Shri means... venerable for women and men.
Ji... means respectful for women and men.
Sacha means... undeniable, inseparable ’Truth’ in all.
Baba means... father or spiritual father.
Maharaj ji means... great (maha) king (raj) and ji is added respectfully.
Kulanand means... kul means open or expanse of anand which means joy / bliss.
Katcha means... raw.
Shanti means... serenity / peace.
Mayi means... in this context, spiritual mother.
Sannyas means… swami, a spiritually focused / committed and or vowed monk (of sorts).
Men and women are initiated as swami.
Sri Katcha Babaji
He lived in the late 1800's near Varanasi in a cave. Today, there are two places where Katcha Babaji is memorialized: Sacha Ashram at Assi Ghat in Varanasi and a tiny Katcha Babaji ashram in Jalupur, twenty miles outside of Varanasi. It is told like this… 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, i.e. 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 eliminate the world completely. That is an amazing decision and this is the story as we have learned it.
We are told that Katcha Babaji entered this (*1) 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 and 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.
Reverence to Katcha Babaji !
Sri Girinadi Sacha Baba
The story continues with Sri (*2) Girinadi Sacha Baba. His name is also spelled Giri Nari… also Girinadi. Sri Girinadi Sacha Baba's origin is unknown. Yet it is said he had appeared and was recognized as a Master through countless life times. That timeline stretches all the way back from 3102 BC, the end of the epic battle of Kurushetra, till 1944. (*3) 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 he transferred his life / mind / soul (when his body was debilitated with age) into that of an abandoned (dead) body. He then left his old body to decompose and he walked away alive again as the young man (body). (*4)
This gave him the ability to live out consecutive lifetimes (*5) . 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 Girinadi 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 phenomena and in that moment, he became a disciple to Girinadi Sacha Baba. This is the story as we have learned it.
Girinadi Sacha Baba was keenly aware of the great cave yogi Katcha Baba’s intention. Girinadi Sacha Baba had traveled from the South of India to Varanasi to meet the great yogi and convince him of another approach to resolving the world’s deterioration. Girinadi Sacha Baba 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 Girinadi 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.”
Girinadi Sacha Baba absorbed the power of Katcha Baba’s work and intention… and so it is said that it did occur. Girinadi Sacha Baba redirected the destructive energy and lifted the frequency with his yogic might and defused the binds of Katcha Baba’s sadhana. From then on Girinadi Sacha Baba was known as Sacha Baba. His abilities were intensified by the cave yogi’s mastery transferred to him and… now his. With his abilities strong, direct and effulgent, Girinadi 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. Girinadi Sacha Baba is said to be an Avatar of Sage Narad.
Reverence to Sri Girinadi Sacha Baba !
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 (6*) darshan of Sacha Baba Girinadi. He asked the Master if he would help him find good work. Sacha Baba Girinadi 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 Girinadi and took the vow of (*7) 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 Girinadi severely tested his excellent disciple in many ways. Swami Kulanandji passed through each challenge skillfully. The tests are not easy and passing through them skillfully is very rare.
Sacha Baba Girinadi did tell 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 toward 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 Girinadiji’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 linage and carry the line of Masters onward. Sri Sacha Baba Kulanandj’s ashram is Sacha Ashram at Arail Allahabad India.
Reverence to Sir Sacha Baba Kulanandji !
Sri Hansraj Maharajji
We continue with Sri Sacha Baba Hansrajji respectfully and affectionately called ‘Maharajji.’ And from here I will mainly call him the same in part. 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 realized 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 1955 in the month of October. From then on, Maharajji remained with Sacha Baba Kulanandji for many years. (*8) 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 he (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 Laxmanjula near Rishikesh India at the foot hills 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 honorably 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 linage 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.
Reverence to Sri Sacha Baba Hansraj Maharajji !
It was in 1988 that 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 Laxmanjula and see the Great Master called Maharajji living there. Immediately she walked from the center of Rishikesh following the holy Ganges and then up the long hill to Laxmanjula. She found the ashram in that silent little town. She was told that Maharajji would not be available until 4:00. Two more hours. As ShantiMayi crossed the Laxmanjula 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 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 through out those years. Before Maharajji left this world he gave to ShantiMayi his silver drinking cup, his krou (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 linage as her Master instructed. Long before Maharajji left this world, he transferred his divine energy to her more than once. ShantiMayi speaks of ‘this’ and of the stories about the early days and the depth of her relationship with her Master on the mp3 called ‘Our Lineage.’
Blessings to all from ShantiMayi!