Even worse, while he was alive in the body, in a teaching mission mostly confined to the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka until the final years of his short life, I knew or heard nothing about him at all.
He attained mahasamadhi in 1994 and there are scores and crores of people who met him and interacted with him in wonderful ways.
But this is my own little story about how I met Him and what happened subsequently. This is not meant to be a "look at me I'm special" kind of story, but meant to show how the great Gurus really are alive and active in their astral bodies, guiding devotees to liberation even after they have departed this earth plane,
Preparing the ground
What to do?
Weaving into life
It is important to separate out fantasy and reality, as well. Having been around other Gurus I hope I know the difference between a cosy sort of "lets pretend" relationship based on my own wishes and scheming, and a real relationship. The fantasy relationship always ultimately breaks down, usually through disappointment when the promised and imagined Guru does not extend you any help in difficult times. The real relationship for me has been much easier, more intimate. But the very early intimacy, which seemed so free at the time and without ceremony, has certainly changed. I started off with absolutely no preconceptions, no real desire for the relationship, but the Absolute, Parabrahman, Paramatman, Parameswara, Ishwara, Divine Mother - whatever you like to call the highest teaching principle in the universe - chose this particular form, the form of Shivabalayogi, to manifest a new era in this disciple's life.
The odd thing, the other day was that the face of my Hasiddhi Maa murti, the exact face, got superimposed on the Gurus face in a large picture in the puja room. They really were one and the same.
I feel as if I'm being shaped by strong, capable hands, which take their own time and pace. To what end, I don't know. Those hands are merciful. But, also brutal at times. The older I get, the more life gets focussed on simply sitting on the asana, where all is safe and auspicious, and afterwards working hard and repetitively on removing all the dust and dirt that has clogged my soul over a lifetime. Maybe the end result is simply an old man in a room with his japa beads and puja, working away in an antisocial manner in a strange incarnation. That seems fine to me, but... its His play.
I'm also very aware that it's a delicate line... there are thousands upon thousands of people who met and interacted with this Guru in his physical form. They know how he spoke, his mannerisms, his intimate activity. Equally, thousands experienced "bhava samadhi", the experience of trance states, and being overshadowed by devas and the likes. Furthermore some teachers claim to this day to BE Shivabalayogi. This puts it all into perspective. There is nothing special about this story at all.
I feel He is the light, He pressed a few inner buttons, but that makes me no more or less "entitled" than any ordinary human. No miracles, wonders, astral visitations flow around me, I'm still an idiot through and through, still have to work for a living. Indeed, sadhana for me consists of stripping away all the ego that constantly threatens to rear up and say "look at me! I'm special!". No, I'm absolutely not. Not a great soul, not anything noteworthy. An ordinary person in every way.
There's always a certain sadness for me about this. I missed his entire life! He even came to the UK on more than one occasion! Passed me by. I missed his life, his satsangs, his community, his ashrams. All that came and went. I can never be seen as anything other than a curious footnote, an interloper, to the people who actually knew him. Was I simply so miserably smitten with bad karma that I was not entitled to see him incarnate? That seems to be the sum of it to me... outside the protective walls, watching the great one live and then die. It gives me rueful pause to wonder, to scratch my head and think "I really must have been toxic!" That's the way of it, that's the sadness, that's the sober reality.
All successes are his, all wisdom is His alone. Am I a servant? A friend? A prince? An unworthy inferior being? I don't know, but really it must be the latter. But somehow, long after the circus left town, I met up with it after all, on a piece of flat dusty road littered with rubbish. And I hopped onto a cart. Maybe I was never supposed to. And the rest is... journeying.