I have been an Anjaneya devotee since my childhood. My parents were very strict that food would not be served until we offered our prayers. I would chant Hanuman Chalisa daily since my school days. Lord Anjaneya is very dear to me ever since.
Fifteen years ago, I visited Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh along with my cousin sister and brother in law for a carnatic music programme. There I happened to meet an Anjaneya devotee, a nonagenarian with an uncanny resemblance of Anjaneya. He advised me to chant Hanuman Badavanala Stotra everyday. After meeting him, we boarded a bus to Annavaram when a small boy approached us and urged us to buy a picture of Lord Anjaneya. The boy demanded Rs.25 for the picture but we did not show any inclination to buy it. However, feeling pity on him my relative gave him two rupees asking him to take it for food. The boy kept the picture on his lap and went away saying that it was the last one with him. To our amusement we found that it was a rare and peculiar painting on glass depicting a silhouette of Anjaneya. We took the picture and kept in the puja room. Ever since I have felt that Anjaneya has been following me like a shadow. The experiences that ensued would often make me feel His protective arm around me.
When I came to Madras in 1978, I was advised by my cousin sister to conduct a vettila paakku puja, a puja offered to Lord Anjaneya with 108 betel leaves and arecanut pieces which I did on a Saturday. During the puja the small idol of Anjaneya got covered by the betel leaves offered by me. The next day morning we were baffled to see that the heap of betel leaves was parted sidewise exposing the idol. The very same morning I received an offer to sing three songs in a Telugu dubbed version of a Malayalam movie called Anjaneya Charitra. Anjaneya had clearly shown me the path! The parting of the betel leaves was symbolic of the path He had chalked out for me!
Over to Sri Vikraman Swamiji
In 1991, my relative Shri. Krishna Rao met Swamiji on a Tuesday. He got the information about Swamiji from a Muslim friend of his son Srinivas. The very next Saturday I went to Nanganallur along with Shri. Krishna Rao. It was around 8.30 a.m. when I was called in by my vehicle number TN-307. Swamiji did not talk to me until 9.p.m. Then He mentioned about my two names, Krishna Murthy and Krishna Theja, the later one being based on numerology. He said that I could keep the second name. He mentioned the problems faced by me in my profession. By now, Anjaneya had handed me over to Sri Vikraman Swamiji.
My Songs on TV
The next week I again felt an urge to meet Swamiji. I was summoned by Him in the afternoon. He asked me to sing the famous carnatic song Vatapi Ganapatim…which I did. Then He said that one of my songs would be telecast on TV soon. The very next day one of my songs in a Telugu movie was telecast by Doordarshan!
During my next visit, He said that one more song would be telecast soon. During the week a Telugu movie for which I had rendered a song was telecast. Slowly I developed faith in Swamiji and I started introducing my friends and colleagues in the cine field to Swamiji. Not only that they were satisfied but also their experience enhanced my own faith in Swamiji.
Obedience – The Best Policy
Obedience would be the best policy with Swamiji. I have experienced it many times. On a Saturday I visited Swamiji. I was called in around 1.p.m. That day I had an appointment at a recording studio at 2.p.m. I was upset for not being able to fulfil the appointment. Suddenly, Swamiji said, "Krishna Theja, what are you thinking? Don’t worry, sit here." I came out around 4.p.m. and rushed to the recording theatre to find that the recording had been postponed by the producer for lack of finance!
Protection – Anjaneya Style
Once I took a Malayalam script writer to Swamiji. He had an appointment with the producer of a movie at 6. p.m. in a hotel in the city and he was expecting a good amount from the deal that was expected to be finalised in the evening. He was, however, not let out as expected. When he came out the appointed hour was over and he started fuming at Swamiji and me. The next day he went to the hotel to trace out the producer, but was told that all those present in the hotel room of the producer were all taken into custody by the police on charges of smuggling! The next Saturday our script writer visited Swamiji and prostrated apologetically. He, however, got good chances in the movie field itself later. Swamiji used to say that when one undergoes discomfort by sitting inside the puja room for long hours, the torments outside would be lessened.
A Turning Point for My Family
Initially my family members could not believe that a person could possess such phenomenal and marvelous powers, and Swamiji had once told me that He would tell me when to take them to Him. A couple of visits later, Swamiji asked me to bring them to Him. When they were called in Swamiji narrated all major incidents in their life. He even said that my son Pavan would not show much enthusiasm in studies for a couple of years but then he would gradually improve later. He also foretold the birth of our daughter. All that He said that day has happened the way He had foretold us. By then, my entire family had become His devotees. It is my experience that there is a time for meeting Him and for most persons a session with Him could be a major turning point in their life.
Hanumath Jayanthi Celebrations
During one visit, He asked me to sing during the Third Hanumath Jayanthi celebrations. Swamiji was pleased with my songs. He foretold that offer would come for songs. Almost immediately thereafter an offer came for songs on Goddess in a Telugu movie and it was successful. They were later dubbed into Tamil as well. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to work for 30 to 40 devotional cassettes.
In 1995, I was observing all rituals for pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple. On the fortieth day a bhajan was planned at my residence. Swamiji came in the morning as He had to go abroad the next day. He blessed me and said that there is some problem with my health but that I need not worry about it. In fact, I had piles problem and had lost lot of blood. As soon as He left I had slight giddiness. In the evening I sang to my heart’s content even though I had slight shivering. After the bhajans, the shivering became severe and a doctor had to be summoned who administered an injection. The condition worsened and I was taken to Best Hospital where the doctors initially refused to admit me because the blood level in my body had gone down alarmingly. Before proceeding to the hospital, the mala I was wearing was put on the Ayyappa picture as suggested by a devotee.
Doctors asked us to arrange for A 1 B +ve blood, a very rare blood group. However, our search for A 1 B +ve blood did not succeed. The hospital authorities indicated that the treatment would cost Rs. 40,000/- whereas I did not have any money with me. Thus it was a hopeless situation for me.
The next day evening at around 6 p.m., Swamiji came along with few devotees as His flight to Dubai was delayed. He applied vibhuthi on my forehead and blessed me. He dipped His hands into the pockets took out handful of cash which He handed over to my sister asking her to use it for my treatment. Meanwhile the doctor and the nurses came to the room and Swamiji blessed them too who were excited and satisfied by what Swamiji told them. He remained with us for nearly half an hour. He foretold that the required blood would be available the next day. Meanwhile a friend of us offered a hand loan of Rs.20,000/- Swamiji handed over several packets of vibhuthi to Shri. Krishna Rao and asked him to apply on my forehead every two hours which he did. The next day three Bank employees – a Muslim, a Christian and a Hindu donated two bottles of blood each. Hearing my condition my friends and colleagues in the cine field started trouping into the hospital and offered all help.
I was put on sedatives, but I had dreams of Anjaneya. The next day, I saw a photograph of Swamiji on my bed and tears rolled down my eyes. That day Swamiji rang up from abroad to reassure us. I had to remain in hospital for fifteen days. Meanwhile, persons who owed me money cleared all their dues and the hand loan could be cleared with out any problem.
A lighter side of the incident was that two of my friends who came from my native place suggested using their blood, one A and the other B asking us to mix both so that we could obtain the AB blood group! My relative told them that even in that case the important "1" was missing because I needed A 1 B +ve.
This was a turning point in my life. From then on I reposed full faith in Swamiji.
Flight to Bombay
After my recovery from the illness, Swamiji told me that I would have to go to Bombay by flight. By end 1996, a Telugu movie producer asked me to come to Bombay for recording in Bombay. I worked there for three movies and it turned out to be quite satisfying. Subsequently, I had to go to Bombay a couple of times by flight in connection with recording work.
Solace for Relatives
Swamiji would mention about my relatives and hand over vibhuthi for them. For instance, He gave vibhuthi for my father who was suffering from ulcer. Similarly, my sister had frequent bouts of head ache and reddening of eye. With His blessings all have recovered. It is noteworthy that all are Anjaneya devotees. Whenever they fell sick or faced major problems, Swamiji mentioned their names and offered solace. No matter where an Anjaneya devotee is stationed and no matter whether he/she knows about Swamiji, solace would come from the most unexpected quarters.
A Divine Sculptor
Once Swamiji asked a regular devotee to sing a bhajan. He was a mentally disturbed person whom Swamiji used to call in regularly and keep him seated in the puja room. Once when he was asked to sing he got scared because he had never did so. But Swamiji persisted and assured him that he need not worry. At last he sang and it turned out to be quite mellifluous and he sang like a professional singer. There is nothing that is impossible for Anjaneya.
Once Mr. Bharathi Babu, a production manager in the Telugu film field visited Swamiji. When Swamiji told him that he could start writing lyrics for Telugu movies he brushed it aside saying that he was not experienced in writing lyrics. Swamiji asked for his pen and blessed it. A couple of days later he got a chance to write songs for a movie dubbed from Tamil and it became a major hit. Later he worked for 30 odd movies as lyricist.
On another visit, Swamiji told him to write dialogues for movies. Swamiji again blessed his pen. So far he has penned dialogue for more than a dozen Telugu movies. He too is an ardent devotee of Swamiji. Similarly, Swamiji asked my relative Shri. Krishna Rao to write devotional songs and blessed his pen. So far he has written around hundred devotional songs.
Many personalities in the cine field, Smt. Saucar Janaki, Smt. Vijaya Kumari, Shri. Parthiban, Smt. Seetha, and singers Shri. Mano, Ms. Sandhya, Ms. Sunandha, Ms. Sindhu, Smt. Lalita Sagar and several others have met Swamiji and benefited. The movie Ullae Veliyae by Shri. Parthiban was blessed by Swamiji and it turned out to be a big success for him after a few failures. Swamiji has carved out brilliant idols from raw clay with the blessings of Anjaneya. He is a divine sculptor who could turn amorphous stuff in His devotees into marvelous masterpieces.
On several occasions I was offered work for different movies from different companies for the same day and hour. On such occasions I prayed and miraculously the schedules got altered for some reason or the other to suit my convenience.
I know atleast half a dozen cases of Swamiji reuniting couples who otherwise would have divorced. Was it not Lord Anjaneya who played the key role in uniting the divine couple Sri Rama and Sri Sita Devi?
A Potbelly and Two Wrist Watches
Once Swamiji visited the Kothandapani Recording Theatre in Madras. After the recording work, Swamiji blessed the artistes and the staffs who were all excited by Swamiji’s divine prowess. One of them happened to be the brother of noted singer Shri. S.P. Balasubramaniam. Swamiji told him that he would develop a prominent potbelly, lose his wrist watch, and that he would also get two wrist watches. Being a very lean person then, he could not believe that he would develop a potbelly. A couple of months later a surgery had to be conducted on him and subsequently he developed a big potbelly. He also lost his wrist watch but received two new wrist watches from his friends as gifts!
Always A Giver
I was very fond of golden coloured wrist watch but for some reason or the other I could not buy one. Some three years back he presented a foreign made golden coloured wrist watch to me which I consider as an amulet.
In August 1997, Swamiji visited my house for a bhajan. After the bhajans, He was taking snacks. Meanwhile, my daughter Ramya rendered a bhajan in the adjoining room which Swamiji also listened to. Swamiji was quite pleased with her and later presented a pair of ear drops in appreciation.
On another occasion, Swamiji gifted His gold ring embedded with elephant’s tail hair to singer Shri. Jayakumar.
There are hundreds of devotees who have thus experienced His largess. He has never shown any attachment to material pleasures or possessions.
Dispeller of Fear
My colleague Shri. Jayakumar had an abnormal stage fright. Swamiji presented His gold ring embedded with an elephant’s tail hair to him. It is a belief that such a ring would ward off abnormal fear. Today he is very happy and a close devotee of Swamiji.
Dreams of Solace
Whenever I retire to bed with any tension whatsoever, Swamiji would appear in dream in His red veshti, and bless me. Needless to say, solutions would be found for the problems.
Square Feet by Square Feet
While I was staying at Chakrapani Street, Swamiji asked me "Krishna Theja, don’t you want to shift to a bigger flat?" With an unsteady profession, I was not keen on shifting to a bigger flat, but Swamiji assured that paying rent would not be a problem. Soon, for some reason or the other, I had to shift as mentioned by Him. After shifting to Subbarayan Nagar, Swamiji visited us for a bhajan in 1997 when again He mentioned shifting our residence to a still bigger flat! Within a couple of months we had to shift again to a bigger flat as mentioned by Him. It is His blessings that I did not have any difficulty in paying higher rent. It is also true that Swamiji has been building up my confidence to rise higher up in my professional and social life. Literally, He has built our life square feet by square feet. He is the architect of our life in all respects.
Coins of Guarantee
It is only normal to have financial problems, but it is my experience that with His blessings income would flow atleast sufficient enough to meet the expenses. The experience of devotees who were blessed with coins and currency notes by Swamiji would bear testimony to this.
I have heard Him asking devotees about their friends and relatives, "How is he?" or "How is she?" Once He asked me, "How is your son?" I replied that he was alright, but within a few days he fell sick of typhoid. But with His blessings my son recovered soon.
My profession is such that sometimes there would be a bunch of offers and sometimes there would not be any work for days together. But whenever I prayed in such difficult times solace would come without any delay. This has happened on many an occasion.
I have observed that the experiences of devotees whom I personally know of are quite similar to the devotees of Sri Shirdi Baba. Many of Swamiji’s devotees are also Shirdi Baba devotees.
A Divine Trace
Two years back Swamiji had told Shri. Bhuvana Chandra, a Telugu lyricist that he would construct a house near a temple. Swamiji had even described the layout of the house with details of kitchen, sitting room etc. When the house was completed its layout turned out to be as described by Swamiji and near a famous Anjaneya temple.
We went to Swamiji’s house on 7th August, 1998 to invite Swamiji for the house warming ceremony. Swamiji asked us to wait for Him at the Puja Mandiram. Enroute we prayed at the nearby Anjaneya temple and as we were approaching the Karumari Amman temple near the Puja Mandiram we heard devotees singing bhajans on Goddess, that day being the day of Varalakshmi Vrutam. Attracted by the songs we entered the temple. The sanctum sanctorum was closed as usual prior to the arati and I was in two minds. As the arati was not over I did not want to come out but at the same time I was worried that Swamiji would be looking for us at the Puja Mandiram.
Meanwhile, Swamiji had reached the Puja Mandiram and not seeing us started driving around the locality in search of us. Finally He entered the Karumari Amman temple at the time when we were about to come out. It was as if Anjaneya was tracing us where we were stuck.
In His Sacred Service
Today, Swamiji is my friend, philosopher, guide, guru, and He is none other than Lord Anjaneya, my favourite deity since childhood. One may worship God in any name or form – as Jesus, Krishna or Allah. To me Anjaneya is God, and Sri Vikraman Swamiji is the Avatar of Lord Anjaneya. On retirement from active professional life, it is my wish to dedicate myself at His holy feet to serve His mission. He is the shade Lord Anjaneya has provided me and my family to cross this desert of earthly life.
V. Krishna Theja
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