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|| Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe || - 18

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


As we reached Agastya Falls on our way to Swamiji’s taposthanam, it had been more than a month since we started our journey. My foot was badly injured and I was finding it extremely difficult to walk. On noticing my pain, Swamiji said something in Tamil to a tribal man passing-by. He plucked some leaves from a nearby tree, made a medicine out of it and tied it around my wound. I was quite relieved after a while. Swamiji took us to the Varuna cave, by the Banateertha waterfalls. Swamiji met Sri Rakhadi Baba for the first time in this very cave.


 

After the demise of Swamiji’s father and first Guru, Sri Subrahmanya Sastry garu, Swamiji was grief-stricken, which led to a disinterest in life. After fulfilling His family duties, Swamiji chose the path of tapas with the intention of reaching His departed father. Swamiji chose the Varuna cave, by the Banateertha waterfalls for His tapas. Swamiji’s resolution to leave His own body caused a stir in nature as well. The wild animals sought Swamiji’s sannidhi and tried to gather food for Him. The Tamravaruni river, that flows amid the forest, rose up until the cave to touch Swamiji’s holy feet. The intense tapas that Swamiji did for 26 days managed to move Sri Omkarananda Swamy, who was residing in Nimboli, close to Sri Nityananda Bhagavan’s abode Ganeshpuri. As if the Supreme Mother had sent Her word, Sri Omkarananda Swamy set out to visit His mother for the last time. By the time Baba had reached His native, Kalavai, His mother had already breathed her last. Baba was unable to have His mother’s last darshan, just as Swamiji could not see His father for the last time. Baba then went to Palani, had His head shaved and proceeded to Papanasanam. As Baba spent the night on a porch in Papanasanam, He heard two sadhus talk about Agastya Falls and Sorimuthu Aiyyanar temple. The next morning at first light, Baba started walking towards Agastya Falls. There was a postmaster residing in the Upper Dam, who used to visit Baba often in Nimboli. The postmaster built a small hut for Baba, close to the Sorimuthu Aiyyanar temple. While talking to Baba once, the postmaster mentioned to Him that a young brahmin boy (Swamiji) was performing intense tapas in the forest. On hearing this, Baba immediately rushed to the Varuna cave. The Varuna cave, situated by the Banateertha waterfalls, was very old and it was not easy to reach the cave. By then, Swamiji had already spent 26 days in tapas, with no food, water or sleep. On the 27th day, at the time of sunset, Sri Rakhadi Baba had entered the Varuna cave. Swamiji, who was deeply absorbed in meditation until then, was awakened from the samadhi state as He felt Baba’s presence. Swamiji felt that His own father had come in the form of Sri Omkarananda Swamy to awaken Him for His tapas. In that very moment, Swamiji realized that Baba was His guru and that Swamiji and Baba were one and the same.


Baba put His hand under a rock in the cave and manifested a meal for Swamiji. Swamiji felt a lurking hesitation to eat without offering it to Baba. On sensing that, Baba said,


“When the Giver is giving to you, do you think you can give something to the Giver? You can eat. The Provider of Food can provide Food for Himself, for He Himself, is Food”

As Baba was about to leave to Sorimothu Aiyyanar temple, He said to Swamiji,


“Death is certain; let it be in tapas. Remain here and do tapas! "

Sri Rakhadi Baba and Sri Swamiji

On our way back from the Varuna cave, we met a man near the Upper dam. Swamiji asked me to give 13 rupees to that man. We were already low on money and worrying that we would be left with none, I gave 13 rupees to him. Swamiji felt very happy and said, “You have cleared your Guru’s debt. You will soon be promoted”. I was confused on hearing that and inquired Swamiji what clearing my Guru’s debt meant. Swamiji, then narrated a previous encounter with that man.


Back when Swamiji was in tapas, He was once cooking lunch for Baba and bought the necessary items from that man’s shop. Swamiji was unable to pay the shop owner and hence, bought the items on a loan. Swamiji said that now He was able to repay that debt He had made for Baba. The 13 rupees were only a reason for Swamiji to show His grace on me. In actuality, I had lost all the money that I got from Srisailam. Swamiji Himself took care of all our travel expenses. Even the 13 rupees that I gave to the shop owner were given to me by Swamiji. I had already received all the promotions in my office and a further escalation was not possible. However, whatever Swamiji said always became true. Even I was intrigued as to how a promotion would happen in this case.


After visiting Swamiji’s taposthanam, our tour came to an end. After arguing that money holds the most importance, Swamiji proved it to me that fate and fortune are required for anything to happen and without good fortune, even money cannot be obtained. We had visited many holy places and great saints as part of the tour. Swamiji took great care of us and provided us with everything we needed. With Swamiji’s blessings, we also had the darshan of Gurumatha and obtained Sri Rakhadi Baba’s padukas. As Swamiji had agreed to take Gurumatha with us in the return journey, we then left to Saattur.


 

to be continued...

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