The Story of Muni Baba's Arrival
We went to Shirdi in April 2017 to have a wedding ceremony in Shirdi blessed by Baba. We where clear that we wanted to purchase a Baba that can be of service to a larger community. On our last day in Shirdi we went to look for him. Being aware that he chooses us we looked around for him. It did not take us long to be found. We entered a huge store with lots of Babas of all sizes. Two that seemed exactly the same popped up very quickly. Then we looked back and forth between the two and within seconds we agreed on one of them. His face expression was so joyful, full of love, and strength. Knowing he was the one however, we wanted to see if there were more options. At this point Baba started his work on us. Believing we where looking for a different Baba we found ourselves buying equipment, such as a dhoop fan, a temple bell, etc. So we went back to the store to seal the deal and purchase his ticket home.
I told the shop owner that i want him to be blessed. To which he answered” no problem”. Noon Arathi was happening at the time however, so we had to wait. I was wondering how they will manage to bring a 150 kg Baba inside the Samadhi Mandir. Turns out this was not his destination. Five people tried to lift him and it all seemed impossible. Finally a bike pulled up and Baba ended up riding to the Dwarkamai to be blessed. Like one of his favored parades to Chavandi he seemed to enjoy the crowd that was joining to accompany him on the way. A lot of helpful hands made it possible to bring Baba into the Dwarkamai. He was sitting on the turtle in the center of the Dwarkamai and the priests gave him kumkum and sandalwood paste on his third eye. At this moment I felt an overwhelming presence that made me break into tears. The store people asked Russ “is there anything wrong?”, not understanding my tears. It was as if Baba had jumped in to the Murti. Several people rushed into the Dwarkamai and fell at his feet to have his dharshan. It all happened so fast it was overwhelming. We now where connected to this Murti and wishing him a safe journey on his boat ride home. But for now we had to say good by and move on to Tirupati.
After our return back home, we had a lot to sort out to resolve temple issues. Through this process clarity came and we took the necessary steps. Work that was pending and seemed hard to do was finally completed by Baba’s grace. At the time we had to reorganize the whole house, threw out what did not belong, redecorate and energize. In all of this we were so occupied we did not think yet when Baba would come. We did not experience a single sign from him either. Two months later we started wondering…where is Baba? Then our heart waves started to search for him.
We sent out emails and did phone calls with no results. He could not be detected. Now we really pulled on him. We started to sing, repeated Stotram, and prayed he send us a sign, and he did. Soon after we got paperwork via DHL about his present situation. Turned out they were using an invalid email address and never contacted us. Best we could figure Baba was still in Mumbai waiting for his boat ride. He was scheduled to come in about 4 weeks. Efforts to welcome him began intensively. We started to figure his position in the house. We choose a room where his healing work would be done. We prepared a platform that made Abisheks possible, decorated his space, and put our Ganapati Murti , Swamiji and Jesus pictures, in that room nothing else. Everything was new and clean. Now we where ready for Baba to come home. But once more he vanished from the radar.
It was now close to 4 months and again nobody could find him anywhere. We desired him so much at this point that occasionally tears where flowing over his absence, yet we knew Baba can come any time any way he wants. He is not limited by any transportation. There had to be a bigger picture. Finally we got an email that Baba was on a boat and soon to arrive. More transformation had to happen. Problems in old relationships had to be resolved, debts were called to pay, and complete Baba’s travel expenses. Now we felt he was coming no doubt.
Next, it happened to be that, Russ’s daughter Autumn was coming for a surprise visit. Since our relationship was still very new and tender we hoped to deepen and strengthen our trust and love. She was here for a short period of time. One morning Russ was opening his email while we where all gathered for coffee. BABA HAS ARRIVED AND WAITING FOR PICK UP!!!. Yet Russ had to go to work. So Autumn felt an urge and spontaneously offered to pick him up with me. We jumped in the car with all the paperwork. We had a very deep conversation on the way, Baba was working on our wish to bond more closely.
At the warehouse picking him up was miracle like and we did not even consider what was going to fall into place. I walked in to the office where the paperwork was handled. Autumn ran to the bathroom and left her belongings with me. I realized, since the paperwork was recorded under the name Russ Vogel it was not matching up with my identity. The lady checked all details and then ask me…who are you? In that second I reached for Autumn´s purse and pulled out her drivers license. Her ID matched last names. How perfect Baba had orchestrated this. The clerk again checked our papers, and more Dakhsina was required to forklift his crate into the van. That was about all the cash we had with us…Baba was in a wooden crate and he was just the right size to fit in to the door with little room to spare.
Ufff…breathing… Baba is finally with us. Really wanted to open the crate and see if he was ok, but knew this could not be done. There is a specific procedure to unbox him. So we drove home feeling heavy and close to dizzy, when we decided to have some food at a Mexican food trailer with our last cash. I ordered a Burrito that came in two halves. The first thought was that one half is for Baba. Finishing that thought we heard somebody behind us crying. We both turned around to see a women come out of nowhere expressing her extreme hunger. “I am so hungry,” she cried very hard, “Please, give me some food! I’m so hungry!” This was the most desperate request I’d ever experienced. Yes, even after living 16 years in India, surrounded by beggars. Before I had a chance to take in all the unusual details about her appearance, I reached for Baba’s Burrito half and handed it over. I just looked at Autumn for a second and she looked at me in disbelief. We both looked back and the women was gone. In an open space outside there was no corner for her to vanish. Yet indeed she was gone. At this point we realized, we just witnessed a miracle. After eating we felt strong enough to drive back home. The energy in the car was unbelievable. Now Autumn and I where connected by picking up Baba and seeing a genuine miracle together. So there appeared the trust and love we where looking for, but could not have imagined how deep it came along with Baba. Was Baba pulling Autumn to come here for this very reason?
Arriving back home we had to lay down and wait for Russ to come and lift Baba out of the car. We spent hours holding off wanting to open his crate. At long last he came home from work. Together with Autumn, Marselino our housemate, and myself, managed to get him into the house. Unboxing him with the mirror process went very smoothly. When he came out of the crate completely covered in dirt, unbroken, and with an unbelievable smile on his face. We bathed him in water and baking soda and then carried him on to his spot. Followed by Stotram and Arati with a lots of Dhoop we welcomed him home. Thinking of that hungry woman I felt that Baba must be very hungry also. So gave all his favorite foods to make him happy. The whole house was nourished by his light filled presence. It took us all a couple days to digest his energy. We where so happy to finally have him here. It was a bliss and I wanted to hug him for his unbreakable smile feeling very close.
As time went on Baba’s compelling ecstatic smile has changed. Baba feels more grounded and he is serious about the work being done. Thus we gave him the name Muni Baba. He has been here for 3 months now and keeps transforming our lives. New projects started, new people entered our lives, our relationship is gaining more and more depth with real compassionate love. Our focus and actions shifting more towards service planned or not. Unexpected channels are opening to serve. People that come for healing are very delighted asking “who is this man?” And we are so honored to talk about our beloved Master Shirdi Baba, The Raja di Raja, Yogi Raja.
Laaya and Russ, California