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Swamiji Returns to Adivarapupeta for the Last Time

In His Physical Body, March of 1994

On March 9 of 1994, Shivabalayogi returned to his native village for the last time.  The “last time” means in his own physical body as he dropped that form when he entered mahasamadhi (the final or great samadhi) less than three weeks later.

Adivarapupeta is the small village near the Godavari River where Shivabalayogi was born and grew up as Sathyaraju, the poor son of a widowed mother. Adivarapupeta is where he completed twelve years of tapas and the site of the first Shivabalayogi ashram.  After he completed twelve years of tapas on August 7, 1961, Shivabalayogi remained in the ashram and would not accept any invitation to visit any devotee’s home.  He was intent that if he ever left the ashram, he would first visit the ashram of Tapaswiji Maharaj in the nearby port city of Kakinada.  This he did after Mahashivaratri in March of 1963.  From Kakinada, he traveled by car via Madras (now Chennai) to Tapaswiji’s ashram in Nandi Hills, just north of Bangalore (now Bengaluru).

When he left Adivarapupeta for the first time, he promised devotees that he would return each year to celebrate Mahashivaratri, the Great Night of Shiva. That he would do until his final return in March of 1994.  Swamiji flew from Bangalore to Hyderabad where he stayed three nights and underwent dialysis.  Then he caught an overnight train to Kakinada and from there, by car to Adivarapupeta.  His physical weakness is obvious, and many already realized that he had returned for the last time to drop his physical body.

Shivabalayogi entered mahasamadhi and dropped his physical form that March 28.

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March 9, 1994

Video of Shivabalayogi arriving on the overnight train from Hyderabad in Kakinada in the morning of March 9, 1994.

In Kakinada, he is received in the home of Komireddi Gopanna.

From Kakinada, Swamiji was taken by car to Adivarapupeta where he was met at the village entrance and led in a procession through the village to the ashram.

Swamiji sat on his asana (seat) in the ashram building where he gives public darshan.  It was at that asana that his body was interred a month later.pan>

11:49 minutes.


March 11-12, 1994

In 1994, Mahashivaratri (the "Great Night of Shiva") was the night of March 10-11.  Each year, Shivabalayogi returned to Adivarapupeta for Mahashivaratri.

These shots were taken on Mahashivaratri day.  Scenes include the homa, puja in the temple, as the mass feeding.

16:24 minutes.







Bathing in the Ocean at Kakinada

March 13, 1994.

Two weeks before he entered mahasamadhi, Shivabalayogi took devotees bathing in the ocean near the port city of Kakinada.  Only two days earlier his body had almost died.  He was so weak that his dialysis treatment in Kakinada had to be ended early. He was carried to his car and driven to Mr. Gopanna’s house nearby where he was carried inside a chair and given oxygen.  Devotees feared the worst.

Next morning he woke up cheerful and wanted to take the devotees bathing in the ocean.  That happened a day later and this video was taken on that occasion.

8:46 minutes.

Foundation for the Weavers Society

March 15, 1994.  Shivabalayogi consecrates the foundation for a new office and warehouse building for the Shivabalayogi Weavers Society in Adivarapupeta.

The main occupation of the Adivarapupeta villagers is weaving. Shivabalayogi had been born into the weavers community (caste) and he himself, as a boy named Sathyaraju, had worked on a handloom to earn money for his family.  After he completed tapas, Swamiji used donations given to him personally to help establish a weavers cooperative to market the colorful, hand woven dhoties (male skirts) and sarees made by the villagers.

The Society had outgrown its first building and two weeks before Swamiji dropped his physical form, he consecrated the foundation for a new building.

Three days later, at 1:47 AM on March 19, 1994, Swamiji consecrated the foundation of a new temple in the nearby Adivarapupeta ashram which would replace the failing structure of the Dhyana Mandir.  We have only a few photographs of the temple consecration, so this video of the Weavers Society building gives us an idea of the rituals involved in blessing the foundation of a new building.

10:14 minutes.



Shivabalayogi is hosted at a devotee's house in Kakinada for tiffin (lunch).

2:36 minutes










Bathing in the Godavari River

March 16, 1994.  Shivabalayogi and devotees bathe in the Godavari River near Rajamundry.  Despite serious health issues, Swamiji insisted upon bathing in the sacred river — and with his devotees.

A hired launch took Swamiji and some devotees down river to a nearby remote and sandy island.  A few hours later, another launch brought more devotees from Adivarapupeta village.

The tradition is that yogis can use water to transmit blessings.

Towards the end, Swamiji called me over and asked how much I had enjoyed the bath in the Godavari.  He said he wanted to return to the same place, only packed so that we all could spend the night on the island. Less than two weeks later, Swamiji entered mahasamadhi.

16:43 minutes




On March 28, 1994, Shivabalayogi entered mahasamadhi, the great or final samadhi in which a yogi sheds the physical form.

A week earlier, on March 19, Swamiji had consecrated the foundation for a new temple at the Adivarapupeta ashram that would replace the Dhyana Mandir (meditation temple) in which he had sat for ten of his twelve years of tapas.

The scenes in this video include photos of the consecration of the new temple foundation (they show light bodies) and the burial of his body inside what was the Adivarapupeta ashram building and now is the Samadhi, his tomb.

3:09 minuts.