This series chronicles sweet experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji as well as some divine experiences of Sri Swamiji himself. These articles are translations from the series “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.
My Guru As I See Him
Being always in the physical proximity of Sri Swamiji is sheer bliss. Sri Swamiji would often say that to read about the life history of a Mahan (self-realized soul) is one thing and to live with such a Mahan is altogether a different experience. In the life histories of bhaktas like Tukaram, Gora kumhar, Bhadrachala Ramadas it is seen that even their wives were unable to cope with their exalted state. A devotee of Yogi Ramsuratkumar expressed his desire to be with him always. To this, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, “Hell or heaven, be with me” meaning that being with him would at times feel heavenly while at other times it would be sheer hell: only those who were ready to face this could always remain by the side of mahans. Even those who live with the mahans all through their lives will not be able to comprehend them as their (mahans’) mind is in a lofty state.
One day, Sri Swamiji was reading the Bhagavatam. Sri Swamiji then said to me who was by his side, “It is said that aware of the inability of those born in Kali [yuga], Sri Vedavyasa divided the Vedas into four and gave each to a rishi for preserving it. Likewise, it is said that he gave the responsibility of protecting the Itihasa-Puranas to Suta’s father Romaharshana. While it was so, at Naimisharanya when the Sanakadis asked Suta the path to be adhered to in the Age of Kali should not Suta have replied ‘Srimad Bhagavatam that I received from my father’? But Suta did not say so. Instead, he begins with the words, ‘We have been with Srimad Bhagavatam, as glorious as the Vedas, given to Parikshit by Sri Shuka’. So, it amounts to Suta not receiving Srimad Bhagavatam from his father Romaharshana. Why? It is thus known that though the work of protection of all the Itihasa-Puranas were given to Romaharshana, it did not include Srimad Bhagavatam. A father would initiate others into all Mantras but a very important, top secret Mantra he would offer only to his own son. So too, Sri Vedavyasa is seen to have patiently taught each and every shloka of Srimad Bhagavatam that he had authored to his son Sri Shuka who was born a Jivan mukta.”
Sri Swamiji continued, “We do not know that we should pray to the Lord. Even if we did, it would be seeking some trifling thing. Even if we pray for some trifling thing, the Lord being of lofty mind, would only bestow great blessings on us. When Aswathama’s Brahmastra was about to strike Parikshit in Uttara’s womb she surrendered to Lord Gopala praying for saving her child from death. But what did the Lord think? He thought “Once Uttara has prayed thus and surrendered unto Me, this child should never ever meet with death.” Therefore, He not only saved the child with His divine discus but He also willed that in later years Parikshit should listen to Srimad Bhagavatam from the holy lips of Sri Shuka and thus helped him attain liberation. He would face death only if he took birth again again, is it not? Therefore, one who has acquired Srimad Bhagavatam has been blessed by Lord Gopala. Only due to the blessings of Lord Gopala one gets Srimad Bhagavatam. The Ganga flowed from the holy feet of the Lord; and tears of bliss flow from the eyes of Bhagavatas who meditate on the Lord’s holy feet in their hearts. Thus it is not apt to say that the water washing the feet of such Bhagavatas is verily equal to Ganga water?”
On another occasion I had been to a temple along with Sri Swamiji. The priest had misplaced the bell and it was time to conduct the pooja. He was ordering about those who were around him, yelling, “Where is the mani (bell)? Where is the mani (bell)?” Smiling, Sri Swamiji said to me, “He is verily the one who has owed up the truth. Do you know why I say so? Today aren’t we performing pooja, bhajan and all God-related matters only for the sake of money?”
While camphor was being shown to the Lord after the pooja a man who was standing by our side was anxiously enquiring of his family members, “Where have you all left your slippers? Have you all kept them in a safe place?’ Hearing this Sri Swamiji laughed and said to me, “Just as we do dhyana of our Guru’s padukas he is doing dhyana of his padukas!”
Endless are such words falling from the holy lips of Sri Swamiji.
By Dr. Bhagyanathan Authimoorthy, Personal Secretary to Sri Sri Swamiji. Originally published in Oct, 2015 issue of MadhuraMurali magazine.