“Swamiji has been asked to do that by his guru.  Swamiji has come to this world to reduce your tension.  This is the duty he has come here to perform for you.”

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Newspaper clippings preserved from the early 1970’s suggest the almost furious pace with which Shivabalayogi executed the instructions of his Divine Guru.  For the year 1971 alone, the clippings describe the following travels.

A newspaper article dated January 24, 1971, reported that Swamiji was to undertake another all-India tour during the third week of February, his first trip since his one year tapas.  The article also stated that two hundred and fifty thousand people had been initiated into meditation.  From March 19 to April 8 of 1971, Swamiji toured several cities in Sri Lanka.

On April 14, 1971, The Deccan Herald quoted a statement from a recent news conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, that Swamiji was considering invitations to visit England, Singapore and the U.S.A., and he had plans for an ashram in Colombo.

Sometime in the spring of 1971, Swamiji spent a month in his native village of Adivarapupeta for Mahashivaratri.  On April 24 of 1971, The India Express reported that Swamiji was to leave Bangalore for Agra on May 1 by road via Hyderabad, and arrive at Agra on May 3.  He was to stay there until May 15, then be in Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan from May 16-20, and then in Dehradun from May 21.

On October 1 of 1971, a Bangalore newspaper reported Swamiji’s return from trip to New Delhi, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Warangal, Nagarjunasagar, Cuddapah, Anantapur and Hindupur.

In December of 1971, Swamiji began a forty day tapas because of the war which again broke out between India and Pakistan.

A Unique Traveler

In many ways, Shivabalayogi lived his life within the tradition of the rishis, the yogis of ancient times.  His tapas was arduous.  He taught in silence.  His dress was simple, usually wearing only a kaupinam loincloth.  He let his beard grow and his hair was matted.

In other ways, Shivabalayogi was quite unique.  His extensive travels were certainly unusual.  Even yogis of recent times typically preferred to remain out of the public eye, often in ashrams remote or secluded.  If you wanted to see the master, you had to do the traveling.

Travel in India 

Shivabalayogi traveled extensively throughout India for three decades and visited Sri Lanka several times.  He traveled by car through countryside known to be infested with criminal bands known as dacoits.  He often told stories about encounters with dacoits who intended to rob his group but instead became awed by his divine presence.  Some of those automobile drives were very long and tiresome and Indian roads take a severe toll on both car and occupants.  Twice he was involved in serious automobile accidents, but each time, miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.

In the first eighteen years after his tapas Swamiji undertook seven all-India tours.  Ashrams were dedicated to Swamiji’s mission all over India, including Adivarapupeta, Dodballapur, Bannerghatta Road and JP Nagar in Bangalore, Sambhar Lake in Rajastan, Dehradun, Anantapur, Hyderabad, Hindupur, Venkatapuram, Guntur, and Agra.

Map of India showing only a few of the areas
Shivabalayogi would visit.  Red dots indicate
some of the ashrams he dedicated.

Sometimes devotees provided him with the luxury of traveling by airplane — coach, often by himself.  He looked quite odd, a yogi with long jatas (matted hair) and almost naked, clutching a towel and an envelope with his ticket inside, and wearing socks and shoes.  The airline people objected to his dress and he would argue with them.  With time, he accommodated their sensitivities and started wearing a shawl.

His Work

He traveled on the invitation of local devotees who arranged for public meditation programs.  All were welcome to receive his darshan.  Countless people were blessed through his darshan and many thousands were healed of their mental and physical ailments by Swamiji’s grace.

 

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