In 2006, Krishna Kumar Shah, or K.K. for short, was invited by Sri Durgamayi Ma to visit the Ashram Brindavon here in Ulm and he lived here with Mataji’s students for four weeks. K.K. is one of Sri Neem Karoli Baba’s eldest devotees. He met Maharajji, our Satguru, for the first time at the age of five.
K.K. on his arrival in the ashram amongst a few of Mataji’s disciples
A slightly older cousin had taken him to the house of another family where a Baba, a saint, was staying, to receive His darshan and, above all, the sweet prasad from His hands. At the end of the darshan this Baba asked him where his parent’s house was. A little later Maharajji also came to K.K.’s family and blessed them with His presence. From then on K.K. dedicated his entire life to his Guru Sri Neem Karoli Baba.
Since 1971, when they had spent time together in India at Maharajji’s feet, Mataji and Vishnu Digambar – Mataji’s spiritual companion and husband – have been deeply connected to K.K. This visit had been planned for a long time. In February 2006 all obstacles had finally been cleared and the long-hoped for visit came true. K.K. wrote from India: „My greatest wish is, that we, Baba’s children, are all united under his divine umbrella.“
Mataji as a young woman following Baba.
In the ashram everything was lovingly prepared for K.K.’s arrival. K.K. was received at Frankfurt airport on February 15th by Vishnu Digambar, his older son Bajarangi and Laxman, one of Mataji’s long-time disciples. At Mataji’s request, Kamallata had met K.K. at his home in Nainital in India and accompanied him to Germany. At the end of this long journey, having finally arrived in the Ashram, K.K. stood in the entrance hall for a while, overwhelmed like a child. We shared a moment of deep silence when he bowed before the puja with the pictures of his beloved Maharajji and Mataji.
K.K. honoured with a mala of flowers by Vishnu Digambar
It was Mataji’s great wish that a small diary be kept to preserve the precious moments of K.K.‘s visit. Reading these entries everything comes alive again as if it happened yesterday:
On the evening of the second day, after K.K. had recovered from the long and tiring journey, Vishnu Digambar takes him down to the temple where he is welcomed wholeheartedly with a mala in Mataji’s name. Vishnu Digambar now comes to the ashram almost every evening to visit K.K. They go back to their time with Baba and exchange memories and stories about Maharajji.
K.K. loves the little Baba Kutir and wishes that an aarti be held there. This wish is granted with great pleasure. Vishnu Digambar arranges a puja in front of the big picture of Baba and waves the aarti light. Then one of the old kirtan that Mataji and Vishnu Digambar brought from India is sung – Neem Karoli Maharaj, Jaya Satyaguru Bhagavan. K.K. listens enraptured and says: „It is like coming home – I can feel Maharajji here“.
The Baba kutir in the Ashram Brindavon
We spend lots of time singing kirtan with K.K. and everything in the ashram slows down a little, takes on a more Indian pace. K.K. keeps saying how he can feel Mataji’s selflessness and love for Her spiritual children and how much Mataji takes care of us all.
In the afternoon, we accompany K.K. on a visit to Vishnu Digambar in his practice for naturopathy and yoga – the Kashi Yoga Centre as it is called today. When K.K. sees the puja with the big picture of Baba and the kneeling Hanuman he exclaims with great joy: “Maharajji is everywhere! I can feel Him here as well.”
The Kashi Yoga Centre – prepared for a kirtan concert
One week after K.K.‘s arrival Mataji comes to the ashram accompanied by Vishnu Digambar. This is the first time that Mataji meets K.K. „This is a very, very, very special moment” are Mataji’s words during this first meeting as she shares this precious moment with us all and expresses in words how immeasurably Maharajji’s, Baba’s, love permeates us all.
When Mataji says goodbye later that evening K.K. has tears in his eyes and just sits in silence for a while. The next day he tells us that he was so deeply moved by the encounter – the darshan – with Mataji that he wants to share this overwhelming feeling with all human beings – this presence of Maharajji that he felt during Mataji’s darshan.
In MA’s darshan via telephone early next morning Mataji speaks about this very special encounter with K.K. giving us a higher view of him as the manifestation of a perfect devotee: „a true devotee is somebody who always and under all circumstances listens to his heart, who – even if he wanted to act differently – can’t do otherwise”.
K.K. amidst Mataji’s female students
The following weekend, we celebrate Shivaratri with K.K. in Mataji‘s presence, a very deep and heart-felt celebration. MA reads the verses of the last chapter of the Ashtavakra Gita „I am Shiva“ to us and also reads them in English for K.K. When it starts to snow heavily that evening K.K. says:
“This is Shivratri complete! In india we believe, that it is very auspicious when it is snowing after Shivratri because snowfall shows: it is really the abode of Shiva!“
Many of the female disciples are wearing an Indian sari for the festivities. K.K. is delighted and wishes to have a photo taken with them.
After a darshan, a few female students interview K.K. in the presence of Mataji and Vishnu Digambar. K.K. is so thrilled by the encounter with MA that everything just flows out of him: how blessed and lucky we can count ourselves to be able to live in MA’s ashram – in the presence of Maharajji and the motherly teaching of Mataji who can truly lead people to God – which K.K. says he can really feel. K.K. reminds us that of the many people living in Germany alone, it is us who have found our way to Mataji and to this ashram – an immeasurable blessing for us all!
In the four weeks of his visit, K.K. told us many stories about his life with Baba. We sang the Hanuman Chalisa and kirtan with him and the satsang and celebrated aarti together every day. He patiently answered all our questions – it was an unbelievably rich and fulfilling time. His natural way of being in Mataji’s presence and his interacting with Her in complete ease gave us a much greater vision of Mataji: In the interview K.K. said, for example, “Take the case of Maharajji, He only needed a blanket and a dhoti. Sometimes He never took a meal the whole day, but people would come and they would ask so many questions. So the same is here, She is not doing anything for Herself, but when I saw so many people here, it was unbelievable for me because the greatest service, what I feel, is to bring human beings to God because the ultimate aim of this life is to reach the Ultimate Truth. So an ordinary person cannot do this! ”
On March 16th, we had to say good-bye to K.K. In Her morning darshan, Mataji expressed our sorrow about his return to India and reminded us that this farewell, like every farewell, is only of transient nature – as everything is only of transient nature. MA asked us to take K.K. – and everything he so openly talked about in the interview, what he experienced, saw and felt – deep into our hearts.
Sri Sri Sri 1008 Sri Baba Neem Karoli Santa Maharaj ki Jai!
Sri Gurumata Sri Ma Durgamayi ki Jai!