Indescribable Gratitude


29I remember, once when I was a boy, may be thirteen, fourteen, once Kuppammal -my gurumatha- she applied mehendi on my feet and it didn’t go for quite a long time. Maybe for one month it didn’t go.  She herself sat, and with a coconut fiber she was cleaning my feet to remove that mehendi. 

Then,  Raghupathi Yogi walked into the scene.  He just came to the house and he said, “What a funny thing!  Guru is doing Pada Puja to the disciple!”

 And that deep joy and the gratitude I was carrying for the amazing love they radiated towards me and their ability to give me the tremendous feeling-connection!  I don’t know whether I am successful in that with my disciples, but my masters were successful in making that happen in me.  See, end of the day, master is responsible.  Even if you have to feel grateful, it has to be my work, it has to be my job.  I am responsible whether you feel grateful or you don’t feel grateful.  Whether I am successful or not, I don’t know; but I can say 100%, my masters were successful, my teachers were successful.

 Such moments still are there alive in me…..so alive, so green!  After going through such a powerful psychologically altering, physiologically altering experience, I can tell you, my whole DNA is different!  Even the DNA is no more the DNA which was there before twenty.  I can say, after twenty-one the DNA started changing, and before twenty-two end it became completely different!  Even my physiology is not the same even after going through such terrorizing experiences, life-altering, transformative experiences; still those moments I spend with them.

See now, the incident I narrated, there is nothing big in it; because she was not just my guru, she was my grandmother in a way, a distant relative, and my grandmother’s close friend.  My grandfather and Kuppamal’s husband – she was married for some time in her life. After that she lived as a sannyasini. She took sannyas and lived as a sannyasini. She never divorced, but her husband took care of her; he lived like a disciple. Her husband and my grandfather, both were business partners.  

The incident itself is not that big, but the amount of gratitude they were able to generate in my system, the amount of feeling-connection they were able to awaken in my system is still alive…..still alive!  It is a very small incident.  She was sitting and washing the feet saying that this mehendi is not going.  In those days, this hibiscus flower and shikakai powder, these two they will mix and wash the skin.  

She was washing the feet, and I was actually grumbling saying, “You don’t have any work!  You will do all this and I have to sit patiently for you to clean up!”

I still remember, till the age of thirteen, fourteen, morning I will sit and she will put the oil on my head and she will give head bath.  We were never in the society where this concept of child abuse existed.  We were able to enjoy all this relationship of grandmother, grandfather, so beautifully without the idea of corruption in our head.  Nowadays, I am even afraid to tell!  You cannot!  See, in Indian villages, it is a normal scene.  A thirteen or fourteen-year-old boy sitting, and grandmother giving a head bath, is normal.  Now you cannot even speak about this in public!  Society has changed so badly.  She will pour the oil on the head.  The funny thing is, she will change all the slokas which they chant during the abhisheka, and till she finishes the whole sloka she will pour the whole oil and it will be going all around.  The action itself is not something big.  But the context they are able to create!

Today, already I was in the mood of joy and gratitude.  And these gurukul kids, when they chanted, I was so happy they did that breaking all the verses very beautifully without missing the grammar even though the original sloka is with sandhi.  The original sloka is actually connected; these kids have beautifully broken it for chanting.  They have done it without missing the grammar.  I don’t know whether they had a book or they did it spontaneously.  Immediately, again I remembered, when I do this, Raghupathi Yogi will signal to Kuppammal.  See, in all your cases, one guru, many disciples – you guys – are sitting.  In my case, it was always the other way: one disciple, four, five gurus used to sit with me.  Four, five gurus will sit, and one disciple pampered by many gurus!  It will always be some four, five sadhus.  Kuppammal, Raghupathi Yogi, one Narayanaswamy Thaatha – he is an old man, good sadhu, but not an enlightened being, but a person with lot of yogic powers – and, of course, Yogi Ramsurat Kumar, Annamalai Swamigal, and others.  All of them are like guest professors, guest lecturers.  Various other sadhus will come and go, babas, sadhus, siddhas.  As you all know, in that Arunachala, temple town of India, hundreds of sadhus will come and go.  Actually, if I narrate the incident, you won’t find something big or extraordinary like what I said now.  A grandmother washing a grandson’s feet because the mehendi is not going. There is nothing extraordinary about it.

But I don’t know how I will make you guys understand the context which they were able to create in me, the gratitude which they were able to generate in me.  Just by the gratitude, they were able to help me.  I tell you, just by the feeling-connection, they were able to help me continuously in that higher space.  So, there is no struggle at all from my part.  I wanted this to be on record for the future.  I don’t hold myself responsible even for a 0% percent for my flowering as an incarnation.  Please listen, I am making it very categorical, I am putting this statement: I don’t hold myself as a reason or responsible or as a contributor for my becoming an incarnation even 1%, or 0.00001%, because the amount of gratitude they were able to generate in me, the amount of feeling-connection they were able to generate in me, it just helped me floating, it just kept me floating, floating, floating in that higher space continuously.  See, I don’t care for disciples, no doubt; but I don’t know whether I am able to make disciples understand I will care for them.  They were successful, my gurus were successful in an unimaginable way.  It is not that I have not had arguments with them, I have not fought with them; but I never broke from them, I never felt myself distanced from them, I never struggled to be a brahmachari, I never struggled to be a sannyasi, I never struggled to do some heavy spiritual practices like Yoga from sunrise to sunset, or going in the streets of Tiruvannamalai begging from the same shops owned by my classmates.  My classmates, their fathers’ shops, I will go and beg, because Kuppammal has said, ‘You have to beg and bring food.  Only then your life context will become right.’  She wants to teach some lesson.

The whole credit for my becoming an incarnation, my flowering as an incarnation goes to my gurus and mentors, because of their ability to command gratitude, their ability to command love, their ability to spend time with me with tremendous patience and respond.  Sometimes I feel I give up on people very quickly, easily.  I tell you, my mentors and gurus were the examples of not giving up on people.  Again and again and again, I look back, look at them for more and more inspiration not to give up on people and to have more and more patience.  The amount of patience they showed me, the amount of time they spent on me and waited for me to come to the context from where they are standing or teaching, they amount of chiseling they have done, the amount of friction they removed from me, the amount of Completion they generated in me, I tell you, still when my disciples bring some issues to me, I look back and look at them how they resolved, how they handled.

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