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|| Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe || - 10

Foreword by the author - B Radha Krishna Murthy (BRK)

Biographies of great saints are always extraordinary and amusing. Every incident of their life preaches something and every step they take acts as a torch bearer to people around. Something new can be learnt each time we read such a biography. No matter how many times we re-read a great saint’s story, it only fills us with happiness and we can never get enough of it.


A great soul like Sri Poornananda Swamy came to Hatakeswaram in 1969 and through His blessings, some of us had the fortune of having His darshan. Staying in Swamiji’s proximity and observing His powers with our very eyes, we were curious to know more about Him. Who is He? Who are His parents? Who is His Guru? What did He study? So many questions floated in our minds. But we never could gather the courage to enquire Swamiji. Sometimes when Swamiji was in a cheerful mood with us, we would subtly ask few details. Mostly, on noticing our inquisitiveness, Swamiji Himself would give out some more details.

Swamiji was born in 1939 in Madurai and was named Sri Kameswaran. His mother was Parvathavardhini and father was Sri Subrahmanya Sastry garu. He had His former education in a small village called Sattur. His entire family was extremely knowledgeable and His father Sri Subrahmanya Sastry garu himself was Swamiji’s first Guru.

Swamiji narrated many incidents from his childhood to me and I wrote them all down. After listening to stories about such a divine soul, I spent several sleepless nights wondering if all this was true. I wanted to see all that Swamiji narrated with my own eyes. Immediately, I applied for a month’s leave from work, lied to my family that I was attending a training and prepared to go to Tamil Nadu. Nandikotkuru Raju garu also volunteered to come with me. To reach Madras, we had to board a train from Ongole and a bus from Srisailam to Banglore would make a stop in Ongole. We wanted to have Swamiji’s darshan before leaving and informed the bus driver that we would board at Hatakeswaram. It was around 12 in the afternoon and our bus was scheduled at 2PM. Before Swamiji, with our heads bent down and facing the ground, we lied, “Swamiji, we have some agricultural lands in Visakhapatnam and this is the time for harvest. We will return in a month”. To that, Swamiji said, “You may go, but there is language problem for you. If you have no objection, I will come as a guide to you”. We can lie to anybody in the world but Swamiji can always read our minds. Immediately, I prostrated before Swamiji and said, “We are going to know more about Swamiji’s life story”. “No objection, I will come as a guide. I will assist you, that’s all!”, replied Swamiji.

Clad in just the koupina, Swamiji instantly was ready to leave with us. I wrapped a silk cloth from my bag around Swamiji. Nandikotkuru Raju garu and I, along with Swamiji started our journey. Since we boarded the bus in Ongole, as if in a trance, I started behaving in an extremely friendly way with Swamiji. He also reciprocated in the same way and mingled with us. Even as Swamiji carried our luggage, we did not bother to object to it. Swamiji then said that one should have fate and good fortune for anything to happen. I opposed Swamiji’s views and said,” There is nothing to do with luck Swamiji! paisa mein paramaatma, if one has money, he will automatically be lucky. Don’t we have to pay to even have coffee?”. In this way, I spoke like a know-it-all without giving much thought. Towards the end, Swamiji asked, “Do you want to experience it?”. I agreed. He then asked, “Are you prepared for it?”. I replied saying that that was the purpose of my travel.

I was carrying Rs.700 with me to cover the month’s travel expenses. To be cautious against robbery, I hid the money in small amounts in different places. Meanwhile a beggar approached Swamiji and said, “Swami!”. Swamiji looked towards me and asked me to give money to the beggar. As I was about to give a coin, Swamiji said, “Not a coin, give a note” and He reached out to my shirt pocket and gave all the money from it. The overjoyed beggar took the money and left. As we were travelling in a passenger train, it stopped at every station. Swamiji donated all of the Rs.700 to all the beggars at each station. Swamiji reassured me saying, “Nothing will happen. I am there right? I will take care”. I was left with absolutely no money.

The train stopped at Tiruvattiyur station. Swamiji suggested we get down as the compartment was stinking. I insisted that we stay as our tickets are payed up till Madras. But Swamiji got down from the train and started walking and Raju garu followed Him. Swamiji did not even turn back to check on me and I started to worry that I will be left behind. Meanwhile, the train started to move. I had no money and Swamiji, who assured me that He would take care, was now walking away at a great speed. Realizing that I had no other choice, I jumped out of the moving train. I asked a fellow passenger to pass my luggage. Out of the four bags, he passed two and claimed that the other two were missing. With all my money and half my luggage gone, I felt lost and helpless. I started walking fast through concrete stones to match Swamiji’s speed. My slipper tore because of the stones. In this way, with my money gone and carrying two bags, I hurriedly walked barefoot to catch up to Swamiji, worrying that He might leave me behind.

Only a few hours back, I argued with Swamiji that fate meant nothing and that money is above all. Swamiji was now about to show me the importance of good fortune and fate, along with His life story. I intended to test Swamiji but now, was about face a big test from Him.


to be continued...

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