August 12, 2020, 07:51:21 PM

Author Topic: Interview with Babaji, Summer 1978, By Dio Urmilla Neff - Introduction  (Read 2932 times)


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Interview with Babaji, Summer 1978, By Dio Urmilla Neff - Introduction
(printed in the Yoga Journal, 1980)

These interviews and dialogues with Babaji help to provide a very direct and uncomplicated insight into the practice and everyday application of: Truth, Simplicity, Love and Service. They allow the reader a very clear blueprint by which to live.

BABAJI, I whispered intently, as though daring Him to appear. I glanced around the lobby of my parents condominium. It was 1966, and I was curled in a chair, glued to Paramahansa Yogananda's classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. I was fascinated by the phenomena it so matter-of-factly presented. I'd just come to a quote by the renowned master Lahiri Mahasaya: "Whenever anyone utters with reverence the name of Babaji, that devotee attracts an instant spiritual blessing." I intoned again, trying to feel reverent. Nothing seemed to have happened in the lobby; I saw no lights, heard no ethereal voices. How silly, I thought. What did I expect? I would have been astounded to learn, however, that Babaji had heard me, and twelve years later would tell me so! Babaji was Yogananda's guru's guru's guru, who lived in the Himalayas and reportedly teleported from peak to peak with his small band of devotees.

Yogananda described him as the originator of Kriya Yoga, a system of meditation techniques. Supposedly hundreds of years old, Babaji was said not to be a human at all, but an avatar, a divine being, descended into the flesh to help humanity. Autobiography of a Yogi described Babaji as stern and formidable: he supposedly thrust a flaming brand into a devotee's shoulder, then healed the burn immediately with his hand, explaining to his alarmed followers that the man would have otherwise died by fire as his karma dictated. I read of another time where it was said Babaji ordered an aspiring disciple to jump off a cliff to prove his devotion. The man jumped. Babaji reportedly brought him back to life and accepted him as his devotee.

Right now Babaji is living in His ashram in the remote village of Herakhan, by the Gautam Ganga River in the Kumaon Hills of Uttar Pradesh. [The Gautam Ganga is a river holy to Shiva, flowing past one of several mountains named Kailash, said to be the original Mt. Kailash where the very first fire ceremony was performed.] Please note that the Babaji spoken of in this article no longer resides in Herakhan in the form described in this piece, but passed out of that form on Valentine's Day, 1984. Although He has been there since 1970, relatively few Westerners have visited Him.

It is as though only those who happened to discover His whereabouts could go, and the rest of us would assume He was still unapproachable, living on some uncharted Himalayan peak. My husband and I first learned of Babaji's location from a young woman in San Francisco who'd spent eight months with Him. We were filled with a longing to see Him, and with the conviction He was indeed the Babaji of legend. Although we didn't at first know how we could finance such a trip, some family money that had been tied up in legal squabbles was suddenly released to us. Three months later we were in India.

"It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways." - Buddha

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