April 13, 2014 Kila Raipur. For almost three years, Sri Maharaj Ji has been talking about his retirement from ashram administration to pursue higher levels of Mahayog Sadhna. All the devotees who participate in meditation camps or monthly satsangs or those who have subscribed to quarterly magazine “Kund-Agni-Shikha” (published from ashram in Hindi and Punjabi language) are well aware of this. However, he wanted to pass on his duties in capable hands and set up a firm foundation for overall growth of all devotees. This is why he conceptualized Tripur-Shiva-Peetham, the meditation temple at Malke Ashram. Now, the temple is almost complete and soon it will be inaugurated. Having everything in place, as planned, Sri Maharaj Ji has already taken his first step toward his next mission by deputing Sadhwi Yoganjali Chaitanya Puri Ji as president of both the ashrams in Malke and Kila Raipur with the consent of respective trustees. This news created a surge of inquiries from devotees and we felt it necessary to interview Sri Maharaj Ji and seek answers for you. Definitely, after reading his interview below, you will not be able to sleep anymore under the darkness of ignorance. So, here you go…
Qn. Dear Maharaj Ji, Why have you opted out of Ashram Trust and relinquished all the responsibilities?
Ans. Well, by responsibility you must be pointing towards maintenance of buildings, management of activities, looking after guests or entertaining visitors. If you notice, these duties are already being carried out by trustees and volunteers, not me. It is just because I’m here, my consent is solicited. However, all I do is to say OK. Actually, I’m hardly involved in any such work, thus, these tasks will continue without any problem even without my OK. Apart from these, most of the visitors just want to pay their regards or seek blessings for some worldly undertaking. In fact, they don’t seek any advice or suggestion but ask for assurance of success. So, there is nothing much for me to do as my prayers are already with them. The success of their work depends more on their faith because in absence of that- they cannot absorb the cosmic energy transferred in form of blessings. Basically, this is the purpose of building the meditation temple here – to provide a pool of divine energy that could help fulfill the desires of truthful devotees. Accordingly, many religious rites are already being conducted in the temple to charge it with positive energy to the utmost degree.
Although, there will be separation at physical level because this body will not be available to serve everyone as it is now but those who have true faith will be able to maintain the connection from within. So, responsibilities are not relinquished as such but the mode of their execution is changed. It is needed for advancement on path of mahayog.
Qn. We can see that you already stay mostly in solitude and barely involve in management or other routine activities of ashram and this is why we are more curious about your parting. When you already have so much seclusion then why do you need to part, what more are you looking for?
Ans. It is indeed an important question. Though, I have never needed to give direct instructions or involve in any administration work, besides, there is a great deal of privacy and freedom for solitary sadhna in ashram but it is still confined within the boundaries. If I come out of my cell here in ashram, all sort of people are waiting there; some seeking consultation, some consent and some just an okay for their worldly desires. By God’s grace, the circumstances are offering an open space for sadhna in deep forests and snowy mountains because that solitude will be worlds apart from the same over here. In mountains, there will be no boundaries and no line of people holding worldly desires. In fact, there may be some aspirants around but they will not be carrying worldly desires of marriage, job, property etc. They will rather bear a burning and conscious aspiration of God-realization. Indeed, the all-pervading God is the only goal for us all but in routine life, this goal gets eclipsed by the glitter and glory of material world. Only by disowning worldly desires, one will be able to take pleasure in the austere path of highest truth. Therefore, if such aspirants come to mountains, they will bring only peace and purpose, which will create a positive group energy. Besides, company of tough trees, green grass, open sky, flowing water and clear snow will add to the composure. This will help harmonize body, mind and soul and gradually manifest the highest truth at every level, which is the main purpose of this solitude.
Solitude of such kind has a special import as compared to present scenario. In ashram, one has to give separate attention to every person and pay heed to their individual wants or wishes in order to connect with the divinity dwelling in their heart. But up there, one need not relate with every individual, rather, he or she would unite directly with the divine force that pervades the whole universe and all beings. Having had such a union, the whole world will become his ashram and he will stay connected with everyone, let them be aspirant of God-realization or even worldly attainment.
Qn. Well, there are all sort of people in the world. Even many of direct disciples may not follow your teachings then how would this inner connection help others who don’t even intend to walk the spiritual path?
Ans. It is true that there are beings at different levels of existence but they all survive by divine force in them whether it’s an animal or a bird, a sinner or a virtuous. This force provides them motivation and strength, even without their awareness or intent, to move toward the highest possibility from their level of existence. Guided by this force, they instinctively work about their evolution, which is the purpose of this creation. However, this force works at very subtle level and hence consciousness of an outwardly focused man scarcely relates with it.
On the other hand, if this being (addressing to self) or other highly evolved practitioners (of mahayog) go for such a solitude and expedite the process of mahayog samadhi then the grace of God will permeate not just their intellect or mind but also the physical body. This transformed body of such an adept (a mahayogi) will become an instrument of the divine force and serve as a hub to spread this subtle energy even at physical level. The devotees who have been directly related with such a mahayogi will receive special inspiration despite any geographical gap. Besides, spiritual aspirations buried deep in heart of a common man will also manifest at physical surface under the influence of this divine force.
This divine energy descended on physical plane through the body of a mahayogi or a group of yogis would instigate a spiritual reform in overall atmosphere, however, direct devotees of that mahayogi would be enthused especially.
Qn. We read about many departed saints that they had announced before leaving their old or diseased body that they couldn’t complete their proposed work, so they would continue to work at subtle level after departure? Is there any difference in working at subtle level while living in body and after leaving the body?
Ans. Indeed, there is a great difference. It is, naturally, not possible to bring about physical transformation without having a physical base. Energy of God is already inspiring us at very subtle level since eternity. Even many Vedic seers and sages, unified with universal consciousness and functioning at metaphysical level, after casting away their physical body, have also been spreading the divine vibrations at subtle level for eons. However, if someone can reach such a high level of uniting with universal consciousness while living in body then his/her physical body will also become a carrier of divine energy. This energy, based in physical body, will greatly influence the physical world toward its betterment.
By and large, God-realization is kept limited to intellect by the spiritualists, due to which, their physical body stays deprived of divine transformation. This prevents complete spread of divine energy in the atmosphere. On the other hand, a great lot of spiritualists don’t strive to even unite with universal consciousness, preoccupied in promoting cursory teachings of scriptures or sages. Naturally, this preaching doesn’t enthuse devotees to embark on ultimate path of highest truth, lacking the link with its source in higher realms and being rooted in body-consciousness. This is a common scenario. There are other people who serve at still lower or gross level and depend on money. They may have good intent but oblivious to ultimate truth and its path inside the body, their focus remains outside. They just serve the earthly body with free food, free medicine etc. and completely ignore the real purpose of life. This superficial level may be classified as social service. There is no need of any spiritual practice for this, whatsoever, as it requires just a kind heart and some funds. Though, there is nothing wrong with such service but it is very limited in effect and nature due to physical divide. Nonetheless, it may purify our heart and open the doors for spiritual evolvement, if done altruistically.
Anyhow, if one could raise his consciousness to higher realms through advanced spiritual practices while living in body and selflessly performing duties toward others, then the higher consciousness will descend into his body with all its glory and power. This descent will cause a physical transformation all around and his body will become its center.
Qn. Well, it all sounds amazing. However, as you plan to pursue advanced sadhna in jungles and mountains and also open a path for aspirants of highest truth, don’t you think it will be difficult for a learner to survive in those austere conditions with no proper arrangement of food, shelter, safety etc.?
Ans. This path is meant for highly advanced practitioners and they will surely not find it difficult. The adversities of environment will give them opportunity to perform austerities (tapas), which will rather help their spiritual evolution. In fact, mere living in those conditions will enhance their sadhna. The others, who are attached to their body and need so many petty things or facilities for their survival, can stay back in their place. There is nothing wrong in it. One need to understand that such a solitude is not meant for just an adventure but to find a proper platform for higher practices.
Actually, practice of mahayog starts at a very advanced level when the realization of “I am not this body” doesn’t stay confined to our intellect rather extends to the pranic and physical level also. As a result of ardent yog practice when the consciousness is freed from bodily attachment and gets connected with divinity, in addition, mind becomes completely devoted to divine and ego melts to help perceive the divinity all around in everyone, then such a yogi earns the entry into mahayog. He/she may start it anywhere but at times total seclusion becomes essential in lap of mother nature where material world will have no effect. In such an atmosphere mahayogi’s sadhna will flourish generously. However, it will neither be needed nor desired by a mahayogi to live in jungles forever. The idea is to reinforce the sadhna. This can be easily understood by the fact that scientists, lectures and administrators also need solitude once in a while to refurbish their mind and restore their energy to improve their performance. Even in routine life, despite too many responsibilities, we cannot skip over sleep, in which all our senses turn inward and connect with its source, the divine. Similarly, sometimes, a mahayogi would need to go in solitude for advanced practices to strengthen his bond with universal consciousness centered within and also manifest it at surface, holding on to this inner connection. It may be practiced alone or in a group of likeminded aspirants. Once the divine energy has found its way to physical and transformed it then there will be no harm or difficulty in dealing with world or living among them.
Qn. We can see that ashram is growing fast in terms of amenities and activities. Now this marvelous meditation temple is also coming up. So, what is the concept and purpose behind all this and how would it help a common man?
Ans. In point of fact, this all is meant for a common man, specially the temple. It is not just facilities but immense spiritual energy of ashram that satisfies needs of every aspirant, advance or naive. However, traditionally, most of the people visit ashrams or temples faithfully just to obtain blessings for their worldly success. Actually, it is their faith that attracts the positive energy of saints or saintly place and fills them with confidence and strength to accomplish their task successfully. With every success, their faith becomes stronger and they get nearer to the source, their Guru and God. Eventually, they start taking interest in spiritual teachings and practices, which leads them towards ultimate goal of life.
There might be visitors who are not directly related to us but normally, everyone has faith in God and godly men. This faith opens a door in their heart to absorb the blessings. Utmost care has been taken in construction of this temple to make it a hub of cosmic energy and a devout heart may well feel same kind of energy as felt in presence of a divine soul. If the devotees bring spiritual aspirations here, they will surely find the inner path but even if they bring worldly desires, tremendous energy of the temple will give them enough strength to carry out their innocent desires, besides, it will empower their mind to recognize the ultimate truth and tread its path.
It must be clear in our mind that bricks-mortar and expert technicians were not solely responsible for making this temple. From the very beginning, through various rituals, cosmic energy was being channelized in it. When proper rituals are performed at the platform of a temple, the energy and vibrations of mantra and meditation assume the shape of temple building and settle there. Later, this energy is sustained or further enhanced through daily pooja-aarti (worship). Whenever someone offers devout prayers there, these divine vibrations invigorate his body and mind and elevate his spirits. Remember, faith alone doesn’t provide so much power. At such holy places, where proper rituals are performed in accordance with scriptural guidelines and the performers live an austere life depending only on God, a tremendous force is created that supports every innocent endeavor- physical or spiritual. This is the main purpose of the temple. However, spiritual aspirants would find this ambiance exceptionally helpful in their journey towards God.
Qn. Is there any specific reason for choosing Sri-Yantra?
Ans. The advantage of Sri-Yantra is that all the deities and mystical forces can be invoked and approached through it. Not just divine forces of universe but even the primordial force beyond this universe is linked in Sri-Yantra and can be accessed accordingly. These associations are categorized in ten progressive levels so that any devotee can easily relate with these forces raising his consciousness from one level to the other. Besides, one can connect with his/her personal deity more easily and strongly through Sri-Yantra. Nonetheless, it is a miracle tool in itself and by meditating upon it, one can also solve the mystery of universe and reach beyond, at the realm of highest truth.
We also plan to build and install a human size Sri-Yantra made of crystal inside the temple so that one can clearly reflect his body and mind in it. Initially, one would meditate upon this reflection but once their mind is calmed down and body is relaxed under influence of crystal Sri-Yantra, they would reflect the Sri-Yantra inside their body and absorb its energy through deep meditation. It will be then possible to invoke all the deities and forces inside the body and transform it in a divine temple. In highest state of this meditation, even the physical body will become as pure as crystal, totally free from any disease or decay.
Qn. It means you want to hand over your duties to this temple and retire?
Ans. Well, retirement means leaving one level and move on to another higher level. I am not taking retirement from duties rather undertaking higher responsibilities of wider scope. Everything is now well set up for aspirants of initial levels in form of theories, techniques, tools and of course the temple. Now it’s time to reveal the higher principles not just theoretically but also in reality and that is my prime duty. So, just moving on.
Qn. This move is a little baffling for many and they ask- why do you need to do more sadhna?
Ans. God is already infinite then why does he need to create universe? What is the need for him to create this chaos and then come down to set it right? In fact, God is infinite and so is his path. Once, consciousness unites with that infinitude, it is impossible for anyone to refrain from further growth. In the beginning, however, one might not be able to perceive immensity of God and misjudge a high spot for an end. As long one is attached to ego, there is possibility to disregard sadhna because ego tends to confine and separate. But once ego merges into universal consciousness, the vastness of path will come into sight and the aspirant will advance more dynamically serving as an instrument to divine. God is endless and his force is working in whole universe incessantly then how is it possible for its instrument to come to rest. At such an advance level, sadhna would not be a need but nature to the aspirant and deemed valuable at even universal level.
Qn. It all seems so clear now but there is one last concern. Many devotees are worried about the huge physical distance about to be created when you go to mountains?
Ans. This must be concern of those devotees who visit ashram once in a blue moon. We have already noticed this while going to Canada and England; many devotees who visited us hardly once or twice a year, expressed this feeling of distance. Actually, it is all in their mind because physically they are already staying away and seeing us rarely.
Initially, when we came to Malke from Kila Raipur and set up an ashram here, many devotees used to complain about the distance. However, it is all bygone now. Similarly, when we started going abroad, feeling of separation resurfaced due to the distance. But it has already reduced over repeated visits. Now, it is about our proposed retreat to solitary Himalayas. This feeling arises due to unawareness about our Mahayaog sadhna. The very purpose of this sadhna is to enter in every heart and connect with divine there. So, I will actually be more close to everyone than before. If they have firm faith and true love in their heart, they can easily feel this closeness. Otherwise, physical nearness will not bring anyone close, if their heart is not devoted. Distances can never be eradicated at physical level, it has to be removed from within.