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Mahavtar Babaji – Ageless Sage

Mar 12 2007

The article below is taken from Lifepositive.com. My write-up on my visit to Babaji’s Cave in Himalayas is here.

By Anjali Bagwe

Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji, a Himalayan mahayogi said to be about 1,800 years old, is the founder of Kriya Yoga. The world first heard about him courtesy Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. Today, many cults are growing around his enigmatic persona. Mumbai-based Dr Ram Bhosle claims to have lived with him for six years.

Legend has it that the remote parts of the Himalayas are home to many rishis, tapasvis and siddhayogis—Eternal Masters engaged in singular methods of sadhana or disciplined practice dedicated to cosmic exploration and in guiding the destiny of humanity through the ages. They live in rough-hewn natural caves under glacial conditions. Some have ashrams amidst verdant greenery, located at a vibrational frequency at variance with the ‘normal’ three-dimensional one to keep intruders at bay. Their abode has been verily named Shambala, Gyan Ganj, or Siddha Loka.
In this phantasmagorical world of accomplished yogis, anything is possible. A siddha sadhak (realized master) may simply choose to take the form of an ancient tree to meditate undisturbed for hundreds of years. Others, when they venture beyond the confines of their rarefied sanctuaries, may fly through the air as themselves, or change into swans, geese, eagles, or even into animals, fish and insects. There are many creative ideas for teleportation, with some just travelling on beams of light from one place to another!

Exalted as these beings are, a distinct feature common to all is their complete identification with India and her Vedic heritage. When people attain a certain level in their sadhana, they automatically lose their narrow personal bonds of family, language, caste or province. Then the old terrain of the Motherland takes over, so that it matters not whether it is Kabir, Lahiri Mahasaya, Shirdi Sai Baba or Ramana Maharshi, they all belong to India. And they converse with each other using an argot common to the wandering sadhus (monks).

Thus it is that the venerable heritage of Gorakhnath and Machhindranath is claimed for its own by Garhwal, Konkan, Bundelkhand, Mewar and Coorg, and many a little girl in the remotest village of India is put to sleep to the refrain of “Chalo Machhinder, Gorakh Aaya…”

With his lithe and youthful figure, Mahavatar Babaji (whose feats have been reported by Paramahansa Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi) is one such eternal master. He is the man with the 1,800-year-old immortal body. He’s also the founder of Kriya Yoga, a discipline involving purification of the body-mind organism through breath control techniques to aid longevity and spiritual evolution. ‘Mahavatar’ means ‘great incarnation’. He is also known as Mahakaya Babaji, the word ‘Mahakaya’ describing his immortal body. In some circles the Hare Khan Baba being referred to sounds suspiciously similar to Mahavatar Baba’s persona.

Tamil Incarnation

Babaji comes with sanitized packaging shorn of ash, rudraksha or kumkum tilak. Of course, there have been many Babajis over the decades claiming to be the Mahavatar. There’s a free-for-all on the Internet with the various Babaji Web pages multiplying rapidly to a current count of several thousand. Yet, the Self-Realization Fellowship established by Yogananda in California almost sounds as if it holds patent rights over the ‘Babaji lineage’.

After conquering the West within decades, it’s time for Babaji to return home to capture the interest of Indians who are still obsessed with pot-bellied gurus. A new international group called the Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas with a base of sorts in Pondicherry recently held kriya yoga seminars in major metropolitan cities across India. The Babaji they’re selling is the same kriya yogi, but he’s now positioned in a new Tamil incarnation as Babaji Nagaraj and never mind that he’s been a permanent resident of the Himalayas for 1,800 years.

A book claiming to present new information about Babaji, written by the Canadian guru and chief of the Kriya Yoga Order, Marshall Govindan, presents startling claims about the Tamil origins of many ancient rishis and siddhas, including Macchindranath and Gorakhnath. Welcome to the club! Tibet too claims them for its own, and the Gorkhas of Nepal and India claim to be the original descendants of Gorakhnath.

The seminar is a casual affair, particularly since the group of two conducting it has no organizational set up. There is very little planning. In two days, you are to learn 144 kriyas or breathing techniques, 18 yogasanas and numerous chants. That’s instant evolution. Devote 20 minutes daily to this and you zip past 50 lives’ worth of karmic atonement and time! Or so claims the venerable lady acharya from California. The 60 participants in Mumbai are administered a battery of short written assignments, duly checked by the acharya, or head, in the course of the seminar. Gleanings of wisdom pepper the proceedings. Participants are told that Sri Aurobindo was close to attaining an immortal body during his lifetime, but for the fact that he did not practice yogasanas.

The acharya presents charts on the macrobiotic diet, the staple no-nos of which are chocolates and meat. All this and more is discussed over a period of two days, inaugurating the advent of yet another New Age cult in India.

Master of Masters

Thankfully, there’s a lot more than that to Mahavatar Baba, who never left the shores of India and who’s way beyond the reach of puny intellectual property rights. He’s a patriotic yogi and keeper of ancient faith, whose mission for ages has been to stem the tide of barbaric conquerors overrunning India. He has often changed the course of Indian history, guided by otherwise immortal rishis, working way above insidious parochial divisions.

Babaji’s influence as a guru is said to have prevailed over the ages from Adi Shankaracharya and Kabir to more recent saints like Sai Baba of Shirdi, Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon and Swami Samartha of Akkalkot. The last three were reportedly firebrand revolutionaries who were given up for dead in the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. It is said that the first was a Muslim, while the other two were Hindus. They escaped to the Himalayas for sanctuary and were later given a spiritual initiation by Babaji. They eventually returned as illumined leaders of humanity.

Babaji mostly works in obscurity, even while serving as a spiritual mentor to scores of masters. He has guided the destiny of India and her people, yet he is perhaps one of the most accessible of siddhayogis to walk in our midst in recent times. Over two millennia, Babaji has continued to nurture hundreds of accomplished disciples.

One such disciple is an ageing healer, Dr Ram Bhosle, who lives and works in Mumbai. He is a world-renowned massage therapist who has treated illustrious patients like Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, among others. He has witnessed almost the entire 20th century, traveling abroad 160 times. A freedom fighter, he had several arrest warrants issued against him by the British during Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement and was forced to flee to the Himalayas. His escape route cut a long swathe across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Sindh, Baluchistan, Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush mountains, before he finally reached the Himalayas.

Man of Miracles

It was there that he chanced upon Mahavatar Babaji. He ended up giving massage to Babaji, the latter offering him safe house initially for three months, and ultimately for a period of nearly six years to-date, spread over the intervening period. Dr Bhosle’s stories throw considerable light on the immortal master.

Once, when the two had taken shelter in a cave for the night, Babaji asked him to go and fetch milk. A fierce snowstorm was raging outside and Dr Bhosle thought the sage had gone mad. But when he gingerly walked a few paces beyond the cave’s entrance, merely out of deference to his host, he was surprised to find a pitcher of fresh milk, still warm to the touch, positioned on a ledge!

On another occasion, Babaji solicitously asked if he wanted a book to read. Unbelieving, Dr Bhosle asked for Bharatmuni’s ancient opus on dance, Natyashastra, which was procured for him. Babaji remarked that deep within the womb of the Himalayas was an unimaginable storehouse of ancient texts. He also revealed that four rooms in that great edifice were entirely devoted to astrology. Babaji also predicted that from 2001 onwards India would gradually return to supremacy in world affairs. Several decades ago, he had also forecast the end of all the political isms of the 20th century.

Like great yogis, Babaji can supposedly materialize, dematerialize and take on any form at will. He may choose to present himself as an old man, an animal or a bird. He once promised a devotee that he would attend a feast at the man’s house, but seemingly did not. When the man later questioned him, Babaji replied: “I was there. I was the dog whom you fed the leftovers.”

Babaji can travel anywhere in the universe. When he is too busy to do so, he sends specific instructions to his chosen disciples through birds. He’s taught a chosen few how to discern birdcalls, and it may well be that the pigeon stridently cooing at your window is actually a messenger from the great seer!

Wandering Soul

The Mahayogi can be stern when the situation so demands, even while displaying a great sense of humor and rare devilry at other times. He once instructed Dr Bhosle to perform underwater meditation at midnight in the sea off the Mumbai coastline to purify his healing energy. Often, Babaji walked by to supervise his disciple’s work, treading on the waves. He would chat for a while, and then walk away nonchalantly.

Babaji sometimes greeted his disciple with an unprintable epithet, as is often the custom in youth subcultures around the world. At one time, the ageing Dr Bhosle reacted with considerable anger, remonstrating that such swear words did not befit his status as a mahayogi. Babaji replied: “These words are just creations of grammar.” Mostly, the language spoken by the Master is incredibly creative, drawing from a fount of inspiring, lyrical Sanskrit words lending themselves beautifully to new improvisations in Hindi.

Interestingly, Babaji’s entourage of enlightened and immortal disciples includes yoginis who are over 600 years old. Babaji conveys the impression that he cherishes individuality and thoughtful dissension, rather than servile obedience.

The sage with the immortal body has walked the length and breadth of India and is inured to the ways of the seemingly berserk lone ascetics that are a law unto themselves. There is no field of knowledge that is beyond him and the transmutation of atoms is simply an entertaining pastime. One day, Babaji took his entourage to a crematorium. There, he picked up a skull and placing some faeces in it, he offered them to his disciples, ordering them to eat. All of them declined, except Dr Bhosle, who gingerly touched it with his tongue. To his amazement, the revolting stuff had transformed into the most delectable dish.

In the 1950s, Babaji had set up an ashram in the Himalayan heights above Badrinath. He eventually closed it down. A true wanderer, he is not to be found in any one place, whether in the Himalayas or elsewhere. Yet he is very much amongst us, in Mumbai or Delhi, as much as he is in Badrikashram. He encourages disciples to strive for their highest destiny. Neither God nor an angel, Babaji is more like the atmik guru, or the inner light.

Dr Bhosle sounds a note of caution—the masters are suprahuman, beyond the frailties of emotion, and they demand total commitment to the chosen path. It is of greatest importance to follow the light with determination, discernment and detachment. The wise doctor concludes: “There is no such thing in this world as miracles. Everything happens through science. Only a person who doesn’t understand science calls it a miracle.”

Article taken from www.lifepositive.com

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Comments So Far..
  • drdeepaksorathia 14 July, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    hello,madam lynn.i m doctor from gujrat,skin specialist, attracted towards mahavtar babaji n his kriya yoga, read n heard about yogiraj amarjyotiji,cn u tell more about him?is he metting personaly?is he giving initiation? i know he is meeting at guru purnima at ashram but for personal contact how can i approch? if u know, let me illumine, i have seen ur photo with him.

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  • Gitika 30 July, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Hello All,

    I met Baba Amar Jyotiji at my ailing cousin's place and was over awed at his majestic presence and holy white attire. I dint even feel like blinking my eyes so as to lose his sight. After he blessed my brother, I followed him till his vehicle to seek his blessings and in quest of relief from my problem. He smilingly advised me to seek cure from Ayurveda from Palampur. I , then found this site in search of him and saw videos, Lynn's article. I have this innate desire to meet him again and seek his blessings!! i wonder when I shall meet him again in his Ashram and share more experiences with the needy.

    Like(0)Dislike(2)
  • Ajay Kumar 3 August, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Ajay Kumar from Jammu said:

    I have heard alot about the great great Mahavtar Baba Ji and most of the time i think to get the glimpse of this Great Great Yogi of the Universe.
    Please pray for my desire to meet this Great Yogi.

    Like(0)Dislike(0)
  • Faiz Ali 24 August, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Swamiji is always present at Palampur during Gurpurabh.
    Hans Raj Hans a punjabi singer is a great devotee of his.

    Like(0)Dislike(0)
  • Faiz Ali 24 August, 2010 at 9:38 am

    If you have any questions about Swamiji, pls address them to me. He cant read any language, nor can he write. But his words are crowned in pearls. The only thing he has learnt is writing 'OM', and that is his signature.

    Guys you will freak out once you meet him. He is cool.

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  • Gitika 26 August, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Dear Faiz
    How you chanced upon meetin him..pls tell me more abt his divine powers...I too wish to meet him soon again....

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  • sheik 18 September, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Dears,

    I am going on 28th of this month from Chennai to Babaji's cave with my three friends. Last year also, I tried to visit. But, it was not successful. I hope this time, with babaji's blessings, I will reach there. But, recent landslides are threatening me. Anyone have any idea about landslides on that area please communicate to me. my mail id: sheik_asmi@yahoo.co.in

    with regards,
    sheik

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  • Jitendra Singh 18 September, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Sheik, I was there earlier this summer in June for the second time. I don't think you should be too worried about landslides. There is a motorable road beyond Dunagiri all the way to Kukurchhina where the road ends. There is then a dirt path, on which you can drive if you have a jeep, but otherwise it is a long walk. And then you will have to climb uphill, so you need to be strong, or get help, or just go slowly. It may be best to take help from local people and have a guide.

    I don't think there is much to worry about with landslides as long as you are on the road. If the road is closed after a landslide, which is unlikely, then you will just have to go back. But if it is raining when you climb up to the cave, that could be difficult. So go on a day when it is sunny.

    I believe that if Babaji wants you to get there, you certainly will. That has been my experience. We had no problem at all last year.

    Jai Babaji!

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  • Dr. Anpurna kaul 5 October, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Dears

    I would like to tell you all
    that I have met Swami ji who is a institution within itself. It is all good karmas that there is a saint who knows every thing without telling him any thing . I feel elivated in my feelings whenever I am in the Ashram and rest He takes care all the time .I always wish to be there and also goes there whenever I get time.

    It is really heaven on the earth .

    Anpurna Kaul

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  • Guy Bennett 2 November, 2010 at 1:53 am

    I was fortunate enough to meet Yogi Raj Amar Jyoti (swamiji) when he lived in Pilani back in 1993. I spent about a month and half living with him and travelling with him at this time.

    His true spiritual home is in a cave by a little village in Kashmir where he is revered by the locals who generations have known. He has spent may 40 year stints in deep meditation in this cave.

    He has clearly differentiated to me that he is not maha Avatar Babaji, but one of his closest servants who has been granted the immortal light of immortality. However this may not be an absolute state as he has shown accelerated aging when he is around people. His current proximity to people is causing him to age and he would much rather be sitting in a cave high up in the Himalayas.

    He has indicated that he has been instructed by Maha Avatar Babaji to engage the people at this time. Which could prove fatal even for an immortal. In the mid 1990's he was attacked by a number of vagabonds (dacoits) who left him mutilated at the site of temple that was being built which he was overseeing. They also stole a large amount of money which was later recovered. He was seriously injured at which time he fused two severed fingers back on which took him three days. His blood was smeared over the temple walls in the form of Om's, he was finally taken to hospital where physicians were encouraging him to have a blood transfusion which he of course refused, his disciples who took him to hospital where in tears at the sight of him where he was encouraging them to take heart and not to worry for him. Many of his more superficial disciples departed company at this period because of his apparent mortality. When the criminals were caught he quietly forgave them and pressed no charges, to me this is the real miracle.

    It is the little things about an Avatar that are the important things.

    Prior to this event Swamiji was a virtuoso in the Indian flute, while still good his nimble fingers are not the same.

    He has an unusual diet of Milk and fruit and consumes no water. He has about two glasses of milk a day and two pieces of fruit. Man can this guy walk know one can keep up with him when he is in the mountains.

    He has dark circles under his eyes from a time when he was given a lethal dose of poison milk, at which time he went blind for a number of months, he was able to regenerate his eye sight. Some one was jealous of his perpetual good looks (he is very handsome) The poor guy has to put up with a lot humanities bad karma. He sure doesn't need to be here for himself, so we must be grateful to him for putting up with our crap. The power of this swami's mind and heart is phenomenal and we are so blessed to have him still hanging around and being accessible. The vibration on Earth is on messed up, we are such fleas compared to his magnitude of consciousness.

    I still marvel how he could loose 10 years in a 10 minute shower, his skill would become taught and he would loose 90% of his grey hair.

    He has informed me that true Kriya yoga is very simple and it is based on the principle of accelerating a humans evolution in their life time. It is largely enacted not by techniques so much but by the spiritual connection to Maha Avatar Babaji who drives the show.

    Regards

    Guy Bennett

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  • arun 3 December, 2010 at 9:00 am

    ANPURNA JI CAN U TELL ME PLS THE NAME OF THIS SPIRITUAL PERSON AND ADDRESS OF THAT ASHRAM.
    ARUN

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  • vijay kumar sood 11 December, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    if any body wants to experience mahavtar babaji in living form than a visit to mahavtar babaji ashram in palampur is a must .It is such a wonderful experience which can be had by his grace only .

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  • Sushanta Banerjee 11 December, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Dear Vijay

    I will be grateful if you kindly let me know how I can reach this ashram in Palampur. I am based in Delhi.Thanks

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  • Gautam 11 December, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Sushanta:

    Use http://maps.mapmyindia.com/ to get directions to Palampur.
    Here is the info:

    Yogiraj Swamiji Amar Jyoti Babaji
    Village Kandwari, Palampur, Distt. Kangra,
    Himachal Pradesh, India P.I.N. 176061
    Phone: 91-01894-235324
    swamiji@themahavtarbabajimeditationcentre.org

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  • SHYAM 26 December, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    THERE IS NO DOUBT MAHAVATARA BABAJI IS AN IMMORTAL SAGE WHO CAN TRAVEL TO ANYWHERE AND AT ANYTIME. HE IS BEYOND THE MODES OF NATURE. BEYOND SLEEP. FEAR, DEATH OR WHATEVER. HOW DO I KNOW?

    I INTENTIONALLY CHALLENGED SOMEONE WHO HAS INVESTIGATED ABOUT BABAJI FOR LONG. HE LIVES IN ENGLAND. I TOLD HIM IF BABJI IS TRUE I WANT HIM TO APPEAR IN FRONT OF ME RIGHT NOW. I ARGUED WITH THAT PERSON UNTIL HE GOT FED UP WITH ME. THAT PERSON IS A CHRISTIAN.

    REALLY, BABJI MANISFESTED IN THE FORM OF A FROG IN MY LIVING ROOM. I HAVE VER SEEN A FROG OR A TOAD IN MY GARDEN. THE FROG LOOKS LIKE THE TROPICAL FROGS. I CHASE IT IT WENT UNDER THE SOFA. I LOOKED FOR IT BUT COULD NOT FIND IT.

    BABAJI DID NOT WANT TO FRIGHTEN ME OR WHATEVER, IT IS JUST HIS SELF-MANIFESTATION. LAST WHEN I WAS ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR SUGERY IN CAMBRIDGE. I RECALLED I WAS SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR BECAUSE OF PAIN IN MY BACK. IT IS NONE BUT BABAJI WHO PLACED ME BACK ONTO THE BED AND SIT IN THE AIR( IN LEVITATING POSIITON) FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR UNTIL MY PAIN GET RELIEVED.

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  • Guy Bennett 15 May, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Hi, have writen a blog on how I met Yogiraj in 1993, I would be happy to share comments.

    http://www.createyourreality.com.au/practitioners/guybennett/yogiraj-amar-joyti-ji/

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  • Sushanta Banerjee 16 May, 2011 at 4:45 am

    I have had the good fortune to be able to visit Sri Yoganandaji's residence in Kolkata.It is extremely well kept,we were warmly received by a wonderful and gracious young lady who showed us around and let me meditate in the Paramahansa's prayer room. She is a member of the descended Ghosh family. I was also fortunate enough to be able to visit Sri Yukteswarji's shrine built on his erstwhile home and ashram at Serampore near Kolkata.At the shrine I clearly received the aroma of the pine trees of the Dronagiri mountains (checked and saw that no incense was either burning or had been used). Must have been Babaji's presence. Encountered a total stranger then at the shrine who offered to take us to the banyan tree where Babaji had appeared and met Sri Yukteswarji. Babaji is everywhere ! May He keep blessing us all.Love.

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  • Aparna singh 6 July, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I met him in Kangra (H.P.)
    Dear Anuj yes he will be available on Guru Purnima in Palampur.

    REGARDS
    Aparna Thakur

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  • DR Zankyani 19 August, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Recently we gone for Mana-Satopanth_Swagarohini Trekking in May'11 end. It is known as present abode of Mahavatar Babaji as confirmed by mouni baba, bangali baba and local persons. We found more than what we expected.

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  • Gautam 19 August, 2011 at 3:59 am

    DR,
    care to share more on your trip?

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  • JV 19 August, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Yes, DR, would you please share more? I was at Babaji's cave near Dwarahat with a friend in June, but the locals did not know anything about where Babaji might be, even though I mentioned the place beyond Mana, the village not far from Badrinath. I would love to have his darshan.

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  • satish 16 March, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    dear all

    iam recently knew about mahavatar babaji i really believe him
    because something in his eyes & so cool . Now iam also babaji"s servent

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  • karm 23 August, 2012 at 2:53 am

    anyone can plz tell me, if babaji would be available on ganesh chaturthi?

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  • bliss 17 October, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Most probablyBaba will be available on Dussehra at Kandbadhi

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  • Baby.A.P. 30 September, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I Wish to meet Mahavatar Babaji, which is my life ambition.Hope I will get my wish fulfilled.

    Baby.A.P.
    Iringole,Perumbavoor,Ernakulam District,Kerala,South India.

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  • Baby.A.Paulose. 30 September, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I wish to meet Mahavatar Babaji of Himalayas one day.Hope my wish will be fulfilled.

    Baby.A.Paulose

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  • Puneet Sharma 8 October, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    hi all
    This is all destiny , belonging to himachal and having been to Palampur many time , never got to know that a true saint/yogi of so high magnitude has made this place his abode . Been seeking the sanidhya of a guru desperately for few years now running here and there . May be my wait is over , may be I will get the call ...

    Puneet

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  • Anil kumar dwivedi 28 November, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    om kriya babaji namah om

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  • Gautam 2 December, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I met Yogiraj Amar Jyoti this weekend at Kandwari (Himachal) and it was truly a blissful moment.

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  • hariom 15 January, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    jai jai baba mahavtar ......aapki mujh par kripa apaar.....om babaji om.....

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