Sri Shivabalayogi and His Tapas
Babaji talks about His beloved Guru Sri Shivabalayogi and His Tapas
Om Brahmanandam Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnaanamoorthim,
Dvandhvaatheetam Gagana Sadhrisham, Tatvamasyaadhi Lakshyam
Ekam Nithyam Vimalamachalam, Sarvaadhee Saakshibhootam
Bhavaatheetham Trigunarahitham, Sadgurum Tvam Namaamee.
Deep prostrations with love and reverence at the Lotus Feet of our beloved Master Shivabalayogi, I would greet you all on today's auspicious evening with my love and blessings.
Before practicing the meditation I would like to enlighten you with a few points about the purpose of meditation, what it is and how it is connected to the mind and its control, disciplining and conditioning to keep a balance of the mind.
It reminds me of a small story I read long, long ago. Once there lived a certain farmer who was very devoted to the Divine God. One day he had to be digging some mud for a long time. He felt very much tired and he thought, "If only somebody can fulfill this work for me." And a certain ghost also lived in a nearby tree. When it saw this farmer praying so it suddenly appeared before him and told that, "Sir, I can fulfill your work in no time, if you authorize me, if you want me to do it." The farmer was quite happy, "Yes, if you can do this work for me, let me see how quickly you can do that." It said, "I have one condition only. Because I cannot keep quiet myself I will put you this condition that the moment that I finish this work you should be ready to give me another work. Everything, every work the moment that I finish, you should be ready with the work, another work. Otherwise I shall kill you and eat you up. That will be my right." It said. The farmer first agreed, "OK, that's no problem. I always have so much of work, I will be happy, let me see how quickly you can do it. I will be ready to give you every work. " So in no moment it finished the work of digging what the farmer wanted and stood in front of him again. So the farmer said, "Ki, go to the market and bring me certain seeds." In no time it finished, it used to simply vanish, go, bring and appear before him.
So like that, for so many days he went on giving all the work and every time it used to simply do in a moment and simply stand before him. He felt very much tired, he had no more work to give it, he didn't know what to do with this ghost. It became a problem. He started living in an insecurity, "If I don't give any work to this ghost it's going to kill me. Now what should I do? How much work can I imagine or can I cook up and ask you to work because it just finishes in a moment and stands in front of me again."
Then he thought of an idea. Because he was devoted to God also, he had written a beautiful picture of God, and placing it on a table dais he called the ghost, "Come on. I have a job for you, let me see how quickly you can finish. Sit in front of this photo, this is God. You need to guard this all twenty-four hours so that nobody shall rob this. That is your job." He said. Agreed, the ghost sat down there and started watching into the God. So it had no other job and the farmer also had peace, there was no more demand from the ghost and it sat all the time, and after some time this ghost disappeared.
This is the story of the mind. Mind is like this ghost. All the time it wants to keep doing something. It demands, it wants some anchor. The desires keep arising one after another, you try to fulfill one desire another desire arises. So finally this is what the yoga how you achieve Samadhi through yoga. And through the practice of Samadhi you achieve the yoga. Yoga means the heath of the mind, body and moral values. All these things are important for a human life in this world.
The practice of this meditation can be a beautiful healing process on yourself. When you practice this meditation you can be healing yourself in so many ways. The first basic thing you need to understand is this is always a duel battle between the brain and the mind. Mind is your conscious energy. When I address you as 'you', when I tell you as 'you' means the spiritual existence of you, the immortal soul that you are, the Eternal Existence that you are, beyond this physical body. This physical body is like only a reflection of the imagination of the spiritual existence of yours. That is why this physical body is always temporary. However, when this human body has been obtained there are so many creatures in this world but it is the human body which has an edge over all other creatures because of the mind, its strength and application of the wisdom that becomes possible.
In physical strength a tiger or an elephant or so many such creatures can be much stronger than a human physical body. But by using brains a small bullet can beat them up. However we need to exercise responsibilities, because we have this brain to apply and we are capable of thinking. So the mind succumbs to all the things that the brain reflects, and absorbing such imprints constantly tortured the personality of yours that you have imagined into unhappiness, craving, tension and fear at all times.
My Master Shivabalayogi after His twelve years of Tapas from 1949 to 1961 on the day of 7th August the Divine God appeared before Him, the Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva means, 'the existence in eternity in total thoughtlessness state.' That is Lord Shiva. So He appeared as a Jangama Sage with matted hair and made my Master, who was just fourteen year old to sit for Tapas. Tapas is the state of highest pitch of the meditation practice. Where one sits for more than eight to ten hours at a stretch by closing the eyes and trying to keep the mind under discipline, total control into one position, single-pointedly without allowing it to go into a craving, running like a monkey in this world. So that is how a person becomes capable of doing Tapas.
Perhaps the Divine chose this young boy because he was a born-mighty soul. His qualities always said so. He was honest, hard working and determined stubbornness was always there, means, if He had to achieve something He used to hang on to it, come what maybe. Even if it is death, no problem, either do it or die. That was His motivation since childhood.
That was how He was coming up in His worldly life, at a young age of eight, ten, eleven, twelve also when others would be simply playing on the streets or just blissfully ignorance of this world, its hardships, this young boy had come to know that they were experiencing poverty for a while because His father had passed away when He was six months old, His mother was trying to help the family of four children. Swamiji was the youngest one. When He understood that they were poor because of that His mother had to work, at the age of five He understood this. But He became determined, He did not get panicked, He did not start crying. He understood that, He realized, "This is only a circumstance, a situation which I should be able to overcome by hard-working. Let me work for that. Let me give some happiness to my mother and other siblings."
He dropped out of the school, He started working. He worked double. He was born to a weaver's family. That was the working profession in the small hamlet that He was born. He worked double the speed of all others. If one person had taken to weave one sari or a dhoti or one little piece of cloth in one hour or two hour He used to do two or four pieces of cloth in the same hour. So vigorously with such a concentration of mind hardily he worked. Probably because of all these reasons the Divine chose Him so that He can show the world that any human being should be able to do it, if only one is determined, has that discipline, has that patience. Not that the Divine came and gave him a spoon-feeding of Self-Realization without doing anything. The Divine simply made Him to sit for Tapas. Afterwards, twelve years that young boy did that Tapas, that was the hardest possible work. The final battle for a human to win over the mind. Like the old saying, "If you win the whole world and lose to yourself, you have lost the battle. But if you can win over yourself, even if you lose the whole world you have won the battle."
That's how I always tell that practicing this meditation is the final battle for every human. To take this mind under control, keep it conditioned, disciplined so that it can remain balanced, otherwise, you see, it is always brooding about the past or is anxious about the future. It is seldom into the present. This is what makes one unhappy, tense always, having a fear of what's going to happen. That's the ghost – the mind, because mind wants something at all times. It demands, otherwise it's going to give you torturous moments, anxious moments, stress.
So much of mental consciousness is on the brain; the load is on the brain. That was what I was trying to tell, how you can heal yourself, physically also. When you practice meditation you shall be withdrawing this mind's load on the brain and taking it under your control. So, whenever you want to think, you can think, you can apply this brain, live in this world a beautiful life of yoga, when you don't want to think you can keep it quiet. That becomes possible when you practice Samadhi yoga.
When you practice this meditation which my Master wanted to call Jangama Dhyana in honor of the Divine Shiva who came to Him in the form of a Jangama Sage. Jangama means 'Eternal Existence' that's what my Master explained to us. He had appeared from that fruit which had taken shape of a Shiva Lingham. This was such an amazing, wondrous experience that He had. Many intellectual people have asked me this question when I had been touring all over the world, "How are You sure that God appeared before Him, when He was fourteen years old? And even after He became twenty-six years old and He had completed His Tapas?" Because nobody else saw. Nobody else had this experience.
About ten to twelve of His friends were also there who were having a bath in the canal bund and who were trying to play. But this boy had seen this and He had sat in lotus posture without any movement of the body. He wouldn't open His eyes and move the body even when the village boys and other people who did not like Him – His honesty or His hard-working, His development, they were jealous of Him – tried to wake Him up by beating with canes and stones, throwing stones, He would not move. With steadfastness He sat quietly, absorbed in that Self. Having that beautiful experience of the Atman, that soul, that Eternal Existence, Immortality that He was. He always was experiencing.
And later He moved to the graveyard because the village urchins were trying to trouble Him, very hardily. Imagine the human jealousy can go to that extent. Some boys had dipped a cloth in the kerosene oil and putting it on His legs, forefingers they had put it on fire so His skin had burnt when He was sitting absorbed in deep meditation, yoga. His mother served Him, looked after His body as much as possible.
Swamiji was determined. He was totally absorbed in meditation. He said, "Ki, if anything has to happen to this body, let it happen because now I have understood that I am going to gain that amazing, that wondrous existence of my Spiritual Eternity, Immortality. He was convinced. Because that Divine figure was coming in front of Him. That was how He was destined. Because whenever we or anybody asked Him any question, "Why did You do this? Why did You do this?" He used to simply tell, "I went on doing as my Divine Master, as the Dhyana Murti, the Master of my meditation guided me to do it. He had no other wishes. He did not ask God for money, He did not do Tapas for achieving any other siddhi powers. He did not want to show any magic or miracles to this world. He quietly completed and saw God in the form of Shiva-Parvati coming in front of Him. And He did not ask them for any boons, or any wealth, or power or status for anything.
He asked God, "If You have anything, ask me to do it. I am ready to do it for You, because I don't have any wishes." Because God said, "You can go and do anything in this world, Your Tapas is finished. Now Your mind is not going to involve in this world, You are the Liberated One, You are the Enlightened One. You are that Realized Soul now.
For an ordinary person, you see, whatever you go on doing in this world, the actual trouble starts to you when your mind gets involved. Tomorrow morning you have to get up, suppose you have to earn a livelihood, you have to work. That is really no problem, you can always do it. But if the mind starts going into an anxiousness now, itself, if it starts worrying it's going to give you unhappy moments. It's going to give you lot of stress. "How am I going to do it tomorrow? How and I going to work? How long is this going to be? How long do I keep in this body? What all I can give to this body?" Not one or thousands and thousands and billions of thoughts would be coming. But if you practice this meditation you can neutralize this mind. This mind is the consciousness of existence. That is how God exists, as a Supreme Consciousness of Existence, as all-pervading, omnipresent and omnipotent. From that only the Divine manifested as Lord Shiva.
The Divine guided and wanted this young Yogi, one of the greatest Yogis that India has produced. If you have read Lord Buddha, Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Ramana Maharshi in the same way my Master did the Tapas. And when the Divine wanted that Swamiji, "You teach this meditation to the people of this world. Try to take this to every doorstep. Do not discriminate whether they are poor, they are rich, whether they are intelligent, or ignorant or whether they are powerful or a commoner, any person, anybody, whoever is interested, whoever comes in front of you, initiate them into this meditation. You shall have this power.
That was how, for thirty-three years, from 1961 to 1994 until when He dropped His physical body in His native hamlet of Adivarapupeta, it was a small hamlet in the coastal Andhra Pradesh State of southern India, where they are poor people but they are innocent, they are God-fearing, they are lovely, they are generous. They go out of way to show hospitality to the visitors in that small place. Well, after some time of Tapas some devotees had formed, they had built a small temple for this young boy to sit inside and do the Tapas – that's where He completed His Tapas, and then He installed Shiva-Parvati there, their idols, and established a small Ashram also. That is where He dropped His physical body in 1994 and His Mahasamadhi Temple also is situated in that Ashram complex.
So, as the Divine wanted Him to do though He did not have any wishes, He could have remained quiet and at peace in a corner of this world, but He undertook tours on the invitation of devotees with all the difficulties that He had to face with this human world – human world of lust and greed, anger and jealousy, false pride. My Master once He was talking to me and told, "It was very easy for me to do Tapas, twelve years simply passed by because my mind remained quiet, absorbed in the Self at all times, but afterwards, when I wanted to do the mission work amongst the human beings that was the real eating up. Because human beings very often tend to be selfish, narrow-minded, having conflict all the times, feeling insecure. This insecurity is one of the basic reasons of conflicts in this world. That is why Swamiji always advised, "Practice this meditation and know who you are. You shall know this fact and you shall have the first-hand knowledge only when you experience." Just like when you have come here and you have seen Babaji and talking to you all and guiding you to meditation, that is the first experience of meeting Babaji. That will always remain as a first impression. But if you had heard from somebody else that is the second-hand knowledge, such a thing can get confused. Now, because you have met Babaji personally even if somebody makes fun of you, "No, you have not met Babaji, there is no such person at all." It shall be amusing for you and you shall not get confused. That is the meaning of having a first-hand experience.
When you practice this meditation, when you are able to have that stress-free total peace and happiness – somebody was asking me the question, "How does You mind work? Does it keep chattering like the ghost at all times?" After doing Tapas in deepest Samadhi when one achieves that Yoga, means reunion with the Divinity, just like the droplet of the ocean becoming one with the ocean, just like the sun's ray becoming one with the sun, this mind, because of imagination, has created a separate personality which never existed, that was the trouble of misidentification. With the imagination of trouble always there was stress. That was why, as a youngster, as a small child also at the age of eight to ten I used to think, these thoughts used to come, "Why is that there is this happiness does not stay at all times, twenty four hours, and twelve months? Sometimes there seems to be some excitement, some happiness, but again there seems to be some anxiousness, some fear. This confusion, this fear, this stress seems to be there whether one is in the childhood, whether one is in the youth, whether one goes to the old age whatever it is at all stages this mind remains in the same power – it does not become old, young or child. Whatever it wants to do it keeps doing, whatever age the body is. So why is this?" I used to think. "Is there something wrong in us, or is there something wrong in this world? Why is this world unable to give such happiness at all times, continuously, once for all it must be there. It should not go away." That was how we were attracted to the great teachings of Adi Shankara and Ramana Maharshi and Ramakrishna Paramahansa and we always dreamt that we must have a Guru of that caliber. "Oh God, if You have come to this earth in any such form, take me to Your Lotus Feet." Just one day came, the Divine whispered in our ears, "Shivabalayogi is your Guru. You shall go to Him and you shall get everything."
That was how we finally went to the Master with our mother's blessings. She took a promise, "Once you go on this path, do not look back. Don't come back then I won't be able to show my face to any other relatives." That was how my mother taught determination, come what maybe.
The mighty soul that my Master was, He always taught determination. When He made me to sit for Tapas by a vision that He gave, He manifested Himself and came in the physical form and took me to the room in the Ashram of Dehra Dun where He had put me since 1974 where He had trained me into these yoga practices of karma yoga, bhakti yoga and dhyana yoga. All this He taught me. He said, "Ki, while doing service to the Master, while trying to help others in this world you can practice yoga. When you offer everything to the Divine and when you shall not allow your mind to go into agitations and when you are able to accept the things as it comes and remain satisfied and contented at all times – that is Yoga," He said.
"In bhakti yoga when you are really devoted – devotion for sake of devotion, you go in quest of knowledge for sake of knowledge there shall not be any other business – that is the highest type of devotion," He said. "When you love God, you just love God for sake of love, not that, 'If God gives me a million dollars, only then I will love God.' That's business!" He said. "However," He said, "You can pray. If you have any physical ailments, if you have physical troubles you can pray to the Guru, you can pray to God, no problem. But slowly rise to the level of acceptance. Love God for sake of love," He said. "God is the only thing which is worthy of loving. That is the real devotion." He said.
"Dhyana yoga," He said, "Sit and practice while the physical body is capable of doing it." He said, "If old age comes, if you are going to die in a couple of days when there is so much of pain in this body, so much of ailments and so much of unconsciousness, how can you remember God?" Try to remember God when you are hale and healthy, fit, then you can heal your mind, you can heal your physical body and you can heal all your bad habits and you can maintain your moral health – consideration to each other, honor and love to each other, dreaming of a beautiful, harmonious life on this earth for everyone.
Sometimes I see some animals sitting without any fear and just enjoying some grass and something, then I think, "If all creatures, all human beings of this world can co-exist and sit and eat peacefully without any fear of getting harmed, how beautiful it would be. God grant such a world of living." But my Master said you need to practice for this. If you practice meditation this ability shall come. Consideration to the other also. You will always consider to keep your physical health and mental health intact and also you shall give consideration to others, happiness and peace. That is why we were taught the prayer of 'loka samastaa sukhino bhavantu' 'Oh Divine, we don't know how any worlds that you would have created, but may there be peace and happiness prevail upon in all the worlds to all the creatures.' Not simply for me, not simply for my family, not simply for my friend. Let me see that oneness, my Self everywhere.
So this becomes possible only in deepest Samadhi a Yogi experiences the Self as the all-pervading Divine spiritual body. 'Spiritual body' means, do not imagine of any physical body. Spiritual body is just like the space is all-pervading, just like your mind is infinite, you cannot show it to anybody, whether it is rectangle, round shape, square or a circle, what it is. You cannot show it to anybody. What color it is? Is it red, pink or purple or what it is? You cannot show it. Simply based on the thoughts only you try to visualize, "My mind wants to do this, my mind wants to go there."
What is this mind? It is the Consciousness of Existence. Wherever you put your mind it becomes conscious of that thing. If you put this to the Self you become conscious of your real Self. That is what the achievement through the meditation would be possible one day for you, naturally. Maintaining your physical health and the health of the brain and you can always live a normal life in this world, my Master assured. Just if you can practice this meditation every day you can be any person in this world living any way of life, a businessman, a sports person, a job holder anything is OK, householder, anybody is OK, anybody can achieve this. There is no such discrimination from God that there should be any such condition – Who can achieve, who not. All those who are interested can practice this meditation, all those who are interested can achieve this. All those who can be determined, disciplined, having the patience, dedication they can achieve.