Issues & Non Issues
I met Swamiji for the first time in 1993. During my first visit itself He had told me, among other things, that I would have a son first. I found it little amusing then because I had not asked Him about my marriage! Little did then I realise that marriage was round the corner. I got married in November 1996 and as prophesied by Swamiji, I have had a son.
Actually, I had visited Swamiji to obtain solace for certain other personal problems, but on the contrary He mentioned about my marriage, the progeny, and other events. As it turned out to be the future course of events proved that the problems as perceived by me were in reality non-issues. The point is Swamiji knows best what our problems are and when the solace could be obtained. He keeps reminding the devotees that problems are inevitable in one's life and should be faced with equanimity and faith in God. What we perceive as major issues may turn ultimately out as non-issues.
Dial Before the Nod
My parents began searching for an alliance for me in 1996. Swamiji asked me about some of the alliances that we had received but He did not make any remarks. In June 1996, my parents met two girls in Madras and selected one of them. My stand was that the proposal should have approval from Swamiji. As Swamiji had gone out of Madras, I rang up His house to find out about His expected arrival; it was my fortune that He picked up the phone and before I could ask Him told me," I know that you want to ask me some thing. It is good, you may proceed". Thus my marriage was held in November 1996.
Kumkum for Fiancee
As per our social customs, once an alliance is fixed, it is taboo for the boy and the girl to meet before marriage. However, we used to meet and exchange our views. Needless to say, Swamiji was aware of this. He even handed over a packet of kumkum to me to be given to her.
Names: Known and Unknown
During my first visit to Swamiji after my marriage, Swamiji mentioned to my wife about her parents, brother and his studies. He mentioned three names - Venkatesh, Vasanthi and Ravi of which she could not remember any one with the name Vasanthi. Later in the evening we found out to our utter surprise that the name of the new servant in my in laws house was Vasanthi.
The Fortunate Five
In February 1997, when I was laid up with fever, I was informed by my colleague M. Peetambaren that Swamiji was likely to visit my home that day. When contacted, He told me that He would visit my home the next day (Tuesday). Had Swamiji come that day itself, it would have been very difficult for me because I was at my wife house laid up with fever. Moreover, my house had to be cleaned and preparations made for His visit. Swamiji came at around 2.30 p.m. and lighted a lamp and did puja. I had invited many of my friends and relatives for the occasion, but only five people gathered at that time and Swamiji mentioned that He had arranged only for five.
One of them was my wife's relative cousin who had a severe personal problem. Swamiji spoke to him for nearly one hour touching most of his problems and gave him solace. It looked as if the occasion was meant for him. Wherever on globe one is stationed, solace would reach at the appropriate time.
A Bhajan Sandhya
In August 97, Swamiji visited my in-law's house and attended bhajans. As my wife was in the eighth month, she had difficulty in travelling and it we considered His visit a great fortune. After the bhajans, Mr M Peethambaran and myself accompanied Swamiji to His house. It was around 2. a.m. Swamiji appeared to be in no hurry, and took us around his new flat and discussed about the forthcoming hanumath jayanthi. I still recollect that He came out of the house and waved his hands till our car took a turn. His life is a message of humility, simplicity, honesty, and compassion.
A Patient Doctor
Swamiji had mentioned on several occasions that I would have a son first and that the delivery would be normal. On 2nd October, at about 6.a.m., my wife was admitted to hospital. It was a Thursday and Swamiji was out of India and a bhajan session was being held at a devotees (Mr.Kasinathan) home. As I could not attend the bhajan, I requested my brother-in-law to attend the bhajan and get vibhuti.
He returned to the hospital at around 9 p.m. with vibhuti for my wife. We were all waiting outside and praying. The pain started at around 10 p.m. The doctor showed extra ordinary patience and waited for nearly twenty hours. Meanwhile two ladies who were admitted later had delivered. At around 1.30 a.m., mother of one of these ladies approached me and asked me to touch three to four places on the foot of my wife and pray to my favourite deity for 15 to 30 minutes. She told me that her daughter-in-law delivered after a similar prayer. Even though it appeared incredible I rushed to my wife and did as explained by her. No one was actually allowed to enter the room, but when I entered the room there was none around. I prayed to Swamiji for about half an hour and no sooner had I finished my prayers, a nurse came and asked me to stay outside. With divine grace, my wife delivered a boy at 2.43 a.m.
Swamiji says that God can appear in any form or name. For me, that day, God appeared as the doctor who had the patience to wait for 20 hours, as the lady who explained to me the method of prayer, and as the nurse who abstained for thirty minutes.
One Time Fifty Better Than Ten Times Five
My prayer was confined to temples and our prayer room and I had never visited any spiritual leader until 1993 when I was introduced to a few realised souls including Swamiji. I continued to visit all of them quite frequently and Swamiji used to mention about these visits. In March 1998, I had an hour long meeting with Swamiji. He said,"You have visited many spiritual personalities so for. If you need water it is better to dig at one place for fifty feet rather than digging ten feet each at five places. This is your destination. Anjaneya is your guru. He will take you to places and people as and when required. Have no doubt about that." Then He mentioned names of five close devotees and said that Anjaneya is guru for them.
That day I had to wait outside for three hours before being called in and I felt that something was wrong. Late in the evening, my friend rang up to say that Swamiji had mentioned to him that He had kept me waiting so that He could talk to me later in detail.
A Birthday Special
As I was busy attending my class, I was unable to attend Swamiji's birthday celebrations in April 1998. Next day, Mr M. Peetambaren gave me a chocolate given to him by Swamiji which I shared with my wife at home. When I visited Swamiji the next day, He asked "What special item did you eat yesterday?'. He was referring to the chocolate. He said, "I knew that you could not come, that is why I sent the chocolate to you."
We had a tough time in choosing a nick name for my son and I had totally ignored my wife's suggestions. When I visited Swamiji He asked my son's name. Then He asked about the second name. I said Sarath. "Is it Sarath or Sharath ?".He asked. I was not sure but I said that it is Sarath. Then He said, "it should be Sharath as per numerological calculations. Go and check." As it turned out to be we named our son Sharath as per numerology.
A Tulasi Kavacham
In March 1998, He gave me a tulasi mala and said "There is some disturbance, but don't worry, I will take care". I did not understand what He had meant. The following Thursday, my scooter was hit by another scooter at the busy Mount Road in Madras and I fell in front of a bus, and while falling I could see a passenger bus approaching from behind. By divine grace the bus was stopped only inches away from me. I was terrified by the sight of the huge front wheel almost touching me. My scooter and shoes were damaged but I escaped with minor bruises. My friend staying near my house but whom I had never met for the past two years came and rescued me.
In the evening, I met Swamiji during the bhajans at Shri. Krishna Teja's house and before I could say anything, He asked, "How is your vehicle?" I was too overwhelmed to speak and before I could explain what had happened He said, "I was there when the accident occurred"
He mentioned the name of my friend Seetharaman on many occasions and once He gave a packet of vibhuti to be given to him. Initially I thought that probably Seetharaman would have met Him earlier. But soon I found out that even though my friend had not heard of Swamiji he was a devotee of Anjaneya. No matter where His devotees are, Anjaneya would call them at the appropriate time.
A Visa of Grace
On many occasions, Swamiji had mentioned to my brother-in-law that he would go to the US for higher studies and that He would meet him there. Even though his score was only average in GRE and TOEFL he got admission in five colleges in the US as prophesied by Swamiji. On 11th June 1998, when we met Swamiji, He asked about Ravi and gave a packet of kumkum meant for him and prophesied that He would get the visa. The very next day my brother-in-law was issued the visa without any problem.
Two months back, I took one of my friends to Swamiji. He was keen on seeing Swamiji before entering the puja room. But it so happened that Swamiji entered through the rear door rather than through the front door. He was told that he would receive a CD in two three days. Needless to say, he got two CDs from his wife in the US.
Pilgrimage to Sabarimala
With Swamiji's blessings I went on my first pilgrimage to Sabarimala on 5th June 1996 along with a group of devotees. The crowd was unprecedented and the queue stretched up to Sarankuthi. Seeing the crowd some devotees mooted the idea of jumping the queue through some influence, but I resisted the idea because Swamiji had told me that we would have a good darshan. Needless to say, we all had a very good darshan as mentioned by Swamiji.
An Invisible Vinayaka
Swamiji used to ask me to pray at a Vinayaka temple near my house, but I had not noticed any Vinayaka temple nearby. He told me that everyday I was crossing the temple without noticing it. To my surprise, I found a small shrine with a Vinayaka idol within the residential compound itself.
Thus Spake Swamiji
"You may repose faith on a spiritual personality or you may discard him, that is your choice. But do not criticise him unless you have had a direct experience. It is not without reason that people flock to them."
"Visit any spiritual person of your choice provided you get real peace of mind"
"Arul vakku (divine prophecy) can not be different at different places, God will speak the same wherever you go"
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