I’m Darrell Laird from Tauranga in New Zealand and I’m recording this story in 2008 during Fall Navratri at the Haidakhandi Universal Ashram in Crestone, CO.
In March 1989 I attended a workshop in Tauranga, New Zealand and we did a visualization during which I was traveling to many places. At the end of the workshop we were asked to go home and write ourselves a letter and date it 12 months from that day, address it to ourselves and tell ourselves what we’ve been doing for the previous twelve months. Well, I went home, picked up a piece of paper and a pen and it was automatic writing. When I read through it, most of it was pretty mundane, except for one thing, that I was going to go to India. Oh? I didn’t quite believe that! About a week later I received an invitation in the mail to go with Sondra Ray and her group to Babaji’s Ashrams in Chilianaula and Haidakhan. Well I went. I had heard about Babaji before, but I hadn’t had any experiences with Him. Visiting Haidakhan and Chilianaula in 1990 was incredible. I knew as soon as I arrived that I had been there before, in some other, past life. I had more energy there than I’d had in a long time. I danced a lot; I danced in the temples.
It was monsoon season still when we crossed the river. On the way back from the ashram, when we were crossing the river again, two of us were together with an Indian on either side. About two-thirds across, my buddy started screaming “He is breaking my arm, he is breaking my arm!” I looked and what had happened was that her legs had been swept from under her and the Indian was holding onto her arm so that she would not be swept away. So I just scooped her legs out of the water and walked (carried?) her across the river. That was an incredible experience.
In 1991 I went back with Sondra and built a roof over the big dormitory there (I’m a carpenter). I took all the measurements, and, with my Western mind, I went to Muniraj to give him the lengths of lumber and the kinds of brackets I needed. When the lumber came, it was too short and the brackets were wrong. Well, that was one of Babaji’s leelas. Fortunately one of the Indian carpenters there assisted me during this. I had to cut the posts out of this ironwood with a hand saw, as there was no electricity. It took me at least two days.
The angle irons I had ordered came as single pieces of steal. A friend of mine suggested we go to the engineer’s shop in Haldwani to have some made into an angle. We rode the truck down the river bed, went to the steel place, but were told that they would not be ready until the next day. We decided to stay there and went to the Kailash View Hotel. The person there told us that there was only one room left, the one where Babaji used to sleep. We looked at each other and decided it would be OK. It was a large room with two single beds, but I tossed and turned and could not sleep. The next morning I said to my friend that I had had a restless night and she said, ”Well, I saw Babaji walk across the room!”
Another time when I went to the ashram, I decided not to wear anything on my feet, that I would take my footwear off and leave it there. It was easy until we took the bus to visit Dronaghiri. That’s where all the bells are, hundreds and hundreds of bells all around the temple. When I looked at the path up to the temple, it was nothing but rough rocks! But with Babaji’s support I did it, I walked up there and walked down again and didn’t have any cuts or sore feet. It was amazing how easy it was to do.
Back in New Zealand I was driving from Taurango City to Aukland City for a week-end workshop and got behind a tractor-trailer which I couldn’t pass. When we came to a straight piece, I took my chance a tried to pass it. But as we neared a turn, another car came in the opposite direction. I don’t remember much of anything, except that my car somehow ended up in front of that truck. It was amazing. I was safe and so were the people in the other car. Who else but Babaji or the Divine Mother could have put me over there?
In 1992 I went to the Schweibenalp ashram in Switzerland. There I saw a black-and-white picture of Babaji which really moved me and which I had seen in Haidakhan. On it His eyes were so dark and intense, they went right through me. So I took a picture of it with my camera which had a flash. When I had the film developed in New Zealand, there was a white area on Babaji’s chest, right where his mala beads were, caused by the flash. And in that white spot was the Egyptian Ankh sign and the Om sign. I was amazed, because I was sure that they had not been on there when I took the photo. The first thing I did when I went back in 1993, was to go to the temple to see if these two symbols were on the picture. They weren’t. That was really mind-blowing and I have given away dozens and dozens of those pictures.
In 1990 when I was in India at Chilianaula I met a woman who had donated a lot of money to the ashram here in Crestone. When she heard that I was going to construct a building in Haidakhan she said that I didn’t need to come to India to build, that there was a lot of work in Crestone. In 1992 I came to the U.S. and visited a friend in Aspen. After I had been there for a couple of weeks, she brought me down to the temple in Crestone. The earthship had just been started, but I did not stay to work on it. I came back in 1993, 1994 and maybe 1995 as well and worked on the earthship then. The reason I kept coming back was because I was assisting Sondra Ray during her yearly retreats in Crestone. While working on the earthship, there were a lot of leelas of course, a lot of leelas! Babaji was really testing the people who were here at that time. In 1995 my Aspen friend and I built the little storage shed. She donated the lumber and we worked on it together, with 3 or 4” of snow on the ground.
While I was here in 1992, I also wanted to go to Sedona because, back in New Zealand, I had met a visionary artist who lived there. She had made a painting of the Divine Mother, (Mother Mary) and I was having visions of the Divine Mother’s face which looked pretty much the same as the one she had made. I had wanted to buy one of those paintings, but there were none left. So I had told her that I would come get one next time I was in the US. A friend took me to Albuquerque and from there I took the bus. I got there on a Saturday afternoon and that evening the artist told me that she’s able to feel the energies from many different divine entities and then paints them. She told me that she had just felt an energy she had never felt before. This gave me goose bumps.
The next morning her husband and I went up Sugarloaf mountain. When we returned we all sat down to meditate. After the meditation the artist handed me a book in which she had been writing and this is what she had written: “Beloved one, I wish to speak with you directly. It was my energy you felt Saturday evening. I am Babaji. This Dear One, Darrell carries my energy round about the world. He is my messenger, moving gently among the people to bring peace. It is the time of the messengers. Many have incarnated, living their little personal lives till the time was right. And seemingly overnight they awaken, leaving their personal lives behind and begin the soul work of their choice. So it was with this one. I have indeed spoken to his heart many times. He needed to remember his mission and get about his work. As he travels, following his heart, he is able to accomplish much. All is provided for him, as you see. He finds himself at the right place at the right time. He brings east-west together with his gentle wisdom. He does not need to gain the spotlight. That is not his purpose. He merely needs to be present in order to bring forth good of all kinds. You might look upon this one as a messenger of the Brotherhood of light. His coming is the beginning of your school. You need not teach him, you need only allow him to find the entrance to light and understanding in your home. Look upon this event as the first of many visitors bringing themselves to you. Their own spirits will guide them. What they receive here is an essential understanding for their further expansion. Many are ready for this confirmation, this initiation, the next step in the spiritual service. Please give Darrell my personal greetings and blessings. There is much celebration in the higher realms. When such as you reunite, all are strengthened for the task ahead.”
That was in 1992 and I went back to Sedona in 1994 or 95 and was again staying with this artist who does soul portraits as well. I made arrangements to have one done for me. When I arrived for the appointment she was all excited, saying “You are back, but Babaji arrived before you! He was here!” So when she started the soul portrait she put Babaji’s face at the top, in the middle. That was another very wonderful experience with Babaji ,and of course I still have that soul portrait.
James Darrell Laird
P.O. Box 880147
Pukalani HI 96788
808 572 0356