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

Bhava Samadhi

Swamiji Gives Spiritual Experiences

The book Swamiji recommended

Perspectives on the Mission Today


About this Writer’s Corner


news about Swamiji & devotees




For more information, contact

Forty More Years & the Old Guard

Shivbalayogi cutting a 59th Birthday Cake, 1994

Shivabalayogi cutting a 59th birthday cake, evening of January 23, 1994.  On this occasion he said he would be cutting birthday cakes for another forty years.

On the eve of his 59th birthday, Shivabalayogi was cutting a birthday cake with devotees at the Bangalore ashram.  That was when he promised to be around to cut cakes for another forty birthdays, suggesting he would live until 2034.  He dropped his physical form a few months later.

The tradition is that everything a yogi says comes to pass.  We had different explanations for this 40-year prediction which did not come to pass literally.  We thought maybe Swamiji meant bhava samadhi, spiritual trance in which Swamiji would manifest in a devotee’s body.  That proved not only unsatisfying, but too limiting.

Almost two decades later, more and more devotees are drawn to several disciples who are conducting public programs in the name of Shivabalayogi.  In the process, I sometimes see some pretty odd ideas about yogis and the “mission.”  I wonder how much they know about Shivabalayogi and the experiences he evoked in hundreds of thousands of people.

59th BirthdaySwamiji often talked about how the story changes after the yogi is gone.  Dan Gobin, who first put up a website for Shivabalayogi, with Swamiji’s blessings before his mahasamadhi (we have to make such distinctions nowadays) told me that when Swamiji was visiting him in Indiana, Swamiji said, “You are with Swamiji now and know the truth, but after I am gone people can say whatever they want about Swamiji.”

Maybe when Swamiji said he would be around another forty years, he was referring to the devotees who actually knew him, the “Old Guard.”  Maybe after forty years, we won’t be around to correct the record.

Read about some devotees who knew Shivabalayogi personally
of the Shivabalayogi website