SHIVAPURI BABA lived to be a hundred and thirty seven years old.
He was born as a twin, in 1826, and came into this world with a smile on his
His grandfather, Achyutam, was a famous astrologer, and along with the other
signs of his birth, he announced that a great soul had been born and that
the family line would come to an end, as it had fulfilled its purpose on
In 1844, at the age of eighteen, the future saint was ready to leave
civilization and attempt the vision of God. For the next quarter of a
century, he lived alone in the remote forest beside the Narbada river, in
the upper Deccan of southern India. What he was after, to be more precise,
was ' Itambhara Prajna ', or complete union with Absolute Will beyond Being
itself. To achieve that, the young renunciate had to live the minimum life
possible so he could empty his mind of all its contents, thereby enabling
him to make that supreme act of total surrender and to remain in anxious
suspension until the Breakthrough arrived.
And what a Breakthrough he had, after twenty-five years of non-stop
practice, capped off by the crowning Touch of Divine Grace, the veil of
consciousness was finally lifted, in a flash!, and he landed up in Eternity.
As if that wasn't enough, after achieving the Impossible, the Saint then
left the jungle, beaming radiant with the Light of God Realization, (after
all, had he not drunk from the Milk of Paradise?) to perform the next
activity on his list which just happened to be taking a walk around the
The year he set out, trekking through the Khyber Pass, was 1875, and after
covering 80% of the land mass on foot, and meeting many of the world leaders
of that time, including Queen Victoria (this fact is curious, a lot of
people dispute it), Queen Emma of the Netherlands, and President Theodore
Roosevelt, to name a few, our amazing Saint returned to India forty years
later in 1915, in one piece, without a single scratch, whereupon he helped
found a university in Benares, with some diamonds his grandfather had set
aside, but of course he refused the Chancellorship; revealed the route up
Mount Everest that the Hunt expedition finally chose in 1952; taught B.G.
Tilak [i.e. Arctic Home in the Vedas (doesn't that ring a bell?)] a ' little
' astronomy; settled down alone in a small hut outside of Katmandu, in the
Shiva Puri Forest, where a wild leopard used to come sit beside him like a
domestic house cat; received tons of visitors all asking questions about
God; took up smoking at one hundred and seven; still looked like the picture
of health and vitality at one-hundred and
twenty-nine; and eventually died in 1963, shortly after he had
approved the draft for his biography, titled " Long Pilgrimage ", by
John G. Bennett.
When the hour came to meet death, the
SHIVAPURI BABA rose up from his bed, took a drink of water, said "Live Right
Life, Worship God. That is all. Nothing more." Then he laid down on his side
with his right hand supporting his head, spoke his last words, "I'm gone",
in Hindi, "Gaya", ditched the old body, then I guess, he went immediately to
join God and his grandfather. What a life! What a life!!