Haidakhan Wale Baba lived in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Kumaon region, the birth place of many of India's great saints. He was acknowledged as Shiva Mahavatar Babaji, the eternal manifestation of God in human form.
Babaji's recent physical manifestation was between 1970 to 1984, when He appeared in a holy cave at the foot of the Kumaon Mount Kailash in a remote village called Haidakhan. Many people, from all over the world, have mystically been drawn to Babaji through extraordinary events, dreams and visions and are receiving His Blessings.
Babaji urged the people to "follow the religion that is in your heart." He said "every religion leads to the same divine goal" and that he had come to revive the eternal and ageless religion, the Sanatan Dharma; the three basic principles: Truth, Simplicity, and Love. He emphasized constant repetition of the ancient Sanskrit maha mantra OM NAMAH SHIVAYA-- "Lord, Thy Will be Done" and to live in harmony along with selfless service to humanity.
Shri Baabji is acknowledged as the Shiva Mahavatar Babaji described by Paramahansa Yogananda in "Autobiography of a Yogi"': a Mahavatar being a human manifestation of the Divine who can materialize a body at will. Babaji's devotees believe that He has continually manifested since Creation to help Humanity. One manifestation of Babaji was around 1800 at which time He traveled extensively in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas, gathering his devotees and disciples around Him. In 1922 He traveled to the meeting place of the Kali and Gori Rivers, seated Himself on the surface of the water and disappeared in a ball of light.
His latest manifestation was between 1970 and 1984, and was foretold by a great Saint, Mahendra Baba, who following a lifelong search for Babaji, experienced a miraculous meeting with Him at Siddhashram, near Ranikhet in Uttar Pradesh, India. Thereafter, Mahendra Baba devoted himself to traveling through India prophesying Babaji's return.
Babaji appeared in 1970, as a youth of 18 or 20 years, in a holy cave at the foot of Kumaon Mount Kailash at Haidakhan, near Haldwani in Uttar Pradesh, India. His divine power was experienced in many ways: in September of 1970 He ascended Mount Kailash and sat on the summit without food or sleep for 45 days; several people saw Him simultaneously in different places; He healed the sick; He brought transformation into many people's lives.
Babaji spent most of His 14 year incarnation at Haidakhan where he established a beautiful ashram, and near the village of Chilianaula, near Ranikhet, He built a large and breathtakingly beautiful Temple and Ashram overlooking the Himalayas.
Babaji taught that He had come to revive the Santana Dharma, the ageless Eternal Religion from which all religions have come. He stressed three basic principles: Truth, Simplicity and Love. He emphasized constant repetition of the mantra "Om Namah Shivaya","I surrender to God", and selfless service to Mankind.
Many people have been drawn to Babaji and many spiritual centers in the West have been dedicated to Babaji and His teachings. Thousands of people all over the world have received Babaji's blessings and have been called to the spiritual path through extraordinary events, dreams and visions.
Babaji left his body on 14 February 1984. He had come to give a message to the world, and having done this, He left. His last message was:
"I am always with you".
Babaji Teaches: Truth, Love, Simplicity & Unity
The Central message - Truth, Simplicity and Love
In 1977, 1979 and 1981, David Berry, a young man in the American motion picture industry, visited Babaji. David took a camera each time and accumulated movie footage of Shri Babaji - in the Ashram, in the neighboring villages, on travel. Babaji told David to make a movie or video tape and David asked Baba what title it should have and what message Babaji wanted to give. The last frames of David Berry's video tape show Babaji stating His central message Babaji looked at the camera and said, "Prem, saralata, satayut,' which is "Truth, Simplicity and Love."
This is the same message which Mahendra Baba said was given to him by Lord Shiva, in preparation for Babaji's return to human form to teach again. As Mahendra Baba expounded the teaching, Truth was described as "whatever the mind thinks, the voice should tell, and the organs should do." The expression of truth requires a total harmony within an individual. Simplicity means living of a simple, natural life based on detachment from the materialistic world and a resulting clear conscience. It did not mean renouncing material things necessary for a simple, comfortable life or renouncing an active role in life. Love was described as the basis for devotion to God - in all forms.
The living of a life based on "Truth, Simplicity and Love" requires - and further develops - a strong sense of unity and harmony with the entire Creation and it's Creator, starting from within one's self. This is the essential Truth which Babaji comes to show and teach and to help people experience. When an individual can think, speak and act in harmony with the Eternal Law, she or he has found and is living in the Truth.
Even before His reassumption of the direction and activity of the Haidakhan Ashram in 1970, Babaji lived in the area in a full expression of this central Truth. When people started coming to Haidakhan to be with Him, they saw this teaching exemplified not only by Babaji Himself but in the lifestyle of the ashram. It was certainly simple! For several years, there was no recognizable residential dwelling in the ashram; people slept under the stars, or, when it rained, crowded into the village houses and tea houses. They bathed in the river. They ate simple food. But no one felt deprived; they felt blessed, and came again and again to live in this environment. Even today, with stone-and-cement buildings and electricity, the Haidakhan Ashram provides very simple accommodations, still difficult to reach. It is the Presence of Truth, Simplicity and Love which draws rich and poor, saint and sinner, the powerful and the strugglers to this place.
"You can only know Me through Love"
For a God of Love, Shri Babaji spoke rather infrequently about love. In comparison to the talks about jap, karma yoga, changing the world, or prophesies, there are few that place a direct focus on love. Yet love stirs people into purposeful action - karma yoga, and karma yoga is what Babaji said perfects love. Jap helps to purify the mind so love can be mind's controlling impulse. Everything Babaji teaches, everything He does in human form revolves around love, expresses His love and is aimed at leading the devotee to the perfection of love. But, in keeping with His desire for "practical human beings" to populate the earth, He taught people to do things which stimulate the growth of love, reflect their love, and perfect it through experience and constant repetition in action until it becomes the only motivation for human activity. Because He sees the Creation as One - all created things as manifestation of the divine substance and energy - there is little or no distinction in His teachings between a human being's love for God and love for created forms.
The love which Shri Babaji exemplifies was not a romantic sexual love; it was not 'namby-pamby,' meekly accepting whatever came His way. His love was clear, rational, detached; He could as easily hit a devotee as He could touch in blessing - depending on which was truly more helpful to His devotee at the moment. The giving and receiving relationship between mother and child is closer to the love which Babaji expressed than that of lover and beloved. In India, and elsewhere, The Divine is often worshipped as the Divine Mother; and Babaji was seen by many of His devotees as 'Mother.' There is even a 'Mother aarati' (worship service) which was often offered to Babaji. When He completed His ministry, He left behind Him 'Haidakhandeshwari Mata (the Divine Mother of Haidakhan),' as His Shakti (or consort), as the Energy and Love of God, in much the same way as Christ spoke of the Holy spirit as Comforter and Guide.
His whole 'life' was one of loving service. When Gaura Devi came to Haidakhan Ashram, Babaji told her, "Babaji means all people service." His entire day was given in loving, supportive service to His devotees - and not just to those physically present in the ashram. He was patient - working at whatever pace was possible - but He was also capable of jumping into any activity the had lost its momentum and energizing it by drastic action. He was constantly giving - material objects, spiritual blessings, needed knowledge. When He spoke about love and service, it was from practical 'human' experience, as well as from the Divine Wisdom in Him. Like many spiritual teachers, Shri Babaji used the phrases "God is Love" or "Love is God." He seemed to indicate that the formless God - Absolute, complete in Itself - is nevertheless energized by Love. Love is the energy of God which creates, maintains and enlivens the Universe with its pulsing vibrations or waves, and which also stimulates the active, caring, purifying relationship between God in Its many divine forms and the individual, embodied souls that are struggling to recall their unity and oneness with God.
He saw love as the bond or the channel of communication between God and human beings. "You can only know Me through love - Divine Love, love for God, without any selfish purpose." Love is also the unifying force among disparate human beings: "live here with love for each other, like members of one family. Discard jealousy and envy. Because you are all one, live here in peace. If you are in peace, I am in peace; if you have problems, I have problems."
Babaji took on many people's problems for them. Some found peace just by talking to Babaji and leaving their problems with Him. Sometimes He solved a problem with a gift, a word of advice, or by instructing another devotee to help the person with a problem. There seemed to be no limit to what He would do for those devotees who came to Him with problems.