Foreword by the author - B Radha Krishna Murthy (BRK)
It is very difficult to talk about a supreme soul. Even the shastras say ‘Yatho Vacho Nirvathanthe’ while talking about the essence of Parabrahma. This is because the philosophy of Parabrahman is beyond the realm of speech. When an elevated soul like that takes a form into this world, it is very difficult for humans to even recognize Him. They possess all the attributes of a human form and hence, we often mistake them to be ordinary human beings. It is not possible for us to perceive their greatness unless it is through their will.
In 1962, on account of my job, I moved to Srisailam. The office buildings were situated in the dense forest. As those were the early days of the Srisailam dam project, there were only a few of us. Having to stay in the wild forest made us very affectionate towards one another. In those days, we did not possess radios or televisions and hence immersed ourselves in satsangs to pass time. Every Saturday we organized Srirama bhajans in each of our houses. We continued to do so from 1962-1969. We also organized Srirama Navami celebrations annually. During one of our satsangs, I met Satyanarayana garu, who also worked in our office.
“I happened to have the darshan of a great man. I was filled with warmth and felt a vibration through my body the moment I saw Him. I was standing on the road as I saw Him on top of the Tirupathi satram. But unfortunately, I had to come back. Words fail to describe such a great man”. On hearing this, we also tried our luck at having his darshan, but in vain. He was not to be found anywhere. We went to inquire in the Tirupathi satram and were told that He was staying there earlier but left two days ago. Disappointed, we then came back.
On one evening, while visiting Hatakeswaram with four other friends, we had the darshan of a Sadasiva swaroopam under a tree. On seeing that roopam we wondered, " who installed this statue"! Clad in a kaupina and bearing long jathas, the statue resembled Lord Siva sitting in deep meditation. We did not have the courage to go near the statue. We prostrated to the statue from a distance and reached our respective houses around 7PM. All night, I pondered," who might have installed that statue". I even thought, "Maybe it isn't a statue but a great soul in a human form."
The next morning at 9AM, I went back to the same place and realized that it was indeed a human who looked like a statue. I was astonished to see that He was rooted to his spot of meditation. I observed Him for a while from a distance and then left to my office. However, I went back to the same place in the evening and He was still engrossed in meditation. I tried to move closer to Him but my movements did not seem to affect Him at all. He just sat there unmoved with half closed eyes. I was filled with fear as He remained unstirred and unaffected even as I went close to Him.
In that way, I tried to be in His proximity for a week. As this continued every day and night, one day I observed Him moving towards Paaladhaara for a bath. I tried to follow Him closely and He still seemed to have not noticed me.
I found it strange that He never asked me, "why have you come"? I was enchanted by Him who possessed a divine golden-yellowish complexion. But the fact that He never spoke to me tickled my curiosity. As He was bathing Himself in Paaladhaara, I noticed a glow emanating from His body and thought to myself that He wished to bless me in that way.
Even after a few days of me trying to be in His proximity, I was not fully convinced that He was human. I thought to myself," He could be a mouna swamy". Having heard and seen other mouna swamis already, I came to that conclusion. As days passed, He still did not notice me. In a juvenile attempt to draw His attention, I gently touched His arm. He then softly spoke,
“What for you are coming? Life is very short. Do some sadhana."
I was pleasantly surprised to hear Him converse in English. Also, I was filled with fear and left towards Paaladhaara immediately. After I overcame my fear, I understood that He converses normally and went back for His darshan the next day. Pleading for forgiveness I said, “Swamy! I accept that I have acted childishly. But my only intention behind those naïve attempts was to know you better.” He said it was ok. I tried to stay by Him and observe what He does. He lived in a small hut-like kuteeram. He possessed neither books nor any essentials. I also noticed that another sadhu stayed along with Him. As I questioned the sadhu, I found out that he came with the Swamy from Shirdi and that his name was Ramana Baba. Swamy also gave mantropadesham to the sadhu.
to be continued...