Pydimarri V Vivekananda, Andhra Pradesh
Sri Swamiji spoke about this event to all the devotees and He described everything and said that He had planned it all that way. He said that I have been with Him for seven births now so He will not leave
I offer my salutations to my Sadguru Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. I am from Andhra Pradesh; I was born in a remote village, Chirivada, about twenty-five miles from Vijayawada. I did my studies and graduated as mechanical engineer. During my studies, in the second form, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba had come to my village for a stay of seven days, hosted by Sri Veluri Nageswara Sarma and Sri Veluri Sivaramasastry. I met Him through one of His close devotee, Kasturi, whom I had to pick up at the railway station. Subsequently, I was asked to be a helping boy to Sri Sai Baba.
One day I went to Baba with my brother who was crippled because of polio. I asked Baba to help him. He said that he will not get his legs. I questioned Him that people think that He is god; they sing songs about Him, He makes the blind see etc; and why can’t He help my brother. He told me to please understand that this is karma. I could not understand. From that day on whenever I saw holy people I would offer my namaskarams and keep on my way. I thought that they come for their own devotees and lucky are those devotees indeed. This incident also made me to take no heed of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananada Swamiji when I heard about him around 1968, the year I got married.
On September 18th, 1983 while I was retutning from dropping my aunt at my relative place, a known person asked me if I can take her to a place where Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji was camping, so I took her along with my wife and daughter. As I was dropping her off I also decided to have His darshan. In that place I saw Him sitting and fiddling with a harmonium. I thought that He was not the Swami but maybe the assistant. So I waited and watched for the real Swami to enter. Then I saw people going up to Him and prostrating. I realized then that He was Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda. I went up to offer my pranams as I usually did. I did that and then invited Sri Swamiji to come to my house for pada pooja. I don’t know why I did that. I have no idea of how to do pada pooja. It was Swamiji’s wish only.
He said that he will come to my house around 2pm for the pada pooja, and I should and see His assistant and give him my name. I went but the assistant told me that Sri Swamiji is very busy and it will not be this time. I got a little angry and said to him that Sri Swamiji had told me he will come to my house, please go ask him if He is coming or not. The assistant went and spoke to Swamiji and came back and said that Sri Swamiji will come to my house the next day. I then asked him, what preparations I have to make for the pada pooja.
Next day I made all the preparations for the pada pooja and I had even invited some relatives and friends. At around 2pm there was no sign of Sri Swamiji so I waited and waited till it was 6pm. Then 2 men came from His office and said that He was very busy and He cannot make it today. I got angry and said I will walk to His place and bring Him myself. I started walking although it was about six kilometers from my house. After walking for a little while the men came and told me not to be so hasty but advised me that I should go with them and see Sri Swamiji at His place. I returned home and decided that I must go. However, I could not find any auto rickshaw, which was not normal, so I took my scooter and two of my family members and went to His place. When I got there they kept telling me to wait. All kinds of negative feelings were coming to my mind.
Then a man came in and enquired who Mr. Vivekananda was. I showed myself and he said that he came to know that I wanted to do pada pooja so he brought a pair of padukas (Datta’s) so I can do the pooja there itself. I felt very angry. I wanted to do Pada Pooja, not Paduka Pooja. I didn’t know anything about this man or his padukas so I refused. There was a lot of turmoil in my mind and I was thinking negatively about gurus, but somewhere in the back of my mind I felt that this Swamiji was different. I was doing puja without my knowledge. Sri Swamiji finally came and placed both feet before me and two teardrops fell on them. Then I knew and was convinced that He is my guru.
Later on, Sri Swamiji spoke about this event to all the devotees; He described everything and said that He had planned it all that way. He also said that I have been with Him for seven births now so He will not leave me now.
Once when my son was in the ninth standard of school he got into a cycle accident. It was a new cycle I had just got for him. He crashed into a lorry and fell to the side of the road. Somehow he managed to get home but he never told me about this being scared about what I might say. Later on we went to Mysore and Swamiji spoke of the whole incident, only then I came to know. He said he was there at the accident and saved my son for he would have been killed. Now that son, Dr Phanishree, is here in the ashram serving Sri Swamiji.
Another incident that happened was when I got discovered I had many blocked arteries and this could affect my life. I asked Sri Swamiji what to do and he said that I should have an operation to fix it. On my way to the operation theatre he came and told me not to worry that I will feel no pain and that he will be with me all the time. He stayed for the entire operation which lasted about one and a half hours. He then told me to take rest and take care of myself. Now I am fine and serving Him at the ashram.
Meeting Swamiji has put my mind on the spiritual path for that is His purpose for me. He is taking me out of this cycle of birth and death. I attached myself more to Swamiji when I lost my physical mother and father and now he is like mother and father to me. Whenever I find myself in any difficulty I sing or listen to his bhajans and I get peace of mind. His bhajans are mantras for me. Since I have come under his umbrella of grace I got my anger under control. I also read a lot more now. I read his teachings and other spiritual books and try to implement the teachings. He is everything to me, and my life is in his hands. Jaya Guru Datta