Yogim Vande Jagadgurum
– My Salutations to Yogi Ramsuratkumar
रामसुरतकुमार देवं काम काञ्चन मर्दनम् | देवकी परमानन्दं योगिं वन्दे जगद्गुरुम् ||
rāmasuratakumāra dēvaṁ kāma kāñcana mardanam|dēvakī paramānandaṁ yōgiṁ vandē jagadgurum||
I salute the divinity, the guru of the entire world, Yogi Ramsuratkumar; who is the destroyer of worldly desires and the craving for material possessions like gold; and who causes supreme happiness to Ma Devaki.
I started with this shloka that Ma Devaki used to recite, when Poojya Yogi Ramsuratkumar Godchild Tiruvannamalai, asked me to speak to the people who had gathered for Akhanda Ramnam on the New Year’s Eve in 1994[i]. That day was very special to me as Yogiji showered His blessings on us. It was the fruits of the good deeds of many births that resulted in a long association with Yogiji and also the priceless opportunity of staying with Him and serving Him for a few days at Sudhama, His place of residence.
Devotees know Yogi Ramsuratkumar as a great saint who was born on 1st Dec, 1918 in a small village near the bank of Ganges; It is known that his three gurus were Sri Aurobindo, Maharishi Ramana and Papa Ramdas; that He was initiated into Ramnam by Papa Ramdas; that he travelled all over India from 1952 to 1959 before settling down at Tiruvannamalai; and that until His Mahasamadhi on 20th Feb, 2001, he led an extremely simple life, showering His blessings on devotees with His darshan, encouraging them to have faith in God with constant remembrance of God through chanting of His names. To me, He was a very affectionate person, not merely a saint to be revered and worshipped. I and my brother, Vivekanandan were extremely blessed during our days of youth to grow up under the close guidance of Yogi Ramsuratkumar. Even while being aware of His greatness, we still experienced the warmth of an elderly family member’s personal care. I would like to share some such instances. He showered his love and grace, showing us in action, what Sri Krishna has said.“To those who worship me with devotion, thinking of nothing else, I carry what they lack and preserve what they have”[ii]. अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जनाः पर्युपासते।तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् || anan’yāścintayantō māṁ yē janāḥ paryupāsatē | tēṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yōgakṣēmaṁ vahāmyaham ||
During my first darshan of Yogi Ramsuratkumar on May 8, 1986[iii], I was just thirteen years old. I had gone with my father, Sadhu Rangarajan, my brother, Vivekanandan and another couple of people. Yogiji took us inside his house and spent considerable time with us. Pointing out that Sudha means nectar, He told Ms. Sudha that he did not have nectar to offer us but he could only give us buttermilk. The buttermilk and all the food that he shared with us in our later visits, whether it was procured from the tea stall or a hotel or it was offered by devotees for His consumption, was always relished by us. Everything about the Lord of Sweetness is sweet and charming. मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् | Madhurādhipatērakhilaṁ madhuram |
I and my brother enjoyed Yogiji’s company so much that we started visiting him very often. Though I have forgotten the actual conversations, the joy with which Yogiji received us at His place, with His welcoming smile and the excitement in His face, remains ever-green in my memory. On June 3, 1988[iv], my brother, myself and our cousin sister, went to Tiruvannamalai, without any adult accompanying us. We could not get any proper accommodation at Tiruvannamalai. We wanted to inform Yogiji about this. We waited for the right moment to start talking. By this time, we had learnt how to behave in His presence. We had seen Him in different temperaments – sometimes serious, sometimes angry, many a times jovial and laughing hilariously, and at other times just silent. We would speak only when He initiates a conversation. On that day, as soon as we went to His place, Yogiji informed us that he wants to go to the temple and he asked us to accompany Him to the temple. (In another such instance, when Yogiji took us to the temple, He showed us, with a lot of excitement, a particular stone on the ground having the name Ramji in Hindi lipi carved on it). This time, we all went and sat on the steps of the temple tank. Having sat there, we were eagerly waiting for the right time to mention about this accommodation problem. At that time, Sri Dwaraknath Reddy, the proprietor of Nutrine Confectionary, was doing Giripradakshina, and he happened to come to the temple. He saw Yogiji and rushed to the place where we were sitting. Yogi asked him to go home to bring his car to take Yogiji to his house which was near Ramanashram. As Swami was going to visit Sri Dwaraknath’s house, we were mentally getting prepared to take leave of him. To our utter surprise, Yogiji, in all his kindness, asked us to accompany Him to Sri Dwarakanath Reddy’s house. He requested Sri Dwarakanath to make us stay in his house. We did not even get a chance to express our problem. There was no need for that. Yogiji understood what was going on in our minds and made us stay there. He also spent time there with us and the other devotees who came to visit Him. The way He carried out His plan was so dramatic. In the morning, when we entered His house with this thought, He was all set to leave for the temple. He timed his temple visit in such a way that Sri Dwarakanath Reddy would notice Him. We had not even asked and He provided us with the most memorable, enjoyable and a “sweet” stay filled with Nutrine sweets. Didn’t Sri Krishna shower all the fortunes on his dear friend, Sudhama, without even giving him a chance to request?
The most memorable darshan for me was on the Gurupoornima Day, July 29, 1988[v], where His focus was so much on me and my brother, Vivekanandan. There were many experiences on that day in His divine presence where we could feel that He was working on us. He enquired about our grandma with a lot of anxiety and made us pray for her long life. (She is over 90 years now). In His own mysterious way, He poured out His love and conquered us. Even though I spoiled his place, Yogiji was calm and He made Sri Jayaraman clean the place. He took us all inside His house and also asked Sri Jayaraman to get some sweets from the sweet stall, mentioning my fondness for sweets. He got me into a conversation which concluded in this way – since my name Nivedita means sacrificed to God, I should be prepared to sacrifice everything, in spite of the difficulties and hardships that have to be faced, even if it is very painful like the suffering of a sheep taken for slaughter. He was clearly reading our minds and carried out the conversation which culminated in us offering ourselves onto Him. On that day, we were blessed to have a small glimpse of His Divine Form, Vishwa Roopa Darshanam.
TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>
[i]Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Akhanda Ramnam on 1.1.94 CD 1, youtube.com
[ii]Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Sloka 22
[iv]Glimpses of a Great Yogi, Part II-A, p. 15.
[v]Glimpses of a Great Yogi, Part I, p. 60.