Millions of devotees throng the Tirumala Hills practically round the clock throughout the year. As the rush of pilgrims increases day by day, Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams is hard put to finding ways and means of accommodating them and arranging darshan without long wait. As they move towards the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Venkateswara, how many will remember that there was a time, just a thousand years back, when the Hills were deserted with not much of human habitation in sight? Ask any sri vaishnavite to name the man of the millenium. Pat will come the reply, Saint Ramanuja.
On their way they reached Kashi. At that time a medical research conference was going on at Vyasar Peetam. Erudite physicians of kings like Sushrudar, Karaveeryar, Gopurarakshitar, Aupatheravar, Aurapar and Paushkalavadar were there present then. An interesting argument came up for deliberation. The contention of their argument was: “Can it be possible for a person to make an ordinary individual (a non-yogi) live for a pretty long period without death?”. Saraka, a disciple of Sri Danvantari, the propounder of the Ayurvedic system of medicine, said: “One’s life-span can be prolonged with the help of certain medicinal herbs”, while another student Sushrudar contended: “It is feasible to increase the duration of life in the blissful state of inactivity by stopping the thought vibrations through a brain surgery”.
Prabhakara Siddhayogi stood up and addressed the scholarly physicians: “Salutations to thee, pundits. Please listen to my suggestion”. The radiation emanating from His face made them listen to Him with rapt attention. The Swamigal began to speak: “A person may be made to live for quite a long time by giving him a biscuit-like mushroom found in the Himalayan region to eat.”
A pundit stood up and asked : “What is the medicinal property of the mushroom ?” The swamigal replied, “People in China and Japan have increased their longevity by the use of a mushroom. This medicine belongs to a rarely available species. It is called ‘Lingshi’ in Chinese and ‘Reishi’ in Japanese.
Mushrooms have a unique type of nutrient that strengthens our body. Generally there are three varieties of mushrooms found in most countries. They are: 1. Shell mushroom 2. Bud mushroom and 3. Straw mushroom. The one available in the Himalayan areas is of a different type.
That which expels the poison of fat only has the special nutrient to fortify our body. Mushrooms possess this exclusive property. They are to be purified before eating. In general the shell type of mushroom is superior. If this rare sort of mushroom available in the Himalayan region is identified with the help of a Guru and used, it is bound to strengthen our body.
Not only that: with chanting of the Phala-Athi Phala mantra, imparted by Sage Viswamitra to Lords Rama and Lakshmana, given here for the benefit of readers, the Lord of death can be vanquished:
om hreem phale mahaadevi
hreem mahaphale gleem chaturvida
purushaartha siddhiprade tat savithur
varadaat ke hreem varenyam
bhargo devasya varadaat ke
athi phale sarvadayaa moorthe
phale sarvaksheet prabhoma naasini
dheemahi diyo yo naa jaate
prachaarya: yaa prachotayaat aat ke
pranava siraskaat ke hoompat svaahaa
Some of the scholars present there refused to accept Prabhakara Siddhayogi’s speech. They asked, “How are we to accept it without proof?” Readily the Swamigal came forward, “What I state is absolutely true. Keenly look at this orphan lad Kochu Raman standing beside me. You may even conduct all preliminary medical tests too. By the administration of a medicinal herb I am going to transform him to possess a deathless body.” People were wonder-struck by the solemn assertion of the Swamigal’s statement.
Then the Swamigal took Kochu Raman to the ranges of the Himalayas. Initiating Kochu Raman into the Phala-Athi Phala mantra with a clear heart, he led the lad through the unpolluted Himalaya terrains, showed him the precious herb, instructed him on how it should be collected during the pre-winter season and eaten after removing its poisonous portion.
Prabhakara Siddhayogi lodged Kochu Raman in a cave and properly trained him for one and a half months. A year rolled by. The Swamigal took Sushrudar and Sarakar to the cave where Kochu Raman stayed and called out his name at the top pitch of his voice. A thunderous noise resembling the roar of a lion responded the call. Sushrudar and Sarakar were infact startled. A strange eight-foot tall, hairy animal with the semblance of a man, emerged from the cave and bowed low before the Swamigal.
The two scholars raised their eye-brows in utter astonishment with the question on their lips, ‘Is he that Kochu Raman?’ His feet alone measured three feet and hands hanged down upto his knees. It was the northern most end of the mountain forests and the origin of snow formation. The two renowned Pundits sojourned there for ten days and tested Kochu Raman’s minerals, sub-minerals, stool, tresses and the like and to their great bewilderment found out that the snowman was totally free from any symptoms of the three basic types of maladies – namely, mucus (‘kapam’), rheumatism (‘vaadam’) and bile(‘pittam’).
Gladly they embraced Prabhakara Siddhayogi and asked who he – the creator of the first snow man – really was. In reply, Prabhakara Siddhayogi closed His too physical eyes but opened the sacred Third eye – the most exclusive feature of Lord Paramashiva and thus revealed His stupendous identity. They both stood glorifying the Lord.
Thus spoke Prabhakara Siddhayogi, ” O, the distinguished disciple of Sri Danvantri, the very avathar of Lord Narayanan, Maha Sudarshana and Vasudeva and who carried the urn of nectar, I am the creator of the first snow man, as you said. My energy is Narayana Chaitanya, the primodial nature. It was he who became Sri Danvantri, your guru. The divine herb Kochu Raman ate is the form of Sri Maha Vishnu. I am the mantra form of Rudra which removed its poison. I myself am the primeval Jakova.”
Reverentially both of them saluted Prabhakara Siddhayogi. Then Kochu Raman bowed and beseeched Him, “Swami! I am immensely delighted to know who you are. I have a wish to be fulfilled. Please permit me to make you an appeal.” The Swamigal granted him permission. Kochu Raman continued: “It is disgusting for me to live all by myself in the cave. Kindly send me a companion.” The Swamigal welcomed his suggestion and replied that he would get him a female partner for the rapid expansion of his race.
The next day the Swamigal brought with him, Bhotia, a four and a half feet tall girl of thirteen from the Himalayan forests, and handed her over to Kochu Raman and said, “Do not frighten her. Bhotia, you need not be afraid of him. Both of you happily live together and beget children. Kochu, give her your food. My blessings to you both”.
After the passage of a few months, again the Swamigal brought some other medical experts and showed them Kochu Raman and Bhotia, the first snowman pair. After a year, Bhotia measured seven and a half feet tall and had transformed almost like Kochu Raman. As tresses grew thick like mat all over their bodies, they needed no clothes to cover them up with.
Are there any other persons who known these details? Prabhakara Siddhayogi kept the creation of the snowman race a secret for a long time. After He had taken 16 different corporal coils by the exclusive process of metempsychosis, when he was strolling in Kerala bearing the names of “Satti Swami” and “Bhagavan Swami” recently he disclosed it to me and some others for the first time while we were all sitting on a pial under a banyan tree near the Shiva temple at Thirunakkara. At that time A.G. Menon, an advocate of Kottayankadu, Aippu, Mathew and Sukumaran were with me. A.G. Menon asked the Swamigal a doubt, “Swami! Is the snow man a man or an animal?”.
He exclaimed ‘Ay! It was Kochu Raman of Mavelikkara!’ Other details presented here are gathered from different sources in due course of time. A.G. Menon has brought out a book entitled ‘M.N. Stories’, printed by Viswamitran Press, in which details of the snow man are given. News of the snow man has been published in ‘Mathrubhumi’ journal as well.