Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaji's Teachings
Perth. Oct 13, 2004
This was the last night of public programs in Perth. The week with Babaji had gone quickly and on this final night a large crowd attended the satsang. Devotees had prepared an impressive altar for Swamiji with a large photo of Him surrounded by native Australian plants and trees lit up by a spotlight. Babaji's special dais was beautifully decorated with green and purple sari material and flowers.
On his arrival, Babaji proceeded straight to Swamiji's altar and offered His pranams. As a mark of respect on this final night Babaji led the group in singing Swamiji's aarathi in His characteristically sweet and tender way. As we sang "Arathi ki jai, Bala Yogi ki..." many were deeply moved by the spiritual vibrations and the devotion in Babaji's singing while a devotee offered the flame in reverence to Swamiji's photo.
Babaji then recited the Guru Sloka Brahmanadam Paramasukhadam and addressed the gathering as we all listened with rapt attention:
I offer my surrender at the Lotus Feet of my beloved Guru Shivabalayogi and pray for refuge at His Lotus Feet.
Greetings and my love and blessings to you all. We are grateful to the Divine Guru for the opportunity to share the knowledge and wisdom that He Graced us with, the Truth of the Self and the mind. We pray to Him to give you all the opportunities for your minds to become motivated. May you be inspired to do the sadhana of mind control and may you be fortunate and take out time to do it.
We appreciate the pains taken by the governing body of our mission here and all those associated with it who have made this visit most successful; many have been involved. We appreciate their effort, love and attachment. The welcome you have given us is an inspiration. If this is the last day of Babaji's programs it is also the first day of our return journey, we go only to come back and we very much look forward to coming back. Practise the meditation. Our job is to motivate. Practice brings more wealth than tons of theories.
My Guru actually spoke very little but he did answer good questions put to him. Once a boy said to him "I want Self Realisation". Swamiji told him to go to a shoe shop, buy some shoes and hit his head with one shoe! "Are you ready to surrender?" asked Swamiji. "Are you prepared to stick it out even if I yell at you and find fault with you? You must lose the ego!" He used to say, referring to Babaji, "Look at this boy, even if I cut him into pieces and throw him into the river he will get joined up and come back to me." He was tough outwardly yet soft in His heart, uncompromising like a father yet caring and compassionate like a mother. He would yell at us ashram boys and tell us to get out of His room then in the next minute forget all about it, so we would go straight back in His room again! He would give us sweets and He used to say things like, "If you can take my slaps the world will not be able to hurt you" and, "Don't be in a hurry to be a Guru".
You need to have discipline. Make a timetable and never miss your meditation session, make it a priority. Don't put it off in favour of other things; don't say, "tomorrow" or "maybe after breakfast" or "I'm too busy". If you put it off for just one day you'll lose the benefit of several days meditation. Never miss your meditation, never miss it the way you wouldn't dream of missing your dinner! Keep the phone off the hook while you meditate. Be disciplined, then things will become easier. Keep busy or keep meditating. Remember, an idle brain is the devil's workshop!
Swamiji used to say to keep smiling and when someone was unhappy He would ask, "Are you going to be hanged in the morning? No, it's not so terrible". For thirty-three years He handled people's problems, distributed vibhuti, induced faith, devotion and helped people gain courage and inner strength. He told people to "Sit for one hour of meditation every day, the other twenty three hours are available to you. You'll be fresh. Do the meditation every day".
In those days before email so many devotees used to send letters to Swamiji asking for help with their problems. We took care that the letters were answered; I personally took care to answer them. "Have faith; it will be alright," was what I wrote. Hundreds of people used to come up to Swamiji at the programs, He spoke about meditation, the need to meditate and the benefits of meditation.
Now I would like to clarify some things about my Guru and what He taught. He taught meditation and the bhakti marga - the path of devotion - wanted music and bhajans to be performed and encouraged food to be distributed by devotees free of charge. There is a bhava or particular feeling associated with the giving of food because once food has been offered to the Divine it becomes prasadam - blessed and auspicious, holy and sacred. Eating blessed food together produces a feeling of oneness among the people; humans all share the basic need for food.
People in the villages can't easily understand the knowledge and wisdom expressed in Indian philosophy but they do understand spiritual power when they see it and this alone can motivate them to worship the Divine. Without such displays of Divine power such people think they have the free will to do anything they want, to eat if they feel like eating, to do anything they please. "So where is the power of God?" they ask themselves. To counteract this mistaken thinking Swamiji went into Samadhi in front of them and many of those who saw it went into a state known as bhava samadhi for which there is no exact English translation, although the word 'trance' comes closest to the meaning. 'Bhava' means the mind's feelings focused to such a single pointed intensity. For example, suppose you get attached to one particular form of God or a particular Guru, the mind gets absorbed in the Divine and you might get visions or feel like dancing.
This bhava samadhi trance state was intended to be an intermediate stage on the way to meditation, an inducement to proceed on the spiritual path in the same way that children are given a lollipop to entice them to go to school. Unfortunately, due to misunderstanding, many have taken the lollipop but forgotten to go to school! Worse still, certain individuals have exploited this misunderstanding for selfish purposes who claimed in the bhava state that they were Gods and Goddesses so as to manipulate and control others. This is not the spiritual school Swamiji intended and many have become stuck on lollipops and don't realise that one needs to meditate after this stage has been reached. Similarly, in the eighties, some people claimed they were possessed by Swamiji and after his Mahasamadhi in 1994 some even claimed, "I am Swamiji", but Swamiji never said He would come through any particular person, He said, "I am everywhere". He told all to go within and you would find Swamiji there.
Swamiji told this story to illustrate the proper relationship between a Guru and a disciple when that disciple also becomes a Yogi. A father has a son, that son becomes a father himself one day, but he still remains a son to his father. So when a disciple of mine does tapas and becomes a Yogi that person does not become my Guru, he'll still be my disciple. No one can take the Guru's place.
Despite this there is now infighting among factions and different groups of Swamiji's devotees and a number of websites all claiming Swamiji speaks through them with certain people saying, "I am Shivabalayogi". In truth, Swamiji does not come through any particular person or come from anywhere or go to any place. Swamiji is everywhere, one with the Divine, He gave us the Darshan of Ardanarishwara, the dual Divine masculine-feminine form of Shiva and Parvati but He never claimed He was God. Once a Yogi has achieved Self Realisation He is worthy of being worshipped as God because such a being has lost all imagination of the ego and is one with the Self as taught in the Yoga Vasistha.
Hanuman was once asked what his relationship with Rama was. He replied that when he was in the bhava of duality, Rama was his master and he Rama's servant. However, when in non-dual bhava, Hanuman declared, "I do not exist, only my Lord Rama exists". Swamiji worshipped Lord Shiva as His Guru. Once I called Swamiji 'Yogeshwara' - Lord of Yogis - but He told me not to use that word. "Don't call me that," He said, "call me Yogendra!" So the people making all these wild claims that Swamiji comes through them are like half-baked beans!
Let me explain the term 'Mahasamadhi'. A Guru in 'Mahasamadhi' means He is in the supreme state of total mental stand-still without any wavering. As long as the mind functions it is wavering. The Divine has no resolutions of mind so we cannot hold the Divine responsible for 'bad' things that happen. If God had resolutions then He would be partial. This Earth was created by the Divine so all could be happy but the human mind is such that unhappy people want to take away the happiness of others who are happy out of jealousy. Once a Yogi drops His physical body He has attained Mahasamadhi - oneness with the Divine.
A Yogi is what is known as a 'Jivanmukta '- one who is Liberated while still alive. A minimum amount of consciousness is required so that the mind can interact with the world and operate the mission. This is known as the sattvic ego, meaning a righteous ego, retained purely to serve the Divine. I have an attachment to Shivabalayogi, this is an ego manifestation, but if this were not present this body would die and we couldn't do our mission work. The Divine has ordained that we must teach spiritual knowledge and wisdom to the people so the physical body needs to be maintained to continue the mission of Shivabalayogi.
It's hard to believe that such great souls like Shivabalayogi actually existed, a Yogi who did twelve years Tapas and whom we observed for twenty years. He is everywhere, in your heart, within you. This is the Truth. Once the Guru's Grace descends our mind must recede and become peaceful. We must gain consideration for others and overcome greed, anger, avarice, attachment to material things, false pride and jealousy. If someone egotistically thinks "I am Durga!" and another claims, "She is not Durga, I am Durga!" what is this but the mind's pride and deceit?
Nobody saw Lord Shiva appear to Swamiji as a young boy but thousands did witness the transformation of a young village boy into a great Yogi filled with knowledge and wisdom. He could never really punish anyone but people who did not understand Him left Him. You would always feel so serene at His Lotus Feet. Yes, he did Tapas. Learn to forgive one another and consider others. Don't become ruthless in the name of discipline. If you meditate, your prayers will be successful. If you are contented, you are like an emperor. One becomes poor through desires, like a billionaire always concerned about how to acquire more wealth.
Reassure yourself that God will help you, that you are that immortal soul, that you have that Eternal Peace. Practise so you will overcome the mind and attain perfection. Meditation is a purifying process where all the acquired negativities in the mind get 'evaporated'. Don't be alarmed by this, the brain reflects into visions and thoughts. All this is getting purified just don't analyse what happens. When meditating we go beyond the duality of good and bad, just keep watching and the mind will recede. The mind has got involved too much in the world; its basis is really pure consciousness. Realised people become quiet. A Yogi conveys His real message through silence. Meditate first with patience and determination and don't give excuses like you have to do other things like go to a wedding ceremony or attend a conference.
There is a story for this. Once Narada heard a devotee declare "I want Liberation!" Narada went to the devotee and told him that if he wanted Liberation he should come with him at once, but the devotee explained that he was just married and wanted a son and that now was not a good time. Narada returned many years later when his son arrived but the devotee now explained that he didn't want to leave yet because he wanted to see his son grow up and so kept delaying until Narada wondered whether the devotee really wanted liberation at all.
You have to ask yourselves if you really want the Guru for Peace and Happiness. Be sincere to this meditation, practise it regularly. My Guru always stressed that it wasn't necessary to go to caves and forests. Twenty-three hours are yours for all your worldly needs, just devote one hour every day to this meditation. Then it becomes a way of life.
Babaji then called the devotees to the front for the vibhutti blessing and we meditated for forty- five minutes. After the meditation there was bhajan singing and then Baba responded to devotees' questions.
Question: Babaji, there are two things that You have said which puzzle me. I've heard You say You'll pray to God for people but being a Realised being You are God, so how can You pray for people?
Babaji: Actually although Self Realised I don't claim anything - that is not proper manners. When I'm a saint you are all my children. I pray to God. Claiming the status of God is not the correct language and we don't do that.
Question: When You see someone do You see their soul? Does it mean You don't see their personality and emotional energies?
Babaji: We don't see these things, it is not necessary. We see only God everywhere. That's all. I love everyone. Once realised You see only God everywhere.
Question: (A little girl asked) What did You look like when You were five?
Babaji: Ask my mother and other people who saw me! (A devotee produces a photo of Babaji's family). Here you can see here how Baba looked.
Question: It was said that Babaji's shawl has shakti within it. What does this mean?
Babaji: This is the vibrative power of a saint. It brings blessings.
Question: Do we choose our parents?
Babaji: One's karma comprises the acquired habits of the mind. No one knows how it all started, what the root cause is. When a child is born, it does bring with it the acquired habits from past lives, as they say, one man's food is another man's poison.
The mind's habits get carried into the next birth after the body dies. When the death occurs the brain dies and the mind is kicked off. The acquired imprints from all the experiences shall remain in the mind that determines the next birth. That's why the company of the good and noble is recommended - satsang. Keep in the company of learned saints and acquire detachment from the bad things of this world. When there is no attachment to the world there is final knowledge of the Self, then you get Liberated. For the last seven days I have been here, have you heard any bad things from me? Even if you don't believe everything I have said, practise for yourself and know the truth yourself.
Following the questions, devotees enjoyed prasad and the opportunity to have an informal Darshan with Baba. On His way out of the hall Babaji spent a few moments smiling and joking with devotees then stopped stock-still for a few minutes in silence as many took the traditional blessing of padnamaskar and bade Babaji farewell.
Copyright © 2004 SRBY, All rights reserved.