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

About this Writer’s Corner





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Perspectives on the Shivabalayogi Mission Today

[as a child] “Swamiji cared only about the truth.  Even today he is like that.”

The Living Example (Part 2)

  Guide, Not God

Shivabalayogi did not claim to be anyone other than Shivabalayogi.

When Shiva and Parvati physically merged into the yogi’s body, Divine Guru and disciple became one.  He could have claimed to be Shiva or Shiva’s successor, but he went out of his way to discourage any such identity.

He worked within the framework of guru and devotee.  Although he could claim to be equal to God, he regularly offered worship to his guru, Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati.  This is not only an expression of humility, it is an expression of love.  We think of Shivabalayogi as a great meditation teacher, but throughout his life he practiced the path of devotion.

He served as an example of what it means to be a yogi, and he contrasted that with spiritual leaders.  In the process, he revealed not only the ancient truths (sanatana dharma), but the existence of yogis within many spiritual traditions.

  Prior Lives

Shivabalayogi could have identified himself with Jesus, or Ramakrishna, or Lahiri Mahasaya, or Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, or a host of other Self-realized masters who have considerable recognition and following in today’s world.  All these earlier great yogis were his prior lives.  He could have ridden on their coattails, but he did not.

Privately he talked about such prior lives, but in his public mission, he went out of his way to discourage identification with other lives.  He would say that what is done in the present lifetime is what counts.  He simply was himself

  His Own Authority

Shivabalayogi was his own authority.  He did not quote from books or other teachers.  When he spoke it was from his own personal experience.  He encouraged others to do the same and find their own truth within.  He asked no one to believe anything he said.  He asked only that we keep an open mind and learn from our own experience.


Swamiji stressed the importance of the family and he was an example of how to serve parents and children.  Parents should honor their children and children should honor their parents.  This, he often said, is the foundation for a good life.

He loved his grandfather and mother very deeply.  Those who were involved in his ashrams know how Shivabalayogi took care of his sisters and nephews.  He provided not only for his physical family, but for all devotees.  He had a sincere interest in the professional and personal details of all devotees’ lives.


Shivabalayogi was involved in the world.  He was active in the management and construction of his ashrams, using observation and his mind to work out construction designs and techniques.  He would be a well qualified patron saint for civil engineers.  He enjoyed mechanical objects, even toys, figuring out how they worked without waiting for instructions.  He enjoyed gardening, and although he himself was not physically suited for the work, he took a keen interest directing it, adopting novel techniques to bring about extraordinary results.

He observed, learned and implemented.  He learned about political, spiritual and business leaders from what witnesses told him, and from watching news broadcasts.  Often to the surprise of devotees, he was able to give them detailed business and professional advice.  It was never obvious whether he was speaking from his unusual access to vast inner knowledge or simply using his mind efficiently.


He was playful.  He teased and joked with devotees.  He took them on walks and picnics, and he took them swimming in rivers, lakes and oceans.  He was like a mother in how he loved to feed his children — all children, whether devotees or not.  He enjoyed cooking, and he was a master at it.  There was something extra in the dishes he prepared, something that could not be duplicated by others.  It wasn’t just that he worked without a set recipe.  It was the love he poured into it.


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