He was doing His Spiritual Ministry
like an emperor,
though always referring to Himself
as a dirty beggar.
Tiruvannamalai - 1959
After seven years of wandering, in 1959, He arrived at Tiruvannamalai. Again, there was no one to give him food or shelter.
In God-madness he was roaming the streets, sometimes singing Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama ecstatically. Some of His regular haunts were railway station, a tree near the old bus stand, the chariot mandap, some specific places in Arunachaleswara Temple, the outside of some vessel shops, etc. After fourteen years of spiritual Ministry in the streets, He began to sit under a Punnai Tree near the railway station and do His Father’s work. It continued for three years. Gradually, people began to understand
that He was no ordinary beggar. They approached Him for solutions to all their problems. Be it pouring rain or burning Sun, the tree became His abode. With clothes torn and hanging here and there, unkempt hair, eyes blazing with the Divine Light and a countenance of compassion, He was doing His Spiritual Ministry like an emperor, though always referring to Himself as a dirty beggar.
People from all walks of life visited Him. Not only high-level politicians, doctors, engineers, scientists, musicians, and writers, but also the common people who called Him “Sami” or “Visiri Sami” lovingly and came and sat at His feet. During the day he would stay under the Punnai tree, in the nights, He would walk all the way up to the chariot mantap with four attendants carrying His gunny bags on their head and sleep outside the vessel shops. Sometimes, He was found singing “Sri Rama Jaya Rama”, and ecstatically dancing in the streets. Sometimes, He would walk the streets shouting “Bharat Mata ki Jai!”, “Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai!”. Seeing His appearance and behaviour, the children of the street would make fun of him saying, “Madman, madman”
and throw stones at Him. At that time the Hindi agitation was at its peak in Tamil Nadu. Hence the thugs and mercenaries of the local politicians would chase Him and beat Him. They tortured Him in different ways. Many were the times, when those people tried to run a lorry or car over him with the intention of killing him. But every time, the Divine which was activating Him from within, also protected Him. Knowing the paths He walked, the miscreants would strew broken little glass pieces. And as He moved about, singing and dancing in an ecstatic state or going towards the town in the night, the soles of His feet would be cut and bruised in several places by those glass pieces and bleed profusely. In the beginning, Bhagwan used to go to a shop of a Muslim man where the flat rice, puffed rice and groundnuts were being sold and talk to the Muslim owner in Hindi. Sometimes He would also drink some tea there. One day, when our unsuspecting Swami entered the shop as usual, two or three local rowdies including the Muslim shop owner, pounced on Bhagwan and bullied him to say “Long live Tamil”, which of course He willingly did, but refused when they forced him to say, “Hindi, down down.” The angry group dragged Him roughly to a gutter nearby and pushed Him into that and threatened Him again. Still Bhagwan refused, saying “You do whatever you like with me. But this beggar will never say that.” Then, the miscreants beat Him until He fell down unconscious. What cruelties man commits on man! Especially on great
Mahatmas! Despite all the Divine power He possessed, He simply accepted all this torture as Father’s Grace! If He got some food to eat, it was Father’s Grace. If He didn’t get any food at all, even for four days at a stretch, it was still Father’s Grace! He always lived in a natural surrender to the will of God, with the knowledge that there is only Father’s Grace, nothing else. Once, when
He was sleeping outside the vessel shops, the local rowdies came and threw chilli powder on His face and ran away. Another time, when Bhagwan was going towards the peepal tree near the bus stand, four rowdies surrounded Him, all of a sudden. They snatched away the coconut-shell, the hand-fan, and the newspapers and threw them around. Then they pushed him from one to another like a ball, beating and kicking all the time. Soon, some twenty people were standing and watching it like a show.
Among them, some faces were even familiar. Yet, out of fear, nobody came forward to rescue Him! Years later, he said to me, “This
is the world, Devaki. Do not trust anybody.” Though He was injured all over the body, He took it only as a blessing from God. “Let them beat. They have done their work. We shall do Father’s work,” is all what He would say.