The First Experience: In Absentia
Pranams to Pujya Swamiji! Prior to June 1989, had anyone told me about Swamji and his miracles, I might have pooh-poohed such information at the outset. On a Sunday in early June 1989, Mr. Thamban Kutty Nair, my colleague in the Commercial Taxes Department made an unexpected visit to my house in Aravamuthu Garden Street in Egmore with a news that while he was at the fabrication unit of his friend Mr. Deenadayalan in Aminjikarai he happened to meet one Vikraman Swamiji. On seeing him, Swamiji asked him whether he knew anyone by name Balasubramanian. Obviously, the reference was about me. Then Swamiji remarked that I would be transferred out of the city and that I would meet him one day. When Mr. Nair told me this, I nonchalantly brushed it aside as a blabber by someone who has nothing else to do other than scaring people unnecessarily. That very night, a friend in Coimbatore called me up to convey that I had been transferred to Coimbatore and that one Mr. Sundaram would replace me. I could not believe this because the then Commissioner had immense faith in me and my execution of task. However, due to the efforts of the Commissioner, I was placed in Trichy instead of Coimbatore. But as Swamiji had prophesied I was transferred.
The First Encounter
At the end of that month, I returned to Chennai; I could not shift my family because my children were studying. My wife suggested meeting Swamiji as referred to by my colleague. We reached Swamiji's ashram at the 19th Street in Thillaiganga Nagar, parked my scooter, and while entering the ashram, one volunteer came out and asked me whether I had come by a vehicle bearing the registration number 5846. He was referring to my scooter! He informed me that Swamiji had called us inside the room. I was wonder struck; how on earth, a person sitting inside a closed room of not even 10 by 10 could summon a person outside the room that too by referring to the vehicle number, which even my wife was not aware of! This was enough to make me surrender lock, stock, and barrel before him. The first question he asked me was, "Do you know Mr. Nair?" I replied “yes". Swamiji remarked that I did not believe the message given through Mr. Nair. He then mentioned that it was Lord Anjaneya's wish that we, husband and wife, were separated for a while to avert a calamity in the family and that even without anyone's efforts, Lord Anjaneya would bring me back to Chennai within an year. The Lord did so within 11 months. From June 1989 onwards, every weekend whenever I came to Chennai to be with my family, I made it a routine to go to the ashram. This was my beginning of a never-ending bondage with Swamiji. I am blessed to attend all the Hanumanth Jayanthi celebrations except the first one.
Blessings for the Neigbbour
One day my wife was narrating our experiences with the Swamiji to our backside neighbour Shri. Ramasamy, a grain merchant. They visited the ashram and Swamiji told him that he would visit their house one day. Accordingly he visited. They wanted keep Swamiji's visit a secret and even closed their kitchen window overlooking our house. Swamiji had not visited our house earlier. On arrival, Swamiji told the couple that he could see Balasubramaniam's house and that we should be informed. They were at their wits end and had no other choice. But, my wife was away. My younger brother Raja and his elder daughter Rama were at home. When they went inside, Swamiji told her that she would take admission for M.Sc in Statistics, leave studies, join a bank, get married, and settle down in the US. All these happened! She joined M.Sc Statistics in Presidency College, but joined Bank of India leaving her studies, got married to a hank employee who went on an assignment in the US subsequently. Now they are US citizens. My wife returned from her Veena Class and went to see Swamiji in Ramasamy's house. When asked about our children, Swamiji said that the first daughter would become a journalist, second one a doctor, and the son a computer professional. For a specific query regarding the first daughter's marriage, Swamiji did not respond. We realized the reason for his silence only in 1992; it is a separate story altogether.
Showers of Grace
As Swamiji had predicted, my first daughter did B.A in literature and M.A in journalism against all odds with gold medal. She worked for the Indian Express and later switched over to the Hindu, and is presently a free lancer contributing to the Indian Express on yoga, mind, fitness, and body. She had the opportunity to bring out two features on Swamiji recently.
Swamiji had prophesied that Priya would get admission in medicine, go to the US for higher studies and that he would visit her house in Chicago. Priya had special interest in 0G, but Swamiji used to ask her about the heartbeat of adults and children. The reason became evident only later when she got admission for M.D in internal medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.
While Priya was doing her M.B.B.S at Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai, Swamiji used to mention that she would settle down in Chicago. Once, Priya told Swamiji that she was going to Singapore to write USMLE Step I; Swamiji said that Anjaneya would accompany her. At the airport, somebody patted my shoulder saying "Commissioner". When I turned back, I saw Swamiji in full suit in which I could barely recognize him. When he said he was on his way to Singapore, I realized his prophecy that Anjaneya would accompany Priya!
For USMLE Step II, we had remitted about Rs.22000/- and booked tickets to Singapore. The two nights before, Swamiji appeared in her dream asking her not to proceed to Singapore; she was shocked. The next day when I took her to Swamiji, he said that she would go to US, write Step II & III in a centre starting with "I". When Priya said that hard earned money would go waste, Swamiji said that she would be compensated.
After her M.B.B.S, we wanted to get her married. After hectic efforts, we approached Swamiji with the divergent opinion of two astrologers. On seeing Aravind's photo, he asked us to proceed and that Anjaneya would do the rest. The marriage went through with Swamiji's blessings.
Priya had some apprehension earlier regarding getting a visa for a medical graduate. She did not want her passport to show her M.B.B.S degree. I told her that when Swamiji had told her that she would go to the US, visa was not an issue. When she went for visa stamping, she alone got the visa!
She went to Chicago and wrote USMLE step II & III in Illinois State. Swamiji had prophesied that she would take up the exams in a place starting with "I"
Priya and Aravind were in a rented apartment. Swamiji had told them that they would move over to a house, which would be nearer to one of them. They shifted to Western Springs, which was nearer to Aravind's office.
During Hanumanth Jayanthi in 2005, by which time about seven years of marriage life had gone by, they attended the Jayanthi in Chennai. Swamiji told them that they had 'Puthra Bhagyam" that year and that Sri Anjaneya would come to their house. Priya delivered a male child on Saturday, the 5th November 2005 in Moola constellation. Saturday, number 5, Moola constellation are all associated with Sri Anjaneya!
Subsequently, Swamiji told Aravind that he would do M.B.A, change job for the better and move over to a bigger and spacious house. All these happened in seriatim. He completed his M.B.A at Kellog's, joined a Boyce paper as Senior Manager, moved over to a 4-bedroom house in Naperville where Swamiji conducted a puja in 2009.
In 2007, Swamiji told Priya about a female child and that event took place on 24th January 2008. Shriya baby has been predicted to be a beautiful girl with musical talent and loved by all. It is true. She makes everyone to look at her again.
Once, Priya had a problem with her intestinal tube, a medical problem difficult to cure. Mr. Rajaguru, another Swamiji devotee, was in California then. Swamiji wanted to talk to Priya. He conveyed his desire to Mr. Rajaguru. Ultimately, when Priya contacted Swamiji, with his blessings, the problem was cured.
My wife Visalam had a stroke due to hypertension in 2004, resulting in partial loss of vision. Swamiji told us several times that both of us would go to the US and that he would give enough strength to her. True to his words, we had a safe trip to the US in 2008 and with his blessings she could withstand the long voyage!
On 19th February 2009, the health of my wife took a sudden down turn. She resisted coming to the hospital; but Swamiji's words did the magic. She agreed to come to hospital and but for the visit to hospital, anything could have happened. Swamiji knew that the tests were essential; the creatinum level was as high as 10.5 and hemoglobin was as low as 7.5. Once, dialysis started, her condition improved to the extent that she could come to the ashram and have Swamiji's blessings. Her vision has already improved and Swamiji has blessed her that she would have still better vision in future. This is the latest miracle in our family.
My write up will not be complete without reference to my son. Swamiji had repeatedly assured us there was no need to worry about him. He had prophesied that he would be a computer professional even though he was a graduate in electrical and electronics, and that he would go to the US in an unusual manner. Every time he failed to get visa, Swamiji would repeat the message. He married in 2006 and his wife returned to US to rejoin work. As predicted by Swamiji, he went to US on a dependant visa, got his green card in 2008, and is happily settled in New Jersey.
It is remarkable that Swamiji's benevolence touches not only the devotees who approach him directly; it keeps enveloping even those around them who have not met him or heard about him.
Once, Swamiji mentioned about Natarajan, my cousin-in law. Swamiji said that I would get news from him. After a week, I had information from Mumbai that his son Ashok had drowned in the sea off Goa. On my return from Mumbai, Swamiji asked me whether I went to Mumbai. I narrated the incident and asked him why he had not told me the news earlier to which he quipped, Deiva Rahasiyam.
Once, Swamiji mentioned about Seetha, my cousin living in Delhi. He said she had problem on her leg; doctor would advice surgery, which was not necessary. As I was to go to Delhi, Swamiji gave Vibhuthi for her. She walks with her braces but no surgery was done. Swamiji further said that they would come to Chennai and settle down near the ashram. When I told Swamiji that her husband was taking up a post retirement assignment in a college in Trichy, Swamiji replied that they would settle down as told by him. True, they first purchased an apartment near Guindy Railway Station, and recently they shifted to Velacheri. The strange fact is that neither Natarajan nor Seetha have so far met Swamiji.
Once, Swamiji mentioned about Shantha, my wife's cousin. Swamiji remarked that there was a problem in their house and that Sri Hanuman would solve it. Her son and daughter-in-law were about to split but the situation got amicable after Shantha had blessings of Swamiji.
Once, Swamiji mentioned about Ravi, my brother's son. Swamiji asked whether he and his wife were aspiring for a child. They have visited the ashram a couple of times.
Once, there was a puja at Mr. Sahu's house. My cousin Wg. Cdr Subramanian and his wife had come determined not to ask about their son Ramasamy in Canada. Being impatient they wanted to sneak out; but Swamiji stopped them and asked them about Ramasamy and why they did not want to ask anything about him. The couple was stunned. Swamiji kept them seated before him well past midnight. The next week when they attended the puja in another devotee's house nearby, Swamiji blessed him and sent him home with the remark that his presence outside was essential. On reaching home, he found that one of his security persons on duty had died warranting the movement of the body of the deceased to Vellore
Once, my brother-in-law was seriously ill and scheduled to meet the surgeon. But Swamiji had told me that surgery was not necessary; as prophesied by him the surgeon also ruled out surgery!
Swamiji! You are unique and great. Our kodi pranams!
Capt. K. Balasubramanian & Family