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Babaji's great sacrifice

A beautiful excerpt from the "Autobiography of a Yogi" explaining why Mahavatar Babaji has still kept his physical body.

During my visit at Ranbajpur with Ram Gopal, “the sleepless saint,”he related the wondrous story of his first meeting with Babaji.

“I sometimes left my isolated cave to sit at Lahiri Mahasaya’s feet in Benares,” Ram Gopal told me. “One midnight as I was silently meditating in a group of his disciples, the master made a surprising request.

“Ram Gopal,’ he said, ‘go at once to the Dasasamedh bathing ghat.’'

“I soon reached the secluded spot. The night was bright with moonlight and the glittering stars. After I had sat in patient silence for awhile, my attention was drawn to a huge stone slab near my feet. It rose gradually, revealing an underground cave. As the stone remained balanced in some unknown manner, the draped form of a young and surpassingly lovely woman was levitated from the cave high into the air. Surrounded by a soft halo, she slowly descended in front of me and stood motionless, steeped in an inner state of ecstasy. She finally stirred, and spoke gently.

“I am Mataji, the sister of Babaji. I have asked him and also Lahiri Mahasaya to come to my cave tonight to discuss a matter of great importance.’'

“A nebulous light was rapidly floating over the Ganges; the strange luminescence was reflected in the opaque waters. It approached nearer and nearer until, with a blinding flash, it appeared by the side of Mataji and condensed itself instantly into the human form of Lahiri Mahasaya. He bowed humbly at the feet of the woman saint.

“Before I had recovered from my bewilderment, I was further wonder-struck to behold a circling mass of mystical light traveling in the sky. Descending swiftly, the flaming whirlpool neared our group and materialized itself into the body of a beautiful youth who, I understood at once, was Babaji. He looked like Lahiri Mahasaya, the only difference being that Babaji appeared much younger, and had long, bright hair.

“Lahiri Mahasaya, Mataji, and myself knelt at the guru’s feet. An ethereal sensation of beatific glory thrilled every fiber of my being as I touched his divine flesh.

“‘Blessed sister,’ Babaji said, ‘I am intending to shed my form and plunge into the Infinite Current.’

“‘I have already glimpsed your plan, beloved master. I wanted to discuss it with you tonight. Why should you leave your body?’ The glorious woman looked at him beseechingly.

“‘What is the difference if I wear a visible or invisible wave on the ocean of my Spirit?’

“Mataji replied with a quaint flash of wit. ‘Deathless guru, if it makes no difference, then please do not ever relinquish your form.’ 

“‘Be it so,’ Babaji said solemnly. ‘I will never leave my physical body. It will always remain visible to at least a small number of people on this earth. The Lord has spoken His own wish through your lips.’

“As I listened in awe to the conversation between these exalted beings, the great guru turned to me with a benign gesture.

“‘Fear not, Ram Gopal,’ he said, ‘you are blessed to be a witness at the scene of this immortal promise.’

“As the sweet melody of Babaji’s voice faded away, his form and that of Lahiri Mahasaya slowly levitated and moved backward over the Ganges. An aureole of dazzling light templed their bodies as they vanished into the night sky. Mataji’s form floated to the cave and descended; the stone slab closed of itself, as if working on an invisible leverage.

“Infinitely inspired, I wended my way back to Lahiri Mahasaya’s place. As I bowed before him in the early dawn, my guru smiled at me understandingly.

“‘I am happy for you, Ram Gopal,’ he said. ‘The desire of meeting Babaji and Mataji, which you have often expressed to me, has found at last a sacred fulfillment.’

“My fellow disciples informed me that Lahiri Mahasaya had not moved from his dais since early the preceding evening.

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