On the way to Shambhala Tapovan…

On the way to Shambhala Tapovan…

Greetings,

I was reflecting on the short missive of the poster who wished to find an Indian disciple of Shri Mahendranath to bend their ear. Why some private person would want to discuss their relationship or experience of a holy man with a stranger is obscure, if not invasive, but it set me to thinking…

I remembered my first visit to Shambhala Tapovan. I was in Gujarat State and boarded the train from Ahmedabad to Shambhala Tapovan. It was early evening and the sun had set. The train car I found a space in was filled with village people and a collection of chickens, bundled clothing, pots and pans and much dust. I found and staked out my spot on a bench. Across from me was the only other “gentleman”, a bespectacled Indian person wearing a rather tattered coat and tie, protectively guarding his traveling case which was wedged between his knees.

After being underway for some period and the chickens having been subdued and placed in bags, the man looked at me from behind his coke bottle glasses and suddenly spoke in perfect English. “And what brings you to India my good man?” Somewhat surprised by his British accent, I replied, “I have come to meet my Guru”. “And who is your Guru?” he prodded. I said the name “Mahendranath”.

Suddenly, the car exploded with the yelps of the villagers, “Mahendranath Babaji!”“Mahendranath Babaji!” The resting chickens entered the fray with excited cackling while the villagers pressed in to form a circle around us. It seemed that everyone in the car had met Shri Mahendranath with the exception of myself and the “well dressed” Indian fellow. A flurry of Hindi ensued from the villagers to “Mr. Spectacles”.

“It seems our traveling companions know your Guruji and speak highly of him. Will you be staying with him?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied. “Mr. Spectacles” merely nodded and the villagers moved away to give greater distance. I went from being the odd white man in the car to an alien presence…

So, if one wants to meet someone who met Shri Mahendranath, board an east bound train out of Ahmedabad and keep mumbling “Mahendranath Babaji”… Since this was over twenty years ago, your mileage may vary…

Kapilnath

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