Around the year 1890, Hariakhan Babaji Maharaj first appeared publicly in a miraculous way and after that he was seen off and on until around 1924. Before and after that period there are accounts of him showing up in one place or another but usually to an individual or a small group. But within that time period, he was seen by thousands of people and the miraculous events that happened spontaneously around him daily were witnessed and recorded widely by people of that time. Many people think he permanently stays in the high mountains of the Himalayas around Nepal and that he appears occasionally to further some specific cause which only he knows.
At the foot of the Himalayas in Northern India, there are many small cities and villages that spring up along the many rivers that descend from the Himalayas to the plains of India below. Back then the area was very wild and there were small clearings with villages of just a few hundred people intermixed between large expanses of jungle and forested areas. One such densely wooded area was called the Hariakhan jungle. On the outskirts of the Hariakhan jungle, to the south there was a cluster of houses which was called Hariakhan village. One night the people of the village were astonished when they looked up above the neighboring mountain and saw a single brilliant light shining from the mountain top. The mysterious light reappeared each night for several evenings. Then the same light disappeared from the mountain top and instead appeared near the village itself.
The people gathered around to worship the mysterious light and as they came near, they saw a radiant body of divine luster before them. He appeared to be a young man with a pleasant benign face and a reserved dignified nobility about him. The villagers bowed to him and welcomed him with great respect. Because he was first seen by them in the Hariakhan jungle area, he was given the name Hariakhan Baba.
The people naturally wanted the saintly Babaji Maharaj to stay with them in their village so they looked about for a suitable place for him to stay. They decided to put him up in the forest guard's house and since this official lived there by himself, it was agreed that Babaji would stay there. The guard, by name Dham Singh, was a very pious man and formed a close attachment to Babaji. Every day he gave Babaji a morning meal and as Babaji would sit quietly unmoving, he developed the habit of locking him within his house before he went off into the forest. He was afraid Babaji would either leave his house or someone would come and take Babaji away to another place. Since Babaji didn't seem to object to this the guard made this his daily routine.
After a while some other of the village folk wanted to visit Babaji during the day time while Dham Singh was away on his rounds. They found the house tightly locked up and all the windows were barred so they broke the lock and went inside. But to their surprise, they could not find Babaji anywhere and after this day, he was not seen again by anyone there for over a decade. Then he was suddenly seen again sitting inside a cave in the depths of the Hariakhan jungle.
Once in the month of January, Babaji was staying in the Hariakhan cave. A few saints heard about Babaji's yogic powers and decided to have the darshan of the powerful saint. They asked him various questions about Yoga and the scriptures, and then they decided amongst themselves to ask him for a wild fruit called Kaphal that grows only in the Himalayas during the late spring. But in January it is not available.
Babaji realized their thoughts, came out of the cave and walked a short distance away. He returned with a branch full of Kaphal fruits and distributed the fruits to the saints.
A man who was well versed in religious scriptures once came to Babaji Maharaj and wanted to know what was meant by the "cosmic body of God."
Babaji rarely spoke and characteristically kept his silence and continued to sit quietly. But after a while he said: "Close your eyes and worship God for some time, and then open your eyes."
The man did as he was instructed. He closed his eyes and meditated on God for a while and then opened his eyes. As he looked around, everywhere he looked he saw Babaji Maharaj and everything he saw became Babaji Maharaj. Then Babaji said quietly: "No one can really define God by reading the scriptures."
|Once Maharaja Sindhiya, the king of Gwalior invited Babaji to come to his palace so that he and his wife might have his darshan. Babaji agreed and the king and his ministers met with him at the house of a local pandit. Then Babaji went to the queens palace and gave her darshan separately from the king. After Babaji left, the king wanted to talk to his queen about their encounter with the high saint. It came out in conversation that the queen had guessed Babaji to be around eighty years old but the king said he had appeared to him to be a youth of around eleven years. It was a common occurrence that Babaji would appear differently to different people.
At one time a solar eclipse was predicted. Because of the auspicious occasion, many people in the small town of Ranibag planned to take a dip in the River Gatum Ganga which ran along the outskirts of town. Babaji Maharaj happened to be staying there near the Shiva temple. As generally happened in his presence a large group had gathered, anxious for the chance to take part in the ceremonial bath along with Babaji during the eclipse. A group of others had already planned to bathe at Kurukshetra where the famous battle recorded in the Mahabharata had taken place long ago. That place was made even holier as the site where the Avatar Krishna had delivered his discourse to his companion Arjuna as recorded in the Bhagavad Gita. As it turned out, part of the group remained in Ranibag and the other part proceeded to Kurukshetra. When the moment of the eclipse arrived, the group that had gone on to Kurukshetra were amazed and delighted to see Babaji in their midst, wading into the River Ganga along with them.
When the group returned back to their homes in Ranibag, they were surprised to see that Babaji Maharaj had already arrived back from Kurukshetra. They asked the others when he had returned and were told that he had never left. He had remained in Ranibag to bathe with the people that had stayed behind. Thus they came to know that he had satisfied both groups by being simultaneously present in both places.
|In 1911 Babaji Maharaj went to the city of Prayag and was seen by many people bathing in the river at one of the public baths. A photographer named Sorabji took two pictures of him while he was there. To everyone's surprise, when the pictures were developed, in one Babaji was wearing his shirt and tibetan cap, and in the other he was wearing no clothes at all. This even though both pictures were taken at the same time. The two pictures are shown below.
|Babaji took a job as a laborer when the dam at Lake Bhim Tal was being constructed. There had been several previous attempts to build a dam at the same location but they had all failed. But this time, with Babaji present, the construction was successful. For a time none knew his identity but after a while some people recognized the famous saint and shortly after that he disappeared.
|In the winter of 1952 Baba Hari Dass was living in a room attached to a cave near a burial ground by the name of Ghati. The room was very cold in the winter and so he kept a fire burning inside the cave and meditated sitting close to the fire. It happened one time that as he was meditating, he lost consciousness and his body slumped to the left and his arm fell into the fire pit. When he came to awareness he saw the tall figure of Babaji Maharaj bending over him and removing his arm from the vicinity of the flames. Without a word, Babaji turned and left as quickly as he had come. Baba Hari Dass jumped up quickly in order to catch up with Babaji and bow to his feet but when he stepped outside Babaji had disappeared.
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