Mohanji Home for Seniors – Part 1

By Madhusudan Rajagopalan, India

This is a story from the book – Guru Leela 5

The Mohanji Home for Seniors in Tiruvannamalai (Tamil Nadu, India) started operations on 1st September 2021. This has been a special project in many ways – the first physical space in India that went ‘live’, the noble cause of serving underprivileged, elderly people and the sacred location of Tiruvannamalai – home to the holy mountain Arunachala and several Siddhas and Masters. A substantial project like this has several nuances on how grace enabled progress every step of the way. This story is an attempt to take you through that journey. The journey of how Mohanji’s vision unfolded. And the journeys of multiple volunteers who were a part of this story and witnessed it unfold before them, wondering how things actually transpired.

How the project was born

The seeds of this project were laid in October 2018 during a retreat with Mohanji in Tiruvannamalai. There was a seva activity during the retreat where Mohanji led a group to an old-age shelter that provided shelter to around 40-50 elderly sadhus. This shelter was in a makeshift hall – a dormitory with beds on both sides in a cramped space. The roof was held up with tin sheets which made it exceedingly hot during the summer. 

However, the caretaker, Ramana, managed this setup with great dedication, tending to the seniors with much love and sincerity to keep them comfortable. We had known about this shelter earlier, having visited it during a trip in December 2017, following which Mohanji had organised for Ammucare Charitable Trust to support them with groceries and supplies from time to time. During this visit, our group learnt that the centre was facing a threat of eviction by the local municipality. 

Some of these elders were unwell, and some had been abandoned by their families – a tragic tale that plays out at several sacred locations in India: families bring elderly members on a pilgrimage and then abandon them there for various reasons! In fact, when our group interacted with some of the seniors, they even mistook them for their long-lost family members! This experience really moved Mohanji and our group members. It became clear that the status quo would not suffice for much longer. 

Upon their return to the hotel, Pravin Thakkar (Pravinbhai), one of the retreat participants, mentioned to Mohanji that he would like to support an initiative to resolve this problem permanently. Immediately, Mohanji swung into action and initiated an effort to look for an alternative space for the sadhus. The first attempt was to look for a rental house that could accommodate the whole group of elders. But nobody wanted to let out their premises to such a group. That left us with only the option of buying land and building our own centre to house this group. 

When Mohanji mentioned this plan to Ramana, his first response was, “Mohanji, many people have come here and promised us things. Please don’t make promises to us that don’t get executed.” Mohanji assured him that this was not a vain promise and immediately activated our group to look for a suitable piece of land. Pravinbhai told Mohanji that he deeply resonated with this cause and volunteered to support this initiative – both financially and to galvanise additional support through his network of contacts. 

The search for the right land

Once Mohanji made this decision, the wheels were set in motion. Mohanji’s specifications were clear as always – around 10-12 cents (100 cents of land equals 1 acre) of land, a clear view of Mt. Arunachala, a clean title of the land, and ideally, something that was between the Girivalam road (the road that is used for circumambulation of Arunachala mountain) and the mountain so that prayers could be offered to the mountain regularly. 

Ananth Sankaran, a member of our group, was given the responsibility of coordinating this effort. Having visited this centre with Mohanji earlier, Ananth was familiar with Ramana and had some local friends and contacts there. Ananth was based in Australia, so he started calling local real estate agents to scout for the right places. This process began in October 2018. Real estate scouting is always fraught with risks, and finding genuine parties and clean land is often challenging. This is even tougher when one doesn’t have local people on the ground to visit and verify facts. When Mohanji told me about this project initially, my role was to oversee the activities and support where required. I was based in Mumbai and spoke with Ananth regularly for updates. Soon, 2-3 months had passed, but no concrete progress had been made. 

One day in early 2019, Mohanji called me and asked for an update. I told him where we stood – “We are speaking with people, and we are trying. So many challenges, hard to do this etc.” He listened patiently and had only one thing to say at the end “Move quickly before Pravinbhai changes his mind about supporting this project. How long do you expect him to wait?” That question really shook me. In our heads, we were (supposedly) genuinely trying and facing obstacles. But the larger picture here was that the cause of supporting seniors was too important to let it languish. And if an opportunity was given, the opportunity came with a limited window. This was also a subtle lesson that every person supporting a cause is ‘sent’ by the Tradition, and not accepting the support promptly is tantamount to blocking grace and the gifts of the Tradition. What I didn’t know at that time was Pravinbhai was possibly getting frustrated at the delays and wondering if the project would even take off. In a way, Mohanji’s gentle warning put the project back on course!

This reality check led to a shift of gears. Ananth and I spoke, and we agreed that it would be more efficient for me to coordinate locally. By early 2019, my professional situation had also shifted, and I was dedicating more time to Mohanji Foundation activities, so it became easier for me to focus on this project. But the months of January and February 2019 were busy with the Mohanji Global Summit and the Kumbh Mela with Mohanji programs, so more time passed by. In early March, Mohanji called me to Bangalore for a few days to discuss some projects and move things forward. After a couple of days there, I was to return to Mumbai. But I had this sudden thought, ‘Why not visit Tiruvannamalai and do some land scouting in person?’ I quickly asked Mohanji for his guidance, and he responded in two words “Shubhasya Sheegram” (loosely translated to ‘doing something quickly is auspicious’). This was the signal we needed, and we set about organising our trip immediately. There were a couple of other people also staying in Mohanji’s home then, and all of us decided to take the overnight bus to Tiruvannamalai that night itself. 

We had to plan arrangements for our stay in Tiruvannamalai and figure out which lands we would visit. As if on cue, all our arrangements worked out almost instantly. Bus tickets were booked, flight tickets rebooked, and bags packed and ready to go within an hour. Through a relative’s reference, we arranged rooms for our stay at the Yogi Ramsuratkumar ashram. I made some more phone calls to our broker contacts, and we had a few land visits organised during our trip. 

The next morning, in Tiruvannamalai, we started the day by visiting Yogi Ramsuratkumar’s samadhi. I had visited Yogiji’s samadhi twice before with Mohanji, and I always felt a special connection to this place. So when this trip fell into place, I was particular about seeking his blessings for our project. I also sought Ma Devaki (the spiritual head of the ashram and someone who had served Yogiji for many years before his maha samadhi) to consult her for guidance. Ma Devaki and Mohanji shared a special bond, having met many times earlier. I explained our project requirements and asked her if she could give us any leads or introduce us to someone trustworthy that could help us further. Just then, someone walked past Ma Devaki, and she asked him this question about lands suitable for us, and the person immediately referred us to somebody looking to sell his land. 

Yogi Ramsuratkumar

I called the landowner (let’s call him Mr G), who explained his long-standing connection to Yogiji, more about his land and why he wished to sell it now. Ma Devaki told me that Ma Vijayalakshmi (another lady who had served Yogiji for several years) wanted to join us for this land visit, so our visit was in the ashram car. Though Ma Vijayalakshmi decided that the land was not suitable for her, being quite far from the ashram, it definitely felt like Yogi Ramsuratkumar was orchestrating the visit and taking care of our comfort. 

After seeing nearly ten different options in 2 days, we now had 3-4 serious options that could be evaluated further. It almost seemed like the Masters were waiting for us to take a few steps so that they could ease our path. Mohanji often says, “If you flap your wings, I will be the wind beneath your wings.” The unsaid part here is that first, one must flap one’s wings! 

I updated Pravinbhai and promised to keep him abreast of progress. I started communicating with the landowner Mr G to discuss title documents, price and other details. At this stage, this land looked the most feasible in terms of budget and availability. However, it was not exactly in line with Mohanji’s directives (Mt Arunachala was visible from the land, but it was quite far from the Girivalam). I told Mohanji about the options, and he just advised me to keep moving forward; interestingly, he did not give concrete answers on which land to pick, nor did he rule anything out. 

A few weeks later, in early April, I made another trip to Tiruvannamalai. This time, I met a lawyer to study the documents of Mr G’s land more closely. I also met some of the landowners of lands shortlisted in the earlier trip. This process ruled out some of the options, and we were back to not having any concrete options. Given that I was based in Mumbai, frequent trips to Tiruvannamalai were not easy, so we roped in Kishore Mundanad into the project. Kishore was based in Chennai and the main coordinator for all seva activities in Tiruvannamalai. So he would visit every other week, and over a couple of trips, he identified some options that seemed to be more feasible for our requirements. One of these plots seemed quite suitable for us, even if a bit expensive and beyond our initial budget estimates. Kishore and I agreed that this would be the appropriate range for land costs, and he started discussing further details with the owner. 

A couple of months passed, and further discussions led us to understand that the owner was now developing this land commercially, so the option we liked was no longer available. However, the landowner liked our cause and wanted to support us, so he mentioned the possibility of another land he was working on. He had not shown this to us earlier as he was still trying to acquire it, and there were some disputes within the seller’s family at that stage. However, just as the other option fell through, this came back into the reckoning and the path cleared for this land. Kishore began talking specifics with the landowner as we felt that this could well be the land for us. I updated Mr G that we were not going ahead with his land as we wanted something closer to the Girivalam.

Soon we were in July 2019. I had the opportunity to attend the Guru Purnima event with Mohanji in Bangalore. Immediately after this auspicious occasion, I left for Tiruvannamalai to see the latest land options and meet the owners. As soon as we saw the options, we knew which land had to be finalised. It was a beautiful serene spot between the Girivalam and Mt Arunachala. It was 10 cents of land (the minimum that Mohanji had specified) and had a clear view of the mountain – it almost felt like one could walk from the land and touch the mountain in a few minutes. We met the owner that afternoon, agreed on terms and shook hands with him to finalise our land for the project. 

The interesting angle here was that this land was also brought to us by an agent who was a Yogi Ramsuratkumar follower, so Yogiji’s invisible hand was felt at every stage. The owner was an active member of the Brahmakumaris movement; in fact, the land opposite ours was being developed for Brahmakumaris. So it seemed like a grand collaboration for a noble cause. And later, the owner remarked to Kishore – “Normally, I would never agree to such a deal as I did with you guys. I am not sure what happened to me. I just couldn’t say no to what you were asking.” But we knew – it was Mohanji’s grace working to power the project forward! 

I updated Pravinbhai about this, and he was excited about our progress. He started mobilising financial support, and within a few weeks, we had arranged the entire sum required, even though this was higher than our original budget! We rapidly finalised all the legal details of the agreement payment milestones and scheduled an auspicious date for the land registration. Finally, the agreement to buy the land was executed on 29th November 2019 by Mohanji. 

Bhoomi Puja Ceremony

Once the land was acquired, the next big milestone was to inaugurate the project. Mohanji wanted us to move quickly on this, and we started looking for auspicious dates in Jan 2020. The chosen date was 29th January 2020, the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami. After some deliberations, the name “Mohanji Home for Seniors” was finalised. Mohanji was keen that the inauguration be done not by him but by seniors who could appreciate this project’s virtues. So the chief guests were Dr PK Namboodiri and Sridevi Namboodiri (Mohanji’s parents), Snehajyothi Amma (an elderly lady in Tiruvannamalai whose mother was instrumental in taking Ramana Maharishi’s teachings to Germany) and Mr TR Gopalakrishnan (TRG) from Chennai.

TRG was a retired senior shipping executive and had a deep bond with Mohanji, like a father-son relationship. Mohanji was very keen on TRG coming for this function, but TRG resisted, citing his old age (87 years) and various excuses. Eventually, it took strong, personal convincing from Mohanji to make TRG participate in the function. The reason for this insistence became evident much later when TRG passed away in June 2021. This project and its progress literally kept him going till his last breath and provided great fulfilment and completion, easing his onward journey. In that sense, Mohanji was fulfilling his duty by giving TRG that experience and allowing him to benefit from the grace that comes from serving the elderly.

Based on Mohanji’s guidance, we got a foundation stone ready to honour all the above names and installed it just in time for the function. Priests were organised, invitations went out to our community, and the preparations fell into place. The week of this function happened to be among the busiest periods in Tiruvannamalai, so accommodation was a challenge. With some help from our friends, we managed to find accommodation in a new hotel. This led to another interesting ‘coincidence’ – Mooji Baba, a world-renowned spiritual Master, happened to be staying in the same hotel. The day after we arrived, Mohanji and Mooji ran into each other in the reception lobby. Their deep bond from before led to an immediate outpouring of love and affection from both sides and ended with Mohanji inviting Mooji Baba to the Bhoomi puja function. Mooji immediately agreed, despite the short notice and his busy schedule.

On the day of the function, everything went like clockwork. The pujas were conducted flawlessly, a large group of supporters came together to celebrate the occasion, and soon the chief guests unveiled the foundation stone to launch the project. Mohanji arrived with Mooji Baba, and both Masters addressed the audience to explain the value of serving selflessly and spreading kindness. At Mohanji’s request, Mooji Baba planted two audumbar saplings at the site and gave his blessings for the project’s success. Each audience member also put their intentions onto a brick and handed it over to the priests for consecration. Subsequently, bricks blessed by Ma Devaki at Yogi Ramsuratkumar ashram and Devi Amma, a great Siddha saint from Bangalore, were also added to this set. These blessed bricks currently adorn a wall of the reception area of the Mohanji Home for Seniors.

The Bhoomi puja ceremony was a big milestone and served to highlight several aspects of how Mohanji operates. Soon after the land registration, he wanted speed and got us to organise this function quickly without wasting any time. We didn’t fully understand why at that point, but it became clear when the Covid pandemic hit India in mid-March, and lockdowns brought the movement to a standstill. If we had missed that window, the project might have languished for much longer, denying several needy elders the opportunity to stay at the Home. He also wanted to stay in the background and put the spotlight squarely on the chief guests inaugurating the function. In this way, he honoured the elderly in a very sophisticated fashion and allowed them to experience the completion of long-standing latent desires.

In fact, Sneha Jyothi Amma told Mohanji, “Many Masters and spiritual people come to Tiruvannamalai and give talks. But with you, I see that you don’t talk too much. You only talk about what you actually do. This is why I like you!” Mohanji inviting Mooji Baba was a beautiful lesson in humility. Though this was his project, something that he had visualised and driven, he was completely open to sharing and even ceding the stage to Mooji Baba. This demonstrated his commitment to the cause – the more Masters that can bless a project, the better it was for the sadhus who would live there. And lastly, he handled the whole trip to Tiruvannamalai with a painful, swollen foot and mostly limping. Again, he showed that for him, purpose comes first, and nothing, not even severe bodily discomfort, can stop him from moving forward. I took those lessons as a big inspiration from Mohanji, and this set the stage for the next phase of the project – construction.

To be continued….


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 30th March 2023


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Mohanji Testimonials team


Madhusudan Rajagopalan, India

Mohanji often says, “Life is a journey that starts with two people bringing us into the world, and ends with four people carrying us out. And in between those two points, we meet various people and undergo various experiences that make this life complete.” This frail life journey between the two and four is peppered with encounters of relationships with various flavours – family, relatives, friends, colleagues, enemies, acquaintances, and many strangers. In my time with Mohanji, I have seen relationships with almost complete strangers metamorphose into an unusually close bond. Other than them being past life soul connections, it would be hard to explain this phenomena easily.

One such personality was Mr. T. R. Gopalakrishnan, a doyen of the shipping industry, who recently succumbed to his recent ailments and passed away on 23rd June 2021 in Chennai, India. Gopalakrishnan Appa was an amazing personality whom I had the privilege of knowing closely over the last few years, thanks to Mohanji. Through this blog, we would like to honour his memory and share insights on the deep connection between Appa and Mohanji that extended over several lifetimes.

Gopalakrishnan Appa and Mohanji – a deep bond

Gopalakrishnan Appa was a highly regarded figure in the world of shipping. He was the head of Southern Shipping Corporation, one of the leading Indian shipping companies in those times, and a much-sought advisor and consultant post retirement. A qualified lawyer and an expert in international maritime law, he served as an arbitrator for legal cases and was also venerated as a model of integrity. He travelled to teach on shipping related topics and was known to breathe life into an otherwise dull subject with intelligent use of humor, anecdotes, stories and experiences.

In 2000, Mohanji was working in the shipping industry in Dubai. One day, an ex-colleague requested Mohanji to arrange a vehicle for his boss (TRG) who was arriving from India. He was out of town and wanted to ensure that things were done right. Knowing him to be a very senior official, Mohanji offered to pick TRG up from the airport. From the airport, Mohanji took TRG to the hotel room and ensured he was comfortable. The next day, TRG had to attend some meetings. Instead of arranging a taxi, Mohanji decided to personally drive him to his meetings. Over those trips, Mohanji shared the story of his daughter Ammu’s death in a tragic accident a few months ago. TRG responded with the story of the unfortunate death of his son. In no time, a strong connection was built up between them.

After completing his business meetings, TRG told Mohanji that he wanted to buy gold jewellery. Mohanji took TRG to the people he knew at the gold souk (market) where TRG bought a big gold ring. When Mohanji dropped TRG back to the hotel room, TRG unexpectedly gifted the expensive ring he had just bought to Mohanji. When Mohanji asked why, he hugged Mohanji with great affection and told him “Even my son wouldn’t have done all that you have done for me. You ensured that I felt loved and not lonely. Please keep the ring as my memory.” Mohanji refused saying, “If I need a material object to remember you, I’m not worth it.” TRG persisted. Mohanji countered, “I will take the ring only if you allow me to gift the same ring to you as my memento to you.” When he heard this, TRG decided against it since he knew that this ring was too expensive for Mohanji to buy. This episode deeply impacted TRG.

On his return to India, he sought Mohanji’s parents’ address and travelled to the neighbouring state to visit them. He told them, “Do you know what kind of a son you have? He is not greedy, not trying to conquer the world, quite unlike the typical professional in Dubai. He needs nothing. He is the epitome of purity. He is not ordinary.”

Their strong bond continued thereon. TRG treated Mohanji like his own son and regularly kept tabs on Mohanji’s well-being and career. Being from the shipping industry, he would engage with Mohanji on this subject matter. Mohanji would visit TRG and his wife in Chennai regularly and stay with them. Mohanji remembers the memorable days they spent together. He took Mohanji to Tirupati, a revered temple town in South India, that is thronged by millions of devotees. Together, they did normal “family stuff” – joked around, watched Tamil movies (7G Rainbow Colony is one of the movies that I’ve heard they watched. They also watched a Malayalam movie called Rajamanikkam, which was directed by Mohanji’s friend Anwar Rashid), ate at restaurants, had late night ice-cream outings. One day, he commented that he had recognised Mohanji as his son from a previous lifetime. Mohanji acknowledged it and over the years, with love and reverence, fulfilled the role of a dutiful son.

My first meeting with Gopalakrishnan Appa… and thereafter

I first met Gopalakrishnan Appa on 24th November 2015 when I visited his home with Mohanji, Devi and Mila. We had just returned from Tiruvannamalai to Chennai and had a short window of time before a satsang later that evening. Mohanji insisted that we should visit Appa at any cost. Oblivious of their connection, I had accompanied Mohanji to Appa’s home. We were greeted with great warmth and love. Aunty (Appa’s wife) related stories and showed pictures from Mohanji’s visits from the earlier years. Also, pictures of Mila from when she was a small baby. I gathered that Mohanji hadn’t visited them often in recent years. However, he had obviously been in regular touch with them. Similarly, they were keenly tracking developments in his life as well as his work around the world. It was amazing to see Mila warming up to Appa and Aunty, totally at ease in their home. She demanded her favourite food and enjoyed their pampering. It seemed like a visit to one’s family.

Despite his deep affection for Mohanji, I noticed that Appa remained poker faced with a strict demeanour all the time, other than the occasional wise crack, often at Aunty’s expense. At that point, I didn’t know how Mohanji and Appa were connected, but when I learnt about it later, the dynamics during that whole visit made total sense! While leaving, Mohanji casually invited TRG to the evening satsang. Normally, TRG would never budge out of his home or his routine, but on that day, he agreed immediately! At the satsang, Mohanji requested TRG to speak a few words – his way of honouring Appa by giving him due respect. Appa spoke spontaneously and humorously about Vedic texts, their interpretation and relevance to us in human life.

I was responsible for coordinating Appa’s to and fro travel which allowed me to spend more time with him. When we returned to his house, he invited me to his library, stacked with ancient Indian scriptures. I learnt that Appa was an ardent student of the Hindu scripturesand a Sanskrit aficionado. Daily, he would spend time in his library, poring over a scriptural text, reading each word and phrase a few times and contemplating on the depth and true meaning of the verses. Averse to the ritualistic or mechanical scriptural reading, he liked to parse each word, split the syllables, think through various interpretations and truly understand the life lessons from the text. He was learning advanced Sanskrit from a teacher to help understand the scriptures better. Despite being in his 80s, his zest for learning was inspiring. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, especially in the form of Lord Guruvayurappan (a famous temple of Lord Krishna in Kerala) and would quote shlokas (scriptural verses) at will to buttress his points.

Our first day after satsang meeting cemented my bond with him. I connected with him almost instantly and I believe vice-versa possibly because I accompanied Mohanji. We stayed in regular touch, whenever possible, either on the phone or in person meetings during my visits to my parents in Chennai. This pattern continued for many years after.

The Mohanji Home for Seniors

In late 2019, we acquired a piece of land in Tiruvannamalai (a sacred temple town in Tamil Nadu) to build the “Mohanji Home for Seniors” – a safe home for abandoned elderly people in the town especially sadhus (wandering monks), where they could live with respect and love for the rest of their lives. Mohanji decided to inaugurate the project on 29th January 2020, on the auspicious day of Vasant Panchami and wished that a few elders close to him preside over the function, namely, his parents, Gopalakrishnan Appa and Snehajyothi Amma (an elderly lady in Tiruvannamalai who was deeply connected to Ramana Maharishi and very fond of Mohanji).

I was tasked with ensuring Appa’s presence at the function and arranging his travel there. When I informed Appa, he was thrilled to hear about the project and keen to support it. He also mentioned a deep yearning for many years to visit Tiruvannamalai. However, he was unwilling to step out of his home or undertake the journey to Tiruvannamalai. He cited various reasons – old age, his health, aunty’s health, the need for him to be there, and so on. I persisted as best as I could, but despite several phone calls, he literally stonewalled me! When I wasn’t making progress, I explained the situation to Mohanji.

Mohanji then shed light on his relationship with Appa. As Appa had revealed their connection an earlier lifetime, Mohanji shared more details that he had been a prince in waiting while Appa was the king. Despite being very fond of his son, Appa as the king could never express his deep affection or love, due to his royal position. It continued in this life as well where he would never display it visibly and keep his expression within bounds. Further, Mohanji revealed that the Mohanji Home for Seniors would be a place of nitya annadaan (daily feeding of people). By presiding over the inauguration, Appa would get the benefits of feeding people three times a day for the times to come, that would cleanse his lineage karma and substantially lighten his baggage. Mohanji was  subtly fulfilling his duties as a son, thus completing his past bond with Appa.

Mohanji decided to call Appa directly. He gave Appa an ultimatum, “Either you agree to go to Tiruvannamalai or I will fly down to Chennai tomorrow to take you there with me.” It worked. Appa called me later and mentioned Mohanji’s conversation. While he was still not confident, he could not deny Mohanji’s intense wish! He said that he would travel with us and let Lord Srikrishna ensure his safety. We made the necessary arrangements for Appa’s travel and stay in Tiruvannamalai. Besides Appa and aunty, their close family friends also joined to spend 2 blissful days in Tiruvannamalai.

Over that trip, Appa understood the significance of the project and was deeply grateful for having been involved in it. Appa’s heart melted when he saw the homeless people who would be served by the project. He spoke beautifully at the inauguration and later told us that he now understood Mohanji’s insistence on his participation. He also visited the famous Arunachala temple and Ramana Maharishi’s samadhi as well as soaked in the energy of the powerhouse that is Tiruvannamalai, home to thousands of siddhas (perfected beings).

Appa, Acchan, Amma at the hotel room at Thiruvannamalai

Since then, he regularly stayed in touch with us to enquire about the project progress. By March 2020, our project plans were ready but the Covid-19 lockdown put them on hold. Appa however asked us to use the time to finish our planning. His corporate leadership skills came to the fore. He advised us to take advantage of firms hurting from the lockdown by negotiating with the vendors and buying materials early to save money. He also suggested to fix the project plan and timelines and assign a clear date for completion. He gave a few contacts for help with construction work in Tiruvannamalai and would enquire regularly about the progress. When work started in late 2020, we shared the project interim pictures and videos with Appa. He was thrilled and drew deep satisfaction that this project would soon house many helpless elders in Tiruvannamalai.

The last few months and the protective net of Mohanji Family

In early 2021, Appa’s health took a turn for the worse. When Mohanji found out, he gave one clear instruction, “Appa is family. Do everything that a son would do to take care of his father. No compromises. Do whatever it takes. Go to him like a son.” He also said to us “Do whatever you can, as if you are Mohanji”. I knew through conversations with Mohanji that Appa avoided favours and preferred to be independent. So I spoke to Kishore, our Mohanji family member from Chennai, who was the project lead for the Mohanji Home for Seniors, to discuss how we could help, and ensure that Appa saw it as support from family and not as a favour. Since Kishore had based himself in Tiruvannamalai to drive project progress, he couldn’t visit Appa personally at short notice. However, as it turned out, I happened to be in Chennai for a substantial part of Feb and March 2021 to attend to my father’s health.

When I heard about his failing health, I immediately visited Appa and Aunty without any prior warning. They were excited to see me and invited me for lunch. Aunty even commented “Madhu, we are so happy that you came. You have come here like a son.” I could feel that they were yearning for company and support. Appa was visibly weak, having just returned from the hospital a week before. After lunch, I conversed with Appa – the only topic being the Mohanji Home for Seniors project and its completion date. He expressed a desire to visit the project site to see how the building looked. I told him that we would arrange for it when his health improves.

Over the conversation, I could see that he was brightening up and somehow drawing energy from our discussions. When I entered, he was barely able to walk, even with the support of a walking stick. A couple of hours later, he walked confidently to see me out to the door and said “I am much better, don’t worry.” I also gifted him a copy of Mohanji’s latest book “Mast” and he promised to read it soon.

When I updated Mohanji about my visit, he ominously said that Appa may not have much time left, so we should take good care of him. As per Mohanji’s instructions, we connected Appa to Dr Harpreet Wasir, a renowned cardiac surgeon in Delhi and our close Mohanji family member, to discuss and advise Appa on his health. They spoke regularly and his health began to stabilise slightly.

A few weeks later, I went to visit Appa when I went to Chennai again. This time around, he was much better, evident from his presence in the library. I enquired about his health and he pointed to a picture of Lord Guruvayurappan and said it was all ordained as per His will. He said that he was almost feeling normal again, except when he didn’t drink enough water. I told him that he should drink water every 30-45 minutes. He then went on to explain his process of study. He said that he did not “read” the verses but analysed them in detail by consulting a Sanskrit grammar reference book, made notes to confirm his understanding before continuing. He said that he often went so deep into the book that he completely forget himself. So how could he remember to drink water? While happy to hear about his return to his normal mode, I still insisted that he should prioritise his health.

We started talking again about the Mohanji Home for Seniors. He went on to add, “I have known Mohan for 21 years. But never once have we ever discussed Tiruvannamalai. And then, I got connected to this project. You see, nothing happens without Lord Krishna’s will.” He again expressed a wish to see the completed building, and we agreed to arrange his travel when his health improves.

In late May, Kishore updated that Appa had been hospitalised again and his health had deteriorated. I spoke to Appa on the phone but was barely able to hear him due to his weak state. A few days later, Mohanji also spoke to Appa on the phone. Appa told Mohanji that he would like to spend some peaceful time in Tiruvannamalai and was also keen to meet Mohanji. He enquired about Mohanji’s return to India (from Europe) as he felt that his time was near. Mohanji again told us to do whatever possible from our side and said, “I want him to be happy. I want him to feel that we are all with him. That we care. That extreme love should be felt. Companionship”.

Since arranging travel looked bleak due to his health as well as the fresh lockdown in Tamil Nadu, Mohanji told us to arrange a big sized picture of Appa and get it blessed from him, so that the picture could be placed at the reception of the Mohanji Home for Seniors, as a mark of respect and belonging. Further, given that Mohanji was unlikely to return to India soon, Mohanji also asked to arrange a video call with Appa to fulfil Appa’s desire to meet Mohanji. This was arranged the very next day through Srinivas G, our Mohanji family member who visited Appa’s home to check on him. Later that evening, I spoke to Appa and Aunty and spent nearly 45 minutes on the phone with them. They were overjoyed that they could speak to Mohanji. Appa again spoke less about his health and more about the project. It was evident that the Mohanji Home for Seniors project was really the anchor that was giving him purpose. He told me, “When I get better, I really want to prostrate before you, Kishore and the others who are doing such noble work.” I responded that we would prostrate at his feet and would take him to see the project. But even as I said it, I knew that it may not really be possible. It felt like he had no real interest in living and was holding on just to see the site. I discussed with Kishore to share videos with Appa regularly so that he could feel the place and visually see things developing day by day.

The same day, Mohanji also gave us instructions to take Sai Babu udi (sacred ash), holy water from Ganga and Mansarovar to Appa and give to him regularly. From previous experiences, I knew that Mohanji’s instructions  to act quickly, especially in cases of elderly people like Appa must be taken seriously. A wasted day could be a lost opportunity for life. Hence, we acted with urgency and the request was immediately executed through Usha LN, our Mohanji family member in Chennai. Though she had very little Gangajal and Mansarovar jal, she happily parted with it saying, “I can get this later. Let Appa have it now. He needs it more.” While executing Mohanji’s instructions, we once again experienced the true power of a united Mohanji family – people coordinating over the phone in various cities, local people going out of their way to share time or materials without question – working on the basis of the common understanding of the noble intent and compassion behind the purpose.

The only pending thing was to get the photo blessed from Appa. We had two challenges with this – Appa and Aunty had no good usable pictures, and no shops were open during the strict lockdown to get the framing done. We used photos from our archives which we digitally edited to make them suitable. Kishore mustered all his resources to print and frame the picture in an elegant manner within a week. By now, Appa was in the hospital and unable to speak much. But he saw the picture frame taken in by the nurse and blessed it with his eyes. He liked the photo a lot and asked for two copies for his family members too.

When we updated Mohanji, he again reiterated that Appa did not have much time left and asked us to do whatever we could to support him. We stayed in touch with his caregiver at the hospital offering support at every point. We also ensured that Appa was given the gangajal and mansarovar jal with full awareness, so he could appreciate it. Being an extremely spiritual and evolved person, he would have truly understood the significance of those steps.

A couple of days later, Kishore informed that Appa was in pain as a surgical procedure did not work out as planned. He informed that Mohanji had asked our Mai Tri practitioners to offer sessions for Appa to help his situation. As our Maitri practitioners did their sessions, it revealed more dimensions of how Mohanji was fulfilling his responsibilities. Subhasree Thottungal (from the UK) wrote about what she saw during the Mai tri session (Click here to read Subhasree’s blog) – the key message being the cleansing of lineage karma and lightening Appa’s burden as he approached the end of this life.

Mohanji also gave guided us to organise poojas and ceremonies at various temples. With Mohanji’s grace, we had arranged for poojas at various powerful temples – Lord Narasimha at Ahobilam, Sai Baba at Shirdi, Lord Murugan and Sage Bhoganathar at Palani, Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu, Datta peethams at Gangapur, Pithapuram, Vallabhapuram, Banke Bihaari at Vrindavan amongst others.

On the morning of 23rd June, 2021, we finally got word that Appa was no more. Our job was not yet done. Mohanji gave further instructions to conduct annadaan in Appa’s name over the next thirteen days of the customary rituals. Annadaan for various beings has been organized – fish, birds, animals as well as people at Haridwar and Tiruvannamalai.


A palpable sense of sadness remains after Appa’s passing. I genuinely enjoyed his company and felt it to be mutual. I remembered feeling similarly on the passing away of Vasudevan Swami (of Ganeshpuri) and Baba Ganeshananda Giri Maharaj. One less stalwart to rely on. I will miss his company, wise cracks and erudition. However, I have absolutely no regrets or guilt, for we left no stone unturned to help and support Appa and aid his onward journey, with the clear and compassionate guidance from Mohanji. In that sense, the sentiment of fulfilment and satisfaction overrides.

As I reflect back on this whole journey and the Mohanji factor in it, the key thing that has really struck me was that there are no half-measures when Mohanji takes responsibility. Everything is done to the fullest extent possible. He truly means it when he says that he treats people like his own family. Irrespective of his own schedule, there are no compromises or short cuts in delivering on his commitments. He repeatedly told us, “Do what a son would do for his father. Do as if Mohanji is doing.” In that process, he also highlighted the value of the putra dharma (duty of a son/ child) that Mohanji values above all other duties to society and even sadhana (spiritual practices)

The second thing is about the value of acting immediately. At several points, Mohanji asked us to complete certain tasks. Following through on those instructions immediately has ensured that we fulfilled all the responsibilities a son could do for his father. A lax approach could have meant an opportunity lost forever. We often hear people crying over their lost ones feeling guilt over what they would have done. In Mohanji’s world, the only time that matters is now. When we do the best we can at each moment, we set ourselves up for completion which leads to contentment. I truly realized this with Gopalakrishnan Appa’s experience.

The third take away for me is the purity of connections that come through when Mohanji entrusts tasks. I can’t quite fathom how I connected with Appa, but in that process, as I have helped and served him, I have never felt anything to be a chore, always a sense of duty with the understanding that there may be other dimensions to this relationship beyond the plainly visible. Neither does Mohanji usually offer this information nor did I seek it. But I am sure there may have been debts that I perhaps owed Gopalakrishnan Appa from a past connection. With Mohanji, here are no accidents or coincidences!

A palpable sense of sadness remains after Appa’s passing. I genuinely enjoyed his company and felt it to be mutual. I remembered feeling similarly on the passing away of Vasudevan Swami (of Ganeshpuri) and Baba Ganeshananda Giri Maharaj. One less stalwart to rely on. I will miss his company, wise cracks and erudition. However, I have absolutely no regrets or guilt, for we left no stone unturned to help and support Appa and aid his onward journey, with the clear and compassionate guidance from Mohanji. In that sense, the sentiment of fulfilment and satisfaction overrides.

In the last 18 months of his life, Gopalakrishnan Appa’s main interest was the Mohanji Home for Seniors in Tiruvannamalai. His regal photo will grace the reception hall of the Home as reminder for times to come of his significant contribution in getting this project to life, driven by his abiding desire to see many people served and fed at the Home. Nothing could be more apt to honour his memory.

Fond farewell, Appa. Please shower your blessings on us to follow in your glorious footsteps of achievement, integrity, purpose, commitment and selfless service. May Mohanji and the other Mohanji (your favourite Lord Guruvayurappan – Mohan, the enchanter is one of Lord Krishna’s names) take good care of you in the beyond.


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 25th June 2021


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

A shelter in Arunachala

By Pravin Thakkar, UK

I would like to share this story of gratitude to Mohanji. This is very special for me too, as this event was possible only with Mohanji’s grace, and his help is for the karmic benefit of me and my family.

Let me tell you the story.

In 2018 August, Mohanji visited us in London. At that time, my wife and I had a deep desire to visit the Arunachala temple with Mohanji. We expressed this desire to Mohanji. He guided me to talk to the team who plan Mohanji’s programmes. After some discussion, I found out that there was no visit possible in the near future.

In October 2018, we were attending the pilgrimage to Badrinath with Mohanji. There were heavy rains and flooding in different parts of India. Some of Mohanji’s programmes were cancelled due to this and the team was able to plan a pilgrimage to Arunachala with Mohanji at short notice.

mohanji with dog

We were still in India at that time. When we heard this visit being planned, I realised that it was Mohanji’s divine plan, he was fulfilling our wish to visit Arunachala with him! This was a clear indication that when a wish comes from heart, Guru always fulfils it. We were so grateful to Mohanjifor fulfilling our wish and we were soon in Arunachala with Mohanji.

What happened in Arunachala was something that is beyond just fulfilling a simple desire!

While we were in Arunachala, I noticed a few old sadhus, very sick and looking really like beggars. I wanted to help them but due to certain restrictions, I wasn’t allowed to do so. I was so sad in my heart. I couldn’t sleep the whole night thinking about those sadhus. The next morning, I conveyed my wish to Mohanji about how we could help such old, sick, and helpless sadhus.

Mohanji is so compassionate. He immediately arranged a visit to a small place where we saw someone had created a temporary shelter for about 70 sadhus who were very old, sick, and helpless. Mohanji immediately advised the Ammucare team to start regular health check-up, and food and medicine donations to this shelter. While we were at that place, Mohanji told me that this was a temporary place and due to some issues, this shelter was to be closed soon and the sadhus would be on the road!

Hearing that, my heart cried. I felt an inner calling to do something permanent for these sadhus. I expressed my intention to Mohanji immediately. Once again, Mohanji responded quickly. He advised the Mohanji Foundation CEO to look into this matter to see if some land could be acquired and a shelter built.

I was in a dream, I thought. Within months, everything was falling into place. The land was found, donations were collected. Of course, nothing happens without hurdles. Those hurdles were just tests for us to check our conviction and the depth of our intention.

So in the end, in October 2019, exactly a year later, the land in Arunachala was purchased and inaugurated by Mohanji. It was clearly a divine blessing as without any prior planning, we had two eminent Masters also attending this function!

In all these events, I was only a small instrument. My wish to serve the sadhus must be a desire from past lives, and Mohanji made sure all that was fulfilled! With this, I know that a huge karma of mine and maybe even that of my lineage has been completed!

I am so thankful to my Guru Mohanji to have fulfilled my desires and for helping me to accomplish my karmic agenda in such a compassionate way – from that first visit to Arunachala to the land acquisition for the home for seniors! May this place give peace, love, and shelter to the sadhus of Arunachala.

Thank you Mohanji from the depth of my heart, thank you.



Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 14th May 2020


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

Memories from Tiruvannamalai 2018

By Padmini Ravikumar, Dubai

We had planned a surprise visit to see our mother for her 80th birthday. Her birthday was on Oct 16th, but my other siblings wanted to celebrate it on Oct 3rd, according to the Hindu calendar, in Mumbai.  Here I was wondering how to take time to be in Mumbai and then at Tiruvannamalai for Mohanji’s retreat, which was from Oct 7th to 10th, 2018. I had enough responsibilities at home, so to take this time to be in Mumbai and Tiruvannamalai would be next to impossible.

The idea of going for the retreat came up one day in my puja room, as I was setting my altar at home after our move from Singapore to Dubai.  I had just kept Mohanji’s big framed picture in the altar and picked up a small picture of Ramana Maharishi to be inserted into the corner of the framed picture. That’s when a flash came; maybe I should make a trip to Sri Ramana Ashram, or join the retreat so that I would meet the Master there.

The discussions of the birthday went back and forth and finally, the venue was fixed to be Chennai. I was ecstatic; I thought my retreat would happen.  I called the organisers for the dates and agenda of the Tiruvannamalai trip, as I wanted both amma (mother) and myself doing the retreat. I soon realised that an active retreat was not possible with amma; as the group had plans for outer Girivalam (circumambulation), inner Girivalam, etc. With a heavy heart, I decided not to sign up for the retreat but decided if we got accommodations at Sri Ramana Ashram, I would take amma and go stay for 3 days at the Ashram from Oct 7th to 9th.  I would probably have Mohanji’s darshan if he saw fit. At this point, the dates for the open satsang hadn’t come out, as all were in Badrinath with Mohanji. Accepting whatever comes as his grace, which included his darshan, plans for Sri Ramana Ashram stay was worked out with a prayer to him.

Within a day, our accommodations and transport from Chennai to the Ashram was finalised.  This was definitely grace at play. I was soon in Chennai, and on Oct 3rd, amma’s 80th birthday went off well. On Oct 5th, there was a weather forecast of a cyclone ripping through Chennai on Oct 6th night and 7th morning. There was a red alert given; schools and colleges were shut down, and people were asked to stock up with all essentials. The floods of Dec 2015 had unnerved us a lot, as we had lost our dad due to the floods. So, we got ready for the event by stocking up.

Deep in my heart was a fervent prayer, O Baba, will our trip to Sri Ramana Ashram come to naught? Intense prayer and talking to Mohanji mentally happened; also with the understanding that HE knows all, if it has to happen it will. Whatever happens, will happen according to his will. Holding on to his Gayatri, I surrendered.

Oct 6th came by, but nothing happened. No rain, nothing! So that day we went to see a Siddha (saint) at his ashram in Kelambakkam. It was a lovely day spent in satsang and in his presence and blessings. That night too, there was no sign of rain, the cyclone had moved on. So on Oct 7th at 7 am, in the car sent by Sri Ramana Ashram, amma and I left for Tiruvannamalai. Due to all the warnings of rains and floods, there was no traffic and we reached there in less than 3.5 hrs without any issues.

We arrived at the Ashram and went to the Samadhi of Maharishi; the serenity of the Ashram, the presence of Bhagwan, the sight of Arunachala and the joy of being there was the ultimate high. The Ashram provided us with lovely accommodations across the road and as the driver turned into the road, what do I see? A huge billboard advertising an open satsang by Mohanji at the Sparsa Resort. He was there before I had reached the accommodation! Like Sai who says in his Satcharitra to Shama, I will be there before you in Gaya. My joy knew no bounds.

Our plans for the 7th were to visit the Ashram, have lunch, rest, and visit the Ashtalingams (8 Shiva Lingams) from 3:30 pm onwards. Every Lingam visit was filled with high energy and strong vibrations.  I kept looking out of the auto-rickshaw, checking if Mohanji’s group was doing their outer Girivalam and I could have a darshan of the Master.  No such luck. The next morning, we visited the main Annamalai temple and wanted to visit Yogi Ram Surat Kumar’s ashram. After the temple visit, there was a sudden change in our plan, and we headed back to Sri Ramana Ashram.

Annamaliyar Temple at Thiruvannamalai

As I was helping amma up the Ashram steps, I saw Preeti sitting there. The minute she saw me, she pointed to the Ashram book shop, grinning away to glory. My heart was beating crazily, and without hurrying amma, I somehow reached the bookshop to see Mohanji talking to someone.  As my heart did a little jig, my eyes started tearing at the Master’s unexpected darshan at the Ashram. No sooner Mohanji turned to look at us, I literally flew, fell at his feet and into his arms sobbing away not knowing why. The tears just flowed. He spoke to amma and me lovingly. I was just lost in bliss. He held amma by her hands and spoke to her in Tamil saying we will meet tomorrow.  The group then left with Mohanji to Seshadri Swamigal’s ashram next door, but we couldn’t go as I wasn’t sure if amma would be able to keep pace.

This whole darshan was so unexpected that it sends raptures down my spine every time I think about it. The satsang that evening was so blissful and Mohanji spoke so powerfully about what to ask Ramana Maharishi at the Samadhi. I felt it was just for me. He said, “Ask Maharishi for his state of inner stillness.” That stayed with me. Even on certain days when the going is tough, his words suddenly reverberate in my head – Inner stillness.

Satsang with Mohanji

Yes, I couldn’t join the retreat; yes, I couldn’t do the inner Girivalam or outer Girivalam, but the chance meeting and the satsang with Mohanji was nectar to this parched jiva (soul).

The whole trip to  Chennai and Tiruvannamalai, the cyclone which changed course, traffic-free roads, awesome darshan of 8 Lingams, no complaints from my 80-year-old mother about food, tiredness or knee pain, the blissful satsang, and his loving hugs, time at Maharishi’s Samadhi, what more could I ask for! A perfect retreat indeed, all possible due to his grace and blessings!



Compiled, Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 31st January 2020


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

Kalpataru Series – A loving hug

Kalpataru is a wish-fulfilling tree.

That’s what Mohanji is for his devotees. Nothing is too small or too big. A wish that’s made with a pure thought and a call to Mohanji is sure to be fulfilled. No, this is not a claim. This is what hundreds of devotees have been experiencing every day, across the globe.

In this series, we will present some testimonials, true stories shared by devotees on how their wishes have been fulfilled by Mohanji.

— Testimonials Team

By Rekha Murali

Our heart is not always in our control. There are certain things that we are never satisfied with. One such thing is the desire to be in the physical presence of Mohanji even if it is only for a fleeting second. I am sure most of us can relate to this and I am no exception. I did have two wonderful days in his presence when he came to Chennai. Two months later, here I was craving to meet him again. Although the heart yearned, I felt there was no chance. But Mohanji, who knows everything, who is pure consciousness, fulfilled this heartfelt desire. It was not just about meeting him but needing that beautiful hug from him.

29th November 2019, is etched in my memory as I got that spontaneous hug from Mohanji. The day started as usual and by evening I was busy with my routine, but a call from Radha Shyam at about 6:45 pm changed everything. Her excited but doubtful voice conveyed that Mohanji would be at the airport for a few minutes to catch a flight which was scheduled to leave at 9:00 pm. She hesitatingly asked if we would be able to make it to the airport.

My dull and boring evening suddenly became charged and within 30 minutes and two more phone calls of planning, we were on our way in a cab along with Radha’s husband Srinivas! The atmosphere was tense as the traffic was heavy due to the peak hour and we had a very casual and slow driver who wanted to discuss everything under the sun. I started repeating the Mohanji Gayatri and prayed to him that having made us come this far, he should give us his darshan too.

Almost an hour later, we edged closer to the airport. In the meantime, luckily I was able to get in touch with Madhu for his flight details. We then googled to know the terminal and excitedly reached the place. To our joy, we found that his flight was delayed by half an hour but there was no sign of Mohanji. Mohanji was also delayed as the traffic was heavy. So now you know why the flight was delayed!

Soon, within 10 minutes, we saw a car speeding by and Madhu was frantically waving and pointing in the opposite direction. I turned around and my eyes fell on a man walking casually with a beaming smile in jeans and a t-shirt. I just shouted over my shoulder to the others that Mohanji is here, and ran into his outstretched arms. Mohanji gave me a long hug that I had been waiting for. All that I could utter in that second was “Oh, My God!” resting my head on his shoulder.


I just felt immense happiness, secure that I was in a safe place completely protected and blessed. Nothing else mattered.

I need to say one thing here. Each time I met Mohanji, it was I who always asked for a hug and this was the first time that it came from him spontaneously.

The happiness was written all over my face as I stayed by his side watching him greet others. The others spoke to him and even asked him some questions.

Revathy had also come with her children to seek blessings along with a special sweet. He asked me to open it and after tasting it, he returned the box of sweets to us. We received our prasad too. Within a short span of 10 minutes, we even managed to click pictures. All too soon, Mohanji had to leave and we still managed to wait there looking through the glass doors. As he was entering, I just mentioned to Mohanji that his flight has been delayed, to which he replied with an all-knowing smile, “Yes, it had to be delayed by a few minutes only as we were caught traffic.”

We watched Mohanji getting the check-in done and I blurted out, “Mohanji, please turn around and wave to us.” As though on cue, he turned around and waved with a broad smile on his face and then moved away from our sight. Our cups were overflowing.

Only on reaching home and reliving these precious moments, did I realise the impact of the whole incident. The all-pervasive, omnipresent Mohanji in his compassion and love had orchestrated the whole thing and enabled us to meet him and filled us with happiness and positive energy. The last-minute notice of Mohanji’s arrival, the traffic delays and finally the delay of the flight were not coincidences. If the flight had been on time, we would not have been able to meet him.

As I thank Mohanji in immense gratitude, I realise that he gave us this opportunity to only energise us. I had been communicating with him every day mentally, thanking him and sharing with him everything, and had also during my ramblings told him how a hug from him would make a world of a difference. All that I can do is watch in awe as he fulfils every prayer. I do not understand the intricate details and ways in which he takes care of each of us, but beginning to see the big picture. I don’t understand what I have done to deserve this, but I feel so blessed with the love and the grace that he showers on me. Thank you Mohanji!

Chennai group


Compiled, Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 16th January 2020


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

The Saga of ‘The Blanket’ Seva

By Rekha Murali

Ammucare Charitable Trust has volunteers across the globe carrying out selfless service activities of various types to reach out to as many people as possible. Through each seva, volunteers have wonderful, transforming experiences. Two such experiences are given below.

Blanket distribution in Chennai

You are expressing your highest. Let that highest be compassion, selflessness, sharing and caring. Let those be your highest expressions on earth so that you have no regrets.” Mohanji


These words by Mohanji are very precious as this is what I truly experienced as a volunteer of Ammucare.  I have tried to put into words the actual incident which taught me so much.

With the onset of winter in early November, Ammucare India decided on a ‘blanket drive’ campaign to distribute blankets to the homeless. I dismissed the idea immediately in my mind, as I lived in Chennai: a place where it is hot, hotter and hottest! I spoke with my friend Kishore too and we decided that we would focus on annadhan (food seva) and not on distribution of blankets. While in a conversation with Soma Seal (President of Ammucare, India) for some other matter, I casually mentioned this to her and said that it was not feasible for the Chennai team to participate in this blanket distribution. She too agreed and asked us to continue with our other seva! I could not have been more wrong and so far from the truth of our Master’s plan!


During the first week of December, with gusto, Kishore, Murali (my husband) and I planned to execute our monthly annadhan. One pleasant and windy Sunday morning, we set off for our food seva for the homeless. We came across a group of nomadic people who had pitched a tent in an open area. They eagerly accepted the food served and in their strange dialect communicated to us that they wanted blankets for their entire group as it was very cold! Coincidentally, it was a cold, windy day and Chennai recorded the lowest temperature for the year 2018! Our hearts melted in spite of the cold weather outside and we decided immediately to procure some blankets.

This is how our blanket drive seva started. Promptly, we began making enquiries to procure cotton blankets which people could use throughout the year and not just for the few days in December. This had to be done immediately as it was the need of the hour! During the week, Kishore and I went around to different shops to buy blankets at a reasonable cost.  Finally Kishore zoomed in on one shop and we were able to purchase 25 good quality blankets! Feeling very happy, we decided to distribute them the next day itself to complete the seva. The urgency was because this was the first time that the temperatures had dipped a little and people required them now!


Late in the evening, three of us (Kishore, Sreenivas and I) set out to distribute the blankets. We drove around for two hours and managed to distribute only 7-8 blankets! Some people even refused to accept the blankets. We also carefully looked for people who had no belongings including old women and men sleeping on the streets.  As we did not make much progress, it was decided that I would distribute the remaining blankets during the week as the other two volunteers were travelling.

Contemplating on the turn of events, I realised there was a message and a huge learning through this seva activity. One thing I understood was to be completely devoid of doership and operate with detachment and compassion. The entire seva was ordained through the divine command of our Guru and Master Mohanji! I was however curious about the outcome of this whole exercise.  In the meantime, during my Kriya practice, I saw a beautiful, green, single mountain peak and guessed that it was Thiruvannamalai (Arunachala).  I understood that it was a call to visit this holy place soon!

During the third week, Murali and I drove around every alternate night in search of homeless people. Once we went around the entire length and breadth of Chennai and managed to find only one man who was settling into sleep in front of a shop with a towel and a water bottle. During this week again, we were able to distribute only five blankets.


I was not perturbed and felt that our destination was Arunachala! This was when the call of the Arunachala Mountain came true. During the last weekend of December 2018, Murali and I set out to the temple town of Thiruvannamalai.  After a parikrama of the holy mountain (girivalam), we went around the town distributing the blankets late in the night. It was extremely cold and there were lots of sadhus sleeping on the platforms along the parikrama path. Initially, we could spot only a few without blankets but later on late at night, we located many more sadhus sleeping bare on the platform with just their dhoti as a cover. The sadhus graciously accepted our offer of blankets and blessed us. As we ventured further, we saw a few people covered head to toe in blue plastic sheets and in deep sleep. I was not aware of who these people were but I just covered them with a new blanket and moved from one person to another. My eyes filled with tears as I experienced non-doership and the person receiving it was also unaware! What we plan and what is executed are two different things! Thus the 10 days of activity ended as a blissful and heart-warming seva in Arunachala, the Kailash of the South!

The next day, while returning home, I did identify a couple of sadhus sitting on the pavement with the new blankets. One sadhu with matted hair had the blanket next to him and was noting down something in a diary. On the way, we stopped to give some fruits and biscuits to an old woman. Suddenly, out of the blue, she asked for a blanket. As I did not have a new one, I gave her the one I had for my personal use. It was such a beautiful and blissful experience that my heart overflowed with gratitude for having been able to complete this seva with Mohanji’s guidance. Thus ended the blanket saga!

This entire seva was an eye-opener and helped me understand the true meaning of giving back to the earth! Sitting in my comfort zone, I did not realise the actual need of the people on the streets. During the course of the seva, there were talks about giving only to people who ‘deserved.’ The question that came up in my mind immediately was: who are we to judge?  Our duty is to give and those who need it will automatically receive. This was probably the reason why we were guided to the right people at the right time! It removed the remnants of doership completely and my heart was filled with only unconditional love. 

Seva is an inner call with immense benefits to the volunteer. These were the few key points which each of us can contemplate on:

  1. Selflessness – Through this entire act, Mohanji showed me how the hand that gives and the hand that receives is the only connection. Doership falls away and the true joy of giving can be experienced.
  2. Promptness – Any seva has to be done immediately and effectively. Although we scouted around the same day for reasonably priced blankets, we could not give them to the people who asked for them as they left town the next morning. However, the seva was completed in a short time and delivered to people who were meant to receive them.
  3. Conviction – This was clearly brought out through my inner vision of the mountain and the annadhan experience changed my thought process within seconds, giving me that conviction that the blanket drive was a necessity at this point in time.
  4. Compassion – When the heart is open, compassion finds a place in it.  All of us as volunteers are compassionate and that is what makes us swing into action immediately when required.
  5. Awareness – With unconditional love as the driving force, the entire seva was carried out with awareness and commitment.
  6. Gratitude – The gratitude that I felt at the culmination of the activity can only be experienced. This was a wonderful opportunity for self- growth and learning.
  7. Healing – It was a process of self-healing as with giving unconditionally, we shed a lot of our baggage and are on the path of spiritual progress

Needless to say, in all of the above, Mohanji’s loving hand gently steered us in the right direction, pointing us correctly to the people who were meant to benefit from this blanket drive. Not only that, Murali and I were blessed to visit a beautiful Vittal temple through Mohanji’s grace. It was an overwhelming and blissful experience where I felt one with the divine. This is how Mohanji showered His blessings on us.

Thank you Mohanji for the wonderful platform that you provide for these acts of giving!

Jai Mohanji!

Another Ammucare volunteer, Savitri also shared her experience of Blanket distribution at Shirdi.

Blankets for the special needs orphan children in Shirdi:

 9th of November is celebrated as Ammucare day in India and as ACT day in other parts of the world. Ammucare volunteers across India were doing selfless activities according to the needs and capabilities in their areas.

 For this special event, Savitri and her husband Jayasurya planned to distribute blankets at an orphanage of special needs children in Shirdi. When they went to procure suitable blankets, they realised that the cost was way beyond the budget! Immediately, Savitri prayed to Mohanji to help them and without any delay, Mohanji’s grace worked as a miracle! The shopkeeper gave them a discount of 50%! He reduced another 20% from the final bill, saying that it was his contribution towards the seva! The ultimate cost of the required number of blankets came well within the budget. 

After procuring the blankets, Savitri, Jayasurya and their daughter (a young Ammucare volunteer) reached Shirdi a couple of days before the 9th. Selfless service with unconditional love is one of the main pillars of the Datta Tradition and the grace of Shirdi Sai Baba is always seen for people involved in any seva activity. It was evident this time too.

 When Savitri and Jayasurya entered the Samadhi temple, they met Sulakhe Maharaj (the head priest of the temple). Upon their introduction as Mohanji’s devotees, Sulakhe Maharaj immediately gave Savitri a coconut and a flower. He also gave her a shawl and a flower and asked her to give them to Mohanji whenever she meets Him. Savitri felt Sai Baba’s blessings upon receiving these gifts for Mohanji and herself.

 Coming out of the temple, she immediately noticed on the TV that Sulakhe Maharaj was not sitting at the Samadhi anymore. It was as if he had suddenly appeared to give this special gift to Mohanji on the auspicious day of Lakshmi puja. Savitri realised that this was a special blessing from Sai Baba! 



On the following day, as planned, Savitri and her family along with other Ammucare volunteers distributed blankets to the boys at the orphanage. Not only did Savitri feel immense satisfaction for having met the needs of these underprivileged children, she also felt immense gratitude towards Mohanji and Sai Baba, and for the grace of the Guru Mandala! 

Mohanji cleared the hurdle of high expenditure, enabling them to purchase the correct number of blankets at a reasonable price and facilitated smooth execution. In addition, Sai Baba’s blessings came through Sulakhe Maharaj, who gave them the gift of a coconut, which is now a rare prasad inside the temple.   

The message is clear. Mohanji and Sai Baba have shown us how much they love people who do selfless service. Mohanji carries out every selfless ACT with compassion through devotees like Savitri. 

Mohanji’s New Year message (2019) sums up the entire act of seva.

‘If we ADD VALUE to the society, we have value in this life. In this whole life, it’s all about how much we can give; it’s not how much we can take.” – Mohanji



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 Editorial Team

Arunachala with Shiva

By Ananthanarayanan Sankaran, Australia



Not many get the chance to visit Arunachala. The call has to come from within, just like a call to visit Kailash or any other powerhouse. When I was planning to visit India in Dec 2017, my only wish was that I get to meet Mohanji and spend few hours with Him if it is possible. I was in touch with the M – Family who asked me if I could make it to Sriperumbudur, abode of Shri. Ganeshanandagiri Baba. As the dates coincided with my departure date, I was disappointed to give it a skip. I was then told that Mohanji might visit Arunachala and if all goes well, I could join. I initially thought Mohanji was on a private visit and that accompanying Him might not be possible, but later to my joy, I was told that Gurulight was organizing “Arunachala with Mohanji”  program from Dec 24th until 27th.

My joy knew no bounds at the thought of being in Arunachala with Shiva Himself, my dream slowly coming to life. I knew it was not going to be easy for me given I would land it India a day prior (Dec 23rd) in Bangalore and then travel to Arunachala by road within 1 day of arrival. 

Here is a brief personal account of my journey to Arunachala and witnessing the Grace called Mohanji that’s ever flowing. 

About Arunachala:


Thiruvannamalai a.k.a. Arunachala is considered as the “Kailash of the South”. Here, Lord Shiva takes the form of Fire and hence the Shivalingam at Arunachaleswara temple is called as the “Agni Lingam”. 

Shri. Ramana Maharishi, in his book Arunachala Mahatmyam says, ” By merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation.” 

Before traveling to Arunachala: At “Divyarasa”

I got in touch with Madhu who was coordinating the journey from Chennai to know the team’s whereabouts so that I could join them while they were near Arunachala. However, Mohanji had other plans. I called up Madhu around 11 am on Dec 24th only to be told that they had just started from Chennai and might take a while before they arrive. Since I knew the local language (Tamil), I was asked to go to the Hotel and ensure if things were in order before the rest of the family arrive. 

I arrived at the Hotel venue around noon, warmly welcomed by front staff and a beautiful white dove, sitting gracefully at the front-desk as if waiting for Mohanji to arrive. Hotel staff were already getting the rooms ready and I jumped into the act, checking the rooms, facilities available, room allocations and the hall where a Satsang was planned in the evening.

It was not just the dove that was waiting, but 4 beautiful dogs were also waiting for their Master. The sight of them roaming around the entrance clearly suggested the connection between Mohanji and nature, a true AVADHOOTA who is one with nature at all times.2_Dove 3_dog_waiting_for_Mohanji.jpg

Judith was the first one to arrive at the venue as she had reached Arunachala a couple of days ago and had spent some time in the lap of Arunachala high up in the mountain. She then introduced me to Mani who is native of Thiruvannamalai and takes care of a cave at the top of the hill.  

Without any description, Judith introduced me to Mani. As soon as I went near Mani, I started breathing heavily, words didn’t come out of my mouth as I had a strong energy pull towards him. We hardly spoke any words but connected well. Judith then told me about Mani’s guru, an avadhoota himself residing up the mountain and that Mani, getting to know about Mohanji through Judith, had come to seek His blessings. 

Mohanji, along with 20 other people reached Arunachala and true to His nature, wasted no time. After a brief refreshment, we headed straight to “Divyarasa,” a residential commune in the lap of Arunachala with selfless service, love and acceptance as its spiritual core principles. 

It was truly a special moment to witness Mohanji spending time with the children and planting trees on the divine land where our beloved Guruji Avadhoota Nadanandaji had performed Bhoomi Pooja.

Divyarasa1.jpg Divyarasa2


While chatting with Mohanji at Divyarasa, He conveyed His decision of not travelling in 2019 and that it was high time we focus on Ashrams. We were casually talking about various countries and options for Ashrams. I would like to highlight that Mohanji was scheduled to visit Australia after completing the Peru trip (in April 2018).

While we were discussing about Ashrams, I didn’t say a word but I was looking at Mohanji’s eyes and He casually said, “Don’t look at me like this. I am not coming to Australia, I heard there are lots of snakes there.” I smiled and told Him, “That’s Ok Father. I will come wherever You are.” He simply smiled and nodded His head. The conversation then went on to other subjects. As you would have realized, Mohanji didn’t visit Australia due to various reasons and I was blessed to spend blissful 10 days with Mohanji in Peru, a blog on it will soon make its way with His blessings.

This is yet another reminder that a Master’s word should never be taken lightly or ever be discarded. He might be joking with you, but every word He utters is a word of consciousness which should be grabbed with attention. 

The Journey – Arunachala Inner Kora Parikrama:


People who have visited Arunachala would be familiar with “Girivalam” a.k.a. circumambulation around the Arunachala Hills. It’s a well-laid path of 14 km where thousands of people take this pilgrimage during a full-moon day (Pournami). However, very few would know about the Inner Kora of Arunachala, a path via the forest that takes you closer to the Arunachala Hills from where we could spot Ganesha’s face, Shiva and His family on the mountains surrounding the Arunachala Hills.

walking6 walking5

Forest officials have stopped giving permission for people to enter this path citing earlier problems including people burning down a portion of the forest. When Shiva Himself is visiting the land, there were no such permission denials.


We started our parikrama accompanied by Madhurai Swamigal who had just come to Arunachala from a distant location. The first meeting between Mohanji and the Swamigal at the Arunachaleswara temple main complex was truly special. We could see HUMILITY and GRATITUDE overflowing when Mohanji touched Swamigal’s feet and Swamigal doing the same to Mohanji. Later, Mohanji during one of the casual conversations told me the significance of Him touching Swamigal’s feet. He said,

“This should be our nature, being HUMBLE. Did you recall how Swamigal addressed himself as “Pichaikaaran” (beggar)? Remaining humble is a clear sign that you are on the right path. This conveys that there is no EGO attached. “

We must have crossed 2 streets and I was trying to keep up to the speed of Mohanji and Swamigal who were leading from the front. I noticed a person on the opposite side raising his hands above his head and offering his pranaams to Mohanji. I also saw that Mohanji raised His hands and blessed him while continuing His walk. As a casual observer, you would completely ignore this person as he was wearing a cloth that was fully stained by mud and his physical appearance would make you not go near him.


The very minute Mohanji raised His hands to bless this individual, I saw Rajesh Kamath running to meet this person and I followed Rajesh. The moment we went near him, I had shocks all over my body. The energy around this person was giving me goosebumps. He smelt of alcohol, his clothes were soiled, all clear signs of “don’t go near him” for the normal eye, but a SAGE/SADHU/AVADHOOTA for the eyes that could see.

Rajesh offered him some dhakshina (offering) and he bowed down to collect the amount saying, “Oh twenty Rupees, that’s a big dhakshina for me.” I had carried some biscuit packets with me and immediately took a pack and offered it to him. He looked at me and said (in English), “Life’s a play, enjoy it. All your wishes will be fulfilled.” He followed this by saying “Land, wand sab kuch ho jayega” (Land will happen). The moment he told me this, I could recollect the conversation we had with Mohanji the previous day (at Dhivyarasa) about Ashrams and securing land for the same.

We ran again to join the group and entered the forest during the dawn of the day. Swamigal, followed by Mohanji were leading from the front and it was very difficult for the rest of the group to keep up to their speed. As we were walking through the forest, the group found it difficult to stay on track as it had thorny bushes, water streams and occasional mud surfaces. Some of the participants really struggled and I stayed at the end to ensure no one was left behind. 


We reached a pool that was in a dissolute state and next to it was a cave. The Swamigal accompanying us shared some insights about this cave where a sadhu had been observing penance for a long time before the forest officials forcefully brought him out of the cave. There were lots of monkeys surrounding this cave. As a couple of us started to go inside the cave, the monkeys became aggressive and made lots of noise. Mohanji immediately stopped us from entering and said these monkeys were guarding the cave and we shouldn’t bother them.


As we continued our parikrama around the Arunachala Hills, chants such as Om Namah Shivaya! and “Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala Shiva, Aruna Shiva Om!” kept us going in a terrain that tested everyone’s perseverance. During this walk, we could witness Grace ever flowing as support came from various quarters to the people who were struggling to walk through the forest. We had darshans of Ganesha and Nandi on the Hills and our Arunachala (Mohanji) ensured everybody was safe.


We reached a point where we could get a clear darshan of the Arunachala Hills. Mohanji advised everyone to sit and meditate. He added,

“In Arunachala, your only wish should be to attain the state of “Nir Vichara Samadhi.” In Arunachala, Shiva takes the form of Fire and He burns everything to ashes.” 


Without giving any insights, we shared the picture of Mohanji meditating facing the Arunachala Hills and the following is an experience shared by Subhasree Thottungal:


“Just by looking at Mohanji in this picture brought in so much calmness and peace. I zoomed in, and looking at a close up view of Mohanji’s face showed complete silence! Para Brahma Swaroop (vision of Para Brahma) became crystal clear. The silence and peace brought a light within me and I slowly started to disappear. I felt myself merging into Para Brahma, in His space, in that moment. Words will not do justice to explain the state that this pic took me to. Few moments of gazing at this pic took me to being with Mohanji at Arunachala. Thank you Mohanji for being with us always and keeping us with You always. Koti Pranam.” 

Mohanji was in an expanded state during the parikrama and we were blessed with a mini-Satsang at the same spot. Mohanji went on to explain about various Siddhas living inside the Arunachala Hills in Sukshma form and every word uttered by Mohanji made everyone go deeper within themselves and experience the STILLNESS of mind.

 AC1 meditating1

Realisation after Arunachala Parikrama:

Upon returning to the hotel after the parikrama, I was told that Mohanji had slipped  a couple of times and was having some uneasiness. I went to Mohanji’s room and started pressing His feet. I inquired about the injury and He casually said,

“It is my job. I had to take this so that others complete their parikrama.”

I wasn’t surprised when a couple of pilgrims told me that they were very certain they couldn’t have completed the parikrama if not for Mohanji. One of the participants had a troubled knee and I knew Mohanji carried every one of us. A true Master never lets His disciples down, EVER. He takes on everything for the ones who have full faith in Him.

I was also sharing with Him about the meeting of the Sadhu earlier in the morning and Mohanji gave the following explanation: 

He (the Sadhu) is from the Hills. He doesn’t live here, he was sent by Arunachala Himself. There are 3 forms through which we get signs/messages or answers to our burning questions:

1)     A thought (or) a casual conversation will give clarity to your question

2)    When higher beings (or) consciousness wants to contact us, they speak through someone (i.e.) they takeover someone for a brief time to convey the message. It happened today through the Sadhu we met this morning. This is because, they wouldn’t want to take a physical form to convey a message as they will have to live with its limitations (physical body).

3)    Taking a physical body (birth). This is when an Avtar is born for a larger cause.”

 Mohanji went on to tell me that,

“I am sure that the Ashrams will happen. Not one but many.”

Few months since this meeting , there has already been great progress! The Ashram in Canada has been inaugurated by Mohanji in August 2018 and idols of Lord Dattatreya, Shirdi Sai Baba and Lord Ganesha have been consecrated with regular rituals taking place. One more Ashram in Serbia has already come to possession. Another Ashram land has been registered in Serbia; an Ashram land in Slovenia is being finalized and an Ashram land  in Shirdi has already been registered! In less than a year, we can see what Mohanji uttered that time has been coming in full force!

I couldn’t stay with Mohanji at Arunachala beyond two days as I had to return to Bangalore for some personal work. But as it would always happen with Mohanji, not once did I feel the fatigue, hunger or tiredness. I would have slept for no more than 2-3 hours but the energy levels were always high. 

The trip did leave an everlasting impact on me. I had been to Thiruvannamalai a couple of time earlier, but never once had felt such a strong connection and there’s a deep desire to visit the holy land with Mohanji once again with His Grace. 

Slowly, I have come to a realisation that every pilgrimage with Mohanji is like moving from one grade to another. He gives you exactly the amount that you could digest and when you have finished, He himself calls you and gives you the next amount. I can only recollect Shirdi Sai Baba’s verses

“However distant my people may be, I draw them to me just as we pull a bird to us with a string tied to its foot.”

Likewise, our beloved Father, Parabrahma Swaroopa Mohanji pulls you near Him, blesses you and gives you exactly what you could handle/understand. While my laundry list of wishes to Him never goes down, my inner-self is fully aware that He alone exists and that I seek nothing except to be at His feet and at the lap of the Guru Mandala.


Thank you, Mohanji, for all these wonderful experiences you have given us in these divine journeys. Deep inside me, I know nothing except You. You alone exist in me. I surrender everything at Your Holy Feet.


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.