Bhagawaan Ji's Philosophy
Sakori Baba, a great
saint, has aptly remarked, 'The work of saints is the saving of souls or their
absorption into the Source where from they have sprung, putting an end to the
cycle of birth and death. They guide, but never compel anybody. The chief
function of saints is on the astral or the spiritual plane; which it is
impossible for the intellect to understand or appreciate.'
Shri Aurobindo has also said, 'Saints do not live in
their outer actions visible to people.'
Bhagawaan Shri Gopi Nalh Ji, whose philosophy I am
trying, in all humility, to interpret, was an introvert. He spoke very seldom
and always remained absorbed in the Supreme. When his attention was drawn, he
would come down to this plane, speak a few words to the questioner and then
again get absorbed in the Supreme. No one dared disturb him while he was smoking
his chillum. with the eyes turned towards the sky, and emitting vibrations and
also receiving them; A discerning eye could see this. One does not, however,
know about the depths of his spiritual experience. I had of necessity,
therefore, to depend on the cryptic aphorisms uttered by him in my presence or
in that of others, on various occasions, and on his response to the environment,
in order to draw up a mental picture Or his philosophy and then make an attempt
to interpret it. From a perusal of some notes in his own hand, and Or what some
people, associated with him in his young days, had to say in this connection, it
is reasonable to conclude that he practised, to begin with, the old Sanaatana
Panchanga Upaasanaa in which Maha Ganesha, the Divine Mother, Lord Naarayaana,
Lord Shiva and the Sun god are worshipped. In Kashmir, Shiva-Shakti Upaasanaa is
known to have been practised from time immemorial. It was natural, therefore,
for Bhagawaan Ji's mind to be swayed towards Shakti Upaasanaa at the
impressionable age. His first ideal was Shri Shaarika Bhagawati. It is said that
he had the saakshaatkaara of the Divine Mother before he was 27. This was to
him, like his illustrious predecessors (most saints and mystics of Kashmir), the
stepping-stone for the exploration of the higher realms of spirituality.
In Bhagawaan Ji's own handwriting, we find two Omkaaara
symbols in the Shaarada script (which was then common in Kashmir and which is
slightly different from the Devanaagri script) written somewhere about 1925 AD,
when he was about 27.
All the space around and within Omkaara I is filled
with Raama Raama except that inside each double line forming the Omkaara. This
suggests that Raama is an adjunct of Omkaara. Likewise, Shiva Shiva is written
in the case of Omkaara II, the space between the two lines forming the Omkaara
being blank. The blank spaces in the case of each Omkaara seem to represent the
Formless, Immutable and Eternal Brahman round which everything centres.
Above Omkaara-II, the following mantra is written:
Shrimat Param Brahma Gurum Vadaami
These two Ornkaaras clearly point to the two paths of
realizing Brahman: one through devotion to Raama (i.e. to Vishnu or Naaraayana)
and the other through devotion to Shiva; the mantra above Omkaar suggests the
recognition of the guru as Parambrahma.
Shrimat Param Brahma Gurum Bhjaami
Shrimat Param Brahma Gurum Smraami
Shrimat Param Brahma Gurum Namaani
Om Tat Sat Om
Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa has observed that he
appeared lost wilhout taking refuge in Naaraayana. Bhagawaan Ji, too, would
often utter the word Naaraayana. Once he told me that Naaraayana's was the
highest Maayaa. Pointing towards his dhooni he said, 'It is Naaraayana's Paada
(feet or an aspect). Is not Naaraayana within your heart (hridaya)? Become a
A few years later, while I was contemplating on the
saakaara form of Naaraayana, Bhagawaan Ji struck me with his pincers. Curiously,
this had the effect of shifting me to the contemplation of Naaraayana without a
form and attributes. The Supreme Entity, Ishwara, or Brahman is regarded by the
devotees of Vishnu as Naarayanaa Who transcends the trinity of Brahmaa, Vishnu
and Rudra. Aadi Shankaraachaarya regarded Him as the qualified or saguna version
of the unqualified or Nirguna Brahman. Shankara's attitude towards this was one
of a constant awareness of His being Brahman in association with, but in
complete control of Maayaa Shakti. When the Supreme Being is recognised through
a higher gnosis, He is Nirguna Brahman and when He is realised through emotion,
He is Vishnu or Saguna Brahman. Bhagawaan Ji was a man of cold logic. Although
he was often seen in an ecstatic state, he did not display any emotions
outwardly. During the last thirty years or so of his life, he was never seen
shedding tears of emotion or sss showing any signs of distress, as those
following the Bhakti Maarga or the path of devotion often do. I asked him once
whether the vibrations he was emitting, through his chillum-smoking or from the
various parts of his body, could be indicative of Ajuz or Inquisaary (humility
and entreaty). He replied that that might be so but did not elaborate. It is
obvious, therefore, that he regarded Naaraayana as Saguna Brahman. But the
proposition becomes somewhat complex when we see it in the context of what
Bhagawaan Ji often uttered the name of Shlva also. Just
before he gave up his mortal frame, he uttered the words 'Orn narnah Shivaaya'.
In the year 1946, he went on a pilgrimage to Shri Arnarnath Ji. There, he
gasticulated and said, 'Shiva is dancing everywhere', and he was in a state of
ecstasy the whole day.
To my mind, Bhagawaan Jl's philosophy was something
akin to the Trika Doctrine of the Advaita Shaivism of Kashmir, with Jnaana
Icchaa (will) and Kriyaa (action) predominating. This doctrine means the
recognition of the Self and the return of the Self through realistic thought, to
the state of perfection from which It has fallen. This philosophy represents and
harmonises the triplicate doctrine of Man, the Universe and the 36 tattwas. Its
primary purpose is to explore the nature of the Reality and the experiences
gained from the regular system of practice for the exposition of thought and the
oneness of the individual soul with the Universe, through improved materialism.
Though there are many principles common to the Vedantic and Shaiva philosophles,
Shakti ls special to the latter. The Shaivas believe that the Universe is
created, preserved and dissolved in Shiva alone . In Vedaanta, it is Maayaa
alone that is responsible for creating the Universe, the whole of which is a
delusion. The recognition of the Selll lf and the return to Its original,
pristine state of absolute perfection, where we need nothing or lack nothing,
is, according to this system, the state of moksha (salvation). The Shaivas argue
that the Purusha (Shiva In a limited form) because of the association with the
body, takes up the three taints (malas) Aanava, Maayiya and kaarma which are
responsible for obscuring the true nature of the Self, for differentiating
between the Self and the environment on the one hand, and between good and bad
on the other; and are responsible for higher and lower births. It is in the
nature of Shiva's Supreme will that He hides His real nature from Himself and
manifests Himself in the form of jiva and then again as one with His true
nature. They say that anything created by Shiva cannot be unreal, and so this
phenomenal world is not unreal. Trika is regarded as an experience of the
individual awakening to the level of the universal consciousness, and is
believed to carry a man on the path of equilibrium. This philosophyyy y be1ieves
in self-recognition, action and devotion. This is borne out by Bhagawaan Ji's
actions over a number of years.
Bhagawaan Ji used the word 'we' and not 'I' when he was
to do something: if a meal was to be served and he alone had to take it, he
would say, 'We shall take'; likewise, he would say, 'We shall do this or that
thing', even if he alone had to do it. This clearly points to the path of
evolution from the 'I' stage (Idanta) to the egoless Ahantaa Tattwa. This Sadaa-Shiva
state is regarded as the unmanifested Omkaara form of Shiva.
It is said that Yogis feel the presence of Shiva in the
Aatman (the Soul) and not in the pratimas (idols). We cannot say whether the
Naaraayana Cult or the Shiva Cult predominated in Bhagawaan Ji's mind or whether
his was a synthesis of these two cults; it has been said:
Shivaaya Vishnu roopaaya,
i.e. Shiva and Vishnu are one and the same.
Shivasya hridayam Vishnuh,
Vishnosh cha hridayam Shivah,
According to Aadi Shankaraachaarya, so long as one
considers oneself a separate and external entity, the Supreme Ishwara, too, is
an external entity as also the external Universe. When, however, one effaces,
and transcends one's individuality, and wakes up into the unbroken awareness of
Brahman, Ishwara and the Universe, too, melt and merge into the one Nirguna
Brahman. The following analogy makes the idea c1ear:-
'The jivas are many fragments of the pan-cake ice that
surrounds Ishwara, the giant iceberg floating in the polar seas of Nirguna
Brahman in the marvellous irrideseent glow of the Aurora Borealis of Avidyaa in
the Arctic winter. But the moment the Arctic summer sets in, and the sun of
jnanna (knowledge) rises on the horizon, the numerous fragments of pan-cake ice
and the iceberg melt and merge in the Arctic sea whence they emanated. So. too,
Jiva and Ishwara who are but projections of Brahman, are real, so long as the
differential awareness persists. But when the Universal awareness has dawned,
Ishwara, the jivas and the multitudinous Universe melt and merge in the
undeniable awareness of the non-dual Nirguna Brahman. '
A learned Brahmin from Kashmir who was at an advanced
stage of Pranava (Ornkaara) upaasanaa, once put Bhagawaan Ji some questions
about that kind of upaasanaa. Bhagawaan Ji replied in a loud voice, 'Omkaara is
the throat of the Godhead. Nothing is possible without it.'
Bhagawaan Ji told me once 'Do you think this sort of
saakaara upaasanaa will help you in realizing the Aatman?", meaning that
theAatman be realized by vichaara and not saakaara upaasanaa.
On another occasion, he told me, 'Why do you shun the
actions by which the Aatrnan can be realized?'
Addressing a devotee, Bhagawaan Ji once said in
Translated into English, this means:
Sui gav Omkaar,
Tami saati bani saakshaatkaar.'
'Bidding adieu to ahankaara (the ego) means
concentration on Omkaara, by which one will get saakshaatkaara
Ahankaara means the realization that I am the Universe
or the true ego; and that is Omkaara leading to saakshaatkaara
An incident, narrated by Pt Gopi Nath Dhar, who was
associated with Bhagawaan Ji for over two decades, is reproduced below, in the
former's own words:-
'Once, in May, 1957, an aachaarya from Benaras came to
see Bhagwaan Ji early in the morning in order to ascertain what his spiritual
evolutionary stage was. He bowed before the Bhagawaan and sat down in front of
him. I also happened to be present. After learning from me Bhagawaan Ji's name,
the aachaarya asked me at what stage of spiritual development Bhagawaan Ji was.
I felt non-plussed as I could be no judge of the latter's spiritual evolution.
Bhagawaan Ji, realizing my predicament, smiled and uttered Verse 6 from Chapter
XV of Shrimadbhagvadgita:
'Na Tad bhaasayate Suryo,
The aachaarya listened with rapt attention, bowed before
Bhagawaan Ji and said that he had got the answer. After some time he left, happy
Na Shashaanko na Paavakah
Yad gatva na nivartante,
Tad dhaama paramam mama.
An English rendering of the above verse is as follows:-
The Sun does not illumine it, nor the moon, nor fire.
That is my supreme state, reaching which one does not return.
Probably, this is what is called the Supreme State,
Svadhaama, illumined by the self-luminous Brahma-Jyoti reaching which one does
not return to the cycle of birth-death-rebirth,
This state is mentioned in the Upanishads also:
Na tatra suryo bhati,
So this was the Supreme State of awareness Bhagawaan Ji
Na charndra Taarakam,
Nemaa vidyuto bhanti, kotoyam agnih?
Tam eva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam,
Tasya bhaasah sarvam idam vibhaati.
This Supreme State is described by Kabir Sahib, in his
dialogue (Sat Sangh) with Yogeshwar Gorakh Nath Ji, whom he desired to be
elevated to this state. Kabir Sahib regards this state, Aatma-Loka, as beyond
anything transitory (kshara) or permanent (akshara). and states that the mastery
over Pranaayaama or the shatchakras will not take the yogin to Sameer, the
highest spot in the brain (Brahmarandhra): it will leave him only halfway. He
also says that, if one reaches the stage of Akshara, one will be free from
attachment and hatred, and will have true renunciation and freedom from the
clutches of Maaya. In the Atma-Loka, there is neither one nor two, neither truth
nor falsehood. One should tIy to get merged into it. In that Loka. there is no
Sun, Moon, Earth or Sky; no pain or sorrow; no action, and no pleasure or pain,
which are the result of karma. There is no question of dependence. The rich, the
poor, the recluse, can all reach it. Kabir Sahib also advised Gorakh Nath Ji to
suppress his ego, become small and unsophisticated, and abjure the siddhis and
the consequent pride of accomplishment; otherwise, the trammels of Maayaa would
keep him away from the Reality. Kabir Sahib also suggested to him that he should
keep the dhwanyaatmak sound, i.e. Pranava Shabda (Om) as his ideal and, with its
help, reach the Atmaloka. The shabdas (sounds) he heard from the Shat-chakras
were not real; the Pranava Shabda, after coming down from Kaarana (causal) and
Sookshma (subtle) Sthaanas. as Madhyamaa and Pashyanti, had reached his ears so
far; proceeding ahead, he would hear the real Pranava sound. That was the state
Kabir Saheb himself was in.
Bhagawaan Ji did not seem to be interested in awakening
the Kundalini or the Shat-chakras in the spinal cord. Once, when I was emitting
vibrations probably according to the method he himself was practising, he
admonished me not to emit them so forcefully lest the 'serpents' in me should
wake up. On another occasion, he told me that in the vibrations that I was
emitting, a concentrated sound of 'Om, Om' alone was heard in the Aakaasha, it
was not accompanied by the sound of my ideal. That was to correct my practice in
order to make it suitable to the stage of spiritual evolution I was at then.
Saakshaatkaara, according to Bhagawaan Ji, was some
sort of divine light coming to an individual. This is borne out by what follows.
1. He told me once in Kashmiri when I was seriously
studying the Gospel and some books about Shri Ramakrishna Pannahansa and had
Mahaakaali as my Ideal (without telling Bhagawaan Ji what I was about), 'Yi chhu
kitab paraan. Tor chhaa gaash?' (This man is reading the book (used collectively
for books on a subject). Is there any light there?' Or, 'tor' may mean in the
region from where the books I was reading had come.
Once a devotee of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa brought
a photograph of his to Bhagawaan Ji. The latter scanned it and said, 'He was a
Purusha'; and asked a devotee to hang it on a wall of his room, where there were
many photographs of some Hindu gods and one of Guru Nanak.
2. Pt Dina Nath Tlcku worshipped God with a form.
Bhagawaan Ji told him in my presence. 'You have light to the level of your
throat but your body is blank.' He later became a disciple of Bhagawaan Ji . To
begin with, he enquired of Bhagawaan Jl as to how he was to proceed on the path
of God realization. Bhagawaan Ji replied in a short sentence, 'Do as I do'.
There upon, Mr Ticku started imitating Bhagawaan Ji's outer actions. He would
smoke a hookah when Bhagawaan Ji smoked his chillum. When Bhagawaan Ji spat, he
did the same. He would eat when Bhagawaan Ji ate and so on. He imitated
Bhagawaan Ji's rhythmic vibrations also. Of course, he thus made himself
ridiculous in the eyes of others but he carried on quite unconcerned about their
reactions. Subsequently, he got the saakshaatkaara at the Kshirbhawaani Shrine
on a certain night, due to Bhagawaan Ji's grace, when Swaami Amritaanandaa and
I, too, were present. Next morning, Bhagawaan Ji told me in a sad tone, 'Light
has come to Dina Nath but it is such that it will kill him.' Later, while
Bhagawaan Ji was at Bhadra Kaali, he sent Dina Nath away to live at his own
house at Rainawari, Srlnagar. There, he attracted much attention by making
predictions that came out true. Bhagawaan Ji sent him word to come and see him
on several occasions, but he disobeyed, saying that he, too, had become a
Bhagawaan. He died of cancer after a few years.
If Mr Ticku had obeyed Bhagawaan Ji's summons and gone
to see him, would the latter have been able to change the nature of the light
that killed him ? But this is a moot point.
3. Bhagawaan Ji had a strong affinity for light (Jyoti
Swaroopa); he would keep dhoop and agarbatti in flame and not smouldering, as
also his dhooni on many occasions. A few days after his giving up the gross
body, one of his disciples was to sleep in the room where his (Bhagawaan Ji's )
aasana was. He switched off the light and was about to fall asleep when he felt
a violent kick on the sole of one of his feet. He understood that he had
committed a mistake in switching off the light. He switched on the light and
slept peacefully thereafter.
4. Once, I was sitting in front of Bhagawaan Ji, poking
the fire in his dhooni. Bhagawaan Ji said, 'You think these are ordinary embers.
Trikoti devataas come to this dhooni' This means that, when the devataas are
invoked, there should be light as, otherwise, the spirits of darkness may come
and cause trouble to the man, or take possession of him. This was probably the
reason why, during the period of his intense saadhanaa, (1930-37) he kept a
small earthenware lamp burning.
5. On another occasion, while Bhagawaan Ji was at the
Kshirbhawaani Shrine (Tulamula), a devotee asked him why he did not go to the
holy spring to offer flowers, milk etc., as all other worshippers did; why did
he keep aloof in his hut, away from the spring? Bhagawaan Ji said, 'There is a
dazzling light there (in the spring)'; This clearly was a reference to the veil
of Brahma-Jyoti the dazzling divine light enveloping the devas and the Divine
Mother, without the removal of which one cannot see their personal
transcendence. (A prayer in the Ishaava aasyopanishad reads, 'Lord, shift your
dazzling effulgence so that the devotee can see the Reality.'). Bhagawaan Ji
further said that our seeing the Divine Mother is not important; what counts is
that She should look towards us', i.e., shower Her grace upon us.
Looking towards the sky, Bhagawaan Ji once told me,
there is nothing else there except the chetan Bhandaaras of tej (i.e. conscious
masses of light).
As has been stated previously, Bhagawaan Ji was a
Tattva-jnaani who, with his intuitional eye, (the third eye, or jnaana netra),
could see the nature and colour of the elements and their division and
subdivisions. Those chosen by him for a higher degree of realization could,
according to their individual capacities, be intuitively guided by him, or
directed to blow continuously into fire, or, in other ways, to gain some
knowledge of some of the elements.
Bhagawaan Ji once told me, 'Think of Brahman as a tree
and sit on any one of its branches (representing Shiva, Naaraayana etc.). The
same goal will be reached in each case.'
He would not dissuade anybody from pursuing his own
ideal in upaasaana. Nor would he suggest an ideal directly; he always did that
Bhagawaan Ji, once at Kshirbhavaani, asked for a copy
of the Vishnu-Sahasranaama out of the many religious books a certain man had. He
scanned the pages, turning over the leaves many times and looked towards me.
Then he returned the book to the man. This was a hint to shift me over to the
upaasanaa of Naaraayana, as my previous ideal had not proved helpful to me.
Bhagawaan Ji once told Shri Pran Nath Koul, a devotee
of his and at present Secretary of the Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji Trust, to get
framed a picture of Lord Vishnu on Sheshanaaga, which somebody had given to
Bhagawaan Ji. Just after he had returned the picture, duly framed, Bhagawaan Ji
told him, ' Look, how beautiful this picture is' This was an indirect
instruction to him to start the upaasanaa of Lord Vishnu.
Though he suggested saakaara upaasanaa to the
beginners, he did not seem to relish that kind of upaasanaa. He would say, 'yi
gav taaph parun' (this means worshipping sunshine) i.e., worshipping the
effulgence of the Sun and not the substance. In this connection, he once said, 'yi
gav veeri shihilis tal pakun', i.e., this means moving about under the shade of
willow trees. Willow trees have a cool shade. Walking under the shade means a
lackadiasical form of upaasanaa and not plunging into the field of
God-realization with complete surrender, come what may.
Though Niraakaara Upaasanaa bristles with difficulties
and tribulations, Bhagawaan Ji.would, gradually wean away his devotees from the
Saakaara to that type of upaasanaa. This was in keeping with the Upanishadic
Tasmaat saakaaram anityam,
Once, a devotee of Bhagawaan Ji, mustered courage enough
to enquire of him who his guru was. Bhagawaan Ji replied, pointing towards a
copy of the Bhagvadgitaa lying near him, 'Any verse out of the 700 verses of the
Bhagvadgitaa can be one's guru. In reality, it is Ishwara, the real Self. who is
Nityam niraakaaram iti.
On another occasion, devotional songs were being sung
before Bhagawaan Ji to the accompaniment of instrumental music. A verse in a
Kashrniri song extolling the virtues of the guru meant, 'O devotee, worship the
lotus feet of your guru, uniting your manas (mind) and praana ('the vital breath
that sustains life in a physical body'). Pointing towards me, Bhagawa;an Ji
said, 'Yi gatshi yatshun', that is, it is an indication of God's grace if one
surrenders at the feet of one's Guru. I had been worshipping Ishwara and in this
remark I read a clear instruction that Bhagawaan Ji wanted me to switch over to
the upaasanaa of the guru as I had probably passed the first stage, at which God
draws near a devotee who thus attains His grace: Bhagawaan Ji wanted me to
proceed to the next stage at which the guru is worshipped as God. This saadhnaa
leads to the manifestation of the real Self in the egoless state, and the
devotee and the guru merge in the universall Aatrman.
Bhagawaan Ji guided his devotees according to their
capacity to absorb his teachings, and this was done by induction and rarely by
word of mouth or directly. The devotees who could not follow his own method of
emitting rhythmic vibrations in consonance with cosmic vibrations were not given
up by Bhagawaan Ji as lost. He would help them in the upaasanaa of the deities
with forms and they, too, advanced slowly.
Bhagawaan Ji once told a devotee, that the requisites
for God-realization are 'mehnat pananya beyi guru-kripaa', i.e., one's own
effort and the Guru's grace.
One night, some time before he gave up the gross body,
Bhagawaan Ji recited from memory four out of the five chapters of the
Panchastavi in the presence of a devotee. He suddenly stopped after reciting the
following verse from Chapter V :-
Ajaananto yaanti kshayam avasham anyonya kalahair
Probably, he did this for the benefit of the devotee who
was a worshipper of the Divine Mother and could not advance further though
Bhagawaan Ji had attempted to shift him to his own method of emitting
vibrations, in which he did not succeed; or, may be he slid into the plane of
the aesthetic perception of the virtues of the Divine Mother to impress upon the
devotee that She is no different from Brahman, or, it was all his 'man kaa mauj',
i.e., the mind in ecstasy.
Ami maayaa granthau tava pariluthantah samnayinah;
Jagan-maatar janma jvara-bhaya-tamah Kaumudi vayam
Namaste kurvaanaah sharanam upayaamo Bhagavatim.
As far as I could understand from my personal contact
with Bhagawaan Ji for over two decades, the Devis are chetan (conscious) units
of teja (effulgence) that come down to the Earth and remain there at various
places for a thousand or two thousand years, and then revert to the source from
which they had emanated. This way we can explain why the Shaarada Bhagawali
Shrine in the Kishen GangaValley fell to the raiders from Pakistan in 1947.
Probably She had left the site. About a hundred years ago, it is said, that Shri
Raajnaa Bhagawati of the Kshirbhawaani Shrine moved away to the adjacent swamp;
but in response to the supplication of her devotees returned to Her original
spring in the Shrine. In the Kashmir Valley, there are many shrines of the Devis,
but some are not worshipped now. These chetan energy bhandaars (stores of
conscious effulgence, in the shape of Devis, too, appear to be having different
qualities. While to some vegetarian offerings are made, to others mutton is
A devotee sitting in front of Bhagawaan Ji was
wondering once whether the truth should be told even if doing so involves others
in trouble. Bhagawaan Ji answered him, saying 'Satyam shivam sundaram'.
Bhagawaan Ji would put on a tilak, wash his yajno-
pavit (sacred thread) daily, and observe other daily rites also, but only in a
casual manner. He would not differentiate on grounds of religion. Shri Shiban
Lal Turki once told Bhagawaan Ji that his official duties involved him now and
then in inter-dining. Bhagawaan Ji replied, 'Is Hindu one and Mohammedan
Nila Bub, a saint, lived at Zaindar Mohalla, Srinagar.
He used abusive language often but was clairvoyant. He would come sometimes to
see Bhagawaan Ji during the period 1957-68 AD and always sit at a particular
window of Bhagawaan Ji's room. One day, a lady brought some cooked rice in a
cooking pot and placed it before Bhagawaan Ji. Normally, he would observe
religious purity and take his meals from a thaali placed on a woollen cloth. But
this time, he placed the pot on the ground, took out some food and offered it to
Nila Bab, who refused to take it as it was unclean, having been placed on the
ground. Thereupon, Bhagawaan Ji finished all the food himself. Nila Bab was an
orthodox Brahmin saint still in the trammels of caste, and Bhagawaan Ji wished
him to rise above caste and creed. Whenever Nila Bab called later, Bhagawaan Ji
was indifferent to him.
Bhagawaan Ji never advised anyone to give up his
household, wife or children, in the pursuit of God- realization. He said a
worldly man, too, could be a man of dispassion (vairaagya). But he was adamant
in not guiding people until they practised celebacy. The two centres of Brahma-jnaana
are said to be present in the intellect (buddhi) of an individual, one being
near and the other beyond, at the back of Chidaakaasha; and both these are
well-preserved by the brahmachaari (celebate). Bhagawaan Ji used to be pleased
whenever a brahmachaari came to him for guidance.
Bhagawaan Ji showed great consideration for the
spiritually advanced. Master Shankar Pandit who was Headmaster of the Biscoe
High School, Srinagar, was a scholar of Vedaanta and saint, who had contacts
with several saints throughout his life. He used to come frequently to pay his
obeisance to Bhagawaan Ji. On one occasion, I was sitting before Bhagawaan Ji,
when Master Ji called. Bhagawaan Ji treated him with tea and was happy to see
him. I wondered why Bhagawaan Ji showed so much consideration for him. After an
hour or so Master Ji left. Reading my thoughts, Bhagawaan Ji said, 'Why are you
so cross? He (Master Ji)is a Surya (Sun).'
Being decrepit in body, Master Ji could not come to
Bhagawaan Ji in the last years of his life, but Bhagawaan Ji used to send him
food every year on his (Bhagawaan Ji's) birthday, except the year during which
Master Ji died. Master Ji said that, since Bhagawaan Ji did not send him
prashaada during that year, he would pass away, and he died a few months later,
while reading the 11th Chapter of the Bhagvadgita, by Bhagawaan Ji's grace.
Master Ji had said that, if anybody could save Kashmir from 1947, onwards, it
was Bhagawaan Ji. Working with an indomitable will and a heroic effort,
unmindful of the physical privations Bhagawaan Ji underwent for about 21 years,
he saved Kashmir from the calamities that engulfed the rest of India.
Bhagawaan Ji did not belong to the class of the
advaitins of the Jnaana Maaraga (the School of know- ledge) who believe
themselves to be actionless souls; they do not assist virtue and destroy vice.
(He participated actively in moulding the environment at great personal
sacrifice.) This will be clear from the example of Lalleshwari, one of the
greatest saints of Kashmir. She lived in the 14th Century and has left a large
number of vaaks containing the highest principles of the Shaiva philosophy. She
did not, or possibly could not interfere with the changing picture of Kashmir
then. But Bhagawaan Ji, participated actively in moulding the environment,
though at great personal sacrifice. It is said that, if there is ajnaani in this
world, his influence should benefit not only his disciples but the whole world.
When Bhagawaan Ji's younger brother, Pt Jia Lal Kaak
died, his sister came to inform him about it, stricken with grief. He told her.
'What had he to do in this world now? He has gone over to become a Raj Yogi, and
it is meaningless to grieve over his passing away.'
We did not actually perceive what he recited, or
whether he recited anything while emitting the rhythmic vibrations from the
various parts of his body, or while smoking. The vibrations caused by the
chanting of mantras are believed to correspond to the original vibrations that
arose from iranyagarbha. The rhythmic vibrations from japa are believed to
regulate the unsteady vibrations of the five sheaths.
Once, BhagawaanJi was lying down, emitting vibrations
by the rhythmic movements of his intestines. I started imitating this; Bhagawaan
Ji said, 'What are you doing? These vibrations, if not properly emitted, will
overturn the world'. He told me on another occasion that the vibrations emitted
by me might reach the ceiling of his room or at best the roof in the next higher
storey, but that they would die there. Once he told me that the vibrations
emitted by me were still-born. I cannot throw any light on the nature of these
vibrations, but Bhagawaan Ji had complete mastery over them. I got a clue to the
nature of these vibrations when he told me that I was throwing out vibrations
from the nerve centres, which was the kriyaa (action) of Devaloka (sphere of the
gods) and not of Manushya Loka (sphere of man). He further said that I could not
come out of these vibrations, i.e., these would become automatic and I would not
be able to stop them. In my boyhood, I saw a saint called Nila Kaak (living in
the house of Mr Gopi Chand Zutshi of Shehliteng, Srinagar) who continued with
this practice till the end of his days. as he probably could not check the
vibrations. This practice of emitting vibrations is very common among Sufi
saints and is known as 'Zikri-Haq'. Sufism was initially a product of Indian
thought but it travelled to West Asia and back to India from there: 'old wine in
new bottles'. It is my belief that Bhagawaan Ji regarded this as a very superior
and direct method of Self-realization though it involves much taxing effort and
causes many tribulations.
Bhagawaan Ji said once that a yogi may attain the
realization of God but a vichaaravaan can attain the realization of all the
aspects (i.e., Paadas) of Brahman. By vichaara (Introspection) the capacity of
the intellect of an individual increases, and he is enabled to catch the sukshma
vichaara waves (subtle currents of thought) and newer and newer thoughts are
produced, which remain in the Chid Aakaasha, as vichaaras never die. All the
vichaaras of an individual get into the all-pervading omniscient life force,
pervading throughout the creation, and remain there (Say, like genes in
chromosomes). Similar vichaaras get mixed up and generate a tremendous potential
force for good or evil, as the case may be. This probably was one of the reasons
for the rhythmic movements of Bhagawaan Ji's body-parts, or smoking
rhythmically, as if he was throwing his vibrations Into the all-pervading life
currents and also reacting to the vibratiions from them. It will thus be clear
that an emotional appeal had no place in his accc ctions, so far as I could
understand. He was a rnahaa purusha (great soul) believing in action.
Before closlng this chapter, I wish to recall an
incident related by Shri Som Nath Kaak. Shri Janki Nath Bhan of Shaalakadal,
Srinagar, once confronted Bhagawaan Ji with the intriguing question whether
saints should render assistance to people in the spiritual and temporal spheres.
Does such help not exhaust the spiritual treasure acquired by a saint after
great penance and sacrifice? Bhagawaan Ji replied, 'A man or an animal with a
muscular and bulky body can afford to swim across a river. Can a small insect
like an ant do so without help? It has to be helped.'