Apprenticed to A Himalayan Master – A Yogi’s Autobiography is a book which brings to life matters rarely touched on, the wandering Nath masters who live for hundreds of years, the existence and encounters with Mahavatar Babaji and other legendary great spirituals. It is a book which enlightens the heart and raises deep questions within about personal spiritual practice. While this is simply an autobiography, it touches the core within. This book is a well-described narrative of wanderings with a great spiritual master through the Himalayas, and accounts of the many spirituals and great teachers encountered.
Shri Mumtaz Ali, better known as Sri M, is a living yogi and spiritual master who has assimilated the essence of all religions and has devoted his life to spreading this understanding to many across the globe.
Born in Kerala in 1948, Sri ‘M’ nurtured a keen interest towards spiritual pursuits since childhood. At the age of nine, his inner transformation was sparked off by a visit from a yogi – his master Maheshwarnath Babaji who came all the way from the Himalayas to re-establish his past life connections with M. Even though the meeting was only for a few minutes, it paved the way for the definitive encounter with Babaji at the age of nineteen in the Himalayas, where M arrived after running away from home.
For the next three and a half years, M lived and travelled with his Master across the Himalayas, including various destinations off the beaten track. From his initiation into the Nath tradition, the awakening of his Kundalini fire, his arduous journey to Tholingmutt in Tibet and meeting the Grand Master – Sri Guru, his teacher gently guided him, preparing him for his life’s mission.
After his time in the Himalayas, Babaji asked M to go back to the plains and prepare for the mission. He was further instructed to undergo an extensive preparation that took him from Kashmir to Kanyakumari where he familiarised himself with the various spiritual and religious traditions. He met great souls like Neem Karoli Baba , Laxman Joo and J.Krishnamurti.
Sri M received a green signal to commence his teaching phase some years after his master passed away and since 1998 he started giving talks and having satsangs.
He now travels extensively, quietly and steadily teaching and guiding people as per his Master’s instructions, who said “Quality, not quantity. Spiritual evolution is individual and cannot be a mass phenomenon. No meditation technique franchises can do much good. Each individual is special. No poster blitz and poster wars when your work starts.”
Around 2008, Sri M was instructed to write his auto biography. The book titled ‘Apprenticed to A Himalayan Master – A Yogi’s Autobiography’ is a look at his fascinating journey and experiences in his own words.
When asked to comment on the spiritual evolution of a person and the path a person could possibly follow, Sri M says, “My Himalayan master taught me that spirituality was not to be advertised. And spiritual evolution does not happen like a big bang. It’s like the milky way. In my case, I was born into a non-Hindu family and at the age of nine someone picked me up and put me on the spiritual path.
Though, my parampara is kriya yoga I don’t think it suits all aspirants. I propound satsang even between two people. It cuts across barriers of caste and creed. Spiritual evolution is not diverse from regular living. Intervals of solitude are necessary but you cannot shut yourself totally. The world around you is your touchstone to spiritual practice.”
Equally at home in the religious teachings of most major religions, Sri M, who was born as Mumtaz Ali Khan, often says “Go to the core. Theories are of no use”
Sri M is married and has two children. He leads a simple life – teaching and heading the Satsang Foundation, which serves as the meeting point for spiritual seekers of all persuasions besides promoting excellence in education. At present he lives in Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, just three hours from Bangalore.