This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.
In the Complete Care of a Guru!
Those who frequent Sri Swamiji’s Premika Bhavanam satsangs in Chennai would certainly recognize Sri Prem. One can see him melodiously render Mahamantra Kirtan there with utmost love, not to mention his tremendous love for Sri Swamiji. “If I am alive today, it is only because of Guru Maharaj”, he would often say, “Whether or not I understand the profoundness of this statement, it is the truth!”
On the first day of July in 2011, Prem paid his routine visit to Premika Bhavanam to offer his salutations to Guru Maharaj and headed to his office in his motorbike. He had to cross Anna University in Guindy to go to work. At the entrance of the University, in the rush-hour traffic, all of a sudden, a bus ran over his leg. Prem tried to get his leg out after the bus stopped, but it was jammed under the wheels. Passengers from the bus stepped out and tried to lift the bus to relieve his leg but in vain. Eventually they pushed the bus backwards and got his leg out.
His left thigh was ripped and the skin on his stomach and arms had peeled away. The identity card and the helmet he was wearing were missing. His clothes were torn apart and his motorcycle was crushed. In that melee, someone found his mobile phone and handed it over to him.
Prem had no relatives in Chennai. His mother had passed away a few years back and his father lives in Tirupati. It was Guru Maharaj who came to Prem’s mind instantly. With his left hand, he somehow called Sri Giri at Premika Bhavanam and asked him to pass on the word to Sri Swamiji that he had met with an accident. In between, he constantly kept repeating “Gurunatha”, “Gurunatha”!
At that time I (Dr. Bhagyanathan) was at Premika Bhavanam and I immediately informed Sri Swamiji. Through Prem’s mobile phone, I got in touch with the ambulance crew, who had arrived and learnt their assessment of the situation. They said that they could admit Prem in a government hospital or a nearby private hospital.
I got in touch with a satsang member Sri Arunachalam who lived near Adayar and recounting what had happened to Prem, requested him to help out. Leaving all his work, he immediately rushed to see Prem. On the way to the hospital he told Prem that he was also a devotee of Sri Swamiji and that he was there on Dr. Bhagyanathan’s behest. “This hospital is well known to me, and there is nothing to worry,” he reassured Prem.
The doctors who examined Prem opined that firstly, it was hard to save the leg. “Let us see if the leg heals. Then later bother about whether he would be able to walk. Nothing can be affirmatively said now,” they said. Indeed, it was a truly gruesome accident. What can be said when in peak traffic, a bus under full load runs over someone’s leg? Survival itself is rare. Even if he does, he may be physically challenged. Would he ever return to normalcy? Even if he does, how many years would it take! Unfortunately, time waits for none! This is what the doctors had said in their language, and it is true indeed. But what actually happened was a miracle of all miracles!
As Prem was carried in a stretcher into the hospital, he was surrounded by ten to fifteen people–all of them being Sri Swamiji’s devotees! It went to show how the entire satsang was like a single family. None of them were related to Prem and yet, the dedication with which they served Prem showed the extent of love and brotherhood our Guru Maharaj had inspired in their hearts.
When one places his prayer to Sri Swamiji, He does not merely stop with blessing the devotee. He would constantly inquire with the devotee amidst all his busy schedules. Truly, his concerned inquiry verily reduces the impact of the suffering to a large extent. This is the undeniable experience of every satsang devotee. One cannot comprehend how Sri Swamiji is able to dedicate time for this, given his puja, spiritual discourses, scripture recitals, pilgrimages, mass prayers, constantly meeting new devotees, Ashram administration, Utsavs, temple renovations and a host of other activities!
Despite all of this, he would get in touch with the concerned individual and bless him. Each individual’s experience is a testimony to this fact.
With Prem too, it was no different. Sri Swamiji often visited Prem. He sat beside him and inquired, “How are you?”. He also asked other devotees to visit Prem. He ensured that Prem got the best treatment in the hospital. Prem was completely immersed in Sri Swamiji?s love.
After Prem was discharged from the hospital, Sri Swamiji himself visited his house and performed Mahamantra Kirtan.
On Gokulashtami day, while thousands of devotees were eagerly waiting for His darshan, Sri Swamiji said, “Today is Gokulashtami. Prem will want to see me,” and headed to Prem’s house first. With care, Sri Swamiji arranged for his physiotherapy, nurse assistance, nutritious food, soft bedding and everything else that was needed.
If devotees came and sat in front of Sri Swamiji, He would send them to visit Prem and chant Mahamantra, telling them that Prem would otherwise feel lonely. While the doctors had predicted a 3-4 year recovery time, Sri Swamiji made Prem sit up and walk in four months! Today, he is able to sit or walk like any of us. Above all, he does not suffer from any permanent physical handicap. Can you fathom the depth of this?
Prem wonders if this is the meaning of the divine hymn “annaiyaai athanaai ennai aandidum thanmaiyan” (as a mother, a father, the One that leads me). He realizes that this was possible only because of the sheer grace of Sri Swamiji.
One cannot explain the grace that Guru Maharaj bestowed on Prem. I fully comprehend when Prem says, “I pray for everlasting truthful devotion at the lotus feet of Gurunatha!”
Original Tamil article by
Dr. A Bhagyanathan, Madhuramuralii July 2012.
Translated by Sankar Ganesan, Dallas, TX