Let us Pray and Stay Together

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“mananat trayate iti mantrah”, continuous repetition, contemplation and recollection of a word or statement, (either in prose or poetic form), which protects us and yields beneficial results is a Mantra.

In short, Mantras are like affirmations, the former are in the verse form and are in Sanskrit, whereas the latter are mostly in English, which we translate into our respective mother tongues for the sake of convenience, since God, the Para Brahman, as we all know and believe is Omni-linguist. Unlike affirmations, which are mostly kept to oneself and not shared with anyone until the desired result is bestowed, Mantras chanted in groups yield best results. By continuously focusing on chanting of the Mantra or on the affirmation, signals are transmitted to the brain ascertaining such and such thing to happen and the mind in turn creates patterns of energy coalescing with the innate vibratory pattern of the universe thus increasing the probabilities to attract and materialize the desired thing or event. The keywords and sounds dramatically reveal new vistas of insight and energy within us, which in turn helps us to gain access to the cosmic powers.

All the religions in the world have some special phrases or verses charged with power that enables to create peace, fulfill a wish, or bestow prosperity upon the person concerned or upon the society as a whole. Power of the words  , in all its four forms, is realized and recognized universally, whether uttered aloud or silently. Its effects are believed to be immediate and substantial if chanted or uttered sincerely, especially in chorus; hence the need for Satsangs, the collective prayers.

Chanting verses and mantras for personal progress or benefit is quite common. Nevertheless, we being a constituent part of the society, enjoying all the privileges provided by Nature and the Government, are under an obligation to contribute our humble share to it – at both micro and macro levels i.e. starting with the self and family, gradually embracing the entire world, and living up to or true to the adage ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – the entire world is nothing but a family.

The first step in this direction is the chanting of the long forgotten Mantra invoking Universal peace:

“Saha nav avatu, saha nau bhunaktu,
Saha viryam karavavahi: tejasvi nav adhi
Tam astu: ma vidvisavahai; aum santih, santih, santih.”

The literal meaning of it is: “May He protect us both; may He be pleased with us both; May we work together with vigour; May our study make us illumined; May there be no dislike between us. Aum, Peace, Peace, Peace.”

In its etymological sense, the mantra means:
“Let us all stay together united,
Let us share equally and enjoy partaking of food together,
Let us together enjoy the comforts and amenities of life,
Let us work together uniting our vital energy for the welfare of humanity,
Let our learning be full-fledged blessing us with joy and enlightenment,
Let us never poison our life and soul by hating and despising each other,
Let humanity flourish, let peace prevail everywhere.
Some interpret ‘Peace’ uttered for three times as
Om! Let there be Peace in me!
Let there be Peace in my environment!
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me!”

In ancient times, in Gurukuls the Guru used to make the students chant the above mantra at end of the lesson. Here ‘both’ refers to the teacher and the student. (This verse is found in Rig Veda, Katha Upanishad, Shvetashvatara Upanishad and is the first verse in Brahmananda Valli, the second chapter of Taitteriya Upanishad)
Generally, it is recited together with the following mantra at the beginning and end of religious rituals and discourses and at auspicious occasions invoking peace unto the world:
Om asato ma sadgamaya – Lead us from the unreal to the real
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya – Lead us from darkness to light
Mrutyormaa amritam gamaya – Lead us from death to immortality
Om shanti, shanti, shanti – Om peace, peace, peace.
Till a few decades ago, the senior members or the family head used to perform rituals daily, strictly following the injunctions of the scriptures, and in the end they used to chant this mantra aloud which naturally was passed on to the next generation. Besides, there used to be festive occasions almost every month (many of which are no longer followed) where the family chanted this in chorus. But gradually the hectic schedule of the working parents, tight school hours, and lastly (I wonder, if primarily!!) the ‘idiot box’ leave little scope and time for elaborate puja. However, this mantra, which hardly takes less than a minute to chant, should be adapted into our lives, for it is indubitably a harbinger of peace to the family and to the society, at large.
According to great historiographers like R.C.Majumdar, Alberuni et al, and some philosophers, gross neglect of this fundamental mantra in both words and deeds, has been the reason that led the Indians into dreadful and dismal situations. Once this Mula Mantra was again adapted in their lives, there began accession towards progress. In the process of progress and declension, the Indians have almost forgotten this Mula Mantra. Thus, though it went into oblivion in the place of its origin, surprisingly people in many parts of the world are patronising and ardently chanting these Mantras. Indian priest Rajan Zed opened the US Senate on July 12, 2007 with a Sanskrit prayer. Vedic hymns in Sanskrit were chanted at the kick-start of Commonwealth Games 2010 on 30 October 2009, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth. On 6th September 2003, President of the Republic of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, addressing the Durban University students, said, “Sangachhdwam, Samvadadwam…,’ which calls upon humanity to be united to have a common speech and a common mind.

The complete verse is:
Om sangachadhvam sam vadadhvam – Let us come together, talk together
Sam vo manamsi janatam – Let our minds be in harmony
Deva bhagam yatha purve – Let our prayer be Common
Samjanana upasate – Common be our end
Samani va akutih samana hridayani vah
Samanamastu vo mano yatha vah susahasati – Let there be oneness in your resolutions, hearts and minds; Let the strength to live with mutual co-operation be firm in you all. (Rig Veda 10 – 191:2)

So, is it not high time that our children and we understand the profundity of this verse and make it a habit to chant together in the morning, at night and/or on any occasion?

Jain dharma kaa maulik itihaas, Vol 4 (Hindi) by Sri Acharya Hasimalji Maharaj
Indian Ethos And Values In Management By Sri Sankar


Dr. Sripada M.S.D Phd (Master of Spiritualism & Devotion)

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Generally, thought vibrations keep transmitting in all the ten directions of the universe. Good and righteous people are attracted and influenced by good vibrations whereas the bad and unrighteous people get attracted and affected by bad vibrations. Depending upon the quality of vibrations either you will be in the good or in bad company. One should also nourish good thought vibrations and should associate himself with good people. So, Children! try hard to think, speak and do GOOD.GOOD and GOOD.

Gurucharana, one of the devotees of Sripada narrated this incident to Sri Shankar Bhatt.

Gurucharana once went to Jagannath on a business tour. He was accompanied by his business associates. There they went to Jagannath temple. To all of them their favourite deity appeared initially in the idol of Jagannath and only then the real form. Thus Sripada silently enlightened them that the form of all gods and goddesses is one and the same; He appears the way a devotee wants Him to.

On the same day, an ascetic called Dandi Swami arrived there with the entourage of his 108 disciples. It is customary to offer obeisance to Saints, intellects or elders by touching their feet. The moment Gurucharana and his friends touched his feet, Dandi swami literally became dumb. With a fear that they would be looked upon as black magicians they fervently prayed Lord Sripada to return Dandi Swami  his voice. To their great relief he regained his voice. When Dandi Swami  and his disciples came to know that Gurucharana and his associates were the devotees of Sripada they condemned saying, “Sripada is a wicked sorcerer and His disciples are not inferior either. Using your wicked black magic you controlled the speech of our Guru and made him dumb. Of course, our virtuous guru with his spiritual power and ability could regain his speech, within no time.” Then they also threatened Gurucharana saying that their guru would soon visit Pithapuram only to destroy the pseudo-fame of Sripada by exposing his real form to every sun and dry, and then would hoist their victory flag.

Accordingly Dandi Swami came to Pithikapuram. At first he beheld the darshan of Swayambhu Datta and other deities in Kukkuteswara temple. There he announced his mission in public “The glory and greatness of Swayambhu Datta is boundless. But in your village a mere kid is boasting himself to be the incarnation  of Lord Dattatreya. As I am a staunch devotee and a zealous worshipper of Lord Datta, the Lord gave me the responsibility of humbling the pride of Sripada. The destiny of Pithapuram will change for the better from today onwards. Now relax and free yourselves from worry and anxiety. I am there to take care of every thing, (Are, Mai hoon naa?).” Then he manifested sacred ash, vermilion etc from ether with his mystic power and distributed them among the people. The assembly of Brahmins went to temple to bring him into the village amidst Vedic mantras and playing the auspicious instruments like Shehnai, Conch Shell, flute etc. An announcement was made in the entire city to the effect that Sripada, who proclaims himself as the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya, has to publicly accept his guilt and should seek apology prostrating on the feet of Dandi Swami; Sri Bapanaryulu, maternal grand father and Appalaraja Sharma, father of Sripada should also seek forgiveness; the latter should personally handover to Dandi Swami the idol of Kalagnisamana Datta which the family has been worshipping  for generations together; and lastly they all should undergo the punishment given by him’.

Except Sripada every one was tense and worried. Sripada asked for curd rice and started eating it. Here in Kukkuteswar temple, morsels of curd rice appeared on the face of the idol of Swayambhu Datta. The temple priest wiped out repeatedly, but yet the morsels continued to appear. The divine game nevertheless surprised every one but they failed to comprehend it.

Dandi Swami with his entourage of old disciples, and the neophytes set out amidst the recital of Vedic hymns and mantras. Though they were walking ahead their onward march was constrained to the same place, as if they were walking on a ‘Tread mill,’ or carrying out “Kadam Taal.’ in March past standing at the same place. And to their awe they felt as if the ground underneath were stretching further on and on.  After a few hours what seemed like years to the congregation, the hand stick of Dandi Swami has broken into two; he fell flat on the ground as if his spine has broken down. The Brahmins turned pale and started shivering and quivering all over. They realised it was the divine play of Sripada; and their immediate concern was  to reach their homes

There Sripada sent Abbanna, the snake charmer and Subbayya, a low caste born to Kukkuteshwara temple giving instructions to sprinkle water from their pots on those who want to accompany him to behold His Darshan, and to sprinkle water on the ground too as the mother earth there was angry and unhappy. He asked them to offer her prayers and to request her to become normal and peaceful. Both of them went and brought them to Sri Bapanaryulu’s house. Sripada spoke firmly, “Dandi Swami! What arrogance and what a pride! O ignoramus! Lord Datta, whom you have been worshipping, has descended in human form and stood in front of you and you deny recognising him. Your disciples and the neo-disciples from Pithapuram follow your suit. A blind leading the blind. You and your sycophants are accumulating sin by accusing the Lord. Chitragupta already passed the verdict against you- to wander as evil spirits for hundreds of years. But feeling pity for you I held him back from enforcing the punishment.

In fact, I am the formless Divine player who creates, sustains and destroys the universe. I assumed this form to shower my love and grace upon you. I descended to preach the path of Dharma, karma, devotion and knowledge. I am the highest truth of all the truths, highest dharma of all dharmas and basic cause of all causes. No single object in this entire creation exists without my conviction. Dandi Swami! Don’t get entangled in the delusive bond of disciples and don’t amuse yourself in the company of these Brahmins. Go to Himalayas all alone and perform penance.” Dandi swami who had already learnt his lesson went away all alone without a second word or thought after paying humble salutations to Sripada. Later, he performed penance totally surrendering himself to the Supreme and attained liberation. What a happy ending!!

Sripada gave a mild punishment to Dandi Swami because he hadn’t any other evil traits other than the false pride about his devout devotion to Lora Datta.which was aggravated by the flattery of the followers. God the Almighty knew that Dandi Swami could reform himself without undergoing any harsh punishment. As I already told you, Sripada brought him onto the path with a mild dose. Isn’t it great?

Next, will be a story illustrating how the author Shankar Bhatt was chased and entangled in the claws and fangs of crows and snakes respectively.




Story of Srimannarayana -Part2

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Here the relatives bribed the village head man and illegally occupied a portion of the land in their house. The village headman declared it as disputed land and granted permission to the relatives to grow vegetables till the verdict is given. The time was running- taariq pe taariq, taariq pe taariq chalaa jaa rahaa thaa, but he did not finalise the matter.

A snake charmer came to their village on Nagula Chavithi day (the fourth lunar day after Dipavali). With the powers of Mantras, he could bring any type of venomous snake under his control. He could regenerate life into a person whose life would seem to be ebbing away due to snake bite. He had ‘Garuda line’ (eagle) in the palm. The scriptures say that the snakes meekly submit to the person who has ‘Garuda’ line in the palm. Our relatives and the headman took him into confidence to conspire against Narayana and his family. Their fist target was – to kill the snakes.

Despite the protests of the family, the surrounding area of the snake hole was set on fire. Occultist sat on his seat, started doing black magic in strange ways, chanting the mantras aloud. The cobras came out of the hole as if they were enchanted by black magic. The size of the snakes was increasing every moment and they crawled towards the blazing flames. Oh, what a wonderful sight! The fire was getting extinguished at the places where the snakes were moving on as if giving them a way. Eventually, fire fully got extinguished. The snakes majestically crawled away and disappeared while every one was gaping at them in awe.

Suddenly, the symptoms of snake-bite without being bitten by the snake appeared in the body of the eldest son of headman – bloody foam was coming out of his mouth; he was swaying violently from side to side unable to bear the pain and his body was turning blue. While the second son all-of-sudden lost his vision. Both the incidents shattered the courage of headman. Occultist tried all the possible ways chanting the mantras, but of no use. The ‘Garuda line’ slowly disappeared from his palm and the occultist lay on the floor dead. The ambience was tense and filled with grief and sorrow. The village headman rushed to Narayana, who consoled him saying that both the sons would be cured by offering prayers to Sripada.

Body of the occultist was taken to the burial ground and was set to fire after placing it upon the funeral pyre. Suddenly the dead body became alive and started shouting to save him. The sentinels of the crematory said that the occultist had turned into an evil spirit and entered into his own body. A spirit with its own body is more dangerous and harmful than the spirits who enter into other’s body. No one was dared to help him. However a kind-hearted sentinel poured water on it. Instead of extinguishing the fire, water worked as fuel and flames increased. Astonishingly, the flames did not burn or consume his body, no organ got damaged or deformed either, but yet the blazing flames were visible to all and he was undergoing the torture and pain of being burnt.

The dead body of occultist, the moving inferno got up from the pyre; yelling, hopping and jumping it reached the headman’s house. The devotees there were carrying out ‘Sripada naama sankeertan’ and the bhajan ‘Datta Digambaraa! Datta Digambaraa! Sripada Vallabha! Datta Digambaraa!’; the entire atmosphere was filled with serene and blissful vibrations.

Oh, Is Sripada the incarnation of Datta? Then is he also a Digambar? What an insanity to remain without clothes? Thus the occultist used to comment and make fun of Sripada. . Sripada, brought him from cemetery and made him stand in sky-clad in front of all his devotees with flames blazing all over the body. The one, who surrenders to him with all his humility, is very much safe just like a baby in her mother’s lap; and for the egoistic Sripada pays back in their own coin.

Children, remember, this is not out of anger or vengeance; on the contrary to make them realize that Aatmavat sarva Bhutaani’ i.e. one has to treat others as he treats himself, i.e. a thing or an act which causes pain to oneself obviously proves painful to others too. If every one realizes this truth peace remains and pervades every where. Some easily learn this lesson while some realize it in a hard way.  Sripada is the best physician of the universe; He knows and decides the therapeutic dose depending upon the seriousness of the ailment of the patient concerned.

While bhajan of Sripada was in progress he was getting relief as and when he danced.. But the moment he stopped dancing, the pain doubled. He felt embarrassed and ashamed to dance in nudity in public. He realised that it was his mistake. He recollected how wickedly he killed the snakes using his spell, enchanting them to jump into fire and how he ridiculed the great sadhus and naked sanyasis. His repentance reached such a peak that he mentally confessed and whole heartedly surrendered himself to Sripada.

No sooner he became a reformed-soul from within, the flames subsided and the fire got extinguished. Some one offered him garment. With lot of enthusiasm he participated in bhajan. Both the sons of headman were recovered by the sunset. The occultist led a pious life meditating upon Sripada. Village headman gave verdict in favour of old couple. Every one in the village lived happily and peacefully there after.






Story of Srimannarayana -Part1

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Srimannarayana and his family once enjoyed riches and luxuries. But by sheer ill luck they lost everything and had to leave the native place with empty hands and only with the clothes put on their bodies.   They approached Sripada seeking mercy. He gave Narayana a fistful of black grams and asked to tie them in a corner of his upper garment (uttariyam) and to discard it when his desire gets fulfilled. He ordered them to proceed towards the West.

I think I’ve already asked you to visualise train-less, bus-less society and that people used to go in groups by walk encamping at different places on their way. Some times they used to cook seeking provisions from the villagers and sometimes they were fed by them. Unlike now, there was no running around in utter bewilderment, no knitting or raising eyebrows or no exchanging interrogative glances among family members as to ‘to be or not to be’, on the contrary it was considered as a normal routine and sacred duty of the householders to feed the guests. Strictly speaking now-a-days even if we want to, we cannot afford or are scared to entertain a stranger, leave alone groups. Are, kahee se chakoo vakoo yaa gun nikaalee, to ho jaayegee chutti,. In your words,   Honaa kyaa??  Kallaas.

Coming back to our story, Narayana and his family did not remain hungry or thirsty on their way. The householders voluntarily offered food to them. They crossed Andhra, entered Karnataka and rested in a house. The owners of the house were old and in anguish. Their only son died of snake bite and the daughter-in-law was drifted away by the water currents while taking a holy dip in riverKrishnaand died. The so-called relatives were more interested in their money and their property. Thus they were left with none to take care of in the autumn of their lives. The old couple instantly liked and had developed parental love and attachment towards their guests. Meanwhile foul smell was emanating from the black grams tied in the cloth. Comprehending the sign from Sripada that they had reached their destination, they threw away the black grams and stayed back there.

The couple were planning to adopt them.  The relatives, who were after their money, were totally against this proposal. But left with no alternative they made a truce among themselves regarding their share in property and ways and means to throw the strangers out of the house.

They bought (in the sense bribed) and brought an astrologer who prophesied that the guests were very inauspicious and unlucky persons. Their adoption might invoke the wrath of Goddess Lakshmi who would instantly leave their house.  As to the old couple, they were adamant and asked for a remedy to escape from the inauspicious yoga and performed Yagna to appease the Gods and planets and then declared them as their heirs apparent. The relatives who disliked the entire course of action and its progress tried to steal the harvested crop. Narayana was all alone patrolling the crops and was wondering how to save the yield. Suddenly a bear jumped on to the ground from a palm tree and rushed towards the bullock carts and the panicked relatives– Nau do gyaarah ho gaye.

Frightened Narayana started chanting the name of Sripada. The aggressive bear became quite and started jumping and clapping the hands rhythmically. From that day onwards, bear became a member of their family. It guarded their farms, so they never faced a threat from the relatives. The bear enjoyed to participate in the Bhajans of Sripada and used to listen attentively the glory of Sripada.

The relatives approached an occultist. He with one of his powers merged his consciousness in that of the bear and with the other yogic act attracted its powers into himself. The bear weeping silently and helplessly remained more dead than alive. A strange thing happened on that day, during the Bhajans of Sripada. The bear regained its consciousness, strength and suddenly started behaving like a human being.

The occultist merged his consciousness into that of the bear to inflict pain by taking out its vital force; Sripada used the same technique to interchange their consciousness. Wav! Just imagine, he behaving like a bear and the Bear, talking in a human voice!!! Unable to bear the Bear-menace of the occultist his followers tied him with ropes and left him in the forest. This is how *‘Dharma, the law of Sripada works. Sripada let the powers of the occultist work just to teach him a lesson and to burn the remaining Karma of the bear.

And here, our bear narrated the details of its previous birth in a human voice, “Sirs, I was a money lender in my previous birth. I collected the interest mercilessly causing agony and ruing the families of many. Hence I was born as a bear in this birth. As luck would have it, I came in contact with these righteous and virtuous people and had developed devotion towards Lord Sripada. I am blessed with a virtuous life in my next birth. Jo jaisi sangat kare, So taisa phal Paaye

The occultist had not only involved in many sinful deeds but also tried to harm a devotee of Sripada and a dumb animal. So Sripada punished him.

The bear remained silent as if it were in a trance and breathed its last amidst the chants of Sripada. Three cobras from nowhere, circumambulated three times around the bear, and stayed in their house from then onwards. They regularly offered milk to them with reverence.




Story of Dattananda

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This event took place when Sripada was only of 6 years old.

Dattananda was a stammerer from his childhood. Every one used to mimic and make fun of him. Added to this, he had developed a strange disease, ( it is now known as Progeria, accelerated aging disease) which became chronic when he was five years old. At the age of 5 he appeared as an old man of 50 years with grey hair, wrinkles, suffered fatigue and quick exhaustion. His parents were informed about the divine play of Sripada and that a great yagna would be performed in Pithikapuram under the supervision of Sri Bapanaryulu.

So they went to Pithikapuram. Each Brahmin family there had been allocated with a particular task of Yagna. Accordingly Ghee was collected for Yagna by some and was kept under the safe custody of an old Brahmin who was a greedy-miser like your Uncle Scrooge. He stealthily took one fourth of ghee for himself and sent the remaining portion to Yagnashala. Yagna was started. While offering the ghee to the deities, Brahmins felt that the quantity of ghee would not be sufficient to complete the yagna. To collect the ghee on the very spot was an impossible task. Such an obstacle in the performance of yagna was considered as an ill-omen by one and all. Sripada called the old Brahmin and asked him to scribe on aPalmyraleaf, “Mother Ganges! Provide us with Ghee required to complete the yagna. My grandfather Sri Venkatappayya Sreshthi will clear your debt. This is an order of Sripada”. Four Brahmins accompanied the old Brahmin, taking the written message of Sripada to ‘Padagaya Tirth’. They dropped the letter into theGangesand filled the pots with water. Lo! Behold! The water turned into ghee as soon as it was brought to Yagnashala. Yagna was completed peacefully without any obstacles. As decided earlier, Sreshthi filled those pots with ghee and the ghee turned into water while pouring into the Tirtha.

Dattananda’s father opened his heart to Sripada and requested Him to cure his son. Sripada consoled and gave assurance that he would make his son hail and healthy. Then He called the old Brahmin who was apprehensive and in a dilemma whether to confesses his guilt to Sripada or not.

Sripada asked him to determine an auspicious time to set a house on fire. The Brahmin was scared to death, his wits failed, he murmured in a feeble tone that he never knew such a thing; generally auspicious time is determined for constructing a house but not for burning it. He was wondered whether such an evil task like burning a house might be carried out at an inauspicious time in a day. And he confirmed that inauspicious time was running then.

Sripada exclaimed happily, “Grandpa! What a good news!” and continued, “a deceitful person has stolen a portion of the ghee kept for sacred Yagna. As hunger of fire god is not satiated he will consume the house together with his share of ghee. Lo! Fire god is consuming it and dancing out of joy.” The Brahmin turned as pale as a ghost. He received news that suddenly his house had caught on fire and turned into a heap of ashes.

Sripada ordered him to bring some ash of his burnt house. The old Brahmin realised that appeased Sripada grants boons, while in rage causes destruction. So he quietly brought the ash. Sripada mixed the ash in water and asked Dattananda to drink it continuously for three days. To every one’s awe he became quite normal on the fourth day without the slightest trace of ailment.

Sripada narrated the events of their previous birth: Both Dattananda and the old Brahmin were business partners. Gradually they bred jealousy, disloyalty and plotted to kill each other. Dattananda administered poison to his friend mixing it in Kheer, and exactly at the same time some of the labourers hired by the partner set Dattananda’s house on fire. As a result of their evil deeds Dattananda suffered with the strange disease while the partner’s house was burnt down to ashes in this birth

Sripada with his immense grace liberated both of them off their bad karma. The old man had turned over a new leaf becoming honest, loyal and a great devotee of Sriapada. Sri Narasimha Varma built a new house for the old Brahmin. Dattananda became a great scholar.

The author says that the very presence of the Almighty does make a lot of difference in any work and he substantiates it saying that due to the presence of Lord Krishna the Kurukshetra War transformed into a sacred Yagna. On the contrary, Yagna performed by the King Daksha turned into a battle field as Lord Shiva was not invited. The intricacies of Dharma should be understood in both these events.

Have you realized that the Almighty can do and undo anything and can cure any disease provided you surrender unto Him in full faith.





Kulasekhara – the Wrestler

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Sripada was only a four years old kid when this event had taken place.

Since this is a very short story, I want to share some thing with you. Most of these events circumvent around the theory of Karma. In short, depending upon the type of deeds one performs one reaps the fruits, either bitter or sweet like honey. Boyaa ped babool kaa aam kahaan se hoy?  Sripada repeatedly says that one should not hurt the feelings of others either in words or in deeds. If you do not want to or cannot help a person, politely express your inability. Don’t breed negative feelings like arrogance, false pride, jealousy etc; they attract evil and harmful vibrations from ether which in turn throw you in the dungeon of troubles. Tasmaat Jaagrata Jaagrata (beware of Bad actions)

This event was narrated by Subbaih Sreshthi to Sri Shakar Bhatt:

Kulasekhara, a Keralite was proficient in ‘varma kalai’or ‘Marma kalai’. It is a martial art, varmam or marmam means vital points and thus it means the Art of vital points. It comprises of attacking or applying pressure on the vital points, which may either paralyse or take out the breath of the person depending upon the force and velocity of the strike or pressure applied. According to varma kalai, the deadly martial art, our body has 350 therapeutic varma points and 108 lethal varma points which can be attacked. At the same time it is a science of harmony between mind, soul and body and is used as a healing art to treat patients suffering from different ailments applying required pressure on vital points. Acharya Sushruta, father of surgery was the profounder of varma kalai.

(For any additional information refer to these links. It seems Lord Shiva taught this martial art to his consort Parvati.

http://www.varmakalai.in/ ; http://www.varmam.org/articles/HistoryOfVarmaKalai.php


Kulasekhara was a devotee of Lord Venkateswara. Travelling through all the kingdoms, fighting and defeating and receiving victory banners from the wrestlers in Malla Yuddha or the Art of Wrestling, he finally arrived at Pithikapuram. All the wrestlers of Pithapuram assembled together and discussed about the pros and cons of the combat. They were sure that either they had to face defeat or death in his hands. They approached Sripada with a hope that if he is really the incarnation of Lord Datta he would definitely bring them out of this imminent danger. They expressed their fear and requested him to save them.

Sri NarasimhaVarma was a close friend of Sri Bapanaryulu. Sripada used to call him Grandpa’. Varma had a servant, called Bhima, who was born weak with deformities and a hunchback. He was nicknamed as ‘Ashtaavakra’(person with eight deformities). He was an ardent admirer and a devout devotee of Sripada. He often entreated Sripada to treat him of his deformities. Sripada always postponed the matter with a smile and commented that at an appropriate time he would not only cure him of his disease but would transform him into a strong and handsome man.

Now, Sripada selected Bhima to fight against Kulasekhara. Bhima who had an immense faith in Sripada prepared at once to jump into the arena. But the wrestlers anticipated the end of Bhima and started prayers silently for the peace of his soul, in advance.

Wrestling started at the scheduled time and place. All the inhabitants assembled at the venue to watch the offbeat competition; they too felt certain that Bhima would collapse with the very first blow. Contrary to their assumptions, Bhima became stronger and stronger with each strike and with each blow he received and Lo! he stood erect like a pillar with no trace of hunchback. Poor Kulasekhara, who was at the giving end, became weaker and weaker with every punch he gave and finally fell at the lotus feet of Sripada. Sripada declared that he had interchanged Bhima’s weakness into Kulasekhar’s body and his strength into Bhima’s. Further he reprimanded him, “Kulasekhar! You have misused your proficiency in Varma Kalai, the martial art. Instead of using it for the welfare of the people, to cure the diseased and to serve the mankind you turned head-strong and egoistic. So I am taking away the martial art too from you.  Initiate yourself into asceticism and practice yoga.” Then Sripada appeared in the form of Lord Venkateswara to him (as he was a devotee of Balaji) for a minute and asked him to leave the place.

King of Pithikapuram

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The king who reigned over Pithikapuram, during the times of Sripada was a little bit eccentric. He was arrogant, egoistic; words like humble, humility were totally unknown to him. He heard about the divine play of Sripada and was eager to see Him. Instead of going by himself to behold His darshan or sending a humble petition, the king sent the royal attendants demanding immediate presence of Sripada.

Lord Sripada refused to obey the order and sent a message in reply, “You are a king to a limited domain. But I am the emperor of emperors of this entire creation. So it is appropriate on your part to humbly seek my Darshan. Moreover since you are a vassal king under me pay me bountiful tribute. If you consider me as your guru, offer me Dakshina too.”

The king was outraged by the audacious disobedience of his command and the impudent message. He shrieked loudly, “oh! You arrogant Brahmin! You failed to comprehend my might. If I intend, I will crush you like an ant under my foot and wipe out your very identity itself, you impertinent fello…!” before he could complete the last word he fell flat on the ground. Having been shouted at the top most of his voice, the king got exhausted and felt as if he had no strength to get up, to utter a word, or to move. Attendants hurriedly assisted him but in vain, the king lay like a log spineless and spiritless. Meanwhile an ugly looking lady appeared before his inner eye, introduced herself as ‘Shakti’ and announced that she would be entering into his body. Lo! As if proving that “Actions talk louder than words” she forcibly made her entry into his body inflicting inexplicable pain to our poor king. He implored with a feeble tone, “Oh, have mercy upon me Goddess! Please leave my body.” Lo! Here I am leaving,” the goddess Shakti came out of his body with the same vigor breaking and cracking his bones and joints. What then? The goddess continued the to and fro journey into and out of his body as if she were playing the ‘in and out’ game. The entire palace was echoed with the pitiful yells and wails of the king. Somehow the king managed to summon Sundara Rama Sharma, the royal priest and a devotee of Lord Dattatreya. The priest at once performed some rites, worshipped Swayambhu Dattatreya, gave ‘Tirtha’ (holy water) and applied sacred ash on his forehead. With this, the horrific entry and departure of Shakti were ceased at once.

Sundar Rama Sharma like other Brahmins in Agraharam was jealous of Sripada and his family. He decided not to lose the opportunity and try to keep the fire ablaze with his venomous comments, “How dare to disobey you, the king? You should not pardon them my Majesty! After all a mere kid claims omniscience and proclaims that he is Lord Dattatreya. Oomph! Your highness! But for my devout prayers to Lord Datta you would have remained in this horrible plight for a long. Mind you, Sir, Sripada performed a black spell on you. Drag him to the palace.” The morale of the king, whose memory was afresh and raw with the hellish pain he had undergone was already in the low ebb; he meekly replied, “Oh, don’t bother sir, why should I soil my reputation dragging a Brahmin to the court. Just suggest me some remedy to repel the black magic, it’s enough.”

Disappointed Sharma designed a plan to convert the disadvantageous position of the king to his benefit. He gave a list of remedies to be accomplished simultaneously for 40 days: reading ‘Datta Puranam’; worshipping ‘swayambhu Datta (self-manifested idol of Datta) as per scriptural injections; generously donating gold and silver and offering ‘Dakhina’ to the priests who read the scripture and perform rituals; and feeding the people of all castes and he ensured that the problems would not dare to step even onto the outskirts of his kingdom. The king readily gave his consent.

Hectic preparations were made, priests were invited from far and wide to participate in this 40 days’ programme. All the activities in the agenda were in progress under the headman ship of Sharma. Contrary to the assurance of Sharma, thefts and burglaries became rampant in the entire kingdom from the day one itself; there was much ado about stealing everywhere. Despite the stringent measures the king miserably failed to curb the robbery.

Whether he was wide awake or was asleep, the king was haunted constantly by the pitiful appearance of the spirits of his ancestors and. their accusations against the Brahmins echoed in his ears. They complained that the Brahmin-priests were not performing their annual obsequies in a righteous manner. Hence they were not able to receive the oblations offered to them and their souls were wandering in the astral plane without liberation. They elaborated that ‘unless both- the children and the priests perform the obsequies with a sense of concern and respect the souls of progenitors would not attain liberation at all. Anything performed mechanically, with total indifference does not yield required results.’ (How truthful!)

King’s daughter started behaving like the one possessed by an evil spirit-oohhahhahaa… laughing monstrously, throwing all the articles into air like  missiles and fleeing away from palace on to roads with disheveled hair and attire. So a Shaman was called upon to expel the ghost from her body.

Chalo, kum se kum ek kaam to acchaa ho rahaa hai, to enjoy such a sense of satisfaction, the king often visited the place where the people were fed. To his amazement the persons appeared scrawny, skinny and lifeless like victims of chronic malnutrition. The king’s situation was like- Out of frying pan, Dhadaak! directly, into the fire.

The situation in the house of royal priest, Sundar Ram Sharma was not better either. His pleasant abode metamorphosed into a chaotic and tumultuous asylum. His wife who used to be as meek as a lamb suddenly turned into a wild tigress and started pouncing upon, knocking and hitting him with every thing within her reach.  His son and daughter were not lagging behind; they too contributed their meager share in harassing him; she- throwing all sorts of foot wears over him and he- spitting, pinning him onto the ground and strangling his neck with devilish force. ‘Hunger’ had become a forbidden word or a nightmare  for Sharma, as whenever he uttered this word he was given and forced to eat only hay, the menu was same for all the three meals and six courses. If he refused to eat, he had to undergo three different punishments from three different quarters for the same offence.

During the day time, as long as Dattapuranam was being read, there was Sat, Chit and Anand every where. Once the ‘Svadhyay’ was over and the priests had their lunch, his house turned into a ‘Bhoot Bungalow’ with all sorts of evil spirits laughing and roaming around. They were Sharma’s ancestors and they complained that they were unable to attain liberation as their obsequies were performed with sinful money, taken from the king. The women ghosts complained that the king’s ancestors were frivolous persons who had spoiled their family life.

The king, Sharma and the priests remained in a state of constant panic and apprehension as every thing was going against their expectations. They were frightened at their own shadow. Grace of Sripada showers nectar upon the devotees but shoots thunderbolts at the arrogant.

They rushed to Lord Sripada with all humility, fell on his lotus feet and begged forgiveness. Sripada possesses both motherly and fatherly attributes. Like father He disciplines his children and like a mother he readily forgives any grave mistake committed by his children. The author aptly says that the motherly love, the warmth and affection of Sripada surpasses the affection of millions and billions of mothers of all the times and of the entire universe combined. He reprimanded, “Sons, you are the devotees of Lord Datta. You adore and worship my idol, but when I, the formless and attribute less unmanifest manifested amidst you in a human form with attributes, you refuse to realize and comprehend my omniscience and try to crucify me.  The root cause behind all your troubles is unrighteousness and skepticism. Earn money by honest means and sincerely perform the righteous things. Love, respect and serve your parents wholeheartedly as long as they are alive and perform their obsequies sincerely after their demise. Remember, if you call me sincerely by any name I would come running to protect you. If you take one step toward me I’lll take ten toward you. I assume the form, depending upon your feelings and thoughts and help you in the way you want me to. So don’t ever fight amongst yourselves about the form of the formless Absolute.” They realized their mistake, once again prostrated on his divine feet and went home. Thereafter they lived happily forever leading a pious life.

Lord Rama gently placing his foot on the stone turned it back into a woman. Lord Krishna with His mere touch transformed a dwarf with hunch back into a beautiful lady. Lord Sripada cured and transformed a feeble hunch back man into a strong man not by his touch, but by making him receive blows and punches from a wrestler. I’ll narrate this story in our next session.








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