We traveled to India in 2017, and in this article series we will share what we experienced in a variety of places. Prior to this journey we had read a lot about Neem Karoli Baba, also known as Maharaj-ji, so we had a big attraction towards visiting the various ashrams he stayed at. Above all, we felt a very strong pull towards Kainchi Dham where he lived in the later part of his life. If you do not know about Maharaj-ji then you can read our previous post "Neem Karoli Baba" which explains who he was.
We took a taxi from Nainital and drove on the twirly road that take you towards Kainchi. When we arrived, it felt a bit unreal that we were really there. I looked at the temple from a distance for a few minutes just to let it sink in. When we took our first steps in the temple a sense of peace came over me. It was as if time stopped and any worries no longer existed.
As I sat in front of the statue of Maharaj-ji, I got a strange feeling that it was alive. To some extent, it felt like I was sitting in front of him even though he had left the physical body. As I looked around and saw nature around me, I got a strong feeling that he's in everything. I could feel him in the mountains, in the water and in the air. Even though he is not in the physical body, he still felt present.
I closed my eyes to meditate on his presence. After a while it was like he grabbed me and said, "Let go." I had had similar experiences a few times earlier, and once again I felt how my identification with Tobias Ahlberg started to leave me. Unfortunately, I made the same mistake as I had before, not daring to let go fully. After a while I opened my eyes and began to walk around in the temple trying to get a picture of how it was when Maharaj-ji still was in his body. It was great to be there and get an idea of he place where he had received so many seekers.
I felt I wanted to sit down somewhere undisturbed so I sat by the wall at the very end of the temple and then I closed my eyes. I went into myself and just gave up all expectations. Instead, I allowed myself to just be. Perhaps Maharaj-ji's energy was still in the walls of Kainchi Dham, or I just created an excuse to find myself in the now, but the next moment I opened my eyes, I felt a great peace within me. I needed nothing more than my existence to feel happiness. Once in this state, I saw how others met my eyes differently. They could see the peace that was within me and I could see it within them too.
We stayed until the closing ceremony and took part in the tribute to Maharaj-ji. It was a very nice ending to the stay at the temple before we went back to Nainital. On my way home, I felt very harmonious and grateful because I had come to know the place where Maharaj-ji had lived.
We visited Kainchi Dham on two occasions during the week we were in Nainital. During the first day, I let myself be absorbed by the energy the place had to offer. It did not take long for me to feel an inner peace within me after walking for a while at the place where Maharaj-ji spent so much time. The beautiful statue of Maharaj-ji made the biggest impression on me. It felt almost alive, like he was sitting there before me and in any second would begin to move.
The second occasion we visited Kainchi Dham would be a memory for life. Even before we went there I had a strong intuitive feeling that I should go back there once more. It had been a few days since we were there the first time and we had visited several places in between, places we will describe in the coming parts of this article series. When we arrived at the temple there were a lot more people there than the last time. The first time we were almost alone, but now it was a lot of visitors meditating or wandering around. After I had meditated for a while inside Maharaj-ji's room, I sat with down with a group of people and meditated with them in front of the statue of Maharaj-ji. For some reason, I did not feel peaceful enough to sit with closed eyes and meditate, so I opened my eyes a fixed them on Maharaj-ji's picture in front of me, and began to sing. I sang Krishna Das prayer to his guru, "Om Namo Gurudev." It's a beautiful song dedicated to Neem Karoli Baba. In some way it felt like the right thing to sing it directly to him.
After a while when I sang, something started to happen within me. Tears began to flow from my eyes, the voice burst while I sang and the feelings of his love flowing into me overwhelmed me. After a while, the tears exchanged for a giggle I could not hold back. I felt how my level of consciousness was raised at a rapid pace. I no longer felt a need to sit down so I walked around feeling high and feeling completely free. I could feel how the energies in my body and the surroundings flowed. Everything I looked at was so beautiful, so divine. I felt drunk on God. It was a state completely different from my normal state of mind, but still everything was alike. I went to our friend Niklas who was with us on the trip and he immediately saw what state of being I was in, because he was there too. We shared the joy together for what we experienced.
When I entered this state of being, I suddenly realized why I had felt a need to go back here again, it was to trigger this experience. After this realization I had no need to stay any longer. Niklas was also ready to go and Tobias had already left the temple and was talking to some people at the entrance. On my way out of the temple, I suddenly met an Indian mans gaze. When our eyes met, we looked at each other with big smiles and nodded silently to each other. I saw that he saw what state of being I was in, and I knew intuitively that he was in it too. I understood the true meaning of namaste, "I bow down to the divine in you." This state of being lasted for about an hour before I landed in my normal self again, but nothing was alike. Something had happened within me. Something big.
We also talk about Kainichi Dham in Episode 15 of our podcast.