SHIVA RUDRA BALAYOGI

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A Retreat in Review

On February 25th, 2024, Baba, Shiva Rudra Bala Yogi’s second meditation and sadhana retreat was completed at the Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj Ashram, in Devarayasamudra. It was an amazing eclectic group of twenty three enthusiastic devotees from around the world, covering all continents, including: one from Australia, eight from America, one from Brazil, another from Barbados, two from England, six from India, one from Russia, two from Spain, and last but not least one from Zimbabwe. (listed alphabetically) Five characters were repeats from last year. The hope and intention is to make this an annual event.


Please find below the schedule that is followed by a description of daily life for residents and guests, whether there is a retreat in progress or not, and we will give some unique embellishments about the retreat afterward. Please be assured that this is an extraordinarily peaceful, quiet and restful environment, contributing to deep Sadhana, Dhyana, Bhakti Marga, dedication and mesmerizing instruction from Baba on Knowledge of the Self, based on his own Tapas and experience of the Truth.


Mornings begin with residents, and guests (optional) going for an early morning walk at 5:15 AM around the garden grounds with Babaji, followed by puja, chant of the Hanuman Chalisa, visiting the Temple complex and finishing blessings at the two Shivabalayogi Lingams. Most days allow for Satsang with Baba, Shiva Rudra Balayogi or discourse and Q & A, assisted by Ambaji in every way imaginable, and the dedicated Brahmacharis. Jangama Dhyana is a very important part of every days routine, finishing with Aaratis to Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj and our beloved Babaji. Peace has truly descended here.


The daily retreat satsangs covered a wide variety of subjects, these would include: Serious discussions of Advaita or Non-Duality, an in-depth dive into some of India’s most beloved Puranas (spiritual stories) like the Ramayana, and Mahabharata. These were complimented by discourse by Baba on some sacred Upanishads, like Viveka Choodamani, Ashtavakra Samhita, Bhagavad Gita, and Yoga Vasistha. No topic was off the table, as long as it was spiritual in nature. Guidance and illumination was given on peoples inquiries about their personal experiences, removing all doubts. The special bonus was Baba talking about his personal experiences serving Swamiji, the dust of whose lotus feet Babaji is continually absorbed in. It should be mentioned participants dedicated themselves to 4-6 hours of daily Jangama Dhyana broken into 3-4 intervals, often joined by Babaji. Those meeting Baba for the first time were initiated into Jangama Dhyana.


The food was amazing, always freshly prepared and blessed by Baba before consumption. Even “Westerners” new to traditional Indian cuisine were accommodated with a provision of peanut butter and jelly (or is it toppings or jam?) and toast, for a break. Every room was comfortable with a private bathroom.


In the end, no participant escaped a new glow. No telling how many annoying “egos and acquired habits” were burned (figuratively) during this retreat – was it the Darshan, Satsangs, Dhyana, Rest, or a combination of all of these things? It’s inconclusive. What participants did share in common was a newfound contentment.


Ambaji (Babaji’s head disciple), Baba’s two brothers, Vijay and Sathya, Bharathi, Geordie, Javier, Prasanna, made a great team looking after every need of their guests. There is not enough appreciation that can go around to convey our deep gratitude for the team and the reverence for our Guru and guide, Shri Baba, Shiva Rudra Balayogi Maharaj.

See you next year.
Namaste

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