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Gurudeva Meets Yogaswami, Part 1

Stories of Yogaswami

Bodhinatha imparts the story of Gurudeva's first in person meeting with Yogaswami in 1949 and his vision of Yogaswami at Nallur Temple. The importance to Gurudeva and Yogaswami of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras; the reactions of the devotees to their meeting. "I am in you; you are in me." (Part 1)

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone,

And the story this morning of Gurudeva's first meeting with Yogaswami and going to read it and make some comments as we go on important points.

"Our story begins with in 1949 with Gurudeva living in Jaffna at the home of Kandiah Chettiar. Gurudeva had made known to Kandiah that he wanted to formally become a Hindu and had asked to be taken to a very pure priest, one who has Self Realization. Kandia responded that: 'There are no priests in our temples who have the realization of God of which you speak. Just wait. It will come. The time will come.'

"Kandiah continued to play down the meeting. He would not let his American son, as he called him, go straightaway to Yogaswami, but had him wait for the perfect moment. Finally, one day he announced, 'It seems that today is a good day for you to meet Yogaswami.' He did not go himself, but sent his son, Vinayagamoorthy, giving him careful instructions as to how they should go and who should take them.

"It was May of 1949, an auspicious, festive time in Jaffna. Yogaswami's birth was celebrated in that month. There is also a special Muruga festival during the period. In the South, Wesak, the anniversary of Buddha's illumination, is celebrated, and mangos, a fruit sacred to Lord Murugan and cherished by all, were ripening..."

So, my comment is: auspicious day. The more important an event is the more important it is that you schedule it for an auspicious day. A kumbabishekam of a temple, you've got to choose the right day. When you're going on a town trip, you don't have to choose the right day.

So this is a very important event, Gurudeva meeting Yogaswami for the first time and definitely I'll say that Kandia Chettiar really choose a real high point in that community of the vibration to have Gurudeva meet Yogaswami.

"...A third man, Kumar Surian joined them in Jaffna and together all three travelled in a cart drawn by two handsome white brahma bulls. (This is before cars for that continent.) The cart plodded first to Nallur Kandaswami Temple. Kumar suggested that they get down there and worship before going to see Swami. It was almost 6 o'clock, he said, and the puja would soon begin. They disembarked, washed mouth, feet and hands, and went inside the temple. In those days, devotees of the temple could worship closer to the sanctum than one can now. The three men stood just outside the sanctum for the ceremony, consumed in the intensity of the darshan..."

So my comment is not only did they choose an auspicious day, they got blessings from the major Deity of the Jaffna area which is Murugan at Nallur Temple so they doubled us, it was a good day and they got Murugan's blessings at Nallur.

"...It was about 7pm when they arrived at Yogaswami's hermitage. The sun had set, and a full moon illumined the landscape. The lamps were lit, which would be oil lamps, and the evening had brought devotees to Swami. The atmosphere was electric--charged with the presence of the Satguru. About fifteen people were sitting with him. No sooner had the screeching of the cart wheels stopped than Swami's voice from the hut was heard loud and clear, 'Come, come, come. I am waiting for you' "

So he doesn't, Yogaswami doesn't even need to know that they're there in the conscious mind; he already knows that they're coming. There's a wonderful statement about that in "Words of Our Master." It says that the thoughts of others bounce off of him in very tangible ways. So anyone's who's thinking about him or thinking about coming, the thought is going to Yogaswami and because of his sensitivity he's aware of who's thinking about

Then we get a testimony here from Vinayagamoorthy, first person.

"...As soon as we opened the gate and entered the ashram, Yogaswami asked Gurudeva in a loud voice, 'Did you see me anywhere?' Gurudeva replied, 'Yes, at the Nallur Temple,' and the following conversation took place. Yogaswami: 'You are in me.' Gurudeva: 'You are in me.' Yogaswami: 'I am in you.' Gurudeva: 'I am in you.'

So how did Gurudeva see Yogaswami at Nallur Temple, right? Cause he was physically in his hut. So Yogaswami projected himself in the inner planes to Nallur Temple and Gurudeva was sensitive enough to be able to see him in his inner body. So that's how he saw Yogaswami at Nallur.

So then back to the idea of "I am in you, you are in me."

"The devotees present were astounded. No one had ever talked in such a way with Yogaswami since the days of Chellappaguru. Usually if he said to a devotee, 'I am in you,' the person would respond humbly, 'Yes, Swami.' Or he might begin singing a song that Swami had composed. No one ever responded the way Gurudeva had. He spoke as confidently as Swami himself, and he echoed Swami's very words.

"At that point Swami eased the intensity of the moment and asked his visitors to enter. 'Come and sit with Jaffna's old beggar.' he said. Gurudeva knew the protocol and once Swami was seated moved forward to prostrate. But Swami indicated that he should not, and invited him to sit on a nearby mat that had been laid down for this unusual visitor.

"Yogaswami was in a jolly mood that night, smiling and laughing as people came before him. It felt like a special holiday. There were large bunches of grapes on a tray in front of him. He called to a devotee and asked him to take them and make some juice for the three visitors.

"While awaiting the refreshments, Yogaswami asked his guest if he had read 'Patanjali's Yoga Sutras'. In fact, he got the book down from his shelf, commenting that it was the only book he kept. Gurudeva said yes, he had read it. In fact, it was the only book Gurudeva had really studied during his early training. He had read and practiced it for years. Yogaswami tossed a few penetrating questions about the pithy classic. Gurudeva answered quickly and clearly. Recounting the experience later, he said that the answers came immediately, not as an intellectual memory, but from within."

So we have Yoga Sutras though it's important to just note that it's the most important book to both Yogaswami and Gurudeva. The Yoga Sutras, so they means to put everyone interested in Gurudeva's teachings that Gurudeva took Yoga Sutras as well as Yogaswami did very seriously.

Well why don't we stop there, we're about half way through and save the other half of the story for next week.

Have a wonderful day.

Photo of  Gurudeva
Good people are the best teachers of good conduct, and should be sought out and heeded when we need help or advice. Talk with them, the wise ones, and in good judgment be guided accordingly.