For the next decade, Sri Kaleshwar practiced intense sadhana under Shirdi Baba’s guidance. These practices were not for personal enlightenment or for the attainment of supernatural powers—these had already been attained in other lifetimes and were merely being reawakened. Instead, he was researching and testing the spiritual formulas given in the ancient palm leaf books. These were the practices to be given to help the world come out of the darkness of this present age, the Kali Yuga. These sacred formulas were the most direct path to realizing the highest truth and awakening healing abilities that could be used to help humanity during these difficult times.
All along, he did his best to honor his parent’s wishes so he continued with school, reaching college where he majored in chemistry, biology and botany. However, Shirdi Baba was a revolutionary character in Sri Kaleshwar’s life. After his experience of seeing him, Sri Kaleshwar’s personal lifestyle completely changed. His spiritual pursuits took precedence over everything else. More often than not, instead of studying he would do his practices. He rarely attended classes, spending most of his time in deep meditation and serving the needs of the ever-increasing numbers of people who came, solving their problems, offering healings and giving enlightenment. His reputation as a saint with miraculous healing abilities quickly spread throughout the villagers, making it more and more difficult to focus on his studies.
One day, when Sri Kaleshwar was deeply absorbed in meditation, his father became so angry with him for not studying that he went to beat the boy. However, when he opened the door to Sri Kaleshwar’s bedroom, he saw a huge tiger standing there. Sri Kaleshwar had been communicating with Mother Divine in the form of the Goddess Durga. Unwittingly, his father became a witness to this supernatural event and had the blessing of seeing the Goddess’s tiger. But, to a father and householder who ran a regulated, disciplined household, this was deeply disturbing. Unwilling to accept the path his son seemed determined to follow, he threw Sri Kaleshwar out from the family’s home in hopes that he would come to his senses and return to a normal life. But, for Sri Kaleshwar, this was a divine gift. He was free to pursue his spiritual destiny.
Resolutely, he traveled across India, living as a mendicant, dependent on alms. He visited many sacred spots and powerful saints, with whom he shared his findings and continued his research. During this time he had direct experiences of who he was and the future of his spiritual mission. Eventually, he was led to settle in a small village in his native state of Andhra Pradesh —Penukonda. It is here that he began building his ashram. He was twenty years old.