Part 1 – Chapter 5 – Arrival At Tirupati – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam

Part 1 – Chapter 5 – Arrival At Tirupati – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam
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Chapter 5: Arrival at Tirupati and Encounter with Tirumala Das at Kanipakam

The removal of the harassment of Saturn by the mercy of Srīpāda

In my itinerary, I reached the great sacred place Tirupati[1]. I felt some inexplicable peace of mind. I took a bath in the temple lake[2] of Tirumala. I had dārshan of Srī Venkateswara[3] and went into meditation in the temple premises. In meditation, I saw Srī Venkateswara as a female. That form that appeared as Bala Tripura Sundari[4] changed into the form of Parameswara[5] within seconds. After some time, it changed to be the form of Maha Vishnu. After meditation for some more time, that form appeared like a handsome sixteen-year old yogi. The eyes of the child monk[6] were full of nectar. Affectionate love of a thousand mothers was emanating from His two eyes. In the meanwhile, a black, ugly person approached the young sage and said, “Lord Srīpāda Srīvallabhā, You are the Master of the universe. From today on, your devotee Shankar Bhatt will start a sevenand-a-half year Saturn period. I will put him to all possible troubles in this world. I am awaiting the orders of the Lord.” The compassionate Lord said, “Sanīswarā[7], you are the cause for destiny. You make people experience the consequences of their deeds and release them from the bonds of karma. You carry on with your duty. As I have a vow to protect āsrita bhaktajana[8], you can see in which way I will protect and release Shankar Bhatt from the troubles you inflict on him.” After this conversation of Srīpāda and Sanīswara, both disappeared from my meditation. It became difficult to meditate upon the idol of God afterwards. I understood that difficult times were ahead and that Srīpāda would rescue me from troubles. I came to Tirupati from Tirumala[9].

I was wandering in the streets of Tirupati. My mind was wavering. A barber forcibly stopped me and said, “Are you not Subbayya who absconded from the house twenty years ago? Your parents became worried.
Your wife attained puberty and came of age. Therefore, come home, accept her and live happily with children.” The barber thundered in his demanding speech. Then I explained, “Sir! I am a Brahmin from Karnataka named Shankar Bhatt. I am a traveller visiting holy places. I am a devotee of Datta. Having heard that Lord Datta incarnated as Srīpāda Srīvallabha, I am going to Kurungadda. I swear on the holy Gayatri that I am a bachelor. I am not at all the barber Subbayya as you think.”

He was not listening to me. Many people gathered there. Everyone was blaming me in a different way. They took me to the house of Subbayya. The parents of Subbayya regarded me as their own son and requested me in a number of ways. They were telling me moral principles that I should not desert them and that it is a heinous crime to abandon a wife who attained maturity. One of them said, “Subbayya has become dirty with moustache and beard. If we shave him, his old glow will come back.” They did not listen to me even though I was remonstrating. Forcibly, they shaved my head. My beard and moustache were removed. They also removed the sacred yagnopavīta[10] from my shoulders. They summoned a sorcerer known to them to treat me. That person wore strange costumes. His dreadful looks pierced my heart and caused intense pain. They bound my hand and foot and made wounds on my scalp with a sharp knife. They applied lemon juice and other juices to those wounds. I was suffering unbearable pain. They decided that a Brahmin devil possessed Subbayya after he left home and for that reason Subbayya wore a sacred thread and started chanting mantras. The Brahmin community in Tirupati also kept mum. They also thought that the traveller in the town was Subbayya and that a Brahmin ghost took possession of him. When I was taken to the Brahmin elders in the town, I told them that I was from Karnataka, a Smartha Brahmin belonging to the lineage of Bharadwaja. I told them that I knew Namaka Chamaka mantras[11] and that I performed sandhyāvandana[12] daily. Those Brahmin elders did not believe me. They said that a Kannada[13] Brahmin devil caught me and that with correct treatment I should be made a normal person.

I fainted from the pain caused by the wounds. My lamentation became a cry in the wilderness. When I came back to my senses, I saw that an ugly person with a black aura resembling me sat opposite to me. Without speaking anything, he merged into me and became one with me. It occurred to me that due to the influence of Saturn, my fate turned topsy-turvy and that a seven-and-a-half year period would be an extraordinary difficult time for me. Only Srīpāda Srīvallabha could save me.

Even in that anguish, I was mentally chanting the name of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. As I was chanting the name of Srī Charan my pain was diminishing. The sorcerer sacrificed chickens and goats and was conducting strange and weird rituals. I was given a regulated diet. The sorcerer decided that vegetarian food should be served to me as a Brahmin devil possessed me. I was worried that meat also might forcibly be fed to me, but on account of the mercy of Srīpāda I was given vegetarian food. This brought some consolation to my mind. For three days I underwent a hellish agony. Even in that state, I did not stop remembering the name of Srīpāda. The pain abated on the fourth day. Queer experiments were conducted on my body. The witch doctor was also giving me whip lashes. I writhed with pain and cried, “Srīvallabhā! Saranu![14] Saranu!” How can hellish troubles torment devotees who serve Lord Datta with undivided devotion?

In the meantime, a miracle took place. I did not feel the least of pain even though the blows of the whip fell on my body. On the other hand, the witch doctor writhed with pain. He did not understand why he was getting the pain of the blows when he was whipping me. He was looking at me with queer looks. I noticed the divine play of Srīpāda and laughed. Even though I was eating a regulated diet, it was very delicious. I was eating meals to my heart’s content. I was eating the food with the idea that it was the prasād[15] of Srīpāda. In spite of the fact that the sorcerer was eating chicken and goats liked by him, it was turning into poisonous food. His health was deteriorating. He stopped harassing me and spent his time merely with mantras and rituals. His house was burnt on the fifth day he commenced treatment to me. Even though no fire was ignited in the sorcerer’s house on that day, a fire broke out suddenly in the presence of all and the house was reduced to ashes. On the sixth day, the sorcerer came to the house of Subbayya with a pale face. He said that a Brahmin ghost who was a witch took hold of Subbayya and that the devil burnt his house with witchcraft because he started treatment. Many rituals were to be conducted to win over many evil forces like Bhetala[16] and for that purpose a large amount of money was required. I knew that there was no use for the treatment and that the witchdoctor was making all suggestions due to his greed of money. It came to my mind that nothing would be more unfortunate and treacherous than to accept the wife of Subbayya as my own, thus succumbing to the course of cruel fate. I could not understand why fate was playing so mercilessly with me. I felt as if my heart was cut open with a hacksaw. I told the parents of Subbayya, “My dear parents, don’t fall into the magic trap of this sorcerer and sell away all your movable and immovable properties. I am considering you both as my mother and father.” With that I was freed from the sorcerer. The parents of Subbayya were happy. My eyes also became wet on seeing the happiness shining in their eyes. I prayed mentally to Srīpāda humbly to save me from a moral downfall since the wife of another man is to be considered as a mother. So, I prayed to Srīpāda to save me from the impending danger.

On the seventh day since my medical treatment commenced I said to the wife of Subbayya who was attending upon me, “What are you thinking about me? Are you believing that I am Subbayya really?” For that she said, “The marriage took place when I was two years old. Now I am twenty-two years old. No one except God knows whether you are my husband or not. Any male who enters fresh youth cannot remain steady when he sees his wife. Though you are undergoing all these troubles, you did not regard me as your wife. You did not even touch me. This is possible only for those who have very good culture. I do not have any opinion about you. I want to lead a virtuous life according to the traditions of the family. If you are my husband, do not leave this humble servant of yours. On the other hand, as my husband fled from the house twenty years back and as my marriage took place when I was quite ignorant, you can accept
me as your wife. I will walk in your footsteps. Who is Srīpāda Srīvallabha about whom you always think? If He is a sadguru[17] I will also pray to Him to show an ethical solution to this knotty problem.”

Her argument appeared proper to me also. Then I said, “Srīpāda Srīvallabha is Lord Dattatreya. He incarnated in this Kali Yuga[18]. Now He is in Kuruvapuram. He behaves according to our conceptions about Him. If we consider Him as sadguru, He grants us experience as a sadguru. If we consider Him as Paramātma[19] He will prove Himself as Paramātma. You can also chant the name of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. Your duty surely will be known to you. A solution acceptable to all will become available.”

On that day, a mala jangam[20] came there. There were many books of palm leaves with him. He became a venerable person to all the residents of that locality within a short time. He was telling past, present and future events to all those who met him. He was telling that all those palm leaf books were nādi granthas[21] and it was called science of ramala[22] and all the predictions from those books would take place exactly as foretold. He came to the house of Subbayya’s parents on their request. He gave some sea shells to me and asked me to cast the shells on the ground. He made some calculations and took a leaf from the palm leaf books and read out as, “The questioner is a Kannada Brahmin by name Shankar Bhatt. He will write the life history of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. In his previous birth he and another person were born in Mogalicharla village situated near Kandukuru town[23]. Both of them became very much interested in gambling. There is a famous self-manifested Datta temple in that village. He was born as a brother of that temple priest. In the absence of his brother, he was conducting temple worship and other rituals. He was indulging in gambling with his friend in the temple premises. That is a highly objectionable matter. One day he played the gambling game with his friend under peculiar stipulations. If his friend were to win, this man had to give him the amount of money stipulated. If this person were to win, the friend had to hand over his wife to this gentleman. Lord Datta was the witness to this deal. They solemnly swore to that effect and gambled.

“Lord Datta was observing that this highly reprehensible act was taking place in His very presence. Shankar Bhatt won in the gamble. The friend refused to hand over his wife to Shankar Bhatt. The dispute was referred to the elders. The elders of the caste assembled. They resolved that it was an unpardonable offence that such a misdeed took place in the very sacred presence of Lord Datta. They also resolved that hot boiled oil should be poured on the head of Shankar Bhatt who was enamoured with the wife of another person and who wanted to enjoy her in a crooked way. They further resolved that the genitals of the friend who staked his wife should be slashed to render him impotent and that both of them should be expelled from the village after execution of the decree. The resolution was duly executed. As Shankar Bhatt performed service to Datta for a short while, he was born in this birth as a person with some devotion to God. His friend took birth in a barber’s house in the holy town of Tirupati with the name of Subbayya. With mental instability, he became mad and ran away after the marriage. The wife of Subbayya is innocent. As no offence was committed by her, the lunacy of Subbayya decreases on account of the efficacy of her matrimonial fidelity and Subbayya returns to this place on the next day after this science of
ramala is heard. Shankara would get released on that day.

“On account of the grace of Srīpāda Srīvallabha, the seven-and-a-half year duration of harassment to Shankar Bhatt due to Saturn would elapse in seven-and-a-half days by making him suffer such above mentioned troubles. Those who swear in the name of God and make false and unrighteous declarations are severely punished by Lord Datta. For the cure of the mental instability of Subbayya, some portion of the merit[24] of Shankar Bhatt was transferred to the credit of Subbayya by Chitragupta[25]. People should understand the fact that the influence of karma works in the most subtle way. Therefore, they should perform good deeds and refrain from doing bad deeds. The horoscope of Srīpāda Srīvallabha will come to Pīthikapuram through Akshya Kumar, a follower of the Jain religion residing in the Tripura[26] province a few centuries after his incarnation ends. Before that, a book with the title Srīpāda Srīvallabha Charitāmrutam describing the divine sportive plays of Srīpāda will come to light.”

How can I describe the mercy of Srīvallabha? The next day, Subbayya came to his house. His lunacy was completely cured. I treated Subbayya’s wife as my sister. I took leave from the parents of Subbayya and reached Kanipakam[27] village in the Chittoor region[28].

The village Kanipakam was at a short distance from Chittoor. The temples of Srī Varadaraja Swamī, Srī Manikantheswara Swamī and Srī Vara Siddhi Vinayaka[29] are in that village. I had dārshan of Vara Siddhi Vinayaka and came out of the temple. There was a tall dog standing there. I was afraid and went back into the temple of Vara Siddhi Vinayaka. I meditated on God for some time and came out. There was one more dog of the same size along with that first dog. I feared that I would surely be bitten by those dogs. I again entered the temple of Vara Siddhi Vinayaka. The temple priest found my behaviour queer and asked me, “Sir, you are repeatedly going out and coming into the temple. What is the reason?” I told him about my fear. Then the priest said, “They won’t harm anyone unnecessarily. Those dogs belong to a washerman. This washerman is a devotee of Datta. The washerman declares that Srī Datta has incarnated with the name of Srīpāda Srīvallabha. Even though there is no restriction for the entry of the washerman into the temple, he does not step into the temple. He sends his dogs. I pack Swamī’s prasād into a bundle and hand it over to the dogs. They carry the bundle and go over to their master. You said you saw two dogs. I will give the prasādam only when all the four dogs come together. Let us see whether the other two dogs arrived.” When we came out there were four dogs. The four dogs surrounded me from all the four directions. The priest said, “You go to that washerman as per the wish of those dogs. It augurs well for you.”

I realised that the events in my life were taking place according to the direction of Srīvallabha. I felt that from the incidents at the house of Subbayya, one should not mind too much for the distinctions of caste and religion. A pariah may be born as a Brahmin in the next birth and a Brahmin may take birth as a pariah in his next birth. I learnt that a living being amasses the virtues and sins earned by him and with that bundled load he wades through the stream of fate through successive births.

Word References

[1] A big temple city in Andhra Pradesh dedicated to Lord Venkateswara
[2] Here: Pushkarini
[3] A form of Lord Vishnu worshipped particularly in Tirupati
[4] Beautiful Goddess beyond the three worlds; the Divine Mother
[5] The highest God
[6] Here: Yati
[7] Saturn
[8] All devotees/disciples who have taken refuge in God/Me
[9] One of the most holy cities of India with a big temple of Lord Venkateswara
[10] Sacred thread worn by men initiated into Gayatri (the ‘twice-born’, dwijas)
[11] A popular hymn used for worshipping Lord Shiva
[12] A daily ritual mandatory for orthodox Hindus; meaning salutation to the twilight, dawn and dusk
[13] An Indian language mainly spoken in the state of Karnataka
[14] Seeking shelter, refuge
[15] Food given as an offering
[16] A ghost
[17] An accomplished teacher
[18] Dark age
[19] Super-self / super-soul
[20] A Shaivaite worshipper
[21] Astrological books containing predictions
[22] A form of astrological divination based on the use of special dices
[23] Town in Andhra Pradesh
[24] Here: Punya
[25] Assistant of the Lord of Death, who keeps the records of deeds
[26] A small Indian state in North-East India bordering Bangladesh
[27] Village in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh with a famous temple
[28] A city in Andhra Pradesh

Video of Part 1 Chapter 5 of Vision of Vāsavāmbika in Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam (English)

Video of Part 1 Chapter 5 of Vision of Vāsavāmbika in Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam (Kannada) – Coming soon

Video of Part 1 Chapter 5 of Vision of Vāsavāmbika in Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam (Telugu) – Coming soon

Video of Part 1 Chapter 5 of Vision of Vāsavāmbika in Kuruvapuram – Sripada Srivallabha Charitramrutam – Coming soon

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