Tuesday, October 20, 2020

"Ocean full of bliss, our Nannagaru" - (By Madhavi Garu)

In 2011 we moved to India for good from the US. A couple of months after we settled, Nannagaru came to Vizag. I went for his darshan in the morning and as like every time, I took his blessings and came back home. There was not much conversation between us. Afternoon Satsang was in Dr.Ravindra Babu Garu’s house. As usual, I sat somewhere in the back. In the middle of the talk, Nannagaru got up to go to the bathroom and everyone got shuffled. I happened to be pushed to stand right across from the bathroom door. Standing there in front of the bathroom door, I started crying. Tears were pouring out silently. A few minutes later Nannagaru came out and stood there in front of me without saying anything. He didn’t move until my tears stopped. He didn’t say anything and didn’t move for a few mins. He then slowly walked back to his chair and then motioned his hand to come and sit next to him.

This was it, this was a new beginning in my life. A new phase. It is said that when Guru's grace is showered it flows like a river which is flooded and takes everything with it be it big trees, animals, houses. Nothing can stop it. That is exactly what I saw in my life. I know I have absolutely no eligibility to deserve any of this but his grace flooded me as it doesn’t discriminate. It was beautiful and can’t be explained in words. We stayed in India for about a year and a half and his grace poured and poured.

Nannagaru started visiting Vizag very frequently during this time. Every time he visited Vizag, he made sure I sat next to him. He started speaking to everyone in my family including my mother, father, my aunt, my husband and my kids.

I used to always think out of ignorance that the love I have for Bhagavan, I can never have that much love for Nannagaru. So, I used to assume that I can never understand his teachings as he intended to be understood. But, during this process, all of it changed. I don't know when and how he changed me but now when I look back I understand that just like fire having both heat and light. Bhagavan and Nannagaru are one and the same.

During this period I continued to work for a company in the US. So, I had work in the night, no one used to bother me during the day time. Due to Nannagaru’s grace, I used to listen, listen and listen to his talks day and night. When Nannagaru visited Vizag I used to go visit him. As soon as it was 5 in the evening he used to forcefully make leave to go and work. It was the hardest thing for me to do. I would say, I have a few more mins and it was ok if I logged in a little late. But, he would keep on reminding me to leave every five minutes like a mother pushing her kid to do her school work. He would always say your health is spoiling. You are not sleeping in the night. You shouldn’t do this for long. I was totally fine health-wise and didn't have any health problems. Later did I realize that he put me in this bubble of grace and gave me the energy to function like that.

2011 was the first time I had the blessed opportunity of visiting Jinnur. I was very excited and eager to visit Nannagaru. As soon as I crossed the bridge from the main road to enter Jinnur, the air and surroundings appeared so magical. There was this unknown sweetness in the air. Even the trees were talking. It felt like I was in Vrindavan. There was so much energy in the air and the people were all like Gopikas always smiling and happy to be around this Krishna. There was something about everything and anything. The street where Nannagaru lived, his house was radiating with energy and peace.

Nannagaru was surprised when I told him that this was my first time visiting Jinnur. He kept on saying, is this your first time? Is this your first time? In that sweet surprised tone. During one of my conversations with Nannagaru, somehow a conversation came up about how I felt that Jinnur was like Vrindavan. His face lit up and blushed and he scooted forward in his seat, looked into my eyes and asked me to explain how Jinnur felt like Vrindavan. When I told him that there was some magic in the air and the trees were talking and everyone felt like Gopikas and that there was so much energy he felt very happy and kept saying, ‘is it’ ‘is it’ did you feel like that. How can his presence not make Jinnur so magical!!!

2011 also happened to be the year I first visited Arunachalam. Bhagavan equally graced his blessings on me on that trip. I will write about that in another article and my conversation with Nannagaru about this trip. But, this trip was also a blessing to my kids. Especially my little one. As we were entering the temple, someone approached us and asked if they could shave the hair of the kids. We didn’t have any plans of this sort in our mind. Before we could say yes, kids' heads were being shaven. They had the blessed opportunity to eat and play in Bhagavan’s ashram and have darshan of the holy Arunachala at a very small age.

If Nannagaru knew I was coming to visit him, he would always wait for me without going to sleep. There was not a single time, I didn’t hear from outside, him saying, “Madhavi said she will come, she still hasn’t come”. Or “I’m waiting for Madhavi”. Not only in that year but every time after that as well. Whenever I told him that I was coming to India, he would enquire when I was coming to see him. When I used to visit him he would say, I have been waiting for so long to see you or I wish you came sooner or It’s been so long since I saw you. My mind would just be blown away when I heard these words from him.

Once, when I visited India, I couldn’t go to see him for 3 or 4 weeks. I was so eagerly waiting and counting down every day to go visit him. When the day finally arrived, I could hardly wait to see him. As always he was waiting for me and when I arrived, he asked me when I landed in India and when I told him I arrived three weeks ago, he was shocked and surprised to know that I landed three weeks ago and didn’t come to see him. He kind of literally meant what took you this long to come to see me. I explained to him why I couldn’t and mentioned that I had to fulfil some responsibilities before I could come to Vizag to come to see him. He said, “For formality and respect sake you can stay there for a few days but you need not stay so many days”. I don’t even have a pinhead or one sand dust particle of eligibility whatsoever but here is the all-pervading Brahman in a human form speaking like this to a speck of dust! Can never be explained

Initially, my family was totally against us to meet Nannagaru. My mother somehow didn’t approve of me or my aunt visiting Nannagaru. But, towards the end of her life, she changed and started visiting Nannagaru and started asking about him.

In one of his Vizag trips, he told my aunt that he wanted to visit my house. I called him and told him not to go as we lived on the first floor and it would be hard for him to climb up the stairs. He insisted that he wanted to go. Then I told him to just stay on the ground floor where we had our office room. At the mentioned time, my mother and aunt prepared everything for his arrival.

They made arrangements for him on both the floors and as expected he didn’t visit the office on the ground floor but went straight up. I was in the US at that time. Walked around the whole house, looked at every picture and lighted the lamp in the pooja room and stared at the Bhagavan’s picture in our Pooja room. He sat for some time and gave a Satsang for a few minutes. He said, “Madhavi told me not to come but how can I not go to her house.” There are some things this petty mind can’t understand and there is no use trying to comprehend it.

In October 2014, I came to know that Nanangaru would be visiting Arunachalam, I called and asked him if I could also visit him there. He told me to come but told me not to tell anyone. Miraculously my husband agreed. I booked my tickets to Chennai. Nannagaru sent Bujji Garu to the airport to pick me up (last week of October). I stayed with Nannagaru for the whole week and flew back to the US from Chennai. To this day no one in my family knows that I visited India for a week. That whole week he took care of me like a mother, enquiring about each and everything starting from me drinking milk in the morning to buying all kinds of things for me to take back. I returned to the US with two overweight suitcases full of eatables in Business class without extra charge. For the whole week that I was there, I didn’t spend a dime. Even the taxi that took me back to the airport was paid for by Nannagaru. During this trip, he took me on Giri pradakshina and to Ramana Ashram. He took me around the ashram and explained each and every building and made me walk with him around Bhagavans samadhi and brought me several books, calendars, and pictures. Including a bag to carry them all. Not only did he take care of me physically but he did so much work spiritually. His work can’t be explained in words.

Over the past years, he just gave me so many opportunities to be with him. In January 2017, I was asked to visit my office in Delhi. My whole team was going and I was not selected for this project as my role was very trivial, I somehow made up my case and persuaded my manager. I had only a 5% chance of going as it was clear that I didn’t have any role in this project. I knew that but still tried. Out of nowhere my manager went to the project head and fought for me and made sure I flew to India. Again my happiness knew no bounds to have received one more opportunity to be with Nannagaru. I was planning on how to visit Jinnur, Vizag and Hyderabad in the two day weekend that I had. When Nannagaru called and said he was visiting Vizag as he wanted to get some check up done. He came to Vizag on Friday morning at about the same time I landed in Vizag from Delhi. He got admitted to the hospital and told everyone that I will be with him as long as he is in the hospital.

I can’t explain in words how much of a blessing it was. It is very very rare to be with Nannagaru without devotees around him. As he was in the hospital no one was allowed to visit him except for very few devotees who were there to take care of him. He made me sit next to him throughout his stay. He would fall asleep and wake up and talk to me. He would sometimes fall asleep talking to me. Again no words to explain this divinity in action.

After all the check-up the doctor said it would be better if he stayed for one more day so that he could get some rest. He smiled at the doctor and said I’m totally fine and I’m leaving now and he got up and walked out. Within 15 mins we were downstairs. Once home, he said, “I am totally fine. This hospital visit was just an excuse to be with you.” Tears just flowed down my eyes. To this day whenever I think of this incident, I can’t help but cry.

In December of 2017, when Nannagaru was extremely sick and rumours started going around that he would be leaving his physical body soon, I tried to visit him but couldn’t come to India. I tried but there was not that extreme desire like before to see him and somehow I couldn’t make it. On Vaikunta Ekadasi day there were more rumours that today would be the day. I kept checking my whats app messages and eventually fell asleep. Dr.Usha sent a message in the WhatsApp group about Nannagaru’s nirvana, I woke up to that message and cried uncontrollably for about 15 to 20 mins. I was trying to call my aunt and other devotees in a hope to get a last glimpse of Nannagaru but no one was answering the phone. So, I opened Bhagavan's book and read a quote from that book and unbelievably my tears stopped and I couldn't cry anymore. It was like someone turned the off switch, not a single drop of tear came out and there was no pain inside - nothing.

I was thinking to myself - Nannagaru, even now you won’t let me cry? Even at the time of him leaving his body, he was pouring extreme grace. Although I didn’t have a chance to see him, I wished to see him one last time in the physical body. But, as I said no was answering their phones. Suddenly, one of my cousin who was in Vizag sent me pictures of Nannagaru, when all the rituals were going on. When I asked him how he got those, he said that his driver who took my aunt was sending him pictures. I called the driver and he showed me Nannagaru and walked around Nannagaru three times. That way, I had the opportunity to walk around Nannagaru. He fulfilled this wish too. How can this grace be explained in words! For this life, Nannagaru is enough and he shouldn’t be missed at any cost.

All I can say is that he worked on me a lot. Knowingly a lot of vasanas got destroyed and unknowingly he took away a lot more. When Shankaracharya was on his deathbed his disciples took care of him day and night. For which Shankaracharya said you all are doing so much for me. Hearing this Padma pada cried and said we are just doing physical work, what about all the work you have done for us, we were just a pile of mud, useless, lying around and you taught us about Jnana and did so much for us. How can we ever repay that. Like that Nannagaru not only gave us wisdom but he also took care of each and every minute thing that came in the way. Never had I given him anything in return.

If all these events don't show Guru’s grace and love I don’t know what else will. We all have read that Atma can’t be explained in words. It’s not possible to see it, touch it etc. But, Nannagaru has shown us what Atma is in human form. The physical body has certain limitations. It will never be able to see/experience Athma but Nannagaru has broken these barriers and has stretched the ability of this human form to experience his bliss to the maximum. I don't know much but I don’t think anyone else can experience Atma more than this in a physical form.

He showed extreme love on the outside and inside he made me all empty in a span of a few years. Nannagaru used to say, I will take you all to “dooka rahita stithi”(sorrowless state) without you moving your leg, without even the face powder on your face moving and that’s what he has been doing, I don’t remember doing any extensive sadhana but he has taken me a long long way inside in just a matter of few years. Being around him was sweet, everything about him is always sweet. It is like falling in a pot of honey, once you are there you don’t need anything else.

In this Kaliyuga this body has been blessed to see the divine in action, it will not get any better than this. If we waste this life by not attaining the sorrowless state, there would be nothing worse than this and there is no doubt that Nannagaru will not let this happen.

Even in my wildest of thoughts if I ever think that I “might” encounter a small pain he will pour his grace and not only take out that pain with ease but also pull out that vasana by its roots and never ever again will it come back again. If we miss Nannagaru we will be like a ball which will keep rolling down the stairs non stop and land somewhere lost. So, we don’t need anything else other than Nannagaru. If you think of him once, he will shower an ocean full of bliss. In Ramana Periya puranam Ganesan Garu writes, “Bhagavan once said, “With whichever vessel you go to the ocean you can get only that much water. If it is merely a cup, you will get a cup of water. If it is a bucket, you will get a bucket. Go and loot the whole ocean.” I always took a spoon but he packed the whole ocean for me. He doesn’t have anything else than love and he gave that away bountifully.

OM Sri Nanna Paramathmanay Namaha!!!

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