BABA SHIVARUDRA BALAYOGI'S PARENTS,
SHANKARA DIKSHITAR AND SHARADA DIKSHITAR
When my father was doing his intermediate course, he had an opportunity to visit Burma with a relative around 1924-25. He found Burma prosperous and developed a desire to go there for his livelihood. By 1932 when he completed medical school, he was already married to my mother Sharada, a pious, God-loving lady, deeply devoted to her husband.
After he had lost his parents in early childhood, Father had come up studying by sheer willpower, honesty, and hard work. He had lost his father when he was hardly six months old baby. At the age of five or six his mother also passed away. Though his childhood was very troublesome, he never got disturbed because of his deep-rooted devotion to God. Wicked relatives had taken away all the properties earned by his forefathers. Penniless, only God was his mother and father. Honesty, willpower, hard work were the character companions for him. He was determined to get educated. He used to say, he had developed a desire to become a doctor and help the poor. He maintained this philosophy till the end of his life. He never charged the poor and earned only that much necessary for his family.
He believed in a simple life. My mother was equally cooperating with her simplicity. She was always kind to the servant we had and to the poor. Whenever a beggar came she always found something or other to give them. She used to say, "You never know, God may come in any form to test your character and purity of mind. You can not fool God." She was never rude to anybody. She never cursed or spoke ill of even the wicked people. I never heard my parents brood over the loss of family properties and wealth. They always said to us children, "Education is the property we give you and remember character shall be your wealth. Develop and cultivate these and nobody can rob you."
In true sense Baba's parents were made for each other. Father, though he appeared tough and stubborn at times, was good at heart. Mother had enormous inner strength and iron will, though very soft spoken that she was. I never saw her crying even when she sent me to the monastic life to become a sannyasin disciple of Guru Maharaj Shivabalayogi. Only she took a promise that I wouldn't turn my back on the path of spiritual enlightenment. She said that would be a shame on her face.
I remember Father used to advise and argue with neighbors and friends saying, "When you are annoyed, you try to show that annoyance to the children. Give them your time to train them. Point out when they are really wrong. Beware, your children will be observing you, more than what you want them to. Behave. It's your own behavior as a parent that would really matter as they would be picking up every habit of yours." Father was of outspoken nature and could never tolerate injustice. Fault was fault. Nobody could argue with him. People of that town very much respected Father, for he himself was very disciplined and had not a single bad habit. He was totally against smoking and alcohol. Every day before going to his clinic, he worshiped God and stood in silence for some time by closing his eyes. As a child I used to wonder as to what he did by closing eyes. He had bought morning prayer book and wanted us to pray devotionally with total concentration of Mind. Both my Parents always used to say, "If you all pray with love and total faith, God will protect you from all evils and troubles of this world." Reading those prayers were always blissful and gave enormous confidence.
My Mother never argued with my Father. Of course he equally respected her. Mother was pure at heart but worldly very wise. She was always kind to others. Poor relatives from villages used to come to the town for work, to visit hospital for treatment of illness, and so on. They all used to visit our home. Mother never sent them away without feeding them. She never made them feel poor. Mother always spoke to them very kindly. Advised them to pray to God, consoled them by saying, "Do not worry, God is in your heart too. Pray and God will protect and look after you all. Do not feel sad or dejected." She used to feed them with care and affection. She was a saint for them. I never saw her gossiping, criticizing others and wasting time. Always she used to be absorbed in singing bhajans or reading about God. She never felt tired of working. Even in her eighties she liked to wash her clothes manually. She always used to say, "I would like to be working and moving always and would like to leave the world like that." She always prayed to God, not to make her bedridden and let her be helpful to others. She used to say, "If I cannot help others, I should not be bothering them either."
End Of Part 1.
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