N S Subramaniam Bhagwat, Bangalore: “I am your mother and your father, don’t worry about anything.”
N S Subramaniam Bhagwat, Bangalore
“I am your mother and your father, don’t worry about anything.”
In 1967 I was doing my first year degree in college and I received a post card in the mail from my uncle S K Ananta Padmanabha Bhagwat. He invited me to come to his house to meet his Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. My uncle was a devotee at that time and later on he was appointed as an executive trustee of the Mysore Ashram by Sri Swamiji. I felt honored to have been the only one he invited among my eight brothers.
My uncle has been like a father to us since my father passed away in 1964. For this reason I felt compelled to make the visit. I went to his house and there were about eight persons there so I sat in the back of the room observing. Sri Swamiji completed the Pada Puja then went to the kitchen to have Bhiksha. This was my first time seeing this Swamiji and I was very nervous. After He finished His meal, He called me and gave me some of the food He left back as prasadam and told me to eat it. I ate it and He said to me, “Keep coming to the Ashrama.” I left thinking that I will visit the Mysore Ashrama for my uncle is there.
I attended all the major functions in the Mysore Ashrama. I met my uncle there and joined him in doing various seva activities. Sometimes I worked at the pooja counter or would serve food. In 1968 my mother passed away. During these times when Sri Swamiji saw me He would enquire about my welfare and one day He told me, “I am your mother and your father, don’t worry about anything.” I spent twelve years in His divine presence, visiting the Mysore Ashrama and serving.
In 1979 I spoke to Sri Swamiji for the first time. I told Him that I wanted to get married. He told me to get married to a Mysore girl. I got a few proposals from some girls in Bangalore but I did not like them. Then I got a proposal from a Mysore girl, I thought of what Sri Swamiji had said and I accepted that proposal. I went to Him and told Him, “Swamiji, I got a Mysore girl.” He blessed my marriage and today my wife is very devoted to Him.
After marriage I went to live in Bangalore in an area which was quite far from the present Bangalore Ashram. Sri Swamiji told me to look for a house close to the proposed site for the Bangalore Ashram. In 1984 my father in law had a vacant plot of land located close to the temple but it was occupied by a squatter. I went and told the squatter to vacate the property for it was not his and he was there illegally. He gave me a hard time and said that he will not move. I told Sri Swamiji about this man and He told me to go and ask him to vacate in one years’ time for the Shivaratri Festival. I went back to the man and asked him if he can move in one year time. He agreed to vacate the property very politely without any fuss. I was surprised.
As instructed by Sri Swamiji I did not bother the man again, and one year later on the day after Shivaratri, the squatter vacated the property. I told Sri Swamiji about this and He just laughed. I wanted to construct a house but the land belonged to my father in law and I did not want to ask him for the land for it was not in our custom to ask for anything free from our in laws. Three months passed, then one day my father in law told me, “Why don’t you construct a house on the land, it is just sitting there vacant.” I was happy to hear this, I immediately told Sri Swamiji and He told me to go ahead and construct my house but have it done before the consecration of the Datta Temple in the Bangalore Ashram.
I constructed my house and moved in June 21st, a few months before the inauguration of the Datta Temple of the Bangalore Ashrama. When I look back at the past twenty years of my life, I see how Sri Swamiji had prepared me. He had me serve in the Mysore Ashrama to help my spiritual growth and He gave me the material comfort of owing a house. He knows when my mind is stable and only then can I serve Him wholeheartedly. I began serving in the Bangalore Ashrama and later became a trustee of the Ashrama.
On November 5th 1987 the Bangalore Ashrama was inaugurated. Sri Swamiji came for the function and it was celebrated in a grand way. Many devotees from all over India and other countries attended the function. At the end of the day Sri Swamiji told me that He will visit my home on the next day. I was not prepared financially for this visit; all I had was two hundred rupees in my pocket. I told my uncle who was present at the function. He told me, “Sri Swamiji told you that He is coming, so don’t worry about it.”
The next day as He entered my house, He said, “This is my house, I have come.” He spent half of an hour, walking around and looking at everything. Before leaving He said to me, “I want one thing from you.” I immediately replied, “What, Swamiji?” He said to me, “I want you to hold my feet and promise me that you will serve me for the rest of your life.” I held His feet and said, “This is what I was born for Swamiji.” This was the day I will never forget, when by my good karma prevailed and my Guru asked me to serve Him. I felt honored to be His servant.
On April 17th 1989 I left for a business trip to Delhi by train. During the journey, close to the town of Jhansi, I heard a loud blast; dust was everywhere and I could see nothing outside. A postman and his family and I were in a first class compartment. The compartment rocked like a cradle, tilted to one side and stopped. When the dust cleared I saw that my compartment was on the side of the track and the compartments that were behind me had fallen into the ditch below a bridge.
In my bewilderment, the postman asked me, “Sir, who is that Swamiji you were calling for.” I was not aware that I was shouting for Sri Swamiji. I told the postman that Swamiji is my Guru, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. We managed to get out of the compartment and got water from the other carriages ahead of us and we tried to help the wounded. About two hundred and fifty people had died. The Medical Aid came and took the remaining passengers to Jhansi. Miraculously I did not have any injuries.
I used a phone at the railway station and called my uncle in Mysore and told him to inform Sri Swamiji of what had happened. I caught another train to Delhi, completed my business assignment and returned to Bangalore. The next Sunday I went to Mysore and as soon as Sri Swamiji saw me, He said, “Have you come back, I knew that nothing will happen to you.” I replied, “Only you’re Krupa, Swamiji.” He then said, “I knew that something will happen to you but I am always there to protect you.” He assured me then, that He will always be with me, and He is.
In 1995 a devotee from the Bangalore Ashram, Mr. C S Narasimham asked me to go and meet Sri Swamiji at the Bangalore Airport and accompany Him to his house for an inauguration function. I went to the airport and I had to wait as His flight from Delhi was delayed for one hour. I sat there in the airport thinking if only I had a nice car, I could take advantage of this opportunity and have Him ride in my car. I had a very old car, and would not even entertain the thought of putting Sri Swamiji in it. His plane came and He was taken to the Bangalore Ashram by His driver.
I followed Him to the ashram and waited for Him to freshen up to go to Mr. Narasimham house. While waiting, a devotee from Hyderabad Ashram, Mr. Narayan Rao came and told me, “Sri Swamiji said that He will ride in your car to go to His house visit.” I immediately told him, “You are joking, right! Sri Swamiji will not ride in my car, it is old and dirty.” Mr. Rao insisted, “Sri Swamiji has asked me to tell you this, please oblige.” I then asked him, “Maybe you got the wrong person.” He said convincingly, “Sri Swamiji said, tell Bhagwat I want to go in his car!”
I left immediately and went to my car and began cleaning it. Sri Swamiji came in my car, I drove, He sat next to me and I dropped Him off at Mr. Narasimham house. For the rest of the day I was in awe as to what had happened. How come He knew of my desire? Somehow He knew, and in this same way He knows of all my thoughts. I tried to think positive good things from then on.
Sri Swamiji is very affectionate and gives me the love of a mother and father. He is by my side and I have nothing to fear. Moksha is within each of us. The Guru comes and steers us on the appropriate path to re-discover that Moksha. My path is through Seva and I have full faith in Him that He knows what is best for me. Jaya Guru Datta
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