Yoga Samadhi in Public

Devas is a typical small town of Madhya Pradesh, reeling under the immense burden of 4 years of lack of rain. Here, during the Navratri Mela in April ‘03, inaugurated by Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, thousands of local and neighbouring residents were waiting to witness the much-awaited samadhi of Mahayogi Pilot Baba, Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara. Some three to four hundred saffron-clad sadhus quietly trickled into the town over the several days preceding the samadhi. Sceptics, academicians and media people, apart from Pilot Baba’s disciples, had gathered in the town, coming from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and from the small towns and villages of Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and elsewhere in India, as well as from far-flung Japan, Hawaii, Spain, USA, Canada and Australia.

At noon on 11th May, unmindful of the scorching heat, thousands had congregated at the samadhi sthal to witness the arrival of Mahayogi Pilot Baba, who greeted everyone in silence and blessed them with upraised hands before entering the glass container in which he would take samadhi for 96 hours with the sankalpa or resolution to enliven spiritual consciousness. In the past year alone, several of Mahayogi Pilot Baba's disciples have undertaken this practice publicly in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, at his instance, to promote peace and goodwill.

Mahayogi Pilot Baba is a Himalayan Master from a lineage which traces its ancestry to Kripacharyaji of the Mahabharata. Mahayogi Pilot Baba's guru is Hari Baba, whose guru is the legendary master, Babaji. Mahayogi Pilot Baba had already called Babaji to be present on this occasion. Babaji arrived on 10th May, as pre-determined, and remained at Devas during the entire period of the samadhi before returning to the Himalayas.

Mahayogi Pilot Baba went into samadhi at 1 pm on 11th April and emerged at 1 pm on 15th April in excellent health and spirit. During this time, the curtains shielding the glass cubicle were opened six times a day and on three occasions the glass jar revealed a seemingly empty space since Pilot Babaji was in his sukshma sharir (subtle body) at intervals and was therefore not visible to the mortal eye.

The size of the air tight glass container was 9 ft X 9 ft X 9 ft. These dimensions represent infinity. Pilot Babaji explained that air is the breath or prana (life force). In samadhi one becomes prana, one with everything, one with existence. Before going into samadhi, Pilot Babaji explained that because of the extreme heat, his lifeless or inert body would have to be protected while he was in samadhi. During samadhi, the gross body is kept protected in a safe place, generally in cold conditions which prevent decay. To prevent decomposition of the body due to extreme heat there were three alternatives, including cooling of the atmosphere around the glass chamber, which happened on the first day when there were storm-like conditions and the temperature dipped. Pilot Babaji said that he might occasionally have to enter his body and palpate it. He said if necessary the glass chamber would explode to let in fresh air. Alternatively, his gross body would dematerialise. During the 96 hour samadhi, this was witnessed on 3 occasions. This was recorded on film by several independent film-makers and news agencies from India and overseas.

Yogic science states that the body is composed of various layers. The first layer is the sthula shariri (or gross body) which we see. Beyond that are the 3 layers of the sukshma sharir (subtle body). The final layer is that of the karana sharir (the causal sheath). The gross body is a vessel for the subtle and causal bodies which cannot be seen. Invisibility to the mortal eye was because of being in a subtle dimension which forms the fifth axis to the four axes of space and time. In samadhi a person is filled with effulgent light. Matter in the body is maintained as energy. The scientific version of this yogic science is Einstein's equation E = MC2
which says that matter and energy are one and the same and thus matter can be converted into energy and vice versa.

Mahayogi Pilot Baba has taken public samadhi several times in the past: jal (underwater) samadhi, bhugarbha (underground) samadhi and samadhi in air-tight containers. In a state of samadhi a yogi turns his or her attention away from sense objects to reside within his inner self. Samadhi is a unitive trance state. In deep samadhi the meditator is able to voluntarily reduce vital functions such as respiration and metabolism dramatically. Clinical studies of the practice have documented that dramatic voluntary control over respiration and metabolism is involved.

At Devas, Mahayogi Pilot Baba’s samadhi was undertaken with the express intent to spread the unique and well-guarded secrets of sankalpa, to share the knowledge and wisdom of the Himalayan masters and teach the techniques to promote awareness that lead to samadhi or universal consciousness. Mahayogi Pilot Baba who has lived for decades in the remote and inaccessible Himalayas, home of enlightened sages from time immemorial, has made himself available to the world for a period of time. Other Himalayan masters, including Babaji, have commemorated this momentous occasion by their presence.

The reason these yogic feats are now being shown in public is to awaken us to recognise ourselves and remember the purpose of human life – to undertake an inward journey that takes us back to the very core, the joy of being.