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Anugraha Parampara - 4

 

Once a gentleman from Bengal who had heard of His greatness came to Sringeri. He had expected that His Holiness would be engaged in Samadhi for most of the time, completely oblivious of the world. Consequently, he was astonished and disappointed when he saw His Holiness performing His morning Anushthana and worshipping the Divine Mother later on. However, he did not doubt the greatness of His Holiness but found it hard to accept that a Knower would engage Himself in ritualistic worship of images. He desired reconciliation and at an appropriate occasion mentioned this to His Holiness Himself in an indirect manner, "If a person has Atma realization as propounded in the Advaita Vedanta, can he properly engage himself in rituals or in image worship?" His Holiness asked in answer, "What else do you except him to do?" Had the gentleman answered this question with any other alternative then that would have been equally inconsistent with the state of the realized soul. He therefore replied by saying, "I do not mean to say that he should do anything else. My difficulty arises this way. Doing anything, be it rituals or image worship or even study of scriptures implies the sense of doer-ship. Are not these two attitudes inconsistent with each other and, if so, how can they exist at the same time in the same individual?" His Holiness said, "Quite true. Two things, which are mutually contradictory, cannot exist at the same time in the same entity. Can you tell me, who the non-doer is?" "Of course, the Self." "Quite right. You have studied our system well. Will you now tell me, who the doer is?" "Certainly, it is the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect." "Quite right again. The Self is the non-doer; and the doer is the non-Self. Is it not so?" "Yes." "Where is the inconsistency now? Doer-ship and non-doer-ship do not inhere in the same entity." This line of simple reasoning made the gentleman realize the absurdity of the question in the first place and when he parted from His Holiness he was more devoted to Him than ever before.

On one occasion a disciple entered a room where His Holiness was seated alone. His Holiness signed him to sit down and remained silent for about 20 minutes. The disciple enjoyed an indescribable peace and exaltation during that time. The disciple then thought he saw His Holiness smile and looked up. Immediately, His Holiness asked, "Shall I tell you (why I smiled)?" The disciple naturally replied: "If Your Holiness is so pleased". Then His Holiness said: "I was in perfect peace when a thought disturbed it. I realized that you were sitting near me and perhaps expected me to speak. This led me to the further thought that if I had to meet your expectations I must speak. I recollected that "to speak" was a transitive verb regarding an object. I thought therefore that I must find an object, as otherwise there could be no speech. Then I recollected that all the objects in the universe come under either of two categories, the true and the false. The true is Brahman and the false is the world of form. Either of these two things must therefore be spoken of. But the Vedanta has declared in unmistakable terms that Brahman, the true, is beyond all speech and even all thought. So Brahman as an object of speech was out of the question. There was thus only the world to be talked about. But regarding the world, the Vedanta was equally emphatic, that it was anirvachaniya or incapable of being explained in words. So the world also seemed to be out of the question as a fit object of speech. There was no third entity available." "There was, therefore, no object fit to be the object of speech. For want of an object, there could be no speech. When I came to this conclusion, I realized that I had come back only to wherefrom I started and that I need not have allowed these thoughts to disturb me." "The example of a cart man who drove his cart during the night by by-paths to avoid the toll-gate, but found himself at break of dawn, just in front of it, suggested itself to Me. Evidently I smiled at Myself for all this waste of time, of thought and you looked up." After saying this His Holiness relapsed into silence. To the disciple this was far more of a lesson in practical Vedanta than anything he could learn from any number of books.

A boy who was serving as a volunteer during the visit of the previous Acharya to a town on His way to the Kumbhabhishekam at Kaladi was then too young to approach Him for any initiation. But he had been imbued with great respect and devotion and ever looked up to Him as a divine ideal. About 15 years after the passing away of the Acharya, he keenly felt that he had lost an opportunity of having an initiation from Him though he was in constant remembrance of Him. One night he had a glorious dream in which the Acharya appeared before him and graciously initiated him into a mantra. His joy and gratitude knew no bounds. But when he woke up and tried to recollect the dream, he could not, in spite of his earnest efforts, recall the exact mantra that was given to him in the dream. This unfortunate forgetfulness grieved him a great deal. He told a friend of his of this dream. The friend suggested to him that as His Holiness Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati was camping only a few miles off he might meet Him and obtain His blessings in person as an appropriate substitute for the blessings he got from His predecessor in the dream. He accordingly went to His Holiness and detailed to him His dream experience. His Holiness very sympathetically listened and then directed the young man to come again the next morning. When he went the next morning, His Holiness called him inside His room and gave him an initiation. In the course of the initiation the disciple realized with a pleasant shock that the mantra that he was now receiving from His Holiness was identical with the one, which he got in the dream and could not recollect. He was convinced that, though the embodiments of the two Acharyas were different, they were really identical in spirit. There have been many other instances in which the identity was patently obvious. His Holiness came to the seat only after His predecessor had passed away. He had no opportunities of knowing what all happened during the several tours of the latter to various parts of the country or even during His stay at Sringeri itself. There would have been innumerable persons who would have visited Him. His Holiness however would sometimes recount graphically many incidents connected with the previous Acharyas as if he were an eyewitness to them. Even if we are not prepared to grant the identity of spirit between them, we must certainly say that He had the power of intuition to vividly look into the past and into the future, beyond the ordinary ken of mind.

In a small village there was a temple wherein Siva was facing the east and Ambika the south. Late one night His Holiness visited that temple. After worshipping the Lord, He entered the enclosure in front of the Goddess and did not go into the garbhagriha (sanctum) but remarked, "There is some obstruction to the vision." The people then thought that the light was not sufficient and went near the lamps. His Holiness said, "Not to me. To the Goddess." They could not grasp His meaning and blankly looked up at Him. He explained, "It is usual to have a hole even in the external wall of the temple just in the path of the Goddess' vision. Either there is no such opening in this temple or it has been blocked." It transpired that there was such an opening but had been filled up with mud by children playing nearby. He had the obstruction immediately removed and then worshipped the Goddess.

A disciple was fortunate enough to get, after much difficulty, permission to meet His Holiness one evening. In the course of his talk, he boldly spoke thus: "Many a disciple coming to Sringeri returns disappointed for want of opportunities to hear a word of blessing or of encouragement or of advice from Your Holiness' lips. They will be greatly benefited if your Holiness can be more accessible."

H.H.: "You are mistaken. Those who seek to converse with me are mostly interested in matters in which I have no interest. They have no interest in matters in which I have interest. What purpose is served by granting interviews to them?"

Disciple: "I quite agree. But there are still some people who genuinely seek guidance from Your Holiness."

H.H.: "Seek help from me? Why, they want me to cure their illness or maladies? They want my help as a doctor. Is it for this, that this great institution was founded by the great Acharya?"

Disciple: "There are a few persons who long to approach Your Holiness for spiritual guidance but to their great regret are denied that opportunity."

H.H.: "If they really and sincerely long for my guidance they will in spite of my seeming inaccessibility force themselves upon me". With His characteristic smile, He added, "Just as you have done."

The disciple understood this both as a hint and as an admonition and did not deem it proper to pursue the subject further.

Sri Srikantha Shastrigal was the administrator of the Sri mutt from the time of Sri Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal. His period as the administrator of the mutt is still remembered as the golden age of Sringeri Sarada Peetham. He had a fair knowledge of the Shastras. He was an expert in managing the affairs of the mutt efficiently. He was also well versed in the traditions of the mutt, Anushthanas, Vratas, Utsavas etc. He himself was a very devout person and performed his Nitya Pooja with great interest and devotion. When Narahari Bhatta, the priest who performed the Chandramouleshwara Pooja in the noon could not come for some unavoidable reason, it was Shastrigal who managed this responsibility. He was also well versed in Srichakra Upasana. Shastrigal would wake up early in the morning, finish his own Sandhya, Japa and Pooja and then have the Darshan of Mahaswamigal. He would have to visit Mahaswamigal several times a day to discuss various issues related to the administration of the mutt. Like Mahaswamigal, Shastrigal also took bath thrice a day. He would wait till Mahaswamigal finished his afternoon Anushthana and would wait for him to accept Bhiksha. It was Shastrigal who would give Hastodaka to Mahaswamigal before his afternoon Bhiksha and Shastrigal would have his own lunch only after the Bhiksha of Mahaswamigal. Even in the night, Shastrigal would take Phalahara only after Mahaswamigal's Phalahara. He would take great care of Mahaswamigal's health. Sometimes though his behavior towards Mahaswamigal seemed rude, it was only his fatherly affection towards the Mahaswamigal that made him behave so. Shastrigal had no son. He only had a daughter. Mahaswamigal had spent his childhood in Shastrigal's house. Even Mahaswamigal treated Shastrigal with respect like his own father. Once during a Sanchara, it was already midnight and Mahaswamigal was still busy in his Adhyayana. Shastrigal, who as per his daily routine, went around the place checking all the doors and boxes, happened to pass by Mahaswamigal's room. He was surprised to find the lamp still burning in Mahaswamigal's room. Seeing Mahaswamigal reading a book, Shastrigal told him, "It is way past midnight! Please sleep now". Mahaswamigal said, "During Sanchara, because I am traveling most of the time, I do not get enough time for my study. So I have to stay awake in order to make up for the lost time". Shastrigal said, "You are still young! You should not skip sleep like this. This will affect your health adversely. What will people say if you fall ill? They will blame me for my negligence. Once you return to Sringeri, you will have enough time to study. Please retire for the day". Mahaswamigal smiled at him and went to sleep. Shastrigal loved oranges. However, Mahaswamigal would not have oranges due to an allergy. Shastrigal also would not have oranges because he followed a peculiar rule. He would only have those fruits that were accepted by Mahaswamigal and then granted to him as Prasadam. A devotee from Coorg once offered a basket full of oranges to Mahaswamigal. Mahaswamigal asked his attendant to prepare orange juice for the night's Pooja. After the Pooja, he took a spoonful of the juice and sent the rest to Shastrigal. The immense love of Mahaswamigal overwhelmed Shastrigal. The two shared a very special relation that was beyond a common man's understanding.

Five days after Sri Mahaswamigal attained Mukti, his Aradhana celebrations were going on in the mutt. Food was being served to all the people who had come to pay their last respects to Mahaswamigal. .C. Chandramouli Rao, Rama Somayaji and another close disciple of Mahaswamigal were sitting near the Samadhi of Mahaswamigal and were meditating on his holy feet. In the meantime, a stranger arrived there, went round the Samadhi, prostrated full length before the Samadhi and sat gazing at it as thought he was seeing Mahaswamigal directly. With sorrow he said, "I was not fortunate enough to have your Darshan in your glorious physical form". Rama Somayaji went near him and enquired his whereabouts. He informed that he was a Jain cloth merchant from a village near Tiptur. Somayaji could also make out that he was considerably rich. Jain further spoke, "A person from my own community works for me. He is a poor person. I give him a small salary and a meager bonus during the festivals. Sometime ago, he fixed the marriage of his daughter and asked me for some loan. I refused to help him. He begged me to give some saris for the marriage but I refused to give him even a piece of cloth. One night, I finished the day's work, locked the shop and went home. That night, as I lay asleep on my bed, I had dream in which I saw a glorious Brahmana Sanyasi. He said, "Every religion teaches charity as a great virtue. A part of one's earnings should necessarily be used for charity and other religious purposes. Is it possible to enjoy all the wealth that you accumulated during your lifetime? Your servant asked you for help but you refused to assist him in any way. See what is happening now! He is stealing clothes from your shop. You are to be blamed for his behavior. Go to your shop right now. But do not punish the servant. Help him perform his daughter's marriage. You will also get a share in the Punya obtained due to Kanyadana. From now onwards, try to engage yourself in acts of charity". I suddenly woke up and was confused whether to believe this dream as reality. I rushed to the shop to find my servant carrying goods away from the shop. I caught him but pardoned him. I took the full responsibility of his daughter's marriage. I kept wondering for a long time who this Sanyasi was who had appeared in my dream and corrected me. Recently I saw his photograph in the news paper and rushed to Sringeri to at least have Darshan of his Samadhi". The great Guru had taught a valuable lesson, "DaanaM variShTho dharmaaNaaM'.

Venkateshan was an educated young man whose father was a high official in Bangalore. He had completed his post graduation and had a good job. His father had earned huge amounts of wealth and the family had no problems. One evening, after returning from office, Venkateshan played tennis for a while and then came into the house to perform Sandhyavandana. After the Sandhyavandana, Venkateshan prostrated before his mother and told her, "I will return soon". The mother assumed that Venkateshan was going to visit a friend and nodded her head. But Venkateshan did not return that night. He went to Sringeri, took bath in the river, performed his Sandhyavandana, had the Darshan of Saradambal and Vidya Shankara and went to see Mahaswamigal. Mahaswamigal was distributing Tirtha to the devotees. When Venkateshan's turn came, Mahaswamigal looked at him and asked, "Who are you? Where are you from?" Venkateshan replied, "I am Venkateshan from Bangalore". Mahaswamigal asked, "Why have to come here?" Venkateshan replied, "To take Sanyasa". Mahaswamigal asked him, "Have you informed your parents and family members?" Venkateshan remained silent. Mahaswamigal smiled at him and said, "You should not scare your parents like this! Sanyasa is no easy deal. It is like walking on the sharp edge of a sword. It is difficult and dangerous. You have to obey rules strictly, undertake various vows and withstand pains and difficulties. As a prerequisite to all this, a strong sense of detachment should be present. Not an iota of attachment towards one's relatives or even one's own body should remain". When the young man seemed determined in his stand, Mahaswamigal called an attendant and said, "This is Venkateshan from Bangalore. He has not informed his parents about his tour to Sringeri. Please send a telegram to his father Shyamanna. Venkateshan will stay in the mutt for some time. Make necessary arrangements for his stay". He then turned towards Venkateshan and said, "Study of Shastras is necessary before taking Sanyasa. Stay here and learn Sanskrit and the scriptures from the scholars. Stay in some temple in Sringeri and obtain your food through Bhiksha". Venkateshan was the son of a rich man who was used to comforts and luxuries. He had servants to attend to his needs, cooks to serve him delicious food, a palatial home and enough money to spend. But he had chosen the path of Jnana and Vairagya. He began to stay near the Samadhi of a previous Acharyas of Sringeri. He woke up early in the morning, took bath in the river, washed his clothes, and performed Sandhyavandana. He would then visit Saradambal and Mahaswamigal. He would spend the entire day learning scriptures. He would accept food only in the noon and through Bhiksha only. By then, Venkateshan's parents rushed to Sringeri. They were totally grief-stricken to see their only son suffering in Sringeri. They tried to convince him in many ways to return with them to Bangalore, but nothing could change Venkateshan's Sankalpa. The parents visited Mahaswamigal and asked him the reason for their son's sudden change in behavior. Mahaswamigal said, "Your Son's Vairagya is not due to a momentary emotional disturbance or due to any other worldly cause. Even with a life filled with riches and comforts, he has chosen the path of Vairagya. Please do not obstruct his spiritual progress. Let him stay here in Sringeri". Venkateshan continued to stay in Sringeri and followed his routine strictly. He studied the Vedas and other scripture for about four years and pleased Mahaswamigal with his brilliance. He would roam in the jungles around Sringeri, sit on hilltops and immerse himself in mantra Japa. He also spent some time in Narasimha Parvata, performing severe austerities. Mahaswamigal observed that Venkateshan had now attained the stage where he was eligible for Sanyasa. He instructed another elderly Sanyasi disciple oh is to initiate Venkateshan into Sanyasa. Brahmachari Venkateshan assumed Sanyasi with the yoga title "Sri Sacchidananda Saraswati". The elderly Sanyasi who had initiated Venkateshan stayed in the Siddhavalli hill, in Tirunalveli district in Tamil Nadu. Sacchidananda Saraswati came on foot from Siddhavalli hills to his Jnana guru Sri Mahaswamigal. He sought the blessings of Mahaswamigal and received initiation into many Maha mantras from him. Mahaswamigal instructed the new Swamigal to study Bhagavata in detail and give discourses on it. As per Mahaswamigal's orders, Swamigal went to Kashi and settled there. He began to hold Bhagavata Saptaha in all parts of the country and guide thousands of people. After the Siddhi of Sri Mahaswamigal, a Shiva Linga, now known as `Sri Chandrashekhara Bharatishwara', was established on the Samadhi of Mahaswamigal. This Linga was initially worshipped by Sacchidananda Saraswati and then brought to Sringeri from Kashi.

A devotee from Andhra – Tamil nadu border visited Sringeri every year on the day of Maha Shivaratri and had Mahaswamigal's Darshan without fail. The special thing here was that the devotee walked all the way from his native place to Sringeri, along with another friend. He would return back to his place via bus or train. He was comfortably rich and was popular in his village as a highly charitable person. Every Shivaratri, Mahaswamigal would finish his morning Anushthana and visit the shrine of Malahanikeshwara situated on top of a hill in Sringeri. He would again take bath there, perform Shatarudrabhisheka and archana to Parameshwara and walk back to the mutt. He would again perform Pooja to Chandramouleshwara in his residence, Sacchidananda Vilasa and perform Abhisheka and archana all through the night. People would visit Sringeri from far off places to witness the Pooja performed directly by Mahaswamigal. One Shivaratri, the devotee could not come to Sringeri owing to bad health. He became worried and began to suffer mentally that he had not been able to visit Mahaswamigal that year. His condition became worse day by day and he was admitted to a hospital. In spite of giving him the best possible treatment, he showed no signs of recovery. It seemed as though his death was certain. The doctors asked his family members to take him home because there wasn't much they could do for him. One afternoon, an old gentleman came to his house. He was wearing the sacred mark of the ash on his forehead, wore Rudraksha Mala around his throat, wore the sacred marks of Chandan and Kumkuma on his forehead and held a deerskin under his arms. He looked at the devotee's grief-stricken wife and told her, "Mother! I have performed Pooja to Parameshwara and Ambal and brought Prasadam for your husband. May I feed him a spoon of Bhagavan's Tirtha?" The wife consulted the doctor and after obtaining his permission, agreed to the old man's request. The old man took out a small silver vessel from his bag and began to pour the Tirtha into the mouth of the ailing gentleman, drop by drop. At the same time, he began to chant:

Akaalamrityuharanam sarvavyadhinivaranam |
samastaduritopashamanam shivapadodakam shubham ||

The ailing man opened his eyes slowly and enquired his wife, "Who is this person?" She replied, "I don't know. He came to our house and offered to give you Lord's Prasadam. I took the doctor's permission and allowed him to do so". The man said, "Give him some gifts and thank him". As the lady came out to greet the old Brahmana, she was surprised to find him nowhere. He had simply disappeared! Right from that day, the ailing gentleman began to show signs of speedy recovery. He developed a lot of respect and gratitude towards the old Brahmana who had blessed him and cured him. Even the doctors were surprised to see the gentleman recover completely to normalcy. Next Shivaratri, the gentleman went to have the Darshan of Mahaswamigal along with his wife and children. As soon as the wife saw Mahaswamigal, she immediately recognized that the old Brahmin's face resembled that of Mahaswamigal. She understood that it was the great Guru who had visited the ailing gentleman's house in the guise of an old Brahmana to cure him of his illness. The couple stood in the queue for taking Prasadam from Mahaswamigal. When the gentleman's turn came, Mahaswamigal looked at him, smiled and asked him, "Are you feeling better now?" The devotee was surprised beyond measure. He began to think how Mahaswamigal had come to know about his illness. His wife immediately narrated the whole story and described how Mahaswamigal had saved his life. Mahaswamigal smiled again and asked, "Are you doing your Sandhyavandana regularly?" The man replied hesitantly, "No Mahaswamigal!" and bent his head down. Mahaswamigal said, "Performing one's mandatory duty i.e. Sandhyavandana is much more important that visiting temples, Mutts, performing Poojas or visiting Swamijis and Gurus. A Brahmana should never fail to perform this duty of his! Take bath and come to the mutt tomorrow morning. The Purohita of the mutt will teach you the Sandhyavandana mantras. Make it a habit to perform your Nitya karma without fail". From the very next morning, the gentleman began to continue his Nitya Karma, which he had given up from years. The great Guru, like Lord Krishna, always took care of his devotees' well being.

There is a Shloka in praise of Sri Sri Vidyaranya Mahaswamigal, an earlier Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri Sarada Peetha, which says, 'He is capable of making a dumb person a good orator and a talkative person dumb'. Sri Narasimha Murthy of Bangalore personally experienced the truth of this statement. In 1945, Murthy had suffered huge financial losses and went to Sringeri to seek Mahaswamigal's blessings. It was a Navaratra and Mahaswamigal was in Samadhi. Murthy stayed back in Sringeri and began to wait for Mahaswamigal to come out from Samadhi. Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Mahaswamigal, who was coming out of Saradambal's temple after Darshan, saw Murthy in the queue one day and stopped suddenly. He asked, 'Do you know Sanskrit?' Murthy explained that he did not have a good command over Sanskrit. Immediately Vidya Tirtha Mahaswamigal said, 'Don't worry! Saradambal will bless you with the knowledge of Sanskrit. Come and see me tomorrow morning'. The next day, Murthy went to see Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Mahaswamigal. Mahaswamigal gave him the Upadesha of the supreme Srividya Mahamantra and blessed him. After returning to Bangalore, Murthy began to regularly chant the mantra with immense faith and devotion. By the power of the Mahamantra and by Guru's grace, Murthy got the inspiration to write a poem in Sanskrit. He composed a poem on the Sringeri Guru Parampara, starting with the name of his own guru, Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha. He named the poem of 116 Shlokas, 'Sri Deshikendra Tarangini'. He visited Sringeri again in 1946 during Navaratra. By then, all his financial problems had been solved. With Tripurasundari's grace, is there something impossible? He also brought along two copies of his poem as an offering to the holy feet of his Guru. But he thought in his mind, 'I am not a Sanskrit scholar and hence my poem may have lot of grammatical errors. If Mahaswamigal reads my poem, he may notice the errors and feel unhappy with me'. With this thought, he did not show his poem to Mahaswamigal. One evening, Murthy was prostrating before the Adhishthana of Sri Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamigal in Narasimha Vana. All of a sudden, Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal came there and stood before Murthy. Unable to control his emotions, Murthy's eyes became wet with happiness and fell at the feet of Mahaswamigal. Mahaswamigal smiled at him and asked, 'So, where is your poem? You never showed it t me!' Murthy was shocked at Mahaswamigal's question and surprised beyond words. With great hesitation, he handed a copy of his poem to Mahaswamigal. Mahaswamigal sat down right in that place and said, 'You read the poem and I will listen to it'. Mahaswamigal sat leaning against a pillar and began to listen to te poem. By then, it was 5 in the evening and Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Mahaswamigal came there to accompany Mahaswamigal to the shrine of Kalabhairava. Mahaswamigal looked at him and said, 'Murthy has written a poem. I will listen to it completely. You may proceed to the temple of Kalabhairava' and continued to listen to the poem. At a certain juncture, Mahaswamigal stopped him and asked, 'In your poem, the 104^th Shloka says: EtadyAnekadeSheshu pratyakShIkR^itadeshikA. nR^isimhapAdashobhAbhyA mUrdhni tiShThatu pAdukA. You have mentioned that Sri Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamigal appeared in different places at the same time. What is the proof you have for this?' Murthy began to narrate an incident with great humility: 'B.V. Kameshwara Iyer was travelling from Rameshwaram to Dhanukshkoti, along with a friend, in a boat. Suddenly there was a huge storm and the boat began to drown. Kameshwara Iyer began to pray to his Guru Sri Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamigal to save them. Immediately Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamigal appeared on the shore and began to wave his Uttariya. The storm receded all of a sudden and the boat reached the shore safely. But the Guru was not to be see anywhere on the shore'. Mahaswamigal was very happy with Murthy's explanation and instructed to get his poem printed. This poem has now been printed in Sanskrit with Kannada, English, Tamil and Telugu translations.

Among the large group of Mahaswamigal's devotees, there were some who came to him for seeking solutions to their worldly problems; some came for knowledge and some for liberation. There were also some who came to him without any desire. They simply came to see his lotus feet and that simple act of devotion granted much more than they could ask for. Sri Lakshmana Rao was a retired employee of Mysore government. After his retirement, he came to Sringeri, visited the temple of Sri Saradambal and then came to have the Darshan of Mahaswamigal. As he stood with folded hands in front of Mahaswamigal, the omniscient Guru asked, "How are you Lakshmana Rao?" The surprised Lakshmana Rao fell at Mahaswamigal's feet without any reply. Mahaswamigal further asked him, "You were working somewhere near Chamaraja Nagar right?" During his tenure as an administrator, Rao worked in a placed called Haradanahalli near Chamaraja Nagar. Long ago, during Mahaswamigal's Sanchara, on his way to Satyamangala, Mahaswamigal had spent a night in Haradanahalli. Rao had taken special interest in making efficient arrangements for Mahaswamigal's stay there. Mahaswamigal still remembered that incident, which had taken place a long time ago. Rao was extremely surprised to see Mahaswamigal's superlative memory. After obtaining Phala Mantrakshata from Mahaswamigal, Lakshmana Rao returned to Bangalore. He decided spend visit all the holy Tirtha and Kshetra in India and set out on a long pilgrimage. He visited all the holy places in south India and then visited Kashi, Prayaga and Kashmir. After travelling for six months, Rao returned home. After about a month, he developed some sort of skin allergy in his feet. It gradually began to spread all over his body. No medical treatment proved effective. He began to pray god to grant him death rather than let him live with the deadly disease. As the last resort, he wrote a letter to Mahaswamigal describing his pitiable condition. The day his letter reached Sringeri, Mahaswamigal surprisingly came out of Samadhi. He read the letter and asked Rao to perform Rudrabhisheka regularly for one Mandala, take the Abhisheka Tirtha and Bilva leaves offered to the Lord. As per Mahaswamigal's order, a Purohita came to Rao's house and began to perform Rudrabhisheka everyday. Rao would sit in the Pooja room, meditating on Mahaswamigal's lotus feet and listen to the Maha Rudra mantra wit devotion. Within a month, his skin disease was cured miraculously.

This is an incident which took place during the first Sanchara of Sri Mahaswamigal. The residents of Tiptur had requested Mahaswamigal to visit their city and bless them. However, there was communal tension in that city. The Hindus and the Muslims of that city were always competing with each other. The Muslims would not allow Hindu processions to pass in front of their mosques. If the Hindus tried to take a procession of Hindu gods in front of a mosque, the Muslims would attack the Hindus and resort to violence. Generally, whenever Sri Mahaswamigal entered a city, he was welcomed with music and was then taken in a grand procession into the city. Even in this city, similar arrangements had been made for his welcome. The procession however, had to pass through a mosque. This caused worry to a large number of Hindus. Police task force was kept ready to control the mob, in case there was communal violence. However, much to the surprise of all, there was absolutely no violence! As soon as Mahaswamigal's procession reached the mosque, the elders of the Muslim community welcomed Mahaswamigal and offered their Salams. They requested the procession to wait for a few minutes in front of the mosque. An elderly gentleman read aloud an Urdu poem that he had composed on Sri Mahaswamigal. They also offered a large tray of flowers and fruits to Mahaswamigal. Mahaswamigal blessed them all by giving them flowers. The procession then moved further into the city. An evil-minded Muslim youth made fun of the Hindus saying, 'Even the procession of your Swamiji had to halt in front of our mosque. The procession was also silent in front of the mosque'. Some Hindu men also felt that the Muslims had tricked the Hindu community by stopping the procession in front of the mosque on the pretext of offering their respect to Mahaswamigal. After two days, they approached Mahaswamigal and sought his permission to arrange for another procession in the city. Mahaswamigal was dissatisfied and disgusted on knowing the real intention of that group of Hindus. He told them, 'If some mischief-maker spreads rumors, it does not mean that the entire Hindu community has been humiliated. It is incorrect to hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community. Your intentions are wrong! By taking a Hindu procession in front of the mosque, there is nothing you will achieve. Also, there is nothing they will achieve by stopping the same. I will not be a part of any procession that is taken out only to boost egos'. Mahaswamigal decided to leave the city and continue his Sanchara the very next day. The residents of the city persuaded him to stay back. But he replied, 'By nurturing feelings of hatred, anger and revenge, there will be no spiritual progress. I have noticed more of ego and hatred in you all than respect and love. I will not stay in this place any longer'. The residents of that city lost the opportunity of obtaining Tirtha and Prasadam from Mahaswamigal. They went to a place called Honnavvali where Mahaswamigal had established his camp and asked for forgiveness. Mahaswamigal forgave them and granted Phala Mantrakshata.

Sri Shyama Bhatta was a scholar who taught in Sringeri's Sadvidya Sanjivini Veda Pathashala. He had to visit Bangalore because he had been nominated as one of the examiners for the exams conducted by the Veda Pathashala of Shankara Mutt in Bangalore. He finished his work in Bangalore and took a bus back to Sringeri. A judge from Kerala, who wanted to seek the blessings of Sri Sarada and Sri Mahaswamigal, also accompanied him. While traveling, they began to talk about Sringeri, Saradambal and Sri Mahaswamigal. Bhatta, who had seen and personally experienced the divinity of Mahaswamigal, began to describe incidents that revealed the compassionate nature, divinity and other auspicious qualities of Mahaswamigal. The judge was overwhelmed with happiness on hearing about the greatness of his Guru. The discussion about Gurudeva continued all along the journey. Bhatta, on reaching Sringeri, took bath, finished his Sandhya and went to Narasimha Vana to report the details of the examination to Sri Mahaswamigal. Sri Mahaswamigal welcomed him, enquired about his health and wellbeing and then said smilingly, 'All that is ok. While talking to your friend, you have described so many qualities which are not present in me. Now because you have claimed that I have all those qualities, I will have to conduct myself in such a way that your words come true. How can I let a Vaidika Brahmana's words become untrue?' Shyama Bhatta was surprised beyond measure because he had not narrated the incident of his meeting the judge to anyone. Later, the judge also confirmed that he had not spoken about the incident to any one. The great Guru had proved his omniscience yet again!

Between 1936 and 1940, Sri Mahaswamigal was staying in the holy Kshetra of Kalati. Having heard about the greatness of Mahaswamigal, Abdul Karim, the police commissioner of Travancore, expressed his desire to see Mahaswamigal. He wrote a letter to the Sri Mutt and sought permission to visit Mahaswamigal. He also received a positive reply from Sri Mutt. From Trivandrum, Abdul Karim came to Kalati. He entered the room in which Mahaswamigal was seated, offered his Salam and sat down in front of Mahaswamigal. The two began to converse in Tamil. Mahaswamigal made courteous enquiries about his health and wellbeing and then asked, 'How many more years of service do you have?'

Karim: I will retire in a year.

Mahaswamigal: Have you studied and understood the principles of your religion?

Karim: No sir! I cannot claim that I have studied or understood even the basics of my religion. From childhood, I have faith in God. I firmly believe that the lord is all powerful and without his wish, nothing can happen. This faith has protected me till this day. It has prevented me from taking a wrong path.

Mahaswamigal: That exactly is the goal of every religion. It is not necessary for every one to study the complexities in religious scriptures. Unmoving faith in the omniscient, omnipresent lord is all that is necessary.

Karim: I am blessed with your words of encouragement. However, I still feel sad for not devoting time for the study of scriptures.

Mahaswamigal: After your retirement, you will have enough time for the study. It is never too late to learn things. However, my opinion is that one should learn and study in the childhood and practice the same in old age. Adhyana is more important in childhood. In other stages of life, Anushthana of what has been learnt is important. How have you decided to spend your time after retirement?

Karim: I have a feeling that by serving people, who are kept away by the general public, the lord will be pleased. I have decided to open a rehabilitation centre for leprosy patients. I want to serve the ailing people. I hope the lord grants me enough life and health to accomplish this desire!

Mahaswamigal: You have properly understood that the service to humanity is the service to the lord. He will certainly help you in this noble task.

Karim: I am filled with ecstasy after seeing you and talking to you. Please bless me so that I can lead a useful life and serve the humanity. I was a little hesitant to visit you because you are a Hindu Guru and I belong to the Muslim community. But, after seeing you, I have experienced the same divinity in your presence, which I have only read about in our scriptures.

Abdul Karim did open a rehabilitation centre for leprosy patients and spent the rest of his life in their service.