In the Eastern traditions, spiritual teachings are handed down from Guru to student in a form of transmission – often orally or physically. Neem Karoli Baba is Ma’s guru, and that is the lineage of Kashi. Baba’s two words, “Feed Everyone” are the essence of the teachings of Kashi. Ma also has many teachers who were very influential in her spiritual life.
About lineage, Ma says “It is in your lineage to walk the path of the heart and live your lives, while taking care of others and yourself in the divine name of God. Be filled with joy and bliss this life. This is in your blood and in your lineage. The beauty that you receive as you walk the path of the guru tradition is one of the links to the chain of lineage. This is an endless chain that reaches to the formless, allowing the form to remain motionless until it is absorbed.”
Ma Jaya’s Teachers and Guru
As Ma’s personal journey unfolded in the early 1970’s, several saints and teachers came to teach her starting with an experience of Christ who told her to “Teach all ways, for all ways are mine.” This established Kashi as an interfaith path of life.
Her personal journey then led her to her teacher, the great Indian saint, Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, whose influence created a foundation for her teaching to this day.
A few years later Ma Jaya’s guru, Neem Karoli Baba, appeared to her. This began another chapter in Ma Jaya’s life. Through her work, Neem Karoli Baba’s blessings have continuously graced her students’ lives. His presence is felt in every aspect of life at Kashi.
Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri is one of the most beloved Saints of India, born in the first half of the 19th century. He is closely connected with Sri Neem Karoli Baba, and is one of Ma’s most important teachers.
Nityananda is considered by many to be an avatar. He is known by the world for his great austerity and compassion. He left his body in 1961. He is also known as both the author of the Chidakash Gita and as the carrier of the essence of Lord Dattatreya (the Hindu Trinity of “Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva in One Form) and of the Dancing Lord Ganesha.
Swami Nityananda brings to the world the gift of the Chidakash. The Chidakash is the “heart space over the head”. Within this sky of consciousness rises the great orb, Surya– The Sun — The Absolute Godhead. This divine space, where one’s individual soul merges with its Divine Soul, makes its heavenly home in the upper part of the skull. This space is our true home, our birthright.
Ma’s Guru, Neem Karoli Baba, was is believed by many to be one of the greatest spiritual masters of our time. Even today, many years after his death in 1973, Baba continues to touch people’s lives in many different ways.
Neem Karoli Baba first appeared to Ma Jaya in 1973 and has been teaching her ever since. Through Ma’s work, Neem Karoli Baba’s blessings have continuously graced her students’ lives. His presence is felt in every aspect of life at Kashi.
Baba’s main teaching can be crystallized in the words, “Feed everybody.” This command to feed pertains not only to physical food, but to the food of the heart, direct and unconditional love.
Following in his footsteps, Ma Jaya and her students are engaged in service activities, touching people with AIDS and other diseases, children from backgrounds of abuse and neglect, and many others.
“Having seen Him, all is seen. Having heard Him, all is heard.
Having touched him, all is touched. Having known him, all is known.”
Ma Jaya – speaking about Neem Karoli Baba
While Neem Karoli Baba never gave sermons or speeches, he taught through the immediacy of his profound ability to love. As many people who experience his presence today say, “He is as alive today as ever.” In this way, he maintains the ability to touch the lives of many in tangible and lasting ways, opening those who turn to him by awakening a great and never-before-known depth of love within themselves.
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Shirdi Sai Baba is worshiped and loved by millions of people in India and throughout the world. He taught tolerance and harmony between Hinduism and Islamic traditions, and in fact, it is not known whether Sai Baba was himself Hindu or Muslim. He often taught in simple parables and stories, using metaphor and paradox. He would sit by the side of the road and beg for one rupee. By this, he would teach individuals about generosity and stinginess. It is said that his presence conveyed a direct experience with the holy and sacred.
Shirdi Baba is remembered for promising his devotees that … If you look on me, I will look on you. Shirdi Sai Baba left his body in approximately 1918.
Revered as one of the greatest spiritual teachers of modern-day India. At the age of 17, Ramana Maharshi had an experience of death, in which he realized that one’s body dies, but the eternal stream of consciousness is not touched by this death.
This was a profound experience of the True Self, and notably occurred without the guidance and protection of a guru. He remained conscious of his identity with the Absolute at all times, and for the rest of his life. From this awareness, he taught his students to simply ask, “Who am I?”