As destiny and karma would have it, I attended the 1995 Kumbha Mela competition in India, the place Babaji appeared to me. This Mela was the ardh or six-year competition, with solely ten million sadhu, holy males and non secular seekers in attendance, in comparison with the twelve-year cycle Maha Kumbha Mela that always reaches even larger numbers, like as much as seventy million souls. It’s believed that this Kumbha Mela has been happening way back to almost 3500 BC. To even be right here, is the equal of a thousand different pilgrimages! After we approached the confluence of the Ganges, Saraswati and Yamuna Rivers, my coronary heart almost jumped out of my chest. My good God! Mahadeva! This gig made a Rainbow gathering appear to be a small cocktail celebration. This was the grownup dose of Ripley’s Consider It or Not. It is so large that it may truly be seen from satellites in outer area. This gig within the flood plain of the Ganges River at Allahabad is like two miles vast and 7 miles lengthy!
My touring companions and I every acquired our personal bicycle rickshaw, as we have been packing quite a lot of baggage alongside. Belgium Mark lent me his chimtah – an enormous tweezers-looking tambourine instrument. I used it for jamming with the holy songs blaring from the bell audio system atop phone poles. The vitality of this opening evening was as intense because it will get and loud- very loud. I’ve by no means felt something even near this and I have been to many concert events, together with seeing The Beatles 3 times! We had copies of a shrunken-down map protecting 200,000 acres with road names. We have been making an attempt to find our guru Babaji’s camp, on this monstrous, moon- lit metropolis of canvas tents and intense noise. It will take our poor, pissed off rickshaw wallahs over two hours to find the Om Namah Shivaya tents – paradoxically simply down the street from Yogananda’s Yogoda Satsanga Society camp. We have been situated at Moarie Highway and Sangum Crossing on this Friday the thirteenth, February full moon, opening evening, 1995. The push would not stop right here. There’s simply an excessive amount of occurring on a regular basis.
When my poor driver lastly paused in whole confusion, exhaustion and desperation, the massive crowd round me all of the sudden opened up, like Moses parting the Purple Sea. A male determine was approaching me and the nearer he acquired, the quicker the modifications occurred inside me. I felt like I used to be within the Twilight Zone once more. My thoughts slowed method down and the one inner sensing I keep in mind, knew that this man right here, now in entrance of me, knew all the things about me- good and unhealthy and about these ten grams of hash I might eaten on the bus experience right here. This was Babaji, in individual and this time, I lastly acknowledged Him! He may have cared much less in regards to the charis I might eaten.
With unblinking, piercing black eyes, He appeared deeply into me after which requested in excellent English, “Are you having enjoyable?” I could not discover my voice to answer. He wore a wool sweater and topi cap, which He was famous for in His earlier incarnation as outdated Herakhan Baba. Then He melted into the group, shortly disappearing. It has been mentioned that Babaji all the time attends each Kumbha Mela, in some type or one other.
All of the sudden, the sights and sounds of the Mela hit me full pressure once more, like waking up from a dream or urgent play after a DVD has been on pause. Belgium Mark and German Kalavati have been behind me, oblivious to what had simply transpired. They have been nonetheless upset as to how we’d ever discover our Herakhan camp amongst ten million busy souls.
Earlier than we lastly did find our haven of refuge, the group started prostrating themselves flat out on the bottom. Now what was occurring? As we watched in bewilderment, right here got here six of the biggest adorned elephants I might ever seen. On prime of every sat ancient-looking kings or maharajas, wanting like they’d simply ridden throughout India in a while warp to even be right here. I needed to scream my guts out! Sure! Right here was the Everlasting India of my childhood goals. On the Herakhan camp, we have been welcomed with open arms and loaded chillums. We have been among the many very first to reach into this sanctuary of peace- to lastly be separated bodily from the tumultuous lots of the Mela and have some semblance of private area. Mark and I had our personal giant military tent, excellent for troopers of God. We adorned our area with the newly bought batiks we might purchased in Varanasi previous to coming right here. A thick straw floor protecting was our mattress. It truly appeared like a modern-day miracle that we ever even discovered this small camp, amongst the a whole bunch of hundreds of different such tent compounds. A wonderful Italian Madonna named Titti was our performing pujari for camp worship companies. There was a separate tent right here, serving because the temple compound. I lent Titti my son’s bronze Ganesh statue I might purchased in Varanasi for him. She’d bathe the small elephant every day at 4 a.m., after which apply recent chundun and the sacred silk thread to it. This was an amazing blessing that I needed for my younger, faraway son, estranged from me because of divorce. I prayed that possibly sometime he would come to know the importance of my journey right here, and are available to know that he’s all the time with me – like Babaji – although we could also be far aside.