THE STORY OF VISWA DATTA VRATA
Salutations to Ganapathi! Salutations to Sri Viswa Datta!
Om Sri Sairam Gurudeva Datta!
The fame of Sri Viswayogi Viswamji Sadguru Maharaj, an incarnation of Sri Dattatreya spread to all corners of the world after he got the foundation stone for the erection of the Universal Human Integration Pillar - Viswamanava Samakyata Sthupam - laid by Honourable Justice Sri Ranganath Misra, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, at Viswanagar on the Guntur-Chennai national Highway, 16 km from Guntur. Many Intellectuals, yogis, siddhapurushas (spiritually evolved people), political leaders, seekers of wealth and seekers of knowledge and salvation used to visit him and with his blessings achieve fulfillment of their desires.
One such seeker (sadhaka) happening to meet an old and wise member of the universal family of Sri viswayogi, who was fortunate to receive Swami's grace in full measure and who had been spending his life in the divine presence of Swami, spoke to him in all humility and reverence thus, "Noble sir! With a desire to have a darshan of Sri Viwayogi, I have come here from a far-off place. Though I have heard of him, I know little about him. I would be grateful if you could kindly enlighten me about him." Thereupon the wise old devotee told the seeker, "Dear young man! How can I who knows little about his own dear friends and who cannot at all comprehend his own mind venture to narrate the life story of Sri Viswayogi, the Lord of Yogis and describe the characteristics of such a realized soul? Is it not said that only a yogi can truly understand another yogi? That being so it will be fool-hardy on my part to venture to delineate the life story of Sri Viswayogi. Compared to this task, the tasks of finding the depth of the seven seas, discovering the elusive 'sky flower'and packing water in a piece of cloth are a child's play. Since your desire to know about him is intense, sincere and based in deep devotion, I make bold to give you a brief account. I am, however, certain it is he who speaks through me serving as a mere mouth piece. Listen to the story with all attention. "Sri Viswayogi is none other than Viswadatta. Long ago the Supreme Lord desiring to save DHARMA (code of right conduct) from utter decay caused Himself to be born as the son of the saintly couple of Atri and Anasuya. Today once again He has incarnated on the earth with the objective of reforming the society by first transforming every individual into an Atri, the one without the three attributes. Dattatreya is a unified manifestation of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. He is the Supreme Being who pointing to the essential unity in diversity proclaims the truth, 'Ekam sat bahudaa vadanti vipraah.' (Truth is one but the wise explain it variously.) Dattatreya is indeed the very goal and a bestower of all knowledge, it is for this reason that He is the only incarnation known by the specially significant appellation of 'GURU DEVA'. Although the goal of all divine incarnations is essentially the same, the incarnation of Dattatreya is significantly different from others in one respect. The moment the purpose for which they have descended is fulfilled, all incarnations except that of Dattatreya end their existence and depart. Rama and Krishna are such incarnations. However, the goal of the incarnation of Dattatreya is to reform the individual evil doer through imparting knowledge but not through punishment and, therefore, the need for such an incarnation remains as long as human beings exist. Therefore, the incarnation of Dattatreya is regarded as being eternal. "The mythological texts do tell us that dattatreya was born to Atri and Anasuya. It is said: Ithihasa puranabhyam vedanta prakasyate. It means that historical and mythological stories have spiritual and philosophical significance. Therefore, we should not regard them as mere stories but try to comprehend the philosophical and spiritual significance underlying them. The word 'Atri' symbolizes a person devoid of the 'three'. A person who has transcended Sattva, Rajasa and Tamasa gunas, who has conquered the three puras - (The gross, subtle and causal bodies are considered to be the TRIPURAS. Also the three nerve centres, namely Brahma grandhi, Vishnu grandhi and Rudra grandhi are also referred as Tripuras.) - and who has through mental exertion has become devoid of any trace of jealousy is regarded as ATRI. Such a person becomes a recipient of the cosmic power that is the prime cause of 'creation, sustenance and dissolution'.
"Yoga, really speaking, is the process by which the power of the individual gets linked to the omnipresent universal power or in other words it is the process by which unifying linkage between the individual mind and the universal mind is established. The power received through yoga is known as Datta Sakthi. Dattatreya is the repository of Datta Sakthi. This is the significance of Datta sampradaya - tradition of Datta. This is what is understood by Sanatana Dharma - the eternal code of conduct. Sanatana Dharma, therefore, implies that an individual awakening his own individual power strives to unify it with the universal power. Thereby he transforms himself into an eternal source of power constantly working for the welfare of the universe. Worship of Datta fosters unity among all human beings by bringing about unity of minds. The yogis who through their yogic exertion have become recipients of the cosmic power are hailed as incarnations of Datta and revered as Sadgurus.
"Nearly thirty years ago, Sri Dattatreya Wadekar Maharaj, a dear disciple of Sri Sridhar Maharaj, gave mantropadesa - a process of spiritual initiation in which the Guru gives to the disciple a mantra - and transmitted all his power to Sri Viswayogi in the same way as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa gave away all his powers to Sri Vivekananda. From then onwards Sri Viswayogi practiced severe austerities for twentyone years with undivided attention and observing strict celibacy both physically and mentally. While thus engaged he remained free of all traces of ego and attachments of every kind. Through intense yogic sodhana (search) and yogic sadhana (exertion) he became the recipient of the supreme power of awareness. With that he became a Viswayogi and is today regarded as Viswadatta. Out of his boundless compassion, he gave to humanity the mantra - OM SRI SAIRAM GURUDEVA DATTA - which has proved to be a kalpavriksha - a divine wish-fulfilling tree - fulfilling every desire of his disciples. Remembering his name even once will dispel all human suffering. Viswamandiram, his abode, has become to all of us our guru sthana, the seat of our guru. Sri Viswayogi is Sai Datta, Viswadatta and verily Gurudeva Datta." On hearing these words of the wise old man, the seeker felt a strange bliss filling his body and soul. He also felt the divine presence of the sadguru and out of intense ecstatic devotion he prayed to him thus: Guru resides in the universe and the universe too resides in him. Guru and the universe are inseparable.
I, therefore, offer my salutations to the guru!
OM SRIM VISWADATTAAYA NAMAH!
OM SRI SAIRAM GURUDEVA DATTA!
(End of first chapter.)
Happy at the ecstatic devotion of the Sadhaka towards the guru, the wise old man embracing him affectionately said, "Oh! dear young man, Viswadatta is directing his divine grace fully on you. It is only because of that, I have been able to speak thus, thus far. You are really a blessed person and because of you I have the fortune today of recalling a few details of the guru's life. In Datta sampradaya, guru is the Supreme Being and there is none more venerable than a guru. Most spiritual texts like Guru charitra and Guru geeta are intended to proclaim this truth.
"Dhyana mulam gurormurthih, puja mulam guroh padam
Mantra mulam gurorvakyam, mokhamulam guroh kripah."
"We have to keep meditating on the form of the guru; we have to keep worshiping at his feet, we have to regard his word as a mantra and seek his grace for the attainment of liberation."
"Gangapapam sasitapam dainyam kalpa tarustatha Papam tapam cha dainyam cha harethi sri gurudarsanath."
"Oh! dear young man, the river Ganges can only wash off our sins, the moon can only remove affliction caused by heat, and the kalpa vriksha (the wish-fulfilling tree) can only banish poverty. But, a visit to the guru can cause the abolition of all the three in a trice. Therefore, the guru should be worshiped, regarding him as the manifest form of all gods. The well-known pronouncement of Lord Krishna in Bhagvadgita, 'Yogis are my heart' denotes that there is no difference between yogiswaras (the supreme among yogis) and God. Whenever man forgets his duty and espouses evil conduct, yogis incarnate in appropriate places to preach to human beings their duty, reform them through their teachings, set them on the right path, and through all this ensure proper conduct of the affairs of the world. They serve as guideposts, show us the right conduct and path. To such category of yogiswaras belong Sripada SriVallabha, Sri Narisimha Saraswathi, Sri Manikya Prabhu, Sri Akkalkhot Maharaj, Sri Shirdi Sai Baba, Sri Vasudevananda Saraswathi, Sri Eknath, Sri Samartha Ramdas, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Sri Aravinda Yogi, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Sridhar Swami, and many other yogis and siddha purushas. They incarnated at different times and different places to show the right path to humanity. In a like manner, Sri Viswayogi Viswamji, having become Viswadatta and operating from Guntur has been relentlessly striving to bring about universal human integration. His teachings help us in our life on earth and beyond. 'Man can be likened to a motor car, God being the fuel required for its motion and the guru its driver. Man has to endeavour to make his life fruitful through guru's guidance and with unstinted faith in God,' teaches Sri Viswayogi.
"He is a great humanist endeavoring his best for ameliorating the human society with the firm conviction that reformation of the society should begin first with that of the individual and then that of the family. All this is amply evident in his teachings some of which I mention - 'There is a supreme power present everywhere in the universe, that is the prime cause for all the occurrences in the universe. It is omnipotent and omnipresent. Everything in the universe is only its manifestation. It is present in every being as well as in the invisible atom. But man, not realizing this fundamental truth, believes mistakenly that God is to be found elsewhere. He is unable to recognize the existence of divinity in his own fellow beings and is, therefore, not able to love them. Instead he entertains hatred towards them. Sanathana Dharma does not even remotely endorses man's hatred towards other men.'
'Family is the base root pillar of the edifice of Sanathana Dharma. Progress of the family is to be attained through the progress of individual members that constitute the family. The goal of Sanathana Dharma is to bring about progress of society through the concerted effort of all families. Today men are torn apart by considerations of religion and caste. They are to be brought together through a spiritual approach and likewise the unity of minds should also be achieved. That would surely lead to progress of the society.'
"To the question, 'Are there miracles?' his answer is, 'There are no miracles. Listen carefully. An expert surgeon is capable of performing millions of surgeries each of which seems like a miracle to one who has no skill as a surgeon. Performance of a surgery is but natural to those doctors trained as surgeons. What enables him to carry on surgeries or for that matter, what enables an engineer to build great structures, is the divine power. Their actions seem to laymen like miracles. For the surgeons and engineers that is only natural. Walking on water is natural for a yogi. All these acts can be performed by anyone if necessary training is imparted. Physics informs that transmutation of matter into energy and energy into matter is within the realm of reality. Yogis are known to accomplish the transmutation of mental energy into matter. Just as trees absorb carbon dioxide and with the help of sunlight convert it into matter that finally goes to build up the solid portion, called wood, yogis with the help of their mental energy utilize the air surrounding them for producing things they desire, firstly in the subtle form and then in the gross form. This shows how powerful mental energy is. A mantra can transform a man into an immense source of power. I advise everyone of you to recite, duly observing the prescribed code of discipline, the great mantra, OM SRI SAIRAM GURU DEVA DATTA or any other mantra that may appeal to you.' "Oh! dear young man, you must have by now realized how his teachings harmonize the spiritual science with the modern scientific attitude. He continuously brings out from the inexhaustible mine of his heart several divine messages and offers them to humanity.
'Body is a temple; a heart filled with compassion is God's abode.'
'Honesty, character, purity and unity are the four pillars on which the edifice of Sanathana Dharma rests.'
'Self-discipline, self-confidence and self-sacrifice lead to self-realization.'
'Negligence of the parents drives the God away.'
'Observe restraint and frugality.'
'Ram, Rahim, Yehova and Nanak are but different names of the Supreme Being.'
'We all belong to one caste, the caste of humanity, and to one religion, the religion of love.'
'Divinity is nothing but humanity in its state of perfection.'
The above are only a few of Sri Viswayogi's sayings. We should keep them in our hearts and preserve them safely.
His aim is to show through his personal example how human beings should conduct themselves. His goal is to unite all men regardless of their caste, creed or religion. To transform every individual into a great humane being is what he strives for. The method adopted by him to achieve all this is unique and distinct. Everyone that comes to him is welcomed with over-flowing love and affection. None can escape the benevolent influence of his love. Although on occasions he appears to be somewhat harder than steel, his heart is always filled with compassion. In truth he only pretends to be harsh with a view to reform us. There has not been a single instance of his having ever shown the door to anyone. All his spiritual exertions are directed towards reforming the society through changing the individual. To those who hail him as God or a divine incarnation, he would point out, 'I am not a god but only a servant of God. I am like anyone of you, a human being with two legs and two hands. I am, however, a mad man desiring that every human being should live and lead the life of a human being.' "We should not, however, delude ourselves into believing him to be an ordinary human being, particularly since we observe him behaving like an young mad devil. We should regard him as the unified manifestation of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. It is because of the merit of our past lives, we are fortunate in having a sadguru like him. His presence is indeed an invaluable treasure. Self-realization which cannot be attained by listening to many religious discourses or reading many religious texts, can be attained easily through his grace. Just as the sun gives much more light than a myriad stars together can, so does a sadguru grant us in just a moment much more wisdom than all the religious texts together can. His conduct and words provide us secret guidance in our lives. When devotees observe the conduct of his holy life, they notice many divine attributes of his, such as forgiveness, non-expectation of reward, charitable temperament, observance of the code of right conduct, keeping the body and mind under control, utter lack of ego and self-contentment. This enlightens them and lifts them into the higher realms of spiritualism. This sadguru is like a guide post that shows us the way. If only we listen to his teachings carefully, understand them fully and put them into practice, we shall be regarded as true disciples and members of the universal family."
Having heard these words intently, the sadhaka closed his eyes in ecstatic devotion and saluted Sri Viswayogi chanting the following prayer:
I salute thee O! Viswadatta,
The dispeller of the darkness of ignorance,
Unified incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva,
An embodiment of all wisdom,
And one who fills my soul with boundless love!
OM SRIM VISWA DATTAYA NAMAH!
OM SRI SAIRAM GURUDEVA DATTA!
(The end of second chapter.)
The wise old man continued, "In Bhagavadgita it is said that man can attain divinity through spiritual exertion. In a similar way, the life of Sri Viswayogi Viswamji Sadguru Maharaj shows that a man can become the recipient of the universal power and transform himself into a manifestation of Dattatraya through unifying his own mind with the universal mind. It is indeed very essential for anyone desirous of attaining self-realization to first reform himself. Unless a person acquires and preserves the noble attributes such as compassion, sacrifice, celibacy, selflessness, and desirelessness, self-realization is bound to elude him. A dirty piece of cloth cannot be dyed. Similarly, you cannot see your reflection in a mirror covered with dust. Unless you strive for perfection of your human nature and attain it, and also attain the state of purity of thought, word, and deed, your efforts to attain divinity will be of no avail. A person may chant the name of God a billion times, may perform worship of God several times over and over and may take bath in many holy rivers, yet the goal will not be reached unless he acts with single-minded dedication and total control of the mind. Yoga, i.e., union with divinity, will be attained only by one who has proved himself worthy. All the life-stories of yogis and siddha-purushas proclaim this truth. For twenty-one years, after receiving initiation from Sri Dattatreya Wadekar Maharaj, Sri Viswamji engaged himself in intense spiritual exertion, giving up all attachments and ego and observing complete celibacy. During this period, he studied deeply the Bible, the religious book of the Christians, and the Koran, the religious text of the Muslims and like Ramakrishna Paramahansa he practiced the respective religious tenets and through his Sadhana he realized the truth that God is one! During his spiritual exertion he not only had many divine visions, but also acquired extraordinary spiritual powers.
"Once he happened to visit Puttaparthi to witness the birthday celebrations of Satya Sai Baba. Once Yogis attain the state of being a Yogi all social and kinship relationships are totally cut off. The period before the attainment of this state is termed PURVASRAMA. While in Puttaparthi Sri Viswayogi stayed in the house of Sri Pelluri Anjaneyulu, his nephew in Purvasrama and the headmaster of the high school in Puttaparthi. One evening he went up to the terrace and noticing a flower pot precariously placed on the parapet and realizing that it might fall down at any time and hurt someone, he attempted to take it down and place it on the floor on the terrace. While he did so, it slipped and fell on his right big toe resulting in its bleeding. It had to be bandaged and he could not stir out of the house for nearly ten days. He had to be assisted by two men to enable him to go out and witness the celebrations. But, as a result of this injury, the sushumna nerve in the big toe got activated resulting in the awakening of the Kundalini. This was a wonderful turning point in his life, a god-ordained occurrence. A few days later another astonishing and strange incident took place.
"One day as he was deep in meditation, a divine and beautiful but nude lady appeared before him, embraced him with her arms and began kissing him all over his body. She also started scratching his body with her finger nails till his body began to bleed. All her efforts to disturb his concentration proved futile. Finally, appreciating his steadfast meditation and his complete control over his sense organs, she appeared before him dressed in divine clothes and wearing jewelry and a crown and said, 'Your mind is fully in union with the universal mind; you have become a Viswayogi. A permanent link between your individual power and the universal power is established. It has become clear that your mind cannot be tempted by sensual pleasures. I surrender myself to those who do not fall prey to my attractions. I am the universal power over which you have secured domain. I am the power of which you are now the recipient.' Praising him thus, she merged into Him. His old life ended and a new life began. His body consisting of the five elements was transformed into a Yogic body - a body full of cosmic energy. Human power got evolved into great cosmic power for the benefit of people on the earth. Dear young man! that nude divine lady is none other than the personification of the power of Lord Datta who normally roams about as a nude avadhuta. As directed by the Goddess, he chalked out his future course of action of bringing about universal human integration through reforming the individual.
"Once he went to Jillellamudi to have a darshan of Amma. On seeing him, Mother Anasuya drew him close to herself with overflowing affection, kissed him as a mother would kiss her child, and made him eat three morsels of rice. With each morsel, new energy began to flood him. In fact, what were fed to him were not morsels of rice but parcels of wisdom. Amma, the embodiment of the power of awareness, transmitted to him the three powers, namely the power of will, power of knowledge, and the power of action. The power thus transmitted filled his heart with a divine poetic inspiration. Anuragalahiri, a collection of thoughtful poems of extraordinary fragrance and beauty which amply reflected his self-realization emerged from his pen as a result of the inspiration experienced by him.
"Many were the yogis, siddhapurushas and avatara purushas who transmitted their own power to him directly or indirectly during the period of his spiritual exertion! Many were the gods and goddesses who showered their mercy and blessings on him! He acquired wondrous and miraculous powers. The vibhuti which he distributed with his own hands became a cure-all. His heart full of compassion attracted the hearts of devotees. Many troubled people used to come to him and by a mere darshan, all their problems used to get solved and they would return happily with their minds at rest. The great mantra "OM SRI SAIRAM GURU DEVA DATTA" which he gave to the devotees proved for them a `chintamani' - (a wish-fulfilling diamond). "It was Sri Jammalamadaka Madhavarama Sarma who was the first to recognize the transformation of Viswamji as Viswayogi. He always showed filial affection towards Viswamji. During the period of his spiritual exertion, Viswamji used to go often to Sri Madhavarama Sarma with many doubts on spiritual matters and have them resolved. Sri Madhavarama Sarma himself filled with divinity, used to watch the growing yogic power of Sri Viswamji with immense happiness. Many others like Brahmasri Tadepalli Raghavanarayana Sastri, who became well-known as Chandol Sastri, and Sri Ramasaran Kundurti Venkatanarasayya likewise recognized spiritual evolution of Sri Viswamji and his becoming a repository of Datta Sakti (cosmic power).
"In the last stages of his life Sri Madhavarama Sarma had a dream one day. He saw in the dream Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Swami, the head of the Kanchi Kamakothi Peetham. Sri Sarma told the guru that he was no longer in a position to continue the worship of the Sri Chakra and Sankha, presented to him earlier, and enquired to whom he should pass them on. Pointing to Sri Viswamji, the guru said that the two articles should be passed on to him, a personification of Datta.
"The next day Sri Sarma had another vision in which he saw Sri Viswamji presenting him a piece of white cloth six meters long. That made him realize that it was an indication to show that his end was near. Later in the day when Srimathi Kalpana and Srimathi Kameswari, wife of Sri Akula Koteswara Rao came to visit him, he gave the two articles to them and directed them to carry and give them to Sri Viswamji. While receiving the Sri Chakra, Srimathi Kameswari felt that it was very heavy and hot and its heat crept gradually into her body. While they handed the articles to Sri Viswamji, they noticed his face becoming red. He took them and placed them on the altar. Thereafter, he went to the well and drawing thirty or forty buckets of water, poured the water over himself. Then he put on red clothes including a red upper cloth, went into the puja room and after duly worshiping them offered harathi (waving of lighted camphor). By ensuring the passing on of the Sri Chakra and Sankha to Sri Viswamji, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swami really intended to transmit his own Datta Sakthi so that it could be utilized by Sri Viswamji in divine-ordained future course of action. "Sri Tadepalli Raghavanarayana Sastri saw in Sri Viswayogi, Lord Datta whom he used to worship. He used to participate often in the programs conducted by the disciples of Sri Viswamji in Viswamandiram. He used to regard Sri Viswamji with great respect and a sense of veneration. One day Sri Viswamji brought along Sri Sastri and made him seated on the chair which he himself normally occupied while bestowing grace on the gathered devotees. He then sat down at the feet of Sri Sastri. Seeing Sri Viswamji thus seated on the ground near his feet, Sri Sastri pointed out that Sri Viswamji was seated on the ground implying that it was not right to do so. With a smile Sri Viswamji exclaimed, 'Well, am I not sitting in the chair!' Sri Sastri indicated with a smile that he agreed with the reply. The conversation between noble souls may seem to be strange but pregnant with philosophical and spiritual significance. Those who heard the words of Sri Sastri and Sri Viswamji felt that the words disclosed that the two, though physically separate were one in spirit. During the last days of Sri Sastri's earthly existence, Sri Viswamji paid a visit and urged him to give his blessings. Sri Sastri laughed and with folded hands said, 'You have come here out of kindness. Am I to give you blessings!' You being the incarnation of Datta, have to give blessings to all.'
"Many great people, such as Dr. Karan Singh, Sri Pragnananda Swami, Sri Sai Padarenu Mahabashyam Rangachari, Sri Vidyaranyathirtha and Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi declared to the world that Sri Viswayogi is an incarnation of Datta. Having him as our sadguru is indeed a result of the merit of our past lives." On hearing these words of the wise old man, the seeker went into a rapture, closed his eyes and with folded hands expressed his deep devotion in the following prayerful verse:
"I salute Viswadatta
A great Avadhuta,
A personification of being, awareness and bliss
Whose exalted greatness extends to infinity."
OM SRIM VISWA DATTAYA NAMAH!
OM SRI SAIRAM GURUDEVA DATTA!
(The end of third chapter.)
The seeker approaching the wise old man told him, "Oh! Noble sir, much as I listen to the wonderful story of Sri Viswadatta, my thirst to hear more and more of it only increases. Yogis devoting their lives for the welfare of the society after attaining self-realization like Sri Viswayogi has been doing are very rare indeed. The name of Viswadatta is very appropriate for him. kindly feed me with some more details of his wonderful life." The wise old man replied thus: "Difficult indeed to detail, The greatness of Viswadatta, For any man on earth. So I shall try to narrate That I have heard from wise men.
His family belonging to Vajasaneya sakha (Yagnavalkya sakha) the same as that in which Sri Narisimha Saraswathi was born, and to Srivatsa gothra hailed from the village of Chamullamudi.He was born in Guntur on March 5, 1944 to Srimathi Varalakshmamma and Sri Anjaneyulu. His father, Sri Gurrapadiya Anjaneyulu was a great practitioner of austerities. Lord datta appeared to him in a dream and gave him initiation with Taraka mantra. He was also a great poet and led a highly disciplined life. Once on some business he had to go to Benares and live there for some days. One night he had a vision in which he noticed beams of light emanating from the Jyotirlinga (the idol of Viwanatha). Since at the same time his wife in Guntur gave birth to a male child, Sri Anjaneyulu named his new-born son Viswanatha Sastri. Everyone, however, used to call the child Viswam. Even in infancy he used to exhibit many miracles. The infant left in a cradle would be seen lying on the floor. Left to sleep in a room, he would be seen by his mother sleeping in another room. The surprised mother used to explain away these strange occurrences by telling herself that in all probability someone might have shifted the child. "One day when she peeped into the room where as a boy he used to carry on meditation, she found to her utter shock that he was in a state of levitation, one meter above his seat. When after a few minutes, he came down safe she felt relieved. He used to exhibit many such miracles long before he received initiation from his guru. The sacred ash distributed by him with his own hands even in those early days had miraculous curative powers. "Once when Sri Viswamji was working as a teacher in a school in Guntur, he happened to go to Puttaparthi along with Sri Ayyanna, a teacher-colleague. There he suffered from fever for three days. During this period one day he went to the canteen in Prasanthi Nilayam and drank some butter-milk. However, he could not retain it and vomited along with some blood. Sri Ayyanna who was beside him noticing the blood in the vomit worried very much. However, Sri Viswamji assured him that there was no cause for any worry and said, 'There is no need to be afraid. This should have happened to someone. Mustn't I take upon myself the suffering of someone who has trust in me! There upon Sri Ayyanna inquired, 'How do we know whose suffering is this.' Sri Viswamji replied with a smile, 'When we return to Guntur everything will become clear to you.' "After staying at Puttaparthi for two more days, they returned to Guntur. The next day somebody came to Sri Viswamji's room and informed him, 'Three days ago someone came to my house and demanded to know who my guru was and what mantra was given to me. The stranger further told me that at the behest of some other person he tried black magic on me. However it did not work and instead it turned against him as a result of which he began vomiting blood. He wanted me to save him with the help of my mantric power. I was astonished by what he told. I told him that I did not know any mantra or practice any tantra, but visited every day my guru who lived in a room in Railpet. The stranger then requested me to take him to my guru saying that he would urge my guru to save him. He has been pressing me for many days now to take him to you. I told him that I would do so if only you permitted me.' When this conversation took place, Sri Ayyanna was also present in Sri Viswamji's room. Sri Viswamji turned to him and smiled. Sri Ayyanna felt all that happened was a great miracle. Then when the person who tried the black magic visited him, Sri Viswamji, chided him and said, 'The powers acquired should be used for the benefit of others, but never to harm, or else you are bound to meet your ruin.'
Sri Viswamji cures the illnesses of his devotees by taking them upon himself. Many diseases unyielding to doctor's treatment are cured by the sacred ash. He blessed childless couples yearning for children to have their wish fulfilled. Twice he relieved Sri Ramarayudu, a well-known industrialist of his disease. To many devotees he would appear in dreams or visions in the form of their chosen deity. To Sri Madhavapeddi Radhakrishnamurthi and Sri Jandhyala Pappayasastri he appeared as Satya Sai. To some others he appeared as Sri Rama, Sri Datta, Sri Shirdi Sai, and Sri Jillellamudi Amma. Sri Narasimharao, a resident of Hyderabad and a supreme court advocate, who venerated him immensely, firmly believed that Sri Viswamji was none other than Sri Dattatreya.
There were many instances when he visited the houses of devotees in different physical forms. Every Thursday evening he used to converse with Srimathi Pulammma who lived in Nandur, a village closeby to Guntur. The account I am going to give is what Srimathi Pulamma has herself told many. One day she had high fever and being very weak, could not stir out of bed. It happened to be Gurupurnima. On every Gurupurnima, Sri Sai Baba's idol would be taken out in a procession and when the procession passed her house she would break a coconut and offer harathi to the idol. But now she felt sad that her condition would not let her do so. So sorrowing, she thought of Sri Viswayogi. In no time he appeared by her bedside, sat in a chair and applying a bit of sacred ash on her forehead and putting a pinch of it in her mouth told her assuringly, 'Don't worry, your fever will subside. Sleep restfully for fifteen minutes, you will gain enough strength to get up and offer harathi.'
Immediately, after assuring her thus, he disappeared. As told by him, within fifteen minutes, she began to sweat profusely and her fever subsided. With her own hands she offered harathi to Baba. At the very same time when he appeared before Srimathi Pulamma, he was present physically in Anna Srinivasa Rao Kalyana Mantapam. He presided over the Gurupurnima celebrations organized in the hall, being present from nine in the morning to nine at night. This was witnessed by hundreds of devotees. In a similar way, in the night before Vijayadasami, i.e., the night of Navami, Sri Viswayogi appeared in the house of Sri Dattatreya, then district judge of Rangareddi district. Sri Dattatreya felt wondrous joy and set off to Guntur at once reaching there on the morning of Vijayadasami. He had Sri Viswayogi's darshan and narrated the great experience he had the night before. Many others too had similar experiences.
Vidwan Sri Gogineni Kanakayya, the founder of many educational institutions in Tadikonda, has immense devotion towards Sri Viswayogi. He helped many to come into Swami's fold. Many rationalists like Sri Gorijavolu Pandurangarao, overwhelmed by Sri Viswayogi's compassionate touch and his looks exuding love surrendered themselves to him. What more needs to be pointed out to explain his greatness!"
"Salutations to thee.
Oh! God, Viswadatta Infinitely great,
Destroyer of various ailments,
Giver of blessings to devotees."
OM SRIM VISWADATTAYANAMAHAH
OM SRI SAIRAM GURU DEVADATTA
(The end of fourth chapter)
The wise old man continued, "Dear young man! To fulfill the purpose of his incarnation, Sri Viswayogi left his house and began living in a rented room in Railpet away from his mother, brother and sisters and other relatives. It is already mentioned that it was here he carried on his yoga sadhana. After some days, he left this room also and began living in Sri Nilayam, the house of Sri Akula Koteswara Rao and his wife submitting himself to their sincere and deep devotion. It is this house that has come to be known as Viswamandiram. The couple used to serve him with great devotion and extraordinary affection. Their affection to him was far greater than that shown by them towards their son Suresh and daughter Madhuri. The devoted manner in which they continue to serve him is indeed exemplary. One day while residing in the room in Railpet, a pilgrimage to Shirdi was organized by Sri Viswamji. Srimathi Kameswari, wife of Sri Koteswara Rao had the fortune of being a member of the group that accompanied him on the pilgrimage. It was during this trip to Shirdi, that Srimathi Kameswari realized how great the power possessed by the gurudeva was. During this trip she had an attack of diahorrea. His vibhuti prasadam relieved her completely from the disease. She saw in him Sri Satya Sai Baba and from that moment she sought total refuge in him. She used to bring food from her house every day for him to eat. People who saw her affectionately serving him, began to call her `Yasoda'. Like Yasoda to Krishna, Baijabai to Shirdi Sai and Karnam Subbamma to Sri Satya Sai, she too became more than a mother to Sri Viswayogi. For how many lives should she have been devoted to him thus! Her affectionate devotion bound him to her in an eternal bond. Sri Koteswara Rao and his wife got a new house built in Krishna Nagar and prayed to Sri Viswayogi to visit the house and point out any defects according to the Hindu science of architecture, called Vastu Sastra. One day without any notice he came to the house, and after going through all the rooms, went up to the terrace, spread his upper cloth on the floor and lay on it for some time. Srimathi Kameswari was surprised at his action and could not guess the reason for it. From subsequent events she gathered that his action was an indication of his having chosen her house as his future abode and that he would be living there.
After the completion of Dattajayanthi celebrations in 1988, Sri Viswayogi vacated the rented room in Railpet and made 'Sri Nilayam' of Sri Akula Koteswara Rao as his abode, to be known henceforth as Viswamandiram. His 44th birthday on March 5, 1988, was celebrated for the first time in Viswamandiram in a grand manner. From then on his birthday celebrations continue to be organized in Viswamandiram. During the celebrations of his 45th birthday in 1989 the flag of Universal Human Integration based on honesty, character, purity and unity was unfolded. On the occasion of Gurupurnima, an organization with the name VISWA MANAVA SAMAIKYATA SAMSAT for achieving the goal of universal human integration was launched with himself as the president, Sri Madhavapeddi Radhakrishnamurthi as the convener, and Karunasri, G. V. L. Narasimha Rao, G. Ramarayudu, Akula Koteswara Rao, Dr. C. Mallikarjuna Rao, Manikonda Raja Rao, Vidwan Gogineni Kanakayya, Dechiraju Venkata Rao and some others as members of the managing committee. The high ideal it stands for is to endeavour towards universal human welfare. The samsat has set for itself nine objectives, included among which are promoting the practice of Sanathana Dharma and yogic science, and fostering divinity in men. The ideals and the objectives of the Samsat are to be attained through bringing together scientists and all other intellectuals on a single platform and utilise their intellect and experience for the welfare of the society. As willed by him centres, known as Viswa Vikasa Kendras, for the propagation of his ideals and aims have been started in many villages and towns, the first of which was organized in Pedanandipadu under the presidentship of Sri Dasari Seshagiri Rao. Afterwards two centres, one each in Hyderabad and Secunderabad were set up. Such centres have come up in Elur, Ongole, and other places also.
Sri Viswayogi Viswamji secured twenty-five acres of land on the Guntur-Chennai highway, 16 km from Guntur and got it developed as `Viswanagar'. On March 30th 1991, he got the foundation stone for Viswamanava Samaikyata Sthupam laid by Honorable Justice Sri Ranganath Misra, the then chief justice of the supreme court of India. The construction of the sthupam has since been completed. It has been his desire to have a large auditorium, a home for senior citizens called Navajeevan, an Annapurnalaya where food can be served for all and a super-specialty hospital where free medical treatment will be provided, built in Viswanagar. Some of these have already come up and others are getting materialized. Viswaguru pitham of Sri Viswayogi Viswamji is established in a lovely building located in Viswanagar. Besides these, the temples of Sri Kalpavriksha Vara Siddhi Vinayaka, Sri Abhayanjaneya Swami and others have come up there. The padukas of Viswaguru have been installed on a platform below the Audumbara tree (a fig tree). For all the big buildings that have come up in the complex in Viswanagar, Sri S. S. Narayana has been the architect. The project taken up by Sri Viswayogi needs for its completion large resources of money and labour. He declared on the occasion of laying of the foundation of Viswamanava Samaikhyata Sthupam, 'This sthupam is my aim, my goal, my very life, and my all. This is an abode of wisdom. It is the sacred duty of all of you to strive for its completion.' Therefore it is the bounden duty of everyone of us to contribute our mite to the extent possible and extend our cooperation for the successful culmination of this mahayagna. Doing so will reflect our devotion to our guru. There can be no better opportunity than this to pay tribute to the guru.
After listening to these words of the wise old man, the sadhaka expressed his deep gratitude to the old man thus. "Oh! Noble sir, you have given me a comprehensive account of Viswadatta and thereby enabled me to have a Viswadarsanam - a total view of the Sadguru. I can never forget your great help in this life." Saying these words the sadhaka prostrated before the lotus feet of the wise old man and saluted to him. At the same time he prayed to Viswadatta thus:
"Salutations to Sri Viswanatha!
Salutations to Sri Viswadatta!
Salutations to Sri Viswaraksha!
Salutions to Sadguru!"
Those who read this story (vrata katha) and listen to it are sure to receive the grace of Sri Viswadatta and enjoy happiness in this and other worlds. All their desires will be fulfilled. Those who perform this vrata will be blessed by Him with health, longevity, wealth, and prosperous progeny and will progress in life in all directions.
OM SRIM VISWADATTAYA NAMAH
OM SRI SAIRAM GURUDEVA DATTA
The end of Sri Viswadatta Vratakatha
Copyright @2007 All Rights reserved , Viswamandiram, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India