This is a book about some of the hundreds of great Yogis of India the author has met during a period of over fifty-five years.
Some of those Yogis are no more with us. Fortunately, some of these Yogis mentioned in the book are still there.Yogis can be saffron-clad.
Yogis may be walking next to you on a street in India. Hundreds of them conceal their identity. They are not published or glamourised.
But the message of the book is that anyone can evolve into a Yogis life is led; if one can wait patiently for ecstacies to spring form fires.Those who think that they can become Yogis overnight are deluding themselves.
Those who think they can not become Yogis should understand that they can, if they give to themselves the opportunity to evolve Yogisally. Such opportunities are available all the time and in all circumstances.
But then there are the positive and negative aspects of Destiny which the yogi can see through his supernormal power instantly and some Hindu astrologers through the vast techniques employed by them. But when will that Yogis development take place? There is that Wheel of Time whose mysterious gyrations the Hindu astrologers understand.
This book also deals with Hindu astrology and spirituality here and there.
Rao has seen ordinary looking men and women evolve spiritually and has met great yogis, many of them still living. He writes about them, and talks about them.
But he is famous as an astrologer.
He learnt astrology from his mother and the art of writing, from father, K. Rama Rao, who was a famous Indian journalist in English language between 1930 and 1960. Rao’s mantra Guru was a Bengali from eastern India. His jyotish Guru was a Gujarati from western India. lf, a south Indian, brought up in northern India, he is an Indian in the truest sense of the term with no parochialism, casteism, regionalism or the other types of narrowness usually associated with people all over the world. It is why he does not confine his account of spiritual experiences to one narrow region of India. His book on Devaraha , Hans Baba is a critical recording of the miracles he had witnessed for thirty six days continuously in 1994. He has the courage of conviction to write about living yogis with as much enthusiasm, as about those, who are no more with us. He narrates part of his long spiritual quest, which makes him say repeatedly in conversations that a life without spirituality is an animal life only. It is on the insistence of his friends that Rao decided to write out only a few of his own personal experiences about the undying spiritual heritage of India, here in this book. It is a id account all through.
In his book, Astrology, Destiny and the Wheel of Time, which has by now been acclaimed as the best book to have come on Vedic astrology in English, the author has given enough hints about how
lucky he had been from the childhood, when he saw from closest quarters great saints and Yogis like Ma Anandmoyee, whom he served as a boy in sub-teens; how the great Neem Karoli Baba was a regular visitors to Nazarbagh, Lucknow, where he was brought up. Rao has done more original and fundamental researchers in Vedic Astrology in the last two decades and published them, than any other living contemporary of his. He is neither a translator of the classics of Vedic astrology nor a mere compiler, as most of the other writers, tend to be.
It is not unusual for an Indian to meet great yogis and fakirs almost all his life. India is a land of spiritual giants. K.N. Rao has been luckier than most Indians in this respect, as his great Guru Swami Paramanand Saraswati had told him, one year after his initiation, on April 24, 1962, that where ever he went he would meet great yogis.
He is one of the few, who can give absolutely first hand account of what he saw, when, alone in the company of those yogis arid, also describe his own spiritual experiences. Yet, as instructed by his Guru, he has restrained from narrating his own experiences and, has confined himself, mostly to others’. A great Guru forbids his disciple to discuss his own great spiritual experiences.
This book is different from any other book on spiritual phenomena in many ways—there is the splendour, grace, kindness and extraordinary powers of the yogi; there is that inscrutable harshness of the yogi, behind which remains the concealed story of his kindness, which the devotee may either not realise or, realise when it is too late. A yogi once beat a very poor man with a baton, till he bled. Few days after, he prospered. The yogi had destroyed all his misfortunes. Such inscrutable acts of yogis are well understood by Indian villagers, while the urbanite judges the yogi with his own hypocritical parameters. It is not unusual in Indian families to talk of yogis among ancestors. In the case of K.N. Rao, both from his paternal and maternal side there have been yogis who, gave up everything material and lived on madhukari
(the rule imposed on a celibate disciple that he would get alms
one house only each day for certain number of years, and if refused in the very first house, he would have to remain hungry the whole day).One of Rao’s uncles was a great yogi in Chitrakoot, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, while the other was in Kalahasti, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The famous Jillallmudi Ma of Guntur of Andhra, who had thousands of followers, was the cousin of Rao and she had told him that after fulfilling his astrological mission he too would have to take to a life of complete renunciation.
Rao, who learnt astrology with his mother, K. Sarasvani Devi, inspired more by his Jyotish Guru Yogi Bhaskaranandaji, to look into the spiritual depths of a horoscope first. He taught him certain secrets which he has been asked not to reveal much, except referring to them here and there. It is what Rao has done in this book.
During his under-graduate and post-graduate days, Rao had come under an intense spell of Marx and Freud. He accepted the socialism of Achatya Narendra Dev, whom he even now regards as the greatest agnostic guru, he has met in his life. It took him away for some years
from the childhood experiences with yogis and, from the spiritual tradition of his mother. He spent his days questioning spiritual phenomena. But God was kind to him. Between 1959 and 1961 when he was at Allahabad, he had such rare spiritual experiences that he found it difficult to accept Freud or Marx, as anything other than geniuses, who had only a partial, distorted and fragmented view of the baser side of human life. From there, it had been for him long and agonising retracing of his traditional spiritual roots.
He spent some time in Sevagram, at Wardha with Mahatma Gandhi and, felt that the Mahatma was a truly spiritual person but, with a clearly defined political mission. It is why he does not include Mahatma Gandhi in his list of yogis or mahatmas here.
Rao ‘s transformation began when he was transferred to Shillong in January 1962, where he met his mantra Guru, Swami Paramanand Saraswati, who not merely spiritualised his life but also rekindled his interest in astrology. The book revolves round the pivotal figure of his great Guru but, deals with so many more great Yogis, some of them lying.
Rao has taught astrology to a friend’s daughter and has advised her to keep in reserve her spiritual power and predict, first through astrology, systematically, then seek final clarity through her inborn psychic powers. This young woman gives amazing predictions. But when she asked Rao to become her guru, his answer was that one could become a guru only if one realised God, which had not happened to him. He did not have instructions from his Guru to initiate anyone. His clear and firm opinion is that those, who become gurus without such clear divine instructions, were fake gurus who did a lot of damage to honest spiritual tradition of India. Since 1980, Rao has been refusing
to take this tempting offer of becoming a guru, who could be promoted I in the west.
Rao, who was a very high ranking officer of the Government of India, retired as Director General, from the Audit Department in 1990. He has had the rare opportunity of interacting with the most Westernised Indians, without any spiritual roots in the traditions of India and also, interacting very intimately with most seekers.3 It is Why he has had a lot of bitter and sweet experiences and exchanges with a variety of persons. In this book he writes, as is his habit, with candidness and sometimes bitingly, about some incidents which a ‘son, who has taken to spiritual life, has to face.
Whether it has done him good or not, is for others to decide. Yet the agnostic in him makes him reject the claims of yogis unless he witnesses them first hand. In the same vein, he insists that an astrologer should produce original research and not become a mere compiler or translator. It explains why he has so many enemies in the world of astrologers. His argument that an astrologer, who does not have a horoscope, with favourable dasha and yogas for distinction in astrology in India or abroad, should not be envious of others, who get such fame. To be envious is to disbelieve in astrology, itself. Naturally the envy of other astrologers showed their own lack of knowledge of astrology though some of them, as editors of some astrological journals, felt that they were entitled to greater honour and fame, in spite of their horoscopes, which showed more money only.
When it comes to a fake yogi, he expresses no opinion but withdraws quietly and does not meet him again, ever.
He emphasises that a true yogi gives you inner experiences, without your having to ask for it. But wait patiently and with true spirit of humility. The great yogi walks into your house, unannounced, is what he and his truly spiritual friends have experienced. Rao has seen the seamy and brighter sides of life in ashrams, because he has had to run his Guru’s ashram twice, in two spells, in five years. The bliss that it was, the agony that it was, the vistas of divinity it opened out before him and the depths of human villainy that it has shown him, has made him almost apathetic to the very idea of building up big ashrams.
The most unusual topic in this book is that anytime, anywhere, anyone in India can hope to meet a great yogi, if such a spiritual quest is genuine. It is only the materialistic, the hypocritical, the agnostic, the atheistic and the close minded persons that would fail to recognize a great yogi. Rao never claims to be a yogi, though some American friends, who have seen how he lives in India, have done so.
Rao and the members of his brothers’ and sisters’ families have been lucky in this regard. Some of the finest yogis come into their lives, visit their homes without any previous notice or appointment They are, atithi in the truest sense of the term. Atithi means one who comes without any previous intimation, about his arrival because the tithi (the lunar day) of his arrival is unannounced. ‘A’ is a negative prefix. Thus an atithi is not a guest, as used in English.
The purpose of this book is to tell readers that as in any field the sublime co-exists with dross. The over-publicised, the advertised yogi may be a fake or in elementary stages of spiritual development, while the great one appears suddenly and vanishes suddenly, after guiding the spiritually deserving aspirant.
The message of the book is: keep alive pure faith, have no material desires, wait and watch the great yogi, who performs miracles through the great inner transformation he brings out in you. Rao began his serious quest while playing the game of bridge to which he was addicted, when he started experiencing the supernormal. He, therefore believes that the supernormal can be experienced anytime, anywhere by anyone because the Omnipresent God reposes in every heart, which is man’s true temple, church, mosque or synagogue.
Between 1993 and 1995, Rao has visited the USA on five lecture tours/. He was the Chief Guest at the Second Conference of the American Council of Vedic Astrology in 1993. He was requested to be present in the Third Conference also in 1994 on the opening day because of the crowds the would draw. His name was advertised till November 1995 also for the Fourth Conference through he had made it clear that he would not be available anymore for the American conferences.
Since June 1998 ha has visited Moscow six times where he taught astrology through interpreters. It has been a great success every time, as reported by the Russian sponsors.
As a result of his academic approach, he has now thousands of students in India and hundreds in the USA and Russia. He is the Director of Astrology Course in the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, New Delhi. The teachers on the teaching faculty of the astrology course in the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan have, like him, never charged any fee for teaching, which they do in an honorary capacity. What impelled Rao to do it is well explained in his own horoscope where the lagna and the 10th lords get combined in the lagna, with an exalted Jupiter in the 10th house. All this was foreseen by his Jyotish Guru, Yogi Bhaskarananda of Gujrat whom Rao describes as the last of the Rishi astrologers in the purest classical mould. He had told him that he would have to visit many foreign countries to give to Hindu astrology the honour, recognition and dignity, which it did not have till then. An American summed up the impact of the first ever foreign visit of Rao to the USA in 1993 as, “Vedic astrology before Rao and after Rao.”
What different yogis have said about astrology as a Vedanta, which he must not give up has been quoted in his book, Yogis Destiny and the Wheel of Time. Astrology is ill-reputed as a profession because of its mercenary and exploitative nature. Rao’s desire never to turn into a professional astrologer, has won him thousands of admires and also some enemies form the community of professional astrologers who felt threatened, when around him there grew up a fine team of more than two hundred academic astrologers like him, for whom astrology is not a source of living, but a super science to delve into the meaning and purpose of human life, which is what astrology, as Vedanga, should and has to be.
Both his mantra guru, Swami Paramananda Saraswati and his jyotish guru, Yogi Bhaskarananda taught him some secrets of spiritual astrology, which are not given usually in any book of astrology. Rao has revealed some of these secrets in his book, Yogis, Destiny and the wheel of time. Among Rao’s recent fundamental and most original researchers are his two books Predicting through Jaimini’s Chara Dasha and predicting through Karakamsha and Mandook Dasha. It has been possible for him to produce such researchers because he was told by his Jyotish guru that what was in parampara (tradition) was much more than what was contained in books of astrology, which are translated literally and are without illustrations generally.
He own mother, who was his first jyotish guru, knew many such traditional secrets, parts of which Rao has revealed in his three books, Ups and downs in careers, Astrology; Destiny and the Wheel of Time and Planets and Children.
It was the mantra Guru of Rao, Swami Paramananda Saraswati, who first asked Rao not to give up astrology as it had to be an integral part of his sadhana. Later a great Yogi, Swami Moorkhanandji, prophesied in 1982 that he would be the architect of a great astrological renaissance. Whether that is already fulfilled or not can be gauged form the impressive list of his research published.
After the first book which went fast, many appreciations have been received. Here are some. They are from different parts of India and the world.
The supernormal has been so normal an occurrence in my life that my acceptance of the marvels of science and technology,
without any sense of be wilderment, has quite often caused some surprise to some friends. People almost take the one extreme stand and, accept either the normal or the supernormal. My answer to them Is: if you do not accept both, particularly having been born in India, the land of Yogis, you are wasting the advantage of your Indian birth and, are behaving like the westerner, who never had the advantage of taking a truly holistic view of life. The westerner has had to fight a cold climate to survive, and has evolved over the centuries into a being, in whom, the will to fight, to survive, is so strong that he has had no time to wait, think, pause, meditate and see the divinity in him, that vaster meaning of life, without which the view he has of the world and life must be, of necessity, a fragmented one.
Take the case of the story of the writing of this book itself. While, it was being serialised in the form of articles under the title, ‘That Blissful Inspiration’, in the Astrological Magazine, my three astrological trips to USA occurred, and in spite of writing twelve pieces, the other fifteen parts, which were not serialised, had to wait for nearly sixteen months before I could settle down to complete them.
The difficulties that crop up, get solved through divine intervention. The first great difficulty was that I had to leave the government house, which I had occupied so far, having retired from government service. To move into a rented house in Delhi, with the pension I get, would have meant spending my entire pension on rent. Then a Yogi, Mouni Baba, told me to take the plunge without any hesitation. Another Yogi, a Jam, saw my palm and said that I would soon have a house of my own.
I know and believe in such supernormal utterances since I do astrology, and was waiting for the right solution to emerge out. I figured out that by encashing two fixed deposits and taking out my entire bank balance, I could meet half the expense of buying a house for myself in one of the new colonies of Delhi, where such a house would be within the purchasable range of my monetary resources. Then a loan from a friend, plus raising extra money through hard work, enabled me to buy a house, much sooner than I could imagine.
Then came in the other difficulty. Before leaving for USA in June 1994, I had to vacate my government accommodation and move into a rented house, along with my younger brother’s family. He had
suffered spinal trouble earlier in his college days. He lifted weights though he ought to have known better and, when I returned from the USA, he was lying in bed with serious spinal problem. My books and manuscripts were in disarray in the rented house. The completion of is book had to wait.
Dr. R. Sahney with his acupuncture and Dr. Vikram Dogra, an orthopaedist, both friends of Dr. K.S. Charak, FRCS, were treating my brother.
Just then walked into my house Yogi Bankhandi, who came to our earlier house before I was leaving for USA in June 1994. He saw my brother in agony and said nothing, except that he would come next day also. He came, as promised, and finding no doctor at home, as on the previous day, said, “I will come tomorrow and cure you of this in five minutes.”
Yogi Bankhandi is rather oldish and, has to be helped physically when he sits down, to get up. He asked my younger brother to lie down on the ground and touched his spine, pulling it from two ends with a piece of cloth. There was a clicking sound. My brother said that it was a great relief from pain. The Yogi told him to get up and walk. After fifteen days, Subhas walked as well as he did before this spinal problem. The next day, he walked up and down the stairs many times, as though, distrusting that he had been cured. My younger brothers and their family members have seen great Yogis rather often and, Subhas had no reason to distrust this second miracle of his life in six months.
The first miracle occurred when he had run into difficulty as a result of the betrayal of trust by a subordinate of his. This subordinate had made him authorise some foreign exchange amount to someone, who was involved in an international gang. Just then had come Yogi Hans Baba to Delhi and said, ‘Maine chakkar chala diya hai. Chinta
mat karo”. (I have set my weapon into motion. Don’t worry.)
Then Yogi Hans Baba asked me to ask a friend of mine in a high rank in Delhi police to take energetic interest in this case, which appeared odd for two reasons : first, there was a powerful gang, which could not be proceeded against in the Indian conditions and, there was not the remotest connection between the are covered by that police officer and, the operation of this international gang. Yet, as it had to happen as seen by Yogi Hans Baba, a person involved in this gang was caught, in the very area falling in the jurisdiction of my friend, the police officer. From there, the beginning of the end of the professional trouble of Subhas became visible.
The first edition of this book was sold as fast as my other book written in the middle of 1995, Timing Events through Vimshottari Dasha. The appreciation received has been very encouraging from all over the world. Generally, in most of the books on spiritual themes, the torments and agonies of a spiritual aspirants followed by bliss is not elaborated and only one-sided picture is presented, which makes them lopsided and look rosy. Spiritual life is beautiful but it has many fires. It is always rewarded whether or not one makes spectacular progress in one life or not. Life without spiritual tones is animal life.
I have made some additions to this book, some very valuable spiritual lessons from ancient scriptures. This book has been re-edited by Anuradha Dutt, after introducing many punctuations, in the British style of journalism on which we Indians have been taught.
The most important additions made is the chapter, Chapter 15 on “Caution and Warning”, which became necessary, as will become obvious after one has read it. Then there are scriptural instructions, which is the highest spiritual wisdom, humanity can ever have. A simple and plain understanding of World’s greatest book of spiritual wisdom, India ‘s great eternal heritage, should always be kept in the background, before accepting anyone as spiritual unlike the west where it has been reduced to a mere display of a belief, which is false.
I am thankful to Ambica Gulati who proofread the third edition of the book and remarked that it was the best book. I had written at a time when I had a keen desire to share some experiences and messages and that now I have got back into the shell in which I lived most of my life shunning publicity. In a way that is true, because in the last decade, India has become more globalized sharing the vulgarity of the west and its nonspiritual approaches to life.
Indian have become too materialistic in the men time, too epicurean to pay any attention to their great eternal heritage in the spiritual field. They want all those instant remedies as they want in the west and want to meet a guru who can give them instant spiritual experience. That spiritual life is a story of slow unfoldment and the result of the karmas of past lives is what one is not prepared to accept.
Some people asked me to write a compaction volume to this book and I refused to do it is the world is not interested in spiritual matters anymore unless it fits into their epicurean materialistic frame of living.
This book is the mean time has been translated into Russian and Japanese and is being translated into Bulgarian also.
This may be only book ever written where one has shared one’s experiences with various saints, not with his own guru. In other books, the attempt has been to promote their own gurus and narrow down the spiritual canvas of India which is limitlessly vast.
Medical Astrology (43)
Original Texts (285)
Vedic Astrology (64)
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