In honor of two Great Yogis
20th September 2014
Since the successful completion of His Tapas Shri Shiva Rudra Balayogi Maharaj has tirelessly travelled the length and breadth of the great subcontinent of India and made more than ten complete circuits of the globe, visiting hundreds of thousands everywhere. He continues His Master's work, encouraging and inspiring everyone to meditate and bring their minds under their own control for peace and happiness. He happily sits and speaks to all, regardless of race, gender, age or culture. Like His Guru before Him He teaches that meditation is for everyone, no-one needs to adopt a different religion, it is all about our own minds.
He has travelled to so many different countries, but not to simply add a list of venues, He encourages groups to be formed so that people can practice regularly and support each other. He is a Yogi of the 21st Century and has adapted quickly to make good use of technology so practitioners have the very rare and precious opportunity to get their questions and doubts about meditation and spiritual practice answered directly by a Realized Yogi. He knows how everyone needs sustained support to establish and maintain their individual practice and He makes Himself available to all freely and without discrimination.
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He has travelled to the many parts of India and the world that His Great Guru travelled as He established His vast Spiritual Family and has extended it wherever He has been invited, happy to talk and answer questions always. Now, on the occasion of His 60th birthday, representatives from all parts of this blessed Family were happy to make that same journey to come together and celebrate such a great life and work.
Although the actual date was Saturday 20th September, people began to gather in Dehradun about a week earlier, travelling from all parts of India – Alipura, Bangalore, Delhi, Indore, Jhansi, Lucknow and Odisha to name but a few. Such a vast country requires time and some fortitude to journey around, but all made the effort, taking days in some cases, to get to Dehradun, home of Shri Babaji and His Tapas.
Each day more people came from other countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, from across many different states in the USA and countries of Europe. All shared a single intention, to be there to pay witness and testimony that Sri Shivabalayogi's great miracle, the Realized Yogi Shri Shiva Rudra Balayogi had spread His Master's teachings faithfully and honorably to the four corners of the world, for all to be able to hear and gain benefit.
The small Ashram, originally the summer house of the Royal family, was feared too small to host such an event, where would everyone stay? How would they manage? With faith in the Guru – and in the determination of His followers – the invitations were sent and the crowds began to gather. Almost all had to stay in local guest houses and hotels in the area, finding a wide variety to suit the different needs. Each day, however, as everyone gathered the small Ashram somehow managed to hold mass feedings every lunchtime and evening for all the week. A small, hardworking team producing vast quantities of tasty food for everyone day after day – just as Swamiji had always insisted
From the beginning of this epic week everyone gathered each morning to sit together and practice. Each country had a couple of songs to sing on the day. Some were able to practice these regularly together for months ahead, but for some it wasn't possible to meet up and practice beforehand so they were faced with having to learn and practice for the first time. No matter the level of competence or experience all demonstrated an equal measure of enthusiasm in wanting to contribute their best efforts for Babaji and fellow devotees. Quickly a camaraderie developed as musicians from different countries worked together combining their talents into a universal orchestra of harmony. Each group would then run through their songs, helped and encouraged by all the others. Smiles and applause were the regular features each day as everyone supported each other. No-one had planned or arranged this, the happy harmony evolved as a natural reflection of the teachings Babaji has given to all countless times.
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Finally the two day event started with an Abhishekam on the morning of Friday 19th. By now the small Ashram teemed with crowds and all those who wanted to see had to gain their places early. This was then followed by a homa (fire ceremony) and some brief but inspiring speeches, particularly by the many who remembered Swamiji, the originator of all that has become so special. Many have found their bodies have grown old and stiff but they showed the same indomitable spirit of their great Yogi and Master, travelling for days to be a part of this historic event. They recalled some of the many stories about Swamiji, both as a fearless and determined village child and with the same character as a world-renowned Yogi.
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That evening everyone assembled again in the crowded garden to do Padapuja, Babaji sitting patiently throughout the evening as each person in turn filled past and received a blessing, accompanied by the singing and music of the international group.
Finally the great day itself arrived, 20th September. It was on this auspicious day sixty years earlier that Swamiji's great disciple, Shri Shiva Rudra Balayogi was born into the world and into the life that would result in His Realization, for the benefit of masses everywhere around the world, keeping His Guru's Mission spreading and growing.
For the first event of the day everyone gathered in the Darshan hall, soon spilling over onto the terrace that also became full. Babaji entered as graciously as always and started the initiation and meditation – this being the core part of the teaching, fundamental to all that takes place, significantly taking the first place on the actual day. In spite of the journeys, the heat and humidity everyone, young and old sat still and quiet. A peace and calm descended and was enjoyed by all as a beautiful way to start the day's celebrations.
In the evening everyone gathered excited and inspired for the grand finale. The many different countries were each represented by a group who sang their two songs accompanied by the many talented musicians from many different nations. The evening started with vigorous and energetic singing from a large group who had made the long, difficult journey all the way from Adivarapupetta, in Andhra Pradesh, Southern India, birthplace and Mahasamadhi resting place of Swamiji's body— a fitting tribute. Each country then proceeded to perform, the order set by the sequence in which Babaji first visited: Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia, USA and UK, ending with a group from Dehradun itself, home of Babaji's Tapas.
All through the evening small parts of the great story of Swamiji and Babaji's life were told and some specially invited, important local and spiritual leaders gave short and well-received speeches honoring this great event.
The compering of the different activities and talks was led by Babaji's most faithful and tireless disciple, Maa Ambaji. It would not have happened without her; in fact the world would not have heard of Babaji if she had not been there to support Him right through His Tapas. He would not have been able to travel to meet everyone in all the many States and nations across the continents without Ambaji. The world relies on the existence of a small number of such people to sacrifice all their efforts into serving not just the Yogi, but all the devotees of the Yogi. From the moment, many months earlier, when it had first been discussed as even a possibility to the last moment, Ambaji was in the middle of everything, responsible for everything, concerned for each individual, like everyone's favourite daughter, sister, aunt and mother all rolled into one.
Each country performing for Babaji
Babaji giving His Birthday message and talk and cutting His birthday cake
Devotees taking Darshan of Babaji at the end of the celebrations
All too soon the week was over. The last great event of the weekend was a trip to the Ganges at Haridwar. Babaji soon entered the River and all present soon had the rejuvenating waters flowing over them as each in turn was immersed by Babaji into the river. Some enjoyed spending a little longer in its invigorating hold whilst others sat on the platform and enjoyed the last few precious moments in the great Yogi's company.
Truly the series of events will be long remembered by all who had the honor and good fortune to be able to attend. For each one of the several thousand that were able to be there, each represented many more who wished to have been able to, so that they too could make their contribution to acknowledging and honoring such an occasion. Every part of Swamiji's Spiritual Family was represented across the nations, cultures and ages, everyone united in what had brought them together in peaceful harmony to enjoy each other's contributions and working together to make it a celebration worthy of the beloved Guru, Baba Shiva Rudra Balayogi Maharaj.