Category Archive: Devotee Experiences (Bhakta Mala) ~ A Collection
Lifetime experiences of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji's devotees, collected and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham
(two 'devotee experiences' added per week).
Manikyamba Chaganti, Mysore
I learnt from this experience that if we have a genuine and sincere desire to offer something to Sri Swamiji, He fulfils that desire no matter how impossible it is.
Before my marriage, I was not in the spiritual line. My husband and in-laws were in the spiritual line and they had an understanding of godliness, guru and karma. Originally, I am from Andra Pradesh, I lived in Machilipatnam, Nuzividu and now in Mysore. I had the first darshan of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji in 1971 when He visited Vijayawada. My husband took me to the temple and we arrived just when the program was finishing; Sri Swamiji was singing the final Bhajan. We received teertham from Him and left. I just thought that He was a great spiritual person, but soon forgot all about Him.
In 1974, He visited Machilipatnam and we attended His program. He gave a lecture on the state of mind we should have when we are doing pooja. He said sometimes while doing pooja, we think about making coffee for our relatives and when we break a coconut, we think of what chutney to make. He said our minds should be the flowers full of the fragrance of good thoughts about God and we must offer that in our poojas. He continued that some of us want to see God; however, we cannot even see our face without a mirror. He continued that to see God we need the mirror of a Guru. I heard these words from Him and I was impressed. I left there and in the following months whenever I looked into a mirror a thought arose in my mind about what He said. Whenever I did my pooja or broke a coconut, I remembered His words and I kept my focus on God. I began to think of Him as a great Guru. I heard so many other lectures and at times I used to forget, but Sri Swamiji would always remind us.
In 1976, Sri Swamiji visited Machilipatnam and conducted Suvasini Pooja at Mr. Raja Rao’s house; he was a great devotee of Sri Swamiji. I went and took part in the pooja even though I did not know what that pooja was. When the pooja was over, I joined the queue to receive kumkum prasadam from Sri Swamiji. I wanted to do Sashtanga namaskara to Him, but the line was going fast and I did not want to break the rules. I collected my Prasadam and walked away.
After half and hour or so someone made an announcement that, Sri Swamiji is calling the person who wanted to do Sashtanga namaskara to Him. I took no notice of this and kept talking to my friend. Then another announcement came, that the person who wanted to do the namaskara is a lady. I thought that it could not be me for I do not know Him that much and why would He call me. Then the announcement came again for the lady who participated in puja to come quickly to Sri Swamiji. Simultaneously I heard a voice in my thought saying, ‘It is you; it is you!’ Fearfully I went to Him and did Sashtanga namaskara. He said, “Okay go” and left.
In 1981, we attended the consecration of the Vijayawada Temple. Then in 1982, Sri Swamiji came to Machilipatnam for five days. My husband helped Sri Raja Rao and Mr. Kuppa Krishnamurthy in organizing and preparing for His visit. I had nothing to do, so I helped them also. Sri Swamiji came and at one of the programs I was distributing water to the devotees, for it was a hot day. I suddenly got a desire to offer a flower garland to Sri Swamiji, but having no money, at that time, to buy the flowers, I dismissed the thought.
A man came to me and said, “Sister can you and help Me.?” I followed him to a table and he gave me some lemons and told me to make a garland. I thought it was probably for a vehicle or house. I made the lemon garland and gave it to the man and asked what it was for, the man said that the garland is for Sri Swamiji. I was surprised and fearful at the same time, thinking that He may not wear the garland. At the Poornahuti ceremony, He wore the lemon garland. I was happy and that voice in me said, “You wanted to give a garland and you did.”
Later on, He was visiting various devotees’ houses to perform Pada Pooja. He was coming to our house at 5.30 am. I had no idea about the rituals for this pooja, so my in-laws and my husband made the arrangements. I wanted to play the Nagaswaran (musical instrument) music when He visits, for it is very auspicious. I know my husband was not interested in this so I hoped that my friend would have it played at her house when Sri Swamiji visits.
By 7.30 am. Sri Swamiji did not come; my friend called me and said that a music band was coming down the street. I rushed out and I saw the band coming. I asked them to perform for only five minutes and if Sri Swamiji does not come, they can leave. They had a previous appointment to attend. They came and began playing a tune I requested on the Nagaswaran. Just then, Sri Swamiji arrived. It was perfect timing. Sri Swamiji was welcomed with this music and when He went inside I paid them and they left. I learnt from this experience that if we have a genuine and sincere desire to offer something to Sri Swamiji, He fulfils that desire no matter how impossible it is.
On the fifth day of Sri Swamiji’s visit, I attended the program and overheard the volunteers saying that Sri Swamiji knows what services we perform. I thought that if He knows of the service we do, I want to know that He knows everything. Just then, He called all the volunteers for a meeting. He spoke to us for one hour and in the end He said, “I know everything that each one of you do.” I got my confirmation from Him. He then gave the ladies, a blouse piece and Datta Kankana (bracelet) and the men received a Vastram.
I was very happy and I thought to myself, I have found my Guru; He is Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. As soon as I thought of this, Sri Swamiji said, “I have postponed my trip, who wants to take me as their Guru?” I was in a dilemma; my husband was sitting in the back of the hall. His Guru is Kanchi Swami and should be my Guru also, since I am his wife, but I do not know anything about Kanchi Swami. I felt in my heart that Sri Swamiji should be my Guru so I stood up along with others.
Sri Swamiji then explained to us step-by-step instructions on how to face the tests for Guru Bhakti and live our lives. I thought I should offer something to Him but I had nothing with me. I do not have money or much strength to perform service, so in my mind I offered Sri Swamiji my ten-year-old son Vamshi Krishna. I thouhght even if he serves teertham in the temple, the purpose of his birth would be fulfilled. On this auspicious day in 1982, I became the Shishya of my Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji.
In 1984, my family and I visited Mysore Ashrama for the first time. The inauguration of the Universal Prayer Hall and Sri Swamiji’s forty-second birthday celebrations were taking place. I brought my husband’s niece along with us. She told Sri Swamiji that she had a severe heart condition. He advised her to get an operation done and she followed His instructions and got better, now she and her husband are great devotees of Sri Swamiji, and serving at the Jaya Durga Teertham.
My son, Vamshi, said he liked the Ashrama very much and would like to stay. Sri Swamiji asked me what I wanted; I told Him that I want to come to Mysore Ashrama repeatedly. He really blessed my wishes for I made many trips to the Ashrama in the following years, I used to bring people along with me, and they would become devotees of Sri Swamiji. I was instrumental in doing this. We were not poor, but to make frequent frequent visits to Mysore was difficult.
Later, in December 1984, Sri Swamiji visited Vijayawada. I wanted to go and see Him, but I had my duties at home to perform. I received a telegram from my father telling me that he is visiting Sri Swamiji in Vijayawada and I should meet him there. I got permission from my father-in-law and I went to Vijayawada. Before that he was in the hospital for two months. When I gave him Sri Swamiji’s raksha, he became well. I asked him to visit Sri Swamiji, but he postponed it due to lack of leave. After that the disease relapsed. My father came from Hyderabad by himself; he was ill, he had two tubes hooked on his body for urine and blood. He told me that he has taken a leave of absence from his job and will not go back until he is better. He then told me to take him to Sri Swamiji.
Some time back I told my father about Sri Swamiji, but he has never seen him, so this was his first darshan. The ashram in Vijayawada had no accommodations then, the Kalayana Mantapa was under construction. I did not know where to stay for I had not much money for a hotel, so we stayed in the unfinished Hall. After the first day, my father felt better so he took the tubes away from his body. He kept pushing me to take him to talk to Sri Swamiji. I did not know how to arrange an interview with Sri Swamiji.
The third day came and Sri Swamiji was scheduled to leave Vijayawada. When my father heard this, he began to cry saying that he is a sinner that is why he could not talk to Sri Swamiji. It was after lunch and most of the people left after the morning program. We were waiting until Sri Swamiji leaves. Just then Ganesh, Sri Swamiji’s attendant came out of Sri Swamiji’s quarters and shouted, “Who wants an interview, who wants an interview?” It sounded funny, as if he was selling something in the market. I could not believe my ears; I rushed and put my name down.
There were only seven devotees’ names on the list; as most of the people had left already. Our turn came and my father and I went in to see Sri Swamiji. He asked my father about his health and he told him about his condition, Sri Swamiji gave him some vibhuti. He looked at me and I said, “Swamiji, all my relatives should become your servants.” He gave me a big beautiful smile that said a thousand words to my heart. Now I am happy to say that all my relatives have come to Sri Swamiji and serving Him.
My father went back to Secunderabad and after two days, he was back to work. After some time he retired and kept a little job, the earnings he contributed to Sri Swamiji’s seva projects. Later on, he quit the job and offered his services at the Anantapur, Mekadatu and Vijayawada Ashrams. He passed away while serving at Vijayawada Ashrama.
My husband and I wanted Vamshi to study the Vedas, but we could not find anyone suitable to do this. My husband wanted to send him to Kanchi Swami Ashram, but I did not want Vamshi to go away from the village. I told my husband if sends Vamshi away from the house I will go away also. Later in 1984 Sri Swamiji came to Machilipatnam and I went and asked the temple officials for a meeting with Sri Swamiji for I wanted to offer something to Him. I saw Sri Swamiji and I told him, “Swamiji I am offering my son Vamshi to you and you have to make it possible for giving him to you.” Sri Swamiji nodded His head, which meant that He has heard what I said. I left and returned home.
On January 21st 1985, the day of Vamshi’s thirteenth birthday we took him to Sri Swamiji in Vijayawada and told Him that it was Vamshi’s birthday. Sri Swamiji said, “Why don’t you teach him Veda?” At once, both my husband and I replied, “Take him to Mysore, Swamiji.” He then said, “It is not that easy, you all three have to agree, anyway don’t worry he will come.” My husband and I were happy.
On February 3rd, we took Vamshi to the Mysore Ashrama. Sri Swamiji asked us to give Vamshi along with a coconut. Vamshi was very attached to me and used to cry for me. I had gone to my home and Sri Swamiji told me to come back to Mysore and stay with him. I came and my husband joined me later for the Shivaratri Festival. While I was there, Sri Swamiji did not talk to me. He called us and said to my husband, “Your wife was weeping. I was waiting for you to come; I want to talk to you both.” We went and sat with Him and He said to us, “I am taking your child, what you want me to do for him?” We both said, “We don’t know anything, you do as you please.” Then I added, “Swamiji I would like him to get his education and let him fulfill his duties what a human should do to obtain God.” Sri Swamiji acknowledged what I said, by nodding His head. After spending twenty days, we left the Ashrama. When we were leaving, Vamshi began to cry and Sri Swamiji told us to leave, he will be all right.
When I returned home in Machilipatnam, I missed Vamshi so much. I consoled myself by thinking that I had given Sri Swamiji the best offering I could, nothing else in my life was equal to Vamshi. Later on Sri Swamiji told me that I had given Him myself; (Vamshi) and He will take good care. On a visit to Mysore, and after Vamshi had done a small Homa, Sri Swamiji said to me, “You always say education, education for him, see how much your son has studied, this is the greatest education.” I simply said, “Yes Swamiji!”
My spiritual life continued when Sri Swamiji became my Guru. I faced many challenges and with His grace, I overcame them and grew stronger daily. I had to deal with relatives and people in my town telling me constantly that I had done a wrong thing by sending Vamshi to Sri Swamiji. They said that he was a brilliant boy and could have become a scientist or even a millionaire. I told them that there are a lot of scientists and millionaires who come and bow to Sri Swamiji feet, why do they come to Him? Obviously, they are missing something in their lives. After a while, I learnt to listen and ignore them.
After Vamshi went to Mysore, we moved to Nuzividu because my husband’s job was there. Sri Swamiji introduced Anagha pooja at this time and I began doing it also. Upon the order of Sri Swamiji, I began doing Anagha Poojas at various devotees’ houses, even in other places like, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Eluru, Mekadatu, Delhi, Kulu in Himachal Pradesh and other villages. After performing this pooja, many of the people got their desires fulfilled and so became devotees of Sri Swamiji. I began teaching the little children to sing bhajans, chant Sri Swamiji’s prayers and to perform Anagha pooja. I used to listen to Sri Swamiji’s tapes with His music and chants. Some of them in languages I could not understand, but I used to be in a trance feeling the emotions of the chants.
Later, I asked Sri Swamiji to take my second son also; He said, “He is my son also, but let him be with you.” He is protecting our family, each and every moment and guiding us at every stage. My second son, Chandra Shekar Chaganti, is working in the USA for Union Pacific Railroads. Sri Swamiji has rescued him from three fatal accidents and gave him life, health, education and all the eight types of wealth. He and his family, Lakshmi and Chidatma, love Sri Swamiji dearly. They serve Him sincerely with pure devotion.
When I first met Sri Swamiji in Machilipatnam, I mentioned to Him that I had a bad cough. Over the years the cough persisted, but my mind changed, I thought I should not ask Sri Swamiji to take away my karma (cough) but ask Him only for the strength to bear it. With this mind, I forgot about my cough. I only felt bad about it when I disturbed people around me.
Once I went to Sri Swamiji and He asked, “How is your health?” I said, “Fine, Swamiji.” I began telling Him about an Anagha Pooja I conducted and how happy the people were. He interrupted me, “How is your cough?” I said, “It is there, but I am okay.” Then I started talking about the pooja and He stopped me and said. “It is your karma and you have to bear it, I can distribute some of it, but I cannot take it away.” He gave me some vibhuti and I left. Some days later, my cough became less irritating and some of my relatives started coughing. Now my cough is not so severe.
In my spiritual growth, I felt subtle changes within me by doing simple things like reading the ‘Datta Darshanam’ book. I read it twenty-five times. Moreover, every time I read it I fely some thing shift within me, even though it is the same. Sri Swamiji knows the effects of these things, and the reasons why He encourages us to read and watch the movie of Datta Darshanam. When the movie was released, He told us to go in the theatre and watch it as much as we can. I watched it forty times. I do not know what the secret is but I experienced changes within me on all levels. I did no homas, yagnas nor tirats to find spirituality. My spirituality came to me in the form of my Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. He orchestrated my life from birth and is now playing the instrument and I am enjoying the sweet music. Jaya Guru Datta
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Lalit and Nandini Kumar Duggal, Delhi
Nandini: “My dear daughter Nandi, you are alive, I have brought you back from Yama lokha. I fought for you, I remembered your days in the Ashrama as a young girl and how you served in the Ashrama. I have bought you back so you can continue to serve me.”
I am the eldest of the three daughters of Professor Krishan Kumar. My younger sister, Deepa, was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was almost three years old, and this prompted my father to go the Mysore Ashrama to seek the help of Sri Swamiji. My other sister, Roopa, Deepa and I used to accompany my father to Mysore as children; we grew up with Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji in our lives.
I loved writing and I used to write letters to Him, telling Him of even the littlest and silliest of things happening in my life, and He would sit and read the letters aloud. My father once told me, in the presence of Sri Swamiji, not to bother Him with my letters. However He replied, “It is all right, let her write, it is her nature, not many people write like this.”
From this young age I became very close to Sri Swamiji, He became my best friend, and even to this day I still write letters to Him. He used to take us with Him on many of His trips. We even accompanied Him on His first trip to Badrinath and Kedarnath. With His compassionate nature He used to take good care of us and looked after the smallest of things. When I was about twelve years old I was staying at the Mysore Ashrama and I got bitten by mosquitoes. The next morning when He saw my face, He asked me what had happened, and He called Kusumakka and told her to take care of me and to give me a mosquito net and repellant. He was even protecting me from mosquitoes.
I was very keen to become a doctor and Sri Swamiji told me to do the entry exam, I did it but I did not pass. I cried and felt very bad. He told me not to cry because it had happened this way for the best. He said I could have met with some difficulty if I had secured a place so do not cry over it. He told me to try again. I wrote the exam again and this time I passed. In 1981, when He was leaving for France, he asked me, what He should bring back for me. I told Him nothing. Anyway, He brought back a stethoscope and told me that I should become a good doctor. From then I began seeing Him as my father.
In 1987, I got married. My father had asked Sri Swamiji to promise that He will perform the Kanyadaan ritual for my marriage. We did a marriage ceremony in Delhi and Sri Swamiji called us to Vijayawada and conducted a ceremony in the South Indian tradition. He asked my father if I had a Mangala sutra. My father told Him that it is not our custom in the north to have this but I can get one later. The ceremony started early in the morning and finished around noon.
Sri Swamiji sat and observed the entire program. There were about two hundred and fifty people in the temple. After the poojas, we went before Sri Swamiji and my father-in-law offered Him a garland. He took the garland, pulled out a mangala sutra from it, and gave it to me. I wear it until this day. My father gave me a cassette player and eleven cassettes with Sri Swamiji’s music; he told me he gave me Sri Swamiji’s voice as my dowry. My husband was not a devotee when we got married but as time went by, he became very close to Sri Swamiji.
In 1988, we both visited Mysore Ashrama and he sought Sri Swamiji’s guidance with his career as a doctor. He followed His advice and things worked out for Him at His job. Once he was diagnosed with a severe hip condition, where he might have to get a hip replacement. I became worried and sent a message to Sri Swamiji about his condition. Sri Swamiji sent back word that he will be all right, not to worry. He recovered from that hip problem; it turned out he just had some hip trauma.
My husband was having problems at his job with jealousy from co-workers. One day Sri Swamiji called us to the Mysore Ashrama. He asked us to perform Sarva Dosha Yagna. After performing the Yagna, Sri Swamiji told him that, everything will be all right at his job. When he returned to his job things got better and today he is one of the top doctors in Delhi.
After having a few miscarriages, I finally became pregnant again, so my father became worried for me and he told Sri Swamiji about my condition, but He told me, “Datta Prasad.” I carried the pregnancy for the full term and I gave birth to a baby boy. My other child, a daughter, Devika is very fond of Sri Swamiji; she seeks His advice in her life decisions and follows them through. She studied dental medicine in Mysore under Sri Swamiji’s care and guidance.
In 2002, my father-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumor, stage four. My husband and I are both doctors and we did not know what to do. We consulted Sri Swamiji and He told us, since we are doctors, we should think carefully and do the best we can, but we should not do surgery neither should we take him out of India. We followed His instructions and took care of the patient right here in India, and he felt better and lived for four and a half years more. At this time, he became ill again and when we consulted Sri Swamiji He told us not to interfere this time. I guess Sri Swamiji knew the right time for him to be relieved from this world.
In 2008, I became very ill and I was dying. I went for a root canal at the dentist and he gave me an anesthesia. After the procedure, complications developed within me. My liver and kidney stopped functioning and I ended up in the ICU. My husband informed Sri Swamiji and He called me on the phone and said, “My dear daughter Nandi, you are alive, I have brought you back from Yama lokha. I fought for you, I remembered your days in the Ashrama as a young girl and how you served in the Ashrama. I have bought you back so you can continue to serve me.” After staying for eleven days in the hospital, I was discharged and sent home.
I have been under Sri Swamiji’s loving care since the 1970s and I do not know of any other way of life. He practically raised me as a child and now I have children of my own. My husband is now a staunch devotee. We were fortunate indeed, for Sri Swamiji has visited our home and made it His own. We made the second floor only for Him and He likes it very much. We pray to Him always and share our happiness and difficulties and He responds by giving us the courage and strength to overcome them, sometimes He takes charge completely.
Being a doctor, I pray and sometimes plead with Him regarding His health. I ask Him to take rest for His physical body is getting older. I even advise Him not to travel so much. He always say, “Don’t worry about me, I am okay.” I know it is being selfish when I ask Him not to travel so much but I cannot help it for sometimes I cannot help seeing Him as my dear father. Just recently, He saw me and said to me, “How are you my daughter?” I felt like I was ‘on top of the world’. What else do I need in my life? He has given us everything, being with us always. Jaya Guru Datta
Lalit: Then several incidents happened that brought me virtually to His Lotus Feet and a realization dawned that there is something supernatural in Him that science and reasoning cannot explain.
Our family is a perfect blend between an advanced fast moving Air Force type and a religious, spiritual, god fearing one, as typified by my father. When Nandini and I met for the first time in June, 1986, she had concerns about a ‘high fi’ Defense family, and I had misgivings as I was told about their leanings towards a ‘bearded sadhu’, by the doctor who introduced me to Nandini.
We bought our engagement rings for the function that was to be held on September 7th, 1986. However, Nandi’s dad informed us that Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, their family Guru, was to bless us on September 5th and He would perform the ring ceremony. Our family was confused as to how an engagement could occur on two different days and with the same rings. With this reservation and the ring in hand we met Sri Swamiji on September 5th, in Delhi. He inquired about our family and explained to my father about the faith and devotion of Krishan Kumar’s family towards Him. Low and behold, He brought out two rings from nowhere and ordered the engagement to be performed in His presence. We were stunned and did the ritual obediently. Sri Swamiji knew about our doubts and pre-empted any confusion. Our planned engagement on the September 7th went off without any hitch
In December 1988, I was promoted as a consultant in medicine in one of the top private hospitals of Delhi. We were required to develop a field of medicine as a precondition. I had given my choice as Rheumatology and Immunology. In December 1989 along with Nandi and my little daughter, we visited the Mysore ashram. I was overwhelmed by the peace and serenity of the place that was not as sprawling as it is now. I interacted with Agastya, a devotee from Denmark, who’s stories about his cure of advanced colon cancer by Sri Swamiji, seemed like folklore. He however refused to discuss any details with me.
During my first prostration to Sri Swamiji, I was asked by my father-in-law to discuss this new field of Rheumatology with Him. Sri Appaji merely closed His eyes and said ‘Karo’. I hardly gave any importance to this one word answer, but I was able to recognize its meaning almost two decades later. This fledgling field of medicine is one of the most rapidly growing branches and at present I am the chairman of the ‘Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology’ of the hospital, where I work.
From 1989 up until about 2002, Sri Swamiji was like a friend, philosopher and an elder to me, with whom I had many lovable interactions without understanding the meaning of them. My father’s incurable brain tumor in December 2002 was the first instance of coming closer to Him. Then several incidents happened that brought me virtually to His Lotus Feet and a realization dawned that there is something supernatural in Him that science and reasoning cannot explain. You have to experience it, try not to question it or Him, get strength and courage from it and move on.
In 2003, we were grappling with my father’s treatment of a malignant brain tumor when a decision against ‘gamma knife’ treatment was taken. We were confused. Nandi prayed to Sri Appaji from her hospital in Delhi. As she always does, she wrote some lines in her diary. The next day while I was on rounds in my hospital, she called me to say that a miracle had happened; there was kumkum and vibuthi on the page in her diary; Sri Swamiji had blessed our action. This was the beginning of several occasions of kumkum, vibuthi, chandan and objects materializing out of nowhere; on Sri Swamiji pictures, in our temple and everywhere in the house. I have a full record of them and shall discuss some of them in this chapter.
In 2004, when my daughter was in the tenth grade, Nandi asked Sri Swamiji, through Prasadi, as to what professional line she should take. ‘Doctor and a bright future was His prompt reply’. In 2005 we visited Mysore ashram and took a private appointment with Sri Swamiji. Devika, my daughter told Him that as per His directions she was preparing for the medical entrance exams dated for next year. Sri Swamiji merely closed His eyes and materialized a gold ring with SGS engraved on it and put it in her finger. As ordained she became a doctor dentist in 2011 and continues to wear the ring.
For my son, Anish, the message came through SMS in 2008, identifying engineering as his profession. In June, 2010 we were struggling to get a seat when we received another message through Prasad that read—‘blessings from Sri Appaji for Anish’s engineering seat’. In July 2010 my son finally got a seat in one of the most sort after branches in engineering in a prestigious college in Delhi.
Like I mentioned earlier, we are truly blessed and humbled by the more than three hundred occasions when we have received materialized gifts in our house while His Holy self is many thousands miles away. When asked, He simply replies: My siddhis bless you in your house. Just apply kumkum or chandan or vibuthi on your forehead as a prasadam from me.
On New Year day (1/1/09): There was chandan on Dattatreya’s picture given to us by Sri Swamiji; we prayed and remembered Him.
On every karvachauth (since 2008): The fasting day observed by every north Indian wife for longevity of her husband, there is kumkum on His invitation card in our temple in the house.
On Shivaratri (25/2/09): Sri Swamiji was doing abhishekam in Mysore Ashrama on the night of the 24th. On the morning on 25/2/09 we found water in the utensil that we use for our daily puja.
Nandini brought a mini Ganapathy from Mumbai on 23/9/11 and we placed it in our temple. Nandini wanted some chandan to do the abhishekam. While we were thinking, we found wet chandan on Ganapathi’s head in the mandir.
On 16/5/10, a very auspicious day in Hindu calendar where over twenty thousand marriages are solemnized in Delhi alone. We were worried about our son’s future. In the evening at 6.00 pm he finds lots of misri in the temple of his bedroom. Then we saw lots more misri strewn all over on the picture of Sri Swamiji and Dattatreya in our temple, hidden in the misri was a silver coin of Vaishnodevi shrine board (2005).We were all stunned, Nandini’s Daddy tells us that it was the day of the Goddess, so enjoy the gifts!
Sri Swamiji has not only changed our lives in every way, but has defined spirituality beyond books, verses and the realms of reasoning and questioning. He says that in whatsoever capacity we show our love to Him, in the same way He will reciprocate. He has a dual demeanor that many of us can at times appreciate: an ordinary mortal like all of us and suddenly you find that He is in a different world, away from all of us; a sublime Supreme Being.
For our family, He is not only our father; He is an umbrella that provides protection from the vagaries of this materialistic world. Jaya Guru Datta
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M S Prasad, Rishikesh
He was dressed in full regalia and His face shown resplendent. I could not believe my eyes; I was having the darsan of my Lord. How can a simple man, as me, be given this wonderful opportunity?
I grew up as a spiritual participant in Andra Pradesh. I was on the quest for spiritual knowledge and so I met many seekers. In 1998 I started doing Audumbara Deeksha, a deeksha recognized by Datta Devotees. I wanted to do this because I wanted the grace of Sri Guru Dattatreya. At the same time, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, an incarnation of that same Guru Dattatreya, came to Andra Pradesh for His yearly tour. I followed Him around and received His darshan about twenty times.
When I began, I did not have any relationship with Sri Swamiji, but when I completed the Deeksha, I thought there must be some reason for meeting Him. I wanted to find out the reason and know more about Him so I visited Mysore for the Shivaratri Festival. I took part in the functions, observed Him while having His darshan. Everything about Him was intriguing and I could not identify who or what He was. After this visit, I began reading His life history. It was so powerful it brought about internal and external changes in my life. Yearning for His darshan, I would visit Mysore Ashrama frequently.
On one visit, my wife accompanied me to the Mysore Ashrama and Sri Swamiji called her and asked her to leave me there. Intuitively, she said it was okay with her. She left and I remained learning the workings of the institution. One day Sri Swamiji told me that He would like if I should go to the Rishikesh Ashrama to manage it and perform the priestly duties. I immediately accept and I went and did as He instructed. I am still here up to this day looking at the needs of all.
In 2001 I came to the Rishikesh Ashrama. Working and doing poojas in the Ashrama enhanced my spiritual life. I was able to work without and distraction on my chosen path. I did all the poojas as a part of my growth and I would actually see the lord in the murtis. On one full moon night, I had the darshan of Lord Dattatreya in His physical form in the temple. I had just finished doing the poojas and I was sitting in my room. I looked outside and saw a figure emerging from the temple and moving across the courtyard with such grace that it had me spellbound.
I sat and watch this majestic figure move without any semblance of caution. It seemed as though that it belonged in this place. On further inspection, I saw the full features of my venerable Lord, Dattatreya. He was dressed in full regalia and His face shown resplendent. I could not believe my eyes; I was having the darsan of my Lord. How can a simple man, as me, be given this wonderful opportunity? Some time later, my mother also got the darshan of Lord Dattatreya.
Later when I met Sri Swamiji after this, I told Him about the incident and He simply laughed without making a single remark. After a while, He casually told me that in 2001 He saved me from death and gave me a new life when He sent me to Rishikesh. Then I remember the instructions that were give to me by His Holiness when I was sent me to Rishikesh.
He said that under no condition that I was to leave the ashrama, not even to take a dip in the lap of Mother Ganga. I was not even allowed to go through the gate, I was supposed to remain within the compound walls and concentrate on the poojas and temple. I used to think that I was put into a jail, because of my karma. I never suspected that, with His grace He was taking care of me. However, respecting His command I stayed there without once encouraging myself to disobey Him. Such is His grace, saving me without me asking. How fortunate I am!
In 2007, my wife became very ill and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors said that there was nothing further that they can do for her. I telephoned the Mysore Ashrama and told Sri Swamiji of the situation and immediately He sent a Raksha for her. I tied this raksha to her wrist, and to the surprise of all the hospital staff, within twenty days; she left the hospital fully recovered. The doctors were astonished at her recovery.
Then again, in 2010 for Dassera Celebrations in Mysore she fell ill while Sri Swamiji was doing Sri Chakra Pooja in the Nada Mantapa. Dr. Phanishree rushed her to the ashram hospital and he told me that she is no more. At the same time, Sri Swamiji sent a raksha for her and she wore it. Slowly she recovered and left the hospital. Sri Swamiji saved my wife’s life twice.
How can I not be grateful to my Lord and Savior, when again in 2010, my grandson was diagnosed with jaundice? It became so critical that we thought that he would not survive. However we took him to the hospital for children in Delhi. The prognosis from the doctors was not very encouraging. The chief medical officer offered to help but the cost of treatment was oven one lakh rupees. I told him that all the money we had was just under five thousand rupees, but we would like him to treat the child.
The officer was receptive to our plight, but in the business world nothing happens without money. There were not much people that we knew who would loan us that kind of money, and at that within that short space of time. We were told that we need to deposit at least thirty thousand rupees before any treatment could start. We kept pleading with the officer but it was as though we weren’t being heard. Then he said that we should go to the accounting office to make the arrangements. He took me to the cashier and to our surprise the required amount was already credited to our account. Nobody knew what had happened.
My life is Sri Swamiji. Before I do any work, I pray to Him and He guides me to perform my best. Once Sri Swamiji told me, “Whatever your Guru allots to you to do, do it with a full heart and you will get Moksha.” I my life by these words, for He is my Path and my Goal. Jaya Guru Datta
Sri Swamiji Says:
People say that the Ganges washes away all sins. But even after taking a dip in the Ganges they do not believe that they have been purified. If there is no sincere faith, neither the Ganges nor even Lord Shiva, who holds the Ganges in His head, can purify them.
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Sushilaben Dave, London U.K.
Sri Swamiji appeared as “Lord Dattatreya”. He had ‘Shankha’, ‘Gada’, ‘Padma (Lotus)’ and ‘Chakra’ in His hands. There was an Aura and a bright light surrounded His face.
We believe in the Datta Avataram of Sri Ranga Avadhoot Maharaj. Since the Datta Pariwara is following Sri Ranga Avadhoot Maharaj, we have joined the Datta Pariwara. We attend all the functions and celebrations of Datta Pariwara. We first met Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji at Mr. Ghanshyambhai Amin’s home in the U.K in 1978, when He came to London. In 1984 Sri Swamiji came to my son, Jitubhai’s home, but I was in America during that time. My son told me about Sri Swamiji and His wisdom. Since then I have become a devotee and I follow His teachings and guidance.
I like His bhajans, His music, His ragas and His pleasant voice. We have collections of His bhajans and chants and we listen to them regularly. It is very healing and gives us peace of mind. Sri Swamiji sits in our heart. All my children and family members are His followers. For any and all important events or celebrations we pray to Him seeking His blessings at the start of the ceremony.
In 1985, I first saw Sri Swamiji at the Heathrow airport in London. After that I met Him again in 1986 during “Janamashtami Celebration, Lord Krishna’s Birthday, in London. The celebration was in a big hall. Sri Swamiji came there dressed up as Lord Krishna. He was wearing a Crown and Peacock Feathers. He looked like an incarnation of ‘Lord Krishna’. It was very nice and pleasing to the heart. He also danced to the rhythms of ‘Raas Garba’ Lord Krishna’s favorite dance.
In 1987 we celebrated “Guru-Purnima” in London when He came there and we performed “Pada Pooja.” We also published Bhajan Collection of Sri Swamiji in Gujarati language and distributed to all devotees and attendees. At that time my grandson, Bansi, got sick. Sri Swamiji held him in His arms and played with him. He blessed him and he soon got better and his fever disappeared. It was our first miracle. We could not believe how fast he recovered.
Later, my husband passed away 1987, so we went to Mysore Ashram 1988 after to perform some Pooja. We were very sad and grieving. Sri Swamiji told us not to be sad and said everything will be fine. He touched our heads shoulders and consoled us all. It was a very peaceful experience and gave us lots of strength. He personally took care of our sorrows and helped us in time of need, which was very heartfelt. We followed His advice and made donations in name of my late husband, by donating cow, food, land, clothes and funds for education for unfortunate people.
In 1989 we went to Vijayawada with all the family members to celebrate Navaratri and the Dassera festival. All my daughters from America, my sons and everyone from their family came. At that time Sri Swamiji personally gave the “Paduka” that He was wearing during that time, to us as “Prasadam.” We accepted that as His blessings, put it on our heads and when we went back to London we took them with us. They are in our temple and we bow to them daily. This way we feel like we are seeing Him daily in our home.
In 1992 I went to Mysore on occasion of Sri Swamiji’s birthday. When I landed at the Bombay Airport, the customs officer stopped me and told me to take off the pair of gold bangles that I was wearing. I argued that “How come some people in line have so much jewelry on them and why are you just stopping me?” I was very scared and my heart was racing. Suddenly a young man, about twenty-four years of age appeared next to me. He was wearing ‘Bhagava (Orange)’ clothes and had a turban on his head. He looked like young coolie (porter).
He asked me if I was having problems at customs clearing area. I said, “Yes!” He told me to follow him. I was very apprehensive and worried that where this guy was taking me. Eventually he took me out of the customs area and I came out of the airport without any trouble, even though I was scared. My bangles were still with me. I tried to give him some dakshina, but he did not accept any money from me.
When I reached Mysore, Sri Swamiji asked me, “Amma, How are you? Did you have any difficulty at the airport?” Suddenly I realized that it was Sri Swamiji, who came to rescue me at the airport. What a miracle! I was still in shock and my heart was still racing. He just smiled and calmed me down. That was a true miracle.
At that time, I wanted to donate a few thing made of gold. The local goldsmith said that I did not bring enough gold and asked me for little more, so I took off my bangles and gave it to him. He made a spoon, a cup and a necklace with 108 beads and gold paduka. I offered all these at the Lotus Feet of Sri Swamiji in memory of my late husband. He then asked us if He could donate each bead of the necklace to a poor and unfortunate parent of a daughter, who cannot afford to give gold at the time of wedding. We said that it was fine. He then donated each bead to a worthy parent and we felt very honored and happy in our hearts.
At midnight on that day, we attended a prayer at the temple and offered flowers. There were lots of devotees there. Sri Swamiji appeared as “Lord Dattatreya”. He had ‘Shankha’, ‘Gada’, ‘Padma (Lotus)’ and ‘Chakra’ in His hands. There was an Aura and a bright light surrounded His face. We felt like we actually saw “Lord Dattatreya”. We were overcome with happiness and joy. Our hearts were in heaven. We felt very fortunate to witness such a miracle. It was one of the big experiences in our life.
One day Shakti, my grandson, was ill. He was very young at that time. There was no one at home except him and me. He was crying and told me that he was dying and he was not going to live because of this illness. He wanted to see his father. I assured him that he is not going to die and called his father (Jitu). I told him to chant Sri Swamiji’s name and pray to Him. He started chanting and praying. His eyes were closed and he soon fell asleep. Shortly after he woke up and felt better and his illness was gone. He told me that Sri Swamiji came and talked to him and played with him. Swamiji touched him and blessed him and his sickness disappeared.
We all believe that Sri Swamiji cured him that day and performed a miracle! Since then he is a staunch devotee. He starts all task or celebration by first praying to Sri Swamiji. When he was small, we used to play a cassette from Sri Swamiji, which had 108 names of ‘Lord Dattatreya’. He used to listen to that every night while going to bed. Over the time he remembered all these names and he chants these names daily before going to bed. He could recite these names whenever he was asked at very young age.
He likes to play soccer. One time, when Sri Swamiji was visiting, He told him that if he learns the “Gita” He will play with him as ‘Lord Krishna.’ He started learning ‘Gita’ and in a short time he could recite the 12th” Adhyaya (Chapter) very fluently. So whenever he played soccer, he recited ‘Gita’. He told us then that Sri Swamiji always come and plays soccer with him as ‘Lord Krishna’. He is a true believer in Sri Swamiji.
Once, when we were at Mysore ashram, there was a ‘Gita Competition’ for youths. All the small children were there. Swamiji was talking and teaching all of them. Then He asked the children to chant “Shloka” from ‘Gita’. All the children could not remember most of the ‘Shloka’. They were all fumbling and trying to remember. We coaxed, Shakti-who was very young at the time, to chant Gita. He started and chanted the whole 12th ‘Adhyaya (Chapter)’ of ‘Gita’ fluently. Everyone there was amazed that a child, born and raised in London, can do so well. Even local children, who were attending the ‘Veda’ school, could not chant. We were feeling very happy. Later that evening, when Sri Swamiji was giving His discourse, He called him on the stage, praised him for his achievement and gave “Gita” as his first gift. He was very excited and we all were very happy. We all believe these are all His blessings and we all are very fortunate.
In 1987, Sri Swamiji was scheduled to visit the UK. Just a few days before His visit, I saw ‘Goddess Jayalakshmi Mata’ in my dreams. She came into my home and blessed me. I also saw Sri Swamiji sitting on “Sri Chakra”. I saw His head and shoulders on top of “Sri Chakra”. He blessed me and it was a very miraculous experience. During His visit, when I mentioned about my dream, He was very happy and pleasantly surprised. He told us that every house has ‘Goddess Lakshmi’. Every woman in every house is “Maha Lakshmi”. Then we presented a sari to ‘Jayalakshmi’ idol.
In our family, everyone is very well settled and prosperous. All our children, daughters and in-laws are doing very well. They are all happy and content. Everyone is a devotee of Sri Swamiji. We all follow His teachings and believe in His message. We have performed Janoi, thread ceremony for all our children and grandchildren. During these ceremonies we have donated gold and silver coins to needy and poor, as per instructions of Sri Swamiji. Our lives are happy and prosperous. We believe that these are all His blessings.
We had a nanny (Manchchaben), who took care of our children. Later, she also became a devotee, when she met Sri Swamiji; she used to pray to Him daily. Once she fell sick and suffered a heart attack. She was admitted to the hospital and the doctors revived her. She told everyone in her family and all doctors at the hospital not to keep her alive on artificial life support. She told them that she has seen Sri Swamiji, so she already has seen God in the form of Sri Swamiji and she is very happy that she has lived a full life. She was very peaceful and had no regrets. In short time she passed away.
Before that, she once lost an idol of Lord Dattatreya, which she received as a gift. She was very upset about that. When she mentioned this to Sri Swamiji, He assured her that “Lord Dattatreya” is in her heart and soul, so she need not worry about a lost idol. Then to make her happy, He gave her a small idol of “Lord Dattatreya”. She became very happy and was overcome with emotions. She left a will at the time of her death asking her family and everyone else to pray to Sri Swamiji and remember Him before starting any celebration or any important work in life. She wrote that she is at peace and happy that she saw “Lord Dattatreya” in form of Sri Swamiji while she was alive. We remember her every time we have any important occasion or celebration or pooja.
I believe that these all are blessings of Sri Swamiji. We bow to Him every day and He is in our hearts all the time.
Jaya Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!
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But, one of the wonderful things about Her was, that she used to share whatever she got from those small amounts. She used to first feed us and then use what was remaining for Her family.
My name is Nagamma. I am one of most blessed persons on this earth to be born in Jayalakshmipuran aka Bommeparthi, where Mata Jayalakshmi lived after her marriage to Gandluru Narasimha Shastry. I am ninety seven years old now, but my memories still are as fresh as the day when I met Mata Jayalakshmi, when she first moved into this small village. She was tall, very fair and had beautiful hair. She mostly talked in Kannada and it was tough for me to understand that language. She had a soft voice and used to tell stories in Kannada.
In the early days of marriage she had seen many hardships, as Narasimha Shastry, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji father, was not financially strong. He was the priest, to the many surrounding villages, and he used to perform poojas for the villagers and receive petty amounts from them for that work. But, one of the wonderful things about Her was, that she used to share whatever she got from those small amounts. She used to first feed us and then use what was remaining for Her family.
As a kid Sri Swamiji was very naughty but He was fun to be with. All the village kids used to swim in a pond nearby, and His friends would push Him into the water. He in turn used to stay in the water for few hours and scare them by not coming out. Mischievously, He used to turn sand into sugar and rocks into candy and every kid in the village got attracted to Him at that tender age. We are happy that, the little boy we knew as Satyam is Sri Swamiji now. I still remember the days when He was small kid and used to show miracles like materializing things.
This village falls in drought area of Anantapur District. Before Mata Jayalakshmi came to this village we had famines and crisis, but gradually the rains began falling in time. Sri Swamiji also contributed a lot for the development of this village. We have pipe borne water, electricity and even our own Post Office. Everyone in this village have a sense of gratitude for Mata Jayalakshmi and Sri Swamiji. This village had seen so much from Him; socially, educationally, spiritually and financially.
Today, Jayalakshmipuran is known the world over, and people come from different places to visit here. It is only with His grace and compassion that we are surviving and we are alive. When Sri Swamiji comes to this village everyone will go to see Him, for He is an integral part of us. He has installed a fascinating Ashrama for us and at times Mata Jayalakshmi would be heard walking in the temple.
At this age I do not have any major medical complaints and so too are the majority of the people here. We sincerely believe that because of Him and Mata Jayalakshmi we are benefiting tremendously. Sri Swamiji is the head of our village and even the children listen to His words and do what they are told. He had been here and will be here forever.
Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=12576
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