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SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL a galaxy of seers, sages and spiritual savants have lived in India, a land known as the karma bhoomi (land of karma). Being seen also as a very sacred country, some refer to it as the gnana bhoomi, yoga bhoomi, moksha bhoomi, and punya bhoomi. India is a nation of rivers and abodes of holy sages.

Punya bhoomi refers to a land where good things happen. For example all the avataras of Maha Vishnu have occurred only in India. Karma bhoomi is a place where one does good and bad deeds. All other nations (lands) are bhoga bhoomi — where people execute karma, but nothing accrues as karmic balance. They are the places where people enjoy fruits of past deeds and actions, but do not get further accretion to punya (credit balance of good deeds) through new deeds and actions.
Ascetic Yogas
What astrological combinations are needed for becoming an ascetic?

  • Presence of at least four planets in conjunction in a house, which is either a trine or a quadrant.
  • Presence of a five-planet combination in a quadrant or trine
  • Moon in a decanate of Saturn aspected by Saturn.
  • Moon in a navamsa of Mars or Saturn aspected by Saturn.
  • The lord of Chandralagna aspected by Saturn and by nothing else.
  • Jupiter, Moon and Ascendant aspected by Saturn and Jupiter in the 9th house.
  • Mars in the Ninth house aspected by a benefic. The above list is illustrative, not exhaustive.

Shivarudra Balayogi In a spiritually rich family, Baba Shivarudra Balayogi was born in Kolar at 9.54 AM on 20 September 1954. Kolar was famous for its gold fields and at this place the spiritual goldmine, affectionately known as Babaji, too also appeared. From an early age Babaji showed his inclination towards spiritual matters. Babaji was mainly influenced by the three titans of spirituality in India – Adi Sankaracharya, Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

During his teens, Babaji pursued Botany at the University of Mysore. It was then that he met Shivabalayogi Maharaj. This was the turning point in his life. Babaji’s spiritual pursuits grew stronger every day, culminating in the ‘experience of enlightenment’ at midnight on the Kartika Krishnapaksha Ashtami day of 1999.

Array of Planets
The array of planets apparent in the chart of Shivarudra Balayogi proves adequately that Babaji was born, not just to live a life for himself, but to guide the destiny of the world. The lagna lord who is strongly placed forms a conjunction with the exalted yogakaraka, Saturn. The planet of divine grace is not only exalted in rasi but also in navamsa. Jupiter occupies the ninth bhava – the seat of good fortune and divine blessings. The exit of Babaji’s father is the natural outcome of the lord of Pitrusthana (Mercury) and Pitrukaraka (Sun) getting relegated to the house of loss (twelfth house).

On the subject of Pravrajya Yogas, Mantreswara says, “When the end of a sign is rising and a benefic planet occupies it and Jupiter is in a trine or a quadrant, the native is sure to attain Moksha or Final Emancipation”(Phaladeepika, Ch 27, verse 1). The above is fulfilled in Babaji’s chart with the ascendant being in the end of Libra, with Venus in the rising sign and Jupiter in the tenth house. In Babaji’s life, Rahu operated as Dasa lord in the first ten years of his life. Rahu in the 3rd is a strong maraka (killer planet) for his father and therefore separated him from his father. In 1964, Babaji got into Jupiter Dasa and it was this which kindled his spiritual inclinations. Jupiter being a planet of learning took him to the stage of a graduate, but beyond that point, text book learning did not charm him. The sub-period of Ketu, which operated between 1971 and 1972 sowed seeds of asceticism in Babaji. Before long Babaji had met his Guru, Shiva Balayogi Maharaj in Mysore.

A couple of paranormal visions occurred in which Babaji’s Guru manifested himself to Babaji, while he was meditating. Thus it could be said that Shiva Balayogi Maharaj has chosen Babaji as his disciple and successor. What was Guru Shiva Balayogi’s message to his disciples?

Mahapurusha Yogas The word Mahapurusha means a ‘great person’. The Mahapurusha yogas arise out of the placement of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Even a single Mahapurusha yoga is enough to elevate a person to the status of a great person. In Babaji’s chart one can see four out of the five Mahapurusha yogas (formed by all the above mentioned planets barring Mars), out of which three are from rising sign and one from Moon. No other evidence is needed to prove the greatness of this chart. The Mahapurusha yogas in Babaji’s chart are: Sasa yoga, Hamsa yoga, Malavya yogaand Bhadra yoga. While Bhadra yoga occurs from the Moon sign, the remaining three yogas occur from rising sign.

Clues to Babaji’s enlightenment can be found in the time of enlightenment chart (TOE chart). Babaji got enlightenment at midnight on Karthikadi Krishna Ashtami, when the ruling asterism was Makha.

In the TOE chart the factors which led to Babaji’s enlightenment include
Maha-parivartana or the great-interchange yoga between the lord of 10 (karma) and lord of 11 (fulfillment of wishes)
Presence of Jupiter as fifth lord placed in ninth house
Exaltation of yogakaraka Mars
Presence of two retrograde planets in 9 (Jupiter and Saturn)
Sun, Moon and Venus (as 10th lord in D?10) getting strengthened in Dasamsa chart Ketu aspected by Jupiter in D?10.
The dasa-bhukti – antara belongs to Ketu?Saturn?- Mars; all the three coming under favorable influences
Moon (Manas) and Mercury (Buddhi) coming under the influence of Jupiter, the planet of divine grace.
Jupiter in the 9th house aspects both lagna and the Moon. The 5th house ? Purva punyasthana ? comes under Jupiter’s aspect. The 9th house Mars, who is also the yogakaraka is exalted. There is an interchange of houses between Venus and Mercury, who rule over the karma bhava and the labha bhava, respectively. The nature of a retrograde planet is similar to that of an exalted planet. In the 9th house, being the house of divine grace, there are two retrograde planets, which are Jupiter and Saturn. Under these favourable directional influences Babaji attained enlightenment and since then he is living in this world as a Jivanmukta.
In this context, it would be necessary for us to understand the life and message of Babaji’s guru, Sivabalayogi Maharaj.

Sivabalayogi was born at Adivarapupetta (Near Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh) in a family of weavers on 24 January 1935. On 7 August 1949, Swamiji had a strange experience of enlightenment when Lord Siva, appearing as an ascetic, touched Swamiji on his forehead, thereby taking him to a blissful state. He did penance for 12 years, before attaining self-realisation on 7 August 1961.

According to Yoga Shastra, a medieval Indian textbook on the practice of yoga, a yogi is required to do penance in each of the four directions and master them. This is an austerity known as dikh tapas. Dikh Siddhi means victory of that direction facing which penance is done. Siddhi or accomplishment is very easy if penance is done facing East. For ease of meditation North is best while South confers neither benefit nor adversity. The most difficult direction to do penance and win is the western direction which gives tremendous mental obstacles and physical afflictions. Shivabalayogi Maharaj attained dikh siddhi in a little less than 8 years, while meditating 23 hours a day. He mastered the east in four years, north in two years, west in nine months, and the south in 15 months. At the age of 22, Shivabalayogi Maharaj had attained the state of self realization.

The horoscope of Shivabalayogi is a classic example of the Ascetic yogas discussed by Mantreswara in Phaladeepika. The first rule we discussed earlier in this article on Ascetic yoga is fulfilled in the chart of Shivabalayogi. Let us recapitulate this rule. ‘Presence of at least four planets in conjunction in a house which is either a trine or a quadrant’ is the foremost among Ascetic yogas. In Sivabalayogi’s chart, this rule is satisfied by the conjunction of Sun, Saturn, Mercury, and Venus in the 9th house. Most of the planets in his chart occupy either the 5th (purva punya sthana) or the 9th (bhagya sthana).
Shivabala Yogi’s Message Let us now discuss the teachings handed over by the Maharaj to his disciples.

The message of Sivabalayogi Maharaj is what is found in ancient works like Yoga Vasistha. When the ego of the person develops, it starts its work of imagination. All imagination belongs to the realm of the mind. A bubble belongs to the ocean and a ray of sunlight is the Sun itself. But in this process of imagination, the ego pretends to be an entity different from the self. If the mind develops enough power, it could go on imagining things endlessly and this is the trigger for the birth-death-rebirth events.

Once the physical body becomes weak, death eventuates. But the imagining mind is still not content with its dreams. In the next birth, the same person continues his unfulfilled journey and goes on and on, until enlightenment happens in one particular birth and the journey ends.

Is the Individual’s hard work, a cause of enlightenment or is it due to divine grace? The considered view of Babaji is that it is due to both. Consciousness wishes to possess a person entirely. At that time, the aspirant makes an honest approach to give up all his dreams of the future. The ‘click’ occurs and the person realizes himself as Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi). The individual gets out of the transmigratory cycle when this click occurs. Is there a possibility of that person being born again? Adi Sankara’s answer is a firm ‘No’. If butter is put into a vessel having butter milk, the buttermilk will not become curd again. This is due to the fact that butter will not mix with butter milk, even though it originated from curds. Therefore, the dictum is ‘Once enlightened is always enlightened’. There is no possibility of an enlightened person becoming ignorant. Evolution in Nature moves towards perfection, not imperfection.

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