Stories from Masters in the Sacha Lineage
Sri Katcha Baba
Katcha Baba lived in the late 1800s near Varanasi* in a cave. Today, there are two places where he is commemorated: Sacha Ashram at Assi Ghat in Varanasi and a tiny Katcha Babaji ashram in Jalupur, twenty miles outside of Varanasi.
The story goes that Katcha Babaji saw that people had forgotten their hearts and the True Origin of their lives. He saw that money was more valued than God, that people were becoming progressively more manipulative and dishonest. In ‘that’ he saw the disintegration of virtue and the decline of goodness in life.
Katcha Babaji decided to put the world to an end completely. We are told that Katcha Babaji entered this sadhana* of eliminating the world because of the degenerate decline of the human spirit, out of compassion and for fresh new beginning to emerge.
No one knows how many years he lived nor much about him except that he was very wild in many ways, quite opposite from a well disciplined yogi. Yet Katcha Babaji was said to be an avatar* of Vishnu / Rama. Prince George of Wales, later to be the King of England, went to him for spiritual guidance. A long-standing relationship between Kacha Babaji and the royal family ensued.
* Varanasi: Spiritual capital in Inia, along the banks of the river Ganga
* Sadhana: Literally, a means of accomplishing something; spiritual method or practice.
* Avatara: manifestation of a deity in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.
Sri Katcha Baba
Sri Girinari Sacha Baba
Sri Girinari Sacha Baba’s origin is unknown. Yet it is said he was recognized as a Master through countless lifetimes. That timeline stretches from 3102 BC- the end of the epic battle of Kurukshetra*- to 1944. His last incarnations were said to have lasted consecutively nearly four hundred years. He has not returned since… but who really knows?
It is said that he was a Master of the siddhi ‘Parakaya Pravesha,’ which means that when his body was debilitated with age he transferred his being into that of an abandoned dead body. He then left his old body to decompose and he walked away alive again as a young man. This gave him the ability to live out consecutive lifetimes. The last known ‘shift of bodies’ was witnessed by an Englishman at Manosavova Ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi. The Englishman ran to the young Girinari Sacha Baba as he stood next to the old body laying lifeless on the ghat. There, the Englishman told him that he had witnessed this unthinkable phenomenon and in that moment became a disciple to Girinari Sacha Baba.
Girinari Sacha Baba was keenly aware of the great cave yogi Katcha Baba’s intention to bring the world to an end. Girinari had travelled from the South of India to Varanasi to meet the great yogi and convince him of another approach to resolving the world’s deterioration. Girinari told of a way to manifest wisdom into and from the heart of humanity. He convinced Katcha Baba after he went through a series of difficult tests, to surrender his yogic Mastery into Girinari Sacha Baba’s being. They merged their yogic power into one potency and Katcha Baba left this world. His seal was this, “I am Katcha, you are Sacha.”
Girinari absorbed the power of Katcha Baba’s work and intention, redirected the destructive energy, lifted the frequency with his yogic might and defused the binds of Katcha Baba’s sadhana. From then on Girinari was known as Sacha Baba. His abilities were intensified by the cave yogi’s mastery transferred to him. With his abilities strong, direct and fully radiant, Girinari Sacha Baba offered his life to restructuring a quintessential world regulated and cared for by wise and noble persons.
His intention is directed by countless beings around the world tirelessly working for a shift in consciousness at this time. Girinari Sacha Baba is said to be an Avatar of Sage Narad.
*The Kurukshetra battle is a war described in the Indian epic poem Mahābhārata.
Sri Sacha Baba Kulanandji
The story continues with Sri Kulanandji Baba. Sri Swami Kulanandji became Sri Sacha Baba. Here is what we are told… When Kulanandji finished his schooling he went with an uncle to have the darshan* of Sacha Baba Girinari. He asked the Master if he would help him find good work. Girinari saw a bright light in this young man and told him, “Remain with me and your work will be glorious.”
Kulanandji did remain with Sacha Baba Girinari and took the vow of sannyas* with his guru. Then he was known as Swami Kulanandji. He was profoundly dedicated to his Master and to the transformation that was occurring within him.
Sacha Baba Girinari severely tested his excellent disciple in many ways. Swami Kulanandji passed through each challenge skilfully.
Girinari told Swami Kulanandji that he was ‘Avatara:’ an Avatar of Vishnu and of Sage Narada. This statement could only be extended to a truly empty vessel. One that is like a river that does not change course and who’s current always and only moves towards the great ocean. Anyone that did not have this commitment, spiritual maturity, wisdom, prowess and focus could never receive such an amazing ordination.
As Sacha Baba Girnari left this world in 1944, he merged his greatness and radiant energy into his excellent disciple Swami Kulanandji. All that was accomplished through out Sacha Baba Girinariji’s stellar yogic life was now transferred to Swami Kulanandji. This meant that he would now be known as Sri Sacha Baba Kulanandji and would sustain the line of Sacha Masters and continue the transformation of consciousness.
He built an exemplary ashram in Allahabad on the confluence of the holy Ganges, Yamuna and (the ethereal) Saraswati rivers. There, he served his many disciples and one would receive the divine link of the lineage and carry the line of Masters onward. His ashram is Sacha Ashram at Arail Allahabad India.
* darshan: sight, vision, appearance. Seeing by heart. Darshan refers to the beholding of a holy person, sacred object or deity.
* sannyas: a vow of monk-hood. Men and women in India can both be Sannyas. Then one takes the pre-name ’Swami’. Sannyas most usually includes a vow of celibacy and surrender to spiritual practice as a way of life.
Sri Sacha Baba Kulanandji
Sri Hansraj Maharajji
Sri Hansraj Maharajji
We continue with Sri Sacha Baba Hansrajji, respectfully and affectionately called ‘Maharajji.’ This is what we have been told… Hansrajji had a problem all of his adult life. His stomach was not right and his digestion had been very weak for a long time. He wanted to be healthy and he wanted his stomach to improve completely. A man that he worked with told him about Sri Sacha Baba and Hansrajji agreed to go and meet the Master IF he would fix his stomach once and for all. He said that he would not even give the Master a bow until his stomach was healed.
Upon meeting Sacha Baba, Hansrajji fell unconscious at the feet of Sacha Baba and in that very moment he realised the essential nature of existence. He remained in an altered state of consciousness for three days. When he regained his composure Sacha Baba spoke with Maharajji about his enlightenment. What was said is unknown.
This was in October 1955. From then on, Maharajji remained with Sacha Baba Kulanandji for many years. Sacha Baba was preparing Maharajji by testing his spiritual wisdom, surrender and dedication to the Sacha mission*.
Maharajji was so deeply devoted to his Master, he left everything and everyone in his life, so that he would remain focused on his Master’s guidance. He took the vow of sannyas and was known as Swami Hansraj Maharajji. He was a truly great disciple to his guru. Sacha Baba would say, “All are my hands and all are my feet. All are my ears and eyes, but Hansrajji is my heart.” Sacha Baba told Maharajji to find a good place to build an ashram. Maharajji found a perfect place along the Ganges in an abandoned town called Laxmanjhula near Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas. The holy Ganges river flows on three sides of the ashram and there Sri Hansrajji settled with his many disciples. He spent his entire life diligently engaged in the sadhana that his Master gave to him. Sacha Baba Kulanandji left this world on September 6th, 1983.
Maharajji was very silent, inward and profoundly focused on his spiritual work that his Master had entrusted to him. Maharajji did not speak overtly about the transmission his Master had bestowed upon him. We could see it in him and we knew. He had modestly conveyed to a very few close disciples the event of his Master’s transmission.
Maharajji was fully immersed in his service to the Sacha mission and did not boast of achievements. In his late elder years he was honourably known as Sri Sacha Baba Hansrajji Maharajji. We called him Maharajji. We who loved him and were devoted to him knew for certain that he carried the lineage of the great Masters within himself like no other did or could do. It was obvious to all without a word. Maharajji was / is wonderful beyond compare. Sri Sacha Baba Hansraj Maharajji left this world on October 23rd 2011 at the age of 88.
* Sacha mission: the awakening of the world.
In 1988 ShantiMayi returned to India for the second time. She was then 38 years old. After a few days of settling in Rishikesh, a cloth merchant told her that she must go to Laxmanjhula and see the great Master called Maharajji living there. Immediately she walked from the centre of Rishikesh following the holy Ganges and then up the long hill to Laxmanjhula. She found the ashram in that silent little town. She was told that Maharajji would not be available until 4 pm – two more hours. As ShantiMayi crossed the Laxmanjhula bridge to the other side of the Ganges, the only sign in the town caught her eye and it read ‘lucky. She knew that ‘lucky sign’ was a message and a blessing from a very special person. Everything in the town was still and locked in time gone by, as though the area was abandoned long ago. There, across the Ganges, she found a little chai (tea) stall with two small tables, a one-burner gas stove and a chai walla speaking with two sadhus. He made a cup of chai for her as he continued to speak with the sadhus. And there she sat with her glass of chai gazing onto the holy river, mesmerized by the beauty of that place, waiting for her fate.
At 3.30 pm she walked back over the bridge to Sacha Dham ashram to meet the saint. A short stout old woman reluctantly let her past the gate and into the ashram. The old woman looked her over disapprovingly as she led ShantiMayi to the veranda where the Master sat with a few of his male disciples. Maharajji said, “I saw you coming up the hill earlier. I have been waiting for you for forty years.” ShantiMayi looked deeply into the shining bright eyes of the Master and melting in… she said, “I want to be exactly like you.” Maharajji responded, “You will be: one day you will wear my shoes.” This was the first exchange between the two.
The wonderful stories that stretched over the 23 years they spent together, of Maharajji and ShantiMayi, are many and incredibly beautiful. She was tested by her Master in many ways throughout those years. Before Maharajji left this world he gave ShantiMayi his silver drinking cup, his wooden sandals, a blanket he had slept under for 18 years and his very special chair that he alone sat in for decades when offering darshan and his talks. She alone sits in that chair today and has for many years, offering teachings and continuing the lineage as her Master instructed. Long before Maharajji left this world, he transferred his divine energy to her more than once.
After her awakening ShantiMayi committed her life to the service of all. For several decades ShantiMayi is tirelessly traveling the world pointing all back to the Divine within themselves. Every winter she spends some months in Sacha Dham, offering satsang to countless visitors and disciples. She herself has an ashram in the Pyrenees in France.
Note: Most of these texts are, with kind permission of ShantiMayi, from her website.