Satsangs from Serbian Retreat with Mohanji, 9-14th May, 2014
Q: Can you explain about the birth of Lord Dattatreya?
A: Great masters never leave. So, there are two great masters in one family, a husband and wife, Atri and Anasuya. Atri was the saint and Anasuya was his wife. And in the Indian tradition, there were some very, very powerful women who attained the power by just serving the husbands. So Anasuya was one of them, Savitri was another. Anasuya attained her spiritual power by just serving the husband, her husband was meditating and he was a great saint. By just serving him, she attained great powers. The story goes that the gods became jealous of Anasuya and they wanted to test her spiritual power. So they approached the trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to come to Earth and test this lady’s power.
They came as three wandering monks. In our tradition, if anybody comes home, they must be given food. It is not a good idea to serve them nothing. Anasuya was at home alone, Atri had gone to the river to have a bath. They came as wandering monks asking for food when the husband was not there and wife was alone. They asked her, “We are hungry, can you serve us some food?’’ She had not prepared any food in the house at that time. She said, ”Please wait, let me prepare something and give you.” They said, ”But we have one condition. You should serve us food completely naked, without any clothes.” In our tradition, if a saint asks for something, it is not a good idea to deny it. It is inauspicious to say ‘no’. So she was in a dilemma, how will she do this? First she has to give them food, and second she has to obey their condition, to serve it naked, which was unacceptable for her. So she said, ”Please wait.”
She went inside, took some water in her hand, brought it and sprinkled on them. The same moment they became small babies. She produced some breast milk and fed them. As all the conditions were fulfilled, they were very happy. Once they were happy, they said, ”We would like to bless you. Ask for a boon, we will give you.” She said, ”I would like you to come as my son.” They blessed her and they entered her womb, together as one entity. When Atri came back, he understood all what happened and he was very happy. And that is the son which we call Dattatreya. Atri said, this son will lead the world one day. Each yuga or era has an avatar, like Shri Krishna in Dvapara Yuga. Dattatreya was the Acharya or the key master of that era. Otherwise in our era that is the Kali Yuga, Adi Shankaracharya is the master. He is the supreme master of our era. Likewise, Dattatreya was the master of the era in which Shri Krishna came, 5000 years ago.
When Dattatreya was born he had three heads, of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. His mother said, in this way it will be difficult for you to survive in the society. People will easily see you and recognise you. So, they condensed into one head. Dattatreya temples today either worship him as Maha Vishnu, or as Shiva, differently in various temples. Because he is everything. Datta has taken various avatars, and the first avatar which we know of is Shreepadha Shreevallabha. That was probably in 780 AD. His life and teachings were recorded. But he said, ”It will take thirty-three generations to understand me or recognise me in my fullest form. So the book cannot be seen by people or published until it’s 33 generations. Now it has been published all these years after the first avatar of Datta.
Usually, no master is really recognised during his time. If you look at the history, you will know. Adi Shankaracharya was never recognised during his time. Now we know that he was a very powerful saint, almost Shiva. Dnyaneshwar was a great avatar, and he was not recognised during this time. Like that, most of the avatars were not recognised during their time. Shirdi Sai Baba was also a prime example. Many people considered him as a mad man, an eccentric. It usually takes further generations to recognise a past saint. When a person is living in the body, people always see the superficial, the physical form and the mannerisms. They do not see the consciousness behind it. The moment you connect to the consciousness, you understand, this is huge! It’s bigger than the Everest! Then very few people are able to connect to the consciousness. That is why the recognition doesn’t happen immediately or even after ten times. You need to connect to the consciousness to know the stature of the saint. It is not easy. For that you need to connect to yourself first.
The next avatar was Narasimha Saraswati, third was Akkalkot Maharaj, all were very powerful avatars of Datta, and even today their places of existence are visited by many. The fifth avatar was Shirdi Sai Baba. All of them were avadhootas- someone who exists in the body, but is not at all connected to it, in complete abandon, in complete detachment from the body, but existing in the body. They may not even know there is a body, that level of avadhootas. So Datta and all his avatars were avadhootas. Somebody asked Lord Dattatreya, “Who are you?” He replied, “I’m just a worshipper of nature.” This is the nature of simplicity of any of the Datta avatars. You need clean eyes to recognise them. And it was Dattatreya who codified the Nath tradition, the tradition that we follow, the Nath gurus. Nath tradition is an everflowing tradition, and science of the tradition is detachment, nullification of the mind. The sole aim is total liberation. There are various Nath gurus at every point in time.
The first Nava Nath saints were established on Earth by Lord Dattatreya, under the instruction of Lord Krishna. When Lord Krishna was leaving the body, he decided that the reason for his birth- the preservation of dharma- should continue after his death. He asked the Nava Narayanas from celestial plane to come to come to Earth and take birth as Nava Nath sadhus. So these are the fathers of Nath tradition. Then the tradition flows, Sai Nath Maharaj, Shirdi Sai Baba were Nath gurus. There are many Nath gurus even now, and the sign of nath is usually fire. People don’t often recognise Nath gurus, but there are certain records, citing Nath gurus in Himalayas 20,000 feet high etc. These are not written by saints or spiritual people. These are written by even army people when they were serving in some parts of Himalayas and they found certain people, with inner glow- they were having light from inside- walking in the middle of the night.
These are the signs of Nath gurus because they connect to fire so much, their inner glow is so high and there are certain techniques which they start training before the age of ten. I’m talking about men here. And by the time they attain puberty, they are able to recycle the semen backwards and the glow is preserved. The glow is 100% preservation of prana inside, and prana is used to rejuvenate the naadis and through the naadis it will be fully lit up inside. They operate in that plane. They are not particularly connected to food, water etc and they are not affected by very low temperature either. They would have walked naked at the height of 20,000 feet where it is very, very cold. So these are all signs of 100% detachment of Nath gurus.
There are various aspects of it, but I’m just giving a general idea. These are very high techniques. To bring all the chakras and establish them in the ananda ganda, the center just below the rib cage. And also from the vertical breathing, to have the Shiva Linga kind of kriya, this is actually kriya, so that energy preservation is very high. If you look at the whole world, all the atomic reservoirs are in the form of Shiva Lingas. So the breath pattern is changed into that form. And then your operating level shifts. You will start operating in a different form. These are all very high kriyas. You need to take a lot of steps to reach there. But the point I’m saying is that this is possible. The state of elevation is possible. We have horizontal breathing now. Our task is to make it vertical. Once you’re established in making it vertical, then you use the same breath to go in different forms, to control the spending of our vital sources or vital energy, and recycle it inside. This is the format which they use. I’m just giving an idea, please do not worry too much about it, these ideas might tell that there is higher and higher to go. Usually the blockage is in the mind level, the mind asks questions, compares, and this keeps us in the lower plane. Once you lift the lid of the mind, there are various opportunities.
There is also another sight, a picture from the satellite, where people have found many dead bodies, in a pond at a very high altitude in Himalayas. They thought it is an after-effect of some war, because of the cold temperature and bodies did not decay, but later on they found out these are all the bodies of saints who left the body in water. When it is time to leave the body, they understand. Or the call happens, ”Come and exit now”, they go to the water, they go to the near deep and they withdraw the soul from the toes, they bring it to ananda ganda, and take it up to the chest, throat, sahasrara and leave. Then the body will go to the water. This is also mostly Nath gurus. The way of exiting the body is the same, through the sahasrara up. So, their birth is by choice, and death is by choice. Even if the birth is not by choice, if you attune yourself by the age of ten, you can have the death by choice. So Kriya yoga is also part of the Nath tradition.
It has started from Adi Nath, Lord Shiva, and Babaji’s Balak Nath, and likewise Sai Nath Maharaj, so many Nath gurus have walked this path. There is no differentiation in effect between Nath tradition and Dattatreya tradition. It eventually merges into one. And also you can see the Siddha tradition where great siddhas, like Bhagawan Nithyananda and the eighteen siddhas. That tradition is also coming and merging because Bhoganathar was Babaji’s guru. Babaji is one of the eighteen siddhas. He is the Nath guru. So you can see the whole link-up. There’s no differentiation, it’s all one order, although we feel they are all different masters.
Q: Are Paramhamsa Yogananda who wrote ”Autobiography of a yogi” and yogis mentioned in the book also a part of Nath tradition?
A: Yes, they are. Kriya is a part of Nath tradition. See, there are various offshoots. Like Ayurveda has various branches. Likewise various people have worked on Ayurveda. Vedic astrology has various branches. But if you look at the collection of it, it is more or less related, but people have followed various traditions. Like I was talking about a pamphlet which they received which was written 1000 or 2000 years before India’s independence, that one day a man will surprise the world with his nakedness while the world believe in clothing. That was Mahatma Gandhi and he will change the course of the history of this country. This kind of thesis works have been done by various paths. Even though gurus have invented their own systems and methods, the basic tradition remains the same, like the gotras. All the Nath gurus are from Bharadwaja Gotra. Bharadwaja and Maharshi, his clan. Likewise there are various flavours and dimensions. But eventually if you look, it’s all one umbrella.
For the Naadis there is an interesting story about how the Agasthya naadi, Shuka naadi came into being. Agasthya is a Maharishi and a saint. Shuka is a saint. So apparently they wanted to write a horoscope of Lord Shiva. Because they were great astrologers. They went to Kailas, and they were standing there waiting for audience from Shiva. Parvati asked, ”Why are you here, for a few days now? What are you doing?“ They said, ”We have written the horoscope of Shiva and we want to tell this to him.” This is a big adventure, you know, (laughs). Shiva is somebody who has not been born and will never die. Unborn, and no death. So Parvati said, ”Do one thing. Write the horoscope of all the people who will appear on Earth, from now, and before and later. After that come back.” So they started writing naadis, and those are the naadis which we see today.
There are also naadis like Kaka Bhujanda Maharishi. Kaka Bhujanda Maharishi loses a crow in Kailash. He loses a white crow. People say that he is much older than Shiva. When Shiva and Vishnu had a dispute about who came first, they went and checked with him. It is available, I’ve seen it. Some people have it. There will be nothing on it. But if a person comes in front, there will be something for that person. The pamphlet is very open and clear. The Agasthya naadis and Shuka naadis will have something written on it, and, if it suits you, they will tell you your future or about your next life or past life. I respect and appreciate all naadis, because they have come from great saints.
But today, many people are exploited because they are keener to get the solutions, which will of course cost a lot of money. Many people have been affected because they will read some things and say this is how it is, and say, ”Pay so much money and gratifications and your life will be smooth.” Then after some time nothing has happened. They come back and say, ”We’ll help you further. Pay more money.” So, this is actually an insult to the great works. This is my personal opinion. The people who are using the older scriptures in order to exploit people, I think it is an insult to the whole tradition or the sanctity of the tradition. Normally I object to that kind of behaviour. But unfortunately there is too much insecurity, people come with expectations, so they take the money.
Recorded and transcribed by Biljana Vozarevic
Edited by Aviral Srivastava