When Pahadi Baba picked up a huge Banyan tree trunk at the age of 106

Kartik Purnima happens to be the day to remember Sri Narsimhadasji Maharaj, popularly known as Pahadi Baba

The lives of Sadhus and Sants become living testimony of God. Religion and philosophical thoughts and even spiritual discipline remain dry intellectual exercise till we come across someone who can attest to the truths experientially. The greatness of dharmic tradition is most visible in the lineage of pious and Sadhus and Sants throughout the ages. Bhakti
texts claim that the contribution of Sants in establishing of Dharmic values surpasses even that of Avatars! How? It says, Sadhu-Sants though their complete devotion attain all qualities of God; but they possess on quality more that their God; it is that of Puraskara or power of recommending to God for bestowing grace on devotees! This is something that God can’t do. Thus Bhaktamaal (Garland of Devotees), the most exalted text of Bhakti school puts down a principle that Sadhu-Sants should be considered as the Guru of one’s own Guru. In India innumerable popular stories are part of our rich tradition that becomes vehicle for imparting moral and spiritual truths to generations; and this collection of stories is ever expanding. This is a part of our spiritual heritage that spreads to Iran-Iraq in West and to Cambodia in the East. In this column we shall share some inspiring anecdotes of Sadhu and Sants whose lives encapsulate the essence of perennial wisdom of Dharma.


Sri Narsimhadasji Maharaj, popularly known as Pahadi Baba, was born on in a family at Amroli village in Braj region. In ripe age of 150 years on very Kartik Purnima day, he took at Khaak Chowk, Vrindavan.
Sri Baba was a born Mahatman. In early childhood he left home in search of God. He got his Sadguru in of Teela Mangaldas clan of Ramananda Sampradyaya; who was famous all across India for his great devotion and spiritual attainments. In tender age, he got Vesha (Vaishnava Bairagi Deeksha) from Sri Saryudasji. His rigorous spiritual discipline started and he spent early years of his Sadhana in untraceable caves of Himalayas. He did sadhana of higher realms at Vasishtha Gufa (cave) of Mount Kailas and in caves of and Manasarovar. It appears that due to his stay in Himalayas, he got nickname Pahadi (one who dwells in mountains) Baba.
Sri Baba was among those rare saints who were equally adept in Yoga, Jnana and Bhakti paths of devotion. He was 7 feet tall with slim yet stately built, a perfect Yogi.  Later Baba came to from Himalayas. He chose a secluded piece of land adjacent to Dwara that was established by famed Sant Sri Malukdasji Maharaj. The Dwara, situated in Bansivat region on the banks of Sri Yamunaji, is an ancient Dwara of Ramananda order. established a small temple of Sri Sitaramchandra ji there; later this place became popular as Khaak Chowk.
Sri Baba was a God realized soul who followed all rules of Sadhu’s conduct most scrupulously. An Aajanma Brahmachari, he never touched Kamini-Kanchana. He rarely mixed-up with people and wore nothing except Kaupeen (a thin loin cloth).
Baba always remained absorbed in the contemplation of God. One day Sri Shukadeva appeared in his dream and said, “Down below this place there is an ancient Vigraha of mine, unearth and establish it”. Baba got the place dug and on Vaishaka Amavasya day, Sri Shukadeva’s Srivigraha was instituted with elaborate ritual and ceremony at Khaak Chowk.
Once a devotee requested that he want to take baba for pilgrimage of Gangasagar. The journey to Gangasagar was mostly through ships. Baba acquiesced. At that time Baba was 106 year old and quite thin. In the journey, one ships’ captain refused to board Baba citing his age and physical frame. The devotee family was saddened. Baba said, “Don’t dishearten, I came with you only for your pleasure. If I will, I can visit anywhere with Yogic powers”. A huge trunk of Banyan was lying on the banks of Ganga. Local people had taken away its branches. Baba picked that mammoth trunk on his head and asked the captain, “Tell me, where I should keep this?” The captain couldn’t believe his eyes. He surrendered in Baba’s feet. Baba said, “Never mock a Sadhu for his old age or frailty, he moves with the strength of Sri Ram”.
A sadhaka had a yearning for Deeksha from Maharaj Ji. But by the time he reached Vrindavan, baba had taken Samadhi. The sadhaka was devastated and decided to leave his body if Baba doesn’t give him Deeksha. He remained at Baba’s Samadhi in Khaak Chowk without food and water. On fourth day Baba miraculously appeared out of Samadhi and gave him complete Panch Samskar Deeksha. There are innumerable instances of Baba’s devotion and yogic might. Followers of various orders, schools and disciplines, of different stages and attainments used to visit him for guidance.  Even today Sri Pahadi baba guide devotees who visit him with true heart.

[ Photo : Sri Vigraha of Siddha Samrat Pahadi Baba and Svayambhu Sri Shukadeva at Khaak Chowk, Vrindavan ]
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