A Devotees Experience

source: mahesh

I am 74 years old and retired as Chief Postmaster, Bangalore GPO. When I was in K.R.Nagar, Mysore district in the sixties, I came in close contact with the late Sri.Sankaranandha Swamiji of Yoganandeswara Mattam. He was the head of the local Sankara Mattam, It was an independent Mattam.
After my transfer to Mysore, Swamiji called on me during May 1967 and asked whether I would accompany him to Srisailam. Earlier, I had gone with him on a pilgrimage of South India. He mentioned that he had an invitation from the Paramacharya of Kanchi to attend the inaugural function of Kanchi Sankara Mutt in Srisailam on 22.03.67. I consented and we both started. After an overnight halt at Bangalore we proceeded to Hindupur by train and from there, by a direct bus to Srisailam.

On the way to Hindupur I enquired from Swamiji whether he had any money with him. I added that I had started without any plans and that I apprehended some shortage of money for the return journey. He brushed it aside and told that if necessary he would get cash from Paramacharya. But I remonstrated that it would not be proper. He, however, said that as a sanyasin he could do so without any compunction. And we continued the journey, reaching Srisailam in the late evening.

After being accommodated there, Swamiji reported to the Paramacharya, and I accompanied him. On return he told that apart from Periyaval and Pudu Periyaval two more Swamijis had come in response to the invitation. To perform the “abhishekam” for the idols of Adi Sankara and his four disciples totaling five, there was a shortfall of one more Swamiji and as such his arrival was pleasantly welcomed as he filled the gap of the fifth sanyasin. He too felt a sense of satisfaction regarding this sacred assignment.

The morning functions, `bhiksha’ and `prasadam’ over, word came from the Paramacharya at 3 p.m. that he wanted to meet me. After their discussions I went inside by pre arrangement and had “ekantha darshan” of the great sage. I had earlier seen him on a few occasions but not at so close and in exclusion to others. He kindly enquired about my ancestral village in Pallakkad and on informing him he recalled precisely when he had visited the place. It happened before my birth. I had heard about his prodigious memory and now I had a direct experience of it. With his blessings I took his leave with a sense of serenity, joy and fulfillment.

After the puja in the night, when I followed K.R.Nagar Swamiji to our camp, an elderly person came from behind and enquired if I was the manager of the K.R.Nagar Mattam and the train or bus fare from there to Srisailam. He also told me that I had to sign a voucher and take the fare for both of us from the camp office of the Mattam. I politely declined stating that as a house holder I had to give and not take any cash from the Mattam He, the late Sri Kandaswamy Iyer, looked me straight in the eye and questioned whether I had the temerity to disobey the wishes of the Paramacharya who had desired to defray our fare. I now realised the mistake of my misplaced sentiment and apologised for the refusing, an unwittingly committed error. I could not help wiping tears of joy and this did not go unnoticed by him. In fact I was very much in need of cash to make up the deficiency but at the same time not prepared to ask any one for help. I obtained the cash from the office-counter.

When I thought of the mercy of the Paramacharya in saving me from an embarrassing situation, having come to know of our conversation in a distant train through his clairvoyance, I had no words to express my feelings. I knew that he was a walking God on earth, but now I witnessed it is no exaggeration and that he is very much so. Sri Shankarananda Saraswati Swamini was delighted that he was proved right.