HIS LIFE

MEDITATION | PROGRAMS

HIS TREASURE Experiences

SOUL CONNECTIONS HOME

Parvatamma, Swamiji's Mother

Garaga N. Murthy, first devotee

Tapaswiji Maharaj

Kaleakanda Bhadra Rao, playmate

Ramakrishna Rao, companion

Hindi Master, bhajan leader

Kodandam, companion

Annapurna, Mandapeta

Vittal G. Tambre and his army

Adinarayana, Trust Secretary

K. S. Veerabhadraiah

Mataji, Swamiji's Second Mother

Nagendra Swami, tapaswin

S. Veereshaiah, Bombay

D. Baurai, Postmasterji

K. L. Ghai, Sambhar Lake

K. Gopanna, Kakinada

Gen. Hanut Singh, Dehradun

R. C. Nanda, Jhansi

R. Thippanna, Anantapur Ratnagiri

Guru Sisters

Hosting Swamiji in the West

Azul's Om Shiva

HIS WORDS

Quotes from the Source

HIS PRESENCE TODAY

His Samadhi, Successors

BOOKSTORE

LIBRARY  |  ARCHIVES

VIDEO  | PHOTOS  |  BHAJANS

INVITATIONS | GLOSSARY

Shiva

Shiva.org

The website that Shivabalayogi blessed.

Shivabalayogi Currents
a Blog about Shivabalayogi

Shivabalayogi Writer’s Corner 
about Yogis, Teachers & Saints; Bhava Samadhi; the Living Yogi; Yoga Vasistha

 About this Site, Links

 

For more information,
contact info@shiva.org

 

SOUL CONNECTIONS HOME | PREVIOUS PAGE | NEXT PAGE

Ramakrishna Rao was the son of Garaga Narasimha Murthy, the tehsildar known as “Swamiji’s first devotee.”  Rao was one of a handful of devotees who accompanied and protected Shivabalayogi throughout India during the early years.

Ramakrishna Rao with Shivabalayogi

Ramakrishna Rao with Shivabalayogi.  Photo probably taken in March of 1963, shortly before the first tour.

Among those who traveled with Swamiji, Ramakrishna Rao had the reputation of having the most amazing experiences with Swamiji.  See, for example, the story of Swamiji as a TIGER.

J. V. Ramakrishna Rao

“Naturally you first get doubts about a person’s genuineness, no?  It was the same for us as very young boys.  When my father first came into contact with Swamiji, immediately I couldn’t accept it.  I was not so spiritually inclined. I never used to go to the temple or pray.  I felt God’s presence, but was not spiritually inclined.  But I felt Swamiji.”

“Even at at my tender age, while Swamiji was in tapas, once I started going with my father, there was some sort of feeling that Swamiji was that person.  I used to accompany my parents for Swamiji’s darshan.  That way, since our boyhood, Swamiji has dragged us so near to him that we cannot get away from him.  That effect has become more pronounced day by day, from time to time.”

“The first time I saw Swamiji he was in the hut, not the Dhyana Mandir.  It was actually a hut with a door curtain made of gunny sack.  There was no door.  His only shelter was made of sticks, gunny sacks and palm leaves.  Only later did they raise a platform so he could sit above the mud.”

“While Swamiji was doing tapas we used to go with our parents.  We used to enjoy that.  The closer we got to him the more we used to feel his presence — always, for anything.  Especially after people started getting this trance after his tapas was over, there were many more experiences.”

Traveling with Shivabalayogi

“Actually, the seniors, that is my father and people of that caliber, were supposed to accompany him.  But my father was not keeping good health.  I was old enough by then, so he said that I should go.  ‘You must go and see that Swamiji is comfortable and don’t come back until you are allowed to come.  It is your duty to protect him.  Whatever service he wants, you are to do this way.’ ”

“That was at the end of March, 1963.  About six or eight of us set out with Swamiji in two cars.  Rumale and Mr. Kabbe arranged the trip and I think they brought the cars from Bangalore.  Over the next years, some would return or be sent home and others would join, but the group always remained quite small.  I was with him for the first three years and helped set up the Bangalore ashram.  I returned home in 1967.”

“We set out with Swamiji on that trip in the spirit of playmates, not like guru and disciple (shishya).  We were serving Swamiji so much we had no time for meditation.  e were picked to protect Swamiji, not to meditate.  In those early 1960’s, the more time we spent with Swamiji, the more we realized his greatness.”

“We were without any of the comforts we were used to.  At home, if we wanted tea, or something to eat, or a drink, we knew where and how to satisfy our desires.  But this was not possible traveling, and we missed our comforts greatly.  So it came to pass that while traveling with Swamiji, I got a desire for a particular kind of sweet which I liked.  Soon, a devotee came to Swamiji and offered him the very same sweet.  Swamiji threw some to me as prashad. T his happened very often and with all sorts of little comforts we might have desired.  They came automatically through Swamiji.”

“In the beginning of the 1963 tour to Bangalore, so many people were very jealous of Swamiji, even some of the people who had invited Swamiji, people who were his hosts and organized his programs.  Those of us who had come with him somehow got the power to check these people.  We would get a sense of people and would know whether to keep a fellow at a distance.”

“When we were serving Swamiji, we felt some extraordinary force among us in addition to Swamiji.  It was good but very tough in those early days.  People used to give us a lot of trouble.  But Swamiji used to give us peace.  We always had a sense of the need to protect Swamiji and to make sure his mission was successful.”

“We used to drive for long periods at a stretch.  That we managed to drive to so many places throughout India was itself a miracle.  We had no experience in those ways.  It was his strength.  He gave us that strength. He was there to protect us.  That’s why we would do anything for him.  We were in his service, so he would protect us.  Why fear for it?”

Ramakrishna’s Disciples

I first met Ramakrishna Rao in Kakinada on the evening of March 11, 1994.  Swamiji was undergoing dialysis and Rao took me to his house where we talked.

For some reason, I felt that Swamiji had told me to talk with Rao to find out about what Swamiji had said about his prior life as Ramakrishna and his devotees, and that Rao had a photograph that would interest me.  It was like a déjà vu because I had no specific memory of being told this.

Rao showed me the photo of Ramakrishna’s disciples (see below) and told me how Shivabalayogi had identified some who were also his devotees in this lifetime:  Hindi Master (Davendra), Adinarayana (Balaram Bose), Rumale (Yogindra), Kabbe (Brahmananda), Shankaram (who used to get powerful bhava, Premananda), and Rao himself (Mahendra, “M”).

— TLP

Ramakrishna's Disciples

Above: Ramakrishna’s disciples with their master’s body.  Below and below right:  Ramakrishna Rao with Shivabalayogi shortly before Swamiji's mahasamadhi.

“Somebody would come to Swamiji and invite him to their place. I would tell them that I will come on such-and-such a date to see how they had made the arrangements for Swamiji and the programs.  I used to go in advance, see the place, find out what was good and bad, and give instructions on how they should arrange things.  Then I returned to Swamiji and we all went by car.  Sometimes if the distance was far, like to Bombay, I went in advance and stayed there.  I sent message to Swamiji and then he traveled.”

“If I was not satisfied, there were times when I canceled the trip. If I felt that they could not arrange things properly, then I told them that we would not come.  Swamiji gave me that authority because back then, phones and all these things were not there, so you had to use your own mind and then decide.”

“I was young and healthy.  On those long drives, I used to feel somebody sitting by my side keeping me company.  The person was sitting in the front passenger seat.  I could sense the presence out of the corner of my eye.  But when I turned to look, he disappeared. If I was driving very fast, Swamiji would appear on the road as a warning.  I would see Swamiji standing by the side of the road as if warning me to slow down.”

“It was really a good opportunity that Swamiji gave me to serve him.  We were young and energetic then and we served.  But we never had many comforts or anything.  We had some difficult times.  Now we have so many comforts, so anybody can easily be prepared to come and stay with Swamiji. In those days things were quite different.  We had to arrange everything by ourselves.

“Those who traveled with us were different personalities.  People are different.  In some cases we had to send back people whom we thought were not necessary and could not discharge their duties properly.  I used to make the decision and then inform Swamiji and suggest that he send them back.  I was not a yes man. I would tell Swamiji anything.”

“I was with Swamiji continuously until the end of 1967 when my father fell sick.  Swamiji told me that I had to go home, stay for some time, and then return.  He knew that things were bad.  I went home and saw that my father was very ill and I had to stay with him.  He passed away after a month or so.”

Drive to Badrinath

“Swamiji announced, ‘Why not go to Badrinath?’  So we packed two jeeps with all the equipment and supplies that we needed for an overnight trip because we knew there would be no accommodations for us.”

“The drive up to Badrinath is on an arduous and steep mountain road, quite hard on any vehicle.  The moment Swamiji’s jeep reached Badrinath and I turned off the engine, its fan belt broke.  I got out and saw it lying on the ground.  It had waited until Swamiji arrived before it broke.”

“A gentleman dressed in a full suit came and told Swamiji, ‘Don’t worry.  I’ll arrange for accommodations.  You look like a mahatma (great soul).’ ”

“I heard the voice of someone calling. I looked but no one was there.  This happened five or six times.  I began to get frightened, because the voice was calling my name.  I told Swamiji that I didn’t know if he heard the voice, but I was frightened.  He said ‘Don’t worry.’

“The next morning, we all went for darshan in the temple.  It was a special darshan arranged for Swamiji and his party.  He asked us to sit in the temple for about ten to fifteen minutes.  I got trance and completely lost all sense of my body.  My eyes were closed and I was not aware of what was happening around my body.  After about a half an hour, I was asked to get up.”

“In the vicinity of that temple and with Swamiji’s grace, I saw a number of mahatmas who had been living there for two, three or four hundred years.  I was fully awake, walking with Swamiji past these souls who were so detached that they took no notice of us despite our worship.  I thought I would never be able to see such sights, yet Swamiji’s grace made it possible.”

“To travel to Badrinath, we had to obtain a special permit from the authorities which allowed us to travel during the day at our own risk.  Driving after six in the evening was forbidden and there was heavy military security at various points along the road, especially by bridges, to enforce the prohibition and stop anyone from driving.  While returning from Badrinath on this trip, we ended up driving at night after the restricted six o’clock time.  Yet each time we reached a checkpoint, all the soldiers were sleeping so we passed through without any challenge.”

“I had driven continuously for over fifteen hours when we reached Dehradun at half past one the next morning.  The strain of driving was so great that I slept for the next two days.”

Ramkrishna Rao with Shivabalayogi, Adivarapupeta  March 1994A Guide in Benares

“Swamiji’s car, a Chevrolet Bonneville, gave us trouble driving from Orissa to Lucknow.  Two tires were badly cut and punctured.  A wheel rod had broken and damaged the two wheels.  We reached town with considerable difficulty.”

“We sent Swamiji to Lucknow in the accompanying jeep and I stayed behind with Adinarayana to get the Chevrolet fixed.  We had to go to Calcutta for tires, returned, completed the repairs, then headed out for Lucknow.  On the way, we passed through Benares.  Swamiji was to have stayed there, but instead he traveled straight to Lucknow.  However, the two of us were tempted to stay at Benares and have darshan of Visheshwara, Lord Shiva [the famous jyoti linga at Benares].”

“We rented a bungalow at Benares.  Adinarayana and I bolted the doors from the inside and I told him to watch the baggage while I took a bath.  He was napping and I was bathing.  I finished my bath, came into the room, and there in the room was a small boy of about ten years of age.  I got hold of his hand and demanded, ‘Who are you?  How did you get inside?’ ”

“The boy just smiled and said, ‘I came to guide you to the temple.’  Then I realized that this boy was sent by Swamiji.  I ordered breakfast (tiffin) and coffee and then the three of us went to the temple.”

“We parked the car by a hotel near the temple and asked the hotel owner to watch it while we went inside the temple for darshan.  When we went inside, there was nobody there, only the priests (pujaris) attending to their duties.  Benares and the Visheshwara Temple are always crowded with people seeking darshan, so this was extremely unusual.  I had a good five or ten minutes of meditation.  Then we returned to the car feeling very happy.  This boy was with us all along.”

“The three of us entered the hotel to have some snacks and tea, the boy with us.  I got up and went to the counter to pay the bill.  I thought I should pay something to the boy for his trouble, but when I turned around the boy had disappeared.  Adinarayana also could not see how this boy had so suddenly disappeared.”

“Keep back.  Do not press forward to be close to Swamiji.  The more he calls you or favors you, the more reserved you should be.”

 

SOUL CONNECTIONS HOME | PREVIOUS PAGE | NEXT PAGE