J Rambabu and Hemalatha, Vijayawada
Rambabu: I had no other alternative but to talk to Sri Swamiji. I said to Him in my mind, “If you are really that divine Lord Datta, please let me find my brother’s place.” I began riding and chanting ‘Jaya Guru Datta, Sri Guru Datta.’
I grew up in Hyderabad as an atheist and had no belief in god or Guru. In 1981, my sister, Mani, took me to see Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji in the Hyderabad Ashrama. At that time my parents were also His devotees. I took the trip as a joke and poked fun at Sri Swamiji. I was not very good in academic studies so I got into the transportation business as a career. In 1983 I got married to J Hemalatha and it turned out she was also a devotee of Sri Swamiji. I told her that she was free to visit Him and do as she liked but do not force me to come with her. This did not stop her from asking me to go for Sri Swamiji’s darshan.
Later, my daughter Madhavi was born to us, she grew up singing Sri Swamiji’s bhajans beautifully. I did not know Sri Swamiji but I came to love His Bhajans through my daughter. I loved one particular Bhajan she sung, ‘Lankayam Shankari Devi.’ I loved it so much I began calling my daughter, Shankari. My father used to play Sri Swamiji’s music in the house also; I joked at him and said that one day when I make a movie I will hire Sri Swamiji as the musician for the film.
In 1986, I began suffering from epileptic fits; the doctors could find no cure for me. I used to get the fits at night so my wife would lose her sleep looking over me. During this time, my wife got pregnant with our second child and it was difficult for her to look after me. She pleaded with me to go with her to see Sri Swamiji. Feeling sorry for her, I gave in and said I will go. So in January, 1987, through my wife, I went to meet with and have the darsan of Sri Swamiji in Machilipatnam.
My wife went before Sri Swamiji and started to say something, then broke into tears. Sri Swamiji scolded her and said, “Get away from here, cry outside and come back.” She went outside, composed herself, then took me to Sri Swamiji and said, “Swamiji my husband is not well.” He said to her, “I cannot do anything here, bring him to the Mysore Ashrama.” We left and returned home. I told my wife, “He cannot do anything for me, He is not a doctor, if He could have helped me, He should have done it right there.” With thought like these, I ruled out visiting Sri Swamiji again.
However my wife did not leave it there, and one day she asked me, “Can you promise to do only one thing for me?” I said, “Yes!” Then she said, “Come to Mysore with me.” I got hooked and could not go back on my promise. The next day I went to purchase the tickets and I got pick pocketed. I was happy in a way for I would not have to go to Mysore. I went home and told my wife and she began to cry. Just then, my elder sister, Mani, who is a devotee of Sri Swamiji, came to our house. I do not know how she came to Hyderabad from Nuzividu when she was so ill. She cannot get off her bed in the morning unless someone brings her a coconut to drink. Then only she gets some energy. My wife told her what had happened and she said it was a leela of Sri Swamiji testing us. Then she volunteered to take us to Mysore. My father also came along with us. I could not talk my way out of this so I ended up going.
In December, 1987 while the Datta Jayanti Celebrations were going on we reached Mysore, I fell in loved the Ashrama as soon as we entered. I saw Sri Swamiji performing poojas but I did not sit down, as I did not believe in the rituals. My father introduced me to Mr. Shankar in the canteen. I saw him serving food, coffee, tea and washing dishes at the same time. I offered my help and he accepted. I began washing the dishes. Just then, my wife and her parents, whom she met in the Ashrama, and my family, came to the canteen for coffee. My wife on seeing me, was shocked, and began saying that she had a dream some time back with me washing dishes in this same place. She was excited for me, for she thought this was a good sign. Many years later, she related this experience to me.
The festival lasted for five days. On the fourth day, I went in the temple area to see what was going on. Sri Swamiji did Abhishekam and alankaram for Lord Dattatreya and He had vibhuti all over his body. He sat down and a queue formed with people carrying dried coconuts; they took the coconut to Him and He broke it. Up to three hundred people went with coconuts for Him to break. I thought He must be tired. At the completion of the function Sri Swamiji went inside and I went back to the canteen to help. Some time later someone came around saying that, the Teertham from Sri Swamiji’s bath is being distributed. I told my wife, “How can anyone drink the water from another’s bath? If you go for that water I will leave you here and go.”
Somehow, my father got the Teertham in a bottle and came with it. I took it from Him and kept it, I did not want my wife to get it for she would give it to my daughters. That night, in order to keep it safe I slept with the bottle under my pillow. Little did I know that the Teertham works even if you do not drink it. On the last day of the festival, Sri Swamiji called my wife and the family for an interview. She held my feet, and she pulled my trousers pleading with me to come with her. I could not take her nagging so I went in the interview room with her. My entire family was already in the room,
I did not offer my namaskaram to Him and I just stayed at the back. The first thing He did was to snap His fingers and asked me, “You, what is your name?” I said, “Rambabu.” He then asked, “What are you doing?” I told him, “Transportation.” He said, “You have come one year late.” He then looked at my daughter; I had just cut her hair so she looked like a boy. He asked, “Who is that child?” I said, “My daughter Madhavi.” He said, “I thought it was your son.” He gave us all Prasadam and told my sister and wife to perform Anagha Pooja in Bangalore. After this, we left the ashram.
On the way back to Hyderabad we stopped at the Bangalore Ashrama and Mr. Manohar, a member of the Ashrama asked that my sister, Mani, to perform the Anagha Pooja at his house. Sri Swamiji had blessed my sister to perform these poojas. I thought I should accompany her to his house for she had bought my tickets for this trip; my family remained at the Bangalore ashram, I visited my brother who lived in Bangalore, took his bike and got the directions to Mr. Manohar’s house. I met my sister there. They were not prepared for the pooja since it was arranged so suddenly.
My sister asked me, “How much money do you have?” I told her, “Only enough for the tickets to get home.” She told me to go and buy pooja materials and I hesitated telling her we would not get home. She told me go, Lord Dattatreya will give it back. I went because after all it was her money. I got the materials and my sister performed the pooja. Around 9.00 pm, the rest of my family came from the Bangalore Ashram and joined us. Later, after the puja, Mani saw someone waving outside the gate. She went out and saw it was a friend from Delhi, waving his friend goodbye.
She invited both of them for Prasadam; they came in and we began chatting. Her friend said that he was from Hyderabad. I told him that we are also are from there. He then said, “Why don’t you come with me in my car to Hyderabad?” My sister said, “See how Datta has provided!” We decided to ride back to Hyderabad with the man, but I had to return my brother’s bike before leaving Bangalore. We headed out to his house, and I was following the car on the bike. It started raining heavily and I got lost. I had no money, no cell phone, and the bike was low on fuel. I asked different people for directions and that did not work. It was now 11.30pm at night.
I stopped the bike and I remembered overhearing devotees’ conversations in the canteen and how they would only say, ‘Jaya Guru Datta, Sri Guru Datta when they were in trouble.’ I had no other alternative but to talk to Sri Swamiji. I said to Him in my mind, “If you are really that divine Lord Datta, please let me find my brother’s place.” I began riding and chanting ‘Jaya Guru Datta, Sri Guru Datta.’ I thought I would drive and not stop to ask for directions. After a few minutes, while driving slowly a man came from behind and asked me, “Where are you going?” I told him the name of the place and he said, “Follow me I am going there.” With that, he got in front of my bike.
I followed him until he stopped in front of my brothers’ house. As I stopped, He left. That was the moment of my second birth, the time I knew that my Guru is Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. It was 8 December 8th 1987 at twelve midnight. Thus began my spiritual journey. When I went to my brothers house I found out that my wife was taken to her parent’s house to deliver our second child. I went to Hyderabad without her. I sent her a letter telling her about what happened to me in Bangalore and my feelings for Sri Swamiji. I opened the letter with, ‘Jaya Guru Datta Sri Guru Datta.’ She was shocked when she got the letter, she thought I was playing a joke on her, but when she read the rest of the letter, she knew my feelings for Sri Swamiji. She was very happy for me.
From there my family and I, along with my brother from Bangalore and his four daughters went to Mysore Ashrama for Navarathri Festival in 1988. Sri Swamiji announced He is taking a project from the TTD, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthana to propagate Hindu Dharma and would need volunteers. It was going to be a six-month project. I immediately raised my hand. My wife did not want me to go and leave her alone with the two children so she asked Sri Swamiji’s permission to accompany me. He said she could go but come back after fifteen days. My wife was happy.
Sri Swamiji enquired about my health and told me to keep taking the prescribed medication. We went there and when the fifteen days were over, Sri Swamiji told me to stay, and so she stayed for the six months. I enjoyed serving on the tour. Mr. Kuppa Krishnamurthy used to give speeches in different villages about Hindu Dharma; I used to help in setting up the stage and preparing the food. After the project, I came to Vijayawada and met Sri Swamiji for the Ugadi Celebrations. I took His blessings and went home.
In 1989, we visited Mysore Ashrama for Sri Swamiji’s forty-seventh birthday celebrations. An announcement was made for a priest to go and serve in the Mekadatu Ashrama; they also said that if the person were not a priest, he would receive training. I volunteered to go to the Mekadatu Ashrama. A few other people volunteered and Sri Swamiji called us in and spoke to us. He took the time of His busy schedule to enquire about our affairs. He discussed with me if I can afford to leave my job etc. Mr. Krishnamurthy was present in the meeting and asked me what kind of salary I want from Sri Swamiji. I told Him I only want to serve in the Ashrama.
I told Sri Swamiji that the only pooja I can do is Anagha Pooja and He told me to continue that in Mekadatu. He then explained in detail about the Mekadatu Ashrama saying that it is a remote place with no electricity, water, schools, and that there was a lady staying there with mental problems and she might bother me. I simply told Him that I would be honored to serve Him. He sent us from Mysore Ashrama to Mekadatu in a car. He took so much care to send us off, He packed the car with one month’s grocery, and He gave us clothes, cooking utensils and money. He saw us off as if we were His own children going away.
When I first saw the Mekadatu Ashrama from the hilltop, it was beautiful and I thought I had seen this place before. When we got down in the Ashrama and I looked around at the desolate place, I thought of my children and wondered if I had done the right thing by bringing them here. Then I reassured myself by thinking that Sri Swamiji sent us here and He will take care of us. We settled in and I began doing daily Anagha Pooja in the temple. One day I did my pooja and was lying on the temple floor when I heard the gate opening. I looked up and it was Sri Swamiji. I became nervous for I had neither Poorna Kumbha nor aarti to welcome Him. I simply prostrated and He came in. He said, “How are you? I came to see you.” I was weeping thinking that He has come all the way from Mysore to see me. He took us into His room and said to me, “Don’t worry about the future of your children, they are my children, I will take care of them.” And so He has done. He has taken care of them.
We spent five and a half years there with our two girls, four years old and one year old. We never needed the services of a doctor for them. Sri Swamiji was their doctor. My brother used to visit us on some weekends; he would come on Saturday and leave on Monday morning. One Saturday night I was waiting for him with torchlight outside the gate. I heard my younger daughter crying, I ran to her and saw a snake running away. I applied Sri Swamiji’s vibhuti on the swollen spot and she fell asleep. In the morning as my wife was folding up my daughter’s bed, she saw a large deadly scorpion under the sheets. Luckily, it did not sting my daughter. We chased it out the house. On His next visit to Mekadatu, we told Sri Swamiji about this, He told me not to go out of the ashram gate, to stay inside, and nothing will happen to us. From that day, we did not go out of the Ashrama unnecessarily.
One day an elephant strayed away from its herd and came across the river. The elephant was scared. The nearby villagers went with torches and drums to chase it back to its herd. The elephant came instead to the Ashrama fence and stood there. We heard the noise and got up. Everyone was scared. The watchman’s wife threw some fire at the elephant and he became very fierce and began charging the fence. My little daughter who was three years old at this time said that the elephant is Lord Ganesha and we had done something wrong, we should pray for his forgiveness. Then she put her hands together and said, “Lord Ganesha please forgive us for what we did wrong, we will give you sweets if you don’t harm us.” Just then, our dog ran out to the elephant and began teasing it and it followed the dog into the forest.
I used to take medicine for my illness and when I went to Mekadatu, I stopped. One day I fell ill and could not move. There was neither phone nor doctor so my wife got frantic. Just then, a car pulled up with two foreigners. They said they had come for Navarathri Celebrations in Mysore and Sri Swamiji told them to come to Mekadatu. One of them was a doctor, he came in with his kit and checked me out and gave me medicine. When I saw Sri Swamiji I told Him that my attack came back, He simply said, “Why did you stop taking the medicine?” He knew I had stopped it. I did not listen to Him and suffered the consequences.
In 1989, we celebrated Datta Jayanti at the Mekadatu Ashrama. About three hundred people came. I knew that the food would not be enough. I just said the Datta Stavam and began feeding the people. Everyone ate sumptuous meals and enjoyed it. Someone who was present there told Sri Swamiji about the function and He said, “Feeding three hundred people is a small thing for Datta, come near to Him and you will see more.”
In 1990, we went to Mysore Ashrama for Datta Jayanti. An announcement came that who wanted initiation from Sri Swamiji should gather in the hall. My wife and I got some offerings ready and sat with the others. Sri Swamiji came by and told Ramana to remove us from the group for he had already given upadesam to us. We remembered that He had given us upadesam in our dreams on separate occasions, but did not think it was real. This incident convinced us that His dreams are real.
In 1992, Sri Swamiji visited Mekadatu and told us, “Because you are serving Datta here, He will come to you and I will take him away.” We did not know what He meant. Then in 1993, a son was born to us and he is now in Mysore Ashrama studying in the Veda Patashala. We left Mekadatu in 1994 and went to Vijayawada Ashrama. I have been here since serving as a priest.
Sri Swamiji has given me everything and takes care of me as a mother would take care of her baby. What else can I want in this life? On one of His visits to Mekadatu He asked me if I had any debts. I told Him just one with the store. He told me, “I don’t want you to have debts anywhere with anyone and don’t borrow anything from anywhere.” He sent someone to the store and cleared the debt. What soothing words this was to my heart, I felt He was telling me I am His and He will always take care of me. Jaya Guru Datta
Hemlatha: “I want to tell you few things about ashram life; do you work, pray to Datta and leave the rest to me; I will take care of you and your family.”
I had first darshan of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji in 1979, with my sister-in-law. We lived in Eluru when I went to attend His program in Vijayawada. We were waiting for His arrival, standing outside the gate and discussing about Sri Swamiji. We were thinking about how He spends His time. People usually spend time at work, but what does He do? Like these we had many doubts. Sri Swamiji came out and as soon as He started the program He said, “Why do people need to know about my time table and my schedules? What is it for them to know about His work and what He does? Sri Swamiji does not sleep, there is no sleep for Him, He will move around without people knowing about Him, so one should not comment on His activities.”
After hearing these words we became scared and surprised as to how He could exactly reply to our conversation without even hearing us. Then we realized that He is very powerful and He can read our minds. During the Bhajans time we were mesmerized with His voice and forgot everything that happened and enjoyed the session. This incident made us developed respect towards Him.
Later, I got married with an understanding from my husband who did not believe in Sri Swamiji, that he will not to stop me from going to Him or will I pressure him to come with me. In reality, my father –in-law’s interest was doing Bhajans every Sunday. I used to learn from him. Initially, my husband never liked Sri Swamiji and whenever he saw His picture he used to be upset and get very angry with me, but I loved Sri Swamiji and pray him.
After a few years, my husband became ill and I used to put Vibuthi on his forehead without his knowledge. Within five minutes he would be alright. Then I started believing more in Sri Swamiji and I used to confident that He will protect me always. I know that my husband was suffering so secretly I would place a small picture of Sri Swamiji under his pillow. I used to chant Sri Swamiji’s name usually until midnight without sleeping. Only when I felt that my husband was okay did I go to sleep. I couldn’t tie raksha to my wrist or wear Datta Kankanam. I was not allowed to have vibuthi, or any kind of Sri Swamiji’s related articles, even His pictures. If my husband sees them he would throw them away. When I met Sri Swamiji and told Him about my predicament He told me to bring my husband to Mysore.
During my early days of my marriage my sister-in-law advised me to write a letter to Sri Swamiji whenever I had some problems with my husband, his health or any other issues. I wrote a five pages letter to Sri Swamiji about my problems, my wishes and everything, without my return address. After some days all those problems whichever I mentioned in the letter got resolved automatically and I forgot them just like that, so it was a big surprise for me. He is so far from us but He changes our mind and thinking, and corrects us always. He guides in all ways.
When I was pregnant for the second time, during the Navaratri period, I had a dream where Sri Swamiji appeared as “AMMA”. He was sitting on His throne and both my husband and I were standing near to Him and He told us, “I am the Mother Goddess and I will take care of your family in the form of Goddess Lakshmi, do not worry.” I was so happy, so I told the dream to my husband but he was not surprised nor did he react. He told me that I was thinking about the same thing, so was the dream.
Somehow I managed to take him to Mysore. He did not want to step into Ashram even though he came there. He sat down in the canteen and did not come in the hall. I attended all the days’ functions alone. Later, Sri Swamiji gave us opportunity to perform Pada Pooja and my husband spoke to Him and He sent him some vibrations to cure his disease. There are two important things here; my husband and I had two different mentalities, I was totally into Sri Swamiji and my husband was not Devotee. However, Sri Swamiji accepted him and brought a profound change in him. Sri Swamiji accepted the total family; He made us to walk on Datta pathway together.
During one of His Andhra tour, in Vijayawada I asked Sri Swamiji to bless me with a baby boy as I was pregnant. He told me, “Sri Swamiji knows whom to give and when to give, do not ask, and now touch my feet.” I understood that He gives me what I deserve so I should not ask Him for anything. At the end of the tour, He came to our home in Hyderabad and we all sat down near to Him praying and massaging His Feet. Then, pointing towards my stomach, Sri Swamiji said, “The lucky one is the one in her stomach, not you all.” I felt that I was blessed from many births and felt happy with His words.
Later, Sri Swamiji sent us to Mekedatu and initially we were scared as it is a forest, but once we experienced the atmosphere we forget everything. One day I started suffering from a stomach pain. I was thinking about how I can get it treated when all of a sudden, a film director, Mani Shankar, came and told me that Sri Swamiji was coming there for some shooting for a movie, ‘Nada Brahma’. I was excited and I jumped for joy when I heard that news. Then I realized that all the pain was gone.
At the completion of the shoot Sri Swamiji blessed us and said, “You people are lucky enough to see this, after ten years copies of this movie will be difficult to acquire, but everyone will know more about Sri Swamiji.” Next day He went for a Holy Bath in the Kaveri River and many people accompanied Him. I asked Him for permission to take bath along with the group and initially He said “If you come along with me who will take care of the ashram?” However, upon my insistence He agreed to my request.
Sri Swamiji into the river and sat on a rock and few people were in the river. Suddenly, Sri Swamiji started manifesting ‘Datta dollar coins’ from the water and distributed to everyone. I was eager and waited for my turn, but I did not get one. He gave to everyone except me. I realized that it was meant for the people who came with His permission, but as I insisted, I did not get received one. From then I never crossed His words and it was a lesson for me.
Once, my daughter was plucking Tulasi leaves to prepare a garland from a small Tulasi plant. After she left that place I observed that the Tulasi plant was swinging and went to it to see what had happened. I saw a snake coiled inside the plant and I was surprised that even though she was hanging around the tree for so long it did not hurt her. Sri Swamiji had said that snakes would not hurt you. Whensoever you are in trouble, just chant the name of ‘Datta’ and the problems will go away.
When we came to Mekedatu we even do not know the local language. Not only that, I was not a good cook, I could manage cooking for my family. When people came with Sri Swamiji from different places, by the hundreds, I used to prepare the food although I didn’t even know how I managed cooking for so many people. People from Karnataka used to feel as if is their food and they liked it, and so too were the people from other areas. I used to be amazed at this.
Sri Swamiji taught me how to lead a pious life and pure life. One day He told me, “I want to tell you few things about ashram life; do you work, pray to Datta and leave the rest to me; I will take care of you and your family and you will get a son, Datta, in few years.” In 1989 He told me these words I was blessed with a boy in 1993.
When I used to clean the Guru Nilayam I used to see Snakes around that place. Once, a snake was sitting on Sri Swamiji’s bed and another time one was hanging on the door to the Nilayam. During one of Sri Swamiji visits to Mekedatu, we were all sitting on the floor and all of a sudden a snake came. Sri Swamiji told us not to move so it will go on its way peacefully.
We used to stay near the Datta temple and one night I came out to call maid to help clean the ashram. I saw a great wonder emanating from the temple; a bright green colored star appeared and within a fraction of second it traveled towards the Arkavati River continuing towards the Brahma Kunda. Sri Swamiji used to tell us that Datta still wander in that place.
Once, early in the morning I smell a very pleasant Vibuthi fragrance, so I got up but I saw nothing. I lay back down and just closed my eyes; I did not completely go into sleep. Meanwhile, I saw Sri Swamiji in pure white clothes coming near to me and He called, asking me to get up. He caught my hand and took me along with Him high in the sky and there He gave me Mantro Upadesam. At that time He appeared as fresh as dew drops on the grass during morning hours, I could really feel the freshness and was mesmerized with the beauty of the sky and Sri Swamiji. Afterwards He disappeared and as I opened my eyes I realized that I was in my home.
Later when I went to Mysore for Mantro Upadesam, Sri Swamiji said, “I have already given Mantro Upadesam to her.” I was shocked and had a small doubt as to whether the incident was a dream, but then I realized that Sri Swamiji had really come; it was a not dream. It is a wonderful experience to be felt.
Before going to Mekedatu, in an interview Sri Swamiji told us, “There will be no schools there for your children once you go there, but do not worry Sri Swamiji will take care of you.” When we live there the children did attend school. However, my daughter, Madhavi, used to sing well and I had a wish in my mind that Sri Swamiji should listen to her singing. Surprisingly, once when Sri Swamiji came He called her and said “I heard that you sing well, can you sing a song for me?” She sang a beautiful song, then He told me to take her to my in-laws place, teach her music and join her in school.
Even though she never went to school before she wrote an entrance exam and joined in third grade. It was only because of Sri Swamiji’s blessing. Not only with her education, but Sri Swamiji took care of her marriage as well. At the time of her marriage, Sri Swamiji took the bride and groom and walked around the Mantapa, then He took them both to Lord Venkateshwara Temple and blessed them and gave them a fruit. After blessing the couple He made them sit for the marriage ritual.
In every difficulty without even knowing it Sri Swamiji takes it away and we will know that only after the incident happened. There is nothing to say, which is without His miracle in our life. We cannot discriminate which is His miracle and which is not. We have completely surrendered to Him. It is only His grace that is making our lives move.
During the early days, the Mekedatu Ashram was a very small place and even the Guru Nilayam was a small hut with minimum facilities. We stayed happily there and used look forward for Sri Swamiji’s darshan. I was so blessed to have an opportunity to clean His cottage, and during cleaning time we used to chant Guru Gita. Now when Sri Swamiji describes each sloka I remember those days when we chanted them, even without knowing the meaning, how blessed we are to get such a great opportunity.
Once, I was preparing ghee and I was trying to pour it into a container when, it accidentally fell on my hand. I got a large blister and my hand was swollen. I was helpless and it was paining a lot. It was a small village and there was not any facility for emergency medical help. Some villagers came and advised me to dip my hand in buttermilk so that the blister would heal; unknowingly I dipped them in buttermilk containing salt which increased the pain. I stayed calm, chanted Sri Swamiji’s name and surprisingly, by the next morning I got relief and only the blister was left. I did not even bother to go out to get vegetables for cooking. As this place was heavily forested, we need to get our vegetables and fruits, and we need barks and twigs to prepare food. I was trying to get some twigs from a tree and one pierced into my blister and all the fluid came out it healed itself.
He took care of me in every aspect. In that place there were lots of snakes. Once, we went to get some vegetables and we saw a big poisonous snake. It crawled on my leg and started to hiss and I started shouting ‘snake, snake.’ Everyone came with big sticks and tried to kill it but it got so angry; it stood on its tail. Unknowingly I was about to stump on it. It was in so much pain that it could have bitten me, but surprisingly it did no harm to me and it went away.
Prior to us entering the ashrama, my husband was a lorry driver, so he used to work from six in the morning to ten at night. I used to be worried that he was so busy that he does not find time for the family. I used sit in front of Sri Swamiji’s picture and cry a lot. Sri Swamiji used to give me solutions for every one of my problem. He has made my husband a priest at the Ashrama and he doesn’t have to go away for work. Before meeting Sri Swamiji, my husband before had a bad mouth towards Him and he used to say terrible things about Him. I realized that Sri Swamiji had punished him in such a way that He has blessed him to chant God’s name everyday; hundred of thousand of times. In this way Sri Swamiji is reducing his sins and helping him, so there is no limit for His grace.
In 1984, when I was pregnant, during Ganesha Chaturdhi, I went to Eluru to my parents place. Sri Swamiji had a program in Vijayawada. I was excited and wanted to attend the program along with my mother. However, my husband came from Hyderabad to see me and was not happy to hear that. He did not want me to go there. I pleaded with him and finally he accepted, so my mother and I took a bus and left. During His discourse Sri Swamiji said, “A lot of people came here with so many difficulties; some fight with their mother-in-laws and some fight with their husbands, but don’t worry Sri Swamiji will take care of all.” I related this to my situation and felt happy that He took care of it.
Later, when we returned home, my husband, though he initially agreed that I can go for the program, was still angry, wrote a letter to me saying, “You can come to me whenever you want, I am leaving this place. I came for you and you went to see your Swamiji. I felt very bad about that so I am leaving now.” In this way he left. When I learnt of the situation, my brothers, mother, father and every one of us felt very hurt and I started to cry. Because he left in this way, I was crying for the whole night.
In the morning, my father heard someone ringing the door bell; it was my husband who came back. We all were surprised, but I felt so happy. He told me that even though he went back to Hyderabad that day, he was feeling as if someone was pushing him to come back and see me. I knew it was Sri Swamiji who changed his mind and made him come back to me. After that, by 1989, he also became a devotee of Sri Swamiji.
After this change in his life, Sri Swamiji advised him to become a priest, but he said that he does not know any mantras or puja rituals. Sri Swamiji advised him to just chant “Datta”, and then he will come to know everything. In that way he started learning slokas, homas and Vedas and now he has become a priest, through the grace of His Holiness, Sri Swamiji. He took care of us completely by holing us in His arms. We pray to Him to let us stay near His feet, forever. The seva we do to Him is very small in comparison to what He is doing for us.
In Mekedatu, my son was sick I took him to Mysore. When we got there I was informed that Sri Swamiji was leaving to go abroad later that day, so people were thinking that there would be no darshan in the morning period. I kept praying to with my son sleeping in my lap. Then, to our surprise, Sri Swamiji came out, and not only did we have darshan but also He called everyone s to take Teertham. When I went near to Him He gave holy water to my son and told me to take him to Dr Saritha and he would be alright. I took him as directed and later he recovered.
In the early days when I would meet Sri Swamiji I used to have lot of wishes in my mind, and I used to get confused and ask Him many things, but after getting closer to Him I realized that there should be no wishes for a true devotee, He take cares of everything we need. Not wishing for anything; this kind of transformation I could see in myself. He changed me spiritually and gave me courage to withstand the situations. He helped us spiritually, financially, mentally, physically and in every aspect He is taking care of us.
I have been going to Mysore ashram since I was twenty two years old, and even now I have the same excitement for going there which I had at the first time. So this is an amazing experience and one should feel rather than tell about them.
For some mission for Tirupala Tirupati Devasthana (Tirupati) Sri Swamiji sent my husband for six months to Tirupati, and during that time I have stay alone with the kids. During this time I started getting more aquatinted to Him. The one main thing during that period was the Bhakti Mala which made me so courageous and helped me to withstand loneliness that it became my friend.
My father-in-law compiled all the Bhakti Malas for two years into one book and gave it to me to read. I used to read a book a day for six months continuously. When I read them they gave me a lot of strength. I felt that it was just the mirror reflection of Sri Swamiji; to understand about Him. Bhakti mala and Anaghastami Vratam are two are very important aspects to me. These made me come closer Him. There are endless experiences in our lives with Sri Swamiji. Sri Swamiji has changed our ways of thinking, brought us in the Datta path; that is the main miracle in our lives. Jaya Guru Datta
Sri Swamiji Says
There is a symbolic meaning to the kind of things Lord Krishna did. He robbed clothes from Gopis and robbed butter, milk, etc., from others.Many are shrouded with “clothes” called ego and pride. Lord Krishna steals them. He also steals ignorance. Unless these are stolen from us, we can not make significant progress in the path of spirituality. So, all the ordinary people can be called as “Gopikas”. Once the process of spirituality starts, Krishna comes and steals the unwantedcharacteristics in us.
Every one sins. One should be pure in thought, word and deed. One should be pure in the dealings of body, mind, and wealth, in all three states of wakefulness, dream, and sleep. One should truly repent for one’s mistakes. Then God forgives