Shivabalayogi in New England.
Video of Shivabalayogi and meditation programs in New England taken in 1990 by Peter Morales and re-edited by Tom Palotas.
As he leaves one program, Swamiji talks about being eaten by insects and rodents. He refers to his tapas, meditation in samadhi for 23 hours each day, in a field, a graveyard by tropical rice paddies, his body bitten and nibbled upon as his consciousness remained immersed in enlightenment. By one count, he endured seven cobra bites. He only felt the agony when he resumed ordinary awareness for one hour each night.
Swamiji often praised his mother, Tapaswiji Maharaj, and a handful of early devotees who helped keep his body alive during 12 years of continuous austerities, from age 14 to 26.
Swamiji always paid respect to gods and yogis. Two of these programs were at Zen centers with idols of Buddha. As was his custom, Swamiji would pause before the idol and communicate with the god or yogi, and in these two instances, with Lord Buddha.
Swamiji often said Buddha's tapas was more difficult because Buddha grew up as a prince in comfort, yet his body suffered just like Swamiji's. By comparison, Swamiji grew up as a poor villager knowing hardships.