It was in the month of May in 1969, when I was working in the Seva Dharma Mission . We organized a departmental UTC at Varanasi. Varanasi is a beautiful, spiritually vibrated city in Uttar Pradesh. People love to go to Varanasi. It was created seven thousand years ago by Lord Shiva. It is the oldest city in the world. Lord Shiva's spiritual vibration can still be felt by yogis at that place..
After some effort, we found a place near the Ganges River for the UTC. It was summer, and extremely hot - at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of those who attended the UTC were dadas. During the daytime we attended classes. After dinner, most of us crossed the river by boat to do our sadhana on the other side of the river bank, and returned the following morning.
The opposite side of the river was completely deserted and lonely. The pure, white sand along the river bank sparkled like a thousand heavenly gems. We meditated on the shore, and after that simply went to sleep on the soft, sparkling sand under the vast open sky, enjoying our special affinity with Mother Nature.
For the first three days I was on kitchen duty and hence could not go with my brothers across the river. However, on the fourth day, I arranged to go. On that day, we decided to walk farther down the river. There were about ten of us. We rented a boat that took us the long distance across the river. By the time we had crossed the width of the river, it was nearly 11:30 at night. All of us changed our clothes, and then looked for a nice spot to do meditation. After a short search, we saw a place that was shaped like a long chair. The middle portion was elevated, and on both sides the sand sloped downward.
As we approached the spot, we felt a certain strange heaviness come over us, which caused us to be drowsy. We then decided to rest at this place, and promptly sat down on both sides of the mound. Our heads faced the elevated portion, while our legs were below on the slope.
We had hardly been there for five minutes, when all of us felt a very powerful and fearful sensation. It was as if each of us had a horrible nightmare at the same time. We all trembled with fear and our hair stood on end. Somehow, the fear was so overwhelming that we did not dare to speak with one another. We were just paralyzed with fear. We stayed in this condition, in this strange situation, for perhaps ten minutes.
After a while, some of us spoke. We decided to leave this place immediately. But none of us could even stand up! Finally, after much effort, we managed to pick up our clothes and walked away.
We also decided not to stay outside that night. Rather, we wanted to return to our camp immediately. But how were we to cross the river? Two of the dadas said that they knew the name and address of the boatman. In our fear, we just shouted the boatman's name at the top of our voices, hoping that he would hear us. There might be a ghost of a chance that he was still on the other side of the river!
The chorus of our desperate voices broke the dead silence of the night. By some miracle, the boatman heard our shouting and came. It was probably after midnight when he arrived. All of us hastily jumped into the boat and returned to the UTC premises.
After reaching the site, we exchanged notes with one another about what had happened. It seemed that each of us had a horrible dream or vision at the same time.
I saw that I was meditating in a spot, when suddenly a gigantic avidya tantrik charged towards me with a trishul pointed at me! Then, in deep fear, I shouted incoherently, "Save me!" Another dada visualized that he was also sitting in a particular spot for meditation, when suddenly an avidya tantrik came and dug a very deep hole around him. The dada became paralyzed with fear. If he moved even a little, he would fall into the deep hole! The third dada told us that he was also sitting and meditating, when suddenly, an avidya tantrik came and created a wall of fire moving in a vicious circle around him. The fire was frightening, with long, living flames leaping up to the sky, threatening to consume dada and burn him to ashes.The fourth dada also saw himself meditating. All of a sudden some avidya tantriks rushed towards him with trishuls in their hands, intending to kill him!
In this manner, each dada had experienced the strange frightening dreams.
A few weeks later I had a chance to accompany Baba on field walk in Ranchi. The guards and I were alone with Him. I was very eager to ask Him about this experience, but I hesitated, unsure whether He would be in a mood to listen. Because of these thoughts, I could not concentrate on what Baba said to me.
Baba then asked me if I wanted to ask anything. I hesitated, but again He urged me to speak freely. I then narrated what had happened that night on the river bank in Varanasi.
After hearing out my story, Baba appeared to be angry with me. He said, "You did not follow the system of night meditation. But I protected you! A kapalika should never go to the burning ghat or cemetery without taking with him a lathi or dagger. This is My rule. That place where you sat was the home of an avidya tantrik. His evil vibration affected you."
He continued, "Vanarasi is a very spiritual place. Lord Shiva used to meditate there. The spiritual vibration that He created is still there. Any bhaerava whose mind is concentrated will be able to feel the vibration. However, bhaeravas must be alert at all times. If they are not alert, then the negative vibration of avidya tantriks will affect them according to their samskaras. It is the instruction of Mahakaola that you should be alert at all times in such places. His sons and daughters should always be ready to fight against immoral forces."
Actually, not one of us had taken along a lathi or dagger that night. I now understand why Baba gave us these things and made them part of our uniform. They are not just part of our uniform, as ceremonial accessories, and not only for our external protection. They are for our all-round protection!
Baba also mentioned that before sleeping, one should write with one's finger his Ista mantra on the place where he lays his head. Then, he should visualize that he is placing his body and everything else at His lotus feet. After that, he will be able to sleep peacefully. In this case, Parama Purusa Himself would personally guard us because while the unit mind sleeps and takes rest, the Cosmic Mind never rests!