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THE PATH OF TOTAL SURRENDER

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G.V. Apparently, this is not the first such experience. Many others had this kind of experience. I was talking to the Raja of Venkatagiri, the present younger Raja. When Swami first went to Venkatagiri, after keeping the family waiting for several years, the first thing he (the elder Raja, now no more) asked was, "I want to see my mother who is no more." Swami said, "You want to see your mother, grandmother!" Swami looked at the wall and called out her name. She stepped out from the wall. The Raja touched her. She was in flesh and blood; he also talked to her.

A.K. Sri Ramabrahmam gave another instance. It was an occasion wherein he had to attend his granddaughter's wedding. He gave an invitation to Bhagavan personally. "Swami said, "You go." He was expecting that Bhagavan would tell him to go on 14th since his granddaughter's wedding was on 15th. But Swami did not say anything. After the marriage was over, Swami started enquiring, "Ramabrahmam, why did you not go?" Then he said, "Bhagavan, I take it positively. I feel that You did not want me to attend. So, I kept quiet without asking You." Bhagavan said, "Good boy, this is the sign of a devotee." He was not for any relationships nor for any business. Before coming to Bhagavan, he was a very rich man, involved in tobacco business. He did not have time even to count his cash.

G.V. And he was working here as caretaker. How did he happen to come to Swami?

A.K. As ill-luck would have it, he lost all his money. It was then that he came to Swami

His sons told that they were ever grateful to Swami for He took care of their parents tor forty long years. They said, "Our parents never came to stay with us. On the other hand, we were their guests; they were never our guests."

I want to tell you one more incident. It was the time when Sri B.D. Jatti was the Vice President of India. He was the one who inaugurated the hostel building. He was an ardent devotee of Bhagavan. It was Indo-Pak war time. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, sent Sri B.D. Jatti all the way to seek Bhagavan's blessings. He came by a special flight and went straight to Brindavan. It was 6 o' clock in the evening. Bhagavan had already retired for the day. As Sri Jatti was the Vice President of India then, he came along with a big convoy of cabinet ministers, local authorities and the Chief Minister of Karnataka. In their presence, Sri B.D. Jatti pleaded with Sri Ramabrahmam, "I have to report to the Prime Minister before sunrise. Please inform Swami that I am waiting for Him here. I must immediately go." Sri Ramabrahmam said, "I am sorry, sir. You can take my head. But you can never force me to knock the door of Bhagavan and request Him to talk to you. Impossible! Once Bhagavan retires, nobody dares to knock the door. I am sorry. If you want, you can have my head. That's all." Then Sri B.D. Jatti with folded hands said, "Okay, sir, what am I to do now?"

G.V. The Vice President of India said so?

A.K. "I suggest to you only one thing, sir. Sit here, squat on the floor and chant Sai Ram. You do it and Swami will take care", said Sri Ramabrahmam. Sri B.D. Jatti along with other cabinet ministers sat there repeating Sai Ram. What happened? After half an hour, Sri Ramabrahmam heard a knock from Swami's room. Swami opened the door and said, "Ramabrahmam, I am coming. Jatti is waiting for Me. Tell Jatti that I am coming." Swami came down, spoke to Sri Jatti who conveyed to Swami what he had been asked to tell. Sri Ramabrahmam said, "Had I not followed Swami's instructions, Sri Jatti would have been in trouble, and I would also have been in trouble. It would have been a very bad experience for me. Moreover, it was revealed to all that Swami knew everything - the urgency of the situation, the need to talk, when, where and how. None can force Bhagavan. Everybody has to wait for Bhagavan." That's what Sri Ramabrahmam used to tell me.

G.V. You have seen Sri Ramabrahmam from close quarters and interacted with him intimately. You are seeing so many other people also and are interacting with some of them closely. Do you feel that the kind of loyal devotees that Bhagavan had those days are scarce these days or there   ^, are still people with steadfast one-pointedness? Do you feel the people now are different because of the change in environment and climate or do you feel that devotees are devotees always?

A.K. There is a decline in standards in every walk of life. So, naturally there is a decline in standards in this field also.

G.V. Is it because they don't have these experiences or something else is the reason?

A.K. Old devotees had intense love for Bhagavan. For them, love for Bhagavan was first. Today it is not so. My intention, my motive, my desire first, devotion next. But in their case, devotion first, other things next. So, priorities are different.

G.V. Swami also talks about the Vedic scholar Sri Kamavadhani who renounced everything and refused to go back home. It is very nice to hear about another devotee of the same stature. Do you know anything about Sri Kamavadhani?

A.K. Excepting what I have heard from Bhagavan, I do not know much.

G.V. Okay, tell us about that.

A.K. Bhagavan said a few things about Sri Kamavadhani.

G.V. You must have seen him.

A.K. I saw him.

G.V. Have you talked to him.

A.K. Yes. Bhagavan said a few things about him. He was a great scholar in Vedic ^    literature. I can say, none could equal him in this field. He was of that stature.

He was well-versed in all the Vedas, a most respected person in the State of Andhra Pradesh, particularly East Godavari, and a very rich man. But he said goodbye to his family, leaving all the property, children and grandchildren, and settled here at Prasanthi Nilayam.

G.V. That was long ago.

A.K. It was he who started teaching Vedic Mantras to our students here. There was a Veda Pathashala (school) in those days. He gave training to the students. He was incharge of all Dasara celebrations, and no surprise, one could easily make out Sri Kamavadhani's voice during Dasara celebrations as against the voice of the rest. There might be a hundred people, yet Sri Kamavadhani's voice was distinct, golden voice. The Mantras have to be chanted like that. He was a scholar and a great believer. Having come here, he never went back. But it so happened that Bhagavan wanted him to follow Him during His trip to East Godavari. Sri Kamavadhani belonged to East Godavari and the very village which he belonged to was also included in Bhagavan's programme. That is how Bhagavan plans. Bhagavan thought, "This man has not gone to his village, let him go to his people and spend some time." Bhagavan took him along with Him straight to his house. Everybody received them and Swami gave a nice talk also there. At the end of it, the children, grandchildren came to Sri Kamavadhani and said, "You have come after a long time, spend a couple of days with us and then join Bhagavan." This man said, "Nothing doing, I am leaving right now. I am following Bhagavan in His trip to East Godavari district. I am not going to stay here." Then he followed Bhagavan.

G.V. And what did Swami say?

A.K. Swami was just watching the drama and appreciated the devotion of Sri Kamavadhani. Having gone all the way to his house, Sri Kamavadhani had no regrets that he did not stay for more than a day or so, even less than that.

G.V. I heard he lived for one hundred years.

A.K. Yes, he was over hundred at the time of his death. Everyday, he used to report to Swami, both in the morning and evening, and Swami would grant him Padanamaskar. One day, Swami told him, "Go home, you don't have to see Me in the afternoon." He went home, did Puja, had his food and breathed his last. That is why Bhagavan didn't want him to come again. That too happened on the day he performed Sita Rama Kalyanam in the Mandir. Having performed the Divine wedding in accordance with Vedic injunctions, having had a sumptuous lunch, sitting comfortably, he left his mortal coil.

G.V. Well, I think, I can go on and on. But you must be tired. Let us stop at this point.

Courtesy: Radio Sai Global Harmony Prasanthi Nilayam

SOURCED: Sanathana Sarathi July 2004 Page Nos 198 to 203