A twelve day tour of Jaipur, Indore, Jhansi and Lucknow, Jan - Feb 2013
An account of Shri Babaji's tour
Throughout the years Baba Shiva Rudra Balayogi, as direct disciple of Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, has been carrying out the legacy of His beloved Guru, Shri Swamiji. This has been His continuous service to devotees since completing His five year Tapas in 1999. This particular tour covered about 2,000 miles by road, rail and plane through five different States in just twelve days to conduct meditations and devotional evenings and to give Darshan, vibhuti and blessings to all who met Him. This journey was just one of many taken several times every year in Swamiji's service.
Babaji is based in the Ashram in Dehra Dun in Northern India that was donated by Mataji Kailash Kumari Devi to Shri Swamiji for spiritual activities. Swamiji established it as an Ashram in 1972, and Babaji has lived, worked and served His Guru there since 1974. After Shri Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi in 1994 Babaji, initiated by Shri Swamiji in a vision, did five years of Tapas there and is now the spiritual head of the Ashram, giving spiritual guidance to all who come there, from near and far.
Shri Babaji arrived in Jaipur at 4am in the morning. The train journey was enjoyed by the small group travelling with Babaji, the evening passing quickly as He told fascinating accounts of some of the precious times with Swamiji, His face glowing with deep love and devotion as He spoke about His Guru.
That evening some bhajans were sung, followed by a short teaching by Babaji and some questions and answers at the host's home. There was one visitor who said he never had any interest in Godmen, religion or in God but he liked what Babaji had said. Babaji told that once He spoke in Bangalore and afterwards a boy said, “You have spoken for about 40 minutes and never once mentioned God.” Babaji had replied, “Consciousness is God.” In the Rig Vedic era they used the term Tatva meaning THAT. It is beyond our understanding. It is not how we imagine it. You can imagine God or not. If you see yourself as this small droplet then there is the ocean which is God. Otherwise there is only the ocean – Consciousness. Some do sadhana to know God or love God or for protection. Others meditate to silence the mind. When the mind is silent then you will know what the ancient sages called TAT – THAT.
Babaji was asked some more questions by students from the nearby University. Babaji spoke about the benefits of the meditation technique in controlling the mind, making it more powerful and better concentrated. He also spoke to them about how competition can be healthy but there is also cut-throat competition which is unhealthy. The truth and relevance of Babaji's teaching to their lives as students made a deep impression on them.
On the Thursday morning there was a function at a school near Jaipur. When we arrived the children were already dutifully sat under an awning, waiting with their teachers.
Babaji walked up to the newly constructed shrine and blessed it before going to the school students. The event started with a bhajan to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, as is the tradition. Babaji then spoke to the children about meditation, devotion and the six shapes of the mind. The ancient sages in Indian philosophy spoke of six shapes that the mind takes. The six types of emotions are also called the six enemies of the human mind, Aristadwarga. These are kama (extreme greed), krodha (extreme anger), loba (extreme stinginess), moha (extreme attachment to materialistic things), mada (extreme false pride and ego) and matsarya (extreme jealously of others).
Babaji explained to us all, school children, teachers and devotees, that those whose minds go into these shapes their mind are the first casualties. They are losing peace and such things take over. But if meditation is practiced regularly then we will be able to control our emotions and channel them into a better way. Devotees then sang several bhajans and afterwards Babaji played the harmonium and sang stirring the children into enthusiastically participating.
In the evening again some people came to the host's home to meet Babaji for the first time, since this is Babaji's first visit to Jaipur. Babaji was asked if a Yogi can foretell the future. Babaji said, yes, because they have full control over their own minds they can observe closely what is happening and consequently can foretell what is likely to happen. But, He said, people misunderstand a Yogi's foretelling as prediction. Predictions and foretelling are not the same. No-one can predict the future because the future has to be shaped by our own efforts, we must put in efforts to shape our future.
The faithful devotees of Swamiji from nearby Sambhar Lake, where Swamiji had travelled and had set up an Ashram, came and paid their respects to Babaji one afternoon, sitting and sharing the wisdom of Swamiji before taking Prasad (blessed food) and departing happily.
At Indore we enjoyed an evening of devotional singing with local devotees. Another programme the next evening had many devotees gather in the garden. After several beautifully sung bhajans heavy rain required everyone to put into action Babaji's frequently spoken advice, “Adjust and manage” and so the event smoothly and swiftly moved inside to be completed without any difficulty.
The following day Babaji was invited to visit the homes of two devotees, each welcoming and honoring Babaji, delighted that He had visited their homes, one newly purchased, another a long established family home, but both now sharing the same blessings of a Realized Yogi.
In both Jaipur and Indore the day began with a walk around the local area, as the local people stirred into their daily routines. Although very different places in different States, both show the huge amount of construction work – houses, apartment blocks, roads etc. – taking place throughout much of this rapidly growing nation.
The next day another evening program was held this time in an apartment block, as devotees took the rare opportunity to host a Realized Master for a few precious hours. The block has the benefit of a communal hall on the top floor – an ideal space for local devotees to gather and enjoy the many bhajans sung and a talk by Babaji.
An early departure by road allowed us to see and experience a bit more of the varied Indian countryside and villages, a fleeting glimpse of people at one brief moment in their lives as we flashed past. As Babaji observed about the drivers, “Those who appear good may be bad, and those who appear bad may be good.” We arrived at Jhansi in the early evening to be welcomed to a home crowded with enthusiastic, smiling well-wishers, eager to pay their respects to the Realized Yogi in their midst. The evening past swiftly as the bhajans were sung with great passion, energy and devotion.
The following afternoon generous hospitality was again provided at Alipura. A beautiful programme was held in the courtyard in the evening, well attended by local villagers who enjoyed many bhajans, slowly overcoming their natural shyness and joining in before sitting in attention to the words of Babaji.
Both here and in Jhansi, Babaji took the opportunity to tell everyone about His beloved Guru. He told about how Swamiji as a small boy noticed His mother would not eat with Him but always put her plate of food to one side, saying she would eat it later. Even then He showed His strength of character by deciding to investigate. Pretending to go out for the afternoon He hid and waited, then walked in about 2 hours later as if from playing and claimed that He was hungry. His mother produced the plate of food that was supposed to be her lunch. He challenged why she had lied to Him and saw His own mother start to cry.
He went to His Uncle who explained that the family was poor and although they worked hard, sometimes there still wasn't enough to eat. This however, was not something to be ashamed of merely the circumstances the family was in, His Uncle said. The small child absorbed this new information and resolved to leave school and start earning for His poor family. Soon He was making twice as much cloth each day as the other weavers but still it did not overcome the poverty. The intelligent and resourceful young boy realised that He would make more money if He ran a shop, so whilst still a child He had His own small business which helped the family greatly. This continued until the age of fourteen when squeezing the fruit on the canal bank one afternoon a Jangama Sage appeared and put Him into Tapas. He stayed in that state for an incredible twelve years, until He emerged as a fully Realized Yogi, demonstrating the power of His determination.
One early evening, sitting around a fire on the terrace in Alipura, Babaji rose and started to walk up and down the terrace. A few joined Him in the simple exercise as the stars began to appear in the darkening sky. He told how He would always keep Himself busy not allowing the body to sit idle for too long. He would be working, meditating or resting. As He walked He said that you can make the walk into a meditation by watching the tip of the nose adding, however, that it is important to make sure you see where you are going and don't trip up.
Each morning in Lucknow there was a one hour meditation which was appreciated by those attending, with devotional programmes in different local devotees' homes in the evenings, the many present joining together in harmony as they sang with devotion or sat with delight listening and singing to bhajans led by Babaji. He again talked about devotion and the importance of reverence to the Guru, Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj. He said that if Swamiji had continued to be in the body He would have had no inclination to do Tapas, He would have been very happy serving Swamiji. For Babaji His Guru was everything, "The Guru is God." Service to the Guru was, for Babaji, the greatest source of joy and contentment, not the desire for Self Realization.
Finally, after an eleven hour train journey Babaji arrived at Dehra Dun and was met by a group who gladly welcomed Him back to the home of His 38 years of service, devotion and Tapas. Even on the train, in response to questions by intrigued fellow passengers, Babaji spoke about the teachings and the many years He spent in loving service and devotion to His Guru.
There will now be a few days for Babaji to catch up on all the matters awaiting His attention before He will again be off touring, this time to South India – Chennai, Hyderabad and Adivarapupeta, the birth place of Swamiji, for the celebration of Shivaratri on March 10th – always travelling to spread the wisdom of His beloved Guru, Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, teaching, encouraging and inspiring all who will listen to take up the practice and be benefitted. As He explained to one devotee who said that he had tried to do the meditation but thought it difficult, “You must have patience, lots of patience.” And that is how Babaji has spent all these many years, patiently serving His Guru and travelling wherever there are people interested, in the spirit of the Sages of old who would go from place to place with only their wisdom to carry and selflessly share with us all.