05 December 2012

Avadhooth Baba of Chemanchery

Baba had come to Chemanchery near Koilandy in Kozhikode District about 9 years back in a lorry (truck) and got down on that highway. He discarded his clothes and started wearing gunny bags around him. After a while he discarded that and had worn only a piece of cloth around his waist. Few people there brought Baba to this place in the shed and took care of him. Many who met him experienced wonders and soon the word spread.

He is the first Avadhooth Baba I had seen with my eyes. Baba sit in a squatting position on the verandah of an old building near the railway lines. The area around him was stinking of decay. Knowing very well that these were all delusions to the five senses (panchendriya), all the garbage in front of him were food items which contained fresh food as well as stale food including rich delicacies. Baba held an incense stick cover and fanned himself continuously nonstop. He wore nothing but a piece of dirty cloth around his waist as he sat squatting and speaking something to himself and laughing at times. The entire world seemed garbage.... whatever we are, whoever we are, how much ever we may flaunt are achievements and positions; it is a matter of time that we will decay away. The same food so fresh and full of aroma turns into rotten smell when it decays.

Baba speaks only Hindi which again cannot be understood clearly for they are only muttered. So, when the Keralites went to him speaking in Malayalam, what he said could not be understood by them. Baba only used to say "acha" meaning 'good' in Hindi. This was misinterpreted by the Keralites earlier as "achar" meaning pickles in Malayalam also. So, they started calling him Achar Baba. People started getting him achar thinking he was asking for achar and soon the entire room was filled with pickles. Baba threw none. He ate everything that was given to him - kilos of pickles! After a while the achar business stopped, the man continued telling me, and people brought him various other eatables, everything from meat to Bournvita, which he ate. The man told me that people used to offer him something and wait for him to eat it. Sometimes Baba picked the ones given to him with love and ate it and sometimes the food lied there for days or weeks, but they were never thrown away. Baba ate everything even if after weeks. Eating their offered food was a sign of blessing and grant of boons to people.

Some times people wait there after keeping food for him, but Baba was fully in his own world. Many fall at his feet and few whisper something close in his ears to which sometimes he responds and sometimes remains mum, but heavily fanning himself. Baba did not like anyone touching him and that could be seen when someone went too close he would move back.

All kind of people come to meet Baba and Baba was fully aware of everyone's motives and he responded or reacted accordingly. It is he who pulls people here with grace and it needs grace to reach him and win his attention. There were people who came as serious seekers also and everyone were responded with accordingly and received accordingly. There were instances of serious seekers who were even given mantra deeksha by him. Baba rarely speak and everything depended only how he reacted or mumbled or with his expressions. Baba tested people to extreme limits and blessed accordingly. Like, there were times when serious seekers came to him and Baba never allowed them to get up or leave. The whole day sometimes they were made to sit hungry or even without allowing them to attend nature’s calls. Some endured it all and took his blessing while some ran away from behind.

If the seekers did not listen to him his punishment was nothing harsher than asking to leave the place. Many believe that Baba and avadhuts can even grant liberation (Moksha) if they wish but they put up heavy tests.

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