After Baba Muktanand’s demise, Kaka Ji became a wanderer. He was constantly on move and wouldn’t stay at any place for long. During this travelling years, he had the good fortune of meeting many practitioners, Sadhus and saints. His Sufi like personality, gentle smile, a face that radiating complete contentment, sparkling eyes and a loving and caring behavior coupled with a homely white dress created an image that people voluntarily approached him and were endeared to him. There was no pomp and show in his personality, his simplicity was his greatest asset and people were easily attracted and charmed by this simplicity. They would open up in front of him and would bare their inner most core to him and discuss their mundane affairs as they would have discussed with any elder in the family. They would always discuss their problems with a belief that they will get a solution and they would never go back disappointed. This would increase their faith and belief in Kaka ji and would endear them to Kaka all over again. Some people would accept him as their guru and would insist that he initiates them into Sadhna. However, Kaka would never encourage anybody to seek initiation, Deeksha, and would never declare himself as a guru. He would constantly move.
After his self-realization in Uttarkashi and a visit to Gyanganj suddenly those related to Kaka ji or came in his contact started having some spiritual experiences. They would see Kaka ji in their meditation or in dreams and they would get directions or orders from him. Both on physical and spiritual plane, they started receiving solutions to their problems. Some of his devotees started pestering him to initiate them or open an aashram so that he could be easily accessible at any time of the year. But Kaka steadfastly refused such demands.
In 1987, five years after Baba’s passing away, while Kaka ji was in Delhi , one of his devotee was so bogged down in his spiritual and family problems that he started requesting that Kaka ji should initiate him. Kaka helped him in every way he could but his request for initiation remained as it is. Kaka would remain quiet at this demand and the young man would not budge. Finally Kaka received a message from Gyanganj to initiate not only this determined youth but all other deserving candidates too. And so began the process of initiation.
Sometimes it so happens that a sadhak gets an indication in his dream that he should seek initiation from Kaka ji, At other times, Kaka receives message from Gyanganj to initiate some person and he performs his duty. Generally till he gets a go ahead from the higher authority he does not initiate anybody. He says, “Master disciple relation is more of a spiritual bond. Initiation is just a formality – relations are never based on formality.” He would also say don’t get bogged down, break free and remain a free soul.
Those who consider Kaka ji as their Guru, to them he says, “Guru is not a person he just a power that resides in you. The guru that is outside is just a medium who triggers the Guru within. Your inner consciousness is your guru.” His initiation too is not bound by any straight jacketed ritual. He knows the essence of every religion and gives guidance to everyone according to his or her own faith. To Jains, he offers Namokar Mantra, to a Muslim, he offers a way through Kalma and Namaz and to a Sikh, he unravels the mystery of Miri-Piri and Amrit Chakna. People of every walk of life and faith and every strata of society flock to him.
The greatest benefit of Kaka ji is that those who love him, he comes across not as a guru or a saint but as a loving elderly family member or a guardian. Rarely does somebody addresses him as guru ji or swami ji. For most of the people he is Kaka ji or Aba Ji. The Marathi word Aba ji may have its origin in Urdu word Abba or Abbu and could have been incorporated in the local language during the time of Mughals. Though the Urdu word Aba means father but in Marathi Aba can be used to address any honorable person – Father, Uncle, Brother or any senior member of the society.
Like the Marathi word Aba , Kaka ji too has a multi-dimensional personality. Somebody looks up to him as his well-wishing advisor, others look up to him as a guide, some accept him as a friend, guardian or guru or father. He is everybody’s close confidante. To Shaiv he is a Shaiv, a Shakt to a Shakt and a Vaishnav he’s a Vaishnav. There are people who look up to him as a Pir or Sufi. One of the reason why Kaka ji is popular is his simplicity. He does not even wear saffron colored clothes. He talks in a simple and concise language and says that Sanyas has become out dated. Just dawning a particular kind of clothes doesn’t mean that you have renounced the world. Those who have great interest in creating aashrams and monasteries, Kaka smiles at them and says, even ashrams turn into homes so why not make your home an aashram. Perform your Sadhna in your home. He never preaches to escape, he always insists that even family life, it is an aashram and all the other three aashrams draw their strength from this aashram alone. All the greats and saints are born in this aashram alone. But they become great men or saints by performing their Sadhna. So one must understand the importance of family life as the greatest of all aashrams.
If any young man asks for initiation he tells him: ‘work on your computer and concentrate on your studies that’s your Sadhna.” He equally gives importance to homely life in both the spiritual realm as well as in interpersonal relations. His words really strike the intellectuals hard when he asks them that the routine life that they actually live does really have any life in real sense? Actually it has only routine. It is a nonstop non sense. One must break this foolish pattern and go deep within only then you will realize what life is all about. If anybody tells Kaka that he is an atheist and doesn’t believe in God, Kaka’s straight reply to him is you don’t become an atheist by not believing in God. Atheist is one who doesn’t believe in himself and doesn’t accept himself. He also adds that to progress on the spiritual path, the only thing required is that you must have faith in yourself. To attain enlightenment, he proposes a very simple remedy. He says wisdom is all around you just you have to open up yourself to let it in. Just open your mind and you will be filled with light. Sadhna is meant only for opening your mind. The day you open up your mind you will be amazed to know that nothing is outside, everything comes from within. A dot of light that turns into sun and then you will see everything in that light. This is what self-knowledge is all about. To see your own light and then look the world through that light.
Once somebody asked Raman Maharishi, “What is Sadhna?”, and he replied, “An ass”. The person asked, “Why should we do it?”. He replied, “To understand that you actually don’t need it”. Like Raman Maharishi, Sai Kaka too sometimes give very terse and direct answers. Once somebody asked him “What is God?” He said, “A disease”. The person asked “What is the root of this disease?” Kaka smiled and replied “You”. The man again asked “And what is the treatment?”, Kaka again smiled and replied “You”. The person became silent. After some times Kaka himself broke the silence and told him that the concept of god is an invention of our own habit of escaping from ourselves. When you don’t want to face yourself, then you take refuge in the concept of God or Guru. I can say one thing with certainty no Guru can give you anything. If you have the ability you will take it from anywhere and anyone, even if the person is not willing to part with his wisdom. You can draw things from stone, trees anything or anyone. But till the time you run like a beggar asking for something you won’t get anything. Develop yourself and you will get everything you desire. Those who raise their head above the crowd are the one that achieve something beggars don’t get anything.
In terms of religion, Kaka’s has a unique interpretation. He always says that religion is a very personal thing. It can never be a communal . Sects are communal or community affairs. Every religious person on earth is shocked to hear when he asks them, “people want to become Buddhists but no one wants to be a Buddha, people want to be Christians but no one wants to be a Christ. You want to be a Sikh but don’t want to be a Nanak. Why?”
Those who suffer from the arrogance of being something, to them he simply says, “look, for six hours of your sleep you are nothing. Similarly you are nothing for the rest of 18 hours. Your arrogance is just an illusion. The day you will be face to face with reality your illusion will come crashing down.”
In India there has been a long tradition of Sufis and Siddhas who don’t belong to one particular religion or sect, yet they were accepted by one and all. Kaka ji belongs to that tradition. He symbolises Sufi style and Saintly glory. He is a leading light of India ’s rich spiritual traditions. A prayer candle, that is burning in the temple of existence and is inspiring others to light the lamps within.
There are prayer rituals in which a priest lights a candle and offers a prayer in the temple. There’s another prayer where a person light’s his own self and enlightened by his own self-realization he turns his life into a living prayer. Kaka ji is the second variety who has turned his life into a glowing lamp of awareness that lights everyone who comes in his contact. Anyone who come in his contact, is a blessed one as his life enters a new realm and the very meaning undergoes a fundamental change.