Bhagavan Sri Venkaiah Swamy
VISHWA MADHYE STHITHO GURUHU
TASMAI SRI GURAVE NAMAHA.
Bhagavan Sri Venkaiah Swamy was born in a village called Nagulavelluturu in Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, India, to a pious couple Sompalli Pichamma and Penchalaiah. His divine leelas from his childhood confirm that he is a perfect manifestation of the universal spirit in human form to save the poor and the ignorant people.
Once he said that he was not born to Pichamma and Penchalaiah like all other human beings. In other words, his birth on this Earth bears a divine purpose. The following statements of Swamy confirm this. At his eighties, his legs were paralyzed and could not walk. Devotees begged him to take medicine. He refused by saying, If so, I have to take another birth (to experience that karma). Once he also said, There is no bar to my sight even beyond seas. As such, what is the need of Spiritual teacher for me? from his childhood, he was endowed with occult powers. But the ignorant people did not recognize them. Once, his nephew was suffering from a dangerous fever. His sister Mangamma lost hope of the child and was crying. Merciful Swamy waved his hand over the face of the child and said that she need not worry about the child. At once the child recovered without any medicine.At this time Swamy was sixteen years old.
Once Swamy came to his sister at Rajapadmapuram to take her to his native place. But she was worried that this mad boy may leave her on the way. At once omniscient Swamy replied to her unuttered thoughts, What sister! I am not a mad boy to leave you in the middle of the way. All these show that he was bestowed with great powers even from his childhood. From his childhood he was well known for his righteous conduct. He was an uncrowned king for the settlement of all the quarrels of his playmates. During summer when he saw the cattle eating waste papers, his heart melted. He readily offered grass carrying on his head to them and returned home empty handed. This type of merciful conduct made the people call him mad Venkaiah.
At the age of twenty, he suffered from high temperature for a few days. After some days, he started behaving like a hallucinated person or a lunatic. He used to run in the streets day and night shouting Chakali Yogam (Washerman or dhobi Yogam), Mangala Yogam (Barber Yogam) and Zakkala Yogam! Dubduk Dubduk. In those days people used to adhere to caste system very strictly. He used to eat from the plates of Dhobi, Barber and Harijans (Untouchables). So he was excommunicated. As there was no allopathic hospital nearby, his parents tried all sorts of quack treatments and tantric treatments but in vain.Vexed with all these treatments, his parents left him free after some time. He used to wander in the lonely places around the village. He used to run away at the sight of young girls just like a boy runs away from a tiger. Days together, he would not return home. His mother used to send coolies with food packets; he would simply follow them and come home. He would eat sumptuously, wear the new cloths kept ready by his mother and again run away to the forest.
Once he left the village and did not appear for a number of years, Parents searched and searched and lost hope of their son. After some years, he again appeared in the neighboring villages. But by this time he was called Venkaiah Swamy instead of a mad Venkaiah. At this time, he cured incurable diseases not only of men but also of cattle. He warned people from future calamities and graced them to avert the same. He used to utter some cryptic messages about devotees who come for his darshan. He used to get such talks written
on a paper, touch the paper as a mark of his grace and give it to the devotees. He also used to put his thumb impression on paper and give it to the devotees as a mark of his grace. He also used to keep fire with him. A bit of old rope was lighted and kept burning in his hand where ever he went. He always appeared with a bundle of rope bits on his head, a munta(a small earthen pot) and a danda in his hand.
Many years he wandered on the banks of river Pennar near Rajapalem and in Somasila forest. He used to get his food at a single house. Soon after his meal, he used to leave the house without any delay. He always drank water with the help of palms. He never used any vessel or a tumbler for drinking purpose. In those days, cholera and small pox washed away many villages. In such a helpless state, his thread, incense and his word protected them from the calamity. In the beginning, he used to stay in a hut on a hillock called Ankalammabotu near Rajupalem. He kept an oil lamp burning and played on his yekatara(a stringed musical instrument) all through the night. Next he shifted his stay to the Sivalayam at Kotitheertham. There he used to sing the maha mantra Om Narayana Adi Narayana and on two yekataras with both hands throughout the night. If sleep over powers him, he would puncture the tooth gum with a thorn and wash the blood in his mouth with water. As he used to be deeply absorbed in mantra japa, he would not even be aware of the breaking of the strings of his yekatara.
For a number of years, he was busily engaged day and night in erecting a sand dam across the river Pennar near Somasila. He asked the devotees also to help in the dam work as it was Gods work. Daily someone or the other used to arrange food for all the devotees along with the Swamy. In those days, his feet and hands were bruised terribly as he was continuously working in water and wet sand. He made a canal and made water flow in the opposite direction of the river flow, which was impossible for human beings. With the help of dry twigs, he would light fire on the waters where the canal joins the river. He would pour water on the either side of the fire. He used to say that all this was to save people from cholera, small pox and such other terrible diseases. He also said that the worth of one tula(weight of one rupee during British rule) of water was three crores. By that days work, ten crores of income was at balance after spending the days expenditure of the entire world.
After some years, he used to travel from village to village on his mission of saving the poor and downtrodden. He never stayed in anybodys house. He always resorted to deserted temples, village chavadi, shady trees and deserted houses only. He took his meal in a very rare and peculiar fashion. A basin of food
was to be emptied by inverting the basin in a big leaf plate. He would throw the rice on the ground around the leaf plate with his fingers. He would be served for the second time. With his right palm, he would first touch his head and then the food and give the food to the house holder as Prasad. A third basin would be served from which he would eat a very small portion from the middle of the heap and through the rest around the leaf plate. He never cared for taste. Chutney with dried chilies was his favorite dish. When he was wandering, he used to take his bath in wells and rivers. Many stinking wells and ponds were purified when Swamy took a dip in them. When Swamy poured a little water in the dried up wells, they were filled with water for ever. In the old age, he took his bath in abnormally hot water. Swamy took his bath in the Koneru near the Samadhi Mandir at Golagamudi. So this water is very very sacred as it is sanctified by the touch of his holy body. The work of the well at Samadhi Mandir was inaugurated by Swamy by digging and removing a few baskets of earth with his own hands. At that time, this was the only well for the whole village and the pilgrims and it never failed to supply water even at times of the greatest drought. During his wanderings, once he stayed at Golagamudi continuously for eight years. The sacred dhuni or fire was burnt day and night. The fire wood in the whole forest around Golagamudi was exhausted. For some time he continued both dhuni and thumb impressions. For this, devotees offered bags of newspapers, white papers and ink tablets. He warned devotees to preserve the thumb impressions as they would be worth lacks in the future. Today every word of Swamy came true. His messages regarding the future tendencies of the world as well as devotees were written on paper. For example, he wrote, We will eat food prepared without the touch of a ladle. Today it has come to happen as we cook in pressure cookers. Once showing the ashram premises, he said that there were large heaps of fuming food for the last fourteen gathas (generations). In this context, fuming heaps of food may be taken to denote his ever fresh penance. This place is sanctified and enriched by the penance of a large number of saints from hundreds of years. As a result of this power, hopeless cases of diseases are also cured as soon as they begin to stay in this holy place. All the backward areas where Swamy received his food, are very highly developed today with irrigation facilities.
Sri Swamy used to give thread to some people and assured that whoever is retaining the thread given by him and ensure that the thread is not cut off, then he is with them always. Even today also at his samadhi mandir, thread is given to the devotees who are visiting him.
Today Somasila dam is constructed where Swamy used to construct his sand dam. This dam is flowing up to Golagamudi Samadhi Mandir, a place nearly one hundred kilometers away from Somasila. Nobody can say how many times he made it rain during drought seasons. He took the pains and sufferings of leprosy patients on his body and gave them relief. Many people got rid of the vice of drinking by his grace. Words are less to explain the incidents which devotees experienced with Swamy, one has to visit his samadhi at Golagamudi at Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh, India even today to experience the infinite power of bhagavan Venkaiah Swamy.
SAYINGS OF SRI SWAMY
1. Feed the hungry (but) not the belching.
2. Whatever you desire will be fulfilled if you come here with full faith.
3. You take it for granted that Venkaiah is in all creatures.
4. Even if you leave me I will not leave you.
5. What is it that you gain from having a Darshan of the Maharaja of Mysore? You reap what you sow.
6. I will be responding as per one’s faith.
7. I will pick up my lamb even though it is in a herd of thousand.
8. Equal love for all will enable you to realize God.
9. I am responsible for the welfare of all the people who give and bring a morsel of food in my name.
10. When a devotee asked for a mantra, Swamy said, ”There is no mantra or tantra. Go ahead with Vichara” (discrimination).
11. It is nothing great if a monk sticks on to dharma. It is great if a householder sticks on to dharma.
12. We must stick on to dharma even while lending money for interest.
13. We must achieve nobility, simplicity and service to Sadguru.
14. You will incur a loss of ten rupees for stealing a quarter of a rupee.
15. If we crave for a share in the profit we should also share the sin.
16. It is better for us to leave rather than asking others to leave.
17. If greed is lost, every thing is lost.
18. If you are careful that the thread is not cut off, I will be ever with you.
Loka Samastha Sukhinobavanthu. Sarve Jana Sukhinobavanthu
Om Santi Santi Santi