Sethu Raman, Kochin
He said “why are you weeping…I will stop Yama Dharmaraja. Don’t worry about it. I just want you to know, that is all. Kannan is my son”.
My father, Rama Swamy, was a very close devotee of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji from 1967. I have been closely associated with Sri Swamiji since 1982, after my mother was passed away. My parents used to visit Swamiji very regularly. From 1982 onwards we started attending all festivals, and wherever Sri Swamiji performed in India, I used to go. Through His grace, I have traveled to many places, in India, and have witnessed many Kumbha Abhishekam that Swamiji has performed.
If I want to cite my experiences with Swamiji, I have to say I have survived only because of Him. Sri Swamiji is not merely a spiritual mythologist. He is everything for us. He is the doctor, advocate, business man and everything. We consult Swamiji and get blessings for everything. Our existence, our survival is only because of Swamiji.
For instance, we have a shipping company that was set up as a joint business with four brothers of my father. From the very beginning we were doing the joint business. But in 1995 when we went for the Shivaratri festival in Mysore, Sri Swamiji had told us to disconnect the partnership from the brothers. My father who is so affectionate of his brothers could not think of a way to express this order from Sri Swamiji to his brothers. He was just postponing. When we went for His birthday celebrations, He has asked us whether we had taken any action. I told Swamiji that our father had not taken any actions yet, and that he was taking it casually. But when we went again in another few for the Navaratri festival, Sri Swamiji asked me again about partnership. I said my father had not done anything about it. Then Swamiji told my father directly “if you want to come for Datta Jayanti, to this ashram you should do that. If you take me as your Guru, you should follow my directions. When I told you to do certain things that is for your benefit only.”
Sri Swamiji was very close to my father, and He knows about my father’s weakness. He told my father that there will be problems with his elder brother in the future as he was in a financial crisis. There may be issues later on if not acted upon at that moment. Immediately after listening to this from Sri Swamiji, within 48 hours we paid required compensation to my uncles and dissolved the partnership. To our astonishment, within a week after getting out of partnership, creditors started seizing my uncle’s properties. We would have lost everything if Sri Swamiji had not given us the hints and advised us to come out of partnership. He really saved us. We now have the properties and business because of His grace only; otherwise we would have ended up on the streets. We certainly had some taxation and license issues for about a year, as Swamiji had already warned us. But everything was resolved by His grace. This is one of old companies with a great reputation since 1941.
My son Kannan used to go to Mysore ashrama with my father from the age of three. During school vacations he used to travel with Swamiji to Andhra and other areas. When Kannan was in college he once went to Machilipatnam with Sri Swamiji and His troupe. This Ashrama is near the sea shore. One evening Sri Swamiji and Kannan were waking on the sea shore when He suddenly stopped and told Kannan that he will not be living past age twenty-four, but don’t worry as He was there to protect him as His Guru. Kannan was in total shock, Sri Swamiji also told him to inform his parents. Kannan came back from the trip and told us, we were terribly shocked.
Within a month we went to Mysore for Shivaratri. We took an electronic type writer and offered to Sri Swamiji. Those days all interviews used to take place in the Datta Temple. Sri Swamiji started typing on the electronic type writer and wrote “with compliments from Rama Swamy and Family”. Then He asked my son Kannan whether he told us about what was going to happen at age twenty-four. Then I started crying and He said “why are you weeping…I will stop Yama Dharmaraja. Don’t worry about it. I just want you to know, that is all. Kannan is my son”.
After Kannan finished his ten plus two, he joined the college in Bangalore for computer science studies. He was first staying in a hostel. Swamiji told him to stay in the Girinagar Bangalore ashrama instead. Kannan vacated the hostel within a week and moved to Girinagar ashrama. Swamiji arranged and provided everything for Kannan in ashrama. He was given a scooter for transportation, a cook to prepare the meals etc. Sometimes he used to do abhishekam to Lord Datta during the Shivaratri festival. He actively participated in all ashrama activities. When he turned twenty-four, he got jaundice three times, within the year. Dr. Venkatesha, brother of Radhanna (now Swami Manasa Datta), admitted him in the hospital. Sri Swamiji was on His way to Madras for some audio recording. At that time there was no recording studio in Mysore. He had to travel to Madras if He had to do any recordings.
Swamiji visited Kannan in the hospital and blessed him. We were told by several astrologers that my son Kannan had a very bad period during this age. If he could cross that then he will have a good life, but overcoming that period would be very difficult. But by the grace of our Sadguru, Sri Swamiji, Kannan survived, finished his education, and is happily married now with two children. Still he travels with Sri Swamiji, sometimes abroad also.
He got a job in Singapore but Sri Swamiji asked him to stay in Kochin and support the family. He initially partnered with another Asian and started a computer franchise. However they could not work well together as the partner was giving trouble. When Sri Swamiji was in Tirupati, Kannan asked Him about the situation in the company. He advised Kannan to either dissolve the partnership by taking up the company individually or just come out of the business and take up a another job in India. Kannan paid compensation to the Asian partner and took the company independently. It is now flourishing.
My second son, Srikanth, is also an ardent devotee of Sri Swamiji. He is also married and has two children. Their family currently lives in Bangalore as per Sri Swamiji’s instructions as his children used to get sick all the time when they were staying in Kochin. At that time Swamiji has ordered them to move to Bangalore and since then children are healthy and happy. Whenever a Guru commands, a true devotee should just act without a second thought.
Swamiji gave us two cottages in Mysore Ashrama. From 1980 onwards we have a cottage in Rama Shankar Kutira. During our first visit we stayed in a hotel. Sri Swamiji asked where we were staying and we replied, in a hotel. Then He said, “Whenever you come to Mysore ashrama, you should only stay in the ashrama, regardless of the comforts or facilities.” Sometimes, we used to stay on the veranda and take bath in the open place. Swamiji put us to several tests, however, after one year He gave us the cottages to stay in.
In 1981 He started His visits to Kerala, and each year He comes He would stay at our house for some time and then at another devotee’s house. He has installed a Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple here, which has become very popular in Kerala. So many people, from all over Kerala come and visit this temple. A lot of miracles of Hanuman are experienced by devotees.
We have weekly satsangha in the Kerala ashrama. I used to believe that my voice wasn’t good enough to sing Bhajans, but He said “You try and you will get it”. Since then I have started singing His bhajans. In olden days there were only audio cassette tapes and no compact discs as we have now. I use to collect those from Mysore ashrama and after winding up the day, I used to play them at night in my room. While listening to those bhajans, I used to get the inspiration automatically and translate the bhajans into our mother tongue, Malayalam. I have no idea how I was able to do that, it was all Swamiji’s blessing. We printed a book of the translations as well. I used to teach the children at our weekly satsangha. Once He said that He has given me this life to sing bhajans only. Even at this age, I still sing bhajans, and it was just His blessings that I am able to sing bhajans.
After being in the association with Sri Swamiji our lives have become more systematic and disciplined. He taught us spirituality. I now perform daily prayers and pujas without refrain. He has given me padukas that I worship everyday. Both of our sons’ marriages were performed only after His approval. He interviewed both the girls and told upfront that if they are coming into our family they have to accept Him as their Guru, even if they have some other Guru in the past years. If they follow other Gurus there may be clashes in the family. So He asked the girls to think carefully before they accept the marriage proposals with my sons. They accepted and now are very ardent devotees of that primordial Guru, Sri Swamiji. My second daughter-in-law sings His bhajans beautifully. She had also won first prize in the bhajan competition held in Mysore ashrama, at one time.
Devotees should introduce their children to Sri Swamiji from the childhood itself. They should be brought to ashrama and encouraged to participate in various activities when going on in the ashrama. My grand children now watch me performing daily pujas and learn. Their thread ceremonies were performed in Mysore ashrama in His presence. I do not worry about whether my relatives will attend the ceremony. My responsibility is to inform them and whether they come to ashrama or not is up to them. Sri Swamiji always says that ‘blind belief’ in Sadguru is always good. Jaya Guru Datta
Sri Swamiji Says:
Each saint is an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. Why is Swamiji always talking about Dattatreya? Yes, He is a creator. He is a destroyer. He is a protector. That’s why I believe in Dattatreya. He is Brahma. He is Vishnu. He is Shiva. He’s something. He’s anything. He’s everything. He is able to protect. He is able to destroy sins. He is able to bless us.Now Swamiji gives Lord Dattatreya teachings every month through theAshrama magazine, ‘Bhakti Mala’. The message of Lord Dattatreya is important in our life.
First of all judge that the other man deserves your advice. Then only give it to him.