The Late Years
Foundation of Shivapuri
Since 1938, Shree’s father Swami Shivananda lived in Guru Mandir in Akkalkot. He spent a lot of time in deep meditation. Often he was so engrossed in mantras that even during his sleep, one could hear them being chanted in his breathing. Shree explained that the power of Lord Shiva was embodied in Swami Shivananda.
When Swami Shivananda felt the end of his life approaching, he expressed the desire that his body was not to be burnt but buried after his death. For this purpose, a suitable piece of land was sought, which was found and bought only about 3 kilometers away from Akkalkot. When Swami Shivananda left his body on 16 April 1954, he was buried in a crypt on the new land. Later, a temple was erected above the crypt. This was the foundation of Shivapuri, the later residence of Shree.
Materialization of the axe of Lord Parashuram
Lord Parashuram is always portrayed with an axe, which symbolizes that He fights darkness and ignorance. Parashu-Ram means: the Ram with the axe.
Mr Mahadevappa Shabade, a devotee of Shree from school days, completed his mental exercises in 1961. Shree granted him the fulfillment of a wish. Shabade wished for the axe of Lord Parashuram. Instantly, the special axe materialized in Shree's hands, and He handed it over to Shabade.
Shabade was certainly not interested in seeing a materialization phenomenon. His desire rather expressed that Shree was indeed one with the power of Lord Parashuram. How else would He have had access to this axe?
Later, Shabade built a small memorial for this axe in his home. Anyone who had the opportunity to see it was overwhelmed by the bright power it radiated.
The gift of deepest meditation
Ratnakar Ramrao Nargundkar expressed his desire for self-realization to Shree in 1964. Back home, he performed some spiritual exercises when he suddenly heard Shree’s voice giving him instructions. When he obeyed, he experienced Nirvikalpa-Samadhi, the highest state of meditation, within half a minute. It was given as a gift.
Ratnakar, now fully aware of the goal, meditated for many years to reach again this state of consciousness--now by his own effort. On Shree's advice, he wrote an extraordinary book about it (Sadguru’s Bestowal).
First Somayaga after 2,500 years
Through the resuscitation of the Vedas, Shree also renewed the ancient fire rituals (yajnyas). They had once been abolished, as their purity had no longer been practiced (animals were killed for the rituals).
Some months after Shree’s 50th birthday, a large "Somayaga" was organized from 28 February to 3 March, 1969 in Shivapuri. No violence was allowed. The sacrificial ingredients consisted mainly of milk and ghee and the rare Soma plant. The special fire ceremony lasted several days and caused an immense purification and increase in subtle energies. It was carried out for the first time after about 2,500 years. Specially trained priests were necessary to correctly perform the rituals anchored in the Vedas.
Since this 1st Somayaga, several others already took place in different places of India and Nepal.
Spreading the Teachings
Shree led an extremely simple life, filled with religious exercises. Many witnessed His special abilities, which one could call "miracles." Shree never exhibited them. He was neither bent on getting attention by "miracles" nor on attracting large streams of visitors.
On several occasions, He travelled by car or train to Mumbai, Bhopal and other places in India. However, He spent most of His time in Akkalkot and Shivapuri. People from all religious and social strata, both men and women, came to see Him. Shree possessed great knowledge of the Vedas, the Bible, the Koran, and other religious scriptures; but He never took part in any religious discussion.
Shree: “I have no intention of telling anybody to drink water only through the hollow of the hands of some particular person. If the Almighty desires to give a certain message to the world through me well, so shall He do on His own Will. I am only His humble servant.” 4 p. 136
Since the moment Shree spoke His oath to resuscitate the Vedas, He supported this goal with every breath and with every spiritual discipline (up to 20 hours a day). Even if God's Messengers need no help to fulfill their mission, there are usually people who serve the work and support it. So it was with Shree. Sometimes a single encounter with Him was enough, and the person had only one wish: to support and spread His work. And so it came about that within a short time, without the use of television or social media, the principles of Eternal Religion, the Fivefold Path, were known and followed throughout the world. This process is ongoing-- purifying and shining beacon to the world.
In early May 1984, Shree moved from Akkalkot to Shivapuri, which became a center for the spreading of Eternal Religion (Satya Dharma). The newly founded place has grown to include more and more buildings in order to accommodate the growing number of visitors.
In 1987, Shree explained several times that His life’s mission was fulfilled. Years before, He had taken the necessary steps to ensure that Guru Mandir and Shivapuri would be maintained by trust companies after His passing.
On 6 December 1987, Shree did His daily routine as usual. Towards evening He expressed great physical discomfort. Only a little later, He left the Body calmly and peacefully. At the same moment, the clock in the Guru Mandir (Akkalkot) stopped.
It is known that violent rain starts when a Messenger of God leaves His body. After Shree’s Body had been burnt, according to the Indian tradition, violent rains and strong winds arose which lasted for 3 days. No one from Shivapuri remembered having ever seen such rains in December.
Six days later, on the 12th of December, a very bright star appeared above the column in Shivapuri and was visible for more than 10 minutes. It seemed to move slightly and had an extremely bright and great light aura. Shree’s grandson Purushottam, then 7 years old, spontaneously said, "My grandfather." The star recalled the star of Bethlehem.
On 15 December 1987, Vahini, the life companion of Shree, also left the earth--only 9 days after him.
Shree's passing did not mean a departure from those who turned to Him. Even during His lifetime, many could experience His omnipresence, which is beyond time and space.
The words of Shree tell of His presence to everyone who practices Agnihotra:
"See me every day in the Holy Fire within which I dwell."
* The superscript numbers refer to the References.