Saturday, February 26, 2011

"How Nannagaru came into my life?" - A Devotee

It was sometime in June or July 1991. I was going through a bad patch in life at that time and struggling to cope with the difficult situations. Many times I despaired, wondering “is there an end to these troubles and why me?” One night I fell asleep mentally exhausted with all the worries, and had a vivid dream. I was in a big house along with a group of people who were reverentially waiting on a holy man. He was Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. My first thought on seeing him was ‘but he is so frail!”. I had not seen him earlier except in pictures and always imagined him as a hefty figure. The ochre robe he wore reached only upto his knees like Shirdi Baba’s, and his hair was sparse, not the thick mane seen in pictures. (All these details were very clear, and later when I saw him at Puttaparthi, he looked exactly as in my dream.) I was a silent spectator to the day’s activities in that house with the devotees and Baba – conversing with disciples, a short discourse, his meals at a dining table etc. (the same schedule as Nannagaru’s when he stays in a devotees house as I later realized). The scene in the dream then moved on to a large open ground with a hilly backdrop. Baba was reclining in the grass on his side, his hand supporting his head. I was sitting beside him and was pouring out all my woes to him and said that I am unable to take it anymore. He said “Just wait for 3 more months” and he turned the other side. I woke up. Why Sai Baba of all the persons in my dreams, I wondered. Until then I had an aversion to Swamis and Babas, and had a particular dislike for Puttaparthi Baba. I would quickly turn away the page if there was a picture of him in any book I was reading.



This must be a “Divine Plan”. My mind had to be cleared away of the negative feeling I had towards Holy Men and Babas. So the premonition of the subsequent meeting with my Guru came through the one for whom I had the least liking. Since then, whenever I remember Baba, it is with a feeling of gratefulness for being the harbinger of my good fortune.

Two months later I got a job, which gave me the stability and security required for the worldly life. About a month later, sometime in September 1991, I met Nannagaru. Until then I knew nothing about him, even though he was known to many among my relatives.

Those days, Nannagaru used to stay either at Nallakunta or Begumpet when he came to Hyderabad. Initially I used to be reluctant to visit him but my mother insisted (and I am always grateful to her for that). I would go unwillingly and also attended a couple of discourses. Once after a discourse, I was passing by him as I was leaving, and he called me. “So what did you think of the discourse?” he asked; “Did you think, why does this old man repeat the same words over and over again?” I was taken back, because that was exactly what I thought! Later he explained that repetition is necessary so that his message registers in our minds and help us contemplate on it.



A few days later, I had personal meeting with him. Again my mother arranged it and I grumbled at her for doing this without telling me. Still, I went along. Nannagaru called me to his room and encouraged me to speak out whatever was troubling me. It was as if a dam broke. Words gushed out tumbling over one another and he listened patiently until I stopped, murmuring in between in a compassionate voice “oh my dear, what you had to go through”. Then I said “Nannagaru I am not saying all this because I want you to remove my problems. I request you to give me the strength to face life with all its problems”. I did not mean to say these words, they just came involuntarily. It was His Grace, His Compassion that stirred something inside me and came out as these words.

As soon as I said this Nannagaru’s face lit up. He said “very good” several times. He then assured me that all will be fine and I will find peace and happiness. He advised me to read “Amruthavaakkulu” and also encouraged me to write to him whenever I wanted to. He personally wrote out his postal address for me on a scrap of paper.

So the Divine Plan unfolded – first the worldly security and then the spiritual direction!



I continued to visit and keep in touch with Nannagaru on and off, it took almost a year before I was completely hooked. Very gently he pulled me towards him, by singling me out in a crowd and inviting me to sit near him when I visited him; enquiring about my well-being repeatedly whenever someone I know met him; regularly checking on my progress both at work and about my sadhana; and giving me practical advice and guidance all along.

While I did have an inclination towards spirituality from a young age, enjoyed reading books on the subject, and also attended a few discourses of Swami Chinmayanada and few others; I was not consciously looking for a Master. But my Master, no my Father, reached out to me himself. Such is His Love and Compassion.

He is the perfect Guru. With His Grace, He ensured that I did not stray way and showers me with his benediction, as he does with all, that being his nature.



Thank you very much for sharing your experience. When time ripens, Guru pulls his devotees towards him. No doubt our Guru Nannagaru is a Perfect guru.

Monday, February 21, 2011

You will come to Advaita slowly but surely - (By Dr.Mithin)

After seeing the Powerful leela of Sri Nannagaru that day ( At the Sadguru's feet part 2) I waited with baited breath for Sri Nannagaru to finish his Sri Sailam Tour and return back to Hyderabad.

On his arrival in the city I immediately went to meet him the next day early morning for the satsang.

The devotees who had gathered there asked me to come and sit in front of the Guru's chair.

He talks superbly when you sit in fron of him, they said.

I nodded and sat down and looked at the door of Sri Nannagaru's room. He was coming slowly towards the chair.

On seeing me he gave a pleased smile and patted me on my shoulder I think.



He sat down and then his assistant came and gave oil massage to his feet for sometime.

All the while His feet were at the height of my head.

"Lord Nataraja!" I thought "Please subdue my ego"

The Feet of Sri Nanna coveted by Lord Anjaneya seemed to understand my prayer and remained for quite sometime near my head as the massage went on.

After the massage there was a silent satsang for some time.

Sri Nannagaru looked at me and said " Do you like Dvaitam or Advaitam?"

I said " I like both."

He nodded and said " You will come to Advaita slowly but surely."

Then Sri Nannagaru looked at me and siad " When one knows that everything that exists is just one's own Self, he realizes there is nothing to desire in another person or place. There is no coming or going for him. For where can he come to or where can he go to when everything is him alone? There is no heaven or hell for him. He alone is. Non profiting nor loosing. He then becomes Ihaparalabhaheena. A man who has no profit or loss, neither here nor there, for he alone is. Such a man becomes Silent. That was the state of Bhagawan. He saw Himself everywhere and in all. Such a man is free from virtue and sin."

I later realized that Sri Nannagaru had elaborated on the 93 or 94th verse of Aksharamanamalai of Bhagawan.

After this there was some silent satsang for sometime.



I was thinking in my mind "Oh my God! Its really happening! I have a Guru and he knows me...he knows me."

Waves of Peace flooded me from Sri Nannagaru's Gracious looks.

He kept staring at me and I could feel the peace.

I could feel the waves calming my mental waves...my restlessness.

I felt a wave rise in the left lobe of my brain, a thought about to form.

Immediately Sri Nannagaru looked into my left eye and left hemicerebrum.

The wave died.

He continued looking and I felt the peace tangibly.

Even in the most hell of a traffic I was Peace.

When the silent satsang ended Sri Nannagaru took me inside his room.

He gave me a book.

'Meditation and Spiritual Life' by Swami Yatishwarananda of Sri Ramakrishna Math.

He looked at me solemnly and said " You will realize Truth Mithin. You will have Self Realization" he gave a pregnant pause waiting for the words to sink into me and said fervently " ...in this birth."

I absent mindedly prostrated to him and came out.





Dr.Mithin Aachi is an orthopaedic surgeon by profession. He is a star-gazer, painter, and writer. He is an amalgamation of all kinds of arts and activities. He is a happy go lucky person, who just sees love in everything. From the very tender age, he had an quest to know the truth. He admires and worships Rama Krishna and believes Nannagaru is an avatar of Rama Krishna and worships him in this form. He is a simple person who is an embodiment of love.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Self (Aatma) is infinite

# Even though the electric current is invisible, can we doubt its existence? Similarly we cannot doubt the existence of self (Aatman) though it is not visible. The bulb glows only when it is attached to an electric wire. Incarnations like Rama and Krishna took birth only to manifest the power of self (Aatman), but don’t limit the self (Aatman) to their bodies. If we attach current wire to 100 watts bulb it will emit light accordingly, if we attach to 1000 watts bulb it will emit light accordingly, does the current wire have any limits? Similarly the strength of self (Aatman) is infinite and it doesn’t have any boundaries.

# Prarabdha Karma (Destiny) is limited to body and mind and is in no way related to the self (Aatman). The sun is the witness for all our activities. When our karma (actions) doesn’t affect the physical sun, how can it touch the Atman (self) which makes the physical sun, shine? Except the self (Aatman), everything else is gross. We may be yearning for self-realization but the self (Aatman) is more eager than us for being revealed.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"My first visits with Nannagaru" - (By Greeshma)

AUM NAMO BHAGAWATE SRI RAMANAYA
AUM NAMO BHAGAWATE SRI NANNA GURAVE NAMAHA


I wish to share my experiences, my life that has been and how it changed and transformed just by Guru’s grace and nothing else.

My mother is used to do lot of pujas and used to worship all Gods and Goddesses. Her prayers have influenced me a lot. I used to believe God as a supreme person who rules and exists everywhere, that was the conception I had with respect to God. Apparently I was joined in a missionary school where they give lots of importance to prayers etc. I used to love to sing songs, and cry sometimes when people talk of devotion, God, or let it be just goodness. That provoked me many times God is not bound to a religion he is a supreme being.

It was in my 5th standard that one of my close relative introduced Nannagaru to my mother and family. After few years it happened that my aunt moved to our nearby house which intensified the belief in my parents. She started attending satsang’s. I remember I used to attend the satsang’s, though not understanding a bit. My mother later made a visit to Arunachalam, wherein she met an ardent devotee of Nannagaru Lakshmi aunty. She happened to be staying nearby my house which we dint know until they met in Arunachalam.

That was a turning point to my mother and to me as well. She was the one who explained the details of the purpose of the life and Nannagaru’s teachings. One day it happened that my mom just played a cassette and Nannagaru was explaining the purpose of our life, and what is our goal etc. I curiously asked question about Nannagaru to mom what is he trying to explain, though I dint get full answer, I was conveyed that there is something that is truth that needs to be realized and that is our purpose.



As days passed, my aunt satsangs, and the way she lead her life, influenced our family very much. Few months later I convinced myself that Nannagaru is my life and he is my path. From then every time when he visited Hyderabad we used to go to station to receive him. He used to pamper my father and said he is a Karma Yogi. There were days that I cried for him just for him to devote towards him. I don’t remember but he used to bless me at least now and then.

I remember one of such days, one day we went to station to give him a sendoff to his native place. He was surrounded by huge number of devotees and devotees sat down on the floor. He was looking at one after the other devotees, and suddenly his eyes fell on me, he called me and I was asked to sit beside him. Everyone was surprised, so was I! I felt it is your grace Nanna.

Later my parents have invited Nannagaru to visit my home. I had school that day so I asked permission in the school without telling to my parents, and this was the first time I ever came back from the school half way. As I reached, in few minutes Nanna came, we warmly welcomed him, did pada puja offered prostrations. He asked how well I study; my father said she is an average student. He blessed me.



I finished my school studies successfully, as I was into my college; I was told I have to concentrate on my studies now. My parents felt that I would neglect my studies because I was so much into his bhakti and spirituality. I concentrated on my studies for a while, though I visited him every time when he came to Hyderabad.

One day as I went to the station to give him a sendoff, I just stood near the door of the train, and I stared into his eyes; he said you are good at your heart. As years passed my aunt left from Hyderabad and I was busy with my studies.

Later I joined my bachelor studies; the root of my devotion has strengthened much more. I felt all the enjoyments my friends were experiencing are just for a second, so I dint put my mind into those enjoyments. I concentrated on my studies, and I passed with flying colors. So there I had a question of what’s next. Every step in my life was driven by nanna’s hands, and let this shall be I thought. Later we approached him and had a proposal to do Masters in USA, or join in a job that I bagged during my bachelors. I had a dream to be abroad for a while to be independent some time, without everyone. He said you will go to USA, so I did. It was my visit to Arunachalam, indeed my second visit I think, the first visit was just with my mom and aunty but this was one with my parents along with Nannagaru and aunt.

I went to the Embassy got Visa and took a bus to Arunachalam. I told him that I got visa, he said everything good will happen to you. We four friends went for Visa, but I alone got I said. He said there is a destiny that drives people. I took rest that day, and immediate morning I rushed upstairs to bag a seat near him, and I did. I also heard that I got my results of final year, and I bagged very good marks, so I said the same to him. All good news for you he said smilingly, as I smiled.

The four days with him just flew away. On last day when I visited him, he said when I think of your name I remember Bheshma, because Greeshma goes with Bhishma. I smiled and left respectfully.



I started preparing for the journey to abroad, and in no time I left India. My actual spiritual journey started from here, (to be cont…)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The self (Aatma) is the true Arunachala

# The self (Aatman) that is shining within us is much brighter than millions of suns put together. It is not visible to these eyes which are just made of flesh. To realize the self (Aatman), one needs goodness, patience, humility and faith. As the sun is hidden by the clouds, the self (Aatman) is covered by the cloud named ego. Only those who can kill their ego when their body is still alive can obtain self-realization.

# The self (Aatman) is the true Arunachala. The self (Aatman) is deathless, hence every man wants immortality. The self (Aatman) is ever free, hence every man wants freedom. The self (Aatman) is embodiment of love, hence every man loves himself. The self is embodiment of all happiness hence every man thrives for happiness always. The self (Aatman) is not sorrow, hence everyman doesn’t desire for sorrow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Nanna is Sri Ramakrishna" - (By Dr.Mithin)



After meeting him that day during his breakfast I vaguely remember what transpired with him.

I got busy with my running around for surgeries and practice. I was in a freelance practice with a small slot in a corporate hospital. I remember having met him for Guru poornima 2009.

I had bought a garland of Jasmine flowers for him and climbed the stage. When he was informed about my coming he got up happily and allowed me to garland him. He asked me about my practice and asked me to continue in the corporate hospital as it would increase my financial inflow and better my practice. I nodded and took leave of him.

Slowly over the next few months my initial zeal of trying to get some patients from amongst Sri Nannagaru’s devotees decreased and I started to treat them with an attitude of service to Guru. He would talk to me whenever I phoned him and ask me about my materialistic welfare.



One day I found out that he was coming to Hyderabad for a meeting in Ramana Kendram. I met in Sanjeev Reddy Nagar flat the day before and told him about an opportunity I had to shift to a better corporate hospital. He nodded and gave his consent. He said you will improve financially and also garner more experience of surgery. The next day I went to Ramana Kendram to listen to his speech. I don’t remember what he told that day but remember that he stood with an idol of Nataraja in his hands.

I felt that the idol was living Nataraja Himself having been sanctified by the touch of Sri Nannagaru. I clearly experienced that Sri Nannagaru was holding a small Nataraja in his hands and that the idol was very pleased about it. I also felt that Sri Nannagaru is Lord Nataraja Himself.

After the speech I went to meet him as he was surrounded by 40 to 50 people. He singled me out from the crowd and exclaimed “Join the corporate hospital. You will increase your experience and financial success.”

I happily thanked him and came away.



The next few months I clearly perceived my development both in financial and surgical skill fields.

It was during this time that I became active in facebook and became friend of Greeshma. Her devotion to Sri Nannagaru was awe inspiring and I realized that there are people around Sri Nannagaru who love him deeply and without motive. It was on her insistence that I decided to attend the satsang’s by Sri Nannagaru.
Till then I had approached Sri Nannagaru for my materialistic happiness and success and also because I felt he was Sri Ramakrishna Himself. For the first time after having known him for two years and having met him about 7 to 8 times I decided to attend his spiritual satsang.

( what transpired next was At the Sadguru's feet part 1 and 2 )




Dr.Mithin Aachi is an orthopaedic surgeon by profession. He is a star-gazer, painter, and writer. He is an amalgamation of all kinds of arts and activities. He is a happy go lucky person, who just sees love in everything. From the very tender age, he had an quest to know the truth. He admires and worships Rama Krishna and believes Nannagaru is an avatar of Rama Krishna and worships him in this form. He is a simple person who is an embodiment of love.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Guru chooses us" - (By NDas)

I met Sri Nannagaru for the first time in my teenage.But as Nannagaru says'Teenage is the worst age';A sudden struggle started in my life, perphaps it was hormonal imbalance which is very common in that age. I visited various mahatmas and Ramakrishna math to seek solace but didnot get the required peace.I didnot share my state of mind with anyone at home. One day my mother said that a mahatma who is a devotee of Bhagawan Ramana is going to visit a nearby house.I asked her the name of the Mahatma. She replied as Nannagaru. I was expecting the name to end with some ananda but was surprised and infact also laughed within myself hearing such name.However the name Bhagawan Ramana aroused interest in me to see this mahatma. I never read about Bhagawan Ramana but I remember my mother showing me his photo in my childhood and so I had great reverence for him unknowingly.Finally we reached the house and waited in a room filled with few people for nearly half an hour.



Nannagaru came out of his room and sat in a sofa.I did not feel anything special about him. He was looking very very simple. As I already visited few mahatmas perphaps swamijis, I expected a similar kind of thing here but it wasnt the same for much of my disappointment. After 5 minutes, he started drinking coffee. I felt I am wasting my time. But suddenly a deep silence overcame me which I never experienced before. I could feel a very great inner peace indescribable in words for which I have been struggling throughout.Then Nannagaru chatted with people around asking them about their sadhana. I remember one devotee asking a question about Sri Ramakrishna. I dont remember the question exactly but I remember Nannagaru answering " Even Ramakrishna attained the same Self(pointing to the right side of His chest). This was a stunning reply for me.



I used to feel Ramakrishna paramahamsa is my guru and there can be none on this earth equivalent to him. But this reply of Nannagaru surprised me.Somehow after spending nearly 2 hrs, the time has come to depart.I wasnot bold enough to introduce myself. Also I didnt feel the need to talk with Nannagaru.But somehow I felt that I should prostrate to Him.Many people were prostrating and taking leave of Him. He was Blessing them in chinmudra of Dakshinamurhty with one hand(even this surprised me as I rarely saw any mahatma blessing so vividly till then). He was not looking at me when I wanted to prostrate.I mentally prayed to Him thus:"I may not deserve salvation but atleast I must get rid of my lust in this very birth".



Praying thus I prostrated to Him not expecting Him to look at me. But when I got up, to my wonder of wonders, I saw Him Blessing me with Both the Hands(placing his both the hands on his chest and again Blessing in chinmudra); Perphaps an indication that I belonged to Him and I neednot worry.This was my first experience.
I heard a lot about the importance of having a Guru and getting initiated by the guru in the Ramakrishna Math.

So I felt I should get initiated in the RK Math. One day I approached the RK math and asked for initiation.



I was shown a list of conditions to be fulfilled to get initiated there.It included reading few books of Sri Ramakrishna. I told them that I started reading but could not complete the book. They replied me that I can complete the book and come back for getting initiated.I felt very sad. I had enough faith to get initiated but still they were pressing for book reading. I had three choices for Guru then: Swami Ranganathananda of Ramakrishna Math, Swami Chidananda of Divine Life Society and Sri Nannagaru. I felt all the three were equally great. But I felt as Nannagaru was most accessible I should get initiated by Him.But I get laughter when I think of this now.It is the Guru who chooses us and not we who choose the Guru.Some how I made my decision to ask Nannagaru for initiation. I had great faith that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is a Divine Incarnation. Those words of Sri Ramakrishna," The One who is SriRama and the One who is SriKrishna, not as per your advaita, He is this Ramakrishna" built up this faith in me. Oneday I asked Nannagaru for initiation. He gave a big smile (divine smile) and asked me," who is your favourite God?" I replied Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa but requested Him to give that which is good for me. Then to my wonder of wonders, Nannagaru repeated the same words,"Sri Ramakrishna used to say, the One who is SriRama and the One who is SriKrishna, not as per your advaita, He is this Ramakrishna."Nannagaru asked me to do SriKrishna mantra which ofcourse I did for a day or two only. But however this initiation concluded my quest for the Guru.




Thank you for your inspiring experience. It is so true that Guru chooses his devotees, rather than the opposite. He just waits for the right time to ripen for the interaction and initiation.