Day By Day With Bhagavan 10-10-46

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This morning, after his usual stroll, Bhagavan arrived in the hall about 7-35 and, sitting on the couch, stretched out his legs. But immediately, he drew them Backand folded them saying, “I am forgetting”, recounted yesterday’s incident, and ended, “My conscience pricks me. I cannot keep my legs stretched out in front of all.” Still he kept his legs folded. In the afternoon too, he had not forgotten this and was trying to keep to this new resolve of his. But before the evening he relaxed a bit, as all of us entreated him that it should be given up.

This afternoon, Mr. Subba Rao said that some incidents in Bhagavan’s life had not at all been recorded in any book so far; for instance, he said, nobody knew that Bhagavan was for some time nude, but he found out by reading Bhagavan’s horoscope that he must have been nude for some time. It was then discovered in the Telugu biography the above fact about Bhagavan was mentioned. This led Bhagavan to say, “It is true I was nude for some time in the early days, when I was under the illuppai tree in the temple compound. It was not because I had a vairagya that I should have no clothing of any sort. The cod-piece I was wearing used to bring on sores where it touched the skin. When the sore became bad, I threw away the cod-piece. That is all. There used to be an old Gurukkal who for the first time arranged for some regular food for me either by supplying some from his house or by sending the abhisheka milk from the temple to me. After I had been nude for about a month, this old Gurukkal told me one day, ‘Boy, the Kartigai Deepam is approaching. People from all the 24 districts will be flocking here. Police from all the districts will also be here. They will arrest you and put you into jail if you are nude like this. So you must have a cod-piece. ‘ So saying, he got a new piece of cloth, made four people lift me up and tied a cod-piece round me.”

Bhagavan also related today that on the morning of the day after his arrival he had his first meal at Tiruvannamalai. Apparently, he ate nothing at all on the first day. He said, “The next day I was walking up and down in the sixteen-pillared mantapam in front of the temple. Then a Mauni Swami who used to be living in the old days in the Kambathu Ilaiyanar temple came there from the temple. Another Palni Swami, a well-built man with long matted hair who used to do a lot of service, by clearing and cleaning the temple precincts with the help of a band of sannyasis, also came to the sixteen-pillared mantapam from the town. Then the Mauni looking at me, a stranger here, being in a hungry and exhausted condition, made signs to the above Palni Swami that I should be given some food. Thereupon the above Palni Swami went and brought some cold rice in a tin vessel which was all black, with a little salt strewn on top of the rice. That was the first bhiksha which Arunachaleswara gave me!”

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