Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 69

qwzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklz xcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcv bnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwe rtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui opasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfg Nityananda: In hjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklz Divine Presence xcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcv bnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm By, Swami Chetanananda

and M.U. qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwe Hatengdi rtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui opasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopa sdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfg hjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklz xcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcv bnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyui opasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopa sdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfg

Nonduality Nityananda: In Divine Presence Swami Chetanananda and M.U. Hatengdi. Rudra Press P. . !o" #$$%& Portland' regon %()#$ *ditor' Cheryl !erling Rosen. Contri+uted +y M ,lso see -he Chida.ash /ita -he S.y o0 the Heart: 1ewels o0 2isdom 0rom Nityananda Introduction -he *arly 3ears' #%&&4#%#5 South 6anara' #%#54#%$7 Discovery in Udi8i: Part I' #%#9 Discovery in Udi8i: Part ) -he Mangalore Days o0 Rail -ravel' #%)$4#%$$ 6anhangad:s Roc. ,shram' #%)54#%$7 /anesh8uri44-he !eginning' #%$7 -he ld ,shram: Part I' #%$74#%5& -he ld ,shram: Part II' #%$74#%5& Clic. here 0or the ne"t ten cha8ters Introduction In Nityananda:s awe4ins8iring 8resence was the heart o0 a com8assionate mother. ,lready a 0ull40ledged master in his teens and twenties' he may have +een s8ea.ing o0 himsel0 when he com8ared sadhus' or see.ers o0 truth' to the ;ac.0ruit' whose 0or+idding e"terior yields a honeyed sweetness when o8ened. <rom his earliest .nown days to the 0inal ones in /anesh8uri' his 8resence 8rovided a sense o0 security 0or the 8oor and those in distress. It also gave ho8e to s8iritual as8irants. Peo8le 0rom all wal.s o0 li0e came 0or his +lessing44yogis and renunciates' scholars and artists' 8oliticians and civil servants' other saints and s8iritual teachers. -hey were rich and 8oor' strong and sic.= they came 0rom all over India and the rest o0 the world. Much a+out Nityananda:s li0e remains unclear. Stories a+ound that 8ut him in di00erent 8laces at the same time' resulting in considera+le con0usion a+out his true age or +ac.ground. Not une"8ectedly' his devotees listened care0ully 0or clues or details +ecause occasionally in casual conversation Nityananda would touch u8on some incident 0rom his 8ast. However' he always cut short attem8ts to o+tain details and admonished those who 8ersisted. Some recall him ma.ing 8assing re0erences to visiting Ceylon and Singa8ore
Page 2 o0 69

while others say he dis8layed an intimate .nowledge o0 the Himalayan region. It is said he s8o.e o0 +eing in Madras in #%&) when Swami >ive.ananda attained samadhi. *ven his name holds a mystery. Stories o0 his childhood relate that his ado8tive mother called him Ram. ?Nityananda? means ?eternal +liss? and was used to descri+e the state o0 mind he ins8ired. -o a devotee who sat +e0ore him ecstatically re8eating ?nityanand' nityanand? as a mantra' he said' ?It is not a name44it is a state@? In 0act' early devotees called him swami' master' or sadhu while the name Nityananda was attached to him only in later years. Clearly' a literary 8ortrait o0 one such as Nityananda reAuires +oth an enormous canvas and an ade8t artist. Such a 8ainting has yet to a88ear. 0 the hundreds o0 thousands o0 8eo8le who came 0or his +lessing' 0ew recorded their e"8eriences. <urthermore' Nityananda had no gos8el and 8romoted no 8articular readings or s8iritual 8ractice BsadhanaC. -he advice he gave to one 8erson was not necessarily what he gave to another. he sim8ly urged all devotees to cultivate a 8ure mind and an intense desire 0or li+eration Bshuddha +havana and shraddhaC. Nityananda:s sel04a+negation was com8lete. he wore nothing +ut a loincloth' and sometimes not even that. During his time in South 6anara' he only ate i0 0ood was +rought to him. He had a total disregard 0or the 8hysical elements including his nightly resting 8lace. Unusual 8henomena surrounded him naturally' including instances o0 actual healing. 3et he was never motivated +y a desire 0or 8u+licity and 0rowned on devotees who attri+uted to him e"8eriences that we might descri+e as miracles. 2hen 8ressed' he would call it the greatness o0 the location or the 0aith o0 the devout. ?*verything that ha88ens' ha88ens automatically +y the will o0 /od'? he would say. , s8iritual 8owerhouse' he desired only that 8eo8le develo8 their 8owers to receive what he was ca8a+le o0 transmitting. ?2hile the ocean has 8lenty o0 water' it is the siDe o0 the container you +ring to it that determines how much you collect.? *m+odying what is ideal and 8ure' he would say' ? ne who sees this one once will not 0orget'? im8lying that the seed o0 s8iritual consciousness sown +y his darshan would s8rout in due course when correctly cultivated. He denied having an earthly guru or a 8articular s8iritual 8ractice. He ado8ted no disci8les and never intended to esta+lish an organiDation44although his devotees' most o0 them common householders' were legion. his silent' unseen mission was to o00er relie0 to su00ering humanity' whether 8eo8le came or not' and to transmit a greater consciousness to those who sought higher values. /race emanated 0rom his +eing and 0rom his silent com8anionshi8. , lone glim8se o0 his 8ersonality could shatter the ego o0 the 8roud and evo.e the ho8e and as8irations o0 the genuine see.er. -hose who sought him out 0or material success +ene0ited while the 0ew who came out o0 8ure devotion 0ound their s8iritual evolution accelerated with little or no e00ort on their
Page 3 o0 69

8arts. Nityananda accom8lished this +y +ecoming an o+session' i0 I can e"8ress it that way44a divine o+session. 2hile living in the everyday world' devotees im+i+ed the s8irit o0 the !hagavad /ita and were gradually 8rocessed 0rom within. -hey had to do very little. See.ers and other 8ilgrims +ene0ited +oth through the arousal o0 their s8iritual consciousness and +y ca8a+ly meeting li0e:s challenges with his hel8. he converted their very +reath into consciousness' +ringing a gradual inner ri8ening' which in turn led to a restless longing 0or the Divine and a dis8assion 0or worldly things. ,ll this occurred without a00ecting the day4to4day e00iciency in their chosen 0ields o0 endeavor. -his is how Nityananda:s grace silently wor.ed. His mighty s8iritual 0orce 0illed the South 6anara district 0or a 0ew years and then moved on the 6anhangad' /o.arn' and >a;reshwari. Eater he settled at /anesh8uri' nestled at the 0oot o0 the ma;estic Manda.ini Mountain amidst +lue hills' green 0ields' hot s8rings' and the !himeshwar shrime. 8erha8s Nityananda chose this s8ot to revive the holiness o0 this ancient s8iritual center. Nityananda used to say that the true reward 0or genuine devotion B+ha.tiC was a still greater dose o0 8ure desireless devotion44not material 8ros8erity or social success. he 8layed and still 8lays the role o0 the eternal 6rishna as /o8ala' tending his allegorical herd o0 devotees. he guides and watches them at 8asture during their earthly so;ourn' hel8s them onward' then +rings them home sa0ely as the evening closes on their lives' either to rest 8ermanently in li+eration Bmu.tiC i0 they have advanced enough or to start a0resh +y leading them to another morning o0 +irth in a continual 8rocess o0 evolution. Nityananda was ca8a+le o0 granting all .inds o0 wishes +ut said only one thing was really worth the e00ort. ? ne must see. the shortest route and 0astest means to get +ac. home44to turn one:s inner s8ar. into a +laDe and then to merge and identi0y with that greater 0ire which ignited the s8ar..? -he *arly 3ears #%&&4#%#5 Nityananda said it didn:t matter how or where his human 0orm came into +eing' that only idle curiosity 8rom8ted such useless enAuiries. Nevertheless' stories gathered over the years +y his devotees 8resent a 8lausi+le 8icture a+out his +irth and +oyhood44even though 0acts o0ten vie 0or veracity. ,t the turn o0 the century' 8erha8s late Novem+er or early Decem+er' light 0rom the setting sun slanted through an area o0 the dense ;ungle. n a cashew tree two crows cawed loudly to attract an elderly matriarch o0 the untoucha+le caste collecting 0irewood.

Page 4 o0 69

Curious' she 0ollowed the ruc.us44and under a +ush discovered a +a+y +oy with s.in the color o0 ri8e wheat care0ully wra88ed in a white cloth. Now' the old woman already had a large 0amily +ut remem+ered that Unniamma:a mother wanted to ado8t a child 0or her +arren daughter. So she duti0ully 8ic.ed u8 the in0ant and too. him home. -he 0ollowing morning she 8roceeded straight to the village o0 Uniamma:s mother' who acce8ted the +a+y with great ;oy. -o seal the +argain' Unniama:s mother gave the old woman ten 8ounds o0 rice and then hurried to Pantalayini near Calicut' in an area .nown as 6oilande. -here her daughter wor.ed in the neigh+oring tem8les as well as in the household o0 Ishwar Iyer' a res8ected lawyer. Unniamma grate0ully ado8ted the +a+y and named him Ram. ,t a+out eighteen months o0 age' Ram develo8ed liver trou+les. ,nd even though Mr. Iyer hired 0or him the +est ayurvedic 8ractitioner' the +a+y:s condition worsened. He grew thin and his stomach +ecame distended. !ecause he o0ten cried through the night' Unniamma:s landlord 0inally demanded that she get rid o0 him. -oo agitated to go to wor. the ne"t day' she instead too. her ailing son out 0or some 0resh air. ,s she wal.ed' she suddenly saw a tall dar.4s.inned stranger carrying a large satchel. -he distraught mother' thin.ing he was a 8hysician' a88roached and +egged him to hel8 her child. ,s i0 e"8ecting her' he removed a 8ac.et 0rom his +ag and instructed her to mi" its contents with the 0lesh o0 a 0reshly .illed crow 0ried in clari0ied +utter BgheeC. She should then administer a small dose to Ram each morning +e0ore he had eaten. ,lso' she should ru+ Ram:s s.in with the crow:s +lood. ,t this very moment' a toddy ta88erF wal.ed +y and handed her the crow he carried in his right hand. ,stonished' she loo.ed u8 to than. the two men44+ut they had vanished. FSa8 0rom the toddy 8alm is collected +y toddy ta88ers 0or ma.ing a 0ermented +everage called arrac.. Unniamma started the 8rescri+ed treatment at once' and the child recovered in a short time. -he crow:s +lood' however' 8ermanently turned his s.in a dar. +lue hue. 3ears later when Auestioned a+out any as8ect o0 his +ac.ground' Nityananda o0ten Aui88ed that a crow came and a crow le0t. He also said that his s.in was not +lac. +ut +lue4+lac. B6rishnavarnaC. , devout man' Mr. Iyer worshi88ed the Sun deity !harga44and he loved Ram' 0or whom he 0elt a strong mystical attraction. 2hen Unniamma died' the .indly man +rought the si"4year4old into his household and 8roceeded to ta.e him everywhere. -his included the 0amous 6rishna tem8le at /uruvayur where' alone together' Ram revealed an esoteric understanding that +oth astounded the older man and satis0ied his s8iritual hunger. , 0amous astrologer told him the child was an incarnate 8ersonality and that he was +lessed to have him as ward and com8anion. -his caused tal. among colleagues and 0riends who were shoc.ed to see the res8ected !rahmin:s attachment to the lower caste +oy.

Page 5 o0 69

-he young Ram was mischievous and loved to 8ull 8ran.s' and his 0oster 0ather as.ed 0riends and servants to .ee8 an eye on him. 0or instance' he would dive into a neigh+oring tem8le:s water tan.' stay under water 0or a long time' and then run o00 dri88ing water everywhere. he would also get u8 +y 0our in the morning and insist that other household mem+ers do li.ewise' ta.ing their +aths and a88lying sacred ash to their 0oreheads. he re0used to attend school +ut agreed to learn su+;ects li.e Malayalam' *nglish' Sans.rit' and arithmetic 0rom Mr. Iyer. ne story tells o0 Ram tric.ing a local sna.e4charmer who ran a dishonest money4ma.ing o8eration. Under cover o0 dar.ness his cohorts would release several co+ras into the com8ound o0 a selected household. -he sna.e4charmer would then a88ear the 0ollowing morning to o00er his assistance. Calling the sna.es' he would de8art with +oth the re8tiles and his 0ee. However' trying the scheme one day on Mr. Iyer44the sna.es would not heed their call. -he +a00led sna.e4charmer soon noticed Ram in the +ac.ground giggling. he had rendered the tric.ster:s mantra ine00ective. -he +oy then let him collect his sna.es with the warning never to +other the Iyer household again. 2hen Ram was around ten years old' Mr. Iyer decided to ta.e him on a 8ilgrimage to the city o0 !enares and other holy 8laces. ,s usual the two traveled alone together. n this tri8 the +oy re8ortedly granted to his com8anion many divine visions. ,long the way Ram too. leave o0 his tear0ul 0oster 0ather' 8romising to see him again. *"actly where the young Master went' no+ody .nows. However' it is thought that he traveled the northern regions' 0or some sources indicate his renown in the himalayas as a great .undalini yogiF. Si" years later Ram returned. Having had the +oy in thoughts 0or days and realiDing that he had really come' Mr. Iyer ecstatically re8eat nityananda' nityananda@ *ternal +liss@ ,nd this' o0 course' +ecame the Master:s 8o8ular name. FNote that Nityananda was away 0rom Ishwar Iyer 0rom the ages o0 #& to #7 years o0 age. !y the time he returned at #7' he was .nown in the entire Himilayan region as a .undalini Mahayogi. Shortly therea0ter Mr. Iyer 8er0ormed his youngest daughter:s marriage ceremony at the tem8le in /uruvayur. -here' the entire 0amily 0elt the deity:s 8resence in Nityananda. -he youth then too. his 0oster 0ather to receive the darshan o0 ,nanteshwar and Eord 6rishna in Udi8i. BEater Nityananda would indicate to devotees his 8revious association with the ancient ,nanteshwar tem8le +y remar.ing that he had +een 8resent when it was +uilt some G&& years earlierC. Mr. Iyer soon 0ell gravely ill and' resting in Nityananda:s la8' as.ed to see !harga' the divine o+;ect o0 his li0elong worshi8. -he young Master granted his wish and Mr. Iyer died. -o e"8ress his love and gratitude +e0ore he died' the man +eAueathed some assets to his ado8ted son. -he young Nityananda re0used the gi0t. So ends the cha8ter entitled ?-he *arly 3ears.? South 6anara
Page 6 o0 69

#%#54#%$7 ,0ter 8er0orming last rites 0or his 0oster 0ather' the young Nityananda too. o00 again' this time to wander South India and +eyond. ver the years devotees heard him mention stowing away on a cargo shi8' 8ro+a+ly +oarding in Madras' to wor. as a sto.er +oy and sailing to Ceylon' Rangoon' and Singa8ore. he s8o.e o0 +eing a la+orer on a !urmese ru++er 8lantation and some 8eo8le thin. he visited 1a8an He once laughingly recounted an incident during the <irst 2orld 2ar when' as an army conscri8t' he was declared medically un0it +ecause the doctor could not 0ind his heart+eat or 8ulse. He is said to have +een in Madras when Swami >ive.ananda le0t India in #9%7 and again when he died in #%&). In the mid4#%5&s' when as.ed i0 he would travel a+road li.e certain other Indian swamis' he answered' ? ne only has to go i0 una+le to see 8laces or deal with 8eo8le 0rom here.? -he 0ollowing is one o0 the 0ew authenticated stories 0rom this time 8eriod. -he scene is Palani -em8le where Eord Su+ramanya' a +rother o0 Eord /anesh in Hindu mythology' is the 8residing deity. 2e must visualiDe Nityananda in those days loo.ing li.e an eccentric wanderer' his wire4thin +ody healthy and glowing. Eate one morning he was ascending the last 0ew ste8s to the shrine when the attendant 8riest' having ;ust loc.ed the doors a0ter morning worshi8' was descending. Nityananda as.ed him to re4o8en the doors and wave a ritual light and incense BaratiC +e0ore the deity. ,stonished that a vagrant would dare ma.e such a reAuest' the 8riest curtly told Nityananda that the time 0or morning worshi8 was over. Nityananda continued on. -he 8riest' e"8ecting him to wal. around the shrine and worshi8 at the Muslim altar in the +ac.' was not concerned until he heard the tem8le +ells ringing. -urning' he was astonished to see the doors o8en' Nityananda sitting in the deity:s 8lace' and arati +eing waved +e0ore him +y invisi+le hands. -he vision vanished at once and Nityananda le0t the shrine to stand on one leg 0or some time' steadily gaDing u8ward. Coins 8oured at his 0eet' o00ered' some say' +y 8ilgrims' while others say +y an unseen source. In any case' he was accorded all the honors o0 a Master. 2hen the surrounding 8ilgrims +egged him to stay' he re0used and instructed them to use the money to 8rovide a daily meal o0 rice 8orridge to visiting renunciates. It was later learned that local sanyasis had +een 8raying 0or this very thing. Eeaving the Pantalayani area' the young master encountered an errant gang o0 youths in Cannanore. ne o0 them wra88ed a .erosene4soa.ed rag on the Master:s le0t hand and set it a+laDe. Nityananda didn:t resist 8hysically +ut instead trans0erred the +urning sensation to the one who had attac.ed him. Crying out in 8ain' the une"8ected victim +egged 0or mercy. ,s Nityananda e"tinguished the 0ire on his own hand' the sensation in the other:s su+sided. 3ears later' he e"8lained to devotees:
Page 7 o0 69

-hose with inner wisdom B;nanisC do not go in 0or miracles. However' this does not mean that a +urning rag tied to their hands does not hurt. -hey su00er li.e anyone else +ut have the ca8acity to detach their minds com8letely 0rom the nerve centers. In this way they might remem+er the 8ain only once or twice a day. ,t some 8oint the young Nityananda +egan a88earing regularly around Mangalore and other 8arts o0 South .anara. ,gain' e"tant stories ma.e a clear chronology im8ossi+le. Now a88roaching his early twenties and wearing only a loincloth and o0ten not even that' he lived a li0e o0 great sim8licity in the region:s roc.s' caves' and 0orests. It was a 0amiliar sight to see him standing sti00ly in a tree +e0ore the local Maha.ali tem8le at 6au8. Peo8le would gather +elow his tree' mingling without regard 0or caste or creed' and the Master would shower them with leaves that reci8ients 8riDed 0or their healing 8ower. ne day' a0ter the crowd dis8ersed' a +lind man stayed +ehind and +egged 0or hel8' e"8laining the +urden he was to his 0amily. ,0ter a while' saying nothing' Nityananda clim+ed down and ru++ed the man:s eyes with leaves 0rom the tree. -he man arose ne"t morning to 0ind his sight restored. ,nother time' in Man;eshwar' there was a man whose mother su00ered 0rom a 8ain0ul lum8 in her leg. 2hen medicines +rought no relie0' he went to Nityananda' who was standing as usual in a tree. He said' ?-his one .nows and is there.? -he son' however' did not understand. He went home and returned with his mother in a carriage44+ut the Master had vanished. ,0ter searching in vain' they went home to 0ind him descending 0rom their attic. He silently massaged the astonished woman:s leg 0or several minutes and then de8arted. -he mother recovered com8letely. 3et another story tells o0 a widow who +rought her si" year old daughter. Nityananda said' ?!ut the child has +een +lind 0rom +irth. 2hy do you insist I change thisH Eet the child say what she wants.? -he child then said' ?I would li.e to see my mother once.? -he Master said nothing. ,0ter a while he as.ed them to leave. It was the mother:s custom to 0irst +athe the child' 8ut her in a sa0e s8ot' and them 8er0orm her own a+lutions. -hat day' as she returned' her daughter ;um8ed u8 and shouted that she saw her. -heir ;oy lasted only minutes +e0ore the +lindness returned. It seems Nityananda chose not to inter0ere with the child:s destiny. ne morning on a +usy road near a village that some say was Panam+ur' the Master strode along at his usual ra8id 8ace. Coming u8on a 8regnant woman' he sto88ed suddenly and sAueeDed her +reasts. -he woman did not resist +ut when outraged 8eo8le +egan rushing toward him' Nityananda continued wal.ing. he Auic.ly outdistanced them' shouting that this time the child would live. -he woman hurriedly told onloo.ers that her three 8revious children had died a0ter their 0irst +reast 0eeding. Shortly therea0ter' her
Page 8 o0 69

+a+y was +orn and survived. , village delegation was organiDed to than. him and the story s8read. -his time Nityananda:s unconventional +ehavior +ecame clari0ied a0ter the 0act' +ut it was not always the case. <or e"am8le' 8rior to #%)& he was o0ten seen in the early morning hours waiting 0or a cow to 8ass. <ollowing it' he would catch the dro88ings and swallow them +e0ore they touched the ground. ,nother story says he came to the 0looded Pavan;e River during the monsoon season. 2hen the +oatman re0used to 0erry him' the Master sim8ly wal.ed across. 2en in #%5$ someone as.ed him to e"8lain the river incident' he said: -rue' the Pavan;e River was in 0lood when this one wal.ed across and the +oatman would not venture out. !ut there was no motive44 it was ;ust the mood o0 the moment. -he only meaning was that the +oatman was de8rived o0 his hal0 anna. ne must live in the world li.e common men. nce esta+lished in in0inite consciousness' one +ecomes silent and' .nowing all' goes a+out as i0 .nowing nothing. ,lthough he may +e doing many things in several 8laces' he outwardly a88ears as i0 he is sim8ly a witness o0 li0e44li.e a s8ectator at the cinema. He is una00ected +y events' whether 8leasant or un8leasant. -he a+ility to 0orget everything and remain detached is the highest state 8ossi+le.F FNever 0orget this second 8aragra8h: It is read here every day= it is not ;ust a statement' it is the way to live li0e. Nityananda was indi00erent to social conventions' o0ten going na.ed in the early days. 2hen some 8eo8le o+;ected and re8orted the matter' he was ta.en +e0ore a local magistrate. ,s always' a crowd 0ollowed. 2hen ordered to wear a loincloth' the Master re8ortedly re8lied' ?-o cover which with whatH? -he magistrate then instructed a 8oliceman to tie a loincloth around him44+ut it wouldn:t stay tied. <inally' in e"as8eration the magistrate ordered a tailor to secure it with needle and thread. -he tailor was also a devotee and 8leaded with Nityananda to let it stay in 8lace. He com8lied' it remained' and therea0ter a loincloth was his usual article o0 clothing. Nityananda 8assed most o0 the time around #%#5 on the +each at 6anhangad' lying on the hot sand and gaDing at the sun. , devotee who as a +oy o0ten accom8anied his 0ather to the town said' years later' that it was im8ossi+le to a88roach Nityananda in the a0ternoons. -he intense heat discouraged every+ody 0rom wal.ing on the sand. Sometimes he sat 0rom morning until evening on the +laDing hot roc. where his 0irst tem8le would +e +uilt in #%7$.F F-his was the 0irst tem8le +uilt in his honor a0ter his mahasamadhi in #%7#.
Page 9 o0 69

Discovery in Udi8i: Part I #%#9 !y #%#9' the tiny village o0 Udi8i was already a well4.nown center o0 8ilgrimage. Here 8eo8le could visit the 6rishna tem8le' the +irth8lace o0 the third great teacher Madhvacharya' athe ancient ,nanteshwar tem8le' and the area called ,;;ara 6adu Bor ?/rand0ather:s 2ood?C. -wo 0riends strolled together here every evening' always ending their wal. +y circling the two tem8les. nce' 8assing the 6rishna tem8le' they were drawn to a thin young man who stood among the sanyasis in the outer corridor. ,t that moment the youth turned to 0ace the wall and re0used to +e ac.nowledged. -he 0riends +oth agreed that this was an uncommon holy man. Several days later they came u8on him' this time at an entrance to the tem8le. Seeing them' Nityananda +egan to laugh uncontrolla+ly. He did so 0or a 8rolonged 8eriod' and in a way that Mr. !hat later said seemed to come 0rom the de8ths o0 his +eing. 2ee.s 8assed +e0ore they saw him again' this time sitting +y himsel0 outside the ancient ,nanteshwar tem8le. Dr. 6om+ar+ail caught hold o0 +oth his hands and as.ed him who he was and where he came 0rom. He addressed him in Hindi' 6anarese' and *nglish in Auic. succession. Nityananda had a88arently +een o+serving silence 0or some time +ecause it too. great e00ort 0or him to s8ea.44+ut he did so in 0luent *nglish' Hindi' and 6on.ani' which was the local language. He ended +y re8eating' ?Nityananda' nityananda@? -he two men realiDed he re0erred to his +liss0ul state and this is why devotees 0rom those early days called him ?Sadhu? Bholy manC or ?Swami.? Mr. !hat' having 8er0ormed his 0ather:s anniversary ceremony that morning' invited the sadhu to his house 0or a s8ecial meal. -o his delight' the Master readily acce8ted and ate his 0ood 0rom a 8lantain lea0 and discarded the lea0 himsel0. -his was the last time he was o+served to eat with his own hands. Su+seAuently' he ate only when 0ed +y devotees. *ven water he allowed devotees to 8our into his mouth' indicating a0ter a 0ew swallows that he was satis0ied.F FMr. !hat and Dr. 6om+ar+ail +ecame li0e4long devotees. Nityananda stayed in Udi8i 0or a time' o0ten visiting Mangalore and 6au8' +ut he stayed nowhere 0or long. Mrs. -. Sita+ai' Ca8tain Hatengdi:s 8rimary source concerning these days' 0elt the young Master was 8ulled mystically +y devotees thin.ing o0 him or e"8eriencing some stress. She said Nityananda would o0ten leave Udi8i a+ru8tly without indicating his destination and then rea88ear some time later. <or instance' one a0ternoon at hal0 8ast three' he suddenly stood u8 and said he would return soon. ,nd in 0act' +y
Page 10 o0 69

0ive o:cloc. he was +ac.. No one inAuired nor did he indicate where he had +een. -wo days later a devotee arrived 0rom Mangalore to say how in the early a0ternoon o0 that 8articular day his 0ellow devotees were longing to see him. 2ithin minutes' he a88eared. ,s on other occasions' no one as.ed how he covered the 0i0ty4odd miles to the sea8ort town. -hey were content .nowing that' when needed' Nityananda o0ten came. Mrs. 6rishna+ai' an early devotee' descri+es a similar incident. It was to +e Nityananda:s 0irst visit to her house in Mangalore44+ut when he arrived' he immediately turned and wal.ed away with his usual s8eed. a crowd watched as Mrs. 6rishna+ai:s hus+and and a 0riend tried to sto8 him 8hysically. However' the sadhu easily swe8t +oth men along with him 0or a Auarter mile +e0ore suddenly saying ?She sto88ed me'? and agreeing to return. it seemed that Mrs. 6rishna+ai:s anguish was too great 0or him to ignore. In the +eginning' to .ee8 him 0rom the 6rishna tem8le' street urchins in Udi8i 8elted the young Nityananda with stones. ddly' those 0inding their mar. were trans0ormed into ;ewels Bor sweets' according to similar stories 0rom 6anhangadC. !ut those who scram+led to retrieve such treasures 0ound only stones. 2hen' a0ter several days o0 this 8henomenon' a 8ile o0 stones a88eared at the 0eet o0 6rishna:s tem8le statue' the matter was re8orted to the elderly swami in charge. RecogniDing that Nityananda was no ordinary sadhu' he at once ordered everyone to treat him with res8ect. -hroughout his li0e' Nityananda was a 0riend o0 +eggars' the lowest castes' and the 8oor. He would let the money le0t at his 0eet +y devotees accumulate and then order a 0east 0or the 8oor' insisting on the +est ingredients. *ven when resources were scarce' 0ood was still miraculously a+undant. -his +ecame a regular event wherever he wandered' and in later years he only acce8ted invitations 0rom hosts willing to 0eed the needy. -he Master himsel0 li.ed to dish u8 regional s8ecialties 0or his guests with his two huge hands44 li.e Mangalore:s iddlies coo.ed in ;ac.0ruit leaves. -o this day in /anesh8uri' 0eeding the local 8oor children B.nown as !al !ho;an in IndiaC still occurs in Nityananda:s name. ,mong those who sought his com8any in Udi8i was a wealthy landlord:s only son. -he 0ather' however' considered the Master to +e a dangerous eccentric and +ecame alarmed when the school+oy +egan giving money to hel8 0eed the 8oor. He decided to hire two assassins to .ill Nityananda' a 8ractice not uncommon 0or 8eo8le o0 means in those days. In this instance' +ecause o0 his intended victim:s 0reAuent disa88earances' the 0ather thought the a+duction would go unnoticed. ne a0ternoon' while sitting on a veranda' the Master suddenly smiled' stood u8' and disa88eared down the lane. His devotees Auic.ly 0ollowed44and 0ound him held +y one man and a+out to +e sta++ed +y another. -hey over8owered the assassins' attracted the 8olice' and only then noticed that the man who had wielded the .ni0e was in e"cruciating 8ain' his arm 0roDen in its attac. 8osition. ,t Nityananda:s touch' the man:s arm dro88ed 8ainlessly to his side.
Page 11 o0 69

,s the assailants were ta.en to ;ail' the 8rotesting Nityananda 0ollowed and reAuested their release. -he 8olice re0used. He then sat down and remained there 0or three days without 0ood or water while his devotees negotiated with o00icials. *ventually' the 8risoners were released. It is said that they +ecame devotees o0 the Master and that even the local o00icials develo8ed a high regard 0or the eccentric sadhu.

Discovery in Udi8i: Part ) Eate one night' a devotee was told +y alarmed women o0 his household that Nityananda was running a high tem8erature. However' the sadhu re0used to leave his re0uge' the 0ilthy cattle shed' re8eating' ?-he medicine is here.? -hin.ing him delirious' the host 8leaded with his guest until he 0inally agreed to move to the veranda. Hurrying to the only chemist in Udi8i' the devotee returned with a +ottle o0 reddish4 +rown mi"ture 0or his 0ever. Nityananda shoo. the +ottle' handed it +ac.' and said' ?2hat is thisH Eoo. at it.? Removing the cor.' the devotee 0ound to his consternation that the liAuid had changed color and now smelled li.e urine. -he Master laughed and said it was no +etter than what was in the cattle shed. -his was the monsoon season when 8eo8le customarily collected rainwater in drums 8laced +elow the eaves o0 their houses. -he night o0 his 0ever' Nityananda suddenly +egan to gul8 down the rainwater in his host:s drum. 2itnesses could not +elieve the amount o0 water he dran.. 2hen he 0inished' he turned and said' ?-he 0ever is gone.? ,nd it was. Indian 0amilies used to 8er0orm a s8ecial ceremony si" days a0ter a +irth to honor the goddess o0 destiny' who was thought to write the new+orn:s 0uture that night. n one occasion' and si" days a0ter a devotee:s wi0e had given +irth' Nityananda entered her room' swallowed the dried um+ilical cord' and le0t. 2hen Auestioned a+out his +ehavior' he re8lied that this 8articular 0amily had lost many children in in0ancy +ut that the new +a+y would survive. Sometimes Nityananda humorously acted out a charade to descri+e an u8coming visitor. ne morning he slung an em8ty sho88ing +ag over his le0t shoulder' +ending slightly 0rom the weight= in his right hand he 8retended to carry something light. He then wal.ed u8 and down the room +e0ore suddenly ta.ing o00 0or a neigh+or:s house. <ollowing' 8er8le"ed devotees saw a man 8acing the street loo.ing 0or someone. he carried a heavy +ag on his le0t shoulder and a water container in his right hand. !y now the Master was sitting on his neigh+or:s veranda. ,88roaching the ste8s' the stranger sto88ed and they
Page 12 o0 69

gaDed silently at one another 0or a long time. <inally the Master stood u8 and the man wal.ed away. -he man remained in the area 0or a while. 2hen devotees as.ed a+out the encounter' he descri+ed himsel0 as a 6rishna devotee 0rom Uttar Pradesh. Having had a vision that 6rishna was 8resent in living 0orm in Udi8i' he traveled to the village' where he 0elt drawn vi+rationally to that 8articular neigh+orhood. Unsure o0 the e"act house' he had wandered around 0or some time +e0ore Nityananda a88eared. He added' ?I said nothing to him +ecause with one loo. I .new why I was there. -omorrow I will leave +liss0ully ha88y having received darshan o0 6rishna.? 2ist0ully' Mrs. Sita+ai related an event that ha88ened when she was +oth a new devotee and newly married. ne day Nityananda 8ic.ed u8 a coconut and o00ered it to her. Now' it is rare and aus8icious to receive a coconut 0rom a holy 8erson. Moreover' it is thought to .ee8 widowhood at +ay' and a married woman would traditionally e"tend the s.irt o0 her sari with +oth hands to receive it. !ut the young Mrs. Sita+ai hesitated. She considered her high4caste +irth and whether it was acce8ta+le 0or her to receive such a thing 0rom a casteless sadhu. He waited 8atiently 0or several minutes and when she did not acce8t the o00ering' the threw it away448erha8s deciding that her 0ate held too strong a 8ull on her. -hree months later' her hus+and died. ,nd she would always wonder whether she might have +een s8ared widowhood had her 0aith +een stronger. In the early twenties' Nityananda 0reAuently visited Mrs. 6rishna+ai:s Mangalore residence' which included several small rental houses. In those days residents used a row o0 sim8le lavatories situated at the edge o0 the com8ound. *ach morning munici8al wor.ers would arrive with a cart to collect the night soil and ta.e it away. 2e .now that Nityananda:s eating ha+its were as un8redicta+le as his movements. nly 8arta.ing o0 0ood and water that was 0ed to him' he would a88ear une"8ectedly at Mrs. 6rishna+ai:s door loo.ing ho8e0ul. Sometimes the 0amily had already eaten and there might only +e a 0ew morsels o0 rice to 8ut in his mouth. !ut this always seemed to satis0y him. ne morning' however' com8ound residents were horri0ied to see the Master +y the lavatories sitting among 8iles o0 night soil. ,lways an early riser' he a88eared to have collected the matter with his own hands and 0ormed the mounds' covering himsel0 0rom head to toe in the 8rocess. He held a +am+oo scale in his hand and when anyone 8assed' he said' ?!om+ay halwaF. >ery tasty@ 2ould you li.e someH? -hen he would raise the scale as i0 to weigh out the desired Auantity. He sat there all day' em+arrassing everyone' even ta.ing his a0ternoon na8 there. 2hen Mrs. 6risna+ai 0inally a88roached' he said' ?3ou 0eed me' don:t youH !ut would you also 0eed me thisH? ,+ashed' she turned away.
Page 13 o0 69

FHalwa is an Indian sweet con0ection. -hat evening Mrs. 6rishna+ai was a0raid he would dro8 +y the hose without washing. She as.ed two o0 the assem+led devotees to wait at the door to 8revent him 0rom +ringing the 0ilth inside. ,nd 8rom8tly at seven o:cloc.' he a88eared at the +ac. door. In those days he could +e 8revailed u8on' at least in some matters' and the two devotees ended u8 ta.ing him to the +aths 0or a thorough scru++ing. Eater' sitting with his devotees' Nityananda held out his 8alm and as.ed i0 they could smell the ?0ine Parisian 8er0ume.? He never e"8lained the meaning o0 the day:s events44and they never as.ed. -he ne"t morning Mrs. 6rishna+ai 0ound all the com8ound:s residents lined u8 +e0ore the Master as.ing his 8ardon. Drawing one o0 them aside' she inAuired what had ha88ened. -he man e"8lained: *arlier that wee. while discussing how Nityananda only at 0ood 0ed to him' someone had ;o.ed a+out o00ering him night soil. He went on' ?2e now realiDe how wrong we were and that such a Master can 0ind nourishment in anything44even 0ilth. -here0ore we see. his 0orgiveness.? -he Mangalore Days o0 Rail -ravel #%)$4#%$$ Nityananda loved trains. He traveled 0reAuently +y rail and even esta+lished his 6anhangad ashram +eside the trac.s in #%)5. 2hen he was in Mangalore he would settle into one o0 the em8ty +o"cars shunted aside at the station' and here devotees could 0ind him. ne a0ternoon Mrs. 6rishna+ai' learning o0 his arrival' hurried o00 to receive darshan. She Auic.ly returned home to greet a relative who had come 0or a visit. , sanyasi' he as.ed her to ta.e him to see Nityananda the ne"t day. Eater' as they ste88ed down 0rom the +o"car' Mrs. 6rishna+ai turned to the Master and said' ?I came yesterday in such a hurry' never dreaming that I would also +e a+le to return today.? !ut Nityananda re8lied' ?2ho are you to decideH? He o0ten rode the trains +etween Mangalore and 6anhangad. nce a railroad o00icial who was new to the route ordered him to disem+ar. 0or not having a tic.et. ,s he made no sign to o+ey' the o00icial 0orci+ly removed him at Man;eshwar. Su+mitting to the rough handling' Nityananda 8roceeded to ma.e himsel0 com0orta+le on a station +ench. !ut when its de8arture time came44the train didn:t move. Minutes tic.ed +y and 8eo8le waited e"8ectantly. <inally' come 8assengers told the o00icial that is was unwise to treat this 8articular sadhu so harshly. Devotees then too. Nityananda on +oard and the train +egan moving. 2hen it reached 6anhangad' however' it went 8ast the station and sto88ed where his ashram currently stands. -he Master descended wearing around his nec. a
Page 14 o0 69

garland made o0 hundreds o0 tic.ets. He handed the garland to the same o00icial' as.ing him to ta.e as many as he wanted. Shame0aced' the man said it would not ha88en again. Nityananda then ;um8ed the small ditch and strode o00 toward the ;ungle. ,gain the train would not move' and devotees ran a0ter him 0or hel8. He retraced his ste8s' sla88ed the engine' and told it to get going. ,nd the train did' going in reverse +ac. to the station it had +y8assed earlier. Pro+a+ly due to such incidents' Nityananda had 0ree run o0 the trains. *ngineers welcomed him into their engine cars and even +lew a saluting whistle when 8assing his ashram' a custom still 0ollowed today. It is said that throughout the late #%)&:s the Master always had a 8unched tic.et attached to the string o0 his loincloth. Swami Chidananda o0 Rishi.esh recalled that' as a child traveling south +y train 0rom Mangalore' he once noticed a commotion at a wayside station. Peering out the window' he watched a reed4thin Nityananda toss +iscuits and sweets 0rom a vendor:s tray to a crowd o0 delighted children. -hen' giving the 8leased vendor a currency note 0rom his loincloth' he clim+ed into the engine car as the de8arting whistle +lew. Udi8i residents watched him catch cow dro88ings to 8ut on his head. -hen' whistling li.e a locomotive' he would chug away down the road li.e a child. ,nd he used a railroad analogy in his last 8u+lic tal.. -his was on /uru Purnima' 1uly )(' #%7#' twelve days +e0ore his 8assing. He addressed the assem+led devotees at some length' tal.ing a+out the energy reAuired to 8ull a train u8 a hill and o0 a s8iritual see.er:s need to stay 0irmly on the 8rover+ial trac.s. Nityananda traveled constantly +etween Mangalore' 6anhangad' Udi8i' ,.roli and other villages. His a88earances' generally une"8ected' seemed magical. ne day' thin.ing him in Mangolore' si" or seven Udi8i devotees decided to 8ay a social call on a neigh+oring village. ,88roaching a wooded area along the way' they were astonished to see the Master sitting under a tree. -he devotees immediately changed their 8lans and decided to s8end the evening there with him. 2hen Nityananda shouted at them to .ee8 their distance' they sat down some twenty 0eet away. -hey could hear him tal.ing and' as their eyes ad;usted to the gloom' they saw a co+ra coiled at his side. It was to the sna.e that the Master s8o.e in 6on.ani' and it seemed to nod in the a00irmative. -he only words the devotees could clearly distinguish were' ?,re you three com0orta+leH? and they in0erred that there were two other sna.es near+y. ,0ter a while' Nityananda 8atted the co+ra on its hood and watched it disa88ear. ,s witnessed' Nityananda:s +ehavior could +e di00icult to inter8ret. 2hile a 8erson might thin. that he or she had +een 0orced to undergo a minor di00iculty' later re0lection would indicate that something more serious had +een miraculously averted. Many devotees e"8erienced this as we see in the 0ollowing story.
Page 15 o0 69

-he young Master o0ten visited the home o0 a devoted Mangalore woman. nce he told her married daughter' ?She is this one:s mother= yours is here'? indicating himsel0. ne evening Nityananda wal.ed into the .itchen as the devotee was coo.ing over the mud hearth. He 8ulled out a +urning 8iece o0 0irewood' hit her over the head with it' and Auic.ly le0t. Her children were outraged +ut the mother advised 8atience' and an e"8lanation was neither sought nor 8rovided. -welve months later' while casting the 0amily:s horosco8e' an astrologer 0rom 6erala e"8ressed his astonishment at 0inding the lady o0 the house alive. He said his calculations showed that she should have died the 8revious year. -hat was when her 0amily realiDed that the Master:s +low had changed his devotee:s destiny. Mrs. Ea.shmi+ai was a young' widowed domestic in the em8loy o0 -ulsiamma' a well4 .nown devotee. -he young servant was devoted to Nityananda as well. ne day she was as.ed to 8re8are the evening meal early +ecause -ulsiamma ho8ed to +ring Nityananda home to dinner. Now' Mrs. Ea.shmi+ai had always nursed an intense desire to 0eed him with her own hands' having watched other devotees do so. vercoming her shyness' she as.ed i0 she might accom8any her mistress in case the Master re0used their o00er. !ut li.e Cinderella' she was told to stay home and ma.e the house ready. so saying' -ulsiamma le0t. <inishing her 8re8arations' Mrs. Ea.shmi+ai went outside to gather 0resh 8lantain leaves 0or serving the 0ood. Still musing over her disa88ointment' she slowly cut a lea0 and heard an une"8ected rustle in the tree a+ove. Nityananda clim+ed down' as.ed i0 the meal was ready' and 8roceeded her to the house. -he over;oyed servant ran to wash her hands and +egan to 0eed the Master. ,t that moment -ulsiamma returned. Her words ?I couldn:t 0ind him? were ra8idly 0ollowed +y her amaDed laughter at 0inding the Master already en;oying dinner at her house. ,88ayya ,lva was a 8ros8erous South 6anara landlord renowned and sometimes 0eared 0or his a+ility to materialiDe o+;ects through the strength o0 mantra. -his 8ower0ul mantravadi' with a wave o0 his hands' could 8roduce 0oreign cigarettes' e"otic 0ruits' or 0lowers +y the arm0ul. However' when they materialiDed in one 8lace' they disa88eared elsewhere44o0ten 0rom the Car Street 0lower mar.et in Mangalore where attendants would suddenly wail' ?my 0lowers are gone@? ,nd so it was that many 8eo8le su00ered 0rom his e"hi+itions. ,lva was also a vain and arrogant man. ne time' when his 8resence at a concert went unrecogniDed' he caused the singer to tem8orarily lose his voice. *ventually ,lva encountered Nityananda. ne May day in #%)$ Mr. M.,.6. Rao' an esteemed Man;eshwar citiDen' was cele+rating a niece:s wedding. ,t Mr. Rao:s insistence' Nityananda was invited and seated in a 8lace o0 honor. It was while the soon4to4marry cou8le 8laced garlands around the Master:s nec. that ,lva made his entrance. He immediately +elittled the host 0or honoring the young sadhu as i0 he were a
Page 16 o0 69

divine +eing and +oasted that he would 8rove his 8oint. Reciting a mantra' he then rolled a to+acco lea0 +etween his hands and 0orced it into the Master:s mouth. Nityananda chewed and swallowed the lea0 as i0 it had +een o00ered +y a devotee. ,s 8eo8le watched' he 8ers8ired slightly44+ut ,lva suddenly san. to the ground mortally ill. He died three days later in the /overnment 2enloc. Hos8ital. -wenty years later Nityananda was as.ed a+out this incident. he 8layed down the connection +etween the to+acco lea0 and ,lva:s death' saying that the man had misused his considera+le mantric 8owers to +ring su00ering to the 8oor and misery to the wea.. He said that divine 0orces had sto88ed the a+use and he called the to+acco lea0 insigni0icant. He then revealed that' +e0ore dying' ,lva as.ed to see Nityananda +ut his 0amily re0used to send 0or him. In #%)$' at the height o0 the monsoon season' Nityananda wal.ed through the mar.et8lace in !antwal. !y this time he was a .nown 0igure in the district' recogniDed +y devotees and s.e8tics ali.e. ,s it was raining heavily' he entered a sho8 and stood in the corner with the servants and 8orters. -he sho8.ee8ers ordered him to leave' taunting him a+out his great 8owers. 2hen Nityananda as.ed to stay' they laughed and s8lashed him with water. nly then did he wal. away' sadly saying' ?It seems /od has decided that only Mother /angaF can wash away the sins here.? -he sho8.ee8ers retorted' ?Eet her come. -hat way we can 8er0orm our a+lutions without going to her +an.s@? FNityananda:s re0erence to Mother /anga was the /anges river. *ven as they s8o.e' the swollen Netravati River rum+led and +egan to swallow the village. It was one o0 the worst 0loods in South 6anara' and !antwal was destroyed. , s8an o0 the Ullal railroad +ridge was damaged so +adly that train service was disru8ted 0or months. Peo8le still tal. a+out Nityananda 8ulling many 8oor victims 0rom the swirling waters. Perha8s the most e"traordinary incident o0 this 8eriod occurred in a devotee:s house in <alnir ;ust +e0ore sunset. 2hile they sat +e0ore him in meditation' those 8resent were suddenly distur+ed +y a +linding 0lash o0 light on the wall +ehind Nityananda. -hey o8ened their eyes to 0ind him motionless on his .nees in a yoga 8osture Bveera4 8admasanaC with his eyes closed. ,0raid to touch him' they lit lam8s and tried to see i0 he still +reathed. <inding no signs o0 li0e' they decided that he had ta.en mahasamadhi and invited 8eo8le to come 0or their last darshan. Most devotees soon returned to their homes' some sad and disa88ointed that the young sadhu le0t them' some ho8e0ul that he would return' and some thin.ing that he had overdone his +reathing e"ercise. Mrs. 6risna+ai was one o0 the 0ew who stayed +ehind' maintaining a vigil throughout the night and 0ollowing day. -hat a0ternoon Nityananda suddenly moved. he stretched his lim+s and was immediately hel8ed to a +ed. He wore a strange loo. and recogniDed no one 0or Auite
Page 17 o0 69

some time. ,0ter Auestioning' he admitted that he had gone 0or good44+ut 0ive divine +eings 8ersuaded him to return' saying that it was too soon. During his remaining years' the Master never s8o.e o0 it again. 6anhangad:s Roc. ,shram #%)54#%$7 !e0ore leaving South 6anara' around #%)5 Nityananda +egan s8ending long 8eriods in 6anhangad. Initially he chose the ;ungle area called /uruvana 0or his roc. ashram.F *vidence indicates that he inha+ited a certain ;ungle cave where he had discovered a s.eleton seated in a lotus 8osition' surrounded +y 8ots and other 8ersonal e00ects. Nityananda is said to have dis8osed o0 it in an un.nown manner. -his story came 0rom an elderly woman in 6erala who 0ed Nityananda during this time. She also said that at the rear o0 the cave was once an entrance' now +loc.ed o00' to a hall that could seat several hundred 8eo8le. Nityananda o0ten said that +eyond the hill in /uruvana were many saints in samadhi. Some 8eo8le +elieve he was associated with this 8articular s8ot in a 8revious incarnation and the s.eleton was either his own or o0 someone he .new. FDevotees +elieve Nityananda was 0ound a+andoned here as an in0ant. /uruvana lies several miles 0rom a second tem8le that was dedicated to Nityananda in #%77. Regardless' it was here that Nityananda struc. a roc. 0rom which s8ring water has 0lowed ever since. Near+y he 8laced eight stone +alls thought to re8resent the occult 8owers achieved through yogic disci8line BsiddhisC and a tan. to collect the s8ring water. 2hen !.H. Mehta +uilt the tem8le in #%77 he added a s8out' called Pa8anashini /anga' 0or the water to 8ass through. <or many years Swami 1anananda tended the area' converting the ;ungle into a s8iritual 8aradise. He re+uilt the tan. as a well' constructed a road to the tem8le' and re8laced the stone +alls with eight stone linga4li.e structures. he also made a small shrine 0or Mal+ir' the area:s 8rotecting s8irit. Nityananda:s wor. on the 6anhangad 0ort started around #%)(. <irst he +uilt a road' still used' 0rom the traveler:s +ungalow u8 to the roc. tem8le and ashram. he then +egan clearing the ;ungle growth that overran the dila8idated com8ound. Historically the site +elonged to a long lineage o0 chie0tains. ,t one time it was in the hands o0 the -ulu dynasty who ruled 0rom Mangalore to 6anhangad. Nityananda +egan the 8ro;ect to the consternation o0 local authorities who 8estered him with Auestions a+out his activities and whether he had 8ermission. -he Master always res8onded that he was clearing the ;ungle 0or their 0uture o00ices' a 8rediction that eventually came to 8ass. nce the 0ort was cleared o0 overgrowth' Nityananda turned his attention to the roc. itsel0' which is where the tem8le erected to him in #%7$ now stands. he wanted caves
Page 18 o0 69

hewn 0rom the roc. and' without engineers or +lue8rints' directed everything down to the most minute detail. -he tas. was 0ormida+le. Using no eAui8ment' wor.ers carved out the caves +y hand. 2ithin three years some 0orty caves stood ready' 8ro8erly cemented and 8lastered inside and out. Most were large enough 0or a 8erson to sit and rest. -here were si" entrances= three 0aced east and three 0aced west' resulting in continuous light in the 8assages 0rom sunrise to sunset. 2ith wor. 8roceeding on the interior o0 the com8ound' Nityananda o0ten wor.ed on the e"terior. He made the ste8s and lingas with his own hands. <ollowing a visit to the caves in #%G5' Ca8tain Hatengdi as.ed him a+out their sym+olism. He re8lied that they re8resented the +rain and its si" 8assages. ,t one 8oint a well was dug within the cave com8le"' +ut Nityananda later ordered it closed. -oday an outside well is the current asram:s main water source. Eocal la+orers received their 8ay at the end o0 each day. Swami 1anananda recalled that the 0oreman usually collected the money 0rom +eneath a tree. !ut sometimes the wor.ers 0iled 8ast Nityananda. 8ening and then closing his em8ty 0ist' he would dro8 the e"act wages into each reci8ient:s hand. ne day a delegation o0 local authorities arrived and as.ed him a+out the source o0 these wages. 2ithout a word' Nityananda led them to the waterlogged 0ield +eside the roc.' dived in' and emerged with a +ag0ul o0 currency. He told the astonished men that a crocodile in the de8ths always su88lied the amount he needed. He then added that they were 0ree to 0ind it themselves= otherwise he o00ered to +ring u8 the +east 0or them to see. <eeling that they had +een ridiculed +y this yogi in a loincloth' the angry delegates immediately re8orted the unauthoriDed construction. -hey told Mr. /awne' the !ritish ta" o00icial in South 6anara' that a craDy sanyasi was 8aying wor.ers with money 0rom un.nown and mysterious sources. It seemed that Mr. /awne had heard o0 Nityananda:s remar.a+le activities in Mangalore and decided to see 0or himsel0. ,rriving at the 6anhangad railway station' he 8roceeded on horse+ac. accom8anied +y his dog along the road +uilt +y the Master. Reaching the roc. com8ound' he sto88ed and loo.ed around. Nityananda was in a cave +elow the ruins on the 0ort:s south side. here' the dog soon discovered him and started to +ar.. He emerged 0rom the cave and Mr. /awne' still on horse+ac.' as.ed him why he was doing all this wor. and 0or whom. Nityananda re8lied in *nglish' ?Not 0or this one Bmeaning himsel0C. I0 you want it' you may have it.? ,s the words were uttered' a change came over the !ritish o00icial. -urning' he ordered the local authorities to leave Nityananda alone and allow him 0ree rein o0 the site. He added that the source o0 0unds was o0 no concern as long as no one com8lained o0 +eing swindled or ro++ed. Imagine
Page 19 o0 69

his sur8rise when' riding his horse +ac. to the station' he saw the words ?/awne Road? on the newly erected road sign. ne cloudy day in the monsoon season' Nityananda was stretched out on the roc.. Suddenly' a man a88roached and demanded to have /od revealed to him. -he Master told him to go away. 2hen the man +ecame more +om+astic' Nityananda gra++ed his um+rella and 8ointed it at the man:s toe. Devotees said that the man:s dormant .undalini energy' rendered active' must have suddenly risen u8 his s8ine to the +rahmarandra cha.ra at the to8 o0 his head. ,nyway' the man screamed and 0ainted. Reviving' he stum+led to the government hos8ital 0or treatment. -he doctor in charge re8orted Nityananda to the 8olice as craDy and 8ossi+ly dangerous. -he 8olice 8rom8tly too. him +e0ore the local magistrate. 2hen Nityananda declared that ?-his one did nothing':: the magistrate as.ed whether there were witnesses. -he Master 8ointed at the 0our 8illars in the hall and was ordered to ;ail 0or insolence. Soon the 8risoner announced his need to urinate. /iven a rece8tacle' he ra8idly 0illed it. ,nother was su88lied' which he again 0illed to the +rim. , water ;ug was o00ered ne"t. 2hen it over0lowed' the consta+le hurried o00 the 0ind the magistrate' who agreed to release this mysterious 8erson. Meanwhile' the inter0ering doctor 0rom the hos8ital went home to discover his wi0e dancing na.ed around the house in an a88arent state o0 insanity. -he alarmed man rushed 0irst to the 8olice station where' hearing o0 Nityananda:s release' he 8roceeded to the roc. ashram. !egging 0orgiveness' he was waved away +y the Master and returned home to 0ind his wi0e in her normal state. In these early days Swami 1anananda noted other unusual occurrences around Nityananda'. 0ten' 0or instance' he would emerge 0rom the water tan. 0ollowing his morning +ath with his +ody and loincloth com8letely dry. He was also seen wa.ing in the rain without getting wet. ne evening the Master as.ed 0or a +ottle o0 arrac.' the local 0ermented +everage. Drin.ing it' he as.ed 0or seven more +ottles and 0inished them in Auic. succession. Mr. >eera 0rom 6um+la' a heavy drin.er himsel0' could not +elieve his eyes and as.ed Nityananda why he did this. He relied that is was 0or the s8irit haunting the roc. who' now satis0ied' would harm no one in the 0uture. >isitors to the tem8le today can still see a small stone in 0ront. During worshi8' the arathi is waved +e0ore this stone as well as +e0ore Nityananda:s statue' It is said that a 8ower0ul s8irit once inha+ited the site. lder 6anhangad residents remem+er +eing told as children that those 8assing the stone without 8ouring arrac. on it would su00er some illness.

Page 20 o0 69

,+out a .ilometer north o0 the roc. ashram is an area called 6ushalnagar. Here in #%$# the Master +uilt a round ta+le out o0 stone and called it the ::Round -a+le Con0erence.? He would sit at his ta+le and s8ea. o0 various world issues' relating 0irst the views o0 other world leaders and then those o0 /andhi. Now' at this very time there ha88ened to +e an international con0erence ta.ing 8lace in Eondon. S.e8tics among the Master:s listeners who chec.ed the news8a8er accounts o0 the ::real:: Round -a+le Con0erence were amaDed to 0ind that they coincided e"actly with Nityananda:s words. ,s wor. on the 6anhangad caves neared com8letion in #%$$' Nityananda once again em+ar.ed on a 8eriod o0 0reAuent and o0ten un8redicta+le travel. Sallying 0orth 0rom 6anhangad and /anesh8uri' he might a88ear in >a;reshwari' /o.arn' 6anheri' !om+ay' or anywhere. ne day as he sat under a tree near the roc. caves' three local Muslims arrived to stand reverently +e0ore him. ,s he had many Muslim devotees' this was not sur8rising. Having ;ust returned 0rom their Ha; 8ilgrimage to Mecca' they were as.ed +y the Master what they had seen there. -hey re8lied' ?2e saw you there' Swami;i' and have come to 8ay homage.? Nityananda turned his 0ace with a 0aint smile on his li8s. Similarly' he was seen in many 8laces around !om+ay. ,chutamama' a devotee 0rom udi8i' tells how the Master as.ed him to dig a small grave4li.e 8it in the sands o0 Chow8ati and +ury him in it. ,larmed' the man then watched as 8eo8le unwittingly wal.ed over the s8ot. ,0ter a+out thirty minutes' Nityananda s8rang 0rom the sand and as.ed his com8anion to ta.e him home. -his ha88ened several times until one day he reAuested a much dee8er 8it. 2hen he did not crawl out at the usual time' ,chutamama grew an"ious +ut continued to wait. <inally' three hours later Nityananda emerged and casually e"8lained that he had had +usiness in Delhi. He was a regular visitor to Mrs. Mu.ta+ai:s !om+ay home at this time. nce she and her mother went to the town o0 Nasi. along the /odavari River 0or a change o0 climate. 2hile they were away' Nityananda insisted on managing the house 0or his devotee:s hus+and and attending to the household chores himsel0. In #%$G or #%$5 he re8ortedly moved to ,.roli near >a;reshwari. Here he re8aired the hot s8ring tan.s and the near+y Nath tem8le. He also +uilt a charity hostel across 0rom the >a;reshwari tem8le and su8ervised the construction o0 a well that is still the site:s 8rimary water source. ,s usual' his 0ollowers discovered his wherea+outs. ne o0 these 0aith0ul was Sitarama Shenoy whom Nityananda as.ed to o8en a restaurant across 0rom the >a;reshwari tem8le. thers 0ound the Master without even loo.ing. , story goes that Mrs. Mu.ta+ai and several !om+ay devotees had gathered 0or a 8icnic near >a;reshwari. ,s they ate they s8o.e o0 Nityananda' lamenting the 0act that three years had 8assed since they had seen
Page 21 o0 69

him. ,t that moment a dar. 0igure emerged 0rom the ;ungle at the +ase o0 Manda.ini Mountain and a88roached the ecstatic grou8. In #%5(' Mr. 6rishnamurthy' a ;ournalist and +iogra8her' wrote the 0ollowing: ::-wo decades ago Nityananda lived 0or years in a tree in the heart o0 the >a;reshwari ;ungle. nce a young man as.ed him' ?Man cannot do the im8ossi+le +ut a yogi can. 2on:t you awa.en the .undalini in meH? Moved +y his earnestness' Nityananda touched his s8inal cord and' in a s8lit second' the see.er e"8erienced the dynamic charge o0 the .undalini. -he con0ines o0 mortal ho8e +lended with the divine light. He 0elt as i0 a magnesium wire +urned in his head and un0olded a mystery and a wordless music.:: ::2hen .undalini returns to its s8iritual cave' the light is e"tinguished and the 0lute +ro.en. nly when one 8uts the eyes o0 logic and reason to slee8' can one gras8 reality:s mysterious 0lash. <or an intellectual understanding o0 .undalini' we can read +oo.s. !ut in our very own day we have Nityananda as a living em+lem o0 the .undalini 8rocess. -o him' it is not a mental tra8. It is action.? ?<rom the moment Nityananda o8ens the 0irst window o0 our consciousness' we no longer 0eel +ound +y time. Indeed' his greatness lies in time:s annihilation. -he 8ast +ecomes a memory. 2e cease to reach toward 0uture 8assions. 2e live in the intuition o0 the moment. -his trans0orms us 0rom invalid to .nower@ /anesh8uri44-he !eginning #%$7 Nityananda arrived in /anesh8uri one morning in #%$7. Some 8eo8le thin. he came at the goddess >a;reshwari:s +idding. 2e .now he did tell 6anhangad devotees o0 his intention to visit the !himeshwar tem8le' +ut he said nothing o0 moving there. In those days /anesh8uri was surrounded +y a dense ;ungle inha+ited +y tigers and other wild animals. ,ccess to the tem8le was via a 0oot8ath over a hill .nown as Manda.ini. -he area:s only other inha+itants lived on the west side o0 the hill at a sanatorium. -here' a doctor had diverted sul0ur water 0rom the natural hot s8rings into s8ecially constructed thera8eutic +aths 0or his 8atients. 2hen Nityananda reached the !himeshwar tem8le that morning' he was wra88ed in a chec.ered +lan.et. -hin.ing him a Muslim' the attending 8riest:s young wi0e /angu+ai re0used to let him enter the Hindu shrine. -he Master said nothing and retraced his ste8s to sit +y an old well overgrown with vegetation and 0ull o0 stones.F Eate that a0ternoon a >a;reshwari devotee arrived and 0ound him still seated +y the well. hearing the tale' the devotee hastened to recti0y the mista.e. ,8ologies were immediately o00ered and soon a
Page 22 o0 69

tem8orary structure was +uilt 0or Nityananda on the tem8le:s west side. It was small' with +arely enough room 0or him to crawl inside and rest. F2hen the well was later cleared' these stones were touted 0or their healing 8ower and eagerly collected +y ayurvedic 8hysicians. !e0ore the door stood an ancient 8i8al tree that was home to many sna.es. ,s he had done with the co+ras in 6anhangad' Nityananda issued vi+rational orders and they disa88eared into the ;ungle44e"ce8t 0or one. -he oldest co+ra would not leave' 8re0erring death at the Master:s hands. -he story goes that one day he instructed devotees to stay away and some time later announced that the old sna.e:s wish had +een granted. He then ordered villagers to cut down the enormous tree that was now 0estooned with sacred thread and s8rin.led with the red .um.um 8owder used in Indian rituals. ,s word s8read o0 Nityananda:s arrival' villagers 0rom surrounding areas +egan gathering around his hut in the evenings. , large 8ot o0 rice 8orridge' o0 which the Master would 8arta.e' always stood ready 0or them. Devotees were soon 0loc.ing to /anesh8uri as well. -o accommodate them' a +uilding was constructed east o0 the hot s8ring water tan.s. ,t 0irst' due to a lac. o0 8ota+le water' visitors only stayed the day. However' once the old well was re0ur+ished' sul0ur water was used 0or everything. ne 8articularly hot a0ternoon the Master o00ered a 8late o0 rice with s8icy 8ic.le sauce to a visiting devotee. It so ha88ened that the woman 0ound sul0ur water distaste0ul and declined the 0ood' .nowing she would crave something to drin. a0terward. Nityananda again held out the 8late to her' saying' ?Don:t +e concerned. 3ou will drin. rain water.? >enturing a loo. at the +lue s.y' she still ate nothing. 2ithin minutes' however' a solitary cloud a88eared overhead and rain 8oured down. -he Master said' ?/o and get your water'? and she ;um8ed u8 and collected rainwater 0or +oth o0 them. 2ithin a short 8eriod o0 time' three rooms were added to the tem8le:s south side to 0orm a com8ound. -oday this is called the ?old ashram.? Nityananda:s room with its small cement 8orch stood in the middle. -here were two ad;oining rooms that were 0ully enclosed' one on each side. !ut the walls o0 his room only rose seven 0eet and had a .nee4high sliding 8anel 0or a door. -he dirt yard in 0ront was 8aved in #%G$. Until then he saw devotees in either the +uilding near the +athing tan.s or the tem8le Auadrangle. -he only route to the ashram was a winding 0oot8ath through the ;ungle. -o reach this 8ath' visitors had to use the neigh+oring sanatorium:s 8rivate road. Soon the careta.ers there' disgruntled at devotees getting o00 the +us at the sanatorium gate' +egan charging them a 0ee to use the 8ath. -his 8ractice continued until' one day' words and +lows were e"changed.
Page 23 o0 69

Hearing o0 the incident' Nityananda as.ed near+y villagers to recruit 0i0ty la+orers. -he ne"t morning' with the Master wor.ing alongside them' they +egan to clear trees and +uild a 8ro8er road 0rom the ashram to the +us route' which incidentally still conveys regional +uses to /anesh8uri. ,t the time' however' the district:s !ritish magistrate and 0orest o00icer received com8laints a+out the unauthoriDed 8ro;ect. -hey as.ed the local 0orest ranger' who ha88ened to +e a devotee' 0or a com8lete re8ort. <earing the worst' and at Nityananda:s insistence' the man com8lied. He descri+ed the new road as a 8u+lic service and stressed the growing in0lu" o0 devotees needing access to +oth the ashram and the !himeshwar tem8le. <inally' he concluded that the district +ene0ited considera+ly 0rom the Master:s e00orts and that he really should have underta.en the 8ro;ect himsel0. -he curious !ritish o00icials drove to /anesh8uri a0ter reading the re8ort. Par.ing well +eyond where the !hadra.ali tem8le now stands' they a88roached the ashram as Nityananda sat watching them. Suddenly he turned his +ac. to them and they returned to their car. -he magistrate later admitted to su+ordinates that' while rarely moved +y charita+le thoughts' u8on witnessing how this sim8le yogi wor.ed to hel8 the local 8oor' he decided to ta.e no 0urther action. -he ld ,shram: Part I #%$74#%5& ne a0ternoon a visitor too. leave o0 Nityananda' 8lanning to ta.e the 0oot8ath through the woods to the >a;reshwari tem8le. ,s he wal.ed o00' the Master told him not to loo. +ac. until he reached the tem8le. ,long the way he encountered a co+ra in his 8ath +ut' 0ollowing the directive' did not turn around. Instead' he waited 0or the sna.e to leave. Continuing' he soon heard someone whis8ering +ehind him. nce more' controlling his curiosity' he did not loo. +ac. until he was within sight o0 the tem8le. -hen' una+le to stand the mystery' he turned and saw a gigantic 0igure with 0olded arms standing in the river re8eating a mantra44which was what he had heard. Iuite sha.en' he managed to reach the tem8le where he remained in a daDed state and had to +e hos8italiDed. It too. two months 0or him to 0ully recover his senses. -here are many such e"am8les o0 Nityananda:s watch0ulness. <or instance' he always advised devotees not to venture out alone at night. ne time' however' Mrs. Mu.ta+ai rose a0ter midnight and went to the hot s8ring tan.s to +athe. ,s she entered' she saw two uncommonly handsome youths run away and disa88ear inside the tem8le. She hurriedly returned to the ashram to tell Nityananda' who admonished her 0or diso+eying his instructions. She a8ologiDed and then as.ed a+out the young men. He re8lied that they were sanat.umars' two o0 Eord !rahma:s 0our sons +orn o0 his mind alone. In #%75 some o0 the older devotees told Ca8tain Hatengdi that the young Master o0ten used the 8hrase ?tortoise drishti? Bor sightC when s8ea.ing o0 his constant mind0ulness o0
Page 24 o0 69

their wel0are and develo8ment. He told them to consider how a mother +ird:s 8hysical warmth hatches her eggs. In contrast' a mother tortoise clim+s onto the +each' lays her eggs' covers them' and returns to the sea' all the while mind0ul o0 her eggs. It is her constancy o0 thought that ma.es them hatch. n another occasion' a devotee 8er0orming an act o0 service BsevaC around the ashram was told to sto8 at midnight. He did so and then went o00 to +athe +e0ore retiring. *n route' he saw an enormous muddy 0oot8rint near the statue o0 Shiva:s +ull. -hough a man o0 courage' the devotee was sha.en +y the sight and rushed inside. -here the Master waited and immediately as.ed' ?Did you +ow +e0ore the 0oot8rintH? ,nd he Auic.ly returned to do so. Nityananda said that through time' sages had o0ten 0reAuented the grounds o0 the old ashram and he considered the hot s8rings water there to +e holy B.oti teerthaC. -his 8hrase indicates the waters that saints have +athed in or meditated near. In /anesh8uri the Master always as.ed even his oldest devotees to' u8on arrival' 0irst +athe in the .unds. -hroughout the uncertain light o0 early morning Nityananda would maintain a vigil until all the devotees returned 0rom +athing. nce' coming 0rom an early +ath' Madhumama' a long4time devotee who sometimes coo.ed 0or the Master' encountered him at the ashram entrance. he as.ed the devotee' ?Did you see itH? and 8ointed to a tiger sitting under a mango tree only twenty yards away. Clearly' the Master was standing guard. Ra;go8al !hat' a regular visitor 0or two decades' s8o.e o0 a similar incident. In #%G% he +rought his 0amily to !om+ay 0or the 0irst time and' on 0inding no accommodations' was told +y Nityananda to stay with a certain Mr. /andhi in /anesh8uri. Rising the ne"t morning 0or a three o:cloc. visit to the hot s8rings' he 0elt himsel0 0ollowed and noticed a 0aint light +ehind him. Remem+ering the Master:s 8erennial advice' he did not loo. +ac. +ut continued wal.ing. 2hen he reached the 8resent site o0 the !hadra.ali tem8le' the uncertain 0eeling disa88eared. He too. his +ath and 0orgot the incident. In the evening Mr. /andhi visited the ashram. Nityananda told him a tiger had 0ollowed Mr. !hat that morning +ut his 0aith in the Master had 8rotected him. ,ccording to another story' !hagawan Mistry' who handled the ashram:s construction wor.' ran in one evening in o+vious agony' shouting that a co+ra had +itten him. Nityananda calmly told him to sit down. He as.ed someone to +ring him the sna.e +alm' instructed the +ewildered Mistry to ru+ it on the Master:s leg at the s8ot corres8onding to his own wound' and told him to go to slee8. -he devotee awo.e the ne"t morning 0ully recovered. ,n even more dramatic intervention is related in this story 0rom Dr. Deodhar a+out Sitarama Shenoy' a Mangalore devotee mentioned earlier in the +oo.. ,0ter su00ering a
Page 25 o0 69

severe heart attac.' he was ta.en +y his 0amily directly 0rom the hos8ital to /anesh8uri. His doctors vehemently 8rotested this action. ,rriving in the village' Sitarama was hel8ed 0rom the car and 8laced on the ground +e0ore Nityananda' who 8roceeded to ta.e his hand and drag him to the river. -here Nityananda s8lashed water on the ailing man:s 0ace' telling him that he was 0ine and could wal. +ac. on his own. ,nd so he did' com8letely recovered. Shortly therea0ter' to his doctor:s astonishment and at Nityananda:s +idding' he o8ened the restaurant across 0rom the >a;reshwari tem8le and wor.ed there until his death in #%5G. -he restaurant is still maintained +y his 0amily. ne a0ternoon Nityananda announced that Narayan Mahara; o0 6hedgaon was coming. Seeing ,chutamama:s s.e8ticism' he insisted that the cele+rated teacher was in >a;reshwari en route to the ashram. <ive minutes later' they heard a car sto8 to de8osit the mahara;' who went directly to the hot s8rings. <ollowing his a+lutions' he a88roached Nityananda and as.ed him to cure his s.in disorder. !ut the Master re8lied' ?Inside you are 8ure. 2hy +other with the outsideH? ,nd the mahara; went away. -hat evening Nityananda s8o.e: ?*verything was ready 0or him44the +ed made and his head a+out to touch the 8illow. !ut instead he got u8 and le0t.? Re0erring to the s8iritual stage 8reviously reached +y the mahara;' the Master told devotees that datta devata siddhi only lasted 0ourteen years and reAuired a renewed e00ort at that 8oint. In contrast' the attainment o0 divine wisdom carried no such limitation. 1nana' he said' was in0inite. , man destined to +e a longtime devotee made his 0irst visit to /anesh8uri in #%$9. Most 8eo8le came +y +us +ut' a0ter winning the /oa lottery' /oli.eri Ea.shman Rao was a rich man. he hired a ta"i 0or the tri8 and arrived +earing a 0ruit +as.et. Nityananda acce8ted him as well as the 0ruit. ,0ter several visits' he as.ed Rao to come on a 8articular date and accom8any him on a 8ilgrimage BteerthayatraC. ,s Rao arrived that day' again in a ta"i' the villagers 0ell at Nityananda:s 0eet' 8leading with him not to leave. He told them to 0all at Rao:s 0eet instead44and they did' much to the devotee:s em+arrassment. Nityananda motioned 0or Rao to ac.nowledge them' and they set o00 on their ;ourney. ,t the train station' over his com8anion:s 8rotests' Nityananda insisted on third4class tic.ets. ,nd in Poona' their 0irst sto8' Nityananda too. a hotel room with a +ed 0or Rao44 and a s8ace on the 0loor 0or himsel0 and a cloth BchadderC 0or a +lan.et. -he ne"t day they went to ,landi. Here Nityananda encouraged the devotee to 0ollow his usual manner o0 worshi8' and so Rao 8roceeded to the river 1naneshwar. Meanwhile' the Master stood 0or several seconds with his hands at his sides in each corner o0 the shrine' and then le0t. -he ne"t sto8 was to +e Pandar8ur. !ut Rao su00ered a malaria attac. in the night and as.ed Nityananda:s 8ermission to return to !om+ay. He made no o+;ection +ut as.ed Rao to leave his chaddar 0or him. Protesting' Rao said he would gladly +uy the Master a new one +ut' again overruled' he sadly de8arted.

Page 26 o0 69

Nityananda traveled on to Pandar8ur and other 8laces +e0ore returning to !om+ay. <or several months in early #%$% he lived in the 6anheri caves at !orivli. ,d;oining his cave was another where a guru lectured daily on >edantic 8hiloso8hy. <ocusing on the inconseAuential and transitory as8ect o0 the human +ody' he loudly e"horted his disci8les to ignore its many attractions and a00lictions. ,s 0ate had it' one day the guru was +itten +y a sna.e. -he resulting agony was e"8ressed visi+ly and' as usual' Auite vocally on his 8art. His distressed disci8les as.ed Nityananada to hel8. 2hile we .now his mercy was +oundless' the master nevertheless chuc.led and as.ed i0 they had already 0orgotten their guru:s words to ignore the +ody:s 8hysical as8ects. -hen he directed them to s8lash water 0rom the near+y 8ond onto the wound. -his done' their guru recovered44and immediately came to +ow at Nityananda:s 0eet. ,nother o0 the 6anheri caves was occu8ied +y a sanyasi who was a Maha.ala worshi88er. <ollowing his daily worshi8 he would +ring the ritual light and incense BarathiC he had waved +e0ore his 8ersonal shrine and wave it +e0ore Nityananda. -a.ing no notice' the Master told devotees that it was ;ust a sign o0 the sanyasi:s dee8 devotion. ,s always' devotees 0ound Nityananda' and this time they 0loc.ed to 6anheri. ne was the dee8ly attached Mrs. Mu.ta+ai. She related that one time' in her haste to arrive' she lost her way. Her an"iety grew until an asthmatic old man suddenly a88eared and o00ered to show her the way. ,s they neared the ashram' he +egan to lag +ehind her and at the entrance was nowhere to +e seen. Nityananda re0used to discuss the incident and re8rimanded her soundly 0or traveling at that hour in such a dangerous region. Prior to his return to /anesh8uri' Nityananda told devotees not to come to 6anheri only to see him. he urged them to visit the roc. caves +uilt +y yogis and sanyasis centuries earlier and marvel at their arrangements 0or collecting and storing water. Nityananda returned to /anesh8uri in #%$%' and Rao immediately came to see him. !ut again' he su00ered an attac. o0 malaria. In a 0ever4induced delirium' he admitted that as a youth he had once received sandwiches 0rom the Muslim sage !a+a 1an' which he had thoughtlessly discarded. Hearing the story' the Master shoo. the ailing man and as.ed him to re8eat it. ,0ter listening to it again' he went to the 8antry' o8ened several tins o0 0ood' and mi"ed the contents together on a 8iece o0 news8a8er. he then carried the huge serving to Rao and ordered him to eat it. -he sic. devotee did so and immediately 0ell aslee8. he awo.e 0ully recovered' realiDing that he had 0inally atoned 0or the insult o0 throwing away a saint:s 8rasad. -he ld ,shram: Part II #%$74#%5&
Page 27 o0 69

In #%G# Swami 1anananda traveled to /anesh8uri to see. Nityananda:s guidance on some 0inancial and construction issues regarding the 6anhangad ashram. n his arrival' and 8rior to s8ea.ing to the Master' he was told to sit down. 2ithin minutes a ta"i drove u8' a rare occurrence in the days' and Nityananda le0t' saying he would soon return. ,nd he did44twenty40our hours later in the same ta"i. -hen' glancing at Swami 1anananda' he said' ?/o home. *verything is ta.en care o0.? 2ithout a word' Swami 1anananda made the return tri8' one that involved the usual num+er o0 trains and +uses. Reaching the ashram' he heard that Nityananda had +een there earlier with money and instructions. Eet me add that even with today:s im8roved trans8ortation conditions and utiliDing the new Netravati !ridge' it is im8ossi+le to com8lete a round tri8 +etween !om+ay and 6anhangad +y ta"i in twenty40our hours... Nityananda was never interested in attracting disci8les or organiDing an ashram. He was egoless in +oth words and actions. 2hen 8ressed' he would say' ?-his one is not 0lattered when im8ortant 8eo8le come or sad when devotees leave.? Students o0 other s8iritual teachers sometimes came to /anesh8uri' +ut the Master always steered them +ac. to their own ashrams. he would tell them that their gurus were Auite ca8a+le o0 solving their 8ro+lems and that it was ina88ro8riate as well as disres8ect0ul to change loyalty on a tem8orary +asis. ne morning' as devotees o0 Shirdi Sai !a+a 0iled +e0ore him' Nityananda was heard to shout' ?/o +ac. to Shirdi@ Does the old man there sit di00erently than this one does hereH? , similar situation involved the a00luent !hiwandiwalla +rothers' then devotees o0 Narayan Mahara;. 2hen they 0irst learned that Nityananda was in /anesh8ui' they set o00 to see him. !ut when they arrived' Nityananda shouted' ?/o +ac. to your guru@? and re0used to s8ea. to them. -he +rothers nevertheless continued to come. It was only when Narayan Mahara; died that the Master 0inally addressed them and acce8ted their devotion. -here was once a devotee who had lost a 0lourishing +usiness 8rior to the Second 2orld 2ar. n his 0irst visit to /anesh8uri' he .e8t hearing Nityananda re8eat the word ?;un.? and' try as he might' could not sto8 thin.ing a+out it. 2hen the man returned home' the word still rang in his ears and he went 0or a wal.. Eo and +ehold' he came u8on an auction selling discarded odds and ends to the highest +idder. 2ithout hesitation he +ought the entire lot and soon sold it at a 8ro0it. 2ithin months he was on his way toward recou8ing his earlier losses. 2ithin the ashram he was called Raddiwalla' or ?the head o0 ;un..? Raddiwalla +ecame a 0reAuent visitor to /anesh8uri' o0ten +ringing his entire 0amily. ,lways an"ious to have Nityananda touch him' he sometimes too. the li+erty o0 8lacing
Page 28 o0 69

the Master:s hand on the head o0 a relative he wished to have +lessed. -his annoyed some o0 the older devotees who had +een around since the days in Mangalore. !ac. them' Nityananda had told them not to 8rostrate themselves +e0ore him' that their inner 8rayers would reach him. ne a0ternoon Raddiwalla too. his leave a0ter 8lacing Nityananda:s hand on the head o0 every mem+er o0 his 0amily. Una+le to contain themselves' the envious devotees as.ed the Master why he had never 0avored them in this manner a0ter their many years o0 devotion. He re+u.ed them +y saying' ?, +lessing is not given +y 8lacing the hand on the head. It is an inner transmission44not an outer demonstration.? ne day when the Master com8lained o0 0atigue' Mrs. Mu.ta+ai admitted her sur8rise' saying that he rarely le0t the ashram and s8ent most o0 his time resting on the 0loor o0 his room or on the +ench outside. He Aui88ed' ?3es' +ut the devotees remem+er' don:t theyH? n another occasion he said: ?one esta+lished in in0inite consciousness +ecomes silent and' while .nowing everything' goes a+out as i0 .nowing nothing. 2hile doing many things in several 8laces' outwardly one a88ears to do nothing.? ne day a new devotee +rought his wi0e to /anesh8uri. ,0ter 0irst greeting Nityananda' they sat down a little a8art 0rom the others. Some o0 the visitors were discussing the +uilding o0 a small school in the area. -hin.ing this a good o88ortunity to contri+ute something' the hus+and rose and 8laced a thousand ru8ee note on the 8late +y Nityananda:s +ench. ,0ter resuming his seat' the man was astonished to 0ind his single note trans0ormed into a 8ile o0 smaller denomination +ills. Nityananda +as.ed in the s8ontaneity o0 li0e and delighted in saying that things rarely went according to 8lan44even the +est laid ones. ,0ter all' he would tell devotees' ?/od:s will always 8revails.? In #%G%' a devotee 0rom 6erala was 0illed with dismay when a renowned astrologer announced that the devotee:s young wi0e would soon die due to an a00liction o0 Saturn in her chart. Distraught' the man rushed to /anesh8uri. ,s he arrived and sat down' Nityananda turned to him and said' ?Saturn is there +ut so is /od.? He then told the hus+and to stay on at the ashram and to 8er0orm certain rituals that were never e"8lained. -he devotee 0aith0ully 0ollowed his instructions to the letter. 2hen the day 8redicted 0or the calamity came' it 8assed without incident44and Nityananda told the ha88y man to go home. ne morning as Nityananda reclined on his +ench with legs outstretched' three stalwart sanyasis a88eared in the entrance +ehind him. ne carried a large' +rightly48olished trident.F Iuietly they too. a stance +ehind the Master and waited 0or him to ac.nowledge them' +ut he uttered no sound and made no gesture. -ime 8assed. -he visitors grew restless and the watching devotees uncom0orta+le. Suddenly' the trident +earer thrust it 0orce0ully into midair where it remained o0 its own accord. Still Nityananda did not turn' +ut whenever he glanced 0rom the right corner o0 his eye' the trident swayed slightly.
Page 29 o0 69

,0ter some moments' Nityananda shoo. his outstretched 0oot4and the trident 0ell with a clatter. !owing' the sanyasis as.ed to stay in the ashram 0or three days. During this time they said they were 0ollowers o0 a 8ower0ul guru in the Himalayas. -he conceded' however' that Nityananda was himsel0 a great leader o0 the nath order o0 mon.s BMatsyendranathC' and demonstrating great res8ect and a00ection' they de8arted with his +lessing. F-he trident BtrishulaC sym+oliDes the three 8owers o0 the ,+solute: 2ill' 6nowledge' and ,ction. It is o0ten associated with Shiva. It was around #%G) when 6amath and a 0riend s8ent Shivaratri' the annual 0estival o0 Shiva' in /anesh8uri. Staying in rooms o88osite the hot s8ring tan.s' they rose at midnight to +athe and them entered the dar.ness o0 the !himeshwar tem8le. -o their sur8rise' the +eam o0 their 0lashlight revealed Nityananda standing with one 0oot on the linga and re8eating' ?Shiva is gone' Shiva is gone.? ,nd the two men .new that 0or Shiva to have gone he must 0irst have come. Mrs. Mu.ta+ai once as.ed Nityananda whether he could see /od. His re8ly was ?More clearly than I see you.? He also said that 8hysical contact with the teacher was unnecessary. ?-his one is here' there' and everywhere'? he assured. ?-here is no 8inhole where this one will not +e 0ound.? ,nd a certain incident in the li0e o0 /.,. Rao illustrates this. Rao was the devotee mentioned earlier who had won the lottery. ,lways generous with his une"8ected wealth' he un0ortunately lost everything during the war. Nityananda as.ed a devotee living in the same town as Rao to let the im8overished man stay in his warehouse. ne day Rao sadly considered that he did not even have a 8hoto o0 his guru to wave incense in 0ront o0. -hat night he had a dream. In it' Nityananda had him search the wall a+ove his 8illow 0or a nail hole and instructed him to wave incense +e0ore it. -he ne"t morning when he awo.e' Rao 0ound such a hole and +egan waving incense +e0ore it daily 0or the duration o0 his stay. Some time 8assed +e0ore he 0inally saw Nityananda in the 0lesh again. n that occasion the Master remar.ed that he was en;oying the 0ragrance o0 Rao:s incense. ne day as visitors 0rom Saurashtra were +owing +e0ore Nityananda' one o0 them +egan to shiver uncontrolla+ly. ,0terward a devotee too. him aside to as. why he had reacted so. -he man said that +e0ore leaving his village he had seen the Master in a near+y cave and was shoc.ed to 0ind him here as well. -hen evening when the devotee remar.ed on the unli.elihood o0 such an occurrence' Nityananda re8lied' ?,nything is 8ossi+le.? ,nything is 8ossi+le. -o Nityananda this was a+undantly clear. 2hen' in the mid4#%5&:s' he as.ed Madhumama to go to !adrinath' the devotee sto88ed over in Rishi.esh. -here
Page 30 o0 69

he was a88roached +y a tall stranger who' in 8assing' warned him in 6anarese: ?Don:t eat anything o00ered +y a sanyasi on your way to !adrinath. nly eat tem8le 0ood.? Madhumama was mysti0ied +y +oth the message and messenger. How would anyone .now that he understood 6anarese and was en route to !adrinathH -urning to as. him' he 0ound only em8ty s8ace. n his su+seAuent return to /anesh8uri' he told 0ellow devotees that when he +owed at 6edarnath he 0elt as i0 his head touch the +ody o0 the Master. Some devotees laughed' +ut Nityananda remar.ed' ?-here is no need to dou+t his e"8erience. -he +ody without the head BMundaC is in 6edarnath while the head without the +ody BRundaC is in Pashu8athinath. I0 Shiva:s +ody can lie in 6edarnath and his head in Pashu8athinath' then a devotee would not +e sur8rised to 0eel Nityananda:s +ody anywhere.? Nonduality Nityananda: In Divine Presence BcontinuedC clic. here 0or the 0irst ten cha8ters Swami Chetanananda and M.U. Hatengdi. Rudra Press P. . !o" #$$%& Portland' regon %()#$ *ditor' Cheryl !erling Rosen. Contri+uted +y M ,lso see -he Chida.ash /ita -he S.y o0 the Heart: 1ewels o0 2isdom 0rom Nityananda -he ld ,shram: Part III' #%$74#%5& -he ld ,shram' #%5&4#%57 -he ld ,shram: Part II' #%5&4#%57 -he New ,shram at 6ailas' #%574#%7# -he New ,shram at 6ailas' #%5&4#%7# Nityananda:s Passing Nityananda:s Passing: Part II ,0terward Remem+ering the Master Remem+ering the Master: Part II -he ld ,shram: Part III #%$74#%5& M. Hegde' a young relative o0 Sitarama Shenoy' was 8osted to !om+ay during the Second 2orld 2ar as an a88rentice in the Naval Doc.yard. n his regular visits to /anesh8uri' he was sometimes as.ed to 8re8are the Master:s tea. During one visit to the ;ungle ashram' he 0ound himsel0 Auestioned +y Nityananda. Did he wish to im8rove his
Page 31 o0 69

8ros8ectsH Did he .now a+out the government4s8onsored !evin !oy:s -raining Program in /reat !ritainH Hegde said he had read a+out it in the news8a8er +ut thought himsel0 ineligi+le +ecause Auotas were determined +y 8rovince and he was not really 0rom !om+ay. -he Master told him to thin. +ig and a88ly anyway. -he +oy did and was acce8ted. However' at his medical e"amination' the local doctor contested his candidacy and declared him medically un0it. 2hen Hegde hurried to /anesh8uri' Nityananda again advised him to thin. +igger and a88eal the decision. Hegde there0ore wrote to the surgeon general and received an a88ointment. PuDDled at the sight o0 a healthy young man standing +e0ore him' the surgeon general as.ed the local doctor to e"8lain his ruling. !ecause he was una+le to do so satis0actorily' the decision was overturned. During his year o0 training in /reat !ritain' hegde +egan dating an *nglish woman. ne time' while the two were strolling in a 8ar.' Hegde suddenly saw an a88arition o0 the Master +e0ore him. His stern 0ace seemed to say' ?2as this why you came to this 8laceH? -he a88arition disa88eared and Hegde +egan sweating 8ro0usely even though it was winter. -he loo. on his 0ace a88arently was startling enough to ma.e the woman end their relationshi8 on the s8ot. 2hen he returned to India' Hegde went directly to /anesh8uri to as. Nityananda what he should do ne"t. -he master told him to 8ut on a suit and wal. u8 and down one o0 !om+ay:s ma;or commercial streets 0rom ten in the morning to 0ive in the a0ternoon. -his was a tall order' +ut the young devotee resolved to 0ollow his instruction to the letter. *"hausted' he later returned home and wondered how he would get a ;o+ +y 8acing u8 and down. Nevertheless' the ne"t day he 0aith0ully re8eated his vigil. !y noon he 0ound himsel0 staring aimlessly at a notice +oard outside the Macro8olo sho8. <rom the corner o0 his eye' he saw a 0oreigner enter the sho8. *"iting some time later' the 0oreigner was sur8rised to see Hegde still staring at the notices. He as.ed the young man what he was doing and Hegde admitted that he was loo.ing 0or wor.. -he stranger inAuired into his Auali0ications and whether he was 8re8ared to go the Calcutta that night. /ul8ing' Hegde said yes and 0ollowed the man to the Ea.shmi o00ice +uilding where he acce8ted a good o8ening 8osition 8lus traveling e"8enses. Predicta+ly' Hedge caught the 0irst train to /anesh8uri. , hundred yards 0rom the ashram' he could hear Nityananda shouting at him to return to the station immediately i0 he intended to catch the train 0or Calcutta. ,nd ;oyously saluting the Master 0rom that distance' hegde set out 0or his new ;o+. Nityananda:s understanding o0 li0e was light years +eyond the 8eo8le around him. -ime a0ter time' someone would e"8ress concern or sorrow a+out an event only to have the
Page 32 o0 69

Master e"8lain' sometimes in e"as8eration' that many things occur +eneath li0e:s a88arent sur0ace. Stories a+ound' o0 course. Ca8tain Hatengdi:s mother was among those who 0irst sought out Nityananda. In #%)G' however' she turned instead to Swami Siddharud in Hu+li' +eing Auite ta.en with the many miracles attri+uted to him. -wo decades later' as her son:s connection with Nityananda evolved' he wrote to his mother and invited her to the ashram. ,nd so it 8assed that in <e+ruary #%GG' accom8anied +y a +rother and his 0amily' she traveled to /anesh8uri. U8on seeing her' and with characteristic +revity' Nityananda as.ed' ?How longH? un8re8ared 0or this greeting' the woman mum+led' ?Perha8s twenty years.? ?No'? came his re8ly. ?-wenty4two. ,nyway' where is Siddharud nowH? ?He is no more.? ?2here has he goneH Can you see him when you close your eyesH? he as.ed. 2hen she said yes' he re8eated' ?,re you so certain he has gone anywhereH? -he Hatengdi 0amily was assigned a room near the +aths 0or the night. -hat evening Nityananda visited' sitting without saying a word. 2hen one woman Auietly as.ed a+out his silence' another said that he must +e meditating +ecause it was sunset. -he Master immediately s8o.e' ?,ll that was over in the mother:s wom+.? ,nother time a cou8le arrived in /anesh8uri. ,0ter 0irst +athing' they were arranging to 8re8are a meal 0or the Master when they saw him rush across the com8ound. He shouted at them to leave at once. -he startled devotees hurriedly 8ac.ed and le0t44;ust catching a +us to ma.e the rail connection at !assein. -he instant they arrived home' a 0ierce gale +egan to rattle the shutters and windows. It was a 8recursor to a 0ormida+le storm that severed railway connections in the region. In 0act' had the cou8le not caught that 8articular +us and train' they would have +een stranded in /anesh8uri 0or ten days. nce again a hardshi8 8roved to +e a +lessing when a devotee and his wi0e arrived in /anesh8uri 0or a 0ew days. ,0ter settling in' they hired a horse4drawn carriage to ta.e them to >a;reshwari. !ut as the wi0e clim+ed into the vehicle' she 0ell and +ro.e her an.le. 2itnessing the occurrence' Nityananda told the hus+and to ta.e her to a certain +one4setter in !om+ay as o88osed to the hos8ital. 2hen an an"ious 0riend o0 the cou8le as.ed Nityananda how such a thing could ha88en in /anesh8uri' he re8lied' ?She has young children. , 0atal accident would have +rought distress to them.? It was clear to everyone that a 0atal accident had +een averted. ,round #%5&' Dr. Deodhar recalls seeing two cars arrive. <rom one car servants emerged carrying +edding and headed 0or the ashram:s +ac. door. It seemed that the !hiwandiwalla 0amily was 8re8aring to stay 0or some time. <amily mem+ers emerged
Page 33 o0 69

0rom the other car and wal.ed toward the main entrance. ne man gingerly carried an inert child in his outstretched arms. Not ten minutes later' the servants returned to the cars with the +edding. Ne"t came the 0amily' the same man holding the child. -he entourage drove o00 and Dr. Deodhar hurried inside. -here he learned that the child su00ered 0rom 8neumonia and had +een unconscious 0or three days. -he 0amily +rought the child +e0ore Nityananda and +egged him to o8en the child:s eyes. Passing his hand over the small 0ace' the child:s eyes o8ened' +ut moving his hand +ac.' the child:s eyes closed. Nityananda then told the 0amily to 8er0orm the last rites +ecause the child was dead. Mistry had +een in charge o0 the ashram:s construction wor. 0or many years and 0elt com0orta+le around his guru. 2ithout thin.ing' he remar.ed how un0ortunate it was that the child had died in Nityananda:s 8resence. ,ngrily the Master said' ?2hat do you .now a+out itH -his is the 0ourth time that the child has come 0rom its mother:s wom+ see.ing li+eration. It has wanted 0reedom +ut .armic law has dragged it down again and again into the same 0amily. Now 0ul0illed' this soul will not have to return.? vercome +y curiosity' Dr. Deodhar later Auestioned a 0amily mem+er' who con0irmed that 0our in0ants had died shortly a0ter +irth44the last one only a0ter receiving darshan 0rom Nityananda. In another instance' a !om+ay cou8le had their 0irst child late in li0e. 2hen he contracted small8o". the 8arents rushed him to /anesh8uri. -here they 8laced their +eloved son at Nityananda:s 0eet in 0ull view o0 a grou8 o0 devotees and ashram children. ,ware o0 the ris. to those 8resent' the Master ordered the cou8le to ta.e their sic. child home immediately. -he Nityananda stood u8 and entered his own room. <or ten days he stayed inside seeing no one' until one morning he emerged and wal.ed directly to the hot s8rings to +athe. <ollowing him' an"ious devotees noticed a num+er o0 s.in eru8tions on his +ody. Eater they learned that in !om+ay the sic. child had miraculously recovered. -he 0ollowing story occurred some time +e0ore Dr. Deodhar +ecame a devotee. n his ;ungle estate near Panval stood a small shrine to Shiva. Installed +y his 0amily at this shrine was a certain Swami Ramananda who 8er0ormed the daily rituals. nce a wee. the mon. went to the Deodhar com8ound to collect su88lies' and one time he arrived as the gamily was deciding whether to e"cavate an old ru++le40illed +asement that lay directly +eneath the 8resent house. Eistening to the discussion' Swami Ramananda e"citedly said the +asement held a golden treasure guarded +y a large co+ra' and he o00ered to retrieve it 0or them. Rather dou+t0ul' Dr. Deodhar said they were not see.ing treasure44only a +asement. !ut the 0amily agreed to let the swami su8ervise the 8ro;ect. -wo days o0 digging 8assed without 8roducing any sign o0 a +asement. Meanwhile the 0amily grew increasingly an"ious' 0earing that the house might colla8se. Swami Ramananda 8leaded 0or one more day' and s8ent the night in the trench +reathing so loudly that no one sle8t. -he ne"t morning he clim+ed out and said they could re8lace the e"cavated dirt +ecause nothing would ever materialiDe. ,ngrily' he added that a certain
Page 34 o0 69

langotiwalla Bliterally ?one in charge o0 the loincloths?C was 8reventing their success' and he would go to /anesh8uri and demand satis0action. -he swami said he had .nown this langotiwalla in Rishi.esh. He recalled that in those days Nityananda was already a 8ower0ul yogi .nown to lie on the +an. o0 the /anges 0or long 8eriods o0 time without ta.ing 0ood or water. he e"8lained that' in the case o0 the +asement' Nityananda had o+viously ?+linded? Swami Ramananda:s 8owers BsiddhisC. In short' it was not that the +asement with its treasure did not e"ist= it was sim8ly that Nityananda was not allowing the swami to 0ind it. Now it seemed that Dr. Deodhar was already in the ha+it o0 visiting holy men residing in Maharashtra. He had even heard a+out Nityananda 0rom his 8atients and wanted to accom8any Swami Ramananda to /anesh8uri. However' when they missed their travel connections in -hana' he returned home. Swami Ramananda continued on' 8romising to tell the doctor later a+out his intended con0rontation. Swami Ramananda returned a 0ew days later' a changed man. He admitted to having +een severely chastised +y Nityananda. ?-his is the third time you have used your siddhis in recent years'? he told him. ?3ou have 0ar to go in your s8iritual wor. and should .now that you will never succeed +y using your 8owers 0or vain and sel0ish reasons. 2hy did you do itH? Swami Ramananda mee.ly re8lied that he was only trying to e"8ress his gratitude to the Deodhar 0amily. !ut Nityananda admonished him again' saying that it was the wrong way to do it. He then ordered him to move to a certain s8ot on the Narmada River and continue his 8ersonal 8ractice. -he hum+led swami le0t immediately a0ter telling his story and the 0amily never saw him again. Dr. Deodhar 0elt com8elled to meet Nityananda and +ecame a li0elong devotee. -here is still an air o0 mystery around Nityananda:s age' +ac.ground' and movements. <or instance' the only in0ormation .nown a+out his visits to the northern regions is that he traveled north +etween the ages o0 #) and #7 or so' a0ter leaving his 0oster 0ather in !enares. In #%GG he told devotees o0 his 8resence when the ancient ,nanteshwar tem8le was +uilt. He descri+ed himsel0 then as having an un.em8t +eard and matted hair. -he con0ines o0 time and s8ace did not a88ear to a00ect him.F F-he ,nanteshwar -em8le was +uilt in the mid #7th century' ma.ing it over G&& years old. -he ld ,shram #%5&4#%57

Page 35 o0 69

Devotees gathered late one evening in #%5& on the west side o0 the ashram. Here Nityananda sat on a small ledge +ordering a si"40oot dro8 into the dar.ening 0ields +ehind him. Silence 8revailed. Suddenly in the distance a 8air o0 +right eyes a88eared and' weaving its way slowly through the 0ields' a tiger came u8 to the ledge and sto88ed. -he animal then rose lightly on its haunches and rested its 0ore8aws on Nityananda:s shoulders. Calmly the Master reached u8 with his right hand and stro.ed the tiger:s head. Satis0ied' the tiger ;um8ed +ac. down and disa88eared into the night. Eater Nityananda o+served that as the vehicles o0 the /oddess >a;reshwari tigers should +e e"8ected around her tem8le. He also said that wild +easts +ehave li.e lam+s in the 8resence o0 enlightened +eings. Many stories tell o0 his uncanny a+ility to understand animals. In Udi8i he once told its ca8tors to release a certain caged +ird +ecause it constantly cursed them. ,nother time he reassured a 0rightened devotee that a near+y co+ra was too +usy chanting to harm any+ody. thers remem+er a devotee who always came 0or darshan accom8anied +y his 8et 8arrot. ,nd in May #%GG Ca8tain Hatengdi heard Nityananda say that a +ird told him it would rain in three days' and rain it did. ,mong the many distinguished visitors seen in /anesh8uri was a certain swami 0rom Shirali. -his enlightened yogi was the ninth guru o0 a small community that had demonstrated an envia+le 8er0ormance record in all s8heres o0 endeavor 0or nearly a century. , shining e"am8le o0 .indness and humility +ut too mild mannered to e"ercise his authority' the gentle guru 0ound himsel0 dominated +y a committee o0 lay advisors. <or many years he had e"8ressed a desire to visit /anesh8uri +ut the tri8 was always thwarted +y the committee. <inally asserting himsel0 in #%5#' the swami de8arted on his 8ilgrimage. He was accom8anied +y a Shirali entourage that included three Nityananda devotees4 Mrs. Mu.ta+ai' her +rother' and his wi0e. -he tri8:s organiDers' still unenthusiastic a+out the tri8' drove the swami to near+y ,.roli where they started to hurry him 0rom the car to the near+y hot s8rings. !ut their guru as.ed where Nityananda was. Hesitating' they admitted to +eing several miles 0rom /anes8uri. -he swami demanded to continue on' saying he would only +athe at the ashram. ,nd so the grou8 continued on. Now it seemed that on the 8revious day Nityananda announced that a visitor would arrive at eleven the ne"t morning. He then as.ed a devotee to heat some cow:s mil. and set it aside. 2hen the swami and his entourage arrived' 8recisely at eleven' they 8roceeded directly to the hot s8rings. However' Mrs. Mu.ta+ai ran to the Master:s room and e"citedly e"claimed' ?Deva' our Swami;i has come@? Nityananda re8lied' ?*verything is .nown. Mil. has +een 8ut aside. Place a chair on the tem8le:s outer veranda' 8ut a shawl on it' and o00er the mil. to the swami.?

Page 36 o0 69

,nd so it 8assed that the swami had his +ath' he worshi88ed at the !himeshwar tem8le' and he grate0ully acce8ted the mil.. He then rose and 8roceeded to the ashram:s western hall. ,s the swami and his lay 0ollowers 8assed the room where Nityananda sat' the lay 0ollowers' still determined to 8revent a 0ace4to40ace meeting' silently +owed +e0ore the Master:s door and conveniently +loc.ed him 0rom view. ddly' the swami no longer as.ed a+out Nityananda. He sim8ly sat in the hall re8eating over and over' ?2e are 0eeling +liss0ul here and do not 0eel li.e leaving.? B-o avoid saying ?I'? mathadi8athis customarily re0er to themselves in the 0irst 8erson 8lural.C ,lthough 8leased that he seemed to have 0orgotten a+out Nityananda' the lay advisors still worried. -hey tried to hurry him +y saying that he would miss evening services in Shirali i0 he did not leave immediately. -he swami re8lied' ?2hy the concern a+out +eing late 0or one serviceH 2e are in a state o0 +liss and do not 0eel li.e leaving.? However' eventually they 8ersuaded him to leave' and the motorcade de8arted. Staying +ehind' Mrs. Mu.ta+ai again rushed to Nityananda:s room' this time to say with sorrow that the swami had le0t without seeing him. -he Master re8lied' ?3ou are wrong44 the meeting did occur. !ut his coming to /anesh8uri was unnecessary. It could have ha88ened anywhere and so many 8eo8le tried to 8revent it.? She then .new that the encounter had +een on a su+tle level' leaving the swami in a state o0 +liss and immo+ility. She also realiDed that the Master himsel0 had made the swami tem8orarily 0orget a+out him. Several other /anesh8uri devotees +elonged to this community and Nityananda had always told them that the swami was a good sanyasi and a true yogi. 2hen the 8arty 0rom Shirali was ten miles 0rom /anesh8uri' the swami awo.e as i0 0rom a reverie and e"claimed: ? h' +ut we did not meet Nityananda@? His advisors res8onded that they had driven too 0ar to turn +ac.. -o this the swami said' ?I +elieve he came to Shirali once +ut we were Auite young at the time. 2e have long desired to meet him.? !ut as was their custom' his advisors chose to ignore the swami:s gentle hint. Meanwhile Mrs. Mu.ta+ai:s +rother was u8set with the su+ter0uge. He returned to /anesh8uri the ne"t day and told Nityananda what had occurred on the return drive' adding that he 8ersonally would +ring the swami to meet him. !ut the Master re8lied' ?It is unnecessary +ecause the meeting too. 8lace. Moreover the good man su00ers 0rom dia+etes and is un0it 0or another tiring ;ourney. Remem+er that he is a Mathadi8athi and must listen to his 8eo8le.F FMath B8ronounced mutt with an as8iration at the endC' means monastery. , mathadi8athi is a leader o0 a math or monastery= an a++ot. ne day Mr. Mud+hat.al:s Muslim landlord told him that he had always wanted to meet Nityananda +ut ill health 8revented him 0rom traveling. -he devotee 8romised on his 0orthcoming visit to /anesh8uri to +ring his landlord some 8rasad. However' when he 0ound a large grou8 o0 visitors 0rom !om+ay seated +e0ore the Master' he timidly decided
Page 37 o0 69

to wait until another day to mention his landlord. ,t the end o0 his visit the devotee went to +ow +e0ore the Master' still conscious o0 his +ro.en 8romise. ,s he turned to go' Nityananda called him +ac. and 8ur8ose0ully handed him a coconut. His landlord:s desire was 0ul0illed. Similarly' a devotee 0rom Santa CruD tells o0 a childhood ;ourney to /anesh8uri in the com8any o0 a grou8 that included a 0ollower o0 U. Mahara;. Eearning o0 the disci8le:s intended visit' his guru gave him a coconut to o00er Nityananda. 2hen the grou8 neared the ashram' it 0ound Nityananda leaning against the wooden gate waiting. -he moment he saw them he said' ?-he coconut has +een received?44as i0 to say a thought was as good as a deed. ,nd we .now that in the Mangalore days he told devotees that inner salutations e"8ressed with 8urity o0 0eeling and motive Bshuddha +havanaC made 8hysical o+eisance unnecessary. During this time Shan.ar -irth' a sanyasi who had wandered 0or years without 0inding inner 8eace' 0irst a88eared. Hearing one day a+out Nityananda' he ;ourneyed to /anesh8uri where' u8on receiving darshan' he 0inally 0ound ha88iness. ,s.ing the Master where he should stay' he was told to occu8y the near+y Nath tem8le that Nityananda had restored two decades earlier. Shan.ar -irth did so +ut the ne"t morning' visi+ly sha.en' said he had e"8erienced such 0rightening nightmares o0 attac.ing co+ras telling him to leave44that he as.ed to live elsewhere. Instead Nityananda told him to go +ac. to the tem8le and announce on whose orders he was there. -he sanyasi did this +ut returned the 0ollowing day with the same story. ,gain Nityananda told him to go +ac. and tell the threatening 0orces who had sent him. -his time his announcement 8roduced 8eace and Auiet. , year or two later the shan.aracharya who had initiated Shan.ar -irth into his 8articular order o0 mon.s was cam8ed at !anaganga. 2hen he sent word 0or the sanyasi to re8ort 0or 0inal initiation' Shan.ar -irth as.ed Nityananda i0 he should go. He was told that it was unnecessary' and so he in0ormed the shan.aracharya that he would not come. -he ld ,shram: Part II #%5&4#%57 ,nother Shan.aracharya visited /anesh8uri in the mid40i0ties. Details o0 his visit reached Ca8tain Hatengdi in an unusual way. In 0act' it was in #%(( at a hari.atha' which is a scri8tural story told in song and narrative' that he heard the story: -he shan.aracharya o0 Puri was s8ending his chaturma in !om+ay. -raditionally' a chaturma was the 0our months o0 monsoon during which a wandering sadhu would stay in one 8lace' +ut these days it re0erred to a 8eriod o0 s8ecial study. ,t the end o0 his time there he visited the Dattatreya shrine in >a.ola' where he e"8ressed a desire to visit the
Page 38 o0 69

>a;reshwari tem8le. Having ;ust written a +oo. on Sha.ti' he wanted to visit the shrine o0 the goddess +e0ore it was 8u+lished. -he then young hari.atha 8er0ormer was hired to drive two men' the elderly shan.aracharya and a shastri learned in the scri8tures' to >a;reshwari. -he old swami was not very strong and had to +e hel8ed u8 the ste8s leading to the shrine. ,0terward' the shan.aracharya suddenly uttered a desire to see Nityananda and the three com8anions 0ound themselves une"8ectedly en route to /anesh8uri. 2hen they arrived' the Master was resting on his narrow +ench with a 0ew 8eo8le seated +e0ore him. -he three new visitors Auietly ;oined the others. Silence reigned. ,0ter some time the scholar stood u8 and announced who they were. He said that the shan.aracharya had written a +oo. on Sha.ti and that they had come 0or Nityananda:s +lessing. No one else s8o.e' and the silence continued. ,t some 8oint the Master raised his head and nodded to an attending devotee' who le0t and Auic.ly rea88eared with a mysteriously 8re8ared tray o0 0resh 0lowers' 0ruit' and coconuts. -he attendant res8ect0ully 8laced the tray +e0ore the shan.aracharya and withdrew. ,lthough it was clear that Nityananda had +een e"8ecting the holy man' he still did not s8ea.. Several minutes 8assed +e0ore the scholar again stood u8' this time to say that what was trans8iring in silence was new to him. He nevertheless recogniDed that the 0lowers and 0ruit re8resented Nityananda:s +lessing and announced that his 8arty would ta.e its leave. !owing dee8ly' the three visitors le0t the silent ashram. In #%5G' /.E. Rao was staying with Shan.ar -irth in the Nath tem8le o88osite the >a;reshwari tem8le. ne a0ternoon /odarvarimata' a holy woman 0rom Sa.ori' drove u8 to the tem8le and as.ed whether she could +e ta.en to /anesh8uri. Shan.ar -irth as.ed Rao to accom8any her. -hey 0ound Nityananda resting in his room with his 0eet e"tended onto the cement 8lat0orm. Rao announced the arrival o0 the visitor. who sat down near his 0eet' and Nityananda grunted in ac.nowledgement. 2ishing to +e hos8ita+le' Rao as.ed whether he could +ring /odavarimata something to drin.' and Nityananda said yes. 2hile Rao was away' the Master came out o0 his room and sat on the 8lat0orm. /odarvarimata stayed 0or two days' later saying that Nityananda had given her the darshan o0 her guru. She had originally come to as. Nityananda to grace a >edic ceremony in !om+ay with his 8hysical 8resence. He re0used' saying he would o+serve the ritual 0rom /anesh8uri44+ut she continued to 8ress her invitation. 2hen 0inally he re8lied that ?one has to come only i0 one is not there already'? she sto88ed as.ing. Eater it was re8orted that on the 0inal day o0 the ya;na the holy woman was granted the darshan o0 Nityananda. In #%5G' Sitarama Shenoy su00ered a heart attac. in >a;reshwari and died. /rie0 stric.en and inconsola+le' his wi0e was determined to ta.e the +ody to /anesh8uri. ,ccordingly she hired a car' had the +ody 8laced in it' and 8roceeded toward the ashram. , Auarter mile away' the car stalled and would not start u8 again. ,t this 8oint the driver announced that he would neither re8air the car in the dar. nor hel8 carry the +ody the
Page 39 o0 69

remaining distance. Undeterred' the widow le0t the +ody with the driver and set o00 0or the ashram on 0oot. 2hen she was still some two hundred yards 0rom the gate' she heard Nityananada shouting' ?/o +ac. and 8er0orm the last rites@? She 8leaded with him +ut was ordered away. -he devotee Rao was 8resent that evening and as.ed Nityananda why he had not revived her hus+and as he had done some years earlier. -he Master res8onded that their children had +een young then and needed a 0ather' and in com8assion the Divine <orce wor.ed that way. However' 8resent conditions were di00erent. His inter0erence' he said' would cause 8eo8le to sto8 going to Chandanwadi' !om+ay:s crematorium' and come to /anesh8uri instead. Nityananda o0ten tested a devotee:s mettle' as in the instance o0 a !rahman devotee who came wee.ly to read the scri8tures aloud in the Master:s 8resence. ,0ter several visits he as.ed to +e cured o0 his tu+ercular condition and constant cough. Nityananda agreed and told him to eat a small 0rog 0ried in ghee every day. , strict vegetarian' the !rahman was horri0ied44+ut having as.ed 0or Nityananda:s hel8' he duti0ully com8lied with the instructions. Soon his lungs im8roved and he develo8ed a taste 0or 0rogs in the +argain. -he Master never too. credit 0or the endless instances o0 healing that occurred around him. In 0act' he o0ten directed devotees to rely on their own traditional medical 8hysicians. 2hen 8ressed' he attri+uted everything to the Divine <orce. He would say: ?-his one had no desire to do good deeds. *verything that ha88ens does so through the will o0 /od.? Nityananda was tolerant o0 his devotee:s humanness= his actions indicated that one:s heart was 0ree to turn to /od only a0ter the +asic human needs were 0ul0illed. He made no demands' issued no commandments' and 0reAuently concerned himsel0 with their worldly com0ort. In return' all he as.ed was that 0ollowers +e 8ra8ared to receive that which he o00ered in such a+undance. -his is a story o0 an attorney 0rom the distant state o0 6erala who regularly visited /anesh8uri on wee.ends. ,s the years 8assed' however' the devotee 0elt .eenly the loneliness o0 his unmarried state and 0inally announced he wanted a wi0e. listening' Nityananda 8ointed to the surrounding throng and said' ?-a.e one 0rom here.? -he 8ros8ective +ridegroom instantly 0roDe' concerned that his mention o0 a 8rivate 8ro+lem had triggered a casual res8onse. !ewildered' he sat as the 8eo8le around him slowly dis8ersed until only one man remained' li.ewise 0rom 6erala. *yeing the attorney' he told Nityananda that he and his wi0e were having di00iculty arranging a suita+le match 0or their daughter. Nityananda 8ointed to his devotee. *verything seemed settled until their 0amilies sent the 8otential cou8le:s horosco8es to a grou8 o0 astrologers who unanimously 8ronounced the match unsuita+le. 2hen in0ormed o0 this' Nityananda without a glance at the o00ending charts 8ointed out that a certain as8ect nulli0ied the negative signs correctly discerned +y the astrologers. 2hen this
Page 40 o0 69

in0ormation was relayed to 6erala' the astrologers agreed' amaDed at their 0ailure to notice this vital detail' and the cou8le married. , longstanding devotee 0rom the Mangalore days was a woman whose ill4 tem8ered hus+and never allowed her to handle any 0amily 0inancial matters. In 0act' she had never dared to as. him 0or money. -hen one day 0ollowing their recent move to !om+ay' the wi0e as.ed her hus+and 0or some ru8ees. He demanded to .now why. She re8lied that she wanted to visit near+y /anesh8uri and he Aui88ed' ?,nd what will you achieve +y going thereH? Seconds later he literally threw a 0ive4ru8ee note at her. Normally she would never have touched money so humiliatingly o00ered' +ut determined to see Nityananda she 8ic.ed u8 the note and de8arted at once. Reaching the old ashram at a little 8ast noon' she 0ound the devotees restless and the atmos8here tense. -he Master had not ta.en his a0ternoon meal and as a result no one had eaten. -hey told her that when he was a88roached earlier a+out his 0ood' Nityananda had +ecome very u8set and sent the Auestioner away. -he devotees im8lored the woman to s8ea. to him' and she a88roached the small room where he sat across 0rom the 6rishna tem8le. Seeing her' the Master visi+ly rela"ed and as.ed' ?2ell he hasn:t changed yet.? His 0aith0ul devotee re8lied' ?I don:t .now whether 8eo8le ever change their in+orn ha+its44+ut I have +rought some 0ood 0or you. 2ill you eat nowH? ,nd he did. Eate one evening in #%55' Nityananda as.ed his attendants to count the money in the 6rishna tem8le donation +o". 2hen told the amount' he as.ed them to remove all +ut a Auarter o0 it. -he ne"t morning worshi88ers 0ound the +o" +ro.en and the money stolen. 2hen in0ormed' the Master nodded. He said that on the 8revious night he had noticed a starving man silently 8raying 0or enough money in the tem8le +o" to 0eed him. ,nd so Nityananda o+liged him with an adeAuate amount. -he New ,shram at 6ailas #%574#%7# In #%57 a new ashram at /anesh8uri was inaugurated and named ?6ailas? a0ter the Himalayan mountain home o0 Shiva. Here Nityananda lived 0or 0ive more years44until two wee.s +e0ore his mahasamadhi. Changes accom8anied the new living situation. -he Master:s devotee attendants now monitored access to his 8rivate Auarters and 8ut darshan on a schedule. >isitors wishing to see Nityananda at other times were 0orced to ma.e s8ecial arrangements. *arly one evening Nityananda sat in the middle o0 the inner 8lat0orm with a 8ile o0 8illows at his le0t. !e0ore him a window revealed ste8s leading to the terrace. Suddenly the young head o0 an im8ortant monastery in Udi8i a88eared at the entrance. He was
Page 41 o0 69

accom8anied +y a num+er o0 0ollowers' one o0 whom announced to Nityananda:s seated devotees that their swami reAuired a mat to sit on. -he devotees watched the Master 0or a clue as to how to 8roceed44+ut he continued to gaDe out the window without ac.nowledging the visitor in any way. <inally the swami res8ect0ully 8ushed the 8illows against the wall and seated himsel0 on the 8lat0orm:s edge. He then addressed Nityananda in 6anarese. ?2hy do they call you /odH? he as.ed. Eoo.ing to his le0t' the Master re8lied' ?*veryone is a /od including yoursel0 and those sitting here.? ?!ut they call you an incarnation'? insisted the young man. Nityananda answered' ?Does an incarnate ever ma.e such a 8ronouncementH Does a ;nani ever 8ro;ect himsel0 as enlightenedH? ?3es' 6rishna does in the !hagavad /ita.? ?No' >yasa does so in telling the story446rishna does not.? ?!ut'? the swami argued' ?6rishna showed the universal 0orm o0 /od to ,r;una. it is recorded in the /ita@? ?How can the ,+solute:s 0orm +e seen or shownH? the Master said. ?>yasa wrote it to inculcate 0aith among the devout.? -rying to o8en an intellectual de+ate' the youth then raised certain 8oints mentioned in the /ita. However' always im8atient o0 such dry discussions' Nityananda waved him aside' saying: ?2hat is in the /itaH <rom +eginning to end' it is sim8ly advice to renounce' renounce' renounce@ -o renounce worldliness and its inherent desires.? Considera+ly moved' the swami rose and than.ed Nityananda 0or his darshan. !ut when he le0t' two o0 his 0ollowers stayed +ehind. -he Master shrugged and said' ?2hen there is yoga' there will +e darshan.? , wee. later' the Master mentioned his young visitor. He hinted that in a 8revious incarnation the swami had +een the elderly 8riest 0rom Udi8i who' recogniDing the then youth0ul Nityananda:s divine 8resence' had ordered the villagers not to harass him. -his 8ast connection had +rought him to /anesh8uri and Nityananda 0oresaw a +right 0uture 0or him.

Page 42 o0 69

n another occasion' a small +and o0 renunciates came and stood +e0ore him as he rested on the inner 8lat0orm o0 his room. Nityananda nodded to them 0rom his slee8ing 8osture and they le0t without a word. 2hen some o0 the devotees 8resent e"8ressed their sur8rise at not recogniDing the renunciates' the Master said devotees did not ;ust reside in /anes8uri. he said some lived in ;ungles' some in cities' and others in 0oreign lands. Mrs. 6ai.ini o0 Dadar was a 0aith0ul 0ollower o0 a great scholar who held audiences s8ell+ound during his +rilliant lectures on 1naneshwar:s 0amous translation o0 the !hagavad /ita. *ach year she was amoung those who accom8anied him to Pandar8ur on an annual 8ilgrimage .nown as 2ari. !ecause Mrs. Mu.ta+ai occasionally attended these lectures' she +ecame 0riends with Mrs. 6ai.ini and eventually invited her to /anesh8uri. However' Mrs' 6ai.ini demurred' saying that it did not sound li.e an atmos8here she would en;oy. She admitted hearing that Nityananda was taciturn' gave no meaning0ul tal.s' and o0ten re+u.ed visitors. Some time later' ;ust +e0ore the annual 2ari' Mrs. 6ai.ini missed one o0 her scholar:s regular lectures. Instead she went to a tal. +y a rival who' new on the scene' was +eginning to attract a 0ollowing. ,s 0ate would have it' her scholarJteacher had +oth noticed Mrs. 6ai.ini:s a+sence and heard o0 her attendance at the other lecture. He angrily 8roclaimed that she was never again welcome in his 8resence or at the 2ari. 2hen Mrs. 6ai.ini heard this' she was dee8ly shoc.ed. -o +e 8unished so severely 0or what she considered a minor transgression was more than she could +ear. <riends 0eared 0or her mental +alance and Mrs. Mu.ta+ai again as.ed her to come to /anesh8uri. -his time Mrs. 6ai.ini agreed. -heir 8arty arrived to 0ind Nityananda sitting on his +ench. 2hen Mrs. Mu.ta+ai told him what had ha88ened' he res8onded with characteristic +revity. ?In divine wisdom B;nanaC how can there +e di00erence B+hedaCH? -he two young women too. this to mean that i0 Mrs. 6ai.ini was truly listening to the saint 1naneshwar' would it matter which lecture she was atH -hen the Master 8ointed to the ground and shouted' ?!esides' this is Pandar8ur. -here is no need to go in 2ari@? He re8eated this and as he did' Mrs. 6ai.ini:s relie0 was immediate and she returned home calmed and at 8eace. -he 0ollowing year as the month 0or the 2ari a88roached' her an"iety returned' and she decided to go to Pandar8ur on her own. !ut when she started to 8ac. she 0ell ill. !y the time she was well enough to travel' it was too late. -he 0ollowing year 0ollowed a similar 8attern. ,gain' as she +egan to 8ac. she +ecame ill. nly then did she recogniDe the signi0icance o0 Nityananda:s words44and 0rom that moment she no longer 0elt com8elled to attend the 2ari. Some years later she suddenly wea.ened and too. to her +ed. Sto88ing her son 0rom rushing 0or a doctor' she said ?Please don:t. I see Nityananda standing thare and he has come to ta.e me.? 2ithin minutes she 8assed away.
Page 43 o0 69

Narayan Shetty' 8o8ularly called Sandow Shetty' was a 0amiliar 0igure in /anesh8uri in the last ten years o0 Nityananda:s li0e. He was a +ig' gregarious man loo.ed u8 to int he ashram44although he sometimes went too 0ar acting the +u00oon. Now it ha88ened that he was Auite 0ond o0 0ruit' es8ecially those +rought as o00erings. 0ten he would see. the Master:s 8ermission with silent gestures and then slyly sli8 the +est ones aside 0or himsel0. 2hen a 0ew devotees o+;ected to such audacity' Nityananda retorted' ?Never mind. His desires are sim8le44let him have the 0ruit.? Some years a0ter the Mster:s 8assing' Sandow was hos8italiDed 0ollowing surgery. Ca8tain Hatengdi' going to visit his 0riend' 0ound him semi4conscious and s8ea.ing as i0 to Nityananda. ?Remem+er' Master' that you 8romised me a 8lace'? he muttered. ?Don:t 0orget.? ,nd to the shoc. o0 the doctors who e"8ected a 0ull recovery' he died. nce a 0amous singer visited /anesh8uri at the invitation o0 a devotee. 2hile 0ans and critics ali.e considered the man outstanding in his 0ield' they agreed that he was also a little arrogant. U8on entering the ashram to 8er0orm' the man 0ound a grou8 o0 tri+al 8eo8le seated around the Master reclining on his +ench as usual. Mud 0loor' an uncultured audience' and Nityananda:s a88arent indi00erence instantly u8set the artist who decided his talents were wasted on this gathering. 2ithout a word' he turned and went to his room. Eater that evening a woman 0rom a distinguished school o0 music arrived and 8er0ormed 0or over an hour. verhearing her' the disgruntled artist decided that he would 8er0orm the ne"t day. -o his dismay' however' that morning he could not utter a single note. He 0ear0ully a88roached Nityananda who said' ?SingH 2hy notH /od gave you the voice44sing his 8raises. 2hy should you care who hears and who does notH? Please note that Indian music is an ancient science intended to enhance the individual:s communion with the In0inite. <ame and wealth are incidental to its s8iritual as8ect. <or this reason most songs relate in some way to reuniting the individual with the Su8reme. , year or two a0ter 6.S. Eulla +egan visiting /anesh8uri' Nityananda too. him aside. he told the attorney to go to 6anhangad and then to Dharmasthala to receive darshan at the 0amous Man;unatha -em8le. he also told him to travel +y air. -his was the devotee:s 0irst tri8 to that 8art o0 the country and he 8lanned it with care. He 0irst 8roceeded to 6anhangad and 0rom there to Mangalore. He then intended to ta.e an early ta"i to Dharmasthal and return to Mangalore in time 0or his ##:$& a.m. 0light to !om+ay. ,ccordingly' he rose' 8rocured a ta"i' and arrived at Dharmasthal at si" in the morning. !ut when he tried to enter the 1ain shrine 0or darshan' he was sto88ed. -he attendant 8riest in0ormed him that he could receive darshan only a0ter 0irst 8artici8ating in the ritual 8u;a44which would occur at noon. Eulla e"8lained his 8redicament +ut the 8riest was adamant' e"8laining that tradition reAuired this 8rotocol o0 even the highest in the land. However Eulla 8ersisted and was 0inally ta.en +e0ore the hereditary head o0 the tem8le' who sim8ly re8eated the tem8le rules. Nityananda:s devotee in turn re8eated his 8lea'
Page 44 o0 69

saying' ?!hagawan sent me 0or Eord Man;unatha:s darshan +ut my return 0light is at ##:$&. I0 you cannot hel8 me I will go +ac. and e"8lain to !hagawan why I did not receive darshan.? Intrigued' the gentleman as.ed to whom he re0erred. 2hen Eulla said ?Nityananda o0 /anesh8uri'? the 8riest was told to let him enter the tem8le at once. Eulla Auic.ly returned to /anesh8uri to tell his tale. -o his sur8rise' however' the devotees already .new o0 the success0ul 8ilgrimage. He then learned that at the e"act moment o0 his entry into the 1ain tem8le in Dharmasthal the Master had smiled in /anesh8uri' announcing' ?Eulla is having darshan o0 Man;unatha.? -his incident is unusual +ecause Nityananda seldom urged 8artici8ation in traditional ritual or 8u+lic worshi8. Instead he o0ten said that 0or it to lead to li+eration devotion should not +e demonstrative +ut 8racticed secretly. ?/u8ta +ha.ti44mu.ti@? nce a devotee s8o.e o0 her s8iritual e"8eriences to 0riends in !om+ay and im8lied that she was develo8ing ra8idly. n her ne"t visit to /anesh8uri the Master as.ed' ?2hat do you do when you season 0oodH Don:t you cover it 0or a time and let it simmerH? -his' he e"8lained' allows the 0lavor to 8ermeate the dish rather than esca8e into the air. Similarly' s8iritual e"8eriences should +e .e8t 8rivate until one has evolved enough to s8ea. o0 them without arousing the ego. , coo.ing analogy is not sur8rising considering Nityananda:s .nowledge o0 the su+;ect. He sometimes instructed a coo. on how to grind the masala and what s8ices to use. It was customary 0or his devotees in /anesh8uri to each 8re8are a dish as a daily o00ering to him. ,nd Nityananda would always .now i0 an ingredient was missing or ma.e suggestions a+out +lending s8ices or some as8ect o0 its 8re8aration. He once told a devotee that as a 8erson +ecame more s8iritually evolved' he or she would instinctively +e a+le to coo. well and com+ine ingredients in the right 8ro8ortions without having to measure them. Nityananda:s 8ersonal .nowledge o0 the culinary art was legendary. /.E. Rao recalls that the Master once re8ared a su8er+ 0estival dinner 0or him. Serving Rao most o0 the 0ood' he saved a little 0or himsel0 on a sheet o0 news8a8er. -his he mi"ed with some curry' at a 0ew +ites while still standing' and then threw away the 8a8er. Ca8tain Hatengdi had a similar e"8erience in #%G5 when Nityananda 8re8ared some rice and a regional 8otato dish 8eculiar to his devotee:s native region. Carrying it to the guest room' he handed it to him. Moving a discreet distance away' the sel04conscious devotee +egan to eat as the Master watched. -hough delicious' it was an enormous 8ortion and only a0ter some time did Nityananda suggest that he could sto8 eating. ,nother year 8assed until one day' as they sat together' the Master remar.ed' ?It is good to .now how to coo..? Ca8tain Hatengdi too. it as a casual utterance until thirty years later he 0ound himsel0 0orced to learn the elements o0 coo.ing.
Page 45 o0 69

-he New ,shram ,t 6ailas #%5&4#%7# Nityananda could +e very modern in his views. nce a devotee with a growing 0amily +rought his 0i0th and youngest child to /anesh8uri. ddly enough' no one else was around. -he Master gave the +a+y his +lessing and 8layed with him 0or a while44and then turned to address the 0ather. ?2hy must you re8roduce li.e the cat 0amilyH /o and have an o8eration. ,nother time' on an evening in #%G(' he +ro.e ashram silence to s8ea. a+out Prohi+ition. ?How is it 8ossi+le to sto8 a 8oor man 0rom drin.ingH? he demanded. ?2hat can one o00er a weary man who trudges home every night with little to 0eed his 0amily and even greater de+tsH How should he 0orget his worries and 0all aslee8H Currently' every household in this region +rews its own liAuor 0rom 8lantains. Ma.e drun.enness a crime44+ut not drin.ing. Until 8eo8le are 8ro8erly 0ed and have healthy recreation' drin.ing will e"ist.? In another instance a mutton sho8.ee8er decided his hereditary avocation was unclean. ,0ter much thought' he shut down his +utcher sho8 and reo8ened it as a general store. -he new enter8rise' however' was a 0ailure and the man sought the Master:s advice. Nityananda:s advice was sim8le44the man should 0ollow his true avocation and not +e swayed +y e"ternal considerations. In s8ea.ing to his devotee' he used the word dandha in re0erring to the duty a 8erson must 8er0orm in this li0etime. Eastly' there was a +oy who wanted to +ecome a 8ilot. 2hen his devotee 8arents disa88roved' he a88ealed to Nityananda44who too. the son:s side. -he Master told the 8arents not to worry a+out his sa0ety. ,ccidents' he said' were more li.ely to occur on the ground. !ut another crisis arose when' during the +oy:s eye e"amination' doctors detected a condition that inevita+ly would lead to +lindness. In des8air' the +oy returned to /anesh8uri where' again' Nityananda said not to worry. He then gave him a small +ottle o0 oil to massage regularly onto his scal8. ,nd three months later' when he retoo. the eye e"am he was declared com8letely 0it. M.D.Suvarna' who too. most o0 the later 8hotogra8hs o0 Nityananda' remem+ers one o0 the more remar.a+le visitors to 6ailas. Swami Chinmayananda 0irst came 0or darshan sometime around #%57. He returned o0ten and 0reAuently s8o.e o0 Nityananda to his own disci8les' always calling him the living stitha8ra;na o0 the !hagavad /ita44one who never wavers 0rom consciousness. ne day in #%7& he decided to ta.e his students to /anesh8uri. rganiDing a grou8 o0 musicians 0or the occasion' the Master received them with the honor due a visiting religious dignitary. He 0irst invited Swami Chinmayananda to address the com+ined assem+ly 0rom a terrace o0 the newly o8ened !angalorewalla
Page 46 o0 69

+uilding and then told the swami to use the wisdom and 8ower o0 Saraswati to s8read the message o0 the U8anishads. Hum+ly' Swami Chinmayananda re8lied that he and the others 8resent were s8iritual in0ants com8ared to the great yogi. He also said that anyone attem8ting to descri+e Nityananda to the world would +e trying to write ?a saga o0 one hundred Christs living together' each e"hi+iting his wondrous 8owers to ameliorate the su00erings o0 the 8oor.? Physically' Nityananda was showing signs o0 age. !y #%5( his teeth had deteriorated so much that two devotees threatened to 0ast i0 he did not have them removed. He 0inally agreed +ut' re0using the then ty8ical anesthetic in;ection o0 cocaine' e"8erienced considera+le 8ain and +leeding. 2hen the two devotees later o00ered him some 0ood' he re0used. ?How can one eat when the teeth have ;ust +een removedH? he said. ?3ou may not realiDe it' +ut yogis do e"8erience 8ain. -he di00erence is they 8ay it no heed.? -he relationshi8 +etween the s8iritual and the 8hysical was su+limely sim8le44at least 0or Nityananda. 2hen some devotees com8lained that travel conditions and old age hindered them 0rom more 0reAuent visits' he countered that his 8hysical 8resence was unnecessary 0or their s8iritual growth. ?Devotees will 0ind this one wherever they meet and tal.. <ish are +orn' live' and die in the holy /anges without attaining li+eration' +ut devotees have only to thin. o0 the guru.? He had +een saying this 0or years. ,nd when as.ed a+out the +ene0its o0 8er0orming sel0less service' the Master would re8ly' ?2ho wants itH /odH 0 course not448eo8le only do it to get something in return. you should duti0ully do your own wor. to the +est o0 your a+ility without see.ing a reward. -hat is the highest seva you can render. -he only thing reAuired 0or s8iritual growth is a detachment 0rom worldly 8leasures. I0 you don:t listen to this' you will 0ail in the end.F? F-he Master said this over and over again throughout the years. He said that the thoughtless state' the state o0 detachment is the highest state. How can there +e desire in the state o0 detachmentH It is not the world the yogi gives u8' it is desire 0or worldly sense 8leasure. -he true yogi is 0ull and content whether he is a 8au8er or a rich man. I0 8leasura+le things come your way' e"8erience them' +ut never go loo.ing. ,lways +e content in yoursel0 wherever you are and whatever your circumstances. ne day a devotee saw that Nityananda:s 0eet were e"tremely swollen and as.ed a+out it. ?Peo8le come here 0or some +ene0it'? he told her' ?and then leave their desires and di00iculties at this one:s 0eet. 2hile the cean o0 Divine Mercy washes away most o0 these tensions' a little is a+sor+ed +y this +ody44a +ody assumed only 0or their sa.e.? 2henever Nityananda intervened on a devotee:s +ehal0' he always gave destiny the u88er hand. During the monsoon o0 #%5%' a long line o0 devotees and 8etitioners waited outside 0or their turn to enter the ashram. -he wi0e o0 an old /u;arati devotee 8leaded with Suvarna to +e allowed inside. ,s the door.ee8er was a+out to o8en the doors' Nityananda
Page 47 o0 69

shouted at him to sto844and he did. !ut as the woman .e8t calling through the window and Nityananda continued shouting at him' Suvarna grew agitated. -hrowing o8en the doors' he nervously admitted a grou8 that included the /u;arati cou8le. She waited until the others had de8arted and then +egged Nityananda to heal her hus+and' who was o+viously gravely ill. He was silent 0or some time +e0ore saying' ?-a.e him 0irst to the hot s8rings and then to the dis8ensary 0or an in;ection.? /reatly relieved' the woman than.ed the Master and' hal0 carrying her hus+and' le0t. However' en route to the .unds she s8otted the dis8ensary and' deciding it more convenient to sto8 there 0irst' too. her hus+and inside 0or his in;ection. -hey then 8roceeded to the hot s8rings where' u8on entering the water' the old man died. It was in the early #%)&:s' 0ollowing his studies in *ngland' that Dr. M.!. Coo8er received 0rom a Himalayan saint the secret 8re8aration 0or a drug with +road curative 8ro8erties. -he doctor s8ent the ne"t decades studying the com8ound' which yielded astounding results. In #%5%' a0ter hearing his 0riend and colleague Dr. Deodhar s8ea. o0 Nityananda' Dr. Coo8er as.ed to accom8any him to /anesh8uri. he wanted to tal. to the yogi a+out the 0uture o0 the drug. ,rriving' they 0ound Nityananda seated in his room. Dr. Coo8er gaDed in silence as tears streamed down his 0ace. ,0ter a time Dr. Deodhar led him away to a restaurant where' over a cu8 o0 tea' he reminded his 0riend a+out mentioning the drug. Dr. Coo8er shoo. his head. ?3ou come here so o0ten'? he said' ?that you only see his outer 0orm. !ut I saw a daDDling crystal in his head@ In a s8lit second I was overwhelmed at his 8urity and acutely aware o0 my own se8aration 0rom the Divine. I could only stand +e0ore him and cry.? Dr. Coo8er was correct. Nityananda:s unconcern with his 8hysical +ody was re0lected in his devotees constant awareness o0 it. ,nd they were 8er8le"ed. !y #%G5' although he ate very little' the yogi was clearly44and mysteriously448utting on weight. In those days overnight guests coo.ed 0or themselves' always o00ering something to Nityananda44who declined more o0ten than not. In 0act' meals were not organiDed in the ashram until the early #%5&:s when the old west room was converted to a sim8le .itchen. Nonetheless' +y #%7& his +ody had grown to huge 8ro8ortions. his eating ha+its had not changed. I0 anything' now +eing toothless' he ate less. ,larmed' 0our devotees 0inally voiced their concern. -he 0irst was Sandow Shetty' who as a youth had +een 0ond o0 gymnastics and 0eats o0 strength. -he Master told him that his heaviness was due to lac. o0 e"ercise. -he second inAuirer was Rao' who will +e recalled as su00ering 0rom chronic malaria. Nityananda told him that his swollen stomach was a result o0 a malaria4induced enlarged s8leen. -he third devotee' a 8ractitioner o0 8ranayama +reathing e"ercises' was told his siDe was a result o0 +reath retention. <inally Mrs. Mu.ta+ai came to him 0ull o0 concern 0or his health and com0ort. -o her he said that
Page 48 o0 69

the love o0 his devotees had settled around his gigantic +elly. Regardless o0 cause' +y the time Nityananda too. mahasamadhi in ,ugust #%7# he was once again thin. <eeding the 8oor was a standard occurrence at 6ailas +ecause the 0ood o00erings +rought +y visitors to /anesh8uri were distri+uted to local 8oor children. In later years' as the num+er o0 devotees grew' so did the 8iles o0 0lowers and 0ruit +as.ets. Most were distri+uted as usual' +ut Nityananda allowed some to rot and then ordered them +uried. ne day Sandow Shetty ventured to as. a+out this a88arent waste. He was told' ?It does not go to waste. -hose 0or whom it is meant are consuming it.? In #%59 Nityananda as.ed that the 8oor children o0 /anesh8uri +e 0ed on a 8ermanent +asis. ,nd it was done. 2ithin three years a hundred children a day were receiving morning meals= within twenty years the num+ers sur8assed (&&. -oday' +esides the children' meals are served several times monthly to the region:s adivasi' nearly )'5&& tri+al 8eo8le shunned +y other communities. -he ashram co00ers are always 0ull' not sur8risingly' with unsolicited donations 0or 0ood. Nityananda:s Passing ,ugust 9' #%7# n the a0ternoon o0 1uly )5' #%7#' a wea.ened Nityananda as.ed /o8almama' his attendant' to arrange 0or a chair to carry him to the near+y !angalorewalla +uilding. He said he would remain there a 0ortnight B#G daysC' and e"actly two wee.s later the yogi too. mahasamadhi. His +ed still stands in the +uilding:s main hall and is revered as a shrine. Con0usion was evident in the months 8receding his 8assing. ne rumor had Nityananda moving to the city o0 !angalore' a 8lan 8rimarily 0ostered +y Eashmansa 6hoday' who oversaw construction o0 the !angalorewalla +uilding. He went so 0ar as to charter an air8lane. Hearing o0 this' devotees rushed to /anesh8uri to argue that it would ma.e Nityananda less accessi+le to them. Nityananda said he had no intention o0 leaving and that ?an assem+ly o0 sages? had already suggested that ?it +e here only.?F !ut una+le44or unwilling44to understand the im8lications o0 this statement' 6hoday and others continued with their 8lans. -he day +e0ore the scheduled 0light' however' the Master develo8ed diarrhea and the tri8 was cancelled. FNityananda was re0erring to Masters 0rom the su+tle realms' such as Siddhalo.a. In hindsight' his move to the !angalorewalla +uilding a88eared 8remeditated. It was the only +uilding in /anesh8uri large enough to encom8ass the multitude who would soon come to see him one last time. Remodeling the old ashram was li.ewise timely. In early
Page 49 o0 69

1une Nityananda learned that it was still un0inished= the voluntary +ac.ers had 8ost8oned the roo0 until a0ter the monsoon season. !ut the yogi insisted that there was no time to lose. He ordered them to lay the sla+ immediately and to use ashram 0unds i0 necessary. -hese instructions were 0ollowed' and it was in the re+uilt section o0 the old >ia.unt ashram that his earthly remains were later interred. 0 the many signs revealed to devotees in those last months' most were misinter8reted or ignored. <or instance' Mrs. Mu.ta+ai recalled that shortly a0ter his move to the !angalorewalla +uilding' Nityananda told her there would +e a ma;or 8ilgrimage to /anes8uri in two wee.:s time. She wondered' +ut never thought to as.' why so many 8eo8le would come during the monsoon. however' one 8erson understood44a woman devotee 0rom Dadar called Mata;i +y her 0ollowers and Mantrasiddhi+ai +y Nityananda. In May #%7#' the day +e0ore she arrived 0or a visit' he e"8erienced a discharge 0rom his ear. He did not com8lain and the secretion was odorless' +ut devotees nonetheless called in a res8ected s8ecialist. ,lthough he had never met his 8atient' the doctor 8rostrated himsel0 and re0used to 8rescri+e any medication until Nityananda 8romised to recover. -he Master nodded his assurance and the doctor gave /o8almama some ca8sules with instructions 0or administering them. He then de8arted. -he yogi acce8ted a ca8sule' saying he did so +ecause the good doctor had shown great sensitivity. !ut later he re0used a second one. ? ne is enough'? he e"8lained. ?His +havana has wor.ed.? Mantrasiddhi+ai' learning o0 the discharge' +egan crying and +egged Nityananda not to leave. She inter8reted it as a sign that he was cleansing his system o0 to"ins44and 0or only one 8ur8ose. -he Master admonished her' ?2hy cryH Sto8 it. /reater wor. is 8ossi+le in the su+tle 8lane than in the gross.? -o the others' including Mrs. Mu.ta+ai' he said he had in;ured his ear long ago in a 0all in the 6anheri caves. -he way Dr. Pandlas.ar heard o0 the mahasamadhi was decidedly odd. *arly that morning the doctor:s nine4year4old son had con0ronted his 8arents with the words: ?2hat are you doing hereH /o to /anesh8uri. He leaves today +ecause the assem+ly o0 sages says that he alone can hel8 in the 0orthcoming ashtagraha yoga. ,strological indications are 0or great evil to the world in general and to India in 8articular.? -he 8arents were so astonished at the +oy:s +iDarre words that they re8rimanded him 0or tal.ing nonsense. !ut that evening they heard o0 Nityananda:s 8assing and de8arted at once. -he +oy was so a00ected +y his e"8erience that he did not 0ully recover 0or years. His message was thought to re0er to the con;unction o0 all 8lanets in a single sign' the ne"t occurrence +eing in <e+ruary #%7) when all eight entered Ca8ricorn' the sign o0 India. It was a hot May a0ternoon in #%7# when M.U. Hatengdi 0irst heard what he called a tele8athic +ell announcing that Nityananda would soon ta.e mahasamadhi. -his is his story: <earing the yogi had already discarded his human 0orm' I tried not to thin. a+out it. -he ne"t morning I reluctantly o8ened the Delhi 8a8er even though it would hardly mention a non8olitical event in !om+ay. ,ll the same I was relieved to 0ind nothing in the o+ituaries. -he 8ros8ect haunted me 0or the ne"t three months. I grew
Page 50 o0 69

insecure a+out my own s8iritual 8ractice even though Nityananda had told me there was nothing to read or study. *ven worse was the thought o0 +eing una+le to contact him in a 8hysical 0orm. I had not yet heard o0 his assurance that greater wor. was 8ossi+le on the su+tle 8lane' and since #%G9 my visits to see him were in0reAuent and largely in the 8u+lic eye. No longer did I Auietly sit with him in 8rivate. -rue' he once said that when a child learns to wal.' the mother' still watch0ul' must allow it 0reedom to run around. Perha8s he should have added' even i0 the child tries to hang on to the mother@ I .new his grace was with me wherever I was stationed in the Navy4+ut I also .new that I could contact him i0 necessary. Una+le to leave the naval station' I made a 8lan. 6nowing that Mrs. Mu.ta+ai still went to /anesh8uri every two wee.s' I wrote as.ing her to re8ort on Nityananda:s health a0ter each visit and enclosed some sel04addressed envelo8es. Her letters +egan arriving regularly' the 0irst 0ew indicating that he was well. Her third or 0ourth letter' however' re0erred to some de+ility as well as tal. o0 his underta.ing a tri8 to 6anhangad. -his con4 0used +y did not worry me. He had told me in #%GG that he would remain in the /anesh8uri ashram' and even i0 he changed his mind' I was used to traveling great distances to see him. !esides' I was 8lanning a visit in early ,ugust and it was the mid4 1uly. !ut my an"iety continued and it was an unha88y 8eriod 0or me. -he last letter 0rom Mrs. Mu.ta+ai was dated ,ugust G and reached me on ,ugust (. It was a dar. and rainy evening and I grew des8ondent reading it. She wrote me to come at once +ecause the Master was very wea.. !ac. in Decem+er I had made a small altar in my home. n a corner shel0 lit +y the 0irst rays o0 the morning sun I .e8t a 0ramed 8hotogra8h o0 Nityananda along with 0lowers 0rom our garden and a silver lam8. -he lam8 held ;ust enough oil to +urn 0or an hour and it was my custom to light it every evening at sunset. -he day a0ter the distressing letter I came home 0or lunch to 0ind the little lam8 already +urning. In turn' the 8icture was decorated with 0lower garlands and 0lan.ed +y two vases' each containing sweets traditionally 8re8ared on the 0estival o0 /anesh:s +irth. 2hen I as.ed my wi0e why she had arranged such a dis8lay' she said she had sim8ly 0elt li.e it. I had never shared with her my 0ears a+out Nityananda:s 8assing and so her demonstration was all the more remar.a+le. She lit the oil lam8 at nine that morning and it had never gone out. She collected every 0lower in the garden including the water lilies' something she had never done +e0ore' and then 8re8ared the moda.s44all this without .nowing why. -he mystery was solved the ne"t morning when I learned o0 the mahasamadhi. 2hile I was so a+sor+ed in the world' the Master sent this sign o0 his +lessing 0rom nine hundred miles away. Nityananda occu8ied a room directly a+ove the entrance o0 the !angalorewalla +uilding. <or the 0irst three or 0our days' though wea.' he wal.ed a little. 1uly )( was his last /uru Purnima' a day on which Hindus traditionally honor the teacher' and he addressed the assem+led devotees 0or nearly G5 minutes in a sur8risingly strong voice. He said that the
Page 51 o0 69

+o"cars o0 a train going u8 a hill might sli8 +ac.ward without sand thrown on the trac.s 0or traction. -o maintain a lasting connection with the engine' each +o"car must 0orge a +ond o0 unsha.a+le 0aith and conviction. *verything else he said would ha88en automatically. He then mentioned 8lans 0or +uilding a hos8ital in /anesh8uri. , day or so later' with only Madhumama 8resent' he stood on the +alcony watching the sun set in a s.y that was unusually clear 0or 1uly. Nityananda said' ?,nyone wanting to see the sun should do it now 0or tomorrow he may not +e seen.? -he 0ollowing morning dawned cloudy and stayed that way as a noticea+ly wea.er Nityananda was moved to the main hall. -here he stayed until he died. n ,ugust ( around 0our in the a0ternoon he as.ed 0or !.H. Mehta' 8o8ularly called !a+u+hai Eo.handwalla. Mehta' who was in a restaurant having tea at the time' learned o0 the summons and hurried to the main hall. -here the yogi handed him a large 8arcel wra88ed in a 8iece o0 cloth and as.ed him to loo. a0ter 6anhangad. -he +undle contained cash' gold' and other valua+les that Mehta eventually used' along with 0unds he collected' to +uild the two 6anhangad tem8les a+ove the roc.4cut caves and at /uruvana.F /uruvana is the area o0 ;ungle where Nityananda was 0ound as an in0ant. , tem8le dedicated to Nityananda stands there today' along with many other tem8les in India dedicated to the Master. <or months devotees had noticed in Nityananda a growing sadness that o0ten a88roached tears. 2e can only surmise that the great yogi 0elt as 6rishna did in the !hagavad /ita when he said he granted su88licants what they 8rayed 0or. !ut more o0ten than not' the only thing they wanted was worldly success or material gain. -oo many 0ools' he said' 8assed his dwelling without as.ing 0or the li+eration he o00ered. Ei.ewise 8eo8le +rought Nityananda their earthly cares. -hese he relieved ho8ing to ins8ire in them a hunger 0or the s8iritual gi0ts he was em8owered to +estow. !ut in the end' li.e 6rishna' he was disa88ointed. Some 8eo8le actually came to /anesh8uri 0or a luc.y num+er to gam+le on. -hey might count' 0or instance' how many o0 his 0ingers were visi+le at a given moment or the num+er o0 ste8s he too.. Usually this was when Nityananda threw stones or shouted.F F-his is only my view 0rom the heart' +ut it is understood what Nityananda meant +y ?More wor. can +e done in the su+tle.? Nityananda' while incarnate' was with 8eo8le' all the 8eo8le who as.ed 0or the li+eration he o00ered received it. ,s in the case o0 remar.ing to Rao that he was en;oying the incense' even though it was +eing waved in 0ront o0 a hole over one hundred miles away' he showed that he was wherever there was devotion. -hough in the gross' he su00used the lives o0 all who desired what he o00ered through his 8ermanent esta+lishment in the su+tle. Having merged with the 0ormless ,+solute' yet he 8ro;ects su+tle 0orm 0rom the realm o0 Siddhalo.a now' and su00uses and 8ermeates all who see. him within and without. In this way' only the earnest see.er with a 8ure heart can 0ind him' and the num+ers he can reach are limitless. !y
Page 52 o0 69

8ure it is not meant a 8erson with 8er0ect +ehavior' +ut rather' 8er0ect love 0or the master' a 8er0ect desire to merge with /od Shiva' and his gi0t o0 divine li+eration and understanding. ,ll who desire may 0all under the 8rotection o0 the Siddha lineage and the !hagawan Nityananda' the essence o0 love. n the evening o0 ,ugust ( the engineer Hegde 0elt drawn to /anesh8uri. -raveling alone' he gained entry to the samadhi hall with some di00iculty and 0ound Mona88a at Nityananda:s +edside. -he doctor had ;ust announced that there was no need to worry and was wal.ing out with Sandow Shetty44when he dro88ed his medical +ag with a thud. 8ening his eyes' the Master as.ed what the noise was and then inAuired who was at his 0eet. hearing that it was Hegde' he told Mana88a to leave. Hegde started to massage the Master:s 0eet and was alone with him until 0our that morning. , little a0ter midnight Nityananda startled him +y s8ea.ing: Peo8le only come here 0or money' and the more they get the more they want. -heir greed is +oundless. Sometimes they arrive hungry and with only the clothes on their +ac.s +ut soon they start demanding lu"uries li.e cars and houses. ne would thin. that with their +asic human needs satis0ied' they would see. something higher. Something s8iritual. !ut they 8ersist. -here is little 8oint in allowing this +ody to continue. -omorrow I will ta.e samadhi. -his last sentence he re8eated three times. Hegde was stunned +ecause' while Nityananda was very wea.' doctors had 0ound nothing clinically wrong with him. Most devotees 0ully e"8ected him to recover. Soon he +egan calling 0or Swami 1anananda' demanding to .now why he had not come. 2hen Hegde +egged him to 8ost8one his mahasamadhi' Nityananda re8lied that he would i0 as.ed +y someone with sel0less devotion and love. ,0ter all' was not Pundali.a a great devotee who made the Eord o0 Pandhar8ur wait 0or himH ,nd was there no such 8erson hereH ne would +e enough to 8ut o00 the samadhi. 2ith such a 8erson 8resent' he said' not even /od could leave without 8ermission. He would +e una+le to +rea. that +ond o0 8ure love. ,nd 8ointing his inde" 0inger at Hegde' Nityananda as.ed' ?Can you o00er this one sel0less devotionH? !ut Hegde tear0ully re8lied' ?I don:t .now.? Nityananda:s Passing: Part II ,ugust 9' #%7# In the remaining hour or so' Nityananda as.ed 0or certain other devotees +y name +ut they arrived to late. He told Hedge not to worry' and at a Auarter to 0our again muttered something a+out Swami 1anananda' who also came too late and only a0ter receiving a telegram. Hegde as.ed i0 he could hel8 +ut Nityananda said he needed a sanyasi. ,t around 0our o:cloc. he sent the engineer to +athe. Returning' hedge o00ered to 8our some
Page 53 o0 69

co00ee into the Master:s mouth +ut the devotee in the ne"t room wo.e u8 and told him to sto8' saying that his 8lan was to +athe and then 8re8are Nityananda:s co00ee himsel0. ,nd the yogi waved the engineer aside. !ut when the other devotee went 0or his +ath' Hedge ran down to the hotel and as.ed the grate0ul manager to 8re8are some s8ecial co00ee. Iuic.ly Hedge carried it +ac.' served it to Nityananda' and then de8arted' leaving him in the care o0 the others wishing to attend him. ,mong them' sometime o0ter seven' were several women devotees 0rom the early days' including Mrs. 2agle' a 8ro0essional nurse. In the early days Nityananda had served sugar cane ;uice to visitors. Mrs. Mu.ta+ai had once as.ed why' he said' ?2hyH !ecause it is this ;uice.? However' that morning Nityananda reAuested co00ee and 0ood 0or 8resent' something he had +een doing 0or several months. Coming !angalore' Ea.shmansa 6hoday arrived around this time. 2hen one:s those 0rom

,mong those assem+ling since si" that morning was Chandu' a longstanding devotee who had come some days +e0ore. 2hen Nityananda suddenly as.ed him 0or some .asthuri' a ty8e o0 mus. oil' Chandu +egan to wee8. 3ears ago in 6anhangad he had told the devotee that +e0ore leaving this world he would as. him 0or .asthuri. In an attem8t to calm him' Nityananda as.ed his old com8anion i0 he .new o0 a train that could carry then to 6anhangad. Chandu answered' yes' there was a scheduled train. !ut when the yogi as.ed' ?How can this one go without strength in these legsH? Chandu was silent. C.C. Pare.h had arranged 0or a li0t to !om+ay. He 8lanned to leave +y seven that morning' tell his sta00 that he would remain in /anesh8uri a 0ew more days' and return to the ashram that a0ternoon. However' as he entered the car' he suddenly sto88ed. ,s.ing his 0riend to wait' he hurried to the hall44where he was shoc.ed to 0ind the Master struggling to +reathe. He administered o"ygen at once and Nityananda:s +reathing im8roved' +ut Pare.h decided not to leave. Remaining at the head o0 the +ed' he was soon ;oined +y Dr. Nicholson' a devotee and res8ected eye s8ecialist 0rom !om+ay. Dr. Nicholson:s wi0e ;oined them shortly' having tele8honed a doctor at the neigh+oring sanatorium. Soon he arrived' e"amined Nityananda' and 8rescri+ed some medicine. !ut it was too late. Nityananda had them remove the o"ygen mas. and' +reathing normally' as.ed Pare.h 0or some water. -hen at a Auarter o0 nine he as.ed Ea.shmansa .hoday 0or some lemon ;uice. 6hoday o00ered him 0resh coconut mil. instead' which he acce8ted. He too. nothing more. ,t nine4thirty /o8almama noticed that Nityananda:s +ody was radiating a lot o0 heat. S8ea.ing 0or the last time' he re8eated what he had said o0ten that summer: ?, sadhu +ecame a swami. -he swami +ecome a deva to some' a +a+a and a +hagawan to others.F -his deva will now enter constant samadhi.? -en minutes later he too. several very dee8 +reaths' the 0inal one e"8anding his chest 0ully. He straightened his legs' the one arthritic' as 0ar as he could' clas8ed his hands a+ove his navel' and lay 8er0ectly still. ,0ter a time
Page 54 o0 69

Pare.h called Swami Mu.tananda and others 0rom the ad;oining room to ta.e charge o0 Nityananda:s +ody. Fsadhu44literally' good= holy man. Fswami44literally' master o0 one:s Sel0= title given to mon.s o0 the orders organiDed +y Shan.ara. F+hagawan44godhead= one who 8ossesses the si" treasures= one who is 0ull o0 light. FDeva44Eiterally' a shining one= a /od. -his is the last re0erence that Nityananda made o0 himsel0. !etween that a0ternoon and the 0ollowing evening' there was much discussion a+out where to inter the holy remains. -he devotee res8onsi+le 0or the 6ailas ashram:s construction 8ro8osed +uilding a su+terranean room there. ther devotees suggested a site on the hill +ehind the 8resent museum +uilding. ,nother grou8 wanted it to +e where the yogi:s +ody now rested in the !angalorewalla +uilding' a 8ro8osal that 6hoday o00ered to oversee. However' the site ultimately chosen 0or the samadhi shrine was the recently reconstructed old ashram +uilding. Nityananda had always said that sages gathered there' and it was remem+ered with what urgency he had ordered the sla+ roo0 installed during that summer:s monsoon. n the morning o0 ,ugust % Ca8tain Hatengdi arrived at his o00ice to 0ind a tele8hone message. Calling home' he learned that Mrs. Mu.ta+ai had sent a telegram saying that Nityananda had ta.en mahasamadhi the day +e0ore and interment would +e in three days. He somehow managed to reach !om+ay at eleven that night only to learn that the ceremony would occur the ne"t morning. ,t that hour there were no trains or ta"is and he s8ent a dismal night waiting 0or the morning train' which he caught. He 8ulled into !assein' now the >asai Road' around 0ive4thirty to 0ind #5& other 8eo8le stranded en route to /anesh8uri. -he state trans8ort o00ice was still closed and the area was deserted44 e"ce8t 0or a growing crowd o0 an"ious devotees. Ca8tain Hatengdi ;oined the line' resigned to what seemed inevita+le. He was )5 miles away and would never arrive in time to see Nityananda one last time. ,s he stood musing' 0ive 8eo8le ste88ed out o0 line to 0lag down a solitary ta"i. !ut the driver re0used to ma.e the tri8 and they trudged +ac. to the throng. !y now the ho8elessness o0 the situation drove Hatengdi to 8ace u8 and down440rom the station to the 0or. in the road. -o the right lay /anesh8uri= to the le0t' !assein and the 0ort. Pacing this )&&4yard stretch several times' he again came to the 0or. in the road. -his time' however' he saw an old +ut em8ty seven seat vehicle a88roaching 0rom !assein. He hailed the driver' who agreed to ta.e Hatengdi and si" other devotees who Auic.ly 8iled in. -he driver .e8t remar.ing on their good 0ortune. It seemed he rarely came this way and had +een sur8rised to 0ind himsel0 at the 0or. in the road. ,t seven40i0teen he dro88ed them o00 at the !hadra.ali tem8le. Ca8tain Hatengdi' over;oyed to +e there' had no idea where to 0ind Nityananda:s +ody. He managed to 8ush through the crowd and 0ive minutes later saw the +ody +eing carried
Page 55 o0 69

0rom the !angalorewalla +uilding and 8laced on a ;ee8. ,t that moment the sun +ro.e through the driDDle to light u8 the Master:s 0ace and Hatengdi rushed 0orward to catch hold o0 the vehicle. -he hour4long 8rocession would circle the +uildings +e0ore 8roceeding to the old ashram:s eastern entrance. ,s the entourage slowly +egan to move' the sun seemed to +ow out and the driDDle resumed. -he +ody had +een arranged in the lotus 8osition and sat in an easy chair conveyed +y means o0 two logs tied to the chair arms. Hatengdi did not release his hold on the ;ee8 until the chair was lowered and carried into the low +uilding. -he old ashram was 0illed to ca8acity and there was no 8ossi+ility o0 entering. So Hatengdi went 0irst to +athe and then to 8ray. !y now he .new the samadhi shrine was situated right where he used to slee8 0ollowing the ashram:s move to 6ailas. He 0inally and truly understood Nityananda:s earlier words to him that ?this s8ot alone was good.? Nityananda:s li0e e"em8li0ied nondualism. He made no distinction +etween 8eo8le' never caring a+out their religion' their se"' or whether they were 8oor or wealthy' +ac.ward or educated. He was the common man:s 0riend' the s8iritual as8irant:s guide' and the devotee:s constant com8anion. He taught that devotion to /od went hand in hand with the 8er0ormance o0 one:s earthly res8onsi+ilities. In 0act' he demanded that 8eo8le wor. in the world' saying that wor. 8ro8erly done was the same as worshi8. He 0elt 8eo8le should +e o0 the world without +eing worldly. He 8articularly 0avored charita+le wor.s as o88ortunities to serve /od. ,lways 0ond o0 0eeding the 8oor' he +uilt a small school in /anesh8uri and a dis8ensary in >a;reshwari. *ven while crediting the will o0 /od and .armic law 0or the su00ering o0 individuals and nations' he never let this ;usti0y callousness toward others. He did not want 0ollowers. !ut when they came' he only as.ed 0or 8urity o0 motive and 0aith Bshuddha +havana and shraddhaC and the 0reedom to do his wor. 0rom within. His greatness lay in the .ey he held to the inner consciousness o0 the 0aith0ul. His 8ower radiated without e00ort or notice on his 8art. 2ords were unim8ortant to him. <ree o0 earthly am+ition' he distri+uted whatever gi0ts 8eo8le +rought him. It says in the !hagawatam that the divine 8ower o0 such a guru remains hidden' mani0esting itsel0 0or those who truly desire -ruth. 2ith Nityananda' this was so44and his mani0estations were many. 2hile emanating steadily 0rom the s8iritual 8lane' his divine 8resence re0lected the viewer:s inner state o0 consciousness. 2hile some saw in him the terror o0 6ali' others 0ound the com8assion o0 >a;reshwari. Dualism was always unmas.ed as an intellectual 8ursuit that toyed with se8arate as8ects o0 the same reality. In his 0inal months Nityananda com8lained that 8eo8le only came to him 0or material gain. ?2hat sort o0 grace is 8ossi+le in such casesH? he would as. +e0ore adding' ?-hey don:t need a guru44they need a soothsayer.? He called it an a+use o0 his 8hysical 8resence' li.ening it to s8iritual window sho88ing. 2here was their s8iritual as8irationH 2hy as.
Page 56 o0 69

the ocean 0or a 0ew 0ish when' with a little e00ort' one could have the 8riceless 8earls on the ocean 0loorH He s8o.e o0 the antar;nanis' sel0 realiDed +eings who lived in the world and e"8erienced 8ain li.e everyone else. -he di00erence +etween them and the rest o0 humanity was their a+ility to detach their minds 0rom their su00ering. nce esta+lished in in0inite consciousness' they +ecame silent. ,nd' while all4.nowing' they lived as i0 .nowing nothing= while mani0esting simultaneously in unli.ely 8laces' they a88eared idle. -hey viewed li0e as i0 it were a movie440rom a state o0 detachment. <or Nityananda' +eing detached 0rom li0e:s circumstances' 8leasant or otherwise' was the highest state. He was an antar;nani. Eet the mind' he said' +e li.e a lotus lea0 0loating on the water' una00ected +y its stem +elow and its 0lower a+ove. 2hile engaged in worldly 8ursuits' .ee8 the mind untainted +y desire and distraction. 6ee8 the mind detached and 0aith in /od 0irmly esta+lished in the lotus o0 the heart' never letting it +e swayed +y ha88iness or des8air. Devotees will 0ind themselves su+;ected to various tests' he said44tests o0 the mind' o0 the emotions' o0 the +ody. 2ith every thought that 8o8s into the mind' /od is waiting 0or a 8erson:s reaction. -here0ore stay alert and detached. See everything as an o88ortunity to gain e"8erience' im8rove onesel0' and rise to a higher level. Desire alone causes su00ering in the world. Human.ind +rings nothing into this world and ta.es nothing away 0rom it. -his ashram' 0or instance' is 0ull o0 things 0or devotees to use when visiting' +ut i0 this one BNityanandaC leaves he will ta.e nothing with him. 2hatever is need will come. -his one is not 0lattered when im8ortant 8ersons come or distressed when devotees 0all away. 2hether visitors come or not' whether they +ring o00erings or not44it is the same. -his one has no desire to go anywhere or see anything. Eet one:s thoughts and actions re0lect one:s words. -his ashram:s 8ractice is not in doing good deeds. -his ashram:s 8ractice is learning to +e detached. ,nything else that ha88ens does so automatically +y the will o0 /od44although this one will s8ea. when some+ody is genuinely interested. ,0terword -he Shrines o0 /anesh8uri Since ancient times /anesh8uri was considered a holy 8lace and Nityananda o0ten recounted e8isodes 0rom the ancient Puranas attesting to this. 0 the area:s numerous shrines' several were +uilt and maintained +y Nityananda and his 0ollowers. -he old !himeshwar tem8le' situated near the old ashram' was one o0 these. Dr. Deodhar recalled than on a visit around #%5& he noticed that the silver co+ra44the Naag44was missing 0rom the tem8le:s linga. !ut he .e8t 0orgetting to tell Nityananda. -his continued
Page 57 o0 69

0or some time until one day he as.ed another devotee to mention it 0or him. Hearing the +elated news' Nityananda said' ?Have you come here ;ust to tell me thisH Deodhar always 0orgets@ -ell him this one said to have the Naag remade44+ut this time in co88er.? He then gave detailed instructions 0or its siDe and 0eatures' directing the devotee to use a thread to show the dimensions. <inally' he said he wanted it installed on the 0ollowing Monday440our short days away. Receiving these instructions' the doctor hurried at once to the mar.et8lace where he was directed to a certain artisan. -his man' the district:s only co88ersmith' announced the 8ro;ect would ta.e him ten days to com8lete. ,n"iously' Dr. Deodhar e"8lained the urgency and the co88ersmith agreed to 0inish it +y Sunday. 2hen he arrived to 8ic. u8 the Naag' the doctor saw that the co+ra:s eyes did not glisten as instructed. -he co88ersmith e"8lained he had le0t o00 the shiny +eads' 0earing they would 0all out and leave em8ty soc.ets. ,t that moment a statue o0 Shiva was carried in 0rom the wor.sho8' its eyes +rightly 8ainted and shiny. -he men loo.ed at it and decided to do the same 0or the sna.e. Nityananda was satis0ied with the results and .e8t it in his room until the installation' which occured the ne"t morning. ,n unusual 0eature o0 the !himeshwar tem8le was the continuous tric.le o0 water 0rom the ceiling at the rear o0 the dome. It had +egun see8ing 0rom a num+er o0 8laces +ehind the main linga sometime in the early #%G&:s a0ter Nityananda moved to /anesh8uri. ,s time 8assed the amount o0 water increased' even during the hot summers. Ca8tain Hatengdi heard this 0rom his uncle who added that Nityananda had cautioned him not to ste8 on the small lingas that s8rang u8 wherever the water 0ell. ,nd indeed' two discerni+le lingas were 0orming in two water40illed holes directly +ehind the main linga. Pro;ections o0 various sha8es also a88eared in a rough semicircle around them. 2henever Nityananda mentioned the water' he would laugh heartily at the thought o0 scientists coming to investigate the 8henomenon. It is said that once the yogi le0t the old ashram 0or 6ailas in #%57' the water slowed to a tric.le and sto88ed com8letely the day Nityananda:s statue was installed in the Samadhi Mandir tem8le. n one o0 his monthly wee.end visits in #%G5' Ca8tain Hatengdi noticed a small shrine )&& yards 0rom the road to the ashram. Nityananda said he +uilt it 0or the village deity' or gramadevata' +ecause the s8ot had the 8ower o0 samadhi. ,nd it was here that Swami Mu.tananda later made his ashram. -he current 6rishna tem8le stands where once there was an old stone relic o0 Nandi' the +ull o0 Shiva. Its 8resence had always +een a mystery. Ca8tain Hatengdi recalls watching Nityananda sit on it occasionally' +oth 0eet dangling down its le0t side. 2hen they +egan +uilding the tem8le' wor.ers tried to move the stone44+ut it would not +udge. hearing o0 this' Nityananda ordered them to +rea. a coconut near the +ull. nce they did' two o0 them easily li0ted the great stone. ,t the Master:s instructions' they then removed the +ull:s head' 8lacing it on the cow statue that stands +ehind 6rishna.
Page 58 o0 69

2ith the 6rishna tem8le 0inished' Nityananda immediately turned his attention to the !hadra.ali tem8le. He would set a s8eci0ic day 0or its inauguration and the wor. had to +e com8leted. In this instance' Mistry had a single day to ma.e the goddess:s statue and' 8er Nityananda:s instructions' he used the same cement mi"ture em8loyed earlier 0or 6rishna. !ut when it was 0inished' the 8riest an"iously said her 0ace was not attractive enough. -his' Nityananda reassured him' would +e ta.en care o044and ordered the statue covered with a white cloth. ,t the 0ollowing morning:s consecration ceremony the cloth was removed to reveal a changed 0ace that satis0ied even the 8riest:s aesthetic e"8ectations. Eater' when as.ed why the hurry to +uild this 8articular tem8le' Nityananda re8lied that !hadra.ali had 0ollowed him 0rom /o.arn' desiring a 8lace in /anesh8uri. ,nd she was not 8re8ared to wait@ !esides those actually +uilt +y him' numerous shrines were dedicated to Nityananda a0ter his mahasamadhi. -he 0irst tem8le +uilt on 6anhangad roc. o8ened in ,8ril #%7$' the one in /uruvana in May #%77. -he roc. tem8le was commissioned +y !.H. Mehta 0rom 0unds he collected. 6nown as Samadhi Mandir' the samadhi shrine was the creation o0 Pra+hashan.ar Som8ura' who designed the renowned Somnath -em8le as well as the two 6anhangad tem8les. -he samadhi shrine with Nityananda:s earthly remains is located on the site o0 the original /anesh8uri ashram. Rising a hundred 0eet into the s.y' the shrine and hall ca88ed +y a )G40oot high dome have an im8osing +eauty. -he -ansa River 0lowing a short distance away adds to the tranAuility o0 this holy site. ,dditional tem8les dedicated to Nityananda range 0rom sim8le altars adorned with his 8hotogra8h to more ela+orate tem8les such as the one +uilt +y M.E. /u8ta in 6oilandi near Calicut. 2ith its large hall' this shrine wits where the young Ram once roamed with his ado8ted 0ather Ishwar Iyer. Nityananda:s Photogra8her Nityananda hated +eing 8hotogra8hed and only a hand0ul o0 images 0rom the early days e"ist. Most o0 the 8hotogra8hs we have o0 him were ta.en decades later +y M.D. Suvarna. Devotees o0ten wanted a 8icture o0 Nityananda with their 0amilies. -y8ically the young Nityananda discouraged 8eo8le 0rom revering his 8hotogra8hs and actually admonished them 0or doing so. Mr. 6rishna+ai 0elt that since he had o+liged the 8hotogra8her in her own com8ound she might +e 8ermitted to .ee8 his 8icture in her house. ,ccordingly' she as.ed the 8hotogra8her to send one to her mother:s house. 2hen she arrived to 8ic. u8 the 0ramed 8hotogra8h' it was nighttime. Mangalore still lac.ed electricity in those days
Page 59 o0 69

and with only .erosene lam8s +urning Mrs. Mu.ta+ai did not notice Nityananda sitting in a dar. corner. ,s she was as.ing her mother a+out the 8icture' the yogi e"claimed' ?So you want a 8hotogra8h' do youH 3ou will 0ind it in the dung hea8@? Running outside' she loo.ed to no avail. It was then that her mother said Nityananda had smashed the 0ramed 8icture with a roc.. -he shards' o0 course' now lay +uried in the dung hea8.F FNityananda 0rowned on such things' as he did not want his image to +ecome an o+;ect o0 retail commerce. Photogra8hs o0 Nityananda only +ecame readily availa+le when M.D. Suvarna' originally a 8ress 8hotogra8her' came to /anesh8uri in the early #%5&. He and a colleague' learning o0 Nityananda:s growing 8o8ularity' .new 8eo8le would soon +e demanding 8hotogra8hs. !ut when they arrived at the ashram' Nityananda thundered at them and they retreated in haste. Suvarna' however' decided to try again. -his time his 8ersistence was rewarded. Permission was granted' a0ter considera+le 8leading' under the 0ollowing conditions: there should +e no distur+ance' no 0uss' no 8osing. Suvarna 0irst traveled to /anesh8uri as 8hotogra8her +ut he soon +ecame a devotee. 2henever wor. +rought him to !om+ay' he made a 8oint o0 visiting /anesh8uri on -hursdays and shooting a roll o0 0ilm. -he resulting images consistently 8ortray Nityananda:s mystical 8ower' com8assion' and inner +liss. Some are so good that they may +e mista.en 0or 8osed 8ortraits. thers show considera+le variance in Nityananda:s 8hysical a88earance 0rom 8icture to 8icture' a 0act 8ointed out +y the scul8tor' Mr. 2agh' who utiliDed them 0or the altar statue in the samadhi shrine. ,s an e"8eriment' in the late #%5&:s Mr. Suvarna e"8osed several hundred 0eet o0 motion 8icture 0ilm' ta.ing sni88ets at odd moments and later s8licing them together. It was the 0irst time he had handled such a camera and his results were remar.a+ly good. ddly' however' on occasion the develo8ed 0ilm was com8letely +lan.. <or instance' once he wanted to 8hotogra8h Nityananda returning 0rom his morning wal.' ,0ter having a hole +ored in the wall o0 a near+y hotel' Suvarna waited with his 8re4ad;usted camera and too. several shots o0 the Master 8assing. !ut the develo8ed 0ilm was +lan.. he re8eated the e"8eriment44with the same result. Suvarna recalls Nityananda sometimes as.ing him' ?2hat is the value o0 so many 8icturesH ,re you still not satis0iedH? ,nd then he would smile. ne last time' on a 8articularly im8ortant occasion' Suvarna:s cameras unaccounta+ly mal0unctioned. it was ,ugust #&' #%7#' two days a0ter the mahasamadhi. -he +ody had +een 8laced in an easy chair' mounted on a ;ee8' and driven slowly around the /anesh8uri com8ound' a 8rocession that' des8ite a steady driDDle' Suvarna managed to ca8ture on 0ilm. -hen the +ody was ta.en inside the old ashram 0or +urial. <rom di00erent
Page 60 o0 69

vantage 8oints in the room' Suvarna and his cousin each too. a roll o0 0ilm during the ceremony. !ut later they discovered that not one e"8osure came out. Shri Nityananda ,rogyashram Hos8ital at /anesh8uri -he +eginning o0 Shri Nityanadna ,rogyashram is in a way connected with the late Dr. M.!. Coo8er and the her+al wonder drug revealed to him +y a Himalayan saint long ago. -hrough vi+rational guidance and his own genius he success0ully 8re8ared an in;ect a+le solution 0rom the original 0ormula' which he initially 8rescri+ed 0or tu+erculosis. However' Dr. Coo8er .new the Himalayans too. it +oth to com+at disease and to maintain health' and 0urther research 8roved the com8ound:s +roader curative 8ro8erties. ,s a result' over the years he hel8ed 8atients su00ering 0rom asthma and other lung ailments' s.in diseases' arthritis' cysts' as well as tu+erculosis44even advanced cases. He named the remedy mahawaD44?the great sound?44+ecause o0 the cosmic sound that seemed to direct his research. Dr. Deodhar had +een Dr. Coo8er:s assistant since the late #%$&:s. , decade later he +ecame a devotee o0 Nityananda and' a0ter see.ing the Master:s advice' le0t general 8ractice to concentrate on mahawaD. He was told the remedy would +e success0ul i0 administered through an ashram hos8ital +ut that such a 8ro;ect would reAuire great 8atience and 8erseverance on his 8art. *ventually' Dr. Deodhar and !.C.S. Swamy' a 0ellow devotee' +rought Dr. Coo8er to /anesh8uri. U8on 0irst seeing Nityananda' the doctor was overwhelmed and had to leave. !ut he returned later with an am8ule o0 mahawaD to show the yogi. ,gain' Nityananda said it would succeed. , 0ew months +e0ore the mahasamadhi Dr. Deodhar and Mr. Swamy 8resented a 8ro8osal 0or a hos8ital to +e +uilt at /anesh8uri. Nityananda immediately a88roved the idea and as.ed 0or a ma8 o0 the ashram:s 8ro8erty. He indicated where he wanted the 0uture hos8ital +uilt' giving them the 8iece o0 land along with a cash donation. he said to 8roceed in three stages' indicating with his hands and saying' ?<irst small' then +ig' and then very +ig@? In #%7$ the Nityananda ,rogyashram -rust was 0ormed' and in Decem+er #%77 the hos8ital:s 0oundation stone was laid +y Swami Chinmayananda in the 8resence o0 a distinguished audience. -oday one o0 the district:s 0inest hos8ital +uildings' its s8acious and airy rooms are within wal.ing distance o0 the samadhi shrine. Dr. Coo8er donated the mahawaD 0ormula to the -rust. ,lthough he and Dr. Deodhar received 0a+ulous o00ers 0or this 0ormula' they were determined to maintain its availa+ility to common 8eo8le. Similarly' his daughter' Dr. M.H. Pavri' and his son' Mr. Coo8er' gave u8 their rights to any entitled royalties. U8on the death o0 her 0ather in ,ugust #%9&' Dr. Pavri assumed res8onsi+ility 0or the hos8ital as well as 0or the manu0acture and develo8ment o0 the her+al e"tract.
Page 61 o0 69

So Say -he Stars -here is considera+le interest today in >edic astrology' and ancient science 8redating its 2estern counter8art +y millennia. -o this end readers may +e interested in a horosco8e 8re8ared 0or Ca8tain Hatengdi in March #%(&. BIncidentally' the 2estern word ::horosco8e:: is o0 ancient /ree. derivation and re0ers to ::loo.ing at time.::C In such instances' sages with intuitive wisdom chart all 8ossi+le 8ermutations and com+inations to develo8 the 8attern o0 a su+;ect:s li0e. In India these are called Nadigrantha readings. <ull o0 great detail' they include the names and charts o0 individuals in0luencing the su+;ect in good or +ad ways' o0ten re0erring to 8revious incarnations. However' such readings are 8rimarily use0ul in understanding a su+;ect:s 8ast and inherent tendencies. Present and 0uture 8redictions o0ten 8rove unrelia+le +ecause o0 the ongoing 8lay o0 human will and divine intervention. In Ca8tain Hatengdi:s case' at the age o0 )9 he was shown to meet a great +eing who would a00ect his li0e Auite 0avora+ly. -here was a lengthy descri8tion o0 this +eing' which we include here in an edited 0orm. He came to the world 0or the sa.e o0 his devotees' a great yogi. Nothing is .nown o0 his +irth or his age. He has <ed thousands o0 sanyasis and sadhus. 2hile ever in samadhi' he tal.s. 2hile ever with the ,tman' he is never in the +ody. He tal.s directly to /od. Eong4 lim+ed with a vi+rant 8ersonality' he sometimes goes na.ed and some4 times wears a loincloth. ,lthough 0ew recogniDe him' he is /od in human 0orm. He is called +y a name +eginning with the letter N. He sits near hot s8rings and a Shiva tem8le and does not engage in outward activities' giving the im8ression o0 doing nothing. Money he ta.es 0rom his loincloth as needed. He removes di00iculties and occasionally 8re4 scri+es medicines. Ignorant 8eo8le never see his true nature. 2hile these words cannot 8ossi+ly relate his greatness' a devotee will come in due course and descri+e him 8ro8erly. thers who write a+out him will succeed only i0 they are ins8ired +y him44and then only i0 he wishes it. *ventually +oo.s will +e written a+out him and many will ma.e money in his name. ,t the time o0 this reading' he is no longer in human 0orm. His many devotees include highly evolved sanyasis and mem+ers o0 royalty. Numerous ashrams and shrines are +uilt in his honor44+ut he never recogniDed or initiated disci8les. No one was 0it to receive the .nowledge o0 /od 0rom him. ,lthough he has ta.en mahasamadhi' his +lessings remain with his devotees. 2hen you thin. o0 him' he is with you. ,nyone who a88roaches him with 8urity o0 motive is granted their wish.

Page 62 o0 69

How can we descri+e such a +eingH He might deliver harsh words or actions' saying ?Matti' matti44it is o0 no conseAuence':: +ut +lessings always 0all on the reci8ient. He sees with eAual4sightedness' treating everyone the same regardless o0 social 8osition. !ut 8eo8le 8ursue him with material desires44not with s8iritual as8irations. Still' his guiding light is always availa+le to +oth the devout and the s8iritual see.er. Sadly' most devotees never really .new him. No one was 8ower0ul enough to succeed him or receive what he could grant. !ut he still +lesses the devotees44and he remains without disci8les. Remem+ering -he Master Ca8tain M.U. Hatengdi' retired Naval Secretary at Naval HeadAuarters in New Delhi' was a long4time disci8le o0 Nityananda. -his cha8ter is his story. I remem+er 0irst seeing Nityananda when I was 0ive years old. It was #%)& and he was in the cattle shed o0 the late Colonel >. R. Mirai;.ar in Mangalore. Many years later the 0amous surgeon recounted that on returning home a0ter eight years a+road he had argued with his mother a+out the young Master to whom she was devoted. He did not understand how a woman so 0astidious a+out cleanliness could tolerate him. -his was +ecause in those days the reclusive' rail4thin youth was as li.ely to +e 0ound on a doormat or a dunghill as anywhere. -he colonel:s mother ordered her son to mind his own +usiness. He regret0ully told me that decades 8assed +e0ore he recogniDed Nityananda:s greatness 0or himsel0. In the early #%$&:s Nityananda still wandered South India and a long time 8assed +e0ore I saw him again. In 0act' it was only when I 0elt an urgent desire 0or a s8iritual teacher that a cousin who visited /anesh8uri whenever he traveled to !om+ay agreed to ta.e me to the ashram. ,nd so it 8assed that on 1une #&' #%G$' I had my 0irst darshan with the Master. -he e"8erience evo.ed in me 0eelings o0 reunion with a long4lost 0riend and an unusual inner 8eace. I remem+er not +eing nervous des8ite his silence that morning. Eater as he stood on the tiny 8orch outside his room' I +oldly as.ed him three Auestions. He gave suita+le answers although the third concerned mundane matters and his res8onse seemed to im8ly that I should have .nown +etter than to as. it. ,0ter that I saw the Master every Sunday 0or a while. n one visit a young man ran u8 to me outside the ashram and as.ed i0 he could come. Saying that I thought everyone was welcome' I +rought him along. Nityananda was away +ut we soon saw him a88roaching 0rom the direction o0 the river. He seemed to +e shouting at the stranger +y my side. *ntering the ashram' the Master shouted again' as.ing the startled man who had +rought him' and then told him to leave. -urning to me' he said' ?Never 8ut yoursel0 out to anyone here. Peo8le come with di00erent 8redilections BvasanasC and it:s not 0or you to inter0ere.? My su+seAuent strict com8liance with this directive +rought me 8ro+lems
Page 63 o0 69

later on44+ut no matter. I now understood the necessity o0 .ee8ing to mysel0 and not +ecoming distracted 0rom my s8iritual 8ractice. n these early visits the Master was o0ten away when I arrived' and it might +e an hour +e0ore he a88eared. I always waited an"iously until I saw him +ecause there were 0ew 8eo8le a+out and the ashram 0elt em8ty. unaware o0 his ha+itual and sudden disa88earances' I thought that 8erha8s he traveled to 6anhangad 8eriodically and so I as.ed him. He re8lied' ?-his one won:t go anywhere in the 0uture44only here.? ,s i0 to avoid 0urther Aueries he added' ?Moreover' traveling these days is di00icult.? -his was during the Second 2orld 2ar when civilians were advised to travel only when necessary. ,0ter that Nityananda was always 8resent when I came' either sitting on the cement 8orch or in his room. -he years 0rom #%GG to #%G9 were golden 0or me. ha88ily stationed near !om+ay' I s8ent a wee.end every month in /anesh8uri' o0ten alone with the Master. He always greeted me a00ectionately in 6on.ani' as.ing ?Have you comeH? Certain other 8atterns develo8ed during these visits. <or instance' he would 8oint to the room I was to occu8y' there +eing only two44one on either side o0 his own. -he 8eculiarity was that I always stayed in the rooms +y turn without deviation. My activities also 0ollowed a routine. <irst I would +athe in the hot s8rings and then sit to the le0t o0 the entrance. Invaria+ly' he always sat on the 0irst ste8 with the narrow doorsill com8letely +loc.ing my view o0 him. He never sat 0acing me. In 0act' he would sit 0or hal0 an hour or more and then wal. around only to return to the same s8ot. -his usually went on throughout the wa.ing hours o0 my visits' which mostly 8assed in silence. In the +eginning' the moment Nityananda sat down near me I would +ecome drowsy and utiliDe all o0 my sel04control to stay awa.e. /radually this e"8erience su+sided. I never as.ed its signi0icance' thin.ing that sitting near him was sim8ly a 0orm o0 meditation. Punctually at ten o:cloc. every night' he as.ed me to retire and close the doors. -hen' a0ter e"tinguishing the small .erosene lam8' I lay in total dar.ness listening to a ;ungle serenade o0 0rogs and cric.ets and watching glowworms light the trees with rhythmic regularity. -he Master would slowly 8ush o8en my door at the same time every morning and stand there. ,nd I can:t e"8lain how' +ut my eyes o8ened every time he stood there in the dar.ness. ,s soon as he saw that' he would say' ?It:s 0our o:cloc.'? close the door' and wal. away. I would rise at once' +athe' and ta.e my 8lace near the entrance. He then ;oined me 0or co00ee' usually served +lac. and sweetened with ghee Bclari0ied +utterC +ecause mil. was scarce. -he a00ection he showed me was 8articularly evident when we sat +y ourselves a0ter these morning co00ee sessions. Such wee.ends o0 8eace and ha88iness made me long 0or his com8any' and I eagerly awaited the monthly rituals.
Page 64 o0 69

Many 8eo8le have told me that the Master:s 8resence in their lives gave them a tangi+le sense o0 security. I .now I always 0elt that he watched over me and an incident 0rom #%G7 illustrates this: It was dar. and the grounds were sli88ery and treacherous. n my way to the +aths' I 0ell and cut my leg on the shar8 stones. In 8ain and +leeding +adly' I washed the wound with rainwater until I thought the +leeding had sto88ed and then had my +ath. Eater I was evaluating the in;ury in my room when Nityananda a88eared suddenly' 8oured a little sandalwood oil on the e"act s8ot' and le0t as he had come44without a word. I have stated that our time together mostly 8assed in silence. however' he did occasionally s8ea. and his words to me at the close o0 my third visit were 8articularly signi0icant. ?In li0e':: he said' ::when a 8erson overcomes one o+stacle' another 8resents itsel0. -his 8rocess continues until one:s e"8erience is com8lete and the mind is a+le to 0ace any situation with the right 8ers8ective.? -o me this was a disheartening idea +ecause I was still young and nursed a num+er o0 worldly am+itions. -o view li0e as an o+stacle course was not a ha88y 8ros8ect. Still' having sought him out 0or my s8iritual develo8ment and not worldly gain' I .new there would +e no ultimate disa88ointment. ,lready I 0elt +lessed with a strong inner security and a longing 0or more o0 his grace. -he Master:s conversation could a88ear casual and years might 8ass +e0ore I a88reciated his meaning. <or instance' he +ro.e one evening:s silence +y uttering the solitary sentence that the words o0 1esus could also +e 0ound in the !hagavad /ita. -his was something a+out which I was Auite ignorant at the time. ,t other times I discovered that words s8o.en +y him earlier were destined to +e 0ul0illed. Eater I heard that when as.ed how to recogniDe someone who had attained divine wisdom Nityananda re8lied that the words o0 such a 8erson B;naniC were always 0ul0illed. In #%GG I su00ered a tormenting 8eriod o0 inadeAuacy regarding my s8iritual 8ractice. I did not as. him what I should do in 0ear that he would 8rescri+e some severe +reathing e"ercises or mantra intonation. ne night as we sat together I hesitantly as.ed whether there was a 8articular +oo. he would advise me to read. His res8onse was instant: ?It:s not necessary. !ut i0 you must' read the !hagavad /ita.?F F3ou may 0ind the !hagavad /ita online at htt8:JJwww.+hagavad4gita.com Nityananda:s general disinterest in worldly events never sur8rised me44+ut I .new he was aware o0 them. it was two days a0ter Eord Mount+atten +ecame >iceroy that I arrived at the ashram 0or my monthly wee.end. Sitting near me' the Master said' ?2hile Mount+atten is a good naval o00icer' he lac.s e"8erience in 8olitics.? ,nd certainly today an o+;ective historian could su+stantiate this view.F
Page 65 o0 69

FNityananda:s awareness o0 glo+al events was amaDing' 8articularly in the early days at /anesh8uri' due to the 0act that the ;ungle ashram was isolated' with no television or news8a8ers o0 any .ind. ne Saturday night' with India:s inde8endence only 0our wee.s away' Nityananda made some weighty 8ronouncements a+out the 0uture. <irst he as.ed' ?2hat does swara; meanH? De0ining it as ::0reedom:: or ::sel04rule':: he said that India needed additional time to com8lete its training' hinting that considera+le +egging and su00ering remained 0or our country. He seemed to say that India:s continued de8endence on outside assistance would limit our 0reedom. he added that greedy 8arties were 0orcing the situation in the same way that 8eo8le try to 0orce 0ruit to ri8en +e0ore its time. He even 8redicted our country:s division into several states +ecause o0 8etty rivalries and ;ealousies. ,nd everything he said has come to 8ass. I was una+le to understand at the time' +eing overwhelmed li.e others +y the eu8horia o0 India:s 8otential 0uture and greatness. I remem+er 0oreigners saying that with so much horse8ower we only had to 8ress the accelerator. ,las' today:s reality 0alls short o0 yesterday:s ho8es. Months later' in Se8tem+er #%G(' I again heard the Master s8ea. a+out a great national leader. He said that little time remained 0or this individual and he wondered whether he was satis0ied yet with his 0ame and accom8lishments. 2hy' Nityananda as.ed' did he not sim8ly retire 0rom 8olitics' close his eyes' and thin. o0 /od440or /od would come to him' im8lying that he was a s8iritually advanced soul. He added that a 8erson alone' regardless o0 greatness' cannot do everything. Instead we should each treat li0e as a relay race' covering the +it o0 trac. meant 0or us as 0ast as 8ossi+le +e0ore 8assing on the +aton. <our months later' Mahatma /andhi was assassinated. Remem+ering -he Master: Part II n a dar. night in 1une #%G5' I was at my usual 8lace +y the door to the room nearest the +aths. ddly' Nityananda was sitting +ehind me some twelve 0eet away. 2e were +oth 0acing south and 8eering into the dar.ness when suddenly he shouted in 6on.ani' ?2ho:s thereH? I had to strain my eyes to see a 8erson slowly moving toward us. ?It is I'? the man re8lied. ,nother shout eru8ted +ehind me' ?2hoH? demanded the Master. -his time the man said' ?Satyanarayana 8rasad.? -he Master shouted +ac.: ?Prasad 0or whomH? Re8eating this a second time' he added' ?Is anything .nown a+out this 8lace Bmeaning himsel0CH? I had considered Nityananda to +e an incarnate 8ersonality since I 0irst received his darshan. -his incident only strengthened my +elie0 and I wondered why he seemed angry. -urning to loo. at him' I saw him in a 8osture radiating such 8ower that I Auic.ly averted my eyes. 2ith great .indness he said to me' ?Prasad means something received with /od 8resenting Himsel0 0ully satis0ied in the chosen 0orm and
Page 66 o0 69

+estowing the gi0t. 3ou may have it now.? !y o00ering it to me I .new the 8rasad had +een consecrated. Pointing to the stranger' he then added' ?-hat man did not come 0or 8rasad +ut 0or san.al8a.? , san.al8a is a vow ta.en to 8er0orm some action i0 a 8rayer is answered' a 8ractice that the Master generally discouraged. ,s the man +egan telling his story' my guru admonished him and ordered him to return to the ashram 0rom which he had come. Several months 8assed until one evening the Master said: ?Mothers are more im8ortant44 they .now what 0athers only thin. to +e so. It is the mother who 8oints out the 0ather' +rothers' and sisters to the child= this the child +elieves without Auestion. -he mother is to the child what the guru is to the disci8le. -he guru reveals /od to the disci8le and ena+les the disci8le to e"8erience His 8resence.? Sometimes he denied res8onsi+ility 0or his actions44even +enevolent ones. ne morning in #%G7 as we sat in our usual 8laces' a man a88roached. Nityananda rose' too. a stic. 0rom the roo0' struc. him 0our or 0ive times' re8laced the stic.' and sat down again. -he man le0t without uttering a sound. Seeing my con0usion' the Master said: ?-his one has not +eaten him. He came to get +eaten.? ,nd it is indeed true that many 8eo8le +elieved such +eatings to +e +lessings that would ward o00 trou+le. -his reminds me o0 a story a+out the great >yasa' author o0 the >edas' the eighteen Puranas' and the Maha+harata with its +eloved !hagavad /ita. It is in his honor that we cele+rate /uru Purnima every 1uly in India. ,s he sat one evening on the +an.s o0 the river 1umna' some mil.maids carrying 8ots o0 curds a88roached desiring to cross over. !ecause it was dus. and the river was high' they as.ed the sage to use his good o00ices to ma.e the river o8en a 8ath 0or them. >yasa as.ed them 0or something to eat' 8artoo. o0 the o00ered curds' and then addressed the river: ?I0 I have eaten nothing' ma.e a way 0or these mil.maids.? -he river com8lied at once. !ecause >yasa always identi0ied with the ,+solute BatmanC and not with his 8hysical +ody' his true 0orm had not eaten. Nityananda was o0ten descri+ed in the same way. My visits to /anesh8uri were in0reAuent +etween #%G9 to #%5G' estranging me 0rom a new generation o0 devotees. -hen' restationed in !om+ay 0rom #%55 to #%5(' I o0ten 0elt lost during my monthly visits. In addition' my 0ew overnights were s8ent in the +ig hall since the one:s 0lan.ing Nityananda:s room were no longer used +y visitors. ne was now a .itchen while the other was .e8t closed and used 0or storage. ne rainy Se8tem+er night' rather than stay in the +ig hall I made u8 my mind to sit outside the .itchen near the Master' who sat there on a +ench. ,t seven o:cloc. he called to a devotee whom I did not .now' as.ing him to o8en the closed room 0or me. I s8ent the night there surrounded +y gi0ts and other o00erings to Nityananda. I de8arted early the ne"t day' later learning that Nityananda de8arted the same morning 0or a new ashram in 6ailas.
Page 67 o0 69

,0ter #%5(' I only visited /anesh8uri once or twice a year. !ecause o0 what I had understood him to mean years earlier' I always .e8t to mysel0' courteous +ut not overly 0riendly with other devotees. 2hen Nityananda moved his living Auarters to the new ashram in 6ailas' s8eci0ic hours were set 0or darshan. -he old ashram:s central hall was now usually em8ty +ecause most devotees gathered in the west hall. n my s8oradic visits' I usually occu8ied a corner o0 the old hall near the +ench where the Master used to sit. My ha+it was to arrive in the early a0ternoon and leave +y seven the ne"t morning. However' to catch even a glim8se o0 Nityananda meant .noc.ing hourly at the 6ailas doors until they were o8ened at 0ive o:cloc. or later. Sometimes s8ecial arrangements were made 0or devotees who had traveled great distances +ut' a virtual stranger to the new ashram:s attendants' I was overloo.ed. <rustrated' I wondered why the Master 0ailed to ma.e s8ecial arrangements 0or me. <inally I saw him one evening. He said to me' ?2here do you stay these daysH? Since he had always seemed to .now what I was doing even when stationed to remote areas. I was ir.ed at the Auestion. Petulantly' I re8lied' ?2here elseH -here.? 2ith an admonishing tone' he used his inde" 0inger to 8oint to the 8lace I had occu8ied in the old ashram and said' ? nly there is good.? I con0ess that his res8onse was unclear to me at the time. I was too +usy thin.ing that i0 this were so' why was he in 6ailasH !ut I .e8t Auiet. nly when he le0t his 8hysical +ody and his remains were interred near that very s8ot did I understand. My last visit +e0ore he too. mahasamadhi was in cto+er #%7&. Eate in the evening' and a0ter numerous hourly .noc.s on my 8art' an attendant o8ened the door and as.ed me to sit +eside his chair. -he Master was resting in his room. ,+out ten minutes 8assed while two devotees in the 8assage were trying to wor. a new ta8e recorder. -he 8articular words they had managed to catch were o0 Nityananda re8eating' ?2ithout the guru:s grace' nothing ha88ens.? -hin.ing o0 mysel0' I wondered whether my 0ive4hour wait was due to a lac. o0 grace in my li0e. 2hat' I 0retted' had I done to merit such treatment. ,s this thought entered my mind' he emerged 0rom his room to lay down again44this time 0acing me on the ad;acent 8lat0orm. -he only light was a+ove my head and he loo.ed directly at me as I nervously shi0ted my gaDe. Nothing was said. <i0teen minutes later' he slowly rose and returned to the 8lat0orm in his room. I was distur+ed +y the enormity o0 his +ody and wondered how he managed to +reathe. My wonder was even greater +ecause I .new how little he ate. 2hen I in0ormed the attendant o0 my intended early de8arture in the morning' he told me to meet him at the +aths at 0our o:cloc.. I entered the main hall to receive darshan at si". <inding Nityananda aslee8 on the 8lat0orm and turned toward the wall' I +ent over to see his 0ace. he o8ened his le0t eye and nodded to indicate that I could go. ,gain no words were s8o.en. *ven when my visits +ecame in0reAuent' he had always said something to me. -his was the 0irst and only time that silence reigned. Perha8s he thought I had
Page 68 o0 69

reached a higher level o0 understanding44+ut i0 so' I was certainly unaware o0 it. In truth' I le0t the Master recogniDing that a long struggle lay ahead o0 me. Nevertheless' today as I remem+er the golden wee.ends s8ent in his divine 8resence' I am 0illed with inner 8eace and ha88iness. I am eternally grate0ul. -his ends the +oo. entitled ?Nityananda: In Divine Presence.? It is ho8ed that this small glim8se into the Master:s li0e gives you as much ho8e' ;oy' and satis0action as it has me.

Page 69 o0 69