To someone who wished I would write anything I might know about Mahavatar Babaji that is not in Autobiography of a Yogi.
I will tell you what others told me in India about Babaji.
Within a week of my landing in India in 1962, I was staying at the Anandamayi Ashram in Ranchi, less than a mile from the Yogoda Satsanga Ashram. “My” room was the free homeopathic dispensary in the daytime and my bedroom at night. It was wonderful. I was in India!
The dispensary was run by Dr. Mukherji, a disciple of Swami Purnananda who was a direct disciple of Babaji. In our conversations he told me some things that I gladly pass on.
Other names of Babaji
As recorded in Autobiography of a Yogi, the disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya called Babaji by several names: Mahamuni Babaji Maharaj, Maha Yogi, Trambak Baba and Shiva Baba. Purnananda and many of his fellow-disciples of Babaji simply called him Babaji Brahmananda. That appeals to me the most.
Babaji is not as inaccessible as many people think. He does not just roam in solitude in the Himalayas with only a handful of disciples with him. And though comparatively speaking few people stay with him, there is a small trickle of aspirants who come to spend some time with him.
Swami Purnananda stayed with Babaji more than one time in the Himalayas, sometimes for years. He told Dr. Mukherji that the famous Devendranath Tagore (see the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna), a Bengali philosopher and religious reformer, was a disciple of Babaji and spent quite some time with him in the Himalayas. When his even more famous son, Rabindranath Tagore, was in his teens Devendranath sent him to live with Babaji for three years.
Other disciples, other yoga sadhanas
There is also a misperception about Babaji and his spiritual mission. It is assumed that he only had one disciple “in the world,” Lahiri Mahasaya. What I have written here shows this is not true. Furthermore, it is believed that Kriya Yoga is the only practice favored by Babaji. But there are two of his disciples whose teaching contradict this.
Vijay Krishna Goswami
The renowned Bengali saint, Vijay Krishna Goswami (also in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna) was a disciple of Babaji. He was of the Vaishnava philosophy and taught to his disciples and the public in general the continual repetition and singing of the Maha (Great) Mantra that is found in the Kalisantara Upanishad:
Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama, Rama, Hare Hare.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare.
I can tell you an amusing story about Babaji’s rescuing Vijay from his shrewish wife–at least for a while.