: ➤ Swami, a unique avatar


Swami rarely gets angry and agitated

Another unique characteristic of Swami is that he gets actively involved and participates as a family member in all functions held at the devotees' homes or elsewhere. He always makes sure that the ceremony goes off well. He renders the same service and showers his grace to one and all irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and language. It is indeed a unique feature of Swami!

Swami never uses abstruse technical terms and quotes from archaic religious scriptures nor does he preach the lofty doctrines of Vedanta or insist on rigid austere practices. He always uses simple layman language and teaches easy and feasible methods which can be easily understood, followed and put into practice by everyone. He insists that devotees see, hear and do good and carry on their daily routine with the constant thought in their minds that God is within them and all pervasive. Often, he poses as though he does not know something like when he shows his curiosity over a new gadget. Is there anything for Swami to wonder about? He mingles like an ordinary man with his characteristic simplicity and many devotees who are not closely associated with him are deceived by the drama he enacts and they forget that he really conducts these pranks to merely observe and enjoy the reactions of the devotees.

Often Swami, while narrating an episode to the devotees gathered around him, would suddenly stop talking. After a couple of minutes, he will ask where he stopped and then he will continue the conversation. He seems to do this just to test,how far we were attentive while he was speaking. He knows what is going on in the minds of the gathered devotees and to what extent they are capable of grasping and following his directions. Sometimes, he will suddenly stop talking during a session and pointing to a devotee, ask her whether her thoughts are drifting away worrying about her son. What amazement! The particular individual was really thinking about her son while she was pretending to listen to his words!

Another marvel of Swami is that he rarely gets angry and agitated. If someone does any wrong unknowingly, he will point it out in such a way that the particular individual is ashamed of his own act, realizes, repents and seeks Swami's pardon. Even if Swami scolds or shouts at someone, albeit rarely, it is solely for the good of the individual. He pretends to be angry but his underlying motive is pure divine love. On many occasions, he talks about various episodes, many of which devotees soon realize, are incidents from their own lives. He gives them a chance to correct themselves and improve their attitude towards life. Even after repeated reminders, if one fails to mend ways, he will call that person and openly speak about his faults in a strict tone. But the real beauty of Swami is that when he gets angry on such occasions, he will never belittle the individual in the presence of others. On the contrary, he will call that particular person aside in private conversation.

Another notable quality of Swami is that he neither poses to be a hard task master nor a great sage, but assumes a role of an ordinary human mortal. When strangers comes to meet Swami, they are always taken aback and surprised seeing his utter simplicity and modesty. Often, Swami sits on the floor along with others and talks to them. When a stranger happens to witness such a scene, he even starts doubting the divinity and credibility of Swami. Swami often says that as per Sri Gnananandar's advice he lives out the qualities of the number 107. He always insists and expects that all his devotees should mould themselves along the same lines. He then explains the significance of this number. The number 1 denotes that everyone should aspire to be number 1 in all the fields they are involved in their everyday life. The second number, zero indicates that even if one is outstanding in one's career or occupation, never let the success get to one's head, that is be modest. The number 7 has two lines which depict the karma and destiny of man. The total of the three numbers is 8 which is the spiritual number of Devi. Though goddess has merged in Swami and he has divine powers, he lives like an ordinary mortal. He further adds that our prayer to God should be like an ash covered fire. He is the living embodiment of the 107 principle.

Swami enlightens everyone about the dharmic principles and how one should try to lead a life of righteousness. He cautions us that merely the recitation by rote of the shasthras and the sampradayams (customs and rituals) without really knowing the absolute truth behind them, we deceive ourselves by living a life of pseudo orthodoxy and many times, bigotry. We carry out most of our deeds in slipshod manner, for self gratification, which does not fetch any divine grace. What is really needed is self realization by selfless service to society, true devotion and purity of thought. Action, speech and thought should always be uni-directional. No doubt, this is an uphill task to practice but that is no excuse for not attempting to put these ideals to practice. He further states that we are foolish in that that we follow strict penance and orthodox customs and forget that we paradoxically replace God with these practices. If one has maturity in thought, absolute faith that the Almighty can turn even poison into nectar, then such a soul will accept poison as prasadam, when it is offered with true and sincere devotion in a holy place.

Let me narrate to you an incident at Shirdi where Swami had taken a few of us along with him to worship Sri Sai Baba. Enroute to Shirdi, in the bus, he was talking about Saranagathi (complete surrender). After worshipping Sai Baba and visiting all the holy places in the temple town, we all went to a hotel with him. There Swami ordered idlies and sambar for all. The sambar contained onions and there were two old ladies among us who did not like to have that, saying that it was the day of Ekadasi. When Swami noticed the two ladies not consuming the sambar, he lovingly mocked at them about their surrender to him, not realizing that the sambar was in fact, Devi shesham (left out prasadam). Swami continued saying that there is no harm in changing some self imposed restrictions for obvious greater good. When one surrenders completely at the lotus feet of Swami, the only thing he asks from the devotees is true devotion and full faith. He further said that anyone who approaches him with full faith, true devotion and sincere prayer is sure to get his blessings and grace. His words have great potency though they may appear to be very simple. There is a deep hidden meaning in each and every word of Swami. When one is in the company of Swami, he forgets himself and does not know how time flies.