Yoga Teacher Emeritus Gregorian Bivolaru is the author of the yoga course taught in Tara and our sister schools in the ATMAN Federation. Having dedicated his entire life towards helping people awaken to that which is divine, Grieg is recognised by many as having a high level of enlightenment and spiritual power, and as belonging to the highest category of spiritual guides, bodhaka.
From the very beginning, Grieg’s approach to yoga was recognised as revolutionary and extremely efficient, and it was not long before his teachings began to spread worldwide, with schools in 30 countries currently. The fundamental axis of the teachings is the Law of Occult Resonance, a principle at the essence of creation that governs every manifestation of the universe and how everything inter-relates. The Law of Resonance is the primary key of the spiritual practice of Tara, and through its application, a whole new dimension to Yoga opens.
When Grieg was asked to which spiritual tradition he belonged, he replied:
Countless testimonies suggest that Grieg is always present in the souls of those who are open towards his mysterious presence and spiritual transformation. His disciples say that he always helps those who ask for his support, who sincerely wish to merge with God in the purity of the heart. Emanating a special ambiance of spiritual effervescence and deep peace of the heart, in a godly way he enjoys any progress we make towards the discovery of our immortal Self, reminding us to always be grateful to God for this help.
Grieg aims to promote universal teachings that can be applied by anyone, irrespective of faith or religion, and to awaken the human consciousness so that on a planetary level a new era of spirituality, called satya yuga, can blossom, where humanity will again live in accordance with godly laws, and come to recognise God in all that exists.
Grieg’s life has always been marked by the exceptional and mysterious. In the short account below, there is a glimpse into the world of this remarkable man who has, despite many obstacles, dedicated his entire being towards helping people awaken to the divine life.
Youth and the call of cosmic consciousness
Gregorian Bivolaru, or Grieg, was born on 12th March 1952 into a humble family and grew up in the village of Tărtășești near Bucharest.
From a very early age, Grieg had a special character, with a natural inclination towards contemplation and an immense desire to know. For hours and hours, the little Gregorian would stay in the library corner of the local village store, reading all the books he could find in his modest village, in order to allay his thirst for knowledge. Grieg amazed both his family and his teachers with his profoundness, maturity and wisdom that exceeded his age by far.
Even as a child, Grieg intuitively knew that he would have an exceptional destiny. He had dreams and visions in which he experienced godly revelations – a cosmic consciousness beginning to beckon him. In the following he remembers such a ‘dream’:
Adolescence – the discovery of Yoga and the enchantment of Eastern Spirituality
During his adolescence, Grieg began to visit the large libraries of the capital where he stayed for days in a row from the opening to the closing of the library, insatiably reading books from a wide range of fields – Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Philosophy, Psychology, Parapsychology, Hypnosis, Alchemy, Sexology, Medicine.
Upon discovering the fascinating Eastern spirituality, however, he intuited that he had found something of fundamental value that could lead him towards the ultimate truth. Enchanted, he started to seek out the fundamental yoga treatises, which were kept only in the secret depositories of the libraries and which he himself would then translate directly from English and French.
Grieg went deeper and deeper into the yogic practices and study of the sacred yogic scriptures, as well as of the works of some modern sages like Ramakrishna, Sivananda and Yogananda, and he successfully practiced the techniques he encountered. By the age of fifteen, Grieg was practicing Yoga for eight to nine hours per day.
During those years, Grieg often had recurring dreams about himself being a Tibetan Yogi of high spiritual attainment. As a result of these dreams, he had many recollections of various yogic techniques that he started to practice with amazing results. Perplexing synchronistic events would link the events of his dreams with the events of his daily life. Gradually, Grieg learned to recognize the significance of these events and to later put them together into a coherent system of fundamental spiritual truths of huge proportions.
Because of this, he was able to attain in a very short time, by practicing on his own, a whole series of accomplishments that are generally considered paranormal. All these experiments culminated at the age of 19, when he had a decisive breakthrough and attained the state of spiritual awakening (the revelation of the Supreme Self, known in Yoga as Atman).
Teaching Yoga under Romania’s repressive communist regime
Grieg spent his childhood and youth under the regime of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, in a country that was suffocated by the pressure of the iron curtain and was under the mute terror of the infamous “Securitate” (the Romanian Secret Service). For fear of any tendency of freeing people from the influences of the regime, as soon as any person would display any interest towards non-materialistic fields that were far away from the accepted State philosophy (namely, dialectic materialism), they were placed on the blacklist of the Securitate.
Grieg’s activities very quickly brought him to the attention of the communist authorities that were very reticent to any “stepping out of the box” and strongly condemned any spiritual activity. The Securitate began to systematically follow him and monitor his activities. When he began to share letters with certain famous spiritual personalities from abroad (such as Mircea Eliade, the famous Romanian historian of religion), his pursuit became even more incessant.
Thus, in 1971 (before his 20th birthday) the first abusive intervention of the Securitate took place. By giving a totally fictional, absurd reason (they ‘had to search for weapons that had been stolen from a storehouse’), the Securitate searched his entire house and left with all his spiritual books, all the journals and notebooks he had made related to the spiritual path, and all the correspondence with the people from abroad that he kept!
It was in that same year of 1971 that Grieg began to teach yoga. His first class was of just 14 people. Yet, in 1972, when he wished to begin a new group of yoga practice and he had placed posters around the city in order to announce this, the Securitate blocked the phone number (given as contact) on the respective posters, sabotaging his activities.
Thus, with many obstacles, Grieg taught yoga openly, in various cultural houses and student centres, until 1982 when the great scandal around the Transcendental Meditation Movement in Romania was set up, an occasion on which the Ceaușescu regime arrested and imprisoned tens of thousands of students of the Transcendental Meditation Movement (completely destroying their careers) under the accusation of ‘suspect mysticism that might lead to the destabilization of the state’.
Yoga and meditation made illegal
Following this event, Ceausescu forbid all spiritual practices, especially the ones originating from the Orient. Even the teaching and practice of Psychology as an independent academic discipline was outlawed for fear of communist propaganda being undermined. Meditation & yoga were made illegal in communist Romania, considered activities against the state, a situation that was without precedence in the entire world (not valid today)!
Nevertheless, by courageously taking on much greater risks, Grieg continued to teach yoga “underground” and in the following years the Securitate surveilled, bugged, ransacked, arrested and tortured Grieg and several of his students.
In 1984 (aged 32), Grieg was arrested and imprisoned on the aberrant accusation that he planned to make a group of yogis that would annihilate Ceausescu by paranormal means! This paranoid masquerade served the excuse for the Securitate to imprison Grieg (for an undetermined time) whilst his prosecution was pursued, during which no information about him was released, nor any outside communication with him allowed (with friends, family, lawyers).
Grieg decided to protest in a novel way to draw attention to his case and the completely abusive attitude of the state. He managed to spectacularly escape the maximum-security prison – the first and only time in the entire history of this institution – some say through using his paranormal endowments. Because there were no actual grounds for accusing him in the first place, Grieg did not hide himself from the authorities. Yet, the corrupt Romanian justice system again abusively sent him back to another prison and kept him with chains on his feet, as was done with the most dangerous criminals. Grieg spent 18 months in prison just for being a yoga teacher.
In 1989, Grieg was again arrested and sent to Poiana Mare Psychiatric Hospital, a desolate and pitiful place, notorious for being a detention centre where undesirable political dissidents of the Communist regime were condemned, often to gradual extermination. (Over the two years 2002-2003, a report showed that 155 ‘patients’ died at the hospital ). Indeed, the drug prescription to be administered to Grieg would have killed any normal man in a few weeks. Yet, the doctor who was supposed to administer this treatment risked his career and refused to apply what was demanded of him.
Grieg’s teachings spread worldwide
Following the Romanian Revolution in 1989, the communist regime officially ended in Romania. Romania was now apparently free and yoga was permitted again. A commission was urgently established and Grieg was subsequently freed from the prison-hospital of Poiana Mare. Wasting no time whatsoever, Grieg immediately opened the yoga course (in January 1990) and also legally founded MISA or the Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute.
Romanians, thirsty of outer and inner freedom, literally flocked to his courses and in a very short time Grieg’s students were in the thousands. Practically he created a new avenue for the Yoga practice in Romania. He collaborated extensively with the Romanian Ministry of Health and with the Association of Psychosomatic Medicine of Bucharest, and helped many people to heal themselves from terminal diseases with the help of yoga practices, as well as establishing Ayurvedic centres.
Grieg’s teachings continued to spread further and by 2004 yoga schools offering his yoga course had been opened in more than 30 countries (all schools becoming part of the ATMAN Federation), making it one of the most comprehensive and intensive yoga courses in the world, and perhaps the largest yoga movement in Europe.
Grieg’s spiritual mission and the enduring persecutions
Although the communist regime had apparently ended, Grieg’s harassment continued more-or-less openly over the years, accompanied by a persistent ‘smear campaign’ by the mass media – having the purpose of fully destroying his public image. In fact, according to a study by Soteria International (a human rights foundation), Grieg and MISA have proved to be one of the most popular subjects in post-communist Romania, with over 8000 printed libelous articles against them and over 10,000 reports in the TV news!
History has often proved that is difficult for society to accept the inspiration of deeply beneficial, evolutionary tendencies of a revolutionary spiritual reformer (like Gandhi, for example).
The mass media have constantly aimed at distorting, despising and mocking his activities and efforts to promote genuine, universal divine values. Yet Grieg continues without hesitation with his personal mission in bringing forth the planetary spiritual revival, despite the numerous personal attacks, slanders and even assassination attempts.
When Grieg was asked many years ago about his spiritual mission, he answered:
Political Asylum in Sweden
In March 2004, in a desperate attempt to create an event that would draw the public attention away from an imminent government scandal, the prime minister of the time, Adrian Nastase ordered the arrest of Grieg, setting up a legal file backed up with the full support of the media. ‘Operation Christ’ was the largest police operation since the communist regime in Romania and involved armed troops bursting into the ashrams in Bucharest, holding down innocent yoga students at gunpoint and confiscating spiritual materials (books, etc) as well as personal items.
Forced by such dramatic circumstances and believing that he would stand no chance of a fair trial in Romania, Grieg fled the country and was granted protection and political asylum in Sweden. (Currently, this is one of the very few cases in the European Union where a citizen is protected against another state inside the Union).
Over the years, important voices from Romania’s post-communist democracy, including the reports of Amnesty International and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, have spoken against these glaring abusive behaviors by the various state departments against Grieg and the schools offering his teachings. Eventually, in 2010 Gregorian Bivolaru was found not guilty by the Sibiu Court of Law in Romania. The court decision mentioned that “the incriminating deeds are nonexistent”.
Currently, Grieg has residence in Sweden, continuing his rich literary activity of writing yoga lessons and books on various spiritual issues. He has written more than 35 books, and he continues to write and deliver an impressive number of lectures for international congresses and events. He also answers thousands of letters and messages from all over the world from people who ask for his advice.