A biography of the realized sage, Sri Baba Lokenath (1730-1890), has just been published in English. This book, the first of its kind, is written by Baba’s disciple, Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari, who established a Baba Lokenath temple at his personal ashram in the Himalayas and spent many years meditating on Baba and collecting historical research. Baba Lokenath is known for severe austerities, for his travels with Trailinga Swami, and for his many miracles. For beginning seekers, the stories of extreme asceticism can be intimidating, but Shudhaanandaa does a good job of including meditations that anyone can practice at the end of each chapter. Here is one meditation from the book:
Sitting comfortably erect for meditation, offer all that you are into the rising and falling of the light within the breath. When you are deeply relaxed, see yourself before you were born, as a spark of diamond-white light in the Divine Heart. Feel the pure, sweet, nurturing energies of the Divine all around you, like a womb. Feel the pure essence of the Divine as your own essence. This is home, where you come from, who you are beyond form. Allow the golden-white, Divine Light to flow through you now, informing and forming your life today in ways that are beyond your understanding. Wrapped in the Light that is your true home, know that you are safe, that you can always return to this Light, because it is who you are. Everything else will one day disappear. Only this Light will be left. Whenever you are beset with difficulty, remember this simple, brilliant spark of Light that you are. Offer your troubles into it. Let the Light burn them away until they disappear into the Light (from the end of chapter two).
I was struck by the feminine image of the womb in this meditation and also by the practical aspect of releasing problems into the Light. If any distractions or worries remain after the opening part of the meditation, one has an opportunity to deal with these at the end. This could be a good accompaniment to pranayama, for those who wonder what to do mentally when completing the breath work. Through this exercise, we can all get a small taste of the life of this amazing ascetic.
A brief review and excerpt of The Incredible Life of a Himalayan Yogi: The Times, Teaching, and Life of Living Shiva, Baba Lokenath Brahmachari, by Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari, edited by Ann Shannon. Kolkata: Lokenath Divine Life Mission, 2014. The Amazon Kindle edition was used for this post.