Shiva Rudra Balayogi

Your Personal Guide on the Spiritual Path

All of us now have the opportunity to supercharge our spiritual progress through contact with a divine guru. Shiva Rudra Balayogi has made himself available to the world through the strength of his presence on three levels: his ashrams, the internet, and the transcendent. He transmits a powerful force-field you can access by tuning in with devotion to his voice and picture: https://www.shivarudrabalayogi.org/en. He also teaches an easy and effective Vedic technique of meditation, Jangama Dhyana: https://www.jangama.org/. You can meditate with him online, and he answers questions. Connecting to him can bring you to higher states of consciousness and improve your daily life. All of it free.

The word “guru” (spiritual guide) has been distorted and degraded by Western media, but its profound meaning and benefit still survive, as you’ll discover when you contact him. A true guru such as Shiva Rudra Balayogi is an interface to the deities, a channel through which their divine presence flows to us. And this is the greatest need in the world today.

Shiva Rudra Balayogi achieved enlightenment in the traditional way: by finding a guru at a young age and serving him devotedly until the master’s death, then retreating into years of intense spiritual practice, and finally emerging to serve humanity. His intellect and heart are overflowing with wisdom and love. He shares his knowledge and the bliss of his presence with all who desire it. He is your link to the divine.

His book on Shankara’s Viveka Choodamani (The Crest Jewel of Discrimination) is both profoundly written and easy to understand. It makes this ancient philosophical discourse relevant to us today. He convincingly refutes the gender and caste biases prevalent in other commentaries. In addition, his book The Path Supreme is a eloquent and practical guide to achieving enlightenment.

One of the most direct ways to reach him is through a puja, a ceremony of worship that links the student to the guru on the levels of heart and ethereal vibration. It’s a series of Sanskrit sounds you chant or sing while contemplating their meaning, gazing at an image, and performing symbolic offerings. The inner reverberations of Sanskrit when chanted or thought soothe the physiology into a transcendental state similar to meditation. Breath and heart rates decrease, brain waves slow and begin to flow in coherent, orderly patterns. At the same time you are active and alert: chanting, contemplating, making offerings. This combination of transcendence and activity is a preparation for enlightenment, as described in a key verse (II-48) of the Bhagavad-Gita: “Established in Being, perform action.” A properly performed puja suffuses our minds and activity with a divine quality that gives us a taste of enlightenment.

Like most worthwhile endeavors, it takes some effort. You’ll need a puja set consisting of an offering tray, three small bowls or plates, a candle holder, incense holder, and camphor lamp. These are usually brass and can be purchased at your local esoteric store or on the internet. You’ll need white cotton cloth, white candles, camphor powder, sandalwood powder, and incense sticks. For a picture you can copy the photo at the top of this site and print it out on thick, glossy paper.

Choose a table oriented so you are facing east and cover it with a white cloth (a bed sheet is fine). Put a book underneath the cloth to make a raised platform; set the picture on it, braced against something to keep it upright. Set the tray on the platform in front of it and below the tray the bowls or small plates of water, unbroken rice, and sandalwood powder from your left to right. To your left of the tray set the candle holder with a white candle and the camphor lamp. Put some rice into the hollow of the camphor lamp to protect the metal and then a bit of camphor onto the rice. To your right of the tray set the incense holder with a stick of incense onto a piece of white cardboard that will protect the cloth from falling ashes.

As offerings you’ll need a piece of sweet fruit, a small square of new white cotton cloth, and a half dozen flowers (if flowers aren’t available, leaves will do; if these aren’t available, use rice; rice can be used for any item that isn’t available). Put the offerings on a plate to your left where you can easily reach them.

What follows is first just the text, then the text again with translations and instructions. I found it easier to learn the puja step by step: Print out the first version and memorize it without the meaning. Then print out the second version and learn what it means and how to do it. Some people might prefer to go right to the second version and learn all the steps simultaneously: Print it out, prop it up on the puja table, and read it aloud while contemplating the meaning and performing the actions. Do this until you know it well enough to dispense with the paper. Both ways take a long time. You can’t really expect full results until you’ve integrated all three phases – sound, meaning, and actions – without having to read. That’s when the deep spiritual experiences start happening. Quite wonderful.

The memorizing technique that works best for me is to take short sections and make up bizarre sentences and stories based on sound associations to the Sanskrit words. Give your imagination free rein.

These stories help me connect the sounds. I gradually expand this until I can recite the whole section, then I add the meaning. I repeat the section – many times. The humorous meaning gradually fades away, and I’m left with the Sanskrit words and their meaning. I move on to the next section and repeat the process until I know the full puja and how to perform it. This process is an excellent mental gymnastic and produces a real feeling of accomplishment and, best of all, a real connection to these deity. It’s definitely worth the effort, but it’s not quick.

Puja Text

Apavitrah pavitro vā sarva vasthan gatopi vā
Yahsmaret Pundari-kaksham Sa bahya-abhyantarah shuchih
Aum shanti shanti shanti

Avahanam
Narayanam Padma-bhavam Vashishtam Shaktim cha tat putra parasharam cha
Vyasam Shukam Gauda-padam mahantam Govinda Yogindra-mathasya shishyam
Shri Shankaracharya mathasya Padma-padam cha Hasta-malakam cha shishyam
Tam Trotakam Vartik-Karam-anyam asmad gurun santata-manatosmi

Shruti Smriti Purana-nam alayam karuna-layam
Namami Bhagavat Padam Shankaram loka Shankaram
Shankaram Shankaracharyam Keshavam Badarayanam
Sutra bhasya kritau vande Bhagavantau punah punah
Yad-dvare nikhila nilimpa parishad siddhim vidhatte-nisham
Shrimat shri lasitam Jagat Gurupadam natvatma triptingatah
Loka-gyana payoda patana-dhuram Shri Shankaram Sharmadam
Shiva Rudra Balayogi Guruvaram dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam

Avahanam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Asanam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Snanam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Vastram samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Chandanam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Akshatān samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Pushpam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Dhupam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Deepam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Naivedyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Tambulam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Sri Phalam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha

Arartikyam
Karpura-gauram karuna-vataram samsara-saram Bhujagendra haram
Sada vasantam hridayara-vinde Bhavam Bhavani sahitam namami
Arartikyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha

Pushpanjalim
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnur GuruDevo Maheshvarah
Guru-sakeshat Param Brahma tasmai Shri Gurave namaha
Akhanda Mandala-karam vyaptam yena characharam
Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Sri Gurave namaha
Sri Shiva Rudra Balayogi param-sukhadam kevalam gyan-murtim
Vishvatētam gagana sadrisham Tatva-masya-di lakshyam
Ekam Nityam Vimala-machalam sarvadhi sākshi bhutam
Bhava-tētam triguna sahitam sad Guru tam namami
Agyan timiran-dhasya gyanan-jan shalakaya
Chakshu runmilitam yena tasmai Sri Shiva Rudra Balayogi namaha
Pushpanjalim samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha

Sankalpa

Text with meaning and instructions

The text is based on the classic guru puja in the Adi Shankara lineage adapted for Shiva Rudra Balayogi. At each mention of “guru”, picture Shiva Rudra Balayogi in your heart center. To see how a puja is performed, visit the Swami Satyananda Saraswati website. It has pictures of the mudras (https://www.shreemaa.org/mudras-puja/) and a series of free videos (http://www.shreemaa.org/new-class-shiva-puja-yajna/).

A note on pronunciation: A macron, a horizontal line above a vowel, indicates the sound is long, extended.

Stand or sit in front of the prepared puja table and bow. Pick up a flower, dip it into the water, and wave it to the rear, right, and left, sprinkling a bit of water while chanting:

Apavitrah pavitro vā sarva vasthan gatopi vā
Yahsmaret Pundari-kaksham Sa bahya-abhyantarah shuchih
(“Whether pure or impure, whoever opens oneself to the vision of unbounded awareness gains inner and outer purity.”)
Aum (The primal sound that creates, contains, and sustains the universe, often written “Om”) shanti shanti shanti (“Peace to all.”)
(Avahani – “Invitation” – mudra: Press your hands and fingers together in front of your chest pointed at the deity. See https://www.shreemaa.org/mudras-puja/).

Avahanam (“Invocation”)
Narayanam Padma-bhavam Vashishtam Shaktim cha tat putra parasharam cha
The knowledge of enlightenment given from Lord Narayana to lotus-born Brahma, to Vashistha, to Shakti and his son, Parashara,
Vyasam Shukam Gauda-padam mahantam Govinda Yogindra-mathasya shishyam
to Vyasa, to Shukadeva, to the great Gauda-pada, to Govinda, ruler among the Yogis, to his disciple
Shri Shankaracharya mathasya Padma-padam cha Hasta-malakam cha shishyam
Sri Shankaracharya, to his disciples Padma-pada, Hasta-malakam,
Tam Trotakam Vartik-Karam-anyam asmad gurun santata-manatosmi
Trotakacharya and Vartik-karam, to all the others, to the tradition of our Masters, I bow down.
Shruti Smriti Purana-nam alayam karuna-layam

To the abode of wisdom of the Shrutis, Smritis and Puranas, to the abode of compassion,
Namami Bhagavat Padam Shankaram loka Shankaram
to the personified glory of the Lord, to Shankara, emancipator of the world, I bow down.
Shankaram Shankaracharyam Keshavam Badarayanam
To Shankaracharya, the redeemer, adored as Krishna and Badarayana,
Sutra bhasya kritau vande Bhagavantau punah punah
the commentator of the Brahma Sutras, to the glory of the Lord I bow down again and again.
Yad-dvare nikhila nilimpa parishad siddhim vidhatte-nisham
At whose door the whole galaxy of gods pray for perfection day and night,
Shrimat shri lasitam Jagat Gurupadam natvatma triptingatah
illumined by self-effulgent radiance, preceptor of the whole world, having bowed to Him, fulfillment comes.
Loka-gyana payoda patana-dhuram Shri Shankaram Sharmadam
Skilled in dispelling the cloud of ignorance of the people, the bestower of happiness, the emancipator,
Shiva Rudra Balayogi Guruvaram dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam
Shiva Rudra Balayogi, the supreme teacher, full of brilliance, Him I bring to my awareness.

Avahanam samarpayami (“I offer”) Sri Guru charan (“to the feet”) kamalebhyo (“beautiful and sublimely pure as the lotus”) namaha (We offer the invocation itself, symbolized by rice. Pinch up a few grains from the bowl and offer it onto the tray with a bow at “namaha”. – We invoke his presence and feel the upsurge of purifying waves of knowledge.)
Asanam (“seat”) samarpayami Sri Ganesha charan kamalebhyo namaha (We offer a comfortable seat, symbolized by rice. Again we pinch up a few grains and offer it with a bow at “namaha”. – We feel stabilized in immovable, all-pervading Being.)
Snanam (ablution of water) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Dip a flower into the water and sprinkle a few drops onto the tray. – We feel the refreshment of pure consciousness. “Pure” in this context means unmixed, just the thing in itself, consciousness without an object.)
Vastram (cloth) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Offer cloth. – We feel cloaked and secure in omnipresent Being.)
Chandanam (sandalwood powder) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Offer a bit of sandalwood powder onto the cloth. – We feel the tranquility of the transcendent.)
Akshatān (whole, unbroken rice) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Offer rice. – We feel the transcendent nourishing the wholeness of life.)
Pushpam (“flower”) samarpayami Sri Ganesha charan kamalebhyo namaha (We offer a flower onto the tray. – We feel the blossoming of inner Being.)
Dhupam (incense)samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Pick up the incense holder and circle it in front of the deity. – We feel waves of purity.)
Deepam (light) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (pick up the candle holder and circle it in front of the deity – We feel the light of wisdom.)
Achmaniyam (water) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Dip a flower into the water, circle it around the flame, and offer it. – We feel waves of bliss.)
Naivedyam (fruit) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Offer the fruit – We feel the fulfillment of enlightenment.)
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Dip a flower into the water, sprinkle a few drops onto the fruit, and put the flower back. – We feel fulfillment flowing out to others.)
Tambulam (betel leaf)samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Offer rice. – We feel our speech and communication being purified.)
Sri Phalam (coconut) samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (Offer rice. – We feel the wholeness of life symbolized by the outer husk of activity, the inner kernel of thought, the milk of spirituality, and the transcendent, unmanifest space within.)

(Put the incense stick into the candle until it flames, light the camphor with it, and put it back in the holder.)
Arartikyam (Offering a camphor light, we feel the abundance of pure awareness.)
(Pick up the lamp and move it in a broad circle in front of the deity while chanting:)
Karpura-gauram karuna-vataram samsara-saram Bhujagendra haram
(“White as camphor, compassion incarnate, the essence of creation, the devourer of creation.”)
Sada vasantam hridayara-vinde Bhavam Bhavani sahitam namami
(Ever dwelling in the lotus of my heart, Shiva and Durga united, I bow to them.)
Arartikyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (We hold the camphor lamp in front of the deity. – The light of life is spreading; we are diving into the depths of creative intelligence.)
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha (dip a flower into the water, circle it around the flame, and offer it – Light is flowing through us out into the world.)

Pushpanjalim (“Offering the full bloom of life in the form of a handful of flowers.”) (We are offering back a tiny, symbolic bit of what has been given to us. Take the rest of the flowers in your hands. Devotion mudra: press the hands together, fingers extended upwards with thumbs held against the middle of the chest.)
Akhanda Mandala-karam vyaptam yena characharam
(Unbounded, like the endless canopy of the sky; pervading the universe)
Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Sri Guru namaha
(the sign of That has been revealed by him who is That)
Sri Shiva Rudra Balayogi param-sukhadam kevalam gyan-murtim
(I bow to the guru, the bliss of the Absolute, self-sufficient embodiment of pure knowledge)
Vishvatētam gagana sadrisham Tatva-masya-di lakshyam
(beyond the universe, the aim of “you are That” and other expressions of wisdom)
Ekam Nityam Vimala-machalam sarvadhi sākshi bhutam
(the One, eternal, pure, immovable witness of all intellects)
Bhava-tētam triguna sahitam sad Guru tam namami
(beyond thought and the three gunas – sattwa, rajas, tamas – positivity, activity, negativity – which are the three qualities of relative creation; to the guru, the embodiment of absolute truth, I bow)
Agyan timiran-dhasya gyanan-jan shalakaya
(Our eyes blinded by ignorance and darkness)
Chakshu runmilitam yena tasmai Sri Shiva Rudra Balayogi namaha
(have been opened by the knowledge of the guru, to whom I bow)
Pushpanjalim samarpayami Sri Guru charan kamalebhyo namaha
(“Offering a handful of flowers to the feet of the guru, beautiful and sublimely pure as the lotus, I bow”) (Offer the flowers, kneel on the floor and bow fully down, devotion mudra.)

Sankalpa
Sankalpa is an affirmation of your immediate goal. Rather than something distant and grand like enlightenment, you should choose something more concrete and close at hand that will be a step towards your ultimate goal. For example, “I meditate regularly twice a day” or “I serve Shiva Rudra Balayogi”. It should be a single thought expressed positively, as if it’s already accomplished.

The more spiritual your sankalpa, the better its chances of fulfillment. When spirituality is your first priority, the other aspects of life fall into place automatically. You’ll start operating from your higher self and will then have everything you really need. You may still feel some karmic bumps on the road, but your spirituality acts as a shock absorber. You’ll know that your problems are just on the surface; the depths are serene.

The guru can help us understand our karma, why it is necessary for our evolution. He can eliminate or soften some of it. But some of it we just have to go through in order to reach a higher stage in our development. Karma can be unpleasant, but it’s always good for us. It’s neither a punishment nor a reward for our actions; it’s just a consequence: What we do to others comes back on us.

At the end of the puja, when you are bowing in a deep, settled state, project your sankalpa as a gentle thought into the silence, wait about 15 seconds (longer than you’d think), and project it again, then once more, letting it sink into the depths of your consciousness. The sitting in silence is just as important as the thought. Then start to meditate (after puja is the ideal time to meditate) or open your eyes and go into activity. If you can, go out into nature now, even if it’s just up on your roof in Brooklyn. Gaze around and up at the sky, the ever-changing beauty of the clouds. Feel the all-pervading divinity around you and in you. This is your true Self, and you’re rejoining it now.

By tradition we eat the fruit and enjoy the flowers until they fade, then place them and the rice outside in flowing water and bury the cloth in the earth. If no water is available, we can place them next to a tree or under a bush. Most people collect them for a while, then take them out.

We are enlivening and activating the divine not only in ourselves but also in the collective consciousness of humanity. The puja calls forth the presence on a subtle level where we are all joined. When performed by a group this is especially powerful. The bliss it brings is palpable.

The feeling at the beginning can be particularly strong, but in time the contrast won’t be as great and you may start taking it for granted and feel you’re not making progress. The growth in consciousness is still very real, but it’s in increments and not so noticeable. Stay with it.

If you’d like also to connect to Shiva, this website will show you how, and for free: https://meetshiva985866381.wordpress.com/.

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