Saturday, November 28, 2020

"Nannagaru dwells in Devotees' hearts always" - (By Peddiraju Garu)

The mother, who gave birth, showed me this world with care, holding my hand. My wife led me to Nannagaru, who showed me the world of spirituality, with a heart filled with motherliness. I express my gratitude to both these individuals with a sincere heart.

My acquaintance with Nannagaru has been for three decades. The first discourse I attended was at Bheemavaram. Nannagaru starts his discourse by addressing all those gathered as “Relatives of the soul”. When I heard him say those words, I felt sprinkled onto my dry heart a spring of heavenly waters, thereby soaking it with its heavenly waters. I went on to the dais. And he held my face with both his hands on my cheeks. The love that pours out of those eyes cannot be described. I can never forget it.

I have, since then, visited Nannagaru many times. I had to stay away from Jinnuru because of transfers in the job. But whenever Nannagaru came to Vishakhapatnam, I would certainly visit him at Padma Garu’s house. I would come to Jinnuru twice a year. It always hurt me very much that I never had the good fortune of visiting Nannagaru daily or accompany him on pilgrimages or to Arunachalam, like the devotees residing in places near Jinnuru.

Though I did not know anything about devotion, knowledge, liberation, self, surrender etc, I began to develop a liking towards spiritual matters in this long journey with Nannagaru.

Despite going to Nannagaru with a mind full of impure thoughts (related to the six internal enemies), carrying bundles of ignorance, without any kind of special virtues, taking baby steps in the path of devotion and spiritual practice, Nannagaru showered affection on me without taking any of these into consideration. Even when I was sitting somewhere in the crowd, he would call me and speak to me. He would tell my wife that she had a nice smiling face and countenance. We went to Jinnuru to relish those wonderful moments and those affectionate words.

“You are doing well in this job. Please have dinner at the ashram before you leave. I remember the days of your teaching in college. You taught so much more for the little salary they gave. Today God has given you these days for the service you did back then.” he said. Tears welled up in my eyes. I saw love surging from the depths of the heart in every letter he spoke. I have no scale to measure that wonderful love. Can our relatives, friends, for that matter anyone else share so much love?

After my transfer to Amaravati, I could go frequently to Jinnuru and visit Nannagaru more often. I accompanied Nannagaru to the Krishna pushkaralu and the replica of Tirumala constructed by TTD at Vijayawada. This was an unforgettable experience. We conducted our second son’s Upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony) in Jinnuru Ramana Kshetram and were very happy to be blessed by Nannagaru.

“You are coming regularly to visit me with a lot of interest and attention. Please do continue to come.” He would tell me. Without great practices and good, and pious deeds in many previous births, is it possible to get such a Guru’s holy company? The moments spent in his company are the sweetest of memories. I have seen the cool glow like that of the full moon on his face, affection and love in every word, peaceful glance, sweetness in speech, a divine smile on his face. I have seen these in every visit. I have tasted inexpressible and unworldly peace and bliss in his presence. Every movement of his body expresses his naturalness. Those moments, those scenes are etched into my heart.

In 2017, when Nannagaru was in Vishakhapatnam, he came over to our home and blessed us and all of our relatives. He was travelling from Sujatha Garu’s house to the Doctor Garu’s house and despite being way past his lunchtime, he stopped at our house. He had promised us that he would visit our home and despite the time crunch, he spent some time at our house to keep his promise. While at Sujata Garu’s house, he indicated that he would leave the body in a year. A few days later he was admitted to Apollo hospital in Vishakhapatnam. That was his last tour to Vishakhapatnam. Excepting very few individuals, the devotees were not allowed to visit Nannagaru at the hospital. “I shall pay a visit to your home!” he had promised. After Nannagaru came back to Jinnuru, many devotees had the good fortune of offering their services. I bow down and salute all these devotees.

In 2017, after Nannagaru left the mortal coil, he has become the guiding light from within our hearts. With Nannagaru’s family members’ pious intentions and the service offered by the devotees, the construction of Nannagaru Mandiram and Arunagiri at Ramana Kshetram is completed. Nannagaru’s idol has been consecrated at Nanna Ashram in Arunachalam. By Nannagaru’s grace I, along with my family, have had the good fortune of being able to attend all the major auspicious celebrations. The relationship with Nannagaru and his family members is continuing this way. Kannamma Garu has always shown special care and concern towards us. Having the good fortune of the holy company at Ramana Kshetram, listening to the words of Bhagavan and Nannagaru through his disciples, remembering and contemplating the divine, nectar-filled teachings of Nannagaru all these fill me with joy.

By Nannagaru’s grace, I was able to write “Sri Nannagaru’s Gita” and dedicate to him. “This is like Ravindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali. Your writing has your heart in it” Nannagaru praised. And that gave me immense happiness. I have been receiving praises way beyond what I deserve now and then. Nannagaru made me write this despite my poor understanding of the Heart. This has been published in “Jnana Phalam” book. Ref: Jnana Phalam Book

Being a person still attached to name and form, I, like other devotees, became distraught when I could not see Nannagaru in form. I remember Nannagaru’s words that he would be alive in the hearts of his devotees even when his body drops off. I experienced that he was indeed in our very heart.

Nannagaru came down to our level and taught us in the simplest way. True bliss and peace come only when the mind travels inwards; we should go through both favourable and unfavourable circumstances like one savour Payasam (milk sweet); the enjoyment we get from the world is because of our identification with circumstances; it is better to be born as an animal and have devotion rather than be born as a human and have no devotion, and so on., in simple and plain language.

When we see Nannagaru we can appreciate Buddha’s calm mind, Adi Shankara's jnana, Ramana’s ever joyous Self and Sri Ramakrishna’s devotion. I would be ever indebted to Nannagaru for his clear exposition of self-enquiry and devotion. I remember that just for having called him Nannagaru, he has taken over all my responsibilities upon himself. I remember him telling that desire is the root cause of sorrow. I remember the scenes of grief-stricken devotees calming down and returning with a smile on their face, just by one glance of his.

You have taught throughout your life with the heart as its centre. Your teaching is full of naturalness. That is why you were able to make temples out of our hearts and stay there as the indweller. Our minds are tired by running after these shallow worldly affairs. Oh, Gurudeva! Even if run one end to another, it is all mirages and no real water anywhere. Our throats are parched due to the tiredness of pursuit. To satisfy our thirst of seeking and spread the essence of love through your wonderful words. You will come again, won't you?

No comments:

Post a Comment