Moved by the Spirit




Swamiji’s Devotees


Quotes from the Source


His Samadhi, Successors






About this Site | Links


For more information,
contact info@shiva.org



Bhava Samadhi Pages

Bhava Samadhi Home

Bhava Description

Categorizing Bhava

Bhava and Bhajans

Bhava in Other Traditions

Conventional Attitudes

Strange & Disturbing

Skeptics & Divine Play

Ego & Bhava

Discerning Bhava

Institutional Suppression

Bhava Links

Bhava Skeptics and Divine Play

In the very public and recent three decades of Shivabalayogi’s work in India and the West, we have volumes of history, experiences and explanations from Shivabalayogi himself about the reality and significance of bhava samadhi.

Today’s visitor to Shivabalayogi’s ashrams in India, and meditation and bhajan programs elsewhere, can witness devotees in bhava, or even experience its effects, whether directly or indirectly.

Still, some skepticism is understandable.  Those with a reasonably open mind will experience confirmation that the phenomenon is quite real.

"Higher Souls Induce it.  Trance helps in physical, mental and spiritual progress."

— Shivabalayogi

We were having kirtan [bhajans] at different devotees’ residences.  Whenever my wife saw somebody in trance, she would say, “I don’t know whether this trance is true or not true.”  One time she prayed, “Swamiji, you give trance to me and then I’ll believe that the trance is something and some power is there.  Otherwise I don’t feel that trance is something important at all.”

Then she entered the room where the kirtan was starting and sat down. Immediately trance came over her.  She was in trance right from the moment the kirtan started through the end of the arthi.  She saw a divine light all around the room.  She wasn’t dancing, just swaying with the music, eyes closed.

When she came out from the trance she said, “I felt very light. I am relieved of a very great tension.”  She began crying tears of joy.

Left:  Lakshmi Kantamma in bhava samadhi.
She became Chairman of the Bangalore Trust after
Shivabalayogi’s mahasamadhi.
A large print of this photo was prominently displayed
in the meditation hall at the Bangalore ashram.

Right: Anang Singh Deo (on the right),
in bhava samadh.  He succeeded
Lakshmi Kantamma as
Chairman of the Bangalore Trust.

My husband and I were staying at the Dehradun ashram with Shri Swamiji.  Bhajans were going on and some people were in trance.  I was skeptical and thought to myself, “If that woman in trance comes over and touches me on the head, then I will believe.”  I was sitting in the very back of the meditation hall.  Immediately that woman came all the way back to where I was and touched me on the head.

Swamiji's mother, Parvatamma Allaka, in bhava samadhi at the Bannerghatta Road ashram.  She is in front of the photo of Swamiji and looking to her right.

Swamiji’s second mother, Srimati Kailas Kumari Devi, the Maharani of Patna, (Mataji) in bhava samadhi the day Shivabalayogi began his one-year tapas for world peace at the Bangalore ashram on Bannerghatta Road.  In Swamiji's photo album, handwritten on this photo, are the words, "Her Highness on Trance controlling the devotees on the eve of H.H. 1 yr tapas on 9/8/68. H.H. mother is in sorrowful mood.

When I first stayed at the Bangalore ashram, I was very put off by the people in trance.  The particular word which was in my mind was “drama.”  I kept thinking that it was all a drama, an act.  I was quite upset and ended up going to sleep without taking any dinner.

Swamiji sent some people wake us up and bring us to Swamiji so we could eat some food.  I told Swamiji I did not want any food, but he insisted that we eat the prashad.

Then without me having said anything, he said that I was upset about the trance. “It is not drama,” he said, using the very same word I was thinking when I was witnessing the phenomenon.  “It really happens.”

Swamiji was sitting on the verandah and both mothers, Swamiji’s mother Parvatamma and my mother [Mataji], were arguing with him.  Swamiji’s mother complained about the trance.  “What are you making the whole world do?”

He confessed to her.  “I’m sorry but I don’t know anything about it.   I was just closing my eyes and sitting on the dais for such a long time.  And when I opened my eyes, all of a sudden I see all these people in trance all around me.  Swamiji got a shock.”

I was in hysterics, practically rolling on the floor.  He was looking so innocent.

Swamiji used to put my mother, Mataji, in trance and make her touch people to heal them.  He pointed to her and told Parvatamma, “You know what, the Rajmata [Mataji], she is the one who is going around touching everyone and giving trance!”

At times we used to ask him, “Swamiji, are you aware of all the trance, when you have your eyes shut? Are you aware of it and who it is?”  He never really said anything.  He just would say, “Sometimes I am.  Sometimes I am not.”

Swamiji’s mother used to take care of devotees who were in bhava during bhajans.  She would offer the divine spirits water, food, flower garlands, tulasi leaves, arthi, or anything else they desired.  Sometimes Swamiji made his mother control the people in bhava, and it was this more extreme trance behavior that made Parvatamma complain to Swamiji.  She would tell him that she herself did not want the bhava experience.

One time when bhajans were being sung in Dehradun, we kept hearing a “click, click, click” sound.  It was Swamiji’s mother, Parvatamma, in the trance of Nagendra, the yogi-cobra.  She was hopping on one foot and her hands were together like a cobra head.  She was hopping into the room and the “click, click, click” sound was her toe ring on the hard floor.

When she came out of trance and realized what had happened, she became very angry and yelled at Swamiji in Telugu.  Swamiji was holding his hand towel over his face, biting his teeth trying to contain his laughter.

When she finally left, Swamiji told the devotees gathered around him, “My mother is getting on in years and not very young, so a little trance every now and again helps her.”  When she came in again, we had to look down for fear she might see us smile.

HOME page │ PREVIOUS page │ NEXT page