மாதா பிதா குரு
Amma and Appa were simple and noble souls. They came from very humble backgrounds, yet achieved great things in their lives. This post however is not about their achievements in this world. There is a spiritual side to both of them and I would like to write this note about that.
Appa lived a life of practical spirituality. His approach was one of reaching out to the Divinity in every suffering person around him.
One could often hear him say “ஏழையின் சிரிப்பில் இறைவனை காண்” meaning, see the Divine in the smile of the poor! Appa always went to any extent to bring smiles in the faces of all his unfortunate and poor neighbors.
Appa was a personification of ‘TYAGA’. Appa told me, “You have not given, until, the giving asks you to give up something, so that it pinches you!”There were times when he would go to the bank manager and ask for a temporary over draft to celebrate PONGAL. He would use the borrowed money to buy sarees, dothies, lungies, towels, groceries for making food. On the day of BOGHI he will go to his office at 4am, open the grill gates of his office and wait there to receive his neighbors.
There will be no announcements, no communication to people. But about 750 women, about 250 men from neighboring slums would walk into his office from 4am to 7am. Appa arranged for biscuits and tea for all of them, chatted with them. He would then issue a token, which they can exchange for a PONGAL gift containing a dress, delicious food! APPA experienced paranoia with regards to Giving.
To him every person around him was divine! He was not keen to do any sadhana, meditate or realize GOD separately! He experienced it as a reality!
Amma came from a lovely town called Pollachi, a place surrounded by the western ghats, hence was green and cool with abundant rain throughout the year! Her grand father was a Vedic scholar of repute in that part of the state of Tamilnadu.
Her father Shri.V.Krishnamoorthy was a bhakta of Sri Rama and mother Smt.Bhavani was a great devotee of Lalitha! Amma’s childhood was simple but culturally rich. Her family could instill in her the spiritual seed of Jignasa, which was alive and strong all through her life. She had the opportunity to pursue sadhana through out her life! Amma’s grandfather Shri.Vaithyanatha Ganapaatigal was a renowned Vedic scholar, but it was the time when brahmins were living in penury. Her grandfather lived a life of spiritual dedication. With dignity! These were her samskaras.
As a child, Sulochana saw her grand father, father and mother and grew up in a spiritually charged environment. The thirst to dedicate life for the cause of self realization had grown strong. Life had other experiences in store for her! She came to Chennai, with the desire to become a nurse! Appa came into her life and they loved each other, got married and these developments kept them busy.
When Amma was carrying me in her womb she was only 20 years old. I was the first son born to them. But I was a menace! Every year that passed when I attained adolescence, was increasingly difficult for Amma to believe that her son would be such a difficult child and such a distracted child.
I will write somewhere else, how and what I did as a restless youth, for it will rob me of the opportunity to discuss about the spiritual effort of Amma! In this post my focus is on the series of efforts taken by Amma to develop her spiritual potential.
Gift of Spirituality
She had lots of dreams and aspirations. Poverty had taunted Amma during her youth and she wanted to secure a good education and become a professional. She had studied and attained high speed in shorthand and typewriting. She was a promising stenographer in an MNC. She even got an opening in UCO Bank, but her marriage did not let her opt for the job.
I was just a lump in AMMA’s womb! But to her it was sudden, shocking! Un acceptable that she had already become pregnant!
One predominant desire was to have a fulfilling spiritual experience. All her spiritual emotions and aspirations were collected together and we’re invested totally in the baby in the womb!
Amma wanted to know the Lord, even during her childhood she used to have tears rolling down her cheeks, hearing songs of devotion. One such song she mentioned to me several times was
சூரியன் வருவது யாராலே
சந்திரன் தெரிவது எவராலே
காரிருள் வானில் மின்மினிபோல் மின்னும் அவயென்ன?
It is only a movie song reflecting upon the glory of that force which sustains the Sun, Moon and the Stars! The question would Kindle the deep question in amma’s tender mind sending her into a meditative contemplation.
Since she could neither pursue her spiritual yearning nor seek a job, she had prayed fervently to the Lord that her son would be a spiritual child. A Bhakta a Jnani one who could sing and inspire devotion in the hearts of listeners.
Sri Ramakrishna, Kannappa Nayanar, Avvayar, Bhakta Prahlada, Ramayana life of Mira, Kabir Dad and Sant Tukaram were stories she would say to me with total dedication.
I am eternally indebted to her for those unique spiritual samskaras.
GuruI had another rare previlege to introduce AMMA and APPA to GURU and spiritual Sadhana!
Amma being a MUMUKSHU got inspired to become my student as early as in 1993! Amma. I initiated AMMA into Kundalini Yoga in 1993 after I was given ARULNIDHI title by Vethathri Maharishi. Then taught her Asanas, Pranayama and several practices over the next twenty five years.
AMMA and APPA both followed me with each tradition I got aligned with and had unique opportunities to meet interact and we’re guided by Guru Mahan Paranjothiyar, Swami Niranjan and Swami Satasangi!
AMMA and APPA attended advanced Kundalini Yoga course conducted by Guru Mahan. They had the divine opportunity of going on a yatra with Guru Mahan to Nepal and sacred places in the Himalayas.
AMMA got her sannyasa diksha in 2017 when she came along with me to Rikhia Ashram. Swami Satsangi initiated AMMA into Sannyasa at the Samadhi Sthal, Rikhiapeeth!
Amma got initiated into Kriya Yoga by Swami Niranjan at Ganga Darshan. She was one of the most sincere practitioners of Kriya Yoga.Just before passing away in March 2016, we visited Kashi Vishwanath and spent few days there proceeded to Rikhia and Munger.
Swamiji was performing Panchagni Sadhana. We were lucky enough to get Swamiji’s darshan on the first day itself, since he gave Darshan on Sundays.
Swamiji gave us permission to do parikrama when he was performing Panchagni. We had thought that our blessing had got fulfilled.
On the day of departure we got news from ashram that we would get a personal meeting with Swamiji! Our joys knew no bound when we sat at the feet of Swamiji!
Let me tell you elaborately in the next blog, more….Shivarishi