Swami Manasa Datta Pada Renu, Mysore: ‘When I looked back I see it as a kind of destiny or force of nature that caused us to meet Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji’

When I looked back I see it as a kind of destiny or force of nature that caused us to meet Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji

My original name is C S Radhakrishna. I was born March 5th 1952, in a village near Bangalore. My father is C.R. Shankaran, was an education officer in the old Madras State, later moving into the Karnataka State service.  My mom Sharada was a Gandhian who followed Mahatma Gandhi and became a very popular social worker in Western Karnataka. We are five brothers; Raam Murthi, the late C.S. Vadararaj, C.S. Narasimha, C.S. Venkatesh, C.S. Radhakrishna and one sister, C.S. Sujaya, a school teacher in Bangalore.

When I looked back I see it as a kind of destiny or force of nature that caused us to meet Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji in January, 1965, in a small humble village, Kesare, on the outskirt of Mysore where the City electricity workers lived. Sri Swamiji came from Anantapur District and He had a temporary stay at Kesare. My mother, Sharadamma, along with Sitamma, the mother of Mr. Jagannatha, the Manager at the Venkateshwara Temple, both visited Sri Swamiji for the first time there.

Being in an ordinary Hindu Household, we always believe that some spiritual help will come when we have domestic, economic, health or any other problems. So naturally my Mom, a devoted lady, always believe in the principles of Guru. Sitamma was a very close family friend. She used to come to our house very often and one day she invited us to go to Kesare where there was a young Swami there who always helps people; by listening to their problems and giving some counsel.

So as it happens with destiny, my mother and Sitamma went to Kesare and I was dragged along. It was a Sunday and Maha Ganapati Homa was going on in very small tent with a small gathering. A young lad, Satyanarayan, later Sri Swamiji, was performing the homa. When He completed the homa, He came out from a very small, humble room where He lived. I observed the situation where a few workers and a few boys were assisting with some kind of religious ceremony that was taking place. I had glimpses of what it can be; a religious person doing something with a community of people. My mother and Sitamma got some blessings from Sri Swamiji who told that He would visit our house on a Sunday, a Saturday or a Thursday. Many months later, Sri Swamiji walked to our house in Jayanagar.

Earlier, my father was transferred to Mysore where he was put in charge as inspector of schools. We had a very humble house in Jayanagar. In June 1966, Sri Swamiji was entering His present ashrama on Nanjangud Road. Later, in November, He came to our house walking all the way from His Ashrama to Jayanagar, a distance of almost fifteen kilometers. He came wearing His padukas and held a stick in His hand, a dandam. As He arrived in our house, we were not sure as to what to expect from a saintly person like Sri Swamiji who looked religiously charming. He had a very bright face with shining eyes and a small beard.

He mentioned that He was very hungry so my mom cooked some meals for Him, but it was burnt out. Yet He consumed that food in our small kitchen. Then He said that He has accepted all the responsibility of our family and also the karmas along with it. After eating He asked my mom to prepare some Dosa because He was still very hungry after that long walk. My mom fed Him while she was in tears as she thought that she could not give Him proper hospitality.

Sri Swamiji was seated in the kitchen on a small plank and He converted some of the burnt-out snack into jaggery. He gave half to me and the other half to my mom. My mom told me that I broke into tears for no apparent reason. At that tender age of fourteen, I felt that I had met somebody. My mind went blank, I couldn’t say anything. At this time, I did not have a questioning habit, but my questioning and thoughts were very erratic. I did not know what was happening, so perhaps I cried a little bit.

During this visit, He manifested a small Ganesh for us, from the snack and He said that all things will be well in the future. I thought maybe He is future seer or something like that. He mentioned to my mother about her previous Guru, Shankaralinga Bhagavan Saraswati who lived in Shomaga Town, in a place called Malebenul. Now there is huge ashram there for Lord Dattatreya. Shankaralinga Bhagavan Saraswati was our family Guru according to my mom’s tradition.

There is a tradition in our family to go to the Guru to worship Him in December during Datta Jayanti time, in the month of Margashirsha. Sri Swamiji mentioned that Shankaralinga Swami had sent Him to our house and that was a reason for Him coming there. He also said that there is a stronger reason for walking all the way to our home; hat He is one of our brothers. There are five brothers and He mentioned Himself as our eldest. He did not make any mark on us and my father was not much interested. For him, many Swamijis come and go because some saints or/gurus would normally visit, accept Bhiksha and then go. After all this is India. My father was not there at the time, but he was a great devotee of Lord Subramanyam. He used to chant Subramanyam songs, so we all have a kind of hobby or genius for singing.

During His visit, Sri Swamiji introduced Himself to everyone and then He left and walked back to the ashram, His humble hut on Nanjangud Road. Sri Swamiji always loved me and addressed me fondly as Radha,  a shortened form of Radhakrishna. He said that I should come to this ashram hut often. I was then studying in the Shala Vidyalaya School in the eight grade, but I started spending a lot of time in the ashram, so I was asked to learn some Vedic chants. I was very naughty and strong headed with a strong personality.

To meet Sri Swamiji everyday I had to ride my bicycle from Jayanagar. It was a challenging thing for me, but I liked it. My mischievous nature was not tolerated by Sri Swamiji, but my mischief was, I was a little bit arrogant and what I wanted to do I did. Meeting Him was just like meeting another karma; a different kind of karma, two clashing karmas. I didn’t know anything about spirituality, even till now.

At that time I was asked to do everything. My father used to ask me to focus on education alone. My mother always cautions that I should behave properly. Now putting me in touch with this Swamiji, who was always wearing red robe with a small beard. I did not know the deeper inner meaning so I was very playful. Everyday it was play for me to come to the ashram; to be here. I used to cut woods and clean up the place. I used to do any work for that matter; anything that I can do. I arranged for the homa; go on cycle to get water or vegetables for Swamiji, whatever I could do and, I did it with full enthusiasm. I loved my childhood with Him.

On the other hand, Sri Swamiji treated me differently. On one side He showed me some kind of love; He made me to believe that He was very close to me. On the other side He treated me as though I was like a beggar. At the same time I believed both, so we were very good friends. I used to take Him on bicycle and sometimes scooter rides.

All sorts of things happened in this place because it was a forest here. Imagine coming way back from 1965/ to now, so many years have passed but they all have been impactful. In those early days my feeling was that Sri Swamiji was some God-man or God-person and that we were supposed to respect Him for what He is. I didn’t understand His in- depth nature. In Kannada He used to say Lord Ganesh will help you if you believe in Him, He will take care of you if you have interest in Him.

Ganesh and Ganapati became famous to me because He impressioned me with that. So I started saying Jai Ganesh everyday. One day He materialized a locket for me and from then I became very close to Him. As a boy I used to do all the work. People call it seva, but I didn’t call it as seva, I worked here. Out of all the boys at that time, I was the foremost, most enthusiastic, most energetic and dynamic, and I got things done in a jiffy. He always called me for assistance if anything needed to be done.

The people who were coming here were called as devotees. I didn’t know what a devotee was. A devotee is one who is devoted to a person or a cause, but I never saw people truly devoted to Sri Swamiji. They came here with their problems thinking that they would get some solutions and then they went back. Sometimes, He used to be in a very playful mood and at other times He had a very pensive and temperamental person. When His work was not done He would be very angry. He was bossy, authoritative and sometimes He was repelling.

At times He wouldn’t mind thrashing me for some of the wicked I did. Yet overall, the association was one of play, mischief and Hs influence on my day to day life; I thought that He had some meaning for our lives. My mother used to say to accept Him as a high yogic type, yoga man or a hermit of Godly nature. As I could not understand what God or what yoga was, I just played with Him.

Many days Sri Swamiji used to feed me by His own hands. Sometimes He used to show me charms, tricks, materialization from thin air and all sorts of things. His homas on Shivaratri day started off by standing on the fire of burning amber. So many other things, but I couldn’t make any meaning out of it because I was not interested in it at the time, I was only interested in play. I loved my coconut eating which He would provide me. I loved sleeping here in ashram, on the bare floor, getting bitten by thousands of mosquitoes, drinking the water and sleeping always as if I didn’t have any other business. Many times He called me a crocodile, a useless fellow.

He tested me a lot because I was not focused, so my student days were a little confusing. Once, I wanted to focus on studies, so I used to go home when I did not like this place. Sometimes I used to be very angry with Sri Swamiji. When I told this to my mother, she would say that He knows everything. Whatever and whenever He calls you, don’t disobey Him. Maybe I was an ordinary Brahmin child and a humble fellow, but I had my own inner roughness and shoddy ways. I am not temperamental nor am I an emotional person.

As I grew with Him, my agnostic power grew more and more powerful. Let me confess that at that time I was not a devotee of Sri Swamiji. I did every work no doubt, because my Mom told me to. I loved my mother very much, and because she ordered me to go there I came to this place, cycling down with my brother, sometimes double riding all the way. Now I understand that it’s all supposed to be destiny. Now I can give a beautiful philosophical reasoning, a nice rationale also is built up.

At that time it was not like that. I have been around for a long time and I can say I have been associated with Him for a long time. I have seen Him in the physical day to day working. Sri Swamiji is a highly religious person. He worships the Sun, Lord Ganesha, Nature, Mother Goddess and He talks about Shiva and Ganesha. All these things which caused me to believe that we have to have the blessings from God became very necessary for my progression.

Somehow though, what made me to stick to Him was that He gave me small nice goodies; eatables, coconut, plenty of bananas, nuts and all these things and every time He say to eat this. Eating was my first nature. One day He said, “I have blessed you, eat well.” That was the first mantra He gave me. My initiation mantra was to eat well. I was very fat and very popular in the ashram circle. I used to boss over everybody and I had my way, but I did things efficiently.

I was hot headed, strong, arrogant and some kind of ego sort of play with me. I wouldn’t care for any person; that was how I was. I was fearless. As all these things added up Sri Swamiji was very doubtful if I would mend my ways and become a good sattvic person, a quality expected of every saint. But as I grew up with Him, my rationality also grew. I started disbelieving and suspecting everything, so I had a conflicting life for many years.

There were conflicts between what religion had to offer and if these practices done by Sri Swamiji were true and helpful. Whether they meant anything to me, while on another side what was I suppose to do with them. What was it I was supposed to learn here? These conflicts also came up because of my egocentricity which is my main enemy. My ego always said to be independent, don’t do/listen to all this. Even though you are under somebody, whatever He may say, it may mean that He is a very selfish person. He may be a very selfish Guru; thinking of Him and using us for His own gains.

All these things came up as I grew up as a person. At the prime of my life while I was under His tutelage, I started thinking that I must stay away from this because I didn’t want to be in a society of Brahmins, with a conservative way of looking at things. I thought I must take some kind of a challenging occupation and I must study. He was there when I studied for my Pre-University and when the results were announced, He was the one who was always watching if I was studying or not. I graduated with Bachelor of Science Degree.

I wanted to join medical school, but because we were very humble economically we couldn’t afford it. During my growth period in the ashram, I also grew up; sometimes loving Him and sometimes not loving Him, sometimes believing and sometimes not believing, sometimes being on my own and sometimes trying to be closer to Him. I used to come very often and sometimes I would stay here. Once, for two years I stayed and learned Vedic chants and Hatha yoga directly from Sri Swamiji. All these pranayama and Kriya yoga that is taught today, was taught to me directly by Sri Swamiji. He wanted to involve me in some righteous good conduct.

Perhaps He meant well to me, but my mind was too much full of agitation. The agitation was some sort of karmic thing.  I became a believer but I always had an agitation. I was finding it difficult to cope after I finished my Bachelor’s degree. I wanted to do my law degree so I went Bangalore and studied law. During law school I used to visit the ashram and Sri Swamiji. After that I did management studies. Looking into the nature of my rebellious mind, Sri Swamiji thought that I shouldn’t stay in the ashram anymore.

I joined the High Court in Bangalore and I became more rational, I started having more disbelief in religious things of a pontifical nature; in Hindu religious understanding. It did not represent much for me; it did not make sense. I had heard about Sathya Sai Baba, Shirdi Sai Baba and the great saints like Ramana Maharishi, Manik Prabhu Maharaj and north Indian saints. They all meant so much to me because I was with Sri Swamiji. To accept Swamiji as a great saint and bow down to His feet was not my nature.

However, everything that happened in my life today, I should say it was by His grace. Now I understand that Swamiji has planted a seed of knowledge in me which made me believe that I have transcended subtleties. Now I am very light hearted and full of freedom with a joy within. I have struggled a lot and I have given a lot of problems to Sri Swamiji also. Because of my ways and why He stuck to me, that is another thing. I am unable to understand why He stuck to and continued with me or I can say, ‘Well that is nature; some force of nature.’

Slowly and gradually I started loving Him in the sense, that there was a purpose in being with Him. He wants me to be something. Maybe He is taking me somewhere. I had to slowly understand that. One day He told me, “You are not fit for India; you are fit for Western World. You have a western type of ideals.” I didn’t understand what the western type that He meant was. It’s a life where I had to work. I had to justify what I had done as being right, I had to love what I did and there should be no sort of sourness or diabolic way as some people in India were. There should be no imbalance in thinking; a loving straight-forward attitude. These are all things that I liked, so perhaps I was fit for western world.

So amidst this turmoil I left for Europe. I was in The Hague for six months because I did not want to be in India. I am a very straightforward fellow. Whatever I wanted to say I said. I lacked diplomacy a skill I did not have perhaps. I was good at what I was doing. I learned singing and yoga. I purposefully learned what I wanted to. I became a very good student of yoga. The training I went through is something I can now admit was only done through Sri Swamiji. My training and my understanding was supported by Him.

After I landed in Europe I realized that I loved it very much. Many people took care of me and just to experience life, I travelled all around Europe by myself. Then I remembered about Sri Swamiji and my parents. I was on my own to test my will and my strength. Whether I am a Hindu Brahmin, or whether I can survive here in the rough, tough worlds of western countries. I had to face the different weather conditions there and still go on. This was good for me, I did it. I travelled a lot in Europe.

Finally I came down to Germany, where I lived and stayed with Mr. Silvius Donnier at Radoffzell am Bodensee. I adjusted myself and I went to a German school to learn the language. After I got my certification a terrible car accident occurred. I broke my pelvic bone and had to be in hospital for three months. That physical hurt changed my thinking about being in the western world. I was a very ambitious person, so I wanted to be an achiever. I wanted to do something.

After I was released from the hospital I came back to India, but I did not want to stay here. I was in Bangalore and again I left to work for some time in the gulf in Oman and returned after two years. I wanted to work and do something on my own; making my own money, having my own car and owning a big house. I wanted to fulfill these physical aspirations as a young boy, which is natural.

However, within myself I slowly understood that something was growing very powerful in me, dominating all other things along with my physical experiences. When I came to the ashrama for one Navaratri, it was the time for transferring change that had to occur. Sri Swamiji very compassionately told me that whatever I had to go through, I had gone through now.

What I have gone through was hard work, struggle, life, seeing money and enjoying life and being with society whether to relish it or not, but my sankalpa was to remain true to my own work and I have done that. Now I am back in India and the world did not interest me anymore. Sri Swamiji was here in Mysore. I was not responding to Him and I was not keen in talking to Him. But I had developed such a respect for Him. I had within me a very dominating spirit with powerful understandings coming out. They did express themselves, but I was hiding it, deliberately suppressing it on one side, and I wanted to do that through my arrogance.

I was arrogant in portraying myself as a superior person. I thought that I had great maturity on matters, whether worldly, spiritual or whatever. So this careless behavior, maybe it was arrogance. Sri Swamiji was trying to hit me everywhere, every time. He was as if holding an unseen hammer, hitting me every time. This had happened from the beginning from childhood. It was difficult for me, because why He was doing that and I did not understand.

The events turned out differently now. Because I was familiar with yoga I could understand His trance state where He would be away from His body consciousness for some time. I had to understand something about him and it was as if He wanted me to learn something. It was as if He was saying,”Hey Radha, you have to know about this.” There was a kind of intention in what was happening before me. In those trance states I had to deal with and be with Him. In this way, He came out with unusual mystical teachings to me.

After seeing these yogic states of Sri Swamiji I started understanding that He is not much of a body conscious person. He has won over the sensory organs; He has indriya nigraha. He is capable of overcoming His lust, sexuality, sensual nature, conflicting views, and dualities. He is the sort of person who has a malleable, flexible mind, which can be energized by a higher cosmic energy or a higher connection. Because I didn’t know about that connection, I was seeing Him in His trance states and at the same time His childlike mind.

All these combined together made me believe that He was a very mystical person. My scientific enquiry and understanding had been very favorable, always reasoning things out. But these things were not ‘reasonable’. I had to open my heart’s chamber. He made me open my heart so that all this would happen. Sometimes He also took me on tours. In 1976, for the first world tour for singing and propagating yoga and I was included in the program. I played a crucial role on the tour.

I had learned music and I managed to be a good table player. I also learnt singing and I became a very good singer. I had great confidence. We went to Kuwait, United States, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Then we went different countries in Europe. The program lasted for three and a half months before we returned to India. During the tour I became aware of another dimension of Sri Swamiji. There His mystic nature revealed itself. He was in some of the churches, temples, and public community halls. He was singing in rapture.

I had seen Him singing in 1966, but He sang with me alone. I had a monotone box, a shruti box with which we used to sing; Sri Swamiji and I alone. Then while He sang He would go into raptures into such ecstatic moods with a different kind of feelings. That scenario opened up when I saw Him singing in many places in the US, Trinidad, Europe and all these places for the first time. That made me feels as though I was accompanying Him, that I was with Him. It made me feel that I was with a great saintly person.

When I return from the tour I felt that I had more love for Him now. There was deeper respect and I look at Him differently. I bow to down to Him and said, “Sri Swamiji, if I can be of any service to you, kindly pardon me my misgivings” and I confess before Him, because I had some bad habits. But now, coming in contact with a saint, coming in contact with Him meant a lot to me now.

In those ten years I have seen Him in different dimensions. Normally people say life is full of changes, but this change happened to me only when I started respecting and loving Him. After this  I never questioned Him  although I had a lot of questions. He gave me a lot of things. He taught me Bhagavat Gita and Guru Gita. He told me about Jnana, Karma Kanda, Ramayana, Mahabharata and all its stories, Katha, Upanishad and Ishavasyaupanishad. All these things became easy for me to catch and grasp easily.

In Europe and the USA I was asked to speak; it was a powerful flow which came automatically but I believe I didn’t do it. I can’t because I know my limitations. I had opened my door for something which He Himself made me do. I felt very good with that and I became more attached to Him. I decided that if I have some work in the ashram and I was doing for Him, I was okay, I am good at it. I have a very strong determination to be with Him and see His perpetual light.  I want to see that light that keeps Him so energized. Why is it that He became so different from all the others?

Why is He a saint? What are the general marks of a saint? Certain characteristics are there. A Saint doing pujas, havan, giving discourses and even counseling others, but that’s not my business. I wanted to see what makes Him so. What was that power behind Him? What is that energy that works with Him? Even though He used to say Ganesha, Ganesha, the term Dattatreya came to use much later later. One day I asked Him, “Who is your Guru?” and He said, “Lord Dattatreya is my Guru.” I had heard something about Dattatreya and Sri Swamiji from my mother, but now I had to go through a long study about Lord Dattatreya; His origin, philosophy, Guru Charitra, teachings, lineage and everything else which I did in a few years.

At this time everyone and everything was pushing me towards a material life, but my psyche was not allowing it. In this course, I lost certain ordinary charms of life totally, because I weighed rational from the point. I was questioning whether this Maya is true or untrue. What are all these sorts of enjoyment? Is it for me? This led me automatically one day to Sri Swamiji who told me, “You have choice of sources of knowledge. Even though you are with me you can go to any other person. Go to Ramana Maharishi and learn. Go to some other places; come back with what you have learned.”

It made me to think of Ramana Maharishi so I went to Tiruvanamallai. This is where Ramana Maharishi taught a lot. When I came back I was full of happiness and bliss, even though it was a short tour. This happened in the middle of my longing for a physical carrier, a professional life and at the same time an understanding of spiritual truths. I was being with Sri Swamiji with such a messed up mind, so Ramana’s teaching became very handy for me.

I came back to Sri Swamiji with the realization, ‘Check who or what you are. Find out what you are in truth. What is that arrogant element that you often use as ‘I’? Source it out properly with the help of a teacher, a guru.’ Suppose you would ask me if Sri Swamiji is your Guru now? I will say yes! Before, yes! But it was not an agreement. Now I see Guru; the guru principle in Sri Swamiji, because He also shifted from one facet to another. Those loving young days when He was very carefree and jovial, we enjoyed His religious teachings, rituals and ceremonies. The grand Navaratri, Shivaratris and Datta Jayanti celebrations just being with the people, feeding them and helping their social activities in whatever way He could.

Another facet where He has shifted is to where He is teaching Kriya yoga and meditation. He talks about siddhis, manifestations and He tells you that human life is worth struggling for. The body must be used as a tool for the Godly nature to understand the truth and if you miss the boat it don’t come again. That brought me to an awareness that time is very precious. It should not be spent out with people, communications, or a friendship. All these relationships, romance, all these things were not for me. Even though I am basically I am a person I like, love. I like life. There was change in my perception in life.

After returning from abroad, He started to frequently send me on my own mission abroad. He asked, “Have you mastered Bhagavat Gita and Guru Gita? Are you capable of giving out the essence of the Upanishads?” I said yes! Then He said, “Okay go.” Everything was arranged to go Europe and then I went to America and Trinidad. Whatever was supposed to happen was on my own initiative. That taught me to be very flexible and tolerant. It taught me in a very subtle way to develop a divine relationship with western people. Not on race, color, or creed or any discriminatory factors, but to look at them as human beings.

Before leaving, Sri Swamiji implicitly told me that the divine manifest is very preponderantly powerful in man, in human, so respect all human beings and love them. He wanted me to be everywhere. What I learn there was that it all looked like a dream to me. Dreams, like secrets are happening before me. But now I am confident. For me now Sri Swamiji is a great mystic; an unbelievable, spiritually powerful person, who walks around us. The guru element is in Him.

‘Guru’ is a common word everyone uses here in India. But as Sadguru I see Him for His great multifaceted personality. On one side there are great achievements in yoga, being a yogi himself. At the same time there is an equanimous disposition of mind after having become a yogi. Having gone through the struggle of life, through penance, being with common people and grinding him with the common difficulties as I have seen Him in young age, I see that He is beyond duality. This is a characteristic of the guru.

For Him, this is my transit point, planet earth.  But He is attracting thousands of people today irrespective of country, creed or race. Wherever He steps, that place becomes holy. He creates certain sacredness to any land or any person. A person maybe ordinary, rustic and not knowledgeable, but for them also He uses inspiration. He is capable of doing that but He has His own conditions. On one side He shows the glories of all the deities and the energy system becomes mystical in expression and thereby adds force into every word He wants added into something and the words become true. They mean something and in order to make them understand He gives you sufficient strength to understand it also.

These are all part of the unusual mystic nature that exists with saints. We have heard about Jesus and the Bible, the Rishis and other great mystics, Dattatreya, Vashishta and Jamadagni; I studies about them. All those traits are inherent in Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. He is extraordinary. He himself says “I don’t know why I am here? What I am doing?”

He becomes childlike. That is when the mysticism becomes totally perfect, when He says, I am nothing and I am a garbage man to carry the karmas of the people. I am walking on this planet to clear dirt. I am here to share radiance of the divine. I am here to serve you. I am here for few people not for all. I am not here for a following. I am not here for grandiose, light life, enjoyments. I am not here for anything. I am here for few people.”

There are people who are working with Him always. There are many families who have become closer to Him. He has a beautiful circle of pure souls. Who always says Datta, Datta. Dattatreya was Rishi and they compare Him to Sri Swamiji. As Shirdi Sainath is compared to Dattatreya teachings and they say He is an incarnation I can very say that I have experienced form.

Having studied life of many saints, Sri Dattatreya is supposed to be a very interesting Rishi and Sri Swamiji has His common characteristics. He is a yogi, a vairagi, unattached totally to anything. At the same time He plays with the world that has been created by the cosmic truth. The world is a stage for Him, He understands that very well and He plays His role very well; that is the attribute of Sri Datta. All accomplishments are with Him.

He is the source of all spiritual accomplishments, the ashta siddhis. He has this and yet at the same time He says that I am nobody. Goddess mother is the truth, but there is a higher truth; He points His finger to a higher Parambrahma which is Datta’s trait. He can be a rustic and a beggar at the same time. He can sit on a gold throne or a farmer box. He can be a king or servant. There are many events where I have seen Him that prove these things.

That equanimity which He has developed is very rare in our community in our human society. Today He is shining as a very brilliant star. Everybody talks about Datta. Everybody talks about Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, saying that we are all living in His time. You are on a campaign to collect the stories all devotees and I can safely say that for the revival of our dharmic tenets Sri Swamiji is there doing this for the benefit of His people. He is doing that so that there could an elevation in human life. Is He very conservative now? Is He here to glorify himself? No! not at all. It is all in your perception as how you want to see Him. Maybe as a rich man, a beggar, a yogi, a bhogi or as Chaitanya Purusha; whatever term you use, combined together He is That.

Within my mind I can experience it now. We have to struggle until we grind our selves to the Feet of the Guru. He just watches you and He brings you back into a beautiful life after that grinding. In Guru-Sishya relationship we say Guru is everything. When we say everything, your feeling, your trust, the confidence you have in life, what you think about yourself, is all part of the Guru. You are only in His field of energy. Alone, myself, I am very happy, I don’t have any problems. Yet, He has given me some time to think and travel further and explore spiritual truths which is good for me. All the time He cautions me, “This is for you, not for me.”

He is walking with us and He is making you walk with Him. You have to place your step very carefully. Every step has to be a step of awareness, which Guru’s grace within your heart. Every step has to say the time is not long. Always think about the higher purpose in life when you are with Sri Swamiji knowing that you have been there before, is there now and will be in the future too. And that saintly nature is preponderantly powerful.

I have sublimated my ego to an extent. I know that this Swamiji is an ego basher. He expects you to be in a certain way and He wants that to happen and that’s it.  Maybe my life is supposed to be here, so I don’t expect anything as such from Him. My attachments are limited, but I keep doing what I can do. At the same time I know very well that man’s time is short on this planet. A certain amount of fulfillment has to occur here. This according to my karma can be different with others. He has to play His worldly role and He is doing it very well.

I don’t know if I deserve to be His Shishya, but I see His grace working with me always and every moment. Ashram life has taught me a lot and I am quite discipline now, but I have limitations. Datta’s creation is beautiful and He shows me that everything is Datta. Everything works with His power and to a certain extent He gives me glimpses and Sri Swamiji is still there silent unto himself alone in His own Swarupa. In his own blissful state He is there. All these things happen because of the energy He possesses or it has been blessed to Him by His Mother Mata Jayalakshmi. I see a human excellence in Sri Swamiji.

Jaya Guru Datta 

Sri Swamiji Says

“Among the four paths, namely, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Prapatti Yoga, shown by the Geetachaarya as tools for self-realization and release from the worldly bondage, Prapatti or Sharanaagati — the Yoga of surrender — is the most suited for the present day man.”

Permanent link to this article: https://puttugam.com/devotee-experiences-swami-manasa-datta-pada-renu-mysore/


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    • Nandini Prakasarao Velagapudi on August 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I am lucky to have heard most of this story from Manasa Swamy himself while he stayed with us for almost a year to spread the mission of DYC. I am glad other devotees have the opportunity now of knowing how Manasa Swamy came into contact with Swamiji. I firmly believe destiny determine everything.

    • Mukund Mohan on August 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Jai Guru Datta and Pranams to Sri Manasa Datta Swamiji !!

    Very touching, very real experiences. !! Myself and my sister very happy to see Sujaya Mam’s name in your article!! . !! Sri Guru Datta !!

    • Kalyani Nimmagadda on August 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Jgd Radhanna,
    Very wonderful experience. Narrated not just as your experience but as you are experiencing it again while writing for us. How lucky to hear from you. Indeed nothing beyond Swamiji. He is the Guru, Saint, Mother, Father, Datta, Siva. Touched our hearts

    • Divya Kesarinath on August 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Jai Guru Datta Swami Manasa. This is one of the most touching, enlightening experience I have read in my life. I thoughrouly enjoyed reading every line of your spiritual journey thus far. Sri Swamiji is Lord Datta himself. It is so hard to even imagine or explain his leela and we are so fortunate to have Him in our life and His grace touching millions of souls everyday all over the world. Thank you Swami Manasa for sharing your experiences. Jaya Guru Datta!!

    • on August 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Jgd Swami Manasa! It was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed reading very single line of your association with the Ashrama and Sri Swamiji. It is indeed very touching. I think every Datta devotee should read this experience and get benefitted. Thanks for sharing. Jaya Guru Datta! Om Namo Hanumathe Namaha!

  1. Jaya Guru Datta Swami Manasa Datta. You are the universal brother in the ashram. What a indepth explanation about GUru Tatva. Very nicely explained about Swamiji’s energy. We are so fortunate to learn so much from you. You taught me Lalita Sahasra Nama , you told me how to do puja with more bhavana. Thanks for all those good times spent with you. THis article is excellent. Hope you are feeling better and hope you will come and teach us some more valuable lessions. Pranams Lakshmi mahipal.

  2. Jaya Guru Datta to SWAMI MANASA, Although we have known you for over 26 years ,this is is the first time were hearing your life story with our PARAMAGURU. It is totally fascinating.
    Destiny works in miraculous ways.. On Janmasthami day,it is a great story from long standing devotee. Om Namo Hanumate Namaha

    • sujigovind on August 9, 2012 at 2:12 am

    JAYA GURU DATTA…..What an experience ..very much needed for Sri Swamiji`s followers….being our own with divine Sadguru…real lessons …Sri Manasa Dattaji…thanx gives us lots of stuff to think & learn..your singing is soul stirring bhakti or love for Sri Swamiji spurts just by listening to…Pranams to Appaji…HE is Great…V LUV HIM

  3. Jaya Guru Datta. Swami Manasa has personally shared his journey with me and instilled more humility into my personality.Reading this was a recapture of what he shared with me and a few others in Toronto last year. Tears flow from my eyes to see the eternal compassion of Sath guru and his transformation!

    • MischieviousMonkey on August 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    JGD! Dear Swami Manasa,

    Thank you for a detailed elaboration of your own experience of H.H. Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. It was a detailed, touching, heart-felt, honest, straightforward, no-nonsense evaluation of the influence of SatGuru in your own life, which touched on many points that I suspect are common to many devotees, while also revealing the uniqueness of the relationship you yourself have with Sri Swamiji. May it benefit all who read and hear about it. I know that it has benefited me – first and foremost by reminding me of how my family’s relationship with Swamiji began. Our family came into Swamiji’s fold only in the last decade or so; so you are etched in my mind as a significant component of that experience of Swamiji’s pariwaara.

    I will always remember the wonderful times when Swamiji would give week/2-week long satsangs on various subjects (vedas, bhagavad gita, etc.), with trusty Radhanna at his side. I remember He would be teasing, scolding, gleefully smiling, joking, and playfully pushing you to do things – all the while giving a glimpse of what a Guru-Sishya relationship is like for those who have no point of reference. It was an infectious blessing to see, hear and experience both of you together on stage during those moments. I also remember once someone telling us the story of how you (as a small child) once walked for many miles searching for a glass of milk to give to Swamiji when He became hungry/thirsty. It takes abnormal purity of mind (/satvik mind) to see yourself (good/bad) as you really are from a third-person perspective in an objective manner, and your narration gives an example of the clarity/sincerity of mind required for any real sishya to benefit from Swamiji’s continuous lessons.

    Most importantly, your experience is a reminder that Swamiji is not just the Guru of our public ego/self; rather, he is the Guru of our TOTAL (public + private) ego/self; He is not just the Guru during the 5-minute interviews; but rather, He is observing you patiently like a mother from the time you were born, through your youth, until you grow into old age, and beyond. He knows our monkey like private behaviors and knows how to straighten us out, without revealing anything more than a hint of a mischievous but all-knowing pearly white smile. When you see that particular smile, it is unmistakable, …you know you are about to get a good kick. But oddly enough, a part of you is looking forward to it happily anyway; because you know the one who is kicking you loves you more than anyone else in the world could. 🙂

    “GurOrukthaVakhye manoYesya Lagnam, …GurOrukthaVakyhe, manoYesya Lagnam…Labhet vanchitaartham… padam brahma sanghyam …padam brahma sanghyam.”


    Om Namo Hanumate Namaha!

  4. Jaya Guru Datta, I am also one of the blessed few to got associated with Sri Manasa Datta Swami for few days (Yes it is only few days in 1996). He showed all his love and compassion on me and he shared few of his experiences with Sri Swamiji. Those memories are always reeling in my mind, whenever I saw his picture or heard his name. Pranams to Manasa Datta Swami. Jaya Guru Datta

    • Prasad Madala on August 10, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Jaya Guru Datta,
    What a great life experience Manasa Dattaji, it your ‘punya karma’ from your previous janma’s that made you be trained/mended by such great Master/Guru in this life. What a blessedness!
    Om Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha

    • Cindi Swearengin on August 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Jai Guru Datta!!! As I wipe the tears from my cheeks, I am appreciating the depth of inspiration you have brought to me, by sharing your beautiful life story. It is amazing and difficult to explain, how this “Destiny” , has brought us all to be with our Beloved SadGuru, Sri Swamiji, but you have given an amazing account of unfoldment, in the evolution of your life with His Holiness. Thank- you Swami Manasa Datta, for sharing your heart with us. <3 <3 <3 Sri Guru Datta!!!

    • Radha from on August 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

    JAYA GURU DATTA! So happy and deeply touched by Your wonderful honest story with our beloved Appaji, dear Swami Manasa Dattaji! Thank You very very much for sharing! With my sincere and best wishes! S.G.D. OM NAMO HANUMATE NAMAHA

    • Prabhakar Jayaraman on August 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta Swami Manasa Datta!! Very nice and joyous experience. You are a highly lucky and elevated soul. So happy to read your life experience under Appaji the Lord Krishna!! Sri Guru Datta!!!!

    • Madhavi Katta and Srinivas Katta on August 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta, what a great experience….very much needed for my family,when ever I remember Appaji, I remember swamy mañana datta.every thing will happen because of Appaji’s grace. thank you mañana datta Srinivas and madhavi Katta

    • R.Srikantesh on August 11, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Jaya Guru Datta. Thank you for sharing your happenigs in life. May be it is an eye opener to some of us atleast. Om Namo Hanumathe Namaha. JGD.

    • Dr.Venkataratnam Reddibathini Guntur on August 11, 2012 at 3:54 am


    • Hanuman Hoffman on August 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta

    A simply marvelous, and humble recounting of your life’s journey, Dear Manasa Datta. Thank you.

    • Rashmibhai & Kokila Patel(UK) on August 12, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Jaya Gurudatta Radhanna. A beautiful narration of your experience with Sri Swamiji,thank you for sharing with us.
    Destiny determined us to have the memorable personal contact from 29 Aug,-7 Sept.’11 where you shared more experiences and life in the ashram with Pujya Sri Swamiji.Hope we meet again and again to know more about the life of His Holiness.

    • rose sheppard webster on August 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    this brought a smile to my heart 🙂

    • vindra Maheepat on August 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

    jaya Guru Datta Swami Manasa. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your experience with Sri Swamiji. Thank you. Om Namo Hanumate Namaha!

    • Vanaja on August 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Om Namo Hanumate Namaha, dear Manasa. Thank you for explaining again the matter of time. I think I understood very clearly, that I don’t have endless time. This journey along with Sri Swamiji is a big blessing. I would like to use this life the right way and see it as a gift. To know you is very much supporting – thank you for everything.

    • Thiagarajan K Rengasamy on August 18, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Jaya Guru Datta
    Dear Swami Manasa. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with His Holiness with us.
    Best wishes from all of us in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    • Raj_Winand_The_Hague_Netherlands_Europe on August 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta
    Thank U.

    Sariramartam praanaamscha sadgurubyo nivedayet atmanamapi dasyaaya vaideho janako jataa

    • annessa on August 23, 2012 at 11:41 am

    What a truly beautiful life experience to share with us Swami Manasa.
    Jaya Guru Datta.

    • Asha Salick on August 27, 2012 at 8:34 am

    THANK YOU , for sharing your experience with us ,, I truly appreciate it, it help me to understand what this life is about.. reading through your experience with sri swamiji help me in so many ways,, with myself..my love for GOD and GURU ..Thank you so much swami Manasa..

    • shreenivasdatta on December 13, 2012 at 12:39 am


    • Kalyani on February 16, 2013 at 6:47 am


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