The needless controversy over Vijji Maa’s Mahasamadhi
Smt. Vijayakumari attained Mahasamadhi in the presence of hundreds of people. Mahasamadhi is the ultimate goal of a spiritual seeker, and this culture is replete with stories of Yogis attaining this goal. Twelve hours after she left her body in full awareness, she was cremated in the presence of over 2000 people.
When it comes to the spiritual path and its processes, there is only so much that the English language can articulate. Beyond a point, there is simply no terminology to explain spiritual processes, experiences and phenomena. This is why many experiences of the inner dimension tend to get mired in needless controversies. Those who experience them know it is true. Those who cannot experience them are not able to fit such phenomena into a logical understanding. Because some things are beyond logic. Mahasamadhi is one of them.
Mahasamadhi is as old as the Hindu culture itself. There have been scores of Yogis and Mystics who shed their bodies consciously from ancient times to the recent past. To name a few recent examples: In the 20th century Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the most well-known Indian Yogis, attained Mahasamadhi in 1952 and Swami Nirmalananda shed his body through the same process as recently as 1997.
“Generally, people believe that all these things were over with the sages and rishis of ancient times. But spirituality in its highest possibility is still very alive,” said Sadhguru, speaking a few days after the Mahasamadhi of Vijji Maa in January 1997. “Let people know that this kind of opportunity is available to man, that one can take the very process of birth and death into one’s hands. It is not for me or anyone to ask whether this is right or wrong.”
Though Vijji Maa’s departure left everyone at the Isha Yoga Center shattered, it was not wholly unexpected. There is never a good time to lose someone dear to us and there is never a way to be prepared for the loss. “To a few people who were close to her, she had spoken about this many times. She had been expressing her intense desire to leave her body in full awareness, without any sense of attachment. “I want to leave” – this had been her constant mantra with me also,” Sadhguru said.
It is an unfortunate reality of our times that even the most significant phenomena get hijacked by wilful troublemakers without the slightest understanding of the subject or the event. It was eight months after Vijji Maa’s Mahasamadhi that people chose to file a police complaint alleging foul play. Isha immediately welcomed a full investigation by law enforcement – despite the fact that it was one of the most painful experiences that violated every shred of human decency. The investigation into Vijji Maa’s Mahasamadhi revealed nothing suspicious and the case was finally thrown out of court in 1999.
“Even accomplished yogis who spend their lives in spiritual sadhana struggle to attain this,” said Sadhguru referring to Vijji Maa’s Mahasamadhi. “To throw one’s life out of the body without injuring the body takes something else.” This is the ultimate goal of every spiritual seeker and those who achieve it are held in reverence because it takes an extraordinary level of discipline and devotion.