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.
The Special Darshan
Sri Swamiji’s discourses are regularly broadcasted on Indian television. “Brindavanamum Nandakumaranum” series on Srimad Bhagavatam’s tenth canto is now being broadcasted on Star Vijay channel. Following this, a new series called “Veedu Thedi Varuvaan Vittalan” on the lives of Lord Vittala’s (Panduranga’s)bhaktas is going to be aired. For this purpose, Sri Swamiji traveled to places such as Prathishtanapur, Alandi, Sajjanghat, Dehu, Pandharpur and surrounding villages between April 12-18 to record this series.
Before setting out on his journey to Pandharpur, Sri Swamiji wanted to have darshan of Lord Vittala at Vittalapuram near Chennai. So on Ugadi day, he visited Vittalapuram and had darshan of Lord Vittala and His consorts Satyabama and Rukmini there. He adorned the deities with new clothes, performed puja, and did Nama sankirtan there for nearly 3 hours . Only then did he start for Pandharpur.
Pandharpur was thronged by millions of people during that time as it coincided with the auspicious days of Rama Navami and Chitra Ekadasi. The town was overflowing with people and hence vehicles were not allowed inside the town, and were stopped outside.
Seeing the crowd at Pandharpur, Sri Swamiji felt disappointed that he would not have darshan of Lord Panduranga. He resignedly said, “I had a dip in the holy river Chandrabhaga; I performed Nama sankirtan; I spoke about the glories of Panduranga and his bhaktas; I had darshan of the fortunate people who live in this holy place and of all the visiting sadhus. This is enough.”
The top temple administrator (E.O.) said, “I will take you specially with me so you can have darshan.” Sri Swamiji did not agree. The temple priests too offered to take Sri Swamiji with them and enable him to have special darshan. Sri Swamiji refused that offer too. He said, “I don’t want to have His darshan by asking a favor of anybody. If Vittala Himself desires to give me darshan, then let Him give.”
The Pandharpur trip came to an end. Sri Swamiji was to leave for Chennai at 5 am the next morning. That night there was a sudden downpour of rain with thunder and lightning. Spurred by an inner instinct, Sri Swamiji left for the temple even in the rain.
What a surprise! Because of the heavy downpour of rain in the midst of the burning summer heat, there was no one at the temple! There was no crowd. There was no long queue.Sri Swamiji went straight to Lord Vittala and had His darshan! He also had darshan of Rukmini Devi.
In Pandharpur, where there were millions of people gathered, when Sri Swamiji went to have darshan of Panduranga, there was no one in the sanctum sanctorum other than Sri Swamiji and Lord Panduranga. Sri Swamiji was deeply moved by the grace and compassion of Lord Vittala.
We speak a lot about Panduranga’s lilas with His bhaktas. “This too is Panduranga’s lila,” said Sri Swamiji as he rejoiced immensely.
Published originally in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine, May 2011 issue.
Translated by Viji Ramakrishnan, Dallas TX