Story of a Sage
STORY OF A SAGE
Nobody knew his age for sure. The saint and master Sri Bharatgiri Maharaj was the contemporary of Sri Shirdi Saibaba, the famous Indian yogi. Both of them were said to have trained under the same Guru. Going by all the information one could sum up about him he was at least 130 years old when he passed away in 2001. This is the story of his discovery of Sri Bhagavan.
March 7th 1949. On a mountaintop in Junagadh,
the saint sat contemplating and praying. "Lord, I know not my role in
your scheme of things. Man has become the very antitheses of love and compassion.
I am disheartened at the condition of men. "
As he sank deeper and deeper into helplessness and prayer, he heard a voice from the heavens, which in India goes by the name of 'Akashvani', announcing to him, "It is not yours to worry any more. On this very day I have incarnated to transform humanity. You would meet me when I grow up. Recognize me then through this form." And the saint watched in a trance the image of a man with both his arms extended in an all embracing call, towering from the earth to the heavens.
At the same time, a small village in the South
of India was celebrating the birth of an infant. The entire village took an
immense pleasure in welcoming the child amidst them. Joy and revelry had infected
everyone. Sri Bhagavan had incarnated.
Saint Bharatgiri Maharaj descended the hill that day with great peace and assurance. Days rolled by. All the time he was on the look out for the signs of the incarnation. He worked tirelessly for the betterment of man even as he waited for the promise to come true. However, as the new millennium came round the corner, hope and determination slowly gave way to anxiety. He had already crossed 120. Could he carry-on anymore with the rapidly failing health? Why hasn't the Avatar revealed himself yet? He intensified the search, but no result remotely matched the vision on the mountaintop.
Then one day, on his way to a discourse, he saw a long procession winding its way on the opposite side of the road. At the head of the procession was a life size picture of someone robed in yellow with his hands outstretched. The saint knew him at once. He immediately sent a disciple to get more details. They matched exactly with the revelation. Wave after wave of relief flooded him. He would not pass away without setting his eyes at least once upon the Lord in human form after all. However, as though the body was aware that its quest had come to an end, his health failed totally. The doctors would not allow him to travel such a distance since there was no way his ancient body could put up with the strain. But the saint wouldn't hear of it. He struggled hard for a few months to build himself up for the travel.
After a few months, the day dawned when the saint made it to the Golden City in a holy pilgrimage along with 22 of his chief disciples. The meeting between him and Sri Bhagavan was most heart touching and sacred. Bhagavan waited at the door to welcome him. The senior disciples waved lamps to him. Bhagavan embraced the shrunken body of the saint as he would embrace a most delicate flower and later led him to his seat holding his hand. This scene remains etched forever in the consciousness of all those who witnessed it that day. In an ancient voice the saint expressed his adoration to Sri Bhagavan and then said, "Now that I have found you, I have no more concerns. The time has come for me to quit. Bhagavan, these are my chief disciples. From now they are yours. Lord, please grant them Mukti (liberation)." His disciples paid obeisance to Sri Bhagavan.
Soon after he returned, he quit the earth plane
to become one with the Divine.