Makam Ramanjaneyulu, Produttur and M Supriya, Mysore
“Whosoever experiences the sweetness of the Guru – Shishya relationship, can never leave.”
My family first met Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji in Allagadda, a small town near Proddatur, in January, 1980, when I was just three years old. At that time, my father was an atheist, but that meeting changed his life forever. He had gone to see Sri Somasundar Sharma who, incidentally, was an ex-schoolteacher of Sri Swamiji poorva-ashrama. Later, Sharmaji became an ardent disciple of Sri Swamiji. My sister’s and my horoscopes were made by another astrologer but when my brother was born in November, 1979, that astrologer was no more. After careful searching and consideration, my father went to Sri Somasundar Sharma to draw up the horoscope.
During their informal conversation, Sharmaji told him that his Guru was coming to Allagadda soon and asked him, “Why don’t you come and see Him?” However, my father was not at all interested. He did not care for puja and God; my mother could not even perform puja until after she served him. He used to say, “Serve my breakfast then go and do your puja as much as you want.” He told Sharmaji, “I’m not into all this, but I will give you any financial support that you may need. Just tell me how much you want, but don’t ask me to come there; I am not at all interested.”
However, on the day of Sri Swamiji’s arrival, my father was not busy and as he has no other work, he went in a jeep to Allagadda. There, some of Sri Swamiji’s assistants were searching for a jeep to take them up into the mountain regions to a Narasimha Temple. They were specifically looking for a jeep because the journey will be with less shaking in uneven roads to the mountain for some load was to be put in the back.. Jeeps were few and scarce as many of them were being used for election campaigning. When my father came, they asked him if he would allow them to use his jeep for some service. He said, “No! I am not that person; I simply came to see some Swamiji.”
They said, “Oh! We serve that same Swamiji.” Hearing this, He said, “Alright, I will give the jeep only if your Swamiji is ready to sit beside me, because I am not going to sit in the back.” Sri Swamiji agreed to sit there, because He bares all the mistakes people do in ignorance. They started up the trail, but further up they had to walk on the footpath holding sticks in their hands to climb the mountainside.
My father had absolutely no concept about God or Guru. Sometime later, they came to a pool of water in between rocks in their pathway and since Sri Swamiji’s footwear was made of fur that looked like deerskin, He left them on one side and crossed the pool. My father, without being asked, picked up the padukas and carried them to Sri Swamiji, on the other side. His Holiness calmly looked into his eyes, smiled at him and then wore the padukas. When they reached the hilltop where the Narasimha Temple was, He gave my father Mantra upadesam and of course, he accepted without knowing anything about this. Then, Sri Swamiji asked him to come the next day also and he said, “Okay! Fine, I will come” as he had liked the demeanor of Sri Swamiji.
Next day, they went to another temple, on the mountains, and on the way back to Proddatur, they sat next to each other in the jeep. During the journey, Sri Swamiji told many things about Proddatur to my father; things’ that he did not know, though he had been brought up there. When they arrived at Sri Satyanarayana Swamy temple, my Dad had nothing to do. He was a chain smoker, so casually he stood outside and started smoking. Suddenly, someone came and said, “Sri Swamiji is calling you.” A ‘Board of Trustees’ meeting was going on and Sri Swamiji told him, “From today onwards, you will be taking care of the whole Ashram.” Without thinking, my father said, “Yes! I will do it.” Then Sri Swamiji invited him for the Shivaratri Celebrations in Mysore and he agreed to go.
That Shivaratri of 1980, he took all of us with him to Mysore and since then all of us were attending main functions at Mysore ashrama. Although he knew nothing, he started to learn how to behave with Sri Swamiji. During that period he was doing arrack contracts in Kadapa district, so he arranged for Sri Swamiji’s program in Kadapa for about five days in 1984, then in Proddatur and followed Sri Swamiji to Bommeparthi. There Appaji gave those same padukas which my father carried to Him during his first meeting. After fourteen days we left the tour and on our way back via Anantapur, we stopped at friend’s shop for a while. However, for all those days he did not smoke, so he sent a boy to purchase a pack of cigarettes for him. A friend then suggested that he stop smoking since he didn’t do it for the past fourteen days. He said, “Okay”, and since then he has never smoked again.
I had been coming to the Ashrama since 1980. I did not know devotion or puja well, but I used to like to be with Sri Swamiji as He used to play with us, give us chocolates, watches, pens and whatsoever. My parents used to be very strict with us in learning and reciting Sri Swamiji astotharam, Sri Lalitha Sahasrara namavali, and many other stotra and ashtotras. Then we gradually, started having devotion towards Him and doing whatever He said at any cost. In the tour mentioned above, After Kadapa, when we reached Proddatur, devotees were chanting Lalitha Sahasrara namavali in respect to welcome Sri Swamiji. I was running to play and my father grabbed me and made me sit very close to Sri Appaji and gave me book to chant along with the others. I knew I had no other choice and started chanting, Sri Appaji was looking at me with so much compassion in His eyes.
After the welcoming address, in Sri Appaji’s room, He held me very closely and said ‘ I will give you whatever you ask’. This went on for almost fifteen minutes. I was afraid and confused as I didn’t want anything. Kusumakka and my mother insisted that I ask for something, but I repeatedly said ‘I don’t want anything’. As I grew up, I learnt to say “Whatever He wishes should come true.” Of course in exam fear, I used to pray that I should pass, but never wished for anything seriously. I remembered when I was eleven years old, Sri Swamiji asked my parents to leave the children at ashrama for summer holidays and my dad left me with Kusumakka. I was scared of Sri Swamiji. Only if He spoke directly to me, I would nod my head, signaling yes or no. There was no speech.
During my eleventh and twelfth year summer holidays at ashrama, I enjoyed reading Sri Datta Darshanam book in three days. I loved playing and I was very naughty girl at school too; I used to score first or second rank and I was a pet to many of my teachers too. However, in my thirteenth year, all of a sudden I became very silent, with a lot of devotion to Sri Swamiji with no tint of naughtiness. During those summer holidays there was less play and I spent more time in the Guru Nilayam. Sri Swamiji’s order to me was that I should do namaskaram to Him day and night.
In the morning time, I got to see Him, but at night I used to wait for His call to do namaskaram. He used to call me every day. I would do namaskaram and go off. Then one day He asked me to sit down so I sat at His Lotus Feet. Very casually, He asked me, “How is your school?” However, no matter whatever He asked, I just nodded. After about ten minutes I felt in my heart as though He was asking me to leave. ‘I answered, in my heart itself, “No, I will stay for some more time.” Then it happened again and I did not respond. Finally, He opened His mouth and said, “Enough, you go.” I did my namaskaram and left.
The next day He was complaining to Kusumakka, that I did not leave until He told me to do so the third time. Kusumakka told me that I was not supposed to do like that; whenever He says something, I had to do it immediately. I nodded my head but was thinking ‘why this complaint, I left as soon as He asked me to leave’ as I didn’t realize He said it in heart too. However, I kept quiet thinking I made some mistake as I used to think very strongly that He will never lie. As I grew up, I understood that Sri Swamiji speaks heart to heart.
In 1989, when I was thirteen years old in my eighth class, Sri Swamiji came for the Datta installation in some other temple at Proddatur. He told me that whenever I do something wrong He will not talk to me and said that I should punish myself. I asked Him innocently, “What am I supposed to do to punish myself, Appaji?” Instantly, He replied, “skip meal or don’t sleep”. I decided the best way to do that was by not eating food, because I cannot control my sleep and may sleep even sitting also. He also ordered me that whatever He tells me I should not tell anyone, not even family members.
After a few years, only after reading ‘Follow the Master’ did I understood why He trained me like this; fasting to punish myself, no sleep, etc. When the mind is going astray, the body should be punished to keep it in check, like two bullocks yoked to each other. Even the uncontrolled bullock comes into line. If I punish my body, mind also gets weaker, so I can control it.
Soon afterwards, my father was accompanying Him to Ahmedabad and I asked him to take me along. After reaching there, I felt I was supposed to take only cold water bath so I started to do so and followed the same for many years very sincerely. That day when I went to see Sri Swamiji, casually I was talking and smiling, but I did not offer my namaskaram. Later that day when He did not speak to me, I understood that I had done something wrong. I skipped the afternoon meal and after bhajans He spoke to me. I learnt that we only offer namaskaram to ourselves. He does not get anything from it. It serves a purpose to teach us discipline and how to be with the Guru.
During my stay at the Ashrama the next summer holidays, Sri Swamiji ordered me to keep standing at a particular place and also said if anyone scolds me, just give them a smile. In front of Kusumakka and many others, He used to make fun of me for standing there constantly. When I didn’t move, He used to appreciate me especially when I was alone. Likewise He taught me how to obey Him regardless what others say. I was also ordered not to speak to anyone unless it is necessary. When my sister and other friends are talking, as soon as I open my mouth to say something, Sri Appaji used to appear in front of me signalling me not to speak. So I used to shut my mouth and tell them that I forgot what I was about to say. They all used to say that I was crazy and keep me aside.
In 1991, during the Acharapakkam Datta Pratishta, Sri Appaji asked me how I choose to be with Him; as a devotee or a daughter. I did not know what the differences between the two were so I did not want to take the chance of choosing the wrong one. I insisted that He explain what the differences were so I can make a calculative choice. He said, “Daughters come for worldly boons and go, but a devotee gets closer and closer mentally, not physically, and stays in Sri Swamiji’s heart. I told Him that I choose to be a devotee. He said, “For that Sri Swamiji will test you, He will test you so hard, it will hurt as though chili powder is poured into an open wound.”
Without fear, I replied innocently, “Appaji, if you test, You will make me win for sure.” He smilingly agreed and told me that it was a secret and I should not tell anyone. That evening, while sitting in the Hall, Sri Appaji was in casual conversation with my sister, my friend, my aunt and me. Intuitively, He said, “See, Supriya has decided to be Sri Appaji’s devotee.” I was shocked; I didn’t understand why He said it out when He earlier said that it was a secret. He immediately turned to me and scolded that it’s not secret.
Years later, I realized that it was a rule for me; I should maintain my secrecy, however, there was no rule for Him. My sister told my mother that I chose so. My mother got very scared of Sri Appaji testing me and she used to tell Him whenever she sees Him that Supriya is your daughter, not your devotee. I used to argue that I am not a daughter. Sri Appaji scolded me and said that I am His daughter and I should not repeat the argument again.
Later in 1991, I was at a residential college in Vijayawada. In an effort to succeed, for six months I tried learning the Lalitha Sahasranama by heart ignoring all the other prayers. When Sri Swamiji came to Vijayawada, He just looked at me and started scolding, saying that I was not doing all my prayers and that He was going to throw me out and asked me to understand that He was letting me to go close to Him only because I was doing my prayers regularly. However, although He scolded me, I did not feel anything, I was bending my head for other people’s sake. Afterwards, I sat during the Sree Chakra puja and started reading the Lalitha Sahasranama book.
By that time pooja was completed and He was giving teertham, He suggested that there should be a Lalitha Sahasranama chanting competition. He would give the prize to whoever chanted it without any mistake. He told me to see Him at four o’clock. Until then, I chanted continuously and I learnt it by heart though not very perfect. I was surprised to get whole namavali by heart in few hours though I struggled to learn for six months with no result. When I went to see Him, He said that I should chant only by moving my lips.
I used to be with Kusumakka in the kitchen and she used to give me small works like getting something, calling someone, etc., but on that day she did not give me any work to do; I was just standing outside the kitchen. People started lining up to have darshan of Sri Swamiji at the interview room. They all could see me from a distance and many were giving weird looks at me as I was moving only my lips and standing there continuously for long time, but I did not care because Sri Appaji had told me to do this.
Later in night, He smilingly said, “Okay, now chant it in your heart. Do it ten times a day, every day.” Then He asked, “How many times per day are you doing Sri Swamiji’s Ashttotara?” I got scared that He might scold me again and told Him, “Only once.” He said, “Fine.” I used to finish ten times chanting every day and started skipping my meal if Appaji did not come into my dreams. He used to come regularly and when He does not come, I would skip my meal and He would appear. During my next visit to Sri Appaji, He asked that I should not insist for Him to come into my dreams as it is troubling Him. I never said Him anything, but He knows everything. He ordered me not to ask Him any questions, but just listen what He says.
In 1993, In the Karnataka entrance exams. My father was very sure that I will get a medical seat in AP too and joined me for long term coaching in Guntur. During my stay there, I developed a habit for hot water bath thinking taking cold water bath was just my thought and Sri Appaji has nothing to do with it. The next time I went to Mysore, He slapped me and said, “hot water gives a burning sensation, like this.”
My sister and my friend did not understand what it was all about. I realized that cold water bath was Sri Swamiji’s order and I followed it again. In some situations, sometimes I didn’t follow thoughts that come to my mind. Then He scolded me in person saying, “Are you deaf? Can’t you listen to what I am saying?” It was little confusing to differentiate which was my thought and which was His saying, but I got used to understanding Him. That is how He taught me ‘heart to heart’
In 1994, I got admission in JJM Medical College in Davangere, Karnataka. Sri Appaji told me before I wrote my exam, that He will make me study in Karnataka, and that too in Davangere only, as my sister was already studying in the Dental College there, but not in AP. Since then I started visiting the ashrama every month during the weekend, for His darshan. Sometimes He used to tell me to stay back on Monday too. I used to stay, but with a fear of missing particular classes. When I go back on Tuesday I would realize, that the classes I didn’t want to miss were not done at all.
Since then no fear, I just stay back as per His order. Many people thought that I was from Mysore, because I was going there every month. They used to give me weird looks when I talk about the ashrama. Sri Appaji made me strong saying not to feel low, instead tell them ‘this is my first home.’ Incidentally, my exams and Sri Appaji’s long trip used to coincide as if someone had set them like that.
In 1996, when Sri Appaji’s ‘Katha Sagara’ was airing on Gemini TV, the ashrama children used to write letters to the station to continue airing the program. I wrote about four letters telling them to continue ‘our Swamiji’s program’, my Guruji’s program. Sri Appaji called me and asked if I had written any letters; I told Him that I had written to the TV station asking them to continue ‘our Swamiji’s program’. I was scared to tell Him that I used the term ‘my Guruji’s program’. He asked me again and again and finally I blurted out that I used the term ‘my Guruji’s program’. He calmly said, “You were correct,” then I understood. After five years, He accepted me as a devotee.
After being accepted as a devotee, He used to teach me how to: change my personality, accept my ability to do things, erase my inferior complexes and do my work properly. He gave me strength to talk to anyone, as I had almost forgotten how to interact with people properly; for years, as per Appaji’s order, I didn’t speak very much. As I was not the one to listen to His sweet words; He used to scold me one month saying that I have jealousy, another month that I am greedy and always with some excuse like that. Every time I will leave the ashrama crying and deciding that I would not come back again. However, once I got to the hostel, I will be checking the calendar for dates that will be proper for my next visit.
After about six months, I wasn’t getting along with my friends and I felt Sri Appaji in my heart telling me to come to the Ashrama. I immediately booked a ticket and left. His first question to me was “Why did you come?” My ego didn’t allow me to admit that I came as I felt you said so. I replied “Just like that”. He asked me the same question many times that day, whenever He saw me. Finally I asked “Why shouldn’t I come?” Then He asked me to stay back for Monday too and didn’t talk to me that whole Sunday. I skipped my mea, cried and complained in front of His photo, “Appaji changed. I don’t want this Appaji, I want previous Appaji.”
All this happened because of the frustration I got by Him scolding for one thing or another, every month. Next day Sri Appaji called me and I told Him that I don’t want to come to the Ashrama anymore; before it used to be enjoyable, but now it is too sad for me. He replied, “Whosoever experiences the sweetness of the Guru – Shishya relationship, can never leave.” I replied harshly, “Appaji you are playing with me, knowing that I can’t leave you.” Immediately I got very scared. He kept quiet for a while and started speaking very sweetly, in my colloquial accent, which I had spoken to His photo just the night before, but He replaced the word ‘Appaji’ with ‘Supriya’. I apologized for my mistake and beg His forgiveness.
In those days He made me more confident that He knows all what we think. Once, I was frustrated from searching for bus tickets every month, so I thought it will be good if I have a car. During the next visit, as soon as Sri Appaji saw me, He didn’t ask me, how was I? Instead He asked me ‘How did you come?’ By then with no much fear, I answered casually “How will I come, by the bus, of course.” He replied “No, I thought maybe you had come by car.” Sometimes I used to feel very embarrassed when He says out my thoughts. After a few months, things became easy for me; my mind became flexible to accept whatever He says. My personality changed, even my friends could make out the differences. I realized that no one can change so much without Guru’s guidance and support, in every move of their life.
After my M.B. B. S, I felt like going to London for PLAB and asked for Sri Appaji’s permission. He immediately accepted saying “Oh! You want to go to London! Go”. I collected all the material needed and readied myself, but I didn’t feel like going, thinking that I cannot stay away from Him that long. He didn’t even enquire about it from me again. I think He didn’t want me to go at all. After I dropped idea of London, one month, He told me to do my post-graduation. I agreed. Then the next month, He would say NO! This happened alternatively for six months. He prepared me to accept anything He says. By then my internship was over, and Appaji said, “If you do your PG, you will go away from me, instead go work in some hospital”.
I went to government hospital, but I did not like the treatment given to the patients there. There were long lines with no proper checking-in procedures of the patients, if there were fever symptoms, there would be general treatment with paracetamol tablets. While being there, I heard about a doctor whose name was familiar to me. I enquired from my mother about her and found out that she was a relative to our family friends. Immediately I sent a message to her that I would like to work under her. She too accepted me very easily as she was looking for someone. With no remuneration, I worked for six months, day and night and learnt a lot there.
Each month I would take off for five days telling her, “I am going to the Mysore Ashram,” but she never showed any interest, instead she gave me weird looks; she was fully involved with her practice; obstetrics and gynecology. After the sixth month, I told her I had to go to Mysore University for my PG, but it was a lie; both of us knew that. Seeing her work, I understood how much respect people give to doctors and then realized why He didn’t want me to do PG. With proper PG, one can settle in society as a respectable doctor which makes the ego very strong; egoist can never get near to Sri Appaji’s heart, and this surely did not support my training with Him.
When I came to the Ashram, Sri Swamiji did not speak to me for the entire day; I did not know what I had done wrong so I skipped my lunch and dinner. Next day, He asked me, “Is there any need for you to come to the Ashram lying? Whenever a person lies, it is because he is scared of something, or he has the guilty feeling that he is doing something wrong. You don’t need to be scared, since you are doing that work for free. Another thing: maybe you might be feeling guilty about thinking that coming to the Ashrama is not acceptable.” I understood I should not feel low to say that I am going to ashram, even though anyone gives weird looks. I used to calmly say, “I am going to the Ashrama.” Only with His teaching I stopped feeling guilty about going to the Ashrama every month, and Sri Swamiji made me realize that and I corrected it.
In 2002, Sri Appaji said that I was like a child and It was time to learn the world. Somehow it happened that I don’t go to His kitchen anymore. First thing I learnt was that a large number of people who were talking to me before stopped. Then I understood that they were talking to me only because I was going to kitchen. It wasn’t a problem for me as He taught me that I should not to care about what others think. Instead, I decided that I should not make the same mistake talking and respecting people depending on their positions.
I was not used to sit for Sri Appaji’s programs for long hours and once, He scolded me saying that I was not sitting in the prayer programs for long. In my mind I accused Him saying, “You taught me everything since my childhood but you didn’t teach me this, it’s your fault”. I accused Him in anger because He scolded me. I went back to hostel in Hyderabad where I was preparing for PG to satisfy my father’s wishes, However, I was not seriously trying, because Sri Swamiji did not want me to do it.. I was even trying to sit and meditate, but I could not.
All the other girls were enjoying themselves in their free time, but I would go to the terrace. To my surprise, there was no one in our hostel terrace or on boy’s terrace, which is just beside ours. I sat far away from the stairs and suddenly, I saw Sri Swamiji sitting in front of me. He made me sit straight; I could feel His touch and I could make out His form. He said, “Close your eyes for some time,” My flow of thoughts were, “Suppose someone comes and sees me, there will be so much gossip!” He said, “Do it properly, because I am there to take care of you.”
After a few minutes, He said, “Get up, get up! Someone is coming.” I opened my eyes and I saw Him getting up and disappeared. I got up walked towards staircase and there I saw a girl climbing up on the second step. This made me understand that Appaji warned me when she thought of going onto terrace. From that time I could sit for long hours in His prayer programs. For many hours I used to sit in padmasana and after many years He said I got ‘Asana siddhi’.
For eight months of my stay at Hyderabad, I felt in my heart that I should live with three hundred rupees per month as pocket money. I used to tell my father that I have enough money and I used to take the rest of the money to go for Swamiji’s darshan every month. It made me understand the value of money. After few months, my father told me that He met Sri Appaji in Pithapuram and He asked me to come and see Him at Srikakulam.
All these months of living with little money made me frustrated and I shouted in front of Sri Appaji’s photo, that He does not know what pain I am going through. I went to Srikakulam; Sri Appaji looked at me and started scolding me in speech “How dare you say that I do not know the pain you are going through? I was brought up like that and I am bringing you up like that to learn.
Do not try to change others as bad things have more attracting power and you too will become bad (in that month, I tried to change a person saying good things) If Appaji wants to change them, they will become good. Do not make comment to anyone. If you are invited to a marriage, go, eat and get lost, but don’t let your tongue loose. If they listen to you, how painful it will be to them when they are spending so much money to get their daughter married (that month I went to my cousin’s marriage, as I didn’t like the arrangements I commented in front of my close aunt not to anyone else)”.
Later, Sri Swamiji was scheduled to visit Proddatur and my father asked me to stay because he was doing some renovations to the Guru Nilayam in the Ashram. When Sri Swamiji came He was so happy to see the improvements. He asked who was taking care of this work and I said that I was. He took me all over and showed me where renovations works should be done. I said, “Okay, Appaji, I will do it.” After my entrance exam I came to Proddatur.
In 2003, the money which I earned from working, I used for the renovations. My dad felt that I should not do so, because there were other committee members involved who should take up the responsibility, but I felt that since Sri Swamiji had asked me, I was going to do it. My father was totally against it but I did not listen to him. I went to the Ashram and asked the manager to bring a contractor who could do the work. After few months, a devotee brought fifteen thousand rupees from a donor who had had a heart attack, but who was saved by praying to Sri Swamiji. This helped a lot, because my money was running low.
When all the money was finished, still some work was left to be done. I came to the Ashrama for my monthly visit, but couldn’t tell Sri Appaji about money. He Himself brought up the renovation topic and accused me for not completing the project which made me angry and said I don’t have the money. He knows how to get the truth out of me. He gave me fifty thousand rupees which was just enough for me to complete the work. After the renovation, Sri Swamiji asked me not to be involved in this work anymore and let the Trustees take care of it. He said “Leave it, don’t think of it anymore.”
In 2004, there was no more work at Proddatur, so I started staying at Mysore ashrama for many days and was getting bored; there were no functions or programs and I could not go to the kitchen also. One day He called me and asked me what I intend to do in the future; what was my next plan, Post Graduate studies or taking up a job. I told Him that I did not have any mind to study anymore or work with M.B. B.S degree alone.
He asked me if I am ready to do whatever He says. I told Him, “Whatever you say Appaji, that what I will do.” He said, “Give me two days and I will tell you what to do.” After two days, He called me again. He said, “You should go away from me for some time.” I screamed, “What!” Since my childhood I never thought of going away from Him. Then He said, “I am scared that you would not listen to me, so promise on my Feet.” I said, “No, no. First tell me what I am supposed to do.” We argued about it, but finally I came and promised to do as He said. He said, “You have to go to Russia. I have plans for you to go to Russia, Australia or Trinidad. But I chose Russia. ” I questioned “Why should I learn Russian now?” Then He sent me to tie a Purna Phala coconut to Karya Siddhi Anjaneya. I never wished for anything even since my childhood, so I asked “What shall I wish for?” Appaji said, “Whatever He wishes should come true.” After two days , Sri Appaji asked me again “Are you ready to go?” I said, “Yes.”
Next Sunday, in the Prayer Hall, Sri Swamiji asked many devotees to come and speak in their language without saying one English word. Many people spoke and afterwards, He told me that no language is strange or difficult if you listen to it carefully. After going to the Ukraine, within a few months I picked up a working knowledge of Russian. Also He had told me, “I want you to learn how to live in a country with different language and culture. Struggle and learn but don’t forget you’re your Appaji is there for you always.
The very next day my father came to the Ashram and Sri Swamiji called him and asked him, “Will you send her, or shall I send her?” My father said that he would. Sri Swamiji suggested that we get a mediator to arrange a visa and make the other arrangements and my father agreed. However, my sister, my brother and I held no interest in going abroad. My father handed me a prospectus with application form saying that Appaji sent.
The next day my father who was the public relations officer of the Ashrama, remembered a person in Delhi, whom he met during his visit to Delhi just two months before. Someone told him that he had an office where he sends youths to study abroad and had given him his phone number. I rang that person and he recommended Odessa University in the Ukraine, same as the prospectus I had. After my acceptance, a few months later, one day Sri Appaji called me and warned me to accept whatever conditions were prevailing there. He told this to prepare me to avoid any disappointments. Luckily He did so, as the hostels were one hundred years old and in terrible shape. I was the only student from India who easily accepted those conditions. All the others who went along with me, when they saw the place, they screamed that they were not going to stay and want to book return tickets. After few days I realized that I had seen this hostel in my dreams.
However, everyone stayed, but the admission officer for PG’s, the Pro-Rector of the University was in India and the other staff refused to accept us. For ten days, every day we used to stand in front of the undergraduate dean’s office and after that we were asked to stand near the Pro – Rector’s office which we did. Then after coming in, I recognized the two doors which I had once seen in my dreams; they were two big white doors and on the inside to the right, I was working on some paperwork with a small lamp. This turned out to be the Post-graduate Dean’s Office, where I would finally get my Post Grad Certificate.
I was given accommodations on the sixth floor of a nine stories building and since it was completely dark in the corridors, I used to be scared. Sometimes I could see Lord Hanuman sitting in my window, facing outside, protecting me. A few times, in the night, besides the cupboard near the door, I saw Sri Swamiji, then I would feel comfortable and I will turn over and sleep. My roommate, Priyanka, saw Him a few times and mentioned it to me. She said that she was not scared by His presence and after seeing Him she was always relaxed and slept well too. One night I prayed to Him, “Please, don’t let us see you again, because that other girl was scared of ghosts and was very apprehensive.” From that day none of us saw Him again.
Those two years that I stayed at Odessa was good for me, but it was a struggle for everything. However, I never gave up, after a struggle; I used to get my things done very easily. That’s how, whatever Sri Appaji wanted me to learn, I learnt. I passed the course. After coming back, however, my certificate was not accepted by the Indian Government so I had some regrets about going away. Knowing that He planned it and looked after me throughout, I kept some negative feelings towards Him, but these did not last long. Then I realized that every move He made in my life, He had provided me an explanation. I regretted thinking like that and so I came to accept it. Later I came to know that studying at Odessa was my father’s plan and requested Sri Swamiji to convince me as he knows that I would not listen to him. Let the plan be anyone’s, when Sri Appaji accepts it, it was for my own good.
He always said, “The real miracle is bringing change to oneself and we should know how much our personality changed after coming to Sri Appaji.” Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji is my Guru who leads me spiritually. He trains me, He understands me. He knows my position and He can teach me in a way that will benefit me. He is my father and mother and I share with Him what I don’t share with my parents. He understands me and advises me in a way so that I can understand. Jai Guru Datta!