This is in continuation of the second part of the note on my experiences with His Holiness Sri Vikraman Swami, which was hosted at this site in March 1998. This part accounts for my experiences during the period April 1998 to August 1998.
An Enhanced Tour Advance
On 11th June, 1998 I asked Swami’s permission to visit Rameswaram Temple. He gave me two packets of vibhuthi and asked me to carry them with me to Rameswaram. On 13th He blessed our train tickets and gave another two packets of vibhuthi to be carried. On the 18th during the puja at the Puja Mandiram, he asked me how much money I proposed to carry with me to Rameswaram. When I said that I would carry around Rs.3,000/- He said, "You will carry more than what you have planned." He gave me another two packets of vibhuthi. On 19th June, 1998 the day of departure to Rameswaram, I arranged Rs.3000/- as planned and came home. Just thirty minutes before leaving home, my wife told me that Rs.2,500/-meant for a stabilizer was also kept at home. Instantly I decided to carry that money as well because the stabilizer was expected only on our return. Thus, we ended up carrying almost double the amount that we had initially planned!
More Members Foretold
On 18th June, 1998 Swami asked my wife whether we could accommodate more pilgrims in our group. She did not understand what He meant by that. A few hours before our departure, one more person wanted to join us whom we could not accommodate for want of train accommodation!
The importance of Rameswaram is that it was here that Sri Rama worshipped Lord Siva after killing Ravana to aton for the sin of brahmahatya (killing a brahmin – Ravana was born of a sage). There are 22 wells, 11 just outside and 11 inside the temple. Once there existed 37 wells of which 15 have now become defunct. Pouring water from the twenty two wells is considered the ultimate parihara (remedial measure) for all the sins. The pilgrim first takes a dip in the sea and enter the temple with wet clothes, and water from the 22 wells is poured one by one at the end of which the pilgrim prays at the shrine of Viswanathar, where the Sivaling brought by Hanumanji from Kailas is worshipped. Then the pilgrim has to pray at the shrine of Ramanathar, the Sivaling consecrated by Sri Rama.
We were not aware of the fact that the well bath gets closed at 7.p.m. Our train reached Rameswaram at 4 p.m. and we were planning to proceed to the temple after food and a little rest. Anjaneya would have foreseen this. As the train was nearing Rameswaram, a young person approached us and introduced himself as an authorised guide for pilgrims to Rameswaram temple, and showed his identity badge. He turned out to be a very nice person and accompanied us till the well bath was completed and gave us useful tips for the next day’s trip to Thirupullani and Devapatnam. Had we not met him in the train itself, it would have been very difficult for us to visit all the temples as planned by me.
A Shrine Worshipped by Waves
Devapattanam, 15 kms away from Ramanathapuram (Ramnad) town is famous for a shrine of Navagrahas located in the sea close to the shore. Pilgrims can walk up to the temple during low tides in the morning hours and offer prayer. According to the legend the shrine was consecrated by Sri Rama. Today, only the pillars remain as the idols got eroded by the sea. Prayers are offered to the nine pillars on which the idols once stood.
We had actually planned to go to Thirupullani first before visiting this shrine. It so happened that the taxi driver took us to Devapattanam first. When we reached the place it was 7 a.m. and we could easily walk up to the shrine. However, the tide started rising every minute. Had we visited the shrine after visiting Thirupullani, it would have been very difficult to circumambulate the shrine the customary nine times. By the time we offered our prayers the sea water had risen to knee deep level within the shrine itself.
The Saakshi Hanuman
I was advised by two friends to pray at the Hanuman temple which would be open 24 hours and where soondal (cooked Bengal gram) is given as prasad (food sanctified by offering to the deity) 24 hours. On 21st June 1998, we enquired about the temple at Thirupullani and Devapattanam but none seemed to know about it. On our return to Rameswaram, we prayed at Ramapadam (the place from where Sri Rama viewed the ocean before crossing). While returning in an auto when I asked the driver about Lakshman Theertham, he mentioned about an Anjaneya temple on the way itself. We got down there and to my surprise I found that it was the Hanuman temple I was looking for.
According to the legend, it was here that Lord Hanuman informed Sri Rama that He saw Sri Sita at Lanka. Hence the name of the temple. Saakshi means witness.
It was as if Anjaneya was guiding us throughout our pilgrimage without our knowledge. The reminiscences of our pilgrimage to Rameswaram will linger on for ever.
Devotees who are close to Swami would invariably develop an affinity for number five. Number five is associated with Hanuman for the following reasons. It is believed that He has five faces (Pancha Mukha) and five bodies (Pancha Deha). He is a great yogi (mystic) having transcended the five senses (Pancha Indriyas). The five faces are that of Lord Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Hayagriva, and Lord Garuda.
In Kamba Ramayanam (in Tamil), the significance of number five is beautifully narrated as follows: The son of one of the five (son of wind – that is Pavana thanaya), crossed one of the five (water – the ocean), through one of the five (sky), met daughter of one of the five (daughter of earth – Sri Sita Devi), burnt Lanka by one of the five (fire). Here five means the five elements.
Sundara Kandam, the chapter highlighting the heroic exploits of Lord Hanuman at Lanka is the fifth chapter in Ramayana. Therefore, it is considered auspicious to go around His idol 5 times, 14 times, 23 times, 32 times or with such numbers adding to five.
We were five people in the group, the room we stayed at Rameswaram was 32, the taxi number we travelled in and around Rameswaram added to 5, and in all we visited five Anjaneya shrines at Rameswaram!
Anjaneya’s VIP Quota
Our train accommodation for the return journey on the Sethu Express was wait listed at 25 and 26 and we had to enter the general compartment because of the unprecedented rush. After half an hour or so, the ticket examiner came and checked our tickets and went back. After two stations, the ticket examiner again came to the window of our coach and informed me that a new compartment was being attached at Manamadurai Station and I could try for an accommodation in that coach. At Manamadurai we got down and went to the compartment suggested by him and contacted another examiner who was standing near that compartment. He informed us that he had no instruction whatsoever about what to do with the compartment. But he allowed us to enter the compartment on condition that incase there were other passengers reserved on the coach, we would have to get down. It is His grace that we could travel in the train up to Madras without any disturbance and it looked like a VIP compartment because there were very few passengers in the compartment. No ticket examiner came in even to check our tickets. It was a new experience for me because the ticket examiner had the compassion to guide me that too without my asking! This reminds what Swami repeatedly used to say that God can appear in any form and name. That day, I believe, Anjaneya appeared to us in the form of the ticket examiner!
The Power of Sankalpa
It is said that thought is a form of energy and words are but the expression of such energy. As I mentioned He had given me six packets of vibhuthi for carrying with me to Rameswaram. He had asked me not to use it but only to carry with me and bring them back. Even though I could not visualise the import of His instruction, I took it very seriously because Swami would never say anything with out a purpose. However, on our return we realised that the vibhuthi was given to us with a sankalpa because our trip to Rameswaram would have otherwise ended up in great disappointment for personal reasons. We had a very similar experience on 4th January, 1998 - the Hanumath Jayanthi day. But for His sankalpa, we could not have participated in the celebrations happily. Being very personal, I am not quoting the details but suffice it to say that the power of His sankalpa reflects his karmasudhi (sanctity of work) and chittasudhi (purity of mind).
The Hindu scriptures declare that persons who are truthful in life develop the power of materialisation of his words.(What commands they utter from their heart come to pass: Yoga Sutras II.36). It is not just a case of anticipation, wishing, imagination or visualisation, but it is the power of sankalpa based on karmasudhi and chittasudhi which leads to materialisation.
The Importance of Vibhuthi
Vibhuthi has some medicinal and curing properties. It is believed that being a bad conductor of energy, vibhuthi applied on the forehead would prevent the exit of energy from the body. It is also symbolic of the mortality of earthly pleasures. As Sri Paramahans Yoganand said, God is the real healer even though the process of healing is administered by realised souls. In order to divert the focus from themselves, they shift the attention to tangibles such as vibhuthi and kumkum. Devotees also expect such tangible materials as a token of divine intervention. These tangibles along with the sankalpa of the realised souls act as the curing factor. To me personally, it is His sankalpa that is effecting all miracles.
Time Share Sofas
I have observed that Swami gives little care for his personal comforts. For instance, it was very difficult to sit for long in the chair that He used to sit. Therefore, while He was touring the U.S.A., three of us purchased a sofa and got it delivered on 4th June, 98, the day He was supposed to arrive in Madras. I was very happy to see Swami sitting on it on 11th June, 98. However, on 13th June, 1998 I saw Swami sitting on another new sofa. I was afraid that Swami was not comfortable sitting on the one presented by us. Later, I learnt that another devotee also had presented a new sofa that day. Then I knew that Swami has to please all His devotees. After the arati at around midnight, Swami called me and said, "I will be using both the sofas, don’t worry". Such is the concern and compassion of our Swami. As I had written in my first note, nothing can escape His attention.
The American Shampoo
Just before His American tour, Swami asked a devotee from Madras about her shampoo. Then He prophesied that she would buy her next shampoo from the U.S.A. and that He would meet her at Chicago in future. He also said that she would go to a place in the U.S.A. starting with alphabet I and that she would visit Him in a blue car. In a matter of days, her marriage was fixed and she got married on 1st July, 1998. The bride groom is from Illinois, and he has a blue car! Obviously she would have her next shampoo in the U.S.A. I am not giving further details because she would herself write a detailed account of her experience in future.
A Dream Message
This happened to one of my close family friends. Her daughter had severe skin disease that was not responding to homeopathic treatment. One night in June, 1998 Swami appeared in the dream and asked her to change the doctor. By then she had already switched over to allopathic medicines. But they wanted that Swami should confirm the dream. During the next visit to Swami, they were asked to change the doctor, thus confirming the message given through the dream.
720 Kilo Hertz
Soon after the Hanumath Jayanthi celebrations, Swami’s interview was to be broadcast on All India Radio. He asked me on which station it was to be broadcast. When I said Madras A, He asked me to indicate it on the two-in-one set kept next to Him. I pointed to the 420 kHz mark thinking that it corresponded to Madras A. He did not make any comment at all. When I returned home, I found out that I was indeed wrong because Madras-A corresponds to 720 kHz. Had He not asked me this I would have missed the broadcast. His ways of teaching and correcting devotees are thus unique.
The Fifty Rupee Note
On 18th June, 1998 He asked me how many hundred rupee notes I was carrying. I said two or three with out verification. On return home, I found out that I was carrying only fifty rupee notes as the hundred rupee note I spent at the restaurant. My friend who had accompanied me to the restaurant later told me that the food was very tasty that day.
On 18th June He told me that I would get enough informative material on spiritual matters. While cruising on WWW, I came across a few sites with excellent information and news items some of which confirmed Swami’s predictions regarding extra terrestrials, inhabiting Mars and so on. I could download as much as 500 pages of such information in two days.
The Priest with the Beard
He had prophesied nearly two years back that the Vinayaka temple near our residence would have a new priest, who would be fat and would be sporting a beard. On every visit to the temple, I would look for a priest who fitted the description by Swami. Finally on 10th July, 1998 I found that a new priest with the above features had taken charge.
The Last Cigarette
This is the story of a septuagenarian chain smoker from Kerala who is an uncle of a close devotee of Swami in Madras. He happened to read a copy of the World Prophecies of Sri Vikraman Swami given to him by the devotee. He smoked while reading the note and after finishing it he left the place forgetting to take his cigarette pack. On the way he knew he had not taken the cigarette pack but he thought he would buy a new one at the bus stand. When he reached the bus stand he did not feel the urge to buy cigarette so he boarded a bus to his house with out buying it. On reaching home also he did not smoke and the day passed off without further tobacco indulgence. This happened in April 1998 and he has not touched cigarettes since then!
A Dream Visit
I had a series of dreams in July 1998. One dream in the early morning of 22nd July, featured Swami visiting my house. When I woke up I told my wife about the dream and even suggested buying some fruits in anticipation of His visit because it was quite vivid and complete with details. The next day, when I met Him during the bhajans, He said: "I would have appeared in your dreams. I will visit your house one day". Thus, not only He confirmed the message underlying the dream I had but also assured that the dream would be fulfilled.
On 10th August, 1998 He visited my house at around 8.15.p.m., lighted the lamp, sang three bhajans, and blessed all devotees present there.
On 23rd July, 1998 He asked me whether I had received any letter recently. I could not remember having received any letter. On my return home, I found that there were two very important letters.
The Real Millenium Bug
The whole world, particularly the corporates and our computer whiz kids are so engrossed in dealing with the notorious Y2K millenium bug unaware of a bigger bug staring at them. Little do they know that this bug would appear in 1999 and threaten our very existence! No software package would come handy to rescue the world from its clutches. The 23rd July, 1998 turned out to be a special day because He spoke at length on the importance of God realisation, and touched events that are likely to change the course of the world by the turn of the century.
He said that witnessing God’s effulgence by our eyes is very difficult and that the supreme power can be perceived through devotion. This sounds very much like what Jesus said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" - John 1:18. He said that God would appear in any form and offer you solace. Devotion is therefore the most important. All major religions are like parallel cables never touching at any point. Most of the problems in the world may be attributed to it. If they continue like this, even after centuries there would not be any peace of mind in the world despite all advancement in science and technology. "…..The world is heading for a terrible crisis and it is high time that the people realised that it is the same supreme power that is worshipped in different names by different religious groups. It is high time that these parallel cables are brought to the point of realisation that God is one. I am one of the instruments at the hands of God to bring about this change. It is when I hear your experiences that I realise that there is a divine power operating through me."
Questions Sans Notice
In our parliamentary system, the Speaker has to be informed in advance if any member has to raise any issue. However, in Anjaneya’s court, such advanced notice is not required. On 23rd July, 1998 I was in a dilemma whether to ask Swami’s guidance on a particular personal issue. Finally, I decided not to ask Him. But during the course of the puja He asked me, "Peetambaren, do you have anything special to ask me?". I had no other option but to seek clarification.
A Phone Call
On 30th July, 1998 Swami told me that my brother would ring up and give a message and that He would give a response to it after the call came. On 2ndAugust, 1998 my brother called up and gave a message to be passed on to Swami. On 6th August, 1998 during the bhajans, Swami asked me about the message and responded to it.
Three Pujas in One Day
The evening of 7th August, 1998 turned out to be a special day as Swamiji visited the residence of two devotees at Rangarajapuram and the business premise of a devotee at Ashok Nagar. The day was considered to be auspicious being a pournami (full moon day) and Aadi Velli (a Friday of special religious significance in Tamil Nadu). At all these palaces He lighted lamps and it was as if we had attended three pujas in one day. Only few devotees were present and He spoke at length on matters of faith, duty, etc.
Fills in the Blank
I had written a brief account of the life of Sri Anjaneya and Sri Vikraman Swami few months back and I could not complete it for want of details about Swami. On 13th August,1998 I showed the document to my friend and told him that I could complete it only if Swami gave me all the details. The same day evening during the bhajans, we were all overwhelmed because He mentioned some of the major incidents in His life.
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