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|| Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe || - 11

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

After a few hours of me arguing with Swamiji that luck and fortune do not hold importance, I lost my money and two of my bags. Placing my complete trust in Swamiji at that point, I kept walking behind Him.


Swamiji took us to a huge temple in Tiruvattiyur. The temple had huge walls and a water body (koneru) in the middle, surrounded by stairs. Swamiji removed the silk cloth I had wrapped around Him in Hatakeswaram and went for a swim into the water. In the vast water body, Swamiji was dipping into the water in one place and resurfacing in a completely different place. I sat watching in awe, as Swamiji stunted through the water.

Swamiji signaled to me to get into the water too. I said, "I do not know how to swim, Swamiji" and sat on the stairs. After a while, Swamiji got out of the water. Believing that Swamiji would stay there, I left my other two bags and clothes and went down a few stairs to take a bath. When I turned back, Swamiji and Raju garu were not to be seen. I looked around but could not find them and I did not know the local language to ask people. Wrapped in only a towel, I started searching for Swamiji. I asked every person I saw for ‘Swamy’ but nobody answered. I then acted out that Swamiji has a long beard, to which one person said, ‘Oh Swamy aa’ and took me to the outskirts to a man named Kuppuswamy who owned a cart. Disappointed, I then returned to the temple. Upon deciding to sell my father’s gold ring that I was wearing and use the money to return to Srisailam, I went back into the temple. As I walked in, I saw a long queue leading to a platform in the temple. On walking closer to the platform, I saw Swamiji sitting there and that people had queued up for His darshan. Relieved on finding Swamiji, I tried to go near Him but was pushed away and made to stand in the queue by one of those people. Swamiji observed all of this but chose to remain silent. After everybody left, I went up to Swamiji and looked around for my clothes and bags. My eyes then fell on the money that the crowd offered to Swamiji. “Did you finish your bath?”, asked Swamiji. I said, “Yes Swamiji, where are my bags?”. Swamiji replied, “How would I know!”. A thief must have noticed Swamiji going inside the temple after His bath and robbed my bags. Swamiji said, “It’s OK that you lost the bags. You lost your bad karma along with them too. Take this money and buy yourself a pair of clothes from the shop down the street. Also have some idlis and bring back a bun and tea for me” and gave me some of the money that the crowd offered. After spending half a day at Tiruvattiyur, we left to Madras.

Every moment I spent with Swamiji and every incident that occurred in that journey is extremely precious. A Guru's grace goes beyond our arrogance, logic and discrimination and I understood that only after losing my money and bags. Swamiji imparted knowledge through so many experiences in that trip. Clad in only a kaupina and with no money, Swamiji provided us with everything that we needed throughout the journey. Even when Swamiji was offered a fruit or money, He gave all of it to us but never used it for Himself. This is an example to show Swamiji's benevolence towards the people who believe in Him and follow His path.

In Madras, we stayed in a hotel room. After resting for a while, Swamiji took me with Him to visit a relative. He was delighted on seeing Swamiji. His name was Venkata Raman garu. He shared with me about the bond he had with Swamiji. Venkat Raman garu was given mantra-deeksha by Swamiji Himself. Swamiji also took the responsibility of his sister’s marriage upon Himself, worked for a while and grandly performed the wedding. We stayed in Venkat Raman garu’s house for two days, returned to the hotel room, where Raju garu was waiting for us and started to Kanchi. Swamiji took us to Siva Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi and explained their significance to us. From there, we went to Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.

I had the fortune of having the darshan of Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswathi, who was extremely happy on seeing Swamiji. For a while, they both communicated in silence. Swamiji appeared to have a divine glow during that time. On noticing this, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamy enquired and found out details about Swamiji from me. Before we could leave, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamy insisted that we spend at least a day there, to which Swamiji also obliged. We stayed for a day in Kanchi Peetham and left to Kalavai, the birthplace of our Parama Guru Sri Omkarananda Swamy. Raju garu was in a state of ecstasy on seeing the temples of Kanchi. Swamiji asked him to spend some more time in Kanchi to visit the temples and join us in Kalavai later.

Sri Omkarananda Swamy was born in a small village called Agaram, near to Kalavai, to an extremely poor family. His birth-name was Muni Swamy. At a very young age, He left home and chose a path of austerity. Along with South India, He also toured many holy places and forests in North India to perform penance. He finally reached Ganeshpuri in Maharashtra, which is the abode of Sri Nityananda Bhagavan, whom He considered as His Guru. Sri Nityananda Bhagavan built an ashram in Nimboli for Him and named Him Sri Omkarananda Swamy. He would build a fire for Himself and smear the vibhooti on His body. He was called as Rakhadi Baba for that reason. In Marathi, Rakhadi means Vibhooti.

Sri Omkarananda Swamy (Rakhadi Baba)


to be continued...

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