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ShivabalayogiSpiritual Leaders

Santa Fe, July 5, 1991

How does someone like Rajneesh gain so much power?

“He says it’s not power.  It’s what you people have done.  It is you who gave him that power.  He was just a professor from the college.  He tells you that because he knew the language well, he started giving you lectures and you fell for his lectures.  You took the drugs along with him.  You danced with him.  You enjoyed with him.  So you all came together.  So the professor Rajneesh has become Bhagwan Rajneesh.“

Radio interview of Shivabalayogi in Santa Fe, June 3, 1990

In the West, the terms “yogi” and “yoga” are somewhat common, but the meanings are not well-known.  What is the real meaning of yogi?

“A yogi is one who has actually performed a penance [tapas].  Whereas a spiritual leader is one who reads books and gets knowledge from the books.  That’s the difference.“

“So he says there is an example.  He is asking you to bring all those three photographs.  He says there is an example in this very house.  You can know very easily the difference between a yogi and a spiritual leader.  He is going to show you the three photographs and he is going to show you the difference between those three.  He will explain that.“

Q         If somebody wants to know God, to be in union with God, then they need at some point to get to twelve hours of meditation a day, then they need to give something else up to do that twelve hours a day no matter what else they do.

“ 'Yogi.' ” [first picture, Nityananda]

Is that Nityananda?

“This [second picture, Muktananda] is a spiritual leader, he says.  This is a devotee of this person.”


“Is a yogi, yes. See this [third picture, Guru Mayi] is a devotee of the devotee of the yogi.  So you can see the difference in these three photographs.  'Understand?' ”

Yes, yes.

“ 'Full house.' ”

Las Vegas Video Taped Darshan, April 16, 1991 (Jesus, Yogis & Spiritual Leaders)

Did you ever meet Swami Muktananda?

“He says it is not necessary for him to meet Muktananda.  He is a spiritual leader whereas Swamiji is a yogi.  Muktananda is a spiritual leader whereas Swamiji is a yogi.  All the friends of Muktananda had come to Swamiji.  They have met Swamiji.  All the devotees of Nityananda, they have all come to Swamiji.”

Could Swamiji tell us. . . what is it of a yogi that makes him a yogi, as opposed to a spiritual leader?

“He says if you look at Muktananda and his guru Nityananda and also the modern leader that you have now, you will understand what the difference is.  Who is the modern leader?  You will understand everything by looking at them.  Who is doing the management now?  He is asking you to keep all three pictures, pictures of the people I mentioned now, inside of you.  And then you will understand what is the difference.  He says Nityananda was a yogi.  Muktananda was a spiritual leader.  And the people who are now working, who are in the management, they are the modern leaders.  If you look at them you will also understand, very clearly.”

What’s the significance of a lineage with gurus?  There’s talk about being from a different lineage, like for instance Nityananda, Muktananda, and Gurumayi.  They talk about coming from some certain lineage like, we have families and generations . . .

[no translation]  “He tells you that Muktananda and Gurumayi are only spiritual leaders.  They’re not yogis.”

But within yogis, do they have lineages?  When one yogi dies and another one comes in, is that a part of a lineage?

[no translation]  “He tells you that what you are asking about and what he has been talking about is different.  You are asking about a spiritual leader and the continuation of his mission right down with another spiritual teacher, and after him another spiritual teacher.  He is not talking about that.  That has no relation with the connection that yogis have.  The yogi himself has nothing to do with the spiritual leaders.  So Nityananda himself will have nothing to do with Muktananda or Gurumayi.”

“He tells you that all the yogis belong to a single line.  They are all the same.  They are all connected together.  It’s not that you have branches or anything like that.  He is asking you to read the histories of yogis and the histories of the spiritual leaders.  You yourself will understand, he says.”


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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.