[Editor’s Note: Sri Kodi Swami was rumored to have lived for over 300 years, before attaining Mahasamadhi in 1993. Some families had been visiting him for generations. He was spoken of as belonging to the saints of the highest order by spiritually acclaimed people and other saints who came to seek his darshan.]
As a playful child spirituality was unknown to me but in my little mind was instilled the fact that He was a Godly figure by my parents and elders of the family. Little did I realize the greatness of this spiritual giant Kodi Swamy who spent the last thirty years of His life at our residence, Puravipalayam, a small village near Pollachi in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu.
Swamy had lived in Naikarapatti Zamin house in Coimbatore before He came to our house. Our elders were frequent visitors of the Swamy. Once when my mother was asked by my grandparents to accompany them to meet Swamy, she expressed her desire to have coffee before they left. But however she had to leave without coffee. This was her first visit to Swami and as soon as He saw her He called out to the cook of the house to fetch her some coffee. My mother was of course dumb founded.
On one of those visits to Swami by my elders, He got into the car of our family members and settled Himself comfortably in the upper portion of our palatial old house where He remained until His Mahasamadhi. The story about Him coming to our house was told and retold by our elders with immense pleasure and we children of a joint family listened with great fascination.
As a child I accompanied my mother who was blessed with the privilege of serving Him coffee every morning, which she did faithfully after the above-mentioned coffee episode. He was an old, bearded, fair man who wore more than four long coats one on top of the other at the same time. This was His attire during hot summers and cold winters. The only worthy thing that I followed in serving this great saint was to massage His feet occasionally imitating my elders. As a restless child always wanting to run out to play, I always tried to draw my head off from His lap in the course of His blessing (He did so by touching the heads of the devotees).
The Saint’s Disposition
Swami’s disposition was not always the same. At times He was jubilant and hearty like a child but sometimes He was pensive and did not entertain the company of visitors. At some other times He even resorted to shouting at visitors. He at times resorted to throwing things from upstairs. During one of my visits with my mom to Swami, we found Him conversing with someone invisible to our eyes. Neither could we hear Him talk nor could we see to whom He was talking. All that we could see were His lip movements and gestures. Suddenly He asked us to sit aside stating that the place was crowded. We were surprised at this, because there was no one else except us, the two silent spectators apart from Swami!
Numerous are the experiences of devotees with this Great Saint. A devotee’s life was in danger when he met with a fatal accident. He was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. The doctors gave up hope and an astrologer predicted his death. However Swami gave him a new lease of life. The devotee later said that he had a vision of Swami putting a stick into his nose.
A Spanish couple who are ardent devotees of Swami and our family friends too, were informed about the Mahasamadhi(shedding the body) of Swami by my mother. The husband who is an artist then started painting His picture. When we saw the completed portrait on a later date, we realized that he had painted Swami exactly in the posture in which He shed His mortal coil.
My Mother who went to seek His blessings during her pregnancies was given pictures of baby girls both the times (we are two sisters). My father who was once summoned by the saint, to sleep by His side chose an airy corner in the room. In the middle of the night he woke up astounded, to find Swami, fanning him. My father rolled over and clutched the saint’s feet. Was it a lesson, preaching humility to the world?
The spiritual lessons imparted by the saint through His own activities will be discussed in the next part.
My Experiences With a Great Saint (Part Two)
Swami did not utter even once what His name or place of birth was. In those days with absolutely no spiritual exposure and out of curiosity we used to ask for His name. No amount of cajoling or hours of waiting could make Him disclose His name. He was so steeped in the ‘true self’ that He did not disclose His details pertaining to His body, thereby teaching the highest truth that one is not the body or the mind, but the ultimate reality, which is the ‘Self’.
Most of the times we could see Swami silently starring into the space. During those moments He did not entertain any conversation. Probably He was immersed in subjectivity. Once some devotees mustered the courage to ask Him what were His activities during midnight. Swami answered in His own childish way “Where is night and day?” He thereby confirmed the truth that night and day was only for those who identified themselves with the body and the mind and not for the one who has lost himself in the divine union.
His all pervasiveness and His oneness with the divine were revealed in many occasions. A devotee once approached Him seeking His permission to go on a pilgrimage to Palani, one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga or Skanda. Promptly came the reply, ” This is Palani”.
Bhagavan Kodiswamy’s traits of enlightenment were portrayed in different occasions to different people. I once tried to shoo away a crow that perched on the nearby table cawing loudly. Swami in a gentle tone said that the crow was also a jnani (an enlightened being). I guess that was the last day I ever shooed a crow or other birds in his precincts or at His Samadhi (Tomb) later!
Swami at times exhibited immense anger. It was impossible for anyone to figure out the reason. At times His anger was such that he threw things down from upstairs and broke them into pieces. At other times He was accustomed to asking for a person’s belongings and handing it to a devotee who is totally unrelated. One can discern from the above two instances that he was demonstrating the importance of non-attachment to material things or His dealings with different people and beyond the comprehension of the human mind.
The saint even after shedding His mortal coil is still very active or is more active in taking care of those who appealed to him their afflictions and uplifting those on the spiritual path.
One can still feel peace percolating in the mind at His Samadhi to this day. This subtle yet a very powerful truth finds expression in the increasing number of devotees flocking at His Samadhi.
I humbly place my head at His Holy Feet for having given me the opportunity to pen down about Him. What can be told about the highest truth that is beyond the grasp of the very mind employed to brief about it, let alone words? Its nature is silence; it is silence, the silent substratum or the base of all that is created.
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