission. H.H. The Dalai Lama blessed us and hugged us and gave us a short talk on Indian philosophy. Not knowing how to ask him, I fell at his feet, caught his ankle and said that until he doesn’t tell me where my Guru is, I won’t leave his feet. He was shocked. I started crying like a child. I was 57 years old. I knew this was a make-or-break moment. There were security guards around. My wife started crying. We folded our hands, pleading for an answer. He picked me up and calmed me down. He asked me the matter. I briefly explained to him as above. He called his secretary and asked me to sit with him and detail him. His Holiness said he will let me know in five days. After completing this meeting, we went to the secretary’s room and told him the story of Babaji. The secretary was also amazed and said he will get back via email.
In five days, I received the email and it said, my Guru is born as a boy in the same place He left His body and is a ten-year-old.
I await His Ministry.
Bhole Baba ki Jai!
Aditya Raj Kapoor, Goa
Spiritual name: Kalwa Pandit
Biker name: Lord FuseBox