Babaji can be seen or recognized by others only when he so desires.”-Swami Kebalananda as told to Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi.

******

Never in a million years would I have believed that I would be in the presence of Mahavatar Babaji, yet in 2004 I had an experience that I will never forget! I had an invitation to travel to India with my Uncle Stanley, an Ananda devotee. He and his wife had planned to travel together; sadly, however, she had to cancel unexpectedly. Uncle was 75 years young at the time and truly had his heart set on attending the pilgrimage. Because I was a registered nurse, I was offered the opportunity to go on the pilgrimage so that I could help Uncle should the need arise.

Having never been to India, or anywhere that required a passport or visa, I quickly agreed, and hoped to see the Taj Mahal. Uncle assured me my request could easily be met. My response: “Well, count me in!”

A fundamentalist Christian

Uncle told me we would be participating in a pilgrimage dedicated to “Babaji.” In preparation for our journey, he said he would be sending me a book entitled Autobiography of a Yogi. In truth, I must admit to only glancing at the book after its arrival. To me it did not matter what the book said. I was still going to India – and I was happy in my fundamentalist Christian faith.

However, just before our departure, I did read the chapters pertaining to Babaji, found them interesting — and quickly packed the book away in my luggage. “Nice reading,” I thought, but I won’t be “converting.” The evening of our first full day in India, our host group, Ananda Assisi, informed us that Swami Kriyananda would be meeting with us for satsang before we began our journey. When we met the American swami, I found him to be very engaging and informative, an experience which was the first of many surprises.

A blessing from Swami Kriyananda

As the satsang concluded, Kriyananda started walking towards his quarters. As he walked past me, he stopped and looked deeply into my eyes. A heartwarming smile came over his face. Kriyananda then said, “You are in for quite an adventure!” With his right index finger he touched me between my eyebrows and said, “It’s important that you keep an open mind.” Then he tapped me three times on what I now know to be “the spiritual eye.” He continued: “Yet, most importantly, you must keep an open heart.” With that statement, he tapped me over my heart with his four fingertips. Then he again gazed deeply into my eyes — a gaze so deep that I felt he looked into my soul. In that moment, I felt he saw my past, present, and future.

And so it began. Upon reaching the Himalayas, we arrived at a place known as “The Tiger Ashram.” I was personally taken aback because of the big red reverse swastika painted on the archway. Here began my first mind-opening experience. I balked at entering the building. However, one of the devotees of the ashram, who thankfully spoke English, asked if he could assist me. Upon expressing my concern, he assured me that their swastika does not express the same meaning as the one used in Nazism, that it actually represents good luck.

And true to its name, while at the “tiger ashram” we saw a tiger, and it was a big one. I took comfort that there was safety in numbers.

A sudden storm

Our next stop was Babaji’s cave. I had no formal training in meditation. Sitting at the entrance to the cave, I was simply enjoying the beauty of the day until a hard, cold rain began. Because we were in monsoon season, the rain quickly turned into a downpour. On the way to the cave there was a stream with several mini waterfalls that we planned to use as landmarks to find our way back to our bus. The deluge was now so extreme we could no longer see any landmarks – there were waterfalls in all directions. Thank God for our skilled guides!

The rain was falling so hard that I could barely see three feet in front of me! My rain- soaked clothing began to weigh me down. At my 6’8″ height, walking with wet heavy clothing turned into very heavy labor. As the walk turned into an uphill trudge, I started to fall behind the group. Because of the reduced visibility, I couldn’t even hear them.

Suddenly, WHAM! I fell face down into the red-orange Indian mud! Attempting to right myself, I slipped and fell again! Now I found myself sliding downhill. I tried clawing into the mud, but to no avail! I was sliding into a ditch that was deep enough to swallow me though not to cover me. “Oh, my dear God,” I thought, “they’ll never find me in here!” As I slid farther into the ditch, my right hand grabbed a tree root. Only my hold on the tree root prevented me from sliding all the way to the bottom. My feet could not get any traction; I was holding onto the tree root for dear life.

A cry from the depths of my soul

I shouted out in a voice foreign even to me; it resonated down to the depths of my soul, “God, Christ Jesus, I DID NOT COME TO INDIA TO DIE!” Instantly, I felt a strong hand grasp my left wrist and lift me up out of the ditch and stand me on my feet!

Expecting to see one of our guides, to my shock there stood a boy between the age of nine and eleven. I was thankful but bewildered: how could this young boy pull a 6’8″, 250 pound man out of a ditch? And with only one hand? (In his left arm he was cradling a bell-shaped gourd!) Next, he turned me in the direction he wanted me to go and then, interlocking our arms, firmly gripped my left wrist. As he gripped my wrist, my spine suddenly went into perfect alignment and feelings of safety, security and warmth permeated my body. Never in my life have I felt so comforted!

As we started to walk, I looked down at him, feeling him support me with the strength of a grown man. He smiled and I heard or sensed him say, “Don’t ever worry, you are going to be okay; all is well.” As we walked I looked at our feet; he was wearing flip-flops and I was wearing the so-called hi-tech, “go anywhere” boots. And like St. Peter when Jesus asked him to join him by walking on the water, as long as Peter kept his eye on Jesus he walked on the water. But the moment he took his eye off Jesus, he began to sink. So it was for me. The moment I looked down at our feet, I started slipping and sliding.

No more slipping

I heard or sensed the boy say, “Trust me.” After that, there was no more slipping; every step was true and steady. As we walked farther, I again looked at the boy and realized he was bone dry! The rain was pouring down upon us, yet there was not a drop of water on him anywhere. Then glancing at my own clothes, I realized the front of my shirt was starting to dry. We were in “a bubble.” The rain was pouring down around us, but we were not getting wet.

As the boy brought me out of the forest into the clearing, I saw our bus and also a blue sky and sunshine! In gratitude, I began repeating “shoo-cree-ya'” which is the phonetic pronunciation for “Thank you” in Hindi. I reached into my money belt and started pulling out rupees, saying “shoo-cree-ya” and happily handing him money for helping. I looked away to zip up the money belt, and in less than five seconds, he was gone! In a field with nothing growing higher than my ankles, I did several 360 degree turns but the boy was nowhere to be seen. There was no way a regular boy could have run away that quickly.

When I rejoined my fellow pilgrims, several asked me what happened. One in particular, Vijay Fontaine, knew what had happened. After the boy got him to safety, Vijay told the boy, “My friend is back there.”

“I see you had quite an adventure.”

My fellow pilgrims explained that I had met Babaji! Reflecting back, it all made sense. The boy I encountered had superhuman strength. Why me? Why not? Jesus said, “Those who are not sick have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do.” Of my fellow pilgrims, I was the sickest one in the group — sick with dogma, doctrine, stiff-necked, opinionated, ignorant, full of what Kriyananda calls “churchianity.” Maybe Babaji playfully came to me for comic relief; then later, talking to Jesus, Babaji said, “Where did you find this one!?”

At the end of our pilgrimage, we had another opportunity to meet with Swami Kriyananda. The moment he set eyes upon me we both burst into laughter. He said, “Well, I see you had quite an adventure.”

Since that day, Babaji has made other interventions on my behalf. He is with me always and my life is so much better because of it.

30 Comments

  1. Hi Rajananda
    Nice to read your story; you never shared it with me when we did karma yoga together several years ago. Perhaps I’ll see you next time I’m at EL.
    Joyful blessings
    Stan

  2. Rajananda,

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. We know Babaji continues to look out for you!

    Blessings,
    Timothy

  3. A Very beautiful and uplifting story you told Marlon; congratulations dear friend, what a wonderful and magical meeting you were granted. The world needs wonderful inspirational stories (experiences) to be told so to help those who are in need of them.

    Thank you and God bless
    Wayne

  4. Hi Raj,

    I am deeply touched by your experience with Babaji. Thank you for sharing it with us in this way. I, too, have been to Babaji’s cave and found it to be life-transforming. What a great mahavatar we have looking after us!

    All blessings,
    Jinnae

  5. i am a man in deep trouble lost my sense of direction in life. everything i do or plan fails. i thought od suicide umpteen times but due to the love of my children i struggle & remain as how i am. i am only 46 years old & although i have been constantly reminded that there is a need of spiritual intervention to calm my thoughts and clear negative elements & bring on positive ones , I can never focus on it.. i do go regularly to temple but something is not right. I hv heard of mahavtar babji & how i wish juz like u wen u physically fell down the great one helped u up. can i ever be released from this curse or bad luck or karma or however u refer to it.pls advise coz my situation is having an extremely reverse effect on my family,business & happiness.

    1. Dear Premananth,
      All karma or bad luck can only be temporary. Whatever you’ve done in this lifetime or another one can be undone. As the great yoga master, Swami Sri Yukteswar said, “All things in the future will improve if you make the spiritual effort now.” But you must have faith and the determination never to give up. Satsang, and praying to God and gurus are the best things you can do for yourself to pull you out of this ditch of despair, as well as a positive mental outlook. Don’t dwell on the past and try to associate with people of good character whom you admire and want to emulate. I hope this is helpful.

      Joy to you,
      Nayaswami Nakin

    2. Hello Premananth,
      I just realized that its been 3 years since you wrote this comment. And I sincerely hope, someone must have helped you get out of our misery.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story!
    It brought tears to my eyes.

    Oh how wonderful the bliss of Divine Friendship!
    Caught in the “rainstorm” of delusion, our way is slippery and treacherous; when we trust in a Master, in Our Higher Power, in Our SELF
    we REALIZE our way through the “Forest” and the “Mud”, into the Safety of Love’s Embrace.

    Gai Guru

  7. Thank you for sharing your inspiring life-saving story with us. What a brave soul you are.

  8. Thank you for sharing your amazing story Rajananda!
    What a blessing for you, and for us as a reminder that our gurus are always with us, guiding, loving and protecting. jai guru!

  9. dear friend

    thanks for such an inspiring story i have read autobiography of a yogi when i was in grade 3 long long ago but still i feel it was as if it is today
    i firmly believe in babaji as he had helped and guided in times when i was not
    able to make any decision.

    in divine friendship

    om shree guru ve namah

    love; chitra

  10. Rajananda, what a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing it. God’s hand is surely guiding our lives! (And I cannot believe Stanley was 75 then… surely that has to be a typo!) :-) Love

      1. Blessings Raji,
        Thank you for your kind words. Heavenly Father/ Divine Mother are all around you. 2020 will be the best year of your Life.

        God Best You
        I Love You,

        Rajananda Marlon McConner

  11. Dear Rajananda,

    Thank you so much for telling me about your story in the Clarity magazine. I read it tonight, and it is so inspiring and uplifting. It is a true miracle, and you were a major player in it! I love how both your story and Vijay’s story were shared, so different, and yet linked together. It validates even more the truth of what happened. I love that it helped to bring you to Ananda and your new life.

    I cannot believe that Stanley was 75 years old then- yikes! What an embodiment of eternal youth of body and mind. Surely that was a typo! Thank you for sharing how Babaji works in such amazing ways, and that he is here for us all.

    Joy and Blessings,
    Virani

  12. Rajananda,
    I met you just once when I was a patient at Sierra Family Clinic, and was struck by what a gentle and kindly spirit you are. Now I know how truly blessed you are!
    I myself have not experienced such a meeting, but I HAVE been the recipient of miraculous events in which I was saved from harm by inexplicable interventions. I sometimes doubt such events, believing I “invented” them in my mind.
    Your experience reinforces the fact that true blue miracles are REAL, and I should stop doubting!
    So thank you so very, very much for this beautiful and amazing account.
    Many blessings,
    Supriya

  13. Jai Baba ji ki

    What a wonderful, inspirational story. UNBELIEVABLE SIR.
    May, if God willed, visit Babaji Cave.

    Grateful.

    1. Namaste,

      Swamiji Yogananda educates that those who call the name “Babaji” with great reverence shall invoke an immediate blessing.

      Many Great Blessings to you, Great Soul.

      Rajananda

  14. Amazing.
    Key thing is what Swamy Kriyananda said: Open your heart.
    We often don’t.
    When we do open out heart, miracles start happening all around us.
    Thanks Rajananda for sharing this story.
    I am reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” for the umpteenth time and this story reinforces my faith in miracles.

  15. I was so touched and encouraged by your experience. We in this troubled world are so in need of an extraordinary and powerful Spirit who truly listens and hears our cries and prayers. It is very good to know that Babaji is alive and well, and available to all who call his name. Blessings to you for bringing this good news to us!!

  16. How wonderful! I pray to meet Mahavatar Babaji and ask him to intervene in all aspects of mine and my mothers life- to ensure good overcomes evil. Aum Kriya Babaji Namah Aum xx

  17. I totally respect someones achievements in yoga etcbut i would never undo my beluefs in my religeon for someone who saved my life .i would bless and thank him for saving my life but will not allowanyone to condescend me for having a belief in my religeon

    1. Greetings Hir,
      Many Blessings to you and much joy in the New Year. I thank you for your reply. You are very blessed to have a religion that works for you. If your religion is good and is meeting your needs, joy to you.
      Though I believe in one God, my God may not be your God. How God is presented to me is different than how God is represented to you. My path is a path of Spirituality. You claim a path of religion. The religious Pentecost path became a “no growth” path for me. I was happy there until I experienced all that Divine Mother had to reveal. And even at that, my new found Spiritual path was not rammed down my throat. I was presented with an opportunity. Being blessed with free will, I chose to the say “yes.” My Spiritual path is a my choice. And my Life is much better for it.
      As I mentioned in my article, I was not converting, I was full of things that no longer served Heavenly Father/ Divine Mother’s purpose for my Life. As a Pentecostal minister I went to India full of Dogma, doctrine, rituals, religion and judgement. I came back open and receptive to receive God’s good.
      This is bigger than learning yoga, which I still not that great at. I learned of God’s True Love for me. I know that wants the best me, and is happy to guide me.
      Hir, I am truly happy your religion works for you. I hope you be happy for me on this new path.
      God Bless You
      I Love You,

      Rajananda

  18. Dear Rajananda,

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. This is Amazing.
    We are so happy for you :-)

    In Master’s Love
    Prem

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