Rainmaker

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Video of Shivabalayogi meditating to break a drought

 

Thippagondana Halli reservoir is located in the hills about 40 kilometers west of Bangalore.  In the 1980’s, it was the only source of water for the entire city.

Many years before the occasion that is recorded on this video, Swamiji was invited by the Chief Engineer overseeing the reservoir to bring rain.  Swamiji’s meditation brought good rain that year and the reservoir filled up.  The Chief Engineer organized a mass feeding and invited Swamiji for the function.  Swamiji used to talk about this often.  The engineer became an ardent devotee and wrote a book on Swamiji in which he described how he brought rain to fill the reservoir.

There was another drought in 1985 and the reservoir dried up.  The state government of Karnataka tried several techniques to bring rain, including cloud seeding, at a considerable expense to the treasury, but to no avail.  It was a serious concern for Bangalore residents.  There was front page coverage of the deteriorating water supply situation and all the attempts being made by the government.  It likely was at the suggestion of the former Chief Engineer that the government decided to invite Swamiji to bring rain again.

Around that time, a professor at Bangalore University by the name of Narasimhiah was actively running a campaign against fake god-men, trying to expose their tricks and how they mislead and exploit ignorant believers.  His targets included Sathya Sai Saba and others.  He was encouraging people to shed their superstitions and adopt scientific methods.  When he learnt about the government’s proposal to ask Swamiji to bring rain, Prof. Narasimhiah turned his attention to Shivabalayogi.  He proclaimed that it was not possible to bring rain by meditation and that he and his supporters would protest against the attempt.

It was in anticipation of such protests that Swamiji insisted on a formal letter of invitation from the government, which he received.  While Swamiji was meditating on the tank bed, some people actually came there holding placards and shouting slogans protesting the attempt to bring rain through meditation.  The police had to shoo them away.  Swamiji’s stance was that as he did not charge the government and that he did it only as a service for the people of Bangalore, so there was no reason for anyone to protest against his attempt to bring rain. All that he asked for was a mass feeding to be conducted and even that was not to benefit him but the general public.

As can be seen in the video, even as Swamiji’s party was returning from the reservoir, before they reached the ashram in Bangalore, it started raining.  The next day all the newspapers carried huge, front-page headlines, related articles, and pictures of Swamiji meditating on the dry reservoir bed.

The scenes include:  shots of the almost dry reservoir;  Swamiji leaving the Bangalore ashram and arriving at the reservoir where he worships at the small temple; Swamiji meditates in the dry reservoir while devotees sing bhajans (spiritual songs) and pass into trance;  Swamiji blesses offerings which are given to the waters by devotees;  newspaper reporter interview Swamiji at the reservoir guest house; and the rain on the drive back.  The picture quality suffers as the video was edited from a copy of a copy of the original.