Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Believers and Non-Believers could both be Irrational

Vancouver Harbor: Enamel on Copper tile by Jean Grant Horner
Humans who believe that there is a Supreme Almighty Who governs the universe and all actions within it, attempt to do good deeds so that it may be noted by the Supreme Intelligence and they would be rewarded. This is the rational basis for their doing good. Many of them even have a rational basis to explain the difficulties that came to them because of birth. Perhaps they were born to very difficult circumstances or even handicapped. The rational basis in this case is that it is a punishment for wrong acts in a previous lifetime.

If a believer does not believe in reincarnation he just says that it is some of God’s doing that can not be understood by a human mind and put to rational reason. To that extent they are ready to live with irrationality. Well, even if they found a rational basis for the defects of birth through belief in reincarnation they can not escape the charge of being irrational by the non believing rationalists. These latter are persons who have acquired some knowledge of science, albeit a limited one. According to them science has found no evidence of an Almighty Power and therefore that belief is irrational. They also believed until not very long that the belief of planets around other stars in the universe is irrational at a time when science had no evidence of them but now that science has found evidence of such planets, it has become a rational belief.

Amongst the non-believers i.e. those who do not believe in God, we find many doing  good deeds that bring no foreseen benefit to them. They also avoid doing some very bad deeds even on remote islands where no one will notice. Most humans while rushing on an urgent personal errand would stop to rescue a child by the roadside who has fallen into a ditch and is crying softly for help, even if they are not believers, when they could have easily pretended that they did not notice because of the rush. When you ask such non-believers the rational basis for their actions they are not able to offer any. All they can say is  things like they were moved by compassion, it is the right thing to do, or it feels good, there would be a guilty feeling otherwise etc.

There is nothing rational about actions based on feelings and desires because such things are not open to a rationale. What could be the rationale for a President of the richest and strongest country in the world to lower his trousers in an office with Monica Lewinsky and risk that office? The only irrational answer that he can give is that he was momentarily overcome by unwarranted irrational desires.

The fact is that everything in the universe is not open to rational arguments whether you are a believer or not. Even science is not rational because scientists admit that the universe cannot exist as it does unless there is something irrational like dark matter that makes up most of the universe, a type of matter that cannot be seen and that can pass through other matter like a ghostly spirit. There is a whole post on Dark Matter in this blog for those who would like to check out. The term 'Invisible matter' is actually the appropriate name for 'Dark Matter' because dark matter has nothing to do with light or dark - rather it is a source of both in a manner of speaking.

When misfortune falls on a believer they at least have the consolation that it is a just punishment for some wrong acts of the past that perhaps they did not realize or were driven to by unwholesome desires or the devil. All of us, to different degrees, because of our egos are quick to recognize the faults and shortcomings of others while overlooking our own. The revered Saint Kabir who has expressed his spirititual wisdom in beautiful couplets expressed this in Hindi as:

Bura jo dekhan main chala, bura na milya koi
Apan dil jo khojya, mujh sai bura na koi

this translates as:

I went searching for a bad person but found none
searching my own heart, worse was there none

Thus while the believer can draw consolation from the fact that his difficulties are self caused, the non-believer on the other hand can only feel most frustrated at the world for his or her difficulties because this stupid random universe has perhaps dealt him the wrong cards.

The believers on the other hand not only attempt to avoid wrong acts because of their beliefs but also try to do good ones because they expect the same from the world. They repent when they are led to do wrong because of ignorance or evil desires. It is their relentless evolutionary journey through the universe. The non-believers on the other hand wait for that random deal of cards that will one day push them into joy or the bottomless pit according to as the dice plays out. To that extent at least the non-believers are rational that they admit that if it is random pickings, enough throws of the dice, given enough time, may yield that possibility :)

Update March 1, 2013: A Note on Saint Kabir:

Saint Kabir (1440-1580) was born to a family of very poor Muslim weavers. He grew up and married living the life of a mystic householder and weaver. He was liberal in his religious views and developed both Muslim and Hindu followers during his life, more of the latter because Hinduism permits freedom of belief. When he died both his Muslim and Hindu followers wished to perform the last rites. They stood arguing on either side of his body, the Hindus wishing to cremate it as Hindus do and the Muslims wishing to bury it. It is said that as the argument heated up his body rose into the sky and duplicated itself, one falling near the Muslims and another near the Hindus. Both claimed a body each and performed the last rites as per their customs. There are other versions of this story as is usual with saints of long ago.

While Kabir lived he did not beg for alms but supported himself in a small hut with the help of his weaving and did not display any miracles.  Many gathered in the evenings to hear beautiful couplets composed by him expressing spiritual and other wisdom about life. Besides Hindus and Muslims Kabir has followers amongst Christians and Buddhists too. He is regarded as a revered saint by the Sikhs and the sect of Kabir Pantis.

There is a photo of this saint with an earlier post of this blog and more information on him is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabir.

A Life Renews

A young Silver Oak tree in the Author's garden

When I started to build my present home more than twenty years ago, it was bereft of trees. Two of the first trees I planted were a cassia tree and a silver oak tree, the first because it grows quickly without care and I was away most times practicing my profession and the second because I have always loved the silver oak tree from childhood. It indeed grew into a handsome tall tree that was a home for many birds and the envy of the street during its somewhat brief life. In 2007 it suddenly dried up. Some trees do that here perhaps because of termites. Many have in my garden over the years but they have been replaced by other trees. However, I never replaced the silver oak because it was precious to me and I felt that nothing else could take it place.

But it must have left some seeds behind, because a few years ago a small sapling sprang up nearby. I left it in but did not hope much future for it because the location was crowded with other growth. Nevertheless it has grown up into a more than ten feet tall young tree. It is not clearly visible in the photo yet but to mark it I have painted some of its still thin trunk red. Either the same tree soul or one close to it has come back is my feeling. Everything that is born dies and everything that dies is born again.

UPDATE October 2015

The Silver Oak has become a large handsome tree now that gladdens the heart, street and home.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Cottage for Mother Hubbard

A Cottage
The house that I presently live in was designed by me while in the Middle East some twenty five years ago. At that time I was not sure if I would build it, but since then I did and I am delighted with the design. It is a large home. However, over the past two decades the city has grown around it and over the past few years, I considered building a smaller cottage, for a farm, forest or the hills, just a small bed room and living room with a patio for the sun. However, I am quite satisfied with the home I live in and have given up the romantic idea of escaping into the wilderness. Perhaps if I was younger I would have but not now. Any building, even if it is a small cottage requires a lot of energy to build and the best time to do it is when one is in the thirties, forties or at the latest in the early fifties. At the present time it is just more convenient to rent or live in a hotel during forays into the hills or wilderness. Nevertheless, I shall post the design here in case someone else is interested.  If you click on the photo here, a larger view would be visible. Please free to use the design with or without modifications, provided they are professional modification or the design would likely get messed up. The front photo, an elevation that suits the proposed design eminently, provided upper floors are not being constructed, is a public domain image at http://publicdomainpictures.net 

Plan for a Cottage
The considerations that went into the design were to leave no side windows so that the cottage could be expanded into a row of cottages for a group of friends, set side by side and also to build single room sets with a bathroom on the first floor for visitors, or perhaps set besides a larger existing home for a granny or in-laws.. Since buildings are strong only when windows (and other openings) are built on openings and walls on walls, the lower floors of a building have to be designed keeping what might be added on a higher floor and sides if required. As you would notice a double door has to be crossed (or broken) before one can reach one sleeping securely in the bed room, and that too has to be kept in mind in the design besides a host of other things such as closets, a kitchen table etc. For me a kitchen is incomplete unless it has a Mother Hubbard like cupboard to stash the goodies and a kitchen table to decorate and eat the cake. Therefore that too was incorporated in this tiny cottage.

The mention of Mother Hubbard reminds me that at one time I composed a set of Nursery Rhymes for kids by modifying the original ones to exclude the hidden violence in them because violence is one thing humans need to get rid of before then can take the next big evolutionary step as the Great Buddha mentioned even two and a half millenniums ago. The composed nursery rhymes have been included in a small booklet for preschool children called Magical Alphabet that is has been available at Amazon and elsewhere for several years including frequent airing on US Public TV by the Reading Lady 

Old Mother Hubbard

Old mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To fetch her doggie a bone

When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the doggie had
an ice-cream cone

UPDATE JUNE 5 , 2014, Found some wonderful ideas for tiny homes today here http://www.poplarnetwork.com/news/5-tiny-house-tricks-every-building-design

For More Cottage designs in this blog see

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Concern more serious than Horse Meat for Europe – Dog Meat

There has been hue and cry in Europe that some samples of beef have been adulterated by horse meat. Presently widespread testing of meat products is on in Europe and such samples are being withdrawn from the shelves Europeans are feeling relieved but sitting far away here nearer to the Himalayas rather than the Alps, the news that processed meat is being tested for Horse DNA has caused a serious concern in the  mind of this blogger for fellow humans of a neighboring continent. Therefore I have rushed to post it right away so that it may catch the attention of the right persons on the net.

The concern is that if a company is willing to deceive as regards horse meat what prevents it from deceiving with other kinds of red meat available even more easily such as dog, cat, buffalo, camel etc. etc. Although some of these meats are not available in Europe they are available across the lagoon from Europe (my term for North Africa).

Tests for horse DNA will not reveal if a sample is adulterated by dog meat or any other meat unless the sample is tested specifically for dog meat or other meats. Is that being done? A test for horse DNA will not reveal if dog meat has been added. All of the meats mentioned here are enjoyed as a delicacy in some part of the world or the other. It appears that Koreans love dog meat whereas a great majority of humans detest it.

In the end the easiest route out for Europeans has been suggested in my previous post regarding horse meat. ( http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/02/how-to-stop-eating-horse-meat-cow-hides.html) Please do refer to it for useful information on the topic.  A second suggestion may be made to Europeans who are removing horse meat from the shelves - please do not discard it. There are hungry persons in parts of Africa where horse meat is consumed traditionally (e.g. Tunisia) who would appreciate it as a gift or even purchase it. To restore order just put a sticker on the pack saying – Contains Horse Meat 

Later as a result of this blog post if dog meat is found in European processed meat; please consider sending it to North Korea :)

Image courtesy of  http://www.public-domain-image.com

UPDATE: March 29 2013, It seems that the concern mentioned more than a month ago in this post may be coming true as for example mentioned in the report http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dog-cat-curry-fears-over-1789118
However, the food inspectors are beating around the bush by testing for all sorts of possibilities including the ridiculous - human meat - but the obvious dog and cat meat - it is possible that they are trying to protect the processed food industry while giving an impression of trying to be helpful. That sort of thing is done in other countries too. Money power rules the roost. This blog has been prophetic more than once. However, thank God, it was big chunks of meat or there was even a possibility of rats. Well  one should hope in the very least that it is not poop, steaming hot :). There is a post on that too in this blog. Check the left side bar for a link to that.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Joy of Simplicity - Seven Truths

Right Effort
Wickedness and Lying
Some words in a picture!
universal love

order and beauty
Non violence

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A New Title for this Blog

 When this blog was created some years ago, I began by writing posts related to the spiritual side of life. Later posts of a green life were added and the title was changed to “Spiritual Thoughts for a Green World’. Since then other posts have been included on the economy and other things. Therefore today I am changing the title to a more appropriate one ‘Life and Spirituality’. The url remains the same therefore you would still land here when you click on a link posted elsewhere earlier.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

How to avoid eating horse meat, cow hides and foul stuff

You are what you eat
Recently it has been found that horse meat was being sold as processed beef products in Europe. Although after the discovery such foods are being withdrawn from the shelves, there are other undesirable foods sold as processed foods by some industries to increase their profits.

It seems under the seasoning category, powdered cow hides are sold by some. Some countries allow up to 20 per cent seasoning in food. There is a need to bring this down to no more than ten per cent for a start. Even if a food industry honestly and sincerely sells one hundred per cent beef or any other animal products there is nothing to stop them from using the poorest of such animals and the foulest of the animal parts in the processed burger, sausages and meat sauces etc. The best cuts can be sold at a much higher profit as unprocessed meat and it is unrealistic to expect any organization that works on the principle of maximizing profits to use those parts in their processed products in the modern greed driven world, unless they are moved by decency. Not all are.

In countries with strict health controls it is unlikely that even this sorry fare will have any short term adverse affect on health. However, no one knows for sure what the adverse long term effects on health are on diseases that develop with time such as cancer, alzheimer, chronic fatigue, depression, shortened life spans etc.. What is even worse is the effect it has on the overall quality of the human as a human because after all we are what we eat.

Hope Europeans have not become Horse like Yet :)

How can one avoid eating the sorry stuff? The quick answer is avoiding processed foods and making your meals out off unprocessed food ingredients that you can see and feel. The problem with meat eaters is that  the best cuts of unprocessed meats are expensive and unaffordable for many. The developed world has been seeing an economic slow down in recent years. There are three reasons why this situation is not going to get better anytime soon for the common persons of the developed countries. The first is that more of the world’s wealth is now getting to countries such as India and China that were in the past and still largely deprived countries. In short whereas the developed countries had managed to secure a larger proportion of the world’s resources in the past it is now getting more evenly distributed around the world. This trend will only accelerate without the slightest of doubt in the modern world  in coming years because of globalization and because water tends to flow from higher to lower ground. To add to the economic woes of a common citizen of the developed economies is that more and more of  available wealth within a developed country is being cornered by the one percent such as rich corporates and bankers who serve them aside from exceptional countries like Sweden that have put systems in place to prevent it.. This situation too is unlikely to get better any time soon. An indication towards that is the fact that even after the financial crisis politicians have been unable to limit the salaries bonuses of corporate executives and bankers as explained in earlier posts despite the fact that arguments such as the flight of talent are not valid as explained in a post on banking. Most important is the third reason -  the world's already huge population is still increasing at a hefty rate. However against this pessimistic back drop is good news for the common citizen of this planet. Healthy food that is good for the mind, body and soul is not expensive. It requires the right kind of knowledge.

It was described in an earlier post that the healthiest people in the world – the Ikarians - do not eat much meat and one of the strongest man of the world –  Sushil Kumar - has been a vegetarian all his life. Let us briefly review the food essentials that help to bring good food on the table for the sweet children and good folk of our lovely planet even if they are not a part of the rich one per cent club that might pretend that no problem exists as they head for a holiday to the Bahamas and argue so sincerely in the US political circles how disastrous it would be for the poor if the super rich are taxed more.It is only because of the concern for the poor that Republicans perhaps oppose a higher tax rates for the super rich, otherwise perhaps they would gladly give away all their wealth. Do they have similar arguments to deny medical care to the poor of the richest country in the world?

Dear 99 per cent of the world - get up and bake your own bread as explained in this post so that you are fit enough to go and cast your 99 per cent vote to change the system for your children and grand children that shall follow ( unless the Republicans and the Queen can have their way anyway to  keep medical treatment from you all and keep assault style guns in the hands of all including madmen through a second amendment gateway  :), Serves you all right for beheading the queen of France that said, you should have cake instead :)

The various types of foods required by a human body can be classified as four types as described in an earlier post of this blog- Carbohydrates, Proteins, fats and the rest (that is obtained from the variety of fruits, vegetables and leafy matter that grows on our planet). A good balance of all the four types is required for a healthy human keeping in mind their physical state. Thus those who are obese need to cut down on two of the four groups here – fats and carbohydrate – whereas those who are underweight must increase the consumption of these two items (irrespective of what the Atkins diet suggests). An average human on the other hand requires a healthy balance of all the four food types. Now let us see how to manage all these four while spending the least possible on the food budget.

The best and cheapest source of carbohydrates for a human on earth is wheat. It is quite inexpensive in its raw unprocessed state thanks to the fact that the lord has made it a grass amenable to large scale farming. It can be turned into a variety of delicious breads and pasta dishes. It is not at all difficult to prepare fresh bread at home – leavened or unleavened - and pasta fresco too is easily prepared at home beginning with wheat flour and semolina. Numerous recipes for these can be found on the internet and when breads or pasta is made at home it is much cheaper than if bought from the store. Only CAUTION required here is that some persons are allergic to the gluten in wheat. In that case switch to the other abundant grass -Rice. In fact the matter of allergy that is person specific applies to any food and everything mentioned here must be tested for that.

As regards the second group – proteins – eggs and milk products are the best source. Unlike what doctors said in the past, up to one egg a day is good for a humans and not bad. It can not be adulterated by the greediest of corporations on earth. Milk is not digested easily by all humans, some do and some do not, depending upon their stomach condition. Those who cannot digest milk easily will find that it easy to digest milk when changed to yoghurt and this latter is made very easily at home by mother nature when you add a spoon full of yoghurt to warm milk an leave it to rest in a warm place for a few hours or a day.. Cheese on the other hand can be expensive and may be avoided by those who are watching their food budgets. A quarter of liter of milk/yoghurt and an egg a day is sufficient to meet the protein needs of most humans. Variety can be added by including lentils and beans and an earlier post describes how they can be rendered fartulence free and delicious.

The third group- oils and fats – can be a relatively expensive item but it is only required in small quantities for good health and delicious recipes. In the view of this blogger it is best to consume the highest quality fats even if their quantity is reduced for good health. The best fats on the planet are butter, clarified butter and oils from trees such as olives, palm and coconut plus a few more from ground sources like peanut oil. Do not worry if you cannot afford much of fat. The Lord has made it expensive for a reason. it can be manufactured inside the human body by converting the excess carbohydrate that is consumed.

A Spinach Patch in my Home
The fourth group – vegetables- is healthiest when it is leafy and this need not be expensive at all if one has the right knowledge. Healthy leaves such as goosefoot, mulberry, drumstick leaves, dandelion etc. grow wild on many parts of the planet and a healthy leafy green such as spinach is grown very easily at home, even in boxes by apartment dwellers that have access to sunshine and water. Those who do not have access to sunshine and water need not read this article; in case they are still around or if they are they must pack their bags and move immediately to locations conducive to life. These edible leaves can be dried in shade, powdered and stored for use in off seasons too for a variety of nutritious and delicious recipes.

This post, because of its brevity, mentions only a few of the essential foods but mother nature has been kind so that our planet is full of a variety of delightful foods, fruits, nuts, mushrooms, fish and wonderful herbs to convert them into gourmet recipes. It is good to explore this bounty of nature to introduce VARIETY, just take care that what ever you add to the meal is easily affordable and as natural as mother nature intended it to be and not something that has been made unhealthy and unnatural by man's greed. In fact the healthiest of foods that are fresh, local and in season are often healthier than exotic one's from distant lands and seasons. This post began with horse meat and frankly it is not so bad if it is good horse meat if one is a meat eater, what is of concern is the deceit involved in selling it as beef. If a company can do that imagine what they can do when it is hundred per cent beef that is of the worst kind and worst part of the animal.

So here is to good healthy food and good cheers to reader of this blog along with a happy valentine’s day that is coming soon. Incidentally good wine to accompany a celebration that costs next to nothing is also very cheap and easy to make at home and if it is young containing live yeast it will help to improve the guts and make you run alike a babe in the woods even at the age of sixty just as the Ikarians do. 

If you have a query or question on all this, post it away as a comment right now.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

British Public Pays for the Sins of its Bankers

Modern Banking
It appears that before the financial crisis a few years ago the Royal bank of Scotland was indulging itself in risky investment gambling. It is a really fun game where bankers in nice white shirts and bright ties play on a computer screen for huge profits. Mind you there is no stress of risk. They gamble with our money. They are smart and talented at the game and therefore win most times. The winnings are distributed under the name of a bonus that is on top of their already hefty salaries for coming in every day to the bank to play the game.

But guess what, gambling is gambling and does involve the risk of losing. When they lost heavily before the financial crisis the poor fellows were consoled by their bosses by giving them a bonus anyway, albeit a smaller one. The losses suffered by the bank as a whole were made up by the British Public. The government as a result has ended up with a bigger deficit that they are making up by cutting public programs leading to a loss of Job for many. Any way, the homeless guy on the street or the poor wife who consoled her children that meat would be back on the table soon after papa finds a new job were consoled by the government that they were now owners of eighty percent or so of RBS, the royal bank of Scotland, and it was sure to help them in future.

Guess what, this year the bank profited at gambling again and the bankers are sharing a big chunk of the profits again. Some of them need to refurbish their holiday homes and yachts with new trappings. The old brocade ones get tiresome after a season or two. In the meantime the government has found that the bank was rigging something called Libor rate and has asked the British Public who own the bank, 600 million or so for the offence, No, no, bonuses or salaries of the banking executives will not be cut. How can they, when perhaps some of them can help encourage campaign contributions from industry for the elections and facilitate it by advancing loans to those industries. In any case what is the need for these smart bankers to suffer when we have the public to bail them out?

I am not a banker and perhaps I have figured all this out wrong, I shall refer an economic correspondent and friend to it in case I have got it wrong so that he may point out any correction as a comment to this post if he or anyone else who knows more about this fun game finds the time to oblige.

While the preceding post is written in a satirical side after a heady glass of wine in the evening and indignation at  recent news about LIBOR fines, the  remaining section that will also appear as a seperate post is written the following morning after a good nights sleep and careful analysis,


Organizations are run by people and building good organizations requires honest, talented and dedicated workers who value their work and whose judgment is not impaired by baser human instincts such as pride, greed etc. This is as true for the banking industry as it is for any other industry. Creating a good banking structure and therefore also improving the economy by implication requires excellent talent. However, this statement needs to be understood properly with respect to the modern banking industry before it can be implemented.

The talent required for running banks is of two types. It is absolutely essential to understand these two types of talents. A confusion between the two is at the root of the present economic woes of most developed countries and therefore also the rest of the world.  

The first is the straight forward traditional honest banking that requires specialized training, education and experience. There is really no dearth of financial services professionals possessing these skills, especially now with lay offs in the sector.

However, there is a second aspect to modern banking that involves risky investment banking and use of complex financial dealings.  Talent in this latter area is severely limited. There are only a few professionals who can do this skillfully and profitably most of the time. There are other associated skills too, such as, lobbying with media and legislators, creating rationale for hefty compensations and bonuses, even rigging things like LIBOR rate while attempting to stay within the limits of law. These latter skills that someone might even informally classify as wheeling and dealing or casino style banking with other people’s money are severely limited in the industry. Persons possessing these latter skills perhaps head  many modern banks and draw millions in compensation for their services from these banks.

In case a government of any country passes a legislation that limits  total compensation ( that includes salary, bonuses and any other benefits) of senior banking executives to say a quarter of million dollars a year, this latter talent and expertise in wheeling and dealing banking will fly away. They will go to other countries that are still paying millions in compensation. The banking industry of the country from which the talented wheeler dealers fly away will be left in the hand of traditional bankers. Their profitability will be restored and it will be left in the hands of the sincere straight forward bankers drawing handsome but not exorbitant benefits. The health of the banking industry of such a country would then be restored. By implication the economy of such a country will also get a boost since much depends on how banks operate. In short it will be good if the so called present banking talent flies away to other destinations and the quickest way to do it is limit their salaries and bonuses.
It is the simplest route to restoring banks and the first logical step to restoring economy; but are the persons who have the power to make such changes interested in giving up their present advantages?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Encounter with a Himalayan Mystic – Baba Haidkhan or Babaji

Babaji or Baba Haidakhan ( Hairakhan, Hairdahan), The Havan and the fire
Reproduced from my other blog http://nainitalgoddess.blogspot.com

It was in the early eighties, as an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Delhi I had rented an apartment a few kilometers away from IIT, at a place known as Masjid Moth (DDA Flats). There was accommodation on campus but with two infant daughters and a live in full time Nanny to boot the accommodation on campus was a bit too compact for our needs. I lived in this apartment from approximately the middle of 1981 to the middle of 1984. It was during this period when I had an  unusual spiritual encounter. I do not recall the exact date when the encounter took place but the incident itself is crystal clear in my mind.

At the time my wife with nanny and children were away and I was alone at home. It was morning, some time after breakfast when the bell rang. I opened the door to find in front of me two Himalayan mystics, an old one and a younger, fair and radiant, well built turbaned/ (a cloth tied up around the head) young mystic of around thirty. The younger person was completely silent but the older one spoke that they were Himalayan mystics on a visit and were seeking some food from me. I  agreed to offer them some money but did not agree to let them in for refreshment because it is not safe. In India even some thieves sometimes move around in the guise of mystics, therefore as a principle one does not let unknown mystics in to one’s home. Something in me wanted to agree but I declined on principle not to comply. If I was in my present home that has an outdoor garden I would have seated them in the garden but being an apartment there was none such then, just a staircase landing ahead of my door. The older Babaji then spoke in Hindi that the younger silent mystic was a much evolved Babaji - bahut pahunche huain babaji hain - in Hindi. I politely declined again. Then the younger Baba too spoke from deep within his belly as sometimes mystics who are on a vow of silence (speaking from the mouth) do. He spoke a single sentence of four words,

 “I shall eat half a Kilo of Ghee ( Adha kilo ghee khanunga )”

The younger mystic appeared to glance repeatedly at a picture of my mother hung up high on the wall opposite the entrance. I apologized and declined and the mystics went away. Looking back the request of a half kilo of Ghee was a ridiculous request, perhaps a friendly joke, or a secret message still unknown to me, or a sign that the Babaji wished me to actually decline rather than comply, because even if one agreed to feed the mystics one would not offer such crazy fare. I feel now that the Babaji had  merely come to visit me and also perhaps bless me because I was facing a difficult moment in my life then and the troubles of the time began to lift soon after. At that time I was unaware of Babaji and any past connection with him.  It was only much later in 1995 that I realized that I had been most probably visited by Baba Haidakhan accompanied by the older mystic who was probably Shastri Ji about whom I heard in 2007.

At the time I did not know who the Babaji was and why he had chosen me of all the people to visit. My apartment was removed from the road and situated on the third floor of a complex and there were numerous other apartments en route that it appeared they did not visit but headed straight for mine and that too with a request that was quite strange and un-compliable.

I cannot be one hundred percent sure because of the passage of time that it was indeed Baba Haidakhan but my investigations since then indicate that it was most likely so. First is old relationships dating back to my childhood in Nainital. The second is the resemblance from the photos. The image accompanying this post is that of Babaji when he was much younger and slimmer but there are plenty of images of him in books on him and on the net from various stages of his life to compare. Babaji did wear a cloth/patka/turban every now and then and he did move around on unknown trips accompanied by an older mystic known as Shatriji. Moreover He is known to have kept vows of silence when he spoke a bit through his throat on occasions while looking downwards.  It seems that my spiritual connection with Babaji is an old one even dating back previous lives. We have both had deep spiritual links to the Himalayan district of Nainital and the sacred peaks of Nanda and Sunanda that have blessed this district since times immemorial. (The revelation of the name Sunanda Devi previously known as Nanda Devi  East to the world has been through me)

A photo of my home in Jaipur

The second time Babaji intervened in my life is when I needed workers  to build my present home in 1993 despite my willingness to pay heavily for them but was unable to find any because of the season but suddenly they landed up by surprise beginning with a mystic mason.  Since then my encounters with Babaji in a spiritual way have continued consciously and knowingly albeit intermittently until today. He has on some occasions appeared in my personal affairs at a moment of grave need and I too have visited his Ashram first time in the summer of  2007 when he took me for a visit to the district personally (??!!) with him, all this when I am not a disciple of Babaji as many others are. To me he is a highly revered and loved mystic friend, guide and protector but not someone I pray to through prescribed rituals. Some of my later encounters with Babaji are so magical and fantastic that I myself find them unbelievable when they are over leave alone describe them here although I have described one in the post entitled kriya yoga of Babaji in another blog - http://nainitalgoddess.blogspot.com . That blog also has a detailed post on who Babaji was. Babaji is indeed a magical manifestation of the Universal consciousness. Although he may change bodies as soon as it is no longer young, he is an immortal soul with deep connections to the Nainital Himalayas (and the surrounding region from Kathgogam to Dwarahat that includes Ranikhet and Almora).

Haidkhan is also spelt as Hairakhan because the central sound in the name does not exist in most other languages aside from Hindi. It is a sound that is more like the combined sound of an R and a D. Perhaps Hairdakhan would have been the best way to represent it in English or invent another symbol for it such as a d with an umlaut.

Recently I seem to have figured out the mystery of Half a Kiliogram of Ghee, the single sentence that Babaji spoke from deep within his being. It was most likely required for performing a Havan, a religious fire ceremony that Babaji loved to perform regularly that is fed with Ghee and in the most advanced form of it the fire and the performer become one as described in the Ancient Scripture - The Bhagvat Gita, so that Babaji as the fire of the Havan would have consumed that ghee.