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.

Making Way for the New

There really is no distinction between “new” and “old” devotees.  There are only devotees.  Devotees who had direct experiences with Shivabalayogi have something to share, as do those who are drawn to him now.

In September of 1998, a few of us “old” devotees drove across country visiting other “old” and “new” devotees in various cities.  We ended up in North Carolina at the same time as Mr. M.P. Singh, an “old” devotee from north India who gets bhava samadhi.  Since Swamiji’s mahasamadhi, he and his devotees claim he is Shivabalayogi in a new body.

Originally, many devotees in India, including me who visited several times, were very impressed with Swamiji’s presence on Mr. Singh.  But then things started to unravel for many.  That’s another story.  By 1998, most Shivabalayogi devotees I knew were estranged from Mr. Singh.

Stewart Walker was a trustee of the North Carolina Trust that Shivabalayogi had established in 1989.  He wanted to help reconcile the devotees who believed Mr. Singh and others with serious reservations.  So Stewart drafted a proposal outlining ways in which devotees ought to accommodate each other.  A meeting was scheduled in a motel, the Travel Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia, to present and discuss the proposal with Mr. Singh and devotees.

MP Singh in Farrukhabad, c 1986

M.P. Singh with Shivabalayogi, Farrukhabad c.1986.

I went there with Stewart and several other “old” devotees.  M. P. Singh arrived with other “old” devotees:  Lakshmi Kantamma, the chairman of the Bangalore Trust, Mr. V.N.S. Chauhan, who donated the Agra ashram to Swamiji (he was also M.P. Singh’s father-in-law), Minu Rangar, who is related to Mataji and is an original trustee of the North Carolina Trust.

We gathered in Mr. Singh’s motel room.  Before anyone could say anything to begin the meeting, RC addressed the group I had come in with.  RC knew Shivabalayogi only through Mr. Singh.

First, he warned us that he was tape-recording the meeting.  Then he lectured us in a rather stern voice about how “old” or “senior” devotees were arrogant.  They thought they knew the guru and they were not open to the new ways (e.g., M.P. Singh) in which the guru was working.  RC said he had seen this happen with other spiritual groups and he was going to make sure it would not happen with Shivabalayogi (i.e., M.P. Singh).

It was an extremely unpleasant way to begin a devotees’ meeting.

But I have to admit that RC did have a point, although not the one he was making.  RC wanted to reinvent Shivabalayogi without the burden of anything that had happened before.  He would want to cut off the old devotees, at least those who didn’t agree with his understanding of Swamiji.  The point, as I would make it, is that although it may be important for the “Old Guard” to preserve the history, there is a role for the “New Guard” to develop it.