Haidakhan Baba & Neem Karoli Baba Maharaj
[Note: Kumaon is one of the two regions of Uttarakhand. There are four famous saints of this region: Hariakhan Baba a.k.a Haidakhan Baba, Neem Karoli Baba, Sombari Baba and Shri Bal Brahmachari Maharaj-ji. The lives of these great beings are mysteriously interwoven, and they all contributed to the atmosphere of the Kumaon Hills known as Siddha bhoomi, a place where perfected beings stay. A Siddha is someone who is fully accomplished and realized being.]
Neem Karoli Baba was a great saint of the Kumaon area who left his body in 1973. He knew ‘Old Haidakhan Baba’ and often spoke of Him. While Haidakhan Baba was wandering as a boy in the Kumaon Hills in the 1960’s, Babaji had spent some months in Neem Karoli’s ashram, sweeping the ashram and serving others: performing “even the lowest service” was completely consistent with Shri Babaji’s teachings.
Neem Karoli Baba, in a fashion observed by many saints, apparently told different people different things about the “new” Babaji in the early 1970’s. It appears that he told most people that this new Haidakhan Baba was an imposter. (No teacher who has established a guru-disciple relationship with someone will encourage the disciple to “shop around” for another teacher or guru.) But I have a recollection that some devotee of Haidakhan Baba told me that he came to Babaji because Neem Karoli Baba told him that He was the manifestation of Lord Shiva Himself and that He would not stay long in that form. “Go and serve Him.”
~ From “I am Harmony- A Book about Babaji” by Radhe Shyam.