Love at First Sight
My first meeting with the Guru

Babaji wrote this description of his first meeting with his Guru, Shri Shri Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, to celebrate Guru Purnima 2001.

CROWDS WERE WAITING impatiently with all their devotion and enthusiasm. I was also waiting anxiously to meet, rather I would say, to have Darshan. SHIVABALAYOGI (to Whom I would later dedicate my life) was coming to give Darshan on the invitation of His devotees of Mysore. I was growing restless and hoped He would not cancel the visit. Devotees were singing bhajans  (devotional-songs) inside that hall where He was coming. I was absorbed in my own world of thoughts about Him. I thought again, "Is He the one for whom I have been waiting since long?" Something from within told me that I belong to Him and know Him since time immemorial.

I was in search of a GURU of the calibre of Paramahamsa Shri Ramakrishna and Maharishi Shri Ramana, whose teachings and life had left an impact on my mind. The eighth century Saint and Sage, Adi Shankara's "Bhaja Govindam Moodamathe" had powerfully effected me. The meaning runs like this, "Sing the glorious name of the Lord. Oh! fool do not waste your time, when death will claim this body, none of the worldly knowledge can come to your rescue." This had a mesmerising effect on the mind, of the transitory phase of the world and I always felt a thirst to know the immortal ultimate truth. Though I got all the love and care at home, I used to miss something unknown to me. I used to feel a peculiar emotional pain which I could never explain to any one else. I used to feel restless at the sight of the world. A funny thought used to occur, "Is there any way or any technology to switch off the entire universe?" Thus started my quest for such a GURU who could be my everything.

Since my childhood I always loved Solitude, Peace and Tranquillity. The days passed into several years, always looking for peace in a serene atmosphere of a temple and wondering about birth & death, of the existence of Self, beyond this universe. At the same time lack of universal brotherhood, and failure of Mankind to love, honor and live for each other always pained. Father passed away when I was thirteen. I was the youngest at a home, with three brothers and a sister, who all loved me so much. Yet I missed something that was inexplicable. My problem was different from others, "Why is it that there is no unwavering peace? Why does it fluctuate, giving unhappiness, tense moments, fear... the fear of death particularly. Are we going to become extinct or do we really exist, beyond this life as immortal souls, out of the clutches of this transitory universe? Something told me from within, one day I will definitely meet the GURU, but where is HE?" I was immersed in these thoughts, the all-pervading Swami, where are You? I don't know Who or What You are, but I know I am waiting to rejoin You. Well, finally that year came...the year 1971.Those days at Mysore, morning and evenings, were spent quietly in a corner of the temple nearby where we lived, absorbed in the thoughts of the Guru and the Ultimate Truth.

One day in the evening, I was sitting quietly in a corner of the Hanuman temple near my house. I was absorbed in my own thoughts of birth, death and Guru, where He was and when He would come to me. Suddenly I heard a voice whispering loudly in my ear. It said: "What are you doing sitting here? Shivabalayogi is your Guru. He will take you away with Him. You have been born for the mission."  Suddenly I looked up but did not see anybody there. I had heard only a voice. I wondered who it could be and kept thinking about what the voice had said as I went home.

I remembered the name 'Shivabalayogi' clearly. For the next few days I went to all the temples of the town with the thought that the being who had whispered to me might be there and that I might be able to recognise him somehow. I thought he might be able to tell me more about Shivabalayogi, who he was and where he was, but this did not happen. Some days passed without any fruitful information about Shivabalayogi. One day I was walking in the town and I heard this inner voice again, as if coming from the crowd, saying,"Go to Raghavendraswami Temple!" Raghavendraswami was a seventeenth century poet-Saint of Karnataka in South India. The voice continued, "There you will learn about your Guru."

Thrilled, I looked around to see if anyone was there speaking to me. I wondered, who it could be that is speaking to me? Was it the same being who had told me about the Guru in that temple near my home? Then why did he not himself tell me more about my Guru? I thought I must go to the temple as the mysterious voice had instructed. It was five o'clock in the evening when I went to the temple.

Copyright © 2001 SRBY, All rights reserved.

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