Category Archive: Devotee Experiences ~ A Collection

Lifetime experiences of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji's devotees, collected and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham (two 'devotee experiences' added per week).

Aug 21 2014

Devotee Experiences ~ Satish Garg, Delhi

91-Satish Garg

Satish Garg, Delhi

While waiting for the results someone brought me a raksha from Sri Swamiji. An old woman came and offered me North Indian food. I took the food and ate. The woman stayed with me all the time.

 

My neighbor, Professor Krissan Kumar, used to tell me about his Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji who lives in Mysore. I was fascinated with his talks and told him to inform me when his Guru visits Delhi. After graduating from the Institute of Hotel Management in Delhi, I started my own catering business.  I followed in the tradition of my father who had started his restaurant business in 1962.  I got a contract to cater some VIP functions, became anxious about it, and spent many sleepless nights planning.

In one of these functions, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, was scheduled to perform the inauguration ceremony for a medical conference. Then just twenty days before the function, on December 30th 1975, Professor Krissan Kumar came and told me that Sri Swamiji was in Delhi at Bala Sriram’s house. I thought I would take a break from my job to go and see Him.

When I first saw Him I was very nervous; when I looked at Him, He looked very peaceful. But, I still had my job on my mind. During an interview, I casually asked Him, “Will my restaurant business be successful?” He looked at me and said, “Yes it will be a success.” He gave me some vibhuti and I left. Following this, I gained more confidence in my business and received great reviews from my functions. My business became a financial success.

I got married in 1978 and told Professor Kumar I wanted to visit Mysore to seek the blessings of Sri Swamiji for my marriage. He was very happy, saying that it was good that I do not want to go on a honeymoon, but I wanted to seek the blessings of God. He asked me to meet him in Mysore. My wife and I went and had the darshan of Sri Swamiji; He looked at us and said, “Very nice, after marriage you have come for the blessings of Sadguru, very nice.” He then told Professor Kumar to take us around the ashram.

He took us on the tour, and we saw the printing press where the Bhakti Mala was printed, we saw the cowsheds, small canteen, the office, and Rama Shankara Kuteera, the cottage that accommodated the devotees.  The Datta Temple was under construction. Later when we were going around the temple Sri Swamiji was standing with the priest, Thimmapa and Professor Kumar. They were all looking at us and Sri Swamiji said to them, “This couple will be blessed with a son.” We requested a photo with Sri Swamiji and He obliged. We stayed two more days then returned to Delhi.

We returned home feeling the shadow of our Guru, Sri Swamiji, on us. As He predicted, My wife became pregnant and delivered a baby boy. He was the apple of our eyes. I was a drunkard and had some other bad habits. Slowly, over the years and by His grace, I became a better person. There were good and bad times in our lives, but when any problem came that I could not find a solution, I used to seek His guidance. I visited Mysore Ashrama at least twice per year and received His guidance and blessings.

He had given me the opportunity to cook and serve food in the Delhi Ashrama. I cooked Prasadam for about one hundred young children every Sunday. On one occasion, Mr. Deslal, the manager of the Haridwar Ashrama came to our Delhi Temple and taught me how to cook certain things for the Ashrama. I learnt cooking and received my degree in the Taj Mahal Hotel and now I really learned to cook in the Delhi Ashrama. I received the degree of Sri Swamiji’s grace.

On November 18th 1999, my wife complained to Sri Swamiji that I was still drinking alcohol. He told her not to worry about it. Eleven days later I stopped drinking. This was a miracle, I used to drink everyday and stopping it became so easy for me. It was only because of Sri Swamiji’s blessings.

In 2002, Sri Swamiji conducted Shivaratri festival in Haridwar Ashrama. I attended the functions there and when I returned to Delhi, I stopped consuming non-vegetarian foods. Also in my catering business, I began doing vegetarian food only. The only explanation I can give for this sudden change is because of my association with Him. I am a heart patient and few years back I suffered a massive heart attack.. I did an angiogram and the doctor said that it does not look very good for me. I kept on doing my daily duties trying not to provoke another heart attack.

Sometime in 2008, one evening at around 9.00 pm Vamshi Krishna Ganapathy, a close associate of Sri Swamiji, called and said that Sri Swamiji wanted to talk to me. I became very nervous and my hands were trembling, I was wondering why did He call me?  Sri Swamiji came on the phone and said to me, “Tomorrow morning take the first flight and come to Mysore.” I said, “OK Swamiji.”  I wondered how I was going to get a ticket for the early morning flight. The ticket would cost about twelve to fifteen hundred rupees.

I remembered sometime back, I got a flyer from Indian Airlines stating that you can call six hours before the flight time to get a cheaper priced ticket. The first flight was at 6.30am. I told my wife to pack my bags and I will call the airline at 12.20am and whether or not I get a cheap or expensive ticket, I was going. When I called the airline and they said that one seat was available and it would cost four thousand, two hundred rupees. I booked it and the next morning I went to Mysore. Upon arrival in the Ashrama Sri Swamiji told me that He was glad I came and He instructed me to do a pooja the following day. I did the pooja and then He told me to go back to Delhi.

About three to four days later, He called me to Mysore again. On the way, I met Him in Bangalore and He told me to go back to Delhi. One week passed and He called me to Mysore again. I went there and early the next morning, I was sitting with Professor Kumar when I had a massive heart attack. I was in the Ashrama hospital and the doctors conducted some tests. While waiting for the results someone brought me a raksha from Sri Swamiji. An old woman came and offered me North Indian food. I took the food and ate. The woman stayed with me all the time. I took a nap and after two hours, the doctors came with the results of the tests. The test read positive that there was nothing wrong with my heart. Sri Swamiji had brought me under His shadow and protected me from death.

I had asked Sri Swamiji to help my children and He told me not to worry about them. He has indeed taken care of them. They went to the best schools and received a good education. In July of 2000, my son went to the UK to complete his studies. He became home sick and used to call me on the phone and cry. Three weeks later, Sri Swamiji visited the town where my son lived. Sri Swamiji met my son and hugged him as a father would; my son never felt home sick again. In fact, he stayed and completed his studies and even extended his time there.

My daughter gave birth to a baby boy in 2010. After twenty-one days the baby began suffering from jaundice, we did not worry about it much for it was a common thing. The sickness persisted and my daughter took the baby to the doctor. They did some tests and found out that the baby may develop thyroid problems that will affect his growth and mental functions. We became worried, consulted various doctors, and did many tests. None of these proved differently. I went to Sri Swamiji and informed Him about my grandson. He told me not to worry everything will be all right. Fifteen days later, I took the baby to the Delhi Ashrama and laid him at Sri Swamiji’s padukas. I returned home and my son-in-law looked at the baby’s medical file and was shocked to see that the reports were different. The results were changed. We took the reports to the doctors and they said that according to the reports nothing is wrong with my grandson. Sri Swamiji changed the medical records and so saved my grandson.

Since 2005, Sri Swamiji appointed me as a trustee in the Delhi Ashrama. I am serving Him to the best of my ability. What else can I give Him? Everything is His. In fact serving Him is a blessing from Him. On one occasion, Sri Swamiji conducted a volunteer camp of about six hundred devotees in Andhra Pradesh. He invited devotees from all the states to attend. I was invited also. He honored all of us who were serving at various ashrams and made us sit on the dais with Him. Seeing the faces of all the volunteers and their enthusiasm, I realized that I should not only serve in His organizations, but also render service to everyone; for we are all his children.                                       Jaya Guru Datta

91-Appaji

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=12056

Aug 17 2014

Devotee Experiences ~ Ratna Verna, Kashmir

90-Ratna Verna

Ratna Verna, Kashmir

Not realizing what was happening, we found Sri Swamiji slowly emerging out of water with a Shankha (conch) in His hands, studded with jewels. From this Shankha, milk was flowing and He appeared to be in trance

 

All that the devotee needs to do is to have complete faith and devotion to the Sadguru; then there is no need to plan. All actions will be guided by Him and Him alone. All you need to do is to be guided by your heart; it is only the heart and not the mind which makes it possible to get the glimpse of unity of spirit. Sadguru manifests Himself in your heart when it is purified by love and devotion. Spiritual understanding is an outcome of harmony between mind and heart. Heart, when purified with the blessing of Guru makes it possible for God to manifests in you as your own self. He alone can reveal to you that there is no difference between you and Him. Hari Om Tat Sat.

I originally belong to a Kashmiri family; my father Sri P N Wanchoo was an engineer by profession. I shifted to Delhi after I got married.  It was in 1969 that I came to know about Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji through one of my colleague and friend, Sri Prof. Krishan Kumar. He had an opportunity of having Sri Swamijis darshan at Mysore, seeking His divine blessings. He was very impressed by the miracles he had witnessed at the ashram and thereby developed full faith in Sri Swamiji’s divine powers to heal his ailing daughter, Deepa. Later, it was on his insistence that I, along with my son and a few other friends, decided to visit the Mysore Ashram for Sri Swamiji’s darshan. The ashram, at that time was very small; it had a room with a basement where Sri Swamiji used to meditate. Besides that, there was a big dining hall which was used for sleeping by the devotees at night. The rest of the space was open land, fill of trees and wild grass.

During that first visit, though I was fascinated by the soul starring bhajans sung in a simple style by Sri Swamiji and also a few miracles that happened during our short stay at ashram, it did not attract my being as much as it did later on, after we left the ashram. One such event that I need to mention here is about the narrow escape we had for not taking Sri Swamiji’s words seriously. We had combined a sight-seeing tour of Mysore city before we left for our next destination, with this trip to the ashram and we told Sri Swamiji about this. He, however, instructed us not to leave the ashram campus until He permits us to do so. Since we had nothing to do, during the day, we decided to go to the city. As soon as we stepped out of the main gate and were looking for transport, a truck suddenly appeared from somewhere and somehow we escaped an almost fatal accident.

Remembering His warning, we returned immediately to ashram and informed Him about the matter. Ever since then, whenever I go to see Sri Swamiji, I do not break my journey in between and do social calls only after having His darshan. My son, who lives in Bangalore, at times gets angry with me because of this habit and affectionately complains that my primary purpose to visit South India is to see Sri Swamiji only.

My first interaction with my Sadguru, Sri Swamiji, did not have as much effect on me as the experiences that followed later, after we left the Ashram for our next destination, Hyderabad. These experiences continued even after I returned to Delhi. Since I did not have any concept of the importance of Guru in one’s spiritual life and with very little personal interaction with a Guru, I began having a series of divine experiences, which served as a turning point in my life; I suddenly became contemplative and meditative. I found myself being very secure and confident about facing the challenges of life.

I would travel to my work place, which was almost twenty-five kilometers away from my residence, in a local bus without showing any reaction and resentments.  I began taking life as it was. This not only improved my life-coping skills, but also made me a peaceful and pleasant person. I also began having spiritual and philosophical dialogues with myself and began to find answers to my queries within myself. These experiences made me feel wonderful and I gradually started attributing all this to Sri Swamiji; this helped me to develop faith in my Sadguru.

Later, as time permitted, we began sharing our experiences invariably and we enjoyed those satsangs, bhajan singing and listening sessions immensely. It was through these experiences we became aware of the invisible influence of Gurudeva on us. Inspired by the changes experienced within us and the sense of this new bonding that were taking place, five of us who have had the good fortune of meeting Sri Swamiji earlier, decided to invite Him to Delhi in 1970. We contributed a meager sum of Rs. 500/- each to meet the travelling expenses and raised additional funds to meet other costs. Pujya Swamiji came and stayed with our friend, Srimati Bala Sriram. She belonged to Chennai and her family had known Sri Swamiji for quite some time. Since she belonged to South India, we thought that Sri Swamiji will feel more comfortable in her house.

My husband and other family members were apprehensive of my new spiritual interest and tried to dissuade me from getting involved with religious activities, which they thought will result in my disinterest in worldly affairs. However, in spite of these difficulties, my association with the activities surrounding Sri Swamiji continued. We started organizing regular bhajan sessions and satsangs and tried to explore the possibilities of having an ashram in Delhi; since Sri Swamiji’s visits to Delhi was becoming more frequent and the numbers of devotees were also increasing. It was during one of these visits that the first official forum of Mysore Ashram entitled ‘Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Gyana Bodha Sabha’ was started.

Because of my domestic and official responsibilities I was not able to visit the Ashram often, but I was fully associated with the activities of the Delhi Sabha. During one of the visits of Pujya Sri Swamiji, we had an opportunity of organizing a visit to Haridwara. During this visit, while taking a Holy Dip in the River Ganga, Pujya Sri Swamiji suddenly went into some deep waters and a few of Ashramites who were accompanying  Him rushed toward Him. Not realizing what was happening, we found Sri Swamiji slowly emerging out of water with a Shankha (conch) in His hands, studded with jewels. From this Shankha, milk was flowing and He appeared to be in trance while Sri Bhagwat and others were trying to support Him. Later, while sprinkling water on all of us, we had an opportunity to see the jewels studded conch. We were also made to listen to the sound of ‘OM’ pulsating through the Shankha. We were all spellbound by this experience. This experience not only strengthen my faith in my Sadguru, but also helped in creating more opportunities for me to come in closer contact with Him and serve Him

After returning from Haridwara, I narrated the incidence to my family and this inspired my parents to attend the Pada Puja, which was arranged in my house, where they met Him for the first time and a loving relationship with my parental family developed. As soon as my father, Papa Wanchoo, met Sri Swamiji at my residence, he immediately requested Sri Swamiji to visit his house in Delhi. Sri Swamiji graciously accepted the invitation and this marked the beginning of lasting relationship between Prabhu Sri Swamiji (That is how Papa Wanchoo addressed Sri Swamiji) and my father.

Later, I was told that long before they met, Sri Swamiji, while pointing to the map of India, He put His finger on Kashmir and mentioned that He wishes to, one day, visit Kashmir. At that time little did I know that I will be instrumental in making this possible. The whole episode served two different purposes: Firstly, my father came into contact with Sri Swamiji and played a major role in establishing the Kashmir ashram and looking after it until he breathed his last. Secondly, it provided me an opportunity to serve assist Him in organizing various programmers during Sri Swamiji’s visits to the valley.

It was during these visits that I had the good fortune of looking after His welfare. These rear opportunities were like Gurukul to me, where I began to understand the meaning of true and selfless love and service. Being a social worker by profession, such exposure changed the meaning of social service. My practice of helping got a new dimension and I began to enjoy teaching and practicing. It is difficult to describe in words as to how blissful I felt. Consciously or unconsciously I began experiencing love and harmony which entirely changed me as a person.

During my years of association with Sri Swamiji, I realized that it is not essential that the Guru should be physically present to give verbal guidance and instruction. During all these years, I did not have many opportunities to speak with my Sadguru personally, as by my temperament, I am an introvert; a quiet and non-communicative person. However, I have the firm belief that Sri Swamiji knows what is best for me and makes me perform whenever and whatever is needed and expected of me. So why should I worry? Leave everything to Him. Once He accepts you as a devotee, He will guide and take care of all your requirements and will protect you. To illustrate this, I wish to share the following experience.

During one of the visits of Swami Manasa Datta to Delhi, I inquired about the significance of “Nava Avahana Puja” performed by Sri Swamiji during the Navaratri Festival as this festival was going to take place in the same month. Instead of directly replying to my query, he simply stated that “Only through Sri Swamiji’s grace, can this be explained to you; so just wait.” I was not satisfied with this reply and felt he was not in a mood to reply my question.

On the first day of the Navaratri festival, while going for my morning walk, I found myself asking the same question to myself.  To my surprise I entered into a dialogue within myself as if I was in a classroom and I was being taught the characteristics of the different Swaroopa of Devi. This appeared to me akin to a teaching given to a disciple by a Guru. This happened during my regular morning walk for all nine days of Navaratri. Though I do not remember the lesson now, I still vividly remember the experience. Such is the grace of Sadguru. Such are the ways of Sri Swamiji to make you understand that He is always with you.                                                                                                                                           Jaya Guru Datta.

Sri Swamiji Says:

 “Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness towards happy; mercy and compassion towards the unhappy; delight towards the virtuous and indifference towards the wicked.”

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=12051

Aug 14 2014

Devotee Experiences ~ Rama Devi Kutkatla, Vadodara

89-RamaDevi Kutkatla

Rama Devi Kutkatla, Vadodara

I asked them, who is this Swamiji that you believe is God? How can a man be God? My parents told me I have to experience Him for myself.

I am presently serving Sri Swamiji at His Ashrama in Vadodara. I heard of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji in 1968, for the first time, from my sister-in-law Mrs. Krishna Kumari. They took my parents to see Sri Swamiji in Mysore. At the age of eighteen, I got married and moved to Vadodara and whenever I visited my hometown; my parents were always in Mysore with Sri Swamiji. Two years passed like that and finally one day I asked them, who is this Swamiji that you believe is God? How can a man be God? My parents told me I have to experience Him for myself.

Then in 1970, I decided to go to Mysore and see this God-man. My mother, her friend, my two year old son and I traveled by train, bus, Tonga and even on foot, to get there. When we finally got there, I thought that the Ashrama was so small. I saw Sri Swamiji sitting under a mango tree with about twenty people sitting around Him. As soon as He saw my mother He said, “See, listen, I told you Amma would come, here she is, she brought something for me.” My mother went to Sri Swamiji and did Pada namaskara.

I did my pranams from afar standing at the back. Then someone brought some fresh groundnuts for Sri Swamiji and He looked at me and asked, “Can you cook these for me?” I said, okay! My mother showed me where the kitchen was and she told me to get permission, for the Ashramites do not let anyone into Sri Swamiji’s kitchen. I asked a lady sitting outside the kitchen and hesitantly she gave me a pot and sent me in. I cooked the ground nuts, cooled them and took them for Sri Swamiji.

He put them in His pallu, ate three in the shell and distributed the rest as Prasadam. I sat in the background just observing Him. Later, we were given accommodations in a shed. In the morning my son got up and wanted milk to drink as I used to give it to him every day. I told him that there was no milk in the Ashrama and he started to cry. Just then Sri Swamiji came and asked me why I am making the boy cry. I told him that he wants milk but there is none in the Ashrama. Sri Swamiji said, “He is adamant like me!”

He then sent someone to get some milk from the cow and my son was given a glass. My son was happy. Later I went to the Chopuram, a building with a thatched roof supported by bamboo posts with mud floor. Sri Swamiji normally sits here and plays the sitar. I sat with other devotees and enjoyed Him playing. We spent four days at the Ashrama and left.

However, on the last day, Sri Swamiji told my mother to take me to Chamundi Temple and we should not eat food outside, but come back and eat at the Ashrama. We went to the Temple and when I saw Chamundi Mata I was amazed at her beauty. The image is still with me today. We went back to the Ashrama and my mother told Sri Swamiji that we were leaving. My mother probed me to ask Him any question I had, but I could think of nothing.

He gave me a packet of vibuthi and said not to open it till I got home. We got back to our village after a thirty hour journey. I was curious to know what Sri Swamiji had given me so I immediately opened the packet and there was a medallion with the images of Lord Shiva, Mother Parvathi, Lord Ganesha and Kumara Swami. I loved these deities and I got them on the medallion. I thought nothing of it then. I had this belief stuck in my mind, that a yogi or swami should not own anything. This belief re-enforced my feelings that Sri Swamiji was an ordinary man.

Later in 1974, I had a second meeting with Sri Swamiji in Madras. My mother and I went there to attend the function. We stayed at a friend’s house who was not His devotee at that time. At night while sleeping in the room I had the vision of a strange man. I asked them the next morning who was that man. They said that it was their Guru and they were amazed that I had His darshan. They convinced me to stay at their home for a Lord Vishnu pooja. My mother and I stayed and began doing the pooja.

Unconsciously, I began chanting Sri Swamiji’s prayers and I was not even aware of it. After the pooja, the people told me that they were feeling the energy from the prayers I chanted. Before leaving Madras, my mother and I went to see Sri Swamiji and again I had nothing to ask of Him.

At my home a lot of Sadhus would come for food. At least every other day, one would come. I would give them food and at different times they gave me statues of Arka Ganapati, Shiva Lingam, Nandi, Coconut etc. I kept these things in my pooja place and did pooja to them. Once a Sadhu came after lunch and I told him all I had was tea. He said that he wanted something from me to break his fast and he told me to check inside for sweets. I went inside and found sweets and gave it to him. He ate and left. My husband used to caution me to be aware of all these people coming to my house. I don’t know why but I fed them and accepted their gifts.

My third encounter with Him was in 1976. My mother and I had gone to His thirty-fourth birthday celebrations at the Mysore Ashrama. I sat and observed other devotees coming with beautiful flower garlands and money and offering all this at His Feet. Seeing this I felt disgusted, I felt that a Yogi does not need all this. Then the devotees took Him in a palanquin and carried Him around. I began to feel that I should not have been there. Then suddenly Sri Swamiji shouted loudly, “This is my marriage, you all want special treatment?”

He called Mr. Bhatt, the first person He initiated into Sainthood, and told him to take the chamara (fan made of animal hair in pooja.) and wave before the people and then give them each a ladoo. Mr. Krishan Kumar was singing sad songs and Sri Swamiji shouted at him, “Why are you singing sad songs, why are you not happy?” Everyone became afraid of Him. I was a little afraid myself. I thought of giving Him the money I had with me, but I decided that I should not. I also promised myself that I will not visit this Swami again. If He wanted to see me He would have to come to Vadodara. My mother and I took leave from Sri Swamiji and returned home.

For sixteen years afterwards I sat and did introspection of myself, so I did not see Sri Swamiji again until 1991. During those sixteen years, I grew spiritually and I did not know who was guiding me. I read all kinds of religious books; works by Swami Vivekananda, Shree Rajneesh, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mata Amritanandamayi, Swami Rama and Sri Ramana Maharishi. I was exploring these doctrines seeking spiritual knowledge.

I had started teaching, as a profession in 1979. After some time I realized how special the relationship is between student (Shishya) and teacher (Guru.).  A teacher gives to the student what is best for him and the student puts all his faith in the teacher just to learn his ABC’s. Imagine how much more teaching and learning has to take place in the ABC’s of life. I began to look at a Guru-Shishya relationship differently. It was an unadulterated love given in return of firm faith.

In 1983 I took my class of forty kids to visit Mount Abu in Rajasthan. On that trip I came across many temples and gods. One that struck me was a male form with three heads. I found out later that it was Lord Dattatreya. The school children and I went and took a bath in a holy river and I found a photo of the three headed god. I took the photo to my home and began doing Datta Mantra. Around this time Sri Swamiji was still not propagating Lord Dattatreya. I also began doing pranayama and this helped a lot with my spiritual growth.  I was slowly walking the spiritual path with an unseen guide.

In 1991 Sri Swamiji came to Vadodara to bless Mr. Patel’s new house. It so happened at that time my mother was at my house. Sri Swamiji sent someone to my house and the person said to me, “Sri Swamiji said that He is in Vadodara and would like you to attend the function.” My mother and I attended the function and I took two mangoes for Him. I sat looking at Him and I began crying, I felt strange for I don’t usually cry. I felt like a little child in front of Him. I was getting these thoughts that He is my Atma Bandhu, He is my guru. I cannot explain why I felt like that.

Then Sri Swamiji went inside and said that who wants to see Him must come inside. My mother and I went in and she asked Him why He didn’t take her along with my father. My father had passed away recently. Sri Swamiji told her that she still has a lot to do and see. I could not say anything to Him, I did my namaskara and left. I left with this deep desire to go to Mysore and see Him. With my husband’s permission I went to Mysore. In May, 1992, after seventeen years, I visited the Ashrama to celebrate Sri Swamiji’s fiftieth birthday.

My mother, twelve other people and I went on the trip. We put our luggage under a tree and covered them with straw mats since there was not much accommodation. We slept in the Pundarika Hall; this was behind the Guru Nilayam. On this trip Sri Swamiji did not talk to me. He was a silent teacher for me. One man asked me for my advice on his problem. He said he visited many Kshetra and Gurus, but has not found peace of mind.

While talking to him it was like he was talking to me. I told him that he has to fix his attention on one path and one Guru and he will make progress. Then I found out that whatever I spoke to anyone about, Sri Swamiji would talk on the same topic right after. On one occasion I asked Sri Swamiji if I should continue my practice of Pranayama and Datta Mantra. He said firmly that I should keep doing them. I felt happy and realized that He Himself had prompted me to do these things.

We were ready to leave and went to Sri Swamiji for His permission; He said to stay for two more days. I did not question Him why; but I later found out that the bus service in Karnataka state was on strike. While staying back, I saw the writings on Yoga Brahma in the ashram and asked a man to explain it to me; he said that he had no time. I thought that if Sri Swamiji wants me to know about this it will come to me in some form. I bought a cassette and a book and left the Ashrama.

I left feeling closer to Sri Swamiji, on the trip I experienced His omnipresence, His omnipotence, and His omniscience forms. When I got to my home I opened up the book I bought and it explained all about Yoga Brahma. From that day I believed that whatever He wants me to know He will reveal it to me.

In October, 1993 my husband accompanied me to Mysore Ashrama for the Navaratri Celebrations, because he did not want me to travel alone. My mother also met us there. In those days the festivities were elaborate and intense. Sri Swamiji started poojas from 6.30am and went till 5.00pm; then He performed the aarti which was followed by bhajans. Food was served only after the program.

On the last day, after conducting the Shanti Homa, Sri Swamiji called my mother, my husband and I for an interview. Sri Swamiji asked my husband, “Professor what do you want?” my husband replied, “Nothing Swamiji, I have come only to see you.” Sri Swamiji got up, went out and came with a paper and told me “I want to have an Ashrama in Vadodara, I wanted it to be there before the Surat Ashrama, but I have no one there.”  I immediately replied, “If you allow me to do that, I am ready Swamiji.” Sri Swamiji turned to me and said, “Ramadevi, you are going to start? Okay, go and start!”

My husband and I returned to Vadodara and from the next Thursday we started having Bhajans satsanghas. I invited a lot of people including other professors at my husband’s job. They came mostly because they know me from certain social circles. Once they began to like the bhajans they came for that purpose only. As time went by we started having bhajans on Sundays.

A fellow teacher, Madhuri Tewari was hospitalized with diabetes. She could not move her legs. She asked me to help her with my Yoga. I invited her to come to Bhajans and Yoga at my house. I used to do pranayama with the Yoga and then we would sit and listen to Sri Swamiji’s Dhyana cassettes. One day she came and realized that she could move her legs. She was very happy.  She asked me what she can do for me. I told her if she wants to do something, do it for Sri Swamiji. Later on she was able to get off the diabetic injections and the pills. She became an ardent devotee of Sri Swamiji.

One day a man with many ailments came to me for help. His liver was the only functioning organ in his body. I told him that I can only teach him yoga and cannot cure his ailments. When he first came to my house someone lifted him inside. After three months of practicing yoga he was able to walk and he drove to my house. People began telling me that I can perform miracles. I told them that I cannot do miracles; it is the work of my Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. He is the doer; I am just an instrument and the medium in His hands.

I was invited to speak at various clubs; including the Rotary and Lions Clubs. I spoke about Sri Swamiji, His healing music, Yoga and Pranayama. Then more people began attending the Bhajan and Yoga meeting at my house. After some time we registered the meetings as ‘Sri Datta Satsangha’ and it officially became a part of the Mysore Ashrama organization.

In the years to follow I would go and meet Sri Swamiji when He visited Surat and request Him to visit Vadodara. In 1994 He told me that He would come to my house and spend three days if I don’t pester Him. I told Him that I don’t want Him to come to my house, but to come for the people of Vadodara. He then said, No! I don’t want to come to Vadodara, why do you keep asking me. In 1995 when He came to Surat, He did not call me for an interview so I waited until the program was finished.

Then at 7.00pm He called me behind the Datta Mandir and said to me, “What do you want?  You are pestering me! You are really troublesome!”  I said to Him, “I don’t know anything, when are you coming to Vadodara?”  He then said, “Okay! I will come to Vadodara, but I want a big concert.” I then said, “Fine, we will have a big concert, you promise!” I left happy knowing that He will visit Vadodara. I love and respect Sri Swamiji, I feel He is part of my family and I tend to talk to Him in the same manner.

The concert was arranged by Members of Sri Datta Satsangha. We got a big hall, from the Parsee people, to accommodate the audience. They were invited to the concert and they all came and enjoyed it. Madhuri Tewari went from house to house collecting funds. Sometimes she was scolded but that did not stop her. She collected more than ten thousand rupees. Other families contributed in different ways, some sponsored the advertising, some did the food etc. When Sri Swamiji came to the venue, He saw seven hundred chairs; He told me it should be twelve hundred.

None of the families were there; they were at their houses thinking that Sri Swamiji would go to their house first. My sons and I had to get the place prepared. Sri Swamiji went and stayed at Mr. Patel’s house and the next day He came to Hall for programs. After the Sri Chakra pooja He called me and said to me, “Do you want to become ‘mother’.” I could not understand what He was saying and then He said to me “I am coming to your house for Bhiksha.” I was about to leave for my home to prepare, but He told me to stay until the Poornahurti of the Homa.

I left after the Homa and told my husband to delay Sri Swamiji as long as he can. I rushed to my house and began preparing food for Him. Sri Swamiji arrived after thirty minutes. He said, “I have come.” He told Kusumakka to help me in the kitchen; He wants to take a rest. He went to one of my son’s bedroom and rested. Later He had His Bhiksha then He went back into the bedroom and asked for Luv and Kush. This is how He used to call my twin sons. They came along with my husband and my mother to the room.

Sri Swamiji enquired about their studies and materialized two rings with white stones and told them to wear them and think of Him. I was happy for them. He saw my pooja room and I asked Him why did all these Sadhus come to my house to eat, and why did they give me gifts. He said to me, “How many times I came to your house and gave you things and how many times you fed me.” I was stunned and happy at the same time, for He was in my life before I was in His. In the evening Sri Swamiji did the concert and it was a huge success. After the concert He told my sons that they will be His pilots for the next day when He will visit various houses for Pada Pooja. They were happy to offer their services. Before He left Vadodara He told me not to worry about Him for other devotees will take care of Him, the only thing I have to do is to take care of the Ashrama. This was in 1996 and to this day that is what I have been doing.

In 1998 when He visited again, He asked me why I haven’t started a trust. I told Him that if He wants a trust we will form one. He told me He was going to Surat and in two days I must get constitution name and membership list to Him. I gathered the members, got the information and I went to Surat. When I arrived at the Datta Temple it was 11.00am; Sri Swamiji was out for Pada poojas. I sat on the steps and waited till 5.30pm. When He returned, He saw me and said, “Come, come I have been waiting for that paper, why are you sitting on the steps?” I went and gave Him the papers; Murali and Vamshi were the signatories, and so the trust was formed. Then Sri Swamiji said to me, “Now the trust is formed, I want land, but what to do, when you get land you call me and I will come to Vadodara, I promise.” I left Surat and went back to Vadodara with the intention of finding land for Sri Swamiji.

Sri Swamiji had already told one devotee who had experience in purchasing land to meet with me. He and I found this land and made a down payment and got a contract. I immediately told Sri Swamiji and He said He will not come till the land is paid off. I worked at my job from 6.45am to 1pm; I would then go around asking for donations. The land was costing around eight lakhs. Finally with the help of other devotees in October, 1999 we paid for the land in full. I phoned Sri Swamiji and asked Him, “When are you coming to Vadodara?” He said, “I am in Bombay, I will come tomorrow.”

The next day He really came to Vadodara. He was on the road and I was on the land. He said to, “I am not coming on the land.” I replied, “Yes, you must come!” He then said, “If I come you are going to complain.” I told Him, “No, I will not.” Then He said, “This is so far away, who will come here, this you will complain to me.” I said, “Swamiji if you wish everybody will come, nothing is hard for you.” All the people gathered there were watching us and wondered what was going on. Then He said to me, “Do you promise that you will not complain if nobody comes to this place.” I said, “Yes Swamiji, I promise not to complain.” With this He came on the land and Vamshi did the Bhoomi pooja.

In 2000 we wanted to build a prayer hall in Vadodara in honor of my mother-in-law. I phoned up Mysore Ashrama and told Prasadi to seek Sri Swamiji’s blessings and He said to go ahead. We built the hall and in 2003 Sri Manasa Datta and Sri Vamshi came to install Datta padukas they brought from Mysore. Sri Swamiji was in Hrishikesh and had gotten ill. They did the installation of the padukas and told us that we must conduct monthly homas. The board members took various duties for the maintenance of the Hall. At the function one man in the crowd volunteered to take care of the place and daily functions since he lived close by. I was a little sad that Sri Swamiji did not come himself and I comforted myself that He was ill that is why He did not come.

            In 2001 at my house my sons had moved out and I renovated my house making the upstairs suitable for Sri Swamiji and His Pariwara when they come to Vadodara. Then the trust members constructed a Guru Nilayam on the Temple site for Sri Swamiji. In 2005 Sri Swamiji was coming to Vadodara after such a long time. He came and did programs and said that we must put mosquito nets in the room then only He will stay. Then He left for Surat. Two days after, we got news that He was coming back to Vadodara. I made basic food preparation in case He comes or does not come. He came to my house and said that He has come back for He knew I felt bad He did not come to my house. He went into the kitchen looking for mirchi bhaji and jilebi He asks me to prepare and call Him when they were ready.

We finished preparing and when Sri Swamiji’s cook saw the food He said that He does not eat this kind of food and does not want it. Then Prasadi told Sri Swamiji asked Amma to prepare; so send it upstairs. Sri Swamiji had bhiksha and sent prasadam for us; we were overjoyed. He went to bed. In the morning we all left for the airport. He asked me to ride with Him and He spoke to me about the temple and other things. At the airport before leaving He told me that my children have grown and left but now the ashram in Vadodara is my fourth child. He continued that if I am there the Ashrama will grow, but if I am not there it will not. This was His instruction and blessing from Sri Swamiji.

In the following years we expanded the Vadodara Ashrama. Things are going slowly but in the right direction. From my childhood Sri Swamiji was guiding my life without me knowing it. Such is the grace of this Guru. He revealed Himself physically to me when He thought it was best. He had once asked me if I wanted to be mother. I now know what He meant. Some of the devotees and my workers come to me with their problems and I give whatever help I can. They said I am like a mother to them and so they call me ‘mother.’ I say the same thing I said to some people many years ago, I am not the ‘mother.’ Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji is the divine mother, I am only His instrument. When I do pooja or housework I do it with the same conviction that I am doing it for Him. In this way the actions and results go to Him. I am free from it. I am His instrument and I pray that I will always be.                                                                             Jaya Guru Datta

 

Sri Swamiji Says:

 “Learning and teaching are like the two wings of a bird.  If one wing is lost, the bird will no doubt live, but cannot fly.  If both the wings are lost the bird is as good as its dead.  Hence the injunction  – STUDY AND TEACH.”

 “Remember God and worship Him when you are happy. Forget yourself when you are in sorrows.  Peace comes to you of its own accord.  Energy and enthusiasm (to act), and courage of the mind to move forward, can be acquired from serenity.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=12048

Aug 10 2014

Devotee Experiences ~ N P Vijayalakshmy and Padmanaban, Cochin

88-N P Vijayalakshmy and Padmanaban

N P Vijayalakshmy and Padmanaban, Cochin

N P Vijayalakshmy:    Anything we needed would come. Anything He says, it becomes true, whether through us or through someone else, even if we don’t have the capacity. His words will not go waste.

 

I met Him for the first time on December 26th, 1990.  Even that date and time I remember very well, because that was a turning point in my life.  I was a medical college teacher who had a lot of problems. Because of family circumstances, I was forced to take leave. At that time, my daughter, Kunju, was only three and a half years old, and my husband held a very senior position with the Trivandrum Police Department, so he could not get leave to join us.

I secured a new job in Ernakulam and someone was helping and guiding me to find a house where we can live. One day we ended up at Navaswami Datta’s house; his eldest daughter–in-law happened to be my relative, and I mentioned that I was looking for a house. He said, “Why don’t you take this house?” I thought he was joking, but he said “No! I am seriously telling you, this house is for rent. I have built two houses, and our Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji said, that we should rent this one to a vegetarian. I know you are a vegetarian. Sri Swamiji has done a lot of poojas in this house, so a lot of good things will come to you.

I also liked that family, and I was very happy. I told him I could not give him the rent that he was expecting, because that house was quite close to the centre of the town, and close to all the important places. He replied, “Don’t worry, you give whatever you can.” Then he invited us to their house-warming ceremony on the 26th Dec. 1990. He told us his Guru was coming and so we went to their new house.

When we got there, Sri Swamiji was conducting bhajans and my husband and I suddenly felt that there were some answers to our anxieties and problems. Afterwards, we requested the elder son of Tata for us to have the darshan of Sri Swamiji. He took us upstairs and as we were climbing up Sri Swamiji called out to us saying in Tamil, “I have already given you answer in the bhajan.” He knew what problem we had and from that first moment we never turned back.  We had searched for different gurus, but found only Him, Sri Swamiji. We had all kinds of problems; mental, physical, financial, and otherwise, and we got the help we needed.

For example; in around 1991, I had a small growth in my brain. We were trying to reach other gurus also, but could reach only Sri Swamiji in Mysore. He assured my husband and said not to worry, He would be doing all that was needed and everything would be alright. I had done a CT scan on a Saturday.  On Sunday, Swamiji performed the Thaila Abhishekam, and on Monday I went for result. The man said “This is a calcified tumor, only in an autopsy you will find this.” We were very happy and came back and narrated this to Sri Swamiji.

With His blessing, I started practicing, and later I got this hospital. My husband got a transfer, and my child got into a good school, and we were together as a family. Many years later, another growth started and about ten years later, I was becoming partially blind. The MRI showed a tumor about four centimeters or more. In our life, we consult with Sri Swamiji before making any decision or doing anything. Though I am in the medical profession, for us, He is the greatest physician and surgeon for our entire family.  My Sadguru said, “Go ahead, do what the neurosurgeon says; I will be with you in the theatre.”

That gave me confidence, that I would not be alone in the theatre, and the surgeon had said it would be difficult to remove it completely, and the procedure could take up to ten hours. He discussed this with my husband and child telling them how it would be. But Sri Swamiji who was in Anantapur said they would be starting about 10.00 am and by 1.30 pm everything would be over and it would be completely removed. ”And exactly like that it happened.

I had the operation and about four days later, I was out of the hospital. My vision is perfect, I am working very well, and I feel that every minute He has given me is to serve Him. Anyway, I probably do not know how to do this, and I think in due time He will tell me how to serve humanity. One thing I know, and it is imprinted in my mind, from His discourses is; Manava seva is Madhava seva. I always feel that service to man is service to God. If you help your fellow man, you get His blessings. And we have taken Him not only as Guru but as God.  My husband always says that Sri Swamiji is his God, because that is what He has told him. And so we continue to serve Him. And we always feel that He is omnipresent.

            My child, Kunju, is lucky to be close to Him, and gain more experience with Him. They were watching National Geographic and she must have asked Him about omnipresent, and He said suddenly, “look, look there is the fish” and in the fish eye she saw Him. So she always tells that He is omnipresent, that you can see Him when ever you want.  He is omniscient and omnipotent too. Very true!  You want to see Him, you can! You want to feel Him, His Presence, you can!

In my profession, I sometimes say to Him when I am going to the theatre, very stupidly, “Swamiji, I am going to the theatre, you have to look after my incubator, you have to look after my theatre, my patients; everything, because in Kerala you know there is the highest number of power failures and we need power, to conduct our embryological work without any failure. Sri Swamiji told me once, “You think I am your watchman, I am not.”  We feel that even in small things in our mundane life, we should tell Him because we feel mentally so close to Him. We know that He will look after us.

Kunju is now a doctor. She was hesitant to write her final year surgery exams. She said, “I am not prepared, I am not going to write these exams.” I had to cajole and fight with her and finally I prayed to Sri Swamiji for His help. The next morning she came and said, “Okay Mom, I will write it.”  She got the highest grade in the exams.  Sri Swamiji has been looking after her since three and a half years, and He says, “She is my younger sister.”

It is a great privilege for us. We start our day praying to Him to do the right things, and not to harm anyone. The changes in us are phenomenal. Now we think its okay! Enough is enough. We don’t have to have everything.  Now, my dream is to do service and have a Specialty Hospital to serve all.  He has already blessed us, and we have certain plans to make her dream come true.

Sri Swamiji normally does not like any one person to contribute for a single project; He likes many devotees to contribute. After many years, He said, “Padmanabhan, you can do.” And now He tells everyone to see this Guru Nilayam before building any other. Anything we needed would come. Anything He says, it becomes true, whether through us or through someone else, even if we don’t have the capacity. His words will not go waste.  Hundreds of stories we can tell.

There is one lady from Germany called Savitri. She was sitting in the Ashram, had met Sri Swamiji in Germany and had brought an invalid child with her. She could not talk freely in English, but had brought her grandson whom she was taking care of, and who was in a wheelchair. She wanted an audience with Sri Swamiji. I told her, “Have faith He will take care.”

Years later, I met her in Germany and we both remembered each other. She said, “You remember my grandson? There he is, playing the keyboard and singing for Sri Swamiji. He is standing and no longer is in a wheelchair.” Sri Swamiji had told her to chant Lalitha Sahasranama, and other things, and had given her the name Savitri. You can see how He takes care of His disciples; once He accepts you and you accept Him. He even takes care of my patients also

 N P Padmanabhan:   The next day the doctor told us that they see this kind of calcified tumor only during autopsy.  If it was a growing tumor, things would have been different; it takes about thirty or forty years for such calcification. 

During the time that she had her first meninjioma, in 1991, my father had died in Bombay, but we were both in Kerala. The first day’s rituals, before the body was taken out, were to be done in Bombay. She was supposed to be there but she could not, and so I told her to come on the tenth day. She had to travel, all by herself, with our young daughter. Being a doctor, the growth in her head was such that she could understand that it could make her blind, unconscious, or as a matter of fact anything could happen, so she had to have the surgery as instructed by her doctor.

While traveling, she carries a small slip of paper on which she had written, “if anything happens to me, do not rush me to the hospital before telling my husband; he is Mr. Padmanabhan and he is waiting for me at the Bombay airport. I am accompanied by a small child who does not know anything. Nothing happened to her.” With this conviction she arrived in Bombay on time.

After the tenth day’s ritual, we got an appointment with a good neurosurgeon. We went to him and he said that she needs a CT scan. The next day I am supposed to go to Hyderabad, and be back in a few days, but they wanted to inject a dye to see the whole brain, and fully understand the extent of the tumor’s growth. She did not want this procedure done, so they took me inside with her and showed me the tumor which was very large, in the middle of the brain. She also did not agree for surgery to be done on that day, so we left. In those days we were devotees of Singeri Shankaracharya Swamigal. I wanted to contact Him but because telecommunications were not that much developed in India, I couldn’t.

In May, we went for the Kumbha Abhishekam, for the first time, after seeing Sri Swamiji in Setu Raman’s house. While standing in the line for His darsan, Sri Swamiji said, “Pani Tha, Pani Tha” which means give me water, give me water. I could not understand exactly what that meant. Later one His senior devotees said, “They have built a small kuteera for Him, but He needs a water tank, otherwise He would not be able to take His bath.  He has devotees who would build a palace if He wants it, but He wants to take some of your karma.”

I spoke to Swami Manasa Datta, in Mysore, by phone, who said that Sri Swamiji said that He had to perform Thaila Abhishekam the next day, and when that is over, your problem would be over. I told my wife, “some miracle would take place and nothing would go wrong.”  The next day, Sunday, I called Swami Manasa Datta again about nine-thirty, in the morning, and he said that Sri Swamiji said that we should be patient and that only after one o’clock the Thaila Abhishekam would be over.

About ten past one, I called again and I was informed that Sri Swamiji had said that everything was over.  My wife told me, “That the weight on her head that was blocking her nose has disappeared. I can breathe better now, everything is fine.” The next day the doctor told us that they see this kind of calcified tumor only during autopsy.  If it was a growing tumor, things would have been different; it takes about thirty or forty years for such calcification.

Afterwards, we went to Mysore, to see Sri Swamiji there for the first time. He said, “I have given another life to your wife because you need a wife and your child is small. Your wife is a doctor. She has to serve the community. Go and pay for the Thaila Abhishekam.”  I went and paid a small amount.

When the second tumor came and she was becoming blind, Sri Swamiji was not there. From the United States He told to do the surgery; “I am with you.”  We had to find a good neurosurgeon to perform the procedure. One of her patients, a neurosurgeon told her that there was a doctor from Veluur, a nearby town, who was qualified to do that surgery. That doctor advised us that they would do their best to clear it.

By then Sri Swamiji was in Anantapur, and told us, on the phone, that the surgery would start and be completed in the afternoon only and I will see her eating and drinking something afterwards. It turned out to be true.  Everything was removed, and no extra blood was required. A short time later, she came back to her office and started working, and at every step of our life, when we have a problem, He is there. .

In my job, things were not always fair for me for a long time. Some people wanted to hurt others, so they trump some unfounded charges and tried to frame me. I came and cried before Sri Swamiji about the situation. He said, “Padmanabhan, don’t cry.  I am here. Nothing will happen to you.” Later, a big propaganda, about the situation, was started in the newspaper, so I went and cried again before His Holiness. This time He said, “I am declaring kurukshetra; good wills always come.”

Incidentally, nothing happened to me, but all those officials who were joining to malign me, got into difficulty one after the other, because of their own karma. The one, who wanted to become our government cabinet secretary, suffered the most. The second thing that happened was; t they all joined to conspire against me so that I would not get what was due to me. However, because of Sri Swamiji’s Grace, I became Director General of Police, and went to the top ranks of the service.

The week before I was told about the promotion, I was with Swamiji for His Birthday Celebrations. The call came from the ex-chief minister that I was appointed Director General of Police. Sri Swamiji had gone for Biksha when I tried to tell Him. When I was leaving, coming from somewhere He saw me and said, “So you have become DGP.” He already knew. I replied, “Yes, Appaji, but I need Your blessings.”  He said, “Nandani, needana,” meaning that, “I am you, you are myself.” My mind became peaceful in spite of all problems.

I occupied that office for many years and did the service proud. On my retirement I was given a lot of felicitation and wishes for the future. The day I handed over the office, my successor had to face big communal clashes. In fact, the call came to me as if I were still the DGP. I said, if we are in the right, He will protect us.

The present Pontiff of Singeri Mutt was camping in Mysore, and He was invited to our Mysore Ashram. Sri Vhamsy Krishna Ganapathy called me and told me that I also had to go to invite Him, so I went. When He saw me He said, “You are my disciple.” When I came back to the Ashram, Sri Appaji was coming from somewhere.  I prostrated to Him and He told me, “I am God for you.”  Till then, He never said that He was God, but for me, He is saying that He is God. I checked with senior devotees, and they all said they had never heard Him say that to anyone; that He was God.  Bur for me, I don’t have to look for God He is present in front of me. If it is just one instance, we can say it is a coincidence, but hundreds….how can we figure? Jaya Guru Datta

88-Appaji

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/?p=12037

Aug 03 2014

Devotee Experiences ~ Bhaskaram Thimmappaiah Deexit, Bangalore

87-Bhaskaram Thimmappaiah Deexit, Bangalore

Bhaskaram Thimmappaiah Deexit, Bangalore

They showed the Sadhu the boy lying there, and He said to them, “The sheep had life, but your friend has already died. How can I bring him back to life? He is already dead, he has no life.”

 

I am the son of Bhaskaram Venkata Krishna Deexit from Chitradurga, who settled in Mysore, about one hundred and twenty years ago. I have six brothers and two sisters. “I was thirty-two years old when I met Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. Sri Swamiji arrived in Mysore in 1962 and was staying with Sri Srikantaiah, one of His early devotees, who was working with the Electricity Board. Once, I went to see the old man and I came to know that there was a young Swamiji, who was called Kesare Swami, there also. He was a Ganapati Bhakta, and many people have flooded the area to have His darsan.

There was a small committee of about five persons who arranged Sri Swamiji’s activities in Kesare. They were; Varna Shamburg, Narayan Swami, Nagobashetty, Doodha Urs Chikarsu, and Krishnamurthy. The latter was serving in the government service as a Tasildar, and Sri Swamiji put him to serve on the Committee. Then there was Rajagopal, the Hindi teacher, and Sivaram Shastry. Lots of other devotees were doing seva; every Saturday they would set up a pandal and on Sundays Ganapathi Homa will be performed.

How did I come to Sri Swamiji?  I came to see Swamiji out of curiosity, as somebody told He was there. Out of inspiration from inside I came. He provoked me from inside. I am a devotee of Ganapathi, and so were my parents. Also, in those days, He was called Ganapathi Satyananda Swamiji. Satyanarayana was His original name, Satyananda was His adopted name, and at present He is Sachchidananda.

Narayan Swami said we needed some items for the homa; samitha, darbha etc, and so I contacted Sri Swamiji.  He said that He wanted me to bring these things. So the next day I offered them to Him and He asked me to come regularly and bring the ingredients to perform the Homa. I used to be the milk collector for two Rama Mandirs in those days, and I used to go there on week days until about 1964, when for some apparent reason I stopped. In 1966, He shifted His Ashram to the present location on Nanjangud Road.

There was a gap of a little over four years between the Ashram and me.  However, in December 1969 my father told me, “Kesare Swami has shifted to Nanjangud Rd., and you should go there and have His Darshan.” By then He used to get into the homa pit for Agni Homa every Sunday. On Tuesday, December 16th, 1969, I had a holiday from work, and during the abhijit muhurtam, I went there by bicycle. Until then, Sri Swamiji was in the underground room, where Arka Ganapathi is now. That was His Japa place; His tapasya place for about three weeks, during which time He not visible to the public. On that day, when I arrived I washed my hands and feet and stood outside His door. Almost immediately, He opened the door and came out.  “Who are you?” He asked, “I am Timappa, son of Venkata Krishna Deexit”, I replied.

He started going around the Ashram and I also went with Him.  He told me to start coming here for the programs, but now I should go for lunch. Nagaratna, a lady devotee was there, and He told her to ask me to come for bhajans. He composed the bhajan, ‘Mukunda Murali dhara’ then. That Thursday and I went for bhajans, and like that I continued. Within ten days it was the Datta Jayanti celebrations, but there was Dattatreya Murti, only Ganapathi, Amba, and Shiva. I expected that a Datta murthi should be there and took some flowers and fruits to offer, but there was no Dattatreya, so I made offerings to Shiva instead. I chanted “Audumbara Astika” and came back. Like that I continued.

After the Datta Jayanti program, Sri Swamiji took a trip to Vijayawada and stayed for about twenty days.  Other senior members went, but I was advised to do homas in the Ashram.  I did Abhishekam to Shiva, pooja to Ganapathi, and distributed the prasadam. When Sri Swamiji came back, I requested Him to come to my house for pada pooja. It was a Thursday, and He said that He normally did not leave the Ashram on Thursdays, especially for pada pooja.  I asked again, “Still, You please do come to my house.”  He agreed, and when He came He told my father, “That in my opinion, the pooja could take place in the Ashram without me, I am fully satisfied that your son could do the job in my absence.”

During September, 1970, I visited Madras with Him and we stayed at the home of K. P. Chandra Rao’s for about twelve days. Many pada poojas were done in those days also. On a Friday, Sri Swamiji was having an oil bath and with copina (loincloth) only, when I came to His chambers. He had a danda and He was sitting on the chair in a very distinct mood loudly saying, “I am Ganapathi, see Subrahmanya here.” He shook His legs and we had darshan of Subrahmanya, in the form of a snake.

During His stay, Vidwam Veer Ramachandran, a vocalist, and Sri Chandrasekhar, a professional violin player accompanied Him in His performance. At the end of the program, Sri Chandrasekhar, who was blind, expressed to Sri Swamiji, “I am blind, I cannot see you.” But Sri Swamiji told him, “You can see Me in your inner heart.”

In KP Chandra’s house, Tulabharam was performed, where He sat on one side of the scale, and devotees offered a bag of jaggery on a silver plate, and then a golden plate was placed on top of that with nine precious stones, and we were allowed to performed pada pooja. Then He said, “I will resend these items to where they have come from in the ocean. They should go back to nature as they came from nature.” There were two beaches nearby; Adyar Beach and Marina Beach. Marina Beach is too busy so Sri Appaji offered all these precious stones, plates, and jaggery, at Adyar Beach. He wanted to give these things as a gift to the goddess of ocean.

Sri Swamiji, Chandra, Balikaparsha, my brother, and I went and He took a bath in the waters there. He then went to my brother’s house, and later gave a discourse at a Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in the locality. He gave a discourse saying that nobody should test the Guru. In His discourse He said, “A shepherd’s sheep was dying and he was weeping. His sheep looked dead. A Sadhu came by and gave life to the sheep by chanting a mantra, and the shepherd was happy again. There were some boys there who said, “Oh, you have got so many powers, you made a dead sheep alive again, our friend is going to die now, please save him.” They told another friend to just lie there and pretend to be dead, “We’ll test the Sadhu.” They showed the Sadhu the boy lying there, and He said to them, “The sheep had life, but your friend has already died. How can I bring him back to life? He is already dead, he has no life.” He had so much power!

In September 1970, I was coming from Vijayawada with Sri Swamiji. A monkey had died; he was accidentally hit by one of the vehicles travelling on the road. The group would normally scatter when cars approaches. When I looked back, I saw the other monkeys going sadly towards the dead monkey on the road.  I requested Sri Swamiji to do some Samskara. I felt that we should not leave the dead monkey like that. He agreed, came back, and advised us to remove the monkey to the side, dig a pit and take some petrol and cremate the animal. We stayed for about half an hour. By then it was almost burnt completely. Then we gave money to some farmer there to immerse the ashes in the river.

About six months later my father died. I realized that it was auspicious to do the last rites for the monkey before doing the last rites for my father on March 23rd 1971. On 22nd March, the day before, Sri Swamiji gave Darshan to my father. He visited my father’s house, my house, and my Uncle Bhagwat’s house that were on the same street; He knew that my father would be passing the next day.

Previously on the January, 7th He was in Vijayawada and He performed Sahasraha Ganapathi Homa in Patamata Venkateshwara Temple. We then moved to Bommeparthi where Badracharam Ramdas who has written many songs on Rama, stayed. At the Temple, He was welcomed with great honors and for the first time He tied a small lemon cloth, Shikhavastra, on His head.  He started then to use Shikhavastra for some occasions. From here He went to Anantapur, to Kanyateertha, where He had spent a lot of time in His younger days. In Bommeparthi He wanted a Samadhi for Jayalakshmimata, who was cremated there. I participated in all these projects and tours, and now, that place is called Jayalakshmipuran.

On the way to Anantapur they had to visit some distant relative, and a devotee, Ashwottama. Nearing Anantapur, He told the driver to go fast, as a child was admitted to the hospital, and on the way, the car touched a goat and but the goat did not die. In the meantime, the family was chanting Vishnu Bhagwatam, and as per the story; Vishnu was about to appear, and at the same time, Sri Swamiji appeared in the house and told the family not to worry that He had blessed the child to recover! What a happy moment for them–Guru Krupa!

In 1974, I went to Bommeparthi for the Kumbha Abhishekam of the Ganapathi, Shiva, and Lakshmi Narayana Temples and stayed there with a group of other priests for eight days. After the Shiva consecration, Swamiji stood behind the Lingam and gave Darshan and we experienced Him as Markandeya. After Mata Jayalakshmimata passed away, Sri Appaji said, I am doing for my father, who will do for my mother? So in April, 1972, on Chaitra Purnami, He performed Aradhana for Jayalakshmimata.

He was doing bhajans, and I thought, “Vishnu padas are there, but they are already cleaned for next day’s pooja.” I had my father’s pindas in one hand, and my mother’s pindas in another and I asked Him to show His Feet. I took the pindas to Him and asked Him to come to one side. I offered them to His Feet and He did not refuse, and afterwards I put them under the Audumbara Tree so that any bird could eat.

In Prayaag, in 1972, when Sri Swamiji arrived there for a visit, a boatman, similar to Guha of the Ramayana, thought, “Sri Rama has come,” and lifted Sri Swamiji and danced in ecstasy. Along with us there were two boys, Srinivas and Vasu. They always carried empty ‘Coca-Cola’ bottles with them, and when the boys were bathing His Feet and the water was flowing from them, He told the boys, “Collect this water, this is Rama Teertham.”

In Kedarnath, Swamiji contracted severe fever. About thirty people had accompanied Him, and several of them had fever, and He did not want them to suffer, so He took that fever on Himself.  I was carrying a lot of Saligrama, and so I prayed to them with mantras, and offered ice to them, as part of the pooja, and the next morning, Sri Swamiji was alright. Though it was a new place, while going in the car, He suddenly said, “I want to walk a little,” and after awhile He entered a cave. Afterwards He related to us what was in there. He said there was a huge rock, a huge tree, and the moon, giving enlightenment. “Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya, Tamaso ma Jyothirgamaya,” from darkness to light. He must have perceived something.

In 1980, my daughter was married and Swamiji blessed her marriage. Since 1970, I have not missed any Shivaratri. In 1970 Sri Swamiji performed Shivaratri elsewhere and I had to perform Shiva pooja on His advice, in Mysore, later during His absence, I was given that seva. On several occasions, during the last ten years, I made a mixture of kesari, saffron and special camphor with sandal paste, and brought it to Him and He will immediately puts His hands and paste them with it. In Bangalore I had the opportunity to paste it on His Feet, and then He comes out even when He is busy, and He does not get angry. The new boys may get angry but not Him.

Daily I perform puja to Spatika Surya. Sri Swamiji gave me this stone to wear, when I came back from the Nepal tour, and I don’t remove it. For Shivaratri 1992, He gave me this Lingam and a lot of other items over the years. Some people are blessed with vibhuti, some with lingams, and others with Rudrakashas or other items.  Once He said, “Don’t feel that you are not blessed if you don’t receive anything, it means that you are safe.  These people have problems and I have to protect them.”

In April 1972, Sri Swamiji went to Delhi and Nepal. In Nepal there is a rare combination of saligrama, at the rivers, Kali and Gandaki. He asked me to do His usual daily pooja and Abhishekam to all deities in River Gandaki. There was a temple on a small hill nearby, and the priest was over one hundred and thirty-eight years old. We told him that Sri Swamiji has come from Mysore and He wants some saligrama. Then Sri Swamiji asked him to get some saligrama. He went in to the temple and brought a basketful, and he offered it to Sri Swamiji.

On the way down the hill, Sri Swamiji started to put the saligrama, one by one in the river Gandaki. I said to Him, “They are holy. You should not do like this. You should take to Ashram in Mysore and give to devotees there.” He stopped immediately and had them brought back to Mysore and gave to devotees.  Such opportunities I had in my life!

He stayed in Katmandu, with Kishendraj Sharma, the secretary of the King of Nepal of those days. He was more than eighty years old with a huge family, including his mother who was still alive. They all were staying with him also. More than fifty members of the family were there. They were worshipping saligrama for generations. They kept a Sudarshan saligrama on Swamiji’s forehead and requested Him to keep this saligrama and do milk abhishekam and pooja Himself, for the protection of their family. Then He said, “Sri Guru Paduka Murtini- the holy water from the Guru’s Feet is the teertham….Future generations should consider Guru as the final end. Adopt His teachings; think of Guru always, and take the water from His Holy Feet as teertham. All present problems will be solved, and finally moksha will be attained, no rebirth.”

 In the 1980’s, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha, Sri Vishalakshi, Sri Ganapathi and Sri Visweshwara murtis were brought to the Mysore Ashrama. These shrines have remained as they were originally. The priest who brought Lakshmi Narasimha Swami from Vaksatalli, and installed it here was called Lakshmi Narasimha Shastry. He was advised that there should be no obstruction, nor objection from any side. Sri Swamiji wanted the murti to be installed the very next morning. To install or remove a murti is not simple. There are certain rituals which must be performed. So in that short time it would have been very difficult. Then He poured water from a silver pot, and said, “Go ahead, it’s over.”  He meant all those rituals were now finished, so He started digging out those murtis, and brought it to Mysore on time.

Sometime between 1969 and 1970, the Sachchidanandeshwara Lingam was brought from Ratnapuri. Sri Swamiji’s maternal grandmother, Savitramma, had a dream that a Shiva lingam was there and Sri Swamiji also had a dream that Shiva wanted to come to the Mysore Ashram. So a team went to Ratnapuri and tried to excavate to find the Shiva Lingam. Sri Swamiji Himself had to lift it out.

In our house we normally performed consecration ceremonies for Aditis. I was in the pooja room, when Sri Swamiji came and sat near the door. I wanted to offer aarthi to Him but there was only one stick of matches. I was extremely happy for this function as I had performed these same rituals in my father’s house many times.  But I could not express my happiness by doing aarthi to Him. I started to laugh and Sri Swamiji asked, “Why are you laughing?”  I was thinking that this was a rich household, a huge house, but only one matchstick.  If I misuse it, the camphor won’t burn, so this is like life.

The stick is brief like life. You must light and use it before the flame burns out. It means that there must be a turning point in life, just like a matchstick. If the match lights the camphor, fine, but if it does not, it becomes useless. Silently I understood from Him; that you must be useful to the world. If you are not useful, you are useless. The Audumbara tree is useful, but the fruit is not, because there is no life in the fruit. Some people are born and they die without being useful to anybody. So Swamiji was teaching Vedanta through the matchstick.

During the consecration ceremonies in Bommeparthi, there were floods. Where it is usually so dry, there was heavy rain. Our car was swerving to one side, so a boatman took the four passengers across, but some people could not cross the road, so they were forced to go back to Bangalore and their normal duties. Life is a river, one side is birth, one side is death, and you should be able to cross it with Guru’s Grace, or the deity’s Grace.  Cross safely, and have faith, be sincere and be conscious of your soul; your True Self!                                                                                                   Jaya Guru Datta!

87-Appaji

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