Before Swamiji  

Before Shiva Bala Yogi, my first  introduction to mediation was through a Yoga lineage whose source was attributed to  Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri.  Nityananda was a spiritual giant – a mountain of super-conscious bliss who took mahasamadhi in 1961.   Although I deeply longed to, I never met him physically.  Still I felt a very strong, unexplainable connection to him.  Nityananda And there was one rare photo that for me, became the ideal image of the Master.  This photo became indelibly etched into my mind.  Although it is difficult to see in this small version of the photo to the left, there is an extraordinarily powerful look in his eye.   It is the kind of gaze that only a Self-Realized master can exhibit.  We sometimes look into the eyes of spiritual masters hopping to see God – but the look in this photo was so penetrating that it made me feel that God was looking at me through Nityananda’s eyes.  This photo so defined my connection to Nityananda that when I dreamed of him, he would appear in this particular pose. Much later in 1989 I met Shiva Bala Yogi (Swamiji) and invited him to my home in America and he accepted.  One day as he was resting between programs, I found myself alone with Swamiji.  He spoke a little broken English to me but most of our time together was in silence sitting on the carpet of my room.  Like Nityananda, Swamiji, also wore a loincloth.   At one point he laid down horizontally, rolled on to his right site and assumed the same posture as the Nityananda photograph..  Suddenly, Swamiji transformed right before my eyes and I saw the great avadhoot, Bhagavan Nityananada, laying immediately in front of me on my floor.  And there was that same unobstructed gaze of God seeing into me without distortion.   Instantly a great bolt of energy and power surged through my body unseating my ordinary consciousness.  It felt like grabbing a live electrical wire and falling off of a building at the same time. 

Swamiji looked deep into my eyes, silently observing my inwardly intense and startled reaction.  I immediately understood that he was purposefully presenting himself to me in this particularly way and watching to see if I got it.  He seemed to already know that Nityananada’s form and this specific pose had become my archetype of the quintessential Yogi.  It was a powerful silent teaching that hit me like a bolt of lightning, electrifying every particle of my being.  Swamiji was demonstrating without words, that there was no difference in consciousness between him and Nityananda.   Then an even greater realization arose in me.  For years I had been longing to travel to the opposite side of the earth for Nityananda’s darshan in hopes of experiencing God through Nityananada.  But now,  God had come to me in my home in the form of Shiva Bala Yogi and given me the darshan I had wanted for so very long.    I felt so loved, cared for and factored in to the divine plan in such a personal way that I could never explain.  It was a holy and humbling experience. ~ D