Book Review-Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography by Sri M.

I  completed book – Himalay vasi guru ke saye me (hindi version of Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography) by Sri M
हिमालय के रहस्य, असाधारण योगियों के कल्पनातीत चमत्कार, परग्रही जीवों का पृथ्वी वासियों से संपर्क, हिममानव आदि दंतकथायें यदि आपको आकर्षित करती है तो इस आत्मकथा को अवश्य पढें

In 1968, a 19-year-old boy from Trivandrum runs away from home for the Himalayas. After traversing through Haridwar, Rishikesh and Badrinath, he reaches the Vyasa Cave. The latter is located near a village that lies close to India’s border with Tibet. The Pandavas; the legendary heroes of the Mahabharata are believed to have passed through this village before their final ascent to heaven. At the Vyasa Cave, the boy meets Maheshwarnath Babaji; a yogi who takes him under his wings. What follows is this boy’s three year apprenticeship with this Himalayan Master.

Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master is the story of Mumtaz Ali Khan’s fascinating journey from Kerala to the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas and back. In this book we get a peek into his life- how this boy who was born in a traditional Muslim family in Kerala evolved into a yogi who is known to the world, today, as Sri M. The latter’s profound knowledge of the Upanishads is born out of his first-hand experience of meeting up with some extraordinary people in the Himalayas in the late 1960’s.
In Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master, Sri M recounts that once while sitting on the banks of the Bhagirathi, Maheshwarnath Babaji tells him about the tragic tale of one of his previous lives. Mumtaz Ali Khan was then Madhukarnath; a yogi belonging to an ancient spiritual order known as Nath who lived in the Himalayas.
कहानी है हिमालय के एक असाधारण योगी की , जो कुछ क्षणों के लिये हृदयहीन कठोर हो जाता है और एक शरणागत मुस्लिम फ़कीर  को ठुकरा देता है, फ़कीर नदी मे कूदकर जीवन लीला समाप्त कर लेता है और उसी दिन हिमालय के उस योगी को भी अपने गुरु के आदेश पर शरीर त्यागना पडता है और मुस्लिम फ़कीर की तरह जीवन के कठोर अनुभवों से गुजरना पडता है ।
Later, the boy gets to meet Sri Guru (the world will know him better as Mahavatar Babaji through Paramahansa Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi) in the Himalayas.One day during his apprenticeship with his Master in the Himalayas, Mumtaz Ali Khan has a truly out-of-this-world
experience. In his words, “I was woken up by what I at first thought was the rumbling of thunder. I opened my eyes and saw Babaji in his usual sitting posture, back towards me, silhouetted by the light of the Dhuni (fire). I looked beyond, and from between two parting clouds, emerged something that was roughly the size of a full moon but could not be the moon. This object was a glowing ball of fire and as it moved
closer, the rumbling became louder. Then it came towards the cave and landed right on the Dhuni, with the sound of a thunderclap. I was so scared that I could not even sit up but Babaji sat upright like
a statue, unaffected and unmoved. A strange spectacle unfolded before my astounded eyes. The fireball which was about two feet in diameter split vertically and out of it emerged a large snake with
a hood like a cobra, glowing electric blue as if made of a transparent glasslike material with electric filaments inside. The creature’s eyes glowed and it hissed softly. My fear vanished the moment I saw the
creature bend down and touch Babaji’s feet with its hood. Babaji blessed it by touching its head with his hand and then did something which made me wonder if what I was seeing was a silly dream. He hissed in reply. The blue cobra straightened up and sat facing Babaji. A hissing conversation went on. Then Babaji
said ‘Madhu come forward and see the deputy chief of the Sarpa Loka. Bow down to Nagaraj.’ I bowed low. The snake hissed and touched my head with his forked tongue. Then abruptly it slithered
back into the globe, the two halves clicked shut and it took off and vanished into the clouds.
I said ‘Babaji, if I said this to anybody they would think I am crazy. Please explain to me’. Babaji said ‘In the Milky Way there exists a stellar system with seven planets and 18 moons. One of these
is Sarpa Loka and is entirely inhabited by highly evolved hooded snakes called the Naga Devatas. The person you saw is the deputy chief of their realm, Nagaraja. The supreme head of the Nagas is the five
hooded golden serpent known in ancient Hindu texts as Anantha. Thousands of years ago when humanity was still at an infant stage of evolution, there was regular contact with Sarpa Loka. The wise
and evolved Nagas spent long periods here teaching human beings. The snake worship you come across in all ancient civilizations is a tribute to these Nagas and their deep wisdom. They also taught
the secret of kundalini energy symbolized by a snake. Patanjali who gave the world
the Ashtanga Yoga sutras was himself a Naga. The snake on the Pharaoh’s head
and coiled round Shiva are all symbolic of the wisdom imparted to certain humans
by Naga teachers. But as humans became more powerful they became self centered
and cunning. Some felt threatened by the spiritually and intellectually superior
Nagas and began to use their power against their own teachers. At one point
there were massacres of the Nagas. The Supreme Naga Chief decided to recall the
Nagas from earth and cut all connection except with some humans who were
highly evolved spiritually. Overnight they were transported back to Sarpa Loka. A
small number who were too sick, too old or rebels, who defied the supreme chief
thinking they could still do something with humans, got left behind. The snakes
that exist today are the descendants  of those who were left behind. Through
years of inbreeding they no longer possess the great qualities of their
In 2008, Sri M led a group of people on the  Kailash-Mansarovar yatra. One night, he had an incredible out-of-body experience.In Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master Sri M recounts how his consciousness had at that night passed through several planes where glorious beings dwelt before
reaching a wondrous realm that glowed with a silvery blue light. Thereafter, he
entered a white crystal palace where Lord Shiva was seated. Beside him were Jesus,
Guru Nanak, Guru Rinpoche, Goraknath and Maheshwarnath Babaji. The latter
informs Sri M that they were all disciples of Lord Shiva who was none other than Sri
Guru himself. Sri M sets the tone for the book right at the beginning by telling his readers that
some of them on finding certain parts of the narrative as unbelievably strange and too fantastic may dismiss the book as a “cock-and-bull story”. He advises them to just ignore those parts that they may find
too incredible to be true and focus on the teachings of Sri Guru and Maheshwarnath

“करुणा का एक क्षण, सौ साल की कठिन तपस्या से अधिक कीमती हैं ।”- Maha-avataar baba ji (ageless yogi of Himalay) .

(a book, worth to keep in home library, discloses so many secrets of Himalaya, monasteries)

Comments are closed.

  1. Sachin 6 years ago

    Wonderful. I did read Autobiography of a Yogi.. in my early thirties- It helped me tremendously..
    I think such accounts help us realise that our life has more to it, than just struggling, earning, spending and dying..
    I think it is important to cultivate our spiritual nature as well as attending to our worldly duties..
    I hope others too will share here such thoughts..

  2. Sachin 6 years ago

    Just saw this video by Sri M..
    Impressed.. Whole of the morning gone!!

  3. admin 6 years ago

    Very fascinating. I would go through.
    Thanks for sharing Dear Hemant.

  4. subodh singh 6 years ago

    Thanks Hemant for this Nice sharing…..Indian Himalayas are full of Spiritual energy…..!!!!

  5. admin 6 years ago

    I also read some of such books like
    1. Auto Biography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
    2. Living with Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama &
    2. The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma.
    All are really very good books which transformed my real purpose of living.As Sachin pointed out rightly, our purpose of life is more than just struggling, earning, spending and dying.. I will read this book also.

  6. admin 6 years ago

    @ manimaran sir,
    You are right. I also read all 3 books mentioned by you….. But Swami yoganand ji & swami Ram is not available now. Swami yoganand never stayed in Himalay, swami Ram spent his most of time in Himalay, not in plain area. Swami yoganand & swami Ram both belong to north india. Swami Ram's video available on youtube.
    Sri M born in Kerla, so in his autobiography he mentioned about many SOUTH INDIAN great masters. And Sri M is available for us as he lives in
    Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, just a three hour drive from BANGLORE

  7. admin 6 years ago

    Thanks Hemant for your information.

    Whenever I post comments, it appeared twice and I have to delete one.What is the reason?

  8. k k kshitiz 6 years ago

    curently I am enjoying reading this book…living with himalayan master. more or less similar to 'a monk who sold his farrari; autobiography of a yogi is also very inspiring

  9. k k kshitiz 6 years ago

    really all the 3 books r very inspiring

  10. admin 6 years ago


    Living with Himalayan masters also very good book.

    Actually I got information about Sri M's autobiography on net, when
    I was searching hindi version of Living with Himalayan masters to gift somebody.

    One of my colleagues told me that his 2 yrs son whenever fall sick, he gets cured only a particular Dr. If other Dr. Gives him medicine with even same Salt, he does not get improvement in health.

    Reason of this, I found in the Book- "Living with the Himalayan Masters"-
    Many times we have seen that in treating diseases, the doctor's behavior and use of willpower is more important than mere medication." so with HEALING also required with medicine. This healing everybody can do, just by giving positive and or motivational comments to others.

    P.S. I have ebook of (1) autobiography of yogi by yoganand & (2) living with Himalayan masters by swami ram , if anybody need it, give mail id, i'll mail

  11. Anonymous 6 years ago

    Hi friend, I am desperately searching for living with himalayan masters book. Can you kindly forward me the book? is my id. Many thanks.

  12. Anonymous 6 years ago

    Hi this is I got to read the book Living with Himalayan Masters by Rama. Good one. It doesn't seem easy to roam around Himalayas. Also renunciation needs a lot of dedication, efforts and births. Many thanks.

  13. Neha Sharma 5 years ago

    This book is simply awesome. Easy reading, it holds your attention from the first page.
    Its insights into Hinduism & spirituality is, for lack of a better word, enthralling. As a travelogue, its unparalleled. It depicts the Himalayan journey with insights, you don't normally read about.
    Overall, a must read. I've recommended it to many people & will start reading it again !!


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