Tapasyotsav Celebrations - Photo article
7 August 2013
On this very auspicious occasion the Absolute Divine manifested in a Jangama form in front of a fourteen year old ordinary village boy who had never heard about this phenomena before. But he was very hard working, honest and determined by nature. He was extraordinary because at the age of five he had learned to weave saris and he was so talented that he was able to weave two saris in a day when an ordinary adult could only weave one.
His mother was his sole courage. One afternoon when he came after finishing his work for the afternoon and asked his elder sister for the lunch which she was still cooking she said, "Go and play, I'm finishing the cooking and I'll call you when it's ready." He went out with his friends and a palmyra fruit dropped from a nearby tree. He was always very righteous in his conduct and so he divided the fruit into twelve portions. Whilst trying to squeeze out juice from one segment it broke and took the form of a Shivalingam and a dazzling light over-powered the little boy. His friends were still busy playing unconcerned about Sathyaraju. Then the little boy saw a huge seven-foot man with ash smeared on His body and dreadlocks on His head. In southern India's coastal Andhra Pradesh state such ones are known as Jangama Devar – those who are followers of Shiva and dressed like Shiva. The little boy thought that a Jangama Devar was standing in front of him.
The Jangama Sage commanded the boy to sit down. Courageously the young Sathyaraju asked Him, "Why should I sit down?" but could not resist and sat down. That Man put His thumb in between the eyebrows of Sathyaraju. The boy became unconscious of his surroundings and had a unique experience which was totally unexpected and unfamiliar. The whole village was perplexed about what had happened to this naughty little boy. They thought, "Is he acting or has evil possessed him?" They tried to test him by putting mud and water on his head from the canal, even some adults of the village lifted him physically and threw him in the canal but the boy was still unconscious of his surroundings. When the boy didn't react they brought him out of the canal thinking he may drown because he was still unconscious. Later they even tested by putting fire on his leg but he still didn't react, then they got really scared that something was definitely not right with this Sathyaraju.
The boy was still in the same condition which is known as Nirvikalpa Samandhi where one loses the total conscious of the outer world and gets totally immersed into the Divinity. But the poor villagers hardly knew this phenomena and that is why they were all trying to test whether he was normal or if he was possessed by something; what was wrong with him. But his mother knew that it was some Divine intervention in his life. So she started taking care of his physical body. She was serving with her full attention to her son Sathyaraju though it was so difficult because there was no financial support for Ma Parvatamma to take care of Sathyaraju. He was the sole bread-winner for the entire family.
Days and years were passing, slowly the entire village were getting used to this new miracle. Sathyaraju was continuing his deeper meditation, the same Jangama Rishi used to appear on every full moon night and give him the guidance for further Tapasya (deeper meditations or severe austerities). That's how the twelve years of his vigorous Tapas passed. Just at the end of the twelfth year a man and a woman appeared with a Divine aura and dazzling light around them. That fourteen year old boy who had now become twenty-six years old asked "Who are You?" and in a mesmerizing voice they said, "This world worships us as Shankara Bhagavan and Parvathi. We can give you the entire world or any boons that you ask."
(Babaji very beautifully describes this technique that the manifestation happens when the individual mind totally gets absorbed into a particular Divine form, so the entire Divinity engulfs that individual mind and appears in the same form.)
By then Sathyaraju hadn't any desires remaining so he asked, "Tell me what do you want me to do Bhagavan?" Bhagavan replied, "This world has forgotten their real identity. Spread the message of what you have achieved so the misery of the people on this Earth can be reduced."
Sathyaraju, now our Beloved Swamiji, had his first experience on the 7th August in 1949 and twelve years later on the 7th August in 1961 came out as Shivabalayogi. Swamiji all the time he was physically with us he perfectly obeyed his Guru Shankara Bhagavan to spread the message. He wasn't the Guru of one religion, caste or creed; He was a Universal Divine Teacher whose message was one – know your real Self through meditation and achieve the Ultimate Truth. So now that little boy Sathyaraju had become the Divine Himself and no more an individual personality, but the absolute Divinity.
Swamiji's devotees all over the world celebrate this special occasion to pay tributes and spread the teachings of Swamiji. As Babaji has been traveling relentlessly to spread beloved Guru Maharaj Swamiji's message and teachings, devotees in different parts of the world also celebrate this auspicious occasion. Dehradun Ashram conducted a beautiful program to pay their tributes to Swamiji. We had a beautiful puja to Ganapathi, Shivalingam, Hanuman and Shri Swamiji in the morning. Then puja was conducted in Shri Swamiji's room, where He always stayed during His visits to Dehra Dun Ashram. It was perfectly arranged to the way it used to be in Swamiji's physical presence. A Priest conducted homa in the presence of Shri Babaji after concluding the Purna Aahuti, (the last ritual of the fire sacrifice) with Babaji's special offerings to Swamiji. Devotees gathered afterwards in the Dhyana Mandir and an hour of meditation took place to pay the real tributes to what Swamiji intended for all His devotees. Afterwards Baba gave a beautiful message on Swamiji's life and recounted some of His life story and His relationship with His Beloved Guru, which was one of the most unique, and spoke the real philosophy of Swamiji, how an ordinary human through sadhana can become One with the Universe.
Devotees did some kirtan to offer their prayers to Swamij and Ma Parvatamma. Babaji concluded the kirtan by singing His devotional tribute to His Guru and Divine Mother Parvatamma. Mangala Arathi was then performed, the highest salutation to our Divine Guru Swamiji.
A food offering was made to Swamiji, then the mass feeding started at 2pm which went on until 4pm. Around four hundred people partook of the Maha Prasad of this special occasion. There were around twenty out-stationed devotees who attended and some devotees from Australia, America and England. In the evening we all had some more singing and Aarthi – what a beautiful day it was. We were all so thrilled and totally empowered. Every devotee was fully Divine-intoxicated by the spiritual vibrations and atmosphere of the day. A million thanks and prostrations to our Divine Guru Swamiji for being in our life and showing us the purpose of human life.
Shri Swamiji's and Shri Babaji's blessings to you all.
Your's in Shri Guru Maharaj,
Amba Shivaranjani – 7 Aug 2013
Below are a selection of photos from the events. Please click on the images to view them in full size.