Tuesday, September 15, 2020

"Nannagaru, incarnation of love" - (By Vijaya Lakshmi Garu (Khandavilli))

I first met Nannagaru 20 years ago. At my mother’s house in Keshavaram, my eldest daughter’s aksharabhyasam (ceremony for starting formal education, done by writing OM in rice-filled plate) was blessed by Nannagaru. I did not experience anything special in his presence that day. 10 years later I went to him again, from then on Nannagaru is my Guru, God, Mother, and Father.

A few days later, Nannagaru came to Kaikaluru for the consecration of Bhagavan’s statue. In the discourse that followed, Nannagaru mentioned a sentence; “Just as a tiger never leaves the piece of meat that has come into its mouth, so also Bhagavan never leaves his devotees till they attain Jnana.” He repeated this sentence thrice. While doing so he was glancing at me once in a while. Previously I never felt any connection with Nannagaru. But after this episode, I began to feel devotion and love towards him.

He then asked me when my devotion started. I told him that it was after Arunachala's visit. He smiled and said, “Most people say that their vasanas (tendencies) were shaken and brought to the surface in Arunachala. You say your devotion started there. I am happy.” Then he asked me “How many letters are there in the word Arunachalam (in Telugu)” I answered, “five.” He told me to repeat the word Arunachalam as a mantra. He made me repeat 3-4 times. That day my mind was subdued by his gaze. For the first time, I felt immense love pouring out of those eyes. I had never seen anyone with so much love in their eyes. From that day Nannagaru became my life, my everything. I offered at his feet myself and my family responsibilities.

Once, talking about Adi Sankaracharya, Nannagaru said, “Lord Shiva is very generous and gullible. Shankaracharya is the incarnation of Lord Shiva who has come to teach. If Shankaracharya sits next to the lingam, you can call the lingam an immobile Shiva and Shankaracharya as mobile Shiva. The energy that flowed from Shankaracharya, disciples would be quite overwhelmed.” I started calling Nannagaru as ‘NannaEshwara” in my heart.

Once, while talking to devotees at his residence, Nannagaru mentioned Lord Kumaraswamy, “He is a member of our family only” he added. A devotee sitting next to him asked, “Nannagaru! Are you an incarnation of Lord Kumaraswamy?” Nannagaru did not reply; just gave a smile. I thought this must be the culmination of all the good deeds and merits I have accumulated in my previous births; to get an opportunity to sit by the feet of Lord Subramanya Swamy himself!”

On 7th October 2010, Nannagaru came to Khandavilli and paid a visit to the Venugopala Swamy temple. He had left his slippers outside. I quickly took them and held them tightly to my chest, close to my heart. I like Nannagaru’s feet. I feel like looking at them all the time. The priests in the temple honored Nannagaru with a shawl and also gave him theertham (holy water) and prasadam (blessings). Nannagaru came out from the temple and beckoned me. He asked me my name. I told him that my name was Vijaya. He then said, “Your house is next to the high school. I will remember you. I will never forget you.” He climbed into the car and blessed me from there. That look passed energy that spread a thrill across the whole of my body. I cannot describe that love in words. He then called, “Vijaya! Come here!” Hearing those words sent me into an emotional turmoil. From one side was a flow of happiness and peace, and from the other was an inexpressible sadness. A strange experience seemed to touch me. Never ever have I experienced so much love in someone’s summons.

Nannagaru gave me the prasadam (fruit and sweets blessings) and then a Holy Basil branch tip (Tulasi dalam). He told me to keep the Holy basil safely in an Almirah (a steel cabinet) and not to touch it thereafter. He raised both his hands and blessed me. I felt that Lord Krishna himself had come to bless me.

On 3rd Nov 2016, I went to Jinnuru. Nannagaru asked me to sit on the sofa and spoke to me with a lot of love. ‘I gave you something when I visited Khandavilli. Isn’t it?’ he said. “Coconut, Sweets, and Holy basil” I replied. At that time some devotees brought some Holy basil. He blessed them and gave them to me. I felt that he was removing my prarabdha (present life body destiny) that way, and wept like a child. Though my connection with him is only of a few years, it became apparent that his love will not leave me until I dissolve in it completely. Nannagaru is love indeed!

4th February 2017 happened to be Shivaratri. I went to Jinnuru and stood at their doorstep for Nannagaru’s darshan. One of the devotees coming out of the house told me that Nannagaru had retired for afternoon rest; and that I should come back later. Nannagaru did not know that I was at the door. The clothes he wears were on the drying rope. I kept looking at them and was lost in his remembrance. In a short while, a strange experience swept over me. Some sort of power touched me. I felt my body getting lighter; a thrill passed from head to toe. Something happened and I felt blissful. I had never felt the bliss of this kind before. I felt very relieved and content.

Meanwhile, the doors opened and Nannagaru came out. He asked the devotees seated there to call Vijaya from Khandavilli. I was surprised; as Nannagaru was not informed of my arrival. I understood later, how he could have known. It is because he is not the body; he is the all-pervading consciousness that walls cannot limit. That day I understood that he is everywhere. That day my mind was longing to see him. He knew that. When I entered the room; the minute he looked at me, I was immersed in bliss. He was looking at me, but I couldn’t look at him, as I was in a blissful state. He inquired about my family and gave me a bagful of fruits. The whole day, his grace flowed through his gaze. I was sitting at the feet of Lord Shiva on the Shivaratri day. I felt I was in the grace of Lord Shiva.

It is four years now since Nannagaru gave me the Holy basil. He asked me not to touch it. I never opened it. Even today they are fresh as when given. Not dried at all. Just as green now as they were then. It appears as a symbol of his grace to me. 

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