Monday, April 13, 2015

Hanut Singh

Hanut Singh, revered by those who knew him as one of Shivabalayogi's most senior and respected devotees, and a great saint in his own right, completed his earthly life of almost eighty-two years on Friday, April 10, 2015.

Since taking Shivabalayogi's initiation in 1968, Lt. Gen. Hanut Singh Rathore (ret.) practiced meditation daily without fail during front-line service in wartime (see World Peace) and throughout his active service as a senior officer in the Indian army. Even in later years as his health deteriorated, General Hanut insisted upon maintaining his meditation practice.

General Hanut's passing matched his spiritual greatness. This last Friday during his regular meditation, General Sahib simply remained in samadhi, his body and head erect. After some twenty hours in samadhi, his soul left his body.

True mahatmas, the great spiritual souls, often remain out of the public eye. General Hanut was such a spiritual giant. He avoided public controversies, and rather than talking about spiritual matters, he quietly practiced them. Yet his contribution to Shivabalayogi's devotees is immense.

Those who have read a book about Shivabalayogi and been inspired, should know that it was General Hanut who put together and wrote the first comprehensive book on Swamiji,  Shri Shri Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, Life & Spiritual Ministration, which was the basis for all other books written on Swamiji.

Read more about General Hanut
at the Shivabalayogi website.

If anyone has had the opportunity to visit the Shivabalayogi ashram in Dehradun, it was General Hanut who was largely responsible for preserving it for Swamiji's mission. It was Shivabalayogi's idea that Gen. Hanut should build his retirement cottage on the ashram grounds. Shri Swamiji would spend a few weeks each year at the Dehradun ashram, but when the great Yogi was away, General Hanut's presence, his encouragement for Seenu Dixitar, the ashram caretaker, and a degree of financial support, and the General's own intense spiritual practice all helped preserve the ashram for over two decades. One can only suspect that this was Shivabalayogi's plan.

During the uncertainty and confusion after Shivabalayogi's own mahasamadhi, when Seenu was compelled to sit for five years of meditation in the Dehradun ashram, it was General Hanut who supported and protected him, enabling Seenu to assume the name and role of Shivarudrabalayogi.

Through the example and devotion of General Hanut, many other Indian army officers came to Shivabalayogi and became not only devotees, but sincere sadhakas, those who practice sadhana — meditation. They would spend time with Shivabalayogi at the Dehradun ashram and helped organize devotees' excursions to visit Badrinath and Kedarnath in the Himalayas and bathe in the Ganges.

Those who know a little about this great saint should will surely be inspired by his example. Shivabalayogi's only teaching was to encourage the daily practice of meditation. Shivabalayogi has many devotees, but few were able to take his teaching to heart. General Hanut was universally respected as one such committed devotee.

Certainly, all Shivabalayogi devotees owe a large debt of gratitude to the great soul who lived the life of General Hanut Singh.

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