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|| Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe || - 17

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

The prominence of Guru’s life story cannot be explained in words. For even a thought to sprout in our minds about Guru, we need to have His grace. Thinking about Guru releases us from materialistic woes and blesses us with boundless happiness. There is no philosophy, tapas or wisdom that is beyond a Guru. One requires the good fortune of many lives to have the darshan and stay in the proximity of Swamiji, the Poornananda Swaroopa. The strength and happiness that can be derived from Swamiji’s form, thoughts and sannidhi are paramount and matchless. Our journey to learn more about Swamiji’s parents and Guru took us till Tiruchendur and by then, we had already been blessed by some extraordinary experiences.


As instructed by His father and first Guru, Sri Subrahmanya Sastry garu, Swamiji took up the family responsibilities. He had accomplished them with utmost sincerity and had stabilized the family. After fulfilling His duties, Swamiji chose the path of tapas with the intention of reaching His departed father.

After having the darshan of Sri Subramanya Swamy in Tiruchendur, Raju garu and I, along with Swamiji went to Kalidaikurichi. Swamiji took us to a Vishnu temple on the way and told us that on His way to tapas, Swamiji rested for a while in this temple and that the temple’s priest did service to Him. In Kalidaikurichi, Swamiji took us to the adhistanams of Sri Neelakantha Deekshitar’s ancestors.

It was extremely hard to catch up to Swamiji’s walking pace. He could walk a great distance in light speed! As we had been travelling continuously for weeks, Raju garu and I were exhausted and found it hard to walk. In spite of taking great care of us and making sure that we were not deprived of anything throughout the travel, Swamiji was still energetic and enthusiastic. From Kalidaikurichi, we went to Tenkasi. Swamiji took us to the house of one of His important devotees, Sri Dorairaju garu. Swamiji told us that while He was at His taposthanam, Dorairaju garu performed a lot of service and that his family also had the darshan of Sri Rakhadi Baba. While telling us that Baba and Swamiji often visited Sri Dorairaju garu’s house in Kariyar, Swamiji was very appreciative of his service. After spending two days in their house, Swamiji took us through Ambasamudram, to Papanasanam. Raju garu and I, along with Swamiji started walking from Ambasamudram to Papanasanam. The sun had already set and it was slowly getting dark. In that darkness, Raju garu and I were both tired and sleepy. Swamiji was walking ahead of us and as we tried to catch up to Him, we kept wondering when we would reach Papanasanam.

Dorairaju garu with Sri Swamiji and Sri Rakhadi Baba

While we were walking in that exhausted state, Swamiji said, “Now we have to cross the river”. Crossing a river in our worn-out states seemed like a humongous task. Placing complete trust in Swamiji, I closed my eyes, put my hand on Swamiji’s shoulder and walked behind Him. Raju garu, holding on to my shoulder, walked behind me. We could hear the sound of the river flow and wondered when we would come close to it. We continued walking, thinking how the river’s flow might be. After we walked for a while, Swamiji said, “Now we have crossed the river”. In astonishment, I opened my eyes and checked my whole body but I could not feel any wetness! As I turned back, I was surprised to see that we had crossed the river and walked quite a distance away from it. Swamiji then said that there was a bridge across the river and that we had walked along the bridge. Even till date, I feel amazed thinking about our walk and the bridge from that night.

We reached Papanasanam at midnight. In Papanasanam, by the riverbank, there was a temple and many other small temples surrounding it. Swamiji said that we shall rest on a porch near to the temple for the night and continue our journey the next morning. The porch was at an altitude and the river ran next to it. Swamiji told us that while He was doing tapas, Sri Rakhadi Baba slept on this same porch. On the porch, I slept towards the side of the river, Raju garu was next to me and Swamiji slept next to him. It was a cold winter night and Raju garu and I used up all the blankets that we had, while Swamiji slept just in His kaupina. Concerned that Swamiji might feel cold, I offered one of my blankets to Him. But since Raju garu had low tolerance towards cold, Swamiji gave that blanket to him and chose to sleep only in the kaupina.

Being exhausted from the journey, we fell asleep really soon. In the middle of the night, my sleep broke and as I looked around, I could not find Raju garu. At the same time, I heard somebody scream, “Swamy! Swamy!” from the river. I was terrified that Raju garu might be drowning in the river and woke Swamiji up. Swamiji opened his eyes and asked what had happened. I told Him that Raju garu was drowning and since I could not swim, Swamiji only must save him. Swamiji glanced towards the river, said, “He will not die” and went back to sleep. I panicked that if something were to happen to Raju garu, I would be answerable to his family. Having no other option, I decided to go into the water myself. As I was gathering courage, Raju garu came walking from behind and lied down next to me. He told me that he went to a different porch to watch the stars in the beautiful sky. By then, there was a little sunlight and I realized that it was Ayyappa Swamy devotees who had shouted “Swamy! Swamy!” from the river. The mental exertion I had faced that night is indescribable. However, I was relieved that Raju garu was safe. Swamiji observed the entire incident in silence and towards the end, gave me a child-like giggle. The next morning, we continued our journey from Papanasanam.


to be continued...

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