The Odd Devotees
‘D’, a middle aged lady, working as an assistant professor in a women’s college heard about Yogi Ramsuratkumar in the mid of 1980’s. She was in search of saintly persons, who could initiate her into divinity. She had been regularly visiting several holy places, mutts and ashrams. She came across Tiruvannamalai and Maharishi Ramana. She was attracted by Ramana’s life and teachings. She visited Tiruvannamalai and she was able to feel the divine vibrations at Tiruvannamalai. She started visiting Tiruvannamalai regularly. There at Ramanashram she had the acquaintance with some of the devotees of Ramana. She expressed her desire to see a living saint like Ramakrishna and Ramana. Her friends at Ramanashram told her about Yogi Ramsuratkumar. She went to Sannathi Street House and saw Yogi. She got attracted by Yogi’s spiritual splendor. In the beginning, she used to visit Yogi during every weekend. In due course her devotion towards Yogi intensified. She was awestruck on seeing Yogi’s oneness with his Supreme Father, God. She developed a desire to remain with Yogi constantly to become one with Yogi. For her becoming one with Yogi was equal to become one with God. She was then not able to resist her desire to see Yogi and be with Yogi for ever. Her colleague as well as her friend also became a devotee of Yogi. One more lady from Chennai also joined the group. All the three were spinsters.
All those friends decided to build a small house for them at Tiruvannamalai so that they could stay whenever they visited Tiruvannamalai to see Yogi. They sought permission from Yogi and Yogi gave them his consent to build a house in Ramana Nagar. The friends had close associations with Ramanashram. D’s friend in Ramanashram arranged one building contractor to help her purchase a housing plot in Ramananagar and build a house for the friends. The building contractor built a small, beautiful house for them. Yogi attended the house warming function. Yogi also named the house.
In the meantime a physician from Thrissur in Kerala state became a devotee of Yogi. He had a great passion for the Vedas. Yogi appreciated his passion for the Vedas and the physician became very close to Yogi. The physician, a Bangalore based devotee of Anandashram and the ladies all formed a group. During the early 1990’s this group frequently visited Yogi at Tiruvannamalai together and Yogi spared a lot of time for the group. The group would stay with Yogi for a few days and then they would disperse to their respective places.
In 1993, ‘D’ who became the physical caretaker of Yogi later, wanted to get the voluntary retirement from the college she was working, to stay in Tiruvannamalai to serve Yogi and attain salvation. She expressed her desire to Yogi one day. Yogi got annoyed and said, “No, you should not do that.” But she was adamant. There was a gathering of the group at Tiruvannamalai. Yogi requested the physician to counsel her not to resign the job.
The physician tried to counsel her, but ‘D’ was adamant. The physician went to the extent of threatening ‘D’ that once she came to Tiruvannamalai Yogi would even not allow her to see him. ‘D’ told that if that happened she would be staying alone in Tiruvannamalai remembering Yogi’s name all the time and attain salvation. Her conviction was so strong and nobody could shake her. Finally she got voluntary retirement from her job and came to live in Tiruvannamalai.
Spiritual sadhana could be done even while doing one’s work, Yogi told ‘D’. To some devotees Yogi suggested to live in Tiruvannamalai to do sadhana and to some other devotees Yogi clearly suggested to stay in their places and do sadhana by chanting guru mantra. Yogi knew the limitation of every individual and according to their limitations Yogi would suggest different ways to them to attain God Realisation. But, alas, only a few devotees could listen to Yogi. Most of the devotees were not able to receive Yogi’s grace and be benefited. If those people were able to listen and obey Yogi without any hesitation or doubt, they would have attained God Realisation. Alas, due to their ignorance and disobedience, they were able to earn only the egoistic piousness that made them imitating the great master Yogi Ramsuratkumar. Reverence and disobedience to the guru cannot go together, says Swami Chidanandh of Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh.
Yogi suggested some people to come and live in Tiruvannamalai. The people too had come and live in Tiruvannamalai. But after the mahasamadhi of Yogi, the people got vexed and would ask themselves in disarray, why Yogi had asked them to come and live in Tiruvannamalai. Such doubting devotees were always grumbling inside, but hiding themselves behind their superficial reverence. They pretended as if they had done great sacrifice for the sake of Yogi. But in due course most of the people would run away from Tiruvannamalai unable to withstand the hardship of life. The rest of the people would preach and do unnecessary religious rituals to while away the time. They would drag their guru’s name, as if their guru wanted them to do all those things. In all the possible ways they would try to show the world by their childish attitudes that they had become the gurus. J.Krishnamurti rightly talked about such so-called gurus, “The gurus destroy the disciples and the disciples destroy the gurus.” In a way Yogi arranged this drama to teach people how one shouldn’t live.
The attempts to possess Yogi by some devotees brought them the fall from the path of dharma, the righteous way of life. The fall prevented them to enter into the sphere of God. They got frightened, when they found that they were not able to live a spiritual life. However they would like to protect their social and spiritual image before the public. They would hide themselves behind the religious rituals. They would feel secure in the rituals. Those rituals made them behave with authority and the authority became the root cause for their fall. Their indifferent, immature attitudes affected the whole atmosphere breeding divisions and destructions.
Nowadays every religious institution, by their authoritarian heads, apart from the saintly persons in whose name everything revolves, have been cultivating violence, by breeding authority and conflicts, rather than the wisdom and devotion towards Lord. Where there is love, how could there be authority? Authority has no role to play in a saint’s place and in a saintly person, because authority divides, authority breeds violence and authority cultivates fear. Authority searches for security too. Out of fear, it tries to possess everything, including God with the help of rituals. The real devotees do not have fear. God is not for a coward either. The real devotees find it easy to transcend the religious rituals and near God by the grace of Guru. Rituals strengthen the ego of authoritarian people and in due course it will be the cause for their downfall. God and guru are one and the same. Guru is the personification of God, Love and Compassion. God could not be attained through authority and rituals. God never demands rituals. Love needs no rituals. Guru needs no rituals. The real sadhakas too do not need to do any rituals to remember their Guru.
The spiritual masters always radiate their harmonious blessings, which alleviate the sufferings of the sincere devotees. The spiritual masters shower their blessings on the earnest devotees. They lead the serious aspirants on the right royal path towards God, not through any religious rituals, but in spite of them. Such devotees have no fear and they never expect anything from anybody. They would never try to accumulate anything, name, fame or wealth. They would never come in public gaze, proclaiming themselves as devotees or sadhakas. They would always like to be incognito and remain in solitude. They would attempt to merge themselves with their guru with all seriousness, eradicating the self through their earnest penance. Once they merge with their guru, they would lead such a simple life that would never reveal their real state of being. They dedicate their lives to the mission of their guru without anybody’s notice. The very sight of such great souls brings joy and serenity in one’s heart. The presence of such great souls would help the real sadhakas to go on the right path to reach God safely. Such great souls are the lighthouses for the humanity. They attempt to eradicate the sufferings of the common people. They guide the serious sadhakas on the right path towards God and they are always helpful to balance the whole existence.
Yogi Ramsuratkumar, during the physician’s visit in the late 1993, asked Janardhanan to take the physician to show the ashram land. The physician saw the ashram land with Janardhanan and his team. He expressed his dissatisfaction about the land. He was also dissatisfied with the plan of Sri Padmanabha Iyer. According to the vastu sastra, the land and the plan were not good, he said. He explained his observations to Yogi. Yogi asked him what could be done. The doctor told him that he would go back to his place and consult some Vedic pundits there to make a fresh plan to offset the deficiencies according to the vastu in the ashram land. Yogi gave his consent and informed Janardhanan to wait till the doctor sent the new plan for the ashram. It disgusted Janardhanan.
Janardhanan found very expensive in staying in the Sivakasi Nadar Chatram for days together. He requested Yogi to permit him to build a small cottage in the ashram land for his stay. Yogi asked him whether he wanted to stay permanently in the ashram complex for which Janardhanan replied that he did not have the proposal to stay in the ashram permanently. On hearing Janardhanan, Yogi refused to give him permission to build a cottage for him. Janardhanan was disappointed. Yogi was observing Janardhanan’s tiredness in working for the ashram with Yogi. Out of great compassion for Janardhanan, Yogi started creating situations for Janardhanan, so that he could muster courage to leave and give way to others to work for the ashram.
Even after the ashram land had been purchased, Yogi was staying in the Sannathi Street house. Sashi, the personal assistant of Yogi, would exactly at 10 Am spread the mat for the master in the verandah of the Sannathi Street house. Yogi would come out from the inner chamber and would occupy his seat at 10 o’ clock. Then Yogi would enquire Sashi whether any of the old recognized devotees were waiting outside. Sashi knew almost all the devotees of Yogi and would inform Yogi about the arrival of the devotees. Yogi would instruct Sashi to allow ‘D’ first inside and then other known devotees. Then Sashi would allow the other devotees who had been standing in a long line in the Sannathi Street to come inside the verandah one by one to have the glimpse of Yogi and get his blessings. At 12 noon, Yogi would allow the devotees sitting around him to disperse and would ask Sashi to tell the devotees standing outside to come in the evening for 4 o’ clock session.
One day when Sashi called ‘D’ to get into the verandah, she was talking with some other friend and did not notice Sashi’s call. A lot of people were waiting in the line to have the darshan of Yogi and it was getting late. Sashi raised his voice and ‘D’ saw him calling her. She rushed towards the gate. Sashi told her that when she had come to Swami, her attention should be on Swami, because Swami was waiting to start his session. Sashi told this when ‘D’ was among the crowd. She felt hurt. After some time, ‘D’ complained to Yogi about Sashi’s ‘rude’ behavior towards her and said that Sashi was very angry with her.
Yogi asked Sashi repeatedly in a joking voice whether he was angry. Sashi did not reply, felt shy and was sitting near the gate. Later, when Sashi was alone with Yogi inside the house, Yogi told him that ‘D’ was a highly qualified college professor and she wanted Sashi to respect her before the crowd and so let Sashi treat her with respect. Sashi explained why he had to raise his voice. Yogi listened to him carefully and again repeated that ‘D’ wanted respect be given to her before the crowd and let Sashi give the same to her. Saying this Yogi laughed. Sashi immediately apologised, but Yogi told that he had not done any mistake. After a long pause Yogi repeated that ‘D’ wanted Sashi to respect her before the crowd and let him do it. Sashi also laughed and said that he would do it.
On 23rd November 1993, Yogi had a high fever. During the evening session, Yogi went inside the house. Even after a long time he had not come back. So, Sashi went inside and he saw Yogi was lying in unconscious state in the toilet. He called Yogi several times, but Yogi was not responding. He was afraid. He rushed to the verandah and called ‘D’ inside. ‘D’ went inside and saw Yogi lying down in the toilet. She also called Yogi several times, but Yogi did not respond. She could feel that Yogi had a high fever. She gently handled the situation. She sprinkled water and revived Yogi. As soon as Yogi got up, ‘D’ told that she should be permitted to stay with him to look after him. Yogi told that he was all right and there was no need for her help. ‘D’ insisted that either Yogi should come to her house or she should be permitted to stay with Yogi, as Yogi needed medical assistance and physical help. Yogi finally accepted to come to her house. Sashi informed Janardhanan about Yogi’s sickness and Janardhanan rushed there by his car and took both Yogi and ‘D’ by the car to the latter’s house.
As soon as they reached D’s house, she called the physician of Kerala over phone and explained the situation. The doctor started immediately from Kerala and reached Tiruvannamalai to examine and treat Yogi. The lady did not want to convey the details of the sickness of Yogi and about the treatment given to Yogi to Janardhanan, who was the then life trustee of Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust. In fact, ‘D’ didn’t want the devotees to know about the sickness of Yogi’s physical frame. She was telling Janardhanan that the physician from Kerala treated Yogi and so there was no need for any medical arrangements from Janardhanan. She also informed Janardhanan that Yogi had transferred his entire Yogic power to her in the previous night. ‘D’ believed that the spiritual power could be transferred and Yogi had passed his power on her. She imagined that she had attained Yogi’s power. People believed the power transfer story, but Yogi did not say anything about this.
Yogi wanted people to do sadhana tirelessly. Yogi would bless the devotees and the blessings would enable the seeking souls to do sadhana sincerely. Yogi would pour his grace in his own mysterious ways by seeing the seekers, touching them, giving them something as prasadams, saying enthralling and encouraging words to them and remembering them. The grace of Yogi transforms the seekers and devotees.
Throughout his life Yogi preached the value of sadhana. Yogi emphasised to do sadhana by remembering God’s (guru’s) name constantly and live a simple life devoid of fear and duplicity. Remembering God is the only way to erase all human problems and sorrows, Yogi explained. Yogi’s teaching is to erase the self and not to strengthen the self with some titles and power. Without doing sadhana one could never attain salvation, Yogi preached. One should try to renounce one’s self and its possessions and remember God’s Name constantly to attain God. Accumulating or possessing something would bring down the sadhakas and it would become very difficult to recover from the fall. Without surrendering to the guru’s will recovery would become impossible.
Yogi reached the ultimate wholeness, the state of God only after great struggles and painful experiences. He burnt himself in the fire of total renunciation. He left his beautiful family and prestigious Head Master job in a high school. He wandered like a beggar in search of God. Even though he was protected by the grace of his Guru Swami Ramdas, he had to struggle and suffer to attain his Supreme Father. His Guru Swami Ramdas snatched everything from him and threw him away in the wilderness of the world without any support or help. His guru didn’t allow him to have safe shelter and assured food either in an ashram or in a devotee’s place. He had to beg for his food. It was very hard for him to find a place to sleep. There was no roof to protect him from the hot Sun, cold and rain. There was no assurance for the food. He went without food for many days continuously. He was offered simple food with love occasionally by the so called downtrodden people. His dwelling places were mostly the dreaded graveyards or the remote caves in the jungle. In all the circumstances, he always remembered his guru and he accepted the sufferings as if they were bestowed by God himself. He was never in search of comforts, titles or powers. His search was focused only towards God. He least bothered about the physical comforts and conveniences. Once he attained the wholeness of God, all the name, fame and comforts came to him, but still he was untouched by them, least bothered about them. He was with his Father eternally.
Quite the contrary, there are some people around great mahatmas expecting the mahatmas to transfer their power to them so that they could be popular. A small gesture from the mahatmas would make them imagine that the mahatmas have transferred their yogic power to them. Their imagination would corrupt and dilute their aspiration for God. Actually the grace of mahatmas transforms the aspirants’ life and encourages them to renounce everything they possess. The aspirants learn by the grace of guru, how to be alone and how to intensify their sadhana. Only by the grace of guru, they could constantly remember their guru. The grace reaches to those who are befitting for coming out of their fear, pains and problems and searching for the eternal peace and joy. The Mahatmas like our Yogi, taught people throughout their lives the value of renunciation and constant remembrance of guru. The people do not understand such a simple and direct teaching. The selfish people misread the words of Yogi. Out of their over ambitious nature, they believe some fanciful theory that they have attained God Realisation and are eligible for the reverence of the simpletons. They propagate their spiritual wholeness (?) among the simpletons, who would believe them and revere them. Poor beings, they are able to win over the simpletons’ devotion but lose the protection of Guru. Such people are always in fear and they would go on doing several rituals to protect their image and social dignity. Such is the story of the present day so called gurus and teachers. These are all part of the leela of Lord.
Yogi stayed in D’s house and gave darshan. The devotees came to that house, which was nearby the ashram site. For a couple of months Yogi gave darshan in that house. Yogi told the devotees that ‘D’ was sent by Father to look after his physical frame. Yogi Ramsuratkumar was a man of gratitude. Yogi would never forget throughout his life even a small help rendered by a friend. The friend might have offered tea, coffee or some other needs of Yogi a few times. One would wonder on seeing Yogi’s expression of gratitude to those people. It was amazing, but still one would feel shy to receive Yogi’s abundant praising words of gratitude. Yogi’s memory was remarkable and he used to remember those helps he received from various people at various places on various occasions.
But there were some people who wanted Yogi all the time to praise and glorify them before the crowd of the devotees so that they would get popularity and got their ego satisfied. Yogi fulfilled their desires too by praising them abundantly. Yogi’s blessings and grace were always there, showering from his very being, but there were only a few, who could receive his grace in abundance, get transformation and start doing spiritual sadhana to reach the destination, God. The people, who seemed to be not close to Yogi, got the transformation by the magic touch of Yogi in a few meetings and the people, who lived under his very shadow for years together, were not able to receive his grace. Rightly Papa Ramdas once told Yogi that a big tree could not grow under another big tree, thorny bushes and grass alone could grow beneath a big tree.
Yogi gave darshan in D’s house at Ramana Nagar regularly. ‘D’ wanted Yogi to stay in her house permanently. As usual morning 10 to 12 and evening 4 to 6, the darshan time was fixed. The devotees thronged D’s house to see their beloved guru. ‘D’ and her friends imposed several conditions on the devotees to see Yogi and get his blessings. The devotees, who had the easy access to Yogi previously at the Sannathi Street house, got irritated and some of them vociferously expressed their protests against ‘D’ and her friends. One of the associates of ‘D’ used harsh language against the devotees standing in front of their house. She got the retaliation from the crowd. She went inside and complained to Yogi. Yogi came out of the house and told the devotees that he was living in other’s house and so he had to adhere to the rules and conditions of his host. The devotees also, Yogi requested, should behave in total discipline. Then there was calm among the devotees.
In the meantime Janardhanan, the life trustee of Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust made elaborate arrangements to celebrate Yogi’s jayanti function in the ashram land. He built two temporary thatched roofing structures, where Yogi and the devotees could sit and have their food. Yogi visited ashram regularly because of the request of Janardhanan. ‘D’ who took charge of Yogi’s physical frame did not like Yogi visiting the ashram daily. She made complaints to Janardhanan that whenever Yogi visited ashram, Yogi became sick. So, she requested Janardhanan not to invite Yogi to the ashram. D’s attitude irritated Janardhanan. He wondered how Yogi could tolerate D’s possessive nature.
Janardhanan made elaborate arrangements and celebrated the jayanti function in the ashram with the huge congregation of the devotees. Yogi came to the ashram and spent considerable time with the devotees. The devotees felt immense joy and there was bliss. ‘D’ told Janardhanan that he should not insist Yogi to take his meals in the ashram as the food prepared in the ashram was not suitable for Yogi’s health. The way she expressed her idea again irritated Janardhanan and he politely told her that let Yogi decide about that. Yogi took his food at the ashram. Yogi also took a little food from ‘D’, who brought the food from her house. Yogi requested Janardhanan to mix the remaining of the food brought by ‘D’ with the food prepared in the ashram.
Yogi Ramsuratkumar, sensing Janardhanan’s irritation and his passion to return to his family and business, created harsh situations for Janardhanan. Yogi once asked Janardhanan to take ‘D’ instead of Yogi to start some work at the ashram and to give due respect to her. It shocked Janardhanan. His negative feelings for ‘D’ got strengthened, but he was not able to protest openly to Yogi. He was grumbling. But he did what Yogi wanted him to do. Janardhanan took ‘D’ to the ashram, garlanded her and prostrated before her. ‘D’ did not protest or agitate, but proudly accepted Janardhanan’s treatment.
Yogi gave Janardhanan a photo of Yogi and ‘D’ together, which had been printed, framed and offered by a devotee to Yogi, to fix it in the ashram. Yogi also told him that if anybody objected to fix it in the ashram, he should inform Yogi. The photo was wrapped up and Yogi had not seen the photo. Janardhanan brought the photo to the ashram and explained to the friends about Yogi’s instructions. Parthasarathy told that he objected to fix the photo in the ashram and Janardhanan could tell the same to Yogi. But Janardhanan could not go and complain to Yogi about Parthasarathy as he too did not like the photo to be fixed in the ashram. After a few days Yogi enquired Janardhanan what happened to the photo. Janardhanan replied that somebody objected to fix the photo in the ashram.
The next day Janardhanan and his friends visited Yogi at the Sudama house to discuss the ashram matters. Yogi beckoned Parthasarathy to sit near Yogi and told him, “Parthasarathy, this beggar gave a photo to Janardhanan to fix it in the ashram. He told this beggar that somebody objected. Will you help this beggar? You bring the photo when you visit this beggar in the evening.” While saying these words, Yogi was all in joy and showered his love on Parthasarathy. In the evening, when Parthasarathy brought the photo, Yogi enquired ‘D’, “What shall we do with this? Shall we give this burden to Makarand?” Makarand was a devotee from Delhi and had great adoration for Yogi as well as ‘D’. He was there among the devotees. Makarand on hearing Yogi’s words said that it was his privilege to receive the photo from Yogi. Yogi passed on the photo to Makarand.
In 1993, December first week, ‘D’ received a letter from her mother at Madurai. D’s mother informed through the letter that she was seriously ill and wanted to see her daughter. ‘D’ told Yogi about the letter. Yogi asked her whether she wanted to see her mother. ‘D’ replied that she did not have the inclination to see her mother. Yogi told that mother was sick and she wanted to see her daughter and the daughter should oblige the mother. But ‘D’ refused to visit her mother. Suddenly Yogi suggested to ‘D’ that Yogi too would come to Madurai to see her mother. On seeing that Yogi resolved to take her to Madurai, ‘D’ could not say anything.
Yogi took ‘D’ to Sivakasi Nadar Chatram, where Rajakumari Murugeshan and her friends Rathika and others stayed. They had come to Tiruvannamalai to attend Yogi’s jayanti celebrations. Yogi told Rajakumari about their plan to go to Madurai to see D’s mother. Yogi requested Rajakumari to allow Yogi to use her car and the driver Vembu. Yogi also requested to send Senthil, Rajakumari’s son with Yogi and also Rathika as Rajakumari was not healthy enough to travel such a long distance by car. Rajakumari with all joy offered her car and her son in the service of Yogi.
Yogi, ‘D’ and Rathika were in the rear seat of the big contessa car and Senthil was in the front seat with the driver. The group started their journey on 3rd December in the night around 9.30. On the way Yogi enquired whether they crossed Tapovanam, when exactly they were crossing Tapovanam. Again Yogi was enquiring whether they had crossed Gandhigramam, when they exactly were crossing Gandhigramam. At the entrance of Madurai, Yogi exclaimed that there Thilakavathi (an ardent devotee of Yogi) was living.
At last they reached D’s mother’s house at 4 am. It was a small house and was in bad shape. D’s elder sister, a widow, was living with her mother, who was very sick lying down in a cot. On seeing ‘D’ with Yogi, the mother cried. Yogi sat beside her on the cot. Yogi caught hold of the mother’s hand and consoled her. D’s mother was moved on seeing the compassion of Yogi and was crying again. Yogi blessed her saying that Father would look after her.
‘D’ asked Senthil to wait in the car. Rathika had fever then and so ‘D’ asked her to take rest in the other room. In the meantime, she told her sister to prepare coffee for all. Yogi offered some money to D’s mother and also presented a lot of woolen shawls, which had been brought from Tiruvannamalai. The whole group had their breakfast in the house prepared by D’s sister. After breakfast the group left for Tiruvannamalai around 9 am.
At that time, there was a severe cyclone crossing the coast and due to its effect, there was torrential rain on the way back to Tiruvannamalai. On the way D repeatedly requested Yogi to stop the fury of the wind and rain by using his yogic power, to which Yogi did not respond. All the time Yogi was enjoying the situation. There were several road blocks due to the fall of huge trees on the road. The hurricane wind and the torrential rain worsened the things. There was also a heavy traffic jam. The driver and Senthil struggled a lot to drive through water logged roads and traffic congestion. It took 17 hours for them to reach Tiruvannamalai back. It was around 2 am the next day they reached Tiruvannamalai. ‘D’ asked Rajakumari and Rathika not to reveal about the trip to anybody and they should keep it a secret.
Within a few days after the trip to Madurai, Parthasarathy reached Tiruvannamalai. In the meantime Rajakumari and her friends went back to their places. Parthasarathy then used to drive for Yogi. One day Parthasarathy drove Yogi and the ladies to the ashram from ‘D’s house. After Yogi got down from the car at the ashram, Parthasarathy parked the car outside and was standing near it. Suddenly a devotee, Sri Ramamurti came running and told Parthasarathy that Yogi wanted him immediately. Parthasarathy went to Yogi and Yogi made him to sit near him. Yogi showered his love and compassion on Parthasarathy. There were more than 200 devotees sitting in front of Yogi. Suddenly Yogi told in a high tone, “Thank you Parthasarathy. Without your permission this beggar took Rathika to such a far away place Madurai. This beggar asked Rathika whether she should ask permission from you to accompany this beggar. But she said you won’t tell anything if this beggar takes her. Thank you, Parthasarathy.” ‘D’ was just sitting near. She became pale and grim.
In 1994, January 1st, the devotees of Anandashram from Madras came to Tiruvannamalai to do Nama japam, chanting Ram nam “Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram” at Oya Madam. Sri Rangarajan was leading the group. Sri Rangarajan used to call himself ‘Sadhu’ Rangarajan. He had his own organization and was publishing a spiritual magazine ‘Tattva Darshan’. Sri Rangarajan invited Yogi to Oya Madam to bless the devotees chanting Ram nam on the New Year Day. Yogi informed Janardhanan and his friends about the program. Yogi requested the friends to bring the car to the ‘D’s house in the early morning 5 o’ clock to take Yogi and the ladies to Oya Madam.
Parthasarathy used to drive the car for Yogi. Raghunath, the auditor would come in his car from Pondichery and as soon as he reached Tiruvannamalai he would hand over the car to Parthasarathy, who should use it for Yogi exclusively. Parthasarathy would not allow anybody to sit in the car as it was being used by Yogi.
Exactly 5 o’ clock in the morning, Janardhanan and his friends reached the Sudama house in two cars. On hearing the car engine’s sound, Yogi himself came out of the house. The friends prostrated before Yogi and Yogi greeted them by saying “Happy New Year.” Yogi was in a great joy. The friends also greeted Yogi by saying “Happy New Year.” Yogi and the ladies got into the Ambassador car, which Parthasarathy drove and the other friends got into Janardhanan’s Maruthi van. Both the cars moved slowly towards Oya Madam.
Yogi was telling Parthasarathy that the devotees of Anandashram from Madras invited Yogi to be there exactly 5 o’ clock in the morning and Parthasarathy came on the right time. The cars reached Oya Madam. Yogi and others got down from the cars. There was none to receive Yogi in the gate. Janardhanan and the friends took Yogi and the ladies inside, where the Ram nam chanting had to be done, but there also nobody was there to receive Yogi. There were some mats on the floor and Yogi occupied one of the mats and the ladies sat near Yogi.
Within a few minutes the organiser Sri Rangarajan came there and greeted Yogi. The friends took leave from Yogi as they had some work in the ashram. Yogi asked the friends to come in the evening to take Yogi and others back to ‘D’s house. The friends said that they would come in the evening. On their way back to the cars, Sri Rangarajan’s daughter presented some copies of the magazine “Tattva Darshan” edited by her father Sri Rangarajan.
Parthasarathy happened to see an article, “The Eternal Slave” in the magazine, authored by Sri Rangarajan. In the article, the author Sri Rangarajan was narrating ‘D’ as the eternal slave to Yogi Ramsuratkumar. He wrote in the article glorifying and flattering ‘D’ comparing her with the Goddesses. He also wrote in that article that Yogi had fallen down on seeing the love of ‘D’. On reading the lines, the friends, particularly Parthasarathy, got upset and shocked. The friends also got annoyed with the author of the article.
In the evening, the friends reached Oya Madam to take Yogi back to the Sudama house. Yogi told the friends that Yogi wanted to stay for the night in the Oya Madam with the devotees of Anandashram from Madras. During the night and the next whole day, Yogi asked the devotees to go through the article ‘The Eternal Slave’ repeatedly. Yogi asked every devotee to read the article loudly and asked for the devotee’s opinion on the article. Everybody praised the author and the article, as it were the work of Yogi Himself. Yogi was all the time laughing and laughing and making fun of the words of the devotees.
The next day also Yogi stayed in the Oya Madam with the devotees. The whole day and night were spent in reading the article again and again by everyone gathered there, repeating several times by Yogi’s instructions. On the third day, Yogi told the friends that Yogi would leave Oya Madam in the evening. Parthasarathy parked the car in front of the gate of the Oya Madam in the noon around 3 o’ clock and was waiting for Yogi, sitting in the verandah.
In the meantime a young devotee called Parthiban from Aruppukottai, wanted to take Yogi in his new car to the Sudama house. Yogi asked Parthiban to see whether Parthasarathy was ready with the car. Parthiban told Yogi that the trust people might be busy with their work and his car was ready to take Yogi to the ‘D’s house. He also expressed his desire to take Yogi in his car and to drive for Yogi. But Yogi told Parthiban to go and see whether the car Yogi used was ready.
Parthiban came out and saw the car with Parthasarathy was ready. He requested Parthasarathy that he wanted to take Yogi in his car. So he asked Parthasarathy to move away the car from the gate so that he could park his car just in front of the gate. On seeing the young devotee’s aspiration, Parthasarathy moved and started the car to park it somewhere else to facilitate the young devotee’s car to be parked before the gate. But Raghunath, the car owner objected and insisted Parthasarathy that Yogi should use only his car. It was an awkward situation for Parthasarathy. Parthiban went inside and informed Yogi that both the cars were ready. Parthiban prayed to Yogi that he should be given an opportunity to take Yogi in his car. Yogi replied that he would go in any car, which was driven by Parthasarathy. On hearing this Parthiban came running to Parthasarathy and requested him to drive his car so that his car would get the privilege of taking Yogi. But Raghunath insisted that Parthasarathy should drive only his car. It was again so awkward for Parthasarathy and he requested pardon from Parthiban.
Yogi came around 7 o’ clock in the evening and got into the car. Parthasarathy drove the car to the Sudama house. Yogi enquired Parthasarathy, on the way, how many hours he was waiting for Yogi. Parthasarathy replied that he was waiting for Yogi for more than 4 hours. Yogi enquired where he sat all the time. Parthasarathy replied that he was sitting in the verandah of Oya Madam. Yogi exclaimed to ‘D’, “Parthasarathy was waiting for this beggar for more than four hours, sitting in one place.” Yogi paused for a few minutes. Yogi patted Parthasarathy’s back with all compassion. Parthasarathy was driving the car silently. Yogi suddenly said to ‘D’, “We are all safe in the hands of Parthasarathy!”
Anyhow, the devotion of Parthiban got rewarded by Yogi in later years. Parthiban’s family donated the car to the ashram later for the exclusive use of Yogi. He was also later blessed with several opportunities to drive Yogi in the car as well as in the new van bought by the ashram administration.
On 5th January 1994, Janardhanan and the other friends had to visit Yogi Ramsuratkumar at the Sudama house to discuss about ashram matters. They did not want to disturb the regular session 10 to 12 in the morning. So, they went to the Sudama house after 12 in the noon during which time Yogi would have relieved the devotees. One of the ladies happened to see the group and informed Yogi about the arrival of the friends. Yogi immediately asked her to let them in. The friends got inside the house and saw a lot of people. They were the devotees of Anandashram, came from Madras under the leadership of Rangarajan, the author of the article “The Eternal Slave”, to chant Ram nam at Oya Madam on the previous day. Yogi asked the friends to sit in the corner of the verandah.
Yogi suddenly stood up and walked a few times in the room up and down. Yogi picked up the book Tattva Darshan in his hand and selected the page where the article ‘The Eternal Slave’ was printed. Yogi asked Janardhanan first to come, stand up and read the article. Yogi stood before Janardhanan, with a stick in his hand rising upwards as if he was about to beat Janardhanan. Janardhanan read the article. After that Yogi asked Parthasarathy to read the article in the same manner. Parthasarathy did not like the article, but anyhow he had to read the article as Yogi wanted him to read it loudly. He started reading and whichever portion he did not like, he would read that portion still louder and would see Yogi intensely. Yogi on seeing Parthasarathy would lower his hand with the stick and would laugh. Parthasarathy finished the reading.
Yogi again walked up and down for a few minutes in the room and suddenly asked Parthasarathy, who was still standing in the same place, “Parthasarathy, is the article alright?” Parthasarathy instantly responded, “No, Swami”. There was a dreaded silence and the situation became very tense and grim. Yogi became very serious and sat in his seat. Yogi beckoned Parthasarathy to sit before him and asked him why he did not like the article. Parthasarathy replied how a sadhu could write such an article that a great mahatma had fallen down on seeing the love of some ladies. Yogi said that every word in the article was uttered by him. Parthasarathy immediately asked Yogi, “Is this the way a sadhu should interpret the words of a great Yogi?”
Parthasarathy became very emotional and vent out all his feelings about the article as he was provoked by Yogi. Parthasarathy told that Yogi was never partial. For him, the ladies, Parthasarathy all were one and the same. Yogi loved all. He was all. He was pure. He was God and God could never fall down. The open discussion continued for more than an hour. Finally Yogi asked him, “Parthasarathy, if you do not like the article, then you write an article commenting this article.” Parthasarathy replied, “Yes Swami, I will write an article, but who will publish it?” Yogi replied, “Parthasarathy, this beggar will beg Rangarajan to publish your article. So, you write an article.” Parthasarathy said that he would write an article against the article “The Eternal Slave”. Then Yogi asked Parthasarathy to go and sit where he had sat earlier.
Yogi got up and again walked up and down for a few minutes. Then Yogi started enquiring every devotee sitting there, “What you think of this beggar? Is he a sinner? Has this beggar fallen down?” The devotees got bewildered and gave different sort of replies. The devotees, who were glorifying the article for the past two days, got the message from Yogi. One devotee told that Yogi was in such a great height and he could never fall down. Yogi instantly replied that if one slipped from the height, one’s bones would all get broken. Another devotee, when he was enquired by Yogi with the same question, he became highly emotional and started weeping. Yogi was ruthless and commented, “Ramamurti weeps on seeing this beggar’s fall.” Finally Yogi asked the same question to Parthasarathy, who replied, “It is a wrong question Swami!” On listening Parthasarathy’s answer, Yogi again became cool down and went back to his seat. Yogi again called Parthasarathy near him and got hold of Parthasarathy’s hands. Yogi requested, “Parthasarathy, the author of the article has some respectability in the society. Let us not disturb it. We need not write an article, Parthasarathy.” Parthasarathy said yes.
Anyhow later days Yogi had to request one of his devotees Smt.Anuradha to write an article in ‘The Mountain Path’ (a Ramanashram magazine) commenting Rangarajan’s article ‘The Eternal Slave’. Yogi personally requested the editor of the magazine, Sri V.Ganeshan to publish the article. The article was published in ‘The Mountain Path’, in the same year 1994. In the article Smt.Anuradha criticised harshly Sri.Rangarajan’s article ‘The Eternal Slave’.
One may wonder why Yogi wanted to retaliate to Rangarajan’s article. The article of Rangarajan projected ‘D’ as a favorite devotee of Yogi as well as a Goddess. The article disturbed and confused the real sadhakas and devotees. The sadhakas and devotees were confused whether they had to treat ‘D’ as the successor of Yogi or Yogi’s favorite devotee. The great souls like Yogi were to remove the confusion and doubts from the sadhakas and not to be a reason for the confusion and doubts. So, Yogi had to act harshly and indicate the sadhakas that Yogi was ever one with his Father and he never meant to project anybody as his successor or favorite devotee. Yogi saw his Father in everybody and in everything. He was not biased or partial. He loves all and his compassion reaches everyone. Doubting his love and compassion for all is a sin.
The whole episode was conducted by Yogi Ramsuratkumar with such a beauty and grace to show and educate the devotees not to comment and compare guru’s actions and words. Guru’s works are always focused on individuals in unique way, beyond one’s comprehension. One need not understand the ways of guru, but one should not be a hindrance to guru’s work by commenting and attempting to degrade the guru.
In the meantime Anjaneyalu, the founder of Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust, built a small but beautiful thatched roofed building. It was granite walled with black stone flooring, facing east. He built the building with his own money after obtaining Yogi’s permission. The roof was made with the grass grown in the Holy Arunachala Hill. That small first ever building was named as “Darshan Mandir”. Yogi gave darshan in this new building daily, as usual in the morning 10 to 12 and in the evening 4 to 6.
In the meantime the physician from Kerala had consulted a good architect Ravi at Trichur and designed a huge hall, having a length of 350 feet and breadth of 150 feet in the centre. The doom in the front entrance was designed like a Lotus flower. The height of the building would be more than 50 feet. The building facing the holy hill, towards north would cost a few crores of rupees.
Later, the architect Ravi told that when he prepared the plan, he had no hope that such a huge building could be built. But when the plan was handed over to Yogi by the physician, Yogi appreciated and approved the plan. Yogi called Janardhanan and showed him the plan. On seeing the massiveness of the building, Janardhanan got fear. He thought to collect a few lakhs of rupees he had to spend a few months traveling all over Tamilnadu state and to collect a few crores of rupees, it would be impossible or would take his entire life time. He was all the time grumbling and could not discuss openly with Yogi, who was always crowded by ‘D’ and her friends.
One day, he mustered courage and told Yogi that he wanted to talk to Yogi confidentially. Yogi took him to a lonely place. Janardhanan vented out his feelings and said that he could not go to places to collect the required money. Yogi immediately responded that Janardhanan need not go anywhere to collect the money and Yogi would beg money from the friends to complete the building. Yogi enquired Janardhanan whether he could promise to be with Yogi for another ten years, till the completion of the building. Janardhanan promised. Yogi also told Janardhanan that he should not bother about any other thing and should concentrate on completing the ashram building. Yogi was to play a different leela and so he came to the Sudama house, Yogi told Janardhanan.