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Tapoleela Quarterly Journal
Tapoleela Journal



THE BEGINNING ~ Sunday August 7, 1949

It was the day when Sathyaraju, a fourteen-year-old boy from a poor village family, attained enlightenment (samadhi) and began the transformation into a yogi. After twelve years of intense tapas (spiritual austerities) meditating 23 hours a day, not returning to ordinary consciousness for months at a time, he emerged as a liberated God-realized soul. This is his story of how it began, in his own words and based on his own descriptions.

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"When Swamiji was a boy of about fourteen years, he was playing with his friends on the banks of a canal of the River Godavari.  They had a little swim, then they came out and they wanted to have some palmyra fruit.  They found some fruit that had fallen to the ground and they distributed them among themselves. Swamiji started to squeeze the fruit to get out the juice. The sound of Omkara [Om] emerged from the fruit.  Then his body started shaking and shivering.  Then he saw a light coming out of the fruit, and out of the light he saw a Shivalinga.  Then the Shivalinga split into half, and out of that emerged a well built person.  It was he who made Swamiji sit in tapas."

The man was dressed in the attire of a jangama devara, an ascetic devoted to Shiva who lives by begging, wears his hair matted, and smears his body with ash. He was well over seven feet tall, with a strong, well knit and beautifully proportioned body. He had a dark complexion and an extremely handsome and attractive appearance, with large and beautiful eyes. His long matted hair was piled up on his head in the manner of the ancient rishis. He had a necklace of rudraksha beads with a small Shivalinga resting on his broad chest. He wore a white dhoti, again in the manner of the old rishis. A bright light came from him that blotted out all other vision. All Sathyaraju could see was the yogi surrounded by a bright radiance.

“That person who came out and asked Swamiji to sit, ‘You sit down.’"

“Swamiji at that time was only a child. He asked, ‘Why should I sit?’ ”

“‘Just shut your mouth and sit down.’”

“‘After that, after sitting down, then what should I do?’”

“‘First you sit.  Then I will let you know.’”

“After Swamiji was made to sit, he asked Swamiji to close his eyes. Swamiji asked, ‘What should I do closing the eyes?’”

“‘You first close your eyes.’  After Swamiji closed his eyes, he touched Swamiji in between the eyebrows, in this point, with his hand.  And also hit him on the head.  That’s the way he was made to sit in tapas.  Then he lost his consciousness.  He went into samadhi.”


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