The Hindu religion describes in elaborate detail, the ten avathars of Lord Vishnu. An avathar can be described as an extraordinary being with miraculous and supernatural powers, an embodiment of everything divine, who has assumed a human form (incarnated) for the welfare and emancipation of all living things.
Among the ten avathars of Lord Vishnu, the Rama avathar and Krishna avathar are by and large the ones talked about in the most vivid and elaborate manner. Moreover, by common perception, Krishna avathar is often spoken of as the best one. Why so? The avathar of Rama is an embodiment, a living example of righteousness and steadfast discipline to such an extent that it sets almost unattainable standards for the ordinary human. The avathar of Krishna evokes in us the sweet subtleties of love and peace.
God as Krishna, descended to earth as one among the human race, but at the same time set a shining example, a beacon light pointing to the real goal in life. The human mind yields to and appreciates more to the avathar of Krishna since it perceives it as an example of a more flexible and approachable path to the reality of life.
The Bhagavad Gita, the greatest sastraic literature in Hindu religion contains the highest esoteric doctrines, uttered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. It contains the essence of the Vedas, in a language so sweet and simple that even the common person can easily understand it with a little practice and perseverance. For all these reasons and more, it has assumed a position of universal interest and its divine teachings have gained appreciation all over the world.
In the Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, "Whenever righteousness is on the decline, the unrighteousness is in the ascendant, then I body Myself forth" ... "For the protection of the virtuous, for the extermination of doers of evil and for establishing Dharma on a firm footing, I am born from age to age"... Bhagavad Gita, chapter four, shlokas 7 and 8. All manifestations of God in the past and present have taken place to establish and spread ananda, prema and dharma universally.
See divinity in all fellow beings and the ordinary mortal can also become God, through the incessant self-enquiry — Who am I?, finally realizing the Real Self within. This is the ultimate goal in life that all avathars of God in the past and present have endeavored to guide us to.
Well, frankly all that has been said until now is but a repetition of well known and oft-repeated words in print. So what is new? Here, I lead you to a very unique situation; What happens when divinity (God) Himself gives Divya Darshan to an ordinary human being and finally gets merged in him for the purpose of alleviating human misery, spreading peace and happiness? A few of us have been fortunate and blessed to have had divine interactions with such a divine figure and have really experienced that Goddess Herself has merged with an ordinary person like him. Who is this? He is none other than Swami.
The reality — the absolute truth is that the divine mother Goddess Chothannikkara Bagavathi had given darshan to Swami and has merged into him. How and why did such a thing happen?
At first, the human mind will not be able to rationalize with this fact and digest the truth that Devi is in Swami.
Is Swami a spiritual leader? Is he a siddhar who has attained all the ashthama siddhis (occult powers) ? Is he an avathar purusha? Is he the modern Godman? Is he a yogi? Who is he? How did he acquire all the siddhis and how did divinity come to be merged in him? All these questions cry for answers in our minds.
After having divine interactions with him for the past twelve years and having had the divine experiences (which in itself is his grace), I think I have understood and realized the great truth that Swami is divine. He is none other than an incarnation of the divine mother Goddess Chothannikkara Bhagavathi. It is a fact that only a few fortunate people have had a chance to interact with him at close quarters. Fewer in turn have been blessed and graced to have realized the truth. After realizing the truth, I felt that it should be my prime duty to write about him, his divine powers so that any one that comes across this work has a chance to benefit from Swami's presence and divine grace. It goes beyond saying that the divine interactions change the personality of a person completely, One is moulded to lead a life of spirituality seeking the true purpose of life, while continuing with one's daily activities with renewed calm and peace of mind.
With Swami's divine vision, one is transformed for the betterment of all. I believe this to be the driving force behind this book. It is impossible for any ordinary human being to understand him fully. Yet, the interactions I've had with him have pushed me to do my humble best at tracing his life, his miracles and his divinity. His main task is to show the path of love, peace and happiness and a sense of fulfillment to the seekers who have surrendered at his Lotus feet. Swami always declares that Ambal (meaning Goddess) and Gurunathar (Sadguru Gnanananda Swami) have merged in him.
How and from where did Swami come to possess these superhuman powers? I would like you to join me in my humble venture to trace Swami's life history, to try and know him fully. The life history and other historic details are based on Swami's narrations to his followers at various times.
Swami's ancestors were the Namboodhiripads. Namboodhiris are a sect in Kerala, South India who had the sole right of performing religious rites & rituals in the temples of Kerala. They are supposed to be tanthric practitioners and spiritual masters in vedic practices.
Swami was born in Mayavaram, a small town in Tamilnadu, a neighbour state to the east of Kerala on July 15, 1946, Monday evening at 5.25 pm. According to the Hindu calendar, his birth was in the month of Ani on the 31st, Vaibhava year, the star being Thiruvonam. His parents, Raman and Neela named him Radhakrishnan. His name in itself is significant. Radha denotes the female aspect of the universe and Krishna the male aspect. The full name then symbolizes the wedding of the two. Swami is the manifestation of both the Siva and Sakthi aspects of the universe, male and female aspects of the divine. To those who have interacted with him, he seems to manifest both of these qualities, his physical movements at once delicate and flowing, at the same time being powerful and commanding. This fact will clarify itself when we come across a later stage of his life in later portions of this book.
His father was part of the Indian army. No doubt, he expected the same military discipline to prevail at his home too. Swami was a natural vegetarian who from the outset was averse to the thought of killing innocent animals for food. As a baby, when he was about a year old, a few days before his star birthday, Swami was afflicted with acute gastroenteritis, with vomiting and severe stomach pain. The doctors at the hospital he was admitted to had given up hopes of his survival. His mother, a God-fearing lady was an ardent devotee of her family deity Devi Prasanna Mariamman. From the hospital, she went with the baby straight to the temple. There was a big celebration going on in the temple that day. In her anguish and despair, she prayed with great fervour to the deity and in her desperation, she offered the baby to the Goddess and was almost about to cast the baby at the feet of the deity within the sanctum. The baby happened to fall in the pot containing the hot rice porridge (kanji) which is main offering (prasadam) to the deity. Immediately the baby was taken out of the pot. To the utter astonishment of all present, the baby was all of a sudden normal and started smiling. Everybody was wonderstruck by the miracle. Swami's mother was so happy that she was beside herself with tears of joy. She was totally overwhelmed by this divine grace. But as time passed by, like all human beings caught up in the daily rigour of life, she totally forgot about her promise uttered in those moments of despair and anxiety in front of the temple deity, praying for the life of her child.
Swami's schooling started in Mayavaram. He was average in his studies. He used to be hot-tempered as a young boy. But, at the same time, he was always prompt in going out of his way to assist classmates and teachers alike that approached him for help of any kind. He was intolerant of any kind of nonsensical acts. There were times when he was so infuriated at being wrongfully accused by others that he, without hesitation beat up the wrong doers.
At a time when he was the class leader in his school, the government of India made a move to introduce and spread the widespread usage of Hindi, the national language in the southern parts of India. Hindi was not a spoken language in these parts. India is one of the world's largest democracies with a large number of different dialects, languages, religions and customs co-existing in what is mostly perfect harmony. The beauty of this nation lies in the adage - unity in diversity, a concept of mutual respect for each others' differences binding the nation together.
The move by the central government was seen by many as arm-twisting and it met with predictable resistance. There was a call for a protest strike in Swami's school. Sensing the likelihood of untoward violent incidents, Swami approached the principal with a request to close the school for a day declaring the holiday. The welfare of the school teachers and his fellow students was uppermost in his mind.