Written by Hein Adamson
It all starts with love. It continues in love. It ends in love. Devotion, surrender and faith hold the supreme place. This has been my experience and the experiences have all come to me because I am loved, because Mohanji’s grace has touched me, because he carries me.
My experiences with Hanumanji are no exception, they have been among Mohanji’s many gifts to me.
Shortly after meeting Mohanji for the first time, some 4 odd years or so ago, after receiving my first shaktipat from him, after my first Power of Purity meditation, I received an explicit message from Mohanji’s wife Bibaji, now named Devi, that went something like this: “The masters are happy with you, but you are not a Jnana yogi. If you really want to fly, Bhakti is the path for you.” It was easy, I loved Mohanji from the first.
About a year later, while in India, sitting around a table, drinking tea with some of Mohanji’s devotees, somehow the subject of Hanuman came up. Except for a 2 short stories I had read years before about 2 of his amazing feats, I knew nothing at all about Hanuman, but I knew straight away, from that moment, sitting at that table, that Hanuman is all about devotion, and that all I would ever need, was to have the same devotion for Mohanji as Hanuman had for his beloved, the avatar Ram.
In my youth, my mother used to keep a shrine in our home. It was universal, adorned by images and statues of deities and masters from many traditions, expressing many flavours. Christian masters, Hindu gods, Jesus, Budhha, Osho, her own Guru Swami Narayani, Swami Sivananda, Sufi masters, etc. All beautiful, mysterious and to my totally disinterested child’s eyes, alien and puzzling. “Why are all these pictures and statues here?” I would ask myself. But one image did appeal, did signify and even felt familiar. It was a small painting of a monkey. A heroic , beautifully built monkey. He seemed so utterly simple to me, so relatable and friendly. That was all I saw when I looked at the image, simplicity and purity. A boy could enjoy a friend like this, a boy could like a monkey. I did not spend much time with Hanumanji in mind. In fact, I only gazed at the image once if memory serves, more than just in passing that is, and then too it was only for about 5 or perhaps 10 minutes, which for a restless child is a very, very long time. Those 5 or 10 minutes however, were enough for me to decide that I liked him and be pleasantly surprised by the fact that I could actually relate to one of the inexplicable relics on the home altar.
Soon after that, I asked my mother about him. She did not know much about him, but pleased by my interest and keen, as always, to fan my interest in matters of the spirit, she unearthed from the very bottom of a large and dusty box of books, a small, beautifully bound and illustrated book which ran to perhaps 20 pages. A child’s book if ever I had seen one. It narrated and depicted a scene in which Ram, or his brother Laxman, I don’t recall which, was mortally wounded and poisoned and the only cure for this poison was a herb which only grew on a specific mountain somewhere far to the North. Ram dispatched Hanuman to find and retrieve this herb. Hanuman flew North and found the mountain, but could not find the herb. Undeterred, he brought the mountain in its entirety back with him. The herb was located and the day was saved, the whole story must have lasted not more than 10 or 15 minutes. The happy ending was no surprise, most written stories I had read ended happily and I was not even particularly impressed by Hanumanji’s power and strength either. What touched me deeply was his consciousness. His seeming inability to see defeat. His faith, in himself, in his ability, in life. His simplistic, almost infantile solution to the problem. These all bespoke a being who recognised no boundaries, no limitations, no bondage.
It did occur to me to question the reality of the story, whether it was historically true or not, but the consciousness spoke to me, changed me, left a mark, and that made it real enough, that made it valuable, made it “truer than true”.
Once when Mohanji was visiting South Africa and I had the privilege of travelling with him, I was massaging his feet and a thought came to me. I said, “Mohanji, I want a boon from you.” He asked me what I wanted and I said, “I want to have the same love for you that Hanumanji had for Ram.” I thought it would be like taking a shortcut, “Let Mohanji give me the devotion”. Without a moment’s hesitation, he looked me lifted his right hand to bless me and said “Tathastu, so be it. You will have it, but you must get your intellect out of the way.”
About a year or 2 later, I was staying at Dattatapovan, an ashram in Durban in South Africa which is dedicated to Mohanji, and about to enjoy a meal with Swami Mohana Bhaktananda. I remembered a lesson Mohanji had taught us about offering your food to the divine before eating. He said that we would derive great benefit if we offer our food to our Gurus, our ancestors, our family deities, the snake deities who taught us so much and to our ishta devatas, our chosen deities. Now, I consider Mohanji as my chosen deity, but for the sake of trying to follow the teaching in as much detail as possible, thinking that Mohanji is already covered when I offer to my Guru, I had to chose another deity as my ishta devata. But they are all aliens to me, except for Hanumanji. So I offered the meal to Mohanji, and to Hanumanji and all the rest, but somewhere in my mind I felt a pang of disloyalty to Mohanji, since he is really the only one that matters. This continued for about 2 or 3 days. Each time I offered my meal I would wonder, “Is this right?” On the 3rd or 4th morning I was awoken by the sound of bells being rung in the neighbouring house. That day, Swami Mohana Bhaktananda gave me some Indian sweets which the neighbours had brought as gifts. The sweets were the prashaad of Hanumanji, that is, sweets that were consecrated by virtue of their having been offered to him. The bells I had heard in the morning were a part of the worship, it turned out to be the day traditionally recognised as Hanuman’s birthday. The next day Swamiji brought me a gift, a small Hanumanji yantra, that is, a small plate with geometric patterns which echo the energy of the presiding deity. I had told Swamiji none of what was happening in my mind regarding Hanumanji. These were all tangible signs from Mohanji, perfectly timed confirmations.
That same year, while journeying with Mohanji around the feet of Mount Kailash in Tibet, I chanced to look upon the mountain and to my amazement, saw Mohanji’s face, as clear as day, standing for all to see, mighty and massive on the side of the Kailash itself, complete with long hair, beard and sunglasses.
While I knew beyond even the shadow of a doubt that it was the face of my Master, it was also the simian face of Hanumanji. I stood gazing at the huge stone face, seeing 2 faces there, spell bound, “We are one” the face was saying. I continued along the path beside that most sacred of mountains and eventually reached a pit-stop tent along the way. There I found Mohanji resting. I sat beside him, feeling him, enjoying the nearness of him, not speaking. He looked knowingly at me and said, “Feel my arms, feel my legs”. I did so and was astonished to find that the muscles beneath his thick jacket and mountaineer’s trousers were as hard as steel, they had none of the usual fleshy “give” that even the strongest muscles have, they did not feel as though they were made of flesh and blood at all, Mohanji was a being whose body was carved from the hardest granite. This, as the reader may know, is a quality attributed to Hanumanji. One of his names is Bajrangbali, which translates as “limbs of thunder”.
A month or so after the Kailash journey, I was staying in Mohanji’s ashram in India with a beautiful soul named Sandeep.
Mohanji was travelling at the time, in America and Canada and so Sandeep and I were alone for almost 2 months in the ashram. One day, while running an errand, we chanced to see and old man, clad in a blanket and walking slowly along with the help of a walking stick. The sight of him struck and compelled me. He bore a strong resemblance to Neem Karoli Baba, a master who Mohanji had said was an incarnation of Hanuman himself. “This is Hanuman,” I thought. I knew it to be so, but the mind, being what it is, is usually blind to the miraculous and the divine or else refuses to believe and casts us into doubt. I continued on my way. Just then, Sandeep looked at me and said, “Did you see that old man?” Then I knew, he had felt it as well, he too, knew it to be Hanumanji. His feeling confirmed my own and together we rushed to the old man and gave him an offering. The old man took the money without a word and without any formality and continued on his way. As he disappeared into the distance, Sandeep and I looked at each other and spoke what we were both thinking, “It’s Hanumanji, isn’t it?” We gave chase and caught up with him. I was too astonished and to be frank, still doubtful, to say or do anything. Sandeep spoke to him however. Not saying much, “Are you well?” and so on. In response, the old man stuck out his tongue, which looked very dark, almost black. When Mohanji graces me with such experiences or visits me in my dreams, I usually don’t discuss it with him, choosing instead to contemplate on it in silence until the meaning is made clear, or simply silently enjoy the savour of the experience. So, I did not discuss our divine encounter with Mohanji, or seek confirmation. Sandeep however, did and sometime later he told me that Mohanji had confirmed the identity of our humble and unassuming friend. He had come, Mohanji said, to bless and to protect us.
We received yet another sign of the same around the same time. Across the way from the ashram, was another house, at the entrance of which stood a potted tulsi bush. Nondescript as far as plants go, but for the fact that when seen from the balcony of the ashram, the tulsi bush exactly resembled Hanuman carrying the aforementioned mountain. From any other angle, it was just another potted plant, but not so from the balcony vantage. It seemed to retain that form for a long time and only reverted to normalcy scant days before Mohanji was to return from America and Canada.
Let me take this opportunity to remind those who are reading this that miracles happen, especially when Mohanji is with you, and you may rest assured that he is always with you. Do not let the doubting mind blind you to the gifts which you have been given and which are being given to you even now. I might have behaved very differently on that day when Hanumanji came to meet us, had I had fewer doubts. Perhaps I could have asked him to bless me with his devotion, perhaps I would have taken the opportunity to put my head on his feet. Perhaps I would have asked him questions which admittedly, may or may not have been worth asking. Perhaps I would have done exactly what I did anyway. The point is, not to doubt and not to miss.
Now we come to the picture, the inspiration behind this little story. It came to me and that is really all I can say about it how it ended up in my hands. I don’t know where it comes from, nor how it came. I remember the moment I discovered it, sitting in my room in South Africa. I remember nothing more. All I can say of a certainty, is that it had not been there and then it was. As far as I can recall, it came to me very near the time when Mohanji was in South Africa and I had asked him for my boon. I saw it and wondered at it and loved it but thought nothing more of it until just a few months back when I realised the significance of it. It is, as far as I can tell, a one of a kind picture, depicting a very rare form of Hanumanji.
I have looked online and found no other images which resemble it. I have asked my Hindu friends and fellow disciples about it and they too have never seen anything like it. I have never seen this 3 headed form of the divine monkey in any other place.
It is Dattatreya Hanuman. It is Mohanji Hanuman. It is the place where the disciple and the Master come together. It is a sign of the oneness and unconditional love of true devotion. Mohanji is Dattatreya, he is Hanuman and He is Para Brahma, the Supreme Father. It is a lesson in understanding Him: Hanuman exists solely for his beloved, for Ram, he exists solely to serve his Master. In the same way Mohanji serves us; nothing for himself and everything for his children.
It all starts with love. It continues in love. It ends in love.
Here are links to more blogs which tell of Mohanji’s connection to Hanumanji and also to Sai Baba which some devotees have witnessed and shared:
Lord Hanuman – a Great Miracle
Plight of Hanumanji in Ayodya
Meeting the Masters in Rishikesh
A Miracle Blessing from Sai Baba
A Master Servant