Yoga Guru Sri Tat Wale Baba - Rishi of the Himalayas.





Vincent J. Daczynski

Chapter 4

A Tragic Death

Swami Shankardasji stands at site where Sri Tat Wale Baba was murdered.
(mouseover to enlarge)
Swami Shankardasji stands at monument where
Sri Tat Wale Baba was murdered."

On December 2, 1974 as he went to take his bath at 4:00 a.m., Sri Tat Wale Baba was murdered by a crazy gunman. I soon had learned of the incident from a friend. I wondered about the facts surrounding this crime, and why somebody would want to kill Tat Wale Baba. I had heard various accounts, but none had satisfied me. My visit with Swami Shankardasji afforded me the opportunity for an accurate account.

"What happened to Tat Wale Baba?" I probed a bit apprehensively as I felt I might be approaching a sensitive subject. But, Swami Shankardasji was open to my questioning.

"He was killed by a man living there in the mountains," Swami related as he gestured gently with his finger to give me an indication of the direction. Then, Swami shocked me when he said, "He still lives here, near by."

My mouth dropped open in shocked disbelief. I wondered if I had heard correctly. "How's that possible? Don't the police know he did it?"

"Oh yes! The police got him to confess. The man spent one year in prison, then paid bail (my emphasis) and now is out."

I still had difficulty believing that a convicted murderer of a great yogi, in a spiritual country which cherishes its beacons of wisdom, could wiggle his way into freedom and be permitted to live on the same mountain where he executed his maleficent deed. "What a mockery!" I thought.

Swami continued, "This man had another run in with the police. But, after a few months in prison, he again got out on parole." Swami Shankardasji brought out newspaper clippings he had saved which reported the killing of Tat Wale Baba, and the subsequent crimes of this murderous renegade. "This last December 14, he again just got out of prison," Swami said. "It was his third time. And he is still causing problems for people here."

I now could understand why Swami Shankardasji made it a practice to bolt the ashram door shut. It was hard to imagine that one needed to protect oneself against the harm from others while on a spiritual retreat in a cave hidden in the Himalayan jungles overlooking a holy city. The cobras, however, are friendly! Be that as it may.