Living with Baba

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Sadhana in the Sundarbans

In 1977, after the State of Emergency was over, I initiated a man called Dr Aniruddha Bera in Calcutta, who was from the Sundarbans swamp forest region in the southern part of West Bengal. He invited me to go with him to his village to initiate his relatives and friends. We went there on the day before amavasya, so I prepared myself for kapalik meditation, a higher form of meditation done by avadhutas in a cemetery or lonely place.

At the vicinity of his village we crossed a river where we saw a cremation ground. The next evening, I asked him to take me there for my kapalik meditation. He took a bamboo stick with him for protection. When we reached our destination, I asked him to wait for me at the edge of the cremation ground. I drew a circle around him in the ground and instructed him to sit and meditate inside the circle. I assured him that as long as he remained in the circle he would be safe. Then, I walked to the center of that, dark and desolate place and sat by a river to meditate. The weather was very pleasant and calm.

As I was meditating, I heard the howl of a wolf right behind me. I became a little nervous, thinking that the wolf might attack me. All of a sudden without any warning, it leaped at me from behind. I felt its heavy paws on my shoulders. I also felt its wet tongue licking the back of my neck, ready to snap off my head. I froze in fear and shouted with all my might, "Baba!" I hesitated, though, to ask Baba for help. I thought, "Until I am actually dying, I should not trouble Baba by requesting Him to save me." Then, I shook my shoulders defensively, not knowing what else to do. Miraculously, the wolf disappeared.

I continued my meditation. After some time I smelled a rotting corpse. The smell was so strong and nauseating that I was about to vomit. Owing to this terrible smell I was unable to breathe. I was choking and desperate. Still, I remembered Baba's promise to us - "No one can disturb you in your meditation." All of a sudden, the awful smell disappeared. I felt normal again. A peaceful lightness then came over me and I enjoyed the rest of my meditation.

When I finished, I returned to the spot where I left the Margii. I saw that he was meditating, so I deliberately coughed to signal my presence. He opened his eyes on hearing my cough. I then opened his circle and told him to step out of it. I asked him how his meditation was.

He immediately replied, "Dada, I was so afraid. I was sweating profusely. I felt that some unnatural power was going around my circle, trying to penetrate it." I asked him if he had heard a wolf or had gotten the smell of a rotting corpse. He said he had not. I told him what had happened to me, and I explained that this place must be the meditation ground of an avidya tantrik. That person must have used his occult powers to frighten us away, but had failed. Then, I told him, "Don't worry. It was nothing. Baba is always with us. Whatever we are doing, He knows everything."

One year later, after Baba came out of jail and had recovered from His long fast, I accompanied Him during field walk. As we walked, I remembered this incident in the cremation ground. Suddenly, Baba stopped and turned to me. He said, "Whatever we are doing, He knows everything." These were the exact words I had told the Margii that lonely night one year ago. As Baba smiled at me, my eyes filled with tears. I realized that He always protects us wherever we are.