Shri Shri Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj
God is never unjust to the creation. The Divine is the Ocean of Kindness. Whenever there is decline of dharma (righteousness), the Divine comes to the rescue of the universe.
Whenever mankind is attracted too much to materialism it loses its mental and moral health, which results in increasing the miseries of mankind. Tension prevails, suffering spreads, both physically and mentally, and the people of the earth suffer from dissatisfaction, depression, unhappiness. Doubts and fear, hatred and jealousy become the order of the day. The righteous always pray for peace and happiness, for love and universal brotherhood. Then the Divine Grace descends and amazing, inexplicable wonders occur for the welfare of the universe. For the spiritual upliftment of humanity, the Divine chooses a worthy Child, a mighty Soul to carry out Its plan. Such Great Ones, rising above all differences and weaknesses of humanity, use their powers and give their abilities and energies to aid humanity; by drinking bitterness They give Their love and tolerance. They take the sufferings of humanity and give Their Knowledge and Wisdom to enlighten the universe. Their approach is always universal. They sacrifice Their lives for the sake of the world. They become the eternal, guiding and inspiring light to the universe.
Childhood and initiation into Tapas
Known as one of the spiritual giants of India, Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj was born 'Sathyaraju' in the tiny hamlet of Adivarapupeta in south India on January 24th, 1935. Growing up, He demonstrated a forthrightness and fearlessness in His dealings in the world, honesty and enormous will-power, and became the natural leader of His small group of companions.
The passing of His father when He was only a baby meant that His family - already in humble circumstances - was plunged into poverty. But He was determined to bring His family out of this difficult position. As a small boy of only eight, He carried on the family trade of weaving and also started a small business which over time proved successful in meeting the needs of His small family.
Always very outspoken, commanding and outgoing by nature, He experienced an odd change coming over Him at the age of fourteen. He began to quietly withdraw, having little interest in the things around Him, and even lost His normally very healthy appetite.
One afternoon Sathyaraju set off with His friends to play in the nearby canal and just as the boys were passing a grove of palmyra trees, three of the fruits fell down from the trees of their own accord. As a palmyra fruit can be broken into four equal pieces and there were twelve boys in the group, Sathyaraju broke the fruit and distributed the pieces to all those present.
As He started to extract the juice of the fruit by squeezing it, all of a sudden His body began to tremble. Watching the palmyra fruit in His hand He beheld a light emerging from it and He heard the Omkara (1) emanating from inside. As He continued to stare at the fruit, the Divine Light and Sound engulfed Him in blissful waves so that His body ceased its trembling and His mind became calm and peaceful and He found further that as He watched, the fruit in His hand was replaced by a black Shivalingam (2). Still drawn to watching the miraculous divine object in His hand, as He watched in awe the Lingam broke in half and from the midst of the Shivalingam a tall, handsome man in the attire of a Jangama Rishi (3) emerged and commanded Him to sit into the lotus posture (4) and close His eyes. He then touched Sathyaraju in between the eyebrows and patted Him on the head. The boy lost all outer consciousness, absorbed in an enchanting vision of the same black Shivalingam which had manifested earlier in His hand.
Thus began His transforming sadhana (5) of Tapas (6), during which He continued in deep meditation for about 23 hours a day with only a brief daily break for light bodily sustenance and bathing. He faced many difficulties in His endeavor, initially from some in the village who thought this was all a pretence and sham - some even took the opportunity to cause mischief by beating His body when He was in meditation, while one person even draped a burning kerosene-soaked cloth over His leg. Sathyaraju was so absorbed in meditation that He was unaware of these things except when He emerged from His meditative state, but eventually after some months He decided to move to the village burial ground to avoid any of this unnecessary harassment, feeling that His tormentors might be reluctant to approach Him so readily in such a place.
While the trouble caused by the villagers was eliminated by this strategy, unfortunately here His body was attacked by insects and rodents, and even eventually bitten by a cobra, though the Divine's Grace protected Him from the serpent's venom. The Jangama sage came to Him in visitations periodically to protect, guide, encourage and inspire Him in His endeavours. After a year, a dhyana mandir (meditation room) was constructed for Him and He continued His Tapas, but He found He had lost the function of His limbs. He continued in this way for three more years, until the Jangama sage on one of His visits restored the use of His limbs, though the fingers of His hands remained bent and immobile for the rest of the body's life.
After four years of intense Tapas spent in Samadhi (7) for about 23 hours a day, Sathyaraju, now referred to as a Balayogi [boy Yogi (8)] was subsequently initiated intoTapas facing each of the four cardinal directions. He had already during these initial four years been facing East, so His Guru directed Him to turn towards the North. Subsequently, He was directed to face towards the West and finally South, thus completing the cycle of Tapas facing all four directions over an eight year period. He then was directed to face towards the East again and continued that for a further four-year period, during which time He was also instructed by His Guru to reduce His meditation period to 12 hours a day, to give Darshan(9) to those who came, and also to offer initiation into the meditation technique He Himself had practiced during His Tapas.
Realization and Mission
In early June 1961, He passed into Nirvikalpa Samadhi and after two months in early August He was aroused from this Samadhi by His Divine Guru. It was revealed to Him that His Guru had always been Lord Shiva, coming in the form of the Jangama Rishi to guide Him through his Tapas. Lord Shiva, and Parvati, His consort who accompanied Him, then told the Balayogi that His Tapas was now complete and that He was now free to roam about at will.
"You may now go wherever You like and do whatever You wish," They said. Spontaneously He replied, "I had no desire of my own to do this Tapas; it was under Your direction that I performed this. Now I have also no desire for anything and will do whatever You direct me to do."
Pleased with the answer, Lord Shiva then instructed Him to arouse the dormant spirituality of the people of this world through His Darshan and initiation into the unique method of dhyana. He was also instructed to guide sadhaks (spiritual aspirants) towards the bhakti marga (devotional path), to help them in their struggles on the spiritual path and to distribute blessed vibhuti (sacred ash). Shankara Bhagwan then told Him that henceforth He should use the name "Shiva Bala Yogeshwara." Later He adapted this title to "Shiva Bala Yogi" as He felt the title "Yogeshwara" might be misconstrued by people to imply that He was equated with "Ishwara" (Supreme Lord).
Finally on 7th August 1961, after twelve years of austere Tapas, Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj melodiously chanted the holy "Om" and emerged from the dhyana mandir to bless with His Darshan the crowd of more than three hundred thousand who had gathered for this miraculous event.
He initially stayed in Adivarapupeta and an ashram, called Adi Ashram, was established there. But as His name spread, He began touring first south India where an ashram which formed the administrative center of His Mission was established in Bangalore. He later established a further ashram at Ananthapur. Touring north India, ashrams were established in Dehradun and Sambhar Lake. He also toured overseas carrying on the Mission assigned to Him, giving Darshan, blessings and dhyana diksha (initiation into dhyana meditation) to those who sought His spiritual guidance.
He attained Mahasamadhi on 28th March 1994 but continues to inspire and guide His sincere devotees throughout the world. Physically He is gone, but His Presence remains undiminished.
Do you really love Swamiji? The only way to get in touch with Him is through your mind - by going introverted through meditation.
Love and Blessings
Baba Shivarudra Balayogi
1. Omkara - "Om" - the first sound from which all creation emerges.
2. Shivalingam - An elliptical stone icon used for ceremonial worship, which symbolizes both the form and formlessness of the Divine.
3. Jangama Rishi - Jangama - lit. 'The Eternal Existence of the Self'. A sect of wandering renunciates devoted to the worship of Lord Shiva. Rishi - Sage.
4. Lotus Posture - "Padmasana" - a cross-legged yogic posture commonly used for a stable body position during meditation.
5. Sadhana - The aspirant's efforts to achieve Self Realization.
6. Tapas - Deep meditation performed for extended periods of time continually over several years.
7. Samadhi - Standstillness of the mind. A state in which the mind experiences no thoughts, but simply Awareness, being withdrawn into the Self.
8. Yogi - One who has fulfilled the path of Yoga and become one with the Divine Consciousness.
9. Darshan - Darshan is a precious spiritual exercise for the devotee's eyes. At such special times of seeing a Yogi, the individual soul's consciousness receives positive vibrations and absorbs subtle impressions, beneficial to the soul's spiritual journey.