Meeting with Saints and Sadhus
There were several sadhus and sanyasis among the visitors, who thronged Yogi Ramsuratkumar since from 1965. They were from various schools of thoughts and it was a beauty to see Yogi helping those sadhus and sanyasis to attain Supreme Father, God, by showering his grace on them. The author had a few opportunities to witness Yogi’s interactions with some sadhus and sanyasis since 1976. Some of them were so mystic and so amazing.
A sadhu From The Himalayas
In 1976, one day Yogi was sitting in the Theradi Mandapam in the Sannathi Street. A Sanyasi had come there to see Yogi. There was continuous rainfall throughout the day. Yogi was not able to go to the Punnai tree due to the continuous rain. The sanyasi sat before Yogi. He told Yogi that he had come from the Himalayas. He was talking in chaste Hindi. He conveyed to Yogi that after years of penance in the Himalayas, he started roaming around the great, divine India. A few days back he landed at Tiruvannamalai, he told. He had heard about Yogi and so he came to see him, he informed.
Yogi just listened and did not respond. Yogi saw him intensely. The sanyasi, who had the pride of his long time tapas in the Himalayas, curiously looked at Yogi. It seems he was trying to measure Yogi’s state. Yogi focused all his energy and looked at the sanyasi deeply. That was the only occasion the author had seen Yogi’s eyes fully opening. The eyes were so big and beautiful. The eyes released immense power. Yogi saw the sanyasi for a few minutes. The power released through Yogi’s eyes affected the other devotees’ eyes, sitting in front of Yogi. It was so bright and the devotees’ eyes got burning sensation. But the sanyasi was able to see Yogi’s eyes for a few minutes without blinking his eyes. After a few minutes his eyes also felt the severe burning sensation and he had to bow down his face unable to withstand Yogi’s look.
As soon as the sanyasi bowed down his face, Yogi became normal and laughed. Yogi then saluted the sanyasi and said, “Swami, you have come from Himalayas to bless this beggar. Pranam Swami.” On hearing the words of Yogi, the sanyasi immediately got up and prostrated before Yogi. Tears were pouring down from his eyes. Yogi patted him on his back for a while with all compassion. Then Yogi said to him, “Swami you can stay on the hill for a few days.” The sanyasi with tears in his eyes bowed before Yogi again and said that he would stay on the hill for a few days. After a few minutes, Yogi gave a banana to him as prasad and relieved him.
Yogi would occasionally open his eyes fully. Whenever Yogi found it necessary to impart his full energy to his selective and eligible devotees, then alone he would open his beautiful eyes fully. Yogi used to say to his close friends while relieving them, “This beggar has seen you nicely. Now this beggar leaves you my friend. My Father blesses you. You can go now.”
There was a great soul wandering in the beach of Kanyakumari, the southern end of India. The form of the great mahatma was so wild and ugly. She was called Mayamma. There were several stories about her. Somebody say long back, several decades ago the girl Mayamma with her husband visited Kanyakumari. The couple was from north India. The couple was taking bath in the sea. Due to the sudden turbulence in the sea her husband was drowned before her eyes. From that day onwards she was living in Kanyakumari shores.
She did not talk to anybody. Occasionally she would say some Hindi words. Whatever food she was offered by the people she would share it with the stray dogs of Kanyakumari. Mayamma was always surrounded by a group of stray dogs. People would offer all sort of food, sometimes even meat and fish. Mayamma would never bother and whatever food she was offered she would take it, sharing with her companions, the stray dogs.
The local people had great faith in Mayamma. If somebody had any problems related to their business or family, they would take Mayamma to their shop or home and would feed her with some eatables. In a short while, the problems would get solved. Gradually Mayamma became popular. Sri.Rajamanicka Nadar the devotee of Gnanananda of Thapovanam had great fascination for Mayamma. Rajamanicka Nadar told people that he was directed to Mayamma by Swami Gnanananda.
One day in 1976, Sri.Rajamanicka Nadar went to Kanyakumari to have the darshan of Mayamma. He went by his car. On seeing Rajamanicka Nadar Mayamma came towards him and got into his car. Sri.Rajamanicka Nadar was thinking that Mayamma wanted him to take her somewhere. He enquired Mayamma, but he was not able to understand what Mayamma intended. He took her to several places in and around Kanyakumari, but even then Mayamma did not get down from the car. Rajamanicka Nadar was thinking that Mayamma wanted him to take her to some other places outside Kanyakumari town. First he took her to his house at Tuticorin. There also Mayamma did not get down from the car. From there Rajamanicka Nadar took Mayamma to Sivakasi. In Sivakasi Rajamanicka Nadar took her to several places and people. Mayamma remained in the car. From Sivakasi Rajamanicka Nadar took her to Tapovanam. There the group stayed for sometime. From Tapovanam the group came to Tiruvannamalai in the midnight to visit Yogi. Sri.Rajamanicka Nadar parked the car in front of the vessel shop, where Yogi Ramsuratkumar used to sleep at nights. Yogi was informed about the arrival of Mayamma. Yogi went near the car and saluted Mayamma. Then Yogi went back to his seat in the raised platform of the vessel shop. There Yogi was sitting silently, watching Mayamma. All the time Yogi was smoking. Mayamma was sitting in the car and watching Yogi. No words were used. The whole night passed. In the early morning Rajamanicka Nadar sensed Mayamma’s intention to move from the place. So, with the permission from Yogi, he took her back to Kanyakumari. On reaching Kanyakumari, Mayamma got down from the car and again roamed in the beaches of Kanyakumari.
Sri Murugeshan enquired Yogi about the visit of Mayamma. Yogi said that Mayamma was brought by Sri.Rajamanicka Nadar and was sitting in the car for the whole night. In the morning she left. Murugeshji again asked Yogi whether Yogi had any communication with Mayamma. Yogi replied, “Oh Mayamma had come to bless this beggar. That’s all.” People floated several stories about Mayamma’s visit to several places, but how far those were true, God alone knows.
Sri Bangaru Adigalar
Melmaruvathoor, a small village near Tindivanam on the Chennai Tirichirapalli National Highways in Tamilnadu state became very popular because of Bangaru Adigalar. Sri Bangaru Adigalar is a Sakti upasaka and people call him “Amma” with all reverence and love. Sri Adigalar made a revolution in the religious history, making the women folk doing all the religious rituals like homams and poojas to the Hindu deities.
Adigalar attracted thousands and thousands of people from all walks of life throughout Tamilnadu and neighboring states. Almost every town in Tamilnadu state has a place where the devotees of Sri Bangaru Adigalar congregate and chant the holy mantras prescribed by Sri Adigalar. Sri Adigalar is so simple and his teachings would instill devotion in the hearts of the devotees on Goddess Sakti. Sri Adigalar also preaches the people to serve the humanity in all possible ways.
Whenever there is drought, Sri Adigalar would arrange mass homams, which would be performed by the women folk to please Goddess Sakti. Traditionally only the Brahmin purohits would perform the homams, but Sri Adigalar has revolutionised this tradition by performing homams through women folk irrespective of caste. Melmaruvathoor, a small hamlet, now becomes visible on the Indian map due to Sri Adigalar’s revolutionary religious ways of performing the rituals. He gives great importance to the women folk and teaches the mankind to give due respect and regards to women. Even in western countries there are Sakti Peethams for the devotees of Amma to congregate and invoke Goddess Sakti. The Sakti devotees wear red color dresses. Many devotees make it a point to visit Melmaruvathoor Amma by walking from their places, however far they are, regularly. The Sakti Peetham runs several educational institutions and hospitals.
In the early eighties, Sri Bangaru Adigalar visited Tiruvannamalai to start a wing of Sakti Peetham. Yogi Ramsuratkumar heard of Sri Adigalar’s visit to Tiruvannamalai. Yogi went to the place, where Adigalar was sitting with his devotees. The devotees of Adigalar hesitated to allow Yogi to go near Adigalar, because of Yogi’s unique and dirty dresses. Yogi sat among the crowd. On seeing Yogi sitting among the crowd, Adigalar requested Yogi to sit near him. Yogi went near Adigalar and sat beside him. Yogi caught hold of Adigalar’s hands for sometime. After some time Yogi saluted Adigalar and then left the place. Yogi met Adigalar three times at Tiruvannamalai and every time Yogi would catch hold of Adigalar’s hands. After some time Yogi would take leave of Adigalar and leave the place. Yogi as well as Adigalar never used a single word and it seems they have communicated in a mysterious way. Yogi used to say, “My Father is very much in Adigalar’s form and in his mission. Otherwise such a huge mass of people could not be attracted.”
Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal
Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal is living in a small village Paranur near Tapovanam. He also has residence at Srirangam. Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal is considered a great saint by a lot of devotees. He knows several languages and he spends his life giving discourses about Lord Krishna all over India. He has huge followers. His followers see Lord Krishna in him. They use to call him “Anna”. Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal is a great scholar of the Vedic scriptures and is a wonderful orator of high caliber in several languages. His followers would follow him wherever he goes to give discourses about Lord Krishna.
He is neither a sanyasi wearing ochre clothes nor a sadhu of any cult. He is a family man having wives and children, but he has dedicated his entire life in remembering and talking about Lord Krishna. He has written several Sanskrit slokas and several songs in several languages on Lord Krishna. It is a blissful experience to listen to his talks about Lord Krishna.
Even though the Swamigal never bothers about the caste and other social differentiations, the followers of the Swamigal have their own strict caste based concepts, giving importance only to Brahmins. The Brahmins have their own eating and dwelling places in the Swamigal’s abode and they do not allow people of other communities to sit with them to take food. People of other communities should have their own eating and dwelling places in the Swamigal’s places, be it Paranur or any other place, where the Swamigal gives his discourses.
Some devotees of Yogi Ramsuratkumar have great reverence for Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal too. They used to visit both Yogi and Swamigal. They had told Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal about Yogi. Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal had earlier seen Yogi at Tapovanam in the early 1970’s. Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal went to Tiruvannamalai in the mid 1980’s to have the darshan of Yogi along with his immediate followers. On hearing the arrival of Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal, Yogi came to the gate of Sannathi Street house to receive him. The devotees around Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal were chanting then “Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.” They were all standing near the grill gate of the Sannathi Street house. Yogi was enjoying the chanting of the devotees and opened the gate. On seeing the joy of Yogi, the devotees raised the pitch of the chanting. Yogi laughed and got hold of Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal’s hand. Yogi suddenly asked the devotees of Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal, “Where is Krishna?” The devotees immediately answered pointing Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal, “Here is Krishna, here is Krishna!” Yogi laughed.
Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal was all the time looking at Yogi with a reverential smile. Both the saints were together for some time. All the time Yogi caught hold of Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal’s hand and saw him intensely. After some time the Swamigal took leave of Yogi and went away with his followers. Some of the devotees of Yogi declared that Yogi was the Moolavar and Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal was the Urchavar. But Yogi never approved this concept. Yogi once told to a devotee, “You can salute and shower the respect and reverence to all the saintly persons, but you should have the trust and faith only on your guru.”
Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal had met Yogi a few more times at Tiruvannamalai. Once, Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal met with a road accident in Delhi. His leg was fractured and he was hospitalised for several days. After the accident he visited Yogi at Tiruvannamalai and Yogi with great love and compassion touched his fractured legs. Till then there was a deformation in the leg and after Yogi’s touch the deformation disappeared and the Swamigal could walk as usual.
During Yogi’s sickness, Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal was called to request Yogi to accept the medical treatment. Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal came to ‘D’s house, where Yogi had stayed then. Yogi was informed about the arrival of Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal. Yogi expressed his dislike, but still Yogi allowed the Swamigal to meet him. The Swamigal came with his devotees and saw Yogi. He could feel the intense sufferings of Yogi due to the disease. He caught hold of Yogi’s hand and prayed to him to allow the devotees to arrange medical treatment for Yogi, saying, “Swami, this body belongs to the devotees. So, you should allow them to give proper medical treatment to the body.” Yogi did not respond and closed his eyes. After a few minutes Yogi opened his eyes and smiled at the Swamigal. Yogi put his hand upon the Swamigal’s chest for sometime. Then Yogi saluted the Swamigal. The Swamigal with all liberty fondled Yogi for sometime by touching the cheeks of Yogi. A few minutes later, he took leave of Yogi and left ‘D’s house with his followers. In the hospital at Madras, before and after the surgery, Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal came to see Yogi. The Swamigal was with Yogi for some time and expressed his joy on seeing the recovery of Yogi.
Whenever Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal was flocked by Yogi’s devotees, he would immediately talk about the value of guru and guru mantra. He would talk very high of Yogi. After the Samadhi of Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Sri Krishnapremi Swamigal suggested the administration not to bring in any religious rituals in the Samadhi of Yogi Ramsuratkumar and to give importance only to the chanting of guru mantra. He said, “We people are here to adhere to the religious rituals, but the Samadhi of Yogi Ramsuratkumar should be free of rituals. That is the Samadhi of a great mahatma. That place is meant for chanting guru mantra and the devotees should have free access to the Samadhi to worship.” He also declared through his magazine that the ashram should not be dominated by Brahmins.
Kanchi Mutt Pontiffs
There were several devotees, who had great devotion both for the Seers of Kanchi and Yogi Ramsuratkumar. There was a school teacher in Tiruvannamalai. He too had great reverence for both Kanchi Seers and Yogi. In Tiruvannamalai the school teacher would daily visit Yogi. Yogi would spare time for the teacher and would enquire about the Seers of Kanchi. And whenever the teacher visited Kanchi, the Seers would enquire about Yogi. The senior Acharya Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswati Swamigal had great affinity and regards for Yogi. The senior Acharya would send prasadams to Yogi occasionally through the teacher.
In the early eighties, the teacher visited Kanchi Acharya at Kanchi Mutt. The senior Acharya enquired the teacher about Yogi Ramsuratkumar at Tiruvannamalai. During the conversation the acharya suddenly instructed the teacher to take Yogi to Govindapuram by a taxi to visit the acharya’s guru’s samadhi. The Acharya asked the teacher to collect money from the manager of the mutt for the taxi expenses. The teacher collected money from the manager of the mutt and rushed to Tiruvannamalai by a taxi. He directly went to Yogi in the Sannathi Street house and explained to Yogi about the wish of Kanchi Acharya. Yogi had great regards for the acharya. On hearing the teacher, Yogi became very serious and paused for a few minutes. Then he firmly said to the teacher that he wanted to see Kanchi Acharya instead of seeing the samadhi of the acharya’s guru. The teacher was bewildered, but Yogi insisted to go to Kanchi. The teacher had to obey to Yogi. He took Yogi to Kanchi Mutt by the taxi. Yogi was taken to the Kanchi Seer. The latter was sitting in a hall giving audience to the devotees. On seeing the acharya, Yogi prostrated from some distance. The acharya looked at Yogi for some time. Yogi all the time was standing and saluting the acharya by joining the palms together. Suddenly the acharya enquired Yogi which gotra Yogi belonged to. Yogi instantly replied that he belonged to Rama Gotra. The acharya smiled on hearing Yogi as there was no such gotra at all. The Brahmin devotees sitting there were laughing.
Yogi silently prostrated again and rushed back to the car. The Acharya asked the teacher to take Yogi back to Tiruvannamalai and offered flowers and fruits to Yogi as prasadam. Later Yogi explained the events to the friends Murugeshan, Parthasarathy and Sivasankaran, during one of their visits to Yogi. Yogi told the friends, “The Paramacharya wanted this beggar to go to Govindapuram. But instead of going to Govindapuram, this beggar went to Kanchipuram to see the Paramacharya.” Yogi paused for some time and said, “This beggar was shocked when the Acharya enquired about this beggar’s gotra. This beggar thought, as he all the time remembers Ram nam, it would be better to say Rama Gotra.”
Yogi had renounced everything including his self. He did not belong to a gotra or a religion or a cult or community or any sect. Throughout his life, Yogi lived for His Father, doing great service to the humanity by taking them to his Father’s Abode. He did not have fear, but astonishingly Yogi exhibited his humility in all the demanding circumstances particularly when Yogi happened to meet the religious and spiritual people.
In 1995, when ashram work was in progress, the Kanchi Seers both Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal and Sri Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal visited Yogi Ramsuratkumar in the ashram premises. Yogi asked the trustee to take the pontiffs around the ashram and show the places under construction. After seeing the construction work of the ashram, Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal was taken to the Swagatam Hall. He was seated on a raised seat. Yogi was all the time standing and saluting both the pontiffs. Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal wanted to talk personally to Yogi and went to a nearby room. Yogi and other devotees followed the pontiffs. The pontiff asked the people present there to go away except the trustees of the ashram and requested one of the trustees to lock the room. Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal told Yogi that there were communal riots going on in the southern districts of Tamilnadu. So, he requested Yogi to come with him to those districts. He said that on seeing them together the people there would get the peace and the harmony would prevail among people. He said that after the aradhana of Paramacharya, he would come and take Yogi personally to the southern districts. On hearing the words of Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal, Yogi immediately raised his hands as if he blessed the pontiff and said, “My Father blesses you to succeed in your mission.” After saying this, Yogi again remained in saluting pose to the pontiffs with all humility and reverence. Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal enquired ‘D’ whether it meant that Yogi did not want to accompany the Kanchi Acharya. ‘D’ just translated Yogi’s words in Tamil and did not comment. The pontiff was disappointed and left the place.
A Starving Sadhu
There was a Gandhian living in Adi Annamalai, situated on the path around the Annamalai Hill. He was in his eighties. He had participated in the freedom struggle. He was a disciple of Seshadri Swamigal. After India got freedom, he had been running a tea stall at Adi Annamalai. He used to wear a Gandhian cap on his head and dressed in pure white khadi clothes. He had great love and reverence for Yogi Ramsuratkumar. Yogi also had great love for him. This Gandhian led a simple life and he used to entertain sadhus and sanyasis in his tea stall. He offered tea and other eatables to the roaming sadhus and sanyasis of Tiruvannamalai free of cost. But in due course, his age did not permit him to continue the tea stall.
After the closure of the tea stall, almost daily he would visit the Big Temple. He would occasionally meet Yogi at the Sannathi Street House. If Yogi was busy with other devotees, he would not disturb Yogi. He would go to the temple again and sit there for some time. He had great fascination for the wandering sadhus and sanyasis. If he happened to meet any one, he would offer them some eatables.
One day in the early 1980’s, the Gandhian brought a unique sadhu to Yogi. He narrated to Yogi that he happened to meet that sadhu on the hill. He offered some eatables to the sadhu, but the sadhu refused to take. The Gandhian tried to persuade the sadhu to take some bananas, but the sadhu did not show any interest. For three whole days the Gandhian watched the sadhu not eating anything. He got frightened. He took the sadhu forcibly to Yogi Ramsuratkumar. He thought that the sadhu wanted to kill himself by starving. He narrated his fear to Yogi. The sadhu was there in the gate without showing any interest on the happenings. He wore a half trouser and a dirty shirt. His look was focusing nowhere and he was seemed to be totally vacant.
Yogi caught hold of the sadhu’s hand and took him inside the Sannathi Street house. Yogi accommodated the sadhu to sit near him. Yogi enquired the sadhu’s name. The sadhu told his name. Then Yogi showered his compassion on the sadhu by touching his head and back. Yogi again caught hold of the sadhu’s hand and both were in deep silence for some time. Then suddenly Yogi asked the sadhu whether Yogi could offer some bananas to him. The sadhu gestured in affirmative. Yogi picked a bunch of bananas, which had been offered by some devotees. Yogi peeled off the bananas one by one and gave them to the sadhu. The sadhu ate all the bananas offered by Yogi.
On seeing that, the Gandhian became furious. He told the sadhu that for three days he was trying and trying to feed him with some eatables, but the sadhu refused. How then the sadhu could take the bananas from the hands of Yogi? Yogi laughed on seeing the Gandhian’s outburst. The sadhu was in a broad smile. The sadhu replied with a single word in Tamil “ANBU”, which means LOVE. A few minutes passed in total silence. After some time, Yogi requested the sadhu to remain on the hill for some more days. The sadhu shook his head as if he said yes. Then Yogi took the sadhu and the Gandhian to the gate of the house and saw them off.
Sri Sadophaya was a Burmese saint, living in the US. He had innumerable followers throughout the world. He was a Buddhist saint. He preached Buddhism and Yoga to his students. He might be around 80 years when he visited Yogi Ramsuratkumar at Tiruvannamalai. He used to visit India with his students to see several places related to the life of Buddha. Some of his devotees were living in Pondichery also. Whenever those devotees from Pondichery invited the saint to visit their place, he would visit them there.
In 1982, Sri Gnanagiri Ganeshan was living in Pondichery. There he got the opportunity to have the association with Doctor Sarkar, who was a devotee of Sri Sadophaya. Doctor Sarkar and his three sisters were totally dedicated their life to God and service to their Guru. The whole family had been in the US and then for some reasons they chose to live in Pondichery. Later on, Doctor Sarkar’s younger sister Sri Reena became a disciple of Sri Sadophaya and went to the US. She lived in his ashram. Slowly she became a great teacher and had several students. In due course, the whole family went to the US and got settled there.
Sri Gnanagiri Ganeshan had developed a good friendship with that family. He used to talk about Yogi Ramsuratkumar to Dr. Sarkar’s family. On hearing Ganeshan, Dr. Sarkar expressed his desire to see Yogi. Sri Ganeshan took the entire family to Yogi. On seeing Yogi’s blissful wholeness, the whole family became ardent devotees of Yogi. The family frequented Yogi, as Tiruvannamalai was hardly two hours journey by road from Pondichery. Yogi also showered his abundant grace on Dr. Sarkar and his sisters. Dr. Sarkar informed about Yogi Ramsuratkumar to his guru Sri Sadophaya in the US. Sri Sadophaya expressed his desire to see Yogi Ramsuratkumar during his visit in the winter of 1982. Dr. Sarkar told Sri Ganeshan about Sri Sadophaya’s intention to see Yogi.
In the winter of 1982, Sri Sadophaya reached Pondichery with his students. After a few days of staying in Pondichery, Sri Ganeshan took Sri Sadophaya, Dr. Sarkar and his sister Sri Reena to Yogi Ramsuratkumar at Tiruvannamalai by his car. He gave a telegram to Yogi on the previous day, informing the visit of Sri Sadophaya. Yogi received the telegram. The author, his wife Rathika and other friends were with Yogi for a week staying with him in the Sannathi Street house. As soon as Yogi received the telegram, he informed the author about the proposed visit of Sri Sadophaya to Yogi. The author had never heard about Sri Sadophaya earlier. Yogi told him that Sri Sadophaya was a great Buddhist saint and had innumerable followers throughout the world. Yogi rearranged the hall of the house to receive the great saint. Yogi asked Perumal to bring a big piece of gunny sack. Perumal brought the gunny sack and with the help of the author, he spread it upon the floor of the hall. Yogi also arranged a cane chair for Sri Sadophaya, as Yogi thought that the saint could not sit on the floor due to his old age.
In the next morning, Yogi and other friends with him were anxiously waiting for the arrival of Sri Sadophaya. Yogi suddenly asked the author, “Parthasarathy, will you write a song on Sri Sadophaya?” The author was bewildered on hearing Yogi, because he had never heard earlier about Sri Sadophaya. So, the author kept quiet and did not answer. Yogi paused for some time and then said, “No Parthasarathy. My Father says you should write songs only on this beggar. So, you need not write songs on the saint.” The author got relieved.
Sri Sadophaya reached Sannathi Street house around 10 o’ clock in the morning. Yogi received him at the gate and took him inside the house and made him sit on the cane chair. Yogi sat on his mat and was looking at the saint intensely. The saint was also observing Yogi silently. Dr. Sarkar bowed before both the saints. Touching their feet he said, “It is a great benediction to see the great souls of the earth together.” Both Yogi and the saint laughed. Sri Sadophaya talked in Burmese language. Dr. Sarkar translated the saint’s words to Yogi in English.
The saint suddenly asked Yogi, “What sort of meditation you teach your students?” Yogi laughed and said, “This beggar does not know anything about meditation. The friends come here and feed this beggar. Here we eat and smoke. That’s all.” The saint smiled when he got the meaning of the words through Dr. Sarkar. Sri Sadophaya told Dr. Sarkar, “Oh, the Yogi is a golden man, very rare to see.” Both the Yogi and the saint remained in deep silence for some time. The deep peace and bliss had been radiated by the saints and the same could be felt by everybody present there. After some time both laughed and Sri Sadophaya got up from the chair. Yogi caught hold of his hand. Both walked towards the door. Yogi himself opened the door and saw the saint off. Sri Sadophaya walked towards the car. Dr. Sarkar and his sister Sri Reena both saluted Yogi and went with the saint.
Sri Edward, the Christian driver of Sri Gnanagiri Ganeshan was standing near the gate of the house. The driver had immense devotion for Yogi. He had composed several songs on Yogi. On seeing Edward, the driver, Yogi called him inside and embraced him. Sri Ganeshan was waiting to get leave from Yogi. But Yogi’s attention was totally with the driver. So, Ganeshan went out to see Sri Sadophaya and other friends. The saint and the friends were waiting near the car. The car was locked. The key was with the driver. The driver was in the grip of Yogi. Sri Ganeshan struggled for a while and suddenly went inside the house. He plucked the car key from the driver, who was still in the arms of Yogi and ran towards Sri Sadophaya.
In the meantime Sri Sadophaya, with the friends walked towards the temple. Yogi released the driver only after Sri Ganeshan left the place running behind the US saint. After the driver left Yogi closed the door and in two jumps he reached his seat. Yogi said, “One drama was over.” Yogi paused some time and then said, “The saint asked such a critical question to this beggar. But somehow my Father helped this beggar to manage the situation. All glory to my Father.”
The Chakku Swami
In the early eighties, one day the author was staying with Yogi Ramsuratkumar in the Sannathi Street house for a week. Every evening, a sadhu wearing jute sacks (Chakku in Tamil) around his body would visit Yogi. The sadhu had a huge jata (matted hair) packed with a piece of cloth. He had a wild beard also. He seemed to be not taking bath for several months. He carried a jute shoulder bag. He used to walk in slow pace. While walking, his packed matted hair would swing in all the sides. In spite of his ugly look, his eyes were shining with divine bliss. The stray dogs of the street would follow him and bark, but keep a safe distance from him out of fear.
He used to come in the evening exactly at 5 o’ clock. He would stand in the street before the gate of Yogi’s house for a few minutes. If Yogi came out and invited him, then alone he would get inside the house. Otherwise he would not disturb Yogi and would walk away. So, Yogi would alert the author at 4.45 pm and would ask him to sit near the grill gate of the house. As soon as the Swami came, the author should bring him inside the house to Yogi. The author did not know the Swami and had not seen him earlier with Yogi. It seemed the Swami was visiting Yogi daily for several days. Normally he would not talk to anybody. He stayed in a remote cave on the hill and every evening he would come down to beg his food and to see Yogi. The author was fortunate enough to witness a strange facet of both Yogi and the sadhu. As soon as the sadhu entered the house, Yogi would disperse all other devotees except the author and would close the main door. Yogi would instruct the assistant boy to wait in the verandah and tell the devotees, who would come to see Yogi that Yogi was busy and the devotees should come after an hour.
One evening the sadhu came and the author took him inside the Sannathi Street house. Yogi received the sadhu and made him sit on the mat, where usually the lady devotees would sit. The sadhu sat on the mat and opened his shoulder bag. He took out a broken piece of mirror, an agarbathi and a match box. He lighted the agarbathi. When the agarbathi started releasing the scented smoke, he held it in his right hand and picked the mirror in his left hand. Yogi sat just before the sadhu with all the attention on the sadhu. The sadhu raised the agarbathi and saw its image in the mirror. He moved his hands with the agarbathi and the mirror in round from left to right in front of Yogi and Yogi raised his hands in blessing posture and moved along with the sadhu’s hands without touching. The sadhu did several times from left to right and then shifted to right to left, all the time rounding both his hands with the mirror and agarbathi, seeing the image of the lighted agarbathi in the mirror. Yogi moved his blessing hands along with the hands of the sadhu. Both Yogi and sadhu sat for more than 45 minutes doing that odd action with all attention and concentration. After the agarbathi extinguished, the sadhu put the mirror in his bag again and smiled at Yogi. Yogi also laughed louder and blessed the sadhu. The sadhu’s face blushed on seeing the appreciating joy and the blessings of Yogi. The sadhu then wanted to move. Yogi offered some fruits to the sadhu as prasadam, which the sadhu accepted with great reverence. The author is not able to understand till now, what sort of Yoga the Chakku Swami performed.
The sadhu, during the last day of the author’s stay with Yogi during that time, asked Yogi, after completing the routine rituals, whether he should go somewhere else. Yogi asked the sadhu to stay on the hill for some more days. The sadhu complained that the people at Tiruvannamalai came to him and touched his feet, calling him Swami. Yogi laughed and said, “Oh, you are a Swami and the people should call you as a Swami.” On hearing the words of Yogi, the sadhu blushed. Yogi insisted the sadhu to stay on the hill for some more days and the sadhu accepted. Then the sadhu walked towards the holy hill slowly. That was the last time the author saw the sadhu with Yogi.
A Militant Sadhu
Once when the author was sitting with Yogi alone in the Sannathi Street house, the attendant of Yogi came and said a sadhu with ochre cloth came and wanted to see Yogi. Yogi paused for some time and then asked the boy to bring the sadhu inside. The attendant brought the sadhu inside.
Yogi requested the sadhu to sit on the mat before him. The sadhu sat before Yogi. The sadhu talked in pure Hindi. He said, “Maharaj, I have come from Rishikesh. Now I want to go to Rameshwaram.” Yogi saluting the sadhu with great humility asked the sadhu what he could do for the sadhu. The sadhu told authoritatively, “Don’t you hear what I said? I want to go to Rameshwaram. Make arrangements for that.” Yogi picked one rupee coin beneath his mat and offered the coin to the sadhu. On receiving the coin, the sadhu got annoyed and said, “I told you that I have to go to Rameshwaram and you are offering one rupee. Don’t you know one rupee is not sufficient to take me to Rameshwaram?” Yogi replied, “Swami take this coin and remember my Father. My Father will take you safely to Rameshwaram.” The sadhu got angry and shouted, “You are insulting me. Give me enough money to reach Rameshwaram.” Yogi replied with all humility, “Swami, this beggar could offer only this. Take Ram nam and have faith upon my Father. My Father will take you where you want to go.” The sadhu got up from his seat and shouted, “You have insulted me. If you want to escape the wrath of God, you should give me enough money or get back your money.” Yogi with all the politeness said, “This beggar is a beggar and if you offer the coin to this beggar, this beggar would accept with all the joy.” On listening to the words of Yogi, the sadhu ran away from the place with great anger.