This is a testimonial in the form of a conversation between two sisters who visited Puri with Mohanji in 2022.
by Radha Subramanian and Sathya Shivakumar
Click here to join the Divine Trails of Puri with Mohanji in February 2023
Radha: Sathya, can you tell me the significance of the Puri Jagannath Temple?
Sathya: Jagannath, as the name denotes, is the Lord of the Universe. This sacred Dham is one of the four holy abodes revered as the Char Dham. These comprise Jagannath in the East, Dwaraka in the West, Badrinath in the North, and Rameshwaram in the South of India. Legend has it that the universal consciousness radiated its presence in the Nilanchal caves, condensed to an embodied presence as Daru Brahma, and revealed itself with the auspicious symbols of Lord Vishnu (Shanka, Chakra, Gadha, and Padma), in the sacred waters of Mahodadhi, to king Indradyumna.
The idols of Lord Jagannath, Bal Bhadra, and Subhadra were carved out of this wood by the celestial architect Vishwakarma himself. He undertook the mission under the condition that the doors to his workplace remain closed until he completes his work. However, the queen’s curiosity rose as the days passed, and she persuaded King Indradyumna to unlock the doors. On opening the doors, they saw Vishwakarma had vanished. The promise had been broken, and the work was left incomplete. Therefore, we only get to see the semi-manifested forms of the deities. This allows one to perceive the Lord according to one’s devotion and understanding. It lets the devotee unravel His mysteries in myriad dimensions, unique to the one witnessing Him.
This reminds me of Mohanji’s words, “Those who have eyes will see!”
Lord Shree Jagannath has captured the hearts of Mahagyanis, Bhaktas, and Yogis. True to his name, He has a universal appeal and is revered by devotees of both Vishnu and Shiva.
The devotees of Shiva consider Him as Bhairava. He holds a special place for Buddhists too.
Radha: It would be interesting to share some of the events leading to this trip. It is different for each of us, although we travelled together. For me, the highlight before the trip was choreographing for the Ashtapadi – Chandana charchita Neela Kalebara!
Last year, I happened to choreograph for the Ashtapadi, “Nath Hare, Jagannatha Hare”, exclusively for the opening of the Jagannath Shrine in the UK. This inspired me to work on more Ashtapadis. I took your suggestion of choreographing for “Chandana charchitha” and started exploring its various dimensions. “Chandana charchita” describes the eternal romantic Lord Sri Krishna anointed with the fragrant sandal paste and radiating the bewitching bluish hue.
A friend of Radha describes to her the pastimes of Shri Krishna. As we dive deep into the composition, we realise that Radha, the one who is fully integrated with Krishna, experiences this oneness even though it is the other Gopikas who are actually playing with Krishna. What was very exciting to me was the fact that I was getting an opportunity to perform and record this at Puri, the birthplace of Jayadeva, an ardent devotee of Jagannath! When I expressed the intention, Mohanji blessed me in his style, “Tatasthu! Blessings! Take help from the organising team!”. I meditated on the song incessantly to internalise the Bhaav (feeling) of Radha as we interpreted from the composition – only when we soak into the feeling can we become the dance!
Sathya: Your thoughts resonate with me. I see the divine hand in the making of Chandana charchita in every step. Even your costume in shades of yellow and blue was in perfect sync with the elements describing the shades of Krishna. To me, this trip broke the patterns and barriers that I had confined myself to during the pandemic. I consider the trip a blessing from our Guru, Mohanji.
The abode of Puri Jagannath is Durlabh Kshetra meaning “difficult to attain”. Unless Lord Jagannath himself wills it, one cannot step into the sacred Dham. In the last two years, I was restricted in my commuting, mostly staying within my locality and stepping out only in case of absolute necessity. I was not sure if I would join you even when you informed me about it. When our mother reinforced the invitation, I decided to join.
The stage was set for the pilgrimage with the flight tickets and cottage booked. It was heartening to know that Mohanji’s parents, uncle, and aunty were also joining this yatra. With more elders and children joining the trip, I was certain that it would have a different yet enriching flavour to the trip. It is a blessed opportunity to travel to an abode of such greatness in the presence of the Guru and elders.
On January 3rd, 2022, we took the morning flight from Bangalore to Odisha. As we waited at the airport, I continued the Tamil translation of the Jagannath Meditation given by Mohanji. With our mother adding finer touches, the meditation was taking me into a zone inside. We greeted Mohanji’s parents as we anticipated his arrival. Mohanji arrived. I knelt to take his blessing but was held in his embrace. All members of the group exchanged some greetings eagerly, describing each one’s entry to the trip. I was already lost in a reverie when Mohanji’s voice boomed loud and clear as a seeming instruction to his mother, “Keep the boarding pass ready!”, bringing me back to the ground. Mohanji always teaches us to focus on the present and never take the practical aspects lightly. His teachings are valuable to the ultimate journey of dissolution and easy navigation in the terrestrial world.
“Presence of mind in every thought, word, and action can eradicate karmas. It can liberate you.”-Mohanji
As I completed chanting a few rounds of the Hanuman Chalisa, we landed safely in Odisha. Mohanji Acharya Subhasree and her Odia team extended a heartwarming welcome to Mohanji and the group at the airport. We were introduced to Manaswee, and we understood that he would be our point of contact and guide during this trip. The marine drive from Bhubaneshwar to Puri was enjoyable. Manaswee exhibited his innate hospitality by offering to buy us tender coconuts on the way. After a short break, when the car zoomed through the road, you alerted him that a black thing had flown past and that it could be his wallet.
Radha: Yes! We quickly realised that it was indeed his wallet! As we drove back, a cyclist told us that another man was getting the wallet for us. As we got it back, Manswee said that the people living in the section stretching between Bhubaneshwar and Puri are extremely honest and truthful and would not act otherwise.
Sathya: It is hard to believe such places still exist in this world of opportunism. The Puri Dham is described in the Purana as Purushotama Kshetra, where the pious and the noble-minded reside. I was moved to find that a fraction of that is still a reality. “The pride in PuriTY” logo was all over the walls stretching across the marine drive. I felt the logo rings with truth and is not remote from reality!
“Purity of thought, word and action liberates man from everything and strengthens his existence. Purity is power. Purity is truth. Truth is pure. The whole universe resonates with truth and purity. When we live the truth, purity happens. Purity liberates. It fills life with faith and hope. It connects us to the Highest of consciousness. The Power of Purity is unfathomable. It is the nature of the Supreme.”-Mohanji
Radha: We reached Puri by 3 pm, and in the evening, we were surprised to know that we could go to the Temple of Jagannath the same night. We entered the shrine consciously, submitting our obeisance at each step leading to the shrine.
Mohanji took my hands and placed them on the fingerprints of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which got deeply etched while he was in a trance, enraptured by the Lord. These marks are eternally enshrined on the wall behind the Garuda stambh.
Sathya: That was indeed an unplanned visit to the temple. Mohanji made sure that everyone in the group joined the visit. As we left our cottage, we saw Mohanji waiting for everyone to assemble. Standing beside him, I was filled with soothing, cool vibes. I enjoyed it and wondered if it was physical or metaphysical when Mohanji remarked, “It is very cold here!”
Immediately, the experience of cooling dissolved! I did not analyse it further. At the temple, we were told by Mohanji to keep our arms extended up as if ready to receive the embrace of Lord Jagannath. All of us hugged the Garuda Sthambha.
The first darshan of the Lord was filled with so much excitement. Stepping into the sacred shrine where every stone and pebble radiates his essence is a gift of a lifetime/lifetimes. We slowly moved in, drawing in that divine energy with every breath. The fragrance of sandalwood wafted in the air, and we exchanged glances, recognising it as soon as we entered the temple premises.
As we neared the sanctum, our eyes were glued to the deities trying to absorb all that we could in one go as the Panda/Priest described, “The dark one to the Right is Krishna, Devi Subadra in the middle, and the light-complexioned one is Balabadra”.
I tried to connect what I heard and saw as the arathi flame was burning bright in front of me. I realised that I had come really close to it! I moved to the other side, tucking away in a corner, trying to hold on to images for a while longer. Not for long! A panda waved in my direction to take the arathi and make way for the others.
Coming out from the other side, I saw Mohanji standing there, away from the hustle and bustle. I quietly offered my prostrations to Mohanji with deep joy and gratitude for being there!
Radha: That was such a great darshan! As soon as we stepped out of the sanctum, soaked in Lord Jagannath’s energy, we saw Mohanji standing there and I could only see him as Lord Krishna himself. This is a solid reminder to each of us that the Guru and God are the same. Immediately, you prompted me to get the calendars blessed. We released the HSTD (Himalayan School Of Traditional Dance) calendars just outside the sanctum of Lord Jagannath! Mohanji patiently went through each of the pages and blessed everyone. Can there be a more incredible blessing at the start of the year for the HSTD platform?
Following this, we went to the Shrine of Bimala Devi temple.
Sathya: The shrine was closed. I was told that this temple is one of the Shakti peeths. We waited in front of the shrine. Our mother looked at a figure in a small niche and asked me what it was. I did not want to give a wrong answer. The other niche was Ganesha. So this was Skanda. Mohanji came to the shrine. He, too, saw that the shrine was closed. He had the darshan of the deity in the niche and said, “Skanda!”. Mohanji took Appa’s (Dad) hand and placed it in the niche, and said, “Subramanian, you should see Skanda”. At that same instant, a priest came out of the shrine, the gates were opened, and we could see Bimala Devi. It was just for a few minutes. Mohanji casually stated, “The gates opened”. Amma remarked, “Yes, I saw that!”
Radha: Opposite this was the small shrine of Matha Ekadashi. There is an interesting story connected with Puri. I was under the impression that this shrine honoured the Ekadashi devi and devotees who fasted on Ekadashi – the eleventh day of the fortnight. As per the scriptures, observing fast on this day grants many blessings and Moksha, too. Here, Ekadashi devi’s hands are tied. She was overcome by pride, and Jagannath tied her hands, symbolically suggesting that partaking prasad in Puri is considered auspicious even on an Ekadashi day, and devotees should not hesitate to do so.
Sathya: Well, that brings us to one of the highlights of Puri Dham – the sacrosanct Puri MahaPrasad! Chappan bhog, comprising 56 dishes, is offered daily to the Lord.
“Puri Mahaprasad can be taken even if it is the leftovers from a cat’s mouth!” Amma exclaimed. Saints and legends have talked so highly of Mahaprasad. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Paramacharya of Kanchi who never partook food without completing the sacred rituals have relished the Mahaprasad.
We were not so conscious of the greatness of the prasad then.
It was pure grace that we could partake of the Mahaprasad. After climbing a few steps, we entered a space that seemed like another shrine. I was surprised to see Mohanji, Mila and the others seated with a banana leaf in front! It then occurred to me that we were going to be dining there. Mohanji’s uncle and aunt sat next to me as I sat down. I told them that I enjoyed watching their interview about Mohanji. One gets to see the house where Mohanji was born in that video.
The priests brought Mahaprasad in earthen pots and served the dishes. Some of the dishes had the flavour of mustard, and the Kheer that was served at the end was really divine!
Another name for Mahaprasad is Kaibalya – that which gives Moksha, salvation or liberation. It is said that if one takes this food of Lord Jagannath, he will have no rebirth.
Radha: I remarked to Subhashree, sitting next to me, “The kheer is nothing but Krishna. It tastes heavenly,” and took a second and third serving, too, without any inhibition!
The darshan was a bonus, and I did not expect the Mahaprasad that evening. Absolute grace! That was the first day at the sacred Dham.
Sathya: The next morning started with a bang and Chandana Charchita was recorded. A big open lawn resplendent with the morning dew as the sun was rising and the birds chirping became the perfect stage for recording the Ashtapadi. After recording, on our way back to the cottage, we met Mohanji, who was on his way to the reception. He told you with a smile, “I knew you were dancing!” We had quite a few unexpected chance meetings with him during the trip.
Radha: The day started with a visit to Bedi Hanuman temple, where Mohanji officially released the Himalayan School of Traditional Dance calendar.
Bedi means chain. The story goes that Jagannath appointed Hanuman to protect Puri from the fury of the sea. Varuna entered the place, and the place bore the brunt of his raging waves.
Jagannath asked how this happened when Hanuman was taking care. Hanuman told him that he was nostalgic about home food and had gone to Ayodhya. From that day onwards, Lord Jagannath ordained that special offerings be prepared and tied Hanuman here, with the love of his Prasad.
Sathya: As we exited the temple, we saw some calves. Mohanji fed one of them heartily. I watched it joyfully as the calf ate the bananas; there were some dogs too, but we had only bananas.
How could one just feed only the cows and not the dogs? Aditya too had the intention to feed the dogs. I remembered that there were some biscuit packets in the car. We went and brought the packets and fed the dogs. They, too, got their share of food.
We then went to Chakra Tirtha, which is considered the place where the Daru Brahma arrived first. It is known as Adi Jagannath Kshetra.
After spending some time in the shrine, we proceeded towards the sea. Mohanji and a few others had walked ahead and reached the beach. As we got down from the car, the sight of a dog drew our attention. It was in its final moments and was not in the least interested in biscuits. When I called out the name “Mohanji”, it lifted its head up, turned, and looked in that direction. I did it a few more times, and it responded. Manaswee got some water and poured it carefully so that it could take in a few drops.
I was reminded of Mohanji’s teaching. “Every meeting has a purpose.”
We then resumed our walk towards the beach. I saw Appa offering ablutions at the sea. He sprinkled some water on us as a blessing of the sea, and we then walked back to the car, feeling the sand between our toes and the gentle breeze from the sea.
Radha: The next stop was Tota Gopinath temple. As we entered the temple, a priest described the place’s significance in Hindi. He said that it was there that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu felt such intense separation from Krishna that he burned to ashes. Mohanji asked us, “What is the word in English to describe his feeling?” All of us tried to come up with the words – Yearning, Duality, Separation! Mohanji finally said, “Longing”, looked at me and said to the group, “I thought she would be able to tell.”
Sathya: Upon entering the shrine, Appa felt attracted to the painting of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on the wall and anointed it with Sandal paste. What struck me about this Dham was that nearly every priest said, “Krishna bakthi!” when we sought their blessings. May you attain the love for Krishna. We rendered a few bhajans there; we witnessed a powerful arathi at noon. With the drumbeats accompanying the arathi, it felt as though the dance of Krishna and Radha was coming alive. After the arathi, we went to the backyard from where a body of water was visible at a distance. A priest accompanying us mentioned that it was Radha Kund. Mohanji was also with us. He joked, “Radha is idhar, Kund is udhar”, looking at you.
Radha: Later, we went to the chief priest’s house. Mohanji was presented with a sacred cloth called the “Gita Govinda Kanduva”. The priests then blessed Mohanji’s family with the accompaniment of chants. The place reverberated with sacred sounds. Each of us was presented with the Flag of Jagannath.
Sathya: That has to be treasured. It is a dream and a lifetime aspiration for even the people of Puri to offer a flag or receive it as Prasad. It was such a precious moment to be blessed with the Banner of Jagannath in the presence of Guru Mohanji! I prayed that the flag of Purity, Ahimsa, and Truth fly high and let us witness the triumph of supreme love over all darkness.
Radha: In the evening, we had a satsang. After the satsang, we went to the temple of Jagannath. Mohanji asked all of us to sport the flag around our necks while going to the temple that evening. We took a short van ride to reach the temple.
Sathya: As the van zipped through the streets of Puri, the names of the hotels “Guru Estate and Guru Empire” that flashed in the night captured my attention. It so happened that just as we entered the temple, I was next to Mohanji. We entered the space demarcated by the wooden barricades. As I was lost in that moment, I heard the song “Poornam-adah, Poornam-idam!”. It felt so apt as if to describe Mohanji!
oṁ pūrṇam-adaḥ pūrṇam-idaṁ pūrṇātpūrṇamudacyate ।
pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate ॥
oṁ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ॥
Om, That (Visible outer world) is Full,
This (Invisible inner world) is also Full,
From Fullness comes that Fullness,
Taking Fullness from Fullness, Fullness indeed Remains,
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Mohanji always says just like a mother who delivers a child, a Guru can transfer energy to create many masters, but just like the mother, the Guru remains complete and full.
Radha: We neared the sanctum and had to wait outside for an hour. I went in. It was crowded. I was standing right behind a priest who was sitting down. It was surprising that nobody asked me to move from that place. I felt as though Lord Krishna was embracing me; I was immersed in that for almost an hour. This unimaginable experience was enhanced by the sounds of the drums. I was unaware that we keep our hands raised to embrace the Lord. This I came to know later from Mohanji in the sanctum. This lasted for some time and is one of my most memorable experiences.
Sathya: We were all waiting for the darshan and sat on the steps. Mohanji was leaning on the arched niche, just a few steps below the entrance. I was chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. A little while later, a priest opened the door, and it happened to be Hanuman inside.
The scenes from the temple are still vivid in my mind. The devotion of the pilgrims really touched me; some of them were bringing their aged parents and little children along with them. Family members chanted in chorus “Jai Jagannath!” while ascending the steps to the temple. ‘Sanatana Dharma is so beautiful!’ I thought.
“Hindu tradition trained us to respect plants, trees, birds, and animals as celestial representations. Respect helps preservation. Annihilation is a sign of alienation. When we preserve every being of nature with reverence and respect, nature preserves our life and health too. This is Sanatana Dharma.”-Mohanji
What I perceived was pure devotion. They were oblivious to any concerns about the pandemic. Only the joy and ecstasy of the Lord’s darshan were palpable.
The sound of the bells and drum beats transported me to a different world. After some time, the priest called us inside. There was a seating area to the side where we were asked to wait again. An elderly person who was carrying the drum blessed us by placing it on our heads. The powerful vibrations were from the same instrument. He also gave us sweet prasad, which he had kept safely tied to his dhoti.
Finally, we had Darshan of Jagannath a little while later. The decorations were in progress, and the Lord was being decked up in a new set of garments. Subhasree was standing next to me. I asked her if it was the garment we offered Jagannath, and she said she didn’t think so. We later found out that the special garments that Mohanji had offered would be draped in a later ceremony.
After the darshan, we had the opportunity to soak in the sacred aura of the temple. Mohanji sat near the steps facing a tree. The priest was explaining that it was the Kalpabata-The Wish-fulfilling Tree. I associated what he was saying with Mohanji. Our Guru is indeed a Kalpavriksha, fulfilling the righteous and innocuous desires of all of us.
A white flag offered by Mohanji was flying high on top of the temple tower. The Neel Chakra and the flag were a spectacular sight to behold.
A little while later, we were called again for another Darshan. Lord Jagannath was draped in the special clothes offered by Mohanji. As Amma and I gazed at the deities intensely, trying to identify if it was Mohanji’s offering, Mohanji, who was right behind, confirmed it for us by saying, “These are our offerings!” The bright red garments dazzled and it was a visual treat to behold Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, and Balabadra in splendid Besha.
Radha: After a fulfilling darshan, we prostrated at the “Mukthi Mantap” on our way out. As we exited the temple complex, the Narasimha, enshrined at a towering height, caught our attention. We prayed for his protection and left the temple.
We were informed that we were going to the chief priest’s house again as he was hosting us for dinner. We were not hungry after the sumptuous lunch, but the thought of kheer was inviting!
Sathya: We were served snacks that day – Puri, Dal, Kachori, and Kheer. It so happened that we were dining next to Mohanji that night. Preeti came suddenly and offered to clean the leaf for Mohanji.
He said, “I have cleaned. You can do it for your satisfaction. I don’t want you to have a birth for cleaning leaf!”
Mila, sitting on the other side, was aghast when she heard that. “A life for cleaning leaves?” she asked.
“If a thought is so overpowering, it becomes the main agenda for the next life”, explained Mohanji.
As I was eating, I had a desire for a picture. Mohanji’s explanation was also working in my head at the same time. All our phones were in the car, as we were not supposed to carry it to the shrine. I was trying to drop the thought as we had almost finished and were ready to leave when Mohanji said, “Get the camera!” Another desire was fulfilled instantly!
Radha: After dinner, I presented the HSTD calendar to the chief priest. Your desire ended up with many pictures being captured that night to record those precious moments.
Sathya: The following day, we went to Totapuri Ashram. Totapuri Maharaj was the Guru of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and guided him to use the sword of wisdom and find Goddess Kali within.
“Every prayer should become another inner communion and a deeper connection to the truth within until you recognise that what is inside you and outside of you is indeed the same. There is no prayer, and there is nothing to pray to except an inner activation of omnipresent truth through external symbols and representations.”-Mohanji
When we walked into the ashram, it radiated peaceful energy. At the ashram, before entering the samadhi, we all wanted to take a group picture. I was still soaking in the Jagannatha experience, and to me, the dual camera on the cell phone appeared like Jagannath, with two round eyes and a nose!
As the others entered the shrine and prayed, I stepped away to buy miniature Jagannath dolls from two kids at a stall outside the Mandir. A while later, when the crowd inside subsided, I went in and prostrated at the feet of the idol. We were also shown the treasured cot of Maharaj.
Nowadays, I feel like the mongoose whose body became half-gold after eating the leftovers of a pious Brahmin. It rolled over on many leaves but was only half gold. After rolling on the food left on the leaf of Lord Shri Krishna, it finally turned fully into gold.
I have had some amazing energy experiences connecting to Mohanji, and most other things don’t give me the same feeling. It feels like I am always in a quest for that indescribable ecstasy, that energy surge that fills me now and then at times when it is most unexpected.
Any object or place could also start vibrating with the magical touch of a Siddha.
We were now on the other side of the cot. Mohanji smiled and patted me gently as though he was reading my thoughts.
We stepped out and sat before the shrine. A spider on a wall opposite where we were sitting caught my attention. The spider was oscillating between movement and stillness. I wondered, “Is this my state?”
In the Dattatreya tradition, every being is significant and can reveal the mysteries of our magnificent universe if only we align with it. On returning to Bangalore, I was surprised to read a quote from Mohanji that was related to a spider.
“As a spider gets trapped in its own web, man gets trapped in his own thoughts. Spider makes the web with the thread from his own body. Man makes his trap with thoughts from his own mind. His reality is a product of his own thoughts. He creates his own destiny. He can change it too. Only the one who made the trap can untrap himself.”-Mohanji
Another thing that caught my attention was a picture of Totapuri Maharaj on the outside wall of the Shrine. The picture with his intense eyes gazing up was powerful. There were four conches placed beneath a portrait of Totapuri Maharaj.
I wondered aloud, “What could be the significance of four?”
Amma, beside me, responded, “What do you think?” and I suggested, “Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha, maybe?”
Radha: I was also moving about in the ashram without many expectations. I went in and came out since many were inside. I then circumambulated the Samadhi mandir. By now, the group was sitting in the Samadhi Mandir. I wanted to attend the Darshan of Padukas. At that time, the doors were closed. I thought if I was fortunate, the doors would open. The Priest came from nowhere and opened the door. I went inside and placed my forehead on the padukas. I felt a strong energy and had no thoughts. This had happened so vividly once before at Vashita Guha when I went on the Badrinath trip with Mohanji. It was so magnetic that I could not take my head off the Padukas. All that I could hear vibrating in my inside were the words, “Neeye Naan! Naane Ne! (You Are Me! I am You!).”
I came out and took a couple of pictures opposite the well. We left the place, and then you remarked, “Did you read the words inside the shrine? Aham Brahmasmi!”
Although I did not read the words, the feeling of oneness and no mind did last for a short while in that powerful presence. This was not an imagination or my projection either. Because I came in just like you with zero anticipation, but one person can just do a quick reality check on all of us. That is our mother.
“If this is the oneness you feel, be ready to eat whatever I give without complaints!”
We went to the Sankareshwar temple next. Mohanji and Devi performed Poojas there. I enjoyed the chanting of the priest in a mellifluous voice.
Sathya: A cow constantly moved about in the outer area and stood between Mohanji and Devi like a child. The story of the temple itself is connected to Kamadhenu, the celestial cow- which spontaneously bathed the Shiva Linga with her milk.
One of the priests described the significance of Jagannath Dham. As he explained, I was drawn to the description of Lord Sudharshana. At Jagannath Dham, the deities are worshipped as a quartet. Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra, and Sudarshan. Now I perceived another relevance of my observation of the four conches earlier. It was also visually so evocative when the priest explained. Before Lord Jagannath appeared as Blue Light or Neel Madhav, Lord Sudarshana came as fiery red rays, purifying everything. I was connecting that with Kriya. Purification at all levels should happen before presence is revealed. I meditated on the glory of Lord Sudarshana.
What we both thoroughly enjoyed was the final song after Sri Rudram.
“Hey Shiva Pati, Parvati Pati Trahimam Bhava Sagaram!”
The priest asked the entire group to join the chorus of these few lines. Some sanctified rice was sprinkled on us, and we were asked to keep it tied to the tip of our sarees.
In the evening, we went to Ganga Mutt. Mohanji addressed us all and said we were all part of a special group to have had this experience.
He summed up the trip as Grace in Abundance.
Appa called it Oceanic Merger, for which Mohanji said, “Sagara Sangamam!”
After the talk, when the assembly dispersed, I was engrossed in penning down my takeaways from Mohanji’s speech on a sheet of paper when I saw Mohanji, who had been walking, pause in front of me. I was curiously watching, wondering what he was pausing for, when I noticed that there was an insect in his way. He looked at me.
I realised that he did not want to step on it and tried to take it out of his way quickly, but it had already moved away. That was an exhibition of ultimate compassion! Conscious walking of the highest degree and perfect awareness at every step.
Radha: The next day was an open agenda. None of us really wanted to see Konark and the plan was fluid. Amma mentioned the Sakshi Gopinath temple. This was on our way back to Bhubaneswar and we decided to go.
At Sakshi Gopinath, the cows actually knocked on the window of our car when we arrived. Appa was so moved that he bought a lot of bananas and fed them heartily. An old man guided us to the temple.
At the temple, we were told that Krishna is the witness to the pilgrimage that one makes to the Char Dham. After singing bhajans, we thanked Krishna for the memorable experience.
Sathya: Our last stop was the Lingaraj temple. Lingaraj means the king of Lingas. After having a pleasant darshan, we circumambulated and sat at a place, singing hymns.
“Shiva is Supreme Consciousness, brightness, full awareness. We worship Shiva linga, li or la is connected to Layana – dissolution, dissolving. Ga means vast, unfathomable. So, the shiva linga is an expression of something which is vast and cannot be contained into any form, structure or frame. We are worshipping Shiva, that state of being fully conscious. That is more or less the method of the Datta or Avadhoota tradition. They are fully occupied with Supreme Consciousness. Fully aware of Supreme Consciousness. Every movement of every atom, they feel. They are fully occupied, fully aware. Datta tradition is that aspect of being fully aware, fully conscious but at the same time fully responsible, fully here”.-Mohanji
Radha: There was a Hanuman shrine just opposite the place we sat. After performing pooja at the Hanuman temple, we were asked to go to the shrine of Baidyanath.
Sathya: When we entered, the priest was struggling with an object. One of the eyes of Baidyanath had fallen off, and the priest was trying to fix it.
You said, “If this is the condition for Baidyanath (Lord Shiva as the Chief of Doctors) himself, then what of the common man?” That was such well-timed humour!
I remembered that Appa had sandal paste. He was hesitant about offering the sandal paste at the shrine as he had very little left, and it may need to be more. I insisted that he should offer it to the priest to anoint the lingam. The priest took the paste, applied it on the lingam, and attached the eye of the Lord to it, and it instantly fell back in place! I left the premises with prayers to heal the world from the effects of the pandemic
One more shrine awaited us in the same temple complex. It was a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva as Vishwakarma, the celestial architect.
The priest at this shrine told us that Lord Shiva himself took the form of the celestial architect Viswakarma and constructed all the shrines. An Akandadeep (Eternal lamp) is kept burning here.
Radha: I visualised the beautiful Mohanji Ashrams that would be built in the future as the priest described the glory of Lord Shiva as Viswakarma!
The entire trip had been such an amazing experience! I remember on our return flight, a co-passenger who had been to Puri shared with me that it had not been easy for him to get Darshan of Jagannath! It made me cherish our experiences even more, and I mentally thanked our Master for it.
Sathya: Last but not least, our pilgrimage culminated with another meeting with Mohanji and a thrilling visit to the airport before he boarded the flight. I express my heartfelt gratitude to Lord Jagannath, Mohanji, Subhasree, and everyone who made this trip truly memorable. Before we knew it, we were back in Bangalore. The following days saw a bit of churning, with all of us experiencing some signs of cold and fever.
But even while experiencing that, some soothing waves constantly massaged my spine. Puri waves, indeed! Jagannath’s vibes were so overpowering that they kept us hooked to Him.
Radha: Truly memorable. I am awaiting the next one now. Will it be Dwaraka?
Jai Mohanji! Jai Jagannath!
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||
Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 12th January 2023
The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Mohanji, Mohanji Foundation, it’s members, employees or any other individual or entity associated with Mohanji or Mohanji Foundation. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.
Mohanji Testimonials team