A close aide of Swami Gnanananda Giri once asked him, “Swamiji, why are you taking the sins and sufferings of devotees and giving them punya (merits) in return?”
With a smile, Swamiji answered, “We often see in streets men who come door to door to collect waste paper, bottles and other trash from each house, don’t we? The householders also collect the trash from their house at regular intervals and wait for the person to come and collect it. When the person shows up, both are happy. The householder is happy because he gets rid of the waste material in the house in return for some money. The trash-man is happy because he got some trash for the day. Likewise, saints come down on the earth to take the sins accumulated by humans at regular intervals and bless them with goodness in return.”
The above example fits very aptly for one such great mahan who called himself a beggar. He was Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar, who lived the life of a beggar in the streets of Tiruvannamalai. His jayanti is on December 1 and in commemoration of his birthday, let us reminisce an incident from the life of this great mahatma who spent every moment doing His Father’s work!
Below is an excerpt from Yogiji’s biography Under the Punnai Tree that shows his immense mercy on anyone who sought his blessings:
During the summer of 1990, Yogi Ramsuratkumar was experiencing a serious health issue. He was constantly vomiting blood and became so weak that he could not walk. One of His devotees offered to get a doctor but Yogi refused. Finally He accepted to be treated by Dr. Radhakrishnan and moved to Sri Dwarak Nath Reddy’s house. Instead of staying in the cozy comforts of a palatial house, Yogi insisted on lying in the garden under the mango trees. It was the rainy season, and he had only two cotton spreads beneath him and a small pillow where he lay on the tiled patio of the walled garden. It started to rain and there were scorpions, snakes, centipedes and millipedes all around, but still Yogi refused to move inside. He stayed there for 10 days, sometimes in the pouring rain, his small makeshift tent dripping with water and crawling with insects seeking shelter from the downpour.
Dr. Radhakrishnan insisted that yogi needed blood transfusion and immediately lots of devotees lined up in the street outside the garden wall to have their blood tested for compatibility. At this juncture, three Americans turned up at Sri Dwarak Nath Reddy’s house to have darshan of Yogi. They said they were doctors from a hospital in New York. “No, no. Swami is not well. We can’t afford to let you inside. It will be a strain on him” Sri Dwarak Nath Reddy explained, but the Americans insisted on telling their story. “After hearing our story, please at least tell Swami. If he says no, it’s alright”.
As it turned out, two years ago one of the women had an advanced cancer and had been in tremendous pain. She was facing an imminent demise when she landed in Tiruvannamalai and heard about Yogi Ramsuratkumar. Even though her illness was so progressed that there was no hope for her, when someone mentioned the beggar’s name she decided to go see Him.
Yogi Ramsuratkumar sat with her and merely looked at her while he smoked a cigarette or two. Then he said “My Father blesses you, you will be all right. You are cured. My Father has cured you. Father’s blessings, you can go now”. She didn’t really believe that she was cured; she was still experiencing pain and some depression but by the time she reached New York, she felt a lot better. When her latest test results came, the doctors found no cancer at all. She was completely healed of cancer and there was no need for the planned surgery or treatment”. Now the lady had turned up again to tell Yogi “I am still alive because of you. I have no cancer problem”.
Numerous such incidents have shown how Yogi Ramsuratkumar has blessed many devotees during his life. But he always brushed aside any claim of miracles and once said “This beggar cannot perform any miracles. Only Ram Naam is performing miracles”. He wanted people to realize that the whole cosmos is a miracle. In his life there was only one message that he gave to his devotees. “Never forget the Divine Name.” Keep chanting the Divine Name and that will cure all your material sorrows and give you eternal bliss was his oft repeated comment.
Aravind Thathachari, Orlando, FL