For anyone who is reading this, feel that I must point out that I'm trying ( with immense and un-imaginable difficulty ) to find non attachment.
My wife and I bought a caravan in Glastonbury about 2 years ago, ever being attracted to the general spiritual feeling of the place, we go down there as often as we can afford.
As usual I walk to the Tor (The Mystical Tor, that has attracted millions of spiritual seekers for a very long time). At the base of Tor, I begin to feel the usual feeling of longing, emptiness, the usual feeling of (God please speak to me) I think to myself, "who can I pray to, for God's sake, who can I pray to who might actually respond?" A thousand uncontrolled and depressed thoughts on my mind, I find myself thinking of anything from my old Guru, to Krishna and the Jaganath Temple, to The I Ching, to Jesus, to just the word "God".
Reflecting on my exciting past, reflecting on my present feelings of selfish despair, very much fearing an unknown future, a faded memory flickers into my mind. I'm about 18 years old, I'm in the bath ( tub to Americans ) in my mothers house, about 1972, I pray to the awesome, Babaji, the Yogananda book Babaji.
I have a cross and chain around my neck that a friend had given me during our search for spiritual realisation, deeply praying to Babaji as best I know how, in search of that promised blessing Babaji gave. Eventually I realise that my bath is getting cold, so I start to wash my face, neck etc, instantly the cross and chain is in my hands, (intact, not un-joined) I stare at it for a slightly amused moment, but then slowly I realise that this can't be happening. Please believe me when I tell you that the chain was very small, the cross hung around my adams apple region, in other words it did not somehow transport itself over my head etc. I have always remembered this strange and inexplicable moment in time, but of course I have never known what to make of it.
Anyway, back to 1999, oh yes, there I am at the base of the Tor, finally I decide to pray to Babaji, I form a tiny sentence in my mind,"BABAJI,PLEASE BLESS ME"
I begin my climb to the top of the Tor, knowing that although it is no mountain, I will be breathing very heavily and soaked in sweat when I get there. So, with every breath, I repeat with intense feeling, trying to be as truly reverent as possible, repeating, "Babaji please bless me."
I arrive at the Tor, soaked in sweat, and half gasping for breath, and as usual, I sit down on the nearest concrete seat, and although looking forward to getting my breath back, I am very much absorbed in my prayer to Babaji, really, I am actually seem unable to think of anything else, or recognise anything around me, all I know is,"Babaji, please bless me." As I sit down on the concrete seat, immediately a man walks in from the right hand entrance, I successfully resist looking at him, truly praying, only to Babaji, absolutely shunning all distractions.
However, one way or another, I can't help but notice that he seems to,"glide" across the floor, almost as though he were walking on water or something, very slowly. Then as gracefully as he moved, as gracefully he came to rest, facing the same direction he arrived from, head bowed, feet in sandals, tall, white hair, myself unable to see his face, one of those,"old but fit types," and totally silent. This individual moved like a,"spiritual" man, somebody reflecting upon at least, "something"
I, meanwhile had kept my head down, intent on treating this man as an intruder, a nuisance perhaps, and as much as my head was down, so was this mans head down. "BABAJI, PLEASE BLESS ME," intensely repeating within my worn being, I become aware of an itch on my nose, a bead of sweat, still there, running down my nose, irritating, at first I either ignore or refuse to acknowledge the itch, but slowly but surely, my resolve, being slowly worn down now, by all sorts of distractions, I decide to wipe the itch from my nose, with fanatical slowness, I move my hand towards my nose, a strange sort of guilt comes over me, well fairly normal I suppose, but this is really strange, a voice, an awareness, whatever, a very clear understanding of," If you scratch your nose, I will go away." In other words, keep up your concentration. Well, that's all I can make of it anyway. Finally, I touch my nose, instantaneously the man,"glides away," graceful," severe perhaps.
Although most resolute, I try only in vain to continue my concentration upon Babaji, slowly relaxing myself, and slowly finding myself wondering about this unusual man,(knowing of course that Glastonbury is full of unusual people.) I fully recover my normal mode and decide to quickly look for the unusual man, I briskly get up and walk outside the Tor, scanning, left, right, walking right round the Tor, the man is gone, then I notice him at the base of the Tor, walking really fast, away from the Tor. I think to myself, "blimey, how did that man get down there that quick?"
Approximately three weeks later, I'm at the base of the Tor again, thinking very similar thoughts to the last time I was there, actually forgetting the "unusual man encounter." I must pray to the Yogananda book Babaji I decide, yes, that's it. So, off I go again, intense, sweating etc.
The instant I sit down, albeit, sincerely and reverently, a young, dark skinned man with fairly long black hair, and very big eyes, bounds in from the right hand entrance, he sits down next to me, so abrubtly I actually jump back slightly, I say to my self, blimey, who the hell is this? Is he on drugs, is he gay, who the hell is this strange 18ish year old man. I come to the conclusion that he is not on drugs, and that he is not gay, but then he says, "Oh look at you," and then starts to vigorously wipe the sweat off of my head. I say," er, yeah, I'm always hot," (which I am) He then says loudly, "Oh, I'm cold." We seem to hover for a moment, I uneasily look away, he sort of looks away, and then leaps up and bounds out the way he came.
This time I instantly rush outside the Tor, gathering my senses on the way, and frantically look for the young, crazy guy. Nothing, I really mean nothing, he is definitely not there, dashing around the Tor, frantically looking left, right, down, all directions, he is definitely not there.
A few days later, I come home to my wife, I tell her of my strange encounter, describing both old man and young man, (I didn't actually mention the first encounter at the time of it happening for whatever reason.) I tell her of a strange young man with big eyes, he seemed Indian and red indian at the same time, slightly feminine, long black hair, I speak about it a lot to her. I remember thinking that the "young man" somehow reminded of the "old man," admittedly, probably because I had been praying to Babaji both times anyway, but on the other hand, I still think one reminded me of the other to this day.
About 3 months later, I buy my first computer, a friend of mine sets it up for me, and away I go. Anxious to "browse" the internet that I have heard so much about, I quickly connect up and then wonder what to look for. You can surely guess what I'm going to say. After a fairly short time I think to myself, Ah! I wonder if there's anything about Babaji on the internet. To my great surprise there was a considerable amount of information about Babaji, but not the Yogananda book Babaji I would of expected, (I wasn't expecting any Babaji stuff on the internet anyway) but this new Babaji that supposedly materialised in 1970 in a cave. At first I read the Babaji stories with suspicion, distrust, scepticism, etc. Marge may recall one of my earliest E-Mails saying,"are you sure this is THE Babaji." I still have those early E-Mails. So there I am, constantly trying to come to terms with this,"new" Babaji, reading his words, lessons etc. and doubting all of them.
Remember, I hardly know how to turn the computer on at this stage, consequently, the only picture I have seen of this "new" Babaji so far is the home page Babaji that looks a bit like an artists impression of him. Experimenting further with the internet, I find more pictures of the "new" Babaji. Slowly but surely I start to realise that one of the pictures really, really looks like my visitor from the Tor. Reading more and more about this strange new Babaji, I find passages saying things like, "he looks Red Indian and Indian at the same time, feminine, long arms", "my visitor had noticably long arms," seventy years old sometimes, etc. etc.
Now of course, I realise and absolutely believe that my two visitors were indeed Babaji, even though he doesn't neccessarily look like the picture in the Yogananda book. This experience has seriously damaged my mental health, now I have to believe in Babaji, forever unable to slip back into doubt, spiritual despair etc.
Well, that's it, that's the best story i've got. I think for the rest of my life I will be ever trying to live up to this honour, and to maybe one day meet him again.
Yours most sincerely,