Guruji’s Cherished Qualities (Part 2)
Sweet memories chronicled by Smt. Jayanthi Janakiraman
Continued from Part 1 (read part 1 here).
Sri Guruji was very fond of the deity of Sri Aaraavamudhan/Sri Sarangapaani Perumal whose temple in Kumbakonam. Sri Guruji gets immense joy by offering silk clothes for the Perumal and Thaayaar during the auspicious Panguni Uthiram day. So with the desire of having Sri Aaraavamudhan Perumal’s darshan, he used to go and stay in his devotee Aaraavamudhan’s home in Kumbakonam.
Suddenly, one afternoon around 2 pm, he said that he was going to do special tirumanjanam (sacred bath)for the Oothukkaadu Sri Krishna (the famous Kaliya nardana Krishna whose temple was located in the nearby town of Oothukkadu). Aaraavamudhan’s father said that some other day might be better since the temple’s priest came only once in a while, so they needed to make arrangements ahead of time with prior notice to the priest.
“Moreover, it was only around 2 pm in the afternoon and it would take some time for the milkman to come. There were plenty of tender coconuts on the trees in the garden at home, but no one would be able to come to help pluck them at that time either. And we should have informed the priest,” Aaraavamudhan’s father tried to reason with Guruji. But Guruji was firm that the tirumanjanam had to be done that day and that Bhagavan would arrange for it.
Right at that time, a friend of Aaraavamudhan’s father came to see him. He said that he lived in a village near Oothukkaadu, and that the Oothukkaadu temple priest lived next door to him. We told him about the plan to do tirumanjanam to Oothukkaadu Sri Krishna, and he offered to inform the priest. He left saying that he would ask him to prepare a prasad (offering) and bring it to the temple.
Next, the milkman came early at 2 pm itself, citing an urgent commitment. He milked the cow and gave us the milk. Then, a stranger turned up who offered to pick the tender coconuts from the trees, and did so.
Thus everything that was needed for the tirumanjanam came together of its own accord! We bought a beautiful new dhoti and silver anklets for the lovely lotus feet that were dancing atop the snake Kaaliya. When we reached Oothukkadu, the priest was waiting for us. Bhagavan, merrily listened to the singing of His divine names and had a tirumanjanam. The priest was also fond of bhagavatas (devotees who sing the Lord’s names), so he also took part in the singing of the divine names, while he adorned Sri Krishna, admiring Him.
I was not present during this episode, but I got to know about all this from a devotee who had accompanied Guruji. The reason I wrote this was to let everyone know how Sri Guruji’s will comes to fruition. He would start executing grandiose plans and the necessary elements would rapidly come together by themselves. Due to the lack of wisdom, we worry that Guruji comes up with such grandiose plans requiring lot of funds and that if the funds collected are not adequate it would become a problem for Sri Guruji. But he would never worry about it. Somehow the money would get collected and it would all happen so beautifully as well. As far as I have seen, Sri Guruji has never asked for money or other things. He does not ask for a fee for his discourses either. And if someone donates beyond their means/ability, he would never even touch it. But still, all his commitments go on merrily, as planned.
If Sri Guruji takes up something, he typically expects to execute it beautifully, meticulously and efficiently. To name a very important event that was conducted like this, the “Advaita Vedanta Sadas” was a very notable one. Many noted that this was the second such event of its type, after one that was organized by Sri Maha Periyava in Tirupati several years ago. Vajpayee Musiri Dikshitar presided over the function. Next to be noted was the holy trip to Brindavan, Haridwaar, Rishikesh, Badarikashrama, surrounded by devotees. A trip that is very close to my heart. Next was the grand celebration of Sri Maha Periyava’s 100th birthday in Kasi. The jayanti (birthday) celebration was held with a procession of Sri Maha Periyava’s photo surrounded by yatishwaras (revered sanyasis), Nama chanting and Veda parayanam, for 5 km with military protection.
We went to Pandharpur as well, surrounded by bhagavatas. The recently concluded magnificent 7-day Sankeertana Saptaham at Ayodhya Mandapam in Mambalam is another such event conducted in a wonderful manner. Besides these, there are the numerous Bhagavata, Ramayana parayanams, Veda parayanams, sadas, concerts, over hundred Radha Kalyanams, discourses, divya nama sankirtanams, utsavams and so on.
He does everything with traditional fervor with no worldly attachments. A large portion of his attention during such events is often devoted to making food arrangements for the attendees. Whenever someone comes to the ashram, his first question is whether they had food. He would say that no one should leave without eating. In all the events that he conducts, as a token to show that Bhagavan is pleased, there are always pleasant showers.
He listens to all those that come and tell him about their issues and family problems. He thinks in a new dimension and gives them a solution. Even they are surprised. He has solved many people’s problems very easily.
He says that the reason why he listens to all the people’s problems is that whether he is able to solve them or not, they get mental peace after venting it out to him. He remains patient even when someone commits a mistake. Only when he thinks that others might get impacted by the mistakes, he explains to them very beautifully and softly.
We get almost all answers to our doubts from his discourses. We also realize that even the things that we did in solitude, without his knowledge, are also known to Him. It becomes a teaching too. No worldly things feature in his discourses and he never veers away from the topic that he set out to discourse upon. There is pin-drop silence among the audience at that time. Peace spreads through easily among all and that itself becomes a meditative state.
Some people are only able to do discourses well; some only know pooja; some are only good with writing; some are only able to write poems; some are only able to sing; some are only able to build temples. But Sri Guruji’s discourses are so exceptional; those present are spell-bound looking at how beautifully he does pooja, tirumanjanam and offers the flowers. He has written hundreds of songs, sings and is a connoisseur of the highest order. He has tremendous writing skills too. He has never had formal training in any of these from anyone either.
Original Tamil article published in Madhuramurali Magazine, Jan 1996 issue
Translated into English by Smt. Mangala Gowri Sridhar, Jacksonville FL