Author Topic: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.  (Read 689 times)

Subramanian.R

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Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« on: April 26, 2017, 02:19:51 PM »
Sri Siva Bala Yogi was a great saint of modern India.  Though fairly well known in India,
and the West, readers of the Mountain Path are unlikely to have heard much about him and his teachings.  The readership of a few books published in his life and teachings has are not extended beyond his educated devotees.  Sages of Sri Sivabala Yogi's stature ought to be known to a much a wider audience across the world.  Not that they seek fame or money (unlike god-men and god-women who thrive these days!) but to acquaint aspiring souls with the divine word revealed by them.  It is only divine knowledge that, if put into practice sincerely and diligently, leads to the removal of the worries and stresses caused by the competitive living which is such a marked feature of modern life.  The more discriminating aspirants seek a much higher goal, i.e. complete freedom from ignorance to attain Self Realization.

Sri Sivabala Yogi's life story, specifically the severe tapas that he undertook, has many lessons for serious aspirants (Sadhakas). Similarly, his teachings, practiced faithfully,
offer hope to many to achieve their desired end; that could be lower aim of living a peaceful and happy life sans worries or striving for the highest state of knowing the
Reality.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 11:39:41 AM »
Sathyaraju, the childhood name of Sri Sivabala Yogi (an appellation given by his guru,
Shankar Bhagavan) was born on 24th January 1935, at Adivarpetta, a small village in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.  It is about 25 kilometers from Kakinada,
a coastal town on the Bay of Bengal. The area is well known for its rice cultivation and the village is set amidst paddy fields with high bounds (mud banks) to retain water for crops.  The climate is hot and sultry for most of the year except for a short winter. Sathyaraju was the youngest of four children, the others being an older brother and two sisters.  The family was poor and belonged to the weaver caste, like most of the other villagers.  His father, Sri Bheemanna, died in 1937, which forced his mother, Srimati Parvathamma, to begin living with her father, Sri Goli Sathyam, in the same village.

Sathyaraju had to give up his studies after class two because of the impoverished state of his family.  He began to work at the looms, weaving cloth, at the very young age of eight.  Despite the family's tribulations, he had a fairly happy childhood.  He was strong for his age and also good at village games.  Like other young boys, he too had a propensity to pick a fight quickly.  There was thus nothing remarkable about Sathyaraju to mark him as a great yogi of the future.

There was hardly anyone in his family or in the village who was deeply religious or had more then rudimentary scriptural knowledge.  There was not even a temple in the village.  Sathyaraju, like other boys in the village, had no formal education and no spiritual leanings. But all this was to change, due to a divinely inspired event that took place, suddenly and inexplicably, on 7th August 1949.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva,     
 
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 11:49:43 AM »
It was a Sunday and the young boys were in indulging in playing pranks and games.  Sathyaraju had been playing a game of marbles, since the morning and at about 2 o' clock decided, along with a few friends, to go for a swim in the small Godavari Canal on the outskirts of the village.  Enroute, laughing and joking, they strayed across to a palmyra grove. As they got close to it, three fruits fell from a tree and some boys rushed to collect them.  They were equally distributed amongst twelve of them and the boys walked on to the canal.  All of a sudden Satyaraju's body began to shake and he saw a brilliant light emerge from his share of the fruit and heard the blissful sound of Omkara emanating from it.

His body became still and his confusion was replaced by wonder when he beheld an 18 inch black stone of Sivalingam in his hand instead of the fruit.  Then the exceedingly beautiful form of a divine yogi, made of light, emerged from the Sivalingam.  He was over seven feet tall, young looking and with matted hair tied in a knot on his head.  This awe inspiring divine figure then commanded Sathyaraju (in Telugu) to sit in Padmasana. 

On being informed of his ignorance about it, the divine guru taught him how to adopt it.  The divine guru then touched his brikuti (the space between the eyebrows) and Sathyaraju immediately entered Sahaja Samadhi, the highest state of Self Realization.
It was in this unique way that a fourteen year old boy, who had neither previous knowledge of spiritual matters nor any desire to seek any spiritual goal, was initiated into the discipline of Tapas Yoga.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 03:58:06 PM »
Satyaraju did not even know who his divine guru was. The latter's identity was revealed by the divine guru himself, twelve years later (in 1961), in response to a query Sathyanarayana raised. He was Sri Sankar Bhagavan, the Lord Siva, who is guru of all
yogis. It is difficult to relate in full the fascinating story of Sathyaraju's tapas that began on 7th August 1949, in this strange and dramatic fashion and ended on 7th August 1961. Yet it essential to know what transpired during these long years to appreciate Sathyaraju's stupendous spiritual feat, that transformed an uneducated village boy to a yogi of the highest class.

As Satyarajum sat on the canal bank in Samadhi, his friends thought he was either playacting or was possessed by a spirit and roughly tried to wake him up.  They failed to do so.  They then informed his family, who tried taking him home without success. After a couple of days he moved from the canal bank to sit under a bodhi tree at the
end of the village street.  There his mother cried her heart out of for him to return home, but it was his grandfather who persuaded her to let him continue with his tapas. Some kindhearted villagers built a thatched roof over him.

But he was faced with a new problem: he was taunted and made fun of by boys who harassed him in every way, including beating him with sticks.  Once a burning cloth was thrown at him by some malicious boys.  All this had not effect on Sathyaraju's resolve to carry on with his tapas, because he had lost all bodily consciousness after the first hour of his practice.  Sathyaraju then moved to the village's burial ground on 18th November 1949, to escape from his tormentors.  This burial ground was to become Sri Sivabala Yogi's tapas sthana (sacred place where tapas is done) and he sat in tapas continuously till 7th August 1961.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 05:56:59 PM »
An Asram has now been constructed there.  Sathyaraju may have escaped from the human trouble makers, but was now faced with even worse perils:  He now faced annoyance and attacks from rodents, mosquitoes, large ants, and snakes including cobras.  All of them had a field day as he sat in continuous tapas year after year for eight years till 7th August 1957, without any sleep.  He permitted himself a half hour break every night from 11.30 pm. to midnight to have a bath and for other bodily functions, and also to partake of a glass of milk.  Even this was discontinued for many
months at a time.

As with years rolled by, Swamiji's body became weak.  His matted hair, with bird droppings on it, grew to his waist.  Many a time Sathyaraju suffered intense burning sensation all over his body, excruciating stomach pains and, for almost three years,
lost control of his limbs.  He was bitten by snakes (including four cobras) at least ten times.  He survived all these ordeals due to his divine guru's grace.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2017, 02:00:30 PM »
His divine guru had also given him a Mantra with which to neutralize the venom of snakes.  All these painful incidents took place because of the hostility that a sincere
yogi faces from the hostile powers that operate from the northern, eastern and western directions.  The power that dwells in the southern direction is peaceful and neutral.  This phenomenon may be better understood by a simile.  Imagine that an average individual's mind is agitated and uncontrolled because it moves in a clockwise direction. To bring it under control, the motion in the mind must move in the opposite direction, i.e. counter clock wise.  That is bound to be resisted and that is why it is so difficult to stop the flow of thoughts in the mind.  A guru's grace is a must to do so.  A yogi earns this power for a large number of aspirants and therefore encounters
major obstacles.

Sathyaraju began tapas facing the east till October 1953;  for the north, it lasted until August 1955;  for the west and south, it was completed in June 1956 and May 1957 respectively.  The last four years (August 1957 - August 1961) were spent doing tapas facing the east again.  During this period, he was enjoined by his divine guru to sit for tapas for twelve hours a day (4 am to 4 pm.).  The rest of his time was used to to be utilized for rest, sleep, bath, meeting devotees and initiating them on the path of yoga.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 02:09:12 PM »
Then, on the 1st August 1961, the divine guru, Sri Sankar Bhagavan, proclaimed him a yogi and named him Sivabala Yogi.  The divine guru instructed him to re-establish dharma (i.e the predominance of virtue over evil) and awaken latent spiritual power
in all those who sought his grace.  Further, he could grant salvation and initiate devotees on any path including that of Silence.  After the completion of tapas, Swamiji traveled across India and established centers for meditation (Asramas) at a number of places including Bangalore (his headquarters where he spent most of his time), Hyderabad, Sambar Lake, Dehradun and so on.  He visited the USA and the UK in the late 1980s and early 90's.  He shed his body on 28th March 1994, at Adivarpuppetta after his diabetes took a turn for the worse in 1991.  He was interred in the Asramam there on 2nd April as per local custom for the holy persons.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2017, 12:03:36 PM »
Swamiji taught in Silence; many gurus of the highest caliber do that but his uniqueness
associated with the celebrated sage of very ancient times, Sri Dakshinamurthy.  Swamiji clarified all doubts by the power of Silence.  Thus, his emphasis was on practice (Sadhana) and on practice alone, because no degree of verbal instructions could ever purifiy the mind and prepare it for its destruction.  To teach in absolute Silence in this dark age is Swamiji's greatest contribution to India's rich spiritual heritage. 

Swamiji's teaching was simple; it was to make the mind silent (totally free of thoughts)  through the practice of meditation.  Apart from making an occasional cryptic statement on spiritual issues, his reply to any question was to do more meditation in order to know the answer.  Many got their doubts removed this way.   

Though Swamiji initiated devotees on all paths by infusing them with the power of Silence, his primary stress was on the path of yoga that stresses meditation (dhyana) to control the mind.  He taught the path of Atma Dhyana (meditation on the indiviudal 'I').  After initiation, students were told to concentrate on the brikuti (space between
the eyebrows) while ignoring the flow of thoughts.  This practice was meant to continue till one finally experienced the 'I' current in the Heart.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Sri Bala Yogi - Mountain Path - April June 2017.
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2017, 12:17:42 PM »
This is the preliminary experience that makes the mind ready for its final annihilation.
Swamiji emphasized that in this age of ignorance, (Kaliyuga) the practice of any spiritual discipline fructifies faster if it is combined with the repetition of a divine name and with service (Seva).  He insisted that every inmate in his Asrams did service of some kind. 

What are the chief lessons for an earnest aspirant from Sri Sivabala Yogi's tapas?  First: Desirelessness. Swamiji often told his devotees that he had no desire to do tapas; he only followed his divine guru's directions to attain success.  It is not easy to give up desire but even a sincere attempt to do so earns much more divine grace than one's efforts warrant.

Second:  Self surrender.  This is very difficult to execute in practice.  One must follow every yogic discipline in a spirit of self surrender, just as Swamiji did, by offering all that he achieved in tapas to his guru.

Third: Determination.  This is the crux of one''s practice, especially for beginners.  Most people are lethargic and look for excuses to postpone their practice.  Even those who do practice get frustrated after some time, due to want they perceive as their lack of progress.  What needs to be borne in mind is that one must press on regardless of one's fears and doubts.  This is the true measure of devotion to God and Guru, and to achieving Realization.

Swamiji's message should inspire all aspirants to never give up their spiritual practice, no matter how discouraged they may feel.  No devotee is ever likely to face the enormous perils that Sri Sivabala Yogi endured. Yet he carried on, despite life threatening opposition from many evil spirits, and he vanquished them all in the end.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.