TALKING TO SHIVABALAYOGI ABOUT THE MOON

Posted in honor of the twelfth visit to America by His Holiness, Baba Shiva Rudra Balayogi Maharaj, Shivabalayogi’s only monastic disciple.

Baba and Shivabalayogi

Baba and Shivabalayogi

There is a happiness
like a bee hive humming inside the black locust tree
where an orphaned squirrel makes his home among thorns.

No one can fill what has never been empty
nor displace what is always full
but when love sits down in your heart
it will overflow.

Some look at my face and see a slammed door
locked against the cold
but inside this empty room I am always calling your name.

In rapture, the little white dog watches his master’s face
wondering if the light around her head is edible.

Now in the middle of the night I am awake
watching the moon blossom in that cloud shaped like the palm of an open hand.
Between two locust trees where someone has strung a clothesline
a thousand ants are walking.
Each one carries in its jaws a white petal round as the moon.

 

 

 

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LOOKING AT A PHOTOGRAPH OF SHIVABALAYOGI

Swamiji, Shivabalayogi Maharaj 1935-1994

Swamiji, Shivabalayogi Maharaj
1935-1994

April 6, 2014

We are looking at a photograph of Shivabalayogi
his smile just as I remember it
nipple of his right breast showing through the shawl
breast beginning to swell as a mother’s will
between feedings.

Shivabalayogi tells me
every moment this world is both a wedding feast and a crucifixion.
Sometimes he is a baby calling for his Mother
sometimes a Mother whose child is lost.

TALKING TO SHIVABALAYOGI ABOUT GOOD AND EVIL, HOW WE ARE CARRIED IN THE ARMS OF THE BRAZOS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

for my friend Jon Madian

one
You who beat my heart
we are walking the road to the White Salmon together.
I see the river gorge is the outline of your body
hear happy whistling of chickadees as breath through your nostrils.
Tinkling bells of rain water announce you are here

you are alive.

two
You tell me there is no high wall between evil and good.
The watcher sees his own eyes
shining back to him in the dark.

In the dark we won’t recognize our own face
or notice the left hand reaching out for the right.
The dead speak, glowing with good intentions
but you should not listen to them.
Find out for yourself.

three
Evil and good bleed into one another
are always mouth to mouth
as the Brazos River is to the Gulf of Mexico
mud tongue of one tasting the salt tongue of the other.

four
In the estuary of the Brazos
black and white men no one values
pull garfish from rainbow colored water.
Roll them in cornmeal
flecks of tar still in the flesh when it is laid down in the lard
to fry.

five
There are men who cannot survive a salt river
who must believe they are all one thing and not another.
But in the mouth of the river, the one is food
for the other.

six
There is a body
where memory of horror and of loss is still alive.
There is another body composed of Brazos water
moving as a wave into the Gulf.

seven
In a dream, I am taken through this open window.
Travel flooded streets grey with diesel.
I am carried by the Brazos, we are rolling
in a torrent of the Holy Mother’s love.

We flow on through alley ways seeking the drunk and the dead
bending down over them as a friend.
A blue wind follows, lifting those who are ready
into the sky.

eight
You tell me all of us are thieves.
When the stone is rolled away from the tomb
we take with us what we have stolen from ourselves.
The cotton we are bound in is unwrapped by a blue wind
and we see the sky round as the mouth of a cave.
We hear it calling a name that sounds like water.

THE 108 NAMES OF SHRI SHIVARUDRA BALAYOGI MAHARAJ

Baba Shivarudra Balayogi

Baba Shivarudra Balayogi

Written out love and respect for Baba, the sole monastic disciple of the great Yogi, Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, from whom I received initiation in 1989. After the Mahasamadhi of Shivabalayogi in 1994, Baba underwent a five year Tapas, in which he sat in deep meditation for twenty hours per day, never leaving his room. He reached Self Realization during this period and has since carried on the spiritual tradition of Shivabalayogi. For the past sixteen years, I have been blessed to know Baba as a devotee knows his spiritual guide and also as a dear friend. These sentences below flow from that connection, from the deep love I feel for him.

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108 NAMES WRITTEN IN HONOR OF BABA SHIVARUDRA BALAYOGI

for Baba

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha
Om Namah Shivaya

1. To Shivarudra Balayogi, born in Kolar whose Mother was the first Guru.

2. Whose Mother told her son never to bring shame upon Himself or forsake His chosen path.

3. To Shivarudra Balayogi, graceful as a handful of flowers, I offer my respect and devotion.

4. Whose elder brother was Seenu’s hero, teaching Him sacrifice and self respect.*

(Baba’s childhood name was Seenu.)

5. Whose Father was a healer, recognizing no enemy.

6. To Shivarudra Balayogi, whose heart is always open to the poor, I offer my respect and devotion.

7. Whose mind was suddenly illuminated when His sister sang Bhaja Govindam.

8. In whose Being this world and a million others are fireflies in the night sky.

9. To Shivarudra Balayogi, whose silence ignites the silence in others, I offer my respect and devotion.

10. Who says, “If you want to love Baba, love others.”

11. Who says, “If you want to serve Baba, live for others.”

12. To Shivarudra Balayogi who says, “There is no prestige in service, only work.” I offer my respect and devotion.

13. Whose devotee says, “If you don’t want to know who you are, don’t have Baba’s darshan.

14. If you don’t want to see the Infinite Space, don’t look in Baba’s eyes.”

15. To Shivarudra Balayogi, wise as a serpent but gentle as a dove, I offer my respect and devotion.

16. In whose presence the strong lean their swords in a corner.

17. In whose presence the mild fight with shadows, trying to subdue their minds.

18. To Shivarudra Balayogi for whom opposites do not exist at all, I offer my respect and devotion.

19. Whose devotee says, “If you don’t want to love Baba, don’t come near.”

20. In whose presence the sorrowful are lifted up, the blissful go beyond bliss.

21. To Shivarudra Balayogi for whom joy and sorrow are the same, I offer my respect and devotion.

22. Whose devotee says, “If you don’t want to know your own name, don’t call Baba’s name.

23. If you don’t want to remember what exists before birth and death, don’t remember Baba.”

24. To Shivarudra Balayogi for whom silence is the answer to the question, “Who am I?” I offer my respect and devotion.

25. To whom the goodness of the wicked is revealed, the impurity in the good man known.

26. Whose code of conduct can stand the light of day.

27. To Shivarudra Balayogi, the one devoured and digested by the Infinite, I offer my respect and devotion.

28. To the boy named Seenu who was loved by all but could not live without God.

29. To the one named Seenu who was burned to ash during Tapas.

30. To Shivarudra Balayogi, satisfied with what remains when the “I” is burned away, I offer my respect and devotion.

31. To the boy named Seenu who wanted Swamiji* more than family.
(Swamiji is Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, Baba’s Gurudev)

32. To the boy named Seenu who wanted Swamiji more than money.

33. To Shivarudra Balayogi who wanted Swamiji more than God, I offer my respect and devotion.

34. Who for twenty years worshiped the Guru’s form with total focused attention.

35. Who for twenty years was burned in Swamiji’s fire to make Him detach from the Guru’s form.

36. To Shivarudra Balayogi, Swamiji’s spiritual son, I offer my respect and devotion.

37. Whose every breath in was a sadhana to draw in the Divine.

38. Whose every breath out was a hymn in praise of the Divine.

39. To Shivarudra Balayogi who traveled through the heart and came to rest in endless Now, I offer my respect and devotion.

40. To the one who cleaned His Guru’s toilets as a sadhana.

41. To whom His Guru’s shouted insults were mangos ripe with bliss.

42. To Shivarudra Balayogi, who is the silence after a question that has no answer, I offer my respect and devotion.

43. To the one who began to teach only when His Guru gave permission.

44. To the one who gives instruction as a Guru only after being asked.

45. To Shivarudra Balayogi for whom surrender means “Let go of mental agitation.” I offer my respect and devotion.

46. To the one for whom ego, mind and world are only thoughts to be let go of.

47. For whom no sensory objects exist: no sight, no sound, no taste, no touch, no smell.

48. To Shivarudra Balayogi, composed entirely of silence, I offer my respect and devotion.

49. From where no words come and none can reach, unless they first are changed to fire.

50. Whose presence clears all doubts and fears and makes the mind stand still.

51. To Shivarudra Balayogi who gives the Initiation of the Friend, I offer my respect and devotion.

52. For whom this world is Imagination and all our lives are dreams within dreams.

53. For whom the creation happens when God becomes involved in thoughts.

54. To Shivarudra Balayogi, whose hands are human hands not flowers, I offer my respect and devotion.

55. To the one who says, “Keep watching, keep watching, keep watching…”

56. Who says, “Don’t analyze thoughts in meditation. Look to the vanishing point.”

57. To Shivarudra Balayogi who is the space between thoughts, I offer my respect and devotion.

58. To the one who is kind but will not be crucified.

59. Whose response to an insult cannot be seen or heard.

60. To Shivarudra Balayogi, for whom silence is the only honest answer, I offer my respect and devotion.

61. To the one whose reprimand is like a Mother’s kiss.

62. Whose guidance is a Father’s arm around the shoulders of his son.

63. To Shivarudra Balayogi who does not abuse His devotees and call it love, I offer my respect and devotion.

64. Who does not flatter His devotees for their money.

65. Whose robes are not made of hundred dollar bills.

66. To Shivarudra Balayogi, who is now what we aspire to be, I offer my respect and devotion.

67. To whom Swamiji gave Sanyas standing in the Ganges River.

68. On whose head Swamiji sprinkled water, gave Him a pat on the back and said “Don’t make a show of what you have become.”

69. To Shivarudra Balayogi who brings only honor to His Guru’s name, I offer my respect and devotion.

70. Who says that when the mind stands still, it ceases to exist.

71. Who says that when the heart is open, it is Infinite.

72. To Shivarudra Balayogi, the lotus at the Guru’s feet, I offer my respect and devotion.

73. To whom the gods said, “You cannot pass…” But He passed anyway.

74. To whom gods offered the rule of kingdoms, but He politely refused.

75. To Shivarudra Balayogi, who says, “I am a Yogi. I am not a god.” I offer my respect and devotion.

76. Who had the physical darshan of Shiva and Parvati in the form of Ardhanarishwara.

77. Who said respectfully to Shiva, “I only want to serve my Guru.”

78. To Shivarudra Balayogi whose life is simple as a breath of air, I offer my respect and devotion.

79. Who will give a fool chance after chance to change himself.

80. Who, having been insulted by Swamiji, is unaffected by the insults of others.

81. To Shivarudra Balayogi, who is like a mountain blue with Awareness, I offer my respect and devotion.

82. Who says, “Only God works miracles.”

83. Who says the greatest miracle is that people don’t believe they will die.

84. To Shivarudra Balayogi, who answers silence with silence I offer my respect and devotion.

85. Whose laughter joins with His devotees’ like a confluence of rivers.

86. In whose presence even a sparrow is incredibly beautiful.

87.To Shivarudra Balayogi who makes rocks pour out clean, clear water, I offer my respect and devotion.

88. Who is tall, broad shouldered and strong as any man.

89. Who walks like Shiva on the holy mountain.

90. To Shivarudra Balayogi, the Ideal of His devotees, I offer my respect and devotion.

91. Whose face is a sunburst when someone wants to know the Truth.

92. Who smiles when the heart’s desire of His devotee is fulfilled.

93. To Shivarudra Balayogi who says, “Wake up, you are dreaming!” I offer my respect and devotion.

94. For whom the Recommenced Goal is Peace.

95. In whose presence we find a staircase spiraling into Quiet.

96. To Shivarudra Balayogi with whom we are gathered into Silence, I offer my respect and devotion.

97. Who says that truth used as a weapon, becomes a lie.

98. For whom it is shameful when gurus claim to be God.

99. To Shivarudra Balayogi who abandoned His face in Tapas and now His eyes are everywhere, I offer my respect and devotion.

100. Who says, “Give the mind nothing to do in meditation and it will go introvert.”

101. Who says, “Keep striving until the last breath of life.”

102. To Shivarudra Balayogi who says, “Keep going! You can do it!” I offer my respect and devotion.

103. In whose presence we believe that we can let go of selfishness.

104. In whose presence we believe that we too can know the Pure Consciousness of Existence.

105. To Shivarudra Balayogi who walks with Shiva’s arm around His waist, I offer my respect and devotion.

106. Who found the doorway to the Infinite and walked through it.

107. Whose devotees become drunk with gladness.

108. To Shivarudra Balayogi who does not desire respect, who has no need of praise, I offer my respect and devotion.

Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sakshat Param Brahma
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah

om shanti shanti shanti

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