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Shivabalayogi in Tapas 1950  

Shivabalayogi as a Child

“Swamiji did not care about anybody, only the truth.  Even when he was a child, Swami was much stronger than you.”

When Swamiji was a boy named Sathyaraju, his mother had a guru who enjoyed getting money and material comforts.  At one time, Parvatamma left Sathyaraju in charge of the household finances.  The sadhu became upset because he was not getting the attention and money to which he was accustomed.  The boy sought out his grandfather, Goli Sathyam, for advice.  He told the boy that the sadhu was interested only in regaining control over the finances, so the boy did not pay attention to the sadhu.  When things did not change the sadhu became angry and complained to Parvatamma, predicting that she would have misfortune if she kept the household finances in Sathyaraju’s control.  Parvatamma was anxious to follow her guru’s advice.

As the sadhu was leaving their house, Sathyaraju slipped out and ran ahead to where the sadhu would be passing.  The boy rearranged his clothes so he looked like a Harijan (outcaste) and hid in wait for the man.  As the sadhu approached the boy reached down to grab something to throw at him.  His hand found a broken piece of glass which he threw at the sadhu, hitting him on the forehead and causing a nasty cut.

The sadhu grabbed his bleeding forehead and turned back to return to the house.  Meanwhile the boy had rushed back and was already there when the sadhu returned.  Sathyaraju acted surprised and asked what had happened.  The boy sympathetically cleaned and bandaged the man’s wound.  Once the sadhu had been fixed up the boy privately told him,

“See what happens when you say bad things about me? Don’t do that again.”

There was an older man in the village who practiced black magic and had attracted quite a following of admirers.  Sathyaraju disliked him, so when he saw the fellow bathing in the canal the boy started to hit him and ducked him under the water.  The magician and his followers were angry at the boy and decided to punish him.

One of the magician’s followers, a man about forty-three years of age, went after the boy with a spear.  The boy ran to Goli Sathyam for protection, but the grandfather told him to take up his lathi and instructed him to attack the man’s spear first.  Sathyaraju confronted the man, but the villagers gathered around and physically held the boy.  The man was ready to attack with his spear and the villagers told him he could strike first.  But they warned him that the boy was tricky, so if he did strike, the boy was sure to get back at him and beat him up.  The man thought about it but he did not have the courage to strike and he ran away.


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Divine Play:   Shivabalayogi’s life and blessings, 290 pages and over a hundred photos.  Generally available in bookstores and online.

Swamiji’s Treasure:  The most comprehensive collection of biography, experiences, conversations & photographs of Shivabalayogi.

Tapas Shakti:  Published at Swamiji’s request in India, January of 1992.  Contains his biography, conversations & experiences.