Cherished Memoirs 90 – My Guru As I See Him
Sri Swamiji’s visit to Udupi Kshethra
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.
This month’s article is by Smt. Jayanthi Janakiraman, from Madhuramurali magazine, Apr 1997 issue.
Here is an incident that happened many years ago.
Once, Sri Guruji wished to go to Udupi and have a darshan of that Little Krishna who holds the churning staff in His hands. He left for Udupi by Himself in the bus at night. He stayed in Udupi, and would spend His time after taking bath, sitting in front of Sri Krishna, chanting shlokas and nama. Similarly, He would spend hours together chanting nama and meditation in the evening as well.
The way the Swamiji from Madhwa Mutt in Udupi would perform pooja and would sing while having Sri Krishna in the cradle is pure bliss. At times, there would be the Golden Chariot Utsav upon people’s prayer request. Even today, annadan (offering food) is done to all those devotees in this holy place. Bhagwan is in the form of food here.
A Mahathma named Kanakadasa had lived in this holy place. Once, in the early morning hours, He was doing nama sankeerthan (singing the names of the Lord) standing right across from the entrance of the temple. He did not go inside the temple following the tradition in those days. As time went on, He was doing nama sankeerthan enchantedly, completely forgetting the world. The brahmins came to do prabodhanam (ceremony to wake up the Lord) in the early morning. Kanakadasa was singing and dancing at the temple entrance forgetting Himself. So the brahmins were not able to go past him. Somehow, after a while, they brought him back to his conscious self with much effort and went inside the temple for the pooja.
Gaining back his consciousness, Kanakadasa regretted very much that he became a hindrance to those that perform pooja and he started circumambulating the temple along the Mada street anxiously (first layer of streets along the circumference of the temple). Sri Krishna turned exactly the way Kanakadasa turned and smacked a hole open in the wall with his churning staff cheerfully and gave him darshan, calling “Kanaka”. Even today, we get Sri Krishna’s darshan, through this opening. Just like how Srirangam is called Bhooloka Vaikuntam (Vaikuntam on Earth), Udupi is called Bhooloka Golokham.
When in Udupi, Sri Guruji was unhappy that He was not able to get Sri Krishna’s darshan up close. He could not even go near a small crowd. He would feel dizzy. While Sri Guruji was anxiously thinking about this, a little boy suddenly came and started a conversation with Him. Starting with “Where are you coming from?” and continuing amusingly, he took Sri Guruji and got Him to have Sri Krishna’s darshan up close. He stayed with Sri Guruji for the next couple of days that he was there. He made arrangements for Sri Guruji to dine at the same place where the Swamiji of Madhwa Mutt would and with Him too. He was distressed on Sri Guruji’s last day there, unwilling to part with Him. Sri Guruji wanted to give him some money for his expenses and gave him a modest amount but he refused to take it.
While staying in the Udupi, Sri Guruji would sit for hours together in meditation. He would experience Sri Krishna’s holy feet dancing on his head then. So Udupi is one of the most harmonious holy places for Sri Guruji.
Original Tamil article published in Madhuramurali Magazine, Apr 1997 issue
Chronicled by Smt. Jayanthi Janakiraman
Translated by Smt. Mangala Gowri Sridhar, Jacksonville FL