Shri Babaji's South India Trip - August 2009

A photographic tour of Shri Babaji's trip to South India.

Please click on the photos to view them in full size.

Bangalore Ashram

Shri Babaji being welcomed with the traditional rituals and aarati at the Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj Ashram in Bangalore by its trustees.

This is the main Shiva Lingam of the Bangalore Ashram's Temple where worship is performed everyday and the Diety is decorated beautifully by the priests. Babaji is offering His worship by performing the traditional Abishekam ritual.

Shri Swamiji's beautiful Idol is installed at the Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara temple located at the Ashram in Bangalore. Here worship is being offered to Shri Swamiji's statue by Babaji.
Babaji performing the aarati to Shri Swamiji's statue on the auspicious day of Swamiji's Tapas completion anniversary on 7th August. The Idol is installed on the same Dias on which Swamiji used to give Darshan during His lifetime. This is located in the main meditation hall of the Bangalore Ashram.

Mysore and Kolar

Babaji meditating in the Markhandeya cave located on Mysore's Chamundi hills where in 1994 He first had the vision of His beloved Guru Swamiji (after Swamiji's Mahasamadhi) telling Him to go back to the Dehradun Ashram to sit for Tapas. Swamiji used to say to the devotees that Sage Markhandeya had performed Tapas here.

Homas (fire ceremonies) were performed in both Mysore and Kolar. [The significance of homas as explained by Shri Babaji has been mentioned in other recent articles.]  Mysore is the place where Shri Babaji had spent His teenage years contemplating the Self and in prayer. He also met His Guru Shivabalayogi Maharaj for the first time here. The homa was performed by Babaji at the Hanuman temple where He had heard His Guru's name for the first time, through a Divine experience while sitting in deep contemplation. Kolar is Babaji's birthplace, where He spent His childhood years and first got attracted to the spiritual life and the Existence of the Self.

Before the final offering at each of the homas, Babaji spoke about the essence of spirituality to the devotees gathered. He emphasized the need to apply the mind for any ritual to bear fruits. Also He said that the real worship is when the mind becomes quiet and goes introverted. He urged the crowds to do sadhana and try and experience the Truth for themselves. Reading scriptures and listening to lectures, Babaji explained, is only second-hand knowledge.

Hindupur and Doddaballapur

Programs were held in the towns of Hindupur and Doddaballapur where hundreds gathered to take Darshan of the Yogi. Babaji spoke about the need for sadhana and also made the crowds sit for a short period of meditation.  Later bhajans were sung while the crowds came forward in the traditional manner to pay their respects at Babaji's Lotus Feet.

Program at ICICI training institute

An evening program was held at the large banking institute campus for the younger generation boys and girls who are getting ready to face the tough corporate world of high expectations and cut-throat competition. In His discourse, Shri Babaji emphasized the need for taking care of the mind through meditation and other forms of sadhana, so that one is able to apply the mind in the world to the best of one's ability, and also keep it intact and at peace when the work is over. Concentration of mind is imperative in every field.  A question and answer session followed.  Finally, the students had the opportunity to individually receive the Blessings of the Great Master. The program had been organized by the Director of the institute, a devotee of Babaji's.

Devaraya Samudra

Devaraya Samudra is the ancestral village of Shri Babaji. The ancient village is nestling at the foot of a hill known as "Vrishabhadri" and situated about twenty kilometers east of Kolar town. The village is an enchanting mix of the ancient and the modern. While it is well known for its Vedic studies and regular homas (fire ceremonies) for world peace, the people living there also have a scientific outlook and the village possesses a 99% literacy rate. Close to the base of the hill are two prostrate images of the legendary bird Garuda, the larger one built of bricks and mortar. It was built in 1840 in 42 days with each day observing the various rituals and serving free food to all devotees. This was consecrated by Saint Ishwara Poundareeka Dikshit, Babaji's Great grandfather, and is known to be one of only four in India and has therefore been declared a national monument. (For the full story please go to here)

This year Babaji was invited by the villagers for an annual festival that is held in the village in honor of Lord Shiva. Babaji was escorted through the town in the traditional manner with saxophones, other Indian wind instruments and hand drums playing ahead of Him to announce His arrival. Truly a sight to behold!

The main festival was held in a Shiva temple where Babaji was requested to perform the traditional ritual of pouring water over the large Shiva Lingam, the temple's main Deity. At the back of the temple there was a small opening where the villagers had made a makeshift dam out of the earth. Babaji performed worship here and then removed the material blocking the opening and thus released the water that had been poured over the Deity. The music from the instruments being played reached its climax and the villagers became absolutely ecstatic,  pouring over themselves the holy water, marking the climax of the joyous festival that brings the entire village together.

At the end of a long day, Shri Babaji relaxing in a secluded spot with a few devotees. He commented how beautiful the countryside is and how apt the silence of nature is for sadhana.


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