Disclaimer: What I have written is true, and my experiences with Shiv Yog. I have written this to give a better understanding of what Shiv Yog is and what to expect out of it, for people new to Shiv Yog. When I write about the healing experiences, please note that it is not I as a healer but I am an intercessor to connect with the Divine and it is the power of prayer that heals. We are just playing our part in introducing you to Shiv Yog.
It started with Sai Lakshmi.
This is a long story. If you just want to learn what Sri Vidya Sadhna is and know its importance, please see these vidoes :
My friend Dr. Sai Lakshmi, a pediatrician dedicated to social service, has always been altruistic. Even in college, she would donate blood for my birthday or my mom’s birthday. She always served us before she ate, even at our house. She always saw the positive aspects in everyone. After graduation, she totally dedicated her life to social service and went with Isha Yoga to teach yoga to villagers and controlled their blood pressure and diabetes without medications. She never took care of herself much and barely ate. She once remarked, “it would be great if we could have a tube directly into the stomach, so we don’t have to waste time with eating”. This was before I was aware of feeding tubes so I remember it vividly.
During a visit home from her social service travels, she developed chest pain and was found to have tuberculosis. Although she wanted to resume her work, her family made her stay home for treatment. At one point she had a breast lump that was not clearly benign by biopsy but she did not have time to have it removed, due to her social activities. After 2 years, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. After restrictions by her family and confinement at home for treatment, she was cured. A few years later, she noticed some pain in her back and was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to the bones- two areas in the spinal cord and also in the hip bones in 2011. She took medical treatment as prescribed. In addition, her sister Dr. Sarada researched about alternative medicine and found scientifically based Shiv Yog healing meditation. When Sai Lakshmi attended the healing shivir (camp), she felt better. She did not have any side effects from chemo. She continued the meditation along with medication and was ultimatey healed completely. Her PET scan became completely normal in 2012, without any evidence of the multiple bone lesions she previously had. She advised me to go to Shiv Yog shivir.
Some of you met her recently at the event for her non-profit Ekam USA, where we showed the PET scan and she spoke about her experiences with healing.
I promptly went to a shivir in USA. When I first landed in New Jersey, I did not know anyone else attending the shivir. I tried to call the organizer and talked to a physician who had attended the shivir in the past but was not fully convinced, nor did I understand what it was, or what to expect out of it, other than “it was good”. At the airport, I was in a corner, waiting for the hotel shuttle and this Indian lady walked up to me. She asked me, “Are you going to Shiv Yog shivir?”. I was shocked initially, then admitted to it. Neena ji then proceeded to tell me her previous experiences with Shiv Yog. She was a Shiv Yog veteran. She would explain the process, and guide me along during the 8 day course. During the later days, our evenings would be full of satsang, with people in the hotel, i.e. Neena ji, recounting their spiritual experiences. I asked her why she came back to the shivir. I thought it was a one time camp where we come and learn the healing, then be done. She explained that it is to recharge her battery every year and that the vibrations and the power you feel are the best in the shivir. She explained how her personal problems including children’s marriages, etc. were sorted out beautifully.
The first day, while checking in, I met another lady younger than me, who introduced herself. She was new to Shiv Yog too and we talked for a while. Her mother sent her, after listening to Babaji on TV. Quite a few people in the shivir come after being connected to Babaji through television “When I turned it on, he answered my problem”. She had a problem too. She had a pregnancy with a child who had a fatal heart defect that would not survive if born. She was advised by the doctor to have an abortion, then also told “But it is your decision” as doctors usually say. She took the doctor’s advice but was remorseful, and upset that the doctor did not tell her what to do, making her responsible for the decision. She was angry with doctors and told me so, when I told her that I was a doctor. She wanted to ask Babaji a question during the shivir. From what I have noticed, if it’s your time, the microphone will come to you and you can ask a question but otherwise, Babaji will not let you ask, complete the question or won’t answer it. Among 800 people, my friend got the microphone on the third day. She had already told me the day before, that her question was answered when someone else asked Babaji their question. So I was surprised that she asked Babaji “I have this shoulder pain, please heal me”. He asked her “How long have you had it?”
Friend: I don’t remember, for a long time.
Babaji: I can see it. So you can remember it and tell me
Friend:(after a pause) Well, it started in boarding school
Babaji: Exactly when did it start?
Friend: After a basketball game
Babaji: What exactly happened in the game?
Friend: I was supposed to shoot the winning basket for the game but I could not shoot it. So I came out and told people that I had shoulder pain, that’s why I couldn’t shoot the basket. Since then I have had this pain for more than 15 years
Babaji: What do you think of it now?
Friend: I think I should have take responsibility for my actions and not blame it on the pain
Babaji: Good, Bless you.
She sat down. That evening I met her in the hotel lobby and she told me “Neelima, my pain is gone”.
This is an example of how and what Babaji knows and is a true Avdhoot, as well as a great example of how disease is caused by psychosomatic problems. He says that we create our problems. “We are the creator of our destiny”. Some of us create disease and then say the doctor cannot cure it. So Babaji says that we are more powerful than doctors, as we create something all of medical science may not be able to fix. We should first realize this as well as recognize our infinite potential to heal and cure ourselves and others. That is Shiv Yog, discovering our true potential and seeing ourselves as limitless, as a reflection of the Divine in ourselves, and merging our Finite with The Infinite is the goal in Shiv Yog. It is not a religious or faith-based concept, but a proven scientific concept.
Another person stood in the shivir and asked that his spine problem Ankylosing spondylitis that limits his breathing, to be healed. Babaji asked him some questions about his family members and told him “Do not think that you alone were working and supporting your entire family; that they are all sitting and enjoying your hard work. They have earned their karma, their right and sit and enjoy in this life. You have earned the karma that makes you work and take care of them. Do not feel that you are bearing the weight of the entire family on your back. Then you can breathe better”.
There were other people who talked about the previous night’s session that I missed, how they felt vibrations and their kundalini was awakened. They were yoga practitioners, etc. so I figured they had advanced degrees in meditation. Vibrations indeed, I thought. The next day came as a surprise. Babaji told us we would be receiving some shakti during a chanting. We were chanting and clapping. When it was done, I opened my eyes to tingling in both my hands. It didn’t stop for 5 minutes in both my hands. Yes, vibrations, indeed !
During another camp for doctors, someone asked about decreased hearing in the left ear. (In yogic philosophy, the left side of the body is the female side and the right side is the male side. Louise Hay says that every physical symptom has a mental cause. So if you have a problem with a female member of the family, you have left-sided problems and vice-versa; what is written in parenthesis is my own explanation from my reading). Babaji asked this person if he had an authoritative female figure as a child, like his mother, who would scream or shout a lot at him. That person answered “Not my mother, but my older sister was like that”. Babaji answered that his unwillingness to listen to her, his “shutting down her shouting”, not wanting to hear her caused reduced hearing on the female/ left side of the body. So Babaji advises, unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance of self and others, as they are. If you love, accept and forgive everyone and yourself, then there will be no problems.
Babaji taught us healing during the shivir, then asked us to practice it. We took some volunteers with thyroid and gallbladder problems, then did the healing meditation/ chanting together with Babaji. An ultrasound machine was set up by doctors and the patient’s gall stones were shown, to have decreased in size after 10 minutes of healing meditation. The next patient had thyroid problem. Once we started the healing process, after 2-3 minutes Babaji asked us to stop it, as “something was not right. It is not going through”. He didn’t meet the patient until then, so he requested to speak to her. He asked her about her problem and her family- a husband and two children.
Babaji: How is your husband
Patient: He is a good man
Babaji: Does he take good care of you?
Patient: Yes, but sometimes he scolds me for little things
Babaji: How long have you had this health problem?
Patient: Since 2007
Babaji: How is your husband now?
Patient: Oh, he takes such good care of me now, he doesn’t scold me.
Babaji: Do you want to be healed?
Patient: Of course
Babaji: Are you sure? If you are sick, your husband is taking good care of you. If you are completely healed, he will be his old self. Is it ok for you, since you know he is a good man, but says some bad things at times?
Patient: (thought for a few minutes) No, I will keep the problem.
Again, this was a great example for all of us who witnessed it, how disease can be created by negative emotional factors and how we create disease sometimes unconsciously, due to the unresolved issues.
I wanted to go back for another shivir next year, in Houston. It would not be easy, with work, family, including kids, etc. So I wrote in my Golden Book that I am “attending shiv yog shivir in Houston”. The Universe gave in, sent the kids off for vacation with grandparents and I went to Houston. (When I was in India for 10 days, I noticed that Babaji was coming to Hyderabad to do Durga Sapta Sati (DSS). Of course, I was excited and registered myself and both my parents. When I landed, the program was for 5 evenings. I was busy shopping though Indian traffic and was barely awake in the evenings due to jet lag. I took my mom and went, since my dad didn’t come in the last moment. The program started very late, it was raining hard and I was dozing off during the chanting. My mom was more concerned about getting the driver upset by being late and going home in the rain. Babaji was excited that the rain kept us in until we finished the chant at 10pm, then stopped completely so we could go home. After the first day, my family was completely against me doing any “such yoga/ spiritual stuff” at this young age vs. not enjoying and relaxing during my vacation. They vetoed going any more. Thus my DSS was never done, although I got the telugu book there). This also shows that destiny determines if we are supposed to receive something or not. My parents were not to attend Shiv Yog just yet.
Finally I was excited that I was able to make it to Houston 2 days before the shivir, for the DSS program. My question about chanting at any time of the month, was cleared without asking. This shivir found me as Neena ji’s roommate and we could do DSS together daily until I knew the sequence perfectly. This later led to organizing DSS programs in Baton Rouge.
Neena ji wanted to do Hanuman Chalisa Parayan in the evening once in New Jersey and in the morning once in Houston. She ordered laddus as prasad after the morning parayan and I was driving my car with her and a couple of friends to the shivir. I was distracted/ absent-minded and ran a red light. An SUV was coming fast from the right, but stopped in time for me to pass safely. While I was in shock, Neena ji calmly reminded us the Hanuman Ji was with us and the effect of the parayan probably saved us.
(I must agree, years later, when I listen to Chaganti Bhagavt katha. He says that God cannot remove your karma or what you were supposed to go through, like have an accident or stress or disease, but he can greatly minimize it, if you pray to him with devotion. Chaganti garu himself, while doing Bhagavat parayan, was injured by a nail and had some bleeding and pain, that had to be cared for. While some of us may think that he shouldn’t even get hurt because he is doing such a noble parayan, he reminds us that if he was meant to have an injury/ accident and experience pain and bleeding that day, it would happen. Due to the blessings of the Almighty, it was greatly minimized to a nail injury instead of a large rod or a big accident. Having this will always make us grateful, no matter what happens, if we see the good side of things, even when it is not always evident to us)
(See Golden Book / The Secret)
At one New Jersey shivir, Guru ma’s (Babaji’s wife) earrings, which I assumed were diamonds. They would sparkle intermittently when she turned her head, through her short hair. I really did not consciously think much about it. As soon as I returned home, we packed left for vacation in Jamaica right away. Due to a common friend, we met someone who gave us the VIP treatment and tour of Jamaica. One day he asked us if we would like to go shopping. I was ready for some $5-10 scarves and mementos, as I truly believe that tourist places rip you off, so I don’t bother shopping much. He took us to a shopping outlet and straight into a diamond store and said, “My friend will give you a good discount, you have to buy some diamonds”. Before I could refuse, my husband had already chosen two and asked me to pick one. So the week after I saw Guru ma’s diamond studs, I ended up with my own ! (The book “The Secret by Rhonda Byrne” says “you get what you think about”- Law of Attraction) (See more – Golden Book)
Sai Lakshmi continued her shiv yog shivirs while doing the nonprofit work through Ekam Foundation to provide medical care for children who could not afford it. Ekam save 12,000 children since 2009 and does awareness/ education/ improvement of equipment and training of nurses in public and private hospitals. Although they survive (sometimes barely through some random unknown donor that comes forward to cover the treatment costs of children), they need financial help themselves for salaries to staff, etc., essentially because of the large scale of the work being done, with their mission of No Child Should Be Denied Health Care due to Financial Reasons. One such end of the month, waiting for salary support, she was in a shivir at Goa. She had no choice but to surrender her problem to the Divine and meditate. She visualized that 20th was here, and she had the money to pay for expenses, salaries, etc. While she was still at the shivir, within the next 4 days, a previous acquaintance from Chennai attending the Goa shivir came to her and gave her a Rs. 5 lakh check. She asked him whey he was donating now, since he never donated in the past. His reply? “I think you are creating all this. Until now, I never felt the urge to give, but now I want to give”.
After we started Ekam USA, every time I express doubts to Sai about receiving funds or identifying people for the organization, we just get them soon after. Prem in California came across an article in one of the throw away newsletters at the Indian store. Although he doesn’t usually read these, he happened read that day. Sai Lakshmi’s story was published in that article. He connected immediately and wanted to help Ekam. The next year, he went to Chennai, met Sai, donated generously and the both called me to connect.
Since we started Ekam, I heard that Shankar Netralaya has a US nonprofit and that they receive matching grant from Google. So I have said several times to friends that we need to get a matching grant from Google like Shankar Netralaya, but alas, we didn’t know anyone in Google.
I did not practice Shiv Yog meditation for long those days, busy with daily activities. One day I woke up early and meditated for 20 minutes, and prayed for Ekam’s success. That morning when I went to work, our treasurer texted me that we had two checks of $250 each. Later that day, my friend called to confirm the address, she was putting off sending money to Ekam. She would send a check that day, fr $2000. I was excited that Sai Lakshmi’s mantra of “Meditation is my favorite fundraising” was working. This was easy. So I wanted to meditate longer.
That day, Sai called me to say she would connect me with someone coming from US to meet her.That day I also asked some friends to help me set up Ekam Facebook and Twitter accounts but everyone was busy. I woke up early the next day and did another 20 minutes of meditation, now fully expecting more money. Sai called me on the way to work to make me talk to Prem, who came to meet her that day and donated Rs.50,000. As soon as he spoke to me, he said “When I return to USA, I will get us a Google matching grant”. I was just amazed and asked him how he could do it. “I work for Google”, said Prem. That is the story of how Google matching came to us, and that is the power of thought, especially a good thought, and Shiv Yog. We went on to get matching grants from Verizon, Pfizer, Apple and Bank of New York Mellon.
Again, we needed more people to spread the word about Ekam, and they came. I was looking for someone experience with nonprofits to lead us. Through Sai Lakshmi, and her contacts, we connected to many good will ambassadors in USA.
When I planned to attend the Doctors’ shivir in New Jersey, I wasn’t sure where I would stay. I mentioned about Shiv Yog to my friend Neelima in New Jersey, she said she would come, and that I should all come and stay with her. I mentioned to my friends and two of them came along, one at the last minute-again, destiny plays a role in who gets to attend the shivir. We didn’t have to worry about food, lodging or transport. She came with us and attended the shivir as well. One of my friends felt so much energy during the shivir that she instantly connected and thought of three of her clients, and visualized sending them healing energy. We kept our phone switched off during the day at the shivir. When she turned the phone on at night, two of the clients had called her and left a message saying “I feel so much better. Did you do something?”. When we returned, we were practicing our meditation daily. One day Preety came to see me and she was limping slightly from the door to the chair. Her ankle had been hurting all day. We decided to meditate together and send healing energy through prayer. When we were done, she was literally jumping out of joy, that her ankle pain was gone and wasn’t limping anymore. I had a similar experience with an uncle who was visiting and had significant shortness of breath. After prayer, he said he felt a lot better and was able to bend over and tie his shoes without any difficulty.
The best example for Shiv Yog healing was with my patients. As soon as I returned from the Doctors’ shivir in New Jersey, I was doing my inpatient rotation at the local hospital. I came across one patient who had a gastric bypass surgery a few weeks ago, went home but came back right away as she had a lot of nausea and vomiting. For at least 2-3 weeks, she could not keep anything down and was not able to maintain her nutrition even by liquids. So she could not go home. When I was called to see her, I knew it was part of the adjustment after surgery and in some cases there wasn’t much that I could do. I did an endoscopy and confirmed that everything looked normal. I had already added different medications to help, but nothing was working and she continued to have vomiting. I tried her on small amount of clear liquids but she could not even tolerate that. That day I decided to use my newly learned skill of prayer and Shiv Yog meditation for healing for her.
I also saw another patient who complained about bloating enough to be admitted, due to her history of Crohn’s disease. All the tests for Crohn’s showed that it was healed. So there was no obvious cause for her bloating and I tried everything I could. Her symptoms were not improving at all. I told her about all the normal tests and suggested that she may go home, as there was nothing else to be done as an inpatient. This did not sit well with her and she was aggravated, argued with the nurses and was ready to complain to the patient representative that I was sending her home without making her better. Well, “she needs prayer too”, I thought. I started her on one more medication as well.
That day at home, I took some time and meditated, thinking of these two patients. When I say meditation, it’s not a fancy thing, but just a prayer, with good intention, as taught by Babaji in the Shivir, to connect to The Divine and ask for healing. I visualized healing energy to both these patients.
The next day, I went to work and was still doing my procedures before I started seeing patients.The surgeon who performed the gastric bypass for the vomiting patient called me and said “Neelima, she is feeling better. She wants to go home”. I know that I did not do anything for her medically that could have improved her.
Later that afternoon, I went to see the patient who had bloating. She told me that she was feeling better and wanted to go home (after throwing a fit the day before when I suggested that).
During one of my night calls, I was called to see someone with an impacted piece of food in the esophagus. As a gastroenterologist I am called to do a procedure and remove it. It takes at least 1-2 hours to go, set up for the procedure, call the nurses into the hospital at odd hours and do the procedure. I lose about 2-3 hours of sleep. So obviously, it is not my favorite type of call to get. I told the Emergency Room doctor to try some medicine, do an xray, anything to get the food moving down, so I don’t have to come in at midnight. Most of the time they call back and the food is still there and the patient cannot swallow anything, so we end up going in. I told them to call me back if the medicine didn’t work. I prayer for her and visualized the food going down. Granted I was praying for the patient, but also for the sake of my own sleep. Then I went to bed and woke up around 3AM to go and see another patient at another hospital. While driving, I remember about the earlier patient. I called and asked to speak to that patient’s nurse. I was angry that they did not call me back about the patient. The secretary who picked up the phone said there was no one by that name in the Emergency Room. This didn’t help my aggravation at all. I asked her to check again with the nurses. Finally she came back to say, “she must have gone home”. That hadn’t happened me too often previously, where the food passed down by itself and I didn’t have to go in.
I saw someone with an advanced cancer that could not be cured completely, and he was already on acid reflux medication when he came to see me. I knew there was nothing I could do to make his chest pain better but did the tests anyway, only after praying for his wellbeing. I prayed and hoped his pain would get better, since that’s the least I could do for him. I didn’t give me a follow-up, as there wasn’t much else to be done. I was surprised to see him 2 weeks later. He returned just to come and tell me that his chest pain was gone and he felt like sharing how he felt, going through his disease, that he could not share his feelings with his wife and that he was putting up a brave front for the family. “I can’t always do that, and I just wanted to share that with you”, he said.
If you are thinking all these are coincidences, I think that’s one too many coincidences ! I am happy to be part of them.
When we get a cough/ cold, the cold usually nags behind for a week or so. When my dad called with fever and cough, I know what to do. I just sit and prayed for him, long distance. The next day, his fever was gone and his cough was a lot better where he could speak easily again. A second dose made it even better and it didn’t last any longer.
Where previously I would have felt helpless in certain situations, now I feel empowered, that I am being helpful, doing my part, through prayer and healing. If it works out and the situation/ condition/ patient improves, I am happy to take the credit. I constantly remind myself that I am the intercessor not the healer. Divine energy is what heals. Whatever the outcome is supposed to be, we can help and feel better along the way, with the feeling of empowerment rather than helplessness, in this age of disease, stress and frustration at uncontrollable things.
Shiv Yog is a continuous journey for me, of awe, surprise, happiness and healing. I invite you to join this amazing journey and experience it for yourself. We will keep adding to this journal.