Kainchi Dham: The temple magnet for tech honchos Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs..

Noida : Neem Karoli Baba known as Maharaj-ji, was a Hindu guru and a devotee of the Hindu deity Hanuman. He is known outside India for being the spiritual master of a number of Americans who travelled to India in the 1960s and 70s,Neem Karoli Baba, known at the time as Baba Lakshman Das (also spelled “Laxman Das”), left his home in 1958. Ram Dass tells a story that Baba Lakshman Das boarded a train without a ticket and the conductor decided to halt the train and force Neem Karoli Baba off of the train at the village of Neem Karoli, Farrukhabad district (U.P). After boarding Baba off the train, the conductor found that the train would not start again. After several attempts at starting the train, someone suggested to the conductor that they allow the sadhu back on to the train. Neem Karoli agreed to board the train on two conditions: 1) the railway company promise to build a station at the village of Neem Karoli (at the time the villagers had to walk many miles to the nearest station), and 2) the railway company must henceforth treat sadhus better. The officials agreed and Neem Karoli Baba boarded the train, jokingly saying, “What, is it up to me to start trains?” Immediately after his boarding the train, it started, but the train drivers would not proceed unless the sadhu blessed them to move forward. Baba gave his blessings and the train proceeded. Later a train station was built at the village of Neem Karoli. Baba lived in the village of Neem Karoli for a while and was given his name by locals.

download 1

Maharaj-Ji intuitive abilities and ability to read your mind were literally “mind-blowing” (he could floor you completely by telling you exactly what you may have been thinking a moment ago, or a few hours ago or a few nights ago as though it was the most natural thing in the world to be a kind of benevolent thought-policeman, he performed no sleight of hand tricks, or miracles; gave no sermons, expected nothing, accepted no gifts, and was sure to disappoint you if you went in search of magical solutions to your worldly (or even other-worldly) problems. Your problems would occasionally get solved almost magically if you remembered him hard enough and sometimes he would look you meaningfully in the eye when you met him as though he knew you knew he knew.

download 2

He was nomadic with no possessions and no assets and no property. He seemed to have a horror of any kind of material possession and if you took him a basket of fruits or sweets as a gift he would immediately distribute everything to the assembled gathering treating you as a fielder engaged in catching practice. He carried nothing other than the bed sheet or blanket he was wrapped in. He spoke little, constantly muttering “Ram, Ram, Ram” under his breath. He was completely unpredictable: would call you names and be very dismissive one day or make you sit next to him and look at you with such ineffable love that you had to melt on another day. He did not expect you to be religious or pious or believe in anything. He never sat in pooja or followed any devotional rituals, did not genuflect to a deity or visit a temple including the temples in his own ashram because he was in a sense beyond all this.

images 2
download 4

Kainchi Dham – There is a modest complex of lime-washed buildings, with a modest temple, situated in a modest wooded valley on the banks of a modest stream in a modest part of Kumaoun, called Kainchi – so called because of two scissor-like sharp hairpin bends on the road that bring you down to the riverside hamlet. Kainchi is a beautiful secluded mountain ashram located in the Kumaon Hills in Uttarakand. The first temple was inaugurated in June 1964. It is approximately 38 km from Nainital. Many hundreds of people visit the temples here every day, in season.

Kainchi temple is of a special importance in each and every devotee’s life. It was here that Ram Dass and other westerners spent a lot of good time with Maharajji. The Kainchi Dham ashram, where Maharaj-ji stayed in the last decade of his life, was built in 1964 with a Hanuman temple. It started two years prior with a modest platform built for two local sadhus, Premi Baba and Sombari Maharaj to perform yagnas. Over the years the temple, situated 17 km from Nainital on the Nainital-Almora road, has become an important pilgrimage for locals, as well as spiritual seekers and devotees worldwide

images 7
images 9
images 4 1

Most well-known disciples of Maharaj-ji are the spiritual teachers Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das, and the musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. He has also influenced well known personalities like Steve jobs, Mark Zuckerberg,  Larry page, Jeffrey skoll, julia Roberts etc.

Neem Karoli Baba passed away at approximately 1:15 AM in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973 in a hospital at Vrindavan, India.

His samadhi shrine was built within the complex of the Vrindavan ashram, which also has some of his personal belongings.

His ashrams are in Kainchi, Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Neem Karoli village near Khimasepur in Farrukhabad, Bhumiadhar, Hanumangarhi, Delhi in India and in Taos, New Mexico, US.

Interesting facts to know about Kainchi Dham Ashram:

  • Kainchi is a mountain ashram located in the Kumoan Hills in Uttarakand, approximately 38 km from Naini Tal.
  • The first temple of Lord Hanuman was inaugurated in June 15, 1964.
  • In 1962, Maharajji (Baba Neem Karoli) built a chabootara (platform) around a place where two spiritual gurus Sadhu Premi Baba and Sombari Maharaj had performed Yagyas in Kainchi village.
  • The Hanuman temple was later built over the platform thus establishing the Kainchi Ashram.
  • Baba Neem Karoli died on September 10, 1973. A temple for him was subsequently built at the Ashram. His statue was consecrated on June 15, 1976.
  • Neem Karoli Baba left his home in 1958 when his youngest daughter was 11 years old. He wandered throughout northern India as a sadhu and was known by many names.
  • Karoli Baba has temples in several places including Lucknow and an Ashram in Texas, US. According to his website, Maharajji established at least 108 temples.
  • Anyone who wants to visit the Ashram in Kainchi village needs to request prior permission.  After a reference from one of the older devotees, one can stay for three days. The ashram is closed for a large portion of the year as it becomes very cold there.
  • A lot of foreigners visit the Ashram. Spiritual leaders Ma Jaya, Ram Dass, musicians Jai Uttal and Krishna Das, humanitarian Larry Brilliant, scholar and writer Yvette Rosser and Daniel Goleman are among his devotees.
  • Apple founder Steve Jobs visited the Ashram to meet Neem Karoli Baba with his friend Dan Kottke. However, he could  not meet Baba who had died before his arrival.
58379893 10219146569956639 4802095752748728320 n

Saurabh Tyagi

Saurabh is an accomplished and seasoned Media professional with commendable experience of nearly 20 years in the Integrated Media domain including core Digital, Print, OOH, Advertising, Branded Content, IP Creation and Brand Strategy. He has the diverse experience of working with top clients & agencies across 4 geographies (UP, Uttrakhand, Delhi & Gurgaon) in various capabilities. He has extensive business background in multi-cultural environments across Media and Impact domains. He has played a critical role in business growth in all organizations that he has been associated to and has spear-headed major projects throughout his career. With the futuristic approach, he lead the mission as Founder & CEO to provide solutions towards development, creation, implementation and measurement of consumer engagement for brands with result-oriented partnerships, and long-term value creation.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button