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.

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