Swami gave me a book on Gurunathar to read
I was not at all aware of Sri Gnananandar and his glory until Swami revealed the same to all of us. Swami gave me a book on Gurunathar to read. After reading the book, I strongly felt that I should visit Tapovanam at the earliest opportunity. The inner urge of visiting Tapovanam was my mind. There was an invitation for us to attend a marriage of my husband's relative in Tamilnadu in the month of October. I felt that I now had a nice opportunity to go to Tapovanam in the pretext of attending the marriage especially since at that time the college would be closed for Deepavali vacation. I expressed my desire to Swami who in turn said that most probably he would take me to Tapovanam at that time. As per the plan I went to Tamilnadu with keen eagerness and Swami was kind enough to be present for the wedding and blessed the couple. While leaving he told me about his inability to take me to Tapovanam since as per Devi's order he was asked to proceed to Kumbakonam. Seeing my disappointment, he added that one of his devotees would take me to Tapovanam and left. I was asked to go over to Mr. Jayaraman's (Swami's close devotee) house and stay there overnight and proceed to Tapovanam in the early Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, something totally unexpected occurred. There was a relentless torrential downpour in Chennai for about forty hours and most parts of the city got flooded. Warnings were issued on television and newspapers instructing people not to venture out owing to the deep depression caused in the Bay of Bengal. Many areas got submerged in rainwater. Added to the difficulty, there was an announcement of a transport strike by some unions on Tuesday. Under this tense situation, I was extremely disappointed and felt that the proposed trip to Thapovanam might get cancelled since everything was going against my desire and I started cursing my fate. Stili in spite of all these hindrances, my inner voice was continuously saying that Sri Gnananandar would definitely bless me since I had undertaken the trip to Chennai mainly for visiting Tapovanam and the urge of going to Gurunathar's place had been deep rooted in my mind for the past over six months. I was aware of the divine miracles of Gnananandar and his grace to those who sincerely aspire and seek his blessings. Swami's devotee, who was supposed to accompany me, arrived the previous night at 8 pm and suggested hiring a tourist car to proceed to Tapovanam since that would be the only viable solution under the circumstances of severe weather. The expenditure for hiring a car for the journey was beyond my means. Summoning up courage, I managed to convince the devotee that we would take a chance and go to the central bus stand in the early morning around 3.30 am by hiring an auto rickshaw and see whether we would get lucky and find any bus proceeding further to Tapovanam. If everything failed, then I would consider that as my fate and leave for Bombay on Wednesday night as per the plan without visiting Tapovanam. There was a heavy downpour accompanied by lightning and thunder throughout the night. I was highly restless and did not have a wink of sleep and went on praying. On the next day, as per the plan, we got ready and left at 3.30 am in the rains. To our surprise, we saw an auto at the end of the road. When we reached the bus terminal, we saw reserved security police surrounding the whole area, as a protection and a precaution in the event of a transport strike that had been called for. We waited patiently for more than half an hour in the rains. There was no trace of a single bus heading outstation. Deep within, I was crying over my fate and wondered what wrong I had done for not getting the Guru's grace. Meanwhile, the devotee, increasingly restless started murmuring and insisted on our returning home. At that instant, one outstation bus came with its conductor shouting on top of his voice about the availability of two seats being vacant to Thirukkoviloor. We rushed towards the bus and got inside, completely wet. The bus crawled through numerous places that were completely flooded and water logged. Somehow, we reached Thirukkoviloor. Where we got off, there was more than knee deep water and we wandered wading through the flood water, desperate to find transport to Tapovanam, which was only about five km distance from there. We could not get any transport so we had to take shelter in a roadside tea stall. After waiting for an hour in the torrential rains, I could spot an autorickshaw in the far distance. I told the accompanying devotee to wait and proceeded towards the auto. The auto driver was a young boy around 18 years old. I explained my situation to him and told him how I had come from Bombay with the sole purpose of visiting the Guru's abode. He was silent for a moment. The tea stall owner requested the auto driver to take us to Tapovanam, and take his friend along for safety reasons. The gusty wind was causing the auto to move at a Veritable snail's pace. I was meditating on Gnananandar all the way and prayed that he should reach us to the sannidhanam. At last we reached our destination and I gave a great sigh of relief and gratitude. When the priests and the disciples there saw our plight they immediately went to great lengths to make us feel comfortable. They took us around the sannidhanam and explained in detail about the temple. It was a very peaceful and spiritual place. I sat in front of Sri Gnananandar Adishtanam and narrated his ashtothram and thanked him for his mercy. While chanting the slokas I became very emotional. When we were about to leave, the chief priest called us and asked us to partake in the prasadam (dinner), which would be served at 8 pm. He said that Gnananandar was very particular that everyone who came to the temple should take prasadam and then only leave. He also said that the two boys who came with us would also be served food. Much to my surprise, the auto driver and his friend agreed without complaint to wait for dinner till 8 pm. After partaking the hot, delicious meal we returned to Thirukoviloor and then proceeded to Madras. They were really surprised to see us, as they thought we must be stranded somewhere. They were really thrilled to hear about Guru's grace. From that day onwards my faith in Gurunathar increased by leaps and bounds and I have been doing pada pooja in my mind to him daily. His divine light has been like a pole star guiding me in all walks of life.
There were a couple of families who were staunch followers of Gnananandar and who were associated with him for 4-5 decades during his life span. When they came in contact with Swami they were able to sense immediately the presence of Gnananandar in Swami. They were kind enough to share their experiences with all of us. All this proved beyond a doubt that Swami and Gnananandar are one and the same. Their experiences are illustrated here for the benefit of those who would like to seek Gurunathar's blessings.
Sri. Govindarajan and his family hail from Chennai. His family and parents were closely associated with Gnananandar for over thirty years during the life span of the latter. They were staunch devotees of Gnananandar. With his blessings, they were running a mess by name Sri Annapoorna mess. Govindarajan had a fantastic and unforgettable experience with Swami in the year 1999 which is narrated here and the whole illustration is based on written material given to me by Govindarajan himself.