The Leela of Disciplehood
There was a Swami in Arunācala who was locally known as Sorakkai Swami. ‘Sorakkai’ means bottle gourd (a vegetable). You know why? Because, a half bottle-gourd shell would always be there in front of him like a bowl, into which people would offer food. Whenever he felt like it, he would eat; otherwise, he wouldn’t. And the next person who wanted to offer food to him would empty the bottle gourd and clean it, and put the fresh food, and put it before him and go away. He had some twenty-five or thirty dogs as his friends, and they also used to eat from the same bowl.
Throughout his life, he lived in a 3’x 3’ small structure. Because the birds had started sitting on his head and eating from his hair, some of his followers made a small, stone-pillared structure around him. Just four pillars around his body and two stones on the top. If you see that structure, you will understand. It is only 3’ x 3’. His whole life, he just sat there. I never saw him move. Maybe his bones got frozen!
Sometimes, the sitting posture was different; that was why we could even assume that he was still alive! And sometimes I would see him smile or talk to people. His hands would move, and because of that I knew he was alive. I never saw him doing 1-2-3 (emptying the bladder and bowels), or taking a bath, or moving out. But the kind of a space he radiated, and the way he would sit! He was so visibly declaring the powers of the Yogic tradition!