Don’t worry about it. You have done your part. Someone else will do the rest. Nothing is permanent, even in temples.
Category Archive: Devotee Experiences (Bhakta Mala) ~ A Collection
Dec 07 2014
Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=14836
Dec 04 2014
“Swamiji, you give so many things to your devotees, how come you never give me anything?” He looked at me and said in the most compassionate voice, “I don’t give you anything, for I have kept you in my heart.”
In 1970 I was residing in the city of Mysore in a place about one kilometer from the Mysore Ashrama. A devotee from the Ashrama, Mr. Nagaraj, used to come to my town to play tennis with my brother and other friends. One day he invited me to come and learn yoga at the Ashrama. I went to the Ashrama and began learning yoga and meditation. I grew to like it very much. I saw Sri Swamiji at the Ashrama; He used to conduct the yoga classes.
I used to go to the Ashrama around 4.00 o’clock every morning, prepare myself and wait for the class to start at 5.00 am. Sri Swamiji demonstrated the yogic postures Himself while teaching us. At times when I struggled with the postures He would come and help me and push me to do it, assuring me that no harm will come to me. My family did not like me going to the Ashrama and they scolded me a lot. Despite all the scolding and abuse I received, I never stopped going to the Ashrama. Over the course of time I left my home and went to live in the Ashrama. Even to this day my family has no contact with me. Yoga attracted me to Sri Swamiji.
In 1974 Sri Swamiji took me along with Him to Vijayawada for a Yoga Camp. It was held at the Venkateshwaram Swami Kalayana Mantapa at Labbipet. At the camp, He trained me to teach the Yoga. So I began teaching and practicing on a larger scale. I would meditate for long periods of time. One day in the Ashrama I went to my room, bolted the door, sat under a mosquito net and began meditating. Six hours passed and I was still meditating, I was unaware of time, suddenly I felt cold water falling on me. I snapped out of my meditation and saw a devotee with a bucket standing next to me. He said that Sri Swamiji was calling me a while now and they were searching all over the Ashrama for me. He said my room door was locked and he had to break the door down to get in. When I went to Sri Swamiji He said to me, “Don’t do this practice until I tell you! Just do physical service for now!” Thus I began doing chores around the ashram.
In those days the Ashrama had a lot of scorpions and snakes. I used to clear the ashram grounds by removing the bushes to ward off the animals. One day Sri Swamiji told me to start learning how to do handy-man work around the Ashrama. I started doing electrical works, helped with the water supply and buildings little things. Gradually I learned to perform these tasks like a professional. I did some foolish things in the process also, but Sri Swamiji was always there to protect me.
One day I fell down from the fourth floor of the Rama Shankara Kuteera. During that time, Sri Swamiji was in Vijayawada and He was about to offer a plate of prasadam in the pooja He was performing. At that moment, the plate fell from His hand and crashed on the floor; He stood motionless for a few seconds. When He composed Himself He told the audience there that something had happened to a devotee in the Mysore Ashrama. He was referring to my fall. He took all my injuries and pain and so nothing happened to me. Such is His love for His devotees.
On another occasion I was working on the electrical system in the Rama Shankara Kuteera. I sat on the stage working with some electrical wires. All of a sudden all the wires began to spark sending out electric shocks. I was thrown back and forth a few times until I fell into a pit in the middle of the stage. As I landed in the pit the shocks stopped. Under normal circumstances I should be dead, but under the protective hand of my Guru, I was saved.
At one period of time, I began eating a lot of food; buckets and buckets of cooked rice. Somehow I used to digest it. I was possessed with the spirit of a Brahma Rakshas, who was a dead Scholar of high birth who had performed some evil misdeeds in his life or did not impart his spiritual knowledge. This was a very powerful spirit and can only be liberated by God Himself. As Sri Swamiji is seen as God incarnate, He exorcised me of the Brahma Rakshas and freed the spirit.
In the early days Sri Swamiji used to go in the fire pit during the Shivaratri festivals. On one such occasion after He performed the very elaborate Agni Puja, He jumped into the fire pit and stayed for about twenty minutes. There was a foreigner sitting in the audience with doubts in his mind about Sri Swamiji bringing out things from the fire pit. He thought maybe it is a big trick and Sri Swamiji has planted the items in the fire pit. When Sri Swamiji came out of the fire pit, He had in His hands a lingam and a saligrama. He called out to the same doubting foreigner and asked him to open his palm. Sri Swamiji then thrust the hot saligrama into his palm. It burnt the palm of his hand. He was astonished to know that Sri Swamiji knew what he was thinking. He became one of Sri Swamiji’s angels. Thereafter, Sri Swamiji rubbed sandalwood paste on his burns and it was healed.
In those days, the poojas for all the festivals were more elaborate and went on for longer periods. For the Navarathri Festival Sri Swamiji would sit for the nine days in the Peetham and perform the poojas. We had the good fortune of lifting Him bodily and shifting Him in different directions for the performance of the poojas. One grand festival was when Sri Swamiji performed the Purnima Feeding. On every full moon day He would feed all the people gathered, including myself, and then He would eat. In order to eat with Him we used to have seconds. Those were some of my cherished intimate moments with my Sadguru. This Purnima Feeding still goes on today at the Sri Datta Venkateshwara Temple. Even now, sometimes the students in the Veda Patashala get the great opportunity to eat with Him on this occasion.
Over the years, as time passed my entire life became Sri Swamiji’s. I lived and served in the ashram, which is my home. The Datta devotees became my family. Sri Swamiji used to take me along with Him on His trips to numerous places in India. I had the good fortune in 1995 to accompany Him to Mount Kailash. Then ten years later I went back to Mount Kailash with Sri Datta Vijaya Ananda Teertha Swamiji.
For the celebration of Shivaratri in 2000, I was with Sri Swamiji in Haridwar, North India. A few days before Shivaratri, He told some devotees that He will give them Deeksha on Shivaratri day and He instructed them to perform various religious rituals to prepare for this event. The morning of Shivaratri came and Sri Swamiji asked me, “Will you take Deeksha?” I told Him, “I will do whatever you want Swamiji.” He then said, “OK be prepared to take it.” Later in the day He initiated me into Sadhana Deeksha. He gave me orange clothes to wear and He gave me the name Sahaja Datta. The name Sahaja came from the first of the scale of musical notes Sa, in the musical scale of the notes Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni. These notes are the shortened forms of the names, Shadja, Rishabh, Gandhar, Madhyam, Pancham, Dhaivat and Nishad. The name given to me by Sri Swamiji was formed from the base word of Sa in Sagara, (ocean) referring to the Samskara, the ocean of birth and death. I became Sahaja Datta on that day and my life changed directions. I took the path chosen for me by my Guru, Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji.
I used to be close to Sri Swamiji when He interacted with His devotees. I saw Him materialize many trinkets, talismans, puja items, idols etc. Observing this over a period of time, the thought came to my mind that He had never given me anything. I nursed that thought until one day I could take it no more I asked Him, “Swamiji, you give so many things to your devotees, how come you never give me anything?” He looked at me and said in the most compassionate voice, “I don’t give you anything, for I have kept you in my heart.” I stood there frozen, until He said, “If you want I can give you something….” I quickly interrupted Him and said, “Swamiji, I just want to be at your feet and serve you, in all my births.” He said, “You just chant Guru Deva; that’s all.” I was humbled by His nectarine words. Those words still echo in my heart, even to this day. “I have kept you in my heart.” Jaya Guru Datta
Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=14807
Nov 30 2014
“I have to pay the builders and I have no money; I will not take food till they are paid.”
In 1963, my brother Captain Shelke told me about a young Swamiji who was resident in the Electric Colony in Kesare, Mysore. I was very skeptical about meeting Him because I did not know who He was and what philosophy He represented. However, he kept on insisting and within a course of time I agreed to go. My wife, Vimal, my children and I accompanied my brother to the home of an Electric Board employee, Sri Srikhantaya. Sri Swamiji used to stay there with this old man.
I went into a room and He called me but I did not want to go near Him, so I stayed in the back. Then He called my daughter, Savita, and then He called the little kids who were playing there. He wanted some fruits, but the children had eaten the fruits and were afraid to come forward. He sent my daughter to look behind Lord Ganesha’s photo and when she did, she found an orange which Sri Swamiji subsequently gave to her. Since that day Savita calls Him, Orange Swamiji.
After this meeting, I began visiting Him with many spiritual questions in my mind. I asked Him some questions and He gave the answers. Then to some questions He said I would get the answers myself. He said that we must ask our own selves, who is Sri Swamiji? What does He do? And the answers will come to us. Then we must ask Him if those answers were right or wrong. That day I boldly told Him that I want to know who He is. He simply replied, yes! I thought of leaving Him, but something kept me back, there was some belief there, so I decided to stay and learn from Him. My family and I visited Him in the electric colony for a few times and then He shifted to the present Mysore Ashrama.
In 1966 we began visiting the ashram on Sundays to participate in the homas. My children used to go on Saturdays and Sundays. I saw people putting money in the Hundi and Sri Swamiji would take the money and share it to devotees. After some time I told Him that He must open a bank account and start saving some money for the ashram. He listened to my request and I opened a bank account and began depositing the money that was placed in the Hundi.
I used to walk daily to the ashram with milk for Him and my friend used to tease me and ask me why I go there, but I ignored him. In the following years, I had the divine opportunity to present to Him on the occasion of His birthday, a pair of sandalwood padukas to commemorate each one of the Datta Kshetras that He intended to install. When the sixteenth Datta Kshetram was completed and inaugurated, somehow sandalwood became very difficult to acquire. Receiving those sixteen pairs of sandalwood padukas was His divine plan only.
In 1969 we were living in Vontikoppal, a suburb of Mysore. I was a banker by profession. One day Vimal called me from home saying that she was not feeling well. I told her that I had a lot of work to complete and could not leave. After work I took a doctor and went to my home. Vimal did not want to see the doctor but insisted that I take her to Sri Swamiji. She could not walk, so I held her feet and my brother held her shoulders and we carried her to the Ashrama. When we arrived there bhajans were going on. We laid her in a corner and sat down.
When the bhajans were over, Sri Swamiji asked, “Who from the Shelke family has come to see me.” I got up and Sri Swamiji followed me to my wife. I held her hand to help her up but Sri Swamiji told me to leave her alone. He took a Tulasi mala from around His neck and began rubbing on it till it formed a ball. Vimal was too weak to even stretch her hands to take it from Him so He put it in her mouth and told her to swallow it. After ten minutes she sat up and felt better. Then Sri Swamiji told Vimal, “The place where you are living now, someone had passed away earlier there, the place is not good, and I will not send you back to that house.” I took Vimal to my brother’s house for the night and the next day my children and I vacated that house. I found another house shortly after.
One day the construction of the old Datta Temple was going on, it was a Saturday around noon and Sri Swamiji was called to have His Biksha. He said, “I have to pay builders and I have no money, I will not take food till they are paid.” No one knew what to do. Mr. Krishnamurthy, the manager of the ashram, said that the banks were closed. Sri Swamiji said, “Someone will come.” No one knew what He meant. At around 2pm Vimal and my children arrived at the Ashrama. On that day Vimal made a monetary offering to Sri Swamiji, she lay three hundred rupees at His feet and left. She was unaware of the situation. Sri Swamiji took the money and gave it to Kusumakka and told her to pay the workers. Kusumakka went for a while, paid the workers and returned. It was exactly the amount needed for the payment. Sri Swamiji then took His food.
Once Sri Swamiji gave Vimal and I a ring and said that we would see Him in it. After our daily morning pooja we would actually see His face in the ring. To this day we still get His darshan in the ring. Another time I found a picture of Lord Ganesha in a calendar; I cut it out and framed it. I kept the photo in my pooja room. One day my son saw Sri Swamiji with a white vastram in the feet of Lord Ganesha. He told us but we did not believe him till we went and saw it for ourselves. Sri Swamiji gives darsan to His devotees in unsuspecting places at unsuspecting times.
Sri Swamiji used to make impromptu visits to our house in Mysore. Sometimes, He would come late in the night, around midnight, and in order not to wake us, He would remove His padukas and tip toe into the house. He would come and play with the children, sometimes wrestle with my sons. He was a part of my family. He encouraged the children to come to the Ashrama on Saturdays and Vimal and I should go on Sundays. One Saturday it was late in the night and the children did not return from the Ashrama. My wife got worried and kept pestering me to go to the ashram. I told her, “Why are you worrying about them, they are with Sri Swamiji.” Then at midnight Sri Swamiji brought them home in a car. He went straight to my wife and said, “Why are you worrying about them, they are with Swamiji!” He repeated the said words I had spoken a while ago.
My family and I moved to Jaya Nagar in Bangalore because of my work. On one occasion I had to go to Pune on a business trip, so I left my family for a few days. We had the practice of putting money in the Hundi and offering it once a year to Sri Swamiji on His birthday. We never counted the money. Vimal felt somehow that some money was missing from the Hundi. She hesitated to open it up and check it for she was afraid that I might get angry at her. I did not like to count the money; I used to take whatever was in there and lay it at Sri Swamiji’s feet.
Curiosity overtook Vimal and she opened the Hundi and she discovered that some money was missing. She blamed our son, Satish, who was about seven years then. Satish repeatedly told her that he did not take the money. She wanted him to go to Mysore in front of Sri Swamiji and speak the truth. I returned from my business trip and no one told me anything. We all went to Mysore Ashrama to see Sri Swamiji. We were all sitting right in front of Him and for some reason He seemed to be avoiding us. We sat all day there, Satish went and had a good lunch and came back and Vimal was upset with him. She was not taking any food till she got the matter settled. Then at 5.30 pm Sri Swamiji came and asked Vimal what was wrong. She explained the whole incident to Sri Swamiji and He said, “Your children are good children, they are not like that. It was me! I came and took the money.” Satish began poking fun at Vimal, for he was telling the truth all the time.
In 1972 we began construction on our present house, here in Bangalore. We invited Sri Swamiji to do the ground breaking ceremony. He came took a coconut and broke it on a particular spot and said that there will be no dearth of water here. As He broke the coconut, water began to ooze out of the ground. At that time much water was not available in the surroundings area, so this was a great blessing for my family and the water flows to this day.
In October of 1977, the house was completed but we did not move in fully, we were in the process of shifting from the rented house in Jayanagar. Sri Swamiji visited Bangalore and told us that He will be visiting our new house. We scrambled to get there before He did, we did not have sufficient time to prepare for His visit. Vimal did not want to buy any food from the stores for Him but to offer her own preparation. She had a small amount of sooji flour and she managed to get forty sweets from it thinking that will be sufficient for Sri Swamiji and His guests, which were about seven to eight devotees.
She prepared the pooja items and waited. He came to the house and was accompanied by about seventy devotees. We panicked thinking how shameful it would be if we did not have enough food to offer our guests. Vimal told me to break each of the sweets in two so we would have more to share. I told her not to do it, just offer it to Sri Swamiji. He came and walked through the entire house saying that this is not Shelke’s house but His house. He went into the kitchen and I offered Him the tray with the forty sweets. He accepted it and began sharing them out, one by one until there were seven left in the tray; six, for my family members and one, for Sri Swamiji. This is His house, His food, and His children; there was no need for me to worry. On His way out of the door, He said to me, “Get prepared for a big function in this house, coming soon.” One year later in 1978, on the same date October 17th my daughter’s marriage function took place in this house.
My daughter, Sadhana had her marriage date fixed and Sri Swamiji told her to spend some time in Mysore Ashrama before she go to her in-laws home after marriage. When she was leaving the ashram Sri Swamiji asked her what she wanted. She said she only wanted His blessings. He went to the area where He performs the Sri Chakra pooja and took a ruby necklace from there and gave to her and blessed her as she left. He treated her like His own daughter.
In 1985 I got a silver plate for Sri Swamiji, I could not make a trip to Mysore so I told Vimal to take the plate and offer prasadam on it to Sri Swamiji. My elder son Shivraj, who is no more today, accompanied Vimal to Mysore; he was fussing about it and was telling his mother not to give away a silver plate. Nevertheless, my wife offered it to Sri Swamiji with some prasadam on it. He took the plate and gave it to devotee sitting next to Him, telling the devotee, that he wanted one to perform his pooja with this and here it is.
Shivraj told Vimal that she had given it to Sri Swamiji and He gave it away, what was the use. Vimal told him, “Do not think like that, you give it to Sri Swamiji and He will return it to you in some form or the other.” Some time passed and we made a trip to Mysore for blessings on Shivraj’s marriage and Sri Swamiji gave us all very expensive, beautiful clothes which summed to an amount close to the cost of the silver tray that Vimal had offered Him earlier. By the grace of Sri Swamiji, Shivraj realized his mistake in thinking the way he did.
On one occasion I went to Mysore and told Sri Swamiji that I was making a trip to Bombay with my family. I had the custom on informing Him before I go anywhere. He blessed me and said, “I want you to stop in Ganagapur and bring back some mud for me, bring the mud from the place where Datta walks after He takes His bath.” I told Him yes I will and left. We visited Ganagapur and took a bath in the river and wanted to get the mud but did not know where Datta walks after His bath. Just then they saw a tall man wearing a black loin cloth, a hat and He had four dogs with Him. He was singing, Datta Digambara and the dogs were also singing and looking at His face while doing so. We approached Him and asked Him, “Where is the way that Datta walks after He comes out of the river.” The man kept on chanting, Datta Digambara, I offered five rupees to Him and He said that He wanted only two rupees to feed His dogs. I gave Him two rupees and He pointed to a place on the ground. We all looked at the spot He pointed at and when we looked back for Him, He was not there. We looked all around but we could not see Him. We collected some mud from the spot He was standing on for we realized that He was Lord Datta Himself. We took the mud to Sri Swamiji and He put in at the Audumbara Vriksha area in the Mysore Ashrama.
I began suffering with heart problems and one day it got so bad the doctors told me that I had to have the operation immediately. The operation would cost from two to three lakhs. My son Satish and his cousin went to Mysore to seek Sri Swamiji’s guidance. He was not in the country but the ashrams contacted Him by telephone and after Satish told Him about my situation He advised me to, check in a good hospital with a good doctor and not to worry about the money. My family took my medical reports to a doctor in a good cardiac hospital and after four days passed the doctor said that I did not need surgery and he prescribed some medicine. My wife was relieved that I did not need the surgery but we were concerned that I had not checked in to the hospital as Swamiji had advised me to do.
Some time later Sri Swamiji returned from His foreign tour and came to the Ashrama in Bangalore. My family and I went for His darshan. We could not get to the front of the hall because there were so many people, so we stayed at the back. Then Sri Swamiji beckoned for us to come on the stage to Him, everyone thought He was calling them and began to move forward. Sri Swamiji got tired of saying, not you, not you till He shouted, “The Shelke Family!” We went to Him and I told Him about the incident and He said to me, “Don’t worry, I did the surgery myself.” Since that day to now I had no heart problems.
In 1987 our house was flooded with water; it was so bad, that we had to vacate the house. We left the lighted lamp in the pooja room; it was our practice to keep a light all the time. That lighted lamp in the room never went out, it floated on the water and the flame never went out. Vimal used to keep some food items for Datta Bhiksha in a box in the kitchen. The kitchen got flooded but the vessels floated around in the water and the Datta Bhiksha box was completely dry inside, none of the food stuff got wet.
Throughout my life I tried to understand who is Sri Swamiji? What He does and why He does it? I got some answers which satisfied my mind and some questions my mind could not formulate into words but I got the answers by experiencing them. Then there were those eternal answers, which did not require questions to bring them to light. Now, I have no more questions! I have come to the conclusion that Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji is the question and He is the answer. He is all. Jaya Guru Datta
Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=14770
Nov 27 2014
C S Venkatesh, Bangalore
“Wherever you work, as a clerk or an engineer, be honest and sincere and pray to God and your Guru. You will come out good in life”.
I met Sri Swamiji for the first time in October 1966. My parents, Mr. C N Srinivasa Rao and Smt. Lakshmi Narasamma, had three sons and two daughters. I’m the youngest among the sons. In January 1955, when I was just fifteen years old and appearing for the tenth Class exams in Bangalore, my father passed away. He had inherited a lot of property from his father, Mr. Nanjunda Rao. With all the court cases and upon the death of my father, my mother inherited it. She became a millionaire, one whose wealth was valued over ten million rupees. Fate played a different game for us when my father’s younger brother, sister and brothers-in-law took up a battle with my mother in the courts.
For thirty-two years she fought in the court and travelled every now and then, alone to Coimbatore to face the courts. As time pass, she got tired of feeding the flames of greed and destruction and stepped back from the court mater. Once, she observed two farmers, both brothers, who occupied either side of the property fought with sickles and machete. On seeing this situation, she withdrew from all court cases and surrendered the crores of rupees of property. She knew that her Guru, Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, will take care of her children. This being the situation, I was forced to become the breadwinner for my family. I had to struggle a lot for the education of my brothers and sisters. Without any basic facilities, I struggled and became a science graduate in April 1960, from Central College, Bangalore. My mother’s maternal uncle Mr. H.S. Hirannaih, who was the Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Karnataka, told me, “Wherever you work, as a clerk or an engineer, be honest and sincere and pray to God and your Guru. You will come out good in life”. I uphold that principle even to this day.
We were associated with many institutions in Bangalore; one of them was the Ragigudda Prasanna Anjaneya Swamy temple in Jayanagar. In1966, my cousin, C.S. Narasimah, who lived in Mysore, invited my mother and me to have darshan of Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji. By then I was about twenty-six years old. When we got there we found that the Ashrama had only a small hut. We went and prostrated before Sri Swamiji, He asked me about my personal particulars and I explained it to Him. Sri Swamiji asked, “Can you go out of ashram right now?” I asked Him, “What prevents me from going out? Is there any obstacle?” He simply looked at me and said, “You can try”. Somehow, some force was keeping me in the ashram. Then He asked me, “Do you have interest in God?” I replied, “By looking at you, Swamiji, I feel like I’m having darsham of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Maheshwara through you.” He then said, “In that case, prostrate before me and participate in nine or twenty-one Shivaratris that takes place at the ashram every year”. I promised Him that I would and returned with my mother to Bangalore.
Since that day, we have visted the Mysore ashram at least once every four months. We attended all the major functions and up to 2012 I have participated in forty-seven Maha Shivaratis. It was possible only by the Divine grace of Sri Swamiji.
In 1986, I became a trustee of the Bangalore ashram branch and am continuing to do so.
In 1968, I took my mother to Mysore to attend the Shivaratri program. Sri Swamiji took about seventy devotees, including myself and my dear mother, to Chamundi Hills situated opposite to our Ashram at Mysore. We climbed the hill and at the mid point area, He stopped and began looking at something. There was an opening in between two rocks in the middle of the mountains and to our amazement; water began to trickle out of it. He collected some and sprinked it on each one of us. He then took a danda in His hand and stood on a rock. At that point, I saw the form of Lord Subramanya in Him and offered my pranams.
He took an empty steel vessel and collected some water, closed His eyes and uttered something silently and performed aarti to that hole in the rock. Immediately, I heard a sound coming from the rocks and wondered what it was. This was my second year of participating in Maha Shivaratri and could not understand what was happening. All of a sudden He pulled out from the steel vessel, a beautiful silver platform with idols of Lord Ganesh, Sri Subramanya, Sri Parvathi and Sri Ishwara, with a seven headed cobra. They were covered with beautiful ornaments in red color at the edges. He showed it to all of us and began praying “Lord Shiva, you have blessed us with your darshan and now bless us something to eat.”
While saying this He rubbed His stomach and then took His hands to the hole in the rocks and pulled out a beautiful sugar candy of Lord Ganesh; three inches in width, six inches in height and one inch thick. He gave it to me and asked me to share it with the rest of the devotees. It was the best sweet I ever had. We then wet ourselves with the water from the rock and collected twenty-one pots of water to perform abhisheka to Shiva, in the evening.
In 1969, Sri Swamiji told me that I should marry a girl from a poor family who is cultured and well behaved. I told Him that whomever He chooses would be my partner, but Sri Swamiji must be present to bless us on the wedding day or the day when my wife is brought home. Sri Swamiji told a devotee sitting next to Him, “See how he is talking. This is the kind of firmness of mind that my devotees should have. I like it. He came to my marriage. When I asked Him His blessings, He said that I was going to see a miracle soon.
The marriage took place on May 7th , 1969 in Bangalore. When I went upstairs in the marriage hall, and prostrated before Sri Swamiji’s photo, I saw three packets at the Feet of His photo; one with Kumkum, one with Turmeric and one with Vibhuti. After prostration, when I got up, I saw that the kumkum has become turmeric, turmeric has become kumkum and the Vibhuti became red. I brought this to the attention of my wife and mother. We all agreed it was Sri Swamiji’s blessings.
My wife, Girija, was brought up with a lot of love from her family, especially her uncle, Mr. K S Suryanarayana and his wife Mrs. Nagalakshmi. They did not have any children and asked me to take them to Sri Swamiji for blessings to have a child so we went to Mysore for His darshan. Sri Swamiji said, “Give me three months time; I have to talk with God”. After six months, when we went back to Him again, He said, “You are not going to have children due to the curse of your ancestors, since the annual ceremonies were not performed.” Sri Swamiji then called me said that I would get a child in two years. He then called my wife and said that she would bear a beautiful child who is Saraswati, the Goddess of learning. However, she should hand her over to Him after her birth. Sri Swamiji asked us to agree to this and place tulasi leaves at His feet and we prostrated before Him. In March 1979, a daughter was born to us. We named her Ashwini after her birth start. We kept the child with us for eight months and then as advised by Sri Swamiji, the baby was handed over to Mrs and Mr. Suryanarayana.
During one of Sri Swamiji’s visits to Bangalore, in 1986, Sri Swamiji wanted some land to be purchased for Bangalore ashram. With the help of Mr. Krishna Bhat, K R Krishna Murthy and Mr. T Naganna, I landed in Girinagar along with Mrs. Usha Narasimha. Sri Swamiji selected the present ashram place and said that in due course of time; it will become a very big ashram and a busy place. Sri Swamiji told me to use this place for Bhajans and for performing Puja.
Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=14748
Nov 23 2014
Jogi Siddhaiah, Mysore
“This is Datta’s house, why don’t you people let your heart be Datta’s house”.
After working in the government service for over thirty-five years, of which one decade was spent in Nuzividu, I retired and since 1997 I have been living at Mysore. My elder son, Dr Vamsy Krishna Ganapathy is a Vedic Scholar in Mysore Ashram. My second son, Chandra, lives in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. He is married and as of now, he has one son.
In 1970, Dr. N.V. Raja Rao, a homeopathy doctor, told us of a yogi who was visiting Vijayawada. I went there with my father and two others. When we got there we saw the yogi sitting in a semi-dark room performing a Homa. Later we learnt that He was called Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. In those days there was no ashrama in Vijayawada so Sri Swamiji was accommodated at a devotee’s house. Later on I visited Him in the same area for His bhajan sessions.
Then for a period of ten years I had no contact with Him. After this, He was camping in a mango garden of a devotee near Nuzuvedu. I went to see Him and He was doing a Homa there. After the Homa I had an interview with Him and I asked Him, “Why do you just visit this garden, which is outside the city. What about those people who live in the city.” He said, “Don’t worry about that, it would happen soon.” I tried to persuade Him but He was very passive and did not heed to my request.
For forty days I visited Him in the evenings at Vijayawada, after my work was completed in my Nuzivedu office. My wife and I are used to perform hundreds of Anagha Vrata poojas with the residents of Nuzividu with a wish that we should get Guru Kataksha, the grace of Sadguru. Then in 1987 Sri Swamiji came to Nuzividu and the people there were impressed by Him. During this visit in January, an agriculturist, Akula Durvasa Rao came to Sri Swamiji with a mentally disabled son. Sri Swamiji said He does not cure anybody with magic, and so He did not help the boy, but Durvasarao develop a strong devotion to Sri Swamiji and he donated a site for the construction of the Nuzividu Ashram to His Holiness.
Later that year, in September, Sri Swamiji visited Nuzividu again. While taking the site Sri Swamiji told Durvasarao that he must make the offering without any wish in his mind. With humility this bhakta presented all the documentation necessary for the smooth transition of the property to Sri Swamiji. Slowly the Ashram developed and the Deva Deva Avatara Datta temple was constructed and inaugurated in November, 1989. Eventually the boy died but the parents were not hurt. They were mentally developed and believed whatever has happened was for their good.
In 1993, during one of His visits, Sri Swamiji informed the ashrama trustees that He wanted some work to be done by this fellow, me, and it is completed; now he wants to move from this place. Not long after that, without even applying, I was transferred to some other place. I realized then that it is only Sri Swamiji who should be interested for us to get His work done. In His wisdom He gave the knowledge and strength for me to make my contribution to Nuzividu Ashram.
In 1985, during the Shivaratri period we took our first born son, Vamsy Krishna and offered him to Sri Swamiji for His service. Sri Swamiji instructed us that we should bring and offer him at the Mysore Ashram and we followed His advice. Slowly we started attending the programs at the Mysore Ashram. Sri Swamiji used to joke with us and ask if the purpose of the visit was to see our boy or His Holiness. He is now one of the ashramites. Sri Swamiji discreetly enabled us to develop detachment. His teachings are most important. Now that boy is staying at the Ashrama and he is helping others to understand the wisdom of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji.
My second son, Chandrashekar, is also an ardent devotee of Sri Swamiji. Once he went to Sri Swamiji and expressed his wish to stay in Mysore and serve Sadguru, but Sri Swamiji sent him back to finish his studies. Eventually he was sent to USA, but Sri Swamiji told him, “You have to come back whenever I tell you”. Now he is settled nicely in USA and Sri Swamiji found a nice alliance for him and they are blessed with their baby boy. My mother died in 1983. My father who slowly became a devotee of Sri Swamiji passed away in 1996. Generations together we are devotees of His holiness. My parents, me, my children and now my grandson, we are all his devotees. There are hundreds of such devoted families of Sri Swamiji.
Many devotees I have known have given up their bad habits and accepted the pathway of spirituality. Spiritual evaluation is possible and is decided only because of Sri Swamiji. It is not something that we can count. When we leave our bad habits and follow Him sincerely, only then can He give that awakening to us. The amount donated to Peetham serves two purposes. Not only the sins get washed up but also we get prone to do good things. Slowly we will be less sinful and develop devotion to His Holiness and good things can be done for the society. Like that I find many people becoming good individuals.
Several devotees and families have been blessed by Sri Swamiji’s music and we are one such family. His music is wonderful. During my second visit to Vijayawada, I heard Sri Swamiji sing “Vittala Vittala”. His voice resonated and was very intense; I saw the passion for God. I had heard so many musicians, but they did not have that yogic power in their voice. Sri Swamiji is not only a musician, but He blended yoga into His music, in this way He is able to penetrate an individual soul. He is Nada Brahma. In 1985 my wife and I attended Kriya Yoga class taught by Sri Swamiji. He spent many hours teaching us the procedure. It is a wonderful procedure to cleanse both body and mind.
Sri Swamiji says that it is ‘not only in the ashram or serving His Holiness physically,’ we can render our service, but staying outside we can do it too. Some people may feel jealous of ashramites, but we need to balance our mind, that distance doesn’t matter. Mentally we need to render our service Him in every possible way. Spiritual growth is quite possible thereby.
I feel one’s life itself is a miracle. To be born on earth, being a contemporary to Sri Swamiji, knowing Him and to be able to have His darshan is indeed a miracle itself. We are able to see Him, the lord Himself with these eyes. Isn’t that a wonder? When I used to render any service to Sri Swamiji I used to feel that it was He who makes me do. I used to translate His speeches for the foreign devoteesfor sometime.
During one occasion Sri Swamiji pointing out to Datta’s temple said, “This is Datta’s house, why don’t you people let your heart be Datta’s house”. Jaya Guru Datta.
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