Friday, October 28, 2011

Sri Shivabalayogi (1968) Online

The first completely English book on Shivabalayogi, written by Prof. S. K. Ramachandra Rao, is now online.  It was published in Bangalore in 1968.  Later that year, Shivabalayogi sat for a one-year tapas at the Bangalore ashram on Bannerghatta Road.

You can read the complete book, Sri Shivabalayogi, online and there is a text only, printer friendly version that you can download.  This excerpt from the book suggests the awe with which Shivabalayogi was regarded in those early years after he finished his twelve-year tapas:

We have heard that in ancient times Lord Krishna made Bharata-Varsha holy by his Avatar amongst the animals and inanimate on this earth, people young and old were so drawn to him that the sound of his magic flute and the touch of his divine presence would perform a miracle in them each such that they would emerge changed and chastened beings.  This was “Krishna Leela” as people termed it, while Krishna himself laid no claim to the leelas.

Believe it or not, here and now, the twentieth century has produced a Shivabalayogi who has many “Tapoleelas” to his credit but lays no claim to them.  The yogi has considered it his duty to wipe the tears of every distressed being that approaches him for succour, radiating into the suppliant a cheer and a titter leading to comfort and peace.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spiritual Ministration Online

Shivabalayogi holding up a copy of the 1989 edition
of Spiritual Ministration, presenting it to the public
on the occasion of his 54th birthday.
The complete 1989 edition of Shivabalayogi's biography by Gen. Hanut Singh, Sri Sri Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj Life and Spiritual Ministration, is now available online. Originally published in 1981, this was the first book on Shivabalayogi available in the West.

You can read the entire book online, with all original illustrations and appendices, or download (text only, printer-friendly) the book, all at the Spiritual Ministration pages of the Handloom website.  No charge.

The Handloom website contains many archived materials on Shivabalayogi, including free downloads of audio recordings and transcripts of conversations with Shivabalayogi; Shivabalayogi chanting om namah shivaya namaha; a booklet on Shivabalayogi, A Brief Sketch, published a few months after he completed twelve years of meditation; a booklet entitled The Lahari that was published in Bangalore in 1989 from material collected in England the previous year; a detailed article on the practice of The Practice of Dhyana Meditation;  and a summary of the great spiritual treatise, the Yoga Vasishta.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Serious Sadhana (Spiritual Practice)

Shivabalayogi in London, around 1990.
From Nick Black in London:

I’ve been a meditator for 35 years, followed yogic spiritual practice very seriously and intently for a long, long time. But like many of my generation, I tended to fall for spiritual groups and leaders who in the end turned a little toxic. So I’ve gone my own way for some time. Being a journalist and writer, I kept a good eye out for all the minutiae of eastern spiritual movements, plus being a jyotish astrologer in my spare time. But for some strange reason, Shivabalayogi never appeared on the radar screen in all those years.

Earlier this year I completed an exhausting, very tiring nine-day recitation of the Devi Mahatyam/Chandi Path for Navarartri. Doing that is a bit like pulling teeth.  My mind, body and senses rebelled. Serious sadhana is a sort of give-away title for tapas, if you think about it. Little did I know what was to happen next! The very day after I’d finished it, the boon came: the Master appeared.

I kept having visions in meditation of a matted hair Yogi of beautiful aspect, leading me in meditation, encouraging to deepen practice . . . my meditations increased to an hour, to two hours, so that on weekends I’d manage five hours at a stretch all under the influence of the matted hair inner Yogi. He told me to put ash on my head and so I started doing that.

The experiences continue in full and delicate force and are unlike anything I’ve ever really known even after all this time on the yogic path. He is shimmering always, either as a sort of protective body casing or, this is hard to explain, twinkling in a miniature form in the sahasara crown chakra. Believe me I know the difference between fantasy and reality, and such experiences are just too overwhelming concrete to ignore.

Then a few weeks ago I was in a bookshop and came across a copy of Gen. Singh’s biography of Shivabalayogi (Spiritual Ministration, see and you can probably guess what happened next! I realized this was the matted hair Yogi who had been visiting.  I’ve known lots of spiritual teachers and ways of being, but this was like a death and a birth. Death of all the clutter, the old me, the old ways of relating. Birth of something truly wonderful.

Shri Swamiji passes power to his devotees
to do tapas. Shri Swamiji is with a person
who completed five years of tapas.
What happened and happens is that the great Yogi revealed himself in astral form, took over my body in a very literal sense, and forcibly pulled my body and eyes to meditate with the attention on what Indian tradition calls the bhikruti, the third eye. No choice about it! I sit, “POW” comes the great Yogi, locks my body and mind and sight, and deep we go . . .

This is happening day in, day out. I’m in absolute bliss, hard to describe, just overwhelmed with gratitude and the reality of this sea-change in life.

It’s very strange that I missed him completely all these years. I can only say I wasn’t ready, that things happen at their own time and space, and that there is such an element of destiny. How can I love and revere this person whom I never met, and yet whom I have and who is with me so intimately.

The Shivabalayogi websites, the books, the You Tube videos are like nectar at present. There are some fantastic performances in the kirtans available for download. [] I imagine, however, the bhava experiences raised some controversy. I can see how they could be manipulated. That’s a whole other thing happening… my hands and body get thrown into all sorts of positions when I watch Swamiji on You Tube or listen to the kirtans. I cannot thank you enough for putting all this out there. I’m in that odd stage where everything moves me to tears, it’s so profoundly beautiful.  So… thanks so much!

I’ve got a blog called Serious Sadhana, found on