At one o’clock in the afternoon of March 9th, (1950) Baba with Eruch, Pendu, Baidul and Gustadji, took a bus to Rishikesh, where in the Himalayan foothills he contacted a number of saints, sadhus and mahatmas, including paying homage to those in the Kailash and Mangal Ashrams (1). Baba would lay his head on their feet or, at times, touch their feet with his hands. Before the New Life began he would offer such obeisance privately, out of sight of the mandali, but in the New Life he did it in front of his companions. “I bow down to sadhus, saints and masts in the New Life,” he stated, “but it is quite different from the mast work I used to do before.”
On the first day of visiting ashrams, huts and caves, Baba, always dressed incognito and thus hiding his features, made ninety-one contacts of different saints, sadhus and mahatmas. Pendu was responsible to keep a record of the exact number of the contacts – whether they were saints, sadhus, mahatmas, hermits, recluses, yogis or ascetics did not matter. Trekking a long distance beyond Swarg Ashram (Paradise Retreat) and the Bhagirathi River bridge, Baba contacted the ninety-one men in five hours.
On their way back to Rishikesh from the place known as Laxman Zula (Laxman’s Swing), (2) they noticed a yogi traversing toward the shrine there. In a most painfully slow manner, he was prostrating himself completely face-down on the ground after every step he took – it is known as sashatang namaskar. He was naked, and his body was covered with bloody cuts, dirt and sweat. Baba offered him his obeisance, placing his head on the yogi’s feet.
Afterwards, Baba and the men returned to Motichur by bus at six-thirty that evening, and had their humble dinner of dal and rice or chapatis. At one point, Baba explained that he was “contacting each holy man only once, not twice, and with this one physical contact he would bestow such a gift unto them which they would not have gained after centuries of penance and austerities.”
(1) Symbolically, Kailash is the highest mountain in the Himalayas where Shiva resides. In Vedanta, Kailash actually means the highest spiritual plane.
Mangala is another name for a “Buddha.”
(2) Laxman is the name of the younger brother of Lord Ram.
Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Original Publication, Vol. 10, pp. 3566 – 3567.