The revealing story of Shiv Yogi Maharaj - 2
The previous part introduced the reader to an intimate interaction and association between the Lord and His devotee; between Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Sri Shiv Yogi Maharaj. Maharaj was now with Swami at Muddenahalli in the summer of 1993. The narrative continues...
Swami’s main concern seemed to be about what arrangements had been made for Shiv Yogi Maharaj. A room had been cleared above Swami’s room for the saint. But Swami seemed dissatisfied with that. He said that Maharaj would stay with Him in His own room! What happened in Swami’s room was later revealed by Maharaj himself.
“The Lord knows everything. I do not know anything. There was a separate bathroom which had complex things. He taught me how to turn different knobs to make the water flow!”
Swami did not stop at teaching him how to use the taps and shower, but also made him rest on His own cot! The Lord gave up His own two hours of rest for the devotee’s comfort! And when asked about it Maharaj said that he was simply obeying orders of the Lord!
After the short time, Swami proceeded to Parthi. Maharaj also stayed for about two weeks as Swami’s guest in Puttaparthi. During that time, there were many interactions and everyone wondered as to who this saintly person was, who was getting so much attention from Swami. One day, Maharaj had a bad cold and did not wish to come for darshan with a runny nose. When Swami came to know about that, he sent doctors of Homeopathy, Allopathy and Ayurveda to help him! Such was the attention that was given to him for the period of over two weeks. After lavishing love and pampering Maharaj with blessings, Swami permitted him to leave.
I confirmed this story from a few people and their response was,
“Oh! So it was this person whom Swami showered with so much love.
Low res pics of Shiv Yogi Maharaj with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at MuddenahalliClick thumbnail to view full-size
I asked Sarvajyoti about his association with Maharaj. He had been blessed with the opportunity to learn at Maharaj’s feet and had been guided to Swami. He was also privileged to cook for Maharaj on many occasions. Maharaj always stayed at some devotee’s place for he had no residence of his own. He wanted none too. In fact, he would never even eat from a plate. He would take the roti (Indian bread) and place the side dishes on it as he ate.
“It is God’s grace that we have a roof on our heads and food to eat. It is not right to get attached to things like plates and tumblers also. Today I have a plate. Tomorrow, I might not have one.”
That was Shiv Yogi Maharaj’s rationale. The name itself was something that his devotees had bestowed on him. He was born as Shadilal.
Once, on 24th February 2003 to be precise, Sarvajyoti had a dream in which Swami told him to invite his “old man” for lunch on 3rd March 2003. This put him in a fix because he had no way to invite Maharaj. Maharaj rarely gave darshan. He even spoke rarely. Days passed and two days before the stipulated day, Sarvajyoti came to know that Maharaj would be granting darshan. He rushed to the venue and much to his amazement, there was a person waiting to tell him that the Maharaj wanted to speak to him. When he went to the saint, he laughed and asked,
“I have already received the order. When are you going to send me the invitation?”
Thus it was that Shiv Yogi Maharaj visited his residence to partake lunch. Based on how Swami had treated him, Sarvajyoti arranged a chair for him right next to Swami’s chair at his residence. But try as he might, he could not get Maharaj to sit on the chair. When he reminded him of how Swami had made him sit on a chair in Brindavan, Maharaj’s reply was simple and straight,
“That was a different case. It was an order then. I will not dare to sit at His level on my own!”
There is a reason why am delving briefly into some of the stories about Maharaj. This is because he made some observations about Swami. Those observations thrilled me.
When in 2003 Swami had a fall and was finding it difficult to walk, Sarvajyoti rushed to his guru to cry and ask as to what was happening. Maharaj often maintained and observed the vow of silence. It was very rarely that he opened his mouth to speak. On this occasion, however, even before Sarvajyoti could open his mouth, Maharaj said,
“Listen to this story. The Lord came on earth as the Vamana (dwarf). People thought he was a dwarf and belittled him. But with just two footsteps, he covered the entire universe.”
Sarvajyoti was wondering as to what he was speaking and why because it was very rarely that Maharaj spoke. Then, when permitted to speak, he began to tell about how Swami had fallen.
“Arey! That is why I told you about Vamana”, laughed Maharaj. Then, he changed his tone into a serious one and said,
“If He wishes, He can cut His whole leg a million times and grow a new one in its place. Don’t get fooled by appearances!”
Maharaj’s devotees believed him to be the Kalki avatar. But he himself had a different opinion. He stated that he had come only to help the Kalki avatar.
“So, who is the Kalki avatar?” he was asked.
“He never arrived! This being (Sri Sathya Sai Baba) said that when He was there, there was no need for any lesser avatars! That is why I too am not having any work to do.”
As I listened to this, my hairs began to stand on their end. The revelations got more fantastic after that.
“On one occasion,” Sarvajyoti continued, “Maharaj whispered to me that the Lord was going to do such a magnificent leela (Divine Play). That leela would plunge all the devotees into grief but the leela would be done nevertheless.”
As I heard this, I suddenly had a strong desire to meet this saint. I wanted to know where He was presently staying. The answer I got made my hairs stiffer as they stood on their ends.
The physical end of Maharaj
“Maharaj once said that he would leave his physical frame 6 years before Bhagawan Baba left His. So I thought that it would be sometime in 2015 or 2016. One day, in 2004, Maharaj suddenly said that he wanted to go to Puttaparthi. He was brought to Prashanti Nilayam on 27th January 2004 as per his wishes. He stayed in a room outside the ashram saying that on this trip, Swami would not speak to him. He did not leave his room for more than a year. It was shocking for me at that time.”
“You mean he did not go for darshan?” I asked.
“In that whole period, he had only two darshans and as he had said, Swami did not interact with him on both those occasions. Otherwise, Maharaj just confined himself to his room. When his disciples would go anywhere, he would ask them to lock the door and leave. He just stayed in that room only. That was till 26th March 2005 when he left for Bangalore.”
“What happened then...”
“Nothing much in Bangalore. On 14th July 2005, he left Bangalore for Parthi again. He called me on my phone and said that I should be in Parthi by evening, the next day. He said that it was very important for me to follow that command. I promptly booked tickets from Delhi and landed in Puttaparthi. I came to know that Maharaj had developed fever. He soon gave up his body!”
This revelation was shocking for me too! I came to know that Sarvajyoti was the one who lit the pyre for Maharaj whose physical body was cremated on the banks of the river Chitravati! When the fires had cooled, four bones had been left behind and they were all in the shape of a conch. That was the physical end of a saint who had all through his life guided devotees towards Swami. No wonder then that the devotees of this saint also adore Swami.
“But before he left, he had told me that I should hold on to Swami and never falter. Any doubt that arises is only because Swami is fooling us. He said that I should never get fooled by the ‘mortal’ things that He does.”
Sarvajyoti continued the narrative,
“Everything that my master told me about Swami came true. He once had told me that if Swami ever asked me what I wanted, I should ask for only Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Ahimsa. When Swami asked me once as to what I wanted, I remembered the advice and asked for the same. Swami smiled and said that the old man had taught me well!”
How wonderful if we too have that same faith in our Lord’s words.
“I am in you, around you, above you, below you and with you always. You may leave me but I shall never leave you. “
As Shirdi Baba had said,
“The only pre-requisites for a devotee are Shraddha (Faith) and Saboori(Patience/Perseverance).
I conclude with a prayer,
Swami, every moment of my life, I know you are there. All that is needed is awareness of that fact. I forget the fact just as I forget the fact that I am continuously breathing. Make me aware and let my love for you grow stronger every passing moment.
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