Guru and disciple met three more times. Their second and most life-altering meeting took place on May 12, 1949, a full-moon day. Today is also the full moon day in May, 60 years later.
During this encounter, Yogaswami conferred upon him the name Subramuniya. He intoned it carefully, lest it be confused with the name Subramaniam. He said, “Subra is white and you are white. You are Subramuniya.” He explained that this Sanskrit word is composed of subra, which means “light,” and muni, meaning “silent sage.”
As they were concluding that conversation, Yogaswami added, “When you’re a guru, don’t be like an American mother.” Seeing that his disciple was pondering the meaning of his statement, he added, “You know, they wander about here and there while someone else takes care of the children. Stay in your ashram and be close to your students.”
Subramuniya was then told that it was time to go. He turned and started to walk out the gate. Without anyone seeing how he got there, suddenly Yogaswami rushed up from behind him and gave him a resounding slap between the shoulders with his right hand. “This will be heard in America!” Yogaswami yelled. “You will build palaces and feed thousands. You will roar like a lion, and when you return, nothing will be gained and nothing lost.”
Later Subramuniya remarked that even though he was a tall man and trained in classical dance, the impact of that unforeseen blow almost threw him to the ground.