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Anugraha Parampara - 3

 

His Holiness was extremely patient and compassionate in His dealings with disciples and never declined to help an earnest devotee if His help was sought, in ever so insignificant or absurd a manner. The following incidents indicate this. A gentleman had a daughter who had been given in marriage. In spite of being twenty years old, she had not yet attained puberty. Her in-laws despaired of the girl coming to their home and decided to get the boy another wife. The girl's father was very poor and had more daughters to marry and was naturally upset. Unable to do anything else, he met His Holiness and expressed his helplessness. His Holiness listened to him patiently and took a small quantity of butter, sanctified it by some mantra and gave it to the father with instructions to give it to the girl that night. His instructions were duly followed and early next morning the girl attained puberty.

On another occasion, a gentleman's niece was having repeated abortions. He approached His Holiness and was blessed with some Vibhuti. His Holiness also warned him saying, "Safeguard it well and see that it is used daily without fail." The girl's mother-in-law unfortunately thought that the uncle had secured a charm to give his niece control over her husband. In a fit of rage she took out the Vibhuti from the Pooja room and threw it into the dustbin. On the same night the poor girl had another violent abortion, and she herself was in a life-threatening situation. His Holiness was informed of this and assured the uncle that the girl would be all right thereafter. She became so, without any more abortions and with a number of healthy children.

One day Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati visited Vidyaranyapura Agrahara, which is on the western banks of river Tunga and entered the temple of Sri Sadasiva. Subrahmanya Shastry was living in a house within the temple compound and was performing puja. He was a violin master as well. He was for a long time suffering from stomach pain and was becoming weak. His Holiness looked at him compassionately and advised him to play Amba Natho Vinnappamu, a Kriti (a composition) of Pallavi Gopala Iyer, daily at Brahma Muhurta for a cure. Subrahmanya Shastry faithfully followed the command of the Jagadguru and shortly was completely cured of his stomachache.

Krishnaswamy Iyer had a desire to get the Upadesha of Adi Acharya's Bhagavad Gita Bhashya from Mahaswamigal. He conveyed the same to Mahaswamigal. Mahaswamigal agreed happily and said:

Mahaswamigal: You have taken the Upadesha of Shiva Panchakshari from our Guru Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal right?

Iyer: Yes Gurudeva!

Mahaswamigal: You received the Upadesha in Tiruchendur right? Iyer: Yes Gurudeva!

Mahaswamigal: It was the same day on which our Guru performed Samudra Snana right?

Krishnaswamy was no more in a state to reply. He was totally amazed to see the accuracy with which Mahaswamigal narrated the entire incident as though he himself had been present in Tiruchendur on the day when Iyer had received Upadesha from Sri Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal. This incident had occurred on a day fourteen years ago and during that time, Mahaswamigal had not yet taken Sanyasa. This incident proved that the two Acharyas were one and the same.

In 1953, on Kartika Suddha Ashtami day, Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati graced the Rathotsava of Sri Vidya Shankara. Sham Bhatta, with paralysis, was straining himself to stand near a house in the street for Darshan. His Holiness glanced at him and signaled his son K.S. Ramaswami to come. On the spot, His Holiness gave Sri Anjaneya mantra to the son and asked him to give that mantra to his father. The compassionate Guru also asked the son to cover the body of his father with a woolen pullover, as the weather was chilly. The youngster prostrated at the feet of the Guru and carried out the command. After taking Sri Anjaneya mantra conveyed by the Jagadguru and performing the Japa for sometime, Sham Bhatta became free of paralysis.

Once during mid-summer, while feeding was about to start in the open yard within the Mutt campus, clouds gathered, winds blew and heavy downpour was imminent. Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati, who was returning to Narasimhavanam from Sri Sarada Temple, saw people sitting in rows waiting to take food and the rains about to pour. He halted for a minute, shot up a prayer, took His upper cloth and waved it over His head towards the sky and walked away. And lo! The clouds dispersed within moments. The gathering finished lunch and hurried homeward. Immediately thereafter, the clouds gathered again and there was a very heavy downpour.

His Holiness used to expound Sri Shankaracharya's Bhashyas to a few disciples. One day He was so deeply engrossed in the worship of the Sri Chakra that he was oblivious of the waiting disciples. All the devotees except one had to leave disappointed. The one who stayed back to watch the puja happened to think, "How can His Holiness find pleasure in mechanically throwing flowers on the Srichakra and how can that pleasure, if any, be even a fraction of the ineffable joy and exaltation which one can have in expounding the beautiful passages in the Bhashyas?" After the puja was over, His Holiness came out, gave prasadam to this disciple, smiled and said, " Mithyaa-jagad-adhishthaanaa (one of the thousand names comprising the divine Lalita Sahasranama) i.e. The Substratum, on which the seeming universe is superimposed, as it were', is one of the names of the Divine Mother. Do the Bhashyas contain anything more than this?" Continuing to smile He passed on. The disciple realized the importance of proper worship, devotion and contemplation.

Once, on a forenoon, His Holiness proceeded to the Sri Sarada temple at Sringeri and went near the southern entrance. A cow was found sitting just below the lowest step leading to the doorway. There was no other way to enter the temple from that direction without disturbing the cow and the attendants went near it to drive it away. However, His Holiness gave them a sign not to move the cow. He then went in front of the cow and sat down on the ground. He signaled to the attendants to place near Him all the items for puja that they had brought for the worship of Sri Sarada and began to perform Go-Pooja. In the process He used up all the materials brought for the Pooja. Once the deeparadhana was performed, the cow, of its own accord, stood up on its legs. His Holiness went round it in pradakshina and stood before it with folded hands. The cow looked up at Him and slowly moved away from the entrance of the temple. His Holiness must have felt that He had no justification for passing by a living representation of the Divine Mother, while seeking Her Divine Presence inside the temple.

His Holiness was performing the daily Abhisheka to the Chandramouleshwara Lingam in the Mutt. A few fortunate disciples were seated at a distance and watched. All of a sudden a large king cobra crawled in and the worried disciples stood up in fear. His Holiness noticed this and signaled to them to sit down. They did so immediately. The cobra approached His Holiness without the slightest sense of fear and reared its head inside His Holiness' room and moved into it. The disciples were apprehensive again but His Holiness casually filled a cup with milk and extended His hand with the cup of milk in it and brought it just beneath the glimmering tongues of the cobra. This increased the consternation of the disciples but they were too shocked to do or say anything. The snake leisurely licked up the milk in the cup held by His Holiness and then raised its hood high, looked at Sri Chandramouleshwara and then turned towards His Holiness as if to take leave of him and then went away as it came.

Once when His Holiness was dispensing holy water to the disciples assembled, a young woman who had brought her daughter with her suddenly found a gold chain missing from her daughter's neck. She started creating some slight disturbance. Her friends hushed her up and asked her to quietly receive the holy water from His Holiness and then go home to give vent to her grief. She accordingly came before His Holiness and spread out her right palm to receive the holy water but His Holiness signed to her to step aside. This increased her grief and she did not know what to do. His Holiness continued to give holy water to several others and when an old woman spread out her hand to receive it, His Holiness said in a very low tone, "Give it up". "What?" cried the woman. "What was taken" was the cool reply of His Holiness. "I have not taken anything" she persisted. "Don't add to your sins" was the admonition of His Holiness. As soon as this was said, the ladies who were standing near her caught her up and recovered the chain from the folds of her sari and placed it before His Holiness. He then called the other woman before him, gave her the holy water and said, "Take the chain but don't do hereafter what you are asked not to do." She replied in penitent tones, "I have learnt the lesson, I shall obey. I shall obey". Later it transpired that her husband was a clerk in some office and had wanted his wife to serve his breakfast before she proceeded to His Holiness' camp for attending the Pooja. For fear of missing the Pooja she hastened the preparation of the meals and asked her husband to serve his breakfast himself and came away to attend the Pooja. His Holiness evidently pointed out by this incident that true piety was incompatible with a breach of duty.

His Holiness was by nature extremely retired and very humble. Once having heard a brilliant discourse from the divine lips of His Holiness, a disciple tried to write out an abstract of the same. He requested His Holiness to hear it in order to correct any inaccuracies that might have occurred.

His Holiness asked, "What for?"

Disciple: "I want to print and publish it and I naturally want that it should be an accurate abstract."

H.H: "Why do you want to print and publish it? I have not said anything which has not already been said repeatedly and more effectively by our ancients."

Disciple: "It is not quite so, there were very many original thoughts in that discourse."

H.H: "If so, they can have no value, as they do not have the sanction of our ancients; and on that score itself, they do not deserve any publication."

On one occasion a gentleman, a stranger not only to the place but to His Holiness as well, prostrated before him and said, "By some strange good fortune I had some business in this town and I have been enabled thereby to pay my respects to Your Holiness. I deem myself very fortunate." His Holiness was much impressed by his frankness and said, "I am sure God will grant your wishes." The gentleman replied, "May I take bold to request Your Holiness to favor me with some Upadesha (sacred teachings) which I can treasure"? His Holiness immediately looked up and a wave of displeasure passed over his face. He asked the gentleman in somewhat severe tones, "Have you heard of the Vedic passage, `Revere your mother as a God'? He answered, "Yes, certainly." His Holiness continued, "Have you heard of the further Vedic passage, `Revere your father as a God'? "Yes, I have", replied the disciple. His Holiness again went on, "Have you heard of the later passage, `Revere your guru as a God'?" "I have," he said. "If you have," said His Holiness, "obey the first two injunctions before you come to Me. Go!" This severe admonition hurt the man very sharply and with a trembling frame he fell down before His Holiness and with streaming eyes carried out, "I have been trying my best to serve my parents but they are not kind to me." His Holiness said, "The injunctions are for you and are not conditional on their being kind to you. You must do your duty whether they are kind or not. You will find in the end that you have won their love. Will you bear this in mind?" "Certainly. And I shall so conduct myself as to justify my approaching you for further guidance." The Lord has declared in the Gita that even the Knower of Brahman must engage punctiliously in action in order to guide other devotees. His Holiness was such an epitome of this that persons who had the good fortune of seeing Him thought that he was an uncompromising ritualist.