Only Love can bind a Yogi
Malaysia, December 2005
On the 13th of December, Baba Maharaj's last tour for the year started off with a stunning program in the middle of the beautiful Kuala Lumpur city of Malaysia. This is the second time that Baba is touring South East Asia (Malaysia and Indonesia) in December, on the request of devotees. In the next few weeks His Holiness will be also visiting Ipoh and Fraiser's Hill in Malaysia, and Denpasar and Singharaja in Bali and Jakarta. A whole range of programs have been planned; from the Darshans tuned to introducing Baba to the masses, to retreats meant for the serious meditators and those truly enthusiastic about Baba's teachings.
From the morning of the 13th about a hundred hosting devotees gathered in much anticipation and excitement to prepare for the grand function that evening. Some took care of the food preparations, (which was to be freely distributed prasadam (blessed food) to all, without any discrimination of poor and rich) others sound and lighting, some practiced ushering, while the singers perfected their evening performance with dedication and discipline. Devotees were carefully bringing the vast hall to life with decorations to offer floral tributes to the Yogi. Even the children were given jobs and thus made an important part of this spiritual family.By 6 o'clock in the evening everything was perfectly in place by God's Grace. The younger generation of boys and girls were outside ready to receive the guests with smilingly folded hands. Inside the hall soothing instrumental music, predominated by flutes and violins, was being played. The serene atmosphere created ensured the guests entering maintained a pin drop silence. On the stage a majestic dais had been set up and a red carpet had been rolled out for Baba Maharaj's arrival all the way from the dais to the entrance of the hall. The pathway was decorated in regal fashion with flowers and lighting of all sorts. Above the stage was a large screen which was flashing various photos of Baba Maharaj accompanied by some His most apt quotes. As more of the crowds gathered a short 15 minute introductory video on His life was screened before the guest speaker, Dr Suresh Govind, introduced Baba further. He explained that a Yogi is one who has achieved complete union with the Self. He then went on to say that it is very rare to have one on the spiritual path become a Yogi; saints, spiritual leaders and philosophers are common. Here by saints we are translating the word 'sadhu', meaning a noble and pious soul, while 'Yogi' is being defined as per the Bhagavad-Gita. However, the state of a Yogi is beyond all imaginations and descriptions. Dr Govind continued his speech and told the large gathering of almost 3000 people that they were extremely blessed because it is most rare for Yogis such as Baba to meet the masses.
Still one might ask what has He to offer, be it to the common man or the ministers present. Everyone wants peace and happiness. But in the modern world things are so fast and life has become exceedingly materialistic; we have forgotten how to get in touch with our real Self. That is the cause of all unhappiness, that we have forgotten the unlimited Peace and Happiness which is the core of our Being, our very birthright. We look for happiness everywhere else but never feel satisfied because it is transient. A Yogi having achieved union with the Self enjoys that Supreme Peace and Happiness every moment, in every place and every situation. It is by His Grace one can achieve the same state beyond the fleeting mind, and that is what He offers unconditionally to one and all. Dr Govind ended his speech by reminding us of the importance stressed in all the scriptures of the company of a Realized Master and thus the significance of Darshan and practice of sadhana methods as taught by the Yogi.
The time had come for Baba to enter the hall and the welcoming music started. All the devotees automatically stood up in anticipation. The sweet chanting of "Om Shivaya Shivabalayogendraya Parabrahamanaya'' filled the hall as a short aarati (salute with light) was performed to Baba as sign or deep reverence before He was escorted by His assistant to the dais. The children rhythmically walked in front of Baba with baskets of rose petals which they used to line His path.
Baba took His seat and melodiously chanted the "Brahmanandam Paramasukhadam'' sloka of the Guru Gita. He went on to explain the sloka and the state of mind of a Yogi, after paying His respects to His Beloved Guru, Shivabalayogi. He stressed that it is only the cord of Love that can bind a Yogi. Neither religion nor Mission can bind Him; He is above honor and dishonor, all that moves a Yogi is Love because He is That which is Supreme Love. He sees the Self in all and all in the Self and thus He is able to Love one and all the same as Himself. There is no mission for Him, He goes where people invite out of Love, where the people need Him - whether it be the king or the pauper He sees no difference. He quoted the example of Shri Krishna, how He even ate the banana skins when offered out of love! Baba then went on to say that a Yogi is above all religions but that doesn't mean He is against the concept of religious practices or rituals. It simply means He is for all, not limited to one or the other. To quote Swami Vivekananda: "If you seek universality, religion must not be composed of only the parts, but it must always be their sum total and include all degrees of religious development". If you love, you are religious. Truly religious people consider the needs of others. They consider the need for peace to others and the world as they would consider their own need for peace. Religious exercises are for the purpose of achieving mental, physical, and moral health. The highest value of moral health is a state in which we show consideration for others. Yogis live for others. They are for the entire humanity. It is important in spiritual growth that we show respect for all religions and all of our brothers and sisters in the world.
Baba continued His talk, emphasizing that sadhana is essential to achieve that Peace, and that every path eventually leads to the same goal, if one can be determined and patient. He went on to say that His Guru had taught Him the Bhagavad-Gita by making him clean the toilets of the ashram! He then explained that what was required was the losing of ego to reach the Self. He concluded by saying that meditation is not simply closing one's eyes. "Where there is surrender there is meditation, where there is meditation there is surrender.''
Following this the bhajan singers first came up to Baba with folded hands and having received His blessings they took up their various instruments to pay tributes to the Divine. The Darshan session then started. One by one in an extremely organized way every person present got their chance to come and receive Baba's blessings. Prasadam was also served outside the hall. Many of the first timers came forward to express gratitude and signed up for the regular meditation sessions.
Next day Baba visited the Shenbagavaali ashram, where 40 orphans and some elderly people were residing. Many of the orphans there have grown up with Baba in their hearts since 2001 May, the first time He visited Malaysia. Baba has made it a point to quietly visit them every year. The children did a song and dance performance and honored the great Yogi, and Baba reciprocated by blessing all present. He spent the rest of the day in the simplest of surroundings of the ashram, never denying anyone His time and Love and as always He shone in the Glory of His simplicity.
Later on while speaking with devotees Baba emphasized that even great beings, like Shri Krishna and others considered by their followers to be Avatars, began life as ordinary human beings. These great ones, along with Yogis, make Realization of the Self a priority in their lives. Even afterwards, these same Avatars and Yogis work tirelessly in the world to assist others to do what they have done. It is by patience and dedication that progress is made, not with a wave of a hand.
Copyright © 2005 SRBY, All rights reserved.