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Shivabalayogi & Postmaster-ji

Postmaster Deviprashad Baurai with Shivabalayogi
Dehradun ashram, probably in the mid-1970's.

Deviprashad Baurai, “Postmaster”

Deviprashad Baurai worked for the post office in Dehradun which is how he met Swamiji and why Swamiji nicknamed him Postmaster.  He was a well known and well respected devotee at the Dehradun ashram.  Swamiji used to praise his honesty and openness, and he would tell devotees the humorous story of how his habit of keeping a mistress was cured.

How He Came to Swamiji

Postmaster Deviprashad Baurai lived up to his reputation for being honest and forthright.  He began by telling us about his vices: drinking, women, smoking, drugs and gambling.  “I was a very bad man.  If the others don’t say they are bad, they hide their bad habits.  But I was a very, very bad man.  There was no bad habit which I did not have. I was a drunkard, I was a womanizer, red meat eater, smoker, drug user.”

Deviprashad felt that he was such a victim of his bad habits that God or devotion was not for him.  But the mailman on Rajpur Road encouraged him to see Shivabalayogi who was staying at the summer house of R. N. Singh Deo and his wife, Mataji.  Deviprashad had helped Mataji at the post office on occasion, so he knew her.  He went to their summer house at 180C Rajpur Road, now the Shivabalayogi ashram, where Mataji encouraged him to come for darshan.  She would introduce him to Shivabalayogi.

The next day he went to the ashram between five and six o’clock.  Kirtan (spiritual song) was going on and Mr. Adinarayana was there.  He remembered Mr. Adinarayana well.  They were very close friends.  Mataji told Swamiji that the Postmasterji was waiting outside.  Immediately Swamiji said, “You ask him to come inside.”  Deviprashad was completely surprised.  He went inside and did pranam.  He touched his head on Swamiji’s feet.  He just stood there in front of Swamiji.

Swamiji was smiling at him.  Postmaster felt afraid and guilty, but over time he realized that Swamiji doesn’t see our guilt even though he knows everything in our minds.  “When you go and stand in front of him, just by looking at you, . . . Swamiji can see totally transparently. He doesn’t talk about it.  He just forgets it and forgives you totally.”

Postmaster used to be with Swamiji day and night.  From morning to night until two or three o’clock in the morning, he would spend with Swamiji for the two months when he was in Dehradun.

Postmaster would ask Swamiji, “Swamiji, do you know everything about me?”

You badmash [naughty] Postmaster, you are asking a question like that?”  As soon as Swamiji said the word badmash, he understood that Swamiji knew everything about him.  For some time after that, he was a little afraid of Swamiji and kept a distance.

He used to find that Swamiji was extremely beautiful.  One day he told Swamiji, “Swamiji, if not for the beard that you have, you are exactly like Krishna.”

Swamiji would say, “You are a naughty man, badmash Postmaster.”

Postmaster Baurai told us, “Only God can rid you of bad habits.  Even the greatest of saints cannot do it.  Once I told Swamiji that I had all the bad habits.  I gave a list, including gambling.  I told Swamiji that I have derived so much pleasure out of these, but I have had enough.  If God really exists and if you can get me rid of all these bad habits, only then will I believe that God is there.  Now, because I am rid of all these bad habits, I believe that God is there.”

A Daughter’s Perspective

Postmasterji’s daughter, Lakshmi, confirmed that her father used to talk very openly to Swamiji about all his bad habits.  He had been a drunkard, a heavy drinker who used to create a lot of trouble in the house.  But he would tell Swamiji openly about all his bad habits and what he was doing.

Swamiji used to call him Postmaster.  He would tell other devotees, “See, look at him.  He is the true devotee.  He is not hiding any of his bad habits.  He is honestly telling us everything that he does.  The rest of you are hiding everything in your own minds.  He is the only one who is speaking up.”

Swamiji told him, “You don’t need to stop all of a sudden.  Try to reduce it as much as possible.”

Her father took Swamiji’s advice and started reducing his drinking.  Gradually he became all right.  His family found it very surprising that his behavior changed.  He also started doing meditation.  Early in the morning he would do meditation and puja after taking his bath, then worship Swamiji, and only then go to his work.

When Swamiji was at the ashram, he made it a point to go there every day and he would insist that his four daughters go with him every day.  Lakshmi also used to go there every day, and if she missed even once, her father would question her as to why she didn’t go to the ashram.

Postmaster’s Lover

Postmaster had a girlfriend about nineteen or twenty years old.  He was probably about fifty years old at the time.  He never had any affection for her.  All he wanted was to have sex, nothing else.  The girl came to know that Postmaster was visiting Shivabalayogi at the ashram, so she also came to the ashram.

That night after darshan was over, Postmaster went into Swamiji’s room.  Swamiji said to him, “It looks like somebody has come to the ashram today.”

Postmaster thought, “Oh, Swamiji has already found out about this girl.  He is asking me.”  So he went to Swamiji and said, “Swamiji, I have to tell you something.”

“Come on, tell me.  What is it?”

“I have a girlfriend like this.  I have been going to her.  I don’t have any love or affection towards her.  I only want pleasure from her, nothing else.  I don’t want her any more.”

“Oh, is that so?  You don’t want her any more?  No problem.  We can take care of that.”  Swamiji told him, “When you go now, you should take two ladus [sweets] with you.  Give one to her and you eat the other yourself.”

Postmaster took the two ladus the next time he visited his mistress.  He gave her one and ate the other.  He found himself aroused and started putting his hands on her.  She ate the ladu and suddenly said, “You are like my father.”

He was shocked.  “What is this?” he said.

“No, you are like my father.  Whatever we have been doing until now, please forgive me about that.  All that is wrong.  From now on I will treat you like my father.”

“That is all right, then.  If you change your relationship, then I will change.  I will start treating you as my mother.  You are my mother now.  I am your son.”  That ended the matter and he left.

The next time Postmaster went to the ashram, Swamiji asked him what had happened.  “Yes Swamiji.  She ate the ladu and this is what she did.  I also told her that you are my mother.”

Achha [okay].  You made her your mother?  You are her son?  Are you happy now?”

He said, “Yes, Swamiji. I am happy now.”  Swamiji gave him some more ladus, making him eat them in front of Swamiji.

Swamiji’s Astral Body Lies Down with Postmaster

Late one night, Postmaster told Swamiji, “Swamiji, I am leaving.”  He left Swamiji’s room and went downstairs to sleep where several other devotees were already sleeping on the floor.  He lay down and within two minutes, Swamiji himself came down and lay down by his side.

He saw Swamiji, with his big stomach and all, lying by his side.  So he put his right hand on Swamiji’s stomach and went to sleep like that.  After about two or three minutes he woke up realizing what he was doing.  There wasn’t anybody there.  Swamiji had disappeared.

The Shipping Magnate

Postmaster told us that he received so many blessings from Swamiji, that he felt that whatever he would have asked for he would have gotten, whether wealth, buildings, or whatever.  But he didn’t ask for anything.  He just asked for devotion.

In 1969 he went to see Swamiji in Bangalore.  The day before he was to leave, Swamiji asked him about his plans.  He told Swamiji, “I am leaving tomorrow.”

Swamiji gave his blessings and some vibhuti, then said, “What do you want?”

He said, “I want dhyan [meditation].”  Swamiji asking him again what he wanted.  Postmaster answered, “I want dhyan. I want bhakti [devotion], and I want vairagya [detachment].”

Swamiji again asked, “You tell me what you want.”  Postmaster repeated dhyan, bhakti and vairagya.  Swamiji laughed and hit him on the back , the way he often did as a blessing when devotees were bowing before him.

As Postmaster was leaving, a devotee ran up after him.  “Swamiji was asking you what you want and you didn’t tell him anything.  When I first came here to Swamiji, I was selling beans [a street vendor who runs onto busses to sell snacks].  Now I am owning ships.”  Postmaster realized that he could have asked Swamiji for some money, but it hadn’t occurred to him.  Meanwhile the shipping magnate teased him in front of other devotees.  Postmaster decided that at the next opportunity, he would ask Swamiji for money.

The next time Swamiji came to Dehradun, Postmaster told Swamiji, “Swamiji, this fellow is making fun of me. I don’t know what to do.”

“Don’t worry about it.  That fellow is going to come here.  When he comes here, I will tell you what to do.  Just keep quiet about it.”

Swamiji had invited the shipping magnate to come to Dehradun.  When he did, Swamiji asked Postmaster to take the businessman to Massurie, a nearby hill station.  There the guy bought all sorts of sweets and other things for the ashram.  That evening, Swamiji called Postmaster aside and said, “Now, before he goes to sleep, go and ask him how he sleeps, whether he sleeps well or not.  Then if he asks you, you tell him.”

Postmaster went to the businessman and he asked him, “How do you sleep?  Do you sleep well?”

“How do you expect me to sleep well?  All the night I am thinking.  I am worried. I know my ship has reached there and a telegram has to be sent, otherwise it will be just there.  No one will take care of that.  A phone call has to be made to them.  I am totally worried.  I cannot sleep at all.”  Then he asked the Postmaster, “What about you?  How do you sleep?”

Postmaster told him, “The minute I lie down on me bed, I am gone.  In the morning I wake up.  That’s all.”

When Postmaster went back to Swamiji, Swamiji asked him, “What? Did you ask him?”  Postmaster explained and Swamiji had a hearty laugh.  “See, in spite of obtaining all that wealth, he cannot sleep well.  You think that you don’t have anything.  You don’t seem to possess anything, but you are having wonderful sleep.  That is the difference.”

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