Saturday, September 19, 2015

“Arugu” – The Abode of Bliss - (By Sreedevi Garu)

The soft and warm rays of the morning sun glide over green tree tops on to the red tiled roof of the house nestled among coconut palms, and reach the open veranda (arugu) in the front of the house.

An elderly man clad in white comes out on to the veranda and stands quiet and still for a few moments. He goes about his daily activities, his every movement calm and serene. He then sits in his usual chair on the veranda totally relaxed, a soft smile on his face as if a secret joy from within him is spilling over on to his countenance. A few women walk through the main entrance of his home and stand hesitant. He looks at them and his smile widens into open pleasure. He invites them with a gesture and they sit at his feet gazing at him, their faces flooded with happiness. More men and women come and sit quietly gazing at him. He looks around embracing each person with his loving glance. Men and children receive the additional benevolence of his touch; as he softly caresses their arms and back or cups their face with his hands and gazes fondly at them. Little boys in school uniforms come and wait. He glances at them, inclines his head and nods, a tiny almost imperceptible movement, and they silently leave having received their daily dose of grace and blessing.

Some of the visitors offer him fruits and sweets; he accepts them gracefully, returns a portion to them and gives the remaining to the others sitting around. Someone brings a special offering from a holy place they visited, someone else an attractively wrapped packed of sweets or an expensive gift. He accepts them with eagerness and joy of a child as if he had been longing for it; examines each with a candid and child-like pleasure and asks questions about it with child-like innocence. Then with a huge smile, he gifts it to another among the persons sitting around, and promptly forgets about it as he turns to the next person. This is the daily routine of Sadguru Sri Nannagaru on the “arugu” (open verandah) of his home in Jinnuru. A couple of hours in the morning and late afternoon are allotted to his followers who come daily. For years, the “arugu” has been a silent witness to the words of wisdom that gushed forth through Nannagaru’s lips and to the radiance of love and endearment that spilled from his eyes and countenance. It also stands witness to the joys and sorrows of many who sought guidance and support to go forward. Devotees come every day to soak in his love and drink in his words; and they keep coming back thirsting for more. For them the “arugu” has no equal on this earth, it is heaven itself!

On this arugu, seekers found direction and guidance, the troubled received solace, and uninitiated got their first glimpse of a new road to happiness.

Present is on, Future is ours - (By Hima Bindu)

Prarabdha is the fruit of our past actions. It is something earned by our past work, our hard work and we have to experience it (enjoy it) wholly by our self. God’s constitution does not permit us to share it with anyone or escape it.Right from the first breath to the last breath in this body every moment is pre-planned, predetermined and pre-decided with respect to our body according to our destiny. So the present is on……but God has given us a wonderful boon of writing our own future. Present time is a white paper and our actions a pen which are going to rule our future in the form of prarabdha so, let us fill our present with divine thoughts,lovable words and the best actions possible which can make our guru feel proud of us.So,let us write our own future.

Who knows why we have received such grace? - (By Devotee)

In 1989 I was staying in Ramanashram in S.India and was told by David Godman, a long-time ashram resident, that a "very powerful teacher" was visiting the ashram. David highly recommended I see him. I initially resisted his suggestion as I was a student of another teacher at the time and felt no desire to go "guru-hopping".

David urged me to re-consider, so I did. The teacher, Sri Nannagaru, was in a small room with only four other people present. I was invited to sit with him one hot afternoon.

He asked me a few questions about where I came from etc. As he spoke, I could feel the atmosphere in the small room becoming "thick with a powerful energy". Then he looked directly at me and asked why I had particularly come to this ashram. I gulped and, totally un-planned, said, "To know God!"

At that moment, I looked at the pupils of his eyes which seemed to move independently of each other at vast speeds. The impossibility of this physically happening was clear and at that point, my mind "burnt out", just dissolved. I found I was in a vast empty, white, shining field stretching for eternity. (You understand it is hard to verbalize this). Fear arose and I almost willfully contracted back into a more recognizable shape. Still feeling quite shaken, I bowed to Sri Nannagaru and, not having any gift to give, asked if I could send him something. He replied, "Send me a copy of The London Times". Which of course I did when I returned to the U.K. months later.

For a long time I tried to rationalize what had happened. Hypnotism? Hallucination? Exhaustion? No explanation fit. My mind could not contain the experience. I felt, and still feel, no desire to run to be in Sri Nannagaru's physical company, (although I have seen him on a number of occasions in Tiruvannamalai) nor did I think the experience made me special or different from others in any way.

10 years later in London I found myself once again sitting in the company of Sri Nannagaru. This time there were twelve or thirteen people present. At one point, I was sitting right next to him on a sofa and as he turned and stared into my eyes, I remember thinking, "This time, I am ready".

I experienced exactly the same dissolution into the empty white field but that time there was no fear and I noticed that the field itself was shining bliss, my own nature beyond time and space. There was a sensation of coming home. After a short time (in relative terms), I came somewhat out of the bliss to see the guru still staring right at me at which point I reached up, touched his face and passed out. Some of the people present thought that I had died. (I understood the traditions, which state that the student/ devotee should not touch the teacher!)

I am so grateful for these amazing gifts! Who knows why we have received such grace? . _/|\_