Baba-ji gave my husband the mantra “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” in the presence of a large sat sang at the Lal Kuthi. At the time he gave my husband diksha he said nothing to me, leaving me very sad. In 1973 on Baba-ji taking Mahasamadhi my mind was even more disturbed as to why he did not give me any mantra diksha.

In the early days I had already in my mind acknowledged Baba-ji as my Guru and had been very eager to receive diksha mantra from him. In those days Shri Ramlal Mahaprabhu’s student Yogsraj arrived in our neighborhood. He was a respected yogi and I knew him well. Not knowing that this was all His lila – that these doubts had been created in my mind, I went to the banks of the River Ganga in search of Yogi Chandra Mohan-ji and shared my anxiety with him. He said, “There’s no rush. Whenever your husband is ready to take mantra diksha from me I will give you both mantra. Husband and wife should have just one guru and take diksha from him.”

I returned home disappointed and restless. One evening in the month of Baisakhi I was lying on the charpoy in the yard in front of my house. The bhoota (ghost/goblin) of diksha was riding high in my mind. The issue of having one guru, was doing circles around in my head. I was unable to rest. It occurred to me suddenly… why not write down the problem and place it at Baba-ji’s feet? He would definitely solve my dilemma! I was up in a flash and looking for a notebook that was kept around the mandir. I wrote to Baba-ji, “Who is my guru?” and “What mantra should I japa?” I was convinced that I would have an answer soon. But the next day I was very disappointed. No response. That was on the morning of Guru Purnima. I was sad all day. In the evening I went to the local mandir – to do cleaning seva. I was there a short while when an old acquaintance Vakhil Sahib arrived holding an envelope. He said, “You have a letter from Kainchi.” I abandoned my cleaning and opened it right away.

In the envelope was a letter with two or three lines written along a small photograph of Shri Hanuman-ji. Written across his forehead was my mantra! It was the same one I’d done japa of while praying endlessly to Baba-ji asking him to give me diksha.

The experience of his kripa (grace) made me bow my head in reverence. My eyes filled with tears. I had made such a big mistake needlessly pursuing the mantra to the extent of going to someone who was not even my guru. Of course – it then dawned on me that Maharaji had accepted me as his shiskya and had forever given me a place at his feet.

Excerpt from Barefoot in the Heart: Remembering Neem Karoli Baba edited by Keshav Das



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