Lila at Hanumangarh
Before setting up a Hanuman temple at Hanumangarh, about one and a half k.m. from Nainital, Babaji had established Hanuman temples at Babania in Gujarat and at Neebkarori. But the temple built at Bajranga Garh was the first in Uttarakhand.
Babaji selected a gravel hill at a place named Ghati for this temple at Nainital. The hill was so weak that there was always a land slide and was a danger to the nearby places and the road down below.
Besides, the children and adults who died of small-pox were buried in the adjacent Manora hill. After sunset none dared to go there alone. The phosphorus emitted by the bones lying there sparked off here and there at night and made the place look more frightening.
Babaji very well knew that the local people might not suddenly be inspired to build a temple there. He, therefore, sat on the road-side parapets one by one in the evening everyday after Kisanpur, a place about 1 km. from Nainital.
The devotees also gathered there, tea was made by the road-side, and bhandara was arranged with the prasad brought. Maharajji often spent the night there with a few devotees. This system continued for many days.
One day he climbed up the gravel hill by a footway. He sat firmly there and the devotees also began coming there. Mais also taking a great variety of prasad went there during the day. The small bhandaras were also arranged, on that burial-ground, tea was made and prasad was distributed.
The crowd increased day by day, and the chanting of devotional songs, Kirtan, recitation of Sunderkand and Hanuman Chalissa began. All went back home in the evening, but Babaji along with a few close devotees spent nights in the open there. When that place was thus purified, Baba told some of his devotees to lay foundation by digging a small piece of land on the coming Tuesday and install the Hanuman Murti made by Harda (Shri Hari Datta Kandpal).
In this way, the foundation of Bajranga garh (Hanuman garh) was laid. It is a long story but briefly the devotees carrying puri, other fried delicacies, sweets, incense, fruit flowers, bells, conch, spade and pick-axe went to that hill on Tuesday evening. After having dug the loose gravel for hours, they made room for Hanumanji and installed his Murti with the sound of conch and bells and applausive sounds 'Glory to Hanumanji'. By the time the ritual was over the gong of the nearby jail struck twelve of mid-night.
After having offered prasad, when the Aarti was being performed, two bulls (one black and the other white) having very big homs appeared there and bowed to Hanumanji. A devotee cried with fear and one of the bulls disappeared at once, b the other vanished only after eating prasad of puris.
In this manner, Hanumanji settled himself in his miniature form at Hanumangarh. Since then, the prayers and Aarti were performed every morning and evening. When Babaji came there on his next visit, people narrated him the whole episode. He said, "you did not recognize them, they were the two elevated souls who had come to say pranams to Hanumanji."
In due course of time, Hanuman garh developed in its present form and the Raghunath temple of Shri Sita, Rama-Lakshamana, and a temple of Shiva were also built. By and by some other buildings also came up and by Maharajji's inspiration the non-stop Kirtan continued for many years. Today the temple is well recognized for the fulfillment of the wishes devotees and has also become a main tourist-spot. There many incidents associated with the foundation of this temple well as with other temples/ ashrams which are very interesting and speak of Baba being a Super-Being and of his inner force, such as:
(1) The local people were filled with doubt about the place where the temple was being constructed. They were not certain that a temple could be built on that loose gravel or if raised would remain stable. But even the Nature was helpless before Baba's spiritual force. Instead of one, three more temples and some other buildings were built that have held out firmly for the last 43-44 years (till 1966). It is not all, a concrete road up to the gate of the temple has replaced the gravel footway and the trucks are driven on it.
(2) The Hanumanji's Murti was made with cement by Maharaj's command, the name of Rama was written on Bhojpatra (the bark of birch tree) in lacs, the papers were cut into pieces and mixed with mortar but Hanumanji's face did not take the shape. The devotees felt disappointed at this. Then, one day his devotee Shri Shiv Datt Joshi's daughter, who was then a child, heard an oracle in her dream, in the voice as that of Maharajji's. It was commanded that non-stop recitation of Ramayana, the each verse of which braced with the verse - 'daihik daivik bhautik tapa, Ramaraj nahin kahu vyapa' - be performed. The innocent girl narrated all this to her simple-minded mother. Babaji's command was literally followed and Hanumanji's face was completed within a week.
(3) There was a plan made for a big bhandara on the occasion of the installation ceremony of Hanumanji's Murti. But there were no electricity, water, wood, provisions, utensils, or a proper road to bring these things up the hill. There were merely two days left for bhandara and it started raining heavily day and night. The devotees who were with Babaji were in a fit (some might have doubted his intention also). When the rain stopped for a while in the morning, Babaji told some people "go down to the road, a truck is standing there bring all material therein up". The devotees went down by the footway and saw a truck loaded with things. How to carry all those things by the slippery track was the problem? Then they saw a group of Dotiyals (hill-labour) passing by. They were hired and things were carried up in no time. How did the labour arrive there at that time? Babaji only had the answer.
(4) It started raining heavily once again and all work came to a stand still. Then, Babaji came out of his hut and told one of his devotees, " Puran, she is furious" (probably he hinted at Shitala devi ) looking upwards, he removed his blanket with both of his hands and in a thundering voice said, "Pavan tanay bal Pavan samana" (son of Wind is as powerful as Wind). The rain stopped in no time and the sky became clear.
(5) Then the prasad for Bhandara was prepared in large quantity for one and a half day. But on the day of bhandara such a large number of men, women, old and young turned up to partake prasad that it had to be cooked on that day also.
Meanwhile the ghee was about to be finished. Babaji got the information. He, in feigned anger shouted," How so much ghee got consumed? Someone has hidden it among the cans of water, look for it there." When a search was made, ghee was found there among the cans. By his spiritual powers Babaji turned water into ghee.
When the construction of temples and other buildings was complete, Babaji expressed his desire for another big bhandara, the purpose of which he did not disclose. It was winter season and there were only a few migrants there. Hence, all arrangements were made accordingly. Babaji came and seeing the small quantity of food, went back dissatisfied. Then the things were arranged in a grand way and everyone was curious about the large quantity of food. But when the bhandara began, people appeared all of a sudden in hundreds among whom there were a large number of children. In the end no food was left. Babaji then told some of his close devotees, "All dead here (in burial-ground at Manora) are gratified today. It will now remain peaceful." Then all came to know the secret of this unscheduled bhandara. Shri Ramnavmi and Guru-Purnima are the main festivals celebrated here.