Construction of the Ashram and Documents
Yogi wanted to start the construction work on the same day the new trustees were chosen, according to the new plan. Yogi asked the new trustee Smt.Prabha’s husband Sundaraman, who was an Engineer and another new trustee Mani to make arrangements for the Bhoomi Puja to start the construction work. Sundaraman and Mani made arrangements for the bhoomi puja. The new trustees marked the place, where they should start the construction work. They arranged everything for the bhoomi puja within a few minutes after Janardhanan resigned from the Trust. They completed the preliminary works and informed Yogi that everything was ready for the Puja. Yogi went to the particular place and dug the soil as a token of starting the work. Then Yogi asked ‘D’ to do the same, then Justice and then the friends including Janardhanan. The ceremonial bhoomi puja was conducted amidst high drama. As soon as the puja was over, Janardhanan wanted to leave and Yogi relieved him.
Janardhanan and the friends went to Ramanashram with Anjaneyalu. Janardhanan was baffled and was crying. His 18 long years of association with his guru and his guru’s love and concern for him were visualised in his mind. He was not able to control himself. Tears were flowing in streams. The friends could not console him. He returned to Sivakasi Nadar Chatram along with his friends. He had to hand over the accounts to the newly appointed trustees. Both Janardhanan and Raghu were working continuously and prepared everything ready to handover to the new trustees. Dr. Ramanathan, the new trustee as well as the younger brother of Justice T.S.Arunachalam came to Sivakasi Nadar Chatram. He told Janardhanan that Yogi had sent him to get Rs.50000/- cash from Janardhanan for the immediate expenses. Ragu, the auditor advised Janardhanan to give a cheque for Rs.100000/- in the name of Dr. Ramanathan, instead of giving cash. Dr. Ramanathan got the cheque, drew the amount from the bank and gave the same to Yogi, who passed on the money to the newly appointed trustee for the immediate expenses for the construction.
The next day, Yogi sent word to Anjaneyalu requesting him to come and see Yogi in the ashram. But Anjaneyalu hesitated to visit Yogi and did not go. Yogi was waiting in the ashram, but Anjaneyalu didn’t come. Finally Yogi sent Sri. Rangarajan to Sivakasi Nadar Chatram to convey to Janardhanan that Yogi wanted to see both Janardhanan and Anjaneyalu. Janardhanan first handed over the remaining accounts and other documents to sadhu Rangarajan. Then Janardhanan told sadhu Rangarajan that he would go to Ramanashram and bring Anjaneyalu to Yogi. All the friends went to Ramanashram to see Anjaneyalu. Anjaneyalu was not there. The friends waited for some time and after half an hour Anjaneyalu came. He told the friends that he too wanted to go to Yogi very much but still some sort of fear blocked him. Janardhanan also felt the same way. Earlier, after Janardhanan and Anjaneyalu pronounced their decision to resign from the work of the ashram, Yogi had told them not to prostrate before Yogi henceforth. That also created a sort of fear in them. All the friends were in a confused state and the time was passing.
Parthasarathy, who was all the time telling that after the resignation from the ashram work, all the friends became normal devotees again and they should feel free as usual with Yogi. When Yogi wanted to see them, there was no need to hesitate or fear, he argued. But the friends told Parthasarathy that they did not have the courage to see Yogi and if Parthasarathy had the courage to see Yogi, he could go to Yogi. Parthasarathy responded that if Yogi had asked him to come, he would have gone immediately. Raghu told Parthasarathy that he could go to Yogi as the representative of the friends. Parthasarathy asked what would be the message then to be conveyed to Yogi. The friends told that Parthasarathy should convey to Yogi that the friends were emotionally upset and so they could not visit Yogi at that moment. They also wanted Parthasarathy to inform Yogi that the friends were to visit Pondichery for a change.
It was around 2 PM. Parthasarathy went to the ‘D’s house by car. He parked the car in front of the house. On hearing the car engine’s sound, Yogi himself came to the gate and opened. Yogi greeted Parthasarathy and took him inside the house. Yogi sat in the usual place and asked Parthasarathy to sit in front of him. ‘D’ sat besides Yogi.
Yogi told Parthasarathy that he was waiting in the ashram till 1.30 Pm but he was disappointed that the friends did not come there. Parthasarathy told Yogi that the friends were emotionally upset and so they could not come to see Yogi in the ashram. Yogi seemed that he was not able to get the words of Parthasarathy. ‘D’ interpreted with a loud voice, “Those people are not willing to see you, Bhagavan…..” Parthasarathy got annoyed and said immediately to ‘D’, “Don’t try to translate the emotions in the wrong words. Mind your words.” Saying this to ‘D’, Parthasarathy looked at Yogi intensely. Yogi was looking both ‘D’ and Parthasarathy again and again for a few moments. Then Yogi conversed directly with Parthasarathy.
Yogi pretended since from a few days that he was not able to see and hear properly due to the old age. The people around Yogi believed it in the face value of the words. But these people had forgotten that Yogi was always alert and that alertness would activate all his senses to its full strength. Whenever Yogi was concerned and had to do some work, Yogi would be very alert. At that time Yogi could see and hear the things and persons even from a great long distance. Whenever Yogi wanted to ignore the things and persons, Yogi would go into the divine samadhi state. In those occasions, the real devotees would use that time to sing bhajans or to meditate Yogi’s name. It was a beauty to see Yogi playing the part of an ignorant child before the so called pious and highly egoistic friends. As a Yogi in true sense, he lived for his Father and lived in his Father in all the situations and least bothered about those pious egoists. Those apparent pious people took advantage of Yogi’s divine innocence and silence for their personal mundane benefits. Such people tried to imitate Yogi and succeeded in getting reverence and respect from the simple devotees. Poor creatures are they, who missed Yogi, the eternal, but got everything else, which is transient.
“What happened to the plan prepared by Padmanabha Iyer, Swami, which you have approved earlier?” Parthasarathy asked Yogi. When Parthasarathy asked the question, Yogi became grim and told Parthasarathy that he never had approved any other plan other than the physician’s plan. Parthasarathy narrated the event to Yogi and tried to recollect the past event. Yogi prevented Parthasarathy to elaborate further. He told that his Father approved only the physician’s plan and if he had approved any other plan, Yogi pleaded with both his palms joined, “Excuse this beggar Parthasarathy, if this beggar has told you like that.” Parthasarathy immediately understood that Yogi was for a different leela. Finally Yogi asked Parthasarathy about the friends’ plan. Parthasarathy told Yogi that the friends would go to Pondichery. Yogi asked whether they had any work at Pondichery. Parthasarathy replied that the friends were going to Pondichery for a change and not for any particular work. Yogi laughed on listening to Parthasarathy. He gave a fruit as prasadam to Parthasarathy and blessed. He relieved Parthasarathy and the latter went back to the friends. Parthasarathy narrated the conversation he had with Yogi. The friends were at a confused state. Anyhow they went to Pondichery and spent a few days there. Later they dispersed and went back to their native places.
Janardhanan was restless thereafter. He could not get the consolation from anything or anybody. He felt guilty. He remembered Yogi and his compassionate grace towards him for the past 18 long years. He remembered his promise to Yogi that he would stand by Yogi till the completion of the ashram. He questioned himself silently, why couldn’t he behave as Yogi demanded from him. There was immense pain in him. After several months he wrote a letter to Yogi requesting him to forgive his mistakes. He also expressed his desire to work for Yogi again. But Yogi was not ready to offer the ashram work to Janardhanan.
Yogi loved Janardhanan and knew his limitations. Yogi wanted his beloved devotee to work for his own salvation by remembering God all the time. Yogi didn’t like his beloved devotee to get entangled in the web of ashram. But Janardhanan was not able to understand Yogi’s will and always grumbling. Anyhow he could always remember Yogi. During Yogi’s final days, Yogi called him daily and requested him to narrate Ramayanam before the huge congregation of devotees.
Janardhanan’s selfless work for the creation of the ashram shall ever be there with the story of Yogi. He could never be separated from Yogi. In 2009 February 17 his wife Vijaya passed away. In the same year June 12th this great soul Janardhanan also was recalled by The Supreme Father. He had been suffering from the killing disease cancer for one year. The ashram administration did not bother to visit him, when he was in the hospital in a serious condition. They also did not attend his final rites. That’s the attitude of the present day administration of the ashram. Whereas Yogi was the personification of gratitude and humility, the so called successors of Yogi were beyond human touch and gratitude.
The whole ashram episode was full of controversies. The real intention of Yogi Ramsuratkumar regarding the ashram could be reflected in his own words: “The people who enter into the ashram will be in natural meditation and so there is no need for a separate meditation hall in the ashram complex.” But there is a meditation hall in the ashram.
“Whoever comes and touches the gate of Sannathi Street house and remember this beggar’s name, he will be filled with my Father’s Grace.” But the Sannathi Street house where Yogi lived and interacted with the devotees for around eighteen long years, remained abandoned, locked and neglected till March, 2006. Then it was converted like a museum and the devotees were allowed to sit there and meditate. In July 2010, the roof of the Sannathi Street House was demolished. The ashram administration informed the devotees through their monthly magazine Saranagatham that they proposed to renovate the house. After they renovated the house, it was thrown open for the devotees again.
“This ashram is the spiritual centre for the whole cosmos from where my Father radiates peace and bliss.” But the whole ashram, particularly the samadhi of Yogi has been converted into a Siva Temple, having a Sivalingam upon the samadhi of Yogi. There is a temple gopuram upon the Sivalingam. There are Nandhi, Vinayaka and other essential symbols that comprised a wholesome Hindu Saivite Temple. The Sivalingam, through the Hindu religious disciplines of southern part of India, distances the devotees from the samadhi of Yogi. Now Yogi and his samadhi are beyond the reach of devotees. So far when Yogi was alive in his body, the place remained spiritual and as soon as he passed away, the place was converted into a Hindu religious worshiping place. The administration conducted the Hindu religious rituals at the samadhi of Yogi. They prevented the devotees to go near the samadhi to offer flower and worship. All changes have been done in the name of Yogi, but against the will of Yogi and his teachings.
“Remember this beggar’s name, Yogi Ramsuratkumar. It’s enough. You need not do any other rituals other than remembering the name Yogi Ramsuratkumar. The name Yogi Ramsuratkumar is not this beggar’s name, it is my Father’s name,” said Yogi. But nowadays, the chanting of Yogi’s name is not given due importance and only religious rituals dominate the activities of the ashram. Sometimes the administrator himself would conduct the rituals at the samadhi of Yogi.
“For this beggar’s friends, this name Yogi Ramsuratkumar is enough. If you remember this name, you need not worry about your spiritual growth. My Father will take care of you. My Father will see that you will reach my Father safely” Yogi said. But nowadays the ashram administration encourages people to do various rituals and sometimes conducts yoga classes after the physical disappearance of Yogi.
The ashram construction was done with at most care. Yogi was present at the construction site everyday and witnessed the construction work from morning till evening having one or two hours lunch break. Yogi interacted with the devotees at the construction site. Even then all his attention was at the construction. The trustee Mani worked hard to build the huge structure of the ashram. Yogi was supportive to Mani in all his activities in construction. However in later years Mani had to leave the ashram, due to his erroneous behavior. Yogi brought in Justice T.S.Arunachalam of Madras High Court in 1996 as the managing trustee.
After Janarthanan’s resignation from the Trust in 1994, the four trustees Sadhu Rangarajan, (Prabha) Sundaraman, Mani and Dr.Ramanathan started working for the construction of the main structure. Particularly Mani alone stayed nearby the ashram site and organized the construction. Earlier Sundararaman worked for a few months with Mani and later due to some unknown reasons Yogi had to relieve him from the construction work. In another few months, the other trustee’s rude and dishonest behavior displeased Yogi. So ‘D’ suggested to Yogi to replace the tough trustee with Justice T.S.Arunachalam in the Trust Board. Yogi consulted with Justice T.S.Arunachalam the procedural ways to reshuffle the Trustees. As per the suggestion of Justice T.S.Arunachalam, Yogi asked the trustees to conduct the trust board meeting in 2nd March 1996 and pass sweeping resolutions to prepare a supplemental trust deed. According to the resolutions, a Supplemental Trust Deed was prepared and registered in 27th March 1996. It seems Justice T.S.Arunachalam was behind the sweeping amendments enacted in the Trust Deed. According to the Supplemental Trust Deed, Yogi had chosen Justice T.S.Arunachalam as his ‘successor’. Justice T.S.Arunachalam, Devaki, Rajalakshmi and Vijikka, (sister of Rajalakshmi) were included as Life Trustees in the Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust. Justice T.S. Arunachalam was given time to join the Trust Board after his retirement. (Vijayalakshmi joined the Trust board later after her retirement from the government job ‘The Commissioner of Income Tax’.)
The “beneficiary” of Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust, which is a Public charitable Trust, was changed in the 1996 Supplemental Trust Deed. In the 1993 Trust Deed it was mentioned that the “beneficiary” of Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust was “the devotees of Yogi Ramsuratkumar”, but as per the 1996 Supplemental Trust Deed “Yogi Ramsuratkumar” became the “beneficiary” of the Trust. According to the Supplemental Trust Deed Justice T.S.Arunachalam became the ‘successor’ of Yogi Ramsuratkumar. So, naturally after the Samadhi of Yogi, Justice T.S.Arunachalam, an individual became the ‘beneficiary’ of the Public Trust. Yogi was asked to write the name of Justice T.S.Arunachalam in the trust board resolution document. It all seems to be unbelievable that Yogi wanted to have the ashram and its properties in his name and then pass them on to Justice T.S.Arunachalam.
Such a Public Charitable Trust got the character of a Private Trust which is considered illegal. It was contested by the author in the Madras High court and the case was admitted. It is still pending in the Madras high court. Even during the sweeping amendments in the Trust Deed, the clause 24 of the Trust Deed was untouched. The clause 24 says that no religious activities should take place in the ashram.
Later after the Samadhi of Yogi, Justice T.S.Arunachalam, the so called ‘successor’ of Yogi built a Siva Temple on the Samadhi of Yogi. He arranged to install various Hindu Religious Deities in the ashram premises. To enable him conducting Hindu religious rituals in the temple, the learned Retired Justice T.S.Arunachalam created one more Trust ‘Yogi Ramsuratkumar Memorial Seva Trust’ in the same premises of ‘Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust’ in 2004. The author and life trustee for this new trust is Justice T.S.Arunachalam. It is very strange that both non-religious and religious Trusts function from the same premises. There are three Trusts with different objects functioning from one place i.e., (1) Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust, (2) Ma Devaki Veda Patasala Trust and (3) Yogi Ramsuratkumar Memorial Seva Trust.
After the resolutions passed in 1996, Prabha Sundaraman resigned. A few years later Mani and Sadhu Rangarajan also had to resign from the Trust Board. Earlier Dr.Ramanathan also had resigned to enable his brother Justice T.S.Arunachalam to become the life trustee in Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust.
Sri.T.S.Arunachalam first met Yogi in 1989. He was then the sitting judge of Madras High Court. He used to visit Kanchi and had the close affiliation with Kanchi Seers. He valued the Hindu religious traditions and rituals. Whenever he found time he would visit Tiruvannamalai to have the dharsan of Annamalaiyar in the temple and look for the holy men there. Once during his visit to Tiruvannamalai, one of the advocate friends of Sri Arunachalam met him. Sri Arunachalam casually enquired the advocate friend about the saints of Tiruvannamalai. The advocate, even though he had no association with Yogi, informed Sri Arunachalam about Yogi. Sri Arunachalam expressed his desire to meet Yogi. The advocate friend with the help of a police official took Sri Arunachalam to the Sannathi Street house. There Sri Arunachalam met Yogi for the first time. Yogi cordially received Sri Arunachalam. The latter was spellbound on seeing Yogi. He didn’t have seen earlier such a great liberated soul shining with wisdom and divinity, bubbling with eternal joy. The joyful laughter of Yogi attracted him. He was astonished to see the simplicity of Yogi, who used to call himself ‘beggar’. Yogi spent considerable time with Sri Arunachalam. Thereafter Sri Arunachalam regularly visited Yogi along with his younger brother Dr.Ramanathan, who also became a devotee of Yogi. Sometimes he would visit Yogi with his wife and children. Yogi used to spare considerable time for them whenever they visited Yogi.
In mean time a youth having erratic habits came to Yogi in 1993 by the influence of Sri Sadhu Rangarajan. The youth was highly educated, efficient, but still erratic. He had his own utopia and he believed his own concepts. He would never consider the feelings of others. His talks as well as behaviour were always offensive. Somehow he was attracted by Yogi and he wanted to be with Yogi all the time. He was allowed to stay in the ashram. The then trustee of the ashram, in due course, could not tolerate the youth’s irresponsible behaviors. So he retaliated in such a way that the youth had to run away from the ashram without telling anybody. It happened in 1994. He came back again to the ashram in 1998. He was totally exhausted and was in a dire situation. His appearance was pathetic. On seeing the condition of the youth, Yogi requested the ashram administration to give him shelter and food in the ashram complex and give him new clothes too. The youth within a few months won over the confidence of ‘D’, who was looking after Yogi’s physical frame then.
On 4/1/1999, a new trust had been formed. The name of the Trust was Ma Devaki Veda Patasala Trust. The author and life Trustee of the Trust was Yogi Ramsuratkumar. The other life and managing trustee was Devaki. The registered office of the Trust was “Sudama” house. The object of the trust according to the documents was to run a Veda Patasala, to teach and research the Vedas and Sastras. The object was open to all. That means even the non Brahmins and women could learn the Vedas and other scriptures in this Veda Patasala. In the preamble of the trust deed, there was an attempt to merge Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust with this newly formed Trust and transfer both the trusts in favour of (Ma) Devaki. This has also been questioned in the court of law by the author of this book. Yogi requested Justice T.S.Arunachalam, the life trustee of Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust as well as the so called ‘successor’ of Yogi Ramsuratkumar and Sri Saktivel, one of the confidential devotees of Yogi to put their signatures as witnesses in the document. The document indicates that Yogi wanted to transfer both Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust and Ma Devaki Veda Patasala Trust in favour of Devaki. It all seems to be fishy and confusing. Whereas it was shown that Yogi had chosen Justice T.S.Arunachalam as his ‘successor’ through 1996 Supplemental Trust Deed, one could not understand why Yogi was made to transfer everything in 1999 in favour of Devaki. In spite of this document, both the trusts are now under the control of Justice T.S.Arunachalam and his friend Swaminathan.
In another two months, Yogi requested Anjaneyalu, who again returned to Yogi and won his confidence, to complete the building meant for the Veda Patasala in the place within Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust premises. An area of 10,000 sq. feet had been donated from Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust to Ma Devaki Veda Patasala Trust. Anjaneyalu completed the building work within two months.
Later through a resolution, Yogi brought in Justice T.S.Arunachalam and his advocate friend Sri Viswanathan to become the life trustees of the newly formed Ma Devaki Veda Patasala Trust. Yogi relieved Devaki from the post of managing trustee of the trust. But she continued to remain as a life trustee. Yogi asked the ladies to hand over the house “Sudama”, where they lived, to Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust, legally (even though it was the registered office of Ma Devaki Veda Patasala Trust) by writing and registering the document. Yogi also instructed to transfer the property ‘Sannathi Street house’, which was in the name of a donor devotee, Sri.Rajamanicka Nadar to the Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust. Sri.Rajamanicka Nadar had passed away a few years ago. His children gave in writing readily without any hesitation to transfer the property to Yogi Ramsuratkumar Trust.
In 1999, Yogi sent Justice T.S.Arunachalm to Anandashram for a week to learn and study how to run the ashram. Justice went there and stayed there for a week. He returned from Anandashram and visited Yogi. He explained his experiences in Anandashram. He told with all enthusiasm that Yogi’s ashram should also become like Anandashram. (In Anandashram no religious rituals are adopted. There are no religious statues or temples and no ritualistic pujas are conducted there. Only Ram nam chanting goes on for decades, even after the maha samadhi of Swami Ramdas and Mataji Krishnabai.) Yogi instantly replied, “If Justice wants, this ashram also becomes like Anandashram.” But after Yogi’s mahasamadhi, Justice erected a Sivalingam on the samadhi of Yogi and did all sort of Hindu religious rituals according to the guidance of Hindu religious heads of his choice, ignoring the life and teachings of Yogi.
Yogi saw the construction work of the huge hall every day with all his attention. Yogi saw every brick of the construction and blessed. He gave life to the structure, which is vibrating even now with the divinity. Whenever the trustees complained of shortage of the funds, Yogi would mysteriously arrange money from the devotees. After Sri Janardhanan, nobody went for collection for the construction of the huge ashram structure. The devotees from all walks of life volunteered to contribute for the noble cause.
Yogi used to give personal audience in the ashram complex to the devotees. The devotees, who liked to have a personal audience with Yogi, should inform the trustee. The trustee would write the names of those devotees in a paper and would send to Yogi as soon as Yogi reached ashram. Initially Yogi met the devotees with ‘D’, but later Yogi sat alone outside the main building of the ashram to meet the devotees. There Yogi would sit in a chair and would ask the devotees to sit on other chairs arranged in front of him. Yogi would enquire about the well being of the devotees and would interact with them listening to their problems and sorrows. Finally Yogi would give some fruits as prasadam, bless them for their well being and would leave them to go. Yogi would keep his driver Ravi or his other assistant Selvaraj near him to help him arrange chairs for the devotees. When Yogi wanted to leave the devotees, the assistants would lift the plate in which the fruits were arranged, so that Yogi could pick one to give to the devotee as prasadam.
After Yogi moved to the ‘D’s house in 1993, the daily routine started at 3 A.M. Coffee should be ready by that time and after the coffee session was over, ‘D’ would read the devotees’ letters to Yogi or sing songs. Sometimes she would be asked to read some news in a newspaper repeatedly. At 6Am Yogi would allow her to have her morning ablutions. At 6.45Am the car would come to the Sudama house to take the group to the ashram. In the meantime the other ladies should prepare the morning breakfast. By 6.50Am the group would start by the car for the ashram from the ‘D’s house and reach the ashram gate exactly at 7Am. The devotees in the ashram would stand in line and salute Yogi. Yogi would salute in response sometimes and some other times he would raise his hands to bless people.
The car would reach a small hut behind the big hall in the Ashram and the group would get down there from the car. They would sit inside the hut. ‘D’ and the managing trustee of the ashram would inform Yogi about the arrival of any important devotees to the ashram. Sometimes Yogi would invite the visitors for breakfast. The ladies would chant Yogi’s name. The breakfast would be served by the ashram assistants, first to Yogi, then to everybody. After the breakfast session was over at 8Am, he would return to the ‘D’s house by the car. During Yogi’s return trip to the house, on the way inside the ashram complex, the devotees would stand in line again and salute Yogi. Yogi would bless them from the car.
Yogi would again come to the ashram in the car at 10Am for the morning darshan. He would be in the ashram from 10Am to 12 noon, giving audience to the devotees. And again in the evening from 4Pm to 6Pm Yogi would be in the ashram, meeting the devotees. Yogi would spend time in the evening 6 to night 11, talking with some important visitors at the ‘D’s house. Whenever there were no visitors, ‘D’ should sing or chant Yogi’s name continuously. Yogi would ask her sometimes to read repeatedly some news in news papers and letters addressed to him. Such ‘D’ had to sit always near Yogi, taking hardly 3 to 4 hours rest a day. Yogi did this routine for 7 years, ‘D’ accompanying him without a break. What other woman could take this schedule!