SHIV AVATAR SHIVANAND SWAMI
Shivanand Swami was the father of Param Sadguru. He was born in 1892. Purushottamrao alias Tatyaji Maharaj Rajimwale and mother Girija were his parents. This pious couple had all the material prosperity but unfortunately was childless. This was the only nagging worry in their otherwise happy and meaningful life. To overcome this and with the intention of having a son they both observed, with unfailing regularity, a religious discipline worshipping Lord Shiva. After 12 years of continuous rigorous discipline they were blessed with a son. He was named Lakshman. This was father of Shree. A yogi of the highest order - Shiva incarnate - Swami Shivanand.
Since childhood Swami Shivanand was a recluse. He preferred solitude and would be seen engrossed in deep thought most of the time. Since an early stage in the life he became obsessed with the thought of finding out the 'real purpose and goal of human existence'. This reflected in the form of absolute apathy towards material life
However as was destined he was married to Sonai - the daughter Bhausaheb Shingwekar of Raipur in the year 1910. After the demise of his father, he hardly cared for all the financial matters related to the vast inherited property. He had a private quarter in the mansion at Raipur where he could be seen engrossed in deep meditation. Very rarely people saw him out side his rooms.
During these days, many of the paid managers who were looking after the day to day matters related with his huge estate, took advantage of the situation and looted whatever they could. Swamiji seemed oblivious to all this. He in fact considered the material wealth as a hindrance to spiritual progress. His spiritual pursuits continued uninterrupted and finally, he attained the highest goal, becoming an illumined soul. Becoming one with the infinite.
Now he used to be in an ecstatic state and at times his actions, when in such a trance, were very strange for normal people. Some times he would suddenly start crying or laughing loudly. Sometimes he would light all the lamps in the house, or open all the doors and windows at any time in the night. Other family members could not understand all this and thought this to be a serious problem. They tried treating him medically to stop this odd behaviour, but it did not work. Various saints were consulted. In reality he was a yogi in bala (childlike) condition.
All this caused much anxiety to Bhausaheb and he decided to take Swami Shivanand to his Sadguru Shri Upasani Baba at Sakori. It was Shri Baba who realized the real state of Swami Shivanand and explained to Bhausaheb that his son in law was not an ordinary soul but a person having accomplished the highest spiritual order. Sonamata, having obtained the permission of her revered husband and pious father stayed back at Sakori with Sadguru Upasani Baba.
Swami Shivananda then returned to Raipur and stayed there till the Samadhi of Sonamata in 1924. From then onwards he shifted to Dirgha, in Durg dist. of Chhattisgarh where he spent the following 14 years. In 1938 he came to Akkalkot to stay with Shree.
People held Shivanand Swami in highest esteem as Lord SHIVA incarnate.
Swamiji had childlike naive nature. He avoided referring to the demise of any person. He would say 'he attained long life'.
He avoided any contact with woman-folk. Even to his own daughter Kamala he would never look into her eyes and speak. He loved solitude and silence. The thing which could be expressed in one sentence, he would prefer to express in half a sentence. Anything which could be expressed in half a sentence, he would prefer to express in one word while something which could be told in one word he would prefer to suggest by just a nod. If at all he had to say something then he would speak only to his son Shree.
He used to be continuously immersed in the rhythm of the sound Om.. He was Nada Brahma Yogi who exemplified the Shabda Brahma concept. Sound of Mantra chant would emanate from his body all the while - even while he would be deep asleep. He observed strict disciplines regarding food. Out of love if ever at any time a little extra quantity of food was served, he would remove and keep aside precisely the same extra quantity.
Shivanand Swami was the highest among Yogis. One year before his Mahasamadhi, he had indirectly indicated the place where his Samadhi was to be made - the present Shivapuri.
On 16th April 1954 at 6 p.m. Swami Shivanand attained Mahasamadi. He became one with Shiva. On 17th April he was brought to Shivapuri and laid to rest in the underground Cellar here. This great Yogi had once declared "Death shall not conquer us". The devotees believe that he is still in the state of Samadhi in Shivapuri in the cellar where the holy body is preserved before the place was sealed with stone. It seems there is some mission yet to be performed by the holy body in the cellar called Shivagumpha. One can see in the Shivapumpha a radiating Linga called Shivajyotirlinga.