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|| Sri Brahmananda Gurave Namaha || -2

On Sri Brahmananda Swamy's command, Sri Bharati Swamy executed his responsibilities as the Peethadhipati for a while. Later a sixteen year old boy was selected to be trained as Peethadhipati. Sri Bharati Swamy then went to live in the house that his Guru had provided.

Bharati Swamy remained a simple man but one who was a Trikalajnani. He ran here and there, teaching and prophesying. He would be dressed in all sorts of different ways: an overcoat, a turban, or just a kaupeen. He paid no heed to his domestic responsibilities. His behaviour was direct and inexplicable. In the Sabha, where he still went to give lectures, or out of it, he spoke with the true voice of Brahmananda Swamigal and was frequently in Sahaja Samadhi. As a Trikalajnani, he could tell people everything they needed to know of the present, past and future, even before they asked. He refused nothing he was offered to eat and suffered from sever acute stomach problems. Special arrangements had to be made in the house so he could run in in an emergency.

His wife, Meenakshi Ammal, lived the life of an ordinary woman, running a house and looking after her husband, but for the great sorrow of suffering six miscarriages, one after the other, and of being childless. Finally, she made a pilgrimage to Rameswaram where she prayed to Mother Parvathavardhini for a child, promising that it would be named for Her. Shortly after this a daughter was born and duly named Parvathavardhini. She was to be the only child of Bharati Swamy and Meenakshi Ammal; four subsequent conceptions ended in miscarriages.

The blithe attitude of her husband was frustrating to Meenakshi Ammal. She would nag and cajole him but without result. His inevitable response to anything that happened was, “Brahmananda Gurave Namah”. If he were notifying members of the family about the arrival of someone he would write, “Brahmananda Gurave Namah. Have sent Mother. Brahmananda Gurave Namah”, without any mention of when she could be expected, who was with her and such matters. It became a joke in the family to say, when someone was vague, “Brahmananda Gurave Namah”.

Meenakshi Ammal couldn’t get her husband to attend to his obligations even on the crucial point of a daughter’s marriage. She shouted at him, “the girl is growing and you are not being responsible. You have to look for a boy for her marriage”. Bharati Swamy, apparently completely indifferent, did not reply. Some time passed and then he suddenly went out of the house “without taking a pie”.

Parvathavardhini (Mathaji)

He flung on his coat, saying, “I am going to seek an alliance for our daughter. I am going to find a boy”. He went straight to Madurai railway station where his lack of money proved no obstacle. He went straight up to a man who was standing with his ticket in his hand and said, “This ticket is for me not you. You go to your village at once. After ten days come to me. Brahmananda Jai”. Bharati Swami could see through space and time and knew that the man’s daughter had been seriously injured in a firecracker explosion. Due to his intervention her life was saved as her father arrived in time to take the proper steps. He came to Bharati Swamy after ten days as requested and became his devotee. He owned a cloth shop so, from then on, all the sheets, towels, pillows and lungis the family used came from there with the gratitude of this man on whose ticket Bharati Swamy travelled to Madras.

Word of this unusual passenger spread through the train and people crowded to have his darshan and hear his predictions. He was provided with food and every comfort on the journey and with money to continue his quest with its forgone conclusion.

Bharati Swamy, on his quest for a son-in-law he already knew everything about, arrived at Egmore, Madras. He called a rickshaw puller, “Hey, Muthaiyya, come here!”. The man, amazed to hear his own name, turned to see a stranger waving at him.

“Today is a chance for you, I am a Trikalajnani. Take me to Purasawalkam”, Bharati Swamy said. This area was not far from Egmore and they soon came to Vellala street.

“Go straight on”, said Bharati Swamy, “Stop at door number forty-four”. He directed the rickshaw puller to a small lane, so narrow that the rickshaw could hardly fit and there, on the right, was number forty-four. Bharati Swamy jumped down and knocked repeatedly on the door, shouting, “Hari Haran Iyer, Hari Haran Iyer!”

Hari Haran Iyer was used to being treated with the greatest respect by everyone and was shocked to hear his name being yelled out so unceremoniously. He opened the door and could not at first see anyone standing there, such a powerful and radiant light was emanating from all sides. Intuitively he bowed and with trembling hands made Namaskaram. Before he could so much as form a question, Bharati Swamy was speaking, “I am the Sisya of Brahmananda Swamigal. Know me as Bharati Swamy. Lead me to a room and bring me hot coffee. Put a bucket of water in the lavatory”. He ordered him to give two rupees to the rickshaw puller.

“I have come here knowing that the son of your brother, Subrahmanya Sastry is here, studying in the Mylapore Sanskrit College. He will eventually become a great Jnani. He will be initiated by a great Guru who is in Kalladaikuruchi. A girl of mine is ready for wedlock with this boy. The marriage is fixed, you cannot change it. I cannot change it. Don’t try any tricks. Obey my orders. I want to take a bath. Brahmananda Gurave Namah”.

As Sri Bharati Swamy had predicted, Sri Subrahmanya Sastry garu was indeed studying in Mylapore Sanskrit College. His family were Iyers from the village of Pillaiyarkulam which is about twenty miles from Tirunelvelli. Pillaiyar is a name of Lord Ganapati and Kulam is the Tamil word for “tank”; there is a large tank sacred to Lord Ganesh in the village.

His father was Pitchumani Iyer, known as Kavirayar Pitchumani because he would spontaneously break into song in praise of Guru, Parvathi and Lord Siva. Kavirayar means “great poet”. Layers of meaning and intricate wordplay distinguished his songs which sprang up without any preparation (and were never recorded). The boy’s mother was called Muthulakshmi and the couple’s four children were Subbulakshmi, Kasi Shankarnarayanan Iyer, Subramanyam and Parvathi. It was the second son, Subramanyam, who was to be discovered in a marvellous way by Bharati Swamy and who would later become the father of Swamiji. Subramanyam was born in Trivandrum in 1906.

The family had moved to Trivandrum for business reasons. Pitchumani Iyer owned a ship and imported rice from Malaysia and the famous Rangoon rice from Burma. He had a big grocery store for the retail side of the business and was very successful and prosperous. He was able to establish and run a Bhajan Hall in Trivandrum for the singing of devotional songs. All was set fair for the future of the family. Then, while Subramanyam and his elder brother Kasi were in the second and fourth standards respectively at school and learning Malayalam, disaster befell the import business: the ship was sunk in a bombing raid by Japanese boats on the high seas and the loss amounted to crores of rupees. Pitchumani Iyer managed to pay his creditors then he left Trivandrum and returned to Pillaiyarkulam, his own village. Kasi was taken by his maternal uncle to live in his house in Madras and to be given an education. Subramanyam was put into the Sanskrit School at Trichandur, about thirty miles from Tirunelvelli. This is a Kshetra of Lord Subramanya; it’s the third most important of the Kshetras sacred to Him which are Palini, Swamimalai, Tiruchandur, Tiruparankundram, Palamuthisolai and Tiruttani. In the Trichandur Sanskrit School, the young Subramanyam learned Vedas through “parrot-like repetition”; the language itself was not taught in the early stages but later on he passed the preliminary examinations in Sanskrit.

Two years after settling his sons in Sanskrit schools. Pitchumani Iyer went to Singapore, Penang and finally settled in Ippoh.


to be continued...

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