Soon after Gurudev had come to the West I met Him. It was the 29th June 1974, when He gave initiation into Kriya-Yoga on a Saturday afternoon in Gummersbach, 50 kilometers east of Cologne (Germany) and 30 Km west of my home-town. In those days “truth-seekers” were to be found mainly among the so-called Hippies and travellers to Eastern Countries and less among the so-called proper i.e. normal, people.
Each time when BABA HARIHARANANDA came to the West, be it in 1974, 1975, 1977…many different things happened even in the background which brought plenty of significant experiences. They went deep also during all other periods of His coming, specially for those who were trying to be close to Him.
When Gurudev regulary visited Schorndorf (40 kilometers east of Stuttgart - south-west Germany) for 4 - 5 Years in between 1977 and 1981, His age was already above 70, but still 20 years before His Mahasamadhi, we could experience Him with the abilities of a young man. He declared then in May 1979 a rented house as Kriya-Yoga Ashram. It was a house with a meditationroom of about 70-80 squaremeters in the ground floor, 4 rooms in the first floor and 3 rooms in the second floor, officerooms, 2 kitchens and bathrooms..., and a nice garden.
The house was financed by those residents who were constantly staying and were working throughout the daytime in their jobs in the next towns or cities. But whenever we could arrange it, we stood more at the house, and shared our rooms with other disciples during seminaries. At that time it was the walkable way to maintain the Ashram, which does not touch the ways nowadays or before.
For months continuing we were around Him daily, not just for the meditation-hours, but also for lunch, dinner and many times in between. Spontanously He gave many advices. Being an universal spirit, He was also very pragmatically in the daily worldly life. Even in the kitchen He gave recipes for cooking and since somebody cited Buddha´s statement: - "after meal, you clean your plate!", one found BABA many times getting up and doing it in the kitchen-room.
"...when we seek the Lord, place Him before our wordly
attachments and we love Him and seek to serve Him, we can go
to His abode and remain with Him and we will feel His divinity
within us and have all the joys of knowing Him. But when we
cherish some pride, ego or vanity, then by our own fault and
strong will we isolate Him. As long we remain in these moods
He will not come to us. But then we will get a feeling of dejection
and we will begin to long for Him and want Him to come back to us.
But we will get no result until we go and sit and meditate
only on Him. If we sit longer, meditate, meditate and
meditate, only on Him, then, just like Radha, we will
eventually get the pulseless-breathless state of
nirvikalpa-samadhi and we will be transformed into His
*(From: "Kriya Yoga" - Paramahamsa Hariharananda)
***If one expects to hear the many little stories which were running one after another for example at His teachings about the body which has no life without the soul one of the residents told - "yes, yes it is like an empty suitcase to me", she was also present when sometime later at lunch the salad was served and one little green caterpillar was falling out. As somebody remarked that the salad was not nicely washed and the caterpillar has to be removed, she wildly protested in Gurudevs direction: - "has it a soul, has it a soul?" Guruji answered smiling: - "It is not an empty suitcase!" But she was not really satisfied with this... ***
When He was out of sight, we could be sure, that He was in His room, answering one letter after another. Disciples came at any time and were received with their questions and problems, and darshan had just the limits which He kept for urgent works.
He got up at 4 a.m. and took some rest after lunch. He resisted to cold climates with some trouble in the wintertime by minus degrees, in His very warm room, as many disciples know. He told many stories and He was rhetorical undefeatable, whenever somebody allowed him-or herself to challenge Him with controversial discussions or statements.
He had but a main problem, and it was an extrem question of balance, because at those times He was outwardly often depending on the moods of the organizers and agents in different places, and the mind of the disciples, who were serving. This was more than it was in the last decade of His life.
Many expectations, characters to calm down, or to motivate, was not always possible and guided to extrem decisions and changes. According to fulfill His mission in the best way His patience grew to the highest limits.
By that way one could be astonished about such spirit of friendlyness and humbleness who is forever adorable and unforgettable.
At the end of His last meditation-lecture in Schorndorf
on 25th Nov. 1981, BABA cited Swami Kebalanandaji´s description:
"When my mind will absorb in God,
I will get the truth and I will get the soul-power,
then will remain no bar between myself and anybody,
no bar in my body and the soul, I will feel oneness with everybody.
The multiplicity of divine being and unity of divine being.
Our bearning our unpleasentness will disappear
and our dirt will disappear.
Birth and death are only two words. When you get calmness
and formless stage, at that time you are immortal.
As if it is dead, the body will fall, and
I will march with the immortal soul - always remaining,
and that should be done in your lifetime."
Dec. 30 - 2013