Cherished Memoirs: Attention to Detail

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 Madhurasmaranam series that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.

Attention to Detail

Sri Swamiji was staying in Madhurapuri Ashram. It was Dhanur month (Margazhi) at that time. Adhyayana Utsav was going on. Devotees who happen to witness Sri Swamiji doing pooja to Sri Madhurisakhi sametha Premika Varadan in the sannidhi early in the morning, would contemplate as to whether they are in this world or have gone to the era when the Gopikas did the “Paavai Nonbu” to attain Bhagavan. That is how the atmosphere would be.

After the Dhanur month pooja was done for that day, the “Naalaayira Dhivya Prabandham” parayanam continued, by students of the Smt. Jayanthi Janakiraman Memorial Dravida Veda Aagama Paatashala. A lot of out-of-town devotees were attending and the ashram was filled with festive fervor.

Sri Swamiji always has a unique quality about Him – attention to detail. Not even a minor thing escapes his attention. Even if a thousand devotees attend a satsang, he would ask someone about their presence when they visit next. Even if someone came to visit him a long time back and returns after a while, he would remember that he gave him three mangoes last time. That is how much attention to detail he has. He pays attention to everything. If someone had drawn a “kolam” (Rangoli), he would inquire about that. He would mention all kinds of things like these and this is his special, distinctive quality.

After the Dhanur month pooja was complete, Sri Swamiji was walking along the path in the ashram. The students from the Veda Patashala were also following him. As he was walking, he stopped suddenly in a certain spot as though he saw something. It looked as though he had witnessed something big.

All the students and the devotees also stopped upon seeing Sri Swamiji stopping. But no one knew what he had seen, so they were exchanging perplexed looks!

Sri Swamiji was seen staring at something near the walk-way. He then went and sat on the ground near the edge of the walk-way. What was he looking at so keenly? A small vine had sprouted by the path. It was swaying in the wind. Numerous passers-by had not observed this and neither could they.

Sri Swamiji caressed the vine like a child and said, “The poor creeper is suffering without a support to hold on to. Its situation is so sad!” Sri Swamiji asked those standing nearby, “A verse from Bhagavan Sri Ramana’s Aksharamanamalai is what we are reminded of while looking at this, isn’t it? What is that verse?” Everyone around stood there stunned, not knowing the answer. Sri Swamiji sang in his sweet voice,

“paingoDi yAnAn paTTrinDri vADAmar paTTrukkoDAikkA varuNAchalA”

He said that this was the verse that he was reminded of. Bhagavan Sri Ramana says to Lord Arunachala, “I am like a frail creeper and I will wither without support. I will not be able to live. Only you need to be that support and save me.” Sri Swamiji stated this and said, “Let us save this creeper!” Saying so, he himself brought a little stick, suitable for that creeper. He planted that stick near the creeper and made it climb on to the stick carefully. He watered it after ensuring its safety.

It is to be noted that Sri Swamiji did all these things patiently without any hurry, with utmost attention. It might seem like a trivial thing. But nothing is trivial as far as Sri Swamiji is concerned.  He moved on from that place only after ensuring that the creeper was safe.

He slowly got up singing the verse again,

“paingoDi yAnAn paTTrinDri vADAmar paTTrukkoDAikkA varuNAchalA”

He told the students, “All of us need to remember one thing.” He started walking slowly, continuing to say, “We should not be attached to worldly elements but learn to live only by holding on to Bhagavan.”

Whenever he visited the ashram, he would inquire and check personally with utmost care, if the creeper was growing well!

Article originally chronicled by Dr. A Bhagyanathan, personal secretary to Sri Swamiji, in Tamil Madhuramurali Magazine October 2022 issue, Madhurasmaranam section.

Translated into English by Smt. Mangala Gowri Sridhar, Jacksonville FL

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