The Old Guard

Telling the Truth

Recognizing Mahatmas

Yogis with Ego

Spiritual Leaders’ Powers

Old & New Devotees

Silent Teaching

Swamiji Doesn’t Forget

A Yogi’s Dramas

Associations with the Famous

Guru Brothers & Sisters

Gurus, Obedience & Ashrams

Bhava Samadhi

Explaining Swamiji’s
Use of Spiritual Experiences

The book Swamiji recommended

Perspectives on the Mission Today

About this Writer’s Corner


news about Swamiji & devotees




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  Telling the Truth
—  Yogis Don't Spin the Truth

  Recognizing Mahatmas
—  Get to Know Them

  Yogis with Ego 
—  Not Everyone Who Completes Tapas Is without Ego

  Spiritual Leaders’ Powers 
—  Not All that Glitters Is Gold

  Old & New Devotees 
—  Making Way for the New

  Silent Teaching 
—  Swamiji Discouraged Using Words to Teach Meditation or Describe Spiritual Experiences

  Swamiji Doesn’t Forget  —  Remembering His Devotees

  A Yogi’s Dramas  —  The Shiva in Shivabalayogi

  Associations with the Famous  —  If Swamiji is famous, it is because he has done twelve years of tapas

  Guru Brothers & Sisters  —  It Makes Sense Only If You Add It All Up

  Gurus, Obedience & Ashrams  —  A true yogi doesn’t tell others what to do; ashrams are for devotees.

Remembering His Devotees

Several stories about Swamiji’s ability to remember have been published.  They are among the most sweet stories because they remind us that Swamiji never forgets his devotees.  My favorite is Mario, an older, quiet man who simply asked Swamiji, “Swamiji, you are traveling all over the world and meeting thousands of new devotees.  Won’t you forget me?”

Swamiji replied, “No, Swamiji will not forget you.  Not even if you turn your back on me for lifetime after lifetime, Swamiji will never forget you.  Swamiji will always be there with you.”

Swamiji remembered devotees from prior lives.  Some of the devotees who served Swamiji during the early years incarnated with him when he was Ramakrishna Paramahansa.  Swamiji would tell them who they were in that life.

Above: Ramakrishna Rao with Shivabalayogi, probably c. 1963.  Below: the photo of Ramakrishna's disciples.

Ramakrishna Rao was one of the young men who traveled with Swamiji and protected him on his first tour in 1963, and subsequent travels throughout India.  When I spoke with him in 1994, he showed me the photograph of disciples gathered behind Ramakrishna’s body.  Rao identified Ramakrishna’s disciples and their names as Shivabalayogi’s devotees.  They included himself, J. V. Ramakrishna Rao, and Hindi Master, Rumale Chennebasaiah, M. G. Kabbe, Adinarayana, C. H. Dharma Rao, and Shankaram.  This information he got from Swamiji.

Several Seattle devotees traveled to Portland to see Swamiji’s first program there during his 1990 tour.  It was before Swamiji came to Seattle that year and it was Jagadish’s first year serving as Swamiji’s interpreter.  When he and Swamiji walked into the hall, Swamiji started to poke him excitedly.  “See, they are here.  Don’t you recognize them?”  Jagadish understood that Swamiji expected him to recognize us from prior lifetimes, but of course, not being a yogi, he couldn’t.

We have a swami claiming to be Shivabalayogi in a new body, but he cannot recognize the devotees who had organized Shivabalayogi’s four world tours, had hosted dozens of Shivabalayogi programs, and had Shivabalayogi staying in their own homes for ten days at a time.

It happened in Agra shortly after the mahasamadhi.  A trance-swami talked for hours assuring them he was Shivabalayogi, answering devotees’ questions, and giving me all sorts of favored attention.  But I was traveling with two trustees of Swamiji’s Oregon Trust, Pat and Sally who had done the work of organizing Swamiji’s Seattle programs.  The trance-swami completely ignored them.  It got to the point where Pat, who had been hoping to get some affirmation of Swamiji’s continued presence, had to get up and walk away so she could cry.

Six years later, after this same trance-swami had completed his supposed transformation into Shivabalayogi, he presided over a meeting attended by Ken and Elisha, the two devotees who had brought Swamiji to the United States.  The swami didn’t recognize them or two other devotees that Shivabalayogi knows very well.  It was as if they were complete strangers.

The part that cannot or does not recognize devotees, I cannot believe that to be Shivabalayogi.