Shmashan sadhana


Taken from Aghor Guru Guh

“One day I was going towards the shmashan (cremation ground) with Gurudev Aghoreshwar. I was thrilled because my mind was focused on doing puja to God at the shmashan. I was going towards the shmashan on the bank of a river with Gurudev Aghoreshwar and in my bag I had all that was necessary for celebrating the puja. Suddenly Gurudev looked back and saw the young ascetic Sambhav coming quite out of breath. Gurudev asked him: ‘Why are you coming so quickly and dripping with sweat?’ He bowed and said: ‘Life is obscure. The nature of life was a difficult way. I had to wade three rivers in the form of a woman, and physical heat was brutally burning me. Dada! Is it true that if the universe of the Aughars begins to warm up then it starts raining abundantly? It is a widespread belief that when Aughars sit all day naked under the light and the heat of the sun they make the universe boil through this heat and then the whole day it rains heavily, beyond imagination. Today I saw an Aughar on the top of a mountain and I was pervaded with fear, because besides him I saw that the effect and the power of his sadhana made clouds fragments rise in the sky westward. As it looked like rain heavily, I was afraid not to be able to wade the river, so I set off quickly and firmly and went away from there. As soon as I reached the opposite bank of the river and the Yantra, the sky clouded over. Because of those clouds, it got dark. As clouds started colliding, there were thunder and lightning. All around battle noise and moaning could be heard and a harsh and terrible sound rose. The whole atmosphere became terrifying and suddenly it started raining heavily. The waves of the river began to collide.’

Halfway through his story, the sadhak Sambhav exclaimed: ‘As I was saying, rain exceeds all bounds and rivers get rough where the heat of Aughars has warmed up. This is what happened there. Now it isn’t even possible to have dry wood. It is impossible to light the fire and find all the material for puja.’

Gurudev Aghoreshwar laughed loudly and said: ‘Don’t be upset. Mixing the essence of fire and air, clouds will disperse. Water level will subside. Nearby there is a village where a devotee of mine, Gohan, lives. He has all that is necessary for puja. Go there leisurely and bring what is necessary. Invite Ghoan, too.’

The sadhak Sambhav asked: Dada! Won’t this devotee be a hindrance to celebrating the puja?

Aghoreshwar replied: ‘No, he won’t be a hindrance, but a help. He will perform the best sadhana. He lives in the enlightenment. Keep this secret with care.’ In that very moment, there was a thunder and then an incandescent lighting and a strong wind started blowing. Shortly after clouds disappeared. The water of rivers and streams subsided. Stars seemed to look down at the altar of puja. The sadhak Sambhav waded the deep riverbed, set off and reached Gohan’s village. There he took all that was necessary for puja and that was kept at Gohan’s place and together they went to the shmashan in time.

Gohan bowed to Gurudev and, after meeting Sambhav and me, said: ‘Dada, you are singular. Your supreme humbleness impends over the sadhaks and manifest itself through your inspiration, your protection and your grace.’ Agoreshwar said: ‘Oh, they are curious but constant apprentices. Let’s wash the Yantra of the Devi and prepare all that is necessary for puja in the urn before the Devi’.

It got dark everywhere. Stars seemed to look furtively at the puja of the virtuous persons in the middle of the night. After picking some flowers (roses, oleanders, orhuls) and collecting some wine, fish, etc., the young ascetic Sambhav and me met Aghoreshwar and that day we could see Aghoreshwar’s pure eyes. The sadhak Sambhav said: ‘Oh yes! I have never seen such compassionate eyes, even as a beloved child. Nor during the contemplation and vision of the Devi have I seen such compassionate eyes’. While the sadhak Sambhav was engrossed in his own words and thoughts, he got absorbed in himself and got Samadhi condition. Gohan and me got the same condition, too. The sadhak Sambhav remained disconcerted when he saw that Aghoreshwar, sitting on the ground in lotus position, began to levitate lifting in the air for about a meter. 

Both the sadhaks made the offerings to the Pran living inside the body, then gave five offerings to the eternal fire, too. They saw their guru Aghoreshwar making some offerings to the Pran, in the middle of a light coming out from the burning fire of puja. It was hard to cross the river in flood because of the abundant rain, therefore Bhairavi-Bhawani was late and hadn’t arrived yet. Her absence made us worried. It was very late. Shortly before puja ended, no sooner did Aghoreshwar finish offering the flowers he had in his small basket than Bhairavi-Bhavani came. It is not possible to describe the greatness of their meeting and the glory of puja here. You may read and see what happened in some other place. It was strange and mysterious that the great show of the worship of the great Mother occurred in the body. The young ascetic Sambhav saw it and naturally became curious. After that, immediately a ray of light appeared from Aghoreshwar’s body. It was as big as a thumb and I began to see my image, sadhak Sambhav and Gohan’s  image inside it. We got scared. Then we saw Aghoreshwar levitating about one meter off the ground in the middle of shining flames and lifting still higher flying in the sky with two Devis having a kappar (bowl got from the coco de mer, Lodoicea maldivica). 

Afterwards the images of my young ascetic and of Gohan who had bowed before him started singing the glory of Aghoreshwar. No sooner had this scene disappeared than a terrible explosion seemed to happen in the sky. Everything started to shake. The reflection of the flames and the light of fire were mirrored on the green leaves of Pipal tree and were more charming than Dipavali’s light. The effervescent froth of the stream was white and clean. It moved towards the violent fire trying to calm it down and cover it. Suddenly the Mantra Om Ma Krin resounded and spread all around. At the same time and for a moment terrifying voices sounding like horse whinnies and coming from the Kapal could be heard through the shmashan. From the top of the Kapal rose the enchanting air, sweet and melodious, of a gentle music pervading the whole scene and atmosphere like in a charming and attractive dream.

Suddenly Aghoreshwar raised his right hand towards the sky. The Pipal tree started to shake. The rippling waters of the river grew calm and the stream started to flow in its usual way again.

As fear vanished, the scared sadhaks found their normal condition quite quickly. The images of my young ascetic sadhak Sambhav and of Gohan went back into Aghoreshwar’s body. At the same time both the Devis, rolling, were absorbed into Bhairavi’s body. At the end of these supernatural events the sadhak Sambhav said: ‘Have I seen that all? Is the pervading form of Kapaleshwar really like this? Does it move through the atmosphere and stay in this world?

Bringing us into your body and making us take your form, you gave to us all the courage, offering the gift of the presence of God to us, and then you have disappeared. Dada Aghoreshwar! For the unforgettable puja you did in the shmashan, lavishing on us you divine contact and showing your real form, in this moment we feel obliged to you and forever will.’ Aghoreshwar said: ‘Oh no, this difficult worship is fulfilled by those who, having control over their senses, have banished their mind. Only such worshippers (sadhaks) can see such a clear manifestation through their veneration. The moment when Mahakal, the shmashan’s God, takes the offering of a dead body is as happy as a day of Brahma (an era lasting 4.320.000.000 years). Doing puja only for years is like a shortage of rain parching the ground; without such an accomplishment anyone can get any desired fruit. That is why it is said that, near the Guru, Mantra is awakened, that one can know God and senses are controlled. At the end, as a result, peace will calm the world.  This is the mystery of the worship of the Shmashan’s God.

It is almost morning. It is three o’clock, let’s go, we have our daily activities to do, this is the right moment to leave this place because in a moment people from the city and from the surrounding villages is coming here to offer bodies to Mahakal, who lives here and burns in the form of the fire of death. It is better for us to go away. Immerse the shmashan’s altar in water. Bury all the other things in the sand. On the fourteenth day of black moon in Vaishak month we will gather together here for the unusual and wonderful worship of Kapaleshwar.

On this earth service of people similar to God is a great mission. We should support this great and pure mission with pleasure in the same way as we have faith in our Pran.’

As the devout Gohan and my young ascetic sadhak Sambhav closed their eyes, we don’t know the mysterious acts Aghoreshwar did in the meantime. We couldn’t know who went away and where. For a moment the sadhak Sambhav (Saugat) saw Agoreshwar leaving so quickly that his feet didn’t even touch the ground. He rose so much and so quickly that I cannot describe it.

The young ascetic Sambhav, Gohan and me felt that we were pervaded with much light. We walked without any effort, it was as if we were lifted off the ground and our legs seemed to lead us by themselves to our destination.”