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

“Dhyan, vibhuti, bhajan, bhava samadhi.”

Diversity in the Mission (Part 1)

  Many Forms, Many Paths

A focus on meditation without context ignores the diversity in the Shivabalayogi story.  Swamiji placed a great value on all spiritual practices — including puja (worship) and seva (service) in addition to bhajans and bhava samadhi, which are aspects to the path of bhakti (devotion).  Swamiji himself did puja every day and his life was one of pure seva.

A few weeks before his mahasamadhi, a devotee from Slovenia interviewed Swamiji at the Bangalore ashram and asked what was his teaching. Swamiji simply said,

“Dhyan, vibhuti, bhajan, bhava samadhi.”

It was translated as, “Swamiji teaches dhyan [meditation].  He gives the blessed vibhuti.  He preaches bhajan.  He also spreads the bhava samadhi.”

One can relegate bhajans and bhava to a secondary role, or one can view them as an integral part of Shivabalayogi’s public meditation programs.  One can see Shiva as always in meditation who abides in peace, or one can see Shiva as the cosmic dancer who shakes things up.

Diversity is reflected in Shivabalayogi himself. He behaved differently in different contexts.  In Adivarapupeta, he was informal.  Many villagers treated him as a respected village elder, and Swamiji responded accordingly.  In Bangalore, he was more formal.  In Dehradun, he was more playful.  In the United States, we peppered him with questions, so he talked more.

Shivabalayogi reflected us back to ourselves.  If we were sincere, he mirrored ourselves directly.  Those who enjoyed the scriptures got explanations in terms of the scriptures.  Those who preferred meditation, or bhajans, or puja, or bhava were encouraged in their preference.  If we were stuck in our patterns, he would challenge us, reflecting an opposite quality.  The person resigned to fate was assured there is no karma (fate).  The person behaving irresponsibly was told he would have to pay.

Each person is attracted more or less to different spiritual paths, and our concept of The Living Yogi and his mission should include respect for such diversity.




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