The Old Guard

Swamiji’s Example

Bhava Samadhi

The book that Swamiji recommended

His Presence

Not Religion; Eternal Truth

The Mission: Reduce Tension

The Shivabalayogi Story

Shivabalayogi on His Mission

Shivabalayogi’s Sabotage

The Living Example

The Cosmic Shivabalayogi

The Living Guru

The Living Miracle

Bhava & Trance Swamis

Meditation as the Mission

Diversity in the Mission

A Community of Devotees

Measuring the Mission

The Living Self

Lord of Yogis

An Army of Monkeys & Bears

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Perspectives on the Shivabalayogi Mission Today

“Swamiji and his devotees are working not for themselves, but so that people can come to know God.”

Shivabalayogi on His Own Mission

  The Work Is Unfinished

Shivabalayogi talked in terms of his mission, his duty, and the work that his Divine Guru asked him to do.  He is an Agent of God, and he clearly indicated that he has yet to complete his God-given duty.  Whatever is that spiritual mission, he stated that it is much greater than what he accomplished in his own physical body.  All this additional work remains to be done, and the great yogi suggested that he will finish it through his astral body presence and his disciples and devotees.

Once a devotee remarked that in the history of Swamiji’s past lives, there seemed to be a pattern in which he sows a seed and leaves the work of nurturing its growth to disciples.  Swamiji responded, “You have said it. Even in this birth it is the same.”

Only weeks before his mahasamadhi, Shivabalayogi gave assurances that he would travel to the United States after his sixtieth birthday.  He said that devotees in India would have to be satisfied with an idol of Shivabalayogi that he would consecrate.  Devotees were pledging to donate silver and the plan was to cast a one-ton silver statue.  “That statue will stand for a thousand years.”  Swamiji would continue to travel, he said, and we were asked to start planning for it.

“Swamiji and his devotees are working not for themselves, but so that people can come to know God.  Swamiji has placed people throughout the world in positions to be able to help in his mission.  Now is the time when they can come forward and participate.  People will come forward and make major contributions to Swamiji’s mission.”

One day, about a month before his mahasamadhi, a devotee asked, “Swamiji, how much work has been given to you by Lord Shiva?” He gestured with his arms spread wide open as if to say, without speaking,  “As much as this.”  Then again the devotee asked, “How much have you finished?”  He held a thumb and first finger together to show as much as a mustard seed.  “Swamiji that means you have to do more work!”  For that he nodded his head seriously.

  International Centre for Indian Culture

Shivabalayogi often made grand statements about his mission and the devotees’ role in it.  One might visualize Shivabalayogi centers established throughout the world to promote dhyana meditation.  Perhaps these centers would have regular bhajan programs, and if not statues, at least images of Shivabalayogi.  If there are images, there must be worship.  Perhaps there could be classes on how to worship, how to play bhajans, and how to meditate.  Shivabalayogi praised the Yoga Vasishta as the best book on spiritual philosophy, so there could be classes in advaita (non-dualistic) philosophy as exemplified in the Yoga Vasishta.

Such ideas are not fantasy.  They are what Swamiji himself had planned for the ashram in J. P. Nagar, Bangalore.  This is why it was named the International Centre for Indian Culture.  Shivabalayogi talked about his plans to build a spiritual university, with meditation halls and lecture halls, in the center of the ashram grounds, where the Samadhi is now located,

From a conventional perspective, such plans suggest a “mission” that conjures up all sorts of notions of winning over adherences to a belief, an organization to propagate that belief, and property to support the organization.  Yet this was everything that Shivabalayogi discouraged.  His idea of a “mission” did not involve a top-down organization.  He meant a community of participants.

The main Bangalore ashram in JP Nagar,
Left: shortly after inauguration in 1977.
Right: the garden and temple complex in 1994



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