himAlayAtrA – Call of the Mountain – Part 4


Glory to Mahavatara Babaji!

On this Guruvaara day, let us in this blog set out for the mountain cave of Babaji…

A month ago, almost to the date…

14 August, 2011.

We are at Dwarahat… Dwarahat literally means Gateway to Heaven… And we were, at the end of the last blog post, at the Gateway of the Yogoda Satsangha Ashrama, at Dwarahat…

Entering, we find a beautiful abode…

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The manager of the Asrama is a very helpful and dynamic man… He takes care of everything… We have some Chai… We are given accommodation…. The menfolk in a few rooms, behind the meditation hall… The ladies in another part of the Ashrama…. The rooms are nice… A shrine in front of our rooms houses the pictures of the Masters….

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The four bigger pictures… Clockwise from top – Babaji,  Swami Yukteshwar Giri (disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya), Swami Yogananda (disciple of Yukteshwar Giri) and Lahiri Mahasaya (disciple of Babaji), …

Time is around 11 am… We are ready to go…

The manager tells us that the previous day, a group had left for the cave at 10 am. And had returned around 4 pm… And that it had rained only during their return journey, and so they were lucky that they could make it to the cave in good weather … Weather is unpredictable…Today, in case there is a heavy downpour, the outing would have to be given up. given the terrain.

It looks like it may rain…The manager has arranged for a local boy to guide us to the cave of Babaji…. Food has been packed for lunch…. We shall be driving to a certain point, from where we have to walk the rest of the way….

Our driving destination is the region of Dunagiri… To a place called Kukuchina…

Chalo then!

A view, on the way….

We reach Kukuchina, and get off…

There are some shops… A walking path to the left leads to Pandukholi, a place where Pandava princes stayed… Caves… And a mountaintop temple…

And the trek to the right leads to Babaji’s cave… We are on our way…

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The drizzle persists…

The path gets soggy….

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Soon, though, the drizzle stops….

And we enjoy a treat, of some great views…

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So, here we are, on our way to Babaji’s cave…

Swami Yogananda’s book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, relates a fascinating episode, of how Lahiri Mahasaya met with Babaji … How Babaji engineered Lahiri Mahasaya’s posting to Ranikhet… And then mysteriously drew him to this place… And took him to the cave…. Made him realize his connection to that cave, of his previous life… How Babaji materialized a palace in the mountain, where he initiated Lahiri Mahasaya into Kriya Yoga….

Its a most amazing st0ry… If you haven’t read the book, you can read about this episode by clicking here…. Do read it… It is wondrous…

Talking of wonders, my co-Yatris are a wonder themselves…  As we shall see….

Lets come back to the mountain path…

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Up until now, the path is not arduous…. Pretty light in terms of inclines…

A very-very short video clip….

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The waters of the stream that flows down the hill are so crystal clear, that it you can hardly make out the stream in the picture….

Taking handfuls of Himalaya water, to gulp…. Goodness of life…

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I wonder if this stream is the Gogash (Gagas) river, spoken of by Lahiri Mahasaya… Or one of its tributaries…

Some half an hour into the walk, the going becomes slightly tough… Helpful signs have been put up, pointing the way to the cave…

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The path now becomes narrow, steep, and zig-zag… Soota huffs and puffs, and halts and resumes… No-can-remember to click camera… Just walk… Halt when breathless… Walk… Halt… Walk….

We are in Dunagiri – a.k.a, Dronagiri…

Does that ring a bell?

पतितं वानरानीकं द्रष्ट्वा रामोऽतिदु:खितः| उवाच मारुतिं शीघ्रं गत्वा  क्षीरमहोदधिम्||
तत्र द्रोणगिरिर्नाम दिव्यौषधिसमुद्भव:| तंमानाय द्रुतं गत्वा सञ्जीवय महामते ||

                         (Yuddha Kaandam, Adhyaatma Raamaayanam)

Ah yes… Dronagiri is the hill where Hanuman came… To get divine herbs (Sanjivani) during the battle of Lanka… When first Meghanada mounted his deadly attack and then again later when Lakshmana lay near dead, hit by the Shakti missile of Ravana… It was to Dronagiri that Hanuman came….

This mountain has many an ancient, holy, association…

The Mahabharata acharya Drona did Tapasya here… The river Gagas here, is named after Rshi Garga, who lived here… As did Vyasa’s sage son Sukha… You can know more about Dunagiri by clicking here….

Dronagiri rises to over 20000 feet. We are at the lower reaches of mighty mountain… Around 7000 feet or so and making our way up…

An hour and a half or so into the trek, we reach a dwelling… The Babaji Smrti Bhavan…. A large meditation hall… Some rooms… Some people say that this was the place where Babaji materialized the dazzling palace for Lahiri Mahasaya’s initiation…

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And then, after a brief halt at Smriti Bhavan, we up and go…

And then quite suddenly, we are there….

At Babaji’s cave…

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Most of us are so breathless, that we just plonk ourselves on the platform outside the cave….

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Silence….

Gathering one’s breath…. Just being…. Watching….

Shall we step into the cave?

Here we are…

A little stone altar inside… An alcove behind…

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The alcove is a nice place to sit…..

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I mentioned about my co-Yatris… That they were extraordinary folks…

Have a look….

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Here they are, in better light….

They have all been initiated into Siva Upasana… They have brought their Siva sphatika linga, each of them… They have brought all items needed for worship… And here, in the holy cave of Mahavatara Babaji, they offer worship to the great God Siva…

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The ochre that they wear is a part of their Upasana tradition…. For the Siva Pooja…

They have all brought their meditation mats….

As they do the Puja, some of us chant the Sri Rudram…. Milk and other abhisheka being offered to Lord Siva… Perhaps we chanted the Camakam too…

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Oh they are amazing all right… A set of them had left Bengaluru on 13th… That day, at 3 am or so, they did Ganesha Homa…. The flames rose high… Like a pillar of fire… And the photo of Sai that was on worship…. That had Vibhooti materialized on it…. They showed me the pictures of the homa fire, and that of the Vibhooti…. Very special….

A “different” group all right.. All regular guys…. Like any of us… Except that they have all chosen to walk the path… The path of Sai….

Here are the worshippers,  happy, after the Pooja….

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Now, lets commence the trek down…

Picture this… A mountain flower… That some earlier visitor has placed on the hillside just outside the cave of Babaji…

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We are all ravenously hungry…. We halt at Smrti Bhavan and have our lunch… Poori and aloo sabji… Absolutely delicious….

That done, we start….

The walk down is a breeze….

And the views, spectacular…

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One more view….

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A hillside halt for Chai…

Sometime around 6 pm or so we are back at the Ashrama….

This is a picture of the shrine-spire in the Ashrama…

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And now, as we come to the end of this post, one more video… A short one… Of some rivers in the mountain… Dont remember where… But I took the clip when a nice Bhajan was being played…. So step up the volume… Watch the waters… Catch that ambiance…

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*** To be continued ***

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4 Responses to “himAlayAtrA – Call of the Mountain – Part 4”

  1. Sankarasubramanian Says:

    ….extraordinary folks…Well said….Wow…paradigm shift in robes. Truly sanctifying in & out.

    Thanks GKji (& Mr.Thiru) for sharing your divine experience.

  2. ramanathan Says:

    kamesh

    had an unusually long day in the office….

    got back very late ….. heavy rains & traffic jam….

    got to read this post…..absolutely rejuvenating!!!!!!

    thanks…..keep sharing…..

    ramey

  3. shivkumar Says:

    kameshwara poorva punyamda and your fathers blessings.Not many people get sat sang and a rare opportunity like this.you are on path divine.let guru maharaj guide us all.Prof Shiv,Mexico

  4. Srinivasa Says:

    Nice pictures and videos.

    btw, Sir, how many Baba’s are there in the Himalayas?

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