Saturday, September 12, 2020

"Bhagavan, Nannagaru are one" - (By Satish Garu)

I was 11 years old when my mother took me and my sister to meet Nannagaru. Nannagaru gave me a mantra (holy name of the lord to chant all the time). When I was given the mantra, I had no idea about its importance or for that matter even the importance of the Guru in our lives. Later, though I did attend some of the discourses, I never understood them.

One word is enough; one look is enough; one touch is enough.

Somewhere between 2004-2005, during my degree second-year exams, my mother asked me to come over to the discourse location after my exam. It was pouring cats and dogs that day. I had no inclination to attend in the first place, and with the weather so bad, I just wanted to go home, instead of attending the discourse. Somehow, I managed to reach Palakollu, totally drenched in that rain. Palakollu kshatriya kalyana mantapam was the discourse location. I sat there quite away from the stage and listened for about 2 hours. But being totally drenched and the air conditioning in the hall made me feel feverish. After the speech, Nannagaru went to a doctor’s house nearby. I followed and offered my salutations as he was entering their house, at the door itself. Then Nannagaru quoted Bhagavan and said, “We think we have offered salutations to the Guru. But before we do so, the Guru in our heart has already offered us salutations. It is only then that we get the intention of offering salutations to him.” I remember that day very clearly even now. I sat near Nannagaru. I was already shaking with a fever. He just touched me. As soon as he touched me, my fever and trembling vanished. I felt a strange new excitement spreading all over my body. Now, as I recollect this experience I can feel what Nannagaru always said, "The Guru’s one word, one look and one touch is enough". Now, I understand what that experience really is. After this, I started listening to Nannagaru’s cassettes. I was able to understand them too. I felt I learned a lot of new things. Though I listened to everything with interest, I felt happier when Bhagavan’s subject came up. Soon during any speech, I realized that I was paying more attention to Bhagavan’s subject. I felt that I had some kind of unknown bond with Bhagavan.

My first visit to Arunachalam with Nannagaru

I went to Arunachalam with Nannagaru in 2009. There I felt the bond with Nannagaru getting deeper. Also, I had many divine experiences with the Giri (the sacred mountain of Arunachala). After this, I began to understand the discourse given by Nannagaru very easily. I was able to understand self-inquiry and also to practice it. For about 2 years thereafter, I was on the path of devotion. Call it deep love or call it previous birth’s inclination, I had a very deep connection with Arunachala. Even if anyone mentioned Arunachala, I would feel deeply touched and felt intense pangs of separation. The devotion was intense and I felt that life was nothing without devotion. In Arunachala, wherever I may roam about, I felt the grace touching me. It was so sweet that I felt no need for self-inquiry or Jnana itself. What else does one need other than this? I felt. I could not hold myself from visiting Arunachala again and again. If anyone mentions Arunachala, my heart would be filled with happiness. In this way, 2 years passed by. Meantime, I had a strange problem. I could not talk to Nannagaru directly. I had a strange fear of expressing anything to him directly. If ever I wanted to ask him something, it was always through someone else. Even in Jinnuru, I would stand by the stairs to offer salutations. I would tremble to speak to him. Not out of fear, but I felt that I needed to possess some kind of humility and obedience in my behavior.

Arunachala is my permanent residence; my letter to Nannagaru

I always felt a strong urge to go to Arunachala. I wanted to settle in Arunachala permanently. Once, when I felt a deep longing to move to Arunachala, I wrote a letter to Nannagaru expressing my desire. “Nannagaru! I feel I have a deep connection with Arunachala. I do not feel like living among these people and this environment. Sri Ramakrishna says that vultures lookout for carcasses on earth even as they soar high in the sky. Similarly, when I am here, my mind seems to look at the worldly things, despite the effulgent Brahman being right here in the heart. Living amongst worldly people, I too may become worldly. I shall live in Arunachala as I do here. Why should I lose the chance of being so peaceful? I wish to move to Arunachala.” Nannagaru looked at my letter and said. “Fine! But for this to happen 3 things are necessary: effort from oneself, destined time, and God’s grace.” He looked into my eyes and said, “Do not go often to Arunachala. You may go once a year, not more.” After that, the longing to move to Arunachala disappeared and I went to Arunachala only when Nannagaru was there.

All the beings in this world are the projections of Bhagavan alone!

In my 2011 visit to Arunachala, I was particularly attracted to some words in Nannagaru’s discourse and that was to work without doer-ship. As Nannagaru went towards his room, I, amongst the others, stood near the stairs. As I kept looking at him, I felt that we could do work without doer-ship only by his grace. His gaze shifted towards me, he pressed hard on my shoulder and tapped thrice and then he smiled. This smile seemed different from the usual. I left for Ramanashramam. It must be around 6 pm, Saturday evening and Parayana had started. Normally I do not have the habit of sitting in a place for meditation. But that day as I sat in the hall, my eyes closed and I slowly drifted into a meditative state, without my conscious effort. I could hear Ramana sadguru song being sung, but my mind was sinking into an unworldly peace. As the unworldly peace and bliss-filled the heart, tears rolled down, but I could not open my eyes. As the prayer session came to an end, I opened my eyes with great difficulty. All the devotees in the hall looked like projections of Bhagavan. He made it clear that he alone is. I cannot describe the peace and bliss I experienced in words. This whole world could not have been more beautiful I felt. I felt I could not describe that beauty either. I was in that grace for quite some time. Can one experience such great peace and bliss, I wondered!

Bhagavan’s blessings will always be with you

The next day, I wrote my experience on paper and gave it to Nannagaru. Then he said, “Bhagavan’s blessings will always be with you. Bhagavan’s blessings will always be there to help you understand the subject properly.” This sentence alone would suffice for this lifetime, I felt.

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