GLORY TO SHRI NATHJI MAHARAJ!
Baba Shri Narhari Nathji Maharaj, whom most people in Fatehpur know as ‘Babaji’, is our god and we are his devotees. He resides at Shri Amritnath ‘Ashram’, where, each year, ‘Sharad Purnima’ (full moon in the month of ‘Ashwin’ mostly in October) is celebrated with lots of festivity. The ‘Ashram’ is a paradise on earth and the holy presence of Babaji fills the air with magic. A person’s heart is charmed and he or she does not feel like leaving this place. There is a magnetic influence in the fields, the greenery, and nature here that seems to attract each devotee. Jimmy, Babaji’s pet dog is the most loyal animal in the world and follows each gesture and direction of Babaji. Every morning we go for a walk in the fields with Babaji. Jimmy feels lonely and neglected as he is left behind, so the moment we return he rushes towards us. In fact we get frightened to see him in this state of excitement.
In the ‘Sharad’ season the entire ‘Ashram’ seems to come alive and buzzes with activity as the greatest number of devotees arrive at this time to add grace to the occasion. I remember the ‘Sharad’ fair in the year 2002 that we enjoyed so much-the young and the aged alike roamed around and many people purchased the books and compact discs based on Babaji; in fact, at times, the entire stock got exhausted.
On that occasion several plays were staged based on Babaji, and to tell the truth, we wished that the program would never end. There were many plays based on the miracles of Baba Amritnathji. Merely touching the feet of Babaji gives such a thrill that one feels one is riding high on the heavens! The heart is so delighted that one does not feel like moving away from Babaji’s feet. Seeing the miracles of Babaji makes one wonder whether Babaji is a saint or a wizard! We offer water and sandal paste at the feet of Babaji and then drink that ‘charanamrit’ (holy water) that is like nectar (ambrosia) and the heart is totally charmed!
Many ‘Ashrams’ called ‘Amrit Kunj’ have been established at places where there are a large number of devotees of Babaji. The lifestyle at the ‘Ashrams’ is simple. There is an ‘Arti’ (devotional prayer service) at 4 a.m., after which we bathe and then visit the ‘samadhi’ (tomb) and also offer water at the shrine of Lord Shiva. We stay in the rooms of the ‘Ashram’ that are not provided with modern amenities, and we eat at the ‘bhandar’, the community kitchen. Anyone who visits the ‘ashram’ feels he has seen the real heaven.