Saturday, August 22, 2020

"The Divine Home" - (By Dr.Usha Garu)

It was Dasara holidays time during the second year in college. For the first time I felt, I had to visit Nannagaru in his home town Jinnur. I didn't know where exactly Jinnur was (except that it was close to Palakol), so with the help of friends, booked tickets to Bhimavaram & traveled. Upon reaching Bhimavaram, I took a bus to Palakol and then an auto ride to Jinnur, which took just 10 minutes. 
I didn’t inform anyone about my arrival, I was also unaware of the time I would reach there. By the time I reached Nanna’s place, he was eagerly waiting for my arrival, as there was nothing he didn’t know.

As soon as I stepped in, he said - "You are late by 1 hour, I was waiting for you."
I didn't book my return tickets as I knew only that day and the next day would be taken care of. Nannagaru asked me to stay with him the whole day and rest at nights in a devotee’s house opposite to Nanna’s house, this was the only conversation we had in 5 days. 
The whole day I would sit beside him just watching him read the newspaper, oiling his head, applying powder, having food, and reading books before going to sleep. It was as if he forgot my existence and in fact, I forgot mine!

I was given food after Nanna was served & I would eat quickly so that I don’t miss anytime with him. Nanna’s wife (Amma) would serve me very fondly too. I got quite connected to her also during that trip.

Many times when I would be overwhelmed with love and admiration, I would gently touch his feet and tears would roll down. I wondered “Do I need anything apart from his presence?!” He was so divine and serene. At times he would just do nothing & gaze into nothing. Constantly observing him made me thoughtless and silent. Time stood still in his presence and I didn't know how days were passing when one fine day afternoon railway station master came to visit Nannagaru.

Nannagaru gladly received him by saying - “I was waiting for your arrival. We need to book a ticket for Usha for tomorrow. She has to go to Chennai, from there she will board a bus to Chidambaram”. The station master nodded and said he would pick me up the next day.

Later that evening Mr.Satyanarayana Raju came to visit Nanna. Nanna introduced me to him & gave a description of him & Hyma aunty (who were highly devoted to Nanna for many years & had Satsang every day in their house in Palakol) He told Satyanarayana uncle to take me to his house, introduce me to Hyma Aunty & mentioned that he along with Station master should get me boarded on the train.

Tears flowed for I didn't know four days flew by and I had to leave. That evening after his dinner, it was sunset time. 
He came to the backyard of the house and started gazing endlessly into the sky until the sun-set completely (the way I would do whenever time & conditions permitted me). But here I kept watching him, he was so powerfully peaceful. Nanna’s compassionate gaze moved onto the cattle in the shed. He continued blessing them with his tremendous benevolence. The way he would grace devotees with his look, he did the same to all the animals around him. His unconditional divine love was not permitted to humans alone but to the entire universe!

Spending time in Nanna’s presence during Navaratri days was like spending my time in the lap of The Divine Mother. Time had come for my departure. After spending five days with him, he finally spoke again 'Usha, you are a blessed child', and looked straight into my eyes with tremendous compassion. 'Grace will follow you.' he said.

I took leave of him in silence, touched his feet, and walked away looking back many times before his presence disappeared physically but to be continued with me & Always!

Nanna often quoted the words of saint Tyagaraja to Lord Rama: “Rama, O Sri Rama! Does material wealth give more happiness or your very presence?”. Meaning your divine presence outweighs all the wealth in the world!

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