There are a few books that every spiritual seeker on the planet should read. Living Enlightenment, Autobiography of a Yogi, Star Signs, The Third Eye, and The Voice of Babaji.
As the online meditation sensation ‘eN Kriya’ is taking honest seekers around the world by storm, I’d like to share a little bit about the last (but not least) book on that list, The Voice of Babaji: A Trilogy on Kriya Yoga.
All of a sudden, I saw Swamiji seated casually on His golden throne, under the Banyan Tree. He looked at me, and said,
“What do you want to ask, ma?”
His question hit me like a command. A moment earlier, I was lying in bed. I didn’t expect a darshan, so I had no question prepared. Somehow, though, these words came out of my mouth:
“Swamiji- is this book really Babaji’s?” I extended towards Him a copy of the book in question, The Voice of Babaji.
With His usual grace, Swamiji reached towards me and delicately took the book from my hand. He smiled His lovingly detached smile, then flipped through the pages, one at a time, skimming the entirety of it’s contents, until at last, He reached the final page.
As He passed the book back to me, He said,
“No doubt, this is Mahavatar Baba.”
With Swamiji’s words of confirmation still ringing loud in my ears, I opened my eyes. My bedside clock showed that only seconds had gone by since I had laid down to sleep.
It was April 2010, and at that time, Gurudeva Nithyananda was in prison under false charges. Every night, I had gone to bed with a prayer for His release, and a hope that one day I would see Him again.
Dream darshans are among the high points of any devotees life. They are the rare mystical moments when we feel most in tune with our Masters. Although I was very grateful for this dream darshan, I was also confused. If I had consciously planned or prepared to see Swamiji that night, I wouldn’t have bothered to ask Him about a book- I would have expressed my love and gratitude, and my wish for His release from jail! I would have told Him that there was nothing the media could say that would shake my connection to Him! I would have named all the loyal devotees in Vancouver who were continuing to gather in His name to do the meditations! But why, -oh, Why!, I wondered- would I bring Him a book about Kriya, and ask if it was legitimate?!
‘The Voice of Babaji- A Trilogy on Kriya Yoga’ was written in the 1950’s by a saintly Madras (now Chennai) journalist called Sri V.T. Neelakantan, and co-authored by Sri S.A.A. Ramaiah, under the direct guidance of their Satguru, Mahavatar Babaji Nagaraj. (The famed Himalayan guru of Yogananda’s lineage, a deathless avatar who has remained in the same body for over a thousand years. It was Babaji who appeared to Swamiji in the Himalayas, and gave Him the name ‘Paramahamsa Nithyananda.’ It was also Babaji who led me to Swamiji in response to a prayer for enlightenment- that story is written in a previous blog entry.)
The main author of the book, Neelakantan, first heard of Babaji in the 1950’s when he read Autobiography of a Yogi. He was immediately inspired to seek the blessings of the Mahavatar, so he took a Kriya initiation from an acharya with the Yogoda Sat Sangha, Yogananda’s organization.
Neelakantan’s Kriya practice was intense, and his bhakti for the master even more so. His loving commitment was rewarded with a clairaudient and clairvoyant experience of Babaji. He saw a light appear between his eyebrows, and heard a voice give meditation instruction. After a few such experiences, he came to know that the voice and light were sent to him from none other than Babaji, who had found him through the energy of his meditations, and chose to use him as an instrumental player in the release of a book that would transform the world’s understanding of Kriya yoga. Babaji began to appear in clearer and clearer detail to Neelakantan, until one day, He manifested himself before the journalist in full.
The Mahavatar had discovered the success of the writer’s essays, and some of the written work he had done for the Theosophical Society. (AKA- Madame Blavatsky’s group, whom Swamiji has recently said brought as much confusion to spirituality as Patanjali has brought clarity... lol!) Since Neelakantan had both skill as a writer, and also commitment as a meditator, Babaji realized he would be ‘tappable.’ (‘Tap’ is the word used to describe Babaji’s influence on the minds of worldly seekers who pray to Him for enlightenment. Most of us are not physically, mentally or spiritually prepared for the intense energy that would be associated with a full interaction with Babaji, so in order to assist us in our progress, He sends thoughts and ideas into our minds. Most often, we will never know that these thoughts and ideas come from Babaji. These are His ‘taps.’ Like getting an e-mail from an unknown source, but mentally, Babaji guides and assists us wherever He can, anonymously, through our own minds. Sometimes He taps to answer our prayers, and other times He taps us to put us in contact with people we’re meant to meet. Other times, He taps people around His disciples, to encourage them to help those who pray to Him. One of the most famous incidents of Babaji’s tapping can be found in Autobiography of a Yogi, when He successfully tapped the employer of Lahiri Mahasaya to have him transferred to a job post in the Himalayas.)
Soon, Babaji was passing updates on the process of Kriya, rites of initiation, and other work, through Neelakantan. He was dictating essays verbatim for the journalist to write, and tapping publishers and editors to print the work.
After some time, Neelakantan received some skeptical press, questioning the legitimacy of his contact with Babaji. In particular, the Yogoda society questioned the source of His Kriya wisdom, and in no uncertain terms, asked him how he, without affiliation to any spiritual organization, could possibly be in touch with Babaji. (Beautifully, Babaji explained that Neelakantan should feel no avarice towards Yogoda Sat Sangha, because they are sharing enlightenment with the world. Babaji stated that He had tried to tap higher ups in the Yogoda institution, but that they didn’t obey Him, so He found Neelakantan.)
Though I never questioned the truth of Neelakantan’s highest source, I believe now that the dream of Swamiji happened so that I would be inspired to share this book with others. (I can’t accept that any mystical event happens without a deep meaning behind it- there are no coincidences on the path of the seeker; Masters don’t bother to give useless information.)
The Voice of Babaji: A Trilogy on Kriya Yoga is a treasure trove of mystical wisdom, spiritual inspiration, and Vedic Truth. Not only that, it is Babaji’s very voice. His blessings are interlaced with every word. Please, if at all you feel connected to the Mahavatar; if Kriya is one of your interests; if the Vedic Masters inspire you, then read the book!
It can be purchased here:
Of course, my own initiation into Kriya came from Paramahamda Sri Nithyananda Swamiji, online, with His Morning Message, and in the same way I’m sure many of you had the initiation. He is my Master, without parallel. I’m not recommending this book as a substitute to Swamiji Nithyananda’s eN Kriya, but as a compliment to it. It’s my belief that Babaji has appointed Him to spread the Kriya light across the world at this time.
The Voice of Babaji: A Trilogy on Kriya Yoga
This book is a spiritual library, combining three distinct works- Mysticism Unlocked, Babaji’s Masterkey to All Ills- Kriya, and Babaji’s Death of Death- Kriya.
These books are reproduced in full, and between them is published personal conversations and visitations between the Mahavatar Himself and the authors, giving us a rare glimpse into the sweet (and oftentimes private) guru-disciple relationship held by Babaji and His chosen one, Sri Neelakantanji. (It’s a an up-close, personal look at Babaji’s resplendent personality; a beautiful invitation to know Him not only as a living God, but also to catch a glimpse of Him as a Guru.)
In the first book, the lives of some of India’s great nineteenth and twentieth century saints are summarized- Swami Rama Tirtha, Sivananda of Rishikesh, Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry, Arunachala’s Ramana Maharishi, etc... We often equate Babaji with Yogananda alone, but here, it’s made evident that all those who carry the message of exalted God Realization are bearers of the Mahavatar’s sacred message. Through the diversity of saints biographed, Babaji leads us to the One Truth.
The sacred secret of the Aum is described in every possible way in the second book, which goes into detail about Advaita Vedanta. (Self realization through the unity of All, non-duality in it’s highest and finest.) Going beyond the Vedas, through Neelakantan, Babaji draws teachings from the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. The sheer wisdom (and humor) of the work is not only enlightening, but also entertaining and very readable.
In the third book, much insight is given on the practice of Kriya. Beyond that, cynical anti-religious skepticism is put to shame through a beautiful and bhaktiful description of Deepavali and Navaratri- both celebrations of the Divine Mother. Without losing focus on the Self in Self Realization, the joyous roles of the deities and the blessings of guru bhava are interlaced with poetry and mantras.
In Yogananda’s epic work, Autobiography of a Yogi, He quotes His guru, Sri Yukteswar Giri, who quoted His guru, Lahiri Mahasaya, as having proclaimed: “All those who say the name of Babaji with reverence attract an instant spiritual blessing.”
Many of us have since said, “Babaji,” or “Babaji Namaste,” or “Om Kriya Babaji Namah Om.” (And some of us have said these many times over- just for good measure.) No doubt, by saying His sacred name with reverence, we are blessed.
But now, as the dawning of the Satya Yuga draws ever nearer, the ante has been upped in our spiritual lives. The media abuses our gurus, the general public shows apathy towards spirituality, and many who call themselves ‘spiritual’ show contempt towards traditional practices which they degradingly deem ‘religious.’ If we want to swing the pendulum back towards the direction of Truth, just saying the name of Babaji in order to receive His blessing is not only lazy, but also disrespectful. We are living in a time when the phrase, “I’m spiritual, not religious,” is so prominent that it seems 'spiritual' is the new 'agnostic.' It’s our sacred charge and duty to keep the ritual in spiritual alive; to honour our predecessors, and practice as they intended for us to practice.
If you want the ultimate blessings from Babaji, don’t just say His name, but live His Truth! To know what His Truth is, I highly recommend to read His book! Then, (if you haven’t already done so,) take the eN Kriya initiation from Paramahamsa Sri Sri Sri Nithyanandaji, to Live, Radiate and Share Enlightenment!
Om Namah Shivaya
Om Hreem Nithyanandaya Namaha
Aum Kriya Babaji Namah Aum