A Brief Life History

The yogi who calls himself simply "Swamiji" was named Sathyaraju by his parents.He was born on January 24,1935 into a family of weavers in Adivarapupeta, a small village in South India near the mouth of the Godavari River. Poverty forced him to drop out of grade school to work at the family hand loom and at various jobs.

On August 7, 1949, when He was 14 years old, Sathyaraju had a spiritual experience in which Shiva, a manifestation of God, the Holy Spirit, suddenly appeared in the form of a handsome ascetic with long matted hair. Shiva touched Sathyaraju on the forehead and the boy immediately passed into deep samadhi (God-consciousness).

In this way did the Bala-yogi (Boy-yogi) begin twelve years of Tapas, a spiritual austerity and purification to attain God-realization. He meditated in samadhi for twenty-three hours every day for eight years, returning to ordinary consciousness at midnight to wash himself and perhaps drink a cup of milk. In these eight years he mastered meditation in all four cardinal directions: East, North, West and South. Then he meditated twelve hours every day for another four years. There were times when he remained in continuous samadhi for months.

Upon attaining God-realization, his Divine Guru gave him the name Shiva Bala Yogeshwara, meaning Lord of Yogis, but Swamiji retained only Shiva-Bala-Yogi, meaning yogi dedicated to Shiva (Holy Spirit) and Bala (another name for Parvati, the Divine Mother). He was instructed to use the powers he attained through Tapas (tapas shakti) to comfort the grieving, heal the sick and bring enlightenment to those who seek God.

He emerged from his twelve years of Tapas on August 7, 1961, before a crowd numbering several hundred thousand. His body was weak from the unusually intense meditation and extreme physical hardship, but his skin shone with a divine luster and his face glowed with the peace and divine grace of God-realization. His presence automatically calmed the pushing and jostling multitude. For three decades, he continued to bring peace to those who came into his mere presence (darshan) and initiated over ten million people into dhyan meditation.

On April 2, 1994, in his native village of Adivarapupeta, Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj attained Mahasamadhi, the great or final samadhi through which yogis discard the physical body. Shri Swamiji, as a yogi, is able to continue his service to the world without the physical body.


Shivabalayogi's extraordinary Tapas prepared him for an unusual mission. For over thirty years, he traveled extensively throughout India, Sri Lanka and the West to bring people into the line of meditation. His spiritual guidance is done though silence. Shri Swamiji's only teaching is that people should meditate daily. His blessings deepen whatever spiritual path we choose to pursue.  Everything we need to know we will learn though our meditation.

Shivabalayogi guides people into meditation using four principal ways:

Darshan - Blessings though his presence.

Vibhuthi - Holy Ash blessed for mental, physical and spiritual needs.

Bhava and Bhava Samadhi - Divine experience

Initiation into Dhyana - Meditation

Shri Swamiji explains that he dropped his physical form to accelerate his mission in the world. He is ever present in meditation, guiding the concentration, giving silent instruction and sometimes uttering formless words directly to the mind. His astral body comes and gives darshan in dreams and visions. Shri Swamiji may manifest in the bliss of bhava. He comes through bhava samadhi to give darshan, answer devotees questions and prayers, bless vibhuthi and effect miraculous healings.

Shri Swamiji tells us that the Divine mission to bring people into the line of meditation will now expand throughout the world.