THE SAGE OF TAPOVANAM - SWAMI GNANANANDA GIRI
When Swami was still holding his court under the punnai tree or Theradi Mandap as his Father's will fancied, a profound communication developed between Yogi Ramsuratkumar and two great Spiritual giants -- the sage of Tapovanam, Swami Gnanananda Giri and the sage of Kanchi Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Maha Swamigal, for both of whom Sri Yogiji had the greatest veneration and love. Both, in their own inimitable ways, offered help and relief to Sri Yogiji from the heartless indignities heaped on him by the miscreants. Yogi Ramsuratkumar would sometimes visit Tapovanam of Tirukoilur. Sri Gnanananda Giri and Yogi Ramsuratkumar had revealed on occasions, a wonderful and mystical camaraderie that is joyously recounted by many long time devotees of Tapovanam who still visit Sri Yogiji's Ashram. According to Thennangur Sri Namananda Giri Swamiji, once Swami Gnananda asked the ensemble of devotees at Thapovanam if they would like to see Kabir (the saintly poet, whose songs, full of mystic beauty and knowledge are popular even as Meera Bajans.) When all the devotees' eyes were riveted on Sri Gnanananda Giri expectantly, he, but, pointed to Yogi Ramsuratkumar and proclaimed "He who was Kabir then is now Yogi Ramsuratkumar." Swami Nityananda Giri of Tapovanarn reminisced with great joy, a rather mysterious episode that occurred in Tapovanam. One morning, as Yogi Ramsuratkumar was approaching Swami Gnanandanda, the sage of Tapovanam suddenly jumped up and announced, "Let us run a race-one, two, three-shoot!" at which point, to the amazement of the assemblage, the two sages, like little children, galloped gleefully, down the passage! The older devotees also report of an occasion when Swami Gnanananda Giri handed over a country fan and a burning incense stick of sweet fragrance to Yogi Ramsuratkumar - a mystical transpiration, the import of which is beyond general comprehension or interpretation. Swami Nityanandaji Maharaj also remembered with great feeling that whenever Vedic chants were going on in Tapovanam, Bhagawan would pay his obeisance and exclaim, "This beggar is seeing Vedic Rishis - don't you see? They are here now!"
There is an interesting mystical account of the other dimensional communication between the sage of Shringeri and Yogi Ramsuratkumar, recorded by a devotee. A householder given to earnest spiritual practices on account of the sacred company of Sri Yogiji, was once instructed by Yogi Ramsuratkumar to go to Sringeri Sri Abinava Vidya Theertha Swamigal and make a humble appeal for Sri Guru Padukas (Sandals). Somewhat taken aback by this rather sudden and out of
protocol nature of such prompting from Yogi Ramsuratkumar, the devotee was hesitant. To the nonplussed sadhak, Yogi Ramsuratkumar assured that paduka Pooja and Gayatri Japa would take the devotee to the highest experience and that it was his Father's wish. Yielding himself to the authority of Yogiji, the devotee approached Shringeri Acharya, not without some trepidation and related everything. Pat came the reply from Sri Acharya, "Oh Yogi Ramsuratkumar! He has become
a Jnani long back. I too have received Sri Saradambal's command that the Sandals be handed over to you with proper instructions for the pooja." Needless to say that the astounded devotee carried the sacred padukas over his head with tears of adoration, to his house. With continued inspiration and encouragement from Yogi Ramsuratkumar, he worshipped the sandals as the very embodiment of grace from both the sages, for the rest of his life.
SRI PARAMACHARYA OF KANCHI
Though addressed and worshipped as Bhagawan by his followers world over, Yogi Ramsuratkumar however remained a parama Bhaktha of the sage of Kanchi everently referred to as "Mahaperiyava" (The very great one). Such was Yogiji's passionate devotion for Mahaswami that if anyone should visit him from Kancheepuram, Yogiji would be the first to bow down in "Sashtanga Namashar" (Prostration with 8 parts of the body touching the ground) and would say with folded hands, "Oh, you have come from Kancheepuram carrying Paramacharya's blessings to all of us! You have come to bless this mad beggar." The author had seen tears in his eyes whenever he spoke nostalgically, "Paramacharya has been very kind to this beggar." Any mention of the Mahaswami in any paper or magazine would
invariably claim his immediate attention and absorption. Once Bhagawan himself reminisced to us in that inimitably charming style of his, Sri Periyava's visit to a village near Tiruvannamalai. In his own words, "When Paramacharya reached Srinivasa Iyer's place, people began to prostrate. This beggar also did ..... Oh God! Something happened ..... This beggar slept off! (Smile). He could not get up! Then Paramacharya's voice came loudly .. um.... um ....... “This is how he would describe his Samadhi spells!
Once, an one time attendant of the Jagatguru, Sri C had come for Bhagawan's Darshan. When the author asked him with Bhagawan's permission, what exactly
Paramacharya said about Bhagawan to him, he said, “ பெரியவா சொன்னா வாள்லாம் ரொம்ப மேலே இருகறவா ” (meaning, "they all live very high above.") Indeed the two sages' tremendous love and regard for each other could only compare with that between Lord Shiva and Lord Rama! Declared He, many a time, with great feeling and a glowing countenance, “ India is the land of great Masters. This is our playground, our leela Bhoomi. This country is rooted in Vedas, which are the most precious work of our ancient Rishis. If sanatana dharma rooted in Vedas is gone from India, then India is gone too -- then, India is nothing! Vedas are not only good for one country, but for the entire mankind. If they are preserved, mankind too will exist. Like Vivekananda said, India has been producing sages for ages and ages. But without Vedas and sanatana dharma, it can no more do so. Vedas are to be preserved at all costs. Our Sri Paramacharya is doing everything he can, to preserve the Vedas and Vedic pandits. He is doing so much for the Vedas! His views are perfect. They are the best ever. Paramacharya is a well-wisher of whole humanity, a well-wisher of future generations. We should not brush aside what he says. Jaya Jaya Shankara! Jaya Jaya Sanatana Dharma! " Bhagawan would sometimes comment,
"Sages like Paramacharya are models for the society. This beggar cannot be a model. This beggar is like a Varaha (Pig).... we have come to clean up the
society." I shall now narrate an interesting incident or two that would give an inkling of their veneration and depth of communication. A resident of Kancheepuram then, Sri C once approached Paramacharya for permission to leave for Tiruvannamalai on the previous day to Bhagawan's Jayanthi, as he was keen on Darshan of the kingly beggar on his Jayanthi day. When Paramacharya refused permission, he was of course greatly disappointed. But, soon he learnt to his great surprise and delight that Paramacharya had already arranged for homas in honour of Sri Yogiji in Ekambareshwarar temple for the next day! The
following day, Mahaperiyava gave the directive to him to go to the temple, collect the prasad and carry it over to Yogi Ramsuratkumar, on the day of
his Jayanthi. Absolutely thrilled, the attendant rushed to Tiruvannamalai, located Yogi Ramsuratkumar in the temple corridor among the other beggars and presented it. So deeply touched by this gesture of Paramacharya, Yogiji with utmost reverence placed it on his head and later distributed it.
Another time, Paramacharya, who fondly referred to Yogi Ramsuratkumar as "Visiri Mattai Swamigal" (The swami of palmyra fan) gave 500 Rupees to the attendant and ordered him to hire a taxi and accompany Sri Yogiji to Govindapuram, the Samadhi of Bhagawan Nama Bodendra Saraswathi Swamigal. This place is so vibrant with Ram Nam that those who are spiritually sensitive can still hear Ram Nam reverberating around the Samadhi. But, Bhagawan's Father’s design of the event was otherwise! When the attendant arrived, Shri Yogiji, after some contemplation spoke, "Wherever Paramacharya is, that is Govindapuram for this beggar!" The attendant was understandably all nerves now, caught between two different orders of two Spiritual giants but however, he surrendered himself to the immediacy of the moment, on the strength of Sri Yogiji's authoritative dictate. Eventually, Yogi Ramsuratkumar with his group of companions landed on the doorstep of the Kanchi Mutt. Mahaswami in an unusual breach of his routine, came out of his place and met the Yogi Swami where he was waiting! Thus Mahaswami
and the Yogi Swami, two great sages of Kali yuga belonging to far different traditions, came together in a memorable event. They looked at each other in an eloquent silence, with both their arms raised in greeting. Just when Bhagawan was about to leave, Paramacharya remarked softly that Yogi Swami belonged to Surya Vamsa (a descendant of the sun). In a place near Tanjuvur, Sri Mahasami while giving a talk, was explaining the terms "Andhar Mukhi" (the one whose senses are turned completely inward) and "Bahir Mukhi" (The one whose senses are turned outward). Yogi Ramsuratkumar had gone particularly for Darshan
of Mahaperiyava with some people and was standing with the crowd in his natural humility. Suddenly Periyava's eyes fell on Yogi Ramsuratkumar. Singling him out of that crowd, Paramacharya explained to the assembly, "Here is the perfect example of "Andhar Mukhi," - a person of total inner living," and offered him a seat right near his own. Once Sri Ra. Ganapathy brought a beautiful portrait of Sri Paramacharya much to the delight of Sri Yogiji, when Bhagawan was giving Darshan in the Dinning hall of the Ashram. Immediately Bhagawan had it hung on the wall near the dais, also arranged for a lighted oil lamp to be maintained non-stop before the picture. Sri Paramacharya's "Mythrim Bajatha", the song of benedictory message to the world, a melody sung in the divine voice of Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi at the United Nations, in 1966, became his most favoured song. As per his order, till today, the song is sung in the prayers three times a day, with its both Tamil and English versions in the Ashram. The song with its choice words and subtleties of usage, makes for a perfect peace prayer among nations and peoples world over and draws a compelling response from the inner recesses of one's being. With the patronage and blessing grace from two spiritual giants, it surely is the need of the hour and people should adopt it in their prayers without any further delay.
Bhagawan Sri Satya Saibaba
Sri Satya Saibaba of Puttaparthi and Yogi Ramsuratkumar were profoundly connected even though, to the knowledge of the devotees, they had never met on the physical level. Sitting with Bhagawan in the veranda of Sudama, the author herself once felt a sudden and subtle change -- tangible extra electrification -- in the atmosphere. Bhagawan whispered softly - so softly that she had difficulty catching his word "Saibaba is here!!" and went into a trance! Bhagawan also used to listen to Baba's lectures with such rapt attention when devotees played the tape, and would call it "Voice of God." Baba for his part, would tell his devotees, "In Tiruvannamalai, Sai Ram lives as Yogi Ram."
Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
Sri Muralidhara Swamiji who attracts crowds in thousands and conducts mass prayers and Nama Sankirthan is a great adorer of Yogiji and till today he visits Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar’s Samadhi as a humble devotee!
-- Experts from the book YOGI RAMSURATKUMAR, THE DIVINE BEGGAR